Newborn Photo Faves

I have a confession: since I found out I was pregnant I’ve been planning all the fun photos I’m going to take with our new little baby (go figure). I think he might end up being the most photographed baby ever! I didn’t have a newborn session done with McKenzie (broke college kids), and it was before I’d discovered photography…it’s one of my biggest regrets. But I guess I’ve made up for it in the mean time!

Anyhow, I was going over some of my favorite newborn sessions from the past year, and thought I’d share some of my favorites. =) Which one do you like best? IMG_6195

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What’s in a background?

My photography business has been (understandably) slower in the winter, so it’s wayyyy fun to get out and play around with McKenzie & my camera. I miss it! I posted these photos about making a wall-collage with the same pose for every season, which I think is a ridiculously fun idea. Funny thing is, I took the winter photo on the 2nd floor deck of our condo…who would’ve thought?

Surely if you are an experienced portrait photographer (or a photographer in general) you understand the importance of “framing,” but I’m just posting this to illustrate that backgrounds don’t have to be fancy! I only use natural light, meaning I don’t even have a studio. So be creative! Here’s an example:

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And since I’m missing my photography, here is another pretty winter one that I took on our snow day…this tree actually broke in half from the weight of the snow the night after I took this photo. IMG_0672 copy

Cuteness for Every Season

I’ve been planning a seasonal collage of McKenzie for our hallway, and I’ve got 3 out of 4 photos now! I took the winter one today since we have some fresh snow. I think it’s so fun! Maybe I’ll start doing 1 every month so I can make a calendar next year. Just thought I’d share…I can’t wait to order the 8×10’s so her adorableness can adorn our hallway. It will be super-easy to replace one every 3 or 4 months, nothing too crazy. =) Any ideas for spring? I was thinking something with Tulips maybe…? Or maybe in a puddle? I’m sorta drawing a blank…

McKenzieCollageOh. And FYI: Netflix currently has Pocahontas, The Aristocats, and Fox & the Hound! Some of my favorite kids movies (thanks for the tip Jesse)! I LOVE the songs in Pocahontas.

A Little Flare…

So I’ve been practicing some new photography techniques lately, and these are photos from one of the sessions I did with McKenzie:I really like how they turned out, and there’s a totally different “feel” to them from my other photography. Although, it’s tricky since the sun only gives this light for a 30 minute window before sunset. I was going for the “sunflare” effect. Although, she looks like a teenager to me in some of these pics, so please tell her to stop growing up so quickly. Thanks.

Anyhow, we had a fun weekend at our house. My sister and Abbey (my niece) came for an impromptu visit. We had tons of fun. McKenzie and Abbey played a lot, and we just sat and talked. On Sunday, we went and saw Breaking Dawn Part 2…which I really enjoyed. I thought it was well-done, although I haven’t read the books in 3 years, so I might not be as critical as a “Twi-hard.”

Then, yesterday, Jon and I went with our friends Anna & Scott to see Dan Savage (a witty, hilarious sex columnist), speak on the UW-Madison campus. He’s awesome. It was almost like a comedy show! The entire lecture was a Q & A from the audience, and there was some funny stuff. I wasn’t disappointed. I have his “Savage Love” app on my phone, and frankly, it’s fascinating to read some of people’s strange sexual practices. Very entertaining.

On another note, I’m working on writing down my love story with Jon. It’s in a creative writing format, but it was fun to do! I’m done, I just need to add pictures. I will make it a post, but also a “tab” at the top. I’m looking forward to hearing input about it! =)

My crazy weekend! Who knew working was…work?

I was SO busy this past weekend! It was the busiest weekend since I started my photography business (which is good), but it was utterly exhausting…if I could do that every weekend it would be like a real job! ;) I had four photo sessions, 2 Saturday, 2 Sunday. And being me, I hate having things hanging over my head so I did all the editing right away…plus, people like getting their photos quickly. *sigh* So the past two days I caught up on much-needed relaxation. I’ve become obsessed with the series “Revenge” on Netflix. I’m a Netflix junkie, remember? ;)

On another note,, I’m thinking of changing my logo to something more family/kid friendly. I just think it’s a little “dark” (check out my FB business page for reference…it’s the cover photo) and I want something more light & fun. I loved it at first, but I don’t think it reflects the feel of my photography or the direction I want it to go…maybe if I were a wedding photographer, but I’m not, nor do I have any desire to be. What do you think about a logo change? I’d love some input. I love checking on Etsy for ideas (search: “photography logos”).

Since all I did was photograph & edit this weekend, I thought I’d share some of my favorite photos…I just love adorable kiddos!

How to create a custom Facebook “cover photo.”

