October Frenzy:)

October can be a rather packed month...it's full with apple picking, pumpkin patching, hay rides, and trick or treat...playing in the leaves, bonfires, and hikes in the parks...

And it's time for picture taking...and hoooweeee, did we have lots of picture taking goin' on this month.  I am utterly thankful for the opportunity I have...I've said it before and I'll say it again, I have an awesome "job"...What is really great about it, is that it's still a passion and a love and NOT just an "occupation"...

Because of that, I am able to give of myself to my clients in a "real" and sincere way...it's been a jampacked month...and I'll be honest that I've had my fair share of panic attacks with trying to get the editing finished as quickly as possible...

Once again, I also have the best clients in the world...ones that are gracious and patient and know that I'm giving it all I've got...I am blessed beyond measure!

I had over 8 photo sessions last weekend and I'm trying to give everyone a fair share of equal time...I hope you will enjoy this sweet family of 3...I loved their energy, their spontaneity, and their laughter:)  I hope you will enjoy seeing just a bit of what I saw through my lens:)


I had to throw some "outtakes" in here for fun...they were a class act!!




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Sibling LOVE:)

Hanging out with this family made me remember back to the days with my brother and I made up games to play...

Oh, we were soooo creative...we played things like, "brother and sister" make-believe, or rode our bikes or make tents in the backyard... (are you catching my sarcasm? I can't say that I was all the artsy way back when)

The point is, we had the kind of relationship where if ANYone "bullied" my brother or vice versa...we had each other's back...as in, we became these over-protective bears with strength we otherwise would never have shown...HOWEVER, when it was "just us", we would tease each other mercilessly:) 

I LOVED having a brother...it makes me just a teeny bit sad that my girls will never know that, but, it just warms my heart when I get to watch brothers and sisters interact...

We had a glorious afternoon in the middle of October...the colors were vibrant and the sun made eyes twinkle! 





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I started thinking about this post in my head as I left the park from spending time with this family...

I get to meet with LOTS of family every year...sometimes they are people that I've never been privileged to meet before...sometimes they are returning families from years before...sometimes they are friends from what feels like a lifetime ago...

Kara and her family fit into the latter category...

I let my thoughts glide back to those yester years...remembering our trampling through the dorm hallways during our college years...I even remember her talking on the phone to her "then" boyfriend, El, the big ole basketball star of our school's team!  I admired her then...

We had Elem. Ed. classes together and I saw her heart as she sought out inner city kids...how she was always "real", in a "whatcha see is whatcha get" sort of way...and my respect for her grew even more...

Fast forward 15 years and we "catch up" once again...and I discover, yet again, how incredibly amazing this woman is:)  It's not just her either...Her husband, who I watched from afar back then (did I mention he was a big basketball star???)  I get to watch up close...and I see as he reads her, knows her, and LOVES her...I can tell that he leads this family and cherishes every moment...I watch Kara interact with her only daughter...I see the respect that she's instilled in her children...I listen and see how these siblings have been taught and how they genuinely care about each other...

That doesn't happen by chance...El and Kara have built a family on a strong foundation...it's inspiring to see...

I know that may seem silly..."how can you see ALL THAT in one little hour of a photo shoot ???"  All I can say, is that when people are REAL...and they have a deep seeded confidence in who they were made to be...and they, in turn, diligently try to  bolster that in their family...it's evident...it just is:)

I literally just have the most awesome "job" ever!!!

I hope you will enjoy just a few pics of this beautiful family!!!






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SNAPSHOP MICHIGAN NOVEMBER 2011

Okay, if there is one thing that I love doing outside of (of course...) being a mom, wife, friend, etc...and duh, taking pictures...I LOVE teaching...

Maybe it's the spotlight...maybe it's the "control"...maybe it's the fact that I get to hang out with adult women who actually "speak my language" and the time doesn't involve me cutting up pizza slices, tying shoes or listening to cries as I brush out snarls in little girls' hair:)

Whatever it may be...the fact remains, that I love me some "teachin' time"...all the better when I get to share about something in which I have a passion! 

It's about memories...capturing life...being a "photo-journalist" for my family...giving the gift of the "story of their lives" in pictures to my little girls...

