Petal Lens Photography: Blog https://www.petallens.com/blog en-us Petal Lens Photography petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:32:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:32:00 GMT https://www.petallens.com/img/s/v-12/u160768705-o853425323-50.jpg Petal Lens Photography: Blog https://www.petallens.com/blog 85 120 Smiles - check! https://www.petallens.com/blog/2020/3/smiles---check Smiles - check!  

One of my favorite things of a mini session is seeing how quickly I can bring out a family's connection and personality.  Sometimes, with a family as fun as this it just works.  With a little posing and cues, then the magic happens.  Check the highlights of a fall 2020 mini session with Petal Lens Photography.

 

A fun family of four stylishly exude their personality in family portraits with Petal Lens Photography. A fun family of four stylishly exude their personality in family portraits with Petal Lens Photography. A fun family of four stylishly exude their personality in family portraits with Petal Lens Photography. A fun family of four stylishly exude their personality in family portraits with Petal Lens Photography. A fun family of four stylishly exude their personality in family portraits with Petal Lens Photography. A fun family of four stylishly exude their personality in family portraits with Petal Lens Photography. A fun family of four stylishly exude their personality in family portraits with Petal Lens Photography.

 

Book a session of your own with me!
Email me for a consultation!

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) A"autumn ann arbor family photographer ann arbor family photography ann arbor portraits fall mini sessions mini mini sessions petal lens photography sessions" washtenaw county photography https://www.petallens.com/blog/2020/3/smiles---check Fri, 06 Mar 2020 18:00:00 GMT
Sunrise is the best time for happy babies. Ann Arbor Family Photography https://www.petallens.com/blog/2020/3/sunrise-is-the-best-time-for-happy-babies-ann-arbor-family-photography  

This was one of the best ways to start my autumn mini sessions.  Not only was it a beautiful autumn morning with amazing sunlight but we had one of the funnest babies to work with.  
 

A Beautiful baby in a pink sweater enjoying a warm autumn sunrise at a wooded arboretum.  A Beautiful baby in a pink sweater enjoying a warm autumn sunrise at a wooded arboretum.  A Beautiful baby in a pink sweater enjoying a warm autumn sunrise at a wooded arboretum.  A Beautiful baby in a pink sweater enjoying a warm autumn sunrise at a wooded arboretum.

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) ann arbor autumn ball basketball bridge bright by cheerful coordinating fall family farm farms fun game lens lifestyle light living michigan misty natural nature's outdoor outfits petal photographer photography photos pickle playground portrait portraits rebecca rowe session southeastern washtenaw https://www.petallens.com/blog/2020/3/sunrise-is-the-best-time-for-happy-babies-ann-arbor-family-photography Fri, 06 Mar 2020 04:53:20 GMT
Early Autumn in the Heart of Ann Arbor https://www.petallens.com/blog/2019/9/early-autumn-in-the-heart-of-ann-arbor This fall has become an extended summer.  Whewww-e!  When I met my friends A and T at our photo location it was undeniably warm and humid for a mid September morning.  We earned our photos through sweat, smiles, with no tears all laughter.  My favorite thing about this session is how open to direction A & T's family were yet also so authentically themselves.  It was easy to tune into their personalities and let them shine through in the pictures.  

A hint for parents want authentic smiles from their children during photo sessions.  Have something in mind that your child just loves no matter how obscure and interesting and then tell you photographer when your children might be distracted.  I like to pull out these little gems incase my regular means of making a connection don't seem to have the child light up.  For one child it was paw patrol characters, for another child it might be that they love garbage trucks, another it may be their older cousin.  Oftentimes just the thought of their affection will bring a light to their eyes no fart joke can replicate (I've even been known to tell a fart joke if needed).  No worries, if fart jokes are a no go, just let me know in your booking email :)  

Can you tell which photos I may have used a special phrase in to elicit curious smiles?  

Let me capture memories for you.  Book your Autumn Session today!


  

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) ann arbor family photographer ann arbor family photography ann arbor portraits autumn family portraits autumn natural light session basketball lifestyle session bridge portraits bright cheerful family portrait session coordinating outfits Fall Family Photos family basketball game farm family portraits lifestyle photography misty farms natural light photography michigan natural light portraits nature's playground outdoor family fun outdoor living petal lens photography photography by rebecca rowe pickle ball rebecca rowe photography southeastern michigan family photographer southeastern michigan photography washtenaw family photographer https://www.petallens.com/blog/2019/9/early-autumn-in-the-heart-of-ann-arbor Sun, 29 Sep 2019 18:34:47 GMT
Now Offering Preschool Photos at Your School! https://www.petallens.com/blog/2019/8/now-offering-preschool-photos-at-your-school  

Is your preschool looking for a photographer for class photos?  

You are in luck!  Petal Lens Photography is now offering modern preschool photos!  

Our photos have a modern flare, fun angles, authentic smiles, minimal props, and a whole lot of fun!

We have indoor and outdoor options, no upfront fee options, fundraising options, high resolution downloads, no packages -only order what you would like, a free printed 5x7 for every child regardless of order, sibling options dependent on school size and time frame, and flexible scheduling.

For more information and ideas of what to expect please see our shiny new brochure.  

For more joyous little smiling faces gander my new preschool photography gallery.  

 

Ready to book?  Contact  me now!

 

 

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) ann arbor daycare photographer ann Arbor daycare photography ann arbor preschool photographer ann arbor preschool photography ann arbor preschool photos customize your experience fundraising options modern preschool photography modern preschool photos no fees southeast michigan preschool photos https://www.petallens.com/blog/2019/8/now-offering-preschool-photos-at-your-school Mon, 19 Aug 2019 21:00:40 GMT
Sunset & Sports, a mixed lifestyle and portrait session https://www.petallens.com/blog/2019/7/sunset-sports-a-mixed-lifestyle-and-portrait-session I've known J for a while and adore her company.  I absolutely love documenting her growing family.   After our last session, I suggested that we do a lifestyle session based around her sons' favorite obsessions - sports.  I knew little O & big E were die hard sports fans.  You almost always hear about them sleeping with hockey sticks and they constantly have a ball or two with them.  Sports is a family thing, so it only made sense that we would get the most adorable and naturally happy photos of the boys living their best selves.  Between the family basketball game and E's masterful pickle ball return I was entranced.  Don't worry no cameras were hurt in the return of pickle balls.  The balls were foam (phew!), I found this out after a few close calls and had a good chuckle.

I also know, that sometimes we moms really love to have a portrait session in beautiful scenery showcasing our most dapper selves.  Diversity in love and ideas is really what sets people apart, and also drives great ideas.   So it only made sense to split our session into two parts.  The portrait session and the lifestyle session.  We even chose two separate locations as to give the boys time to reset to have some fun at the courts.  The portrait session would come first at a memorable location, where J&N were married.  So while I snapped images of the boys and glowered over donkeys, J, N & daughter A were remembering special moments of the day they made their union official.  It added to the magic of the evening.  I love photographing my families in special and familiar places.  I get to hear their stories, and hopefully I'm quick enough to capture their faces full of nostalgia and cheer.  

 

 

Want to show off your mad jump shot or favorite hobby?  Book a session today!

 

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) ann arbor family photographer ann arbor family photography ann arbor portraits basketball lifestyle session bridge portraits bright cheerful family portrait session coordinating outfits family basketball game farm family portraits lifestyle photography misty farms natural light photography michigan natural light portraits nature's playground outdoor family fun outdoor living petal lens photography photography by rebecca rowe pickle ball rebecca rowe photography southeastern michigan family photographer southeastern michigan photography sports lifestyle session sunset family portraits washtenaw family photographer https://www.petallens.com/blog/2019/7/sunset-sports-a-mixed-lifestyle-and-portrait-session Tue, 16 Jul 2019 04:22:18 GMT
Pastel Summer Evening and a Master Class in Coordinating Outfits https://www.petallens.com/blog/2019/7/pale-summer-evening-and-master-class-in-how-to-coordinate-outfits I've been working with the lovely and heart centered "I" and her family for a few years now.  I've enjoyed every minute of it.  So when "I" suggested she'd like a bridge in the photos, "I" came up with about 4-5 locations I thought could work.  Through out the booking process, clients and I usually talk about time of day that is best for light (it changes throughout the year) and time of day that is most agreeable for the youngest of the clients.  These often do not coincide. Once we settle those two times and agree on an hour of the day, we work our location based on what we have narrowed down (unless location was chosen first for a lifestyle session).  "I" was super happy when I told me an after dinner session would be possible with her lovely girls.  The light is lovely in Michigan after dinner during the summer months.  This left just one thing up the air.  What shall they wear?  Sometimes, clients will send me some pictures of what they have picked out and ask opinions on different options (which I am happy to do!).  Usually, more often, I'm surprised when clients come to a session.  I love seeing what families have chosen to represent themselves.  "I"'s family has a spectacular style and chooses outfits well!

A masterclass of coordinating outfits for a beautiful pastel summer evening.

I has done a spectacular job.  She has all the elements I love to see in a family session outfits.  

If you have ever wondered how to blend coordinating outfits together with the talent of I, have no fear.

