Friday, September 30, 2011

Monsters & Me on Kaleb {WNY Portrait Photographer}

 Kaleb was my first September baby to photograph and he modeled part of the Runts collection for Monsters & Me. He was a very sweet little boy and one of this year's smaller newborns. His mom Jenna and dad Kirk were on hand to keep him calm and comfy, especially since he did not like naked baby time. 

 This adorable grape hat is a new favorite in my growing collection of props from the fabulous Kristina and these are some of my favorite shots from the quickie session and soon I can post some from our full newborn session.

 Thanks so much Kristina for the beautiful hat and big thanks to Kaleb's mommy and daddy!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Balloons 6 {WNY Portrait Photographer}

 I finished up the Balloons series at the beginning of this month (I had so many August sessions I'm just now starting to Blog September's!). I had met Bailey through her cousin, and my friend, Toni. I cannot remember the exact circumstances, but I'm pretty sure we were meeting for Toni's world famous cakes and to ready Kagen for his princely balloons session.

 I asked Bailey what she liked to do and she said swim. Now, being summer time, that is the top answer I received the last two months. I had already envisioned an in-the-water set after finding this great 1930's swimsuit at a local vintage consignment shop. Of course it was slightly too big for her, but I wasn't about to put pins in something so graciously loaned from Next Generation. 

 The location was easy. I live fairly close to a path that follows the river and is lined with large concrete slabs and rocks. We followed the path a short way to an area that wasn't too overrun with pedestrians and shot away. 

 In editing the shots, I grittied up the files a bit so they looked like they'd been around for awhile, added a bit of texture and did a lot more color play. I created a couple more of my own actions and played with the levels and opacity in each layer to achieve the look I wanted in each image. These are some of my favorite shots.

Thanks for doing a great job Bailey!

 This was the final set in the series, so many more thanks to the families who participated and the kids who modeled. I had thought this would be a bigger project than it was but it turned out to be just right. It helped recharge my creative batteries, work out a new way of editing and get me to be back in control of my sessions. Now I have a slew of other ideas that I'm collaborating with some amazing crafters on and can't wait to continue doing these mini series for myself. Keep an eye on the Facebook page for casting calls!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Tutu Girls Boutik {WNY Portrait Photographer}

 The Tutu Girls Boutik is in the middle of a web makeover over at their new site. Owner Lisa contacted me last month to come in and do some promo shots for the new site and I also grabbed a couple of shots of the two BFFs who modeled for us. These are some of my favorite shots.

 Thanks again for having me Lisa, the new site looks great and I can't wait to get my hand on some lace leg warmers!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Preemie Crowns by Monsters and Me {WNY Portrait Photographer}

 I thought I was imagining things until a new mom told me the staff at her delivery told her they've mostly been seeing 8, 9 and even 10 lb. newborns here in Buffalo this year. We certainly grow them big! Which is wonderful, but also meant the brand spankin' new crowns I'd purchased from Monsters and Me were a wee bit small for my typical newborn. But they're perfect for some of the preemies and smaller babies I get in. 

 Micah was my always-beautiful model in these two crowns. I'll be posting a new casting call soon for babies 3 weeks and younger for the brand new and slightly larger crowns I just received last week in about 2 weeks so keep your eyes peeled!

 Many thanks to Cami for bringing sweet Micah out! Kristina thank you, as always, for sending me such wonderful props that my clients love and help lend a something extra to my work. It's been awesome working  with such a considerate and rad vendor!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Balloons 5 {WNY Portrait Photographer}

 I knew I wanted a ballerina to participate in the Balloons series and dancer Madeline fit the bill. She is lovely and graceful and a bit of a diva. But despite the diva in the girl, she listened great and performed each move to the best of her abilities. Wanting to shoot on the beach, she was a real trooper working with me in the rain (it helped that it was still a warm day). 

 I knew I wanted a silhouette of her leaping through the air with the balloons trailing behind her. We did about a dozen takes of the leap and this one of her about to land was my favorite. The back foot is a little awkward but, otherwise, I love this shot. 

