Downtown Greenville and the attraction that is "photography"

>> Wednesday, August 26, 2009

So, a lot has happened in just a couple days! I must say, it's been really nice to actually be "busy" again. It might even seem like a wasted busy since I'm not technically getting paid yet... but I feel like it's building towards something. 

This morning I met with a lady at the USC business school about my website and she gave me an estimated price for them to help me put it together. They're a nonprofit so it's probably the best way to go... plus, let's just admit it, I know nothing about websites! Sounds like they have some good ideas and I can probably get the end product that I'm wanting right now. Hopefully it will all be up and running in 2 weeks! 

Saturday night I got to go out in the Vista to see Mcfly with some of my best friends. You just can't think about 80's music without thinking about Mcfly... they're pretty awesome.

The rest of the weekend/week I was busy with photo shoots of Meredith and Sarah and night pictures in downtown Greenville:

These didn't come out quite as great as I would have liked... but I'm still learning.

It's pretty amazing how fascinated people are with photography in SC. I had a few people say stuff to me while shooting in Columbia, but I guess since I was in Greenville for a longer period I encountered several strange questions and responses from passer-bys. Many of them asked me to take their picture.. which I found most unusual since they would never receive a copy of the image.

I only agreed to take one for these girls. They were entertaining at least :)

I was also approached by several people while I was walking around with my tripod. One guy asked me if I was with the local news. Another asked if I was shooting for a class. My favorite was a guy who looked about my age who wanted me to stop what I was doing on the street and tell him all about what I do bc he had a "fascination" with photography and didn't know anything about 

A few others started talking to me in Coffee Underground as I was editing my pictures. It seems like working with a nice camera is the same equivalent to having a puppy... people seem to think it's okay to strike up a conversation with a stranger. Fine by me. 

I was thankful to at least have a couple hours to get up to Clemson to hang out with Sarah and Bryan. Sarah did a photo shoot for me and posted a couple of the pictures in her blog- 

It was a great experience. I don't think I had any idea how awkward it is to be a part of a photo shoot! I'm quite positive I would never cut it as a model. I pretty much don't know how to show any expression besides whatever mood I'm feeling at the time. I was able to loosen up a bit for a couple shots.. but most of them were probably just evidence of my awkward smirk ;) 

Kelly and Adam's engagement pictures were pretty easy since those kids are just goof balls. I may need to learn a couple jokes before I tackle some more photo shoots of adults!  It's just not as simple as it looks.

The next task on my agenda is to get some sunset pictures of Pretty Place. After that I should do some more pet photos and I guess try to find some better shots of Columbia. It's probably my least favorite city to photograph... but I should have at least a couple items to sell in a month (Okra Strut is a month from today!). 

Would love suggestions for pretty places to shoot around here!


Let the shooting begin

>> Sunday, August 23, 2009

Well, okay, I guess the shooting has already begun. It just feels good to be shooting with a little more purpose now. :)

Sorry this blog has a few errors. I switched out the template recently but I'm not sure why the header now has tabs that don't go to the right links. I'm trying to get it removed. Also, please feel free to add this blog to your google reader. I used to have a link to subscribe but it somehow disappeared... ha. If you have any idea how to add this link, please let me know!

Tomorrow I'm heading to Pretty Place, Greenville and Clemson to see what fun shots I can get for the Okra Strut Festival. I think Sarah is doing a little photo shoot for me as well so that should be fun.

Right now I'm exporting all of my pictures to my external hard drive because I'm absolutely out of space on my macbook. It took me forever to figure out how to do this since I'm used to just backing up my entire computer. These little obstacles are going to be interesting... I need to become tech savvy very fast!

A couple nights ago I took pictures of downtown Columbia. I realized as I was walking over the Gervais St. Bridge that I had put myself into a couple compromising situations lately to get a good shot. I ended up calling my brother's roommate (since Taylor was working) to ask him to meet me on the bridge bc I was afraid to walk back to my car by myself. I had at least a couple sketchy cars drive really close to me and scream at me out of their window.. nearly scaring me to death. One guy walked by (seemed mostly normal) but asked if I was taking pictures of Columbia. I responded "seems that way".. ha.

The bug that flew in my face after the flash went off. Needless to say I screamed ;)

Yesterday I did a photo shoot with 2 of the girls I babysit, Meredith and Sarah. We stayed outside from 2 until 5, and I must say they are troopers to handle the heat as long as they did. We had a marble slab break in between to cool off a bit. I think overall they really enjoyed it... it was great practice and a good chance to see what areas of Columbia work well for pictures.

I have a feeling Sarah is going to be a model one day.

There were many other shots that day but I am currently trying to free up space so that I can upload them. More to come...

This is off the subject of photography, but I just want to say that it's been nice living at home and being able to hang out with my parents on a daily basis. For the past couple of years I've only seen them during stressful weekends, holidays and vacations. They seem to be a lot more snappy with each other during those times. However, they are completely different people in our home and it's especially been great to see how much my dad loves my mom. He's always doing little sweet things for her and he's so patient when other people (like myself) might not be. He's also really affectionate.. like yesterday when my mom bumped her funny bone on the countertop while cooking and he came over and kissed her all over her arm to make her laugh. These are fun little parts of my parents relationship that I haven't seen as much since I've been gone.. and it's very comforting to know that they really are enjoying growing older together.

Hopefully I'll have some great stuff after tomorrow! My brother told me yesterday that he's going to let me do a photo shoot of him as well.. so that should be fun :) 

Thanks to all of you for your support... it's been very much appreciated! 


This is for real...

