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Friday, October 30, 2009

Jack, Memories and 5 Tips

Jack has been very eager to have his picture up on my blog. My mother asked for a recent vertical picture of Jack for her to frame and hang up. The stars aligned and Jackie-baby and I had ourselves a photo shoot this week while sister was at gymnastics. (Our last shoot did not go so well and I flat-out refused to take his picture for awhile after that.) Mean Mommy.
However, my refusal seemed to help my cause. You see, Jack likes seeing himself. He's never met a reflective surface he didn't like. Really. And here's the proof:
Just turned two, Jack in front of our fireplace watching his reflection as he sings to himself.
Five years and eight months later...
Jack without a reflective surface, but have no fear! He's equally entertained by his own shadow. (It's still him, after all.) They had been watching tennis with me and ever the imitator, Jack is shifting his weight from foot to foot like the pros do waiting for a serve.
Another imitator photo I found in storage that shows the real Jack. Jack also loves music. This photo is also from March 2003 at the age of two. Jack is singing along with Dean Martin. He obviously didn't know the words, but boy, does he love a good duet. It was an hour long special and I bet he stood there close to the full hour! (He's wearing the head piece from his red Clifford pajamas given to him from Aunt Paula.)Thanks for sticking with me as I strolled down memory lane. Here is one of the best photos from our shoot this week.I think it captures Jack in all his young-boy sweetness. Looking handsome, cooperating with his demanding photographer and hoping she got some good shots. (Which he begged to see once we were done...and asked if I'd be putting one up on my blog.) Here you go, Buddy!

Tips for Photographing your Own Children
Tip #1: Jack does much better by himself than with his sister. If you have a child who distracts easily, they may cooperate better on a solo shoot.
Tip #2: Scout out your location before you go and if possible, let them do some climbing/ jumping/exploring as a reward for being such a good subject.
Tip #3: Work quickly. I shot 40+ shots in under 45 minutes. Twenty were keepers.
Tip #4: Don't be afraid to give some simple directions - Jack was unsure of what to do with his hands while standing, so I told him to stuff 'em into his pockets or cross his arms. Sometimes, I actually did the pose myself...just leave it up to your
little imitator!
Tip #5: If things aren't working out today, bag it. Tomorrow is another day.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Saving Face...

...faces, that is for another post. This tip may be something you've never considered doing before. Exclude faces to emphasize a different part of your subject and to give a twist to a portrait shot. This type of photo is a terrific addition to more traditional portraits and can say something totally different about your subject.
Here are some examples:
This ballet photo puts the emphasis on the three girls being in-sync. Quite an accomplishment for five-year-olds, if you ask me.
(I did a cross-processing treatment-why the color may look wonky to you.)

Bob, our neighbor's cat and our daughter. Listening to the birds together.

Baby P's feet in Momma, Bethany's hands. See his toes wrapping around her finger? Shows how baby is a snuggler - right down to his toes!

So the next time you're clicking off a bunch of shots, try to add a bit of the unexpected to your series and exclude the face of your subject.

Happy picture-taking and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Back in the Saddle Again

Where to start? An apology because I hate that I went so long without posting. Our daughter came down with the flu...while my husband was on an eight-day road trip...I then caught it...while my husband was still gone. I recovered in time to work down at the apparel mart for my husband, but the "ick" (coughing) lingers. My appetite is still gone - however, the only weight I may have lost is in the fingers.

Fortunately, I recovered in time to photograph my pregnant neighbor. It went very well and I'm hoping she's happy with the results. I've just started processing them, but will be sure to post a few soon.

In the meantime, let me show you who was the best behaved in our house while I suffered.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Fall/Halloween Decorating Done Cheap

You'll notice I lean towards fall decorations versus Halloween decorations. It all has to do with being lazy. That's the truth. Sad, but I know myself. I'd rather be able to leave things up through November than go through the whole process again on November first. A BIG thank you to Amanda who was so generous and thoughtful to make this fabulous FALL banner for me. I love it!(I was shopping the house and was encouraged to move something from one room to another {via the Nester}. This picture is usually in our bedroom, but I like its vibe for this season. Not sure its the right size, but whaddya think?)
This year I got a bag of various smallish pumpkins at BJ's for just $6.99. I love how they look on top of my urns, candlestick holders and mantle. Add a little reindeer moss and...instant, inexpensive fall decor.goblin is a sales find from Michael's
I buy my stuff when things go on sale - lots of times they are on sale before the holiday. I found these feathery picks half off at Hobby Lobby and they added some punch to a premade garland I already had and look terrific with this urn - gives it more presence up on that top shelf.I did have to wait until after the holidays for this cornucopia, though. It was originally $50 and went down to $10 - again at BJ's.
There are a few cutesy things I have for the kids including this wooden Halloween tree and the countdown calendar I shared with you here. I also put up tacky orange lights on the front porch the week of Halloween. Honestly though, they seem to enjoy the change of decor no matter if it's Halloween themed or not.
Thanks for stopping by and happy decorating!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Quickie Card

Good news - I've kept my August resolution and am 4 for 4 in sending out birthday cards! Hardly a stretch to get 4 cards made, but maybe it's better that I'm eased into this deal.
I'm sharing this card because I just love this new stamp. It has incredible details! (Click on the image to enlarge.) I got it over at addicted to rubber If you don't have a local stamp store, you should check out this place. They run different promotions and sales weekly. Thousands of stamps to choose from - thousands, people! If you need a place to start looking, I'd recommend these companies: Impression Obsession, Inkadinkado, Magenta and Rubber Romance Stamps. No need to thank me - I'm happy to help! (wink)
Once stamped, I used colored pencils to color in the cake. Who doesn't love to color? I actually think it's therapeutic. But I digress. Here's the inside:Cake Stamp: Impression Obsession (sorry there is no company name on the "bloomin'" stamp)
Patterned Paper: ki memories (quite old actually)
Edge Punch: Fiskars
Scalloped Punch: Stampin' Up

Thanks for stopping by and happy-stamping!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Photography: Angles, Part III

This is the last of this series, unless I learn something new and then I'll be sure to pass it along. This recommendation is also easy-peasy.
Instead of always shooting your subject straight-on, tilt your camera a bit.
Just be sure that your subject doesn't look like they are about to fall down a steep slope.
Here are some examples:
Our Godson
The angle of Baby S. here works well, but would not have worked if the top of his head had been tilted towards the bottom left corner. Can you picture what I'm talkin' about? (I am somewhat biased, but look at those sweet little lips and cute wittle nose...isn't he beautiful?)

Our daughter, Daniella
She's a cutie, too. (Again, I'm pretty biased.)

This week I have the distinct honor of photographing our neighbor who will be giving birth to their first child sometime this month. It will be my first maternity shoot, so send some good thoughts my way as I am a bit nervous.

Thanks for stopping by and happy picture-taking!