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Way too social?

October 12, 2012

A friend and I exchanged these text messages earlier this week:

Her: Look under social. What do you see??!!??

Me: Haha! That’s meee! Does that mean I’m way too social? 😉

Her: Lol!!! Means I keep your blog in my apps. 1st page!!

Oh. My blog.

Perhaps that means I should update it!

Lots and lots has been going on in Lindsay-land during the last few months.

 I survived my first full wedding season

I learned a lot about myself and how I approach photography. I either put too much thought into pictures I take – or I snap away carelessly without paying attention to the important things (background, light, etc.). Sometimes I get lucky and walk away with a good picture, but most of the time I end up frustrated with the results. In the off-season I’m really going to try and find a happy medium.

 I spent 10 days traveling the East Coast

Amberlee and I had a wedding in Delaware in September, so we made a workcation out of it. We visited NYC which was my first time in the Big Apple. They always say you remember your first – and I definitely will! I squealed when we drove past the NY Times and Madison Square Garden. We survived riding the subway. We happened upon a HUGE Castle billboard just off Times Square. We saw the Naked Cowboy. We stayed out until 2 a.m. and I could’ve gone all night. The energy was AMAZING. I can’t wait to visit again! Afterward, we had an engagement session on the campus of Yale. Then we drove to Maine … and I had the most amazing lobster mac and cheese. Gah! Then we drove back down the coast to Virginia for our final wedding. While there we stayed with Amberlee’s dad and I got to snuggle some doggies!

I started branching out

You may remember when I took photos of my friend’s daughter in August. Well, I have since done two other senior session with a third next week. I have a family sessions scheduled for this Sunday and next. I have another session schedule for later in the month and one in November. I still have a difficult time make heads or tails of this. It’s crazy!

 I bought a domain

I can be an impulse buyer under the right (wrong?) circumstances. I follow Adam Carolla on Twitter and he recently purchased a domain through GoDaddy and offered a code for a discount. So I used it. Purchased lindsayfotografie.com right from my phone. Ha! I thought I was SO cool. That was until I realized how frickin expensive it is to own/run your own website. At least I know no one else can have the domain. 😉

That’s about it! Posts are useless without pictures, so here are a few of my favorites from the two senior sessions:

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Soul searching

August 7, 2012

Many of you who read this are my awesome friends on Facebook (and in real life, of course), so this post won’t come as a surprise to you.

For those of you who may stumble upon this and need some background information, here’s the jist of it.

I have a camera. I love to take pictures. I’ve never asked anyone to pay me for taking their pictures. I am, however, starting to wonder if I should.

There ya go! That’s the dilemma in a nutshell.

If you read my wedding planning journey, you know I like finality. I like dotting I’s and crossing t’s. I like having beginning and ending points with a clearly defined path along the way. While I don’t mind detours and, actually, can adapt fairly well, I don’t prefer them.

That’s me. It’s how I work. Old habits die hard, you know.

The problem is – There isn’t one answer for the “When should I start charging people for my services” question. It’s different for everyone and, no matter how much I Google, there isn’t a website or professional photographer who can answer the question for me.

And that bugs the hell out of me. Probably because I want to take the easy way out instead of doing the necessary soul searching. Soul searching … those are scary, scary words. Eeeek!!

I did a bit of it over the weekend and came to several realizations:

While some of my hang up with charging is lack of faith in my own abilities, the real crutch is the business aspect.

Amberlee and I had a lot of frank conversations when I started working with her. I told her up front that I had no intention of opening my own business – that I was committed to helping build her brand in whatever way I could. And that is still 100% accurate today. It may seem cut and dry then. If you don’t want to open your own business, don’t charge people. If only. The problem is, while I LOVE photography and I LOVE that so many see the talent inside of me, I’m getting to the point where I feel like not charging for my services could begin to negatively impact how people view what I capture. The old adage, “You get what you pay for.” But, the thought of the time, money and headaches of opening a small business makes me want to hurl. Yes, I wrote hurl. Which leads me to …

There are A LOT of “professional” photographers charging for utter crap.

