Organizing Lightroom: How To Keep Family Photos Organized

When it comes to organizing Lightroom, I do the same thing over and over again.  One thing to note about organization is that it looks different for everyone and everyone has a different system that works for them.  Some people love creating collections and folders within Lightroom, but that has never been my thing.  So if you have a system that works for you, that is so wonderful!  If you need a little inspiration for organizing Lightroom simply, I will share what I do for an idea of what to consider.  To keep my family photos organized so that I can quickly print, share, blog, and make photo books with my images, I do one thing religiously.  And I do it both for personal family images and for client work.

For a complete guide on how I photograph my baby girl’s first year, be sure to read The First Twelve.  And to learn how I document our everyday moments between milestones, be sure to read The Everyday Photograph.

This post contains some affiliate links, which means I get a commission for items purchased through the link.  Thank you in advance for supporting my blog so I can continue inspiring you with new content.

Organizing Lightroom: How To Keep Family Photos Organized

Organizing Lightroom: How To Keep Family Photos Organized | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

Every year, on January 1st, I create a brand new Lightroom catalog.  To create a new catalog, you will simply open any catalog in Lightroom, click FILE, click NEW CATALOG, and there you go!  Once you do that you are prompted to name the catalog; I always name mine after the year, such as “2019.”  For me, this is how my brain works.  I think in terms of years.  When I need to locate a family photo, for some reason I always remember the year more than anything else, which makes it easy for me to quickly open the correct catalog and locate the desired image(s).  Yes, I totally know that Lightroom has a folder system that could make my organization even better, but I have never felt the need to utilize it.  In fact, I am going to try it out this year just to see how I like it…just so I can know if it could be worth the extra step.

So, why do I create a new catalog each year?  Aside from it being a simple way for me to locate images, there are many other reasons why I do this.

Makes Photo Book Making Effortless

At the end of each year, I make a family photo book and having separate Lightroom catalogs by year makes it really easy to choose images to place within the book.  Because my catalogs begin with January images and end with December images, it’s easy to export chronologically and quickly put them into a photo book to print.

Encourages Complete Editing

There is something to be said about a brand new, empty Lightroom catalog on January 1st.  It’s a chance to start over.  One thing I am really good at is keeping up with editing.  It’s not to say I have never fallen behind because Lord knows I have and will in the future.  But when I fall behind, I intentionally make time in my day to catch up.  It may take more than one sitting (more like a week’s worth), but I make sure to catch up.  I know this is a huge struggle for most and I totally understand.  Editing can be a stinker.  I think knowing how quickly editing can pile up has always encouraged me to stay on top of it and I always start the year off with the previous year’s images completely edited.

When color coding in Lightroom, I code my images PURPLE once they are completely edited, as it allows me to visually see what is edited and what still needs work.  (As you can see above, all the images are PURPLE, meaning they are in their final state and ready for print).  I think having a year’s worth of images at a time can encourage editing because it can help make editing a goal.  If you make it a goal to finish your previous year’s editing before starting the new year’s catalog, it’s amazing at how encouraging that can be.

Need help catching up with editing last year’s images or want to learn about how to be better with managing editing this year?  Be sure to read How To Catch Up On Editing Photos : 5 Habits That Make Editing Effortless.

It’s Just Safer

In my opinion, having a separate Lightroom catalog for each year is simply safer.  I am a firm believer in not putting all of my eggs in one basket, and the same goes with my images.  If the unimaginable happens and something happens to a Lightroom catalog, I would much rather lose one year’s worth of images than years and years worth.  Let’s be real, I would be devastated to lose even a single year, but it would truly be better than losing every single image I ever took.  For this reason, having several smaller Lightroom catalogs, organized by calendar year, makes more sense to me.

On a photography business note, I create a brand new Lightroom catalog for each session I take, naming the catalog the client’s last name, session type, month and year.  For example: Smith Newborn January 2019.  I start with the client’s last name so that I can easily locate the catalog in the future, should I need to use some of the images.  While I shared that I organize my personal images by year and my client images by last name, it’s because with clients I am more likely to remember their name than the year I photographed them.

