The one about the Thing {cleveland writing photographer}

Just as a heads up, there won’t be a heck of a lot of photos in this, and it’s super personal (albeit a bit rambling).
I have always thought that every person has a thing that they’re supposed to do with their lives. Some people are born knowing their thing- my sister wanted to be a nurse. She’s a nurse. My friends wanted to be teachers- they are. Some people wanted to be parents. Josh’s thing was abstract- “be successful” and for him, a goal he reached in 2015. He knew the path to get there- MIS degree, master’s degree, busting his ass working, getting the right promotion. And that’s it. He hit his thing.
The only thing I ever wanted, was to be famous. That’s it. And that’s not even a real thing. It’s not like that’s something you can attain with hard work, degrees, know-how. It’s just, not.a.thing. But it was MY thing. And here I am, staring down the barrel of 40, with nothing. Literally. No. Thing.  I mean, I have wendy b photos (WBP), but is that my thing? I don’t know. It feels like it, right?

Me, 6yo. Not famous. My Grandpa had this picture of me in a tiny golden frame until he died in 2006.

I own a business and I would love to grow it. Photography is great, and I love it, and I’m lucky I get to do it. There are a billion things I’d love to do with WBP, I have a head full of ideas, a notebook full of amazing clients, and an Amazon wishlist a mile long 😉
There is so much I want to do in the photography world. I want to take more babies, milestones and sitters. I want to make use of studio space and offer MORE for the community. I’d love to teach photography basics! But all I hear, in the back of my mind, is HOW. HOW can I do these things, when the market grows smaller and smaller all the time? HOW can I reach people, when social media actively works against me? HOW can I bring in more referrals, when I know so many of my clients already are doing so much for me HOW can I rent studio space, not knowing if I can make ends meet? HOW DO I DO THIS? (for real though, how?)

All of these thoughts about my “thing” have been sitting in my brain recently and really taking up a lot of space because I was offered a job. A few weeks ago, I uploaded a resume to a job site. Since I have basically no work experience outside of WBP in the last nine years, I did not expect to see any action. I uploaded and sent “apply” to one job on a Saturday. I thought, you know what- just throw a resume out there. If nothing happens, it’s fine. Spring will be here and I want to do styled sessions and find a way to do glitter/ shimmer sessions, and then summer will be here and I want to shoot warm light, and then it’s fall and crazy time again. Apply for something, do something scary. So I did. And they called. I interviewed unsure of what I would do, if I was offered the job because interview practice is always good. A few weeks later I was made an offer. And that shocked the blessed crap out of me.

I had already made a commitment to something else in the weeks it took to hear back from the job. The thought of trying to find someone to help care for the girls over the summer was overwhelming. And every penny I made, would go right back out the door over the summer for child care. And I technically don’t NEED to work, WBP does fine for me. So, there were a lot of scary things screaming in my face. I sent out the SOS to my dearest friends who answered in lightening fashion and set my mind at ease. A, M, and T- free photos this summer 😉 My husband is working on being home more to help with the summer as well, and I’m trying to learn as much as I can about summer care for them.

I accepted. Is this job my thing? No, probably not. But it’ll give my mind something else to do rather than focus on and feel drown by all the HOW, and you never know what relationships you can build with new opportunities! I feel ready for the coming learning experience, and excited to add this work to my life. I feel, normal. Today after I make the girls their lunch and give them hugs and kisses before school, I’m going to put on real clothes, and go to work for a few hours outside of my home office, like a regular person. And that is super exciting to me. If you have a thing, I hope you’re living it. If you’ve not- I hope you enjoy the journey.

Me, 39yo. Still not famous, but living it up ❤ Thanks, Deb for the photo!

The time I saw Maui {cleveland traveling photographer}

In January, I had the incredible opportunity to travel to the island of Maui, Hawaii. My dear friend Deb, the owner of Sensational Cakes…and More in Solon invited me to join her and her parents at their condo in Kihei and after two years of hemming and hawing (and saving every single penny from Wendy B Photos) I took the plunge. I bought a plane ticket in October, and flew out Jan 15th, 2019. As a person with serious motion sickness and water fears, flying to an island, 4500 miles away was a massive challenge. But I did it, and I did it alone. I met Deb and her loving mother Jane in Kahului airport at 1230am, EST, 730pm, their time. And I cried.  I had left my home in Cleveland at about 545am. The travel itself went *really* well, and I have to give the people at Delta huge props. Everyone I had contact with, was helpful and friendly.
IMG_2479

IMG_2477
Hello room to stretch out! My janky knee was appreciative! 

