Country Wedding

Country Wedding

Last weekend I had the opportunity to dust off my cameras and revisit my love of wedding photography. Really its more that people are generally happy and pretty for weddings. That’s my personal honesty secret. I love photography of people when its fun, and people are pretty. Not pretty in the “look at those magazine attractive people” type pretty, but the natural glow of content people enjoying life. The ones happy to be where they are. That is what I enjoy capturing.

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Subjects I don’t really enjoy? Maternity, babies, large groups. Why? Lets start with Maternity, I don’t have the heart to tell women that the beautiful woman in the magazine is not only air brushed and perfected lighting, and spent more energy and time then they really want to, they are usually about 6 months pregnant. I try to encourage early shoots, but even then, pregnancy is miserable. Yes, you “glow”, and are sooo blessed and happy, but your legs/feet hurt, your hips hurt or feel awkward, you waddle, clothes rarely fit right, and all the other things women don’t say out loud often about being pregnant. Yes, sometimes its great, and the photos turn out awesome, but often its exhausting, and I’m not good at making it “fun”. Other people rock at this, I don’t, so I stay away from it.

Babies? Real newborns, like still sleepy and don’t care what you do new born, I like that. I just want to be warm and snuggled, don’t make me be naked newborn, that sucks. They tip, they roll, they cry, and they can’t hold up their own head. I stress all the way through. SKIP IT. I only do my own, and as for anyone else, not until baby can look around.

Large groups? This is like the “lets do a big family Christmas picture” type large group. The one where there are 8 kids under 10 that don’t want their picture taken, or at a minimum don’t want to take the picture the way mom and dad want them to. Throw in at least 5 adults, 2 of which are reprimanding kid behavior, no thank you. This also includes the groups of 4+ kids under 6 – I don’t herd cats either. Just an FYI.

Those 3 topics are why I have no interest in really getting into portrait photography. That’s what we all want want, all the shots I just complained about. I love the happy shots, and the emotion shots, that’s my passion behind a camera.

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Like catching a kid enjoying post rainstorm puddles.

So when my friend was asking around for someone that could do photography on short notice, I made sure to start with “what would it be for?” As soon as I heard small wedding, I said, “Why yes I do know someone available”,  “Let me show you some past work”.

 

All weddings have confusion and crazy times, I just love getting to capture that and the love behind it. The prep time, the one-on-one time…..

For example, working with kids. What do I do when they just won’t cooperate? Start snapping, and see what you get.

Maybe even throw in a fun filter.

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I actually have to work to not get caught up on the couple and make sure I get the family shots too. You’ve gotta include Grandma!

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But the couple is by far my favorite:

 

And the oops moments, like struggling with the garter:

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And every now and then I re-write history:

Before: Fishes

After: Just 2 beautiful women – thank you Photoshop

And throw in a couple shots of the decor for good measure.

It was great to break back out the camera(s). I like having 2 so I can have 2 different lenses at the ready. Normally I would just have the one, but for a wedding its pretty handy. My fear is if something happened to one God forbid. I’ve heard horror stories of cameras getting dropped or stolen mid shoot.

I have had such a great time with this though, I realized I really need to take time to give myself a little artistic outlet.

Maybe I’ll work on doing a photo challenge series.

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Baseball Birthday

Baseball Birthday

This past weekend my baby turned 1. I avoided thinking about it as long as I could , but at a certain point I had to accept that my baby is getting to be a toddler and let him have his day. Hubby’s mom was up from out of state, so the family would all be at the house, and that alone is a full house.  Just hubby’s family made a house of 9 little ones and 8 adults. We kept the party limited as we expected to need to be indoors, and I’m not sure about you, but that basically maxes out my home especially having that many kids running around. However, we had a great surprise in the form of an 80 degree sunshiny day.

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Thinking back it turned out great, but I really do owe it all to hubby. You see, I decorate, and plan, and fuss over the minor details. He on the other hand implements.  He’s the one that remembers the practical stuff; the things I wouldn’t use personally and therefore don’t think to buy, pickles, tomatoes, extra chips. I also don’t seem to understand how much food kids eat. The family gathered at our house the night prior too, the chips were eaten, the veggies were eaten, dinner was eaten, and popcorn was eaten. I was out of ideas, and one of my snackers was gluten and dairy free. I was in a bit of a panic for the next day. All I had planned was hot dogs, popcorn, and cracker jacks. Hubby to the rescue! He picked up all the practical stuff and no one was hungry at the end of the night.

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And since he took care of the real party needs, I got to set up cute baseball theme decorations. Baseball invitations (sample pic below) which turned out perfect!

Vintage Baseball Ticket Invitation - Baseball Birthday Party Invitation - Boy Birthday Party - DIY Printable

I ordered those here. Baseball toddler photos curtesy of me. Thank you. Baseball baby smash cake, I’m not a cake decorator, but I think it turned out pretty good. Baseball themed party supply table with a couple pictures of the guest of honor. And my awesome sister hooked us up with slip and slide baseball.

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We couldn’t have asked for a better family evening on the farm.

