Saturday, April 30, 2011

Loving this day!

Wow - what a day so far! Got to all 3 photo shoots and now I'm tired! Managed to even get a little shopping done (I couldn't not shop while I was right there!) Now on to the next phase of my day - and later when I get back home it will be uploading images and editing.

My middle son moved away today. It doesn't seem real yet, and I doubt it will for at least a few days. But it is these little moments when there is that little pang of sadness that my kids are now grown that I also am so excited because I have new and exciting ventures to seek out!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, April 29, 2011

Social networking....hmmm....

My son is moving out.  Ok - anyone who follows my blogs must remember that I did say at least once that I can be very random sometimes... and I know my opening comment seems very random!  But let's just go with it here!  So... my son is moving out.  He's 22-yrs-old, and it's his first "real" move away from home.  It's for his job - and he'll be living about 2 1/2 hours away from home.  My way of dealing with it is by getting lost in my photography...editing photos, organizing camera equipment, working on brochures and price lists (which it's my goal to get done by mid-May.)  Sometimes things just seem so complicated.  It's no longer enough to just be good at something... you also have to be "plugged in" to the right connections, including the social networking.  Now I'm not a stranger to the internet - not one bit!  In fact, much of my work requires computer use, and for years I've kept up-to-date on using computers, latest software, etc.  But some of the social networking is really confusing to me!  Facebook can be really fun - and I've loved LOVED getting back in touch with some friends from the past... seeing where some people have gone in their lives, getting the opportunity to reunite with some lost friends, and it was really great when my oldest son was deployed with the Navy a couple of years ago and we could stay in constant touch through Facebook!  Yet now I'm finding that it's important to have Facebook for my business... and then I was told it was important to start blogging and tweeting!  Tweeting - really?  Who really cares that I'm brushing my teeth - or driving through the bank - or stopping by Dunkin Donuts again for a cup of coffee?  But the blogging...honestly, I'm finding it more like cheap therapy!  I have no idea who is reading what I write - and have to sometimes click that "delete" button a lot to erase something I've written that I maybe don't want "out there."  Overall, though, I find it very refreshing to just put it out there - just be myself and let YOU decide if you want to come back and read more. now the Mom in me is saying I really need to check on my son - make sure that he's getting things in order for his big move.  And also I might check and make sure that he hasn't packed up all of the upstairs bath towels!!  Then I'll get back to my photography - and tomorrow I'll count on my camera to help me deal with the sadness that I know will set in as I watch him drive away. 

Sometimes it just has to be personal...

Today has been quite a day.  It started with me getting up early for a photo shoot that I would be traveling an hour or more to get to - which is not a problem, except that the client sent an email to me about 45 mins before the shoot time to cancel.  Not a phone call - an email.  Fortunately I had decided to even check my email for some reason, because normally I wouldn't have checked it until much later on - but by then I was 3 miles from my destination.  Honestly, I was a bit put-off by the way it was handled - and felt very disrespected.  But no biggie - I can definitely deal with disappointment or aggravations, and I am a firm believer that I DO choose my reactions... so I decided to react by just enjoying my day regardless.  And it has been a good day.  I was able to spend some time getting some other things done that I've not had time to do lately - and then I even got to have lunch with my daughter.  What a treat!  Anyway... my question is this - what is the appropriate way to handle such things, because I am somehow sure this won't be the last time something like this happens to me!  This is where I wish this were more of an open conversation than a blog - so that I could get feedback from whoever is reading this... but I trust that if you have an opinion you will somehow let me know. 

You know, blogging is quite a strange thing... deciding whether to just randomly write (which, believe me, random is my specialty! I can definitely be an airhead!) about whatever comes to my mind - or do I choose a topic, which somehow seems too planned and organized for my liking.  So, I guess we will stick to random for now.  If you ever read something and think "I wonder what she would say about .....?" then i do hope you would send me a message and give me the opportunity to consider your thoughts!

I hope your afternoon is going well! 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Best time in life....

