Thursday, December 27, 2012

What to Do?

For some reason over the past week, I've been asking myself a few hard questions.

1- Do I really want a thriving photography business?

2- Am I willing to put in the work that it requires to get a thriving photography business?

3- Should I take this year off from portrait photography and instead concentrate on taking landscapes and nature photos?

4- Should I attempt a 365 or 52 Project this year?

In this post, I am going to do my best to answer these four questions honestly.

1- Do I really want a thriving photography business?  Yes. I would like to have a business where the income is not sporadic but regular.  Where I have (ideally) one customer a month. 

2- Am I willing to put in the work that it requires to get a thriving photography business?  This one is tough.  On the one hand, I immediately want to say, "Yes". But on the other, I'm lazy (although that is one thing I really really really want to work on this year) and the thought of having to put so much work and time and energy into getting clients and keeping them happy makes me tired.  But deep down, I think that I'm still going to have to say, YES.  Because it's my dream.  I do want to work harder at photography this year than last.

3- Should I take this year off from portrait photography and instead concentrate on taking landscapes and nature photos?  I don't think I will take the year off from portrait work, however I do want to concentrate more on the nature/landscape side and maybe find a few niches where I can sell my work.  Which might give me some income as well.

4- Should I attempt a 365 or 52 Project this year?  I was back and forth on this one too.  I would love to do a 365 but realistically, it's just not me.  I think that last year, I got about a month or two into the Project 52.  So this year my goal is going to be for 6 months of Project 52!

What about you?  Are there things you're debating if you should do or give up or change strategy on this year?  Let me hear from you!


Monday, December 17, 2012

Let Me Get Angsty (And Then Let You In on What I've Been Up To)

 I have grand ideals for 2013.  I want it to be a year where I make things happen and make some changes.  I'm going through Christina Greve's Setting Your 2013 Goals and it's hard.  Kinda hard to set down on paper what I want.  Because I've come to realize that I flit around like a butterfly when there are an overload of beautiful flowers around.  I go from thing to thing and, although I have deep thoughts and emotions, I rarely, if ever, actually put pen to paper and let them flow out of me.  But I am now.  Check it out.  So far I'm on day 5 (I think).

  Two friends and I went to Biltmore Candlelight Christmas Evenings the first of December.  It was a whirlwind, weekend trip and it was fun!  The sights in the house were amazing and I was able to get some decent photos outside at this humongous tree they had on the front lawn. 

  I have been debating over what goals I want to set for my business in 2013, as well as putting off when to set them. I want to take a Saturday morning and go to Starbucks and figure it all out.  Well, there are only 2 Saturday's left in December and one isn't an option.  So, it looks like I'm left with this Saturday.  I still feel like I'm not getting anywhere with clients.  I have new prices set but can't find the right people to invest. 

  Been throwing an idea around about having a teen girls meeting every month.  Something like the "grown-up" lady's meetings but more fun and more openness. 

  That's what I've been thinking of these past couple months.  What about you?


It's in the Seeking, It's in the Desiring, It's in the Small Choices

  So lately I've been reading my Bible more and I feel in my soul how destitute I am and how in need of God and the filling of His spirit I am. I so long to allow Him to live through me. I'm tired of being who I don't want to be. I want to snap my fingers and be "good enough".  For one thing, I can never be good enough, But He is. 

  What has been slowly dawning on me as I read the Bible, read other blogs and hear people talk about persuing God and His righteousness is this: We are never going to hear a *SNAP* and be suddenly like Christ, filled with His spirit and walking in His ways.  It's going to happen slowly.  As we seek His will in everyday matters, as we desire His heart and His thoughts, as we make the small choices - those things draw us near to Him, open up our hearts and our minds so that we can be controlled by Him.....

The other thing I'm realizing is that the seeking, desiring and choosing is affirmation that we are His.  There is something wrong inside if we don't have that battle. That constant "...for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I (Romans 7:15).

Anyway, that's what's been in my head here.  Got something to share? Share away!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


A name
A pigeon
Looking at photos from a destination wedding....

These tiny, tiny things fill my heart with 
A deep, unsettled yearning for Florence.

Friday, September 21, 2012

What Do You Do? {With a Drunken Sailor}

  This post is not about drunken people, nor about sailors.  I just had to put that in the title because who doesn't remember this song?!  I don't know where I heard it but it popped into my head as I typed the first words to the title....

  So, I digress...Back to the point of this post.....


  What do you do? 

  What do you do when the urge to travel is banging around in your skull, wanting to get out?

  What do you do when you have the threads of ideas and schemes for your business floating in your mind yet you don't know where to begin to bring those threads into a tapestry?

  What do you do when you really can't stand your day job (and it gets worse as the weeks progress) but you pray and pray and no door opens for you to go full time with what you love?

  What do you do when you think of moving out of your childhood home but realize that you don't have the money to do so?

  What do you do when you are praying for a spouse (a husband in my case) and a prospect comes along but then gets knocked out of the water for some reason?  (Disclaimer. I firmly believe all my "knocked out of the water" prospects were God closing the door because He has something much better for me.  But it still doesn't feel good at the time).

  What do you do when you realize that many of the beliefs you've held since childhood aren't the real deal?

  What do you do when you know that how your views and beliefs are changing is going to make very important people in your life unhappy but you know it's the right thing to do?

  Whew, boy....I need a break just from typing them all out. 

  Each of these questions is something that I've been dealing with over the past few months.

  It's a lot.  I think that most young adults go thru many of these questions at a much younger age (I'm 27 -almost 28 - for crying out loud) than I am; however, I don't know if going thru it earlier makes it any easier.

  I don't have an answer for any of the questions above.  I really don't.  I wish that I did. 

  There are days where I think that I have started to make progress with my business, days where I tightly hold onto the promises that God is going to provide me a husband, days where I like my day job.  But then, there are the days where my business seems like a failure, where I wonder when God is going to bless me with a husband, and where I HATE my day job and wish I was anywhere else but there.....

