Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sneak Peek - Mr. C and Miss L

What fun these 2 little cuties were to photograph!  For this session, the third time was the charm. We had to reschedule twice due to weather and illness.   On the date of this shoot, the weather still wasn't looking great.  But, I decided to be optimistic and see what happened. I texted Mom about an hour before we were to begin and said the weather looked suspect but I wasn't ready to throw in the towel just yet. She agreed and we met at the country club where her dad is a member.

We got started with Mr. C right away, as he is turning one!  This little one is on the go.  He crawls at a speed I'd call fast forward, making all kind of noise like he's on a mission and then suddenly, he stops. It cracked me up!

Miss L was fully of smiles and personality!  Both kids were dressed in sailor outfits first that were just too cute!  These are the outfits that when you blink, they've outgrown them and it's so sad.   This was the perfect opportunity to showcase them. And the shoes Miss L had on were adorable! I had to sneak in a photograph of just them!

With the age and mobility difference, getting them to hang out together was not an easy task.  Yogurt covered raisins bought us a bit of time!  I had to move quick before Mr. C headed on the move again!

After we focused on just the kids, they had a clothing change and we moved into some family shots.  What a joy they all were to photograph! In order for this type of shoot to be successful, there needs to be family interaction and they were masters at it!    Lots of laughter and giggles and hugs and few shoulder rides. I kept clicking away and they kept giving me great shots!

In the middle of the golf course, was a lake, complete with it's own set of ducks.  Little Miss L loved the ducks and was on a mission to go see them up close and personal.  Suddenly, we looked towards the water and there they were.  Miss L and her Daddy headed down to see them. By this time the sun had come out and was reflecting beautifully off the water.

I'd say we all got a workout during this shoot but it certainly was a fun one!  Thank you for calling me again this year and hanging on to my number for so long. It was wonderful to meet all of you.  Enjoy the photos!

Picture Inspiration- Week 13 - From the Ground Up

One of the things that I found changed my photography almost immediately was changing my perspective.  We often shoot from right where we are...standing up looking at an object.  There are so many more ways to look at the world around us and completely change the feel of it by changing where you position the camera.  I love to get down on the ground and shoot images from that level. I've been known to climb on a ladder and shoot down on an object or lay on my back and shoot up. I love getting on my stomach to photograph little kids as that puts me right at their eye level and you get an entirely different feel to the image.  Try it sometime...you must might be surprised by the results.

This week's assignment was to shoot From The Ground Up.  Taking a photograph from this perspective can give the viewer the feeling that they have an insects view.  A great subject for this perspective is flowers. But, I wanted to do something a little different this week instead.    This past Friday night, my family and I went to see our cousin, Ariel Friedman, play her cello with another fiddle player named Hanneke Cassel.  The performance featured mainly Scottish fiddle music and was truly outstanding. (Another blog post coming about that night in the very near future).  As I watch Ari play her beautiful instrument, I kept thinking I wanted to photograph the cello from the bottom up.  But, as you can imagine that might be rather awkward with her sitting there!  :)  During the intermission, she laid the cell down on it's side on the stage and I jumped on the opportunity.  This is the shot I wanted, albeit horizontal instead of vertical, but I still really like it!

I have a few other images I've been really happy with from this perspective over the past couple of years. This past February we had an incredible snow storm - 19 inches!  The world was completely white and no one was driving anywhere. It took awhile for the snow plows to make their way around the city.  In walking down the street through the snow, I dropped on to my stomach to give the perspective of what the road looked like. After I was laying in the middle of road, I realized that probably wasn't my best plan, but I snapped the shot anyway. And honestly, there wasn't a car to be seen. But still....I'm glad I did it.

Last April, a friend and I went to the Arborteum to take photos of the amazing daffodils in bloom at that time.  I stuck my camera underneath one of the blooms and shot up into the light.  I then added a few textures and gave it this oil painting quality. This remains one of my all time favorite images!

