Being a day late on these monthly Instagram projects is quickly becoming our M.O.
As 2014 winds down, it’s likely that many people will be doing some reflecting on the goings on of the year. This month we invite you to remind people in your life of things you shared in the past. Make sure you tag them so that they can plop on a life jacket and hop in your boat as you flow together down Nostalgia River.
These are the first three pieces of my face mug collection I didn’t know I was starting until people started giving them to me. Check it out on Instagram to see whom the gift givers were.
This month, we thought we’d throw out a photo challenge to everyone who wants to play along! In November, it is all about the negative space. The subject of your picture doesn’t always have to be large, clear, and in focus; sometimes it can be small, off to the side, and blurry. Or…it can be large and centered with nothing around it. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as the negative space is an important part of your composition. The negative space in an image can speak volumes! We challenge you this month to show us your subject from a distance, with room for thought, or a little more opened up. Let’s see what you got!
Four years ago, my friend Sam invited me to take a drive to New Mexico just for the hell of it. So we went.
It was an 8 day journey exploring one of the most beautiful and dynamic parts of the country I’ve seen. Our trip spanned the height of the state from Carson National Forest down to the Carlsbad Caverns. We saw the Grand Canyon. We missed our returning train from Albuquerque to Santa Fe and slept at the outside train station. Sam was incredibly sick for the first day and a half. I saw friends from high school in two different towns in two different states. I relearned how to drive a stick. Oh, and we did it in a 1980-something Chevy Nova.
One thing to keep in mind: not only were these taken 4 years ago, but they were edited 4 years ago. I decided to keep them as is instead of re-editing them just as a reminder of how far along I’ve come as a photographer. Also, it would take more time to re-edit them than I have (#HonestOctober).
Last year, we decided to start a little Instagram project for the month of October called #HonestOctober. We realized that much of what is posted on social media for everyone to see is framed in a way that the context is removed and what is left is meant to sensationalize the one doing the posting or the situation that she or he is in. We see so many people doing so many fantastic things all of the time and we just want to seem equally fantastic. It becomes a sort of competition. With whom are we competing? Ourselves? Our friends? A bunch of people we follow on Instagram that we’ve never met? Maybe we’ve just lost sight of what exactly it is that makes life extraordinary.
We’ve all been there. THEY get to be wild and carefree, living life on the open road. THEY get to travel the country getting paid to photograph incredible things that you’ll never get to see. THEY have the most amazing looking kitchen that’s always clean. It could even be as simple as being inundated with your friends’ super cute baby photos. I mean, your baby is cute, too, right? YOU want everyone to see a video of YOUR baby tasting a lemon for the first time, right?
Rebecca Lammersen wrote a great article about envy and social media called Please Don’t Envy Me: The Facebook Status Everyone Should Read. And you should read it. I thought that it captured the essence of #HonestOctober pretty well. In the article, she writes:
We have fallen prey to the delusion that every one else’s life is happier than ours, more productive and even more valuable.
We forget. We forget that there is something greater that dwells amidst the accolades, the trips and the fancy meals—the every day of life.
We have and we do.
Zack Arias recently posted a beautiful photo of his wife, Meghan, while they were in Paris with a caption that shared a similar sentiment:
I know our social media feeds look like we live this amazing life. Oh look. I have a new camera. Oh look. Here we are in Paris. What’s not on this feed is our struggles. Our pain in missing the point with each other. Our bank balance. Our sight of seeing a path that we can’t take. The regrets for lives we didn’t live in our youth.
Keep on posting the photos that you’d normally post, but throw in some others that add a little context as well. Share the things that make your life what it truly is. It doesn’t have to be pretty. It doesn’t have to be well-lit. It doesn’t have to be cropped in so you don’t see the pile of dirty dishes in the sink. Just be honest.
We hope everyone enjoyed their Labor Day weekend! Summer is on its way out and before you know it the madness of the holiday season will be upon us (only 16 more weekends before Christmas!). Take the time to delight in the quiet and peaceful times and share them with everyone.
This is always one of the first things I see in the morning. As I journey from the bedroom to the coffee maker, I come across the morning light coming in through the kitchen window. On the mornings when I’m the first one up, there is a wave of quiet calm that washes over me when I see this window. It’s a wonderful way to welcome the day.
It’s already the 4th of July. It’s time to seize the summer if you haven’t been doing so already. Make everyday count because the beautiful weather will be gone before you know it. This month we’re looking for photos that are all about the fleeting moments. The ones that are gone if you aren’t paying attention or if you aren’t taking advantage. For example: we have yet to eat a strawberry off of our plant. We had one growing that I was going to eat yesterday, but decided to wait. It was going to be delicious. Now it’s gone thanks to some varmint we have sneaking around our yard.
It’s June. I don’t know where May went, but it’s gone. Warm weather is upon us and will be gone before we know it. It’s easy to get bogged down by work and chores and the monotony of life, but it’s important to take a break and recharge. Take a hike. Go fishing. Pick a flower. Sit by the pool and have a margarita. Throw some shrimp on the barbie. Whatever it is, just get outside an enjoy it while you can!
Don’t forget to share what you’re doing with everyone and tag #ItsJuneSoGetOutside (we frankly couldn’t think of anything even remotely clever for a June hashtag name, so we decided to just get to the point).
Sorry this image is a few days late. Things have been getting busy around here and, well…there’s really no excuse. So, we had 6 words that we had to incorporate into this image somehow: lace, brown, flowers, balloons, flashlight, fruit. Here’s where we ended up.
It’s our first time being in one of our images together, and I have to say that it’s a lot more challenging to play model and director. It was a fun experience, but I think we’ll stay behind the camera for the foreseeable future.
What do you suppose an unwelcome man in a bear suit would watch in a stranger’s house? My money’s on COPS.
This month we are celebrating the things in our lives that have been carefully and uniquely made by hand. Whether it is a scarf, a table, a painting, a meal, or a beer, share something that has been made (by you or not) by hand and with love.
This is a gate that my dad and I put together last weekend. We’ve had our house for a year and have been using a full size screen door as a makeshift gate. It had been on my list of things to do, but it just took my dad’s, “hey, let’s put a gate on your porch,” to actually get it done.
A high school friend of mine lives/works at Camp McDowell just outside of Birmingham, AL, and a little over a year ago I spent a weekend with him, his wife, their dogs, and a couple of other high school friends. Aside from hiking and hanging out with a hawk and and owl, we visited a nearby farm where my friend had to tend to the greenhouse, kids ran rampant, and some pigs got out. Another detour was to the Chicken and the Egg Festival in Moulton, AL, where we got to see Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit play a close to hometown show.
When all is said and done, these are the types of weekends that matter.
Here’s what #MyMeaningfulMarch resulted in.
We hit a bit of a lull this month in terms of number of participants, but we weren’t exactly on top of participating in our own project that month ourselves. I guess everyone’s a little busy in March. #AprilAtHome seems to be a more popular theme. Check it out and join in!
If you have any feedback on these projects, please let us know. What do you think of the themes? Too conceptual? Too trite? Too easy?
Here are our past projects:
We’re a wee bit behind on this, but here’s what our #Frienbruary results looked like.
In case you are out of the loop, here’s the quick scoop: we are doing a monthly project this year to try to get to know people better and to encourage others to share their lives in a more directed and specific way.
This month we have #AprilAtHome going on. Join us!
Also, in case you missed our previous montly projects, check them out:
So, it’s pretty simple:
We put out a call of Facebook for people who are interested in being a part of our March project without telling them what they were in for. Basically, we just wanted to have a little fun taking pictures with our friends while drinking some beer (wine for Rickelle). Each image is made up of the faces of all 6 of the people that attended.
This month, we’re focusing on the home. Share what’s in and around what/wherever it is you call home.
This is #OliveTheDog and #BazookaTheCat. Every afternoon the sun shines directly in the windows on the front of our house. As long as the sun is shining, this is where you’ll find them everyday from 2 to about 4 or so.
You have a business to run and time is dimes, so I’ll keep this short and sweet.
The first cost column is if you were to order just Color Correction (adjusting white balance, exposure, and contrast). The second column is the total cost if you were to add Cropping & Straightening to that Color Correction order.
And just to be clear, you are by no means required to submit an order of any of these specific numbers of images. These are also not the only services we offer. This is just a guide to help you get an idea of what you would spend if you were to outsource with us.
Visit HADLEYsPhotoEdits.com for a full list of services and pricing.
Also, a quick reminder: 10% OFF YOUR FIRST POST PRODUCTION ORDER!
Let’s get a few things straight:
1. You have a business to run (shooting/marketing/album designing/customer service).
There is much to be done every day to keep your photography business profitable and growing. As your business grows, you have more clients to keep happy and less time to do it in. You have more images being shot and less time to edit them. Don’t run yourself into the ground. Don’t let it get to the point where you feel like you are about to run yourself into the ground. Grow your business with the idea in mind that you don’t have to do everything. That you shouldn’t do everything. One of the things that you shouldn’t be doing is editing hundreds of images after a portrait shoot or thousands of images after a wedding.
You simply aren’t making any money sitting at your computer editing. Those hours you are spending editing can actually be seen as a cost because you could instead be doing something that directly results in income for your business.
2. You have a personal life to maintain (family/friends/birthday parties/watching cat videos).
Spring is here, and while everyone else is out picking flowers, having picnics, and just enjoying the weather in general, you have been stuck behind the computer editing your work. This isn’t exactly what you had in mind when you decided to start your own business. Your friends miss you. Your sweetie misses you. Your kids forgot what your look like.
3. You are human (require sleep/food/peace of mind).
Aside from losing money and friends, you are losing sleep and sanity. You can only stretch yourself so thin before you start to break down. You need to have a workflow in place that avoids the breakdown altogether. After all, what is the point of having a workflow in the first place if not to make sure things go smoothly? Check out the third item on Psychology Today’s “Spread Too Thin: 4 Secrets of Reducing Your Workload.”
4. You are bound by the rules and limitations of time (unless you are some sort of Time Lord).
Following #3, one of our weaknesses as a part of the human race is that we are bound to the linear, forward-moving, never ending laws of time. Time waits for no one. This may sound silly at first, but like the old new adage states: “You have the same amount of hours in the day as Beyoncé.” Think about it. It isn’t simply that she outsources because she can afford it, she actually cannot afford to do them herself. She spends her limited hours doing that which makes her the most money or adds value to her life in some other way.
Delegating work (particularly post production) will help you free up hours of your time. The important thing is that you know and trust who you are delegating to. Whether you hire an employee to work in your studio with you, or you outsource the work to an experienced and trustworthy company that spends the time to get to know your styles and will make it feel like they are working in your studio with you *cough* HADLEY(s) *cough* is up to you.
Sometimes you look at a material item and it brings you somewhere else: a different time, a different place, a different memory. You hold on to these items for those reasons. Sometimes it’s something you can’t keep, but come across it occasionally. Let’s share those things with each other this month. I’ll start with this styrofoam plate that sits on my mantel. Grey drew his first portrait of me on it when he was in preschool. This is one of my most favorite items I own. What items are meaningful to you? We want to see them and we want to hear all about them! #MyMeaningfulMarch
This month’s project was inspired simply by a visit to our friend Elizabeth’s home for her birthday. She has an amazing apartment at The Goat Farm in Atlanta’s Westside Arts District and has done a phenomenal job decorating it. The space really reflects her spirit as an artist and we are so grateful that she let us take over her area for a few hours.
Rickelle took the lead on this shoot and I played the role of assistant/voice activated light stand. The shots were inspired by the space and the ideas just seemed to manifest themselves in Rickelle’s mind as she looked around. Her creativity never ceases to amaze me.
Click the images to view them individually and at an appropriate size for your screen.
