Rainbows and Ducks

The Cherry Blossom Mini Sessions have begun! It’s been like a reunion with old friends, as over 80% of the families I worked with yesterday and today have done a mini session with me in the last year. Keating, as you probably remember if you follow this blog, was photographed last year at the festival. Some of these kids don’t remember who I am, or all the running I make them do for great pictures, but not Keating. She remembered that her party shoes got muddy last year, so this year insisted on boots:

And…she told her mom “I hope she doesn’t forget the cookies. Do you think she’ll remember to bring them again this year?”  And, indeed I did remember. Animal crackers for all!

Here are a few more of the images that struck me….Jason here had a strong hold on my balloons, which I keep by my things to let everyone know where I am. Strategic cropping for each and ever picture got us a few frames sans ribbons.

I photographed Jimmy’s mom and dad when she was seven months pregnant, again when he was just two weeks old (and NOT very happy about being the subject of a photo shoot!) and again yesterday…in a much better mood.

And here with Mom and Dad…I truly love this picture. The rim light on Myke’s hair, Jen’s expression, and the circular arrangement of Myke, Jen and Jimmy keeping your eye in the bottom left corner. The only problem is, I can’t tell if it’s better in black and white or color. This image is a perfect candidate for a canvas print.

And then Emily and Cardon. This picture happened while I was changing out my memory card. The ducks floated up and…poof…instant joy. Luckily grandma was there to call my attention. Emily has these great seasonal pictures of Cardon, as she organized one of our pumpkin patch mini sessions.

Many more to come tomorrow! Thanks to all who made it out this weekend, I hope you had as much fun as I did.
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Sometimes it takes a while….

sometimes it takes a while…for an image to develop. With my dad at the Kodak Camera Club, or in our basement darkroom, or in the high school lab, I would slip an exposed piece of photographic paper (the weight! the gloss! the expense! the absolute magic!) into the processing tray, and I would watch an image reveal itself, like a person slipping out of shadow. I would diligently move it from tray to tray, my fingers immersed in the chemical bath (I can still smell it), rubbing out sections I wanted to deepen, darken, coax to the surface.

The whole process of developing a roll of film, choosing the negatives to to work with, printing each one, hanging them dry could take weeks. Heck, I could work on the same roll of film until the end of time, seeing something different and wanting to explore a new angle with each viewing. I only had a short, imperfect and very surface experience with film and slide. But I’m finding that the same process is happening with digital. But it’s so much more, what is it? Noise, content, movement? Just MORE of everything. More images, more clients, more shooting. So sometimes it takes a while for an image to develop. Like these. I shot these in the fall and wasn’t overjoyed with the result.  I was hard on myself, that the opportunity was so vast and the time too short and I didn’t do the day justice. My expectations didn’t match up with reality. But yesterday I came across them in one folder on the three terabytes of images I now manage. And they stopped me. The beauty of this family, these white dancing grasses, the red fall leaves, the joyous little girl. It reminded me that capturing a photo is more than that. It’s capturing a memory. And some times that memory takes a while to develop. Then it stays with you for all time.

more soon,
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Giving Thanks

That then is not now.

Bring on the daffodils and cherry blossoms!

Melt Down Insurance

A colleague and I were discussing our work this morning, and I recounted this story of a weekend shoot, in which some great clients and their adorable baby were all dressed up and ready to go. They had been practicing sitting, posing and playing with the dog, Dixie, all week, so that they were ready for their big photo shoot. They had new clothes, were well rested, fed, and all in all in perfect form.

I arrive. Mom and I create a space on the floor for dog and baby. We move the rug, adjust the lights. The camera gets drawn out of the bag. The dog gets bribed with his bone. The baby gets lowered into place….and!

Whoops. Okay. Patience. Deep breathing. Negotiation. She’s too little to bribe with a lollypop or bubbles. So … a kiss from mom. After a few tries, to no avail, we move her to a chair she loves to warm her up with the camera.

Getting better! A little more interest….and with Dad in the power position, 
holding her attention, even a smile…

A few cries here and there, so we focus on the details….but we never get her back. She’s the sleepiest little baby and not having it at all.

So perhaps a trip outside, a change of scenery, a few distractions, maybe even a doggy! Nope….sleepy…getting…sleeepier…..sllllleeeeeepppiiiier….

Until Dad holds her close, and……

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

So, we decided to redo the shoot next week and hope for a more fruitful outcome. Which brings me back to my discussion with my colleague this morning. What if photographers offered Melt-Down Insurance? Wouldn’t that be a great feeling? No worries if your baby is going to be happy or sad? You can just re-do the shoot until the giggles are flowing!

What about you? Have you worried about a melt-down before a shoot? Has it happened during the session? How did it turn out? Post your experience in the comments section!
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Produced Locally

Here are some recent favorites from the studio. This little cutie, Ryan, came into this world just a few short hours after her parents and I finished up their maternity session back in the fall….what luck!

Yoga in DC

Working with the yogis at Past Tense Studio has allowed me to explore photography in a totally new way. Not only can these guys do some really bendy things that make a photo instantly interesting, but there is also a real adventurous spirit that enters the shoot when they get in front of the camera. Yesterday we worked in an alley in Mt Pleasant street, on a driveway, and in an empty garage…so very glamorous.

This is my favorite image I have taken in some time – many thanks to Simone for styling.

So why do I love it? The grafitti off left seems like clouds drifting through the scene, while Caroline’s expression mimicks the same. The complimentary colors of orange and blue hold your eye on the subject and frame, without any other color or bit of sky, or bright spot drawing your attention elsewhere. As well, the door frame “holding” Caroline is just a neat thing. Not to mention she is the exact height of the door, and fills it top to bottom and side to side, completely.

Anyway, it’s weird, it’s quirky, and it’s really natural. Makes me love it.
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Here Comes the Sun…

Thank goodness this sun is coming back. The days are getting longer and I can just feel it trying to warm up out there. Baby Cessily (remember our Little Elf? That’s her!) came back for a second session yesterday, and we enjoyed the sun streaming in the studio windows. Her little pink dress just brightened everything up!




So, as I get ready to embark on what is already a really full spring and summer schedule, I’d like to maximize the weekends that are still free. Let me know…are there sessions you want me to offer? Ballerinas in tutu’s mini session? Fishing poles at the Tidal Basin? Products that you’d love to see? Hit me up in the comments with any ideas you’ve got.
more soon,
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