Friday, December 31, 2010

Farewell 2010... A Photographer's Recap.

In my timezone, we are about six hours away from welcoming the new year. Before the festivities begin at home and I lose out on blogging for the last day of 2010 I want to write. I want to write about the year and all aspects of running a photography business. I want to write about all of the failures I experienced as I embarked on being a business owner. I want to write about all of the highlights of the year during my sessions and weddings. I will write it all down so that over the next year and beyond I can look back... look back on everything I experienced my very first full year doing what I love.

I booked my first wedding the last few weeks of 2009 and since then I have never looked back... well, I have. But the point I attempt to make is that I have grown since then and learned so much. In January I photographed my first newborn session - a beautiful baby girl who will soon turn one! January was also the month in which I decided to put my fears in a box and lock it away. In fact, I decided that I'd fear nothing but the Lord. Insecurities only bring you down and I wanted to make 2010 a great year.

It was amazing to feel strong and energized to dive into a field with so many possibilities. In January I ordered business cards, tons of them. 500 to be exact and ran out long ago. Not because I passed them out like crazy, but because I was asked for them.  I felt accomplished when I booked clients who had been holding on to my card for opportunity to book a session. Thus, I learned to always carry business cards with me - always. Unfortunately, I learned this around mid-summer because I'd always forget :( Fret not, I always have them handy now :)

February and March were a bit slow in terms of sessions but I did book a few portrait sessions for college seniors. I anxiously awaited the months of April and May to photograph all of my spring graduates. Then April came and I had my first wedding to photograph. I was nervous, way nervous. But I did it. And it was then that I knew I had made the right choice to pursue photography. By May, I had booked a second wedding and was in full swing as a photographer. 

Since then, the summer months were booked solid and I enjoyed all of my wonderful South Texas summer weddings. Yup, in immense heat and heels I carried my gear non-stop. I must admit there was a point towards late July where I felt stressed and overwhelmed. I had to take a step back and just breathe. Note to self, always remember to breathe. 

August offered my hottest summer wedding but one of my favorites to photograph. In this same month, my personal life changed dramatically and the effects of certain events have definitely made the latter part of 2010 as a photographer extremely challenging.  But more on that in the personal recap blog post... soon to follow. 

September was my "breather" month in the sense that I really needed to take some time to myself and do that little thing I talked about needing earlier- breathing. When October rolled around I was back in full photography mode with sessions and a beautiful fall wedding. In mid-October I decided to host holiday mini-sessions and wished they were a success. 

November was certainly a highlight for my photography career because I had my first wedding where I had to travel. Now it's not quite a destination wedding, but I still traveled a long way. Here again, I knew I had made the right choice... I LOVE photographing weddings!!! November was also fully booked with mini-sessions and all of the fall 2010 college seniors. 

I had planned to take December off and sing Christmas songs everyday while baking cookies. But my business had other plans for me. I had many last minute family sessions and I was blessed with meeting such amazing clients.  A few days before Christmas, I wrapped up my 2010 wedding season. Remember the wedding I mentioned was my first booked wedding? It was this one, and it was amazingly beautiful and romantic. A perfect way to end the season. 

So now, on December 31, 2010 what have I learned this past year? Many, many things.

I succeeded in creating, starting and operating my own photography business. From nothing. I succeeded in learning to shoot manually and have progressively learned to nail my exposures. I succeeded in implementing new ideas into my photography both on the talent and business aspect. I succeeded in offering my clients an experience and worthy imagery. I succeeded in becoming a photographer.

But I also failed. I failed oh-so many times miserably. I failed in booking a few weddings due to being to busy to follow up with requests, etc. I failed at not having back up batteries for my external flash (Note: Thank you mom for saving the day!!!). I failed at investing in a lens I really have no use for. I failed at believing in myself on quite a few occasions. I'm sure I failed tons more but on the subject of being positive, I'll limit myself ;) Ha! 

My failures taught me to think quick, be overly prepared and trust yourself and what you're worth. It amazes me how quickly 2010 has come to an end but I am reminded of all the great things I experienced with my photography. 

But 2010 could not have been possible without the grace of God. Lord, thank you. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I love you :) And to all of my 2010 Clients, a big hug and thank  you for believing in me and letting me capture a little piece of your lives. Be blessed always!

Tomorrow is a new day, and a new year. I am ready to embrace it and conquer it. I bid you farewell 2010, you have been such an amazing year. I took a leap of faith and 2010 was there to record it. And so was this blog. So in culmination of the end of a successful photographer's year, I leave you with a collection of some of my favorite images from all of my 2010 clients - portraits and weddings. 

