- RECENT EVENTS, TIPS, AND OTHER GOODIES -
April 14, 2014
April 1st began a series that will allow me to be transparent about the people that have influenced my personal and professional growth. When I look at where I have achieved success, I can honestly say that I never did it alone. There was always someone there that believed in me, motivated me, encouraged me, or pushed me to continue. This series is dedicated to those people!
When I first thought about doing this “Watermarks on my Soul” series, I debated back and forth for about a week. I tried to talk myself out of being open about who has impacted my journey these last few years because I thought 1) no one cares and 2) no one cares. Yes, I thought that twice. Day 10 is dedicated to Abby Grace of Abby Grace Photography because I know that had I mentioned this idea to her, she would have said “go for it”!
I met Abby two years ago when she hosted a Meet-Up at her home for Virginia photographers. There were photographers from all over the state and one or two from out of the state that came to this informal gathering. Abby, along with Rebekah Hoyt decided to host us for a Q&A session about anything photography related. Abby had just returned from the United Conference and she shared her experience, the environment, and what she gained from attending. I had already decided that I would attend in 2014, so this solidified my decision. After the Q&A, I grabbed Abby to pick her brain and have her look at my website. I had recently launched my new Showit website and during the process I realized that we’d worked with the same designers – Earl & Layne (Abby has since redesigned). She gave me a quick critique on my website and simply told me that I wasn’t charging enough. The following few days I started editing my portfolio to include images that spoke to my style of photography- clean, romantic and fun. I also took a hard look at my pricing and realized if I wanted to be profitable after covering my expenses, I would have no choice but to increase my prices. I think it’s one this to do this as a hobby, but the care and attention that I place on what I do means that I have to make sure I am strategically setting myself up in a way that I can provide value to my clients and sustain a successful business model. Abby helped me realize this.
Photo Credit- Matt Hoyt
Last year, I had the opportunity to assist Abby on a few weddings and outside of being hilarious, knowing the lyrics to every song, and quoting random movie lines as if it were normal conversation, this girl is an amazing photographer and a very savvy business owner. I love how she interacts with her clients and I keep telling her that she will shoot my wedding one day, so that I can be on the other side of her camera! From Abby, I learned how to best work with directional light to achieve the type of images that I want and to minimize my post-processing work, which has saved me tons of time!
At United, Abby was the first familiar face that I saw and because I was such a noob, she checked with me almost daily to see how I was doing. It’s hard to find genuine people that go out of their way to show concern for others, but Abby is one! The photo at the top of the page was taking during a studio session one night at United. Abby had just finished rapping on stage (in her tulle skirt!) and found time in the middle of the night to do a photo session!
Last week, I reached out to Abby for help with a sparkler exit, I knew how to do them in theory, but had never done one at a wedding and one of my favorite images of hers is a sparkler exit from a wedding I assisted her on. We talked, she gave awesome advice on how to shoot it depending on the light, and this photo from Jered & Brittani’s wedding is my most ‘liked’ wedding photo on Facebook, so I think I did something right, thank you Abby!
Another first for me at this wedding was setting up a same-day slideshow. I looked into doing these last year but was unsuccessful. Partly because a same-day slideshow works best when you only need to run minimal edits on photos, which allows the bride and groom to see some of their wedding photos while they are eating dinner at the reception! Getting it right in camera allows so much freedom to showcase photos and after talking to Abby last week, I decided that I was going to finally do one successfully and I did! The bride and groom enjoyed it and some of the guests checked it out as well!
Thank you Abby, for encouraging me to challenge myself to better serve my wedding clients, thanks for explaining how you make decisions on the wedding day, and thank you for just being a cool and caring person! Love you girl!!