nashville mom

Friendship Photo Contest | Nashville Photographer

Friendship is what has carried me through some of the darkest moments of my life as well as some of the brightest.  I truly do not know where I would be today without a few constant, hard-loving friends that have stood by my side.  Yesterday I was reminded, once again, of this as one of my best friends came over to literally help me clean up my mess.  Sometimes my mess is figurative but yesterday it was literal.  In therapy this week, my therapist encouraged me to reach out to an organized friend who could come help me get my house a bit more organized.  For those who know me well, you know I am messy.  It's one of those things I wish no one could see.  The thing that Shame constantly whispers in my ear: "if only others could see this about you, they wouldn't love you."  That Shame is deep and heavy.  It weighs me down on a daily basis whispering that I am not good enough.  That I am just a mess.   Yet somehow those that know me in this intimate way (you know who you are), still LOVE me.  They walk in my messy house or ride in my messy car, and see ME.  

So this brings me to the idea of this contest.  I asked one of my best friends (who happens to love organizing and cleaning) if she would help me get organized.  She was over within a day sweeping, hanging hooks on my walls, and bringing peace to my chaos.  But the real miracle was that she saw the depth of my messiness and still had breakfast with me this morning.   She didn't leave.  She loved me through it.  That's what true friends are for: to love you even in the midst of your shameful, dark places.  But, not only to love you through them, but also to come in and help you get out of them.  We don't have to stay there.  And we can ask for help.  After this moment of experiencing friendship in this beautiful, vulnerable way, I knew that I wanted to give back.  So I had the idea of this contest.  And, let's be honest, it also helps me gain more followers and possibly more business.  But the true heart behind it is that I want to celebrate friendship.  

SO IF YOU NEED TO SKIP ALL THE ABOVE, HERE IS THE CONTEST RULES.  (haha)

1) Follow me.  

2) Post a photo of a friend that has shown up for you in a hard place or time in your life.  One that has shown love to you when you didn't feel like you deserved it.  You don't have to tell the full story but if you feel comfortable, I would love to hear it!  And social media would be a better place if you showed that kind of vulnerability.  Make sure to tag them too, obviously. 

3). Use hashtag: #tronephotographyfriends  this helps me find all of the entries

4) You may also cross post to Facebook (or instagram) for an extra entry.

You and your friend will receive a free mini session, valued at $250.  

The contest ends Friday, September 14 at midnight.    The winner will be chosen by a random drawing.  This contest is not affiliated with Instagram.  

I can't wait to see your posts!  

Here's to friendship!

 

Selfie Tips | Nashville Photographer

As soon as I walk into a room, I notice light.  What it illuminates, what it hides.  And sometimes I can't help but take a selfie, without shame.  But my favorite kind of selfie is when I get to include this pretty girl.  You beautiful, exhausted Mothers of the World: GET IN THE PHOTOGRAPH.  You will never be this young again.  And, I promise, your children will want to remember you like this.  Regardless of the bags under your eyes.  Regardless of the few extra pounds you may carry.  And I am here to help you take photographs of yourself in the most beautiful, true way possible.  I want to teach you to find beauty in yourself naturally with the right angles, with the right light and with the best editing possible.  

So, let's get started!  

First step:  Find the light.  Start noticing where the light hits in your home at certain times of the day.  If you have a blank wall where the light hits in the afternoon, you are golden!  (no pun intended). I usually am drawn to late afternoon light that comes through my kitchen window.  

Second step:  Walk towards the light.  No you are not entering into eternity but you are going to shine like an angel when we are finished.  And bring a child with you, if you dare.  

Third step:  Move around.  Put your phone on selfie mode and then click on your face to get the exposure correct with the light.  Move around to find what looks best on your face.  Don't worry about what is behind you right now.  Just find the light that makes you look most beautiful.  

Fourth step:  My secret for the best selfies ever: put your phone on the 3 second timer.  You have so much more control and can move your hand further away from your face which will make you look slimmer, naturally.  Up and away.  

Fifth step:  Just keep shooting.  If you don't like it, try something different until you do.  Even something as simple as putting your hair up can make a huge difference.  

Final step:  Edit.  But edit lightly.  One of my favorite apps for editing iPhone photos is Facetune.  Mainly because it allows blurring of the background.  I will go over editing in detail in a later blog post.  


The image below is one of the first photos we took together in this series.  Notice the light hitting the wrong areas.  Our eyes are completely in the shadow.  I usually try to always highlight the eyes.  And the light here just seems to accentuate all of my wrinkly parts.  A BIG NO.  

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The next image goes in the complete other direction.  The light is way too bright on our faces.  How do you change this?  Click on different areas of your face and the exposure will change accordingly.  Or you can manually change the exposure by sliding the exposure up or down by clicking on the sun icon.  

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The one below was my favorite of the group.  I like how the light gently hits our eyes and the soft expression on both of our faces.  

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Below is the fully edited image.  I edited everything on my iPhone.  I blurred out the background and lightly brushed my face, specifically on the place the sunlight directly hits.  And, of course, put a filter on it.  But the real secret is with editing is to NEVER use the full power of the tool.  Always move it down in intensity.  

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Feel free to ask me any questions!  Hope this was helpful!

