This is a test post I’m creating to test the new “sharing buttons” plug-in I installed because I don’t have a development environment for my blog, which should disqualify me from ever working in IT again.
It has happened again. Over the past few weeks, I’ve added more friends to my Facebook list, and therefore, have almost stopped posting status updates. Looking at the dynamics of my friends list I see family, friends, clients, acquaintances, people I met at a workshop – many different backgrounds and personalities. There have been several times that I have typed in a status, only to re-read it and delete before posting to avoid offending someone. Everything is going to offend someone! Feeling the pressure to keep the peace and not upset ANYONE has only resulted in me feeling stifled. Although I wouldn’t call myself controversial, I would call myself opinionated, and usually, my Facebook status reflects that. However, every time my friends list grows, I pull back. My business page is boring – the fear is even worse there, where I haven’t even met half of my fans.
Sometimes, I feel that a status update just isn’t enough; the subject needs a blog post. Inevitably, I never find the time to write the post and it dies in the jumble of my mind. Other times, I will blog about it, but not publish, and the draft will sit for maybe a year before I delete it. When I updated my website, I promised myself that I would be more open and honest, pour more feeling and emotion into my blog. What happened? Fear. Fear happened. The emotion that I’m not to let govern my life has once again crept in and is preventing me from being me.
So, what is the point of this post? Am I turning over a new leaf? Promising to lose the filter and post whatever pops into my head? No, but I am going to try to be more honest with myself when I ask the question, “Why are you not posting this?” If the answer begins with “Because I’m afraid…”, I will reconsider.
God has blessed me with a keen cynicism, and he wrapped this gift with sarcasm. I need to accept these gifts. I’m pretty sure that He gets a kick out of my Facebook updates, and my friends will too.
P.S. I’m having a bit of writer’s block and this topic is what came to mind – pretty ironic that it’s at a time that I’m off of Facebook for a while. So, leave any comments below, because I won’t see your Facebook activity. 🙂
Welcome to my new awesomeness! When I first started blogging, just over a year ago, I had no clue what I was doing. I downloaded WordPress, used the default theme and started typing. Over the course of the year, I started to see flaws in the process. I didn’t like that my website NEVER received updates, and I wanted more control over my whole site. After having a discussion with Greta from Kickify, during which she suggested that my blog should be pulled into the home page of my website(whatever that meant), I realized that the web had evolved since the days when my HTML coding was enough. SEO, WordPress themes, widgets, sidebars – my vocabulary expanded overnight and I started to work.
During this same time, I was also going through a brand identity crisis. Struggling to portray a well put together super mom to my clients was killing me. I am not a super mom. My life is exhausting, and there are days that I want to shut down my business or throw my kids into public school, but I didn’t think my clients would understand this. I was concerned that I’d get a reputation for being the “Crazy Homeschooling Photographer”. It’s funny how sometimes God leads us to the perfect people at the perfect time. Last November I met Gary and Krysta from Big Deal Branding at a film workshop of all places. Meeting with them gave me tools and resources to be honest with myself about what message I’m conveying to my clients. Well, many months later, I realize that I AM the Crazy Homeschooling Photographer. I realize that the clients I connect with, hire me because I am me. They like me, and they LOVE the product I create. So, while designing this site, I smothered it in Essence of Becky. This is me. This is real.
Starting today expect to see more heartfelt posts. More emotion. More words. I love writing, as much as – and maybe more than – I love photography. I believe that words can change lives.
This site is not SEO optimized (I’m still working on that), and there are broken links, but I IMPORTED ALL OF THE POSTS FROM MY OLD BLOG by myself – through my own research; it was the most exhilarating moment of the entire migration). I love the way it turned out. And my most recent blog posts are on my home page.
My gallery is now a collection of blog post showcasing the work that I love most. Let me know what you think!
A couple of months ago I was added to a military spouse photographer networking group on facebook. Immediately, someone suggested a blog circle, and a few of us thought that was a fantastic idea! Designed to force photographers to focus on a personal project, a blog circle consists of several photographers. Each photographer takes a given theme, interprets it through images, and creates a blog post with those images. The post also includes a link to the next photographer’s blog, so it gives readers an interesting perspective on how different photographers can see topics so differently. Our first topic is “A Day in the Life” and, because my life is pretty boring, so is my post, but I think it captures an accurate portrayal. 🙂 I am going to try to do my posts with no explanation of the images, because I’m trying to become a better storyteller with photos. Enjoy!