If you are interested in taking clients and learning more about family photography, be sure to read The Family Photograph: Unlocking the Secrets To Successful Lifestyle Family Sessions.  And if you are interested in lifestyle newborn photography, you definitely need to check out The Ultimate Newborn Session Guide Bundle.

I know that organizing Lightroom can seem a little daunting and I know many have asked me to share my approach for image organization.  But that is truly it!  It is pretty simple and quick and I keep all of my images in Lightroom until I need to export them for a project.  If you are struggling with organizing Lightroom and keeping all of your photos edited, don’t stress about the past and just look forward.  It’s a new year and that means it is a great chance to start a new organization system that might work better this year.  Don’t let organizing Lightroom stress you out this year, you’ve got this!

To read more about our everyday to inspire your own everyday and photography, be sure to check out the posts that are trending below.

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Organizing Lightroom: How To Keep Family Photos Organized | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

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  • Catherine - Thank you for explaining this:)  I also like to label things by year and then by month but I do it in folders rather than catalogues so I may have to change this since it means everything is in the one spot.  I really struggle with the fact that I have all of my photos on my computer and now no space to store any more:(  Do you export yours somewhere else also?  And when your computer is getting full do you delete photos?  I would be really interested in your approach to photo storage:)ReplyCancel

    • {beth} a-dilly - Hello Catherine! I am definitely trying out the labeling this year and, since my catalogs are organized by year, I am going to label by month: event. Such as FEBRUARY: VALENTINES. Can’t wait to see if I like it! When it comes to photo storage, I never delete files. Here is a post I wrote about how I store photos to keep them safe http://bethadilly.com/the-ultimate-photo-storage-solution/. Enjoy!ReplyCancel

      • Catherine - Thank you for explaining that for me I do appreciate it:)  I will most definitely be getting a new storage system for backing up but what to do with my computer…. I have no more room for all of my gorgeous family pics:(ReplyCancel

        • {beth} a-dilly - You are so welcome! Happy to inspire and help! And yes, make room for more photos of your beautiful family!ReplyCancel

Valentines For Toddler Girls

If you have been following me for more than 3 minutes, you know that I love holidays.  And Valentine’s Day is one of my favorites because it is when my love story with my husband truly began.  It’s a special day for us and I can’t wait for the girls to be old enough to here all about our beginning days.  When thinking about Valentines for toddler girls (I have two toddlers now!), I focused more on what they need right now.  To be honest, toddlers like opening just about anything at this age so I tried to think of a couple items that would make the holiday fun, but be practically used.  If you need some Valentines for toddler girls, try thinking of some things that they truly need.  Below are a few ideas to get you started.

For a complete guide on how I photograph my baby girl’s first year, be sure to read The First Twelve.  And to learn how I document our everyday moments between milestones, be sure to read The Everyday Photograph.

This post contains some affiliate links, which means I get a commission for items purchased through the link.  Thank you in advance for supporting my blog so I can continue inspiring you with new content.

Valentines For Toddler Girls

Valentines For Toddler Girls | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

Our Valentine’s month has been really special.  The girls and I pulled out our Valentine’s box and decorated the playroom with heart garland and my oldest had a lot of fun putting hearts on the windows all by herself.  Every day, she sees all of the hearts and says, “Valen-times Day!”  It’s been really fun bringing out all of our Valentine’s Day books and watching her understand more about the holiday this year.  Our littlest, being just one year old, doesn’t know what’s going on but is definitely feeding off all of her sister’s excitement, making this month really sweet.  At one point, I looked over and found the baby completely decorated with Valentine’s stickers all over her clothes…courtesy of her oldest sister.  And to be even sweeter, they have loved playing with their felt hearts and passing them back and forth to one another, “giving Valentines.”

