Sunday, January 31, 2010

Photography Scavenger Hunt: Beloved

This week the topic for the scavenger hunt was "BELOVED". There is one specific image that I took of a client that kept popping up in my head. I have never shared this image before because it is such an intimate moment between a mother and child, but when I thought about what BELOVED means, I am not sure how I could express it better than sharing this image.This beautiful baby boy would reach up and twirl his mommy's hair when he was nursing. His eyes just stared up into his mommy's face. It was so beautiful, and I was so honored to be able to share in it with this mother. The love between a mother and child, what could be more pure?

This next image was submitted by Cheryl. I love this image. What a beautiful little girl, and WOW... look at those lashes! This image is so quiet and serene, her parent's will cherish this image forever!Next weeks topic is: How I see myself (today)... These topics get more and more challenging every week! Please take time to think this one through, there are many different ways you could portray this. With that being said, phewww... this one could be hard! It can be (and will be for me!!!) difficult to make yourself vulnerable with an image like this. Please continue to submit your images for the scavenger hunt! Be brave, and send your image to .

Make sure to head over to Connie's site to see her "Beloved" image!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Safi Foundation

I am so excited to say that the 2009 holiday special was a smashing success! Last year I decided that I would donate a portion of every holiday session to The Safi Foundation. More specifically we chose to support a couple of projects that they are working on. First is the Safi School Project. The Safi School Project is a non-profit organization that improves and supports secondary education in Tanzania, East Africa, one school at a time. Safi is in its second year working with its pilot school in Arusha, TZ.

Second, we have chosen to support The Water Project. Currently there is no water supply for the school for drinking, cooking or washing. The water they have is gathered in buckets from a nearby ditch or stream. It is not clean and it takes a great deal of time and energy to get it. In times of drought, which are not uncommon to this area, there are times that they have no water supply at all. The well will provide a sustainable source of clean water and will also help them maintain a garden to support the diets of the students and their community.

I am so thrilled to announce that Sara Montgomery Photography and Live With Grace will be donating $700 to these two amazing projects. I would like to thank all of the families that helped us raise money for this amazing project. Here is a slide show with an image from each of the families that helped raise these funds. Thank you again to all of you! (If you would like to hear music with the slide show, click on the speaker button on the top left of the show.)

If you are interested in supporting the Safi Foundation, please visit their site. You can also follow their blog and see what they are doing right now in Tanzania! Thank you all.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Photography Scavenger Hunt: Stripes

OK, so I think I am really going to like this photography scavenger hunt. I was thrilled to have a couple of people email me their "stripes" images, and I will share those with you in this post. I thought all week about what type of "stripe" image I wanted to take... and I kept coming back to the same thing, so I went with it.

Here is my favorite "STRIPE" image.
Now... what I think I like most about this image is how I got it. And, what I like maybe more than the image itself is the emotions that it stirs in me. My girls are at the age right now that everything is done in rainbows. They even sometimes say their favorite color is rainbow. Every picture they draw has a rainbow... their jeans have rainbows on the pockets... they have rainbow stickers and stamps... rainbow lip gloss... and the list goes on and on and on.
In these images, they are both wearing a pair of rainbow Baby Legs (which they also LOVE, and were actually both featured in one of their catalogs about a year ago). What little girl doesn't need a pair of rainbow leg warmers, they are great! My girls keep growing up and getting older... I just want them to freeze, and it is not working for me even when I ask them to stop! These photos, will HOPEFULLY help me keep the memories of their youth alive forever. When I look at this simple image of their colorful legs, I will remember their toes and their rainbows... I will remember them playing peak a boo...
I will hear them giggling... I will see them being silly... I will hear them telling stories...
And... I will remember the love between two sisters.Now, enough about me and my images. I was THRILLED to have a couple of photos submitted for this weeks "stripes" assignment. Check out this image...
This great leaf image was sent to me by an amazing woman, my mom! She has always loved photography and takes great photos! This one was taken in Florida, and I love it. The whole frame is filled with these huge green stripy leaves. Wonderful shot! What a great idea for this weeks theme!

Rachel sent in this next image of her adorable boys in STRIPED shirts!
I love this image of these brothers. It is amazing how she captured each one of their personalities in one shot! Great soft lighting and beautiful brown eyes! Way to go Rachel!

