welcome to minnesota :: minneapolis natural light photographer

This little guy is something special. He was recently adopted from South Korea, and he is doing incredibly well here in his new home. We spent some time together on Monday night - he pointed out every airplane overhead, waved to bicyclists, and especially enjoyed watching the Segway tours. He has such a beautiful, gentle spirit. His parents are the owners of Pacifier, my favorite little children's shop in town. They have an eclectic collection of cool and modern baby gifts, clothes, wooden toys, slings, diaper bags, and furniture. It's a fabulous place to buy outfits for your photo session. They carry some really fun clothes for boys and girls by Tea Collection. Fantastic colors and prints. Check them out!

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beyond cheese: how to take better photos of your kids: tip 2

This is my second post in a series about how to take better photos of your kids. This week's tip: Find that gorgeous light outdoors!

So now that you're turning off your flash (see last week's post!) you'll want to start looking for beautiful sources of light.

Some basic guidelines:

- Avoid direct sun, especially midday - If you're in full sun, look for open shade - If there's no shade, face away from the sun to avoid squinting children and harsh shadows - The best time of day for beautiful outdoor light is early morning or late afternoon/evening (1-2 hours before sunset)

We'll go much deeper into finding the light in my WiseMamas discussion on Thursday June 10, 2010 at Health Foundations Family Health and Birth Center. This event will include an informal presentation on how to take better photos, a question and answer session, and a goodie bag for each registered attendee! Please visit the Wise Mamas facebook event page to RSVP and reserve your goodie bag! And as long as you're heading over to facebook, go ahead and "like" my photography page as well!

This photo is a great example of all four of the techniques listed above:

It was taken late in the afternoon when the sun was very low in the sky. The subject is facing away from the sun, in a somewhat shaded area. There's just nothing like dappled sunlight streaming through low branches to create such gorgeous texture in a photo.

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melissa :: st. paul maternity photographer

Meet my very dear friend Melissa Surprise. Yes, that's her real name. Isn't she gorgeous? She's an incredibly talented childrens' lifestyle photographer as well, based in Highland, NY. If you live in upstate New York and are looking for some fun, bright, modern photos that really capture your child's personality, do give her a call! She's expecting her third boy, and she got a turn in front of the camera during our reunion in Nashville. I absolutely adore shooting maternity portraits using natural light. The glow and radiance of the moms, the way the light hugs the curves in their growing bellies... it's all so inspiring. Oh, that and the fact that they're not two years old and constantly running away from the camera!

We were also able to photograph a newborn (just 13 days old!) and another one of my dear friends (and incredible photographer!) who is also expecting. Can't wait to share these photos as well. Stay tuned!

On to the photos!

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project 52 :: week 8

Life changing. That's what our challenge this week for Project 52 is turning out to be. Not that a focusing technique is truly life changing, but it's certainly going to make a huge difference in the way I shoot. I have wanted to try out Back Button Focusing (BBF) for a while, but it's a pretty major change, and I needed some motivation and some pals to try it with. Our Project 52 group decided to do it together. It is going to take many more hours of practice to perfect it, especially with moving targets, but it has already made a huge difference in achieving dead-on focus. Essentially it means separating the focus from the metering and shutter function. You program your camera to move the focus control to the back AF-ON button, leaving the shutter function free to just meter and fire the shot. The results? Much better focus accuracy and consistency. No longer does one button have to do it all.

These blogs were instrumental in figuring out BBF:

http://www.melissajill.com/blog.cfm?postID=690&f-a-q-back-button-focusing http://www.usa.canon.com/dlc/controller?act=GetArticleAct&articleID=2286

It will definitely take some time to get fully comfortable with this new technique, but I know it's going to make a huge difference in my photos.

I love this shot of Beatrice - wearing her school uniform, with her winter coat slouched off her shoulders as she so often does now, her big-girl teeth which have finally come in after so many months of a gaping-wide hole, and her loosely braided hair. My sweet girl. Getting so big.

Happy Sunday to you all...

ISO 400 f/4.0 1/400

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