Of course, these were not all taken on the same day (I’m not that talented)! I hope you enjoyed the post, and will check out all of the photographers’ images, starting with Serena Nicole!
Technical Note: For these images I used: Canon 7D body, Canon 5D Mark II body, Canon 85mm f/1.8 lens, Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. Post processing included levels adjustments for a few (sunrise, path images), black and white gradient, and sharpening for the web.
I know, I know! After I hooked you with the wardrobe, delighted you with love, and wowed you with the brilliance and ease of the tripod portrait (NOT!), I left you hanging with no final product. Unfortunately, it’s because I have done nothing further with my images! I am my own worst nightmare, and I am the reason I sell print products, not digital images. It takes great discipline to decide alone on sizes, number and organization of wall prints. I love that I can help my clients decide on what images will look great together on a wall, and I am ecstatic when a client picks up her final Wall Portraits and Galleries – ready to hang on a screw. And here I find myself – unable to decide on my own images! It’s more of an issue of taking the time to decide. If I would dedicate an hour and a half to designing my wall, I’d have this done and over. Yet, here I sit looking at blank space…
Finally, it was time for the big shoot. Raining almost all of spring break, the weather cleared up on the last day. Not only did the clouds part, the temperature started to rise, creating a perfect day for a photo shoot. I gave the big boys their shirts and told them to find the nicest jeans they had. Calmly, I dressed Abigail and fixed her hair. Ryan helped Thomas. Everyone donned their wardrobe with no fussing. Usually, there is a great amount of whining and complaining about family photos, but not this time. Every family member was… happy! Not wanting to lose the moment, I quickly packed my tripod and camera bag (checking to make sure I had memory cards and my remote shutter), and my reflector. In a sing-song voice I said, “Alright, everyone get in the van!” We went back to the base lake, where Ryan and I had done our photos. I used my 70-200mm lens on the Canon 5D Mark II. I wanted the lens to be partially zoomed, because the background blurs more when a lens is zoomed, but the reach of the remote is only 15 ft, so I couldn’t get much zoom from it. It took a few test shots, but I found the right balance. After the camera was set up, we started shooting.
It’s difficult to get seven people looking at the camera when I’m standing behind it, so you can imagine the “excitement” of trying to get seven family members to look at a camera standing on its own in the middle of a grove of trees. Again, Ryan had the remote and we shot about 44 family images before everyone started to tire. I then quickly tried to get all five kids together, which resulted in some interesting shots. Abigail has decided that she needs to strike a pose every time she sees the camera, so my ideal of candid images fell flat. When I gave up on that image, Ryan took Abby and Thomas for a walk and I was able to get some great images of my boys together. I enjoyed this part of the session. We had fun, and I was able to capture some images that show their personalities. When the sun had set behind the trees, I gathered all five together to try to get one last image on the bridge, and finally a shot of Abby and Thomas together. Then we packed everything back up, let the kids play on the playground for a few minutes and headed home. I was exhausted.
I immediately downloaded the images to my computer and perused the gallery. Out of the 44 family images, there were five acceptable shots, but only three that I really liked, but all I really needed was one, so I suppose the mission was a success. After further reviewing the images of all five kids together, there wasn’t one that I loved. So, the next morning I casually gathered up the “picture clothes” and non-nonchalantly started handing out the shirts to the big boys. When I started dressing Abigail, she buckled and wailed, “But we already did pictures!” “We’re just going to walk to the end of the street.”, I responded. “Ten minutes.” I walked them down, Ryan held the reflector, and I got some more posed shots of them. That is also when I was able to capture Ryan with Abby and Thomas. At last, we were finished with the family portrait sessions! Three (and a half) shoots, five hours, one sitter, 484 shots.
Look back at the original post to my list of desired shots and see the shots I didn’t get. One more reason to hire a photographer. She would have made sure Mommy got the shots I wanted. 🙂 The next blog post in this series will discuss editing and ordering the prints. Here are some of my favorite images from our family session: