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Professional Outdoor Images – Rexburg

Professional Outdoor Images

A black backdrop is the icon of a professional image. However, a lighter background with more air is refreshing. These professional images were taken outside. Since the building and landscape had a lot of light colors, it made for brighter photos. Dark backgrounds are moody. The light background is inviting, so while being professional, they are still a people-person.

 

Fall Caramel Apple Party Invitation

Fall Caramel Apple Party Invitation

A fun little invite for the fall season. Caramel apples are a great treat for a party and the fall season tends to bring people together indoors as the cooler weather sets in. This invite definitely can spread the word for your get-together. The fall tones of this are lighter and match the colors of the changing leaves and harvested apples during the fall. The caramel on top of the apples brings in the warmer tones of this season. I’m now craving caramel apples just from making the invite.

 

caramel-apple-fall-party-invitation-template

 

A Day in the Life of Hawkeye: Service Dog in Training

Service Dog in Training

Hawkeye is a young service dog in training through Genesis Service Dogs, Inc. The young pups are given to a raiser for the first two years of their life; with the raiser they are trained to have good behavior and learn to perform some more simple tasks that will come in handy for when they are a full fledged service dog for someone in need. I followed Hawkeye and his current raiser, Laryssa around to take photos and document what happens in a day of the life of a service dog in training.

Click the link to see all the photographs: Day in the Life of Hawkeye Service Dog in Training

Thank you to: Genesis Service Dogs, Inc. for allowing me this opportunity, Laryssa for allowing me to impose on her time, and Hawkeye for being a great subject for these pictures.

Family Photos – Cannaday Family

Family Photos of the Cannaday Family

These lovely family photos were so fun to take. The Cannaday family wanted an update as their little girl is a new addition to their family and is beginning to grow. We took the photos at 7:30 pm on a beautiful May evening. The sun at this time of day adds a great light glow to the images, but it is not over-powering. Notice that there are no glaring light spots on their faces from the sun however, there is still enough light for beautiful glowing greenery in the background of these family photos. This little girl was the best model ever as she posed perfectly for the camera multiple times. She knew that these family photos were special and would be treasured. Some of my family photography ideas were inspired by: https://www.charmingphotographyct.com/

Shallyn Larsen Family Photos Cannaday Family

Shallyn Larsen Family Photos Cannaday Family

Shallyn Larsen Family Photos Cannaday Family

Shallyn Larsen Family Photos Cannaday Family

Shallyn Larsen Family Photos Cannaday Family

Finding Me in Photography

Finding Me in Photography: Goals to Continue

Finding me in photography can be a struggle as there are many routes to take my photography experience. This project was inspired to help me focus on what it is that I want to do. The idea was to try and narrow down my broad ideas for photo opportunities and find my niche. Photographers can find success in photographing portraits, products, landscapes, or doing unique photographs with different subjects and colors. In trying to find what kind of photography I want to focus on, I realized that I like capturing all of the above. Portraits are fun especially baby ones, products are cool and doing it with light painting is adds a nice touch, landscapes are beautiful and finding any opportunity to take a picture is what I do.

I tried to decide what my focus would be, but found no success. I then had the idea to brainstorm different reasons why customers would want photographs. Some may want them for advertising, others as family portraits or announcements, and then there are those that are looking for wall art for their home or office. I decided that selling prints is what I would enjoy. I still like portraits, but selling prints means that after editing the image once, I can have it sell over and over again. The trick is finding prime opportunities to get the photos that are wall worthy. This will take time and years of photoshoots to build up a collection of wall worthy art. These images are the start of finding me in photography. You can check out more of my prints in my shop.

 

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Shallyn-Larsen-finding-me-in-photography

 

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Shallyn-Larsen-finding-me-in-photography

It is important to be inspired in what you do. Check out this blog post about finding your own self in photography. 

Personal Photography Portfolio

Personal Photography Portfolio: The Best to Date

This personal photography portfolio is a brief showcase of my best work. Each of these images were taken from what I feel is the best of the best of my personal photography portfolio. If you wish to see all the images check out my Portfolio page. Thanks to my COMM 316 class and a wonderful professor, Caryn Esplin, I was able to learn all the necessary skills and tips that made it possible for me to go out and take these pictures on my own.