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Falling back in love with photography

Falling back in love with photography

Recently I upgraded my camera. I’m in love with it. However, I really hadn’t used my old camera all that much over the past couple years. I just wasn’t feeling it. I think it was a cross between being busy, feeling uninspired, and the big one, it wasn’t special. Anymore a SLR camera isn’t difficult to use. Back in the day, they were film cameras, and the digital SLRs out there were very expensive, and didn’t have the quality in the finished picture that film did. But now, you can pick them up for next to nothing. Mom’s everywhere have one. You can snap a shot and see right then what it looks like. The auto settings and preset settings are amazing, and can do a lot for those that don’t really understand the technical aspects of photography. If you still need a bit more there are hundreds of photo editor programs, and even Photoshop has armature friendly software (elements – love this, I hate computer editing photos).

Now I’m not bashing anyone for picking up a camera and trying their hand. It’s a great way to express yourself and even save a few bucks when creating printed memories.

Getting my inspiration back has been slow coming. And in doing so, I’ve learned a couple things:

Photograph what inspires you. Don’t just photography anything and everything. Just because someone asks you to, doesn’t mean you should. You will likely find that photographing things that don’t interest you, or you don’t enjoy will result in less than awesome end products. For example, I don’t enjoy maternity photography. I like to do my own, but not someone else’s. I’m not comfortable dictating what pregnant women should wear, or telling them if what they chose won’t be as flattering as they’d like. Often women want to wait till they are their largest, and while I always tell them that they should do pictures around 7 months so they still have clothes that fit, and are not completely uncomfortable, it doesn’t seem to always register. As a result, I’ve never liked any of the maternity portraits I’ve done. They’ve turned out okay, and the mothers have seemed to like them, but they weren’t my best shots, and took too much time editing.

Find your style and stick with it. I personally love street photography style black and white. Sometimes rustic, sometimes industrial, but generally always black and white. I want my pictures to tell a story. You won’t find a single picture of brides jumping in my entire portfolio. It’s not my thing, so if I tried it, it wouldn’t look good. I don’t understand the idea, and wouldn’t be able to tell someone what I was looking for. Yet you can find a picture of a bride jumping on a trampoline.

 

mega pixel mumbo jumbo

What does all this mega pixel mumbo jumbo mean to me?

Basically mega pixels are tiny cubes of color that make up a picture. The more cubes your camera can use in a space, the clearer your picture will be. So the easy answer is that higher MP = better picture. However, depending on how big you want to print, after a certain size, it really doesn’t matter.  In the chart below, ranking from best to lowest quality, it would be purple followed by dark blue, light blue, green, and then orange.

As you can see 10 mp is perfectly capable of being printed at 16”x24” and look great.

mp chart

You can read more detail on the chart in this blog post.

Mommy Ikey Day

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When I think back on my childhood there are a few things that stand out. One of which was Homestead Hunting. Basically this was my grandpa, dad, and I, driving around the county hiking out to old homesteads and taking pictures. One of the great things about the wheat farmers in the area was that they all had old farm houses or barns on their land somewhere and as long as they knew you, they didn’t mind you hiking out to take pictures. Well, as long as you were careful. Translation, don’t die on their property.

Now most of those old homesteads have fallen down, and the ones still standing I’m just not gutsy enough to go traipsing through with a 5 year old. But hockey, now that’s a thing a boy and his mom can bond over.

 

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This weekend was Mommy Ikey time. A friend and I took our sons to Chuck E Cheese and a hockey game. For me, hockey is the one sport I love, a bit barbaric maybe, but great fun. Turns out my son thinks it’s great too. I will admit I’ve had my moments of questioning the appropriateness of the sport for a young boy. The 1st game we took him to we sat right next to the penalty box and he harassed the opposing team members that got stuck in the box. At one point some of the players started to fight and my son jumped up and yells “fighting, yeah!” and throws a couple air punches. Turns out the weekend or so before my sister let him play a boxing game on Xbox Kinect. This time around he tells me he wants to play hockey too. He also says that he wants to get in trouble like those guys “I’d be great!” Hmmmm……

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The funny part is my son is very non-aggressive. He doesn’t fight with kids, and actually I’ve had to tell his daycare provider to not step in if he gets picked on unless it becomes bad, he needs to figure out to solve the issue or stand up for himself in some way. Now mind you, his tormentor is 2. Getting picked on means the 2 year old is sitting on him. He’s the negotiator. His cousin used to take his toys, so Ike would start playing with something random until his cousin would take it away and run off, then Ike would go play with what he was actually interested in. Or he would trade.  So the idea that my son finds the aggression of hockey fun doesn’t worry me as much as I feel like it should.

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By the way, I rocked the Red White and Blue – Go Tri-City Americans!

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The other great part of my weekend was the morning after our Mommy Ikey day. It had snowed a few inches overnight so we had our first family sledding. I think we may have taken him once as a baby, but this was his first real time of sledding. Thanks to my big sis forgetting their sled at our house we even had a perfect sled to use. Turns out an irrigation pond makes for a great sledding hill. Not too big, not too small, and not too steep. Hearing him yell from the bottom of the hill to go again just topped my weekend, and totally makes up for the lacking winter we’ve had this year.

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After Sledding we made valentines cookies. Turns out we didn’t have any powdered sugar, and the fake sugar we did have, well that doesn’t make great frosting. After my son heard me tell hubby that he wouldn’t like it, Ike starting making a huge fuss about how “dist-gussing” it is. Hey the dane obviously thought it was great, she ate the whole plate full, thank you very much!

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