family photos, Film, newborn photography

wendy b photos roundup {cleveland family photographer}

2018 seems to have gone by really quickly- I remember being freaked out about going to Costa Rica with my husband for a weekend trip he earned at his place of business. I get scared to travel anywhere (I’m mid mental breakdown about a trip to Maui, HI I’m taking very shortly). Even though I like going to these cool new places, I get totally freaked out. Leaving my kids, my responsibilities… shouldn’t I be trying to book work rather than take time off? Ugh. This Maui trip is messing with my head pretty badly, especially when I look back and see I didn’t book a single thing for January but to be fair, my daughters have been out of school until the 7th, I have to be back home in PA on the 12th for an event, and I leave on the 15th, almost all of my weekends are spoken for.
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I tried to set focus, and handed my camera to my husband. One shot came out.

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I got to shoot some really great newborns, and I’m looking forward to meeting even more babies this year (it’s never too early to book your newborn session, please PLEASE do not wait until the last minute).
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I shot so.much.film; I loved every freaking second of it. There hasn’t been a single shot that I was like, “Oh dang, missed it,” because even the shots that don’t come out perfectly, are perfect. Photography has always been about the moment, right? So sometimes, what matters isn’t what is “in focus” but what’s going on around the focus. Maybe that’s too meta. IDK. So many pictures of 2/3rds of our cats (the tuxedo cat is Fiffen/ Olive, the orange and white one is Beep)…

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So many pictures of my long suffering daughters who are juuuuust about finished being my little models…

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Cakes, and milestones, and families…. 2018 was a pretty full year of lots of good things.

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Best Tummy of 2018 ^^

I don’t have any idea what 2019 will bring. If we’ve worked together, I’d love to see you again. I’d love for you to tell a friend about your experience, I’d love to give you both referral credits 😉 I’d love for you to ask for a film session (yes, I am offering film for client work now). I’d love to keep growing this business. I really would. Every year it gets harder and harder, but you guys keep me going and I thank you for that. On to 2019 friends. Let’s see what we can create together. Check out https://www.wboycephotos.com and when you’re ready, email me: wendy@wboycephotos.com. Whatever you want, we can make it happen. 

Photography help, photography how to, Uncategorized

Photography how to: create star bursts

    Oooooh, bright shiny lights. I love how the tree is glowing and the lights are bursting, don’t you? I’m going to talk you through how you can take a picture of your family’s tree (if you have one). You will need a basic understanding of photography, you’ll need to understand shutter speed, but that’s not super hard 😀
    You’ll need:
  • tripod or something sturdy to set your camera on
  • camera with timer and manual settings
  • pretty lights to photograph (I have a crap load of lights on my tree and still want MORE! ahaha)
  • an dark night… ooh

You might want:

        • a remote shutter release

So, first things first- turn off all the lights. Light is the number 1, most important thing you need when taking pictures, and in this case, you need to eliminate all outside light because you want the only light source to be your tree.

You’re going to set your shutter speed to a really, slow, really long which is why you need something sturdy to set your camera on. Any tiny movement will RUIN THE SHOT FOREVER! Well, ok, it’ll just ruin that one shot but you’ll have to reshoot and if you’re a perfectionist, that’ll drive you crazy. My shutter speed on the above was 13 seconds– the shutter was left open for 13 full seconds allowing all the twinkly light to enter. I had my ISO turned as low as I could, which is 100. Your ISO setting tells your camera how much available light there is- a low number means there’s lots of light and the camera doesn’t need to compensate for that. A high number means there’s very little light. Logically, you’d want to set your ISO to a higher number since there is very little light- BUT in this case we are going to make up for the low light with a slooooooooow shutter speed.

I closed down my aperture to F-11; there’s a long explanation about the blades in your lens and angles, so you can read up on the specifics and I encourage you to but I’m not going to get into it all. You’re going to want to be stopped down to at least F-11, the further down you’re closed the more dramatic your burst will be.

Next, you’re going to frame up your shot. Select your focus point, you can pretty much just point it toward the middle and go at it. Your lens will be stopped down so almost everything will be in focus. Remember, you need something sturdy to hold your camera or you’re going to get motion shake. Use a tripod, or, rig up something sturdy to angle your camera correctly. If your camera has a timer setting USE IT. If your camera has a remote setting, invest in a remote.  I use the word “invest” loosely–I have this little guy . $7 folks. Worth it if you have a Nikon DSLR (there are millions for Canon and other bodies as well). Go ahead now and take your first shot. How’d it look? Good? No good? Post your picture to my Facbook page wendy b photos. If you don’t like what you got, shoot again!

You can use the settings I have listed as a starting point, but if your photo isn’t “right” make adjustments and try again. Every situation is different, you may have more or fewer lights on your tree, you might have more ambient light, make the adjustments for YOUR specific situation. And, feel free to ask for help 😀

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family photos

Photography and Stress {cleveland family photographer}

While I was working over the weekend, my client Steve said he was talking with a friend and mentioned they were having family photos taken. The friend groaned and said, “Don’t tell my wife,”. I laughed—men not being “all in” when it comes to family photos is nothing new. There are even a good lot of women who opt out of being part of their family’s photos. But why is that? Why is there push back, when it comes time for those family photos?

