Friday, September 21, 2012

Corporate Headshots

Headshots are one of the necessary evils that professionals need from time to time. They are part of your virtual handshake. And they represent you, before you have the chance to represent yourself. I highly recommend busting out of the suit and tie world and show your potential clients a more personable side of you.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Knock Knock! Nobody is home!

   I've moved! Yes, hooray for me, moving uptown and all that jazz. It's been a labor of love and been an incredible experience working with a great partnership of Terica West and Nathan McCurley. They have built me a new site and it is perfect.

  Come see me there at :) I can't wait to catch up with you!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Back to the basics [The Beauty of It]

 How did it all start?  
 This is a question I always get around matter the subject - I am a perpetual pupil. I'll soak it in like a sponge. It drives my husband crazy, but then when I have exhausted my efforts and resources, he totally benefits from my highlight reel. He gets the meat and potatoes of it all. And I get the burned out eyeballs from late nights of page turning, and web hopping. Lucky fella :)  It all leads to the very beginning. The basics. I have to admit, I am voracious when it comes to any topic that interests me. Thank goodness for Google and YouTube!

"These days, "basic" has become novelty."

   Some people think that going back to the basics defeats the purpose of technology. Don't get me wrong, I love the convenience of technological advancements (and have put behind me how DUMB it makes me feel). I really do. I love being able to set up my coffee maker the night before so all I have to do is wake up to already brewed coffee. Most days. Other days I like to get out my french press and brew a sincerely delicious cup of joe. These days, "basic" has become novelty. It's a fine option for sure. I just think that people hunger for getting back to the roots of something. To having a hand in the development of it. What I find to be true about a lot of people is those who embrace technology a lot of times are hurried. And those who go back to take the time to learn the foundations of the things they enjoy are calmer, and happier people. This is just my theory of course, and to each their own. Technology is SO fast. Unless you submerge yourself into daily, you lose ground, quickly. This is something that has smacked me in the face, as of late. Dang, I think I have two black eyes from it.

   I love food (who doesn't). There is something utterly satisfying for me to be able to grow it. To get my hands on it, watch it mature, smell it... I am making myself hungry! Yes food out at a restaurant is nice too - love that I don't have to cook it and it is something out of the ordinary, maybe something new, maybe something a little trendy. But the most enjoyable meals I have ever had were ones that I had a hand in from the very beginning - sometimes all the way back to the days it was a seed. To get my hands in the earth, feed it and water it, to see something mature under my care that isn't only beautiful to look at but delicious and far superior than all that is offered at the local grocery store. There is not only a pride in it, but pure accomplishment and joy in a job well done. It is gratifying.
This could be said about a lot of things, photography included.

   This is the first year we have had a garden here in Alabama. We've had several gardens in Indiana, and it is a bit different from what we are used to. The biggest difference is the soil. It has been a learning experience that we are better off for having had to learn it. It's a different set of challenges. Like most things. But let me tell you how giddy we ALL were to have our first ripe eggplant, the first blush of the tomatoes, etc... I am THRILLED beyond measure that my girls needed little encouragement to dig in, so to speak. They've loved eating what they have grown. What they weren't prepared for, but I am so thankful to have the lesson to teach, was how a lot of what we have grown hasn't been store perfect. They couldn't believe it, and were bewildered that not all of them were as big or as beautiful as the ones in the stores. I explained that while that is what is shown to us as perfect and good, in a lot of cases was nutritionally inferior and less taste - full than what we grew. Just like magazines, I added. That isn't what those people, relationships, lives etc...ACTUALLY look like. They are polished and enhanced and we are shown the most appealing sides. It was a lesson that was well received. I love my girls.

" I explained that while that is what is shown to us as perfect and good, in a lot of cases was nutritionally inferior and less taste - full than what we grew. "

   One thing that excites me inexplicably is ... film. I adore it. It thrills me. It's plain and simple magic in a box. The fact that someone was a genius and curious and was able to pull off making the first image is incredible to me. My husband looks at me like a I am a loon ( I prefer to think of the beautiful bird in this mental imagery ) when I talk about it. I get chills, I get teary eyed. I dare say I get euphoric. Never in my life outside of my faith and family has anything ever wooed me like film. Ever. That being said, I was a failure in film. I still might be! My man has always been good to me and supported me in my ventures. He likes photographs. He's been pretty vocal about me getting plenty of pictures of the kids and has been from day one. He just can't see the difference between an image that was captured with film, and one captured with a digital camera. However, the "how" it got there isn't really his thing. So just like his tools aren't interesting to me, mine aren't to him. We skirt those issues delicately, just like any wise married couple. There are the occasional glazed over eyes. The sometimes robotic nodding of the head, so it appears as the one of us is intently giving our spouse the undivided attention they want while sharing what is immensely boring to the other. Seriously, his tools are like gouge my eyes out boring. Although I don't show it. He repays me in kind, and that is enough for me :)