Help me Rhonda (or Gary or Sara) | Nashville Family Photographer

It's funny because I have been a professional photographer for almost 11 years yet this is the first year that I really feel like I am truly creating a career for myself.  So, I could pretend and act like I have my life all together but thats never really been my style, has it?  In true Misty fashion, I'm going to get very real.  And in not so Misty fashion, I'm going to ask for help.

So most of you know that I went through a divorce over a year ago, but I also went through some major life questions on what I wanted and who I really was.  I started to question, in particular, my profession as a photographer.  I got a bit burned out.  And so I took some time off this past year.  I have found that its best to ask those closest to you as to what they see me doing, listening well to their replies.  As I asked, I kept hearing them say- don't stop photography, Misty.  You have a gift.  I let those words soak in, marinate a bit.  And I came to the same conclusion.  Photography is what I want to do with my life.  

So here is where I ask for help.  And this feels super vulnerable & super scary.  And maybe a bit awkward, like I shouldn't be doing this here.  But that inner voice calls to me so here I stand.  I have been doing this business mostly part time for the past 11 years.  Mainly because I always had a child at home but also because I didn't financially need a full time job.  Well both of those things have changed for me.  My youngest just started kindergarten and I am now a single mother of three who needs more money.  Honestly, I hate money and if I could take your photographs for free, I would.  But I have to feed my children organic chicken so I need money.  

If you like my work & don't need photographs, could you please pass my name on to anyone that might need my services.  If you enjoy my instagram posts, could you share them?   If I take photographs of your family, could you post a photo online and give me a few good words of recommendation?  If you like my work & need photographs,  could you ask me to photograph you or your family?  UGH.  This feels so weird.  But I want to do this work.  And I can't do it without your help.  You are my people.  And I want to tell your stories.  

So, in short, I humble myself and ask for your help, in whatever way you can give it to me.  I need more business to survive.  And I want to survive.  I listened to a podcast the other day by Rob Bell and he told the story of Jesus healing the blind man while asking him, "What is it that you want?" And I have been asking myself that question too.  Misty, "what is it that you want?"  And here is my answer:  I want to help people feel not alone.  And I want to do that through photographs.   Give me the chance to fill your walls with the people you love so you can feel less alone in this lonely, hard, cruel world.  

I truly love all of you.  Thank you for supporting me all of these years and in the years to come.  

McDonalds & Smiles | Nashville Photographer

When I tell most people that I have worked at McDonalds, they tend to not believe me.  But it's true.  I worked at Mcdonalds in Clearwater, Fl in the summer between my sophmore & junior year of college while on a summer project with Campus Crusade.  I was able to work with several friends but also made a lot of new friends as well.  One was nicknamed "Shorty" and we started out as the "hospitality" staff, aka janitors.  The manager took one look at me and my little silver Mazda Mx-6 in the parking lot and put me in charge of cleaning the restrooms.  To this day, every time I walk into a McDonalds bathroom it takes me back to that summer.  The all smell exactly the same.  Unfortunately Shorty did not stay the entire summer due to a police car pulling up and taking him away in the middle of our work day.  I stood there crying knowing that I would probably never see him again.  I then convinced my manager, Lori, that I was ready to work the drive through.  Now Lori was not the typical McDonalds manager- she ran this place like a tight ship.  It was one of the busiest McDonalds in the south and she had us on timers.  So when a car would pull up in the window she would yell, HBO, HBO!!!  I was like "we don't have TV here, Lori!"  Then she explained that it meant, "Hand Bag Out the Window!"  So literally my hand would have the bag out the window as the car pulled through.  It was quite fun.  She saw my potential so eventually moved me to the first window where I was able to take orders and receive money.  I made up a little song for our customers that I am glad I can't sing to you but just imagine: "welcome to McDonalds, can I take your order pleeeeeease?"  Most customers loved it but a few just rolled their eyes at me.  Oh well.  The one thing I was terrible at was dropping change as they handed it to me.  Thankfully there was a really tall guy that worked with me and he would grab me by my feet and drop me out the window so I could get the dropped change as the blood rushed to my head.  

So, yes, that is a lot of stories.  But I have a point.  The other day I was driving through McDonalds with my 3 year old.  YES I go to McDonalds, Go ahead, call DCS.  But I still love their fries.  And if you don't then who are you?  Anyways, every single time I drive through McDonalds, I look right into the workers eyes and smile with a big thank you.  Why?  Because there is a small part of me that knows how they feel behind that window.  It's hard being stuck behind a window while watching everyone else enjoy their so called freedom in their car.  I would look at those people and just want to jump in.  And some people were just down right mean.  So even though I can't identify fully with the person behind the window, I have stood where they stand.  I know what it feels like to have someone smile at me and say thank you.  It changes things.  Those little things make a difference in your day when you are doing something so mundane and at times, really smelly.  

I guess what I am trying to say is that we really can't fully identify with anyone but there are ways we can feel a bit of their story.  I am thankful that I had the chance to work at McDonalds coming from my life of privilege.  Honestly I think it changes me more now than it did then.  Though I will say putting on that turquoise hat and pleated black pants was definitely a bit humbling at the time.  And my kids are really going to hate me when I make them go work somewhere that is out of their comfort zone.  But I still have the nametag so I have proof that if I can do it, so can they.  And just maybe it will make them smile at someone and really mean it too.