Summertime Get-Together!

Oh my...had a blast last Sunday working with a very large family reunion...such great friends and it was so nice to be able to see how all the kiddos had grown.  I'm diligently working on getting those photos up here...but until then, I hope you'll enjoy this little sneak peek:)

Can't wait to show you his brothers...they are ALLLLLLL into golf and tennis...let me tell you!  It was a FUN morning to say the least!



She held tightly to her little lamby and her precious expressions made me melt!


You can tell these beauties enjoy being sisters...I heard stories of them sharing their bedroom and all their play times together!  Such darlings!

This adorable sweetheart has curls just like my little girl...and I couldn't get enough!



This little guy only liked his hat for a leeetle bit of time...but it was worth it...can't wait to share more of him!
I'll be back with more soon!

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Last scheduled Snapshop for the Summer...

SnapShops for MOMS! (and Dads)
You did it! You bit the bullet…you invested a good amount of money into a “big” camera. You know the types of pictures that you want…you know that sometimes those point and shoots miss the action b/c the clicker just doesn’t CLICK when you tell it to…In your mind you can see the images that you want to capture, and like many of us, you are willing to go to a certain point to obtain what you want…

The problem is that you get this camera and sure, the pictures are better than before…but you’re shooting hundreds of pictures…you’re trying the continuous shutter so that you don’t miss a thing but STILL…you’re getting a good shot MAYBE every once in awhile and even those aren’t those “frame-worthy” ones that you were envisioning in the first place.

So, what’s the deal? The deal is that you purchased a piece of equipment and until your knowledge and know-how starts to equal what that equipment is capable of, you’re only going to get “lucky” with your pictures instead of capturing moments deliberately!

It’s like buying a computer, but not knowing how to get into the internet. The computer looks great, the screen is large, you can type on Word and build your budget in Excel, but you just can’t seem to figure out how to connect to cyberspace…that would take some extra effort…a little more investment…however, once you get that router and you’ve got yourself some WiFi…goodness, you are off and running and there’s nothing stopping you!

It’s the same with a DSLR camera. Your camera has LOTS of buttons and crazy-exciting things that it can do. And maybe some of you HAVE spent the time, you’ve TRIED to sit and read through that long manual only to be baffled by big words and wondering, “what is really important here?”

I’ve been there! As a Mom who savors her time and moments like gold…I don’t want to waste it…but, I also don’t want to miss it b/c I didn’t bother to learn some tools to help me grow in order to capture it forever!

SnapShops are for YOU…those of you who have the equipment and just need the “know-how” in order to use it to it’s fullest capability…you just need a new perspective and a refresher on the philosophy of photo-journalism…so that you can document your life and the lives of your children in a way that tells the story of your life instead of just bits and pieces, here and there.

SnapShops are 4.5 hours long…you learn my philosophy of photography and capturing your children’s personalities…you learn how to look at life through a lens and how to focus in on important things and also how to dance between the bigger picture and zooming in close…you learn new angles and perspectives, shortcuts and ways to use your MOM-time efficiently and still get the pictures you want…you also learn about the mechanics of your camera…how to get it off auto and get the blurry backgrounds, not have to use a flash indoors so that you get a natural feel instead of blown out faces and begin to find out just what your camera can do!



Snapshops are only a minimal monetary commitment compared to the invaluable amount of knowledge you take away with you...in order to be a photojournalist for your family!

Class sizes are limited...Ohio Snapshops cap off at 14...Michigan Snapshops caps at 10...


What you receive:


*4.5 hours of instruction including question/answer time with the instructor
*Detailed Class Notes with exercises to practice at home
*spiral bound, color printed, 20 page quick guide booklet for your camera bag
*light lunch and snacks
*a custom made camera strap slip cover to fit your DSLR camera strap


Investment: $125


Minimum class size is 5 people.

Classes are first come, first serve and are offered during the following dates/time for the remainder of the 2011 year. Act fast by contacting Colleen via email at ctphotomemories@gmail.com for inquiries and/or to put in a reservation. A $25 non-refundable deposit is due 2 weeks prior to the class to secure your spot. You may pay in full, and if you are unable to attend, you will be refunded your full amount minus the deposit.

