The Journey Begins

My last senior of the class of 2019 has so much going on that it was hard to fit his session into his schedule and still get it done in time for announcements to be made but we did it. This young man live in my neighborhood so I get to see him often. He has a rather quiet nature about him but he is always respectful and responsible. After graduation, he is planning on going to Russia for 2 years to serve his Heavenly Father and the people of Russia. Big things are on the horizon for this guy.

Knowing that your child is off to do great things doesnt always make it easier on moms though. So to all your moms with a child graduating this year and off to explore the world. Big hugs to you all.

Senior Season Once Again

Have I mentioned how much I love getting to work with Seniors? What? About a millions times you say? Well here I go again. I LOVE SENIORS! All seniors are fun but senior guys are amazing to work with! A couple of weeks ago I got to take pictures for my last Senior Rep. He has been great and while our schedules didnt allow us to get together as much as I would have liked, the time we did spend together was so much fun. I loved getting to know him better. It was extra fun for me because I’m at that super fun age where kids I went to high school with, have seniors graduating now. I happened to go to school with this seniors dad and it was fun to see some of the ways the saying “like father, like son” applied but also how different they are.

Tanner is a smart, hard working, funny guy. He has his head on straight and knows what he wants and what he doesn’t. He understands responsibility and dedication and takes the lead when others wont. I can hardly wait to see where life takes him, or should I say, where he takes life.

Here are some of my favorites from his session. He couldn’t have been easier to work with. Congratulations Tanner and best of Luck in your next adventure!

Landscape and Wildlife

I recently added a gallery of some of my Landscape and Wildlife images to my website here. Honestly, from a business perspective, I know it is a bad idea to mix the two. They are obviously very different clientele that they will appeal to. However, they are both a huge part of me and of why I do what I do so I decided, I was going to merge even if it doesn’t make sense on paper.

Do you ever get tired of being told that you have to color inside the lines to be doing it right? I just get exhausted listening to all the rules about how to be successful and so I give up. I’m going to do it the way that i want to do it which is basically how I’ve been throughout my photography journey with how I shoot, where I shoot, why I shoot, and now what I shoot and who I show. There are so many really helpful tips out there for people trying to make it in this crazy Photographers world, and I in no way am trying to say they are wrong or that they arent helpful but right now, they arent for me ( at least this one that says keep your different genres separate or only stick to one thing).

I first seriously picked up a camera to capture my kids but I have always taken snapshots of the places we have traveled and have really loved any chance I get to capture wildlife. Next to getting those memories of my family, is my love for getting the memories of our trips and of the beautiful places we have been blessed to see.

I sometimes feel like there is so much negative energy in the world mostly promoted via the media. I wanted to capture the other side, the side we dont hear as much about. I wanted to be the one that looks and finds the beautiful things of the world of at least the beauty amidst the ugly. Anyway, I hope that you can accept my going against the grain and adding this new element to my page. If you ever are interested in seeing more of my landscape work feel free to check out my other galleries found at sarahjackmanphotography.shootproof.com where you are able to purchase prints and wall art.

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Senior Portrait Season

So as you all know, I love taking Senior portraits. I’ve said it before but I’m going to say it again. High School is wonderfully tough. Its an entirely different ball game today vs when I was in school. Social media is such a huge part of their world and while it can be a great tool, it can also put a ton of pressure on kids to post things that get “approved” by their peers. The comparison game is REAL. That means that sometimes, its hard to feel good enough, handsome enough, beautiful enough.

I love that I can play a part in taking images that they can feel like they are all of those things when they look at it. I love that i can give them something to share online that they are confident in. But mostly, I love getting to know them a little better and having a part in capturing their amazing and wonderful personalities that can show in their senior pictures.

Here are some more images from our last trip to WPPI in Las Vegas. Sometimes, I get to shoot at fun unique places but no matter where I shoot, my client is always the coolest thing about the session. If you haven’t booked your senior session yet, don’t put it off much longer. I know the weather had been rough and we have all been avoiding the rain but there aren’t many slots let so grab your while you can.

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Las Vegas Wedding

While I was down as the WPPI confrence a few weeks ago, A few friends and I were able to hold a wedding session in a super unique little wedding chapel at the Palms hotel. The chapel has a temporary spot in the Pearl Theater and it was amazing to be able to photograph an adorable couple there. I love to look for places that you dont see often photographed but more than that I love to find fun places that will make a memory have just a few more connections and highlights. This place was AWESOME and I doubt that any of us will forget the fun we had.

WPPI 2019

Each year there are multiple photography conventions across the country. I have huge goals to hit them all but as of yet, I have only attended WPPI. Its a huge conference held in Las Vegas where I can be re-inspired, network, and learn TONS. During the week not only do I get to hang out with dear friends, listen to successful artists talk about their journey and give tips but also i get to take a lot of pictures. I was luck enough to tag along on a maternity session with several other amazing photographers and capture a beautiful mom to be in her final stages of pregnancy.

Are there things in your life that you just absolutely love, maybe things that other people can’t quite understand? This week in Vegas is totally that for me. I totally nerd out at all the cool gadgets and gear at the expo ( which has everything photo related a person could want). I love all the speakers and keep notes like a 14 year old nervous about missing any tiny bit of information. But most of all, I totally am in awe during their print competition and live judging. I can sit for hours and watch them score and talk about these amazing photographs. I learn so much in those 2 days that it carries me right through the year until i can do it all over again.

Beautiful Birth Story, and Newborn Session so Sweet

New to my line up of services are Birth Stories and Newborn Sessions.  I wont lie, these two genres are a bit stressful.  They are so much like a wedding.  From being on call so that you can make sure you are there at the birth, to creating a relaxing environment for mom and baby during the newborn session, it's a lot of work!  However, it's so rewarding and such a once in a life time moment that needs to be captured.  I remember bits and pieces of each of the births of my children.  However, there is a lot I don't remember.  There is so much going on while you are in labor, and often some medication involved, it's hard to try to make a mental note of it all.  I love that I can do that for my clients so that they an focus on what is important, getting that baby here happy and healthy.   

Then there is the smell of a newborn baby, who doesn't want that job of capturing little fingers and toes while they are so tiny?  I absolutely loved working with this Rowan Family.  From the Maternity session, and Birth, and then the Newborn Session.  Each one was dreamy in it's own right and I love that I was a part of it.

Maternity Session, Adorable Child, and AH-MAZING Dress

The title really says it all.  I recently had a chance to meet the Rowan family.  First let me start with, their son is so adorable I about forgot I was actually working and not just playing with their family.  For this session I wanted a dress that would really stand out against our beautiful red rock scenery here so I ordered one from Chicaboo, a company who makes beautiful maternity gowns.  I fell in love as soon as I felt it and saw the color, YES!!!!   If all goes well, you will be seeing much more from this beautiful family as it grows over the next couple of months but for now, here are a few of my favorites from out Maternity Session.

 

Yellowstone National Park

Did you all know that I love Wildlife and Landscape Photography?  It's true.  I own an Art Gallery and would love people to come and see what I do on that side of my business.  Typically I keep this website and these posts to Portrait work that I do but, not today.  Today I would love to share with you some images from my most recent trip to Yellowstone.  I absolutely love this park!  If I was built a little more weather resistant, I might have to move closer but alas, I am a desert rat at heart.  

Anyway, when I need a break from life, this is where my sweet husband takes me.  Where is your "happy place"? 

 I hope as you click through the images below that you enjoy them, and don't forget to follow my facebook pages, and instagrams to see more of my adventures or stop by the Art Gallery located at 320 W. State Street in Hurricane Utah 84737

Senior Portrait, Golden Hour, and Spring. The Total Package

Last week I was asked if I could squeeze in another Senior session.  Of course!  I really do love Senior Portraits so much that if there is any way I can make it happen, I will.  Savannah is beautiful so that wasn't going to be an issue.  One concern some of my Senior clients have, and rightfully so, is that many senior portraits that are taken around here look very similar.  Every senior wants to have something special they can call their own though.  After talking about options for the perfect location we decided on a place I don't use much and actually had not been to since the fall of last year.   To be 100% honest, I was nervous.  As much as I love new places, I love the comfort of the known, tried and true places that I use on a regular basis.  

We arrived at the location and sweet Savannah had not been there so that was nice, it was all new and fresh and not exactly like everyone else graduating from her High School.  We took a few steps, rounded a corner and the light was PERFECT!  Right away we started shooting and I could tell that all my worries were for nothing.  This session was just about perfect from the location, the light, the girl, the amount of people that were ( not ) walking around.  The only thing that was a bit of an inconvenience were the pesky little bugs flying around everywhere.  

Here are a few of my favorites from her session although, I wont lie there were over 100 images from her session that I fell in love with so I am using the word "favorite" loosely since it was so hard to narrow it down. ( make sure to scroll through the images below)

Hurricane High School 2018 Prom.

Ok so I know its a sign that you are getting up there in age when you say things like this but, It seems like just yesterday that I was this age!  I remember how fun it was to get invited to a dance, not even because of the dance but because of the friends and the activities we would be doing.   This last weekend was Hurricane High Schools Prom ( and after looking at facebook and instagram over the weekend, clearly many around the country were doing the same thing).  I had the opportunity to photograph two different groups in two different locations.   

