Archive for Jan 2011

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I had the opportunity to meet Miss Charlee and her little dog, Boyd, this past weekend. And yeah…cuteness overload.

Of course, there is much much more to come from this session, but for now this is kind of a sneak sneak peek to help you get your Monday smile on:)

 

 Monday Sillies: there is no one cooler than your best friend :)

I cannot tell you how excited I was to find out that the first part of my first scheduled session for my whirlwind trip south was set to take place at an ice rink. Yep, this sweet little girl has been spending a little time on the ice and her mom asked that I grab a few shots of her in action. I didn’t know what to expect. But I couldn’t wait to get there!

And when Jasmine took to the ice…O.M.G.  At nine years old and less than two years on the ice, this girl is AMAZING! So when you see her in the Winter Olympics a few years from now, you can say you met her here on my blog first:)

 Ian + Jasmine + Aaron: North Carolina session #1

 Ian + Jasmine + Aaron: North Carolina session #1

After the rink, we headed over to a community building equipped with the coolest kid hangout room ever!  It was there that I met big brother Ian…

 Ian + Jasmine + Aaron: North Carolina session #1

…and may or may not have instigated some sibling rivalry.

 Ian + Jasmine + Aaron: North Carolina session #1

Of course it was all in good fun.  There is no denying the bond between these two:)

 Ian + Jasmine + Aaron: North Carolina session #1

And then there is their baby brother, Aaron.

 Ian + Jasmine + Aaron: North Carolina session #1

Easily one of the happiest (and most adorable) babies ever!

 Ian + Jasmine + Aaron: North Carolina session #1

 Ian + Jasmine + Aaron: North Carolina session #1

Yay, we finally made it. To the first ever Tips for Tuesday post that I know some of you have been waiting quite some time for. And while to many of you, this tip may seem simple and one of the oldest tricks in the book,  it still amazes me how many people still don’t follow (or forget about) this one simple rule. So what is it? Well, it’s all about getting down and dirty..sort of:)

I asked my baby sister to snap a few shots as I was shooting during our North Carolina sessions last week just so I could show you what I am talking about.  I have found that this little extra step is most helpful when shooting younger children: Get down on their level.

 Tips for Tuesday: how to be on the level

By positioning yourself so that you are just as close to the ground as your little client, you are gaining a new perspective on your subject and making your shot much more intimate. And as a bonus, kids will be much more inquisitive about you since you are no longer ten feet tall in their eyes which means less scary and more fun:)

 Tips for Tuesday: how to be on the level

So, put on your big girl panties and don’t be afraid to get a little dirty. Your photographs will thank you for it.

I made it home safely from my whirlwind trip to North Carolina to visit the baby seester and cram in some amazing sessions:)  Sadly or fortunately…I haven’t decided which yet…my flight experiences were fairly non-eventful. My baby seester always ends up with some crazy things happening to her while travelling. Guess my travel plans are destined for dullness…but that’s okay, because the time I spent visiting was enough fun and excitement to make up for it!

Almost immmediately after I was picked up at the airport, Di and I spent a good three hours prepping some delicious goodies for the Coffee she was hosting that evening. When we say coffee, we mean wine:) We also mean a group of Army wives getting together…which leads to lots of fun and lots of laughter.

And what could be more fun than that? Well, how ’bout we set up some photobooth fun?! Which also just happens to be a fantastic way to bring some smiles to your Monday;)

 Its Monday....lets get silly!

 Its Monday....lets get silly!

 Its Monday....lets get silly!

 Its Monday....lets get silly!

It was great meeting all of you ladies!  Thanks for being such great sports and playing along:)

Just a couple days after Spencer’s newborn session, little Miss Elliana’s newborn session was scheduled to take place. Her due date was actually the day Spencer was born, BUT she had bigger plans and arrived on Christmas Day!

Her big brother couldn’t have been happier…

 Elliana: newborn sneak peek <3

…and with good reason.  Who can resist this little princess?

