Seth Family April 2014

This was my second session with the Seth Family. This time we also included my client’s sister and her family, and their parents. My biggest group so far, but such fun! Here’s the review Neha wrote after her first session with me in December 2013:

We had a fantastic experience with Tracy! She took some gorgeous pictures of our family of five along with my 6 month old. Tracy was very professional. She gave us plenty of time between shots to change outfits for our baby. And was very patient even when baby was getting fussy. The best part about the whole experience was that the pictures turned out just beautiful. We are looking forward to our next shoot with Tracy!

Here is a selection of my favorite images from the latest session. Click here to see the full gallery.

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For more details about a photo session with me click here.

To book your own family photo session click here.

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2013 Photo-a-day: February Week 4

Day 53

Day 53

Love hearts, a traditional Valentine’s treat. I went outside so I could shoot these in natural light, and tried to arrange them so they looked like they had been casually dropped.

Day 54

Day 54

We’ve had some beautiful weather lately, so I decided to take advantage of it to get this shot. I love the heart shape of these leaves, and the shadow looks great too. To get the shot I had to hold the leaf in such a way that you could clearly see the heart shape of it and the shadow, as well as keeping my hand and the stalk out of the frame as much as possible. I actually tried cropping my fingers out completely, but that made it look like the leaf was floating, and looked a little weird.

Day 55

Day 55

My littlest love is ready for solid food! We’re taking it slowly, and on the advice of a friend we are letting him try things for himself rather than trying to force-spoonfeed him. I offered him some tomato flavored corn chip puff thingies, and he loved them! Although so far he prefers to suck them and then spit out the rest. It’s exciting to wonder what foods he will come to love though :)

Day 56

Day 56

This was an interesting shot, and not what I originally planned this day. I wanted to get a shot of the Chinese symbol for love, but in an interesting way. I also wanted to get a shot of the beautiful cherry blossom which had just started blooming, but couldn’t think of a way that it represented ‘love.’ So I decided to use the blossom to create the Chinese symbol for love. I printed out a large copy of it, then gathered some blossom and stuck it to the paper. My kids helped. It was fun, but we got a little ‘blossom happy,’ and by the end it was very hard to see the symbol at all, it just looked like a mass of blossom on white paper! So I came up with a plan B – I got a nice shot of the blossom and superimposed the symbol over the top. Although it was not what I originally wanted, I like the effect I ended up with.

Day 57

Day 57

My three little loves, also known as the Triple-E ;)  I wanted to get a shot of them together during my love-theme month, because the love between siblings is like no other. Edward looks up to his big sister, and Elizabeth is very protective of her brothers. Edward and Elizabeth both adore their baby brother, and Evan lights up whenever they’re around. I know the three of them will be best friends for life. I originally planned to shoot them sitting up together, as I have done before. I put them all in their ‘sibling shirts’ and got a couple of good shots of them sitting on the tiger blanket out in the backyard. Then I decided to to lay them down and try and get their heads close together. It was unplanned, but I loved those shots so much more that the sitting up ones! They just look so much more relaxed and happy, and I like that their heads are close together. You can’t see their shirts as well, but I don’t mind that. I love this picture so much I’m going to print it and frame it :)

Day 58

Day 58

Showing my body some love by getting out and walking more. I try and walk every day after I drop my daughter off at school, and I also just signed up to walk a 5K in a couple of weeks. I hope to run it next year. Right now I don’t have enough time to train, but as Evan gets older and Edward moves into Kindergarten my schedule will open up a little.

Day 59

Day 59

I started the month with my wedding rings, and I end it with my wedding dress. Every bride knows how important it is to find the perfect dress for the day she promises to love her husband for all eternity. I had mine custom made, and I loved it. My husband said he did too. It’s been hanging in my closet wrapped in plastic for the last 8 years, so it was fun to get it out again. I took it outside so I could get some nice soft natural light for the shot.


And that’s February done! I had a lot of fun with this month’s theme of ‘love,’ and next month should be even funner…the theme for March is ‘Famous Movies Recreated with Tiny Action Figures!’ A bit of a mouthful, but I’m so looking forward to this one! I have my team assembled (see below) and we are taking suggestions. Just leave a comment if there is a movie you’d like to see recreated with tiny action figures :)

Ready for action!

 

2013 Photo-a-day: February Week 3

Day 46

Day 46

Five years ago this little boy came into my life to teach me about the love between a mother and son. Happy Birthday my little Edward! To get this shot I had him lay on his tummy with a big gift bag behind him. Then I cropped so the gift bag filled the frame behind him. The robot was one of his favorite presents, one he’d been asking for for weeks.

Day 47

Day 47

Edward’s first proper birthday party! We always have our birthday parties in the back yard. Edward chose to have a robot party and invited all his friends. We had 10 guests so it was a busy afternoon! They built robots out of junk and had a great time running around the yard. Daddy made the cake, which was delicious :)  I couldn’t decide on just one picture for the day, so I put the collage together in Photoshop.

Day 48

Day 48

For two years I was part of the RCIA team at my church. I’m currently taking a break because I don’t have enough time to dedicate to it with the new baby, but I stay in touch with the team. These are some of the people preparing to show their Love for Jesus by being baptized and received into the Catholic church at Easter.

Day 49

Day 49

With the theme of love this month, I knew I had to get a picture of a heart. I had the idea that I could cut a strawberry in half, and the inside would look like a heart, but I couldn’t find any the right shape. Then I tried laying the 2 halves on top of each other like this, and…perfect! The heart is the universal symbol for love, and strawberries are well-known as a food of romance and seduction.

