Monday, August 29, 2011

Neven, 7 Days Young {WNY Portrait Photographer}

 Neven's mom, Stacey, was the big winner of my Giving Is Awesome giveaway back in June. Back than we did a maternity session for the first part of her prize and now that sweet boy Neven is here with us we finished up the won sessions.

He was so easy to work with and mom and dad seem to be doing awesome (if without less sleep). We shot a LOT. Four hours flew by before I said goodbye to the newly enlarged family and locked my keys in my studio. But, moving on... This is the nomination received for Stacey.

"Stacey has been through a lot in the past few months and that is why I think she deserves the custom portraits.
It all started 7 months ago, when Staceys father was diagnosed with Leukemia. Stacey was really close with her father, they even worked together, so this was devestaiting to their family. Determined to beat the cancer together, the family pulled together.  Stacey and her husband even decided to finally stop putting off having a baby, so that Pat (Stacey's dad) would be able to meet his first grandchild. After spending so much time at the hospital with her father, through a bone marrow transplant, and rounds of Chemo. Pat's cancer would not relent.
Pat fought a good fight, sadly though, in February, Pat lost the battle with cancer. Although he didn't get to meet his grandchild, cause Stacey isn't due until August, they were able to tell him the sex of the baby on the day he passed away.
Please pick Stacey because she deserves to start some beautiful memories for her son and also her family. Starting with a custom portrait maternity session with you!!!"

These are some of my favorite shots.

Thank you Stacey and Brian for bringing this sweet boy out for his closeup, now comes the fun part of spending your $200 printing credit!

 Kristina, thank you again for a terrific nomination and being so awesome all around.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Big Family, Lots of Love {WNY Portrait Photographer}

 I was hired back in April to photograph the extended family of one of my favorite client's. Melissa and Howie are the proud grandparents of those four crazy Hoy girls and set up a session that unfortunately had to be rescheduled to just this last month due to family scheduling. Since they were all back in town for a big wedding two weeks ago we took the opportunity to get together, rain or shine! (It had actually stormed that morning, but since they didn't know when they'd all be together again we took a gamble and headed to the beach anyways.) Each of the 7 grandkids are amazing and obviously very loved by their Abuela and Papa Howie. 

 These are a few of my favorite shots.

 Thank you Melissa! You and Howie are blessed with such a big and caring family!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Balloons 1 {WNY Portrait Photographer}

 I recently came to the realization that I'd been letting my shoots get away from me. It's easy enough to do when there are large families or kids who are a bit more rambunctious than others. Parents have busy schedules to keep to get kids to karate, dance or Grandma's. There are naps to schedule around and breaks for food and snacks. And tears. Sometimes there are lots of shrieking tears.

 I'm often told I have a ton of patience by parents. I have to. But, I also have to keep a fresh and creative mind. So with that, it was important for me to start a series of children's images that were just for me. I told the parents not to say a word, just stand back and let me do my job. If food bribes must be involved I have to be in charge of them, that way the kids pay attention to me, the person with the food and the camera. Otherwise I'm not the one in control of the session. 

 I put out a casting call on my Facebook page looking for kids who listen ridiculously well. I made sure to say I needed kids of many moods. Sulky, smiley, serious... As long as they took my direction well, I wanted authentic looks from the kids, not big "cheese"y smiles. I got a good amount of responses and met with some of the families about shooting. 

 The first person to show up before my lens was Sophia, who I've shot twice now for her family. She can be a bit moody and contrary, but she photographs so well that I had to give her a shot. I planned her outfit with her mom, enlisted the assistance of the family pet, borrowed some suitcases from a vintage shop, picked up a dozen balloons and headed to my favorite park. 

 We shot for about 45 minutes and Sophia did surprisingly well at listening and following directions. I was in charge of her Graham crackers and the session. Post- processing was nice and easy since I already had a finished product in mind. Muted pastels and lots of textures. Some heavy grain, a fair amount of vignetting. 

 I'm in love with the beautiful vintage-style images my peers have been putting out, the whimsical imagery from sites like and that I've been pulling from pinterest.

 I chose the balloons to be a recurring theme in my recent sessions (and three remaining). I hate balloons. They scare me. I have no idea why, it's completely irrational but they do. I also fear clowns, but I think more people will be able to relate to that. Anyways, I chose balloons because they are pretty and fun (in theory). Children almost always like balloons though so they were a good choice. I wish I had had more time to find the bright, round balloons but time being what it was it wasn't going to happen.

 The results made mom Melissa and I both giddy. I try to be humble and not gloat, but I genuinely love these images. Maybe, just maybe, Bossy's got her groove back.

 These are some of my favorite shots, I'd love to hear your thoughts on them so leave a comment.

