So, I've never been to North Market

I'm going to be very vulnerable here...

many of you are going to roll your eyes at me...

some of you will probably laugh...

it's okay, I can take it...

kind of...

it's a "thing" about myself that I don't really like...

and I know that when forced into a situation, I WILL rise to the occasion...

but most of the time, if I can somehow AVOID the occasion, I'll just try to do that instead...

INSERT: DOWNTOWN COLUMBUS

Now, let me explain...

I grew up in a tiny little suburb outside of Detroit...

It was the same city in which my parents grew up...I attended the same high school, (and had some of the same teachers I might add) as my parents...and it was actually the same high school my grandfather attended as well.

It was home.

It was safe.

The town was small and I could ride my bike to my grandmother's house about 5 miles away. Everyone knew everyone else and we went to Jim's Butcher Shop every Sunday after church to pick up stuff for lunch. It wasn't the routine, as much as the familiarity...the KNOWN...the being known...the less "busy" life...

It's not that I'm not adventurous...

oh no, by golly, I got myself onto a plane and flew across the globe to Australia while in college.  I traveled, IN A VAN, with COLLEGE STUDENTS across the country to Washington State...I stayed in homes of people I had never met...I ate food I've never been prepared before...

I've got some adventure in me...do not doubt this...

HOWEVER...

for some unbelievably stupid reason, I have this phobia fear about driving in a big city...

and for me, a "big city" definition is basically anything outside of my normal area surroundings...where there are one way streets and lots of signs and big buildings and parking garages and places you get can tickets because you parked in the wrong spot...

and so...

if I can avoid driving to downtown Columbus...

oh...it's so sad...I know...

I ADORE the Book Loft and German Village...I love Goodale Park and the bridges...there are a gazillion things to see and the PHOTO TAKING OPPORTUNITIES...don't even get me started...

but, if it has to be ME behind the wheel of the car...

ummmm, well...I'm opting for my own park down the street or tried & true Target...

I'm pathetic...I KNOW THIS...

I have NO PROBLEM riding in the car with other people driving me downtown, but for me...it's like a panic attack and I white knuckle my way to whatever location I am headed...

It's for this reason, that when hubby had the opportunity to spend some time with us recently (he's been traveling quite a bit lately) I mentioned that it'd be fun to go downtown...

YAY...

I get to explore...BUT I DON'T HAVE TO DRIVE!!!

And so...during spring break, our family found ourselves exploring a bit in the downtown area...

We went to North Market and I had NEVER BEEN THERE BEFORE...

and can I just say: DONUTS...JENI'S ICE CREAM...HOT CHICKEN TAKEOVER...

Oh my lands, it was wonderful!!!

We explored, we ate, we were goofy and then we got lost in the Book Loft until we realized that we better get home to Pippa!!!

I know it's one step at a time...construction and road signs make me nervous and I need to learn to push through it...BREATHE, I tell myself...

because seriously...after this past adventure, it's just soooo worth it, don't you think???

What is YOUR favorite spot downtown that I should get motivated to see???







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WALLEEN

I do not claim to be a fashionista or a design guru...

I'm actually more of an "UPcycle" kind of gal...We are huge SAVERS in our family and so anything we can do to DIY or reuse something we already have, is a huge plus in our book. 

My home may not make the cover of Pottery Barn or be featured in Home Design magazines, but my house is a HOME!  

Every room features something about our family...every part has a "story"...because I have pictures EVERYWHERE!  Pictures on the wall of my kids, of our vacations, of our great grandparents...pictures of our family together, shadowboxes of trinkets found from our vacations...

Because ultimately: 


Recently, I requested on my social media platforms, pictures of my clients' walls...

One client specifically sent a picture stating, "Here is our Walleen" (aka Wall of pictures taken by Colleen)

I loved her coined word so much, I used it for myself and asked many to participate...

I had lots of sweet clients send in their pictures (as you can see below)

And as a THANK YOU, they can check their email inbox later this evening for a special gift from me regarding their 2017 Family Session!  

Here are their WALLS of artwork that tell the story of their families...

It is a wonderful life!





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SENIOR SESSION: Jess

I remarked to my youngest daughter that we only have 2 more months of school left in the year (at least for those of us here in Ohio)  She whooped and hollared her excitement as we stood at the bus stop. 

