Sunday, February 24, 2019

What Inspired Me to Start my Photography and Printing Business?

     Are you in Facebook groups that help you inspire and grow your business?  I am in several and one of them is #BoldBossTribe.  The two leaders of the group post Mondays through Friday to get the group to interact.  One of the questions inspired me to write a blog post so I could tell you all a little bit more about myself to you all.  What Inspired you to start your business or blog?  That is a very good question and insightful.  So the summer before I graduated college I interned for a photographer in hometown name Mary Margaret Chambliss Photography.  When she was ordering professional photograph prints she was ordering them from New Orleans.  I was telling my professors about this and they thought this was interesting especially since Birmingham has some magazine companies located here.  My professors and I discussed my options during my senior year.  Photographers go to L.A., Colorado, or New York (those general areas).  But my professors knowing how much I dislike like the cold did not see me up north or in the west.  The also did not see me in L.A.  So that is when we began discussing going back to my hometown and beginning a business.  I could sell my artwork and advertise printing professionally for other photographers.
     But now how to come up with a name for my business?  The name was quite simple actually.  I went by my nickname Allie Ray.  It just flowed really well and it also was a way to honor my dad who passed away before I entered college.  He always loved art and nature.  Now I just had to get my business started and my name out there for the world to know!
     As an introvert that takes some time, but as someone who has learned to give up I work hard and promote like crazy.  I have found several ways to keep getting likes on Facebook and Instagram despite the algorithm changes.  I have a great support system and I have many willing models to practice my photography skills on throughout the year.   I still can't believe I started my business almost 6 years ago!  Thank you for following along this journey with me.

A Christmas gift a mom gave her adult child

A Christmas gift that a husband gave a wife

At a recent art show in February

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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

It's a Crazy Time of Year But Beautiful

     I never thought in my wildest dreams that in the last month I would connect with so many different people through my photography.  I have photographed birthday parties for a fellow artist.  I have been photographing a few Christmas card photos for families and working hard on my gold and silver leaf woodblocks.  I was even asked to photograph a surprise birthday party for someone.  These things have made me very grateful for photography career.  
     I have also been making sure to take the time and enjoy the holiday season by going to the Christmas pageant at my nephew's preschool, joining in with the family when decorating gingerbread houses, but most of all during this time of year I have been taking care of myself.  I know as an artist, a person, and someone who loves to who help people I need to take care of myself.  I need that one day to relax so I am able to enjoy the Holidays.  So yes you might not see me posting a bunch of photos at the moment on all my social media pages or even posting to my Facebook business page every week.  But trust me I am working hard making these wonderful gold and silver leaf woodblock gifts for you that I can't show my followers until after they have been given to loved ones as presents.  
     I just want to remind you all that I love showing you all my work, but during this season you might see more of my Christmas tree until I can post things I worked on this December.  Until then Happy Holidays!

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

New Interests

     One thing I have done this summer is take some fun creative classes.  I took a hand lettering class from the shop owner of Wood Ya Look at That.  You should totally go check out her work by clicking this for her Facebook page link and her Instagram is just so fun!  Check it out here!  Okay now let me tell you about what this artist does... She makes wood signs in her free time while being a paralegal, going to law school, and studying for the bar.  Oh wait that is not all she is engaged and planning her wedding!  The first class I attended with her back in August she taught a room of 30 women how to hand letter and helped us all with a sign! So here is the artist helping me with my piece and then you can see my finished piece.

     When we were leaving she told us about how she was going to have another class where we made pumpkin door hangers!  My birthday is in October so of course I was thinking this will be so fun and who doesn't love making decorations!  The class was smaller than the first one and I enjoyed painting a white and an orange pumpkin.  I was able to use my creativity in her class.  And learned more about her!  Now time to show you the pumpkins! 

     Seriously I had so much painting and learning how to hand-letter.  I did not know what it took for these type of artists and I loved learning about it.  Thank you for the two great classes and opening up my heart to some new fun passions!  I hope you all check out this artists work and give her a follow on her Instagram!

