For the time being...

Lately, there has been some changes in our lives. A few months ago, we found out that I was pregnant. If you've been pregnant, you know that there are lots of appointments to keep up with (especially if you have health concerns). 

On top of the regular baby appointments, I have to keep a closer watch on my thyroid levels. That means that there are even more appointments than usual. 
Adding to that, wisdom teeth are coming out next month.

I have a lot on my plate right now, which is why I've decided to step away from my photography business for the time being. 
This isn't to say that I won't be taking photos. I will be- for myself. (styled sessions, fun ideas that I want to photograph) I can't give that up completely. 
I just won't be scheduling sessions for clients. 

This could be for a year, maybe less, maybe longer. I'll make an announcement when I'm ready to come back.

For my past clients, I still have your photos. I'll hang on to those for as long as possible, but I do ask that you get all your orders in by at least the end of July. 

Thank you so much for your business. <3

Styled Boho Shoot!

Models: Alyx Stover, Grace Cline, Terri Deflumeri, Kara Conn, Hunter Epperheart, Magan Gore, Alexis Ruiz

Make up: Ashley Duncan-Salman Magan Gore
https://www.facebook.com/groups/783980661745076/

Boutique: Tia Workman
https://www.facebook.com/groups/LuLaroeTiaWorkman/

Hair: Kayla Rae Anderson

Photographers :Allyson Townsend Photography
Ashley Adkins Photographs
Brittany Adkins Dean
 

Mentoring Sessions for Children | Allyson Townsend Photography | Chapmanville, WV Photographer

Softball, baseball, basketball, tennis, and football are all popular in our area. Even soccer is becoming a pretty big deal here.

So, why not Photography? 


If you've followed my blog, you know how important photos are to me. Maybe they're just as important to you. Let me teach your child the basics to preserving their memories with a camera!
Keep reading to learn more!

ATP is now offering 1 on 1 mentoring sessions for children. The content is basic with a total of 4 lessons in a month. Lessons are split into 1 day a week for the month, and last one hour each day. These lessons are designed for children as young as 8 years old to 15 years old.

For more information, please email me at info@atownsendphoto.com or use the contact form on my website. From there, you will get a digital magazine delivered to your email explaining the content in the lessons, what is included with the lessons, and the pricing information. Oh, and I will provide an entry level DSLR camera for children to use during their lessons!

I look forward to hearing from you!

Personal Photo Project | Chapmanville, WV Photographer

Josh and I both work from home, so we're around each other a lot. I love it. The photo of the strawberries in the sink inspired me to document our time together more frequently. So, today I picked up my camera to capture what was going on around the house this morning and this afternoon. Here are a few of my favorites. I'll list my settings under the photos for those that want to give it a shot. Remember, cameras and lighting situations are different, so just because you use the same settings, it doesn't necessarily mean you'll get the same outcome. 

Breakfast. Fresh eggs, hash browns, bacon, and toast with butter and jelly. Delicious. 

35mm f/2.8 1/250 ISO 4,000

35mm f/2.8 1/250 ISO 4,000

Same settings as above.

Same settings as above.

Double exposure in Photoshop.

For this one, I had Josh in the studio in front of a solid grey backdrop. Then in photoshop I put a stock background over him. Of course, there's a lot to this, but this is the short explanation. 

For this one, I had Josh in the studio in front of a solid grey backdrop. Then in photoshop I put a stock background over him. Of course, there's a lot to this, but this is the short explanation. 

I'm convinced that Barley could be a star cat in Hollywood.

35mm f/2.8 1/250 ISO 4,000

35mm f/2.8 1/250 ISO 4,000

Clove trying to get some attention while Josh is doing sermon prep. If you look close, you can see  a pit bull nose. (Don't worry, that isn't smoke, it's a vape.)

35mm f/2.8 1/250 ISO 320

35mm f/2.8 1/250 ISO 320

How To: The Strawberries in the Sink. || Chapmanville, WV Photographer

Here's a different kind of blog post. Sometimes, I'll just see something and I think, "That needs to be photographed."
Sometimes it's one of the animals, could be food, something outside, or just the way the light is falling in the house. I think that everyone should be able to capture things like this when they see the opportunity. That's why I'll be doing this type of blog post every other week. They'll be the "How To" posts. Enjoy!

Settings: ISO - 1,600 35mm f/2.8 1/400 with natural light.
This means that my ISO was set to 1,600. My focal length was 35mm. My aperture was 2.8. My shutter speed was 1/400th of a second. I used natural light from the window behind the sink.
Camera body was a Nikon D750 and my lens was a Sigma 35mm ART.

