Monday, March 31, 2008

Snow, Dogs Eating Fish Food, and New Life

I had an interesting drive up to Issaquah to do a shoot for a beautiful new little baby girl this weekend. The wonderful family warned me that they had five, yes you heard me right, FIVE inches of snow the previous night. They were more than willing to reschedule, but hey, I am from Alaska originally, that has to count for something, right? About half way up I called Zach just to see how he was managing with the kids. Now, that was funny! It sounded as though the girls had completely taken over, and the call ended with Zach yelling at the dog to stop eating the fish food?! How does that happen? I suppose you just have to have a 2 and 4 year old to understand.
I did not want to miss the chance to shoot this new beautiful baby, and a little snow was not going to stop me. She is just 14 days old and sweet as can be. She has a full head of long, soft, brown hair and a perfect little face. Baby Reilly stayed awake for almost the whole shoot, we only had about five minutes that she was slept. It was really fun to see all of those tiny weeny baby parts again. She made my two year old seem like a giant.
One of the best things about this shoot was the big sister. You could just see that she loved her little baby. Her mom told me that she was pregnant the whole time as well, so she had worked hard for her little "Boots" (Hannah's nickname for her sister). I think this is my favorite shot from the whole day. Sisters.... what a special bond they have already.

Look at this adorable little bum. It fits right into her mama's palm.

I know I have said this before, but there are so many things about a newborn that you just do not ever want to forget, and yet, if you wait just a week, they change and you say to yourself, can you remember those tiny toes, that nursing blister, that belly button... I think that we captured many of those details so this mommy will be able to remember this perfect little baby for ever.

This is another great shot. I loved this snugly, hand-made blankie... perfectly pink!

Here is the evidence that this cutie does sleep. Hopefully all of the awake time earned the whole family a good nap later in the afternoon.Little Reilly loved having her arm up by her face. It was almost like you could just see her snug in her mama's tummy with her arm in the same position.I want to thank Reilly's family for letting me come up and spend the morning with them. It was really great to get to know all of you and to see what a blessing this little one is to your family. A special thanks to Hannah for letting me hang out and talk "Dora" with her!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Behind the Camera

A couple of nights ago I went to a meeting with some local photographers, and one thing that I learned is how uncomfortable I am in front of the camera. We were taking turns practicing with lighting in a studio setting and we used each other as models (victims) as we practiced. The second I sat down in front of the camera, I could feel my pulse raise as well as my temperature. It gave me a new appreciation for how people may be feeling when I am taking their photo, and also how glad I am to be on that side of the camera!

We had Julie Watts of Julie Watts Photography hosting us in her Edgewood studio, Studio 36. You should check out her amazing photos on her website. It was really great to get together with other local photographers (Amanda Mays and Carol Swales), share ideas and just chat. We are planning to keep getting together to just have fun, network, and learn. I know that most of my photos are in very informal settings, but if any of you are interested in studio shots, Julie is making her studio available for rent, exciting huh! Now we can have fun there too if anyone is interested in more formal shots.

On a side note.... isn't this weather just insane? It is practically April! What is with this snow!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Madrona Cutie!

I can not begin to tell you how much fun I had shooting this amazing little Madrona cutie! I was teasing her parents about how laid back she was... she is trying to trick them into a sibling for her to play with! This family has a wonderful place in Madrona that they recently moved into, and we enjoyed shooting all over their house! Skyler is 8 months old and full of expression and patience! She would have let me shoot all day. I think I would have too had time allowed!
This next series just cracks me up..... Lilly is their adorable American Eskimo dog. She and Skyler have a great relationship...

These two will be buddies for quite some time!

Here are a couple more of my favorite shots...And of course the family...I really want to thank this family for welcoming me into their home for this shoot. They were so much fun and so laid back! I could have stayed all day. Skyler could not have been a better model, OK... you guys (Lilly included) were all right too!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Children's Portrait Sessions

