Glorianna and I visited our friend the Your Health is No Joke Fair, see all about it!
This month I've been collaborating with, learning from, and teaching Glorianna,
a photographer from just outside of DC. We met online, when the owner of Grounded Coffee, Chris Moore, said "Hey, I have a cousin who is also an amazing photographer and I bet she'd come down here if you could figure out a money-making project together." So we started an email chain.
One hundred emails later, Glorianna arrived in Huntsville to team up with me to do photography for local businesses. It's very similar to what I do already, but now we are integrating people more by bringing in real people as models!
Our first big photo-shoot together was for Grounded Coffee. We brought in Betsy and Jared Kessee and they were wonderful!
Grounded chose The Starter Package which includes 50 final images from Glorianna and I along with one group of models. Find out more about the packages here.
When I get home, I look through the images then make several different folders. The 3 folders that I made this time were People, Instagram, and Japanese Print inspired. Can you detect which image applies to all three categories?
My sisters are in town and my husband is out, which means that I rule the day!
…Within what a 4 year old is willing to do…
So, we headed out to a Concert on the Dock at Lowe Mill!
Concerts on the Dock
These are free live events at the Lowe Mill which are kid friendly, dog friendly, drink friendly, and have food trucks! However, there is a $2 parking donation. I'm pretty sure that you can spare $2.
Want to know when the next one is? Check out their events page.
Suzy’s Pops is based out of the Lowe Mill and serves gourmet pops.
They are delicious.
You should try one.
Cameron had Raspberry Cream
I had Margarita
Avery had Banana Pudding
I must say… I’m a little embarrassed that I didn’t realize that the artist was a woman. Her voice is so strong and rich that I thought she was just a dude with a high voice. However, when I moved closer and saw her face I realized that she’s a woman! I guess it made a little more sense then…. maybe it was just the Margarita pop speaking.
Their music is Southern Gothic, alternative country blues, with deep soulful tones. It encouraged me to just sit, listen, and ponder. There was something genuine and honest in the way that she sung. I think it was an occasional imprecation in her vocals that enriched the music rather than downgrading the quality.
Something that I love about musicians is how.. involved they get with the music. You can tell because at some point
they stop performing and start being affected by the music.
It’s a sometimes feels a little awkward to watch, but that’s because it is so intimate. I think its beautiful.
This guy showed the most expression,
but it rarely was expressed with his face.
He moved all over,
digging up onto his toes,
stomping and swiping his foot,
bending forward and back.
Watching him, I felt like I understood the music more.
I encourage you to not only listen to the music, but to watch those who are playing it. They dance in their own way. However, I think that it’s something that some musicians “overcome” as they learn how to “preform” which makes me really sad because I love seeing such raw emotion.
The people are many and diverse. I love just walking around and observing so many different styles. Maybe next time I'll work up the strength to do a Humans of New York inspired photographs.
Until then, here's a photo of a cute kid petting a cute dog.
Thanks for reading!
I hope you didn't mind the poetry-inspired free form writing. Sometimes I just think that phrases need to short and spaced farther part.
If you enjoyed these photographs please recommend me to your friends for events, especially if they involve live music!
When I started a business Facebook page, and joined Linkedin, and started tweeting for my business, I was surprised at the way things changed from personal to professional. When I was using social media as… well… myself, I was just sharing snippets of my life that were interesting or important, as well as sharing in other people’s lives.
The Four BIG changes that I experienced:
The first big change was the pressure. All of a sudden, I have to post good stuff AND it has to be “professional.” Instead of “this is great, I’m gonna share it with my friends” it is “what interesting things have I recently done that have to do with business and/or photography?” Compared to the rest of my life… business is usually boring. I spend most of my “business” time thinking about what I’m gonna do next and sitting behind the computer doing research. A very small slice of my time is actually used doing exciting things like taking photos.
The second big change was the comparison game. I’m not talking about comparing high school friends lives with mine, I’m talking about comparing the success of my different posts. On my personal profile, I don’t care how many people saw or liked the article I shared last week. In fact, I don’t even remember what the article that I posted last week was about. On the business page, it surprises me which post do better than others (hopefully, I’ll be able to analyze my mass of posts in a month or so to see what kind of posts do the best). Until then, I occasionally second-guess myself and wonder “this Instagram post has only 12 likes, so should I delete it?”
The third big change was from personality to branding. On social media as myself, I’m not concerned about shaping my posts to my personality because my personality comes out in the posts naturally. So on social media, I have to fit my automatic personality into my business’s brand. For example, I can be fairly sarcastic in a way that could come across as rude (my parents sometimes called this “talking back”), and that sarcastic rudeness is not a character trait that I want my business to take on. Sometimes, this feels like an identity crisis, but it’s actually just called branding.
- I think that this is exceptionally hard for artists as their work is intimately tied into THEIR identity.
The fourth and biggest change was something like walking from the capitol into the hunger games where you’re a gladiator who has to fight and win… or die. Thankfully for businesses “death” is just failure and possibly bankruptcy. All of a sudden, social media is something that you can NOT do wistfully, it’s something where you are strategizing every single thing that you do. Social media becomes a game with consequences rooted in the “real” world. Businesses have to be interesting and engaging to get your attention, which is obvious, but what is not obvious is how much more difficult that social media analytics make it for businesses to be seen. There are certain windows of time in which to post. There is priority given to certain types of media to certain types of audiences. There are trending topics and even unspoken and avoided topics. It can be so complicated that if you don’t treat it like a game, you might start to take it too personally.
So how, as a business person who is in charge of social media, do you cope with these unexpected challenges?
