It took me all Summer to read a book. It was a very amazing and insightful book. It wasn't like it was boring it just took the back burner as the world around me evolved and changed and shifted into more than I could imagine. During this Summer I took a 9 day vacation to many locations in the southern half of the country, I enjoyed my family to the deepest and learned to let go as I completely unplugged my phone, Well nearly completely. I FOR REAL signed a lease and opened up a real life studio that I have put off doing for many years. I generally shoot outdoors and have no need to shoot inside into the winter months but shaking some things up and allowing for growth into new genres and different ways to look at things is always a good step. I shot nearly 100 sessions this Summer and met so many new families. Weddings hit a galore in the peak season and I have worked my butt off to make sure I am in the zone to hit the peak of this season full throttle. Through this I have learned more about myself. I am not the same person. I am not the same age. I am older but wiser for sure. BUT WOW. I have taken the time to sit back and realize what I am doing to really hit those check marks off on my to do list. AND NO this isn't a traditional blog post about who I photographed or what is new in my photography business but a revelation post about who I am and who I was when I began as a photographer. I set out with goals and I am finally proud of what I am doing and what I am producing. Verbally... well textually confirming that I am generally pleased is therapeutic and I challenge you to do the same. What are you doing? What do you want? What can you do to reach those goals?
Be proud of yourself, who you are and what you are doing. If you can't be change it!
Celebrate each step
Sincerely, wonderfully and with love,
The Summer days will still be with us for a little while but our Summer break of laughter, travel and more memories is soon going to turn into school schedules, homework and full backpacks. I do look forward to my babies going on to the new year and with confidence of their journey's they pocketed through the 75 days of full throttle to dos and hope to dos. I just always have a sense of hesitation, the wish for a few more weeks to squeeze in the love to really watch them grow and their faces light up. Everything we do I try to look at it as if my children are remembering it. I want to know what their memories will hold and if they will tell their stories of their childhood over and over again to their children. I want to know what their fast being hearts yearn for and what I could do better to keep their magic going.
Summer is a time of exploring a time of families and campfires. I know we still have more trips and things on our list of things we want to do, but I enjoy the spontaneous right now sort of things that organically happen in the Summer. The jump in the lake or sit back reminiscence of Summer air. I don't like to be confined and sometimes school feels that way. Sending them back means rough mornings ( some of them in the beginning) It means less hours of the sun and more time working. I know, I know life can't always be continuously carefree and fun days and we must earn them through hard work and concentration. Deep down it is just knowing for hours through the day I am going to miss them like ... well like something I can't explain.
In the end I know I did everything I could to make this Summer an unforgettable one and one to really put in the books for their little hearts to create from. I am just being a selfish mom who counts down the time to see their faces again. School in a week means time to buckle down and get our bodies aligned to the hours and our minds set for a successful year. Time to plan and save for the trips that will set our hearts free to accept new parts of the world. It is a cycle I suppose is good to have even though I hold the brakes hard during this week coming up.
Here is to a new school year, new things to learn and more growth than I can give them, new teachers to love and new friends too. 2019-2020 year I know you are coming and are going to be amazing, just take it easy on this mama!
Let me tell you about a little brick shack in Hardinsburg KY. I searched and searched everywhere looking for something I could call my second home and take photos throughout the winter. I made phone calls and even contemplated taking on the entire project of gutting a standing building and starting from nothing. After feeling defeated over and over again I finally decided to just give up, my dream of opening up my own studio has fallen short and after 10 years maybe it wasn't meant to happen. Well, driving trough town that day I passed a place that I have HUNDREDS of times before only to realize there was actually a " FOR RENT" sign in the window and the building had been empty for quite some time. That was it, That was this journey's new beginning. I quickly called for a meeting with the lady that owned it only to never get a phone call back even after I called and left a message twice. Again defeat was written all over me. Nope that's it the towel was thrown in ( not really because that is not who I am) I went by again another day and realized I had called the wrong number for days now! Way to go Tiff, Jeez I missed it by one number. My fingers excitedly put the number in the first time but one number off stopped me from getting an answer. Back to calling I got a hold of the sweetest little Dorothy and Soon thereafter had me my own little studio. I am just so excited to finally have an opening date. There is so much to do still but so much to capture and stories that will fill that building. Dynamite Image will have a home of it's own and add to the community on a whole other level. (deep breaths) I am ready to move forward to this big step with you guys. Stay tuned.
