Category: Blog Posts

“But I need to loose weight first” {Atlanta Georgia photographer}

“I really want to schedule a family session, But I need to loose weight first.”

I have run out of responses to this. And it has quickly become one of my least favorite things to talk to clients about. I get it. You figure that if you are going to go to all the trouble of coordinating outfits, pep talking dad through it, planning, scheduling, and paying a good chunk of money for this experience then by golly— you are going to look your best!

But what if your best is just you.

Sincerely and authentically you.

Right now. In whatever season of life you are in. With or without those extra pounds from baby weight or post holiday weight or just what I call “funk weight”.

I’m in a funk, and I’ve gained a little extra squish.

Find your best current self, hold your family near, and say cheese.

It is in this liberating ownership of yourself that we find the real reason we are taking pictures at all. To capture the relationships during this once in a lifetime season you are in. Your life is ever changing at a rapid pace. Photography is such a gift for us. I would die if I couldn’t look back and reminisce when my babies were so tiny.

Think about maternity sessions. Women at possibly their heaviest weight in their life so far, and we are embracing pictures of them. It’s sincere and authentic. It’s GIANT proof of the relationship between mommy and her baby as they are one. We love those BIG ROUND GIANT bellies – you know,  the ones that hold another life inside there. Amazing.

And so off with those “I’m too fat for pictures right now” statements. You wait and wait and wait and pretty soon it’s been years since you had a family photo. I’m just saying that if you were to die tomorrow – I don’t hear your kiddos saying “I can’t believe mom didn’t wait to have these taken till she shed that last 20 pounds” . They would be so thankful that they had them at all! We should be more proud of each season of life, Moms. And I am not going to leave out Dads because I have heard this same statement from them too.

I have come far from my self destructive eating disorder in middle school to understanding that people are so beautiful. Just as they are. And the MOST beautiful people are the ones who love themselves for where they are right now.

This weekend our church had a special multi-congregational conference.  The talks were all on the importance of  families. The last talk was about family history and photography. Clearly, I perked up. Our church is very advocating when it comes to preserving our family history and sharing our ancestors stories. He challenged us to share more with our children. To post our family photos to our church database- Family Search. Because I believe in God, and a pre-existence and an afterlife it made me really think. You know how you look back at family trips you have taken and the pictures are so deeply meaningful? I am convinced that we will be able to look back at our photos after we die and are resurrected. We will cherish those moments during our earthly trip. We will want to look over and reminisce of this small sliver of time where we were sent here to be tested, gain a body, a family and have JOY.

Men are that they may have joy. 2 Nephi 2:25

I’m pretty sure people still think I photoshopped this. But alas. Nope. Best basketball belly ever.

Days before delivering my 4th.

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till next Tues,

 

Taisley

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Tues Talk with Taisley: Quality not Quantity {Atlanta Photographer}

Because if you haven’t, it’s a MUST.
Then you can take every suggestion from it and apply it to your picture taking regime.
It might sound weird coming from a photographer, but I am here to tell ya LESS IS MORE.
It’s about Quality and not Quantity.
Picture your kids 10, 15, 20 years from now. Culling through ALL our digital images. OH MY STARS it makes my head spin. BUT isn’t it a blessing that we can take LITERALLY take infinite amounts of pictures with little to none implications? “Space is cheap” when it comes to digital image storage right?
*sigh*
I’m here to tell you that your kiddos will NOT want to cull through years and years of redundant images from our cell phones/DSLR cameras etc. They will want to be able to see quality life moments. They will want to ENJOY looking at them instead of grunting.. “Come on! Get to the good stuff!”
You might argue and say that you are doing a favor letting your KIDS decide which images to keep or throw away. No, my friend. That is no favor. The way we keep our images tells a story. The very order we view them in tells a story doesn’t it? I promise they will appreciate your carefully thought out and weighed appreciation for each image you INTENTIONALLY keep. Here kids.. THIS. THIS is something I WANT you to see, feel, remember. I kept these special ones and ONLY these because they are THIS important. They won’t even miss the 15 “takes” it took to get that ONE shot.
As a photographer I totally OVERSHOOT. You betcha. But I am getting better at limiting my shutter happy pointer finger. Next time you are shooting take a second to think about if you were using film. Would you slow down the horse? Measure the composition of that shot a little better? Wait for that PERFECT second when those dimples have peaked? And if you do happen to take a whole slew of them…. then consider a “daily delete”. This is something I learned from the wonderful Becky Higgins. Every night she goes back through her iphone shots and keeps the goodies. I sure adore her. I actually met her at Creating Keepsakes University years ago.
She inspires me to be more intentional with…. well, everything in life.
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And since we are going back in time for a second… I know you were wondering if I graduated. Yes, yes I did.
 
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So ask yourself these questions the next time you want to take a picture.
Who is this picture for?
What am I going to DO with this picture?
Of the 10 I just took WHICH one makes the “social media” cut?
Why am I keeping the rest?
Which one is the most meaningful?
Why do I even want to remember this moment in the first place?
Is this a screenshot worth saving?
WILL MY KIDS FIND VALUE IN THIS PICTURE YEARS FROM NOW?
-Till Next Tues,
Taisley

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Everything I ever needed to know to be a wedding photographer I learned from the stage. {Atlanta wedding photographer}

Everything I ever needed to know to be a wedding photographer I learned from the stage.