  And I still don't have any answers. 

  There are only a few things I know for a certainty, and I have been clinging to those things more and more lately.  One is that my God will never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5).  The other is that I don't have to figure out the in's and out's of everything in my life, whether it's trying to analyze something in my spiritual life or whether it's wondering why God isn't opening any doors for me to travel (Proverbs 3:5-6, Psalms 37:23).  All the Lord requires of me is to love Him first (Mark 12: 29-31) and to fear Him and serve Him in truth with all my heart (1 Samuel 12:24). 

  These reminders comfort me when I begin to get overwhelmed with all the "what do you do's" above. 

  Do you have any "what do you do" moments in your life?  Share.  Maybe we can encourage each other....


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Being Restless

  I'm restless.

  At my day job.

  I have to go to this day job.  Every day.  So that I can make money to pay bills.

  However, my heart is with my "weekend" job - Photography- & with travel.

  Photography, the job that, so far this year, has not given me enough income to purchase an Ipad with.

  I feel this tug inside of me, this desire to drop it all and do what I love.  Photography & travel.

  But how can I? 

  I can't pay bills without money.  I can't travel without money.

  I pray for guidance, for an open door.  For a sign.  There is no response.  Yet that tug inside my soul is still there.

  Hope & faith are what I have right this moment.  And the promise to: "Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." Psalms 37:4

Sara <3

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Read the Bible til It's Dirty & It Will Make You Clean

  A few weeks ago, I got the news that a dear family friend had passed away without warning.  This lady was very special to myself and my family and I had known her since I was a little girl.

 Since my parents are very conservative in both thought and lifestyle, you could count on one hand the people that they felt comfortable leaving me with as a child.  This lady was one of those people. My parents knew that while I was at her house and with her family, I wouldn't be exposed to anything that they didn't approve of.  She is the only person that I can remember ever watching me while my parents went on dates.

  I attended a memorial service for her this past weekend and one of her daughters said that she remembered going into the kitchen as a little girl and seeing her mom's Bible lying on the table where she had just finished her devotions.  Then, her son said that the morning she was found passed away, there, beside her bed, stood her open Bible where she had read from it the night before.  The common thread was that she had her devotions daily

  Boy.  I can't begin to describe the feelings I had as I sat and heard that.  Just a few that I can put a name to were thankfulness for having known her, awe at how dedicated she was and over it all, conviction. If I passed away suddenly is that what someone would find beside my bed?  My open Bible?  I (shamefully) have to say, no. 

  This lady was sweet, caring, generous, loving, quick with laughter and praise and she constantly gave of herself and her possessions to help anyone and everyone that she came in contact with.

  That was not a result of her own doing.  It was a result of the time she spent reading her Bible daily

  Without a doubt, the Lord blessed her with those attributes above, however, without her consistency in the Word, I wonder how far the results of those attributes would have reached? 

  Person after person stood up to testify to how she had impacted their lives.  Two young men stood up and called her "mom" even though they were not her children by blood.

  The slideshow they showed at the memorial had a picture of the inside cover of her Bible.  On the page was written, "Read the Bible til it's dirty & it will make you clean." 

  This dear lady lived that.  And in doing so, she ministered and helped so many others.

  The beauty, grace and godliness I saw reflected in her life is challenging me to put God first, give Him more of myself and read His Word faithfully. 

  Proverbs 31:30 - Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.

Sara <3


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Trying Something New....Excited

  Right now my photography business focuses on families, couples, children (toddler to young teens) and women (beauty portraits, bridal portraits/trash the dress).  However, recently I have been wondering what it would be like to do boudoir (yes, I said it) photography.

  I’m not all into the “show your entire entire body” boudoir but the tasteful, classic, sophisticated, subtly sexy boudoir for married ladies only.  Wouldn't that be an incredibly sweet gift to give your husband?  I think that it would be.

  Tonight I will be meeting with a friend who (I think) is going to let me practice on her.....I say "I think" because I feel like I may still have some convincing to do. Although, either way there is no loss.  If she says no, I’ll try to convince someone else!  If no one will let me practice, then it’s a sign that it’s not meant to be!!

  I do want to give a disclaimer here too.  If I do begin offering boudoir photography, I won't be showing any of that work online.  It would be word of mouth referrals with private, in home consultations.

  So, if you have ever had a positive boudoir experience, or know of any good photographers whose boudoir photography I should check out, let me know!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Adulthood Encroaches {Prayer Please}

  I won't go deeply into what's going on inside my head, however, I would just like to ask for prayer from anyone who reads this. 

  The last few months and especially the last week or so I have begun to really examine some things in my life, things that I've grown up with and have become accustomed to and dare I say comforted by

  So I just need prayer for wisdom, direction and strength in whatever path God has for me....

Sara <3

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dissappointment {But I Am Worth It}

  For the past few months I have been working on re-doing my pricing. 
  Yesterday a co-worker came to me about photos and I decided that it was now or never so I gave her my new pricing.
  She initially scheduled a session and this morning I brought a few samples to show her at work and we shot several emails back and forth about various things. (All after she had looked over my pricing).
  20 minutes after the last email (when the session was still scheduled and I am talking about giving her my welcome packet) she sends an email stating that she needs to speak with her husband, that they are low on funds and that she has a close family member who takes "beautiful photos".
  Disappointment.  Strikes me in the gut.  I can feel my heart drop in my chest.
  The knowledge that for this one last time I should have given my lower prices to her (because I really need the money) settles over me.
  But then, I remember all the times before now when this same thing has occurred and my prices were lower and I find the strength to not let remorse or anxiety overtake me.
  The simple truth is that this person is NOT my ideal client.  That's why my prices changed her mind. 
  The beautiful gallery wrap that I showed her nor the leather album I let her feel and look thru impacted her because price, not value was her priority.
  I don't blame her.  I am only recently, after struggling with justifying raising my prices, beginning to see that there is so much value in photography and most times, to get that value, you are going to pay a higher price.  However, I am beginning to wonder if the many people that let price rule out over value in their lives will one day regret it.

