Special Photography Project

In October 2016, my community lost an amazing young man.  He was responding to a call when his life was taken.  My community mourned the loss of this young man.  As we work to heal, the Hopkin family came up with an idea to honor his memory.  I would like to take photographs of current serving Law Enforcement Officers, Fire Fighters, and First Responders in Siskiyou, Modoc, and Northern Shasta County.  I would love for this to become a tradition to honor his life and sacrifice and continue service to those who serve us.  The Hopkin’s family is sponsoring and supporting this project in memory of their beloved.  May 2.17

 

Rules, They Say

This blog post is not meant to be negative in any way. Many people have different capture styles. I have been studying photography and become a huge critic. I am going to talk about my pet peeves and hopefully provide a bit of information about how to take a great portrait.
1. Crooked Horizon Lines
Nothing to me is more distracting than a crooked horizon line. I work very hard to make sure all my horizon lines are straight. The other issue I have is when the horizon line cuts the head off. Watch your horizon line. Photography rules created by the founders: Horizon lines should not be in the middle of the photograph, not meant to chop off heads, and should be straight. Of course, there are times rules can be broken, but be careful. Example:

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I hate to say bad things about this photo, because I love the bride and groom.  I love this moment they are having and the love between them.  I love this photograph, but there are distracting elements.  There is a fence that goes through the head of my beautiful bride and a fence through his neck and a cow between them.  The horizon line is straight, but the fence on a hill is crooked.  It is a difficult photograph to find pleasing to the eye.  This capture is noisy and has issues.  They wanted Mt. Shasta in the background, which I do not blame them.  I love that volcanic legacy.  However, if they ordered this capture I would remove the cow between them and clean up the photo so they would be the stars of the show.
2. Background Issues
Oh my, that might be a great portrait, but there is a tree, pole, column, flag pole, or telephone pole coming out of their head. When finding that perfect location for the session, check what could be coming out of their heads. I admit I have taken photographs and looked back and become disappointed when I see I have provided them with antlers. I have taken portraits where a horizon line might be coming out of the mouth. Always check the background.14883439_588766984644661_4873479936600583822_oIn this photo, I should have removed the tree hat.  The tree coming out of the top of her head, which is distracting to me.  I can go back and take off the tree hat and crop this into the rule of thirds. I do the love the clouds and the mountain behind my beautiful friend.
3. Noise
How busy is the photograph? Is the subject the attraction in the photograph? Did you take a great photograph but there is a garbage can or trash in the photo? All of these questions are great to ask when composing a shot. I like to keep my subject or subjects the star of the show. 13443319_531863037001723_3237528019244916421_o I love this couple.  I have to admit, this is not the best shot of a cake cutting.  Notice all the noise in the background and the person in her veil.  Plus this is a pull from Facebook so the quality is low.  But the point is all the noise in the background and if I went to the other side or another angle I could have eliminated some of the noise.

4. Chopping off Limbs
Be a photographer, not a surgeon. Nothing ruins a photograph more than cropping off a hand, foot, ear, arm, forehead, etc. There are safe places to crop, but then there are edits that destroy a photograph. Be careful as you capture and crop.

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In this photograph the focus was on her feet, I did chop off her upper body to see what it would look like.  I felt awful for chopping her in half, but I was experimenting, which is okay.

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5. Understand the Rule of Thirds
This rule is the beginning of photography composition along with patterns and symmetry. There is another capture that is the Fibonacci sequence. That is a fascinating capture with a continuous pattern found in nature. But I digress. The rule of thirds “The most fundamental of all photography rules is all about dividing the capture into nine equal parts.” https://digital-photography-school.com/rule-of-thirds/

download (1) Fibonacci Sequence

 

Thank you!
Sometimes rules can be broken, but if you are looking to be great, it is important to know and use the rules. I have been studying photography for years. I love photography, and it serves as one of my passions. My focuses are portraits, families, events, and weddings. I love capturing weddings. I hope you enjoyed my blog.

TreatYo’Self

You are beautiful!

