We’ve moved!

31 May

Lincoln Park on a Lark has officially moved to A Room With a View

 

 

To make matters even sweeter, I’m hosting a summer giveaway right now.

 

 

So update your readers! And go enter!

Pretty paper.

20 May

One of the most exciting things about being on the client side of photography for me – besides the gorgeous photos – is the delight I feel over pretty packaging. It’s silly but undeniable, unwrapping a ribbon-clad, letterpressed box just makes the whole experience feel delightfully luxurious. I think it’s kind of like websites – if you’re a great photographer, but you’re posting on a blah template that you put no thought into, it takes a little something away from the swoon-worthiness of your photos. Of course, it doesn’t make them bad, and pretty packaging (or a pretty website!) never make up for poor photography. Bet let’s indulge a little, shall we?

I would love to start out by at least having some kind of letterpress business card. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had people offer to pass on my business card, or ask for it personally, even at this early stage in Anni Cee. It may happen slowly (very, very VERY slowly, it feels) but eventually I’ll grow into a collection of pretty paper and packaging. My inspiration right now?

Jordan Ferney, Oh Happy Day

Love the negative space – from Once Wed

by Jessica Hische

We Heart Paper thank-yous

SimpleSong Designs Box

Do you have any pretty paper favorite resources, or extra little flourishes you love?

Spring Spotlight on: Shanna Murray

10 May

Awhile back, I let you in on my love for artist and designer Shanna Murray. She just introduced her spring line, and it’s as gorgeous as ever, so I thought I’d show it off a little here. Her prices are so reasonable, but her pieces instantly brighten up a space. That’s definitely a win-win in my book.

I Love You Beyond Measure Garland

Magnolia Garland

My favorite (aka, save one for me!) laurel chalkboard

I love Shanna’s work, and I hope you do too! Check out her blog to stay up to date on all of her latest happenings.

Workspace inspiration.

9 May

Maybe it’s just the editing-intensive week I’ve had, but I’m dying for a desk and workspace right now. My back is complaining and I’m getting all sorts of upset about this couch editing. The couch is for relaxing, guys! When I start doing all my work there, I get really grumpy fast. And the cats make it a goal to lay on me every which way. And sometimes the dog jumps on the computer. Don’t get me started on how much that slows things down (and gives me a minor heart attack!)

So right now I’m pining over these gorgeous set-ups:

Cynthia Warren (she designed my tattoo and my gorgeous header!)

Simple and sweet, via Studio Sweet Studio.

 

Gorgeous color, via Urban Tastemakers.

Photography Update.

6 May

Awhile ago, I wrote this post detailing my frustrations with building a portfolio and how to get my name out there. That post turned out to be one of the most helpful things I’ve done thus far, because it not only got me a lot of wonderful advice from photographers who have been there, it also prompted my first (and one of my favorite) clients to get in touch with me about a session.

As the weather warmed up, the inquiries kept coming. I’m very happy with my decision to shoot a few free sessions – it allowed me to work with some truly amazing couples who really cared about their photos, and it’s truly been a great experience. In a short time, I feel like I’ve learned so much about what works for me and how to be outgoing and confident in shoots. This was a tough one for me, because I’m shy by nature and usually on the quiet side (until you get to know me) – but I’m starting to hit my own stride in terms of how I shoot, which is a wonderful feeling that lends me confidence.

I’ve learned that I absolutely love doing this. It’s inspired me to see the world in a completely different light, to slow down and look around. There’s something lovely about capturing the small moments that would otherwise go unnoticed. It’s making art out of the everyday.

I’ve also learned my own limits. It was easy for me to go full-speed ahead, blasting into shooting, editing, blogging, all in one day because I was excited about the session. But in terms of endurance, that’s just not possible for me. What’s more, sometimes a little distance from a session helps me to look at it in from a fresher perspective.

One of the toughest things has been sacrificing all my free income (which wasn’t much to begin with) towards the little things you might otherwise never think of – lots of CF cards, another external hard drive, website costs, lens rental, etc. This is one reason many photographers can’t afford to shoot free sessions, and it was definitely a hardship I took on knowing that it would be tough. I’m glad I did, but I look forward to the days when I can start putting the money I make back into my business and, eventually (most likely awhile away!) make enough that I can pay myself.

