These images don't need much of an introduction. I was beyond delighted to have the opportunity to photograph my children's newest cousin, this little beauty who is the apple of her parents' eye. Though the day was rainy April day here in Baltimore, this newborn could not have been sweeter. I didn't hear a peep from her the entire time, though she was awake for almost the entire session. Even the family dog got in on the fun. I'm looking forward to seeing her again soon. Hopefully we will have a prettier day when we can get outside!
I can't believe it has been since March that I have blogged. Sharing here has taken a back seat to family life and work life. No doubt I've been busy with the kids, but I've also been working on a project that I will be ready to share a little more about this summer.
But for now, I thought I would stop in here and share a set of photographs from this past Sunday afternoon when my youngest daughter had lacrosse and then came home and played with her sister outside, riding bikes and racing around our front circle. These are typical scenes for us now that the weather is warm and we are enjoying life outside, where is it VERY GREEN! Enjoy.
A late season snowstorm hit earlier this month here in Baltimore, giving the kids a much dreamed of snow day (or two) and the chance to test out their sleds on the small hills around our new home. Here are a few of my favorite photographs taken over a three day period.
Here I am, easing into my commitment to blog more this year with a few images shot one warm afternoon last week with my youngest daughter outside riding her bike. We moved last fall and it has been an ongoing process to explore and learn the light and location of our new home in search of what works best for my images. I am also working very hard to force myself to commit to one composition and micro-compose, which is such a challenge for my restless mind and body. That's why these images are all so similar. This approach involves selecting a scene and composition and staying still, waiting for my subject, in this case my little biker, to come to me rather than chase her around. There's no doubt in my mind this is a superior approach, and one that will require deliberate practice on my part.
This little set includes backlight and front light. The first few are backlit, which is often not my preference. Nevertheless, the light was lovely and I wanted to see how I could work with the lines and texture of the wall, sidewalk and house. Switching directions, I next turned around and front lit her, which is my innate preference. From this angle, it was easier to focus on capturing her expression as she looped around and spend down the driveway, through the streams of light.
Let me know what you think and what possibilities your see for next time, as we'll surely be back out here soon enough!
I made this little movie about a place very special to our family. I'm hoping for the inspiration and time to make more films in the coming year.
I have neglected this blog way too much this winter. I cringed when I saw that my last post was in December. In an effort to prevent this from happening ever again, I'm committing to a more organized posting schedule that will including personal photos, client work, and tips and videos to let you inside my process. I want this blog to a mode of sharing my own family photographs and client work, thoughts and ideas to inspire you in your own photography, and having a conversation with you about the process. I know this is ridiculously vague, but it will hopefully become clearer to both of us in the coming weeks.
For now, I'm going to go ahead and post what I have. I'm not going to wait around for perfect, or the time to write something thoughtful or clever. It may never happen. I took these photographs of my daughters on Friday afternoon between 4:30 and 5:30. The day was a stunning 71 degrees in February, with blue skies. The sun was starting to set by the side of our house, through the trees you see reflected into the window in the first photograph below. The light was stunning and as you go through the photographs, you can see how it changes so quickly within the course of an hour.
It is always a privilege to spend the day with new parents. To be invited in to photograph such an intimate and special time is a joy that takes me back to some of the happiest moments of my own life. Newborn babies are special and as a first-born child myself, I can safely say that first-borns especially so. For this newborn family session, we walked around the Fells Point neighborhood of Baltimore City on one of the most gorgeous late fall days ever. This little peanut couldn't have been sweeter, which was no surprise given the ease with which her relaxed and doting parents cared for her. This is the way I believe babies should be photographed. A few portraits are important to capture the beauty of who she is today, which will change oh so quickly, but then more natural photographs showing a family being together. Reality is so much more compelling.
This past October, my husband and I traveled to Dallas for his oldest nephew's wedding. Words (at least mine) could never express the extraordinary privilege it was to bear witness to God's goodness and grace in uniting these two amazing people and their families. So, I will let my photos do the talking. These photographs are from a few behind the scenes moments, the rehearsal dinner, and a brief time on the dance floor at the reception. By the way, the band was AMAZING!
This adorable family of four is new to Baltimore. Mom got in touch for their annual fall photo session after coming across my website on-line. Small world that it is, turns out we live right around the corner from each other and our kids attend the same school! I had such a fun time spending the afternoon outside photographing their beautiful girls and getting to know them a little better.
I thoroughly enjoyed meeting and photographing this beautiful Baltimore County, Maryland family of four last fall. There's nothing better than hanging out and capturing natural moments where kids and parents are playing and enjoying each other's company. I can think of no better way to spend my time.
The warm weather here in Baltimore has me thinking back to summertime (well, it's not THAT warm, but you get the idea), and I realized I hadn't yet shared any of my beach sessions. So, without further adieu, I'd like to introduce one super awesome family of four, plus their little baby cousin.
