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3775 Market Stree NE
Salem, Oregon 97301

We're a small-town, family owned and operated photo lab that never gave up on film. Today we provide top-notch film processing, scanning, and printing services from film and digital with the best customer service in the industry.

Blog

Jake + Heather Beerman

PhotoVision Team

Hello! We’re @jakestephenbeerman and @heathergracebeerman, husband + wife wedding photogs from Raleigh, North Carolina. We’re pretty crazy about each other and we adore loving on couples entering the new season of marriage—truly a perfect fit for what we do as photographers of natural, authentic wedding celebrations. We’re passionate about bringing authentic images to the world of #filmphotography. During our takeover, we’ll be sharing some of the ways we approach shooting a wedding day in order to come out on the other side with a storyline of genuine emotion and details. We can't wait to learn from you, too, as we want this takeover to be interactive! Seriously—we love connecting with new friends, so leave us a comment, say “Hi” and share something you love about where you live. 🙂 We’ll go first—we live in Raleigh, North Carolina and love being 2 hours from both the beach and mountains. 

Hi, friends! We’re Jake and Heather, and we’re so grateful to be here with you this week. When #PhotoVision approached us about taking over these little squares to share our heart + work with you, we were honored, excited and nervous. PhotoVision is like the best friend who sees you unfiltered for who you really are, with all your flaws, mistakes and growing pains, but loves you and believes in you just the same. Gosh, before we kick off, we truly want to thank PV greatly for the role they have played in our business and lives. For example, Heather only has 2 numbers on speed dial in her phone—Jake and PhotoVision. We have called them in fear, in joy, with questions, on jobs, for advice, you name it. This journey has not always been an easy one, but we’re eternally grateful we have a supportive lab who always has our best interest in mind. Leave some hearts below if you feel the same! ❤💕

📷 on #fuji400h with a #contax645 at the @thegraylynestate in North Carolina.

One of the things we’re passionate about is bringing joyful, authentic imagery to the world of #filmphotography. During our takeover, we’ll be sharing some of the ways we approach shooting a wedding day in order to come out on the other side with a storyline of genuine emotion and details. Today, we want to start with the heart behind it all—SERVING. Before we even start shooting a wedding day, we usually arrive early to walk the property and pray for our sweet couple. We understand this is not for everyone, but it helps remind us that we are here for THEM, to serve them and give them the best memories possible of their day. Before we even take out the cameras, our mindset is on creating a story that is real to them and, as a result, we have found that our creativity on their wedding day is far more abundant!

📷 on #fuji400h with a #contax645 in Charleston, South Carolina.

If you're a storyteller yourself, you might agree that much of a story is woven within the details. But let's evaluate that for just a second. One of our favorite things to do when shooting bridal details at the beginning of the day, is to first explore the venue or location for surfaces that might better enhance the story *before* we take out a styling board. When we are looking for something organic to the location to shoot on, we ask ourselves two questions: 1) Does this match our client's vision? and 2) Will this flow and fit in the overall storyline? If the answer is YES to both, we opt for using the surface unique to their location over a styling board.

📷 on #fuji400h with a #contax645 at the #legarewaringhouse in Charleston, South Carolina.
 

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Let's talk about life in images. This is another way we approach shooting a wedding in order to craft a storyline filled with genuine emotion. Keeping our subjects moving is a conscious method we like to use to add life and momentum to our images and the overall story. There are still times during a session where we have to remind ourselves to grab a few traditional portraits of the couple looking directly into the camera, because it’s just so not what we do naturally! We like to look for the emotions and interactions that feel the most unposed and real. Brainstorm some directions you can give to your subjects to allow them to move a bit. You might be amazed at the natural embraces they fall into on their own after having them move and laugh together!

📷 on #fuji400h with a #contax645 in Savannah, Georgia.

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Continuing with our approach of shooting a wedding day to tell a story with the details, let's talk about reception details. One of our preferred ways to hone in on table details, in addition to overheads, is to get as close to even with the table as we can. If you try this framing, you’ll notice pretty quickly that it typically gives you ONE focal point to hone in on with a shallow depth of field dropping off behind your focus. It’s a great way to highlight the details your couples chose to include at their reception. These images turn out beautifully minimal and soft, pairing perfectly with your overheads and full table shots to complete the narrative of their dinner hour.

📷 on #fuji400h with a #contax645 at the @barnatreynoldavillage in North Carolina.

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We’re often asking ourselves, “How can we combine our eye for artistry with genuine storytelling to craft images that are less about us as artists and more about the relationships of our couples?” When we’re looking for THOSE images to capture, we’re serving our clients the best we can and our work is, in turn, the best it can be. We really like to photograph our couples having a moment together when they don't think the camera is on them. Now, obviously this can be a hard thing to capture in perfect light in a perfect setting because it's often unplanned—but what if you could *kinda* plan it? Heather snapped this image on the way to sunset portraits with our couple. She told them to pause and hang out for a moment while she grabbed something in her bag, and after a few seconds, they naturally fell into this sweet embrace and began chatting. THESE are the in-between moments that showcase your couple’s true essence in the most tangible way.

📷 on #fuji400h with a #contax645 at @classicoaksranch in Dallas, Texas.

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Including the environment in your images is the GLUE to your storyline. If you take a few steps back further than you’re used to, you might begin to see things in your frame you didn't realize were essential to capturing the entirety of the atmosphere. Like how grand the tree is here this couple is dancing beneath. *Disclaimer:* Photographers usually have a tendency to shoot either wide or tight. We tend to shoot a bit tighter, so we have to consciously remind ourselves to back up and shoot wider. If you’re the opposite, and are more drawn to wider, scenic shots, challenge yourself to shoot the environment a bit tighter. If you REALLY want to challenge yourself, throw on a #Hoya filter and get some macro details of the environment around you.

📷 on #fuji400h with a #contax645 at the #legarewaringhouse in Charleston, South Carolina.

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We have had such a blast hanging out with y’all this week! Thank you AGAIN to our amazing #PhotoVision fam for inviting us to host this week. And thank YOU for connecting with us and showing us so much love!! We’re grateful to have met so many talented, kind, new folks this week. 🙂 To the newbies, don’t be disheartened. Practice, learn and have grace with yourself. Get curious and ask questions. We have all been where you are. To the pros, keep your eyes on loving and serving your clients with your beautiful work. Create for them, create for you and trust your gut. Thanks for following along! We’re cheering you on in all that you do, friends!!! 💕

📷 on #fuji400h with a #contax645 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Amanda K

PhotoVision Team

Hello, Hello! Oh my goodness, you guys!! @amandakphotoart here, and I am just over-the-moon grateful to have been invited to share a little bit of my journey with you this week! THANK you @photovisionprints for inviting me on for the next few days. 🙌 I will admit I am a bit nervous, as I don’t want to be superficial in my content, but to really give you a glimpse into who I am. "Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen." — Brené Brown

My unexpected journey to becoming an entrepreneur and wedding photographer started 16 years ago when I lost the love of my life in a tragic accident. I was 28 years old with 3 young children, and as you can imagine, my entire world was turned upside down. Through the process of preparing for his memorial service, I had to go through two huge boxes of photos I had printed throughout our marriage of him and our children together. Those prints became the only tangible memories my children would ever have of their Dad, and the photograph took on an entirely new meaning for me. The camera became a tool of healing for me—it was like oxygen when I felt I couldn't breathe. All I wanted to do was capture and celebrate LIFE. I never considered myself "artistic" or even talented in any way, I was in the nursing field, but it's amazing how things can change when you love something that much. Long story short, photography evolved into something special, and something I never could have imagined. Photographing couples in love is my beauty from ashes. I am now celebrating my 10th year in business, and I am overwhelmed with gratitude to be doing what I do. It has not been an easy road by any means, but I can honestly say I know this is where I am meant to be. 😊

📷 by @betsyblue on #fuji400h with a #contax645 in Portland, Oregon.

