Carri Beth Photography specializes in newborns and young children. Located in Ortonville, Mi. (southeastern / mid Michigan). Serving Metro Detroit and Mid Michigan, (Oakland, Genesee and Lapeer counties).

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lovely Little Charley | Ann Arbor Newborn Photographer

This is Charley. She is the cutest lil bug ever. She showed up wearing rock-n-roll jammies, and I knew from then on, we were dealing with a girl with some attitude. She did not hold back from telling us what she thought. On the contrary, she made it pretty loud and clear. ;) Though she started off with a bit of sass, she finished with FLARE. She was shedding like a snake, but I loved it because it is just another detail that we can capture to reflect on the quick changes she is already going through in her short life. She even lost her umbilical cord during the session. I'm telling you, this girl was growing up right before our eyes. From her fuzzy little head, to her tiny little toes, she is perfect in every way. Angie and John, you are so blessed to have such a sweet little girl in your lives. I am sorry it took me longer than I had anticipated to post your preview, but I hope it was worth the wait. I can't wait to finish the rest so that you can see them all. :)

I was going for an Alice in Wonderland/Mad Hatter theme with this one,
and I must say, she pulled it off beautifully. :)

Contact Carri at:
phone: (248) 678-3601

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Word for Photographers | Your Local Humble Photographer

Today I came upon a fake blog in which someone (presumingly a pro photographer) pretended to be an obnoxious and naive amateur photographer that does all of the wrong things in her business, and therefore contributes to the "demise" of the photography industry. As much as all of this strikes a chord with every photog that has fought his/her way to the top, only to find that their best client's brother's sister-in-law just started "taking pictures", and will no longer be coming to you anymore for their bi-annual photo sessions, I feel that we as professional photographers can do something to combat this wave of amateurs. You may be wondering what in the world you can do to fend off all of the under-cutting, over-exposing, glorified (or sometimes not even glorified) snapshot photographers in your area, and the answer is simple. EDUCATE! Go to them, kindly, and talk to them about what they are doing. When an aspiring photographer asks you a photography question, ANSWER THEM. I'm not saying that you have to hold free workshops for all of the local wannabes, and share all of your precious secrets. It's as easy as saying "Here is a great resource for information that may benefit you in your journey to becoming a professional photographer." Not everyone will take your advice, but at least this way, you know you did your part in attempting to educate. Many of these newbie photographers are not malicious in the way they run their businesses, they are simply uneducated and totally naive to the way things should be done. I mean seriously, do you know ANYONE who would charge someone $50 for a disc of images, if they really knew that they could charge $800 plus? Probably not. This will not get better if they never learn that they are doing it wrong.

We were all beginners, once upon a time, and we should understand that everyone has to start somewhere.

Confession time:
I was one of "those" photographers. I had a friend who had a dslr, and it got me interested in getting one for myself. I just KNEW that I'd be able to get that camera in my hands, and go straight out to enlist all of the local seniors in my new photography program. Ha! Well guess what, I got that camera, took it out of the box, and stared at it totally bewildered and overwhelmed. I had NO idea how to use it, so I asked my friend for help, and she led me to a forum that changed my life. I became a member of that forum, and made some great friends, and learned sooooo much. I would NEVER be where I am today without the loving guidance of those ladies, [and a few fellas ;) ] and I am forever grateful for their help and support. With that in mind, I cannot even fathom turning my back to another aspiring photographer who asks for my help. I feel that I owe it to the people that taught me, to pass on the things I have learned, and hopefully create another talented and well educated photographer that we can all be proud of.
Let's face it, the amateurs are ALWAYS going to be around. The least we can do is lead them down the right path.

As for the topic of equipment and web presence, I believe that with talent and ambition, you can make anything work for you. I started with a blogger blog. That's it. No website. Not even a private URL for my blog. I am not ashamed to say that I [obviously] STILL use that blog today because, honestly, I am not a big fan of change, and I am intimidated by the learning curve that I might encounter in switching to something different. I will do it eventually, but for now I am focusing on other things. I don't think that the "," at the end of my blog URL, makes me any less of a photographer.

As for equipment, I often see a bit of hypocrisy in the photography world. I cannot tell you how many times I've heard the "You're camera takes great pictures" vent, in which photographers exclaim that it is NOT what you shoot with that makes you a photographer, it is how you use it, and the knowledge that you possess that help create beautiful images. Yet, fast forward a few months later and that same person is posting about how she saw xyz photographer shooting senior portraits at the park with an entry level camera and a kit lens. And continue on to proclaim that you cannot be a REAL photographer without investing thousands upon thousands of dollars in equipment. I actually had this happen in a conversation I was in once. The other, highly respected, photographer had just finished complimenting my work, very enthusiastically, then went on to tell another beginner that was chatting with us that you cannot be a pro without top of the line equipment. Well, guess what.........
Confession time again:
....I shoot primarily with a Nikon D200, and a Nikon 50mm 1.8 that I bought used for $85. I don't have thousands of dollars worth in lenses. Rather, I have a family that has gone through hard times the past few years, and I made the executive decision to make due with what I have, since it works for me just fine, and do what I could to help our family make it through the tough times. Now, does that make me less of a photographer too??? According to this other photographer that just got done praising my work, it does. I am one example of how you can make things just have to put your heart into it. I may not be the biggest most successful photographer around, but I shoot what I love, and take great joy in the fact that I am fortunate enough to share my love for photography with the world. Granted, I did not have an ideal beginning in the world of photography, but I am very proud of how far I have come, and fully intend on continuing to learn and grow.

This is not meant to be a rant, and I am not looking down on those that find entertainment in things like the fore mentioned post, but I would just like for everyone to look at it from a different angle. I hope that I have motivated some of you to reach out instead of turn away. :)

For all of the aspiring photographers reading this, here are some links to places you can go to learn more about what you love.

Phaunt Forum (This is where I started, and made many friends. It is not as busy as it used to be, but still holds a wealth of useful information).
Photoshop Naked This is where you can go to learn how to utilize a great tool, photoshop. Ran by the same woman who started Phaunt Forum, Kylie Banks is extremely knowledgeable in the art of using photoshop to enhance your images.
Kelby Training For only $199 per year, or $25 per month you can take advantage of the ENDLESS information that this website has in store.

A shot from one of my first sessions ever.

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Contact Carri for more info, or to set up an appointment.

Phone: (248) 678-3601