Monday, June 29, 2009

Erik and Ashley: Wedding

On Saturday I had the pleasure of shooting a wedding for a friend at church. It's probably more accurate to say that I'm friends with Ashley's mom, but Ashley and I have done our share of visiting together, especially as her wedding day was drawing near.

Ashley and Erik have dated for years. Erik is away at A-school right now - a few hours away - and is preparing to receive his orders come this fall. They wanted to be sure to fit in a wedding before his orders come, especially if he winds up being sent overseas, so a quick wedding was planned.

The weather was beautiful, the decor was simple yet elegant, and the day was filled with emotions.

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Husband and wife!

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I was SO excited when Ashley and Erik wanted to spend some extra time in the evening for pictures of just the two of them!

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Her hair was gorgeous!

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Ashley and Erik, thank you for allowing me (and Daniel) to be a part of your wedding day. We had a great time and pray that your lives will be filled with joy and happiness!

I Heart Faces - "Wedding Bells"

I had heard of I Heart Faces a few times before, but when the ultra-fabulous Jasmine Star mentioned that she was going to be a guest judge for this week's I Heart Faces contest, I decided I would enter. I mean, at what other time in history would I ever have a chance for Jasmine Star to visit my blog and view my work? Umm, probably never.

One of the two themes this week is "Wedding Bells" and since I absolutely fell in love with one particular photo from my wedding last month, I knew right away it was the one I wanted to enter. (Yes, you've already seen it in this post.)

This picture was taken about 5 minutes after the couple was announced husband and wife. I just love the pure emotion and joy!

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Now head on over to I Heart Faces to view all the other entries this week! And Jasmine, I'm so glad you could stop by!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Lot of Talk

First of all, don't even ask what I'm doing up at this hour. Yes, I know I'm shooting a wedding today and yes, I know I should be sleeping. But I can blame all this on the pregnancy.....right?

I'm really excited to be shooting my last wedding of the summer with my new understudy - my husband! (And before I start touting about his excellence, let me just say that the wedding season is clearly just starting and that the only reason this is my last wedding of the summer is because of our impending little one who is due to arrive in September. Ok, back to Daniel....)

I mentioned this before, but it is totally amazing to me how quickly my husband can pick up on new things. I'm not even joking when I say that he can hear something one time - just one teensy-weensy time - and remember it forever. Unless, of course, we're referring to keeping his dirty clothes off the the floor. That would be the one exception. But I digress. :)

Last month, I shot a beautiful wedding in Iowa and, before we realized that it would obviously be impossible for him to help me out and watch our three munchkins at the same time, he had offered to second-shoot for me. You know, just to be nice. (What I really think is that he has a tiny interest in learning how to use the camera and helping me shoot a wedding would just be a great way for him to do so. But he made it sound like it would be all about helping me out. But I digress again.)

While we were on vacation, there were lots of opportunities to play around with the cameras. We totally pulled the OBVIOUS tourist card and both carried a camera with us nearly everywhere we went. But then again, really, who isn't a tourist on Mackinac Island?

I rest my case.

He seemed to catch on and enjoy himself so I offered him a second-shooting position at my next wedding....which just so happens to be today. So we scoured the yellow pages for a babysitter, got the cheapest one we could find for an all-day gig watching three toddlers, and booked!

No, just kidding. We got some relatives to watch them. Calm down, mom!

I tried to make it sound like it would really help me out if he could come and shoot with me. "I'm going to have to run to the bathroom every 30 minutes and what will I do if I miss something?" I said. He rolled his eyes, knowing good and well, that I've never missed an important wedding moment due to being in the restroom. "I could really use someone to help me carry around all my gear," I said. He rolled his eyes again, knowing that it's never been an issue before. But he complied.

The truth is....I think it sounds really fun to work with my husband! And maybe he thinks it sounds really fun to work with his wife! But isn't it so much more interesting not knowing for sure? :)

Are you wondering why I'm still typing and you haven't seen any photos? Alright, well just to appease you, here's one of my daughter. Are you tired of seeing my kids' cute faces yet?