 Elliana: newborn sneak peek <3

While it is nice to get a few bright-eyed shots, I have a soft spot for sleeping newborns (add to the fact that really sleepy babies are much easier to pose). This little one had other ideas though and was really workin’ it;)

 Elliana: newborn sneak peek <3

But with a little help from big brother, Brayden, mixed with a good feeding and a dose of patience and we were finally able to capture some of those shots Mom was really hoping for!

 Elliana: newborn sneak peek <3

 Elliana: newborn sneak peek <3

 Elliana: newborn sneak peek <3

Congratulations Amanda, Rory and Brayden!  She is simply beautiful!  Thank you again for allowing me to capture these precious moments …and to play with Brayden;)

I met this girl….

January 11, 2011

Today definitely started out with me a bit on the grumpy side. So not fun. I really dislike when I am that person. But isn’t it amazing how just one single email can turn things around and make the sunshine peek out a little further from behind the clouds? Yes, just one.

The way life’s little puzzle pieces fit together and things just fall into place never ceases to amaze me. and this time I have the series of images that made this possible!

Piece #1: 2010. First senior rep of the year. Colby. Recommended by a friend from high school who saw my work on Facebook. I really love Facebook

 I met this girl....

Piece #2: 2010. Colby’s mom posts on Facebook that his sister has tickets to a Red Sox game. Krissy can’t make the game and is giving the tickets away. I love Facebook, Red Sox and at this point had never been to Fenway.

 I met this girl....

Piece #3: 2010. During a fun session with Colby and Krissy’s cousins, I finally get to meet Kris in person for the first time an thank her for the tickets. Oh, and get to meet Bennett too…the boy she has been dating for seven years and who really hates the camera!

 I met this girl....

Piece #4: 2011: Somewhere along the past few months, Kristin has become a facebook friend and 3 days ago she changed her relationship status. Engaged! 3 minutes ago, I get THE email….on Facebook;)

Kristin L. January 11 at 11:03am

Hi Deb!
So, as you know, Bennett and I got engaged this past weekend (so excited!!). We are thinking this September….right now, the venue we want only has the 3rd or 24th open – I’m hoping you have these weekends open too because we REALLY want you to do our wedding!

Thanks Kristin, for making this day a little brighter. And sorry Bennett, but you are going to have to learn to love my camera. There is just no way around it this time:)

I am pretty sure there are at least a couple special people in this little guy’s new life who have been anticipating this post.  Go ahead and let the squeals of excitement out now, ’cause here he is…

Finally, making his big entrance 12.27.10 and weighing in at 8lbs 11oz, Spencer has got to be one of the most handsome baby boys i have ever seen. I mean really…can those pouty lips be any more perfect?!

 Spencer: newborn sneak peek <3

And while these shots may not even remotely suggest it, I definitely did get my share of bodily fluids (and yes some solids too) during this session. Of course, a couple nights later DH wanted to meet him too and good ol’ Spence shared with me again….only from the other end! That means he likes me, right? It must, ’cause when he was asleep, he let me do whatever I wanted:)

 Spencer: newborn sneak peek <3

So much cuteness. I can’t even stand it. Spencer was a natural and took to letting me pose him very well. And see that blanket? Well, that just happened to belong to his Daddy when he was a baby! A family member made it, but (forgive me) I cannot remember for the life of me whether it was an aunt or a grandmother. So let’s just say it’s an heirloom; it’s special; it’s old; and it will stick around forever.

 Spencer: newborn sneak peek <3

Oh, and I had to share one more special quilt.  That green “truck” was created based on a photo of Daddy’s skidder.  This quilt is one of a kind, also special and most likely will now be passed from generation to generation.

 Spencer: newborn sneak peek <3

Jamie and Rod, congratulations again on little monkey finally making his way into the world.  You both are amazing parents and I am so excited to be a small part of his life. Love you all! Oh, and I will leave you with one last favorite from our session:)

 Spencer: newborn sneak peek <3

It’s Monday….again!

January 10, 2011

I know I said I would do my best to blog EVERY day, if not twice a day.  And well, the past few days I have been a slacker. There. I said it. But in the meantime, I have actually been working hard at developing some sort of regular topic schedule to supplement my sneak peeks;)

So, here is what I came up with:

Monday: Sticking with the previously planned Monday sillies, ’cause who doesn’t need something to make them smile on a Monday morning?