It was dark when I landed, so there was’t much to see, but in the morning…

IMG_2482
Kahoolawe island, dead ahead

IMG_2483

IMG_2484
Molokini crater and Kahoolawe Islands. They looked so close, but were 3 and 5 miles away!

I had planned to shoot film, the entire trip. I ended up shooting five rolls, but also had my cell phone (the photos above are iphone). The following images are film shot on a Nikon F100, with Fuji400 and Fuji400h film of my first days:

Makena Paia Lava-1Makena Paia Lava-2Makena Paia Lava-4

 

Makena Paia Lava-8
My view of the West Maui Mountains- see the wind turbines! Hooray for renewable energies! The Maui Vista condo complex also has solar panels on the roofs! 

While we had thought that my first day would be one where I got caught up (I’ve never had jet lag before, for real, my travel book is nearly empty) I was ready to ROLL. I got to see lava fields, and coral; hadn’t ever seen either.  The white flecks are coral pieces. Don’t worry, I didn’t take anything. Makena Paia Lava-30

I saw beaches with some crazy soft sand on Makena and at Charley Young Beach

Makena Paia Lava-9Makena Paia Lava-10Makena Paia Lava-12Makena Paia Lava-14Makena Paia Lava-25Makena Paia Lava-18

I saw Pu’u Olai which I learned is a cinder cone from Haleakala!

Makena Paia Lava-23Makena Paia Lava-15

None of this trip would have been possible, without Jane and Fred Litt, who operate Maui Condo by Owner with help from Deb. I stayed with them, in their home on the island. They rent out several condos in Kihei, right in the perfect area. Everything is walkable, the beaches are directly across the street. If you have any thoughts about visiting Maui, check out Maui Condo By Owner.
I’ll be sharing more photos from my trip shortly, and heads up- if you’re into sunsets and beaches, and like to give yourself tropical vacation envy make sure you check back!

IMG_2521

wendy b photos roundup {cleveland family photographer}

2018 seems to have gone by really quickly- I remember being freaked out about going to Costa Rica with my husband for a weekend trip he earned at his place of business. I get scared to travel anywhere (I’m mid mental breakdown about a trip to Maui, HI I’m taking very shortly). Even though I like going to these cool new places, I get totally freaked out. Leaving my kids, my responsibilities… shouldn’t I be trying to book work rather than take time off? Ugh. This Maui trip is messing with my head pretty badly, especially when I look back and see I didn’t book a single thing for January but to be fair, my daughters have been out of school until the 7th, I have to be back home in PA on the 12th for an event, and I leave on the 15th, almost all of my weekends are spoken for.
cr1-22wmcr2-1wm

cr2-14wm
I tried to set focus, and handed my camera to my husband. One shot came out.

cr2-18wm

I got to shoot some really great newborns, and I’m looking forward to meeting even more babies this year (it’s never too early to book your newborn session, please PLEASE do not wait until the last minute).
Lilly-68wmccs-2wmEDS-90wmEDS-56wm

I shot so.much.film; I loved every freaking second of it. There hasn’t been a single shot that I was like, “Oh dang, missed it,” because even the shots that don’t come out perfectly, are perfect. Photography has always been about the moment, right? So sometimes, what matters isn’t what is “in focus” but what’s going on around the focus. Maybe that’s too meta. IDK. So many pictures of 2/3rds of our cats (the tuxedo cat is Fiffen/ Olive, the orange and white one is Beep)…

9.18-23wm9.18-219.18-199.18-5octnov 18-20octnov 18-16octnov 18-14

So many pictures of my long suffering daughters who are juuuuust about finished being my little models…

octnov 18-32octnov 18-279.18-14wmoctnov 18-26

Cakes, and milestones, and families…. 2018 was a pretty full year of lots of good things.