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Good. :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Q and A

Last week, I opened up the floor for questions about anything and everything. Thankfully nobody asked me how to make the perfect cheese fondue. I was hoping to have a few people ask some relatively common questions - and you did! - so that later on I can refer to this post when I get those same questions again and again.

So here goes...

Your family is gorgeous! Why don't you ever post pictures of yourself? I'm a belly-bump-aholic :)

First of all, thank you. Secondly, there are a few reasons you rarely see pictures of me...

1. Like most women, I suppose, I despise pictures of myself and loathe even the idea of having my picture taken.

2. It's somewhat difficult to take a self-portrait on a DSLR without a remote shutter. The focus issue is difficult to remedy. BUT...I recently bought a remote shutter, so hopefully I will get a few pictures up soon. My belly really is getting to be rather large.

3. The whole idea seems kind of conceited to me. See? Look how cute I am! Besides that, as I stated in #1, I generally don't consider my pictures to be very "cute".

What is your go-to outdoor setting?

I was a little confused by this question at first, but what I think you're asking is what type of location I prefer when shooting. I really don't have an answer for this as I LOVE exploring new places all the time. But, having said that, one of my favorite places to go is downtown Indy because the area is so large and so diverse. Regardless of what type of personality you are, there is something that will fit you downtown!

I always encourage my clients to come up with a location of their own choosing so that it will fit their personality, but sometimes I have to intervene for those who simply don't have any idea where they'd like to have their shoot take place.

What kind of camera do you shoot with?

I currently shoot with a Nikon D80. My husband is following in my footsteps a little bit and learning on my D40.

What do you feel is the best way to advertise your services?

I can't really say for sure because I'm not exactly booming with business yet, but word of mouth has been pretty effective for me. Almost all of my clients have been friends or friends of friends. I do leave business cards in Starbucks, at jewelry stores, dress shops, etc., but I can't really say I've gotten much business that way.

I saw your post about your studio (it looks awesome BTW).. what all does it consist of and where did you buy everything for it?

Thanks! I'm still pretty psyched about having my own studio in my home! Here are all the juicy details:

1. THE FLOOR - It's floating laminate from Menards. It's approximately 7 ft x 8 ft (2 boxes of 27sf flooring) and cost me $50. It's not attached to anything - it's just lying on the linoleum.

2. THE BACKDROPS - Seamless paper from The rolls are 53" wide x 12 yards. Each roll ran me about $22 + shipping. Total order cost to purchase and ship 6 rolls: about $160. The backdrops are hung on a shower curtain rod, which is placed on two L hooks screwed into the wall. Total cost for that was about $10.

3. THE OTHER DETAILS - There is 5 ft of base moulding at the bottom of the paper roll. Your hardware store can cut it for you. (About $8) The paper is tucked slightly under the flooring. It is kept taut (I'm having a pregnant moment - is that how you spell that?) at the top merely because the paper roll is still so wide, but eventually I need to get some clamps.

4. THE LIGHTING - These photos were taken late at night, so I was only using my SB-600 external flash. During the day, I have lots of natural light that streams in through the sliding glass doors. (Yes!)

5. THE PAPER RACK - Made up of 12 J hooks from the hardware store. They are layered closely together to create the appearance of a rack. Cost = about $15.

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Are you self-taught?

Yes! I am living proof that photography school is NOT a necessity! However, I do frequent a few pro photography forums online and have learned an awful lot from the ladies in those groups. I also cannot say enough about the book Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. Fantastic book!

I'm going to buy a new Digital Cannon, wanted to know your thoughts on the Digital Rebel.

Well, first off, Justin...I have to tell you that, having been made aware of your...shall we say....historical background, I absolutely LOVE the way you spelled Canon. :)

I can't say much about Canon cameras as I'm a Nikon girl myself. Canon and Nikon are the two leading brands of cameras and both are great! The Rebel was replaced by the XT several years ago, which was in turn replaced by the XTi. There are several models of Rebel cameras, so I recommend checking out Ken Rockwell's reviews on each to find what's right for you. You can find his review on the original Rebel here.

