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!!!