Every year I start out with, “I’m going to blog more, I’m going to shoot more and I’m going to post more”; then, reality hits and it doesn’t happen. This year, because I want to take better care of myself mentally and not put the weight of this upon myself, I am not going to set any resolutions. However, my usual goal setting is going to happen, because I achieve more when I set goals, but they will be things that will enrich my life and not make it more stressful or things that won’t make me feel guilty if I fall through.
Another thing that is going to happen this year, is I’m going to focus my energy more in doing concerts and open myself up to doing more local band portraiture work.
I also want to do more nature photography which takes me to my happy place. I will continue to do the occasional wedding and portrait shoot; in fact I have a wedding on the books for August of 2019 and I know I will be photographing my favorite little and her family a few times this year. I really want to focus on what drives me which is the music and being out in nature.
I want to grow my Instagram and will be focusing more on the concert side of that with my @photocreationsbydeb page. I may create a new one for my own personal work with the natural environment, but time will tell.
The point is, I’m not going to goal myself to the degree where I beat myself up if I don’t achieve the goals. I’m putting them out there, if they are completed, great! If not then that’s ok too and I will just work smarter on the important ones.
A Quick Look Back
In 2018 I decided to take a full vacation, somewhere other than Florida. I went to North Caroline to spend time with girlfriends who know me better than just about anyone (and they still love me, imagine that!). I began planning early which made the excitement build. It was such a wonderful trip with lots of mountain air to clear my head and exploring new and exciting places.
Most of the time I enjoy looking back on my year. However, this year I slacked, a lot, and I have to make some changes. I just didn’t get out as much as I normally do. Even during camping season it seemed it was always interrupted with something I “had” to do. I wasn’t as intentional as I had been the past few years. I didn’t create good content for my Facebook page and actually neglected it. I had something happen that set me off into the “not good enough” thought process, which in turn caused me to purge a lot of unneeded stress in my social media life. But I would go out and take photos and think, “these are not good, what am I doing trying to create good photos when I can’t do it?” I really had to shake that mindset; I am my own worst critic.
Life was disrupted with a move in the middle part of the year and it was during a very stressful time. I’m still trying to adjust. Then, in September we were hit by one of the largest hurricane’s in recent history. Irma totally upset my world, but I came out a whole lot better than many of my friends did and I can tell you I am most grateful for that blessing. Yet, the stress was still there and even guilt that so many lost so much and I didn’t. I can’t explain why it was that way, but it was; again I am so grateful to not have had any damage.
Sometimes life gives you those old lemons and it’s not always easy to make the lemonade. In fact, I have thrown a lot of lemons away because I just could not bring myself to make them work. Ever feel like that?
I’m looking forward to a clean start with 2018, I won’t make promises I can’t keep, but I will put a lot more effort into making it an incredible year personally and professionally.
Here’s a look back on what I did accomplish photographically:
A cute Super Hero
Four homes down from me.
Rod Stewart & Cyndi Lauper
Stars on Ice
The Late Chris Cornell, two weeks prior to his death
On February 26, 2017 my son Tommy and I once again were hired to photograph another lovely couple at the Edison Country Club. This historic club is a public course with an added restaurant and a lovely banquet room. The wedding was performed indoors and it was interesting to see how the room was transformed from reception hall to ceremony space and back again.
The décor was beautiful glass with blue & silver accents and a white runner aisle for the bride to walk down.
As her father walked her down the aisle, you could see his emotion welling up within him. He was giving away his baby girl. It’s always beautiful to see the sweet relationship between the bride and her father. You could see how proud he was of her.
As dad passed off his daughter to the eager awaiting groom the ceremony commenced and soon they were pronounced husband and wife.
After signing the license, the couple took to the outdoors so we could get the iconic Edison in the background of their portrait shots.
We didn’t have the usual Florida sunset on this particular evening, however we had some beautiful gold light, and the wedding party still had a great time.
