Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Survived September and October and now....for a house move!

Well to add total disarray to my life not only was September and October totally nuts with regard to photo jobs....we decided to throw buying a house and all of the paperwork and logistics involved with that into the equation as well! Awesome! NOT! There have been several moments over the past month where I have felt as thought I have been on the verge of a stroke of some sort!

Photo wise I have had lots of fun and met many more beautiful & friendly people however.. did I mention before that I LOVE this job? No matter how 'difficult' a shoot can be or how tricky a child may be to photograph - I never walk away thinking 'thank goodness thats' over'..... I always feel rewarded. So obviously this is the job for me!

I am going to share now just a FEW of the awesome shots I have gotten over the past 8 or so weeks. Some from shoots - some  from home. And share a little bit about each of them and their circumstance.

This wedding was awesome! The Bride wore a beautiful beautiful beautiful dress, stunning headpiece and the bridesmaids were ultra glam. And better yet - it was an Emerald one so no travel! This was taken at the Railway station...and the bride was in some discomfort at this angle but I love the shape of her body and her neck! Was worth it!

Ok - my child is now having a super tant and my uploader  has stopped working - will finish this post later! :S That's multitasking for you!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Here comes Soctober!

My Soctober - (September/October) is going to be ridiculously busy.... it pretty much doesn't stop until November. LUCKILY my morning sickness (yes those who have been living under a rock I am 14 weeks preganant and now officially 'out of the closet' about it rather than suffering in silence) has pretty much gone and I am back to feeling human again and therefore am taking on bookings again until the end of November....okay maybe early December....depending on how desperate people are. :) I figure after that it is getting too hot for an obviously pregnant woman to run around gardens etc chasing kidlets with extremely heavy camera gear hanging off her. And I won't be taking on any more bookings until at least 12 weeks after Waldron 2.0 arrives. Which should be May/Junish when its cooling down again.

I have had some fantastic photo shoots over the past few weeks. A great wedding here in Emerald and some lovely families and kiddies to have met again.

The lovely Mr and Mrs Gregg

Yes - I stole our family fishing spot and turned it into an awesome photography location!
PS Nathan fell into the Nogoa river to the left of the tree one day whilsts scooping guppies. Just thought you may like to know that for humourness purposes.

The beautiful bride
This photo was taken on the steps of the lovely church in one of the beautiful Emerald private gardens I can sometimes get access to....who said neighbourhood stalking doesn't pay off? (KIDDING!)

Another photo taken on the same weekend in the same beautiful garden of the stunning Miss A. I could seriously post about 25 photos of her and her sister they are both soooooo divine. I've added them to my 'modelling' list for future reference!

Oh me oh my how cute is this little precious gem!? I must say Connor was RATHER smitten with Miss M - and who could blame him? Check out those eyes!

Much much excited about the Photo5 competition which I have successfully registered for again this year! Woot! And since I havn't earnt over 35 grand as a professional photographer apparently the terms and conditions say I can still enter! Yay for  me! Although the laying awake at night thing thinking about how to approach the themes is going to drive me nuts it is soooooooooooooooooooooooo much fun.

On another exciting note Nathan and I are in the process of house hunting and  hopefully next year will result me me being able to open up a small studio for newborn and small portrait type sessions. NOT that I am a HUGE fan of indoor portrait photography - but I figure its better than me having to lug all of the equipment around the traps and setting up at peoples houses for newborn shoots etc. Will be much easier having people just walk in and out. And it will enable me to take on more bookings easily at home with the will then be TWO cherubs getting around the joint.

Thats it from me! May not get back to posting for at least a month....  off to Longreach this weekend....the fun never ends!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Things are winding up again!

