When I first started this blog, photography was something that I never thought I'd be into. Cameras confused me, and I had no idea what to do with all of those buttons and wheels. But one day, I just started playing around with our DSLR, and also discovered some online tutorials which explained f-stops, ISO, and shutter speed really well. I discovered that shooting in Manual was actually more instinctual than I thought it would be. I discovered I loved the simplicity of prime lenses, and the beautiful look a wide-open aperture gives your photos.
I just started taking pictures of random things in my spare time. I learned so much about light. Light is everything. I began to see the world in a completely different way.
What I never expected to happen was to be asked to take portraits. I had never taken portraits before, aside from the outfit selfies I had done for this blog and those lucky few snapshots of my daughter. But I wanted to learn more, and as long as my subjects were willing to settle for very amateur shots without any promises, I said "why not?" So, my first portraits were these engagement photos for a friend. I learned a lot that day about composition, how tiring it is to be a photographer (props to those of you who do this for a living!) and when to realize your subjects are worn out and you're finished for the day.
They were really happy with the results, and I had so much fun doing it.
Next, a friend of mine whose daughter is an up-and-coming singer/songwriter asked me to take some promo shots for her portfolio and profile pages. (Kayleigh Rose is very talented, with a soulful voice much older than her years - check out her YouTube and Facebook page!) So, I met them at their home, and took Kayleigh's portraits in some of the most beautiful autumnal light I've seen. She is so photogenic it made my work easy!
With Kayleigh, I learned the importance of making your model comfortable, especially when they are young. Of just being silly with them, recognizing when you've crossed the threshold from self-consciousness into comfortable vulnerability, and getting them there as soon as possible. That's when the magic happens and you're glad you put your camera in burst mode.
I'm really enjoying learning how to communicate with my camera, and with my (brave) first models. I'm thankful that I took all of those selfies, because it helped me to understand what it's like to be in front of the camera, as well as behind it. My self-portraits taught me about lighting, composition, and posing - info I can relay to my future models to help put them at ease.
I also love that photography is a hobby that I can continue to grow into, and that there is always something new. Even though I don't think this will ever be my profession, it's great to have friends and family who don't mind me bringing along my camera. And sometimes, when all things are aligned, I'm just lucky enough to catch something beautiful.