I'm probably the luckiest photographer on earth. I've done so many photoshoots over the last year that I've lost count. I've only been "in business" for 9 months. And yet all of my clients are AWESOME. Seriously, they are attractive and kind and fun to work with and I just feel so blessed to be able to do what I love and have these types of clients.
I met Kristine in January doing headshots for her production of The Man Who Came to Dinner at FCT. I took her "mug shot" headshot...where the director Ted, a good friend of mine, asked me to take headshots for the entire cast of 25 actors...and I had an hour to do it. :) So I literally lined 'em all up against a brick wall when they came outside, shot 3 or 4 pics of each, and sent them on their way. I knew they were just for the cast callboard (and not published pics or headshots people would actually use) but I couldn't help but want them to be really nice anyway. Only having a minute or two to not only shoot a good photo of someone but capture their personality (the way a great headshot should) is really tough. Lucky for me I had a bunch of lovely people to photograph! And Kristine was one of them. Her headshot was beautiful as she is a beautiful, vivacious person.
So when she contacted me a few months ago to take her formal headshots, I was thrilled. I was NOT thrilled when the misting rain all day nearly had me canceling the shoot. We decided to tough it out anyway, and went to Old Town Manassas to utilize some familiar stomping grounds. I knew there was a light filled parking garage and a train station with an overhang that would protect both my camera AND Kristine's hair/make up.
Our hour session stretched into 1.5 hours as we laughed and shared stories. Woman can't take a bad photo. Seriously, we had my favorite photo (the header) on shot #2. Kristine had her hair & make up done professionally by Stephanie Wickstrom at Tranquility Day Spa and she looked like a million bucks! She wore two dresses in eye catching jewel tones that flattered her skin tone and kept her jewelry simple. It was really a perfect session, and I think the results speak for themselves. I didn't feature just my favorite headshots but also the artsy pics we had some time to take. :)
It was my true pleasure to take these headshots for you, Kristine...may they bring you a ton of luck! I know that smile will stand out in any stack of casting photos. :)
Have a fantastic week! :)
So, I'll be honest. I've photographed siblings and families before, but not too many teenagers. As most of you know, I shoot either couples, weddings, or actors. The occasional maternity or family shoot is generally reserved for my own family and friends. But when Sarah, an area actress, and I met a few months ago while I was shooting headshots for The Man Who Came to Dinner at FCT, we made a connection. And she reserved my time to photograph her stepdaughter Marci and nephew David, rising seniors, at their farm in Virginia.
Their farm is beautiful. I scheduled an evening shoot so that I could take advantage of the golden hour for photography. I had all these great ideas for their photos. And then, just as we pulled into their driveway, the rain came. Oh, we figured it would be brief. Not the case. For 2 out of 2.5 hours, the rain POURED down in spurts. We hid in the garage and ran in and out shooting random photos when we could. I even got a few shots of their goats and donkeys. ;) Marci's Dad Chris was super nice and he had fun sitting back and watching us be silly in the rain. :)
It wasn't my usual style or my aesthetic but we made it work. I had fun playing with some vintage washes that are trendy right now and then my usual color saturated and classic black & whites. Marci is beyond gorgeous and David is very handsome, even if we mostly only got his profile. ;) They were both very nice (an unusual trait these days!) and clearly got along well, which was also nice to see. We made the best of a crappy weather situation and I think we even had some fun. :)
On the slate for this week...a beautiful children's authoress photoshoot in Potomac and then headshots for a very lovely actress in VA this weekend. Fun fun! Have a great Tuesday! :)
See those magazines above? They're what I get to pore over on Monday. :) I purchased them a few weeks ago, getting not only my usual Bride and Knot...but a few more unique mags. But I haven't let myself so much as open them until my editing for Bethany & Dave's wedding is done. I've edited over 500 photos and I still have 50-100 more to go. Of course, I have a double session for seniors/siblings tomorrow evening at their family farm, so getting ALL my editing done by Monday will be a challenge...but I am going to work extra hard today to make it happen.
Why the mags? To prepare for my two upcoming weddings, of course! I have Katie & Mike in early September to prep for, but I also have a surprise elopement/courthouse wedding in early August for Donna & Paul as well. And even though it's going to be short & sweet, I still plan to make a little inspiration board for my sweet friend. And then a traditional inspiration board for Katie & Mike, whose Bristow Manor wedding is sure to be gorgeous!