 

V I R T U E S. I strive to use "Virtue" as a model in my business practice. The virtues I am going to share with you in the next few days are the driving force in how I shoot, interact with my clients and run my business. I fail on the daily—believe me. In my 10+ years as an entrepreneur, I have learned that failure and rejection have been my biggest motivators! My hope during our time together is that you will find me and my words relatable, that you will leave feeling encouraged and inspired. I am so grateful to be a part of this photography community! 😘📷

📷 on #fuji400h with a #pentax645nii at #thecorsonbuilding in Seattle, Washington. As seen on @magnoliarouge.

 

J O Y F U L N E S S.  There is no greater honor for me, as a photographer, than to be invited into a couple's "circle of trust." To be surrounded by their dearest friends and closest family, to be entrusted with documenting the true essence of those relationships is HUGE. A wedding is one of the biggest events a couple will experience and plan together, and the joy I bring to the table is vital to the overall experience they have with me. I want my clients to feel my excitement and positive energy! Brides can be incredibly nervous, I use my mom skills at times to help calm them. 😉 Believe me, there are days when I have to dig down deep for that great attitude and energy, but your client experience is EVERYTHING.

📷 on #fuji400h with a #pentax645nii at #ranchosoldelpacifico in Malibu, California.

 

A U T H E N T I C I T Y. When I first started photographing couples, portraits and weddings, I would rely heavily on inspiration from fashion magazines—Ralph Lauren spreads in @vogue! 😍🔥 I studied how they were "perfectly" posed, and while it absolutely helped me gain some skills, I noticed my work was lacking something . . . authentic and honest emotion. Sure, there were a lot of beautiful, regal images, but was my work evoking a FEELING in my viewers/clients? Were my clients recognizing themselves? That next season, I completely changed my approach. I stopped looking for inspiration in other photography, and started capturing what I saw in front of me, and not what I had seen in magazines. It's easy to get caught up in the validation of likes and followers on social media, but we have to remember, we are shooting for our clients, not a publication or applause. It's so important to connect with your subject!  

📷 on #Portra400 with a #hasselbladh1 in Cannon Beach, Oregon.

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P A T I E N C E. Guys, we all know we live in a society of instant gratification. The most difficult part of transitioning back to film was shooting "blind" and not being able to rely on that little screen on the back of my camera. Who can relate?! 🙋 However, the hidden lesson and blessing in shooting film is not only practicing patience, but also sharing that experience with your clients. With that patience, also comes trust. Trusting yourself when shooting, trusting your lab and ultimately building your clients’ trust in you—it's a beautiful thing! It's a wonderful opportunity to share in the anticipation of scans with your clients and celebrate together when those beautiful images arrive in your inbox.

 📷 on #fuji400h with a #hasselbladh1 at #sunstonewinery in Santa Ynez, California.

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P E R S E V E R A N C E. Growing up around a camera, I was familiar with film and loved the process. I shot on film until the late ‘90s when the digital and Photoshop craze happened! I learned everything I could about editing and shooting with all those complicated buttons. When I look back at some of those over-processed photos now, I literally cringe. 🤢 I am so thrilled to see the complete comeback that film has made! However, it has been yet another learning curve for me. As many photographers have mentioned, the best way to learn is to start incorporating film into your workflow slowly. I made a goal to shoot 3 rolls of film at every wedding.  From there, I started shooting only film at my engagement sessions! I found this was the best way to build my confidence! I can be a bit stubborn, (and shy),  and am not the best at asking questions, so I have failed, many times! Ultimately, it's about persevering,  practice, and always educating yourself! Lastly, I can't stress enough how important it is to take advantage of @PhotoVisionprints’s EXCELLENT customer service. They want you to succeed as much as you do!

📷 on #Portra800 with a #pentax645nii in Franklin, Tennessee. As seen in @southernweddings Magazine.

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H O N E S T Y.  Ok, I have an earth-shaking revelation for you. I don't personally "love" styled shoots. Who else is with me?? Now, I absolutely adore working with other creatives and I agree it's vital to my growth as an artist to create personal work. It can be very refreshing and soul inspiring, It’s also a great way to network with other like minded creatives in the industry! However, in my humble opinion, if my goal is to attract more wedding clients, then I feel it's incredibly important to show my viewers, (and hopefully potential clients!), more content from real weddings. Being honest in what I share helps my clients have realistic expectations of what I can deliver! We all know that working a real-life wedding with tight timelines and sometimes crazy weather is a true test of our creative skills!  I have also made it my mission when mentoring,  to only ask real couples to model when teaching 1:1s.  It’s so important that my attendee’s  see how I work with, pose and draw out honest emotions from true couples. I LOVE sharing time with other photographers at these sessions and I always encourage them to focus less on those styled shoots and getting published and more on their craft and their client! 👊

📷 on #fuji400h with a #pentax645nii in Ashland, Oregon From a 1:1 with @annabelmayphotoart.

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H U M I L I T Y.  If you only receive one bit of advice from me during this #pvtakeover, let it be this: If we don't receive critique on our work, or from our clients’ experiences, we will not GROW. As photographers, we are so fortunate to have social media platforms to get our work seen and, let's be honest, we LOVE that positive feedback!! But if all we ever hear is applause, then we aren't going to push ourselves to greater levels! If you haven't already, I encourage you to join a photography (film or otherwise) group through Facebook, etc. Some of these threads can be invaluable to your growth as a photographer! It's such a great way to share in your triumphs and struggles. In regards to your business, I can't express enough the importance of asking for feedback from your clients! Asking them how you could have improved their experience or if there were areas of their day that they wish you had focused more of your time on. These  conversations really make all the difference in personal and professional growth. If anyone would like to be invited into a photography group, or has one they would like to share, please comment below!! Also, if you have ANY specific questions for me regarding the business, gear, technique, ANYTHING, please ask away! I am an open book. 😊

📷 on #fuji400h with a #pentax645nii in Berkeley California. As seen in @magnoliarouge issue

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L O V E.  I am in the business of love. How great is that?! I wholeheartedly adore my job, and am committed to being a light and encouragement to not only my clients, but other creatives in this industry. There is nothing more exciting to me than to receive those emails from couples inquiring about their big day! Connecting with them on a deeper level and learning about their love story is integral to the direction I take with their wedding day and engagement portraits. While giving direction is important, I never want to force anything, but allow the moments to present themselves to me naturally and truthfully. When you have a couple who is over the moon in love in front of your lens, that is all the inspiration you need. Love is the theme I want to be present in all of my work.

📷 on #fuji400h with a #pentax645nii at client's family farm in Crescent City, California.

