White Sands National Monument - I am a Finalist in the Viewbug Photo Contest!!!

You guys!!!! I am so dang excited.

One of my goals this year was to win a photo contest or be featured in a magazine! Well, this month I made it to be a finalist in the Creative Landscapes Photo Contest vol3 !!! This contest is hosted on View Bug and is just such an amazing place and an amazing honor.

I submitted one of my images taken while I was in White Sands National Monument at sunset. Here is the photograph that actually made it to be a finalist:

White Sands National Monument -

I am a Finalist in the Viewbug Photo Contest!!!

White Sands New Mexico Fine Art Print - Travellers by Bessie Young Photography.jpg


I can’t even begin to say how incredibly excited I am about this. There were hundreds of thousands of photos submitted and to be a finalist in the contest and see my image among these amazing great photos is incredibly humbling.

If you want, here is a link to purchase the photograph:

If you want to see the grand prize winner and all the finalists check out the contest winners.

Have you entered into any photo contests? If so, which ones? Comment below and let me know :) I would love to check them out.

Wishing you the very best,

Bessie

Make sure to check out some of my Landscape Photography Adventures, Tips, Tricks, and How To’s here:

Must Read Girl Boss Books For This Spring

Must Read Girl Boss Books For This Spring by Bessie Young Photography

t seriously is so important to read. When I was little I would ready like a book a week. Now it is hard to read a book a year. I honestly have a really hard time finding the time in a day to read. For some reason life just gets way too busy, but this year, I have decided that I am going to make it happen. With a little help from Audio books I have been accomplishing this goal. Yay!

So, today I wanted to share with you some of my recent faves.

Must Read Girl Boss Books For This Spring

Ok, lets just get right into it:

1. Mastering Your Mean Girl by Melissa Ambrosini

I have struggled with said ‘mean girl’ ever since I can remember. This book hit home so hard it wasn’t even funny. Melissa talks about how to master your inner mean girl and it is so dang helpful! If you struggle with that nasty mean little voice inside your head, you need to read this book like now.

2. 100 days to brave by Anne Downs

So I just started this one. It was actually recommended to me by a friend in my workout group!! Yep, isn’t that just awesome :) So the verdict is still out, but I am loving it. It also has super high recommendations from everyone around me so I know it wont disappoint :)

3. Girl Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis

Ok this one is #1 of pretty much all books, so I think enough said there…

Now you also first have to read:

4. Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

Now this one is on the top 10 charts of all books, so I think enough said there…

5. You are a Badass

Gosh I love this lady. I can’t express enough how much I love this lady. Her book is awesome! I seriously love her honesty in everything that she writes. Now, if you aren’t a fan of cursing, then this book is not for you.

6. Live Fearless by Sadie Robertson

I was hesitant with this book. I have my reasons, but I will just leave it at that. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it or not. It turns out I liked it. I probably would choose this one last out of all the books on this list, but it is a definite must read.

7. #GirlBoss

I just love the story behind this book. It really does show the struggle of a creative entrepreneur. I love that I can relate so much to it.

8. Dreaming with God by Sarah Beth Marr

I may have saved the best for last. This book spoke to me so much I even wrote a letter to the author. Umm… Ya, I never ever ever ever in my wildest dreams thought I would do something like that. Also, I ended up buying it for my mom. Seriously, you have to read this like right freaking now.

Have you had a chance to read any of these? If so, leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts. Which ones were your faves? What did you like, or didn’t you like about them?

Also, do you have any suggestions on awesome girl boss books? Please leave your recommendation below. I would love to have a list going so I can read more awesome books!

Happy Reading Friends!

Bessie


Do Photographers Need a Blog | 6 Reasons Photographers Need to Blog

You need to blog at least once a week

Ok so we have all heard it. Blogging is important.

Is it really though? Do you really need to blog as a photographer? Why? What is so awesome about it? Is this just one of those things that everyone says because… well… everyone else is saying it?

Today, I really want to talk about this subject. It has been something on my mind ever since I started by photography business. I started off my business with a blogging bang! I blogged once a week. It got me no where (or so I thought). So I stopped blogging. Then I started. Then I stopped. Then I just decided to do it whenever I wanted to do it.

Do Photographers really need a blog in 2019 by Bessie Young Photography.jpg

This year, I have decided that I am going to blog at least once a week consistently all freaking year long. Yep, that is what I am doing. Now, why I am sure you are asking. Why would I do that with my blogging history? Well, that is why we are here to chat.

I have learned a freaking lot since starting my business 4 years ago. The struggle has been real and I really really really want to save you all that time. I want to just help you, and get you the answers you need, so you can start off with a huge BANG!

Alright, so here it is…

Do Photographers Really Need a Blog?

The answer is short and sweet. So if you don’t want to read all my reasons my short answer is:

YES!

Now that the cat is out of the bag, lets chat about why it is important, why it isn’t a waste of time, and why you need to be consistent with your blogging.

Why do Photographers need a blog?

Ok, hear me out here. Please just read and really soak this in. DO NOT JUST READ THE HEADLINES (I am guilty of this, like all the time when reading a blog. I only read the highlights. You really need to see the reason behind why this is important).

1 First and foremost, it will help with SEO

This is one of the BIGGEST things eva! What you need to ask yourself is “how are my clients going to find me?” If the answer is the internet then there you go.

So, basically SEO is this big scary thing that you never knew was going to be part of owning a photography business. I mean you’re a photographer, not a SEO expert, but unfortunately you are going to need to become at least versed in SEO.

For blogging purposes and to be relevant in a google search google wants to see that your website is providing new ideas/things on a regular basis. So the rule of thumb is 1 blog post a week. This way google knows that you are still ‘alive’ if you will.

The Ultimate Guide to Blog Post Ideas for Photographers and Creative Entrepreneurs by Bessie Young Photography.jpg

2. It will deem you as an expert in your field

There is this article I was reading on the Huffington Post about the 1% rule. Only 1% of people are actually adding content to the internet on a regular basis. This means that if you just post a blog post on a regular basis you will be in that top 1%. How crazy is that? And yet, here we are being scared that the market is over saturated, that blogging is dead… pssschhhhttttt. Ya right!

Along with that, you will establish yourself as an expert in your field by posting what you know. It will show people that you actually practice what you preach. That you actually do what you say you do. Let’s face it, Instagram can be tricky. There are so many people… well.. how do I say this….. there are so many people freaking faking it. Photos aren’t always real. When you start blogging about what you know, BOOM you have become an expert in your field. This will validate the photos that you share.

3. It will bring you clients

Now this is the biggie! We started this business to stay in business right? So, we obviously need clients. If you blog, you become more relevant. You start showing up in google searches, on Pinterest, and pretty much all over the place. Then when your ideal client searches for a photographer, they find you rather than the people not putting out the time and effort to blog. Then your client checks your website. They see that you are active and posting all the time compared to other photographers in your area. They see your gallery, your work, they freaking love it, they contact you, and the rest is history.

4. It will help with marketing

So there are two things here, Google and Pinterest.

Blogging can be a form of marketing depending on how you use it. Blogging will also allow you to have ample content for Pinterest. Friends, if you aren’t on Pinterest what are you even doing? Do not walk, RUN! Go sign up right freaking now and get your bootay moving!

P.s. if you want to follow me on pinterest you can find me here.

5. It allows your clients to get to know you

For me, this is one of the most important. I want people to see who I am and decide if they like what I am all about. I do not want people contacting me just to find out that we aren’t compatible. Basically, this helps weed people out. Now, something that I have had to really freaking get to understand is that you can’t please everyone and that is ok. Seriously THAT IS OK. You want to attract your people, your tribe, your ideal clients. You also want to push away the people that you will not get along with. Maybe this sounds harsh, but you don’t want to work with someone who doesn’t value you, and they shouldn’t want to work with you either. They should want to work with someone who they can relate to. It will make the entire experience so much better!

6. It allows your clients to see your artistic style

This last one really relates to the one above. Your blogs will show who you are, your style, and pretty much everything about you as long as you are authentic. You want your clients to view your blogs prior to making any decisions. The last thing you want is to book a client only to find out later that they didn’t like your editing style, your teaching style, or just your style in general. This again will weed out the people that aren’t for you and will attract the people that are for you! It’s a good thing and it will make your life so much easier and funner :)

WOW THAT WAS ALOT OF INFORMATION!!!

Now with all that being said, how do you know if you are doing it right? How do you know how often to blog?

Answer: The rule of thumb is to blog once a week. You need to be consistent with your blogging. This is what will keep you relevant and help with your SEO. Now, that isn’t the only amount to blog. Do not be afraid to blog more often if you can. The key is to just blog, and blog consistently.

Ok, ok I can already hear people… “but I don’t have enough content to blog”. Dude, I freaking get it! I really do. I was in the same boat, and totally felt the same way, hence my super ugly blogging history. Now, the key is to stay consistent. If you don’t have enough to blog about, then just make sure you blog consistently. Blog once a month if that is all you can do, but be consistent about it. Now, I am going to be real and brutally honest, because that is just who I am and what I do.

