My Photography Process.

I remember the first time, in more recent years, that I told someone I was a professional photographer.

I was at preschool pickup and someone mentioned something, just something, that reminded me of photography. They may have been talking about clients or phases of the moon or jellybeans. I have no idea. I just know that somehow it was relatable to say, “Yup. I’m a professional photographer and that happens to me.” What did she do? She smiled and nodded at what I said. She didn’t point and laugh or roll her eyes, or say, “You? You’re not a professional photographer! How could you be one?” It turns out, that most (or all) of the mean voices are lodged firmly in my head. And me being a professional..anything…is believable.

That felt good to discover. Really good.

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These days, it’s easier. I talk about my experiences. I hand out my business cards. I get a lot of jobs through word-of-mouth. Through others’ words, or through my very own. I promote, although probably more humbly and not as assertively as I could and should. I can’t change everything overnight. I also cannot handle too much workflow – with the family, the blogging and the occasional data entry, which is not usually such a thing but it happens to be a huge anvil over my head right now. I have my own wacky process, and I see it developing every day. Often I am paralyzed by fright, until I’m not. Until it’s a fluid motion, more natural than most things I know. It can be as natural as parenting and writing, to be honest. When it’s good, it’s really good.

When it’s not working, well, I try again another day.

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Do you remember my post about My Writing Process from a couple of weeks ago? I thought it would be fun and educational (for me or you? probably me!) to do the same post with the same questions, but to write about photography instead of writing.

And here I go. Wheeeeee!:

1. What am I working on?

I’ll keep this photography based, because why on earth would you want to hear me wax poetic about data entry, writing and puppy-wrangling? So I just finished up my sister’s engagement photos but I may tweak some here and there, based on her favorites, because I want them to be PERFECT. I’m working on a real estate job because I want more jobs than only portrait sessions, but I’m not quite ready for wedding insanity. Artistically, yes. Weddings, births, HUGE life events – that’s where I want to be at for my own work. I also love smaller jobs and moments. And I need to catch up on weeks’ worth of my personal photos.

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2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?

Photography has a sure voice, just the way writing does. I read something positive at Click It Up a Notch in which they said that NO ONE can shoot the way you do. Someone can copy your camera, your lens, your style and your angles, and it won’t look the same. The light changes, after all, and so do visions. So my work shows my vision in a way that no one else can show because they’re not me. I’d like to believe that my work has a lot of smooth edges, for the professional side of things, but that you can still see that rougher edge sometimes. I have a lot of rough edges. I find my photography to be a study of the emotions of others, almost as surely as I find my writing to be a study of the emotions of myself. Sometimes those things overlap.

I also would love to be known for photos of sci-fi events and moose.

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3. Why do I photograph what I do?

It’s because sometimes people pay me to do so! And I just have a lot of ideas in my head and I want you to see the way I see the world. I want things to be really special for everyone I photograph – I think there’s a great power with photographs and memories. We all have these wild and precious lives, after all. I can’t be 100% present with my life, and I can’t be photographing 100% of my life. However there is an urge there I wouldn’t fight. If my hands are at my sides during an afternoon, there’s a reason for that. If my hands are wrapped around my camera instead, there sure as heck is a reason for that too.

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4. How does my photography process work?

I don’t get as nervous as how the job is financially. I get as nervous as how the job is in other aspects. How far and wide these photos will be seen. How needed they are. How important they are to the client and/or loved one. I have walked into $1,200 jobs with less nerves than I have when photographing family members for free as gifts. In the days, or even minutes and hours leading up to a shoot, I will prepare myself with more than enough equipment and all batteries will be charged beforehand. I will ask around if I’m in charge of location and timing, and I will sometimes panic and ask other photographers when I’m feeling lost. I usually blast some loud music on my way to a shoot. I will gaze at the changing sky. I will look for inspiration everywhere.

When I’m there, I never know how it will go. I think before EACH shoot that I’m not sure how it will happen, but I’m gaining confidence that it WILL happen. It always does. Inspiration always takes over, and should it ever somehow not, I have poses and backup plans and more backup plans in my mental arsenal. So it’s small parts technique, and lots part heart.

