Why I became a photographer

 

Quick Answer = My beautiful wife.

She’s my inspiration.  Back in May 2009 weighing nearly 100 lbs more, we decided to pursue a healthier lifestyle together.   During that time, I watched her transform spiritually, mentally & physically – it was incredible.  Her joyous tear filled reactions to seeing her images every time we took photos was akin to opening Christmas presents on Christmas day.  I watched her self confidence, inner bad ass, & strength come out.  I realized through our experiences that  some people don’t have a support system to encourage & empower them.  We believe that through the gift of photography, we can help fill that void, uplift the human spirit and expand horizons.  

 
 
Name –  Rhonda Allen
(Co owner of WEA Photography)
 
Starting weight June 2009 250 lbs (Size 18 – 20)
 Current weight: 140 lbs. (size 4)

Total Pounds lost: 100+ lbs.

Height: 5’7

Web site:  https://www.virginaperture.com

Weight-loss method:  Primarily prayer and determination – supplemented with a sound diet, weight training, yoga and cardio. For supplements, I take omegas, multi vitamins, protein powder.

How long you’ve kept it off:  It will be 10 years as of May, 2020. My starting weight in May of 2009 was 250 lbs. and by May of 2010, I weighed in at 137 lbs.  Currently, I weigh 140 lbs.

Turning point:  It was time to get it right.  I didn’t feel attractive and I was going up in clothing sizes.  My husband was trying to diet, however I didn’t cook healthy meals so his efforts failed.  I used to lie on the beach or on a pool chair and never get up because I was self-conscious of my weight.  My husband and I had a deep conversation and it started with one question – “Are you happy with yourself?”  Both of us answered “no”.  We prayed about it and our journey began.

Diet plan:   Our diet centered around lean proteins, vegetables and “good” fats (almonds/natural PB) We started off cutting out sugars. We ate smaller portion meals throughout the day, as opposed to the standard “breakfast, lunch and dinner” meal plan.  Now we intermittent fast (16/8) 

Exercise routine:   Weight training: 2-4 days a week, Yoga: 2 days a week, Cardio: 2-5 days a week

Secret to success:  Prayer 1st , then consistency and momentum – as they pertain to our diet and workout activity

How life has changed:  So much for the better. I love being able to go into any store and find clothes that fit.  My husband and I have grown closer because we did it together and we are setting a great example for our daughter, friends and family members, encouraging them to take care of their health.

“I grew up the third youngest of four children in your typical southern household, with traditional “southern” foods being served on a daily basis. The only physical activity I did through elementary and secondary school was participating in gym class. In high school I played basketball. My eating habits where all over the place, sweets, heavy starch, some vegetables and little protein. I didn’t really notice my weight until I hit middle school, when I started to receive remarks about my size here and there. In high school I got attention from some boys, but I was considered a “big” girl. I can’t say I had self-esteem issues, as I guess I was oblivious to my size at that time. “
 
 
Later on, I started to develop some lower back issues and I hated to go shopping because I could not find clothes to fit in regular stores. I had to shop at the plus size stores. In May of 2009, I really started to take notice of how big I had become and the fact that my husband was obese as well. He had tried to diet (unsuccessfully) however since I did the majority of the cooking, I didn’t always make the healthiest of choices. We both talked about our physical conditions, prayed about it and decided to make immediate changes the next day 
 
 
 Be encouraged and stay inspired. I know that if I can do it, you can do it. Don’t give up, if you fall down, get right back on the horse. Look for people and stories that you identify with and learn from their journey’s 
 
Learn about nutrition, keep a food journal, learn how different foods affect your body. Experiment with different activities until you find the one’s that you can do for life. I pray for anyone out there, that is about to take the first steps of their journey to better health. You can do it, even if you don’t have a support system in place, it can be done. 
 

Want to experience your own inner bad ass enpowering session?

How to choose a photographer

 

 

Price

Without knowing one’s budget,  we will go lightly in this section – However the old caveat is true – you do get what you pay for.