OPENING JULY 13th 2019
Webster, Kentucky holds a treasure of family time, laughter and lots of calming moments in a lavender field. Out on Fairview Lavender farm we have had the pleasure of photographing so many families and portraits. There isn't anything quite like sitting , running, or truly being immersed in your feelings than with a refreshing calming scent of lavender. I could literally stay for hours enjoying the view ( the place should be called great view) the birds and the bees that greet the farm with sweet tweets and the buzz of Summer approaching. This is my 3rd year going out to the farm and I fall in love more and more every year. I couldn't imagine a better way than to open June up every year in the field of tranquility. Here are a few of my favorites from our Lavender minis this year!
The farm is equipped with a quaint store with lots of lavender infused desserts, skin care items and other goodies! Go see this hidden Kentucky treasure!
Maybe you have dreamed about what you want your family photos to look like. Maybe the wall that is bare above the couch is where you want to hang your favorite family photo from your session. Now it is time to plan what you will wear for your session and colors to pick out.
Here are some tips to help you choose the right clothing!
1. What color are the walls where you will hang your photos?
What the heck to walls have to do with it? Well the colors you have selected for your home can evoke warmth, edge or sophistication depending on the color. If you have a more neutral toned wall you could select neutral toned clothing or pops of color if you want the images to be a main focal point in the room. If your wall is a colorful wall you might consider doing a complimentary or contrast color.
2. What story do you want your images to tell?
Do you want to tell a romantic story of open fields and dreamy skies. I would suggest jewel tones and earthy tones to really set the scene paired with maxi length dresses and a more formal yet comfortable clothing style.
or maybe you want something more urban with architectural structures, if this is the case I would suggest locations with pops of color or letting your more relaxed clothing have color.
You could want something in the woods where the lighting is not as harsh, there I would select neutral tones and often whites to let you and your family stand out.
3. Pick clothing for the season
this is a no brainer, pick clothing that fits the session of when you are having your portraits taken. Be sure to have most clothing solids in the group to make sure the focus is all on you guys and not distracted with patterns.
4. Choose timeless clothing pieces
Super trendy items get replaced time and time again. Be sure to pick something true to your style that you won't regret wearing a year or two down the road.
Now for some visuals!
Follow this link to see clothing styles and coordinating colors that you might consider. These fit my shooting style. Stay tuned I am always pinning!
The Green mansion lords over the quiet hills in Falls of Rough Kentucky. The historic home was built in 1839, the original property once was owned by George Washington and then later sold The Green family who then turned the property into a mill and cattle ranch. Willis Green, Jenny Green, Anne Green, Robert Green, are all names you can find within the home. Each room has a persona of it's own each set of walls houses it's own story. For me being within the home has a sense of peace and welcomed warmth. You can almost feel the story as you pass through.
The Miss Anne Room is my all time favorite room on the lower level. The large room and huge bathroom really makes you feel at home. The room is has a fireplace as well as the bathroom.
The Willis Green Room is right off the main stairwell in the home and has a very royal feel to it. It is large and lords over the home. It has an amazing view of the hills and sunrise. It is my favorite room upstairs.
All 9 bedrooms are amazing and I am just truly in love with this home. It is a must stay in the central Kentucky area.
All in all this place is breathtaking a definitely worth a stop and stay. See you in Kentucky!
There I said it. Photos aren't important that is why most of the time the images are left on a computer, usb drive, or disc. Rarely do they make it to a piece of paper. I am looking to change the fact that your images never leave the digital world. They never become a tangible item to hold and cherish. Therefore photos become irrelevant almost as if they were just a blank with no meaning. They are not truly used for their purpose. The photo itself holds memories, important times, and house unconditional love for the people within them.
This last decade has become a time more than taking photos, it has been a time of meeting people and exploring the Earth together. Often sessions leave a warm special spot in my heart. I have truly spent the time with these people learning about their family, their homes, their dogs even. Knowing important parts of their lives help me to preserve a twinkle from their life, a spark from their soul. These photos are of actual times where the moment stood still, the moment that was suppose to pass but somehow got captured and is available to be lived, relived and revisited often. How can you revisit a memory? Photos! Printed ones.
Life as a photographer has always been more about meeting people, sharing interests and of course appreciating the life we are given, the things we love, the breath we breathe. Which is why the photo aspect is important to me which completely contradicts the title but it is about who is in them, what story they tell. Photos are about a time to look back on. I go back through session galleries often and crack up over a joke the youngest told, I cry over a moment with a bride and her dad. I imagine me standing with my Son on his wedding day. I live these photos over and over again thankfully, wholeheartedly and deeply. These people I have met live their lives and I try to be a part of their lives going forward. I watch their life grow from Senior year well onto their growing family. I friend them on facebook and I share my life just as they share theirs. They have people who love them and cherish them more than I could but I know their legacy could go forward if they shared their photographs. Their moments not left or forgotten.
