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

 

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2013 Photo-a-day: February Week 2

Day 39

Day 39

My husband, the love of my life. It was his birthday, and we had dinner with friends. He had already blown the candle out when I took the picture, so I copied a flame from another photo and added it digitally.

Day 40

Day 40

My daughter after participating in Girl Scout’s Thinking Day. This was a day where each troop had a booth to display information about different countries and cultures around the world. It teaches the girls to understand, appreciate and love the diversity of our world.

Day 41

Day 41

One of the cutest little girls on the planet :)  This is the daughter of our good friends, and we were invited to celebrate her first birthday with her. First birthdays are so special, especially when surrounded by people who love you. And cupcakes :)

Day 42

Day 42

My husband bought me this necklace for Christmas a few years ago. I can’t think of a better explanation of the bond between child and mother. As you can see it has been well-worn. To get this image I hung the necklace over the top of my jewelry box with the lid up and shot with my macro lens. There is a mirror inside the lid, so I tried to get the other side of the pendant reflected in the mirror, but I couldn’t get enough depth of field to get it in focus. So instead I switched to a shallow depth of field to completely blur out the background, then just added a second shot of the other side in the corner. I converted the image to sepia for a nice finish.

Day 43

Day 43

Evan, my littlest love. 5 months old in this picture! He’s not quite sitting up yet, so I tipped the chair he’s sitting in back a little to prevent him falling forward. Then I just started shooting, capturing all his funny expressions and poses :)

Day 44

Day 44

“For God so loved the world…” Ash Wednesday. We went as a family to mass in the evening. By the time we got home the kids had already rubbed their crosses off, but my husband’s was still clear.

Day 45

Day 45

Happy Valentine’s Day! Once I got the idea for this shot in my head, I had to do it. These aren’t real roses, they’re fabric ones we were given just after the birth of our first son. But I think with the softening filter I added you can’t really tell.

2013 Photo-a-day: January Week 3

Day 15

Day 15

I’ve been struggling a little with the theme I set myself for this month – winter. I had a few obvious shots I wanted to get that represent winter, but some days I have to look really hard to find something that fits the theme. Other days the shots just jump right out at me. When I went in to wake my son up this morning, I spotted his little foot poking out from under the warm blankets, and I had to get a picture. This represents how hard it is to get out of bed on those cold, dark winter mornings!

Day 16

Day 16

With winter comes the new year, and with the new year comes resolutions. One of mine was to make more of an effort to find time daily for reading my bible. To that end I have started TWO new bible studies this week. One is with my MOMS group – we meet twice a month and are using the ‘My Soul Magnifies the Lord’ book. The subtitle is ‘A Scriptural Journey with Mary.’ So far it’s been really good. The other study I am doing is a daily one, which fits with my goal for the new year. It is an online study called Good Morning Girls. We are studying the first 8 chapters of Luke (one chapter a week), and use the SOAP method of study. I am LOVING it! It is quick and simple, but every day I am finding something in the verses I study that calls to me. I’m enjoying it so much I have started blogging my daily reflections.

Day 17

Day 17

My hubby got me these for Christmas. So cozy and warm!

Day 18

Day 18

I wanted to shoot something that represented winter as death. Wandering round my garden I found this poor old sunflower – perfect! I used a wide aperture to blur out the background as much as possible, and I really love how this came out. It didn’t get any comments on my Facebook page, but it’s one of my favorites of the month.

Day 19

Day 19

So, most of my pictures of the winter theme have focused on the fact that winter is cold. But in California – not so much! Once the sun is up we have some lovely warm days. This weekend the kids really wanted to get back into their sandbox. I used a fast shutter speed to capture that falling sand, and a little bit of flash since they were sitting in the shade.

Day 20

Day 20

Another one of those times when a picture just presented itself to me unexpectedly. I had to go to church to take some pictures for the RCIA group. As I walked into the chapel I came across this beautiful scene. Without hesitating I flicked on the camera and started shooting! This was a time where I absolutely had to get the shot, and worry about how it fit into the theme later! I went with the idea that the sun is so low in the winter that it was able to create the wonderful stained glass reflection on the floor. A little contrived? Maybe.

Day 21

Day 21

I shot a bare tree last week, but I had to do it again this week when I saw the fabulous shadows it was casting on the side of my house. I love how some of the shadows are sharp and others are more blurred.

My First Wedding Shoot

I don’t claim to be a wedding photographer. I don’t have the experience or the equipment I feel is necessary for such an important event. However, when my nephew asked me to be the official photographer at his wedding last fall, I was honored and excited to accept. The day went beautifully, and I was very pleased with the results I got (and I think the happy couple were too!). I thought I would post a few of my favorites, and explain why I like them.

Final Touches

I caught the bride, Lauren, applying the finishing touches to her make up. For a slightly different result I decided to focus on her reflection on the mirror, and I love the result. I thought this shot would look great converted to sepia.

Don’t spill it!

I kept my camera ready at all times, so I was able to capture this fun shot of the bridesmaids attempting to keep the dress free of any spills.

Beautiful Bride

I just love this shot. Lauren was standing below me, and was back-lit with bright sunshine coming in through the front door. It surrounded her with a luminous glow as I looked down on her. Her smile and gaze are just perfect too.

Amazing smile

Another one taken from above. Lauren is sitting on some stairs, now lit from the front by the sunshine, and I leaned over the railing to get the shot. I love the look of joy on her face, and I think the black and white finish is a nice choice.

Mirror, mirror…

This was a shot specifically requested by the bride, and I love how it turned out. Again I focused on the reflection, keeping the back of the bride also in the frame. This time I left the reflection in color with the rest of the image in black and white. It almost makes you feel that the reflection is the real person, and makes you study the picture for a while to take it all in.

Relaxing

I love the lighting in this shot. Once again the sunlight is coming in behind Lauren, but this time it’s muted by the net curtains so it’s not so overpowering. I love her relaxed pose on the couch, something she did naturally, and I really like the muted colors and the glow behind her and catching on her dress. It gives the picture a very serene look.

The Ring

Another one of my all-time favorites. Such a simple shot, but it came out beautifully. Once again we have the lovely lighting from the window. I softened the whole image, then re-sharpened just the ring. It really makes the ring stand out.

Sneaking a glance

This is near the beginning of the ceremony. I love the sneaky glance Mike, the groom, is giving Lauren.

The view from the back

I love this shot taken from the back of the church, as it shows off the beautiful architecture of the church, as well as capturing the bride and groom kneeling as they prepare to make their vows, and the guests in the pews. A little bit of everything.

The kiss!

They’re husband and wife! Another shot that just came out perfectly. All I had to do was soften it and convert to black and white for that classic wedding image.

She’s all mine

This was another unplanned shot that came out beautifully. We were waiting around outside for everyone to get organized, and I asked them to sit on the steps for a few pictures. This was the first one I got. I love the natural pose, the bright colors, and of course the look on Mike’s face!

Memories

Time to move on to the reception, and I wanted to make sure I captured all the little details that went into the event. This is another simple shot that will prove to be a cherished memory of the day.

Time to party!

Of the many photos I took at the reception, this is one of my favorites. Mike and Lauren look so happy and relaxed. I love the lighting, too. I turned my flash off and just used the disco lights, and it worked much better than I expected.

It was a wonderful day. Although I worked hard, I was still able to enjoy the celebration of my nephew’s marriage. And the hard work was worth it. I ended up with over 300 hundred great shots for the couple to keep. I have no plans to start doing this professionally, I prefer to stick to portraits. But if another friend asked, I wouldn’t say no :)