Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 Favorites

This year brought change, surprise and happiness. First, John and I became parents. It's cliche to say that becoming a parent changes your life. Duh, of course it does. But, it changes in ways I never expected. Every thought, tear, smile, worry, headache, joy, moment of sleep .. ever.ry.thing. revolves around a tiny baby.  Becoming a mommy didn't change my life, it re-defined it. It re-defined ME.  To quote Ramona from the Real Housewives of New York,  "I'm going through a re-newal"

I also stepped out of my comfort zone and decided to finally take the plunge into a photography career. I will be a full-time-f'real-self-employed-photographer starting next week. I am a little terrified (is it possible to be a little terrified?) and extremely excited to see what 2011 has in store for me.

Here are some of my favorite portraits of 2010. Do you have a favorite?

Michelle and Josh (click to see more)

Augustine and Mark (click to see more)

Beth and Kirby (click to see more)

 Jessica and Matt (click to see more)

Sarah and Jason (click so see more)

And, naturally, Olivia! You know I couldn't post just one... do you know how hard it was to pick three?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Slide

We all have stories that our parents tell and re-tell about us through the years. My story is the slide and my Dad can tell it as if it happened yesterday.  I was terrified of the slide. I’d try to be brave, inching my way towards the edge until I’d freeze in fear. Crocodile tears ensued until my Dad climbed up to save me. 

Finally, one day I inched just far enough (probably on accident) to slide and from that moment I was hooked. Instead of crying at the top of the slide I laughed and squealed, then cried when it was time to leave.

For the last few months I have been sitting at the top of the slide, staring at the long drop, white knuckles gripping the metal bar… afraid and excited. Last week, I let go and remembered how much fun it is to slide.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Nine Months. How'd you do that?

My baby girl is almost 9 months old. I've been thinking about her shoot for a while and I knew I wanted it to be semi Christmas themed. I love the look of portraits in front of a Christmas tree, but a big sparkly tree is just TOO much temptation for a 9 month old. I knew if I plopped her in front of our tree that I'd never get her to look at the camera. Enter brainstorming.

I decided to put her in front of a white background with lights strung all around. I got some 'stuffing fluff' to look like snow and some over-sized ornaments for props. When I started setting up I realized that the light strands were green and did not look good against a white background.

I replaced the white blanket with some black fabric and got the look I was going for.

Here's a shot of the full set up.

The black fabric and lights are draped across the back of our couch. There's a big window to the right and we used a reflector (seen on the left) to shine light on the cream tile just in front of Olivia. This bounced light around and lit her very well. She is sitting about 3 feet in front of the background and I shot with my aperture wide open (f1.4 on my Canon 50mm fixed lens). This is what caused the lights to blur and gave me exactly what I had in mind. I ditched the 'stuffing fluff' because it looked blah against the black background.

John stood over my shoulder trying to get her to look and smile. He must have said something hilarious on that first shot!

Olivia just started clapping this week and I was so happy to capture it in this shoot. 

Once I was dialed in and could see on my LCD exactly what I had pre-visualized I shot, shot and shot some more.

She was moving a lot so I had to compensate with my camera settings. I changed the Auto Focus to AI Servo, which continuously focuses as the shutter is depressed. I also changed the Drive mode to Continuous. This means when I pressed the shutter and held it down I'd shoot approximately 3 images per second. Using these settings together allowed me to get a ton of images in focus no matter how much she wiggled and giggled. 

That's a LOT of pictures but... really.. how am I supposed to pick just one (or 10)??  I need to start brainstorming now if I'm gonna top this for her 1 year shoot!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Surprise! It’s a new website!!

I am terrible with surprises. Maybe annoying is a better way to put it. Please don’t ever tell me that you have a surprise for me unless you are prepared for and extended game of 20 questions. It’s probably because when I have exciting news I’m awful at keeping it secret. I’m that person that gives her husband his Christmas present a week before Christmas because I just can’t wait for him to open it. Yeah, annoying.

I’ve been working on something for the last month or so and I have somehow been able to keep it a secret. Be. Amazed. (I am) My new website is live!!

Please check it out and help me spread the word...

A thousand Thank Yous to John. He’s amazing y’all. He worked and worked to get the site juuuust like I like it. Even when I changed my mind eight times in five minutes.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Groce Family

There’s magic in watching babies discover textures and colors... and dirt. (read – it’s pretty funny to watch their face as they put dirt in their mouth to see what it tastes like)  

I shot the Groce family last week and their sweet baby is one year old. Little D is in a discovery stage. He just started walking and is so curious to learn all about this big world. He’s a joy to be around.

I love a toothy smile!!

Such a big boy!

You have the sweetest little man. He seriously smiles all the time (well, almost all the time.) We love y'all! Next time I have to bring Olivia so she and D can get a picture together :)