Monday, October 31, 2011

Nominate An Amazing Mom!

Are you a mom or know a mom who has a passion for photography?  Do you know a mom who could use a break? (I know, we could all use one!)   I'm so excited to offer one free seat just for YOU!  One mom will get to attend my photography class,  Click!  Taking Better Pictures of Your Kids for free.

Moms are always giving and I want to give back to moms.  To nominate yourself or another mom just send an email to and tell me why you would like to attend the workshop.   I'm looking for a mom who has always wanted to learn photography and maybe can't afford a class.  A mom who could use some good news and bring a smile to her face.  If you're that mom or know one, please nominate yourself or her.  Nominations must be in by Friday, November 11th, by 10pm.  The winner will be announced Monday, November 14th.

Winner must be able to attend the workshop on Saturday, November 19th, 10am- 2pm.  Held at the Working Place, Metro Rose Square , 290 Yenlo St., Wasilla.  Winner must also have a D-SLR camera.

Click here for details about the workshop.

Friday, October 21, 2011

What Does Photography Mean to You?

I'm watching Rick Sammon on Creative Live and he asked the question, "What does photography mean to you?"   Photography to me, is a way to be creative, it also allows me to capture memories of my children and I love the joy I feel when I photograph all those happy smiles. 

Rick goes on to give a challenge.  Whatever photography means to you, capture that.  So for me it would be a picture of creativity, memories and smiles.  The picture below is something different for me.  I usually always have a nice even light on the face but I wanted to experiment with the light.  Here is what I captured. What do you think?  My advice, don't be afraid to experiment.  That's how we grow as a photographer.

Whenever I'm taking pictures I'm always looking for that smile.  Not that fake cheese smile but the real, genuine smile.  My advice, don't ask your kids to say cheese.  Talk with them, tell them jokes, act silly. 

Here is my challenge to you.  What does photography mean to you?  Then capture that.  I would love to see what you come up with.

Keep clicking,

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Golden Spiral

I love it when I learn new things.  Especially when it comes to photography.  Yesterday, I took my daughter to Target and snapped some shots in the red circle.  When I was editing the image below I noticed I had unintentionally used the Golden Spiral.

What is the Golden Spiral?  Well, I could tell you a long mathematical explanation, but it's so much easier to say that it's a formula to make you picture look more pleasing.  See diagram below.  Image provided by wikipedia.

That's why pictures of shells, flowers and staircases look so nice to the eye.  I'll be explaining this more in my class.  This is just one of the many composition rules I teach.  Click on the Photography Class tab for more class info.  Have any other photography questions then just shoot me an email.

Keep Clicking,

Friday, September 30, 2011

Photo Tip Friday #4, Try a new perspective

As a photographer, I'm always looking at the background.  Is there something distracting? Or how can I use the background to enhance a picture. One of my favorite things to do is bluer out the background like the pictures below.  You do this by setting your aperture to a low number.  Mine was at F2.8.  

See how the yellow flowers have blurred and the girls just pop out?  I love it!  Recently, I've noticed that I've been using a lot of the same perspectives.  One day, I was watching a video by one of my favorite photographers, Brooke Snow. In her video she included the foreground in her photo.  It dawned on me, that I don't do that much and a new perspective is what I needed.  I love this next picture.

 I included the flowers in the foreground and blurred them out.   I love the effect and texture it gives the picture.  It makes the girls look like their being swallowed up by a field of flowers.  Now, not only am I looking at the background but also focusing on the foreground.  The foreground can really enhance your picture.  Give it a try!

Keep clicking,

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hatchers Pass Family {children's photographer, Palmer, Alaska}

I decided for the fall to do a family mini shoot and I'm so glad I did. I had the best time photographing this family.  The boys were full of smiles and fun.  How could I go wrong?  Enjoy!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fall Special

Hey, all my friends.  I'm doing a limited family fall special.  I will be at Hatchers Pass on Monday, Sept., 19th.  I have three spots available.  They will include five family photos all edited on a cd.  The cost is $75 and the time slots  are 4:00pm, 4:30pm, and 5:00pm.  You can call to schedule your session at 775-4333 or email  Beat the rush get those christmas card pictures ready now.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Smile and the World Smiles with You {Palmer, Alaska Children's Photographer}

I love how Ms. S's blue eyes light up when she smiles.  Makes me smile too. 

Mr. J loves his binkie and I love a good black and white.  You would never guess this is a dresser behind him.

Isn't this cute.  I like how Mr J. is reading a dog book and Ms. S is reading a princess book.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

What I Learned From A Sea Turtle!