 As always, thanks goes to the family for coming out and stepping in front of my lens. xxoo

Monday, August 22, 2011

Gabe Turns 2! {WNY Portrait Photographer}

 Gabe smashed a cake the same day as Miss Aubrey for his 2nd birthday! We met recently when I photographed his new little brother and mom Cami really liked the idea of a Cake Smash session for him. Toni at Cake & Dazzle whipped up an adorable fish themed cake for him which certainly ended up Smashed (with a little help from mom). He is one of my more contrary clients and mostly wanted to do the opposite of everything we said but we managed! I have a soft spot for meltdown pictures so one of them is below with the rest of my favorite shots.

Cami, thanks again! I hope Gabe enjoys his party and everyone enjoys the photographs!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Jaxson is 8 Weeks Young! {WNY Portrait Photographer}

 Jaxson recently turned 8 weeks old and is already growing so big! I met him with mom and dad, Kristin and Tony, for a very quick family shoot at the park and some creative shots. All day before the shoot Kristin was sending me links to fun portraits that she liked and so I promised we'd put a spin on some of them for her. She loved the results and these are some of my favorite shots.

 Happy two months to the three of you!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Aubrey's Cake Smash! {WNY Portrait Photographer}

 Aubrey's turning two in style! Her mommy Kym is having a carnival to celebrate and to get everything kicked off right we enlisted Toni from Cake & Dazzle to create this fun and festive box of popcorn cake. The box was all cake and each piece of popcorn was individually sculpted from marshmallow!

 Aubrey isn't much a of a smiler but she spent a good chunk of her Smash grinning like a little crazy person. These are some of my favorite shots.

 Thank you Kym! I can't wait to photograph her birthday party in a couple of weeks!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Micah, 6 Days Young {WNY Portrait Photographer}

New baby boy Micah is the youngest of 3 boys! He also happens to be the quietest! His mom and dad found me through the fabulous Toni at Cake & Dazzle and have been by twice for shoots, this newborn session and a Cake Smash for their middle son. We started off the session at a playground nearby to help the two older boys burn off some energy (didn't work!) and moved onto a scenic park for family shots. After, mom Cami and her sweet baby boy came back to the studio to get some solo shots while dad Jim occupied the other two. Micah was such a sweet boy and very easy to shoot. I'm really looking forward to shooting the rest of their package sessions throughout the next year. These are some of my favorite shots.

 Thank you so much Cami and Jim, you have such beautiful boys and I look forward to watching them grow! My gratitude also goes to Toni, who's work you can find here.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Amelia and Abby {WNY Portrait Photographer}

  Amelia is one of the happiest little girls I have ever met, she is just such a sweet baby. She came in for her 6 month session a few weeks ago with mom Jessica and bigger sister Abby (she has 3 altogether). I've shot this family 7 times now and each time is even better than the last. I just adore them. 

 Since Abby was having fun playing in my studio wardrobe and props we snagged a couple of quick shots of her in one of the lace petite rompers. She has a boyfriend now and we got the best smiles out of her every time we said his name to her. 

 These are some of my favorite shots.

 Thank you Jess- keep your eye on you inbox for a special thank you for being a super referrer!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Olivia, Take 2! {WNY Portrait Photographer}

 When I last met Olivia I spent just over 2 hours with her and big sister, but I got a lot more unhappy faces than not. So I invited her and mommy out for a quick reshoot. We got a few happier ones, but this time she mostly wanted to "talk" about the birds squabbling at the park. These are a couple of my favorite shots of the beautiful Miss Olivia.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Newborn Evalynn, 8 Days Young {WNY Portrait Photographer}

 Evalynn is the sweetest. We shot twice and she was just as sweet in studio as she was outdoors so I'm photographing her again next week for a vendor. Her parents are just over the moon with her and she has the cutest big brother. These are some of my favorite shots.

 Thank you Sarah and David, she is just too precious!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Strawberry's Cake Smash {WNY Portrait Photographer}

 Oh, Strawberry. You've made me such a happy mommy this last year. Happy birthday to my sweetheart.

 Born two months premature my daughter's first birthday is such an exciting milestone for us. We asked the wonderful Toni from Cake & Dazzle to make our Smash Cake to reflect the birthday cake we'll be cutting at her birthday party. Strawberry, of course, couldn't have been happier. How it is that I have such a scrawny girl is beyond me.

 The only problems were that midway through the session Daddy wanted to switch flower barrettes (and naturally the best shot in the bunch is the mismatched one) and that she became tired at the end and started her fake cry. Otherwise we had a great time and these are some of my favorite shots.

 Where did the year go?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Personal Work {WNY Portrait Photographer}

 I thought tonight might be a good night to share some of my personal projects and images with everyone. These were shot throughout this year and are a good idea of the kinds of things I like and the kinds of events I enjoy covering.  

 So, clockwise from left to right, these are some of my favorite shots. 

