New Blog :)

Well I FINALLY got a new blog up! No more blogger for this little lady. Check out my new blog at blog.rachelreneeimages.com. From now on that’s what I’ll be updating, but I’ll keep this blog up as well. Thanks!


A Little Behind . . .

I feel like I’ve been slackin on my posts lately, and I have several sessions sitting on my computer begging to be edited. I haven’t even had the chance to buy any film yet, and I don’t think I’ll be able to make the switch until the beginning of 2011 when I get past all my family bookings. So these are all still digital pics. I’m also switching to a new blog, and hopefully that’ll be up and ready within the next couple weeks. Made some changes to my website as well. Check it out here. Anyhoo, here’s a peek of a few that I’ll be posting when I can sneak away from my hopelessly-devoted-to-Mommy little guy.

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this fun little family

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and this super fun, super sassy, super hot shoot! But this is all you get :).

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Let’s Start By Being Honest . . .

And if I’m being honest here it is: For a while now I lay in bed with my hubs at night and whine about how I can’t figure out if I love or hate photography. How could I not know? Then I’d have a session that I loved, where everything went right and I’d get this couple that swooned at each other and had love spilling into every image I shot. And I would love it again.

But then I’d come home to the computer – that computer I spend half my life on – and remember that I have hours of editing ahead of me. I’ve even gotten really efficient with batch processing, but still, the editing looms. Not because my images are bad but because I have to do all the fancy things that other photographers in the business are doing. You know, the tricks of the trade. I have spent countless hours trying to figure out what some photographers do to their images in Photoshop. Ok, so I never took a class or did any workshops, but I was certain I could figure out their tricks on my own. And a lot of them I did. I wanted my pictures to look like everyone else’s. I wanted to do what they did. Ridiculous. Just plain ridiculous.

When I first went digital, I had no idea who any of the big names were. I didn’t look at their stuff or see what was going on around me.  I had no idea about who others were as artists. I think it was better that way because I was more me. I wasn’t trying to keep up or fit in. But I started seeing perfection in images around me. A sharpness I had only seen in magazines or not ever seen at all. I’m ashamed to say that I wanted so badly to be like everyone else. Had the world remained true to film, I would have too, but it didn’t. So I didn’t either.

I’ve been e-mailing Gina Leigh back and forth. What an amazing artist she is as a film photographer. Today she picked up the phone and called me. I didn’t even give her my number but she looked me up and out of complete and honest sincerity she gave me some of the best advice when it comes to being a photographer. “For a while, don’t even look at the work of other photographers. Decide who you are as an artist and let that be what inspires your work. Figure out what you love, what absolutely gives your life meaning, and let that be what others see in your images.” Great advice, right? Stop trying to be what the others are being, and do what YOU love.

Well, what I love is weddings and couples who WANT to be in front of my camera. I love shooting my beautiful sister in the middle of a dry lake bed because she WANTS to be there. I love shooting what I want to shoot. My very favorite digital photographer is Clayton Austin because he has an artistic vision that is unique to him. His images are expressive and beautiful. That I could put as much heart into my images as he does is my hope for my own work. I don’t want my work to look like his, but I want my work to be my work the way his work is his work. And what I love about him is his philosophy that he shoots for himself, a selfish photographer. I want to be selfish too. I want to shoot what I love because that’s what I shoot best. What I love is two people who can love like I’m not there or one unique individual who can be reflective and beautiful and playful while my camera is watching.

I’m going to make the transition back to film. I have so much fear when I say that but excitement as well. I’m in essence beginning again. Targeting a different market with a different product, and I’m going to feel just like I did when I picked up my first film camera at 15. “What the heck am I doing?” But I want to be in love with what I do again. And I think it’s more than just switching to weddings/couples only. It’s going back to that film. Going back to what made me want to be a photographer. It’s risky, putting down the digital camera, but I feel like more of me will start showing. At first, after I decided to make the switch, I felt that fear of having fewer bookings or losing families to those other photographers I was secretly in competition with. But that’s okay. I don’t have to be a family portrait photographer if I don’t want to. We can each just do what we do best and love most.

Thanks, Gina, you have been tremendously helpful in reminding me what I love. Thank you,  Becky Earl, for your recent move to film, for doing what YOU want to do and helping me to see that I don’t have to shoot everything just to say that I shoot everything. And thank you, Clayton Austin for being a selfish photographer. Your images are you.

(If you’ve booked a family session with me, I am still in the family portrait biz until the end of December :).