february online workshop | breaking the mold

BREAKING THE MOLD a two-week online workshop february 11th - 25th space is limited registration details below

some topics that will be discussed are: inspiration creativity thinking outside the box finding your style creating strong images building a strong portfolio

participants will receive the following: an honest and intimate look into my photography daily, interactive communication three assignments followed by feedback an inspirational e-book a few special giveaways and more!

details for early registration: 1. this workshop is held via the bloom form & therefore, all participants MUST BE bloom forum members. if interested in registering for this two-week online workshop but are not a yet a member of bloom, you can join the forum (for 3, 6 or 12 months), by clicking the bloom logo below... The Bloom Forum 2. once a bloom member, you can register in the bloom forum, here:  Bloom News section under Mini Workshop Information 3. the workshop will run from monday, february 11th - 25th, with daily posts and interaction 4. active seats are $225.00 per seat. 5. silent/read-a-long seats are $175.00 per seat. 6. the private workshop information will be available for one month after the workshop ends. 7. there is also a private section for all past breaking the mold participants, to continue  interacting and sharing with one another.

and here's what a few former breaking the mold participants had to say when the workshop was done:

I am sad that our time has come to an end in your new workshop ‘Breaking the Mold’. I have enjoyed it immensely.

We so often second-guess our instincts and I have learned lately that mine are very loud and rarely go away. It is funny too, I don’t often shy away from it, unless there is fear involved – fear of rejection, fear of not being validated, fear of moving forward, fear of dwelling too much on the past, fear of trying something new, fear of the competition. Your workshop has not only validated me, my strengths, my weaknesses, but it also brought my journey to a whole other level. I hope that I will continue to adapt and transform and ask myself all the questions you asked of us in your workshop. It was fast moving, made me reflect and helped me see things way more clearly. That is a gift.

There are very few people in my life who have truly given me inspiration, made me want to move forward and try something new. But you sure have! You have allowed me to let loose and share in a comfortable and giving environment. You were warm, generous and giving!!! I so appreciated all your candor. In our short two weeks, you have definitely given me confidence, helped me make sense of the issues and doubts I have been feeling for awhile and made me want to be a better me, for my clients and for my family and friends. Everyone needs that someone to get you “unstuck”. Your words, your exercises for us, and your explanation of your own photography has heightened my love and passion for photography so much more than I ever thought possible. - SARA

i’m so sad that our workshop is over, but i just wanted to take a minute to send you a quick note. this was the very first workshop i have ever taken, i had no real expectations. i can tell you that the last three weeks were unlike anything i thought i would experience in a photography workshop… it was almost like therapy for me, really! i am self taught, and have struggled with the mentality that i’m not up to par because i don’t have the piece of paper to prove that i deserve to be here. i finally think i’m starting to see that i don’t need to be technically perfect to be great at what i do. really, i could ramble on forever but i really just wanted to say thank you! thank you for helping me believe in myself, for bringing so much passion and inspiration to me in a short time and thank you for taking the time to teach us all and for being you!! i have never really surrounded myself with a group of my peers, it’s been an amazing ride. – Lila

I can’t thank you enough for your amazing workshop. It went above and beyond anything I had ever expected. I came into the workshop hoping to learn more about photography, I never dreamed of the personal journey it would take me on or the growth I would have. I have come away appreciating my vision as an artist and not worrying about others. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being so open and honest. I have grown leaps and bounds and look forward to continuing to grow even more. - STEPHANIE

new & fascinating

i was at the apple store yesterday with my sick computer.  there for a couple hours, chatting with the apple guy, and we got on the subject of photography.  he actually has an art degree and was pursuing photography on the side [he loves working at the apple store].  he asked me if i heard of the new camera concept, where you can select focus AFTER the fact.  i hadn't. so we talked some more. i guess before steve jobs died, he was trying to buy out this company, so he could bring the concept to apple.  it's just fascinating. so what is it? it's a camera, where you take a photograph, and then you or anyone you share the photograph with, can select a focal point anywhere on the image.  i investigated it a bit and the technology uses 11 megarays to capture a living image via a light field picture file [.lfp].  no printing of the pictures right now, just sharing digitally.  but my guess is printing [converting of these files] is around the corner.