Set Design by Elizabeth Jarrett
Sugar Skull Make up by Manda Costoulas
Last October, we started a little project called #HonestOctober and it was so fun and the response was so great, that we decided to try a different hashtag project every month this year. We’re a little late in posting this, but here’s what the #JanuaryAdjustment list on Instagram looks like. I hope everyone has stuck with whatever it was/is they are trying to adjust in their lives. I know I’m having a hard time…
Thanks to everyone who contributed!
Attention wedding and portrait photographers:
You’re busy. Your time is too valuable to spend it editing your images. You just have too much other stuff to do. There are clients to meet, there’s marketing to do, and/or you have family members that may be forgetting what you look like. And, frankly, you just aren’t making any money sitting at your computer.
If you are like most photographers (myself included), then you are probably a bit of a control freak. You have worked hard for years to establish a style for your brand and can’t imagine putting that in the hands of someone else. I get it. I know that feeling and how hard it can be to let go of that control, which is why we take the time to get to know you and your style and make sure we are editing as close to the way you do as we possibly can. I have been working as an editor full time for the past 3 years and have developed really great relationships with my clients. Trust has been established. That client/editor relationship is crucial. You should be able to talk directly with the person you have entrusted with your (and more importantly, your clients’) images. You should know their name, at least (my name is Justin).
Some are more ready than others to make the leap and that’s okay. Just know that we are committed to quality, image security, and client satisfaction.
Don’t wait until you are in the weeds to seek out help. Plan for it. Don’t let this wedding/senior/baby season be a repeat of last year’s. You know you will need help and I’d love the opportunity to talk with you about it.
Check out HADLEYsPhotoEdits.com for more info.
Let’s celebrate the people that make us who we are. Take a picture of people who are significant in some way to you and tell us what’s special, interesting, funny, etc. about them. You can even share a favorite story. Be sure to tag them, then hashtag the picture #Frienbruary. Hopefully, at the end of this month, we will have a beautiful collection of faces that make people whole.
These two have had such a huge impact on my life in obvious and less than obvious ways. They turned me from a 20 something schmo into a husband and father. I have reasons to work hard for things and people to look forward to seeing every single day. I was in a pretty low place in my life for a long time before I met them and I can’t express how much happier I am with my life now.
So, the earth has made her way around the sun and will start her trip anew. It’s celebrated around the world and is a symbol of second, third, forth, or fifth chances at things. It’s a fresh start for us all.
Making a New Year’s resolution is like going on a diet. It sounds temporary. Like something you’ll do for the year and call it an accomplishment and then go back to the way things were. How much weight does saying you have a resolution really have? Who believes you when you say, “My resolution this year is to lose that spare tire I’ve been carrying around,” or, “This is the year I’m going t0 quit smoking.” Of course we want to cheer those people on and really want them to succeed, but let’s be honest: we’re all a bit skeptical when someone says they have a resolution.
We all have changes we want to make. This year, however, we propose that we do away with resolutions. It’s too onerous and has a bum rap. Instead, let’s make some adjustments. It could be the way you think about things, the way you interact with people, or the way you treat your body. Break a habit or start a new one. Whatever it is, just think of it as an adjustment. Only a small change to the way you normally do something.
If you think of your life as a straight line, and you make a one degree adjustment, over time the distance between where your life was heading and where it will be becomes greater and greater.
Our idea to help keep this momentum going is to document your first month of your adjustments and tag them #JanuaryAdjustment. It may help kickstart you just enough to make your adjustment stick. Being public about it also makes you more accountable, but without any judgement because we’ll all know your goal and we’ll all have goals ourselves.
So let’s all make some adjustments and help realize those changes we want accomplish.
Rickelle is cutting back on her processed sugar. This, of course, is nothing but sugar with little bit of sweet potato. It’s delicious. Things like it won’t be going away all at once, though, but will be phased out over time and replaced with fruits and healthier sugars when those cravings come on.
Happy Holidays, everyone!
