A few weeks ago, my husband earned a trip to Costa Rica through his company. We along with about 50 other employees packed up for an all expenses paid weekend of sun and quiet and headed to Papagayo Bay, Guanacaste Province. Considering that we were looking at seven hours in flights, and international flights at that, I brought only my film camera and carried it on with a few rolls of 200 speed film.
As I’ve talked about, I enjoy shooting film for personal projects. I enjoy it so much, it has made me see my work in a new way, appreciate the technology available, and slow down to *feel* what I’m photographing, wait for and don’t waste the shot; not just spray and pray. I am in the market for an autofocus film camera that will accept the Nikon lenses and the Sigma Art lens. Unfortunately, those cameras are a little out of my personal budget right now (some costs upwards of $2000, not exactly chump change for something I just do for fun). As you can see, I’m making due with what I’ve got 😉
The area we stayed in was very dry and there were brushfires all over. The last night, we had a nice sunset… with a slight camp-fire smell. The days were beautifully warm, in the low 90s, but with no humidity. It didn’t feel overwhelmingly hot, or uncomfortable at all.
Mommy and Me mini sessions are now open and booking! They will be held April 14th, 2018 and will be best for five or fewer participants. We moms are so often the ones behind the camera, or holding our cell phones at arm’s length, and our kids deserve better than that. You are worth $100– honestly, you’re worth a million bucks. Treat yourself, or if you know a mom who maybe hasn’t had photos taken with her children, why not gift her a session?
Hey all! I have immediate sitter session space open, and wanted to throw it out there for March 27th, at 10:00am and 11:20am in my home studio located in Sagamore Hills, OH. I can take a boy or a girl in either time space, which will be discounted from the regular price of $149. I’m looking for a baby to model a bit for me ❤ Babies should be 6-10 months old, able to sit unassisted, but not be walking just yet. Email email@example.com ASAP to book!
On Thursday, Feb 1, my Grandmother Martha Randall left this life for the great dance floor in the next. My husband, kids, and I drove home to PA on Friday and spent the weekend with my parents and the rest of my family. We did as so many others do when there is a loss; we sat around together, looking at Gramma’s photo albums. My Gram apparently had a camera with her at all times- something I didn’t know. Seeing the photos of us and her travels, the photos of her with my Great Grandma Ross who seems to have snuck into 3 out of every 5 photos ever taken, reading the captions she wrote in margins, in her own handwriting… that time capsule of Ross/McGaughey/Randall was such a wonderful piece of history. Someday, your photos will be your living legacy. They will be the last physical piece that you existed in this life. For the Great Grand kids who won’t have memory of Gram, they will be able to see her smiling while holding them- they’ll be able to know they were loved and have been loved for decades. They can see the roots of their family tree, in more than just the faces of the people around them.
I am guilty of not printing as much as I should this myself, and realized it when I was scrolling through my Cloud storage looking for photos only to realize, it was too late- I had no way to print any of the digital files I had saved. I had photos of my Gram holding one of my daughters on the day my daughters were born- the three ladies share a birthday (Molly, Lilly, and my Gram that is), photos of Gram and Dave (my step grandfather who loved my Gram to the ends of this earth) at weddings, Gram with my Dad and my daughters just visiting and hanging out together. But I had no way to print those digitals. Nothing says “quality family time” like passing around your cell phone, and trying to teach others how to scroll through, right? 😦 Had I printed those pictures when I took them, I could have brought albums with me back to PA to share with everyone. Instead, I felt selfish and foolish for not having *anything* to contribute.
While going through Gram’s photos, I found these wedding photos from when she married my Grandpa. While their marriage was hard (they suffered losses no parent should every suffer, multiple times at that) and their lives grew apart, it was really a treat to see the beginnings of our family.
The wedding photos had yellowed considerably since they were shot in 1948. I asked if I could take two of the photos home, to try to restore them and I think I got it 🙂 If I recognize the scenery correctly, I believe these were shot at the house my Gram grew up in, on Clay Street in North East, PA. I feel like I can see some pink in the bouquets, but I think that was painted in, and the bridesmaids gowns look like they might have been blue, but again I’m not sure if that was painted onto the image afterword.
My Grandma would have been twenty in these, my Grandpa about the same age. I plan to print these, and will be able to have copies made for any family who may want one.
