My First Paid Senior Session Couldn’t Have Gone Better:
So much has happened since the last time I’ve posted. I graduated from BYUI with a bachelor’s degree in communication, moved to Phoenix, and have decided to go BACK to school to pursue a medical degree. I’ve still been doing a little photography here and there, but not as much as I’d like. Laura’s mom contacted me a few weeks ago about having her senior photos done and I’ll admit, I was nervous about doing them. There’s something about “almost adults” that intimidate me. How do you make a 17-year-old laugh. I’m really good at being silly with the younger kids, but MAN.
Honestly, this shoot couldn’t have gone better. It was a BREEZE. We did it at Thunderbird park during golden hour and got a ton of pretty light. Laura was super comfortable in front of the camera, and hardly needed any prompting. The editing was smooth. Can’t complain about a single thing, except my fear of snakes. Since we did the shoot in the middle of this little glen, we were worried about stumbling upon a rattle snake, EEK. Luckily there weren’t any in our area.
Here are some of my favorites from the shoot.
Just goes to show that you should say yes to things that scare you. That’s the only way I’ve been able to grow – by doing things that make me feel uncomfortable. It won’t always be a success, but you’ll always learn something.
Fall is in full swing over here in Southeast Idaho so we’ve been trying to take as much advantage of it as possible. I took this cute little family out to the Palisades for their family session and it was PERFECT. The colors were vibrant and it was still warm outside. I have to mention, though, that during the shoot the mom and dad told me that they’ve never had their picture taken together and my jaw literally hit the floor. I couldn’t believe that! I made sure to take as many as possible so these guys could have something to look back on some day. Check em’ out!
Fall is my favorite season, not because it brings with it cold nights and frosty mornings, but because of the smells and colors. I love them all. I wanted to capture both of those things this afternoon when I was showing my girls how to make apple crisp. It was amazing and my house smelled amazing. All of these photos were taken on my Nikon d3300 and my yungnuo 35mm lens. Let me know what you think of my latest work!
What it was like to shoot an elopement in the mountains:
Earlier last week I received a text from an acquaintance, asking if I would like to be the photographer at her wedding. The catch? They planned to get eloped out in the mountains of Island Park and I would only have a few days to prepare for it. I’d never shot a wedding before and I was SO incredibly nervous but like I’ve mentioned in other posts, I spent as much time researching online and trying to prepare as best as I could. I spent hours scouring Pinterest and Facebook forums for suggestions and inspiration. I even made a little booklet with prompts for the photo session and took screenshots on my phone, to help in the moments that I was sure that I’d freeze up from feeling nervous. All of these things helped me incredibly.
We jumped into our cars and drove until the bride and groom found a location that they loved. The actual elopement session was magical. It was short, humble and sweet. The air was cool, with a light breeze, and the sun was just starting to set and peaked brightly through the branches of the trees. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it and now I hope for more opportunities to document such intimate and beautiful moments in people’s lives in the future.
Take a Peek at Emily Rochelle Johnson’s New Logo.
I took a professional imaging class this previous spring where we were asked to design a logo for one of our class projects. I quickly made one up in Illustrator and submitted it for grading. Little did I know that this logo would be the one that I would use for the rest of the semester. Had I known that, I would have spent more time on it (lesson learned). I ended up having to both use and promote this logo for the next 12 weeks, and I kicked myself in the butt for the entirety of it.
I ended the semester, graduated and finally have had the chance to redo my logo and I couldn’t be more pleased with how it has turned out. I think it has a lot more visual appeal and looks more professional as a watermark as well. It’s definitely something that I’ll be using for the next little while (at least), and I love the fresh feel that this new logo has given my brand.
What do you think about it? Let me know in the comments.
First day of the new school year:
I remember hearing it all the time before I became a mother, and didn’t understand it until I was one. “I blinked.” It’s so true. It feels like just yesterday that I was counting my little babies’ toes and promising them the world. Now they’re starting a new school year and off on new adventures. I blinked. I blinked and another year passed by. The first day of a new school year is always exciting, but I usually end up having mixed emotions about it. I’m happy that my girls will get to learn new things, make new friends, and prove that they can do hard things, but I’m also a little sad about the reminder that they’re one year older and closer to growing up. Here are some of the pictures that I grabbed before we sent them off to school!
