Friday, 29 January 2016

Ask Anything Friday

Welcome to something new starting here at Crystal Raynard Photography.
For some time I have been wanting to bring this to my page. I feel I always
have so much to say, and I love to inspire, so what better way then with 
an ask anything blog. 

This weeks question was first posted in out L{U} House by Ceri Herd Photography when we did a challenge of Ask an Admin. 
That morning I must of put an extra scoop of wisdom in my coffee, because I 
find even I have been going back to this Q&A for a kick butt reminder.
Please feel free to share with someone who these words might just hit home with as well, so they can use it like Ceri & I do as a go to guide.

Q: "I want to ask how you deal with mummy-goggles (by that I mean being mummy of the subject AND mummy of the image). I can critique my images until the cows come home; I can tell you what is wrong with an image; I can tell you what I love about other people's images that I see filling my news feed. However, I struggle critiquing my own, deciding whether the flaws outweigh the positives. I think my mummy-goggles distort and accentuate both the positives AND the negatives - I see the negatives, I see the positives, and I struggle working out in any given image if the positives outweigh the negatives. Am I making sense?! This is one of my current freelensed favourites, but I look at it and think about what I should've done differently, but I love the softness of freelensing and that belly button!"
~Ceri Herd.

A: ohhhhh I LOVE this question. And actually just did an interview (coming up in Nov for IMIB) where I label doing just this as my biggest challenge as being a photographer. This happens to ALL of us, and you just wrote my feelings word for word. I can sit here and tell you things I love or don`t love about someone else images. I can weight their positives and negatives, but when I look at my own, I just can`t. I have folders & folders full of images I deemed not good enough for FB. But if you were to glance into these folders you would think I was bat shit crazy! From time to time I peek in these albums and think the same thing. I AM CRAZY. But here is our problem Ceri, lets replace the word images with the word body. I can critique my body till the cows come home, don`t believe me let me video tape a session of me getting dressed to go out somewhere I want to impress people at. I put on the fashion googles so to speak. I see the postives (very few) and all the negatives ( always a lot) and I wonder if the fact that the boots don`t match the scarf going to overweight the decision of this whole outfit. In the end I am left feeling more stressed then when I started with a vision of my perfect outfit. I feel like everyone is going to see that the strip in the scarf is in fact a shade lighter then the pants colour, and I fear this is going to have people thinking I am colour blind, and now my impression is going to be spoiled all over my colour matching skills. WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH MAMA GOGGLES. Well bare with me a second. We do the very same thing to our photos. WHY!!! because dressing ourselves up is a from of art, so much like our photography, we want to impress the people seeing the image or viewing our outfit, so it leads us to over think everything about it. You don`t realize it, but we express a lot of ourselves in our images, and anywhere we deal with ourselves is bound to be critical. That is who we are as humans, but it is not a bad thing, because it is only in reviewing those things about ourselves that we get the boost to change and grow. So we are going to read into every little thing about our image. We are going to question ourselves a lot. That is the WHY we do it, but here is how I overcame it. I sat down long and hard and asked myself WHY am I doing this! Do I want to grow rich and famous and be super awesome photog. or do I want just a little business to make ends meet on. Am I doing it because I love it. or because I want my kids to have records of their childhood. It could be 100 different reasons why. But if you dig down deep enough, you will find your WHY. For me the deeper I dug I the more about myself I revealed. I found that I just wanted to never forget a single moment. I could see myself when I was older when all my kids where grown having kids of their own, and I can`t hold a camera anymore due to arthritis, so all I have is book after book after book full of all these images. THAT is why I do what I do. When I am at that stage in my life, I will have no idea how many likes I got on FB. or who I impressed, I won`t remember the little things I saw in those images that I did not like. I will only see the things I love, because when I pick up that photo album I am picking it up to reflect on the good things I experienced in my life. I am not picking it up to look back on all I SUCKED at. So when you see your images like this FREAKING GORGEOUS one you have shot here, you just have to say. Is this something I will want to remember in the future, and I would say YES!! who would want to forget his cute little belly button. We are not just capturing images here people. We are capturing feelings. And the feelings that come through in our images ALWAYS far out weighs the little details we could of changed. What every your reason WHY is, you just have to stop being a critic and ask yourself, is this image support WHY I am doing photography. And always, always keep in mind. A viewer is seeing your image for the first time, and when they glace at it they are seeing the image as a WHOLE not seeing all the little details, that could of been changed. Only we see those. Like only we see how our scarf is a different shade then our pants. So my best advice is post away and STOP being so hard on yourself!!
~Crystal Raynard

If you would have a "Ask Anything" question, or a photo you want read Through the Unstoppable pyramid 1 or 2. or any other question you would like to send in please feel free to message me on my page HERE

Thursday, 28 January 2016

SATHIYA @ The SHIP young adults gatherings


This past Sunday night I got to break out of my comfort zone to photograph something AWESOME. This year I have really felt nudged by the big guy upstairs to jump out of the box and start photographing new things. Of course when Sathiya first approached me to see if photographing a worship service is something I would be interested in, my first response was said through doubting myself with a big NO WAY.
Then the good Lord stepped in with a quick reminder of how he did not put this opportunity in my path for me to doubt myself but to EMPOWER myself. 
And I have to say even though I continued to doubt myself, dropping subtle hints to Sathiya, he would not hear nothing of it, and he continued to pour faith over me; every drop was taken in.   
I headed out to The SHIP young adults gatherings,
 were Sathiya & the band were leading the worship service. I LOVE to be behind the camera, and I LOVE to worship, and getting to run around taking images while worshiping was the most blessed experience I could have had. Praising God for giving me this opportunity to put two things I am passionate about together.  

This was a great way to spend a Sunday night.
The SHIP gatherings meet on the 4th Sunday night of every month, their goal is to simply bringing together youth from many churches to come on out and enjoy a night of worship, and message.
check out their link for more info.

If you would like to learn more about Sathiya and his newly released CD DEEPER, 
Jump on over to his link, to find where you can grab this hot off the shelves 
CD and learn more about any of his upcoming events.
Or check out one of my fave songs at the end of the blog.

click on the images for full view

Your Love: Deeper by SATHIYA

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Life {Unscripted} Blog Circle: January Volume

January is like LIFE, full of changes. Just like the changing month brings on a changing year, we too look to January and think about change. About changing ourselves, our relationships, and our bodies. We make resolution after resolution hoping to bring change, to bring growth to an area of our lives. All this change is a challenge, pushing us to adapt to something new, something different.

January for out neck of the words we saw a lot of changes, but the biggest one was our change in weather. With one day still LOVING the green grass, rain and foggy days. To suddenly waking up to more snow then almost all the towns around us. We of course jumped into the weather change enjoying the fog till the last moment, and embracing & adapting to the snow.

Here is out month {unscripted}

Foggy days

Snowy days

Don't stop here, there is still more gorgeousness from the ladies at LU, just follow the circle through.  Head on over to