Be Inspired session | Ashley Gardner photography

Be Inspired session | Ashley Gardner photography
Tell us abit about your approach to the work you do, your time in the business and a few personal facts about you.
My approach is very relaxed and laid back. I don’t like stiff posing in front of the camera. Natural and unscripted is what I do best!
I’ve only just started up professionally within the last 6 months, but I’ve been photographing as a hobby for the last few years.
FACTS:
I make lists for everything! It helps me stay organized
I’m a huge iced coffee addict. Even in the winter!
I’m a military wife and my husband and I have been together for 7 years
What about this session was most memorable?

This session was so much fun. The family was completely down for anything, didn’t mind trecking through the tall grass to get their gorgeous photos. We even stayed as it was starting to get dark because they were so much fun to photograph!

Were there any hurdles?
Surprisingly this session had no hurdles aside from some mosquitoes flying around! This sweet family was a dream to work with.
Your best photographer/session advice?

My best advice would be to just relax and enjoy the people or family you’re photographing. Get to know them in that short window you have while you’re behind the lens. But just have fun!

What gear was used to achieve these

I used my Canon 60D and my 50mm lens

E N J O Y

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ABOUT THE ARTIST:

I’m a mom of two (soon to be three!) littles and wife to the sweetest and most supportive husband I could ask for! I first got into photography as a hobby after my first was born because I wanted to document our new life as a family of three. I fell in love with photographing our life and my love for photography has grown over the years and I eventually got up the courage to start doing it professionally. My photography style focuses on connections, light, laughter and love. I feel so blessed and grateful to be able to do something I absolutely love.

 W E B S I T E | F A C E B O O K | I N S T A G R A M

REDEFINE series | Lifestyle, Sunday Morning Sessions featuring Vanessa Brack

REDEFINE series | Lifestyle,  Sunday Morning Sessions featuring Vanessa Brack

 

“There is only one sun. We can’t all claim to only have one way to use the light, but we can REDEFINE how we choose to express it. “

Why are you passionate about photography in general and a tell us a bit about how you got started?

I have loved photography my entire life and started by photographing my Cabbage Patch kids and stuffed animals in front of our family christmas tree, as most serious photographers do. Later I moved on to photographing pets, landscapes, and the occasional sibling. But seriously, these early experiences fed my artistic curiosity and passion. I’m so grateful to my mother for allowing me to find my own ways to entertain myself because this encouraged my natural creativity.

Tell us about the idea behind Sunday Morning sessions?

Even though I’m very driven professionally, I’ve always wanted to be a mother first and I planned my college and career around it. My kids are in their teens now and I’m so grateful that I focused on raising them and enjoyed every freaking second of my kids’ childhoods. Now that they are older, the pictures I have of those years are so incredibly special to me. After getting more serious about photography a few years ago, I realized that I wanted to capture these memories for other families. I wanted to take their memories, all the gritty and emotional parts of it, and create artistic pieces that they could feel. I want my clients to remember what it felt like to love fearlessly and unconditionally. When we think back on our childhoods, what is more loving and authentic then lazy Sunday mornings with our family? A time and place where you could be yourself and know you would be loved? Or if you didn’t have that, then the desire to provide that for your own children? This is what I aim to capture in Sunday Morning Sessions.

What were the challenges for you in the beginning, how does it connect to your journey and wanting to capture Sunday Mornings.

In the beginning I knew I wanted to photograph people and emotions, but I was uninspired by traditional portraits and editing styles. This may sound strange but I didn’t want to photograph smiles all the time, to me it wasn’t genuine. Parenthood and family is made up of all the emotions, and there is a fair amount of grit involved in loving and supporting each other. As I discovered more creative editing I was able to express the darker beauty in the emotion of family. I continued to focus on this idea of loving unconditionally, something that is unique to families and those we consider family, and used my moody style to reflect genuine emotion in an artistic way.

What are the tips you would share with anyone trying to create a category like this for their work? (aim for at least 5, but any are welcome)

1. Focus on your why. What emotion or feeling takes up your thoughts? What are you always looking for or trying to answer? For me it’s the need to receive and give unconditional love. I find this subject fascinating and impossible to describe with words. What is it for you?
2. Find the editing style that reflects the emotion you want to portray. Clean, bright, and happy or edgy and eclectic or dark and moody, there is no wrong way to do it. There is only the way that works for you.
3. Give yourself time to grow. Work on your style and try to constantly improve.
4. Take a break when you need it. Creativity can be exhausting and there is no shame in pausing your own work to relax and soak up inspiration from other sources.
5. Once you have a clear focus on the category or style you want to create, determine your market and let them know about it. Don’t worry about growing too fast, keep it small at first and focus on quality.

What’s in your camera bag?

