Thursday, March 17, 2011

Oh I Wish....

No, I'm not going to break out in an Oscar Meyer song-although I did think about it!
What I wish is I didn't always have to learn lessons the hard way. That I had paid attention when someone who knew what they were talking about and had been where I was gave me advice. 
I had a girl email me asking for advice on photography. Me. I was so incredibly humbled! I still consider myself a 'hobby-ist' photog. I have so much to learn and a long way to go before I will feel like I have the right to call myself a 'professional photographer.' 
I've learned so much in the past 9 months due mostly to those amazing photographers that took their time and replied to my silly little questions about photography. They gave me critiques when I asked and told me what they had learned. I don't think they will ever know how much I appreciate them-I think you know who you are.
Now here's the point of this blog post. I know there aren't many people that read this little blog of mine, but if there is just one would be photographer that reads this and feels empowered to go out there and pursue his or her dreams I'll be so incredibly happy.
This is a reply to the sweet girl that wrote me for advice. Copy and pasted from my email with a few modifications to make it a little more blog worthy[aka personal info omitted]

To the new kid,
Wow! Advice! There's so much I could give{most of it I've learned the hard way}and I'm positive I'm not done learning.
I'll stick to the basics though.
First: Equipment: If you haven't yet, invest in a good camera{a D-SLR} My suggestion if you're just starting out is a Canon Rebel XS or T1i. I don't know much about Nikon or I'd suggest one of their cameras. Canon or Nikon is probably the best way to go. You can be sure they are gonna perform well.
 Do your research before you buy ANYTHING! One of my biggest mistakes was running to Best Buy and recklessly buying the first camera and lens I saw that was in my price range. There are a lot of websites out there that have good equipment cheaper than Best Buy.
 Always get the warranty! Always.
Shooting techniques: Shade is your best friend. You'll usually get pretty good exposure on your subjects if you place them in the shade. That being said, avoid dappled sunlight on your subjects. Your eye is automatically attracted to the brightest spot on your picture. You don't want that spot to be about 5 places of your subjects face.
 My general rule of thumb is to either shoot at sun rise or sun set.{about 9am or 4pm}
 Keep the sun to your subjects back. It gives a really pretty glow to their hair and gets rid that yucky squinty look they get when looking directly  into the sun.
 My biggest piece of advice when you're actually shooting is slow down. Take your time. Notice the details and pay attention to the sun and its reflections. These are all things you really have to train yourself to do. Usually at shoots I get these HUGE adrenaline rushes{i know, sounds weird, but it's true}I'll  find myself getting distracted. I'll be working on one idea, think of something else I want to try and hurry through what I'm working on. It's an awful habit I'm having to break myself of now.
 People: This is a hard one. I'll start with posing. Keep it natural. You don't HAVE to have people sitting up super straight and always looking at the camera. Find a few photographers{via blogs, facebook, pinterest, etc...}that you can study and you respect and pay attention to their work. I'm not saying copy it. I'm saying watch how they pose people. The angles they choose and the way they light their pictures. Note what you do like and what you don't then make it your own. Be careful with looking at other photographers work. Sometimes people like to tear others that may not be as good as them down. Don't let that discourage you.  I don't know how serious you are into photography, but really pray about what God wants you to do. I had no idea I was going to like photography so much, but God really gave me a passion for it. 
Much love,                                                        

I could be wrong on some things I said. I don't claim to be perfect. Neither do I pretend to. I'm just a human being trying to learn this beautiful art we call photography.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Changing Me.

Have you ever had a moment where you knew your life just changed drastically? 
I don't care if it was a good thing or a bad thing. If it was a tiny thing or a huge thing. You just knew it changed you. Changed your perspective. I did. I still can't get over it. My heart is beating in my throat. My stomach is filled with butterflies. My head is spinning. I can't figure out how reading one thing can change my outlook on everything I do so quickly. 
What caused my vision to change so drastically? Clayton Austin . He is an incredibly talented photographer. His work will have you weak in the knees. I promise. 
Now how could one photographer I've never met in my life change my idea of photography so drastically? I read his bio-page. No joke. His clear, honest take on love and the way he views the world had me in tears. "Lets face it. Love is an animal. Though my grandfather told me once that love is more like a bird, if you hold it tightly it dies, if you hold it slightly, it flies. People often ask me how I capture such intimacy in the couples I have the honor of photographing. The key is looking from a different perspective. I don’t see them as who they are that day, happy and carefree. I see them as they will be tomorrow. I see them in the road ahead, in both the good times and the bad and all that they will endure. Together. "  
Wow right? My heart clenched when I read that. I realized I've been photographing my clients, not how they will be, but how they are now. Which-I admit-is okay, but that is all it is. Okay. Cookie cutter-if you will. No. I won't be copying his work if that is what your thinking. I am going to be making my own. It is going to be a lot of hard work. That kind of vision doesn't come as easily as people like to think. You have to train yourself to see it. Make yourself pay attention to those tiny little details. Most importantly you have to let your clients feel it. I think too often we photographers are so focused on getting our names out there that we forget about our clients. We are so focused on getting that pose just right that we smother the them in them. From this point on this business will stop being about me and my"name". It will be about my clients. Photographing them in the good and the bad. Caring about them. Being there for them. Seeing them. 
I know, some may say I am being overly dramatic. I might be, but better I be overly dramatic and be right than ignore it and going on like I am. Honestly. I don't expect this to be easy. I don't expect me to be able to pick it all up right away. I don't expect me not to become depressed and discontent with myself, but that is okay. It is how you know you are ready to learn. How you know you are about to move to the next level. I am expecting a lot of levels. Most of them steep. I know only the Lord will be able to help me through this. I won't be able to do it with out Him.
I want to invite you to join me. I don't care if you are a photographer or not. I think this applies to all of life. Don't be afraid of the right kind of change. Never lose that ability to learn. It is so important.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Getting Myself Out of a Rut.

