Three years ago – I wrote an article for the Digital Photography School about filtering advice from other photographers.  Looking back – I don’t think I was the most qualified candidate to be talking about certain things – I mean – I was incredibly green at the time and very, very, veryyyyyyy new to the world of photography. For example – I had only been at it for a year or so, barely had my business up and running, shot a handful of clients and still had so much to learn. (Ahem. I still have a lot to learn.)  But my passion for writing and photography go hand in hand – and I was so excited to have a platform to speak about some of the things that I was experiencing. So I wrote —

 

 

During my time of transition from photojournalist to professional photographer – I had a million questions. Seriously – a million questions. Everything from technical to business and the in-between. But – I truly didn’t know who to ask, what to ask, how to ask and what advice to take or leave.

I stumbled upon the article I wrote the other day as I was looking through some old files and I thought it would be fun to revisit some of the tips and to give them all a new take.

So – whether you have been shooting for 6 months or 6 years – my hope is that these tips will help you when you are seeking the advice from others. Because over the past few years – as I continue to grow and learn as a photographer – these are the things that have helped me navigate through a world of abundant information, ebooks, online courses and so many willing to help and offer advice.

Consider the source.

Three years ago I wrote in the article about taking time to look up others backgrounds, credentials and experience. I compared it to a job interview. Well — over the years – I didn’t always take my own advice. Have you ever purchased learning materials, books or other things online – because – WOW. They look amazing. Everyone is saying AMAZING things about them…they MUST be amazing and so on. Granted, I have purchased some stellar products and have taken some incredible courses over the years- but I have also been really let down. In those moments where I was feeling let down and underwhelmed, it was because I didn’t do the research. If it sounds so, so, SO amazing and perfect and incredible and pretty and gorgeous and “TO GOOD TO BE TRUE” it most likely is. Things are more accessible than ever – classes and ebooks are at our finger tips – when it comes to investing in your photography education – take the time and DO the research, ask a trusted friend for recommendations or contact the teacher/mentor themselves. How long have they been shooting, how long have they been teaching, what are the reviews on said course or products, what platform are they teaching on and so on and so forth.

 

Listen closely, be respectful but don’t take any of it personal.

There was a time a period of time where I worried so hard and so long about what others thought about me. It hurt me to the core when others didn’t like my work and I would take things way, way too personally when it came to my work and especially photos that I had fallen in love with.

Am I allowed to love my photos? YES.

Were they good? That is debatable. I am sure they were good to my standards and with my mom goggles on – but I needed improvement.

Should I have taken the comments personally and to the grave? Nope.

If you are going to take the time to go to someone, ask for their help and are looking for honest and heartfelt opinions about your work – be prepared to hear things that you might not be expecting to hear. Not only are they going to see things about your work that you won’t – but there is opportunity to learn, grow and improve – just don’t take it personally.

Some of the best advice I have received from others – I didn’t completely agree with. Is that wrong? NO. I was able to take what I needed from what they were expressing to me and apply it to my shooting, style and voice.

Turn off the noise.

I give this tip a lot. It can be used in all kinds of contexts and scenarios and is definitely helpful when filtering advice from others. I will ping-pong this off the first tip – when you are considering the source and looking to gain and garner advice from others — be selective. Information overload can be overwhelming, cause thoughts of doubt and can overall be confusing. For example – have you ever asked for advice in a group setting and got thirty different answers? Who do you listen to? What do you take from that? I say confide in two or three very, very trusted friends when running ideas or thoughts by them, especially when you are looking for honest and heartfelt advice or thoughts on something really important to you.  While I am a huge fan of groups and love them for all kinds of various reasons – group settings don’t always garner the best constructive criticisms.

 

I sincerely think there is no say all, be all, do all answer when it comes to photography. If you haven’t noticed – we all have our own take, spin and ideas when it comes to our own artwork. We all have different gear, different editing techniques and thoughts. In such a diverse industry filled with incredible talent – there is so much room for connection, learning and growth. Just know that there are so many photographers who are willing to help others — and are darn good at it. Personally, I feel that if we are seeking advice we need to be just as prepared, ready to do the research and to take the time to seek these incredible individuals out. Here is a quick list of  just some of the resources that I have used over the years and completely and totally trust —

 

Clickin’ Moms.  From the forum to the ebooks to the workshops. I am a ClickPro at this organization and know there are some incredibly talented ladies who work tirelessly to offer some amazing educational products. If you aren’t a part of the forum – I encourage you to join. There is a wealth of knowledge there.

