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, firstname.lastname@example.org for information or to book your session!
I have a week in June and a couple evenings in July that I would *love* to fill with some milestone sessions! If your little one is hitting a milestone, be it 6,8, or 12 months, two years, three or four years, email me! I have an aqua ruffle outfit that miss Top Right (Ellie) let me have that would be so adorable on a girl, 8-12m old 😉
Detail collages get me in all the feels. I love seeing those newborn lips, and those mushy cheeks, and the little noses, and those itty bitty ear folds.
When I can, I like to create a little birth announcement for my newborn clients. Even if you don’t purchase 150 and mail them, it’s always nice to have one for yourself. When my daughters were a few months old, maybe even a year old, I finally made a couple for myself and printed a 5×7 of each, then framed those 5x7s in an 8×10 matted frame. Just a suggestion… 😉
No one can resist a nibble on newborn toes. Maddie is no different. I love Mason’s face, looking up to Daddy like, “HAAAAALLLPPP!!!!” Seriously, it’s not like anyone could resist taking a smooch or maybe… nibble.
If you’re expecting in June or July of 2017, email me today email@example.com to set up your newborn session!
I noticed that I had taken fewer shots of my own kids than “usual”. I was working a lot more, and blabla life stuff, but I love taking pictures of my girls. I looked through the pictures I had and realized—they’re all very “posed”. Not terribly much in the way of our daily life or lifestyle. I don’t think I took any pictures at Christmas. I didn’t take my camera to Thanksgiving, and I know it sat at my desk during their birthday (twins man, those birthdays get pretty busy). There are very few of the girls just playing together which is one of my favorite parts of our lives.
I tried to step out of my own box and look at what was holding me back and it hit me when I shared a picture of my cat to FB (on my dinner table being a bad kitty, because of course there was a cat on my dinner table).
My house is a mess. My family room has piles of toys everywhere, legos spread across all surfaces, Barbie clothes everywhere. My kitchen has cups on the counter, and last night’s supper pans in the sink. There are books on the dinner table, and like I said, the cat.
If you follow any lifestyle photographers, you see these gorgeous homes- perfectly cleaned, gorgeous light in every room, nary a dust ball on the floor. And forget a-hole pets on their dinner table.
I thought something else—screw it. We live here. Having a spotless home is not a priority for me. We pick up, but you’ll probably never see our whole counter top. There will always be cat/dog fluff swirling their ballets across the floor. My throw pillows will never be artfully arranged. This is what our lives are- they’re messy and chaotic. And I’m going to be more mindful about shooting us just the way we are. Slovenly pig sty and all 😉
Take the picture. Don’t worry about the mess. Sometimes, life is messy.
A year or so ago, I typed up a post about silhouettes but because Word Press is sort of the devil, it got eaten and is lost in the pits of internet mystery. So here goes with Take 2: Holiday Silhouette.
Long story short– expose for your tree lights, focus on your people, under exposing the people. Voila! Silhouette.
I just asked my daughters to stand in front of the tree and BE TOTALLY 100% STILL FOR PETE’S SAKE JUST STOP MOVING. (proud parenting moment -_-)
But I had good reason to demand they be totally still. If you know anything about photography you know LIGHT MATTERS. Light is the single most important factor in your photography but when you shoot this, you want NO LIGHT. Why is that, Wendy?
Glad you asked. To create this specific holiday silhouette, your only light source will be your tree. If you have day light, lights on in the room- you will have a harder time getting that soft bokeh from your lights on your tree. But when you have pretty much zero light, you’re going to need to use a super slow shutter speed. When you have a super low shutter speed, any movement will look like a ghosty blur. No bueno.
What you’ll need in addition to a basic understanding of the manual settings of your camera:
tripod or something sturdy to set your camera on
holiday lights, the more the better. DO NOT wrap your kids in holiday lights.
a kid or two who will STAND STILL FOR THE 100TH TIME, I SWEAR TO GOD. (swearing to god optional). Also good for practicing with, stuffed animals because they are the best at being still when people are in the room.
a DLSR camera
Handy to have:
remote shutter release
First things first, mount your camera on your tripod or Sturdy Thing. You’re going to keep your ISO low, and your shutter speed SLOOOW like I said above. You can up your ISO a little bit, but don’t go to high or you will risk too much light on your people. My ISO was set to 200. My shutter speed was set to 1/20th– if I was trying to hand-hold my camera at that shutter speed the silhouette would be a motion blurry mess. If you have a remote shutter release, it’ll be nice to use so you don’t risk shaking the camera even on your tripod when you push the shutter release.
Next you’re going to set your f-stop. I was set to 1.6 since my lens is pretty baller and I knew I would be able to get both girls in focus with it. For super beginners it’s sometimes suggested that your f-stop equal the number of people in your picture, so with 2 people, I could have set my f-stop to 2.8. If your lens only goes to 3.5, just remember to move your subjects farther away from the tree (some day, I’ll teach you all about depth of field and why it matters).
You should be good to give it a shot. Set your person or stuffed animal up, and take a test shot! How’d it look? Was your subject in silhouette? Was it a little brighter than you expected? If so, you can speed up your shutter, or close down your f-stop. Were the lights little pin pricks? Slow down that shutter even father! Show me in the comments on wendy b photos what you got!