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S I M P L I C I T Y. I am a “less is more” kind of girl. I believe in quality over quantity, and that is how I like to approach my weddings and portraits. Whether I am shooting film or digital, I try to shoot with intent. I want each frame to be a keeper!! (That doesn’t always happen BTW.) This also saves me from hours of culling! In the beginning of my career, I would arrive to a wedding with a long list of my "must have" shots, 4 cameras, 6+ lenses and so on. I have since learned to completely simplify, and that was a game changer! One of my favorite things about shooting with my Pentax645Nii, is the simplicity of it. All I have on me during engagements and the couple's wedding day portraits, is my Sekonic handheld meter, and my film camera with one lens. This allows me to really be in the zone without being distracted by all the gear hanging off of me like a pack mule! I am also very nature inspired—I love to use the natural beauty of the environment to frame my subjects. A clean, simple background is EVERYTHING. A great example of this was a recent HMUA editorial I shot for @austieeckley. I brought one film camera, had my digital for a backup (always be prepared!), two lenses, and film. We went into this shoot with some ideas and inspiration, but ultimately we wanted a very minimal aesthetic so that the make-up was the star. Tiffany of @foragedfloral brought all these incredible blooms as inspiration, and I had her sprinkle Courtney’s curly locks with these little blossoms. They added softness and femininity to the image without distracting from the subject. Simplicity at it’s finest. I absolutely LOVE how it turned out! 
 
📷 on #fuji400h with a #pentax645nii at @studio_1904 in Portland, Oregon.

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G R A T I T U D E. I wanted to finish out my #pvtakeover with the virtue I hold dearest to my heart. I believe making it a habit to express thankfulness is always the best way to cultivate great relationships and gain opportunities. None of us have made it to where we are in life and in business without the help of someone along the way. I highly encourage you to take the time everyday to thank someone who has helped you in your photography journey, especially if they don't even realize they have encouraged you! Make sure your clients know how grateful you are that they chose YOU to photograph their life and love! You could even have a thank you card waiting for the UPS guy who is at your house every week with a box of film! Small gestures of gratitude go a LONG way. 🙂  Lastly, I am incredibly thankful to @photovisionprints for having me this week! Thank you for giving me the "stage," so to speak, to share a bit of my journey and my work with your amazing friends. And to all who have been following along, thank you from the bottom of my heart. XO 😘  

If you are interested in continuing to follow along on my journey head on over to @amandakphotoart! AND to express my gratitude I am hosting an exciting #giveaway! Check out my latest post to learn how to enter!

📷 on #fuji400h with a #pentax645nii at #sanysidroranch in Santa Barbara, California. As seen on @inspiredbythis and nominated for @bellelumieremagazine 2016 image of the year.

Dave Poyzer + Mamiya7ii + Ektar100

PhotoVision Team

How gorgeous is Ektar for landscapes?! 👌 Photo by @canoe_there. "This photo was taken on the way back to Anchorage from Nome while flying over the Alaska Range. I have been fortunate to photograph and film the Iditarod sled dog race the last 2 years with my good friend @ianplanchon and the @ktva_alaska crew. It as been an amazing experience following the mushers from village to village across Alaska while battling wind, snow and ice through temperatures ranging from 40*F to -40*F." — Dave Poyzer of Canoe There

📷 on #ektar100 with a #mamiya7ii in the Alaska Range.

#photovisionprints #profilmlab #sp3000 #ektar #kodakfilm @kodakprofessional @turner.pahl @alpineairalaska

Callie Manion

PhotoVision Team

Hi, friends! I am so excited to be taking over PV’s Insta this week! I found #film when I was at a point of real frustration with my own work. I wasn’t achieving the look I wanted and hadn’t stepped into the world of FB groups and forums yet to be easily guided, so I was learning everything on my own—which was lonely and defeating. By sheer luck, I traveled down a rabbit hole that led to film and my world was completely turned upside down. (Really, it was that dramatic! 😉) I hope this week you’ll be able to benefit from learning a bit about my film journey. And please feel free to comment with any questions—I promise to respond! xo, Callie.

📷 on #fuji400h with a #mamiya645af at #piazzasanmarco in Venice, Italy.

It’s all about the light, friends! This was a lesson I learned early on by experimenting with tons of different lighting situations. I learned quickly what situations to avoid, and equally as important, what my favorite type of light looked like—which is backlighting my clients and filtering the light through something like the trees you see in this photo. This is how I’m able to create a cohesive set of images, no matter the variables at play. Because truthfully, it doesn’t matter what colors your clients are wearing, or what your location looks like, or even what film gear you are using—the most important factor is always the light!

📷 on #fuji400h with a #mamiya645af at #littlesahara Recreation Area in Utah.

One idea I strongly believe in is the importance of being kind. We all start our journey somewhere, so be kind to those who may reach out and ask questions. Even when I’m in the midst of my busy season, I always try to find time to answer emails or DMs because I totally get it! I was there once and I know a simple email goes a long way. Also, be kind to the harder-to-please clients. We’ve all had them! I’m not saying to offer major discounts or bend over backward to please someone, but showing grace and kindness can earn you a recommendation to an ideal client in the future or a 5-star rating on your website. Whatever it is, you will reap the benefits in the end!

📷 on #fuji400h with a #mamiya645af at @wildcatterranch in Texas.

#calliesvision #photovisionprints #profilmlab #sp3000 #ishootfujifilm #fujifilm @fujifilm_profilm @candhevents @annebarge @ishnaeandco 

Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself and your business. Styled shoots may seem frivolous to some and not worth the expense, but I’m a firm believer in taking that risk. The same goes with investing in your education, whether mentorships or workshops. I have so many stories of booking weddings or other projects based on the most random of circumstances—but they all started with me first investing in myself. I have booked weddings from styled shoots, from connections I’ve made with planners, from publications, from connections I’ve made with other photographers at workshops, from giveaways I’ve done and even from putting out a model call! Upfront, all these investments seemed like a lot, but not only did I book work from them, I also wouldn’t trade the experiences! So give yourself the “OK” to invest!

📷 on #fuji400h with a #mamiya645af at Union Station in Dallas, Texas.

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Now what I’m about to say may be a controversial topic . . . I don’t shoot with a Contax. *Gasp!* I know! But before you throw those dagger emojis or quickly go unfollow me, let me explain! 😉 You can create gorgeous imagery with any system—you just need to find what works for you. Personally, I shoot 99% of the time with my #Mamiya645af. I use my 80mm f/2.8 AF lens for detail shots, group portraits and ceremonies where I’m shooting around f/2.8–4.0 and like the quick auto focus. Then, when it comes time for portraits, I switch to my 80mm f/1.9 manual lens, where I typically shoot wide open to get that creamy bokeh, like you see in this photo! I also will throw on my 55mm for wider shots throughout the day. 

📷 on #fuji400h with a #mamiya645af at a private estate in Texas.

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Why are we photographers? Most likely it’s because we didn’t fit into the mold of an office job and yearned to create art and express ourselves while also making money. I know that’s the case for me! Do I like sitting behind a desk for hours at a time? Nope! But do I have to do it in order to maintain my business? Of course! Any time I feel like I’m about to shut down and just want to run away from it all, I realize it’s because I haven’t created enough. And I don’t just mean shooting weddings every weekend. I mean taking time to create for myself! It doesn’t have to be an over-the-top styled shoot. Take this photo for example: My brother and his wife asked me to take a few photos of them as they were graduating college. I told them I'd do one for them and one for me 😉 so we drove out to the beautiful Bonneville Salt Flats, I had them bring some nice outfits in addition to the ones they had picked out, and I just shot for ME—and this is what resulted! 

