Monday, February 22, 2016

Behind the Scenes with Caroline... I make weird faces {Child Portraits}

 I make some pretty awful faces when I'm not paying attention and I am not even sure what that's about, but it makes for some ugly behind the scene photos!  However, this is not about me, but our shoot with Caroline.

This session was fairly simplistic in regard to no real props and the location was a 40 x 40 plot of dead grass. Sounds exciting right?  The point is, it doesn't take tons of money or exotic locations to make a stunning photography session happen.
It just takes a vision and a Caroline :)
Thanks so much to Shelly for photographing so you could see into our world a little bit more.

Here are some outtakes from our session with Caroline as we delve into our child fantasy portraiture. For her highlight on our site, click HERE.
We start with a little hair and make up at the studio thanks to Glory.
We make sure mom is happy....

I think that is a yes

Out to the field we go. Can you believe we have NO SNOW!?!

Making sure she doesn't freeze, but isn't she lovely?

So, one of our first shots was this, I actually forgot I took it until I was getting ready to blog

A simple edit, gives us a whimsical look at Caroline.

A reflector is all we used here. Her mom even helped us prop it up against our trusty log. A reflector is a best friend. It never runs out of batteries or misfires.  It can even be made out of tin foil if you want to get crafty.  I've recently been introduced to a small camera from a company called Light that works extremely well in low-light conditions allowing for great photos even as the day's light begins to fade.

We borrowed Mandi, a local high school student to do some shooting with us and give flight to Caroline's dress.  She did very well at both!

Despite the harsh sunlight, we were really able to give this scene an enchanted look. 

Hey, there's Mandi again!

 But thanks to Mandi, we got this.
For some reason, I love the "off camera" look in clients. I shoot both, but when they look away from me I feel it gives it a more ethereal feel. 

Her dress extension is literally clipped to her tiny little waist. Fashion genius right there.

weird face.


Sometimes, we literally blind our models with the reflector. I suggest not doing this. 

 But definitely do this

We didn't tell Caroline what we were doing with this set up. I just asked her to trust me. She did. That's awesome.

Just sitting on a fancy stool, in the middle of a field with a white train for a dress. 

Ms. Caroline.

Oh I love this experience. :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Surviving Photography, Life and Meal Prep One Crockpot At A Time...

Life is busy, even when you don't want it to be busy, it's busy.
How do you survive the American way of life?  Two things have started to happen... learning to say no  :) and learning that just about anything can be made in a crockpot.

The crockpot: singlehandedly the best tool in a families' survival kit.  There is nothing better than being in the studio all day and coming home to a meal just WAITING for me.  This is how I know I am real grown up.

The last thing we easily made in the crockpot? Well, I'm so glad you asked.


Chicken (all depends on your family, but 4 breasts of chicken works well here!)
1 can of cheddar cheese soup
1 medium size jar of salsa
If you are feeling like an overachiever... add black beans and corn and go all out. 

Mix, crock pot on low for 6-8 hours.

If your chicken is frozen, a quick boil in the morning helps!

I make rice when I get home and we have the best chicken, salsa rice dish!

That my friends, makes coming home an lovely event especially if somewhere in your day you do have to display ninja like qualities.
Til next time!
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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Celebrating Birthdays and Friendships and Art. This all matters...

Amber J Photography started when I was wide-eyed and ready to take on the world, not realizing (or not wanting to) that 1.5 million other people were thinking the same thing, but I ended up with an advantage no one else had.  Shelly.

This blog post is not about photography, but more about how it's brought about friendship and art.
Today, is Shelly's birthday.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY! If anyone knows me, I LOVE birthdays. LOVE THEM!  It's with great pleasure I can wish my friends happy birthday.  My business found it's stride when Shelly came along.

How we met: I don't remember exactly, but I do remember our first conversation on the phone was almost 2 hours. That scared me, I don't like the phone!  We started talking about school portraits and I used to think that was a good idea. haha.  Shelly owned her own business and decided photographing weddings was not for her.

It began: I decided I loved weddings and asked if she would occasionally second shoot with me. She agreed.   A few weddings in, Shelly was coming around to the magic that was in a wedding day again.

Little Leagues: I photographed a few little leagues with Shelly.  It was almost the end of me. She is amazing with lots of small children.... I am not.  Little leagues was not my magic. But I watched how awesome she was handling parents, paperwork and well, lots of kids.

Work: Shelly makes things happen.  Her extroverted personality pulls my introverted one away from hiding.   She isn't in it for anything more than to work and produce art and photography.  She was willing to come along side me and do anything to make my vision happen.  Who does that?  She did.

It Worked:  As Shelly let go of her own business to join mine, it was the ultimate promise of "I'm in this".   The rest is history.

We now fully book our wedding season every year with some amazing vendors and equally amazing couples.  We have unique portrait work for our teens, high school seniors and children.  She grabbed the teen market by the horns and got it rolling.

So, today I don't celebrate just a birthday, but a selfless friend who has walked into this vision with no clamor for her own identity or art, but simply to be a part of this adventure. 
And...oh what an adventure it is!

Happy birthday Shelly!!!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Dear Mom and Dad, can we talk for a sec?

I saw this posted the other day and it just hit me like the fresh smell of a good pizza when you are famished.  I read it a couple of times and I was like, yea I get it, these darn kids keep moving and the speed of light.
I admit, I resent it sometimes... for the love can a girl just get some couch time?
These moments will pass quickly and it will be graduation time and college visits as some of you well know!
So, mom and dad this whole senior portrait thing we have going on is about time.  It's not about the pictures you are getting, though they are pretty fabulous ;).  Every body in world can take pictures, says so.
 So why the heck would you spend money on senior portraits?
                                 You wouldn't. You shouldn't.

What you should spend money on is time, experience and a really fun few hours with professionals who know just how fast time is going.  More than likely, the next time a professional photographer will photograph your child will be at their wedding. 
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I watch my sons every day as they changes.  I do what I do because of my boys.  I do it because snapshots are one thing, the senior portrait experience is quite another.  The cap and gown will be stored away, the class ring will be off the finger before the first day of freshman year at college, the snapshots from someone's iphone will fade into instagram oblivion.
Images will last forever. We make sure of it.
Booking senior portraits is easy: