Category Archives: For Photographers
Yeah, I know it’s the middle of May… I’m just impressed I actually took it in April on a beautiful windy day. I had this idea in my head for several days and just decided to finally do it. My favorite ended up being a little blurry and probably not the best image I have ever taken but dang it, I love it! Now to spend some time this summer playing with different photoshop thoughts and see what I can create!
Are you doing a self-portrait project? Let me know in the comments!
Sometimes you just pick up a business book and it turns out to be the right one to read. That’s what happened to me the other day on the way to a wedding rehearsal… I picked up “How to Get Ideas” by Jack Foster. It was one of those books I picked up from the Library book sale. The ones that have just sat there staring at me. What an amazing book! It was so easy to read and made you want to divide into his different suggestions to get started.
He put the definition in of idea that he most agreed with. “An idea is nothing more or less than a new combination of old elements.” Stop, read that again. Oh my gosh, that statement alone hit me with a ton of bricks. I guess I had never really stopped and thought about it that way. Getting ideas depending on you accepting what you think about yourself and your belief that the idea does exist. He encourages people to visualize their ideas and to not be afraid of getting it wrong. He suggested several ways to help gain more ideas… Think visually. Think laterally. Don’t assume Boundaries that aren’t there. Set some limits. Define the problem. Do something about your idea everyday.
My favorite piece of advice from his book — “At first ideas are hard to find. Then they come in bunches. Don’t stop and analyze them. Write them down for analysis later. Don’t stop the ideas.”
Definitely one I’m putting on my list to read yearly!
I realized the other week during my Spring Break that I was putting off my self-portrait project. I was putting it off because I didn’t have the outfits or the ideas like some of the fantasy photographers I follow. I was putting it off because I was comparing myself to what they were doing. I was comparing my self. I was worrying about my self image. I was worried about how fat I have been becoming.
I was worrying about a whole host of things that I didn’t have any business worrying about because I’m not them. I’m not in the same place in this journey. I’m at the beginning of trying to take good self-portraits. I’m at the beginning of believing that I can take a good picture. I’m starting to collect things that would make a good picture. I’m at the beginning. I’m starting.
Everyone started someplace and I need to remember that.
So here is my super late should have been March self portrait but is February self-portrait.
Back in December, one of my Kansas City model friends, Felicity said she was coming to Springfield in January. As Decemember passed on, my new friend Diana, from Diane Lee l Childhood & Lifestyle Portraiture, had an idea of doing Marie Antoinette and invite some other photographers to join her on the shoot. I’m so happy I jumped on the opportunity! Even though I didn’t know that much about Marie Antoinette, I was super excited about going to the shoot.
For those like me who don’t know who Marie Antoinette is, she was the last queen of France before the French Revolution. Was the victim of a lot of gossip and also called a prostitute at one time.
Anyways… We meet at the Fireside Gallery on Commerical Street. If you have never been there, it is AMAZING!!! Exposed brick, tons of natural light, a barn door — definitely needs for a studio someday!
Felicity made a wonder Marie Antoinette and her boyfriend Zach did a great job stepping in a modeling too!
Models – Felicity and Zach
MUAH – Felicity
Styling – Diane Lee
Dress – The Porcelain Teacup
January’s business book was Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. I have seen this book on so many photographers pages, artists pages, and every other page under the sun. I knew I wanted to read it, but sometimes you just have to wait for the season before it’s time. It was time this past month. And WOW, this book did not disappoint at all. It was amazing, wonderful and so much more.
Creatives like myself always seem to struggle with the ideas of creative living. To all of us, we see it as a dream of being full-time. But there is more than just quitting your job. Gilbert pointed out that you need to learn to travel comfortably with your fear. “Make space for fear. If I relax, fear relaxes. If I want creativity in my life (and I do) then I have to make space for fear.” She doesn’t mean letting run your life but recognize that it is here for the ride.
She talked about us waiting for permission to live a creative life. We don’t need anyone’s permission to live a creative life she said. Gilbert said that self-absorption is something that keeps you from creative living. “You are already creatively legitimate by nature of your mere existence here among us.”
