Monday, February 25, 2013

Sunset Glow | Maternity | Fort Bliss, El Paso Portrait Photographer

I have been itching to do a sunset shoot since my first evening in El Paso.  Sunsets are always beautiful, but there is something uniquely magical about the rosy glow over the mountain's mighty peaks, or the rainbow burst of color as the sun slips beyond the endless desert horizon.  So when this beautiful momma-to-be said she was up for it, I was beyond thrilled!  This is just a sneak peek of the fun (somewhat chilly) session!  Congratulations to the {L} family on the impending arrival of your baby boy!

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

New Name, New Look, New Focus! | Business | Fort Bliss, El Paso Portrait and Event Photographer

Re-branding.  It's a big undertaking.  Websites, blogs, email addresses, domain names, Facebook pages and, most importantly, business documentation all need to be changed over.  It's a pricy endeavor when the entire look is overhauled and one has to purchase new business cards, packaging, logos, etc.  It can be risky, too.  It's impossible to follow a band that changes their name all the time.  It is possible to lose the following one has worked hard to gain.

So why did I choose to do it?  There are several reasons.  First and foremost, my initials are not as unique as one might think.  MMU may not have been trademarked or used in the USA, but it is used at Manchester Metropolitan University, which I imagine must have been confusing for some of their students.  I would frequently see photos or social invitations posted on my wall, and felt a sense of guilt for unintentionally misleading others.

My business name was originally beget from my indecision to use either my maiden or my married name.  Legally, I did not want to get into any kind of trouble for assuming a false name, and I did not want to settle for my maiden name only to have to change it later.  So my nameless business became MMU Photography.

But the name never really fit, and neither did my branding elements or colors.  They were sleek and professional, but they did not fit the warm, curled-up-by-the-hearth storytelling, heirloom feel that I want my work to convey.

I have been mulling these changes for a good long while, but I was not inspired to pull the trigger until I planned and executed my recent fairy tale session.  So much of my heart and pure creative energy was poured into the project, and the end result was a perfect example of the romantic, timeless work that I strive for.  Everything fell into place naturally.  Now, when I look at the new name, warm colors and the antique touches, I feel like I'm at home.

Admittedly, I should have had more consideration for how the elements of my business might come together and represent me as a photographer.  Like many new photographers, I was so swept up in the excitement of starting my own business that I did not take the time to select branding that would accurately reflect me as a person or my goals as an artist and a professional photographer.  But, like other photographers, I evolved, I tweaked, I adjusted as I went, and finally found a place where I am happy and excited about what the future holds.  It can be scary to create something different and put yourself out there, but once you find yourself and your brand, it is such a revelation.  To thine own self, be true.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Allerleirauh | Grimm Fairy Tales | Fort Bliss, El Paso Stylized Portrait Session Photographer

Books were a major part of my childhood.  I could lose myself in the pages of a good story.  I would read beloved novels or short story collections over and over until the covers were falling off and the bindings loose.  I had quite a few books with a lovely brown masking tape spine.

Perhaps the most loved and tattered of my books are my collections of fairy tales.  Hans Christian Anderson and, a bit later, the brothers Grimm are likely at least partially responsible for my sense of responsibility.  After all, many of their writings are cautionary tales concerning the consequences of the character's actions.  As an aspiring artist, many of their tales resonated with me and instilled in me a desire to create.  The imagery in some of the lesser known stories stayed with me for years; I wanted to be able to spin a likewise enthralling thread.

Allerleirauh (known by several names, among them Manypelts) was one of the first Grimm tales that I read that did not have a Disney adaptation.  It likely never will.  There are elements of it in the beginning that would have to be very skewed to be considered child-friendly.  But the visual elements in the story beg to be brought to life, from the mantle to the gorgeous gowns to the three golden items (a ring, a reel, and a spindle).  I had to do some improvising, and quite a bit of modernizing, to bring this last minute session to life, but with the help of my amazing model and oodles of determination, we got it done.  And I couldn't be happier with the results.

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