I love sea turtles.  Whenever I visit Hawaii I always hope to see one.  Yesterday, we went to one of my favorite places to stand up paddle.  This place is know for the turtles that like to swim up the river.  I was secretly hoping to have an encounter with a turtle.  I did see one.  He popped his head up a couple of times but when I got close enough he went under.

We decided to to stop at another bay on the North Shore and I'm so glad we did.  Meet Woolly Bully.  He is a 270 pound Sea Turtle and has a story to tell.

He came a shore around 11:00am to rest and soak up the some sun.  (we have some things in common)  We got there about 5:30pm so he had been there for some time.  The markings on the top of his head are like finger prints.  They say no two turtle have the same markings.  They think he is about 40 years old.  A turtles expected life span is about 60-70 years.  He has a micro chip in him and holds the record for the deepest dive of 500 feet.  Amazing!

What make Woolly Bully unique is not his markings on his head or his record diving skills but that he is a survivor.  What do I mean by this?  Well, his bottom left flipper was bitten half of by a shark!

Now if I was Woolly I think I might not want to venture into the sea again.  To a turtle the sea can be a scary place.  You're food for Tiger Sharks!  But not this big guy.  He doesn't let fear hold him back.  He heads out to the sea everyday with his half bitten flipper. 

How many of us have fears thats hold us back?  How many of us have dreams we think are out of our reach.  I know I do.  I have to overcome self-doubt all the time.  So I have a challenge for you.  This week think about a dream you have always wanted to accomplish and work towards it.  Don't let fear hold you back.  I love this quote by Goeth.  "Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it.  Action has magic, grace, and power in it."

When you start to feel self-doubt think of Woolly Bully and his half bitten flipper.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Unexpected Moments {Photography Tips for Moms}

I was right in the middle of making lunch when I looked over and saw all the kids around their older brother listening to a story.  I didn't want the food to burn but I couldn't past this moment up.  Photographing your children can be "unexpected" you never know when they are going to do something you're going to want to remember.  And it always seems to be right when you're in the middle of something.  Here's a few tips to help you be ready for those unexpected moments.

Be an observer.  As a mother, I know how crazy busy your days can be.  But I also know that you're great at multi-tasking.  So while you answering phone calls, preparing meals and changing diapers observe your kids more closely.  What is it about this stage in their life do you want to remember?  What are some of their favorite activities?   When you see them doing that grab your camera.

Always have your camera charged up and close by.  If you can have two batteries.  One in your camera and the other fully charged.  This way when one dies you can quickly change out the battery.  I went to a photography workshop once and forgot my one battery I had.  Luckily someone had an extra battery for me to borrow.  Lesson learned!

Get your camera ready before you kids see it.  I've learned to be very stealth when taking pictures of my kids.   I set my ISO, apeture and shutter speed before I bring out my camera.  This way all I have to do is point and shoot.  I can usually get a few good pictures before I hear, "Oh, mom not again."

Refuse to say cheese.  In the picture above I would have lost all the emotion of my kids if I had interrupted them and asked them to say cheese.  By observing  I was able to capture a great moment when they are ALL getting along.  Even if only for a few minutes.

This week look for those unexpected moments.   Observe your kids more closely, have you camera charged, get it ready before hand and refuse to say, "Cheese."  Please let me know if this was helpful and don't hesitate to email with questions or share your pictures.  I would love to see them. 

Keep Clicking,

If ISO, apeture and shutter speed are confusing.  I teach group or one-on-one photography classes.  Email me for details.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What's Your Style? {Photography Tips, Tutorials and More}

I read this article last week. Click here to read it in it's entirety. Great advice for photographers. My favorite quote is, "Style is a voice, not a prop or an action. If you can buy it, borrow it, download it, or steal it, it is not a style. Don't look outward for your style; look inward."

Wow, so true.  So how do we find our style?  I've been thinking about this for some time. What is my style?  A few things came to mind.  My mentor, Me Ra Koh, gave me an assignment once and I would challenge you to do the same.  Look through some magazines and collect pictures that interest you.  They can not have people in them.  Don't over think this.  Collect at least 10 images and paste them on a board.  What do these images have in common?  Are you attracted to color, a certain shape, maybe texture?  When I did this I noticed that I liked color, texture and pattern.  Here is my board.

Knowing this has helped me focus adding these elements into my pictures.  It has given me a source of inspiration. 

Another activity that has helped me in finding my style is writing down what I like about a photo shoot, what I didn't like and what I could do better.  I noticed that whenever I was asked to do a family photo shoot I was really nervous and wasn't at ease like when I'm just doing children.  So guess what.  I only do children for now.  You don't have to specialize in everything.  I personally believe it better to shoot what you love.  For now, for me, it's children.   That doesn't mean I won't change in the future.  A photographer is always evolving and always learning new things.

