Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Indiana - part 2 (other shenanigans)

   Recently I posted on my niece graduating, and her mini session. This is the follow up to that, the rest of the story. Lots of nonsense (just the way I like it) happens when we go "home" for a visit. I have such a great time with my family, and always miss them like crazy when I leave. I am blessed to have family that are like friends, and friends that are like family. My "in-laws" are like blood - never had any sisters until I met James, and now I have 3. Love them dearly! My mamma is my best friend, my dad is too precious for words, my aunt Sue is hilarious, for one, and irreplaceable for two. My cousins are wonderful (and doesn't hurt that I no longer get the bad looks when I am horrid at volleyball)... they are all grown up! It is weird to go home and see that everyone is getting older, and yet I stay the same age... must be that Bama water ;) My family loves bad pictures (and by that I mean my aunt and her brood). I have claimed my spot on the fridge, and that awful/terribly funny picture has been there for 8 years. I feel so loved and special. We all delight in the awkward picture. They make us laugh until we cry. That is how my family rolls. And we are just fine with it.

 *Side note - I do NOT do this to my clients. Seriously. lol*

   I am blessed to have a dad that has a passion for music. I was like 1 foot away from him clicking away and he didn't even know I was there because he was so into what he was playing. It is good for someone like me to see someone have such gusto for what they are doing. I absolutely adore watching people do what they are passionate about. Watching them just come to life when they talk about it. I have never really taken the time to document my poppy doing what he loves. We never know if we have tomorrow. I am so happy that I took the time. I will cherish these images forever.

My nieces and cousin and Biggest :) This was VERY impromptu - enforced by my mamma lol.

My mamma and Biggest planking in the middle of the road? Yeah, they are. Gramma wasn't doing it right at first, and didn't quite nail it in the second one either lol. Love her! Biggest is hard core.

   We went to an organic farm that is owned by two very cool people. It was awful weather and so we didn't get the chance to really explore it. Definitely will have to go back again! All of their livestock are heritage breeds as well.

   Baby body surfing! New turkey poults.

Irish Dexter cattle - absolutely COOL - they are little!

Minus the weird weather (go figure, Indiana weather is always changing) we had a great time. Made some great memories and got to spend time with people who matter the most. Now we are able to officially start the summer break. And that means lots of good food (our garden is kicking out lots of veggies) and drive in movies! Hooray for summer!

   Brooke :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

It's SUMMER Time!

   We have had one hectic month or so. First we went to Indiana for our niece and nephew graduating, had one week of downtime and then off to Disney to watch our girls perform with their dance troupe - The Dreamcatchers - in Downtown Disney. What a GREAT group of people we got to do this with. Although I still firmly say that I am not a fan... and I am sticking to that, I will say that the company we had made it better. Been there, and now done that, no need to do it again. On the way home, we had a real craving for fresh seafood. We made a very out of the way trip to Perdido Key to hit
"The Shrimp Basket". Oh my goodness. Oh my tastebuds. Absolutely FANTASTIC food, accompanied by a wonderful ocean breeze, we couldn't help ourselves, we had to sit on the deck to eat. About 2 feet from me was a large crane who was walking quietly on the other side of the rail. He was eyeballing my fries. The girls loved it! We went across the street after we were done stuffing ourselves to walk on the beach for a bit. Really, we were only there for about an hour. I certainly hadn't lugged my camera all over Disney, so I broke it out for the most fun the girls had. Ahem, the FREE fun. Yeah, you heard me correctly. My girls said it was more fun than Disney, and dang. It. Was. Free. Girls after my own heart.

   In our world, summer break has officially started. We couldn't be more ready for it, either. Woo Hoo! The dogs missed us. Bad. They always give us such a ticker tape parade when we come home. Our garden was putting out a lot of veggies. Biggest is making us a fab dinner, including fresh eggplant. Yum!

   Happy Fathers Day to my honey. Love you to the moon. Love our family. And you are stuck with me :) xoxoxo

*Photography by my hubby. Thanks for the flattering shot, James.*

The image on the right is a recreation of one that I took 6 years ago at Tybee Island. Love!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The importance of the little things...

