editing

Dare to Dream

Reading this Blog from Jasmine Star (...the oh so successful, inspirational, entrepreneur-photographer-turned-mentor business woman...) I found a striking similarity. Growing up - I too had copy-cat dreams. Often voiced just the typical answers to the question of "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Some how, at some point, I began believing that I DIDN'T have a dream, I didn't have a passion, that Photography was just a glorified hobby, or even at a successful state - a means to an end/result. In Jasmine's blog she mentions a time at the beginning of her business when her dream became, "of working from home and being a photographer." She goes on to say: "...I didn't have the audacity to dream of working with my husband in a home we own, traveling together, being one of the top photographers in the world, and consulting creative entrepreneurs. I couldn't dare to dream that big."  That struck a chord with me, because I've been pretty vague lately with my own dreams. And my literal words, in prayers and journaling, have been "To be working from home around the kids' schedule, and doing photography full time"  HA! Not word for word, but pretty dang close, wouldn't you say?

Change scene for a second - I've been helping at our church-school a lot lately - and there have been a few times during some writing exercises where the 3-5th grade kiddos have needed to work on paragraph writing. Extracting the details from the younger kids can be paaaaainful. They went in to this one particular writing assignment a week or so ago with instructions of giving lots of detail about their weekend, even if they had the slowest weekend ever, they could give plenty of detail about how many hours they laid in bed, or what they ate, and where they ate it... There are certainly enough details to write 3-5 sentences right?! Yet the resounding "I don't know what else to wriiiiiiiite" came often. "I had a boring weekend. I did nothing. I did not do anything fun." Okaaaaaay. But there just HAS to be more to that! You HAD to eat, multiple times even! You prrrrooooobably watched some TV? Slept?  There is more. It goes deeper... *prompting and prodding continued* but do you see the connection I just made and smacked myself in the face with?

IMG_8648-6As Jasmine realized she didn't dream as big as she could have... I realize now.. my Dreams ARE bigger... They do go deeper. I have yet to craft them specifically and be intentional (I'll leave you hanging for a bit because they are journal worthy)... but I challenge those of you reading.. Dream bigger. And if you need a bit of inspiration - go Take a peak at Jasmine Star's early years.... to the woman who literally just decided one day that she'd try her hand at being a wedding photographer... and has created such a deep, meaningful, and rich (I'm not referring to financially) business and life for herself.

 

the Value Factor

I've lately really been faced with looking at my value as a small business owner and in my craft. This running a business thing for a full time income is not for the weary! Its hard work you guys! Seriously... Who would've thought? ;) haha..... But seriously - What do I value about my work and my business... What do I want clients and potential clients to value about my work and business? Pretty Images....? I'm not so sold. While I have spent a good 6-ish years developing and honing in my craft as a photographer, and in editing... (And plan to continue doing so.... ) I've come to realize that I value my work because it is something that I put my heart and soul into. I want to get to know my clients, not just pop some photos in a gallery and send them on their way, never to be heard of again until next Fall for family photos or the next stage of life. I want to be excited about editing and post processing, because I know how perfect a certain expression matches a person, how I KNOW I grabbed a good shot of the toddler who won't sit still... ever. lol! How I caught that daddy daughter relationship that you value or the history in something as simple as a funny face phase that will probably pass in a few short months... or Might be the beginning of something that will stick around and give a good laugh a few years down the road.

I haven't always been successful in developing a proper relationship prior to my photoshoots, but the types that it has worked out in that way have honorably turned out to be some of my best work.Website (149 of 472) It can be hard to develop a relationship with my client at times... especially when you know me enough to know....that I'm not the best conversation starter with people I don't know well! (unless there is just something driving me to randomly ask you to be my friend... lol... I've never done such a thing! *that sounds desperate....moving on*) but it's not difficult to do if that is what YOU, as my potential client expect. If you KNOW that I care to see a glimpse of your family values, the dynamics in the relationships you wish to capture, or the phase you're dying to freeze in time... You will be more apt to share those things with me if going in, you know that I care to know them! If you know that knowing you, and your "WHY" for wanting my work, makes my work BETTER.... it is likely that we will develop a bit of an understanding and rapport with each other before our session.... a connection. You won't be one to freeze or get quiet when I ask about when you two met, or who the funny one in the family is.....Right? Are you following or am smacking a nail with a crayon?

