Family Game Night

With all this Ohio rainy weather, it has put a bit of a kink in my photo session schedule...

However, that just means that my camera is loaded and ready to shoot, so it's a perfect time to "document life" for my OWN family!

My girls had all been out playing tennis with my husband while I was at a meeting with other area photographers...therefore, due to this level of activity in the humidity of the day,  my lovely tweenagers had no interest in being "in focus" in these pictures due to their "sweaty" nature. 

So, I had to get creative!

If you've taken a Snapshop with me, you'll remember me talking a lot about "storytelling" and "story elements"...

It's how I approach any session...

For this one in particular, I knew I wasn't going to be focusing on "characters" and that's okay in this instance, because between my youngest (who really didn't care one way or the other) and other components that can be added, I think I could still "tell this story" in it's own unique way...and let the images create a timeline that my girls would enjoy looking through & remembering the moments.

How will you document life for your family this weekend?
How can you capture an "event" and create a timeline that your family will look back on and smile?

I'd love to see what you do!!!
You can check out the CT Photo Memories Facebook page and "post to the page" OR, if you are a Snapshop Grad, post in our private chat group so we can ooh and ahh over each other!!!













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So glad to meet you...

I've met more new people this year than ever before...

what I love, is that I seem to get people that are my perfect match...

I'm not talking about how many kids they have or how old they are...
it's not about what they look like or what clothes they wear...

I am unbelievably honored and quite honestly, blown away, by the AMAZING families that I meet...

Families like this one that are humble, kind, thoughtful, articulate, engaging...
They come to me because they are looking for something outside of the norm...they are looking for connection and REALness...not just with me, but they want to see it captured in pictures...

anyone can dress up, anyone can smile at a camera..and those types of images are GREAT too!  However, the type of sessions that I try to conduct are not quick snaps of faces and we're finished...

We take our time talking and laughing...all the while I'm watching and sensing different family dynamics that I want them to see for themselves...

Ultimately, I want families to look at their family pictures and smile...and smile BIG!!!  Not just because they look good, not just because it's frame worthy...but because it REMINDS them of THAT moment...of that time their family sat together and laughed, or siblings rode on each others' backs, or mom got a kiss from her boy and daddy squeezed his little girl...

I show a few snapshots on this blog, but in their gallery they have a story timeline...
and one I hope they'll cherish forever...

Thank you for spending an evening with me!  You all are fabulous!!
~Colleen XOXO









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Mom to Men

I always thought I'd have all boys...

I was a teacher before I had my girls and in the classroom, I was always drawn to the little boys...

It was a challenge for me to make sure that lessons, that often cater to little girls, would interest them...if that meant throwing a ball around the room while I read, or suddenly breaking out into jumping jacks and floor sprints...well, so be it!

I loved their energy...I loved their perspective on different units of study...it was always so unique and I valued their input...I also knew that if they got bored, I'd lose them...so they kept me on my toes...

Therefore, because I felt that I was always trying to make sure my little guy students were eagerly engaged...for sure, God would give me boys when I one day became a mom...

This was not to be...

EVER...

Nope...all girls...everytime, I asked the doctor to check again and make sure, cuz I was certain that I was supposed to have at least one boy in the mix...

I will now have to be content with my nephews and my future sons-in-law (who, no doubt will think their MIL is a bit looney....but, I just say, "welcome to the family, son!"

Anyway, It was lovely meeting this bunch...and I especially liked watching MOM!  

She adores her "boys" (who are now grown men)

And she has raised them well, because they love, respect and adore her in return!...ALL FOUR OF THEM!  It's a beautiful sight to see...

This mom of boys now has some "daughters" to add to her flock...even one little granddaughter too...and I'm sure that it brings her joy to interact with them all...

at the same time, no matter what, she wouldn't trade the cards she was dealt...

they were all Kings!!






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Good Morning

Good Morning!

I felt as though this post needed that title!  

Many photographers rave about the golden hour...

and it IS beautiful...

Golden hour is just before sunset, during which the daylight is redder and softer compared to when the Sun is higher in the sky. Sessions shot at this time ARE beautiful...they have a different feel, sometimes even a more moody/emotional feel...And for some families, that can be a perfect time to take family photos...where connections are made and relationships are showcased...

However, I am also quite in love with MORNING...

let's just start with the SUNSHINE and the gorgeous glow...the filtered light through the trees...the "happy" that just seems to exude from everyone!!!

Are you ever one that sort of slows down or gets sleepy when the sky gets dark and it starts to rain? 
How do you feel in the summer when the sun gently wakes you in the morning as opposed to the winter when it's still dark at the bus stop? 
I really believe that the time of day can have an affect on not only your mood, but your style of session. 
(MORE about that in an upcoming |Teach It Tuesday| blog post next week)

This family chose a morning session and I'm so glad they did...because it describes them perfectly...their family of 3!

