FAQ: What is a Gallery Canvas Wrap?

My clients frequently ask me to describe for them what a Gallery Canvas Wrap looks like.  Since a picture is worth a thousand words I thought I’d share a few photos so you can see exactly what I am describing.  I cannot say enough good things about Gallery Canvas Wraps.  They are absolutely positively STUNNING.  They are worth every red cent you spend on one.  I would cover every square inch of wall space in my own home with them if I could afford to.

Canvas wraps are unique in that they arrive ready to hang.  No need to frame these beauties though you absolutely can if you want to.  The image is created on a beautiful quality canvas and stretched over a sturdy and long lasting frame.  The image is glazed to ensure long life and to reduce fading over time.

Canvas wraps take a photo and make it a true work of art.  You paid a premium to have a professional photographer use outstanding equipment and the latest techniques and artistry to create a special piece for you.  Why not showcase it?  Canvas wraps do a fantastic job of doing just that.

When considering an image for a canvas wrap you need to ensure there is ample, and I mean AMPLE room all the way around the main subject of the photograph.  With a gallery canvas wrap the outer edges of the photo truly extend and wrap around the outer frame. Imagine taking a piece of wrapping paper and wrapping it around a gift box.  The sides of the gift box are decorated by the edges of the wrapping paper.  The sides of a gallery wrap are finished (or decorated by) the sides of the photo.  If there isn’t enough room you might have part of someone’s head or a body lost off of the edge.  This is hardly ever attractive.  If you are interested in a package with a gallery wrap then I’d be happy to help you select the best photo from your session.

Now, I’m off to choose a few photos for my own home to have created as gallery wraps.

I Heart Faces Photo Challenge! WIND!

I’ve been eyeballing the I Heart Photo Challenges for quite some time!  I always MEAN to enter and then… well, it just doesn’t happen!  Life has this annoying habit of getting in the way.  Today I decided to change that!  It is time to jump into the water and take part.  This week’s challenge is wind!  This photo is of my crazy Ezra swinging away.  I just love how the wind made his hair so wispy and wild.

I look forward to next week’s challenge.  The theme will be pets!  I have two silly doggies I’ve been meaning take some new photos of.  The challenge comes at a perfect time!

Thanks for looking!

Tips for Your Photo Shoot! What to Wear! Connecticut Portrait and Wedding Photographer!

Do you have a photo shoot with Crystal Starr Photography coming up soon?  Have you thought about booking one soon?  Let me help you have the best possible experience and create photos you will treasure forever!  Let’s begin with the basics.  What should you wear?  What kinds of clothing are most flattering and look best in portraits?  Let’s get into that.

What NOT to wear!

  • Anything you don’t feel comfortable in.  Seriously!  If you aren’t comfortable then you will not look comfortable in photographs.  You will be self-conscious or fidgety.
  • Avoid solid dark colors and solid light colors.  When everyone in the group is wearing all white, all black, all gray, or all navy blue you create photo that is more 2 dimensional, flat, and to be quite honest… boring!  Not to mention very unflattering for everyone.  It becomes difficult for the eye to determine where one person begins and another ends so EVERYONE ends up looking much wider!  No one wants to look wider, trust me.
  • So toss out the white shirts and khaki pants or jeans.  You can do better.  I promise!
  • Avoid tiny stripes or patterns, or logos.  These are distracting and are not picked up well by the camera.
  • Avoid having everyone wearing just the same thing.  Seriously, the matchy matchy look is just not flattering or interesting!

So what SHOULD you wear?

  • Alright, I just massacred all of your ideas didn’t I?  Before you run away screaming keep reading! Bright, bold, saturated colors photograph best.
  • Choose colors that go well together. One way to style your family is to choose one colorful piece of clothing (like Mom’s dress) and coordinate everyone else’s outfits around it.  To be more specific, choose three bright colors and purchase everyone’s clothing around those colors.  Perhaps pink, blue, and yellow are your colors.  Maybe sister has a sweater with those three vivid colors.  Dad has a nice shirt in blue, brother is dressed in yellow, and mom has pink and blue in her attire.  Coordinated and interesting but not totally matching.
  • If we are shooting a large extended family then think in much the same way.  Choose three colors and just invite everyone to go with it.
  • Bold elements are a lot of fun!  A big bold necklace, a wide brimmed funky hat, a brightly colored scarf, big chunky healed shoes, all of these things add so much interest and variety to a photo.  A talented photograph can use these fun things to bring out the best in the photos and they can ensure these things do not overtake the photo.

