Rock stars

I've expressed my distaste for the term "client" before. It makes me cringe. Client makes me think of suits and ties, meetings, and deadlines. Uggg! And that is NOT me or my photography.

So I've been racking my brain trying to come up with something else I can use instead. Friend is way over used thanks to Facebook. Not that I'm complaining. You're talking to a Facebook junkie.

The synonym function in Word has been my best friend. Customer, buyer, purchaser, shopper... all about as interesting as client. Pal, buddy, acquaintance, companion, comrade. All synonyms of friend and too cheesy for my taste.

I pondered using 'models' for half a second.

It surprised me. How difficult it was to come up with an alternative I mean. I consider myself pretty good with words, so it was frustrating. Never would have thought I'd get an idea off a card.

I've also mentioned how much I enjoy stationary. Kind of obsessed, actually. I was looking for a thank-you and one jumped out at me. "You're a rock star."

I call people rock stars all the time. Bring me coffee... and you're a rock star. Do the laundry for me... and you're a rock star. You get the idea.

And my clients - they are definitely rock stars! They let me do something I love every day. But a part of me is afraid of what it implies about my photography. Edgy, hard images. And sometimes my photos aren't that at all.

What do you think? Would you want to be called a 'rock star'?


What Not To Wear

I may be the only one in the world... but I don't like the TLC show "What Not To Wear." I hate the fact that they ridicule and demean the person getting a make over. Shockingly they become their best friend after they have the "right" clothes, shoes, and bag. My opinion - there are better ways to teach people about fashion than making it come across as completely materialistic.

This coming from someone who's probably a great candidate for that show. I'd pick jeans and a sweatshirt over high heels any day. The other thing that irks me about the show... I'd have to shop at Goodwill in order to afford to get everything altered as they insist.

On a similar note, I find it difficult to answer when people ask about what to wear to their photo session. I completely understand their concern. They want to get the best possible photos and just want a little direction.

And some photographers are willing to give it. I've seen some photographers devote an entire page on their website to "What Not to Wear." But I've found it's always their opinion. Some like solids, others like bold patterns. Some suggest neutrals, while the brighter the better fits some photographers. Some even go so far as to recommend stores or brands.

I'm not about to tell you what to wear, and I'm certainly not going to tell you where to shop.

The truth is, I don't think there are any rules about what to wear to a photo session. I'm all about wearing what you feel comfortable in. Doesn't matter if that's a favorite t-shirt and jeans or peep-toe pumps with a little black dress. The photos are a reflection of... YOU. And if YOU don't typically wear skinny jeans and a sequined top, then don't. But if you are a fashionista (or fashionister) than by all means - glam it up!

And just to show you what I mean... here are a couple examples of both ends of the spectrum.

Ariell's rockin a cute dress and Jared a shirt and tie.

Whereas the Mueggenbergs are comfy in jeans and a t-shirt.


A line says a lot

There are a lot of rules when it comes to photography. One of the most common is the rule of thirds.

When most people take a photo they put the subject smack dab in the center of the photo. But when you look at a picture your eye does not like the center of the image. The rule of thirds helps locate the subject in a place where your eye naturally goes.

To use the rule of thirds, picture a grid system on your photo. Three rows of three across the horizontal length of the photo. Most people will put the subject in the center square. But a more appealing photo puts the subject anywhere BUT there.

That's probably the most well known 'rule'.

I read a lot of photography blogs. It's how I've learned about 40 percent of what I know about photography. (The other 60 percent is constantly taking a LOT of photos!) Awhile back, I read a blog post by Katelyn James about line. I searched her site for hours trying to find it for you. But I couldn't. So I'll paraphrase. She explained how she tries to incorporate line into her images. Line that draw your eye to the subject. And it made sense to me.

As I looked through my images, I noticed the same thing... So it might be easier to show you.

Ariell and Jared's arms draw you in...

as does the train of Allison's dress.

Or the trim on her '57 Chevy get-away car.

Or a deck railing.

This was the only horizontal line example I could find. I think it works better with horizontal or diagonal lines, but this still works.

The edge of the pool provides a great line right to Ariell and Jared.

As does the railroad track...

This one isn't the best example, but the isle between desk rows gives a hint of a line.

The rail of a porch.

Just a little info for those looking to take their photos to the next level.


Mike and DeAnne: Engagement photos

Mike worked in Des Moines and had fun playing and hunting with his yellow lab, Tess. DeAnne spent her days studying vetrinarian medicine at Iowa State in Ames.

Life is unexpected. Just when you think you've got it figured out. It changes. And sometimes, it changes for the better.

A cross your fingers chance turned into a lifetime. After they met online, Mike and DeAnne realized they had mutual friends in common. They had just barely missed seeing each other on a couple different occasions. Fast forward to July and the two will be married in Dubuque, Iowa.

'Close calls' like this warm my heart. Ryan and I *almost* met several times before we were actually introduced.

I also love it when past clients come back. *Still working on a different word for client; I think I'm close.* Mike works for the Iowa Motor Truck Association. I photographed their Truck Driving Championships and their Management Conference. When Mike called asking about engagement photos - in the snow - I said yes please!

Considering they also wanted a few indoor shots, we brainstormed locations. Mike contacted the Tournament Club of Iowa in Polk City. The club house gorgeous. And the staff was so accomodating. I'll definitely keep that place in mind for the future!

And so, without any more delay... Mike and DeAnne. Enjoy!

Doesn't DeAnne look amazing! The girl is beautiful.

She claims she's notorious for smiling 'weird' in photos. I beg to differ.

Hello lovely white stuff...

And Tess. She's far too cute to leave out.

I think...

everyone should...

take photos....


Thanks Mike and DeAnne. I had a fantastic time!


Sneak peek: Mike and DeAnne

Ooh, am I excited to share these engagement photos. I've been waiting to do a session in the snow. So when Mike called, I pulled out the snow boots and Thinsulate. I'm not quite ready to share the whole session yet. Here's a little sneak peek to tide you over...


2010 Faves: Everything else

And the last of my Faves from 2010 post. Everything else. The title makes these sessions sound less important. But quite the contrary. I just couldn't narrow them down. And thus - "everything else."

The O'Connor family

The Hasbrouck family

Jess and Nate

The Warg Family

Jameson's senior session

Michael's senior session

The Hulsebus family

Emily and the Mueggenberg's

2010 was very good to me. I can't imagine what 2011 will hold.