Dana Pugh’s Online Pricing Course This course came to me at a time when I truly needed it. Dana is heartfelt, honest and relatable. She is passionate, caring and helpful. I could go on and on about how much I loved this course. I highly recommend this course if you are in business and really want to be honest with yourself, the numbers and to set some serious goals. Best part – full access to a wonderful alumni group online that is priceless.

Introspection and Analysis with The Rusty Lens After being denied from a pro program twice – I needed something. Anything. I needed help. Serious help. And this workshop was just that. I was able to take a serious look at my work, set goals and look at trends, how to better asses where I was going and what I needed and so on and on. This course was cram packed with so much info that I left feeling like a brand new photographer ready to take pictures of the entire world. Courtney is dedicated, thorough and freaking smart. She mentors and has an amazing take on everything. She is one person whose opinion I truly trust – especially when it comes to photos.

Xanthe Berkeley Make Films Course This course was FUN. When it comes to what we are doing – we need to be having fun while we are learning. Xanthe makes that possible. She is a true inspiration and her style of teaching will make you want to pick up your camera and keep going. She is heartfelt, sweet and kind and I would take the course again and again.

 

I have a list a mile long of books I have read as well as other ebooks that I love — too many to name. I think you catch my drift. As always – if you have any questions ever or need anything – shoot me a message. 

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It seems like we have been counting down until summer break for a long time. I am so glad it is finally here. We have forgone so much of our daily routine and have really just enjoyed all of the free time.

Even though we threw our schedule out the window – we still had so much going on – Adam started karate and swim lessons, my husband was traveling for work and I started an incredible new program and journey and have never felt better. (See day 160 for a full explanation.)

I posted on my personal Facebook page that I didn’t want to overshare and seem “spammy” when it comes to this topic — but you know what — FORGET THAT.

A huge part of my blogging and my photography is the truth behind it. I really truly try to share a little piece our day and lives just as it is.

I have read articles, posts and other findings that others feel annoyed and bothered when people talk about themselves – especially concerning working out and their health.   That kind of bums me out, really. I don’t get annoyed and find joy in connecting with others. I hope you don’t get annoyed either – and if you do. Sorry.

On with our week…

156/365 Adam got to try out my old crop frame and he has now claimed it as his own. It was such a treat watching him take photos and want to learn more about photography. We are going to pull up his artwork and I may have to show him a few things about editing.

157/365 Housing in the blow-up pool. No big deal and actually a lot of fun.

158/365 The most awesome day at the beach with my sandcrab. We got so flipping sunburnt, but it was totally worth it.

159/365 Hey Lucy. Ready for your walk?

160/365 I have been following a steady workout program for the past couple of months and really, really wanted to take it to the next level. I knew in my heart what I needed to do and was finally ready to get rid of all processed junk and sugar and eat clean. Initially – I was scared and slightly nervous about starting a program like this. In my mind – I was “healthy.” We didn’t eat fast food, stayed away from junk and worked out. As I started the first few days of the program – I knew right away that this was an amazing decision and by the way I felt (super crappy from a detox) that I wasn’t as healthy as I thought I was. I can’t begin to explain the emotions that accompany the decisions and hard work. Even though this is still fresh and new – I am excited to see how the next few weeks go.

161/365 We are such a fan of this slide pool combo deal. I have to get one every summer. Mostly because we pop the darn thing…every…summer. And Adam totally popped this right after I snapped this photo.

162/365 Current things I love so very much. This corner of my office. Gold anything. Monstera leaves. Birkenstocks. And my 20 mm so I can shoot this perspective. I think it might be the only lens I bring with me on our upcoming trip.

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I posted this last night on my Facebook page.

“In the last 30 days – I have taken some of my favorite photos…ever.”

That is a HUGE statement – because I have always had the worst time picking out favorite photos or looking for “why” my photos are my favorite.

I know exactly why all of these photos have been some of my favorites.

When I look at them I see it.

