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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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Back from New Orleans!

Hi folks! I just flew in from New Orleans last night, and am currently playing catch-up. In case you weren’t aware, I went to my first Imaging USA, which is a big photography conference held every year. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I learned! But I’m going to try anyway.

1. I love New Orleans.
b. I need to work on the business side of my business. Like, pronto.
iii. I need to play with light.
IV. I need to practice.
5. I DO know a few things!

Let’s break it down, starting with

1. I absolutely ADORE New Orleans. I spent most of my time in classes, but every spare moment was spent walking around the beautiful city. It’s spilling over with art, culture, and history on every block. I think it would take a month vacation to even begin to feel like I would maybe have time to see everything almost but probably not quite. I mean, just fascinating. On one night, me and a few of my photographer friends checked out Frenchmans street, a fantastic location with jazz bands every few feet. As we sat in the first establishment we crossed and listened to a band consisting of a vocalist, keyboard, sax,electric guitar, and drums, a random man with a saxophone walked through the door. After a few high fives from the band, he was up on stage playing with the rest of the band–completely unrehearsed jamming. After a turn at the drums as well, he walked out and headed next door to play again. The talent oozing from this street was just amazing.

And let’s not forget the amazing pubs/cafes/restaurants everywhere. Also, Cafe Du Monde. ALSO, everything. I just love that city. I kept having people tell me, “You MUST eat (insert food) before you leave!” Folks, if I ate everything I was told to eat in that 5 day time span, I would have needed an additional airline ticket home to fit my newly acquired width in the plane.

b. I have realized that I am really unaware about all things business and finance. I mean, you start up this business–make a little money, become an LLC, start paying/charging sales tax, try to itemize expenses…and it’s all overwhelming. PPA has some amazing resources within their Studio Management Services to help you get everything organized, get on track, and become as profitable as possible! If you are a photographer trying to figure out how in the world to do this, you should most certainly check them out. I went to a seminar about business and finances run by these folks, and now I’m actually excited to get started organizing. Bring on those self employment taxes! I got this! Okay, I will have this, with their help and my husbands (he’s one smart cowboy with an accounting degree). What I’m really excited about, is getting on track and being able to see the financial side of my business at a glance, as well as having reachable goals to work towards. It’s going to be a great 2012.

iii. I have a new awareness of light that I need to keep going. Some of these photographers are geniuses with their usage of light! They can use anything as a reflector, and know at a glance how the light will affect the picture. Now, I’m not a light novice, but I have a lot to learn here. I’m starting to see light differently, and it’s fun! As we walked through the streets of NOLA, I did my best to not only look for amazing things to photograph, but to look for things made amazing by the lighting around them. Like the shot below. Now I must admit, that whole “seeing how the light will affect the picture” takes some learning. I took this shot thinking “oh man, if only the light weren’t cutting across his face like that…” It wasn’t until I was scrolling back through the images on my camera that I realized, “hey, I actually love this as a black and white!”

IV. Practice practice practice! Sometimes, I get so busy with the business, that I forget that photography is a lifelong commitment to learning as well. I will never be the best. I will always have something new to learn. I can never become content with myself as a photographer, because the moment I quit trying to learn, is the moment I should find a different profession. In such an artistic line of work, there is always something new and edgy to learn. I want to always be able to look at my work from a year, and even a month ago, and notice an improvement in comparison to my work from now. And quite frankly, I love to learn! All of this knowledge I came home with will do me no good if I don’t learn to implement it into my sessions and workflow. And making that change takes practice!

5. I feel foolish teaching classes sometimes. Even the basic classes. Because I think “oh come now, I’m self taught. There are people with SO much more knowledge than me… What do I know?!” But I’ve decided that I do know a thing or two. No, I’m not full of knowledge from a college degree in photography. I’m full of knowledge from a trial and error, real-life application angle. And that is something I should be proud of! Some of that knowledge may have gaps, but like I said–I’ll continually be learning! But it’s okay for me to be aware of the things I do know, and teach them to the folks who don’t know them! So I’m thinking that in addition to the basic photography class I’m already teaching, I may add on basic and advanced Lightroom classes. So many people have this amazing product, and know very little about how it can be used. I know that program frontwards, backwards, inverted, and sideways. I use it all the time, and keep going to these “advanced lightroom” classes thinking there HAS to be something I’m missing, but find that I have a very good understanding of the program and it’s functionality. So if you are someone who would like to learn about Lightroom, please let me know! If I have enough interest, I’ll make it happen!

And finally, if you’ve emailed, called, sent a telegram or carrier pigeon to me, I’ll respond today! Thanks for your patience while I’ve been away!

-RM

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Lisa - January 19, 2012 - 4:22 pm

Hooray! It sounds like you had a wonderful time there. I get all excited about finance and taxes, so I can help you with that. I can’t wait to see the results of some of the stuff you learned at your conference!

Here’s the thing…

…I’m warning you now, you may not want to read this. It’ll probably make some people unhappy. You may not like it. Consider yourself warned…

There’s a big problem in the photography world today–cattiness. You almost can’t go into a group of photographers without hearing someone complain about how “everyone buys a nice camera and thinks they are a professional photographer these days.” There is so much frustration behind those words when spoken by a fellow pro. I have a few points I’d like to make in hopes that someone, somewhere, will change their viewpoint and approach to the new photographers of the world.

1. MW defines a professional as: “A person engaged or qualified in a profession.” So basically, it’s a fancy word to say, “your job.” And unlike some professions, you are not required to have a degree, be certified, or complete a certain amount of training to be a professional photographer. So what qualifies a person as a professional photographer? Whether other pros like it or not, the only person who can decide whether they are a professional, is the individual. You don’t have to agree with their opinion of themselves, but it is what it is.

2. Why are pros so offended by “lesser” pros? How does it affect you? Is it taking business away from you because their prices are cheaper than yours? Then maybe now would be a good time to reevaluate your business and target clients. If your clients have decided that you aren’t worth what you are charging, maybe you need to work on inspiration, or revamp your prices. I’m not concerned with who might take my clients, I’m concerned with keeping my current clients happy–giving them great pictures and a fair price. If they choose to go elsewhere, that is their American right to do so. If they find someone else’s prices more appealing, I have no right to be angry at the person who is undercutting me. I’m always sad to lose clients because I build a relationship with them, but I can’t fault them for trying other options. And I most certainly will not fault the other photographer. But the bottom line is, I don’t want clients who choose me solely for my prices–I want them to choose me for…well…me. I’m looking for clients who love pictures that show their personality, dig my style, and want what I have to offer, all the while thinking they are getting good bang for their buck. So if they choose to go elsewhere, we weren’t a perfect match, and that’s okay!

3. Why do you think it is your right as a pro to judge others’ photos? I’m not immune–I see a bad photo, and I notice. I’m not a “give everyone a prize and we are all winners” kind of person. I think that in life, there is a true hierarchy with any profession. Seeing photographers who are better than me is inspiration to continue to grow and learn. But looking at a photographer who is starting out and turning my up my nose and bashing their work is wrong. Didn’t your momma ever tell you that if you don’t have anything nice to say, you shouldn’t say anything at all? Folks, I remember being there–right at the bottom with no idea what I was doing. After I learned from an online tutorial how to do a vignette in photoshop, every picture was surrounded by the blackness of the moonless sky. I thought that if you could see the edges of the picture, I was doing it wrong. Seriously, I look back at my earlier work and cringe. But that, that, was the first step in my learning process. This journey from the bottom to where I am was a series of steps, all of which had learning properties that have gotten me to where I am today. I hope I never forget what it was like just starting out.

4. Instead of criticizing, why not teach? I had a photographer one time actually show me a picture of another photographer and say, “Can you believe she posted this on facebook? I mean, why would anyone hire her?” I had to take a step back and compose my thoughts into a less harsh verbally-acceptable version before responding. Basically, I believe that everyone starts somewhere, and as long as the photographer is happy with what they are doing, and the client is happy with what they are getting, what concern is it of yours? Who in the world gave you the rights to judge all things photography? Let’s work on turning that criticism into something constructive–like teaching! I started teaching a basic photography class a little over a year ago and it’s been a huge success. With dslrs being so readily available to literally everyone, I see so many people with great cameras who have no idea how to use them. Instead of saying “oh my gosh, did you see that she has her camera set to…………auto!?,” I’ve decided to teach folks how to get out of auto! Some people ask me why I’m not concerned with the possibility that I might be “coaching my future competition.” I say, so what! Folks, I struggled to learn for years. There are simple concepts that, had I known them from the beginning, would have saved me so much frustration. I worked hard to be where I am, and I don’t see any reason why I can’t save someone else that same frustration by teaching them what I agonized to learn. And let’s just say that some of these folks I teach end up being awesomely amazing famous photographers…then I can say “I helped them reach their God-given potential!” And really, what’s more rewarding than that?

In conclusion, I strongly urge and encourage professional photographers to reconsider their viewpoint on the newbies. They are simply passionate people who are trying to learn–so why not help them rather than verbally abuse them? But heck, what do I know? I have a degree in Speech Communication and Computer Science. I’m just a self-taught, trial and error polished, girl with a nice camera.

And just for good measure, to keep myself humble (and slightly humiliated)…here’s a picture from one of the first sessions I ever did in 2007. It’s a newborn shot of my nephew. Don’t get me wrong–he’s adorable. The editing…not so much.

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Destiny - January 10, 2012 - 9:57 am

Excellent, excellent post!

Kevin Fischer - January 10, 2012 - 10:57 am

Very well said! Great reminder… A big Amen! I want to give a BIG thanks to Danny Ediger, Steve Wheeler and Joy Lierle who have so graciously helped me in my photography journey. They didn’t have to help me but did anyway and because of them and my passion to learn, my photography is more bearable for me and hopefully others to look at. LOL
I love people and I love photographing them. I want to continue to grow as a photographer… I want to continually be inspired by you(Rebecca) and other photographers so that I might better capture… who God has created in His image…
Thank you Rebecca… for who you are… for what you do!
God Bless!

Paul R. Giunta - January 10, 2012 - 11:26 am

Well put!! I could not agree more!

Kiley Peters - January 10, 2012 - 12:37 pm

A good friend (Insert shout-out to Alisha Loper <3) posted this to my wall this morning. She knows of a few times I've had my feelings hurt by other photographers. As a newb who has been treated as you discussed above by "pro's," this absolutely made my day. I cannot tell you how awesome it feels to finally see a photog with much more experience than me, whose work I admire, with this opinion. You're right. Everyone starts somewhere. And no one has the right to make industry rules. Photogs, no matter how experienced, continue to learn. :) THANK YOU!

Crystal Hope - January 10, 2012 - 12:44 pm

you’re amazing…and you’re my inspiration =)

Sky - January 10, 2012 - 1:28 pm

Guilty. Great post RM!

Barbara Smith - January 10, 2012 - 1:45 pm

Very well said! Professional, tactful, and true.

Julie Towery - January 11, 2012 - 12:48 am

Thank you Rebecca!! Great post from a fantastic photographer!! Let us all remember this and where we started!!

Basic Photography Class

Hi friends! It’s been nearly two months since I’ve posted, and I’m starting back with some fun news! I’m having another basic photography class–this time, pick between two different class dates/times. I’ve had a lot of people ask me to have another class, so if you are interested, sign up soon. The spots are limited!  All the information is below, but hit me up if you have any questions. And once you’re ready to sign up, email me at info@rebeccamanneyphotography.com, or pay using the link below.  We’re going to have lots of fun!