There are times when you put off doing something because you either don’t think anything will come of it or you are just too busy or because of whatever lame excuse you may have. ARTvision Atlanta‘s Instagram competition #AVSquared was one of those times. It took two extended deadlines and two reminders from a friend of mine to get me to enter. Sheesh! We really need to be more on top of these sorts of things because you really never know what can come of them.
What do you know? I’m a finalist! They’ll be announcing the winners at [ARTvision-8] “The Promise of Peace: Art Innovating Life”. The event benefits Positive Impact, whose mission is “to eliminate the risk of HIV transmission and to empower those affected by HIV through culturally competent and inclusive prevention, education, mental health and substance abuse treatment services.” So, if not for me, you should attend to help do some good. And if you are still on the fence about whether to go or not…there’s an open bar. $10 suggested donation.
These are the two shots that made it to the finals.
October is over. Done. Finished.
Where did the time go? It’s the same question at the end of each month (which definitely went by faster than the last). We don’t have the answer for you, but we’re pretty astonished at how many people took the time out of the quickly evaporating tenth month of 2013 to be a little honest with everyone. Some people shared the banal parts of their day while others bared their souls. There were also lots of food, faces, and feet. But, no matter how they participated, it’s been fun and interesting.
We’ve had people ask, “What’s next? Noble Novemeber?” Who knows? This was too fun to let nothing else come of it. We’ll do some thinking and get back to you. For now, here is what the Honest October feed looked like on Instagram at 9:17 AM on November 01:
If you want to see ALL of the tags of #HonestOctober from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, check out Tagboard. It’s a pretty cool site.
Again, another amateur, quick-Google-based identification. This one seems to be an American Dagger Moth Caterpillar. And again, corrections welcome. If my Googling serves me right, this thing turns out to be better looking pre-metamorphosis.
Because let’s be honest: a lot of what people post on Instagram and Facebook sensationalizes their lives (not everyone always, but, at times, Rickelle and myself included). It has become almost natural that everyone makes it seem like they are having a great time doing awesome things always. We want everyone to see all of the awesome things we (or our kids) do. It makes us look good. It makes us look interesting. It’s an unspoken, maybe even subconscious, competition of who can seem like they are doing the most dramatic things. Who went to a that concert. Who is eating the best food. Who went the farthest on a road trip. But there is a lot that we don’t see.
There are the day jobs. There are the arguments with your significant other. There are the times when your kid is not singing “Yankee Doodle” with his class and is instead whining about doing math facts. This is how your life really is. So, I declare October to be #HonestOctober. Drop your guard. Go out of your way to show the less interesting, more everyday things you do and hashtag those pics #HonestOctober. Besides, at the end of October everyone gets to pretend to be whoever they want. Until then, let’s be honest. Let’s see the boring stuff that makes us normal. For instance, I got coffee at work this morning…because I always get coffee at work in the morning.
It was the first weekend of beautiful fall weather, so we did a bit of yard work and had tons of little saplings that popped up around our backyard that needed to be yanked out. Here’s one that I believe is a Red Maple sapling. I’m no expert, though, so if you know, feel free to correct me.
Here’s one I found from last year’s Two Gallants show at Terminal West.
Grey has is first practice of his second season playing baseball today. Here are a few iPhone images from last season.
I caught this one while driving down a lonely stretch of highway. It’s about as lucky a shot as I could get.
Outside the office last November.
Don’t let that pensive look fool you. She’s thinking of killing you.
Going through some old photos while doing some backing up makes me realize just how much we shoot but then we never do anything with the randomness. So, here you go. It’s a busted hydrant that was in front of our apartment last September.
After Grey’s first ever baseball game. They lost, but handled it well. We couldn’t be prouder.
So, as I have mentioned, I got married last year. To this beauty. Not only is she a beauty, she is an amazingly great photographer. So, it only made sense for us to officially join forces and consolidate our power. Thus, HADLEY(s) Photography is born. Our combined portfolios can be found at HADLEYsPhoto.com.
I started making a headboard out of some 130-ish yeah old wood from my uncle’s deck in Jacksonville, FL. I have some pictures from Thanksgiving of us planing the wood that I will get to eventually…