Tuesday, December 28, 2010

10 Things I Learned in 2010

This year has been slam jam BAM packed full!!! The only slow time I ever have is the end of December and the beginning of January and frankly, I LOVE it. I have been reading over some of my favorite photographer blogs and see a lot are asking themselves what they learned so I thought it would be perfect to do this myself.

10 Things I learned in 2010:

1)I learned that you never know which person will lead you to the next great opportunity. It came to light really early in the year that I needed to learn how to plan ahead and to always think and see a few steps ahead. The person I may be working with for free this week may cause a chain reaction to bring 10 times as many paid clients.

2)I learned that it never hurts to just ask. The majority of the time I spend looking for venues and it is never as easy as it looks. Sometimes places don't pull through or they will just simply tell me no. I used to hate to hear no but now for all the no's I get , there will always been the EPIC yes's!!

3)I learned Girl Power Rules. Not just because I'm a girl, because a good photographer is good regardless of if they are a male or female. It's because I used to hate the pretty girl and then realized we are all the same. We all need to be made to feel pretty and sticking together gets us ALL farther than going it alone. I have earned more girlfriends this year than I have had my entire life and I love every one of them.

4)I learned that it's ok to lean on others. I am so very independent no matter how much I hate it. I think I have to prove myself and that I must do it all myself, because....well, because I can! I realized it's ok to delegate and let people help and get people involved and in the end it's all much more pleasurable and much less stressful.

5)I learned to trust my instincts. This one is self explanatory. I have spent too much of my life second guessing and re-making decisions but in the end it always comes back to what I first thought was right.

6) I learned it's ok to not please everyone. Not everyone wants to pay, not everyone wants to play. I photographed a lot of people but no matter what I like, someone is not going to be happy with THEMSELVES and it's no reflection on me, it's all about THEM. I know I can't capture people the way they see themselves so I always make it a point to tell people that I will do my best to show them how I see them and not how anyone else has ever portrayed them.

7)I learned that nobody is going to promote me better than or other than myself. Well.... unless I'm willing to pay and right now, I'm just not able to! Nobody is going to know about me unless I tell them.

8)I learned that most opportunities should be taken. Because you never know where it will lead and one door opened can lead to 20 more.

9)I learned that people still don't know what I do. And that's just weird, because I post ALL the time and have done a LOT of work! However, people still think I may show up with a point and shoot and can't believe what all I do in a single session. That all has to change because I need for people to know me and know of me in order to help with my success.

10)I learned how to TEACH girls how to model. 9 out of 10 people that work with me literally will come and just stand in front me. They say they have modeled but it is very clear that they have not only never been instructed but may have never worked with someone like me that is going to get to know you and interact with you. I have a lot left to learn but it's important people know that I will be instructing you and won't leave you standing like a mannequin!

There are definitely more things I learned -a LOT more, but these just seemed to be the first to spew out!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Blogging and Schuffs

At the end of the year, it will be the end of Project 365 which has been more like Project 325. In any case, I need to decide what to do with my blog and where to put it. I need help! I need one address for my blog and I guess I will re-direct everyone over to this one and start keeping it going ONLY. I will keep the website as backup for just photos but the blog is ALWAYS where people need to go for information and news. Although Facebook is the most up to date and EVERYONE needs to connect to me there. If anyone has some free/cheap suggestions/help to get this blog updated as a photo blog and much more stylish...please HELP. I will do a photoshoot for anyone local that can assist! I seriously realize I don't have time to do it all and that it is ok to let someone else help. That's a good thing right? I'm sure it is!

On another subject - I'm going to copy/paste my last blog entry from Wordpress.


I continue to dream too big for what's available. I desperately need sets or a place to put sets and help with sets. I can't even express the frustration of having a fantastic model over and only being able to shoot on seamless. Yes we still get great stuff but it's nothing like having cool couches and backgrounds and props. I just don't have a way! Locations continue to be just out of reach. I know they are there but I can't get them. I make callouts for warehouses and cool homes but nothing. I always offer to do photos for whomever is letting us use the location but maybe that's not enough. My budget doesn't allow to pay places for use and I can't fathom charging more for such a service when girls are struggling to pay as it is. So to anyone in the Central GA and even Atl- I am always looking for good locations to shoot in! It will be very non-invasive. Probably just me and the girl for maybe 2 hours and of course you can hang out with us! I have thought extensively about how to build onto what we have at home but there is no sense in it when I need to be in town and when Jimmy plans to build an actual stick-built house there one day. I WILL have a large room for photography though. Bet on that. Otherwise my big dreams of having a nice little studio in Macon are still holding strong. There are good and bad things about having a studio but not having access to something or having one is much more of a struggle. I don't want to be tied down yet need the firm point of contact. 2011 is going to be bigger than this year has been. I have much bigger plans, visions, and goals. Magazines, I want to be on and in you. But I always want to continue shooting with families and kids and of course pets. I need to grow this to an everyday job and one day....it will happen.

A fellow photog friend mentioned that I need to start doing commercial work and that's exactly what I intend to do. Actually, when I speak of magazines, it's commercial work that I'm speaking of. Let's WORK!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Team Cook & Croft at it again

OK these were just fun and are cool! This is a little shoot with Ashley Croft one evening during a nasty storm. I have GOT to get her on a magazine cover. This was for a product but these aren't product shots. The product is Mojito Lip Balm by Naturally BeautEvil- it's FANTASTIC!!!!

Vogue? Maxim? I'm coming for yall!

A Trip Through a Fantasy with Skip & Mandolynne

I love these girls. Simply put and I can't really put it any other way. They are real, down to earth, ready to work, fun, absolutely stunning and I have GOT to get them in some magazines! I spent this past Sunday with them in a secret ghetto location that included a man in a bunny suit, guns, Betty the Buick, bandanas, possible swat teams and random gun fire from a guy riding on a bike! Oh how I wish I was 10 yrs younger to party with the group like they are partying now. Although now I have 10 years experience and memories under my belt and I wouldn't trade that for anything. A huge thanks to Skip's friends and boyfriend for enjoying the day and having fun with me!

Enjoy some shots of these gorgeous friends of mine....

Skip Boman

Mandolynne Hopkins