September Photo Challenge Winners

We are so thrilled today to announce the WINNING photos for our September Photo Challenge.  Our theme last month was “BLACK & WHITE PORTRAIT”, and the images were truly magnificent!!   We want to thank all of our readers who submitted entries for the challenge, and a HUGE  THANK YOU to our fabulous sponsors SmartAlbums; Birdesign; and Canvas by Blossom for their generous prize donations to the challenge this month.

Here are our winners for the “Black & White Portrait” photo challenge:

1st Prize: #44 “Moonlight Sonata” Amy Booker Photography

2nd Prize: #133 Creative Expressions Photography

3rd Prize:  #176 Lindy Pfaff Photography

Honorable mention 1: #1 Jessica Caso Photography

Honorable mention 2:  #74 Just Gaba Photography & Design

If you’re one of our top five, proudly display the button “Top 5 Photo” button on your blog and Facebook pages. This button can be found HERE.

Winners, please contact Karlen at

Thanks to everyone who entered, and STAY TUNED for our October Photo Challenge…

New “Members Only” FREEBIE Packet {V42}

SahWEET!!  The newest “Members Only” FREEBIE Packet {Volume #42} is now available for download in the forum!!  This month’s packet is filled with the FANTASTIC goodies from our amazing vendors!  We want to extend a HUGE thank you for their generosity and support. Special thanks to EW Couture; and Designs that Inspire for this month’s contributions to Rock the Shot Forum members!

You can find the download link in [the Forum] under “Freebie Packets”. New members, don’t forget to download the other available issues of our “Members Only” Subscriber Packets as well! You’ll get HUNDREDS of dollars in FREE photography products.  Hurry, these packets are only available for a limited time!

Not a member of our forum yet?? JOIN TODAY, and get exclusive access to all our FANTASTIC FREEBIES!  Plus… for a limited time, save 30% off any level membership using code OCT30 (new/inactive members only: expires on October 12, 2014).

And now….on to the goodies! You will receive the following freebies:

Exclusive Mini-Session Marketing Set from EW Couture Collection {$24 Value}


You want to show off your photography and delight your clients. You also want to use templates that complement your work without overwhelming it. EW Couture creates rich, elegant, and classic templates for photographers like yourself.  Whether you’d like to save on design time, increase your sales, wow your clients, or market your business, EW Couture Collection can help.

  •  Compatible with Adobe Photoshop, Creative Cloud, and Photoshop Elements

Holiday Card Ordering Kit from {$45 Value}

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK provides the best design templates and writing for professional photographers in the industry. We are proud to offer unmatched pricing, quality, and customer care for essential tools to help you grow your business and keep your clients coming back for more. For $20 per month, professional photographers have unlimited access to our weekly-growing library of work.

  •  Compatible with Adobe Photoshop, Creative Cloud, and Photoshop Elements

“Simply Elegant” Wedding Marketing Collection from Designs that Inspire {$70 Value}


  • Compatible with Adobe Photoshop, Creative Cloud and Photoshop Elements

Not a member of Rock the Shot Photography Forum yet? Come on over and JOIN our fun and friendly community TODAY!  Plus… for a limited time, save 30% off any level membership using code save 30% off any level membership using code OCT30 (new/inactive members only: expires on October 12, 2014).

And… don’t forget to stop by these wonderful vendors websites and Facebook pages and check out all the FANTASTIC products they have to offer. Remember to download all of our currently available packets in the forum. Here is a list of all the fantastic freebies available for download.  Hurry, these packets are only available for a limited time!!

Volume 41:

  • Mini-Marketing Collection from Kimla Designs
  • Facebook Timeline Collection {5 Timelines) from The Album Cafe
  • Vintage Frame Bundle from Indigo Boutique

Volume 40:

  • Exclusive Photo Overlay Collection from Click and Blossom
  • “Back to School” Marketing Collection by Cherry Bloom Design
  • Exclusive Cloud Overlay Pack from Photographer Depot

Volume 39: (expires October 12, 2014)

  • Summer Marketing Bundle {4 templates} from Paper Lark Designs
  • Facebook Timeline Cover Bundle {6 templates} from Marketing Mall
  • “Owlsome” Texture Pack {12 Textures} from Owlsome Boutique

Photographer Spotlight: Jayme Ford of Paper Deer Photography

We are so thrilled to welcome the amazingly talented Jayme Ford of Paper Deer Photography to the Rock the Shot Blog.  Take a moment to learn more about Jayme and visit her website.  Thanks so much Jayme for sharing your work with us today!

Where did your inspiration for photography begin?
My Dad had a canon A-1 when I was a kid and it rarely left my side. I guess you could say that it was something i’ve always been very interested in and when I was old enough to harness the ability, my obsessiveness took over and that was it!
How would you describe your photography style?
My style is very honest and organic. I strive to create photographs that tell stories of individual connections, emotions and love. I want my clients to feel these emotions long after the photos have been taken, years into the future.

Did you study photography in school or are you self taught?

