Archive for September, 2011
Remember when i was talking about wardrobe and how i like to wear dresses because they offer more movement? well, i came across this picture on pinterest today (oh man i’m such an addict) and it is exactly why i love dresses so very much! when fabric or hair or scarves or veils or ANYTHING moves in your wardrobe it creates so much impact. the more flowy, the better. even if you aren’t a ‘dress’ type person, you might want to consider finding clothing items that can sway, move, flutter, anything so that we can create some stunning shots.
Sadly, i do not have an image credit for this shot! i see there is a tiny website address at the bottom right hand side, but i am unable to read it! if anyone knows the photographer of this image please let me know so i can give credit where credit is due.
So, the holidays are almost upon us.
What you say? the HOLIDAYS?! yes, just like that summer is over and BAM it’s the holidays. for us photographer people that means the crazy rush of portrait sessions and christmas cards, and albums for the grandparents. With all the craziness, it’s best to have your session done early- and by that i mean october. it leaves enough time for editing photos, choosing your favorites, designing and printing christmas cards, and sending them out. And although i am definitely no Martha Stewart, i try my best to get my holiday cards out by thanksgiving. ok…. that hasn’t ever actually happened, but its my goal (again!) this year!
So i thought i’d give you a little behind the scenes look at how to prepare for your session- as i’m planning for mine!
please note: i really despise being in front of the camera. oh man, it makes me feel so uncomfortable. but i do it each and every year because it matters to me to have pictures of my boys and i together. i want them to be able to look back on these photographs and see that their mama loved them. I want to look back on these photographs and remember how tiny their little bodies were when i held them, how their hands were only big enough to hold my finger when we walked. that is important to me, and so i overlook my petty imperfections that normally bother me, and see the connections that are captured. My babies will be babies forever in my mind and in my photographs.
it sounds slightly morbid… but i sometimes get anxious that something might happen to me and i want my boys to have photographs of us together and for them to know, without a shadow of a doubt, that they were loved with every single piece of my soul.
it is important. it is so.so.so important.
and so… the photoshoot.
First things first: Timing
We’re scheduling our shoot for mid october because it’s before the crazy holiday season and will give me enough time to attend to my own clients in november. scheduling a holiday session the beginning of december (after you’ve realized that thanksgiving has come and gone) is a recipe for disaster. The time of day is also just as important. shooting as close as you can to either sunrise or sunset is crucial. mid-day photo sessions are just absolutely not an option under any circumstances. the lighting is harsh creating dark shadows under your eyes, it is blisteringly hot, and no one is happy. shooting as close to sunup or sundown will produce the most magical atmosphere- sometimes a little hazy, a little glow-y, and always beautiful. i’m more of an evening person (so are my kiddos) so we’re going to schedule our shoot about 2 hours before sunset knowing the best photos will happen in that last hour. sunset time for October 16th is exactly 7 oclock. Either schedule your session well in advance (august or september) to get a weekend session or be prepared to leave work early during the week as most photographers weekends fill up immediately come fall.
I know already that i want to do either an open field (fields have great beautiful light in the evening… and remember the LIGHT is the most important thing in a shoot, not the location!) or an orange grove. an orange grove might be nice because there are things to interact with there- like picking oranges, holding a bucket of oranges, running through the rows… all of these natural distractions help take the pressure off the shoot. you tend not to realize you’re being photographed when you’re interacting! I’ll be hunting for great spaces in the next two weeks to get this nailed down, and keep you up to date!
Attire: (somewhat TBD!)
I’m not a matchy-matchy person. sometimes i’ll dress the boys similarly, but i like for them to have their own little groove. the trick is to keep the overall style similar without wearing the same thing or the same colors necessarily.
in my house my kids are half naked 80 percent of the time, and i want that to show through in our photos. these are, afterall, photos of what our family is normally like! last year, we forgot to bring shoes for Tavish. oops. he also had a hole in his shirt. we were running late… (ps- its better to forget clothing items than to be late. you’re on the sun’s time, and no one else’s. there are only a few fleeting moments of amazing light- use it well)
i’ve got this little frock to wear
Every year i go back and forth between wearing a dress or jeans for a shoot. dresses are great because when you hold your babies and spin they flare out and it photographs so well. Movement is great for photography- hair blowing, dresses swishing, scarves blowing… i always try to introduce something that will create great movement.
This above image was found on pinterest, and i dont have an image credit for the photographer! if anyone knows who shot this image, please let me know so i can give credit where credit is due. however, i think this is a perfect shot to showcase how wardrobe can really be impactfull in terms of movement and getting a stunning shot. it wouldnt have been nearly as cool if she would have been wearing jeans and her girls’ hair was pulled back and they were in form fitting clothing. no movement = no impact.
For D i really dont know. i tend to leave it up to him with maybe just a little guidance. he has this shirt that i think would look great with the above dress
and might be a nice pop of color in a field, or an orange grove. he’s also got a sportcoat that would be great with it too to be a bit more formal.
and the boys… we’ll i think i’ll just leave them shirtless with jeans, i just love little bare bodies! but, for a cute accent i might have them wear some suspenders off the shoulder, just hanging from their jeans. I dont like to be too contrived though, we’re a real family and i want that to come through in our family photography.
I’ll be blogging our process to get ready for our photoshoot over the next couple of weeks! topics next time include:
what to look for in a photographer
how to correctly introduce props to your session (and how to find them)
and 5 details you haven’t thought of that can absolutely make or break your shoot.
