Evolution Of A Photographer

  As 2014 comes to an end and I reflect on the year professionally, I have found several things to be grateful for.  First of all, I’m so thankful that I have been given the opportunity dozens of times this year to photograph families and to learn and evolve in the process.  This year I think I finally see a glimpse of the photographer I would like to be, and have gained the confidence through my experiences to own that right.  I am a natural light, lifestyle photographer, capturing families and people as they are, celebrating them and their relationships.  I enjoy working with props and am happy to help a family make a dream shot a reality, but as a whole I love when families are themselves.

This year, JDubbs and I agreed that I would cut down to about one photo shoot per week to avoid the burnout I felt the year before.  This model really worked for me and I felt like I was able to prepare and give each family my undivided attention.  I have also tried to be consistent in the types of photos I take, how I edit them, and which photos I share with my clients in an attempt to formulate my true style (which, of course, is constantly evolving).  But without question the photos I am the most proud of from 2014 have been those that capture real emotion, genuine moments, and honest connection. In 2015 I hope to be confident enough to be able to own that spirit and have the courage to graciously turn down requests for photos that don’t coincide with who I am as a photographer. I am ready to own who I am and what Rebecca Whitney Photography represents, and not make apologies for it.

So, with this newfound confidence and the drive to evolve even more as a photographer, I am undertaking a 365 day project where I take a photo each day, all in the realm of the kind of photographer I want to be.  The challenge is to not cheat myself by blowing it off and taking a throw-away photo just to say I did it.  Who do I want to be, what do I want my photographs to say about me, how do I want prospective clients to view my photography?  I hope that through this daily photo diary I will solidify my art and build my confidence to say, This is what I do.  My world and my time are too important to me to do anything other than what I love.  I hope you like it, too.

With that in mind, here is a favorite photograph from every photo shoot I did this year (at least, all the ones that gave me permission to share the images on the blog).  Thanks again to all the wonderful families and here’s to a great year 2015!

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I can’t wait to see what the next year holds for my photography!  Thank you for coming along for the ride.

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The Original Besties

Since Jax is in school all day during the week, sometimes I feel like I have a disproportionate amount of photos of Em with Little H, her new little bestie and protege.  But we can’t forget the countless days, moments, and memories of Jax and Em, the original besties, and I have to remember how they are really thick as thieves, even as their daily lives evolve and they spend more time apart.

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While Little H was napping, I asked them to pose for a few photos in front of the Christmas tree.  I wanted to capture the Christmas lights bokeh (basically I wanted them to be blurry) and the kids know it’s fruitless to argue when Mommy has a photo in mind.

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They also know that when it comes to impromptu photos, sometimes the sillier the better, and Mommy loves their silly smiles, crazy hugs, and true personalities way better than a cheesy smile.

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I have to remember that every family dynamic is important to document, and Little H doesn’t have to be in every sibling photo.  These two partners in crime’s relationship deserves to shine, too!

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Love this silly pair!

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My Heart In Gold

This light, these leaves, these three.

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There was no choice but to stop what we were doing and revel in it.

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No choice but to introduce littlest sister to this golden world.  To show her how amazing this life is, how we are surrounded by golden moments every day.

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And some golden “pumpkins,” too, just for good measure.

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My heart, wrapped up in gold.

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Jumping In Leaves, Take 1

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One warm autumn afternoon, I decided I would make my kids a massive pile of leaves, bigger than I could create with a rake.  I was determined to master our monstrous leaf blower and build a leaf pile masterpiece.  Unfortunately, that leaf blower is a beast and within seconds my hands were turning numb from the vibration and I had to use both hands to even hold it in place, let alone exercise any control over the darn thing.  So, the kids wound up with kind of a wimpy pile of leaves for their first leaf-jumping experience of the year, but hey.  It was only the first go-round.  There would be lots more leaves where those came from!

And you know the big kids didn’t care anyway.  Not even Baxter was safe from their enthusiasm!

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 Little H, on the other hand, decided unequivocally that throwing leaves was for the birds, and I got a whole lot of this:

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So we decided to break her in easy.  Baby steps for this little one.

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After we wore out our wimpy little leaf pile, we decided to walk around our “neighborhood” (aka our deserted road) for one last afternoon in the sunshine.  You know by now I am a sunshine hoarder, right?  I need to soak in as much of it as humanly possible to survive the winter!

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The best part about living in Vermont is the room to roam.  I let these three explore the terrain while I hung around practicing taking photos with the tricky (but beautiful) lighting.

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Sun flare and backlighting are challenging to me, but I am determined to take advantage of all kinds of light.  Especially the prettiest kind!  In the perfect world the sun would have been lower toward the horizon, but sometimes I have to just go with it.

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I struggle a bit with the color cast, the low contrast, the haziness.  I am used to taking super sharp pictures.  With this new style I have to learn to be flexible with the end result.  I can’t complain when I am inundated with golden sunshine like this!  It’ll just take some practice.

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Loved spending those last few warm afternoons outside with my kids!

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Sandy Silhouettes

Here are my attempts at capturing silhouettes on a bright and beautiful beach day, although the sun was not low enough in the horizon for them to be exactly what I was trying to achieve.  I like how they turned out, regardless, with the reflective sand and cloudy sky.

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We live in such a wooded and hilly area that any time I try to practice true silhouettes behind my kids (in the traditional sense, not just playing with light), I fail because the light is still too far above them rather than behind them, or the sun doesn’t set until after their bedtime in the summer (when we’re out later).  Anyone have any suggestions as to how get my shot?

I didn’t mind that they weren’t perfect, anyway.  It was a lot of fun practicing!

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Next year the kids will be a little older and I plan to keep them up until sunset one night just to try some more (and who doesn’t love a sunset romp at the beach?).

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Fun in the sun!

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Heaven On Earth

Last month, my amazing Em turned four, and once the weather had a chance to warm up, I took her out to capture her sweet self and fabulous personality, wrapped in a pretty pink dress in the golden light of sunshine.

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She is a sweet and thoughtful soul, and I hope she always lives her life as sincerely and as joyfully as she does now, uninhibited by anything but her own choices.

“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,

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Love like you’ve never been hurt,

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Sing like there’s nobody listening,

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And live like it’s heaven on earth.” ~William W. Purkey

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I’ve got my little slice of heaven right here.

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Throwback To Babyhood

I just spent so much time trying to find a post that should have been written last spring, only to discover, I never wrote it!  I can’t believe I never shared these photos of my three babies when Little H was just so new and such a wonder to us all.  Looking back on them has been a lovely break from a busy day.  It’s the small, simple blessings that make me grateful for these three, watching them learn to love each other and the joy of watching the big kids grow into new, big sibling shoes.  A year has passed since I took these, but it only serves to remind me of how we have all grown, literally and as a family.

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Counting my blessings.

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One, two, three.

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