All self taught for the most part. When I bought my first professional camera (2006) I tried to teach myself by reading ALL the books but being more of a hands on learner, I found that very difficult. I have zero patience and wanted to learn everything immediately, so I decided to take an intro course at our local college and that helped solidify everything for me. I also did a few online courses, and lots of internetting! which I totally recommend for any aspiring photographers. After I nailed down shooting in manual, I started doing a couple in person workshops. Some are hit and miss and some are completely amazing. Make sure to do your research and read reviews before hand so you can make sure you are taking the right one for you. I did Joy Prouty’s (Wildflowers Photography) workshop in 2012 and all us girls that met at that workshop get together every year for a little photography retreat/inspiration renewal.
Do you shoot Canon or Nikon, and what is your favorite lens?

Canon for my digital gear and for film I have plenty but my main babies are my Leica M3 & Mamiya 645 Pro TL. My favourite lens has to be the 85 1.2, but a close second is my 35 1.4, both of those are my go-to session lenses

Do you have any tips for photographers on how to find the light?

This is something I struggled with a bit when I was first starting out. With loads of practice, I managed to figure out the sunrise/sunset light but that darn midday sun was tough. Now it might sound silly, but my phone really helped me….we all have cell phones and with communities like Instagram (@thepaperdeerphotography – shameless plug haha), finding that swoonable light was a driving force and pushed me to look for it in any situation. Once you start chasing that light, you will never stop.

What is the most challenging thing about photographing lifestyle/film?

Patience. And like I stated before, patience and I are not the greatest of friends, but both of those elements of photography require A LOT of it, so we’re working on it;)Film has really forced me to slow down and in doing so, i’ve to really learn and hone my craft.

What is a good lesson you have learned this year in photography or in your business?

This year I really started coaching my clients. I made a little magazine exclusively for them, filled with information about their upcoming session; from what to wear to what to expect after the shoot, it’s all in there …and let me tell you, it has helped TONS! Coaching my clientele was the best thing I could have done for my business and brand.

If you could encourage a new photographer in one area, what would it be?

Don’t get too caught up in trends. When I first started 8 years ago, I thought I needed to have every actions, texture, this and that and then realized that that wasn’t the style I wanted to convey through my work…be patient (there’s that word again) and understand that everyone started somewhere, even your favourite photographers were not the greatest when they first started out. I found this quote a while back and it completely resonated with me.

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners. I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, its just not good. Its trying to be good, it has potential, but its not good. But your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have the special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close the gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone i’ve ever met, Its going to take while. It’s normal to take awhile. you’ve just gotta fight your way through” – Ira Glass

What do you love most about being a photographer?

Being able to experience genuine connections between loved ones. Showing those images to my clients and watching their eyes swell up is probably the most rewarding feeling….oh and the fact that I pretty much own a time machine and can travel back anywhere in my life, any time I want!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Hopefully we will be back in our home province of British Columbia (currently in Alberta) doing what I love, building our own repurposed barn and enjoying time relaxing by the lake with my boys.

About the Artist:  HI! My name is Jayme Ford and I am a Lifestyle/Film Photographer based in Red Deer, Alberta. I am a married momma of two of the sweetest (yet lively) little boys; Jensen, my free spirited muse and Hudson, my little heart warrior. Growing up in British Columbia, I knew no other lifestyle than that of a creative one. Time was spent running through the forest, making forts out of tree branches, riding horses up the mountains and documenting it all with my little “camera bug” 100 camera (that I still have to this day!). Photography was a big part of my life when I was younger and continues to be, even more so now as a mother.

Visit Jayme at her WEBSITE | FACEBOOKINSTAGRAM pages today

Featured Vendor + Giveaway: DigiLuxe Design

We are so thrilled to welcome DigiLuxe Design to the Rock the Shot Blog today! Learn more about their beautiful templates and enter to win a $150 shopping spree to their store!

About DigiLuxe Design

Having been in business for myself for over 6 years, I know first hand, that you can’t do it all. Your love is photography, my love is design – let me design so you can have more time for photography! DigiLUXE Design specializes in creating deluxe photoshop templates, print design, & branding. Our PSD templates are easy to use and fully customizable. We offer professional design at an affordable price. It sounds like such a simple choice and guess what, it is!

About Brandi: 
Hello, I am Brandi, the designer behind DigiLUXE Design. I am a freelance designer & illustrator working from the Midwest. My husband and I live in the city with our pup Chloe. I spend most days designing or hanging out with my hubby. I love coffee, sweets, music and TV shows. Design has always been a great a joy for me and it is even more rewarding when I can be a part of helping to grown another artist’s business. So nice to meet you!

Visit DigiLuxe Design at their WEBSITE | FACEBOOK pages today!

Enter the Giveaway using the Rafflecopter appbelow for a chance to win a $150 shopping spree!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hurry! Giveaway ends Tuesday, October 7th . Winners will be announced on Saturday, October 11th .

LEGAL STUFF: This promotion is in NO WAY sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You will NOT be notified publicly via Facebook if you are a winner. You MUST be 18 to participate. By entering this giveaway, you are providing information to Rock the Shot and NOT to Facebook. Prizes do not have cash value. There will be no returns/exchanges on any of the items.

