Christmas Mini Sessions

I love the the child-like wonder, the bright hope, and the feeling of togetherness that comes with Christmas. It’s something I tried to embody in the Christmas mini session photos I took last week at Alpine Groves Park. Here is a sampling of the beautiful families that came and shared the day with me:

Garrett and Vanessa:

Vanessa and Garrett came perfectly coordinated with their little baby boy. It took very little direction to position them to look flawless, but we had to work together to get their baby to smile. We tag-teamed tickling him and playing peek-a-boo.  In the end, what worked best was when I yelled out loudly, “Santa!” Then came his infectious smile. Who knew I was so funny?

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Ron and Susan:

There is something so endearing about this couple. Ron’s no-nonsense reminds me of my dad and Susan always makes me laugh. I’m glad we got to do a glitter throw picture, because it helped me capture an expression that I think we would have never gotten had we just faked it. If you look closely, you can see the real glitter around Susan’s hands and everything else was added in post to look like snow. After I shot this photo, the glitter flew back at them and coated their hair and faces with silver specks. They laughed about it, but I was mortified. Here’s a tip: save the glitter throw for last.

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Derrick and Marissa:

Derrick and Marissa had such a carefree, loving dynamic about them. When I’d fiddle with my camera settings or look around to scope for a good background, I’d turn back to look at them and they’d be cuddling their baby or laughing together. I couldn’t stop taking pictures in case I missed something.

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Chris and Laura:

Chris and Laura’s little girl started out a little shy, but I could see a mischievous glint in her eye. That’s why I employed her with the important task of the glitter throw. It took 3 or 4 tries, but when it was done right, a wall dropped from everyone’s face and they forgot I was there for just a second. I love how their daughter’s dress is bunched up from having just swirled around.  It makes for a fun and beautiful moment.

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Thank you everyone who came and let me capture the love in their families. I can’t wait to do more seasonal mini sessions next year! Merry Christmas!

Downtown Professional Headshots with Alycen

Jacksonville’s Main Street Bridge is the perfect place to capture a professional headshot. The early morning light mixed perfectly with the bold blue girders and, of course, Alycen’s beautiful red hair.

The challenge with professional headshots is to portray your subject with the correct balance or strength and confidence with approachability. Alycen was the perfect model, because unlike my one-year-old, she listened to me! She also let me know what felt weird or comfortable – so helpful!

I’m looking forward to more of these in the future!

 

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Susan + Ron – Beach Sunrise Photo Session

It had been a week of thunderstorms, but the morning I met Susan and Ron at the beach, it was the perfect morning with pink wispy clouds. Susan and Ron had just celebrated their 29th anniversary. It was nice photographing a couple so comfortably in love.

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Just a glimpse of the editing that takes place after the photo session, here is the original image juxtaposed with the final image:

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Original Image
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Edited Image

I wanted to bring out the pink of the clouds, so I did a layer where I just exposed for sky. Another layer was exposed for the foreground. Finally, I took out the yellow ropes so we could focus more on our subjects. Also, I warmed up the coloring so the skin tone looked more alive.

Here’s one more:

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Original Image
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Edited Image

Again, I added more warmth to the coloring of the picture and tweaked exposure for sky and foreground separately. I also took out the two swimmers in the back. It’s good to preserve the illusion that they are alone on the beach. I did like the two seagulls in the background because it mirrored our couple.

What a fun experience with two beautiful people! I’d gladly go to the beach at the crack of dawn any day.