I'm struggling with so many things right now. They are all good struggles.

What is my style? Why do I shoot? Who am I as an artist? (Calling myself an artist even sound weird)

I took a portfolio building class yesterday that forced me to try to connect what I shoot and why I shoot and find a common theme. It's going to be a work in progress. Here are my initial notes from the portion of the class where we had to write what and why we shoot, and how the images are all tied together (even if they are vastly different....this really pushed me to evaluate my style).

I am drawn to shooting honest portraitures, with a strong mix between candid and posed in a natural environment. I want to capture beautiful, everyday life moments. I want to create visual memories for people who seek to capture those fleeting moments of their lives.

As of right now, what ties my images together are contrast, color, beauty, and emotion in everyday life.

I want to produce images that you see everyday, in a way you've never seen them.

So how's that for a working mission statement? lol

And then I found this article by Mike Colon.


WOW WOW WOW. I am now custom framing his words in my head and heart.

I initially read this article because I am struggling between deciding whether my next purchase will be a nice, new lens (I want this, I want this, I want this) or a flash. Can you tell which one I am leaning toward? I like to shoot in natural light. I don't like the look of flash, although I know it can look right when done right. I am learning so much right now, and from what I've heard the flash learning curve is so steep, that I just don't want to mess with it right now.

So, anyhow...I read the article, and I found these beautiful words.

"The answer is sacrifice. You have to give something up in order to get results that excite you and inspire the artist within. You must give up perfection! Perfectionism only provokes fear and fear is what holds us back in pretty much every area of our lives. I love the way Joe Buissink puts it when he says "There is no such thing as a perfect image, only a perfect moment". He is so right. If we allow our creativity to be tied up by the "rules" of photography, we'll find ourselves bored; creating those mediocre images that look just like everyone else's.

I'm not saying to do things just to be unique. There's an old saying that goes something like "always remember you're unique... just like everyone else." It's true, so many people are out there trying so hard to be different that they end up looking the same. What I'm saying is, be yourself, and don't let fear hold you back. Forget all the rules you learned in school or from your mentors for a while and get out and shoot the way you've always wanted to shoot. Do something YOU like, not what you think your clients expect. Choose images from your shoots that speak to you on a different level even if they are out of focus, motion blurred, or break all the rules of composition. Remember, photography is subjective and you are the boss so take advantage of your position and have fun with it." puts it when he says "There is no such thing as a perfect image, only a perfect moment". He is so right. If we allow our creativity to be tied up by the "rules" of photography, we'll find ourselves bored; creating those mediocre images that look just like everyone else's."

I love it!

So, below are some of my favorite shots that are maybe technically wrong, but they are so right for me.

When I edited this photo, I blew out the background on purpose. Is it right? Is it wrong? For me, this picture made me believe in myself. When I saw it, I thought "I CAN do this." So, in my book, it's all good.

I accidentally shot in ISO 1600 for the entire time this day. The images are really grainy, and in these particular two the color is probably popped too much, but it is SO Kylee.
I can just hear her making a "hmmmpppfff" sound in this one.
She had just gotten into a fight with her sister. She's not happy, but I love this portrait of her because it is real. Three minutes later she was fine again. Maybe too much shadow on the side? I don't care. I love it.
I love this even though it is out of focus and he doesn't stand out as much as I had imagined in my mind. I love it, because I gave my idea a try. I ALSO love it, because while I was kneeling down to take this pic, there were a few 12-13 year old boys hanging out in the alley and they were whispering to one another..."Is he a model? Look, he's a model!" We must have looked awfully professional!! hehehe

I love this because the focus was intentionally left off of his face, even though I think it kind of looks like a mistake in the finished product. I ADORE how the trees in the background are probably too dark, but with the added blurriness, it gives it a very surreal effect.


Courtney's First Shoot

I have yet another gorgeous niece! She is so photogenic!!


Tabby loves Tinkerbell

I had a fun shoot with my niece on the same day as I shot the pictures below of Kylee. She dressed up as a fairy and we gave it a go. We battled some awful lighting, but had a good time. I am so lucky to have these beautiful models!!