Lately | Vol One

 

This year I'm really trying to focus on building connections with all the pieces of my sites & social media... and I'll try to stop being so evasive just because I don't feel like I have the time to post perfectly or in complete thoughts. Lately is a series that I'll use to "try to find the in-betweens."*

Here are a few recent (mostly) iPhone pictures of life at home & work. Kevin is almost nine and it warmed up just enough to go to the park a few times this week. Damian is four and went through a little growth spurt recently. I hardly recognize this big boy version of my baby. I spent a little time in Cincinnati for an engagement session + just good old fashioned sightseeing & fascination with the gorgeous city.

Park by AndreaDozier.com
Damian by AndreaDozier.com

Confetti in Dayton just renewed their lease & they graduated from a pop up shop to a full deal shop! Love seeing my commercial clients do well & I feel so honored to be a small part of their success. 

Confetti shop in Dayton | AndreaDozier.com

Skin Food by Aubrey's Detox Charcoal Soap is great for cleaning my makeup brushes. Found this out when I was in a hurry one day & couldn't find the usual soap. I find so much inspiration from her products & love photographing them on days when I need to photograph something creative to inspire myself.

Skin Food by Aubrey | AndreaDozier.com

These magenta numbers caught my eye on this building in Cincinnati. They reminded me of a book I designed for visual communications where we were limited to using Cyan, Magenta, and Black. I did black & white photography for it, and spent that quarter trying to learn photography techniques to illustrate my story. I spent a lot of time in the darkroom trying to squeeze in extra prints. That project sealed the deal for my desire to pursue photography.

Fountain Square Cincinnati

My friends at Blush Boudoir & I have a little announcement coming soon, and I am excited to share it with my brides & friends! More on that soon.
Meanwhile, in Ohio, we considered 35 & sunny beautiful weather for our engagement session in Cincinnati! We started at the Moerlein Lager House & shot along the river. I liked it.

Blush Boudoir in Dayton, Ohio by AndreaDozier.com
Andrea Dozier shooting an engagement in Cincinnati

Thanks for stopping by & reading along,
looking forward to highlighting plenty of behind the scenes moments this year!

-Andrea

*  If you like the song, "Young Blood," then we could be friends.
** If you like Birdy's version too, but not more, then we should get coffee now.
*** iPhone only except Confetti's image

 

Family Portraits in Dayton, Ohio by Andrea Dozier

 

Echo's Family Portraits

October 2013 in Dayton, Ohio

Family Portrait Photography in Dayton, Ohio by Andrea Dozier
Family Portrait Photography in Dayton, Ohio by Andrea Dozier
Family Portrait Photography in Dayton, Ohio by Andrea Dozier
Family Portrait Photography in Dayton, Ohio by Andrea Dozier
Portrait Photography in Dayton, Ohio by Andrea Dozier
Mam and Toddler | Photography in Dayton, Ohio by Andrea Dozier
Family Portrait Photography in Dayton, Ohio by Andrea Dozier
Family Portrait Photography in Dayton, Ohio by Andrea Dozier
Family Portrait Photography in Dayton, Ohio by Andrea Dozier
Family Portrait Photography in Dayton, Ohio by Andrea Dozier
Family Portrait Photography in Dayton, Ohio by Andrea Dozier
Family Portrait Photography in Dayton, Ohio by Andrea Dozier
Pregnancy Announcement | AndreaDozier.com
Family Portrait Photography in Dayton, Ohio by Andrea Dozier
Family Portrait Photography in Dayton, Ohio by Andrea Dozier
Pregnancy Announcement Session by AndreaDozier.com
Family Portrait Photography in Dayton, Ohio by Andrea Dozier
Family Portrait Photography in Dayton, Ohio by Andrea Dozier
Family Portrait Photography in Dayton, Ohio by Andrea Dozier
Family Portrait Photography in Dayton, Ohio by Andrea Dozier
Family Portrait Photography in Dayton, Ohio by Andrea Dozier
Family Portrait Photography in Dayton, Ohio by Andrea Dozier
Maternity Photography in Dayton, Ohio by Andrea Dozier
Family Portrait Photography in Dayton, Ohio by Andrea Dozier
Family Portrait Photography in Dayton, Ohio by Andrea Dozier
Family Portrait Photography in Dayton, Ohio by Andrea Dozier
Family Portrait Photography in Dayton, Ohio by Andrea Dozier
Family Portrait Photography in Dayton, Ohio by Andrea Dozier
Family Portrait Photography in Dayton, Ohio by Andrea Dozier
Family Portrait Photography in Dayton, Ohio by Andrea Dozier
Family Portrait Photography in Dayton, Ohio by Andrea Dozier
Family Portrait Photography in Dayton, Ohio by Andrea Dozier
Family Portrait Photography in Dayton, Ohio by Andrea Dozier

