Have a Wonderful Holiday:)


From my home to yours!

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Snapshoppers...this one's for you:)

I never got a chance to do a blog post about the most INCREDIBLE Snapshop class in Michigan last month...Thanksgiving hit and I still had numerous family photo shoots to edit through...by the time I finished that, I was up to my elbows in Christmas lights and Advent books and I just never got back to it...

***side note: I DO plan on getting a post up here soon...with pictures even:)  It just may wait until AFTER the holidays...if I am to keep my sanity (which some are questioning already...but I digress)

Anyway...tonight was my daughter's violin recital...You know, those lovely gymnasium environments with super high ceilings, "sweet" lighting and everyone crammed into a small space with dark backgrounds and parents craning their necks to make sure they get the best shot of their child...

Yes...it was one of THOSE evenings...

So, what's a "photographer" mother to do...I could whip out the external flash and blast all the students' as they're squinting to see their music whilst trying to get their fingers in the right place so that that audience doesn't cringe...

I will admit that I tried this...but the nice yellow tint that graced my pictures was less than stellar (not to mention the "looks" I received from my daughter:)...and so I decided to work with what I had:) 

First off, I remembered my depth of field...I was sitting pretty far away, so I could actually lower my aperture to the lowest it would go on my lens and not worry too much about blur...my girl was only going to fill up a small area, so I was sure to get her in focus. 

Next, I checked my meter and knew that I still needed more light...so I bumped my shutterspeed down a bit...I didn't want her bow to be blurred as she moved it, but at the same time, I knew she wasn't fiddlin' as if performing at the Grand Ole Opry, so it wasn't like we were needing super speed!  So, I actually bumped it to 1/80th of a second.

Last but not least, I still needed more light, so I went into my ISO that had started out at 400...and I tried it first at 640, but as I closed in with that black background and her dark hair, I had to bump it again to 800...

Here's the result:


Now, granted, I need to do a little photoshopping and cropping down, etc...and I might even check it in black and white...but I wanted you to see what it looks like without that flash shadow...the fact that you can use your camera and make it work for you, getting the "story" and the "feeling" behind the moment!

I wish you the happiest of holidays as you document and work as "photojournalist" for your family this Christmas! 

Blessings to you all!

p.s. if anyone happens to get Photoshop Elements for Christmas this year, be sure to watch for a January class posting for a Click It workshop...and if you are new to this site, and would like to learn more about your camera, be sure to follow on facebook and/or here on this blog to learn about future Snapshop classes!

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Family Together-ness:)

Thanksgiving has come and gone and we are now approaching Christmas...for some that brings feelings of excitement and joy...for others it creates anxiousness and stress...and in some cases, it summons BOTH:) 

Holidays are usually centered around family time...and inevitably, when you pack a house with grandparents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and occassionally throw a dog in the mix...well, that's a LOT of people...you'd think you'd eventually hear a "conflict" or two break out...or perhaps an "Uh-oh, ____ just broke something!"...

Now, I can't vouch for the "I broke something" line, but I spent a considerable amount of time with this family and as I've now become accustomed to the incredible clients that I have, I got to see first hand all the different personalities and dynamics...and I watched (and listened) in awe at how cousins played, siblings laughed, in-laws teased, drama was diverted, FUN was had...and the occassional bark from a dog:) 

I've known each member of this family for quite awhile... Since I know that I tend to drone on with words periodically, I'll give you the quick synopsis:) 

The Patriarch/Matriarch of this clan were actually hosts to my long ago Puppet Team in college (you can stop laughing now at the mention of the fact that I was on a Puppet Team...it's another story for another time) Their eldest daughter is beautiful, and was yet another one of the many girls I envied in college for not only their flawless skin and gorgeous smile, but their ability to stay true to who they were made to be!  On weekends, during my college days, I traveled to a church right outside Columbus, on the west side...it was close enough to get to, but far enough that you didn't feel like you were still on campus...Her future husband was the van driver!