I work hard to attract clients. I would love to photograph you. The ideas that I have for your session will blow your mind. I draw what I want to accomplish in your session. I create props and clothing options just for your session. I become excited to capture the beauty that is you.
Then I hear:
“Wait until I lose ten pounds.”
“I do not like how I look right now.”
“I am just trying to slim down, but when I lose the weight, I will call you.”
“I just feel too ugly.”
“I hate my face.”
“I am too old.”
And more comments about appearance.
These negative comments and how we can view ourselves breaks my heart. I thought you were beautiful enough to say you should order my photography. This comment was not out of greed. I was excited about the beauty that is you. I believe there is beauty in all body types. I love size and beauty diversity.
Why I believe it is important to photograph often.

Don’t you want to be remembered and provide your family and their future family with prints they can cherish for generations? Maybe I am a little different. I am a photograph hoarder. I have all the photos I took when I got my first camera in second grade. I have photographs that date back to my Great Great Aunt. Her hair had just grown back after typhoid fever. She wanted to take a picture of her with the new hair. Imagine, if she did not like her body and decided not to have the photo session. I would not have known anything about her. I would never have seen her, but I have that photograph to pass on to future generations.
Photograph often, capture memories and preserve them in prints.
I would love to be your photographer and show you what I see when I look through the lens at the beautiful you.

Wedding Plan-icking!

Wedding Plan-icking (Combination of planning and panicking)
I was a wedding planner and wedding photographer in Lake Tahoe for four years and continue the business up here in Southern Oregon and Siskiyou County. I love everything wedding. It all started back when I was about seven years old. I lived in a great neighborhood. I became a wedding planner and wedding officiant for a summer. I married my sister and my friend off to about every guy on the block. I remember at one point my friend and my sister were having an all out brawl over our friend’s brother. It was quite a sight, but when everyone finally calmed down, we had a lovely ceremony with the Sound of Music soundtrack playing in the background. My officiating days came to an end a couple months later, because I forced my sister and a friend’s little brother to kiss. My parents quickly put an end to my wedding business, but over the summer it was booming.
When my husband proposed to me, we chose a date and I planned the entire wedding in 45-minutes. I called all my vendors and boom done. Then people got involved. It went from a small ceremony to a huge wedding and on a different date. Instead of a June wedding it was pushed back to November. Everything was crazy up to the day of my wedding.  I do not like conflict or confrontation, my husband is amazing.  I still cannot show my face at certain places.
Moral of my Wedding experience:
Don’t panic!
Don’t involve people! (Too many cooks in the kitchen, chaos and problems)
Set Boundaries!
If you want something do it so there are no regrets!
Hire who you love.
Photographs can be reminders of all the mistakes made for years to come.
Now this may sound doom and gloom. The thing is it should not be that way. I have hilarious and just my luck moments as memories that I cherish.
I had a planner, I love her and still think everyone should hire her. But as my luck went, people’s addresses were lost so they did not get invited. There was a blizzard. A couple days before the wedding, we found out that nothing was going to work and had to ask for thousands back from our original place. Our planner scrammbled to find a new location for our rehearsal dinner and wedding reception.
She called my friend who was going to be my photographer and fired her a day before my wedding. My friend called me to tell me that she gave into my planner. It is okay I still love her, and wish she had been my photographer.  The Planner cancelled my florist and made everything herself.   That was a little disappointing to say the least, my florist is amazing.
Honestly, the only thing that really thing that mattered was that I was going to marry an incredible man. So many things can go wrong and planning can be stressful. But in the end it comes down to the vows and the ceremony; to have and hold, cherish and love, honor and respect til death.
So if you are stressed and freaking out about your wedding, please contact me. We can work through anything. Even if you do not use my services, I am still happy to help.

New Ideas In The Works

I love photographing people.  I love weddings, events, and portrait work.  I have a lot of fun in my profession.  I get to meet amazing people.  I have truly been blessed throughout this journey.  I have several fun projects and events in the works so stay tuned!