I went to see a movie this evening... Soul Surfer.  It's the story of Bethany Hamilton - the surfer who, as a teenager, is attacked by a shark and loses her arm.  Honestly, I had tears burning my eyes from about 20 minutes into the movie until...well, up to now!  There is a lump in my throat, and I'm wondering if it will ever go away!  But I think it was even more than the movie that has moved me - but rather the whole message in it of NOT GIVING UP!  I'm 45 years old - and many people would say I've gone into business "later in life."  Well, I think this is the perfect time in my life!  I've learned so much in my 45 years that I honestly believe makes me a better photographer.  To broaden that, I think my experiences have made me a better person, a better mother, a better friend... better all the way around!  I'm better able to find perspective in the things in my life - not just fall apart every time there's a bad day - or a bad year! (oh, yes, I've had plenty of those!) So what I loved about this movie was that this young girl didn't give up!  Yes - she had days and moments that she wanted to - even started to walk away.  She had those times that she questioned how any good could come from what she had gone through.  But she held on - she had faith that if she waited long enough she would see that good.  And that is what it took me a very long time to learn in my own life.

So if you are one who would look at me and think "how nice that she has become a photographer at this point in her life" - Thank you!  There have been many lessons going on in the process of getting here, and I'll let none of them be wasted.  They will be what fuels my passion for my photography - what makes me fall in love with every baby I hold as I'm getting ready to take a photo - what makes me wish every couple the very best as I see them beginning a life together - and what makes me teary-eyed as I click a photo of an older couple who have weathered many storms in life to get to that place of being "older."  Passion is awesome -- and I am so blessed that I feel it and am filled with it!  Now... I have a photo shoot in the morning, and lots to do from now until then! 

You've got to hear this!!!

I don't know if you check out my website - or follow my Photography by DonnaKay facebook page - or if you are even a "friend" on my regular facebook page... but either way I'd love for you to check out my website at to hear the new music I just put on.  It was composed exclusively for my site by my awesomely talented and loving cousin, Jonathan Ansley of Money Puppet.  Check out Money Puppet facebook page as well - and LIKE them if you like what you hear!  ***Also - if you haven't already clicked the "LIKE" button on my Photography by DonnaKay facebook page, please do and show me some LOVE!  It would also mean so much if you would share my page with all of your friends so they would learn about my photography business!    <3  Hope you are all having an awesome day!   It's a beautiful day - but prayers continue for all that have been affected by the storms yesterday and last night. 

How to accomplish another day...

The weather this morning is making me feel very lazy. But that can't last too much logger, because I have so much to get done. Much of it is ruled bt appointments - which on a lazy day is probable a good thing. Oh - I just wanted to point out that I do realize this blog is supposed to be about my photography, but often is more like my diary - just give me the benefit of the doubt that it does all go together. I don't turn from one person into a photographer and then back into my original person again - so it will just all have to be mingled. Just celebrate the fact that I'm not pouring out all of my personal issues on this blog...I'll save that for the ultra-personal Blog I'm considering that woul,d of course, be a sign-in-only blog.

But about photography. I upgraded my 50mm lens and now am faced with the decision to sell the 50 that I already had. But it's my friend! I don't know who of my friends doesn't have one - that I could then give this one to. And at the same time, I'm trying to discipline myself that it is more fair (yes, that is grammatically incorrect!) that someone else pay something for it, and I put that amount towards the replacement lens. Anyway, I guess this is rambling...thinking out loud.

I am doing photography for a book - kind of a magazine-book. It's called Crave Charlotte, and it's keeping me very busy! And I am enjoying it immensely. I have learned how much I enjoy doing commercial shoots - and definitely want to do more of that as part of my career. The most exciting part is not only that I enjoy it, but that it seems that I'm good at it! I don't take compliments very well - usually back out the moment a compliment is given - but this is something I have worked so hard to achieve that hearing "you nailed it!" or that my photos are "head on" is so exciting because it means my work to get to where I am wanting to be has shown accomplishment. So now go spread the word - send your friends with businesses my way. Let me show them what I can do for them to help promote their business in photos!

Thank you ton to those who follow my Blog. A special thank you to those who follow and let me know! That means the world to me! And if you want to do anything to help my new and developing business grow - SHARE me! Share my Photography by DonnaKay Facebook page - LIKE it yourself, if you haven't already. And visit my website at If you would ever like more info - if you would like any of my business cards to share, or would even like one of the pens with my logo on it because you are out of pens - please send me an email!!!

