I'm on vacation, but this guy came along and I really couldn't resist...
It's Christmas card photo shoot time! I still have a process with dealing with my head after having a photo shoot - I always have an exact idea of what I want the picture to look like, which is good to have, but it's also good to go with the flow and accept things when the photo shoot goes in a different direction. Yes, a good photographer should be in control of the photo shoot - but well, when it comes to children and animals, no matter how slick you think you are, there is a little bit of powerlessness that needs to be accepted. And doing a child and animal together? NOT good for a control freak!
Ironic that I am a control freak, and my favorite subjects are both children and animals.
We did the photo shoot in Mammoth Lakes, where we were taking our Thanksgiving vacation. I decided to spontaneously do the shoot right when we arrived. Mike had just been in the truck for 5 hours, and had newly arrived in snow, so he was a little wound up. Maybe I should have let him get his ya-yas out for a little bit before the shoot?! I was just all gung-ho to get the photo shoot done with and out of the way while Violet's hair was still neat and I had everyone's attention. We were on vacation, after all!
We also didn't really "research" our location, and just got out of the car at the first area where we came to snow. It was heavily forested so had hardly any light coming in, and shooting in all that white snow was new to me. I mean, of course, I've taken a million "snaps" in the snow, but not where I'm wanting to control the lighting on the face, etc. The metering was all over the place! At first I was worried I didn't get anything and was mad at myself for rushing the whole thing.
Ultimately, I got some good pictures, And a little Photoshop tweak here and there, and, actually, it was a GREAT photo shoot. I always have trouble reminding myself that not EVERY photo has to be great - 10 great photos in a quickie photo shoot is more than enough. The goal was to get a Christmas card photo - and I got it! Actually, in the end, I had trouble choosing...
But I learned some lessons for next time! It is certainly NOT my last photo shoot in Mammoth!!
Last weekend I took photos of the lovely Jen. She told me she wasn't even quite sure she was going to have maternity photos done, since she didn't have the time to think about it. There is a lot to think about before her daughter, Cambria, comes in December! Luckily, her husband talked her into it. I'm so glad he did! They drove down here from Santa Clarita, which I'm very appreciative of. I told them I'll drive to them when Cambria comes!
I thought Jen looked like a young Jane Seymour, no?
Last weekend I got to photograph the Mullens for their annual Christmas card. They have been rebuilding their house for the last past year, so they wanted to incorporate their construction site into their family photo. I loved the idea! Although, sometimes it was hard to keep up with their 7 year old daughter, Veronica, who has been taking gymnastics since she was a toddler, and quite at home swinging around the scaffolding. Luckily, I knew what they wanted before I arrived, and I was wearing jeans. Although my shoes could have been better! I have since had the idea to go buy myself a nice pair of black sneakers. Yes, it's important to dress nice for a photo shoot, but you also need to be ready for serious action!
I hope everyone had a fun Halloween. We did!
My daughter was Frida Kahlo. Challenging, being a blue-eyed blonde with a Czech/ Irish background, if I didn't want to spray her hair black. I was planning to but then in the end couldn't be bothered. So, she turned out to be more Frida-inspired, and beautiful none-the-less. (I can brag about my good-looking, kid, right?)
Her best friend definitely looked more authentic, already having Mexican descent and a mother who is well-versed in the appropriate clothing. We made jokes about the "Dueling Fridas," but in the end, they both looked amazing!
Kris wanted some pictures with her old wedding dress, dyed and transformed into something dark. (I don't want to talk about her personal life, but I suppose anyone can guess there is a bigger transformation process going on here with the wedding dress!)
So, I suggested going to the Old Zoo in Griffith Park. A fun place for photos! And a perfect place for something somber.
I also wanted to take some photos in the studio. Since she is starting a new phase of her life, I wanted to take some photos showing off how beautiful and sexy she is!
I don't always tweak the processing so much in the editing process, but I thought these photos lent themselves well to playing with.
Well, I finally did some proper photo shoots with my new full frame Nikon! I'm loving it! Definitely a more complex camera than my older Nikon, so I have a feeling it will be a process before I know it's options inside and out. But, so fun to play with! I will definitely have more control over settings. And it is so much faster!
Over the weekend, I did some shots of my daughter's lovely friend, Biaani, and did some warm-up shots with my daughter. Whenever my daughter's friends are involved, the photo shoots don't last long, but I still managed to get some nice shots in.
And no, there is no retouching on their skin. This is what their skin looks like! Ah, youth...