Day 50

Day 50

My first born, my little girl. The way I looked at love changed forever the day she was born. I have the hardest time getting her to smile nicely for photos. She usually either refuses to smile at all, or does a weird thing where she bares her teeth. Today I coached her a little before we started, and told her we were doing a proper photo shoot. I spread her bed covers over the edge of the bed, then had her sit on the floor looking up at me while I stood on the bed. This was one of the first shots I took. The flash didn’t fire properly, and the image came out dark with a weird color cast. But it was one of the best images, and converting it to black and white solved all the problems and I love the result. My other favorite image is at the end of this post.

Day 51

Day 51

There are many things I ‘love.’ I could have spent the whole month taking pictures of them, but I wanted to find things that represent love rather than just my own personal likes. But reading is one of the top things I love, and when I saw an image similar to this online I had to try it. I love the way it came out.

Day 52

Day 52

My kitty cat, Kishka. She’s big and fluffy, and we all love her. Pets are so full of love for their families too. I got this shot of her licking her nose completely by chance, she did it just as I clicked.

 


Elizabeth

Elizabeth

 

2013 Photo-a-day: February Week 1

Day 32

Day 32

This month’s theme is love, so I decided to start with a symbol of my husband’s love for me. I wanted a nice satiny background that would resemble a wedding dress, so I used my son’s baptism outfit that I had handy. I simply scrunched it up a little to give it some shape, and it worked great.

Day 33

Day 33

Many days this month I’ve been able to use events that were already planned for my photos, rather than needing to seek out and set up shots like last month. This is the first example of that. My children were invited to a birthday party, which included the customary piñata. You can see by the look on the birthday girl’s face how much she is loving the game! You might think this was a lucky shot, but to get it I had to shoot continuously as she swung the pole, to ensure I got ‘the moment.’

Day 34

Day 34

It’s Superbowl Sunday, and the nation ground to a halt as everyone watched to see if the San Francisco 49ers or the Baltimore Ravens would win. Although we support the Pittsburgh Steelers in this house, the family still enjoyed the game.

Day 35

Day 35

My daughter made this hairband with a kit she got for Christmas. She noticed my hair was getting in my eyes (because I’m overdue for a haircut) so she gave me the hairband to wear. How could I refuse? Luckily it is pretty cute, and just happened to match my sweater. To get the shot I simply put my camera at one end of the table, set the timer, and sat at the other end. Confession time – I did airbrush out a few wrinkles in Photoshop :)

Day 36

Day 36

My daughter had to do a ‘100 project’ to celebrate the 100th day of school. We talked about what she should do at length, and she threw out all my ideas, until I suggested she take 100 photos with my camera. She jumped at that idea! And it turns out she has a good eye – she got some really good shots (see the end of the post for a picture of her final project). I love that my love of photography is spreading. She used my old D40 camera. I bumped up the white balance to give this picture a really warm feel – her hair is not actually that red.

Day 37

Day 37

These are 2 of my closest friends. We started a new bible study together last month, and try and meet weekly to discuss what we are learning. The love shared between good friends is indescribable and priceless. The fact that we are sharing our love of Jesus with other only strengthens that bond and makes it that much more special.

Day 38

Day 38

My mum has not been able to visit us for a year due to her commitment to care for her own mother back in England. She obviously misses her grandchildren very much, but her love reaches across the miles. She made this hat and cuffs set by hand (crocheted) and mailed them to us. It was a lovely surprise for Elizabeth.

Elizabeth's 100 Days of School project

Elizabeth’s 100 Days of School project

2013 Photo-a-day: January Week 1

Happy New Year! New year, new project. 365 days, one photo a day. A different theme for each month. January is ‘Winter’. Let’s jump right in.

Day One

Day One

This was the tail end of our New Year’s party. Six out of the seven children there saw in the new year awake! It was a fun, relaxing evening. I think we got to bed around 2:00 AM! As it was so late when I took this picture, and people were getting ready to leave, I just snapped a quick shot without really worrying about posing or background. Also I seemed to lose some of the sharpness when I edited it. So yes, it could have been better, but it’s the memory that’s important, recording who was there. And at least they are all smiling!

Day Two

Day Two

Winter is cold! We’re too low for snow here, but we do get an overnight frost during the winter. I used my macro lens to get this shot of a leaf on the front lawn first thing in the morning. In my pajamas!

Day Three

Day Three

School’s out for winter break, so we hit the park with a few friends. It was colder than it looks in this picture, but the kids just don’t feel it! This is actually a composite image. I didn’t manage to get one shot with all the kids in it, so I took one of the boys from another picture and added it to this one. I think it worked well, so I’m not going to tell you which one I added! It worked because I took both pictures from the same position and in the same light.

Day Four

Day Four

What better way to warm up after being out in the cold than a mug of hot chocolate. With peppermint flavored whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup! If I’d had more time I would have re-shot this on a different background. I think it’s too similar in color to the drink. But the baby was getting fussy, so this had to do. I like that the mug is made of glass, though, so you can see the drink inside.

Day Five

Day Five

I’m fighting off my second cold in a month. Winter germs. A nice background created by the underside of my comforter though.

Day Six

Day Six

Elizabeth’s snow boots. As I said before, we’re too low for snow here. But that doesn’t stop her wearing them! This is another shot which would have benefited from a better background, again if I’d had more time. I was hoping the bright light outside would blow out and give me a nice bright background, but it was a dull, dark day.

Day Seven

Day Seven

Russian Christmas! My late mother-in-law was from the Ukraine, so they always celebrated Russian (Orthodox) Christmas in my husband’s house. Now we do too. This is another composite image, but I’m not as happy with this one. The kids were on opposite sides of the room when I took the shots, and at slightly different angles to me. I did what I could in Photoshop to bring them in line with each other, and I think I just about got away with it. But I think once you know it’s a composite it’s obvious, so I’m not particularly happy with this one.

1 week down, 51 to go!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 :)