General

Special Mother's Day Gift That Will Make Mom Cry

Want to give your mom (or your wife or yourSELF) the best Mother's Day gift ever?  Give her a something unique and unforgettable.  As mothers, we make time for annual or semi-annual family portraits, we make time to plan milestone photos of our children, but women rarely make time to get portraits of ourselves with our kids, or with our own moms.  When was the last time you had a portrait with YOUR mother or mother-in-law?  Can you imagine someday  how you will view portraits of generations of women and kids together?

Gift for Mom - photo of woman with her mother in law
Mother's Day Photo Sessions Denver grandmother hugging her granddaughter

These Mother's Day photo sessions are intended to be a gift.  The beautiful gift certificate comes in a gorgeous box with some fun little surprises she can open on Mother's Day.The actual session is on Saturday, May 27th,  two weeks after Mother's Day at our studio in Denver.  That gives every mom time to pick out clothing and get her roots done.

mother's day gift - gift certificate and gift box

The day of the session I will be serving mimosas for moms and orange bubble drink for the kids and have a fun playlist going in the studio.  We will take photos and goof around for 20 minutes. This special event is going to be a fun experience for mom!

Unique gift for mom - grandmother with her grandkids
special mothers day treat - mimosas

This is an exclusive, once-a-year event, for moms and their kids of all ages.  Reservations are $275 and include the special gift box, a 20 minute studio portrait session for mom and her kids (of all ages), online access to a private gallery, three digital files, and a framed gift print.

Best mother's day gift - woman with her teen daughter

Show mom how much she means to you. 

Community Outreach Through Photography in Denver

A big part of my life over the last twelve years has been involvement with kids in our community.  It started with being on the PTA at my kids’ schools.  My involvement grew into running fundraisers and eventually as PTA president. That evolved into my involvement with Colorado Youth At Risk.  Over the last couple years I have enjoyed working with the Alliance of Professional Women on the Community Outreach Committee. Our committee is focused on serving women and children within the community doing things like providing and serving meals for a local women’s shelter, supplying holiday gifts for women and children in need, and helping kids in the foster care system. Recently, my committee did a Senior Photo Extravaganza for students at New Legacy Charter School. The school provides high school education AND childcare for pregnant or parenting teens, most of whom live below the poverty level. This year the school has nearly 30 students graduating and I, with a group of six other photographers and a half dozen volunteers, created senior photos for about 16 of those soon-to-be-grads. It was a fun afternoon with a bunch of really wonderful people.

Now I realize lack of senior photos is a pretty first world problem to have. Please don’t misunderstand – APW does many other projects for kids and the community at large. We have helped with baby clothes and college buses for the school in the past. But the school’s director knew me as a photographer, and mentioned that the kids would really love to do senior photos. As a business owner, I first looked at this and wondered if I could do a special rate for the kids at the school. However I decided it was unfair to the people who pay full price for my work to offer something so drastically different to these students. But it continued to bother me that there was something these kids wanted, that I could provide, and it was so far out of their reach. And then I had the idea to offer it for free.

I approached the APW Outreach Committee and suggested we put on a senior photo shoot for these kids. Get photographers to volunteer to photograph, edit, and deliver digital files. Get volunteers to assist the photographers and coordinate all the people. The Denver Museum of Nature and Science donated tickets for all the students, photographers, volunteers, and some of the students' families, so we could use the museum as a photo backdrop in case the weather was bad. We had the beautiful grounds of City Park. And APW Outreach Committee would provide a printed photo of each student as a keepsake.

Having your senior portrait made is a pretty normal thing for most American kids to do, and kids who have children in their teens are not living a typical senior experience. They are dealing with the world as adults, ready or not. As photographers, there aren’t tons of ways that we can give back to the community through our actual services. However this little project, providing this fun, old-fashioned, youth-focused, all-about-you experience was something we could give these kids and provide our services in a way that we hope will give them joy and happy memories they can keep for a lifetime.

Free-Senior-Photos-Denver-4.jpg
Senior Photo at DMNS in Denver
Senior Photos of young woman
Senior Photo at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Senior Photos at City Park
A volunteer and a senior behind the scenes

And a really terrific side benefit of this event was the reinforcement of my love of the photography community here in Denver.  Six women, besides myself, volunteered to donate their time and talent to this event.  What a joy to be part of a community that wants to give back and who are more focused on how we can help others than worrying about competition or compensation.  Thank you so much to Lisa Turner Photography, Amy Wiles Photography,Jamie Kraus Photography, Highway 4 Photography, Keiko Matsuno Photography, and Cooper's Creek Photography for all your time and effort and flexibility around this project.

Group photo of volunteers
Volunteer photographers and students

We had a great time with the students at NLCS, I may expand this project to other schools next year. Let me know if you are interested in participating or know of a school or organization that could use our support.

Want to see more photos?  Check out some other senior photos here.

Have questions about senior photos? Contact me!

Best Planners for Photographers

I’m a member of a number of photography groups and a frequent topic of conversation is about the best planners for photographers. There so many planners out there and some gorgeous examples you can even find at Target or Office Depot. Beyond that there are also the more expensive and more tailored options available online. There are planners specifically designed around goal setting, around business, around health and wellness, and some designed for photographers. Of course choosing a planner depends on your personality and your own objectives for using a planner. I’ve heard people say “I just use Google calendar and an Excel spreadsheet, why do I need a paper planner?” To which I say: you should probably stop reading here. This blog is for those of us who have the need to write things down. I, personally, use Google calendar to keep track of appointments, which I find much more reliable than writing appointments in a planner. However, I like putting my goals, and big plans and little tasks on paper. The physical act of writing helps me remember things, helps me become a bit more creative and thoughtful, and more connected to the ideas I commit to paper.

Why do you need a planner?  Planners are great for list-makers.  There are also those people for whom a planner is a diary of their life, a creative art project, or simply the most portable way for them to keep track of everything. Having a system, whatever it is, is the first step to feeling you have more control over your planning and goal setting. Some planners help you create the system, some just help you document what you’re already doing.

Here are some great planners to check out:

Store-bought Planners

There are a lot of pretty cool planners available at stores like Target and Office Depot. Most of these have the basic functionality of monthly overview, and weekly or daily layouts. They’re great for keeping track of appointments, events, and making lists. There were at least two dozen different options at the Office Depot near my house.

Examples of cute store bought planners

Pros: Easy to find, purchase any time of year, typically less expensive.

Cons: Not customizable, less specific to ideas or industry, contents more of a basic calendar.

Erin Condren LifePlanner

 

The LifePlanner is a daily planner but also has a cousin, the Monthly Planner. What’s great about the EC planners is that there are so many ways to personalize the covers and content, even the color of the coil binding. Dozens of cover options are available with or without pre-printed names or initials, all of which are interchangeable if you can’t commit to one design for a whole year. Choose the colorway of the pages inside, optional additional pages, optional inserts for meals, fitness, parties, and travel, the EC offer a great deal of charm. The downside to this planner is that you can spend a lot of money for all the bells and whistles, but will you really use all the washi tape, special pens, and fancy stickers? It also has an optional zip-up planner pouch where you can store and carry your planner and all the doodads.

Erin Condren Life Planner

Pros: Personalized, stylish, interchangeable.  Lots of fun ways to customize and make it an art project.

Cons: Price – once you get all the bells and whistles, the price can come in at around $100. Lack of full-page days option and limited writing space keeps this from being a great overall option for someone who uses the planner for lists or a diary.

Emily Ley Simplified Planner

The Simplified Planner is exactly as described. The pages are simple with limited content and the planners have fewer options and offerings. This is a “Keep It Simple Stupid” type of planner. With just a few cover designs, you can order a daily or weekly version of the planner, and the pages are very simple in content. Half of the space on each day is allocated to a daily schedule and there’s a daily meal plan section at the bottom. You can purchase two sizes, either the 7x9 or 6x8. Each planner comes with a sturdy keepsake box.

Emily Ley Simplified Planner

Pros: Elegant and simple design with just enough little touches to make it better than store-bought.  The thin pages make the planner fairly compact and portable.

Cons: The lines are narrow and space feels cramped for those with large handwriting.

Day Designer

Day Designer is a day planner with dinner, gratitude and top three To Do prompts on each page. This planner has three different versions: regular and “mini” hard cover version with coil binding, and a leather binder version more like the old school planners of yore. There are 11 very pretty hard covers and five leather folio options from which to choose. The benefit of the binder version is that optional add-on pages can be kept in the binder. Day Designer offers a number of free printable pages and a pdf version of their planner to try for free.

Day Designer Planner

Pros: A lot of pretty and fun covers from which to choose.  Pages are setup around schedule list and task list so lines are more widely spaced.

Cons: The optional add-on pages only go with the more expensive folio version.

Plum Paper Planner

Plum Paper could possibly be described as Erin Condren Light.   The Plum Planner offers personalized interchangeable covers and a wide variety of designs. There are ten different versions of the planner ranging from student planners, fitness planners, hourly planners, horizontal hourly, week at a glance, plus notes. You can choose which month to start and buy up to 18 months at once. Further, you can add additional sections with budget, blog, even fitness planners and up to 70 additional pages for notes. The planner can be purchased in full-page 8.5x11 size or the smaller planner size of 7x9. Actually maybe Erin Condren should be described as Plum Paper Light.

Plum Paper Planner

Pros: Very reasonable price for the amount of customization, tons of options.

Cons: No metallic in any of the cover designs, thinner paper for more risk of bleed through.

Inkwell Press Livewell Planner

The Inkwell Press planners are available online or in retail office supply stores like Office Depot.   You can purchase a bound version or A5 pages that will fit into many folio-style ring planners. They come in vertical or horizontal weekly layouts. The Inkwell Press planners are some of the prettiest designs I’ve seen. They have a hard cover and thick pages inside. The fun, playful goal-setting pages, monthly planning, and habit trackers are beautiful and functional. They also have a set of quarterly planners with a soft cover and sewn binding. These planners break the year down quarterly so each quarter is lightweight and easily portable.

Inkwell Press Livewell Planner

Pros: Beautiful design and lots of great goal trackers. Available in local stores.

Cons:  No daily option.  The coil binding is flimsy.  Three out of four I saw in the store had bent coils.

Passion Planner

The Passion Planner has the soft binding of an old-fashioned journal, with simple or engraved faux-leather covers. They come in dated or undated versions, in 8.5x11 size or 5.5”x8.5” in academic or classic calendars. Each contains a “passion plan” section for envisioning your future, month at a glance, and weekly vertical spreads with space at the bottom for lists. They’re bound journal style and have an attached page marker and elastic band closure.

Passion Planner

Pros: Very reasonably priced, they’re pretty and lightweight with almost subversively simple designs.

Cons: Limited edition runs sell out quickly, only a few cover options, and no daily or horizontal layouts.

The Volt Planner

The Volt Planner is focused on the big picture and provides tools for tracking progress. It includes a section for creating a yearly theme, goals and achievements section, monthly overview, monthly goals, 30-day challenge (one for each month), weekly goals, and a weekly overview with large boxes for morning, noon, and night. The design is simple – pick your favorite shade of black – layflat with two attached page markers.

The Volt Planner

Pros: Great for tracking goals and habits, reminders to check in on goals, and weekly and monthly exercises to help maintain focus.

Cons: The weekly layout of vertical boxes seems constraining.

Start Planner - Hustle or Fancy Pants Business Planner

The Start Planner business planners come in hard cover (Hustle) or as folio binders (Fancy Pants). They are both 7.5” x 9”. They come in daily or weekly versions. Each planner contains business planning sections for finances, mileage, marketing, and social media. They also sell separate inserts for different professions, including teacher, realtor, direct sales, and photographer. The photography insert includes workflow checklists, goal setting, an order tracker, client gift list, and marketing/promotional sections with plans, costs, and due dates.

Start Planner Hustle

Pros: For those who run their business on paper, this would be a great help. The industry specific lists could be very helpful.

Cons: It seems overwhelming how much is crammed into this little planner. The add-on industry specific inserts only work in the folio binders.

Hobonichi Techo

The Hobonichi planner is a Japanese planner/journal. They come in two sizes – the Cousin A5 size, and the Original A6 size (approximately 4x6). The planner itself comes in plain paper binding and is intended to be inserted into a purchased cover. Each book comes with a month at a glance, week at a glance, and daily pages. All numerals, weekdays, and months are in English, the hourly sections are on a 24 hour clock. Pages are designed for maximum flexibility. All pages are covered in a very lightly printed grid, along one side is a column of very lightly printed hours of the day. There is an almost unnoticeable, but slightly darker line which could divide the page into two sections: one for a daily schedule, the other side for lists or notes. However all of these can easily be ignored and pages can be used for writing journals, lists, or making drawings. The pages are extremely thin so that a full year with a page per day, weekly layout, and monthly layout measures only about 1” thick and lays flat on every page. Hobonichi also sells adorable add-on stickers, tape, post-it notes, pens, and covers.

Hobonichi Techo Cousin

 

Pros: Extremely flexible planner that has weekly and daily pages all in one. Each planner comes with a fine point gel pen that writes black, blue, and red and is perfect for the thin paper and fine lines of the planner.

Cons: Shipping from Japan is expensive (it works best to consolidate your planner order with other people to spread shipping over multiple items). And if you like to use sharpie or watercolor on your pages, the thin paper may not be your friend.

Design Aglow Big Picture Photography Studio Planner

Design Aglow has become the measure by which many photography templates are measured. In this case, their contribution is an elegant and classic studio planner which you can purchase as an online download to customize and print at home, or a 7.5 x 9” bound edition with fillable dates. Each planner comes with worksheets for big picture planning, goal setting, blog marketing tracker, social media tracker, workflow tracker, monthly task suggestions, month at a glance, week at a glance, and daily overview.

Best Planners for Photographers Design Aglow Photographers Planner

Pros: They’ve thought of everything so you don’t have to. If you buy the downloadable version, you can use it year after year.

Cons: The amount of information can be overwhelming and they’re not here to fill it in for you.

NAPCP Marketing Guide

The National Association of Professional Child Photographers (NAPCP) has published it’s own downloadable marketing planner. Available online, this planner is here to do one job: help you create an annual marketing plan. The planner offers a few pages of personal, financial, and professional goal setting and then jumps right into the marketing plans. It includes informational pages about types of marketing techniques, the lifecycle of a marketing promotion, and an example promotion. Each month has a month overview with major US holidays already marked, a monthly marketing checklist, monthly social media tracker, blank marketing campaigns, client workflow, and monthly do-do list.   The planner comes with an implementation and use guide to help you get going. As a fun add-on, the beginning of each month has a coloring page with a quote.

Best Planners for Photographers NAPCP Marketing Guide

Pros: This is as simple and marketing-focused as it gets.

Cons: No bound edition.

Colorvale Photographer's Planner

Colorvale’s downloadable photographer planner includes a boatload of content. Year at a glance, session packing list, monthly goals and objectives tracking, workflow tracker, social media schedule, social media tracker, task list, customized To Do’s, monthly planner, weekly planner, and a number of other items. Colorvale also has a large number of add-on’s such as a location scouting form, daily responsibilities checklist, Pinterest checklist, print and product ordering forms, advertising tracker, social media schedule, session checklists, and more.

Best Planners for Photographers Colorvale Photographers Planner

 

Pros: Tons of content which you can choose to print or not.

Cons: Tons of content can be overwhelming. They also seem to have discontinued the bound version, this is download only.

The Blank Notebook

When all your plans and schedules are online, maybe what you need is a place to simply make a list or take notes.

Pros: Inexpensive and easily accessible.

Cons: It’s not actually a planner.

 

What's your favorite planner?

Do you have a favorite that I missed?  Please share in the comments.

 

What did I buy for 2017? I’m saving that for my next post.

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Denver Family Photography Year in Review 2016

I saw so many wonderful faces in 2016.  I love to look back through my work for the previous year and pick my favorites.  If I showed you all my favorites this video would be  20 minutes long!   What joy I feel when I sort through all your faces.  Each person I photograph owns a little piece of me, you are all so beautiful.  It's hard to explain but even though I am capturing your photo, you are capturing me.  Captivating me.  Everything about you, your face, your trust in allowing me to photograph you, your willingness to try and see what we can make together - I'm so honored. This is a toast to you all, my people, my heart, my work, my life.  Thank you for a beautiful year.

Are you ready to book your next session?  Contact me!

Christmas Card Studio Sessions in Denver

two boys in silly hats
christmas card studio session girl in hat nd scarf

This year we are doing something new and exciting:  Christmas Card Studio Sessions in Denver!

These sessions are awesome winter-themed pictures on a white set with twinkle lights and a tinsel tree in the background.  Bring kids in their Christmas finery or your favorite fun hats and scarves.  These unique sessions are for your kids only (furry kids are welcome).

The session fee is $175 and includes three digital files that you can use to make your fabulous Christmas cards.  Upgrades will be available if you would like to purchase custom Christmas cards or additional files.

christmas card studio sessions two boys in fuzzy hats being silly
christmas card studio session man and his newfoundland dog
christmas theme teen boy holding a cat

If you only have furry (or feathery or scaly) children, you are welcome to do a photo with you and your pet! Children must be able to sit up on their own.

studio session boy wearing christmas crown and scarf
christmas-card-studio-sessions-3

Please email me wilson@lifeunstill.com  to secure your time.

Want to see more photos from my Christmas set?  Check out my Facebook Page where I will be sharing more photos from my Christmas Card session styling.

Still want your family photos?  Please contact me directly to schedule a family photo session.

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Cherry Creek Neighborhood Photography

What does the Cherry Creek neighborhood look like to someone who wants to live in that Denver community?  It's a really mixed neighborhood with tiny older homes next door to large McMansions.  Homes that have been scraped and rebuilt as a new and wondrous house, little boxy homes from the early 20th century, swaths of blocks razed and converted into modern condos and townhomes, old brick homes updated and brought into the 21st century.  This is all bordered by ponderous retail in the Cherry Creek North shopping district and further south at the Cherry Creek Mall.  All manner of coffee shops from local to national chains, adorable boutiques, furniture stores, and many fabulous places to nourish and satisfy the foodie.  Cherry Creek North is home to Whole Foods and Safeway, and also during summer months, the Colorado Fresh Farmers Market.   Neighborhood photography helps realtors tell the story of a neighborhood to prospective buyers who may not be familiar with what different neighborhoods in Denver may look like.  It's a great way to share the character of an area in a visual story,

