My First Family Photo Shoot!

>> Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Okay, so it's easy to be a "good" photographer when you have an adorable family to work with. Nevertheless, I feel like I learned a lot from the almost 2 hour photo shoot and still got to spend quality time with my sweet cousins.

It was freezing at Harmon's tree farm the morning of the shoot. Still, the kids loved the pumpkins, play sets and random nicknacks all around the property and seemed to forget about the cold wind within a couple minutes. Trying to get everyone to look at the camera at once is just not going to happen with a family of 5, but these guys enjoyed each other's company enough to get some great expressions several times during the shoot.

These are the times when I feel privileged to be a photographer. I have known Kelly longer than pretty much anybody and the fact that she now has 3 kids is very surreal. This family will always be a part of my life and I am thankful to have hundreds of photos to remember them by.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

I loved this swing set!

One of the very last photos of the day... so glad I got it!

They make the cutest chicken, monkey and lion you will ever see

This photo was Kelly's idea. So sweet!

Pretty sure I'll be doing more pics in the tree farm.. kids love it!



>> Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Meet Drew. He is an absolutely precious 18 month old boy. You can tell everything about him through his expressions, as well as the way he looks at his mom. I absolutely loved shooting him playing around his Grandma's house. Within one hour I felt like I knew a lot about this little boy. If only adults were so candid and honest.


Meet My Bro

>> Saturday, October 24, 2009

A real blessing of photography is getting to shoot those you love. It's surprising that I'm just now getting some photos of my brother (ok, maybe not, he's a 20 yr old guy). But, while we were shooting it dawned on me that my brother's grandkids could be looking at these photos one day. Not sure why that has never directly come to mind before during a shoot, but it's very true.

Photographers can easily get caught up in composition and technique. I'm sure I'm not alone to say a lot of times I'm nervous during shoots... a little paranoid that I forgot to choose the correct setting or that I'm using the wrong lens for the moment. But the real beauty of photography comes with the moment at hand and what that moment will mean for many, many years to come. It's really beautiful, actually.

I had the pleasure of shooting my friend's nephew this morning (photos to come). While I was editing, I found myself smiling at the tickle session between mom and son and realized that I was too distracted during the actual shoot to adequately process what was happening. Point being: a shot of a moment is special.. blurry or not. I'm sure the mom will be much more thankful that I could capture her playing with her 18 month old than whether or not the photo is "artsy".

So, please enjoy the photos of my brother and his friend, Shannon. There's something really unique about young adulthood and I hope they will look at these photos and remember this time.

And yes, ladies, he's single ;)


Loving Clemson and Loving Love!

>> Tuesday, October 20, 2009

This weekend, I not only had the wonderful opportunity to catch up with great friends and watch my tigers stomp the deacons, I got to take part in a photo shoot for my good friend, Rob Johnson's, younger sister and her fiance! Kit and Nathan were decked out in their finest southern attire, complete with a precious floppy hat. They enjoyed each other's company while Sarah and I tried our best to capture the moment. I am very thankful for the opportunity to be a second shooter! It was a blast!

The photo of our tailgate in the Greenville news. Guess it was pretty awesome.

Absolutely loved this! It's like straight out of the Notebook :)

The bikes were precious!

The late afternoon light was perfect. Just further evidence that Clemson is God's country!

Thanks, Kit and Nathan, for letting us spend the day with you! It was a pleasure. I can't wait to see Sarah's! :)

Enjoy the slideshow..


A Cool New Project... and Will I Survive??

>> Friday, October 16, 2009

I've been blessed with work. I should be doing a better job of putting my name out there, but somehow the pieces are coming together enough to be more optimistic than pessimistic.

Owning a business is very difficult. I know most people know that, but really, until you do it on your own.. you have no idea how difficult. There are so many factors to juggle at one time: When do I need to make my next equipment purchase? Can I really make it until next month without Quickbooks? How much credit card debt is 'ok'? Should I rebrand? What IS my brand? How do I make these people realize that, even though my session seems expensive, I'm earning $4 an hour?

Alas, most photographers are in the same boat.. and yet they keep doing it because they love it. Don't get me wrong, I love it too, but I want to find a way to definitely pay off my student loans in 10 years. That means I might need to be a little more aggressive and not passive about improving.

For now, I'm trying to take it day by day and hopefully come up with some sort of a 6 month plan when I have time to think. Fortunately, my dad has proposed a project for me to collect photos of his 11 franchise territories, which will also allow me to learn more about his trainership and interact with the other business owners. It's sort of a win/win situation since I need more time to practice my photography and there's not as much work for me to do in the office as there is in the other areas.

This also comes at a good time because I was selected as a featured artist for Cool Beans in Columbia, so about 20 of my pieces will be displayed in the coffee shop for 6 weeks for free beginning in February! I've been thinking a lot about my "theme" and even though it's been done many times before, I think I will focus on life around SC. It'll be a challenging project since I'll be shooting less familiar areas like Sumter and Florence, but I think there will be students/natives around Columbia that will appreciate photos from their hometowns.

