Monday, November 19, 2012

Business plan

Obviously it is important to build on shooting skills as a photographer. There should be an constant effort to produce better and better images. i am a business person as well, so i also have to have a concrete business plan and marketing strategy... or so I'm learning!
I have been scouring the net looking for resources to help me establish the frame work I feel I need. There is a decent amount of info but not a lot of hands on resources that are free or cheep. What I have found though is pretty amazing!(links at bottom of page)
My hope is that in 2013 I will not only be a better and more confident photographer but that I will also be a smarter more organized business woman.

 Marketing education and  resources:

Business planning resources: it is dated 2012 but will obviously work for 2013

Sunday, November 18, 2012

When the sun city throws you clouds and rain...

You make the best of it! First family session I have had in ages and my nerves were a mess! I have shot this family's beautiful little girl before but not them all together. Dad is army and home on R&R for two weeks only so there really wasn't an option to change the date. I had to nail it weather be darned! Ended up with the most beautiful defused light! It was to die for! The wet ground and benches not so much but heck, can't have it all right?! I can not wait to get these images polished!

Monday, November 5, 2012

what the heck to write?!

Trying to not let this blog fall by the wayside again...but am at a total loss as what to write about! Figured a totally random iPod phot was fitting to go with a totally random post!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

black hole

Wow, it has been since June that I have blogged! I had not realized it had been so long! It was not my intention to let it go. Why the silence? Simply I was depressed. Depression is something I have battled for as long as I can remember. I get moody off and on.I can attribute that to being a woman,or being an artist, or being overwhelmed with being a busy mother of 4, but depression is different. It sucks you in. you feel it tugging on you and you try to ignore it and go on with life but eventually it sucks you in to it's black hole.The falling into that hole is one thing the climb out is another! Thankfully I have just a bit more to go til I can lift myself complacently out of this place.

The images:a piece of home.where I go to find peace...even if only in my dreams.

Friday, June 8, 2012

100 stranger prodject

I wish I was more bold.,that I could walk up to anyone and just say "Hey, My name is Heather, I'm a photographer, and this is why you should hire me..." It just doesn't come natural to me! I see artists in my area who I know I am far more skilled than, that I have spent far more time educating myself about everything photography related from modeling to marketing than they have and yet they are far more busy than I am. Confidence in myself is what is holding me back in a huge way.

I found this project called the 100 stranger project that in effect force me to approach people and convince them to let me take their image. It is terrifying but I know I will learn so much by doing it

My first shot was taken at a multi tribe pow-wow. There were so many amazing things to see,taste,and purchase. I can tell you honestly had the girl not knocked over my gear I never would have asked, kind of felt that in that moment she would do it as an sorry for that type of thing! She and her sister where Navajo dancers. I loved their outfits, but adored their sparkling eyes.

The second shot I knew exactly what I planned to shoot before going out. It was national donuts day and I was taking my two younger sons out for a treat. The first person I asked turned me down.Her reason was that "she was so ugly" I thought she was beautiful, but what do you say to that other than "no your not" The second one was up for me taking his image but not much on conversation.

Other than just the image, you are suppose to tell about them. You are capturing the persons image AND their story! As a military family where we are right now is not a place we will likely see again once we leave so for me personally it is important to capture all my 100 strangers while we are in El Paso so I will not just be telling the story of 100 people but a slice of my family's story!

 The  link to my Flickr set:
 The link to the 100 stranger group
 Links to a few other 100 stranger project photographers that are also bloggers.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I LOVE that! part 1: PSEP

I often find it hard to pin point what I want to write about. You could throw subjects at me all day long and I could come up with something...but ask me to come up with it off the cuff is so difficult! I don't want to bore my readers. I don't want this blog to become like a diary, all about how cute my kids are and what I made for dinner last night. I equally don't want this blog to become cold,clinical, and 100% business. I am a vibrant creative not a suit and I need that to show!
 For the next few posts  I figured I'd share what I love. These people or products are part of what I aspire to be or help me thew what they do to be all that I can,am, and dream to be!

1) The Photographic Society of  El Paso.
This group is amazing! PSEP has been featured on the locally popular webpage, 915 lifestyle that highlights  entertainment, events,and eateries in El Paso .

