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Thursday, March 29, 2012

AHP 52 Week Challenge ~ Week 14

So last week's "Upside-down" theme proved to be one of the more fun themes so far! I apologize it took me a couple extra days to get my image loaded. Life happens!

This week the hardwood floors in my house are being refinished so we were forced out of our home for a few days. We made a mini vacation up to the Adirondacks for some family quiet time. We've spent the week baking, doing "Arts and Craps" (as Sydney says), getting some good workouts in, a bit of shopping, taking some long overdue photos of the kiddos and a whole lot of just sitting around relaxing. 

I did get an email this morning though that they were finished!!! It will be a few more days before the odor subsides and we can put furniture on the floor, so a few more days up here for us!!

aren't they purrrdy!!??

Back to the photo theme...
I've really tried to limit both my internet time as well as the girls TV time. It's a bit cooler than I had hoped so we weren't able to spend as much time outdoors, but we're still having a great time simply enjoying each other's company.

In effort to keep this great family "mojo" flowing I'm going to make this week's AHP photo challenge theme: FAMILY

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A. Hedges Photography {Albany Wedding Photographer} In My Own Words

Lately, the blog posts I write are either the next week's photo challenge theme or a recap of a recent photo session that I wanted to share. But I am going to veer away from the normally scheduled program and make a few simple statements. If you're not interested in listening, that's fine, just wait until Thursday and you'll find next weeks theme. But if you're interested in hearing what my soul is saying this week, stay tuned....

 I consider myself a new photographer. This is my 3rd year in business, my 2nd full wedding season is about to begin. I'm not an expert in anything and I don't feel like I have anything to teach anyone. But I do know that some photographers follow me, both experienced professionals and amateur hobbyists so you may be interested in what I have to say... this is a look into my mind right now. I do have a few ideas I live by, I follow these ideas to better my business and my craft. None of this may be relevant to you, but it's my blog, in my own words, pertaining to me. Take it or leave it.

1) First and foremost, know your tools. period. end of story. no questions asked. no ifs ands or butts. Practice all the time. Do not charge someone until you are confident with your tools and your skill. 

2) If a new photographer comes on to the scene I don't get grumpy, I don't poke fun, I don't complain, I don't get afraid. If they're good enough to compete with me then they deserve to be here. If they're good enough to compete with me than I need to get better (and I will). If they're not good enough and don't put the effort in to be so, they won't be around for too long anyway so no need to worry. 

3) If a photographer approaches me with a question, asking for advice, or wanting feedback- I help. Like I said, I'm not an expert- don't take my advice as such. But I do know what has worked for me and what hasn't, I do know a thing or two about photography (sarcasm, incase anyone was confused) and I don't have anything to hide. Technical skill is not magic, technical knowledge is not by chance. It's not mine to keep. My words to your ears will not hurt my business- even if it betters yours. I'm happy to help.

4) Photography is an art form. But photography is also technical. An amazing, emotion-filled photo isn't as powerful as an amazing, emotion-filled, properly executed photo. 
(Refer back to #1, twice.) 

5) With DSLR's around ever person's neck, with free online photo editing software, with a blog and a cute logo with a curly font, everyone is a photographer these days. How will you get clients to book you and not one of the 100 others in your area? Be different, be "more-better-good".

6) Just because you have a lot of "facebook fans" "twitter followers" "re-pinners" or "blog stalkers" that doesn't mean you're a good photographer. You're also not famous.

7) Most people can't tell the difference between a good photograph and a great one. But it's obvious when you suck.

8) Don't judge a book or a photograph, a person or a photographer by it's cover. How many people feel misunderstood on a regular you honestly think you're the only one?

9) The only people who's opinions about your work count are those who you've personally asked for feedback, those who give constructive criticism, your clients and you. 

10) Finally let me pose this question: Think of Sarah McLachlan, Brittany Spears, The Grateful Dead and Barry Manilow for example. If Brittany has ten-million fans and Sarah has 10,000, is Sarah going to be jealous and try to win those fans over by singing hip-hop and shaving her head? Doubt it...and would she even care!!??
Do you think Jerry Garcia would ever have sang Copacabana live in concert?? They are all amazing at what they do and I love them for that. Rock ON with your badass selves and stop comparing your work to everyone else's. If you are happy with your work, who cares what anyone else is doing or thinking?!

