learning

Little bit of Love!

2 Things: 1- A new look will be rolling out soon for VHP!  and 2 - I love Pinterest. lolI suppose its thanks to Pinterest that people are constantly "overthinking" photo shoots, and doing up styles and themes! I still often and mostly shoot the standard, but once in a while a client... usually a friend - will join with me in making sure we have lots of good, or a few of the perfect, props and setting pieces and we create something spectacular! Over the last couple of weeks I've had 2 shoots like this that just turned out so beautifully with just a few accents!

A&Z K Family

Maybe its the whole blanket theme that makes it work? I don't know.. its just perfect! - I will say these are probably two of my favorite shoots ever! And they just fell into place perfectly!

McKenna {Portraits}

McKenna! Oh McKenna! My "meant to be" meetup has blossomed into such a sweet friendship!McKenna was with her friends at Scottsdale Civic Center a year and a half ago now? They were taking pictures of each other... and I was sitting there waiting for a client, just people watching and waiting..... I spotted the 3 of them trying to get pictures not often getting one with all 3 in the picture, mostly taking pictures of each other... So after waiting 20 min for my client, and not hearing from her... I approached McKenna, Lilly and Sami, and offered to take some pictures of them - I did it with my camera, I told them I was expecting to do a shoot anyway so I might as well do it of them! :) I used my camera - but let them know I'd treat it like a regular mini shoot and edit them before I gave them the pictures - and then had a bit of fun w/ the three of them :) They all became my friends on FB and liked my photography page so they could see the pictures when I posted previews... and then - I stayed in touch with McKenna mostly - she seemed to be the one interested in the photography - she was the one with the camera, AND it turned out she lived less than 2 min from our apartments.  So it was easy to get her the disc...  she asked questions about photography - loved my help with her pictures for school.... eventually she began babysitting for us... :) She fit right in to our family!! <3 If you're a client - you probably recognize McKenna :) She comes with me on a lot of shoots to practice... her passion for life, happy fun loving attitude, and joy when taking pictures and "getting it right" is so sweet and contagious! I love having her around!! Today is her birthday (her "Sweet 16" I might add!)  so I thought I'd make sure to get her previews up from her shoot when I was back visiting in Phoenix  :) Happy Birthday McKenna!

As I remind all clients: Please remember, you will receive a disc of your photos with no logo on them. Please do not crop out or hide logos (even when using as a profile picture on Facebook). Feel free to share these pictures, the blog post, etc... These are meant to hold you over while waiting for your disc - Encouraged use: sharing, using as profile pictures, tagging friends.. etc

McColl Kids!

My first shoot of the phoenix trip!I've been honored to have these kiddos in front of the camera quite a few times! Faith has always been ready and willing to smile and pose!  Ethan took a bit more convincing... This time, was fabulous though! I did some shots of Faith, the avid dancer, in some dance move/poses... which was fun :) Something I haven't really done before - I love that you can see how much she loves it!  And then did some portraits of Ethan.. OH my heart. He warmed right on up this time! May have helped that he had just seen me a week or two before at his Aunty's wedding :) Anyway - wanted to share on the blog!! <3

Oh So Posh

Can't tell you how inspiring Lidia with Oh So Posh Photography is....She is one of the most real and inspiring "big names" in the blogging slash Facebook world of photographers....  She has over 40,000 fans on Facebook and she manages to stay real, personal and connected. Tons of photographers know of her because of the striking photos and edits she produces! She sells her Photoshop actions and I'm a new owner of them :) I knew I'd have a learning curve...I struggled at first because I edit 95% in Lightroom .. I'm SO comfortable with my work flow in LR and only dabble in CS5 when I need to... And I'm cool with using it for Logos or design stuff.. but anyway - blah blah - I'm going to change that thanks to Lidia and her awesome actions! I found my niche when playing with the actions... needless to say - I'm really excited.... I have much more "playing" and practicing to do... but I LOVE this first result! Here is a before and after.... The before is SOOC (Straight Out Of Camera)- My original edit of this (the one delivered to my client) wasn't too far off of this... simply because I really loved the SOOC (Loving SOOC is what I work towards... And I accomplished that in this)... so it was enhanced a just little upped the blacks,  popped the color and contrast a little... If I had nothing else going on in my life I"d sit down and re-edit from all my past shoots! <3 haha. Anyway - on with the show! This was a simple combo of Carnival Lights and Moroccan Spice and i tweaked some parts of it - Its not extravagant... nothing looks fake or over done.... It just has SUCH a gorgeous glow and pop to it! Plus it helps that Aly is BEAUTIFUL!