Congratulations to Kim Boucher on winning a $150 Shopping Spree to DigiLuxe Design! Kimplease email me at in the next 48 hours to claim your prize. Thank you all for participating and have a wonderful weekend!

Photographer Spotlight: Lindsay Alexander

We are so thrilled to welcome the fabulously talented  Lindsay Alexander to the Rock the Shot Blog.  Take a moment to learn more about Lindsay and visit her website. Thanks so much Lindsay for sharing your work with us today!

Where did your inspiration for photography begin?

I have degrees in vocal performance and communications and after working in the advertising world and singing on the side for years, God opened the door for my photography through the birth of my first son. Yes, I am one of those typical mommy photographers who grabbed a DSLR after her first kid was born, learned to shoot in manual and then BOOM, started a business a year later. The truth is, I have been studying photography and had fascination with the art since I was a young girl but it did take the deep desire to capture my child to bring that love to the forefront. I think as an artist, having a deep connection to your art based on your deep love for someone or something keeps your imagery authentic and true. As a business owner, it certainly keeps you humble. I have never had the desire to “be” some great photographer. I just wanted great images for myself and doors were opened because of that.

 How would you describe your photography style?

Sunkissed, Authentic, and Emotional

Did you study photography in school or are you self taught?

I like to say it “took a village” to raise up this photographer. While I technically sought out my education myself through online classes, tutorials, seminars, workshops and LOTS and LOTS of studying- I also had an amazing mentor who guided me each step of the way.

Do you shoot Canon or Nikon, and what is your favorite lens?

I am a Nikon girl and currently have two D700’s on my hips. When it comes to capturing my favorite images you will find my 85mm f/1.4 on my body. Its my go-to!

Do you have any tips for photographers on how to find the light?

I try really hard to have consistency in my art. I used to shoot at all times of day to work with my clients schedule and now I will only shoot sunrise or “golden hour” sessions. I love to achieve that golden, sunkissed look to my images and have found that timing is everything. More often than not I backlight my subjects and use a reflector to highlight their face. When the sun is not being my friend, I work with even light or even dramatic shadows to create mood.

What is the most challenging thing about photographing families?

Depending on the age of the kids involved, its keeping everyone happy and in the moment. I tell my clients at the start of each shoot that “kids run the show” and I truly mean that. Having three little ones myself, I can completely relate to what it took to show up to the session. Getting dressed, buckling everyone in the car, driving to the location, the bribes and incentives for good behavior that are thrown out as a final hope and then….voila….they pile out of the car and are expected to be perfect for ONE HOUR! No way!!! I tell my clients that life is not perfectly staged and flawless and their images will not be that either. I want to capture authenticity for my clients- the good, the bad and everything in between. We do a song and dance to keep everyone positive and the momentum moving forward. My reward candy treat bags that I pass out at the end help too:)

What is a good lesson you have learned this year in photography or in your business?

To keep the main thing the main thing. For me, the main thing is “why I started my business in the first place”- to stay home with my kiddos and have an wonderful creative outlet to grow my art personally. Its so easy to get caught up in the cat and mouse chase of “being the best” at something. I know Who I am doing this for and if I keep that at the forefront, everything else falls into place. This has been a growing year for me and a year full of changes. Faith in the midst of uncertainty has been a powerful thing.

If you could encourage a new photographer in one area, what would it be?

To take risks and give something scary a try. You truly never know where it may lead you.

What do you love most about being a photographer?

Honestly, its the look on my clients face when I turn my camera around and let them see what I just captured in the viewfinder. It’s like they are shocked every time. I think as an artist its so much fun to see people differently then they see themselves. To show them beauty they maybe didn’t recognize before. It’s powerful, emotional and why I keep doing what I am doing.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Well I will have been married for thirteen years and will have a eleven year old, a seven year old and a five year old. My world will be wonderfully busy with the things that matter most to me:) With my business I just pray that I am doing exactly what God wants me to do. I wouldnt have thought five years ago that I would be where I am now. His plans are way cooler than my biggest dreams. I am just going to let Him drive this ship.

About the Artist: Born a California girl but raised in the south, Lindsay Alexander now calls Fort Mill, South Carolina home. Lindsay is a singer, aspiring writer, former professional blog owner, wife to her hubby of eight years, and mommy to three. A longtime lover of the creative arts, it was after her first son was born that the passion for photography was ignited. With encouragement from friends and family, Lindsay embarked on a journey to begin a tucked away dream of starting her own photography studio. Now, almost six years later, Lindsay has established a natural light lifestyle photography business specializing in seniors and families. Traveling the Low Country and across the U.S., Lindsay’s art is known for its authentic editorial style imagery wrapped in gorgeous light. When she’s not spending late nights editing or writing, Lindsay can be found playing with her kids, singing at her church, or sipping sweet tea on the porch with her hubby.

Visit Lindsay at her WEBSITE | BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER pages today

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