***pricing has changed over the course of past months due to increase in time to benefit learners and costs of extras that are provided in this one-of-a-kind type workshop***


2011 Schedule for SnapShops

Sunday, August 21th 1-5:30pm Delaware, Ohio

November (TBA) Woodhaven, Michigan

***possible Sept or Oct date may be scheduled, and would be held on a Sunday afternoon***

See HERE for information on the CLICK IT classes as well!

Don't just take my word for it...read testimonials HERE


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Teacher's Sweetness!

We changed schools this year and my middle girl began her school career of going ALL day, EVERY day!  With all the changes and "newness" of it all, we could NOT have been more pleased with her teacher.  She is not only kind-hearted and sweet, but organized and has some incredible insight...especially when it comes to her students.  

When we all discovered that she'd be having her OWN little one, we were ecstatic.  I was honored to have the chance to photograph this sweet new arrival...a mere 3 weeks after he was born...AND, he was only 5 lbs. 6oz.   


I can't tell you what it did for my heart to just cuddle this sweet little bundle.  I could have just "shooshed" him and rocked him all day!


We had lots of fun with this little basket because he was such a peanut, he fit so snuggly and would just cuddle down inside and sleeeeeeeep away!



We went outside b/c it was gorgeous and he was just as happy with the warm sun shining down. 


He is a wonderful blessing to a wonderful teacher & her husband.  We are soooo thankful for them all!

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Processing Thoughts

I will be the first to admit that I have NOT arrived when it comes to the photography world!  I think that's the challenge of it...and the FUN...there is always room to grow and change and follow different paths...

I will say that I do enjoy the versatility of digital though...and with all the options and diversity comes CHOICE...

being a most IN-decisive person, I will tell you openly and honestly that THIS is where I struggle the most...

I have a philosophy that pictures should tell a story...some are able to stand alone and others need a few in a row to get the whole "meaning" across.  Because of this, I tend to look at each image on it's own...

The struggle comes when I take a bunch of pictures together and I start wanting to process them differently...

This may sound like mumbo-jumbo to some of you...but if you've ever taken my Click It class and/or are familiar with photoshop, you will know that these programs have endless capabilities...

Let me show you...

The top picture is SOOC (straight out of camera)...I spent a few minutes just practicing with my 35/1.8 lens today with my girls.  When I got back inside and looked at the pictures, I had so many ideas swimming in my brain...

At first, I really liked the boldness and vivid colors...and so I made them pop and adjusted some layers to make it happen...The bottom picture is the result...

But, then I started thinking about the sun and the way it reflects off my little girl's hair...and so I started fiddling with golden tones and hazy backgrounds...and it came out with a completely different look...

Therein lies my problem...I could sit for hours editing the SAME picture over and over again in a gazillion different ways...

In the meantime, I am enjoying the process..but I'll let you know if I ever come up with a solution!!!

Sooooooo, which one do you like better??? Summer hazy top image or vivid pop bottom image???

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Michigan Area Photo Shoot



A longggggggggg time ago...there were two young girls (pictured above)...The one on the left apparantly enjoyed wearing draperies as her chosen fashion statement...the one on the right had a much more refined sense of style which has carried her into the next generation...

I met Ang when I was 11 years old...our last names were close enough in alphabetical order that we shared homerooms all the way through Jr. High and High School.  She was (and still is) beautiful, with long fingernails (I chewed mine off) and an artsy style.  She was smart and funny...and tiny enough to be the flier on the cheerleading squad!!!  And she was my friend!

I consider it a privilege to have known such wonderful people throughout my growing up years.  Perhaps you don't realize what you have until time has past...what is that saying??? "hindsight is 20/20"

It's been nearly 20 years since I last saw Angie and when we "found" each other again on facebook, it was only a matter of time that we would meet up...I had the opportunity to meet the "men" in her life...from her incredible husband, to her adorable son!  I can't even put into words the joy in my heart to see her so happy and living life as we could only dream about as teenagers. 

Thank you Ang for sharing this evening with me...for letting me join in.  I am soooo happy for you...it's a beautiful life!






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SnapShop Michigan Review

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this past weekend...I can't even stop thinking about it! 

The thing is, is that I absolutely love being able to help moms capture their kids in timeless ways...I know how much I cherish my pictures...so much so, that after my kids and hubby are safe in the basement during a tornado warning...you BETTER BELIEVE that I'm running back upstairs to grab my external hard drives and all my scrapbooks...

scary...but true!

