Well, 2021 came and went in a weird fashion! We had a very slow fall color change, and a very WET October here in Cleveland. I accepted a second “day” job this summer in Macedonia which meant my available hours were far less than have been in years passed. I was not able to take the usual 30-45 fall sessions and also be able to guarantee I would have time to edit and turn around sessions in time. I know there were families who weren’t able to book this year, and I very much hope I see you next year! I am booking 2022 dates NOW; due dates through June, all milestones, and of course these family moments.
Still, I got to see a lot of parachute game- with precious pup Sadie wanting to get in on this action!
I was serenaded by the best arm-farting band in the Land.
We had quiet moments counting flowers…
…fleeting though they may have been…
I got to meet brand new people from Stow, Twinsburg, Aurora, Brunswick… Newborns will always be my favorite sessions. You can book your 2022 newborn HERE!
There was color, and hugs, and hibiscus…
There were traditions and families I get to see year after year
after year (in sunshine and snow, at the same time)
And so much more. This hasn’t been an easy year for anyone, but your support, referrals, and the knowledge that my loyal client base will help me carry on and keep working gives me hope for 2022. Thank you all, for allowing me the privilege of precious time with your families.
Fall Sale is open! As I have taken a second job, dates in October are very limited. Peak fall color will likely begin October 9th and luckily, there is a space left on that date! If you’d like to book a morning session, or fall session not listed on the given dates, contact me ASAP. We can set up a private session, not included in the sale, but at whatever location is best for YOU. This has been a really rough year, more so than last which is shocking. I can’t say enough how much every person who has trusted me with their annual photos means to me. I am so glad to be able to provide quality, professional photos for you amazing folks ❤
Want to book your mini session for NOVEMBER? EMAIL ME firstname.lastname@example.org
I love shooting with film. Don’t get me wrong, the digital film world is pretty cool, and it’s great for when you need something turned around quickly but for me there is nothing like film. I’ve talked before about how digital sessions seem to fly by, and photographers have the ability to “spray and pray” which means we can fire off 100 frames in one minute and hope that one of them comes out- handy when you’re shooting something very fast moving for example. There are people who are all about the latest, newest, “greatest” technology and I am not kidding when I say- I am not that guy. Are you? Let’s talk about who is a great candidate for the way *I* shoot film photos.
Over the last four-ish years of shooting film primarily for myself, but also for some clients, I have learned so much. Slower doesn’t mean less valuable. Being thoughtful in the moment rather than hurried in the posing makes a photo more meaningful. Grain is gorgeous. A softer focus point isn’t the end of the world.
I love when clients and prospective clients ask about having their session shot on film, and what the differences might be, if any.
The truth is, I shoot film very differently from the way I shoot digitally. My digital sessions are about 45 minutes long, though often times we get “done” much more quickly. I feel like, when I’m shooting digital my clients expect that perfect sit-stay-smile photo. I do a lot of posing and directing with my sessions typically, so that I can provide what my client is expecting, or more correctly, what I assume my client is expecting.
When I shoot film, I am not interested in that. You would be a GREAT fit, for film if you’re looking for MOMENTS. Playing at home, reading outside at a picnic, the way your baby holds that bit of your hair while he’s nursing, finding something interesting at the creek…
If you are relatively comfortable “unposed”, you are happy with photos where not everyone is looking directly at the camera, where hair isn’t perfectly laying flat, where the small details matter, you’re going to be really thrilled with my film photos. If you are comfortable with a little more creativity, like this double exposure, you are a good candidate for film. Since we live in a digital world, you will still receive digital scans of the images- but they are scanned from the film negatives. We still get that timeless, classic soft film look.
I find myself shooting a lot more lifestyle, unposed film- taking in the little things. The sunstar my kitty is laying in, fall wind through my girl’s hair, and the leaves my daughter collected and shared with me…
That’s not to say that we CAN’T pose a bit here and there… we absolutely can! Film means moments to me, and not every minute is a moment. When digital image making became readily available and instant, we lost sight of “moments” and making it count.
