portraits

Life Thru the Lens 47/52... look how far you have come baby

Last week I chatted about why I am no longer allowing my photography to categorized as cheap, and this week I want to see just how far I have come with my work. I took this photo of my Blue Eyes five years ago...

And, I took this photo a month ago...

While the top photo certainly is not a terrible photo, at the time I did not know anything about...

  • back button focusing
  • specific focus points
  • shooting in RAW
  • shooting in manual
  • metering
  • white balance
  • lenses, or f-stops, or depth of field
  • editing

I was, however, beginning to pay attention to...

  • light
  • composition
  • obtaining a tack sharp focus, although it being automatic
  • shooting during the golden hour
  • capturing the spirit of the person being photographed

I could look back at that photo and cringe, but I don't. I don't because that was the beginning of where I am today. We all are on a journey, and as Kim Klassen said, "We all will always have people ahead of us in our journey, and behind us."

So, my challenge to you... do not look at someone else's work and think I could never do that!  I have watched as members of our Life Thru the Lens community have grown in leaps and bounds in their skills. You know what? It's not because of what I do here. It is because of what you do behind the lens, your desire to learn more, and to grow in your passion of photography. 

My next challenge to you.... do not make this about anything other than "what you can't not do!" I have spent years comparing my images to others, or struggling to make my work look like someone else's. It wasn't until I decided that I would do this: no matter if I ever make money at it, no matter if I ever become someone in this industry, no matter if people love my art or not, that I truly began to grow in my art. When we take all the pressure off to be something we allow room for passion to grow. With passion comes the desire to learn more and the try more. And, through our desire to learn more, and to try more, we grow in our abilities. Why? Because there is absolutely nothing holding us back. We give ourselves the freedom to simply immerse our souls into something that brings us joy and blessing. That is okay, we do not always need to have an absolute reason for doing things in our lives. 

And, my final challenge to you... join in on this community and join in on other communities. Being involved in communities where you are inspired, and encouraged, and challenged is another way to grow your abilities in any art. Life Thru the Lens is not a measure to get my name out there. It is a community that inspires me to be more, to learn more, and every week you all inspire me with the art your produce. I do this because I love being involved with you all.

 I'll be visiting these lovely communities this week... join along... Trough My Lens Monday, Our World TuesdayTexture Twist,  Wednesday Around the World, and Sweet Shot Tuesday

LIFE THRU THE LENS

1. Share your life through the lens past, or present.

2. Grab my button and link back to this page, so others can find our community.

3.  Visit at least one person and create a community with them through encouraging comments.

The RULES:

~All forms of photography accepted… keep it family friendly please.

~Anyone with any photography skill can participate… we are all learning and growing.

~Any camera you take pictures with is acceptable… the best camera is the one in your hand.



Life Thru the Lens 46/52... why I am not cheap

I see posts like these often, "looking for a cheap photographer." 

As a photographer, it is especially frustrating to see these words. 

Why do we as an industry continually undermine the work/art that we diligently strive to perfect by underselling ourselves?

I'll admit it I used to undersell myself as well; I have undersold myself. 

But, I also think it comes down to the fact that we as photographers lack in educating the public as to why photography should cost more. And so, this is my post about why I am no longer able to be a "cheap" photographer. 

I posted this photo of The Thinker and I recently. We took it about two years ago, but I decided to re-edit it because I am focusing on sharpening my editorial skills. I have a dream of working for a little photography boutique, or to own one, and I want my editing skills to be on par with the industry itself. 

To do this, to edit photos in a fine-art method takes time and skill. I may not have walked the hallowed college halls to gain my editing skills, but I have put in long, arduous hours scouring the internet for videos and information on how to obtain certain looks with Lightroom and Photoshop. Then I practiced, and practiced, and practiced. It's the hours of training that bring this...

to this....

Or, this...

To this....

I understand wanting a bargain. Shoot, I'll hunt down a bargain, and rarely purchase anything at full price. However, there are certain items I will splurge on because I understand the art that goes into the item.

I read a quote one day that sums it up...