My work is valuable to me. I want it to be valuable to YOU but... I can't make that happen without first valuing it myself. Which is why I've been reflecting on what puts the Valisa in Valisa Henderson Photography?... and allowing more of myself to infiltrate my brand.

It IS valuable to many of my clients, and to those who have valued my work before I saw it's value - I am truly thankful!  When I asked myself, "What is it about a client who values my work?" The answer landed me back to ... relationships. Those that ask and ask and ask when I'm planning to come visit and make sure I'm planning on scheduling shoots while I'm there - shows me that My work is VALUABLE to them. Granted I know I have clients HERE in Northern California and Southern Oregon that value my work, for sure! But I feel my point is made clear with Arizona; There are TONS of photographers in Phoenix, Arizona; seriously. REALLY great ones... but when I visit that city... I have clients ready in waiting... because I have formed relationships with those that value my work. I have grown with them, or they have grown with me... one or the other, or both I guess ;).... It is NOT because I'm the best photographer (Because I do not possess that horn to toot!)...  My work is something that I want to promote... yes, but also protect. Because it's valuable. Why have I transitioned to selling prints and not just passing around digital files like they're candy? Because the color calibration matters, the way I crop something matters, the time I spend working on my business, the time I spend with you, and FOR you behind the scenes, the care and diligence I spend crafting your images... because of the relationship I like having with my clients... is worth far more than the changes and manipulations that non-professional, corner-store printing options do to *ahem* ENHANCE *???* your photos... i.e. my art, that I value.  Can you see how without that connection and relationship... it could be hard to value my work? I do know that that does not allow for just anyone to pop in and value my work in the way that I pray my past, present and future clients will. And I have to accept that. Not everyone will agree with how I do things... and  in finding VALUE in my business lately - I've learned that THAT IS OKAY. There will be others out there, and how they do business is valued by a different niche of clients. I want to attract those that find value in and appreciate my work, value in my one-woman-show business, and value in the ME inside my brand.

First Name

{A&Z} - A closer look!

Yay! A bit better of a preview for Aubrey and Zach! Loved this shoot so much! it fell together perfectly!  And if you know Zach... you'll love the detail additions Aubrey decided to through into the shoot! <3
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Little bit of Love!

2 Things: 1- A new look will be rolling out soon for VHP!  and 2 - I love Pinterest. lolI suppose its thanks to Pinterest that people are constantly "overthinking" photo shoots, and doing up styles and themes! I still often and mostly shoot the standard, but once in a while a client... usually a friend - will join with me in making sure we have lots of good, or a few of the perfect, props and setting pieces and we create something spectacular! Over the last couple of weeks I've had 2 shoots like this that just turned out so beautifully with just a few accents!

A&Z K Family

Maybe its the whole blanket theme that makes it work? I don't know.. its just perfect! - I will say these are probably two of my favorite shoots ever! And they just fell into place perfectly!

Back in action!

Wow, I haven't officially been working my photography business for almost a year - but as I'm compiling some photos to show you what I've been up to in the mean time, I realized I certainly stayed busy enough for being "out."  I seemed to take shoots on ANYWAY - despite not promoting at all. I kiiinda have a little problem with saying no ;) Life is going going going as always! We've moved (yes again, this time locally), we're expecting baby number 2 in June! And we've both been working full time! I recently went back down to working only 3 days a week at my "real job"  - to save on daycare and gas costs! And am now I'm using that time to take care of our home and coming back to my business!

Being in this profession can be rough in a small town, There are a lot of photographers out there... But! It'll be just fine :) I take pride in doing my best to create something with an extra "umph" and a bit of "something different." And those looking for what I offer, will be happy with that!

I believe it was last summer that I posted any full preview sets... (A couple weddings, and some senior portraits) So the photos to follow are a bit of everything since that time.

