Archive for November, 2011

The Hines Family

November 28th, 2011

Because this post is of a family who is using shots for their holiday card, I’m not going to put it all out there, this one is more of a teaser post featuring the Hines family. Around here, holiday cards are a big thing – especially when you get NOTHING good in the mail these […]

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Because this post is of a family who is using shots for their holiday card, I’m not going to put it all out there, this one is more of a teaser post featuring the Hines family. Around here, holiday cards are a big thing – especially when you get NOTHING good in the mail these days but advertisements & junk. I look forward to sending & receiving cute cards every year, and I won’t be the one to post holiday spoilers! Check back in a few weeks when I post more favorites from this session.

Leigh, of the Hines-Sight blog is running a very, very cool holiday giveaway to one lucky reader, and I thought this would be a good time to do a sneak peek of some of her images…and talk a little bit about some of the unexpected things that happen when you’re an on location photographer – things like wind, cloud & gloom when you get to a location that’s usually perfect!

So, Leigh & I planned their session about a month in advance – it’s nice to have extra leeway for coordinating outfits and time to reschedule buffered in in case anything goes wrong – especially since these were going to be on a Holiday card. We planned to meet at City Market, in downtown Raleigh, because on Sunday afternoons, there’s no better place! Cobblestone streets, hidden walkways & it’s usually completely empty. Late day sunshine down there is an added bonus because it warms everything up so nicely.

Well, on the way downtown, I notice that it seems a *little* cloudy. It’s sunny at my house, so I think nothing of it. It’s mid-November, we’ve had a very mild Autumn and the leave are in their peak….well, in SOME places around town!

I take the scenic route downtown & I pass by Mordecai Park, which I’ve never stopped to explore because usually as I zoom by, all I see is a big yellow historic house. But on this particular day, out of nowhere it was a fall color explosion. The house, the grounds and everything around it was lit up in fall colors. Luckily, the grounds had been unattended & leaves were all over. I immediately start planning a fantasy photo shoot in my head, but I proceed downtown to my shoot location. Downtown…where there are no trees and the only leaves to be found are in the gutter – and it’s terribly overcast & windy by the time I drive the 15 minutes from my place. I meet up with the Hines family & have a brilliant idea. We’re going to do 20-30 minutes downtown, then head for brighter pastures – let’s move this party to Mordecai, I suggest! The family agreed, and after a few shots downtown, we changed locations. It was seriously getting gloomy down there!



We reconvened at Mordecai, where we were the ONLY people on the entire grounds. Perfect! Once we got there, the children loosened up, they ran & played in the grass, kicked the huge osage orange fruit (which are actually more closely related to mulberries than oranges!).


This location was absolutely perfect. While most people fear overcast days, photographers generally love them! No shadows, no sun glares to battle with, and in the wide open yard, the light was perfect. Under the trees, the color of the leaves was amazing.

The kids played & for the most part forgot that I was in their faces with a huge camera lens – and that’s what I like to happen! I tell you, there is nothing better than hearing baby giggles & laughter while you get to work. Leigh, thanks for bringing out the family, coordinating perfectly with everyone’s gorgeous blue eyes & being flexible!

This area has quite a few gems all within a 30 minute drive of downtown Raleigh. You would be surprised how little it takes for a location to be a fabulous backdrop. If you’re visiting from Leigh’s blog & want to enter into the giveaway, tell me what YOUR favorite local photo friendly spot is – if you win, we may just have to check it out together!

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Photos with a six year old who freely complains

November 27th, 2011

I often hear from clients & friend, “I don’t know HOW you are going to get them to cooperate for their photos”  – well, let me tell you, my experience is home grown & practiced extensively with my own son.  He’s six, and I started photography when he was very young, so I’ve essentially worked […]


Posted in: Donovan, Hmmm
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I often hear from clients & friend, “I don’t know HOW you are going to get them to cooperate for their photos”  – well, let me tell you, my experience is home grown & practiced extensively with my own son.  He’s six, and I started photography when he was very young, so I’ve essentially worked with a longstanding client since age 6 months or so. Because he knows me, he feels quite comfortable complaining & voicing his opinion about every aspect of the session.  This is never so evident as with our yearly birthday photos. Every year for his birthday, I plan a big photo shoot. It’s pretty much a guarantee that he’s not going to want to do it, and there will be bribes made, and ice cream to be had afterwards, and probably a toy purchase.

For his photos this year, I had the grand idea that I would do photos on our summer vacation again (as I do every year) in Kitty Hawk, NC, which is just beautiful.  Every year though, I try to come up with a new idea for photos either at the beach, near the beach, or around the beach.  The beach birthday photos started when he was 3, and I absolutely look forward to them every year. This year’s plan was at Jockey’s Ridge, (oooh, sand dune shots!!) and photos at the Wright Brothers Memorial.  I figured I might could get him excited about planes or something (in addition to taking my photos!).  So, along with my husband kiddie-wrangler we headed out to the WBM, and then had to hike him up to the top.

