It’s no secret my daughters are my muses. I picked up my camera when Mallory was almost 2 years old (2001) and have been perfecting my craft ever since. I have loved being a part of my children’s life journey and having treasured photographic memories to look back on. The recent snow fall gave me another excuse to get out and capture my beautiful sixteen year-old and of course practice my craft…at least that’s what I told her. Shhhhh…
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Winter Carnival happened for my Emily this past weekend. (Insert Happy Dance) Normally this dance doesn’t draw a crowd like Homecoming or Prom, but this dance was important to her. Last year she tore her ACL and was 3 weeks post surgery so she had to sit the Winter Carnival dance out and when you’re 15, a freshman in high school, I’m sure you remember just wanting to be with your friends and not wanting to miss a thing. So she was a bit depressed she missed it. She did get dressed up for photos with her friend group and had dinner with the her friends (all 16 of them!) which in my opinion was awesome, but of course I’m no longer 15 years old! (what do I know) And…to top it off a group of kids came back to the house after the dance to fill her in on all the juicy gossip that took place on the dance floor. SO this dance marked her “I’m all healed up” come back!
Saturday was a scramble and complete blur for me(thank goodness I take so many photos!) but I stepped up to the plate and hit a home run! (That’s right…Mom Hall of Fame recipient) The day started off in a small Wisconsin town (which I had no idea existed and I’m thankful for Google Maps for getting me there) watching and cheering on Hayden at his basketball tournament. Then leaving that event only to race home to curl and style Emily’s hair in a record 20 minutes! (air fist pump) The first round of pictures took place at 3pm and we showed up at 3:45pm! Oh well! It is what it is. Then we raced to our second photo group location by 4:35pm and captured everyone looking amazing before sunset at 4:57pm! Whew! But wait, there’s more. My home was the “before dinner” snack shack, and I was thankful my husband was home from Peyton’s away basketball tournament to have snacks, drinks, and wine (for the parents) laid out ready to entertain. Once the kid and parent company were out the door it was time to meet our friends out for dinner and plenty of drinks! By 9pm we were ready to prepare for “Round 2″…you guessed it we were hosting the after the dance snacks and sleepover! In all seriousness, I’m extremely thankful for these busy parenting days because they really do just fly by so quickly. Lemme show you what I captured.
These guys crack me up…of course that AWESOME set of wheels had to be in the photo!
Emily second photo location took place at Banbury. Then these cute kids enjoyed dinner at the Livery.
Emily with her besties! They call themselves “The 3 Musketeers!” There is never a dull moment with these three and the laughs are constant!
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“You are not in the mountains. The mountains are in you.” John Muir
Photographing in full sun.
Red Rock State Park lies about 15 minutes outside Las Vegas. On our way to LA in 2016 we took a tour of the park and I captured a few images for Mallory’s senior portfolio.
Photographing in full sun is not my first choice, but when it’s my only choice I have to make lemonade outta lemons. I took the photo’s above at high noon. Not only did I need to properly expose Mallory, I needed the mountains in the background to tell the story. It took me awhile driving around to find the right location within the park, but once I did, me and my girl worked fast due to ever-changing lighting scenario.
Here’s how I set up the shot:
- Positioning: Making sure I was facing into the sun and placing Mallory in front of me was key.
- Exposure: To properly expose for her skin, I used the desert floor as the natural reflector.
- Clothing: Having her wear dark colors meant I could expose properly for her skin without blowing her skin-tone or any highlights.
- Background: Having the mountains take up most of the background, I knew there wouldn’t be a blown out sky which would be a common occurrence.
- Direction: When photographing her face, I had her turn towards me, away from the sun, to cast even light on her face.
- Challenge: The wind. With her long hair I could only photograph her face in one direction so her hair wouldn’t cover her face. Pulling her hair up was not an option, and provided the movement I needed in her photo since she was stationary.
Lens: 50mm ISO 100/f 2.2/ SS 1/5000
**Having a camera body that has the minimum capability to dial the shutter speed to 1/4000 would be ideal and produce better results.
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Party-peopllllle! Yeah-Kati G-in full effect! Yes…I’m a fan of Tag Team. WHOOMP-there it is!
Maybe you know this…maybe you don’t? I love to plan parties and decorate. Do I have the space…ummmm….not really. But I’m up for the small space challenge. (Que arm-pit sweat.) This year I’m hosting Emily’s homecoming party and I’m in full creative let’s go wild and decorate mode. I’ve been scouring Pintrest every quiet moment I get (any mom knows that’s code for bathroom break), making lists like a mad woman, and throwing ideas at Emily left and right only to have her suggest something completely different so then I’ll turn to Mallory for the ultimate decision making. WORD!
This morning I decided to walk down memory lane, so come along with me. Let’s rewind to February 2014. Mallory was 14, a freshman in high school, and excited to attend Winter Carnival. She gathered a small group of friends and with the help of my girlfriends we created a beautiful adored intimate dinner party before sending them off to the dance.
Thanks for walking down memory lane with me.
Her mother needed a reminder of what she was like at 14.
Joyous. Loving. Spirited.
Talented. Willing. Committed.
Friendly. Young. Stunning.
I have photographed this beauty before when she was eight. Over the years she’s traded her baby dolls for point shoes and I was happy to capture who she is now.
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