Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Heart and Star Shaped Bokeh

Here are some great ideas on how to add the sparkle from
your Christmas tree to photos.
I love to turn the lights into bokeh by placing my subject
across the room from the tree and using a large aperture.

Have your subject face a window for beautiful natural
light on the face, and the bokeh tree in the far background.

Experiment with aperture and distance
to create different looks.

Another FUN idea for Christmas lights...
change the round bokeh into a SHAPE!
I have been having a blast with SHAPED bokeh...see the little hearts
of light on my Christmas tree behind my daughter?
It's very easy and fun to create...actually, it's fascinating!
I learned how to do it from a wonderful tutorial
by Kevin and Amanda.  Click here.
This is what the tree looks like with normal bokeh:
I love that, too....but it is fun to create the shapes.
 You can also try stars, snowflakes...whatever you want.
Just have fun creating some magic with your Christmas tree!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Autumn Poses

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Welcome to my 200th blog post!
I started writing my blog two and a half years ago and it
has now evolved into a way to share my knowledge about photography.
In that time, I have become a professional portrait photographer.

I was crazy busy the last two weeks trying to squeeze in these
fall photo sessions.

Three year old Ella is adorable!

We've had so much rain this season here in Michigan.
I had to cancel and reschedule several photo sessions.

I photographed four people last Sunday when it was
warm and very colorful!

I love Maddie in the fall colored scarf my friend
knitted for me to use in photo shoots.
Thanks, Karen!

I took Maddie to the woods near our house.
I LOVE shooting among colorful trees
that create amazing bokeh in the background!

Nine-month-old Emma was so cute
decked out for fall.

Her mother Grace brought along her Halloween costume...
a charming chicken...ha ha!

And, I finally got to use the little apple hat I
crocheted last winter. 
I imagined it on a baby in an autumn portrait.

I really got some good use out of the basket of
apples I bought last month.  
Lots of baby sessions with the apples.

I took Alyssa to a colorful park near my house.

Her friend Marissa is so pretty, too!

I lucked out with all the above fall photos.
When I was driving around this morning, I was
aghast to see that most of the leaves in these photos have fallen
off the trees!
Glad I can share them with you while we're still in the
spirit of autumn.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Golden Halo

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I love fall portraits and was excited when
Britt and John hired me to take portraits
of them in their fall bow hunting mode.
I took them into the woods at the golden hour...
that's when the sun is low in the sky...starting about two
hours before sunset.
That's when you can get the golden halo that I LOVE!

The golden halo comes from lighting the subject from behind.

But you must look for the halo before you snap the photo.
In the woods, I searched out places where the sun was
streaming through the trees and purposely placed John where
that sun stream would hit his hair.

I really take the time to notice where the light is falling.

Have your subject move or you move with your camera
until you SEE where the light is hitting. 
You must do this purposely..you are looking at the light and
its placement on your subject.

In this next photo, John was holding Britt.
Poor John...I made him "inch a little to the right...move a bit forward...
uh, a smidge to the left."
I really worked to get the golden halo just right and look at how
they "glow" in this shot!

Fall portraits are so colorful and fun!

We had a wonderful time in the woods.
They loved their portraits because I took the time to really
observe the light and USE it to create the golden halo.

Try paying attention to where the light falls and
you will be creating beautiful fall portraits this season.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


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The sunflowers have peaked and my eyes have popped
out over some of the amazing sunflower patches I have seen.
Unfortunately, I hate to go onto someone's property to
take portraits.  So imagine my excitement when I found
a patch of sunflowers at our municipal garden.

Ten year old Madeline was perfect for
modeling with the sunny flowers.

At first, she didn't want to wear my sunflower hair accessory.
But after she put it in her hair, she loved it and
asked if she could wear it on her first day of
fifth grade today.

The municipal garden had other fall flowers
that we couldn't resist.

The fall flowers are great for portraits as
we wait for the leaves to change color.

Also wanted to eek out some last summer portraits
and use this blue chair I just found at a thrift store.

Madeline is a wonderful model!
She has the rare ability to give natural expressions
when not smiling. 

While shooting those portraits in my backyard,
our neighbor, seven year old Meadow joined in the fun.

She is missing her two front teeth and looked pouty
when she tried not to smile too big.
But I WANTED a big toothless smile because
that is her true self at this moment in time.

So, once she was back in her play clothes, I put her
on the blue chair and got her to laugh.

And, that is my favorite portrait of Meadow!
Seeing this photo of my daughter from last fall...
Has me all excited to take fall photos!!
Just starting to see a tinge of color change.