After having a couple of weeks respite things are winding back up again! Havn't been feeling too well but am feeling much more like myself again lately and excited to be taking lots of gorgeous family photos and looking forward to the next couple of weddings within the month. Despite how much of a HUGE work load they are - its always nice for something different! :) Emerald wedding this weekend (I am taking my prodigy Sonya along with me) and then dragging the Harris family to Longreach with Connor and I at the start of the school holidays for another one! Yay! Can't wait to get back to the Station Store and catch up with the Kinnons again. What beautiful people and what a lovely place to take photos at! Also going to stay an extra day and have a bit more of a personal look around with the kids. Let Uncle Matt explore his inner cowboy,,,hehehehehehe.

This weekend gone had the pleasure of meeting two beautiful families with fantasticly adorable are a couple of my favourites from their shoots.

Cute Little Master T and Master H! Cheeky little guys!

I also had the un-pleasurable eperience a week back of having to format my lap top and start over again. Thank goodness I've learnt about backing up my stuff long ago! Phew! But you should see how fast its going again! Back to its awesome self...things were getting awfully slow around here!

Adding to the pettiskirt collection from AnkBowtique again. If I know there are going to be little girls in photo shoots I pretty much throw them all in the car just in case (the skirts not the girls).....  Connor calls them the 'pretties'...awwwww cute.

That's it for the moment! Next time I post there will be lots more photos and experiences to discuss!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Photography Interview

What did you do before photography ? Teaching - hang on - still teaching! All be it one day a week!

Did you start off doing photography, then gave up and why ? Nope - would never give it up.

Why did you want to be a photographer ? Because I love doing it. I am obsessive about documenting my son's journey in life and love that I can help other people do it too.

How have you progressed over the years ? Rather quickly! Seemed to have been able to understand a lot very quickly and am always googling to learn more!

Is being a photographer your dream job ? YES

Have you been successful ? So's getting there!

What photography do you specialize in (Or your favourite thing to shoot) ? Children

Who is/are other photographers you admire ? Pretty much any child portraiture specialist - I know how hard it is chasing the little cherubs around!

What were you charging when you first started ? Nothing

What are you charging now ? More than nothing but not enough. Need to increase my prices.

What do you find is the hardest technical thing about photography? Lighting and all of the challenges it brings. Especially being a preferred natural light photographer.

What do you find is the easiest ? Composition

What's your least/most favourite thing about photography ? Running around outdoors doing portrait shoots in the HEAT of summer. Not fun.

Are you Nikon/Canon/Etc.. and why, and, if you've switched brands in the past, why so ? Canon. Just because that's the way I went at the beginning and have been happy ever since!

Where did you learn about photography ? The internet. A priceless resource.

Do you think you have your own style of photography, if so, what is it about your photos that stand out ? Creative - Candid- Natural - that's what I try to be!

What do you think makes a good photographer ? Patience and a love for it.

What was your worst client experience ? Havn't had a bad one yet! Touch wood.

What was your best client experience ? Each experience brings something different to the table that I have enjoyed.

What goes through your head right before you snap a picture ? Waiting for the focus points to light up - and GOT IT.

How do you handle family/friends asking for discounts (If applicable) ? Family is free.

How do you think that you can improve ? Everything! There's always room for growth!

Do you think you'll be doing photography for the rest of your working life (if applicable) ? Here's hoping!

If you had to pick one photo to look at for the rest of your life, what would it be ?
The picture of myself and my husband with our newborn son Connor. I didn't take it - but it's the most momentous occasion in my life to date.

What is your best photo ? I dunno. One of a little boy holding his very pregnant mum's tummy in black and white. And one of a big sister kissing her baby sister whilst sleeping.

What do you think you need help with ? Time management!!!
My gear:
Canon 5DII, Canon 50D , 80-200mm L 2.8, 50mm 1.4, 17-24mm L 4.5

Sunday, July 18, 2010

False Billing Blowers at it again! Gotta give them an A for persistency!

As most small businesses are aware - false advertising billers are numerous these days. I only cottoned on to these organisations (and I use the term very loosely) - a few months back when I was receiving a call every day about such and such guide that I had apprently agreed to advertise in months ago. These calls started after I placed an ad in the local news paper. Obviously these scum like creatures check the paper for legitimate businesses to target.