Below I have a photo of one of the best dressed sessions I’ve ever had.   You can see they are definitely coordinated but each outfit is distinct and if you knew these children then you’d know what they were wearing is what they like and feel most comfortable in.

Confession time!  I stink at coordinating my own family for photo sessions.  I am NOT a shopper!  I cannot STAND malls.  I’d like to hire this Momma to dress MY FAMILY!

I hope this FAQ helps you when planning your next photo session!

Have a fabulous week!

Tips & Tricks! Catching the light! How to improve your photographs with better lighting!

I don’t believe there is anything more important in a photograph than the light that was used to create it.  I’ll say it again…. there is nothing more important than light when creating a wonderful photograph.  Stop and think… you can have a fabulous moment that is destroyed because the photo was too dark, too bright, or too streaky.  If you cannot see those fabulous expressions, or you are distracted by strange shadows, what exactly is the point in creating that photograph?  Light can make the difference between a FABULOUS photograph and one the is just… ho hum.  In this blog post I plan to show you the difference and give you pointers for finding fabulous light.

My Number 1 tip for creating fabulous photographs is this…. TURN OFF THE FLASH!

The flash of a camera can make subjects look strangely ghost like.  It can make the person you are photographing bright white and the background almost pitch black. Camera flash can also create strange and unnatural shadows in your photograph. It can make people blink, give them red eye, and distract them from the moment you wanted to capture.  Seriously, who LIKES having a flash poofed in their face over and over?  Why do camera flashes create such results?  Because the are very small and pretty strong sources of light.  Here is something to remember.  The smaller the light source, the more harsh it’ll be and it will result in strong, unnatural, and unflattering shadows.

Let me show you an example.  This is a photo of my son I took back in 2006 when he was just 4 months old.  I took it with a standard point and shoot camera with your typical built in flash.  Do you see how bright he is compared to the background?  Do you see that odd shadow behind his head?  This just isn’t the best representation of real life.  While I love this photo because it is my memory of my baby boy is who now a whopping 5 years old.  Any photo is better than no photo but there are things I could have done to make it even better.

Catch the Light!

If you are not going to use flash for a light source you are going to have to find another source of light.  My ultimate favorite choice is natural outdoor light.  Given the chance I’ll photograph outdoors every time.  Outdoor light can be absolutely gorgeous.  But let’s think about this for a moment.  Yes, outdoor light can be gorgeous, but outdoor sunlight might not give you any truly different results.  Why?  Because the sun is also a very small source of light that will also create harsh unflattering shadows and squinty eyes.  Let me show you!

This is a photo from a wedding I was in back in 2006.  It was a very sunny day and the wedding was midday.  Notice the harsh shadows under eyes and in our faces.  Not the prettiest of photos is it?

What do you do?  The flash stinks, bright sunlight stinks, what’s left?  PLENTY! My tricks for catching great natural light are the same for both indoors and outdoors.  FIRST, turn your subject toward the light.  If the light is coming from a window or one portion of the sky have them face in that direction.  It’ll create very pretty light in their eyes and illuminate their faces in a very pleasing way.

If you are indoors, bring your subject close to a window that does not have sun directly pouring into it.  If it is a decently bright day, the light pouring is will be gorgeous!  Here is an example.

This is a photo I took of my husband in my hospital room the day we brought our daughter home.  I LOVE this photo!  Why?  Well first it sure is a special moment I will treasure forever.  But look at the light on his face and in his eyes!  I simply had him turn toward the big window.  It was a sunny day, sunlight was hitting the bright roof and building just outside the window and reflecting back into our room.  PERFECT.  BEAUTIFUL!  I could set up a studio in that room!