No stress.

No expectations.

No worry.

No fear.

No comparisons.

A change.

A chance.

A shift.

An opportunity.

An opportunity to create, document and just BE ourselves.

This to me – is the entire point of a Project 365. It is so incredibly personal – I couldn’t even begin to explain the multitude of reasons why I love this project show much. But each day that passes – each moment captured – each photo I take is showing me why I love partaking in it.

150/365 Someone needed watering. He is growing like a weed.

151/365 Making slime.

152/365 Something about my love for the 20mm I didn’t mention. I love this new perspective – a lot. I plan on trying to take a shot like this at least once a week. I don’t know why – but I think it could be really fun to document all the places I am at. It makes it so fun to capture.

153/365 Cheers to you, and the weekend. And cheers to my last beer for the next month. AAAAAH. (I am taking part in a eating clean challenge for the next month, sadly beer isn’t on the approved menu. Dang it.)

154/365 Today, I turned 34. It was the most wonderful day. I was surround by so much love and support and the prettiest pink cake with pineapple candles.

155/365 Told you I love this perspective.

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I have to start this blog by saying…

Gear is personal, so very personal.

I have come to realize over years of research, trial and error and time spent shooting that everyone has personal preferences when it comes to their own gear.

Some people love Canon while others swear by Nikon. Some only shoot with prime lenses. I love my Sigma 35mm Art and I have encountered others who don’t share the same affinity for it. I could go on and on with the comparisons. You get it.

Gear is personal. 

We all have specific needs and wants when it comes to our craft and artistry and that is why gear is such a personal choice. There are an arsenal of lenses that I have always wanted to try – but know that for the type of shooting that I do –  I don’t really need them. And – when it comes to such a hefty investment – I want to make sure I am getting the most out of all of my gear.

As I set out on my new adventures of underwater photography -I needed a great lens that would fit inside my flat port on my Aquatech housing.

After some research – enter the Nikon 20mm 1.8.

I was able to get my hands on it at a local store here in Hawaii and was instantly impressed. Before I share some of my reasons why I love this lens so much — a quick note —  I shared all of the settings under each of the photos – all taken with the D810 and 20mm 1.8 while using BBF (back-button focus.)

ISO 1200 f.2.2 1/160

Reason #1 Oh. My GOSH. I can see my whole house through this lens! 

Obviously – it is wide. I don’t ever recall sitting in this exact spot in my home and being able to capture this room in its entirety. Even though we live in Hawaii and spend so much time outside – shooting inside and documenting our everyday is very, very important to me. I love being able to capture moments as they are unfolding with out much or any manipulation. I have found that when I shoot – I like to be incredibly close to what is going on. I like to feel the action, hear what is going on and interact with my subjects. The 20mm allows me to still be closer without cropping in too tight. I know it seems like a “duh reason” but I have never shot this wide before and the first couple of days were so eye opening.

ISO 800 f/2.2 1/160

Reason #2 – There is little distortion – that I noticed. 

Is there some distortion? Some, but it is slight. I have been fixing it in LR along with some minor vignetting. Again – it is so slight and I really don’t notice it enough for it to bother me. I honestly though there would be more with this wide of a lens.

ISO 100 f/5.6 1/1250

Reason #3 – My photos are so clear and sharp!

Is this lens sharp, fast, clear, crisp and so on and so on? That seems to be a common concern when it comes to any lens, right?

Simply put.

YES.

This lens rocks in this department.  In the few weeks that I have been using it – I have noticed how crisp, sharp and fast it is. I have shot with it in all kinds of light – low, mid-day, golden hour – and I am overjoyed with how the photos have been turning out. Clean, bright and oh so sharp – just how we photographers love them.

ISO 125 f/5.6 1/1600

ISO125 f/5.6 1/1000 

ISO 125 f/5.6 1/1250

Reason #4 – Holy cow, this lens is so lightweight. 

I love bringing my gear with me to capture the everyday – but man oh man – it gets heavy. And cumbersome and ow…my back…my arm…my neck. You know what I mean? I instantly noticed how lightweight this awesome piece of glass is. My d810 is heavy enough – then when paired with certain lenses – it becomes a beast to carry. BUT – there is an incredible difference in size and weight and versatility with this lens and that was huge for me – especially when you are out for day trips with heavy gear. I recently took it out for a day trip and there was a definite difference and that made me (and my back) so happy.