Have a great day! Be back soon!

It's only natural to want to know...right?

It is kind of funny how often i will click onto this blog page and see the number of people who have visited -- and immediately I think "well, only 4 people are listed as my followers - and I doubt they are each reading my blog that many times a day" I just wonder who is reading my blog?  Sometimes I think I might need a questionnaire to request to have filled out so I know a little more about who is reading my words.  But I don't think that's possible - so I guess I will just go on as I have.  If you are a friend of mine, and know me at all, then you know I am basically a very quiet person - shy is only a small word to describe me.  Most of the time I feel socially inept.  I never know just what to say - and am pretty sure that whatever I do let come out of my mouth will only cause trouble!  I do tend to speak my mind - so often I try to not speak at all!  Then I get in trouble because I'm seen as stuck-up -- and wow, is that hitting far from the tree with me!  I'm definitely not snobby... not my style.  If you enjoy my rambling in this blog, then share it with someone else -- my ultimate desire is that people will get to know more about me and their interest will be peaked to want to check out my website and also my Photography by DonnaKay facebook page -- and from there they might see something they like and find they could actually use my photography services for something in their own life!  So - if you share my Blog with someone else - that helps me out!  So, I will tell you thank you in advance for being so kind!  As usual, I would love to hear from anyone who has advice to offer - or even if it's just to offer some kind words of encouragement.  There's no way for me to blog only about professional photography - so anyone reading this will find that much about what I write is about my life.  But that's part of getting to know me so you can move on to check out my fb page and website - and then share me with all of your friends!!!  Then I will be blogging more about how busy I am with my photography business!

I hope you have a great night....praying for those affected by the storms so far - and praying that everyone is safe.  Be back soon!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Why is this so hard for me?!

Part of my nature seems to be doing things for people...I love to do things for others!  I love to give things away (anyone who is close to me knows that I am thrilled to give stuff to them!)  Photography is something that gives me so much joy, and that has been the main reason I have worked so hard to become a professional photographer.  I want to offer the best of myself in every photo that I take for someone.  But the hardest part is having to charge to do this!  I would love to just take photos and give them to people - but at some point I would most certainly go broke.  A lot of my time is in the work that I do - not to mention all of the money has gone in to classes, equipment, editing software and everything else that goes into all of this (traveling expenses, props, etc.)  But so far I still find it so hard when I have to give someone a price for something I have loved doing so much!!  Hopefully the passion that I have for my photography will also be what makes my clients eager to pay for my work as well. 

"There is only you and your camera..."

“There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are.” ~Ernst Haas (1921-1986)
Somehow I am happiest when I am alone with my camera... no one trying to talk to me or ask me questions.  I find myself lost behind the lens -- and in a good way.  Connecting with whatever I am seeing through that lens in a special way.  
 I hope you are enjoying your day!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spending a day with just my 50mm....

If you know me, you know I have my choice of lenses. Typical for me, as that is how I am with my shoes, purses or anything else.  When it comes to my lenses, each one has such a special purpose for me!  I will never believe that I could be a better photographer from the equipment that I use - and that does include the lenses.  There is an ease with having the equipment available - and I certainly do love my camera body very much... but regardless, when I want to grab the photo that is pulling at me in the moment, I never think "oh, I'd better not even try for it because I have the wrong lens on."  No - I grab my camera and do my best to capture the shot I am after.  More times than not, I will have my 50mm on my camera -- and yes, some of the reason could be that it is one of my shorter lenses, and a little less in weight than most of the others... but it also makes me work harder sometimes for the photo that I am after.  I am moving forward - or maybe backing up to get just to where I want to be.  I love the power with this lens.  You know that little game "if you were stranded on a deserted island and you could only have 1 thing, what would it be?" (or something like that!!) - well, if I were stranded on a desert island and I could only choose one lens for my camera no doubt it would be my 50mm. 

Gloomy day...

