I’ve been obsessed with cameras and taking pictures since for-ev-er. I think I’ve gone through about 20 different types of cameras. You know, there’s the disposable cameras (let’s say 50 of those), old and new polaroid cameras, digital cameras (a lot of those too, mostly in pink), pinhole, film, and one of my favorites: the I-Zone pocket sticker camera. Those stickers were literally all over my house and my sisters face-sorry Tori. I wanted to bring a camera everywhere I went! In college, my parents gifted me my first Nikon DSLR. That’s when the party started. Just kidding, I didn’t pick it up for a long time until it snowed one day and then I said “what the heck is this thing, I can’t take a good picture.” Then my frustration led to a lot of youtube videos and I started figuring it out (a little)! Here is an example of my first-timer photos..and yes, I forced my dogs, friends, and family to be my models – YOU’RE WELCOME… JK thanks to all who have been my model in the past and sorry to anyone who feels used! 🙂 Oh, and a major shoutout to my parents (Roe, Peej- you know who you are) who bought me every camera ever since the beginning of time. Thanks mom and dadddd, I actually seriously wouldn’t be doing this right now if it weren’t for your support, LOVE YAZ.
Before I knew it, I was shooting several back to back graduation sessions with an entry level Nikon D3200, set to auto or maybe Aperture, using a kit lens, two sketchy memory cards, one battery, one prayer, and not a clue about lighting. The outcome? Weirdly successful..not the BEST quality..but it was fun, and my clients were always happy. I was so excited about my work when I first began taking portraits! Although I have improved an insane amount with practice, education, and mentoring over the past two years, I am still so proud of myself for just going for it!! Sure, my images weren’t amazing and I partly didn’t know what I was doing, but I wanted to get out there and take some freakin’ pictures! So I did and I LOVED everything about it. I loved trying new things, meeting new people, reconnecting with friends, practicing, learning, and seeing myself improve every time. These senior sessions were some of my firsts, and I still love them even though they aren’t my current editing style!
My photography style was in the “middle school” stages for a little while. You know, like when you have braces, you randomly get the chicken pox which creates more awkwardness, you wear striped turtle necks for the yearbook photos, have fluffy hair that takes over your tiny face so you wear it in a tight boyish bun, you’re scared to hold a boy’s hand, and you’re only allowed to wear eye shadow and lip gloss…..yes, that was me, and I am no longer ashamed..
MIDDLE SCHOOL REMY AWWWW
In those stages of my photography, I was inexperienced. I was teaching myself editing in Lightroom, I didn’t know how to shoot in manual, I knew nothing about lighting or my camera, and I couldn’t find my own style. Every picture and every album looked different. I didn’t have that consistent style that clients would expect of you. Once I really found MY style, I started going through the “high school” stages. In real high school I got my braces removed, I wore Abercrombie and Hollister, wore cooler belts than the one photographed above, started wearing mascara, had some boyfriends here and there.. you know, basically I thought I was getting the hang of life. So in these stages of my photography, I was new and improved. I upgraded to new gear, took an intro to photography class in Richmond, began following the leaders in the creative industry, and studied my butt off. Because DUH I was trying to get to “college”, people!!! 🙂 I knew it was time to invest in more education. I knew I was ready to take the next step and I knew I had it in me. I went to my first Hope Taylor Workshop in March 2016. It was a complete game-changer. I learned SO much from Hope (truly a genius, wizard, fairy, angel girl). I was encouraged by her and the other attendees and I became inspired. I was more knowledgeable and I was ready to move forward in my business. That was my high school graduation and I was ready to move into college. (wink wink, not in real life, I hope you’re following the metaphors..) Here are some photos of when I started improving and seeing more consistency in my work!
Here are a few from the 2016 HTP workshop:
Now, here I am, exactly a year after Hope’s workshop, and I think I can now say that I’m moving onto my second year of [metaphoric] college. I am proud of my work, I love my style, and I love where I’m at right now. This past year I watched LOADS of free webinars and read every blog I could find. I also invested in two major educational courses. I purchased the Amy and Jordan Demos Online Shooting+Editing Course. I would HIGHLY recommend this to anyone in their first couple years of the photography business. It taught me so much about literally every topic you can think of. The smallest things made the biggest difference for me. Then I signed up for the 2-day Hope Taylor Senior and Wedding Workshop. WOW. I can’t say enough wonderful things about the workshop and Hope. It’s only been a couple weeks since the workshop and I already feel like my business is 100% growing and moving in the right direction. It gave me a major push. I now feel ready for any challenge, and I have so many goals to work towards. I am finally figuring out my schedule, daily and weekly tasks/goals, my calendar organization, and my workflow!
This “college” phase is a major learning experience through trial and error, successes, failures, fear, excitement, changes, highs, lows, everything. I don’t plan on “graduating” for a long time. I know that I have so much more to learn and I don’t plan to stop now or anytime soon. I will never stop growing as a person and the same goes for my business. I believe in myself, even more so after looking at how much I have grown in the past couple years. I have the drive, the motivation, a community to cheer me on, mentors, and a support system. I know that I can keep moving in a positive direction and I plan to do just that. Underneath is an example of my most recent engagement shoot. This is my favorite lighting and Kayla was an absolute dream!!.. Keep up with my blog posts and see more pretty images like this every Tuesday!
While I’m on the topic of learning and growing as a photographer, I have some fun news! I am going to begin a blogging series about my fiancé, Eli, learning how to be a photographer LESSON BY LESSON, every Thursday. It will be called the “Photography for Hubbies” series..you know, like “Photography for Dummies”, but it’s for hubbies, because he’s my future hubby (and sometimes a dummy), okay I think you get it.. I am in no way, shape, or form, experienced in teaching someone else the basics about the camera, how to shoot in camera, shooting techniques, or editing because I’m still learning myself! But, I am going to try my hardest step by step, and you’re going to be able to follow along with us! We will try to blog about it week by week, but forgive us if we get a little busy from time to time (we are getting married in June)! So, if you want to learn with Eli, watch his journey, create your own journey alongside his, or if you want to just laugh at us, we can’t wait to have you as an audience! 🙂 Our goal is for Eli to become my second shooter as I enter the wedding photography world, and we are determined to get him there! If your photographer hubby has a few tips he’d like to share, we would love to see them in comments! Expect an introduction about Eli this Thursday! We can’t wait to begin! GO ELI!
P.S. THANK YOU to my sweet friends for subscribing to my blog!!