In my last post, I mentioned how I create custom Facebook “cover photos” for my photography clients. I’m going to give you the step-by-step that I use in Adobe Photoshop (CS5) if you’d like to create one for yourself! Here’s how:

  • Step 1: Find 4 vertically-oriented photos (or 1 horizontal, 2 vertical) that you feel reflect you, your family, or your interests!
  • Step 2: Open Adobe Photoshop. To begin, go to FILE>NEW.
  • Step 3: Name your new project, and set the width to 851 pixels, height to 315 pixels, and the resolution to 300 pixels/inch.
  • Step 4: Now you’re ready to insert the photos! FILE>PLACE. Hit enter (return) to place the photo. Repeat with the other 3 photos, and arrange as desired.
  • Step 5: If the photos don’t perfectly fill the new project, adjust some of the photos to make them wider. Do this by going to EDIT>FREE TRANSFORM. Transform 2 photos so it doesn’t distort the images too much. Once you have the photos properly placed and inserted, make sure you like how it looks! You’re done!
  • Step 6: FILE>SAVE AS…Now save wherever you want! Just be sure to save the format as .jpeg. Upload as your new FB Cover Photo, and voila! You’re done…wasn’t that easy?! Let me know how it works, or if you have any questions! =)

I had a great idea for my business!

So I started my photography business less than a year ago, and I currently provide my clients with digital copies of their photos. Frankly, it’s just easier for me right now. I’m still growing as a photographer, and I have a lot of room to expand price-wise as I develop a client-base.

Along those lines, I’m still experimenting with marketing techniques, and I primarily use Facebook and other online mediums. Facebook has been a huge help…word-of-mouth is essential in photography! The ability to “tag” clients in their photos and have all their friends see my work has really worked well.

I recently came up with the idea to create Facebook “Cover Photos” for my clients. They love it, and it gets my name out there. Here’s an example of one I created for myself. If you were a client, would you like this? If you’re a photographer, what do you use for marketing techniques? I welcome any input/advice!

 

DIY Chalkboard Tutorial

A fellow photographer (Megan at Megan Ramminger Photography) used some chalkboards in a recent photoshoot…and it turned out so cute! So of course I had to give it a try…after all, “imitation is the ultimate form of flattery.” Or so they say.

Anyway, I can’t believe how incredibly simple and inexpensive this project was! For around $20 (and that’s very conservative) I was able to make 5 chalkboards (3 are pictured)…and I would have made more if I had more frames! There was plenty of chalkboard paint left. Here are the materials & steps:

MATERIALS: 

  • Wooden picture frames (I found these at Goodwill for $1.99 each)
  • Chalkboard paint (I got mine at Home Depot, $9.79)
  • Newspaper (to avoid a mess!)
  • Paintbrushes
  • Hammer
  • Nails (and maybe a pliers & screwdriver to remove staples from the frames.)

Step-by-step:

  1. Open backing and remove photos or pictures from frames. The ones pictured had staples in them, so I used a flat screwdriver to pry them up and pliers to get them out. Keep cardboard backing for later use.
  2. Carefully take out glass and set it on the newspaper…start painting the glass! Be sure you have adequate ventilation.
  3. Do 3 coats, let dry completely between coats.
  4. Once dry, place glass back in the frames, followed by the cardboard, and reattach backing. If the previous photo was held in by staples, use 4 small nails and hammer in securely (see photo below). Be careful, thinner frames might crack, so be very gentle!
  5. And you’re done! According to the paint can, let the paint set for 3 days and then your new chalkboard is ready! Condition the surface of the chalkboard before use by rubbing the entire surface with the side of a piece of chalk. This will provide the best erasability.

I plan on using these chalkboards for my photography business, but the possibilities are endless! I also made one for McKenzie’s room, which is larger. I plan on making another one for our kitchen, too! Do you have any other ideas for a chalkboard? Gook luck!

Picture Day & A Quick Tip for Photographing Kiddos!

First of all, for those of you who offered kind words about yesterday’s “A Deathiversary” post, thank you so much. It truly means a lot. ♥

Well today was “picture day” at McKenzie’s school! Her first picture day ever. Do you remember picture day when you were a kid? I always looked forward to picture day. Anyhow, I had McKenzie’s outfit all picked out yesterday…and then she got all scratched up by our neighbor’s puppy. Across her chest, across her neck. Poor kid. It actually drew blood. I felt so bad for her. I originally had her in a white shirt, but then I decided to I dress her in a red shirt with a white vest, which strategically covered all of her scratches. See? We had a mini-photo session before we walked to school. I love that she gets to be my little muse.

The outfit below is the one that I originally had picked out for her picture day…darn it! I removed the scratches with Photoshop in these pics, but they were very visible. *sigh* We’ll see if her school picture turns out better than mine. Probably not. ;)

A quick tip for photographing children: Above all, make sure they’re having fun! Would you want to smile if you weren’t having fun? I wouldn’t! Whenever I have a session, I usually bring some fun things for kids to do. I’ve brought bubbles, bread to feed ducks, and chalk (to name a few). Kids are messy. Kids are carefree. Capture that. I feel like sometimes too much emphasis is placed on smiles and props. Sometimes simply playing is beautiful! That’s what I always try to emphasize in my photography: the child. Capture them as they are…they’re only little for awhile.

Do you have a picture day memory? Or maybe a funny story about a photo day? I’d love to hear it!