He reached over, placed his hand on my knee and gave it a gentle squeeze as he guided the truck through the darkness of a country road. ”I believe in you,” he said. Tears sprang to my eyes as we finally made the decision to do something scary. To leave the security of what we’ve known for the uncertainty of what we don’t. Standing on the imaginary ledge and deciding to jump on the count of three. But when he uttered those words, my doubts lessened and excitement found its way in. He has this way of making me brave. Of doing things I wouldn’t normally do. Like climbing into the attic for the first time the other day. And we’ve lived here almost three years. But he never lets my fears get in the way of succeeding. And for that I’m grateful. I’m so glad that while I make this leap, he’s holding my hand the whole way down.
So, here it goes — the big reveal.
Cassie Jones Photography has a new home. For the last few years, I’ve been working from home, out of the trunk of my car, and out of coffee shops. And now, after much prayer and God’s blessings, I’ve found a new home in the downtown Searcy area. A studio, which has been a desire of my heart ever since I started this journey several years ago, and now, it’s finally here. Monday, we picked up the keys and took our first load of equipment in to the new studio. It houses a cozy waiting room, large naturally lit shooting area, private offices, spacious closets, a kitchen, a bathroom and some extra rooms for storage! I am so blessed to announce that 100 South Spring Street is our new address! We’re right down town, across from First Baptist Church in Searcy. But no worries! I’m still traveling.
The entire month of May, I’m celebrating this big step by giving you 50% off all sessions booked during the month of may. Spots are limited, so please call to ensure your spot! To book your session today, please email me at Cassie@cassiejonesphotography.net or give me a call at 501-230-0539
Also, I’m giving away a free session! To enter, please comment using the facebook commenting box below and tell me how much you would enjoy a free session! You can enter as many times as you like, just post your little comment down there and roll.All names will be put into a hat or bowl or whatever is lying around tomorrow evening at 6:00 PM and the winner will be announced on our facebook page!
Please stay tunned for the studio tour post, coming in just a week!
I remember last year around this time. Both of us had puffy sausages acting as toes, we waddled wherever we walked, made daily trips to the same doctor and often made trips together to get something cold to drink while we worked. The days were dwindling down, I still had a month to go, and Jennifer had days. We’d been through a lot together. And here we were, about to bring home our babies.
I’ll never forget the day Preston was born. I sat, stared at my phone all morning waiting for that text message. I stalked facebook, anxious to see images of the first of the “may babies” as we call them. Words couldn’t express how happy we were for our friends– that they’d been blessed with a gift so precious words can’t express.
I’ve had many great memories with this boy — as I documented his steps throughout this last year, rocked him to sleep on a tuesday night, and shared laughs as he’s played with my son and singing “Roll the Gospel Charriot”. I look forward to watching him grow throughout the years.
Happy birthday to the little person who has been the biggest blessing in our friends’ lives.
In a world of social media, its much easier these days to be heard. To share your opinion. To say what “needs” to be said. To see what others are saying. To learn. To be inspired. To see what others are doing. And to pretend. To be something that you’re not.
I got a call yesterday that made my heart nearly stop beating, scream, and fall into a puddle into the floor. I was completely unprepared. The situation was completely unexpected. I never dreamed this would happen to me. The person on the other end of the line told me they had some bad news. I could tell from the shake in their voice it wasn’t going to be good. I got that worried feeling in the pit of my stomach as they told me to go to a website. I opened up the laptop sitting on the kitchen table and typed in the web address. Instantly, I knew, as the splash page came up what it was that I was looking at. Images so familiar to me I could pick them out in any crowd. Artwork so close to my heart that I remember smiling behind the camera when I pressed the shutter, knowing I’d captured the “perfect moment”. I look at these images and remember exactly how I felt when watching two people vow their lives to one another. I remember that smile on her face that was so luminous not even a camera can correctly depict the way she was shining that day.
It was my work. On someone else’s website.
I’d always thought I’d be mad if this happened to me. But what little anger I truly felt came second to a hurt that is almost indescribable. I felt robbed. Violated. Much like how I suspect people feel when they’ve found an intruder in their home — because that place, just like my artwork is sacred to me. It’s mine and only mine. Cannot be recreated. Cannot be reproduced. Not one person in the world can see the things exactly as I do and yet here they sit, claimed by someone else. Stolen. The couple’s special story, reduced to none other than an object placed to gain attention. It was a gut-wrenching feeling.
I called her. (And I say this here and now, because I know your mind is reeling — “who was it? Do I know them?” — I’m not sharing their name. Please don’t message me later and ask because the who isn’t important. It’s the why that I’m sharing today.) She was honest about it. Confessed what she’d did and said she knew it was wrong. She knew on no uncertain terms that things like this if let loose in our world of social media can end a person’s career– Photographers seem to be overly passionate about sharing their opinions on twitter and facebook about other’s mistakes. She said, “I just wanted to be a superstar.”