Valentines For Toddler Girls | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

As I do about every 3 months, I recently Marie Kondo’d the house.  One area that I really simplified was the girls’ kitchen cupboard that has all of their plates, cups, and bowls.  Everything in the cupboard had a really good run, and I decided it was time to simplify the space and replace their plates and bowls.  I got these plates and these bowls, that are easily stackable.  Plus, they look really nice and clean in the cupboard because everything matches.  I say all of this to say, in the girls’ Valentines boxes, they each got the matching spoons and forks that complete the place setting.  One got the spoons, the other the forks.  🙂

The girls can always use new pajamas, so I found some cute ballerina pajamas for my oldest who loves everything ballerina.  And for my littlest, I found some swan pajamas that were just too cute to leave at the store.  Pajamas are always a wonderful gift because they are something that are always being outgrown, especially when at the toddler age.  My goodness, it seems as if they grow during nap time!  Plus, introducing fun new prints is fun, as our oldest really likes making choices on what she wears and it’s a fun language building opportunity when she is picking out her pajamas.

To add a little more fun, we wear bows daily and we wear them hard!  Bows are always a good gift for the girls because they are used every day and it’s always fun to introduce new colors.  Our favorite bow shop sent the girls these bows for each of the girls’ Valentine boxes and they were the perfect item to complete their little gift.  Finally, a little stuffed unicorn for their playroom as a final bit of fun.

I like to keep Valentines simple, giving them enough to make it a fun day but not go too overboard.  I think focusing on needs really helped make their boxes practical, while making it a fun surprise for the girls.

Valentines For Toddler Girls | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

Valentines for Toddler Girls Source List

valentine boxes | can be purchased here

pink box filler | can be purchased here

ballerina pajamas  | can be purchased here

swan pajamas | can be purchased here

spoon set | can be purchased here

fork set | can be purchased here

matching plates | can be purchased here

matching bowls | can be purchased here

large hair bows | courtesy of cammi and co

small pigtail bow sets | courtesy of cammi and co

plush unicorn | similar item here

Putting together little Valentines for toddler girls has proven to be a lot of fun and I hope this helps inspire your gift giving in the future!  I hope your Valentine’s day is full of fun and love…and chocolate!

To read more about our everyday to inspire your own everyday and photography, be sure to check out the posts that are trending below.

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Valentines For Toddler Girls | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

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Timeless Photo Albums: Printing Photo Books For Your Children

My children are the reason why I pick up my camera.  Even before they were born and before I even knew them, I picked up my camera and documented our life for them.  Photographs are incredibly important and powerful to me.  Someone recently said that a story only lasts about 2 generations before it is forgotten and that made me so sad.  I want our children to know our story and I want their children to know our story.  I want my children’s children to see images of their parents when they were babies and to truly know who they were, at the beginning of their life.  It’s a gift I am giving my children, and my grandchildren.  While verbal stories can be forgotten easily, I think photographs retain stories that can be passed down from generation to generation.  Photos help to make a story timeless.  So when it comes to printing photos, I am passionate about creating timeless photo albums for our girls because I envision them showing their own children their story one day, through photographs.

For our children, they each receive an individual album of their first year.  This album begins with their first breath and ends at their first birthday, documenting each and every milestone throughout their first year.  I also print family yearbooks for my husband and I to keep, one for each year.  With our littlest turning one last month, I just printed her first year album and had goosebumps when it arrived in the mail.  It is everything that I hoped it would be.  Because I get many questions about photo printing and how I navigate photo book making, I am happy to share my process for creating timeless photo albums to inspire you to finally print your family photos.

For a complete guide on how I photograph my baby girl’s first year, be sure to read The First Twelve.  And to learn how I document our everyday moments between milestones, be sure to read The Everyday Photograph.

This post contains some affiliate links, which means I get a commission for items purchased through the link.  Thank you in advance for supporting my blog so I can continue inspiring you with new content.

