Saturday, May 29, 2010

Business Decisions

I have had a better week and have decided to carry on in business as I had planned.

I have thought a lot about my options and what I want.

My realizations are as follows:

I love photography. I have always loved photography. I want to never stop loving photography. In my pursuit of learning, I have encountered so many frustrations that sometimes I have wanted to stop, but I have carried on.

However, I am easily overwhelmed. I don't deal with stress well. I know this about myself and I need to live accordingly. I can't allow stress to be the straw that breaks the photographer's back. Therefore, I cannot allow sharing my photography to become one of the things that overwhelms me. I have to stick to my guns, and do this in a manageable way, or I am not going to be able to share.

I also cannot take on more than I can guarantee my health will handle. We still do not have a diagnosis, and I am still in pursuit of one.

I have been doing photography for quite some time, and I have always done it for free. I believe that people should not pay me in order for me to learn. So I have never charged. And I have turned away a lot of requests for photos.

As I have grown, so have the requests for my images. And because I know the value of having beautiful memories, it always pained me to say no. But I can only spend so much time away from my family without compensation. And to be honest, the more I know, the more time it takes.

What I want to do with Molly Alisa Photography is to turn less people away. I want to be set up to take on people's sessions; I want to be prepared to deal with business. I have been working on this for months.

  • I have decided on how many sessions a month I will be taking on. They will be filled on a first-come first serve basis.

  • I will not be offering specials anymore after my Opening Special, which has been my compensation to the clients that are allowing me to practice aspects of business I could only practice after I began charging.

My goal is not to have a huge business. It is only to share. I love children, and I believe there is nothing more precious, fleeting, or beautiful. I am feeling the next step, even in my own growth, is to reach out--and help other families cherish these special people that will be grown in a blink.

I so much appreciate the support of everyone that reads my blog. Thank you for understanding my limitations!


A few more from Tuesday.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Last Night...

was wonderful fun.

There will be more.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Feeling Encouraged.

I am feeling encouraged this week.

It has been much better than last.

I have a maternity session tonight at 7:30. I am very excited.

I also have a little boy turning 4 tomorrow. So this is a good week to feel good!

We have wonderful adventures planned. I can't wait to share!!

Thank you so much for all of your emails and encouragement. I am very blessed by your support and love. I will keep you all updated as we know more. For now, I'm just happy to not be in the condition I was a week ago.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


I am sorry to announce that I am going to be taking a break from the blog and from the internet.

My health has not been okay since the surgery. I am searching for answers and trying to care for my family and home.

It looks like business will have to be put on hold as well.

I am really having a hard time with how much of my life I need to slow down while we work towards a diagnosis and healing.

I will still be checking my email, but I am stepping away from forums and the blog for awhile.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

The 18th Century

Matt has done reenactment since before I met him. This weekend, the kids went along for the first time.

They had a blast playing with the other kids there. Asa's grandpa bought him a toy sword, musket, and bow & arrow. My next project is to research period dolls and make one for Ellis so she has a special toy as well.

I have been missing them. I visited but it's not something that I stay for.

I sure do love my littles. I also hate the way Blogger makes my photos look. lol. I will probably be moving my blog again eventually.

Feel free to click on them if you want to see what they really look like. lol.

With Grandpa Bob:

Watching the soldiers march:

Brother and Sister Time:

Learning to shoot the bow:

Saturday, May 15, 2010


I have been so thrown off-guard by how sensitive my tongue is!! lol

I still can't talk without it causing extra pain. Eating & drinking are awful too.

I thought I'd be back to normal today, now I'm just hoping to be back in full swing by Thursday when I leave for Michigan. I will also have my stitches out that day. Very much looking forward to that.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Taking a Rest

The past two days, I have been resting.

On Thursday, I had minor surgery on my tongue. It ended up being a much bigger deal than I expected, and very painful. I can't really eat or talk. Matt is wonderful, and he has taken care of the kids almost 100%. Which is such a blessing. It's hard for me to respond to them when they ask questions, and probably even harder for them to understand me through my stitches. Haha.

