Seniorologie Conference 12 Denver

Senior Portraits Red Rocks Park Denver CO Dynae Levingston Senior Photography

As a senior portrait artist, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate Seniorologie’s Leslie Kerrigan for putting together such an awesome experience as Conference 12. This happened to be my second time attending, the first being last year in Miami. To say what I learned last year changed my business is an understatement. It completely transformed what I thought I was capable of, and inspired and motivated me to take my business, and art, to the next level. To be honest, I had been stagnant for a while, and everything I learned gave me the push I needed to move forward. And it’s worked. I have so far had my biggest year yet 🙂

So as soon as it was announced that this year’s conference would be held in Denver, I didn’t hesitate – I have a love affair with the mountains, and knowing the kinds of speakers and education I’d be getting I couldn’t pass it up. And it did NOT disappoint. From the speakers, to the styled sessions and the city itself (not to mention Red Rocks) to the new friends I met, it was just an all around awesome weekend. And while I dove right into the images, and have some fun to share, I also can’t wait to get into all the educational info and make some changes for next year that will take my client experience, and my business even farther.

I’m starting this as a series of blogs, and I’ll be taking you along the experience of the styled shoots soon! But to start, here’s some over all fun from Denver!

Senior portraits in Denver CO by Dynae Levingston Photography

 

I am Beauty Revived

Dynae Levingston Photography and Beauty Revived
Life has taken me and my little family on some crazy turns in the past few years. Between layoffs, career changes, having kids and moves, it’s taken me a while to feel confident in my ability to make my photography business work. First of all, I’m a work at home mom, with a husband that travels for his career, so being able to navigate parenting responsibilities with that of running a business, has been very much my biggest challenge.

But looking back over the past year or so, I think it was so hard partly because I didn’t really have my WHY. Why was this my career choice? Beyond wanting to be home with my kids and being my own boss (and don’t get me wrong, those are big ones). But, I mean I could do any number of things, I have a Fine Art degree, I worked in graphic design and advertising and could have easily continued my freelance career, or gone to work for another agency. But something kept telling me no, you need to do this, and you need to do more.

You see it finally clicked last year, that by more I didn’t mean more clients, more business. Obviously that’s a goal – I need to pay my bills, haha! But I realized that it all had to have meaning beyond that. See I don’t take photographs of my clients just to make money and have a job. I do it so they can see themselves, and have a legacy. In this digital age, with every one and their dog having cameras and social media, and sharing all the time… we’ve also become lost in authenticity. I see this particularly in the senior market, where these kids take selfies all day long but they still don’t really see themselves. They focus on perfection and don’t realize THEY ARE PERFECT already. God made each and every one of us the way he did for a reason, and I think we all could remember that and give ourselves more grace. I truly believe my gift, is being able to help people see their own beauty. I help them see themselves the way their loved ones see them every day – as the beautiful people they are inside and out, and worthy of that love.

So that leads me to the title of this post. I came across Beauty Revived last Fall at a photography conference I was attending. And something else clicked. I could use my business to help give back as well, and this organization’s mission matched my own. Beauty Revived was established in 2014 by Michele Gifford as a way for photographers to use their lens for good and shine light on the real beauty found in communities throughout the country. Since then more than 700 women, girls and children have been featured by Beauty Revived online and in print.

“As a high school senior photographer, I started Beauty Revived because I saw the power that a photographer has in shaping perception and altering dialogue on beauty,” said Michelle Gifford, Beauty Revived founder. “The photographers who participate in our campaigns not only have great technical and artistic talent but also have big hearts and a desire to be more than just a picture taker. They want to be a photographer who changes the world with their work.”

I knew after learning more about Beauty Revived, that it was something I wanted to be a part of. And I’m so happy and honored to say, this year I was lucky enough to be selected as one of the photographers across the country to take part in their 50 Beautiful Seniors Campaign. Soon, I will be selecting a lucky 2018 High School Senior by nomination to donate a full session experience to, tell their story to be published in Beauty Revived’s magazine, AND this lucky teen will be in the running for a $1500 scholarship.

And you can help! We are starting our fundraising campaign to see how many of these $1500 scholarships we can donate this year, and help some lucky kids go to college or get a head start on life after high school 🙂 Check out this amazing photographer’s bundle Beauty Revived is offering a large part of the proceeds go to the scholarship fund! Read stories of past scholarship recipients, and see what’s in the bundle – you get $1100 worth of products for just $99! Please consider helping these deserving teens out and get some awesome swag for yourself at the same time 🙂

Senior Portraits at the Fair | dlpROLEmodels

When the Ozark Empire Fair comes to town, it always presents an opportunity for me to just shoot for fun and experiment with lighting technique. From unique backlighting, to off camera flash, a lot of this type of lighting I don’t use in my everyday portrait work so it’s always a lot of fun. This year was no different, except for the lovely ladies who were able to help out! So thankful for this group of girls and their willingness to have fun and that the weather was with us that night. Usually this time of year the weather is so hot and humid you can hardly breathe, but this turned out to be a perfect summer night and I can hardly wait until next year so we can do it all over again!

Carnival Senior Portraits at the FairCarnival Senior Portraits at the Fair
Carnival Senior Portraits at the Fair

Springfield Senior Portraits | Sylvie

Sylvie is one of my dlpROLEmodels this year, and her Classic portrait session couldn’t have been more perfect! When I asked what she wanted for her session, she requested urban and nature if we could figure out how to do both. Luckily, Springfield is her hometown and so there are literally tons of sweet spots we could use. I used to work downtown in my graphic design days so I know the area pretty well, and I thought that would be perfect, as it’s got that hometown Americana feel, but still some urban edge as well. Sylvie’s a classic hometown sweetie, but she also has this dramatic look to her with her vibrant red hair and I knew I wanted some drama to her images as well, so we definitely utilized the backdrop of the theatre and had some fun with fairy lights 🙂 Add in the perfect weather and you got an amazing session!

classic hometown senior portrait session in Springfield, MO
classic hometown senior portrait session in Springfield, MO
classic hometown senior portrait session in Springfield, MO

dlpROLEmodels | Japanese Garden Session

One really unique and beautiful spot in Springfield is the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden. It’s a curated garden and for that reason there is an entrance fee just to go in, and even extra if you are a photographer. But it’s absolutely lovely and peaceful, and it was a great area to scout for portraits.

I love spaces like this, gardens or parks that have lots of little pockets of goodness so you can get many different looks in a session without having to drive or travel all over the place. This one was especially nice because literally everywhere you turn there was a new area that all flowed together, yet was unique to itself. And also being Spring, the colors were just gorgeous, which of course I always look for as well.

Featured image for teen portrait session in Springfield MO
Teen portrait session collage in Springfield MO

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