All That Glitters

{Dallas- Family -Child -Photographer -Mentor- North Texas}

We live in a day and age where advances in technology have given the average person affordable access to photography equipment – cameras, lenses and more, and because of this opportunity, the market has changed dramatically and we have a lot more company in the industry.  That’s how I started, after all.  I purchased a DSLR because it was affordable and of better quality than my previous point-and-shoot, and little by little I caught “the bug” and eventually entered the market myself, to pursue a career I could love. And I really do love it!

Because the photography industry has become so much more saturated, consumers (potential clients) have a lot more choices to make.  It’s not just the one photography studio on the corner, or the chain store studio .  Now, people can find photographers of all styles and price points, and photographers now have the job of trying to stand apart and make their own unique statement.  How do we develop a business in this competitive market, and continue to feed our artistic souls?

NEVER stop learning.  Never stop playing, experimenting, learning new things, having “play dates” with photographer friends, photographing your own children in the everyday, or pursuing personal projects.  No matter who you’ve looked to for learning and inspiration, never rely too heavily on emulating someone else’s style.  Think:  what do YOU want to say?  What is your imagination telling you?  What do you dream about?  What do you love to do?  How can you make that come alive in your own work?  HOW will you set yourself apart?

I’m a self-proclaimed queen of photo play dates, even going into my sixth year of photography.  I crave the artistic outlet.  I crave the exhilaration of making a dream in my head appear in an image.  I need to CREATE something that’s never been created before.  It’s hard, nowadays, to find anything original to do, it seems.  But EVERY ONE of us has a unique, original imagination.  It’s tapping into that storehouse of magic which is the key.

This past Spring, I made such an idea happen, (of course with my trusty partner-in-creativity, Julie Peveto Photography) and I can’t even tell you how it revived my creative heart.

dallas child photographer glitter concept shoot

dallas child photographer glitter concept shoot

dallas child photographer glitter concept shoot

dallas child photographer glitter concept shoot

dallas child photographer glitter concept shoot

dallas child photographer glitter concept shoot

dallas child photographer glitter concept shoot

dallas child photographer glitter concept shoot

dallas child photographer glitter concept shoot

dallas child photographer glitter concept shoot

A Year of Moving Pictures

I am so excited that I am part of a blog circle this year, where we share our imagery and the lives of our children and families in video form.  Most of us are new to video, and we are just going to have fun exploring ways to transform the still photograph into a more complete story.

This first month, I’ve chosen to capture a bit of the moments of my two youngest children, the bond they have, their free spirits, and our “back yard” that is both fun for them and inspiring for me.

Thank you for watching, and make sure to visit Amy’s blog for the next video in our circle!  <3

 

 

mimi cole from Sally Molhoek on Vimeo.

It only takes a few minutes!

It’s almost New Years, and you know what that means.  It’s the time of year when we make resolutions, and if you are a photographer, you might be resolving to take more pictures of your own kids.  I know that is my resolution – to document more of those unrehearsed, everyday moments.  However, if you are the type who loves the unrehearsed, but gets sweaty at the thought of a more styled shoot, you might find yourself too overwhelmed to start.

My advice?  Don’t plan.  At all.  Just go do it.  Grab your kids (or just some of them), put them in something nice, and just go. Keep it moving, make it fun, and make it short.  Hopefully, you’ll end up with kids who are not at their wits’ end, and a bunch of gorgeous pictures to show for it.

I know, I know.  In a perfect world.  😉

Back in late November, when I walked my two youngest to school each day, I saw one of the streets on our block was vibrant with color from the Fall leaves.  I decided I must photograph my kids there.  So, one day, without planning, I found outfits that were sufficient (as in, I grabbed them from the closet, they looked clean and the colors sort of matched), and my two most cooperative subjects, and we walked to the block.  We spent about five minutes under the trees on the road, another two or three minutes throwing leaves in the air from the sidewalk, and as we were circling the block to return home, we stopped on one more colorful sidewalk.  Fifteen minutes used, we were back home.  I had a camera full of images, and my kids were cashing in on their bribes.

dallas fall photographer child color

dallas fall photographer child color

dallas fall photographer child color

dallas fall photographer child color

dallas fall photographer child color

dallas fall photographer child color

dallas fall photographer child color

dallas fall photographer child color

dallas fall photographer child color

dallas fall photographer child color

dallas fall photographer child color

dallas fall photographer child color

2015 – Another Year Wraps Up

2015 has been a great year!  I joke that it’s really my first year as a Texan, since 2014 was a blur of trips back and forth to Michigan to finish up my commitments there.:-) And I’ve SO loved getting to stay put a little more often this year, and seeing how the seasons change in Texas (though I could have done with our month straight of storms in May).  I still managed to do a bit of traveling, visiting other places in Texas like Houston, San Antonio and Austin, and taking trips to the Carolinas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Colorado, meeting such amazing people along the way, and reconnecting with old friends.  My photographer’s heart was filled to the brim this year, and I have a long list of clients and fellow photographers to thank for that.  Thanks to all of you and I hope you have a beautiful 2016.