They do have a Facebook, but it's forum is  private. They are a group of photographers, models,MUA,hair stylists,and fashion designers that collaborate together and trade their service to benefit all involved. The group has all skill levels as members from the fresh start-ups with a ton to learn to the seasoned pros. The have an organized shoot once a month and it is a great portfolio builder and networking event.

Here is a youtube video of one of the meet-ups. I missed this one because I was out of town for the holidays.

Outside of just the portfolio building there is a wealth of information that these gracious people share freely and selflessly. I fell in love with photography long before we got to El Paso, but these people have helped me grow as an artist considerably.Long after I leave El Paso I will be singing this wonderful groups praises.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Fun times at Ascarate park

           Water had always been a big part of life for both my husband and I growing up.

My husband is from upstate New York. His grandmother lived across the street literally from Lake Ontario. Big open water was always present for: fishing,swimming,boating,or whatever  else they could come up with.I'm from Colorado. Growing up we had rivers and lakes;nothing as grand as Lake Ontario,but beautiful all the same. We went camping often and thou I inevitably got sea sick I enjoyed getting on our family's canon and fishing the afternoon away. We lived in Georgia for seven years and there we had so much water between small streams,lakes and the ocean.


Our little bit of Texas, El Paso, is pure desert.Water to play in...find a swimming pool or drive 3-4 hours! That is with the exception of a park that if it had not been for getting completely lost one day I never would have found, Ascarate Park .
Ascarate Park is defiantly kind of a smorgasbord of outdoor activity for family. On the 448 acres there is a golf course, baseball fields, a playground,a duck pond,walking and biking trails,places to picnic,and a 18 acre lake.

I won't lie,there are some things left to be desired at Ascarate Park. As you drive in,past the boat rental place there is a large area that has what looks to be an old race track,a room that looks like it could house a meeting room that are all but abandoned.If but to good use they would add considerably to the park but since they are not they are a bit of an eye sore. The place can get a bit dirty with litter. To fix those two issues would mean  money dedicated to fixing and maintaining this little hideaway.I found an story from the El Paso Times(link below) talking about just that,fixing up the park.I am glad to report on our lst visit there was evidence that work was underway. We will likely be on to our next home by the time they are finished but I can't wait to read about the  completion,

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Overcoming fear

I haven't blogged in a bit. I'd love to tell you I had a great excuse but I don't. I would like to find a blogging circle or something,a group of folks to hold me accountable for keeping this thing fresh! I would gladly return the favor! This blog is about me:my life,my photography,my business but it is also about over coming a fear.

When I was younger I sang in choir and acted.I acted in high school,and with two local theater group afterwards.I taught at a theater camp. In my early adult life I worked in radio. I was a late-night DJ and a promotions intern. I worked on the sale floor at Lowes years latter and was one of the top sales people in our district because I was well spoken and could sell the customers on the benefits of buying what ever it was they wanted, may that be mulch,mowers,or microwaves! I have no issue talking in front of people. I feel like I can get my point across well with the spoken word, the written word is a whole other world!

                                                                                 I had teacher after teacher and my parents(who are both very bright people) tell me if I just tried harder,proof read more, didn't rush,or studied I would do better. I did try,I prof read multiple times, worked at a snails pace,and studied regularly and I never got much return from my time investment. I'll admit by high school I didn't study like I should or spend the time like I did when I was younger. Why should I, it had never helped in the past.    
                                                                                                                                             Before any one points out that grammar is in no way tied to dyslexia let me say,I know that, but when you are discouraged about English and no matter how hard you try you grades continue to be lacking you quit paying attention and you miss those finer points.                                      

My inability to communicate via writing turned from a problem in school to something that hampered me in my work life and turned into nearly a phobia! The wonder of Facebook helped a little with that.I wrote,but just little snippets and when well meaning people did point out my errors, I felt incredibly stupid. Facebook posts don't constitute quality writing thou! I know I needed more and decided I would start a blog.                                