  As I closed the email, a quote came to mind, one by Ann Brashares (the author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series).  "There are going to be moments of deep, deep doubts, and you have to have faith that your initial idea was good and just muddle through."

  I am not letting disappointment overthrow me.  I know that who I am and what I do is worth every penny that I charge. 

  My ideal clients are coming.  It's just a matter of time.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Slump Time

Right now I'm going thru my creative slump.  It seems to happen every two-three months. 

I'm not allowing myself to get anxious about it though.  I'm already feeling the stirring to get my camera back out and begin working on my business.

Right now my date for having new pricing effective, new policies written and my website updated is October 1, 2012.



Thursday, August 16, 2012

Are You Wading or Jumping?

I don't know how to swim.  True story.  I can't even float.  True story.

But it doesn't really bother me.  Maybe, someday, I'll learn but it's not a priority in my life.

However, I do want to swim in the figurative sense.  I want to not have to wade at the edge of the hotel swimming pool of life, or the ocean of life (whichever you prefer).  I want to be able to take a running jump and dive, headfirst into the water

It's something I've been pondering recently.

There are lots of things I want to do.  Languages I want to learn, classes I want to take, books I want to write, photos I want to take, adventures I'd like to have and sometimes, instead of just going ahead and taking the leap to begin them (sending an email, signing up for a class, getting out my camera, etc) I start analyzing (yea, not a good word).  And before you know it, I've talked myself out of it.

I'm challenging myself (and you too, if you want to join me) to not analyze so much.   Instead, the next thing that I desire to do, I'm just going to run, jump and dive headfirst into it and see where it takes me.....

How about you?


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Words of Wisdom {& of Inspiration}

  There have been a few things on my heart recently that I just got encouragement, confirmation and inspiration on today!!!

  Most of you may know that I'm single.  And I'm praying for Mr. Right, have been praying fervently for him for several years.  Throughout these years, a few young men have come my way and I thought that maybe just maybe  they would be him.  They seemed to match the basics that I know I want (the things that I won't compromise on) and they also had things about them that I liked which I may have not have thought of before.  However, in each case, something happened to end these fledgling acquaintances. 

  As a side note, I have NEVER wanted to date anyone seriously unless it was the man God had for me.  Strange, maybe but I've seen too much heartache, bitterness and regret to want to go that route.  Anyway, After the most recent disapointment, one of my best friends pointed out to me that God was keeping me from getting into a relationship with anyone but my future husband.  That realization slowly sunk in and made me very thankful.  I don't think that I've ever prayed specefically that I would date only my husband, however, He's a God of HUGE and IMPOSSIBLE things so He certainly knows my heart and deepest desires.  Isn't that a blessing?  Ok, off that side note.

  I KNOW that God is preparing and bringing a godly man into my life.  He has assured me of that time and again.  However, sometimes I get nervous and lonely and out of sorts and I ask Him, "Where is he God?  Why isn't he here yet?  Can't you hurry up?!"  (Be honest!  You've thought it too!!)  And sometimes, I even slightly wonder why God allowed things to happen with those other Mr's who didn't turn out to be Mr. Right.  Well,  this morning, I was reading thru my blogroll and came upon this amazing post  that totally stopped me in my tracks. 

  God has had a hand in each and every young man that I have become acquainted with.  No matter for how long, no matter how high the degree of interest was, no matter that it didn't work out.  The point wasn't the acquaintance but the lessons God would teach me thru them.  And, boy, has he taught me some things (Praise His name!).

  One thing is to never settle for someone who meets all your requirements and seems just perfect and not be 150% sure (both you and he should be sure) that he is what God wants for you. 

  I especially loved the quote (which sums up what I've learned) "...even if something “seems good” that doesn’t mean it is what God has for you."

  That was my encouragement for the day!!  God's got my future and my future husband in hand and He's working it out for what's best for both him and I!


  Next, for my confirmation! 

  For over a year I have been sending in applications to different volunteer organizations and no one has EVER responded.  I felt like God was closing the door and that He didn’t want me to do that. So I stopped persuing it. 

  In April, a door opened for me to be able to provide photography at a home for sex trafficked girls and in August, I will be meeting with the founder to talk about offering photography classes to those girls.  If that's not a volunteer opportunity, I'm not sure what is! All I can say is, “Wow!”  God works in crazy ways but most importantly, He works in HIS timing.  Not mine. 

  Not only that but last week I get a call and voicemail from a volunteer organization in my hometown that I applied for right at a year ago!  They asked if I was interested in helping and to contact them if I was. 

    Silly me, I began analyzing (not a good thing to do but I do it a lot).  1- I kinda didn’t want to volunteer anymore, 2- I would be working (hopefully) with the Girls Home, 3- I’m too busy to volunteer….


  This morning I was in the midst of reading my blogroll and another blog post grabbed my attention.  You can find it HERE.

  The post really wasn’t about volunteering in the way that I will be (underprivileged youth, abuse etc) but one of the last statements got ahold of me.  “If you have even a slight stirring of compassion for the younger generation, do something about it immediately. Eternity is on the line. We don’t have to have our “act” together before we can be used. Thankfully, students want our presence more than our preaching anyway. The majority of the time, ministry is about showing up; God promises to give us the words at the moment they’re needed.”

  True story.

  Isn’t God amazing?  He is all up in the little things (like these two things I’ve mentioned above) as well as the big things in each of our lives. 

   So my mind has been made up and my decision to volunteer confirmed

  I would appreciate prayers as I am a tad nervous about this as I’ve never volunteered before. 


And lastly, some inspiration for fellow photographers out there. 

 I’m doing my first “styled session” tonight and I saw an article (once again while reading my blogroll) all about setting up one, beginning to finish.  Thought it might be useful to someone.  I know that I’m gonna keep it as reference. 

  It’s HERE.

  Tell me about some things in your life that God has encouraged you in or confirmed your heart and mind of. 

  Or, tell me about a styled session you have an idea for or have shot.  I’d love to hear.