I caught the details in the water, the bubbles, the ripples in the water, and froze the strawberries in the frame by having a high shutter speed. If you noticed that the strawberries next to the water are in focus while the others aren't, that's because my focal point was on the running water hitting the sitting water, and my aperture was 2.8.
If I remember correctly, I also had my white balance set to Kelvin at around 4,000. Then I warmed it up while editing. 

As far as editing, I warmed up the overall temperature of the photo, pulled out some more shadows and blacks, upped my contrast, did some dodging/burning, upped my clarity, then sharpened. 
 

Same settings and same editing with this photo, just a different setting on my faucet. ;)


If you're interested in learning more, I do offer mentoring sessions. Email me for more information on that! (info@atownsendphoto.com)

What's in my bag? | Chapmanville, WV Photographer

Every now and then I'll get a message asking me what kind of camera I use or what lens I used for a certain photo. While top of the line gear is nice, keep in mind, it doesn't make the photographer! So, if you're just starting out, remember that. I started my business with a Nikon D3200. (which I still use sometimes!)

I'll start with my main camera. Right now, I use a Nikon D750. I absolutely love it. Yes, it does take beautiful photographs, but I do tell it what to do. (Manual mode, ya'll! Learn it and use it!) 

I have a few different lenses that I keep in my bag with me, but I usually only use two of those. I have a Sigma 10-20mm lens, a Nikon 50mm lens, a Sigma 35mm art lens, and a Nikon 70-200 lens. Of those lenses, my favorites are my 35 and my 70-200. I very rarely use the 10-20mm, but when I do, they're usually artistic and creative photos.

Sometimes, I'll bring along a single off camera flash if I think it might come in handy!

I also carry some touch up makeup for my girls, some business cards, extra SD cards, a small reflector, tissues, and my camera strap.

That's it! 

Here's an older favorite, just because!

The Client Experience: You Deserve the Best! | Logan County, West Virginia Family and Senior Photographer

 

 

This year, I announced that I'm only taking a limited number of clients each month. This is because I believe that my clients deserve so much more than a few hours of my time photographing their session and editing their photos! Let me explain.

When you book a session with Allyson Townsend Photography, what do you get? A short and sweet answer: You get customer service, a photo session, and time. The thing is, a short answer cannot let you know what all you're actually getting with an ATP session. So, here's the long answer.

I'm building my business around this simple question, "How can I serve my clients to the best of my ability?" The thing I've noticed is that the answer to this question gets longer with every session I book. And that, for me, is perfectly acceptable. If I book a high volume of clients each month, that means that I'm spending less time with each client. That certainly isn't something I want! 

See, the last thing I want to do is book a session, meet for the first time the day of your session, take some photos, go home to edit, load them online, send you a link, and never hear anything after that.

I want to connect with you! I want to know your needs before your session so we know exactly what we're photographing for. I want you to be able to express what kind of photos you're after. Are you interested in a canvas cluster for your wall? Would you love to have a precious heirloom album to pass down through generations? These are the things I want to keep in mind while photographing your session. During your session, I want you to have fun. I want you to be able to relax and be yourself. 

 

And, guess what? The best part hasn't even started yet.

After your session, we'll have your reveal night. You'll get to see your beautiful images that we have captured on a slideshow set to music. We'll take our time sorting through your photos to ensure that you are satisfied with your choices. If you decide on that wall cluster for your home, we'll be able to see exactly what it will look like with software that I use. If you decide to purchase an album, we'll take our time designing that album together so that it is exactly what you want.

You don't want your priceless photos to be stored on a USB drive, a CD, or online somewhere and forgotten about. You want you to be able to look at those images daily. You want to be able to show those photos to guests without having to turn on your computer and hope the wifi is working, hope that the online storage company is still in business, or hope that the computer will still read the CD or USB. I don't want that for you either! 

Sometimes it can be overwhelming- deciding which photos you want and what sizes you want. That's why I'm here to help you. 

There you have it! That's the long answer to the question, "When you book a session with Allyson Townsend Photography, what do you get?" 

Of course, if you have any questions or would like to book a session of your own, please get in touch with me! 

Exciting things to come! | Chapmanville, WV Photographer | Charleston, WV Photographer

What's new for ATP?

Let's start with the Newsletter! Yesterday, the first ever Allyson Townsend Photography Newsletter was sent out. It included things going on for this month, tips and tricks, and special deals that you can only get from the newsletter! If you aren't subscribed, here's a preview of the February Newsletter. If you'd like to be subscribed, you can do so here: http://bit.ly/2jLWDxH

Number TWO! ATP studio in the works? Here's a look!

A peek at some decorations, props, and product samples that are on display! If everything goes according to plan, I should have some sample photos by the end of next week. While I'm waiting for my lights to arrive, I did do a test session with Josh.

