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HIDDEN GEMS • PERSONAL FAVORITE IMAGES FROM 2018

February 13, 2019

As a photographer, deciding what’s best to post online can be hard.

It’s been strange not posting as much––or as often––on social media as I used to. When you have the opportunity to post anything at anytime, though, it can be easy to let your intended style slip through the cracks.

While I genuinely love every image that I had posted on the feed before it was wiped it clean (it hurt A LOT to do that), I didn’t love the arrangement of them all together. It felt cluttered and disorganized, like a messy room.

When you all take the time to scroll through and view my work, your experience should be as though you’re walking through an art museum, flipping through a scrapbook, or looking at a magazine––not trying to sort through a bunch of random papers on a desk.

I decided, why not put more energy into making it as appealing as possible?

So that’s what I’ve been trying to do, and I hope you all can understand why there’s been a change in my online presence. It’s not because I don’t care about sharing as much (the whole point of the blog is being able to have the ability to share MORE with you), it’s because I care about the way my photography is shared now more than ever. I take pride in this art form, in the images I create, and in your all’s feedback; therefore, I want to do this right.

The changed approach has been hard, though. I’m still trying to find the happy medium between posting too much and not enough.

So, in the mean time…

I thought it would be fun to share some of my personal favorite images from 2018 here, that hadn’t previously—and still haven’t—made it to social media yet.

I know that my favorites aren’t always going to be your favorites, and that’s okay. Specific moments will appeal to all of us differently. I know that when you’re researching photographers and trying to decide who’s the best fit for you to work with, there are certain things you need to see on those photographer’s feeds in order to feel comfortable enough to do so.

So: since I have to be a little more mindful of the images I share on Instagram and Facebook, it only makes sense that I share more of the “outtakes” or “b-sides,” here on the blog. I consider images that are “outtakes” or “b-sides” to be the images that are less “commercial,” and they’re usually shots of the unplanned, naturally occurring moments. These moments are oftentimes the ones I didn’t direct.

I hope you all enjoy these photos, and that you can see why I found so much beauty in them. I’ll be sure to make this a recurring blog post theme if you all enjoy it, so let me know what you think about it in the comments below!


The Starns Wedding – July 2018  When I stumbled upon this photo while editing, I fell in love with it. Others may look past this image without a second thought, but I find something captivating about it. I love the hue of the grass, the delicacy of the pink dress, the dress ribbon blowing in the wind, and how she was captured mid-step. This image reminds me of the joy and safety of childhood.

The Starns Wedding – July 2018

When I stumbled upon this photo while editing, I fell in love with it. Others may look past this image without a second thought, but I find something captivating about it. I love the hue of the grass, the delicacy of the pink dress, the dress ribbon blowing in the wind, and how she was captured mid-step. This image reminds me of the joy and safety of childhood.

Taylor and Kamree — August 2018  Last summer’s Sunflower Sessions were beautiful, refreshing, and peaceful. Before the social media purge, I had quite a few photos posted from them. I never posted this one specifically, but I think it’s adorable. Kamree stuck her tongue out at me at just the right moment.

Taylor and Kamree — August 2018

Last summer’s Sunflower Sessions were beautiful, refreshing, and peaceful. Before the social media purge, I had quite a few photos posted from them. I never posted this one specifically, but I think it’s adorable. Kamree stuck her tongue out at me at just the right moment.

Courtney + James | Engagement - March 2018  Things had just begun to bloom by the time Courtney and James’ engagement session rolled around in March of last year. I remember feeling slightly bummed that we didn’t have more “life” around us to work with, but then, we stumbled upon this! I was thrilled. As long as you can find at least one lively tree, plant, or bunch of flowers, you can make things look a much more “alive” than they really are!

Courtney + James | Engagement - March 2018

Things had just begun to bloom by the time Courtney and James’ engagement session rolled around in March of last year. I remember feeling slightly bummed that we didn’t have more “life” around us to work with, but then, we stumbled upon this! I was thrilled. As long as you can find at least one lively tree, plant, or bunch of flowers, you can make things look a much more “alive” than they really are!

The Stotts Wedding - September 2018  I really enjoy capturing the moments directly leading up to a wedding ceremony. You can feel the energy buzzing all around, and since I already have a lot of jitters and excitement flowing through me as it is (capturing a wedding is a  rush , seriously) I’m hyper-aware of everything that’s going on. When I saw the bride’s grandfather pull out his disposable camera, I immediately felt drawn to take his photo. His excitement to capture those around him in that moment tugged at my heart. I’m so glad I asked him if I could take a photo of him pretending to take a photo of me, because it’s ended up being one of my favorites that I’ve ever taken. The memory attached to this one is so strong that I really don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget it.