Old and new homes nex to each other in Cherry Creek North
Old and new homes nex to each other in Cherry Creek North
Cherry Creek neighborhood older home next to new home
Cherry Creek neighborhood older home next to new home
Cherry Creek McMansion
Cherry Creek McMansion
Cherry Creek Bromwell Elementary School sign
Cherry Creek Bromwell Elementary School sign
Cherry Creek on first avenue rows of commercial buildings
Cherry Creek on first avenue rows of commercial buildings
Cherry Creek North Shopping Area
Cherry Creek North Shopping Area
Cherry Creek North people walking around
Cherry Creek North people walking around
The Cherry Cricket restaurant sign
The Cherry Cricket restaurant sign
Cherry Creek Mall sign and main entrance
Cherry Creek Mall sign and main entrance
A few smaller homes in Cherry Creek
A few smaller homes in Cherry Creek
Cherry Creek Farmers market
Cherry Creek Farmers market
People shopping at the Cherry Creek Farmers Market
People shopping at the Cherry Creek Farmers Market
Wine tasting at the Cherry Creek Farmer's Market
Wine tasting at the Cherry Creek Farmer's Market
Women sampling some fresh green chili at the Cherry Creek Farmer's Market
Women sampling some fresh green chili at the Cherry Creek Farmer's Market
Bags of fresh dried pinto beans on sale at the Cherry Creek Farmer's Market
Bags of fresh dried pinto beans on sale at the Cherry Creek Farmer's Market
Colorado Fresh fruits from the western slope at the Cherry Creek Farmers Market
Colorado Fresh fruits from the western slope at the Cherry Creek Farmers Market

 

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100 Days of Double Exposure

In January I began a personal photography project as part of 100 Days of Ten where participants do some activity (typically creative) every day for 100 consecutive days.  I chose for myself a project of creating a double exposure photograph each day for 100 days.   This endeavor, one hopes, will lead us to some sort of personal growth, whether that growth manifests as new skills or a greater appreciation of the thesaurus. I'm fascinated by what you unearth in your psyche when repeating something day after day.  As much as I've learned about the technical aspects of double exposure, the greater learning is internal.  I am learning things about myself, and even about others, in watching the progression of this project.  One learns about our ability to stick to things, our ability to rationalize "cheating", our desire to be part of a community, or a desire to forge a new path.   I've found myself feeling like I should ask for permission to make some choice, I wonder if it's "against the rules" to do this or that. It's funny to bump into this wall where you become involved in something and suddenly start giving your creativity over to rules that don't exist, or a boss, whom, as it turns out, is your own mind.

Giving ourselves a narrow topic, like double exposure, and working on that topic each day for more than three months - you find all kinds of challenges.  Boredom, illness, changing expectations, reordering of priorities, interruptions, shortage of inspiration, technical difficulties, forgetfulness.  What motivates you to do this thing each day?  What excuse do you make when you fail to execute?  When you're posting your work in a public arena, do you show your failures - the days when you took a photo of your kitchen window just to get the damned thing done?  Do the "rules" allow a do over? If you miss a day can you do two tomorrow?  Or do you extend the project by a day?

This is actually my second project in the last year, and I'm learning new things this time.  One thing I learned from my first project was to "cheat".  I unofficially started my double exposure project several days before the official start date.  I gave myself a bit of wiggle room to not have to shoot and edit on the same day.  For me a big take-away is that I need to time step away from a shoot before working with images.  That's a discovery that translates to my business.  I know I don't want to shoot and edit on the same day, this is never going to be part of my business plan.  I relate to my photographs differently when I have some distance and I have to give myself that space.

Here is an abridged first 50 days of double exposure:

Snowy pine trees on Rabbit Ears double exposure Pineapple and polka dots Sky with Open sign in neonFerris wheel double exposure black and white  High school senior girl in Atlant on a swing double exposure Fox mask with boy face inside double exposureprofie with trees double exposure Woman profile with sky and clouds over her face and shoulders child with umbrella and leaves double exposureBoy with blue fur double exposureTopiary shrub double exposureBoy with two ears over his face double exposureGirl on fire double exposureflower sculpture with grass double exposure    Boy in black and white with tree roots   Horse with orange and blue colors double exposure  Profile with plants Mother and daughter with birds in flight Girl and foliage Disco duck decoy and sparkling snowflakes

If you would like to see my first project check out #100daysofdisconstruction on Instagram

My current project is on Instagram @lifeunstill or in the 100 Days of Double Exposure gallery

 

100 Days of Ten

100 days of tenIn Austin Kleon's wonderful book, Steal Like An Artist, a key element of his manifesto is "Creativity is Subtraction".   The more we narrow our options, and our focus, the more creative we are forced to become.   Following in the footsteps of Michael Beirut's 100 Day Design Workshop,  the 100 Days of Ten  project focuses our attention on one task to repeat each day for 100 days.  Let's expand our creativity during the quiet winter months. The concept is simple:  pick a creative task that you can achieve in approximately 10 minutes.  If you want extra time, try to limit yourself to 30 minutes each day - you want this to be really doable, even if you have a cold or are on vacation.

Give yourself permission to create, exercise, and DO your task each day for 100 days

Record your efforts

Share them on Instagram or Facebook

Support others who are also giving themselves 10 minutes a day

Hashtag your project #100daysof10 so we can keep our project separate from other similar projects out there.

Create a hashtag for your own project such as #10minutesof___________ or #100daysof____________

Some ideas:

  • Pick a color - 100 days of green, red, blue, black, pink, white
  • Pick an object - your garden gnome, hair, doorknobs, leaves
  • Pick an action - look up, down, through a window,  through an aperture
  • Pick a challenge - too dark, too light, inside, outside, left-handed, no hands
  • Pick a subject - food, kids, animals, trees, jogging
  • Pick a medium - drawing, painting, photography, cell phone, computer, writing

More specific:

  • Writing in a journal
  • Creating a creative edit in Photoshop
  • Hand-tinting black and white photos
  • Creating photo quotes
  • Hand lettering
  • Cartoons of cats
  • Shooting with off camera flash
  • Challenge yourself with simplicity

Check out some past projects on Instagram:

Wrongest choice - this IGer took a photo each day using the "wrong" settings on her camera, applied the "wrong" filters, took a photo of the "wrong" subject

Painting Trees - this artist wound up selling her work and had a number of her paintings from this project in a national exhibition

Sad Animal Facts - This artist drew hilarious comics about sad animal facts and wound up going viral

Bad Fonts - A look at awful and often illegible fonts

Sunsets - Photographing the sunset each and every day

Black and White Photography - If you choose this topic, make sure your own hashtag is unique so you can separate your own work from others.

Disconstruction - My own project, if you're curious, working with photos of demolitions I had taken over 10 years.

Best Gifts for Photogaphers

vintage santa decoration

Best Gifts for Photographers

It's time to start wondering what you'll give your favorite photographer for Christmas.  We all know that photography isn’t just a vocation, for most of us it’s also an avocation, a hobby, a passion, even an obsession.  Here is a comprehensive gift list, vetted by photographers from all over the world (true fact).