Being a photographer I have a good collection of gear. I love gear, new, used, doesn’t matter, if it goes on or near my camera I want it. I have great lenses, extra batteries, things to light up my subjects from the smallest critter to an entire family of people; I can create beautiful images in natural settings or provide the gear to set up a studio. Yep, that’s me the gear nerd! Recently I added to my addiction in the purchase of a new (to me) Canon 70d crop frame camera. I had the opportunity to purchase another full frame Canon 6d, but opted for the crop frame for several reasons. First of all, I needed a second body so that I don’t need to change lenses while in the concert pit or at weddings and chance missing the shot, the second reason is because the 70d’s button placement is almost the same as my 6d and lastly because my son shoots with the 70d and as my second for weddings I may need for him to use the second body and he needs to not have to think about where the buttons are and what to control. I tried it out this past weekend and I like it a lot, the shutter is a bit noisier, but overall the pictures were clean and crisp; I will use silent shutter for events.
My next purchase is an upgraded 50mm. I currently own the Nifty Fifty which is Canon’s f1.8 5omm lens. Great little lens, but I need something a bit sharper and faster. I have looked at the Canon f1.2 and have read, watched videos and compared it to Sigma’s ART series F1.4 50mm. With a cost difference of about $400 I think I may be going with the Sigma Art Lens. The reviews are incredible and I’ve even seen a few who pit it against the Canon f1.2. Stay tuned………..
On December 30, 2016 My son Tommy and I photographed a wedding at one of the prettiest venues here in our Fort Myers area, The White Orchid.
This venue consists of a beautiful old Florida style home, with a courtyard full of native plants and flowers a beautiful fountain, and an expansive lawn which reaches to the Caloosahatchee River and a dock perfect for formal photos.
Due to unforeseen circumstances the wedding party was unable to utilize the beautiful building, however the owner of the venue set up a tent and it was impeccably decorated, and the DJs up-lighting added to the ambiance of the day.
Our couple were from the cold north and enjoyed the comfort of a Florida winter day. However as the sun dipped into the horizon, so did the temperature, but the wedding party didn’t allow the cold to keep their party from heating up.
As the formal photos were winding down, the sun was just beginning it’s show of magnificent colors.
This was the perfect ending to a perfect wedding and we wish Kaylynne & Ryan all the best for their future.
Happy New Year! It’s always exciting to begin a new year, that change of numbers is simply filled with excitement of what the next twelve months may bring.
I began this blog in late 2013 and wasn’t really sure where it would take me, for this next year I have titled the blog to fit more with who I am and what I am all about; Life, Love & Passion Through the Lens. I’m so excited for this next year, not only to grow my blog and my photography business, but to amp up my personal growth. Many new things will be happening with the addition of some marketing influences in internet radio and a new marketing video will be produced in the next couple of months. Exciting times are coming!
I have made mistakes and learned from them. My proficiency in using the editing software I own is increasing, and I am growing as a photographer. I have increased my wedding photography presence. I am shooting more concerts and I was able to photograph a local production of an original play. I even had a photo photo bombed by a Clydesdale! Enjoy!
2016 has been one of the best years, I’ve ever had, and I know my momentum will only increase and I will continue to learn and grow.
I want to share a few of the highlights from this past year……….enjoy & HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Where I live in Florida we don’t have four distinct seasons, we have two; Snowbird season beginning in mid October and the season when they go back north which is normally after Easter. During this time in South West Florida the events and concerts pick up and my camera sees a lot of action. The weather is a lot more pleasant for outdoor events and weddings. My season started on October 15 with a wedding held at one of the most historic country clubs in Fort Myers; The Edison. I am fortunate enough to be able to work with my youngest son. He is an incredible photographer and one I trust explicitly. The long view of the couple facing The Edison was taken by him. Please visit his website at phloridaphoto
Between the special events I also schedule portrait sessions and was able to photograph an interesting fellow whom I believe is one of the many spirits which lurk in Historic Downtown Fort Myers, complete with orb and gargoyle (look closely).
I was also at Fright Nite where The Sick Puppies and Devour the Day headlined, there were also a few interesting characters out that night as well. You can see more of the photos from this frightful night by clicking on the photo below.
