Next month two of my very good friends are getting married in Vermont. I am their wedding photographer and I cannot wait to celebrate and capture their special day! Plus Vermont is September is amazingly beautiful.

This photo session was a quick 10 minute, sweaty, exhausted sunset shoot while at Gathering of the Vibes Music Festival. The three of us had been working and camping non-stop for the previous 3 days however we were lucky to catch these smiley moments. To prepare we removed their radios, straightened Sara's dreads (once) and worked on making Kyle laugh.

Sometimes impromptu sessions are the best!

engagement, denver, photographer,

commercial photographer, denver photographer, love, spirit,

Today’s blog prompt for Feel Good Blogging is to write about something that we love. I am sitting here trying to come up with a positive topic because that is what “normal” people would do, but sadly that fights to the core of who I am. It may seem strange that I am writing about a topic, that doesn’t seem so loving or amazing at all, but I have learned over the years that I draw beauty out of the darkness. In fact, after my lowest points, there always seem to grow glimmers of hope and light, so today I talk about cancer.

Cancer sucks. It has taken the lives of many people near and dear to me and has throughout the years shaped who I am and when I look back into the memory of those taken by cancer I see…magic. The first loss I experienced was when I was in 3rd grade; my four-year-old cousin died of Leukemia. It was the first death I had experienced, and I will never forget my parents sitting us down after a really big swim meet, to tell us that Christopher had died. It was awful and heartbreaking. It was raw and it was real. I was too young to process such great loss. In retrospect though, I now only see the magic around him. I do not remember him as having cancer, I remember his playfulness, creating Easter eggs that were hollow and the pure joyful smile he had.

My Aunt passed away next from cancer. We didn’t get to see her too often growing up since we did not leave nearby, so I do not have too many clear memories from my time with her. However, after she passed, I was told many stories about her magic, about her connection to spirit, and her medium abilities. I so wish that while she was living I had someone to talk to about all the “weird” and “unknown” things I am constantly encountering. Today her magic lives on in my dreams where I am given a glimpse of her power and light and can understand just a little more of what I experience daily.

Stanzi was the next to leave this earth. We had only met once at an Institute for Integrative Nutrition conference in Southern California. She shared her beautiful raw chocolates with me and left such a deep impact. The magical lesson I take from Stanzi is always to be present and open when with others because you never know when a single moment will change your life forever. I see her from time to time, her spirit shows up in the most interesting of places and I am grateful to have her share lessons with me.

Jill saved my life. She was my sister’s best friend growing up, and I always enjoyed when she was around. You could not have a moment without laughing hysterically at one of her witty, sarcastic comments. She was just so much fun to be around. At the time of her funeral, I was in a tough place. Her death was one of those deaths that just rips your heart out, causes tremendous pain for months and makes you feel like you will never be ok again. I still have moments of explosive crying that occurs when I think of Jill. All that aside, something happened at her funeral that forever changed the course of my life. At the end of the service, the song “Gone Wandering” by Jackie Greene was played overhead and her young son, Lucas, began to dance joyfully down the aisle out of the church. I can’t explain why or how this had such an immediate effect on me. At that moment, I heard the words loud and clear IF YOU STAY IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP YOU WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO BE THAT HAPPY. These words resonated through my skin and into my soul as if Jill was punching me in the arm, telling me to wake up and realize my situation was not ok. For about a year before her death, I was in an emotionally abusive relationship. The problem with emotionally abusive relationships is that while you are in it, you don’t have an idea it is going on. The effect that manipulation has on you is very far reaching, and then you add a layer of super apologetic tirades that convince you to stay. It is a vicious cycle that I do not wish on anyone. A day later, I flew back to Colorado and the Tuesday of that week, I broke my relationship off, moved out and went back into living in my friend’s home. Thanks, Erin and Tony! I would not have made that change if it weren’t for the strong sign Jill gave me.

I know Jill is magic simply from knowing her while she was alive, but her magic didn’t end there. In November of 2012, I traveled to Puerto Rico to run a half marathon with my soul sister, Taraleigh. I am not a runner and, in fact, this was the first race I have ever run. For this race, I trained in Colorado, 0% humidity, a pretty mild climate that time of year. It was a tough transition from training in Colorado to racing in 100% humidity, 90 degrees of Puerto Rico weather. So, the race begins at 6 am, and we start. I feel good for about the first mile and then the sun starts coming up. I didn’t think I was going to make it to mile marker 2, and I started to doubt that I would even be able to finish physically. Time passes, I am doing what people call walking (although I am calling it running), and I am slowly cruising along mile by mile. At what I thought was going to be mile marker 9, I was going to quit. I had made up my mind, and I was done and I had accepted it. Then a magical thing happened, “Gone Wandering” came onto to playlist, and I looked up and I was crossing mile marker 10! Somehow, magically mile number 9 had just disappeared (or maybe I was delirious from the heat and sun). Call it silly, call it magic, call it whatever you would like but I felt Jill’s presence there with me at that moment and without her I would not have finished my first ever half marathon.

