Yesterday, Randi and I met Tommy and his family. At just 4 days old, I can already see how bright his future is going to be. He is blessed with two loving parents and two big brothers... One to look out for him and one to watch over him. He is one lucky baby!
Engagement and Family
What a beautiful way to end April! I had the opportunity to shoot an engagement session AND the couple's three lovely girls. Edyta and Mark were so naturally relaxed in front of the camera and as a result, I was able to truly capture their love for one another.
The girls were quite the camera hams! Haley, Chloe, and Zosia are each beautifully different. I absolutely loved capturing their personalities.
Below are some of my favorites!
Duckling Mini Sessions
The Parents' Part : What can you do to make the most of your child's photo session?
What can you do, as a parent, to make the most of your child's photo session?
Below is a section taken directly from the 'What to Expect' page on my website, and I decided to convert it into a blog post.
It’s important for your child to feel comfortable with me. At the beginning of the session, I will take the time to make friends with him/her. I understand that your child may be shy, and I have different techniques for dealing with how they may respond to me. I aim to get a mix of photographic styles during a shoot. I love candid photos and capturing children in their natural state. Attempting to pose little ones is also so much fun!
So, what can you do as a parent to improve the session? Most parents of toddlers feel the need to help get their little one to do what he/she is “supposed” to be doing.. It’s just human-nature. However, this may actually make the session difficult for the photographer. When this happens, there are two or more adults calling the child’s name, trying to get him/her to “look this way.” Eventually, the child tunes everyone out. That does not mean you cannot take an active part in your child’s session. I absolutely will need your help at some point! I only ask that you please wait until I ask for for assistance. This is one of the most helpful things you can do for the entire photo session. With that being said, I truly do appreciate any ideas or suggestions you may have!
Another idea is to have a brief discussion with the photographer about how you anticipate your child will act. For instance, if your son or daughter is typically shy, he/she may take a while to warm up to the photographer. Even though a professional should be prepared to handle a variety of personality types in children, it's nice to give them a 'heads-up.'
There are other things you can do throughout the day that will help promote cooperative behavior. Below is another section taken from the same page on my website.
Cranky toddlers can be expected during a child session, but here are a few tips to help avoid the situation.
Above all, your kids should have fun and be themselves! I have definitely had some shoots where the parents and I were almost forcing the child to be cooperative. I learned a lot from those sessions and now, I'm able to step back, evaluate the situation, and approach it in a much more confident and relaxed manner, which yields much better resulting images!
What to Wear for Pictures?
Whether it's a wedding day or a scheduled photo session, we all want to look our best when being photographed. Here are 5 important makeup mishaps to avoid when you know you'll be in the spotlight.
Now, you are officially prepared to make the duck face... Kidding! Please, don't.
Even if you don't know the first thing about photography, there are a few simple tricks to turn average snapshots into great captures! Whether you are using your camera phone or a basic point and shoot camera, you can benefit from the simple tips below!
The easiest trick of all is to get creative with your angles! Don't just pull out your camera and snap. The image here is a picture of my niece blowing out her birthday candles. What makes this picture a better than average image? The angle! I knelt on the floor and put my camera on the table. Because of the angle, you can see her entire face, rather than just the top of her head.
If your camera has the ability to turn off the flash, turn it off! In the same picture, my niece is sitting across from a big window. If I were to switch places with her, it would be nearly impossible to take this picture with a basic camera, UNLESS I used the flash. And let's face it, on-camera flashes are not very flattering. Natural light is your friend. It won't always be available, but take advantage of it when you can.
If you are outdoors on a sunny day, the single most important thing you can do to make a better picture, is put your subject in the shade! The sun gives off harsh light creating extremely unflattering shadows across the face. If there is absolutely no available shade, have your subject face away from the sun, and use your flash. (Or, if you're feeling creative and fun, don't use your flash... you just might capture a cool silhouette!) Yes, this contradicts what I said about shooting near windows, but window lighting is much different than direct sunlight.
Mind your background! Try to avoid any clutter or distractions behind your subject. If you're in your back yard, try shooting towards bushes and wooded areas rather than houses and parked cars.
I could go on, but I really want to keep this post simple for the individuals that have no real interest in learning photography, but still want to better their photographs.
But, who knows... maybe I'll start an absolute beginners guide?! Hmm.
Preparing for Spring!
Now that the holidays are over, I'm getting serious about preparing myself for my first spring season! My Facebook page and blog have been somewhat of a ghost town these past weeks, I've been busy behind the scenes designing business cards, choosing new professional packaging, and drooling over thoughts of new gear! I can barely wait for the first signs of spring to sprout! Out will come the mommies with growing bellies, the newly engaged, and the tiny tots learning to walk! Ahhh!
I was able to do a few sessions this winter, and it was amazing to photograph people in the the natural elements surrounded by snow and brisk air. Even though I'm excited about this spring, winter is definitely not over yet! I'm so excited to have a January engagement shoot and family portrait session to look forward to! There's still plenty of time to schedule a session for winter!
(Psssst.... I'm also planning a Valentine's Day Session!! <3 ...Details very soon!)
Where it all started
It's almost been one year since I was browsing the internet for some type of photography gig. I stumbled on an ad that was for a wedding photographer's assistant. I sent my inquiry and never thought about it again. I honestly didn't think I would get a response, but.. I did! I went to meet with the photographer and was offered a chance to work for him. Driving home from the interview, I was absolutely STOKED. This amazing opportunity had just plopped in my lap. At my first wedding, I was a nervous-wreck. Seriously, I could not even think straight and I couldn't focus on my camera settings. I was literally shaking. It was time to prove myself and I was scared that I would blow it! Eventually, as each wedding came, I became more relaxed. My boss has taught me an incredible amount in regards to becoming a second shooter. He forced me to build my confidence while shooting, and I reallycannot thank him enough for everything that he's invested in me.
Below I've put together a gallery of my favorite shots from this year. As I was going through thousands of images to choose from, I was able to actually see how much I've grown as a photographer... and it feels amazing.
To see more of these wedding images taken by my boss himself, check out Pittsburgh Imagery!
On Sunday, I was fortunate enough to do a photo session for this lovely family. Lacie wanted some individual pictures of each of the kids and some family photos. Simple enough? Not really! Little Jimmy was NOT up for getting pictures... AT ALL. A majority of the session, I focused on trying to get that one picture of everyone looking and smiling... well, at least not crying. We tried pretty much anything we could think of. Yes, we even bribed him with m&m's. Despite his refusal to be photographed, he was the sweetest little boy I think I've ever met. After trying to get some holiday pictures in front of the tree, Lacie and her husband, Jim, went to change outfits. Jimmy sat in the living room and talked with me. He ended up giving me a hug while I was in mid-sentence... yeah... ADORABLE! He literally just met me! We headed to the backyard and I was certain Jimmy was ready join his mom, dad and sister...
That didn't happen.
I admit it. I really started to worry that I wasn't going to get what I thought I needed. Fortunately, Lacie was incredibly relaxed. She and Jim accepted the situation and wanted to roll with it. I absolutely love how they responded to the situation. We just let the moment be and we were able to get some hilariously cute pictures. Do I think Lacie is going to hang this on her wall? Eh, maybe not. However, I do think she will cherish this picture. It's a great depiction of the parents' ability to take life's lemons and make some sweet lemonade, and I admire them for that.
Scroll down to see some of the other images from this shoot!
portrait photographer located in Pittsburgh, PA.