How One of My Biggest Regrets Turned Into One of My Biggest Blessings

When I was in graduate school, I started this accidental photography business. It was one of the busiest times in my life, and a time I look back on with so many regrets.

Graduation day for me was so bittersweet. Bittersweet because as excited as I was to graduate and dive more into photography, I felt the weight of everything I missed out on those two years of my masters.

Missed moments. Missed intentionality. Missed opportunities and relationships.

While I was saying “yes” to a lot of things, I was saying “no” to many others. And it all hit me at gradation. I promised myself I’d simply never feel this way again. It was my “rock bottom” in a way, and I'm grateful for it so early in my business—before I started a family. God was so merciful to take me down this road during two years of graduate school versus the first two years of Luke's life. And while I rock my baby to sleep tonight, because he's sick, I realize all of this. It took over two years for me to figure out that the most sour feeling at graduation was the biggest blessing in disguise. 

Setting your own hours and being your own boss is the best and hardest thing. Sometimes I say “no” to a client, so I can say “yes” to be a friend; and vice versa; sometimes I say “no” to a friend, so I can say “yes” to my family; and vice versa. Knowing when your yeses and nos are right is hard. It’s still hard.

Sometimes I still don’t say “no” to the right things, but having that remembrance of graduation day has been such game changer and blessing for the way I see my business personally. 

I don’t ever want to look back on Luke’s childhood like I️ did my grad school years and think, “why did I say ‘yes’ to so many things and miss out?” I can’t get those years back, but thankfully, I can be stronger with my “no”s during a season that’s more rich. The Lord has graciously been showing me over this past season--how important these boundaries are to me personally. Every mama, every entrepreneur, every person has their own boundaries for their own convictions, and this is one area I learned about particularly early in life. Do I feel like I've mastered it? Not by any means. But the idea of it? Yes, I'm very aware, and I'm so grateful for that.


So today and tonight, I'm saying “yes” all day go cuddling my sick babe, and melting a little inside when all he needs to feel better is his head on Mama’s shoulder. Saying “yes” right now is the easiest thing.

Am I alone or are there other entrepreneurs/moms out there who have walked similar paths? Don't be afraid to say "no" and set boundaries. Don't wait until you feel like I felt at graduation. You can take control, and do it now. 

Sending you all the power and grace,

Lindsay 

Iphone photo that I just loooove! 

Iphone photo that I just loooove! 

The Springs Fall Wedding | Jake & Lexie

A girl after my own heart--a bride who loves pumpkins and the seasons as much as I do! So much so that she designed her wedding theme around it! And she NAILED it! Lexie is so incredibly talented, and her vision came to life perfectly and was beautiful! Some of my favorite details were the gold succulents that were included in the bouquets and centerpieces, because they added such a beautiful, unique touch! Again, a girl after my own heart here! 

All of the golds blended together so beautifully, and it made for such a stunning fall wedding. Not to mention, it was the FIRST weekend in Dallas that it actually looked like FALL! The leaves were turning, and it was absolutely breathtaking for the couple who loves all things fall. What a gift for them!

Lexie and Jake chose to do a "first look" where Lexie walked down the paved pathway down to her groom where he stood waiting for her next to the trees that were beautifully changing colors. His expression immediately screamed "STUNNING" as he wrapped her up in his arms and smiled from ear to ear. 

Together, Jake and Lexie made such a beautiful couple. Lexie looked so lovely in her lace wedding gown and incredible hair piece! It was truly such a treat to be able to take their couple portraits in a location with such beautiful fall colors as our backdrop. What a dream come true! They can surely tell you by my enthusiasm that I was so excited for them! 

They celebrated the rest of the night inside the reception hall with their family and friends who loved them well and danced the night away with them. 

Jake and Lexie have the beautiful fall wedding they were envisioning to remember as their wedding day, and it was the happiest of days! What an honor it was to be a part of such a wonderful day! 

 

Arbor Hills Engagement Session | Jon & Mycah

After Mycah and Jon's engagement session, I think I decided I want Mycah to come style my wardrobe. Because, clearly--SO lovely!! I loved their vision for their engagement session, and I think most importantly, it's clear how sweetly in love they are.

Mycah, when will my hair look like yours too!? She's seriously the prettiest! I have a feeling Jon was attracted to not only her outer beauty but also her inner. She's so kind! 

But obviously it wasn't just their outfits that were lovely--I think it's hard to find one thing about this session that's not ideal. Mycah and Jon were so sweet together. Everything from their outfits to the beautiful fall weather and sweet interactions were totally ideal. And some icing on top was that there precious pup made a few pictures, as well! 