Sara <3

Friday, July 20, 2012

He Was a White Knight {That Changed My Life}

    The title is a bit strange, isn't it?  No, it's not reffering to my "prince charming" (whom I do not have yet, by the way) and no, I'm not going crazy.  It's referring to the bunny I owned for a little over 3 months who changed my ideas about animals and helped me to have a more compassionate, caring heart to animals as well as people.

    I met this special bunny on a warm, April morning when he was with his brothers and sisters at the fair.  His parents were being shown by my best friends parents and he and his siblings were being given away.  Mrs. C, my best friend's mom, asked me if I wanted to hold a bunny.  Of course, I did as I do like little, furry creatures in general, especially if they're babies. 

  When she put this little bunny into my arms, he immediately nestled up to the crook in my neck and just sat, watching all that went on.  Below is our first photo together.

  I had not had a pet in several years and when Mrs. C, and my friend kept urging me that I should take him home, I was dubious at first, then began to be won over.  I called my parents and asked if it would be ok.  Thankfully, they said yes!!

  I carried this little, nameless bunny around with me all day, and as my friend and I were walking into Tractor Supply, I said, "I should name him Lucky."  She said, "Why?!"  I thought a minute and replied, "Because he's lucky to have all of his feet!!"  His name was born.  And later, more names were added.  His full name ended up being: Thumper Lucky Benjamin Button Binky Vogt!!!  What a huge name for so slight a bunny.  Of course, I called him Lucky.

  I brought him home and arranged all the items he needed for comfort, cleanliness and sustenance.  My father, who is not an animal person, somehow grew very fond of this tiny, white ball of energy and talked, laughed and played with him almost every day.

  Lucky was happy.  He got treats, was able to roam freely about the house when I got home and showed his appreciation for this by running around our entire house several times before throwing himself down on the floor and panting.

  My love for this little fellow grew as I watched him and realized that he had such a personality.  And it didn’t matter how I felt when I came home. I could be angry, sad, or elated, no matter, he loved me or comforted me whatever my mood. 

  When he was about four months old, he began exhibiting signs of maturity (like all boy bunnies do).  I knew that I was not going to be able to get a female companion for him and I hated seeing him so frustrated so I decided to have him neutered.

  I scheduled his appointment for Wednesday, July 20, 2011 and because of my work schedule, had to take him to the Vet on the 19th.  During the ride there, I talked to him about how he had to be brave, and that I would come back for him the next day.  I remember that we passed a road that was called "Rabbit Meadow" and I mentioned it to him. 

  When I reached the Vet, I gave him to one of the workers along with the words, "I love you and I'll be back tomorrow!"

   On Wednesday morning, about 11 AM, I got a call from the Vet.  Only, it was not the one that I wanted.  The Vet kindly told me that Lucky had had complications when they were doing his post exam and had passed away. 

  The shock and grief I felt were terrible.  I bawled my eyes out and called my mother to go with me to get him.  I knew that I could not do this alone.  

  When we were on the way back, I told my mother, "I promised him that I would come to get him today, and I have."

  My father and I buried him that night in our backyard with a few of his favorite toys as well as a note from me. 

  How could such a small creature have given me so much?  Have taught me so much? I still ask myself that today, one year since his passing.  I don’t know.  All I know is that the Lord gave him to me at the right time and the Lord took him away from me when his time was complete.  Whatever work the Lord sent him to do in my life, he had finished it. 

 The next day, I knew that I could not face my grief without another bunny to help ease it.  On the 21st, I found out about a rabbitry in Zebulon with baby bunnies.  I proceeded to purchase a beautiful, 2 month old Mini Rex doe and name her Cinnamon.

  Cinnamon has helped heal me.  I talk to her of her brother and when she binkys for joy, I see him in her. 

  I still think of Lucky a lot.  He holds a very special spot in my heart but I know that he had the best life he could have possibly had and that he had all the love in the world from myself, my parents and all his "aunts" (my friends).  He was doted over. 

  I love you, Lucky, you will always and forever be my "little baby boy".


PS.  Please read this poem but be prepared to cry!

PS2.  Please visit Baskets for Bunnies to learn how you can help bunnies without families.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

It's Wednesday

  So very glad that it's the middle of the week.  This particular day has seemed quiet long and unenchanting.

  Here are a rundown of things I have my hand in right now....Very excited about them all...

  1. Loosely planning an Ivory Princess themed little girls styled shoot.

2.  Just put out a call on Facebook for families who would like to model to help me update my portfolio (if you're in the Eastern NC area and would be interested, email me at !)

3. Have an "old fashioned" styled session coming up next week.  I'm super excited about that and will be talking to the girl who is going to be my model tonight to get more details =)

4. Finishing up my website redesign and getting ready to get with my "panel" of people to decide what images should be displayed.

5. Planning a small party for my mom's 60th birthday in a few weeks

  I am pretty busy! But I like it that way.  It keeps the cooties out of your brain when you have something good to focus on!!!

  What are you doing right now?  Any exciting plans? Or maybe not so exciting but important to you?  I would love to hear about them....

Sara <3

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Things Are Looking Up

While my last post, Go Big or Go Home was a little on the discouraging side (did anyone else sense that, or was it just me?) I thought that I would share how just a few days have helped me to feel better about my talent of photography and also the images that I have created in years past. 

Over the weekend, I met with two photographers near me, Jessica and Lindsay.  Jessica helped me out with some areas I'm struggling with technically and I got to talk "shop" with both her and Lindsay.  You don't know how nice that was.  Most of my friends are not photographers so when I try to talk to them about photography they're like, "that's great but...we don't get it" or something like that.

It was also nice to be able to take my time and be able to think about how to get a good shot before I released the shutter.  If I had been photographing a session, I wouldn't have felt that I had the luxury of that time. 

