Feb 17, 2010

Mom and Baby Mentoring Session

I have a new passion--mentoring! These are photos from an in-person mentoring session last fall with my very good friend and her sweet daughter. In our session, we both shot and then reviewed our work before moving on to another set of shots. It was a fun way to work, and I could give immediate feedback on how to shoot that particular scene better. Then, we tried again to get better shots. In the process, we covered photo-taking tips such as . . .

Getting close and filling the frame . . .

Using the flash when your background is brighter than your foreground . . .

Shooting from different angles to avoid mergers and busy backgrounds . . .

Framing using available elements in the setting . . .

Working with different levels of exposure . . .

Using uh, props . . .

and taking photos from unexpected perspectives . . .

It was an awesome session! I love how I captured mom taking a photo of baby . . . and the resulting photo from her camera! (Fun color work on her part, don't you think?) And then the feet are just precious. I love feet pics!

For more of this mom's work, visit her blog, Schaer Talents.

Feb 16, 2010

Best Friends

Sometimes I "borrow" other kids for our son to play with. Okay, it's babysitting, but I really do love having someone else around to share in the fun. I think these two share a special bond--both have dealt with serious health problems since birth yet both have bright and vibrant personalities. I think they must have been friends in heaven. They certainly are here.

Feb 15, 2010

Online Mentoring: Basic Editing

Ever wanted to pick my brain about photography? I now offer mentoring sessions both in-person and online, thanks to a few interested clients like Phallin of Maries Cottage Photography. Phallin already had a good sense of composition, but needed help with lighting, editing, and business practices. Our first online session focused on photo editing. We covered exposure, hue and saturation, vignetting, sharpening, and had a great time over the phone and over email. I'm so proud of the completed image Phallin produced from our session! Interested in having me mentor you? Contact me through our contact form for more information.

Feb 13, 2010


This is pretty much my favorite family photo ever taken. Fun, candid, well-lit, and yes, we did it ourselves. Tripod, auto timer, and a chance wind that blew the snow in front of the lens. I love how my mouth is totally huge; Jacob looks like he's doing magic; and our little buddy is about to be hit by my snowball. (He got me back though!)

With a snow storm in Georgia, everyone's out taking pictures, and since I've been working on self-portraits lately, I had picture-taking on my agenda this morning. After a few less-than-successful tries, I grabbed the boys and we did a few more with Jacob. And yes, we are such photo nerds that we often coordinate our clothing just in case we want to take a family portrait. Happy Snow Day!

Contemporary Head Shots

After I shot her family portraits, a client asked for some professional head shots to compliment the professional portrait of her business partner in California. We wanted to include some sort of architectural interest in the background as well as match the lighting and tone of the image of her business partner. We found a spot nearby my client's home really lucked out on the light--a beautiful overcast day. Both of us were thrilled with the results, and I'm excited my photos may appear in press releases, interviews, and perhaps even magazine articles about their online home and fashion boutique, Layla Grace.

Sibling Storyboard: Special Edit

I'm finally starting to catch up on all the posts from my holiday shoots. For this one, I designed a 11x14 storyboard as their special edit. I loved incorporating 3 photos along the side with the awesome waterfall portrait. I custom-design each storyboard according to the colors, atmosphere, and character of my subjects and their surroundings. For this one, I really wanted to bring out the personality of the brother and sister and well as compliment the color work of the main image. I also love the fact that these storyboards look and feel ready to frame without a matte.

Feb 12, 2010

A 10-month-old's Philosophy of Life

As I mentioned in my last post, I babysit a sweet baby girl during the week. She has become my boy's "borrowed little sister" and a real blessing to our family. It's been fun see how her personality is developing. I'm sure her mom and dad could add a few more, but here's a few insights into her philosophy of life:
  • If you're eating, I should be too!

  • Just looking . . . Soaking it all in!

  • I'm upset and I want everyone to know it!

  • Wow! Screaming is for happy and sad.

  • Whatcha doin'? Watcha doin'? I want to do it too!

  • Everything tastes better when it's been on the floor.

  • What do you mean it's not all about me?

  • No-don't put me in there! I hate my carseat!

  • It is too my sippy cup! It was within my reach, wasn't it?

  • I reserve my smiles for people I know.

  • Hmm . . . this is new. Let's investigate.

  • I love to snuggle.
Love you baby girl! Thanks for being part of my life!

Feb 11, 2010

Little Shopper

I just had to share this photo of my little guy. That expression just cracks me up. (He knew I was taking his photo and played it up!) We recently found a little shopping cart at the thrift store, and it came in handy when we had to drop the our car off at the mechanic's and walk home. I pushed the stroller with the baby (a sweet little girl we babysit during the week) and he pushed his cart beside me. The walk is a short one, but I know we put a smile on a lot of people who passed us in their cars.

A game our little boy played that night was "shopping." I was making dinner and he came in the kitchen with his cart. I put things in his cart I wanted him to "buy." He then pushed his cart over to Jacob who was working at the computer.

"Daddy. I buy dis. Here's my wallet."

Jacob took the item, "scanned" them with the red laser light on the mouse ("Beep!") and then loaded up his cart once more. "Thank you for shopping at Daddy's store! Come again."

We played this game for quite a while. Today, he played it again even without Jacob. It was so cute to see him use the mouse ("Beep!") to scan his items. I just adore my sweet boy!

Feb 5, 2010

Lloyda Bristol: Fighting for a New Lung

Ordinary people do extraordinary things. That's what I've realized about people who deal with chronic disease everyday. My son is one of my heroes. So is this lady.

My friend Lloyda Bristol encouraged me when we found out that our son has cystic fibrosis. You see, she fights pulmonary fibrosis everyday, similar in many ways to the lung disease that results from cystic fibrosis. Like us, she faces a daily regimen of medication and treatments to keep going. As a widow, she is the only one at home to take care of her two girls and be a support to her older son.

Unfortunately, pulmonary fibrosis has nearly destroyed the tissues in her lung, and she has been placed on the lung transplant list at Emory. When I found out about this, I knew I wanted to do some portraits with her and her family. We met at a mutual friend's house and spent a couple hours talking, shooting, comparing medication (I am really interested in that now!) and getting to know each other better.

I think my favorite part of the night--besides taking the photos--was learning about Lloyda's cooking heritage. She said she would sit in the kitchen and listen to her mother and grandmother tell stories while they cooked. Now, she cooks the same way, making traditional dishes from Guyana without measuring or using traditional tools. Someone asked for a recipe and tried it, but admitted, "There was something missing." "Of course there was," Lloyda said, remembering. "What was missing was my hands."

I'd hate to think of those hands missing for anything longer than the six weeks she will have to spend in the hospital. Lloyda is currently fund-raising to pay for the transplant expenses, copays, and post-surgery treatment she will need in the near future. If you are touched by these photos, please donate to her transplant fund. Think of it as a valentine to this wonderful woman. She's definitely worth it.


Check out my Workshops & Mentoring Page for the most current info.