I am not saying that cancer is magic nor am I saying I would prefer this situation to be what it is. What I am saying is that even amidst the darkest of emotions and in the darkest of places there is magic if we allow ourselves to pay close enough attention. Regardless, cancer does not have the ability to kill the spirit of the people it touches nor the memory of them that lives on in all of us.

I am a just turned 35-year-old woman, and I admit that I love my stuffed animals. I traveled to Switzerland with my turtle Pillow Pet, Arturo. I also have a fox and her cub, a bear, and a tiger with her cub. I took a photo for proof.

 

 

I am a lover of stuffed animals and all things soft and cuddly so I can empathize when shooting a family that needs to bring a toy or stuffed animal along for their shoot. In fact, it can make for some great photos and memories of certain times in a child’s life.

 

This past New Year’s Day, my birthday, I did a photo session with my sister and her two kids. Below is what we came up with during the cold, windy day at Tyler State Park in PA.

 

*Hilarity ensues when I ask which finger is being pointed up in the air in the above photo.

 

 

Filtering in photos with “Smorsey”, the stuffed animal horse, and “Bunny” the stuffed animal rabbit I’d say we had a good time! 

 

 

What are some items your kids can bring with them to feel more comfortable during a photo session? Is there one toy they just cannot live without? Why not make the session fun and pertinent to your family at this specific time?

 

To capture great photos make the memory unique to your family. Have fun with the session and be playful. The smiling memories are the ones you won’t want to forget. If you would like to learn more about my family portrait adventure sessions leave me a message below and thanks for reading!

 

Happy 2015 everyone!

P.S.- No stuffed animals were harmed in the making of this blog.

I’d like to begin this blog by talking about “unique contribution”. Unique Contribution is a term that I first heard from the lovely Nora Abell of Revenue Tribe in Denver, CO. It was a weekend retreat to determine what our unique gifts to the world were. It was a very challenging and rewarding weekend, and I am so glad I took the time to focus on what I had to offer. In the end, we came out with a vision and mission statement that reflected our own "unique contribution". Below are my vision and mission statements.

 

 

Vision: My vision is a multi-dimensional world that accepts and exists harmoniously as one.

 

 

 

Mission: Using photography as a medium, I capture and preserve the energy and essence of spiritual and creative beings by accessing the true spirit of who they are.

 

 

With the above being illustrated, photography is not just a job for me it is my way of life. Photography is a way for me to express intense emotional, physical and spiritual occurrences that I would otherwise hold onto. There are many times where I am unable to express something through words or actions but for some reason clicking the button on my camera helps transmute it. I use photography as a way to communicate my perceptions and emotions. 

 

 

Perhaps this is why an old friend, Amanda Cadran, reached out to me to potentially help her with a cover for her first novel, "Bird in a House." My "assignment" so to speak was to create a cover for a serious and not very talked about subject, postpartum depression and anxiety. After speaking with Amanda a few times, I had a clear idea about what the book was about, but had no idea how to represent such an emotion.

 

 

I remember the day I set out to shoot. I was traveling out East for a few weeks and was planning to photograph at a park near my parents’ house, Tyler State Park. I loved this park. I spent countless hours hiking through the woods there, rope swinging into the murky water, meeting friends after school, and shooting for my college senior thesis. Amanda felt connected to this place simply for the fact that is was in Pennsylvania, which is part of her story.

 

 

I remember the day clearly. It was a hot and muggy July day. I walked down a path I had been on before. I was to head to Connecticut to photograph Gathering of the Vibes that Monday; this day was a Saturday and I was going to visit several old friends on my way up there. I sat on a park bench listening to the song that was the inspiration for her book title Railroad Earth’s, Bird in a House. You can listen to it here.

 

 

I have heard this song many times before, but I felt like I was listening to it for the first time that day. I softly read over our previous conversations, read a few excerpts from the book and began to feel. As an emotional empath, I am able to feel certain emotions that Amanda has had and from that place of “feeling” I began to photograph. “An Empath is a person that is hypersensitive to the emotions and energy of other people, as well as animals. Empaths have this sense of “knowing” and very strong intuition. Empaths are the people who feel their way through life. They are born highly sensitive with the ability of empathy to help them understand their surroundings on a deeper level than the physical. This ability grants them the opportunity to help people heal. This is done through means of stepping into the shoes of a person to gain a better understanding of the situation.”

 

 

I spent about 3 hours walking, sitting, and exploring this particular part of the park. In a weird way, I felt connected to Amanda (not that I had not before), but this time was different. This session was an important one for me. The deeper I dive into this emotional world in which I reside, the more I can feel my subject at hand, the more magical it becomes. That day I reconnected with Amanda, nature and myself.

