A Cozy Indianapolis AirBNB Session <3


Im a HUGE lover of in home sessions. I could shoot them all day every day. But there is a downside to them under some circumstances- lack of natural light in some homes. Windows Windows Windows work in your favor whenever shooting indoors. Which Is why I reached out to an awesome Airbnb in Indy with GORGEOUS natural light for us to shoot in that day. The couple was ADORBS, the house was perfect, and it was a great time had by all :)


A Playful Love Session at Whiskeytown Lake


Things got a little crazy and a bit spicy during my session with Jade + Makaiya... and that exactly how your girl likes it. Gimme all that goodness! Even though we were asked to leave by a mother because her "children are present" we still made the best of our time and im stoked by the results that were captured!




A Portrait Session in the Mountains

Im not sure if ya'll have noticed... but I have an obsession with being in the mountains. We just moved to Redding, CA a few weeks ago and I cant stay away from them. if I could do all of my sessions in the midst of these giants, I definitely would! Which Is why I DIG this session so much. Jade and I went chasing the sunlight one evening. We didn't end up finding much of it.. but these photos still deliver, and Jade is such a stunner!




An Adventure Turned Photoshoot in Redding, Ca.

My husband and I recently moved BACK to NorCal. Myself for the 4th time! This time we are committed to staying here for at least two years. There is something about Redding. The mountains, lakes, the adventurous spirit in the air. It really makes me feel so alive and free! 

I connected with the sweetest married couple here last week. They also happen to be rad photographers themselves!! We set off in the mountains, not really knowing where we were going, but I had a vision in mind! Due to the weather, the vision didn't really come true.. but we made some awesome images happen in the process anyways and I would love to share them with you!

We started in the mountains of a tiny town called French Gulch, right outside of Redding. There isn't much to see there besides, uhm, THESE MOUNTAINS!! The trek there is full of windy, narrow roads with loose rocks from the mountains (4WD will come in handy) But the views are definitely worth it! Once we were finished there we made a little stop at Whiskeytown Lake. Ya'll, I could live at this place. It is so stunning! And to finish it off, I took my cute couple downtown Redding and snapped some unconventional images just for funzies. I really love having these fun, unpaid sessions where I can just create and have my own vision. 

Well, im done typing... gaze on my friends!



Natural Light Portrait Session

This shoot killllsss me with all the glorious light!! It actually took place in my home- the front sun room- where I could sit for hours on end, basking in the glorious light. Then we ventured down the road a bit to the Japanese Gardens in Merrifield Park. If you like clean, airy, and creative portraits.. keep scrolling. 



An Editorial Model Session in Indy

I met with my gorgeous model, Claire, at an incredible Airbnb in Indianapolis last week (link here). I had a vision in my mind for a few shots but wanted to just see what happened once we arrived. I have to say, the results are some of my favorites... ever. I thrifted both the red pants and orange top at Goodwill, ya'll. Im starting to collect items for my models that fit with the visions that I have. And if any of you are in need of a place to stay while in Indy, please check this airbnb out. It is the best one I have ever stayed at!




A Cincinnati Artists Wedding.

Nick + Jenny are both art majors, which immediately made me super stoked to cover their wedding. I knew that if any couple would let me get weird during the portraits, it would be them. Its an artist to artist understanding. But even more than that, I knew they would actually appreciate it. Here are a few captures from the day. The weather treated us so well and I am in love with the highlight/shadow glory that is going on here. 


3 Ways to Make Your Images Stand Out


So, its not difficult to see that photography is a business that operates off of 1st impressions. A potential client clicks on your website, Instagram, Facebook, whatever it may be, and you can either pull them in or turn them away in the matter of seconds. The question is, "How do you make sure to pull them in?" Yes its true, everyone has a different taste as far as what they want from a photograph, but if a client clicks on your site for a reason, we want them to stay for a while!

There are a few tips that I learned along the way on how to make your photographs stand out & to make your viewers want to see more.

And what kind of person would I be if I withheld those from you? Not the nicest one.. and I actually am quite nice. So, lets begin!



1) Find your style & stick to it!



