Category Archives: For Photographers

April | Self Portrait

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!

Also posted in Personal

Business Book | April 2017

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!

Also posted in Personal

February | Self Portrait

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.

Also posted in Personal

Collaboration | Marie Antoinette

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

These images with Zach… AMAZING!!! I’m so glad he got to join us at our shoot in January. 

Also posted in Boudoir, Fantasy & Fairytale, Personal

Business Book | January 2017

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.

 

Also posted in Personal

Portrait vs Landscape

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.

horizontal, landscape, portrait, vertical, shooting, photographers, angles, what you like, engagements, in love

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. horizontal, landscape, portrait, vertical, shooting, photographers, angles, what you like, engagements, in love

What is your favorite angle? Why?

Q&A:What are you Most Proud of?

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

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January 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

ashleigh

August 2016
Elemental Beauty
Model: Ashleigh Swallow
Mua Christine Watkins
Hair style and color Paula Totman

dark-romance-5

January 2016
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

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August 2016
Elemental Beauty
Model: Addie Vanderpool
Mua Ali Watson
Hair Paula Totman

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April 2016

Caldones After Dark Speakeasy
Luxe Productions 20s Glam
Photographer | Paula Ayres with Peaces Photography (@peacesphoto)
Model | August Chamberlain
Hair | Dakota Brown
Mua | self

 

august

August 2016
Elemental Beauty
Model: August Chamberlain
Mua: Ali Watson
Hair: Paula Totman
Bustle: Audrey Pulley Stuart

lissette-11

April 2016
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

lissette

August 2016
Elemental Beauty
Model:Lissette Cristina Vazquez
Mua: Christine Watkins
Hair: Paula Totman
Meramaid: designed by Lissette











Also posted in Personal

Top 10 Mistakes (so far)

rockAs 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….

  1. 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!
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.)
  7. 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.)
  8.  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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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… 

adme-1

Also posted in Personal

Wedding Booth 2016 Design

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
Albums: $$$
Tablecloth: leftover from wedding
Lace covering: Tablecloth from someone in the family
Futon: Mine
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.

 

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They did eventually shut the door, but I don’t remember if I finally got one with the door shut! IMG_9719

Also posted in Boudoir, Engagements, Weddings

Reflection — 1st Wedding Expo

bridal show, wedding show, expo, booth, wedding booth, photographer, design, Missouri, succulents, brides, peacock feathers, laceAs most of you know, I signed up for my first Wedding Expo as a vendor on August 20. A lot of thoughts have been rolling through my head since setting up and the first client walked through until now. I’m sure I will keep thinking until the next one. (Yes, I will be doing another one again… Probably January)

Overall, it was a really good experience. Lebanon Area Bridal Show was so much fun! I can’t wait until next years!!!

What went well.
1. There were a lot of people there. I don’t know exactly what I was expecting. I did not go with a larger show for my first one because I wanted to see how it went. I wanted to see how I was.

2. I was able to talk to not only brides and potential brides but as well as family members and maid of honors. Being a bride before has given me a little more understanding about the pressures the brides and everyone is under. So I didn’t feel hurt when someone said they had to think about it. I remember going back and forth with my mom about money and everything.

3. The vendors. I seriously came to the bridal show with an open mind. I wanted to see what happened. Who all comes and see if I could make some new contacts. I wasn’t “scared” of my competition. I wanted to get to know more people. I believe in collaboration over competition!  … Anyways, vendors were even interested in my photography. Everyone is always looking for something whether family, headshots, and boudoir.

4. Inviting a friend to come with me! Sam was amazing this past Saturday. She was an extension of me and a perfect partner. I think, between the two of us we talked to everyone! Also having a second person with you gives you someone to freak out to. Who helps you calm down and be ready for people.

5. Having a drawing for not just brides but for anyone who wanted to sign up. I decided to do a door prize, but I also wanted to do something at my booth. My first thought was a boudoir session, but I wanted to see how receptive boudoir photos were at a show. So I decided to do a little basket with cute decor and chocolate. For me, it was the best choice. And it was so much fun to offer something for free and also talk about wedding stuff.

6. Getting my name out more. Before the event, I had been feeling a little frustrated like a normal business owner. I had decided that I need a few ideas of getting my name out there more. This was definitely a great plan for that!

What didn’t go well

  1.  No one immediately signed up. But that was seriously okay. When I was shopping for wedding, most of the time I would have to get pricing and then get back to people. It worked better for my mom who was helping me out. I was one of those people overwhelming the brides just a little bit more. Being a bride is stressful, there is so many different things that you have to do and plan and get. Your head is spinning!
  2. The last 30 mins, everyone was waiting for the drawing and I guess watching fashion show… So it dragged by– especially for me with a sinus/allergy problem. I wanted a nap on my couch.

3. My sinus/allergies. It was definitely rough for me. (So glad to have Sam with me.)

4. The door drawings at the end. I had kind of expected the door drawings to go on the entire time the event was. So I was hoping that my name with my drawing would be announced before the end. It wasn’t but I learned a lot from the show.

5. The waiting… … … … … … … … … …  I didn’t see immediate results. So that means, it’s going to be a lot of waiting to see if people decide on me. Yes, if you were at the show, you will totally eventually recieve an email from me. But for me to see results of the show, realistically, probably next year? Or who knows?

bridal show, wedding show, expo, booth, wedding booth, photographer, design, Missouri, succulents, brides, peacock feathers, lace

Also posted in Personal, Weddings

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