 

Style 

WEA Photography Portrait session

What type of session are you wanting to shoot?  Headshots, Family, Newborn, Senior, couples, boudoir, fashion, editorial, food, beauty – the list can go on.  Once you determine the concept that you want,  then you can begin your search via referral, google, social media for the photographer who specializes in that particular genre.  Just as you shouldn’t expect to eat great barbecue from a Pizza/Wing shop or prime rib at 24 hour breakfast spot,  don’t expect the best images for your new born if you select a food photographer.  Select those who specialize in what your looking for.

 

 

Visual

  Once you narrow down the style that you want to shoot & the photographers who fit it.  The next step is to review their portfolio|collection.  Do you prefer natural light outdoor shoots?  Do you prefer indoor studio lighting w/ backdrops? Or combination of both?  Do you prefer all color photographs or do you enjoy the classic black & white look? Do you like your photographs heavily edited, skin finely smoothed & extra photoshop?  Are you a fan of bright photographs or shadowy moody types? Those are some of the questions that you should ask yourself as you are reviewing a perspective photographers work.  Does their finished photographs appeal to you?  If your preference is all color heavily edited photographs shot with studio light and backdrops brightly lit, then paying for a session with a photographer who’s images do not fit that look is a waste of your time & money.

 

 

Legitimate business – website  

With the evolution of social media in particular Instagram,  the encouragement to photograph different things is high.  With an easy entry level via Best Buy  & Instagram,  one could find a photographer on every corner in Atlanta or most cities across the United States.  In my opinion, look closely at those photographers who seek to differentiate themselves from the masses.  Photographer’s who strive to increase their integrity via business structure (Corporation|LLC) or licensing,  those who can offer studio space (rent, share, lease or home) in addition to outside on location settings & a website presence.  All of those items listed require an additional financial investment for the photographer & should be considered a factor in your decision to hire.  To me, it’s one of the dividing lines between those who do photography as a hobby and those who operate with a business focus.   Having a free page on facebook, Instagram, Flickr is easy,  it requires no investment to start a page on those platforms and brand yourself a photographer – select wisely.

 

 

Service|Experience 

Besides just taking your photo & giving you some digital’s on dropbox, what other services does your photographer choice offer?  Prepping for your photo shoot can be hectic, there’s outfits to choose, hair  nails and face appointments etc it can be stressful.  To lesson your pre and post shoot burden,  seek a photographer who can offer a full array of services – I.E. “Full Service”.   WEA Photography offers pre shoot wardrobe consultation to help select your outfit choices by coming up with a “mood board” of what outfits are appealing to your goal, then we narrow it down from there.   We have offer in house hair styling/make up services via our staff so that you don’t have to run all over town trying to get these things done before the shoot.  After the shoot, we don’t just send you a gallery link and say choose! – we view your gallery together in person within the same day & you’re selections are made the same day in most cases.  Let’s get back to the digital’s & dropbox, can your photographer choice offer you anything outside of digital’s?  Can they offer you fine art prints, luxury albums, large wall art collections, edited session films, an app to quickly access your images via phone or tablet in addition to just digital’s?  If you’re seeking more than just a “shoot & burn” photography experience – seek those photographers who can offer you a high level of service and experience.

 

 

Contract/Agreement/model release

Photo shoots are fun no doubt, however there should always be some policies in place to protect both photographer and client in case of “variables” that can arise.  Copyrights, social media credits, altering or editing, cancellations, reschedules, photo usage, payment arrangements, deposits, product delivery & how many should be addressed within these agreements.    Nothing dampens the experience for a photographer than to see their edited photos altered, filtered, cropped in any form other than how they were delivered to the client & to have to inform them that it violates the contract that they both signed.  Nothing dampens the experience for a client than to not receive everything that they paid for stipulated in the agreement.  To avoid those missteps, ask your selected photographer if they have such an agreement for you to read over and you both sign.  That way everyone has a piece of mind and can fully enjoy the session experience

 

Classic Car Portrait Session Atlanta

WEA Photography Portrait session

Back story – My wife and I like to catch the classic car cruise in held at  Elmyriachi Cantina over in the Kirkwood section of Atlanta on 1st Sunday’s.   On one particular summer Sunday,  I met Jorge @_jc65_  who was rocking a 65 lowrider Caddi.  We exchanged numbers and from there, I began to come up with a shoot concept for it. 

