Courtney & Jonny

I Finca I’m in love with these two.  What a power couple.  Spending more than a lion’s share of their time in this gorgeous space in which we shot their portraits, Courtney, innovative pastry chef and Jonny, mix master behind the bar, are prominent figures at this lovely restaurant, bar and coffee shop.  Given the couple’s talents, the fact that they got engaged in New Orleans and that both appreciate jazz, we couldn’t help but push the theme a touch.  How amazing that Finca was both aesthetically perfect but also means something to these two.  Stylist Lauren Brady helped us evoke a jazz era vibe without going overboard and we just had a fabulous day lounging around the amazing space, eating beignets and sipping cocktails.

My job really is taxing…..I mean seriously.

britt_chudleigh_001

britt_chudleigh_002

britt_chudleigh_003

britt_chudleigh_004

britt_chudleigh_005

britt_chudleigh_006

britt_chudleigh_007

britt_chudleigh_008

britt_chudleigh_009

britt_chudleigh_010

britt_chudleigh_011

britt_chudleigh_012

britt_chudleigh_013

britt_chudleigh_014

britt_chudleigh_015

britt_chudleigh_016

britt_chudleigh_017

britt_chudleigh_018

britt_chudleigh_019

britt_chudleigh_020

britt_chudleigh_021

The Hustle

11008264_1606776362871174_1743547220_n
photo via @greatdiscontent

Peter found this amazing magazine yesterday.  Before I dive into said magazine I must already derail myself……a common ailment of mine, the derailing of any streamlined thought.  I’m like a bloody pinball machine.  Annnnnnyway.  Peter has such a gift for finding inspiring materials, artists, work…..for finding a camera that will make me fall in love with photography all over again, a song that will make me cry, a home that I’ll want to buy immediately.  I love this gift of his and the beauty he brings to my life.  One such gift being a beautiful, raw, honest, inspiring as hell magazine.  The Great Discontent.  “A quarterly print and monthly digital magazine featuring interviews on beginnings, creativity, and risk”.  Pete snagged issue 2 which explores “the idea of making it- both how we do it and how we define it”.  This issue strikes such a perfect balance between the head in the clouds type of inspiration that gives us creatives butterflies in our stomaches, facilitating big thinking, and the feet planted firmly in reality type of inspiration that reminds us daydreaming will physically do nothing for the accomplishing of our goals, that “making it’ requires ego take the back seat periodically so that hard work and persistence can keep us in pursuit of that spot in the distance we call success.

Without the work, the hustle, we are just unrealized dreams on a shelf.

The hustle, the hustle, the mother effing hustle.  It ain’t easy.  It’s not pretty sometimes.  It’s not glamorous and sometimes it seems so far from what you originally thought this dream of yours would have you doing hour to hour, day to day.  But the hustle, separates those who have made it from those who are still sitting in coffee shops complaining about how the world just didn’t support their ambitions.  How dare the universe not make it easy?  How dare it not deliver my career to me in a beautifully wrapped package with a note that says, “You are so damn talented, the stars spotted you from lightyears away.  Here is your life, just as you envisioned.  You deserve it”.

What the hell universe.

I actually love the universe.  I love it’s disregard for fairness, entitlement and deservedness.  I love the etherial way you can pull what you need into your life by first giving it.  I love having finally accepted that there is so very much to be grateful for in this life but there are no gifts, no blessings, no gimmes, no handouts.  You get what you give.  It’s actually quite liberating.  In my youth, becoming a successful artist meant some twist of fate, somehow getting noticed or discovered.  Someone telling me I’ve made it or that I had the potential and they were going to make it happen for me.  This made me feel somewhat excited whilst lost in a daydream but then on planet earth it made me feel like I had no control, that really, becoming an artist wasn’t a reality for me.  I was dependent on some outside something to make it happen.  This is probably the biggest reason it took me until my 30’s to start really pursuing my artistic career.  I have such a different perspective now.  I feel as though it’s just a choice.  I want this, I do this.  And I do it hard and tirelessly and don’t stop until I’m there.  And even then, I keep going.  But there is no magic, no, will I make it or won’t I.  The decision is made.  Just time to do the work.  There is no straight line and sometimes I’m not sure what “the work” is, but I just keep going and going.

