Below are a few of my favorite shots from a 1st communion shoot I did a couple of weeks ago.
I must say that I thoroughly enjoy working with children. It is fun to observe them just being. When working with children I try to extract their natural personality vs. posing them extensively. Many times children will naturally land in a pose that with just a little coaching from you makes for a near perfect composition. The little girl featured in the images below was so sweet and such a joy to work with. She loved exploring the environment and I enjoyed chatting with her about what she saw, how she felt, etc. Letting children be themselves and letting them lead the way relaxes them and gains their trust and comfort with you enabling you to more successfully capture their true essence.
Little girls are especially fun to work with for first communion shoots because they are in their fancy dress, sometimes a veil, a headpiece, special jewelry, and they just feel like little princesses. It almost takes me back in time to when I got to twirl around in my dresses and feel like a princess.
The one thing I think it is important to stress is that one should never lose their style and artistic flair when photographing children or any subject. It is important to stay true to ones style and vision. After all, isn’t that why you were hired? It is important to satisfy your clients and ensure that you have the expected, traditional shots, for example the praying hands for a first communion, but once that is achieved, move to your work flow and capture your subject in the way you are most comfortable.
I used Topaz Labs for my black and white conversions and used vignettes or borders to create a more ethereal/vintage appeal.
If you are like me, you are tiring of all of the winter images of snow, ice, and cold drab days…despite those feelings, however, I still love the beauty of snow. I love the fact that when it snows the winter world seems brighter and full of hope. Sunlight is a necessity of happiness to many and the snow helps brighten our world when the days seem long and dark.
We had a little over 13 inches of snow yesterday! My children were out all day and of course had the times of their lives. Snow aids to winter creativity. The opportunities in snow are endless and if there is something to do in snow, kids will find it and enjoy it. My boys spent most of the day with friends but my daughter had fun with my husband and I here at home. Here are just a few images of our time outside.
Sparseness of Winter
Then One and Only Pose
All Fun Catching Snowflakes on the Tongue…And Eyelids
This morning the boys in our family (bed-heads and all) decided we should go out for breakfast to a little breakfast club we belong to. Fred’s is an establishment of it’s own kind. We love it and enjoy every breakfast we eat there. The environment is the best by some distance as there truly is no stranger. Today as we waited for stools along the counter and sipped our coffee I caught an older couple watching my children from their stools. The gentleman smiled a rather large smile at me and tapped his chest. I wasn’t sure what he meant exactly, but simply smiled back in return. He seemed like a very nice person with a lovely, gentle smile and joyful eyes. As our name was called and we went to take the 5 stools next to their two he said to me “I thought they (meaning my boys) looked like angels but now I know why.” And he pointed to his chest again as to say the logo on their shirts gave it away. He then said, “we belong to that parish too”. Once we established that we belonged to the same church the conversation didn’t end until it was time for them to give up their stools to the next couple waiting to be served. It was truly one of those mornings where we were in the right place at the right time.
As the gentleman introduced himself as Gonzolo Ponce-De-Leon my 11 year old asked, “like the explorer?” Mr. Ponce-De-Leon proceeded to tell us how he is of the same lineage, in fact is the 13th generation, of the family of Juan Ponce-De-Leon. Talk about perfect timing. My son is studying the expedition of Juan Ponce-De-Leon to find the fountain of youth, which led to the discovery of Florida, in social studies class. Once this fact was established, Mr. Ponce-De-Leon gave my son a quick history lesson on a napkin. He told my son that he should now be guaranteed an A+ on his project. As always, I had my camera with me and asked Mr. Ponce-De-Leon if he would mind if I took a picture of him with my son to show his teacher and classmates. Mr. Ponce-De-Leon very graciously obliged my request, thus the photos you see below.
We always meet fabulous and interesting people when we visit Fred’s for breakfast, but today was the best yet! And we look forward to seeing Mr. and Mrs. Ponce-De-Leon at church now that we know them and will recognize them.
The Right Place at the Right Time
A History Lesson over Breakfast
To learn more about the life of Juan Ponce-De-Leon you can visit the link below:
“A grandma’s heart is a patchwork of love.” – Anonymous –
My 89 year old grandmother and my daughter. Generations of blessings.
The tragedy that took place Friday has left me thinking more and more about how dear my family is to me. I have always known that of course and I have never intentionally taken them for granted, but when life is flying by, I don’t take time to consider how blessed I am as often as I should. I think most of the world today is the same. Everyone I talk to is SO busy.
Especially during this Christmas season, I hope that all people who are blessed with family will take the time to love them, to reach out and hug them, hold their hand, and let them know how strong your love for them is. Love is an everlasting bond and when thinking about Christmas, it is my prayer that all remember that love is at the heart of the meaning of this ever so special holiday. The first gift of love came from God above, let’s treasure it, and share it.
Love flows from generation to generation. No one is too old or too young to need to know they are loved.
“Blessed is the influence of one true and loving human soul on another.” – George Eliot
She is this Influence on Me.
I loved the peacefulness of this image in black and white. I felt the tranquility of one human loving another in the black and white vs. the enlightenment of the soul that I felt with the image in vibrant color.
I usually don’t post twice in one day, but today is an exception because I am filled with child-like excitement. Remember the swallowtail caterpillars I posted on September 18th? Well, the kids thought it would be cool, and I did too, to see what would happen if we kept the caterpillars in Gracie’s bug catcher. We carefully placed the caterpillars in the bug catcher and gave them handfuls of parsley. We diligently checked on them, replenished their parsley and even gave them water. After a few days I worried that maybe we were hindering their natural process and decided it best to put them back on the parsley plants. Two of them left the bug catcher with grace, not to look back. The other two however, were stuck to the bug catcher. At first I thought maybe they were dead and I felt terrible. But, after closer observation, I noticed they were both still moving when I jarred the catcher a bit and they were stuck to the catcher by what looked like silk threads. Sure enough, this was the beginning of the process for making their cocoons. One caterpillar made his/her cocoon first and several days later the second is snug in his/hers. I’m posting images, not artistic, but more scientific in nature, for you to see. I feel like we have successfully completed a science project! We are now anxiously awaiting the other two, who are still fattening themselves on parsley, to make their cocoons. We can’t wait to observe their transformation into butterflies. Just hoping we don’t miss it.
Such a miracle we are blessed to be witnessing! Honestly I think I’m more excited than the kids. And, to think we didn’t even have to buy a “butterfly kit”!
One cocoon. Notice the light shining in. It was a beautiful day when I took this image. The cocoon looks more green. It really was pale green in color at first, and I think the reflection of the green wire enhanced that.
Two cocoons. A much cloudier day for the second day of existence of the second cocoon. Notice the silk strands holding the cocoons in place. So amazing!
This evening when I went out to get parsley from the herb garden I found these interesting, beautiful creatures. I was not sure if they were caterpillars or some type of pest similar to a tomato worm just visiting to take what remains of the summer herbs. I ran inside to research my find and found that the Swallowtail Caterpillar apparently loves to eat Parsley. The Swallowtail Butterfly drops her eggs on the Parsley plant in July and by mid- September the caterpillars have grown and live off of the plant until time for their transformation. Nature is so amazing. Little miracles exist all around us and are just waiting to be discovered. Keep your eyes open, they are often in disguise.
Just a side note about the photographs. This afternoon was rainy, and cloudy, and very, very windy. With that said I wanted to keep the shutter speed as high as possible, wanted to avoid additional noise so kept the ISO at 400, and therefore had to have the aperture pretty open at 5. As a result, the shallow depth of field and some motion blur give way to images that are not quite crisp, but I don’t think this fact takes away from the overall capture.