Coming soon…

LY Families: The Webbs

I’m certain I’ve read HUNDREDS of photographer blog posts over the last 5-6 years as I’ve been learning photography. And while I’ve nearly filled an entire notebook with notes on lighting, flash photography, posing, ISO, editing, chromatic aberration, split toning, shutter speed (I could go on and on!)…the things I keep reading over and over again, from nearly every photographer I follow, are the following:

1. GOOD LIGHT is better than a GOOD LOCATION – I’m a sucker for an open field in the evening because you just can’t beat the light. When I’m not in an open field, I’m always looking for natural reflectors (sidewalks, light-colored walls, etc.)

2. CONNECTION creates COMFORT…and COMFORT creates better images – If you’re like me and prefer a more lifestyle approach to photography…I find that the only way to achieve this is to do whatever it takes to make your client comfortable. A shy 4-year-old who hates the camera? You better be ready to sing Paw Patrol or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme songs. A macho dude who’s too cool for engagement pictures? Find something you have in common with him and LET HIM TALK.

And my whole reason for sharing this in this post? It’s for this last point…because this is one area of my business that I’m HORRIBLE at. And here I am wanting to use motherhood as an excuse…but I won’t. Instead, I’m sharing this to [hopefully] give myself some accountability…..

3.BLOGGING CONSISTENTLY is one of the best ways to grow your business – I know it’s true, but I’ve been so terrible at it! So here’s to being candid about one of my many weaknesses as a business owner (we’ll talk about email response time later…) in an effort to grow and develop in this area.

And now to the real reason for this blog post!!! I had the absolute pleasure of photographing this cute family a few weeks ago, shortly before beautiful little Reese celebrated her first birthday. Erin and I went to high school together and hadn’t seen each other in YEARS…and while I so appreciate how Facebook allows me to keep up with old + new friends, I’m so grateful that this business allows me to share real-life with some of them…off the internet. Enjoy my favorites of the Webb family!

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LY Maternity: The Rishells

I remember how intimidated I used to get when someone would contact me inquiring about a photo session for their young family with small children. It FREAKED ME OUT because I just knew there was only so much I could do and what if I can get the kids to even sit still?!

I think I was about a year in to business when it occurred to me that photography sessions will rarely go as expected; perhaps the weather changes and, no matter what you do, you just can’t get the 2-year-old to smile. There’s so many variables and really, the only ones I ever have control over are ME and my camera. So I slowly began to shift my thinking and my approach to photographing families; from the posed, “everyone smile at me!” approach to more of an active, capturing-life-as-it’s-happening approach. And it was a game changer. I’d show up to sessions and, instead of bribing and coaxing and crossing my fingers hoping for a compliant, low-energy 4-year-old boy (do they even exist??)…I would just let kids be KIDS and boys be BOYS and photograph REAL LIFE.
And little Bradley Rishell is the perfect example of why this works so well! When Erica and I began chatting about their maternity session months ago, she’d mention here and there that she was a little concerned with how their 2-year-old, high-energy little boy would do. But their session went PERFECTLY…and mostly because Bradley just got to be Bradley. Enjoy a few favorites of this sweet family who will welcome their baby girl THIS WEEK! Yay! Congrats you guys!2017-04-25_00012017-04-25_00022017-04-25_00032017-04-25_00042017-04-25_00052017-04-25_00062017-04-25_00072017-04-25_00082017-04-25_00092017-04-25_00102017-04-25_00112017-04-25_00122017-04-25_00132017-04-25_00142017-04-25_00152017-04-25_00162017-04-25_00172017-04-25_00182017-04-25_0019

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LY Lifestyle: Mel Kay Photography

My dad is a mechanic and, growing up, I always remember hearing the jokes like “the mechanic’s car is always broken.” And while I wouldn’t go as far to say that our cars were always broken, it’s definitely safe to say that my Dad worked looong days and often nights fixing other people’s cars and trucks…so when he’d come home, the last thing he would want to do is work on our vehicles.