While Matt has had to work, they have rested with me. So we have had some popcorn and movie time. And snuggles. Always love the snuggles.

I am working on saving up some money towards a new lens. There is a lens I've been wanting for almost a year. It is amazing. My dream lens. But it costs more than my first dSLR did. So it is something I have to work for. And then find, since it is no longer made. But it makes me happy even to write about it.

We have a full weekend ahead. Photoshoots, a baby shower, a reenactment, and hopefully some quality time with Uncle Kyle.

For tonight: it's time to work on my contracts and release forms.

More later.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My Big Boy

He got a hair cut. And he looks so grown up.

It's cold and rainy today. Nothing much to do but hang out inside.

I just love to watch them love each other. My sweet little duo.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Most Frustrating Part

For me, the most frustrating part of photography is color.

Hands down.

Today I am struggling with issues in RGB and sRGB and color profile conversion.

Nothing is working, which means the photos I share online don't look the same as they look in Photoshop.

If I'm going to spend twenty minutes editing a photo, I want the photo to look exactly like I intended it to look.

God bless you Michelle for helping me and being so patient with me!!! We'll get it figured out.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


I was thinking this morning, how blessed I am.

I may not have a lot; but I knew a women once who had everything money could buy, and she gave it all up to pursue what I have. Looking back on this recently put things in perspective for me.

On this Mothers' Day, I want to reflect on some of these blessings, in no particular order. How could I choose a "best"?

My Children They came faster than I expected, and take more energy than I ever could have prepared for; but I have learned so much from them already. They are my inspiration and my heart; so beautiful, and perfect just as God created them.

My Girls The girls I love and have watched on and off for over seven years now. They feel like my own babies, and I am so proud of the young women they are turning in to. Sweet, funny, loving, creative. They are great with my kids, too. I am excited to see where their lives take them; although I hope it is never too far away from me. :)

My Husband I said while we were dating that if I could have imagined the perfect man for me, I couldn't have imagined someone as perfect for me as Matt. He is my exact opposite, and a perfect fit. He balances me, and completes me. I can't imagine parenting, or living, without him.

My Mother There's just not a way for me to say how proud I am of my mother. She is thoughtful, loving, creative, brave, and adorable. She is a fairytale grandmother to my littles, and a pillar of my support system as I try to navigate motherhood myself.

My Father The first love of my life. I adore my father. He is a quiet man that loves his family, works hard, and gives his all. He is the best example of a genuinely good person that I have ever had in my life. He is not just smart, but wise--always full of good advice. He has a compassion for humanity that I have not seen many places and often confused me as a child; but now as an adult, I feel it is one of the most beautiful things about him.

My Brother When he was born, I told my mom, "I wanted a sister!" and ran to play with my cousin. But God knew what he was doing when He gave me a brother. Very few people see me as realistically as Kyle, and love me just the same. No one makes me laugh harder, or makes better food, or will eat a bag of Good & Plentys with me while playing Mario hour after hour. And even though I don't like beer, I've heard he makes some of the best.

My Friends When I was a lonely teenager, I used to pray that I would some day have many good friends. Real friends. Friends I could trust. And boy did God come through on that one. My friends are my backbone, they believe in me more than I believe in myself. They love me unconditionally, and don't judge. Some have beautiful children that they let me torture with my camera. Haha!

A Home It might not be a mansion, but it is a place where I feel safe and feel that my children are safe. A dry shelter when it rains, a warm shelter when it snows.

My Camera An SLR is something I dreamed of for so long, I was sure it would never come true. And now I have been able to work up to a camera I love so much it feels like my 3rd child. I do believe it is not the camera that makes the beautiful photos, but I also know I could not make the photos I make without a tool that would allow me to. I am so thankful for these tools, so I can continue to learn and not feel limited by my equipments, as I have so many times in the past.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


After ten years of learning, I am taking the plunge.

I am now officially taking on clients. My site will be live this weekend.

My Site!

I am sharing my opening special with my blog readers. I will also be handing out printed coupons. Let me know if you would like any to share with others. You can click on the coupon to see it larger.

