Newbie:)

I did things a little bit differently this time around with this sweet little newness:) 

Normally, I'm much more focused on candid, relationship interaction, etc with new ones...but, when the Mommy is a teacher (like yours truly) and she has all these incredible hats and props and such....well...

Let's just say that Brecka and I had wayyyy too much fun "playing with this doll" than anything else.  So you'll have to forgive the many wardrobe changes and the gazillion poses...

Rest assured, since her Mommy & Daddy are a part of our lifegroup, I ended up having her over again a couple weeks later in order to get some "real" pictures...like all those sweet details and snuggling with Mommy...sweet touches and gentle kisses:)  In other words, I stayed on task, more true to my "norm"...

Regardless, I think you'll at least enjoy these outcomes because, really...who can resist a newborn with bright, twinkle-y eyes???








 Lastly...hello little smooshie...



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Getting out of GREEN...aka: auto mode



The example above shows the difference between auto and manual settings.

I went and got my old Nikon D70 (which has an auto option) and snapped a couple pictures of my eldest daughter. I took one on auto and the other with the manual settings that I chose. If you just look at the one on the left and cover the "manual mode", it doesn't look bad...but when you take a look at the blur in the background and the brightness of her face on the right...well, you see what it COULD be!

Though I normally use photoshop to enhance the color in my images, I did not use it at all, to show actual results with my manual settings on the right. And although, photoshop fixes are helpful, especially on crazy days when laundry is pushing me out of my home...it's a whole lot faster when you can get pictures to come straight out of the camera just RIGHT!

Just another good reason to take a SNAPSHOP class:)

Or, if you feel like you've got a good enough handle on those manual settings...perhaps you have time and want to be able to fiddle with them in photoshop...here's an example using the same picture from above...I didn't do much to it...and definitely didn't do what the Photoshop Program is capable of, but it's enough to make my picture POP enough to enlarge it and hang it on the wall:) 

Maybe we'll see YOU at a Click It class in the future!!1

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Almost ONE...

Only a few more months and this little beauty will be ONE...

time sure has flown...I am always amazed after a year has passed and just how much has changed in such a seemingly short period of time.  Now, granted, I'm sure there were moments in these past 9 months (and I would say moments coming in the future) where it seemed like the situation would NEVER end...

but it always does and time continues on...

This little girl has some pretty incredible parents...they are not just in love with each other and their little girl, but they are passionate about capturing all her changes...all the moments...

They both joined me at the last Snapshop that I held just a week ago.  They want to learn how to capture the opportunities that only they can as they watch her grow day in and day out. 

I can't tell you how honored I am that they chose me to document even just a small segment of their lives.  I hope you enjoy and can see the story unfold...








The End:)

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Vulnerable

Okay...so I'm going to be completely honest and vulnerable here! 

It's not that I'm trying to put up appearances or be something I'm not...we ALL know that NOONE is perfect...we all know that everyone makes mistakes...Everyone is on their own life journey...

Part of my "journey" involves photography...and with that comes stretching and growing and learning...I'll admit that there are times that I surf the internet and find other photographers and think, "Oh, they have sooo arrived!"  And, maybe they have...but the thing is, I'm always finding different angles, different views of life through my lens...different ways to capture a moment and make it shine...

This all takes practice, learning, asking questions, trial and error...

It's part of the reason that I've started teaching Snap Shops and Click Its...Goodness, if I had been offered those opportunities about 7 years ago, oh my, what a jump start I would have had on my "journey".  I want other moms to have the opportunity to let all that knowledge start to sink in...so that by the time their littlest ones are kickin' the ball around the soccer field, they've got their settings nearly mastered...and then they can spend time continuing their "education" in other areas, whilst still "capturing the moment" to the fullest...

Does that make sense? 

So...where was I going with all that?  Well, I want you to know that most people (especially when they are trying to sell something) are going to put their best foot forward...or in my case, I'm pretty much only going to show you the AWESOME pictures that I get...I'm not going to show you the blurry ones, the ones where people blink, the ones where my exposure was way off

YES...I JUST ADMITTED THAT MY SHOTS DO NOT COME OUT OF THE CAMERA PERFECT!  YIKES...I sincerely hope I don't lose clients over that admission, but reality is...as I stated before...I'm on a journey...I'm constantly learning...and I definitely have FUN along the way!

However, this time, I wanted you share with you what I've been "learning" and just how it has impacted my photography. 