And I can’t resist sharing this one too.  I took this photo in my living room!  It was early morning and the sun was pouring through one window.  The direct sunlight would have been too harsh so I closed the blinds to soften the light perfectly.  There was a bit more light coming in through a window on the right that just filled any possible shadows.  I hung a white sheet behind her and poof.  I had the perfect setup in just moments.  You can actually see the beautiful light shining in her eyes.  I did have to clone some wrinkles out of the sheet after the fact in photoshop.  But that was easy!

Great!  You can get great light indoors.  What if I’m outdoors? How do I avoid those harsh shadows?  Pretty much the same way.  Find a shaded area to put your subject in.  The light will reflect off of the ground and objects around the shaded area right onto your subject and light them beautifully.

Take a look at this photo of a beautiful bride I had the opportunity to photograph just this week.  She was sitting on a park bench in front of a hotel on a very sunny day.  I had her under the overhang of the hotel so she was shaded.  Sunlight was hitting the sidewalk just in front of her and reflecting right back at her.  She was perfectly lit and I was jumping for joy inside. No harsh shadows, not squinting, just perfection.

Now I know there are times when the use of flash is just unavoidable.  Trust me, I find myself in dark places all of the time.  Next week I will talk about how to make the best use of your flash and what to do to turn down some of the harshness.

Thanks for reading!  I hope you all are having a fantastic week!

ps.  Feel free to leave questions in the comment box and I’ll be sure to answer them!

 

Flying Fast!

The streets were dark and deserted. The roads ahead of us were dimly washed with white street lights and the occasional red of a blinking stop light.  It was just after midnight as we cruised along sitting side-by-side, hand-in-hand in our little white car.  We were both completely exhausted with bodies that ached from a long hard day of work.  The adrenaline that had been feeding us since we awoke in the wee hours of the morning was starting to fade leaving me feeling as if my body had been fed through a meat grinder.  Every muscle was starting to scream.  The heat of my husband’s hand over mine was doing more to warm me than the air blasting from the vents though I continued to shiver from the cold.  My heart was singing.  We had just finished an amazing day I will never ever forget.

March 26th marked the first day of the 2011 wedding season for Crystal Starr Photography.  But this wasn’t just any opening day and this wasn’t just any wedding.  The first wedding of the season was sure to be my absolute favorite!  Today was the wedding day of our dear friends Jen and Jeremy and I was given the honor and privilege of being their photographer.  Words can’t express my gratitude for having been chosen for the job.

But I added another layer to this day.  Not only would it be the first wedding of the season, and the wedding of our amazing friends, but it would also be the first time I brought my husband along as my assistant photographer.  In the off season Todd and I made this decision and I think it will change my business forever.  Whenever possible Todd will work as my assistant at weddings. My husband and I have always been a tremendous team.  There is no one on earth I trust as explicitly as Todd and there is no one I enjoy being with more.  It just made sense.  Oh, and his photography is pretty darn cool too.

So there we were, at the end of our first day hashing out every minute.  My words and questions, thoughts and emotions pouring into the dark space in the car between us.  There he was, the love of my life soaking up everything I said.  I felt really good about how the day had gone.  Sure there were a few surprises and yes I always wish I could have done something more.  I hope that is always true as it makes me grow with every shoot.  For the first time since I started shooting weddings nearly two years ago I felt safe sharing these thoughts.  Since Todd knows me and loves me in a way no one else can he was able to help me dissect it all.  That will be the greatest asset my business will know as nothing else could as effectively help me grow as a photographer and a business person.

And an added benefit.  When Sunday rolled around and I could barely make my stiff achy body move or keep my eyes open in the early afternoon, for the first time ever he truly understood why.  My sweet husband sent me off to bed for a desperately needed nap so that I might recover and be a better mom to our crew.

This year I will be shooting some weddings as an associate photographer for another wedding company.  My only regret is that I will not be able to use my sweetie as my assistant.  I have a feeling I am going to feel like I’m missing an arm.