If you've been reading my blog then you know I just returned from a cruise - my first cruise, to be exact.  And I must say, I packed so much that anyone would have thought it was a month-long cruise.  But you just never know when you might spill something, or a cold-snap could happen in the Caribbean, or you just might not be in the mood for that top with those pants.  Isn't everyone like that?  The options while on away are great...unpacking, washing, putting away, etc., is not so great now that I'm home.  Then to make life more chaotic, my middle child (one of my sons) is getting ready to move away from home for his job... it will be his first real move away from home and I have been doing everything possible to make sure he would have necessary furniture and other things he would need.  The week before leaving for my cruise, my youngest child (my daughter) told me she had decided she was moving out of the apartment that she was moved into this past Fall (near her college, rather than in the dorms on campus) so now I also have to find storage for all of the furniture, etc., that she has with her.  Life is never boring. 

In the meantime, I'm trying to get a new photography business off the ground.  Trying to learn how to effectively advertise and let people know I am here and what I can do for them.  That in itself it very stressful for me, because I will not do something to compete with someone else... it's just not my nature.  I have lost friendships - even very recently - due to jealousy and/or competition, but those are just not words I would ever want used to describe me.  So I wonder how best to sell myself?  I hope that people will show the photos I have done for them - and that there will be powerful enough advertising in that for someone else to want to contact me for services... and that things will just move along that way.  I'm definitely a believer that God will work these things out in the best timing and in His will... so I try to be patient each day and know that His plan is in action -- even if I don't always see anything going on in my own view. 

So I guess it's time to go get the next load of laundry out of the washer and dryer... consider tackling that pile of clothing that needs to be ironed... start making some of the phone calls on the list that seems endless of calls I need to make.  Last week I was on a ship... ordering room service and relaxing as we were coming into port in San Juan.  Life changes entirely too fast for me sometimes!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Trying to catch up...

After being away for a week it is amazing how much has to be taken care of...but somehow my priority today has been catching up on everything with my photography (in between loads of laundry - which had no choice since it was overtaking the house!)  Just knowing that the unpacking has been done has given me a sense of accomplishment all day!  In the week that I was gone all of the trees have completely come to life with greenery.  It is most noticeable around my house because I live on a lake, and when the trees finally have leaves it is so much more beautiful in the backyard.  But most notable is the fact that at dinner I can sit at the table in the kitchen without being blinded from the sun sinking lower in the sky.  Most beautiful is how I want to take pictures out of my back door constantly because it is just so gorgeous.  Year after year I never get tired of the sunsets that I can watch in my own backyard - and I always think that each one is the most beautiful one I've ever seen.  So here I am after my first full day back from vacation... my photos are all downloaded, backed up and many have been edited already.  Guess we'll see what gets accomplished tomorrow!

...over a week has passed by....

I realize as I start this blog today that it has been over 10 days since I last wrote on here!  There's a very good reason - I've been on vacation.  It was my first cruise, and before I left on this cruise I would probably have said it would possibly be my only one... but I am now a woman with a very different opinion.  I will definitely cruise again - and would have no issue with leaving this very minute!  It was by far the most relaxing vacation I've ever been on because someone was taking care of me, where most of the time I'm still in charge of taking care of everyone and cleaning up after them as well.  Very quickly I found that cruising offers a wide variety of opportunities for photography as well...I kept my camera with my almost the entire trip.  And there are so many wonderful photos to show so many moments of the vacation.  I hope that if you haven't already visited my facebook page: Photography by DonnaKay... that you will want to go there and take a look at some of the photos that I have posted. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Today my polarizing filters for my camera lenses arrive - and I am too excited.  I have found it awesome what you can do with Photoshop, Lightroom, NIK, etc to adjust things in a photo - but there is nothing more satisfying than when I take that photo and see that there are really no adjustments really needed!  I read many things on equipment needs, wants, etc... and sometimes want to just comment back to so many writers "This is just a matter of opinion! There is no right or wrong!"  It is what you are comfortable with.  I am very well equipped as a photographer - but honestly most of the time I end up using the lens I walk out the door with on my camera.  I am so into taking the picture, that I don't think "ok, I need to switch to this lens to get this shot."  And in many ways, I hope that never changes.  To ME that signifies that I just enjoy what I am doing.  The technical is SO important - don't misunderstand what I am saying --- but the passion has to be the main thing for ME in photography.  There are many times that I will walk out the door with my 50mm f/1.4 and have a blast taking photos wherever I am through the day.  It makes ME the zoom -- I have to move in or move back to get the shot I want.  And if someone is close to me (especially a small child) it can be the best shot ever.  But at the same time -- I do love each and every one of my other lenses - and they are great and at least one of my favorites when they are on my camera.  Wouldn't it be nice if everything we did in life was because we loved it so much?!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It's HOW much for insurance coverage?!

Anyone who really knows me very well (now many people will claim they know me very well - but actually few really, really do!) will know that I am a rule-follower.  (Of course, I can also break rules, but I try to live my life following them.)  And one lesson I don't want to have to learn the hard way is that I should have had insurance coverage on my camera equipment.  So in the midst of everything else I'm trying to get done each day right now, I finally took care of insurance as well.  I called my ever-friendly insurance company (who I have to say has proven time and time again to be very trustworthy) and told them what I needed.  I answered all of their questions as honestly as possible (and yes, I do know there were probably cheaper ways to get this done! But I do like that honesty) and I got my quote before "signing on the doted line" and nailing down the coverage.  Lately I feel like my life is in a whirlwind - and there are a million (well, maybe not a million - but it feels like it!) people giving me their opinions on what to do and not do and how to do it or not do it.  Insurance is an issue that to me was just not debatable.  And when you need insurance for something, it is priceless... but when you are finding out the price you have to pay for it, it does make you cringe!  Yet, right now I feel like the responsible person here -- rather the responsible sole proprietor of my business.  And that is such a great feeling. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

A quiet nice and needed!

I'm finding it was such a great decision to have a quiet Monday.  Sometimes the busyness just takes over and I get to the point of feeling frustrated that I'm not getting other things done that are important to me.  Plus, I was asked to keep a sweet almost 1-yr-old for the day.  How could I pass that up?  My kids are grown - all 3 are in their 20's now - so I am at that place between raising kids and one day having grandchildren.  So this little girl is kind of like my trial run at being a grandmother.  And she is also a subject in many of my photos.  I have so much fun taking her picture! 

Very soon I am taking a trip.  The first thing I did when beginning to plan for this trip was to start thinking of what I needed to pack for my photography.  I can find a need for every lens that I own - but know there is just no way that everything can be taken.  I am one that always seems to need whatever I DIDN'T bring when I am away from home - whether it is photography, shoes, or anything else!  But I'm just trying to make sure that all of the bases are covered in what I could need on this trip.  Of course, after I get through choosing the lenses, then I have to settle on a bag!  Ugh... choices are just not always a great thing for me!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The trouble with weather....

It's been a nice day... spent some time with my sweet Bailey and now it's time to get ready to leave for my photo shoot... and the weather is looking less than beautiful.  Hmmm.... This is supposed to be a beautiful outdoor Spring photo shoot with pregnant Mommy, Daddy and the little boys.  There are many things that keep Spring from being one of my favorite seasons -- pollen being the first and main reason, but the next biggie is the unpredictable weather.  But it's okay - and I'll take it all in stride.  Will just play right along with it - and hopefully we'll have some sunshine peak through long enough between storms to get some gorgeous photos. 

Please be patient with me as I'm writing in this blog.  This is quite new to me!  So if you want to send me an email - please do -- I would love to know know if you are keeping up.

A very long day...but oh, how good of a day it was....

Don't you just love when you can't go to sleep because your day was so great you don't want it to end?  Today was one of those days for me.  Usually it seems those kinds of days are followed very quickly by one of the worst days -- but for now I'll not worry about that.  I'm just going to enjoy the satisfaction of having had such a great day. 

I had a photo shoot today - a commercial shoot - and it was so much fun.  I know I've said it before - but it is so awesome doing something that I love so much!  But it is twice as much fun when it also makes someone else happy - and when someone sees my photos and loves them... well, there's no describing how happy that makes me!

My very busy day ended with dinner with friends... another photographer who has many years of experience over me - but along with being a mentor, she has also become a very good friend.  And of course, along with describing my photo shoot today, I had to give her a peak at the photos and get her opinion.  Wow - a complete thumbs up... but even better, the words "you nailed it." I felt like I had arrived!  I hope that as I become more and more experienced and seasoned that I am able to be an encouragement and supporter to someone else who is new in the game... that I can one day mentor someone in the same kind way I've found in this friend. 