 

5 Helpful Tips Coordinate Family Outfits Like a Pro

1. Coordinate but not match.

When I was younger, the style of fashion was for everyone to wear the same exact thing.  I still see this on occasion, however, I think it does your images a disservice.  A great image tells a great story.  I find you often lose a layer of story building when everyone wears the same thing or color.   I'll explain this in the #3.  If you are in a rut and are not finding outfits that coordinate try looking at a department store.  They often choose a color family for a season and you can find outfits for many people in a one stop shop.  My favorite way, however, is by shopping for one person first, then building off that.  You'll learn more about this in #4.

2. Upper arms and shorts

A rule of thumb is to avoid exposing upper arms and thighs. That means tank tops and short shorts are less preferred in photos.  This isn't as much for modesty as an image composition helper.  Bare upper arms can be distracting in some pictures (even the most shapely arms). They tend to leading the viewer's eye in directions that are not back towards the family's faces (which is what we want to look at!)  Shorts can do the same thing in sitting poses.  This isn't a solid rule, but a general helper.  When I have had my own photos taken I've worn a summer shrug over my tank top dress or a crop denim jacket to avoid this artistic catch.  I don't find that lower thigh length dresses are an issue so no fear sundress lovers!

3. Show off everyone's personality

If you can, try to get an outfit that speaks to each person.  In this session, Mom wore a fabulous lacy top.  It was so her.  Little P wore overalls, showing off her spunkiness, L wore the most fashionable dress (she is a fashionista), and Dad wore a casual yet dressy shirt.  Everyone was comfortable in their own shoes and being exactly who they are.  This helped them to be at ease, which made getting relaxed images that much easier.  And for the viewer, you can surmise that L loves being a girly-girl, P is very active, Mom has wonderful taste and probably a professional, and Dad works in a white collar environment.  Their expressions tell you more about who they are and their sassiness level. This builds the story the picture.  And for this family, it tells the story of their life at this moment.  Maybe in a few years, one parent's profession will change and so will their wardrobe, or L will get into sports and P will further develop other parts of her personality.  Each image will tell the story of that time.

4. Build off of one or two outfits, let the others accent.

I often suggest getting the hardest to dress person an outfit first, then building off that outfit to coordinate. In my family, I find my outfit first.  I'm very picky and often wear athleisurewear.  While I love athleisure-wear (think really cool yoga pants and breathable fabrics), but I'd rather not be in it in every family photo session.  So I find an outfit that speaks to me and build my other less picky dressers outfits off of that.  Another option is to find an inspiration outfit (not necessarily for the pickiest dresser).  In this case L's dress is the inspiration piece.  It holds the key to all the images.  Everyone else's outfits build from and support L's dress.  Mom's lacy shirt is white, P's light pink overall create a hazy sky backdrop, and Dad's light blue shirt tucks seamlessly next to the pastel stripes.  No one outfit is the same, but they all blend seamlessly as this dress gave them a lot of options to pull from.  I also love it when accent colors are pulled into other outfits as accessories (see more in #5!).

5. Textures and accessories

This is the hidden gem of the photo. Think of these as icing on the cake.  Some people only eat the icing off o cakes (totally me 5 years ago), but most people prefer a well baked cake and less icing to eat.  Think of your outfits as finely iced cakes.  Little decorations adding to the main show.   Textures are like the color of icing on a cake.  They create a background.   In photos, textures of clothing create a lot of fun patterns for light to catch and bounce off of. Sometimes patterns can also create this effect.  In these images, Dad wore twill, which has a little texture but not too much, Mom's lacy shirt caught light in all the right ways, and the linens and canvas of L & P's outfits were perfection for a summer evening.  Along with the texture of clothing, lightly adding accessories can also give more layers to an image for the viewers eye to bounce around.  In this case, Mom's earring were a huge help.  They drew the picture back to her and then you usually look right again at one of her adorable daughters.  Dad's glasses, buttons on his shirts, L's shoes, the buckles on P's overalls each count as accessories.  L's braids, and even the flowers she picked and tucked in her hair were all helpful keeping eye movement going.  Other fun accessories to keep in mind are hats, watches, rings, bracelets, belts, bows, headbands, scarfs, nail polish, or socks sticking out of shoes.
 


Now that you know my tricks on coordinating outfits, take a gander at her session highlights and spy other tricks used to create a masterful outfit collection!

 

a fun funky pastel summer evening family photo session in Ann Arbor, MI.  Dressed in pastels of a summer sunset in the a setting of beautiful arbors, lavenders, and a dewy evening sun. a fun funky pastel summer evening family photo session in Ann Arbor, MI.  Dressed in pastels of a summer sunset in the a setting of beautiful arbors, lavenders, and a dewy evening sun. a fun funky pastel summer evening family photo session in Ann Arbor, MI.  Dressed in pastels of a summer sunset in the a setting of beautiful arbors, lavenders, and a dewy evening sun. a fun funky pastel summer evening family photo session in Ann Arbor, MI.  Dressed in pastels of a summer sunset in the a setting of beautiful arbors, lavenders, and a dewy evening sun. a fun funky pastel summer evening family photo session in Ann Arbor, MI.  Dressed in pastels of a summer sunset in the a setting of beautiful arbors, lavenders, and a dewy evening sun. a fun funky pastel summer evening family photo session in Ann Arbor, MI.  Dressed in pastels of a summer sunset in the a setting of beautiful arbors, lavenders, and a dewy evening sun. a fun funky pastel summer evening family photo session in Ann Arbor, MI.  Dressed in pastels of a summer sunset in the a setting of beautiful arbors, lavenders, and a dewy evening sun. a fun funky pastel summer evening family photo session in Ann Arbor, MI.  Dressed in pastels of a summer sunset in the a setting of beautiful arbors, lavenders, and a dewy evening sun. a fun funky pastel summer evening family photo session in Ann Arbor, MI.  Dressed in pastels of a summer sunset in the a setting of beautiful arbors, lavenders, and a dewy evening sun. a fun funky pastel summer evening family photo session in Ann Arbor, MI.  Dressed in pastels of a summer sunset in the a setting of beautiful arbors, lavenders, and a dewy evening sun. a fun funky pastel summer evening family photo session in Ann Arbor, MI.  Dressed in pastels of a summer sunset in the a setting of beautiful arbors, lavenders, and a dewy evening sun. a fun funky pastel summer evening family photo session in Ann Arbor, MI.  Dressed in pastels of a summer sunset in the a setting of beautiful arbors, lavenders, and a dewy evening sun. a fun funky pastel summer evening family photo session in Ann Arbor, MI.  Dressed in pastels of a summer sunset in the a setting of beautiful arbors, lavenders, and a dewy evening sun. a fun funky pastel summer evening family photo session in Ann Arbor, MI.  Dressed in pastels of a summer sunset in the a setting of beautiful arbors, lavenders, and a dewy evening sun. a fun funky pastel summer evening family photo session in Ann Arbor, MI.  Dressed in pastels of a summer sunset in the a setting of beautiful arbors, lavenders, and a dewy evening sun. a fun funky pastel summer evening family photo session in Ann Arbor, MI.  Dressed in pastels of a summer sunset in the a setting of beautiful arbors, lavenders, and a dewy evening sun. a fun funky pastel summer evening family photo session in Ann Arbor, MI.  Dressed in pastels of a summer sunset in the a setting of beautiful arbors, lavenders, and a dewy evening sun. a fun funky pastel summer evening family photo session in Ann Arbor, MI.  Dressed in pastels of a summer sunset in the a setting of beautiful arbors, lavenders, and a dewy evening sun. a fun funky pastel summer evening family photo session in Ann Arbor, MI.  Dressed in pastels of a summer sunset in the a setting of beautiful arbors, lavenders, and a dewy evening sun.

Ready to show out your coordinating outfit skills?  Book a session today!
 

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) ann arbor family photographer ann arbor family photography ann arbor portraits bridge portraits bright cheerful family portrait session coordinating outfits lifestyle photography natural light photography michigan natural light portraits nature's playground outdoor family fun outdoor living petal lens photography photography by rebecca rowe rebecca rowe photography southeastern michigan family photographer southeastern michigan photography washtenaw family photographer https://www.petallens.com/blog/2019/7/pale-summer-evening-and-master-class-in-how-to-coordinate-outfits Wed, 10 Jul 2019 17:00:47 GMT
Outdoor Living - A Lifestyle Family Photo Session in Ann Arbor Michigan https://www.petallens.com/blog/2019/6/outdoor-living---a-lifestyle-family-photo-session-in-ann-arbor-michigan When thinking back over this session I kept remembering this swingset of dreams.  And then I  realized I was thinking about it all backwards.  This swingset wasn't literally made of dreams it is the swings that makes dreams.  How many dreams have been created while sitting inside the bird's nest, swing through monkey bars, or rocking back and forth on the swings?  It might be hard to say.  But one thing I know is play is the work of childhood and this playset is the place where it all can start. 

Over the years I have worked really hard to take my procrastination habits and swing them into well-planned turned in on time dreams.  Then for the first time in over a decade I arrived an hour early to a photo session.  Okay it was a God's honest first ever.  I was a full hour early by fault of inputting the session time incorrectly into my calendar (don't ask me how - that is a mystery in itself).  So when I arrived and Dad was hanging in the back yard nothing looked a miss to me.  I often meet my clients at their homes and they are living their lives as they normally would even after I show up.  Moms sometimes ask me for advice on what outfit would look best for the shoot, and kids are eating snacks and so on.  There really isn't a "showtime!'  and jazz hands or curtain when it comes to a photography with me.  It naturally starts at one point and comes to a conclusion naturally.  So when Dad looked at me quizzically I knew I something was off then we crossed the wires and I smiled.  I now had an hour to myself (without my kids) to enjoy on the opposite side of town from where I live.  This was a dream.  So I drove to a local lot, rolled down the windows, let the breeze in and enjoyed myself while the family went about their goings on.

