??Never work with children or animals??

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This image makes me laugh out loud. These cuties are the children of a friend of mine from high school. We had a great time playing on a couch set in the tall grass you can see on the right. After we were done the kids were playing around with their adorable dog and I just had to grab a few more shots. I love the personalities that shine through this casual, fun moment. My favorite images tend to be the “outtakes.”

Antique Manure Spreader

12_24 Bailey059Family pictures are best when the location and props mean something to the family.

It’s a thing.

This is the Bailey family and they chose to have their family pictures taken in our beautiful valley (see that gorgeous skyline in the background?).  In their yard, with their sunflowers, and next to an antique manure spreader that they have as a decorative fixture.  It’s the coolest thing I think I’ve ever photographed.  They chose this image for their main picture because it is so different.  Another thing that I absolutely adore.

KidsI love the different personalities of the kids.  My favorite is the image second from the right. Can you see the treehouse in the background?  That’s his treehouse that he built himself.  So much fun!

10X20 Bailey113All the personality!!  They let me play and this image just makes my day.  Thank you, thank you, thank you Bailey family for such a great experience.  You were all truly a delight to work with!

My best birthday present, ever!

64CI love all my cousins, and as I have a really big family I have loads of them.  It’s so fun to feel bonded to complete strangers because hey, they know this cousin or that one.  We’re instant friends.  Or, when I’m running around at school to see one of my cousins and suddenly the day is brighter because family is around and that means I have back-up.

This beautiful little girl is Elsie June and she is the newest addition to the ranks of my cousin.  Technically she is my first-cousin-once-removed but who care about getting that picky?  The best thing?  She was born on MY birthday so she will forever be my special birthday buddy and will hence-forth-and-forever be referred to by me as my best birthday present ever!  She and I will always be excited when our birthday is on Friday the 13th and she will love Halloween just like I do!

Usually for baby showers I give older baby clothes but not for Elsie June.  I found the cutest Halloween outfits and I couldn’t resist!  I was worried but later found out that Elsie’s mom was hoping that I would get her some Halloween clothes.  Yay for everything working out perfectly!  I just may have to make it a tradition, though I have to be careful, I don’t believe in playing favorites, it just ends up hurting feelings and I don’t want that!

Haha, I guess the point of all this is to show the newborn pics that we did of Elsie.  I do not specialize in Newborn photography and my hat is definitely off to those who do, it’s HARD!!  But we did get some lovely images.  The teddy bear pic is my favorite.  I like the story behind it, which is that both of Elsie June’s parents still have their teddy bears from when they grew up.  Also here is a secret about me.  I STILL sleep with my teddy bear (I really do) and I am NOT ashamed to admit it! 🙂

Elsie June’s Dad is a drummer, and a very good one, hence the drum image.  Something funny?  Once you actually GET the baby to go to sleep, they will sleep anywhere!

48CHere is a link to a few more images.

Elsie June

Love you little girl!

Who doesn’t love to twirl?

“Sugar and spice, and everything nice.  that’s what little girls are made of!”

What better way to close out my blogging year than with my last session of the year?  I don’t usually shoot into December especially when it’s for Christmas but I’m so glad I made an exception this year.  There was a bit of panic and late nights but we got these images done in time for presents.  In my world it doesn’t get much better than images {memories} for Christmas.

We lucked out with the weather.  I don’t think, looking at these pictures, that you can tell that they were taken in December, can you?  I also got to try a new location which I love.  I wonder if I’d like these as well without the leaves on the ground contrasting with the green grass and darker grey of the trees?  Add the mist {well fog}  that was just the perfect amount that day and you get a little magic.  Yes, it was chilly but there was a warm van for the kids to take breaks in and of course, nothing warms one up like running around having fun!

Thank you Garn family for a lovely ending to a wonderful year.  And to all who are so kind as to keep up with my blog there are all sorts of crazy happening on the horizon.  I look forwards to sharing them with you.  Keep dreaming and keep shooting!

Happy New Year!

April 2012 Lighting Project

This project was a two birds with one stone sort of thing.  Ages ago I had thought of doing images of my children making faces and showing their personalities.  I’m trying to decide what to put over my bed and I thought four large black and white images of my kids would be fun.  Then I had the idea of making these nine-up composites when we had too many ideas for just one image.  I put the idea in the back of my mind to simmer for awhile but I didn’t forget about it.  Then, when I decided to do a headshot special for my friends I was trying to decide how to make the lighting work the way I wanted it to.  I am VERY picky and I have struggled with making strobe fit into my style because I really love the softness of natural light.  When I am doing headshots I don’t want to shoot with a small aperture and have everything sharp.  I want to focus straight to the eyes and have everything else fade into softness.  It’s just what I like.  I spent days upon days moving lights around and my children were so awesome and patient and ready to help, so when I got things where I wanted {and I am SO excited about that}  I pulled this idea back to the front of my brain and we took all of their favorite things and created these images.  We had a blast and from a strictly Mom perspective I love them SO SO much.  These are MY KIDS!!!  This is who these goofy little angel/heathen darlings are right now and these images are treasures to me!

