Monday, June 29, 2009

Picture Monday!

Yeah, it's Picture Monday! I actually have a special surprise for everyone this week...I had so many great pics from the Joe McNally workshop that I am posting images on both Monday and Wednesday this week. Cool, huh? On Wednesday I will also be talking about what I learned at the workshop and giving a little review.

I am debating on whether or not to put some of these pictures up on the website since they are so different from the rest of my work. What do you guys think? Leave your vote in the comments.

And now, on to the pictures! There is a mix of small strobes, large strobes, and natural light in the images. See if you can guess which are which.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday Site of the Week!

So, today was supposed to be the big day where I announce the launch of my new website...but, there seem to be some technical issues (imagine that, technology not working as expected) that I am still working with the hosting company to fix.

To make up for it I am going to give you a link and some pictures instead. The link is for the awesome hotel that I stayed at while I was in NYC over the weekend for the McNally workshops. You can visit their site here.

I admit that since I have a degree in interior design I am a sucker for a cute interior, which this hotel has in spades. It is located at 24th Street and 3rd Ave. and I walked from here to everyplace from Soho to Chinatown to Central Park. (I like to walk but not everyone may want to walk quite that much) Most of this walking was done by myself, some with my camera, and I never once felt unsafe. The staff was great. They looked up my train departure time for me and gave me recommendations for where to find Pizza (Mike's just up 3rd at 25th) and were really friendly and easy to deal with.

The photo above was taken out my hotel window. I had a room on the 9th (of 10) floors right on the corner. It turns out that I had the largest room on the floor and - get this - it was $120 a night! I booked straight through the hotel and not through orbitz or expedia though it was listed on both sites.

The hotel is full of great details like a zebra lamp shade on the ceiling fixture...

The marble bathroom...

Even the toiletries were cute. The shampoo and conditioner had the greatest eucalyptus scent. I am in love with them.
On the day that I checked out the held my bags for me all day since I did not leave for the airport until 4PM. When I was ready to leave for the airport they told me that they had a car that could take me for a flat rate of $35. I had paid almost $30 for a taxi on the way there so I said that was fine. I got outside and it was not just a car, it was a white stretch limo! Yep, check me out I was rolling through Manhattan in a limo. Pretty cool. All stated this hotel rocks and if you are going to NYC anytime soon I highly recommend it. Have a great weekend!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Picture Monday!

Just a little taste of things to come...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Going Pro: Dealing with Doubt

Hello everyone! Welcome to a wonderful Wednesday blog post. Today I want to talk about doubt. It's everywhere. It lives inside you and in the minds of others.

It's a funny thing about starting a business, lots of people have lots of ideas about who you should be, what you should be doing, and what you're not doing right. And a good many of them also feel compelled to share these opinions with you. Don't get me wrong, I feel that every person has value to contribute to the world, but that does not mean that I am always excited when people feel the need to share unsolicited advice. You know the type of people I mean. The people who say things like, "Oh, so you mean you still haven't gotten your business started yet? Hmm... I guess everyone moves at their own pace..."

It is easy to let things like that get inside your head and make you feel like you aren't trying hard enough or working fast enough or that you just plain aren't good enough and that you are doomed to abysmal failure and public humiliation.

Here's the conclusion I have come to. There will always be people who doubt you. They will doubt your drive, your motivation, your skills, your professionalism, your ability to follow through, and they will doubt your worth as a photographer. Not everyone will like you, your images, your style, or your website. They will look down on you for being self-taught or not going to the right school. A lot of people will think that you have no idea what you are doing or that what you are doing is wrong. They might even be right. What you are doing may not be right for everyone, but as long as what you are doing is right for you, none of the other stuff that I just said really matters.

Please don't take this as a reason to go quit your day job and do something crazy. Your decisions still need to be based on market research and quantifiable facts, but they should also still be true to who you are. I have been working on my website recently and I got caught up for a bit in other people's opinions and nitpicking. Then I realized that if I were to launch a website for photography that encourages people to be who they are and express themselves, and I based it on what other people thought about me and my photography that I would be the biggest hypocrite ever.

The message that I want to leave you with today is that no matter if you just shoot for fun or if you do it for profit do it for you. Do your research, soul search, make a plan that you believe in, and then stick to it.

