So this past week, I went on a road trip to the beaches of Delaware to celebrate Independence Day, and it was so much fun! I want to share those photos with all of you because it was such a spiritual experience as a photographer to take a step away from “business shoots” and just take photos of the people I love and some places where I’m truly inspired. Let me know what you think in the comments!
A lot of people write off Delaware as a “business state” or “neighborhood state” with not a lot to see or do. Well, I took to the streets of good ol’ Wilmington and Historic New Castle, DE to prove that there is more to one area of our little state than meets the eye. (P.S. This post should be short because it’s mostly just photos!)
I am developing a new zine! For those of you who don’t know what a zine is, it’s basically a small “magazine” that includes mostly visual art in one medium and for one story line/creative purpose. I have one zine that I put together while I was in college. It’s all about college life and has pictures like one of a blue rubber ducky that I won out of the crane machine and me sitting on a bench alone – both things that basically sum up my college career… 🙂
I want to produce another zine with more photos, so I hope to take 50 zine pictures by the end of the year! I’ll reveal a little more about this creative project at some point, but I’m really looking forward to seeing it all together, and I hope you all are too!
Music has so much power on our brains – the science behind why teachers play music in the classroom is very compelling. Music activates parts of our brain that help us to understand things easier and better in the long-term. It also helps to activate the brain’s “focus zone” and push us to get more done in a shorter time without realizing it. Have you ever been cleaning the house or working in the yard with the music blaring and suddenly an hour’s gone by and you’ve made some real progress on your tasks? Part of that is because the music activates your brain which pushes you to work harder.
It is for these reasons that I have created a musical playlist I use when I edit my photos! I have 22 songs – so about an hour’s worth of music – that I will play in increments. I hit “shuffle” and play 5 songs at a time before I take a short break. This makes sure that I’m not sitting at my desk for more than 15 minutes at a time or staring at a screen for too long and straining my eyes. During my breaks, I’ll get up and stretch, take a lap around my apartment, and pick up little things that are out of place. This way, I feel like I’m still doing something productive, my mind isn’t foggy with stuff lying around everywhere, and I’m getting in more movement during the day!
If you want to listen to my editing playlist on Spotify, click here. Let me know what you think of my song selections in the comments!
It’s a wonder that I’m almost 23 years old and still haven’t seen a lot of the East Coast where I live. I’m always wishing to go on more trips, and I think it’s finally time to make that wish come true. Like I said, I’m almost 23. So here are 23 places I’d love to visit for their photograph-able wonders. (Pssst! Click on the name of each place to find out more about that location.)
- Lynnewood Hall in the Bucks County, PA area
- Coal Pier in the Philadelphia, PA area
- The town of North East, MD
- Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in the Dover, DE area
- Cape Henlopen State Park in the Lewes, DE area
- Nemours Mansion and Gardens in the Wilmington, DE area
- The city of Reading, PA
- Lockridge Park in Alburtis, PA
- The town of Jim Thorpe, PA
- Bake Oven Knob in the Lehigh Valley
- Ricketts Glen State Park in Fairmont, PA
- Pine Creek Gorge in central PA
- Cherry Springs State Park in Potter County, PA
- Clear Meadow Farm in Harford County, MD
- Potomac River on the border between MD and VA
- Catoctin Mountain Park in MD
- Great Falls Park in McLean, VA
- Grayson Highlands State Park in Southern VA
- Mabry Mill in Southwestern VA
- Luray Caverns in Shenandoah National Park (VA)
- Abandoned Virginia Renaissance Faire in Fredericksburg, VA
- Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens Conservatory in Richmond, VA
- Natural Tunnel State Park in Duffield, VA
I honestly had no idea what I was signing up for when I started out in the photography industry. Before I started my business, when I realized I was super into photography in general, I was just a freshman in college who had no idea what I was doing or how to work a “good camera.” My day-in-the-life would have looked a lot different during those days. Since starting my business, I have developed a routine for the day-to-day of my business and my passion. Keep reading if you want to know more!
I start my mornings off like anyone else – tired and groggy with crusty eyes and bad breath. I know that’s pretty TMI, but I felt like you guys needed to know that I don’t wake up ready to go by any means. After I do the normal waking-up things (bathroom, phone, etc.), I make a cup of coffee (because duh) and drink it on the way to the gym (where I enjoy a nice mediocre workout). I’ve been trying to up my gym game recently, but it’s been really difficult to even get out of bed on cold mornings let alone motivate myself to leave the house before 6AM to get in an above-average workout.