Tomorrow is going to be quite a busy day as well - with a pregnancy photo shoot in the afternoon.  So hopefully I can find in my exhaustion the ability to now sleep.  Goodnight!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Happy Friday!

This will be short, as I am on my way out to a photo shoot.  It has been such a gorgeous morning, but now it seems the sun is hiding behind some clouds - and I hope that doesn't mean bad weather.... oh, well - make the best of what it is!  This is a business photo shoot - and I always get much more nervous doing these.  So much about photography is about style - and we all have different styles.  With babies, children, families, etc. I can talk and laugh and kind of get their personality showing -- but with a business it's not like that... it is all about angles and depth of field and content.  So while I am excited about this photo shoot - I have nerves fluttering around too. 

I have to remind myself that this is not my diary - I have to be careful of what I write in here.  But at this point I feel it is pretty safe, as I'm pretty sure I'm the only one reading it.  But still... you just never know! 

If you have joined me - I hope you have a great day.... I'll be back later to report on how this photo shoot went... and please say a prayer for me that I capture what I need for the client!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Only because I love it....

Today was a long day - but also a good day.  Had a great photo shoot with a sweet little baby and her mama.  Realized many times through my day that I am a very blessed woman.  I love all the new people I meet along the way on this journey - and I especially love how many people in the photography business celebrate with me. 

So much has come together this week with my photography business - and today I got everything settled and signed with opening my business checking account.  For many people this excitement would seem silly - but for me, my primary job for most of my life has been Mom.  I have always put all of myself into being the best Mom I could be and always enjoyed my role, but now with my kids grown it is my time to shine and reach for my dreams.  So I am reaching!  There was something very gratifying about seeing my name on the paperwork as "sole proprietor" of my business - and honestly I felt a little guilty for a moment.  But then I felt proud of myself (mind you, not in a "prideful" way!)  One thing I've promised myself is that I will only keep on with this dream as long as I love it... I won't compromise who I am or what I believe in for it.  It is so great each day to feel so blessed to be doing what I am doing - to love doing something this much! 

Tomorrow is another busy day.  A photo shoot during the day - and then spending the evening with friends... I hope you have a great night!
Now spending time with a very sweet and special almost-1-yr-old. Lots of jabbering and hugging going on. What a perfect way to close out this day.
Quick nights sleep! My mind spins with lists of what I need to get done right now. Continually I'm reminding myself that I just need to be patient with myself and it will all get accomplished. I'm so thankful for those people in my my life who have supported and encouraged me - and continue to do so constantly. What would I do without you? I'm sad for the realization along the way that some people are never happy for you - and my heart breaks at the thought of losing a friendship. I am reminded often that a true friendship cannot really ever be lost. But I am determined to stay on the path that I believe God has set me on at this point in my life. And I will enjoy each step along the way.

Now off to my busy day...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Still awake!

It has been such a long and busy day - yet here I am still awake.  Today was pretty much a day of working on Photography by DonnaKay business stuff... getting set up in a business the "right way" is a lot of work.  After much headache I finally got my logo design finished - which I still find sad that it took so long, since I knew exactly what I wanted and had it sketched out.  All I needed was someone to put it into an Adobe Illustrator file for me to be able to use.  But it is done - and I am happy with it.  And now I have even found myself learning how to use the AI program a little bit more since I have been figuring out how to change colors, remove background color (layers) etc.  There is still so much to learn - but I'm trying to just celebrate my accomplishments along this journey, rather than focus on how much more work there is to be done.  Today my business cards arrived - and that is so exciting!  It's all moving along so quickly - but don't think it is without many bumps in the road!  I could never even start to count how many times I've thought or said "that's it - I am just quitting -- I'll sale my equipment and just go back to life as it was before..." but photography has taken on so much more in my life than just being a hobby.  It fulfills something in me - and I continually strive to put that back into my photos.  

I hope this blog finds you well tonight... it's late and I have a photo shoot with a sweet baby girl tomorrow.  Her mother was my first (and so far only) testimonial, which will always be special!  In some ways I feel like I am just going to spend time with a friend tomorrow, rather than to do my job.  Wow - I am blessed!