Ya’ll. August is done!
I meant to peek in here a bit sooner, but we’ll just finish strong with a super full recap of 2013 through 2018!
Now, let’s pick up where we left off, with the 2013 through 2018 recap!
This year was full of engagement sessions! I also tried my hand at business lifestyle imagery and I really enjoyed it! It was fun taking business photos with a bit more personality than your typical formal headshot.
In 2013, I was becoming aware of more things while I was shooting- like making sure that photos were not just technically correct, but that my subjects LOOKED comfortable, that was really important to me and still is today! I incorporated a few styled shoots here and there for experimentation and it was really cool seeing my work improve in real time.
Nikon D700 and the 50/f1.4 and 35/f1.4 lenses. I sold the 85 because it didn’t fit with how I was shooting at the time.
I began offering mentoring sessions! I dipped my toes into the teaching pool in Nov of 2012, but quickly realized that several modifications were needed. The program has been revised more over the years, but I remember really falling in love with teaching in 2013. It was very cool seeing my mentees’ photos improve in real time and an honor to help them along in their natural light photography journey 💛
2014 was a really busy year- full of ALL of the things: teaching, weddings, engagements, families, maternity, and lots of travel. Looking back, I can’t believe that I did as much as I did, but it was a joy to work with so many wonderful clients. Despite the exhaustion that came from so much travel, I’m really glad I had the opportunity to do it.
I tried to be a bit more intentional with how I planned for my client sessions. I would prep beforehand by reviewing ideas on Pinterest or referencing photos I had saved elsewhere so that I could have something to build on when I was with my client. I also worked more to allow the personality of my clients to shine as opposed to trying to get them into poses that didn’t really fit their vibe.⠀
Nikon D700 and the 50/f1.4 and 35/f1.4 lenses. For weddings, my brother shot with the Nikon D700 as well, but he used the 24-70/f2.8 zoom and 135/f2 lenses.
In 2014 I held my very first workshops, and subsequently determined that they weren’t for me lol. I also held my first group mentoring sessions and that became a staple for the next few years. The big new thing for 2014 was weddings! I had previously shot weddings with my brother as his second shooter but when he decided to discontinue AJ Finney Fine Wedding Imagery, he said that he would shoot with me if I decided to offer weddings, so we did! It was an excellent collaboration because he likes the documentary style of photography that’s perfect for wedding days and I love portraits, so we each shined in our respective areas.
I think 2015 was the year I noticed myself REALLY leaning into my love affair with color harmony. I really enjoyed curating my photo sessions and making sure that they had a warm and cohesive feel.
The same as 2014! Although occasionally I would use the 20/f1.8 lens for weddings if needed.
I held 30 mentoring sessions in 10 cities and honestly, in retrospect, I was doing THE most (for me). I realized that high travel was not for me so moving forward I toned that down a bit. It's funny though how everything is relative because to some this isn't much travel at all, but 2015 taught me a lot about listening to my body (or more accurately, what happens when I don’t 🙃) and finding what works for me.
In 2016, things got real. I started to #talkaboutuncomfortablethings after I was diagnosed with depression and later, bipolar 2 disorder. The year started on a HARD note and I took a step back from work. After a couple months, I started shooting again because I realized that I needed it. It was really helpful (and a privilege!) to be able to create beautiful things and bring joy to others despite how I was feeling.
I can’t say that I made any real (or I should say, intentional) progress with my work this year because honestly, most days were spent just trying to function. I feel like I was often on auto-pilot when it came to work, so thankfully my previous years of practice kicked in to keep me afloat and provide glimmers of creativity when I needed it.
Nikon D700 + 50/f1.4 and 35/f1.4 lenses.
I was no longer offering wedding photography, and I greatly reduced my travel and the number of mentoring sessions that I was offering. I also started a small side project selling a curated collection of headwraps. It was cool for a hot second, but definitely not something I wanted to keep up with so #dfinneyheadwraps lived a very short life lol.⠀
For the most part my style was fairly consistent by this point when it came to my use of light and color, but I began to try and focus more on capturing moments instead of perfectly curating everything (which I can tend to do by default). And honestly that’s something I’m still working on now!
Nikon D700 with the 50/f1.4 and 35/f1.4 lenses. I also reintroduced the 85/f1.8 lens back into the arsenal!
I started a personal photo project inspired by what I was dealing with (re: my mental health struggles). Named after the hashtag I created- #talkaboutuncomfortablethings, this was a way for me to kind of depict some of the feelings I was dealing with, in photo form- and I was actually able to share it at a solo art show in Dallas!
My goal remained very similar to what it was in 2017- aiming to capture more authentic moments. Where I think the biggest change happened was with my editing. I still processed my photos in a similar way, but I became more detail oriented in Lightroom & Photoshop- resulting in (in my opinion) a flawless final product.⠀
I was a bit all over the place with my equipment this year. I was primarily shooting with my Nikon D700, but as I tried to figure out what my next camera would be, I rented the D610, D750, D800, and D810. And used those with my 50/f1.4, 35/f1.4, and 85/f1.4 lenses.
Limited wedding photography services were now available as well. But instead of traditional weddings, I was now specializing in photography for small/intimate weddings and elopements. Business photography also saw a definite increase and it was a joy to work with so many creative professionals!
Whew! So let me tell you something… Although this seemed like a great idea in July, when I sat down and actually started to bring this to life- pulling images, trying to remember where I was creatively, and sharing blurbs from each year… I no longer thought it was such a great idea lol.
It was a good idea, but I definitely underestimated the work that was going to go into what initially started out as a way to help me see that 10 years is a pretty big deal! I’m thankful that I did it though. It’s been super fun chatting with you guys about things and reading your comments on facebook and instagram!
What’s next? Well DFinney Photography’s actual 10 Year Anniversary of course :)