Whether the photographer in your life is a hobbyist, a pro, a dabbler, or a phone-photo fanatic, you’ll find great gift inspiration for every photo-personality.

Gifts For Fun

There are tons of great, impractical, camera and photo related doodads out there.  Here are a few that have been photographer tested and approved:

Lens Mug / Travel Mug

There are a number of different versions of the lens mug out there, make sure you know your photographer’s camera brand so you can buy a mug that matches their gear.  Prices range from $12-$50 depending how fancy you want to get.

Nikon zoom lens mug Camera Key chain

The gift every photographer must have - a camera key chain decoration.  There's the fun one with sound effects and an LED flash, or these colorful darlings

ljjkko1435837161652

Camera Necklace

Search etsy.com for camera necklaces and find the perfect one for your photographer.  Kate Spade has a cute one, too. This one is cool because of the vintage vibe and realistic appearance.

il_570xN.875259702_5iof

Camera Flash Drive

It's always handy to have a flash drive in your bag.  It's even cooler if it looks like a tiny camera.

camera-usb-2879.833x

 

Gifts for the Gear Junkie

The gear junkie always wants the cool new gadgets and loves to try everything that will change it up, speed it up, or up-size what they already have.

Eye-Fi Mobi Pro 16GB WiFi SDHC Card

Make it easy for your favorite photographer to edit personal projects with a WiFi SD card.  Wirelessly transfers photos to computer or other WiFi enabled devices without having to remove the card from the camera.

Eyefi mobi pro wifi SD card

OlloClip Macro Lens iPhone Attachment

Taking iPhone photography to the next level.  Your photographer friend can showcase their amazing macro shots on the Insta Feed @weeklymobilemacro

8f852aa0d72caa284ef61775074fae1f

GoPro Hero

For those who want to try some first-person, action photography at an entry-level price.

CHDHA-301_main1HolidayLuxi Light Meter App for iPhone

An inexpensive and convenient way to have professional quality light metering in an instant.

luxi-iphone-light-meter-eedd.833x

Lowepro Pro Runner RL x450 AW II

For the big spender, a gift needed by every gear-minded photographer: storage on wheels.

 ProRunnerRL_x450AWII_Open_Empty

For the Throwback

Is the photographer in your life longing for the good old days?  Consider one of these film camera options.

Vintage Cameras

Old medium or large format cameras are an amazing gift any photographer.  Even a photographer who doesn't miss the darkroom, old cameras are cool to collect, display, and enjoy.

Rolleiflex camera

Vintage Polaroid 600 Camera Kit

Let your photographer go old school with a real Polaroid camera from the Impossible Project, a company that purchased all the production equipment from the last Polaroid factory when they ended production in 2008.  Real Polaroid film included.
23783624_003_b

Fuji Instax Wide 300 Instant Film Camera

Go new school with the modern instant camera, in this case the Fuji Instax Wide which provides larger instant prints than other cameras on the market.
Fuji instax wide 300 instant film camera

Linen Laid & Felt Handmade Leather Photo Album

Photographers who are passionate about printing will enjoy these gorgeous handmade photo albums sized especially for 4x6 or 5x5 prints.

il_570xN.714179819_bjx7For the Fashionista

Does your photographer always looks fabulous, even when rolling around in the grass to get the perfect shot?  There are a number of lovely accessories that can make your photographer ready for his or her closeup.

Camera Cuff-links

So many cute camera cufflinks to be found on etsy.  This pair is particularly smart.

il_570xN.861357959_kibmFashionable Camera Straps

There are a lot of great options for fun and fashionable camera straps - from straps that look like scarves, leather straps, handwoven, or even different sizes - hand straps and cross-body straps.  One thing to consider when selecting a strap is safety of the camera.  There are a few straps out there that have very insecure-looking fastening systems.  Purchasing a camera strap is one case where function trumps fashion.  Nobody wants to replace $4500 of camera equipment because of a $40 strap.  Look out for flimsy clasps, anything with a loose buckle, or something easy to jar or bump causing it to dislodge or fray.

Here's a great strap with a solid-looking fold back buckle attachment that is standard on most cameras.

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A gift certificate from Camera Straps Made With Love would probably be a big winner.

Black lace camera strap

Camera purse or messenger bag

Camera bags - you know, the big black ugly things that are difficult to lug around and are so obviously carrying gear.   When carrying a camera case, most people still need another bag to hold their personal belongings.  What about giving your photographer a sweet-looking bag that's not just style-conscious, but totes camera, lenses, wallets, phones, and anything else we might need?

Kelly Moore 2 Sues

Most people would be surprised to discover that this is a camera bag.  It's got tons of functional pockets for personal and professional items and comes in a bunch of modern colors.

2sues--front-taupe_grandeOna Brixton Messenger Camera Bag

Sexy and completely functional answer to the ordinary camera bag, the Ona bags, briefcases, and purses are durable and well-padded.

Ona Brixton

For the Propaholic

Gifts for that photographer friend who just can't resist buying the ugly vintage rocker on craigslist because it might be great in a photo someday.  These dual-purpose gifts can be great props but also just great gifts for anyone.

Sackcloth & Ashes Blankets

These blankets are just begging to be photographed.  And not only are you giving a beautiful gift, for every blanket sold, Sackloth & Ashes donates a blanket to a homeless shelter.

Sackcloth and Ashes blanketAnvil Goods Cutting Boards

Nothing is more inspirational for food photographers than gorgeous wood surfaces.  Everything looks beautiful on these artisan cutting and serving boards.

Anvil Goods Serving Board

Anthropologie Pommed Floppy Hat

Yes, hats are considered props, largely because they're taken off and held in the hand.  An excuse for this super-cute hat?  Call it a business expense.

36832392_031_bFor the Book Lover

National Geographic - Rarely Seen

An amazing book of almost unbelievable natural and man-made wonders.  And while you're at it, a subscription to National Geographic Magazine never goes wrong.  Just $15 for a one year subscription to some of the most fascinating photojournalism in the world and includes membership to the National Geographic Society.

National Geographic - Rarely SeenThe Family of Man 60th Anniversary Edition

Photos from the 1955 Edward Steichen curated exhibition of photographic works from 273 photographers which Steichen described as "a mirror of the essential oneness of mankind throughout the world. Photographs made in all parts of the world, of the gamut of life from birth to death."  A treasure.

The Family of ManGardening at Night - Cig Harvey

Beautiful prose and a spellbinding visual story.