I think that’s something really important we’ve let go of; making the moment. We view the world through the lens of our cell phones, firing away thousands of pics of the meal we made, every step of our visit to the zoo, hundreds of photos of that picnic we attended (that potato salad Aunt Jan makes gets its own photo)… Not every minute, is a moment. Film forces us to slow down, and remember that. Not only are we limited with the capacity of our film rolls, but film can be very costly to develop. Film has taught me to look for the moment, not just the minute.
If you’re interested in holding moments, please email me email@example.com I will walk you through everything from what to wear, to how to plan. Fill your home with moments.
Being an identical twin cannot be easy. As a mother to identical girls, we have been asked every question under the sun, and at the one and only TwinsFest we attended we were asked for DNA swabs, to allow strangers to touch and hold the girls (who were two!), and a woman asked, “are those twins?” -_- Luckily for my girls, they were one of SEVEN sets of multiples in their grade so at school they were less of a “freak show”.
Twins get lumped into one unit all the time. “How are the twins sleeping? Did the twins take their math test? Are the twins playing soccer this year?” It’s very hard for multiples, especially identical multiples to be seen as individuals, so when Jenny said she wanted to book two sessions, on two different days, so each of her sons could have the full attention aspect my heart grew 10x.
First up, Mr Corbin. Corbin is softspoken with an artistic eye. He was recently gifted a massive lot of 35mm cameras (EEE!!! Starting on film!!!) and is working on photography at his school! I told Jenny to make sure Corbin brings at least one of his cameras with him. Corbin brought a really cool rangefinder but forgot Rule #1– make sure you have film. We went over to Squire’s Castle and spent sometime talking basics. Good times!
A week later, I got to hang out with Spencer. Spencer said he had also been interested in photography, but he’s been studying vintage portraits. Pretty cool, right?
I promise, these are two special, individual young men! People used to tell us that my daughters are IDENTICAL identicals and I thought it was silly because they are so very different– and when I see Corbin and Spencer I’m like, “oooh yea, IDENTICAL identicals!” haha! They’re both such great kids, who have an awesome big sister and access to a candy shop. Their family operates Brandt’s Candies on Lost Nation road in Willoughby!
I updated and rebuilt my website this winter! I had great help from my friend Kelli, who got the ball rolling for me. You’ll find clickable scheduling links, a simple, straightforward design, and easy to follow pages. More changes are coming, but I’m proud of the progress I was able to make with the help and input of friends ❤
Check out the new page at Wendy B Photos
Additionally in the winter months, I focus on in-studio newborns and in-home newborns. This season, however, I’m only offering in-home. I wear a mask the entire time, and it’s up to the families if they want to mask up while I am there. If you are interested in a Bitty Baby session which would typically be held in studio, I can bring my studio to you for the time being. I’m currently booking February and later newborn dates. T he Bitty Baby Sessions are *baby only*- no siblings or family photos. They’re shorter in time, and great for families who just want sweet photos of their new little person. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get your booking started– it’s never too soon to get your newborn scheduled. I have payment plans available, and even have a year long Watch Me Grow plans where you can schedule a full year’s worth of milestone photos!
Should I be blogging a bunch of catch up sessions from fall? Yep.
Am I going to blog a bunch of catch up sessions from fall? Outlook not good.
Instead, I spent the last three days (t h r e e D A Y S) building collages for end of year reviews! This is going to be a little sweary, in case you’re new to me 😉 Cleveland had its ups and downs, like everywhere else this year. I didn’t think I’d use as much film as I do in “normal” times- which is about a roll a week, and more or less that was true. I didn’t hardly shoot any personal work in November at all- I think I took four pictures. But having my kids home from school (we do online school right now) gives me a few more opportunities to photograph them. My personal film work this year heavily features my daughters and my cats. We added two kittens to our family bringing the cat total to four and while you might think, “Oh kittens! How fun!” it’s pretty much been hell on earth, because my little orange cat Beep haaaates the kittens. Like, physically attacking, climbing walls, shredding doors in order to break into their safe space. We’re finally after five months making VERY small steps toward a cease fire but it’s still really, really awful to see my sweet Beep kitty so upset. If I had a time machine and knew what I know now, I would not have adopted the kittens. They’re adorable and would have been adopted elsewhere, I’m sure though Hannah had some long term health issues that make her a bit more complicated…
Whoa, I think I blacked out there- was I just going on about the cats? Oy. I do that a lot lately. Anyway, onto the pictures!
