Tuesday, December 28, 2010

K Maternity Session

Whew!  This is a session from months ago!  Krissi is my best friend from college.  Here she is:

Fiercely stunning, this lady.  This is her while we are relaxing by the pool.

As a gift, she asked if I would take maternity pictures for her and coincide it with her shower so that I could attend.  The catch was that it was at the beginning of August in Phoenix, Arizona. But I love her, so I endured.  I had an idea to use the harsh desert landscape as a backdrop paradox to her photos and the results were amazing!  We were dripping sweat and she wore heeled wedges (she's all kinds of fabulous), but we made it out alive. =)

Lastly, a photo of Krissi with her amazing husband Mike.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Senior Session :: Kaleb

When my friend Arica got married several years ago, she married an amazing man who already had two teenage boys.  In fact, his eldest son was a student of Arica's and thought they should meet. =)  This year, the younger of the two boys is graduating high school and I was graciously asked to shoot his senior photos.

Kaleb, the subject before you, hates having his picture taken.  She told me and he told me several times I think.  Even with that challenge in place, we were able to pull off some fantastic shots.  This first image is Kaleb with his new baby brother, Micah.

On a Personal Note...

Last year, a friend of mine who is also a photographer, took shots of my daughter Eva and I for the Christmas season.  She did an amazing job, but this year I thought I would see if I could manage it by myself first.  Luckily, with the help of a human tripod (in the grouped images) I was able to get the most beautiful pictures of my darling daughter and me.  It was a funny feeling though, running back and forth between my shot and the camera to adjust the settings every so many seconds.

It was a dark, gloomy sort of day; which created the best autumnal ambiance ever.  And thankfully there was no rain in sight!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Wedding of the Century

Okay, well perhaps it was just the wedding of my century, but let me tell you, I have a whole new reverence for the work that goes into wedding photography!  This was my first wedding and it was a crazy amount of work, but I am so pleased with the outcome.  In 9 hours of shooting time and 100 hours of editing time, I was able to create truly beautiful images that will be cherished for years to come. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010


I haven't posted in quite a while, but I have been creating new images and editing this whole time. Consequently, I have a lot to post!!!  So I'll just be posting away this next week or so in an attempt to catch up.

Monday, July 19, 2010

ms. a :: a maternity session

This lovely lady wanted a maternity session with me after seeing the resulting images of the session I did with my friend Linsey.  Though I did this a little while back, I thought I would post some of the finished images.  It's funny that really all a pregnant lady wants is to not look fat.  It was also funny that Ms. A's husband was more camera shy than she was, though it was completely amazing to see them interacting together in the privacy of their own home.  They are both so completely in love with the other (as it should be) and so sweet together!!!  They are such a wonderful couple and will be AMAZING parents to the little man growing inside her.

Doesn't she look amazing?!  Seriously fierce (in a really good way).  She's so modest too, she would never admit that she looks so great.  This image was really great for me technically also because I had to remove a distracting doorway and grow the floor.

This one is very similar, but black and white.  I just love it.  So beautiful.

They both have stunning blue eyes!

And here they are:  the amazing parents-to-be.  He was so certain that he would ruin the pictures!  I don't know where people pick up this kind of nonsense.   They are obviously very photogenic.

Here, the cuteness just continues.

I do have to say that it was nice to be able to shoot a second modest maternity session.  Not everyone wants to bare their belly, but it's great that they still want to document such an amazing life milestone.  Thank you so much for letting me be a part of this journey with you!!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

the importance of being... PaTiEnT

I love photographing children.  A child's world is magically dreamy and ever-changing.  Having the opportunity to shoot with a child is continually a different experience, but it is always special to be the documentarian of that magical dreamy world even if for just an hour or two.

This past weekend I had the pleasure of shooting Miss Zoey, a soon-to-be four year old with a vibrant spirit and an endearing heart.  Zoey's mom is a close friend of mine and warned me that her little fire-cracker was especially difficult to photograph.  Her previous photographer, a very  experienced one at that, said she was the most challenging he had ever worked with.  She wished me luck.

In an attempt to create the least distracting, yet interesting environment as possible, I chose a quiet street in Laurelhurst with a lot of flowers, rocks, and bugs.  I thought it would provide a lovely backdrop, but also keep Miss Z's attention focused.  In addition, I arranged to pick Zoey up for our session and give her mom a little break.  Parents are great for the obvious reasons, but generally children are more distracted in front of the camera if a parent is nearby.

I do have to say that even with all these preparations, Miss Zoey did give me a run for my money (or so to speak).  She was a tough cookie and toward the beginning I actually wondered if I would snap anything good, but it was exactly what I needed to GROW.  I had to become especially creative to get her to open up, to trust me, and to laugh (in the pursuit of real smiles).