In determining what to focus on with my photography, I felt stuck. I enjoy portraits, I love light paining as seen below with the baseball glove and divers helmet, and I enjoy landscapes. I realized that people, places, and things are my realm and even though it is broad, I can start incorporating themes and begin taking pictures of people, places and things all based off of one theme at a time. For now, these are the best of my people, places and things.

 

People

how to create a fake background in camera

Shallyn Larsen Professional Headshots

Shallyn Larsen Women of 1940

Finished Maid Marian image with wood textured background.

Shallyn Larsen Military Men of the 1940's

Shallyn Larsen Military Men of the 1940's

 

Places

Shallyn Larsen Teton Mountains Gallery Piece

Shallyn Larsen The Beauties of Teton National Park

Shallyn Larsen The Beauties of Teton National Park

 

Things

Fine Dining Food Photography

Catching Motion in a Photograph

Bike Gears Up Close

Shallyn Larsen Photographing Products Eos

Shallyn Larsen Pictures in the dark

Shallyn Larsen World War 2 Memorabilia

Perspectives in Architecture

Perspectives in Architecture That Everyone Sees But Don’t Notice

Perspectives in architecture can be quite interesting. I took the opportunity to photograph different perspectives in architecture that not everyone notices. For example, notice the different perspectives in architecture that are shown in the indoor photographs. The first one is a perspective that everyone would see, but maybe not from such a low angle. That would, however be the perspective of a 2-year-old. The other images from the indoor photography show perspectives in architecture that are also from a lower angle. The lights can be easily noticed by all, but the wall of reels would require the viewer to be up against the wall looking up.

Indoor

Perspectives in Architecture

Perspectives in Architecture

Perspectives in Architecture

Outdoor

These outdoor shots also contain interesting perspectives in architecture. The Lift restaurant in Jackson Hole Wyoming has a beautiful rock structure that is adorned in old ski lift and ski resort memorabilia. The first perspective is from underneath the umbrella where the waitress awaits for guests. The second perspective is of the actual umbrella itself. An umbrella is not necessarily part of architecture, but it is being used as such at this restaurant. Always be on the look-out for neat perspectives in architecture. A building an become quite interesting when looking at it through a new perspective.

Perspectives in Architecture

Perspectives in Architecture

If you want to add a flare to your architecture, check out Photoshop Layer Management by Alex Hogrefe. He uses perspectives in architecture to create photorealistic buildings in Photoshop.

Fine Dining Food Photography

Fine Dining Food Photography: Ready to Eat

Fine dining food photography is a skill task that cannot be taken lightly. The goal is to have customers feel that they really are receiving the best find dining that they possibly could. A picture really is worth a thousand words and could be the reason a person chooses a certain food or restaurant. Fine dining food photography requires the photographer be up close and personal with the food as customers want to see texture and ingredients. They came for a fine dining experience and whether that experience is good or not has a lot to do with the food photography. Always be sure that your fine dining food photography is satisfying to they eye and will make customers want that dish.

Appetizer

Fine Dining Food Photography

Main Course

Fine Dining Food Photography

Fine Dining Food Photography

Fine Dining Food Photography

Fine Dining Food Photography

Dessert

Fine Dining Food Photography

Check out this interview with find dining food photographer Paolo Grinza at finedininglovers.com 

Catching Motion in a Photograph

Catching Motion in a Photograph: Freezing and Blurred Motion

Catching motion in a photograph can be done in two ways. The first is by freezing the motion, as shown in the IBC Root Beer image, it freezes the water droplets in mid-air. The second form for catching motion in a photograph is to capture blurred motion as shown in the second image of the sugar and strawberry.

Freezing Motion

To freeze motion you must use auxiliary lighting or have your shutter speed set to a faster speed. A fast speed could be about 1/500. The other option to use lighting requires a flash in the dark and a slower shutter speed. The flash will cause light to hit the subject once. This will catch the motion and will freeze it like with the water droplets and root beer.

Catching Motion in a Photograph

Blurred Motion

The second form of catching motion in a photograph that is blurry requires a slower shutter speed and possible a tripod. The shutter speed used below for the strawberry and sugar picture was about 1/150. I had an auxiliary LED light to help brighten the subject. As the sugar was poured, the shutter speed was slow enough that it caught the trails of the sugar.

Catching Motion in a Photograph

Catching motion in a photograph requires good lighting and an adjusted shutter speed depending on what kind of motion you want to capture. You can check out this guide to capturing motion in photography from Digital Photography School for more tips.