"Seriously, his tools are like gouge my eyes out boring."
   I have ran my very first roll of 120 through my new film camera. I have NO idea how it turned out. I have great hopes that it turned out at least ok. I have had my camera for months. And I have been scared of it. This is a true story. Last night my web designer came over to get some images. She shoots film. She needs to shoot more - I am sure she is reading this :) Talking with my husband he saw how she came alive when talking about film and art. I saw him look at me and knew he finally got it, that I wasn't the only one, and that there is really something about film that is enamoring. Today, there was no glazed look.

   I love seeing people passionate about something. Whether it is food - "Oh that is just GORGEOUS!" - about a plate of food that has been carefully laid out and dressed. Someone has taken the time to craft it for your enjoyment. Just for you! Or when someone holds a camera in their hands from the early 1900's and they just close their eyes and slowly that smile comes to their face. It is beautiful. To be able to go back to what gave you such a drive to do better, to go back to the basics of your interests is fantastical. It's that little break in the daily grind that can transport you to a different mindset, it can sooth you like little else, it makes you slow down. Some days it can frustrate you to the point of swearing it off forever because the elusive perfection has evaded you again.

   I see the basics as being a gift to those who choose to pursue after it. It is kindred. It is fraught with fears, failures, triumphs, passions and in the end, pure. satisfaction. As is anything worth having.

   So what is it that you want to sink your body and mind into? What is it that propels you into going further, digging deeper? What makes you want to scream it from the rooftops? Write it down. And do it.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Luke [ Senior 2013 ]

   What can I say about this? I received an email from Luke's mom several months ago about doing his senior session. What is unique about this is they were going to come all the way from Ohio to have me shoot his session. I am completely honored!

   We had a great time, despite the weather and were able to get a couple locations in. We did our proofing today (faster than normal turn around time - which is fast to begin with :) so they could see everything before they headed back to Ohio. Luke's sister will be a senior next year and she would like me to take her photos too. Can't wait to see you guys again next year! Thanks SO much for coming all this way. I hope you love your images!

   This gallery is for all the out of town family that would like to see his gallery. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Personal [Never ending Newness]

   I love new. Please don't confuse that with being materialistic. There are many things that are new that don't cost a thing, or that other people even want. I find that new is good, often times. Even if it stinks at first. Today is the 4th! That isn't new at all, but it is a day that I am reflecting on my many blessings, a lot of them new.

   We are embarking on a lot of new things this summer. One of them being homeschooling. I am grateful for what they have been taught (academically) in school so far. But I feel like even though I will be sacrificing personal time (and it has been hard fought for), my girls can be blessed by learning at home. I know I will be. I am a huge supporter of giving your kids wings...I am also a hugely impatient person some days. Some days I want those wings sooner rather than later. I won't lie, lol. My job is HARD (mothering) and it isn't something that I excel at most days. Not that I am a bad mom, no, not at all. But I am being real here. There are days I just don't want to do it. I don't want to hear MOM - she did this or that, not one more time. In the long run though, I know those days of them being at home are short. I know there will be times they won't want to tell me anything. I am glad they like me, even though I am not their friend first. We are buddies, but know I am mom above everything else. They know I take this job seriously (maybe too seriously). They respect that. This is going to be an adventure.

   On the business front, I am still finding new things out about me on a daily basis. Funny thing is, it spills over into my personal life. The more I shoot the more I showcase what I like. I love it. There are new ideas being implemented at the moment. A wicked cool website is being built. My brand is being born. All of this is makes my adrenaline pump. To know that what I try to convey in my photography is actually being understood means I am doing my job! And well! Tailoring my business to not only take my clients to new heights emotionally, but branching out into new types of photography, with digital as well as film - taking these new clients into the directions they want to go with their business. To be able to reach the places you want to go, using photography as that vehicle is incredible to me. I can't get there, or take my clients there without God. Make no mistake about it. He is who gives me the ability and the drive to go further.

   I am so humbled by those who have fought for my freedoms, so thankful. Everyday. I know that there may come a day that I won't have the freedom to mention God. To school my kids the way I want. To have my own business. To be able to any of the things I enjoy right now. I hope I never see it, but it could happen. Thank you, each and every service person. Thank you to all the ones who went before, to all who will serve in the future. Thank you so much to your families for sacrificing their time with you, so you can serve our country. May you be safe and blessed beyond measure for your selflessness. And happy birthday America!