I’ve come to understand that saying a little more as an adult, and especially as a photographer. I LOVE photographing families together; the laughter, the hugs, the little toothless smiles. But because I’m usually filling all of my free time with photography sessions and editing, I’m TERRIBLE about taking pictures of my own kids…and equally as terrible at hiring another photographer to come take pictures of us. ALL of us. Me included.

So I was pretty pumped when this beautiful and sweet local photographer contacted me about doing a lifestyle session in her home with her and her kids. I was really excited for her…but even more excited because it definitely has motivated me to really focus on capturing my own family this year. I spent a dreary Monday morning cozied up in the Lear home with Mel, Liam and Harper; reading books, baking cookies, and exploring their beautiful acreage in Boonsboro. Melanie is kind, hospitable, laid-back and SUPER TALENTED! (Check out her work here! And give her a follow here!) Enjoy my favorites from our morning together!2017-04-10_00052017-04-10_00062017-04-10_00092017-04-10_00102017-04-10_00112017-04-10_00132017-04-10_00142017-04-10_00182017-04-10_00192017-04-10_00202017-04-10_00242017-04-10_00252017-04-10_00262017-04-10_00272017-04-10_00292017-04-10_00282017-04-10_00302017-04-10_00312017-04-10_00012017-04-10_00032017-04-10_0004

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LY Families: The Bergstroms

You’ve heard me say it before, but life these days is a pretty hectic juggling act: mom duties, laundry, cooking, editing, exercise, more editing, entertaining the kids, shooting, cooking, more editing, toddler tantrums, shooting some more, cleaning, potty training…I sometimes get to the end of the day and wonder if the waking up at 4:30 AM to have some extra time to edit and the late nights is worth it. But the cool thing is that when I’m shooting a session, it really doesn’t even feel like work. It’s such a treat to, even if just for an hour, celebrate and share in the blessing of FAMILY with each of the families I get to work with. I’m so grateful.

Julia and I have been planning her family/maternity session for quite some time. We’ve emailed and texted and had plans to do their session in late April in hopes of capturing the beauty of springtime in their photos. But she emailed me two weeks ago asking if I was available the first weekend in April to do their session because of some pretty intense back pain she’s been experiencing in her last few weeks of pregnancy. So we spent Saturday afternoon together hanging out at Greenbrier State Park, capturing this soon-ending season of their family. Their little guy Silas LOVED the water; throwing rocks, looking for fish, running in the sand. And even though I was technically “working” the whole time, it felt more like hanging out with a good friend, and I left refreshed and so grateful for the time to talk with Julia. She’s a GEM; full of encouraging advice and loving understanding. She’s a beautiful mother and that sweet baby in her belly is already loved so well by her, Patrick, and Silas.

Enjoy my favorites of these wonderful friends of mine!

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LY Anniversaries: Margaret + Jay

I love it when, during a session, a family mentions that they haven’t had family pictures taken in years. I know that kind of sounds terrible…but it just makes me pretty excited. In just a few days, I’ll be delivering them a gallery full of pictures of their family that will forever document this specific season of life. The best thing about photography is its ability to freeze time for a moment; to give you the ability to look back on certain seasons of life once they’ve passed.

What started out as an anniversary session for Margaret + Jay didn’t stay that way for long. A few minutes before we started taking pictures, Margaret casually mentioned that it had been years since they’ve had family pictures taken together. Then she also casually mentioned that SHE’S PREGNANT! and due in October! This season of their family – with just two children! – was going to come to an end in just a few months. Although little Shawn and Emma didn’t show up dressed for pictures, I knew we had to get a couple of shots with them.

This family is WONDERFUL. And if you know them at all, you know all of the heart and time they pour in to ministry at Lifehouse Church. It was such a treat to photograph them and have the opportunity to bless them with some beautiful images to celebrate this season. Enjoy a few favorites!

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