I do not blog a lot, because I am dyslexic and I am terrified I will make a mistake.  I do not like grammatical or spelling errors.  I am going to work towards blogging more.

Tip Tuesday:

When I am getting a family portrait of my family and me, which is difficult.  I have three amazing men in my life.  They all hate getting their photographs taken.  My husband will give in and allow an annual photo session.  I think life passes by so quickly that annual photography sessions are essential.

Before my session, I enjoy going to a makeup artists and getting my hair done.  I have decided that I am going to include make up and hair styling into each session.  I want each person to look and feel their best.  I think when a person feels beautiful, then I can capture their true personality and confidence.

I am going to be providing outfits as well.  The outfits will be for women and girls, I haven’t figured out how I would like to dress the gentlemen, but I do have ideas.  Men are just harder to dress.  I want to go to a training on how to set up suits to make the men look debonair.  I am in the process of working towards designing and creating outfits for each session.  I have ideas in my head that I put down on paper and then create these magical captures featuring you.  I have some formal gowns and I am going to make more options to provide to my clients.  I have always loved designing clothing, especially gowns and wedding dresses.

Booking a formal portrait session with me:

I would love the honor of creating a formal portrait session with you!  I would love to meet with you and discuss what you are looking for in your photographs.  I simply need to get your information, send out a contract, and invoice for a non-refundable retainer of 50% of the session fee. We meet in person for a consultation.  I want to know your expectations and desires for the session. I take the information you have provided and try to create your vision.   My true goal is to exceed expectations.  The final balance is scheduled for one week before the session.  We provide payment plans.

When we meet for your session, you will get a make over, styled, and pampered.  We will then capture your confidence, glamour, beauty, elegance, and personality.  The goal is to have fun and help you feel like a celebrity.

Once our session is complete, I edit the photographs, which for me is a long process.  I want each photograph to be completed with perfection.  I schedule your reveal where I show you the final products.  I have several print packages available and digital photographs are available at additional cost.

I aim to exceed expectations and capture love and laughter. Thank you so much for your support!

The Barber Party 2015

I loved this wedding. (I love every wedding.) This honor was special to me because we are alumni. They met at Yreka Union High School in Mrs. Johnson’s class. The Bride knew when she saw him that he was going to be special in her life. Then together they attended California State University, Chico.

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She is becoming a teacher after studying liberal arts, and he graduated in agriculture.
Things I learned about the Bride:
Chico State was the perfect school for her.
If you are having a fiesta, you want her there.
She is very encouraging.
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I always ask my brides if they have any requests for photographs, plus a long list provided to them by yours truly so I will not miss an important moment. She requested that we go back to the place they met to get the photograph there. So off we went to our high school. We visited room 3 and the Ag Department with the group. We wanted to go to the football field, but the Chargers were playing. When the anthem started everyone stopped what they were doing and listened. It was another beautiful moment. It was such a fun day and satisfied my craving to capture awesomeness.

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The hall was beautifully decorated, made perfect by her Aunt, who is the family wedding planner and reception designer. Her Aunt designed the bouquets and boutonnieres. The fun part about the boutonnieres were that they each had a fishing lure.

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Things learned about groom:
Very good with agriculture!
Enjoys fishing.
He can dance.
He has a great sense of humor.
I have known his best man since he was probably four years old.

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The wedding toasts were very revealing, Groom’s mother learned a lot about what happened when she would leave tow

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I wish these two the very best! It was an immense honor to capture their special moments. “Thank God, for hometowns.” -Carrie Underwood

All About the Love! Love this Family!

The Ralph Family

I had the incredible honor to do a family and maternity shoot with this family.  I have known the mom since 7th grade.  She has always been stunning inside and out.  I find it a honor to be her friend.

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I want to make one thing clear about this photo shoot.  I do not pose young children.  I like to give them space and allow them to decide what they will do in front of the camera.  This young girl is incredible.   DSC_2484 2

A special thanks to the English Lavender Farm in Applegate, Oregon!