Also, Lindsay said something that stopped me in my tracks.  As I was talking about wanting the VSCO film presets I said that I wanted to wait until I got better before purchasing them and she said quietly, "I think that you're underestimating yourself and your work...".  That small statement got me to thinking about a post I had read by Danielle La Porte, which you can FIND HERE.  It states EXACTLY what I have been doing to myself this past month or so.

These images that I have created in past years are nothing to be ashamed of. They show where I have been and reveal where I am going.  They show a learning process.  Most importantly, they show progress!! 

Since I don't see things in grey but in black and white (or literal/analytical), when I made the decision to revamp my portfolio, my mind immediately wrote off almost all the images that I've created over the past years as "not relavent/not good enough/trash".  And I've been beating myself up about them and wallowing in the fact that they weren't "any good" and "how on earth did I let myself think that was a good picture?"  I had failed to realize that the more you can see your past, realize it's a part of you and then move on towards where you want to be, the more your past becomes a foundation, a springboard, to what you've dreamed of and longed for. 

Spending time with those two fellow photographers helped me to realize what I've mentioned above and also gave me a dose of faith that I do have, within me, the power and ability to get better while not discrediting the work that I've done up to now. 

If you're feeling discouraged, write me.  We can chat.  Maybe you can help me, maybe I can help you....We'll see where it leads....



I Heart Faces July "Enjoying Life" Photo Contest Submission

I am into submitting photos to contests these past few weeks.  What is up with that?! =)

I don't know, but here is another photo....

Photo Challenge Submission

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

June Photo for Click it Up a Notch Contest

This photo was taken near Harmony, NC earlier this month.  I have wanted to photograph it for several years but always made excuses!!  I'm glad that I made time to photograph it this time!!  It looks like such a peaceful place.

Click It Up A Notch

Go Big or Go Home

  Life has gotten in the way but also, I have willfully neglected this blog because 1) i felt I didn't have anything useful to say and 2) because I've been going through a learning period with my photography (which I hope will continue) and was a little embarrassed.

  Why embarrassed?  I don't know really.  I guess because for a long time I felt I was a better photographer than I actually am.  I just realized this a few weeks ago and it made me frantically want to get better. 

  To give a brief overview of my photography background and business, continue reading. 

  I have enjoyed photography since I was young.  I remember that my first camera was my parents, a Keystone film point and shoot camera which looked a little like the one here.  They still have it and I just pulled it out of a drawer and couldn't figure out which way was which!!!  How technology has "complicated" us!

  Anyway, I remember we would go on family vacations and I LOVED being able to take photos with that camera.  I especially loved taking landscapes.

  As I grew older my parents nurtured that love in me (although I don't suspect they realized it would lead to where it has) and the first camera I remember getting was a Vivitar film camera which I used for several years until they got me a Kodak film camera!! 

I was always the one taking loads of photos at all the functions we attended or the parties we had at my house.  I dubbed myself "the one with the camera" and it was almost a cliche when I would raise a camera to someone and say, "Can I take your picture"!

  Fast forward to college when I had to take a camera class for my major.  I had to have a 35mm camera with a detachable lens (I thought I was in heaven) and my parents purchased me a Minolta. It was a film camera also but it made me realize that there was more (much more) to life than a point and shoot. 

  I came home from college that summer and took photos of friends, events, etc.  I didn't know how to use the manual controls so I shot everything in auto.  Some pictures were good, some were bad but it opened up my eyes.

And then, at Christmas 2006, my parents got me a Canon S2 IS digital camera with a huge amount of zoom (because they knew how much I liked shooting nature and animals).  I shot some photos, some friends saw and the inevitable, "These are really good, you should take photos."  I continued taking pictures with many people commenting that I was good and it built my confidence in my ability (which in raw form was there). 

  Now, fast forward to April 2009.  I wanted to start photographing people for money.  I loved taking pictures and I thought that it would be easy money.  I didn't know how to go about getting my name out there or showing my 'talents" to a broader group of people so I decided to "go big or go home"!  I planned an exhibit, showcasing my best work up to that point, and with a great amount of help from friends and family, pulled it off on a Friday night.  I had over 40 people attend and it slowly kickstarted my business.

  Since then, I have had a few customers a year.  I have had some sessions that I thought were amazing, some I didn't care for (not the people but my photography) and some htat were just, ok. 

  In the middle of last year, I became better friends with a photographer from my church and as I began perusing her work, I realized that she had been shooting for less time than I had yet seemed to be much better than me on her technique.  This got me pondering and as time went on, these thoughts culminated when I began wanting to raise prices for my business earlier this year (only a few months ago actually). 

  Someone I had met on a photography forum was talking with me about my photography and my fear or raising my prices and she said something that made everything make sense.  She said something like, "so you don't want to charge that much because you don't think that your work is good enough?"  That is EXACTLY why I was having trouble raising my prices and her words sparked a desire in me to get good enough to raise my prices to what I know that my talent and time are worth.

  Since that day a few weeks ago, I have shelved updating my pricing to later in the year and am concentrating on redoing my portfolio as well as learning lighting, exposure and posing better. 

  I realized that I started too early.  Although I wouldn't go back and change things, I really started before I was ready and before I had the technique for a business.  But its ok.  Life is about experiences and about learning and right now, I am doing both.

  So my friends, that is why I haven't posted on here in a while.  There's the whole of it!

  However, I have not quit photographing.  I am trying to every chance I get and I am also working on a styled session with some photographer friends from Facebook. 

  I was also able to help a charity called Transforming Hope Ministries by donating some of my Fine Art Landscape images to help decorate their home for sex trafficked girls.  That made me very very happy!  I have been wanting to assist a volunteer organization for some time. 

  I know this post rambles and may be a little incoherant but I'd love some feedback.  If you're struggling with learning anything photographically, or just want to talk, drop me a line or a comment!!!


Sunday, March 18, 2012

What are Gallery Wraps, Standouts & Print Wraps and Why You Should Care!


  I am beginning to offer gallery wraps, standouts and print wraps thru my business and have realized that many people (including myself just a while back) don't know what these items are, or the differences between them.  All of these terms can be a little (or a lot) confusing so I hope this short post helps to clarify them for you!

