A Classic Session of Adorableness!

For several years now, this sweet family drives from Tuscaloosa for me to take their portraits. I consider it such a privilege. Ellie was the first, and now now she is sharing the spotlight with her sisters Ann Barrett and Alex.

After driving in from out of town and battling the rain all afternoon, I hope Ashley sees from the images that it was all worth it! 😉 Glad we finally found our window of opportunity! These girls are as cute as baby dolls, and just as sweet too!

Jack and Emily

I enjoyed meeting Jack and Emily and their mom Jan at Birmingham Botanical Gardens for our classic session together. They even brought along the family dog, which I always love! After all, pets are part of the family too!

Meet Mia

Frances has 9 beautiful grandchildren and she has entrusted me to capture each of them at 2 years old for a gallery in her home. Mia is Frances’ 6th grandchild I have photographed. She was like a little cherub!

Palin, Clarkie and Kathleen

I’ve been on a family vacation for a week, so now I’m trying to get caught up on my blogging. Whew! Lots to do!

Rachel and I have been talking photos for a while since our husbands work together. We finally had her session a few weeks ago and the weather was just perfect. Then, when Clarkie and Kathleen showed up in Matilda Jane outfits I was beyond excited. They were super cute; and since my daughter would not wear Matilda Jane because she thought she was “too old” (fashion opinions showed up way early at my house), I have to admire everyone else’s children in their cute clothing line!

Kathleen, the baby, wasn’t so sure about being barefoot. Guess she hadn’t gotten her “summer feet” yet, but we worked through it and she quickly forgot about it. The one thing she didn’t forget was wanting to keep mommy in sight at all times; but her sweet big sister and brother helped with that too and she got lots of love from them. I could tell right away that these siblings have such a sweet relationship. I loved being able to capture it. Here are a few images from our afternoon together…

Boys will be boys…

Looking for Momma…

The Drake Family – A Classic Session at Birmingham Botanical Gardens

I met Jennifer about a year ago when I first photographed Anne Michael as a newborn. Even then she had huge blue eyes that sparkled with her little personality. One of my favorites things about my job is getting to see your children grow and their personalities blossom with each session. This session with Jennifer gave me the opportunity to meet the rest of her sweet family.

The Dogan Boys

I’m still trying to post a few fall sessions that made it to Facebook but not to the blog before I took a little time off with my family over the holidays.

I photograph the Dogan Boys every fall. They are super duper cute and it’s so much fun to see how they’ve grown between sessions!  Their mom Allison had a specific plan and booked well in advance so we could get Weldon and Hardy playing in the bright yellow leaves from the amazing Ginkgo tree at Aldridge Gardens. It’s my very favorite tree because when its leaves turn around November (here in Alabama), they gleam the most beautiful golden color when the sun shines through. It really is magical.

Holiday Photography Tip: Your Home (and Life) All Aglow

Ever wonder why you can’t capture the “feeling” of the warmth of your home in pictures when it’s illuminated for Christmas? Turn OFF your flash. Most cameras in auto mode shoot this type of scene with the flash popped up because it recognizes that the scene is very dimly lit. When the flash pops up, it lights up the entire room and you lose that twinkle of the lights…the glow…and ultimately the mood.

This holiday season, when you want to capture the beauty of your home all aglow, set your camera to “A” (aperture preferred) mode and set your aperture to about f/2.8 or f.4, depending on how much of the room you want to be in focus. Then, in your menu, set your ISO to 400 (ISO determines available light sensitivity) and your camera will determine the shutter speed for you. Given the low light, the shutter speed will be slow, so you will need to be on a tripod or steady your camera on a flat surface to avoid blurred images caused by camera shake. (To go even a step further to avoid camera shake, I actually used a remote trigger with the mirror up for the images I shot below.) Then, as a final tweak, if you are using iPhoto or another more advanced photo editing software, adjust the white balance to tungsten because your images SOOC (straight out of the camera) will be too warm and have a distinct yellow cast. Adjusting the white balance will correct this.

This method works also if you sit your children in front of the Christmas tree with their backs towards you and have them be very still. You will get the tree all aglow and they will be somewhat silhouetted except for where the light from the tree is illuminating the front of their faces. I don’t have an example of this shot to post tonight, but I’ll try to post one before Christmas.

My husband started a fire tonight, so I thought it was the perfect time to light the candles and take a few example shots for this post which I have included below. I hope you find these tips helpful when you are trying to capture your precious memories this year.

And one last thought…

I love light and I love the challenge of capturing it in my camera. The most incredible thing about light is that God created it on the very first day he created the earth.  “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.” — Genesis 1:3,4  And on Christmas when Jesus the Savior was born, a light, a star, is what led the shepherds and the wisemen to Him to worship Him. ” I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” — John 8:12.  This verse and a Christmas song by Third Day was my inspiration for how I shot the images for our Christmas card this year.

Every time I pick up my camera, I am celebrating the light that God created and all the amazing beauty it brings to the world and joy to those who witness its glory. Think about the way light brings out the color in your children’s eyes and the glow in their hair when the sunlight hits it just right. Think about sunrises and sunsets at the beach, your shadows in the sand, rainbows after a rainstorm and moonlit nights on the porch. I know I am getting a little flowery here, but light is a fascinating and inspiring thing to me.

Since Jesus is the light of the world and whoever follows Him will have the light of life, how much more amazing will our lives be for ourselves and for others if we follow Him and let our lives be illuminated by the light of Christ in us. That’s my focus this Christmas – for my heart, my home and my business to be aglow with the Light of World, and I pray it will continue to be my focus in the coming New Year.

No presents under the tree...I know! I know! You guys are keeping me busy, so they might not get wrapped until Christmas Eve! And plain jain too? Yep! I let the kids decorate with all of our special ornaments every year. Even though there isn't a lot of "design" to our tree, there sure are a lot of memories on there! Just the way I like it! Oh! And of course, a photo ornament, for every year we've been our little family. 🙂

More of the Collier Family at home

I enjoyed photographing this precious family at their home on a beautiful November afternoon. What a blessing it is for me to be able to spend time with families like this one while I am working!

Sneak Peeks for the King Family