Echo & I connected a couple of years ago because we are both photographers. We often second shoot (assist), at each other's weddings, so it's likely you've met us while we are working together! It was a special honor to photograph some pregnancy announcement pictures for her and a golden October family session. We are deep in winter now, but it's nice to think these days exist and will come again.

-Andrea

 

Willow Tree Wedding in Tipp City, Ohio

 

Shawn & Jill 

September 2012

The Willow Tree Wedding in Tipp City, OH by AndreaDozier.com
The Willow Tree Wedding in Tipp City, Ohio  by AndreaDozier.com
The Willow Tree Wedding in Tipp City, Ohio  by Andrea Dozier
The Willow Tree Wedding in Tipp City, Ohio  by AndreaDozier.com
The Willow Tree Wedding in Tipp City, Ohio  by Andrea Dozier
The Willow Tree Wedding in Tipp City, Ohio  by Andrea Dozier
The Willow Tree Wedding in Tipp City, Ohio  by Andrea Dozier
The Willow Tree Wedding in Tipp City, Ohio  by Andrea Dozier
The Willow Tree Wedding in Tipp City, Ohio  by Andrea Dozier
The Willow Tree Wedding in Tipp City, Ohio  by Andrea Dozier
The Willow Tree Wedding in Tipp City, Ohio  by Andrea Dozier
The Willow Tree Wedding in Tipp City, Ohio  by Andrea Dozier
The Willow Tree Wedding in Tipp City, Ohio  by Andrea Dozier
The Willow Tree Wedding in Tipp City, Ohio  by Andrea Dozier
The Willow Tree Wedding in Tipp City, Ohio  by Andrea Dozier
The Willow Tree Wedding in Tipp City, Ohio  by Andrea Dozier
The Willow Tree Wedding in Tipp City, Ohio  by Andrea Dozier
The Willow Tree Wedding in Tipp City, Ohio  by Andrea Dozier
The Willow Tree Wedding in Tipp City, Ohio  by Andrea Dozier
The Willow Tree Wedding in Tipp City, Ohio  by Andrea Dozier
The Willow Tree Wedding in Tipp City, Ohio  by Andrea Dozier
The Willow Tree Wedding in Tipp City, Ohio  by Andrea Dozier
The Willow Tree Wedding in Tipp City, Ohio  by Andrea Dozier
willow-tree-inn-tipp-city-andrea-dozier-114.jpg
The Willow Tree Wedding in Tipp City, Ohio  by Andrea Dozier
Bride at the Willow Tree | Tipp City, Ohio Wedding by AndreaDozier
The Willow Tree Wedding in Tipp City, Ohio  by Andrea Dozier
The Willow Tree Wedding in Tipp City, Ohio  by Andrea Dozier
The Willow Tree Wedding in Tipp City, Ohio  by Andrea Dozier
Wedding and Reception in Dayton at the Willow Tree by Andrea Dozier
The Willow Tree Wedding in Tipp City, Ohio  by Andrea Dozier
The Willow Tree Wedding in Tipp City, Ohio  by Andrea Dozier
Wedding and Reception in Dayton at the Willow Tree by Andrea Dozier
Wedding and Reception in Dayton at the Willow Tree by Andrea Dozier
Wedding and Reception in Dayton at the Willow Tree by Andrea Dozier
The Willow Tree Wedding and Reception Venue Barn in Tipp City, Ohio by Andrea Dozier Photography
Wedding and Reception in Dayton at the Willow Tree by Andrea Dozier
Wedding and Reception in Dayton at the Willow Tree by Andrea Dozier
Willow Tree Wedding in Dayton, OH by Andrea Dozier
Willow Tree Wedding in Dayton, Ohio by Andrea Dozier
The Willow Tree Wedding and Reception Venue Barn in Tipp City, Ohio by Andrea Dozier Photography
The Willow Tree Wedding and Reception Venue Barn in Tipp City, Ohio by Andrea Dozier Photography
The Willow Tree Wedding and Reception Venue Barn in Tipp City, Ohio by Andrea Dozier Photography
The Willow Tree Wedding and Reception Venue Barn in Tipp City, Ohio by Andrea Dozier Photography
The Willow Tree Wedding and Reception Venue Barn in Tipp City, Ohio by Andrea Dozier Photography
The Willow Tree Wedding and Reception Venue Barn in Tipp City, Ohio by Andrea Dozier Photography
The Willow Tree Wedding and Reception Venue Barn in Tipp City, Ohio by Andrea Dozier Photography
Pies for Wedding Cake in Dayton, Oh by Andrea Dozier
The Willow Tree Wedding and Reception Venue Barn in Tipp City, Ohio by Andrea Dozier Photography
The Willow Tree Wedding and Reception Venue Barn in Tipp City, Ohio by Andrea Dozier Photography
The Willow Tree Wedding and Reception Venue Barn in Tipp City, Ohio by Andrea Dozier Photography
Pie for Wedding Cake by Andrea Dozier in Dayton, Ohio
The Willow Tree Wedding and Reception Venue Barn in Tipp City, Ohio by Andrea Dozier Photography
The Willow Tree Wedding and Reception Venue Barn in Tipp City, Ohio by Andrea Dozier Photography
The Willow Tree Wedding and Reception Venue Barn in Tipp City, Ohio by Andrea Dozier Photography
The Willow Tree Wedding and Reception Venue Barn in Tipp City, Ohio by Andrea Dozier Photography
The Willow Tree Wedding and Reception Venue Barn in Tipp City, Ohio by Andrea Dozier Photography

