Friday, January 28, 2011

Baby G. is 9 months!

What a sweet girl! When I left my house, I drove through the fog wondering how I was going to pull off a shoot if I couldn't see 10 feet in front of my camera. Yes, that's how thick it was! When I got to the park to meet the G. family, things were not as bad as I'd feared. As a matter of fact, the fog made for some of the neatest lighting I've ever shot in. Add to that the fact that I was working with a precious little girl (the same age as my little one) whose parents are close friends, and it was one of my favorite shoots ever. I hope I get to take her 1 year photos in a couple months!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Jordan S. Senior Session

Jordan is another family friend who also goes to my church back home. His mom actually designed my awesome logo, and his dad is our mission pastor. As it happens, a mission trip to Nicaragua is where Jordan and I first really got to know each other. It was really special to watch how he played with children in the poor village where we worked, never letting the language barrier keep him from loving on the them, and if all else failed he just made up words and used hand signals. Something like, “Walko el churcho,” which is the Jordanese dialect of Spanish for “Let’s walk to the church”. What a trip that was!

Although I know Jordan only agreed to senior portraits for his mom’s sake, he was a good sport about it, and kept me in stitches the whole time we were shooting. With his kind heart and jovial personality, I know he’ll go far!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My journey into photography

Yes! I'm making my goal so far... two posts last week, this one today, and a senior shoot post tomorrow! YIPPEE!!
Today I want to write about how I started my photography journey because it's so crazy to look back and see how God put all the right pieces in place. To begin, I've always LOVED to take photos and dreamed of one day owning a "real" camera, but I never thought it would become a reality. I remember when my college room mate got a nice camera for Christmas one year and was having so much fun taking a photography class and learning about lighting, composition, etc. I have to admit to being a little jealous of her because I just "knew" that I would never be able to afford a camera like that, but I really enjoyed see the work she was turning out, and the thought was planted in my head that if I ever could save enough, I'd buy myself a nice camera one day.
Fast forward 3-4 years. I was in Nicaragua, Central America leading a mission team, and it was our "tourist day" at Masaya Volcano National Park. One of our team members asked me to hold her Nikon d40x for her while she hiked around the edge of one of the dormant volcanoes, and she added that I could take as many photos as I wanted. Oh... no! A few... no, wait, SEVERAL... photos later, I was hooked! I flew back to the states determined to save for a ditigal camera.
Around the same time, Jim and I had moved to Michigan and started attending a Life Group at a local church, and it "just so happened" that one of the members of our group, Emy Moody, was a professional photographer. So I immediately started asking her about which camera she would suggest to start with... blah, blah, blah. Since Jim was getting overtime and per diem while he was on assignment in Michigan, he offered to get me started with my first camera. I ordered a Nikon D60 in September 2008, and immediately fell in love. I went all over taking shots of the beautiful fall colors in Michigan and practicing different techniques.
In October, Jim and I found out that we were pregnant, and we immediately began dreaming about our new future life as parents. Then in December, we discovered that I had a blighted ovum, which basically means that be baby started to develop and then stopped, and on December 17, I had a procedure to remove the dead tissue. I was devastated. It was such a hard time for me both emotionally and spiritually. I remember falling at God's feet every day, begging him to remove the pain that was ripping through my heart and felt like it was crippling me. I also remember thanking him for all that I knew he was teaching me through the experience (maybe there will be more on that in another post) but asking for him to comfort me.
I threw myself even harder into my photography, which became a much-needed distraction and outlet for me. Emy began to teach me about shooting in manual mode (changing all the settings yourself in instead of letting the camera do it... as when in auto mode), and she invited me to go out with her on a mock bridal shoot in the SNOW! I did a couple more photo shoots for friends and started to dream about the possibility of turning my new-found passion into a business when we got back to Georgia. I distinctly remember telling Jim that I wasn't going to photograph weddings because I just couldn't handle being under so much pressure to get all the right shots, and instead, I planned to stick to portrait sessions.
Then at dinner one night, Emy asked me to be her second shooter at a wedding in Putnam County, Ohio. I was both thrilled and shocked. Just before the wedding in April 2009, I was finally able to purchase the 18-200mm zoom lens that I had been drooling over for months. That wedding completely changed my vision for my photography business, and I came home and told Jim that I absolutely loved shooting weddings, and I couldn't wait until my next one! A few months later, Emy asked me to second shoot with her again in June at another Putnam county wedding, which further boosted my confidence in my photographic abilities and taught me sooooooooo much about how the wedding day runs and how to conduct myself as the photographer. Thank you, Emy, for all the things you taught me those months! I would never be where I am without you!
In October 2009, I booked my first "solo" wedding. It was a third marriage for the bride, so she was not so picky about her photos. While I didn't make much money on that wedding, just getting my first wedding as the offical photographer under my belt was a huge accomplishment for me. In 2010, I photographed a homeschool graduation, another wedding, two Senior Portrait sessions, and several children and family portrait sessions. Many of these sessions were not paying sessions since they were for friends, but I was able to get some great experience, as well as add to my portfolio. I can't wait to see what 2011 has in store for "The Journey by Ally Photography"! Hang on Spartanburg... here I come!
And of course I have to include a few photos. Here are some of my "neat shots" taken when I first got my camera. The first one is a shot of the "Cinnabon" Cinnamon Rolls that I learned to make in Michigan. The second is a photo of my mom's baby sister's grave marker. The third is a photo of the little boy I watched in Michigan.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Photography New Years Resolution

Well... I guess it's about time I sat down and made some goals for developing my photography business. My little guy is finally old enough for me to be able to start focusing on photography a little more again.

So we'll start here.

Goal #1: Write a post for my photography blog at least once a week.

Obviously they won't all be posts about a photo shoot because I seriously doubt my business will grow to a shoot a week in the next few weeks, but I've got to start getting more of "me" out there so potential clients can get to "know" me and feel comfortable that I'll mesh well with them. So here goes. The next few posts I'll focus on catching up on my last few photo shoots. Then it's off to the races. Hope you'll check back often! See you in the ramparts!


Because a blog post isn't any fun without at least one photo, here's my favorite recent photo of my little man!

Katelyn B. Senior Session

Katelyn’s family and mine have been friends for YEARS. They are some of the most dedicated members of our church back home, and our moms are best friends. So when her mom asked me if I would do her senior photos, I was honored! MacClay Gardens State Park provided a beautiful background to complement an already beautiful Senior-ita. Katelyn was so much fun to shoot because she was totally up for the wacky stuff I suggested, and it totally portrayed her fun-loving personality. We had an wonderful time, and I really hope that I get the honor of photographing her wedding one day (in the DISTANT future, Mrs. Vicki)! Thank you both for the laughs and an all-around awesome senior shoot!

Katelyn got this tatoo in honor of her best friend, Morgan, who was killed in a car accident in January 2009. So of course I made sure we got a couple of cute photos of it.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Back to square one...

So I've decided to go back to using blogspot again because it will allow me to make my blog layout flow almost seamlessly with my website design. But if you want to access any of the posts from my wordpress blog, click here or on the link on my left sidebar.

More to come soon!