Category archives: for photographers

3 things i know about success

how to be a successful photographer photo

when it comes to my career, i don’t consider myself someone who’s “arrived.” i want to continue to learn and grow and finesse my craft, especially as technology changes. i’ve been shooting professionally for years now, and i’m just now coming into my own as a photographer. that being said, i’m always a little pleasantly surprised when others reach out to me for advice, opportunity or to establish community. it’s been happening more often, though, which has served as a reminder that i do have something unique and valuable to say– that my story, and yours, is important.

here are three things i’ve learned about success along the journey:

1. whatever stage you’re at in life, there’s likely someone who inspires you and someone who is inspired by you.

after a while, your skills begin to feel second-nature (this is a good thing!) which sometimes can lead you to focus more on what you have left to learn and forget what you have accomplished. while it’s great (and necessary) to continue to learn and grow, don’t discount your ability to give back and share the knowledge you learned along the way.

2. success looks different for everyone.

for some, it might take the form of rising to the top of their chosen industry. for others, success might look more like creating the ability to stay home and be present for their children. the important thing is that you define what it looks like for you. that person whose life and accolades you wish you had may be dreaming about your life. don’t measure your life by someone else’s standards.

3. you can’t make it alone.

success usually doesn’t come in the form of champagne toasts and large parties (though it can, and definitely sometimes should!). more often than not, success comes in quietly: a private acknowledgement of yesterday’s hard work bringing your dreams to fruition today. the hundreds of emails sent, networking events attended, and “normal” everyday work of building the life of your dreams will add up in ways you cannot imagine. the important thing is that you keep going. you need a circle of friends, of fellow professionals, of artists, businesspeople, creatives, dreamers to help you see the light inside of you when you’ve lost your way. i’m so honored to have the privilege of getting to know some incredible wedding vendors, and am excited to be featuring them and their businesses on the blog in coming weeks!

so, if you’re having a tough week and are in need of some encouragement, i’m here to tell you that you’re not alone. i’m here to tell you to keep going.

i wrote this letter to you, dear reader, because no one sees your sleepless nights, the times you sit alone on the couch with your arms wrapped around your legs, crying and wondering if you’ll ever be good enough, if you’re doing the right thing, if you’re meant to be pursuing what you feel called to. no one ever sees those moments and no one ever tells those stories. so when you look at someone’s instagram feed and the voices of doubt lead you to wonder if you’re good enough and if you ever will be, know that you already are. know that you need no one else’s permission but your own. and once you give yourself permission to be your highest self, miraculous things will start to happen.

despite the hard days, i know how it feels to be running in circles smiling and laughing with abundant joy after finding clients who value you and your services and hire you to create something beautiful for them. the entrepreneurial life — the life of a small business owner– is not easy by any means, but it is so, so worth it. i don’t know how else to describe that.

with all my love,

paulina

it’s not about the gear

 washington dc lifestyle portrait photo

this photograph

is one of my favorite photographs i’ve ever taken.

it was shot on a Canon 40D, with a 50mm 1.8 lens. this impromptu shoot almost didn’t happen because i was concerned that i didn’t have a certain fancy lens i wanted at the time. i pushed myself past my fear of not being enough, of not having enough, and did what my heart was calling me to do: just shoot anyways.

so i did, and i produced this image and many more, on one of my favorite and best shoots to date.

you don’t need the gear.

you need you.

and i think that’s a lesson we all need from time to time.

love,

paulina

faq & how to: what camera bag do you use?

I recently bought a new camera bag and I’m swooning over it. Like, head over heels in love. Why? Well, let me show you…

wedding and portrait photography camera bag photo

wedding and portrait photography camera bag photo

Can I tell you a secret? I had never owned a “real” camera bag before. Not even one of the black canvas manufacturer-default ones that normally come with your camera (hello, eBay!). It was time for me to make a serious upgrade and after having tested it out (at a wedding I recently photographed— coming to the blog soon!) I can happily admit that I made the right choice for me– it’s stylish, functional, roomy enough and is a great price! It doesn’t hurt that the color is gorgeous, too ;). I will forever treasure this bag because she serves as a reminder of how far I’ve come in my photography journey. It’s always meaningful when you can invest in yourself, especially with things that help you do your job! =)

Starting with the exterior, here’s a close-up of the magnetic snap closure of the bag. I like these because they don’t look like they close magnetically, but they make it 1933830383384040x more convenient when you’re shooting and need to get in and out of your bag quickly.

wedding and portrait photography camera bag photo

wedding and portrait photography camera bag photo

The bag has a carrying handle at the top, as well as an adjustable shoulder strap. The strap is made of a seat-belt like material, so it’s durable and comfortable.

wedding and portrait photography camera bag photo

Here’s a few examples of what the bag looks like on me:

These two are more of a casual look,

griffith observatory portrait photo

while this is what it looked like on me while I was working. Thanks so much to my second shooter Nicole for capturing this *awesome* shot of me. For some reason I had the bag turned to the front, but for most of the day I wore it to the side.
NGP_2234_wedding and portrait photography camera bag photo

Thanks to the great shoulder strap (and probably thanks to the weight of the items I had in the bag), I could wear the bag on one shoulder (and as a cross-body bag) without worrying about whether it would fall off of my shoulder. I had it pretty full on the wedding day (the images below don’t show what my bag looked like on a wedding day–it would have less empty space and more of the things I needed), but surprisingly it didn’t feel that heavy to me.

