a brief look back, and a long look ahead

Callan Hovis & his mom, Carley

Tonight I’m laying in bed with my two (very healthy) dogs, alone for the week and watching a movie. Looking back on the fright I had this week with Jack, and missing Mr. Susan something terribly, I’m in a funny sort of place.

I’m also, coincidentally, taking a look back, literally, at my work over the past year and how it’s evolved from mostly location-based wedding photography to highly personal, in-studio lifestyle family photography. Dogs and babies: Actors say to never work with them, but I really can’t believe how much I love them all. Anyone who’s known me for any decent time should be surprised by that as well. But on the other hand, sometimes my self-awareness meter is way off and others have a much better grasp on where my brain is at than I do.

As most of you know, I had to stop my wedding photography this year (for lots of reasons). This left me some time to spend in the studio to hone my portraiture style (which I’m loving, by the way) and it’s also left me some time for personal photo/art projects (also: loving). I’ve dabbled in some seminars and classes on moving “up” into commercial photography, and while that does intrigue me, it’s very surprising for me to find that just dipping my toe in that arena has really shown me how much I treasure my one-on-ones with the clients who come into my studio and share my space. (Besides, in a former life I used to organize and run photo shoots and they can be both extremely tiresome and horribly grueling at the same time.)

This shot I’m showing you is a re-do of one I did years and years ago (my first year in business, I believe) with an adorable girl named Reagan and her mom Jessie. I reshot this concept today, with a little boy bottom this time. I love the result; though truthfully I’m torn on whether I should go wide and show the context, or pull in tight to show off the “MOM” tattoo. Input is more than welcome, by the way. 

It’s cold outside (hitting the 30s at night here in LA lately) and the dogs are hunkering down deeper, and my movie is about to get a little more interesting, so I’m going to sign off. But I’ll leave you with this image of Callan Hovis, a boy who is already spoken for (sorry moms and little ones) and who has the most amazeballs mom, auntie and gram.

Have a good Sunday, yeah? Put on some fake tattoos and fool around with the kids and pets. Don’t climb any giant ant hills and whatever you, do not open a Dybbuk box (lessons I learned on TV this week).



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  • January 12, 2013 - 10:28 pm

    kd - I like the wide shot. 🙂 I think it’s way cool and tells much more story than a close-up would. Now I have to go google “Dybbuk box.”ReplyCancel

  • January 12, 2013 - 10:38 pm

    susan sabo - thanks, kd. I like the wide too.

    You’ve been warned: you can Google “Dybbuk box,” but do not ever, under any circumstances, open one!”ReplyCancel

  • January 13, 2013 - 5:05 am

    Chris Bonney - Hadn’t realized you’d stepped away from weddings. You did such a nice job with them (something I’d never have the patience to do). But your love of doing these personals and dogs shows through. And you do such a swell job of them!ReplyCancel

  • January 13, 2013 - 10:10 am

    susan sabo - Thanks, Chris. I stopped about halfway through the year for lots of reasons. I’m very happy in my studio, maybe that’s where everything was leading me all along.ReplyCancel

  • January 14, 2013 - 6:03 am

    sarah reed - You forever inspire me in the sense of not being so scared to evolve and change as an artist type. <3ReplyCancel

  • January 14, 2013 - 9:02 pm

    susan - Awww, thanks sawahReplyCancel

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