#woodyalookatthat #handletteringclass #creativevibes #allierayphotography #artistpassions

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Thank You Letter

     This is a thank you letter to my photography professor who I had him multiple times as a student during my time at Savannah College of Art and Design.  I think the thing that really stuck with me is that the last days I was in college my mom came to pick me up and we went out to lunch with Professor Christman.  Professor Christman, my mom, and I were sitting there eating lunch and he talked about my first class with him during my freshman year spring quarter.  I have to admit to you right now that this was a year and half after my dad died.  I was still in a rough place.  I was doing my work and sitting in the back of the classroom.  Professor Christman could tell I was struggling in some ways and needed help.  He did not know how to help me, but he found a way.  Professor Christman told my mom and I how he talked to a graduate student from my hometown (who is now an author -- you should totally read her book Unmapped and get it here).  Anyways, she was kind enough to tell our professor about my dad.  After that he really helped me hone in my photography skills so I could use them to express myself.  My senior year in his class I made a book which I used photographs and words to talk about my dad.
     My professor took the time to get to know me when he knew I was struggling.  He kept pushing me and taught me everything I know today about Photoshop and Lightroom.  During my senior year he took the time to talk to me about where I wanted to go after graduation.  I know some professors do this during everyone's college years.  But the thing that stands out to me is that he did not let me stay that shy, lonely, sad person in the back of his classroom my freshman year.  Professor Christman took the time and effort to get to know me during my years at Savannah College of Art and Design.  He took the time to get me to be an artist and teach me.  He took the time to become my friend and a mentor.  You will forever be missed Professor Christman and thank you for all you taught me at SCAD.

Here are some photos I made in during my first class with you!

Oh Pete Christman you influenced my art in so many ways.  Rest in Peace my dear mentor Professor. Thank you for taking the class to your house to see all your art work and meet your precious dog.  And also when we had that very small class for taking us to breakfast one morning.  Thank you so much for everything you taught me.  I am so glad you are finally meeting my dad.  Please tell him hello for me.


Your student who I think tried to get in your class every quarter at SCAD!

#SCADalumni #SCAD #SCADphotography

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Inspiration as a Wedding Guest

     I want to talk about weddings.  I am attending some weddings this year as a guest.  I have read many blogs about things that brides should know before their wedding or as the blog writers say the BIG DAY.  The thing about weddings is that I love experiencing them.  I have been a second shooter at a wedding, but I still feel like I missed some of the magical parts of the wedding.  As this wedding that I am attending approaches I remember some of the magical things that I love watching:

1. How all my relatives talk with one another like we just saw each other yesterday
2. Everyone dances
3. Everyone eats the food and cake
4. So many fun photos on your iPhones and cameras to remember the next day

     I could name so many funny memories about weddings past that I have been to, but each one of them have some what inspired me especially the bridal gowns.  I have no clue when my big day will arrive but all I know is that each wedding, the invitations, the flowers, the cake, just all of it inspires me.

     I will probably want to include my dog in my wedding or maybe a small ceremony, but I will just have to keep getting inspired by all the weddings.  Where do you get your inspiration for your wedding or where did you get your inspiration for your wedding?

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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Hello 2018!

     Does anyone else think that 2018 just walked on in here without being invited?  I mean I was not nearly as prepared to celebrate or do any of the things I normally do for a New Year.  It literally just waltzed on in here and I was like, 'oh wait it happened!'  I barely had time to think about my goals for this year.  And everyone was posting on Instagram about them.  They even posted their highlights from the 2017 year.  I feel like I am late to the game this year.  But you know what I am okay with that.  I know that I spent time thinking about my goals.  I also realized that sometimes you can wait to make those lists or plans, because you see other people's ideas and you think that is a great idea for me.  Some of my goals for 2018 include things for my business and some of my goals include things like cooking one day a week.  What type of goals did you make for the New Year?

Here is a photo of the snow day we had in Alabama in December.

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#goals #newyear #alabamaphotographer #allierayphotography

Friday, November 10, 2017

November Already

     I can not even believe we are already through ten days in November.  If you are like me as a photographer or person in general who makes art you are thinking about what to get people for Christmas and also how to keep advertising your work to keep working till the last day of the year.  You are probably also thinking how in the world am I supposed to get holiday shopping, wrapping, and cooking, etc. finished?  Why is it always a never ending to-do list during the holidays and only begins during the first of November. 
     I have to begin by promoting my hand made gold and silver leaf pieces as much as I can through emails and on social media.  Then I have to make the time to shop for gifts and make the list out.  Am I the only one who makes lists anymore?  I really hope not they are really helpful.  You should just see my notebook that I have filled with lists!  This is what happens when you are a creative artist as working a part-time job.
     I really should be promoting by hand made pieces that are on wood blocks covered in gold and silver leaf pieces. So here are some photos.

 My Artwork Set up at Birmingham Artwalk

My Artwork setup at the Tartan Classic Marketplace

My Artwork setup at the Tartan Classic Marketplace

     But I also want to know how you find out about your favorite hand made art pieces and do you go to home shows?  What hours are the most convenient hours for you to attend if someone does a home show for you to come?  I love hearing your opinions.

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