Halloween Fun

In the spirit of Halloween, I wanted to share a photo recently made in the studio with 6 month old fraternal twins and their pugs.  Needless to say, Mom/Dad worked hard to get the right costumes, ply those little cherub bodies into the costumes and after getting everyone comfortable, we have some fun shots.  They’re all little wigglers so working fast was of the essence.  We all sang “The Wheels on the Bus” and thank goodness the pugs sit for treats!

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

It’s got that “who decided that this is what we’re going to do for Halloween” look to it.  It makes me smile that the twins will have these images, to not only see themselves when they were little, but also see their first dogs!

Summer’s Here Kids!

Yesterday was a gorgeous day here.  Windy, but sunny and definitely shorts weather!  It was my first session of the outdoor season in Lake Park and I got to spend it with two of my favorite kids – Katie and Sam!

Katie was all decked out in her girly-girl dress and fun white hat.  She couldn’t have looked any better!

Looking absolutely lovely, Katie!

Sam, the ever-helpful, big brother, even helped Katie get her wardrobe right.  He LOVES his sister and it showed when he pulled himself away from the playground to be Katie’s escort on the sidewalk.

"You'll look better with this on, Katie"

Sam helps to steady the newly walking Katie

Katie enjoyed her time chasing dandelions and Sam found some ‘alone time’ with his trucks and colorful sunglasses.  Having photographed Sam since he was 2 months old, I’ve come to appreciate his ‘let’s try it’ sense of adventure.  If I suggest something, he usually cooperates with great gusto.  Glad you like the sunglasses Sam!

I'm heading for that dandelion!

Look at my trucks!

So school’s just starting to wind down and soon kids and families will be outdoors enjoying the Wisconsin summer.  Don’t let time go by this summer without booking a Summer Mini-Session ($85) in the great outdoors.  Your kids grow up too fast to not record the fun they have!  Ask me to photograph your children doing the things they love and capture the relationship they enjoy with each other.   You’ll be glad you did!

Call or email me today and we’ll book a date and a Rain Date to work around the weather.  These sessions are limited, as is the time with your children.

Clothing Makes the Girl

Last week my new camera (Nikon D3s) arrived and I put it to work this past weekend when little Sophia, a lovely one year old came for her portrait.  Just a year ago she was a newborn and now there she was, all bright eyed and full of smiles.  Brothers Jake and Cole came along to get the right expressions from her and you could see just how much they loved their little sister.  Mom brought along a number of very cute outfits and each one was cuter than the previous one!  Editing this session was hard because of the many expressions Sophia had.  Decide I must, however.  So here are a few favs from the session!  Happy Birthday Sophia!!

It's ALL Fun!

Even Cat Woman Likes Christmas!

The 'Kitty' crawls

So What If It’s Cold and Snowy Outside!

Wow!  The weather recently turned quickly here in the Upper Midwest.  We went from 40’s to teens, he skies dropped some snow and then those cold, winds from the northwest blew in.  As a dog owner, however, I’m like the Postal Service.  We walk no matter what the weather.  I consider it good training and discipline for those times when I have to be out in the elements.  This past week is but one example.

On our first day of measurable snow, I had the pleasure to photograph a young, yellow lab named Charlie Jack and his owner Shannon.  The snow came in waves of light to heavy and the north winds plastered the snow against the north side of the trees.  It was beautiful weather to be outdoors and make some great images of the two of them!

Shannon & Charlie Jack

Running Free in the Snow

Charlie's Line in the Sand

Best Buddies!

TIP #1:  For those of you interested in photographing in the falling snow, either purchase a special cover for your lens/DSLR or rubber-band a plastic bag around your gear to keep it dry.  If the wind’s blowing hard like it was this day, be sure to have your subject facing into it vs. your uncovered lens.  If not, it will be the first and last time you make that mistake!

 

Then, 2 days later, the temperatures plummeted and we had our coldest day of the year since last winter.  I believe it was about 20 degrees, with a single digit wind chill when I headed out to Lake Park to photograph the Lenardson Family.  We had hoped for snow, which we got, but hadn’t anticipated that bone chilling wind.  After some time in an sunny, but windy, open area, we headed for the protection of one of Lake Park’s noted ravines.  One year old Travis was bundled up on his snow suit and 4 year old Travis enjoyed a mock snowball fight with me.  Everyone came prepared for the cold and we came away with some wonderful images to remember a family’s cold day in the park!