Don't forget to check out what I offer and what to expect for investment in the "Prices" tab. And enjoy staying up to date with me on by liking Valisa Henderson Photography on Facebook!

Some Garnicks... {Maternity and Child Photography}

Garnicks!... well some of them at least...I stayed with them while i was there for this AZ trip!! :) Another birth I was bummed to miss out on though! *sigh* I've been shooting these guys since Natalie's newborn shoot! (I think we did newborn, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year... and something else in between?)  So needless to say-  I was sad to miss the birth of Nicholas! Just by a couple of weeks. However, I was glad to be able to get a few pictures of Katie and that belly! I think Nicholas must have been laying straight out - head towards her back - and feet out towards the belly button! :) I think a few of us wondered if maybe... just maybe... a twin would arrive and surprise everyone :) ha! But no no.. Nicholas was just stretchin out in there I think! Natalie tried really hard to not smile at me throughout this little shoot... It didn't exactly work :) Enjoy!

Twins! With London's Lens

I met London of London's Lens nearly a year ago through a photogs group on Facebook she came to a shoot of mine when I traveled back to Phoenix in September. This trip she asked if I'd like to come a long on a twins newborn shoot! Um Yes please! I love newborns, and have yet to get my camera on a set of multiples - Quite the timing for my trip right!? Enter Derek and Delaney :)  Sweet little twins! I think they were 1 week old at the time? And teeny Tiny!WELL, Babies slept okay on their own to start with, so we figured we'd get shots of them individually... We started with Delaney, then when we went to add Derek in - Derek didn't want to sleep or rest while having his pictures taken... and then neither of them wanted to sleep, and then Derek fell asleep slightly - and Delaney didn't want to sleep...  I didn't have all the time that I usually would for a shoot so I couldn't stick around until it happened because I headed off to another shoot... But Apparently they slept perfectly together to get those adorable cutsey twinsy set up shots after I left :) I told London and Ashley (the mamma) that it would happen that way :) And it sure did! Anyway - I got a few shots of the twins by themselves and took some of London shooting ;) A perk of having an additional photographer with you. Its always nice to have some shots of you in action - so my "previews" consist of a couple of each twin (but not squishily together of course) and a couple of London: one soothing and one shooting :) Enjoy!

I love this one of Derek *below* - "Don't you dare try to sneak this away from me!"

Mr. Crosley! {Phoenix Child Photographer}

The much anticipated Crosley! Tarah worked with my husband, and introduced us to the apartments we lived in our second year in Phoenix (Utilities included is the way to go in Phoenix let me tell you! AC on ALL the time!...)  so we lived in the same building for a while! I was bummed to find out that Tarah and Jared were expecting their first little one so close to us moving away!! But timing has lined up okay :) My first or second visit back to Phoenix after the move when she was pregnant was just in time for their gender reveal photos... :) We got a little time in for some pictures of him while I was there :) Its too bad that I dont know Crosley a little better... He was a fun little guy to spend a time with!! Miss you guys!Such a cutie :) Enjoy the few previews!

Don't forget to like Valisa Henderson Photography As I remind all clients: Please remember, you will receive a disc of your photos with no logo on them. Please do not crop out or hide logos (even when using as a profile picture on Facebook). Feel free to share these pictures, the blog post, etc… These are meant to hold you over while waiting for your disc – Encouraged use: sharing, using as profile pictures, tagging friends.. etc

 

Grant and Lila! {Child Portraiture}

Sweet brother and sister duo here! <3 We met early the morning before I left town... and boy it was nice to get out and get a shoot done before it warmed up! I some how lucked out during my visit to Phoenix!  Smack-dab-in-the-middle-of June it was still cooler than 85 or so in the mornings. So the morning air and light was awesome :)  Apparently Kacie brings the kiddos here often, so Grant was right at home, running around - putting on shows and such... letting us know where to go next ;) It was great! They are such great kiddos! We were done with the mandatory shots we needed to get within the first 20 min! Easy Peasy! Everything after that was simple explore and capture! Which often works out quite well with little ones :)We had a great time! Enjoy the previews!! Don't forget to like Valisa Henderson Photography if you've spotted this because someone you know is tagged. Clients: Feel free to tag, use as profile pictures, share, and show off your photos. Remember not to remove any logos, edit, crop or alter this photo in any way.