A couple from Cmas 2015, at Gram and Dave’s house that again, I’ll be printing for my daughters. Print your photos. Get IN photos. Don’t get deleted from your family history.
Molly, Gram, Lilly, Dave, and Caleb being funny Dec. 2015
Ah, new people. Photographing newborns is my most favorite part of my job. I always travel to my client’s home, so everything is as easy as possible. No packing up, no worrying about diaper explosions, no worries about an uncooperative tiny human or sibling 😉 While I can bring some small studio props with me, I generally prefer to shoot your newest family member, at home- just being. I love getting to use personal pieces- in the above picture, Joey’s mommy (a very talented artist) painted the globe behind him, we shot in his room, with his yellow blanket!
When Cecelia was born, I was able to photograph her big brother snuggling with her by the window, a beautiful smile in her Daddy’s arms, and a precious little coo in her crib! These photos wouldn’t have the same sentimentality had I shot them in studio.
It’s so important to me, to be able to give my clients a glimpse of their tiny baby and his or her role in the family. The newborn phase goes by so quickly, and in such a haze. In the blur of sleep deprivation and hormonal changes, it’s easy to forget the tiny little wisp of hair he had, or the little dimple she had comfort sucking, or the way the puppies always wanted to be so close. To make sure you can get in, book your newborn session no later than your 30th week of pregnancy. (email firstname.lastname@example.org for availability, currently I can take April, May, and June newborns)Studio photography is *beautiful* and someday, I hope to be able to add the option for studio photos, but for now I’ll happily come to you and photograph your tiny person right at home indoors, or if you have a summer baby outdoors! ❤
This one is for the anyone curious about RAW files. I’m going to talk a little about why I shoot in RAW file format and why you might want to consider doing it as well. But first, let’s rewind…rewind…rewind… (if you sang that like Angelica Schulyer in “Satisfied” from Hamilton, consider this your internet high five).
A quick and dirty intro on what a RAW file is; a RAW file is a digital image file that contains every bit of digital data. A JPG file which most people are familiar with, is a digital image that has been compressed into one digital “hunk”. To make this a visual, imagine a sandy beach. The individual grains of sand that make up the beach are your RAW digital pixels. The beach itself is the compressed JPG.
I’m pretty confident in my shooting ability, I know I’m going to get my exposure right, my focus, my DOF etc. I thought I was fine shooting in JPG file format. Having never really bothered to use RAW on my other bodies, I didn’t know what I was missing. I couldn’t see the grains of sand through the beach, so to speak. I decided to flip into RAW a while back and when I saw the preview on my LCD, I thought “what a waste, this is exactly the same,” and then I loaded the RAWS into my editing software and great gravy biscuits!
The amount of information that was available was like WHOA. You can edit a JPG file, but that was barely scratching the surface. A RAW file holds every ounce of data- I could pin point the exact white balance temperature, something I was doing pretty OK with (but why be pretty OK when you can be THAT’S AWESOME?). I can sharpen an image to my taste (rather than let the camera decide what is best), in other words- shooting in RAW gives you so much more creative space. I can move grains of sand, without destroying the beach.
Another thing RAW can do for you, is save your behind. The beauty of digitals is that you can delete out whatever garbage photo you happened to snag, however deleting from your card is bad for the card, and firing off junk shots (or “spray and pray” photography) is killer on your shutter. Shooting in RAW gives you the freedom, to make saves when need be.
While shooting a newborn in a relatively dark room, I needed to add some extra light. I set my speed light to bounce light in my soft box, and went to work. I got some shots that were great, but I hadn’t realized that my speed light wasn’t recycling fast enough. I did a quick setting change (less power from the flash until I could take a minute and put fresh batteries in) but I ended up with one totally black frame. I thought, “ Crap, she looked so cute…” and then I was like “DUH YOU’RE SHOOTING RAW. YOU CAN GET THAT BACK.” And guess what…
It’s pretty amazing to see the save, right? Had I been shooting in JPG, I would have had to toss it. I would have thrown out the pretty wrap, the open eyes, the little pucker lips! There’s no way I would have been able to bring this back. That’s not to say that you should shoot in RAW and just go ahead and blow your images because you can save them in post- it’s always best to get your shot right in camera. Recovering an image won’t make it perfect- there will be grain, and you may not be a fan of grain in images- but it can make them useable. This particular image was not one I was willing to let go.
If you shoot RAW, what great things do you like best about it? Did you always shoot raw or did you make the change? What made you decide to go RAW? Leave a comment!
Sweet Caleb Clay was in a hurry to meet his family! He is healthy and perfect, despite his slightly early start ❤ His early-ish birth also made scheduling his session a bit easier- we had to reschedule his session because NEO was nailed with a pretty nasty storm (though nothing like what my hometown outside of Erie, PA has been dealing with) but we had a bit of wiggle room and the day we shot, he was technically about 37 weeks gestation. Cool, right?
I traveled up to Janel and Greg’s home and we got to work. Caleb, like lots of babies was totally into checking out his surroundings. I can always work with awake babies 🙂 Eventually, after some snuggles and a little snack, Caleb settled in. We were able to use *so* many personal touches, it’s the biggest reason I love going to my client’s home for newborns. The green blanket and hat were made for him, the reindeer hat was a gift, and perhaps most special- the quilt he is snuggled with was made by his Great Grandmother Virginia.
Not only was this quilt made by his Great Grandmother, it was the FIRST quilt she had ever made, many years ago. I brought my own quilt to the session and when Janel saw it, she remarked that she was pretty sure she had a family quilt, somewhere in the house. She took a peek and brought back this beauty and told me the story of it’s maker. Had we not been shooting at home, we wouldn’t have been able to use this piece of family history! Congratulations, Janel and Greg (and kitties Kevin and Louis). Caleb is absolutely darling ❤ ❤ I can’t wait to watch him grow with you!
Now booking MARCH and later newborn sessions! email email@example.com to schedule today 😀
On this freezing Thursday, I’m throwing it back to Mandi’s maternity session! We had a beautiful, chilly day. Big Brother Ben was *so* adorable, giving kisses and snuggles, and big smiles! It’s so awesome to be able to include the new “big” sibling in maternity sessions.
Isn’t she beautiful?
Perfection, they name is Charlie Belly. Sometimes, you need a little snack break. On Sunday, I get to meet little sister Charlotte Noel, who was born Dec 26th! Working with Mandi, Joey, and Ben is always so fun and relaxed. I always look forward to our time together.
I’m currently booking FEBRUARY and MARCH newborns! Refer a friend and get some fun extras for both of you 😉 Save over $100 when you book a Watch Me Grow session where you get newborns, 4m, 8, and a 12m cake smash all set up at once, but pay through out the year! All you need to do, is email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get set up. We’ll discuss your due dates, and I’ll send out my contract and invoice. Easy peasy!
Playing catch-up as always! Oh how I miss those beautiful summer evenings. Little Elise left me speechless when she pushed herself up into a crawl!
Couldn’t you just eat her up? She has the sweetest little face ❤
You. Guys. ❤ I was given this hat by a vendor to use for newborn photos, only it was HUGE. You can see it’s even a bit big on sweet Elise at 6m but great googily moogily how adorable is she in it!? Like mother, like daughter. Two beautiful ladies ❤ I can’t wait to see how Elise grows over the winter 😀
I’m currently booking 2018 maternity, newborn, milestone and family sessions! Book yours before 1.1.18 and lock in 2017 session fee!
I have been loving using film; the way the film reads light, the way it reads sky, the actual psychical feeling of the print in my hand, the texture of film. I love the anticipation of getting my scans back, I love getting the actual print itself. I even love putting the prints in my albums!
My D750 was involved in a recall (despite not having any issues with it) which meant I had to ship it off to Nikon and that I wasn’t going to be able to take it on vacation with me (aw, shucks). I took my cell phone of course, but also took my Vivitar v3000s- the same one that was given to me by an incredibly generous friend. I have the scans back from that trip and wow; I am so happy with them. *My Nikon ended up being sent back cleaned up and fixed up within seven days, which was also pretty amazing so props to Nikon’s service center in NY.*
My husband gave me a bit of a start when he said, “What will you do, if something goes wrong and the film doesn’t develop?” because, yea that would have been pretty crappy. And it did happen one time- that a roll of film didn’t come out (but like, one time out of 25).
I trusted myself. I trusted what *I* know. I trusted my camera and my film. And I have 240 images to show for our first family vacation 😀 I’d love to share them all, but I know going through other people’s vacation photos is about as thrilling as going to the dentist. I hope you enjoy just these few peeks into NYC on film ❤