It feels as though Rob and I got through photography phases, which I think is evident by our trail of social media. In each phase, there have been sets that have felt like a breakthrough, like we learned something new that was going to push us to the next level. This set, if you can believe it, is from our “testing our creativity” phrase. I contorted my body to fit within such a small space, choked on watery milk a handful of times (ew), and got so frustrated that I wasn’t getting the shots I wanted that I ended it with “we’re done here.” Low and behold, this has been one of my favorite sessions to date. There have been so many phases of our photography journey they have pushed, tested, and surprised us, and I’d love to share that journey here.
Phase One was learn the camera, learn Lightroom, and just shoot as much as crap as possible to practice, practice, practice. And boy did we shoot and edit some crap. Why am I sitting on a disassembled truck here? Why are all of these so blurry? Because we had absolutely no real idea of what we were doing, that’s why!
Phase Two was the beginning of finding our photography style, and during this time we really focused on influencer style outfit shots. Rob upgraded his camera to a Canon 80D during this phase, and I really honed in on my Lightroom skills and editing style. This was also the phase where I felt like I had to be posting to social media once a day just to post, engaging and fighting the algorithm to be seen by using Instagram groups and hash tagging the ever loving bejesus out of each photo just to be seen. It felt really ingenue and sucked the fun out of something I loved, so I decided to F that S and just post what I thought was cool, fun, and creative.
Phase Three has to be our first foray into travel photography when we took our trip to London and Paris. In Texas, half the battle is finding little nooks and crannies to provide a backdrop that looks half way decent. Travel destinations like Paris do that work for you. We had the time of our lives capturing the essence of our trip through photography and fashion (and it doesn’t hurt that we were also newly betrothed.) I often hear that when you are so focused on getting pretty pictures that you are less present to actually enjoy the moment. That is not my experience. We love reliving those streets we walked through, the museums and monuments we saw, and the moments we created by looking back through our albums.
Phase Four. The day after our engagement trip, I started a new job. A week after that, we moved from our house to four years to a loft space downtown. Rob had also upgraded his camera again to the Canon Mark IV, a big investment. We were very much in a time of transition and started outlining some of our goals with photography. We wanted to start taking on some outside work, and dip our toe into a few industries to see what fit us best. We took on influencer work, family portraits, engagement sessions, tried our hand at fashion editorials, and pushed ourselves creatively at home (hi, milky bathtub set!) We started to build our portfolio. At this point, we left it open ended, but this is around the time that the fun started to fade away once again and the stress of creating to others’ expectations started to sink in.
Phase 5 easily begun this year during our wedding travels. We took what we learned in London and Paris, our newfound love of shooting landscapes in Terlingua, and our freshened creative spirit. We left behind the social media algorithm stress and expectations, and just had fun being together and doing what we love to do – capture moments (and for me, outfits!) When we got back, as we were reevaluating our photography goals, I asked Rob the question, “Money-making, career-development aside, if you could do anything with photography, what would it be?” I already knew the answer before he responded. “Travel photography and landscapes.”
At the moment, we are not sure what the next phase will look like. It could be travel photography and landscapes, or it could morph into something completely different. But being on this journey and growing together both in photography and in life… I’ve never been happier, and I can’t wait to see where it takes us next.