arizonaseniorphotographer

Chasing Sunset Dreams - My Life in ArizonA As a Photographer

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Two months ago, my mom and I set out on a trip out West along Route 66. I'll save my details of the trip for another time, but today I'm mostly just talking about emotions. 

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I was so ready to get out of the city (and state) of Muncie, IN. I was born, raised, and grew up in that small city. I went to college there, I met all my closest friends there, and of course my mom is there. I am so grateful for my experiences and everything in between that Muncie gave me, but it was time to leave. 

I think people get comfortable, sometimes too comfortable and we don't like to talk about it. I could have easily stayed in my hometown. I had made a lot of good connections there and my business was taking OFF which was one of the hardest things to think about. I had just graduated college, I was starting to have a steady income from my photography business that I started all on my own, so why would I leave that? 

I was ready for change and to be inspired by something new (and I'm sure some of you are saying, "what a millennial thing to do.") It's true though. People need to see new places, do new things, and like so many people say, get out of their comfort zone. 

So I decided to leave, and move in with my long-time boyfriend, Brannon (who moved out to Arizona six months before for a software development job). 

It's obviously not all rainbows and butterflies though, I want to be honest and realistic. Arizona has been everything I ever dreamed, waking up someplace where I can see mountains out my bedroom window in the distance, palm trees and cacti lining every street you turn down, and there's so much stuff to do everywhere you go. Moving your photography business across the country though? Not so easy. Don't get me wrong, I know what I'm doing with my life. I often joke with my friends or family, or the internet for that matter by saying, "I have no clue what I'm doing with my life." The thing is though, I do know. I'm a portrait, lifestyle, wedding, and anything else in between photographer, and I own my own business, and I want to be successful and have this be my full-time career. 

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It's been a process, and I've only been here for two months and I've already gotten discouraged a number of times. I'm not used to not being busy taking photos, editing, and talking to clients nonstop. For the last year that had been my life, so moving across the country, hardly knowing anyone, I should have been prepared for the halt in business. I wasn't though. Most recently I spend my days reading about marketing and business (I highly suggest John Harrington's book, Best Business Practices for Photographers, Third Edition), connecting with other photographers, learning about advertising, and updating my social media as often as possible to stay relevant.

When you're staying in your apartment during the greater part of the day and only taking photos 2-3 times a week (when that's your career) you tend to feel a little lazy. If I'm being honest, I'm just winging it. I don't have an exact plan, I wish I had a more set direction of how to do what I'm doing and reach my goals (I've done a couple thousand Google searches though and I haven't found a direct map of how to become successful), and there's not.

A real life photo of me chasing sunsets + dreams in Moab, Utah. 

A real life photo of me chasing sunsets + dreams in Moab, Utah. 

So here I am, writing a blog post talking about my feelings and what I'm doing with my life, hoping people will take the time to read it. I don't know exactly where I'm going or where this is going to take me, but for now I'm just riding the adventure wave and doing everything I can to get to the top (was that too cliche?) 

Until next time.

-S

 

 

Now booking ALL Arizona sessions + Indiana sessions for the month of October, click the Contact button below to send me a message. 

Encanto Park in Phoenix, AZ - Arizona Based Portrait Photographer

About the look | In frame: Emily Kidd | Dress:  Gap  | Shoes:  H&M

About the look | In frame: Emily Kidd | Dress: Gap | Shoes: H&M

I had the pleasure of meeting up with Emily Kidd last week in Phoenix. Emily is a Seattle based photographer, but was visiting her boyfriend in Phoenix. I am currently a Tempe/Phoenix, Arizona based photographer (making my way around the state) and was so excited to meet up with another photographer! We met through the creatives group Build & Bloom on Facebook. 

 

 

We started our adventure at Dark Hall Coffee and talked about all things photography, goals, and The Office. Then we made our way into the 108 degree weather for some portraits around the building. 

 

About the look | In frame: Emily Kidd | Dress:  Target  | Shoes:  H&M  

About the look | In frame: Emily Kidd | Dress: Target | Shoes: H&M 

Once we were ready for a break from the heat, we hopped in the car and headed towards Encanto Park in Phoenix (with a few detours beforehand). The park had the perfect amount of sunshine and shade. 

 

 

*Shameless Plug* This would also be the PERFECT location for seniors, lifestyle portraits, couples, or a family session if you're in the Phoenix area and want to set up a session! 

 

Even if I was sweating profusely afterwards, it was so much fun getting to shoot in the Arizona sun with another photographer that totally understands the struggles and amazing side of being a photographer. 

I'd love to meet up with other ~creatives~ in the Phoenix, AZ area, send me a message if you're in the area and want to collab! 

Here's to the next photo friend adventure. 

xx 

Stops Along Route 66 | Blue Swallow Motel - Tucumcari, New Mexico

I'm currently sitting in my apartment in Tempe, AZ with the air conditioning blasting. It's 101 outside... and only getting hotter. 

I just got back from a visit in Indiana though and I can officially say I'm a Phoenician because the humid 85 degree weather there is so much worse than the 100 degree dry heat here. 

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This photo was taken at the back of the Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico. I've been in the process of editing all of my photos from my mom and I's road trip out west. 

This was one of my favorite stops on our trip. When we decided to stop at all the best Route 66 locations, the Blue Swallow was listed as a must, and I can completely understand why. 

 

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The salmon pink walls, periwinkle doors, and vintage signs made it feel like we were taking a step back in time. The town of Tucumcari has clearly changed a lot since Route 66 was at its peak of popularity, but driving down the road you can still see and visit places that have been there since the beginning. 

 

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On me: Shirt from  Urban Outfitters  | Jeans from  Forever 21  | Sunglasses from  Ray-Ban  

On me: Shirt from Urban Outfitters | Jeans from Forever 21 | Sunglasses from Ray-Ban 

If you're making a trip along Route 66, the Blue Swallow Motel is a must see and if you have time, I would absolutely stay the night there. 

This is my first installment of my Route 66 blog posts, I plan to feature all my favorite locations, photo stops, and unique things along the way. 

Here's to all the adventures coming. 

Happy Valentine's Day - Photos of Love - Indiana Lifestyle Photographer

I had so much fun the first two weeks of February planning these sessions. I teamed up with Reagan Lynn Photography and we planned three photoshoots with different models. 

I've always thought Valentine's Day was a cute holiday, I admit that parts of it can be cheesy, but embracing the love in the air and all the cliches can be pretty fun. 

Whether you're celebrating with a lover, friends, family, or yourself, you can't deny all the flowers, balloons, and candy (especially when it's 50% off the next day), make you smile a little. Alright maybe they don't, but I hope these photos do. 

 

Our first session was with the beautiful Christine Tate. We picked up some tulips and carnations, embraced the cold weather, and then finished sipping warm drinks inside The Caffeinery in Downtown Muncie. 

 

Our second session was with the amazing Makindsay Carper and let me tell you this day was FREEZING. We took photos on top of one of the parking garages at Ball State University and the wind chill made it feel like it was in the negatives. It was worth it though. We bought a dozen heart shaped, helium filled balloons from Party City and took as many photos as we could as fast as we could (with a 10 minute warm-up in the middle). 

Our final session was one of my all-time favorite's (which I tend to say about every new session). We bought candy hearts, tons of balloons, heart decorations, face tattoos, and all the other stuff you find in the holiday craft section at Target. We worked with the beautiful Demi Vaugn. I'd say more, but I'll just let the photos do the talking. 

I hope you all have an amazing, love-filled day. 

xoxo

Samantha