I was a little girl of maybe 3. I remember standing in my kitchen, looking out to the front door. i was holding my blankie, and people were bustling about, moving things and boxes out the front door. I was crying, but no one really noticed.
My brother Todd walked over, and he loomed over me. when he knelt down to my eye level i remember thinking how huge he really was, and how small i felt. he asked me why i was crying and i said that if he moved out of the house, he wouldn’t be my brother anymore (this memory still brings tears to my eyes! they are brimming…). He explained that even though we wouldn’t live in the same house, and just because he was grown and was moving out, didn’t mean that we wouldn’t still be brother and sister.
i guess no one had ever explained to me that brothers and sisters aren’t just the people that live in your house, they are your blood.
He joined the marines and served in the first gulf war. i wrote letters to him… my whole first grade class wrote letters to him. i asked my mom (right before my seventh birthday) if she thought Todd would remember my birthday. a tricky question… she hesitated and told me that he might not because he’s in a very bad place in a very bad situation. his friends are sometimes hurt very badly, and birthdays aren’t really the same over there. I told her that i didn’t need a present…. but sand would be cool. the very next day, coke cans with arabic writing on them came in the mail full of sand.
Reporters came to my school and interviewed me about Todd. they asked what i would do if i saw him, and all i could think of was the truth: “i would run up to him and give him a really big hug”. when he arrived in the airport and walked off the plane i was the first to run and hug him. (look at how handsome he is!)
and now (still just as handsome!)
When he came home he gave me a button (probably just a spare) from his uniform. he told me to keep it very safe. I will tell you right now that that button was my most treasured object and was kept in my little box of treasures (that i still have).
i also named my pet frog after him. Todd.
So, of course, when he told me he was in love, the girl had high expectations to meet. and i knew in a second when i met Ashley that she was the.one. I actually knew he was in love with her before he told me explicitly that it was her- when we would talk on the phone he couldnt stop talking about this Ashley girl. she is amazing. she is incredible. she is absolutely perfect for my brother.
My brother Todd and sister-in-law Ashley were married eleven years ago, but have never had a real ceremony and reception. D and I eloped as well, and although i wouldn’t change how we did it (i LOVED our surprise wedding!) there is something amazing about sharing it with your friends and family and being surrounded with that kind of love and support. So, this year, Todd and Ashley decided to do it up and celebrate their marriage with a vow renewal on Ashley’s family’s farm in Kentucky. We made the journey (by car! we’ve earned our parental badges, thank you very much…) and photographed the day. It was the first wedding my babies have ever been to, Usually D and I are both working them and someone has to watch the Littles. but… all family was at the wedding! I didn’t know what to expect, having my Littles there at the same time i was working- baby Pierson is still pretty clingy to me, and Tavish is a tender-heart and needs lots of mama cuddles. Luckily, they were fairly distracted by their cousins and with the help of D and my mom and other family members they were well looked after while i photographed!
This farm was just incredible. A stream runs through it and in the stream bed lies thousands of giant geodes- rocks that have crystal formations on the inside. some were as big as soccerballs, and they were just everywhere. the leaves were just starting to turn, the light was beautiful, butterflies abounded… it all sounds like a fairytale, right? it was.
Ashley’s Papaw sews quilts and they were hung from trees and in the tent as beautiful pops of color and works of art. everything was handmade, from the paper flower centerpieces to ashley’s incredible (!) bouquet made from scraps of her Papaw’s quilts and handed-down broaches. i danced with my boys until midnight, and they’ve been talking about it ever since.
i love nights like these…
Congrats to my brother and his beautiful wife Ashley! i love you guys so much, thanks for having me be part of your day , i’m so proud to be your sister
In this ongoing series i attempt to blur the lines between nature and the modern world, drawing connection between the Earth, it’s elements, and the feminine body’s natural cycles of birth, aging, and processes. By using organic materials to cover the body, such as mud, milk, and water (among others), I seek to create a closer relationship with the elements that are so closely related to birth and beginnings but that are often overlooked in today’s hyper-sterilized world of birthing and life.
My experience with the births of my own two children serve as inspiration for this series, as it was a transformative process that i have yet been able to describe in words. The realization that my body was creating a human being while I went on about my day concerned with the mundane things of daily life, was an epiphany that our minds are not the ones in control of our bodies. Instead of being the Master Control Center, the brain was merely just another organ functioning as it was intended. The development of the fetus, the birth, and the post partum phase all seemlessly worked together just as it had for millenia. It is the one true tie we all have together, and should be celebrated as such.
see the mud series here: http://www.kissingtree.org/?s=fine+art+maternity
beaches can be harsh for photography- bright sunlight, sand in the equipment, sand in your face, wind blowing, saltwater on your lenses…
but it is so. so. so. worth it for the magic that happens inside the camera. There is just something about these elements in conjunction with pregnancy that just feels so right.
much more from this session to come! i can’t wait to share what we’ve been working on! :-)
I loved this sweet little destination wedding with Casey and Jake! do you remember them from the vintage TV engagement session? I can not tell you how great these guys are, they are so easy going and up for anything. and by up-for-anything i mean jumping in the ocean with your wedding dress (i’ll be posting their day after session tomorrow!) and devouring your cake – face first- during our photobooth at the reception. two more posts from this wedding to come in the next couple of days!
Thank you so much to Esther for coming along and second shooting for me! i just love her :)
More tomorrow! ta-ta!