This is where I could give you really cheesy advice like “make a plan, stick to it for a period of time, and then improve based on your results.” But instead I’m going to tell you not to let it drain your brain juice. Social media is something that your are supposed to do on the side of greatness. So, your social media page should never BE greater than your business. Instead, it should be a mere representation of how great (fun, useful, personable, ect.) that your business is in real life.
For those of you who have the luxury of just being yourself on social media, enjoy it. Start trying to notice how different brands are trying to catch your attention on social media.
For you businesses who are trying to get adjusted to the enormous change, there’s a lot of advice out there. However, most of it is very general so you have to dig through a lot of mush to get to the good stuff. After you find the good stuff, you have to figure out how to apply it. What I’m going to do with my upcoming subscription service is skip to the chase and translate all of the the good stuff that I’ve found into a specific guide and schedule that’s customized to your business. Then, I’m going to keep digging and learning so that we can stay caught up with the rapidly changing world of social media. Check out my "It's Almost Here!" page for more information.
I had the opportunity to attend the Schmooza Palooza this year. It was a networking event held by the Chamber of Commerce Huntsville and Madison County where...
businesses of all kinds set up tables. I went there to get a feel for how businesses in my area felt about their social media, if they hire anyone to do their social media, and what social media platforms they use.
A surprising number used twitter. Most of the larger businesses had someone at a corporate or local level doing their social media. However, a quite a few of the exclusively local businesses seemed to be flying blind.
I really enjoyed just getting to know other businesses and finding out about services that I didn’t know about before.
For example, Fly Quest has a motion simulator which is used for Advanced Aviation Training,
The Healing Arts Center uses various methods of therapy like photography and essential oils,
University Pickers has all kinds of things for rustic house decor,
306 BBQ has oh-my-goodness-the-juiciest-sweetest-ribs-I’ve-ever-had,
and Luciano has delicious Italian food.
I'm really glad that I decided to go, I definitely enjoyed myself, met so many wonderful people, and I won a $20 gift card to The Pants Store.
Working with Jenny Freeman has been delightful. As a photographer, it’s great to have a client who knows what she wants but also is open to some artistic freedoms. It also helps that her work is unique and fun. She uses a more traditional technique with modern design. It’s difficult for me to explain, but here are some examples!
Dangerous rocks, muddy floors, no official tour guide, and the dark: I couldn’t help but bring my camera. The risk of destroying the camera was well worth the experience. I realized how much I enjoy night photography, the study of light, and the study of movement.
Labor Day 2015, Daniel and I went to Monte Santo State Part in Huntsville to camp. I really enjoy taking low-light images with slow shutter speed, so I couldn't help pulling out my gorilla pod and snapping some shots.
I've also been working on my photo-narritive skills. Does anyone have a formula for getting a good narrative of a trip?
It has been an insane summer. Towards the end of the school semester, I got engaged. So I spent the summer working for MSU, planning my wedding, transferring schools to UAH, and preparing to move. As you can see, I didn't exactly have the time to blog because all my energy was put towards the begging of August. Now that The beginning of August is over, I'm a UAH Charger with a husband, new apartment, and a little bit of free time.
Even though I wasn't working on my portfolio, I was still using my creative skills. Planning a wedding takes many of the same skills such as being an art student such as; networking, looking at locations, making sure that everything looks good, and compromising for the real world. Like in studio art work, the "best" option, isn't always the one that I should choose. Sometimes the best option has to be the most practical taking how it looks, how well it functions, and how much it costs in to account. In art projects, if something doesn't work out like you planned you take a deep breath and figure out what will. In an art project, I always try to remember what the big idea is, and make my decisions based on that. I ask myself "what am I trying to do?" and "what outcome do I want?"
I remember a 3D Design project where we had to de-emphasize the corner of the cube, so I chose to emphasize all areas of the cube equally. When I was drawing the design, I would stop to ask myself "does this emphasize all areas equally?" For my wedding, I realized that the most important thing about the wedding was the people. People coming together for a celebration. Community. Focusing on the people took a lot of pressure off the location and the looks. When I started to get stressed out, I would tell myself that as long as Daniel, the preacher, and my family was there I would be happy. I came to realize that when you leave a wedding, if you leave thinking only about how beautiful it was, or how yummy the food was, you've missed the point. When you leave a wedding you should remember the people that you got to be around, the ones that you met, laughed with, danced with, and saw for the first time in years. My goal was not to be in a magazine, but to make a community environment.
In order to encourage fellowship: we chose music that was fun and uplifting, decorations that were awesome and affordable but not too fancy, locations and seating charts that made it easy for people to stand around and talk, and reminders of what that day was about. There were big reminders, such as the ceremony and all the traditions and tosses, but also a few small reminders.
As a photographer, I like to look back at old photographs and appreciate that work that's already been done because I want people to look at my work once it's not "new" anymore. So, as a way to show off our families and our family tree, we had several photographs of our parent's weddings displayed. A photograph of each of our parents cutting the cake was on the cake table, photos of our parents at during their ceremony were set up during the ceremony, so on and so forth. I also had a few pictures of my groom and I displayed about.
Here are the photographs of our parents, who give us wonderful examples on how to love and put the other first.
I don't have any pictures of my own wedding yet, but I couldn't help but take photographs on one of the most important days of my life. So, I brought my Holga 120 film camera around with me so that I was limited to 2 rolls of film. That's only about 24 shots, so I only took pictures that I thought would be important and aesthetically pleasing. If the images turn out like I hope that they will, I'll share them with all of you.
In the end, all that really matters at a wedding is actually getting married and celebrating with those around you.