{N Family} Phoenix Family and Child Photograhy

Little miss Lillian... So serious! In front of the camera at least! :) I had this adorable face featured before... also mostly serious though! Silly girl! She has such gorgeous eyes and lips though - the serious look works for her!It was great exploring Heritage Square with these three! Per Lillian - we pretty much followed the cats around the whole time :) Oooh! A hint of a smile! As I remind all clients: Please remember, you will receive a disc of your photos with no logo on them. Please do not crop out or hide logos (even when using as a profile picture on Facebook). Feel free to share these pictures, the blog post, etc… These are meant to hold you over while waiting for your disc – Encouraged use: sharing, using as profile pictures, tagging friends.. etc

Tasha and Ben {Mommy and Me Portraits}

I met Tasha when she was around 12 I think? :) I was just 17 or 18 myself... helping out with the Jr. High Youth at the church we went to :)Now she has little Ben! <3 Time flies!! He was so cute! A quick busy little guy - but so cute!! Its probably a good thing we just did a mini shoot ;) His still-ness didn't seem to last long! Granted I think it was 105 outside :) As I remind all clients: Please remember, you will receive a disc of your photos with no logo on them. Please do not crop out or hide logos (even when using as a profile picture on Facebook). Feel free to share these pictures, the blog post, etc… These are meant to hold you over while waiting for your disc – Encouraged use: sharing, using as profile pictures, tagging friends.. etc

McKenna {Portraits}

McKenna! Oh McKenna! My "meant to be" meetup has blossomed into such a sweet friendship!McKenna was with her friends at Scottsdale Civic Center a year and a half ago now? They were taking pictures of each other... and I was sitting there waiting for a client, just people watching and waiting..... I spotted the 3 of them trying to get pictures not often getting one with all 3 in the picture, mostly taking pictures of each other... So after waiting 20 min for my client, and not hearing from her... I approached McKenna, Lilly and Sami, and offered to take some pictures of them - I did it with my camera, I told them I was expecting to do a shoot anyway so I might as well do it of them! :) I used my camera - but let them know I'd treat it like a regular mini shoot and edit them before I gave them the pictures - and then had a bit of fun w/ the three of them :) They all became my friends on FB and liked my photography page so they could see the pictures when I posted previews... and then - I stayed in touch with McKenna mostly - she seemed to be the one interested in the photography - she was the one with the camera, AND it turned out she lived less than 2 min from our apartments.  So it was easy to get her the disc...  she asked questions about photography - loved my help with her pictures for school.... eventually she began babysitting for us... :) She fit right in to our family!! <3 If you're a client - you probably recognize McKenna :) She comes with me on a lot of shoots to practice... her passion for life, happy fun loving attitude, and joy when taking pictures and "getting it right" is so sweet and contagious! I love having her around!! Today is her birthday (her "Sweet 16" I might add!)  so I thought I'd make sure to get her previews up from her shoot when I was back visiting in Phoenix  :) Happy Birthday McKenna!

As I remind all clients: Please remember, you will receive a disc of your photos with no logo on them. Please do not crop out or hide logos (even when using as a profile picture on Facebook). Feel free to share these pictures, the blog post, etc... These are meant to hold you over while waiting for your disc - Encouraged use: sharing, using as profile pictures, tagging friends.. etc

Will!

I missed out on Will as a newborn because he was born after we moved away :( BUT I had the honor of shooting this bright eyed boy at 6 months old! He is so cute!!I will say - he wasn't too sure about sitting in the grass too much! So we got some fun stuff right in the beginning :) But it wasn't a problem!! He was so easy to photograph that we got our mandatory shots in right away! Didn't take long at all!! :) I met Merissa (Will's mamma) a couple of years ago through my hubby's best friend :) Glad we connected! Will was a joy to be around! Even if it was just for a short time! :) Can't wait for the next visit! :) Thanks Merissa and Wilson for allowing me to capture you two with your little man at this fun memorable age!! <3

As I remind all clients: Please remember, you will receive a disc of your photos with no logo on them. Please do not crop out or hide logos (even when using as a profile picture on Facebook). Feel free to share these pictures, the blog post, etc… These are meant to hold you over while waiting for your disc – Encouraged use: sharing, using as profile pictures, tagging friends.. etc

McColl Kids!

