Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Baby Benson

I've been trying to hold off on blogging about these photos because I wanted to wait until just before Baby Benson was born, but I feel like the days are clicking away now and I'd better share these before it becomes time to share the baby photos. You all know that I like to "draft" my former clients and friends into modeling for me when I need to practice something new. I attended a wonderful class at this year's PPNC convention on maternity photos and I came home looking around for someone to model for me. I was so happy when I remembered that Kevin and Michele Benson were expecting their first baby because I enjoyed photographing their wedding a few years ago and thought that Michele might be willing to model. I consider it an added bonus and a privilege that she gave me permission to share these photographs with my readers. I think she is so beautiful in them. I check her blog every day to see how she's doing and I think she's over 38 weeks and holding now so I figured it was time to share these with my readers. I've done several maternity sessions over the past few years but was never quite comfortable knowing the best poses and lighting to capture this special time. I'm glad Michele (and Kevin) were kind enough to help me out here. I can't wait to hear their good news and meet their little one when he or she arrives.

What a pretty face!!

You've probably heard me say before that sometimes I just get so busy taking the photos and getting them ready for proofing that I don't have time to appreciate them. This is another example of that thought. I was working yesterday on some photos for Lindy Kitchin of her daughter, Jayme, and I just kept coming back to these beautiful eyes and this pretty little face. I'm not trying to compliment my skills as a photographer; I'm just marveling at how beautiful little babies are. If only they could stay this innocent for a longer time.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Jessie . . . on the beach

I was down at the Outer Banks a couple of weeks ago to do some family sessions (more about those in a later posting). One of the families I did was Julie, Steve & Jessie but I'm only going to share Jessie's photos right now. Jessie was very cooperative as you can see from some of her posed photos but, as always, some of the best shots come when you just let children be children. I think she was a little apprehensive at first when we told her it was OK if her pretty, white dress got wet, but she quickly got the message and had some fun in the surf. Isn't she beautiful?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Sweet Reese

Some days I just enjoy my work so much that I don't know how to begin writing. It was wonderful having little Reese Pearce in with her mommy and daddy for first photos. I feel like I've known her mother, Valerie, all of her life and I could almost swear that she and Graham just got married two months ago but the calendar tells me it was two years ago. Little Miss Reese was an angel -- no crying or fussing -- and I had such a hard time narrowing down which photos to include in the blog that I just gave up and am putting a bunch of them up here. Reese had what I call "fancy pants" for her photos and we also borrowed her Daddy's ring for her to hold in a few photos. It was easy now for her to fit three fingers inside his ring but I know that won't last long. And, of course, some of the most special photos were of Reese taking a little rest on her Uncle RK's jacket with his fireman's helmet close by. I know she'll grow up hearing special stories about RK and I'll keep my memories of him from high school so I can share with her as well when she gets older. And, while I've got your attention and while it's on my mind, I just want to say "God Bless" to the wonderful men of the Conway Volunteer Fire Department. These men know why I'm saying this and I don't know how to say enough to them about their kindness, their patience, their compassion, and their professionalism. Have a good weekend everyone.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Many Moods of a Modern Bride

A lot of times bridal portraits can be very formal and a little nerve-wracking for the bride. She's hoping that the gown looks as good as she remembered it did in the store and that all the alterations are perfect. We try really hard to make our brides look their very best. After all, that's what my job is as far as I'm concerned.
Well . . . . we did the beautiful, formal, "bride-y" portraits of Kelley Duncan but, before we finished the session, we had a little fun. Kelley showed us the what I can only call the "many moods of a modern bride." Her expressions were priceless and I'm really happy that I was clicking along as quickly as an "America's Next Top Model" photographer. We really were having just as much fun as it looked we were having. And, if I were Kelley's new husband, I'd be careful not to do anything to ever get that "finger-pointing" look!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fabulous Kiddy Fashions!!

I'm always so amazed at what cute, cute, cute fashions the mommies find for their children's photos. Little Mr. Ryland Howell had a beautiful, monogrammed suit in nice summer colors and a little smocked outfit with monkeys that matched his toy monkey. It must take a lot of shopping to find these special suits.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Allison's "Trash the Dress" Video

OMG!! Trash the Dress!!!

I am so excited to have a minute FINALLY to write about Allison's "Trash the Dress" session. I have wanted to do a trash the dress for a couple of years but haven't had a bride brave enough or adventurous enough to do it. I should have known my intrepid young friend Allison would be ready!! (By the way, check out Allison's excellent photography at her website, Sandfoot Photography). If you haven't seen a trash the dress session before, it's when brides typically go out after their wedding and just have fun doing whatever they like in their dress. Allison added a wonderful new twist to her session though because the dress she trashed was actually her mother's dress. I had taken Allison's "formal" portraits earlier that afternoon in her gown and, when we were finished with that, she put on her mom's dress and just had some fun at the beach. We got quite a few stares from the people on the beach that afternoon and Allison even attracted a very young admirer who would have followed her out beyond the waves. I had so much fun and I hope she did too. You can see all of her photos from the "Trash the Dress" session at www.conwayphotoshop.com/trash/ and can get a quick look through the video which is posted above this blog post. By the way, after her wedding in July, I'll share some of her "real" bridal portraits which I thought were lovely.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Special Time

Sometimes I look through the camera and just get a special feeling about a photo. That happened this morning with this one. I photographed Maggie and Corey's wedding in 2005 and now Caleb joins the family. Aren't they beautiful?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

More Tiny Dancers!

