If you’re a fan of the Michelle Kirnan Photography Facebook page, you know I’m in the process of designing an entirely new blogsite. It has become much more difficult that I had anticipated, and I’ve had to call in reinforcements. That would be my IT guy aka hubby. ;) I had planned to go live by the end of January, but all of the problems we’ve encountered prevented it. :( However, I had the great fortune in the meantime to experience the Zach & Jody Gray broadcast on creativeLIVE, and it was life changing! Well, I guess that’s a bit extreme…let’s say it was business changing. :)
I’ve known for sometime that my branding should focus on me. What’s different about ME? Why should clients hire ME? But I didn’t know the answers to these questions! And then in the middle of creating this new blogsite (based upon what I had used for my old blog) and absorbing all I could over an entire weekend of listening to Zach & Jody Gray, and all the tears I shed, due to the frustrations over the blogsite and all that Zach & Jody had shared (it was AMAZING!), I realized what makes me, ME!
I believe in dreams. I’m so very blessed – all of my dreams have come true. And what happens when our dreams come true? We dream more!
Almost two years ago I remembered a dream I’d had as a child. I wanted to be a photographer…for National Geographic! Well that wouldn’t work with the life I have now! :D But family and children’s portraits? Not that excited me! So in true Michelle fashion, I started chasing that dream!
For our 20th anniversary my hubby and son gave me my first DSLR camera. I was thrilled! And then I realized that I needed to learn more about the camera in order to get the quality images I had imagined. I started learning all I could online. I took as many shots of my family as they’d allow. I soon had to start shooting others because my guys were over it, and I needed to learn more!
So that’s how it started…families and children. My family didn’t come easily to me, and I love my guys with all of my heart. I love to capture our love and memories, and I love to capture that for other families as well.
Then I had a friend contact me to photograph her daughter’s wedding. No way! I had said from the very beginning that I did NOT want to do weddings – too much stress! After months, she finally talked me into it. And I’m so grateful because I was hooked! I love photographing LOVE! So I added weddings and couples to my business in May 2011. I shot my second wedding in September and continue to learn and grow.
If you’ve made it this far, you’re certainly wondering what the point if of all of this! From the time I started looking at wedding photography, I’ve followed Katelyn James. Remember my self portrait project inspired by her? You can click here to read more about it. Katelyn is incredibly inspiring! I’ve learned so much from following her blog, from technical aspects such as lighting and composition, to business and blogging, to being a better person. Katelyn teaches other photographers, through her blog and through workshops.
I desperately wanted to go to her workshop announced last fall...what a dream! When I saw the announcement, my heart sank – although I definitely appreciate the value, it was just too great an investment for my little business at the time. :( I vowed that one day I would have enough funds to attend. Well, Katelyn recently announced her spring workshop. I’m still in the same situation, but she’s graciously giving away one seat!
So this is my entry. My story. My journey. It’s just the beginning for me. I have so much more to learn, and I’m enjoying every.single.moment!
One of the things I love about Katelyn is the EXPERIENCE she provides. It’s what I’m striving for in my business. How fantastic it would be to share in the Workshop Experience?!
And because no post is complete without an image, here is a sneak peek at the new blogsite. We still have so far to go, but you can see the new clean look, and my new logo. This is a shot of the quick "about me" page. There’s a link to my story, which is more in depth. Because you know I can do some serious typing! ;) The images and slideshow haven’t been completed yet - there's still so much to do!
i don't do resolutions. if i do, i fail miserably. and i know it sounds kinda crazy for a goal-oriented person such as myself. i haven't quite figured it out yet.
but last year i found a different way of looking at a new year. you can read ali edward's post here about one little word. i read this sometime after the beginning of 2011 i believe and since i'm so original, i chose "light" as my word (also ali's word). ;) photography is about light and i wanted to find the light! it's something we photographers hear about all the time. one of the things i love most about photography is the constant learning. and light is what 2011 was about for me. of course the one little word is something to be applied to all aspects of our lives! and the light of my life is my son!
this year as my one little word, i've chosen "perspective". i've come to realize that the photographers' work that inspires me most has a different perspective. i'm in awe of the way others view things! i think this is the necessary next step in my photographic journey. and personally, i need to change perspective as well. i'm very blessed, but the last couple of years have been difficult, especially 2011. in changing my perspective, i want to focus on what really matters...the love i'm surrounded with!
and while i work on the perspective of things, i'll continue to work on finding the light.
one way that i'm working to change my perspective this year, is to see things from others' point of view, with one of the most important being my son. i realize that i take tons of pictures of him. of course who wouldn't....he's irresistible! ;) but i realized that he doesn't have a lot of photos of me. what if something happened to me? we all treasure the photos of those we love. i need to get in front of the camera more. for him! this is difficult for me! most moms, particularly of a certain age, will tell you that they're not happy with how they look. well i'm one of them! but i'm on a mission - for my son!
then i read a post by one of my favorite photographers, katelyn james. she's fantastic! love her. love her work. i dream of meeting her one day. since i stalk her blog, it's only fair, right? well, you can read her inspiring post here. she was inspired by another wonderful photographer, gail werner. so i now have a new blog to stalk! :D the idea: a self portrait every month. this is going to be hard!! but i can do it!
have you ever tried to take a self portrait? it's not easy!!! running back and forth to the camera. many shots not in focus. and it feels silly sitting in front of a camera smiling at nothing! katelyn's self portrait is of course gorgeous! she's gorgeous and creative and fun and talented. i had to sit in chair and try to smile for the camera. not fun! but i did it. i lived through it. and i hope to get better with each month. 'cause i know this is nothing exciting and i'll lose your interest for sure!
so, here is my first self portrait. boring, yes. but this is going to take some practice! please be kind...i'm really not comfortable in front of the camera, which is why i'm always behind it!
in closing, i'd like to share a comment i read today on facebook on a post by jodi friedman of mcp actions. jodi was asking for some positive thoughts as she struggled through a bad day. she received tons of encouragement, but the following comment really stuck with me:
Be thankful that you don’t already have
everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be
to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations, Because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge,
Because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes,
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,
Because it means you’ve made an effort.
It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those
who are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they will become your blessings
it seems strange, but we have these shrubs that attract bees in the early winter. they bloom at such an odd time of the year. their blossoms are not very pretty, but i love these shrubs. they're kind of tropical looking and are evergreen. and they bring a bit of summer to early winter. :)
so i wanted to do a best of for the year. the first for michelle kirnan photography. i chose my favorites from each session. and tried to get it down to 11. i could barely get it to 25! but i somehow got it down to 23, which is twice as many as 11, plus 1. makes sense, right? ;)