the right place at the right time

There's this elusive moment as a photographer when you click the shutter and  you just know you got a really great capture. The formula goes a little something like this: great light + real emotion + interesting composition = stellar photo. Obviously, there's a bit more that goes into it like nailing focus and exposure that I don't mean to gloss over, but assuming you have the technical stuff down, the above equation is what you're hoping for every single time you pick up the camera. And as someone who's still relatively new to photography, it doesn't happen nearly as often as I'd like. BUT, thanks to a lot of studying, practice, and the amazing workshops I've taken through Clickin Moms, it's happening more frequently these days. One such moment happened a few weeks ago when Emma and I were hanging out at my mom's house. I was trying to get some backlit shots for a workshop assignment while my mom and Emma were reading together when I noticed this amazing reflection in my mom's coffee table. I clicked the shutter and I just knew...


The other recent favorite shot happened this weekend when we were walking back to the car after dinner at Alexander's. (Side note - the BEST fried chicken I've ever had anywhere. If you live in the DC area, it's worth the drive.) Sometimes you're just standing there and you see the photograph come together first with your eyes and then you pray you have your camera within arm's reach. Luckily, I did.


While I wish those pesky cars weren't there (I know, how dare there be cars in a parking lot?!?), I love everything else about this... the sun flare, the rim lighting, the way they're walking in step together, the juxtaposition of their size difference. Moments like this are why I started taking my camera with me pretty much every time I leave the house, because you just never know...

On a side note, are you guys at all curious to see before and afters of some of these photos I've been posting? I'm happy to share my editing process with you. Just let me know! :)



Emma and Elmo have a tea party

I'm currently taking yet another amazing Clickin Mom's class called "Lifestyle Photography with Kids" and thought I'd share one of my first assignments. I've been wanting to take this class ever since I first joined CM, and I'm pinching myself that not only did I get into this sold out session, but I'm taking it with a bunch of my photographer friends from my very first intro class. The idea behind lifestyle photography is to tell the story of people as they are, as opposed to posing them in a contrived setting. It's similar to documentary photography, but you have the freedom to control your environment a bit by moving things into good light and removing distractions. This style of photography works particularly well for small children as it's nearly impossible to get them to do anything except whatever it is they want to be doing at that moment, anyway. :) For my first story telling assignment, I decided to throw a little tea party for Emma and her BFF, Elmo. Notice how my idea of this tea party was a kettle, two cups, and a sugar bowl. Emma quickly had other ideas...

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Within about 2 minutes all the cups, a pan, utensils, a yogurt container, and a balance ball pump had joined in on the fun. We only bring out the balance ball pump for our fanciest tea parties. ;)


"Drink your damn tea, Elmo!" :)





Uh oh, I think she poisoned Elmo.

I have sooo much shooting to do this weekend for the next assignment, but I'm really looking forward to it... so many fun new techniques to try out! Also, if you haven't gotten on the CM bandwagon, I can't recommend their classes more highly. This is my 3rd workshop in 7 months, and I have another one starting at the end of April. I might be addicted. :)

Have a great weekend, everyone!!

Letters to My Daughter: January

Hello, sweet girl. I haven't written to you since you were a few weeks old, when I was still so overwhelmed with the joy of your arrival (and with figuring out this whole parenting thing!) I held you in my arms and couldn't imagine life getting any better. But it has... in the past year and a half I've watched you grow into this amazingly smart, silly, and ever-curious little girl, and I find myself in a state of perpetual awe.

You bring so much joy and laughter to my life every single day... and since we don't get to spend that much time together during the week, I pretty much live for the weekends. I love our morning cuddles, having breakfast together in our PJs, going to the park, throwing the ball for Rocco... your excitement to play and learn and find new adventures is so infectious. I love watching you "read" your books aloud, in words I can't quite make out, wondering what story you're making up in your head to go along with the pictures. And I love how determined and focused you get during your independent play... it amazes me how creative you are with your toys, and how quickly you learn to use and manipulate them.

Mostly I love how completely and utterly silly you are. You're constantly singing and making up sounds, or dancing to whatever music we have on with the most ridiculous dance moves I've ever seen. Even after you've gone to bed, your dad and I find ourselves still laughing about something you did during the day, or because when we check the monitor we find you in your signature sleeping position - on your back with your arms folded behind your head like you're lounging poolside. We find you endlessly entertaining, and your love of life endlessly inspiring. I feel so immensely blessed - not just that I get to be a mama - but that I get to be your mama. So thank you... thank you for being you and for bringing me so much more happiness than I ever thought possible.

I am joined in this “Letters to our Children” blog circle by an amazing group of photographers and moms. Together, we'll be writing these letters every month in honor of our love for our sons and daughters. I encourage you to head over to Davina's blog to read her letter, and then continue on around the circle!