Tuesday, March 27, 2012

JLW Photography Newborn Study Session

 A while back - thanks to the joys of facebook, I found a great minature Dachshund breeder in Winter Haven, FL.  Her name is Jessica Lewis Walker, and she is the owner of Pretty in Pink Doxies.  We found her after we lost our beloved Chili Pepper and were looking for another weenie to bring home.  We never did have a chance to get one of Jess's beautiful pups - she tends to have waiting lists, and our giant Snicker Doodle Dog was given to us at that time.  But we kept her as a friend on facebook and have truly enjoyed watching her love of photography bloom.  She has some awesome pictures of her doxie puppies that she takes with each litter.  And from there, her love of all things baby-related and photography related grew and morphed into her photography studio - JLW Photography.

She really has a passion for little babies and kids, and I started calling her the baby whisperer!  She is able to get newborns to get into those perfect cute poses that most other photographers have to do through a series of composite shots.  When I asked her how she did it, she invited me up for a day to see her in action.  This was awesome that she was so nice to extend an invitation to me so I can learn her secrets, tricks, etc.  There are not many photographers around who are willing to do this!  Many of them are very guarded with their secrets, or tips.  Also, many of them who do share tips and tricks, charge fees and such and do it to get the money.  But not Jess!  It was soooo nice to meet her and get to see her in action!  I learned just as much from being with her as I did from my workshop in Orlando the week before.  

Here are some of my shots of the day.  I cannot really take any credit for the posed shots.  They are gorgeous!  But I did nothing other than stand beside Jess after she worked so hard to get that baby asleep and posed.  All I did was push a button on my camera.  

Is he not the cutest thing ever?

Newborn sessions take a long time!  No wonder a lot of photographers charge more to do them.  While I am no stranger to them, Jess had a slightly different take on them.  She does a lot of them in the clients' homes and makes everyone feel very relaxed and at ease.  It's hard to be relaxed in a stuffy studio.  

Of course new babies have to eat!  Most of the time involved in the newborn sessions was feeding and getting the baby to sleep - not actual shooting and photography related stuff.

This was Jess setting up a really cool shot.  Go check it out on her page.

She was really good about explaining poses and even showing pictures of the poses that she wanted to achieve.  Duh!  Why didn't I think of this before.  A lot of times people look at me like I have two heads b/c they do not understand what I'm talking about.  She has the pictures on her phone where she can just whip them out and say - this is the idea we are going for.  Great thinking!

Keeping the baby warm and soothing him to sleep.

There's a lot of work that goes into these poses.  A LOT!  

Thank you Jess for being a great person and a great mentor!  I can't wait to work with you again soon!  Thank you baby Andres for being just adorable!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sweet Old Fashioned Love

I took my kids out to my favorite barn to do a themed photo shoot.  I wanted something a little more over-the-top.  We tend to like over-the-top in our studio! We used it to make their Valentine's cards and gifts this year, and everyone loved them.  We had a blast taking these pictures!
Headbands and hats were made by myself and Miss Ruby Sue.  My husband made the chalkboard heart for me, and I made the other hearts out of shipping boxes.  Everything else we scrounged up out of our closets!  A special thank you goes to the Barnhill Family for letting us use their private property once again.  It makes for the best backdrops.  

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Images For A Cure Workshop - Orlando

Thanks to lots of lovely fans, clients, friends, and a sponsorship from Solutions Bridal in Orlando, I got to attend the Images for a Cure Workshop again in Orlando.  I learned so much last year when I attended!  - Everything from posing to pricing to lighting - I had lots of new information to improve my techniques.  I had some moments where I was so excited to know that other photographers struggle with the same issues I struggle with, and that I had similar success stories as them too.  

This year was similar.  I learned loads.  So much, that I can't even write it all down.  I have like 10 pages of notes in a notebook.  It was kinda like being in college again.  I had a bonus though.  I took my best friend and partner in crime - my hubby!  Last year he stayed home with the kiddos so I could go get my learning on, and he never heard the end of it.  I kept telling him all about this and that and who I met.  So this year, we signed him up too!  

I have to say that we made new friends and some great business connections.  Networking in this business is great!  I love finding other photographers who are so nice and so willing to share their techniques and insight.  And just having a friend who knows what we deal with on a daily basis is an added bonus.  In addition, my husband and I got motivated to get our butt in gear.  We have some plans that have been in the works for a while, and we have finally started the ball rolling.  I don't want to give away what they are - so you'll just have to hang around for the big reveal in a couple of weeks.  

Here's a look at some of the pics we took while we were there.

This years theme was all pink - so fitting for breast cancer research.  There were fabulous arrangements on each of the tables.

This year we were treated to a candy bar that was so pretty!  And yummy!  Those cupcakes were some of the best I have ever eaten.  

We still have candy at the house that the kids and I are munching on!

The Mezz is a gorgeous venue with really cool lighting in downtown Orlando.  You should see it on party light mode.  I want to attend a party there with the disco lights on. It was decorated fabulously.  BUT I do have to say this - as pretty as those chairs are - they are not made for chunky monkeys like me.  Sitting in that for 8 hours was torture by the end of the day.  Now I know how to make foreign spies give up information.  

Dude, we had to touch the chandelier.  I thought it was made out of plastic because I had never seen lead crystal like that before.  And yes, it was lead crystal.  No plastic in sight.  Gorgeous.  

Super star Kristen Weaver was a riot!  She is so insightful and funny!  I enjoyed every minute of her talking and teaching.

Melanie and Bradford Watson of  La Dolce Vita Studio.  

So all the pics of the guest speakers look the same.  I didn't want to get up and walk around with my prime lens.  I wanted to listen!  But I had to post stylist Melanie Pace too b/c she is gorgeous!  She looks like a mini Carmen Electra.

Joey Wright is an awesome photographer who brought along a bunch of gear to show us.  That is seriously the biggest umbrella I have ever seen.  And now I want one.  Dang it Joey!

Really horrible pictures of Kristen.  Sorry!  I learned a new way to focus my camera.  Seriously?  I have had that thing a year, and find out about all sorts of fanci-ness from another photographer sitting next to me.  So I had to test it out.  Kristen talks about the dangers of T rex arms.  LOL.  

She's so expressive and passionate about her work.  That's why brides and grooms love her.  That's why we all love her.  

Another photographer from Tallahassee below.  She was awesome.  And funny.  Must find her business card and friend her on fb.  

Me in the lobby of the Mezz!  I want to go do fabulous photo shoots there.  

This is the amazing Julie Paisley.  She's my new photography crush.  Her images are awesome and she is so full of energy.  She totally resonated with me.  Dan fell in love with Abby Liga and her images.  That's his new crush.  Now we will go stalk them on their blogs, fb, and twitter.  In good ways.  Promise.   

I hope to go back again next year and see how I have grown, how the business has grown, and to meet more fabulous photographers.  The experience was priceless.  Maybe I'll get to be a guest speaker in the future.