September 2017 Storytellers Blog Circle

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This post is one of several in a monthly educational blog circle made up of storytelling photographers and Offset artists. After you read how I shot my storytelling image for the month, click to the next artist at the bottom of my post and follow the circle the whole way around. Enjoy!

My image for this month is brought to you by the first wave of autumn leaves. Here on our tree-lined street, once they start to fall we have to rake pretty much once a week to keep from being buried alive. On the other hand, we only have to mow the grass about once a month in the summer due to the meager amount of sun that passes through our giant oaks. It makes all the fall yard work a little easier to stomach! That and, we're training the littles. They did 5 yards by themselves this weekend! 

three children raking the front yard

In the above shot, my goal was to capture all three rakers in a balanced frame that also used contrasty light well. You can see there is a long tree shadow that splits the frame. My son is standing right in the middle of the shadow in this shot, but the strong evening light is reflecting off of that patch of grass in front of him, resulting in his bright face. This is the shot I chose, but it's not perfect. My son's rake (middle) slightly intersects with the neighbor girl (right). Let me show you the iterations of this image that I rejected in favor of the above image.


two children raking front yard

In my first attempt, I used the tree to split the frame, the light was perfect, and I even had mirroring. However- I only had 2 kids and I wanted all 3. So it was back to the drawing board!

three kids raking the yard

I almost chose this frame as the final image because it's as close as I got to my original intent: to have all three kids in the light. But I don't like how the two boys on the left are so close to each other and the middle rake is in shadow. The image does not feel balanced enough.

two boys and girl raking the yard

Better balance, but way too much intersection between the two kids on the left. 

three kids raking autumn leaves

I like the varied directions of diagonal lines made by the rakes in this shot. I don't like that there is no breathing room between the edge of the frame and the third child's rake. (Also, more intersection!)

children doing yard work

The third child is dividing the middle rake almost directly in half. A division this dramatic is the first and last thing our eyes study as we try to make sense of it. 

None of these images are perfect, unfortunately. They are works in progress... like a yard freshly raked (by two 6 year olds and a 7 year old)! 

Keep the learning going by clicking to the next talented storyteller in our lineup: Nicole Sanchez Photography

 

 

Little Story Captures Your Family's Milestones

Little Story Captures Your Family's Milestones

Real life is brimming with moments worthy of being captured and held close. But most of us rarely oblige. The annual smiling family photos line up on the living room wall, marking evidence of a full year's growth between each one. Portraits that prove there were birthdays celebrated, braces removed, babies turned toddlers. But images of those milestones? They are what's missing. When it comes to retelling the stories of the year past, we've only our memories on which to rely.

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Changes Coming This Fall

Changes Coming This Fall

To say my teacher soul was satisfied at the end of my breakout in June would be an understatement. I had the opportunity to work with moms from all over the globe and together, we got to inquire into our own hearts. Why are we drawn to shoot what we do? (Hint: Nothing is random.) How do our past experiences and values leak into our personal photos?

So, when - right as I was about to put my feet up and enjoy a tall drink of something at the end of my breakout- I was offered another teaching opportunity, I didn't think long before taking it. I can't talk about it just yet, but I'll make the announcement as soon as all the parts are in place.

In order to continue writing and teaching, I need to make some extra space in my life. I will be eliminating some session types and continuing to shoot others at a much-needed price increase. Here are the changes you will see, beginning September 2017:

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May Storytellers Blog Circle

May Storytellers Blog Circle

I thought it would fun to take my new Lensbaby Trio 28 with us to our local fair, because all the fun sights and colors would pair well with this creative and rather unpredictable lens. I wasn't really planning on getting any "important" shots of my boys, because from experience, I know that due to the tight space and the crowds I usually end up with a bunch of the same types of waiting-for-the-ride-to-start shots.

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A Little Photo Challenge for You

A Little Photo Challenge for You

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.

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Greensburg Photographer | Spring Photowalk

Greensburg Photographer | Spring Photowalk

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.

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April Storytellers Blog Circle | Waiting for the Moment

April Storytellers Blog Circle | Waiting for the Moment

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.

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365 Stories | March 2017

365 Stories | March 2017

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! 

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March Storytellers Blog Circle | Framing using Layers

March Storytellers Blog Circle | Framing using Layers

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.

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Photography Education | Leading Lines | Small Changes Series

Photography Education | Leading Lines | Small Changes Series

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:

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February Daily Stories

February Daily Stories

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...

Except....

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