Some of you may not know that in addition to photography, I work full-time as an Art Teacher. Angelica Essary is a first grade teacher at one of the two schools I currently teach at. Teaching already requires a big heart, but hers may be the biggest, most welcoming heart I have ever known. During my first semester at East Hickman Elementary School, I learned that Angelica and her husband, Tony, had taken in one of her students. During the past three years, my coworkers and I have all watched her family fall in love with this boy, Will, more and more. Finally, on April 19th, 2017, Will was officially adopted into their family.
“The righteous care for the needs of their animals” – Proverbs 12:10a
Last month, I had the opportunity to work with Proverbs 12:10 Animal Rescue. They are a rescue “committed to ‘Helping His Helpless’ through quality care and healing, adoptions, and population control awareness.” Coincidentally, I had been searching for a way I could aid in animal rescue through photography (because I can’t adopt every fur baby, no matter how much I want to!). So when Proverbs said they were looking for a photographer to help with their Big Payback Campaign, I was all in! (Donate here)
This weekend we had the opportunity to do something amazing: have a puppy sleepover! Okay, so neither of the involved parties are actually puppies. They’re both full grown dogs. In my eyes, however, they are both puppies, so we had a Puppy Play Date! Of course I could not help but take photos of precious little Ellie. She’s too cute for words, so I’ll let the photos do the talking. This is Ellie:
Adorable, right? To say there is a size difference between Ellie and Indy would be stating the obvious. You can tell by the way Ellie is slightly leaning away from Indy in the photo below that she wasn’t too sure about my giant Aussiedoodle. I admit, I bribed them to sit for most of these photos with some treats. I broke out the good stuff for these photos.
When Alicia contacted me about taking Riott’s First Birthday photos I couldn’t have been more thrilled! A beautiful baby girl with the most gorgeous red hair? Yes please! I’d already been loving her frequent posts on social media, possibly with a hint of jealousy over her pretty hair color. It is to die for! …or to dye for may be more appropriate.
Hope and Casey Clark are currently parents of a family of four. They have two beautiful girls (who have both been students in my art class! Poor girls, having to deal with me, haha!) So we might all be a little extra excited that they’ll soon be adding a little baby boy to the family. UPDATE: Clark Family Session, complete with baby Braskey, can be viewed here!
If you read last week’s post about my sister, then it should come as no surprise that her favorite Disney princess is Belle. Belle loves to read, has brown hair, and sings. She’s basically the french princess version of my sister.
In the summer 2014, when I first moved to Tennessee, my sister came to visit me. We put together a fun, Belle inspired photoshoot and used the locations around my apartment complex. At the time, I was still working with only a Canon Rebel T3i and a simple 50 mm 1.8 lens. Nothing fancy or expensive, but it’s the photographer, not the equipment, that makes the magic happen.
Meet my sister. Known as Wren now-a-days, to me (& the government) she is Ashley. Together we have lived in three different states, and now we also have Middle Tennessee in common. That’s right, last month my little sister packed up her two cats and gazillion books (that’s not even an exaggeration) and moved into an adorable little apartment here in Nashville. [Read more…]
I’m a firm believer in community over competition. I believe that good businesses build other businesses up with encouragement. So it should be no surprise to anyone when I talk about working with my friend and fellow photographer, Jasmine.
Last fall, while visiting family in Indiana, Jasmine arranged a seriously fun, creative, photo-filled morning for us. Hanna, Jasmine’s friend, modeled for us with her natural, raw talent. Our resulting photos were the bomb (literally, we used smoke bombs).
I’m originally from Martinsville, IN, so I had suggested the Morgan-Monroe Forestry as a location. I had spent a lot of evenings at the lake and on trails, so it feels almost like home to me (although not as much like home as the creek near my parents’ house!). Even though we had our general location, we didn’t have the exact locations mapped out.
So we went on an adventure! We drove around until we found places to stop and take photos. In my opinion, this is the best way to do photoshoots – although maybe not the most practical. It’s also a great way to location scout.
The first place we got out to shoot was Jasmine’s find. This. Field. I was admittedly very nervous because I thought maybe we were trespassing, but no one said anything so it’s probably all good. And SO worth it! The sky was perfect, Hanna was perfect, and everything was just perfect. PERFECT. I had Hanna flip her hair around about a gazillion times (sorry, Hanna) to get all that movement that I love to capture in my photos.
This week I’ve been revamping my Meet Michelle page on my website. My old about section talked a lot about why I do photography. In other words, how did I get into photography in the first place?
Rather than doing away with that information on my website all together, I decided that it would be stellar blog topic.
In today’s world, no one is a stranger to the “selfie.” It’s nearly impossible to be on any social media platform without seeing multiple selfies from friends and strangers alike. One google search of “selfie craze” brings up multiple articles analyzing the why behind selfies. I think one of the biggest arguments is whether or not selfies are self-expression or self-absorption.
I tend to believe selfies are self-expression. Self portraits are nothing new! Artists have committed time and energy for centuries creating self-portraits. Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh, and more have their self-portraits in museums. Frida Kahlo‘s entire artistic career revolved around paintings of herself, expressing her thoughts and feelings.
I also am a firm believer that we are all artists. Ask any of my students and they can tell you that it’s something I say often (if they don’t then they aren’t listening!). Agree with me or not, I too participate in the “selfie craze.” However, I like to take it a step further and create my self-portraits with my DSLR. Combined with editing software, I can create the impossible for myself (remember this levitating self-portrait?).
I’ve had a lot of friends, both photographers and non-photographers, express to me that they wish they could take self-portraits with their DSLR. I’m here to tell you IT IS POSSIBLE! You too CAN take your own portrait! Hence, this blog is born. This is a behind the scenes of a self-portrait session with myself.