Happy New Year!!!

Thank you 2010 and welcome 2011!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Portraits - Elizabeth Robaina

About four or five years ago, I met a young woman with bright red lipstick and long locks at a Thanksgiving luncheon. She was bubbly and much more talkative than I was. She exuded personality and was quite friendly for having just met me. A few months later, I had the opportunity to spend an hour teaching her how to model and practice her communication skills. Me, the absurdly timid one, was giving her a lesson on public speaking and confidence. Go ahead, laugh... it still baffles me sometimes.

Fast forward to 2010 and Elizabeth has become a star. She shines brightly, truly. I am more than delighted and proud to call her my friend. I can't say I never imagined all the great things she would go on to accomplish that night we were practicing how to work it in our heels. But I am excited for everything that has come her way and all of the future endeavors I know she will be blessed with.

Elizabeth has graced the Nuestra Belleza Latina stage and has won numerous pageants both at the local, state, and national level. It was no surprise to me when I turned on the television and saw her as the newest weather girl for our local Univison network station.

But Lizzie, Lizzie is just getting started in achieving her ultimate goals. I see a bright career path just waiting for her to drive on. And now as a college graduate, Elizabeth is well on her way to making it to Hollywood! I know it, I just know it :)

Needless to say, for all the years I have known Elizabeth and all the countless modeling she has done, I have never photographed her. Until now. There was no way I'd let anyone else do her graduation portraits ;)

Lizzie, you are an amazing young woman and I am proud to call you my friend. I am so glad we became friends so long ago. Although at first glance we are such opposites, I feel like our friendship is a balanced one. Congratulations on earning your degree and good luck on conquering the world!!! Be blessed my friend, be blessed.

Now for photos...

For the scrapbook... :)

Wohoo Lizzie! You're a college GRADUATE!!! :) 

Please Note: Clients free to use these watermarked images on your social networking sites. Please refrain from altering the photo in any shape or form. Re-editing of images is strictly prohibited and infringes upon copyright law. Otherwise, please don't steal my images :) Thank you!  

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bridal Session - Candace!!! Mission, Texas

About a week ago I photographed one of the most beautiful brides I had for the 2010 wedding season... and three days later she was married. Candace was the very first bride to hire me as a wedding photographer. When we sat at a crowded table last December and I spoke about my pursuit of running a business, she jumped at the opportunity. In reality, I jumped at the opportunity...

Without any prior wedding experience, or event for that matter, Candace hired me on the spot as her wedding photographer. I couldn't believe it myself but I was oh-so excited. When she came down to South Texas back in May for her engagement session, the reality set it.  But by May, I had already photographed my very first wedding, albeit small, and had embarked on booking a year full of weddings.

But Candace's assurance and her belief in my talent was what catapulted my confidence higher than before and allowed me to dive into pursuing this job I have as a wedding photographer. 

Candace, Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! For always believing in me and trusting me to capture every detail of your amazing day! I am ever grateful for that push you gave me last December. Before I blog her wedding photos, I want to share with you the beautiful images from her bridal session. 

Truly a beautiful bride, Candace radiated in her wedding gown. Take a look...

You are beautiful Candace!!! Check back soon for their wedding blog post :)

To view an online slideshow, click here: SLIDESHOW
To view an online gallery, click here: GALLERY

Please Note: Clients free to use these watermarked images on your social networking sites. Please refrain from altering the photo in any shape or form. Re-editing of images is strictly prohibited and infringes upon copyright law. Otherwise, please don't steal my images :) Thank you!  

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Adriana - Portraits

Congratulations Adri!!! You have just graduated this weekend and your whole family is proud of you! 

Adri walked across the stage this weekend and received her college diploma, a diploma well earned. When I first met Adri a few years ago back in college, she was always very well-mannered and extremely sweet. If it was not for Delta Zeta, I may never had met her but I am glad she helped pick me :) Adri was always a very studious young lady, working hard towards that nursing degree. 

As a college graduate, Adri is one step closer to becoming a nurse. I am more than sure she will become an exceptional nurse, she has those caring qualities. Adriana has just stepped into the realm of "real world - what we call adulthood and she is certainly prepared to conquer. 

Adri, I enjoyed spending that Sunday morning with you before finals and photographing you in all of your UTPA Senior glory. You are an amazing young woman and I congratulate you on your college graduation!!! Make your life amazing ;)

Now for photos...

Happy Tuesday!!!

Please Note: Clients free to use these watermarked images on your social networking sites. Please refrain from altering the photo in any shape or form. Re-editing of images is strictly prohibited and infringes upon copyright law. Otherwise, please don't steal my images :) Thank you!