[Vlog] Episode 1 - The New Hardwood Backdrop

Should I be vlogging? Let's find out!

Hi all! Ben is helping me start a fun behind the scenes vlog to share some of the fun things we've been working on, especially the newer hardwood backdrop. I've pretty much outgrown a home studio, but finding the perfect studio location is SO DANG HARD. So keep your eyes peeled for another video when I let you know we're moving to a full studio!

This video has been in the makes for a while, as a lot of you have already seen and used the new hardwood backdrop for sessions, but since we shot this footage, I thought it would be great to release it as a test run for vlog content. Let me know what you think!

Behind the scenes with Abigail Joyce Photography

  1. We used reclaimed wood for all of the new hardwood planks
  2. The boards came from "ReUse Depot"
  3. There were still a ton of nails in it, so we had to de-nail all the boards (even though we were told they were already denailed)
  4. Ben used a bandsaw to split the 2 inch boards down to 1 inch planks, saving some money!
  5. The Backdrop is floor to ceiling at about 7 feet, and stand perfectly vertical, which is a big deal to Ben apparently.
  6. Flooring and backdrop boards are secured in place so there's no danger of them moving or falling
  7. We didn't say it in the vlog, but we had to sand and remove hundreds of potential splinters, so now the floor boards are nice and smooth, but still look great!
  8. I bought the dresser and mirror for $50 at Salvation Army
  9. The wood cost about $550, but we still have a lot left over, which will probably be used in the next studio, and some rustic shelving ideas!

Okay that's the jist of things, and if you watched the full video, AWESOME! Let me know what you think, or how to make these vlogs more interesting. I'm still learning, so help me do this right!!

The Before & After of my hardwood backdrop

Newborn Photographer poses little baby on blanket, while she photographs a newborn sessionChicago newborn photographer poses little baby on a flokati rug in front of reclaimed hardwood backdrop

Did you say free and model call? Yeppers!*

Do you like free things as much as I do??  This year I've been trying to spend some time planning out some new and creative approaches to add to family sessions, and what better way to do this by giving away a free family session to one lucky family this upcoming May! Details are still in the making, but I'll be working more closely on outfits, location, timing, and the theme to our session. It'll definitely be outdoors, so keep that in mind when considering this:)

Little boy on rolling chair with megaphone and words saying "Model call" against grey background.

What do I get from the Model Call?

The family I pick gets:

  1. Consultation on required outfits
  2. A full 1 hour family session
  3. A provided location, this is non-negotiable, but suggestions are welcomed.
  4. Any permits that might be required for the location will be covered.
  5. An included gallery of high resolution images that are released for personal use and sharing.
  6. Featured in my Blog, and on one of my social media platforms.

Family of three sits underneath a blooming flower tree

Why though? What do you get out of this?

Great question! Every so often, a creative needs to get their creative ideas out, and try new things so she (or he) can keep things fun, fresh, and lively for herself and the families she serves. So it's a win-win, right?

Most Importantly, I'll retain the rights to the shoot. Usually this is for ads, or social media content, but you never know, it may be an award winner, and by golly I'll be submitting it if it is! This part is non-negotiable, you must be okay that I may use your images.

How do I get first in line?

Hah, don't be silly! There's no line, no skipping, and I don't think you'd want to pay me off to get a free session, since that doesn't make any sense.

When & Where is the session?

Exact date and time will be confirmed at a later point, but we'll be photographing this May, probably mid to late May, featuring springs colors, and we'll be outdoors. I'll coordinate and provide locations, timeframes, and the outfits requirements after I pick the lucky family;)

Little boy writes on paper with a crayonOkay, how do I sign up for this Model Call?

Email me!!

  1. Reference the model call in your email.
  2. Introduce yourself! Stories are great;)
  3. Send me a photo of all of your family. Two or three photos are even better!
  4. Send me the names and ages of all who would be participating in the shoot.
  5. Let me know the area that you are located in (sorry Seattle, you're a little far for this one, but we'll see you this September!).
  6. Your favorite joke, riddle, or most embarrassing moment as a mom (so long as you're okay with me knowing?).

Okay that last one isn't important, but I need some jokes, so you all better deliver.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!! I'll announce the lucky family within the week:) Stay tuned! Inspiration below.