Friday Site of the Week!

There is a reason that the tagline for the blog Style Me Pretty is "obsessions for brides". I am obsessed and I am not even getting married. I actually wish that I could get married again just so that I can use some of the amazing ideas on this blog. Then again, maybe it is better this way so that I don't get married and then look at the blog and think "oh I should have done that!"

Beautiful pictures, great ideas, links to top notch vendors. Great, Great, Great.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Get Some Confidence

Hey everyone!

I had been planning to write a post for today on this very subject, but then my computer caught a (few) nasty viruses from a thumb drive - yep they carry viruses - and I spent the better part of the last 24 hours trying to purge my computer of that. So, when this link appeared on my Google homepage I figured it was a sign.

Enjoy the read!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Picture Monday!

A while back I did a tutorial on architectural photography that featured this house and I thought that you all might be interested in seeing how some of the rest of the photos turned out. This is a great house in the Village literally right behind the Carolina Hotel. It is very quaint and has some awesome bathrooms (very important). It is being listed by Brandee and Bob Bryant and if you or anyone that you know might be interested in it, you can contact them at Prudential Gouger O'Neil & Saunders 910-692-2635.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday Site of the Week!

The site this week is an absolute wealth of information for all things photographic. It is the Photo District News website, link here.

Seriously, there are news resources, they have a store, archives of the work of great photographers, and really interesting and informative articles.

Check it out and have a good weekend!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Skin Retouching Method

Hey everyone!

What I have for you today is a link to a tutorial that shows you one method for retouching skin for portraits. When it comes to computers there are usually lots of ways to accomplish the same goal and retouching skin is no exception. This technique will come out with a very nice airbrushed look. If you like natural, maybe not the way to go for you, but it is always good to have the knowledge in your head in case you ever need to come back for it.

You can check out the link here. Enjoy!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Picture Monday!

If you have been reading the blog, you may remember a few weeks back when I talked about building vendor relationships. Here are a couple samples that I worked up from Baxter and Taylor's wedding that I plan to bring to the florist and the cake vendor just to give you an idea what I was talking about. Now I just have to get them off to the printers!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Friday Site of the Week!

Hey ya'll. Short post today, but this week's site is . Danny used to be an architect in Raleigh, but due to the current economic climate he has started leading deep sea fishing charters in Atlantic Beach, NC. He also takes some great photos. Take a minute and check him out!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

How to post multiple images at a time on Blogger

Hello everyone!

After the technical difficulties from Monday's post I got really tired of uploading pictures one at a time to Blogger and decided to investigate. The first thing that I discovered is that you can actually upload up to 5 images at a time from the Blogger "Add Image" window. You just click on "add another image" above the browsing field. Probably could have figured that one out sooner had I just read directions.

That's all well and good, but I am still downloading a dozen images instead of just 5. I want to upload them all at once. Turns out that there is a way to do it, but it requires downloading some additional software. Luckily it is free.

You can go here to download google's image editor Picasa. Once you have it installed you simply locate the photos that you want to add to your blog, select them, and then hit the "blog this" button. That's it. Can't believe that I didn't figure that one out sooner. It does annoy me to have to use another piece of software. This would be convenient if I didn't already use lightroom to edit and catalog my pictures, but I do so now it is just two catalogs to keep up with. But, it does make blogging faster and easier so I won't complain too much.

Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Family: Helena (Take Two)

*Yes, everyone please enjoy the x's where the pictures should be* Sorry, we were having some difficulty - most likely due to author error - but I think that everything should be up and running properly now. Please let me know if it is not. Thanks!

Helena is a friend of mine who I know through the Junior League. She also happens to really love photography. She recently discovered one of the drawbacks of being the photographer - you don't end up in any of your pictures. So, we were at a meeting one day and she tells me that she would really like some pictures of her with her kids. Did I think it would be strange to get the portraits done as a Mother's Day present to herself?

I throw myself birthday parties so of course I thought that it sounded like a great idea. We had a few false starts but we finally got the stars all aligned and got to go out and take these great, fun pictures. Helena and her kids were awesome and then everyone got to go have pizza afterwards. Even better.

Hope you like!