How to Create a Fake Background in Camera

How to Create a Fake Background in Camera That Is Completely Black

If you want to know how to create a fake background in camera and not use a backdrop, this article The Invisible Black Backdrop- Photography Technique by Glyn Dewis explains how he does it. The process to creating a fake background in camera is really neat. It is important that you keep your ISO at the lowest possible sensitivity, 100 is usually the lowest most can go. You will then make your shutter speed at the appropriate timing to sync with the flash, usually 200-250th of a second. Then lastly, to create this fake background, you will need to bump your f-stop up so that it brings in less light. This number will depend on the day and the natural lighting around you so it will be good to test it out. Adjust the f-stop until all you see is a completely black image; you then know that you have successfully created a fake black background in camera. Once the fake background is set, then you will get your artificial lighting and direct it at the subject. When the camera is clicked you should see a completely fake black background and a visible subject. It is quite easy and fun to create a fake background in camera and can really provide some amazing photos.

how to create a fake background in camera

how to create a fake background in camera

how to create a fake background in camera

Through Your Eyes

Creative Image Effects

Creative image effects can be fun to experiment with. I experimented with the composite image below called The World Before You and the GIF of a dog named Poppie. To do creative image effects such as a composite, it requires multiple images and creative thinking. For example I took a picture of a model’s eye and then wanted to put the world inside it. I had to do other creative image effects to create the world. This world is actually a photo of a sky reflection in the roof of a black car. This darkened the sky and gave a good effect of an earth. The stars in the image was an astro-photography shot that I had taken. Creative image effects can be awesome, but take some time and work. The GIF of Poppie down below is called a cinemagraph and is simply a video. I used photoshop and made a second layer above the video of a still frame with the girls hands up in the air. I then masked out, the entire path of Poppie the dog’s jump. This makes it so the video only show through where Poppie is jumping. Here is the video that I used to learn how to create cinemagraph like the one of Poppie.

Also, here is a link to some good photo tutorials that can help with other composite images.

Creative Image Effects

Red Storefront

Red Storefront: Ordinary Spot Extraordinary Shot

This red storefront was taken in a very ordinary spot. The downtown streets of Rexburg, Idaho contains many old storefronts and this red storefront is one of them. Standing across the street this red storefront caught my eye as it had the old rustic Open sign out front and the worn green chair. The red storefront and green chair make for an excellent contrast. The other storefronts are reflecting in the window and I made them and the Open sign black and white by creating a second layer and using my brush tool in Adobe Photoshop. I made did this to bring in the rustic look and make the red storefront stand out. This antique red storefront is the entry way to an antique shop that contains many unique treasures.

I have found other unique storefronts and think it would be neat to start searching out architecture like this to photograph.

Red Storefront

Bike Gears: Details We Miss

Bike Gears

Bike gears up close look really cool. The layers created from the bike gears give a neat perspective of depth. Also notice how the bike gears’ teeth are not perfectly in line, rather they are staggered, adding a neat composition. I took this close up shot of the bike gears in an ordinary spot. I was walking by a bike rack on a university campus. One would look at the locked up bikes and usually not have a thought of taking a picture, but it is important to see the smaller details, like the bike gears, in a bigger picture. The bike gears up close are mostly shiny and you can even see a little rust. I walked up close to this bike and had to awkwardly squat near the ground as people were walking by. I wanted to make sure to get a neat perspective and decided the bike gears were what I wanted to focus on. Notice that I did not capture all of the teeth of the bike gears in this shot. An interesting photo does not need to have everything visible, you can leave some up to the imagination. Also, looking at the bike gears one can see that this image follows the rule of thirds art rule with the bike gears’ center point on the lower-right third of the photo.

If you with to learn about bike gears and how to gear them, look at Tuned In To Cycling and see the article on bike gears.

Bike Gears Up Close

Teton Mountains Gallery Piece

Teton Mountain Lake

My Teton Mountains gallery piece that I call Mountain Lake Reflections is being displayed in the Spori Gallery on Brigham Young University-Idaho’s campus. It was taken of the Teton Mountains on a cloudy day and I love the way it turned out. It was an HDR image which means that I took 3 separate shots of the Teton mountains and then compiled them together. You can see the 3 separate shots of the Tetons that I used below the finished product. The best features of each image were used to create the masterpiece that it now is. In addition to putting all three images together, I also put a little more contrast in the clouds to make them stand out more. Also, notice the composition of the photograph. The stump in the water follows the rule of thirds and is nicely off-set. The Teton mountain is along the upper third line of the picture. The leading lines from the trees points your view directly to the blue mountain. If you want to know more about Grand Teton National Park this links to an article about the Tetons.