“Stop treating your creativity like a tired, unhappy marriage. Start regarding it as with fresh eyes of a passionate lover.” Man, I love that! Sometimes you just need to be kicked in the face to understand it.
There were so many aspects of this book that I loved. It is definitely going to become one of those books that are reread yearly… I would definitely recommend that you guys check it out.
Portrait vs Landscape.
Vertical vs Horizontal.
It’s a weird topic but it’s something photographers really tend to notice. Most clients don’t one to receive only one direction. They really want a variety of directions. If they are anything like me, I want to fill frames and sometimes I just don’t have the vertical ones to fill it or the horizontal ones. So as a photographer, you really want to learn to take it both. I don’t know about other photographers, but those weird angles like half and half. I don’t like them. I do them only if I was lifting the camera away and saw something that I loved and had to get. But I don’t do it on purpose anymore. (Yes, I did it on purpose at one point in time.) Here is one of those photos! I took this last year and as I started to pull down my camera, they did this…. *heart eyes* So I took it. It’s a favorite for me because of the emotion I see, but not for the angle.
Some photographers shoot mainly landscape and only a few portrait. I’m thinking it might because of something called the rule of thirds. (But more about that another day.) For the most part, it falls down to personal perference. I sometimes feel like horizontal shows what’s going on. And up-close vertical shows the emotion.
No matter your favorite angle of pictures, I promise you I will try to capture both aspects of it for you. Though I think some of my most favorites are vertical/portrait. As I shoot more, I may fall in love with more horizontal. Especially as I learn more about the rule of thirds.
What is your favorite angle? Why?
As a photographer, what are you most proud of?
There are so many moments that I have felt extremely proud of myself during. But I would have to say right now, I am mostly proud of my growth. How much I have changed since the beginning. Sometimes you can see yourself slowly change other times its drastic. It is a really neat thing for me to actually see those moments. When it is glaringly obivious to me that a year ago, I couldn’t do something that I can now, etc. It is a sign that I am growing and learning which is something that I am striving to do.
Recently where I can see a lot of growth is m at these group shoots I’ve been doing this year. My first shoot in January I felt awkward and unsure. However I shot for myself and took some pretty great shots. They were not exactly what the makeup company was looking for (which was okay). I was happy with them and that was what counted.
The latest one was at the end of August. Oh man, I felt confident in my skills. I felt like something had clicked. I felt like I had grown. I was so proud of my images and then I started to look at other s’ photos. When you are at these group shoots, everyone is at a different level. Needless to say, I felt a little like the underdog with the amount of Photoshop knowledge I had. It has been hard to shake off that feeling of unworthy. But I have been impressed with my images. Yes, there are things that I wish I had done differently to fix it, but they still look amazing! I have seen some already showing up on the makeup company page!!! (So exciting!!!) If you want to check them out, they are called Isociety Cosmetics.
January 2016 August 2016
Prosperity Bed and Breakfast
Produced By | @Luxe.Productions
Photographer | Paula Ayres with Peaces Photography
Model | Asheigh Swallow
Hair | Joseph James Updegrapff
Mua | Natalie Sutton
Wardrobe | Monarch Formals
Model: Ashleigh Swallow
Mua Christine Watkins
Hair style and color Paula Totman
Luxe Productions Dark Romance
Prosperity School Bed and Breakfast:
Photographer: Paula Ayres with Peaces Photography
Model: Addie Vanderpool
Hair: Nicholas A. Talley
Mua: Christine Watkins
Wardrobe/ Jewelry: Tina Swallow
Model: Addie Vanderpool
Mua Ali Watson
Hair Paula Totman
Model: August Chamberlain
Mua: Ali Watson
Hair: Paula Totman
Bustle: Audrey Pulley Stuart
Caldones After Dark Speakeasy
Luxe Productions 20s Glam
Photographer | Paula Ayres with Peaces Photography (@peacesphoto)
Model | Lissette Cristina Vazquez
Hair | Paula Totman
Mua | Keri Rose
Model:Lissette Cristina Vazquez
Mua: Christine Watkins
Hair: Paula Totman
Meramaid: designed by Lissette
As a photographer, I love the fact that I am growing all the time! But with growth comes mistakes. Things that make you grow more… And I have definitely learned. So now I’m sharing them with you to help in case you need to hear this today.