My first shoot of the phoenix trip!I've been honored to have these kiddos in front of the camera quite a few times! Faith has always been ready and willing to smile and pose!  Ethan took a bit more convincing... This time, was fabulous though! I did some shots of Faith, the avid dancer, in some dance move/poses... which was fun :) Something I haven't really done before - I love that you can see how much she loves it!  And then did some portraits of Ethan.. OH my heart. He warmed right on up this time! May have helped that he had just seen me a week or two before at his Aunty's wedding :) Anyway - wanted to share on the blog!! <3

Close Connections

I just LOVE seeing unbreakable bonds and this family has just that :) A few family portraits and then a full shoot of Breezi - the recently graduated sister :) I had a great time with them... They even tried to give me the most adorable puppy ever. Which I turned down, but Stormi had fallen in love already - so SHE kept her... :) I thinks she's grateful :) anyway - I digress. I had a great time during this shoot!! Breezi was excited about getting her senior pictures done, which makes it even more fun... I could have kept shooting all day!

Welcome Trenton!

I had the privilege of capturing this precious family with their new adorable addition, Trenton. Welcome to the world baby Trenton! At just 12 days new, he made such a cute model! I especially loved all his hair!! Once asleep - this little guy did great! He made me work for these pictures, I'll wont lie ;) Bit of a light sleeper! We had to keep it simple for this sweet boy :) But its okay, he worked it! <3 It is way too easy to fall in love with babies! Just sayin!

Always Progressing!

June will mark 2 years since I decided to listen to people that liked my photos of their kids, and my kid ;)  and dive into trying to "become" a photographer!
June will be 2 years in business! More on that in June - but I wanted to post :)
This is Brooke in June 2010 at about 18 months old, And Just yesterday at age 3 1/2 :) We've both grown! As you can easily tell in these photos :)

Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.

-Winston Churchill

Katie and Macey {Maternity and Child Photography}

Its about time I get a blog up on Katie and Macey! It took long enough to get a photo shoot in with these two! Last July - before we moved back here, I had come for a visit and done a shoot with Macey's little friend Emma... The shoot was planned to be of Macey and Emma, but Macey had a bad reaction to a mosquito bite and the poor girl had a big swollen puffy eye... so naturally mom decided to pass on a shoot at that time!When we moved back I know we had mentioned getting a shoot planned at some point.. and then finally - with only a few weeks to go before her 2nd baby's birth - we planned a maternity and family shoot... we changed dates a couple of times due to the weather, Then Katie got in a wreck and had a rash all over her face for a while... we played it by ear with weather again after that... and then SUDDENLY one day - the weather was clear and all was well.. Katie's husband was working but she opted to have just a maternity shoot and 3 year old birthday photos done of Macey ;) SO glad we fit it in!

She had her baby (a few days LATE) the next day!! Can you believe it!? Newborn shoot coming soon! :) Can't wait to meet Mr. Trenton!

Katie! you guys make perfect clients! The bond between you and Macey, plus Your beautiful pregnant belly and Macey with the patience of someone 10 times her age plus her ability to laugh hysterically on cue made for some of the most adorable pictures!

Here are some of my favorites! Can't wait to finish up this shoot and get them to you!! Most people dont get this many previews... JUST sayin!

My editing style is taking on a new process and I'm LOVING the results... So I have to share these!!

Enjoy!

...Wood | Moss | Ring...

Loved the moss on the rail of this old deck... Thought it was a perfect spot for a ring shot... so I used my own ;) <3Just wanted to share, fell in love with the old time mono tone sepia look.. but didn't want to loose the lovely colors in this photo... can't decide, use both! For those interested: 70mm ISO 125 1/60 sec at f/2.8