Reason #5 It is just as good in the water as it is on land. 

I know I have posted a lot lately about underwater photography and I won’t steer too far off on a tangent here – but there are so many different factors to think of when you enter the water. So many.  This lens completely fits the bill for me and helps me achieve what I want in the water. Over this past weekend I was able to house my camera paired with the 20mm and shoot underwater for most of the afternoon. When we were done in the water, I took off my housing and was able to capture my family on the beach roasting marshmallows at sunset.  Personally – I don’t want to bring any more extra gear to the beach than what I need and knowing that this lens can perform in and out of the water is priceless. Bottom line – I need something fast, sharp, lightweight and wide in the water and all of those same amazing qualities in the lens transpire on land, too.

ISO 100 f/7.1 1/500

ISO 100 f/7.1 1/500

ISO 100 f4.5 1/50o

ISO 100 f4.5 1/400

I will end on this. It sincerely isn’t the gear that makes or breaks you as a photographer – it doesn’t define you – help you or hurt you or any of those things. Again – gear is personal. To me – talking gear is fun and a great way to connect to others through something we all love – I love hearing how and why others come to love their gear.

If you can – rent before you purchase. See if you like the gear before making the commitment.

If you are feeling stale creatively or are in a rut – try something new.

Ask questions, do your research and as always — have fun with it.

If you have any more questions about any of my gear – contact me. I always love to help and chat.

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Just an old fashioned update from me this week. No news or announcements. Just a whole heck of a lot of picture taking, time outside, time at the beach and time at at the pool.

Honestly, I have never felt more refreshed and excited for the coming weeks. With summer starting, Adam finishing up school and so much fun planned – I can’t wait to document every second of it.

  My Plans

  • Make a family film of our summer
  • Take my camera everywhere
  • Underwater photography to the max
  • Read some books
  • Blog
  • Blog
  • Blog some more
  • Relax with my family
  • Not stress about a darn thing
  • Photograph what I love, what moves me, what excites me and just remember why I love it so very much.

 

Now…on with our week.

143/365 While we have been out snorkeling – Adam gets super cold. So we invested in a little wetsuit for him. It is seriously the cutest thing in the world. He is obsessed with it and can’t wait to put it on. And actually, he wants to wear it all of the time – even when in the blow up pool.

144/365 Adam had a class presentation at school where he needed to pick something to teach the class. He decided on “painting a sunflower.” We did a few practice runs before the big day. He did awesome instructing his class how to perfect their flower painting skills.

145/365 Someone asked me if we lived at the pool and I kind of chuckled and said, “Well, yes.” Honestly, during the week, when the sun is out – we can’t resist packing up and heading to the pool. I spent countless hours at the pool as a kid and it really does feel like a second home.

146/365 This is Adam’s favorite restaurant. We came to his favorite restaurant because he won the first grade spelling bee. Yes. He WON. It was such a special day for all of us and I am so glad Jer and I could be there to watch. I could write and entire post about just this. Short version – he rocked, I cried – we were all SO proud.

147/365 This is how we roll to Target.

148/365 My husband asked what I would like to do on the long weekend and I said, “I just want to cook hots and roast marshmallows on the beach.” Well, we did. We packed up all our gear, spent the entire afternoon swimming and playing and watched sunset with sticky fingers and full bellies. It was ones of the happiest days ever.

149/365 When you watch Harry Potter for the first time – it needs to be documented.

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Underwater photography has changed my life.

Woah.

That is a huge statement.

BUT it has. If you haven’t heard me go on and on about it over the last few months – it is something that I have always wanted to do – but was just too darn scared for a number or reasons.  But when I finally decided to take the plunge, (Haha. See what I did there?) I really needed a lot of advice and help, because I didn’t know where to start.

I love advice and always seek it out when it comes to all sorts of things. But – I have to be able to see it and apply it to use in my own way.

A lot of times – I fail. Horribly. I mean – like fall flat on my face, eat dirt, make a giant boo-boo – that kind of fail. (The stories I could share. We will save them for another blog post.) BUT – at least I tried. There is never any fault in trying, right? And when it comes to underwater photography – you definitely, definitely, DEFINITELY have to KEEP TRYING.

