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Every year we make the drive to South Bethany, in Delaware, where my aunt has had a home since 1981. For the past 35 years, I’ve been visiting this awesome little town in between Rehoboth and Ocean City, Maryland. I have more memories of digging in the sand, jumping through the waves, walking the beach, watching the tide come in, and exploring the boardwalk in nearby Bethany than I can count. Visiting the same beach, with my own three boys, is pretty incredible. Each Thanksgiving we stay a few days with my aunt and take the kids to run around in the sand. They had a blast this year and they even managed to stay out of the water. Except for my youngest. He was in the water within the first five minutes of our first trip over to the beach. And then he learned it’s not as warm as summer. In the above photo, my oldest is about to dig down to find lava, while my middle child questions his sanity and the youngest yells, “I’M BATMAN!”

 

 

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Family Portrait Photography really takes off in the fall and November has been incredible kind to us this year. It’s almost been like a second spring and the sun was shining at Brown’s Orchards in Loganville, PA when I photographed Nicki and her family. This was my second time taking family portraits for them and the fall colors were perfect. We spent an hour wandering through the Pick Your Own area of their orchards and captured some gorgeous portraits of her family. Nicki’s children couldn’t be more adorable and seemed to have a blast hamming it up for the camera. If you’re looking for an amazing location for portrait photography in York, PA, Brown’s is definitely at the top of the list. Enjoy some of my favorites from their session!

 

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Makeover

 

The business makeover continues today. There are so many things I need to go through and make sure they’re up to date. Today I need to look through contracts and make sure everything is up to date. Equipment and liability insurance? I know it’s all current but the folder with all the policies needs cleaned out and the old policies need filed away somewhere. And then there are those old bank accounts from back in the day. The ones that have $22.32  in them and just need to be shut down. I also noticed my pricing guides could look a lot nicer than they do so that’s on the list, as is marketing material and working on my websites.

In addition to that list, I also need to finish my certification through WPPI. I started the process back in March and it’s time to finish. I’ve already taken the online exam and passed. Now it’s just a matter of submitting a ton of business material and images. The good news is that I’ve got it all together and just need to dump it in a folder and send it off. At least all the pile up over the years is making one job pretty easy. Not that passing the certification was easy, just that the material submission should be easy to put together. There’s still no guarantee I’ll pass.

Have an awesome Tuesday everyone. It’s raining here in New Freedom, PA but the music is turned up and accomplishments are happening. Here’s to continuing to chase your dreams!

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Blog

 

Change. Change is in the air. It’s been eight years sine I started this crazy journey into full time photography. The seeds for this journey were planted way back in 1989? 1990? I’m not sure. They were pushed a little more around 2000 and then took root in 2007. The past years have been crazy, exciting, scary, fun, and scary again, with plenty of success, and plenty of failure. I’ve reached a point where I’ve looked around, taken inventory, and realized I’ve finally realized where I’m headed on this ride. And you know what? It’s pretty exciting.

From now until the end of January, 2016, I’ll be sharing the make over that is happening. You can see behind the curtain of my business, hear personal triumphs, failures, and all the things that will go along with this journey. I’ll be posting updates here on the blog, as well as on my personal and business Facebook pages. You can follow broadcasts on Periscope @artemas, and posts on Twitter. I want to share this experience with everyone. Hopefully through sharing information, we’ll all grow a little and learn a lot. There are so many amazing ideas out there and I’d love to hear yours.

If you have comments or idea or critique, feel free to pass them along. I can’t improve without help from everyone who makes this possible. I’m forever grateful for all the support over the years and welcome any input you have.

The change begins today, because why wait? If you have a dream, chase it. And start right away. I hope you’ll follow along and laugh and cry with me!

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Parker Pfister Workshop Artemas Mott Photography Asheville North Carolina Lancaster Baltimore Portrait Photographer-1

 

I had waited a long time for August 9, 2015. It was the day I loaded my car with equipment, pulled out of my driveway, and began the long drive to Asheville, North Carolina, for Parker Pfister’s workshop. The sun was out, the clouds were dramatic, and it was pretty much the perfect day for a drive. With the music turned up and the windows down, I headed west on 70 and then south on 81. His workshop was called “DO THE WORKshop,” and we had been prepped to be broken down and fail miserably. And through this failure would come success. Before I even got to Asheville, I had already completed eight homework assignments that had completely transformed how I thought of myself as a photographer. And I was pretty much as nervous as I could be. But I was also excited, and anxious, to learn from Parker and the other photographers who would be attending.

The morning of the 10th arrived and everyone in the group began to meet each other. It’s very rare for this to happen, but we all hit it off immediately. Every single one of us. I can’t even remember ever meeting 14 strangers and feeling like they were family. We were all nervous, scared, excited, and ready to take on the challenges of the week. After we sat for a public portfolio review, our nerves started to calm and during an incredible dinner on the front porch of the Albemarle Inn, we shared embarrassing stories and laughed like old friends. Of course some beer, wine, and whiskey helped everyone relax, but no one went too crazy because we knew we’d be up early the next morning so we could DO THE WORK.

