Personal

Time to make Lemonade!

Sigh.  Yep, this entry starts with a sigh.  It happened.  One of the worst things that could happen to a photographer happened.  My hard drive crashed.  Oodles and oodles of pictures that I hadn’t gotten around to backing up… gone.  I’m not going lie, there were some sad little moments that involved tears, the many stages of grief, and definitely copious amounts of candy to help me through this sad, sad time in my life.  However, things started to look up when I realized I have some IT-savy friends who took pity on me and helped me save my beloved memories.  To say recovering “lost” files is a long process would be a great understatement.  While not all files made it, I believe most were saved.  While I’m happy that I got my files back, I’m also kind of happy this whole scary ordeal happened.  (I mean, everything is a life lesson if we allow it to be, right?)  I learned quite a few things from almost losing my work:

Back up regularly.

I know.  This is the biggest no-brainer of all time.  However, it’s so easy to get lazy and think things will be fine until “next time.”  I’m not great with “next time.”

Candy saves lives.

Seriously, candy just makes me happy.  Sugary candy.  Not that chocolate stuff.  My teeth (and dentist) probably hate me, but my inner seven-year-old is the happiest camper when that sweet, sweet sugary goodness is in my system.  No judging.  (This also may not have been a lesson, per se.)

Don’t panic.

Okay, maaaaybe I panicked a little bit initially.  However, things turned out okay in the end.  All that time wasted worrying and chastising myself for not backing up my work (albeit warranted) was time I could have spent playing with my dog, or napping, or candy-eating.

Remembering the past.

One of the coolest things that happened because of this whole ordeal was having to re-organize my photos.  The process in and of itself is in no way fun (at all), but it’s so much fun looking over old shoots and remembering details of the day.  It also gave me a chance to look over pictures that I didn’t initially like (for whatever reason), but now love.  Weird how that happens.  I guess that like enjoying a food as an adult that you hated as a child.  (Vegetables not included.  I still hate those.  My inner seven-year-old is strong.)

Be your own inspiration.

I’m always nervous before a shoot.  At least a little.  Always.  I’m a bit of a worrier.  However, I always go through my work and have at least a few images that make me feel like I’ve set my own bar for myself higher.  That’s an awesome feeling and very reaffirming.  Sometimes, it’s great to be your own motivator and push past your own boundaries.

Sharing is caring.

Sometimes I forget to share.  Each shoot is so different, and so much work goes into the behind the scenes, I just forget to update everything.  (Bad, Brianna.)  However, the “likes”, “+1s”, “retweets”, “shares”, etc. feels wonderful.  Not in a “I’m super cool because a billion people acknowledged my stuff” sort of way; but in an “awesome, I just connected with someone else” kind of way.  It’s like a little cyber pat on the back.  (And who doesn’t like a pat on the back?!)

 

Speaking of sharing… below are some couples that I got to photograph in 2012.  Doesn’t feel like it was that long ago.  Fun days.  Awesome people.  Great memories. =)

It’s Okay to Make Mistakes

Okay, friends, I’m going to get a little personal here–because I think it will strike a chord with others.  Picture posts will resume soon, I promise.

While I was still shooting here and there, I purposefully needed to step back from the business side of things for a bit. I was noticing that as time went on, I was feeling more and more anxious about certain aspects in what I was doing with Brianna Danylle Photography. I needed to step back, take a breather, and really reassess things. Ultimately I realized I was slowly deviating from what I wanted to do in order to follow the paths of others. Well that’s not good!

Here’s the thing, I love photography… but it’s still a business. There is a lot to learn about running your own business, marketing, planning, etc.. Now there’s nothing inherently bad about any of those things—in fact I find them fun. The problem I ran into was of me employing strategies that worked for others, but wasn’t necessarily the best for me based on my objectives and goals. Trial and error, my friends.

The beauty about these little bumps in the road is that they serve as reminders. For me, specifically, I learned that I need to take a step back every so often in order to make sure I’m forging my own path (with the help of others) rather than accidentally following the path of others. Trust in oneself is powerful and it’s okay to make mistakes along the way.  I repeat: it’s okay to make mistakes along the way. =)

That said, I’m looking forward to what the future holds and I hope you all stay encouraged, too!

Volunteering + Photography + Shelter Animals = A FANTASTIC Saturday!

When an animal is brought in to an animal shelter, a picture is taken of him/her and an info card is made for that animal.  That picture goes on the shelter’s website as well as the outside of the kennel when it lives.  However, because the picture is taken when the animal enters the shelter, the animal pictured on the shelter’s website may be less than ideal.  The animal may be dirty, scared, and/or have matted fur from neglect.  Needless to say, the image that is posted online may not be the best representation of the dog’s normal state.  I’ve teamed up with other wonderful photographer volunteers to visit the West Valley Animal Shelter and re-photograph animals so they have a better chance at getting adopted.  Being able to take the animal outside and let him/her run around for a while and then photograph him/her allows the animal the opportunity to have a picture that is more reflective of his/her personality.  Priority updates are given to the older animals who have been in the shelter for a while in hopes that the updated picture will help them get a new forever home.  For more animals in need of a home, please check out the West Valley Animal Shelter website: here.  These pictures also go to Shelter Me.  Interested in helping?  See the Shelter Me poster at the bottom of this post. =)

Meet Sydney

Sydney

Sydney is the first dog I met at the shelter.  She was super friendly from the very beginning and liked to play.  She enjoyed attention, getting pet, and had a soft coat.  Don’t be fooled by her age, she was still pretty spunky and oh so adorable!