I kindly reminded her of a similar incident last year. Many in fact, still whisper the names of the people involved as a “remember when x stole those images from y and it would up on national news?” Well, that is not the kind of famous that you want to be.
Wanting to be a superstar isn’t wrong. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want my name right there along those other girls with speaking platforms at WPPI. I’m the first to say that I’d love that kind of opportunity to help people. But if I become well-known to our industry, I want it to be because of service. And if I never am– I know I am a superstar to the clients I serve right here. And that’s good enough for me.
Don’t be so focused on “superstardom” that honesty comes second to fame. David Jay once gave me a great piece of advice. He quoted his dad in saying, “if you truly make your business about serving others, you’ll never run out of work.”
And why, Industry are you teaching photographers to be about self? That the image of success is first to be a superstar? I assure you. It’s backwards. Clients could care less if you’re known to your industry. Clients have NO IDEA who you are to other people. The only thing that matters is who you are to them.
Serving others is what makes you successful. You don’t become a superstar by humiliating others on facebook and twitter for their mistakes. You don’t become a susperstar by chumming it up with big names while you’re in Vegas at WPPI. You become a superstar to the only people that matter by using your God given talent to help them. If you’re going to be a superstar, let it be because you stood out among the rest because of your kind and gentle spirit. Your giving and joyful heart. Your faith when things get rough and your perserverence when the dream seems impossible.
So. You want to be a superstar? Then go serve others before yourself. Don’t acquire fame by degrading others. By taking other’s hard work and objectifying it. By using your time to puff yourself up in forums and online. Come by superstardom for your good works — and if you don’t acquire fame by them, remember that you already are famous to those who you did them for. And be happy with that. For the right kind of superstardom very rarely comes with fame — it comes with joy-filled and happy serving heart. A life worth living and remembering.
And because a post just isn’t a post without an image, here’s one that our friend Reid from Orange Photographie of Montana took of us this past weekend — a sneak peek at what’s coming later this week.
A few months ago, I found my friend from across the pond’s album of her family. Melissa Love of Melissa Love Design photographs her children like I’ve never seen anyone photograph children. They’re rarely looking at the camera, but doing exactly the things that children do. And it’s breathtaking how she captures their beautiful little lives and imaginiations.
To say I was inspired is almost an understatement. When viewing photographs that make you cry, inspired seems too little of a word. But I wanted to do the same for my son. Because I want him to be able to look back on these times we have together and smile. And know how much we enjoyed this beautiful time in our lives.
So- I decided I’d turn this post into sharing my images as well as a few tips for you moms out there wanting to document your children. And if you need any inspiration at all head over to Melissa’s blog in the hyper link above.
1. Wake up, and do your usual routine. Camera in hand. Whether you read first thing in the morning, cuddle in bed or head straight for breakfast, have your camera ready ahead of time and ready to grab as your day starts. That means, having plenty of room on your memory cards, batteries charged, lenses prepped or if you’re using a compact digital camera, play around with your settings and get familiar with them before hand.
2. If you’re using a compact digital camera, try out the portrait setting, open up the blinds and windows and turn off that flash! However, if you’re more familiar with a DSLR camera, set your ISO with available window light and remember that children are often moving fast so a faster shutter speed is probably a good thing.You can compensate lighting with a higher ISO and a wider open aperture.
3. Anticipate. If you’re doing things you know your child loves and it’s sure to produce a smile or laugh, anticipate your images. Often times, if you’re seeing it in your view piece, you’ve already missed it.
4. Get down on their level. I did this all day, and felt like I needed knee pads from crawling around on the wood floors all day. But it was worth it.
5. Break out your inner paparazzi. Often times, the sweetest images come when they have no idea you’re watching. Sneak up and quietly take your images.
6. Provide opportunities. Plan things you know your child/children love like bath time, baking cookies, or playing with his or her favorite toys, bubbles in the yard, etc.
7. Focus just as much on the normal facial expressions as you do the smiles. Perfection often lies less with the idea of the “perfect shot” of your child looking directly at the camera and smiling and more with the “natural shot”.
8. Set aside a whole relaxed day. If you’re working during the week, set aside a saturday to be lazy and work on this project. Or, if you’re a busy family, set aside a morning and at a later date, an evening.
9. It doesn’t have to be perfect. A perfect photo is about the story it tells. Not necessarily the technicalities.
10. Relax. Have fun. This is a no stress project, and if it’s a bad day– you can always try again later.