I've had lots of lovely, little dancers this spring to photograph. I love taking dance recital photos. All those little girls (and some little boys) in their costumes with their little pink shoes remind me of my dancing days in the dark ages. These students from Hope Miller's dance school had their recital this year at Chowan for the first time and we had a beautiful day to take pictures. Enjoy.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

More Beautiful Faces

If you're a regular reader of mine you know I've been on a kick lately about not smiling in photos. You know I don't mean that I want sad looking people in my portraits but that I just think that many times the most beautiful expressions don't necessarily require big, toothy grins especially from children. I was working on some orders for clients and noticed that the photos these parents selected also didn't require big smiles. Aren't these just absolutely beautiful little faces!!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Where's the fire?

Weddings have a come a long way from when I first started photographing them. In my early years, it was only important that the color of the bridemaids' dresses match the color of the punch at the reception. And, it was ONLY punch in those days! These days brides and grooms often add a personal touch to their special day in one way or another. That was certainly the case for Jennifer and Keith who were married recently in Roanoke Rapids. Keith is a volunteer fireman and this is very important to him, so Jennifer arranged for the fire truck to be driven to the church to surprise him as their "going away" transportation. All the guests waited for us to finish the photos after the wedding to witness this happy couple leaving the church in true "five-alarm" style.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Chowan University Bride

It seems that I spend a lot of time on college campuses with brides. Melissa at UNC, Kristin at N.C. State, Sara at Peace, Andrea at Meredith and, of course, our very own Chowan University in Murfreesboro where I've photographed several brides. I love photographing at Chowan because there are so many picturesque spots and I find new ones every time I wander the campus. I love the stately white columns and rocking chairs at the Columns building, the gazebo, the sidewalk through Squirrel Park, the lake and the bridge. And, if you hit the seasons right, you have azaleas and dogwoods and wisteria to add to the scene. I recently photographed Sarah Davis for her bridal portrait and thought I'd show you a few photos from her session. Sarah was married in Franklin on May 30 (an absolutely gorgeous wedding) and I wanted you to see this beautiful bride on this lovely campus.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Tutu adorable

Isn't this just the cutest outfit you've ever seen? I don't think I've ever had a baby in a tutu before. Just wanted to share a couple of photos of little Miss Madelyn. Her first birthday was coming up when I took these photos. I've had lots of little dancers in front of my camera lately but this may just have been the best tutu!

Friday, June 5, 2009

DON'T smile for the camera?!?

Is it hard to believe that I'm saying "Don't smile for the camera?" Every week I photograph children and I've always got parents and grandparents encouraging their little one to "Smile for the camera" or "Say, cheese." Now I'm not opposed to smiles but I did want to share a thought about this. If you read one of my prior postings, you'll remember that I talked about being in a class last month with Linda Weaver who is known world-wide as a portrait artist. In fact, I was intimidated and a little overwhelmed at being in a class with her because she travels everywhere and is paid thousands of dollars for a portrait. But when you're around her, you find out that she's truly one of the nicest people you'll ever meet on top of being a first class artist. Our class was sitting around at a break one day and we were swapping professional stories and someone asked Linda about the fact that most of the children in her portraits were not smiling. She very quickly told us that she did not encourage little children to smile for the camera for a number of reasons. The most important reasons were that children often tried too hard to smile and their expression looked forced rather than happy and that there is SO much expression in their eyes and that you often lose that expression with a big cheese-y grin. I've thought about what she said several times since then and looked back through some of my favorites children's portraits. I'm with her -- the eyes really do have it!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Youngest Wedding Guest EVER!!

A couple of weeks ago I hinted about a very special guest at Sara and David's wedding in Roanoke Rapids. I believe she may be the youngest wedding guest I've ever seen since this little beauty was only six days old. She is Sara's brand-new niece and her mommy is Sara's sister, Mary Fountain. Little Miss Lillian was due to arrive about three weeks after the wedding (mommy was the matron of honor) but this little princess obviously didn't want to miss the big day so she came early. Thought I'd share some photos of her with her Aunt Sara, with her mommy and grandma, and taking a little nap in her Daddy's hands. She also took a little snooze with Sara's bouquet when we were out on the golf course taking photos. The bouquet is almost as big as she is!

Tiny Dancers

The dance recital photos from "Miss" Susan and "Miss" Helen are ready to be picked up here at the studio. You may want to call before you come over to be sure we're here. These tiny dancers (and the older ones, too) had a wonderful recital and we had a beautiful spring day to take their photos. You can view all of them at http://conwayphotoshop.com/dance/.