For tips on starting the new school year, click here.
A few simple steps towards self love:
Can you remember the last time that you told yourself that you were proud of the work you put out, that you like the way you look, that you’re enough? We don’t tell ourselves these things as often as we should. Truth is? We’re usually doing a lot better than we think we are and the way that we see ourselves isn’t accurate. Too often we treat self love like a reward that we’ll eventually earn someday, when we’ve finally reached the perfect version of ourselves that we’ve been working toward. This behavior implies that our self-love is based on, or subject to, our being objectively “good” or “successful.” I’ve come up with four simple steps toward self love that I think we can all benefit from.
Mind your inner voice:
We’re our toughest critics and our minds are masters at making us feel inferior. Pay attention to what you think about yourself and anytime you think one not-so-great thing about yourself, counter it with 3 things that ARE great about you. Throw out the bad thoughts and redirect your mind toward more positive and confidence building behaviors.
Take care of yourself:
We hear it all the time. We need to exercise, eat right, take time to meditate and unwind, get enough sleep, buy the shoes, eat the cake. We have to take care of ourselves before we can take care of others. When you fuel and take care of your body, your body will take care of you. Self-esteem and self love go hand in hand. We can’t have one without the other, so doing all of these things will help you become the best version of yourself.
Set and respect your boundaries:
If something is bothering you, or is something that you KNOW isn’t good for you, get rid of it. Don’t let it into your life. Don’t ever tolerate being treated as anything less than what you deserve. Don’t let anyone treat you like a doormat. Set boundaries and then respect them. Make sure that other people are aware of them and don’t cave. Part of self love is knowing what makes you happy or unhappy and then filtering out the bad.
Pay attention to your spirituality:
Whether you believe in religion or a higher being, each of us needs to pay attention to our spirituality. When many of us list off the things that we find essential to our health, we usually mention food, water, clean air, shelter, financial stability, companionship, and shelter. We sometimes forget that our spirituality is just as important as all of the others. Believing in something greater than ourselves opens us up to a greater capacity for trust and faith. We’ll learn to trust our intuition and gain a deeper understanding of ourselves in the meantime. All of the new thoughts, feelings, and raw emotions that we’ll experience spiritually will help us appreciate ourselves more, especially if we’re true to ourselves and focus on being authentic.
What’s one thing you love about yourself? Share it in the comments.
For more tips on developing self love, check out this website: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-12428/10-wonderful-ways-to-practice-selflove.html
Photographer’s anxiety and how to deal with it:
A few months ago I made the decision to stray away from solely landscape and astrophotography, and to start doing more portrait sessions. Why? Because it terrifies me. I remember reading that if something scares you, then you should do it and I realized that I was avoiding challenging myself because I was afraid of failure. I’ve learned, though, that when we do something that we’re not comfortable with, we grow, and that’s what I feel that I’ve been doing since I graduated last month.
Don’t get me wrong, I still get anxious before and during my sessions. I get the kind of anxiety where my palms sweat and I feel like I’m hyperventilating and that I might as well stop while I’m ahead before I do something embarrassing. I start thinking that I’m not good enough, or that I’ll screw something up and have to refund my clients but, in reality, I’ve never done anything that was detrimental to my reputation as a photographer and every session has gone smoothly. I’m still trying to get comfortable with posing people and being more confident, but I’m getting there. The more that I shoot, the better I get and the more secure I feel as a photographer.
The Ross Family’s session last week was no exception. I felt so nervous before and during that I thought I would faint. I started prepping for their photo shoot a few days in advance by saving some pose inspiration on Pinterest, and by making a schedule for the shoot. I researched the best time for golden hour in Rexburg and then got to our location 30 minutes early to scope out some places that I thought would work. Doing these things helped ease my photographer’s anxiety and I felt like I could handle anything that would come up. I’ve hardly felt surprised or unprepared for my sessions, so I must be doing something right. Right?