the camera is small [1.61 in x 1.61 in x 4.41 in] and light.  prices range from  $399-$499, depending on how many images the camera can hold.

meet the lytro camera...

you can see the kinds of images the camera captures and what the image can do HERE.  just click anywhere on the image and see the focal point change.  so what do you think?  i'm curious to hear what others have to say about this new technology.

keep, protect, share

keep me, protect me, share me...

i will live forever.

such an awesome kodak ad, which i think and hope is going viral right now.  a video from 2005.  and now sadly, kodak files for bankruptcy. but i don't think this will be the end for kodak. or film. just as the impossible project is doing everything they can to keep instant film alive.

the video also has me thinking about the amazing opportunities we now have to capture a photograph -- film, instant, digital, phone, etc. but are yours protected? will yours have the opportunity to live forever? are your digital photographs backed up? have your images come off your phone? off your computer? something to definitely think about. something i personally am passionate about.

ten things

this is just WAY TOO GOOD to not re-post here, originally shared by chase jarvis [whose blog i really need to visit more often]... Here is a list of 10 things I’ve learned the hard way that every photographer, designer, creative–hell, every creative person–should know.

1. Experts aren’t the answer. The blogs, the teachers, the mentors, the seminars aren’t the answer. They’re not there to tell you exactly what you need to know. If they’re good, then they are there to give you some ideas, some guidelines, or some rules to learn and subsequently break. This isn’t about the expert, it’s about you. In creative pursuits especially…what’s going on inside you is where the answers can be found. Hear what experts say, but don’t always listen to them.

2. Clients cannot tell you what they need. Clients hire you because they have a problem. They need a great visual representation of something, a solution. They think they know the best way to photograph something, but they don’t really. That’s why they hire you. Take their suggestions to heart, because they definitely know their brand, product, their vision–perhaps even shoot a few versions of the images they THINK they want to see first–but then go nuts with own vision. Add value. Show them something they didn’t expect. Don’t be a monkey with a finger. Remember why you got hired…that YOU are the badass image maker. If you are good enough to get selected for the job, you should be good enough to drive the photographic vision.

3. Don’t aim for ‘better’, aim for ‘different’. It’s funny how related “better” and “different” are. If you aim for ‘better’ that usually means you’re walking in the footsteps of someone else. There will often be someone better than you, someone making those footsteps you’re following… But if you target being different–thinking in new ways, creating new things–then you are blazing your own trail. And in blazing your own trail, making your own footprints, you are far more likely to find yourself being ‘better’ without even trying. Better becomes easy because it’s really just different. You can’t stand out from the crowd by just being better. You have to be different.

4. Big challenges create the best work. If you get assignments that are pushing your vision, your skills, then awesome. Kudos to you, keep getting those assignments. If you’re not getting those assignments, then you need to be self-assigning that challenging work. Give yourself tough deadlines and tougher creative challenges. You do your best work where there is a challenge that is clearly present and 10 feet taller than you think you can handle.

5. Aesthetic sensibilities actually matter. Go figure on this one… I’m constantly surprised as how much this is overlooked. Read this and believe it: You must develop a keen understanding of design, color, light, and composition. To just say “I know a picture when I like it” isn’t going to get you anywhere. You need to know –for your own sake as well as the sake of your clients who will ask you– WHY a photo is a great photo. WHY is this one better than that one. If you don’t have any visual vocabulary, opinion, or aesthetic sensibility you won’t be able to explain these things. You won’t get the job. Or if you do get the job, you won’t be able to explain why your photos are worth getting hired again by the same client for the next campaign, story, or video. Trust me on this. Develop a sense of visual taste.

6. Simple is good. Almost every photo that is bad has too much information. Outside of technical basics, the number one reason that most photos fail is because there is no clear subject. Often this is the case with design, film, fashion, you name it. Remove clutter, remove distraction. Tell one story, and tell it well.

