Dexter, it’s been a joy to Watch You Grow over the year. You are the sweetest little pumpkin. Your sparkling smile cannot be beat and your precious pout could melt even the iciest of hearts. Your cheeks are divine and I’m so glad I got to hug on you so much.
I could photograph Dex, Maria, and even Bryce (haha) every day and be 100% happy. I want to extend my Watch Me Grow package just so I can keep seeing my little buddies! I can’t stress the value of the Watch Me Grow package enough- the first year goes by so quickly. Before you know it, your baby is four months old and you’re hoping to find someone with immediate availability to get those first real smiles! When you book Watch Me Grow session, you get newborn photos, 4m, 8m, and a 12m cake smash session all booked at once and paid throughout the year at a considerable savings versus booking it all out individually. I’m booking September and later due dates 😉 Don’t miss out!
If you’re lucky enough to have your family nearby, you’re lucky enough.
Getting to meet the Pienta clan this summer was a treat. I’ve been shooting for Joey and Mandi for nearly two years now and I recently got to meet Joey’s side of the family 😀 I have a feeling we’ll need to update this extended family photo next year 😉
Mary Kay asked for a special photo of she and Mandi together, noting the last photo she had of the two of them, was from Mandi and Joey’s wedding! Happy to oblige, lovelies! Love Mary Kay’s floral top.The Pienta ladies ❤
Baby Ben wasn’t really feeling posed photos, but he was TOTALLY down for throwing rocks into the creek! Karen and Joe climbed to the creek edge and the three of them played. I shot for a bit on a bridge above the creek….but quickly realized that I wanted to be down in the watery action! I love Karen’s face, and that Joe is collecting more rocks for Ben. They have set foundations for such a loving family. Totally worth a couple splashes. I enjoy shooting posed portraits, but I also really love that everyone was totally cool with abandoning the idea and just taking time to play together. Interested in booking your own extended family session? Email me today at email@example.com ; I’m currently taking bookings for September! Fall in our area is beautiful, but in my humble opinion, there is *nothing* like summer. The greens, the life, the warmth. I’m having my own family photos taken later this month 😉 Summer fans unite!
As I talked about HERE, I picked up a vintage film camera a Yashica 35ME and had a roll developed. I learned so much from that first roll, and I can proudly say my second and third rolls are so cool and much improved (humble brag haha).
The sky photos I’m getting from the Yashica on film make my little heart go pitter pat!
I was also sent a Vivitar v3000s film camera by my friend Amanda which is so awesome. I’ve shot off a couple rolls of film on it, but haven’t sent them out for development. I send my film HERE. The Vivitar is a fully manual body, so using it is similar to using my Nikon D750. I’m excited to see what comes out from it! I have been really enjoying shooting with film. I truly thought I would be frustrated- making mistakes and not seeing them or being able to correct them until I have a scan or the film in my hand was a challenge but I found myself totally consumed with slowing down, getting it right, remembering to shoot smarter, quality of quantity. After all, when you only have 24 exposures to work with, you can’t waste a shot. Being able to get a shot of the moon below was probably one of my most exciting things! The lens is a wide angle 28mm lens, which isn’t the greatest for astrophotography like this (though wide angles are GREAT for shooting the Milky Way and other stars) but I’m *super* happy with this shot!
We are so spoiled with the digital technology available to us; I cannot imagine trying to learn the basics on film. Film photographers who do so and did so, you are amazing to me. When I was learning the fundamentals of photography, seeing the image immediately was critical for me. I needed to be able to see, right then what happened when I opened my lens all the way, what happened to my depth of field, my focal plane. I needed to find the spot where my shaky hands wouldn’t affect my image (shutter speeds of 1/200th or 1/250th are good for me), I needed to see that if I dialed up my ISO, I would also have to make changes to my f-stop and shutter speed. Learning this way helped me so much and I’m glad to have had that foundation to build film photography on J I would love to build my film body collection! I really love what I have been able to get out of my Yashica and I am so glad that my friends have been so encouraging not only with my digital work but with these personal film images 😀
If you have a film camera, run out to the drug store and grab a pack of film! It’s such a treat. Sure, you can’t immediately upload that shot of your sandwich to Instagram or put the puppy face filter over your image on SnapChat, but there is something even better about holding your physical print 🙂
Elise was the first summer newborn I got to shoot outdoors! I was *so* hoping that I would be able to do her cake smash outside, too but it was just a bit too chilly to be out for too long. No big deal though, I brought my sort-of-mobile studio set up with me 😀
We did manage to get some portraits of the birthday girl and her family before changing into Elise’s signature color ruffle romper (purple
Elise’s yummy cake came from Cup Caked located in Twinsburg OH. It’s never too early to book your milestone sessions. If you have a baby turning one in September, October, November, or even December– let’s talk! I know it feels far away, but these summer months will fly by and milestones sneak up on you. Don’t be left scrambling!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your milestone session be it 6m, 8m, 9m, or a 12m cake smash!
This lovely young lady is Caelan. Caelan is the oldest of three lovely young ladies. She is creative, and clever, and eager to learn. During her family session, she helped out so much! She was curious about everything and I loved it. She had the maturity of the Big Sister, but still had the precociousness of a little girl.