I've started with Columbia and the Horseshoe. I haven't shot nearly enough around Columbia considering its in my backyard (and really I've done more shots of my actual backyard :). However, hopefully that will quickly change and I can get some more practice with my new lens (Nikon 35 mm/ F 1.8).

Here are a couple shots from the Horseshoe. It's a hard area to shoot due to all of the shade, but I think the area has a ton of potential. I'm thinking my next spot will be the Lake Murray Dam. Any other suggestions are welcomed!


Happy anniversary to my wonderful parents!

>> Friday, October 9, 2009

Today, 27 years ago my parents were married! I'm pleased that my dad made the decision to take the day off to have some downtime at the lake with my mom.

I really can't ask for better parents. They are not perfect, but they know how to love well. I think that is the best quality you can have.. because it automatically trumps all of your flaws. I wish I had some better photos of my parents together, especially now that they're enjoying their almost retirement years and starting to loosen up a bit. You can tell through their expressions that they still are very much in love.. and I hope to one day capture that.

My mom is as beautiful today as she was 27 years ago!

Vail 2008: My parents will probably still be skiing together in their 80's :)

It's not easy going back to living at home after being out of the house for 8 years, but I think I'll definitely look back on this period and be glad that I had the opportunity to watch my parents enjoy their marriage. I get nervous with the idea of "forever".. but I am more at ease knowing that they still care a lot for each other after all of this time.

Seems like the key isn't having similar personalities (my parents are practically opposites) or a lot in common. I'm pretty sure a huge factor is prayer. I've had my battle with faith and I've fought God hard in certain periods, but I can't really argue with the power of prayer. Especially in relationships. It's kind of hard to remain stubborn and selfish when you're thinking about the goodness of God together for a few seconds everyday.

So, thank you mom and dad for family trips, boat rides, the beach, grilling out, fires in the fireplace during "winter", 8 hour monopoly games, Christmas mornings, sports in the yard, pecan pie, bike rides, long talks, movie night, laughing, and helping me move (prob over a dozen times!). I've appreciated every bit of what you've done for me! You are GREAT parents and I don't think I could have had it any better.

Enjoy your love together.


growing. hopefully.

>> Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Funny how 3 days into my photography certification I'm starting to realize that my latest photos aren't up to par. Maybe that's kind of the goal so you know how to improve.. I'm not sure.

I took a couple of photos while at the zoo this past weekend. This photo was the only one I thought was worth saving:

Botanical Gardens, Riverbank Zoo

There was also a great sunset above the pond the other night. I feel like the photo itself could have been MUCH better to capture the actual beauty that I witnessed:

I say all of that not to be hard on myself. I'm actually kind of glad that I'm starting to notice the difference in what I'm currently producing and my potential. This class has been a whirl of information and it's a little overwhelming, but slowly everything is starting to come together. Our teacher is a retired scientist who literally took apart a camera to learn about how all of the pieces work to produce perfectly exposed photos. It's amazing how reliant we've become on automatic mode and have been able to get away with decent photography, but are still shortchanging ourselves for what the camera could actually create.

In other news.. I have been lucky to get some calls recently for photo shoots and will try to fill up my weekends as much as I can. I'm also going to try to take advantage of time for road tripping.. hopefully to make it to Tennessee for a couple days and then down to Florida to visit Kristin by the end of the month. And then of course there is Clemson football.. I will definitely be heading up for the WF game. At this point I'm doing it more to visit with friends than for the game itself.. since I'm fairly certain our season might continue to struggle. Poor tigres.

Life is busy but it's still interesting! Will just have to see how next week goes.

Hope everyone is enjoying the wonderfulness that is fall! Namely pumpkin spice lattes :)


Loving Fall.. Remembering my Roots

>> Friday, October 2, 2009

I love those special days when you notice beauty all around you. Maybe changing seasons bring more than just allergies.

This afternoon the setting sun hit our backyard just right, and I think for the first time I noticed that Fall has come. There's a tiny red chair that my grandma used to have at her house that for as long as I can remember was "my" chair. I honestly didn't notice it was the same chair until today. It is slightly rusted and shares the same hue of red with the antique water pump next to it. The flower pot in the center used to be the focus with its bright daisies and hanging vines. Now, within the basket among 3-leaf clovers is an old concrete garden ornament with cupped hands saying "By His hands we all are fed".

Of course, I had a lazy Friday night planned out so I decided to pull out my camera and get some shots while also enjoying the mild weather. There are many other fun shots around our backyard so I took some time documenting my mom's little collections.

While I was shooting, the song "Hard Times Come Again No More" by Nancy Griffith was playing in my head. I decided to look up the lyrics and I thought they fit the mood for my afternoon:

Let us pause in life's pleasures and count it's many tears
While we all sup sorrow with the poor
There's a song that will linger forever in our ears;
Oh, hard times come again no more

I think they are beautiful lyrics. It's pretty obvious there will always be hard times, but recognizing the place we are at in life will make us much more able to handle the challenges to come. Just as seasons change, beautiful and not-so-comfortable periods come with each.

My granddad would be really happy to know we still have this chair :)
Mom loves her garden ornaments

Some aren't ready to let go just yet

Because I just can't have enough pictures of Rylynn


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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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