  So, here is a small tutorial with links and photos from arond the web stating the differences between a gallery wrap, a standout and a print wrap!!!

Gallery Wrap: is a method of stretching an artist's canvas so that the canvas wraps around the sides...and is secured to the back of the wooden frame. (the photo can stretch around or the part that stretches can just be a plain color).  via Wikipedia.
Here is a photo of a gallery wrap:

StandoutsStandouts are....Photographs mounted on thick, light weight Gatorfoam (heavy duty foamboard). via Mpix Pro.  Photos on standouts will do just that "standout" from the wall and give a little more "oomph" than a flat print.

Here is a photo of a standout:

Print Wraps: Print Wraps are printed on photographic paper and laminated with a mounting block on the back. Via Mpix Pro.  These seem to be a flatter, less stretched out version of a gallery wrap. 

Here is a photo of a Print Wrap:  via this site

  That is the basic definitions of gallery wraps, standouts and print wraps.  Now, on to why you should care.

  Really it's all about your personal style and what you'd like to showcase in your home. 

  For me, I would put things like weddings, family portraits and special occasions on a gallery wrap.  For standouts, however, I would showcase my favorite photo of a child, a cute shot of a couple or an adored pet.  Print Wraps make me think of fun, summertime and playfulness;  therefore, I would put things like vacation photos, ocean photos and casual family outings on them.

  Bottom line, it's all about what YOU like and feel should go on there. 

  I hope this little tutorial on the differences between three popular ways to showcase photos has helped you out and given you some inspiration.  If you have any questions or comments, please let me know.  I would love to hear from you!!


PS. If you haven't already, go to Sara Vogt Photography on Facebook and "like" my page to stay updated with what's going on!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thursday Fabulousness {My Faves from a Long Week}

I am so happy that it's ALMOST Friday!!!  I'm having to scrounge to find some things I love this week but I'll make it work =)

1- This beautiful cover for my iphone.  The color is amazing.  ELAGO EL-S4SM-CBL-BA S4 Slim Fit Case for AT&T, Sprint, Verizon iPhone 4/4S - 1 Pack - Retail Packaging - Coral Blue

2- If you're a photographer (of any level) check out this website which has some amazing FREE e-books and other information.

3- Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier.  I purchased it at Goodwill last night for $0.75!!!  Just started reading it and it's good.  Different but good.
 Cold mountain novel cover.jpg

4 - Starbucks!!!!  I am in love with their White Chocolate Mocha (iced) and a friend got me to try it with a pump of Vanilla!!!

  Since this post was supposed to go out last Friday but didn't, I'm adding an extra two things to this one =)

5- People who do the right thing.  I lost my iphone last Thursday night and didn't expect to have it returned.  But a nice person returned it to me Saturday afternoon.  There are still some decent people in this world.  Praise the Lord!

6- This hilraious website about bunnies!!!! Go check it out I guarantee you it will make you laugh. 


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Project 52 - Week 3 {Week of February 26th, 2012}

  I have gotten thru three weeks of Project 52 and I'm excited!  Excited because at the end of this year I want to create a book of all 52 photos to keep as a memorial of this year. 

Week 3

  My mom's brother's family lives three hours from us and every few months we go to visit them.  This is the baby girl.  I thought in this photo she looked like a little farmeress!  How sweet is she?

  How you doing with your photo project?  Do you need inspiration? If so, or if you're breezing along, I would love to know!!!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Fabulousness Friday!! {A Few Favorites from the Week}

YAY! I get to share some links of things I love this week with you!!!

1- My new iphone 4S  Isn't it so cute?  I love the logo on the back.  Unfortunately, I can't see mine because there is a case on it.  But that's ok!!! 

2- This British detective series  has me hooked and I have run out of the ones I can watch on and ! =(  

3- This British mystery series which stars Alan Davies . And (i know it's crazy) he's kinda cute!!! Of course, this picture doesn't do him justice.

4- The fact that I purchased my whole, entire tour to Italy this week!!! I'm so excited to be journeying there in April.....


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Project 52, Week 2

  I adore Tulips.  I'm not sure when my love affair began with them but it's been in recent years.  My favorite flowers over the years have ranged from Wisteria, Daffodils, Roses and Iris's but now I think that I have settled on Tulips!

  Here is a photo I took on Monday night with candlelight and Tulips.  What a wonderful combination.

Has anyone ever tried taking candllight photos before and if so, how did they turn out?


Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Fabulousness (What I'm In Love With this Week)

So I do think that I will make this  a regular Friday event!  Here are four things I have fallen in love with this week and/or have made me think good and hard in some way....

1 - This amazingly gorgeous image made me want to photograph roses and strawberries together.  I have never thought to do that but the colors are so beautiful together.

2- Why Brown is The Best Color is such a moving article about bunnies.  Please read and if you are considering getting a bunny, don't pass one up just because it is brown. 

3 - When you first read this quote, it's a little odd but keep thinking about it.  It inspires me to not "sleep" but to stay awake and move mountains!!!

4 - I REALLY want these shoes!  I have seen several pairs of floral shoes locally but they all have heels =(

What are some things you're loving this week? I'd love to know!


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Beginning of Project 52

  A friend at church wanted me to take a photo referencing the words "love bunny".  I purchased a hideous purple heart from Ross hoping to make the picture in my head but it didn't feel right so I took it back and put the photo off.  For Valentine's Day, my father got me a box of turtle chocolates in a beautiful heart shaped box.  I knew it was what I needed. 

Here is the finished project for the first week of Project 52!

  I love my beautiful bunny Cinnamon.  She has my heart.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Since Everyone is Doing It, I Will To (Things I'm Loving This Week)

  I've seen this post on a LOT of blogger's sites and it's interesting.  I am constantly finding cute things that I like too.  So I may or may not do this once a week or every other week, or once a month. We'll see...

  Some things I'm loving this week

  1.  This adorable (light) pink nail polish I *just* (like 5 minutes ago) got from Walgreens, called Tickled Pink.  Can't wait to try it out....

