31 Gamechangers || Kansas City, MO

I've kind of been stalking Trevor Dayley for a while now. He actively participates in an online community of photographers, and I've always been impressed by his sincerity and desire to serve others.

So when I found out that he was going to have a workshop in Kansas City, I reaaalllyyyy wanted to go. Even though it was a bit silly. Because it's an 8 hour drive both ways and I'm still in college and I had to work 8 hours the day before and it'd mean driving until 1 AM and I had homework to do and....

...But life is for the living. So I went anyway.

I'm so. so. so. glad that I did.

I've learned SO MUCH about photography over the past year from online workshops and discussion forums, but there's something special about learning things with real, physical people that are, you know... in the same room as you.

Over the course of 11 hours, Trevor covered nearly every topic imaginable. It was a non-stop day; we only took a couple of short breaks, and kept going straight through meals. It was a TON of information, but it didn't feel overwhelming at all!

Four major points that were really significant to me:

1. Learn to get things right in-camera.

As a photographer, you hear this a LOT... but very little about how to actually DO it. I really appreciated that Trevor spent a significant amount of time talking about how to use your camera in an effective and efficient manner. I've heard lots of information about how to run an business well, but most people are relatively quiet about the actual photography part, so I poured over my manual a couple of years ago and taught myself everything I know about my camera. There were several settings that were pointed out that I tend to overlook because 'oh I can just fix that in lightroom later', but I left inspired to learn how to get these things right the first time!

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2. Do not shy away from off-camera flash.

So...real talk. I prefer an image lit by natural light (even if it's just twinkle lights or candles) ANY DAY. I just love how it captures the mood and accuracy of the moment. However. I've kiiiiind of been using that as an excuse to keep my off-camera flash equipment hidden away because I'm secretly terrified of it. But Trevor opened my eyes to how valuable and obtainable a good understanding of studio lighting is. It still won't be my primary method of shooting.... but you have to admit, images like this are pretty cool...

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3. Achieve natural photography by using an alternative to posing. 

Since I tend to approach photography like a journalist, I've never wanted to be a "hold each other like this, turn your head, and say cheese" photographer. (Though I know there are a LOT of great photographers out there that are GREAT at posing couples and create amazing photographs! I'm just not one of them.) I just haven't been entirely sure what to do instead.... but Trevor's style of working with couples EXACTLY what I was looking for. I'm excited to implement it in upcoming sessions. =]

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4. Remember why you're even doing this in the first place.

It's easy for me to get so caught up in the photography-and-business-related aspects of all of this that I forget why I'm even doing it in the first place. I'm not in this because I simply love photography or want to make a living.... I chose to move in this direction because it is a great opportunity to serve couples in one of the most important seasons of their lives. I love that I get to build relationships both with brides AND other photographers. I love encouraging them, being there for them, and having the opportunity to honor God through this aspect of my life. Honestly.... the photographs are secondary. (though I DO love them!)

Thank you SO MUCH, Trevor, for investing in our lives for one (very long!) day. Your desire to help us succeed means more to me than you'll ever know! =]

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PS- Fun story time!

Aimee and I went to get coffee for everyone around 7PM. Apparently, every coffee shop in Kansas City closes at 6PM on Saturday nights (?) We finally found one that was open, but it was located within a building that you had to be 18+ to enter.

..... I didn't have my ID, so they made me wait outside.

...............People keep telling me I'll appreciate these things when I'm older.