To all moms everywhere - Happy Mother’s Day! Whether you’re a mom to a 2 legged child, a furry kid or a child in heaven, this is your day to celebrate all that you do to make our lives better! This is the first photo I’ve had taken of me with all 3 of my girls. However you spend your day, try to make it a point to get at least one photo of you with your kids. It’s so important to capture these family moments with all of you!
While I’ve been to Phillippi Estate Park before, it’s been a couple of years. Two things that struck me about this location when I first discovered it was how awesome the light is and how beautiful the property is. Oh, and dogs are allowed! Ok, so that makes it three things that I love! This weekend I decided to go back and explore it again with a fresh pair of eyes. I loaded the car with all 3 of our dogs and my husband to head off for an adventure. When we arrived, we walked around the side of the main building just in time to hear over the loudspeaker, “I now pronounce you husband and wife!” As we came around the corner, the bride and groom were walking down the aisle in our direction. Afraid my dogs would start barking, I quickly ran to the other side of the sidewalk and hid behind a tree. The happy couple and bridal party seemed genuinely happy to see the dogs. And to my delight, the girls were well behaved and didn’t make a ruckus barking and carrying on at the wedding party as they walked our way.
We headed off to another section of the property to explore. I set up my gear and took dozens of test photos. The longer we stayed, the more I just loved it. Photographers always shoot with the light and I just couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful evening. I tried new things, practiced old techniques and checked off a bucket list photo I had been wanting to shoot for a while. Some photos I took for specific reasons and I’ll share more when the time is right. But for right now, here’s one of my favorite images I captured of Kita. This is definitely going to be one of my go to locations for client sessions.
Thanks for reading!
I'm always striving to learn more about photography and improve my skills. This year one of my goals was to attend a workshop. With so many opportunities out there, I decided I wanted to focus on studio lighting. This past weekend I spent a day with Andreas Romijn, a dutch photographer, whose work is superb. I've been following him for a while and when I learned he was coming to Chicago to teach, I knew I needed to go.
Early in my photography journey, I swore up and down I would never shoot in any condition except natural light outdoors. But as time goes by and I see how much you can do with strobes, I'm finding myself using off-camera flash, or OCF for short, more and more. Lighting is tricky to learn in the beginning, but once you grasp general principles it gets easier. These days I have a dream of owning a home where I can set up a studio on my property. I'll never stop shooting outdoors in natural light, but I definitely want to integrate studio sessions into my business.
Andreas' style is pretty much the opposite of what I usually shoot. Dark backdrops, black dogs and dramatic lighting. Yet, I love it! I tend to lean toward light, bright images, with a pop of color. He showed us how he lights his dogs and different ways to use a number of strobes. Then he let us shoot and see this for ourselves. As artists, most of us tend to learn better visually, so this was the perfect way for us to grasp it. He was very involved answering our questions and encouraging us to make decisions on where to place the lights and what settings to use on our camera. I prefer this teaching method over the photographer who sets up the shot, explains why and then lets his students take a photo so they can go home with that "perfect" shot. No one ever learned how to be the best at their craft in just one attempt.
I came away learning more than I dreamed I would and can't wait to start practicing on my own. Here are a few shots I captured that day.
If the only prayer you ever say is “Thank you” that will be enough. ~ Eckhart Tolle
I came across this quote many years ago and it’s still one of my favorite sayings. I truly believe in gratitude and end every day with a prayer of thanks. Too often we hear of requests asking for this or that. And while many of them are worthwhile prayers and I’m certainly going to add these requests to my list of prayers that day, I think we overlook the many things in our lives we should be thankful for.
Which is why I love Thanksgiving. Being a vegetarian, I don’t care about the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Some years I’ll do a little shopping on black friday. But most of the time, I find the crowds, hassles and prices to be frustrating. As for football. Well, if Penn State is playing a game, I’ll watch it. But unlike my husband who can camp out in front of the TV all weekend long and watch game after game, I’d rather go for a walk and play with my dogs. But I am mindful of what this holiday is all about and make an extra effort to be truly grateful for what I have.
And that includes all of you, who read my blog, have cheered and encouraged me on this journey of becoming a professional photographer. Who have trusted me to photograph your families, who follow along with me on my social media and “like”, comment and share my posts. And most importantly for all the furry friends I have made who have captured my heart and given me the purpose of my life. Thank you.
Boy, they aren't kidding when they say "time flies!" Kita's birthday caught me by surprise yet again! At least I remembered a couple of days ago so we could plan something a little special and fun!
Kita sure has grown up in the last 12 months. No more jumping on the kitchen counters, grabbing reading glasses off the dining room table and leaving little "presents" in the corner of the living room. We're still working on her not eating them though! Yuck!
She's also become quite the perfect little photographer's model. Whenever I want to work on something like lighting or scout a new location, she's always up for the task. What's so great about her is that when I start pulling out the treats, she knows what is expected of her and gives me the time I need to nail the shot. If I shift one of her legs to where I want it, she doesn't move. If I tell her to "wait", she never breaks her stay command. She tolerates my lights, all the adjustments I make and I always come away with some keepers every time I photograph her. Quite the change from the little pup who wouldn't let me touch her paws, her ears, open her mouth and certainly never trim her nails! Now she loves to be held, and isn't shy about asking to picked up so we can carry her.
She's got quite the personality and I've got all kinds of photo session ideas I want to create with her. Some are quite elaborate and one day I hope to pull them off. I wasn't sure of this little pipsqueak when she first came to stay with us a foster dog, but now, I'm really grateful she came into our lives...and hearts!
Happy birthday Kita!!!