Over the next three days, we were tested, put in situations where we had no choice but to fail, broken down, lifted up, and completely reinvented. The way I saw things changed, I started to feel like a fog was lifting and I was being pushed to stop following the crowd. I was finally feeling like I was finding my own voice. And the incredible thing was, everyone else was feeling it as well. Being able to work with accomplished photographers who’s work I respect, and watch them fail right beside me, was about the most supportive environment I could ask for. We laughed at each other, helped each other, learned from each other, and Parker was there with us the entire time. He wouldn’t let us fall back on our “crutches” and made sure we were pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones. When we failed, he let us know and when we finally had a break through, he made sure we realized it.

I could write about all the exercises we did, all the things that happened to push us “down the rabbit hole,” as Parker called it, but I’ll leave you with this. At a time when I felt as though my photography had plateaued, and I was stuck in a rut that I may never get out of, Parker pushed me so far out of my comfort zone, I had no choice but to climb out of the hole. I honestly can’t find the words to explain how life changing it was. The photographers who shared the week with me understand. When I tell other people about it, they say how awesome it sounds, but I don’t think they really get it. I can’t say “life changing” enough. Not just on a photography level, but a personal level as well. I’m forever changed by this experience, as is my view and practice of photography. I’ve finally found my voice and can’t wait to start sharing what I see through my lens.

I have to thank Parker, and everyone who attended the workshop. You are all family to me and I’m forever bound to you all. Parker, you changed us all that week and we hope to share your complete love of the craft with the world. #ChangingPhotography15AtATime

Below are some of my favorite images from the week. The professionals who modeled for us, took care of hair and makeup, wardrobe, flowers, and props, were incredible. Thank you all for your dedication to our experience and everything you do.

Models Pictured:

first and last photograph: Aislin Freya Pax

photos 2,3, and 5: Amanda Swafford

photo 4: Joey Lee and Betsabe Fregoso

Makeup: Zack Russell

Hair: Zhenya Lazarchuk

Amanda’s Wardrobe: Royal Peasantry

Aislin’s White Dress: Wildflower Bridal

Aisle’s Red Dress: MaryGrace Larsen and Brooke Ullman

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Baltimore Lancaster York Senior Photographer Hogan Strickland Artemas Photography-1

 

What can I write about Hogan’s session? I could just say he’s one of the coolest, young adults, I’ve ever met. And he’s definitely someone to keep an eye on because he’s going places, and you may need him to give you a job some day. So work on your golf game because that’s probably where your interview will take place. And if he wears the wolf pelt, try not to be intimidated.

It was a little surreal to photograph Hogan’s senior portraits. His mother and I graduated high school together, and now here I was, photographing her son who was about to graduate. They’re not kidding when they say “time flies.” It seems like we were heading into the world just a few days ago.

I love the fact that guys are getting involved in their sessions these days. They aren’t just sitting and smiling “because they were told to.” Hogan was true to form and brought his personality and owned his session. There were serious looks, ideas from him, ideas from his mom, and lots of joking and laughing. They kept talking about a wolf pelt we had to photograph. As we got to the end of the photos, Hogan showed up by the fireplace with said wolf pelt and stared down the camera. It. Was. Awesome.

I’ll leave you to start your day with some of my favorites. Congratulations Hogan! A huge thanks to you and your family for trusting me with your senior portraits and good luck in college!
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Baltimore Lancaster York Portrait Wedding Photographer Lake Williams Artemas Photography-1

 

Annette and Jason. I’m trying to think of how to begin this post about two incredible human beings. I imagine the list of people who decide to celebrate 13 years of marriage by redoing the timeline of their life together is few and far between. Add to that the fact that Annette still fits into her wedding dress and you can understand why I’m not sure how to do them justice. When Annette contacted me about doing a session, she not only wanted the usual photographs, she wanted to incorporate every important moment of the history she shares with Jason. I’m thinking “floored” is the right term to use when I describe how I felt about their commitment to their

After meetings, phone calls, and emails, we met at Lake Williams on a gorgeous afternoon. They arrived with their kids and a Jeep full of props and clothing. Even Annette’s parents came along to help entertain the children while they did a long awaited “after wedding session.” We took photos of the two of them, family photos with their kids, and then switched to images that told the story of their time together. They had thought of everything. Where they first met, first kissed, first said “I love you,” had their first date, and where they got engaged. The coolest part? I could see the smiles and excitement as they relived all of these memories that have brought them to where they are today. I can’t be sure, but they may be the most perfect couple ever. In the history of couples.

I would love to share every photograph from their session but there are just too many to post here. Take a look through some of my favorites from the day. Annette and Jason, thank you both for being so involved in the planning of this, thank you for being incredible, and here’s to many more years of the same. We should schedule something for your 50th. I’ll be 77 at that point, but I should still be able to get some photos for you. Happy 13th Anniversary!

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