on becoming an artist: stepping out of my box

Lately, I’ve been stuck in a creative rut that feels virtually impossible to get out of. As photographers and artists, these kinds of things are pretty inevitable, much to our dismay. With my wedding season starting up soon, I’m a bit panicked at the standards I’ve set for myself to make this year my absolute best for all my couples! How am I going to diversify my portfolio and give my clients images that are truly magical?! It gives me anxiety just contemplating it!! Oh the pressure!
Then I have to remind myself, I’ve set these standards not just for me, but for my clients so I can better serve the people who have put their confidence in me to capture the most important moments in their lives.
I’ve decided that 2014 is the year of taking giant leaps as an artist and a professional, and not nitpicking the details or berating myself for not doing better than I think I should. It’s about the candid moments that can’t be recreated. And it’s about not settling for the “pretty shot” or doing “good enough”. Instead I’m going to think crazy, take risks creatively, and shoot for the moon. (haha get it, shoot??) Some things might crash and burn, but hey, that’s the learning curve isn’t it?! Mistakes are only chances to do better.

Here’s to stepping out of boxes and getting creative!




the secret to success.

I’ve been asked many a time by newbie photogs:
“What should I do to get into the business?! What’s the secret to becoming a successful professional photographer?????”
And I’m going to tell you what it is. Right now. In this post.
This is truly a momentous occasion.
That’s the secret. 
“Wait what?! So there’s no special camera I can buy? No workshop that will give me all the answers?? Really?!!”
Sorry to burst all your bubbles and spoil all your hopes of quick cash and instant fame, but there’s no magic key to photographic stardom and ridiculously amazing imagery!
If you ask the great names in the industry about how they achieved all their amazing success they have today, all of them will regale you with countless stories of how they have tried and failed, experimented, studied, had people who told them they sucked and should quit while they were behind, scraped together cash to buy equipment, or took on crappy jobs to be able to keep doing photography.
Why on God’s green earth would they go through that?
Because they love it. Because they are passionate about it. Because it’s worth it in the end.
And those who are truly successful are the ones who don’t throw up their hands and stomp off when roadblocks stand in their way, and they don’t say, “Nah brah, this is too difficult, I’ll just try something else.”
If you want to become a professional photographer, prepare your butt for a good kicking, because the road is long and twisting, and full of prickly cacti, (like taxes, clients from Hell, or branding nightmares. You know, the works).
2-3 years is about the average make it or break it point for most photography businesses. That’s the time when you decide if it’s just a fun hobby, or if you’re going to plunge in hardcore and make it your career, and pursue it wholeheartedly.
I’m not here to tell you that it’s impossible, or to dissuade your dreams, I just don’t like beating around the bush.
(or the metaphorical cacti, if you will).
Expect the roadblocks, prepare yourself for the headaches, and if you LOVE this job as much as I do, and you’re ready to take the plunge, DO IT. Don’t look for shortcuts, or for some magical 5-step-to-success program.
Persist. Persist. Persist.
And I promise, it will be worth it in the end.


Now, enjoy pretty pictures of the gorgeous Michelle and Kidder, with a special appearance by Huck the puppy.

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Jeanie MicheelApril 3, 2014 - 5:18 pm

So true! Thank you for this post & for reminding all of us to keep pushing through & believing in ourselves! Love from Germany, Jeanie

gif lovin.

I’ve become gif-obsessed. No matter how you pronounce it, between cinemagraphs, merge portraits, and stop motion, there’s no END to how creative you can get with these fun, animated pictures! I can’t wait to incorporate these into my weddings this year!!!

(click play button to start and stop!)




Rachel WellsApril 1, 2014 - 2:19 am

I love these…you are so creative!! They are awesome and flawless!! :)

Shannon & Andrew

I had the opportunity a couple weeks back to meet Shannon and Andrew of Fox & Owl Studio, and see my first actual waterfall!! These two are seriously the cutest, beards and moccasin boots, does it get any better? Check out our adventure with Lauren Rogers in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina!
(Make sure you checkout the merge portrait at the end!)

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press play!