These were in chronological order, but it got really freaking hard to keep it that way so we’re going to roll backwards through time. This batch is fall through end of year. The cool red film is a speciality film called DubbleFilm: Solar. It shot really cool, but the red was SUPER overpowering in a lot of the images. The rainbow film is DubbleFilm: Jelly. I keep calling it the wrong name but it is JELLY. The color film in this batch is Kodak Portra 400. I shoot Portra at 200 instead of the 400 speed.
Here we go with a bit of early fall, and late summer. Beep is the first picture, first row. We spent a day at my family’s farm in September (I think for my birthday) and had a grape fight in the vineyards, I got to visit a really cool place called Umbrella Alley, and I took eleventy kajillion photos of my daughters. I have been practicing my double exposures which you can see below.
More summer, more speciality Jelly film, softball when it was safe to be outside, my girls, sunlight., my mom, and cats. Did I mention, I have cats? This film is pretty much June-early August.
Ah springtime, when everything had shit the bed and we were trying to get used to lockdown. Beep and Olive my adult cats make cameos. I also used a specialty film called DubbleFilm:BubbleGum but wasn’t super impressed with it. Some of this is Bubblegum, but most is my mystery film. I shot the last roll of mystery film in August! It lasted about a year, and out of all 30 odd rolls, only one was damaged. It was all over 20 years old, having expired in 1998.
And this takes us from the first of 2020 through March. All the black and white film is Ilford Delta 400, that I shot at 200. I freaking love BW film- it’s so classic and pretty and you cannot f- it up. The color film shots are one of my first attempts with portra 400. I rated it at 200 as well. Film can handle a bit of over exposure, where digital canNOT handle over exposure. The latitude and forgiving nature of film is probably my favorite. If you’re techy, I only use the camera’s own meter for all of this. When I do client work, I use my hand held Sekonic, but I 100% trust my Nikon F100’s meter. I started taking photos of out Christmas Tree all blurry and out of focus- because that’s what it looks like when I take my glasses off. Even though I can’t make out the shapes, the color melts all into itself and looks really cool. (My rX is pretty bad, I’m a -10.25 and a -9.75 now, so when I say I can’t see, I mean I really can’t see). I took some newborns on film, though I wish I had used my good fabric backdrop. Lessons learned 😀 How hopeful we were at the start of 2020. What a kick in the teeth this bitch turned out to be.
I am looking forward to 2021, with caution because if you know anything about the Luck of the Irish you know we don’t count our chickens before they’re hatched. I am excited to see what science does with additional vaccines, and how much more we can learn about preventing other mass outbreaks and hopefully another 350,000 people don’t have to die preventable deaths. I look forward to being able to open my studio again and being able to have families come by for newborn sessions, milestones… all the cute goodies. I can’t wait to shoot more snow sessions, to get back into working in Spring (watch for those Mommy and Me limited sessions in spring if things are OK!). I want to look forward to the days where all four of my cats can be freely moving through the house, but I’m not sure that day will ever come. I look forward to not worrying about whether or not my RN sister can find childcare while she is forced to work overnight shifts because her co-workers are falling sick and/or quitting because they are so overworked. I look forward to being able to see my family in PA again, and hugging my dad; maybe I’ll even be able to work in PA for a weekend! I look forward to seeing my nephew Caleb in the hat he doesn’t go anywhere without, and my nephews Colin and Jameson even though they totally love UncleDosh more than Mean Aunt Wenny. Thanks for coming with me on this long, rambling personal film retrospective 😉
This year has been. Well, you guys know. Closing down, reopening, and now closing my home studio for the rest of 2020 limiting my shooting/working options (RIP Christmas Minis 2020 : *( I’m not seeing my own family indoors, I can’t be indoors with someone else’s family without feeling like a hypocrite )…. it’s not awesome. I had a small, maybe silly goal for this year but I never tell anyone my goals because the thought of failing is too much for my Type A with mild anxiety personality to handle. But here goes.