How do I set my camera to do the quick clicking, take a ton of successive pictures, thing? I was told by someone who has my type of camera that my camera will do this. I am just not sure how. Should I read the instruction book?

Well, the short answer to your question is: Yes, you should read the instruction book. :) The type of shooting you're referring to is called continuous (or burst) shooting. It's virtually impossible to tell you how to do this on your camera since all cameras are different and I have no idea which camera you own, but I recommend looking under shooting modes in your menu settings. Along with the continuous shooting mode, you will probably also see the timer mode and possibly other modes if they are available on your camera.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Well, I did it. I just bought a new website. (And I got a pretty sweet deal on it, if I do say so myself.) I kind of had a website this past year, but...not really. You see, I bought a template through GoDaddy last year and was...well....I just don't know how to put this nicely....

I was completely dissatisfied.

So this time I purchased through BluDomain and I cannot WAIT for my site to be ready to go live! Depending on how much time I have on my hands over the next week or two, I'm hoping it will be up by next weekend, but.....we'll see. That's probably entirely too ambitious, but I have to set some goals, right?

I haven't forgotten about answering your questions. I was just waiting for them to stop streaming in and then trying to find the time to actually blog the answers.

Tonight I got out my remote shutter release that I purchased a few months ago. I removed the clear plastic device from the battery chamber and snapped a few shots. I'm happy to report that it's in excellent working condition but that I will not be posting any photos of me today. No sirree. My hair looks like crap and so does my makeup. And well, it's just too dark to be taking photos tonight anyway.

Last week, I had another press book come in. I'm always sooo excited when they arrive, all pretty in their beautifully-bound leather covers. Sara and Ryan, I hope you (and your families) love the book!

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Floor Is Open

Not that I really feel qualified, but I'd like to open up the floor for Q and A. I know lots of my friends ask me questions here and there about random photography-related things and photographers always have questions for other photographers about how they do such-and-such, so I just thought I'd see if any of my followers had any questions for me. Your question(s) could be business-related, shooting-related, or family-related.

Whatever you want to ask, here's your chance.

If there's no interest, I'll know that I must lead a relatively boring life and have absolutely no special talent whatsoever. I will sulk in my bedroom for days, donning only sackcloth and ashes and will consider returning to the real world eventually.

If there is interest, please leave your question(s) in the comments section below. :)

In the meantime, please enjoy this picture from our trip to Iowa a few weeks ago:

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Oddities of Life

Don't even tell me that's not a word. I'm using it anyway.

My husband and I visited the House on the Rock a few weeks ago and I finally got around to looking at the pictures. If you've never been to (or heard of) the House on the Rock, well....hopefully these shots will give you a taste of the strangeness of it all. :)

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Frog Girl

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The Infinity Room (See my husband way down there?)

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The music machines are so bizarre...

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And finally...the world's largest carousel. (The picture doesn't do it justice.)

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

My First Trainee

While we were on vacation, I taught my husband how to shoot in manual on my old D40. Actually, that's a bit of a stretch. He's a really fast learner. So basically, I told him how to do it once and never had to tell him again. But those are just details, really.

I did a bit of post-processing on these, since I haven't taught him that end of things yet. Here are a few of my favorites of his from our vacation last week:

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I love this next shot. It was so perfect SOOC that I just ran a quick unsharp mask on it and called it good.

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Friday, June 5, 2009

Day Five

Today we made our second terrorizing trip across the 5-mile Mackinac Bridge. Well, was only terrorizing for me. And really, I was actually brave enough to take some pictures this time across. Unfortunately there was a huge ugly dump truck in front of us who didn't exactly help the picture-taking atmosphere.

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Getting close....

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We spent the night in Green Bay last night and are getting ready to head out to my parents' house to reunite with our little ones! :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Day Four

Today is our last full day on the island. We enjoyed breakfast at the Pancake House this morning and then went biking around the perimeter of the island. It's an 8-mile ride and this pregnant woman was ready to finish at Mile 3. But I pressed onward. We stopped and took pictures often and finished the ride in under 2 hours. We shopped for fudge and souvenirs and lounged around our tiny hotel room this afternoon. It was a nice, relaxing day.

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