So this time the last few years has been so rainy in the valley that I have been begging clients to go up to the snow with me for sessions. Luckily Mineral is only 45 minutes east of Red Bluff and the snow level reaches there fairly early in the season. I asked on social media if anyone was interested and got quite a lot of interest. The forecast showed snow of the whole first weekend in December and I was getting giddy. Well it was short lived, as the weekend grew closer the snow was only forecast for Saturday evening and a bit during the night. I had one client that shared with me this area was where she and her husband had gotten engaged and they wanted a session regardless of the snow level. We headed up Sunday evening and there was just about an inch of snow on the ground. Just enough to make it feel like winter, and I mean it really felt freezing. My beautiful client jumps out of her truck in a tank top! first of all, she looked gorgeous, secondly I was cold just looking at her! She then asked if it was ok to have her dog in a few shots with them, uh yes please! What I love about going up to the Lassen area is there are so many perfect places right off the sides of the roads. The light is so soft most of the day because of all the tall pine trees surrounding the area. We were able to get to many great shots within a thirty minute time frame, and I even caught a great shot of just her pup. I want to start offering forest sessions in every season, so if you're interested please contact me for more info! Now I'll leave you to check out these gorgeous photos. Please leave me some love in the form of a comment or a share on social media! <3 Amy
I have known this family for years, maybe ten? They were my first family session when I first started out over 6 years ago! You can check out a then and now on my Facebook page. When they contacted me to photograph them again I was ecstatic to say the least. Mom loved the workshop photos I had recently taken in Chico. So I knew Gover Ranch would be the perfect location. The venue is in Anderson which worked great because I am located in Red Bluff and the client is from Redding. I had rented the venue for the day to photograph a few families and I invited them to come along. I was so nervous that the weather was going to be bad as I watched the forecast but at the last minute the rain turned into just overcast! I love a good sunset, but we can work with overcast too. We were able to capture a lot of different poses, I even tried some new ones with them. Gover Ranch has so many options I feel like every session I do there looks totally different. Our session date was just as all the leaves had changed and were starting to fall. The trees were still full, but gorgeous yellows and reds. The best is when a family comes looking gorgeous and ready to have fun! They brought along an outfit change, and I have to say the light pink looked so good with the dark background. It was a combo I had never thought to use together! They also brought Grandma along so we had her in some family shots also. I have to admit I was a little nervous to work with a family after so long, would I live up to my newest work? Love the photos as much as the first time, with my growing talent? I have to say I did! Please take a look and leave me a little love in the comment section. <3 Amy
So when I was chatting with Mom about her family photos she was very hesitant on what to wear, I told her I would help! I generally try to come up with clothing and location options that blend well together, I mean, we pick one and it inspires the other. I love jewel tones, I'm sure I've told every client this! Deep rich colors, and neutrals, all about the neutrals. We discussed outfit options and I decided to shoot at one of my favorite locations, the manzanitas! I love how rich they photograph. The leaves are a deep green that could almost have a hint of blue and the stems are such a perfect maroon for fall. We decided this would compliment the clothing options we were building. The day of the session came and I felt like her oldest daughter seemed familiar to me, but I couldn't place it. Turns out one of their middle daughters played soccer with my oldest daughter and their oldest coached my oldest in cheerleading years ago. I had even photographed her oldest years ago when I did cheer photos! Also, totally unrelated, Dad made a joke about Back to the Future, which is one of my all time favorite movies! Needless to say we hit it off. I know how stressful it is to plan a session, get all the outfits, get the kids there, get there on time....Mom had gone shopping a few times for clothes and brought options with her just in case. Once we got going everyone had a great time. Family sessions are always hectic, but it really is the best kind of hectic. I love everyone showing their personalities and capturing the love everyone has for each other. At the very end of the shoot Mom and Dad asked if I would take a photo of them with the hills and mountains in the background, I had never thought to try that at this location, if you scroll to the bottom you will see how gorgeous it turned out! This was one of my favorite family sessions to date. I really would love to work with more large families! Do you have three, four, five, six kids? Bring them to me and let's create magic!
So while I was browsing Zulily, it's like a daily thing for me lol, I came across these rocker shirts. I had been wanting to shoot some more urban style images and I decided these would be perfect for this shoot I was styling. I had been chatting with these kids' mom for a bit about a session so I shot her a message with a link the the clothes. She loved them! We decided that they would be a perfect fit for the look we were going for. Mom picked up a couple other pieces to compliment the main idea of the session and we ran with it. I drove around town searching for the "right" location. I had shot on Main street in Red Bluff a few weeks before and new that was not the look I wanted for this. Then I came across this gem. I love love love skull and crossbones, always have. The area was low traffic, which I always consider when working with kids, and the streets were nice and wide and had some other cool buildings in the area if we decided to go walking. Sold. Now the day came for the session, it was storming and on the verge of raining, insert my pouty whine here. We had been waiting for this day for like months, and neither of us wanted to gamble that the weather would get better anytime before spring. We decided just to roll with it. A little dark and gloomy and windy may set the tone, and I think it ended up working out awesome. Siblings can be challenging to shoot, but these kids were troopers, giggling and did not mind getting all cuddled up, maybe it was cuz it was cold? Anyway we took all these images within one block on on side of the street. You don't need to big open field or park somewhere to take photos, just a small patch of somewhere pretty.
