From Sunlight to Studio Light

Anyone who talks to me long enough will discover how much I love where I live. For me, Midway is what I've always imagined a perfect town to be; tucked away in the mountains, caring neighbors, a bakery with the world's biggest and best cinnamon rolls and summer parades on Main Street.

It would take a lot for me to consider leaving this charming place, but every year there's one thing that tempts me to pack up and never look back.


Not the entire winter mind you. The holidays in Midway are the stuff of fairy tales (ever been to the ice castles #ahmazing), but after the festivities end the harsh reality of post Christmas winter

settles deep into the bones along with the frigid

temperatures and endless days of grey.

It's no wonder then that my outdoor natural light photography business would pretty much shut down every year from January to April. No one wants to stand in 2 feet of snow with arctic winds biting their finger tips while attempting look natural and happy. No one is happy and there's nothing natural about it. This fact and the desire to expand my skill set as a photographer prompted me to start researching studio photography.

It's important to know that I am not a techie kind of gal. When I see more than 3 buttons on any device, my brain shuts down and I defer to the geekiest person within earshot to figure it out for me. The gadgets and gizmos associated with studio photography are innumerable which is why I have avoided tackling this realm for so many years. At the start of 2020 however, I decided that enough was enough. I was not going to let another Wasatch winter stand in my way of doing what I love.

I started watching YouTube tutorials, reading articles and reaching out to other photographers asking for advice on how to get started. After a few weeks of research I took the plunge and invested in some lighting & backgrounds. I cleared out a room in my house and set up shop.

Then came the hard part.

Figuring out how to use my new gear while simultaneously directing a subject was like trying to nail jelly to a tree. My frustration level was through the roof and I thought maybe I had just wasted hours of my time and a significant amount of cash. After a few deep breaths and several handfuls of chocolate chips (ok, it may have been a bag) (ok, maybe it was two bags) I remembered this wasn't the first time I'd thrown myself into the deep end without knowing how to swim. I thought back to the first day I picked up a camera feeling overwhelmed by the distance between my high expectations and my lack of knowledge. With that in mind, I scoured my manuals, watched more tutorials and played around in the studio until finally I was producing portraits I was proud to share.

Within a few weeks I fell in love with studio photography. I realized I had let the fear of what I didn't understand stop me from trying something new. That was dumb.

What's the point of this story?

1. Midway is awesome

2. Chocolate chips cure everything

3. Fear actually is the only thing standing in the way of our success

4. Patience is a virtue I don't have