When I first began photography, I started with just an Olympus point and shoot. I began taking photos lots in my spare time due to a class in junior high- Eventually I began exploring different light and angles while still using auto settings; I also saw vacations as an opportunity to take more artistic images!
Eventually I got my first Canon Rebel as a gift; and that was it- the world of lenses, filters, and manual settings were brought into my life.. and I was hooked.
I started shooting my first real sessions and took photos like the ones below.. since it was only a Canon Rebel it wasn't the best image possible... but at the time I was beyond proud of myself! These were shot with a 50mm lens and I adored them.
A few years later my wonderful fiancé convinced me to upgrade and I made the big switch to Nikon!!! (I am now a nikon girl for life). I chose a Nikon D7100 to slowly give me more experience and transition into professional camera bodies.
During the time I had this camera, I managed to fully grasp my manual settings and I felt invincible! I purchased a few new lenses, got more experienced with photo sessions, and captured images like the ones below! I also discovered Lightroom in this time and never went back to Photoshop! I edited them this way for about a year and loved them- however my editing style took little changes over time.
The time came when I started really getting discouraged with my work (as all photographers do at some point). I began comparing to others- but this just made me work harder. I joined an amazing forum of female photographers called Clickin Moms which has been a huge turning point! I learned from the other women and was free to ask any questions- and even put my own photos up for critique!
I really pushed myself and grasped depth of field, aperture settings, and focusing methods. I found that I am very thankful for spot metering.. and back button focusing! :)
Within this time I also found MY style. I found how to make my images look the way I love them instead of trying to get them to look like other photographers. I found that I LOVE vibrant colour in images and I adore pops of red (so much so that I get butterflies if I know there will be a red dress, red hat, etc). I also found that black and white photos amaze me and I can edit them in a whole other way because there is no colour.
Finally finding who I was as a photographer inspired me so much I just wanted to shoot and shoot and shoot!!! I photographed anyone that would be willing to really build my portfolio with my own style and show people who I am through my photos.
Through this I have learned that I want to specialize in individual portraits like grads and casual shoots... but I also found that wedding photography inspires me greatly. Somewhere along the way I saved my money to buy my first professional level camera (the D800) and my dream lenses which I adored. With my new editing style and camera my images started turning out like this (and I was really happy about it)!
And then I chose to switch camera models yet again (yup) and took more workshops to really fine tune my shooting style, composition, and editing techniques. I have to say that when I shoot, it is SO important for me to nail exposure and white balance during shoot time. It saves me SO MUCH time during editing and I would recommend all aspiring photographers to learn manual through and through!
Let's just say that from this point my drive has skyrocketed- I am hungry to keep improving and challenging myself with every shoot! I have invested in more equipment, back up equipment, and have my degree to really aid my business. I only shoot with mainly two lenses- they are my babies and suit my style perfectly. I learned that I hate zoom lenses and buying the most expensive and largest lens (which may look impressive to others) does not work for everyone and every style.
My advice is to never believe you have nothing left to work on with photography- there are ALWAYS things to improve on and new things to learn! At this point my images look like the ones below, but I know I will always evolve! Looking forward to what the world of photography brings in my future!
Thanks for reading and have a lovely weekend!