When it was actually time for our shoot, we talked about what we would like to capture.  What the family liked to do together outdoors (I know with my family we split and often do separate favored activities), and any other prevalent information.  The evening was gorgeous.  One of the best we'd had all spring.  Wasn't too hot, or too cold, the sun was streaming in through tree leaves like tinsel on pine trees in December.  And the family glowed.  Everyone was open to showing me or talking to me about what they loved to do, and it was heartwarming to capture.  I love when my clients let me see their authentic selves.  Reading books, game playing, monkey bar swinging authentic selves.  
 






If you loved this session, let's chat and dream up a unique session for your family!
 

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) ann arbor family photographer ann arbor family photography ann arbor portraits bright cheerful family portrait session family game night hammock Lifestyle Photography love of reading monkey bars Natural light photography michigan natural light portraits Nichol's arboretum outdoor family fun outdoor living Petal Lens Photography photography by rebecca rowe playset rebecca rowe photography slack lining slackfline slackline portraits southeastern michigan family photographer southeastern michigan photography washtenaw family photographer https://www.petallens.com/blog/2019/6/outdoor-living---a-lifestyle-family-photo-session-in-ann-arbor-michigan Sun, 23 Jun 2019 19:31:43 GMT
Soon to be 4! https://www.petallens.com/blog/2019/6/soon-to-be-4 When Dana contacted me to document her family of three before becoming four I was super excited.  I had a session at this same time period of my life and it is some of my favorite photos to look at.  First the amazing momma body.  It still amazes me how much our bodies will morph in such a short time frame to grow a new life.  It is miraculous.  Then secondly, comparing the growth of my older child in this case little R, to the growth after they become a big sibling is inspiring.  My whole plan for this session was to follow R.  See what he found interesting, what he wanted to do, and how he interacted with his parents and the world.  

Little known fact about me, I once planned to be an elementary school teacher.  I was mid-way through my studies when the universe had other plans for me.  Since then I have worked with children in many ways, even substitute teaching at both of my children's preschools.  I love interacting with children.  When combined with my love for inspiring laughter (in fourth grade I aspired to be Betty White) it really all lends itself to photographing people and putting them at ease.  Playing off of their interests and evoking emotions of joy.  Little R was no exception.  He and I did jumping jacks, squealed with delight, and watched each other with wonder through out the session.  He did great even letting me sneak in a few extra solo shots at the end of the day with Dad and Mom.  He definitely earned his treat of applesauce!

If you are looking to document your growing family let's chat!  
Now Booking For Summer 2019!

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) ann arbor family photographer ann arbor family photography ann arbor portraits bright cheerful family portrait session Natural light photography michigan natural light portraits Nichol's arboretum Petal Lens Photography photography by rebecca rowe prenatal portraits rebecca rowe photography southeastern michigan family photographer southeastern michigan photography The Arb washtenaw family photographer https://www.petallens.com/blog/2019/6/soon-to-be-4 Thu, 13 Jun 2019 21:01:01 GMT
Rhododendron Dreaming https://www.petallens.com/blog/2019/6/rhododendron-dreaming If you've been living in Michigan the past month, you've seen the rain and the clouds creeping into the sightline near daily. The morning of this photoshoot was no different.  It rained all night long before.  The weathermen were half and half on their predictions for the day and then when the evening rolled out it was a photographer's dreamland.  It was a beautiful sunset.  We haven't been graced with many beautiful sunsets in warm weather in Michigan quite yet and so this was especially yummy as our photo session's backdrop.  My daughter tells me the best ice cream is superman because it has all the colors and flavors.  Well, evenings like this are the superman ice cream for my camera!

When we arrived, I quickly sighted a beautiful fuchsia rhododendron bush in full bloom along a wonderful wood chipped path.  I knew I wanted to work there even before I saw little G's coordinating shirt or the bright and vibrant color of mom's dress.  This bush was the perfect accent for our session.  You couldn't buy a better backdrop for a studio.  It's one of the reasons I love on location photography, it's ever changing, sprucing up every session even just a month apart with different blooms.

One of the best challenges of a session is working within the energy of a little person.  They show their personalities fully.  Getting to know little people is one of my favorite parts of the job.  Little G is no exception.  He is a child who is always on the move.  This spot next to the rhododendron was ideal as we'd get one picture and then he'd run down the hill to some peonies at full speed, I'd snap an image of his sister and then he'd be back and we'd pose him again.  It was a wonderful tandem swing of energy that we just played with through out the session.  Combined with stellar outfit and and an even more fun family, I was smitten with the evening and even more with the images that came out.

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) ann arbor family photographer ann arbor family photography ann arbor portraits bright cheerful family portrait session Natural light photography michigan Nichol's arboretum Petal Lens Photography photography rebecca rowe photography southeastern michigan family photographer southeastern michigan photography The Arb washtenaw family photographer yellow polka dot dress https://www.petallens.com/blog/2019/6/rhododendron-dreaming Sun, 02 Jun 2019 00:44:19 GMT
A Family of Spectacular Color https://www.petallens.com/blog/2019/5/a-family-of-spectacular-color When P asked me to photograph her family during her Grandmother's visit I couldn't resist a happy dance, I love working with her family.  Then when I arrived at our shoot, it was 50 degrees and mostly cloudy, they brought the color and warmth!  I was just smitten with their gorgeous ensembles.  Everything from the decadent jewelry to the smiles on their faces were fabulous and authentically them.  I'm a girl who loves color and authenticity.  This photo shoot was a dream I had no idea was coming true!  The purpose of this shoot was to document family together while Grandma was visiting and get some formal shots.  In true Becky fashion, I loved sneaking in the unplanned and sometimes planned in-between moments.  For me, they make the session and fill in the collection.  

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) ann arbor family photographer ann arbor photographer family photography family portraits michigan family photos natural light portraits nichols arborateum spring time photos https://www.petallens.com/blog/2019/5/a-family-of-spectacular-color Sat, 18 May 2019 15:24:45 GMT
Coffee shops equal cookies stops, family portrait session in downtown Ann Arbor https://www.petallens.com/blog/2019/4/coffee-shops-equal-cookies-stops-family-portrait-session-in-downtown-ann-arbor When life gives you lemons, sometimes, you do a pivot and grab a glass of apple juice instead. That is exactly what we decided to do when we were planning for a Sunday morning portrait session at The Arb and instead found a marathon running through it.  Why, yes we could have found parking and then walked through the marathon and a few miles back to where I had planned our session, but instead The S family trusted in me and decided a city walk session would exciting.  And let me tell you - it was everything I had dreamed - once we got there!  

We luckily found parking very close to my intended shoot (away from the marathon), and with it being Sunday morning, crowds were at a minimum.  We started with some general shots in Liberty Plaza while it was empty (this is late March in Michigan - brr!) and then decided to warm up at Sweetwaters coffee shop.  This is where it got fun.  We found the CUTEST Michigan cookie (with a heart on Ann Arbor!) for our little man to nibble on.  He did his best hipster impression during our shoot and it was fabulous.  Then we stopped in front of the Michigan theatre where it was irresistible for people to not smile and talk to him, and finished in my favorite graffiti clad alley.  I just love all of the hats his mom packed for him as well as the bold stripes on their outfits.  It was so sharp against the grafitti in the alley.

For me, this was the perfect outdoor March shoot.  We didn't have to worry about greenery in the background as we had all the exciting city scape to fill in.  The temperature wasn't too bad of an issue as we had many places to stop and warm up. Lastly, with Michigan's notorious overcast days, we didn't have to worry about harsh sunlight.  And who doesn't love coffee and cookies!?! 



If you loved this session as much as I did no fear - 

I have many other great city walks and stops in mind for you and your family!   

Send me an email to book your session today!

 

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) ann arbor family photographer ann arbor photographer baby smiles childhood magic graffiti michigan cookie michigan theater mother and son session petal lens photography Sweetwaters https://www.petallens.com/blog/2019/4/coffee-shops-equal-cookies-stops-family-portrait-session-in-downtown-ann-arbor Tue, 09 Apr 2019 18:53:16 GMT
Laughter is Key. An Autumn Sunrise Family Portrait Session in Ann Arbor, MI. https://www.petallens.com/blog/2019/3/laughter-is-key-an-autumn-sunrise-family-portrait-session-in-ann-arbor-mi If we've ever spoken about what is the best time to shoot a photography session, you probably know that depends on the time of the year in Michigan.  I'll hands down tell you I love shooting at sunrise or sunset.  The sun rises and sets anywhere from 5am to 8:30AM depending on the season.  The way the light flares behind you at these golden hours  creating contrasting shadows really makes for striking images.  It adds a drama and flare that you simply cannot get in the middle of the day.  That is why when I suggested an sunrise slot for their October mini session, I was super happy when the C Family agreed.  I have two kids and I know how hard it can be to get everyone around on a day you aren't being photographed.  I give the C's an A+ in preparation for an early session.  

The C family is one of those groups of people who move and laugh.  They move with the energy of life, are constantly busy, and bring joy to everything they do.  When I come to a session, I like to go with the energy and flow of a family.  With the C's, that meant letting J kick a soccer ball all over a big yard in  between or during shots, letting P wear her coat as much as possible,  giving dad a job to move coats, and listening to the girl's amazing stories while we found our next setting.  It was a blast!  I enjoyed every single moment of our session.  Especially when I surprised mom and dad with asking them to let me take images of just them.  I do this with every family session.  So many times, as parents it is super easy to put ourselves a couple by the wayside as we watch, help, and grow our children.  I make sure parents don't get left out.  May people f are very surprised, and quickly get comfortable.  For those it isn't natural to take front stage, I have so many tricks to ease the tension from my days of documenting weddings.   I usually get a few laughs like I did with the C's.  

In Joy,
-Becky



 

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) ann arbor family photographer family photos family portraits october portraits petal lens photography photography southeastern michigan photographer https://www.petallens.com/blog/2019/3/laughter-is-key-an-autumn-sunrise-family-portrait-session-in-ann-arbor-mi Tue, 26 Mar 2019 14:15:00 GMT
Running from the Rain https://www.petallens.com/blog/2019/3/running-from-the-rain We had already moved our mini-session once due to weather and were quickly closing in upon welcoming winter's dreaded super cold days. If we moved back another weekend we were sure to get temperatures in the 40's and no leaves on the trees.  If you've ever had a cold weather photoshoot, you know it's only for those who really don't mind the cold.  The biggest thing I battle in cold weather shoots is rosy cheeks and runny noses.  They are tell tale signs that clients are uncomfortable, and the photos will show it when families are uncomfortable. So on this particular day we made it work and ran from the rain.  The weatherperson said we might have rain off and on and the sun would tease us and then hit us with random downpours and lightning storms, so we opted to find a covered area in Ann Arbor.  I was super happy we managed to snap a few images in between people hustling to where ever they needed to go on this given weekend day. 

This session turned out just super beautiful.  I love working with the uber photogenic N family.

The N Family, Ann Arbor MI Family Photography, by Petal Lens Photography The N Family, Ann Arbor MI Family Photography, by Petal Lens Photography The N Family, Ann Arbor MI Family Photography, by Petal Lens Photography The N Family, Ann Arbor MI Family Photography, by Petal Lens Photography The N Family, Ann Arbor MI Family Photography, by Petal Lens Photography The N Family, Ann Arbor MI Family Photography, by Petal Lens Photography The N Family, Ann Arbor MI Family Photography, by Petal Lens Photography The N Family, Ann Arbor MI Family Photography, by Petal Lens Photography The N Family, Ann Arbor MI Family Photography, by Petal Lens Photography The N Family, Ann Arbor MI Family Photography, by Petal Lens Photography The N Family, Ann Arbor MI Family Photography, by Petal Lens Photography The N Family, Ann Arbor MI Family Photography, by Petal Lens Photography The N Family, Ann Arbor MI Family Photography, by Petal Lens Photography The N Family, Ann Arbor MI Family Photography, by Petal Lens Photography The N Family, Ann Arbor MI Family Photography, by Petal Lens Photography The N Family, Ann Arbor MI Family Photography, by Petal Lens Photography
 

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) ann arbor family photographer ann arbor mi autumn portraits becky family photography father and daughter mother and daughter petal lens photography photoshoot rebecca rowe rowe" shopping https://www.petallens.com/blog/2019/3/running-from-the-rain Tue, 19 Mar 2019 15:15:00 GMT
Simply Us - The Beginning of Lifestyle Sessions https://www.petallens.com/blog/2019/3/simply-us---the-beginning-of-lifestyle-sessions Sometimes you have to look back to look forward.  Admire where you were to truly see the journey of where you are now.  To start, when I changed the name of my business to Petal Lens Photography, I did it because I could.  I was moving 5 hours away and was not a nationally acclaimed photographer.  My brand wasn't permanent at the time and I had grown as a person where I wanted a name that reflected the type of business I now wanted to run.  Instead of a name I could umbrella many types of art under, I wanted to showcase my photography and loving sense of looking on the rosy side of life.


A few years ago when we moved to Michigan, it was during an immensely emotional time during my life.  My mother transitioned to a soul level being from human form after living through the trials of liver failure.  This all happened during the time when my husband was taking a job six hours from our then Illinois home to be closer to family. We were literally driving to my inlays to live temporarily a week later.  Talk about transitions!  When we arrived in the mitten we did a mad scramble to find a house in the coveted city of Ann Arbor (this is another blog post - why I love Ann Arbor so much) and ended up purchasing a substantially work involved fixer upper.  Then the husband's new job went from 40 hours a week to well over 65 hours a week and counting  for weeks on end.    This was the beginning of my photography waffling.  It's hard being the default parent and allowing yourself to start your career completely over in a new to you market.  BUT - during this transition I had one thing on my mind photography wise.  I wanted to grow in my art and move away from highly posed portraits and into documentary type sessions that would showcase the lifestyles of my clients.  Waffles are delicious breakfast treats, so I allowed myself this time to divulge, and then flip sides and see the golden tan of the other side.  

Then I met Ms. J at my daughter's preschool.  She is a fierce momma warrior who has surprised and wowed me with her tenacity, vigor, intellect, caring, empathy, thoughtfulness, and patience.  I've learned so much from her through the years and am so glad to call her my friend. Ms. immediately saw my photography and urged me to use my skill, even part time.  She helped me hone my documentary skill by suggesting me for a job documenting how grants for Ann Arbor Public Schools from an educational foundation were being used.  It was true enjoyment to work in schools and photography everything from kids getting adaptive devices, greenhouses, library books, classroom books, digital cameras to film performances, mats for gym class, and so much more.   So naturally when I wanted to step outside of my posed portrait box, I asked Ms. J to let me practice this new on her.  So we planned a  Saturday morning chock full with typical J family activities for me to follow along and document.  I even got out my own bike and pedaled along capturing memories.

Why am I showing you this now?  After I just showed you the latest session with whopping cool images?  Simply, before and afters are truly a lot of fun and I get to fill you in on the last three years I have been on blog hiatus.  From a photographer perspective, the SO family session from a few days ago was much easier to build.  I'm now more adept at asking people how to move about the room, or try sitting in another position fro optimal lighting.  It's also getting easier to tactfully move a session along that isn't provoking a lot of emotion, or how to introduce a well timed joke to get an authentic smile.  I'm more patient and working on being much less anxious (even if you never see it).

Enjoy the J fam, and I urge you, photos or not, take a page from their book.  Plan family activities together.  Bike ride together - it's so much fun!  And visit the library together.  Ann Arbor has amazing district libraries worthy or many afternoons of exploring, if you're not in Ann Arbor, still go!  Books are great!  

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) AADL Ann Arbor District Library ann arbor lifestyle ann arbor photographer family bike day family day Family Portraits Gallup Park IL Family Portrait Photographer lifestyle photography photographer photography https://www.petallens.com/blog/2019/3/simply-us---the-beginning-of-lifestyle-sessions Mon, 04 Mar 2019 16:45:00 GMT
Lifestyles of the warm and cozy https://www.petallens.com/blog/2019/2/lifestyles-of-the-warm-and-cozy I've been waffling with how busy I'd like to be with photography over the past few years.  My children are growing up far too quickly and my family is changing in amazing ways.  When it comes down to it though, sometimes I never feel more alive then when I am outside on location, working with people to get in the zone to get the right shot for them.  It feels like I was built for this career at times.  I get to hop around, be funny, interact with children, and see some of the most beautiful places and people.  The balance of clients trusting in my abilities and my trust that my clients will show me enough of them for me to truly capture authentic smiles and personality is something I am never unaware of.  Some of my best sessions have happened when the baby is napping at the start of the session, the mom has a serious health concern, one kid is hungry, and Dad just wants to hear a good joke.  I crave authenticity and this career has been wonderful for finding it.   Authenticity is when camera magic really happens.  Even better than working during the session, is sitting at my computer and realizing that I have a huge grin and sometime tears from laughter on my face while editing and reliving our sessions.  As much as I hate the sitting and the focus it takes, I find I love it and can't wait to share our session.

One the past few years since moving back to Michigan, I've been slowly honing my craft towards life style documentary style sessions and I finally feel like I have hit my groove.  Sessions lately take on a part posed, but mainly suggested beginning but work into authentic interaction to capture real memories. In our on location sessions we work to do activities your family actually does together and the record them in an artistic and beautiful way. In my most recent session, the SO family wanted a nice relaxed session to celebrate the dude's 1st birthday and this session did not disappoint.  It's a wonderful snapshot of life at age 1.  At the end I pulled out a few props (sheer curtains and a fuzzy rug) near a big window and watched little man be amazed and wondered at this new place in his home.









Looking for someone to document your family?  Send me a message and lets plan your dream session!
 

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) SouthEast Michigan Photographer Ann Arbor Family Photography child portraits family photos Family Portraits lifestyle photography on-location photography ottawa il portrait photographer photographer photography https://www.petallens.com/blog/2019/2/lifestyles-of-the-warm-and-cozy Thu, 28 Feb 2019 16:15:00 GMT
The Mitten Meets a Mountain Wedding https://www.petallens.com/blog/2016/10/mountain-wedding One of my favorite shoots is a wedding.  I currently do not cover weddings but couldn't resist for this very special couple.  The bride photographed my own wedding (and did a stellar job!).  She covered it right out of college with me begging her.  She obliged with (now understandable) reluctance and I at the time as I had no idea what I was actually asking of her.  It would be years before I would walk into the wedding photography industry.  It truly takes a huge commitment, proper gear, and preparation to be prepared for a day on your heels with any possible situation thrown at you.  I to this day cannot thank her enough and was happy to play such a big part in her marrying my very own brother-in-law.  Officially  - welcome to the Rowe name (fore you've been a part of the family longer than I have!) and thank you for letting me cover your day!

The D's both grew up in my hometown in the bottom of the mitten - also known as Michigan.   They moved to the far away and gorgeous state of Colorado almost a decade ago.  Having moved away from family and having had a destination wedding myself, I was so happy to find that most of the wedding guests consisted of a family of friends that had been made in Colorado by the lucky couple.  Their mountainous community of friends really has become family and you could feel the love.  They are certainly blessed with friendships and community.  It was a beautiful, perfect day and I have never met a more entranced and happy to get married groom.   The venue was absolutely breathtaking and the company even more fun.  The whole weekend was a treasure and I am so glad to have been there.

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) ann arbor avalanche ranch avalanche ranch colorado avalanche ranch weddings colorado colorado wedding hot springs ranch lens mi mountain wedding outdoor petal petal lens photography photographer photography ranch redstone wedding https://www.petallens.com/blog/2016/10/mountain-wedding Sat, 29 Oct 2016 03:33:47 GMT
Change is Good. https://www.petallens.com/blog/2016/8/change-is-good petal lens logo Basic smBig things are happening!  Have happened!  Will continue to happen!

Oh my goodness it has been a while since I have blogged about anything on here.  For those of you who are new to Petal Lens Photography/Red Jasper Artistry or are interested in the development of my business I'll fill you in.  About a year an half ago I documented a wonderful wedding and then went on a hiatus.  My husband and I had decided we wanted to move back to our home state of Michigan and were deep in the throes of job searching and house fixing in our then location of Illinois.  Fast forward a year and a half we have settled into one of my most favorite cities in the world Ann Arbor, MI.  We are close to family, friends, and building a wonderful little life in the mitten.

In the past year we have worked tirelessly foot by foot rehabbing a 1980's spectacular home and the 3 acres it sits on.  It's a huge project but it's finally to a point where I can breath a little easier.  Most rooms are respectable colors and we only have maybe 2 more boxes to unpack!  In the past 6 months I have picked up a few  freelancing gigs in Ann Arbor and decided it was time to start documenting families again.

With the new name comes a new idea of business.  I will continue to enthusiastically offer family, child, and adult portraits, work freelance for great organizations such as Ann Arbor Educational Foundation, Crazy Wisdom Journal.  Through my work with journals and documenting how educational grants are being implemented I found a new love for documentary photography.  With this is mind I have decided to bring a little bit of this into Petal Lens.  I will be offering Storytelling Sessions.

These part photojournalistic/part posed sessions are great.  They come complete with a custom designed photographic book and work around your life, ideas, interests, and ideas.  I am so intruiged with documenting the things/places/people you love.  This type of session will savor the little things that are so hard to forget, yet harder to explain how wonderfully they emotional impact you.  We'll pick a favorite place/activity and document that.  If I were to ask for a session for myself it would be our morning routines.  My girls playing in the sandbox, sliding down the slide, eating lunch at the table while I run around like a chicken with her head cut off and then nursing my littlest before nap time.  These are the moments I will treasure in memory and would love to be able to look back on visually.  Others might choose a favorite park they play at, an activity such as boating, hiking, library time, or shopping.  You name it we can artistically and lovingly document it.

In celebration of a new way of business I would like to offer a 30% discount to storytelling sessions booked for the month of August.  Stay tuned for more goodness, a new web address, and stories from behind the lens!

 

-Becky

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) Red Jasper Artistry ann arbor family photographer ann arbor photographer ann arbor portrait photographer becky rowe new name petal lens photo petal lens photography rebecca rowe rebecca rowe photography south east michigan photographer https://www.petallens.com/blog/2016/8/change-is-good Fri, 19 Aug 2016 02:38:55 GMT
Cheese, Trees, & Water - Family Photo Session in South Eastern Michigan https://www.petallens.com/blog/2016/7/cheese-trees-water--family-photo-session-in-south-eastern-michigan This family never ceases to amaze me.  You can just feel the love whenever you are around them.  They love life and each other.  This session started off like most others, I asked to do the most difficult shot first because when you have this many little children it's usually the first or the last shot that is easiest to get.  Well these kids wowed me.  They were fantastic through it all up until dinner time!  They even let me try out an image I've been waiting for the right moment to make - the last one.  I'm really digging it and may use it in more sessions as it was so much fun and versatile!  Enjoy the Cheesing, Beautiful trees in the Background, and water going down stream all behind the F Family!

Cheese, Trees, & Water Session CollageCheese, Trees, & Water Session

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If you would like to schedule an extended family photo session send me an email!

Let's chat!  Take those pictures - hang them on the wall!  Document the memories you make!

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) Raw Barn South Eastern Michigan Fmaily Photographer ann Arbor Family Photographer ann Arbor Photography blue clothing extended family photography river https://www.petallens.com/blog/2016/7/cheese-trees-water--family-photo-session-in-south-eastern-michigan Fri, 29 Jul 2016 01:04:33 GMT
An Adventurous First Birthday - Ann Arbor MI Area Family Photographer https://www.petallens.com/blog/2016/7/words-cannot-describe Words cannot describe the love and complete enjoyment Little E's first birthday party brought.  This little man is so deeply cherished and loved by friends and family I was awestruck.  E's mom did a spectacular job of planning this super fun and entertaining get together.  The theme set the afternoon up for relaxation, good food, good company, and laughs.  I can't think of a better way to put your guests at ease than to make them feel as if they are on vacation.  Thank you J&N for the privilege and true honor of documenting the celebration of your amazing son.

 Compilation #1 of E's first birthday party. Compilation #1 of E's first birthday party.Camping, trail mix, puppets, and fun.

 Compilation #1 of E's first birthday party. Compilation #1 of E's first birthday party.Camping, trail mix, puppets, and fun.

 Compilation #1 of E's first birthday party. Compilation #1 of E's first birthday party.Camping, trail mix, puppets, and fun.

 Compilation #1 of E's first birthday party. Compilation #1 of E's first birthday party.Camping, trail mix, puppets, and fun.  Compilation #1 of E's first birthday party. Compilation #1 of E's first birthday party.Camping, trail mix, puppets, and fun.

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) ann arbor area photographer backyard party camping party camping themed birthday party child photography family portraits first birthday life size jenga live animal show petal lens photography pool party red Jasper artistry southeast michigan photography turning 1 https://www.petallens.com/blog/2016/7/words-cannot-describe Wed, 27 Jul 2016 03:15:50 GMT
Sleek as a Fox, Winter Inspired Wedding. https://www.petallens.com/blog/2015/2/Sleek-as-a-Fox-Winter-Inspired-Wedding B&T were the one set of clients I couldn’t pass up to work with for their wedding.  For a few weeks before I signed on for their big day, I knew I would probably have to take a leave of absence from photography.  This marriage of a wonderful family made for a memorable start to a sabbatical.  The best part is it left me yearning to photograph again.

The venue for B&T’s wedding was amazing.  A once Free Mason’s Lodge, it is the perfect setup for an all inclusive wedding.  The brick walls and rich woodwork is a timeless backdrop for a classy wedding with a country touch.    If you haven’t seen the knewly remodeled Silver Fox in Streator, IL you should.    Most of the character of the lodge was preserved, remade, or slightly modified to work for a reception venue, leaving it nothing short of breathtaking.  Everything from the woodwork, craftsmanship, to the cryptic and sometimes secret spaces of the building made for quite a few conversation starters amongst the guests.

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A huge thank you to the vendors that made this day such a joy to photograph:

Dress: Marien Mae Bridal Boutique

Hair: Michelle Hortega/Main Attraction & Leah Robinson/Reveal Salon

Shoes: Nina in Apple Green

Bridesmaid Wear: Marien Mae Bridal Boutique

Groom’s & Groomsmen Vests & Ties: Seno Formal Wear

Groom’s Boots: Coral Boots

Brides Rings: Rogers & Hollands

Grooms Ring: Jewelry by Johan

Food & Cake: Stone Jug Barbeque

Flowers: Flowers Plus

Décor: Flowers Plus & The Silver Fox

Location: The Silver Fox

Officiant: Rev. Duane Kaufman

Music: Mr. DJ

Don’t be afraid to share, like, & love!

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) central illinois wedding photographer country chic flowers plus free masons freemasons il wedding photography lasalle county wedding photography masonic lodge masonic temple ottawa il wedding photographer rustic wedding stone jug barbeque streator streator IL the silver fox wedding & engagement wedding planning wedding tips weddings winter wedding https://www.petallens.com/blog/2015/2/Sleek-as-a-Fox-Winter-Inspired-Wedding Sun, 15 Feb 2015 10:40:22 GMT
Country Chic Engagement https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/12/Country-Chic-Engagement No sooner than we got to our location we heard the brush rustling.  I expected to see a little bunny rabbit or maybe a raccoon, but out jumped a huge whitetail deer.  Beauty, grace, and pure country.  This deer embodies what I find so amazing about B+T.  A beautiful couple as opposite as they are alike.