PS - Here is a Plug!  Aly is a 2012 Senior graduating this year <3 She was going to be a 2012 senior rep but because we moved back to this area after school started, and didn't even get this shoot in until late in the year - pretty much all her friends had their Senior Pictures done already...  I was late to the Senior Pictures game this year! But I'm getting an early start for 2013 seniors!!! If you're interested in being a 2013 Senior Rep - Click here to Fill out the Senior Rep Application! You can get your Sr Pics for Free as well as earn awesome prizes! I'll be announcing the 4 reps April 18th!

Kameron...

My dear friend Kambra, lost her nephew, Kameron,  a couple of weeks ago. Fortunately when I was here visiting in July, Kameron was also visiting... And Kambra had the wonderful idea to have a secret photo shoot done of Kameron with me to use as surprise Christmas presents for his family. Due to his passing they're no longer a surprise Christmas present... just cherished photos of the precious life lost.These will fall into the category of "Most Special Photos Ever" for sure.

RIP Kameron... May all those who miss you find some joy in the captures of your smile! For some reason the video embedding isn't working... http://www.facebook.com/v/537560983091

 

Pretty in Pink! Precious in Purple!

Oh. My. Word.My latest photo subject: Mia {9MonthsYoung} Level of adorableness: Off the charts... I haven't blogged in FOREVER... And my latest client doesn't have a facebook (which is where most of my clients get their first peak at their portraits...)- SO I figured her shoot was the perfect one to jump back into blogging... Or {try} to. For the first time, I had a client come to MY house... Oh how I wish I had a studio for baby shoots! [The pull back shot of Keri*Meyers's studio makes me drool... I prefer outdoor stuff once little ones are walking... but pre-walking. ~Newborns especially of course~ .. inside in a studio works so so well! And is SO SO fun! I wish I had the prop collection, the natural light... the dedicated space... oi! Someday! :).. ok ... anyway... back on track....]

Though - Our house is in disarray due to the beginnings of unorganized house turning in to an {attempted} organized packed-up house, for  {hopefully} an organized move... Our patio with my backdrop stuff all set up turned out to be the PERFECT venue for my shoot with Miss Mia!

I've done shoots with Brooke out there before, and my little buddy Natalie :) And the lighting is always amazing! We have no direct sun... but the building is white and light blue... and we're on the 4th floor with no real shadowy obstructions.. :)

PLUS Just barely Pre-Crawling is awesome too because they're immobilized pretty much! But happy enough sitting and staring at you! This girl has to-die for big brown glassy eyes and with the awesome light outside... they were glistening!! :) You'll see what I mean...!

Without Further ado.... Here is the sneak peak!

Now there you have it!! A "handful" of previews... that I generally promise.. turned into a lot more!  But it really is just a small percentage of all the awesome shots she allowed me to take! :D I must give a shout out to my dear Kenna! McKenna loves photography, has a brand new Canon in her hands, and loves coming to shoots with me! SO I have to brag on her a bit and showcase a few of her super cute captures!!

*Her Photos | My Edits*

*Special Thanks to LoveBbyCarrie for the super cute purple and white boutique bow :) {which I WILL be brining you $ for next time I see you btw!} And to McKenna of course for second shooting! You're a rising star my love!