Timeless Photo Albums: Printing Photo Books For Your Children

Timeless Photo Albums: Printing Photo Books For Your Children | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

Why I Chose This Book

For my daughter’s first year album, I chose to create a 100-page, hardcover photo book with a partial jacket.  I only use Artifact Uprising for photo books because their quality is above the rest and their ink is very accurate.  I spend so much time perfecting my white balance so it is really important to me that my photos print accurately.  While their photo books are an investment, it is an easy purchase for me and I will tell you why.

Each year, I end up with around 1,000 final, edited photos of my family.  And those are just the final images.  If I were to disclose the actual number of images I took of my family, it would be in the 30,000+ range.  I tell you this to give you an idea of how much time I invest in memory making for my family.  Those final 1,000 edited images are created with hours and hours of photographing, culling, editing and story making.  At the end of the year, I want all of that time to count for something.  I don’t want those images hidden on my computer or put in a cheap album that can’t stand the test of time.  I easily invest a little more in a timeless photo album that I know will be an heirloom.  What I am trying to say is, although these books are an investment, think of the time investment you’ve already made all year long.  Your photos deserve to be beautifully showcased.

Timeless Photo Albums: Printing Photo Books For Your Children | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

How Long It Took To Make

My final 100-page album contains 217 images and took around 2 hours to create, after I had decided on what images to use.  Deciding what images to use probably took me about 20-30 minutes.  I know that may seem like a long time to make a photo book, but I actually consider that pretty fast.  And let’s remind ourselves of the amount of time we spend all year long taking photos and editing them.  We spend hours upon hours editing and creating final images that I find that 2 hours of photo book making is actually pretty accurate.  After a year of dedicated photo taking and keeping up with editing, I feel that images deserve to be preserved in timeless photo albums.

Timeless Photo Albums: Printing Photo Books For Your Children | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.comTimeless Photo Albums: Printing Photo Books For Your Children | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.comSo Many Pre-Made Layouts

The hardcover photo books include so many layouts that make creating a timeless photo album effortless.  Once you are creating your photo book, the layouts are available to choose from and you can decide, page by page.  I like to do a lot of storytelling with my images so it’s fun to choose layouts that are collage based so that I can create stories by grouping images together.  My favorite layouts to use are the full bleed and 4 image collage.  It allows me to showcase a favorite photo on a solo page, while fitting a large number of photos on the other page.  I also really like to use the 4 photo collage because it allows me to fit more images within my photo book.  And, like I said, my final image count at the end of the year is around 1,000 edited images…so I like being able to include as many as I can in the final book.

Timeless Photo Albums: Printing Photo Books For Your Children | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

A True Keepsake

I love that my final book comes in a beautiful white box, with the photo book wrapped in paper inside.  While our family yearbooks are out on display to look through, our girls’ first year albums remain in their boxes.  Like I said, they are considered an heirloom item for my girls and I just like to keep them as protected as possible.  They are truly a gift for my girls and their future children.  There is something about knowing that their own children will look at these timeless photo albums one day that keeps me picking up my camera to document their everyday stories.

When it comes to timeless photo albums, I can’t help but choose these photo books time and time again to display our family memories.  I love that they are simple and classic, ensuring that they are just as beautiful 20 years from now as they are today.  I make our family yearbooks a little differently, but through the same company.  Be sure to sign up for my email list below to get access to my family yearbook post that is coming in the weeks ahead, it is going to be a wonderful resource to help you get your images in photo books for your family.  Creating timeless photo albums for your family is truly a gift and you should be so proud of yourself for taking the time to preserve your family memories to be enjoyed for years to come.

To read more about our everyday to inspire your own everyday and photography, be sure to check out the posts that are trending below.

And to always be up to date with the latest photography tricks and inspiration, be sure to sign up for my free exclusive list!