Tuesday: By popular request…tips and tricks related to photography no matter what your skill level.

Wednesday: Whitty Wednesday. Let’s face it, some of the things these Whitaker kids come up with are just too hilarious not to share. These posts may also include just some random on-goings in the house and/or studio, or even feature some craziness of the nieces and nephews:)

Thursday: Some…*gulp*….before and afters!!

Friday: A love story like no other <3 You won’t want to miss Fridays!  This is something that is just amazing and you will read a new chapter every week!

Saturday: Contests! A new contest announced EVERY Saturday!!  What a fantastic way to kick off the weekend. 

Sunday: Reflections.  We can all use one day a week to renew our spirits and take a moment to look back at our week and see what worked for us, what didn’t and what we are going to do about it. Some people do this once a year…but imagine the differences we could make in our lives if we checked in a bit more often?!

Alright, now you know the plan.  So let’s get to getting some smiles on our faces despite this being the dreaded Monday!

I met this little guy during a newborn/extended family session yesterday, and just fell right in love with him.  This isn’t one of those outrageously silly images, but who can resist a kid that gets giggling and smiling so hard that his eyeballs disappear?!?!

 Its Monday....again!

Are you smiling that hard yet? Well, keep checking back today for a sneak peek from the bestie’s new bundle…Spencer!

Here it is. The beginning.

 Christy + Duke: happily ever after (part 3)

I know. I know. I said there would be a beginning, middle and end. But really? I couldn’t label this as an end when this is just the starting line of another path. After all, Christy’s dad always says: Life is a journey, not a destination.

Now there were a few special friends that I (not purposely) snubbed on the last couple posts. Christy’s college girlfriends….with Lord knows how many degrees between all four of them. So, before we get on to the party….meet the OSU girls:)

 Christy + Duke: happily ever after (part 3)

P.S. One of them has one of the cutest baby girls ever. Sooo squooshable!

 Christy + Duke: happily ever after (part 3)

Okay, now that you’re all sugared up, let’s head to the reception. Like I said before, Christy and Duke really wanted to make their guests feel like a huge part of their day. Each table was topped with a photo of Duke and Christy at various stages in their relationship…their journey.

 Christy + Duke: happily ever after (part 3)

The “guestbook table” didn’t actually have a guestbook, but tiny circles strung with  ribbon for each guest to leave a little note for the bride and groom. There was also a basket filled with Christy’s new favorite chocolates for the guests to take with them. I may or may not have had something to do with that new addiction:)  You never know what’s going to happen when you bring gifts to your first client meetings!

Oh, and before I forget…those ridiculously cute personalized cookies? Made by a guest!

 Christy + Duke: happily ever after (part 3)

 Okay, first dance time…

 Christy + Duke: happily ever after (part 3)

…followed by toasts. First up: Duke’s dad, Jack, who most definitely passed his sense of humor on to his sons. And representing Christy’s side: OSU girl, Natalee;)

 Christy + Duke: happily ever after (part 3)

 Christy + Duke: happily ever after (part 3)

Now how many couples do you know who have their very first Christmas tree (as a married couple) at their reception? Well, now you know at least one! And how cute and extra personal was this idea?!

Christy and Duke asked all their guests to bring a keepsake ornament to hang on their tree rather than go out and purchase a “traditional” gift. Additionally, Christy had hung a cute little envelope stuffed with handmade paper “ornaments” for guests to further personalize the tree.

 

 Christy + Duke: happily ever after (part 3)

 Christy + Duke: happily ever after (part 3)

Now wait a minute. What’s up with the whoopie pie ornament? Well, Christy and Duke are just a bit fond of that yummy treat….so much so that when it came to choosing a cake for their wedding, they immediately turned to Mainely Whoopies for the perfect solution.

 Christy + Duke: happily ever after (part 3)

For all the weddings I shot in 2010, it seemed that when it came to feeding one another that first slice of cake, brides and grooms were typically kind to one another. Well, Christy and Duke are that couple who truly live in the moment and have as much fun possible in everything they do.