I've already mentioned Kara and her family in a previous post...and I'm sure if I write anymore about how much I admire her, you might think I'm making it up...so I'll just let you go back and read it here and know that it's from my heart:)

Their brother knew who I was when I walked through the door...as soon as I mentioned my last name...My sister in law was his teacher, back in the day...All I can say is that I texted my sis on the way home with his words of admiration and encouragement and it completely made her WEEK!

Lastly, I need to bring up Steve and Christy...I LOVE watching these 2 together...You have to understand that Steve just makes you laugh...you can't help it...he has a gift with words...he is able to weave words and ideas together in a way that either makes you think or laugh...either way, you are stopped dead in your tracks:) And, I couldn't have imagined a more perfect match than his wife, Christy:)  I love to watch them and see how they play off each other...I love the banter and the fact they are "whatcha see is whatcha get" sort of people. I got to talk just little with their eldest daughter...(how are we old enough to have teenagers? we're still in our 20s right?) and I was amazed at her maturity and her unabashed pride in her mom and dad...I saw the same in their son...

I saw it in all the kids...this family has tapped into something...they have passed down lessons and values and relationships that are being produced over and over again...I come away from my time with families like this with such hope and gratitude! 

I know I must sound a little "over the top"...and I'm sure some member of this family will have a good time rolling their eyes at my little "schpeel"...but the thing is...you only get to see a snippet of what I see...and I can't help but show you my heart...










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New Friends

There's a whole long story/explanation behind all this, but suffice to say, I depend mostly on "word of mouth" as my advertisement for CTPhotoMemories:)  It's a part of the reason I'm able to price what I do, but still have quality equipment and give sufficient time to photo sessions and editing...

When someone comes to me saying, "So and so told me about you...I saw their pictures..."  My heart just swells...

Let's face it, what's the alternative, "Um, I saw those pictures...they were awful!" ???

There's a long line of where this family happened upon me...My daughter's teacher got married, I photographed her wedding in Florida...where I met her new sister in law...where I learned she was expecting and she in turn hired me to take pictures of her newbie when he arrived...where in turn, she showed said pictures to her neighbor (who also happened to be her dentist)...continue, continue, continue...and I receive an email in my inbox:)

I was overjoyed to meet them...Sweet older sister with 2 younger (and I can only imagine, ornery) little brothers:)  Being a big sister myself, I know these things:)  We had to rearrange our schedules a bit with the weather, but the day we met, it turned out perfectly...They all are incredibly photogenic...but, what I think I notice more, is the fact that you can "see" their hearts in the images...

Protective and calm dad, generous and loving mom, sweet & imaginative big sis, rambunctous & fun middle son, playful and curious youngest:)  It's a beautiful combination that makes a family FIT together...I love the ties that bind relationships so strongly...just another reason why I love what I do...







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A Year of Thankfulness

I think it so appropriate that the Thanksgiving holiday is almost upon us as I take some time to post about this sweet little girl once again.

She born around this time last year and throughout the past 365 days, I've had the opportunity to watch her grow...it started with just her wee little fingers and toes...and then she learned to smile & coo...she started to hold her head up high and scoot her body across the floor...then she started pulling up and gave such a look of accomplishment in what she was able to do...

Now, she's running and exploring and her curiosity takes her everywhere...she is an absolute joy to her parents who relish their time with her...building a family of relationships that are strong and founded on respect, memories of loved ones and genuine love!

I am honored once again to be able to share with you some images of our time together...I have the utmost respect for this family...they have such a wise perspective on life...and because of that, time with them is so enjoyable...they cherish the things that are important and they let go of the things that don't matter very much...I learned from watching them in just the one year that I've gotten to know them...THANKYOU sweet family for letting me share in your life this year!

It's amazing how much they change in such a short time:)










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Optimistic Hearts

Okay so the title of this blog post won't necessarily match the first part of the "story" but, the way I see it...I walk myself around the barn a couple times before I get to the conclusion, so I figure y'all can just mosey on along with me:)

(can you tell that I spent a weekend down south??)