You are making excuses. You are standing in your own way. You are letting fear run your business, and your life. STOP IT!

You have enough to blog about, you are just having a block. Maybe you are scared that people won’t read your blog. Maybe you are letting fear run your decisions. Maybe you are shy or self conscious. Maybe… maybe… maybe…

Whatever the reason is, I am here to be your honest friend. You are making an excuse. You do have enough content, you just need to take the time to write it down. Get yourself a little book to carry with you always. When you come up with an idea, jot it down in your book. Then when the time comes to blog, you have a plethora of ideas to choose from. Also, once you start blogging, once you start getting into the groove of things, it actually does become easier. Seriously though, it really does. I’m not just saying that.

Make sure to check out my blog on Tips + Tricks to Make Blogging Easier and Faster.

Have you started your blog yet? If not, check out my post:

How to start a blog and make money in 2019

Things You Need To Know Before Starting A Blog

If you need some blogging inspiration make sure to head on over to my “For Entrepreneurs” page. I provide a ton of information on how to blog, what to blog, how to make money blogging, and so forth :)

So Stop Waiting! Start Your Blog Today. Tag me in your social or comment below so I can see your new blog!

Seriously though, blogging is pretty darn awesome and has so much dang potential. It really depends on how much effort you put into it!

I hope you all enjoyed this blog! If you did, leave me a comment below, or even better, share it with your friends!

Wishing you the absolute best!

Bessie

Photography Apps I Use

There are so many dang Apps out there how do you even begin to choose what Apps to use?

I have tried alot of apps. Like a lot a lot and to be honest most of them kinda sucked. It took alot of installing, time wasted, and uninstalling to find good apps.

Now, there are many different apps I use for photography. Some for landscape scouting, some for backpacking, some for editing on my phone, and some for social media. Yes… like I said… I use alot of apps. So lets get into it.

Are you learning Photography? Check out the freebie page to get you started! I have created a bunch of awesome freebies to help you out :)

Photography Apps I Use

Essential photo apps for by Bessie Young Photography.jpg

Photography Apps For Landscape Photography:

I created a post on this one. I use two main apps for my landscape photography. Head on over that way to check that out. In short I use Back Country Navigator and Photo Pills. You can read the entire post all about why I chose these two apps here:

2 Essential Apps for Landscape Photography

Photography Apps For Social Media:

  • Unfold

    This little app is pretty awesome for instagram stories. It allows you to create absolutely beautiful picture stories for different occasions. I use it for when I create a new blog post, a new Youtube video, or add new products to my BYP Shop.

  • Snapseed:

This is one of the best photo editing apps I have found out there. If I take a photo with my phone, I can edit in in snapseed and not worry about how it is going to look on my instagram feed. It is beautiful! So now you can take some pretty awesome images on your phone and share away. Yay!!

Other:

  • Keep Notes

    I keep all my notes on this. It is seriously the best and helps me stay organized. I use it for my business and for personal use. You can create different notes with different lists.

  • Playmemories

    This is the app I use to hook up to my phone. The app makes it to where my phone becomes a remote. It also allows me to share the photos from my camera straight to my phone!

  • GPS Test

    This little handy dandy app does quite a bit. The thing I use it for the most is to help my GPS lock onto the satellites when it is having a difficult time. It also shows the compass, how quickly you are moving, the date and time, sunset date and time, and where all the satellites are in the sky,

  • My Tracks

    This tracks me everywhere. It is actually what I use for backpacking, hiking, walking, or running. It shows my speed, my distance, elevation gain and more! It allows me to add way points such as different cool landscape features, lakes, and so forth. I love this one specifically for the distance, speed, and elevation gain.

  • Blog

    This is a Squarespace app. It is freaking awesome! When I come up with a blog idea I can just open this app and start a new blog post. To me this is just amazing. This way I don’t have to carry a notebook and I won’t have to let an idea slip away. Once I get back to my computer I can just open up my website, and BOOM! there it is! The new post that I started :)

Do you use any of these apps? If not, what apps do you use? Leave a comment below. This is a community for photographers to help other photographers. Lets create a list of awesome apps so we don’t have to keep wasting our time with the install / uninstall game. Leave a comment below with the app you use and why.

Wishing you the absolute best!

Bessie



 

Yosemite National Park Firefall 2019 - Horsetail Fall - Landscape Photography

All Images For Sale in the BYP Shop-

Click the image to purchase or click the buy me button below.

Oh man was I hesitant to go to Yosemite for a second time to capture the firefalls. I kept thinking

you aren’t going to see it…

whats the point…

why do you continue to do this to your self? (put yourself through stress etc)…

Is it worth it?…

You aren’t a real photographer anyways (imposter syndrome at its finest)…

Let’s just say this battle went on for quite a bit but holy moly am I excited that my better side one :)

The Adventure

So my first attempt to see the firefalls was a bust. If you want to see more of that adventure head on over to Yosemite National Park Firefalls 2019 First attempt 1. Now in this attempt I learned alot of things. Things that made my second attempt go much smoother. One thing was the fact that Hwy 140 is a much easier drive when there is snow because they actually freaking plow that road. Hwy 41 was an absolute mess and took me over double the amount of time to get to the valley than it should have taken.

Yosemite National Park Photography by Bessie Young Woman Outdoor Photographer - Horstail Falls Yosemite Firefall

This attempt was so so so much smoother. I checked the Yosemite webcams and was able to see that the weather was looking amazing. I gathered all my gear and off I went.

The drive was beautiful! I always plan for breaks and hiccups along the way, so I left with ample time to get to my spot. As I was driving along hwy 140 there were signs for road construction…. ugh….

Slowly I turn each corner until I finally see the man with a big ole red stop sign. There I sat for almost an hour. Yep, didn’t plan for a one hour delay. Naturally, I am getting a tiny bit worried, but I did schedule for quite a bit of a buffer to be able to find my perfect spot, set up my gear, and not feel rushed.

Finally, the man let me though and I was off!

Yosemite National Park Firefall 2019

On the Yosemite National Park website there is a spot specifically discussing the Firefall. It had explained that there was absolutely no parking along the south side or north side drive of the Yosemite valley loop. The place you could park was in the Yosemite village parking lot. The park had closed down one lane for pedestrian traffic with the expectation that there were going to be hundreds upon hundreds of people trying to see this natural phenomena. The walk to the perfect spot, or at least the spot I planned to shoot from, is about 2 miles the parking spot.

So, I parked, gathered my gear, and began my trek. It was icy, super slippery, and incredibly cold. I believe it was supposed to get below twenty degrees that night. As I was walking I was keeping a close eye on El Capitan. Sunset was scheduled to begin about 5:20 or so, and I was right on time no thanks to the awesome construction I had to wait through.

All of the sudden, it started to look like it was going to happen. I was still about 1 mile away from my spot. Now, even with running, this would have taken me 8 minutes to get there. I didn’t have 8 minutes, but I started running anyway. Frantically looking from side to side to see if there was a good spot to set up. I was worried, I started to freak out, “i am right here and not going to be able to get a good picture of it” …. Let me tell you, alot of negative self talk was happening at this moment.

Finally I found a crowd of people and the absolute perfect spot. I waded through the crowd and found an opening with an amazing angle looking right up at the falls!!!! Thank you LORD!

I set up my gear and not moments later did I begin shooting…

All Images For Sale in the BYP Shop-

Click the image to purchase

The face of El Capitan started to go from an normal granite blue color to a golden yellow. It then changed from a golden yellow to an orange and then it all of the sudden went dark. Like completely dark! Everyone sighed and some people even started to leave thinking that the show was over.

Slowly from the bottom the color started to come back, slowly the golden yellow started to glow, then the orange, and then the entire fall looked like it was on fire! This lasted for so long I was amazed. The colors then faded into a pink, to a purple, and then back to a blue as the sun started to set and the night began to fall upon us.

IT. WAS. AMAZING!

Long Lens Vs. Wide Angle:

The very very first time I was able to capture the firefalls I had done all the research. Everything said that you need to shoot with a long lens, or a telephoto lens. So naturally I used my 100 - 400mm lens. Now at the time I didn’t know any better and at the time I wasn’t lucky enough to have multiple camera set ups.

When I was taking the shot, it wasn’t exactly the shot I wanted. I ultimately wanted a wider shot. A bigger landscape shot, cause… duh…. that is what I love!

So this time I wanted to share with you some examples of a long lens vs. a wide angle lens. This way you can decide what image you actually want to get and be prepared to capture the image that you are dreaming of.

Set up 1:

Sony A7riii

Sony 24-70mm G master F2.8

Set up 2:

Sony A7rii

Sony 100-400 G master F2.8

I set up my cameras right next to each other. This way you can get the best comparison available. So here it is … Long Lens vs. Wide Angel: 35mm vs. 250mm

How to capture the Firefalls?

Make sure to head on over to my blog on “How to shoot the Yosemite National Park Firefalls” . This blog gives you all the details: What gear to bring, how to see it, where to go, what it is, so on and so forth.