I know that I already posted a "leetle" bit about the day...with that infamous cheerleading shot by Ms. Bev:)  Let's just not get into that...Okay?

However, I was so thankful to have my friend Jen from Jennifer Gamet Photography come and take some pictures of all the "action" going on.  She and I have had many a'chat over facebook and email about photography and just finding your "niche"...It's amazing how diverse the realm of photography really is...it's really just an expression of self and how you "see life through the lens"...Many photographers have been able to zero in on their passion...for some it's newborns...for others it is weddings...

I will tell you that combining my passion for photography along with my love for teaching and people has been the most fulfilling and inspiring part of this journey!

Thank you Jen for sharing your "art" with me...and for capturing personalities and moments...











Thank you gals for attending and for making it such a GREAT day!  I'll be checking in with you all soon to see how you are progressing...and I'll continue to post more helpful tips throughout the remaining summer months...I'm currently starting to create a Snapshop/Click IT Part TWO that I'm looking to offer next spring...be sure to keep watching for information and shoot me an email if it's something you'd be interested in!

***all photos in this post by Jennifer Gamet Photography....be sure to "like" her page on facebook HERE as well!

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Click It Gals...UNITE! :)

Okay...so that's a corny title, but it's wayyyy late at night and I am munching on gumballs, so what can I say?

First off..hi there Click It Gals...

I handed out a TON of information last weekend about Photoshop Elements at our Click It workshop. Many of you were thrilled with what the program can do and others of you didn't quite know where to start...I understand the feeling:) Hang in there though...you'll start to get a flow here pretty soon...

I thought it might help some of you to kinda get an idea of where I start when it comes to post-processing...You have the Workflow guide in your handout, so you can sorta follow along once again...but I'll try to walk you through a picture that I just recently took...

Here's straight out of the camera or SOOC:

It was bright sun...can anyone guess where my ISO was set?  I had to run for my camera and I knew I wanted to freeze action.  Here's another question for you...so which did I care more about at this point: shutterspeed or aperture?  In the end, I bumped both up really high because I needed the picture fast...it was hot and water was splashing everywhere...so I just kept moving my settings until I metered out!

I like the picture...it's funny and captures a personality, but I didn't quite frame it up when I took the picture...dont' worry...this happens and that's what makes photoshop so much fun! 

The first thing I did was to crop the picture...using that crop tool (see your handout guide) I drew my crop and then tilted it a little bit more...cuz you KNOW I like the tilt!

I then just looked at the picture...what did I want to convey? What is most important?  For me, I wanted just the girls to POP...so that meant that I needed to look at color and contrast first.  It looked a little drab to me...so that's where I went first...

I made a Levels Adjustment layer in my Layers pallette.  I moved my sliders accordingly as I met them up with my histogram (again, check your handout).  Then I went and grabbed my Smart Brush for Blue skies and I painted THE POOL!  Yep...totally left out the sky here, but I figured, "hey, it's only a computer, it won't know the difference between water and sky"...I was right!  Wa-La:  BLUEST blue water!

Finally, I did a little Blur the Background (see page 7 of your handout)  Remember to duplicate your layer and either make a layer mask or just blur it and use the eraser tool....I zoomed in close to get them in sharp focus, but left the background more blurred.  Let's say it together: "black conceals, white reveals"

Here's the end result:


Now, I'm a bit addicted to actions and I know that they can give an image an even greater KICK if you use them just right...I gave you some links to learn more about them in your handout...I just recently purchased some Pure Photoshop Actions and so I ran them...and this is the Final FINAL result!  It's subtle, but I think it makes things all the more colorful and draws your eye even more to the girls jumping!  I know that they'll love it!



You can see the progression here:

I hope that helps to give you a little bit of an insight into how I approach a picture SOOC and how I know where to take it from there...

Remember girls...just focus on one thing at a time...as you go along you'll start to notice different things and learn new tricks and shortcuts...I'd love to see your pics soon...please be sure to upload a few to the facebook page so we can all share and learn!

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All in the Family...

My brother in law's little sister graduated from high school this year. I don't think I actually put two and two together to realize just how much older he was from his baby sister...