   I will leave you with this. This is my grandpa. One of the best buddies I ever had. He served in WWII for many years. Love you and miss you!

   Handsome devil, wasn't he? And totally digging the photography!

Monday, July 2, 2012

[WARNING] Cuteness + Credit Cards!

   I am ... a dinosaur. It is true. As well as, I might add, a renowned system bucker and nose thumber. But alas, kicking and screaming I have been pulled into a realm of technology that I have never gone before by none other than JAMES. It's true! My husband who is even more technologically challenged than myself has convinced me that we need new phones - ones that do everything you can think of - for our own good, for MY good, for our kids' good and simply so that he is no longer hindered by not knowing anything about things like this. An arguement hard fought, and consequently won. Well played, James. Well played. With help - and I do mean a LOT of help - from dear friends we have made our choices and our diabolical devices are on their way. Seriously folks, this kind of stuff in my hands sort of makes me feel like I really could take over the world.
   This new gadget means I am now able to take credit cards. Yes, all of my clients who agonize over which images to choose and which ones will just have to be passed over because I only accept cash and checks can now have the option of using their cards. It is a small step for most people, but a giant leap for Brooke Bikneris Photography. I hope that my clients love this option! One thing I know for sure is the convenience is fabulous. And who doesn't like convenience?
    So from now on, when things like THIS pop up on your newsfeed (BBP stuff IS popping up on your newsfeed, right? If not, be sure to go and like a few things so you keep on getting this awesomeness on your page!) you can go ahead and book something! No worries!

   OR, when you are thinking of something PRICELESS to get your wife or mom (like, the best gift ever) and something like this comes across your newsfeed - you can get it! Gifts like these are always perfect. Always! What mom wouldn't love pictures of her kids? Grandma's too, for that matter - they always are dropping hints about having pictures of the grandkids. Always a perfect fit, and never goes out of style.

   I am just thankful that I am blessed to be doing what I love doing, and having the resources to make it an even better experience for my clients.

   Be on the lookout for some really cool things coming from BBP. There is going to be a celebration, and there is going to be BIG NEWS. I can't share it with you yet, but soon!


      Brooke :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Indiana - part 2 (other shenanigans)

   Recently I posted on my niece graduating, and her mini session. This is the follow up to that, the rest of the story. Lots of nonsense (just the way I like it) happens when we go "home" for a visit. I have such a great time with my family, and always miss them like crazy when I leave. I am blessed to have family that are like friends, and friends that are like family. My "in-laws" are like blood - never had any sisters until I met James, and now I have 3. Love them dearly! My mamma is my best friend, my dad is too precious for words, my aunt Sue is hilarious, for one, and irreplaceable for two. My cousins are wonderful (and doesn't hurt that I no longer get the bad looks when I am horrid at volleyball)... they are all grown up! It is weird to go home and see that everyone is getting older, and yet I stay the same age... must be that Bama water ;) My family loves bad pictures (and by that I mean my aunt and her brood). I have claimed my spot on the fridge, and that awful/terribly funny picture has been there for 8 years. I feel so loved and special. We all delight in the awkward picture. They make us laugh until we cry. That is how my family rolls. And we are just fine with it.

 *Side note - I do NOT do this to my clients. Seriously. lol*

   I am blessed to have a dad that has a passion for music. I was like 1 foot away from him clicking away and he didn't even know I was there because he was so into what he was playing. It is good for someone like me to see someone have such gusto for what they are doing. I absolutely adore watching people do what they are passionate about. Watching them just come to life when they talk about it. I have never really taken the time to document my poppy doing what he loves. We never know if we have tomorrow. I am so happy that I took the time. I will cherish these images forever.

My nieces and cousin and Biggest :) This was VERY impromptu - enforced by my mamma lol.

My mamma and Biggest planking in the middle of the road? Yeah, they are. Gramma wasn't doing it right at first, and didn't quite nail it in the second one either lol. Love her! Biggest is hard core.

   We went to an organic farm that is owned by two very cool people. It was awful weather and so we didn't get the chance to really explore it. Definitely will have to go back again! All of their livestock are heritage breeds as well.

   Baby body surfing! New turkey poults.

Irish Dexter cattle - absolutely COOL - they are little!

Minus the weird weather (go figure, Indiana weather is always changing) we had a great time. Made some great memories and got to spend time with people who matter the most. Now we are able to officially start the summer break. And that means lots of good food (our garden is kicking out lots of veggies) and drive in movies! Hooray for summer!

   Brooke :)

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