 Top Left: This creepy doll was a resident of my yard for about a week because no one dared pick it up. It looked like the kind of thing that might inspire a quality B horror flick and one day it was gone as suddenly as it arrived. This was photographed at a friend's request, after I text the lover of all things freak, a camera shot of it. He loved it. 

 Top Middle: We don't trust people who don't like garlic. Our family is crazy for it. We usually have plenty on hand and lately have been using plenty of it in our new favorite dish of broiled mussels. Our recipe is loosely based on my favorite food blogger's own. It gets thrown on restaurant style mushrooms, potatoes, homemade pizza, pasta... it's our favorite spice. 

 Top Right: This guy was hanging out at the farm I was so graciously granted permission to shoot at recently. He was a rescue, as were his two mates, and the gentlest horse I've ever been around. His owner told me I was welcome to take the horses out to join the shoot and even though I've been around horses much of my life I was a bit nervous about possibly spooking the three. I approached with marginal caution and convinced them to join us. They were wonderful with the two young girls I was shooting and I can't wait to shoot some more with them.

Middle Left: I used to have a really beautiful tree growing next to my balcony and this spring I decided to document the change of seasons as it grew buds that eventually gave way to leaves. I've since traded in that gorgeous tree for a beautiful river but this is one of my absolute favorite shots from that series of images. The rich brown toning make the shot for me, as does the full composition. There's actually quite a bit of negative space in this image but to share with you, my friends, I wanted to show more of the detail of the promise of what was to come. 

Middle Right: Lightpainting of Tianna. One of the greatest friends a girl could ask for and one of my favorite styles of shooting. I love the energy and emotion I not only get from these kinds of images but also that the subject and I each have to put in. I'm currently working on funding for a series of these images to be shown. If you appreciate them, please check out the 50 Ft. Woman and consider a contribution! WNY is hemorrhaging money and not enough is going to support the visual arts. 

Bottom Left: I recently made the acquaintance of Mary Lou, the local Luna Bar spokesperson, and she invited me to come shoot an event and say hello to nutritionist Mary Jo (pictured). It was a very informative event and amusing since cookies are what brought Mary Lou and I together. I enjoy shooting events with public speaking or live music.

Bottom Middle: I'm not sure about organized religion anymore. I do know what I believe to be sure and I do know there's even more I'm not so sure about. I do believe in Peace. It's especially important to me to spread the word of Peace with everyone after reading the absolutely horrifying death threats and comments made on the Facebook page of Fox News by some Christians towards Atheists. To me that is bigotry the same as homophobia, racism, class ism, etc. and there is no room for it in my life. I don't think those are lessons Jesus taught. So, peace dude.

Bottom Right: Sometimes I like excitement and danger! And firemen! Last month, on the way to the zoo with my family and friends we saw the sky filling with black smoke. It was incredible, and awful and curiosity got the best of me. We drove around for a half hour looking for a way to get close to the smoke so I could shoot the fire. It turned out that the Niagara Lubricant plant was exploding. Actually, at the point when I slipped through a broken fence and got so close I was sweating and talking with a fireman it was only still on fire. It exploded about 5 minutes into my shooting. And about 10 minutes later I realized Hey, this building is on fire, exploding and I'm only 30 feet away... where's the car again? and we continued on our merry way to the zoo. The full frame image is one of my favorites I've ever taken. My middle name is Danger.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Santana Family {WNY Portrait Photographer}

 I love shooting families full of strong and sure women. This one was no exception, with ridiculously awesome family members and respectful guys. Shannon booked with me after seeing a lot of my work floating around and hearing about the mini session special ten days ago. She booked double and it allowed us plenty of time to get some shots of the whole gang. 

 There are 3 girls in the family- Shannon, Manan and Kiernen- and even the littlest one was in charge and full of can-do attitude. Bill spent much of the session helping with the three kids and telling his wife how beautiful she is and their son Alex helped out by carrying props around for me. All in all this is a great family. These are some of my favorite shots.

 Thank you so much Shannon, I can't wait to get together again in a couple of weeks!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Jeanine's Kids {WNY Portrait Photographer}

 Madeline, Lil and Charlie are an oddball mix! We met up last Weds. in the midst of the Mini Session Madness so she could use her credit for a free session. They couldn't be more different from one another, Madeline is a dive and ballerina who just returned from Disney recently where she was dancing, Lil is a a complete goofball and sweetheart and Charlie... Charlie is an 8 month old ox of a baby. These are some of my favorite shots.

 Thank you Jeanine!, your print order is already in production!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Natalie and Addison {WNY Portrait Photographer}

 Last week I held a Mini Session special. Mini sessions are half hour sessions and mom Kate emailed me asking to get her girls in the schedule. She ended up being the first shoot of the day and brought her beautiful daughters Natalie and Addison. They were some of the easiest siblings I've had the pleasure of photographing and we're already scheduled for holiday portraits in November. These are some of my favorite shots.

 Many thanks Kate! Your girls are wonderful and it was nice to meet you.