Initially with this post, I wanted to journal out our day from this past weekend and share some photos from the day – but I decided to go a little deeper. HA. Okay, I swear I won’t fill this with cheesy water-puns. I’m done. Promise.

As I was looking through my most recent photos – I realized something.

When you start something new – you suck.

Bad.

Really, really bad.

When I took my first underwater photos. I loved them. In my eyes, they were incredible. I was so excited to be in the ocean, to have this new medium to express myself and to be trying something new. I mean – in my heart I knew they weren’t that great. Okay, they suck. But I still shared the hell out of them, because I was really proud of what I was up to and I really did love those pictures and still do. Besides, I had only had my housing for a few weeks, were the photos supposed to be “good?”

                   

Well, I don’t know. Maybe some people can pick up things and be insanely amazing at it the first try. Me? Not so much. I had to figure out editing, water conditions, my gear – all along with being more comfortable in the water. (I get incredibly sea sick if I am not careful, not to mention I was using a DX formatted lens for over a month and didn’t realize it. DON’T ASK. See, I told you. FAIL.)

But you know what? After about a month in – I could have said…

“So. I’m good. I don’t think this is for me.” And then sold all my gear and went back to situation normal – if there is such a thing.

BUT INSTEAD.

I just kept TRYING.

I practiced some more. Even though we live in Hawaii – our local pool is amazing. I knew what the conditions would be like at the pool, knew I could slow down and really watch and practice my composition – among a million other things that I needed to work on. It never felt like something I had  to do. This was something that I really wanted to do.

Because in the middle of all of that fun and swimming and memory making. I was doing a few things.

Practicing.

Learning.

Growing.

FINDING MY VOICE in the water

I don’t want to ever get to the point as an artist to where I feel like I have found “my voice” and be done searching.  I truly feel like we can evolve as artists and grow and expand and learn and try and…oh my…see? I told you I am just so excited about all of this.

In the last 2 months of shooting underwater – it has connected me back to the craft in a way that I can’t begin to explain. I am consistently thinking of when we can get back in the water. But it has also motivated me out of the water. I have picked up my camera more in the last two months than I have in the last year – client sessions included.

 

 

 

 

So?  Is there something new you want to learn? Is there something you are just aching to try?

Why not?

What is stopping you?

You never know.

It could be something that you love, hate, kind of love and hate, are really good at, are kind of good at, are amazing at or fail at?

But how would you know if you never try it?

Just try.

Because the next thing you try could be life-changing.

I will fully admit it – I had some nervous feelings over my post about deleting my FB biz page. My hope was that I gave my feelings enough justice and that I got everything off my chest. I was unsure how it would be relayed or received – but was so important to me to talk about and be truthful about.

I am BLOWN AWAY .

So many of the comments and responses brought me to tears. So many of you who messaged, commented and wrote me are feeling the same way – pressure, exhaustion and an all around shift. We bonded over similar feelings and situations and in a time where I felt like I was standing in a crowding room – screaming at the top of my lungs – and not being heard. We stopped and listened to each other. I can’t express how incredible you all are. Truly.

I guess in closing over the whole subject – we truly, truly have to find our own path. In a world that is so full of pressure to act a certain way, perform, hustle, look the part, be this or that — we just really, truly and honestly need to be ourselves.

SO – what is next?

My goal. Just a whole lot more of me.  That sounds so conceited – but I swear it’s not. What got away from me is my expression through this craft that I love. Truly dedicating myself to documenting our life – just as it is. Not curating it, not selling it, spinning it or creating it. Just.Documenting. It. With that – lots and lots more blogging, photo taking, ideas, sharing and journaling. I want this to be a place of community and ideas. While I am not fashion blogger or amazing cook with recipes to share – I would love to share more of our everyday and life here in Hawaii, more of my why, my journey and why I love photography so damn much.

Now – on with the P365 update. 

136/365 Graduation day at swim lessons. Seriously, this is the best photo bomb ever. We love coming to Leahi Swim School and can’t wait for our summer session to start.

137/365 So many hugs lately. Even more questions. He proudly explains to everyone that he won’t marry anyone. Because to him – getting married means he has to leave home. A thought he just can’t fathom.

