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Narrowing My Focus! (pun intended)

December 19, 2015

“Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.” ~ Matt Hardy

Learning to see!  Developing a style!  Finding my niche!  These are things I have been working hard to achieve since I began the journey of becoming a professional photographer four years ago.

Education! Peer critique!  Experimentation!  Exploration!  These have all been instrumental tools as I made an effort to “narrow my focus”!

I have been pursuing a “Photography Imaging” certificate program through Midwest Photography Workshops (MPW) located in Farmington Hills, Michigan.  I have been learning all about the “Fundamentals of Photography”, “Intermediate Shooting Techniques”, “Portfolio Development”, “Digital Landscape Composition”, “The Art of Seeing”, “The Business of Photography” and “Framing for Photographers” while shooting a variety of subjects (living and still life) in the MPW indoor studio, going on field trips (Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village, Elmwood Cemetery, and Clarenceville Cemetery) and participating in workshops such as “Adobe Lightroom”, “Shoe Mount Flash”, “Outdoor Portraiture with Fill Flash”, and “Detroit Night Lights”.


I have been exploring the many different types of photography (fine art, portraiture, macro, landscape, travel and events), experimenting with a variety of photography related software (Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe Bridge, Pro Show Gold, Nik Plug-Ins, etc.), completing challenging assignments, accepting constructive critique and swallowing my pride!

I have explored my scenic and landscape creativity during a week-long workshop with Michigan’s nationally and internationally recognized, award winning fine art photographer Monte Nagler.

Group Photo

Monte Nagler Photography Spring 2014 Workshop Participants (Photo Credit: Monte Nagler and his tripod)

I have participated in mini-workshops with talented Michigan photographers such as Thomas Nighswinder, Daniel Frei and Terry McKay II.

I have joined in and been an active participant with local meet-up groups including Michigan Photo Adventures, Tri-County Photography, Ann Arbor Shutterbugs, Creative Vision Photography MeetupsMichigan Female Shutterbugs, Alanna St. Laurent Photography Workshops, and On The Move Photo Group.

I have been following local, statewide and national photography pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to network with peers and gain further insight into this ever changing profession.  The valuable interaction has been priceless.

I have entered a number of competitions and exhibits where I have had some success in the 2014 Pure Michigan Moments and the 2015 Pure Michigan Moments (Finalist-Spring Category and Top 15-Fall Category) Photo Contests, Women In Photography International’s “I AM woman…I AM digital” (2015 Exhibitor “Cell/Tablet” category) and View Bug.  The experiences have been quite “eye opening”.

I’ve dabbled in stock photography through iStock.

I finally participated in my first “selling event” at the Inaugural Holiday Craft Show & Small Business Expo on Small Business Saturday (November 28, 2015) sponsored by the Garden City Business Alliance and the Garden City Downtown Development Authority.

And now I am so excited to announce that I have been invited to participate in a month-long photography exhibit titled “Through the Lens” with seven other women at the Riverside Art Gallery in Ypsilanti, Michigan.  The October 2016 exhibit is being organized by my friend and fellow photographer, Sylvia Ford.  Sylvia is a professional, award winning photographer.  Her photographs have been on display at galleries throughout Southeast Michigan and Ohio, and in private collections throughout the U.S. and Japan.  The six other talented exhibitors are Marcia Fowler, Karen Hofmann, Cindy Huff, Amy Lockard, Wendy Vendersun, and Georgette Heron-Willoughby.  I met Sylvia, Cindy and Marcia on Monte Nagler’s 2014 Spring Workshop.


Four Women Photographers – May 2014

Throughout this journey, I have reaffirmed my love for all types of photography, and will continue to shoot anything and everything.  But all along, I knew that I needed to narrow my focus to achieve success, and I have finally done just that.  Below is my new Mission Statement, which embraces the strength of my scenic photography and my love for preserving the memories of special occasions.

“Specializing in Fine Art Photography, with an emphasis on showcasing Michigan’s natural beauty, as well Personal and Corporate Event Photography, I am dedicated to Capturing and Preserving creative and visually pleasing images with Passion and Professionalism and Sharing those images through a variety of media including framed and unframed prints, canvas art, metal prints, calendars, books and more.  It is my sincere hope that you will be inspired by “my vision” and that you will purchase my artwork to adorn the walls of your home or office or give away as a special gift, recommend my products to your family and friends, and/or to consider my photography services for any future events.” 

Why the emphasis on Michigan?  Quite simply, the Great Lakes State is a photographer’s paradise.  From Lake Erie, the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair in the East to Lake Michigan in the west, from Lake Huron on the “Sunrise Side” to Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula, Michigan is breathtaking.

My passion for scenic photography was ignited during my childhood years while taking family vacation pictures with my Kodak 126 Instamatic. Although I was born and raised in the Metro Detroit area, I was lucky enough to have spent many summer vacations “Up North” visiting relatives in Cheboygan and Munising.  It was, and still is, such a thrill to see the pillars of the majestic Mackinac Bridge peeking through the pine trees for the “first” time while traveling north on Interstate 75 or US Highway 23 and to cross the five-miles spanning the beautiful Straits of Mackinac (MAK-in-aw) into the Upper Peninsula.

That childhood passion was fueled throughout my adult life when I upgraded to my Pentax 35mm SLR (Single Lens Reflex) and expanded my statewide, national and international travels.  I became obsessed with preserving not only my memories of those travels but the memories of other life experiences by creating numerous photo album and creative scrapbooks.

Although I resisted embracing digital photography, I eventually made the leap with a point-and-shoot in 2004, took the plunge with my first Digital SLR in 2006, a Canon xTi and eventually upgraded to my current Canon 60D DSLR in 2012.

I am fortunate that after nearly 50 years of taking and making pictures my passion for both scenic photography and preserving memories still burns within me. I am truly grateful for that passion as I continue to pursue my retirement career as a professional photographer using my Canon DSLR cameras to specialize in Fine Art and Event Photography.  And just maybe it is time for another camera upgrade to help me maintain my “focus”!!!

From Merriam-Webster, the definition of the word FOCUS

The noun:

  • a subject that is being discussed or studied : the subject on which people’s attention is focused

  • a main purpose or interest

  • a point at which rays of light, heat, or sound meet or from which they move apart or appear to move apart; especially : the point at which an image is formed by a mirror, a lens, etc.

The verb:

  • to cause (something, such as attention) to be directed at something specific

  • to direct your attention or effort at something specific

  • to adjust (something, such as a lens or a camera) to make an image clear








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