Coming in March, the ATP Referral Program! The details of the referral program will be outlined in next month's newsletter, so be on the lookout for that.

Ready to book your session? 
Get in touch! 
Email me at info@atownsendphoto.com today!

5 Tips for Beginners

Hi, there! For this blog post, I wanted to throw some tips out there for anybody that's having fun with a new camera! If you just got a new camera for Christmas or maybe even your birthday, here are a few things that might help you out a little bit.

1: Learn How Your Camera Works

This is a crucial thing to learn if you want to control how your photos turn out. Some people are okay with keeping their settings on auto and letting their camera do all of the work. I'm not that person, and maybe you aren't either! My camera isn't as smart as people think it is, you know! Switch that dial to manual mode and see what happens. Learn why your photo is too dark or too bright. Was the ISO too high? Too low? Shutter speed too fast? There are lots of simple tutorials online to help you with this!

2: Try a Different Angle

If you're taking a photo of a child or a pet, sometimes being above them won't give you the best photo possible. Get down on their level and experiment with different perspectives.

The photo below would have been very different if I would have been standing up to take it. I was on the puppy's level!

Ciera - 2016

Ciera - 2016

3: Pay Attention to the Light

Move your subject around to see how the light changes on them. Watch the shadows and highlights change as they move. I like to have my clients in a position where their back is to the sun. In this next photo, Kaitlin was positioned to where the sun was directly behind her. It was getting ready to set behind the mountain in the background. This gave me a pretty even light on her face. To give you an example of bad lighting, I'll post one of my very first photos below Kaitlin's. 

Kaitlin - 2016

Kaitlin - 2016

Yes, this is very embarrassing for me, but it did happen! Obviously, I was clueless. I thought it was pretty good at the time too! I even slapped a watermark on it! Let's all take a moment to be thankful I kept practicing!

Colton - 2014?

Colton - 2014?

4: Editing

With the really bad photo of Colton up there, I added a lot of contrast. I added some fake sunlight on the left side of the photo too. It's just a bad edit. I mean, I could have at least lightened his eyes a little. A little bump in contrast or a simple black and white goes a long way. Now, don't get me wrong, sometimes a lot of editing is needed for those beautiful and dramatic photos. There are countless different styles for photographers. I like a clean and simple look, but some photographers prefer a dark and moody look. It doesn't mean one is right and the other is wrong, it's all in what you prefer. Find your style and rock it!

5: Printing

Ready to hang those gorgeous photos? You better be! It would be awful if something happened to your hard drive or flash drive and those photos were lost. Always keep digital back ups of your photos and print those important ones! If you'd like help picking out a printing lab, I'm happy to help! Here's a cell phone shot of one of my canvas groupings!

If you're interested in a small mentoring session for more in-depth tips, you can email me at info@atownsendphoto.com or click the "contact me" button below to be directed to the contact form.

Why photography?

It's a simple question, really. People ask me a lot, nonetheless, I've never been able to articulate the thoughts in my head into an elegant response when I reply to that question. That's why I thought it would be a good idea to sit down and take a while to get those thoughts out of my head so I can answer those of you who are curious why I chose the path I did.

Most people would assume it's because I wanted to be my own boss, or that I wanted to set my own hours. While that is true, it isn't the whole truth. 

 

Ruthann and David Townsend (senior photo/engagement photo) Altizer Photography

Ruthann and David Townsend (senior photo/engagement photo) Altizer Photography

Since I opened my business, I've had quite a few people who knew my grandfather say, "it must run in the family!". 
My grandfather, Erman Altizer was a professional photographer.  During a lot of my childhood, Poppy was behind the camera. Most of the snapshots that we have printed in keepsake boxes and albums are courtesy of him. I say that to say this.. Poppy was unintentionally (or maybe intentionally, I don't know) showing me the importance of photographs. Whether those are set up and posed images or candids, they're important.

Over your lifetime, your memories are going to fade. You'll start to forget things that you swore you would never forget. If you're lucky, you'll be able to pull out a photo album or a box of stashed 4x6s prints and start to recall those days that were almost lost. 

Altizer Photography

Altizer Photography

I picked up the camera because I saw the importance of capturing moments before they were gone. I started the business because I wanted others to see the value in that- capturing moments before they're gone. Family photos? You don't want to wait until you "lose some weight", "get your hair done", or "when you have the perfect outfits for everyone". What if those things don't happen? You've lost your moments! The goal of my business is to convey the importance of preserving memories with photographs, but it doesn't stop there. I also want to stress the need for printed products. Like I mentioned earlier, about pulling out the albums or the keepsake boxes of prints, you'll want those when memories are all you have left. 

Sure, this is my job, but it's also my passion. 

Let me help you preserve those memories.

Erman Altizer

Erman Altizer