Thursday, September 29, 2011

Photography is a never ending journey.

Shortly after moving here I desperately needed a new camera.  Mine wasn’t doing the job anymore and it was time to be replaced.  I had new goals and ideas in mind as far as photography and candid snap shots went.  Except I didn’t have a clue how to go about it or where to start.  I ended up spending lots and lots and lots of time researching cameras and e-mailing questions to friends.  I would visit my local camera store and play the 20 question game with them while experimenting with their equipment.  Only I still didn’t know what I was doing.  After all of my research I did know that I wanted a DSLR.  I didn’t understand what a DSLR really meant and how it could produce such great images, but I knew that was what I was looking for.  Casey knew and understood how much I loved photography and was willing to support and encourage this new investment.  In fact, months later after all of the research and debate, we were at the camera shop ready to purchase my new baby and I chickened out. 

Yes.  I chickened out.

I had anxiety about spending so much money and it was making me sick.  Casey was out of the store for a second tending the kids when he walked back in and saw me getting ready to purchase a different camera, one that was not a DSLR.  He was really confused and asked me what I was doing.  I explained it all to him and he took the camera out of my hands and told the sales person exactly what it was we were going to purchase. 

Can I just tell you how much I really love my husband?   He is so good to me and is always sacrificing for ME.  He knows and understand me so well, even when I am not thinking straight.  He knew how important photography was and is to me and that I would have been miserable with another camera.  I think he also realized that there was so much more to this camera.  Although I don’t think either one of us realized what we had gotten ourselves into.

That was only the beginning.  The beginning of what really?  I didn’t know.  I just knew how excited I was to learn more about photography and to have this camera that could do SO many things. 

We bought the Nikon D40 with a kit lens.  Although this is a great camera, I out grew it 6 months later and sold it to my sister.  After purchasing the D40, my hobby turned into reading my owners manual and photography tips and tutorials on the internet.  We are talking HOURS and HOURS. 

I took a class on line that taught me how to shoot manual mode.  That right there alone is world changing in photography and is how I out grew my D40.  I was beyond excited to upgrade to the Nikon D90.  I had to sit on this decision for awhile too.  The money once again was killing me, but I knew it would be totally worth it.  So we bought it.  I was set for awhile with my D90 and my 50mm 1.8 lens.  Almost a year later I felt like I was being held back again and I couldn’t do all that I wanted to with my camera.  Casey and I researched and researched and talked and talked about a new lens.  Finally we decided that for my birthday, Christmas, Valentines and our anniversary one year (you get the point) I would get the 24-70mm 2.8 lens.  World changing! 

And that is where I am today.  My wish list for cameras and lenses could go on and on and on.  I am happy where I am right now.  Although I would love to get a new prime lens, my next step at this point would be a new camera body before a new lens.  I am not even going to think about it though because I still have not out grown my D90 and there is an incredible amount still to learn.  Photography is never ending really.  It’s funny to remember how much I was freaking out about purchasing the D40, not realizing at all that it would be a small purchase compared to everything else.  Who knew how much I would love and learn and grow… and still are.  Just like the insane amount of camera bodies and lenses out there, there is also an insane amount of photography information to be read and practiced.  HOURS and HOURS. 

My whole point with this post was to share with you a goal I had.  My goal and the majority of the reason I wanted a DSLR was so that I could be my OWN children’s photographer.  For my 3 little kids (at the time). I think that great everyday snapshots are just as important as the professional ones you take every year.  Since moving to a new state and not knowing any photographers (and after spending over $300.00 at a place in the mall for 3 11x14’s, 1 8x10’s and a couple of 5x7’s with out the cd of proofs and not really loving the photos)  I decided that I was ready to learn how to be the photographer for my family.

I did not even think about going into photography for anyone else.  The first couple of times I was approached about taking photos for others, I was shocked with the idea. I still hadn’t even thought about it.  After graciously declining, my next thought was how incredibly nervous and incompetent the idea made me feel.  I had no intentions at all of heading in that direction.  Until about a year later when it literally hit me one morning.  I realized that I felt ready and excited about the idea of being someone else’s photographer. 

And that is where I am today. 

About a year into this new journey. 

Learning, loving and growing. 