Bundled Up

How can you move in a snow suit?

Locked and Loaded!

TIP #2:  So take your camera outside this winter and see what you can come up with.  When you come back inside, cover up your camera with a towel or coat until the camera comes back to room temperature.  Some people put it in a larger, plastic bag.  Why?  For those of you who wear glasses, you’ll understand right away.  The warm air of your home will hit the cold body of your camera and condense on it in the form of moisture.  Moisture and digital electronics don’t play well together!

TIP #3:  If you want to see your images as soon as possible, get a zip lock bag and put your camera’s flash card into the zip lock bag.  Seal it shut and wait until your card has come back to room temperature.  Then you can download your images without worrying about ruining the flash card due to moisture.  Keep this zip lock bag with your camera gear during the winter.  The same phenomenon holds true for bringing a cold camera into a warm car, do don’t forget to put it into your camera bag or cover it with a towel.

 

With some forethought, you too can venture out into the snow & cold to make some memorable images of your family.  If you’re interested in learning more about your camera (especially if you’re getting a new one this Holiday!) and how you can make better images of your family, contact me at 414.550.5340 because I’m setting up an “So You Got A New Camera” class, for February 2011.  Limited to 6 people.

Had Your Flu Shot Yet?

November holds a few important dates like elections, Veteran’s Day,  and Thanksgiving.  It’s generally the time of year when we start to live inside.   We pull down the storm windows, put an extra quilt on the bed and yank out the hats and mittens.  If you’re paying attention here, you may have spotted a pattern – people inside . . . in close proximity = cold and flu season.   Yes, it’s upon us again!

Today I photographed 6 month old ‘cutie’ Katie, who is on the tail end of her cold.  However, she’s in the middle of some teething.  She tried her rattle, using one end to soothe her inflamed gums and she worked her tongue the best she could to ease the pain.  Some of the photos were just plain fun when I caught her in action.  I thought it would be a great shot for a health care ad with a tag line like, ‘Had your flu shot yet?”  Or, “Just say, ‘ahhhh.'”   And by the way, don’t you LOVE this outfit?

"just say 'ahhhhh"

To be fair to Katie, I have to show you that in spite of her teething, her little lady personality was fully ramped up in this cute dress and ‘bling, bling’ shoes!  I have a feeling that as I photograph her regularly through her toddler years that she’s going to look good in ANY outfit.

Shoes Make the Girl

What A Difference A Year Makes!

 

New and Awake to the World

 

Two months from now, this little bundle of joy will be 1 year old.  I photographed Sophia right after she was born and she had brownish hair.  Today she found herself in front of my camera and she’s changed to a blond!  What a cute little girl she is and now she’s all bright, blue-eyed and full of smiles.  A cute dress can’t hurt the effort here, nor can seeking out the right light in Lake Park.  Check it out with the Fall foliage all around here.

What I still see is the shape of her eyes and face.  Boy, can she bring on the smiles for her mom, dad and 3 siblings.  Of course I have photos of all of them, but tonight I needed to go back in my files and just see how much she had changed in 8 months.  Mom said she’s coming back for her one year old session, so I can’t wait to have her alone in the studio!  I’m already ready thinking up things we can do with her.

 

I LOVE Fall!

 

What A Difference A Year Makes

New and Awake to the World

Two months from now, this little bundle of joy will be 1 year old.  I photographed Sophia right after she was born and she had brownish hair.  Today she found herself in front of my camera and she’s changed to a blond!  What a cute little girl she is and now she’s all bright, blue-eyed and full of smiles.  A cute dress can’t hurt the effort here, nor can seeking out the right light in Lake Park.  Check it out with the Fall foliage all around here.

What I still see is the shape of her eyes and face.  Boy, can she bring on the smiles for her mom, dad and 3 siblings.  Of course I have photos of all of them, but tonight I needed to go back in my files and just see how much she had changed in 8 months.  Mom said she’s coming back for her one year old session, so I can’t wait to have her alone in the studio!  I’m already ready thinking up things we can do with her.

I LOVE Fall!

First Steps in the Studio

My camera’s working overtime these days with seniors, families and kids but I wanted to stop and share some images with you from my session with my great niece and nephew yesterday.  My nephew and his family came up from Chicago for a visit and a chance to photograph their 1 and 3 year old.

The Fireman

Ryan was up first and to ‘keep him in the game,’ I knew I’d have to use my fireman gear as an incentive.  When he saw the fireman’s hat on my head, his eyes got as big as saucers.  After ‘spraying’ us with the hose, I was able to capture a more serious moment.