The Stotts Wedding - September 2018

I really enjoy capturing the moments directly leading up to a wedding ceremony. You can feel the energy buzzing all around, and since I already have a lot of jitters and excitement flowing through me as it is (capturing a wedding is a rush, seriously) I’m hyper-aware of everything that’s going on. When I saw the bride’s grandfather pull out his disposable camera, I immediately felt drawn to take his photo. His excitement to capture those around him in that moment tugged at my heart. I’m so glad I asked him if I could take a photo of him pretending to take a photo of me, because it’s ended up being one of my favorites that I’ve ever taken. The memory attached to this one is so strong that I really don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget it.

Bailey - August 2017  I know this is a photo from 2017, but I wanted to include it now in case I don’t have the chance to later. This is one of my best friends, Bailey, who patiently modeled for me anytime I asked her to when I first began to build a portfolio. I really can’t express how grateful I am for all of the times we’ve been able to work together. Her patience in front of the camera allowed me to learn lots of valuable technical and compositional lessons when it comes to portraiture. I still remember this day very well, and it’ll always hold a special place in my heart! I really started to become confident in my creative abilities behind the camera during this period of time.

Bailey - August 2017

I know this is a photo from 2017, but I wanted to include it now in case I don’t have the chance to later. This is one of my best friends, Bailey, who patiently modeled for me anytime I asked her to when I first began to build a portfolio. I really can’t express how grateful I am for all of the times we’ve been able to work together. Her patience in front of the camera allowed me to learn lots of valuable technical and compositional lessons when it comes to portraiture. I still remember this day very well, and it’ll always hold a special place in my heart! I really started to become confident in my creative abilities behind the camera during this period of time.

The Williams Wedding - May 2018  I try to avoid harsh lighting since my style typically thrives with diffused, soft light. This was an instance, though, where I had no choice but to work with it, and I’m actually surprised with the success of it. Yes, the contrast in this image is harsh compared to most of my other images, but I think it still  works . Plus, this moment is priceless to me. The expression of the groom’s daughter (on the right), paired with the grin from the other flower girl makes me giggle.

The Williams Wedding - May 2018

I try to avoid harsh lighting since my style typically thrives with diffused, soft light. This was an instance, though, where I had no choice but to work with it, and I’m actually surprised with the success of it. Yes, the contrast in this image is harsh compared to most of my other images, but I think it still works. Plus, this moment is priceless to me. The expression of the groom’s daughter (on the right), paired with the grin from the other flower girl makes me giggle.

Audrey - January 2019  I know this image is from this year,  but  this session occurred directly before the Kentucky Songbird Photography revamp, and this image never made it to the feed. It’s one of my favorites from this session, though! That single water droplet making it into the frame cracks me up, and the fact that it appears as though Audrey is looking directly at the same drop makes this image really spontaneous.

Audrey - January 2019

I know this image is from this year, but this session occurred directly before the Kentucky Songbird Photography revamp, and this image never made it to the feed. It’s one of my favorites from this session, though! That single water droplet making it into the frame cracks me up, and the fact that it appears as though Audrey is looking directly at the same drop makes this image really spontaneous.

Audrey - January 2019  Another 2019 image, I know—but this shot makes me so happy! I can’t help but love it. All of the water droplets, the bokeh, the fog, and the grace Audrey holds herself in make for a stunning image.

Audrey - January 2019

Another 2019 image, I know—but this shot makes me so happy! I can’t help but love it. All of the water droplets, the bokeh, the fog, and the grace Audrey holds herself in make for a stunning image.

Cameron - November 2018  Here, Cam and I were scoping out the orchard I was about to take Fall Mini photos in. This photo reminds me of his dedication and compassion towards our relationship. Cam has become an important part of this journey because he knows how much it means to me. He chooses to spend his free time helping me, and I’m not sure how I landed someone so supportive and selfless in that regard. I have to pinch myself sometimes.

Cameron - November 2018

Here, Cam and I were scoping out the orchard I was about to take Fall Mini photos in. This photo reminds me of his dedication and compassion towards our relationship. Cam has become an important part of this journey because he knows how much it means to me. He chooses to spend his free time helping me, and I’m not sure how I landed someone so supportive and selfless in that regard. I have to pinch myself sometimes.

The Beasley Wedding - February 2018  Mariah and Dylan’s wedding was special for many reasons, and one of my favorite moments was when we decided to capture some photos of them playing football post-ceremony. Football is a big part of their life, and at that point in time, they were about to head overseas for it! Dylan had been recruited to play in Norway, and it was important that we documented their excitement for the adventure they were about to embark upon!