We got to the end of our family session, and she asked if she could take a picture. Normally, this is a hard NO. My gear weighs about four pounds which is heavy even for me, and being blunt, it costs a crap ton of money. I rarely let anyone touch my gear, like, ever.
However, Caelan showed a *lot* of responsibility so I put the neck strap on her, and kept my hands on the camera body and showed her where to put her hands. I have my camera body set to work a bit differently, so after giving Caelan a quick run down on where to set the “red square” (the focus point indicator), I set the f-stop and shutter speed for her and let her fire off a shot of her sister Ellery:
As we all walked back to the car, Caelan excitedly talked about her picture, looked at her momma with those big, gorgeous, pleading eyes and said, “Can I have my own camera, please?” I mean… my little heart nearly exploded. Lots of adults enjoy photography and try very hard to understand all of what goes into making a photo- not just taking a picture, but actually creating a photograph, but no child has ever taken to it, the way Caelan did in those few minutes. I know her momma is an artist with words, and I know she fosters artistry in her daughters
A few weeks back, I was one of the lucky few who find vintage cameras in thrift shops. I happened upon a Yashica 35ME at Givits Thrift and Recycle. Read about that HERE. I used up one roll of film, with all my fingers crossed that something, anything at all would come out. The camera itself could have had any number of issues; it’s about forty years old and had been lord only knows where its entire life. If it had issues, that would have been fine, buuuuuuut I really wanted it to work.
I sent my roll of film (Kodak Gold 400) off to OldSchoolPhotoLab, paid my fee (more on that later) and thought, “here goes nothing,”. Let me say straight off, OldSchoolPhotoLab is fast like lightening. I mailed my film on Friday- to Dover, NH from Cleveland, OH. I selected high res scans and 4×6 prints. I got my gallery with scans on Wednesday. That’s pretty fast, friends.
So what was on those scans? Oh just things like… And a couple of these…
And then these…
But my favorite shot, of all 27 that came out, is this one. It’s 100% out of focus, but it looks like a memory. Sort of fuzzy, like you know it’s there but you can’t quite make out the details. The soft greens, and the sky through the tree limbs, my daughter’s bike in the lower corner… the shadow of the bridge on the creek bank. I just freaking love this so much. It’s technically garbage being 100% OOF but man. Rules are made to be broken, right?
I can’t wait to get my little prints back! I am going to work on learning the camera’s focus planes, and keep shooting. I am so so so excited to have found this camera. Talk about a great Mother’s Day gift!
For Mother’s Day yesterday, my husband, kids, and I went to a local thrift shop Givits “Thrift & Recycle” (5153 Darrow Rd. Hudson, Ohio). It was so cool- I found exactly what I was looking for (a nice solid wood chair for kids) and…. then I found this beauty. I love it. It was super well priced for what I thought was going to just sit pretty on a shelf in my office. The body is in great condition, it came with it’s original user manual (!!), the only thing that didn’t seem to be working was the light meter. Willing to take a chance, I bought some film (Walgreens, if you’re wondering where I found film that wasn’t Amazon), cleaned up the battery compartment and took it for a little spin.
I have no idea if anything will come out, if there are any other mechanical issues, if there will be light leaks since the seal around the film is pretty rough. But I don’t even care. Being able to fix the light meter myself was so exciting, I nearly cried. I asked my husband to drop the film off back at the ol’ Walgreens to see if anything will come out. They have to send it out, and I can pick up in FIVE DAYS. For real. How am I going to wait five days?! The anticipation might kill me. Are all the shots over exposed, since I didn’t have the light meter working? Did the film even load correctly? What’s my field look like?
If you are a film photographer help a sister out. Where can I send film and get digital negatives back, that I could edit? Is the FindLab the best place to do this? I don’t even know what I don’t know. I am probably putting my cart way before my horse, but hey, can you blame me?
****EDIT*** Turns out WG was a bad, bad decision. I went to pick up the film when they told me I should, and was informed that they hadn’t sent it out yet, and that they may not for UP TO A MONTH. #ohhellno right. I picked the undeveloped film up and sent it to OldSchoolPhotoLab in Dover. NH instead.
It’s Mother’s Day this weekend here in the States, and this week I’ll be sharing some of my favorite #momsinthepicture over on my Facebook page. I was inspired to do so, with help from the good people at Pretty Presets who’ve written up some helpful blog posts to help you get in the picture.
You are worth so much more, than a shaky selfie shot. We get so caught up in how we look; is our “mom muffin” showing? Is our grey hair visible? Can you see the bags under our eyes? These worries make us shy away from being in photos. What message are we giving our kids, when we dog on ourselves over how we look in photos?
Photos immortalize us. They are tangible evidence that WE LIVED. Exist in photos, make sure your children, your children’s children and so on know YOU LIVED.
Check out the helpful bog posts from Pretty Presets Blog HERE! And while you’re at it, why not book a family session for yourself? I’ve got some gorgeous nights available in June AND July that would be perfect for families! Email me, email@example.com for information or to book your session!