I take each job seriously, no matter the payment involved, if it’s a serious job. Meaning, if the photos will be used in special ways – websites, brochures, invitations, and even just on the walls of family homes. I may be more relaxed with a client if I know them well, but I’m still all about business. There’s a different way I shoot when it’s just casually. I can take breaks. I can do other things. Not so during a professional shoot. I’m 100% your photographer, when I’m your photographer.

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What is your photography process like?

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130 Comments

  1. Oh gosh how I want you to come photograph my family- and me! I love love love your photography process!

    I could picture you in those ‘moments’ before a shoot- framing the sky with your eyes- the light- the feeling- blasting your music as you go toward to your destination. Walking around the barriers that may hinder, and the rising lights and moving shadows that reveal glimpses of options for claiming and defining your purpose in what you set out to capture. I can imagine the ambiance you fill the air with- calm… soothing… serenity… taking in the lens of the world as your own… projecting it on your ‘art’ within the souls who await your clicks. Creating pictures of hearts. Views. Scenes. With the richness of vivid paint colors and brushing wands to produce such vivid images.

    I swear I am there with you- in this. I can’t help but want to go along with you on your shoots and take in all the magic that occurs. That wonder you so beautifully grasp in each scene within the eyes of your precious subjects.

    It’s breathtaking really… just breathtaking.

    1. Ack, now I really, really, really want you to be there with me! For real! One day.
      I love your mental picture of me – it makes me feel more like an artist or superhero, and less like a very anxious girl who is usually doing deep breathing exercises before a shoot!
      This comment is breathtaking! How do you DO it each time?

    1. Thank you so much! It was a bit of a sneak peek because my sister will need some of the 114 or so that made it to the final cut. She’ll use them for invitations and whatnot. So I just showed a few!

  2. I love your photography. You capture the essence of people and the moment, and that is so very hard to do.

    I don’t think I have a process, as I’m still learning and finding my way around my camera, and realizing pictures in my head to actual pictures. With everyday life, I just pick up the camera and shoot, before the moment ends. Then I take more with different settings, from different angles, just because. I like to be very up close and personal to my subjects, which is something I’ve learned on this journey. Which makes it very hard to photograph events, because I’m too caught up with all the tiny details, and how they’ll look if I just zoom in on that. But I suppose that’s my…. style? I don’t know. I just know I love the process.

    1. Could be style. Could be process. I think I realized along the way that my actual process was unfolding always even if it felt like I had none and that I just shot and hoped for the best. (which I really do)
      It’s such a weird thing – combining technique and technical knowledge with the art that’s in my heart. Sometimes it really works and many times, it doesn’t!

  3. I wish I had a photography process! LOL I don’t and I don’t think I will ever be a photographer. But I love photos, especially of people and babies, those that capture feelings. I am a big big fan of yours Tamara. If I had the money, I’d fly you out here to take photos of my kids! πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you so much! If I had the money, I’d go visit anyway. And you wouldn’t have to pay me for any photography..in money. You’d need to feed me with your amazing recipes!
      Does that sound like a good deal? It does to me!

  4. If there ever was a professional photographer – it’s YOU my friend! Your pictures tell stories and are just so beautiful – each in a different way. I absolutely love that last B&W of your sister – the happiness is captured!

    1. Thank you! I think that one was a bit of a joking, laughing, in between shot, but I just love it! I love the black and white joy.
      Your words mean so much.

  5. I think I’ve said it a thousand times at this point that I love your photography. You certainly have a gift, to say the least.

    As for me, I don’t think that I really have a process. I love taking photos, always have, but I don’t think I’ve developed a specific process yet. I just pick up the camera and take the shots. Sometimes I do get this little tingly feeling though, which tells me when it’s the right time to take the shot. Maybe that’s the start of my process that I have to develop. We’ll see though, I’m sure it will change and hopefully improve–especially with getting my first DSLR camera soon (or at least, I hope it’s soon).

    1. I love the tingly feeling! I guess that means it’s working, right? Tingles are good. Sometimes I realize that even what I think isn’t a process is totally a process. It just doesn’t always feel like one but if it’s contributing to the whole event, then it counts!

  6. How fun to hear about your process! For me, I don’t really have a process. I am still trying to get in the practice of taking pictures every single day. When I am in the groove with this, I feel better and am so happy when I look back to see them. For this reason, I am working mostly with my iPhone. That said, I love it when I make the time to take out my ‘real’ camera and take a bunch of pictures all at once.