Timeless Photo Albums: Printing Photo Books For Your Children | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

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What To Invest In When Starting A Photography Business

Starting a photography business is such an exciting step!  I will always remember white knuckling my business plan daily as I saw my dream come to life, from getting my business license to getting my very first paid session.  Starting my business was one of my life’s best decisions, as it really has taught me a lot about myself, about others, and about photography.  Plus, working for myself is a pretty amazing reality and has been a blessing once we added a couple babies of our own, allowing me to be home with my girls but to also fulfill another part of me through working as a photographer.  Many have asked me what to invest in when starting a photography business and I definitely have some recommendations that have truly made my business run smoothly.  Some purchases were made right away, while others were a little while down the road.  But I will explain why.

This post contains some affiliate links, which means I get a commission for items purchased through the link.  Thank you in advance for supporting my blog so I can continue inspiring you with new content.

What To Invest In When Starting A Photography Business

What To Invest In When Starting A Photography Business | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

While I will not being giving any advice on contracts or insurance, know that they are both absolutely necessary and highly recommended.  Both a contract and business insurance were on the top of my list, when thinking of what to invest in when starting a photography business.

Okay, so let’s say that you have your computer and your camera, which are two of the biggest items you will use with your business.  I personally photograph Nikon, but started my business with a D3200 for about 6 months before upgrading to a full frame.  As for computers, I started my business on an Apple MacBook, before upgrading to an Apple desktop in addition to the laptop.  I like the flexibility of a laptop, but I like the monstrous screen of a desktop.

I view your contract, insurance, camera and computer as the basics, but when thinking of what to invest in when starting a photography business…here are a few additional things that you might consider to help your business run smoothly.

Blogging Software

One of my best purchases to date was this blogging software.  I use it almost daily with my business and it makes creating collages for blog posts so easy.  When thinking of what to invest in when starting a photography business, this is not only a really affordable investment but one that will make blogging your sessions effortless.  This software, for me, was a first year investment and well worth it.

Here is an entire tutorial on how to create photo collages for my blog in minutes!

Lightroom

Just in case this isn’t a given, editing software will be one of your best investments.  I personally use and love Lightroom.  I have used it for years and find that it does everything that I need to edit final high resolution images for my clients.  I am a Creative Cloud member and pay monthly for my software, allowing me to receive any updates for my software when they become available.

Camera Bag

When thinking of what to invest in when starting a photography business, my husband really encouraged a good camera bag.  After seeing what I invested in when it came to photography gear, it was a no brainer that having a good bag to carry and protect my gear in, two and from sessions, while on location was to be one of my first purchases.  Over the years I have been so blessed with so many camera bags that I have adored (many of which you can read about here on my blog, while searching camera bags).  I currently use the Weekender camera bag and love it’s openness for putting gear in and taking it out, while also allowing a lot of space for me to carry two camera bodies with attached lenses and a variety of other odds and ends.

Portrait Lens

If my mama brain serves me correctly, I invested in a portrait lens (my first 50mm wasn’t the ART version, but is now what I use) right after my first year in business.  I do remember regretting not purchasing it sooner, as it was a complete game changer for my photography.  My portrait lens literally lived on my camera during my first years in business and helped me create some of my best work.  I firmly believe that you can photograph for a long time with just a portrait lens and DSLR, before investing in additional gear.

Wide Angle Lens

Being an indoor lifestyle newborn photographer, my wide angle lens quickly became my most used and favorite lens, allowing me to photograph in smaller spaces fairly effortlessly.  If you plan on taking a lot of indoor photos, I would definitely recommend this lens.  It is butter!

Education

Education was and still is something that I invest in regularly.  I have had many game changing moments when learning about photography both during hands on experience and when investing in education.  If you are interested in family photography, be sure to read The Family Photograph: Unlocking the Secrets To Successful Lifestyle Family Sessions.  And if you are interested in lifestyle newborn photography, you definitely need to check out The Ultimate Newborn Session Guide Bundle.