OH! I ALMOST forgot!  The DJ!  Funny enough it was the SAME guy who DJed our wedding almost 10 years ago!  He also happens to be an old family friend. My husband worked for his company way back in high school! Todd’s uncle continues to work for him to this day.  So I have to give a shout out to John Rozz of Sound Spectrum Entertainment! It was so great to see him!

I will be sharing a blog post and slideshow from the wedding over the coming days.  I am proud of my work and I hope and pray my bride and groom are just as pleased.  In the meantime, here is a shot of my sweetie.  He was doing a fantastic job as an assistant and helping me test the light.   I cannot thank him enough for all that he does for me every day of my life!  When we finally made it home in the wee hours of Sunday morning my sweet man helped me from the car and into bed and then stayed up even later backing-up all of our memory cards for the day.  I mean really, does it get any sweeter than that?  I say it often because it is so true.  I am SO blessed!

 

 

 

Friday Loves! And of course… the NOT so loves!

Friday again!  How did that happen?  The weeks just fly by don’t they?  The busier you are the faster it all seems to race away.  I really am trying to find the time to stop and smell the proverbial roses as they say.  I think I’ll try to choose one activity each week that makes me SSSLLLLOOOWWW DOWN!  This week I took the time to do something I have been MEANING to do for a couple of months.  Photograph MY OWN CHILDREN!

You know the saying, the cobbler’s children have no shoes?  The photographer’s children have no photos!  I’m always so busy photographing everyone and everything else that my own kid’s get a little lost in the shuffle.  Joyanna is ALREADY 10 months old!  I’ve got to do this while I still can.

Oh, and Mom.. don’t look… these are your mother’s day presents! (You all KNOW she’s going to look right?)  Oh it doesn’t matter anyway, I’m just sharing ONE today!  I’ll share another next week when I post about improving your photos using great light.

So let’s start with some NOT SO LOVES!  Get them out of the way so we can end on a high note.

  • I still can’t get the check from our home owners insurance cashed.  It needs to be Fed Exed across the country.  But FIRST we need to have a notary stamp it.  Ugh!  Like I have time for this nonsense!
  • Repairmen who act like they can’t be bothered.  Look buddy, if this job is too much of a pain for you I can always take my work and my money someplace else!
  • When I go to two grocery stores looking for something simple and neither have what I want.
  • Gas prices… have you SEEN THE PRICE OF GAS LATELY?
  • Diaper rash, ok yes I wrote this one last week.  It’s here again because our problem has not been solved.

Ok, now on the wonderful things!  LOVES!

  • I love love LOVE my new iPhone!  This thing rocks!  I can text like every other person in the world now.  I can answer client emails and Facebook posts on the fly.
  • I LOVE Instagram http://instagr.am/.  It’s this fun way to share snapshots from your iPhone.  I’m having a blast with it and probably getting a little carried away!
  • I LOVE the sessions I’ve booked this week.  Yeah me!  Still crossing my fingers on that wedding I wrote about last week though.
  • I LOVE the photos I captured of my baby girl this week.  Ok so I’m biased.  But I just think she is the most beautiful child!
  • I LOVE my son Noah who completed the entire first level in his math program this week.  Go Noah!
  • I LOVE the couple whose wedding I am photographing tomorrow.  Jeremy and Jen are the coolest.   I consider it a true honor that they asked ME to document their big day.  (A not so love would be the butterflies in my tummy.  It is my FIRST wedding of the season.  It is also the first wedding I will ever shoot where I know MANY of the guests.  Please pray I don’t trip and fall and make a fool of myself.  I’ll never live it down if I do!)
  • Oh! Almost forgot another LOVE!  I LOVE the 50mm 1.4 lens I’ve been renting this week.  I used it to take the photo of my daughter below.  This is on my must buy soon list!  It is just DELICIOUS!  I’m going to rock it out at the wedding tomorrow!

Have a great weekend everyone!  But before I go, here is a quick collage of some of my loves this week!  You’ll see my bride and groom, my baby girl, and my iPhone with an instagram photo.  Take care!

 

 

Tips & Tricks: How to make your photos look better! Backgrounds!