It may sound like I’m being harsh (and maybe I am), but I saw some professional photographs this weekend that made my blood boil. While I may still be learning, I know some of my pictures are better than what I saw this weekend. Someone, somewhere paid for those, but no one paid for mine. Why? See above. See what I mean about there not being a simple answer?

I need an outside party to guide me in this decision-making process

While there is absolutely nothing wrong with getting advice from family and friends, I know this is one of those times where I need an outside opinion. I’ve decided not to make any decisions until after my 31-minute coaching session with Rachel Maddox on Aug. 16 (thanks for the tip, Heidi!). Check out the awesome deal she has for the month of August!

Since posts are useless without pictures, here are two of my favorites of Allison:

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I’m a photographer? Who knew?

July 12, 2012

I’m dusting off the old blog today!

It’s only been, what, six months? Haha!

The one-year anniversary of my first DSLR purchase is rapidly approaching. And, I have to be honest, I’ve improved SO much since I first clicked the shutter. It’s actually overwhelming.

My pictures have gone from this:

To this:

(Amberlee Christey Photography)

Even though I KNEW that picture was kick-ass when I took it, I still stare at it and think, “That’s mine?”

Amberlee tells me all the time, usually via text, “U Rock!”

And I tell her she’s full of it. 😉

She and everyone else around me obviously saw something I didn’t.

Until this week, I couldn’t get past the hundreds of terrible pictures I had to take to get ones I kinda, sorta liked.

Until this week, I would have never, ever labeled myself a photographer; I was just a girl learning photography.

But all of that changed when I obliterated two items on the list of “Goals for My First Wedding Season,” and stepped out of my comfort zone to take pictures for a family I’d never met.

I have a top-secret list of goals for this wedding season. I know it’s weird to keep it a secret, but in my warped mind I think if I tell anyone it will somehow diminish accomplishing any of the items. I know it’s crazy talk. I’m working on it, promise! Haha! 😉

Anywho! Back to those two items I knocked out of the park – Take a picture I love more than any other (see above), and have at least one photo make the 2012 Weddings folder on the Facebook page for Amberlee Christey Photography.

We’re only four weddings in and I already have three in the folder! Woot!

Last night, I took pictures of two adorable kids at Dorsey’s Knob. I’d never met them or their parents before, but a friend of mine referred them to me. It was the first time I’d ever taken pictures (on my own) for someone other than friends.

I was scared shitless. Seriously. I even made poor Randy go with me to help calm my nerves.

But then I saw pictures like these on my LCD screen and I knew I worried for nothing …

Who the heck took these?? Oh, wait, I did! It’s been a week of revelations for sure. What’s one more?

Hello! My name is Lindsay and I’m a photographer.

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We’re in a magazine!

February 3, 2012

The day many West Virginia brides (including yours truly) and wedding vendors have been anticipating has finally arrived.

The 2012 edition of WV Weddings hit shelves today!

(WV Weddings)

Aren’t the colors and picture on the cover divine? It’s no wonder it was picked!

Here’s a (cell phone) picture of our spread:

I love it a lot! Even though I see those pictures all the time, I never get tired of looking at them. 😀 And there are advantages to having your maiden name begin with an “A,” our wedding is the second in the Register. Haha!

I must admit, though, after flipping through this mammoth of a magazine, I realize how truly “ordinary” our wedding was.  So many couples played The Shoe Game; I saw more guest book trees than I ever imagined; and it was quite evident a lot of brides are more creative than I am.

Bet none of them were as organized as mine! Hahaha! 😛

Seriously, though, I’m not being a Negative Nancy. I loved our wedding. I would plan everything exactly the same (except picking pork!) if I had to do it over again. Everyone had a good time, drank a lot of Smurf Drinks, and all is right with the world.

I just have to find a place to tuck this big little treasure so it doesn’t become another dust collector. 😉

P.S. Did I mention I’m terrible at keeping resolutions? No? Well, I am. Haven’t been to my blog in awhile. Totally forgot I changed the name and the layout. *facepalm*

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Let’s Do 52: Week 2

January 9, 2012

I adore this picture. A lot.

