'what was i thinking?!' to 'ooh, that's actually good!' maine photographer

recently I was working on designs for new business cards, and had to go through TONS of recent photos. like 6 million. okay, maybe not that many, but there are tons. I knew I had done a lot last year, but jeez, I didn't realize it was THAT much.

since I had my external hard drives all hooked up, I figured I would take a trip down memory lane and look at my first wedding photos, and my other firsts.

ummm, wow.

I have come so  far in photography, it kind of blew my mind. none of them were straight up awful (although some of the editing was!) but you could tell I didn't have a good grasp on what I was doing. I'll post some specific examples on here and point out things, and there's a video below that has a bunch of then + nows, from weddings, maternity sessions, a couple of families and seniors. I didn't do boudoir or newborns when I started, thank goodness.. I can't imagine having done boudoir sessions having no idea what I was doing!

then and now maine photographer
I probably didn't have to write on any of these, but just in case ;) before I learned how much I liked loved natural light, I did a lot of sessions inside. I still do some inside (at that same place, even!) but I never ever ever use my pop-up flash. omg, what was I thinking? such flat lighting and gross shadows. that's why I push for outside so much, even if it is winter. your photos will thank you!

then and now maine photographer
Miss Molly on the left was one of my first seniors (and my HS boyfriend's little sister. that made me feel old.. it makes me feel even older now that she's been in college for a few years. ugh.) It's a neat photo - the pose is good, it's a different + nice setting, but the light is so flat here too. And there's no real focal point. in the right, Samm (who actually lives in Pennsylvania and was in Presque Isle on vacay!) is clearly the main point of the photo. the light is soft, but nice, and the background and metal is blurred enough to not draw focus from the lovely girl who the photo is about. ;)
then and now maine photographer

photo from my first wedding, and one of my more recent ones! yep. HUGE difference, although they both show such great emotion. my very first wedding was my roommate's brother's wedding in New York. I got to hang out with Sara and her family for a few days before the wedding, so that was pretty sweet on top of the fact that I was doing my first wedding! I had never second shot a wedding (NOTE: I do not recommend jumping head first into weddings, I wish I had second shot weddings before doing a solo wedding. it can be a very high-stress event, and it's a very important event, so you don't want to mess anything up. I did fairly well all things considered - and I shot some film and did digital the whole time. the main problem with the first photo is again, that stinking pop-up flash! I didn't know how to use my camera well enough at that point to do anything in dark rooms without it. (SECOND NOTE: learn your camera inside and out, frontwards and backwards before taking any paid jobs.) I also cut the top of her head off, but in my opinion, emotion trumps technical perfection every time. but that lighting sucks.

then and now maine photographer
yeaaahhh. maternity used to not be a strong suit for me. top photo is a perfect example. we hadn't been prepared enough to plan out a good time, so I ended up using my pop-up flash (I'm sensing a theme here..) in the dark. so the lighting wasn't flat, but it was definitely not  flattering. the bottom one is my favorite maternity photo ever. the black and white looks fantastic, there's a clear focal point and the background doesn't draw any focus.

then and now maine photographer
this should be really obvious why the first one is not that great. that is AWFUL editing. holy moly, I must have been on something when I did that! I don't do any selective color anymore, and this is a good example why. even if the color didn't overlap on the trees, it really doesn't look that good. it draws attention to the color, not the person. and there's a post growing out of her head. the only good thing about the photo is her genuine smile. the bottom is of the gorgeous Kelsie, and the definite focal point is her eyes/face and the background in the top right makes me melt.. I love bokeh, like, a lot.
then and now maine photographer

last one! the top one is another one from my very first wedding. I wasn't confident enough in myself to be able to firmly tell people what to do and not get pushed around. It took a while for me to find my voice, and be able to tell moms/sisters/guests/Uncle Bobs that I had a basic schedule for photos that I followed, and we could do theirs after. it makes things soooo  much easier once you find your voice! the top one is ridiculously busy - there's no clear focal point, the posing is definitely lacking, and the sun is shining right in everyone's faces making them squinty! the bottom one (aren't they adorable?!) is from a wedding in April 2011 just outside of Washington D.C.  they are clearly what the photo is about, and their emotions are showing through perfectly.

now for the video to show you some other then + nows. don't judge the old ones too much.. everyone starts somewhere! thank you to everyone - people who supported me in the beginning, especially, everyone has booked a session this year, and especially everyone who has booked more than one session. thank you so much, it means more to me than I can express.


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