Arbor Hills couldn't have been more lovely for Mycah and Jon, and I'm so pleased about that! I can't wait for their wedding in March! 

College Station Northgate Engagement Session | Chance & Sydney

It's not all the time I'm able to photograph friends of mine from high school, but when I do, we both have smiles as big as they go! 

It was so much fun getting to reconnect with Sydney and Chance back from our small town high school days. I loved getting to hear how life in College Station is treating them, but I mostly loved getting to see my friend just so, so happy! I don't imagine that it was my doing that made their smiles as big and joyful as you'll see throughout their engagement session. ;-) Because if there's one thing I remember from high school, it's that Chance definitely makes Sydney happy. I could always tell this, so when Sydney emailed me about wedding photography, I was just so dang excited for them both.

I think they're so perfect for one another, and I can't wait to photograph their wedding in College Station this summer! 

We started their engagement session at Northgate where they've made many memories and eaten many good meals, and we ended at a nearby park that allowed us some beautiful golden lighting and trees that make my heart pitter patter. 

My goodness, if you can't tell, I had such a blast with them! Sydney is somehow prettier than ever, and seeing her so joyfully in love surely only added to that! :)

The Crescent Court Hotel Wedding | Ryan & Emily

My goodness, I could relive Emily and Ryan's wedding day over and over.

And I'm sure I'm not the only one! ;-)

It was just ideal on so many levels. 

From the people I was able to work with and have in front of my cameras, the location that was so lovely and classic, the wild greenery and florals, the sweet, intimate "first look" and ceremony between Emily and Ryan--all of it--these were just details and moments that came to my mind quickly!

All of the Hoopes' wedding day was so ideal, lovely, romantic and full of celebration. 

When I arrived to Emily's bridal suite where she sat in front of a grand window having her hair and makeup done, I could tell it was going to be such a sweet, special day. Just the thought of or talking about Ryan would cue Emily to the sweetest tears, and I was immediately all in. Tears and emotions just grab me. Grab me in the sweetest way and throw me into my happy place of photographing weddings. 

But seeing Emily so confident and sweet as she was getting ready and reading her letter from Ryan wasn't the only precious memory I have from their wedding day. 

One of my favorite moments of their day had to be their "first look". Emily and Ryan planned to see each other for the first time at the top of the Crescent Court's restaurant where there is a beautiful window overlooking the Dallas city skyline. As Emily walked up to Ryan in her stunning lace gown with lace sleeves and classic hairstyle, he immediately turned around with the most astonished, proud look. The way he spun her, looked at his bride up and down and hugged her tight was just priceless. But what he led her to afterward was just the icing on the cake. 

Ryan sat Emily down in front of the grand window, read Scripture to her from the book of Matthew and proceeded to wash her feet. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't tearing up just thinking back to this moment. He took her beautiful heels off and in that moment humbled himself to her as her served her and washed her feet. 

Their love, their friendship, their wedding day--so beautiful! 

And the day continued with pictures, a heartfelt, joyful ceremony and a celebration on the dance floor that nobody could leave. 

Again, I could relive this wedding day over and over again! What an honor and absolute treat it was to meet, work with and photograph Emily, Ryan and their families! Love these two and wish them the BEST! 

The Crescent Court Hotel Bridals | Emily

Can we get any more classic, elegant or kind as Emily!?

Nope. 

It was truly such a joy to work with a bride not only as stunning as Emily but as sweet and kind as she and her family were. She married the love of her life this past Saturday, and I'm thrilled to be able to share her bridal session that I immediately fell in love with! 

Seeing the emotions and love between Emily and Ryan on their wedding day just made me fall in love with this couple all over again. 

Ryan's face definitely said what we're all thinking when we see Emily in her stunning lace wedding gown--absolutely beautiful! 

I can hardly wait to share their wedding blog with you shortly, but for now, enjoy the radiance and beauty of this sweet bride! 

The LAUNCH of The Capture Course ONLINE!!

The Capture Course is HERE!! Will you join in on me in the excitement?!!  It's honestly been many, many months in planning, and it feels surreal that it's actually launched! 

Don't hesitate! Those who purchase the course in the first 48 hours and use the code "launch10" will receive $10 off!