My wonderful, wonderful husband bought me a new full frame camera! The Nikon D600! I haven't had any official photo sessions with it yet, but the day after I got it, I heard at the last minute that there was a protest outside of the Japanese Embassy concerning the annual dolphin hunt in Taiji. I am vegan and a bit of an arm chair animal activist, but I always say I'd like to get more involved. So, I asked my daughter if she wanted to make a quick sign, and we headed downtown! She is not vegan, (my husband is not even vegetarian, so she is raised with a combination of our lifestyles). However, she is obsessed with ocean life, since she thinks she is a mermaid, so I knew she'd be concerned if I told her about the annual dolphin hunting. (I didn't get graphic, of course!)
It was a nice day, wonderful for me meeting so many like-minded people that are so passionate about a cause I care about, and I think, good for Violet. And of course, the camera was fun to use, too! Although I still need to spend more time getting familiar with it.
You can also see all my photos on my photo album site, Zeugphoto.com.
Miles needed updated photos - even though I photographed him a few months ago. The thing about little ones, is that they change in such a short amount of time. Wow, what a difference! Wow, that boy has energy! It was already a hot day, but after chasing Miles around like crazy, I was sweating like I'd never sweat before! I had lights set up for the subject to sit in a specific location - silly me! So, I was a bit nervous that I hadn't gotten any good photos of him, but I managed to get a couple cute ones. After all, he's a great looking little boy!
Then I photographed Sarah, (while Miles stayed with his dad!). I've spent so much time focusing on my little studio, I had forgotten what it was like to hit the streets. It was super fun! And of course, Sarah is gorgeous and an amazing model, so the photo session was a joy to do. The hard part? Deciding which photos I liked best.
Liz Menzel and Dale Vaughn are a local couple who have done quite well for themselves, lately. They both lead groups about self-empowerment that have made it to the L.A. Weekly's "Best of L.A." list. Dale leads a men's group, Liz leads the women's group, and sometimes the groups merge and do group events and hikes in Griffith Park. I am thrilled by their success! They both have lots of other projects in the works - you can check out their websites at Women's Wisdom Community and NextGent.
I was photographing them individually for their professional business endeavors, but I think my favorite photos were the spontaneous pics of the two of them together.
I was also honored that Dale asked me to help him out with a photo he had of his grandfather that he wanted to duplicate. I felt bad because he hadn't told me before the shoot, and I did not have an old sawhorse on hand, like the one in the photo. My husband is in construction, I could have gotten one with a little notice! But he was fine with the one sawhorse I did find in our garage, even though it didn't match. If I had notice, I probably wouldn't have gotten anal about it and tried to figure out how to duplicate it down to the smallest detail, but considering it was on the fly, it still turned out pretty good. Then afterwards, I played with it in Photoshop, and he cropped it even more to match. I know this isn't my finest portfolio piece, but to me, the personal sentiment makes it feel like a very fulfilling endeavor.
So, we spent a long weekend in San Francisco to catch the America's Cub, which is now happening under the watchful eye of the Golden Gate Bridge. My husband is a huge sailing fan, and for my daughter and I, it was a fun little vacation! I also rented a fancy telephoto to play with taking action shots during the America's Cup. Not my usual thing, but I thought I'd experiment. Ha! Well, I think action shots of racing yachts (I made a rhyme!) will still be a learning process. It was not something I was planning to aggressively pursue, business-wise, anyway. Ultimately, my favorite photos of the trip were just the candids I took of my family. But maybe that is just me being sentimental about my cute kid, and nice looking husband.
I have taken a month or so off during the summer to spend time with my daughter. But of course, I am always taking pictures. We managed to fit in one "session," and I managed to get to Descanso Gardens early enough to use it as a lovely backdrop without any other visitors around. And of course, my daughter is always an amazing model! She is, without a doubt, my favorite muse! This was a quickie session that I was cramming before leaving for a vacation to San Francisco, but we still got some nice shots. Actually, even though we spent about half an hour taking pictures, there are still too many to look at to pick out a favorite!
What a fun day at CicLAvia! It was crazy crowded, but a fun day. We didn't do the whole 15 miles, just 12.5, making a clean 25 miles from our car to the beach and back. We were running late in the morning, or else we would have tried to do the whole thing. (We had our 6 year old with us, so knew we might take more rest stops).
After the event, I saw people complain on various websites, that it was TOO crowded, CicLAvia had failed somehow, that the whole stretch of Venice should have been opened, that cars shouldn't have been let through to pass on the route, that kids shouldn't be allowed, etc., etc. Wow! Really? I say "kudos" to the CicLAvia people! I am sure it is not easy to get an event going like this, to get permits to shut down city streets - especially in Los Angeles! Yes, it is on a Sunday, but almost 4 million people in cars do not disappear, just because it is not rush hour! As far as kids not being allowed? The whole idea of it is that it is a family/ fun event, it is not a race! If there are any problems or dangers at the event, it is because a lot of people seem to be a little manic and don't realize that etiquette and "rules of the road" apply to bicycling as well. And so many people texting while riding their bikes!
