Monday, April 29, 2013

Brooklyn

Brooklyn is almost 6 months old. She is the sweetest little thing. We had a long photo shoot and she was the most pleasant little girl the entire time. She fell asleep and even let us pose her. She was amazing and such a doll! Brooklyn_01 copyBrooklyn_02 copyBrooklyn_07 copyBrooklyn_14 copyBrooklyn_30 copyBrooklyn_24 copyBrooklyn_34 copyBrooklyn_36 copyBrooklyn_38 copy

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Oh Boy

Look what I found when I came to get him up from his nap….
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He’s 11 months old, and this is his first time pulling himself up on anything. He hasn’t yet figured out that his legs can move, so he isn’t even crawling yet. And I don’t mind one bit. I have a sneaking suspicion that he is going to be a silent terror running through my house pulling everything to pieces.
IMG_5016 copyIMG_5019 copyLove this face! It’s the “I want to chew on this, are you going to stop me?” face. All three of mine have now chewed on the railing. I should make one of those covers for it, I’ve seen them floating around on Pinterest. But then I think, naw it’s already ruined.
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I love his chubby little hands.

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Friend in the Mirror

All of our closet doors are mirrors. I don’t love it. In fact, I honestly can say dislike them. Who wants to see themselves constantly? And who wants to clean off those little finger smears and smudges only to watch them go right back on? Those poor mirrors have nothing going for them, except that my kids love them. The girls dance forever in front of them, and as soon as my little guy finishes his bottle he’s right in front of those bad boys saying hello to his “friend”. Who needs playmates when you have a mirror?
IMG_4108 copyI’m kind of sad that I can’t see his face in this photo, but I love his chubby little hand so it makes up for it.
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Insert older sister who think it’s funny that he “eats” his toys.
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Insert same older sister who likes to steal the toys from his hands. The stinker.
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Cousin Time!

My girls were so excited to see their cousin Ledger. They asked me all morning when he’d get here. When the Sullengers arrived there was much rejoicing, squealing, and running around. I love it when my kids have friends come over. It is such a great distraction. And Kyla and Ledger are little buddies and they play really well together. Ashley is pregnant with twins, and we are so excited about it.
Here are some pictures of them all playing in their jammies. Nothing beats playing with cousins in your jammies.
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This photo of Kyla and Ashley cracks me up. She’s telling her how things are, and she bends and gets close to make sure you understand her.
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Ledger really wanted to ride in the jeep. He got a little ticked when he didn’t fit. And then there’s Sophie. She’s a pill. And she pulls some great faces for photos. She’ll hate them when she gets older, but they are pretty funny.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Funny Girl

After her nap she asked me to take her picture…Untitled-1 copy
little did I know that she had a plan. A lot of plans. I was laughing my head off! And even though her hair is a mess from her nap, and some of the pictures aren’t that great, I don’t care. Best photo shoot ever!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Shooting in Low Light Places - Tips

I had a request to post a tip on shooting in low light. There are a few ways to approach this.  Depending on level of photography skills and your ability to use your manual settings, it can be a lot to take in.
Let’s look at some examples.  These were taken in my basement. The lighting isn’t that great, so I definitely have to manipulate my settings. 
So we’ll start with the beginners. My suggestion to you when shooting in dark places is to find all the natural light that you can. Make sure that you subject is facing the light source (i.e. the window).
These first two photos will show you the difference. In the first one, our subject has her back to the window. Her face is shadowed and has noise or grain (more explanation below) that you’ll notice if you zoom in. In the second shot, she is in the exact same room but the window light is shinning on her face. Makes quite a difference, huh?
So your first goal is to get to the natural light! It is your friend.