 Christy + Duke: happily ever after (part 3)

 Christy + Duke: happily ever after (part 3)

And here’s another first for this year…group shot of bride and groom with every single on of their guests!

 Christy + Duke: happily ever after (part 3)

Yep, that was just before they really cut loose. Borderline Express did an amazing job at contributing to the personalized feel of the whole reception and really rocked it out.  I don’t think there was any one person who did not at some point dance!

 Christy + Duke: happily ever after (part 3)

 Christy + Duke: happily ever after (part 3)

 Christy + Duke: happily ever after (part 3)

Yes, even super-cute Baby Charlie was in on the action icon smile Christy + Duke: happily ever after (part 3)

 Christy + Duke: happily ever after (part 3)

And remember the video game playing nephew from Part 2? Well, he even brought that guitar to the dance floor. Think that’s silly? It earned him a small spot in the band!

 Christy + Duke: happily ever after (part 3)

 Christy + Duke: happily ever after (part 3)

Every wedding I shoot, I am left with tiny treasures of advice that each bride and groom give away without ever having to say a word.

So to Christy and Duke: Thank you for asking me to be a part of your day! May you continue to live fully in each and every moment of your lives, laugh loudly and with all your heart and cherish Dad’s words forever. Life is not a journey, but a destination.

 Christy + Duke: happily ever after (part 3)

I grew up the oldest of four girls. My first sister was born just 15 months after me and I can remember us fighting more times than I can remember us liking each other. The third sister was a couple years later and we got along fine, but really it was my youngest sister who (even six years younger than me) I had a crazy bond with.  All us girls have grown up and have families of our own now, and two out of my three sisters live within a couple hours drive. But the youngest…the one I had to accompany when running errands with our mother simply because I was the only one who could understand her jibbering…she lives much farther away.  And pretty soon she will be going even farther.

Diane visits when she can, but always gets more stressed out coming home as she is pulled in a million different directions trying to spend equal time with all of her family members. With five kids between my husband and I, getting on a plane to North Carolina seems next to impossible. It makes me sad every day that there is so much distance between us. We call each other a minimum of three times a day to make it feel like we are just up the street.

Since I have decided I am not allowing any more “what ifs” in my life, there is a particular one I am going to do away with.  What if things change with orders and she moves so far away that I really really would never be able to visit? And what if my ridiculously handsome nephew grew up thinking that my head lived inside a rectangular computer monitor? Who wants a robot for an auntie anyway? So, I will be making the best out of my husband’s unemployment and making a short trip south to make sure the bond is as strong as ever, give my brother-in-law an extra big welcome home from the sandbox hug and then teach Julian all the great things about being the oldest child before his little brother or sister is born.

And since Diane has mentioned that a few of her southern peeps would love to book some sessions, I will have ten slots to book between Friday, January 20th and Saturday, January 21st. Your session will last about an hour and a half and within two weeks, you will receive a private online gallery for easy a la carte ordering. Family sessions are priced at $100 and for these North Carolina sessions only, I will include a copyright released CD at half price.  So family session fee + CD= $175. For those ordering prints online, you will be eligible for a 10% discount when you order within the first two weeks of your gallery being posted. Oh and if you are worried that your kids won’t cooperate and your pictures won’t be just perfect. Don’t. I love my job and spend much of my time playing and capturing the true spirit of every kid (big or small) that I photograph:)

 Mixing business and pleasure...heading south!!

 Mixing business and pleasure...heading south!!

So here’s what you gotta do. Diane is sorta going to be my booking agent, so first leave me a comment here telling me how you know my amazing baby sister, and then get an email out to her at mrszik@gmail.com ASAP. I am saying I will do 10 sessions, so let’s see if you kids in the south can use up every single one of those. I am giving you until this Friday (1/7/11) to get your session booked.  I know there are a lot of you who have just had your families made whole again, are expecting new little bundles, just welcomed a wee one, and simply have pushed the thought of some fun family photographs to the bottom of your to-do list. No more waiting, no more what ifs. Let’s get this thing done:)

 Mixing business and pleasure...heading south!!

P.S. Can’t wait to meet each and every single one of you!

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