7. Make mistakes, learn quickly. Simply put, you need to be able to learn from your mistakes. Avoiding failure is not the goal. The goal is recovering from mistakes quickly. That goes for ever element of your photography–creative, business, vision…you name it. If you’re not willing to make mistakes, you’ll be paralyzed with inaction. That is the devil. Get out there and do stuff. If it works, do more of it. If it doesn’t work, change it. Quickly.

8. “Value” is different from “price.” Don’t compete on price alone. That is certain death in any creative field. Focus on delivering value and price yourself accordingly. If you deliver great value with your images — better than expected, and better than your competition– and you can illustrate that through any means, then you should be more expensive. And remember that value comes in many forms.

9. A-Gamers work with A-Gamers. If you are good at what you do, then you work–or seek to work–with other people who kick ass too. If you suck, then you put yourself around sucky people to feel better about yourself. If you want to be the best, seek to be around awesome people–be it other artists, assistants, producers, clients, partners, whatever. Shoot high. Shoot for better than yourself.

10. Real artists create. Do you just sit around and think of stuff you could create, photograph, build, ship, or design, but never output anything? Then you’re a poser. Take a new approach and make stuff. Maybe what comes out of your studio isn’t perfect, but there should always stuff leaving the door and hitting the web, the page, the billboard, the gallery, or the street. If you are for real, you’ll be pumping out work on the regular.

There you go. Now don’t just read this list, KNOW this list.

[This list was unabashedly, profoundly inspired by my pal Guy Kawasaki's article "What I learned from Steve Jobs." If you like this version that I've adapted to and reworked to be creative industry/photography centric, you'll still love Guy's version here.]

november mini-sessions | tampa photography

so happy to offer a few fall mini-sessions... MINI-SESSION INFORMATION

four 20-minute fall mini-sessions saturday, november 12th at redington long pier starting at 3:50 PM

to reserve a session time, please email deb@debsphotographs.com or call 858-431-6214.

retainer fee | $300 • includes $200 print credit, applied at time of order • 20-minute photo session for one person [5 months & older] • additional siblings or parents $25 each 
[up to four additional people] • 10-plus edited images presented in online proofing gallery for five days • refer to special mini-session pricing below • tax not included • non-refundable retainer due to hold session reservation

PORTRAIT COLLECTIONS ONE | $500 one 11x14 giclée print one digital file three desk prints

TWO | $750 two 11x14 giclée prints one digital file four desk prints

THREE | $1000 one 16x20 giclée print one 11x14 giclée print two digital files five desk prints

* with purchase of any collection, add all digital files [presented in your gallery] for an additional $500.

A LA CARTE ITEMS desk prints [8x10 & smaller] | $80 11×14 fine art giclée print | $175 16x20 fine art giclée print | $260 individual digital file | $350

and some photos from a few of my most recent family sessions...

do what you love

holy crap, this is so good!!

do what you love. do what you're about. and you will kill it. you will win. - gary vaynerchuk

thanks david duchemin for the awesome share.

p.s. i did see someone comment about the fact that sure this guy walked away from his wine business, but he probably did so as a millionaire.  regardless, he has a great message and is dynamic as hell.

a mini-workshop | june 3-17

i'm super excited to share that i'll be holding an online mini-workshop on the bloom forum -- june 3rd through june 17th.  this workshop is for bloom forum members only, so if you're interested in participating in this workshop, be sure to become a bloom forum member prior to workshop registration day (this tuesday, may 24th). to register for the bloom forum or for additional information, please click the bloom logo below...

The Bloom Forum

i'm super excited about this opportunity to teach and share.  hope to see you there!!

mother's day

yes, mother's day is quickly approaching -- may 8th, as a matter of fact.  and what more magical gift to give a woman for mother's day than a family or children's photo session.  who wouldn't love and cherish that gift?!!  and if they grumble for any reason, simply direct them here -- to my the perfect time post.  i promise they won't grumble any more. i know it's a dream of mrs. B's (below). at the most recent wallflower friends retreat, where we had the awesome opportunity to photograph mr and mrs B and their youngest two, we talked about how one of these days, she is going have all eight of her kids photographed together...and what a special mother's day gift that would be!!

if interested in reserving a photo session or purchasing a gift certificate, simply email me here.