You see, your photos aren't always for you, they mean so much more to those who have loved you, those who have raised you. Your photos are gifts, a part of you that needs to be shared. Your life and your expression of a person lies solely in your story. Print your images but not because I said so but I have seen them, I have cared for them and because someone out there will love the moments you shared, the moments they couldn't be a part of or a moment that can never be had again. I am so thankful for the opportunity and time I get to spend with everyone and YOU are important. To me, to them and your story.
for the generations beyond us
Are you doing the things that make you happy? Enjoying the presence of those you love?
I can tell you this right now, you can never really be doing too much of these things. I, myself have lacked in this area for a very long time. I have overworked myself, served myself and made every excuse to keep pushing myself farther. In return my life has been full of "why don't we get to hang out anymore?", "when is there time for me?", "Can you write me into your schedule so we can go grab lunch?"
These are things you really don't want to hear but need to hear when you suddenly go missing. I fully immerse myself in one part of my life so deeply that I forget to put down the shovel that dug this whole and now I need help getting out. Sometimes those comments remind you to snap out of the perfection you can never build. This is a reminder that I also am not taking time for myself, to enjoy the people I love, the things I love doing to cook for myself, to take a moment for me and listen to the birds. I am learning how to "do you" thing.
I wonder what other people do to unwind, to become human again.
I say this all delirious with the flu, but seriously being human again sounds awesome ( zombie feels)
So some of my goals this year happen to be,
1. Connect- Connect with people who help build who I am
2. Work- Work with limits and goals are not meant to be so high you can't reach them but you find a smarter path than jumping up and down hoping you catch the tail.
3. Breathe- Breathe fast, slow, hard, Breathe accordingly, it's all oxygen and you can get yourself through anything.
Ultimately I am going to be paying myself in time. Allowing time for the things that matter the most, balance the scales and putting eggs in different baskets. No matter what your journey is be sure you are allowing yourself happiness, strength, determination.
I too, struggle with a balance but am learning to be the best version of me. I will allow myself to be human, I mean I am one well oiled machine but I must fill my cup to be able to pour to others. Just as you must remember to be yourself, strengthen yourself and then share. This is my reminder to pay myself, I must put a penny in my own doorway.
Sure there are moments that you hope to forget, but in the moments you hope to never forget time stands still. You stand still. Nothing in that moment tames your breathing, uncenters your soul or makes your heart slow down. These are the moments to live for. The older I get the more moments like these exist. I stopped counting the times the world stopped within my mind but started to live, to search, and truly center myself on living.
Twenty three days into 2019 and I have already done things I have never done before, I have been places I have never been before, I have eaten things I have never eaten before. Hell, I even put my body in the largest body of water on earth. So far 2019 has taken me to a mindset of going, doing and by God willing I am laughing and I am happy. January 2018 when I took my self portraits they were about forgetting the pain of loosing my grandmother, about shunning myself into a life I didn't want to change but drastically did. I spent the year depressed, wanting to be alone and worrying about things I couldn't control. My heart grew in this time since I spent very little time using it to what I needed to be using it for. So after a long hard year for me internally I still grew, I changed.
Just a few weeks ago I was asked to go on a trip with my friend to California...... Sure that sounds like fun but I cannot just up and go, Well that is what I wanted to say. I wanted to say how I couldn't afford it, fathom leaving for that long without my family. But my husband stood beside me as this question of travel was presented, without batting an eye he answered for me YES SHE WANTS TO GO. In that moment my very first plane ticket was bought and I was sent packing, literally. I looked at him with a little fear of what our finances would look like of me just up and going somewhere with 3 weeks to plan and save. To him it never matters. I always looked and searched for a part of me that could feel that way. I often sit, plan, write and worry about things over and over until I either talk myself out of it or change my mind on what I wanted to do completely in fear of my failure. NO, not this man I married. He is a doer, money doesn't matter. What matters is your opportunity, your life, your legacy you hold. GO AND DO. I had no chance to back out of this trip and I am glad. Sure I spent part of my trip sick and unable to photograph some lovely ladies while I was over there but God has his plans and maybe that day I was meant to miss home, miss the man who helped me leave and go in the first place. The next day, oh I wasn't held back as soon as I was able to move around and feel better I explored.