Which leads me to the subject of equipment. I thank my lucky stars that I had some wonderful people to talk to about what to buy in the beginning, because I am really happy that I didn’t place much stock in having everything under the sun before I started shooting. Can you shoot a wedding with the set-up I have? Not well, especially when you factor in backups. But having only my 35 1.4 on a daily basis has impressed upon me that most of the changes and improvements I see have nothing to do with equipment. Of course it was really exciting to move up to a full-frame camera, and if you handed me a kit lenses now that I feel the 35 is an extension of myself, I would probably not be pleased. But most of my major “aha” moments came with only things I was doing – the way I look at light, the way I see things through the viewfinder, even basic metering preferences, learning to shoot consistently – have come with no changes in equipment or editing.

So where do I go from here? I’m really excited for my upcoming sessions, I’m in the process of becoming official (taxes, ugh!) and while I still have my pricing set low to build my portfolio, I’ll hopefully be making enough that I can invest what I make back into building a better business.

I want to extend a big thank you to the blogging community for all the help and networking along the way – I’m consistently amazed at how generous all of you are, and I couldn’t have done it without you. And to all my clients, you’re the best! Thank you for giving me the chance to work with you. It’s truly been one of the best experiences of my life.

Currently coveting.

4 May

Isabel Marant from Stuart & Wright

Valentino flats from Net-A-Porter

My love letter to the city.

2 May

I don’t usually like to use quotes in blog posts, but this one is too perfect to pass up:

“and if there is a deep reluctance on the part of the true city dweller to leave his cramped quarters for the physically more benign environment of a suburb – even a model garden suburb! – his instincts are usually justified: in its various and many-sided life, in its very opportunities for social disharmony and conflict, the city creates drama; the suburb lacks it.” – Lewis Mumford

The other day, someone in my life asked me what the city could possibly offer that the suburbs didn’t. It’s frustrating to try to explain this on the spot, and I generally don’t even respond to these types of questions when taken to heart, because unless they’re asked out of genuine curiosity, they’re usually not coming from a person who wants to hear the answer. But of course, the question has been floating around in my head all week. The answers have made themselves known, always, on my walks to and from shoots, classes, or running errands. They’re usually fairly eloquent, but as eloquence goes, I tend to lose it the second I sit down to put pen to paper.

The city has a life of its own. An energy and a connection that draws people out of their apartment buildings and into its crowded streets. It feeds off of neon and bright lights, skyscrapers and little walk-ups, and it exists by cramming as many people as possible in a small area. And so we leave our cars parked, and we walk places. We interact with each other, because not only are we all in this together, but we’re all a part of the city. There ceases to be this scary “other” who is lurking around the corner. There is no big, bad evil out there that shares a certain facial feature, characteristic, or outfit. There’s no neighborhood that’s completely safe, hopeless, wealthy, or poor. There are no faceless homeless, because they are people, and you recognize them. There is a lack of tolerance of drive-thrus and garages, instead we favor walking in, talking to the face behind the counter, and leaving our cars in the perfect spot until we absolutely have to drive it because why in the world would you give that spot up? There is the fun of always having somewhere new to go and experience, the feeling that everything you could ever want is in a five mile radius, and the very odd phenomenon that is the intimacy of a big city: the fact that you run into the same people over and over regardless of where you live, work, and eat.

Life here is complicated, and you learn on your feet. I can vouch for that in terms of rush hour tickets (not what you might think), the sacredness of Sunday brunch, farmer’s markets, patio dining, walk-if-you-dare blizzard specials, a winter that doesn’t quit, the insanity that is the hunt for the perfect apartment, and forgetting where exactly you’ve parked your car, or how to drive for that matter.

Of course, these things are not mutually exclusive to the city. One can experience them, and does regularly, in the suburbs. And there is something to be said for a break in the country, for a wide-open pasture or a non-lake beach. But it’s only in the city that you feel all of them, together, which such intensity. And there is a price to be paid – some people want yards (to which I ask, WHY?! when that clearly means lawn chores. But I suppose you all are the same people who want kids, and that’s a completely different matter) and others would like square footage for a price that just won’t be found here. Others yet like quiet, and don’t get the same rush of adrenaline off the buzz of the city. And that’s fair, and has merit. But I am loyal to the city with a ferocity that is hard to match – it doesn’t have to be this one, but I know it when I feel it.




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