I hope to turn my photography love and small business into a career. I would love to be able to share the world  I see and actually get paid to do so! It would be a dream to make a living  traveling the world seeing amazing things and being able to capture that in images.I want people to love what I capture of them enough to put on the walls of their homes. I want to flip thew a magazine and see one of my images. I want to pick up a book one day and have every photo in it be my work

                                                                                                          Without getting a grip on writing those dreams are out of reach. There are many wonderful artists out there but the famous ones or even the ones able to support their family off what they do have to be more than artists.They have to be able conduct business,marketing,promoting themselves, communicate with their clients,staff, and outside world often in writing and sound professional and educated in doing so.

 I may have better quality art then my the person down the road, I may be able to tell my client face to face all the ways I am the gal for the job,but in all likelihood my clients first glimpse of me will be in written form:  a flyer,on Facebook, via Twitter,threw email, on my website, or my blog, and if they see a heap of errors it might leave them thinking I am lazy or simply don't care about the small details and as a photographer it is all about being active and seeing the small details!                                                                                                                             .

Hopefully thew this blog and other forms of public writing I can over come what is holding me back and make my dreams happen! Wanted to share with you a few of my favorite images from the last two years or so. Enjoy!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter in Roswell

There has always been  for me,and I'm sure its the same for many, a fine line between sticking with tradition,keeping up with the Jones,and making you own way.

Normally for Easter  the kids would be dressed in in their best spring outfit.We would do an Easter egg hunt followed by a day of them playing with new spring/summer toys: jump ropes,bubbles.hula hoops while the hubs and I cook a big ham dinner with all the fixings.Same thing year after year.Dress up,eggs,play,eat. I had mentioned to hubs that I just wasn't "feeling" Easter this year and really wanted to do something completely different,but I had no clue what.

Early Sunday morning he tells us to get ready we are going out of town. I have been pinning for the Grand Canyon since we got to this part of the country, so i was thinking maybe that is where we were going. We throw on jeans and tee-shirts, pack up a picnic lunch, get in the car and start heading north. I know we can't be going too far because the older ones have school the next day. We eat our lunch in Ruidoso,NM. It is beautiful. The pine trees and mountain air reminds me of home.As quickly as we are in those beautiful mountains we are out of them and back into the desert.

 An hour passes and we pull into Roswell, NM. Aliens for Easter! well if that isn't different I don't know what is! Half of every thing is closed due to the holiday but what we do find open is quite interesting.Also because of the day there are only a handful of other tourists to contend with. We go to the museum and learn all about what happened in the early days of July in 1947. We snapped a few dozen images, got a few souvenirs,and picked up a book. As we passed back thew Ruidoso we stopped at a roadside dinner and ate hamburgers as we watched the sunset over the hills of pine. Was it conventional, not at all, but I couldn't have asked for a better Easter!

Here are few links for you. The first is about the crash itself 
The second is to the museum we visited

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

about me

So after looking at my webpage, , it was suggested to me that I wright an about me section. I am clueless as to what to mention. It is a business page so  do they care to know I'm a mother of 4? Do they want to know where im  coming from as much as where I am located?  Do I keep it like a resume or more like a glimpse of the Heather my friends and family know?
Do I write it as me or in third person? SO many Questions!

Hi, My name is Heather. I feel in love with the art of photography as a young girl. I loved looking at images of days long since passed. My great grandparents(nanny and papa) on their wedding day looking so youthful and fresh it is an glimpse of them I never could have  pictured only having known them in their 70's and 80's. I can see some of myself inthe beautiful hand colored and blank and white images of my grandmother as a young lady. I'm glad someone took the time to capture the beauty of my mother at 16 so that I her daughter could appreciate it. I'm equally glad my parents took the time to have portrait of me done as a little girl. Those images are timeless and priceless. I hope to be able to capture moments like that for my clients.

thats all I have at the moment...where do I go from there?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

What?! I have to learn marketing too!

I  am comfortable in my photography at this point enough to start putting myself out there.This blog was a big step in doing that as well as getting over my writing phobia! I'm no Ansel Adams or Annie Leibovitz or my new found photog love Simon Powell...but I'd like to think I'm at least at the top of the bell curve, at least in my area!

It didn't take long to realize though that it isn't only talent you need in art to make anything at it  or get recognition, you need business sense and marketing skills. You are selling you the artist as much as you are the art!  I know I can be a great sales woman if I try.I could sell a lawn mover to a man with no grass if I tried hard enough!

