Ten Frames: Ashley & Joe

I have a tendency to both overshoot and overshare. I think it’s because I’m still pretty new to this and consistently amazed by the power of photography. Like lately, I’ve been implementing prompts into my photography and really loving the result. For sessions like this one, it helped to capture some of the genuine heart of Ashley and Joe’s relationship without forcing anything. And not only that, some of the prompts led to memorable moments on their own.

Ashley and Joe have known each other forever. They work together now— Ashley manages and Joe runs the kitchen at a popular downtown bar and grill— and it’s clear as you watch them that their relationship is solid, built on a foundation of mutual respect and joy from being near each other. Just look at these pictures! The second in this collection, despite its weak composition, is one of my absolute favorites thanks to the unfiltered love beaming out of Joe’s eyeballs.

I took 370 pictures during this session. A lot of them were just multiple frames of the same prompt, but even so, it was really hard to narrow this album down to about 70. So you can imagine the pain I felt in reducing it even further to my favorite ten for this post! But I hope these ten frames give you a sense for A & J’s personality, and how special they are together! I can’t wait to capture their special day! Ahh! So many exclamation points!

Michelle & Faris

If you know me, you know I am (and I always describe myself as) a connoisseur of love stories. Jane Austen is my favorite author, “Notting Hill” is my favorite romantic comedy, my inner monologue usually sounds like Bridget Jones, and I read books like “Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell until I’ve practically memorized the text.

So then, I shouldn’t be surprised by how much I love wedding photography. My first paid gig was as a second shooter for Luna Photographie at a September wedding, and I was stunned by how at-home I felt. It’s difficult for me to feel upset or sad during a wedding, one of the few events which is (at least for me) all-consuming, distracting to the point that I can’t keep up with current events on Twitter or wallow in my own existential angst. Weddings are a time for celebration, laughing, supporting, loving.

So, of course, when Michelle asked me to photograph her elopement to Faris I immediately answered YES! Or, to be accurate, “OH MY GOD LETS (sic) DO IT!”

What a special time it was, and I felt my luck in being granted access to such an intimate ceremony. I met Faris just a few minutes before the first look and was so touched by his excitement, and by his desperation to see Michelle (who is so clearly his favorite person.) I won’t bore you with my read of Faris & Michelle’s relationship, except to say I’ve never met two people who loved each other so eagerly. The trust they granted me as they held each other before the ceremony was truly a gift— hell, I’m tearing up now remembering it. And I knew then, after the first look and before the officiant arrived, that I was right where I wanted and needed to be. That wedding photography has to be a part of my life moving forward. Love stories are my happy place, and this was a good one.

Anyway, here are some images of the beautiful couple & their ceremony. (And, just an FYI, the officiant rocked. She began the ceremony by talking about feminism and the complexity of marriage, and I was immediately on board.) Thank you to Michelle & Faris for letting me in on your beautiful day, and for helping me to find my place in the giant terrifying world of niche photography!

Resources for new photographers

I bought my entry-level DSLR in June of 2018. It took me several months to figure out the basics of my camera, but once I did, I began living and breathing photography. I work out of town so I spent my commutes listening to photography podcasts. On my days off, I read photography books and watched photography tutorials and put what I was learning into practice by shooting around my apartment— on my dogs, on my husband, on myself, whatever.

If you’re a new or learning photographer and you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, I have some resources to share that helped me with my own journey. As you’ll notice, MOST of it is from the “So You Want to be a Photographer” podcast— it’s hands-down given me the most inspiration & help.

Take a quick scan and see what can be most useful to you!

Exposure & Beginning photography

For Dummies books - If you can, find a For Dummies book for your camera. I was floundering because I didn’t understand the basics of exposure or how different dials on my camera controlled exposure. The For Dummies book don’t actually treat you like a dummy, by the way.

Ben Long’s “Introduction to Photography” course on Lynda.com

Episode 20 of So You Want to be a Photographer - Get off auto, master manual mode in 30 minutes

Episode 28 of So You Want to be a Photographer - Bok bok bokeh: How to get beautiful blurry backgrounds

Episode 66 of So You Want to be a Photographer - The Matrix: Camera Metering Modes Explained Without the Need for a Science Degree

Episode 67 of So You Want to be a Photographer - How to Shoot in Low Light

Episode 136 of So You Want to be a Photographer - Should you work for free, and how to take your photography to the next level

Episode 141 of So You Want to be a Photographer - Crank it up! Why every photographer should embrace high ISO

Episode 202 of So You Want to be a Photographer - A complete guide to focal length and how it affects focus and depth of field

Episode 222 of So You Want to be a Photographer - What are the best lenses and camera settings for portrait and documentary photography?

Seeing Light

Episode 14 of So You Want to be a Photographer - Lighting explained without the need for a science degree

Episode 217 of So You Want to be a Photographer - How to see and read light

Artificial Light

Episode 17 of So You Want to be a Photographer - Get your gear off! How to use off-camera flash. Part 1

Erin Manning’s “Learning Studio Lights and Flash Lighting” course on Lynda.com

Episode 35 of So You Want to be a Photographer - Classic portrait lighting styles every photographer should know

Episode 58 of So You Want to be a Photographer - Seeing the Light: Rookie Lighting Mistakes and How to Overcome Them

Episode 89 of So You Want to be a Photographer - Your Guide to Buying and Using Speedlights and Accessories

Episode 169 of So You Want to be a Photographer - How to use coloured gels in photos

Episode 218 of So You Want to be a Photographer - How to work with speedlights for beginners, intermediates, and pros

Posing & Directing

Episode 19 of So You Want to be a Photographer - Girls on film. How to direct and pose women

Episode 29 of So You Want to be a Photographer - You’ve got male: How to pose men

Episode 33 of So You Want to be a Photographer - 7 Deadly Posing Sins and how to avoid them

Episode 43 of So You Want to be a Photographer - Group Hug: How to direct, pose and light group photos

Episode 99 of So You Want to be a Photographer: How to communicate effectively as a photographer

Unposed Fieldguide

Confidence & Style

Episode 25 of So You Want to be a Photographer - How to become more confident as a photographer

Episode 32 of So You Want to be a Photographer - Work it! How to find and develop your own photographic style

Episode 88 of So You Want to be a Photographer - How to Overcome Fear and Self Doubt and Thrive as a Photographer

Turning photography into a business

Episode 10 of Photospark - Taxes are no joke

Episode 24 of Photospark - Unprofessional Habits of Photographers

Episode 18 of So You Want to be a Photographer - KERCHING! Everything you need to know about pricing

Episode 47 of Photospark - Finding your dream clients

Episode 90 of Photospark - Live & Learn: Contract Edition!

Episode 96 of Photospark - 10 things we wish we knew when we started our photography business

Episode 99 of Photospark - Creating a marketing plan with Heidi Thompson

Episode 137 of So You Want to be a Photographer - How do you know if you are ready to start a photography business?

Episode 146 of So You Want to be a Photographer - How to find your photography niche

Episode 259 of PhotoBizXposed - Photography Business Growth by Referrals