,I watched children play on the beach, I watched them buy balloons at the mall and ride the carousel. In these moments I felt so guilty for leaving, for not bringing my own two littles with me. I stopped myself in those moments and said no, I am not going to feel guilty but explore these parts before them and bring them back and show them all I have found. I am proud to have walked these places and have a full mindset to bring them to experience the same things at Newport beach, to go to the South Coast plaza and visit the Disney store. The most amazing thing is the sunset, the west coast sunset.
Now onto the next day and final day left to explore I finally got to have time with my friend, whom I traveled with. She spent most of her time in California at a conference, learning, growing and creating friendships of a lifetime but the last exploring day she spent time with me. We had our day, our day as old long term friends looking to conquer the world, and believe me some day she might .
We both took the opportunity of this warmer place to let the sun warm our souls. We spent the brisk morning heading out 10 miles deep into the ocean searching for life of all kinds, whales were top on the list yet they eluded us and that is okay because we will go and explore looking for them again. Truthfully if it wasn't so cold I probably would have became a mermaid out in that beautiful water. We did get to see a ton of white sided dolphins and some very cute sea lions. I have seen dolphins swim in the ocean before, no not this ocean but I was more interested in the houses in the hills. The literal THOUSANDS of houses we passed. I was curious of the lives these people lived. I wondered if they weren't born here what made them come, what made them stay. Though I love my home in Kentucky I never stop wondering about the lives of others, how they got to be the people they are.
As our day went on and we headed back inland the sea lions living their best life really made our water exploration a more fun experience. They were so lazy and spunky at the same time. I would almost say they are my spirit animal but I couldn't be this cute.
Brittney and I went on to take in iconic California wines, we know nothing absolutely nothing about wines really. We just consume on a good day, a rough day and any day that ends with day. No just kidding... maybe. But we found a place called Orange coast winery, We walked in through the back which means it is a very swanky establishment in Cali. We have no idea what to order we just want to taste these wines. You can't go home without indulging in "Napa Valley' type rituals. There we met a gentleman named Ken, he told us some of his life stories and background. He treated us with a never ending glass and sparked our conversations of entrepreneurship. He spoke of Kentucky highly as if we didn't know what we have. I may never see Ken again but he was a California face that helped spark inspiration of new things to come. I think Brittney and I felt the same, we thought the same in these couple hours. We did come home with bigger ideas and goals to finish.
With insight and pockets of hope for who we could go on to be we packed up and was about to head home. These few days made me appreciate all the things I can accomplish with a team of people who there to help, my team who are there to encourage me to do what I want to do no matter how crazy or big. I am so glad that I have certain people in my life that has never gave up on me and who is ready to help me go and do, those who never think it is out of reach but who are ready to help. All in all two girls with big hearts and determined minds traveled 2000 miles away from home, learned some new things to carry forever and found the explorer inside that is ready to climb.
Here is to nanner pudding ( only Brittney knows) and dreams beyond that front porch life. Never stop.
No need to be worried or stressed out over a photo session. It is best to stay calm and go with the flow. Let life happen, after all that is the best way. I am going to share with you the 5 P's To a great Photo session! Let's get started with number one!
Plan Ahead, Yep get out that calendar and schedule months in advance. Not only will this allow you to plan exactly what you want in your session. This will allow the photographer to give you a good date that works on both schedules.
Pick outfits, OH THE POSSIBILITIES
How do you imagine yourself? Cool and Funky, Classic formal, Vintage, You can really go with so many options but pick one or two for your photo time. Be sure to coordinate the family well Here is our Pinterest link for recommended combos : https://www.pinterest.com/dynamiteimage/what-to-wear/
Seriously a whole board of colors and ideas, its pretty amazing
Pack the Snacks, I am serious. Coming from a foodie the Hangry little ones or big ones in this case. Food can help tide over until the next meal. Packing water, Gummy snacks, a bag of chips anything to have intermittently especially for the little ones can really make or break a session.
Plan with the sun! Schedule your session for golden hour right before sunset. This will allow for beautiful outdoor session photos that will make your images all warm and cozy. Below are a few more examples of letting that sun rule the time.
Last but not least, actually the most important is to Purpose for the shoot.
What kind of vibe do you want during your session, bubbly, happy, moody, serious and sensual? Be sure to purpose the best location for how you want the session to feel. Plan your clothing to match the purpose of the shoot.
If you are purposing the session for a new family photo to hang in the living room be sure to plan to coordinate with your decor and color tones within your home. For pops of color to really draw the viewers eyes to the image do so with some articles of clothing or a fun colorful location.
BONUS P PINTEREST
Pin your ideas on an idea board of the mood and color tones you enjoy and share them with your photographer. Be sure to make the session specific to your family and enjoy the whole process