I Am Building My Portfolio – Wanna Help Me?

My journey with photography has gone in so many different directions since I originally became interested in it back in college. I wrote a lot about that journey here. When I wrote that back at the beginning of 2015, I was really just getting started again taking photos. I had only had my camera for about a month, and I was dabbling.

Now I have a full-time model (thanks Eleanor!), and I have found that I have taken more photos since she was born than ever before. I also feel like I have learned more about photography because I am enjoying it so much. Although, just like most things in life, the more I learn, the more I realise there is still SO much to learn! That’s a good thing, though.

Add all of that with becoming a mum, and you find where I am currently. Since becoming a mum, I have learned more about myself than probably any other season of my life. It’s challenging but an incredible privilege. I have learned that as a mum, I still need an outlet, something I am excited for and happy to do and participate in that’s outside of my day-to-day role at home. It’s been a journey, but I do know a few things. I know I love to write and to teach, and I know I love photography. I know all of those things offer a relative degree of flexibility, which I really appreciate as a mum.

All that being said, I have been wanting to expand my photography for awhile now. It got put on hold for a few months since finding out we were expecting and getting through the first trimester. When I did photography in college, I started doing engagement photography and a couple weddings. I also did some photos of families. Before God began redeeming this love for photography in 2015, the thought of doing those things again felt daunting and scary. In this past two years, though, as God has brought about this whole new creativity and excitement for the area of photography, I am keen to build a new portfolio and get back into it.

In order to build a portfolio, you have to take photos. I have no shortage of photos of Eleanor and other little outings with her friends from the past two years. I don’t want to use my photos from years and years ago, though, because I didn’t have the same love and understanding of photography then. Not that I am an expert now by any means, but I like my photos more these days simply because I enjoy taking photos more.

I have read so, so much about photography, business, etc in the last few months. Heaps! One thing I have learned from many photographers and their journeys is to not get caught up in doing everything. Don’t offer every style or service because then you can’t get really good or experienced with the few. Man have I learned this practical lesson at different points in my life. I am keen to find my niche, and I think my niche 8+ years ago would have even been different than it will be now. I’ve also had to battle the area of doubt and this idea that “there are enough photographers already” and “I am not experienced enough” or “I’m not a professional.” That’s the beauty of creativity – everyone is creative on some level and there is room for everyone’s perspective.

What am I passionate about now? Family. I am determining where to start/stop that – will I always include engagement and weddings? I am not totally sure. I know I am not keen for studio photography, for headshots/senior pictures, for marketing/advertising. What I love is people and family, so that is what I am starting with. I think your niche comes through practice and time.

Do you want to help me build my portfolio?

I am looking for some lovely people to help me build my portfolio. I will do this for free (or by donation if you’d like), but part of the agreement is that I have the rights to use your photos. I will also give you some digital photos in return with a print release to use how you would like.

Here are the specifics:

  • 2 Engagement Sessions
    • Approximately 1 hour; return 30-50 edited photos
  • [FILLED] 3 Family Sessions
    • I am looking for a variety of family sizes and ages; approximately 1 hour; return 30-50 edited photos
  • [FILLED] Newborn Session
    • Ideally within the first 10 days of birth; approximately 1 hour; return 20-30 edited photos
  • [FILLED] 1 Maternity Session
    • Ideally between 30-34 weeks (very pregnant but not too uncomfortable yet!); approximately 1 hour; return 20-30 edited photos

For most of these sessions, except newborn and labour/birth, I would like to shoot outdoors with natural light. I am open to ideas of the “where”, or I can help with some suggestions of places I love around the city. Ideally we would meet in person or chat over the phone to work everything out (day, time, what you’re hoping for, etc.) prior to the shoot. Again, I would be asking for permission to use the photos for website, social media, etc. I will give you the edited photos on a usb or online for you to download with an attached print release that gives you the freedom to print as you desire up to a certain size.

If you are keen to help me rebuild my new portfolio, please email me at ashwillingham@me.com. I am available for these in and around Newcastle, and Robbie, Eleanor and I will also be in the States for a month in May/June if you’re interested at that time.

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April 21, 2017|Photography|0 Comments

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