What to Expect: 

 

  1. FACEBOOK LIVE SUPPORT: if you join in the first week, before November 4, you'll be added to a Facebook group where only those who have paid will have access. This FB group is where you can ask questions that will be answered during a weekly FB live, hosted by ME! This feedback and support will be provided for at least 2 months after the launch, so that you can continue to learn and feel confident using your camera! 
  2. A PDF of 17 things to look for that you don't know to look for! We cover 15 of them in the course, but the list has grown since! 
  3. Lifetime access to curriculum materials online. Yes! Refresh whenever you need please!
  4. To learn how to use your camera in manual mode and use natural. 
  5. Over an hour and a half of lectures and supporting text included on each lecture. 


Have you missed the first lecture of the 14 included?! This 9 minute video will give you an in-depth idea of what to expect in the course! 
 

Just not sure The Capture Course if for you? Think you're more advanced? Or maybe don't have the right camera? Don't hesitate to email me to make sure before you purchase! lindsaydavenportphotos@gmail.com

Gleneagles Country Club Wedding | Jackon & Alex

Stunning, stunning, STUNNING!!! 

Oh my, this color palette is stunning! This couple is stunning! This wedding party and WEDDING is stunning!! As I even just scroll through the blog myself, I'm quickly reminded of it's beauty, it's charm and its ideal weather. I'm reminded of the precious first looks that were shared between Alex and her father and Alex and her groom Jackson. 

The way the rich, deep fall colors popped against the bridesmaids' sequin navy dresses just makes me melt inside. And then I picture the reception hall with the rich colors spread throughout, candles lit and loved ones dancing the night away--I mean--it can't get much better!! 

And then I think of Alex and Jackson. I remember the first time I met her and how I immediately thought she was the sweetest, most classy girl. I remember the first time I had both her and Jackson in front of my camera in Turtle Creek for their engagement session, and they were SUCH a treat to photograph! They were both so relaxed, beautiful and in love. The last detail is what always makes sessions go beautifully.

And because they were the exact same on their wedding day, I will forever remember the way Alex melted into Jackson's arms whenever he turned around to see his bride in her lovely lace wedding gown for the first time. His reaction was priceless. 

Alex and Jackson celebrated on a beautiful October day at a gorgeous location that overlooked the Gleneagles Golf Course. The floral arch that was displayed as the background behind Alex and Jackson added such a beautiful touch to the already scenic view where Alex and Jackson became Mr. and Mrs. 

What a fun, exciting, stunning day it was to become Mr. and Mrs. Lane!! 

Instagram Capture Course Countdown Contest

We're gearing up for the launch of online version of The Capture Course on October 30!! We have a few contests going on in the days ahead, so be sure to check instagram, facebook and follow the lead from this blog post, as well, to have your best chances at winning 1 of the few contests!! We are SO excited around here! 

Okay, let’s get one thing straight: I love fall. Turn August, September and especially October, I begin to get excited about #allthingsfall. Anybody else?! Everything about it, I love. I've been loving it, and over here in Texas, it's FINALLY TIME!!! 

So I thought it would be fun to kick-start the launch of our video series of #thecapturecourse with a 5-day countdown and invite you all to grab your cameras and join in on the excitement of FALL! I figure a lot of us have similar loves and can have some fun being creative posting each day with its specific theme.

Luke says YAYY!!!!

Luke says YAYY!!!!

 

So here’s how to play along and join in on the excitement:

1.     Use your camera with a purpose and get creative! There's a specific theme for each day leading up to October 30th that you can find below:

 Wednesday, October 25: post a creative photo of your favorite fall drink.

Thursday, October 26: where is your favorite place to be in the fall OR where do you dream of being/traveling?

 Friday, October 27: post your favorite fall dessert or food (desert is better ;-) )

   Saturday, October 28: post your favorite fall outfit (OOTD y’all!)!

  Sunday, October 29: post an image of what you enjoy most about the fall.

2.     Once you post your picture, be sure to hashtag #thecapturecourse, tag @lindsaydavenportphotos in the caption and explain why you chose your picture.  

3.     Love on some other’s entries, because it makes us ALL feel good, and it's good practice! Each day you post a photo will enter you into a contest to win #thecapturecourse on launch day. 

Have so much fun being creative and entering! :) 

Did you miss the promo video?! 

What to Look For | Tip #9

1.  Look for blurry images, and learn how to fix it.

Did you miss Tip #1?  Tip #3?  #5?  #7? Or the intro to the series?  If you're new to the series, I have 15 tips in my series, and I'm sharing half on my blog and the others in my newsletter over the next month! I hope these can be helpful to you in your photography journey! 

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Oftentimes I notice new photographers posting images that actually aren’t in focus. Hey, I’m raising my hand! I was one of them! Basically, everything that is within this series, is in it, because I’ve had an unfortunate “ah ha!” moment! :)

But I'm realizing that when you're first starting out with photography, you almost don't know what a "good" image is (I know this is subjective in ways) until your eye becomes more and more refined. So let this me an eye-opener for many!