138/365 Awesome new swim trunks and an afternoon at the pool. Heck yes. Best Thursday ever.

139/365 Finally bringing my camera along with me more. I used to all of the time, but got incredibly lazy. Shooting in public is fun and has always pushed me creatively.

140/365 Want to know a funny story? I bought a lens specifically for underwater photography. Oh man. I was just so excited about the idea of getting in the water – I rushed. I will fully admit it. After a month of shooting with my lens (Tokina 11-14mm DX) I was starting to feel a little defeated. I knew I was new at underwater photography – but the photos weren’t turning out the way I wanted. DUH. Did I fail to mention it took me almost a month to realize that my lens is a DX format? D’oh. Long story short – we got the lens mix-up fixed and I am so in love with my new Nikkor 20mm 1.8.  (Also, I know a great place to get a good deal on a brand new Tokina 11-14 mm DX – it is seriously BRAND NEW. I’m serious. And I will thrown in some treats if you are really interested.)

141/365 Sundays are laundry, time together, interesting moments and playing around with my new wide angle.

142/365 Minecraft of a Monday.

Guess what everyone? While I would love to sit and explain a huge, long, drawn out story about the demise of my FB business page – there really isn’t one.

Initially, I was going to share with you my exact feelings and the events leading up to the big delete…but – I realized that a lot of those feelings were coming from a place of frustration, anger and hurt. And blogging 101 taught me that you need to sit on those feelings for at least 24 hours before rushing to write (vent) it out. Well, it has been over a week and I am finally feeling some clarity to explain further.

First off – these are my very own personal experiences and I need to make that so very, very clear. I am not telling you to run and delete your FB pages, I am not saying one way of running a business is better than the other, I am no firm authority in anything really. I have been trying to figure this crap out for YEARS and am still learning and making massive mistakes. And that is my big, huge, point in ALL of this.

We, as photographers, are expected to only share the good. The pretty. The amazing. The inspiring. The hustle. The glorious. The gorgeous. The incredible.

In my experience – I have felt this incredible pressure not only to showcase certain things – but to be on point. All of the time. Share, share, share. Hustle. Sell. Share. Showcase. Get likes. Get followers. Share. Sell. Hustle.

Enter that FB biz page.

It became a chore. This daily reminder of what I “should” be doing. What I “needed” to be doing…and everything I wasn’t. I know that sounds terrible.  But over the years – that little page reminded me of the photographer I wasn’t. (Note – it would ebb and flow over the years. BUT – the page was a source of frustration and self-doubt.)

Terrible right?

Initially that page was opened out of excitement. Shiny and new – just like my gear – I couldn’t wait to book my very first clients. And, from that page – I did. From there, I announced mini sessions, ideas, our move to Hawaii and shared a ton of photos of happy clients. I couldn’t wait to post and share to my biz page that I was so proud of.

BUT — that darn page. It became a game of likes, follows and ads. I can’t begin to express the amount of money that I spent in advertising on FB last year. It’s nauseating. Before you start – I know where you are going – “It takes money to make money. You have to pay for advertising. Duh, Allison.” No. This was not what I had learned sitting in years of business school. This is not how I wanted to run my business. This is not what I had envisioned.

Mingles, inappropriate comments, stalking, the algorithm, client experiences that I could not begin to explain, the constant feeling of guilt, loathing and annoyance that came with that page. The numbers, the reach. I could go on.

We need social media to showcase our work – but we have to make it work for us. And it was not working for me. 

I complained a lot. I was pretty miserable. I was unhappy. I didn’t like the direction of how my business was going. I didn’t like the sound of my own voice. BUT – quietly I worked on, posting the highlights of all the sessions and “hard work.”  Hoping for a few more likes, hoping for one more booking. Just hoping and wishing.

Deep down, I knew. I knew what I needed to do.

So – in the last few weeks – after a few experiences  and moments – I did something about.  One evening – feeling incredibly calm and ready. I got rid of my FB biz page.

And you know what – I have never felt more clear on where I want to go, what I want to do and who I want to be as a photographer.