    1. I love the iPhone – I use it a lot! It’s just so easy to take photos and share them.
      Sometimes I don’t take photos every day, so I’d say many people are practicing more than I am!

  7. What a great idea for a post! One of my good friends has also started her own photography business, and her photos are great but different from yours. I find it so interesting that each photographer shoot photos differently and have different styles, just like writers.

    1. Yes, so vastly different. I wonder where it comes from – probably from our hearts, our mentors, our lessons, our technical knowledge.
      And that stuff changes too.

  8. Love how you talked in the beginning about sharing that you do this professionally. Just yesterday, I was out to breakfast with some old friends and they started to ask me about blogging and designing (how it was going for me). And it dawned on me they were truly intrigued and felt proud to explain how I have made a go with both of these. So, I can truly relate and just nice when you sit back and realize that you are doing what you love and making a living from it!! πŸ™‚

    1. That is so awesome! And you are successful at both and you know what you’re doing too! It’s always a little funny to me when I like the sound of my own voice talking about work.
      I feel like that hadn’t happened for years!

  9. You are such a natural talent. I just adore the feelings your photos evoke in me! Without you even explaining to us the why and the what–I can see that you bring everything you got to every single photo shoot. I have never seen a talent like yours and I am so happy that you share it with us here! (I’m not sure where the sappiness came from but I mean every word!)

    1. Well your sappiness just about did me in here! Made my day. Seriously. You are what makes me believe in myself with these words! There are so many photographers..everywhere..agh, I’m going to cry! It’s so hard sometimes.

  10. Point + shoot. But I’m no photographer πŸ™‚ Beautiful photos love!! It’s good that you don’t get nervous, I’m sure as time goes by and the more gigs you encounter the less nerve wrecking they are, for the most part. πŸ™‚ Happy Hump Day lovely! -Iva

    1. Hey point and shoots can do the trick too!
      That’s the trick – generally the more I work, the less nervous I get. And yet, if I take a long break or I’m going through an anxious time, EVERYTHING makes me nervous. It’s bad!
      Happy Hump Day to you!!

    1. You do?? Yippiee! Why is distance never on our side?
      And thank YOU for this whole post because if you hadn’t asked me to do the writing one, I never would have thought to do this one.
      It deserves a giant dedication to you.

  11. I love all your photos. Your sister’s engagement photos look great. I love it that your sister’s jacket matches her fiance’s shoes. They are a really cute couple.

  12. Process? I think my process is more of a thought: “Oh crap, I should grab my phone and take a picture of this!”

    More often than not I’m disappointed with my photos, but today we can afford to take as many shots as we want. This is one of my favorite things about ‘progress’. We no longer have to think about budget restrictions when snapping photos.

    The first photo of your sister and her man, the LOVE in the photo of the family of three and the man in the yellow shirt make me over the moon happy. I want to put the photo of the man on my wall and I don’t even know who he is. He radiates love and joy in that photo.

    1. I didn’t even go digital until I realized I probably couldn’t afford otherwise. That wasn’t cheap back in the days of film!
      You can have a photo of the man in the yellow shirt on your wall. I can make that happen. That’s my mother’s father – you can Google his art – Leo Kaplan.
      He passed away two weeks after Des was born.

  13. I’m glad you are starting to silence the negative voices in your head because you are an amazing photographer. Your pictures tell a story. I can’t wait for the day when you can tell stories about my family with your photos!

    1. I can’t wait either! I love knowing it will happen. It’s been happening slowly over time – with Ilene and it will be Kristi and Tucker soon in June. Cannot wait for the day to meet you and the cuties! (you’re a cutie too, of course)

  14. Thanks for sharing your process! I admire you photographers that are in business. I am just a hobbyist and enjoy shooting my own family and capturing our moments. The few times I’ve done shoots for others, I realized I don’t like spending time capturing other people’s memories!

    1. I love your photo posts! I should really comment more because you’re on my Bloglovin feed, and you have inspired me to get in my photos more.

  15. I read this this morning and am just now getting here. I agree with you that no one else can shoot the way you do…it’s so true…everyone has a different eye for things. I could be shooting side by side with someone on the sports field and we will capture a completely different angle or look of a shot.