📷 on #fuji400h with a #mamiya645af at #bonnevillesaltflats Recreation Area in Utah.

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 Have a central theme to your business and let that speak in your photos. I tell all my brides, before they even become clients, that I want to promote MARRIAGE. I believe in the power of strong marriages, and I want to see love win, every time. So I always try to bring my images back to that—to love, to marriage and to what is really important.

📷 on #fuji400h with a #mamiya645af at @thedallasarboretum in Texas.

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I love being able to shoot portraits because I am able to really connect with my subjects and seeing their emotion fuels me. But I have to remind myself to stop and care for the details just as much. Capturing the scene, the jewelry, the flowers . . . it all helps to tell a couple’s full story, which is exactly what I aim to do for every bride and groom.

📷 on #fuji400h with a #mamiya645af at a private residence in Utah.

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Have you ever walked into a wedding and thought, “Nope. I don’t like any of this. Never going on my website” or something similar? I challenge you to find ONE THING that inspires you at every wedding, portrait session, editorial, etc. Some may argue that this is a job, and sometimes we shoot things we personally don’t love and that’s okay—but I’m going to disagree. Yes, it’s a job, and sometimes we take weddings that we wouldn’t necessarily plan ourselves, right? But why does that have to mean we’ll never advertise it or won’t feel inspired? We are artists! We can find inspiration anywhere! I challenge you to go find the one flower, the one drapery, the one shadow that plays across your clients face, or whatever it is, and take inspiration from it. Then use that to re-energize yourself and make magic!

📷 on #fuji400h with a #mamiya645af at Bob Jones Nature Center in Southlake, Texas.

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Have you ever walked into a wedding and thought, “Nope. I don’t like any of this. Never going on my website” or something similar? I challenge you to find ONE THING that inspires you at every wedding, portrait session, editorial, etc. Some may argue that this is a job, and sometimes we shoot things we personally don’t love and that’s okay—but I’m going to disagree. Yes, it’s a job, and sometimes we take weddings that we wouldn’t necessarily plan ourselves, right? But why does that have to mean we’ll never advertise it or won’t feel inspired? We are artists! We can find inspiration anywhere! I challenge you to go find the one flower, the one drapery, the one shadow that plays across your clients face, or whatever it is, and take inspiration from it. Then use that to re-energize yourself and make magic!

📷 on #fuji400h with a #mamiya645af at Bob Jones Nature Center in Southlake, Texas.

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Have you ever walked into a wedding and thought, “Nope. I don’t like any of this. Never going on my website” or something similar? I challenge you to find ONE THING that inspires you at every wedding, portrait session, editorial, etc. Some may argue that this is a job, and sometimes we shoot things we personally don’t love and that’s okay—but I’m going to disagree. Yes, it’s a job, and sometimes we take weddings that we wouldn’t necessarily plan ourselves, right? But why does that have to mean we’ll never advertise it or won’t feel inspired? We are artists! We can find inspiration anywhere! I challenge you to go find the one flower, the one drapery, the one shadow that plays across your clients face, or whatever it is, and take inspiration from it. Then use that to re-energize yourself and make magic!

📷 on #fuji400h with a #mamiya645af at Bob Jones Nature Center in Southlake, Texas.

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Thanks everyone for following along on my takeover and a HUGE thank you to the best lab out there, PhotoVision! I have so much more to say (because, if I’m being honest, I’m always long-winded) so if you want to hear more of my ramblings and learn more about my experience/advice, please contact me! I offer mentoring and truly love teaching other creatives and helping them find their place in this industry. When I first started my film journey, I had amazing mentors and felt so supported by my lab (the awesome PhotoVision Team!) so I know the benefits of learning both on your own through trial-and-error and also through mentorships. You have a lot to offer, and I want to help you find your place! You can contact me through my website or email me directly! xo, Callie.

📷 on #fuji400h with a #mamiya645af at the @trinityinstitute in Tehuacana, Texas. 

Jeremiah & Rachel Spray + PV Takeover + Day 3

PhotoVision Team

@jeremiahandrachel Takeover Day 3: One of the things we do to stay inspired and avoid burnout is personal work. Both of our journeys into photography started with travel, and telling those stories with a camera. No matter where we are, one of us always has a camera, and often these are our favorite images. It lets us experiment, try new things and get better in our craft. We love making images, and as much as we love having a business that lets us do that every weekend, we want to make images every day that let us fall in love with the process and fun of shooting.

📷 on #Portra400 through a #Contax645 at Coffey’s Cove Ranch in Elk, California.  #jeremiahandrachelsvision #pvtakeover @cuffeyscoveranch Portra400, Contax645

 

@jeremiahandrachel Takeover Day 3: As much as we love, and look for, epic scenery (which is easy in #Montana!) there’s nothing better than a close and intimate photo. It’s important to be vulnerable and build trust with your subject, so that you can be close when the moment is right. We caught ourselves "playing it safe” when we first started shooting #mediumformat cameras. Maybe because all of a sudden there was a cost involved every time we pressed the shutter, but we noticed our work started to feel “safe and boring.” Now we always remember to get back, get the “safe” shot, and then get close. It makes it easy when you feel crunched for time, but it also ensures you can let magic happen. Some of our favorite images have been made within a 10-minute window of perfect light.

📷 on #Portra400 through a #Contax645 at at Coffey’s Cove Ranch in Elk, California. #jeremiahandrachelsvision #pvtakeover @cuffeyscoveranch

 

@jeremiahandrachel Takeover Day 3: We love every part of a wedding day, but truth be told, our absolute favorite time is sunset. We love when our clients are up for a few minutes of alone time for some romantic photos! This beautiful couple traveled from Detroit, and their families from all over the country to have their Montana wedding in the mountains, so we celebrated that in a big way! @oliviastevanovski even climbed a rickety fence to stroll through this field. We loved how film captured the glowing light so perfectly! Bonus points: Rachel made that bouquet for the bride!! We love going above and beyond! 💐

📷 on #Portra800 through a #Pentax67 at Glacier Mountain Lodge in Columbia Falls, Montana. #jeremiahandrachelsvision #pvtakeover @glaciermountainlodge @ruedeseinebridal @bonobos

 

@jeremiahandrachel Takeover Day 3: We just have to take a moment to give credit where credit is due. Yes, film is magical, medium format is like butter, but none of that would matter if we didn’t have beautiful things in front of our cameras to photograph. Our business took a huge turn in the right direction when we reached out to fellow creatives and started collaborating. Seeing other people create something they’re passionate about is so inspiring and makes you want to work harder for everyone involved. Flowers are definitely a favorite detail of ours. This stunning bouquet created by @greenwoodevents was the prettiest thing. It completely matched our setting, the dress, the bride and the overall story. We can’t stress enough the importance of working with artists and showing off their work!  As we wrap up our time here with @photovisionprints, we just wanted to say thank you for tuning in!! We hope we’ve inspired some of you to pursue film and to follow your dreams! We offer 1:1 mentorships and workshops if anyone is interested in learning more from us, and if you’d like to continue following us, you can find us at @jeremiahandrachel! Thank you again, and thanks to @photovisionprints for being the world’s best lab! 💗

📷 on #Fuji400H through a #Contax645 at the Resort at Paws Up in Montana! #jeremiahandrachelsvision #pvtakeover @theresortatpawsup @greenwoodevents @clairepettibone @csbridalstyling @tonoandco

Jeremiah & Rachel Spray + PV Takeover + Day 2

PhotoVision Team

@jeremiahandrachel Takeover Day 2: So often we hear that film can't handle low light, and while we still shoot digital in some situations, there is something truly magical about a long exposure on film!! This beautiful setting, created by @greenwoodevents at @theresortatpawsup, was just begging for that! We only had a small amount of natural light coming in, so this image was taken on a tripod at 1/8th. Film let the natural light bleed into the image, blending with the candlelight and in turn, made it feel the way it did in real life, which is huge when you're shooting for your clients and vendors!