What is it we do for two hours at a children's portrait session? Well... basically what ever you want. I love to spend time getting to know your kids. I try to let them get to know me a little, get used to the camera a little... and then we just have fun. I encourage you to select a setting outside if possible. The weather in the Northwest can sometimes make this challenging, but on the other hand, it provides us with amazing settings as well! I love natural lighting and the outdoors really is perfect for that!
Here are some photos that I did last year with a great family. One of the great things about the mom at this shoot was that she was able to step back and let me work with the kids.... they really relaxed and they had fun. I know that as a parent it can be hard to stand back and let things just happen. Each time I used to take my kids in for photos, I would dance around and say, "Look up here" and "Smile... please".... then as the kids look at the ground and turned to the wall I would apologize profusely to the photographer. Most often I left the studio grumpy, frazzled and sweating. This is what I want to avoid for you! No matter how mischievous or misbehaved you may think your kiddos are being, I can promise you that it is not as bad as you think, and I really do not care. In fact, I enjoy it.... it makes me feel more normal about my own kids! So what I am trying to say is... don't worry about trying to get the kids to look just right, to get them to smile at the right time or to look the right direction.... it always works out. AND... if it really, really doesn't work out, we can always do another shoot. I want you to be happy with what you get.What should the kids wear? I suggest clothing they are comfortable in. Solid colors are good, patterns are OK too... just make sure that they do not distract too much from the kids! Bring a change of clothes so that if we go to the beach or have a potentially messy activity planned we can change after wards. With little ones, we want to capture all of that baby skin and those pudgy thighs, so bring a diaper cover, onsie, etc. Remember to bring a blanket to sit on if the ground is damp. Try to make it a solid color so it does not become a focus of the photos.Bubble are another fun thing for the kids. Even if they do not make the shot, they certainly help the kids relax and have fun.It is great when kids bring some of their favorite things to the shoot. It makes them more comfortable, and as a mom or dad, you will want to remember how much she loved this unicorn.
I love close ups of kids. I love to capture their perfect skin and smiles.... and those adorable teeth!
This is one of my very favorite shots. Really, can you beat this look. His eyes, his little pout, his had on momma for protection.... I love it!
This is another shot I love.... I love the light just pouring over this handsome little man. He is just so cute!

I wore these guys out at this shoot, but they were just so much fun I had to keep shooting. Hopefully I will get to see them again and watch them grow over the years! Please let me know if you have any questions about a shoot! Email me or call me and I would love to chat!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Easter Egg Fun!!!

Can you believe it, Easter is right around the corner! Last year we had so much fun decorating our eggs, I just had to post some of the photos. I think this year I am going to try to reproduce the experience, but we will see... that is always a hard thing to do. If you stress out with the mess that comes along with dying eggs, my advice to you is to do it outside. It TOTALLY takes the stress out of the situation. No more worrying about if the kids are going to make a mess or not. You can just give them a carton of eggs and let them have at it!

This is how we started off the day... nice and clean! The girls were not quite sure what they were going to be doing with all of these eggs!

Initially we tried to be very very careful. I love Ava's expression in this shot. She really really did not want to drop this egg that she had worked so hard on! I know how she feels... I can never balance an egg on one of those lame holders either. As you will see, they quickly gave up on them!
Ahh... this is more like it. Just use your hands! I think they would have kept decorating eggs until they passed out from exhaustion. They each had a carton with 18 eggs in it, it was amazing to see how quickly they dyed all of them.
The first set of eggs actually turned out really nice.Olivia was hilarious, she kept moving eggs from one color to the next.... I think each of her eggs went in every color of dye. As you can imagine eventually every container had the same color of dye in it....Because of that, Olivia's eggs turned out like this! I guess she was going for the natural, earthy tones. Watch out Martha Stewart! Even though it took weeks for the green "Incredible Hulk" colored hands to come clean, we had a wonderful time dying eggs, and it was worth the mess!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Confessions From a Dusty Treadmill

So... I own a treadmill. It is in the basement. It is dusty. Once again I have been going over all of the reasons why I need to be using it, and I figured if I wrote publicly about it... well then maybe, just maybe I will dust it off and start to use it. It is worth a try right?! This time, yes this time, I am going to make a valiant effort at exercising regularly and eating better! The weather is improving, it is staying lighter later into the evening... my excuses are getting more and more ridiculous as the time passes. As ridiculous as they are, I seem to be very good at coming up with them! Time will tell!

At the last photography workshop I went to with Me Ra Koh Photography, Me Ra and her husband Brian spent some time talking about many different things that are important when starting a business. One of the most important things was to take care of yourself, eating right, exercising, and simple little things like getting fresh air. One of the most important things that she said was to always give back.

That is what I have been thinking about... how can I give back? I am so lucky and blessed to have the my life and family, it is about time that I do something good for people and the world around me. I may not be able to raise millions, but every little bit counts, and every good deed is good for the soul! As I jump into the world of photography, I am going to dive into myself as well..... As a busy mom working full time, I seem to have forgotten about these details in the last few years, and now it is time for a change, it is time to give back! For this adventure, I will need your help. I can not wait to share the details of this project with you in the days to come!