    1. That reminds me of a time last year when I met up with new friends and our kids were being so cute together that we were all snapping away. When I showed them my photos, my friend’s husband said, “Weird! I was right there next to you the whole time and my photos are vastly different!” It just goes to show you.

  16. This may be weird, but I’m going to write it anyway. I find myself looking at your photos and thinking, “Geez! I wished this girl lived in Seattle so could book her for all of our family pictures! And we could be real life friends!” Ok. Awkward moment over.

    My favorite part about your photography work is the way you capture the real emotion, not the “planned” emotion, you know? That’s the good stuff.

    1. Not weird, Lauren! Not at all.
      I think that a lot. I’d love to meet for coffee in Seattle – everyone dressed snappily.
      And then..photos!

  17. I love seeing what you see!
    It’s true – you really capture the emotion of the moment – of the subject. I think that’ the draw: I actually feel in their space and time.
    But you have humour too — that comes through on some edges as well. I love that.
    and I can just say about your sisters boots: Get On My Feet!!! πŸ™‚

    also, because I don’t know many others right now that will rejoice with me: I just got a telephoto lens, and some filters and a photographer’s backpack for an early birthday present!!! Sqqquuuee with me!! πŸ™‚
    Beware all ye moose, imma comin for ya!

    1. Girl, you’re going to live this. The boots are MINE! She didn’t have anything appropriate for the shoot and she was visiting from out of town so I gave her my favorite brown boots. That is love. And they’re from Target. Maybe they were $30, tops!
      So I’m going to see moose in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont this weekend! Really hoping to see one. I’ve only ever seen them in Maine, New Hampshire, Montana and Wyoming. Never Vermont, Mass, or Canada.
      I’m rejoicing with you. What lens??

      1. I need new boots.
        I know so greedy – what with new lens and all. It’s for my Canon Rebel 55 to 250 mm. Also came with a sun filter thingie and the soft one for shade.
        look at me all technical and stuff. πŸ™‚

  18. Thank you for sharing your process! I always love reading about the process behind someone’s passion. Your emotional connection with people really shows through your work. I wish I lived closer so I could hire you, but instead you reminded me to call my favorite local photographer and book a family photo session — we haven’t had any professional pictures taken since Sam was a week old!

    1. Well your favorite photographer will be very happy for the opportunity, I hope!
      I so wish I could travel the country and do it all. Like in a high speed pink helicopter or something.

  19. So interesting to learn about your process for photography. I love seeing what makes artists tick. My photo taking process in nonexistent at the moment. I point and shoot. I’m getting there. Photos are a part of blogging and I’m learning to not be so scared of the camera. Right now I’m focusing on streamlining my writing process so I can write more and over edit less. We’ll see, old habits die hard.

    1. I never even realized how important good images were for blogs – I guess I was just so used to using my own! It does really help, though. I love how it draws my eyes in.

  20. My photography process involves looking at your photos and wishing I could do what you do, then being sorely disappointed by my own efforts! πŸ™‚ I love that you did this. I think your photos do convey emotion in a way that I have rarely seen from other photographers. Even the photos of nature evoke feelings and thoughts for me. You are absolutely wonderful at what you do and I totally want you to come take photos of my family.

    1. Is it selfish to say that your photography process makes me very happy!
      I really wish I could travel the country and do it. I was telling Jenny above – I just need a high speed helicopter or something. I’d be able to photograph everyone and be back by dinner.

  21. I love reading about your photography process. Taking professional photos is something I’d love to be doing in my life but I don’t have the time and resources, at least not now. And I love that you really capture the emotions in each of your photos, that’s true and it comes out so naturally! I can see why you’d really want your sister’s engagement photos to be perfect. I don’t even think that you also get nervous when taking photos. πŸ˜€

    1. SO nervous! It’s terrible. Not all of the time and it usually clears away right when I start shooting. There was ONE time in which I was sick and it was a long night and the anxiety didn’t go away but I chalked it up to a one time thing.

  22. loved this post. are you ever in the DC area? πŸ™‚ also, i know what you mean about being more assertive when talking about yourself… i struggle with it too, but i try to overcome it. πŸ™‚

    1. ha! I wish! Well I’ll be in Baltimore in June for BlogU – I know it’s not quite the same!
      Being assertive is NOT a strongpoint for me, unless I’m talking about my kids. Then I’ll do anything for them!