📷 on #Portra800 through a #Pentax67 at the Resort at Paws Up in Montana.       #jeremiahandrachelsvision #pvtakeover @thetopmontana

 

@jeremiahandrachel Takeover Day 2: Let's be honest, a wedding day can be stressful, both for you and your couples. Even in the midst of that, we always keep in mind what a wedding means, and how special it is for our brides and grooms and their families. No matter what happens on a wedding day, we want to help provide a safe place, and be someone our couples can trust and lean on, and even be one of the best parts of their day—second to actually getting married, of course! 😉

📷 on #Fuji400H through a #Contax645 at the Resort at Whitefish Lake in Montana. #jeremiahandrachelsvision #pvtakeover @goldfinchevents @mumsflowersmt @moniquelhuillierbride @joannaaugust @lodgeatwhitefishlake 

 

@jeremiahandrachel Takeover Day 2: As photographers, we notice lots of discussion about details vs. moments. On the surface, it can seem that moments are more “authentic" or "real," but one thing we realized getting married ourselves was just how personal details can be. The bouquet, the bride's jewelry, a cuff-link. As much as it can seem that a detail is just an object, from a couple's perspective, that small detail often tells a story, about family, love or a memory that's hard to put into words. We always try to remember this as we photograph a wedding, letting ourselves be open to seeing the whole day from a couple's perspective, and telling their "real" story. Be it moments or details, or even formal family shots, we try to treat each part of the day with the same importance and care.

📷 on #Fuji400H through a #Pentax645n at Lakewold Gardens, Seattle, Washington #jeremiahandrachelsvision #pvtakeover @goldfinchevents @trumpetandhorn @mumsflowersmt

 

@jeremiahandrachel Takeover Day 2: In every image you take, you should be in the image. A big thing that sticks out to us after years of shooting and seeing so many images on social media and blogs is how important it is that you are truly putting yourself into your images. No matter the camera/film/lab, if you aren't present in your image, a viewer can feel disconnected. It's a small detail that can be the difference between a good image and a great image. Letting it happen takes time, and lots of shooting, but as you do, it will truly bring your images to a new level, one that’s all your own. For us, we do this with  a combination of pre-visualizing a shoot, giving direction instead of posing, being open to our subjects’ chemistry and living in the moment with them.

📷 on Ilford HP5 through a Pentax67 at Green Valley Ranch in Coram, Montana. @greenvalleyranchmontana @greenwoodevents @megjones927

Jeremiah & Rachel Spray + PV Takeover + Day 1

PhotoVision Team

@jeremiahandrachel Takeover Day 1: Hi, there! It's @jeremiahandrachel here for a #pvtakeover! We're so excited to share a glimpse into our lives and work and, hopefully, share something inspiring with all of you! Film has been a HUGE part of our story and journey, and we're so thankful for an amazing lab like @photovisionprints to help us along the way! Be sure to follow along  the next few days as we talk about film, photography and working together as husband and wife!

📷 on #Fuji400H through a #Pentax67 at Coffey’s Cove Ranch in Elk, California. #jeremiahandrachelsvision #pvtakeover #Cuffeyscoveranch @greenwoodevents @shopgossamer

 

@jeremiahandrachel Takeover Day 1: We were each starting our separate journeys into photography when our paths crossed. The timing was perfect, as we were both in the midst of finding our voices and styles, and working out those things together was exciting and new. We quickly became “Jeremiah and Rachel Photography,” blending our two separate business into one, before we were even engaged. Our friends later told us they thought we were crazy for starting a business together so early in our dating, but we knew there was something special there. Turns out there was! As we were finding our new voice together, film sort of fell into our laps. It started as something fun for personal work, then we realized it's what we had been "missing" all along. It quickly grew into a passion. Film let us focus on our vision, while also giving us the look we both wanted for our work. It helped us create a workflow for wedding days, and gave us a  discipline and approach that affected every part of our business and made us better photographers. We dived into film 5 years ago and have never looked back!! 🎞

📷 on #IlfordHP5 through a #NikonFM2 at the Resort at Paws Up in Montana.  #jeremiahandrachelsvision #pvtakeover @greenwoodevents @theresortatpawsup

 

@jeremiahandrachel Takeover Day 1: Our story of becoming Jeremiah and Rachel Photography is a unique one. We were both photographers when we met, and soon realized our passions, dreams, and vision were very much in line. Our individual journeys to photography were strangely similar, even though we had no idea each other existed! I (Rachel) was always in love with weddings. I was that 13-year-old girl buying wedding magazines and getting weird looks. I'm definitely a hopeless romantic and a daydreamer (to a fault sometimes!). I realized I wanted to chase after my photography dream full force while I was on an art history trip to Italy my freshman year of college. I couldn't put my camera down the entire time, and I was completely hooked! A year later, I went back to Italy with my oh-so-fancy #CanonRebel and a kit lens. I thought I was the Bee’s Knees with that camera, but I still love those images. I moved from my home in Montana for a while to intern with a wedding photographer in California. I learned so much watching her work a wedding day, and I quickly started shooting weddings myself. That was 7 years ago, and I've never once regretted my decision. It led me to Jeremiah a few years later, and I count my blessings every day! ❤

📷 on #Fuji400H through a #Pentax645n at Lakewold Gardens in Washington.   #jeremiahandrachelsvision #pvtakeover #LakewoldGardens @goldfinchevents @clairepettibone @mumsflowersmt

 

@jeremiahandrachel Takeover Day 1: Growing up, I (Jeremiah) wanted to be Indiana Jones. Seriously, I had the hat, bag, whip, thought I’d travel the world as an archeologist. Instead, when I was 19, I took a trip to Romania with a family friend. We did volunteer work at an orphanage in Botosani. My only camera at the time was a little 3.1 megapixel #CanonPowerShot. I had no idea that by the end of that trip I would fall in love with photography, the way it let me see people, connect with them and tell stories the way I’d always wanted. As soon as I got back home, I bought a #CanonRebelXT and started shooting whatever anyone would let me and assisting some wonderful photographers in the area at weddings. I learned so much during that time, and a few years later, I met Rachel. We both realized quickly that we made a good team, and within a few months, we were dating and working together. She thought I was a little too obsessed with photography, and told me to get a “hobby.” My reaction to that was to start shooting film, which quickly became something we both loved, and added so much to our work. We want to let photography connect people, and let us see the world as the big magical place that it is.  

📷 on #Portra800 through a #Pentax67 at Glacier National Park in Montana.                #jeremiahandrachelsvision #pvtakeover #glaciernps @glaciernps 

Cassidy Carson

PhotoVision Team

Hi, all! I’m @cassidycarsonphoto and I’m excited to be hosting a #pvtakeover! 🍾 I’m a destination fine-art film wedding photographer based in Nashville, Tennessee. 