Anyway, the Ross family was such a joy to shoot. They got together for a baby blessing and wanted to have a big group picture to document their time together. That was their only true request, so it left me with a lot of room for creativity. I’m pretty pleased with how everything went and with the photos that I was able to capture. Like I mentioned earlier, I’m still trying to push myself and to expand my comfort zone. I realize that my work is not perfect, but it’s mine, so I’m pretty proud of that.
If you struggle with photographer’s anxiety, know that you’re not alone. Many of us deal with anxiety on a daily basis and there’s tons of help out there on the internet. I found this article and thought that it was a huge help. I want you to remember that you ARE good enough. That you’re still learning and that you will get better! Don’t quit! Check it out, if you’d like. https://fstoppers.com/originals/working-photography-anxiety-202880
Now Offering Senior Sessions:
There’s been a lot going on in my life lately. I’ve graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in Science in Communication, spent two weeks with my family from Illinois, and have since been on the hunt for a job. We also spent a few days in Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Park, and at Bear Lake. Check out this awesome shot of the north end of the Tetons in GTNP!
My husband and I have enjoyed the extra time that we’ve been able to spend with our kids, who (let’s face it) have put in the most work over the last 4 years. They’ve been our rock and support system from the very beginning and they deserve all of the time they can get from their parents. Something else I’ve been up to is revamping my brand and website. If you haven’t already noticed, a lot has changed. The most exciting piece of news, however, is that I’m now offering senior sessions to the Rexburg area.
I had a lady from Church approach me last week about doing her son’s senior pictures and I’ll admit that I was nervous about it at first. I’m not the best at posing people yet, and am still very much into landscape photography, but I decided to give it a go. You know what? I’m glad that I did. Senior sessions aren’t as nerve-wrecking as I thought they would be. In fact, I actually prefer them over a lot of the other work that I’ve done so far. Spencer was the best little model and even laughed at all of my jokes. So, extra brownie points for him. If you’re like me and get nervous about posing people, Pinterest was a huge help. You can also check out some amazing work by Dave Black for more inspiration.
I’m proud to say that I want to continue doing senior sessions, so for the next few weeks I’ll be offering a 50% discount to anyone who schedules a session with me before September 1st. I’d love to hear from you and am excited to see what I can do for your young adult! Send me an email to set something up. In the meantime, take a peak at some of my favorite shots of Spencer from last night. Enjoy.
How to Do a Creative Composition:
I’ve really come to love Photoshop over the last year or so. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Lightroom for its ability to handle mass amounts of photos at once, but Photoshop is a beast of its own. I decided to put it to the test with a creative composition for one of my classes and in total the end product consists of about 13 individual pictures and a ton of adjustment layers.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it forever. There are perks to being a mom of all girls. I will honestly ALWAYS have a willing model at hand and this time it was my oldest daughter. She’s 9-years-old and JUMPS at the chance to wear makeup. 🙂 She told me that she wanted me to turn her into a mermaid, so I did my best. The trick to blending a bunch of pictures together is to use a hue/saturation adjustment layer for each image and then to use a color lookup adjustment layer towards the end to bring it all together. I’ve included all of the photos used in this creative composition below. I’m in love with how the end photo turned out. Here are the links to the photos that I downloaded from the internet.
https://unsplash.com/photos/DXQB5D1njMY – mountain
https://unsplash.com/photos/ZjOQmOOWmGs – waterfall
Fish scales – https://unsplash.com/photos/MwDs3Zjy3eI
One of the perks of being a mom of all girls is that I always have a willing model when I need one! I’ve wanted to try out multiple exposure photography for a while now, but haven’t had the time to until today. Of course, I started out the process with research on how to do it with my little Nikon D3300, but soon found out that my camera doesn’t have that feature (insert sobbing sounds here). My next best bet was to try to pull off the look of multiple exposure in post. That’s where Photoshop came into play.
But first, let me tell you what multiple exposure is. Basically, it’s the superimposition of two or more exposures to create one image. If you’re interested in trying it out, you can find a boat-load of info out on the internet. For now, let me walk you through my process.