That being said, I took photos while riding my bike! BUT... I only took photos when I thought it was reasonable and safe. Actually, I didn't have my camera out the whole time, just when we were on our way back, I realized the crowd was going slow enough I could probably ride with the camera around my bike without it bugging me. Some of the best photo opportunities were when we were on our way out to the beach, but oh well, better to be safe than sorry!
I definitely am looking forward to the next CicLAvia!
I have not had time to book sessions lately, which I know is really bad! Still struggling with my personal life being hectic, and dealing with time management issues - but I still manage to take photos. Of course, I am always taking photos!
My daughter's school had a fundraiser last weekend, and I brought my camera, just to kind of play around. Mostly, I brought my good camera because I knew the parent that was putting on the event, and she wanted pictures of the rooms before the event started. I wasn't there to be an official event photographer in any way. But ,it was a lot of fun! And also fun to take photos, because we have such fun and interesting parents at my daughter's school. Everyone worked so hard to put it on, and it turned out to be a great success for the school.
Oh yes, and I also volunteered myself and my business as an auction item. So, it was a good night for business in spite of it being all about fun. I got to promote myself and hand out a few cards, and one of my photos might be used on The Marie Osmond show! Go figure! Melissa Peterman, who is a star of the television show "Baby Daddy," "Bet on Your Baby," and was a costar of "Reba," is a parent at our school, and hosted the school event. She will be a guest on the Marie Osmond show coming up, and asked if she could use my photo. Sure!
So, to make up for lost time, I have booked three sessions this upcoming week! Of course, there will always be a chance that things get cancelled or moved around, but hopefully, I'll have some updating to do soon!
A new website! What a relief! My old one was driving me crazy and looking kind of shabby, but I just hadn't had the time to make changes. I still don't have time, but if there is a will, there is a way. You HAVE to make time to be professional, right?
And I get to debut my most recent photos, which are now a few weeks old! I got to try out my new strobe set with my gorgeous friend, Sarah. And her gorgeous son! I didn't realize he was crawling, so that was a bit stressful, since my new studio set up wasn't exactly baby-proofed, but he managed to live through the day. Luckily!
I am still learning the ins and outs of this new lighting system, and of course, I always have higher expectations of myself. But ultimately, there are some nice photos here. I am looking forward to shooting Sarah again when I have this system down - I know the next session will be even better!
I photographed the Avery's this past weekend. I LOVE this family and knew they'd be a lot of fun to photograph! Their son, Alexander, however, was not down with it AT ALL! He REALLY did not want to pose! Or even look at me. Or be in the same room with me... But, in the end, I snuck in a couple of shots of him. He didn't look too pleased about it, but I got him! And he still looked pretty darn cute, so it doesn't matter that he wasn't that he wasn't smiling.
Meanwhile, I took a couple of shots of Alison, the 7 year old, in the studio. She loved posing and was super fun to take photos of!
Last weekend I photographed the Metzlers. This was the second time, the first time being in 2009. It was so fun doing it again, since the last time I photographed the little ones, their son was just a baby! And their daughter still had her chubby little toddler cheeks, not the lanky little girl she is now.
Definitely a favorite thing of photography is getting to connect with so many great people! I love it!
I have been setting up my little studio in the basement again. I got some new equipment for Christmas, but I see some old backdrops have gotten damaged while buried in the basement - so I am having to sort things out and seeing what I need. It is an itty-bitty studio, that shares space with our collection of bicyles, Tim's train table, and our camping gear! Yeah, on a scale of 1 to 10 in professionalism, it rates about a 1 1/2. And I don't think I could photograph really more than 2 or 3 people down there, but I am keen on making it work. Everyone has to start somewhere, right? If I clean it up a bit and place some strategic curtains, I think I could make it look pleasingly funky, as opposed to a black widow den...
My husband and I enjoy participating in athletic events. We aren't super hardcore, but signing up for stuff here and there keeps you motivated to stay in shape, and I figure all these things are good examples for our daughter.
I am also enjoying photographing these events when I'm not in the midst of running or bicycling.
The Say No to Drugs race was my second race at Universal Studios. But it was my first 10k, and Violet's first Kiddie Run. Last time I accidentily signed her up for the 5k with the big kids, which she was able to handle, but still, I thought she would have fun with the kids. Which she did! She had a blast racing against Scooby-Doo and his friends. She did great beating them, but then I realize it probably isn't too hard racing someone in a giant dog suit, and poor Daphne, jogging in plastic go-go boots.