After the gym, I have to get to work where I answer phone calls and complete inter-office projects for other people. I actually don’t mind customer service, and it gives me time to work on Gray Graphics stuff when I’m not on the phone or otherwise engaged. Speaking of working on Gray Graphics stuff – this is usually about the time when I’ll pull up my Google calendar and make sure I’m aware of any appointments or to-dos that I’ve listed there. If there are to-dos dealing with my marketing strategy, I’ll take care of them right away. A growing business is a marketed business (and vice versa). “Working on Gray Graphics stuff” usually entails checking/updating all of my social media accounts, glancing at my website to test out the newest links and make sure everything works, writing/scheduling blog posts for the week/month, looking through the giant white Gray Graphics binder, and editing pictures. This last thing is very time-consuming but so satisfying!
Most of the time, I will work myself all the way into the afternoons which is when I’ll put aside Gray Graphics for about an hour (’cause a girl’s gotta eat!). After lunch, I head to my second job where I’m the head instructor/administrator at a tutoring company. I have way less free time to work on Gray Graphics stuff at this job, so I usually see a lot less (if any at all) of my giant business organization binder in the afternoons/evenings. I don’t mind that because I honestly love being the head instructor at this place; I’m good at what I do there, and I feel needed there. I would definitely rather work for myself, but hey! You gotta do what you gotta do, and I gotta pay for a wedding somehow!
I don’t get off of my second job until some time between 7:30 and 9 o’clock at night. I know that’s a pretty extreme variance in time, but it depends on how much stuff I have to do. I almost always go home around 8 or 8:30. Once I get back home, I usually change into more comfortable clothes (AKA sweat pants because I just don’t care and I’m at home so don’t judge me). Dinner is almost always ready by the time I get home; my fiance and I live with his parents until after the wedding, and his mom makes dinner so that I can eat it when I get home. Because she’s a really nice lady! 🙂
After dinner, I do some more Gray Graphics work – check on social media updates I’ve gotten throughout the day, edit more pictures, fine-tune the blog or website, enter some financial data, etc. I try to schedule in some me-time somewhere to read a book or do some journaling because otherwise I would go crazy. There are a lot of things to do when you own a business, and it never lightens up. There’s always tomorrow’s to-do list, which I actually really enjoy. It never gets boring.
Even though my life is pretty hectic – I have two jobs to pay my bills and take care of my wedding PLUS I own Gray Graphics – I wouldn’t have it any other way… Okay, that’s not entirely true. I would love to just be able to focus on my business, but that’s not in the cards for me yet. And that’s totally fine! I’m young; I’ll figure it out! 🙂
Hey everyone! So this week, I thought I would talk a little bit about what I do to keep my photography skills in shape.
Being a photographer is just like being a musician, writer, athlete, insert other craft name here. The muscle memories that you create when you practice your skill are vital to your success. Normally, this translates into an every-day practice regimen, and photography is no different. I have to practice at it all the time – hopefully every day – in order to retain my skills and even to learn new things and get better at it.
Last weekend, I went on a trip to Kentucky with my fiance and his family. While we were there, I tried my hardest to pull my camera out at least once a day for just a few minutes to practice taking pictures of different scenes. What I found out was that practice does not make perfect.
The first picture I took of the moon (see above, left) was a lousy one. It was followed by about a billion other lousy ones, most of which were almost all black. Over the next few nights, I took more moon pictures and played around with the settings on my camera until I was able to take the better picture (see above, right). If I hadn’t taken out my camera every night to work on my craft, I wouldn’t have been messing around with the settings to find out that I needed a low ISO and high aperture with a slow shutter speed. (That’s camera-talk for settings that make me stand stick straight for a solid minute while my camera tries to catch up to the scene.)
The picture on the right isn’t perfect. In fact, I wish I was still in Kentucky so that I could pull out my camera and keep trying. What the picture does have is potential, and practicing will increase my chances of reaching that potential. So I encourage you to practice what you love every day – even if it’s just for five minutes. Whether you love to write, dance, sing, act, read, etc. – practicing can help you reach your potential.