       This goes for the aesthetics of your website as well as just the consistency of your work. Put yourself in your clients shoes. If you LOVED one image from an artist because of its crisp, beautiful colors, but then saw other images of theirs that were gritty and dulled down, you would probably be afraid of what photos they would send you, right? There is the overused saying of "consistency is key". But it is so true. Your trademark is your editing style. People will come to you because they love that style! You may not know what style you want that to be from the beginning, in may take some time to discover one that feels like YOU. But once you do, it will be so rewarding, and people will begin to recognize your work just from your edits! Personally, I have adapted my work to have vivid colors and candid captures... Thats just what I LOVE and it helps so much knowing what my style is, coming into a shoot and being able to picture what the final edit is going to look like, even while it is still on my camera.




2) Work that angle, girl! (And guys)




  I challenge you- take one photo at eye level and then take that same photo either 3 feet higher or 3 feet lower.. check out the difference! This technique can change ordinary into "editorial". One of my favorite things to do within my work is to see how much I can manipulate (in a good way) my models body just by using unique angles. Take this image to the left, for example, Imagine if I was standing up normally and captured it.. this photo wouldn't have NEARLY as much "UMPH" to it! Get down REAL low and it suddenly feels like you are about to be stepped on. But even more than that.. it is UNIQUE! It will catch the eyes of your viewers and leave them wanting more. 



3) Shoot through shtuff

Lets be real, you don't even have to shoot THROUGH stuff.. just add in a little 'summin summin" to create an artistic flare to your photo. Try using a prism, a broken piece of glass (be careful), a curtain, or even just a solid object up close to your lens to create a  blur effect or even a rainbow (if you get the reflection right).  In this image to the right I found a piece of a broken bottle on the beach and brought it up close to my lens. Since the glass was curved, it created and awesome, blurred out warped effect! And it was free! (once circumstance where I thanked the person that littered). Don't feel like messing with glass?? Try a leaf, the edge of a building or even your cell phone. honestly, put pretty much anything up close to your lens and it adds in a new dimension. 



Every artist has their own vision, their own perspective, and their own way or portraying a story. Lets stay true to ourselves and let creativity take over. There are so many other ways to create photographs unique to YOU. Lets not get stuck in the rut of re-creating others work when we have so much at our fingertips to allow us to breath new life into the portrait world. I personally love when I capture an image and can say "I have NEVER seen a photo like this before!". Ya dig? Yeah ya do! Use these tricks and find your own, too! 




Lovers + Canoes

There isn't much better than two in love.. but throw in a canoe in a secret location and you have ALL of my attention! Lets get this blog post rollin'. 

Maggie and Cody are pretty much the most attractive couple you will ever meet. They were put to the test (as well as myself) on this super hot 90 degree day.. most of it spent in direct sunlight. I didn't hear one ounce of complaining, but instead, they offered all the googly eyes and gentle touches that makes everyones heart swoon. 



An adventurous bridal shoot + first look in Minnesota.

Kayla and Jason are nature lovers, so of course it made sense for us to do their first look and bridal shoot in the woods and along the lake. I always love when my couples are willing to take a risk and possibly get some dirt under their fingernails. Not to mention, we did this shoot just a few hours before their wedding (blog post coming soon). Most brides would be a little stressed about their dress getting dirty, but Kayla was so down to earth. I could tell that the memories being made meant more to her than the dress she wore. These two made my heart so happy!



A NorCal Wedding

When Kendyl got ahold of me and asked me to shoot her wedding I was so excited- Redding is one of my favorite places and it is SO beautiful! Its in the Northern part of California, not what most people picture when Cali comes to mind. It is peaceful and down to earth- Just like Kendyl and Torsten. Their love is something insane. I have never witnessed a ceremony bursting with pure, raw love as much as theirs. When the couple walked up the isle after their first kiss they had to stop, take a breath and let the most beautiful cry out. It was as if they finally reached the finish line after all the preparing, preserving and sacrifice.. along with the fun along the way too. It was such a beautiful thing to witness and I couldn't help but cry a bit behind my camera as well. 