People often ask me if I have always wanted to be a wedding photographer and the answer is no – I did not always dream of becoming a wedding photographer. In fact I never thought once about it till I was half grown up, married, and had kiddos of my own.

When I was a youngin’ I dreamt of becoming a star. I loved music dance and theater all equally and trained for such. The opportunities were at my doorstep and you know what would be, just… the BEST? BROADWAY. That seemed like the ultimate to my young dreaming heart. I spent many hours after school at my dance studio studying every genre of dance from ballet to tap, jazz, hip-hop and more. I performed in a local studio company. I had a private vocal coach and I spent five years in various ensemble roles at a regional theater in Southern Utah. I traveled with various honor choirs and eventually taught piano voice and musical theater privately and at a studio.

And since you asked… My most favorite production I got to be apart of? Well that’s easy. It was Peter Pan my SR year at Dixie High School. I played Wendy. I got to fly. Like in a harness and all. And of course I have a picture to prove it.

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My high school theater program was kind of a big deal and it was actually cool for the football team to come moonlight as pirates when they weren’t on the field. Mr Saxton was a jewel and had an absolute talent for bringing 10 million elements together for opening night. They built a brand new state of the art theater for him and Peter Pan was its debut. It was a party.peter-pan-1132

ANYWAY.

I was a decent enough performer…not sure I would have made it Broadway or not but I loooved it and it brought me so much joy.

But my dreams changed. Something to do with a handsome man I married right out of high school and as our dreams merged into 4 beautiful children my energy and aspirations turned to them. Everything about them was new and exciting and fascinating. I was trying to soak up every last detail because as I blinked that silly thing named TIME …. it skipped! I started taking pictures almost in desperation as if I could somehow make peace with these fleeting moments if I could make sure I had a picture to remind me of all the wonderful things I felt spending time with my family.

I fell in love with photography fast. I bought myself a fancy camera and I went to school and learned the art of portrait taking at trial and error Experience University. As my business and clientele grew I dabbled in it all. Newborn, fashion, product, family- you name it. I have realized that I can not possibly specialize extensively in every genre but what I really REALLY love the most… if I HAD to choose… is shooting weddings.

And shooting weddings are a lot like the theater, really.

You better believe there are butterfly’s and nervous excitement as I prep for a wedding. To calm my nerves I go over my “lines” to make sure I am prepared for the unexpected. You see, weddings are a giant AD LIB. I remember so vividly one of my acting coaches- Mr. Hill. He would give us the most horribly awkward random scenarios to which we would have to “work through” with a scene partner. I can handle ANYthing folks! and at weddings? you need that skill.

There are many many months of prepping for a show to be ready to take the stage. As is true with weddings. Like some people plan their wedding for a YEAR AND A HALF!  But when the lights dim and it’s time for that gorgeous primadonna to be escorted down the isle there is no time for re-dos. We are live. The set, the flowers, the music, the food, the wardrobe changes- It’s all been meticulously blocked out and now we have an audience. No more dress rehearsal. It’s imperative to work side by side with the techies behind the scenes because…above all and always….   the show must go on!

See what I did there?

But really. A wedding photographer has got to be  likeable but professional. Creative but classic. Energetic but calm. All things one must learn when auditioning for a role. A wedding photographer must “sell” herself because there isn’t a single photographer on the planet who will create the work she is about to create.

If I am feeling blue or sick or distracted , busy or overwhelmed at home, a wedding photographer puts all that aside to perform. And sometimes- it’s the best escape.

One must be fit. Wedding days are NOT STOP choreography for the wedding photographer. There will be many a plie-Arabesques and some rockin coupé jeté’s { I had to throw that in there because those used to be my favorite} and I am just positive that I have yet to shoot a wedding that didn’t have a series of leaps. Like literally. Jumping over people. or kiddos.. or something. I come home with swollen and sore feet… which reminds me an awful lot of those pointe shoes.

The MOST IMPORTANT PART of the show is connecting with your audience. A wedding photographer must make sure the images that are delivered are making a connection with the happy couple who views them after the show closes. This is that moment. This is where I hope that the screenplay we have written together was a hit. I have delivered successfully when there is much reminiscing with applause and even an encore.

The thing with music, dance, and theater is that when it’s done right,  it provokes emotion. It makes you sit back and think. It makes you FEEL.
Wedding photography is the same way.

I absolutely adore being a wedding photographer. I love being a part of such an important production in your life. Your wedding day. Hopefully it will be your favorite role you ever play!

Now, Let’s go break a leg!

-Taisley

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Avignon, The Vaucluse. South-east France.

Avignon!! This place is incredible!!

We had just the loveliest lunch. Except Warren tried his first sardine. EWE. As you can tell. The architecture guys. It was somethin.

Villefranche de Conflent and the Canalettes

More France!

This darling little town was called Villefranche de Conflent. I think it would be so convenient to have your whole life encircled by castle walls. Your village shop, baker, butcher, shoe maker, church, school.. etc… Course I say that now, but I bet I would have been one of those runaway teens who would have wanted to see beyond the castle walls.

And then there was this amazing cave! Anyone who knows me knows that I am not the cave type, but these were open and has stalactites and they had a really cool light/music show featuring them. I am amazed at what WATER can do over many many years.