  2- This blue (I LOVE blue) overnight bag from Etsy.

  3- Vogue Magazine because they put Adele on the cover!!!  Can't wait to get a copy and read the article....

  4 - An awesome blog about chickens (yes, chickens) if you're into that kinda thing.

  There they are, four things I'm loving this week.  Share some of yours!!


God Will Help Us - If We Let Him

  Even though this blog is mainly about my photography and things related to photography, it is also a place to share my life.  That's why I wanted to share with you how much the Lord has helped me and been (oh so) good to me this last week.

  The backbone to understand this last week is that I had my annual heart checkup scheduled on Thursday.  Also, the bank where I work has a special project going on where they are requiring us to work mandatory 52 hours this week.  Between those two things, I was stressed and nervous.

  On Sunday morning, a missionary that we support who is located in Saipan was at our church and spoke during Sunday School.  His thought?  God is in control.  And nothing happens in our life that God doesn't allow and already know about.  How about this week fella's?!  Or this nerve-wracking Dr.'s appointment?!  Yep, He knew all about both.  That message was the start of God's goodness (and His help).

  On Sunday, I prayed that the Lord would 1) give me the strength I needed to not stress out about the work week and the physical strength to get thru it without getting sick or being super super tired.  and 2) take my mind off of my impending Dr. visit and give me a peace about the whole thing.  I don't know about you but if I think about something I'm dreading, I can come up with a LOT of terrible scenarios, whereas if I don't think about it, I'm ok.

  Well, I have been praying those prayers all week. And God has answered both of them!! 

  It is Friday so I've (almost) made it thru this long work week (I will work 4-5 hours tomorrow and then I'll be done) and the Lord graciously allowed me to not dwell on the Dr. visit.  And when I got to the dr's office, I brought in a book and purposely when I was given any alone time in the exam room, I read it to keep my mind off o the "what if's" until my dr came back with his verdict. 

  My checkup was A-ok.  I'm good "for another thousand miles" (those are my Dr's words...). 

  God did it again.

  And the more I think about it, I believe He guided this hectic, long work week to be at this time just so I would be tired, etc and not able to really think about the visit lying ahead of me.

  Isn't He good?  His goodness is just so humbling yet exhilerating at the same time.

  Do you have a testimony you'd like to share about something He has done in your life? Please share, I'd love to hear!!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Project 365 Is Lovely but Not for Me

  What happened last year to my 365 Project has happened again this year.  It's not just that life gets in the way, it's also that I feel so uninspired.  So I'm switching to the 52 Project (One photo a week each week of the year).  I think that this will help me to be able to get an idea for what I want to photograph and allow me time to prepare myself for it. 

  My 52 Project will start this week and I will try to post each week's photo on Saturday's.

  Here's hoping this project goes better than the other.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Rediscovering Reading

  When I was a little girl my whole world revolved around reading (that and playing with imaginary friends and making up adventures - I was an only child).  As I grew older, things began crowding out reading.  The biggest obstacle to reading was a tv!!!  It may surprise some of you to know that my family did not have a tv until I turned 18.  Yes, friends, I lived for 18 years without a tv in my home.  My family and I did go to my uncle's house on the weekends to watch movies or shows and my mother and I would go to his home (he lived a mile up our road) if there was a special news story but other than that, we didn't watch tv.  It was a treat when I was able to see one!. 

  Anyway, for Christmas my dad bought a tv that we could only watch movies on.  I believe I made up for lost time.  We all did. We watched movie after movie.  And it was amazing.  I could hardly believe that I had  a tv that I could watch a movie on whenever I wanted!

  The downside to that was the fact that as I caught up on the 18 years of movies I'd missed, my desire to read slowly ebbed away.  Now, my fixation was movies.

  I did read off and on and have read off and on for the past few years but nothing like when I was growing up.  Not only did the tv take the place of reading, but my schedule becoming busier did as well.

  Anyway, one of my goals for this year is to read 12 books.  I have read one (The Hunger Games), finished another (The Lost Girls -I started this book in April of 2010) and am now reading A Room With a View by E. M. Forester. 

  Reading is special.  Reading is transportation to other worlds.  Where a movie shows you what something is like, a book makes you imagine the scene you're reading, allowing you to exercise your mind and creativity.

  As I grow older (That sounds horrible - I mean, I'll only be 27 on the 9th of this month....) the more I hear about people who can't read.  That saddens me.  I want to go out and teach everyone to read.  

  I don't think that those of us who can read realize how special and important that ability is. 

  I challenge you to read some books this year.  It doesn't have to be 12.  It can be 5, or 2.  But please, do decide to read.  It's a privilege.


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Framing Keys & A New 365 Photo

  I FINALLY pulled my camera out.  It was feeling very, very neglected, especially since I promised to use it on Friday but didn't actually take it out until today.

  Anyway, I was feeling crafty after viewing this blog post on framing old keys.  I have had three keys from a necklace I purchased a while back parked on my dresser for a very long time.  I kept wondering what to do with them because I loved them but they were so tiny and I knew at some point I would deep clean my room and see them and think, 'really, I need to get rid of these because I have nowhere to put them.'.  So, after reading the post, I decided to try framing the three keys.

  After work today I went to Marshalls (I love all their floral, vintagey stuff) and looked for just  the right frame.  When I saw the one I purchased, I knew it was the one.

  Came home and began crafting right after supper. Otherwise, I wouldn't have done it.

  Here is the finished product as well as my photo of the day. 

  So, what do you think?  Give me feedback!! 

  Also, one of my goals this year was to complete 6 crafts.  So I've done one!!!! Yay for me.... =)


Friday, January 27, 2012

Living a Life of Richness {And What to Do When It's Not There}

  I know I continue whining writing about how I feel when I don't do my picture a day (365 Project) which I have been neglecting terribly this past week.  But I suppose that I continue writing about it because I really see the impact not doing it has on me.