🎞 *The first time I shot a film camera* was in 2006 while attending college at @LouisianaTech. I minored in photography and learned to shoot film on a 35mm Nikon I bought on eBay. 

👯 *My biggest influence* is my friend + fellow photog, @kristinsweeting, from Nashville. She is so good at shooting film in low light and has rebuilt her business after having a baby and taking time off. She was really worried she wasn’t going to be as successful as she was, but she has come back with a vengeance. 

📷 *My favorite tool in my camera bag* is my collapsible lens hood. It’s super cheap and everyone can have one. It saves me from having to use my hand to block the sun to avoid lens flare. 

🌍 *Dream photoshoot* I’ve always wanted to go to Europe and shoot with my Contax645, and this year, my dream came true! My husband @stephenalynch and I spent 3 weeks in Italy + Greece. It was so amazing I didn’t want to leave! 

🎵 *My pump-up song* is the “Hamilton” soundtrack and anything by Drake.

Photo by @stephenalynch on Fuji400H through a Contax645 in Santorini, Greece.

I got into photography because of a friend in college. He needed models for a photography project he was doing on movement. I needed an elective, and the way he talked about his photography course intrigued me, so I signed up. I later minored in photography. Fast forward to graduation, I interned for my old Bible study teacher who was a wedding photographer. I laugh now because I said I’d never shoot weddings, but God obviously had other plans. I worked alongside her for 8 months, learning the ins and outs of the business, before I branched out and shot my first wedding on my own. ⚡

📷 on Fuji400H through a Contax645 in Savannah, Georgia.

Behind the lens, I feel confident and in control. I second-guess myself a lot in life, but when I’m holding my camera, I know what to do, and I do it quickly and efficiently. 👌 How do you feel behind the lens? I’d love to hear below.

📷 on Fuji400H through a Contax645 in Nashville, Tennessee.

My favorite thing is proving my couples wrong. Let me explain. So often I hear, “We’re so awkward in front of the camera!” I find that’s almost never the case once we get into the swing of shooting. Delivering photos where joy, confidence and intimacy radiate from my subjects is such a thrill. 🤵💕👰

📷 on Portra800 through a Contax645 at #thecordelle in Nashville, Tennessee.

One of the most important things about detail shots are the human elements. Don’t get me wrong, I love the simplicity of a ring on an invitation suite. However, what really resonates with clients is their ability to insert themselves into your photographs. I always include images of clients holding or wearing the details from a wedding. If a ring is passed on, it’s so special for the gift-giver to see photos of their loved one wearing that ring on their wedding day. 💍

📷 on Fuji400H through a Contax645 at #cheekwood in Nashville, Tennessee.

A B+W photo is timeless. Romantic. And the lack of color allows you to easily pull focus toward what you want your viewer to see. Often for receptions, I choose to do B+W because there is so much happening, color can become distracting. B+W can help make for a more focused and seamless image. 🖤

📷 on Fuji400H through a Contax645.

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Movement on film is exciting. 🎉 It’s an experiment for the photographer and enchanting for the viewer. As photographers, it’s a risk. You’ll either get your images back and be in love, or they’ll look awful—which is also exciting! 🙂 Most fine-art photographers often think of an image as a still life, a frozen moment, and I’m excited that so many photographers are now implementing movement into their work. For viewers, you don’t always know what’s happening in a photograph. Movement helps give direction, revealing the story within the frame. 

📷 on Portra800 through a Contax645 in Nashville, Tennessee.

“What is my purpose? What do I want to be remembered for?” Honestly, I think about these questions all the time, and I have yet to come up with an answer for them. I’ll say this though, the best thing about my job is being surrounded by like-minded individuals. Sometimes, this industry can feel lonely and like you’re going at things alone. No one is an island, and there’s no way we can succeed without leaning on and confiding in each other. I challenge you to seek out people you can encourage and vice versa. A rising tide truly raises all boats.

📷 on Portra800 through a Contax645.

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Too often I find myself forgetting the in-between photographs. The reactions to moments, the bridesmaids peeking in on the first look, the mom crying watching the father-daughter dance. They’re so important and incredibly special. If we’re missing them, then our clients most definitely are. I want to challenge photographers to avoid tunnel vision on the wedding day—slow down for just a moment and look around. What’s behind you could be your (and your client’s) favorite photo from the entire day. ✨

📷 on Fuji400H through a Contax645 in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Chase the light! The sun inspires me—I love bright, golden images. I don’t like working under cloudy skies, to be honest. I’m always seeking better light to please myself and my clients. I love how the light meshes and wraps around this (brave) groom on a ledge. 🌞

📷 on Portra800 through a Contax645 at #knappscastle near Santa Barbara, California.

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Don’t let your JPGs grow up to be JPGs! Print your work. My favorite thing about going home is looking at my Nan’s huge photo wall of our family. This is the rich, meaningful experience I want for my clients—to have prints of their images, tangible objects they can connect with and hold, rather than digital images they flip through on a device or store on a digital format that will soon become obsolete. 💜

📷 on Portra800 through a Contax645 at #knappscastle near Santa Barbara, California.

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Believe it or not, family portraits have become one of my favorite parts of wedding days. I know, crazy, right? Sure, they can be hectic and you often feel like you’re herding cats, but the payoff is often big. I usually tell jokes and do just about anything to get the reactions I’m looking for, which is always genuine laughter. 😄

📷 on Fuji400H through a Contax645 in Beaufort, North Carolina.

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 I hope to leave a legacy of joy. The biggest reward for me is hearing a client say how much they love their images and how much they mean to them. It’s a gratifying feeling to know that I was able to deliver such a meaningful, tangible experience for them. Cheers to that! 🥂

📷 on Portra800 through a Contax645 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Nicole Colwell

PhotoVision Team

Everyone has to start somewhere! Ok, embarrassing story . . . being a photographer kind of just happened for me. I didn’t know that this is what I wanted when I was 12 like other amazing photographers. Truth be told, when I got married, I fell in love with the photography part of the day—I felt a spark. So I took our gift money, headed to our local BestBuy and purchased a $400 Nikon D3100 and my business began. I booked my first wedding a week later after I shot my friend’s kids at a park, with no second shooting experience—well, no experience at all. I shot this couple’s wedding on a cropped-frame sensor, in auto, with a kit lens and are you ready . . . I edited their entire gallery on PHOTOBUCKET! My couple LOVED their wedding images. They recommended me to everyone they knew and I booked 19 weddings off of that one wedding alone. I went on to buy a full-frame camera, learned how to shoot in manual from the best teacher in the world—YouTube—and kissed PicMonkey + Photobucket goodbye. That spark turned into a flame, and once I found film, it burst into a wildfire. So, here is this nobody who taught herself all she knows who wanted to shoot film! I had so much  fear, doubt and thought that because I had no background in photography, I wasn’t good enough. What a bunch of poop! I finally said, what the heck, and bought a #NikonF6, then upgraded to the #Pentax645 and eventually ended up with a #Contax645. 📷 If you want to shoot film, DO IT! The only obstacle keeping you from doing something you love is yourself. I found my brand, my style and myself as a photographer because of film. Take a chance, you will surprise yourself!!! I know I did!