Jill contacted me before she booked a wedding venue, asking for suggestions. I had heard a rumor that Willow Tree was being renovated and I was able to connect her with their team. Her wedding was one of the first ones after they (re) opened in 2012! Today I'm heading out to photograph her new baby boy, so it was fun to reminisce about her beautiful wedding! 

Stay warm today!

-Andrea

 
 

Newborn Ira at Miami Valley Family Beginnings Birth Center

 
Newborn Session in Dayton by AndreaDozier.com
Newborn Session in Dayton by AndreaDozier.com
Newborn Session in Dayton by AndreaDozier.com

A little over a year ago, I went to visit my friend, Justine, and meet her new baby boy Ira. I was so excited to see them & hear her birth story. Her labor & delivery had happened so quickly that there was very little she could share before I arrived. I brought my camera to capture a few informal pictures of their family. We ended up hitting just the right time of day to get big sister involved too! This is one of those sessions that I remember fondly because of the sweet spirit of memorializing a very tiny window of time. The room was joyful and the transition of having a new baby in the family was welcomed with all love you could imagine. Now that Ira is a bubbly one year old, it is really a treat to see his first day through these images. 

As a photographer, my approach is always simple. I never want to interrupt the energy or the emotions that people are feeling. The uncontrived glances & honest expressions are what I specialize in capturing. As I take in a scene, I try to imagine how I would want to remember it. This is the reason why many of my favorite images are the ones taken as a photojournalist, without the constraints of awareness. I often spend a little more time to let people relax & live in front of my camera.

Dayton OH Newborn Fresh 48 Photographer AndreaDozier.com
Newborn Session | Fresh 48 by AndreaDozier.com
Dayton OH Newborn Fresh 48 Photographer AndreaDozier.com
Newborn Session in Dayton by AndreaDozier.com
Newborn Session in Dayton by AndreaDozier.com
Miami Valley Newborn Fresh 48 Photographer AndreaDozier.com

Justine wrote about her beautiful (and quick!) birth experience on her blog, This Little Place.

