Gage | Rapid City, SD Photographers

Last weekend, Jordan and I had the joy of shooting a session for Gage’s first birthday! Of course there were some family photos in there as well.

We spent an hour at Canyon Lake Park wandering around and then we found a beautiful green little shaded area. Considering it was his nap time, he did a stellar job giving us smiles! Of course, mom’s shark song had a little bit to do with it.

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Peace,

Samantha

A Little Bit of Love – Rapid City, SD Photographer

Of course, I have said it before. But I LOVE homecomings. There is just so much LOVE. All of the love! Over the last week, I have had the joy of shooting THREE Air Force homecoming sessions!

I love seeing families come back together. I love seeing service members get back to their home life. I love watching the itching anticipation of the family at home just waiting for more information, waiting for that plane to land, and trying to find their other half in a massive sea of green.

I keep telling myself that I’ll only take one homecoming family next go-round but lets be real. That’s not happening. So long as the sessions aren’t at the same exact time, I’ll do it. Why? Because I’m obsessed with seeing all of the love, and all of the happiness. It’s a lot of work for zero pay, and it’s worth every single second.

Peace,

Samantha

Carpe Diem – Rapid City, SD Photographer

Hello! I’m sure most of you saw the blog post introducing me, if not my name is Jordan! Today I’m going to actually tell you a bit about myself! I had a case of writers block and/or stage fright the last time I tried to write a post. I’ll save you the boring details about where I grew up and what my childhood was like. I’m just your basic human being trying to survive like everyone else on this planet. I came into the world of photography by mistake, by a horrible incident that shocked my family. Just before Christmas my grandfather, who was a long time photographer, went into the hospital for a mostly routine back surgery. The surgery went fine, but he ended up contracting a CDIFF infection that eventually took his life. It was honestly just an odd happenstance. I tried to rationalize it for a while, but really couldn’t. He was finally out of pain and is somewhere better. As one of the eldest grandchildren I received one of his most beloved possessions; his camera. As a little girl I always loved looking at all of his beautiful pictures. How he captured dazzling butterflies, blossoming flowers, and the giant buffalo of Yellowstone just perfectly. I believe that this camera saved my life. I was down a seriously sketchy road two years ago, from which I’ve mostly recovered. Lately I have been trying to find my purpose in life. I always knew I was meant to be something more than just your average server. I’ve been struggling with depression and anxiety over my future, I wanted to bust out of my routine and discover something different. This camera has given me new opportunities to connect, discover, and capture moments maybe no one else will see and preserve them in time. This new journey into photography has opened my eyes to what I’m rally capable of. I can’t wait to keep walking down this path a continuing in my grandfather’s legacy. It’s time to open new doors, and carpe some diem.

 

With Love,

Jordan

 

Meet Jordan! – Rapid City, SD Photographer

Jordan is a pretty swell chick. Who also makes me feel super old sometimes. But she’s joining me as a Mentee/Assistant/Awesome maker! She will be accompanying me to most sessions and she’s super ready to learn!

In light of her joining me and being super excited to learn, I’m hosting a model call!

From Jordan:

Hello! My name is Jordan and I’m 20 something! I grew up with plenty of photographers in my home, so I’m super used to having a camera point at me almost at all times! I’m incredibly excited to be behind the camera ready to capture your special moments. I’m a novice photographer and I’m ready to grow and learn new things everyday!

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Worry About Yourself! – Rapid City, SD Photographer

That was abrasive, I know. I went there. But that phrase is exactly how I try to live my life these days. I’m normally not a very nosy person at all, but I used to listen to everyone else’s opinions constantly. I put entirely too much stock into what other people said or thought about me. Not anymore.

In my personal life, I used to worry about what people would think when it came to almost every decision I ever made. I worried about what people would say about me being pregnant at 18. I worried about what people would say about my starting a business. I worried about what people thought when it came to how I was raising my child.

In my professional life, I always hear things like “you really need to raise your prices”, or “you need to market yourself this way.” I used to let people bully me into falling into their little images. I always tried to please everyone. Then one day, an amazing thing happened…

I quit caring what anyone else thought.

Not completely, I will be honest. You as my client, yeah, of course I care about what you think. I want you to be completely happy with your photos! Those photos are what you are going to remember *right now* by forever!

As far as everything else? Yep. I stopped caring. I realized that everyone has an opinion about everything. Personally, I believe that my kid is the most awesome human being I could have possibly created. I love taking photos of people, so why not start shooting professionally? I believe that I’m at least a little bit decent at it! Being pregnant at 18? I cared at the time, but now I realize that it was a pointless thing to be concerned about. It’s not like I could have changed it.

But I digress…

In terms of my business, I stopped listening to people when it came to my prices, my marketing, my posing, whether or not I decide to do my make-up for a session, etc. I have my pricing where it’s at so that I can be affordable. I market myself in a transparent manner because I want people to know me. I go with the flow when I pose my clients. I have never had an issue with a client having a problem with my intense awkwardness. It’s just how I am.

Guess what? I’m probably happier than I have ever been! I do what I want to do, how I want to do it. And guess what? Life is good.

Samantha

(PS. If you’re struggling to reach this point, I highly recommend this book. Forewarning, the author love the F word, but it’s a fantastic read!)

Military Homecomings – Rapid City, SD Photographer

Military Homecomings. They are a type of session that holds a special place in my heart. Once upon a time, I was in the Army and I met a dude while I was in training and moved to South Dakota. At a young age of 19, I had my daughter. Two months before she was born, her daddy deployed to Afghanistan for a year. He didn’t even get to meet her until she was two months old. Thankfully, I found someone who was able to take photos for us capturing this ridiculously emotional trek to the airport for us. (Thanks, Melanie!)

Seriously. I was a weepy mess. And I don’t have a nice cry face. But I am SO glad that we got wonderful photos of that day.

I understand not everyone had a baby while their service member was deployed. I understand that every situation is different. But I also understand that deployments plain suck. We all know it. But for a military family, it’s just a fact of life. Had I ever had the opportunity to deploy,  I absolutely would have wanted to have someone there to capture my return as well. As much as deployments suck, returns are always amazing.

With all of my wonderful experience, it will always remain that I will capture military homecomings for free. Always.

Samantha