I’ve been working with B+T for years now.  Each session is fun, light hearted, and rooted in the country.  With some of the nicest and warmest family I know, I can’t wait to document their wedding celebration in a few weeks.  Congrats you two!

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) camo hat central illinois wedding photographer country chic country engagement engagements il engagement photographer il wedding photography lasalle county wedding photography massey ferguson mossey oak hat ottawa il engagement photographer ottawa il photography rustic wedding https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/12/Country-Chic-Engagement Wed, 31 Dec 2014 11:35:55 GMT
J+P Harvest Wedding https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/12/J-P-Harvest-Wedding-2 It’s true, I love almost every wedding I photograph.  I really do enjoy myself as I’m documenting, creating, and capturing memories.  I dole out advice of how to lace a dress, bring an aresenal of emergency items, and am armed with cameras and lenses.  This wedding was no exception.  You could literally feel the excitment and happiness radiating from  J + P’s amazing, large, and fun-loving family.  They were full of smiles, blessings, and excellent dance moves all through the day.

Congratulations!  j+p-26 j+p-28 j+p-38 j+p-39 j+p-47 j+p-51 j+p-54 j+p-62 j+p-66 j+p-70 j+p-72 j+p-75 j+p-77 j+p-78 j+p-86 j+p-95 j+p-97 j+p-100 j+p-126 j+p-131 j+p-189 j+p-194 j+p-197 j+p-198 j+p-206 j+p-252 j+p-278 j+p-282 j+p-285 j+p-292 j+p-296 j+p-297 j+p-306 j+p-307 j+p-320 j+p-321 j+p-328 j+p-331 j+p-332 j+p-337 j+p-420 j+p-491 j+p-497 j+p-504 j+p-545 j+p-548 j+p-573 j+p-576

 

A huge thank you to all the vendors that helped make this day a joy to photograph:

Dress – Rebecca’s Bridal Boutique
Bridesmaid Dresses – David’s Bridal
Hair – Jodi Martin of Shadez Salon
Flowers – Casey’s Garden Shop and Florist
Rings – Zales
Groom &  Groomsmen Wear – Men’s Wearhouse
Church & Reception Decor – DIY by Bride & Family
DJ – Eric Krone
Indoor Portrait Location – Reddick Mansion
Church – Christ Episcopal Church
Reception – Grizzly Jack’s Grand Bear Lodge
 
 
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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) central illinois wedding photographer christ episcopal church diy wedding decor diy wedding favors grizzly jack's grizzly jack's grand bear lodge lasalle county wedding photography ottawa il wedding photographer rain on wedding day utica illinois wedding photographer wedding & engagement weddings https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/12/J-P-Harvest-Wedding-2 Mon, 15 Dec 2014 07:52:23 GMT
Bows, Flowers, and those new baby powers https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/11/Bows-Flowers-and-those-new-baby-powers-2 I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if there is one session to get in the first year of life – it’s the newborn session.  Newborns have a look all their own and grow out of it so quickly!  I still look t my two little lady’s newborn images and wonder how they grew from these itty bitty things into the huge playful things they are today.  To me, these images are priceless.

G is a ridiculously adorable newborn and I thoroughly enjoyed helping shush her back to sleep and posing her in calming positions.  She was a perfect little lady for her session and played baby dress up well.   Her older sister even jumped in for a few images (a huge job for an older sibling!) – you did great T!

Enjoy & leave me a note!

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Even though I’m currently on sabbatical – feel free to share!

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) IL Family Portrait Photographer bed of roses child photography child portraits family photos il child photographer lifestyle session newborn ottawa il family portrait photographer ottawa il photographer ottawa il portrait photographer sisters sleeping baby sleeping newborn sleepy baby https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/11/Bows-Flowers-and-those-new-baby-powers-2 Sat, 29 Nov 2014 20:01:26 GMT
Cake, Trees, & Rain https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/11/Cake-Trees-Rain-1 I love the great outdoors and a good smashing of a cake but I’m not so fond of being caught in the rain during a photo shoot.  That is unfortunately what happened for today’s little man back in August.  Our shoot started out wonderful.  Perfect temperature, slight breeze, and a happy little man.  Then the rain rolled in as we were going to set up in a perfect little clearing for what would be a smashing good time.   Now, I would normally call off a shoot if the radar shows definitive rain, but the weatherman was very mistaken on my phone.  So we made due with what we had and found cover under a pavilion.  There little L smashed the cake surrounded by what only seemed like torrential downpours.  It created a wonderful creamy blue backdrop that I’m not sure could be recreated.  I guess sometimes the unexpected can still be your friend!

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I am currently on sabbatical but would love it if you shared, pinned, or liked me!

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) 1 year photos 1st birthday cake smash child photography child portraits il child photographer ottawa il family portrait photographer ottawa il portrait photographer park portraits rain during photo shoot rain on portraits rain pictures vintage suitcases https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/11/Cake-Trees-Rain-1 Fri, 21 Nov 2014 21:13:32 GMT
Country Wedding. Rustic, Chic, & a sky full of love. https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/11/Country-Wedding-Rustic-Chic-a-sky-full-of-love-2 Ellen and Doug go together like two peas in a pod.  Just like peas, these two grew up on farms.  So it was quite fitting that their reception was held at one.  Their wedding was just about as beautiful as their relationship.  Each and every thoughtful and carefully handcrafted detail was not lost on me.  From the hand painted signs to the seating chart, each detail was awe inspiring.  Even the wood used to hold the centerpieces on each table was hand chosen from family farmland before finishing into a fine piece of art.

Water of some kind is needed to grow a plentiful harvest.  Ellen and Doug are for sure to grow a bountiful marriage as the rain clouds blessed them on their wedding day (luckily all before the outdoor festivities)!   We even momentarily saw a rainbow (not in the images) hovering outside over the town.  The rain clouds parted after the indoor ceremony and  the most beautiful peaceful sky let in and splashing on the dance floor ensued late into the night.

Trigger Warning – Sweet tooths abort!  This wedding reception contained one of the best make your own smores tables I’ve ever been privy to photograph.
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And a special thanks to all the vendors

that helped make this day such a joy to photograph!

Dresses – Bridal Elegance

Flower Girl Dresses – Posh Peanut on etsy

Hair – Studio 718

Suits – Mr. Penguin 

Rings – Zales

Boots – Cavenders

Flowers – TPM Stems

Reception Decor – DIY

Food – Stone Jug Barbeque

Music – Joe Beck Entertainment

Cake – Kelsey’s Kakes

Tent and Dance Floor – Rental Pros

Transportation – Top Shelf Chauffeur

Ceremony – Trinity Lutheran Church

To see more awesome RJA wedding images check out our wedding gallery.

 

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) central illinois wedding photographer diy wedding decor diy wedding favors farm wedding reception il wedding photography joe beck entertainment kelsey's kakes lasalle county wedding photography make your own smores table ottawa il wedding photographer outdoor wedding reception rain on wedding day rustic wedding smores bar stone jug barbeque tented reception trinity lutheran church wedding & engagement weddings wet dance floor https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/11/Country-Wedding-Rustic-Chic-a-sky-full-of-love-2 Sun, 16 Nov 2014 23:03:45 GMT
Pumpkins, Apples, and Donuts! Oh my! https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/11/Pumpkins-Apples-and-Donuts-Oh-my-1 Turning one is always a bittersweet moment for parents.  It means you’ve successfully raised your baby for a full year.  This can be the most daunting task!  At the same point it means your baby really isn’t a  baby anymore.  They are learning to if not already walking, eating solid foods, and starting to climb the great mountain of independence.   I can’t believe that it was a year ago I took this little guy’s newborn portraits!

I love that many parents want to mark this momentous occaision with a portrait session.  I especially adore it when parents let their new found toddler get into a smashable treat.  With today’s session I talked one of my long time friends into a session for her little one at the local apple orchard and pumpkin farm.  It just seemed fitting that we’d let our little man get into the world’s best apple cider donuts.  He couldn’t agree more!

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Oh yeah – the place that has the world’s best apple cider donuts?  

Boggio’s Orchard & Produce in Granville, IL.

 

To see more awesome child portraits go to www.redjasperartistry/children

I’m currently on sabbatical attending to my family, but I’d love it if you shared me with your friends!

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) 1st birthday Family Portraits IL Family Portrait Photographer Ottawa apple orchard apple picking boggio's orchard cake smash cake smash alternative child photography child portraits family photos il child photographer ottawa il family portrait photographer ottawa il portrait photographer steelers fan https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/11/Pumpkins-Apples-and-Donuts-Oh-my-1 Tue, 11 Nov 2014 09:13:25 GMT
Direction and Future https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/11/Direction-and-Future-2 Dear Friends, Family, & Clients,

This week (month and year) I have been doing a lot of what one could classify as thinking.  I’ve been thinking about family, life, photography, careers, future, what makes me happy, what makes me dance, what keeps me active, and mainly priorities.  It all boils down to the simple fact that there are no redos when you are a mom.  I can relaunch a photography career, repaint a canvas, and patch a torn sock.  I cannot however get back my baby’s first steps, my pre schooler’s room parties, or that long awaited date night with my amazing husband.  I have managed to keep most of these items in tact this year but it has been so much harder than I had ever imagined it to be.

