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October 15, 2015

The Open Book Club: A Look at Then & Now

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It’s #ThrowBackThursday! Who else has seen the “Memories” that Facebook now puts on your newsfeed. I like it because it’s a little TimeHop for your Facebook feed! Well this past week I’ve been reminded that I took my very first portraits exactly 4 years ago! I used to take my friends out and take portraits of them, then soon after got my first paid portrait job! There’s a lot of hesitancy with sharing old work that you thought was buried in the depths of Facebook archives, but I think it’s important to look back at where you came from.

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I want to make something really clear… I’m not sharing this for my benefit AT ALL. Not to say “Look at how far I’ve come” but to help those who are newer photographers, maybe looking of breaking into the industry and dreaming of one day being a professional photographer, to say “No matter where your work is at, look at how far you can go.” I’m also not saying that my work is at a magical place where I’m 100% with it all of the time… I don’t think such a place exists (and I kind of hope it doesn’t!). I’m constantly learning and growing and trying to learn new things to keep developing my style and pushing my work. Who knows… 5 years down the road these “after” photos might be the new “before” ones.

These “BEFORE” images were taken with my Canon Rebel either with my kit lens that came with the camera (18-55mm) or my Canon 50mm f/1.8. When I look at these images, I can see glimpses of my work today. It’s not the posing or the set up of the shots that I cringe at, it’s mostly the editing because let’s be honest, I didn’t really have any idea what I was doing! Lightroom was a foreign concept, and I basically just knew how to use the preset filters (not that different from Instagram filters honestly!). I didn’t have control, I didn’t understand exactly what it was doing to the photos. If I could give new photographers one piece of advice, it would be to put in the time & work to really understand your editing process instead of just piling on filters.

BEFORE (2011)
Woah… WAY too heavy on the vignette!
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AFTER (2015)

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BEFORE (2011)
I actually LOVE this portrait of Shelbi & Tristan on their wedding day… Again, it’s just the editing that is the biggest difference!

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AFTER (2015)

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BEFORE (2011)      >     >     >     AFTER (2015)

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BEFORE (2012)
This was my very first wedding that I photographed on my own! And, yes, my business name used to be KC Photography.

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AFTER (2015)

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4 years ago I could have never dreamed about what a photography career would look like. And now this weekend I’m getting ready to photograph my 50th wedding! It seems so crazy! If you’re just starting out in your career, getting your work to a place where you love it will take time! It takes a LOT (times a million) of hard work and persistence but you’ll get there :) It can be easy to think “once I get the higher-end weddings or the nice equipment, my work will be able to be what I want it to be.” WRONG… Start with what you have! You can create beautiful portraits with basic equipment with the simplest of backdrops and go get ’em :)