  23. I love this post so much because I know NOTHING about photography!! I will say this, a lot of times I can see good shots and I think, “Man, I’d love to capture that.” When I was younger and that was first developing, I thought I could do it with the only camera I had (a disposable one). I was shocked when the shutter speed wasn’t right and the moment was gone before the picture even took. Now I know that I can’t get half the shots I have in my head without a really good camera, and I can’t justify the money it would take to buy a really good camera. All that to say, my ‘process’ is nonexistent. Or, it’s all in my head.

    1. Well, that’s something!
      Trust me, my “process” used to exist solely in my head. It never really started until I had my first good camera. It wasn’t even a DSLR. It was an SLR. I feel old now!

  24. You own the title professional girl. You’re photos make me swoon. I haven’t seen one that hasn’t.
    You are good…really good. Own it.
    I couldn’t even imagine the nerves. You have to capture someone’s memory…eeks….but you do it so well. I love how every shot isn’t forced. Natural.
    xoxo

    1. I’m sure I could scrounge up a photo that wouldn’t make you swoon..but I suppose..why would I want to do that?
      The nerves are bad! That’s another reason I’m not quite ready for weddings, other than the obvious fact that I have two young kids and that’s a whole lifestyle.
      Can my anxiety handle it???
      Probably.
      xoxo

  25. First – those engagement pictures are incredible!!! Your sister is gorgeous and you are amazing!!!
    I enjoyed reading about your process – I think that part of what makes you unique as a photographer is your process because I don’t think that all photographers have the “feelings” about what they are doing!
    Do moose live in Kansas? Maybe you should come here and check it out!!!

    1. Thanks! Certainly in any profession, there are those who have the “feelings” and those that don’t. And just call it a job. I think you’re in the first category!
      There are no moose in Kansas, but there’s you, and that’s even better!

  26. You know I love your photos! And the engagement photos are awesome!

    I really have no process. A lot of my photos of from my iPhone or Nikon D40, set on auto. I sort of aim and shoot and hope something comes out.

  27. The photo of Scarlet looking out the window brought tears to my eyes, but then you put the portrait shot of the older man right under it and I smiled. Your photos are amazing and it’s true, no one is going to capture a moment the way you do. You are so very talented and if anyone ever pointed and laughed you referring to yourself as a professional I will personally leave dog dodo on their porch. The photo process is just as important as the writing process!

    1. That’s my grandfather! He passed away right after Des was born. To make you get teary and smily within the same few minutes? That’s like..my life goal. Emotions! So thank you!
      I really want to hold you to that dog do thing. I think it’s important to have someone in your life who will do that for you!

  28. I had a professor once who questioned whether I was cut out for college. I proved him wrong by sticking in for several more semesters and raising my GPA to 2.2.

    Again, I don’t know whether you’re a writer who takes kickass photos, or a photographer who writes kickass posts. Not that it matters.

    1. I’m certain that you proved wrong anyone who didn’t think big things for you.
      I don’t know what I am either! An enigma wrapped in a mystery? A mystery wrapped in a bologna sandwich?
      I quite lost myself there with that one.

  29. How fun to zoom in on your process (bad pun, sorry.)! I have no process; I still point and shoot and just snap what I want. Clearly I am not a professional, but that’s okay. I’ll learn and get better if I take the time to do it, right?

    1. I think all puns are good! Really!
      Yes, you’ll learn and get better. Daily. And you have a great camera and lens, so there is no way around it! You will rock the world of photography.

  30. I LOVE the engagement photos of your sister and her fiance. They capture so much emotion and happiness and love. I love hearing more about your process (clearly I’m process oriented). Apparently, as with my writing, I have no process with photography either. Photography is something that I’ve always wanted to learn more about. I will do it one day!

    1. Yes! I’m process-oriented too. Maybe I should have tagged you in the writing process post! I remember being worried no one would say yes.
      Now I think it’s really fantastic when we all talk about process!

  31. The process honestly sounds so amazing. I honestly couldn’t imagine. My photos are usually taken at leisure or for a specific purpose like my blog…lately to show my group of ladies my coverings for the day lol. Hubby said he does want to get me a “real” camera one day so that I can really start to explore more legit photography skills lol πŸ™‚ I love love love all of the photos in this post. The one of Scarlet is so awesome how you have her reflection and the lighting and the angles. πŸ™‚

    1. Well I can’t wait to see your photos if you do get a “real” camera!
      That one of Scarlet – it was awhile ago and I don’t even remember how it came to be. I’m always very grateful to it, though. It just shows up every now and then!