If that isn’t a catchy title, I don’t know what is.
It has been an absolute whirlwind fall. Every year I tell myself I’m not going to take on so much- I’ll spend more time with my family. I’ll actually hire someone else to take photos of us because I won’t be working every minute!
And then this year I took something like 12 more fall sessions than I did last year :*) I took 4-5 mini sessions every weekend and then also took my usual work load during the week. It was nuts and I’m pretty sure my eyes are going to fall out of my face. I’m taking only 2 sessions in December, not just to give my retinas a rest, but also because with the holiday season comes winter break for my daughters and you guys know I’m a mom first.
I wanted to share some of the families I had this year, and since my blogging is pretty much the worst ever, I’m going to pop them into a couple giant posts! We’ve had our first snow here, and looking back at the colors of fall is so nice 😀
It’s hard to believe I’m going to be pre-booking fall family mini sessions for my current client list in just about seven weeks! Looking back at these fall photos makes me so excited for what’s to come!
Jenny, Chris, Grey and Wally are four favs. I was lucky enough to photograph them a couple times over the year and it’s always a treat. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of their hugs, their little smiles, or their family cuddles!
Oh, Wally :*) I love working with kids- you never *ever* know what you’re going to get! Grey was all smiles and giggles and little boy energy, and Wally was…two. Haha! As with all my toddlers, a touch of shyness, and even grouchy faces are expected and totally normal. I photograph my families as they are, and sometimes that includes our furrowed (and super precious) brows.
I book family sessions through out the year; and am currently booking for September! If you’d like to squeeze the last drops of summer into a family session, check out the details of what’s included on http://www.wboycephotos.com and then send me an email! firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re a current client in good standing, keep your eyes out for my fall family mini session dates. I’ll be emailing them out in early August!
I wrapped up my nephew’s birthday and dove face first into my incredibly packed fall family schedule.
I was lucky enough to shoot baby Alison when she was newborn, and getting to see her as a toddler was such a treat.
Her big brothers are so much fun. They’re the perfect combination of silly and sweet.
We played in the leaves a bit, snapped a couple of the three together (the smooching happened all on its own!)
grabbed some fast family photos and that was that! I could have shot all day though; Cassy, Jason, Owen, Carter, and Alison were total models.
Mini sessions go *fast*. Even though I time mini sessions out to no more than 30 minutes, my clients can still expect anywhere from 30-40 images for a family of five in their private online galleries 😀 I’m booking sessions for June and July NOW. Summer is such a great time for photos. I prefer summer to fall for my own family photos (GASP!) The sunlight is so warm, the days are filled with fun. There’s no pressure to hurry up and get the photos done so you have them in time for your holiday cards– shoot in the summer and you’ll have your images WELL in advance for those cards!
Book your session today by emailing email@example.com
In late Summer, my high school best friend Angela asked if I might be coming back home to PA any time, and if I was, would I have time for a family session… because they hadn’t had photos taken SINCE HER WEDDING. Dude. Yes, all the yeses. I knew the perfect place, too.
My family’s grape farm in North East, PA ❤
Ange was my best friend all through high school. I spent nearly every other day at her house, and probably every single day over the summers! We spent hours walking the sidewalks of our hometown, putting miles on our feet. Those walks and my time with Ange and the entire Licata family are some of my best memories.
Life got away from Angie and me, as it tends to do; but little trick life has is bringing people back to you. I don’t even recall how Ange and I reconnected- probably over Glee :*) Matt(y), who I was lucky enough to know during his first year is now 16 years old (17 in just a few short weeks!) and TBH, it was totally trippy to photograph him as a teenager. In my memory, he’s still a baby and we’re all still smooshing his cheeks and saying, “My name is ChubbaWubba” He has grown into an amazing young man; artistic and kind, loving and pretty rad.
And then there’s sister Sierra. She is Angela’s clone- looking through my viewfinder at her was like looking backward in time. She told me her birthday was in December, and she actually liked it a lot that people think she and her Mom are so similar, Isn’t that awesome?
And Kendall, only three or four months older than my own daughters. He was silly and spirited and pretty much what every eight year old boy is :*) I said to him, “I love your silly face bunches. I know your mom loves it too- but let’s do something she isn’t expecting. Let’s give her one grown up smile face, how about?” and he grinned and gave me….
I am eternally grateful for my reconnection with Angie. I wish I hadn’t lost years with her, but we have our whole lives to make up for it. There’s no one else I’d rather have describe to me on the phone what was going on during “South Park” (because I didn’t have cable and had never seen it) no one else I’d rather stay up all hours of the night playing Nintendo- she was always way better than me. No one else, to wander aimlessly through town talking about our boy problems, life problems, forging a bond that will never be broken.
Ah, late summer ❤ It was warm and beautiful on the day Jenny, Brian, and their perfect three came down for our family session. As is usual, we started off with shy smiles but we warmed up quickly and had some genuine happy faces.
Isn’t Layla beautiful?
As a twin mom, the phrase “double trouble” is tossed at me on the regular. I’m sure the same is true for Jenny, but Corbin and Spencer are far more “double the love” than trouble. Add a dash of Layla, a setting sun and it was a party:
I’m so glad I get to work with this family every year ❤ To get to see the kids grow into these crazy, silly, sweet people is such a pleasure for me!