Finally, I took this shoot last week while waiting for a client to arrive for a shoot. These were such interesting magenta and yellow flowers I couldn't resist taking a few photos.  This one, again, I put the camera underneath the flowers and shot upwards.  I love the effect this creates.

So, what are you going to  photograph from the ground up?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Picture Inspiration - Week 12 - Mysterious Ways

I think this may be one of my favorite shots so far.  For week 12, we were asked to photograph something that leaves us scratching out heads, be it a color, a shape, a gesture or something else entirely.  Nature is an amazing place with so many interesting and curious ways.

I have a wonderful sweet kitty named Indy. We found her on the 4th of July and so her name is short for Independence.  There are so many special things about her. One of the coolest things is that she is a FEMALE orange tabby.  They are very, very rare.  The vast majority of orange tabbies you'll find are male. In fact, my vet, in all his years of practice, has only seen one other orange tabby that is female and that was this year.

The other thing I love about her is her eyes!  They are simply amazing.  My kids are fascinated with them as well.  Indy was sitting on the desk where I work and her eyes caught my attention. It was bright, so her irises were only small slits, leaving the rest of her eyes in all their beautiful green and yellow marbled glory.

This was not an easy shot to get, as she wouldn't still sit.  (Imagine that!)  But, I did manage to get a few that I liked, this one being my favorite.  Below is the original shot, from which I cropped the top one. I like the fully body one too, but for the assignment,  I wanted to highlight her eyes, of course.

Oh how I love this sweet, sweet girl!

Picture Inspiration - Week 11 - Into The Distance

For week 11, we were encouraged to look Into The Distance.  The assignment was to go out into the Wild Blue yonder and let our eyes wander and stretch farther than we normally might.

I was doing a photo shoot this past Tuesday and I brought us to my favorite spot for the session. I shoot in this grove of trees all the time as it's such a perfect place for the kind of shooting I do.  As my client took a short break to change her clothes, I snapped off a few shots of just the area. All of the sudden, in the far distance, in the small opening way far out, there was a golf cart.  It was there for only a few moments, but I realized immediately that this would be perfect for this week's shot.

In all the time I've been taking photos here, I've never seen anything out there.  Guess it was meant to be.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Bucket List

We've all heard of a bucket list, right?  It's that list you make of things before you die or "kick the bucket."  I hear that phrase from time to time. But, I've never been involved in actually helping someone accomplish one of the goals on the list....until yesterday.

I met Carmen at a birthday party that both my kids and her kids were attending about 2 years ago.  We hit it off right away and talked non stop for the next 2 hours.  I actually haven't seen her since that party, but we became friends on Facebook right away.  I see her posts every once in awhile and she sees mine.

This past weekend I got 2 FB messages from Carmen and a New Client Inquiry through my website.  She had come across a open call modeling audition for Wilhemina swimsuits. In order to participate, she had to have a full body shot showing her photogenic qualities, personality and vitality.  She asked if I was willing to take the photograph for her and I, of course, responded absolutely!

We met at Cantigny around 5:30pm yesterday and did approximately 45 minutes of shooting. There were 2 outfits, some skipping, a little bit of sassy walking and lots of laughter!

The open call is this Saturday! I have a great feeling that, at a minimum, Carmen will make it the next round. How could she not?!! Look at how beautiful she is and how comfortable she was in front of the camera! Wilhemina Swimsuits would be lucky to have her!

These last 3 images I edited with a little more creative edge. They won't be used for the contest, but I had fun playing with them nonetheless.

Good luck Carmen!  Check one more thing off that bucket list! They are going to love you!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Picture Inspiration - Week 10 - Dishing it Out

So, I've realized I'll probably be perpetually behind on this project. And, I can accept that - as long as I eventually get each assignment done.  I like to wait until the inspiration hits me and sometimes, it just doesn't happen with that week.

Our prompt this week was dishing it out.  We were encouraged to turn out cameras towards the kitchen and see what every day items tickle our creative fancy.  I chose to photograph this aloe plant.

