I received a call from a father that wanted portraits of his son and family. His son was around 18 months and he had wanted to capture this time! He described him with big beautiful eyes and gorgeous curly hair. He mentioned that he was going to have his first hair cut and they wanted to get his portraits done first. We talked about him, and how to make it fun. I like to do traditional photographs and also capture that candidness between him and his parents! This age is probably the toughest. At 1 year they still are amused by me, at 2 years they can be bribed and tricked. At this age they are so smart and figuring everything out for themselves! We danced and played music and had snacks and made silly faces! He was so sweet and calm but you could tell he was shy being around a stranger taking his pictures. I always hope to capture those big smiles and laugh and am disappointed when I don’t. I am happy with the amazing portraits of him and his beautiful eyes and got some smiles with his parents and cousin! His father told me his brother and sister in law were in town with their cousin and asked to bring them along with their mother. I was all for it! I like to make every experience personal and give all that I can. Whatever makes my clients happy makes me happy and the more the merrier! It was my first large group shot and I was a little nervous how to pose everyone. I am used to shooting outside and everyone being natural and using the elements. In a studio is a little restricting. Overall I am happy with what were able to capture and I hope they were too!
I saw a girl that I haven’t seen since high school. I got to meet her amazing husband and her two beautiful boys! It was so great to see her, and her family is so sweet! Little James was soo amazing with his baby brother Jack! So attentive and sweet and wanted to hold him the entire time. I had so much fun at this shoot! The family was up for different ideas and we had some gorgeous scenery. I love this covered bridge and shot here for my very first job, and definitely will be returning. Right under the bridge is a beautiful part of the metroparks. A little 5 minute walk down the street are the cutest little shops and a stationary train that any kid would love to climb on! It was so hot that day in the 90’s but we shot earlier in the day and everyone was a trooper! I love their bright colors and their smiles just light up every picture. I am taking some classes and learning some new things about my camera and some different techniques. I was really happy with the clarity and quality of the pictures..probably for the first time! I still have a lot to learn and have had three shoots since this and feel like I am improving each day. I love learning and growing and finding new things everyday inspires me so much! I also love Pinterest and try to find new creative ideas for shoots. As I have said before I love candid shots and its hard to plan with kids what is going to happen, but I am trying to have more of a shot list before I approach the shoot. I usually email some ideas to the parents and find out what they like or don’t like. It helps them have a feel for the style of photography that I do, and usually inspires them to come up with more ideas for the session too! It helps me with the flow of the shoot. A few times I have felt like what should I have them do next? With a little shot list it helps inspire more ideas for me and so far it has improved things on both ends I think! I am truly blessed to have shared the day with this family and I hope they love the photos!
For my daughter’s second birthday my first decision was not having it at my house. I had it at our house last year and although we have 2 acres in our backyard our house is pretty small. Last year after cleaning and prepping our yard for weeks, it rained the entire day! We spent most of the day inside our garage and under tents borrowed from friends and neighbors! So I found a beautiful park that also had a huge pavilion. This way if it rained at least we could look at the beauty outdoors and still be covered comfortably! 🙂 I had to go there at 7 am and start decorating and reserve the space, which was a little bit of a pain but the cleanup afterwards was easy and my house was clean when we came home!!! My daughter is a girly girl and loves flowers, but also loves dirt and has a weird infatuation with worms. She calls them baby goos! So I made her invitations of her in a flowery dress (you can see pics in previous post Two and Eyes So Blue) The invitation went something like London is GROWING into a bright young two year old! Come join us for some fun, food, and cake. So PETAL on over to her GARDEN party. Give SHANNON a buzz to rsvp. I catered some food which was pretty inexpensive. I made some arts and crafts for the kids to enjoy and we had a great day!!! The horse was brought my my husband’s uncle who lived 5 minutes away. “Bay” loved giving the kids rides!! My father in law brought a giant bag of colorful balls and dumped them off the side of the pavilion. The kids had a blast kicking them around and collecting them all to take home!
This is London saying I’m two and full of cheese puffs!
I cut out each kids name to let them fingerpaint. Once it dried we hung ours on the wall it and it is really cute! The paint color on the wall shows through their name and the rest is all their artwork. I bought the pots at Michaels and each kids got to paint them however they wanted. They each got some sunflower seeds and some potting soil to take home and plant!
My friend made the most amazing cake!!!! Each cupcake was perfect. She cut and dipped each little marshmallow to make the flower petals. In the flower pot is the best dirt cake I have ever had!! Complete with baby goos (worms) and giant flowers!!
Let the painting begin!!
I try and take my camera everywhere! One of my favorite places is to take it to birthday parties! Our friends decided to have a farm party. Now before you start thinking its crazy… I have heard the talk on how parents are starting to go crazy for kids parties these days! I could agree in one sense but not in all. I have recently heard of 10-15 4 year olds going to a spa! Hair, makeup, manicures, pedicures! To me that’s a little much! I mean if you have little divas on your hands, have your girlfriends paint their nails at your home! That’s just my opinion though… So parties should be about celebrating their birth! Having fun, and being surrounded by family and those that you love!! People is what is important. Adding a little fun in for the kids is great too! They have a beautiful yard and it was a gorgeous day. We had pizza and subs, and chicken and dips, fruit and cupcakes! The kids played on the swing set and ran around the yard. The birthday girl loved ponies and animals. My friend found a man and his granddaughter that lived about 20 minutes away and had a little traveling farm. It was sooo cute! IT was a petting zoo for the kids, taught them about animals, and for around $100. You can’t even go to a zoo or an amusement park with a family of 4 for under that! A water park costs $40 for a three year old! I had so much fun photographing the kids at play!
My daughter London and her friend Madison going down the little roller coaster in her yard!
Dominic and his Papa