So where was I for this shot?

I parked at the lodge and walked West along the North Side drive for about 1.5 miles. Here is a little aerial of where I was. I wasn’t quite at the El Capitan picnic area.

Patience, Persistence, Love, and Grace

I have to put this in here, because this was a huge part of my adventure and a huge part of my trip. I had tried to capture this image the previous day. I was feeling defeated after not seeing it, and after how stressful that day really was.

Ultimately, I didn’t want to try again. I was feeling super discouraged. I was having all sorts of negative self talk, and it just sucked. I wanted to give up. Wasn’t really being able to pin point why I was doing this in the first place. Once I thought about this long and hard, it helped me to get my lazy booty off the couch and go have an amazing adventure.

Yosemite National Park Firefall 2019 - Horsetail Fall - Landscape Photography by Bessie Young Photography 1.jpg

While I was in the park, running to my location because the firefalls were going to start without me, I began that negative self talk again…

So what is my point here. My point is to not give up and to freaking give yourself grace. It doesn’t always work out as planned. It doesn’t always go smooth. It doesn’t always even work, but you know what…. it is always worth it. You are always worth it. Doing what you love and what sets your soul on fire is always worth it; however, when you are struggling, just try to be nicer to yourself along the way. You can’t control everything. Remember that. For this trip… I coudn’t control that I was stuck in construction, yet I wanted to give all the reasons as to why it was my fault that I was running behind. IT ISN’T ALWAYS YOUR FAULT. YOU CAN’T CONTROL EVERYTHING.

If you can remember this while things are going a little sideways it is going to make your life, your outlook, and pretty much just everything that much better.

The other little part of this is patience and persistence. You are never going to get the shot that you want the first time. You will walk away from multiple adventures without the shot. This is landscape photography. You have to realize that you are working with Mother Nature and let me tell you, she doesn’t care what you want, she doesn’t care about your plans, and she won’t listen to your ideas. You have to be patient. You have to be persistent. You have to KEEP TRYING.

Ok…. enough said….

Have you ever seen the Firefall? Did you even know about it before you saw this post? Comment below and let me know.

Do you have any questions on how to shoot the falls? Ask your question in the comments below and I will get back to you.

Wishing you the very best!

Bessie

 

P.s. Love this post? Check out these similar ones:

Stay Inspired with Photography - Things to try in 2019

Being a creative can sometimes be difficult. We are incredibly hard on ourselves, we get frustrated when we cannot create, we doubt ourselves quite often, and we get in these weird creative slumps from time to time.

I have done all this more than I would like to admit, and that is just counting last year :? I wanted to create this post to help you to stay inspired. To give you some ideas of different things to try this year to stay going forward in your photography journey, to keep you inspired, to keep you creating and doing what you love.

These are just a few ideas that I had off the top of my head. If you have other ideas please share them in the comments below. I want this to be an amazing community where we help each other grown, learn, and stay inspired. Becoming the best creatives, the best photographers, and the best humans that we can absolutely be.

Check out these fun photography mugs that I design for Photographers, Creative Entrepreneurs, and coffee lovers:

Stay Inspired with Photography - Things to try in 2019

  1. Refresh your skills with a class

 I seriously cannot stress this enough. Taking a class is probably the last thing on your mind, but it is probably the most valuable thing that you can do. It will not only help you learn new skills, it will also keep your creative juices flowing! This is huuugggeeee!

Plus, you are investing in yourself, your knowledge, and your well being. As creatives we tend to think that the last place we should spend money on is ourselves. Well I Yell Blasphamy! Serious, you are where you should invest your money in. Take care of yourself, treat yourself, expand your knowledge, become better.

Did you know that many careers have a continuing education piece? This is where they have to go back to school a certain amount of hours each year in order to stay on top. We should be treating ourselves and our business just like this.

2. Spice up your lens collection

 Ahhh, there is nothing like getting a new piece of equipment to really help you stay creative. This is a double investment in my opinion. This will help you with getting better photographs, it is an investment into your business, and it will keep you creatively motivated. How freaking awesome is that? Here are some of my favorite lenses.

3. Explore new heights and angles

 I mean this as far as composition is concerned. Think outside of the box.

Do you always take photos standing straight up? Well, then try squatting down! Here are a few other things to try:

  • Try shooting from above (aerial view) - You can stand on a log, a rock, or a mountain! Just try taking images from the top down.

  • Photograph from below - Lay on your back and shoot up into the sky.

  • Photograph from laying on your belly - Get at ground level. Who cares if you get dirty!

Stay Inspired with Photography - Things to try in 2019 by Bessie Young Photography

4. Start a self portrait project

 This can be one of the funnest and scariest ideas out there. I have tried this a few times, and man, each time I get nervous. Lol. I mean how can I get nervous in front of myself?

Starting a self portrait project can also help you think outside of the box, it can help you become more creative with lighting, angles, posing and so forth. But it can also help you with self confidence. Seriously, there is nothing like seeing a pretty picture of yourself to make you feel better.

5. Save time on editing

Editing can seriously be such a drag. We started photography because we liked to take photos! Not because we like to sit behind a desk all day, staring at a computer, editing our life away. There are some amazing tricks to help you save time on editing whether that is editing photos or videos. Make sure to check out my photography tips and tricks to get some awesome editing tricks. You can also check out my Youtube channel that has some easy tips and tricks for editing faster!

6. Try editing on the go

 So I just started this this year and OMGEEEEE!! It is amazing. Talk about always staying creative. I bought a super sweet laptop for photo editing, downloaded my Lightroom, and BOOM! Now I can edit on the go. This is going to be amazing for when I head out of town on a road trip.

This is also going to help you stay on time with your galleries, not feel too overloaded, and will help you stay creative.

7. Experiment with double exposure

 I looovvveee double exposures. Have you tried them yet? Comment below if you have.

There are certain cameras that will let you take a double exposure in camera! Now if that isn’t just the coolest then I do not know what is. The Sony A7rii is one of those cameras.

If you don’t have one of those cameras you can also do a double exposure in post. Check out these images below that I created in post:

 8. Sell your presets

Yep, this is a big one. There is nothing like being inspired with photography then by helping others. It is so awesome to see others use my presets for their photos. They tag me in the photos and OMG I am obsessed.

Plus, it is pretty awesome to get paid to do what you love!

If neither of these inspire you then I just don’t know what will.

Did you know that I sell some presets? Well, if not make sure to check them out.

9. Sell your landscape prints

 There are so many pros to selling your landscape prints I don’t even know where to begin. If you have been on the fence about this let me just give you a HARD push. What do you have to lose? Seriously though can you answer me that? What do you have to lose by trying?

Selling your prints is amazing. First of all you get to see your images printed on a huge canvas, metal, or lustre paper. Ok, if that hasn’t sold you yet let me just keep going.

Second, you get to sign your photograph!

Third, you get to decorate someone elses home with your creation! Imagine, someone is putting your print on their walls and admiring that image ever day! AHHHHH! This just makes me so excited.

10. Print more often and on the go!  

I created an entire blog post around this subject. You need to go check it out for yourself so see why it is so freaking cool to print your photos, and print them more often. Here is the post:

How to print photos from your phone

Printing your photos is just the best. Seeing your creations in person, holding them in your hands….. man there is just not much better than that. It kind of solidifies the entire process. It makes everything whole. Whether you are a professional photographer, a mom, or someone in high school, there is nothing like getting your photos printed out. You need to do this.

Create photo albums, hang the photos on your walls or your fridge, put them in your wallet. Do all the things! Believe me, you will thank me after that.

The Polaroid Zip:

Now, to make printing on the go super freaking easy check out this little guy. You can print anywhere right from your phone!

It is called the polaroid zip. Now there are a ton of different options out there, but this is the one I use. I use if for my brides, I use if for my families, I use it for my engagement sessions, and I use if for my family get togethers. It is my favorite. Again, check out the post that I created, linked above.

 

I hope this gets your creative juices going and thinking about new things that you can try this year to stay inspired with photography. Make sure to comment below if you have other ideas on how to stay inspired. My goal with this blog is to not only share photography tips and tricks, but to create an awesome community that helps each other become the absolute best we can be.

Wishing you nothing but the most beautiful 2019!

Bessie


P.s. did you enjoy this blog? Make sure to check out these similar ones here:


Yosemite Firefall 2019 - Horsetail Fall - Attempt 1 - Landscape Photography

The Adventure

Horsetail Falls Yosemite Firefall is a sight to see. I have only ever seen it one time, but I have tried multiple times. This year I tried again.

The adventure started like every other one. Plan the trip, pack up the gear, and go. It should have been easy peasy right? WRONG! It typically takes me 2 hours to get to Yosemite Valley. I left around 1pm which meant that I would have over 2.5 hours to find my spot, set up, and enjoy the view.

The drive started out nice. You know, a nice clear sunny day, but as I started to get into the mountains the roads started to get a little snowy. Now I had planned for this. I drove my truck, brought my chains just in case, but I wasn’t prepared for the roads to be completely snowed over.