Shallyn Larsen The Beauties of Teton National Park

Moutnain Lake Reflection original

Moutnain Lake Reflection original

Moutnain Lake Reflection original

Shallyn Larsen gallery image display

 

Maid Marian in Style

Creating Maid Marian

This creation is a composite of two images masked together. To create Maid Marian we made sure to have a dark, solid background. This is useful in masking out the background so that the texture can replace it. As you can see in the first image of Maid Marian, it is a bit lighter than the last. I made sure to adjust the brightness and contrast so that it give the image a bit more character and fits more with the color of the wood texture in the background.

Professional Headshots

Photographing Professional Headshots

Professional headshots are great for a work profile, but they also do well to capture the features of the individual. The goal of a professional picture is to show potential clients who you are. It is not a time to take a somewhat okay photo outside your office building or even worse at your desk. The closer a the camera is to the individual, the more of a connection a potential client can feel, sot is important to send a good message. The following headshots all portray good messages. They are all smiling and look very welcoming. A headshot needs to say “come work with me” not anything contrary to that.

Maybelline 1940 Makeup

Maybelline Makeup

1940 Themed Logo

Maybelline makeup line has been around for quite some time. Their old logo was done in script font and was very basic. As part of this fashion shoot, I decided to focus this picture’s story on the female model wearing perfect eyelashes and lipstick. As she gazes off into the distance, you can see that the lashes and her lipstick brings color to the image. Maybelline makeup is still popular today as it was in the 40s.

Women of 1940

The Style for Women of 1940

Military

Some women of 1940 did have military positions. Not necessarily in battle, but they did serve their country within certain branches. Our first model is wearing the colors of the Navy. The Navy uniform for women of 1940 consisted of a light blue collared shirt with a navy blue jacket. Women of 1940 who served the Air Force work an all black uniform that consisted of a jacket and slacks.

Fashion

Other aspects of the 1940s style are more luxurious for women. The model directly below is wearing a white fur shawl. The second image is modeling a woman in a white collared blouse that was typical for women of 1940 to wear.

Military Men of the 1940s

Modern Photoshoot of Military Men of the 1940s

Military Men

At the Legacy Flight Museum in Rexburg Idaho, we had such fun taking 1940 style pictures of models in military outfits. The first two pictures represent the United States’ Navy and are next to a blue Navy plane. The third and fourth picture represents the United States’ Army. One is checking on the mechanics of the plane while the other poses with an old World War II military jeep. The last picture is focused on a bit later era, as he is sporting the slicked-back hair with aviator glasses. These men are dressed in real 1940’s military attire that was provided by the museum. Other neat images that I have found of 1940’s military men come from masterfile.com, some of the images I believe are re-created, but others are originals of military men from that era.

 

 

World War 2 Memorabilia

Memorabilia Details

While at the Legacy Flight Museum in Rexburg, Idaho, I took a variety of pictures with a focus on details and World War 2 Memorabilia. The World War 2 diver’s mask is meaningful because it describes the job of the individual who used it. The World War 2 army uniform hat, says a lot too; from it, we know that the wearer was part of the United States Army during World War 2. We cannot ignore the small details of the memorabilia that we find.

Perspectives

In the images below I did not simply take a photo of the whole memorabilia piece, just part of it. The first image below shows the under part of an old World War 2 Army jeep. The second image is the hood of that same World War 2 jeep. They are opposite perspectives but give the viewer a different and interesting angle. The last image is of a World War II plane propeller from the Legacy Flight Museum. I could have taken a picture of the whole propeller or even the whole plane, but just part gives it a neat focus.

The Beauties of Teton National Park

Beautiful Teton National Park

The Big Picture

The Tetons are quite a sight to see, however sometimes the Teton National Park weather hides its magnificent mountains. To some not seeing the Tetons perfectly can be a real let-down. But the clouds in the sky this day, although they hid the Teton peaks, added more of a mysterious perspective. The Tetons’ deep blue color really stands out agains the white covering. In Teton National Park, there is more to photograph than just the Tetons’ themselves; the barn below, lies in front of the Teton foothills and adds variety to the park’s landscape.