The Ballerina

Too cute for words

Kylie was up next.  Having just turned one, mom Jen was looking for some special shots of her girl.  Armed with clothes that shouted ‘cute,’ Jen came with just the right looks for Kylie.  While you see Kylie sitting here, she was very active with getting up, standing, falling and even taking a couple of aggressive steps in the studio.  That’s a first for me.  Glad I got to photograph the moment!

Fashion meets Style

You may have noticed Kylie’s lovely, full cheeks.  She’s finally growing into them and whether she’s smiling, laughing or more serious, I found it hard to stop photographing her.  You’ll notice that I’m in the last photo.  There’s a reason for that.  When I photograph, I often stay open to that intuitive voice that talks to me.  When I saw that Jen was having trouble standing Kylie up and then nimbly moving out of the image, I taught her how to hold the camera and gently squeeze the shutter.  She got a wonderful image of Kylie, and me, I got this wonderful souvenir!

Getting Kylie in position

Fun With Katie

Between packing for my trip to Alaska, getting session and orders completed, and nursing a sore back from my repetitive motion shooting style, I had a chance to slow down and have fun with a 3 month old and her mom.  The second child in the family, Katie is full of smiles and babbles!  Mother Jen says that as long as her belly is full, she’s good to go.  So to the studio they came and Katie poured it on.  With this being her 3 month old session, we wanted to get some cute face shots and some to show off the clothing/hat that was given to her.

Cherub in the garden

After a little break, I suggested that we go outside, since it was a beautiful day.  My garden was in bloom and I had the matching tutu color for little Katie’s size!  Jen said she was thinking the same thing so out we went.  Jen did her best to tease the smiles out of Katie as she was feeling the effects of her bottle that she just had.  Sleepy time was right around the corner so we had to move fast!

I love tutus!

Like a little cherub in the garden, she came through marvelously.  The icing on the cake was a well deserved kiss on the cheek by mom.  Yeah, the kind that squishes in the cheek and leaves you feeling loved all over your body.  Can’t wait for her to turn six months!

Another wet one?

Next post is dateline Wrangell – St. Elias National Park!  Hoping fall colors peak while I’m there.

Personalized Service for Parents of a Newborn

Approaching REM sleep

In my portrait photography work, I decided a long time ago to provide ‘personalized, distinctive service’ to my clients.  I guess it comes from the personalized service I once provided to patients recovering from heart attacks and by-pass surgery.  People aren’t ‘cookies,’ so what good is ‘cookie cutter’ service?  Besides, anticipating client’s needs is enjoyable and shows that I care about them as people; not just subjects in front of my camera.

This service can take the form of photographing a family at their home or cottage.  It can be delivering their order because it’s not convenient for the client to come to me, or maybe scouting their favorite location ahead of time to make sure that the light is just right.  This week, however, took the ‘cake’ for ‘personalized, distinctive service.’

A loyal client recently gave birth to their second child.  With an active toddler as a vibrant member of the family, I suggested that we do the View and Choose session at their home to make it easier for Mom & Dad to order the images together.  I’d bring along my HDMI cable for TV/Laptop and they could view the images on their TV.  They ‘jumped’ at  that suggestion.  We also scheduled it for 8:00 p.m., after the little guy had gone to bed.  I usually don’t schedule View and Choose sessions after 7:00 p.m.

When I arrived, Mom told me that the toddler was having trouble settling down for the night.  Seems as though a cold kept Mom or Dad running back into the toddler’s bedroom.   She asked if we could view the images upstairs, in their bedroom, on the same level as the toddler’s bedroom, instead of down 2 flights of stairs in their family room.  That way they could be there for the little guy.  “No problem, as long as the cable will work,”  I replied.

My New Sister

So there we were.  Mom, Dad and newborn on the bed and me on a chair, as they viewed and chose the newborn images.  I only wish I’d taken along a camera and a tripod to snap an image that would look like this:  Mom and Dad on the bed with one parent holding the newborn.  A big bowl of popcorn on another lap and their bare feet leading one’s eye up to them.  Then imagine that ‘low, blue light’ look of the light from the TV shining on them.  CLICK!  It would have been a humorous photo to use for an ad.

When the Viewing and Choosing was done, they thanked me and kidded that they’d be reading about it on my blog.  So com’on folks!  Let’s see if you can get me to beat this level of service!