I keep it simple as I am not a fan of gadgets and tech. I have what I need to get the job done, which is a Canon 6D and a Canon 35 1.4L that I use all the time.

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ABOUT THE ARTIST : 

I love capturing all the messy, happy, moody, and gritty emotions. My favorite thing to photograph is human faces. I have a day job that I love, and a photography business as well. My free time is spent with my love and our three kids. My hobbies are volunteering/activism, the outdoors, reading, and good television. 

W E B S I  T E | I N S T A G R A M | F A C E B O O K 

#p52radness Monthly Epic Share

#p52radness Monthly Epic Share

“The trouble is, you think you have time.”

Jack Kornfiel

I’ll start with that, and share that I totally butchered that quote as I thought it was problem and not trouble. I am not someone who is afraid to admit her mistakes. So there you go. This quote speaks on so many multiple levels currently.

The project continues to fill the hearts of all of us. Being present is hard, getting in the frame is even harder. Take a little time in the week, commit to one hr of trying to take a self portrait, join our group. The encouragement never ends there.

Here’s a super small May collection, because life.

TARA VISCONTI Tara Visconti

ABBY KENNAN@abbykennan

ANGELA DORAN @angela.doran

JESSICA EHLEN @jessica_ehlen

LEAH MOORE@leahmoorephoto

MONICA HART @monicaannhart

COURTNEY WILSON Courtney_Wilson_self_Portrait

DEVON HALL DevonHall

KIMBERLI FREDERICKS KimberliFredericks

LEANNA AZZOLINI 

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LAST MONTH

The traveling Lensbaby project |Chelsea Furlong, VA

The traveling Lensbaby project |Chelsea Furlong, VA
Weekly special project. LENSBABY is in Hampton Roads VA
Taveling Lensbaby Chelsea Furlong-56.jpgWhat is one thing about your photos that says the most about you as a person. Dig deep!

I think the emotion and the darkness in my photos is what says a lot about me as a person. Obviously I was in full sun for most of these images at the beach, but often my personal images of my children are pretty dark and I play with shadows a lot because I love the dark, dramatic feel of them. I have a sensitive soul and I feel like my images often convey that deep sensitivity.

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Can you tell us a little bit about the process you’ve gone through (or that you are going through) to find your photographic style? How has it evolved over the years?

It took me a long time to find my personal style. I had no idea who I wanted to be as a photographer when I was starting out, and it’s taken me several years to just go with what feels right. I’m always saying that once your art comes directly from your heart, you’ve found yourself. That happened for me last August, and I remember the exact moment I found my voice as a photographer. I’ll never forget the snap of the shutter in that exact moment because I felt something inside me ignite. I knew the second I hit the shutter that the photograph I had taken was my defining moment. It changed my art and my world. What’s interesting about style is that I thought that once I found my style, that would be it. There would be a period at the end of the sentence and I’d be forever that artist. But it’s not that way at all. Yes, I found my style, but it’s still very much evolving. Daily. My skill level, voice, and style are all progressing with every single photo I take. And I hope that never changes.

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What Lensbaby lenses have you shot with before? How have they transformed your work?

This Lensbaby Twist 60 was the very first Lensbaby I’ve used! I’m a huge fan of freelensing because it challenges me and I love the dream-like feel of the images it produces. I loved the Lensbaby for the same reasons! One of the only times I focus manually, is when I’m freelensing and I always love the challenge of getting my two extremely active little boys in focus, so I had a blast with the manual focus on the Lensbaby!

 

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Why is it important that photographers not get too fixed in their ways? What makes experimentation so crucial to an artist’s growth?

When photographers don’t take the time to step out of their comfort zones, their work can become stagnant and monotonous. I always know when I’m in a bit of a photography rut because I feel bored with my images. Often those ruts come right before a huge jump in my work though. When I’m stuck and feeling uninspired, I’ll usually step back and find something to focus on or perfect that I’ve never done before, or I’ll try out a new lens! I always have a list of technical or artistic photography related skills that I want to try out, so I’ll take several days to practice only that one thing until I’m happy with the result. If that doesn’t work, or I don’t have the time in the next few weeks to work on a new skill, I simply switch out my lens. I use only prime lenses so going from one lens to another can have a huge impact on the look of my photos, which can spark up my passion all over again! It’s easy to become fixed in your ways, but you lose the fire in your soul when that happens and photography becomes more like a chore than a passion. When you step outside of that comfort zone, experiment with new equipment, materials, and lighting, and push your own limits, that’s when the good stuff happens. That’s when you create art, rather than take photographs.Taveling Lensbaby Chelsea Furlong-27.jpgTaveling Lensbaby Chelsea Furlong-23Taveling Lensbaby Chelsea Furlong-41Taveling Lensbaby Chelsea Furlong-35Taveling Lensbaby Chelsea Furlong-36Taveling Lensbaby Chelsea Furlong-38Taveling Lensbaby Chelsea Furlong-40 (1)Taveling Lensbaby Chelsea Furlong-46Taveling Lensbaby Chelsea Furlong-43

ABOUT THE ARTIST :

I’m a lover of coffee, food, music, traveling and mother nature. But above that I’m a mother to two energetic little boys. My 2 and 4 yr old sons are the reason I’m a photographer. They feed my soul and feed my creativity, so you’ll see them pop up in my photos almost daily. If you follow my photography journey , you’ll find you’ll get to know them quite well without even knowing them.

WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM| FACEBOOK 

Be Inspired session feature by Rachel Lipsmeyer of Rachel K Photo

Be Inspired session feature by Rachel Lipsmeyer of Rachel K Photo
Tell us about your approach to the work you do, your time in the business and a few personal facts about you.

I first became interested in photography because I wanted to capture the places I went when I traveled. Then my sister had her first baby, and I helped her document her pregnancy and all my nephew’s first milestones. Soon after others started to ask me about photos, and it all spiraled from there. Since then, I’ve moved my business across the country, gotten married, and welcomed my own little boy. Owning a small business is not without it’s struggles, but it is also one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done! Since

What about this session was most memorable?

Their connection. The sisters to each other and to their husbands. There is so much joy and excitement for a family with a baby on the way, and doubly so within this one, as they awaited two new additions! They were both having little boys too, so you know those cousins are going to grow up being the best of buds!

Were there any hurdles?

Unannounced to me, the sister’s planned 3 outfit changes plus brought along their spouses, other children and mother to include in some of the photos. Also, after one sister was running late to the session, they spent almost the first 30 minutes getting into the first outfit. While we had planned for a two hour session, but I was definitely a little worried about time. In the end, the photos turned out beautifully, and we captured all the combinations and must have photos they requested.

Your best photographer/session advice?

Do a personal project. This is my first year doing a 365 (ish) and I can already see how much my photography has improved! It’s really helped me to hone in on my style as well as to see light in new and creative ways. It’s allowed me to experiment and take risks that I otherwise would never have done with my client work.

What gear was used to achieve these?

Canon 5D markiii, 85mm 1.8, 35mm 1.8

 

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ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER 

I’m Rachel, wife to Josh and mom to 8-month-old Cantor. My love for photography was born from my love to travel and desire to document those adventures. When not traveling, you can usually find me at home in my comfy clothes snuggling my husband and baby, reheating my cup of coffee for the millionth time.

I’m a storyteller that’s obsessed with light, connection, and authentic emotions. I’ve always valued photography, but now that I’m a mom, I treasure photos more than ever. Photos are memories, and those memories are part of the legacy we leave behind for our children and grandchildren. It’s my honor and privilege to get to pursue my passion and use my skills to capture images that tell every families’ unique and beautiful story.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM

 

The traveling LENSBABY project | Sandy Fales , Wild Prairie Photography

The traveling LENSBABY project | Sandy Fales , Wild Prairie Photography
DSC_0479What is one thing about your photos that says the most about you as a person. Dig deep!

I think the one thing my photos say about me, as a person, is that I want the people that I meet to be themselves because, for the most part, do the same. I wear my emotions on my sleeve. When I photograph, I want to capture that same feeling from the image. When I am in photographer mode, I am still me. I still talk and interact with others as I would normally do. Only in these moments, I click that shutter to document what emotions unfold. I would hope my photographs would tell the world that I am okay with raw emotion; in whatever form that takes.

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Can you tell us a little bit about the process you’ve gone through (or that you are going through) to find your photographic style? How has it evolved over the years?

To be honest, I am not sure what my photographic style is. I know that I like to capture the real moments. I will more often than not cull a photo that another photographer would keep. I don’t like straight on smiling images unless it has another element to it as well. I have to feel a connection in the photo or it goes in the trash. Maybe that is my style. It could technically be a great image, but if I don’t feel something when I look at it, it goes. I think that is why I have never gotten into studio work or artificial lighting. I totally understand and get why those are elements are important in some instances but, for me, I think I would lose something in the process of doing those things. I need to be in the groove for me to love the images I take. I am a minimalist person by nature and I think that carries through to my photographic style.

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What Lensbaby lenses have you shot with before? How have they transformed your work?

This was the first time I have shot with a Lensbaby! I thought the lens was wicked cool though I did get frustrated because I am not the best at manual focus. I also like to shoot at a pretty wide open aperture, so that further complicated focusing for me. I think if I owned this lens, and had a chance to work it on a long term basis, I would get the hang of it and would no doubt be in love. The swirl it gives the bokeh is pretty amazing and unique in itself. I would like to try other Lensbaby lens in the near future and see how they could add to the dimension of my images.

