Money Shots

As expected, life with a newborn has meant everything else has taken a back seat the last few months!

Evan David - 3 months old

Evan David – 3 months old

But my beautiful baby boy is settling in well, and I’m trying to get back to some serious photography and regular blog posts. So on January 1st I will be starting a new photo-a-day project. I’ve done this twice before. In 2010 I documented the whole year with a photo each day. And in June 2011 I started a Grateful 365 project. The plan was to take a photo each day of something I’m grateful for. It went great until I got pregnant, then severe morning sickness put a stop to everything except essential day-to-day life. But I miss the daily challenge, so 2013 is going to be another daily project. This time I’ll have a general theme each month to give me a little more inspiration. I’ll post daily on my Facebook page, and I’ll put a weekly wrap-up post on here explaining a little about why I chose each picture.

In the meantime I wanted to share a few of my favorite shots from the family portrait sessions I did over the holidays. I did 5 shoots in total, including my own annual family portraits, and they all came out great. I’ll start with my own family.

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This is the second year I’ve taken our family pictures myself rather than going to Sears, but the first time I’ve taken them outside. The first picture is the one I chose to print and frame. Other than the look on Elizabeth’s face, I love everything about this picture. Getting her to smile is such a challenge! The second picture was one I originally discarded as no good. Elizabeth and Evan are not looking at the camera. There’s a big gap between my husband and the baby, and my husband’s big boot is in the frame. And yet there is something about this picture that just makes me smile. I ended up using this one as the cover photo on my personal Facebook page. You can see the rest of the pictures from the shoot on my website.

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This was my first professional shoot of the season, and we found a beautiful location (the same one I used for my own family shoot). I cropped the first picture at an angle to give it some movement and take it a step beyond a standard group shot. Babies – oh how I love taking photos of babies! The last shot is becoming something of a signature shot for me: the family sitting casually on the grass looking up at the camera. Sitting, the family are relaxed. With nothing but grass in the background there are no distractions, and looking up at the camera gives their faces a flattering look. This was another family with a child who wasn’t in the mood for smiling! Always a challenge, but with a little time and patience we still got some great shots. Especially with his super-cute and smiley baby sister! See the full shoot here.

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This family of Oakland Raiders fans wanted to use their favorite team as the theme for their Christmas pictures this year. Don’t the girls look adorable?! No problems getting these cuties to smile. The last picture was one of those totally unplanned shots. I turned to see Olivia swinging baby Sofia, and quickly snapped a picture. Luckily it was in focus, and I love it! See the full shoot here. Interesting fact: Olivia is a friend of mine, we were pregnant at the same time, had the same initial due date, and gave birth within a few hours of each other at the same hospital!

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I faced several challenges with this shoot. The family wanted some pictures taken inside, which I usually don’t do, preferring natural outside light. The older boy really wasn’t in the mood to participate, and the baby has severe eczema on his cheeks that the parents asked me to edit out. With all that, though, I was very pleased with the results. One of the reasons I love shooting in the fall is leaves! Gorgeous colors on the trees, which I took advantage of in the last shot. And fallen leaves on the ground make a great setting for pictures of little ones. For the second picture I just sat the boys down in the leaves, then got down low for a great angle. See the full shoot here.

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This was my last shoot of the season, another beautiful family, and beautiful location. The second picture is a variation of my ‘looking up’ shot. The family were sitting on a tree stump. After taking some traditional face-on shots, I jumped up onto another nearby tree stump and had them simply turn their heads and look up at me. The third shot is another where I took advantage of the fall colors to create a gorgeous background. This was my second time working with a pet dog. Obviously they are even more unpredictable than children, but this one was quite cooperative. And finally – this goofy girl! Every time I asked her to smile she did this :)  See the full shoot here.

So that’s it for 2012. Most of the year was quiet photography-wise, but it ended with a lot of fun shoots. 2013 is shaping up to be busier, and even more fun!

Happy New Year :)