I am an on-location, natural light only photographer. Meaning I do not do studio work, nor do I use a flash or artificial lighting of any kind.

I am also a Children's Photographer, and have chosen to only photograph children ages 1-12. This is where I am comfortable and confident, where I can guarantee my work will be its best.

I will not be able to offer more than two sessions a month at this time, but I am excited to finally share my love with others.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Good Enough

I feel like a lot of people settle.

I also feel like a lot of people don't understand my drive.

I don't want to settle for being good enough, I want to be amazing.

I am hard on myself, but I know amazing photographers that I only dream of living up to one day.

And if I continue to work and strive and look for what is wrong with my photos, and the answers for how to fix it, I will get there.

I want this for me.

I have written before about all that photography is to me. But the drive to get better at it is what keeps me going. I am never more frustrated than when I don't know where to go next; because I know, I have seen what photography can be.

I also know: I am not there yet.

I am okay with that. I am even excited by that, because I will continue learning. And I will continue looking for the beauty around me and then, the beauty in what I captured.

I don't really believe in perfect photography, because sometimes even a photo with a flaw can move me in a way that a perfect photo never could. I never expect my photography to be void of flaws, because life is full of them. I do plan to reach a place where I know exactly how to frame the photo to best convey my intentions to my "audience," and then to be able to look at a photo in Photoshop and know exactly what it needs in order to become the best that it can be.

I am very blessed to have wonderful equipment, but it can only take me so far.

I am finally getting some of my drive back, and some of my vision back, and this excites me.

A friend of mine was helping me with my editing today. Here are some examples of my photos straight from the camera and along the stages of editing. I don't know how much this interests other people, but I like to see the photos "grow."

Photo #1, Ellis at The Fountain

This photo was intentionally taken at an angle I rarely use. But I really wanted the water & her dress in the frame. I also wanted her eyes framed exactly this way.

My main regret with this photo: the edge of her dress was cut off.

But I couldn't throw it away.

The SOOC (Straight out of camera) is very blue. This isn't unheard of for Nikon. Often my SOOCs are blue when I don't use a gray card.

This is my first horrible edit, from last night. I was having a lot of color issues.

I started over tonight. I took a different route.

Finally, I color corrected, removed the orange casts from her face, added color to her dress and the water, cloned out the line in the cement, and burnt the edges. Personally, when I look at this final edit, it has a far bigger impact on me than the SOOC did, while still feeling natural.

Photo #2, Ellis at the Tree House

I'm going to be honest. This image I needed a ton of help with.

I had three different friends help me with this photo, over a course of six days, and just this evening do I feel really happy with it. This was worth it to me not only because I love the photo, but because I learned so many new things I can do with a photo that will add to the overall effect.

The colors were all over the place SOOC. I had to do spot work on this for a long time. I had patches of green, reflecting from the grass; and patches of magenta, especially on her finger tips.

I have an issue with preferring gray and flat images. I am working towards new expectations, and loving more depth in my work. Once I see it, I love it, but it is not where I head naturally.

I loved this first edit.

It was pointed out to me that the photo was very gray, and that I needed to warm it. I spent another 20 minutes on it tonight, learning to deepen the tones in the photo. In the end, I color corrected, fixed the reflected colors, deepened the green, darkened the background, warmed her skin, and burnt the edges.

I love the result.

I guess I'm just trying to jot down my thoughts. I learned a lot with these two photos. Which makes me happy, and makes me think.

I guess photography is like ballet in that the goal is to make it look easy. And also like ballet, after years of practice and training (your eye and your reflexes and your instincts) it becomes easier, even second nature, but I think there will always be frustrations, and weak points.

There will never be a shoot where every photo is beautiful, or even worth editing. But I hope there will be a day when I kick myself a lot less for making the mistakes that ruin a keeper; a day when I look at a photo and can see what it will be, a day I will know exactly where to take it and then make that happen.

But I am still learning. And happy to be so.

ETA: I rarely share my SOOCs. Now I feel a little naked. LOL!