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There were cars everywhere. Most were pulled over putting on chains, some were stopped while their kids went sledding, and others seemed…. well…. stuck.

This slowed me down quite alot. I was only able to drive about 15-20 miles per hour due to the cars in front of me with chains on. As I approached the entrance of the park it was already 3:30. That is 2 hours already. I should have been on the valley floor by this time, but I was still an hour away if things went smooth. The firefall should start at 5:20 - 5:40.

Since I was already so far behind, I almost turned around, but I figured I had made it this far I might as well keep going. Unfortunately the roads were the exact same condition almost the entire way to the valley floor.

As I approached Cathedral Beach Picnic area it was already 4:50pm! It took me almost 4 hours to get to the valley floor. That ate away all my cushion time to adventure around and find the perfect spot. I only had 20 minutes to get to my location and set up. By the way, my spot was about a quarter mile hike to the river in the snow.

As I tried to hurry, I slipped quite a bit on the ice and in the snow, but I made with over 10 minutes to spare! YAAAASSSSSS!

I set up my gear and got ready for the show. The sun was setting and the light was looking just right. There was even a super neat little cloud right over the face of El Capitan.

It was 5:20. As the sun lowered, the falls started to turn yellow. It was happening!

Then, all of the sudden, out of now where, the light went away. Everything went dark except that tiny little cloud over El Capitan. It stopped. The firefall stopped! I sat there and waited…

Nothing.

5:30 came around and Horsetail falls was still dark.

Still Nothing.

5:40 came around and everything began to get blue… blue hour was upon me and it was obvious that it didn’t happen that night.

So, I took advantage of where I was and got a few pictures with the remaining light that was in the sky.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see it, but this was only Attempt 1. I am determined to see it, so stay tuned for Attempt 2…

To Be Continued.

Luckily I was able to see it in 2016 so I wanted to share that series of images with you:

Yosemite Firefall Series - Yosemite National Park Landscape Photographer Bessie Young

How to Photograph Horsetail Falls Yosemite Firefall

Let’s talk about what the Yosemite Firefalls actually is, how to see it, and how to photograph it…

1. What is the Yosemite Firefalls?

This is an amazing natural phenomena that occurs in Yosemite. Basically, it is where the waterfall that runs off of El Capitan, called Horsetail Falls, lights up and looks as though it is on fire as the sun sets. It turns a bright yellow, then orange, then pink color.

Yosemite National Park Photography by Bessie Young Woman Outdoor Photographer - Horstail Falls Yosemite Firefall.jpg

2. How to see the Firefall

In order to to see the Firefall off of Horsetail falls you have to have all the right conditions. It is a little tricky:

  1. The Horsetail fall waterfall that runs off of El Capitan must be flowing.

  2. The western sky must be clear. Basically, you don’t want any clouds to cover the sun as it sets or else you won’t see the falls change colors.

  3. You have to be there at sunset (this year it was around 5:20)

  4. You have to be at the right angle. You need to be on the east side of the waterfall looking up at it.

  5. The angle of the sun has to be just right in order to hit the waterfall and create the gorgeous colors. This only occurs in late February. Basically the 2nd and 3rd week of February are the optimal times to see it.

3. How to Photograph the Natural Phenomena

Alright friends this is where it gets fun! So obviously you have to be there at the right time of year, have the right conditions, and be at the right angle. Now how do you make sure to get the shot you want?

You need to explore Yosemite and decide where you want to take the picture from. Try to envision the photo that you want to take. Do you want a tight cropped photo? Do you want a wide landscape photo? Once you figure out the composition that you want, this will help you choose your spot.

4. Other Gear You Need (Not Photography Related)

SO MUCH GEAR! lol, no not really, but kind of. Ok so you need your photo equipment obviously, but you also need to bring other things.

  1. Water

  2. Snacks

  3. A chair to sit and be comfy in (not necessary but nice)

  4. A head lamp to walk back to your car

  5. WARM CLOTHES - This happens in February in the High Sierra Nevada Mountains. Think COLD. This year it was getting down into the teens people. I bring:

    • Yoga pants under my hiking pants

    • Thick wool socks

    • Hiking boots

    • Beanie

    • Base layer long sleeve shirt

    • Down Jacket

    • Gloves

  6. Hand warmers. This things are amazing if you get cold easy.

  7. Backpack to carry all your things

5. Other things to consider

According to the Yosemite National Park website they are going to be implementing a permitting process. It was supposed to start this year, 2019; however, due to the snow they decided to push out the permit requirement to start next year 2020. I am uncertain as to how that his going to look, but make sure you are prepared so you don’t go to all the planning just to get to the entrance of the park and have to turn around.

Have you ever seen the Firefall? Did you even know about it before you saw this post? Comment below and let me know.

Do you have any questions on how to shoot the falls? Ask your question in the comments below and I will get back to you.

Wishing you the very best!

Bessie

 

P.s. Love this post? Check out these similar ones:

How to Deal with Failure - Car Chats with Bessie

Today I failed. I didn’t just fail a little, a failed alot.

While I was driving yesterday early morning I saw the moon. It was huge, and gorgeous, and beautiful, and I just wanted to get a picture of it. Since I couldn't I decided that I would get up early the next day to get a picture of it.

So, this morning I got up early, grabbed all my stuff, and headed out to the perfect spot to see the moon. I had done all the things let me tell you. I had planned it, I had done all my research, I had looked at Angles and locations, and I was set to get an amazing moon-set picture. The weather wasn't supposed to roll in until 11 in the afternoon which meant clear morning skies and absolutely amazingness.

As I packed all my stuff into the car  I looked up and saw  all sorts of clouds .  Now it wasn't supposed to be cloudy until the afternoon but it was definitely cloudy at 6 this morning . I decided to try for it anyway . I was thinking that possibly the clouds might break just a little bit for me to get a picture of the moon, or if I wasn't able to do that then I was definitely going to be able to get a picture of the sunrise . Honestly, I had no doubt in my mind that I was going to get one picture whether it be the sunrise or the moon set.  There was no reason to even think twice about this . Either way it was a win win. Moon rise or sunrise over the gorgeous blooming orchards. So off I went to my spot .  

I got to my spot and of course lots of clouds .  I wasn't super worried because like I said I was going to get a sunrise photo . I love sunrises they're super gorgeous and pastel colors are just amazing . It was going to be the perfect spot to get that Sunrise so no worries here..   

As the time was passing it was becoming more and more obvious that there was not going to be a sunrise.  I was keeping my hopes up , but in the back of my mind I knew that it was going to happen . The clouds came into the East way too quickly  and right before sunrise .  The morning started to get brighter, the clouds started to light up, and then everything faded… To my disappointment I didn't get a moon-set photo or a sunrise photo . I packed up my things and I headed back to the truck. 

Me being me, I started beating myself up .  I am my own worst critic , and I'm really mean to myself  oh, this is something that I'm working on but I know that other people do the same thing especially other creatives and small business owners .  Now this is where I want to talk to you a little bit about  failure .  

If you are trying something failure is inevitable at some point . You are going to fail at something  and at some moment in your life . If you are creative and a small business owner you're going to fail all the time .  In today's world we are so used to seeing  everybody's highlight reel .  We only see their good things, we never see their failures .

In my opinion,  since we aren't sharing our failures we are doing a huge Injustice to other people . We are creating this false expectation that no one ever fails .

So I wanted to share with you one of my failures . I have made a bajillion YouTube videos  and never posted them because those trips were failures . Something in the trip along the way didn't go right and I didn't get the shot that I wanted. So what happens? Well let me tell you, I don't get to share those videos, I don't get to share those moments, and I didn't get the photo that I wanted.

This happens all the time especially in landscape photography. We cannot control the weather. You can plan all you want but ultimately is up to Mother Nature to be nice and allow you to get that shot.

Did I get a shot today? Yes.

Do I love it? No.

Is it a good shot? Well that depends on who you ask.

Let me know in the comments below what your thoughts are. Here is the image from today;s adventure:

Failure in Landscape Photography - Car Chats with Bessie by Bessie Young Photography - How to deal with failure

Now with all that being said this is why I'm sharing this failure with you .  We are so used to comparing our behind-the-scenes crap to everyone else's highlight reel . We don't see other people's crap  so we begin to think that were ultimate failures . We begin to believe that we cannot succeed, we believe that it's all our fault, we ask ourselves what's wrong with me? We blame ourselves, we begin to think we aren't good enough, we get feeling down, and we struggle quite a bit with the idea that we should just give up .  

This is me telling you that you're not alone, this is me telling you that it's okay to fail . It is okay to fail you just have to try again, you can't give up on yourself, you can't compare yourself to other people's highlight reels, and you will succeed at some point .  Don't stop trying . If you fail just get up and try again, maybe go grab yourself some coffee , take a nice hot shower , get up the next morning and try it again . The only time that you're actually going to fail is if you stop trying .  

Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement
— C.S. Lewis

Failing sucks… it just does. There is no way to say it other than to be blunt…. failing sucks. So, here are 10 ways on how to deal with failure:

10 Ways to Deal with Failure by Bessie Young Photography YOU ARENT FAILING .jpg

How to Deal with Failure in Landscape Photography

  1. Accept how you feel

  2. Don’t make it personal

  3. Stop dwelling on it

  4. Remember that you aren’t a failure just because you had a setback

  5. Acknowledge irrational beliefs about failure

  6. Ask yourself what you can learn

  7. Accept only the appropriate amount of responsibility

  8. Don’t get stuck in mulling the situation over for too long

  9. Remind yourself - anyone who wants to do things of value in life will fail.

  10. Don’t give up!

I hope this blog was helpful and just got you thinking about how you aren’t a failure. I hope that this blog can help even just one person to recognize that they are too hard on themselves, that comparing someone else’s highlight reel to your behind the scenes doesn’t make you a failure, that it is ok to not get the shot everytime, that it is ok to not accomplish what you set out to accomplish on that specific day just get up and try again. This doesn’t make you a failure.

You are amazing. The only time that you ultimately fail is when you give up and quit. Don’t give up. Don’t quit. Share your successes, share your failures, be real, be honest, be kind to yourself, and keep trying.

Wishing you the very best!

Bessie

 

P.s. Love this post? Check out these similar ones:

Things You Need to Know Before Starting a Blog

Ok, so you are ready to start a blog! How awesome is that! I am so dang happy for you, but I do want to give you a few things that you need to know before actually starting the blog. Things that I wish I knew before I started mine :)

There are many things that absolutely no one talks about. Everyone likes to keep things all peachy and like ‘oh its a dream’, ‘i make all this money’, ‘im living my best life’ , ‘its so easy’, ‘i only work when i want to’…. blah blah blah

I am just going to say all those are true to an extent. People like to take things to an extreme. They want everything to look so good. You know, the grass is always greener on the other side, but sometimes things can suck. Sometimes as a Creative or as an Entrepreneur you can get frustrated, you can be jealous , you can be discouraged, you can get let down, but don’t worry. That happens to EVERYONE! Even the ones that want to claim overnight success….

Don’t get me wrong, running your own business is freaking awesome. Having a blog and helping others is awesome too! There are a ton of awesome things as a blogger, I just wish people would be more upfront about the bad things. You see, I am a bad things kinda girl. I want to know all the negatives to something. This way, I can decide if I want to attempt it or not :) I can make an informed decision rather than get let down because my expectations were so dang high.

So with all that said, everyone can start a blog. Everyone has the potential to make it an amazing business. Everyone has the potential to make money, but here is what people do not warn you about:

Things You Need to Know Before Starting a Blog

Things you need to know before starting a blog by Bessie Young Photography - Tips for Entrepreneur.jpg

1.You are not going to get rich quick:

I have subscribed to alot of newsletters about being a photographer, a creative, and entrepreneur. I get so many emails saying things like ‘I made $200k in one month off of one blog’

Ugh! Those emails frustrate me. I am not going to lie. There is a message behind those emails saying that you can get rich quick. That you should be able to create 1 blog post and BOOM success.

Well, my friend, that is just not the case. I am sorry. I wish it was, but honestly, if it was, I would probably have a big house and not be sitting in a crap apartment.

You are not going to earn $10k your first month of blogging. Hell, you probably won’t even earn that in your first year of blogging.

2. The learning struggle is REAL!

There is a huge freaking learning curve when it comes to being a small business. There is that same learning curve with just blogging. You cannot accomplish anything if you are not willing to learn. You need to dig dig dig and learn all you can. As soon as you feel like you know it, you probably need to learn more.

It will be overwhelming and you will want to quit. You won’t see any success and it is incredibly discouraging, but do not give up.

Explore and try new things. Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself and your business.

3. Nothing Ever Happens Overnight

This relates to my get rich quick scheme.

You most likely won’t get 100,000 subscribers by offering a cheat sheet. You probably won’t get 100,000 subscribers in your first year. Building a brand, building a business, and building a blog is going to take alot of your time.

4. It takes alot of your time and effort:

I have heard many people say that they schedule their blogs out for the entire year in 1 or 2 weeks. This makes it sound like they only work 2 weeks out of the year… hmm…. wouldn’t that be sweet? Well, I am just going to say that this entire process is going to take alot of work. Most of my blogs take me hours to create. I’m serious. They take me hours. This blog in itself has taken me 2 hours already and I'm not even finished! CARAZY.

Now some people can write quicker that others. I am not the fastest writer there ever was, but I am not slow either. I like to create good content. Plus adding images to your blog takes quite a bit of time as well.

Bonus Tip! You will need to know how to use Photoshop Elements, or some sort of tool to add words to your images.

5. There are a lot of ups and downs…. a lot of downs…

Once you start making money your income is going to fluctuate. You are going to make money one month and none the next. You need to prepare for that. It is ok. Don’t worry, but just know that it will happen.

6. You will compare yourself to other people and you will feel really bad about where you are in your journey

We are the worst when it comes to comparing ourselves to others. Especially now with social media. We are constantly scrolling looking at everyone else’s awesomeness, everyone else’s success… guess what…

What you see are peoples highlight reels. You never see their behind the scenes. You never see them on the floor crying, you never see them with their mascara smeared and them sitting with a big ole tub of ice cream on the couch, you never see them getting ready to throw in the towel. You only see their highlights, their successes, and what they are proud of.

This is going to be hard and this is probably one of the hardest things, but try your damdest to put your blinders on and focus on where you are going. Try to not compare yourselves to others because it will just make you feel bad and it will make you want to quit.

Now with all that being said, blogging is pretty darn awesome. It gives you huge flexibility with your lifestyle. It can be a full time job, a side hustle, and really whatever you want to make it!

How to Start a Blog and Make Money for Beginners by Bessie Young Photography.jpg

I just wanted to give you some truth so you know what you are getting yourself into.

If you are interested in blogging make sure to check out my ‘ How to Start a Blog and Make Money ‘ post. It will help you get everything in line to make sure you are successful.

I hope you all enjoyed this blog! If you did, leave me a comment below, or even better, share it with your friends!

Wishing you the absolute best!

Bessie

Uninspired? Find Your Motivation | Inspiration for Creative Entrepreneurs | Car Chats With Bessie

Recently I was watching a Peter Mckinnon video. I mean ya, everyone probably saw it because he has a bajillion followers. It was all about feeling uninspired.

pin it button by Bessie Young .jpg

He called it photographers block . I thought that was just perfect !  The entire video is really good and it was all about things that you could do  to become inspired again , or to get over this so-called photographers block .  

Uninspired - Find Your Motivation - Inspiration for Creative Entrepreneurs - By Bessie Young Photography

As I started reading through the comments I noticed a reoccurring comment, or a reoccurring theme. There were so many people talking about comparison. They were saying how they can't seem to overcome the hole comparison game, how comparison is the death of motivation, and how social media is really feeding people to compare themselves to others.

Naturally I started commenting trying to help him to stay motivated. Explaining how they shouldn't be comparing themselves to others, blah blah blah. Then I started realizing that I should just create a video in a blog post about this. There are so many people struggling with this .  So here it is my blog post all about  comparing yourself and what I do to make sure that I don't compare myself to others .  

Now it's kind of inevitable right? We have social media in our face, we have the world at our fingertips because we carry our smartphone everywhere we go. So we are getting inundated with so much information .  We see all these people being so successful, and we begin to doubt our self. We begin to think what's wrong with me?  

Stop Comparing Yourself to Other People

I'm here to tell you my friend that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you . You see the problem with social media is we see everybody's highlight reel . Do we even really know  that this is real? That their successes real? That those photos are real? Yet we want to compare yourself to something that we don't really even know  the truth behind it .  The other thing is is we don't see the struggles that these successful people have been through. We don't see how long it's taking them to get to where they are today .  We might have been in business for only a couple years yet we're comparing yourself to someone that's been grinding it out for 10 or 15 years . We have to remember this  or the other idea is to just stop comparing yourself  two other people on the internet . Now hear me out . . .  

I say that we start comparing ourself to ourself .  I'm sure you're kind of wondering what I mean but just listen for a second and you'll totally understand where I'm going .  If we start comparing ourselves to our self we will start realizing how far we've come in our craft . Take a moment and look back at when you first started . Look at your photos, or your Creations, a few years ago . Now compare them to something that you just did recently .  Don't you notice how far you have come ?. 

Now if that is not motivation I really don’t know what it is

You can see your success . You can see your growth. You can see how awesome you're becoming.  You can see that you are getting better . You can see all the changes that you've made throughout the years to be where you are today . Now if you would have stopped pushing forward you wouldn't be the badass that you are today. If you would have stopped because you kept comparing yourself and thinking that you're not good enough then you wouldn't be as good as you are today. So my friend stop comparing yourself to other people and just compare yourself to yourself. Whenever you start realizing that you are comparing yourself to others, and you realize that you're starting to feel down, you're starting to doubt yourself, and so forth pull up your old stuff. Pull up your old images from years ago and start comparing those to the ones that you just took. Believe me it's going to make you happy, it's going to motivate you, and it's going to make you realize that you are getting better, and that you will continue to get better as time goes on as long as you continue to pursue what you love.

