Wondering what the title of the breakout- The Stories that Make Us- actually means? I filled FIVE pages of possible titles before I finally hit on this one and I knew right away it was right because it really does most closely represent the content… the ideas that, as we grow, the stories we tell about ourselves AND the stories our parents tell us about ourselves really really do MAKE US. It’s true- right?? With our cameras as a tool- at any skill level, we have a special ability to speak to our subject directly though our photos. That’s what the breakout is about. It’s about being intentional about what our images will say to the people in them, even if we are not there to speak for our work.Read More
Here comes April, and there it goes! I'm a third of the way through my 2017 365 stories project (what?!) and less than a half a month from now my Click Photo School breakout is DUE! So far, my main PDF is over 100 pages, my videos total around an hour and I've made two bonus PDFs. I'm ready to share! (And to put my feet up!)Read More
The backstory: You may remember that last year I made a goal to shoot more with my lensbaby sweet 35 so I could get quicker with manual focus and manipulating the quirks of the lens. I shot everything (indoors and out) with it for a few weeks and only made a few images at that time that I loved, despite taking hundreds of frames. By the end of that personal challenge, I could pretty quickly and accurately manually focus. And then? I put the lens away and pretty much didn't get it out until yesterday!
So, fast forward about 9 months- last night, my friend, my oldest son, and I went for a walk last night on an absolutely beautiful night in downtown Greensburg PA.Read More
My son was busy saving the world in his favorite costume the other day, but he couldn't find the cape. Of course, everything had to stop while he located the exact one that came with the costume. (Absolutely no substitutions acceptable!) I had been taking pictures of him jumping off of things- a staple in our house- so I already had my camera as I followed him up to his room to look for the cape. He was pretty sure it was at the very bottom of a big tupperware toy tub (where else?), so he started digging and taking toys out amassing a bigger and bigger pile as he searched.
While he looked, I thought about how I could use the very low, back light in his room.Read More
I spent so much of March chained to my computer working on my upcoming Click Photo School breakout, that I didn't even notice how beautiful life was this month until I put this post together. Makes me a little sad that my attention was divided, but none of us are perfect and the best we can do is march on, with open hearts and eyes! So here's to living in the moment, and here's to APRIL!Read More
I shot this image today, on one of the first warm days of 2017! Everyone wanted to get outside and so we went over to visit Mimi and Pap we schlepped out allllll the toys. Everyone was playing with different things at the same time. (Isn't that what happens at your house when the weather breaks and all the kids and adults shed their winter bonds?)
Of course, because everyone was playing with different toys at the same time, I have a camera card full of one child flying a kit, one launching a helicopter with pap, etc... A while it's nice to have images of these memories, in the end, I like to pick one image for my 365 project (and eventually for printing). Because I know one image will be printed, I prefer to choose the one I feel will best help me hold onto the essence of the day. Today, this was the image I chose because it captured a few stories at once.Read More
Earlier this week, my little superhero was coming to my aid as he likes to do. This time, making my coffee. He was sitting up on the counter alone and even though I knew he was big enough to sit there without falling, when I shot the photo at first, I was in a rush because I wanted to make sure he was steady up there. So my first image wasn't very thought-through and this how it looked:Read More
Let's face it- photographers and February usually just don't mix (especially where I live). It's a fragile time for those doing a new 365 project: every day it's touch and go, trying to just make one good picture while being light-starved and inundated by brown, gray, and more brown. In Februrarys with little to no snow, it's even worse. There is no pretty cover for all that mud and dead plants. No bright white light entering the windows or chance of snow day inspiration. It's all as dreary as it sounds...
Imagine being the age you are now and having in your possession, the full story of your first birthday party, including your close extended family, with less wrinkles and several decades younger.
Imagine seeing the way your parents looked at you. The way your grandma planted a kiss on your chubby cheek. Your uncle, decades younger, playing peekaboo with you or laughing in the corner with your late grandfather.
Imagine getting to take a good look around your very first home- some familiar furniture, not yet broken in.Read More
You can probably tell that an image like this is all about perspective. I set my camera on the table and, using a low aperture, shot through all the layers on the table. I purposely framed him so that he would be on the right hand third of the image, because I wanted him to look like just another thing at the table: glass, salt shaker, boy, glass...Read More
If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you've probably heard me toss around the term, Family Documentary Photography. But what exactly is it? And why would anyone want to hire a Family Documentary Photographer?
If you are loving life (most days anyways), have much for which you're thankful, and ever find yourself thinking, "I will miss this someday...", then very likely you should have your story told before it passes you by.Read More
It's here! My monthly round up of January stories. This year, I aim to complete my 3rd 365 project in a row... this one, in full color. Already my choice to only edit my daily picture in color is vexing me. Especially with low light photography, it is often so much easier to fiddle around with a color picture for a few minutes and then throw up your hands and say, "to heck with it! black and white it is!" Without that option to fall back on, I've already had to think carefully while shooting. (Which is never a bad thing, of course!)Read More
I'd been trying to get a nice picture of my son sleeping for a while. He is right on the edge of growing into his big boy face. Soon there will be no more of those sweet baby cheeks. I was on a time crunch. I was on a mission.
The problem I was facing was the light source. When you photograph a sleeping child, you usually need to add a little light to the scene (unless, of course, your child needs lots of light to sleep already).Read More
When I first started documentary family photography back in 2014, I relied heavily on my own family to figure out how to make impactful storytelling images (and how to keep it up for whole events- even whole days). I practiced on my family by doing a DITL (Day in the Life) project frequently- back then I subjected us probably monthly. The idea of that project is simple: document your life, from morning to night. And let me tell you, it is HARD work! Hard, as in physically tiring and hard, as in mentally exhausting.Read More
Photography education post showing two images and discussing how a small change in perspective can make a big impact!Read More