The other day I was taking pictures of an energetic, two year, old boy.  I was looking over the pictures and I absolutely feel in love with this picture below.

Then it dawned on me.  This is part of my style.  I love real life not studio posed pictures.  I love taking pictures of kids being themselves.  Notice the bib in his hand.  Well, apparently he is always holding a bib with him.  I was able to capture him at this stage of his life.  Listen to your inner self.  Let it guide you as you discover your style.  Cheryl Jacobs Nicolai said, " Never apologize for your own sense of beauty or style. Nobody can tell you what you should love."  I hope these tips and article have helped you as much as they have helped me.  Leave me a comment and share your thoughts.  Also, send me an email if you have any photography questions.

Keep Clicking,

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Urban Setting {Palmer, Alaska Children's Photographer}

It started to be the perfect picture day. A little cloudy which makes for great light. Then the bright sun came out. Switch to plan B look for open shade. A cute little girl and some balloons make for great pictures.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Photo Tip Friday #3 Capturing Conflict

This week and the next couple of weeks I want to concentrate on story telling. Because pictures do not have words we rely on the image to tell us the story. One way we can do this is by capturing conflict. I learned this tip from my mentor, Me Ra Koh. I like the way she explains conflict. She says, "Conflict isn’t necessarily bad or negative. It is a moment of emotion, tension, struggle, achievement, or an exchange between two people with something hanging in the balance."

The following photo to me tells a story of conflict. It's a moment of stong emotion. Violet was talking to her daddy nonstop on the phone. He had to go and ended up hanging up on her. You can tell by her face she wasn't to happy about it. No need for words the picture speaks for its self.

This week look for opportunities to capture conflict. Remember it doesn't have to be negative. It can be your little baby learning to crawl or walk for the first time. Or you toddler who has entered the "I'll do it myself" stage. Good luck!!! I would love to see what you captured.

Camera settings:
ISO 400
Apeture 1.4
Shutter Speed 320
I have a north facing window that lets indirect light filter in. I used an iso 400(not a whole lot of light in bedroom) and opened my apeture all the way to 1.4 to let as much light in and get a faster shutter speed. When taking pictures of toddlers I like to keep my shutter speed above 250.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"When you photograph people in color you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in B&W, you photograph their souls!" ~Ted Grant

Friday, April 22, 2011

Photo Tip Friday #2 See the Possibilities

When I was in school I learned that the number 1 rule in real estate was location, location, location. You can also apply this in photography. Whenever I'm driving around I'm always looking for cool locations. It may not be what you might think. An old shipping container or abandoned equipment can make great pictures. I love to look for things that have color or texture. You just need to train your eye to see the possibilities. So next time your driving around keep a look out for something that you find interesting.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Photo tip Friday #1 turn your garage into a studio

Yes, I know it's Sunday but better late than never. Did you know your garage is a great place to take pictures? I just put up a back drop and let all the sun light filter into my garage. Because the sun light is coming directly into your garage you'll get beautiful even light over your subject and the concrete floor makes a great reflector. During the day is great time to try this when the sun is directly over us and it's to bright to take pictues outside. Just make sure to look at the floor and place your subject in the shadow part of the floor not the direct sunlight.

Here is a few pictures that I took in my garage. Give this a try and let me know how it turns out. Good Luck!!!
This last images is Gabe's letting me know that he is done with pictures.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Gabe Turns 5

Today the weather was warm enough for me to take some pictures outside. My littlest guy just turned five. Isn't he a cutie?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

My Cute Guy

I wish all my children would pose for me the way Gabe does. He's such a sweet boy. Can't believe he is going to be five this month. Can't wait to do some b-day pictures.
Did I mention he really likes to be silly.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


My friend, and fellow photographer, Mera asked this question on her blog. Why do you pick up your camera? I'll have to admit lately I haven't picked up my camera at all. In my pursuit to become a better photographer, at times I feel discouraged. I feel like I'm not progressing as fast as I would like. And life with four kids just gets busy. Nobody likes a stressed out mom, right?

I was looking through some pictures I took and I found this one. Yes, this picture isn't perfect. I wish the mothers face was more in the picture and sharper. But it's the story I love. Look at that sweet, newborn baby looking and smiling at his mommy. You can't see all of the mother's face but you can see the happiness she is feeling. This is why I pick up my camera. I love to capture those little moments that are personal and have meaning. With a picture you'll always have something to hold onto and remember. So my photography journy continues. I wonder what I'll capture tomorrow?

Family Fun on the Farm

The day started out rainy and windy. I felt bad about cancelling the shoot but I knew the kids would be miserable. Luckely, the weather improved and we ended up taking pics later in the day. And I must say these are some of my favorites.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

High School Senior Pics

Took these pictures last Sept. Lots of fun.