iconcards and a camera

1 mom + 1 daughter + a deck of cards + a camera = a fun afternoon for everyone!


iconI Heart Faces--Smiles!

The challenge over at I Heart Faces this week is "Smiles!" Like everyone else, I have files full of smiling faces. This one stood out to me because it includes genuine, heartwarming smiles. My nieces, sisters, spent the afternoon with me so we could capture a few images as a surprise for their mom. Not only were they smiling during their time together, but their mom had some happy smiles of her own when she received the images that she didn't know were coming to her.

Click on the camera below to check out a whole lot more happy faces!


iconThe bond between parent and child

Can you believe it is April already?! Where did the year go...seriously!

We are getting very, very close to my favorite holiday: Mother's Day.

Why do I love Mother's Day, you ask? Well, of course because I am a mother, and the whole day has been created to celebrate me and what I do every day. Who doesn't love having everybody focus on them and shower them with gifts?

And then there is my kids. The whole fact that I get showered with praise and gifts (Ok, not "showered" exactly, but I do get an "Atta girl" here and there, and I usually get a gift or two) is because of the 4 little people living at my house. Without them this day would not be for me. Ooooo, and I do LOVE those kiddos!!

But the REAL reason that I love Mother's Day is because it is the one time of the year that I can coax my children into getting their picture taken WITH ME without any whining or complaining!

As the photographer in the family, I am rarely in any pictures with the rest of my family. Yet I am right there with them playing, eating, partying, vacationing, and just being...99.9% of the time. When I am in the picture, it is generally just a look-at-the-camera-and-smile type of picture.

What I would love...REALLY love...is meaningful pictures of me being a mom: playing card games, cooking breakfast, laughing, hugging, giving baths, playing at the park, kissing a boo-boo, tying a shoe, reading a book...you get the picture.

I am pretty sure that there are other parents out there who are the family "photographer" who feel the same way. But I am hoping to change that for at least some of you.

Here is my idea:

These sessions are not intended to be your typical look-at-the-camera-and-smile type of sessions. Yeah, we may get a few of those, but what I really want to focus on is the love and connection between parent and child. I want to capture your special bond and relationship with your child. I want to document those moments and rituals that mean so much to you at this very moment. Whether it be cuddling in bed together, practicing baseball at the park, or reading a favorite book together, I want to capture the moments that are special to you so you will have them to look back on always.

You may have noticed that the price of these sessions are SIGNIFICANTLY reduced from my normal fees. (It's a savings of almost 60% off my regular fees!!!) The reason for this is because I want every mother or father to have the opportunity to take advantage of these important sessions.

These sessions will only be available until the end of June and I have a limited number of slots available, so hurry up!!

Oh, and just in case you were wondering, these sessions would be the PERFECT Mother's Day or Father's Day gift!!!


iconBaby steps in the journey

I'm pretty sure I won't be winning any awards for these pictures from my last family session. And yet, I LOVE them. They make me ridiculously happy. The reason? Let me explain.

A few years ago when I enrolled in school to study photography, I had no idea the journey that it would take me on. I wanted to learn more about my camera and the art of photography for selfish purposes. I just wanted to take better pictures of my kids.

The further I got into my program, the more I realized how much I ADORE this art. I am passionate about it.

And I am also often frustrated. Now that I have completed my program, I have trained my eye to recognize "good" photography. I can confidently use my camera to consistently create properly exposed and framed photographs. I know many of the rules and techniques that lead to great photographs.

I have figured out much of the technical aspects of photography (Although, of course, there is ALWAYS more to learn...I will never stop learning.) What I have not yet figured out is ME as a PHOTOGRAPHER. The best photographers have an identity...a style. They are confident enough with themselves as photographers that they do not let the rules of photography cramp their vision or purpose.

I have been searching for that missing link that will allow me to express myself through photography rather than just taking good photographs. I have been struggling with how to give my clients what they are looking for--a family portrait, shots to remember their child at a certain age--while still being true to ME. I have been searching for MY style and identity as a photographer.

I realize that this takes years to sort through for many people. I know I have a long way to go. I am trying to be patient and realize that my journey may take longer than many others because photography is a few steps down on the totem pole of my priorities.

But this darling family helped me to take a baby step toward my goal. They allowed me to be ME during our time together.

When I talked with Natalie before our shoot, she expressed confidence in me. She told me how she wanted to get some family portraits, but, more importantly, she wanted some "un-posed," natural shots.

My goal during the shoot was to capture the emotion of this family. I wanted to document their love and connection with one another. I wanted to capture them AS THEY WERE, not as they could be if I posed them perfectly and positioned them so that the light fell beautifully across the frame. I worried less about perfection in the technical aspects of photography and more about the emotion that could be felt.

I was thrilled with the results! Were they perfect? Absolutely not. But I was able to capture Ella's connection with her favorite little lamb, her adoration for her mom, and her playfulness with her dad. I was able to document the love between husband and wife, and the protectiveness of a loving father. I was able to show shyness and laughter and love and REAL-ness.

I hope this little family will be as happy with their pictures as I am.