also, don't forget about all my upcoming 2011 travel locations.

true momentum

true momentum happens when a unique gift is cast upon a moment that has been waiting for it all along. if you don't have it, the spread of your work feels contrived. so you may have lots of twitter followers, but if you garnered them by following anyone and everyone in a desperate attempt to grow your platform, no one really cares.

when true momentum happens, people respond to your work. it's like hoisting a sail and being propelled by the wind, rather than rowing your brains out.

i heard jon acuff say recently that when he launched stuff christians like, the site drew 4,000 readers in just 9 days. his talent was cast upon a moment that was waiting for it. - ben arment

oh how i love his words.  in a sea of photographers, this is something to really think about and take to heart.  work hard. be honest and passionate about what you do. and let things happen naturally.  you might just be surprised.

thanks steph beaty for sharing.  definitely a new blog to add to my reader. so many bits of inspirational wisdom scattered throughout his posts.

permission to dream

as i continue to try and find a way to go to miami and photograph my kids with this piano (dreaming that it IS possible), the past couple days has had me thinking a ton about dreaming and risk-taking. then i saw the following post on facebook, from my friend (and past workshop attendee), jess --

my dream: to have a photograph i have taken...on the cover of a book. i swear...i buy books by their cover...and would die if i could accomplish that!

and i thought, why don't we share our dreams -- our wishes, hopes, desires, aspirations -- more often? what a powerful thing, to put your dreams out there. to set them free. and surround yourself with supporters. and other dreamers. truly, what do we have to lose?

i  so believe... in dreaming big. working hard. taking risks. knowing that anything is possible if we allow ourself to dream!!

yesterday, i read this quote and found it so inspiring... if we always did what was known, there would be nothing to learn, explore or gain. isn’t it the surprises, the unexpected twists and turns that give meaning to our journey and make our dreams happen? Without risk, we’d stay hunkered down in our heads instead of living out loud in our hearts. - author unknown

and then i happened across this quote this morning. every thought you think is taken as a command by your subconscious, but it’s your strongest thoughts that become your true goals. - brian mayne

can't help but think how truly powerful it is to fill your mind up with positive thoughts and big dreams.  so tell me, WHAT IS YOUR DREAM(S)?

this is too good

...not to share everywhere i can. sid savara shares seven reasons why you should never check email first thing in the morning. balance is something that most, if not all, (digital) photographers have great trouble with, especially when it comes to too much time spent on the computer. i think about all the time i spend on the computer -- checking email, editing, blogging, updating, twittering, facebooking, pinteresting, flickering (just to name a few). we talk about all kinds of ideas on how plan to limit our computer time, but it's like crack or something...we're just drawn in and once you're in, you need more. but i'm going to work really hard to start here --and not getting on my computer first thing in the morning. i'm thinking if i'm up at 6:30 (getting the kids off to school), i should give myself until at least 9:30 AM (an hour after i drop kiele off to school) before i touch my computer.

i summarized mr savara's seven steps below...

1. ignorance is bliss...fully productive. when you get up, work on something important first, for 30-45 minutes. you don't know what needs to be addressed, what fires need to be put out, what your best friend has to share, etc. i

2. it's not YOUR to-do list. do what's the most important thing for you to work on instead of being tasked by other people via your email. remember who is in charge of your time -- focus your time and energy on what YOU really would like to work on.

3. it's an excuse to lack direction. if you're checking email (first thing in the morning or often), it's because you haven't decided what your high priorities are and focused on them. when you don't have a clear list of priorities, checking email becomes an urgent one, often at the expense of the important ones.

4. reaction vs. 'proaction'. what is the chance that you checked your email at the exact right moment to address that super important email that just came through? checking email often forces you to react as items come in regardless of their true priority. instead, take proactive actions and work on the things that are important to you.

5. searching for excuses. don't check your email if you're looking for a way to get out of the task at hand -- acknowledge what needs to get done and do it.

6. there's no set time limit. checking email really only takes a minute - but you can get sucked into follow-up activities that result from checking email. don't let email suck you in and cause you to devote more time than you can afford; set productive hours.