A Daily Organizer

Hands down, a must have yearly purchase is a daily organizer.  From helping me schedule sessions, build in time for post-session workflow and create harmony between my personal and business tasks, this is the only planner that I use.  I am definitely a pencil and paper type of girl, as I feel like that is just how my brain works…I love spilling out my ideas and tasks on paper so that I can cross things off.  Plus, I think this planner always brings a fresh visual happiness to my work area.  And one of my favorite things?  You can get color coded stickers to help organize your task.  Need I say more than the words “color coded”!?

Back Up Camera

I can’t remember exactly, but I believe it was my second year in business that I learned a very hard lesson when my camera broke during an actual session.  It was my very last fall session of the year, in the last minutes of the session, when my shutter completely broke.  And it doesn’t matter how many lenses you have in your bag when it is your camera that no longer works.  (Don’t worry, I had plenty of images to deliver to the client and they ended up being repeat clients for years).  But I learned the hard way that you definitely need a backup camera for your business.  Because it is quite pricey, it may not be an investment you can do right away, but is definitely something you should keep at the top of your list for purchasing.  Trust me, your camera will break eventually…and it’s possible it will call it quits at the worst time.

The great news is, once you have a backup camera you can put one lens on each camera during your session and photograph effortlessly and quickly, without wasting time changing out your lenses.  Now having a backup camera is important to me, not only for just in case moments, but because it helps me photograph sessions quickly…which is a must when working with small children.  In short, a backup camera both protects your business from accidentals and helps your session run quicker and smoother.

Listen, I know it seems like starting a business is expensive, but most things you don’t need to buy on day one.  I run a completely debt free business and have from day one, only buying things as I could afford them.  Remember that is it okay to grow slow and don’t compare your chapter one to another photographer’s chapter 15…because we have all started from the beginning.  Have additional questions about what to invest in when starting a photography business?  Be sure to leave your questions below in the comment section so I can help you.  I hope this post helped give you some direction today!

To read more about our everyday to inspire your own everyday and photography, be sure to check out the posts that are trending below.

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What To Invest In When Starting A Photography Business | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

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What To Do When You Can’t Decide On A Photography Style: My Style Story of Switching Back And Forth

Almost exactly two years ago I was looking at my images as a light and airy photographer and was feeling pretty restricted and uninspired.  At that point I felt like my photography style was ruining my photography and that it was limiting the times when I picked up my camera, as I avoided imperfect light.  My first reaction was to try something new and experiment with a moodier style, because why not?  When something feels broken, you try to fix it.  But looking back over two years later, was my photography really broken like I thought?  Many of you have asked me why I decided to switch back to my light and airy style, after experimenting with a more moody look and I am about to tell you a classic story of “the grass is always greener.”  If you can’t decide on a photography style, my style story might be exactly what you need to hear.

Did you know that each of my photography guides comes with an editing video, showing you exactly how I edit?  Be sure to browse The Shop to find a guide that will further your next chapter with photography.

This post contains some affiliate links, which means I get a commission for items purchased through the link.  Thank you in advance for supporting my blog so I can continue inspiring you with new content.

What To Do When You Can’t Decide On A Photography Style: My Style Story of Switching Back And Forth

What To Do When You Can't Decide On A Photography Style: My Style Story of Switching Back And Forth | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

My Instagram feed between styles.

I am an open book.  I love to write and share my story because I feel like, if it can help someone else in just the smallest of ways, it is worth typing out.  Looking back, the real reason why I switched from light and airy images to a more moody look only to switch right back to light and airy is…light and airy is simply who I am.  Are you familiar with Marie Kondo?  If not, you need to read this book, seriously.  She talks about how your possessions should bring you joy instead of that “meh” feeling.  And I firmly believe that this concept applies to photography as well.  When we look at our images we should be full of joy.  We shouldn’t be looking at our photography and saying, “meh.”  For me, the moodier style quickly made me feel “meh.”

Truthfully, any image of my family despite the editing style, brings me joy.  But light and airy images of my family makes me squeal with joy.  And there is a difference there.  There is a difference between being satisfied with an image and being joyful with an image.  While the moodier look that I experimented with for about 7 months was fun and resulted in beautiful images, it wasn’t satisfying my creative cup.  I wasn’t feeling the joy.