Fryz Familyjfox-5wmtaps-4wm

Best Tummy of 2018 ^^

I don’t have any idea what 2019 will bring. If we’ve worked together, I’d love to see you again. I’d love for you to tell a friend about your experience, I’d love to give you both referral credits 😉 I’d love for you to ask for a film session (yes, I am offering film for client work now). I’d love to keep growing this business. I really would. Every year it gets harder and harder, but you guys keep me going and I thank you for that. On to 2019 friends. Let’s see what we can create together. Check out https://www.wboycephotos.com and when you’re ready, email me: wendy@wboycephotos.com. Whatever you want, we can make it happen. 

Film snapshots {cleveland film photographer}

Early today, in a photography group I belong to on Facebook, we were talking about “going back to film”. I’ve mentioned before that there was no “going back” to film- I didn’t ever really shoot film, except for little point and shoot pictures like was the only thing available to most of us in a pre-digital era. There are so many fun things I’ve already waxed poetic about when it comes to film- I just wanted to share some of my personal photos, all taken on film. I’ve been using a Nikon FG and a Nikon F100 lately. My daughter Lilly has commandeered my much loved Vivitar v3000s and she has been shooting with it ❤ I’ll include a photo or two of hers, as well! I buy film on Amazon, and have it developed with Old School Photo Lab  If you have any questions about working with film, leave a comment!

blueberry-6
My good friend Adrienne took my daughters and me to Greenfield Berry Farm for blueberry picking!

blueberry-13blueberry-18blueberry-19

6.18 visit-5
Olive, didn’t have her mouth open but full of attitude

6.18 visit-9
My girls’ elementary school read “Wonder” and this was the poster that hung in the hall

6.18 visit-27
My sister’s boys and my girls

wb-2wm

wb-6wm
Clients! On film! haha! Mindy was very awesome to allow me to grab a few photos with my F100

wb-12wm
My favorite mugs, my second favorite beverage. (Dr Pepper is my #1)

wb-15wm
skies on film forever. 

wb-16
My Lilly, who has taken up photography herself ❤

lilly film-1
Lilly’s sky photo– light leaks like WHOA… so so so pretty

lilly film-5
Lilly’s photo of her twin sister’s ballet stance

lilly film-14
So far, my favorite picture of Lilly’s. This is her twin sister Molly, just running and playing. Sun star? Check. Light and shadow? Check. Both of my babies? CHECK! 

Pretty Photo Challenge {cleveland photographer}

29214621_10213714475927527_8309915016497201152_o_medium

I belong to a number of photography communities on Facebook. One of those group is Pretty Presets for Lightroom. The group is really nice for photographers of all levels. I’ve been a community member for quite some time; I have been published in their magazine, and have had three articles published on their blog! The Pretty Presets group has challenges every so often, and this image of Leslie, Elise, Henry and Olive received an Honorable Mention 😀

29982943_10156476696597755_454016733032532321_oThank you, Pretty Presets for the support over the years! Check out the winner and the 8 other Honorable Mentions HERE!!
Interested in your own session with wendy b photos? Email wendy@wboycephotos.com today! Openings are available in June and July!

 

My Shoot & Share contest video!

This year, the Shoot & Share administrators put together videos for all contestants who entered 20 or more images. I went all-in with 50! See anyone you know? I know it goes by fast; I didn’t get to build this video or personalize it at all (you have to shell out $$ to be able to customize your videos) but it’s still fun to see.