Without going into too much detail – my family dynamic has changed in a way it makes it hard for me to devote enough time to my craft.   I want to give the best experience, customer service, and artwork to each client.  At this moment I feel that I cannot offer it all and continue to rock it as a mom, friend, and wife.     I have toyed with the idea of offering less services to my clients (not offering printed products, in-person consultations, ordering sessions, offering a different format of images, letting you choose what I edit, offering less images in general – the possibilities are endless).  Truly though I feel many of these options offer you a huge disservice.  I want to be at the top of my game and running a business I love in a timely fashion.  For this reason, I have decided to take a sabbatical.  I plan on returning to photography when my family needs me a little less or I cannot take being away from my camera any more.  I am unsure if I will continue 11-on-11 posts.  I made it to a year of posting 11 images on mostly the 11th of each month.  It was an awesome goal I am glad to have achieved.  I may change it up a bit, or choose a different theme.  We’ll see what this month holds!

Please do not worry, if we are in contact about a previous or future session/wedding nothing has changed for you.  You’ll continue to receive the service I have promised you.

Take Care My Friends and Continue Recording Those Memories!
Becky

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) IL Family Portrait Photographer Red Jasper Future giving your all il child photographer life work balance ottawa il family portrait photographer sabbatical https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/11/Direction-and-Future-2 Wed, 05 Nov 2014 20:08:50 GMT
11 on 11 – Flying and Driving https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/10/11-on-11-Flying-and-Driving-2 Incase you haven’t noticed yet, I can be a bit of a procrastinator.  It could be that I like having a little bit of a deadline to meet, or that my life is full of being a mom and the many hats that entails wearing.  This last month has been full of unexpected emergencies whether it be computer trouble, stomach illness, or even the dreaded baby-who-won’t-sleep-ever-atosis.  September-October has been a full month.  I apologize for the tardiness of this post.  I was seriously down and out last week with an epic stomach bug.

This month’s post is all about how my children are thrill seekers.  Whether driving or flying these two princesses know how to have fun.  The flower is following right in the gemstones footsteps in loving to swing.  It is hard to get her out of the swing and more than easy to put her in.  The gemstone is following in my footsteps in loving being a mommy (even if it is just to a baby doll).  She also adores to help me garden. We didn’t use our whole garden this year, but grew some wonderful asparagus, strawberries, onions, tomatoes, chives, cilantro, and cucumbers.  I honestly think that organic food tastes better.  I’m not sure if it is that is has to be fresher (it’ll go bad much quicker than non-organic foods in the store), the variety of seeds used, or the types of pesticides sprayed.  There could be a million reasons why to me it tastes different, but this garden has not only helped us teach a little bit about being self sufficient to our children but keep my grocery bills more reasonable.  It is purely a hobby but one I’d gladly do again and again.  It’s fun to watch something grow!

A sizable proportion of this fall’s full grown harvest belonged to cucumbers we intended to turn into pickles.  I’ve never fermented anything but after hearing an NPR podcast on the subject of fermentation – my interest was piqued.  Our first time at fermenting cucumbers was reminiscent of crashing off a surfboard into the saltiest ocean (with a hint of dill and coriander) you could imagine.  I’m not sure where I went wrong in the recipe, but if you happen to like salty pickles just let me know and I have a tasty little jar for you!  We have yet to try our hand at it again (but I should I have a bucket of cucumbers in the fridge!).  I can’t tell if I am hesitant due to the time it takes to shell the garlic or for fear I’ll spend another two weeks waiting and seek yet another learning experience.  Wish us luck!

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Hungry for more Red Jasper Goodness?  Check out more images at www.redjasperartistry.com

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) 11-0n-11 11-on-11 project IL Family Portrait Photographer autumn days cucumbers driving toddlers family photos fermenting pickles gardening il child photographer lifestyle session ottawa il family portrait photographer personality portraits pickling rebecca rowe red cars sisters swinging swinging with a friend https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/10/11-on-11-Flying-and-Driving-2 Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:21:19 GMT
Rustic City Inspired Wedding https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/10/Rustic-City-Inspired-Wedding-2 You can take the girl out of the country but it seems you can’t always leave the country love out of the girl.  Tiffany grew up in rural Illinois and moved to the big Apple where her love of fashion, excitement, and design was only one upped by meeting the man of her dreams, Zach.  The big city couple brought their love home to get married.

Tiffany and Zach are one of those one of a kind couples – they can’t be duplicated or replicated and it is considered a true honor to play a part in their special day.  From the handmade invitations to the individually wrapped decor this wedding was as much a work of the heart as city chic in design.

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Location: Camp Tuckabatchee, Ottawa, IL

Dress: Veronica Shaeffer

Shoes: Jimmy Choo

Bride’s Ring: Groom’s grandmother’s

Hair: Studio 718

Bridesmaid Wear: Teddy of Brooklyn

 Flowers: TPM Stems

Groom’s Suit: Theory

Groom’s Ring: Marisa Perry

Groomsmen Wear: Jcrew

Food: The Cheese Shop

Cake & Desserts: Whole Foods & family

Décor: DIY by bride and mother of the bride

Officiant: Jane Schomas

Music: The Henry Torpedo Boys & Special Guest Bridget Bellavia

 

Hungry for more?

Wet your visual appetite withmore spectacular images in my Engagement and Wedding Galleries!

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) bridget bellavia camp tuckabatchee camp tuckabatchee weddings campground wedding central illinois wedding photographer country chic diy wedding decor diy wedding favors intimate wedding jane schomas lasalle county weddings north central illinois wedding photography off the beaten path weddings ottawa il wedding photographer outdoor wedding rustic wedding studio 718 summer weddings the henry torpedo boys tpm stems wedding & engagement weddings https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/10/Rustic-City-Inspired-Wedding-2 Mon, 06 Oct 2014 09:51:32 GMT
11 on 11 – September 2014 – It’s camping weather! https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/9/11-on-11-September-2014-It-s-camping-weather September brings many things in the Red Jasper house.  The gemstone’s first day of preschool for the 2014-15 schoolyear (isn’t it the best!), her first backyard camping extravaganza, and the flower learning to walk (she hasn’t accomplised this but she’s learning!).  Since the gemstone has been flying through clothing sizes the past few years she really didn’t need a “new school wardrobe”, but she did get to pick out a complete outfit to start out her year.  Kicking off this month’s 11 pics, is the gemstone in her new kicks.  She’s a diva and natural showoff, complete with saying “Peace duuuuude” while posing with her 2 fingers in the air.
The flower is truly learning to walk at her mere 9 months of age.  She doesn’t see obstacles and tackles everything head on.  I was amazed at her sitting at 5 months old, scooting at 6 months old, but she’s a daredevil and teaching herself balance on her two feet with holding onto nothing.  Parenting is exhilerating the first time around but so much fun the second time around as you let them fall a little, and explore at their own pace.
Now for the weather.  The weather!  It was so perfect for camping this weekend that I got the itch.  Then we thought about babies who don’t like to change their sleeping arrangements and decided we’d break in our tent in the backyard.  Daddy showed the gemstone the ropes of a tent by staying with her outside and I took baby duty inside.  Gemstone learned the magic of smores (which she declared she’d rather have a regular marshmallow), saw the harvest moon a day or two before it’s fullest and closest (boy was it a beauty), and danced under the stars next to a roaring bonfire.  I’m pretty sure we’ll atleast camp in the backyard again.  I had a blast!

Lastly I’m trying to challenge myself to narrate my 11 pics of the month more with images not of the amazing duo.  We’ll see how successful I am next month, it’s just too easy to capture my beauties!  The last image is our amazing dog “Niney”.  He’s a golden doodle with a mind of his own and a heart of gold.  If he loved to play fetch (which he detests) I’d say we should clone him indefinetly.

Have a wonderful start to your autumn!

Becky

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Interested in booking a session?  Take a gander through my online client guide to get all the how to’s, how the photography process works, pricing, and more!

To see more excellent photography take a gander through family & child galleries!

 

Interested in having me capture those special moments of your little one?  Send me a note!  [contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email or Phone Number’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’How Can I help? Let%26#039;s plan and dream up some cool portraits!’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Help me spread thanks. How did you hear about us?’ type=’select’ required=’1′ options=’Friend or Family,Facebook,Websearch,Acquaintance or Stranger,Printed Advertisement’/][contact-field label=’Anyone or place in particular we can send some gratitude?’ type=’text’/][/contact-form]

 

 

 

 

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) 11-0n-11 11-on-11 project IL Family Portrait Photographer Personality Portraits family photos first day of school il child photographer lifestyle session ottawa il family portrait photographer portraits in your home https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/9/11-on-11-September-2014-It-s-camping-weather Thu, 11 Sep 2014 13:10:58 GMT
Catching Caped Crusaders – Family Portraits in Southeast Michigan https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/8/Catching-Caped-Crusaders-Family-Portraits-in-Southeast-Michigan Every year I travel to my homeland in Southeast Michigan and every once in a while sneak in a photo session.  This is one of the families that started it all for me.  I have been documenting this amazing little superhero for three years now!  He is growing into such amazing little person!  His mom is one of those people who I have known since before I knew what the word friend actually meant.  It’s not often you get those kinds of friends and I am so lucky and grateful she is!  She’s one of the most creative, funny, and spunky people I know.  Not to mention she always brings something to each photo session that completely surprises me in a great way.  From watermelon smashing instead of cake for a first birthday, firetrucks and tumbling skills for #2, and super hero costumes for year 3.  I can’t wait to see what she has in store for next year!