Thanks to everyone for participating! Next weeks topic is BELOVED . Start thinking about it now.... Email me ( your favorite image and I will feature some of them on the blog! Be sure to head over to Connie Riggio Photography to see the fun "stripes" image she featured this week.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Photography Scavenger Hunt!

Here is something fun for you... you can either follow along, or you can participate! A friend of mine.... Connie Riggio (who by the way is the fabulous photographer who took our family photos last week) has started a photography scavenger hunt. Each week there will be a new assignment for you to photograph during the week.

I will share my images with you and I hope you want to participate as well. If you would like to participate... email me your images and I will share some of them on the blog as well. This should be fun!

So... what was week one? Week one was WATER. This is the image that I took.We got a fish tank at Christmas and these are a couple of our new fish. Someone should have warned us before Christmas as to how much work it is to take care of a saltwater fish tank! However, even though it is a lot of work, the girls love it. We have fish, anemones, snails, crabs, star fish, crabs, and clams. We are all learning a lot!

Here is your assignment for this week..... STRIPES..... I will share my image with you next week. Have Fun!!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Tips For Preparing For a Family Photo Session

Ok.... Can you guess what I am going to do tomorrow? I have all of our clothes lined up, the bribes have been offered, the weather... well that will probably stink, but everything else is right on track.

We are FINALLY having our family photos taken. We have not done this for over 3 years! Can you believe that?! Here I am, taking photos almost every day, and yet we do not have any images of my own family. So now... now I know how YOU feel when you get ready for a family photo session. WOW... it can be a bit stressful. Now that I am going through the same things that you go through when you prepare for a photo shoot, I am going to give you some tips for preparing for photo sessions.

Tip One: Be prepared! Think about the details of the day. What do you what to come across in your photos? You can not change the eye of the photographer, but you can and should express to the photographer what you are wanting to portray in your photos. Think hard about a location. Drive around and look at your neighborhood in a new way. Look for color... look for fields.... look for architecture.... do not be afraid to go outside of your yard!

Tip Two: What to wear.... make sure you are comfortable in your clothes. Wear something you can move around in... something you can sit, stand, walk, and move freely in. Think about color. I like a lot of color, but not a lot of distracting patterns or labels that may distract from the person.

Tip Three: Add details.... add a flower to your daughter's hair, bring along a baseball and mitt, bring bubbles, or a favorite toy. You can even bring a chair or a couch. I know that may sound crazy, but it looks great and adds SO much to an image. Bring scarfs, hats, blankets, pillows... all of these things can add dimensions and details to an image. They do not have to be used in every shot, but they will add variety and spunk to your images.

Tip Four: The weather.... now this is something that you really can not control, and honestly around here you really need to have a plan for bad weather. Do not worry if the sun is not out and shining, because actually a glaring sun is not optimal for photography. Actually you should cross your fingers for an overcast day! As long as the rain is not pouring down, you can usually make it outside, and if not, try to have an option for the rain... a covered porch, a barn, a museum, etc.

Tip Five: If you have young children try to prepare them for the day. The night before, talk to them about how much fun the day will be. On the day of your session, start your morning with a smile.... wake up happy ( or at least appear that way to your kids :) ) Oh yeah, I almost forgot one of the most important things... DO NOT FORGET THE BRIBES! If you are spending your money and time on an investment of photography for your family, go all out! For my girls, we saved up Christmas money from Great Nana and we are going to head out to Build-A-Bear right after our session is over. Now, you do not have to use a bribe that big, you can do something simple like keep a sucker in your pocket for the end of the session or have Smarties (kids love them and they are not messy). You could even plan an indoor camping night with dinner inside a fort.... any exciting reward will keep them motivated!

Tip Six: Get a good night sleep the night before the session! Not only will this help your mood and stress level during the shoot, we all look better when we are well rested! (I am really hoping this helps with my dark circles tomorrow! LOL!)

Well... I suppose I should take my own advice and head off to bed! I am surely feeling awkward preparing to be on the other side of the camera! I will let you know how it goes! Wish me luck. Cross your fingers that the rain holds off... that Olivia changes her mind and starts to like her jacket again.... that Ava does not get muddy for the first 10 minutes at least... that Zach doesn't cut himself shaving, and that I do not get a horrible blemish tonight :) !