3 Year old + Photoshoot....

= Ups and downs and everything in between :)I met Stacy (Mom) at the Hissyfits Hullabaloo craft fair in November... She seemed to be mostly attracted to the idea that I give copyright and a disc of all your images instead of leaving it up to the client to buy my photos :) One thing I stand quite proudly on with my business.  After a few reschedulings... Sicknesses and such between us... We finally got to meet up for a shoot! Little Miss Delaney was the star of the show here.... And I was excited to see how happy and peppy she was coming off the playground when I arrived. But when I got the camera in her face... um.. She changed her mind... which you'll notice.. and I learned... she does a lot. At least this day! We started with some whole family pictures... Grandma, Uncle Jason, Mommy - and Delaney... She wasn't so excited.

She needed some talking and joking.... She certainly didn't the idea of my crab (Preston, my lens buddy), camera  and I coming closer... But we started seeing if she thought Crab's said... Meow.. or Woof Woof... Or Moo.... She thought we were silly :) A little cuddle and play with mom seemed like it might work to really brighten her up again... But not for long... even with an attempt at swinging! Time to eat! That should help.... I let them do their thing and I snuck around a little... Look what a little food did! haha... I love her look in this photo... Shes not so sure why Grandma is in the waggon :)

Havin a good 'ole time! This is the smile I KNEW was in there! Peek-a-boo!She decided at one point in there that she was ready to go home... We headed over to see the train... She so wanted to ride! (That's a silly band in her hand... I was so afraid it was going to snap! AH!) Playin on the tracks... We're going to ride it!!! So. So. Excited. No more please... Let's go! Such JOY!

We're on the TRAIN!This photo makes me squeal inside a little... :DWe got off... She was done. Spent. Time to go home!

Hope you all enjoyed! With the down moments, to be honest.. I was a little concerned that I might not have as many good photos as I like to have. But I was so pleasantly surprised! She is so photogenic and certainly agrees with the camera... even if she didn't want to. I had a REALLY hard time choosing photos for the preveiws... because initially when I picked the ones I wanted to use.. I had close to 50! So I had to really cut it down. I just love the story they tell!!

:)

Braddocks Take 2!

Mike and Tabi... Tabi and Mike...  They help our world go round :)Dear friends we RARELY get to see anymore because WE moved... and they haven't followed us... yet? yet.

Oi. The first shoot I did with them over a year ago... They loved.. and I did at the time.. but my work has improved so much! I don't mean to gloat.. but I am SO much happier with the images from this shoot!! So I call this... Take 2 :)

I'm not quite done yet - but I wanted to get a sneak peak up for them of my favorites :D :D PS.. a fair warning, the little ones stole the show :)

I am certain you'll get a good glimpse of who they are thru these photos :) Meet (From Left to Right) Micha, Shai, Tabi and Mike :) AKA: The Braddocks

So thats that! Looking forward to Take 3 next year :) Or next visit... which ever happens first! LOVE YOU GUYS!

Brooke's Birthday!

We've had a crazy past few weeks! We were in Florida for a week, had Brooke's Florida birthday party for her there... and after being home for a day and a half, some of my family came in from California, and we had our Phoenix-Party yesterday...I tried my first attempt with my new background stand for a few little posed studio style shots... BUT realizing that I really really DO want the wood flooring look. The backdrop for the back and the ground isn't the look I like. But anyway - they turned out pretty cute none-the-less.

I have some family shoots to catch up on, a shoot I did before Florida, 2 florida shoots, and Brooke's birthday weekend to edit before I do anymore full blog posts, but I thought I'd at least throw up a 1 photo preview of one of Brooke's little 2 year old photo :) Love this picture... despite the backwards direction of the "2" she is holding :)

 

Can't Decide on Winter Wonderland Entry!