"Professional photography is not a need, it is luxury." And, a luxury is something you should save to splurge on. 

I understand that everyone desires a professional portrait of their kids, or their families, hanging on the wall. And, I believe every one should have a professional portrait hanging on their wall, but not to the extent of undervaluing the time, skill, education, and tools it takes for a photographer to capture, and create, a portrait.

It's important to remember as a consumer that photographers spend years perfecting their art. They begin with the fundamentals of capturing a perfect SOOC and move on to editing techniques. But, for fine art photographers it is not all about the SOOC, it is also about the end product with their editing techniques. So, a fine art photographer learns their camera like the back of their hand so that they can obtain the image they need in order to produce the look they want. Hence my first shot that was a bit underexposed and my second shot with the highlights blown. Those were not "saved" photos, they were images I took with an end product in mind. It is not the image you are paying for, it is the creative knowledge to create that image you are purchasing. And that, that, is why I am no longer cheap. 

Life Thru the Lens

1. Share your life through the lens past, or present.

2. Grab my button and link back to this page, so others can find our community.

3.  Visit at least one person and create a community with them through encouraging comments.

The RULES:

~All forms of photography accepted… keep it family friendly please.

~Anyone with any photography skill can participate… we are all learning and growing.

~Any camera you take pictures with is acceptable… the best camera is the one in your hand.

life thru the lens 7:52... waiting for snow

We are patiently waiting for the snow to start. We look longingly out our window and have imagined a flake, or two, floating down to our brown world. The forecast is predicting anywhere between 2-6 inches, and we are praying for 6. We haven't had much snow this year. The only "real" snow our area has received was while we were off gallivanting around in Colorado. Which, I have to say, we had more snow in Colorado, so my heart was not heavy to miss the snow here. Since then, every storm that has blown through our area has left us heartbroken and down trodden. But this time... maybe...

Until then, I thought I would share with you a hike we happened upon while we were out exploring one day in Colorado. All of us where completely unprepared to go on a hike, we only planned to drive around and take in the scenery. But, it was a short hike, and it was snowing off an on, and The Thinker and I love to hike in the snow, so...

A friend asked me ask me a fabulous question a couple weeks back...

I picked up on something interesting as I was reading through your post. I seem to see everything in still lifes. (lives? lol), but I rarely “see” shots of people. I’ve been that way for as long as I can remember. What do you usually “see?”
— Elizabeth @ Beauty Observed

I have pondered that question since she asked me it. I struggle a bit with still life, but I have also struggled with portrait sessions. For instance, my most recent Senior session, while I liked the photos, I didn't love them, and that has been the case for several of my sessions. However, there are other sessions that I loved, I still think of them to this day. Up until now, I have not been able to put a finger on why.

I see life in landscapes. I view the world in constantly changing light and shadows, contrast and hues. Those photo sessions that I loved/love... I thought of them as landscape first, and then place my subject. And, in one single question, I have completely found my niche as a portrait photographer. If I cannot think of it in landscape first, I will never be satisfied with the results.

It always amazes me how one tiny question can bring about such insight. And, how this photography community we have/are creating here constantly pulls me out of my rut and into a new realm pf photography. I really love you guys. I really love everything you bring to my passion in life.

I'm going to leave you with the same question... How do you "see" life through your lens??? Comment below, because I would really love to hear your answers.  

{Edited in LR, then PS with various settings... added Kim Klassen's "just a touch at" 85% opacity on soft light, with a brush off at 100% on the needles, then added "KK-3112" 2012 collection at 30% opacity on screen. Text added, and resizing and sharpening for web.}

YOUR TURN!!

Life thru the Lens the rules....

1. Share with us your life thru the lens past, or present.

2. Grab my button and link back to this page, so others can find our community.

3.  Visit at least one person and create a community with them through encouraging comments.

The RULES:

~All forms of photography accepted… keep it family friendly please.

~Anyone, with any photography skill can participate… we are all learning and growing.

~Any camera you take pictures with is acceptable… the best camera is the one in your hand.

~I am going to start featuring a photo in my Pinterest Life Thru the Lens... be sure to check it out.