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Modern Hippie Chic {Portraits of Women | Carbondale, IL}

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When you’re different, sometimes you don’t see the millions of people who accept you for what you are. All you notice is the person who doesn’t.”

Jodi Picoult, Change of Heart

I love photographing women.

I love photographing women of all ages, sizes, shapes, races, sexual orientations, and any other characteristic that makes them unique.

Too often women grow up not appreciating their differences; not recognizing their own unique qualities. We are taught to make fun, bully, and criticize each other instead of lift one another up.

And sometimes…we believe what they say.

Sometimes, we compare ourselves to the impossible ideal of what is displayed on billboards, magazines, television and movies, and while looking in the mirror, find it illogical to love ourselves just the way we are.

I want to change that.

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I see beauty in every woman, and my dream is to be able to help women see it in themselves. No matter how many inches or pounds you’d like to lose, you are beautiful just as you are. No matter how many wrinkles, sags, dark circles or bags…you are beautiful just as you are. No matter your age or dress size, you are beautiful just as you are.

You are beautiful just as you are. Right now.

And, my camera…she knows that.

Let us show you.

You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
Gautama Buddha

 

Sun flare actions by Photographers Depot

 

Celebrating Family {Extended Family Portrait Sessions, Carbondale, IL}

Sometimes the best things happen at the last minute. 

Got a call from the nicest woman earlier this summer whose son and his family were coming for a visit the following week. She had the thought of possibly having family pictures taken while they were here. We talked a while about what she was looking for, the possibility of having the session at her home on their property, the style of images she likes (color, b/w, lifestyle, formal, etc.), wardrobe and makeup, etc. By the time we got off the phone, I had made plans to come for a short visit to their home to check out where we might shoot, get some ideas, and just meet. 

I love it when I just “click” with my clients. It becomes more than a photo session. It’s a collaboration; working together for a common goal. It’s knowing and understanding the client, what she truly wants in both the images and, ultimately, what she plans to do with them. In this case, she wanted a collection of images she could share, and maybe one or two to hang on the walls. Knowing this ahead of time allows me to plan the shoot to meet my clients’ needs, and it gives them a sense of assurance that they will get what they want. extended family portrait photography session

I knew this family would be easy-going, but technically challenging. There were 5 adults (mom, dad, daughter, son, and daughter-in-law), two toddling boys, and the family dog. I hired an assistant to help me with redirecting light, posing and ensuring all straps, strings and stray hairs were in place. I mapped the property and the combinations of images I’d take: individuals, two sets of siblings, two sets of couples, all the ladies, all the men, mother/daughters, father/sons, father/daughter, mother/sons, grandparents/grandkids, and last but not least, the entire group. 

Shew! That’s a LOT of combinations!

But what we ended up with was a beautiful gallery of images that reflect the kindness and beauty within each of them, as well as the spontaneous fun and laughter that comes when a close-nit family comes together to create an experience. extended family portrait photography session

 

I hope each time they look at these images, they remember this day together, the laughs we shared, and even a few moments of tears (which we ultimately laughed at, too!). 

How Sue Bryce became my personal mentor

ImageIn March 2012, I happened upon THE COOLEST webinar site called creativeLIVE. Teaching the workshop that day was a woman by the name of Sue Bryce. She was telling the story – in her sweet Australian accent – of how she got started in the glamour photography business back in the 80’s when Glamour Shots was taking the world by storm, one mall at a time; and how, since that time, she has built a multimillion dollar business and become an award-winning photographer still shooting, almost exclusively, beauty shots of average, everyday women.

I was as close as I’ve ever been to star-struck, listening to this beautiful, humble woman talk about how it is her life’s ambition to let every woman of every size and every walk of life see herself as a beautiful, amazing person. I was amazed by her story-telling, the gratitude that she expressed, and the freedom with which she imparted her knowledge and expertise onto the audience.

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Since that time, I have followed her workshops at every opportunity, including investing in her month-long training course modeled around her business. From her, I have learned so much, not just about photography, but about life, relationships, and what it takes to succeed. She has helped me overcome my perceived fears (of failure, mostly), and to acknowledge, with gratitude, all of the things in my life with which I have been blessed.

ImageYou see, I graduated from college with a business degree in management information systems, and a minor in women’s studies. Weird combo, right? Since then, I have been trying to figure out how I take those two areas of expertise and create a business designed, at its heart, to be by, for and about women. Sue has shown me the light at the end of the tunnel I entered so many years ago, and this, my friends, is it.

ImageThe Glamour Revolution.

The Glamour Revolution is about women, all women, and their inherent beauty. It’s about believing that you are beautiful not matter what you look like on the outside or how you feel on the inside. It’s about seeing yourself in a new light. Seeing an image of yourself and being happy with what you see. It’s about empowering your spirit and recognizing that you are stronger than you may have thought. It’s about loving yourself and tearing down the walls of fear that hold you back. The Glamour Revolution is upon us, and I, for one, am so excited to be a part of it.