If you plan on attending this Snapshop (this LAST one for 2011) you won't regret it...and here's why:

First off, if you are even interested in the idea of this class then that means that you probably own a DSLR camera...which means that you're already pretty serious about the types of pictures that you are wanting for your family...it means that you want more for yourself and your family. to learn more, to know more...yes, there is some vulnerability in that...and faced with "technical/photography words and lingo" it can be intimidating at first...
That's okay...these things are big pieces of equipment and the thought of learning every nit-pick little thing in one afternoon would be overwhelming...but, if you truly have a passion for wanting to capture your child's personality, the twinkle in their eye, their curiosity, the way they see life...then you also, deeeeeep down, have a desire to know HOW to do just that with that same piece of equipment...

I'm a wife and mom first....I "get" that desire...I know where you are coming from and as a teacher, I want to instill in you the courage to explore that creativity inside you...to teach you the mechanical side of things so that you can produce what your heart and mind already sees...so that, when you put it together, you come away feeling empowered and not fearful of missing a shot.  You can approach a family outing or just family moments with expectation and confidence....knowing that you have a storehouse of  "ideas and tricks" so that you can showcase your kids...

Please watch this short video/slideshow of past snapshops to get a "feel" for what it will be like. 



WHAT TO DO NOW:
#1- if you haven't emailed me already, then please do so ASAP, as there are limited spaces available. Email at ctphotomemories@gmail.com

#2- I will send you my address so that you may send your $25 deposit (or full payment of $125) that needs to be received by November 5th to secure your spot.

#3- Once I receive your deposit/payment, I will email you again with the specifics of location & a "get to know you" questionaire.

#4- Come on November 19th ready to have fun, learn lots, eat some good food, enjoy great company and come away feeling transformed in your abilities and creative spirit!!

Here is the link to more specific information about the Snapshop as well...i.e. what to expect, what you get, time allotment, etc... SNAPSHOP

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Friend of a Friend of a Friend...

Jen and I met through a fairly unconventional way...but, I suppose we can thank social media for bringing us together...

You know how there's some saying somewhere about how if you go searching through who knows who you'll always end up with Kevin Bacon?

Okay, so maybe I'm the only one that has heard that...but the point is, that it's amazing how news travels...and in this case, it was a picture...

Somewhere along the line I took some pictures of my nephews and my brother & sis-in-law...she posted them and a friend saw them...who in turn told her friend and somewhere in the line, JEN found me...

I'm SOOO glad that she did...I have absolutely enjoyed getting to know her...I've not only been able to meet her through photo sessions, but she's attended both the Snapshop and the Click It workshops and it is a PLEASURE to spend time with her...

This time around, I got to meet her entire family...so we did some "reunion-esque" shots and then spend a little extra time with just Jen's family...I hope you will enjoy:)













 Thank you again for letting me spend time with your whole family!

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Chance Meeting

I think I mentioned before that if not for feeling comfortable with a camera in my hand, there would be many people that I would never happen to meet.  And if that were the case, I know that I would be missing out...

It's the relationships in life that matter most...not the scraping to the highest rung on a ladder...not the "he who dies with the most toys wins" mentality...it's about making the most of the time you have with those that you love...being in the "present" and living it to the fullest...

yes, that may mean doing laundry or washing dishes...or it may mean making a run to the grocery store or picking up socks at Kohls...

Believe it or not, THIS is where I "happen chance" meet Susan most of the time...She relishes in her role as wife and mommy...You can tell that their little family is most concerned about strengthening bonds and making a home...

What an honor it is to get the chance to snap a few moments for them to remember...as their little girl grows so quickly...

I hope you'll enjoy just a few of my favorites:)






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Family Inspiration

The opportunity to spend time with people that I might not have otherwise met, is one of the perks of being a photographer:)  Being a people person...meaning, that I tend to be energized by being around people...creates in me a desire to invest in the lives of others...

Selfishly, I also realize, that I come away from these interactions encouraged because of the time spent with unique and inspiring individuals. 

I have known this family for about 3 years now...Even in our small down in the Midwest, I doubt that our paths would have crossed if it had not been for a love of capturing moments on both our sides:)

I have enjoyed watching their daughter grow over the years...They have become some of my biggest encouragers and I love them for it!