Their little girl keeps them on their toes...they sing Mickey Mouse songs constantly at their home...there are many rides on daddy's shoulders and Mommy dressing her up...

Life is focused on the happy...on the sing-song and the utter joy that this little girl brings into their life!  How appropriate that the sunshine glows behind them and shines down the path as they take a walk...

I'm pretty sure that you'll agree...and I'm willing to bet that many of them will bring a smile to your face!!!
















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Baptism at the Beach | Tee shirt Design

Sometimes I think I must thrive on deadlines and the RUSH of getting things done.

If I'm honest with myself, I probably get bored if I have to take too long on a project.

Which is why when I'm working on redoing my girls' bedrooms when they enter middle school, I find myself staying up late at night and getting up early to get it done FAST!

Perhaps it's just the immediate gratification that I crave?

I do this with editing too...I start working on processing through a family session, but then it reminds me of another person from another session and I switch files...the next thing I know, it's down to the wire and I've got a little bit of everyone's sessions finished, but nothing completely DONE!  Then, it's a race with the clock to finish it all.

Much to my husband's chagrin, "time management" has never been my strong suit...

It's probably a combination of distraction, being in denial about my own efficiency (or lack thereof) and the fact that I'm just not much of a planner...I'm more spontaneous and like things to be FUN!

WHICH is why, when my daughters approached us this summer requesting to be baptized at the beach, my wheels got to spinning...

It's not like I had family and senior sessions, or that daddy was traveling, or that we are down to the wire (again) trying to get them ready for a week of camp, or that we had to be traveling on some weekends...

NOPE...that's just how I roll...let's pile another thing on top of all that, because glory-be...it'll be FUN!!!

And that, my friends, is how I got myself all set to design a t-shirt!...a baptism at the beach t-shirt to be exact!

I've never designed a t-shirt before...

I buy t-shirts...or if I have to, I'll "sew" one...but, I've never "designed" something...

I've got some photoshop skills, but, there are other people more "graphic design" oriented than I that could have completed this "job" in a much cooler fashion than me...

However, we were down to the wire and I was pretty much the only one left in town and not on vacation that could get it accomplished in enough time.

And that's where I found myself last week...completely wrapped up in trying to not only come up with something my own daughters thought was "cool" but also that grown adults would be comfortable wearing AND that was going to have the proper focus...

It came down to 2 designs and our pastor chose the final cut.  This is probably a good thing because my middle daughter and I would have chosen the opposite one, however, he has a better sense of what represents the event...

So here it is...it's simple mind you...but I think it'll look good for pictures (NOT that that is the whole point, but I AM a photographer, so you're just going to have to bear with me on that)


I'll share "actual" baptism pics once I get them all sized and ready to post!





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Old Acquaintances | New Friends

I've known them for quite awhile...

However, it wasn't until just recently that we've become closer friends...

I guess some could say proximity has something to do with it...(they just moved basically in our neighborhood backyard), but I think it also has to do with like-mindedness and a desire to pursue relationship...

It's takes effort to be a friend...sure some friendships can seem easier than others...but, at the same time, there is something to be said for taking the initiative...and this lady does that...

she is incredibly thoughtful and generous...
she sacrifices time and energies just to bless others...and I'm lucky enough to be one of those recipients!

I love her heart...I love the way she loves her man and dotes on her children...

her girl has become my middle girl's bestie and that makes it all the more special...

I'm in the last stretch of these "blog catch up" posts...you can tell by the gorgeous fall colors that these pics weren't taken just yesterday...especially with all this rain!  goodness sakes!

It was a sweet reminder of how our friendship has grown over this past year!

So thankful for them all!


 








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Relationships That Last...

We've known this family for quite a few years...their youngest 3 fill in with stairsteps to my own set of 3...

It helps that they only live around the block from my home as well...so it makes a family session easy-peasy to just scoot on over and walk through their beautiful acres of land! 

It's very easy with large families and age spans between kiddos for some of them to get "lost" in the shuffle...I'm 12 years older than my youngest sister, and truth be told, there is much from her childhood that I just plain missed...

It warms my heart to see this family so close...We see them together at neighborhood gatherings and school football games or plays...Mom and Dad are greatly involved in their lives and model a closeness that is copied in the relationships that they have with their siblings...

My blogging catch up is slowly coming to a close...I'm trying not to get my hopes up that I'll actually be caught up by the time fall rolls around again...

until then...I'll let you just drool over these gorgeous landscapes that they get to view everyday!








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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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