Posted on December 17, 2012
It has been entirely too long since I did some blogging of my photoshoots. I’m going to correct this in a big way right now.
Back in July (eek!) I did a fabulous shoot on the grounds of the Highland Mansion and Gardens with Jason and Mimi and their kidlets Liam and Jovie. Now I am not one to use those girly descriptors, but I puffy heart this shoot! Totally!
Have you seen a more photogenic family? I don’t think so.
And the kids were so delicious!
Liam got a special treat at the end of the shoot:
And here’s my favorite photo of the whole set (and yes I know I already included it in a collage above, but I’m gonna show it again ’cause I love it so much!)
It just melts me….
So did I lie? Aren’t they the best? Give them some love!
Posted on December 25, 2011
So here’s the question for the day: how many photos does it take to get the ideal Clark-Schecter holiday card picture? Now before you answer remember that this involves my being in front of the camera and not behind it. That added a degree of difficulty of about 200%.
What do you think?
If you chose any option other than the last choice, well, you must be one of those optimists!
Our first foray was on December 4th. I was going for a sun-going-down, golden hour look. It was unseasonably warm and the kid was cooperating. Honestly after that shoot, I thought I had nailed it then and there. Got some great shots. Rocked the backlighting. Of course when we had started, I had forgotten to tell Mason to take off his damn Transitions glasses! Those things have plagued me for years. I’ve spent way too long in previous years attempting to restore visible eyes behind those sun-darkened lenses.
But that notwithstanding, I was able to find some goodies. I then posted the ones I was considering for the card on Clickin Moms to get some feedback.
So I’m thinking to myself, these both look pretty good, if I do say so myself. Though I prefer the second one to the first because of Zara’s expression, I think the softness in our features from the backlighting might make it the weaker choice.
And then the feedback started to come in.
“Gorgeous shot, but that tree is too distracting,” one commenter said. From another: “I agree with the previous poster. Wish you had positioned yourselves differently.”
And I’m thinking to myself, OMG, there is a tree growing out of our heads. Am I mental? How did I not see that?!
The truth is that I had seen the tree but ended up at a loss about how to position us in relation to that tree. Somehow I thought that if there were three of us, it wouldn’t look as if the tree were growing out of all of our heads. But there is it, up close and personal. The tree IS growing out of our heads!
Other commenters attempted to assure me that those I would send the card to would not be nearly as distracted by the tree as we photogs are. Of course, by that point, I could see nothing in the photo BUT the tree! I decided to reshoot.
Unfortunately Saturday the 10th was nothing like Sunday the 4th. It was about 20 degrees colder and the ground was wet and mucky. The kid was cold and uncooperative and the hubby was surly because she was cold and he felt that I hadn’t dressed her warmly enough. I ended up rushing the shoot despite doing all I could to keep her in the warm car between set-ups. I then made the mistake of asking her to smile showing her teeth. She’d never had any problem with that in the past, but after getting back to my computer and uploading the images, I found that my kid must have decided that she was a beaver! I saw some of the most silly faces she has ever made.
I was so sad that night. What kind of photographer did I hope to be if I couldn’t even get a photo of my own family?! So my dear, supportive husband made me get right back in the saddle. The next day, he insisted in going out and doing it all over again. He’d dress Z in more layers and he would stop breathing down my neck in order to allow me to relax and do my thing. Of course Z ended up in one of her oppositional defiant modes again, but a total of 417 shots later, we had some good photos that didn’t have trees growing out of our heads!
Here are some of the outtakes:
Yes, this still has the tree, but I love this shot!
So which photos made it to the card?
Inside bottom, flanking holiday message:
Not so bad, despite all that work, right? I’m going to use these to make a canvas wall photo collection for the house.
But I do have to show you guys the beauty of digital editing, though. Now you all know that I’m massively huge these days thanks for my steroids. Even though I’m in a feel good about myself because fat is better than dead place, I still shuddered a bit at how round both Mason and I looked in these images. I opted to use a can-be-used-for-good-or-for-evil editing tool called liquify. Using this PS tool, I managed to give us a bit of a digital diet in some of the photos:
Before is on top and after below. We lost a good 20 pounds with the use of technology! Mason wanted me to go even further, but no. These tools cannot be used to suspend all connection with reality!
So there you have it, my friends. The fun of a family photo shoot when you are both photog and subject!
Hope your holiday was wonderful! Best to you in the new year!
Posted on November 21, 2011
Saturday morning was a treat. I headed out to do a family mini-shoot on a beautiful blue-sky morning.
Upon arriving, I was greeted by Kristine, Jason and my new buddy, William, who also became known during the shoot as The Little Running Man (or Running Guy, if you prefer!). You will soon see why he got that moniker.
But first, I’ve got to tell you how much fun it was to work with such a great family. I was a little sorry that it was a mini-shoot as I could have filled several CF cards with photos of this comely trio. And two-year-old William was so excited to head outside and take pictures with Mommy & Daddy. Sometimes the munchkins are shy or reserved. Not my Little Running Man. Such an adorable cutie pie!
We started with some relaxed shots on the deck to get started.
It soon became clear that William thought the best way for me to capture his essence was for him to run, run, run, and dare both me and The Precious (my camera) to keep up. Clearly he didn’t know how ancient I am, despite being the mom of a 4-year-old! But hey, I gave it my best.
It was so cute!
When we moved to the side of the shed for the next set-up, William decided it was truly on like Teflon! He became the Little Running Man in earnest.
Just too much!
(I totally love this shot and would kill for someone to take our family picture and have us look as effortlessly gorgeous as this family does. Though this would involve a generous application of Photoshop’s editing, de-aging, de-rotunding properties in our case! )
A-ha, Mommy & Daddy, I have escaped your clutches and am now free to run again!
I did manage to get him to sit still for some amazing portraits. Oh the hair! The eyes! Watch out Jason & Kristine. He causes instant meltage of the heart.
Is there a better way to spend a Saturday morning than with a little running man and his family? I just don’t think so.
Posted on August 30, 2011
Most of you have seen thousands of pictures of my daughter Zara, but many of you didn’t know that I have another daughter, Jackie. Jackie is the daughter of my heart, if not my “legal” daughter.
I met Jackie way back when she was 17 years old and first saw me as a patient. She has since grown into a beautiful, smart, and successful woman: a finance guru, wife and mother of two phenomenal children. She’s the type of woman you hope your daughter will become.
When I heard that my dear daughter was planning to take her kids to Sears for updated pictures, I think my head exploded. She assured me that this was not meant as an insult to my “art,” but was rather being done just for the sake of convenience. But in true Mommy fashion, I then proceeded to sulk and sigh heavily with enough guilt that she and the two munchkins showed up for photos within the next week. (Yes, I do that mommy-guilt thing well!)
So instead of some photos (and I use the term loosely) from Sears Portrait Studio, she ended up with these lovely memories:
And then we have the many faces of CJ:
As a family, they are utterly gorgeous:
I even got to get a little creative with some shots:
Now isn’t this a lot better than Sears?
Posted on June 30, 2011
Everyone, I’d like to introduce the D Family!
I had such a great time photographing this family. Though I got a bit lost on my way there and ended up arriving late, (bridges were out…drivers were pokeying along at under the speed limit) they were raring to go when I finally arrived.
After the kids, I was ready for the whole family. And I must give props to Mom. She had everyone color coordinated in a way that made my job easy. There was no showing up all dressed in white shirts and khaki pants. Oh no! The outfits were working!
(And yes, the puppy dog got in on the action too! The cat was not interested, however.)
What a gorgeous and great family! Thanks for an outstanding shoot!