At some point in college, I made the conscious decision to stop hating photos taken of me. This was less a revelation of self-worth, and more a strategic move of self-preservation. If I continued to stress out over all the photos that I thought were unflattering, unattractive, or undesirable, I'd lose my mind--because it was pretty much all of them! AM I ALONE HERE? Bet not. Anyways, I decided to just deal with it and accept photos of me for what they were...and something crazy happened.
I started believing in myself.
Believing that my smile was probably just fine a lot of the time, even if it wasn't some of the time. Believing that just because my friend's camera found THE most unflattering angle of me EVER didn't mean that I was a fat lump of lard. Believing that I was worth cutting a break. All this believing in myself began turning into something even better--believing in other people. Which, by the way, is a relieving way to live.
Around the same time, as an experiment, I took my younger sister's senior photos. They turned out really well. Like shockingly well. Not shocking because she isn't beautiful--she's absolutely stunning--but shocking because I had close to no previous experience in taking portraits. My sister wasn't surprised, though--I remember her telling me, "It's because you know me, and I'm not nervous around you. I trust you."
It took that relationship to make the photos work. And realistically, we can't all have sisterly relationships--that'd be weird. But we can chat and make sure we have chemistry, yeah? AND THEN WE CAN BECOME BEST FRIENDS FOREVER. Unless you're not into that, in which case, I was just kidding.
Anyhow, here we are, eleven years later. I have spent the last decade honing my craft, experimenting, failing, succeeding, growing. Even though I have learned much regarding lighting, posing, and best of all, voice--what I keep coming back to are the truths that spelled out success in my very first shoot. All the techniques and tricks in the world won't compare to genuine chemistry--when you and I believe in each other, trust each other, and work out of a real relationship. But when we do--and we will--we are unstoppable, and we will end up telling the stories of the truest version of ourselves. No one can "do" YOU better than you.
The story behind Cast Iron
I took my love for photography to the bank (and the tax office) officially in 2011, and rebranded my business as Cast Iron Photography in 2016.
Growing up, most of my family's meals were made in a cast iron skillet. In the course of doing chores and becoming productive tiny humans, my siblings and I all learned how to take care of the cast iron correctly. We figured out that if we treated it like other pots and pans, the skillet would be ruined—but if we respected its quirks, it could be used over the course of many lifetimes.
When I slowed down enough to work on branding my business, the symbolism of cast iron struck me--what if we realized that we need to treat ourselves with both respect for and admiration of our individual quirks? Would that cut down on the pain we cause ourselves out of comparison, jealously, and self-hate? In a medium as long-lasting as photography, which literally exists to preserve pieces of history, the stakes are high! Are we going to tell the truth about who we are, or are we going to feed our displeasure and unrest, the real-life monsters our culture quietly accepts as house pets?
In a culture that over-sells an unhealthy and overzealous brand of perfection, Cast Iron Photography exists to fight for healthy perspectives. Taking the time to become comfortable and genuine and even quirky on the front end is endlessly more effective than hours of editing and "fixing" on the back end. If I do my job poorly--push for perfection, edit out every flaw, over-pose and under-relate--I’m just feeding the monster, and we’re both ruined. Every family tree is imperfect and blemished, but the powerful ones are the ones that celebrate anyway.
Portrait session fees are $125. The session is 1 hour and can have up to 8 people. It is an additional $25 per additional person after 8 people. Extra time will be allotted for groups larger than 8.
The session fee covers our time together as well as an online gallery for nine months of proofing and ordering HERE. It is not applied to future purchases of products or digital images.
There are no travel fees within a 25 mile radius of 75495. Please inquire for extended travel.
Basic print prices :
4x6 = $20
5x7 = $25
8x8 / 8x10 = $50
10x10 = $100
11x14 = $100
16x20 = $200
20x20 = $300
We offer several other sizes as well. Just drop me a line if you don't see a size you are wanting.
Once images are online, we offer (encourage! throw at you!) a 30% discount on all print orders placed within the first 10 days. The discount is for print orders only. However, depending on the size of your initial order, you are issued another coupon for up to 35% off product (including files!) orders. Please email me for further details--it's easy, and it's a steal.
Files of the sessions are available for purchase for $400.
To reserve your session, the $125 sitting fee is due along with applicable taxes or travel fees.
Please drop me a line to set up your session.