Emily Sacra {the blog} »

Masthead header

A post 4 years in the making

This post is to document my photography journey so far. In March of 2009, I joined a fabulous photography forum, called I Love Photography! It’s probably one of the best {if not the best!} things that has helped me grow. I now think about color casts, limb chops, and a boatload of other things, thanks to ILP!
Most people do an anniversary post on ILP, even though I didn’t think I had grown very much, I decided to try it. So I got together a collection of my photos since the very beginning… There are a TON of photos, so hang in there! Here we go!
My photography journey started in 2008. In July I started a blog, and started snapping pictures with an extremely old P&S. I won’t bore you with all of those pictures, so let’s just say I was shooting for myself, and had no earthly idea what I was doing :)But here are 3 from 2008:
They are absolutely nothing special, and I had thought nothing about ‘real photography’ at this point.
Sometime late spring/early summer of 2009, that old P&S died {hallelujah!}, and I was left camera-less for a few weeks. Finally I became desperate {I needed new pictures for my blog, right?}, so I searched the house for a replacement camera. I found something that I thought was absolutely fabulous! We had a small video camera, and I discovered that it had a photo setting… I snapped pictures left and right with that thing for almost 5 months. I thought that the pictures with this ‘camera’ were absolutely fantastic! I even took some senior portraits of my sister {I was not the real photographer… thank goodness!}, and come on, I was pretty fabulous.
 I took pictures all summer, and was thinking “man, I’m really good at this!” :) Right about now, I really started to like photography, but I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. However, I still thought I was an amazing photographer! I even made a post about how “I don’t care if people laugh at my camera… I get amazing pictures with it, so I’m happy!”. Haha.
Plopping your little sister in front of a sunflower always makes for a good picture, right?
Didn’t these ‘back to school’ portraits turn out fantastic? *sigh* I don’t even know how to explain these!
Whoa, I’m getting this now! The ball is ‘in focus’, and the people are blurry… I should definitely start charging people for stuff this great! ;)
I’m not quite sure what was up with my ‘throw a blanket over the bed and plop a child in front of it’ phase :P
I attempted a wedding {again, I was not the real photographer… don’t panic!}, and I thought I was the bomb dot com!
 Obviously, I was not :)
 Oh my… there are just so many things wrong with this picture! I can’t even begin to talk about it all.
 This is the picture that convinced me further that I was fantastic, and that people should charge me for stuff like this {yes, I know. It’s of a Tootsie Pop}.
October 2009:
Right about now, I started getting frustrated, and wishing for a new camera. My oldest sister let me borrow her Sony Cybershot, and I just never gave it back J I adored it, and thought that NOW, my pictures would look professional!
I took pictures of my little sister, and knew that this is what I wanted to do!
 I had to throw selective coloring in here somewhere, didn’t I? ;)
 February 2010:
I bought a black sheet so I could become a studio master! :)
Haha! Why on earth didn’t these pictures work??? I had a good P&S, and a black sheet! What was missing??? By the way, didn’t I do a nice job making the background black? ;) At this point, I was editing with PHOTOBUCKET. Yikes. That was almost as bad as my video-camera stage!
So of course, I started getting frustrated again. I started borrowing a friends Canon Rebel, and I absolutely LOVED it! But I was still getting pictures like this:
What was wrong with the camera??? Because it obviously wasn’t user error. Remember, I was fabulous :)
I tried another wedding for a friend, and they turned out just as bad as the last wedding did!
Fast forward to April 2010:
Still using my Sony Cybershot {when I couldn’t get my hands on that Rebel!}, and rocking it, like always ;)
 Trying my hand at backlighting, which obviously failed… What’s wrong with blue kids???
 I got Picnik for my birthday, and went crazy with editing! All of my pictures from Spring 2010 are crazy oversaturated, and the 1960’s feature was definitely overused :)
 My friend, Misty, told me to go easy on the eyes… I thought “But they look so good!” ;)
 May 2010:
I tried a newborn, and although it was fun, it is definitely not my forte. I can’t wait for my friends to have their babies this spring so I can try again!
 I still like this one, even though it has a crappy conversion!
 You don’t like this tilt? Come on people, it’s creative!
Misty let me take a few pictures of her and her daughter using her camera, and I LOVED it!
June 2010:
Still practicing…
I finally got my current camera, a Canon 30D. I snapped pictures left and right!
This is still one of my favorite photos, taken 2 days after I got my camera.
July 2010:
I was having terrible troubles with exposure, and mostly focus.
 WHY did I think this was OK???
 Green children, anyone?
 My first time shooting in full sun, and I think I did an OK job!
 Had a cake smash, and learned that small kids + lots of moving = need high shutter speed!!!
Still struggling with exposure.
August 2010:
I was so frustrated with this whole shoot, but didn’t know how to change it!
 Oversaturated much?
I still love backlighting, but I was still in that ‘editing with Picnik’ phase…
Finally calibrated! But that obviously didn’t help my editing…
September 2010:
My sisters kindly let me practice on them, and I learned about aperture and how it affects my photos.
December 2010:
I continued to take more pictures of my sisters, and felt like I was started to get somewhere. I was at the point where I knew my pictures looked bad, but didn’t know why or how to fix it. I also finally started caring about not centering my subjects, and avoiding limb chops.
I also started using Photoshop Elements 7… bring on the actions phase!
 January 2011:
I took some pictures of my parents, and they turned out awful!
I missed focus in almost all of them, and I was starting to get really frustrated with Picnik {I wasn’t understanding photoshop…}.
March 2011:
Out of 50 pictures, this was the only one I really liked from this session… Mostly because of focus issues, and my lack of knowledge on how to edit them.
 April 2011:
I posted this image for CC on ILP, and I got some amazing plays! I tried to replicate them, but Picnik wouldn’t let me :/
May 2011:
More sister pictures! Right about now, I started experimenting with manual focus, and the difference was incredible! I couldn’t believe it! More than half of my photos were coming out in focus, whereas before maybe 10 out of 50 would.
I tried shooting in RAW, and fell in love! I couldn’t believe I hadn’t used it before!
September 2011:
Photoshop and I became muchbetter friends, and I stopped using all those yucky actions!
I took my cousins senior portraits, and was only slightly pleased with the results.
October 2011:
Used the tripod to get a family picture:


November 2011:
I had been waiting for November for months! Fall is my absolute favorite season, and I couldn’t wait for those beautiful fall colors… I tried so hard to capture the warmth of the season!

What do you mean, too much radial blur??? :)

I still really love this picture! I finally felt like I had conquered my focus issues, and that a big part of the problems were the cameras fault {I had some other professionals help me come to this conclusion :)}

Another tripod try, this time with my big family!

December 2011:
My sister wanted to have a plaid photoshoot, and I was really pleased with most of the pictures! I really loved editing warm, and burning the edges {although I have learned since then that it only looks right on certain pictures…}

I was so pleased with this picture, because my major edit worked!

I wasn’t so afraid of photoshop anymore, and I liked trying really different stuff!


January 2012:
Felt like I was getting closer to finding my style… Closer, but still not there yet :)

February 2012:
My sister and her boyfriend, wanted a few pictures, and even though we only got 20 pictures, I was happy with how they turned out!

I started doing Chick Fil A shoots, and really adore capturing unexpected, candid moments.

I had a baby announcement photoshoot, which was lots of fun!
Took some fun pictures of my little sister:

March 2011:
So far this month, I’ve had a few shoots…

Wow, if you’ve made it this far, congratulations! This is a huge post :) I’m so proud of what I’ve accomplished in the last 4 years, and how far I’ve come. I mean, scrolling from this picture to this picture, it’s a huge difference!

Not only is Joelle much bigger, but I feel like the quality of the picture is slightly better ;)

Again, congratulations for making it so far!!!

Madie M. - wow! that’s so incredible!! I loved reading this!

Aidyl Ewoh - Wow… That was so much fun seeing how you’ve grown with photography! Thanks for taking the time to give all your followers an overview of your journey with pictures. =)

Natalia - I read the whole thing, and it was awesome! I absolutely loved seeing your journey through photography, and I can’t wait to see the rest of it <3

Sarah-Anne - I res through the whole thing and loved seeing your photography journey friend! You are way better than you give yourself credit for! Keep up the amazing photography…you can only improve (not that you need too) :)

Amelia Sutton - LOVEEEE this. So great seeing how far you’ve come, girl! Can’t wait to see the stars you reach in the future!

Two more years of progress » Emily Sacra {the blog} - […] my ‘how far I’ve come’ post way back in March 2012 was so much fun, and I decided to do it again!! It’s a good time for it, […]

Back to top|Contact me