As always please leave me some love in the form of like/comment/share! <3 Amy
As promised, a few from this session, and an idea for you photographers wanting a little project! Firstly lay eyes on that adorable giggle. Intoxicating, right? I love photographing Nina, my middle child, because she is full of surprises every time! My friend Cassie of C. Wolverton Photography ordered this awesome flower crown from the Floranthropist in Redding, Ca this last week. She took photos of her daughter which you can see on her Facebook page here and then asked if I would like to try it out also. How fun, right? We met up on a freeway exit half way between Red Bluff and Anderson for the exchange, at that point last week the storm was rolling in. We stood there and talked about some other shoot ideas and as we watched the storm clouds it started to sprinkle. The sun was still peeking through a bit and it was getting low in the sky, my heart was giddy! So I raced home and asked Nina if she would throw on the sweater I was wearing for 4 shots/poses for me. Any momtog knows you have to limit or bribe per shot with our kids lol. I wanted a blanket, relaxed, fall type feel to contrast the formalness (is that a word!?) of the flower crown. I honestly don't remember what we were talking about at this moment, I wish I did!
So now to the project idea. After I photographed Nina in the crown I passed it on to my good friend Jeny Crews to try out! The best part is seeing how different everyone's images are using THE SAME PROP! Just like when we host shootouts (you can join our Facebook group here) everyone's images are so different taking THE SAME SHOT! I learn every time. I love community over competition. My plan is to order another crown during January and pass it through as many photographers as I can to see all the different takes on the same prop. If you want to get in on the fun just come join our Facebook group. Or if you want to start you own that would be awesome too, tag me on social media so I can see! I want to share a few more portraits of Nina from the same shoot. We shot for about 10 minutes total, I took about 30 images and these are my favorites.
I've been thinking a lot about sharing some editing tips and tricks. I also was thinking about hosting an editing webinar or in person edit workshop after the first of the year. This may drop on Black Friday? hint, hint. What I love about photographing children in their imagination, but also their willingness to be in front of the camera. There is no self consciousness, no self doubt, kids amaze me. I love when a child is laughing, playing, being natural, but nothing beats that strong eye contact portrait. When you can feel a child staring into your soul and baring theirs. When you can look at a photo and instantly see the universe. It is one thing to take a portrait and another to be able to edit it and show others how you feel when you took the photo. I want to help YOU get there! I've chosen a photo of my oldest daughter (I have THREE!) to share with you. One image is SOOC, meaning straight out of camera, one is with my adjustments in ACR, adobe camera raw, and the last is the final image. Now I may be considered lazy, I don't know, but I shoot with my white balance in auto and fix it later. I don't feel like it makes that big of a difference to fix it in post processing and it doesn't take that much time. Even when I shoot using Kelvin I end up adjusting it some so I figure I'll spend less time on the shoot and more time in the digital dark room if you will. I do all my editing by hand, I do not use presets, I do not use Lightroom at all actually, and I do not use any actions, except those I have created myself. A few things you do need to get right in camera is your exposure and your light. Make sure and check those catchlights in your subjects eyes!! This is what shows we are alive!! I've edited this to have a really great fall feel to it, if you have questions, let me know. Please leave me a little love in the comment section also.
So generally I photograph children in stylized type sessions, but fall and spring time are prime for family photos! I know we all have the rush for family photos for our Christmas cards, we find the photographer, get the date set and then BOOM, we realize we have to find outfits for the whole family!! Now, I know some of us mommies LOVE to shop and have no problem with that part! But what about finding things that coordinate for everyone? Mom, Dad, teens, kids, babies, and finding things that everyone won't complain about wearing....I've got a few tips for you. My suggestion is to dress just a little fancier than you would normally. I like a little whimsy, something bigger than your everyday, but I still want my clients to feel comfortable during our session. I normally suggest two or three colors, making sure the tones are similar and blend in neutrals between all the family members. A great place to start is to pick the person in your family that just gets you all laughing, the person that loves attention and maybe put that person in a pattern, or if your youngest loves dresses, put her in a fancy dress and then coordinate from there. I've begun heavily stylizing all of my sessions. I let clients text or message me while shopping and help pick out what colors photograph best. Now, what to avoid! Busy patterns are distracting and take away from the moments captured in the photos. Florescent colors are a big no no, they leave funky color casts on skin and tend to go too bright when photographed. All white, believe it or not it is HARD to get white to look perfectly white! Who wants some funky looking white? No one. Avoid all wearing the same thing, sorry to say it folks but the matching t-shirt and jeans trend is OUT! Here are a few snippets from recent sessions for some inspiration! Always keep it classy, try to look for timeless pieces so you can leave the images hung in your home for years to come. As always feel free to leave a comment or a question below!
Chico, California Petite Child Model Workshop October 22nd
So I love teaching, I actually wanted to be a teacher when I was a child, but when I got out of high school I already had a decent paying job so I opted out of continuing my education. I have since picked up teaching in the photography world. Specifically, teaching photographers how to work with children, we all know how unpredictable kids can be! New environment, new people, new clothes, maybe no nap.... I see the struggle, I have been there, and I want to help! This is my second round of my "Petite Workshop" I call it that because it's all about kids and it is also just one afternoon (petite!). We pack in all about posing, interacting, using different types of light, how to get your imaged in focus, all those important details. This workshop was hosted at Chico State. The leaves had just started changing, the air was a little cooler, and the architecture just screams to be photographed! We started around 3pm and shot until the sun was just beginning to set. The moms and I styled the session, I wanted a little more of an urban vibe to the clothing, and luckily most of the kids had pieces in their closet already! If you're interested in having your child be cast for a workshop or want to commission me for a session for your child please just head to the contact page on my site and send me an email. I cover location, styling, and I love working with children! Portraits are really where I see my work shine. Check out a little sneak peek below of some of the images I captured while teaching. I would love for you to leave a comment about what you think, or what you would like to see covered at the next workshop!