A tale of two images - or how much can change in 6 months

A tale of two images - or how much can change in 6 months

I took this portrait one year to the day after registering my business - on October 31, 2017 - and I wanted to capture the feeling of being overwhelmed by everything that was going on around me: a response not just to the social and political changes in the UK and the US - two countries I care about deeply - but also the stage of the personal journey I was on at the time…

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We've come a long way baby

One year ago, I took the biggest risk of my life. After less than a year in business, I rented a studio space.

When I first walked in to my studio it wasn't even a rough diamond. The walls were interesting shades of green (thankfully it was just paint!), the ceiling tiles were damaged or missing because of the leaking roof, and the industrial carpet was stained with pigment from the printing company that had abandoned it the year before. It took a lot of imagination to see the space I have today.

Husband, Paul, and I spent all of July and most of August cleaning, scraping, repairing, painting, swearing, sweating, and weeping (maybe that last one was just me) until we had an empty white-and-neutral-grey shell that made the most of the incredible natural light. Over the last year, we've added furniture, upgraded fittings and flooring, addressed the water issues so that the ceiling tiles don't collapse after every rainfall, and generally tweaked the things that needed tweaking to provide a better client experience and session workflow. 

I wanted the space so I would be able to work through Ohio's brutal winters, but it's also had a side-effect I didn't expect; it's made me a better photographer. Now I have control of the environment, now all the technical stuff is taken care of and second nature, now I know how to put my hands on the piece of equipment I need in 10 seconds or less, now I can focus on creating art, not just on taking pictures. 

They say "do what scares you". I now know that to be true.

Fine Art at Stella's Art Gallery

I'm thrilled to share that you'll now be able to buy some of my fine-art photography at Stella's Art Gallery, in the Matchwork's building, just off 615 in Mentor.

I've created a special collection to celebrate - a series of Floral Portraits, capturing the essential beauty of some of my favorite flowers.  These are mixed-media photographic composites containing both hand-painted and photographic elements and printed on a gorgeously textured fine-art paper.

Florals on walls blog.jpg

6 questions to answer when choosing a frame

My tax accountant and I got chatting about frames on one of her trips into the studio last year (not that I wanted to talk about anything but taxes, of course! Ahem, anyway..) She told me a tale of her encounter with another client of hers - a framer. They'd been talking and she mentioned looking for a frame that matched the other frames in her dining room for her son's senior portrait. The framer, she said, looked at her aghast! "You frame for the picture," he said "not the room!"

He's right. So many of us get confused about how to choose a frame and end up with one that doesn't work for the portrait we put in it because we don't look at what really matters - the portrait.  So, here's a basic guide of the things I consider when I'm choosing a frame:

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A little self-love

"Wow, that woman really loves herself!"

I was having coffee with a marketing consultant last week and talking about my website. We had stopped on the homepage and right up there at the top I show a picture of a beautiful, white living room with light pouring through the windows and a collage of three images of one of my clients hanging above the sofa. When I explained the subject was a senior, my coffee companion nodded. "That makes more sense" she said. 

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It doesn't stop when the shutter clicks...

It doesn't stop when the shutter clicks...

If you've been into my studio, you know I use a very minimalist set up. I could have a ton of props and backdrops, but it would mean a lot of repetition, and I love to make my client's images unique and express their personality. That means not using the same set or backdrop over and over again.
Not every image merits this much photoshop - I was aiming for a very stylized look for this particular image - but this is a good example of what we can achieve with it. Enjoy!

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Local business feature: Empowered and Poised

I love supporting other local businesses. So I'm going to take a tour of some of the amazing women I've met in the process of getting my business off the ground. 

First up is Leah Berdysz, the founder of Empowered and Poised - a network which helps young women navigate today's society. I'll let Leah tell you more...

Leah touches on some important issues around how we brand ourselves publically.  It's easy to forget that everything we put online is out there for everyone to see. Even if you think it's private or temporary, once it's out there, it's out there. 

I hope you enjoyed meeting Leah and don't forget to check out her website at www.empoweredandpoised.com. If you have suggestions for another business in the Cleveland area that should be featured on the blog, let me know!