It is FAQ Friday! This was a popular blog feature last year and my readers always enjoyed it so when I took to the polls to find out what blog posts my readers would like to see return, this was one of them!
I posted in my Facebook VIP GROUP to see if members there had any burning questions for me to answer on my blog. Here are several of my favorites!
Q. Favorite locations to shoot and why? // A. Without giving any of my big secrets away (lol), I love shooting in areas that most pass up. Especially areas that people see as torn up, old, rugged, etc. Those are my favorite! In particular, I love when a client arrives to the location and they just cannot see how I'm going to make it work and then they see the images and fall in love. One example I will use is underneath the bridge in Petersburg! It's probably one of my absolute favorite places and clients are always nervous when I tell them we're shooting under there. lol
Q. What should someone expect if they've never done a boudoir shoot? // A. To feel amazing! No, but really.. honest answer. If you've never participated in a boudoir shoot before, I would say first of all, make sure that the photographer you have hired has experience with your body type. If you're booking with me, the first thing I do is I email you to get your sizing information and have you fill out a form asking how you've always dreamed of being photographed. Next, we would go out to grab coffee and I would sit with you, one-on-one to get to know you a little bit so that I can personally build your session around you. After coffee, we would set up your special day and the planning stages would begin. With my team, I work directly to make sure all details are built and tailored around you and the experience you want. A week or so before, I would email you a How to Prepare Guide that goes over what you can expect the day of, how you can prepare and give you a play-by-play of what happens before, during and after the session. The day of, you can expect for me to work with you closely to ensure you feel confident and comfortable! My team would do your makeup, your hair and style you with the wardrobe and accessories my stylists have picked out. From there, I would pose you in ways that help you to feel sexy, beautiful, confident and that also work specifically for YOUR body type! Afterwards, lunch is on me. Following the shoot, a sneak peek would be posted for you unless you have requested for your images to remain private. After that, in a couple of weeks, you would have your images delivered to you!
Q. I wanna know what crazy things you have done to get those perfect shots! // A. Oh boy. I honestly like to push the limits and go against what everyone else teaches photographers should and shouldn't do. One of the craziest though would definitely be when my team and I ran behind on getting our model ready. This was for a creative outlet shoot, so just something my client and I planned together just to kind of play around with! So, we ran out of time getting her ready from the intricate hair and makeup that was put into her look. We started shooting while the sun was going down but I hadn't got in all of the shots I formulated in my head! We completely ran out of light and at the time, I didn't have a flash, I didn't have lighting - I was truly just starting out. I thought well, light is light to me so I had my friend and the dress maker of the shoot pull her truck around and turn her lights on to our model. So, I shot the entire rest of the shoot by SUV truck light! It was tricky and I found myself in awkward positions to ensure I wasn't blocking or shadowing the light but it totally worked and those images are still some of my favorites to this day!
Another crazy thing I am known for doing is having my clients stop traffic.. literally. We run out into the middle of the street when we see a clearing to grab shots and I always lay down on the road to get it! So, cars are sometimes polite enough to wait, other times, they'll honk and/or drive around. lol I always run the risk of being run over but the shots are totally worth it.
Q. Craziest fiasco you have recovered from! // A. That would definitely be the most recent styled shoot I did for Enchanted Forest. It's a super long story and you can read the blog on it HERE but to shorten it up, my battery grip failed and I did not have my battery trap door to allow my camera to come on when I removed the grip. So I had to shove a small stick into the battery door release so that I could finish the shoot! It was crazy and I probably looked super unprofessional shooting with a stick hanging out of the bottom of my camera but the images made it worth it. lol
Q. If you could do a shoot anywhere in the world, where would it be?? // A. Ireland! For sure. Or, honestly, if I could, I would travel the world and find women who feel they do not fit the "standards" of beauty and I would photograph them to show them how beautiful they truly are. That's actually one of my bucket list goals. To eventually travel the world and photograph women who don't fit the "norm" and then place them right on the cover of my magazine. That would be amazing and what an honor it would be to be in the presence of these women.