And this doesn’t mean that light and airy photography is better than moodier photography.  That’s not what I am saying at all.  In fact, most of my favorite photographers have a completely different photography style than me.  But for me, I wasn’t feeling inspired with shadows.

It really is a story about the grass is always greener.  Or a story about trying to fit a circle into a square hole.  But let’s talk about the grass story first.

Whenever we feel at a rut with our photography, our instinct is to pinpoint what isn’t working.  For me, I thought it was my style.  I thought that my need to find perfect light and time my images around ideal lighting was hindering my photography.  And, in a way it was.  I definitely wasn’t inspired to photograph in every scenario.  But let’s really think about that statement for a second.

I wasn’t inspired to photograph in every scenario.

I highlight this statement because this was my truth and is my truth today.  As a photographer, I am only inspired by certain things.  And my certain things will be different than your certain things.  I am inspired by bright whites and creamy skin and a blown out window and a cream chair and soft textures and blush and delicate details.  I am inspired by light.  And really, everything else is pretty much missable for me.

But let’s be real for one second here.  Not matter the photographer you are and no matter the style you choose, light is your key factor.  Light is what makes or breaks a photo.  Whether you are a moodier photographer or a light and an airy photographer, light is crucial.  It is your style that then tells you what light you love the most.

I thought that my feeling of not wanting to pick up my camera when the light wasn’t ideal was bad, but really it’s just who I am.  And even with my darker style, I wasn’t picking up my camera all the time either.  I am a choosy person and it took switching photography styles to make to realize that, despite my style, I am not the photographer who will photograph all day long anyways.  I don’t pick up my camera everyday, and sometimes I don’t pick it up for a week.  But it wasn’t my style’s fault, it is just the way I am.

I was trying to fix something that wasn’t really broken.  I just thought it was broken.  I thought the light was hindering my desire to pick up my camera but it really wasn’t.  I was trying to fit my circle light and airy self into a square hole of a moodier style.  And after 7 months, it wasn’t working.  It was fun!  It was educational!  But it wasn’t me.

I realized that everything about my style is light and airy, whether it comes to photography or not.  The clothes I wear, the furniture I choose, the paint samples I pick out, the book covers that attract my eye, and the sliders I feel a magnetic pull to in Lightroom.  It’s just me.  It literally is who I am.

In the end I realized my truth.  I am a light and airy photographer, through and through.  Yes, I might have to wait for good light and yes, on some days that can seem a little limiting.  But I have learned that, like a lot of things in life, waiting is worth it for me.  Good things take time and in the end, waiting always makes me happier with my final images.  I just couldn’t deny the fact that light and airy scenarios were having me run for my camera, and moodier shadows just weren’t my thing.  While other photographers photograph shadows beautifully and I learned to do the same during my 7 months of moodier shooting, it just wasn’t bringing me the joy that I felt when being inspired by an evenly lit room.  Ahh, light and airy is just where it is at for me.

I hope that I am not talking in circles here and that this makes sense.  But the takeaway of this post is, trying something new is always a good thing.  It can either introduce you to a new love or it can show you that what you previously had was right were you should be.  And for me, light and airy is definitely where I should be.  It’s my joy.

If you can’t decide on a photography style, I would definitely recommend spending at least a month photographing in one exclusive style and then try something new for another month.  By giving yourself a long period of time to exclusively photograph one way, you are allowing yourself some time to really take in how the style does or does not inspire you and if it really gives you the joy you deserve to feel with your images.  And be forgiving of yourself if you feel like you can’t decide on a photography style right away, it really is something that just takes some time.

In the end, I feel the strongest with my photography and style today.  I think taking a 7 month break from the light and airy style to experiment with something new really strengthened my photography and my focus, encouraging me to create some of my best work today.

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What To Do When You Can't Decide On A Photography Style: My Style Story of Switching Back And Forth | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

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