So how did I start out in photography?  It’s a rather long story.  The short of it goes like this.  I didn’t come from a family that took many photos.  The few photos that we did take we rarely saw as we usually never got around to developing the film.  Rolls would sit gathering dust forever.  There aren’t many photos of me growing up displaying and documenting the things I did.  Then I grew up and sadly people I loved or would have wanted my children to know started to pass away.  My husband and I lost 2 grandparents, an aunt, and a father is the space of just a couple of years.  I mourned the fact that my yet to be born children would never get the chance to know these people and that I had nothing of them to share.

That’s when scrapbooking came into my life.  Up until then, even if I had taken the photos and went so far as to have them developed or printed what exactly was I ever going to do with them?  Now I had a plan, and a creative outlet to boot!  Loved it!  STILL do!  As time went on I began to realize that my FAVORITE pages were often those with the most beautiful photos.  So I wanted to get MORE beautiful photos, with purpose.  I didn’t want to rely on luck any longer.  I wanted to learn how to make it happen.  So I learned, I practiced, I studied, I practiced, I took courses online, I practiced, I took a distance course through the New York Institute of Photography, I practiced, I went to workshops, I practiced.  Ok… so you get the point.  I am certainly not done learning or practicing for that matter.

Over the next couple of weeks I am going to share a series of posts aimed to help budding photographer’s get better pictures.  They were the suggestions that got me started!  I shared these suggestions recently at a workshop scrapbookers.  I hope you enjoy them and if you have any questions be sure to ask!

 

TIP ONE!  Making Backgrounds Just Right!

Check your background before hitting the shutter release!

It might be stating the obvious but even the most experienced pros forget this from time to time.  Look through your view find or at your LCD.  Is there anything that is distracting, ugly, out of place, etc?  Are there any funny objects (like a tree, a pole, a lamp shade, or something similar sticking out from your behind your subjects head?)  If so, what can you do about it?  Most of the time the fix will take five seconds, just do a quick sweep away for the clutter and then move on.  Other times you might have to be more creative.  You just aren’t going to be able to move that ridiculous cell phone tower over your friend’s shoulder.

Move your subject

Some backgrounds just aren’t going to work and you’ll need to move on.  But often times the fix is just a quick shimmy to the left or the right.

Place subjects in front of open spaces

Putting some distance between your subject and the clutter can often help tremendously.  The clutter becomes smaller in the frame and less obvious.

The bench I chose for these 3 cuties is in front of a busy road and some not so glamorous houses.  Luckily the bench is a good distance from those distractions and therefore they are not as noticeable.  I also squat down and changed my camera angle so that I could use the bench to block out some of the mess (more on that below).

Fill your frame with your subject

Get in close and fill in the camera frame with your subject.  If all we see is your subject then we won’t be able to see any of the yuckiness behind them.

Change your shooting angle

What if you scoot way down and point your camera up, can your camera still see the unsightliness you are trying to avoid?  What if you grab a chair or jump up on a nearby wall and point your camera down at your subject.  Does that make your background more pleasing?

Can you believe the photo on the right was taken just inches away from the two chairs on the left?  I just asked my couple to sit on the ground while I stood on a little box.  You’d never know they were in the middle of thrift shop.  I filled my frame with them AND I shot from a higher angle to cut out all the clutter.

Make your own background

Backgrounds can be easy to make.  A simple blanket close pinned between two chairs can work fabulously for a child.  Some shear fabric tacked artfully to the wall can be very pretty.  Get creative!

This photo was actually taken in a pretty tiny living room in a typical condo.  I simply tacked a large brown blanket behind her and I had an instant backdrop.

Post processing

You always want to strive to make the photo as great as it can be in camera.  Occasionally though, you’re just going to have to do the dirty work on the computer after the photo is taken.  There are many programs that have adequate clone tools that can quite efficiently erase away that thing you just wish would disappear.

Sometimes the computer can be your best friend.  After the fact I decided this gorgeous Momma to be looked far better without the bridge  behind her (or the strange stick sticking out of her head).  It took some time and effort but I was eventually able to remove everything.  Ah… much better!
 