Moving upward and onward...and never backwards.

Friday, March 23, 2012

A. Hedges Photography {Albany Wedding Photographer}

I'm so excited to let everyone know that I have found someONE who will be with me at every wedding this year. The same ONE second shooter for EVERY wedding...if you listen closely you'll be able to hear "consistency" when I click my camera shutter and I couldn't be more thrilled!!

Well, with just a couple short months before "wedding season" kicks off I thought it would be the perfect time for Heather and I to get together and shoot! And who better to photograph than one of the brides we'll be working with later on this year?! Fawn and Lloyd will be getting married in October at the Key Hall in Schenectady, NY and holy-mylanta I can not wait for this wedding. Fawn has been giving me updates on the details as they get worked out and let me tell you, it's going to rock my world I can just feel it!

So the three of us got together and during this short session I got even more excited about this wedding- Fawn is so easy to photograph, she's got a killer style and Heather and I hit a great stride working side by side.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

AHP 52 Week Challenge ~ Week 13

My family was instructed to be out of the house for 5 hours today. We have varmints and bugs...yuck. So the pest control dudes came by to "take care of business". They said that we could re-enter the house at 5pm and "it should be safe by then". Hmmmmm so you're telling me you dumped 3 gallons of pest poison in and around my home, and if we enter the house at 4:30 it's dangerous and toxic, but at 5 it's magically ok???

Yea- someone please check to make sure we're all breathing later on this evening if you wouldn't mind! Kthxbai!
 (learned that one from Neil VanNeikerk last night and I just couldn't resist using it myself!!)

So needless to say I didn't forget about posting this week's theme, I was just inconvenienced delayed.

Last week was "vintage" guys ROCKED my socks off again! I love old things, antiques, and vintage sounds way cool-hipster-trendy so I'm all over that!

One request- be sure you're posting your photos in the comments area under my photo each week! Find the album in the "photos" tab at the top of my page.

So here we go...lucky week number 13! The theme for this week is: UPSIDE-DOWN

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Just Because...PARTIES!! A. Hedges Photography- Portrait Photographer- Albany New York

Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art. 
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Last night I was really walking on air. I felt energized and excited. I had spent the day doing things I love- entertaining my friends and family, spending time at home, cooking and eating delicious food, getting pampered and taking photos. 

I would like to think my guests also walked out of my home with a pep in their step and feeling beautiful. They should have because they all looked fantastic!!

I feel like I was able to bring out the true, natural beauty in these women and it was a great bonding activity for all of us.

Take a peek!!


And a HUGE thank you to Lisa for helping me get all of this together and helping us beautify!! 

If you have a bunch of friends who would love a day of glamour and beauty like this email me for more information. Portrait parties are a great idea for bridal showers, mothers day, or Just Because!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

AHP 52 Week Challenge ~ Week 12

WELCOME SPRING!!'s just mid March...this is just weird! But hey- I'll take it! 
I totally have ideas for a photo challenge theme related to Spring, but I'm afraid to jinx anything. If I put it out there now, BAM we'll get a blizzard and it will be all my fault! So yea--moving on--quickly!!

Last weeks theme was LIGHTS. I knew I was traveling to NYC to see Jasmine Star, so I knew I'd be seeing some "cray-cray" lights and I did. I love NYC!! 

So a few reminders about the challenge as we may have some new people joining in (spread the word...I'd love to see some new faces around!)
-Be sure you've created a photo album on your facebook page, Flickr etc called "AHP 52 Week Photo Challenge" and post your weekly photos all together in that one album. It will be super cool to see all your photos together in one spot at the end of the year!
-Make that album public so all the other participants can see your submission. For inspiration & feedback. 
-Feel free to comment on everyone else's photos- either right in their own album (if allowed), or in the comments area on my page under the submissions.
- After I post my weekly photo (typically Sunday or Monday) post your photos in the comments area under my photo. The new timeline format makes this a bit confusing. The easiest way to find the right spot is to go to my "PHOTOS" area, find the album, find the current weeks photo and then post your photo. If you happen to post in the wrong spot- no worries, I'll just repost it!
-Feel free to leave suggestions for upcoming weeks themes as well, I'd love to hear new ideas!