Charming North Carolina Wedding

Let me start by saying that Savannah and Jacob are two of the sweetest people I have ever met. Savannah was giving all her bridesmaids compliments the entire day of HER wedding. And Jacob just had the most precious look in his eye towards his bride that would make anyone melt who witnessed it. I was so honored to capture their day! It is couples like them that make my job SO easy and enjoyable!! Congrats you two! You will outlast them all!



Staying on My Toes as a Photographer

One of the best ways for me to feel "special" in the world of photography is when I push myself to continually create. There are SO many crazy talented photographers flooding my news feed and yours too. It could be so easy for me to go into "comparison mode". And sometimes I fall into that trap unwillingly. But every once in a while I get my own "AH-HA" moment and I can truly say "I haven't seen an image like this before". And 90% of the time that I say that, It is because I tried something out of my norm. I love my usual style of editing, and I am a firm believer that consistency is key. But every now and then I actually NEED a creative shoot to fuel me for the rest of my paid endeavors (specifically wedding season). These shoots are ones that I never forget. from these, I almost always produce work that I am stoked out of my mind about and reminded how much I realllllyyyy dig this creative pursuit of photography. 

Well folks, today I want to share one of those shoots with you. In the midst of the wedding season madness, I made it a priority to get out and shoot for funzie. I hit up a willing couple and we headed to Silver Beach in MI! In the following photographs you will see work that may be pretty dang different than what I normally produce. You will see a new technique that I have grown very fond of (even though it is incredibly hard) and you will see some harsh spotlights, and also some images that make you think you are watching an episode of Star Trek... maybe? Anyways, bring on the photos.. and feel free to comment below and tell me what you think or if you have any questions :) 


Cedar Lake Wedding

Taylor and Josh were such a joy to work with. No matter what is going on, Taylor always seemed to have a joyful and uplifting spirit to her. She definitely could have keyed the phrase "lights up a room" because her love for Jesus as well as for others can't be hidden.. and I love that about her! Josh stares at Taylor like every man should stare at his wife, in awe and wonder! It is such a beautiful thing to witness and my hope is that you'll catch a glimpse of that love through these images as well! 


Why "By The Free"?

Well hello there! I'm so thrilled that you stopped by! 

A lot of things have been blooming through this past season and so much more coming to life in just a short amount of time. With all of this happening I figured it would be the perfect time for me to finally do the re-branding that has been on the back of my mind for a while now! Having a business named "Snyder Photography" when my last name is no longer "Snyder" was creating some confusion. On top of that, to me, it lacked creativity. I always aim to be different and having the typical  <insert last name> photography, just wasn't vibing with me and didn't get me excited.. it didn't create wonder and have an artistic twist to it, which is what I want to put off! Which brings us here. 

So why "By The Free"?

My main objective in re-branding my business is to create an image that represents myself as a photographer, and as an individual. I want my potential clients to stop by and immediately get a feel of who I am and how I work! So who am I exactly.. and how DO I work? I am a free spirit. I find joy in the small things. I thrive off of nature- My inspiration almost always comes from the Lords creation. Nothing brings me more joy than seeing a beautiful couple surrounded by all things natural and fresh! On that note, natural is a great thing! I love to capture my clients in their natural element. Lets go on an adventure and ill just be behind my camera slightly creeping on you through the whole thing! :) I want to capture your personality. I hope to inspire you to feel completely free with me! I want to see movement and dimension. I want to FEEL something and be able to show people that image and bring them directly into the same moment (but not in real life, because that would be strange). 

Lets talk about the logo. I designed it by hand to have simple, delicate flowers that weren't perfectly symmetrical, but instead felt organic. Think of walking through a field and foraging some wild flowers. I hope you are seeing what I am seeing! Simple, wild, and just as it is. 

With all of these aspects pulled together I hope that you can get a better idea of who I am and what my shooting style is! Feel free to stay around a while and explore the new site! Check out the "WERK" tab to see some features from my past shoots. Hit that "HOLLER" button if you are interested in session- I always love making friends through my sessions! Or just say hi! I always like that, too :)


Thanks for stopping by!

Xx Kelsey