First, I went out and took this picture of my daughter with the cloudy sky behind her. I wanted to get as much of her face and shoulders into the sky as possible, so I had to take this shot from a lower angle. Then I shot a picture of a nearby tree. I brought both of these images into Photoshop, turned them black and white, and then stacked them on top of each other. I then chose the lighten blending mode and the tree became part of her hair. From then on, I just did some blemish removal, and some sharpening. I also found this picture of these birds flying online for free and then masked them into the image.
Let me know what you think about it in the comments! 🙂
For more multiple exposure inspiration, you really need to look at this guys work. He does all of his stuff in camera and it’s amazing. https://photogrist.com/double-exposure-portraits-muhammed-faread/
A Few More Engagement Photos That I’ve Taken:
This couple reached out to me last week, asking if I could do their engagement photos again. Of course, I said yes. It was nice to be able to take my time with them, without any other photographers around. This time, we went to the nature park, in Rexburg, Idaho. We went out at about 8 a.m., but I wish that we could have gone out earlier or after 7:30 p.m. so the light wouldn’t have been so harsh. These two are so easy to work with and have made me want to get into doing engagement photos more often. If you’ve ever thought about photographing couples, you totally should! It’s so much fun. For more really cute ideas for engagement poses, you should take a peak at Vanessa Godfrey’s work here: https://vanessagodfrey.com/family
Shooting Family Portraits in the Summer:
You guys. I’ve never photographed a group of people larger than 7, but I went out and did something crazy last week. I was asked, very last minute, to do an extended family session for an acquaintance of mine and it turned out to be a much better experience than I thought it would be. Total, there were about 24 people, with 7 individual families, and I took pictures of all of them. I enlisted the help of one of my friends to get it done in a timely matter, and I honestly think this session has set the tone for the rest of the summer. I’ll never hold back from something again, just because I’m nervous about it. In fact, I’m going to use the summer to step a little more out of my comfort zone and to push myself to learn and experience new things. Without further adieu, here’s the family! For more beautiful summer photography, you should check out Summer Murdock’s work here: http://www.summermurdock.com/portfolio/
Examples of My Best Work:
Benjamin Franklin once said, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember, Involve me and I learn.” Ben Franklin and I are very much alike in that aspect. I’ve always been a better learner when I could do things with my hands. Honestly, I could sit and take notes for hours but learn the same thing in 30 minutes just by physically practicing it. The last 3 months have been no exception to that. I’ve been given the opportunity to work along side some of the best people over the last 12 weeks and improve my photography technique in a class called Comm316 at Brigham Young University-Idaho. I’ve learned how to manipulate the settings on my camera to make sure that my work is my best work before even having to upload it to my computer. I’ve learned more about lighting and long-exposure. I’ve also been able to realize that I’m more of a natural light kind of person, so I’ve compiled some of my best work from the semester to show you. Tell me what you think in the comments! 🙂
A Creative Resume to Showcase my Photography:
Hi. I’m Emily. I’m originally from Northern Illinois (the land of corn), but have lived in Rexburg, Idaho, (the land of potatoes) for the past 4 years. Before moving out west, I thought that the most beautiful thing that I would possibly be able to take pictures of was the river down the road. Idaho has opened up an endless supply of landscape opportunities for me, and now I don’t think I’ll ever be able to move back to the Midwest. There are a few things that I’ll miss about Illinois- my family, lightning bugs, lightning storms, and (let’s be honest) the best sweet corn in America – but I’ve really grown to love the Idaho country. Mostly, it’s given me a passion for landscapes.
I’m the only member of my family who has ever packed up and moved away from the Midwest, and I’ve often been asked why I chose to live in Idaho, as opposed to warmer areas like Florida or California. As someone who wasn’t sure that she’d like Idaho to begin with, but whom also didn’t take very long to fall in love with it, I had started my photography journey only wanting to shoot landscapes. That was my goal as a photographer – to capture beautiful scenes so everyone else could see them from my perspective.
As I’ve started to expand my photography skill set, however, I realized that I didn’t want to limit myself to only shooting landscape photography. I knew that the only way that I’d be a better photographer in other areas was to get out of my comfort zone and to start exploring them. One of these areas has been portraiture. Portraiture is way more different than landscape photography. I don’t have to tell the mountains how to pose or how to look beautiful. They just do it. Capturing photos of people is a lot more challenging for me. I’m still learning how to feel comfortable behind the camera, how to pose people, how to compose an image, etc, but I’ve come a long way.