 

 

So why is any of this important? Why does it matter that I am emotional and intuitive? How does the effect my photography and the world around me? Why am I even telling this story?

 

 

For instance in Amanda's case, she needed an image that would capture an intense emotion in a way that expressed the darkness, but in a beautiful more approachable way. Being able to tap into the energy of where Amanda was writing the book from enable me to create a photograph that was suited for this particular story.

 

 

It is my journey and hope that my ability to photograph from an intuitive and empathetic place allows me to capture the magic I see and feel every day. My purpose is to create images that reflect the dark and light of the world in an emotive and intentional way. I find peace and solace in capturing the world in a different light. I see the beauty in things that others may disregard. Photography for me can do all of these things and as I explore and journey deeper into my life's purpose I hope I am able to share this gift more clearly with all of you. 

 

 

If the visible nature of photography has affected your life in a positive way, I would love to hear about how in the comments section below. Thank you for reading and until next time...

 

 

Let me begin by saying I am a complete novice of a runner. I challenged myself two years ago to run a half marathon in Puerto Rico, which I barely finished. However, I have not run much since then. I did begin training for a trail run last year but never finished. Now I am training for a half marathon road race in Maui (to help the whales) at the end of January.  I am training on trails even though it is a road race. Yesterday while finishing a 4 mile run on a local trail I began writing out this blog post in my head. The ideas were flowing; I get elated when I think of running on a trail instead of the road, so I created this list. These are my top ten reasons for loving trail running more than road running:

 

Photo Credit: Madelaine Voegeli

 

  • Trail runners are WAY nicer than road runners. People on the trail are always happy, smiling, saying hello even on the biggest uphill you can imagine. (They seem just to float up it while I struggle with every step but that is ok). I may not be the one saying hi on an uphill, but I certainly try or move my hand up to wave hello. If something were to happen on the trail, I feel there would be trail runners by my side giving me food and water and carrying me down the mountain if needed. 

 

 

  • When you get tired of running on a trail, you walk, which means you are basically taking a hike. When you stop running on the road run, you are counting steps till you finish your miles, and there is no fun involved.

 

  • The views! Granted I do live in Colorado and just a short 15 minutes from Downtown Denver and steps onto the trail the views are amazing! In one direction, you always see a clear view of downtown Denver. In the other direction, you see endless snow capped beautiful mountains. Hard to be uninspired in this situation.

 

  • When running on trails you get to connect with nature. You can see all the different foliage, the varying animal scat, and animals living in the area. I just think that is super awesome.

 

  • You don’t have to worry about cars or traffic. The only type of traffic you have on the trail is fellow hikers, runners, mountain bikers, and the occasional horse. I have never have seen a horse but on the sign when entering the trail bikes give way to runners and horses, runners give way to horses. I believe that is what the sign was attempting to illustrate. 

 

  • I don’t worry about my splits.  I just do what I can. If I am able to run, I run. If I need to walk, I walk. If I need to sit down and take a moment with a view, I sit down and take a moment with a view. I have also found that when I go back to the road running after training on trails my road running splits are faster, and I feel stronger. No complaints there.

 

  • The ground is typically softer and feels better to run on. It is easier on my joints than the road.

 

 

  • When you fall, the whole city doesn’t see. You can fall at peace. If animals happen to bear witness to your falling, they don’t laugh. You can take your time to get up and begin running when you are ready. There is no pretending like all is well after ten cars in traffic just witnessed you falling. (Please don't judge the stubbly leg. I was training so come my big race I will shave and run faster? Competitive swimmers will understand what I am talking about even if it doesn't pertain to running. Give a girl some slack.)

 

  • You get to pee in the wilderness. If you haven’t ever tried it, I highly recommend it. (Always make sure you are off the trail and away from water sources). Apparently some professional ultra runners may just go as they run but at my pace I really do not find that necessary. We’ll keep that for the professionals.

 

  • Trail Running is just fun! It is calming, connecting, rejuvenating and fulfilling. 

 

BONUS: Last but not least, every time I am on the trail I get to pretend I am my power animal.  My spirit animals are wolves, foxes, and hawks. Depending on the day and my mood will determine which animal I act like that day. It is fun to run and think like a wolf. I will then focus my attention to where I am looking as if a wolf was. It is amazing what you see when you try this!

 

Photo Courtesy of: Simeon Eichmann

 

That is it for today. Perhaps as I gain more mileage on my trail runs I will have more information regarding why I love trail running so much. Till then I encourage you to try a trail run. Don’t judge your pace or rhythm just go for it and see what happens. Don’t forget to add your power animal in if you have one. If you do not, think about what animals you love. I will write more on choosing a power animal soon. Have a great day and a great trail run. If you like what you have been reading, please leave a comment below and sign up for my mailing list. Thanks for listening. 

Are you a creative entrepreneur that feels like you have lost the passion for your business? You feel that you might be better off getting that dreaded but also secure 9 to 5 job?