A great background really truly can make or break what should be a great photo.  I hope you find this post helpful!  Sometime next week I’ll do another one on finding great light!

Enjoy your Thursday!

It Sure Is A Blessing to Give! Or, I’m as good as Jay Harris!

It was fall when I received a message from my friend Jen.  She was planning a human auction to raise money for the new building our church is renovating.  She was looking for talented people to volunteer their time and services.   I automatically assumed she was asking me to help her brainstorm a list of people who ask.  I think I read the message 4 times before I realized she was asking ME to donate my photography skills.  Wait me?  ME? I’m being included in a list of people skilled enough to donate something to auction?  It probably seems ridiculous to some but I couldn’t believe it!

Before you could say boo I started writing an email telling her how excited and honored I’d be to do it.  But then my fingers FROZE!  All the what ifs started flooding my mind.  What if my session went for some piddly amount?  Or worse!  What if no one bid on me?  I’d be hurt and embarrassed!  I had serious doubts about accepting.  But I did, thank goodness I did!

The night of the auction finally came.  I was NERVOUS!  I didn’t want to go.  I didn’t want to witness my own humiliation if I only brought in $10.  I mean, all of my friends were going to be there!  But at the same time, I couldn’t stay home either.  That auction began.  They started with some delicious pies and other baked goodies.  Someone donated dog training services and someone else donated some interior decorating services.  My husband bet on some help from a handyman to do some fix ups around our house.  One of the most exciting items of the evening was a golf game and tour of ESPN with Sports Center Anchor Jay Harris.  Some of the guys were furiously bidding and the excitement was high.  What fun!  Then came my part.  A Session with Crystal Starr Photography.  I told myself I’d be happy if I rounded out at around $75.  A $100 would be wonderful.  The bidding started.  First $25, then $50, and before I knew it we were at $75.  Phew!  I would be embarrassed after all!  But then it just kept going!  And going! And going!  My head was spinning!  How could this be?  People were excited!  A little war was going on between the Pastor of our church and a couple of others.  Can you believe my session went for just as much as the round of golf and a tour of ESPN with Jay Harris!?  I was beside myself!  Pastor Joe won.  He told me his daughter-in-law wanted it and he decided he was going to get it for her.  My heart sang!  Not only did I feel appreciated in my work, but I was able to do something I loved to bring a nice chunk of change to the church.

The session was fantastic.  Jay and Sheena had just had a little baby a few months back.  They wanted photos of her and their nearly two year old Rylin.  Baby Riese was so sweet and tolerated my fussing and my camera like a champ.  Rylin was a doll.  So full of energy and just as curious as any little girl should be.  She kept me on my toes but listened so very well.  Mom and Dad were super.  They kept a very positive attitude and gave me the space to help their children be successful.

I was so blessed with this session.  I hope to have the opportunity to donate my photography to another great cause some day.  I’m not sure I really want to do another auction!  As fun as it was, it was a bit much on my heart!  Thank you Jen for asking me.  Thank to all of those who bid on me.  And thank you to the Jakum family for such a wonderful session!

Loves… & Well… Not So Loves!

It’s Friday!  You know, that day everyone races to get to every week!  That day when everyone can party because the weekend is here!  So congrats everyone you made it!  Since it is Friday I think it is a good time to look back and reflect on my week.  What Rocked and what just didn’t! I’ll start with the didn’t so I can end on a high note.

 

NOT SO LOVES!

Hmm… funny thing is.  I had a pretty amazing week so this is actually hard.  Let’s see…  Ah! I got it!

  • Repairmen!  I had a couple of them here this week.  I’m sure you’ll all agree that any time you have to have repairs done to your home, it is a NOT SO LOVE!  Especially that part where you have to hand the big fat check over!
  • Japan!  The sadness, the devastation, and the ongoing nuclear crisis.  There is NOTHING to love about that!  God I pray for those people.  I feel so helpless.
  • Diaper rash! My moms out there, they know.  There is NOTHING to love about diaper rash.  My poor baby girl!

NOW MY LOVES!

