december beauty | december 2nd, 2018

Happy December!

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you probably saw that I recently made an (early) New Year’s resolution… I have committed to going on at least one photography adventure a month. That was two days ago. Yesterday I woke up to find that it was 60 degrees outside and sunshine-y! So of course, I had to take advantage of the warm weather to take pictures.

On my way out I decided to grab my 4x macro filter to add to my 35mm lens. A lot of these photos were taken with that combo.

I don’t know what this is but I was obsessed with the colors.

…I also don’t know what this is, but I was obsessed with the lighting…

…and you guessed it, no idea, but I LOVE it. I think it’s because the colors and all of the bokeh. Anyone else?

I probably looked pretty weird cuddling up with this bush in order to get this shot.

Fall colors still persisting, even in December.

It may have been 60 degrees and sunny, but the ground was muddy and I.. almost wiped out several times in the process of getting the following pictures.

So in love with these tiny flowers. <3

This was another one taken with the 4x macro filter.

In the style of one of last year’s posts.

(I was a little obsessed with these, if you can’t tell.)

THE COLORS.

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Apparently I got pretty close to these as I found a bunch of these dandelion-looking seeds on my sweater afterward!

What a turn around from my last shoot… This one was so much fun and made me want to go out again and try new things (like using my 10x filter). Thanks for following along, even when I’m not even pleased with my own work. <3

This month I challenge all of you to make time for something you love. Even if it’s just one time this month.

“It's not about waiting for hours for this moment where inspiration strikes. It's just about showing up and getting started and then something amazing happens or it doesn't happen. All that matters is you enable the chance for something to happen.” Christoph Niemann

- Victoria

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november colors | november 18th, 2018

November is here! …and almost over.

Sunday was an unseasonably warm day so I decided to go out and take some pictures while it lasted!

Taking pictures during this time of the year is quite tricky. Everything seems so monotone and dried up. It’s a challenge to say the least, and I think I wrote about this issue last year, too. I ended up with quite a few pictures I like, so I’d say it was a success.

This fluffy stuff is everywhere and I honestly thought it was going to be the only thing to take pictures of…

Spot the lady bug!

These pastels have me thinking it’s spring…

I’m obsessed with the purple on this plant! If you follow me on Instagram (@victorialivolsiphotography) you may have seen my story about it. So pretty!!

Honestly, I was so frustrated during this shoot. Normally I’m really happy to be taking pictures and getting ones I think will turn out well. Now I have an appreciation for the first set of pictures, too, but it wasn’t as enjoyable as usual… at least at first. It’s tough to not be enjoying what you supposedly love in the moment. I was questioning if I should even make an effort with this whole photography thing anymore… And I feel like I should be real about that. I do question if I should keep pursuing photography. But.. I love it.. even in moments like these.

Let’s be real: this wasn’t my favorite shoot. But there are pictures here that I do really like. And I hope you got something good out of it, too!

Stick with what you love even when it frustrates the heck out of you.
(pro-tip: sometimes that’s a person.)

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends! Happy Fall to the rest of you wonderful people. :)

- Victoria

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details of fall | october 27th, 2018

Hey everyone! Remember me? It’s been a while…

In fact, although I’ve been posting blogs throughout this year, the last time I went out to take pictures unrelated to a trip I was on was last November. Almost a year ago.

It’s been a crazy year. I spent four months in Ireland, and then I was away over the summer for a job. That job was so meaningful to me that I lost interest in a lot of things when I came home—photography included. I was in a bit of a “purpose crisis.” Time has helped me gain perspective on things back home, and I’m reminded once again that photography is meaningful and important. For the first time in ages, I felt the urge to go out and take pictures. In the midst of my busy school schedule I decided that I would set aside time on Saturday to take pictures.

Imagine my disappointment when I looked at the weather that day and discovered it would be raining all day. However, later in the afternoon I saw that the raindrops were holding up, so I grabbed my stuff and ran out the door.

Of course, these wildflowers were the object of my affection for a while.