Lets compare some of my photos:

Uninspired - Find Your Motivation - Inspiration for Creative Entrepreneurs - Car Chats With Bessie.jpg

So there you have it. My progression from 2007. Whenever I choose to compare myself to myself I begin to feel so much dang better. I see how far I have come, I realize how much I have grown as an individual and a creative. Then, I become inspired to do more, get better, try harder.

So lets stop comparing ourselves to other people. Lets just compare ourselves to ourselves.

Can you relate? Leave a comment below! I would love to hear how you avoid the Photographers block, how to avoid getting uninspired, how you find your motivation to continue to do what you love.

Wishing you nothing but the most positive 2019!

Bessie

Do You Need a UV Filter for Your Lens

This question has been asked over and over again so I figured it would be a perfect post! Do you need, or should you use, a UV filter on your lens?

This is a very controversial question and one that is mainly based on an opinion. Many photographers will leave the filter on at all times where others do not. Is one right? Well, I think you should decide for yourself.

Before we get into it lets get some basics:

Are you learning Photography? Check out the freebie page to get you started! I have created a bunch of awesome freebies to help you out :)

What is a UV filter?

A UV filter is a glass filter, just like most others, that will attach to your lens. It is meant to block ultra violet light rays. It also removes the blue cast from images taken during a very bright day, or bright sunny conditions.

Do You Need a UV Filter for Your Lens?

Lets bring up the most common arguments, pros vs. cons

Pros for using UV filters all the time:

  • The UV filter provides protection for the lens from damage

    Oh my gosh there is only 1 thing worse than dropping your camera…. picking it up and seeing your lens shattered. I haven’t had this happen to me, thank the lord, however, I have heard horror stories. I have also heard amazing stories as to how the UV filter saved the lens. Now, in my opinion, that is a pretty good investment. I would rather lose a $100 UV filter than lose a $2k lens.

    To play the devils advocate though, if you drop your lens to where your UV filter shatters, wouldn’t that also ruin your lens internally due to the impact?

  • The UV filter keeps my lens clean. No dust, dirt, scratches, finger smudges, and so forth

    This is true too. The UV filter is an extra layer of glass; therefore, it will keep all the dust and grime off of your lens glass. It is also a flat piece of glass which is much easier to clean when needed.

    If the filter does get scratched then it is much nicer to have to buy a $100 filter rather than a $2k lens.

Cons for using UV filters all the time:

  • The filter causes a loss of image quality

    This is true in theory. Yes adding glass to glass can reduce the image quality. But the loss is going to be so small in practice that you need to really ask the question of ‘is the loss of image quality significant and going to effect me?’

  • Loss of light

    I have never seen this. Adding a piece of goo quality glass to your lens, that is clear, should not effect the amount of light that enters your sensor.

  • Loss of resolution

    As long as you are using a good quality UV filter you will not see any significance in the quality on a normal lens. A good quality filter will have optically flat surfaces and should not disturb the direction of the light that will pass through the filter.


Do You Need a UV Filter for Your Lens Photography Tips and Tricks by Bessie Young Photography youtube.jpg

In Conclusion

Ultimately, I do keep a UV filter on my lens, but the choice is really up to you. Again, you need to choose if the ‘loss of image quality is significant’ to you.

I do need to warn you though… if you put a cheap filter on your lens and in front of your expensive glass you are ultimately creating a lens with the image quality of that cheap filter. Do not buy a cheap filter. Basically all I have to say is :

Cheap low quality filters are NOT acceptable.

Filters are not the funnest thing to buy, lets just be honest; however, they are important, keep you creative, and can be incredibly helpful. Make sure to get yourself a good quality UV filter. Expect to spend in the $100 range when purchasing a good quality UV filter.

I got my filter from Horn Photo and love it. I have not seen any negative effects to my image quality with it. If you can go to Horn, then make sure to do so. They are an amazing company and local small business. If you cannot go there, then I would check out the Zeiss, the Heliopan , or the Hoya .

Do you use a UV filter? Comment below and let me know. This blog is meant to be a community helping each other out, growing our businesses, growing our knowledge, and so much more. We are seriously so much stronger together!

Bessie


Super Blood Wolf Moon Landscape Photography

I have the absolute best people in my life. My sister and her husband originally told me about this natural phenomenon. Then, a couple weeks later a couple of good friends asked me if I heard about it. Finally, a few days before the occurrence, my mom sent me a text telling me about it. Seriously though? How cool is that? I have such an amazing support system for my photography. Whenever something cool is happening, I know that I will hear about it one way or another.

Super Blood Wolf Moon Landscape Photography by Bessie Young Photography.jpg

The Planning

When my sister told me about it, obviously I began researching it. When is it? What is it? Where to see it? I mean all the things 😊 If you want to learn a bit more about all the details make sure to check out my recent post on ‘How to Photograph the Super Blood Wolf Moon’. This blog will give you probably a bit more information than you were expecting about this awesome show that the moon put on.

My original plan was to head out into the foothills of my hometown to get some pretty images; however, that plan got thwarted when the weather called for rain. I’m not talking a slight drizzle either. I’m talking about a down pour. As I started to search for places to go and check the weather, it seemed like the majority of the State of California was going to be cloudy during the Super Blood Wolf Moon. Northern California was calling for thunderstorms and Southern California was calling for full cloud coverage. So, I got a little discouraged and figured I wasn’t going to be able to see it. Then I found the spot! The spot that might have a potential to be partially clear during the Super Blood Wolf Moon…. Lone Pine and the Alabama Hills.

The Adventure

The question was, do I want to spend all the time, money, and effort to head over to the Alabama hills with pretty good odds not to see it? Well, I’m somewhat of a gambling girl, so I hopped in the car on Sunday to go and take my chances.

The drive to Alabama Hills is about 5 hours from my town. Not too terrible, but leaving on a whim left me in a little bit of a hurry. The moon was supposed to rise around 5:30pm and I left at 11:30. The eclipse wasn’t supposed to happen until 8pm or so; however, I really wanted to get an image of the Super Moon coming up over the mountain tops.

I rolled into Alabama Hills about 4:30. PERFECT Timing let me tell you. I was super stoked because I also got to get some amazing sunset images. I mean seriously though, I took way too many sunset pictures. The clouds kept changing and things just were getting better and better. It was absolutely gorgeous. I wish I could share all the images with you.

Alabama Hills California Sunset - Fine Art Photography by Bessie Young Photography
Rising Super Blood Wolf Moon January 2019 by Bessie Young Photography Landscape Photography

Actually, I got so caught up in taking sunset images, I didn’t leave much time to set up for the moon rise. Luckily, I was able to get both sunset and moon rise! YAS!

The sky was partially cloudy, which made for some amazing sunset pictures, but it sure made me nervous for the moon. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to see it at all.

Since the Blood Moon wasn’t supposed to begin until around 8pm, I had plenty of time to go grab some dinner. After dinner I headed back out. Let me tell you friends, it was freaking windy and cold. Like cold, cold cold. I had my down jacket on, a beanie, and hand warmers, and man it was cold.

Rising Super Blood Wolf Moon January 2019 by Bessie Young Photography

Getting the Shot: The Super Blood Wolf Moon

Super+Blood+Wolf+Moon+Landscape+Photography+by+Bessie+Young

As I sat in my car, I looked up at the sky to only see clouds. You could see portions of the clouds lit up due to the brightness of the moon, but no moon! I sat there for a bit with the moon peaking out and then hiding behind the clouds. It played this game for almost an hour. As it started to peak out, I noticed that the eclipse had stated.

Well I guess I am not going to get the shot after all

The most frustrating part of this whole thing was that the clear sky was just at the edge of the moon. Yas, it was inches away from being visible. How frustrating is that?!

So, I figured, I would get all my stuff set up just in case. I opened my door, and the wind almost tore it off. To the East was the clouds and the eclipse occurring right before my very own eyes, being hidden by the clouds. To the West there was a lightening storm. Where I stood was open skies with the wind whirling around me.

Super Blood Wolf Moon Landscape Photography January 2019 by Bessie Young Photography

As I set up my tripod, in the dark, the wind wanted to blow the entire set up over. I tried to get a few shots of the moon with the cloud cover and was completely unsuccessful. Eventually, I moved the car to block the wind. I sat there… waiting….

I could see the moon beginning to turn red, but the cloud cover was just barely too much that all my images were turning out blurry. All of them were blurry!!! I got a couple mediocre shots and the moon went completely behind the clouds for what seemed like forever. It was over, I was packing up. No reason to sit and stare at the night sky hoping for something to happen.

I packed up all my things and sat in my car. Checked my phone, and just tried to get a bit warm. Then, out of no where, the MOON!!!! The full blown MOON!!!! I scrambled, cursed a little, and then jumped out of my car, set my equipment back up and BOOM! I FREAKING GOT THE SHOT!

It was awesome and I am so dang thankful that I didn’t drive away when I was thinking about driving away!

