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  • Welcome to my blog!

    Hi folks! My name is Rebecca! I am a full time mom to a super sweet boy (with another munchkin on the way), and a part time photographer. Have a look around, and if you like what you see, click the "contact" link and drop me an email! My scheduling availability is limited, so the earlier you contact me about a session, the better! I look forward to hearing from you!

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Favorite Family Photo Contest 2012

Alright, folks! It’s that time again–time for the *Favorite Family Photo Contest*. I had so much fun with it last year, I decided to do it again!

Every photo tells a story. It might be, “mom can’t seem to get everyone’s heads in the photo,” or “this is my favorite memory with my granny,” or maybe “this is proof that my dad did, in fact, dress up in the most ridiculous outfits to embarrass me when picking me up from social functions in high school…” But enough about me! Do you have a photo that is your absolute favorite family photo? It might be sweet, funny, crazy, or any combination of these things. Submit it, along with the story that it represents to you. I’ll select around 10 photos to post in an album on my facebook page, and the owner of the photo with the most likes will be the winner!

The winner of what, you ask? The winner of these wonderful things; a 1 hour session for up to 5 people, $100 in print credit, and a 16×20 canvas print (a $415 value)!

To submit your entry, email your photo and story to { info @ rebeccamanneyphotography . com} by April 4th.

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Photography Advice: Questions from Julie T.

I get a lot of emails from people who want advice! As much as I love to help, I am not always able to respond to every email in detail. It could easily take up hours of my time a day, and I don’t always have the time. So I’ve decided to start a new section to my blog–Photography Advice! When I do have time to respond to an email…and then also have time to blog…I’ll post the questions and answers from the emails. I figured it will help you guys out, plus also save a little time as I can direct people back to this section when I get repeat questions. So here is an email from Julie T. from, oh, you know, a few months ago, that I finally have the time to respond to.

1) If you could tell me one thing that you wished you knew starting out…(business) what would it be?
Oh goodness, you hit me with the hard questions! I can’t think of one thing in particular. It’s a growing process that takes time and stages. If I had tried to implement business strategies and solutions I currently use in the beginning of my business, I would have failed. You have to take each stage in stride, and constantly reevaluate what you are doing, how you are approaching your business, your prices, etc, to keep yourself in line with your talent. It’s hard to evaluate yourself, but you have to. And you can’t just say “oh, that’s good enough,” you have to humble yourself and always be on the lookout for ways to improve and learn.

2) How long did it take for you to truly consider yourself a “Professional Photographer”?
3-4 years. I called myself a “semi-professional” until I felt comfortable enough to finally declare myself professional. I preferred to be very honest about my abilities rather than talk myself up and set myself up for failure. I think it is absolutely essential to NOT over-sell. You are who/what you are, and you always need to find clients who want who and what you are right now. And let’s face it, there is a huge learning curve in photography. There is absolutely no one who starts and is professional quality on day 1. We all have so much to learn, so you have to be at a point where you feel comfortable with your talent to consider yourself a professional. It will be a different time period for everyone. I know a girl who picked up a camera for the first time, and less than a year later was turning out the most professional, beautiful photos. That is not common, but it can happen! Also, from a legal standpoint, you are not liable for damages, mistakes, etc if you are not posing as a professional. If you make it very clear that you are NOT professional, people can’t sue you and take you for all you’re worth. Once you become a professional, business insurance is a must.

3) If you could only have 2 lenses, which ones would they be and why?
I love my 24-70 2.8L. It was the very first “nice” lens I purchased. When I bought it, I still had the Canon xti as my primary camera, which is similar to putting a king on a wild boar. But boy did it make my wild boar take some sweet photos (with my guidance, of course). I have now had that lens for 4 years and it is still my most versatile lens. The second is the 50 1.4 (or if you don’t have the money to spend, it’s little brother, the 50 1.8). There’s a huge difference between the 1.4 and 1.8, but the 1.8 is a GREAT lens for the beginner to start playing around with the wide range of aperture. I used the 1.8 for about 3 years before upgrading to the 1.4. The difference is amazing, but I still think the 1.8 is a great starter lens.

