Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Giving back moments in time....

Well, I recently was notified that my application to Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (NILMDTS) has been accepted and I'm now an official, volunteer Affiliate Photographer for the organization!  I've gone through the steps to become activated and now will be awaiting my first session.  I hope to be able to shadow another local photographer for my first session so I can get an idea of how a proper NILMDTS session should go.

I'm not going to lie, I do feel nervous about my first time.  This is a very different type of photography than what I've done in the past.  I think part of my nervousness comes from being so new to the organization and not being familiar with their rules.  Also, I've never been put into this situation before so I have no idea how I'll handle the emotional aspect of the job.  I'm very familiar with how I work as a photographer in general photo shoots and how I handle them professionally.  It's a completely different situation when you are dealing with the death of such a young infant.  The family will be grieving, so my job will be simply to help them out by capturing those final moments.  I've mentioned before how important the art of portraiture is to getting those important moments in life.  For some people, getting those precious, brief memories of your child in their last moments can be of incredible importance, so I understand just how important my job is.  I think I'll really see the magnitude of that when I enter that very first hospital room and begin what the Lord has asked me to do.

"Those we have held in our arms for a little while, we hold in our hearts forever."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Quote of the Week

To me, photography is an art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place... I've found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them ~

~Elliott Erwitt
Whenever I go to a shoot, I will usually spend some time just looking around.  In fact, I do a lot of looking around during my photo shoots.  The reason is that I'm not just looking for some general backdrop but am looking for that "sweet spot", that feeling of knowing something special in that spot or that pose, or just that moment.  Some of the simplest of places can house the greatest photographs.  It's not where you photograph, but how you see that spot and how you take the photograph which will determine it.  I've had clients dismiss their own backyard because it's too plain, but honestly, there's just so many possibilities even in the smallest of spaces.  I also pay attention to where I am positioned in regards to the subject.  In photography, you should always try to steer away from shooting at the general photograph-taking position of "your eye level while standing".  Lay on the ground and shoot at worms eye view, even if that means getting yourself wet and muddy in the process.  Stand up on a ladder, balcony, way up high and shoot downward on your subject.  Shoot from many yards away with the brush framing the subject.  Look for those natural frames that Mother Nature created.  Shoot just part of a person's face or if you're shooting a child with their parent, shoot from the child's point of view and only capture part of the parent.  The main point is to just go beyond the realms of your normal view and find your inspiration!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Quote of the Week

"The eyes are the window to the soul." 
 I tried to find the originator of this quote as there seems to be many but I saw that the origin is in the Bible 58 to 68 A.D.
-Matthew 6 22-23
The first time I heard it was in photography school, by my teachers.  The eyes are the most important part of a portrait.  You can tell so much about a person by the look in their eyes, it's so important that the eyes are the sharpest element in the picture.  They must have light in them, for if you don't have light in the eyes, you don't have life in them.  They are the first thing you should notice when you look at a portrait, the second part would be the lightest point in the picture.  It's all about the eyes.  When I shoot and edit my portraits, I try to focus really hard on those eyes and make them pop, make them shine!   

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Quote of the Week


I hope everyone had a fantastic and blessed Thanksgiving holiday.  As I continue my blog journey, I've decided to dedicate each Sunday to a special quote, one that I feel reaches out to me.  I always try to reflect on my career and how it can help others.  Here is my first quote:

“Perishability in a photograph is important in a picture. If a photograph looks perishable we say, "Gee, I'm glad I have that moment.”
 John Loengard 

Most moments in life cannot be duplicated.  Perfect examples of this are a person's wedding day, the birth of a child, and someone walking the stage to receive their diploma.  If you don't catch that moment (and no one else has either) then you're left with just a memory of that moment in your mind.  This can be quite devastating.  I remember years ago when my computer crashed and I thought my first born son's birth pictures were lost forever.  I was terribly upset but fortunately, we were able to retrieve all of the pictures.

Have you ever had an upcoming event and thought, "Gee, I would love to have that moment captured!"  Whether you have it captured through snapshots or professional portraiture, it becomes a memory that you can actually see and share with your friends and generations of family.  It no longer is a memory only in your mind and because of this, others get to share in this special event.  