Now anyone with a young child knows how that goes.  My son is no different with the complaining, except there is always an element of “I’m hot” stuck in there somewhere – he’s always hot, and I’m sure if he could have made the trek without a shirt or his jeans, he would have been pleased.  Anyway, by the time the three of us get to the top, he’s hot, his legs hurt, his feet feel funny he would like a snack…oh, and he’s thirsty.  In my head I have just nixed the Jockey’s Ridge portion of the show. No way, no how am I taking him up there for photos after the drama of walking up a hill with a sidewalk. Jockey’s Ridge is all sand, which means more complaints, more whining, more hotness – with sand – and he can’t NOT touch sand.

As we reach the top, I let him explore a bit with Danya – he’s quite excited about how high up we are, and how much he can see from the top. Great! I’m happy that he’s happy.  Out comes the camera, because he’s happy, it’s time to get the party going.

Unfortunately, he’s not so excited about this part – as you can see in my terribly overly bright first shots.

Deal #1 is thrown out…”Hey – do you want ice cream? We can do that…if you want to when we leave….IF you cooperate with me, that is.” Ahh…things begin to pick up quite nicely after we come to an agreement that’s pleasing to his stomach. I get a few more shots in, but I have a mental list already of shots I need up here, since I’m not going over to Jockey’s Ridge.

That proposal gets a better response, and with the watchful help of Daddy, we get this session rolling. (Danya wasn’t actually posing for the photo above…he just happened to be standing there like Donovan – too cute!).

Not saying we don’t still have some attitude adjusting to do…but he knows by now that short of tears and a mental breakdown, the show rolls on!

My little guy, he turns from warm & friendly to cold in a few seconds!

Generally, the method is “just keep shooting” and eventually, I’ll have a set that I’m happy with.  Luckily, Donovan responds very well to jokes!

And he’s always quick to suggest “if you let me do what I want to do, I’ll be so much better”. So usually there are a few shots that are of “what he wants to do” which includes crawling and climbing on statues & exhibits, playing in the dirt & collecting rocks & sticks.  Oh, and letting him pose the way HE wants to pose. Did I want photos with Orville (or is that Wilbur?) in them? No…but I let him have it his way.

So, after being majorly frustrated with this whole experience, he wanted NOTHING to do with going to see the exhibits of the planes. We left right away. In the end, we ended up going to Jockey’s Ridge later on in the evening to watch the sunset & play with the kite he got in exchange for squeezing out ten more minutes of photos earlier.  I took the camera, but it was all for fun.

Yes, there were major complaints about walking way too far…but a funny thing happened.  For the past few months, every time I ask Donovan which (LOCAL) park he’d like to go ride his bike, or go play…he says “Jockey’s Ridge”! The next day, we went back to the Wright Brothers Memorial to see the exhibit of the plane (the ticket is a 2 day ticket).  He was totally wrapped up in the story of the first flight. Evidently he even went back to school talking non-stop about the Wright Brothers & their early aviation experiments.  He still brings it up, months later – as well as how much FUN it was being at the top of the memorial & being able to see “everything”. All of the drama has been forgotten, and although I can’t say I want to drag him back up to the top next year for photos, we probably will go to check out the sights.

 

 

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Chloe & Kate

November 21st, 2011

Today is the kind of day that makes you wish that just for a little bit…it was really summer again.  I don’t know about your summers, but summers here are HOT from the time the sun goes up until the sun goes down (and then some).  Today, specifically when I thought of summer, I thought […]


Posted in: Anytime, Families
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Today is the kind of day that makes you wish that just for a little bit…it was really summer again.  I don’t know about your summers, but summers here are HOT from the time the sun goes up until the sun goes down (and then some).  Today, specifically when I thought of summer, I thought of this session – with Chloe & Kate, two sisters that I’ve known since they were born.  There was a time, back when Chloe & my son Donovan were wee tots, that they were best of friends in daycare. Every story about Donovan’s day involved Chloe.  But, as kids get older & schools zone districts, they don’t see each other nearly as much as they used to – but luckily, us parents are friends – and I love that he has friends that he’s known “since forever” in his words.

So, when it was time for the girls to have new photos, Stacy gave me a call. The last time I did photos with them, Kate had just learned to stand & was able to wear her Christening gown.  This time, there was running, and giggling & twirls in dresses and laughs between sisters.  Even though it’s not nearly winter in N.C., and it’s barely even fall (it has been in the 70s all this week), this session reminds me of long summer days where the sun stretches as long and as far as it can and children take advantage of every last ray.

 










 

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The Johnsons – Family Session

November 1st, 2011

What do you get when you bring 3 teens and mom to a photo session? Lots of laughter and great photos, for one! I have known Jeris for a few years, since the kids were all small enough to play little league football! According to Jeris, the last time they had a family portrait, the […]


Posted in: Anytime, Families
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What do you get when you bring 3 teens and mom to a photo session? Lots of laughter and great photos, for one! I have known Jeris for a few years, since the kids were all small enough to play little league football! According to Jeris, the last time they had a family portrait, the oldest was 4 weeks old….I’ll let you do the calculations on who was there and who wasn’t for that photo! At the last minute, Darryl (dad) couldn’t make it, but we decided to go on anyway and I think the results were great.

The relationship that Jeris has with these three is awesome to watch, I can only hope that when my son is a teen, he still laughs with me, tells me funny things & will still spend an afternoon taking photos with me like these three did.  So check out mom and her three “babies” – I haven’t laughed this hard at a photo shoot in a really long time! This is a huge share because I liked SO many of these.

Jeris, Danielle, DeVaughn & Dorian, thanks!