Little Lady

A more gorgeous family you will never find...I know it's not all about the outward appearances and that's another reason why I've been studying the Myers-Briggs personality descriptions lately...

It intrigues me...

It interests me especially because I come in contact with families all the time.

I don't just see a "mom" or a "friend" or a "coworker"...I actually see the interactions between the individual members of a family unit.

It's amazing to me the differences between the Extrovert and Introvert...the ones that process information through facts and those that depend on feeling...the creative juices that seem to ooze out of the pores of some people and others that have such order & structure that their home is a place of peace & tranquility...

But, what fascinates me most, is the fact that so many times these opposites attract and they put in the commitment and effort and desire to make those differences compliment one another...to make a house a home...to make individuals into a family...to say that "it's worth it to me!"

This little lady is more than halfway to her one year mark...

I make it a point to ask first time parents how things have changed since the wee one arrived...

and though everyone makes mention of sleepless nights or teething or milestones...it is evident that it changes everything...and it brings out the teamwork in these opposite personalities to create a whole...

What a beautiful thing to observe!

I believe this family has every ounce of the personality traits in the spectrum between both mom & dad and now, little girl...and it tickles my heart to watch them work together, with respect and honor in their words...but, still being true to self & allowing each other to shine...

This is one lucky little lady!










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Framing Daily Moments

Snapshops and Mentoring are opportunities that I am passionate about...

I'll tell you why...

I spent a lot of time and MONEY on classes trying to learn my camera...and about 95% of the time, I DIDN'T walk away feeling empowered...sure I learned some things, but I didn't have the confidence that I would someday achieve what I envisioned...

Have you noticed how sometimes pictures look professional and others look like snapshots?

Obviously, some of that has to do with equipment (I talk a bit about that in my workshops, wink wink) but the fact of the matter is that a LOT of people are purchasing DSLR cameras these days...they are more affordable now and there is a "mom passion" growing out there that wants to document life in pictures!

The good news is that lot of photography has very little to do with the technical side of things and a lot to do with the the composition, use of light, design and color...

Some people call it having an EYE for photography...

And, let's be honest, for some, that "eye" just comes naturally...I have friends that can walk into a room and immediately know how to make it cozy and color coordinated or "feng shui" ... I'm not one of them, but that doesn't mean that I just give up...

When I first started taking pictures and even now at times, I would get frustrated and bewildered...I didn't want my photos to just look like snapshots.  I wanted them to stand alone and tell a story...but, I just didn't know how to "frame" them all the time...

That's when I began to understand that even if it wasn't something that came naturally, it was something that could be developed (do you feel encouraged yet? this is the teacher side coming out!)

Have you ever seen those people that hold up their hands and try to "see" something in a frame?


I kinda used to think they were nuts...(or just trying to show off) but, what I now understand is that by taking a moment, to sort of "take in" the moment (whew, stay with me here) I force myself to ask questions...I must choose what to include in my "story" and what to leave out so that what is most important is "communicated" in the image.  

When you first get that camera, you shoot EVERYTHING...and I mean everything...you probably just OVER shoot...ending up with hundreds of photos (and only a handful being worthy of printing) You CAN overcome this...it just takes a conscience decision on your part...

Some people use their hands, maybe you'd rather keep a small frame in your purse that you could pull out and hold up to just "practice" framing up LIFE during the course of your day...

Picture yourself (no pun intended) as a storyteller instead of a photographer...think of the parts of a story (characters, setting, climax, details, action...) 

We practice these types of "stop and choose" moments in my snapshop and mentoring classes...
I want to give you the tools with which to practice, so that you can learn to document your life in a way that makes your family, your kids, and even your future grandchildren, stop in their tracks and "read" your life story in pictures...

NOW is the perfect time to schedule a mentoring session OR inquire about a Snapshop class....before the snow all melts & Spring kicks into gear with sporting events and vacation planning!  You want to be READY with your camera so you can document the STORY of your FAMILY in a purposeful way AND not be frustrated with "just getting a lucky shot" OR wasting time fiddling with equipment that seems foreign to you!

As an EXTRA: Due to Facebook's recent induction of the LIVE video...once you take a Mentoring or Snapshop class, you are automatically added to my PRIVATE Snapshop GRADS facebook group where I post LIVE videos and answer questions and help YOU become the photographer you've always envisioned!!!

Contact me soon! ctphotomemories@gmail.com

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Snapshop: let me tell you a story

My dad gave me my first SLR camera when I graduated from college.

He was a photographer in his earlier days and figured that I needed a "hobby" now that I was "finished" with my schooling. I gladly accepted the big piece of equipment, complete with zoom lenses and extra packs of film.