Here is my top 10 mistakes/learning moments for now….
- Showing up for a wedding without a flash or batteries that worked! Luckily it turned out okay. Batteries were also brand new. Learned? to Double check all equipment, more than once. Check batteries as soon as you get them. No matter if you think it’s silly. Make sure you bring it all. Even if you don’t “think” you’ll need it. Who knows you might need it. Extras are not a bad thing!
- Reflectors and forgetting to use them. (On-going mistake) Learned? Need to practice more with them. So I feel more confident. Reflectors help to give clients catch lights (little lights) in their eyes in camera. It really makes eyes pop!
- Not believing I’m worth the money. Learning? To believe my photography’s value. Trusting myself and my work. It is totally an on-going processes for me. I am harder on myself more than anyone really knows. (except for my hubby.) Sometimes even my “best” work, I think I could have done better.
- Not having clear goals of what and where I want to get. Learning? To make those goals yearly and to start dreaming about the next 5-15 years of my business. I didn’t even know I wasn’t thinking that far ahead until one of my friends asked to be my receptionist in about 5 years. (Sweetie, thank you for that!) Now I have wrote down some goals and am working on creating secret goal boards on Pinterest.
- Not practicing enough. Learning? To push myself with everything I purchase. To take the time and actually practice the new “toy” as I call it. Gaining skills through extra work.
- Being afraid to show my work at first and wondering what people would say. Learning? To take the risk. Show my pictures and be okay whether people love it or hate it. Some people will love it and some on’t. I just need take the risk. (Be a friend to a photographer, tell us.)
- Comparing myself to my peers and my mentors. Learning? To take my work and love where I am no. Being okay wit what I am creating. Being the best I can do for me. Trying to be happy for them on how much they are growing. Be happy where and for others who are tackling the same dream. (One of the hardest things to do sometimes.)
- The belief that I can’t be a full-time photographer. Learning? To take it one step at a time. Trusting God in what he wants to do with my photography business. Being faithful to the business and treating like it is an amazing awesome business (cause it is!). Treating my clients and possible clients as I want to be treated by a photographer. Desiring my business to be better and better.
- Forgetting Business Cards. Learning? To have them everywhere I am. To have enough. To carry even when not shooting because you never know what conversation you are going to have that day. Handing them out in any situation I can. Cause a napkin is not that classy.
- Waiting on others to confirm that I am a photographer. Learned? Not to wait for others to call me a photographer. Saying the word when talking about myself more. Not being afraid of saying that word aloud in reference to me.
I am a photographer…
Once I had decided to do a wedding booth, I needed to come up with a design for it. So I started searching all of Pinterest and every Photography group that I’m apart of. I can tell you right now, most photographers built a WALL for their booth. Like a seriously real wall. After looking at some tutorials and examples, I decided that one it was not me and two there was not enough time anyways. Sadly the more I looked, the less booth designs I found and very little helpful sources on the subject.
So I created a Secret Pinterest Board for my wedding booth, pinning things that looked interesting to me. I pinned things like succulents, a pegboard photo display, and other random things… One evening while I was staring at it, I realized that the pins were very similar to the ones that drew me when I was planning my own wedding… So I scoured around my house for things and ended up buying a lot less than I was afraid I would have too.
Pegboard: $17 for a 8×8 and a free cut. Hubby added some extra boards on the edges to make it more stable.
Business Cards, Pictures, Pricing sheets: $150
Rug: $15 yard sale purchase
Chalkboard sign: $30
Pegboard stand: $30
Tablecloth: leftover from wedding
Lace covering: Tablecloth from someone in the family
Coffee table: Mine
Big table: provided
And other miscellaneous items as well as a drawing basket.
In the end, I was super proud of how it looked. Looking at it, I felt comfortable and at home. I didn’t feel like it was too standoffish and too out of people’s price ranges. I was excited how well it came together even just seeing only the pieces.
Peaces Photography is a Springfield, Missouri based photography business.
Specializing in Boudoir, Glamour, Portrait, Engagement and Wedding Photography.