Happy New Year to you all! I hope your 2013 was a great one and you have lots of hopes and dreams for the year ahead. Before we look forward I always think it’s a good idea to look back to appreciate how far we’ve come in one short year. I wanted to share some of my lessons in 2013 and also share some of my favourite images from the last few months!
For me 2013 was a year of growth as a photographer and business owner (as I hope every year will be!) with the realisation of what works for me, my business and the families I am lucky enough to photograph. If you want to, please feel free to skip ahead to the images but if you’re interested or thinking about your own lessons or resolutions please read on…
Lessons Learnt in 2013
1. Trust your instincts – this is true of life but I’ve found it never to fail me in business too. If something doesn’t feel like the right fit or isn’t making you happy then it’s likely not for you; you may need to find another way of doing things or take a different path. For me this means changing up some of my packages in the New Year to reflect the direction I want to take in my business. I believe change whether big or small is often the most exciting and challenging part of life, accept it, move forward and get on with being awesome!
2. Believe you can - One thing any kind of artist struggles with (and lots of other kinds of people too) is being ‘good enough’, we often have high standards for ourselves and what we produce and falling short of our own expectations is painful to the point where plenty of artists give up. Don’t. When I started out I found a lot of facets of photography were difficult and frustrating to learn. Learning to ‘see’ and assess the quality of the light around you is the absolute key to good photography and is an incredibly foreign concept to understand. From the fact that light has a colour (a warmth or coolness) to it at different times of day, to the way it bounces off surfaces around you and creates reflections or colour casts, to angling your client so they are getting beautiful catch-lights in their eyes to make them sparkle, there is so much to understand! I feel as though with photography you’re learning all the time and this year has marked a leap forward in understanding for me, which has in turn fuelled the quality of my images. But like everything, early in my journey I had to try, fail, get up, try again, fail…and just keep trying until it made sense, because eventually it does! Some things take time to learn but you have to trust that you will get there.
3. Embrace the imperfect - Nothing is ever perfect. I apply this to my own life and I think that it’s important for you guys to know that those happy, smiley photo shoots you see here aren’t just of ‘perfect’ families. They are all real people just like you, with real busy lives and kiddos. At a photo shoot there might be tears or tantrums along the way (and that’s just the photographerhehe j/k) and that’s okay! I am yet to have a photo shoot with kids where everyone is perfectly behaved for the entire length of the session, how boring would that be anyway?! Kids just don’t have that attention span, they don’t operate like that and who would want them to! My favourite images are the magical, candid shots when everyone is just messing around and enjoying each others company – loud, wild and crazy is fantastic to photograph!I love to embrace the realness of your family, that perfectly imperfect world that’s just yours. I consider it an honour that you let me in, the more ‘you’ that you are, the better your images. Promise!!
4. Location, location, location – I’ve shot sessions all over Auckland in the past 12 months and I’ve come to find my own favourite locations, depending on the time of day, time of year or weather forecast! I feel like I now have enough knowledge to recommend the best place for a photo session, whether park , beach or suburban and it’s often not where the average person would think! What makes a good photo shoot location may not be the ‘prettiest’ area in reality, but works great in a photograph! In many cases in the past year I have allowed the client to choose their own location but I believe the best results are achieved when I am able to guide my clients, so that will be a change in 2014 that will better serve my work and my clients
5. Light me up – This past year has reinforced my love for a certain kind of light! If I could choose any time of day to shoot it is the last 60 minutes before sunset. The light is like honey – warm, ooey, gooey and just divine. If we are able to schedule your photo session during this ‘golden-hour’ outdoors I am one very happy photographer! I know this timing doesn’t work for everyone, especially those with young babies but if we can swing it then we will! There is nothing more beautiful or flattering than the last light of day.
Well, that’s it for me this past year, I’m sure there are more but those are the big ones! I hope your year has been as challenging and fun and that you enjoy seeing some of my recent images below. If you’re on my Facebook page you would have seen some of these but for those of you that aren’t here is a collection of images from some of my Spring and Summer shoots
As always thank you soo much to all of my clients this year for trusting me with your memories, it has been a pleasure and I hope to see you in 2014!