I hope that in the following months of holiday festivities, you find many memories to capture and share!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Petersen Family Sneak Peek

I plan to add a couple more images but wanted to get these out there.  I've had the opportunity to shoot this family before, and they are such a fun family to shoot!  At the previous shoot, we had their extended family and we plan to do a shoot in the future with them as well.

With family portraits, as I do any type of portrait, I really strive to get something that's beyond the usual.  I want to push myself to see beyond what you would typically see in a family portrait.  I only scratched the surface tonight on things I want to try.  The beauty of on-location photography is that you get a unique experience every time because there are an infinite number of angles from where you can shoot.  Plus, the time of day and season you're in also plays into what you get.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Giving back

I think it's wonderful for everyone to find a cause that's close to their heart and donate either their time or resources.  I wanted to find a cause that I could use my talents in photography to help make a difference.   I just sent in my application to become an Affiliated Photographer for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (NILMDTS).  I should know within 8 weeks if my application has been approved.  The application goes through a judging panel where a panel of photographers look at my website and see if my work shows all the skills required for professional photography (the different lighting styles, locations, poses, models, etc.)  I definitely feel like I'm qualified because I worked with every type of light and modifier, models, locations, etc. during my time in school.

NILMDTS is a volunteer organization where photographers come to area hospitals and take remembrance portraits of a baby that is dying so the family can have those precious final moments captured.  These images could include close up shots of tiny fingers and tiny toes, or images of the mother and father snuggling with the baby.  The subject of death is a painful one to talk about and I think even more when you're talking about very young babies.  It's so important for the photographer to be professional and discreet when interacting with the family so they can experience their moment as its happening.

For more information about NILMDTS, please click on the following link:


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Website is launched!


My business website has officially launched and I'm very proud with how it turned out!  Tiffany Neel from Neel Web Services (http://www.neelwebservices.com/) designed my site.  I'm very pleased with her knowledge as well as concern to make my site the best that it can be.  As wonderful as Facebook is to network and as my blog is to record weekly goings on, I feel that the site is a great location for viewing my photographic work and see samples of the genres of photography that I do.  Please browse my site and let me know what you think!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ready, set, GO!

As I continue my transition from student to business owner, I realize how much work and attention to detail it takes to run a business.  From setting up a website to starting the networking process.  A part of my journey will be to write about my experiences in my blog so you'll get to see upcoming events, sneak peeks for all photo shoots, as well as my journey during that photo shoot.  There's a story behind every experience and I think part of the fun is from the experience itself.  I learn so much by reading other photographer blogs and I hope that people learn from me as well.  I'm going to try to dedicate some time at least once or twice per week to update my blog and let everyone know what I'm doing.

I'm in the final stages of setting up my website and soon, I will have that to show new as well as existing clients.  I think the quality of the images looks better on the site than it does on Facebook, as images go through a compression process on Facebook.  I have examples of all genres of photography that I currently specialize in.  I also have my current price list for general portrait photography, which includes maternity, newborn, children, and families.  I have separate price lists for seniors and weddings because these sessions involve different types of work as well as provide different products.  I hope my site serves as an additional means of getting my work out there!

I will soon be starting the application process to become a volunteer photographer for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (NILMDTS).  Their website is: www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org.  Newborn photography happens to be my favorite genre to shoot and I want to be a part of something bigger than just me.  I want to do something meaningful with my work and I think the services that photographers provide with NILMDTS is priceless for those that use them.  I've talked to other photographers and not everyone is comfortable doing this type of work.  Dealing with death and the emotions that surround it can be incredibly stressful and heart-breaking to witness.  The photographers go into each session with both professionalism and the heart to make the family's experience as meaningful as possible.  The images are a combination of portraits of the affected baby/child as well as interaction within the family.  These are moments that will be captured by the photographer and will be a special memento to remind the family of the precious life they were a part of.  As stressful as this type of photography can be, I find that it would be incredibly rewarding to know that you made a difference in a family's life by just being there and capturing that moment for them.  I think I have extensive photography knowledge and experience to join this organization but I also feel that I will have the heart to go into each session with respect and caring for each of the families.