Dayton OH Newborn Fresh 48 Photographer AndreaDozier.com
Newborn Photography by AndreaDozier.com
Dayton OH Newborn Fresh 48 Photographer AndreaDozier.com

Photographing Ira my first time visiting the Berry Woman's Center at Miami Valley Hospital. At the time, I didn't realize that the Family Beginnings Birth Center was such a kind environment for mamas who are able to opt for a natural birthing experience. I had my sons in hospitals that were supportive of my choice to labor & deliver naturally, but not quite capable in their facilities to be as accommodating! Ironically, the Berry Woman's Center is where I ended up working for the first six months of 2014. It was through this informal session that I decided to pursue newborn photography through Bella Baby. Photographing new babies at the hospitals was something I enjoyed and I do miss! I always insist that my friends let me hold their babies so that I can get my fix again. :)

Miami Valley Newborn Photographer AndreaDozier.com
Miami Valley Newborn Photographer AndreaDozier.com
Miami Valley Newborn Photographer AndreaDozier.com
Miami Valley Newborn Photographer AndreaDozier.com

Thanks for visiting and hope you enjoyed this newborn session, also known as a "Fresh 48" session.

Please email me at hello@andreadozier.com for more information on booking me to photograph your special new baby in a natural & unscripted session. Newborn sessions & printed images in photo boxes make great gifts. Contact me if you are looking for (surprise) unique heirlooms for special people in your life. 

Happy New Year!

-Andrea

 

 

Taylor Monroe is Open!

 

Earlier this month I stopped in to visit Taylor Monroe, a new clothing boutique based in Dayton, Ohio. They have opened their first brick and mortar shop in Centerville. The ladies had a soft opening on Black Friday, (whoops, almost said "Good Friday,") and I am so proud of this gorgeous new store. During our December inventory shoot, I was marveling at their shiny new walls in between outfit changes. You'll have to stop in and visit, my iPhone pictures don't do this black & gold shiny haven justice.

Taylor Monroe Commercial Photography by AndreaDozier.com

I've been shooting fashion and commercial photography for Taylor Monroe since last summer, and now I am so proud to see their company established as a clothing shop. I'm excited for this year as they settle into their new home... while still accepting orders online and shipping all over the country.

Dayton Clothing Store Taylor Monroe by AndreaDozier.com
Dayton Clothing Store Taylor Monroe by AndreaDozier.com
Dayton Clothing Store Taylor Monroe by AndreaDozier.com
Dayton Clothing Store Taylor Monroe by AndreaDozier.com
Dayton Clothing Store Taylor Monroe by AndreaDozier.com
Dayton Clothing Store Taylor Monroe by AndreaDozier.com

Kristyn has been communicating her vision with me throughout the process of re-branding, launching an online store, and opening the retail shop. Knowing we've successfully paired her curated fashion selections with the tone of photography is a great way to finish 2014. 

This gold wallpaper wall, I want one in my house!!!
Three exclamation points on purpose.

New Dayton Clothing Boutique Taylor Monroe by AndreaDozier.com

Love the energy & color surrounding their brand. It's been a good stretch for me to photograph for a younger demographic (while still secretly loving every outfit I shoot)! I might or might not be obsessed with a certain pair of gold sequin leggings they sold out of! 

Taylor Monroe Commercial Photography by AndreaDozier.com
Fashion Photography by AndreaDozier.com
Shopt at Dayton's Taylor Monroe by AndreaDozier.com

Taylor Monroe is located at 464 N Springboro Pike in Dayton, Ohio & online at shoptaylormonroe.com.

Fashion Photography by AndreaDozier.com
Fashion Photography by AndreaDozier.com
Shop Taylor Monroe Fashion Photography by AndreaDozier.com

Check out Taylor Monroe's Facebook & Instagram accounts for updates & giveaways!
Use hashtag #talktaylortome to share your fashion finds.

Thanks for visiting, Happy New Year!

-Andrea

* Taylor Monroe store pictures taken with my iPhone and Inventory Images taken with my Nikon D800.

 

Christmas Packaging

 

Over the last couple of years I've been thinking about my obligation to deliver pictures and how I want my artwork to be remembered. Much of the contemplation comes from observing rapidly changing digital technology. When I first started, I was able to fit an entire wedding on a DVD. Then as my camera equipment upgraded and USB drives became more affordable, I transitioned to using USB thumb drives to deliver images. I wonder if sending a little digital piece with so many precious memories is the best method to share pictures. This has led me to the belief that I will continue to use USBs (until another technology replaces them), but will also add to the experience to make it more meaningful for the families I serve.

