Learning to SEE the Light | Throwback Thursday

Good Thursday afternoon to you :)

I was feeling nostalgic this week and decided to do a long look back at the progression of my work from when I began my business in 2009, until now. I can hardly believe my 7th year business anniversary is coming up next month!

I did an (incomplete) How I Got Started series on the blog a few years ago, so today's post is a modified and updated version of that. 

I want to show this because I think it's really important for folks to know that you don't get awesome overnight. Well, some may, but for the vast majority of us, it takes time. A lot of time. Time to learn, experiment, re-learn, experiment, unlearn, experiment some more, learn some more, solidify what you know, aaaand then keep learning lol.

This is my progression beginning from 2009 until to now.

Summer 2009. 

I had an idea of the kinds of things I liked, but I was still really all over the place with my execution. The lighting in my photos was very inconsistent and my editing "style" (if you can call it that), varied widely as well.

I hadn't yet learned the importance of professional makeup to the final quality of the image. 

I didn't put much thought into my location choices/nor was I aware that I really had a choice. I usually just defaulted to taking photos in a park because that's what I thought was "professional".

Summer 2010.

I remember this was one of the first shoots I was super proud of- the light, the colors, location. I just wasn't sure how to duplicate it. That would happen often where I would "strike gold" but not be sure how to make it happen on purpose.

My style was becoming a little more defined. I knew that I liked color, and was learning I preferred urban locations, but my lighting, posing, composition, and editing was still a little inconsistent. I knew that having makeup done for photos was important, I just hadn't yet learned that using a professional was best :)

Spring 2011.

Tilt City! Clearly I was on a tilt composition kick lol. I remember doing this shoot and pretty much trying to experiment with a bunch of different styles (of styling, shooting, and editing). I loved how this session turned out, but this was an editorial style of shooting I was trying to imitate, not one that happened naturally.

I learned the importance of the use of a professional makeup artist :)

Summer 2012.

I think I found my style! In the spring of 2012, I rebranded when I realized that I had found a style I was happy with (and that felt like me), and wanted a cohesive new look for my business to support it.

I still struggled a bit with posing and composition, but I was learning that posing was NOT what's most important- making sure that my subject was comfortable, IS. I still experimented a bit with my framing and location choices (not all worked). Professional makeup became a standard part of my sessions.

Spring 2013.

I think I got it! I found a way to duplicate the look I wanted! Even lighting and subjects that coordinate with their surroundings :)

My framing and composition was improving as well!

Spring 2014.

Now that I knew how to achieve what I wanted- even light, bright colors, complimenting locations, crisp focus, clean makeup- my focus shifted to perfecting it.

Summer 2015.

Happy with the progress I made perfecting my style, that part became second nature. I began to shift my focus to capturing more authentic moments -consistently- during my sessions. 

Summer 2016.

Where am I now? Well I'm back to experimenting :) I've got "clean" light and happy photos down, so I'm beginning to experiment a bit with light I wouldn't normally shoot in, to challenge myself, and (for the moment) I'm drawn to more moody images.

This was a fun post to do! I hope you enjoyed it! 

I'm thinking about doing a couple other versions- for families and couples to show the progression there as well...

Anyway, if you'd be interested in improving your natural light shooting, I'd be more than happy to help! Please check out my mentoring programs and shoot me an email if you'd be interested in scheduling one for yourself! 

Oneee last comparison photo :) This one is an almost 10 year difference! From when I began experimenting with photography in 2006/2007 to where I am today! I can say for certain that the photo on the right is what I was trying to go for there on the left, but I had no idea how to achieve it. Now? I do!

So if you've found yourself at a "stuck" point, and would like to improve your shooting, I would absolutely love to hear from you!

That's all for today! Let me know what you thought of today's [long] post!