 

I am here to share with you how a simple 5-Day #hashtag challenge ignited my passion for my business and how it could potentially do the same for you.

 

It all started one day when my dear friend and photo buddy, Elizabeth, invited me to participate in a 5-Day #blackandwhitechallenge. For five days, I was to post a black and white photograph on Instagram and tag another friend to participate. Ironically enough, I had already been participating in a #100happydays challenge so I didn’t feel I could disrupt those 100 days and switch gears to black and white photos. What would my followers think? How could I maintain two challenges of different things? However, I just changed my mind mid gear, did it anyway, and I posted my first black and white photo.

 

 

A magical thing happened when I posted that photo. An inspiration began to burn in my chest and heart. I got excited to post the next one and almost did all five photos at the same time that same evening, but I waited. Right after I posted the first photo, I was nominated by two other people to begin the challenge, Jessica, and Susan. I felt honored and excited. On the following day, I posted the second image.

 

 

 

Once again I wanted to keep posting more and more black and white photos, however I restrained myself. People began to like and comment on the photos I was posting. I could not wait to post the third one.

 

 

Each day I went through a similar cycle, I would post a photo, become SUPER excited, and wait to post the next one.

 

 

After day 5, I decided I REALLY like photographing and posting black and white photos so I have decided to continue this challenge for an entire year, 365 days. I will be starting from scratch on January 1st, 2015 (my 35th birthday) so stay tuned. I will be posting them on my Instagram: @britt_nemeth_photography

 

 

So how can something so simple make such a profound impact in our creative lives? I take photos every day, process photos every night, build my business in between, network, market, take online classes, write blogs, etc. I am always thinking about photography so why did five black and white photos shift my perspective?

 

 

I believe these four things shifted:

  • I began to focus on a photo project that was just for me! The first rule of self-care, take time to get back to you. When in a creative field, it is very important to maintain projects that are for your enjoyment only. Is there one action you can take in your business to shift the focus on to you for a moment?

 

  • I changed my routine and perspective. Rather than shooting photos on my camera phone and posting them to Instagram, I was intentionally using my camera and selectively chose images that I loved and wanted to share. Getting out of a routine is tough especially when you own a business. I encourage you to take a moment and see if there is one routine you can shake up.

 

  • I was thinking differently. Rather than focusing primarily on shoots for my clients, I began photographing different subjects outside of my daily sessions. What is one way within your business you can think slightly different? Perhaps this could be as simple as gluing and pasting a vision board rather than creating one on Pinterest. Your body is used to doing one thing so mix it up and see what happens.

 

  • I began to play again. I found this quote while creating a vision board this weekend, “ It is a happy talent to know how to play.” Ralph Waldo Emerson. Sometimes while running a business everything becomes so serious, and we forget to play. When we forget to play, the magic disappears. It is so very important to get back to play and get back to the space where anything can happen.

 

 

I am beyond grateful that I fell into this simple 5-day #challenge so I would like to share a few #hasthag challenges that I have come across recently to help you change things up. Give them a shot and see if the escape from the monotony of your everyday business helps shift things around for you.

 

#blackandwhitechallenge (For five days post a single black and white photo and tag a friend each day to encourage them to participate.)

 

#100happydays (This is a website and a #challenge. Post one photo a day for 100 days of things that make you happy.)

 

#lmwl (This is Sarah Jenks Live More, Weigh Less Challenge, it is a fun way to think differently by being active and having fun.)

 

#upsidedowneveryday (Perhaps being upside down once a day for 365 days will give you a new perspective on things?)

 

#irockmymorning (This is Taraleigh Weather’s upcoming challenge focused on creating a morning routine to start your day off right. Check out her website to find out more!)

 

 

I was so inspired by participating in the #blackandwhitechallenge I am in the works to create a challenge myself to help you all. Stay tuned in the coming months for a challenge dedicated to helping you shake up the routine and feel inspired again. Please leave a comment below on any #challenges you have participated in lately and let's share the wealth. Let’s keep the inspiration flowing! And don’t forget to follow my Instagram page @britt_nemeth_photography. Thanks for reading and best of luck igniting passion back into your creative business. Till next time…

 

To continue on this theme of organization and creating systems, I will share a mobile app that has helped me immensely and that is Trello. If you have not read my last blog on “My Photography Process”, I encourage you to do so. This introduction to Trello will build upon the process I described in the previous blog.

 

First I’ll explain the basics of Trello.

 

You begin by creating a Board. According to Trello, “A board is a product, project, resource, or organizational structure that is under continuous development, though a board can represent anything and have a variety of uses. Boards have a collection of lists, and lists contain cards.”

 

 

You add a board by clicking the + symbol to the left of your profile pic.

 

 

Then inside of your boards you have as many Lists as you would like. “A list is collection of vertically-arranged cards. They may represent a collection of ideas, things to remember, or different stages of a workflow.”