Gardening at Night Book CoverFor the Workaholic

Many photographers put in very long hours, particularly around the holidays which is our busiest season. Often shooting and editing seven days a week, photographers suffer from neck and hand cramps, sleepless nights, eye strain and headaches. These are suggestions directly from professional photographers.  Sometimes the greatest gift is just to forget about photography.

Relaxing Massage

Work out the aches and pains of a sore neck from holding 7 pounds of gear around your neck for hours, sore wrists and arms from editing for days on end, sore legs and back from squatting and crouching for all those adorable little cherubs, and headaches from squinting.  Massage can be therapeutic or simply for pleasure.  Shout out to David Blatt of Evolution Wellness here in Denver, awesome acupuncturist and massage therapist.

Massage one of the best gifts photographers can receive

Lagusta's Luscious Chocolate

Never have you seen or tasted chocolates more delicious or beautiful.  So many charming designs and unique flavor combinations.  Choose a seasonal special or purchase a 3 or 6 month Chocolate of the Month Membership.

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Wine

The definitive curative and restorative for the busy photographer: wine.  Pick up a delicious bottle at the local liquor store and match it with a funny personalized wine glass from ShatteringSentiments.

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Want to learn more about photographers?  Check out my Day in the Life of a Photographer Session.

Documentary Family Photography in Denver

I was very grateful that Jessica, one of my longest-term lifestyle clients, agreed to try a session of documentary family photography in Denver this summer.  One of the biggest challenges I'm facing with transitioning my business into a more documentary style is that my existing clients aren't sure they want to go with me.  Day in the Life photography is relatively new, largely unknown to the general public, and while I get a lot of excitement about the concept, when it comes to committing to a session, it's difficult for them to walk away from more traditional photos. One thing Jessica and I agreed upon was that we would take time to shoot a very short session of traditional posed where kids get dressed up and they get something more typical for their Christmas cards.  I think that makes it an easier decision for her  and I plan to offer that to all my clients.

I still feel strongly about my posed lifestyle photography but I am moving toward documentary work because it feels so much more emotional to me.  I want my clients to be deeply moved when they see their photos, I want them to see sides of themselves, their partners, parents, or children that they don't see all the time.  Documentary family photos are a window into life today that a cute posed photo by a Christmas tree in September will never give you.

A funny side note to this session:  the cat doesn't belong to them.  Both kids, separately, told me the cat was theirs and so I took a number of photographs of him.  Later when I asked mom and dad when they got a cat they said "Cat?  What cat?"  Evidently the cat, Pickles, has been hanging around their house a lot since these photos were taken, so he's included as an honorary family member.

Grandma blowdries her hair while grandaughter watches in mirror
Grandma blowdries her hair while grandaughter watches in mirror
Toddler boy facing off with cat about four feet away.
Toddler boy facing off with cat about four feet away.
Silhouette of kids running out the front door.
Silhouette of kids running out the front door.
Family hanging out on the back porch.
Family hanging out on the back porch.
Over the shoulder photo man playing guitar while family gathers in teh background.
Over the shoulder photo man playing guitar while family gathers in teh background.
Grandpa throws football to little boy and girl.
Grandpa throws football to little boy and girl.
Profile of handsome man playing guitar.
Profile of handsome man playing guitar.
Closeup of little boy on plastic horse drinking a juice box.
Closeup of little boy on plastic horse drinking a juice box.
Little girl wiggles a loose tooth.
Little girl wiggles a loose tooth.
Little boy licking his mom's chin.
Little boy licking his mom's chin.
Kids playing in the yard with a plastic horse on springs and a teepee in the background.
Kids playing in the yard with a plastic horse on springs and a teepee in the background.
Woman hanging out on her porch.
Woman hanging out on her porch.
Little boy holds a football in a doorway.
Little boy holds a football in a doorway.
Grandparents at a picnic table.
Grandparents at a picnic table.
Beautiful woman looking away.
Beautiful woman looking away.
Boy and girl playing under a tent.
Boy and girl playing under a tent.
Four up photo of girl dancing in her living room.
Four up photo of girl dancing in her living room.

I was treated to a fabulous dance performance to the painfully cute French version of The Gummy Bear Song.

I'm anxious to know how John, Jessica, Janine and Jim feel about these photos.

I'm interested to know what you think, too.

Ready to schedule a Documentary Family Photography session?  Contact me!

A Day in the Life of a Denver Family Photographer

I worked with another Denver family photographer on this day in the life session.  We're working together on a blog post about it which I will share on a later date. In the meantime, enjoy this short video slideshow!

http://video214.com/play/zF0vhFVFF4Yq270B1Wi07g/s/dark

Want to learn more about Day in the Life Photography?  Check out my new Day in the Life website!

Father's Day Photography

Wouldn't it be awesome if Father's Day Photography was really a thing?  I think as parents we often forget to celebrate OURSELVES.  We make a big deal of all the milestones for our kids and we buy brunch or shaving sets for the special Parent Days.  But it's rote, it doesn't feel like a celebration of the hard work and commitment and selflessness that is Parenting. I love this posed photo because we were alone, the rest of their busy family was in the house and it was just us and the dog.  I loved that I could capture this one special moment with these two (or three if we count the pooch).

black and white posed photo of man with beard, his son, and white dog.
black and white posed photo of man with beard, his son, and white dog.

Posed or unposed - natural photography is my specialty.  

Award Winning Family Photographer Denver

I made a joke recently that professional accolades are meaningless - until you win one. The National Association of Professional Child Photographers is one of the few professional organizations for people in my field of Family Photography.  I'm not sure why they call it "national association" as there are as many photographers from other countries as there are Americans in this organization.  The NAPCP has a bi-annual image competition and professional photographers from around the world participate. The photographers at the top of my profession are usually the winners.