So, we're coming upon the close of the season...the leaves are nearly off all of the trees, the "fall back" makes it feel like the girls need to head to bed the minute they get off the bus from school...the air is getting colder and weekend weather is not cooperating...

Sounds ideal huh?

Well...that's where we landed with regards to this family photo session...but we did NOT give up...Tiffani puts a lot of value on captured memories of her family...(which is yet, just another reason why I adore her)

Anyway, we met midweek, right after school, just before AWANA at church...the kids were hungry, my girls had to tag along and it was still cloudy...

Boy, this is just NOT sounding good is it? 

The amazing thing is, that even though it may have felt like the odds were against us...Tiffani never gave in...never got frustrated...never let an ounce of "doggone it SUN, just come out!" enter her thinking...

I heard her laughter, as I was scootin' after her kiddos and playing simon says...I watched her make the most of every moment and never let it get her down...and miracle of miracles...it is incredibly evident in her pictures...

Her laughter and optimism is contagious...and therefore she is able to undergird her young family, simultaneously being a helpmate to her hubby...and all the while, genuinely enjoying herself...

I'm serious, I was just in awe...and then when you top that with her generous spirit...I'm blown away...

I am privileged to know them, to be able to spend time with them...I've said it before and I'll say it again, my clients invest in my life, in much more than just monetary ways...I'm just so very thankful for them all...

I hope you'll enjoy the moments as they unfold:)








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TEAM Family:)

I will tell you that there is the "teeniest" bit of jealousy that arises in me when I meet moms that have sons. 

Not having any boys, my household is different...we're a house full of princesses and dresses...shoes and DRAMA...tears and cuddles...

I spent a weekend with my brother, my sis in law and their boys recently and got to see first hand the "differences"...

And though I am grateful for what God has given me, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that my hubby and I were made to have girls, I do get that little "twinge" inside when one of my nephews comes running at me full force to grab me for a hug...

I met Chrisi at church and her youngest son is close in age to my older girls:)  We had chatted back and forth about pictures and locations and all sorts of things...After a couple of reschedules, we were finally able to solidify a time to meet.

She came prepared to not only showcase her family (for christmas cards and such) but, to show them as they are in real life too:)

When those jerseys came out, I just had to smile! 

It was as if the weather matched the complexity of families in general...We started off with casual, classy pictures...I couldn't have gotten a bad picture, even if I tried...these boys are "dreamy"!!!





And then all of sudden, the sun broke through the clouds and streamed the most beautiful light...

Out came those jerseys and the wrestling began...
However, never have I seen such playful and fun banter between brothers...it wasn't just "rough-housing"...you could tell that they just really like each other...they don't "put up" with each other...It was refreshing and FUN and I enjoyed every minute...



Yep...had fun right down to the last second when the youngest guy wanted to show me something related to football? ???  ((let us remember that I have girls okay)))

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SARA: Senior Photos

Sara and I have sung together on the worship team at church. 

I am in awe of her voice...

It's just plain and simple...I'm more of the "doo-op" to her "lead"...she has some incredible talent and I've been privileged to be able to stand up there with her (slightly back with my mic turned down low:)

She's amazing...so when her mom and I were chatting in church one Sunday and she mentioned that they were thinking about senior pictures...Well, to say that I was downright giddy might have been an understatement:) 

We got together just a couple weeks later...Sara and her entourage:)  We sought out the railroad tracks, the little nooks around downtown Delaware and then found some incredible walkways & trees where the colors were amazing! 

I'm excited to share with you this beautiful girl...both inside and out!









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How can I reach you?

The best way to contact me is either through Facebook Messaging or emailing me at ctphotomemories@gmail.com

I can't wait to hear from you!
"Teach us to number our days, (savor the moments) so that we may gain a heart of wisdom" ~Psalm 90:12

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