Conferencia Festival.Com | UAN Tepic

Where do I begin?

The whole day before and the day of the conference was the worst.  I felt nervous, frustrated, not sure what I would say.  At one point I found myself staring at a blank screen for two hours with "Hi, I'm Jackie."  But I suppose it could have been worse, at least I had three words ha ha.

A friend had invited me to be a part of Festival.Com which was a festival created and organized by the students of the communications college at the UAN (the state university.)  The goal of the festival was to create workshops, masterclasses, conferences, and various media competitions for students.  Being that I majored in Communications, and when I was a student, there was so much to learn from people who were actually living the dream.  Real people doing great things in the media.  Journalists, photographers, cinematographers, social media mavens, and public relations specialists.  So I jumped on board and offered to give a conference.  

It was the worst best experience in my life so far.  

Let me explain, it was the worst because I was so nervous because I had never done anything like this before.  I am not a public speaker and I really don't like having everyone's eyeballs on me.  Ever.  I like to be the fly on the wall that no one notices and gets to observe everything.  The whole time I was unaware of what was coming out of my mouth and I felt that I had said the same thing over and over and over.  

It was also the best experience because I think it was amazing that I was able to share what I am most passionate about with others who are also passionate about photography.  Perhaps they don't do the same type of photography that I do, or maybe they're barely getting into the medium; either way, it was great to be able to share my experiences with them.  The Q&A portion was my favorite part.  Mostly because I was able to answer questions that they really wanted to know.  

Would I ever do it again? Hell yes. 

Even though I know I will be nervous and my voice will tremble.  Even though I will be stressed out and frustrated and stare at a blank screen for two hours (or six).  But if I can teach someone one thing they didn't know before, or inspired at least one person, then I have contributed to our industry and photography as a whole.  Because in the end, that's what its all about anyway.  Sharing, growing, and becoming a community of passionate artists.  And that makes it totally worth it.

Summer Fashion | Chihuahua, Mexico

5 Tips | Wedding photographer check list

This post won't quite be the usual list of 5 tips.  However, this will be a long list of what you should be doing when you are photographing a wedding.  Each photographer goes about their process differently and it really depends on how you are setting up your photography business. 

In the time that I've been photographing weddings, I've learned that the following checklists are good to skim over from time to time.  Helps us in not making future mistakes, which let's face it, we're human and can occur at any time!  

Make sure you click on each photo to download your own copy :).  

Pre-Wedding

So you booked a wedding, I'm very proud of you! But now you're freaking out because you're second guessing your skills.  You're most likely going to be up all night thinking of the worst case scenarios, like the bride's zipper is going to get stuck, or you are going to drop your camera, or one of a million things.  Do not fear, this checklist is going to help you get through the night and sleep like a baby.  Well maybe not like a baby, but at least more soundly and without nightmares.



Wedding Day Photo Checklist 

The wedding day can be even more stressful, especially if you are new to the wedding game. This little guide will help you through the whole day.  This is a general guide as wedding timelines can be different from one event to the next.  Make sure that you confirm the DAY OF timeline with your clients so that you know when and where to photograph each moment.  

What is most important for your clients is what you should be photographing.  It's common to read that you should photograph for publications, photograph for your blog, photograph for the album... While it's good to keep all of that in mind, getting what your client wants is the top priority.  Make sure to do this during client meetings (which is a completely separate post).  

Before even picking up the camera, make sure you arrive at least 1.5 hours early.  This helps to make a plan and get a good idea of what kind of light you're working with, the location, and introducing yourself to the make up artists and anyone else in the room.  



So that's all for the tips feature this time!  

I am also putting together an e-book for wedding and portrait photographers... it's going to be full of information and how-to with lots of tips for the new or even seasoned photographer.  What kind of information would you like to see in the e-book? Write your thoughts in the comments below!  

 

What makes a good photo?

Recently, a student criticized other students on how terrible their photos were.   I couldn't believe my ears!  I understand that perhaps not everyone was meant to be a photographer, and that is understandable.  Just like not everyone has the “it” to be a lawyer, doctor, yoga instructor, or what have you.  But no one has the right to shoot you down for trying.  

And I really mean no one.  My students are more illustrators than photographers, and some are going to be fantastic photographers.  So, when I asked this kid how does he know if the photo is a good one or a bad one?  Is there a rubric? Is there only one path to good photos?  The answer is NO.  There isn’t.  You cannot tell someone a photo is bad or good just like you can't tell someone who paints that their paintings are good or bad.  

