I have taken up photography because I can shoot people and cut their heads off without going to jail.

2019 Indiana State Department of Agriculture Photo Contest

August 29, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

This year I won the 2019 Indiana State Department of Agriculture Photo Contest in the Agritourism category. Hundreds of photographers from around the state of Indiana entered and the top 10 were chosen. We then were invited to the LT Governor's Celebration at the Indiana State Fair where all photos were on display. They will also be on display for the rest of the year at the LT Governor's offices. 

I am already thinking about what I can do for next year. 

My entry this year was taken at a Neigh Show Series show at Black Dog Farms in Marion Indiana. Riders both local and from surrounding states attend this show series. I am so delighted to be able to attend these shows. They are organized, friendly and run like the larger rated shows yet very welcoming to beginners. I cannot recommend them enough.

2019 ISDA Agritourism Winning Photo

Model Call - Also, Why I love Stock Photography

August 15, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Throughout the year I am passively looking for models for my stock portfolio. This is something I enjoy doing to keep me in practice and on my toes. Can I make a living at it? Nope. Do I do it anyway? Absolutely. 

First - what is Stock Photography? Per Wikipedia: Stock photography is the supply of photographs, which are often licensed for specific uses. 

I work for 3 micro-stock agencies; Adobe, Shutterstock & Dreamstime. Each of these agencies literally have millions of photos out there for people and businesses to purchase in lieu of having to hire a photographer to do a shoot to get one picture of a cupcake to use on a blog. It's more cost effective to use a stock agency and buy a picture for a buck, than hire a team to get that picture for what could be upward of 1000s of dollars. Upside for them - cost. Downside - they get what is available. Upside for me - I have something to help me hone my craft and every so often it pays to have my camera's cleaned. Downside - it's a lot of work for me to make 50 cents. Every photo must be perfect or it will be declined by the agency. No fuzz, bad lighting, out of focus eyeballs and must have some kind of commercial value. 

I really do it for the love of the art, the challenge of making a sale and since I can sometimes have the attention span of a gnat, it pushes me to get my camera out even when I don't want to. It's laughable how excited I get when I get an email that I made a 75 cent sale this week. It's not the money its the challenge. 

Photo Release forms are legally required for photos containing people or identifiable property (such as your house or the Washington Monument.) They are not required for anything that DOES NOT contain a logo, animals, unidentifiable people and objects. By signing a release you understand that you may see yourself in a blog, book or advertisement - but you will not be identified. 

So this is where you could come in. Do you have an interesting business or hobby? Is your kid/dog/porcupine so cute you can hardly stand it? Do you want to play model for an hour or two? Contact me and let me know what you've got or tell me about the idea you have. If I am interested, you are willing to sign a model release (understanding you could end up on the side of a bus) and have the time - we'll work something out. As I stated before - this is a labor of love - I do not make a living doing stock photography. However, I will offer you a photo shoot for no charge, an online album for 6 months and a discount on prints should you want them. 

I am looking for people in Central Indiana - possibly the Chicagoland area every so often when I am up that way. 

This could be you:


Interested in becoming a stock photographer yourself!? Use me as your referral!



Well How Fun is This?

June 23, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

If you get the book: Top 10: Defenders (Wild Wicked Wonderful) Paperback – August 1, 2016 by Virginia Loh-Hagan Edd  - Open to chapter 1 - the very first picture is mine! This is the first time I have found one of my photos in a real published book! I have been in newspapers, magazines & online web pages, but this is my first book!

Now as some of you may know, I am originally from Chicago. Before I bought my little farm here in Indiana I had a year and a half detour to northern Alabama - just for fun. You know the song Sweet Home Alabama? The line "Muscle Shoals has the Swampers?" Yep, that's where I was. There was not a ton for me to do there unless it was outside exploring, as I knew very few people. I spent a massive amount of time just exploring all over the place with my camera.

One beautiful February morning I decided to get on the Natchez Trace in Florence, Alabama and go south through Mississippi. The road is AMAZING! If you like road trips and ever have the opportunity...DRIVE THE TRACE! Anyway, I was a ways into Mississippi I saw this little armadillo eating bugs out in the grass. I hoped out of the truck, camera in hand, and got lucky enough for him to just hang out and let me take a few pictures of him. About the time I got this shot and he stood up to look at me, I thought, I am in the middle of nowhere - on my belly - 20 feet from a wild armadillo - do they bite? Fortunately for me, he was only interested in his bugs.

New & Improved

June 13, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

As I posted on my Facebook page…times they are a changing! I have elected to move to a new printing vendor, which will also change the galleries as many people already know them. I am doing so to make sure everyone has a better experience while viewing their photos…with no clicking on a thumbnail and getting a blank screen, ha ha. All future events will be on the new site only.

Please, please, please, feel free to contact me at any time if you have any questions, concerns or requests.

Downsides to the new site:

  • I will no longer have CDs available via the website.

  • Almost everything is staying the same price at this time – there were a few items that increased (no prints) because my prior price was less that the cost charged to me with the new printer. This printer is much less cost effective than my last printer, but I am not going to worry about re-evaluating that until the end of the year…I’m not changing any pricing that is not absolutely necessary this show season.

Upsides to the new website:

  • Better viewing experience on ALL devices

  • I have the same discount package available on both sites for one individual photo…additionally, you now have a few more photo packages available in which you can mix up the photos!

  • There will be more download options to replace the CDs!

    • I am still working on this set-up

  • You can pick how you want your photo cropped

    • If you are unable to get everything into the cropped image that you would like, share the photo with me (via email) – make sure you tell me what crop sizes you are looking for and I will work some magic and upload one that will work if possible.

  • You can choose photos in color, black and white or sepia – with a preview

  • Your photos have mounting options

  • You can create Photo Books, Collages, Canvas Gallery Wraps, Statuettes & Aluminum Art

  • There are an assortment of photo gifts too!

Don’t be shy if you have any questions. I appreciate the opportunity to do this work!


Leah Smalley

765-425-9503 - [email protected] - www.sketchypromise.com - www.leahsmalley.com

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