I think there could be a lot of these this week!

  • I LOVE that I got to hear Jasmine Star and Justin & Mary speak at CT PPA on Monday!
  • I love the new friends I made that day.
  • I LOVE the big fat check our insurance company wrote to us to help us pay for the repairs to our house (a not so love might be the fact that we couldn’t cash that check because it was made out wrong! UGH!)  But really, thank you God!
  • I LOVE my husband who played mommy on Monday so I could go off and do my thing!  He’s awesome!
  • I LOVE the session and wedding inquiries I received this week.  Cross your fingers and pray they pan out.
  • I LOVE that I get to take my family on a fun field trip to check out how they make maple syrup later today.  Even Daddy gets to go! On top of that, we get to hang out with some pretty awesome friends.
  • I LOVE how God is blessing me!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Oh, and because no post is complete without a photo!  Here is a LOVE photo from this week!  My two younger children horsing around.  I LOVE how much Joyanna’s brothers love her!


A Family Portrait Session at Hubbard Park

It was a wet fall day.  Silly me, you’d think I’d check the weather forecast when I have an outdoor shoot scheduled.  That was a bone headed move!  I had no idea it was going to rain.  Driving down the highway I eyed the ever graying clouds with a scornful eye.  And then the rain drops started to pelt the windshield.  Darn it!  I should have called this poor family ahead of time and rescheduled.

I called my husband and asked him to check the radar for me.  I love my husband.  He is always there for me at times like this.  My acting meteorologist informed me that there was a window in the rain headed straight for the park.  I had a chance to get it in.  Phew!

I climbed out of the car and was met with a warm welcome by my friend Caryn.  She and her husband Mike eyed the sky and asked me if I really thought this was going to work out.  “Well, we are here! Let’s see what we can get.  If we have to I’d be happy to reschedule.”  She agreed and opened her van doors to let her little crew scamper out.  To my delight, the children were thrilled and full of smiles.  They didn’t seem to notice the weather.  The air quickly filled with squeals and laughter.  I eased.  I knew we could make something out of this.

I suggested we take a walk down a nearby set of stairs into a lower part of the park where the light still seemed pretty well.  As we descended some I felt my head get pelted with little drops of rain.  The children didn’t seem to mind!  If anything, they seemed to enjoy it!.  My first mission was to try and get the ever elusive sibling shot.  You know, the one with all three, smiling, LOOKING AT THE CAMERA!  Sarah, Elizabeth, and Joshua range in age from not quite two all the way to 6.  What a challenge.  But they made it easy!  They were delightful and eager to do as I asked.  So mission 1, accomplished.

 

And then the rain began to really fall!  Oh dear! With squeals and laughter, we ran to take shelter under a nearby overhang.  I snapped a few more as we waited to see what the weather held for us next.  I am forever grateful to Caryn and Mike.  Their easy going, laid back attitude completely rubbed off on the children.  They decided to have fun with it and the children took that cue and they had fun too.  That attitude created an atmosphere of big grins and giggles that are a breeze to photograph.  All of this despite the rain.  And wouldn’t you know it?  The rain let up just enough for us to continue with our mission.

First up was funny man Joshua!  This little boy’s expressions were absolutely darling!  I wonder if he had half as much fun with me as I did with him.  A total doll.  A complete gentleman.

 

 

Then we had sweet Sarah.  Shy and giggling.  I could tell she was a bit nervous.  But she was a total shining star.  I was totally impressed with her through and through.

 

 

And finally, we cannot forget Elizabeth!  She is the big sister and she shines in her role.  On this day she was sporting a new gappy grin and a bit of concern about a little bandage on her finger.  I had so fun much chatting with her.  What a little lady.

 

 

Would you believe we completed this session in about 45 minutes?  That has to be a record!  3 small children in 45 minutes!  With more than a couple of breaks to dodge the rain drops to boot!  WOW!  That’s just a testament to what a family they are.

 

Thank you so much Elizabeth, Sarah, and Joshua!  You three make an awesome team! Thank you for making ME look so good!  I truly look forward to next time!

 

 

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