I have already started a collection of images to enter for next year’s contest. I cannot WAIT for things to start blooming again here in Cleveland; I am really looking forward to taking my #nikonf100 film camera out and really stretching it’s legs.
I am hoping to score a model or two as well, to work on a semi-styled film session (think warm sunlight, flowing floral dress,sun hat, tall grass, and that touch of film making it all look so timeless). I’m even toying with doing boudoir on film! (woowoo) If you are over 18 and would be interested drop a line to wendy@wboycephotos.com You will be required to sign a contract with a model release. Don’t worry, they don’t allow any boudoir photography in the contest and I never share images without specific permission so your privacy will be respected 😀

Film, film… film! {cleveland film photographer}

A few weeks ago, my husband earned a trip to Costa Rica through his company. We along with about 50 other employees packed up for an all expenses paid weekend of sun and quiet and headed to Papagayo Bay, Guanacaste Province.  Considering that we were looking at seven hours in flights, and international flights at that, I brought only my film camera and carried it on with a few rolls of 200 speed film.
cr1-22wm
As I’ve talked about, I enjoy shooting film for personal projects. I enjoy it so much, it has made me see my work in a new way, appreciate the technology available, and slow down to *feel* what I’m photographing, wait for and don’t waste the shot; not just spray and pray. I am in the market for an autofocus film camera that will accept the Nikon lenses and the Sigma Art lens. Unfortunately, those cameras are a little out of my personal budget right now (some costs upwards of $2000, not exactly chump change for something I just do for fun).  As you can see, I’m making due with what I’ve got 😉

cr1-9wm

cr1-20wmcr1-27wmcr2-1wm

cr2-5wm
We went for a horseback ride, and my horse Maura did not like the sound my shutter made. I tucked my camera away and relied on my cell phone, on silent.

cr2-8wmcr2-13wm

cr2-14wm
I tried to set focus, and handed my camera to my husband. One shot came out.

The area we stayed in was very dry and there were brushfires all over. The last night, we had a nice sunset… with a slight camp-fire smell. The days were beautifully warm, in the low 90s, but with no humidity. It didn’t feel overwhelmingly hot, or uncomfortable at all. cr2-18wmcr2-20wm

cr2-22wm
I love the little lights you can see, in the bottom third of this image; it’s the lights from the other little casitas on our resort.

SaveSaveSaveSave

Your legacy in photos {cleveland photographer}

On Thursday, Feb 1, my Grandmother Martha Randall left this life for the great dance floor in the next. My husband, kids, and I drove home to PA on Friday and spent the weekend with my parents and the rest of my family. We did as so many others do when there is a loss; we sat around together, looking at Gramma’s photo albums. My Gram apparently had a camera with her at all times- something I didn’t know. Seeing the photos of us and her travels, the photos of her with my Great Grandma Ross who seems to have snuck into 3 out of every 5 photos ever taken, reading the captions she wrote in margins, in her own handwriting… that time capsule of Ross/McGaughey/Randall was such a wonderful piece of history. Someday, your photos will be your living legacy. They will be the last physical piece that you existed in this life. For the Great Grand kids who won’t have memory of Gram, they will be able to see her smiling while holding them- they’ll be able to know they were loved and have been loved for decades. They can see the roots of their family tree, in more than just the faces of the people around them.

McGCmas-4
Grandma and Jameson. Jameson is Gram’s seventh great-grandbaby

I am guilty of not printing as much as I should this myself, and realized it when I was scrolling through my Cloud storage looking for photos only to realize, it was too late- I had no way to print any of the digital files I had saved. I had photos of my Gram holding one of my daughters on the day my daughters were born- the three ladies share a birthday (Molly, Lilly, and my Gram that is), photos of Gram and Dave (my step grandfather who loved my Gram to the ends of this earth) at weddings, Gram with my Dad and my daughters just visiting and hanging out together. But I had no way to print those digitals. Nothing says “quality family time” like passing around your cell phone, and trying to teach others how to scroll through, right? 😦 Had I printed those pictures when I took them, I could have brought albums with me back to PA to share with everyone. Instead, I felt selfish and foolish for not having *anything* to contribute.
While going through Gram’s photos, I found these wedding photos from when she married my Grandpa. While their marriage was hard (they suffered losses no parent should every suffer, multiple times at that) and their lives grew apart, it was really a treat to see the beginnings of our family.
The wedding photos had yellowed considerably since they were shot in 1948. I asked if I could take two of the photos home, to try to restore them and I think I got it 🙂 If I recognize the scenery correctly, I believe these were shot at the house my Gram grew up in, on Clay Street in North East, PA. I feel like I can see some pink in the bouquets, but I think that was painted in, and the bridesmaids gowns look like they might have been blue, but again I’m not sure if that was painted onto the image afterword. Screen Shot 2018-02-06 at 8.32.24 AM

GmaGpaMcG-1

My Grandma would have been twenty in these, my Grandpa about the same age. I plan to print these, and will be able to have copies made for any family who may want one.Screen Shot 2018-02-06 at 8.32.05 AMGmaGpaMcG-2
A couple from Cmas 2015, at Gram and Dave’s house that again, I’ll be printing for my daughters. Print your photos. Get IN photos. Don’t get deleted from your family history.