>> Thursday, August 20, 2009

Besides a few of my closest friends, no one really knows all of these crazy ideas that have been flashing through my head for the past 2 weeks. Okay, maybe you have been able to guess by my last few blog posts and my endless status updates on facebook with my new smugmug galleries. The title change of this blog probably gives it away as well.

So, I have decided, for the time being, to stop beating myself up about the impossible situation that is finding a job in the planning field and focus more on starting some sort of an actual business in photography. At first I thought "impossible.. I don't have enough talent.. I'm a little too old.. I'm wasting my masters". And then I starting looking beyond all of that. Who says I have to throw away the value of my masters by going into my own small business? It's kind of ironic that my first choice for a career coming out of grad school was small business development. Maybe a couple of years of owning a small business would help me to actually know what I'm talking about to these budding entrepreneurs.

The more I think about it, planning is a frustrating field full of really idealistic people who get stuck in never ending bureaucracy. Planners have very little power. They come up with all of these great ideas to solve traffic problems, improve downtown facades and increase local commerce, all to be shut down by some politician who is concerned about the real estate company that has supported his campaign for 20 years. The planner is then lucky enough to negotiate just a bike lane in the (already) too congested city street.

Not to say it's a pointless career... it's very important. It's just stuck in a world that is not yet ready for planners. I learned a lot from my dad who has been on the planning commission in my home town for almost 15 years. He was invited to the commission due to his expertise in the business community and due to his reputation for contributing to community development projects. It's sad but true, he has much more of a say on community projects than the few people in our town who have degrees in planning. That's just the way it is sometimes.

So, maybe it's not completely irrelevant for me to be wanting to go into a different direction right now. I've been fighting the idea of owning a business as a career for so long.. when in the end it's probably what I'm most qualified at. When you grow up in a business family, and in a city that is driven by local businesses, you learn a lot of valuable skills that others might not be exposed to. It really helps that my family is very supportive of this crazy idea of mine to start my own business without a dime to my name. I've been blessed with having lots of talented photographer friends and other great contacts. Plus, it's just something I love doing. It's sort of cheesy to say, but I was inspired by Julie and Julia (go see the movie if you haven't!). Sometimes you just have to do what feels right even if it's not the most practical decision. Being stuck in the recession has helped, since I'm sure otherwise I would have taken the first decent paying planning job that I found.

Who knows, within 5 years I might be able to finally open a coffee shop after talking about it for so long. Heaven knows Columbia desperately needs one. We also need a coffee shop/art gallery, so that could be a fun project as well. There are so many simple improvements my town can make, especially with the mixed-use projects forming on State Street across from the Blossom Street Bridge (directly by the river).

Who knew I would ever say that, or even consider staying in Columbia. I at least have the benefit of being about to travel with this career, so it wouldn't be so bad to call Columbia home.

Right now I'm working on my website (would love advice if you have some!) and planning a trip to Greenville, Clemson and Pretty Place on Monday to take some shots with my good friend, Sarah B. I'm also doing some photo shoots with my adorable baby cousins and some newlywed friends who never had engagement pictures made. I'm taking a photography certification course in October that should really help as well.

I'd like to have the website done in 3 weeks and everything printed and put together for the Okra Strut on Sept. 26th. Please come down to visit me if you are in Columbia!

Here's one of my latest Charleston pictures. I got my first comment from a fellow photographer today so I thought that was pretty exciting!

So, if you don't mind, say a prayer, wish me luck... throw some positive vibes my way :) It's kind of a big change but it feels right and I'm pretty optimistic. I also broke down and finally joined twitter: tianicolephotog. I figured it would be a good way to update with business news. Add me if you'd like!

That's all I have for now. I've gone with 'Tia Nicole' as a business name. Maybe it'll stick ;)


A good time to blog

>> Wednesday, August 12, 2009

It's my birthday! Happy Birthday to me! 26 years and counting... ha

It's actually a really awkward time in my life right now for a birthday. Especially in the second half of my mid-twenties. I've never been so confused!

I don't think I would be confused if I had some control over the direction I want to go in. The waiting game makes you want to give up and try new things. I really think economic development is the right field for me, but I'm starting to wonder if I should take a break for a little while and try something else. The more I look at photographers' websites, the more I regret not looking more into a career in photography. I know I don't have the same amount of experience and talent as a lot of these people, but I think I have the personality and skills to manage a website and small business.

For instance, I do stuff like this ( ) for fun as is. And, obviously, I have a blog. It wouldn't be all that hard to combine the two.

Regardless, I'm having fun learning more about my camera and trying some new things. Sarah and I are going to ride our bikes around Charleston this weekend and take some pictures as well.... that project is definitely overdue!

I know something will open up eventually... it's just a sucky market. I don't think I got the Vienna job since I haven't heard from them... but I'm trying to remind myself that being 1 of 6 to get called for an interview (out of over 100 apps) is an honor. It's just not going to be an easy process. Maybe my paper getting published in the Upstate Alliance newsletter will prove to be helpful!

For now, I have pretty pictures to play with and maybe a few to frame. I thought I'd take a shot at selling some prints at the flea market or at a community festival. We shall see.


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About Me

My photo
Tia Nicole Photography has launched this summer after many practice photo sessions and the encouragement of some dear friends and family ("Life Through Tia's Lens" was a recommendation of my good friend, Kristin, who has been an avid supporter the whole way through!). This blog has documented the process from the beginning and also dates back to some older rantings during grad school and football seasons. Feel free to get to know me and my work. I like to focus primarily on natural shots, true emotions and beautiful landscapes. I also absolutely adore kids and pets so you will find a good bit of my work in these areas. Feel free to contact me anytime! I love blog comments!

My pup, Rylynn!

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