Time to buckle down...Grey's Anatomy and then wedding Friday on TLC should give me that final push. I'll be sad to leave Bethany & Dave's wedding since it was such a classy and chic affair, but at least it won't be totally over...we have a "day after" in DC to do, with my favorite part of the day...romantic wedding portraits just of the bride and groom. Woot!
Hope everyone has a fantastic and cool weekend ahead! :)
So on Sunday, we moseyed over to Dana & Joelle's home in Manassas Park, to take pics of their beautiful 7 week old baby girl. We'd decided to hold the shoot indoors due to the 102 degree sweltering heat...not my favorite since I'm a natural light girl but their nursery has wonderful sunlight. Haha...a storm rolled in within 30 minutes and made the room dark. The lovely yellow walls, perfect for a nursery, are pretty much my own little photography nightmare, esp. when I hate to use flash (and even setting a custom WB with the ever changing light is a challenge)...but we made do. Sweet baby girl was having some major stomach issues, which made her a little less than thrilled to be in front of the camera. And yet we made it work, because that's what we do. I took photos that aren't necessarily my norm, although to be honest, since this was my first newborn session, I didn't really have a norm to compare it to. :) I went in with the idea that I was going to take these beautiful, serene, perfectly posed and dreamy baby shots, ones I'd planned out carefully and come prepared for. Ha! The best laid plans...the reality of a baby makes a careful plan go out the window. And you know what? That was just fine. I had just as much fun holding this little cutie as I did photographing her. I captured the strong bond that exists between mother & father, baby & parent. So that makes this session a win in my book. :) Thank you for letting us in on your special baby time, guys. You have a very beautiful and loving little family. :)
I have about 100 more photos from Bethany & Dave's wedding to finish editing. And then this Saturday I get to go to a local farm and photograph two gorgeous senior siblings, Marci & David. I'm super psyched at the farm backdrop...and at photographing siblings. How fun is that? :)
I hope everyone has a fantastic week ahead! Stay cool, stay dry! :)
The flag at The Arts Center of Washington, on Bethany & Dave's wedding day. :)
Keeping the blog short & sweet today. First, I want to thank our Founding Fathers, who gave our country the basis for the great nation it is today. Of all the poems, religious texts, amazing literature we have in our world, these words still carry the most weight, power, and truth in their simplicity:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." The Declaration of Independence.
We may not have a perfect country, but it's still the best in the world and there's nowhere else I would rather be.
I wanted to thank all our brave service men & women who gave their lives for our country, and all those who serve today (here and overseas, on the front lines and behind the scenes), who live every day for our freedom. I thank my wonderful Grandpa Kelly, who was wounded and awarded a Purple Heart during WWII, my father in law Bill, who was a Navy pilot, my many friends and relatives who have served and who will serve in the future.
I want to thank my Dad, an immigrant from Hungary who came to America at 13, became a citizen at 21, and who has always made me see how it's possible to celebrate your country of birth without compromising your unwavering loyalty and dedication to the country to which you have pledged your allegiance. He made me realize how proud I was to be an American, how lucky.
I am able to celebrate today with friends, sitting by the pool and eating BBQ and enjoying a peaceful, happy, blessed time...largely in part because of all those who have made it possible for me to do so, with pride, with safety.
As my friend (and brave serviceman himself) Harry pointed out, it's not "Happy 4th" today...it's "Happy Independence Day."
Happy Independence Day!!! :)
If you had asked me when I married five years ago to do a "First Look" with my husband, I would have given a resounding NO. I'm traditional and superstitious, and believed it was bad luck to see my husband to be before the wedding.
But in the age of doing things a little differently, especially in wedding photography, and looking back at my actual wedding day, I'd have given a resounding YES to a First Look.
A First Look is eschewing the tradition of not seeing each other before your ceremony and arranging for a private moment with your spouse to be to have that first gimpse captured on camera and then going off for an hour to have private, romantic portraits taken.
I remember being so excited about that moment when all the guests in the church would rise, as I appeared framed in the doorway on my father's arm, the swells of the string quartet playing the romantic passage of Rachmaninoff's "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini" (my very favorite music in the whole world), and catching sight of Brian at the end of the aisle, waiting for me, his face lit up with joy.
Unfortunately, things didn't quite work out that way, for a few reasons. Oh, we didn't see each other beforehand. And I did appear in the doorway on my father's arm with the church staring back at us as the music swelled.