So as you can imagine, it was an amazing honor and shock to discover that one of my images received an award last year and I didn't realize!  The NAPCP now recognizes me as an Award Winning Family Photographer and I am listed at the top of Colorado.   I'm tickled pink and had a very delayed celebration.  It is really a wonderful feeling to have your work recognized by your peers.  It's also difficult and painful when it isn't (like all the other times I have submitted images).  I was so very disappointed when this image didn't get recognition, especially because I thought it was a pretty amazing photograph.  I have no idea how I missed the award!  Enjoying it now!

award winning family photographer denver - photo of girl with two horses in snow with award scross

A Day in the Life of a Designer

I recently embarked on a documentary photography project featuring women in their workday.  Being myself a mom, wife, entrepreneur, friend, cook, and chauffeur, I feel like I want to celebrate the sometimes wonderful, sometimes remarkable, sometimes ordinary, and always beautiful lives of my fellow women. In this case it is a day in the life of a designer - Kellie Lansberry of Inspired by Design.  I was struck first by how her phone is a like a barnacle attached to her ear.  It is never ending: incoming calls and texts from clients, employees, contractors, suppliers, friends, and Tinder.  Yes, Tinder, a single girl has to juggle her love life, too.  Kellie's day began with training her new assistant and progressed to driving around to different show rooms and warehouses, grabbing samples, ordering supplies, picking up materials.  Between phone calls she stopped at Starbucks twice, flirted with clerks, and juggled last minute changes from a client.   Kellie came up with inventive solutions working with her vendors to create answers to surprise problems.  At the end of the day she had a final walk-through of her gorgeous remodel in The Preserve.   Her day wound down with a great deal of puppy love.  If you would like to see more of the photos of Kellie's finished remodel in The Preserve, check them out on her Facebook page.

A Day in the Life of a designer - kellie at her desk
A Day in the Life of a designer - kellie at her desk
A Day in the Life of a designer - kellie at desk getting dog kiss
A Day in the Life of a designer - kellie at desk getting dog kiss
A Day in the Life of a designer - kellie at starbucks drive through
A Day in the Life of a designer - kellie at starbucks drive through
A Day in the Life of a designer- talking to sales guy at lighting store
A Day in the Life of a designer- talking to sales guy at lighting store
A Day in the Life of a designer - choosing flooring
A Day in the Life of a designer - choosing flooring
A Day in the Life of a designer - selecting sink finish
A Day in the Life of a designer - selecting sink finish
A Day in the Life of a designer - checking an invoice
A Day in the Life of a designer - checking an invoice
A Day in the Life of a designer - picking hardware
A Day in the Life of a designer - picking hardware
A Day in the Life of a designer - showing client tile
A Day in the Life of a designer - showing client tile
A Day in the Life of a designer - unloading tile
A Day in the Life of a designer - unloading tile
A Day in the Life of a designer - unloading tile car point of view
A Day in the Life of a designer - unloading tile car point of view
A Day in the Life of a designer - talking to client
A Day in the Life of a designer - talking to client
A Day in the Life of a designern - talking to client 2
A Day in the Life of a designern - talking to client 2
A Day in the Life of a designer - talking to client through doorway
A Day in the Life of a designer - talking to client through doorway
A Day in the Life of a designer - client shows kellie somethig
A Day in the Life of a designer - client shows kellie somethig
A Day in the Life of Inspired By Design - texting in an empty room
A Day in the Life of Inspired By Design - texting in an empty room
A Day in the Life of Inspired By Design - kellie and client both taking phone photos
A Day in the Life of Inspired By Design - kellie and client both taking phone photos
A Day in the Life of Inspired By Design - petting the dog
A Day in the Life of Inspired By Design - petting the dog
A Day in the Life of Inspired By Design - getting ready for bed
A Day in the Life of Inspired By Design - getting ready for bed
A Day in the Life of Inspired By Design - snuggling with the dogs
A Day in the Life of Inspired By Design - snuggling with the dogs

Willy Wilson is a Denver lifestyle photographer.  

The Photo I Never Took - Denver Portrait Photographer

I've been planning a series of blog posts honoring women.  March is Women's History Month and I should've gotten started by now.   Since it's nearly April, I have time to celebrate only one woman this month – my grandmother Fern Steuteville Wilson, or Tutu, to her grandchildren.

I won’t recount my grandmother’s long life  but I will share a bit about my relationship with her.  My parents divorced when I was very young and I was fortunate that my paternal grandparents chose to continue their relationship with my mother and  me.  I spent a great deal of time with them, and when they moved from Lake Forest, IL to Evergreen, CO, my mom and I soon followed.  I spent weekends and summers with my grandparents and after my mom remarried and we moved to California, I spent holidays and summer vacations in Littleton, Colorado with my grandparents.  My Tutu taught me to drive, she helped me attend cheerleading camp, Girl Scout camp, and she paid for my college education.  She gave me my first car and didn’t yell at me when, in my sophomore year, I decided to go to visit friends on the east coast for Christmas rather than staying home with the family (she gave me a Bah Humbug sweatshirt and a credit card “just in case”).  My grandmother was there for me the day I gave birth to my first son – she cleaned my house and left meals in the freezer.  She volunteered to babysit my son, Drake, one day a week in his early years so she could have a close relationship with her great-grandchild.  She attended Drake’s luau themed birthday party wearing her best muumuu and did the limbo with the rest of us.  She was there for us when my husband lost his mother and when we all lost my Uncle Tom (Tutu's son).

Unfortunately for Tutu, with old age came deafness and blindness.  Her 50 years of tennis and her even longer career as a writer and editor came to an end as did much of her social life and independence.  As her geographically closest relative, I began to assume the role of care-giver.  I worked close to her home and visited her at lunch five days a week.  When she was forced to move to assisted living, I became her connection to the rest of the world.  I wrote her Christmas cards, managed her bills, and helped her phone her family.  I was there for all her doctor’s appointments, and there when she had her ever-more-frequent trips to the ER.  I was there at her last Thanksgiving, her last Christmas, I was there when she began to sleep more than she stayed awake, and I was there when she died two years ago this month.

Tutu was my true constant for my whole life.  I have many photos of my grandmother – almost all of them are snapshots.  We have only a few real portraits of a woman who lived to be 95 years old, who was at Hickam Field during Pearl Harbor, who mothered three children, loved five grandchildren, and cherished two great-grandchildren.    I have very few photos of me with my grandmother.  And though she was still living after I became a photographer, the photo I never took was her portrait.

Not having a beautiful photo of me with my grandmother, or a quality portrait of her toward the end of her life makes her loss hurt all the more.

Mother’s Day is coming soon.  I am going to gift my mother a book of photos of us together through the years.  If she were near, I would have a portrait made of us together.  Not just a snapshot, but something that I value and treasure and will hang in my home and pass to my children.

Here is a lovely quote from Tutu excerpted from her memoirs:  "I suddenly realized that as I was recounting my memories, it was like  sitting in a bank and counting my money.  These memories are my true wealth."  I feel that way about my photographs.

