I Wasn’t Always This Cool { Winston Salem, NC, Kernersville, Wedding Photographer }

Last night I looked at the first portfolio I ever made and It brought back a thousand memories and a world of embarrassment. In 2009 I decided I could no longer deny my passion for photography and bought a Nikon D40 kit. I cringe at the thought that I actually started a “business” with “equipment” like that, but sometimes you have to just take a leap and do what your heart tells you to do.

I made ever single rookie mistake possible….digital glow, selective color, bad lighting and cheesy poses.

It didn’t start on a whim, I did at least have a background of many years as a second shooter and assistant. During my time as an assistant, I began to experiment with prime lenses and slide film, and started to see a style in my photos that I fell in love with. After a life-changing separation and eventually divorce I found myself furniture-less, penniless, and worst of all camera-less.  I would spend three years away from the camera- getting back on my feet, going back to school and pursuing a career in the medical field. But there was always something missing, I would find myself creating images in my mind. I would walk into a room where an elderly patient sat in bed, window light cascading across the white hospital blankets bouncing up to the defined and wrinkled face. I would barely be able to hold a conversation with the patient because all the while, I am thinking to myself: wow! this image would look amazing in black and white.  As these thoughts became more and more pressing, and my financial and life situation began to slightly improve,  I was able to afford a small allowance for a camera. The only way I could justify spending the money was if I could make it back and so my “business” was born.

I promptly came up with a cheesy name, had some vista print cards made, with my Webs website, and MySpace page I was über professional and began taking victims….err… clients. . I edited everything in freeware and added lots of digital glow because it looked so awesome.  The cover of my first portfolio was a self-portrait of me looking through a peacock feather, my super-cool branding inspiration. I even had the gall to include the subtext ” Fine Art Photography” under my business name….what was I thinking??

I made every rookie mistake possible: digital glow, bad lighting, selective color and cheesy poses. The only problem is that I didn’t know I was making them. As time went by the money was just not coming so I placed an ad on….dun dun dun…..Craigslist. Yup, I sure did,  And guess what? It changed my life. I got an anonymous, and devastating message from someone saying how horrible my work was. Of course, I cried, and told no one except Koy.  I began reading and learning. beginning with my camera’s manual. I literally slept with my manual, and camera. For hours each night I would read, make adjustments, take photos of my feet and see the differences that shutter speed, aperture, ISO and white Balance made.  I leaned that I love selective focus, and that If i shot in shallow depth of field, I got that beautiful soft background without the need for that super-awesome digital glow.  I Began to get better and better and finally made a little money, with this I was able to slightly upgrade my equipment. With the new camera, I felt confident enough to be a second, yet separately contracted photographer at a wedding and my life changed yet again, I Knew I had found my niche.

Always wanting to be a photojournalist, but never having the education, Wedding photography allowed me to practice that photojournalistic style that I love so much. I was so un-prepared that when my battery died before the first dance, I had to send Koy out to buy another one! At least ten guests had not only better cameras, but flashes of which I did not. One thing I did have? Some newly acquired knowledge from all of the tedious hours of practice and reading. I walked away both humbled, by my unpreparedness and proud that I did a good job in spite of not being prepared. I made it my life’s mission to become a real professional photographer.

It’s now been two years, since my first wedding, and I can see how much I have grown by making education and growth the center of my business keeping a clear vision or what I want my brand to be. Though I’m not their yet- getting closer and closer to that vision every day. There is still a long way to go, but I am now a licenced, insured professional photographer with backup equipment and a real website. Next year, I’m sure I’ll look back on my work and again say, ” what was I thinking??” But for today, I will look back on my old self, and be proud of what I have become.

Winston Salem, Kernersville Wedding Photographer  If you Loved your wedding photography, Leave me a review on Google Places

Winston Salem Wedding Photography by Winston Salem Photographer, Shanna Duffy
Shanna Duffy Photography is anything but your average documentary wedding photographer. Each wedding is treated with
care and creativity Shanna Duffy Photography is a photographer based in Winston Salem, in the Kernersville, NC area.
Offering wedding Photography coverage in Winston Salem, NC, Kernersville,NC Lexington,NC Thomasville,NC and Greensboro,NC.
Creative, Stylish, Non-traditional Documentary photography are  a few words typically used to describe this Winston Salem
wedding photographer. With clients based all over the Triad area, Wallburg  is home to this Winston Salem wedding  photographer.
We take pride in offering our clients beautiful photography, at affordable prices. Our clients are typically looking for
Someone who will capture emotional moments, and tell the story of their wedding and engagement through photography.
Serving Winston Salem, NC, Kernersville, NC Lexington,NC, Thomasville,NC, Greensboro,NC and Beyond Shanna Duffy Photography
offers Winston Salem wedding photography coverage in the Kernersville area, including but not limited to, Winston Salem, NC,
Kernersville, NC Lexington,NC, Thomasville,NC, Greensboro,NC and the surrounding areas.  Please call or Email us for
more information.

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