  This week I've been incredibly lazy.  I mean, lazy as in I get off work, go home, eat supper, shower, then sit in my room watching a british show called Inspector Lewis and watching Cinnamon play and binky around my room. Then, I go to bed.  That's literally what I have done every night this week.

  Every day, I think to myself, "Sara, you need to take your picture of the day..." and then I get home and I'm so tired (and lazy) that I say, "Oh, I'll do it tomorrow".  And then forget about it til the next day when I'm nagged by that same internal voice once again.

  I'm not sure how to put into words what it does for me when I take my photo a day.  All I really know is that when I don't take it, my life seems, in a sense, not as brilliant or fulfilled.  I suppose that's because photography is what I'm meant to do.  What I love doing and when you don't do something that you love or are meant to do, you feel that void.

  So tonight, when I get home, the very first thing that I'm going to do is pick up my camera and photograph something!!

  What about you? Have you been going thru any slumps lately in any area of your life? If so, I'd love to compare notes!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

New 365 Photos [Finally]

  I have been sick, am still sick in fact, since last Tuesday.  I have Bronchitis. Something I haven't had since my childhood.  It's been quiet the adventure. 

  It's so funny how when you are sick it feels like this huge dream state and that you won't ever get out of being sick but it will just last and last and last and you might die in that terrible, purgatoryish state between feverish imaginations and foggy, mecidine induced trances.  Yea, that's how I feel in the worst stages of being sick.  Am I the only one?

  Anyway, I've gotten some antibiotics and the last two days have been a little better.  I was able to pick up my camera today and it felt so nice in my hands!!!  I took a picture of several of the things that have been sustaining me these past few days.

December 19, 2012

  Yes my friends, these three items are only a few of the things I found very dear to my heart during these past very long days (and nights).  I am so thankful for medicine and for Gatorade and juice in general. And cough medicine!!!

This photo below is one I mentioned that I was planning in the post last Wednesday.

December 11, 2012

  This verse is one that resounds in my head almost every day.  It helps me to refocus on the Lord no matter what situation I find myself in.  I thank the Lord that He is there to guide us even when everything seems like it's going awry.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What I've Learned from 3 Days of No Photos

  Today is the fourth day I havent taken a photo.  I actually plan to take one today and I have the perfect picture outlined in my head.

  I just haven't felt like picking up my camera since Saturday.  And its OK.  I'm not going to beat myself up about it.

  However, I am realize a few things about when I don't take my photo a day. 

  1-The days don't seem quiet as rich.  It's almost like looking forward to creating that one photo is the icing on a rather plain, boring cake.  There are so many options and opportunities to be creative with the photo and when I don't take it it's like I'm a non-creative being.

  2- When I go to bed at night I don't really feel I've accomplished anything.  Whereas, if I MAKE myself take that one photo, even if I've neglected the rest of that day's "to do" list, I can go to bed feeling like I've done something.

  3- It's MUCH easier to take a photo a day if you have specefic events or special occasions that you're going to.  All during the Christmas holiday's, I was so busy with friends to visit, holiday lights to see, holiday baking, etc. etc that there was a constant plethora of interesting things to photograph.  Now that it's January, there aren't that many events going on.

  So, having a break from the camera is ok.  Like I mentioned above, I'm not going to beat myself up or feel like I have to start over on my 365 day journey.  I just have to know I can't stay in this place forever. 


PS. What about you? Have you taken on a photo project for 2012 and are getting behind or have skipped a few days?  If so, I'd love to hear your remedy for getting back on track.....

Saturday, January 7, 2012

365 Project Photos Days 15-19

I have only missed two days this week on the project.  While I'm not proud of that, I am doing better than I did last time and I'm not going to stop or start over just because I miss a day here and there

So, here are the last few photos from this week....

January 1, 2012

  On Sunday night I went over to my baby sister's house and while I was there, made these Cake Batter Bites.  Well, long but funny (sorta) story: I really don't cook much at all.  So my sister just moved into this house and doesn't have much stuff to cook with.  I had to melt butter and I saw a glass bowl.  That's great.  Well, she doesn't have a microwave, only a glass stove.  So dumb me, I say, 'I'm not sure if it's ok to put a glass bowl on a stove or not but I'll be watching it closely and I only have one stick of butter, so I'll try it.'  Needless to say, it didn't end well.  I turned my back after stirring the butter and I hear a small explosion.  I turn and a piece of red hot butter flies into my chin.  Thankfully, nothing else splattered.  The bowl, however was in bad shape.  The bottom had just fallen out into a myriad of different pieces.  The stove was easy cleanup but the butter was EVERYWHERE on it. 

I now have learned a valuable cooking lesson: never put glass bowls on a stove (unless you're 100% sure that they're supposed to go there).

The Cake Batter Bites were delicious by the way.

January 2, 2012

  This was also at my sister's house.  I was seated on the porch watching the sunrise when I happened to notice this heart carved out of one of the railings.  I don't know who carved it or why but it made my morning.  Love=Everything.

January 4, 2012

  This is the front of my church at night.  I like the lights.  It reminds me of gaslights in paintings.

January 5, 2012

  I have been wanting to photograph these trees in a field on the way to my hometown for a very very long time but always made excuses.  Either I didn't have my camera, it was too hard to pull over, the light wasn't right, I didn't have time, etc.  But on Thursday night, the sunset was GORGEOUS.  An all cap kinda GORGEOUS.  And I knew the time had come to stop stalling and create something I'd been wanting to do for such a long time. 

  I was able to stop beside the road and have no one come up behind me for about 2 minutes, enough time to snap a few shots of these lovely trees.

  For post production, all I did was lighten the image a little and then use the Pioneer Woman's Define and Sharpen Action in Photoshop Elements 10.

January 7, 2012

  Today I had the opportunity to take photos of my beautiful niece Baby L (who was in her mama's belly in this post here).  Her mom wanted a photo of Baby L's feet with her hands.  This is the finished product.  Look how detailed her feet are.  God is a wonderful Creator.