ImageAnd so, my work has begun. I have spent the past several months practicing, posing, re-branding, and re-packaging everything about my photography. It has been a slow process since this is my part-time passion, versus my full-time job, but it is coming together, little by little. The images in this post are not what I aspire to produce, they are only the beginning.

I could not be more excited about what the future holds for me and my clients as I create an experience they will remember forever. An experience they will crave over and over again; one they will talk about with their girlfriends, sisters, mothers, and colleagues, and makes them smile when they realize just how beautiful they truly are.

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and in 2013, she found her wings {southern Illinois glamor, beauty, portrait photographer}

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In 2013, she found her wings.

southern-illinois-beauty-glamor-portrait southern-illinois-beauty-boudoir mother-daughter-beauty-portraitShe found her spirit, the child that sings.

In 2013, she knew what to do;

she knew it was time to start something brand new.

The candle’s been lit; the fire’s enraged.

To stop at this point, would be nothing but grave.

The obstacles large, the challenges many;

but oh, the rewards that she sees are a plenty. 

So carry the torch, I shall work towards the end,

of this goal I’ve set forth to find beauty within.

Poem and Images © 2013 Aimee Wigfall

Aimee Wigfall Photography


I am so very grateful for the opportunities I’ve had in my life. The people I’ve met along the way, the experiences that have made me who I am. I have always been a “business-minded” person, but never have I truly had a sense of surety about what I really wanted to do as a career.

Until now.

It is all consuming to finally know what you want, thinking about what you need to do to make it happen, and finding the time to put all the pieces of the puzzle together to see it through successfully.

It’s so easy to let fear stand in the way of success. The unknown. The risk. The competition. The costs. The liability. The responsibility.

And, that is why I have not leapt.

Yet.

By minimizing those fears, asking the right questions, finding the answers, identifying the costs, assessing the risk, recognizing the competition, and developing a plan to minimize the costs and liability, I am finding my way towards my destiny. A destiny of personal rewards for myself and my family.

Gratitude is my attitude and success shall be my reward, for without the support of those around me, I have neither.

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The Best of 2012

Since it would take me several posts to catch up on each shoot I completed last year, I thought, instead, I would post a Best Of and highlight some of the amazing clients I had in 2012.

2013 is on target to be a banner year for me, and I’m really hoping to excel beyond what I accomplished in 2012 to become the “go-to” photographer for Seniors, Glamour, and Portraits in the southern Illinois area.

2012 began with the sweetest little newborn ever! Born 4 weeks early and brought home to her adoptive family just a few days later, she started the new year off just right!

3genfingersThis is the little precious holding onto her loving mother and grandmother’s fingers. I just love the three generations all depicted in this simple shot.

As much as I love photographing newborns, I love just as much photographing women.

Here is a beautiful headshot of one of my former coworkers and a dear friend of mine. We took many, with various outfits, but this one my absolutely favorite.

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It’s around this time that I developed my logo, which is a lot harder than it sounds! :)

I believe that we, women, do not often take enough time for ourselves, and now that I have a husband and children of my own, I KNOW that’s true! We get bogged down with life, running errands, doing laundry, feeding our families, working inside and outside the home, life moves so fast, before we know it we are approaching our 10, 15, 20 year class reunion and wonder where the time has gone.

So, on my 39th birthday, my beautiful friend, Katie, modeled for me in this awesome field of yellow flowers (read: weeds), that got mowed down about a week later! I know she thinks I’m crazy, but I absolutely died when I shot this image, and it is STILL my favorite shot from that day. She is supermodel HOT!

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Weddings. Wow. They are a challenge, but I found that I absolutely LOVE shooting weddings. They aren’t for everyone, and they are SO. VERY. NERVE WRACKING! You don’t want to miss a thing. No time for errors, or being in this spot when you should be over there. I shot two weddings last summer and here is one of my favorite shots from each.

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And then there was an engagement session that had me at the top of a small mountain along the Shawnee National Forest. My was it beautiful up there!

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Then I photographed three beautiful sisters who were in town. They are all so beautiful and unique in their own way. These are my favorite images of each of them together in this triptych.

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Not long after this, my camera – after only 4 years – crapped out on me. I don’t know what happened, but out of nowhere I got an Err99 and it just never came back to life. Thanks to Canon’s Loyalty program, I was able to upgrade my camera (an XSi) to one I’d been eying for quite some time at a very reasonable rate. With my new 7D in hand, I needed a model to practice on. Once again, Katie came to my rescue.

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Enjoyed a family session during the peak of fall and all the amazing colors that came with it.

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Did another family shoot over the Thanksgiving holiday. This gorgeous little girl is the product of two of my favorite people. And, she’s not shy at all for the camera!

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To finish out the year, my friend and make-up artist extraordinaire, along with a new local salon owner, put together a Holiday Makeover shoot that turned out to be a moderate success, but an amazing learning experience. We’ll definitely be offering this again in 2013, on more than one occasion!

Overall, it was a wonderful year and I am so thankful to all my family, clients, models and friends who have helped and supported me throughout my journey. I will continue on in 2013 to further enhance my skills and develop my unique style in both composition and editing.

Thank you for an amazing 2012! I’m excited to see what 2013 will bring!

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