Last year I connected with a small company that creates photography products that I fell in love with. Their wood pieces are crafted here in Ohio, by Amish artisans. My thoughts are that I want the method of digital file delivery to be as seamless and uncomplicated as possible (USBs), and for the photographs to be cherished and tucked away safely. I package the prints with love & care, and I can't tell you how proud I am to sign my name on each one that goes out. 

AndreaDozier.com Heirloom Wedding Products & Packaging
AndreaDozier.com Products
AndreaDozier.com Products
AndreaDozier.com Heirloom Wedding Products & Packaging

All of my wedding packages now have proofs & an assortment of boxes to choose from. Photo boxes also help manage the album design process, because you can preview images in print before making the commitment in your album pages.

AndreaDozier.com Products
AndreaDozier.com Products
AndreaDozier.com Products

Opening the photo boxes creates a whole new event of its own. It's really important to me to give my brides this experience, it feels so much more genuine than a simple USB. It's especially fun to deliver them in person!

AndreaDozier.com Heirloom Wedding Products & Packaging

Loved using some of my poinsettia flowers for the packaging. They are festive and reminded me of my mom. Over the years they have become my absolute favorite flowers at Christmas.

My biggest challenge for 2015 is to make sure I continue to make a point to print photographs so we can enjoy their tangible existence instead of just their digital shadows. 

Thanks for reading,

-Andrea 

*All images shot with my iPhone

 

Dayton's Best Instagram Interview with Andrea Dozier

 

Recently I was featured on "Dayton's Best" instagram account. I answered some questions about photography, so I thought I would share them here & also the pictures they used. 

Dayton's Best Interview with AndreaDozier.com

What is your favorite thing about this photo?

The honesty of this beautiful moment, from winter 2013 with my boys. They were oblivious to me and that's my favorite time to photograph them.

Dayton's Best Interview with AndreaDozier.com

What is your favorite thing about this photo?

I took plenty of "perfect" stills of this sweet baby, but this photograph felt the most genuine & amusing. It was his first time seeing light, can you blame him for covering his face?

Dayton's Best Interview with AndreaDozier.com

What is your favorite thing about this photo

This was after baking cookies with my kids on Christmas Eve. As I was cleaning I quickly scribbled "Merry Christmas" to my friends in the flour Damian had been playing with. I like that I didn't make it into something perfect or over think it, because that's usually what I have a tendency to do. I think that's what I love about iPhoneography and Instagram. You can share something without having to set up and obsess over each little part. It's about doing it.

What is your advice for becoming a better photographer?

Get just as comfortable seeing the world with your eyes as a lens, as you are looking behind the camera lens. Learn to let the two views work together and you'll discover the advantage of photographing more on intuition as opposed to the limitations of what you see behind the camera. Photography is a broad and expansive craft. If you are a student of what piques your interest, you will naturally learn what you need to know to take the kind of pictures you see in your mind. It's ok to tackle one piece at a time and practice it until you are ready for more. There is always more to understand in photography.

How would you describe your work?

I'm always aiming to photograph in a way that is kind and genuine. I'm drawn to movement, colors, and how the light interacts within a scene. I was trained as a graphic designer, so my mind can't help but think about hierarchy and balance in my images.

My photography evolves, and I'm ok with that.

The last two years have been a technical comprehension revolution for my work. I've spent a lot of time shooting with other photographers and investing in off camera lighting. It's demanded more discipline to work out of studios and to shoot commercial work with consistent results. 

For personal photography, my intention is to capture life the way I see it and want to remember it. I hope that the attitude I have toward life is evident in the way I photograph it. I'm easily a wallflower, so I will always love to savor a piece of uninterrupted life as it is happening. 

Packaging by AndreaDozier.com

What is your favorite childhood memory?

One of my favorite things to do during December was to sit in the dark and stare at our Christmas tree. Sometimes I would sing carols or read a book with a lamp, but I always wanted to be in that room. Even when everyone else was preoccupied. I have vivid memories of sitting on the hot air vent in our old house and looking at the pretty light coming from the tree. It's a joke that I do the same thing now, but Christmas lights are magical and I still like it.

Favorite cup of coffee?