Getting rid of the safety net. Show of hands—does the idea of shooting only film give you the heebie jeebies? Leaving my digital camera behind was a major struggle in my film journey. I was using it as a safety net. And you know what? It was actually doing me more harm than good. Having my digital camera on me was a huge distraction and didn’t allow me to be fully present at my shoots. Once I left my digital camera behind, it was like the chains broke free and I could really connect with my clients. I started out slow—shooting only film at my editorials and eventually adding it into portrait sessions. Once I was confident in my film photography, I began utilizing it at weddings, first just documenting the details on film, and gradually adding more and more film shots into my work flow.

📷 on Fuji400H through a Contax645 in Virginia.

Would you hire yourself? When starting your own business, it is easy to be, well, a bit all over the place when trying to find your style. I remember shooting one session and editing every picture differently—one image was really vibrant, another desaturated. I was having fun and thought that I was being versatile, but in reality, I was not attracting my ideal clients or *any* clients for that matter. And I asked myself, “Would I hire myself?” My answer was a big fat NO. I was having a really hard time finding my style, until I saw an image that made me gasp. I loved its “light and airy” feel, and it had that awesome painterly effect. I knew right away that I wanted my work to look like that! Low and behold, I found out it was a film image, and in that moment, I found my style and brand. Staying consistent is key. Whether you are “light and airy” or more moody, you need to stick with that look. Don’t confuse your potential clients. Show them what look they will receive. Don’t leave them wondering.

📷 on Fuji400H through a Contax645 in Virginia.

Will work for Love Stories! When you look at your work, what is the first word that comes to your mind? For me, it was “romantic.” I knew I wanted my images to scream romance—I adore those intimate, tender shots and tend to produce those types of images. I am not a traditional “look at me and smile” photographer. Though I still document traditional portraits for my couples, I want to make them feel the romance when they look at these images and not just see a pretty photo. Film has helped me achieve that romantic look I wanted. It has helped me be more intimate, to slow down and connect with my couples, so I can capture them in that perfect moment. ❤

📷 on Fuji400H through a Contax645 in Virginia.

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More than just a photograph! I never had the pleasure of meeting my Grandmother—she passed away before I was born. I remember as a little girl looking at these black and white photographs adorned in beautiful antique silver frames. The image I was drawn to the most was of my beautiful dark-haired Grandmother on her wedding day. I would stare at her and wonder what she was like, if I favored her or if we had similar traits. I would let the stories I heard about her play in my mind like a movie—one where she was alive and I knew her. This image means so much to me, it is more than just a photograph. These photographs are my visual heirlooms—and they inspire me to create authentic, timeless images for my couples. I don’t want to be “just a photographer” to my clients, I want to preserve their memories, tell their stories and keep them alive—who knows who will be staring at these images in the years to come!  

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Let’s be real! Who out there loves photographing styled shoots? 🙋 I love styled shoots and I would shoot one almost everyday—if I wouldn’t go bankrupt. Styled shoots are amazing! They have led me to  meet so many amazing creatives that I would have never met otherwise. They allow me to be creative, to grow and to push myself to be a better photographer. When documenting a wedding, it can often feel like a styled shoot, but we have to remember, this is a real wedding, and the skills you use during a styled shoot can easily be applied. I love to use a photojournalistic style to document a wedding’s details and add that editorial touch—however, I must keep it real.😎 I am hired to capture couple’s stories, their unguarded moments and their real emotions.

📷 on Fuji400H through a Contax645 in Virginia.

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Shoot To Tell A Story: We all know the saying “less is more.” Well, it rings true for me. When I first started out, I would add so many styling details—I would spend 30 minutes on ring shots alone, or make my couples walk miles and miles at their venue for all these different locations. By the end of the day I would end up losing what was important . . . their story. When you arrive on the wedding day, you should know your couple’s story. Before I hit the shutter, I always ask myself, “Does this tell their story? Does this make sense?” Film has truly helped me to slow down, to take more time to ask these questions, preventing me from becoming trigger happy and forcing me to be intentional with every frame. I may photograph less throughout the day, but I deliver quality over quantity and my couple’s images tell their story and flow beautifully.

📷 on Fuji400H through a Contax645 in Maui, Hawaii.

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Being Frugal . . . I mean, a Hybrid Photographer. Roses are red, Violets are blue, Film is expensive, You know it’s true. I had to learn the hard way to be frugal with my film. When your friends from PV call you saying they couldn’t process your order because your card was declined, well, that's when you realize you're not getting paid to shoot film, you're paying your clients for your addiction. Film is my addiction, and a little piece of me dies inside if I can’t shoot it—however, I can’t afford to be a “film-only photographer.” I am so jelly of you who can, but for me, being a hybrid photographer works best for my business at this time, and that’s okay! On the wedding day, I photograph the details, getting ready and formals strictly on film. I photograph one roll during the ceremony for my social media outlets—plus it helps me match my digital images to my scans. And I will only shoot film at the reception if light allows it. Being a hybrid photographer is more cost-efficient, plus the challenges of the wedding day weather and light may rule out film all together.

📷 on Fuji400H through a Contax645 in Savannah, Georgia.

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It Takes Two to Tango . . . “Whatever she wants.” I hear these 3 words way too much on a wedding day. Yes, I want to make my bride as happy as possible, I want to make her feel special and let her know it’s her day. However, she isn't marrying herself! Don’t forget about your groom. The Groom’s details and portraits are some of my all-time favorite shots. I love seeing what little details he may have, details that would not have been documented if I hadn't requested an extra 15 minutes on the timeline for these simple shots that are always a crowd pleaser. 🤵

📷 on Fuji400H through a Contax645 in Virginia.

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The Green-Eyed Monster One of my biggest struggles was comparing myself to other film photographers. I know I am not the only one in this industry who has to fight that Green-Eyed Monster on a regular basis. Social media is a blessing and a curse. It’s so easy to get sucked in by another photographer's success and question your own self worth simply by viewing their feed. The “I wants” and the “I wishes” take over, and then sadness and defeat creep in, making you want to just give up, because you think there is no way you could ever be as good as them. Stop this negative way of thinking! Overcome your fear and doubt and focus on your victories instead of your failures! 👍

📷 on Fuji400H through a Contax645 in Tenessee.

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Overcoming the Green-Eyed Monster Once I stopped comparing myself to other wedding photographers, and focused on why it was I wanted to be a wedding photographer in the first place, I overcame the Green-Eyed Monster and my business began to thrive. Once I did this, I realized that while my success may not be like others’, it is my own, and I am successful. I may be a small fish in a big pond, but I am able to do what I love full time—pay my bills, travel and be my own boss. Just remember, there is always going to be someone better than you! Allow others to inspire you, but don’t compare yourself to them. And remember to “just keep swimming!” 🐟

📷 on Fuji400H through a Contax645 in New York.

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Always Stay Humble + Kind Being a creative and your own boss can, at times, be very lonely. When I first started my business, I remember reaching out to other photographers for help or advice. But often times, I wouldn’t even get a response, and if I did, the photographer was cold to me. Because of this, I choose to stay out of most photography groups because I found other professionals making fun of new and seasoned photographers. I felt like I was back in high school, hoping to sit with the cool kids during lunch. So I kept searching until I found like-minded creatives who build me up, instead of tearing me down. These awesome relationships led me to start mentoring and hosting workshops, because I wanted to create safe spaces for photographers to grow together in this industry. I love helping others so they can learn from my past mistakes. If you're interested in attending one of my future workshops, PV is a regular sponsor—follow me @nicolecolwellphotography for upcoming dates.

I hope you all enjoyed following along this week! Remember, you are unique and your photography is unique. There is no one like you! 😘

📷 on Fuji400H through a Contax645 in Maui, Hawaii.

