I developed this concept during my long hiatus from photography (some might say creativity as a whole) since early November. I’m sure I’ll put together a blog that gives the cliffs notes version of my life during my disappearance. But for now…
I went back as far as 10 years in my photography archives to find images that fit each letter of the alphabet- images that represented what I love to shoot and things I love in my life… I’ve put this together in a class format that hopefully soon, I’ll be teaching :)
In November, I was burnt on how badly my annual Creepshow didn't pan out like it usually does. So I put myself on a hiatus of sorts thru the first of this new year. At the end of November- life went sideways. Lots of stress, drama, complications- long story short- as of right now, I don't have the mental clarity to even attempt getting back into photography at this point.
That being said- hopefully mid February I will be able to have things more sorted out, settled and can get back into it. I'm still way open to discuss concepts, but just not scheduling in the immediate future. But, I am certainly working on a game plan for the this year. Fingers crossed, a couple will come true.
Plans for 2024:
Connect with nature. Explore more.
Prioritize my health and my boundaries.
Embrace my natural beauty.
Drink more water. Start doing more yoga.
Remind myself a slow, uncomplicated day or two, now and then, isn’t being lazy.
Surrender to what happens, knowing I will make it through.
Eat better, take vitamins.
Shoot more than last year (which was hardly anything).
Make more art, use it to release emotions.
Photograph more nature.
Pace myself (life, art, photography…)
Empty days on the calendar aren’t a bad thing.
Breathe- it’s tattooed on your arm, so look at it.
Maybe shoot things on the photography bucket list, but don’t add pressure on myself.
This was a post I made on my FB page earlier this week. Admittedly it's a little salty of a post. And probably a tad bit woe is me, but honestly things need to change- my business, my focus... Something. And this is my first step in creating the change. This year, my portrait photography has been lacking. Not because of lack of trying but what seems like a mountain of complications, road bumps, and honestly a little BS thrown here and there.
As of November 1, 2023- I'm changing how I do things. For the better of myself, my art, my business. Photography is one of my creative outlets and I pour a piece of myself into every image I retouch and send back to models and clients. Covid and the pandemic changed the landscape for professional photographers- and gave life to “photographers” that took a couple side hustle Youtube tutorials. They bought themselves a fist full of Photoshop presets and a big fancy camera and charged mere fractions of what actual professionals charge- sucking all the business their way. As high and mighty as it sounds- I will not lessen the quality of my work to fit into the cheap budgets. You get what you pay for.. Add to that a generation of people reaching adulthood that prefer the instantaneous satisfaction of smartphones, filters, and not having to wait or pay for professional retouching of images.
I’ve watched over a dozen professionals like myself cave under the “Insta-photo” pressures and shut down their studios/ photography careers in the past year. Not being able or willing to compete with the new generational disrespect of the newer “models” looking for work, expecting way too much for absolutely no effort. And actually pay someone? Yeah, no, they have smart phones for that. And it's across the board- photographers that pay money for studio spaces and others, like myself, without studios just trying to cover the costs of my equipment and make a few bucks here and there.
The model community at current- expects too much for little and common sense with manners are severely lacking- no longer making it worth my time. I will no longer be tolerating people who prefer ghosting when details are discussed. I've been doing this long enough that I'm tired of the time wasted on people that were never going thru with it. I'm no longer going to actively search and pursue connections to be made with models. If I get contacted by someone based on a referral, great! Let’s chat and see what we can come up with- but new connections and actively looking for models outside of my collection of faithful few- is really not going to be a priority.
I will be stepping away from portrait photography until January. Exceptions being paid clients, or deposits made on booked sessions. Non refundable deposits will now be a requirement for 90% of my sessions. Deposits will show me you are serious about the session, and leaves less room for flaking, ghosting, and last minute cancellations. Paying clients will take priority in my bookings and trades will no longer be a staple, but a convenience according to my schedule. Trade sessions or TFP can be negotiated, but will be getting seriously limited. To be clear, by no means do I want to stop portrait photography- it's one my my genre staples, but hitting the pause button for a while is needed.
I'm going to reevaluate what it is that makes me happy when I hold my camera. Nature... architecture... whatever possible new genres that may be. Maybe the downtime will help me refresh the brain cells and get me motivated again. But the lack of respect lately and the stress brought on by that is making it harder and harder for me to want to pick up my camera. I’m going to a one strike policy for everything if I’ve spent time working on concepts, props, set up… I’m not going to be near as lenient as I have been years past.
