Learning myself

A year ago, I took a class on CreativeLive for wedding photography. I set an alarm, loaded it up on our smart TV, and was determined to soak it all in… (I wish now I’d paid to have re-watches of the class as I’ve long since forgotten some of the tips – sad) It was taught by photographer Jasmine Star, and I’ve followed her on social media ever since.

She recently had week-long a “#jstarchallenge” on Instagram, and every day a new photo prompt was sent out by email.  I’m always up for a good Instagram challenge, so I signed up. I wasn’t sure what to expect other than meeting other photographers to follow through the social platform. What I got, however, was so much more: I learned more about myself.

Through the course of seven days, we shared about ourselves, our workspaces, our inspiration, and other behind-the-scenes things that make us the artists we are. (I’ll me honest, it feels weird to call myself an artist, but then I’m still getting used to saying I’m a photographer… baby steps, ya’ll. Baby steps.)

I’d like to share here all seven of my submissions…

Howdy!! I’ve been using Instagram for a while over at @niseag03, but it’s time to make a friendly introduction on this account. 📸 My goal for my clients is to just capture you and the moment. Call it the old journalist in me, but I'm here to tell your story. I’m passionate about happiness, people, photography, writing, and my alma mater. 👍 Most weekends you’ll find me either taking photos or slinging beer at a local brewery, and on special days I get to spend quality time with my husband, who is a professional musician and drives tour bus. (I'm a "road widow" most of the year!) 🍻 I can't wait to meet you and work with you to capture your memories! ❤ #jstarchallenge #introduction #selfportrait #Canon6D #howdy #nashvillephotographer #photographer #nashville #fromtxtotn

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When a photoshoot ends, the work begins… post-processing! . . While the goal is always to not have too much work in Lightroom, the fact remains: a photographer does hours of work after the event, wedding, or family/engagement/graduation/whatever session is over. . . My workspace is often on the couch so I can spend time with my husband while I edit, or occasionally I head to my local Starbucks to avoid being distracted by housework. But most often it's in the corner of my chaotic little office. I've NEVER kept a clean desk. I have a sign that says, "Please don't clean up my mess. You'll confuse me and screw up my world." The truth to this is massive. . . I prefer working in the evening or at night, always have, because during the day I want to go enjoy the world outside and there's something about the silence of night that brings me focus! But let's face it, sometimes I am just happy to work in the time life gives me, and that's okay too. Just give me some soft music, cats asleep on the floor behind me and my messy desk and I'm happy as a clam. . . #jstarchallenge #workspace #organizedchaos #myoffice #glitterlamp

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Photography started for me, honestly, all the way back in high school when our yearbook staff was shorthanded and the photography teacher gave me a 2 minute crash course on taking pictures before sending me out to cover an event. I wish with all my heart I'd heeded the pull I felt that day to keep snapping photos. Instead, it took me almost 15 years to realize my passion for it and start self-teaching myself the craft — eventually moving from point-and-shoot to DSLR. Today, every photoshoot and every event is a lesson, as I continuously learn this craft, but I also learn about people of all walks of life. My photos may be a product to them, but as they let me into their worlds for a little while they are a giving me a beautiful gift. They've broadened my world view. They've all found a way into my heart. ❤ Thank you to everyone who has let me into their worlds for awhile, and I absolutely can't wait until the next shoot. . . Stole a screen capture from a wedding video for today's photo prompt of "behind-the-scenes"… so forgive the quality! LOL!. . . #jstarchallenge #behindthescenes #nashvillephotographer #lessonslearned #teachme

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I can be found on Instagram at both @denisemattoxphotography and @niseag03

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