I thought they had stopped but today I was delighted to receive another phone call from a woman called 'Tony' from a private number regarding the Children's 'Support Guide. She was ringing with regard to the 2011 guide to see if I wanted to advertise with. I then told her I wasn't interested. She then responded with a 'I'm confused sorry'....I explained that I wasn't interested again. She then told me that she could take me off the 2011 list but I had already agreed to the 2010 print and it had already gone to publishers. I laughed and told her that I hadn't agreed to that either and she informed me she would contact her supervisor to see what I had said. I told her that she was welcome to do so. I soooooo want her to call me back.

For those of you who aren't aware of these people. They generally ring about an ad that you agreed to months prior. Obviously this isn't the case and you never did. They are betting on that you become confused and make you think as though you have forgotten something and as you don't want debt associated with your business you generally pay up. Apparently some of them even send you a 'copy' of the guide or journal with an 'invoice' to pay. Do not be tricked - this is not proof of distribution and usually yours is the only copy that has ever been printed. Generally they are asking for payments of around $425 dollars. That seems to be their standard amount. They also have names that are very familiar. Emergency Services Guide, Child Support Guide, SES Guide, the list goes on and on. They also at times record you and try to get you to say the YES word so they can attempt to use that next time they call to solicit you into payment!  It is by the way illegal to record you without your knowledge so you can hit them with that as well if they try it on you.

Basically if you've not signed anything - don't pay it. If you  havn't initiated it - don't agree to it. Once you agree to one you seem to get a 'we've got a live one here' and you will get endless harassing phone calls.

I've even been sworn at by one of these people when I told them I knew what they were trying to do.  The next time one calls I am going to ask for their phone number so that the ACCC or the police can ring them back on my behalf. I also make a habit of reporting them to the ACCC along with their phone number (if its not private as they usually are) with the name of the so called journal and any other information I have.

It just makes me grin and think of the Karma factor.  This  blog is in the hope that it stops someone from being a victim. Word to the wise people. What losers.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

AnK Photo Shoot

I organised a little while back in the piece when it was raining and people couldn't get out of their cattle stations to do a mutually promotive (omg is that even a word?!) photoshoot with AnK Bowtique. It took forever for us to figure out a mutually convenient time - but eventually we did! And that was the weekend at the start of these school holidays!

AnK Bowtique make the cutest and most photogenic little accessories for girls. Just cute as! And I had an absolute ball for 3 days taking photos of friend's little girls modelling them for us! Kristy and Angie put my obsessive compulsive organising to shame! Everything was colour coded and bagged and labelled to the extreme! I don't honestly know how they kept track of everything. I was very glad that all I had to do was chase the little ones around and press the button!

Thank you very much to all of the lovely mums who made the days as well. We couldnt have done it without your little princesses!

We pretty much took over the entire botanic gardens (well okay maybe that's not quite the case) with kids, mums and tulle! And had some awesome props that I had pre-organised or begged or borrowed from other mums.  Here is little Miss I sitting on an awesome shabby-chic style fence chair we borrowed from the lovely Robyn!

And how cute are these two? What a perfect moment caught in time. Awww you can really feel the love in this photo!

I also got to do the Marschke family photos that weekend. I love these guys! Mum is really good to talk to - a very funny lady - and the kids are just adorable! Here's one I love of the 3 oldest kids with lollypops on the grass!

Another busy week ahead - another family shoot with a newborn and a 60th birthday party on the weekend. No rest for the wicked! And I get to fit in motherhood, housewife and part time teaching duties with all of this!!! Superwoman!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Mind your own aperture!

A couple of people have asked me about how to use their camera better. Here are a few of the things I found helped me when learning about my first DSLR.

1) Read your manual - put sticky notes in it - keep referring back to it if you don't understand a button or a word.

2) Google and find a DSLR dictionary and print it out - will give you a list of words you might read about your camera - you will have many 'ooooooooooooh that's what that is' moments. Well worthwhile.