Although I am very much a part time photographer and a full time mommy to 4, I am enjoying stretching my talent to the max and learning to balance all things.  Moderation in everything is probably the biggest lesson I have learned lately.  A little here and a little there of each thing goes a long way and is working for me.  And lots of patience from myself, my clients and my family helps. 

I thought I would share a few of the kids back to school photos.  Since moving here I have not purchased back to school photos from the elementary school.  I decided to wing it and do it on my own. 

Here is a little history of photos.

K - Second Grade - 1 copy

J - Kindergarten - 1 copy 

Third Grade


First Grade


I love this picture of the two of them together.

Kaylee and Jake   

Kaylee cw Jake cw  Drew School cw 

Fourth Grade                   Second Grade                     Preschool


These are from this year.  2011-2012

BTS_0029 cw


BTS_0036 cw




It was fun to go back through pictures and see how much the kids have grown as well as how different the photography is.  The biggest difference (I think) is the the first set of Kaylee and Jake, 2nd and Kindergarten.  The rest, as far as photography goes, are pretty close.  One of the things that stands out the most to me is photo editing.  I feel like now I really focus on techniques to get it right in the camera and use editing to enhance the photo just how it is.  The last set of photos are a little bit softer and more natural.  I don’t know…what do you think?

Develop your talents, even if it is scary.  Whatever they are.  We are given them for a reason and you never know where they will take you, although someone else bigger than you does and that is why HE gave them to you in the first place.  It doesn’t matter if you use them just for your little family or share it with others, but do all that you can to develop them.  And then keep at it.  We each have different talents. That is for a reason too.  Wouldn’t it be so boring if we were all the same.  How would we learn from each other?  I can not even begin to tell you how much I have learned about life from others around me.  Timing is everything though and there is a season for everything.  Whatever your talents are and however you want to use them, when the time is right, go for it!


Prudently Painted Vintage said...

I am sO glad Casey stepped in and bought you that first camera. You are amazing!

I too can't wait for my first DSLR camera. Christmas this year. Hopefully. I just want to take beautiful pictures of my family too.

I love the school pics. It's funny how Kaylee looks so much older in the last one. She has gone from being a cute little girl to a beautiful young lady. I think the photos this year show how creative you are getting. The quality of them all look amazing. You have great talent :)

Colleen said...

Beautiful photos! I love the backdrop of the bricks and books you used. I am dying to learn more about my camera. Time is an issue for me. I just need more of it : )

Lindsey Jensen said...

Ok. Those pictures totally made me tear up!! I can't believe how fast they are growing up. It breaks my heart that we are so far away from each other!! Kaylee is gorgeous and those boys are so dang handsome!! I miss you guys!! Can't wait to see you in a few wks and the whole family a month later!! Love you guys!!

texas girl said...

I loved this post so much! you inspired me to get my first dslr! After you did averys newborn pictures I knew I would never forgive my self if i didnt have good quality everyday pictures of her. Matt bought me my sony 230 for christmas last year and it is the best investment we could have made! Such a great beginers camera and still takes beautiful pictures but I am ready this year to move on to a nikon and a better lens. I no where near have the drive or talent you have but their beautiful pictures you take of your kids motivates me to pull out my cAmera and capture our daily lives!

Andrea said...

I had no idea that you almost didn't buy that camera. I am so glad he did. Thanks for everything you have taught me. It is fun to share the same passion. You are so good at.

The pictures are awesome. It is fun to see how they have changed.

I think this post is good for those thinking about diving in.

Tam said...

I can't get over Jake .. He still looks the same! U definitely have a huge talent with anything visual. Well, with pretty much anything u are ridiculously talented ... Except maybe understanding football! I think that might be the one area I have u beat!

Beth Curtis said...

the difference between your first set and most recent set is unreal! Plus, look at those kiddos! My have they grown! I have you to thank for helping me really understand my camera and I can't believe the changes that came ever since then. I cringe sometimes when I look at my old stuff (ahem, 6 months ago? haha). You rock.

Kari said...

I wish you were here to take our fall family pics! When the dust settles after we move, photography is on my list of things to learn too.

Elyssa Greene said...

Can you please let me know some sites you used for tips and tutorials... I have a Nikon D90 but hate being stuck on auto mode :'(

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