Newborn photography is probably the most challenging aspect of this "job"...It may not seem like it, in that they basically stay still for you and you're in one room for a longggg time...I would normally think family photos would be more difficult...where you are chasing 2 and 3year olds around a grassy area trying to get a perfect shot...and though that IS challenging at times, I find it FUN and exhilerating...

Newborns are precious, new little ones...everyone is hushed and watchful...everything in me wants to capture every little thing for this new mom...and she wants those pictures to be perfect as well...but, just like the TV adds about 10 pounds to an actress...images capture baby acne, red blotches, peeling skin...the works:)  And though that is part of package, it's not really what mommies "see" when they look at their angels...and so, I feel it's part of my job to do my best at showcasing what their heart sees...

WOW...what a lengthy post just to show you this before and after picture:)  But, I hope you enjoy it nonetheless!  Have a great weekend!

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It's Not Everyday...

that TWINS turn ONE!

I was able to take some photos of these beauties just a few short months ago...but NOW, they are ONE year old! 

Such sweet girls...each one has her own little personality...I love that they will probably grow up being best friends, but will so obviously be each other's opposite:)  What a beautiful and marvelous gift!

I wanted to capture specific moments this time around...of course, it's always my goal to "tell a story" and to make images communicate personality and feeling...but I wanted relationships to really shine this time...

This age goes by soooo quickly...their size, personalities...it will all change with seasons...and I wanted this little family to be able to look back and see...REALLY see the bonds that started at even an early age!

I hope you can "see" it too...enjoy:







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Rebecca: Senior

Rebecca came all the way from Chicago to have some photo time with me:) 

Well, and visit her Aunts & Uncles and cousins and other extended family...so I suppose I can't really take credit for being the REASON she came...but, regardless, we had a great time wandering around the city and snapping pictures...

The lighting was incredible while the sun was setting...we scurried along through parks, alley ways, and other beautiful settings to capture her in the just the right lighting...

I had such a difficult time chosing just a few to post...each image showed a different personality or side to her person:)  Thank you again for such a great evening!!






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Interview with a Snapshop "graduate"

Let me give you a little background...

You are about to "meet" Beth...

You might remember her here:

She came to my very FIRST SnapShop class.  She and her family have been my "guinea pigs" for many years...and I can't thank her enough! 

I was so excited when I learned that she actually had her own SLR camera and it's what got me thinking about creating classes...I watched this mom, only a few years behind me in her season of life...and I didn't want her to miss a thing...I wanted her to be able to show the story of her life to her little boys as they grew...and I knew that's what SHE wanted too...

Out of this "heart" grew the Snap-shop:)  (or photography workshop if you will) 

Recently, I asked Beth a few questions about her experience and if it was worth it...if I had created a class that actually took people to the next level of their learning...if they came away feeling confident about capturing life to remember...

Here's what she had to say:

1. What attracted you to take a photography class and why Colleen's SnapShop?
I bought a digital SLR camera for my birthday last fall but had only used it in auto mode... while it took nice pictures, I wanted to learn more of the possibilities of what it could do and how I could capture more moments of my boys (and have the pictures look better!)... also just tips on creating a good photo
2. Were your expectations met? If so, how or in what way?
YES! I learned how to use my camera in manual mode, learned the photography lingo so I understood how to capture what I wanted (changing the aperture to blur or focus, shutter speed to capture fast movement, etc.), and how to set up a good picture--how you're able to capture such cute pictures by tilting the camera, framing your subject, getting the right light, etc.

3. Have you seen a difference in the way you take pictures now compared to before the class?
Yes! I know I still can't take great pictures inside my house (too dark!... still waiting to buy a nicer lens with lower aperture), but I know that I need good light, and have been able to get lots of cute pictures outside!

4. How has the class helped you in being a photo-journalist of your family, specifically your boys;)?
Rather than taking a wide shot of all that's going on, I've been trying to zoom/focus in more on the boys and what they're doing, or their adorable face close up, or their hands playing with worms in the mud or digging into Legos... things that I think make a better picture and tell more of a story... I easily have 20 great pictures of Jackson's slimy hands covered in mud and worms oozing all around them and the smile on his face as he plays with them, versus one tall shot of him with tiny hands playing with worms (where it's too hard to even see the worms!)