Sarah Kate

PhotoVision Team

Film came to me at a really good point in my career. I was starting to burn out as a wedding photographer, shooting over 40 weddings a year, and I just wanted to get back to my original passion—the art of photography. I saw film as that catalyst. And the best part? It worked. I had shot 35mm in the past, but never medium format. And I just fell in love with it. Film is honest and it helps keep you honest. Film requires you to be intentional and it has a nearly 3-D quality I love. Returning to film definitely reignited my passion for the art of photography and my business.

📷 on #fuji400h with a #contax645 in Colorado.⠀⁠

@sarahkatephoto Takeover Day 1: My first photography hero was #AnselAdams. As a young girl, I remember my mom driving me 2.5 hours away to see his prints in person. My mom always had a nice camera and lens she used to document our family. I probably became a photographer because of her. I always saw a difference between her pictures and my friends’ moms’ pictures, and it led me to realize if you have a discernable eye and solid equipment, you can better control the outcome. Growing up, my dad ran his own business. Watching him made me the kind of business owner I am—client-focused and hardworking. I’m passionate about caring for my clients. I’ll unpack just how I do this over the next few days.

📷 on #fuji400h with a #contax645 in Lake Como, Italy.⠀⁠

I am consistently inspired by my friend, @erichmcvey. Erich inspires me not only with his work, but with his humility and attitude toward business. One thing that he and I agree on is that if someone is willing to pay your price, be willing to give them your time and respect, even if it’s not your dream wedding aesthetic. You never know what may come from it. I have built a strong business just by taking the opportunities I’ve been given. Yes, consider what’s right for your family and finances, but you may miss wonderful opportunities that help you grow professionally and artistically if you pass up a job simply because it does not match your “aesthetic” or your perceived “timeline” or what you “think” you deserve as a professional photographer. 

📷 on #fuji400h with a #contax645 in California.⠀⁠

@sarahkatephoto Takeover Day 1: My goal as a photographer is to provide my clients with a premier experience with my brand. Not necessarily with gifts and cards, although those are very nice, but old fashioned customer service. Exceeding your client’s expectations is the easiest way to grow a business. It seems so simple, but it’s so true. The client’s experience is vital because if they feel cared for, they will remember you and tell their friends and family about you and the wonderful service you provided.  In my experience, the most powerful referrals a bride gets are the ones from her friends who have been happy with their wedding vendors.

📷 on #fuji400h with a #contax645 in Texas.⠀⁠

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A wedding is like a huge puzzle. And you, as a photographer, have to realize you are just one part of that puzzle. Although you are a VERY important part, it’s important to remember that it takes a team to pull off a wedding. You are ultimately all working for the couple and a cohesive team gives them a better experience overall. Be humble, try to do a great job and have respect for all of the creative partners involved. This will help you become a business owner who is respected, trusted and referred over and over.

📷 on #fuji400h with a #contax645 in Napa Valley, California.⠀⁠

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I love to give vendors photos before they ask. Seriously. This is huge! I’ll do this by creating a Highlights folder on the #PixieSet gallery and sending the folder to the wedding coordinator, florist, HMUA, the venue and other key people. Why? Because they deserve these images just as much as I do. They worked just as hard at making that wedding happen. It’s really frustrating for vendors to have to hunt you down for images. I had one wedding coordinator tell me that in all her 20 years of business, I was the only photographer who ever gave her images before she asked. It shows you care, it shows you respect and appreciate them. Give good customer service to the bride, but also to the vendors who work so hard. Surprise them and they will remember you. I promise. 

📷 on #fuji400h with a #contax645.⠀⁠

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I’ve booked weddings purely on the fact that I answered a client’s inquiry before any other photographer. Being a successful photographer is not just about being a good artist, it’s about being a good businessperson. You can send your clients a beautiful, curated gift in the mail or a handwritten note, but if you don’t answer their emails or phone calls in a timely manner, they’re not going to feel taken care of. Be smart and thoughtful about your customer service. For example, I don’t charge to retouch one photo that only takes me 1-2 minutes. While you should set clear expectations for larger edits and not give your time away, being helpful and efficient goes a long way.

📷 on #fuji400h with a #contax645 in Mexico.⠀⁠

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If you can develop a reputation of having great work and great business practices, your business can grow simply by word of mouth. I keep my clients and other vendors happy, and word travels fast. This shoot was for @GirlandaSeriousDream’s 2017 lookbook. Anita of #GirlandaSeriousDream originally saw my work because I photographed one of her first “real” brides. I contacted her to put together a styled shoot just for fun, and Anita sent all her luxury robes, cover ups and veils to use because she loved the work she saw from the real wedding. I shot in my all white, minimal home studio @thebelmontstudio and Anita loved the outcome so much, she asked me to shoot her lookbook. 

📷 on #fuji400h with a #contax645 in Texas.⠀⁠

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Being married to another wedding photographer (shout out to my hubby, @joshua_aull) has allowed us to travel the world together. I could not imagine a better life. We were both in Thailand for a wedding and decided to visit Cambodia and Vietnam as well. At Angkor Wat in Cambodia, we came upon this monk, standing in this hallway. He spoke no English, so I asked our guide if it would be appropriate to ask him if I could take his picture. The guide said yes, and through gestures only, I learned the monk was up for it. He allowed time for one frame before he walked away, excited and smiling (I guess he wasn’t up for a full photoshoot, ha!). I love the look on his face. He looks so content. And I love the way the orange reflects onto one of the columns. Great business opportunities can lead to even better personal opportunities!

📷 on #fuji400h with a #contax645 in Cambodia.⠀⁠

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Always be a student of photography. Your experience + knowledge can save your clients’ photos if you find yourself in a tricky situation . . . ahem, such as forgetting your light meter at home when you’re shooting in crazy light! This engagement session is an all-time favorite, but I had to shoot it without a meter. Because I’ve been shooting manually for so long, I just relied on my experience and trusted myself. It came out amazing!

📷 on #fuji400h with a #contax645 in Dallas, Texas.⠀

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Comparing yourself to others is detrimental, although it’s hard not to do when Instagram and Facebook are so easily accessible. There was a long period of time as a photographer that I didn't look at anyone’s work (before @Instagram, ha). I just did what I did and developed my own style that was natural to me. I saw other photographers’ work, but I didn’t try to emulate them. Early on, I was determined to focus on my market in Dallas and the style I liked. Try not to focus on others and avoid the spiral of self-doubt and insecurity. Instead of trying to copy the people you admire, try to figure out what it is that you like about their work (i.e. lighting, posing, film stock, etc.) and use that as inspiration to set yourself apart.  

📷 on #fuji400h with a #contax645 in California.⠀

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You have to work really hard to become a successful photographer. It doesn’t always come easy. I’ve worked extremely hard to build what I have. Don’t be anxious to make a big name for yourself, it’s a process! Ultimately, this is a business. This is how I pay my mortgage. This is my livelihood. I set expectations for my clients, and I deliver on those expectations with a smile. Work hard. Appreciate every client, even if they are a pain in the butt. This image reminds me of #RaffaeloMonti’s “Veiled Lady” sculpture and others like it I have seen in Paris and Florence.  Although my images may not be in the Louvre, I do hope to leave a legacy of quality, honesty and good ol’ hard work!

📷 on #fuji400h with a #contax645 in Dallas, Texas.⠀