In order to showcase my portrait photography, I decided to create a little 3×5 booklet / creative resume that I can hand out to potential clients in the future. I designed my creative resume in Indesign and then just took it to have it printed and saddle-stitched at the Alphagraphics in Rexburg, Idaho. I love how cute and miniature it is. It’s totally something that I could throw into my purse on my way to an interview, or hand out to someone who might be interested without giving them something that they’d have to lug around for the rest of the day. Let me know what you think about it in the comments! 🙂
For more creative resume work, check out Caryn Esplin’s work here.
Ben and Marilyn are Engaged:
Look at these two! I’m all heart eyes and butterfly-tummied over here over how cute they are together. I shot these pictures last week, at Rigby Lake, in Idaho. It was about 7:30 at night and the sun was just starting to set, making everything look golden and beautiful. These two were naturals at being in front of the camera and didn’t mind jumping into a canoe so we could get these shots.
If these don’t make you think back to when you got engaged, or make you want to get engaged, there’s something wrong with you. 🙂 I’m going to start getting into engagement photography because I loved this photo shoot so much! Let me know what you think in the comments!
For more amazing engagement photography, check out Vanessa Godfrey’s work.
You guys. I can finally mark engagements off my bucket list after last week. A friend of mine arranged a stylized photo shoot session and this super cute couple came along to model for us. Ben and Marilyn were the EASIEST couple to shoot, because being in love comes naturally to them and they didn’t have a problem being in front of the camera. I took these pictures at about 7:30 at night, when the sun was still setting, and the lighting was perfect.
Engagement sessions are something that I think I want to start doing more of because every couple deserves to look back and remember how happy they make each other. It hits a sweet spot for me. I can still remember getting engaged to my husband and how incredibly excited I was to be able to spend eternity with him. So, without further adieu – here’s the happy couple.
I wish you the best of luck, Ben and Marilyn!
To learn more about the golden hour, check out this website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_hour_(photography)
A Few Examples of Restaurant Environmental Photography:
Food photography is good and dandy, but it’s even better when you can show people actually enjoying the food. When I was at The Lift, in Jackson Hole, a few weeks ago, I got the chance to shoot every item on the menu with some of my friends. It was fun to see the different perspectives that everyone was getting and to see the different techniques that they were using. One of the things that we all were trying to do was to take some restaurant environmental photography. I tried to get some unique perspectives and angles in my shots. If you haven’t been to the Lift, you should go. While you’re there, you should try to take some environmental restaurant photos of your own! Here are a few of mine.
I admire Megan Kelly’s work! Here’s a link to her website so you can see some of her restaurant environmental photography as well! http://megankelly.photography/
Architecture Photography for The Lift Restaurant in Jackson Hole:
If you’ve never been to The Lift, in Jackson Hole Wyoming, you should make the trip. It’s a cute little restaurant, facing a green mountain rage with a wide variety of food items. I went there a few weeks ago, during a photography excursion and had a great time. The staff was super kind. The food was amazing and the atmosphere was lovely. I took some time and shot some photos of the restaurant that I wanted to share with you all. Architecture photography is new to me, especially restaurant architecture photography. The trickiest part was getting straight edges to look straight and to figure out how to show the restaurant’s architectural character. Here are some of the shots that I took during my time there.
For more amazing photography, check out Caryn Esplin’s work here: http://carynesplin.com/
My First Experience with Food Photography:
Food photography seems like it’d be a simple thing to do. Your subject doesn’t move. You just need a camera and the right lighting, right? That’s what I thought. My experience with food photography has been somewhat of a struggle. For some reason, it doesn’t come so easily to me though. Food photography isn’t super difficult, but I do find it challenging to get my food to look the way that it does in real life. I had the chance to practice shooting food photography a few weeks ago, at The Lift in Jackson Hole Wyoming. It was my first real experience with food photography, and while it didn’t go exactly as planned, it didn’t go too badly either. Here are a few of my shots from that day.
Someday I hope to be as good as Nicole Genoni with her food photography. Check out some of her work here: http://www.nicolegenoni.com/