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Still for beginners: If you have no natural light source then you are just going to have to use your flash. Stinks, but it’s true. But birthday memories are more important than not using a flash.
Ok, for the more advanced photographers out there. ISO, aperture, and shutter speed are what we are dealing with.
Let’s define a few things. Have you ever heard someone say that a photo is “grainy” or that an image has “noise”?  Well this photo below was taken in the same room and has lots of noise in it. The photo almost looks like there is sand on it. It’s noticeable pretty much everywhere, but most noticeable in the dark areas. Some photographers embrace it, while others avoid it at all costs. Me? I avoid it. But on the other hand, I have seem some incredible images that incorporate noise. I guess it’s not really my style.
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There are three different camera settings that affect the outcome of a picture taken in a dark area:
ISO: To capture an image in a low light area you need a fast shutter speed. The way you accomplish this is by adjusting your ISO setting. It’s kind of like tricking your camera into believing that it’s capturing something in a well lit area. So the higher your ISO the faster your shutter speed can be.  The trade-off, of course, is that the higher the ISO, the more grain and noise you will get.
Aperture (“F stop”): This number will look like 2.8, 4.0, 5.6 and on. The higher your f stop the bigger the hole in your lens gets and the more light is allowed in. So if you are shooting in a dark area just put your f stop to the lowest number possible (it’s the highest f stop). Confusing. The smaller number is, the higher f stop. So if your lens has a f5.6 as the smallest f stop then put it there.
Shutter speed: Your camera will tell you the best shutter-speed setting for the aperture setting currently being used.  Most of the time, I like to shoot one or two stops (settings) higher than recommended by the camera. This is a personal preference. When shooting in dark places you should try shooting a few stops higher than normal, exposing the face, and that will help you get more light too. .
Ok, Did any of that make sense? I can do full tutorials on ISO, Aperture, and Shutter speeds if there is interest. Just let me know. And let me know what questions you have. I’ll try to answer them for you.
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First photo above: ISO 3200, f2.8, 1/60.  Second photo above: ISO 1250, f2.8, 1/80. Photo below: ISO 1600, f2.8, 1/60
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And who knew that I had a cow girl! She is such a funny little thing.

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Friday, April 12, 2013

Kime Family

I love the Kimes. They are the best of people. So it was really fun when I got to see their family together and meet 10 of their 11 kids. 11 kids! What an accomplishment! My hat goes off to them, seriously. I sometimes can barely handle the three that I have.:)
I can’t help but think what a treasure these photos will be to them in the years to come.
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Thank you Kime Family for sharing some of your precious time together with me! It was fun, even though it was a little cold.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Bugs

I recently read a story about how life is a journey, not a race. How we don’t go bike riding with a loved one just to get to the end, and we don’t listen to music just to hear the last note. It put things into perspective for me. And I always need some good perspective. I realized that I am probably missing out on so much with my kids. I can always find things that need to be done around the house, or I have a book that needs finishing, or dinner to make. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that those things need to be done but sometimes it’s nice to just sit back and enjoy what is happening in the moment. I thought a lot about how I could “slow down,” and I realized that I could do it through photography. Instead of weeding the flower bed every time we step outside I could watch my kids play. Hard to do when you feel like you always need to be doing something.
I’ve been slowing down, taking time to watch my kids, to photograph them. They will be grown and gone someday, and this is how I will remember all the good times. Because it’s those I want to remember, not the hard parenting stuff.
This time I caught them looking at the first rollie-poly (or potato bug) of the year. It’s almost like they had forgotten what bugs were. And their excitement and fear were delightful. IMG_4416 copyIt was pretty funny to watch them. First they stared, got close (kind of), and then slowly decided they could hold it.
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This last photo cracks me up. My 2 year old was all for looking at the bug, but definitely not for touching it. She’s the type that when a fruit fly comes close she runs as far away as possible, screaming as loud as her little lungs will allow. She was brave to even look at the rollie-poly. So I was proud of her. And even though the photo is a little blown out I still like it.
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So I will be using my camera more as a (heavy) reminder in my hand that I need to slow down and enjoy what is happening instead of waiting for the moment to be over. I think I would be sad years from now If I don’t have memories of my little ones being little.