It’s not often I get this way, normally I have lots to share and lots to write about, but lately I have been in a photographic funk. It’s not something that will last as I have had them before, but I’m having a difficult time getting myself motivated to shoot anything other than concerts, portraits and weddings. I know these are my true niche because I love the excitement of it all. Especially the concerts! I love meeting people and seeing them excited like when I took photos at the Big Ole Bonfire in the Photo booth. Or meeting the artists and photographing their fans like I did this night at The Ranch (my photos have my watermark on them). I love seeing the look of excitement on peoples faces when they get to meet their rock star idol like this young man did with Sixx: AM at Fort Rock. This excites me! Check out more about Fort Rock here on my blog Festival Daze
My funk comes within my own realm of doing photos for myself. I need to find something outside of my “normal” range of concerts, weddings & portraits to shoot. I have tried the “photo a day” challenges and I feel bad when I can’t complete a day’s challenge so I stop doing them. I need something other than beaches and flowers too; I need something exciting, something that catches not just my interest, but my eyes. I need to slow myself down and create my own masterpiece, something worth sharing and talking about. But what would that be? I’m not really sure. Do I need a vacation to somewhere other than here? Maybe, or maybe I just need to take in what’s around me and see it in a different way, but how? I love adventures! I love taking adventures on my own where no one but me dictates how or when. Maybe I need a day of adventure, to explore somewhere new on my own and to get back within my grove. Or maybe I need a day with couple of my friends who are incredible photographers, who are creative and like to think outside the box. I’m sure this will pass quickly as it always does, but in the meantime if you, my readers have any thoughts or suggestions, please comment below. Until next time, from the Life of a photographer.
I purchased this lens a few months ago and have had adequate opportunity to use it. I have shot several concerts local venues and national acts, I’ve photographed a night wedding and I have taken portraits with it. I am going to approach this with the Pro/Con format.
This is a sturdy lens (see con’s) with 23 elements and an all metal body which is dust & element resistant.
The lens is fast, with that f2.8 I am able to shoot in extremely low light situations; with my Canon 6d I can successfully photograph in near darkness with little noise at an ISO between 800 – 1600. The wedding was a late evening outdoor wedding with very little lighting or should I say very little good lighting. However with the help of the videographer (always make friends with the videographer!) I was able to have enough light to focus and pull some great images, even with the ambient light as long as I had enough to focus with I was golden.
Focusing is quick and tack sharp and extremely fast with a manual override even in auto focus mode. It comes with a removable tripod collar, a hood and a beautiful carrying case.
This lens is HEAVY. 3.28 lbs before you attach it to your camera body. It’s not your day-to-day knock around lens that’s for sure and it requires a steady hand. For such a large lens the telephoto is only up to 200mm on a full frame camera, so if you are looking for something to get the wildlife that’s far in the distance, this would not be the lens to grab.
This lens is not cheap. The starting price is around $2500.00, but it is an “L” lens and it’s one of Canon’s top of the line and premier lens so is it worth the price? That’s for you to decide.
I highly recommend this lens for those who are portrait or wedding photographers. I do photograph portraits and weddings from time to time, but my most of my work is events and large venue concerts. This lens is perfect for those dark venues, with bright lighting. I have had some great results with this lens.
I hope this helps anyone who may be on the fence about making this large of a purchase. Maybe if you are not sure if you want to spend the money, then borrow the lens for a few days, see if it’s what you are looking for. This is exactly what I did, I have a photographer friend who owns this lens and I was able to use it and well, I knew I needed to have it.
I am not making any resolutions this year, but I do have goals for my personal and professional life. My first goal is to be more creative; to take the time to really see what is in front of my lens. Another goal is to book more weddings, however I am particular and will only take those which follow my standards and vision. A personal goal is to take more “me” time, to get out and enhance my own skills and to work to make me better. I also want to be more active in my blog here, I put out quite a few last year, but my goal for 2016 is to blog weekly. Writing is something I enjoy and I want to write a lot more, which will also get me out and shooting more so that I have something to blog about. I want to read more books this year, reading is an escape and I want to go to the park or beach with a good book and get lost in it. I also want to sit in quiet reflection to get closer to God and to simply listen for life’s answers.