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Why is it important that photographers not get too fixed in their ways? What makes experimentation so crucial to an artist’s growth?

What’s that old saying? “Don’t knock it ‘till you try it”. For me, change is eternally difficult. I get nervous, I second guess myself, I don’t like it. However, I know that change is a necessary part of growth and exploration. If we never take chances or risks, we will never discover the ‘could have beens’ in our lives. To think that you could never do better is probably the biggest travesty you could serve yourself. You must continually strive to do better, to be better, to break molds, kick ass and take names. That is what makes life an adventure. This is no different for photography. To grow, change must occur; that is a given. Allow it to come in, sit down and stay a while. All the while, you know that this season is not static. So instead of fighting these changes, embrace them. You never know what you might find at the other end. This is how we grow. We allow those changes to happen and we welcome them with grace.

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I know that change is a necessary part of growth and exploration. If we never take chances or risks, we will never discover the ‘could have beens’ in our lives.

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ABOUT THE ARTIST: 

Hello My name is Sandy Fales, and I am the face behind the camera at Wild Prairie Photography . I am a recent transplant to beautiful Colorado Springs. I love it here. The mountains, the air, the people..everything. It is truly where my heart lays. I moved here from a cattle ranch in Nebraska where I lived for five years. I started my life over and made my new home in a place where I felt welcomed and happy. My journey has not been easy and I am thankful for everyday U have my two sweet babes. Never let yesterday fill up today and always be the change you wish to see in the world are the things i try to live by.

When I’m not getting down in nature, I love chasing my two tiny people around and catching those little moments we have together on film. Photography is in my soul and I hope to be able to share that with you and your family.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM 

 

BE INSPIRED Session featuring Emmy Lou Virginia

BE INSPIRED Session featuring Emmy Lou Virginia
Tell us a bit about your approach to the work you do, your time in the business and a few personal facts about you.

I love to photograph the intersection of real moments and beauty, and so for the past 4 years I’ve called myself a lifestyle photographer. Somewhere along the way, I realized that my calling lay in capturing families and their stories to save forever. Which sometimes means I photograph a mother holding her newborn and smelling its new baby skin, and sometimes means I photograph a toddler picking their nose. Because real life has real moments like these.

What about this session was most memorable?

I used to focus all of my creative energy on client work, and my personal work was mostly just grabbing my camera to document a moment every couple of weeks. But as I started seeing more of my fellow photographers’ work on instagram, I started envying the beautiful moments they’d captured of their own life. I wanted that. So in 2016, I decided one of my goals would be to be more intentional about capturing personal work I loved. To treat it with the same care I had for client work. At first, it was a challenge, but I grew to love the time I could put into it – generally my only constraints were the
patience level of my toddler (which, admittedly, is low) and/or the hunger tolerance of my husband (also low). (Because why is that pretty sunset light always at dinner time?)
In September, we took a 3-week road trip from our home in Vancouver, Canada, all the way down to Joshua Tree Park. We stayed at Airbnbs or with friends & family along the way, and adventured through the Redwoods, the California coast, Joshua Tree Park, the Sequoias, Yosemite, and the Oregon Coast. We had so many wonderful moments. (Also many not-so-wonderful moments trying to convince our 2.5 year old to stay in his car seat during the long drive. I never want to listen to kids’ music again.) But it was so worth it to see his sheer joy as he ran among  the sand dunes or looked up at the towering trees, and we made so many beautiful memories on this trip – some of which I actually managed to capture!

Your best photographer/session advice?

One thing I’ve been challenging myself to do is to look at the same scene from several different angles. It’s so rewarding to be able to capture three or four different shots just by stepping back or moving closer, changing your position or your perspective. And using backlight and direct light to create different moods!
Another, completely different piece of advice, not actually photography-related, is something we’ve been having fun with on our family trips ever since our little guy was born. Nearly every trip we’ve gone on, we’ve taken small clips of video footage throughout (using my Canon 6D), and created a video montage of our time together. Not only is this a fun creative challenge for me as a photographer and my husband as someone who works in animation, but it’s such an amazing keepsake for us and our son. He absolutely loves to watch these videos, again and again, and it reminds us of all the joy we’ve shared together. You can see the road trip video we put together from this trip : WATCH VIDEO HERE  (Obviously, judging from all the camera shake, we’re far from professionals – but it’s so fun!)

What gear was used to achieve these?
My Canon 6D and my Canon 50mm f1.4, 24-70mm f2.8, and 85mm f1.8 lenses.

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ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER :

Last, but not least; include a small bio and social media links
I am a Vancouver-based natural light photographer. I’m married to a wonderful man, we have a mischievous little 3-year old, and we live in a tiny white home full of windows and light and love.

WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | PINTEREST