4) What has helped you the most in learning about light in photography?
Practice. Nothing in this world can compensate for practice. It takes hours and hours and hours and hours and….you get the point. It takes a lot of practice. I see a lot of photographers who want to jump in and skip the necessary time it takes to learn, but no amount of book-smarts can take the place of practice. Yes, you can learn a LOT through online tutorials, books, and seminars–I know I have! But you have to spend a lot of time practicing to become comfortable enough with the principles you need to use in every session.

Hope that helps you guys out! Thanks for the questions, Julie T!
-RM <3

If you have questions you’d like to see featured in the Photography Advice section of my blog, please email me at {info @ rebeccamanneyphotography . com}. Due to time restrictions (I’m a one man show over here), I will not be able to respond to every inquiry, and many responses will be delayed, but I’ll do my best!

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david - March 30, 2012 - 8:46 pm

Rebecca,

Thank you for being you! Keep on doing it!

Quick technical question:
Is the (signature) bokeh of your pictures a result of constant 85mm use or post-edit work?

Flawless–I can’t tell the difference either way. I’d really love to know the answer to this riddle though- It’s bugging me! hahaha

Also, I am jealous of your idea to donate the “Agape” session.
Great word.

Much thanks,
David Reagan

Rebecca - April 3, 2012 - 7:30 am

Hi David! Thanks for your kind comments!

The bokeh in my pictures is all in-camera from using a large aperture (generally f/2.0 or f/2.5). I have a 50mm prime lens and an 85mm prime lens with which I achieve this effect. I always shoot with a very narrow depth of focus, which means you have to be right on with your focus point or you miss the shot completely (which I do sometimes). But it’s worth it to get the effect I’m going for!

As for the Agape Sessions, anyone can offer those! I wouldn’t feel like you were “stealing” my idea if you did something similar. I’d be happy to be the inspiration for another such program! :)

-RM

Spring Break Special

Every once in a while, I like to offer a little special for you folks. Mainly because I, personally, love a good deal. So of course, I love to give you guys a good deal! So here’s the skinny:

I’m offering 30 minute sessions over spring break (Monday, March 19 through Friday, March 23) for up to 5 people for just $30!

PLUS, Spring Break Sessions will receive 10% off of all photo orders placed within 5 days after the online album is posted!

Who’s excited about this?! I know I am!! But book quickly, because spots are limited! Click the contact link at the top of this page to request more information or to book your session!

Can’t wait!

-RM

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Emily (+ Raymond) | Maternity

Someone once told me that I have a privileged job. While you can surely see the parallel, they weren’t likening me to the Queen of England. They meant that I am privileged to be able to experience so many amazing moments with my clients. I’ll admit, I tear up at every wedding. Every single one. Mostly because I’ve had the honor of cultivating a friendship with those two people who are entering into a beautiful covenant with one another. I’m reminded of the emotions I felt when I stood in front of my family and friends and said “I do” to my best friend almost 9 years ago. Our pastor preached this week on how much God loves us–so much so that we can’t even begin to fathom it. The love a husband has for his wife, and a father has for his child, are meant to be examples of that love. While I don’t have children of my own, the love I see my clients have for their own children, even those who haven’t made their debut yet, melts my heart.

I first took pictures for Emily and Raymond over a year ago. We had a fun session in the fall, then another session shortly after with Raymond’s siblings. And recently, I had the honor of taking their maternity pictures. Their love for each other, and their son, is visible in every photo. Not only do I get to be the person to preserve these memories for them, I also get to be the person to take pictures of their precious newborn son when he arrives. I get to document his tiny features, and capture the joy of the new parents.

Yes, I agree. I do have a privileged job.