 Shooting silhouettes is like shooting a secret person. The shadows wash them in anonymity and can help create a strong mood- loneliness, danger, mystery and more. I feel like these images became lonely as I processed them in Photoshop. It was one of the last great weekends of the summer, but raining and so the beach was empty. In truth, we weren't allowed to be on the beach when we shot but I talked to a couple of lifeguards and made sure we went far enough down the sand that they could truthfully say they couldn't see us to know we were on the beach.

 Most were processed similarly to the other Balloon sessions, but the texture is noticeably heavier to compliment the feel of the wet sand. These are some of my favorite shots. 

 Thank you for doing such a wonderful job Madeline!

Balloons 4 {WNY Portrait Photographer}

  Kagen is a funny little boy. He talks in crazy monster-sounding voices that irritate his mother, has the greatest laugh in the world and thinks his mother is a laugh riot. Kagen is also the son of my fabulous baker, Toni. Of course he was volunteered for the balloon series (which makes sense since most of the participants are within 2 degrees of separation to him. 

 We were originally going to shoot this on the beach but we ended up at the solar park in a different scenic area. I had a Little Prince theme in mind when planning and so Toni made the crown and I picked up the fake sword. I'd imagine old jeans shorts with rough hems but Toni is too responsible a parent to own them. 

 There were phone towers in the backgrounds of a few of these shots that I (obviously) edited out. I used digital fill flash to brighten his face on a few (from the Kubota action pack), added some texture and grunginess and, after color correcting each image individually, ran some through actions. My favorite action packs are the Pioneer Woman packs. There are two and both are free and have almost a dozen actions each.  I have collected a lot of different paid actions and packs but her's remain my favorite. I've used some of them in my own action recipes and really enjoy adjusting the opacity on the individual layers. 

 A couple of these are with my own action recipes, the other two are P.W. actions mixed with textures and the odd random recipe to provide some "oomph!" These are some of my favorite shots.

 Thank you Toni and Kagen! I'm so happy with these (and the rest of the series) have turned out, Kagen did a great job!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Julia, 4 mons. {WNY Portrait Photographer}

 This sweet little girl's session was a two parter. Julia's mom Jackie and I met for the first half at the local park and because of the need-to-nap crankies decided to finish up in-studio when she a bit more rested and dad could be there for a couple of quick shots of the three of them.

 Her nursery theme is bees and so Jackie had her dressed in her adorable bee outfit and brought a couple of cute bee items for the studio. She also had her in her fairy princess and tutu outfit which looked perfect with the pink fur and embellished crown. Her christening gown was the whole reason we decided to finish up in studio when she was not feeling sleepy because it's such an important outfit to her parents. 

 All in all she looked beautiful in whatever they dressed her in and is one of the happiest babies I've photographed! These are some of my favorite shots.

Thank you Jackie for being a sport and bringing your gorgeous girl to the studio. She really is just such a doll!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Flower Headband by Monsters and Me, on Micah {WNY Portrait Photographer}

 Poor, poor Micah is starting out his illustrious modeling career by showing off beautiful, handmade girl's accessories. Kristina at Monsters and Me send me this (and a matching) headband for twin girls I was hoping to photograph. Due to some complications I haven't yet had the pleasure of photographing them and so moved on to finding other newborns that I'd already had a chance to photograph. Darlings Evalynn and Micah were going to model them together for me, since I was looking for twins after all, but E came down with a little fever. I figured one was better than none and decided Micah would look just as cute in a flowered headband as any newborn baby girl. These are a couple of my favorite shots of a great product from a fabulous vendor. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Balloons 3 {WNY Portrait Photographer}

 My wonderful friend Toni, from Cake and Dazzle, recommended I get a hold of this munchkin's mom about her participation in the Balloons series. So I met Carleigh and mom Sara briefly about a month ago to see if her manners were everything Toni had prepared me to expect. They were that and more.