Embarrassed to show this, but I want you to know where I'm teaching from...! I have many images like this in my portfolio from years ago. And I was honestly proud of this, because I truly didn't know WHAT to look for!

If you look closely (or don't even have to), this is an image I took where my subject isn't actually in focus. They're soft and blurred. There's also grain in the image, which probably means I was losing light and shot at an ISO too high for my camera capabilities.

If you look closely (or don't even have to), this is an image I took where my subject isn't actually in focus. They're soft and blurred. There's also grain in the image, which probably means I was losing light and shot at an ISO too high for my camera capabilities.

So when you’re taking photos, one huge piece of advice I can give anybody starting out is to SLOW DOWN. Zoom in on your images to make sure your subject’s eyes are in focus (or whatever you’re focusing on). I was so nervous when I was first starting out and had clients in front of my camera--so nervous that I wouldn’t want to check the settings on my camera for fear that my clients wouldn’t trust me. Oh, it was bad! Or I would be so flustered that I’d forget. Honesty is welcome here! ;-)

1. What I was missing was that I would sometimes allow my shutter speed to go below 1/160 or 1/200, which is out of my comfort zone. Side note, this is a personal preference here! If my shutter stays at or above these, I typically always have a crisp image without “camera shake” unless other factors are involved. So this is one way you can do to fix blurry images.

2. Secondly, check your aperture. Did you properly choose the right aperture for what you were photographing? Remember, larger groups or groups with front, middle and back rows require a smaller aperture like 3.5, 4, 4.5 to allow everyone is in focus in their field. If you’re only photographing 1-2 people, then sticking with an aperture that’s within 2.0-2.8 is a safe bet. You can find me typically always hanging around 2.0-2.5 for engagement sessions.

3. Thirdly, slow down enough to know what your camera is focusing on. When you push your shutter button halfway down, you’re telling it to autofocus on whatever your toggle is focusing on in your viewfinder. Notice a little red dot toward the right of your viewfinder but you’re intending to focus on the middle? That red dot needs to move to the center, so that when you press halfway down, you’re telling your camera to autofocus on your subject in the middle. Yes, this of course is different if you're wanting to frame your subject using "rule of thirds" OR use "back button focusing", or "focus and recompose". This is more in depth for this post, and I touch on more in The Capture Course!

But please, do not feel as though you simply cannot STOP. Look at your camera. Look at your settings. Zoom in on a photo to be extra sure that their faces are in focus, and then move on. Even if you have to reassure your client that you are “checking for eyes to be open”, it’s better than coming home with blurry images!

My toggle was in the middle of the frame (where your camera is able to read and focus best) for this image.

My toggle was in the middle of the frame (where your camera is able to read and focus best) for this image.

You got this. Take a breather, and your images will have the best chance at coming out crisp!

Don’t forget that making sure you have the best light for your subject helps this, as well.

Can you notice a blurred, soft image from a crisp one? Challenge yourself and look through some of your old images! 

The Springs Fall Wedding | Drew & Vivian

The lovely details, the hand-written vows, the golden glow behind the wooded trees and the number of times a joyful tear was wiped from an eye--what beautiful details that made up the Wiley wedding. 

As you already know from Vivian's bridal session blog,  I just adore this bride. She's as sweet as the pie served at her wedding and as precious as her first look with her groom and Daddy. Vivian chose to have a special moment with both her dad and groom separately, which was absolutely special. 

Both of the reactions were priceless, and may have caused not only them but their photographer (ME!) to tear up, as well. And honestly, this is one of my favorite aspects on wedding days: seeing the emotion and letting it pull me right in. I'm all in. Was all in. And just felt all the joy with them throughout the remainder of their day. 

And when Vivian walked down the aisle to her groom her was also wiping a tear from his eye, I just knew I couldn't love them anymore. What a beautiful ceremony they had with their best friends, family and stunning florals surrounding them to create the most joyous celebration as they said, "I do". 

They danced the night away, sang their fight songs passionately and somehow were civil. You guys, while Vivian and Drew dated for years and years, they graduated from different colleges and that meant...they had a reception divided--kind of! ;-) I've honestly never witnessed two fight songs sung so passionately during a wedding reception by two groups of very passionate alumni! It was honestly so fun! Clearly, even though the teams were divided, everyone was on Team Vivian and Drew ;-) Because...obviously! 

I love this couple and love that we were able to travel south to Houston so that we could photog