SCC Benefit Comp at the Tallahassee Rock Gym | Florida Photography

This bouldering comp was a benefit for the Southeastern Climbers Coalition.  It was at the Tallahassee Rock Gym, which is Bo's home gym.   It was pretty low-key but really a fun afternoon.  And yes, I even placed first out of two in the women's beginner category!  Let's just not discuss the fact that I first started climbing in this gym back in... uh... 2003?  Yeah... a little bit sad that I'm still in the beginner's category, but I'll totally take the win. :)

Lots of detail shots this time... enjoy!


Exciting times | Florida Wedding Photography

So there has been a LOT going on pushing me closer and closer to finding the right path for my business.  This highly appropriate as this month marks my official one year anniversary as a small business owner.  So here are a list of some of the major things that have really influenced me over the last couple weeks:

Visiting Swallowtail Farm for a lovely picnic and tour
Listening to Jesh de Rox his concept of the 'Beloved' movement in photography
Attending a talk by Jeff Jochum, SmugMug Marketer extraordinaire
Having my photos included in the Citizens Co-op Kickstarter video

Ok... some random stuff, some clearly business-y stuff... some controversial stuff (yep, that's the Beloved stuff for those who are following the gossip)... how does it tie together?

So I visited the farm took some photos while I was there.  It was just a great day.  I loved hearing Noah speak about the farm... every detail for why they do exactly what they do.  Every single choice is made consciously and with the best intentions.  As with other shots I've done for them, I offered my photos freely for them to use in any way they can because I believe in what Swallowtail stands for.  I believe wholly in their endeavor.

A week or two later I started hearing rumblings about this whole Jesh de Rox talk.  I listened to a two hour talk he gave at WPPI about two years ago and was blown away by the raw emotion... the 'Beloved' movement believes that all people are beautiful, all people are loved.  As photographers, we can invite that beauty and love out of people by creating a space for a couple to really feel deep emotion for each other, and then THAT's what we capture.  Some people think the whole thing is a bunch of hooey, but I personally want to explore this idea.  I have always known that I wanted to capture authentic, honest moments... I am excited to walk down this new path with hundreds of other photographers and see where it leads.  It could be something really, really touching. 

The next day I travelled to Jacksonville to attend the monthly SMUG meeting organized by SmugMug.  Jeff Jochum was leading this meeting and discussing how to market yourself as a photographer. He said something that so many others have said but it didn't finally sink in until he said it. Be unique. Yes, we all know that everyone tells us that we need to find a way to stand out. For me, the thing that tipped it from 'generic piece of business advice that I can't really relate to' to 'holy cow, I get it!' was that I should imagine myself looking for a wedding photographer. I would want that photographer to be like me, right? Someone I could relate to...

I would want that photographer to really care about local businesses, the health of the planet, farms in our area and capturing a really authentic moment in the great outdoors rather than a pretty pose in a studio.... and you know what? That's me! I am that photographer! I had a little epiphany as I came to that realization. Re-enter Swallowtail farm.  Enter my previous work with Citizens Co-op.  Enter my work for East End Eatery.  Enter the Beloved movement and the desire to photograph something REAL.  Enter the eco-friendly printing options I offer. Enter the first wedding I shot back in 2009... a down-to-earth couple clearly in love - in that 'place' and so easy to shoot because of it, much of the material aspects of the wedding were hand-made, and the impact on the environment was part of their decision-making process.  

YES!  This is it!  This is the direction I want to go in!

Lastly, I attended a screening of "Dirt: The Movie" tonight, hosted by Citizens and the CMC.  After the movie, Gretchen showed the Citizens video on kickstarter... it had some of my images in it.  I was so touched that they chose to include them.  Afterwards, I talked to a radiantly pregnant Gretchen.  I thanked her for recommending my work to her brother and sister-in-law-to-be, whose intimate outdoor wedding I will be shooting next weekend.  She thanked me for helping out the Co-op.

Yes... this is where I want to be.  This is the community.  This is the approach.  This is the right direction for me.  I am so happy to have found it and even more excited to see where it leads.


Eva | Gainesville Portrait and Fashion Photography

Let me introduce you to the lovely aspiring model, Eva.  As I mentioned in the sneak peek post, she has a great smile and beautiful eyes.  She has an easy beauty about her.  Once you get her smile going, it is huge and just lights up the space around her.  She moved down from Chicago to attend UF.  Join me in wishing her success in all that she does.


Eva Sneak Peek | Gainesville Portrait and Fashion Photography

I had a shoot with Eva yesterday.  She has a great smile and simply lovely eyes.  Here is just one from the day that I quickly worked up to post showing off those great eyes.  Look for more soon!


Swallowtail Farm - Sneak Peek | Gainesville Photography

Saturday Swallowtail Farm had a tour and lunch on the farm.  It was really interesting to see the farm and hear all the details about how they do everything.  A detailed post will come later, but I just wanted to quickly post a few pics from the day.  These have not been processed at all, so you may also see the final versions at some point. :)



Crazy Portrait Madness | Florida Photography

So I finally had the time to work through several portrait sessions from workshops in 2010.  I was able to work with some really lovely and sweet girls, so I'm excited to post these!  In other exciting news, I have a shoot today!  Look for the photos to be up over the next few days.







Conflicting Emotions - Walking home in Gainesville

As I frequently do, I was walking home from work tonight.  While leaving the building, I heard some shouting and a flurry of colors on University Ave.  It's Fat Tuesday, so I was prepared to chalk it up to general revelry.  Quarter after six is a little early, but this is a college town on spring break...

It turns out that the shouting and colors belonged to a protest march. "Show me what democracy looks like" was echoed with "This is what democracy looks like!"  As I got closer and our paths intersected, I saw that the protest march was drawing attention to Governor Rick Scott's proposed cuts to education.  The crowd was getting larger and the parade of protestors extended at least two blocks back.  Impressive for a small town.

I admit I had a swell of emotion as these people joined in solidarity to demonstrate how they felt about cuts to education and changes to public workers' pensions policies, hearing the many honks of affirmation from rush-hour drivers and the cheers that resulted.  If I didn't have my work laptop in one hand and my lack of full understanding of the situation in the other (I've heard the rumors but haven't done the research), I would've joined in right there.  I did give them a mental fist in the air and a silent whoop of support as I walked by.

It was a great feeling just to experience this moment in time when people are coming together to express their opinion about a topic and to see the community react positively to it.  It was uplifting, to say the least.  

Fast forward about four minutes... as I get further away from the protest I can no longer hear the shouts.  I am now walking behind a group of five or six young folks in their late teens or early twenties.  They are passing around red plastic cups and generally living up to unpleasant stereotypes.  They finish their drinks and toss one of the red cups into the air.  It lands about five feet in front of them and they just walk by it, completely ignoring its existence.  I pick up the red cup and take it home.  I toss it in my recycling bin with a sigh of disappointment.

Here is an article on the protest.


Ring | Gainesville Wedding Photographer

My co-worker just got engaged.  We just had to do a few shots of her ring.  :)

Congrats to Kathy & Ben!