FEATURED GUEST ARTIST * MANDY BAUGHN
Mandy Baughn Photography
Hi, I'm Mandy! I'm a wife and work from home mama. I live in a small town in rural Alabama with my husband, son (4 years), and daughter (2 years). I'm so thrilled to be here to share a bit of my story with you! My photography journey started probably similarly to many mamas. When I was pregnant with my first born, my husband and I decided we wanted to invest in a DSLR to hopefully document our days. I had a tiny bit of interest in possibly pursuing photography as a side job, but didn't really put much thought or effort into it with in the first few years of purchasing my starter camera (Canon 60D). I forced myself from day one to shoot in manual. I had no experience AT ALL, but I'd done lots of reading and googling and I knew that I really wanted to learn the ins and out of my camera and what it was capable of. In those early days, I shot very sporadically. I would get my camera out and take a thousand pics in a day, and then I'd put it away for 3 or 4 weeks. Around the two year mark, I was shooting more (still not every day) and had managed to do a few sessions for close friends and family, but I was becoming increasingly frustrated with my results. I felt like my photos were just so "Hodge podge"and I really wanted to settle into a style that was unique and something I could be proud of.
By the end of 2015, I'd done a bit of client work, but still felt like my images were hit and miss. I did a little research on ways to improve photography skills, and one of the biggest and simplest tips is...shoot every day. EVERY SINGLE DAY. By this time, I had two small children, and I wasn't really sure how in the world I'd manage to use my camera every day, but I committed to a 366 project (photo a day) for 2016. That's when I started my Instagram account @mandybaughnphotography
I just wanted a place to archive my photos every day. Little did I know, Instagram would be a huge source of encouragement and inspiration for me in that first year. I knew nothing of hubs and hashtags when I created that account, but I quickly learned that there's an amazing community of supportive photographers out there who started the same way I did. I've made some really cool connections on Instagram and "met" some amazing mamas who I now refer to as my "instafriends" :). Through out 2016, my passion for photography became even stronger as I worked on improving my work and expanding my knowledge. I think one of the most important things to grasp in photography (or really anything) is there's always something more to learn. And just about every day, I learn a new little tip or trick. I believe that being open to learning new things can really help prevent creative ruts as well.
2016 was a huge year for me as far as client work. I've been kind of all over the place with style when it comes to clients, but this year I want to really narrow things down and focus on what I'm most passionate about. I've had a taste of just about everything, and through that I've learned that I much more prefer lifestyle/documentary photography. It's not the most popular style where I live, but I'm hoping my work can help my clients see the beauty in everyday ordinary moments. I often tell people that I'd rather capture a genuine frown over a fake or forced smile any day!
Thanks so much for letting me ramble here! I was so flattered to have been asked to share a bit of my story with you! I'd love to get to know you better...you can find me posting and interacting daily on Instagram @mandybaughnphotography. (Maybe one day I'll have a blog :)