Honestly, it's amazing that this thing is still alive.  It was given to me by my friend Sheryl - who knows how many years ago. It started out as a small little offshoot of a much bigger aloe plant at her house. I know this thing has gone for 6 or more months in my den without so much as a drop of water. (I still feel guilty about that).  I moved it to the front of my kitchen sink, as I'm standing there at least 10 times a day. I need to see any plants that I should be watering right in front of me or I simply don't remember. It seems to be thriving right now but it's also in desperate need of a new pot. I promise to do that soon.

My beautiful friend Sheryl is no longer with us. She lost her battle with ovarian cancer this past Thanksgiving after an incredible 6 year fight.  I miss her every day.  I love that I still have this plant from her and that is it so resilient. What a perfect representation of Sheryl that I get to see every day.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Little Miss G and Little Miss J Sneak Peek

After several attempts to have this photo shoot failed, due to weather, we finally met up this past Friday morning! The sun was out, the temperature was beautiful and we had a great time exploring Cantigny.  When the girls got out of the car, I was thrilled to see that they had on adorable matching dresses that basically blended with everything in bloom!  The longer I do this, the more I see how much the right clothing really can make a difference.

I loved spending time with the girls! Thank you for asking me to photograph them.
What beautiful little girls they are! I look forward to watching them grow up (just not too fast!)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I'm giving away a free photo shoot!

I'm running my first Facebook giveaway contest.  See below for the details.  Not too much farther to go until we hit 200 fans so make sure you get your entry in!

Good luck!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A smashing success!

So about a year ago, my husband decided he was going to run a half marathon. The training began and was going rather well.  Unfortunately, a hip injury made its presence known and in the end, he wasn't able to finish the half marathon. After spending some time in physical therapy and getting everything back in place, Kevin decided to give it another go.  Training began quite a few months back, with the goal of running a half marathon in Kentucky in May.  That race was last weekend.  We arrived in Kentucky on Friday night and went to pick up Kevin's registration packet.

Then we did a bit of shopping through the expo.

The next morning the both Kevin and his brother David, who was also running the half marathon, left at the crack of dawn to head to the Start/Finish line.  As the race came up the street, one street over from the house where David and Ann live, we decided to wait and see them pass by at between mile 6 & 7 before heading to the finish line.  The kids were excited to be waiting and watching for Kevin to come by.

(check out Peyton on the far right - he cracks me up!)

While we waited, my little guy stuck out his hand to high five the runners. Some of them even came all the way across the street to hit his hand. It was fun to watch!

Finally, Kevin came by and got his high five!

After that we took off back down the street to hop in the car and head to the finish line.

The band was playing at the corner as the runners rounded their final turn to the finish line.  The energy and excitement was all around us!

We worked our way down as close to the finish line as we could and began our wait. However, it wasn't very long before we spotted Kevin, running the final stretch!

Kevin crossed the finish line at 1 hour, 46 minutes and 11 seconds!  This was an entire 14 minutes quicker than his goal of finishing in 2 hours. He ran just over an average of an eight minute mile. I couldn't be prouder of him! (The time on the official clock doesn't match as it took him 3 minutes to cross the start line once the race began).

After Kevin crossed the finish line, we started to watch for David. We finally spotted him, not long after Kevin came by. David finished in 2 hours and 1 minute!  That's especially impressive, considering he didn't even train for this race.

Once both boys had finished, we went back to find them in the Runner Reunite Area!

After we said our congratulations, we let the boys gather their stuff and hop on their bikes to ride home.  On our way back to the car to head home as well, the kids wanted to go and see the river. It was still extremely high from the recent flooding.

Finally, we arrived home and spent the remainder of the day relaxing outside in the perfect weather and watching the last of the marathoners run past the house at mile marker 20.  Peyton sang to everyone for about a half and hour and I snuck in a quick cousins photo!
All in all, it was a fantastic weekend spent with family and witnessing an incredible accomplishment by my husband, who worked so hard to get there! Congratulations, Babe!  We love you!