BLOG + VLOG of AUTUMN THEODORE PHOTOGRAPHY
If you use Instagram, you know that people post their "best nine" this time of the year. Here's mine:
First of all, I love that Joe DeLoss is right there next to the eclipse! It also seems that folks liked the Biltmore Estate and the Cathedral of Learning as much as I did! I'm a little embarrassed that three images of me showed up in this top nine, but I am so proud that two LGBT pics showed up as well. #lovewins :)
I also wanted to share my own personal top nine! I went through the tens of thousands of photos I took this year, and chose the following:
These are in no particular order, and have different meanings of importance to me. First of all, I am proud of all the photos. Second, some of them are important just because I was having such a fun time taking the photos that day, or because the person in the photo makes my life special, or the products in the photo are some of my favorites.
I'm proud of the work I did this year, and can't wait for 2018! If you'd like to know more about each of these 18 photos, visit my Instagram. They photos are tagged with each client.
Thank you for everything you brought to my life in 2017. I wish you the best this holiday season and through the New Year!
In 2017, I started describing myself as a "commercial photographer," since I knew that was the focus I wanted to take. Working with businesses is my favorite since I love photographing events, headshots, products, and especially brand photography.
In 2018, I'll begin to focus more on two specific types of clients: large businesses with 50+ employees, as well as small businesses with at least 3 years of success in business.
In 2017, I traveled to Asheville, Nashville, and Boston - three cities I had never visited before. These trips were fun and inspired me in my work.
In 2018, I will plan to visit three new cities to inspire me even further. (Any recommendations?)
In 2017, during a winter project, I taught myself 20 new photography techniques in 20 days. Most of it had to do with studio lighting and flash photography. Little did I know that this "for fun" work would lead to a gallery show as well as being featured at Wonderball in 2018.
In 2018, I commit to another learning project this winter. (Still thinking about what I want it to be...)
In 2017, I spent over 20 hours doing pro bono photography work for three local businesses that help others in our community.
In 2018, I will announce the 2018 recipients as well as commit to continuing this work for years to come.
In 2017, I started writing this blog...and have gotten feedback that's more amazing than I could have ever imagined!
In 2018, I commit to 52 more blog posts. See you every Friday :)
Natalie, how long have you been a photographer? What kind of work do you do?
I bought my first DSLR in 2014 because I wanted to take better quality photos for my lifestyle blog (my iPhone at the time wasn't cutting it). I fell in love with my camera and with taking pictures of anything and everything, but I didn't consider turning my passion into a side business until 2016. That was the year my boyfriend and I traveled to San Francisco to visit my best friend who got engaged. She had asked me to photograph her engagement session and from that moment on, I was hooked.
What is your favorite thing to photograph? Why?
I love photographing people. I once had a couple tell me that they hated having their pictures taken, but that I helped change that. That moment made everything worth it. As a photographer, you can help bring out confidence in your subjects, or capture sweet moments that they'll cherish forever. You can't put a price on that.
When was the last time you felt frustrated about your work as a photographer? How did get get past it?
I feel frustrated more times than I'd like to admit. I compare myself to others who have been in the game for years. It's hard not to. But then I remind myself to enjoy the journey and trust the process. When you work hard and practice and continue to hone your craft, you're going to get better. No matter how experienced you are, there will always be something new to learn and there will always be room to grow.
Do you have a muse? (This can be a person, a city, an Instagram account, anything!)
I find inspiration in the little things. Sometimes it strikes randomly, like when I'm sitting in a busy coffee shop or flipping through the Anthropologie Home catalog (GOALS). When it comes to other photographers, I'm always inspired by those who capture movement and emotion well. I love Lauren Scotti and Jordan Voth -- they're amazing!
What's something you haven't yet learned how to do (in photography), but want to learn soon?
Natural light is my favorite, but I'd love to master artificial light. So many people shy away from it, but when done well, flash can really transform and bring depth to an image.
Natalie, let's spend some time playing around with studio light soon! :)
Happy Friday, everyone!
To explain the process, I'll use an example of the work that's involved after a 1 hour shoot:
Loading the photos normally takes a few minutes.
Culling is the picking process, which would take 20-30 minutes. Not every photo taken turns out to be useful (see why here). If I took 100 photos, maybe only 20 would be usable.
Editing usually takes 20-30 minutes, but could take longer depending on what I need to edit.
It's important to me to keep images backed up...in four different locations! Loading these images to my external hard drive, a cloud-based server, Google Drive, and another online resource for clients usually takes another 10-15 minutes.
Not only do I have to share the images with clients (writing an email that includes how to access the images and what to do if they have any questions), I also have to send an invoice and update my project organization list - all which takes another 5-10 minutes.
As you can tell, there's a lot of post-processing work involved. I like to share this information so that people understand more about image turnaround time as well as photography pricing.
One year ago today, I enjoyed my very first day of self-employment, which made me feel like this...
I'm especially happy when I think of the past 13 years:
Beyond my hard work, I credit so much of my success to all of the supportive people in my life. Support means hiring me, referring me, talking to me, hanging out with me, getting creative with me, and reading my blog posts! I don't think you'll ever understand how grateful I am for you. <3
Writing and vlogging to entertain, educate, expose, and encourage.