Photo I Never Took -  twin baby girls 1918
Photo I Never Took - twin baby girls 1918
Photo I Never Took - twins in spanish shawls
Photo I Never Took - twins in spanish shawls
Photo I Never Took - old portrait of tutu high school
Photo I Never Took - old portrait of tutu high school
Photo I Never Took - Tutu in cloche hat
Photo I Never Took - Tutu in cloche hat
Photo I Never Took - hand tinted photo of tutu cologe graduation
Photo I Never Took - hand tinted photo of tutu cologe graduation
Photo I Never Took - tutu's wedding photo
Photo I Never Took - tutu's wedding photo
Photo I Never Took - old photo of tutu
Photo I Never Took - old photo of tutu
Photo I Never Took - 90's portrait of tutu
Photo I Never Took - 90's portrait of tutu
Photo I Never Took - tutu wearing a snood in 2004
Photo I Never Took - tutu wearing a snood in 2004

There are a few lovely photos I took of Tutu after I became a photographer, the one above with the snood on her head is a particular favorite.  I love the shot below with all the wrinkles.  Both shot on film and I processed them in the darkroom.

Photo I Never Took - tutu holding a baby
Photo I Never Took - tutu holding a baby
Photo I Never Took - me as a baby and three generations of women
Photo I Never Took - me as a baby and three generations of women
Photo I Never Took - me and tutu at my graduation
Photo I Never Took - me and tutu at my graduation
Photo I Never Took -  tutu measuring my pregnant belly
Photo I Never Took - tutu measuring my pregnant belly
Photo I Never Took - tutu at the luau bday party
Photo I Never Took - tutu at the luau bday party
Photo I Never Took - last photo of me and tutu around 2006
Photo I Never Took - last photo of me and tutu around 2006
Photo I Never Took - me and tutu ca 2008
Photo I Never Took - me and tutu ca 2008
Photo I Never Took -  cell phone photo of tutu
Photo I Never Took - cell phone photo of tutu

East High Senior Photos - Denver Senior Photographer

One thing I like about shooting East High senior photos is that the school is very open to different styles of photography.  I promised Phil that we could shoot wherever he wanted, and his request was to shoot in a cemetery.   It was drizzly and gray and suited the mood he wanted to create.  Denver weather being what it is, the drizzle turned into a downpour and we were forced to quit early and scheduled another session to finish.  A couple weeks later we had a "normal" senior photo session and got some shots that pleased his parents.   For me,  I am always game for whatever a senior wants to try.  I think we have time to get shots that please kids and parents.  In this case, I think both turned out great.  We were definitely channeling Harold and Maude for a few of these photos. The music on this video will make more sense if you've seen Harold and Maude...

east high senior photos - phil with natural hair
east high senior photos - phil with natural hair
east high senior photos - 2 up phil in leather on a path
east high senior photos - 2 up phil in leather on a path
east high senior photos - phil being silly
east high senior photos - phil being silly
east high senior photos - phil in tall grass looking serious
east high senior photos - phil in tall grass looking serious
east high senior photos - 2 up phil in front of mosoleum
east high senior photos - 2 up phil in front of mosoleum
east high senior photos - among headstones channeling harold and maude
east high senior photos - among headstones channeling harold and maude
east high senior photos - natural hair color
east high senior photos - natural hair color
east high senior photos - 2up phil in leaves and two boys under umbrella
east high senior photos - 2up phil in leaves and two boys under umbrella

Channeling Your Inner Model - Lisa Culhane

I had the joy of photographing best selling author and life coach Lisa Culhane a few weeks ago during a headshot marathon.  What an incredible gift it was to connect with her.  It turns out she lives in my neighborhood, just blocks from me.  She has just written a new book, Discover the New G Spot (or How to Unfriend your Guilt) which is about guilt and gratitude.  I've been practicing gratitude myself recently and felt like the universe was whacking me in the head with this introduction.  Lisa is so beautiful it was a treat to photograph her.  She was a good sport with me trying some ideas that I thought could be fun for her website and her book.  You will see in these photos, she's a total hand-talker.  As a reward for my work, Lisa wrote this wonderful blog post for me which is about the nicest thing I've ever read.  Love you, Lisa.  So glad you found me. Channeling Your Inner Model by Lisa Culhane

I had my picture taken.

By Willy Wilson, a professional photographer.

All by myself.

I haven’t done that since I had my Senior Portraits done over 30 years ago

I was dreading it. I didn’t know what to wear. I didn’t know how to do my hair. Skye would be doing my makeup and I feared I would look all made up and nothing like myself. I was afraid I would look fat in the pictures And I just knew I would look old.

But something else happened entirely.

I had a great time. My negative stories were for naught.

My clothes were fine. My makeup was great. My hair was my hair. But most importantly it was really, truly, unequivocally fun.

Willy had me twirling, laughing and channeling my inner model. She took self-consciousness right out of the equation and had me strutting my stuff like those models you see on the catwalks.

I stopped sucking in my stomach, caring about my clothes, hair and wrinkles and started enjoying the moment. By encouraging me to channel my inner model Willy helped me channel my inner beauty. By encouraging me to be in the moment and have fun Willy helped me realize that capturing my joy was more important than capturing my good side. And with that simple realization my inner model stepped up and fully enjoyed the shoot.

Channeling your inner model collage 1channeling your inner model collage 2

Senior Photo Session - Berkeley Klein

I shot Berkeley's senior photo session at the Denver Botanic Gardens amidst throngs of Dale Chihuily fans.  Shooting there right now is a challenge because there are so many visitors at the gardens due to the fantastic glass exhibit.  Initially I played with trying to incorporate some of the art into my photos but ultimately, I decided nothing can compare to the beauty of the human face.  Nobody would notice the art anyhow, so why compete with 200 other people for a spot next to a sculpture?  Berkeley was really easy going and has such obvious beauty it was a treat as a photographer to shoot with her.  I have a tendency to prefer people not to smile in photos and Berkeley is no exception.  I'm sure her parents will want to wring my neck for saying so but she has this very sexy, sultry look about her that just calls to the camera and I couldn't help but try to emphasize.  It was a pleasure to work with her.  I photographed Berkeley and Ashley Zaeske on the same day (they are friends since preschool) and I got to enjoy the photographic trifecta of the Botanic Gardens, the tall, blonde gorgeousness of Ashley and the petite, dark, winsomeness of Berkeley.  I'm one lucky photographer.   I included here some images I finished with a magazine-style filter because I love them.  Have a fun senior year Berkeley.   To see more senior photos, click here. Senior photo session - Berkeley collage 1senior photo session Berkeley collage 2senior photo session Berkeley collage 3senior photo session Berkeley Magazine style collage