Some of the most FUN that is had, is when families take time to just enjoy being together and letting curiosity get the better of them...there is such wonder in discovery:)

This little girl is OH SO loved...


Thank you again for making time for me every year...and for all the other sweet moments in between as well!

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Snap, Snap, Snap:)

I wish I could let you peek into my head so that you could "see" what it's like for me to watch people "get" a concept...

It really is the best part about teaching...the point in time where, after you have spent hours thinking of examples and putting together a plan and formulating all the information and trying to chunk it into "bite size" pieces so that others can "swallow", that the light bulb goes off...and you see it in their eyes...

You just wait...and watch...and let it "simmer" for a bit...and then comes the "AH-HA!"

Today was another Snapshop...a time when moms (and dads) who have invested a considerable amount of money into a piece of equipment that can do sooo much more than their old point shoot, take the opportunity to actually LEARN it's capabilities!

I was in awe of these ladies this afternoon...Some have newborns at home, others have still small ones...and they don't want to miss a moment...they want to give their children the gift of the story of their lives through photos...

They want their photos to be something that their kids will WANT to go through time and time again...where they will sit and remember the exact moment and feeling they had when the picture was snapped...not just stopping and smiling at a camera, but almost being able to "relive" the moment because the snapshot has taken them back in time. 

I'll be honest, I throw a LOT of information at these attendees...We talk about storytelling and composition and framing...and all the mechanics: focal points, metering, light sensors, aperture, shutterspeed, ISO...

And yet, I've been in their shoes...I wanted so badly to figure out how to make my pictures be able to stand alone...and "tell" something...and I couldn't find someone to explain it to me in the way that I could understand...it just wouldn't make sense and I would get instructors frustrated with me...

Because of that, my heart is right there with these moms with young ones...I missed a few years of having some great shots of my older girls...and I am honored and inspired and amazed that these young women are tackling this sometimes intimidating journey of learning their camera...so that they don't miss a thing!

I just had a wonderful afternoon with them all...This was the last Snapshop for 2011 here in Ohio...I'm waiting to hear if we'll have enough for a last one in Michigan this year...Don't miss out:)  I promise you'll have fun...you'll learn lots...you'll eat some yummy food...and you'll get a little extra something special as a reminder of our time spent learning together!!! Hope to see YOU at a future Snapshop!!!






thank you to my older girls for being models for all the ladies...they jumped, they posed...we blurred and froze action...it was awesome!

I truly love what I do!!

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Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezey:)

My daughter says this ALL THE TIME...

It never fails to crack me up...

It's usually when I've asked her to do something that her older sisters would normally do...like, "Honey, could you help me put the soap in the washing machine?" or "Lovie, I need you to try to buckle yourself up in the car."

It's not only something that makes me giggle, but it gives me that sense of "relief"...I don't know quite how to explain it...almost like, she's on board, she gets it, I get it...we're going to get the job done without a glitch!

I will be honest...even though I've been doing this photography thing for awhile, I STILL get butterflies in my stomach EVERY time I have a photo shoot...perhaps it's the people pleaser in me...maybe it's the incredible honor I feel that someone chose ME to capture memories for them...whatever it is, I approach a session with excitement and a little bit of "oh my goodness Colleen...do NOT screw this up!!!"

Am I being too vulnerable here?  I'm being honest because I'm just a person like everyone else...and it is my JOY to meet new people each season...and since my photo sessions are about an experience and not just getting a cheesey grin, I figure it's best to just be myself...

so there you have it...that's my "normal" when it comes to a photo session...

However, it took about "point 2 seconds" after meeting this family to recognize that THIS was just going to be "easy peasy lemon squeezey"...I found them around the park area just having fun and being themselves...

What better way to start a session right?  And it just got better from there...The boys were hilarious...Dad was easy goin' and up for anything...Mom is absolutely and utterly adored by ALL her boys...I was along for the ride:)

And I can't tell you how thankful I am that I got to be there...I hope you enjoy the moments...







Thank you again for making it such a great morning!  Had such a great time...Easy Peasy!

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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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