3) Be brave and take it off Auto! Go out to do a few purpose shots using full M (manual mode). Try to use subjects that do not require speed for this. (Avoid children and animals - think still life!) Also revert to Manual for your lens (that is - take it off Autofocus). It may take a while but eventually you will get good at taking a photo this way. I shot in manual only for the first 3 months of owning my camera. It only got easier from there!

4) Av (Aperture) and Tv (Shutterspeed) - You will see these two options for shooting on your mode dial. I currently shoot in Av mode at all times. And work with  my lens on autofocus usually. Aperture was something that perplexed me the most!

Basically the easiest way to explain it is the amount of the photo that will be in focus. How low in f stop you can go is based on your lens (not your camera). You will see with your lenses that there are numbers like this f4.5 on it. Basically the f stop (number) shown on your lens is the lowest value it drops to. Generally the more expensive the lens the lower it can go. All lenses will function from this lowest aperture to a much higer one. The smaller the number the faster your lens can go in low light. Av mode will use the aperture you select and automatically adust shutter speed to match. Generally portrait style photos use a lower aperture around f7 or f8 and landscape photos use higher aperture.

This is based on the fact that for portraits you will want the person in focus but the background not - and for landscapes you will want pretty much the whole picture in focus.

A quick note though. I always watch my shutter speed- try  not to drop below run the risk of blur with handholding. Adjust your apeture and lose some of the focusing depth or change your iso.

5) What the ISO?
ISO is the same as when we used normal cameras and used different 'film' values - its the speed on which the image is transferred from the cameras sensor to the 'film' per say.  Remember when we bought 100 or 400 film? For nice clean crisp images without lots of 'noise' - try to keep your iso around 100. Digital cameras have the ability to use high iso speeds however the higher you go the noisier or 'grainier' the image will get and the worse it will enlarge. Unless you have a very high quality camera and good editing software this will always be the case.  

When I mentioned that you can up your iso to keep your shutter speed above 80 in Av mode -  up it a little bit - see how it changes the shutterspeed automatically. See if it's enough and up it again if you need to. Don't forget to change it back though.

6) How do I do all this? Read your manual and see which dials do this. I could go into details but I own a Canon and not everyone does. :)

7) And last but certainly not the least! TAKE PHOTOS! Take them all the time. ALL THE TIME. I have taken millions of photos on my trust worthy 'ol 50D.

It also helps to use RAW mode so you can edit more in your photos - use digital photo professional or the software that comes with your camera for editing.....but I'm not going to harp on because if you wanted to read this for info I  have probably just filled your head with enough for the moment!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

And just when I thought I was catching up on things.....

Have been away in Mackay last weekend, followed by looking after a sick little boy....I will never look at nappy changes the same way again! EWE! Anyway...about to get really really busy for a few weeks with photo shoots and weddings are booking up fast for that busy SPRING time of year.

I have decided to maintain my membership of the local photographic club- but I am pretty much taking on a silent member mode. I like it for networking but am no longer submitting entries - I have decided I pretty much could pick out what the judges were going to like or not like about my photos before I even submitted them so I wasn't really learning anything new from them. I also got a bit over the whole 'personal opinion' thing that you have to take into consideration with judging. I keep telling members that when you receive critique it's just one person's opiniona clear example being when I saw a photograph that received a high placing in a recent show that was given a harsh critique during a recent judging session. What one person likes - one person won't.

I am in the business of creating images that make people happy - so much that they want to buy them - and put them on their wall. Some of my clients have told  me that they cried when they watched their DVD - I told them that means I've done my job.

I have decided that my client's opinions are what matters most to me.

Recent photos? I ended up getting out to do some photos of the lovely Miss E at the railway and at the sunflower field out of town a weekend or so ago. My absoloute favourite is at the top of the page. Doesn't she just glow in this photo?

I also got to take a few photos when in Mackay - including the adorable new Harris puppy Toby. How cute is he? You would not believe how naughty and frisky he was when Lauren and I tried to get these photos.