One of the best places to see great landscape photography is National Geographic. They even have an article of Landscape Photography Tips.

The Smaller Details

Teton National Park has many other details that can be captured in pictures. The fence for example was a fun perspective to capture. It has a great composition and provides more detail about this national park’s landscape. The pine cone also adds to the park’s scenery. It is easy for the Tetons to take all the attention from the visitors at the park, but the smaller details should not be missed. If they were, then Teton National Park would not be as amazing as it is.

 

Nature Photography around Sky Mountain Lodge

Sky Mountain Lodge Nature Paths

The Sky Mountain Lodge in Victor, Idaho is a place full of natural scenery that is quite beautiful.  The pathways pass by newly sprouting fields and mountain foothills of color. The contrast of the green with the blue sky is capturing. The lush greenery is inviting and beckons for someone to explore. Nature photography can create beautiful art, if you are someone who loves photographing nature I would suggest looking at Outdoor Photographer. Here is a link directly to their nature photography tips.

Nature All Around

Walking around the paths that surround this mountain lodge is a relaxing activity. As you can see in the images below, the small aspects of nature add to the natural scenery. The red leaves have a beautiful contrasting green background and the green pine tree with its water droplets is a great combination with the mountain lodge in the background. The natural scenery does not always have to be the large landscape, it can be the small bits of nature that sometimes go unnoticed.

 

 

 

 

Night Photography and Light Painting

Light Painting

Night photography and light painting  are an awesome combination. Light painting, sometimes called light sketching makes it possible to get well exposed photos at night. For example, the cabin picture below was taken with a long exposure to capture the stars. The cabin was lit up by light painting with a simple flashlight while the camera shutter was still open. The image of the man in chaps was taken in the dark of night. Light painting technique was used to make him and the cabin porch visible. The last image is more like light sketching, but some still call it light painting. In this case we painted the light directly at the camera instead of the subject. The camera picks up the light from the light painting and if the shutter is open long enough it will pick up the path of the light.  Click here to see another photographer’s examples of light painting.

Cowboy wearing chaps standing against a pole on the cabin porch.

Star lit night with a wood cabin.

 

Pictures In The Dark

Light Painting

Did you know it is possible to take amazing pictures in the dark? This particular technique is called light painting. Literally it is painting with a flashlight. The pictures below were taken using this technique. My favorite two pictures, the baseball theme and saddle were simply taken by using a small (pin-point) LED flashlight and running it directly along the areas that I wanted to be illuminated. Since the lights were completely out and it was dark, the background is still dark. However, the subject is lit in a unique way. Here is great video that explains the process even better. In this video she does light up her background, if you wish to have a dark background in your picture then use a smaller flashlight and point it directly at the subject being sure not to hit anything else.

Old leather baseball catchers mitt with baseball

Leather horse saddle in the dark with little light.

Black and white image of giraffe statue with spotlight.

Old leather boxing gloves in the dar.

Old printing press letters on red fabric with focused light to spell time.

Photographing Products

Catching The Natural Surroundings

Outdoor product shots are very fun to take as you already have a beautiful scenery. The hard part is not gathering too much in that scenery. The oil has a nice outdoor, fresh background.The background to a product needs to be distinct and help to separate the product so that it stands out.

benissimo basil and sun dried tomato natural oil

Creating The Light

Indoor photography can be challenging in a different way. Here it is important to create the light and make it look natural. At times the light can look yellow or blue. It is important to use good lighting and have your camera’s white balance set to a good setting. The EOS chapsticks required a lot of light. I had natural light around me but had to light the bottom of the EOS chapsticks with flashes. The sides of the EOS were initially too dark and needed flashes as well. Then I had to have a flash held above the EOS to get the logo on the pink chapstick container. Overall there were 6 flashes surrounding the EOS chapsticks as well as the natural light. The plexiglass below the EOS creates a great reflection and bright area. EOS have a creative shape that makes them fun to photograph. Megan McGregor is another individual that has found EOS products fun to photograph: http://meganmcgregor1.blogspot.com/2016/01/

 

Eos blue and pink chapstick

 

 

 

 

 

 

