Welcome to Fidelis Blog!
we are kristen and tim douglass, the creatives behind fidelis photography. for the last three years, we've been working to creatively capture people, events, and light. here you'll find our latest work. please feel free to look, comment, or forward on to a friend. call us today to set up an appointment. enjoy the work! best if viewed in firefox or chrome. also, get the most updated version of flash player
WARNING: Lots of words coming up.
I love to quote the "How I Met Your Mother" line, "SWEEPING DECLARATION" around our house. We use it as a way of half saying, "you must take me seriously" while the other half says, "please, please, don't hold me to what I am about to say." I use it probably three times a week, and I think I've heard the wife use it maybe once. She giggles a little every time I use it, and thus, ( SWEEPING DECLARATION! ) I will use this line till the day I die.
This summer I have had three different conversations which can best be summed up by one of my friends asking me, "Don't you ever just want to say 'F%@* Instagram' ?" He, of course, did not use the little crazy marks, he said the real word. I know, I was shocked too. So, I thought I'd put down some of my thoughts on the app.
There is something beautifully frustrating about Instagram. If you are not using it and like taking the occasional photo, connecting with friends, or even just finding fun photos from complete strangers then you are missing out. If on the other hand, you would like to think that photography as a craft is sacred unto those willing to study and put in the hours then you will most definitely be frustrated by the quality of instant and easy work being produced. Photographers of old must have had the same conversation when the kodak brownie cameras came on the scene, "Photography is art!! You're making it too accessible!," decried the photogs of the day.
Art of all types, whether writing, oil painting, or whistling, needs to be accessible to everyone at all ages; this is how we get better. I firmly believe this. A camera, whether polaroid, iphone, or a tin-can with a pinhole, is only one piece of the medium in the overall production of a work.
Now, behind my friends question rests a genuine concern for me and my business. Which, by the way, I love that he cares. There is a subtle thinking saying, "with all this access to images from around the world, how can you possibly hope to stand out?! Isn't instagram just adding to the photographic "white noise" of the day? How do you distinguish yourself against all of that image saturation?!"
These are big questions which, admittedly, I don't have all the answers for. In all our years photographing people and places, being married, and running a business together Kristen and I have learned two undeniable, unarguable, and unchangeable truths. First, for life, "Love remains". The love
that Kristen and I have for God, for each other and our family, the love we have for our clients, and the love we have for our community defines who we are. The love keeps us going, keeps us producing and creating. Keeps us growing. Secondly, and this needs to be said more and more often, "The tools do not make the artist". Nikon doesn't make us who we are. Canon doesn't define who we are not. We are not a Mac. Neither, are we a Mac. These are tools, only that. I have table saw which I love and use and care for, but its only value is in what it can do in my hands.
Which brings me to this, "SWEEPING DECLARATION, EVERYONE": Instagram, in it's current state, cannot last. Picaso said, "The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls." As instagram becomes more ingrained in our daily lives, it will become part of the dust eventually. And if history is to be repeated, it will fade into the background only to be "rediscovered" as a trend in thirty years. That said, Instagram remains a very useful tool for now and makes photography freely available for anyone trying to take a photos. Kristen and I use it daily for quick pics of the kids for their Nina to see. These are not crafted images, these are quick and dirty. My 7 yr. old nephew really loves Instagram. If you want to see small square images of a very juicy Brighten Marie or of a moving shaking Shepherd Gray, then you can follow our Instagram feeds. Kristen posts @kristendouglass and I post @titobroje (my uncle nickname). Also, for the B-CS crowd, i'm going to start using the hashtag #bcstxiger. Get it? B-CS - Tx. - IG-ers. Unless there is some other local awesome hashtag I should know about.
So what is it that instagram does for you? Is it the social? Is it the visuals? Feel free to promote your feed in the comments too.
We've just come off a great wave of weddings. While all of these weddings haven't made it to the blog yet we still thought we'd premiere a few of our favorite ring shots. So, tell us, which is your favorite?