I got a whole split second of seeing Brian's face too...before I was yanked back to reality...literally. An elderly woman at the church (whom we barely knew) was serving as the church "wedding coordinator." She had been straightening my train when the moment happened. And just as Brian and I saw each other for the first time and I was started forward towards him happily, she grabbed onto my train and yanked me backwards. Shocked, I turned around to look back at her. "What's wrong???" I asked. "You should be on your father's LEFT side, not his right!" For a second I thought I was imagining things. Surely this woman was not interrupting my big moment with this petty nonsense. My father turned and whispered "Father Bob told me to stand to her left because I have a bad knee and he thought it would make it easier. He told me at the rehearsal last night." Church lady: "Well, that's not tradition. Switch places." My brain is going "WTF?" The music is still playing, people are staring, Brian is probably wondering why I'm not looking at him (or moving forward). Finally, I said "We're staying in place." When she opened her mouth again to protest, I did something that shocks me just a little but I really felt it was appropriate...I then hissed "Let go of my damn dress."
Yup. I cussed at the church lady. But she let go, and I was able to proceed down the aisle.
The resulting images were two rather blurry pics of me coming down the aisle, one from so far away that you can't really see any detail and the other with my eyes closed. And my photographer didn't think to capture the look on Brian's face. So we don't have those pics...or really, that memory of seeing each other for the first time.
And as the craziness of the wedding day surrounded us, instead of the romantic portraits I had envisioned (and requested), we got four requisite poses in front of the same wall at our reception site, way too many portraits of the bridal party squinting into the harsh light of the sun, and nothing that really reflected us as a couple.
Sooooo....first look? Yup, I'd have done it. But hindsight is 20/20. :)
I urge all my couples to consider doing a first look. It can be just as magical as a grand entrance down the aisle. There's even a way around actually seeing each other if you're worried about superstitions...holding hands around a doorway, speaking softly through a screen...still having sweet portraits and romantic moments without actually breaking tradition.
On the chance that first looks are completely out of the question, I do offer my bride & grooms a "day after" session. It's not really the day after...more like a few weeks after the wedding, when everyone is relaxed and ready to put their gowns and tuxes back on, find a fabulous location, and spend a few hours taking all those wonderful, romantic portraits that reflect who the two of you are as a couple.
:) Happy Tuesday! :)
Happy July! This summer is just zipping by already, isn't it? I must confess I'm not all that disappointed. As much as I love swimming and the ocean, I am not a summer girl. I hate the heat. My face becomes redder than my hair and it ain't pretty. I long for the cool breezes of autumn, the snowflakes and roaring fireplaces of winter, and the gentle warmth of summer. How I survived four years of college in New Orleans I will NEVER know. I just remember that I was sweaty most of the time and my waist length hair was a bit of a nightmare. :) We were some of the very lucky few who didn't lose power this weekend...thank goodness! Despite the a/c running full blast, we still spent a LOT of time downstairs in the living room as it's about 20 degrees cooler down there than it is up in our third floor bedroom. We fondly refer to the stair climb to it as "Ascent into Hades." :)
I've been editing Bethany & Dave's photos, exploring some new photography techniques and making business decisions for the 2013 season. There's so much information out there that it's hard to decide which path to take! I know what I'd LIKE to do, but there's only so much that a tiny new business CAN do. So I have to really weigh all of my options and decide what's the most important to focus on in this crucial time.
I am photographing a couples shoot at the end of July at a local (ok, 75 miles away) Virginia beach (the kind with a river, not an ocean)...and Brian and I decided to make a weekend of it and booked a room for 2 nights at a charming little waterfront B&B. We are VERY excited, mainly because our only vacation these days is the condo at Christmas when we visit my family...which is awesome, but Christmas is never really a vacation! :)
Trying to remain positive about the latest development in my treatment. Phase 1 of the chemotherapy worked really well and I have been ecstatic. It was a great month. Unfortunately, our insurance company (always great in the past), doesn't know very much about this chemo protocol and have refused to cover Phase 2, which was supposed to start tomorrow. The $11,000 out of pocket price tag is completely out of reach for us right now. It's horrible to think that I won't be able to continue treatment and keep getting better, but I am going to hope that an 11th hour solution comes through for us. I need to keep getting better! I love my clients (and my husband and family and friends, of course!)...and I want to give them so much more. I hate having to really struggle to keep up the energetic pace of my mind and my will when my body really doesn't want to cooperate.
I have an awful lot to live for, and a lot to give to the world. I am hoping I keep getting the chance to do that.