Designing a Realistic Vector Watch

The Process of a Vector Watch

In the creation of the vector watch I first looked for a photograph of a real watch as a reference. It is hard to make a vector look realistic without a real reference. Any time I design an object I have to start at what I feel is the base. I looked at the watch and decided that my base was the face of the watch. In working from the center out I began with the dark center and then continued with the real looking metal frame which is given a metallic look by using gradients. The markings and the hands on the watch face came next followed by the slight reflection in the glass. The wrist bands was the very last piece to be created. The texture was added by taking a picture of the leather seats in my car and following the YouTube video shown below of how to add textures by Cory Kerr. The hardest part for me was the shading on the bands to give it a more 3-D look. I feel more shading can be done. Overall I am pleased with this work of creating a vector watch that looks realistic.

 

Creating a Vintage Look in Photoshop

Creating a Vintage Movie Poster

This poster was created based off of the vintage poster of It’s A Wonderful Life. I wanted a challenge to create a movie poster that was retro and vintage. It is a personal movie poster since the two “actors are me and my husband” . The photo was simply taken inside with a white wall background. I used a Rogue Flashbender II in order to create enough light while inside. My ISO was set to about 400 and my shutter speed to 350. My husband could not hold me long enough in the air, so I had to stand on a chair with a white sheet covering it. The post-production required research on how to make a photo have vintage colors. I found this video that helped me a lot. After following the guidance on the video, I also decided to over-expose the image and then use the Brush Tool in Adobe Photoshop to highlight what I wanted to look brighter. The text is mostly all serif because that is how the original poster is. A vintage movie poster was a good challenge and I had fun creating it.

It's a Wonderful Life Movie Poster Re-creation using vintage looks through photoshop

Vintage Photoshop tutorial can be found at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnPh4hkdBSM

Picnic Icon Set

Key Concept

Since summer is just around the corner, I wanted to take the time to design a summer icon set. These picnic icons are what came to mind. I initially wanted to do a garden theme, but struggled to make be creative with it. My sketches show the initial garden idea and then the picnic inspiration that finally came.

Sketches

As mentioned previously the initial sketches were not what I went with, however, they did lead me to the the picnic theme. The idea of the picnic theme came to me as a sudden thought and I happened to be in a room with a dry erase board. I drew out some quick images on the board and liked the idea of a picnic. I knew that they would not all intel the same shape and so I would be able to get a variety which is what I wanted, but overall the theme would include picnic items that would fit perfectly into summer.

Beginning Process

I began with very simple vectors. I wanted all the fruit to have the half circle shape to it and then I would make the jars the same. As I started I felt that my designs were too simple and needed more contrast and depth. That is why the jar ob peanut butter and the bread with jelly on it have more detail than the other designs. The grape jelly jar is what the peanut butter jar looked like before I changed it. There were too many strokes and I needed to figure out how to make it stand on its own. The apple and strawberry have thick strokes too that I decided needed to be changed.

The Finished Product: After the Mishap

Always save your files in multiple places! I had finished 8 of the 12 designs and then my file was corrupted and lost. I could not recover it and had to start over. The outcome, however, was better. Since I started over, i was able to see with fresher eyes and changed a few of my initial designs. Some of the feedback that I got was mainly about the thick black lines and the face that fruit needed more depth. I was able to recreate the bread and condiment jars like they were. The fruit underwent a change and I decided to leave out the strawberry and allow for veggies to be represented by a carrot.

Looking at the 12 icons it is easy to see the established theme. They were created in a way that depicted a constant light source from the upper-right. Some icons are similar, like the jars and the bread, however, each had to be altered so that it would depict the product. For example, jelly is not as smooth as peanut butter. That is why the the jelly has been created with bubbly details and the peanut butter with less curvy lines. Overall, this icon set is ready for the summer picnic season.

Big Steps to Success: Three Simple Principles

Action

Successful people understand that ideas are just ideas until they have action. These steps will help you take action. You have an idea; it has surfaced in your mind a dozen or so times. What is your idea? A business. A new skill. Maybe you have been wanting to learn guitar. Or it could be that marathon you have been thinking about running. Challenges like these can be daunting because you feel that you don’t have the time or money or the knowledge of how to start. Do not let these factors stop you. Your idea is fantastic! Not moving forward means no success. However, moving forward with these simple steps will lead to the successful big steps.