However, I know for many Seniors, their new adventure is only moments away...

I am still involved with our Middle School youth at our church.  My husband and I lead a group and our home is filled on Sunday evenings as we have some amazingly deep talks...

I especially am excited when I get to interact with my "graduated" MS gals...they've gone on into HS groups...and I appreciate the new role models in their lives...

I find myself watching the current seniors and seeing their impact even on my own daughters...with how they interact, carry themselves and show character...

Jess is the middle daughter of 3 girls.
She has a love for people, for mentoring, for teaching...

In other words, she has a servant's heart.

Jess had her senior session back in the earlier fall and together we worked to showcase her true heart, smile and a bit of that "fierce" that I think so often goes unseen in middle siblings...

She is determined, and though there is a world of unknown ahead of her, she doesn't back down...I think that is the definition of bravery and courage...to perhaps be a little apprehensive about what the future means, but instead of curling up or shying away and pushing through, one boldly puts one foot in front of the other and does the next "right" thing that they know to do...

I was mightily impressed with Jess and I'm excited to share some of her imagery here.









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5 Perfect Pointers to Perk up your Playground Pictures

I wanted to title this post:

Phive Perfect Pointers to Perk Up your Playground Pictures

because I'm nerdy and love alliteration...

but, I didn't...

because...eye rolling is a thing in our house!  

ahem...I will continue...

I firmly believe that people who understand LIGHT, COMPOSITION and STORYTELLING can create amazing images with ANY type of camera (iphone included!)

I'd love to teach you more in a one on one mentoring session, where you also get to join our private group of Momtographers (moms that like to photograph their kids to capture the everyday life in beautiful ways!) and get extra videos, live broadcasts, encouragement and tips on how to capture the everyday in YOUR life...learn more about that HERE

So without further ado...here are 5 pointers to remember when you head to the park this spring with your camera or iphone.

1. Use the symmetry & geometry of playground equipment.
Allow the shapes of the playground to act as frames for your children. It can give you a perfect frame up situation and also utilize the leading lines of the bars to direct your eyes to the action at hand! The symmetry is also helpful with focal points and being sure to freeze the action.




2. Use Negative space
I love to use the sky or ground to act as my negative space...it shows height, but it also gives the feeling of independence and fearlessness...It's just another trick to show emotion in the little things. It's just a matter of putting your subject in the lower part of your camera/iphone frame and allowing the sky or the sandy ground (if you're in the sandbox) to take up a lot of the space. It makes the picture a bit more dramatic and your eye is immediately drawn to the action.


3. Shoot in a series
Sometimes kids like to stay on the same piece of equipment for a lengthy time...use that opportunity to shoot a series.  You can get them spinning on a merry-go-round, or swining on the swings...think of a storyboard and capture 3 different "elements of a story" (details, character and plot) Zoom in first and get their feet or hands...then back up and get their whole body, then change up an angle and use that negative space again...Or think of a flip book and take a series while they're in motion going from one rung to the next...


4. Don't stop them in the action.
Capture your kids in their moment of accomplishment! Use angles to enhance the action, but let them run & be crazy and do their THING! Just be on your toes and ready to move to capture the moment!

In this shot, my oldest and youngest were playing hide and seek...I had to move around a lot to be sure that I didn't give away hiding spots...and I didn't stop them, I just moved myself to be sure to capture the peeks and action...I also used pointer #1 and allowed the fence to be my "leading' line" to guide my eye to the action.

5. Fill the Frame
Before you leave or just as you get to the park, ask them to "show me how excited you are to be at the park" or "show me how much fun you had"....Get a close up of THEM...it can be full on goofy face and all, or it can be a group hug with siblings...Don't forget to cut out all the background and get in close to get them for at least one shot!

This will be the shot that you'll be noticing the light...it's more challenging on a playground because kids are ever moving and sometimes the harshness of the sun and shadows can't be helped...therefore,  it's important to utilize pointers #1-4 to enhance those photos when the light may not be as cooperative...however, when you have the option and a split second chance to make sure that light is smoother and less edgy...find an open shaded area, so that you can avoid the shadows on their faces and get an image that will definitely make you smile!

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SENIOR SESSION: Lindsey

Lindsey is just as darling as she appears in her senior photos...