Q. How do you prepare for a shoot? // A. Well, that honestly depends on what type of shoot I'm doing! Mostly it involves loud music on the way there and of course, prayer before. I always pray before a session. I ask God to take control of my hands and guide me to photograph my clients in a way that they need, not in a way that I want to capture them. Photography is a delicate career, especially when you specialize in making women feel beautiful. There's a delicate balance in ensuring you capture your client in a way that is either going to help her confidence or break her down even more. There's no way I could do that alone! So honestly, there's my secret. I've had many, many people ask me how I'm able to help women in the way that I am and honestly.. it's not me at all. I'm just a vessel.
Q. Do you find it more challenging to be a mom or a business owner? // A. Whew. That one is tough. Honestly, I would have to go with business owner. Not in a bad way though! There's just a lot to balance to ensure things run smoothly and in top shape! Being a mom is easy for me. Don't get me wrong, there are tough days when the littles need all of my attention or when they're having a sick day or cranky day... and that can be stressful when I am struggling to find out exactly what their needs are. But it's still easy - even when stressful. In the business side, there's a whole other behind the scenes side that not many know of. I form friendships with my clients and I have become very great friends with many of them so there are days when they're hurting or struggling with something within their life that I would LOVE to help them with, but can't. Confidence? Sure! I can help you with that.. but it's a much greater internal battle that ensues after as well to learn self-love. I cannot help with that. I wish I could! But, ultimately, I had to learn as a woman and as a business owner that I can help with the beginning stages, however, ultimately, it's up to her to continue the battle. That was tough for me to learn because I do have the help complex. I love "fixing" people.. or at least feeling like I've done part of it.
Q. How did you find your balance with running your business being a wife and a mom? // A. I have balance?? ahahaha! No, but really... very carefully and some days, not at all. It's kind of a learning process every day because my kids are getting older and their needs are changing, on top of this, I'm expecting my third child so now I have to balance in appointments and remember to take care of myself for my little one! So, it honestly is a very delicate balance and I'm not even sure how I am able to get it all done in a day but I can say it definitely starts with prayer! I start every single day in the word, in prayer, in worship and I just thank God for what He has given me! I think it's important to remain grounded in something and that something for me is God and the promises He has made! Days when life happens and I feel overwhelmed, I just submerge myself in His word and I think about the sacrifices that Jesus made for me and for you on the cross; suddenly, my worries and my stresses don't seem quite so bad! Lastly, I date my husband still. That's probably the best piece of advice I can give to anyone who is newly married, seasoned in marriage or even considering marriage - remember to date one another still. I actually wrote a blog about it HERE.
Q. Do you have a dream "fantasy-shoot"? If so what is it? (Mid evil, vampire, Wild West , roaring 20's, pirate etc.,) // A. Oh boy - this one is HARD! I have so many ideas locked away in a journal that are dream fantasy shoots! One of those was actually Abandoned, so seeing it come to life was amazing in and of itself. But, if I had to choose just ONE from the book to say "that's it. If I were to only do ONE last shoot before my career is over, that is IT!" Then I would definitely say an epic mix of everything everyone has ever feared, brought to life in a horror series! I know, it's dark, it's dreary and it's completely AWAY from anything I've ever done but it's definitely something I would just die to do! Shoot in an epic old abandoned castle and bring to life everything I ever feared as a child. I never feared clowns or vampires or anything like that.. it was always the unseen! The things that go 'bump' at night and make the floors creek. The black shadows that get darker in the dead of night. The things that leave scratches on you when you're sleeping tight. And it wouldn't be based in this time period. It would be in the 20's or 30's. And I would have one of those creepy house Mother's.. you know the ones you see in movies that are always WAY too hard on the children. One of those. And she would have a dark secret that no one knew. And I would have balloons float up out of no where... just red balloons floating around the house, in the dark.
Now that you've seen the dark side of my brain, let's move on! lol Enjoy this happy photo of my children!
If you have a question you'd like to ask, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave it in the #FAQFriday post in our VIP GROUP on Facebook! Until next week, ciao!