Honestly – I don’t want to use FB as a marketing tool for my work anymore. I just don’t. Does that mean it is a bad platform? No. It just doesn’t work for me anymore. I’m not brave, I’m not doing anything crazy – I am just assessing the needs of my business, my personal well-being and being completely honest and real with myself.

I told my husband the other day – For a very long time, I have been convincing myself that everything is okay. That even though I was unhappy and hurting – that if I just worked harder and kept at it everything would eventually get better and work out.  We don’t need to be hustling, or reading motivational quotes or working harder to make things better. We need to just be honest with ourselves. Assess what is working and what just is NOT.  And for me – my photography means way too much to me to have it go in a direction that I don’t want it.

BUT ALLISON – It still kind of sounds like you are quitting? Are you? 

No. I will leave it at that. I am not quitting. But I am doing everything the way I want to now, how I see fit and taking on clients in my own personal way. If you have any questions – I am always happy to answer them. Send me a message.

I will finally end on this — if you are a photographer and you are feeling low, crummy, like no one sees your work, no one will book you, no one appreciates you, no one understands, no one cares — should I keep going?  THAT — I GET IT and I am pretty sure there are a ton of us who truly, truly do get it. We really, really don’t need to be hustling harder, we need to be working smarter and taking care of ourselves and each other.

 

 

Oddly enough, I feel like I am talking to an empty room. I know I am not – but knowing that I can’t share this link on a certain platform feels odd, strange and a little bit sad – all at the same time.

This week I took down my business page on Facebook.

GASP. I know. It wasn’t a knee jerk reaction – but something that has been in the works for weeks now.

I am not entirely ready to share my reasons as to why I took it down. I have a post drafted up about why, how and where I want to go from here. I want to get the words exactly right. I also think I want to let some emotions settle and to make sure I am saying exactly what I want to say. Honestly, I want to get it just right because lately I have realized that so many photographers are feeling the EXACT same feelings I have been feeling.

Overwhelmed, overworked, under appreciated, disrespected, undervalued...and so on.

My hopes in sharing pieces of my journey throughout this process is not to teach, not to commiserate, but to bright light to things in our industry – things that are not spoken about, things that are brushed aside, things that need to be talked about more.

I will say this – keeping my website and blog alive is incredibly important to me and will always be so. A writer at heart – I find solace and joy in getting my thoughts out. I am so happy to have a place – an online journal – to keep all of my thoughts, ideas and photos current. Especially this project – the P365. In my drafted piece explaining why I have come to certain decisions – I also have a massive list of ideas, thoughts and goals for the coming weeks and months. Mostly including ideas for this space. The thought of it all is exciting.

For those that do come here, spend time and peak around – thank you. I sincerely could never express how much it means.

Okay, Okay. On with the update.

 

129/365 More plants, more inspection on Lucy’s behalf.

130/365 I hope so. Because some days I feel like I am just treading water to get through the day. But all that matters is what he thinks of me. And on this day he told me I am like the lightning bolt in his tee. Strong and fast.

131/365 Mahalo means “Thank You.” And I am thankful for these two silly guys.

132/365 I am so happy we have this amazing pool that is never busy so close to our home. While I love spending time in the ocean – it is such great practice to get in the water and shoot in the pool.

133/365 Waiting for a chocolate milkshake at a coffeeshop.

134/365 My Mother’s Day dates. Adam couldn’t stand either of us.

135/365 Mondays. Also – Lucy has an eye on me at all times. Always.

I love being a family photographer and watching ALL of my clients in front of my lens as a family together.

BUT – I have to gush for a few moments – especially today- on the Mom’s.

So many of my momma’s contact me with complete and total excitement – they can’t wait to get their photos done. They worry about making sure all of the details are just right. They coordinate, organize and worry some more. In their heart – there is nothing more important to them – than making sure session day is just perfect.

BUT — in all reality it is so much more than perfect outfits, location and weather. It is truly is SO much more than that.

What I see on session day — are these bonds. The most pure and true love. Mother and her children. I don’t have to go in great length or explanation to account for what I see — because so, so, SO many of my momma’s come to sessions ready to document their love – the love for their children, their significant other and their family.

I am so lucky to have spent time with some pretty incredible mothers over the past few years and I really wanted to take a few moments to wish all of them – and all of you –

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY.

 

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