7. it builds expectations. how many people say "but i have to check my email; people expect my to reply right away." that's a bunch of bullshit (he didn't really say that, i did). if people do expect a response from you right away, it's because you've created that expectation.

how many of us waste time online, while we should be working on our to-do list? i know i'm so guilty. some days i'm better than others. for a while, i kept my written to-do list up-to-date and plugged away at it. every day, i circled my high priority items and got them done. i need to get back to doing that.

you can read mr sivara's full article here. i now have his site bookmarked. hoping to be inspired by more of his articles. thanks for the little kick in the ass tara and getting me refocused again.  i'm going to work hard at finding a better balance -- and focus on the things that are truly important!!

an artist's style

i subscribed to nate williams' newsletters long ago because i loved one of his art print posters and they happened to be sold out. i was hopeful that maybe he would re-issue it in the future. little did i know that i'd also be receiving great, inspiring articles for creatives from nate williams. in his most recent newsletter, he included an article, does a professional illustrator need a "style". he shares...

As an illustrator, art directors hire you because they want to give a project a specific tone, feeling and they need to be able to count on your work being a certain way for their project, campaign, etc. It’s kind of like choosing a font. Imagine if you bought a Metallica CD and it was full of acoustic Bolivian folk music .. you would be kind of confused??? Art directors usually don’t want to play “style roulette”. This doesn’t mean you can’t do other styles…it just means when you present them to clients have consistency between the bodies of work. A number of illustrators, writers, and musicians work under various names for this vary reason. For example, my other style .. or alter ego is Alexander Blue. This is a wackier, colorful style geared for kids.

and regarding, does having a "style" mean never changing or growing, he states,

No, it just means have consistency between the bodies of work you present. (ie Nate Williams, Alexander Blue .. both me .. just grouped accordingly)

such great words to embrace and think about!! and i love that these thoughts are from a different type of an artist -- an illustrator versus another photographer.

had me thinking, for sure. i often have a difficult time seeing or talking about my own style, although i will when one forces me to. but i do know what i love. and i work hard to only put the photos that i really love in my portfolio. at the end of the day, i feel like if you do your thing and you're honest about what you love and share that in your portfolio, your style will shine without even trying.

and...i'm so excited about ordering this fabulous nate williams print, which was very similar to the print that i was originally longing for. a beautiful life indeed...

lastly, an image from the other day, while shooting with my friend, kathy wolfe. it had been a while since i shot.  and it makes my heart so, so happy when i do.

p.s. no birds were added or manipulated in this image.  it is as it magically was that day...and at that moment.  :-)

photography journey

i was just going through my website, checking how everything looked and flowed, after making some recent changes and updates. and as i went through my portfolio images, tears filled my eyes. i just feel so blessed to have met all the people i've met, while on this photography journey. the clients, who have trusted me to photograph their families and/or their children -- some of them, over and over again.  many of my friends, who i so cherish and would most likely have never met if i hadn't pursued photography. and to be a military family, which has given me so many opportunities to meet new people and explore new areas. i really hope that my photography journey has only just begun...but no matter what, i am grateful for all that i have experienced, which has truly filled my heart and soul. and to think, i may never have started down this photography path without going through those three months of hell in 2005, living in the rat, maggot and fly infested house, in san diego. some things are just meant to happen...even though we may not realize the gift they will one day bring us, at the time.

from san diego, where i first started learning photography, to kansas, which i never imagined i would enjoy as much as i did, to tampa, where i hope, dream and wish my journey to continue and paths to expand.

should you

...work for free? if you haven't seen this yet, it's a funny read. but not really. it's something to REALLY think about as you contemplate doing business for free. i definitely have my opinionated thoughts about doing complimentary work and those attending the wallflower friends retreat will be hearing about some of those thoughts soon. :-)

created by jessica hische | view the original, larger version here

also... a great little interior design blog post here on when "fine art meets family portraits".

and since i love to include photos with my posts, here's a few favorites of my kids from the past five years...

can't help but mention that in the shot above, it was the first day ryder was potty trained (wearing big boy underwear), he scribbled all over himself and had sky's ponytail holders on, which we called his 'wonder boy bracelets'. sigh...where does the time go?