Thanks for getting thru to the end of this! Changes have to happen sometimes and this is one of them that couldn't wait until January.
I haven't been here to photograph this kind of thing in a very long time (3 years ballpark), and it felt great to get back out there and do my thing. The geography of this place is perfect for shooting what I call "Macaroni Surf". A term I'm pretty sure I came up with and have never heard anyone else use. These waves were at a maximum height of a foot. But if you literally lay on the sand, find a focus point and click the shutter- you can make them look like North Shore Oahu monsters. Macaroni is in reference to the perfect sized surfboard to give these waves scale. Trust me when I say if my Microsoft Paint skills weren't so rusty I'd make a mock-up model of this idea. Sounds crazy, but I'm sure some like minded folks that read this can smell what I'm stepping in .
It was actually a really warm, humid late summer day when I was here, in spite of the dark gloomy October skies in the pictures. In fact while I was photographing Lake Michigan, behind me by a mile, a thundershower dropped a 10 minute long waterspout on Muskegon Lake. Irritated I missed that, because photographing one of those- definitely on my photography bucket list! These images will go live in another week in the galleries on here- I'm struggling to keep up with all the social media platform postings, blog writing (I'm sure I'll get back into it more when there isn't lovely weather outside), plus the daily duties of caring for and helping my hubby on his bad days. Like, follow me on Instagram and Facebook for up to date postings from my crazy little creative life!!
I fell in love with a place from my childhood for photo sessions. As kids, my parents took us here to swim. This spring I went there to waste time while my husband was at a woodworkers meeting and found an old place was new to me again. Since then I've done about half a dozen sessions there with more to come, I'm sure.
Along with this magical place- I've been using the magical dress in sessions more this year. It fits every model that's ever worn it. And every model gives it her own spin. It's been in my wardrobe for over 7 years and it never ceases to amaze me when we use it in sessions.
Just a couple professional reminders, actually this is probably more of an in depth disclaimer for myself and my work as both a photographer and an artist. I am a brutally honest individual, always have been. I don't sugar coat, I don't stretch my abilities to accommodate others, and I figured what better way to outline myself as a person, a professional, with boundaries (new found and seasoned)- then to post my rules specific to my two crafts- photography and artwork. My honesty isn't for everyone and I understand that completely. Just like some concepts are just things that aren't my cup of tea. I am open minded and creative and deeply enjoy this "work" I do. So, lets have some fun, book a session (after you make sure my style is what you want), and make some beautiful images!!
1. If you cannot respond to confirm a booking in a responsible amount of time with a concrete yes or no- why bother? Ghosting is irresponsible, annoying, and just flat out insulting. "But I would NEVER do that!"- really, check your messages because you've left me on read for over 3 months, just saying.
2. Respect is a two way street and it's pretty clear somewhere along the line of time that's been forgotten.
3. Using the line "Well, your work isn't good enough," instead of "I'm sorry that's a little out of my budget right now." Is absolutely uncalled for rudeness. Add to that, you will subsequently be ignored, banned, and probably blocked from future communications with me.
4. If I offer to "discount" or shoot trade for time and I get blown off, guess what- the circle gets a little smaller for those that I'm willing to extend that to.
5. Make sure my style is what you want. Small tweaks are possible, but I will not completely change my photography style to fit your needs. My portfolio is here on my website.
6. The way I edit is the way I edit. I don't turn people into plastic versions of themselves. I like skin’s textures and scars and stretch marks. I will give you a ballpark on when it will be done and when to expect a Dropbox invite to your images. Hammering me with message after message will only delay images getting done.
7. There is no "Pinterest filter" option. If you use a Pinterest pin as an idea, cool- that's actually an awesome way for me to know what you are aiming for. But there isn't a one click option when it comes to editing, that's a lot of hard work and it's not a guarantee to look like that example.
8. Do I do photography and artwork for fun and a creative outlet? Yes. However it's also my business that I'm trying to run and when I get disrespected- it leaves a bad taste in my mouth and worse, lost income.
Times are tough with this wishy washy limbo we're stuck in. Not a lot of people have a free flow income they can spend money on funzies like photos and artwork. I get that. What I don't get is the entitlement some have towards stringing people along and thinking they are allowed to do that. Rudeness, while commonplace now, is still rude.
My prices are my prices and very rarely do they change. Negotiations are not okay. If you want instant artwork or portraits- use your selfies or go buy some Target artwork, cause I'm not your girl. I know my limits and I will stand firm on them. Use the manners your parents taught you. Be an adult.