What you can do is analyze and interpret what the artist is trying to say. Does having lots of noise in the photograph contribute to the overall theme of the photo? Is there more to the photograph and therefore the negative space is actually helping to understand the concept?

It made me furious to hear that this kid, thankfully not one of my students, judge other artists so simply.  Photography is not as simple as taking a photograph and watching magic reveal before our eyes.  It takes time, training, and breaking of the rules to find a style, a voice, a theme.  

The point of photography is to be moved by the image.  Either in a positive way or in a negative.  As long as you feel something, then the artwork is doing exactly what it’s supposed to do.  There are no good or bad photographs.  There is just art. 

Let me know what you think makes a good photo in the comments below.  And if you liked this post, share it with others!

*click on the photo above to download because art shouldn't be kept to oneself.

Jorge | Modelo Chihuahua

If you've been following my blog, you know that I teach photography at both the university and high school levels.  During the semester, I try to schedule a few mock shoots so that students can observe first hand how to direct, pose, and carry on a session.  There is no right way of having a session and I make sure to tell the students that everything depends on their style.  However, I believe that having them observe how I shoot, take control, and allow myself to focus on my models/clients, they can learn a little and apply it to their own sessions.  

Enter Jorge.  Jorge is an event planner and one of the best I know here in Chihuahua.  He is incredibly detailed and his candid nature makes it easy to know what you are going to get.  Jorge was kind enough to model for us and help me to teach the university students a little about posing, studio lighting, and how to use a reflector.  Thank you Jorge!

Inspiration

Where does inspiration come from?  

Each photographer has their own sources of inspiration and mine is a little quirky.  I get most of my inspiration by looking at images of interior design.  Home tours are my favorite.  Depends on my mood but the inspiration ranges from my outer bohemian hippy side to my inner clean lines and white interior side.  

There is something calming about these images and interior design photography that seems to inspire me.  I believe the reason that interior photography inspires me is because there are no people in the photographs.  Just lines, color schemes, lighting, and mood.  How the elements interact organically within the photograph from one side of the room to the other.  

Looking at a different kind of photography helps me to step out of my own day to day imagery where everything is love, couples, and people.  Getting away from that helps me to reconstruct my own images from the very basic and work myself up to creating the moods.  There is something in interior design photography that just gets me.  Could be the introvert in me that likes to see these spaces void of people, void of noise, void of distractions and just look at them be.  Nothing to hide.  It is beautiful in every sense.   

Where do you get your inspiration from?

click on the image to get taken to my Pinterest page for more inspiration boards!

Roberto + Scheila Sneak Preview

Anais + Mario | Namiquipa Engagement Session

One of the best parts of my job is being able to go to places that hold a special place for my clients.  To show them familiar places in a different light.  We had big gloomy clouds above us and I was able to experiment with a little bit of flash.  Which, if you know me, I have a love-hate relationship with flash.  Engagement sessions allow for this kind of experimentation.  Helps to try new techniques without the pressure of making any mistake you can't take back, like on a wedding day.

Anyway, these two are really in love and I had such a great time photographing them in their hometown, where they met and fell in love!

Just wait until I post their wedding from Mazatlan!  *Soon*


Stillness

It's nice to be in the stillness of the apartment.  Cars pulling out of driveways, gates opening and closing, the whoosh of a car blazing past.  It's as if we're all alone inside.  Separate.  Isolated from the world that continues to go on.  I love afternoons like today.  Watching the sun set slowly through the windows.  The silence makes it feel calm.  A deepening silence.  The kind that make the smallest moments change the attitude of the day.  No matter what happened before, right now, everything is moving and working in complete harmony.  Connected effortlessly.  Balanced.  Just silence.  Just stillness.  Where our thoughts are a voice we can hear.  I breathe deeply as I close my eyes and suspend myself in the stillness.  Allowing it to engulf my every molecule.  I slip into the stillness, break through, and when I open my eyes, I am changed.  I am new again.

Download full resolution photo by clicking on the image.  

Download full resolution photo by clicking on the image.  


6 Things : Pinterest

My husband is witness to the fact that I love Pinterest.  He secretly does too though, hanging over my shoulder when I take a look at all the amazingness.  I can literally kill some serious time scouring through all of the images.  That's what I love about it, no extra stuff, just images.  It's the mecca of inspiration.  And without much introduction, these are my favorite pins lately!  Don't forget to check out my Pinterest boards and follow me :).

Click on the images for their link!

Happy Monday!