 Upon seeing Sara I knew I had to have her participate in the shoot too. This is one gorgeous mom and daughter team with big doll eyes and engaging smiles. I picked up an outfit for her at a vintage and consignment shop that I thought would compliment the dress Carleigh was all set to wear.

 We shot at a scenic location in a business development that I like for it's tall grasses and abundance of Queen Anne's Lace and thistles. It was noon so I used fill flash to fill in the shadows on their faces. In keeping with the rest of the series I desaturated the colors but went with less textures and instead used layers of digital paper for a subtle something extra on some of the images. By request, I also took a couple of shots of Carleigh in her white play dress since she likes it so much. These are some of my favorite shots. 

 Thank you Carleigh and Sarah, I had a lot of fun!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Monsters & Me on Evalynn {WNY Portrait Photographer}

 I get the opportunity to work with several vendors and once in a while we collaborate on collections. This sweet apple hat is part of the new Runts collection by Monsters & Me. Kristina crochets all of her specialty items and the quality is fantastic. Every item she's sent so far- including 2 purchases, 3 fruit hats, flower headbands and a newborn corsage- have quickly become new favorites in my collection of props and accessories. 

 I called on Evalynn, who's recent newborn session I posted, to model the adorable little hat. I'd hoped to shoot it in an apple orchard but Buffalo weather being what it is it didn't seem to quite pan out. Instead, I shot against the wooden wall I adore, outdoors but in the shade, used a crate I picked up at JoAnne's for $7 and painted, a pendant banner I made not too long ago for portrait and Cake Smash sessions, pulled out a couple fake apples from my Oz shoots a few years ago (and a bag of real ones from E's parents) and grabbed up this rustic looking fabric from my studio.

 I'd planned on lots of cute baby butt cheeks but it was a little breezy for the darling so I loosely wrapped her in the cloth and used a pillow to prop her in place. Shooting was only about 15 minutes, but babies being the finicky creatures they are we took about an hour total between diapers and feedings and readjustments. And just when it seemed like Evalynn was not going to cooperate at all and I might have to reshoot, she settled into a cozy slumber. These are some of my favorite shots. 

 Thank you Sarah and David for loaning precious Evalynn to me, and many thank you's to Kristina from Monsters & Me for trusting me to photograph your lovely items.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The J Family {WNY Portrait Photographer}

 I met the J family the first time 2 months ago when I shot a picture of 7 grandkids for what must be a very proud Papa. The beautiful matriarch of the family, Jillian, hired me to do a family session and we decided that a beach set was a must. We ended up postponing this session a week due to weather and, though it wasn't much more cooperative when we met up, the family photographed beautifully. Throughout the entire shoot it was rainy and gray, but as soon as we started heading back to our shoes, umbrellas and cars the sun snuck out and we got a peek at some breathtaking light. So it was back to the beach for us for a handful of grand finale shots and sunshine. These are some of my favorite shots. 

 Thank you to  the J family for being such troopers! You did an awesome job and weathered through  the weather (ha ha) with me.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Balloons 2 {WNY Portrait Photographer}

 Taylor's mom responded to a casting call for a back to school shoot a month ago. Shanelle emailed me saying Taylor is self-conscious because of her size and that this would do wonders for her self-esteem. Taylor didn't fit the bill for that shoot but I was all too happy to have her join in the balloon fun.

 So we met up to go shopping at the vintage shop and found this great Ralph Lauren top and shorts combo. Next, I went through my books and picked some good ones out to go with the picnic basket, handmade blanket and the awesome watch necklace for our beach session. 

 At the session we asked mom to go do her own thing (watch from behind the trees) so Taylor could relax and focus. She did an awesome job taking direction and before we left a woman told her how nice her photos were going to be because she looked so pretty. Since then, Taylor's been talking up a storm about how pretty she is and I couldn't be happier.

 To get the look of these images I desaturated a lot of the color, added canvas and watercolor texture to many of the shots and threw in some "film" scratches and imperfections.