I loved her soft-spoken, yet confident nature...she is simply natural and wanted that to come across in her session...I loved her choice of outfits and we made sure the locations we chose complimented the aspects of her personality that we wanted to showcase!

Yes, she is beautiful...her eyes sparkle, her hair is gorgeous and her skin is flawless...
but, the words that come to mind first, when sifting through her pictures are:

genuine,
natural,
warm,
friendly,
and happy

Senior sessions are not a "model search" for me...although, the seniors that I am fortunate enough to meet could very well fit into that category...I LOVE that our focus isn't on the outward, rather what's on the INSIDE...

I'm on a blogging Senior Soiree here of late and I'm loving the opportunity to showcase these upcoming graduates...

a little over a month from now, they'll be accepting diplomas and walking across the stage...
ready to embark on the next journey...

It's bittersweet to watch them go, but so, so wonderful to have captured all that they have become!
(scroll to the bottom to get your FREE CT PhotoMemories Senior Session Guide)











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SENIOR SESSION: Parker

"Music is how feelings sound"

Some people are just wired to "feel music"...they GET it!

My middle daughter is an example of this...she doesn't just listen to music, but she feels it inside.  She's still young and I will admit that I haven't been the best at pushing this passion, but we still encourage it.  It led me recently to finally search for an instructor that could guide her and give her not just more technical understanding, but help her to get what she has on the inside to express itself through the music she creates...she's my lover of piano, drums, violin, ukulele, vocal...etc...

And so, when I discovered Melanie, I was thrilled to have found someone who has that passion and a love for youth...

the bonus, is that I got to experience, first hand, how she & her husband have instilled that same love of the arts in their own kids...

Case in point: Parker

He's not only well-mannered, kind, confident and debonair..but, he has a CREATIVE soul as well...this creativity that seems to pour from every ounce of his family has led him to pursue a future education in architecture, alongside his already developing pursuit of music in HS band. 

I joke about my 'right-brainedness' often...because it sometimes doesn't mesh with the business, analytical, organized things of the world...and without trying to "pay myself on the back", but rather shout out encouragement to other "creatives"...

it's sometimes the messy, sometimes the color, sometimes the harmony that draws the most attention to the beauty that surrounds us in the mundane and everyday...

I had a fantastic session with Parker last fall...I can't believe we were able to get it in, in between his performance schedules and the crazy weather...It even started raining towards the end of his session, but we still were able to grab enough images to showcase his many facets...

And because I love Melanie so, we squeezed a few extra moments in there to get some family pictures as well.









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SENIOR SESSION: Emma

The weather forecast is looking like it "may" be starting to improve...

as in, it MIGHT be Spring...just around the corner!!! 

Considering that March 20th (TODAY) is actually the "official" first day of Spring, I'm happy to see that the weather has decided to "eventually" follow suit!

It also means that the Class of 2017 is getting ready to GRADUATE!  

I'm sure there are parents everywhere saying, "WAIT...how did we get here already?"

It's amazing to me how time seems to fly in some situations and then drag on in others...

I want to showcase some of these upcoming graduates over the next few weeks...

This is their MOMENT TO SHINE! 

It's neat to think that when they enter this world, there is a time for excitement...we schedule photo shoots to showcase their tiny toes and button nose...through out their school years, we do the obligatory school pics but, we focus on our family and the LIFE that is being lived...

and then...

We come to the moment where one is about to "leave the nest" if you will...you've spent the toddler/preschool years establishing authority, then you moved into developing their character & growth and finally the last years have been about internalization and independence!  

They are at the cusp of the journey...

Emma has arrived at this point...and she's the first of her siblings to do so...

She's incredibly intelligent and focused...
and meshing with that determination is a soft heart and gentle spirit.

Her parents have done a tremendous job of not just training, but walking with her so that when this time came, she'd have the confidence and knowledge of how to succeed.

It is my joy to showcase all the facets of an individual in a photo session...the silly, the fun, the gentle, the serious, the intelligence, the confidence...

She's all of these wrapped in a beautiful package!

Congrats Emma!!!

AND to the upcoming Senior class of 2018...stay tuned...in a couple days, I'll have a sign up FREEBIE for those that are about to embark on this journey as well!!! 










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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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