All I wanted to do, was to see my little social media page hit 1200 likes.
I never should have let thoughts of failure creep into my head. While so much has been one freaking dumpster fire after another, the one thing I have been able to count as a constant was you- my friends, my family, my clients.
I made a post on my personal page, sharing that I was only about 10 likes away from my goal, which honestly is probably incredible stupid and small to some, but it was a big deal for me. I really just hoped that I could get maybe 5 away. Five likes away wouldn’t be like, a FAIL fail, right? So many of my friends already have liked my page, have hired me to shoot for them, have referred their friends to book with me (I see you, Jen and Corynn; I see you ❤ ❤ ) it leaves me without words.
So when I posted on Sunday night (!!) I wasn’t really sure who would even be left. And then the sharing started. Friends who had liked for me, shared to their page, shared to their own business pages and their friends shared… and within an hour I had hit my goal. A friend from high school (I graduated in 1998, and still NEHS has been here for me) posted “I think you made it”. I popped over to my page and did a refresh… and sure enough. I was slack jawed. The likes kept coming, too! Friends from back in Erie (and hey– I might be shooting back in town if I’m allowed this summer!) , other high school classmates, friends of friends. I felt good, and happy and I really, really needed that.
I’m a chatty gal, and it’s not often I’m left without words, but as I headed to bed, I just kept shaking my head. You guys did it again- you came through for me, for my little business, for my family really. Without your support I wouldn’t have been able to adopt two shelter kittens (and pay for a scary surgery for one); I wouldn’t be able to help someone close to me going through an even shittier 2020 than most of us, I wouldn’t have been able to say yes when my daughter looked at me with doe eyes and asked if she could dance on the company team this year, I wouldn’t have been able to enroll in continuing education specifically geared for photographers. You have done that for me AND you made it possible for me to provide FREE sessions for essential workers this summer! YOU DID THAT.
So, thank you. Thank you for your bookings. Thank you for your shares. Thank you for your referrals. Thank you for your likes and follows. Thank you for your time. Thank you for sharing your families with me. Thank you, so very very much.
This summer, I feel in love with tall grass shoot-through. It probably had nothing to do with the jungle my own yard becomes 😉 We had a beautiful summer evening and despite a quick detour for a bee sting and some sharing of bee war-wounds (I was stung just a couple days before our session and shared my booboo with the young victim), we were rocking in rolling.
I happily allow my young clients to “soft” direct themselves, so when Madison and Mason hit this little chin-in-hands pose on their own, I got down on my belly too, and fired away. With full family sessions, we have plenty of time to let kids be kids, let toddlers do the toddler thing.
Things have been so up and down for me, and I’m sure for you guys as well. It was like breathing new air spending time hanging out, laughing, taking little walks, and reviving a tiny bit of normal joy. I hope as we move toward new things, we are able to see those pieces of joy again and more often.
This summer, I read about a program that photographers all over the US were participating in. It was a way to say thank you, to the members of our communities who found themselves suddenly more “essential” than they had been prior to March. When a session was purchased at full price in the months of July or August, I donated a session to an essential worker; a teacher, hospital pharmacist, an ER doctor, an employee of the food banks, and a grocery store cashier ❤ The Harraman family was one of the families gifted a session, and when Missy let me in on a little secret she asked if we could do something special for their shoot.
Missy was expecting and was going to find out the sex of their baby just a few days before we shot, and she wanted to use the photos as both pregnancy announcement and to let her family and friends know Baby Boy #2 was on the way!
How fun, right?! Big Brother to-be Jack was happier than his face may lead you to presume : *) Missy let me know Jackson was going through a “smile phase” and I freaking love it 😀 I love that not only did we get to share their families joy, but we got to capture Jack in one of those points in childhood we moms look back on and say, “Oh yes! You always had your natural smile right up until I took a picture of you!”