Over the course of the past six months Kristen and I have actively taken stock of how incredibly blessed we are to be living the life we are living. For reasons which don't really bear repeating because of the boring factor, this year has been what will likely hold the record in the next decade or three for most difficult in the Douglass Family and yet will also hold the record for the most beautiful year yet. In addition to having a baby that looks like Audrey Hepburn, George Clooney, Marilyn Monroe, and Cary Grant all mixed into diaper clad cuddle bomb, we have also had the most fruitful year of business to date. Now, for clarity, when Kristen and I say fruitful we don't only mean finances. Fruit, to us, can mean any sort of delightful product of growth in any aspect of life. For instance, as we have grown in our business we have learned many many hard lessons. Painful stretching lessons that have threatened to turn us into that guy who collected mice friends.
It feels like this year a lot of that pain, that perseverance, and I'll say it, that moxy, has finally broken through. One of the ways is that we have the best friggin clients ever. We have been so overwhelmed by this summer's clients generosity towards our family that I am simply overwhelmed. Everyone has been abundantly patient with us, as Kristen has been recovering from the pregnancy, but not only that, we have had clients cook for us and give us the cutest baby finds. In this business of pictures, words simply cannot compete, but yet there is no replacement for a simple, "Thank You". So, thank you from the bottom to the tops of our hearts.
[update: folks kept asking me what the mouse guy was so HERE is a link. Was there a better example?]
This past weekend my father-in-law gave me Kristen's starter camera, a Pentax Super ME 35mm film camera with a 49mm 2.0 lens. I've collected about a handful of family cameras over the last three years. I love figuring out their history, how they work, and the impact they had on the photography industry when they debuted. Nerdy. So far, I've determined how this camera works, what was wrong with it, how to fix it! and how to take some exposures. This thing is solid. No plastic, all metal and glass, with this camera Pentax answered the Nikon F series. Now, Pentax definitely lost the pro-sumer camera battle. They still make awesome gear but aren't the industry warhorse that Nikon is.
More important than the impact this camera had on the industry is the impact it had on Kristen. Her dad let her play with his camer when she was about 17. She was instantly in love. She carried this piece for a couple of years eventually working her way into school for photography.
I can see why Kristen was hooked after getting to use this camera just a couple of times. With digital photography the gratification comes from the product instantly. You can see your image right away and there is a real pleasure in that. However, everything about using this Pentax is delightful. The focusing is tedious... but, you know, in a good way.... makes you slow everything down (e.g. thinking, movement, even breathing). The metal parts make the most gratifying click. And, the biggest selling point from back in the day before 3in LCD screens, a really big viewfinder. Pretty awesome.
We are photographers, but we don't just snap pictures, cover events, or sell our time to the public. We preserve memories. Part of our manifesto, " A hidden photograph is not worth taking", tries to communicate that photographs only mean something when viewed and cherished. If the image isn't worthy of display, then it isn't worth taking.
One aspect of creating the visual art of people's lives, is making sure the images are well preserved. We create images that your children and their children will return to time and time again. The images aren't just Facebook fodder, they are heirlooms. And as such, they should be treated with care.
When we got our first studio sample of these beautiful wedding albums, we loved everything that came in the shipping box. The beautiful 100 year rated papers, inks, binding and leathers all delighted our senses. But, when we were done looking through the album, we had to return it to the cardboard and faux leather box. It didn't suit us and we wanted more for our brides and families. You deserve better. The box that could get scratched, sharpie-ed, chewed, and stained just sat there like a lump hiding our beautiful album. We had to fix this. I collected my tools and went to work.
We needed something durable enough to stand the test of time, something worthy of passing to future generations. It had to be gorgeous and classic as well. I decided to employ my love of woodworking and developed my own handmade product. I developed an album box reminiscent of an heirloom jewelry cabinet.
Our recent bride, Natalie, was good enough to come in yesterday to shoot this little promo video with her album. I guess I should mention we have the best clients. Take a minute and view the spread of her album right HERE.