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A Letter from PPA

I received this email from PPA today, and found it very interesting and enlightening. I think we, as a general rule, make conclusions about our stance on a subject based on others’ opinions that are most prevalently before us. While I still haven’t decided on my stance concerning SOPA and PIPA, I can say that my first impression of this legislation was tainted by the reaction of the likes of Google and those I follow on Twitter–and I haven’t even read them to know exactly what it even means. This is a good reminder that every opinion I have should be my own. There are always two sides to a story, and the best way to decide what is best for myself is to do the research. I bet a lot of people are exactly like me: leaning towards a stance without having enough details to make an informed decision.

Like I said, I’m still not certain on where I stand, but this is a great reminder for me to be sure to gather the information myself and listen to both sides before fulling forming an opinion. How often I jump to conclusions with so little facts, and only emotion telling me what to believe. Ah, human nature.

Dear Photographer,

We know that many of you have been following the developments with the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA). There has been some confusion over the proposed legislation, which frankly is the intent of the bills’ opponents. We wanted to take a moment to correct some of the bad information, and to let you know where we stand.

We were disappointed by some of the heavy-handed tactics used by opponents of the bills. The objective of those tactics was obviously to create fear and hysteria, while at the same time spreading false information about what the bills would actually accomplish. We want you to know the following:

  • Both pieces of legislation (SOPA in the Senate and PIPA in the House) targeted off-shore pirating of works produced in the U.S.
  • We do not feel that the measures were perfect—no legislation is. But the greater good demands that measures be taken to protect the rights of creators like you.
  • It is true that those mega-corporations opposed to the bill could possibly have been inconvenienced by the legislation. It is their job to make money, and their actions merely represented those purposes.
  • It is not true that the public would have been deprived of works to which it has rights, but rather, only those works that are copyrighted and being sold illegally by rogue off-shore websites.

Particularly disturbing to every photographer should be the attempts by Google, Wikipedia and others to define copyright as censorship. The tact is both offensive and intentionally false. Of course, the word “censorship” was chosen by opponents of the legislation for its obvious emotional value. Americans in particular are born with a deep-seated aversion to anything that loosely resembles censorship. Those feelings are amplified in photographers and other creators. After all, you earn a living by SHARING your work, not depriving people of it. So when a behemoth corporate money-maker like Google attempts to stand on the backs of photographers to increase its profits, we as your association take exception. (As a side note, we appreciate all of the words of support you regularly extend to us as we defend those rights.)

It is important to recognize that Google, while it claims to be a friend to copyright, is anything but. PPA is one of several associations joined together in a lawsuit against the search engine giant for illegally scanning and posting copyrighted photographs on the Internet. A similar lawsuit filed by publishers and authors is also underway. It is our opinion that following Google’s lead in defending intellectual property is something like depending on the fox to defend the hen house.

That Americans have bought into the false and misleading rhetoric issued over the past few weeks by opponents of the bills is unfortunate. We were surprised that a few creators were swayed by last week’s Internet blackout. And we were disappointed that some members of Congress, who are typically more reasoned in their consideration of copyright issues, crumbled in front of the scare tactics used by the bills’ opponents.

We will continue our Capitol Hill work on your behalf to educate members of Congress. Copyright is not a “Hollywood issue.” The vast majority of copyright holders in the U.S. are small businesses. While Hollywood makes an easy target, the tactic is little more than a smoke screen designed to draw attention away from the true issue—online companies wanting to increase profits at the expense of mom-and-pop creators.

Americans have always valued and defended small-business rights. Each of us must work to be more enlightened about the real issues, and encourage our friends and neighbors not to be led astray by the fear-mongering of Internet bullies. In the meantime, PPA will continue its efforts to defend the rights of photographers now and in the future.

Best wishes for a successful 2012,

David Trust,
Chief Executive Officer
Professional Photographers of America

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Phillip Jackson - January 27, 2012 - 2:12 pm

While you are correct there are two sides to a story. I don’t see anywhere in this letter how it specifically protects people like you.

What I would be much more concerned about is that say the place where you host your material gets shut down because someone else who uses that service has infringed on copyright. In my mind the law was WAY over reaching.

All that said in either case your point is well taken people should be educated.

L i n k s