  32. My photography process usually involves me reaching for my iphone and snapping. I have event snapped wtih my nose if I am trying to photograph my hands. I know I should be using my DSLR camera, but that adds another half hour to the process. I do like to take my Canon when I travel or attend an event. You have an amazing gift Tamara! Your sister and her fiance look so happy and you captured it well!

    1. Ah, thank you! I think this shoot was the moment I realized how much they love each other. I’ll probably have to take this info to the maid of honor speech!

  33. I would love to see you in action when you shoot, Tamara. You capture such amazing emotion. I’d love to see how you bring that out. Not only do I hope to meet up with you this summer (Six Flags?), I’d love a photo shoot as well for me and my boys!

    1. Thank you! Maybe you could photograph me photographing the boys!
      We have our season passes ready to use at any time! We are going north this weekend but not up to Maine. We’re doing the northeast kingdom in Vermont.

  34. Love getting more insight into this. Your pictures are so beautiful. I totally agree that no one’s photographs can truly be copied. I’ve noticed that a lot of your pictures have fantastic plays on light and reflectivity. I’ve been talking a lot with T lately about how music is more than just something pretty to listen to, how it can make you feel things. Photography is often the same way. And most of what I get from the pictures you post is pure joy. (And you definitely caught the joy in those engagement shots. Great job!)

    1. That is so cool – about music. Scarlet has been very into singing lately. And I think she discovers things in music that I can’t hear. Either I never could or I’m just too old and set in my ways to hear what her wonderful mind can hear!

  35. you are so right when you say photography has a voice and your photos take my breath away. Often time (and i know I said this before) I get so caught up in your posts I actually forget what I planned to comment on and that does not happen to me on any other blog. XOXOX Big fan! When I am back in MA (someday) I am scheduling a photo shoot with you!

    1. Thank you! I love eye candy myself. I just love putting photos in blog posts. I used to not do that and I had nothing to break up paragraphs with, which wasn’t even the problem. It was that I had so many unseen photos!

  36. Oh how I love your work and your honesty in sharing your process. I am booking a photo shoot now for the future, yes one day my friend I will be one of the lucky people that has a session with you. I better start saving for those airfares.

  37. This was such an interesting read! I don’t know very much about photography, so it was fascinating to dip into your process – and I love your work! Particularly the series with the couple, you really told a story of their personalities and relationship. Thank you!

    1. Thank you so much! That session was really eye opening for me. So many elements of it came together last minute. And I really got to learn about photographing love. It’s a doozy.

  38. Love this glimpse into your process (and always love your photos!). I don’t have so much of a photo process yet (and now that my iphone camera is broken I’m even further from it!) but slowly I think I’m getting there.

  39. You are SO gifted. I love your photos – your sister is so lucky to have such a talented sister to capture her love and excitement. And that photo of Scarlett against the glass – EEEP. I can’t WAIT until June when it’s my family’s turn!!!

  40. Tamara, I see your photos and I’m always so inspired! I don’t really have a process, but that’s in part to me just snapping pictures for fun. I’d love to do it professionally, but unlike you I don’t think its quite my calling. I do have a nice DSLR and I’m constantly learning how to use more effectively. I do try to capture the beauty in things I photograph and tell a story. Although I don’t do it nearly as good as you! πŸ™‚

    1. I’ve been practicing for a really long time, so if it’s in you and you practice, your photos will be fabulous.
      You have such cute ones of your son!

  41. Your pictures are absolutely beautiful and I envy your skills. I have always wanted to be able to take beautiful pictures but I am still not there yet. I can totally relate to the voices in your head: I have them too when it comes to my professional side. Makes me want to post about my web design process. Maybe after I finish the post on mother differences which I am working on to sate your curiosity!

  42. Hands down you are one of my favorite photographers – and writers. I love how you capture the emotion and tell the story. Loved hearing about your process too – the fact that you put so much of yourself into every picture is why your pictures are so wonderful:) I’ve said it before.., one day I want you to do our family photos!!! One day!!!