I also got a very random shot on the highway near Dysart of a wedge tailed eagle taking flight. It had flown up from the road where it was eating a dead something or other - and we squealed over to the side of the road, I had to rustle in the back for the camera - change battery - attach the 70-200 L series - turn on - cross the road and find the thing which was hiding up in a tree. Note* There is NOTHING fast about a DSLR in a bag without a lens attached!* These birds - whilst also very big and majestic in flight are quite hideous and borringly ugly when sitting on a branch. I had to make some noises to get him to fly off to get a shot that was worth taking. I love him leaping off the branch like this - just wish the background wasn't so distracting...but still...a good find and well spotted by my ' roadie' my husband!

Off to Springsure on the weekend for a christening and birthday party - and then the following week the much anticipated AnK shoot which I am just busting trying to wait for. I have so many ideas and cute little props to use! Including  a beautiful paper crane mobile!

Oh and I just consumed a whole bag of microwave popcorn! As Connor would say..."All gone." *Upturns hands*

Monday, May 31, 2010

It pretty much comes down to lenses, light and you....

Something which has erked me ever since I have started out in the world of photography is people who sprout of about the expensiveness of their camera. Let me make this completely clear. Just because you have an expensive camera  - doesn't mean you will take photos that will blow people away.

It does not matter what camera you use. AT ALL.  When submitting entries into my local club for critique I often put ones in from many years ago taken with a 5 megapixel point and shoot camera just to prove this point.

Many hobbiests to not understand that it takes the best part of 3 things, lenses, lighting and YOU to create photographs with the WOW factor, not the fact that you have the biggest bank account. 

Pretty much even the 'low end' entry level DSLR's these days produce fantastic results.....and unless you intend to head into the serious amateur or professional level there is no need to spend fantastic amounts on your camera body.

I would suggest however investing in some good quality glass. Lenses with the lowest f stop possible that you can afford....the lower the better...especially if you're intending on working with natural light or indoors often.

Knowing how to use available light is also very important. If you are going to head in the flash direction (which I have made the decision NOT to) know how to use it - simply firing one off isn't going to necessarily do your photo any favours. Know how to use ISO settings, f stops and USE them.

Lastly and most importantly YOU are the most important factor in getting a good shot. You need to think in terms of the finished picture and compose it accordingly. You need to plan ahead and see things before they happen. You need to SEE.  Pointing a very expensive camera at random subjects and hoping for the best isn't going to cut it.

Don't get me wrong. I do NOW own some very expensive tools, including a 5DII and 3 L series lenses that I wont prattle on about here.  But they are just tools. They do not take great photos for me. I have to do the work. They just make my job easier. They're job is to 'get out of my way of taking photos'. I read this somewhere and I really liked the quote. Can't remember where I found it now though.

When people talk about DaVinci's Mona Lisa they don't exactly talk about how expensive his paint brushes where do they? Point made.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

My favourite model

I didn't have anything on this weekend, and Nathan was off shift thanks to the new job at BMA (Yay!) - so we  took the opportunity to get out and about with Connor and my camera. I can't believe he is 2 in a week! Where did that time go? Anyone?

Anyway I knew the bottom weir was lovely but I never realised how much so until yesterday morning. A really nice spot. Apparently the water was a little muddier than usual so I am thinking that when its clear it would look much like the Tumut river in NSW where I did a wedding a few months back.  Connor had lots of fun and had loads of little boy opportunities. I am hanging out for a family shoot that will be willing to 4wd it with me and head there for their pics. I just wish the idiotic people who left all of their bottles and rubbish there had the sense to clean it up when they's some cuties of my little man.....

I also got a couple ones of some flowers I bought from's amazing what you can do with a softbox and the playroom walls.....very pretty!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Campbell Family Photos

Thought I would write my first blog reflecting on the lovely day had with the Campbell family who invited me to photograph little Mr A's christening and the after party at their place following. I had a fantastic time with these guys who made me feel more than welcome and even provided some awesome hay bails for shots to be taken. I got to take many beautiful little cherubs photos that day. Here are a few of my favourites.....