My darling husband asked me to take a few quick shots of him last night (at midnight) in his favorite birthday present, a t shirt from The Tutu Project. For those of you who don't know, The Tutu Project is about an average guy (and pro photographer) whose wife is suffering from cancer. In order to show his support, he's been photographed all over the place, in crazy situations, bare chested in a tutu (and he is a large, hairy manly man!)...it was a project that started as a labor of love to make his wife laugh (and became a huge deal to women suffering with breast cancer). It is exactly the sort of thing that my own prince charming does for me every day, especially when I'm sick and in pain, so he really wanted to support the project. Needless to say photographing my hubby in my old tulle crinoline and the t shirt, making the most ridiculous faces and "ballet poses" last night was the highlight of my week. :) He's a goofball with a heart of gold and I am ever grateful for his undying love and support. Please enjoy his um...lovely? Husky? photos. :)Stay cool and have a lovely Monday! :)
If you're a wedding photographer, you probably already have a survival kit in your Kelly Moore
. This post is more for newbies, especially those shooting in the summer. We all have a love/hate relationship with the summer wedding. The good things? Longer daylight hours for those romantic portraits, gorgeous outdoor locations, pops of luscious color, etc. The bad things? It's hot. Sometimes the sunlight borders on garish. Your bride and her attendants have sweated through their make up and their hair has fallen flat, making any shots after the initial ones less than stellar. And worse-you stopped looking like the calm, cool professional you are well BEFORE the portraits...mainly because you've been running around for the last two hours shooting details.
I can't help you (or me!) with the weather. But I do have a few tips for staying cool and a little more polished. :)
*Wear casual, summery clothes while shooting the details. I wore a little sundress at my last wedding and no make up, which made it easier to get ready from scratch before people arrived and I had to look pretty.
*If you have long hair like me, invest in a stylist if you're not good at your own hair! I would've killed for a French braid during my wedding shoot last weekend. It's a way to look polished and sleek, and no matter how much you sweat, your hair will retain its shape, and you'll end up with charming little wispy tendrils instead of scraggly pieces. I've already booked a hair appt for such a braid (a fishtail, if you're curious) for my next wedding. :)
*Carry some essentials in your gear bag. You'll notice in the posted pics that I have all the emergency basics (which aren't just for me-I've had them on hand for the bride in case she forgets her own emergency kit!)...The Basics:
Bandaids, a pair of scissors, tweezers, make up wipes, tissues, a hairbrush, those adorable mini Wisp toothbrushes, floss for when you've grabbed a snack (like my favorite peanut butter crackers which give the right amount of carbs, protein, and sugar to keep you going), Qtips, cotton balls, hand lotion, an extra pair of contact lenses and eye drops (God forbid you lose a lens!) and a small pharmacy which includes Benadryl for any allergic reactions (bugs, food), TUMS, and Tylenol for headaches.The Hair:
A brush with a few ponytail holders (for a quick ponytail, braid, or bun)...a cute headband or a jeweled clip to add a sense of occasion to your hair if you've not had a change to put it in a special style befitting a wedding.Makeup:
Mascara, blush (just in case your cheeks aren't rosy enough at this point!), eyeshadow for a day to night look, chapstick, and my favorite, the lavender undereye concealer in the likely event that you didn't sleep much the night before the wedding.But wait-that's not all! (I sound like an infomercial!) :)My Summer Essentials:
*L'Oreal HydraFresh Toner
(put some in a small vial...refresh your skin with a dab of it on a cotton ball to keep you cool and prevent breakouts)
*L'Oreal PhotoReady Primer
...it's a color correcting primer that you can use as a foundation. It's light, and it neutralizes redness.
*Garnier Nutrisse Gel Roller
...Why? Because it's A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. It's a gel roller that is the size of a pen, stays cool and the roll on serum is a cold, caffeine filled anti puff beauty that not only prevents/helps the little eye wrinkles that come along all too soon, but that literally makes you feel cooler and more refreshed all over. It's my staple for ALL big things, but it really comes in handy during the craziness that is a wedding.
I hope this has helped new photographers prep their own emergency kits. Being prepared for anything (and not just camera emergencies) really makes a difference.
I'm heading back into my own little editing place, excited about next week's blog on _
special day. :) Have a wonderful Thursday!
I photographed Bethany & Dave's beautiful and elegant evening DC wedding this past weekend and it was wonderful. I knew The Arts Club of Washington had a great reputation. The pics online showed the historical home to be lovely and charming. The reviews raved about the location, the food, the service, and the staff.