Once soccer starts in the spring and then again in the fall, combined with the winter weather season...I don't get back "home" to Michigan very often anymore.  However, this past weekend, since I was heading up for the SnapShop class, I had some "downtime" beforehand and was able to snap a few pictures for her graduation party coming up soon.

Seniors are such multi-faceted individuals...so many sides to their personalities...it's almost impossible to process their images in one consistent way...each image stands on it's own to depict an inner attitude and personality all their own!

Here are just a few from our time together:)


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SnapShop Michigan

I went into the teaching profession for a number of reasons...but close to the top of the list was really, quite honestly, a selfish purpose...I love the feeling you get when you have taught something to a young mind and the lightbulb goes off.  I can't do justice with words to explain the pure exhiliration I get from watching my students get giddy because they have finally figured out something that, to them, a mere 5 minutes prior was confounding their understanding.

I was honored and humbled once again to instruct another SnapShop class in Michigan this past weekend.  As is typical for me, I approached the class on Saturday morning with butterflies in my stomach.  I always want people to come away from interactions with me feeling like it was utterly worth their while. 

In my herat I know I can not guarantee this, but I do my darndest to put myself in their shoes and try to imagine ways to illustrate points, make people feel special, encourage and inspire!

I have come away from each of my classes feeling blessed to have met the ladies...AND, I also love that I come away learning too.  I learn things not only that I can improve upon, but the fact is...I'm a MOM too--and there is just something about getting a bunch of moms together that when you do, you enter this bond of sorts and you come away feeling empowered!

The Snapshop is different than other photography classes--in one obvious way because your instructor (yours truly) is a bit on the eccentric side...it is NOT below me to jump off chairs in a dress or make up character voices for my camera (strictly teaching purposes of course, wink wink)

please do not print screen, copy/paste, or use this photo for ANY purposes...thx!

for those of you wondering WHY would an instructor be jumping off a chair, in a dress no less, in the middle of class?  was she celebrating?  did she see a snake? was it a dare?  Umm...nope...just trying to demonstrate the process of shutterspeed settings...class participants obviously "froze the action" as I jumped off the chair for them MULTIPLE times!  Kudos to Bev who caught this one!!! 

Thank you ladies for a wonderful time.  As with all Snapshops and Click Its, you have my information and can contact me at any time for additional help if need be...

I am in the process now of developing and Snapshop/Click It II to take everything to the next level (again, as per Snapshop surveys from past attendees).  I will finish out the 2011 year with a schedule of the future Snapshops offered in Ohio and in Michigan.  Additional time is going to be added to the classes due to survey suggestions from participants and the need for extra one on one time for attendees.  I think that past participants will vouch for me when I say that it IS worth your time and your money...if you've already made the GRAND investment into your camera...these additional class time amounts pale in comparison to the value and the information that you will glean to make you a better photographer and "photojournalist" of your family!!!

Be checking this site and the facebook page for the schedule coming out soon!!! There is limited space and it is first come first serve...so act fast when you see a date that works for you!

Hope to see YOU soon!!!

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Sunshine Summer

I'm so happy that the sun has finally decided to come out and stay for awhile...

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good rain...and it is ever so good for my garden, but I have to be honest and say that it was getting me a little gloomy.  I just wanted to be able to play outside with my girls and enjoy the warmth for awhile...

I'm happy to report that the sun has, in fact, decided to stick around...at least for alittle bit...

And in that time, I was able to meet up with these lovely little ladies and snap a few pictures...with the sun sparkling through the trees, it glimmered in their hair and twinkled in their eyes...

I had a very hard time trying to decide which pictures to actually post because I had so many favorites.  The littlest lady had a "thing" for the camera and I couldn't get a bad picture of her...NOT that I was trying!  And big sis, she had some poses all thought up and ready to spring on me! 

We had a lovely morning...a quick wardrobe change...and lots of giggles and smiles!





I wanted to capture their "sister" bond and thought the black and white version made it all the more sweet:)


Here wwe had a quick wardrobe change...Mom had Little Sis dress in the same sailor suit as Big Sis did when she was that age...


I couldn't resist giving it a vintage spin...she looked adorable!


Thanks for a wonderful morning little ladies!  I had a lovely time!

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Blog Archive

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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