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Entries in instagram (2)


One more time, with feeling (Milwaukie, Oregon portrait photographer)

I'm going to be honest with you; I had a tough year. My dad died in June, and it still hurts every day. We were very close, and it's been hard to get used to this new normal.

But there was a lot of joy this year too. My nephew was born, I witnessed a lot of firsts in my kids' lives and the people who rallied around me gave me so much comfort. My photography gave me incredible enjoyment too, even in the tough times. Through my business I got to meet new people, collaborate on some creative photo shoots and spend quality time with a whole bunch of adorable kiddos.

I want to wish a very heartfelt thank you everyone who supported me this year. Here's wishing you an abundance of health and happiness in 2014!

Just for fun, here's a few Instagram photos that sum up my year behind the lens: 

 How was your 2013? Leave me a comment and let me know! 


Losing control and giving in to Instagram

As usual, I’m a little late to the party on this one.

My wise brother pointed out how crazy it is that I wasn’t on Instagram. Me, adorer of all things photography, not on the biggest photo-sharing app out there?

I had to think about it, but I guess it was about control. I shied away from it because I felt like I only wanted to showcase my best work. I wanted the photos I present to the world to be crafted from the the best lighting, lenses and locations I can provide.  

I mulled it over and signed up recently and from day one I have been hooked. First of all, playing with the filters is super fun. I’ve spent years learning Photshop and know the value of the tool, but it’s fun and convenient to just click a button and have your photo aged or warmed up or wrapped up in a stylish frame. Like Portlandia’s “Put a bird on it” sketch, I think my new catchphrase is “Put a frame on it.”

Secondly, it really got my creativity flowing in a new way. While I don’t always carry around my beloved, yet bulky DSLR, my camera phone is never out of arm's reach. Freeing myself from uploading images and converting files has been freeing. Anytime I see something pretty, I stop and Instagram the roses. More than once I found myself actually pulling the car over to get a pretty shot. I sometimes think, what can I take photos of next?

While my camera phone will never be able to replicate my dear Nikon’s quality and features, the challenge of having fewer bells and whistles has forced me to stretch my skills and problem solve. How will I get a cool shot of that streetlight without a long lens? How still can I stand to get a photo in low light? Can I get a photo out the passenger side of a moving vehicle?

I’m also starting to get into the whole hashtag thing. Sometimes in real conversations I find myself wanting to sum everything up with a pithy one liner like #thatslife or #yolo. Hashtags are also a great way to connect in new and exciting ways. I was touring around Portland scouting out a location for a maternity shoot the other day and I put some photos on Instagram with the neighborhood's name as a hashtag — #sellwood. Within seconds, a local ghost hunter liked my photos. I found myself wondering where he was at that moment and if there was a ghost nearby I should be aware of.  

So what about you? Are you addicted to this fun and freeing app? (If you want to follow me, you’ll find me here: @jessie_kirk .)