 

 

To add a new list you scroll to the far right of the screen and hit “Add a list…”.

 

 

Then inside of each List you can add a Card. “Cards are the basic unit of a board. They might represent new software features, story leads, legal cases, things to buy at the store, freelance clients, potential employees, or customer support issues. Drag cards from list to list to indicate progression, status, or what-have-you. You can add people to cards, label them, vote, attach files, start conversations, create task checklists, and so on.” To add a card you simply click “Add a card…” at the bottom of your list.

 

 

Once a card is created you can add members, color coded labels, checklists, due date, and even attachments. These additional tools available within each card are helpful while trying to stay organized and clear. 

 

 

I created a List that identifies what my Labels are as you can see below: I recently have stopped using them as much as I used to. However, they do visually help me be mindful of where my time and energy is going, and it makes Lists and my Calendar pretty.

 

 

The calendar is amazing. I can put due dates on all of my projects and then visually see them on a full screen calendar. This calendar can also be synced with many of the standard calendars out there and be automatically imported to them. Just be careful though, I believe it only updates once a day to the other calendar apps!

 

 

Checklists may be my favorite feature on this mobile app! I get much satisfaction of marking an item off my list and it tells me what percentage I have completed. 

 

I love getting to this point! See below: 

 

 

Another great way to use a checklist is the ability to "Create a Checklist" , which I can name anything but for this purpose I will call it BNP Portrait Process. Once a Checklist is created, I can apply it to any of my Cards. Being clear and organized with this process allows me to keep up with the many clients I am working with at the same time. I always know what step of the process I am in with each of them and can easily look at my Trello boards to do so. 

 

 

Pros:

  • Easy and intuitive to use. There is not much of a learning curve when you begin using it.
  • Syncs with my calendar and I can visually see what I have for the day or month.
  • I can create useful process checklists and stay on top of all of my clients.
  • Allows me to keep track of my collaborations and keep each person involved in the process. 
  • I can make lists of anything (shopping list, grocery list, items I need, products to order for clients, etc.) and then check it off.
  • It is visually pleasing.
  • Works on my mobile phone and online.
  • Regular use for one person is FREE.

Cons:

  • Calendar only syncs once a day.
  • You archive rather than deleting a finished card

 

I think that is it for now about Trello. If you have used this app I invite you to comment below on what you love or hate about it! If you have not been organized and have been looking for an online/mobile app that suits your needs give it a try. I think you will love it.

Thank you for reading. 

When I first started my photography business over 15 years ago, little did I know how much time I would actually spend not taking photos. I was naïve back then, thinking working for myself I would have extra time and days off. I was wrong about that however; as I began to grow as an artist as well as a business owner, I have discovered the art of process mapping. This type of organization, focus and clarity was a challenge at first. With a background in Fine Art- Oil Painting, I was not taught much about running a business or how to get my systems in place, heck I didn’t even know I needed a system. Through the struggle, many tears, help from various friends- thank you for Vanessa, Heidi, and Lexi, I have created my process maps.

The Wikipedia definition of process mapping is: “Business process mapping refers to activities involved in defining what a business entity does, who is responsible, to what standard a business process should be completed, and how the success of a business process can be determined. The main purpose behind business process mapping is to assist organizations in becoming more efficient. A clear and detailed business process map or diagram allows outside firms to come in and look at whether or not improvements can be made to the current process. Business process mapping takes a specific objective and helps to measure and compare that objective alongside the entire organization's objectives to make sure that all processes are aligned with the company's values and capabilities.”

Since I am the only one in my business and I have not hired any outside help yet, I execute each box of my process. I felt that it would be useful for my fellow business owners to learn about process mapping. On the other hand since most of my clients are business owners, I felt I should share what my process is and what to expect when working with me. Creating process maps for every aspect of my business has been daunting but worthwhile and helped save me time as a result. Below is an example of a process map defining my portrait photography session; beginning after the client has decided to work with me.

Client and I have had contact; we have discussed package options, and they have decided to go with BNP for their next portrait session.

In the initial email I send an intake form, which is an editable PDF with clarifying questions regarding the type of session one might want. At this time, we will determine where the shoot should take place, what time of day, what clothes should be worn, how many images you need, and so on.

After reviewing the intake form, we will have a phone call solidifying the location, time and the date of your photo session.

I will then email over a contract, which will be signed and sent back, and payment is received. I do require payment before we begin shooting.

The day before the photo session, I will send an email or text reminder of the time and location of our photo session.

The morning of the shoot, I will do a tarot card reading. I can share the results with you if you so desire or I can keep it to myself. This process helps me connect on a deeper level and grounds me in the process.

I will then meet you at the location.

We will say hello, check in and address any concerns you might have, choose outfit options in case they have evolved since we spoke previously and begin a short grounding meditation. The purpose of this exercise is to calm any nerves you might have about having your photo taken and come into the present moment leaving the rest of the day or week behind.