  43. Absolutely amazing! If I ever come to your neck of the woods, I would so want you to photograph me and my monsters! LOL! Your pics are just beautiful! I love the one of the sun coming through the trees! Have a great week, lady! πŸ™‚

    1. Well I hope you come! It really is a beautiful place in the fall! And spring! And summer! Winter..eh..if you want a winder wonderland shoot, I can do that too but…shiver, shiver.
      The tree shot is my backyard!

  44. I’m loving your sister’s engagement pics. They are perfection. You are definitely my favorite photographer. Whenever I get married, I am flying up to you to have pictures taken!!!

  45. Awesome pictures! I love the peek into your process. Also, I think it would be pretty cool to be known for photographing sci-fi events and moose πŸ™‚

    1. Right?
      We were in Vermont over the weekend and I saw a photographer who did animals. His moose shots were dead on! He must have a great lens. Or a deathwish.

  46. I get more nervous about people I know buying my jewelry than complete strangers, so I get the feeling!
    I can’t say that I really have a photography process, since I don’t do photography the way you do. I enjoy it to a degree, but it’s not my call. But I enjoyed reading about your process.
    I was just talking to my friend who did our maternity & newborn photos yesterday about how each photographer has a style that is their own. Just like with writing, photography captures images in such different ways depending on who is shooting.

    1. It’s so interesting how different your entire shoot will look based on the photographer you chose. Or even the location and weather that day!
      I think a good photographer will know how to work under all conditions, so you will still get a great shoot – no matter how different.
      And you certainly have your own process with your art!

  47. Baaaahhhaaa! Oh Tamara, stop! Stop! My sides hurt from laughing! I have no process when it comes to taking pictures. I stink so much that I will usually find a stock photo to use unless I am doing a post where I am using myself as an example. Like my before and after chemical peel pics. I still have a polaroid that I think is the bees knees!

  48. Thanks for sharing your photography process with us! You captured your sister and her fiance wonderfully – their love for one another really shows through, not posed in one bit. I bet you’d do great capturing emotion at weddings and births when you are ready to. The photo of your daughter reflected in the window is mysterious and playful. The last one of the trees is breathtaking. I merely take photos of my children and sometimes I have an idea in mind, but most of the time, when the moment strikes, I grab my phone or camera. I try to focus on capturing an emotion and tell a story through the photos I take of them. Hopefully they see that too when they look back on them years from now.

    1. I would love to do a birth so badly. I think being there as a photographer would be ok, but maybe not to just be at a birth to be at a birth. I’m not horribly squeamish but I’d be worried if something went wrong. And if there was any vomiting, I might leave the room. Which seems wildly immature!
      Thank you for your comments on the photos!

  49. What a fantastic post! My daughter is just starting out (she’s a teen) and I imagine she goes through a similar process. This helps me understand a bit! You capture the moments so beautifully and the one of your daughter and your sister/bro in law are just fabulous. The love in both is so evident!
    xo ~kim (and chloe)

  50. I love how your sisters engagement photos turned out! Beautiful! I wish I had that voice that spoke to me the way that you do. I do not see myself as artistic in any way shape or form. I love your personal photos the most because I can see the joy you must be feeling when you’re photographing your family.

    1. Thank you! That voice has been there my entire life so I’m not sure how to explain it. You probably have your own inner voices about your gifts, though!

    1. Thank you so much! I really think that engagement session really clicked for me to understand their love. I can see drawing inspiration from it for my maid of honor speech!

  51. I love to read about photography. I still have so much to learn – and have yet to get a DSLR – but I try to soak it all in to make the moments I capture as good as they can be. I just want to record the moments. And when I manage to capture one that expresses the feeling in that moment, I feel SO happy.

  52. Tamara, I love reading about your photography process. These words resonated with me, “Photography has a sure voice, just the way writing does.” I’ve found that to be true. Recently, in order to help my writing, I’ve picked up a camera and shot different landscape pictures around the desert. Taking those snapshots offered a new perspective on my writing.

    Thanks for sharing your process.

  53. It was fascinating to read about your process, Tamara. You are a true artist and I can see why people used to think that photographs stole a little piece of your soul. I can see the soul of your subjects in each photograph–they’re simply beautiful.

    Now, come visit the UK and bring your cameras to work your magic on me πŸ˜‰ I promise that there’ll be cake!

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