Fun fact: I risked falling down the hill and into a stream while taking this picture.

That fall aesthetic. <3

The stream into which I almost fell..

Still quite a bit of green on some of the trees!

This shoot was so fun and I’m excited to get back into what I love to do. Thanks to all of you who continue to stick with me. I do photography for me, but y’all make things like my store possible and I am so incredibly grateful for that. <3

- Victoria

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10 years of this | photography anniversary

Ten years ago, at the age of 12, I took this photo. It is the reason why I do photography now. I never imagined I would be where am today when I snapped this photo. All I knew was that as soon as it appeared on the playback screen, I was hooked.

As a kid, I was always fascinated by the concept of taking pictures. The fact that you could capture a moment in time and look at it later amazed me. Polaroid instant cameras were one of the most intriguing inventions I could get my hands on. I even had a toy Polaroid sort of like this one.

When I was 7, I got my first camera--a point and shoot film camera. I was thrilled. Many of the rolls of film were filled with pictures of my brother and my cats. I tried to take some pictures of flowers but it never went well.

Then when I was 12, my mom had just bought a digital camera. (This was back when 5-megapixels was top of the line.) Again, I was amazed. You mean, you can take a picture and see it right away?? And you can delete whatever ones you don't want?! One day I asked her if I could take some pictures of our potted flowers outside. She agreed, and so I happily went outside.

When I saw this photo on the 1" x 1" playback screen, the way the front was all clear and the back was all blurry, I was hooked. I started saving for my first camera that day.

I eventually upgraded to a fancier camera, and then later, my first DSLR.

In recent years, I have had so many cool opportunities because of my interest in photography. Sports photography, senior photos, a marriage proposal, events, launching this website, hosting an online store, and so much more. I say it all the time but I really mean it: I am so blessed to be able to do what I love and have other people love it, too.

But the thing is, my photography isn't just about the skill and the opportunities. In fact, I would say my photography is where it is today because of some pretty tough things I experienced as a teenager. When I was 15, I started "blogging" through the photos I posted on Flickr. I would upload a photo that represented a person or event and include a quote or lyrics that helped to illustrate what it was about. Sometimes I would include my own writing. Every time I would put up a new photo, I could feel a weight lift off of my shoulders.

I remember one day in particular, I was so frustrated with myself and what I was going through. I just need to take pictures. That thought came out of nowhere. I paused to think, and realized that maybe photography was my thing. Some people write songs or poetry. Some paint or draw. I take pictures. That's how I make sense of life. So that's what I did.

It's not like the pictures came out to be fantastic, but it helped me process and deal with the things I was experiencing, and that made it worth it.

As I've grown and become better at dealing with life's less-than-stellar moments, I've strayed away from uploading to Flickr in that way. But it's amazing to me to look back at each of those photos. To this day, I can tell you what each one represents. I can feel what I was feeling in the moment I uploaded it. I could probably even tell you how I came up with the composition or what was going on the day I took it. To be able to look back on all of that and see where I am now is so encouraging. If you want to see what I'm talking about, you can check it out here.

Photography means more to me than any amount of views, sales, awards, or jobs. Ten years later, I still get that same feeling I got when I took that photo of the marigold, and I hope that never goes away. But I'm not worried about that. Photography is my thing.

My early photography was supported by the words of others, so it seems fitting to include some of the most influential quotes I've come across. Robert Hayden said, "Art is not escape, but a way of finding order in chaos, a way of confronting life." And I couldn't agree more. Asher Roth said, "Do your thing. Do it every day. Do it 'unapologetically'. Don’t be discouraged by criticism. You probably already know what they’re going to say. Pay no mind to the fear of failure. It’s far more valuable than success. Take ownership, take chances and have fun. And no matter what, don’t ever stop doing your thing." Between the two of them, they sum up my approach to photography pretty well.

Thanks for an incredible first ten years of practicing my art. And thank you for encouraging me to "do my thing" even when you had no idea just how much it meant to me.

 

- Victoria

#tbt | october 23rd, 2014

Hey everyone!

