reagan

“Baby don’t you worry or cry
Your sure to find gold in your dreams
buckets of gold flying by”
Do you have a newborn on the way or  have you given birth very recently?  
I love photographing newborns and everything that makes them unique.  
I’d be honored to capture your newborn, just as they are, in their first few weeks.  
For more information, or to book a session simply fill out the contact form
or email me at [email protected]

Christmas Morning Tips…

I occasionally post on Clickin Mom’s blog with tips, tricks, and fun posts about me…
This was on their blog just a few days ago – so I wanted to share with my clients, as well.
I shared this slideshow after Christmas last year, so if it feels like a repeat… it’s because it is ;)!
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Christmas morning.  Everyone is looking top notch, straight out of bed, right? Well, not so much, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth remembering!

I typically spend my morning behind the camera watching my two kids open their presents through the viewfinder while missing out on the memories because I’m so busy trying to preserve them.   I’m not even in the pictures — so no one knows I’m there, but my poor husband is front and center for the whole event.

Last year, when going through my camera settings, I decided to explore the ‘interval timer’ further.   The heavens opened and I realized I didn’t need to take pictures during the upcoming Christmas morning, the camera could do the work for me with just a bit of guidance.

So I set my camera up in the corner (on a coffee table with books piled underneath my 24-70mm lens to keep it propped up where I needed it) and I set the interval times to take an image once every 30 seconds.  These images are by no means perfect.  They are noisy, the light gets harsh in the middle and there is a golden yellow lamp glow.  You know what they are, though?  Real life.  Our morning.

Christmas Morning

CHRISTMAS-MORNING-1

thankful | of love, light and film

Last summer I was looking for a new photographic outlet.  I was hoping for something to help me slow down and think more about the images I was taking.
Digital photography, while amazing and advanced, can be overkill.  You test your light 4 times, take practice shot after practice shot and end up with 10 throw away shots right off the bat.

Through slowing down, taking less images and truly thinking about each click, while forcing myself to take in all of the light, the composition, and the moment, I can begin to train myself to do this with digital imagery.

I shot two whole rolls and then digital crept back in and stuck.  I’m ready to pick my film camera up again and start a new project with some wonderfully talented ladies.

Our theme for this month is thankful…
My list of things in my life that I am thankful for is a mile long.
However, to say that I’m thankful for photography would be a tremendous understatement.
Photography is my “me” thing… my time to myself, even when I’m with others.
It allows me to continue being “Melissa” while capturing my life and memories.
I have learned and grown so much through photography, had opportunities, traveled, and made wonderful friends… all because I picked up a camera to ‘remember’.

Here I’m sharing some imperfect images from a 35 year old Canon AE-1 Program camera
The film I ran through was Ilford Delta Pro 3200, the camera needs some repairs… but the images still warm my heart.

Please check out my friend Tara Stallings and her “Thankful” film share for this month.

jaxon’s first birthday…

Jaxon was sweet, calm, and happy to play and get messy!
One year… so long, yet so fast…

I love when parent’s get in the pictures (I always urge them to…)
After-all… we think getting pictures taken is for us (mommy’s and daddy’s I’m talking to you…)

But it’s for them…
It’s their memories that we are preserving for them…

Does your sweet little boy or girl have a big birthday coming up?
I would love to meet your little one and get YOU in the picture, too!

For more information, or to book a session simply fill out the contact form
or email me at [email protected]

grady…

This little guy was born earlier in the year…

 I once had a baby’s grandpa ask me if I thought all babies looked alike, act alike…
No, no sir… they don’t.
Each and every baby is so incredibly different
Sweet Grady was a perfect example of this.
He coo’d and purred the entire time he slept.
His mom told me a sweet story about his feet – if you put them in a certain position, he immediately calms down.Every baby is completely unique – some have sweet button noses, some long skinny feet, and some love to be curled up while other stretched way out.
It’s those tiny differences that make me love photographing so much…
Do you have a newborn on the way or given birth very recently?
I love photographing newborns and everything that makes them unique.
I’d be honored to capture your newborn, just as they are, in their first few weeks.
For more information, or to book a session simply fill out the contact form
or email me at [email protected]

Letters to Our Daughters- September 2013

Blog Circles… what can I say? I love them.  Beginning this month I am starting a second circle with a smaller group . . . this circle is for our daughters.
My wonderful friends and I  are writing letters — letters to express our love, talk through our struggles, and create a memory for our daughters.
When this year is complete with these special ladies, I plan to do the same for my little man.

dear

In these past two months, as we prepare to send you to preschool, I have simply watched you.    I have observed the way you interact with Owen, Daddy, strangers.   Once shy, you have come so far out of your shell.  You are caring, thoughtful, and strong willed.   The growth in your language, demeanor, looks… it’s all so different so suddenly.  You can now relate to me, help with Owen, and rationalize situations.   The baby I brought home has become a child. Your old soul, helpfulness, and honesty are such a blessing to our family. You understand far more than I ever realized you would just 4 years ago when joined our family and made me a mommy. You comprehend and tell jokes, can help me fool Owen when he isn’t cooperating, dance in the car with me — as well as remember & decipher lyrics (which I now realize I need to watch carefully what I am listening to).   A friend that I can go out for a  ’girls day’  with, hold a conversation, but still simply snuggle with, too.  I look forward to this glimpse into our future together.  While I realize it will not always be this easy with you and that tough times in our relationship could be ahead, I am so incredibly thankful for the thoughtful, helpful and beautiful daughter you have grown to be so far.

With the changes that have happened, you have become more than a daughter – so quickly – you have become my friend.

I won’t lie, I have shed a few quiet tears as your personality slowly emerges– saying hello to the wonderful little girl you are becoming and bidding adieu to the baby years.  We just started this adventure together (or so it seems) how can it already be so far into it…?

love mom

 

Please check out my very good friend Dani Vest and the letter she wrote to her sweet little girl Isla.

August in My Corner of the World

This is the eighth month of a year-long blog circle I am participating in with about a dozen women from around the world… at the end of the post is a link to the next blog and a view of their world in August.
Should you complete the circle you will come back to my blog again…

View January-July My Corner of the World Posts

This month (actually the last week of July into the first few days of August) we spent in Canaan Valley, West Virginia.
This vacation is our annual “Cousin’s Week” which began as a weekend and grown larger.
We stayed on Timberlane Ski resort — and obviously didn’t do much skiing.
It was a week full of fun, memories, and a whole lot of nothing to do!

I photographed stars for the first time.  It was exciting and frustrating.  There was no light pollution and the nights were DARK.
To see the Milky Way was beyond amazing!
Abby loves space (last year she was an astronaut for Halloween and Owen was an alien).  We let her stay up later one night to come see the stars– and even peeked into her telescope.

Thank for checking me out this month! Please continue through the circle by visiting my friend Marissa Gifford and see what her corner of the world looks like in August!

july in my corner of the world

This is the seventh month of a year-long blog circle I am participating in with about a dozen women from around the world… at the end of the post is a link to the next blog and a view of their world in July.
Should you complete the circle you will come back to my blog again…

View January-June’s My Corner of the World Posts”

July has been hot… really hot. We’ve worked hard at staying indoors and sneaking out to the pool occasionally.
Staying inside forces me to watch the kids and how they can find an adventure in any tiny day.
For this month, I have decided to capture one ordinary July day in it’s entirety.
I wanted as many details as I could muster and the addition of our mess as the day progresses.
My hope is that next summer I will glance back and notice how different yet the same things are…

This is an untidy glimpse into our July.
The day: Friday, July 19th
Weather: 92 degrees and sunny with lots of haze

Note: Some of the pictures are from my iPhone simply because I have an irrational
fear of taking my camera anywhere out of the ordinary where people might look at me and judge. . . an issue I need to seek help for:)

8:07am Our morning begins…. nice and lazy!

9:00am The breakfast grind… and playtime… and coffee… vaccuming & other cleaning (with a little Kelly & Michael on the side)

10:30am While the kids play I shoot some macros for a Clickinmoms project…

12:00pm Laundry time in our 100% not clean basement.
Today’s lunch menu: Peanut Butter and Jelly Crackers
And Owen cries because I asked him to get his shoes (Owen cries… a lot….)