 

Pay with Paypal below ($2.60 paypal fee will be added to your total):






Type
Date









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Oklahoma Classics | Remington Park & Red Earth

I was absolutely thrilled when a twitter follower recommended me to the folks at Remington Park to cover their Oklahoma Classics event in collaboration with Red Earth. The event focused on Native American culture, and was free to the public. Whether you gamble, love horses, or just wanted a fantastic cultural experience, this was the perfect place to be. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our time at Remington Park. Everywhere I looked, there was a picture to be taken. I couldn’t stop myself!

We started by finding our way to the Silks Restaurant where the lovely Yenni, the Social Media Manager for Remington Park, had made reservations for us. Let me begin by saying; the folks at Remington Park sure know how to treat a guest! We were seated at a table that overlooked the finish line, and immediately met by our waiter, Daniel, who was lucky enough to catch our table.:)Okay, we were the lucky ones–he was great!

Here’s Keith holding my gray card for me–clearly more interested in what’s going on on the track. Even still, he’s quite handsome, don’t you think? I’ll answer for you: Yes, yes he is.

Side note: I’ve always had trouble figuring out gray vs. grey until someone told me a little trick: GrAy=America, GrEy=Engalnd. That one was free of charge. You’re welcome.

While Daniel promised to hold our table for the evening, we made our way around the Artists’ Market. There were some fantastic art pieces on display!

Next, we made our way outdoors to check out the other activities.

There was a cooking demonstration by Chef Loretta Oden. Look at all those healthy ingredients for her salad! I will confess–it looked a little too healthy for me, but Keith couldn’t stop eating it!


Next, we went to check out the painted ponies. This was my favorite part of the evening–watching the artists paint the horses and seeing the beautiful tribal designs.



All of the painted ponies!

These are the four artists who did the paintings.

The races were about to begin, and the OKC Pow Wow Club Princess led us in the National Anthem.

The Oklahoma Classics event was capped off with traditional Native American dancing.


After all of this, we made our way back to the Silks where Keith and I shared a lovely dinner while watching the races. I took Tony, the manager’s, suggestion and ordered the buffalo. Keith stuck with the man food–a good old steak. And apparently we were so hungry, I didn’t even stop to take pictures of our food! I did take a picture of my tiramisu desert–only because it was so well presented!

Thank you again to the folks at Remington Park and Red Earth for including me in your wonderful event!

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SarahJ - October 31, 2011 - 7:07 pm

Great pictures! I love the ones of the dancers – so colorful & vivid!

tom kite - November 1, 2011 - 8:23 am

enjoyed yoiur work with the dancers… looking forward to seeing more..

Wendy - November 1, 2011 - 11:21 am

What a great experience that must have been and those pictures are incredible!! Looks like a lot of fun. Good job Rebecca!

Loretta Barrett Oden - November 1, 2011 - 4:48 pm

Wonderful meeting you! It was a fantastic day despite the chill!

Beautiful photos! Thanks!

Nathan Hart - November 3, 2011 - 8:19 pm

You have great photos of the event. My pleasure to be there and to see your work. I had fun painting the horses! The whole evening was a blast.

Ream Family

The Ream family drove all the way from Cherokee, OK to Norman, OK for this session. In case you’re not sure where that is, it’s 3 hours from Norman. That’s right, they made a 3 hour drive with 3 children for a 1 hour photo shoot. Well, that was the plan anyway.

First of all, there was a little mishap–a few well thought out and coordinated items of clothing were left behind in Cherokee. If you’ve ever spent hours on end coordinating clothing for your family, you can just imaging how frustrating this would be! Half way through the session, as the little ones often do, miss Quinn decided she was just finished taking pictures, and became quite inconsolable. I think Shanna was worried that all of this planning, driving, and stressing was all going to be for not.

After a little thought, we decided it would be best to give the kiddos a break–eat some lunch, take some naps, and try again. Round two went on without a hitch! Shanna had time to acquire another shirt, and the kiddos were much happier. All in all, I think the session was a success! Of course, I believe Shanna’s nerves took a hit, but I hope the results make up for it.:)


Thank you to the Ream family for being so flexible!

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