dallas photographer texas portraits 2015collagetwelveWEBdallas photographer texas portraits 2015dallas photographer texas portraits 2015dallas photographer texas portraits 2015dallas photographer texas portraits 2015dallas photographer texas portraits 2015dallas photographer texas portraits 2015dallas photographer texas portraits 2015dallas photographer texas portraits 2015dallas photographer texas portraits 2015dallas photographer texas portraits 2015dallas photographer texas portraits 2015dallas photographer texas portraits 2015dallas photographer texas portraits 2015dallas photographer texas portraits 2015

December 29, 2015 - 11:37 pm

Debra Moise - Your photography is absolutely beautiful. It inspires me to continue taking pictures of family and friends. Keep up the awesome job of capturing memories!!

Do you Shoot for YOU?

When I first ventured into Photography, like many photographers out there, I started because I wanted to take better pictures of my kids (sound familiar?), and then it wasn’t long until I “caught the bug.”  My first year behind the camera was almost constant.  I did not leave my house without my camera, it was always out, charged and holding a card, ready for every single little moment I could use it, and I did.  Photographers, do you remember that?  That thrill, that zest, that energy?  And..then when you started a little business, you were now living the dream?  A job that you love to do every waking moment?

JF1A2440

No matter how much you adore your profession as a Photographer (I do!), you have probably come to realize that the zeal you had originally might just have waned a little.  Nothing wrong with that.   It’s hard when there are deadlines, clients with needs and questions, events to attend, expensive equipment to buy, 843 family sessions on your Autumn schedule.  It’s simple burnout, and it happens to everyone.

My good friends will attest to the fact that I am the kind of person to get very gung-ho about a new idea, overwhelm myself and fizzle.  Yes, I confess.  I tend to dream big and play hard, and keeping up momentum can be difficult, if not impossible.  HOWEVER, while I had put aside past ventures of various kinds, Photography just wasn’t something I wanted to give up.  For me, it just fits.  My passions for art, life, people, color and whimsy found their outlet this way, and I was (and am) continually feeding my heart by following this path.  Yes, I had to learn balance, I had to grow from my mistakes, I had to take two steps backward so I could regain the momentum to leap forward again.  I did so, again and again.  I want to keep on going, serving my clients and teaching the craft, but I don’t want to lose the giddy, 24-7 passion I had in the beginning.

Is that too much to ask?

 

I don’t think so.  Of course, balance is key to staying the course.  So is close analysis of your time, effort and expenses versus your photography income.  But, for me, what keeps me striving forward, even on Fall session 842 of 843, is taking time to shoot for ME.  To shoot what I want, how I want, and take the chances and do the experiments I’ve wanted to do, to GROW as an artist.  Sometimes I’ll take a quick picture that makes my heart sing WHILE I’m with a client (my daughter often tags along on shoots and loves to pose for me – lucky me!).  Sometimes I’ll ask a friend to come over and we’ll raid my prop closet and go make some magic somewhere.  Sometimes I’ll see a gorgeous sky and toss a dress on my kid and throw a chair in the car and race to a field to get pictures.  I want to love what I make, all of it.  And I want to keep getting better so my clients love what they get, too.

dallas photographer portraits

Here is a short list of tips for keeping the passion alive:

  • on every client session, shoot something just for you.  It could be a macro, a pretty sky, a glorious tree, or a reflection.  Any little keepsake you can bring home with you that speaks to YOU.
  • give yourself challenges.  Try shooting with just one lens (like an ultra-wide angle or a Lensbaby) or shooting one subject with all your lenses.  Try a new technique (stacking focus, freelensing, HDR, panning, whatever!).  Try shooting in a different kind of light, like full sun or super low light indoors.  In other words, keep on learning.  Every new trick you master is another thing that feeds the passion and keeps your photo-brain active and excited.
  • take a few pictures out of every gallery you shoot and push your editing a little bit.  YouTube has infinite tutorials on all sorts of techniques.  You don’t have to show the edits to your client, but you might just discover something you just LOVE.
  • Once a month (at least) plan a fun shoot, even during your busy season.  Get a friend to go with you, and recruit subjects if you need to.  Tell yourself you only have to edit 10 of the images, but just go out and shoot.  We all know the exhilaration that comes when we realize that we can’t wait to go home and download the magic immediately.  I can tell you, this happens a LOT when you do a shoot for YOU.  It’s so pressure-free and you can plan it around your time, the weather, and your stylistic choices.

 

I’ve been blessed this year to spend much of my time mentoring and teaching others in photography, and hosting little mini-workshops we call “shoot-outs,” so I’ve been lucky to have a portfolio stuffed and overflowing with personal work.  So bear with me if I make you a little crazy with the following very very very long picture share, but I wanted to highlight at least one image from every “for me” shoot I had this year.

And now go have fun!

dallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographer
dallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographer
dallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerJF1A6106wdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographer
dallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographerdallas sallykate portrait photographer