When they don’t realize your photographing them, you get all the personality ❤ I love chatting with my little friends- allowing them to be silly, tell me stories, talk about the brown bunny who lives inside my camera– all of these things help them feel safe with me and that is key to cooperation 😀
Jack and his daddy are BFFs. Look at the straight up pure joy on Jack’s face!
Have no worries, Miss Wendy made sure Jack and his Momma got snuggles!
I can’t wait to meet the newest little Harra”Man”! Thank you so much, Missy, Jeff, Jack and of course Gigi for spending your precious time with me!
I am currently booking maternity and newborn sessions for December, January, February, and March 2021!
Check out session rates for the remainder of 2020 HERE!!
This summer, I got to meet sweet little Todd and his momma AND daddy! Daddy had missed *everything* with covid restrictions, so Mommy asked if there was any way at all, Dad could come to the shoot. As it stands my studio space is *not* large enough to accommodate two adults and myself, so with help from my husband I was able to move all the gear I needed for this Itty Bitty Baby session down to my much larger family room. Obviously, converting my family room isn’t an option for every session and my studio space works well for all milestone sessions, but I knew how important it was to include Todd’s daddy and I am so glad to have found a way.
Michelle brought an Americana flag wrap, which was perfectly stretchy and a great bonus! I can generally use anything personal with enough notice- I plan a shoot schedule so if there is something you want to incorporate, just let me know at least a week in advance.
I love these lightly posed newborns. The Itty Bitty Baby studio session is the perfect fit for families who want a solely newborn-focused session, at a great price. You can begin your newborn session booking HERE– if your actual due date isn’t shown as available, pick the next closest date ❤ Don’t worry too much about the times shown either, we can make most time slots work 😀
I received a really great question regarding my fall sessions this year. I was asked if I will be reusing props during my fall mini sessions. The answer is absolutely NOT.
I know a lot of photographers create a “set” for their mini sessions but I DO NOT shoot that, and will not have any props (blankets, chairs, stools, etc) available this year. You are 100% welcome to bring your own blanket to sit on or play the parachute game with, but I am not bringing anything other than myself and my camera 🙂 I have a buffer window of 10 minutes between sessions, so that in many cases clients won’t even pass one another. We are as always, shooting outdoors with plenty of social distance space. I’m not posing or positioning anyone.
Our safety is my first priority- your family is my family and I will share love, not germs ❤
What a freaking wild ride 2020 has been, am I right? We learned so much about ourselves and the services we couldn’t live without, that prior to March weren’t even a blip on our radar.
I have been trying to think of a way to express appreciation to the people who we maybe didn’t think so much of before the ::swearword:: called Covid came to town—our grocery store cashier (you know the one who always bags the best) or the person who delivers your monthly “Friday Night Pizza Dinner” (it’s Panera in my house, my delivery person is called Kevin, and he’s fantastic). Maybe it’s the teacher you’ve emailed 38 times in three weeks, trying to figure out how the heck to use the distributive property (sorry, Mrs. G, my kids learned how to carry the 1). Perhaps though it was someone on the front lines like your nurse friend, who has been changing clothes in her driveway and going in the house barefoot. Or the pharmacist you know, who works third shift every night to make sure all patients have access to their meds. Before these people were just “doing their jobs” but now… now they have a new name… Essential.
I heard whispers of the gratitude project and knew I’d found my answer. For the first TEN full sessions booked for JULY, AUGUST, OR SEPTEMBER 2020, I will donate a session to an essential worker! Ten sessions, ten donations ❤ You can nominate someone to receive your donated session, or I have a list of essential people I’ve been building since April 1 when all of this started swirling around in my head. The recipient of your donated session will be given a gift card either physically or via email depending on what’s easiest for all. Some restrictions apply including but not limited to: I am unable to book donated sessions in October of 2020, and all sessions will take place outdoors to keep in line with Ohio’s social distance requirements. I am also not accepting in-home or studio newborns at this time.
If there’s someone you’d like to nominate tell me a little bit about them, how you know them, what they do and make sure you give me their name and email address when you book your session, so I can contact them and get their gifted session started. If the first ten spots sell out too quickly, I’ll look at opening more spaces! Email email@example.com to book your session!