Standing Still

You will not achieve anything by standing still.  If staying at the bottom of the mountain is your wish, then you are more than welcome to freeze your feet. However, everyone coming down will tell you how beautiful the hike is. The path follows a small stream all the way up. The waterfall at the top is glorious The valley is vast and green. You can hear all their chatter, but you will never enjoy the view until you start moving. At the bottom, it is possible to look up and see where you can be. The mountain itself could be a good view, but it does not compare to the peak. Do you want to make it to the top? Do you want to take those steps toward success? How can you get your feet moving?

Baby Steps

You are an adult, baby steps are in the past. For some reason people focus on taking baby steps toward success. Yes, babies do succeed in walking and eventually running. And it is true that small steps are needed to achieve larger ones, but it is important to get past the unbalanced wobble of baby steps. How can that be done? We can learn by the following steps:

  1. Concentrate and think. You need to take the time to think about your idea. Let it come to your mind and allow yourself to consider all the possibilities.
  2. Coordinate. Coordination is important for you too; coordinate with yourself and anyone else that could be involved and write everything down. Having that time to coordinate will allow you to make clear understanding of your ideas. If you want to start a business, you have a lot of people you can coordinate with. If you want to learn guitar, then locate a guitar teacher and coordinate.
  3. Support groups. Find your support group. People that are close to you, who can keep you accountable and encourage you. A baby’s parents cheer them on and pick them back up when they fall. Surround yourself with people who will not let you fall. Tell them your idea and ask for their support.

Big Steps

Once the baby steps are done, it is time to leave the past behind. You can take the big steps now. These giant steps are the ultimate action. Remember the mountain that you have been staring at. After baby steps you are now part-way up. The climb will start getting steeper and the final big steps to the top may be exhausting. You can do it! You need to reach your goal. If you give up, then you will not be able to see the view. Your feet must take bigger steps. You have your support group, your written idea, you have coordinated with others. Now put your written ideas in order of a plan and move forward with it. Up the mountain you go, no more baby steps for you. This last part takes perseverance, but it will pick up speed if you do not give up. Follow your plan and you will succeed in your giant steps to success.

From a Spark to a Vision of Photography

The Spark

As a young girl, I absolutely loved being outside in nature. It was part of me. My family would go on adventures as often as possible. One particular adventure that I remember was through Wyoming. We spent a full week near Jackson Hole and during this week we went fly-fishing, horseback-riding, and fossil-hunting. I found myself taking pictures from all sorts of angles. I never had any training, but I would have a thrill every time I looked at the camera’s screen and would see a terrific view or a neat shot of wooded textures. At this time, it never occurred to me that photography was a passion. I just clicked a button and liked the result.

After graduating high school, I went on a journey to find my passion. Dental hygiene was the goal; I thought I knew my perfect career. However, one year into the prerequisites, I realized that I had assumed incorrectly. I was stuck and didn’t know what to do.

The Realization

It occurred to me that photography was more of a passion and not just a pastime. But how could I major in photography? There are many photographers out there, and I would just be one of them. I wanted to make sure I had more in my skill belt than just a camera. I researched options and thanks to my brother I found that Visual Communications was more my niche. I could do photography and learn more artistic skills in graphic design. This decision felt right, but I was nervous.

I felt that I would be so behind everyone. Others probably had “real” experience with photography and graphic design. When I got to my first class, I found that my fears were true. I didn’t let this stop me. I knew that I would just have to dive in and allow myself to learn. Everyone else was ahead, but I could catch up. And I did.

 

The Vision

I still have a lot to learn and a lot to improve, but my passion for photography and design has been discovered. I began with simple snap shots, but now I have pictures that I am proud of. The pictures demonstrated here show some of my work. My plan is to continue with photography and never let it die. Progress takes work, and I work hard. Talents may not come naturally, but they can be learned. I want to use my creative knowledge to document my life and inspire others. I plan to use my blog as a weekly journal of challenges. Not my personal challenges of the week, but more of an invitation for others to challenge themselves. I plan to make a goal each week and then document my success (or failure) for others to see. I plan to encourage others to follow my challenges and do them with me. This life is a journey to make ourselves better, and it’s going to be great.

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Shallyn

Shallyn

Pictures are like a time capsule. As a photographer, I have enjoyed capturing those special moments so that your most important memories are never forgotten. My goal is to keep those memories alive through a genuine photograph.

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