portfolio questions answered

after my initial portfolios post, i started receiving some emails / questions regarding portfolios, so i decided to answer those questions here... i am always stuck on getting all my images to look the same. like i see many other photographers accomplish... Do you edit all your images the same?..or do you let the image determine how you edit (if you edit at all). Do you think it is important for the consistency or rather letting the image stand out, even if that means it does not "look" like the others..

very rarely do i edit the same; my editing changes with time and often is affected by my mood.  however, i will try to edit a single client session similar or at least make sure that it flows and is cohesive.  and yes, i absolutely let the image determine how i will edit it. i like to say that i feel the image.

i believe that each and every portfolio image is independent of one another and so i don't worry about images within my galleries looking similar or flowing.  i hope they are cohesive though -- in being honest with my portfolio selections, i hope they all look like me [my photography], which lends to natural cohesiveness.

What do you think is a good number of images for a website gallery?

i don't think there's a magic number to the amount of images for a website gallery; however, you do have to be careful of too many.  how many is too many? i'm not sure.  i guess this is really artist dependent.  i try to keep in mind that i don't want to overwhelm my prospective clients.

I notice you seem to integrate more artistic images very well - I have a hard time with this, and I'm not sure how well my own site/portfolio flows. What are your thoughts on combining artistic projects and portrait work?

i have my projects and portrait work in separate groupings [portfolios & projects] on my website; however, that doesn't mean i don't have artsy images within my portrait galleries.  for me, i have absolutely no problem mixing my images. in the end, whether artsy or not-so-artsy, i hope they are both strong and both scream me. i don't think there's a right or wrong answer as to combining or making separate. sometimes  you just have to play and do what seems to work best for your artistry and your website. i do have some images that i love that just don't flow on my website portfolio and so they are not there. for example the images below. i absolutely love them but i don't think they work on my current website | portfolios. but that doesn't mean they won't in the future, as i'd love to begin photographing more in client's homes.  if that was the case, maybe these photos could be part of my online portfolio.

I was just going through your portfolio (love!) and noticed your kiddos were on there. Someone (can't remember who??) once told me not to put my kids photos on the portfolio. I can't even remember why?? Anyway.. I took that to heart and have like 2 photos of my girls on my portfolio. I used to have a section called 'Mine' with my fave photos of my girls.. but got rid of that too. What are your thoughts on this? Some of my fave photos are of my own kids... but then perhaps it is just my own bias because I am so emotionally attached to them.

i think there is NOTHING wrong with having your own children on your website (obviously).  however, i do want to caution you on mommy goggles. every mom photographer knows what i'm talking about -- those images that might not be as strong as others but we have a hard time seeing that because we're emotionally attached to the image because they're our cute kids. just make sure that the images of your kids that you're putting on your site are strong and what you want to shoot with your clients. if you're not sure, run the image by a friend, who will be honest with you.

I hear the needing to keep portfolio images in one easy to access place. I’d love to hear more about how you organize this.

i think portfolio organization is so important. i have a 'portfolio' folder. within that folder, i have a 'high res' and 'low res' folder. and that's it. you're organized. the reason a high res folder is a must is because over time, your website will probably change. with a new website comes new sized web images. if that's the case and your organized, you simply go to your 'high res' folder and batch process the high res files to the new web size needed.

with that being said, my 'high res' folder (10x14 at 300 dpi) is very fluid -- images come and go. if i'm on the fence about an image, i might just leave it there. if i know the image no longer speaks to me, i remove it from my portfolio folder.

also, i recently switched to lightroom and imported all my high res portfolio images and tagged them with the word portfolio (keyword). now, as i shoot a new image that i want in my portfolio, i add the portfolio keyword and then export it to my high res and low res folder.

the key is having all your portfolio images in one place, for easy access.