Mine is the cup I make each morning for my commute. Our day starts early with packing my 8 year's lunch and filling my thermos with coffee. It's a 50 min drive (roundtrip on a good day) to get him to school & my youngest to the babysitter, so I must have that cup or the morning just isn't the same.

Name three of your favorite iPhone apps to use for photography.

Camera+  is my oldest camera app & my favorite. It allows you to lock a focus and/or meter (as well as some other things). This is so valuable in iPhone photography. I never edit in Camera+, but use the camera in it almost exclusively.
Afterlight is one of the only apps I edit photos in. Love their classic filters & easy adjustments like brightness, shadows, and color temperature.
Over is an app I don't use this one often, but it's a great way to add text to an image. Lots of great typefaces to choose from!

Joy by AndreaDozier.com

Thanks so much to the crew at Dayton's Best Instagram who shared my work & also make platform to celebrate inspiring photographers in Dayton!

Follow along at @daytonsbest and @andreadozierphotography & my personal account @andreadozier

Merry Christmas!

-Andrea

 

Meet Lea, Pig of the Month BBQ's Head Hog

 

Commercial Photography Headshots in Dayton, Ohio
by Andrea Doziér

 

Dayton seems like such an unpretentious, quiet little town. We've been accused of being boring with "not much going on here." The more I get involved with photographing local entrepreneurs, the more I am impressed with the fantastic people who are putting this city on the map.

Recently I connected with Lea, creator & founder of "Pig of the Month BBQ," a nationwide mail order barbeque retailer. We talked (& laughed) over coffee in our hometown Vandalia. I loved hearing about how she & her family started this company. Founded in 2010, Pig of the Month BBQ "sends happiness by way of perfectly cooked BBQ, bacon, pulled pork and more right to your front door." There is also an assortment of gourmet items you can purchase for yourself or as a gift, like chocolate covered bacon or their famous BBQ sauces. Some of her celebrity customers are Whoopi Goldberg, Iron Chef Michael Symon, Paula Deen, Stephen Colbert, and Chelsea Handler. Not too shabby!

They call Lea the "head hog," but she's a total babe.

Lea Richards | Pig of the Month by AndreaDozier.com
Lea Richards President of Pig of the Month BBQ Quote | Photographed by AndreaDozier.com
 

Lea's story is what #GirlBoss memoirs are made of- a dismal first job paired with a beautiful CEO who isn't afraid to roll up her sleeves and get to work. Miss Richards is a UD graduate who left her Wall Street career because she "hated it." She laughs about the experience and notes that her parents probably wondered about her sanity at that point. She doesn't seem very surprised by the success of Pig of the Month BBQ, because she owns up to the years of hard work she has put into it. It's clear that she is a woman who understands herself, and I love exposing that part of her confidence in her pictures. 

Pig of the Month | Lea Richards by AndreaDozier.com
Pig of the Month | Lea Richards by AndreaDozier.com
Pig of the Month | Lea Richards by AndreaDozier.com
Dayton Oregon District by AndreaDozier.com
Pig of the Month | Lea Richards by AndreaDozier.com

We opted for Dayton's Oregon District for her portraits because of its variety & because I try to encourage my clients to get there as much as I possibly can. Love Lea's fashion (J Crew) & miss this fall weather! Within a short walk, we found all the color and texture we could want for a backdrop in Dayton. Lea looked gorgeous & the whole town thought so. I've never been stopped so often during a shoot to have all sorts of people wanting their picture with my model! We had fun. :)


Pig of the Month | Lea Richards by AndreaDozier.com
Pig of the Month | Lea Richards by AndreaDozier.com
Pig of the Month | CEO Lea Richards by AndreaDozier.com
Pig of the Month | Lea Richards by AndreaDozier.com
Pig of the Month | Lea Richards by AndreaDozier.com
Pig of the Month | Lea Richards by AndreaDozier.com
Pig of the Month President Lea Richards by AndreaDozier.com
Pig of the Month | Lea Richards by AndreaDozier.com
Pig of the Month | Lea Richards by AndreaDozier.com
Pig of the Month President Lea Richards by AndreaDozier.com
Lea Richards in the Oregon by AndreaDozier.com
Pig of the Month | Lea Richards by AndreaDozier.com
Pig of the Month President Lea Richards by AndreaDozier.com
Pig of the Month | Lea Richards by AndreaDozier.com

Follow Lea's Pig of the Month BBQ 
around the web:

Facebook

Pinterest

Twitter

Instagram


Thanks for joining me today! You might recognize some of my favorite buildings and shops in the pictures. The kind folks at Press allowed us to hang out and capture a few images in their coffee shop on Wayne Avenue. It was so hot we had to take a break & grab a cool drink, something we miss very much these winter days around here. 