Thus enhanced my already incredible love of photography.

I took pictures of everything...and I spent hundreds on developing film...

I knew what I wanted to "see" and I tried so hard to produce that in my photographs...

to no avail...

Fast forward a few years...after marriage and a couple kids...my husband bought me my first Dslr camera.  Now, I could see immediately what I was capturing and how to compensate for lighting and action...

EXCEPT that I didn't know what I was doing...Here I had had an SLR camera for YEARS and I'd fiddled with the dial on and off of AUTO, but I only got "lucky" few times...where the pictures were actually worthy of my time.

I'm a teacher by trade and nature...and that means that I love to learn...so I hit the library and google and you tube and camera stores across the city...asking millions of questions and trying to figure out how to capture what I "saw in my head"...

Can I be very vulnerable here??

At one point, I would put VASELINE on my lens so that I could get the blurry backgrounds...do you know how hard it is to get vaseline off a lens?

My dad tried to explain to me all those camera settings (once he realized what I was doing to his gift from years ago) but, his explanations never stuck...I'd get confused and frustrated...

and continued to end up with pictures that were far from what I was envisioning...

So, it came down to using my own skills in teaching to help myself learn...I sifted through the strategies that didn't work and found explanations that made sense.  I watched other photographers and found those that had images that I felt captured my storytelling idea.  It took me a couple years to put it all together, but it was so worth it...

My family's 2014 "yearbook" arrived in the mail yesterday.  Pages filled with story-telling images that my girls thoroughly enjoy leafing through...I mentioned to my husband just this morning, "Our grandchildren are going to get a hoot out of seeing their parents and us in these books...the stories these pictures tell"



My point is...I've been in that spot where I felt like I'd never figure out my camera...I tried to read the manual, but I am a different learner..and it took me countless trials and errors before I figured out what I liked and how to accomplish it!

Here are some examples of ME...MY abilities in the past to present...





If you are like me...a mom who just wants to tell the story of her life...the story of her children's lives...someone who wants her photographs to be worth 1000 words...

If you are someone who has tried to read that manual, you've even ventured into the NON-auto realm of your camera, but you're still frustrated with the lack of consistency in your images...

If the idea of trying to google and you tube and run all over the city trying to figure out exactly what you are supposed to do with that big ole piece of equipment...if that just overwhelms you..

A Snapshop Class IS FOR YOU!!!

I've been in your shoes...I'm a mom whose goal with photography is to capture moments, not just faces & cheesy smiles...but, to also make those images speak for themselves...I'm someone who isn't satisfied with just so-so pictures when I know I've already invested quite a bit into a camera & lenses...

I'm a teacher who understands differing learning styles and understands that sometimes taking on multiple class days can be exhausting and often overwhelming, so classes take place in my home, that caps at a certain number of participants, so that you feel calm and are able to ask questions whenever needed.

Contact me at ctphotomemories@gmail.com if you are interested in a participating in a workshop class OR if you'd rather have a one on one mentoring session.  Please feel free to read more details HERE


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Heart Time Travel

Summer seems so far away doesn't it?
 
And yet, when I look back at these pictures, I'm taken directly back to the day...
 
Do pictures do that for you as well? 
 
I remember the sun, I remember the laughter...I remember squatting down low in order to get Mr. Blue Eyes to look at me...
 
I remember this mom's shy smile as her man had no qualms about taking her into his arms...
 
Big brother, in his glory, wanting to show off his big brother duties & maybe get a little spot light for himself :)
 
This is why I snap the photos...it just takes me back...it almost feels like time travel because all of sudden, I'm there again...these pictures automatically bring a smile to my face and flood the memories of the heart.
 
This is probably why I have such a passion for photography. 
 
We had our college BFFs here this past weekend...it was a whirlwind of activity and competition as our children (and the adults) participated in some crazy games...all the while, making memories...and I was snapping pictures like crazy...getting details, hand slaps, snapping those faces of joy & victory...
 
too soon, our kids will be teenagers...and we may still do "the games"...but it will be different...and I don't want to forget the size of their hands, their missing front teeth, the elation of winning...
 
By the time I see these little guys again, they will at least be one year older...and so much changes in just a year right?  but our hearts can remember the emotions of time past...it just takes a little reminder...
 
Pictures don't just recall the facts...they "remember" the heart...so that I don't forget things like happiness and forgiveness and strength of character and the joys of motherhood (even when they are still in diapers & waking up in the night) 
 
I hope you'll enjoy just this little sample from this family's session!
 
Take some time this week to look at your old photos...even just scroll through your iPhone if need be...let your heart go on a time travel...and enjoy the ride...





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Together is Better

Words to describe this family might be:

Silly, determined, outgoing, accepting, FUN

These pictures were taken at the end of August...
does anyone else miss that sun and short sleeve weather???

I loved the ease with which they all got along...the enjoyment they got not only out of each other, but genuinely seeking to find favor in each other's eyes...

I remember it being a time filled with talking and laughing and wanting to capture sincere moments of interaction...

here's just a taste of what we got...





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Emily: Senior

Multi-faceted

I think that word is appropriate when describing Emily.  

I photographed her sister a couple years prior...they are part of a 3 sister trio (just like my girlies) 

Multi-faceted...meaning having many aspects or "facets" or abilities...

Emily has that quality to not only just her talents and everyday life, but to her personality, temperment, mannerisms...

She was amazing in front of the camera...she was able to pull out so many sides of her personality...to showcase the all-around "WHO" of who she is...

I don't envy these moms having to watch their little girls grow into beautiful women...soon to start of on their own....

quite honestly, it kinda freaks me out to personalize it...make it "real" in my own life as I look at my daughters..

I enjoyed her sense of style and sensibility...her confidence and yet a sweet niavety or innocence at the same time.  

I wish you the best as you finish out this year, girl!  

You are going to rock it!









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Tireless Momma (and Dad)

perhaps that is the wrong blog post title...

I'm sure in reality it's more like "super tired"...aren't all parents of young ones?

But, I know that it is especially true of those incredible parents with children that have special needs. What amazes me, is that they never look at it like it's "work"...their unending love, devotion, tireless energy, commitment...I don't even have the correct words...

They are just amazing. Period. just plain amazing and inspiring and I wish I could bottle that perseverence and determination...because it's those incredible character qualities that are needed so much in this world...they are incredible examples of love, in it's truest, rawest form...

and yet...

they don't want the accolades that could be bestowed upon them...because they don't do what they do for a trophy or a prize...they do it because it's in them...it's how they are sewn together in their souls & hearts...

Just sharing a few pics of this precious family in between my Senior posts to begin 2015...





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Emily: senior

Emily is the next Senior for my "start the 2015 blog posting with seniors" showcase.

I only get to spend a total of about 2 hours with seniors for a photo session...in that time, my goal is to discover the "who" behind the pretty clothes & beautiful skin...I know that it's not really a lot of time, nor do I feel as though I grasp all the ins and outs of any person...but this "job" doesn't mean much to me, if I don't connect with the people whom I photograph...

Anyone can take a picture...you can go to a department store studio and smile and get a portrait...I want to do more...because photography isn't just capturing a likeness on a sheet of paper...I want to capture a personality, a moment, character...the "who" behind the eyes.

Introspective might have been a word that came to mind as Emily, her little sister, dad & I walked around the park...I wouldn't catagorize her in the "extroverted" stereotype, but she wouldn't box into the opposite end of the spectrum either.  She is eloquent and decided.  She is thoughtful and sure about the things on which she has invested her time.  There were moments that I felt I was walking with an "old soul"...that kindred spirit of contemplation & reflection...It was refreshing to share conversation with a young adult that often seemed wiser than her years.

I hope she continues to recognize her inner beauty in her own reflection.






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NICK: Senior

A New Year...New Opportunities...

I thought it appropriate to start off 2015 with Senior Blog posts...

I had a number of them last year, in preparation for graduation this spring.

I remember well the feeling of being a senior in high school...it started off with this incredible "knowing" that I had finally made it.  I was excited about all the possibilities anddddd, I was incredibly BUSY...it's as if the schedule tripled that year...

By the time we saw the ball drop to begin the new year, it suddenly became clear that I only had a few more months to "get everything in order"...a college to choose, tests to take...it almost felt like two "sides" of myself battling...one, just ready to be FINISHED with it all...wanting to just soak up the last months of "fun" and forget the responsibility...and the other side of me fighting to finish well and apply for anything and everything to get ready for my FUTURE...

I have no idea if that's how everyone feels now, but if they are anything like I was, my "future" self would tell them to just breathe and take it a day at a time...People tell you that "these are the best times of your life"...they aren't...don't get me wrong, they are fun, but with an eye on your future, making choices that help define the person you were created to be...the best times will come...and they continue to come because you are always changing.

I've known this family for awhile...I remember when this "guy" was just a kid whose mom had to bribe him to smile in family photos of the past...

He now towers over me and the tables turned as he had to reassure his mom during our time together...because, her "baby" is all grown up...


We had a great time getting onto the field and snapping some photographs that tell "his story" of his years in HS.






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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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