Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Baby Jase

 Sometimes sessions just don't go the way you plan especially when you are dealing with babies.  When that happens, you go with it. 

 photo IMG_3115.jpg

This is by far one of my favorite baby portraits.  It's nothing like I planned on getting, but everything that it should be.
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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Samantha & Chris: Cowboy boots and Bows Oh My!

This couple is so much fun! When Samantha first contacted me to do their engagement photos I had all of these ideas like riding a tandem bike, kite flying, a picnic set up.  She quickly let me know that they weren't really the tandem bike kind of couple and asked if they could bring their bows because they are both hunters!  A hunting couple isn't atypical for this area, but it is the first time a couple has asked me to photograph them with their hunting gear! We immediately decided that we'd meet at a local park for the session.  What could be more fun than hunting gear, the great outdoors, and beautiful weather?

Photobucket

Aren't they a hot couple?!?

Western Pennsylvania Photographer Butler Clarion Kittanning

Western Pennsylvania Photographer Butler Clarion Kittanning


Western Pennsylvania Photographer Butler Clarion Kittanning

Western Pennsylvania Photographer Butler Clarion Kittanning

Western Pennsylvania Photographer Butler Clarion Kittanning

Western Pennsylvania Photographer Butler Clarion Kittanning

Western Pennsylvania Photographer Butler Clarion Kittanning

Western Pennsylvania Photographer Butler Clarion Kittanning

I told you they brought their bows!

Western Pennsylvania Photographer Butler Clarion Kittanning

This is my favorite from the session! We had to interrupt a family's picnic to get the shot, but it was so worth it! Congratulations you two!  I can't wait for the wedding!

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Everyday Moments: Noodle Making with Grandma

I've been making noodles with my grandma for as long as I can remember.  When we visited my grandparents in the summer we'd always request  a fresh batch, and that always meant that we'd help mix, roll out, and cut the dough by hand.  We didn't mind the work too much because we knew the results would be delicious noodles!  This fall I invited grandma over for a noodle making day.  Actually we made noodles a couple of times! It's important to me that Erin and Hayden have this experience with her, that they learn the passed down art of noodle making.  It's even more important to me that I capture these moments.  When I look back at my childhood, making noodles with grandma and Aunt Susie is one of my most treasured memories.  I wish someone had thought to capture those moments on film for me.

Western Pennsylvania Photographer Butler Clarion Kittanning 
Noodle making always starts with my great grandmothers tried and true recipe. 

Western Pennsylvania Photographer Butler Clarion Kittanning
Just the right amount of flour is added.

Western Pennsylvania Photographer Butler Clarion Kittanning

Everything is mixed together. 
 Western Pennsylvania Photographer Butler Clarion Kittanning

 Western Pennsylvania Photographer Butler Clarion Kittanning

Western Pennsylvania Photographer Butler Clarion Kittanning

Grandma prefers to mix with her hands rather than a spoon.  She says her hands just work better! 

And then you must knead.....
Western Pennsylvania Photographer Butler Clarion Kittanning

knead.....
Western Pennsylvania Photographer Butler Clarion Kittanning

and knead some more!
Western Pennsylvania Photographer Butler Clarion Kittanning

Then you roll them out. There are no photos of this process because I was to busy catching and laying out noodles! 

We lay them out to dry on the same sheet we used when I was a kid. 
Western Pennsylvania Photographer Butler Clarion Kittanning

Western Pennsylvania Photographer Butler Clarion Kittanning

I think we let these dry for about four hours before cooking and eating them! They were just so irresistible!
I have another noodle making day planned for tomorrow! My goal is to can some of the noodles, but we'll see if they last long enough for me to do that!

My favorite part of this noodle making session was Hayden deciding that one of the  rolls of dough was his "baby".  He refused to let us roll it out because he thought it would hurt it.  He carried it around in a bowl for a couple hours and then it was tragically eaten by our dog, Mya. 

What's one of your favorite every day moments?  What memory can you share with your children/family and capture on film for them? 




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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Then & Now

When I began photographing people as a hobby I was inspired by the amazing Tara Whitney.  I was intrigued by the seemingly effortless way she captured every day moments in a spectacular way.  I remember reading her blog and my jaw dropping with every single image.  There was something about the way she was able to capture the heart and essence of the moment that always left me feeling happy inside. 

I'd had my shiny new DSLR about six months when I made a trip to Oklahoma to visit family.  I decided I'd take some family photos.  I knew the basics about photography from a handful of classes I'd taken in my early twenties.  I knew very little about Photoshop or  editing and didn't have a handle on the true capabilities of my expensive new toy.  I'd just spent $200 on a piece of crap lens that I thought was super cool because it had a long zoom.  We headed to the park and I told my family to pretend like they were airplanes and started snapping away. 

Western Pennsylvania Photographer Butler Clarion Kittanning

Western Pennsylvania Photographer Butler Clarion Kittanning

Western Pennsylvania Photographer Butler Clarion Kittanning

Obviously there was so much I didn't know when I took these photos.  I hadn't learned about the ease of back button focus.  I didn't fully understand  the magic triangle and why there was no need for my ISO to be at 400 on a sunny day.  What I love about these photos is how in the moment they are.  I wasn't thinking about all the "photography" stuff that I am constantly thinking about now. I was simply capturing a moment.  The story of these images is forever etched on my heart.  

It's been five years and a few upgrades since I took these photos. I've spent time and money learning and practicing and literally giving myself migraines until I understood my camera inside, outside, upside, and downside.  I've learned about natural light and studio lighting. I've memorized the sunny 16 rule and committed the principles of the magic triangle to memory.  I've invested in lenses that had more than just a long zoom, and soaked up every bit of photography related information I could.  

Western Pennsylvania Photographer Butler Clarion Kittanning

Western Pennsylvania Photographer Butler Clarion Kittanning

These are the most recent photos of my daughter that I've taken.  I love that they are sharply focused, and that the composition is good.  I love that I captured them using a lighting technique I learned from the amazing One Light video by Zack Arias.  What I don't love is that the story seems to be missing.  The reason I fell in love with portrait photography isn't there.  There is a great deal to be said for technique, but technique without heart is nothing.  Anyone can sit someone on a railroad track and take an amazing portrait, but telling the story with a camera is a different kind of art.  So my goal for this year is to tell the story for both myself and my clients.  I want to capture the moments that tell the story of their lives.  I want to capture the images that our hearts remember.
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