I had been looking and looking for  weeks for a free layout to design exactly what I needed for my business was just not to be found.  I decided I was just going to have to buy one but the penny pincher that I am just kept getting turned off by the sticker shock of how expensive they were.
I decided to vent to a group of wonderful gals I know online about my frustration and one of them not only pointed me in the direction of one that was a fraction of what else I was seeing but was exactly what I was looking for style and color wise. She then surprised me with a coupon that made it even less than I had planed! I am indeed feeling blessed and am over the moon happy with my purchase.

This step probably seems so tiny to some but for me it is a big step in laying the foundation for success! Buying something for myself is not something I'm used to doing, but when that little bit of guilt creeps in that I have, I'm going to swat it away with the mantra that I am make a concentrated effort to investing in myself this year!


I'm not sure if these photos will stay,
but for the moment here is my reminder card!


Little tid bit about me...I actually used to sell lawn mower,once apon a time!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My Style

I feel very torn as far as my style goes.

 The sepia image is under my old brand. I love adorable children portraits captured in a shabby chic heartfelt way. I love capturing moment in a family's life that are timeless. To me  this screams TEXAS! It my opinion it captures these military children's short time in this state. It is the type of image I can see in daddy's wallet or on granny's wall.

This image is under my new brand and is of a local model.I am drawn to high fashion and glam.It is edgy and bright,sharp lines and beauty.  There is something alluring for me of creating images that make a grown woman say. "WOW look at Me!" Particularly when as a model she has likely had her likeness captured hundreds of times! The brick and teal feel southwest but the don't have to. This could be Denver, as easily as it could be Philly,or El Paso. I see this image in her portfolio, I see it advertising those jeans, I see it as something she looks at ever so often and says to herself "I look great!"

So the question is where do I go from here? Do I divide my brand and go one way or another or do I do my best to stay true to my duality?

 I grew up in a place like this.Its not Detroit but it is city.It has an urban element.It had  crime,and culture,grit and glam. It  only has a handful of tall buildings but it goes on and on land wise.This is just a sliver of it. I loved the music scene and remember as a teen hoping on the city bus and heading to the mall.I enjoyed it for what it was.

I kind of came into my own in a place like this.That is all of downtown.Those maybe 1/2 dozen buildings.A grocery store,a hair dresser,a bar,a bank,and because its CO a dispensary that is it.What more do you need?! I had a horse,a cow I bottle fed and a handful of chickens. I stil had to ride a bus but this time it was out of town to go to school since the town was to small to support a High School. I loved the wide open space and the simplicity.

I don't consider myself a street wise urbanite but don't consider myself a country cowgirl either. I'm not a socialite snob but not a backwoods bumpkin' either.I'm just not sure where I fall. Can I ware couture with cowboy boots? Listen to Aerosmith while baking apple pie? Leather,Lace,and Louis Vuitton? Is it okay to be a dash of POP with a little bit Country AND a little bit  Rock and Roll?

Thursday, March 15, 2012


The desert is not known for its lushness or flora. For a very brief time a small part of El Paso is covered in beautiful yellow poppies.

  Last season there were none
 due to a out of character for the area freeze.This year made up for it! My husband,children and I took an outing to see the little beauty's this last weekend.    

I loved watching the kids run and play and have a little adventure. They were Native Americans, they were in Oz on the yellow brick road,they were Lightning Mcqueen and Mater on the dusty dirt track!  

 My husband even wielded the camera...the image with me in it, obviously, and the one with the very blue sky  I believe are his.

 They were respectful of nature as I have taught them to trampling the plants or grabbing clumps of flowers. Even think I heard my oldest son say remember to leave this place the same or better than we found it...very proud.
 We even managed to find a little lizard friend on the trail.He stayed just long enough to pose and then ran off!

Here are a few links for you:
Want to learn more about the beautiful California poppies(I can't find any information regarding mexican gold poppies as they are sometimes referred to as)? Take a look at this page,it is full of great gardening information
Here is a link to the area we visited
Lastly there is annual poppy festival.If you are in El Paso take the time to go, here is a link to a  story in th El Paso Times about this years festivity!