Mom is a friend of mine. We met way back when when the our sons were in preschool together, and my girls and her youngest are currently in the same fabulous elementary school. She is an accomplished portrait artist (check out awe inspiring work here), and I was a little nervous to work for such a refined eye. Lucky for me, the images she wanted were what I love to do. Casual, fun beach photographs that show their family just as they are, without pretense or perfection. We shot in the early evening last July during their vacation in Ocean City, Maryland, and were grateful for the perfect weather and an almost empty beach. The kids ran around and played together while I photographed, then we gathered everyone for some group shots just before the sun started to set behind the buildings. Together we captured some wonderful moments of this family being themselves, along with some beautiful portraits.
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This beautiful family of four will soon say goodbye to Baltimore and move on their next adventure. Before leaving, they wanted to capture some memories together in the city to remember their time here. With their two adorable daughters (ages 1 and 3) taking the lead, we visited Fort McHenry, Federal Hill and the Inner Harbor on a perfect September afternoon. These photographs truly capture their love for each other and the energy and spirit of these two little girls.
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This is going to be a long post. And the images below are only a portion of this family's full gallery, which was filled with their beautiful little girl's first birthday portraits. I joined her and her parents in their home for a lifestyle session one evening last August. Our goal was to capture her beauty, her little spirit, and their life together just as it is. I think we achieved all that and more.
This is a collection of the images from my Four in the Frame project. The only criteria is that all four kids are in the photograph. I can't wait to see how it grows over the years.
This family photography session is one of my all-time favorites. Opting for something a little less traditional, these Baltimore County parents decided to hold their session in the Baltimore City. Together, we selected Bolton Hill, one of Baltimore's beautiful old neighborhoods and home to the Maryland Institute College of Art, as the perfect spot--convenient and picturesque, and met there early one Saturday morning this past June. As you can see from the selection of my favorite photographs below, which represents my best efforts in culling them down to keep this post from being way too long, we had a blast.
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This Baltimore family of four includes two of the sweetest girls I've ever met. They clearly adore each other and their parents! I met them on a Saturday morning earlier this summer at their home and loved every minute I spent photographing them just being together and having fun. Here are a few of my favorites from the session.
Nothing says summertime like sharing a snowball!
This year I set out to capture some great fireworks photographs. Here is a list of the quick tips that achieved sharp, colorful images this year.
1. Use a tripod: I know it is annoying, but slow shutter speeds work best and the only way to get sharp images with slow shutter speeds is with a still camera, preferably mounted to a tripod.
2. Set your aperture to f/8-11 or so.
3. Set your shutter speed somewhere between 2-6 seconds.
4. Manually focus to infinity if your lens allows.
5. Set your white balance by kelvin to somewhere between 5200 and 5800. If your camera does not have a kelvin setting, use sunlight.
6. Play around with these settings as you are shooting to get proper exposure. Keep your blinks on to make sure you are not blowing things out, as fireworks are obviously very bright.
7. The lens I used was a Canon 24-70 2.8 II lens, and I shot primarily @ 24 mm. Wide lenses work great, but play around with different focal lengths for different looks. I zoomed in to 70mm a couple times and it yielded cool results.
When I pulled my images into Lightroom, I found that minimal editing was required. After adjusting the exposure, if necessary, I pulled the blacks and the highlights down and then adjusted the whites and shadows, if necessary, to remove any smoke that happened to be in the background. I added a pop of clarity (+5) and a touch of saturation (+10).
After making these basic adjustments, I played around with the temperature and tint. This will dramatically change the colors of your image and can turn a semi-boring monochromatic shot into something much more fun. Here are some examples of how playing with temperature and tint affects fireworks. Keep in mind I was starting from a fairly neutral kelvin of 5600.
Finally, one more fun thing to try is to bring several images together in a composite, which is what I did with the lead image on this post. It is actually several images stacked together in Photoshop, blended together in lighten mode.
So the next time you are headed to a fireworks display, grab your tripod and use a closed down aperture with a low shutter speed. Then spend a couple minutes in Lightroom. I guarantee you will love the results!
I am so excited to start catching up on my blogging. Life and work have gotten in the way of keeping up to date. But, fortunately, I have lots to share, starting with this wonderful family session shot about a month or so ago. Despite what you will hear, amazing photographs can be taken midday, when the sun is high overhead. The trick is to find some open shade. The benefit, along with accommodating everyone's busy schedules, is beautiful, vibrant colors. Our goal for this session was to capture some lovely portraits as well as some candid moments of this brother-sister combo. These two were among the most delightful, cooperative, and fun kids I have ever photographs. Their easygoing spirits and their love for each other shine through. Plus, we were also fortunate to capture what I think are some fantastic family photos, too!
Restless and eager to take full advantage of the sunshine, the girls and I headed out to the courts of a local school for some mother-daughter bonding. The younger two played what they consider to be a little tennis (though it could be reasonably argued that what they played could not possibly be considered tennis), while my oldest daughter practiced her back walkovers.