[pp_gallery id="2783" style-id="ea4d3063-0dcc-46e1-a1e8-9b06523defdd"] 

Chicago Family Photographer | Fall Family Session

I photographed this sweet baby when she was a newborn and now she is sitting up and she has the *best* smile. I love returning clients! Especially when they start off so little. There are so many amazing reasons I have about being a family/newborn photographer but the best thing about it is....I get to watch these babies grow. I get to see there changing personalities and I get to hear the sweetest laughs. I know what God purposed for me to be on this Earth. I was supposed to be baby photographer, but did you know that a photography business is HARD? Yup:)

My photography business is Growing!

I'm so happy about all the great people I meet. I love that my photography business is work out for me, and that I'm learning and growing. No, I'm not perfect, and I don't have the best tools or knowledge yet, but I know over time I will definitely grow, and I'm just so happy with the amazing people that are letting me photograph them! I am especially happy that I've started get photograph babies, but fall is still my favorite season for family photos!

Other aspects of my life

Oh my word...My life is very hectic right now!

1. Plan a wedding! You would think that would be enough to totally flip a persons life upside down. I am a mess these days trying to figure out what vendors to choose from and what colors to have for the wedding. I am still in the beginning stage of the wedding planning. The last thing I want to become from all of this is the dreaded "Bridezilla". PS. I picked my wedding dress out! I said YES to the dress!

2. Finishing College. Whew, this is challenging. I am transferring my last year to Benedictine University and I am very excited to finalize this process. But its a long process. I need to make sure everything is in order!

3. Move into a photography studio! YAY! My dream is turning into a reality. I can't tell you anymore details on this subject because I don't want to give anyone any false information before everything is finalized but this is so very exciting for me.

4. Incorporating my photography business! Abigail Joyce Photography will become a professional and official business in 2014!

5. Planning the honeymoon! My wonderful Fiance and I decided to travel to Italy! This will be my very first time on a flight (so we might take a day trip somewhere close by before making this big trip) But oh man...Italy is just gorgeous and it will be the trip of lifetime with my best friend.

6. Running a successful photography business! I am completely booked for October and quickly filling up for November. I am SO blessed to have the clients that believe in me.

-Abigail Joyce

A Chicago Newborn Photographer

The other day I photographed this beautiful newborn only 4 days old. Her name is Olivia Sophia. I started working with this family 1 year ago. We were photographing their engagement session. How crazy time flies. I have had the privilege of getting to know the parents really well. They are both wonderful people who I am glad to say are my friends. I have photographed their engagement, wedding, maternity and now newborn photos. They have been so good to me! This is what I have always wanted...Someone that truly loves my work that they keep coming back. Its more than just a compliment, its everything to me. Its the support, the love, the friendships and the bond we now will always have.

Thats the thing about this business...its not just about taking photos of random clients. Its growing relationships with people that you work for and loving every minute of it! And then hoping that the people you work for, will love you for that.

I also wanted to announce that I have been incredibly blessed with all of my clients and I am almost completely booked for weekend dates for the fall season! So if you are wanting a fall family session or any children sessions, we will have to start looking at our weekdays on our calendars. I am thrilled to have my calendar look full! Its the biggest blessing. I am so thankful for my clients and friends. Its the biggest compliment to have so many returning clients and for them to send me all of their friends.

Another big thing happening in my life...I started running again...I have been pretty active all of my 21 years of life but the past two years since Ive held onto 2 jobs at once, stayed in school full time and ran a photography business... well there just wasn't a lot of time devoted to *que big ugh and sigh* ....running....    -_-

In all honesty, I love the way running makes me *afterwards*, actually I just ran tonight and now I feel great. The run itself wasn't terrible. It was partly raining and there was a nice breeze.. I was never a long distance runner. I don't know how to pace myself. When I was younger I would feel myself wanting to sprint desperately at the end of each run. Now I know better not to sprint at the end or I might pass out! I feel so out of shape, I really need to get myself back into working out. So today, I swam at the College of Dupage indoor pool and then tonight I ran. I believe over 2 miles :)

Someone please be proud of me for that!

Chicago Newborn Photographer

Abigail Joyce Photography

708 505 9081

abigailjoycephoto@gmail.com