On August 1, I started a month long countdown to my 10 year anniversary on September 3!
Check out the first 12 days and see upcoming posts by following the hashtag #10yearsofdfinney on instagram!
While I am sharing insights re: finding and refining my style, process, equipment, etc in the captions of each post, I wanted to share a bit more on the blog as well. The idea to even do a countdown in the first place was born out of me trying to combat negative thinking- I wasn’t feeling like 10 years had any significance (I know that’s not true), but I had to remind myself of how far I’ve come, so this was a way to both do that AND share the photo journey with you :) So let’s dive in!
2009 (and earlier)
Although the official start of DFinney Photography was in 2009, my photo journey began a few years before, where my original interest in graphic design and photo editing eventually moved me to be more interested in the photo side of things.
Much of my early work was VERY heavy on the editing because that’s literally why I wanted to take pictures- to have something to edit. Before I began taking pictures of anyone else, I was quite into creative self-portraits :) Eventually I wanted to take photos of others, and later still I began to pay more attention to composition, color, and light to try to have photos that didn’t need AS much editing, but it was still a very big part of my work at the time.
When I began, I shot with any digital camera I could use. I had a small Fuji FinePix camera, I used a Canon PowerShot camera from work… eventually my brother purchased the Fuji S9100 (it was a digital camera resembling a DSLR, but did not have a detachable lens). Beginning in 2009, I was shooting with the Nikon D80, my brother’s 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, and then the 50mm f/1.4.
2010 was my first official year in business. I had no idea what I was doing, I just knew that I enjoyed it. But with each situation I dealt with, it helped me to begin to put things in place to help me operate a little more efficiently.
I was still in touch with my digital art roots when it came to editing, but I was beginning to be drawn towards a clean and bright look. However, I wasn't skilled (or confident) enough to say THIS is my style. I tailored a lot of what I did to what people wanted and still had a strong desire to experiment with different looks- so that's what I did.
Early 2010, I was still shooting with my brother’s D80, but I bought my first camera in Spring 2010- the Nikon D300s. I also started to realize that I like shooting with prime lenses, so I would tend to use the 50/1.4 primarily, and occasionally my brother’s 20/1.8 lens. Having access to my brother’s photography equipment was a real bonus in the beginning because photography equipment is not cheap!
I literally wanted to shoot everything (but weddings) so I did just that! The goal was to see what I liked and modify my services if/where needed. I quickly found that newborns were not it lol. I didn’t have the patience or skill needed for it so I swiftly removed that as an option. At the time I also offered photos for infants on colorful printed backdrops that I would bring and set up. Eventually I realized that that wasn’t really moving me either, so I stopped offering that as an option and just stuck to on-location shooting.
2011 was a year of intentional experimentation. I was so inspired by fashion editorials and well curated photo shoots that I decided to try my hand at them.
This was a milestone year for me because I began to look at things differently and explore a more intentional approach with my photography. It would be some time though before I would confidently feel that what I was doing was “my style” because I was still very experimental.⠀
Nikon D300s. In addition to the 50/1.4 and 20/1.8 lenses, I added 35/1.8 to the arsenal.
Alongside photography, I was also offering design services at this time. That’s originally why I named my business DFinney Photography & Design because I planned to do both.
2012 was the year I can say I felt a bit more settled in my style (clean & vibrant) and confident that I could execute it- especially since I began to work with makeup artists regularly- including professional makeup absolutely improved the quality of my images.
Late 2012, I made the shift to a full frame body and upgraded to the D700. I also added the 85/1.8 to my arsenal so my go-to lenses were now the 50, 35, and sometimes the 85. It would take a while for me to completely get on board with the 85 though, because I preferred the look of the 50 and 35 lenses.
This was about the time I was phasing out design work. I still offered it in limited capacity, but I shifted to only offering photo-based designs as opposed to what I’d been doing previously so that I could focus more on my photography.
Ya’ll. This mini recap made me a little emotional. There have been so many iterations of DFinney Photography over the years and seeing the growth in one place like this is pretty darn cool! I hope you enjoyed this first part of the countdown, that you will keep up over on the gram, and stay tuned for the upcoming recaps here on the blog as well 💛