Super Blood Wolf Moon Landscape Photography January 2019 by Bessie Young Photography

What Were My Settings for the Moon Images?

I played around quite a bit with my settings and eventually settled on

Shutter Speed: 1 second

ISO: 2000

Aperture: 5.6

I hope you all enjoyed this blog. Were you able to see the Super Blood Wolf Moon? Did you photograph it? If so leave a comment below . I would love to hear about your trip!

Wishing you nothing but amazing adventures and pretty pictures!

Bessie

 

 

P.s. Did you like this blog? Check out these ones as well:

The Creative Process | Inspiration for Creative Entrepreneurs | Car Chats With Bessie

Ahhh, being a creative… We have so many different ups and downs. The creative process is tricky, but it is only tricky when it comes to your mind. We play so many mind games on ourselves it is crazy.

There are a ton of different funny quotes about the creative process. You can find all sorts of images that can make you laugh and that you can completely relate to. I just figured, I would create one myself, explain what actually goes on in our heads, and then share it with you! So here goes nothing. I hope you enjoy, get a good laugh, and can relate to it all :)

pin it button by Bessie Young .jpg

The Creative Process | Inspiration for Creative Entrepreneurs

Car Chats With Bessie

The creative process Inspiration for Creavite Entrepreneurs by Bessie Young Photography

So here is my version of the creative process:

  1. Yas! This is awesome!

    This is the beginning of it all. We get inspired, have an awesome idea in our head, and are freaking gung ho to make it come to life.

    At this point we gather all the supplies, all the things, maybe some coffee along the way, and then get to creating.

  2. This is hard…

    As we start ‘making it happen’ it becomes apparent that the idea is way harder to make come to life than we expected. We begin to question ourselves. Like

    • “What the hell was I even thinking starting this project?”

    • “This seemed so much easier in my head”

    • “Why the crap do I do this to myself”

    • “What is wrong with me? Why isn’t this easier?”

  3. This sucks!

    After we get to creating, realize how hard it actually is, and start seeing the product actually come to life all hell breaks loose. Everything gets questioned. We begin to doubt ourself because things may not be going as planned. We get uninspired, sad, and we start all the negative talk…

  4. I suck! I should quit.

    Yep, all the negative self talk one can, or can’t, handle. This is in the heart of the project. Where we begin to want to give up. Where we question everything and when I say everything I mean everything. We even begin to question life choices that aren’t even related to the project itself.

    This is where we then also start to compare ourselves to others.

    • “Why do I even try, look how good they are doing”

    • “What is wrong with me?”

    • “Oh crap I can’t ever find anything around here. I really need to get better at being organized.”

    • “I definitely shouldn’t have had all those drinks during New Years”

    • “Why can’t I ever finish a new years resolution? Oh ya, because I suck!”

    • “I suck. People are just lying when they say they like my stuff”

  5. This might be ok…

    After kicking our own ass, possibly for days, we start to see the final product. We start to realize that there might be some hope. That there is a possibility that the project might turn out just ok. Maybe not great. Maybe not what we expected it to be, but good enough.

    • “Huh…. maybe it’s not that bad”

    • “Maybe it will turn out ok. I guess I will finish it just to see the final product complete, but I won’t share it with anyone”

  6. Yas! This is awesome!

    The project is complete. This phase might take a few days to actually make it to. We might be stuck in phase 4 or 5 for days. When I say days, I mean freaking days. Not like seconds, or minutes, or hours…. DAYS.

    We inspect the project, look at it over and over again, talk to our Mom about all the good and bad aspects of it. You know… why it sucks and why it might be ok. What all the flaws are about the final product. What might make it a pretty cool accomplishment.

    We then walk away. Sleep on it. Inspect it again. Eventually we realize how awesome it really is and we get the courage up to share it with others.

So there you have it. The creative process. The funny, somewhat ridiculous, and oh so very real things we go through on a day to day basis. Being a creative definitely has its ups and downs. It can get crazy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love being a creative, being able to have a vision of something and make it come to life :)

Can you relate? Leave a comment below! I would love to hear your version of one of the phases, or your version of the entire creative process :)

Wishing you nothing but the most positive 2019!

Bessie

How to Photograph the Super Blood Wolf Moon January 2019 | How to see it in California

It’s tonight! The Super Blood Wolf Moon Lunar Eclipse is happening and the sky is going to be putting on a pretty darn awesome show. I am sure even just hearing the name you are interested, but what is it and how do you see it? Here is everything you will need to know about this phenomenon :

Super Blood Wolf Moon January 2019 | How to see it in California

When is the Super Blood Wolf Moon?

Sunday January 20th into Monday January 21st, 2019 (depending on where you are located in the USA)

The Lunar Eclipse will begin around 11:30 ET which means about 8L30 Pacific time.

You will want to start watching the sky around 7:30pm. if you are in California. As the Earths shadow begins passing in from the lower left. Totality will be around 8:40 and the moon will return to its normal appearance around 9:40pm.

What is the Super Blood Wolf Moon?

This term is being used because there are several events happening all at once. It sure is a mouthful but lets break it down a little.

Super Moon: A super moon occurs when the full moon is at its closest point to the earth.

Wolf Moon: Every month has special names to describe the full moon. For January it is Wolf Moon. It originates from the Native American folklore.

Blood Moon: This is going to be the coolest part of the show. This is the lunar eclipse where the moon will turn a blood red color as it passes the Earths shadow.

How to see it:

accuweather.brightspotcdn.com.jpg

You will need to be outside, during the right hours, with clear open skies. If it is cloudy, which is what the California weather is calling for, you unfortunately will not be able to see it.

Most of the US will have the ability to see the Super Blood Wolf Moon this January. You will not need any special equipment to see it. Just your own two eyes.

How to photograph it:

You will need a variety of things…

Super blood wolf moon January 2019 | How to see it in california by Bessie Young Photography
  1. Plan out your location - scout it out to find the best composition

    • Decide if you want a large landscape shot, or just the moon shot. This will determine your lens.

  2. Make sure it is clear skies

  3. Be at your location well before the occurrence

  4. Tripod

  5. Camera

  6. 100-400+ mm lens

    • This will be more for just a moon image. If you want more of a landscape you will use a 70-200mm lens

  7. Head lamp

  8. Camera remoted

  9. Warm clothes to make sure you are comfy and warm. This way you are having fun rather than miserable and only thinking about how cold your toes are :)

  10. Snacks and drinks to make sure you are comfortable and enjoying the show

That’s it! Now get out there and freaking get some amazing moon images! Are you going out to see the show? Comment below and let me know where you will be viewing it from, what kind of gear you plan on using, and all the deets!

I can’t wait to see your photos!!

Bessie

Things You Need to Do During Your Off Season

Alright fellow photographers, creatives, and entrepreneurs… there is one thing that you are going to have to accept…. Entrepreneurship is seasonal. Once you accept that the better you will be. Business will get slow, and then it will speed up. It will really really speed up to where you feel like you are spinning, and then it will slow down to a snails pace leaving you questioning if everything is ok.

Everything is ok. This business of ours is just seasonal. Try to be ok with that and you will feel a lot better. Plus, once you are ok with that you will be able to really take advantage of your down time.

Let me give you a little story of where I am coming from. At the beginning of last year, I was so slow that I began to worry. Ok, worry is an understatement but you get where I am going. I sat there sad, kinda depressed, and ultimately worthless.  During the summer, especially the late summer, things got crazy. I was staying up late, getting up early, and I even started to drink an energy drink here and there which I don’t ever do.

I honestly wondered if I could keep up with it. I was also super worried because I didn’t have the time to blog. My blog fell completely off the radar. I mean it was so far gone it wasn’t even funny. Months went by without me blogging and that little voice inside my head wouldn’t leave me alone. It was telling me I wasn’t good enough, I needed to do more, blah blah blah.

If I would have just been ok with the idea that this business is seasonal then I could have accomplished sooooo much during my off season to where I felt amazing during my busy season. So here are some things that you just need to do during your down times in order to not get overwhelmed, frustrated, depressed, and just plain overworked during your busy times:

Things You Need to Do During Your Off Season by Bessie Young Photography

Things You Need to Do During Your Off Season

Update your portfolio

I mean this one in 2 different ways. The first way being, now is the perfect time to schedule some styled shoots! You have a bunch of free time so why not make the most of it. Do something for you. Create a shoot that you have been dreaming of. Let your creativity flow. This isn’t only good for your mind, and your soul, it is good for your portfolio. Show people what you are capable of.

Secondly, update your portfolio on your website. Show your favorite images. Your best images. Not all the images. You want to attract your people, your tribe. Update your portfolio to resemble who you want to attract.

Network!

There really is no better time to get together with other creatives, other entrepreneurs, and other like minded people. I don’t mean this to mean reach out to people to make money. I mean actually network with people. I mean talk to them. Be friends with them. Help them. Give them your gifts. This is huuugggeee in growing your business in the long run.