If you are looking for commercial photography in Dayton, Columbus, or Cincinnati, contact me at
hello@andreadozier (dot) com to set up a chat.

I am looking forward to showcasing more of YOU creative entrepreneurs and help establish your online branding through photography. 

-Andrea 

 

Welcome to My New SquareSpace Blog

 

Hi there and welcome to where I will be sharing new work & projects. I'm really excited to finally start using the SquareSpace format when publishing my photography in a blog format.

When I first started using SquareSpace last winter, I was hesitant to let go of the Wordpress blog I had been using for many years. I had invested in a ProPhoto plugin, (and several paid updates to it over the years), to customize the interface. I liked using it and didn't want to change my system. I can only handle so much digital change at once, and I imagine I'm not alone in feeling that way. 

Why I Left Wordpress for SquareSpace | AndreaDozier.com

Now that I've been using SquareSpace for almost a year, there are a few reasons why it is time to let go of Wordpress for blogging. Some I will share because they might help someone understand the process of adapting a little better. I don't think there is a right or wrong answer to which tool to use, but maybe hearing the opinion from a novice will help you a bit if you are considering SquareSpace for blogging.

Blog Redirect No Longer Necessary

The first reason is that I didn't like that I had to do a redirect to get viewers to my blog. Shortly after I published my SquareSpace site, I realized that by using SquareSpace instead of Showit, I would no longer be able to use AndreaDozier.com/blog with a Wordpress blog. To be honest, this frustrated me and it was my first negative reaction to SquareSpace. I had to hire someone (BlogCrafted and he is great) to redirect my domains. I wasn't sure how I felt about using the sub domain, blog.AndreaDozier.com as the new home to an old blog. Many links are now broken and Pinterest pins don't link correctly. I'm sure there is a way to fix that, but at some point getting my website setup perfectly wears me out! 

One Dashboard Login with Access to the Site and Blog

The next big advantage for me, is that SquareSpace has a beautiful dashboard that gives me a lot of control in one place. At first I was a little intimidated by it, but quickly started navigating myself around to figure out how to easily publish a site.

Why I Left Wordpress for SquareSpace | AndreaDozier.com

To be able to access all parts of my site from one login is really important to me. Even though it shouldn't be a big deal to use another dashboard for blogging, it really does affect my likelihood to go to that site. It's probably not true for everyone, but for me it is. Another reason this is key to me, is because I have also built another site in SquareSpace, called Tether and Fly. I can access both sites from the same login, and the dashboards are linked. This is a great way for me to stay engaged with both sites.

No Worries About Spam or Hackers

After successfully and unintentionally scoring various spam comments on my Wordpress blog, I vaguely remember enabling Akismet to help catch spam comments. That did help a great deal. Although in retrospect, so many things involving Wordpress were done "the hard way." Googling endless pages about how to fix or prevent a problem. There was a time when my site was hacked and I had to get that taken care of. If you haven't noticed, I'm not here to prove how technical I can get. I just want to publish pictures and write a little bit without having to do a lot of research on how to protect my blog.

Updates Won't Break My Site

Why I Left Wordpress for SquareSpace | AndreaDozier.com

At least twice in my memory, I clicked on the "new version of Wordpress is available" link at the top of my dashboard (see photo to the right). While the new site was downloading, something didn't go right and my blog vanished. You can imagine I was hesitant to click on those words in the future, but updating your site is what protects you from bugs and other technical problems. SquareSpace takes care of the updates and the upkeep rests on their shoulders. I like that.