The reviews were true. The location was in a classic area of DC and as beautiful inside as it was outside. The food was delicious. Day of coordinator/caretaker Jenna Beebe was friendly as well as organized and ran the day perfectly. But it was the behind the scenes staff that really made the entire affair special. While we only got four photos of staff members (Anna & Alfred in the top left, snapped by Brian...Eric in the bottom left and Ismael on the right)...there were so many other people we wished we could've captured! :)
They were AWESOME. They weren't just good at their jobs (whether it was manning the tables or the bar, showing guests around, setting up the beautiful ceremony and reception areas, etc.)...they LOVED their jobs. They loved working with each other. They shared stories (Dwaine Davis made us crack up with stories of his 100lb labrador and expressed love for his four daughters), they took delight in watching the guests on the dance floor having a ball (Anna & Alfred shared a little dance behind the bar and Eric grooved in doorways!)...and they made us feel like part of the family.
It's that kind of attitude that elevates a major event, like a wedding, to the next level. You can rest easy and enjoy yourself, knowing that the people working for you & your guests are doing so tirelessly with genuine smiles on their faces and your best interests at heart. They WANT your big day to be special and memorable. That's a rare thing these days...not enough people have that kind of work ethic or love their jobs that way. Alfred asked me how long I'd been a photographer. He said he could tell that I was an artist because I loved what I do. He and his coworkers are artists too for that very same reason.
It was our great pleasure to work alongside these lovely people well into the wee hours of the morning. Thank you for treating Brian and myself with such respect and kindness, for making sure we were fed & watered, and for making us feel special. We only wish we had an event to hold there! Oh well...I guess we'll just have to hope that our next DC based wedding will be at The Arts Club! :)
Thank you, everyone. :) And a blog post on Bethany & Dave's beautiful and intimate wedding is coming, I promise...for now I'll leave you with a few sneak peeks...:)
Bethany & Dave's rehearsal dinner is tomorrow. TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Which makes their wedding in 2 days. TWO DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ok, that's a lot of exclamation points. But I'm excited. It's funny, because most engagement shoots and then weddings happen over the course of about a year. In this case, I met them in February and had a mini shoot, then did their formal engagement pics in May...and here we are in June, getting ready for the wedding.
But as excited as I am about their upcoming nuptials (and the fact that my fancy schmancy rental equipment will be here in a matter of hours), this post is about something different. It's about post production, and the variety of options out there.
Since shooting professionally, all my photos have been edited with Adobe Photoshop Elements. I'm self taught, and I've always been able to do everything I've wanted to do in Elements. While I'm sure the full PS program is vastly superior, it's too rich for my blood.
It's funny that you never know what you're missing until you finally have it. A trial of Lightroom 3 showed me glimpses of the Promised Land. It was still a little pricey for me. BUT...Lightroom 4, which just came out, was infinitely more affordable for me. And I bought it, and it made editing Ashley & Hon's wedding a few weeks ago a dream.
The photo above is from Bethany & Dave's Harpers Ferry engagement session in May. It was initially not included as it was similar to another photo which I'd chosen to edit and showcase. But on a whim a few days ago, I decided to edit it in Lightroom. What emerged was a soft, flowing, beautiful photo that I'm extremely proud of. The light was so harsh and unforgiving on that day, but using program tweaks in Lightroom, I was able to edit it in a way that made me happy.
I then grabbed another RAW image from that day, and edited the photo on the left using PSE, and the photo on the right using LR4. Perhaps to the naked eye the differences are not overwhelming, but to me as a photographer and editor, they are worlds apart. The light on the right side is caressing instead of sharp, the colors dreamy, and the overall effect a much better representation of the setting and the couple.
PSE is invaluable to me for the actual retouching of an image, like fixing a blemish or making something go away in any given photo. LR4 also has those features, but they are still foreign to me at this point. :)
I am not a technical gal, so I won't say anything more. For me, a picture is definitely worth a thousand words. Next on my list is to get a set of Kutuba actions that I can use for various effects that I'd like to have in my bag of editing tricks (like the antique/vintage wash that done manually with layer upon layer takes ages for me in PSE)...and then a whole new world of fun will be opened up.
For me, I use PSE and LR4 in harmony with each other. And they make perfect sense. :)
Please direct your warm and blissful thoughts to Bethany & Dave this week...I am so honored to be a part of their special day(s) and can't wait to post their images next week! Have a great weekend! :)