As a photographer I feel like it's easy to get caught up in the present, focus on where you wish you were with your style and quality of work. I think it's easy to feel stuck sometimes and wonder what you can do next to keep improving. I also think it's easy to forget sometimes that we all at one point put a camera in our hands for the first time with hopes and dreams of taking better photographs. I want to share with you one year in pictures of my sweet Riley Mae. When I picked up a camera for the first time challenging myself to learn manual mode, my main reason was to capture the milestones in my daughter's life. I really had no idea at the time where my photography journey would ultimately take me but looking back on this past year I'm able to see tremendous growth and development in the quality of my work. I love all these images because they are of my little girl and I took them, but I also look at the most recent images I took the other day of her and can see not only a better composed image, but I see my style and all the little pieces of what I've learned in just one year. I've been "practicing" my photography for almost two years now, but my first ever paid client was last October. Below you are going to see a series of images from last October to this October.
I will never stop learning and challenging myself.
I'm not here to tell you that I know everything or that I am any sort of expert in photography. However, I like to think that the endless hours I've spent fine tuning my style shows in this series. I've worked really hard this past year. Sure, I can sit here and think about all the places I want to go on my photography journey but for just a moment I have to pause and remind myself that I just started doing this. I still have a long way to go and I hope I continue learning and growing every single day as a photographer and business owner in general. When I feel that camera in my hands, hear that shutter go off, I'm brought to a different world. I'm in my happy place, and that sounds cheesy but it's the honest truth. I want to share these pictures because I think every year you should look back on what you've accomplished, big or small, and be proud of yourself.
I'd love to hear from you in the comments about your own photography journey! We are in this together.
Keep scrolling to the bottom for a list of take aways I got from scrolling through these images and what I feel the biggest "game changers" have been for the growth and development of my photography up to this point.
my 10 biggest takeaways this year as a photographer:
- Don't stop shooting. Keep practicing, keep challenging yourself.
- Avoid burnout by doing personal projects along the way in between client sessions.
- Invest in your education. Just because we aren't in college doesn't mean we shouldn't always keep learning and growing.
- Understand manual mode and don't shoot any other way.
- The importance of shooting RAW.
- Understanding the importance of light and where to place your subject.
- Learning how to direct my subjects to create those raw and candid moments.
- Know when to leave the camera behind to be present in the moment with family and friends.
- Give yourself some grace and remember that we all start somewhere and that you will improve.
- Don't forget to go back to your why on a regular basis. My why is above in all those images. She keeps me going, keeps me inspired and reminds me to just slow down and enjoy each moment because they go by too quickly.
Thanks for being here with me!