Room to Dream


Some people have expressed some concern about my website and the photos I have chosen to display in my gallery, the nicest kind of concern that asks "why don't you post even more of what you do?"

The short answer?

Professionally, I want to be a wedding photojournalist.

Guys, you have no idea how passionate I am about this, and how absolutely stoked I am to have the beginnings of a plan in place!

I'm beginning to gear up on the slow track to joining the Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA) and establish myself as a documentary wedding photographer. I say "slow track" because I feel almost as though I am starting over entirely. I have tried a lot of things with my camera over the last several years, mostly dedicating it to the services of my dear friends and a few paying clients, but as it stands, I am still a beginner in many ways.

Now it is as if I have been given permission to be a beginner again, to be a beginner still, to take on jobs as I feel I am ready for them. I've shot over two dozen weddings now, many of them for clients who did not understand the difference between documentary wedding photography and wedding portrait photography. Many just needed a cheap wedding photographer, and I was determined to give away something to them that I couldn't afford for my own wedding.

With most of my friends married now (hey friends!), I'm feeling freer to raise my prices and set some new guidelines - for my family's sake, for my clients' sake, for my own sanity.

*I will more thoroughly educate clients on how I view my role as their photographer before the contract is signed.
*I will outsource my post-processing for faster delivery that is not dependent on my health or the state of my family affairs.
*I will limit the images displayed on my website to those kinds of unique images I want to produce (this blog will be the exception - it's my whatever I want to post spot!).
*I will only take photography projects I can and want to take based on location and ability.

The more I have thought about this, talked about this, dreamed about this, the more I have realized that my photography dream is not just in the details or in the "just shoot something because you have to shoot something" - it's in the story, the world that takes me beyond simple candid shots and stiff portraiture to bring me absolutely alive. It's in the moments people don't think to capture, the smiles that they forgot to pose because someone drew it out of them, the unselfconscious beauty that disappears too often when the camera appears.

I'm hoping to change over to a flash site sometime next year, thinking of getting a new camera - a CANON, just for fun, in spite of my practical Nikon approach - and a new lens or two, doing some SERIOUS Sauer family photography that hasn't gotten done since Pete and I got married! I'm also planning to track down some models to build my portfolio here in Charleston, and I will eventually be adding both engagement and portrait galleries to my website (for you wonderful, concerned people out there), as soon as I find time to dig out the images that live within my documentary style.

I can't wait to be able to post life-photos here at my blog, to step outside of my fears and live what I love again without reservation. I want to be a Matt McGraw, a Tracy Turpen, a Kelly Lorenz, a Carlo Carletti (though, okay, he gets Italy - I probably won't ever have that!!!) - really, I just want to be me, taking those kinds of pictures.

In the meantime, I've got one wedding still in post-processing, and a website design to finish for a friend, and then it's on to baby prep. I can't believe he's going to be here so soon - the time has really flown with this pregnancy. I can't believe I'm really not having to put the photography away to have him - it's almost too much goodness to take in...


A couple notes on my new website:

1) I have updated the entry page on the site to allow for a large site and a small site for different size screens. I am still working on photo resolution for faster loading, etc.

2) I have changed the NavBar around for easier navigation between blog and website and throughout the different size websites. Hopefully, this will help anyone who was getting disoriented yesterday.

3) I am still needing to work in the code to fix the font sizing on my About and Contact pages; this may be an after-baby project - so sorry for any inconvenience.

(Image © Informal Moments Photography)


Heidi said...

I love it. :) When you told me a few months ago that you felt like you had to "put away" photography for awhile, I was hoping that something like this would happen instead. ;) Photography makes you come alive and I didn't want to see you give that up. I love that you're starting to think about how photography will be for *you*, rather than just picking up a camera to give people cheap photos. I think we artists have to take care of ourselves first and it ends up spilling into better art.

And being a beginner is the best place to be (even though it's hard to get there sometimes.) To release the expectations of "I should already be good at this" opens up SO many doors to learning and growing.

Danielle said...

So exciting!!! Can't wait to see what happens! I wanted to send you the link to this great post I read about a photographer about finding your style, your voice, that I found very inspiring. He also talked about saying "no" to what wasn't "you." I hear you saying that here. But I can't find it. Anyway, sounds like you already found "you" in your new beginning of photography!

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