My first group had two cute couples, who brought their awesome masquerade masks to their shoot ( that was the theme this year).  We ended up at a very green park and they were the only couples there so it was perfect!.   Take a look at those masks though, seriously AWESOME!

My second group couldn't have been more fun, there was so much personality going on here it was had not to be laughing the entire session!  There were 3 adorable couples that you could just tell had had an amazing day together.  They shared with me that they had gone to shoot paint-balls, and the girls had the welts to prove it!  They were all smiles and laughter.

 

In the comments tell me what you favorite Prom Memories are?  I love to hear and connect with my clients and readers.

Senior Session at a Historical Landmark

Ok confession time.  I love it when my senior clients choose old buildings or amphitheaters for their session.  There seems to be so much character in old places.  When Becky reached out to me all the way from Kanab Utah, about getting her senior portraits done, I wasn't sure what to expect.  Becky obviously couldn't make it in to do an in person meeting before her session, and we had never met so I was nervous.  Is that strange?  I love to be able to meet my clients ahead of time so that there is none of that crazy "stranger danger" awkwardness that can happen.  Luckily through several emails and texts, we figured out when, and where her session would be and when she choose some neat old buildings, I just knew that it was going to be all ok.  

Becky was lovely, she was super pleasant and rocked her session!  Look at how beautiful she is, I can't wait to see what the future holds for this confident, and smart senior superstar!

Photography Studio Now Open.

This past weekend I held a Grand Opening to my new Art Gallery.  What a lot of people didn't know is that there is also a photography studio in the back portion of the Gallery.  I'm so excited to be able to offer a place in the Hurricane Valley where other photographers and myself can offer clients a place indoors, away from the heat, cold and that dreaded "Hurricane wind".  (I know we all love that windblown look but lets be honest, sometimes it gets to be a bit much here).  

Here is a little back story:

I had big dreams of having a back up studio where I would be able to control my surroundings a little bit along with this grand idea of having a place to display all of my wildlife, and landscape photography.  The challenge was in finding a way and a building that I would feel like they could work together and not against each other.  Along the way, it dawned on me that other Photographers would probably like the same thing but with all the costs of equipment, education, products and business costs, it probably wasn't a reachable thing for many.  This got the wheels really turning.

I brought the idea up to my super supportive husband and he was all for it.  He worked so hard transforming a building that looked nothing like a studio or gallery into what I envisioned and I'm so grateful the amount of patience he had with the whole project.

So, that's it.  I now run an Art Gallery filled with art from local artists, I have a Portrait studio set up to rent to fellow Photographers, and there is also a room dedicated to workshops and classes if people need a pace to hold their Artist in Training meetings.  If you haven't had a chance to come in and check us out please stop by, Tuesdays-Fridays 10am-2pm and say "Hi", and introduce yourself.  I would love to meet you.

 

Photography Competitions and Life Evaluations

Normally, competition and I are best of enemies.  I tend to be so competitive that I avoid most things that could open a door to my "ugly" side.  This goes out the window when we are talking about my kids sports, the avoiding thing that is, not the "ugly" side thing.  I am that mom who is screaming and yelling the entire game.  Don't get me wrong, I know better, I just get so passionate about it that I struggle to control myself.  When it comes to things like photography, I tend to also avoid competition.  I know that I have a long way to go to be the best photographer out there.  Sometimes I forget that its a journey and that the best in this industry weren't born with a silver camera in their hand but that they worked really hard for it.  It's really easy for me to look at my work and pick it apart so much that I end up thinking the entire thing is terrible, when others might not see the many faults in it. 

With all of that said, there is one photography competition that I love to participate in.  It's called Shoot and Share and its hosted each year where something like 400.000 images end up getting submitted into several different categories.  They randomly but 4 anonymous images in a block and you vote for your favorite.  It's that easy.  The images with the most votes move on to the next round and so on.  It's fun, it's addicting, and it's been a great way for me to get inspiration as well as build some amazing friendships with fellow photographers through our experience in the contest.  There isn't a judge telling you what you did right or wrong so it is sort of perfect for me.  

I have learned something about myself during this contest though.  I am too hard on myself.  I'd be willing to bet, you are too.  The image posted below scored 827 out of over 16,300 images.  Now, I had one that did better as far as results go but this one shocked me.  I really don't even like it.  I could tell you the many things I don't enjoy about it but it doesn't matter.  I don't like it because of my issues.  When I look at it, I see what I did wrong, and forget to see the beauty in what God did right, which is why I took the image in the first place.  