The Beasley Wedding - February 2018

Mariah and Dylan’s wedding was special for many reasons, and one of my favorite moments was when we decided to capture some photos of them playing football post-ceremony. Football is a big part of their life, and at that point in time, they were about to head overseas for it! Dylan had been recruited to play in Norway, and it was important that we documented their excitement for the adventure they were about to embark upon!

The Richards Wedding - February 2018  Once again, the moments right before a wedding ceremony are invigorating to capture. “You never know what you’re gonna get!” At this particular wedding, this sweet little gal kept making her way up to the front of the church to climb up and down the steps, over and over. It was super cute, and she really entertained us all while we waited for the ceremony to begin. I think what I enjoy most about this picture are the directional lines and pattern(s) that were created by the steps and the shadows casted by the lights above. The eye is drawn directly to the little girl, and her expression is inquisitive. It makes you wonder what she was thinking.

The Richards Wedding - February 2018

Once again, the moments right before a wedding ceremony are invigorating to capture. “You never know what you’re gonna get!” At this particular wedding, this sweet little gal kept making her way up to the front of the church to climb up and down the steps, over and over. It was super cute, and she really entertained us all while we waited for the ceremony to begin. I think what I enjoy most about this picture are the directional lines and pattern(s) that were created by the steps and the shadows casted by the lights above. The eye is drawn directly to the little girl, and her expression is inquisitive. It makes you wonder what she was thinking.

The Kuhn Wedding - July 2018  I’m not sure if I’ve shared this yet, but I love lavender. The smell of it, the structure of it, the color of it…I just love it. (I may or may not have stolen this small bit of a bush of it that I found at this particular wedding’s venue.)

The Kuhn Wedding - July 2018

I’m not sure if I’ve shared this yet, but I love lavender. The smell of it, the structure of it, the color of it…I just love it. (I may or may not have stolen this small bit of a bush of it that I found at this particular wedding’s venue.)

Nayeli + Mitch | Proposal - December 2018  You know the song that goes, “I’ll stop the world and melt with you”? Well, this photo makes me think of it. This was one of the moments directly after Mitch proposed to Nayeli (which no one knew was going to happen but him!!!), and they were both so full of emotion that every image turned out stellar. However, this was a personal favorite of mine from the shoot. The look on his face as he’s looking down at Nayeli is so sweet. It’s like he knew he had just made her the happiest girl in the world, or something! Plus, the itty bitty flakes of snow falling gently over his shoulder add to the wonder of the moment. It’s like the whole world froze around them.

Nayeli + Mitch | Proposal - December 2018

You know the song that goes, “I’ll stop the world and melt with you”? Well, this photo makes me think of it. This was one of the moments directly after Mitch proposed to Nayeli (which no one knew was going to happen but him!!!), and they were both so full of emotion that every image turned out stellar. However, this was a personal favorite of mine from the shoot. The look on his face as he’s looking down at Nayeli is so sweet. It’s like he knew he had just made her the happiest girl in the world, or something! Plus, the itty bitty flakes of snow falling gently over his shoulder add to the wonder of the moment. It’s like the whole world froze around them.

JulieAnne - April 2018  JulieAnne’s senior session was a lot of fun, and her excitement to graduate was palpable. It wasn’t hard to make her laugh, and I loved how willing she was to be silly with me between shots. She’s obviously very photogenic, but she’s also so in-tune with herself that it wasn’t hard to showcase her in a genuine light.

JulieAnne - April 2018

JulieAnne’s senior session was a lot of fun, and her excitement to graduate was palpable. It wasn’t hard to make her laugh, and I loved how willing she was to be silly with me between shots. She’s obviously very photogenic, but she’s also so in-tune with herself that it wasn’t hard to showcase her in a genuine light.

The Sunflower Sessions - August 2018  This behind-the-scenes photo melts my heart a little. Here, Cam and Mary Grace were checking out the cows in the field directly beside the sunflowers we had just finished shooting at. We all stood and waited until they were finished observing. The interaction was precious to me.

The Sunflower Sessions - August 2018

This behind-the-scenes photo melts my heart a little. Here, Cam and Mary Grace were checking out the cows in the field directly beside the sunflowers we had just finished shooting at. We all stood and waited until they were finished observing. The interaction was precious to me.


Hopefully you found this batch of “Hidden Gems” to be joyful to look through! I really hope to get to do this sort of thing here on the blog more often. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!

Until next time,

Skyler

Skyler SmithComment