I am back from Ireland, so no more Ireland photos (until I go back of course ;)). Today I have a little throwback to share. These photos are from 2014. I never posted them because, as usual, I wasn't happy with them. And as usual, I found them years later and saw them in a different way! I played around with the editing a bit and thought they turned out pretty good.

Although I mostly shoot nature, when I first started photography I was pretty much half-and-half--nature and still-life. I'd like to get back into it eventually, but for now, here's some old stuff.

This one is in my shop.

I hope you enjoyed this little throwback!
 

- Victoria

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adventures in Ireland: giant's causeway & carrick-a-rede | april 2018

Hey all!

Last month I took a trip up to Northern Ireland with some of my friends. We explored Belfast, the Giant's Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, and a bunch of other cool places. Here are some photos from one of the most (if not the most) gorgeous place I've ever been--the area surrounding the Giant's Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.

This view... *insert heart eyes emoji here*

Straight from the camera!

...also straight from the camera, besides cropping!

Taken from the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.

These places were so incredibly gorgeous, and we were blessed with a gorgeous day to enjoy them. If you ever have the chance, go!
 

- Victoria

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adventures in Ireland: killarney & inisheer | april 2018

Hey everyone!

I have been really busy with traveling and finishing up school for the semester, so I'm trying really hard to get caught up on sharing my photo adventures. These pictures are from the past month. A few are from Killarney National Park and the rest are from Inisheer, one of the Aran Islands.

Torc Waterfall in Killarney National Park

The colors were unreal! The only adjustment I made to this one was adding a bit of brightness.

The Plassey -- wrecked ashore Inisheer Island in 1960. Everyone on board survived.

The island is only a little under 2 miles by 2 miles, but there is over 5,000 miles worth of stone walls!

These sheep were so funny. As soon as they saw my friends and I, they started making a whole bunch of noise. Even the babies started to chime in after a while!

Hope you enjoyed!

Note about the quality: maybe I'm the only one who notices, but the resolution of my photos has gone so downhill. I've tried changing settings, taking photos in better conditions, editing differently, etc... But the fact is that the quality used to be so much better. It is frustrating to have great pictures ruined by camera malfunction/outdated equipment. There have been many pictures I haven't been able to share because the quality is just so bad. I'd love to be able to get a newer camera, but that just isn't realistic right now. I wanted to acknowledge the quality difference in case anyone has noticed though. Thanks for sticking with me anyway!
 

- Victoria

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adventures in Ireland: cliffs of moher - take II | march 31st, 2018

Hey everyone!

I got to see the Cliffs of Moher again! It was a gorgeous day, and I think the pictures came out much better this time. Hope you enjoy!

These were what the tour guide called the "mini cliffs."

Let me know which one is your favorite! The last two are already in my shop.
 

- Victoria

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adventures in Ireland: donegal, sligo, + more | march 17th - 19th

Hey everyone! 

This might be my biggest post to date. I considered splitting these photos up into a few posts but it made more sense to keep them all in one. Myself and a few friends took a trip north to the Donegal area a few weeks ago. It was a fantastic time filled with lots of laughs, hiking, and photo opportunities!

This one and the next three were from our hike up Knocknarea in County Sligo. 

Slieve League is one of the most gorgeous places I have ever visited.

The water is unbelievably bluish teal.

A pond on top of the mountain!

Glengesh Pass

Assaranca Waterfall - first time experimenting with water long exposures. Not perfect, and personally I don't love this style of shot, but it's neat to try new techniques and see the results!

Maghera, County Donegal - a white sand beach in Ireland! The icicles on the rock sides brought us back to reality. 

There are a few small caves along the beach.

Again, I was less than thrilled with some of these photos. Although I like them, the quality is severely lacking quite a few and I was pretty frustrated by that. After the trip, one of my friends went through the settings on my camera and realized the sharpening was turned all the way up. I reset it and took some photos last week. What a difference! Hopefully I'll be sharing those soon. 

Let me know if you have a favorite! 
 

- Victoria

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