Nolan is One!

I met Anna a few years ago when she asked me to photograph her adorable nephew who was in town.  She truly is the sweetest soul, so I was excited when she asked me to photograph she and her husband Ben when she was pregnant with Nolan and then last month when Nolan turned one! He’s a doll face and super duper smart. He was moving my hand to scroll through his photos on the back of my camera. Did I mention he’s only one!? And, oh those baby blues!

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Webb Boys Mini Session

I get the privilege of photographing the adorable (and fashionable) Webb boys every fall. And they are as sweet and well mannered as they are cute! Love catching up with their beautiful mom too!HDP-Webb-2_WEB.jpgHDP-Webb-28_WEB.jpgHDP-Webb-29_WEB.jpgHDP-Webb-14_WEB.jpg
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Mary Tate, Rachel & Kevin

Fall is in the air and it was a perfect afternoon for my session with these cute kids. They were so much fun!

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!

Sam, Luke & Harper

Lisa and I met through Bible Club at Vestavia West, where our kids are in school. What a sweet family and I hope we get to know each other better as our kids grow up in school together. Here are some images highlighting our session at Aldridge Gardens. These kids are ADORABLE!

And this next series of Lisa and Harper is why I keep my finger on the shutter. 3 very different expressions…love it!

Easter

I hope everyone had a Happy Easter! I’d like to share the lyrics of one of our family’s favorite Easter hymns we sang in church today…

Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia! 
Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia! 
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia! 
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia! 
Love's redeeming work is done, Alleluia! 
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia! 
Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia! 
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia! 
Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia! 
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia! 
Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia! 
Where's thy victory, boasting grave? Alleluia! 
Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia! 
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia! 
Made like him, like him we rise, Alleluia! 
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia! 
Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia! 
Praise to thee by both be given, Alleluia! 
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia! 
Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia! 
King of glory, soul of bliss, Alleluia! 
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia! 
Thee to know, thy power to prove, Alleluia! 
Thus to sing, and thus to love, Alleluia!

After church we headed to my parents’ house for the annual Easter lunch and egg hunt…

This makes me laugh! My kids gave me a taste of being on the other side of the camera. They were taking a photo of us at the table while I was taking a photo of them with my phone! 😉
My daughter has such a sweet relationship with her Nana (my mom).

I'm actually in a photo with my kids!!

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. 🙂