   In my experience as a photographer, excuse me, portrait photographer, I have found that when things are really thought out, the image is one that is more than a snapshot, more than a "pic". Not to say that you can't evoke emotion from a snapshot - I am talking about not only sell-able portraits, but portraits that are consumable and will forever have a place on the "wall of fame" (every home has one). This is a yin to a yang. It is something that benefits both artist and client. Not only in photography, ask any artist about whatever type of art they produce - they will tell you that it is the compilation of little things that help their art come to life.
   In regards to portraiture, specifically for me, the thought behind the outfit is important. Shoes, oh my gosh, shoes can be a portrait killer. They can ruin a perfectly wonderful portrait by being present if they are not a thought out part of the outfit. Honestly, some may not agree with me, but the styled outfit is ONE of the things that take an image out of the snapshot category, into the professional portrait category. I say one of the things because obviously there are more things than that, such as the technical ability and vision of the photographer. The outfit though, while not the emphasis of the portrait, puts the professional polish on the image. Styling a session means to have put thought into all aspects of it, on both the photographer's side, and the client's side. There has been communication between both parties and a common idea and goal has been set. Do you want a dreamy image? Well you won't get what you are looking for if you are wearing jeans and a t-shirt, no matter how nice. It doesn't mesh with what you are wanting to portray (artist) or consume (client). A great choice for a dreamy image? A flowy bohemian type of dress in a pale tone - think nudes, pinks, lavenders with natural makeup, pink or nude lips and hair that moves, maybe with a wave. Doesn't that fit the idea of "dreamy" more so than the jeans and t-shirt? Same with wanting an image that is urban - wear that bohemian dress to an alley or downtown and it doesn't fit like an outfit with bright poppy colors, scarves and hats with killer heels or boots. When scheduling a session with any custom photographer, you need to really think about what kind of image you want. What you are going to love looking at for years to come on that wall of fame. While the outfit isn't the portrait, neither is the hair or makeup, it definitely IS a collective effort to get your vision across.

Here are some examples of how a planned and thought about effort makes images go from snapshot to worthy portrait. (Sorry K ;)

*Before - just a snapshot while I was showing my mom how to use her camera - notice all the clutter of the background, the camera in the foreground, etc... while a beautiful shot of her, it is just a snapshot - literally.

*After - we did a mini session for her senior images during a short break in the awful weather we were having up there at the time - notice the uncluttered background, the posing, the way nothing is distracting from her. Definitely portrait worthy.

*Before - cute snapshot of her at the strawberry patch. But is just that, snapshot. She was able to wear something she could get stained (ahem, she is two, of COURSE she is going to get dirty lol - smart mamma!) Very cute model, and cute snapshot! See the feet in the back?

*After - uncluttered background, good light (open shade) adorable accessory, great framing of her sweet little face, the focus is on HER, complimented very nicely by the great pops of color. Attention is on her eyes - which is exactly what a wall worthy portrait should be about (although I will admit that I adore images where they are not looking at the camera, I feel like they are just as emotional as eye contact images - to each their own!) This is not only a great image from a photographer point of view, but mom will love it too because as a consumer it hits all the requirements. Clients don't usually realize WHY they like an image so much, but there is a general checklist that clients like about images they choose to buy big and put on their walls. As a photographer, this is different for your particular target clientele.

And another just because she is so darned CUTE! Not to mention the fact the one is vertical, and one is horizontal - great choices for mom whichever way she chooses to go.

You can see the difference a little planning makes. I love accessories for images. As long as they add too and not take away from the image itself. You are investing in these images, so it just stands to reason that they have care taken in the making of them, from start to finish. You will be glad you did!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Indiana time!

     We are from Indiana, born and raised. It seems that every May or so we gravitate back there for graduations and open houses. This year was super special because it was our niece and nephew that were graduating. My niece Katelin (I call her Kate - and consequently call all Katelin's Kate whether they like it or not) has had such a long haul getting to this point. She is so dear to me, so special. I was the first to see her eyes open (I was so lucky to be in the delivery room) and she has felt like one of mine always. This girl is tough. She has the stiffest backbone I have ever seen and has had to have from the time she was little. I am privileged to be have known her all these years. She is an inspiration to me. She has been one of the things that has kept me married - always wanting to spare my kids what she has had to go through. Even though we live states away, she is on my mind constantly, in my prayers incessantly. June 1st she passed yet another milestone. On the cusp of adulthood with the whole world to experience, there she stands. I remember the day I graduated like it was yesterday - such a relief, yet such a scary time. She will do just fine. I am so very proud of her. Kate, you have grown into such a gorgeous woman. Know who you are, and stand firm in it. Don't let anyone tell you who you are. Ever. Because not a single soul knows who you are. Only God does. You are His, forever. Who can stand against you, if He is for you? My prayer for you is that you know who He is. That you let Him lead you and guide you, from now until eternity. He adores you and rejoices over you with singing. And He holds you in His hand. Everything here passes away - but He remains forever. If something is truly good, it comes against opposition  - like, all the time. That is how you know it is of worth and value. So you, sweetheart, and worth more than rubies or gold. Don't forget that. Never ever. In the end, all are judged - by the only judge in all of creation that matters. You are worth it. And so is He. I love you to the moon, kid. You are a bright and lovely spot in my life. (xoxoxoxo)


     Weather was the absolute bane of my existence while we were there - and this mini session was taken during a super small window of time. All in all, we had a great but busy time (poor hubby lol). Miss our families, love our families. So much more to share, but will in another post. This gorgeous girl deserves her one all to herself. LOVE. THIS. GIRL!

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