Monday, August 8, 2016

on engagement photography & where i've been

Hey everyone! I'm back!

I know, I know - it's been nearly a YEAR since my last post - where have I been?

Well, doing this:

Head directing for the first time with Spotlight Youth Theater, the company I work for
Assistant directing my favorite musical of all time, Fiddler on the Roof, with Spotlight
Head directing again for Spotlight in a county I've never worked in
(Yes you read that right - that's 3 full scale musicals in a year. Phew! Good thing I love it!!)
Choreographing 4 original pieces for the dance teams I coach through Spotlight, and 4 more for camp
Teaching 12 classes with Spotlight, 4 per semester for 3 semesters
Teaching privately at my studio in the music store downtown
Working my 7th summer as a camp counselor for 7 weeks of camp, including Project Dance camp and Middle School Overnight Camp
Continuing to lead worship at my church twice every six weeks - and this year I took on playing piano on top of singing! Crazy.

Not to mention:

Cheering my sister on as she got engaged to the love of her life and chose me for her MOH :)
Trying to like, see my family sometimes
And oh yes, dating my favorite person in the whole world for over a year now :)

So it's been a crazy time. 2015/16, you rocked/are continuing to rock.

But I have missed blogging, that's for sure. It's something I love to do, but I have a hard time making time for it.

And honestly, since this little corner of the internet is so free-form for me - that is, I don't really have a theme or anything, and it's not a business venture (aka, it doesn't make me money) - sometimes I'm not even sure what to put here. I've used this space to process and heal and grow through dark times and deep hurts, and I've used it to share my favorite tweets of the week. Whether big or small, random pieces of my life are what end up here, and I hope it's been enjoyable and inspiring to whoever happens upon it.

Anyway, I thought it was time to jump back in and see what kind of consistency I can bring to this space this year. I'm excited to see what happens!

Today I wanted to share some of the photos I took for my sister and her fiancé, who have been engaged for a while now but never took engagement photos and I was like, GUYS. It's TIME. (If you follow me on Pinterest, you know I am mildly obsessed with engagement and wedding photography.) So they kindly let me experiment and take photos for them just using my little ol' iPhone! I was nervous at first, hoping I would be able give them at least a few good photos - but wow it turned out to be so fun and the pictures turned out great! I downloaded a lovely free app for Mac (yes you heard that right too - this girl finally has a Macbook and WOW it's amazing. I'm like, so so poor now but it's WORTH IT.) called Fotor Photo Editor and I was able to add some special touches to the photos we took. I'm pretty proud of them, but more than that I'm thankful for the opportunity to spend an afternoon/evening with my sister and soon to be brother in law.

K&J both had such great ideas - especially J! It was so fun to watch them laugh and talk and walk around during the golden hour - which is another thing that made these pictures turn out so well. Lighting is SO key!

So here are a few of my favorites from the shoot!

Yes, that is my shadow. I was trying SO hard to not have my shadow in there, but oh well. I am still a newbie. :)

This streaky sun thing happened all on it's own. Not an editing thing at all. The sun is cool. 


Another absolute favorite. After I finished editing all their photos, I found myself wishing I had done more with this green/blue filter. I just love it. 

Probably my favorite from the whole shoot. I love me a good doorway photo, and their model faces are prime.


I think I'm most proud of this one - catching the sun beams at just the right moment. It's right out of a fairytale. But once again, this was less about my timing and more about how COOL THE FREAKING SUN IS.


Fun fact: This is a mural that K worked on one summer in high school. She worked several summers with an art program in Racine and got to work on more than one mural in the city. Apparently her initials are hidden in there somewhere! We didn't find them, though.

J called this a "grassy knoll" and I was very impressed. 

Another absolute favorite. These two. GAH. 

K asked me to play with negative space in their pictures, so these are some attempts at that. 

Love these two. So happy for them. <3 

To close out this blog, I wanted to share an encouraging moment that happened between me and T. We were talking on the phone one night as I was editing these pictures, and he said something that made my heart soar. "Sydney, you're really good at this. Do you think this is something you'd want to do more of?" I hemmed and hawed, and talked about how maybe it's not really my gifting and also my fear of being another one of those basic millennials who thinks they're a photographer. (Let's be real guys, SO many of them exist. And I've judged them pretty hard because I'm TERRIBLE.) But T was gently persistent, asking if I'd ever want to invest in a good camera and continue to do this, and saying he'd support me if I ever wanted to pursue this. Goodness I love that man. :) He is my #1 fan, and he respects me and my gifts. He delights in the things that make me happy and feel purposed, and he's so perceptive of me and my heart. He sees things in me that I can't see in myself. It's so wonderful to be loved this way.

So who knows? You may be seeing more photography from me in the future. :) But for now, Happy Monday, y'all!

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