Learn

As small businesses we tend to not invest in ourselves. This is terrible because honestly that is really the best place to put your money. I think learning from others is such an important thing. This is how we grow as individuals. You have to spend money to make money friends. This is the perfect time to sign up for a workshop, schedule a mentorship,

Start a personal project and learn by being creative and playing.

It takes a lot of effort to get your business moving forward and to keep it moving forward. We have to stay current, up to date on all the things, and just “in the know” (no I’m not cool enough to say that, but I said it anyways).

Devise a Plan and Schedule

This is where I went wrong last year during my down time. I freaked out and just didn’t do anything, but I could have been planning all the things. So my thoughts here are start planning your posts. I mean all the posts… Pinterest, social media, blog posts.  

This is really where you are going to help yourself during your busy season. You can schedule posts. This way when you are busy, you don’t have to worry about blogging, or pinning, because guess what? It is already completed for you. You did it during your down time! How awesome is that really though?

So, devise a plan for your blogs. Create the blogs, and then schedule them out throughout the year. Now you have content for half the year, or maybe even the entire year, or at least until your next down time.

Enhance Your Brand

During the slow season you can really take a fine look at your business. You can see it from every perspective.

Have a real honest conversation with yourself and how your brand looks. Is it cohesive throughout all the things ie social media, websites, emails, newsletters, etc?

Can you simplify anything for your customers to make things smoother?

Does your brand attract your tribe? Does it attract your target market?

Work on your website

This goes along with the above ‘enhance your brand’.

We always put off working on our website. It is one of the last things we creatives want to even think about, but it is freaking important friends! Does your website resemble your brand? Does it attract your target market? Is it easy to navigate? And be honest, how old are the photos on your website?

I hope this blog was helpful and just got you thinking about how you can really take advantage of the down time. Also, hopefully it will help you not fret when those slow times do come around, because believe me they will come whether you try to avoid them or not.

Honestly though, the slow times are one of the best times for your business. They are the times where you can really nurture your business back to health. These are the times that you can make everything shiney again. Embrace the slow times, appreciate them, love them, and be ok with working on all the other things that we didn’t realize came with running a business J

Wishing you the very best!

Bessie

 

P.s. Love this post? Check out these similar ones:

How To Print Photos From Your Phone - Print on Location

How To Print Photos From Your Phone - Print on Location

How To Print Photos From Your Phone - Print on Location by Bessie Young Photography

I am a HUUUGGEEEE believer of printing your images. Yes, I think it’s crazy important. In todays world, everyone thinks that me most important thing to have is digital images. Well I do believe those are important printing your images is just as important. You need to hold your images in your hands, hang them on your walls, put them in photo albums, share them with friends, and just do all the things with them.

As you guys know I do both Landscape photography and Portrait photography. I love love love to spoil my customers, I love to be able to hand an image to someone and see their expression, and I just love printing pictures lol. (how many times can I say that?! So, I have been on the search to print images on location.

I figured it would be the coolest thing to be at a portrait session or a wedding and be able to hand a printed image to my people. We are so used to getting things right now, and I want to be able to provide that kind of service.

I also wanted to be able to be at a family party and hand a print over to my sisters after a silly selfie :O

So, the search began and I found the coolest little printer you ever did see!!! It is called the

Polaroid Zip

How to print photos from your phone instantly - print on location by Bessie Young Photography.jpg

There are so many things I love about this little printer.

  1. It is small which is perfect for packing around while you are on a shoot, or just putting in your purse while you are at a party

  2. It is easy to use! All you need to do is download the app and boom!

  3. The battery lasts a long time

  4. The printer prints quickly

  5. The picture size is awesome. Perfect for wallets!

Now, with the pro’s always comes the cons. So here are the things I don’t like:

  1. Only holds 10 sheets of paper

  2. The color is off

  3. The quality isn’t that great

Now, the con’s really aren’t that bad because I only print in black and white. If I am going to print a photo for my clients I do not want to print it in color because then they might get the idea that their images will look like what is printed. If you print black and white, they get the picture, the immediate satisfaction, and great customer service. They walk away smiling and super excited to see the rest. Not to mention it places a small little thought in their head that prints are awesome!

There is also a bunch of other super cool printers that are incredibly similar. So check out these tiny little printers:

Are you learning Photography? Check out the freebie page to get you started! I have created a bunch of awesome freebies to help you out :)

I hope you guys enjoyed this little post :)

If you want to see more gear make sure to head on over to my gear lists!

Wishing you the very best and super pretty pictures!

Bessie

Photography Jargon for Beginners- What do all those words mean?

Photography Jargon for Beginners

What do all those words mean?

Ok, so you are just getting into photography and your head is swimming because of all the ‘photography words’ like aperture, shutter speed, stopping down, and so forth.

Don’t worry friend, I have been there and done that! Seriously, it can take a long time to figure it all out and what the heck everything actually means. That is why I created this Free Instant download photography cheat sheet just for you! It has 9 of the most common photography words and what their meaning is. YAS!

No more guessing, or researching, no more googling. Now you can have the information in one easy to download guide that you can print out or keep on your phone :) How cool is that?

Are you just starting out in photography? Well welcome to the tribe! I am so excited for you and have made a couple awesome things to help you along your photography adventure:

Let me know what questions you have by leaving me a comment below :)

Bessie


P.s. If you are learning photography and love posts like this then make sure to check out these ones :)

Unboxing the Ronin S Gimbal Stabilizer for DSLR or Full Frames

Unboxing the Ronin S Gimbal Stabilizer

for DSLR or Full Frames

Unboxing the Ronin S Gimbal Stabilizer for DSLR or Full Frames

I finally did it! I finally bought a gimbal! I couldn’t decide which gimbal to buy, because honestly there are just so many freaking options. One day I was watching a Peter McKinnon video all about this amazing gimbal. Honestly that video couldn’t have come at a better time! I was struggling with making a decision on which one to purchase, but after that video I was sold! I hoped on amazing and Boom! Gimbal bought!

Alright, so what is the reason for this Ronin S Gimbal? Why would I buy it you ask? Well, as you all know I have been slowly learning how to take video, and slowly throughout this year I have been up-ing my video game. I started my youtube channel with nothing but my cell phone. I then upgraded to my cell phone and a selfie stick.

This year, I decided I really needed to do better. I mean better and prettier videos. I want the videos to be informative as well as entertaining and beautiful to watch. So, on and off all year I was combining using my Sony A7riii, my Sony 6500, and my cell phone for my videos. I used what ever worked best at the time of the video. Since starting to use my camera, I have noticed a HUUUUGGGGGEEEE quality difference (obviously), but it made me really think long and hard on how I could 1. use my camera more and 2. make it easier. So the search began for a gimbal.

I ended up finding this one and have only played around with it a couple of times. I will do a Gimbal review in a future blog post and future video; however, for now, I just wanted to share my excitement with you :)

Do you have a gimbal? Leave a comment below and let me know which one you have and if you like it!

Wishing you nothing but a beautiful day!

Bessie

P.S. Want to see what gear I use? Head on over to the Gear Lists or check out these posts:

Black and White Lightroom Presets by Bessie Young Photography

Black and White Lightroom Presets

by Bessie Young Photography

Ok so we all know how much I absolutely love love love black and white images. I mean I may go to the ‘im a bit obsessed’ with black and white images. So…. It is officially official friends!!! I finally freaking made my black and white lightroom presets available! For Realz!

I love lightroom presets for a few different reasons:

  1. they will make your life easier

  2. they will make your editing faster

  3. they are easy to use

  4. they will help you find your style

  5. they will help you learn editing

  6. they will help you learn Lightroom

So for me, these are just a win win win. Now, let me tell you something friend. These are no traditional presets. No. They are not just a bunch of presets where you either like them or don’t. Oh not for this girl. I had to make them amazing. I had to make them worth it. I had to make them phenomenal. So how, or what did I do, to do that?

Well, I went above and beyond is what I did!! I decided to create what I needed when I was first starting out as a photographer. No, I didn’t know lightroom or how to edit, but by golly I was going to be a photographer so I needed a little bit of help. So check this out, the best thing about these presets are that you have complete control over all the presets with an easy to use interface which allows you to create the look you want one click at a time! I have included easy and quick contrast edits, vignetting edits, film edits, and more! Plus… these presets include everything from the standard black and white image, to the light and airy black and whites, and even to the very popular moody black and whites.

Black and White Lightroom Presets by Bessie Young Photography - Learn how to edit - Learn photography

Alright, so enough already, here are the deets:

Whats included in the BYP B+W Presets:

  • 8 Black and White Original BYP Presets (these are all 1 click edits!)

  • 4 FREE Black and White Presets

  • Contrast Settings

  • Vignetting Settings

  • Film Grain Settings

  • 3 color filters

Do you have any questions? Please please please comment below with your questions or send me a message via this contact form.

I am so dang excited about these presets and so dang excited to see your creations that come from them! Make sure to tag #bypshop or #thebypshop in your social media posts so I can see all the goodness!

Wishing you nothing but amazing, beautiful, and oh so awesome black and white photos!

Bessie



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