Monday, February 28, 2011

Process Overload

I'm back! And whoa, where to begin? It's taken me a few days to process what just happened, but my paralysis due to excitement and taking in an overwhelming amount of information is finally starting to subside and I'm ready blog again! 

I've never felt more inspired and validated in my mission. One overarching theme I found throughout my classes that I especially took to heart was that we, photographers all have passion, we all have cameras, but what sets us a part is our vision and not just the vision to compose an image. It's the vision of your business, your brand, but even more importantly, you - and where you see yourself going. It's so easy to see another photographer's portfolio or website or blog and want to make your own image look similar (what were their settings, what actions did they use, how did they get that lighting), but then you're not being true to yourself and selling your images - you're selling theirs. I especially took this to heart because I've been struggling to find my voice in my images and brand. There are so many photographers' work that when I see an image published in a magazine or blog, I know it's theirs immediately and I'm left wondering how they found their vision and can remain so consistent in it without losing creativity. I know it's not going to happen over night, but I feel so much closer to figuring out my own style and am ready to build a brand on it. Until now, I've been in reactive mode - I've responded to photo shoot requests without envisioning how they'll represent my brand. I've been trying to take "pretty" pictures, without a vision. It was a wake up call and just in time since it's time for me to create a real brand and website. I'm excited.

Part II of my WPPI experience is coming soon...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Engagement Slideshow

The final slideshow highlighting 2010 is up and ready for viewing here!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Vegas Baby, Vegas!

I'm on my way to Las Vegas for my first trip to the Wedding & Portrait Photographers International convention where I'll rub elbows with 15,000 other photographers... (yeah, you read correctly, 15k!), take classes led by many of my heroes (with 2,000 of my closest friends), take a spin around the ginormous trade show to see what's the latest and greatest gear and enter lots of raffles to win free stuff! Needless to say, I'm excited, anxious, and overwhelmed by the amazing opportunity a convention of this magnitude offers a newbie such as myself. I definitely will feel like a fish out of water, but am heading into with my eyes wide open. I'm ready to learn... to take my business to the next level, and I think WPPI will give me that kick in the butt I need to keep motivated, inspired and moving forward.

To alleviate some of my anxiety (for me, new = scary), I've created my personal collage of preparedness. I'm a planner, so I think these items will help me survive the craziness that will likely ensue. 

1. Flats! With a convention this large, there will A LOT of walking involved, so flats will be a must.
2. Sharpies! I've claimed my love for them before, so it's a no brainer that I've already got a fresh set ready to go.
3. Agua. I'm notoriously bad about forgetting to drink enough of it. I'll need to stay focused for the long days & nights, so hydration will be key.
4. More flats! I'm kind of obsessed with these boots and I would get bored with just one pair of flats, so a second (or third) pair will keep my feet happy.
5. iPod Touch. I've loaded it with all my music (duh), but also my creativeLive downloads of Jasmine Star - just in case I feel the need to review...
6.  Zone Perfect bars. Should hunger strike, I'll be prepared.
7. Notepad. Lots of notes to be taken, so I've gotten a brand new notepad to give me plenty of space for the tasty tidbits of info I must not forget.
8. Business cards! Network, network, network. 
9. Green tea. Just in case I feel like I need a little pick me up in morning and the end of the line for Starbucks is across the street (I've heard this is very likely given the number of photographers in one place), this way I'll still be able to get my daily jolt.

I can't wait.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Photo Shoot Giveaway Update!

The drawing is this week! Donate now for your chance to enter. More info can be found here!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Dear Valentine,

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Harvey's Day

One year ago we made the trek to Saving Grace Dog Rescue to meet a fellow named Freeman. We didn't know much about him, but after seeing his profile on the website, we knew we had to meet him. He had kind of an old man but wise soul look about him and his bright brown eyes seemed to say "love me."

When we walked through the gate of the farm, he ran towards us immediately and began licking our hands like he already knew we were there to see him. He chose us and we named him Harvey.

Fast forward a year later and we're still a happy trio. We've had a share of ups (snuggle fests, long walks and lots of treats) and downs (he still likes displaying the recycling around the house and shredding mail), but we're a family and we can't imagine life without our best canine companion, Harvey.

To celebrate our one year adoption anniversary, we decided to throw Harvey a little birthday party in his favorite park with all his favorite things.

Such as...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Things I Love...

the arrival of the iPhone for Verizon!
i know... i know... i love my Droid, but the battery seems to die at the drop of a hat requiring me to charge it ALL the time. i haven't converted yet, but i may be tempted by the arrival of the iPhone 5 this summer. just sayin'

the love of family and friends and...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Photo Shoot Giveaway

{Thanks to Kate Nordstrom for the above photograph!}

That's right. I'm giving away a free photo session in the Triangle area!

Questions? I'm sure you have a few.

It's for a great cause. Beatrice's mom, whom you may remember from here and here, has created Team Bea, which will walk in support of the March of Dimes campaign on April 30th. Beatrice Kate was born 11 weeks premature and the March of Dimes was instrumental in her survival. You can read all about her story on the family's blog.

The whole family is welcome to join in the fun, as long as there are no more than four people (pets won't count towards the max and they're invited too of course). 


An hour session and hi-res disc of digital images.

The drawing is still TBD and Bea's mom will provide more info on her blog. I'll update this info as soon as I know, but the sooner you donate then the more likely you are to win one of her great giveaways.

Your home, local park, city square... anywhere really, just as long as it's within the Triangle area. I have a list of recommended places if you'd like some suggestions.


To register for a chance to win the photo shoot and lots of other great giveaways, you'll just need to "like" Laura Simson Photography on Facebook (you can find the "like" in the top right corner of my blog) and make a donation of at least a $25 to Team Bea. More info on donating can be found here on the team's March of Dimes website.

Still have more questions? Feel free to shoot me an email.

Good luck!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

More Slideshows!

Check out the slideshow of wedding highlights from 2010.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Miss Marguerite

She greeted me with a slight smile, but was mostly interested in what I was carrying. She studied my camera with wonderment and I could almost see the little wheels in her head turning. She examines everything with the utmost care.  And when her mom realized that the quizzical look she was sporting was not going away, she knew exactly how to coax a smile from her. Call in Dad. Sure enough, he enters the room and she soon forgets what she was contemplating and a smile lights up her face. And when Miss Marguerite smiles, it's contagious.

Love the chubby baby bottom.


More studying.

Enjoying the company of friends.