Next I will begin taking photos. During the shoot, I will do what is necessary to have to you comfortable and looking your best. I will help you pose, we will play with light, and we might even laugh a little. The purpose of this part is to have fun and capture the spirit of who you are. Now is the time where we get to play!

Following the above steps, we will check in again. Make sure we have covered any poses, locations or shots you may have wanted. See if there is anything you would like to try that we have not already and just make sure the session feels complete. If everything feels complete, we will end the photo session.

Coming next is what I call my “processing” time. I will cull, select or pick, the winning images. If images are out of focus, you are making a bad face, or I captured something that just isn’t that great this process will weed those problems out. I promise this process is for your own good. I will not remove any images that you might like.

With the selections made, I begin to process the RAW (NEF) files. Raw files are, “ A camera raw image file contains minimally processed data from the image sensor of either a digital camera, image scanner or motion picture film scanner. Raw files are named so because they are not yet processed and therefore are not ready to be printed or edited with a bitmap graphics editor. Normally, the image is processed by a raw converter in a wide-gamut internal colorspace where precise adjustments can be made before conversion to a "positive" file format such as TIFF or JPEG for storage, printing, or further manipulation, which often encodes the image in a device-dependent colorspace. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of raw formats in use by different models of digital equipment (like cameras or film scanners).” I do not share my RAW files with clients since processing them is a part of my creative process. It would be like a writer sharing their unedited books or a musician sharing the first cut of a song in the studio without any sound adjustments being made.

Most people do not have access to read RAW files, so I will then convert them to JPG for you. JPG is the most universally used digital image file and can be uploaded to social media sites and other platforms seamlessly. If your web designer, marketing firm, or graphic designer needs a different file type, other than RAW, just ask me! I can quickly create other versions. Once the JPGs have been created, I will review them one more and see if any slight adjustments or culling needs to be made.

The entire “processing” process typically takes 5-7 days. I always try to have your images returned to you within a week. In select instances, where I am unable to deliver within that time frame, I will keep you informed of my progress and my new projected date. Once the images are completed, I will upload, backup and deliver your photos. I will send the photos via email with a link to a ZIP file. A ZIP file is a series of compressed files with lossless data enabling me to send more information (or files) faster. When you receive this link, double click on it to decompress. Double clicking will automatically create a folder on your computer containing all the original resolution processed images.

Social media comes next! I will post a sneak peak of my favorite one or two images from our shoot on Facebook.

You may or may not need help with the selection of you images. Since my packages delineate how many photos you receive, I can help you decide. Looking at photos for many years and every day, I have a trained eye to help you with this decision. I use a system I call, “Hell Yes!” and it is fun.

Our process is now complete.

One thing I will do is ask your permission to be added to my mailing list. Lastly, I will invite you to visit my social media sites since this is where my most up to date work will be.

Contract is closed.

Thank you for traveling with me through my photographic process. I hope this helps ease your mind about our upcoming shoot and gives you a clear picture of what to expect. Having your photograph taken is meant to be fun. Humans are innately photogenic put in the right circumstance. It is my passion for creating a pleasant experience while working with me and create beautiful images that you share proudly.

If you area business owner and interested in creating your process map, please visit Lucid chart and you can sign up for a free 7-day trial. If you are getting stuck on how to create your process, work with a friend. Begin by speaking what your process is. Then you can take the time to write it out once you have dictated what your process is.

Hope you all enjoyed this post. If you have not already please sign up for my mailing list and visit my Facebook page. Thank you for listening!

Today as per Alex Beadon’s Feel Good Blogging Class Day 4, I am prompted to write about a topic that I would prefer not to write about. When creating the list of topics I would love to write about, the list was endless. When I got to the section of topics I did not want to write about, I wrote down two things: politics and spiders. So here it goes, I am going to write a blog post about spiders and politics. How cool would it be if I could tie those two topics together? Anyway, just kidding this post will solely be about my most feared and thought about animal on the planet- the spider. 

 

 

 I have countless stories of instances where I have been scared or stuck because of a spider. Below are probably my most traumatic three. Please don’t judge here, I know this is an irrational fear but it is a fear nonetheless.

 

 

Story 1

When I was a young child living in NJ, my older sister and I shared a bedroom with two twin beds on either side of the room. One evening she was babysitting me. I was afraid of the dark, so as my sister was putting me to bed I made her sit in the hallway, where she proceeded to do her homework while I fell asleep. A few minutes later I hear my sister say, “Britt! Run over to my bed.” I could tell there was a fear in her voice so I did. That was when I saw this monster spider walk into our bedroom. This wasn’t a tiny spider you see in the bathroom; this spider was the size of a Giant Bird Eating Tarantula. If you don’t know what that is, Google it. For the next 10 minutes, I stood in fear on her bed waiting to see what the spider would do. Eventually I was able to exit the bedroom and we ran to our neighbor’s house. They so kindly came over and searched our bedroom, even moving furniture in the house to try and find this spider. They never did. We barely slept that night. Fast forward to the morning where we were telling our parents about the biggest spider we had ever seen. Since we had cried wolf before, Mom and Dad just nodded their heads. Then my Mom began to poor me some Cheerios and this gargantuan spider fell out of the cereal box! I was absolutely mortified that a spider had just fallen out of my favorite cereal box. There was a lot of commotion but eventually it took three stomps of my father to kill this thing. I was traumatized to say the least.