Sound exhausting?

It is.

But I have felt enough of the reward of that exhausting effort to keep me going and going and going.  I have come to accept that this is my life…..and that I like it that way.

10963894_642447342567820_1063176126_n

photo via @greatdiscontent

So hell yes, goddamn hustle.  Hustle that shit.  And don’t be ashamed that you had to work to make it happen.  You aren’t any less talented because you had to send an editor 20 letters before they gave you the time of day.  And what is talent anyway?  I kind of think it’s irrelevant and totally undefinable…….something people like to say when they justify paying $100,000 for a painting they don’t really like…..”ohhh, but the artist is juuuuuuust so taaaaaalllllented, I couldn’t resist really”.  Talent shmalent.  Do you like what you do?  Are you doing it in a way that pleases you?  Then screw talent, just do it.  You will hit a nerve with someone, somewhere.

Promise.

And you should totally listen to me……..because I know everything.

Is That My Voice?

So, I’m gathering photos for a portfolio review in LA that is coming up in a couple of weeks.  I don’t have the best taste in my mouth when in comes to this type of thing………..reviews, conventions, contests, etc..  I mean, where do they really get you?  Are they valuable?  The past couple of things I’ve attended of this nature haven’t exactly left me feeling like they were worth my time and effort.  I’d rather just put my head down and do my work.  But, this is perhaps coming from the perspective of a woman that now has work and is more focused on that output rather than self promotion.

Hmmmmmmm, this attitude could get me in trouble, no?

I’ve recently been making a bigger effort to return to the self promotion front for several reasons.  One, I just heard myself in that last sentence and I’ve heard that voice before.  Can’t I just do my work without having to promote myself all the time?!  I really don’t like self promotion.  My instincts, which one should always listen to, say no.  No you can’t Britt.  You will be self promoting your entire career.  Deal.  So, there’s that.  Secondly, I am charging into new territory professionally (lifestyle/advertising photography) and I shouldn’t devalue the role that reviews, conventions, contests, getting published and basically just reaching out anywhere I could played in the building of the side of my career that’s currently thriving (wedding photography).

Back in 2008 I started my career in the wedding industry as a wedding photographer and if I squint my eyes and think really hard, I can remember how I built that business.  I have this nasty little habit of only looking forward to whatever carrot is currently dangling rather than looking back, so this is challenging.  But I remember some things.  I attended everything I could. I soaked up all the advice possible.  I showed my work to any audience available.  And slowly but surely my shotgun approach got more and more refined to the point where I am now….hitting a very specific demographic who appreciates my voice and the way I work.  That took several years and it’s easy to forget those efforts.  I’m very thankful that I now have a better idea of where to focus my energy instead of flailing about the way I did in the beginning.  So now, here I am, with that experience behind me…..I’m not totally green…..but I’m heading again into uncharted waters.  I don’t know exactly how to get the clients I want in this other side of my work.  I have definitely learned about broad concepts such as voice, inspiration, work ethic, drive, respect for yourself, blah blah blah, from what I’ve built thus far.  But in some ways I’m starting anew.

So here we are, a portfolio review.  I need some expert feedback.  I need the right clients.  I need an agent.  Here’s where I am, having been photographing this kind of work for years now alongside the wedding photography.  The LAFotoWorks Portfolio Review sounds promising.  With reviewers from the likes of power house agencies such as Art Department, Giant and Nouvelle Vague, I’m feeling optimistic about the value of this thing…..I’m excited to get my work in front of some experienced eyes.  I’m hoping to either get a healthy dose of you suck and you aren’t ready or love your work, here’s what’s next.  I’m prepared for both or any gray areas in between.  So, I’m in.  I’ve decided to expose myself to judgement and scrutiny……..I’ll be massaging my fragile ego in the weeks to come……..now comes the task of preparing 50 images that tell these folks who I am, what clients I’d like to work with, how I see the shape of my career…………my voice.