1:45pm We head out to drop Abby at her summer Spanish camp at the local Gymboree. The return home for a nap and mom’s quiet (computer) time.

4:00pm It’s time to pick Abby up! We go next to the YMCA – I work out and the kids go to the childcare there for an hour.
(These are all iPhone pictures…)

5:30pm Snack time with Sophia the First and Clif Z Bars.
7:15pm Dad gets home and it’s Friday so we are grabbing food at our favorite Mexican Restaurant followed by a trip to the ‘beer store’

8:30pm Return home… we look at a talking birthday card that Owen got a few weeks ago and has been sitting in our car ever since
Kids help unload the beer (their favorite ritual….)
I get in some pictures!
It’s Daddy’s night for putting the kiddos to be
Abby says she isn’t tired and asks to read books with her light on.

9:15pm time for t.v…. we are currently watching “Orange is the New Black”

Thank for checking me out this month! Please continue through the circle by visiting my friend Rebecca Spencer and see what her corner of the world looks like in July!

Tomorrow, my first workshop opens!

Tomorrow my mini-workshop (also called a ‘Breakout Session’) titled “Simplicity: Planning and Preparing to Find YOUR Simple” opens and I’d like to take some time to answer some questions and tell you more about it!

What’s a Breakout Session?
A breakout is a mini-online workshop offered through Clickin Moms, a wonderful forum that offers so much more than just a forum (classes, mentoring, photography tutorials, and even a magazine called Click!).  Clickinmoms, even though the name adds in “moms” is not only for moms – everyone is welcome to join.  They are a very supportive and friendly community and a great place to learn about photography.

How do I join a live Breakout Session?
To join: Clickin Moms members can sign up HERE  and Non-Members can sign up HERE  (scroll down and choose “Simplicity”)

To access the Breakout click on “Forums” at the top and scroll to the end of the forum list and you will see “Simplicity” under the workshops section.  Click. . . and you are in!  Download all  of the materials ASAP (everything is there except for the Q&A which will be recorded later in the week and added).

How long will the Breakout Session be available on the forum for?
The breakout session will be available for about 1 week.  After that time materials will no longer be available for download.  Next month, Simplicity will be available for purchase download from the Clickinmoms store but there will no longer be a forum for the class.

What is your Breakout, Simplicity, about?
Simplicity will help people that have already begun shooting.  It’s geared toward intermediate shooters and discusses less about the camera settings more about the hows/whys of shooting and making things easier when running a session.

Some topics covered are:

  • Finding Inspiration
  • Journaling
  • Your Personal Style and Meshing it with Your Photography Work
  • Finding Locations
  • Clients Homes – Tips and Tricks
  • Shooting Your Own Children Successfully
  • Shooting Families & Newborns

What is included?

  • A 57 page PDF written by me
  • 2 editing videos (Lightroom 3 and one in Photoshop CS5)
  • Templates for Birth Announcements & A Storyboard
  • Q&A video (not yet recorded)

What’s the cost?
$25 if you purchase while the breakout is live and $30 if you wait until it hits the store!

I hope to see you in the forum!

Have some more questions?  Answer in the comments or email me at [email protected]

June in my corner of the world

This is the sixth month of a year-long blog circle I am participating in with about a dozen women from around the world… at the end of the post is  a link to the next blog and a view of their world in June.
Should you complete the circle you will come back to my blog again…

View January-May’s My Corner of the World Posts”

June has come and gone like a flash.
Days have gotten warmer, but not too bad yet this year.

Abby had her very first dance recital.  Her and I used rehearsal day to sneak a few artsy shots in.
She did so beautifully and lite up on stage…

We live about an hour from the beach so this summer with include lots of day and weekend beach trips….
Many weekends have been rainy but we found one to squeeze in – so far…

And we have spent lots of time outdoors – enjoying the sun…  and finding “baby berries”

Thank for checking me out this month!  Please continue through the circle by visiting Justine Knight  and see what her corner of the world looks like for June!