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Stress.

What’s the first thing you do, after signing your contract and submitting your retainer? If you’re like 97% of my clients, you start shopping or rummaging through dressers searching for The Perfect Outfit. While I’m guilty of this myself, I can’t quite understand why we stress about what to wear. Sure, we don’t necessarily want large prints of our kids with peanut butter on their faces, in their ratty sweat pants (my daughters haven’t worn jeans since Kindergarten) but does it *really* matter? I tell my clients, you do NOT need to be in your Sunday Best; clean pants or dresses, complimentary colors, weather appropriate and you’re all set. I’ve seen far too many moms work themselves into a tizzy, over pattern combinations, color coordination, hair and make up,  thoughts about their weight, and let’s not even get started with “will they behave or won’t they,”.

I want everyone considering me for their photography to know Pinterest Perfect is NOT real.  More important than everyone ‘sit-stay-smile-look’ is the genuine interaction. At one of my shoots over the weekend, this sweet little one picked up his shirt, and shared his belly with me. And I love that. I love it, because he was so comfortable, he was so happy, he was so three-years-old. I love that his siblings are all looking at me and that he is 100% toddler awesomeness.

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TUMMY!

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, who do you find yourself snapping at most?  If you’re like me, it’s the very people you’re hoping to get those happy smiling photos with. They see you worried about things and in turn, it upsets them. Your spouse may see you getting upset and wonder why you do this every year which frustrates them, then you get even more frazzled because what the heck are THEY so worried about when you’re the one doing everything!? (sound familiar?)

Please believe me when I tell you, you do NOT need to worry about Picture Perfect. It’s ok if you all throw on something you already own. It’s ok to mix pattern and color. Pattern it up! See the above, the stripes and plaids and solids? It looks so good together! It’s ok, if your toddler shows me his tummy. It’s ok if you weigh more than you did, your freshman year of college. If you’ve not worked with me before, I’ll just tell you right now- my sessions never last more than 45 minutes. This gorgeous family of eight? Forty-five minutes. I can get smaller families done, in and out in 30 minutes, even if your toddler takes his shirt off. If your partner is on edge about “how long do we have to be here?” you can tell them, 45 minutes tops. 😉

When we chill out, accept that all things aren’t Pinterest Picture Perfect and realize THAT’S OK we find ourselves and those around us actually enjoying photo sessions. I promise, it’s going to be better than you think, so shed the stress and the worry. Just come, hang out. It’ll be good!

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See? Having a good time! No worries!

family photos, Uncategorized

It’s going to be better than you think {cleveland family photographer}

Corynn and Dan found their way to me, via referrals from two (!!) happy clients and I’m so glad they did. Their sweet boys, Dominic and Leo were a joy to photograph. Dan, like most men, came into the session with ideas about how it would go– and he was thinking it would not go well. No doubt, previous attempts at photos elsewhere hadn’t gone well.
I am very pleased to say, Dan left with a smile on his face, as did his handsome little fellas and his lovely wife ❤
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Could they BE any cuter?

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busy hands are the best hands ❤ I loved that they cuddled up together and read a story!

Currently booking DECEMBER newborns, family and milestone photos! Follow this link for pricing and session information–> wendy b photos
I’ll be taking milestone session in my home studio over the winter- no worries about cold weather! email wendy@wboycephotos.com when you’re ready to book!

family photos

Fall Family Sessions are OPEN (cleveland family photographer)

The popular Fall Family Sessions are open, and spaces are *super* limited. I have available:
Oct. 13th– 5pm  sold out!
Nov. 3rd– 3pm sold out!
Nov 10th– 2pm, 2:30pm and 3pm sold out!

The sessions are 20 minutes in length. These spaces are best for families of 5 or fewer due to time constraints. Sessions may only be booked as family sessions (no milestone, newborn, maternity, etc). The session fee of $120 must be paid in full at the time of booking and your contract must be signed within 24 hours, or the spot will open to the next person in line. Sale price applies to ABOVE DATES AND TIMES ONLY.
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email wendy@wboycephotos.com for more details and to book yours today! Referral credits may not be used, no other discounts may be applied. Sessions cannot be transferred, or exchanged.
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photography how to, Uncategorized

How to: create a holiday silhouette

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.

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ISO 200, f 1.6, 1/40th, 35mm 1.4 lens used

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!

family photos, mini session, Uncategorized

A really HUGE fall catch-up post

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 😀
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Photography help, photography how to, Uncategorized

Photography HOW TO: photograph fireworks!

** originally published July 2016***

Ah, the Fourth of July. Picnics, parties, beer, and brats (that’s bratwurst, not BRATS, well… hopefully not brats 😉  )
And of course, there are fireworks. I’m sure there’s a long and delightful history about why we Americans light up the skies with fireworks and you’re welcome to Google that information in your spare time 😉

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I have always been particular about fireworks. By particular, I mean terrified. Then, seven years ago I had two little girls and now Mommy has to put on the brave face. What better way to enjoy those loud, blazing balls of fire raining down on you, but by trying to photograph them! Total transparency here- last year was the first year that I ever tried to photograph them. I’m going to try again this year if this Summer of Unending Rain gives me the chance (Ohio friends know what I’m talking about). You can try, too!

HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
1. Remote shutter release like THIS
2. A DLSR and basic understanding of photography
3. A dark place with a clear view of the sky

IT WOULD BE HANDY TO HAVE:
1. tripod
2. wide-ish angle lens that will focus to infinity. Use what you’ve got though, you can make nearly anything work.

I’ll post my photos with my settings to give you an idea about where you can start, but every lighting situation, lens and camera body is different. For what it’s worth, I took these on a Nikon D7000 with a Nikkor 35mm 1.8 lens. I wanted a wide angle lens, and my 35mm is the widest I’ve got.

First things first- get a good spot! Some people like to have cool landmarks in their photos, but I want an unobstructed view. We parked ourselves far across from the field where the fireworks would be shot off. I can fake being cool with fireworks, but only from a safe distance.

Second, turn off your flash. You want the only light your camera sees to be the fireworks themselves. Relatedly, turn your ISO down. Mine was set at 100 for all these photos. Again, we want the only light to be from the fireworks themselves, so we don’t want our cameras to compensate for the dark and make images brighter.

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ISO-100, 35mm, F-16, SS 8.0 seconds

Aperture is next. You’ll want a long focal length. Anywhere from F-11 up will work well. The fireworks will be far away, and we’re going to try to focus to infinity. You’ll want to look up your specific lens if you don’t know how to set it to infinity or even if it does such a thing. A note about my specific 35mm– it is a G lens, meaning “gelded” and does not focus to infinity which made things a little harder. What I did was set my focus to manual and focused on the very farthest thing from me, then crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

Set your shutter speed to a reeeeeaaaaaalllllly long exposure. There won’t be a ton of light, we’re using a low ISO and a small aperture (the larger the f-stop number, the smaller the aperture opening). Mine was set anywhere from 8 seconds to 13 seconds. Now you see why you’ll want that wireless remote- there is absolutely no way you can have your hands on your camera when that shutter is released or you’ll get instant camera shake and blurry photos. I would fire off my remote shutter release as soon as I saw the firework shot off- when you see that first streak of light FIRE! If you have a tripod- USE IT. The less motion around your camera the better.

Play around with your shutter speed and see how the speed affects the amount of light let in. The longer you leave your shutter open (hello, 13 whopping seconds) the more light will enter your lens. The cool thing is the light is moving! Since our shutter is super slow, it’s not going to stop that light motion and you’ll get those awesome light streaks.

Get out there, and give it a shot! Share your attempts over on Wendy B Photos on Facebook!

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family photos, mini session, Uncategorized

Fall Flashback: Jenny and Chris {Cleveland Family Photographer}

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The R Family

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!JCR-11wm

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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! wendy@wboycephotos.com

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!

Photography help, Uncategorized

Safety in photography: holiday edition

I saw a really good post over on newbornphotography.com about taking safe photos during the holiday season. To most of us pros, they are common sensical but there are a lot of people who will try to take photos themselves (and hey man, more power to you if you want to give it a shot). One of the first things they talk about is the danger or wrapping your child in Christmas lights. Just– don’t. It’s so unsafe for so many reasons, not the least of which is the lead the wires are coated with. In fact, you should wash your hands after handling the lights yourself!

I love the look of “twinkle lights” in holiday photography- it’s a safe way to incorporate lights without risking anyone’s safety.  I had one of my daughters sit for a minute so I could show you a couple safe twinkle lights. I’ll do a tutorial post on how I shot these twinkle lights shortly ;D ::UPDATE  read how to create this backdrop HERE.
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If you’ve looked back and found that WHOOPS you’ve done this, don’t worry about it. Most people really don’t know better. Before I had any idea what I was doing, I’m about 98% sure I tried something with lights. But I won’t do it ever again. Your safety as my client, or your child’s safety if you’re trying this on your own, is more important than getting a bunch of “ooh that’s so cute!” comments on your Facebook feed (and you betcha I’m going to post to my Facebook).

There is one other big thing I can’t stress enough when talking about safe photography, though not holiday related. Let’s talk about railroad track photos.

Never, ever EVER (for real) take photos on railroad tracks. Nothing ruins a photo session like being hit by a train like happened below:

Photographer in Missouri Hit and Killed by Amtrak Train During Photo Shoot

Train Kills One Photographer And Injures Two More While Taking Photos On Train Rails

Even if you’re preeeeetty sure the tracks are “dead” meaning they haven’t been in use (that you know of) you are still trespassing and breaking the law. Please, don’t ask us to shoot on tracks. I don’t like having to tell my clients no, but I won’t hesitate to do it. I love my clients but there’s no way I’m going to jail for you or anybody! If you read that like Garth Algar from Wayne’s World, award yourself one gold star.

I know there is a ton of info out there and a lot of people feel :so what: when it comes to things like this, but if you’re my client, my friend, I will never ever put you in harms way.

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