A lovely friend. {Utah Family Photography}

One of the benefits of being a photographer is the opportunity to see friends that one hasn’t seen for years. Everyone needs their family photos updated and even if one lives out of state there is time during trips home to visit. Plus I love to travel (hint,hint). This is my friend Sarah and her beautiful family. Sarah was one of the wonderful people who took advantage of the special that I ran to help my sister and her family who lost pretty much everything in the flooding in Australia last January. It was a win for everyone. Sarah got a great deal, I got to see my friend and not have to charge full price (which I hate), and my sister was able to purchase a fridge which we will all agree is rather crucial to family survival. Sidenote: My sister and her family are finally back in their home along with an addition. Leah had a beautiful baby boy who sadly I haven’t seen yet but hopefully will in the next year.

Sarah wanted an urban look and also to not travel too far as they were all so tired from all the visiting and travel and reunions so we chose this location in Ogden.

I loved meeting her children, they were absolutely delightful!

When I photograph families I like to take both headshots for the Moms and also let each child pick their own place to take full-length and three-quarter shots. I like to get the kids involved in the shoot so that they feel that they have some say and are a part of the process. They always seem to like picking their spot and it makes them excited for their turn. I always get more cooperation when it’s “their” idea. Every once in awhile I get a challenge location chosen so if it’s too nutty I still shoot in the place that they have chosen and then I say “Hey, let’s just do a couple more over here.” Always works!

We chose this location partly so that they could have the two different looks of the urban buildings and the green of the foliage behind the bridge. I also love the beautiful rim-lighting that I get here as the sun is going down.

I love two-year-olds, they are so much fun! It’s a little challenging to get them to sit still and smile at you so I just shoot and shoot and shoot like a madwoman. Of course, when I’m editing I see all these fantastic expressions that I just love and can’t possibly choose between so I love to make composites. This is a 20X20 nine image composite and it’s meant to be printed as a gallery wrap. As a parent we love all the different expressions that our children have and here they are, all together. I’m working on making these up for each of my children, I just think they are so much fun!

Thank you Heiner family for the opportunity of photographing you. It was so great to see you all and I hope it won’t be long until we can play together again. Loves!!

We make this, look good! {Utah Family Photography}

I’m starting this post with one of the last images from the photo shoot because this was the main image that we were trying to capture. A good friend of mine had purchased this fantastic dress for her daughter and wanted to tailor the shoot around having her look like a movie star in a back alley, like she was headed to the theater surrounded by her bodyguards. She even said that she wanted to have her boys have a Men in Black look. When she said that I was hooked!
I was originally planning to do this image in Salt Lake but the day before the shoot my friend called me and said that she also wanted to have her kids portraits taken at the ponds in Kaysville so in order to have the time to get both images we decided on taking the above in a little alley behind the Kaysville theater. I really like how it turned out though I would have wished for some ambient lights in the background. If that light over the doorway would have been on it might have made this perfect. The kids were so fun and so willing to try anything. As it turned out I was glad that we hadn’t tried to go to Salt Lake because the little one had had it by the time we were done. We had to bribe him with frozen yogurt…it was really good! As a general rule I try to keep family sessions to an hour though sometimes more stylized sessions like this take more time. It takes a lot of energy to have your photos taken and kids especially don’t need too long of a marathon session.

This was a quick grab shot as we were starting. I love casual images like this and the light was just magic. I took out a lot of flying cotton which is a bit sad because I loved the look of it but this turned out to be one of the clients favorite images and I don’t think she wants white smears all over her gorgeous wall portrait.
I get many questions about what to shoot from aspiring photographers. I tell them to shoot from their heart and they tend to look at me with baffled expressions. You know those moments where you see something and your breath catches a little and your heart skips a beat? Take the shot! I don’t care if it’s random, or unplanned, or not what you were looking for. Those are the pictures that mean the most. And if they don’t turn out? Who cares! Creativity is a muscle that needs to be developed, just like anything else.

Love the casual walking shots. I was telling them to walk in slow motion so I had more time to shoot and they started going into slow-mo walk and we were all laughing so hard and I just kept shooting. I absolutely love the image below. My cheeks hurt just looking at it and remembering how much fun we had!

Thanks guys! I can’t wait for what we come up with for the next shoot!