 

Story 2

My friends Patrick and Melissa, who recently got married on Orcas Island, used to live in a cabin on a communal permaculture farm. The sun was setting and they were headed into a “family meeting” so I stayed back at the cabin and was relaxing. I went to get a glass of water from the sink to find this huge ass wolf spider. It was hairy, it was mad and it was after me (or so I felt). For the next hour and a half, I sat across the room, on the phone with my friend Bryan, who is also terrified of spiders, watching the sink to see if the spider escaped. We plotted numerous ways to kill the spider or trap the spider. None of these were viable options since it was a deep, narrow sink definitely too close for comfort. Finally Patrick and Melissa came home, I told them about the spider. Melissa grabbed a 5 by 7 postcard put it in the sink, saved the spider, calmly and proudly. The spider saga did not end here. On the property, there were many indoor and outdoor showers all of which contained spider webs with active spiders in the corners. The walk through the woods from the main house to their cabin was decorated with what felt like hundreds of spider webs with spiders. As much as I love Patrick and Melissa, for various reasons this was definitely a tough visit.

 

Story 3

This last story takes place two years ago in Makawo, HI. Every February Jon and I travel to Maui to spend a few weeks in paradise with his family. It is always a blast spending time with them, eating delicious food, exploring the island and soaking up the sun. This year his Mom, our friend Kate and I will be running a half marathon! Anyway back to the story. This particular year I am speaking about I had created a pile of laundry in the closet. I needed a pair of yoga pants so I was ruffling through the pile when all of a sudden this gnarly looking specimen fell onto the floor, out of the pile of clothes. I am not sure what type of island spider this thing was but it was big and hairy (I am seeing a theme here). The legs were super long with prickly thick hair. I screamed so loud, Jon came running down the stairs immediately. I yelped, “Kill it!” His father and Kate came downstairs too. The two of them were looking at saying something like, “So cool. Just let it outside.” My brain was fuzzy so I don’t remember the exact details. They went upstairs and I began threatening Jon if he didn’t kill it… So he did. He was so freaked out by the dead spider that it took several moments for him to pick it up and put it in the trashcan. That evening I had to take out the trash because I thought this gnarly spider was powerful enough to come back to life. With that total rational thinking, we went to bed that night. I checked the sheets, the covers, under the bed looking for other giants that might have been roaming.

 

 

What do all these stories and my fear of spiders mean? Well, I do believe in animal spirits and totems for people so I have many times wondered what magical powers the spider holds? What is it I am exactly afraid of? What can I learn from the totem of a spider?

 

If animal totems interest you at all I recommend getting the “Animal Speak” book by Ted Andrews. It is a great resource guide for magical powers of animals. I reference it fairly often. It is funny every time I open to the spider page, I basically have it marked, and I jump because of the pictures of the spiders. What Ted Andrew says about the mystical power of the spider is, “KEYNOTE: Creativity and the Weaving of Fate. The spider is the master weaver. To the Native Americans Grandmother Spider kept and taught the mysteries of the past and how they were affecting the future. Spider reminds us to awaken our own sensibilities to be more creative in life. Unlike insects, spiders have a two section body instead of three, often giving them a figure eight kind of appearance. This in conjunction with its eight legs links it to all the mysticism associated with the geometric form, the figure eight. On it’s side the symbol of infinity. It is the wheel of life, flowing from one circle to the next. The difficulty is learning to walk those circles or even hold your positions within the middle between the two. Spider teaches you to maintain a balance- between past and future, physical and spiritual, male and female. Spider is the guardian of the ancient languages and alphabets. The spider has long been associated with death and rebirth. If spider has come into your life, ask yourself some important questions. Are you not weaving your dreams and imaginings into reality? Are you not using your creative opportunities? Are you feeling closed or stuck in a web? Do you need to pay attention to your balance and where you are walking in life? Are others out of balance around you? Do you need to write? Are you inspired to write or draw but not following through? Remember that spider is the keeper of knowledge of the primordial alphabet. Spider can teach you how to use the written language with power and creativity so that your words weave a web around those who would read them.” (Andrews, Animal Speak The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small, p 344-347)

 

 

How do each of these three stories relate back to the totem of a spider? Let’s take a look.