I am so much like this image, as so many of us are.  We are beautiful, we are likes, people enjoy being around us.  Other people see our value and are grateful and glad that we are in this world.  However, sometimes it's far to easy to think the worst about ourselves.  We don't like what we see, how we sound, what we contribute, and we find our value to be very low on our own scale.  I almost didn't enter this image.  It was a last resort image as I ran out of images and wanted to enter the max amount of 50.  I often treat myself just like this image.  I hide from challenges, thinking I'm not good enough.  I stand in the back of a crowd waiting for others to contribute since their contribution is bound to be more valuable than mine.  I offer my services as a last resort when I think no one else is available.

No more.  No more undervaluing.  No more last resort, and not good enough thoughts.  I am entering into a year of many, many changes, and I will need every ounce of talent and awesomeness that the good Lord has blessed me with, to bless others with.   Are you selling yourself short?  Are you letting the world see all of you?  What is holding you back from being the majestic and amazing person your were created to be?  Let go of it.  Let go of it all and shine.  I may never be number 1, you may not be either but, 900 out of 16.000 is pretty dang good enough if you ask me.

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High School Senior Season

I've mentioned many time how much I really love senior portraits.  I don't often talk about why I love them so much though.  To be 100% honest, I don't talk about it too much because I sometimes get a little emotional when I do.  High School is an amazing time.  Being a Senior comes with so many ups and downs, excitement, fear, stress and no cares, its a real roller coaster.  One thing that I believe all Seniors share though is insecurity.  When I have the chance to sit down and talk with my senior clients, it's a great time to get to know more about them.  I get the chance to learn what they are afraid of or encouraged by.  I also get to hear more often than I wish I did, that they are worried they never look good in pictures.  I love when I have a chance to prove them wrong.  The moment we get to sit down at my clients reveal and watch them, see what I see, what their mothers see, and what I believe God sees, is the reason I do what I do.  It is the reason I love senior portraits.  

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Elopements and Destination Weddings

I just returned from an amazing photography conference where my love for photography and story telling though the art that I do, was brought back to the focus of my mind.  I was reminded of just how important it is to capture precious moments and how lucky and blessed that I am to have the ability to do that for my clients.  I don't talk about weddings much because honestly I simple love High School Senior photography so much that I sometimes have tunnel vision.  Well, this post is to proclaim to the world that I love story telling and that there are very few places that compare to weddings when talking about the art of photography and story telling combined.  If you are in the market for a Wedding Photographer whether it is local ( St. George, or Southern Utah) or if you are planning your special day anywhere in the world, I would love to have the opportunity to sit down and get to know you and find out if I can help you tell your story to future generations of your sweet family.

Feel free to comment below and tell me where your fantasy destination wedding would be

Feel free to comment below and tell me where your fantasy destination wedding would be

Boudoir

Did you know that I now offer Boudoir?  It has been something that I have gone back and forth with but as of 2018 it is an official part of the services I offer.  I find that if done tastefully, it can bring a lot of joy and power to my clients.  Its been amazing to see the response I have had to this new side of my business and it's been clear that this is something my clients want.  If this is a service you know you want, book today!  If its something you are on the fence about or nervous about, set up a consultation with me.  Let's see what the best thing for you would be and go from there!

 

Summer Time = Busy Time

Each year I have these plans for summer.  They include getting my house better organized, getting any landscaping done, and getting art projects finished up.  For some reason I think I will accomplish those "extras" while fitting in "summer school", basketball camps, summer vacation and Family Reunions.  It never works out.  So this year, I added a new project to the list, why not right?  I leased a building to house a photography studio and art gallery.  I'm overly excited about it but the progress is moving rather slow.  Once its completed it will be a great place to showcase local artist and a way to keep my clients out of this miserably 112 degree heat!  While I may appear to be hit an miss with these updates, please know that I am working my tail off to get this place up and running and hopefully with school starting soon, I will have more time to get it in tip top shape.  So, please hang in there and check back for a grand opening date to be announced.  YAY!!!!!

New Website

This section of my website Is devoted to anything new going on with my clients, with my website, with my business, even my life.   I will from time to time post about recent sessions, trips I've taken, or maybe even pictures of my updated kitchen renovations ( remember the DIY obsession?).  I also hope to be make a big announcement soon right here in this section!  (Cross those fingers for me everyone)

I don't want my website to be a one time place you come to see pricing.  I want it to be a place you want to come back to, I wold love interaction, I want this to be a happy place where friendships grow.   So, if you have suggestions of topics or comments of any positive nature, post them.

As you can see, the newest thing happening on the business side for me is this website overhaul.  Tell me what you think?  It's quite a change from the old site, hopefully more user friendly and it's been a lot of work getting it up and going.  I'd love to know what you think, let me know, has it been worth it?