Yeah, that's right! I admit it, I've been in a rut.
In this industry everyone is always talking about 'finding your style' and not copying other photographers work. Let me tell you, coming from someone with no previous experience, it can be very, very hard! You see another photographers work and say to yourself,'I could have thought of that!' or  'I want to try that.' It can be depressing! Seeing someone's work, loving it, then being scared to death you might subconsciously copy it during a shoot.
So I've decided to quit sabotaging myself. I've decided to purge myself of other photographers. At least for a little while. I am going to photograph what I see. Not what other photographers see because, honestly, the world I see is beautiful! I want to share it with others! I may not be doing something cutting edge or amazing, but it's a start.
Starting today and I will refuse to let all those people that tear down the 'little people' of this industry. I have something to share with the world. It may not be much, but if I don't use this gift God gave me to the best of my ability it would essentially be like throwing it back at Him and saying,'No thanks!' I will NOT let this fear of disapproval from  people stop me from doing what God wants me to do! Enough is enough!
What's my game plan you ask? Well, step one is complete, I've hid or 'un-liked' all the photographers on my personal Facebook. This way I only see my favorite blogs and people that inspire me to be a better me.
Next step, shoot for me at least once a month! Hopefully more! I have so many ideas I want to try, but I'm always so scared to try it with clients. I always try to give the highest quality images to my clients. If the Me Shoot doesn't work out, whatever! No one paid me for it! I can take my time editing. I don't even have to edit it if I don't want to! It's refreshing just thinking about it! I'll be trying new things. Like playing with shadowing, lighting, reflections, and possibly even a little more high fashion! Whatever I want to do. I recommend any photogs reading this to do it! It's so easy to get burnt out in this industry. This will re-inspire you to do what you love! I know it has inspired me more than any other photographers work ever has and it's all me!
So get out there fellow 'little people' and on the off chance you are one of those photographers that get a thrill out of tearing people that are not as good as you down is reading this, I beg you! Please stop! Not everyone can be amazing right away! It takes practice!This industry can be a little hard-hearted and selfish sometimes. We need to break the mold and share. It won't hurt! There are a lot of people in this world! They all can't go to the same expensive photographer! Trust me!

Thursday, January 6, 2011


I know I talk a lot about being inspired by all things vintage. I adore silent movies. I adore the glamor of the 30's, 40's and 50's. I adore the earthy style of the 60's and 70's, but I never talk about what inspires me from today!The inspiration I gather from watching old movies and reading old magazines is mostly visual. I love the style and simplicity of it. 
  The inspiration I draw from 'modern times' is emotions! Being a good photographer isn't just about pretty lighting or fancy camera action(don't get me wrong! They are important.) it's about capturing who you're subject is as a person. Not just capturing a pretty smile. I've had negative comments from people criticizing the fact that I take 'angry' pictures of my clients every once in a while. I've always bucked against that negativity with out ever figuring out why. Well, I have now. Isn't anger, frustration and sadness just as much a part of who we are as human being as joy, elation and laughter? My mission as a photographer is to capture people not just faces. I don't want my clients kids 50 years from now to look at the pictures I take and just say,"My mom was really pretty." I want them to think,"Wow! My mom really loved me!" That's why I find simple, everyday, 'boring life' so inspirational.It's these emotions I get to both feel and witness as a photographer that leaves me feeling privileged when I meet and spend time with my clients. It's my job to draw out the emotions and I love it! I hope I am always striving to get better at it.
 So thank you to clients past, present, and future for letting me capture your emotions and for sharing a part of your lives with me. I am eternally grateful and so unworthy! I thank God each day for every one of you!

 With all the love in my heart,
  Kristin Guynn

{Over the Moon Photography}