 

 

In story one there is a theme of fear threaded throughout. I am fearful of the dark and of the spider itself. Ironically the spider, which I fear, falls out of the one food I do not fear, Cheerios. Please read one of my previous blog posts, “There is light in the Darkness” to fully understand. As a child, I did fear the dark because that was where my most vivid dreams and nightmares came from. I would have ancestral visitors in my sleep, which can be very terrifying for a young child who has no idea what is going on, so I lived with night terrors till I was 32 years old. To me the spider showing up in that moment really alludes to my connection with the spiritual, death and rebirth, as well as past and future.

 

In the second story, I was visiting two of my favorite friends, during a time of a very intense and abrupt break up. There were spiders everywhere on that trip, in the shower, in the woods, in the sink. I interpret this now as a signal of a death and of rebirth. My 4 ½ year relationship had ended, I had a new life in front of me, but I had no idea what that was. I had no balance and now no “projected” future. Being surrounded by this actual web of spiders at every turn was a screaming for me to come back and connect, begin my new story and start weaving my past and future.

 

During the time of the third story, I was in a space where I had been running my own photography business for several years but was definitely not feeling connected. I was not making enough money to survive, I was stressed out, depressed and not feeling creative. My connection to spirit was very quiet and I was feeling lost. In retrospect that moment, where the spider basically jumped out at me, was a sign of being out of balance, out of the infinite circle. I was so focused on the masculine energy of creating my business that I forgot to maintain an opposition with my feminine forces, the creative. The Spider reminds me to live in balance and harmony within all aspects of my life, business included.

 

 

On a surface level, I can definitely say that I have always struggled with my written word saying over and over again that, “ I can’t write.” I would get stuck for hours or even days attempting to respond to potential clients because I was unable to express myself in a written format even for a simple email. Because of that I stopped writing and drawing or using my creativity beyond my photography so perhaps that is why spiders are constantly coming up in my world. This Day 4 writing prompt actually got me thinking, perhaps it isn’t that I don’t like writing about spiders but maybe all along I have been just afraid to be heard. I have to say that writing these latest blog posts, even this one about spiders, has been enlightening and exciting. I have a newfound joy in expressing my thoughts and how my mind works. Slowly I am letting go of my fear of actually having a voice and putting it out there. With that being said, I suppose a thanks to “Grandmother Spider” is in store. Thank you for constantly reminding me to follow my dreams, to work on creating a balance in everything I have been so unbalanced in and a last thank you for being a part of this world and scaring the shit out of me. Thank you thank you thank you.

 

*All of the photos in this blog were taken during my trip to Seattle to visit Patrick and Melissa back in 2009. The photo above is one Melissa took of me when we visited the Ho Rainforest.

Picture this you, the entrepreneur, have finally had your professional portraits taken. It wasn’t as bad an experience as you expected! Now you have these wonderful photos of yourself that you love and had grand plans for but where do you start? How do you get them onto your social media sites? Which social media sites should you be on? Which photos should you use for which sites? What sizes do they need to be?  This process can definitely be a daunting one but I am here to help!

As a photographer with a background in graphic design, I shoot with an intention. I ask my clients how will your photos be used? What do you need them for? What are you trying to convey to your ideal clients? After the photo session, I am able to assist in choosing what photos best represent you, the entrepreneur, and how they can be used on different social media platforms.

 

To begin here is a list of the top social media sites that I use:

  • Facebook
  • Google+
  • Twitter
  •  Instagram
  •  Pinterest
  •  LinkedIn
  • You Tube.  

 

Next, we will go into the different image sizes needed for each platform.  All sizes are in listed in pixels.

Facebook

 Profile Pic (180 x 180)

Cover Photo (850 x 315)

Google+

Profile Pic (200 by 200)

Cover Photo (maximum size is 2120 x 1192)

Twitter 

Profile Pic (128 x 128)

 Header Image (520 x 260)

Instagram

Profile Pic (110 x 110)

Actual Image (640 x 640)

Pinterest

Profile Pic (165 x 165)

 LinkedIn

Profile Pic (500 x 500)

YouTube

Profile Pic (250 x 250)

Cover Image (2560 x 1440)

 

Lastly, we’ll take a look that the easiest way for you to resize the actual images. If you have Photoshop or another program you feel comfortable by all means please utilize what you have. If you do not have Photoshop or another computer program, there are plenty of excellent, free online tools that can help you resize your images. I will list a few of my favorite below:

  1. Social Image Resizer Tool- Perfect for any of your social media image needs. 
  2. Timeline Slicer- A great tool for images relating to Facebook. 
  3. Pic Resize- A little less intuitive in use but still extremely helpful.

 

Having your professional photos taken is the first step towards creating a wonderful brand online. Congratulations on making it this far! With the above information and tools, you can take those images one-step further. No more never posting your new photos because you don’t know how. If you need more information, YouTube is a great resource for watching videos on how to do just about anything. Hope this blog post helps and I encourage you to be seen by putting your best face forward.  With thanks, your ally in photography.