Beautiful success!

Yay! I finally took some friends away from jcpenny portraits! I mean nothing against them… But I like to think that I offer something you can’t find there!! I now have this amazing studio to work at, great lighting, I can set up whatever ideas I would like, have fun, and most importantly take the time needed, and make the kids comfortable. 1 1/2 and 3 can be hard individually but also shooting together! It can either be good, bad, great, terrible, etc! It’s all about the kids and their mood! It went wonderfully and they are so beautiful! They look just like their mommy and daddy! She called me after and said Shannon, I have never been able to get pictures of both of my kids smiling! I was so happy with the pictures and knew what it meant to them. Little things like that make me so happy and makes me feel good that I am able to offer people something they can’t always get somewhere else! I was able to capture both kids smiles and personalities, Portraits, and my favorite is candid parent and child shots! Knowing they will have these gorgeous pictures of their kids for their house and that she is giving as Christmas gifts makes me smile! I love my job!! I put everything I have into it and the way I feel successful is when someone loves their pictures!

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Newborn love, props, and shots!

Another new experience for me was a little baby that came my way!  I do a lot of kids…but they are usually around a year old and up!  It has felt like such a long time since my 2 1/2 year old has been a baby.  I know how to work the toddlers now…. what works and what doesn’t.  And for the most part, if a toddler doesn’t want their picture taken, its not gonna happen if you force them!  This is one of the many reasons that I love shooting outdoors, because then they can just be a kid and I can follow them around and have them smile all on their own!  I went to the couples house because I feel that with a newborn they are more comfortable in their own environment and I know how hard it is to get everything ready, and get out of the house for picture day!  Although it is a lot of stuff to bring to them, it is just me, not bottles, toys, pacifiers, diapers, outfits, spit up rags, etc.  🙂  I have always gone to location but I found a newborn inside a little more difficult.  Going to a location I  have never been I don’t know the lighting or set up.  Natural light is key and this was a little difficult because we needed more space so we set up in the basement.  Overall it went well, but in the future I will do this in a studio that I am now renting from.  I will still always travel to location and try to accommodate in any way I can, but I also want to give the best results.  I was really excited about this little bed that I bought off etsy and got a little baby girl fever with all the fabrics and headbands and outfits, and just watching her with her mom and dad.  Newborns is something that I really want to have the opportunity to work on in the future.  Although she was amazing and slept for her all of her shots, I want to practice on my setup, and props, and poses for the future!  I am not really into posing babies into unnatural ways or using over the top props, so I am pleased with what we did.  We were able to capture them as a family, her in her daddy’s arms, her sleeping, and even with her dog!  I hope that I get to see them all again in the future!   ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Inseparable Bonds

My sister wanted some pictures of her and her daughter, so I met them at a park by my house!  It is so amazing to be able to capture such love between a mother and daughter.   The smiles are different from any other, the hugs are different, and you can feel every special moment between them.  I love being an aunt, it is so different from being a mom.  And I love being able to watch and share the joys of motherhood with my sister.  She is an amazing mom and I was so glad to be able to capture these images for her.  ImageImageImageImageImageImage

Take some time to smell the roses….

I reconnected with a friend from high school. She wanted to update her portfolio, and have some new pics for her blog. I can’t say enough good things about Leah. She’s smart, kind, thoughtful, happy, driven, beautiful on the inside and out. We had a blast shooting downtown in Cleveland. She loves her city, works for the city, and knows a lot of great spots and places. She showed me some cool spots down in Little Italy, even stopped for a wine tasting in between pictures, ate at a great little restaurant, and walked the streets so full of life. We connected so well and she taught me a lot and made me think about things. I took so much from our day… to stop and explore, learn and take the time to enjoy things. To be proud and confident of who you are. I have been struggling between being a mom and starting my own business, and she said something so profound to me…. what I do outside of the house and just being a mom will make my daughter proud. It will show her that you can achieve anything you put your mind to. Even if I have to spend time away from her, it is important to make myself happy and to let her see that! I feel lucky to know Leah and she really puts a smile on everyone’s face that she is around. ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Halloween!!!

I don’t get super excited over Halloween. It really has never been a favorite of mine. But you can’t help but smile with kids in their costumes and their excitement over dressing up and going trick or treating. I wanted to do kids mini photo sessions, so I made a flyer and had some people respond. I figured as a mom we spend money on these costumes that they wear once so why not have a party for them, and promote my business a little too! The party went great we had chili and snacks and cider. The adults played corn hole and the kids ran around my two acres and had fun in the leaves all day. We had monster cupcakes and candy and even face painting! Here are some pics of the costumes!!

