Well, Spring is officially here. Slightly less chilly than it has been. Spring means, it's time to get back at it. After a nice well-deserved winter break, it's back to photos. I've been taking photos for Adrienne and Dave for years. This year, we celebrated the pugs 14th birthday. Their little sister, Camden keeps things spunky and exciting. Happy Birthday, Logan & Cash!
Well, Fall is in full effect. Bring on the pumpkin picking, caramel apples, scary movies and bonfires. It's crisp and the leaves change from green to hues of orange, red and brown. There is just a whole different feel to Autumn. Something about it makes you want to snuggle up with the people you love and pump the brakes just a little bit. Fall is also my busiest time of year. And I ALWAYS enjoy these photo shoots.
My first Fall photo shoot was not your typical Fall day. It was REALLY humid and warm. The reason for it was to celebrate this special girl's 2nd birthday. This little firecracker kept me on my toes from start to finish. What you can't see in these photos is myself covered in sweat and dirt from chasing her around. She has a whole lot of personality in that tiny little body of hers. What I loved most about this photo shoot is that it didn't go as planned (not that things ever really do). Most of the photos from our session were candid. Which are, personally, my favorite. Dad was throwing walnuts that fell from the tree at her to get her to giggle. And Mom is trying to keep her out of meltdown mode. Despite all the hard work, I'd say it was a success!
Once a month, a photography group I belong to meets to either discuss ideas, business topics or does a shoot. This time, the main focus of the meeting was "Light Painting". I've done light painting a few times before. It's always fun. The best part about it, is you can get as creative as you want. You can use different light sources, angles, techniques. It's a good time! And everyone's photos look different. The meeting was hosted by a fellow photographer. Unfortunately, the only photographers that attended were the hostess and myself. So we thought, screw it! We're going to have fun regardless of the turn out. I had heard about the "Steel Wool Project" a few years back and suggested it to her. She was all for it!
First and foremost, you need a few supplies (which most people already have in their house or garage). You need steel wool, a whisk, rope or bungee cord and a lighter. You need to do this in a wide open space. DISCLAIMER: This is dangerous and should only be attempted by a responsible adult in a safe area. You place the steel wool inside the openings in the whisk and tie rope the end of the handle. Light the steel wool on fire and being to swing the whisk around on the rope (make sure the rope is a long enough to spin away from you without risk of injury).
Set your camera on a tripod. To avoid camera shake, use either a timer or remote (I used a timer). Luckily, my fellow photographer's husband was brave enough to attempt the dangerous portion for us to get these great photos! Of course, after he saw what the first photo looked like, he was pumped to keep going! Light the steel wool on fire then use the rope to swing the steel wool around. The direction and angle you use, will determine what your patterns/designs will appear on your camera. Continue until the fire goes out. The embers will break off the bundle of steel wool in all different directions. Wear appropriate shoe wear in case you have to stomp out a rogue ember!
The magic comes from your camera settings. For those of you who would like to try this at home, my settings are listed below. Have fun with it! Would love to see some of your photos!
Steel Wool Photos: ISO 320 24mm f/9 15 sec
Sparkler Portrait: ISO 1250 48mm f/2.8 1/30 sec
Once again, I had the pleasure of volunteering at the A.I. DuPont Children's Oncology Prom a few weeks back. Once a year, the children at the A.I. Dupont Children's hospital are invited to experience a night to remember. These kids are battling Cancer, Heart Disease and other serious health conditions. The entire night is run by volunteers.
This year's theme was "A Night Under the Stars". First stop for the kids is hair and make-up. The volunteers get them glammed up and ready to head to Prom. After they're dressed to impress, they are then picked up by drivers in fancy cars. They arrive at A.I. DuPont Children's Hospital in style. As each car pulls up to the drop off point, they are announced by the local radio hosts to hoards of family members, friends, photographers and people in Space Invader and Alien costumes. It's a true Red Carpet reveal. As they walk down the promenade to the door of the Auditorium, they are escorted by dates while smiling and waiving to their adoring fans. Then it's time to party.
Once they enter the Auditorium, they are transported into Space. There are stars and planets hanging from the ceiling, props draping from the walls and music to get them pumped and ready to dance. There are vendors handing out classic staples like pizza, chicken fingers, quesadillas, ice cream, popcorn and cotton candy. Every teenagers go-to junk food faves. Right outside of the auditorium, is a photo booth with fun props, a Caricature Artist and then there's me. This year, I was the designated Posed Prom Photographer. The backdrop was amazing and built from the ground up by volunteers. The lead photographer hooked me up with a studio set up and her husband running quick edits and printing. Then there was another volunteer putting photos in frames for the kids. It was controlled chaos, but I LOVED every second of it. I would take this over a paid job, any day. It was so fun and rewarding making these kids' experience one that they'll never forget. They truly inspire me! Here are some of my favorites from that night. Until next year...
This quick, impromptu photo shoot was so much fun! Stephanie accidentally found this beautiful location while driving by one day. Unless you're paying close attention, you'll miss it from the road. A little trek back through weeds and overgrown grass landed us in a field of beautiful yellow flowers. This was a Mother's Day inspired shoot. My goal was to get a few good family photos, but I also wanted to focus a lot of attention on Stephanie. I wanted it to feel really relaxed, candid and romantic. As we were leaving, we saw a magnolia tree nearby. Stephanie risked ruining her nice new outfit for one last shot. And boy, was it worth it! It might be my favorite photo in the bunch (the last one). Sweat-soaked clothing and itchy feet were a small price to pay for the beautiful moments we captured that day. Hope all of you Moms out there had a wonderful Mother's Day, too!