Well damn if that isn’t just really hard.  Thank goodness I have some talented people around me to help.  Editing your work is one of the most important parts of being a photographer.  I know this.  Emotional attachments to photographs blind your vision and having people around that you trust to look at your work with fresh eyes is so valuable.  So, I put my work in the capable hands of others and this is what we came up with.  I’ll be printing 11×17’s on a fine art cold press matte paper and presenting them in a large box.  I’d love to have a book in the future but since this is such a preliminary dip into the pool, I’m not ready to commit.  And I’m shooting a shitload of work this year so I’d like it to remain flexible at this point.

Here we go.


britt0001

 

britt0002

 

britt0003

 

britt0004

 

20150221-brittchudleigh-138

 

britt0006

 

Portraits for Marte Marie Forsberg

 

britt0008

 

Britt Chudleigh - Photographer www.chudleighweddings.com www.brittchudleigh.com

 

Britt Chudleigh - Photographer www.chudleighweddings.com www.brittchudleigh.com

 

Photo by Britt Chudleigh www.chudphoto.wordpress.com

 

britt0012

 

britt0013

 

britt0014

 

Blaire Hayes, Salt Lake City, UT.  Photo by Britt Chudleigh.

 

britt0016

 

Britt Chudleigh - Photographer www.chudleighweddings.com www.brittchudleigh.com

 

britt0018

 

britt0019

 

britt0020a

 

britt0021-2

 

Britt Chudleigh - Photographer www.chudleighweddings.com www.brittchudleigh.com

 

britt0023

 

britt0024

 

britt0025

 

britt0026

 

britt0027

 

britt0028

 

britt0029-2

 

britt0030-2

 

britt0031-2

 

britt0032

 

britt0033

 

britt0034

 

britt0035

 

Photo by Britt Chudleigh www.chudphoto.wordpress.com

 

britt0037

 

 

Photo by Britt Chudleigh www.chudphoto.wordpress.com

 

britt0040-2

 

britt0041-2

 

britt0042

 

britt0043

 

Tulie Bakery photo story

 

britt0045

 

britt0046

 

Photos by Britt Chudleigh www.brittchudleigh.com www.chudphoto.wordpress.com

 

britt0048

 

britt0049-2

 

What does this collection of images say to you?  Are you working on amassing a portfolio or have one in tact that you’d like to share?  How are you reaching out to the professional world in your genre?  I welcome thoughts, input, questions and links to your work.

Here’s the deal…….

……..this journal bores me.  Like seriously.  So boring.  Don’t get me wrong……I love my work, but if you wanted to see my portfolio, you would go to my website. I mean, please do.  Here and here.  And while you’re at it, go to my husband’s.  He’s so goddamn talented.  But a journal, well, a journal is for journaling, for life, for the day to day, the behind the scenes, the thoughts behind the work, the ranting, the elations, the ups, the down……the real shit.  I’m a photographer, a woman, an artist, a mom, a booty shaker, an analyzer of human psyche, a wife, a nurturer, a narcissist, an eater, a lovey love lover, a crazy person………..a person who gets lost in her work sometimes, who fumbles and a person who, every once in a while, just hits that fucking nail on the head and I want to share it all.  I want to be real.  So, I’ve decided to start treating this journal like an actual journal.  I’m so excited! Anyone that knows me knows I’ve got a lot to say…….so let’s get this thing going.  Like fur reals.  Too legit too quit.  Caaaaaan’t stop it. Oh yeah.  Right on.  Let’s get this party started.  Done deal.  Boom baby.  Ok, I’ll stop.

 

marte_marie_forsberg_20130513IMG_6494

 

No actually, I guess the point is……I won’t.

I’m your open book.