5.What would you say to other moms that have the big SLR cameras but have never learned what it is capable of?
Take Colleen's class! A teacher at heart, she does an awesome job of explaining how your camera works, how to capture/set-up the picture you want, how to change your camera settings to get the right picture... all in a fun and easy-going atmosphere where you can practice and have all your personal questions answered! And when you're finished, take the photoshop Click-it class! Learn how to take your pictures to the next level (or fix what you messed up when taking the picture), and how to make holiday cards/birth announcements/birthday invitations, etc.

Here is something she created after taking the Click It class as well...You'll see her pictures prior to a Snapshop Class and what she's taking NOW!!! SOOOO AWESOME!

Thank you so much Beth!  I LOVE to see your little "men" and how they are growing...you aren't missing a single moment!  Love you!

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Gaining a Heart of Wisdom!

We had another SnapShop success today...

I can't tell you what it does to my teacher heart to hear it said over and over again during the course of this 4.5 hour class, "Ohhhh, I get it now" or "okay, the lightbulb totally just went off!"

I thoroughly enjoy teaching people how to use their cameras...I see sooo many people with the big SLRs...especially at classroom parties at school or on the soccer field...and more times than I can count, I KNOW they have it on AUTO...

So...who cares?  what's the big deal? The deal is..when you have your camera on AUTO and you don't have enough "light", that little pop up flash comes up no matter what and you often get blown out faces, shadows on the back wall and photos that aren't quite what you had planned...

When you come to a Snapshop class, you learn how to "control" your camera instead of letting the camera control itself AND deem what IT thinks is best in a given situation...you lose the "art" of the moment...you lose the ability to capture some emotion when you keep it on AUTO. Yes, you DO get lucky sometimes...

But, these ladies (and one gentleman) didn't want to just "sometimes" get it right...they came prepared to learn some tools to make their images tell a story, capture a moment, evoke an emotion...

and learn they did!

I even finally remembered to get a class picture!!!


My hubby madly cleans our house while I set up little touches here and there...

These were made by Sandy from her store on Etsy...see her things HERE

I had fun sewing the camera straps this time around...I had some real favorites in this batch...

Once again, my hubby comes to the rescue and prepares an incredible spread for the class attendees...

After they sit and listen to me talk and teach and talk some more...we get to actually APPLY what we've learned...

We go outside...then inside for indoor lighting...we explore different angles...

Had a husband/wife couple this time...they had literally gotten their camera in the mail less than 24 hours prior to class...they were troupers and caught up fast!

We had a marvelous afternoon...so thankful for all these friends that came today...Looking forward to seeing your pictures in the future!!!

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Boy times 2

My very first photo shoot I ever attempted was of this family.  They were gracious enough to let me run around after there firstborn and even let him splash in a mud puddle...all in the name of "capturing moments"!

Fast forward a couple years, add another little boy and presto:  we've got cuteness doubled and FUN written all over the place!


I love watching this Mommy & Daddy interact with their boys...

I'm pretty much going to assume that there is never a dull moment at their house...at least if their photo sessions are any indication:) 

I'm excited to watch them grow!  I know that both Danny & Beth are going to model for them, integrity and strength...right along side all their fun and lovin'!  I love you all!!!



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it's Reunion Time Again!

Family is what it's all about...

RELATIONSHIPS...it's what we were created for!

Sometimes they can cause frustration, sometimes sorrow, but hopefully, in most cases it brings joy and happiness...family relationships are strong bonds that through thick and thin, you are together!

Reunion photo shoots are fun for me because I get to watch the many dynamics of an ENTIRE family!  It's also great because everyone goes away feeling like they got what they were after, plus they get a little extra bonus with their little immediate family units:)

These folks welcomed my little family into the neighborhood about 5 years ago and they have been such a source of encouragement and love to us.  Our neighborhood is made up of wonderful folks and the fact that I can allow my girls to play out back and I know that everyone is keeping an eye out for them is just a blessing!

Mary is my zucchini-knowledge extraordinaire person!  She has helped me tremendously with ideas for cooking up yummy things for my family.  I am so honored to know both her and her husband.  It was a joy to be able to meet her children and grandchildren...it was a HOT day, to say the least...but everyone was out there giving it their all because of the love they have for them!

Here's the whole gang...

I had fun with the grandkids of course....

I think THEY had fun with Grandpa...

And I enjoyed getting a few shots of individuals and little families...




Thank you all for a wonderful evening!  It was a pleasure being able to joke and play and capture some moments!!!

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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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