Interested in Sydney?  Click here to find out is she is still available!

 

Meet Comet

Comet

Comet did a little running around, but she seemed like she was far more interested in being a big lapdog!  She seems like the perfect addition for someone who wants a dog that can be playful, but who wouldn’t mind a big, soft, cuddle-dog!

Interested in Comet?  Click here to see if he’s still available!

 Meet Splash

Splash

Splash was so ready to chase after the toy ball when we took her out.  She was curious and very sweet!  She likes people and was happy to be the center of attention.

Interested in Splash?  Click here to see if he’s still available!

 

Want to get more involved?

20140104_West Valley Animal Shelter_0166

Beauty and Weight-loss Resolutions

As a photographer, I regularly use software like Photoshop to edit my photos.  I can remove pesky blemishes, hide gray hairs, and even make a person looks slimmer.  However, while powerful software like Photoshop can do amazing things to photos, I want to remind people that so much of what you see in print isn’t just slightly doctored–sometimes it’s downright fake.  While the act of extreme editing isn’t in and of itself bad. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with perfecting your image for your own personal use, right?  It is, however, dangerous when it’s done so rampantly and in so many media that the fictitious images become regarded as the “norm” which then propagates emulation.  No bueno.

What You See Isn’t What You Get: Model Before and After

dove

I love this video because it shows how even the model didn’t look like the final product of the image.  In fairness, this video was created to aid in effort to make people aware that the image was seriously transformed.

Am I anti-editing?  Absolutely not!  I just came across this video and I wanted to share it since the beginning of the year means LOTS of resolutions about losing weight and getting fit.  There’s being healthy and then there’s striving for unattainable goals.  Be careful, lovlies.  More importantly, love you’re body as is while you’re on your journey to what you want it to become.  Especially if you never reach how you think it should look.  Kudos to Verily Magazine for being responsible with their ads. =)

Dove-real-beauty-campaign

I love that Dove has taken a stance on the issue beauty and is actively publicizing their message.  I’m sure I’m not the only one who has seen their “Real Beauty” campaign.  It’s refreshing to not only see women of different sizes represented, but to also see the word “beauty” juxtaposed the image.  Progress.  (My only complaint is that there are plenty of naturally thin women out there.  I do wish there were thin ladies in the picture, also.  Still, I see what they did there.)  Dove also came up with this ad to show how self-critical we can be of ourselves.

Final Thoughts

This is the time of year that lots of people create New Year’s resolutions (or at least goals of some sort), myself included.  As a photographer, I feel like I’m in an industry that can promote confidence or self-hatred.  However, I’m a big believer in the idea that people should love the skin their in–be in whatever state it’s in at the moment.

Basically, be yourself, love that self, and strive for your best.  What more could you want? =)  Have a wonderful 2014, everyone!

Five Apps I’m Obsessed with Right Now

Every now and then I remember that my smartphone is super powerful and capable of doing amazing things.  It’s during these little a-ha moments when I’m usually in the Google Play store, marveling at all of my options.  I’m like a kid in a candy store on a shopping spree!  SO… here’s what I’m obsessed with today.  (In no particular order.)…

 

1. Pocketbooth

Who wouldn’t want a photo booth on their phone?!  The camera is automocially the front-facing camera (at least for the Samsung Galaxy S4) and the images are in B&W.  The only slight negative part is the quickness of each picture.  There also isn’t a countdown or anything so you have to move quickly and be ready, fast!

2. Pinterest

Oh boy, Pinterest.  Pinterest is like a rabbit hole for me.  I go in with a little curiosity and end up spending over an hour in there, with a bazillion tabs open in Chrome.  Luckily, I can’t really do that on my phone.  (Well, at least not that I’m aware of anyway.)  Still, it’s easy to get carried away, even in the mobile version.  I can still pin and I can still search.  What a happy camper I am!  Fun way to spend some idle time, also.  =)

3. Diaro

I know a lot of people love Evernote, but for some reason, it just doesn’t do it for me.  I have it on my phone, but I rarely ever use it.  Diaro, however, meets my needs.  While it’s a diary app, I like that I can use it for whatever I want while also keeping it private.  That was important to me.  I use it keep track of ideas, plans, important things in life, etc.  I have a terribly memory so I wanted something that I could have on my phone that was easy to use for recall.  This obviously works well as a general personal diary, also.

4. Hardest Game Ever 2

The addictive quality of this game is just insane.  It is seemingly simple, yet each level usually has me yelling at my phone. =)  Each game is very quick, but you have to complete the task in order to unlock the next task.  The objectives are fast-paced and sometimes very silly.  You’d be surprised at how tense you can get while playing.  I would advise playing when you have a lot of time on your hands though, because the time will fly!

5. Zombies, Run!

Let me start out by saying this: I hate running.  Hate it!  However, I always see things I hate as an opportunity to embrace it in some way.  A few years ago I channeled my I-hate-running feelings into training for a half-marathon.  My goal is just to finish the race and not give up along the course.  Did I finish?  Yes, I did!  Proudest medal I’ve earned to date, too, by the way!  Did it change my attitude for running?  Absolutely!  It never quite turned into a love for running, and I definitely didn’t hate it, and I enjoyed seeing how far I could go.  After the race,  got injured, and I had to stop running.  Trying to get back into the groove of things, I found the Zombies, Run app.  Love it.  There is a story line and definite incentive to keep going.  I can listen to music while running and as things happen during my run, the notifications will interrupt my music.  So fun.  =)

fav apps page