DSC_5605 (1)
Molly, Gram, Lilly, Dave, and Caleb being funny Dec. 2015

DSC_5617
Gram and Colin 12/2015

DSC_5621
Kelly, Gram, Colin sunggle 2015

Another film post? OH YEA, BABY {cleveland film photographer}

I have been loving using film; the way the film reads light, the way it reads sky, the actual psychical feeling of the print in my hand, the texture of film. I love the anticipation of getting my scans back, I love getting the actual print itself. I even love putting the prints in my albums!
My D750 was involved in a recall (despite not having any issues with it) which meant I had to ship it off to Nikon and that I wasn’t going to be able to take it on vacation with me (aw, shucks). I took my cell phone of course, but also took my Vivitar v3000s- the same one that was given to me by an incredibly generous friend. I have the scans back from that trip and wow; I am so happy with them. *My Nikon ended up being sent back cleaned up and fixed up within seven days, which was also pretty amazing so props to Nikon’s service center in NY.*

My husband gave me a bit of a start when he said, “What will you do, if something goes wrong and the film doesn’t develop?” because, yea that would have been pretty crappy. And it did happen one time- that a roll of film didn’t come out (but like, one time out of 25).

But.

I trusted myself. I trusted what *I* know. I trusted my camera and my film. And I have 240 images to show for our first family vacation 😀 I’d love to share them all, but I know going through other people’s vacation photos is about as thrilling as going to the dentist. I hope you enjoy just these few peeks into NYC on film ❤

NYC-2017-58wm
I love that my reflection shows in the glass!

NYC-2017-60wm

NYC-collage-1NYC-2017-66wm

NYC-collage-2

*special thanks to Old School Photo Lab for the developing!

Film Photography Love {cleveland film photos}

Once again, I need to sing the praises of my favorite film developers, Old School Photo Lab, in Dover NH. I sort of, kind of, went nuts with my film. I think in June-July I developed something like 10 or 12 rolls. I was getting the actual 4×6 prints back as well as high res scans and that was adding up- for good reason of course and I’m happy to pay for services used.  But I was running out of film budget quickly, haha! I believe these were all developed on Fuji 200 and 400 speed film, which I’ve been getting on Amazon.

I shot film while we visited the zoo in Akron….

Akron-collage

We’d never been, and I was really surprised with how botanical it was! The gardens were so pretty. I wish I had brought three full rolls- I only brought one and a half :/ Live and learn; bring more film than you think you need.  All of the following images are SOOC (straight out of camera). The only edit work done was to place them into the collage spaces.

I shot film at my hometown’s Cherry Festival (North East, PA represent!) I shot some of the attractions and the things that just scream Cherry Fest , North East for me…

CherryFefst-collage1

Cherry-fest-collage-2

I only wish I had time to get down to Freeport Beach. Oh well. I am planning on only taking my cell phone and my Vivitar v3000s camera on our family trip to NYC this month! I bought 40 rolls of film, and honestly I hope it’s enough. That’s going to be a hell of a develop fee though :S

I took my Yashica to the Luvin Lavender festival in Madison OH. One of my daughters and I went and had a nice morning together.

lavender-collage

And my other daughter and I took both the Yashica and the Vivitar on a walk through our neighborhood. We were having some painting done on our house, too 😉

walk-collage

I am obsessed. I can’t believe how much more I’m enjoying photography working with film as my medium. A friend encouraged me to invest in a Nikon F6 film camera… but with a $2500 price tag, I think it’ll have to wait. Forever. I am sort of eyeing up this Nikon F10 though. How many cameras is too many again?

 

SaveSave