Did a super cute photoshoot of Brooke! Loving the photos but having a hard time choosing which photo to post as my entry for the Winter Wonderland weekly challenge at I Heart Faces!AND I wanted to share all my favorites anyway :) Entry will be my next post :D

8 + 2 = One Big Happy Family!

Yesterday I had the privilege of shooting the Roat family! Kathy works with my husband, Garrett, and contacted me a month or two ago... She and her husband (and his siblings and their spouses) wanted to do a photo shoot for his parents for Christmas. [I'll skip the scheduling mayhem from before Christmas, Kathy :)] They surprised them with the plan on Christmas, and picked a date! That date was yesterday afternoon!I met with them at a park downtown... and Oh boy... I walked up to this GROUP of people... Not hard to find :) lol. Now before hand I KNEW it was Kathy and her family (husband, and 2 kids) and his parents, 2 siblings, and their spouses.... But when I walked up - that looked like a lot more than I was expecting... I have to learn all these names....Here we go! It was really fun though! I learned that for the most part... in shots of 8 adults and 2 kids...when the 2 kids are actually looking at the camera (smiling or not) someone else is either blinking, half blinking (because the eyes are still partway open you may suspect is BETTER than a full blink.... um. yeah. its not. ;) ) or looking somewhere else... DESPITE all that :) I think we did pretty good!

Enjoy your preview Roat Family! Hopefully this holds you over until I get back from vacation and edit the rest of your lots-o-photos :)

 

Here's where it starts! :)

"The Kids"

And Everyone!

This reminds me of a wedding photo :)

I really liked this random set up :) Time for some with the kiddos and Grandma and Papa...

Which didn't last long... so we had to work on the move :) Everyone has their moments right?  Jette decided she was done... and just plopped down.

Atticus was "done" thru most of the shoot :) But his attention was drawn when the discussion of his prize for after the shoot came up... This was just as the pouting was over... "Hmm? Prize?  OH Yeah!"

Isn't this the sweetest thing!?

Sunshine!

How do you all like the shirt? :D

Jette saw a dog! :)

This is about how Atticus felt through the whole shoot :) I was glad to capture it!

Stealing a moment  :)

And the newly weds :)

I loved how the sun-flare/rainbow circles their kiss :)

 

Hope you enjoyed!

Fix-it-Friday with I Heart Faces!

I have wanted to participate in an IHF fix-it-friday or photo challenge for a while.. but I always seem to have some shoot I should be catching up on instead.  :) Not today... well okay - thats not entirely true. I do have some photos to finish from a shoot I did with family a while back that have been placed on the back burner. But I also need to get a blog in to keep those of you happy that are on the edge of your seat, waiting for the next blog entry! *haha*

Anyway - over at I Heart Faces, if you aren't familiar with them... check it out - Amazing photo tutorials... awesome guest contributors to learn from.. fun contests, Fridays with SOOC images to  fix up and play with! Glad I'm finally getting around to participating instead of lurking!

So here is today's Fix-It-Friday Original Image:

So my I cropped it in a little closer, and then I went through and kinda did the same ole, that I usually do. (I use Lightroom 3 by the way) I decided not to do anything that I dont usually do with photos this being my first FIF week :)

Bumped up the exposure because I LOVE Images that are a bit over exposed. Not always, but when it comes to close ups on kids faces. OMG. Yes. My favorite :) Warmed up the temperature JUST a bit... to +2 and brought up the contrast also JUST a tad bit to +5

Now - the tad bit adjustment thing is something I've really worked on in the last year. I used to kind of.... Over do things I guess you could say. I was un-sure about my photographic capabilities and somewhat covered up what I wasn't sure of, with over edits.I like contrasty images, so BAM contrast = +100 I've certainly learned better.  And now i'm MUCH more confidant in the photo as it sits. :) and my editing is a lot more little tweaks than cover-ups ;)

Anyway - continuing on... I couldn't help but use the brush tool to brighten those GORGEOUS eyes! (within the tool I brought up the exposure a little, the saturation a LITTLE, and the clarity a LITTLE)

I played with the tone curve levels... afterwards... to finish it off - Highlights   -11 Lights  -5 Darks  +13 Shadows   -25

Can't forget my favorite: rounded corners border :)

So here it is:

I like to keep my same edit when doing black and white - and just remove the saturation (sometimes that takes a few tweaks after the saturation is gone... but this time I think it still looks pretty great) : So heres that look

Everything is the same except the saturation is down to -100

 

 

Mommy day!