I took it Saturday around 6 p.m. You know, that time in the winter when the day sky is almost night (but not quite). As I was leaving my house to go birthday card shopping, I looked at the sky and walked back inside to get my camera. It was another one of those a-ha moments where I just “knew” I would regret not taking my camera.

It’s funny how you see things differently with a camera in-hand.

It just so happens this is my entry for Paint The Moon Photography’s Let’s Do 52 photo project. Each week we’re given two photo prompts to choose from, and we’re asked to submit one photo for our chosen theme. This week our choices were Responsibility or Open.

Pretty open to interpretation, huh?

I originally took a very literal approach – photographing a beer bottle and a hand taking keys off the table (Drink Responsibly).

But I didn’t like it. How was that challenging my creativity?

It wasn’t.

So, I decided to go with “Open.”

So many times sky pictures include clouds. Clouds are nice as they give texture and depth to a shot; however, there is something about a clear sky – especially with the different gradients of color like in the one above – that is beautiful, seemingly never-ending. It’s almost as if watching a sky like this would do nothing but help clear your mind.

How’s that for open?

If you’re interested in photography – or just like looking at photos – I encourage you to check out the Let’s Do 52 Flickr group. There are many talented and inspiring photographers there.

P.S.

On a side note, I created myself a little watermark to use when I post pictures here. Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t say I’m exactly ready for a watermark, but I’ve had some instances over the last few months where a few of my pictures have been used (for profit) or doctored without asking. In a way it’s flattering, but it’s also maddening. So … yeah.

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New year, new name

January 7, 2012

As you may remember, I wrote awhile ago about changing the name and image of my blog.

The original intent was to keep a journal about planning our wedding; however, I rather like writing and wanted to try and maintain this space after we said “I do.” While I love weddings, my priorities have shifted to taking pictures. There will certainly still be wedding items sprinkled throughout my posts, but the majority are going to focus on this new journey (and everyday life when applicable).

I’ve been racking my brain for months about what I could name this place.

You see, I have issues (and they are mine alone) when fauxtographers create Facebook pages, websites or blogs with the words “Photography” in the title when clearly they aren’t professional photographers. And before you ask, yes, this was a pet peeve of mine even before I purchased my camera.

I am not a professional.

I am not a fauxtographer either.

I’m just an ordinary girl who happens to like taking pictures.

After much thought, I decided I wanted a name that reflects my love of photographs and my Italian heritage. In it’s own way, it’s fitting since I changed my name when we got married (funny story about that tomorrow!).

So, I came up with “Lindsay Fotografie”.

Translated it means “Lindsay Photographs”.

And, speaking of photographs, here’s a picture of my friend’s ADORABLE son Kaiden. He is probably the sweetest baby ever. I want to snuggle him always. This was taken with my new 50mm f/1.8 lens (thanks, Santa!) on New Year’s Day:

 

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2011: Eight Months to Remember

December 30, 2011

This was a great year, no doubt, but I honestly don’t remember January through April.

Really.

I like to think, however, I had enough fun May through December to make up for the beginning of the year. Let’s see …

  1. Had an awesome bridal shower and bachelorette party in May
  2. Got married in June
  3. Bought my first DSLR in August
  4. Spent football season tailgating instead of working (!!!)
  5. Took my first online inspirational photography class
  6. Snapped thousands upon thousands of photos … and promptly deleted 95% of them
  7. Second-shot my first wedding … and loved every minute of it
  8. Had multiple stories and/or photos featured on WVU’s home page
  9. Photographed my first event … and the “client” loved the photos
  10. “Honeymooned” in Florida with some awesome friends at the beginning of December
  11. Had one of my photos published in a local magazine

Since the majority of my list revolves around photography, I decided to post a collage of my favorite images from this year the last four months:

Although I love all of the above pictures, the one below is my absolute favorite … and it’s from the wedding I referenced in #7. After pouring myself a drink during the reception, I turned around and saw this amazing picture in front of me. I’m sure I gasped. Everything about the situation – the dark room, the early evening light from the door, the tree branches with orange leaves, the tea lights, and the undisturbed place settings – was RIGHT:

What were the highlights of your 2011? What are you looking forward to in 2012?