wedding and portrait photography camera bag photo

To finish off the exterior, there’s a pocket in the back that also snaps shut. (Fun!!)

wedding and portrait photography camera bag photo

wedding and portrait photography camera bag photo

The bag has an interior 3-section divider,  which is also removable. You can take it out completely or move of the two inner divider sections around, which reallocates space while still protecting the contents of your bag. While I used the bag I had space in front, behind, and to the sides of the divider for additional items.

wedding and portrait photography camera bag photo

When I had the 70-200 in the bag, it was difficult to snap that side of the bag shut, which was not an issue for me because I read the reviews of the bag before I bought it, so I knew that was a possibility. Also, the 70-200 is kind of a beast of a lens and is not something I carry around with me 100% of the time on a wedding day. (Also, the other side of the bag did close with the 70-200 in the bag. Just fyi.)

wedding and portrait photography camera bag photo

And lastly, here’s a close up of the two front pockets! I found these were a great place to store things like business cards and wedding day snacks.

wedding and portrait photography camera bag photo

wedding and portrait photography camera bag photo

I hope this post was useful to you!! Before you invest in any camera bag, be sure that it holds what you need it to hold so that it works for you! I am so excited to bring this bag along to all my future wedding and portrait sessions. You can purchase the bag here. If you have any questions or comments about this post, leave them below! I’d love to hear from you!

This post is part of a new series called “faq & how to!” You can find the first FAQ post here. If you’d like to see more of these posts, make sure you follow the blog or like the photography by paulina facebook page! And even more importantly, if you know someone who could benefit from learning about this camera bag, be sure to share this post with them! I’m sure they’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness (as will I). =)

new website!!! | photographybypaulina.com

I have a big announcement to make:

I have a new website!!

I’m so excited to share it with you! To view my new site, go to: www.photographybypaulina.com

My first website was really great and I don’t have any complaints about it. It served me well for the time I used it, but I gradually wanted something I could customize just a bit more to showcase more of who am. I want to run a business founded on great relationships with my clients, and as my website is my storefront, I want clients to be able to get to know me upon viewing it. I ultimately wanted something I could grow with, and I believe my new website will allow me to do just that! I decided to go with Showit to host my website, and customized a Sitehouse stylegroup for the design. (If you’re looking for a logo /website designer or a branding consultant, let me know! I know of a lot of great designers who could meet your needs =). )

To avoid having to pay for two websites at once (lol) I had to wait until the end of June-beginning of July to switch over, meaning I had just a few days to get my new website up and running! I can’t count how many hours of sleep I’ve gotten (or missed, *ahem*. lol) over the past few days pre-launch, but it was so worth it. I’m still adding finishing touches and want to add even more to it (ex. a video from me!) but that’s the beauty of beginnings =). It was certainly a labor of love and I’m pretty sure I shed happy tears after I pressed “publish.” Haha. I hope that it gives you a pretty good idea of who I am and why I do the work I do.

In honor of my new website launch, I’m also doing my first giveaway!!!

I’m giving away a Starbucks gift card because let’s face it: it’s hot and who doesn’t want a special Starbucks drink to keep them cool? ;)

To enter, all you have to do is comment below and tell me which page on my new website is your favorite, and why. (ex. I love the “About” page because…)

The giveaway ends this Sunday, so make sure you enter before then to be eligible to win. I want to do another giveaway in a few weeks, so if you want to be first to hear about it make sure you’re signed up for the email list!

Thanks for all your support and for celebrating with me!

love,

Paulina

=)

click here after you’ve commented to enter the giveaway!!

new website!!! | photographybypaulina.com

I have a big announcement to make:

I have a new website!!

I’m so excited to share it with you! To view my new site, go to: www.photographybypaulina.com

My first website was really great and I don’t have any complaints about it. It served me well for the time I used it, but I gradually wanted something I could customize just a bit more to showcase more of who am. I want to run a business founded on great relationships with my clients, and as my website is my storefront, I want clients to be able to get to know me upon viewing it. I ultimately wanted something I could grow with, and I believe my new website will allow me to do just that! I decided to go with Showit to host my website, and customized a Sitehouse stylegroup for the design. (If you’re looking for a logo /website designer or a branding consultant, let me know! I know of a lot of great designers who could meet your needs =). )

To avoid having to pay for two websites at once (lol) I had to wait until the end of June-beginning of July to switch over, meaning I had just a few days to get my new website up and running! I can’t count how many hours of sleep I’ve gotten (or missed, *ahem*. lol) over the past few days pre-launch, but it was so worth it. I’m still adding finishing touches and want to add even more to it (ex. a video from me!) but that’s the beauty of beginnings =). It was certainly a labor of love and I’m pretty sure I shed happy tears after I pressed “publish.” Haha. I hope that it gives you a pretty good idea of who I am and why I do the work I do.

In honor of my new website launch, I’m also doing my first giveaway!!!

I’m giving away a Starbucks gift card because let’s face it: it’s hot and who doesn’t want a special Starbucks drink to keep them cool? ;)

To enter, all you have to do is comment below and tell me which page on my new website is your favorite, and why. (ex. I love the “About” page because…)

The giveaway ends this Sunday, so make sure you enter before then to be eligible to win. I want to do another giveaway in a few weeks, so if you want to be first to hear about it make sure you’re signed up for the email list!

Thanks for all your support and for celebrating with me!

love,

Paulina

=)

click here after you’ve commented to enter the giveaway!!