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Generation Alpha

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I wanted a unique title so I looked it up and the generation born in 2010 has created a new name that is being called Generation Alpha!  Hmm.. interesting.  I took these photos because I have wanted to capture my daughter, husband, and his mother for a while!  I figured a shoot and some framed prints was the perfect present for grandparents day ( a few weeks late)!!  My mother in law is such a calm, kind person.  She has been amazing to me over the past almost 9 years, and is incredible with our daughter.  They are like two kids together, you can see the joy in both of them when they are together.  It is so fun to see how she resembles my husband, and his side of the family!  I had fun and tried out some different things with this too!!  When I am with a new client, I am still a little bit nervous to try out extreme light changes, or different styles.  I want to make sure I capture the smiles, and the moment, and don’t want to accidentally overexpose and completely ruin a shot!!  I really like being creative, and trying out new things so I will do it more often!! I am a huge fan of black and white if you can’t tell!!  I have been having such a hard time editing and posting lately.  I always offer my clients both color and black and white prints but how do you choose? The colors are so amazing this fall, but yet black and white just adds such a dynamic element to all of it!!  Can’t wait to print these and I know my daughter’s grandmother is going to love them!!!  

Engaged to Be Happy!!!!!!

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My best friend asked me to take her engagement pictures.  It was such an honor for me!  I have known her longer than anyone and I have known her fiance for about 8 years as well.  My husband and her fiance grew up together and I invited her to come along to a concert with us one night… and it was history from there!!  They are the cutest couple!  She is so sweet, and he is funny!!  They really do bring out the best in each other.   You know it is true love when you can smile in the rain, have fun, and really look into one another’s eyes!!  It is the beginning of fall and the weather is already getting chilly.  It was drizzling but we set out to a great park by their house.  I think the rain and the cool air made the pictures even better!!!  They got engaged while they were fishing.  He put the ring on the end of the line and she reeled it in!  I still can’t believe he cast it out there!!!!!!!  I can not wait for their destination wedding next summer!!  I hope to photograph there as well and then come back and use the pictures for their reception!  I can’t help but smile when I look at these pictures.  My beautiful friend is so happy and I could not be happier for her!  I hope they enjoy these pictures for years to come and can look back over the years and remember this time!!  

Love, Photos, and Frames

I love this family!  These are great friends of mine and I love their kids like they are my own!  Mia looks just like her mommy and Dominic like his dad, with blue eyes.  It was a little bit difficult, as I think photographing 4 people at the same time can be!  It is hard to have the parents, a 5 year old, and a 2 1/2 year old all look and smile at you at the same time!  I was a little nervous when I got home that I was not going to be able to produce a lot of shots for them, but I was happy!  I snapped a ton of pictures (prob 150-200) which took me a long time to go through, but I’m glad that I did.  I was able to find at least 50 really good shots for them!!  I had so much fun with them and they are such an amazing family!  The photographs are a little less candid than my typical style, but I have been trying to produce more posed shots, since I feel that is what a lot of families want.  I’m really happy that they liked the pics and I’m sure I will see them on their wall soon!  😉  ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Rod Stewart and Stevie Nicks

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I had the opportunity to photograph Stevie Nicks and Rod Stewart. My first media pass!! I was so excited and nervous. My sister writes for an online media paper and also her own music blog. I will post soon so you all can follow!!! I was escorted under the Quicken Loans Arena and backstage onto the floor of the arena. I was then given a pass and the rules. Of course no flash and first two songs. I met two other photographers, one of which writes for the Plain Dealer. I introduced myself and told them this was new to me. They were nice and showed me where to stand and the concert started soon. I only brought one lens with me. A 50mm. I was told that my standard zoom lenses would not function correctly in low lighting. Which is true, except for such a large venue. The stage lighting is enough light for any lens. Most concerts you are by the stage, or in a “pit.” For this we were about 500 feet back by the sound and light guys. Needless to say, my lens was not long enough. I am 5′ 2″ and couldn’t shoot over the crowd. I practiced metering my lighting and learned how to do it quickly in the dark. I shot and it looked like a spec on stage. I was so upset. I then was escorted to my seat in about the tenth row. I was able to sneak these photos from there. Lesson learned to bring my entire camera bag, and each of these upcoming concerts is going to be such a great learning experience. I am not a huge fan of Rod, I like Stevie Nicks, but they really put on a great show! Rod is so animated, and his voice is just like on any album. His attire, and his band mates attire was so sophisticated. It was kinda nice to see such stature. Although the pink panther suit was a little much for me! 😉 The girls on stage were beautiful and their voices even better!! Each girl showcased their talent in singing, saxophone, violin, etc and it left me in awe! The crowd was so involved, singing every word, to every song! You could tell they never wanted it to end. I have not been to many concerts at the Q but I found the sound system to be pretty bad. So here are my pics from the night! My mom had a blast, and I learned a lot! It was a great experience! GO Rod the Bod! 😉

FaMiLy :-)

I took photos of my sister, brother in law and my niece again this past weekend. My niece is 18 months and they wanted some new family photos!

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I love this picture. If I could say exactly what I wanted out of the picture it would be this. I have another one of full frame, neither parent is looking but Kyla is staring at me dead on. Although the quality of the picture is not shown here..I like the portrayal of it. It feels like a painting to me. Timeless.

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I love shooting in Downtown Cleveland. There are so many cool spots. City, trees, water, bridges, a little log cabin. Every turn is a new setting.

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Love this pic of my sister and my niece!

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She has the best little features! I love how the lights are coming through the trees behind her!

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Having fun with lightroom and trying out some new effects!

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My favorite family portrait!

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First one to try out my new backdrop!