A couple weeks later,  I made acquaintances with Michelle @michelle_cherie_kitten and her husband Jay.  They had mentioned an interest in classical pin up type concept – which fit perfectly with the classic car.  So shortly after, we arranged a date and made it happen.    

The session went great as you can tell.  It was awarded a cover feature with 6 pages published in Smokin Ink Magazine issue 12

 

 

Press Release WEA Photography Atlanta Portrait Boudoir Studio

Award-winning Atlanta Portrait and Boudoir Photographer continues to dominate the headline

Popular Atlanta boudoir photography expert, W.E.A Photography, continues to garner reviews from different quarters

W.E.A Photography is a rare collaboration of a husband|wife team that has taken the photography industry by storm. The company runs a boutique full-service photography studio located in Inman Park. The Atlanta portrait expert specializes in boudoir, intimate portraits, editorial photography for individuals and businesses. Over the years, the popularity of the couple’s boudoir photography in Atlanta has grown – with WEA Photography becoming one of the most sought-after solutions providers in the field.

Photography is described as an art that is used to express different perceptions of life. Photos are often used to help people capture beautiful memories such as travel adventures, the first few steps taken by a toddler, and weddings. Over the years, different creative minds and other stakeholders in the industry have emerged to provide clients with the best possible experience. One couple that is seemingly rewriting the history books in the photography industry is William and Rhonda Allen, founders of W.E.A. Photography. The company’s fast dominance in the industry is largely attributed to the creativity and ingenuity in their works.

The company’s 1000 sf private studio is one of the distinguishing assets of the company due to its location in Inman Park – steps from the picturesque Eastside beltline, offering clients the best possible photography experience in Atlanta. With proven expertise in The Boudoir Experience, Portraits, and Editorials, the couple and their team at W.E.A. Photography have worked with tons of individual and commercial clients in Atlanta Georgia and across the United States of America.

The unique combination of affordability and quality by W.E.A. Photography has helped it to receive accolades from different quarters, featuring in top outlets such as The Fox Magazine, Shuba Mag, and Ellements.  Testimonial’s include – “Shooting with Will is an experience I’ll never forget. Will surely knows how to work the camera and make you feel so confident and comfortable. The boudoir photoshoot made me feel so beautiful and really begin to love every part of my body. He highlights and captures such intimate moments. I’m so honored and consider myself lucky to work with him.”

For more information about W.E.A. Photography and their amazing photography solutions, please visit – https://virginaperture.com/.

-MORE-

 

About W.E.A. Photography

W.E.A. Photography is a photography company that specializes in intimate portraits, editorial, and boudoir. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, the company was founded by award-winning photography experts – William and Rhonda Allen.

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How to prep for your photo shoot Atlanta

Atlanta Portrait session WEA Photography

As the big date nears, here are the top 10 things that you should do to look & feel your best for your photo shoot!

 

  1. Hydration – Make sure you drink plenty of water 24 hours before the shoot,  Being hydrated will give your skin a clean healthy shine. Try to get plenty of rest the day before
  2. Unless you’re working with one of my MUA’s (Make up artist’s) for the shoot, please have your hair, makeup, and lashes done upon arrival.  
  3. Do NOT wash your hair the day of your shoot, wash it the night before. Natural oils in your hair will help your hair style ‘hold’ better. If you must wash your hair the day of, don’t show up to your session with wet or damp hair.
  4. Wear loose clothing before the shoot so you prevent marks on your skin. Avoid wearing socks, tight jeans, underwear, or a bra to the session as well because these tend to leave lines on your skin and these are difficult to remove in photos.
  5. Use clear deodorant
  6. Don’t do anything drastic to your body/skin right before the session – IF you must have a haircut, hair treatment, facial, tan, wax, or tweeze; do this several days before to avoid skin irritation.
  7. Stop tanning at least three days before your shoot. avoid looking orange for the photo session
  8. Manicure|Pedicure recommended, avoid chipped polish, jagged nails
  9. Do basic stretches daily leading up to the shoot & practice pointing your toes. 
  10. Rest! Several deep sleeps are highly recommended as it helps increase your energy and skin glow

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