How do you keep all your portfolio images organized, categorized and sorted so you can find and refer to them easily. I love so many and typically forget I own them or where they are. I am referring to digital and Polaroid.

having my portfolio images in one folder is enough to keep them organized, categorized and sorted.  you really shouldn't have thousands of images in your portfolio.  or even hundreds for that matter (IMO). i do have separate portfolio folders though, e.g. 'portfolio client', 'portfolio polaroid', 'portfolio dress', etc.


if you have a portfolio question, feel free to add it in the comments and i'll do my best to answer in an ETA section of this post.


ask anyone who knows me...i have a thing about website portfolios. and here's some of my pretty opinionated thoughts... clients come to your website to get an idea of who you are as a photographer and the photographs you produce. they want to have a thorough understanding about what they're potentially going to invest in. and therefore it's important for you to have an honest and up-to-date representation of yourself and your work. your portfolio is your business' first impression. and shouldn't you have that first impression be the best it can be?

nothing frustrates me more than when photographers say they they don't have time to update their portfolio. especially for years!! for me, updating my portfolio is not even an annual thing; it's ongoing throughout every year. my prospective clients deserve that. they deserve to know exactly what they're getting if they choose to invest in me, as their photographer.

and i hope that anyone i have photographed over the years would say that i have an honest representation of my work on my website.

so as we start this new year, PLEASE consider looking through and updating your website portfolio. and then consider continuing to update throughout the year.

here's a few photographs that i just added to my portfolio. and with that, a few others that didn't feel quite right any longer, were removed.

and a couple oldies that just made it back into my portfolio.  that's the beauty of portfolios; your loves, tastes, editing, etc. -- it all changes over time.

ETA:  i just had another thought.  i've heard from some photographers,

if they [clients] want to see updated photos, they're on my blog.

well if that's the case and that's the route you want to go, get rid of your main website. again, if you have a site AND a blog, take responsibility for both of them. your client doesn't know what you're thinking; they just know what they see.

lastly, keeping your high-res portfolio images organized and easily found will greatly help in portfolio management, access and updates.  trust me! :-)

being true

jasmine's blog is in my google reader and today, she blogged about selective clientele.  while her post is geared towards brides, her words are applicable to any and all commissioned photography.   she writes:

Each component of my brand--both personal and professional--does one of two things: 1. Attracts - Makes a prospective bride like me more (perhaps she likes dogs, chocolate, reality tv, and falafels as much as me) 2. Repels - Makes a prospective bride dislike me (perhaps she likes celery, Chekhov, and crocheting by the fire)

If you're trying to work with clients who fit your personality like a glove, here are a few things to consider... 1. Ensure your website is a true reflection of WHO you are, not WHAT you do. 2. Embrace the personal perspective of your business and showcase that perspective. 3. Showcase the type of imagery you want to always shoot (e.g. I want to shoot fun people, so I showcase fun/silly/laughing photos). 4. Educate prospective clients. (e.g. I want my brides to do a First Look, so I explain the importance and value). 5. Be personal. Yes, this means making yourself vulnerable. If people don't like you, who cares?! Be true to you...and those who love you will become you're biggest fans.

i absolutely love all jasmine shared and couldn't agree more.  be true to yourself.  be true to your clients.  in the end, you both will win.  they'll get the right photographer; you'll get the right client.  i hope my clients would say that i do this well...because i definitely try!!

change is good

with every move comes a significant amount of purging, organizing, change and starting new and this year, that includes my business. purging lots of old client files. organizing my business everything, for an exciting and fresh start in tampa. and launching a new website.

this website is my fourth website, in almost exactly four years. i love it so much because of the flexibility and the large images. i'm a firm believer that a photographer's photographs should be what attracts the clients. and all in all, i'm just pretty straightforward and simple and i think that's what this website shows -- just doin' what i love and putting it out there.  :-)

so here it is -- come take a look at my new (and i like to think improved) deb schwedhelm photography website. i hope you love it!

also, i'd like to thank my family, friends, mentors, peers and clients for all the support and inspiration over these past four years -- it's been a hell-of-a-fantastic-awesome-and- sometimes-wild-and-crazy ride and i can't wait to see where the next four years take me.

p.s. we're now at T minus 24 until we are officially and completely out of this house. and i'm really kind of sad about it, especially since we don't have a house yet in tampa. this one-year tour here in kansas has been an incredible one and we'll never have another one quite like it!!