The Analytics Are Built-In

Why I Left Wordpress for SquareSpace | AndreaDozier.com

This is going to be my moment of shame to admit this. I had trouble getting Google Analytics setup with my former Showit site. I remember sending a few emails and trying to straighten it out, but nothing I was trying worked. For four years, I never knew how many visitors I had on AndreaDozier.com. I realize that isn't a problem with Wordpress (which is what this post is about), but you can imagine it is a relief for me to not deal with trying to troubleshoot analytics on my sites anymore. My Wordpress blog was able to link to Google and also Statcounter- so I did get to see statistics from those sites. That is, when I took the initiative to login and look. Logging into other dashboards to get information means another step that is not needed with SquareSpace. I can view analytics, in satisfying detail, through my all inclusive SquareSpace dashboard. 

It Looks Fabulous on Mobile Devices

Clearly there are many different ways that information will be presented to our audiences. I am really happy with being able to design a site in SquareSpace that has the ability to use responsive designs to look consistent no matter what the screen size. Wordpress doesn't make this impossible, but I feel like this is something SquareSpace has mastered.

Picture Posting is Streamlined 

Why I Left Wordpress for SquareSpace | AndreaDozier.com

I feel that SquareSpace's gallery designs for blogging are better than Wordpress. I have wrestled with the slow and often laborious process of uploading a lot of images at once on my Wordpress site. With SquareSpace I love that I can preview different gallery styles, without feeling like I have to commit to just one. At any time, I can change the style and simply update it. It's nice to not have to commit to uploading images a certain way, SquareSpace makes it easy to change your mind to make the process of posting how you want as convenient as possible. It's nice to have the option to see if I would rather have the images displayed in another format. In Wordpress, I would occasionally deal with an odd break in the spacing for images. It would frustrate me until I just let it go. So far I don't deal with any glitches like that in SquareSpace.

Why I Left Wordpress for SquareSpace | AndreaDozier.com

Another great feature is that I don't have to size images to an exact dimension. There were ways to work around this in Wordpress, but SquareSpace allows the user to drop photos where you want them to be & even resize them in the blog panel you are editing by dragging the corner of the box. Since the design is responsive to different screen sizes and devices, I feel like I can blog more of a "magazine style" that I like instead of just images stacked on each other. There is a versatility in the image presentation that I appreciate very much.

Simplicity 

As I was preparing this list, so many things were overlooked because SquareSpace makes them easy. When I linked my Social Media accounts, like Instagram and Pinterest to SquareSpace, they gave me some handy icons to use. Wordpress has widgets for this, but they take some time to get to know and I found it confusing until I got the hang of it. When I decided it was time to start using SquareSpace for blogging, I was nervous it would take a week or so of Googling to switch over. Not so. All I had to do was choose a "New Blog Page" in the "Content Manager" panel and erase the current redirected link from "Blog.AndreaDozier.com" and switch it to "AndreaDozier.com/blog" to create a home for this new blog. That part alone helped me realize I was making the right choice for me.

SquareSpace Feels Like Home

I like it more. 
This is where I will not scientifically prove that SquareSpace is better, but I can just say that I like it more. I like the simple interface, the modern style, and the brilliantly simple design that is consistent with every step of their users' experience. It feels like the kind of site I want to use on a daily basis. This is coming from someone who first started designing websites in Dreamweaver and Adobe Flash. My first photography site (2009) was built key frame by key frame and it was the most obnoxious undertaking I was silly enough to try. I am relieved to work with a platform like SquareSpace!

I posted this without updating to SquareSpace 7, and did shortly after. I love the new interface! It is even more in line with the beautiful display we see in our templates. It took just a few seconds to swap out the old screenshots and replace the new. This is exactly why I love SquareSpace! It is designed to be dynamic- content can evolve here. 

Coming next, Lea Richards of Dayton's own "Pig of the Month BBQ"

Coming next, Lea Richards of Dayton's own "Pig of the Month BBQ"

Coming next, Lea Richards of Dayton's own "Pig of the Month BBQ"

Coming next, Lea Richards of Dayton's own "Pig of the Month BBQ"

If I think of any other reasons I will definitely note them here, but I would also love to hear your thoughts! I don't dislike Wordpress, because I did use it for a long time.

I'm not compensated in any way to share my opinions, but every once in a while it's nice to give a little feedback to other people about my experience with a product, service, or application. Hope you found it helpful, and if so, please let me know!

-Andrea


The images at the beginning of the post are from a session with the talented Skin Food by Aubrey and the last two are previews from my session with Lea, CEO of Pig of the Month BBQ based out of Dayton. Her session will be coming up next!