Today was certainly a "THIS is being a mom" kinda-day :)Children's Museum, Lunch, no naps, 3 kids under 2...Messy House...  late errand to pick something up becuause I FORGOT about it... Bedtime was easy since Brooke fell asleep in the car... Sitting now in silence drinking coffee <-------- (from my cool lens mug my hubby got me :) ) Preparing to do some house cleaning before turning into bed!

 

(You can see the photos in a larger size when you click on them... just FYI)

 

 

 

I met my friend Carrie through our mom's group on Meetup.com and she has a little man: Brayden who is just 6 months younger than Brooke... We met up for a morning at the children's museum today! And they're off!    (When Brayden stands still long enough he makes for some AMAZING portraits hehe :) )

 

Brooke: Workin the wind look ;)

 

See! Look at this stud muffin! (he rocked the bed head hair today with a little alfalfa sprout on top)

 

Havin fun together:

 

Brooke was a bit jealous that Brayden was talking to another girl I think

 

We moved to the "shopping" area... and the kiddos played with the dried beans bin thing... Brooke spilled it all over the ground... Brayden spilled it all over the ground...

 

Then Brayden tried eating it....

Then Brooke spilled poured it all over the ground... again... so we moved on...

 

Pizza making, in which Brooke ran off when I turned my back and I had to FIND her.. Noodle Forest, then the climber... And the scarf blower, from all that madness this is the only decent photo I grabbed :)

 

Once we got back to my house and had lunch, Quinn (another little mom's-group-friend-girl, who I babysit a couple of times a week) joined us! And they zoinked out for probably about...3 minutes like this with a little snack before more controlled chaos ;)

With Carrie's company it was actually quite nice! The kids are finally getting old enough to play together without much crying and whining about who took snatched which toy, who looked at who wrong... and who ran into who and stuff like that... :)

 

So that was the day! After it was just us (Brooke and I) i snapped some shots of her i have to share :)

(I know the bow doesn't match but she never keeps them in her hair... so i had to capture it!)

And this! She told me she didn't want me to take any more pictures :D

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adjusting my thoughts?

I feel that I hide behind settings, and editing presets sometimes... like I don't trust myself to do it good enough manually.I have that same feeling about my camera lens.. I'm scared of using a fixed lens, I've heard good things about them, but today while talking to my photographer friend Rose, was telling me how shes a prime lens kinda girl... and I really had never even had the desire to look into them. I like the option and the safety of changing my focal length. However, I started reading up on the positives of having a prime lens... and I've read so many great things! I think I might be convinced!! The basic overall opinion I've gotten from amateur to pro photographers, is that it will make you a better photographer.. So.. there ya go!

After comparing and looking at reviews upon reviews and comparing prices and such... I"m leaning towards making the Canon EF Lens - 50 mm - F/1.8 my next investment. There is a Canon EF lens 50mm that is f/1.4... but its a bit more than I want to invest just yet. So... anyway - Any comments or suggestions on this issue are welcomed :)

Little Adrianna

Ah! Adrianna is so cute! I think that the 6 month realm is one of my favorites to photograph!They're just really coming into their smiles... they aren't too uncomfortable with strangers, and they're cool just hangin out in one spot and aren't gonna run off on you :) I have earlier shoot to post of another 6 month ish baby soon :)

(Oooh, and I made her tutu and headband bow :) go ahead, say it! I'm awesome)

But here are my favorites of Adrianna... I'm delivering her pictures to her mommy today!