Ok ok ok- enough of my voice! Let's move on to WEEK 12!!!

The AHP 52 Week Photo Challenge theme for week 12 is, "Vintage".

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Fix {A. Hedges Photography- Albany, New York Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer}

What I learned from New York City, The FIX 

- There are many fantastic photographers right here in my area who want to join forces together to help us succeed individually.
- But in the same breath, I am the only one who can ultimately get me to where I want to be.
- I do things in my business that I hate doing.
- I'm still excited about photography- I believe in photography- I won't give up on photography.
- I do things in my business that don't reflect my brand.
- NYC is magic.

- I still have LOTS to learn- and I desperately seek to learn these things.
- I want to blog more. And if people read my words, fantastic, but if not that's ok too. I just need to write.
- I'm still a very shy person in large groups.
- I'm good at making changes when needed to further my success.
- Showit is so amazing I was able to launch my brandy-new mobile website right from my NYC hotel room- cutting edge right there! Check it out on your iPad or your phone!! ...NOW...I'll wait :-)

- I want to be a successful photographer, permanently.
- Support from friends, family and other loved ones is important and nice, but it's nothing you can force. And without it, you'll still be OK. 
- NYC and I mix like oil and vinegar- not so well on our own, but with the right amount of help we're a beautiful combination. (I wouldn't have found my way out of a paper bag without my husbands help. He got us from point A to point B, found places to eat and sights to see. He's good like that--my hero.)

I did something this past weekend that many people don't get to do. I met one of the people who has a significant influence on me, my business, and my brand. I met her, I hugged her, I listened to her person. I sat there with a smile on my face and a pen in my hand. I devoured every word she spoke. I soaked up the energy, the message and the inspiration. And I left with a fire in me to go and DO.

I'm scared. 
Out. of. my. mind. 
Scared of failure, of struggle, of sacrifice. 
But my desire is stronger. My drive is stronger. My discipline and passion will push me to overcome.

(PS The lovely lady in the photo with Jasmine and me...that's Heather- you're going to see a LOT of her coming up, I just know it! She's gonna be huge :-) Check her out... HERE )

Thursday, March 8, 2012

AHP 52 Week Challenge ~ Week 11

This past week was perhaps my favorite week so far!! It was by far the simplest theme this year and I really thought it was going to give everyone a break from the crazy interpretive themes I've been throwing out lately. FORK turned out to be pretty amazing. Almost every submission was completely different.  I even learned new meanings of the word fork that I had never heard of before! I was incredibly impressed with you guys. You took a simple task and stretched once again! 

Well this week I'm going to be a bit selfish. You see tomorrow I'm traveling to NYC to see the AMAZING Jasmine Star speak. She is one of my biggest influences and inspirations and this is kind of a dream come true. Really. Expect major gushing, tears and silly starstruck embarrassment on my facebook page this weekend!!

So I knew I was going to NYC and I knew I'd want to take photos while I was there. So I came up with this week's theme with that in mind. Take it as you'd like and do what you will with guys obviously create amazingness so I'm kind of expecting nothing less from here on out!

The AHP 52 Week Challenge Week 11 Theme is: LIGHTS

Thursday, March 1, 2012

AHP 52 Week Photo Challenge ~ Week 10

WOW!! Week 9 was great! The theme was to interpret this quote by Kahlil Gibran, "Beauty is not in the face; Beauty is a light in the heart." And you can check out all of the submissions

I know it was kind of tough for some since you really had to interpret the quote in your own way to find the theme, but because of that there is no right or wrong! You'll definitely see more of those kinds of weeks later on this year. 

And by the way- I LOVE LOVE LOVE that people are starting to comment on the photos posted. Feel free to use the same comment boxes under my photo for back and forth banter. Don't be shy- let everyone know how awesome they are!

So for week 10 lets go in the opposite direction- simplicity, straight forward, obvious....or is it??

The theme for Week 10 is: