Thursday, November 26, 2015

Southern Style - Photos to Capture Personality

It's not only important to take a nice photograph for your customer, but you want to capture the personality of the subject and their mood at the moment the camera clicks.  There's a fine balance between just taking visually pleasing photos for someone and capturing the moment and conveying the mood of your subject in the image you are shooting.  In this shot, the subject was in a whimsical mood, tossing leaves into the air (in between his regular photos), and the leaves falling in the photo highlighted his mood at the time.

Blue Eyes Are True Eyes....

Thanksgiving... Giving thanks for those special moments in your life...

Monday, November 23, 2015

Branding Yourself in Photography

As I am pursuing my photography career and going through the paces of getting my business fully operational and self-sustaining, I am finding out that the market is saturated with photographers.  With the use of more advanced camera technology in Android phones and iPhones, and the relatively inexpensive cost of beginner DSLR cameras in today's market, one might think that the need for photographers would diminish and be replaced with the use of today's readily available technology.  Nearly everyone has an Android phone or an iPhone capable of taking remarkable pictures, and some might venture to say this makes them a photographer of sorts.  I cannot argue the fact that I have seen some amazing images captured with a camera on a phone.  I, too, have captured some gorgeous shots, and to this day they are some of my favorite images. To the untrained eye this detail might not even be detectable.  However amazing these photos are, for those special events in an individual's life you should truly use a professional photographer.  With high quality equipment, an understanding of light, composition, and the uses of various settings on a DSLR camera ordinary images can be transformed into extraordinary photos.  Post-processing, as previously discussed in other blog posts, is the final touch that caps off the images to give that extra assurance that the images are the best that they can be.   For once in a lifetime events and special moments a professional photographer is a must.  Would you want to trust your wedding to someone with a camera phone?  Probably not...

I am finding that you can't just be a jack-of-all trades photographer.  There are literally thousands of those in your immediate and surrounding areas.  To try to make it in a market that is oversaturated with so many photographers marketing their business with the same basic photography services it will be hard to be noticed.  There is nothing there to make you stand out.  No niche to grab the attention of potential customers.  You have to have something that sets you apart from the others.  Although I haven't exactly established a niche per se, I do have specific preferences for the types of images I prefer to capture.  I don't do photo shoots in a studio.  Now, that's not to say that at some point in my life I won't do them, but that is not my preference.  Because my business emphasizes the Gulf Coast culture and lifestyle I find it is fitting for my images to be captured outdoors.  Lakes, parks, private property, the customer's backyard if they prefer, beaches, sunrises, sunsets.  Small outdoors weddings and gatherings... parties...private events... sporting events... engagement photos...couples' photos...just to name a few. I absolutely love using what nature offers us as my backdrop and creating a moment with outdoor surroundings.  Sometimes the least likely places end up being my favorites.  There are several locations in downtown Mobile that I have my eye on for urban style photo shoots.  I plan on making that happen in the not too distant future.  So many locations to choose from.  I don't want to fall into routine, typical locations where nearly every photographer in the Mobile area lands for their shoots.  I want to think outside the box and capture unique moments.

I do have a love for black and white images.  Sure, I take some amazing photos in color, but there are certain situations where black and white could highlight the moment so much better and give a totally different feel to the photo.

Although I haven't completely narrowed down my market to carve my niche in the photography world, I am working my way there one image at a time...  Until then, I'll continue my journey of capturing life's special moments and creating lasting memories for years to come...

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Adidas Commercial In New Orleans

Right outside of our New Orleans' hotel, Villa Convento, we had the added excitement of an Adidas commercial being filmed on the streets right in front of the hotel.  Lots of activity buzzing around. There is never a dull moment in that city! 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Shades of NOLA... The trend continues...

Well, what did you expect?  With hundreds of photos from my trip to NOLA, it just wouldn't seem right not to share them with you :)

Friday, November 13, 2015

Homeless in New Orleans - A sad reality~

For the past few days I have had the opportunity to spend a few days in New Orleans.  Other than a quick trip for a few hours, this was my first real experience in the city.  Over the years  I have heard stories of New Orleans... the wild and partying side of Bourbon Street, the street performers, the crime, the nightlife, Mardi Gras and many other things.  New Orleans appears to be a city of multifaceted people and cultures.  As in any city you will find the affluent residents, middle class people of all races and nationalities, and the youth that seem to bring the city to life.  The French Quarter was a very interesting place.  I stayed in the French Quarter during my visit and encountered many things during my adventures around.  I saw street performers scattered throughout, hoping to be discovered, trying to earn a living off of donations from locals and tourists for sharing their talent freely with the people that strolled by.  I saw individuals with robust personalities that approached random people in hopes that they could make a quick few dollars off of their trusting naive personalities.  I even got caught up in the action a time or two...  I wouldn't trade the experience for anything in the world, however.  New Orleans is a great city, and I'm eager to go back when I have more time.

Bourbon Street was exactly as I expected it would be.  I didn't expect it to be packed and full of life on a Thursday evening, but it was a great experience overall.  It was an amazing opportunity to sit back and watch people having a good time.

Although I knew that New Orleans was plagued with homelessness, I guess I didn't expect to see it laid out in front of me at nearly every turn.  When I first entered the outskirts of the French Quarter, I was quite frankly caught off guard at the number of people sleeping in covered parking lots... in the back of trucks, in sleeping bags, on mattresses and on the concrete.  Not just one or two people, but MANY.  We take for granted in our everyday lives that these things can never happen to us.  Who knows what circumstances or even one really bad circumstance led to these people ending up in the situation that they are in now?  It just takes one catastrophic event in our lives to end up in the same situation.

I guess the most disturbing thing to me took place just a block from my hotel.  As my husband and I were heading down to the French Market, as most tourists do, there was a man sleeping on the sidewalk, in broad daylight, while the city came to life and everyone was bustling by.  Most didn't give him a second glance.  How does a country that is so powerful and wealthy have homeless people?  How do we help other countries with their financial burdens and their crises when we can't even take care of our own?

Be thankful for all that you have in your lives, and if you ever find that you have old items you don't need, please think of donating within your local community to the organizations that give directly to the homeless, thus ensuring that the items go to those who are most in need.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Walk to End Alzheimer's - Mobile, Alabama - November 7, 2015

I had the privilege of photographing the Walk To End Alzheimer's in Mobile this past Saturday.  There was a large turnout for the event, which not only aimed to raise awareness to Alzheimer's, but also to raise money in an effort to find a cure.  There were a lot of laughs throughout the event, in addition to tears shed for those lost to the disease, or currently either battling the disease or caring for someone that is dealing with this on a daily basis.  Alzheimer's is not just a disease that targets those of advanced age.  We heard stories of a man in his mid 50's and the struggles that he and his family face on a daily basis.  Alzheimer's does not discriminate based on age, sex, race or nationality.

I am posting a few photos from Saturday's event.  Photographing these type of events allows me to do my part in bringing awareness to the cause by donating my services to cover the event and sharing the story with you.

The event may be over, but the fundraising continues.  You can donate at the following link:

Donate to the Walk to End Alzheimer's