So toward the beginning, when she wouldn't look directly at my camera I shot indirectly.  I LOVE these kinds of shots anyway and the two below are actually favorites of mine for the entire shoot.
When she did start smiling, I got her "camera" smiles.  You know the fake sort that all kids do at one time or another.  This is the "can-we-get-this-over-with?" smile.
As lovely as it is, I wanted the real thing.  So I brought out the big guns... a bouncy ball my daughter left in our car.  Bouncy balls are like bottled smiles just waiting to be had. =)  At first I caught a sideways laugh...
But then, it was like magic!
...childhood joy captured on digital media (you know, instead of film).

This last one I am including because I love it, though it was taken prior to the breakthrough. =)  Thanks Zoey dear, it was a real treat!

Friday, July 2, 2010

new baby and a whole lot more

This last weekend was one of the busiest I've had in a very long time.  On Friday I shot a maternity session; then stayed up all night with a best friend as she labored at the hospital; I left on Saturday morning to shoot a wedding for 9 hours; and after that I went back to the hospital to shoot pictures of the sweetest, most perfect little boy I've ever seen (of said friend above).  After I finally was able to fall into bed Saturday night, I had been up and going for 37 hours!!!  The next day I recovered by doing nothing....yep, nothing.  You may or may not know this but sometimes doing nothing is important in life. =)

Back to babies...

I have been craving a baby for over a year.  I make it sound like a meal, and perhaps a woman might better understand how I feel, but I have felt an intense desire to be pregnant again for quite some time.  Unfortunately, I'm not in a place right now to have the freedom to make that decision.  Thankfully, I can live vicariously through my friends who all seem to be popping up pregnant these days.

I am especially connected to the sweet baby pictured below because he belongs to my local best friend Linsey (which differentiates her from my college best friend).  It has been wonderful being a part of his life even before he was born and I even had the pleasure of being with my friend when she found out she was pregnant with him.  He is perfectly precious and as I said above, the most perfect little boy I've ever seen.  When my not-local best friend Krissi has her baby boy in October, I might have to take a different stance, but we'll see.  In the mean time, baby Max is just what I need to fulfill my baby cravings.  I'm sure you'll see why as I anticipate him being my second favorite subject (my first favorite would be my sweet Eva of course).
See, precious.  Oh, and look at his little newborn baby feet!
Now if I had feet that looked like this... it would be a scary ordeal; but somehow, these teeny feet with their new, dry skin just bring me pure joy.

Lastly, here is my wonderful friend, the proud mama she is, holding her new bundle of joy.  She is radiant, which is amazing considering all the pushing (3.5 hours) and the surgery that followed.  But this little man is a million times worth it and the look on her face says it all.
Congratulations lady... you're amazing.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

the difference post-processing can make

Post-process??? what?  
Though many images may come out of a camera beautifully, so much can be done with these images to improve them afterward.  Some people might think a photographer's job is done when the act of shooting the images is completed, but that is rarely the case.   A good photographer spends considerable time perfecting their images before they are considered "ready."  The editing that happens after the photo session is called post-processing.  In addition to balancing skin tones, removing under-eye circles, brightening eyes, and other general "beautifying," manipulating overall tones can do so much in creating a beautiful photograph.  I took a cute/funny image of my daughter Eva recently and below I will show the progression of how the image was manipulated to enhance it.

I could tell immediately upon seeing it, that it could have potential to be a great image.  For straight-out of the camera, the tones are really nice.  However, the shadowing is harsh on the left side and keeps half of her face dark.  But--it's an incredible goofy kid moment that I was thrilled to document.  Aside from being super cute, it will be incredible blackmail material when she is 13 and easily embarrassed, right?!!  I want it on my wall. 

The first edit cleaned up the over shadowing and sharpened some of the details.  It allows us to actually see all of her. I could have left the image alone and it would be printable as is, but I chose to have a little fun with it.  Photoshop is more than useful in correcting image issues, but is wonderfully fun in completely changing the overall ambiance too.

There is now a creamier tone to the image; her skin is very even and the cooler tint has been removed.  This processing might not work for every image, but I really love how it has enhanced this one.  I also try to work most of my finished images into a version of black and white.  It doesn't always work out, but I like this alternate version of black and white below.  It has a unique vintage effect and is quite different than what one would normally see.

I can't tell which I like more, but both are lovely and unique.  I think I might print the bottom to frame.  A gallery wrap might be a great choice too!  Either way, I'm grateful that this sweet goofy face belongs to me. Off to get my goofy girl ready for bed...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

the first maternity session!

I recently shot my first maternity session which made me a little nervous and a whole lot excited. A little part of my anxiety was the subject of my session:  one of my dearest friends.  Ms. L and her husband are both fantastic designers and have very modern personal styles.  She generally prefers black and white photography and because of this I focused on creating images without a lot of bold colors.  She was also adamant that the images NOT be cheesy (no hands shaped into hearts) and she could NOT look fat.  She's a beautiful woman inside and out, and capturing this wasn't difficult. Below are some of the finished images of the shoot.  She was thrilled and I was so happy because of it.  Of course I loved the images, but it's that much more exciting when the recipient loves them too!