For your viewing enjoyment – Up, Up, & Away!!!

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Interested in booking a session?  Take a gander through my online client guide to get all the how to’s, how the photography process works, pricing, and more!

To see more excellent photography take a gander through family & child galleries!

 

Interested in having me capture those special moments of your little one?  Send me a note!  [contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email or Phone Number’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’How Can I help? Let%26#039;s plan and dream up some cool portraits!’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Help me spread thanks. How did you hear about us?’ type=’select’ required=’1′ options=’Friend or Family,Facebook,Websearch,Acquaintance or Stranger,Printed Advertisement’/][contact-field label=’Anyone or place in particular we can send some gratitude?’ type=’text’/][/contact-form]

 

 

 

 

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) Family Portraits IL Family Portrait Photographer Portraits child photography child portraits costume fun family photos il child photographer lifestyle session natural light photographer ottawa il family portrait photographer personality portraits picking grapes portraits in nature super hero portraits https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/8/Catching-Caped-Crusaders-Family-Portraits-in-Southeast-Michigan Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:43:22 GMT
My Little Ponies & Babies = 6 months of Smiles https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/8/My-Little-Ponies-Babies-6-months-of-Smiles Every few months I try to sit down with my growing flower and document her drastic changes in attitude, body, and motor skills.  I am a few months late on this posting, but right on time for her milestone of sitting up by herself!

For her 6 month portraits (she’s now over 8 months old!) I was just dying to dress her up as Rainbow Dash.  For those of you who are like: “rainbow what?” “The Color Run?” “Who?”  Rainbow Dash is a my little pony who has beautiful blue coat, rainbow mane, pegusus wings, and a unicorn horn!  (isn’t she every little girl’s dream pony?)    After her smashing rainbow session at 3.5 months old, My Little Ponies was a shoe-in for my freshly sitting gal! The gemstone was such a good sport she even let the flower borrow her rainbow dash figurine.  I’m very happy to have documented one of those rare moments where big sister looks like she is bestowing wisdom and love upon her younger sibling.  It can be a rarity onmost days where ignoring or taunting are much funner things to do.

Enjoy!  And don’t forget to document those memories!

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For more inspiring images take a gander through my child and  family portrait galleries!

To be put on our mailing list to receive updates keep in the now on specials and goings on at Red Jasper Artistry click here!

Interested in having me capture those special moments of your little one?  Send me a note!  [contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email or Phone Number’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’How Can I help? Let%26#039;s plan and dream up some cool portraits!’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Help me spread thanks. How did you hear about us?’ type=’select’ required=’1′ options=’Friend or Family,Facebook,Websearch,Acquaintance or Stranger,Printed Advertisement’/][contact-field label=’Anyone or place in particular we can send some gratitude?’ type=’text’/][/contact-form]

 

 

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) 6 month portraits 6 months old Family Portraits child portraits family photos growing up baby portraits il child photographer ottawa il family portrait photographer rainbow child rainbow dash tutus and ponies https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/8/My-Little-Ponies-Babies-6-months-of-Smiles Fri, 15 Aug 2014 02:35:12 GMT
Royal Blue in the Park. Lasting Memories of Extended Family. Portraits in Utica, IL. https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/8/Royal-Blue-in-the-Park-Lasting-Memories-of-Extended-Family-Portraits-in-Utica-IL This family couldn’t have been in better spirits for an evening of perfect weather, time together, and picture taking!  The weather cooroperated amazingly for portraits.  It’s like someone went to the earth’s website and ordered portrait weather for a Monday in late July.  Not too hot, a subtle breeze, honed in by children’s giggles and grandparent’s laughter.

LaSalle County offers a few gems of attractions where friends and families can meet in the middle for a few days together.  This family was doing just the same thing and decided that  while they are at it – why not record those memories?

I couldn’t agree more!

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To get more ideas of what to expect during a family portrait session view my family portrait gallery!

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) Family Portraits IL Family Portrait Photographer child portraits family photos il child photographer ottawa il family portrait photographer ottawa il portrait photographer portraits on vacation https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/8/Royal-Blue-in-the-Park-Lasting-Memories-of-Extended-Family-Portraits-in-Utica-IL Wed, 13 Aug 2014 23:49:09 GMT
11-on-11 August 2014. Lazy Day Bubbles and Memories Made https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/8/11-on-11-August-2014-Lazy-Day-Bubbles-and-Memories-Made In the past month the flower has perfected crawling and started pulling herself into standing whereever and whenever possible.  Her dimples have stayed as well as her adorable smile.  The gemstone is really growing into on of the best older sisters a baby could ask for (her jealousy is incrimental and undershadowed by her love for her sister).
A day last week we sat outside in the driveway blowing bubble.  Who knew something so simple could be so entertaining.  I certainly love blowing bubbles!  A close second love for the flower is our dogs.  She spends what seems like hours at the gate or screen door trying to get close to them.  They ar eher buddy and soon their trio of girl and dog will be a quartet.  A mom shouldn’t ask for less!

Lastly, the gemstone is still completely enamored with princesses.  In the opening image she is wearing Rapuzel, while reading Rapunzel, and ultimatly watching Rapunzel.

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For more inspiring images take a gander through my child and  family portrait galleries!

Interested in having me capture those special moments of your little one?  Send me a note!

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) 11-0n-11 11-on-11 project Family Portraits blowing bubbles child portraits dressing up il child photographer lifestyle session little princess https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/8/11-on-11-August-2014-Lazy-Day-Bubbles-and-Memories-Made Sun, 10 Aug 2014 21:58:51 GMT
11-on-11 JULY – sparks fly! https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/7/11-on-11-JULY-sparks-fly It seems life and time are speeding past me faster than I can light off a firework (we didn’t even light off any fireworks this year – travesty!).  My baby is a bonafide crawler and my pre-schooler starts school in a month!  This June-July we spent quite a bit of time traveling.  We flew to Pensacola, FL where we spent a week on the beach and another few days with my parents and brothers visiting.  The flower did better than I expected traveling at such a young age and the gemstone didn’t want to leave (she adores her cousin and family).  We spent quite a bit of time at the beach, in the condo pool, perused the National Naval Aviation Museum, saw the Blue Angels practice, and toured the amazing history at Fort Pickens.  I am bound and determined to go back to Fort Pickens and get a family portrait shoot for myself (and then shoot some portraits for others!).  It is gorgeous.  I was in love and in awe of the amazing brick work, beautiful natural deterioration of the stucco, breathtaking morning light, and all over beauty of the place.  Just watch out for the biting ants! – I seriously looked like I was dancing on hot coals try to pause to look at anything.  Next time I’ll forgo the flip-flops for ant protective shoes.

This month’s 11-on-11 contains everything from interactive moments at the Aviation Museum, touring the amazing Fort Pickens, the Gemstone playing with her beloved Poppy, and lots of the flower scooting wherever she wants to go.   Enjoy!

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For more inspiring images take a gander through my child and  family portrait galleries!

Interested in having me capture those special moments of your little one?  Send me a note!

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) 11-0n-11 11-on-11 project IL Family Portrait Photographer Ottawa babywearing crawling documenting life family photos fl fun fort pickens il child photographer il photographer lifestyle session national naval aviation museum pensacola pensacola beach watering your garden https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/7/11-on-11-JULY-sparks-fly Wed, 16 Jul 2014 09:52:19 GMT
Orchards and Storm Clouds. Exciting Engagement Session in Utica, Illinois. https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/7/Orchards-and-Storm-Clouds-Exciting-Engagement-Session-in-Utica-Illinois Ellen and Doug are one of those couples that pair so well together.  They are perfectly each other’s opposite and yet the same.  They bring out the best in each other and it was a lot of fun getting to them.  The weather didn’t cooperate from the high humidity to the amazing storm cloud that crashed our session right in the middle.  We hid inside during the rain, regrouped and snuck out for a quick five minute shoot before the monsoon arrived.

I am super excited to get to document their special day in just a few months.  Congrats Ellen & Doug!

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Check out more pictures of couples in love here!

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) corn field engagements farm north central illinois wedding photography orchard orchard portraits ottawa il engagement photographer ottawa il portrait photographer storm cloud storm cloud portraits utica illinois engagement utica illinois wedding photographer wedding & engagement wedding planning https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/7/Orchards-and-Storm-Clouds-Exciting-Engagement-Session-in-Utica-Illinois Sun, 13 Jul 2014 09:06:30 GMT
Carnivals and Kiddie Gyms. 11-on-11 JUNE 2014 https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/6/Carnivals-and-Kiddie-Gyms-11-on-11-JUNE-2014 Wow!  May-June sort of took me like a tornado.  Before I knew it, it was June 10th and I had only taken 5 images towards my 11-on-11 project.  So I buckled down over the following week and found some wonderful light and exciting moments to document and share.

The flower turned 6 months young this month and it proved to be the month of adjustments for our gemstone.  The flower is becoming quickly more active and soon to be crawling.  I think the more mobile she becomes the more sibling envy sets in with her older sister.  So I took a few moments a captured the sweetness that is my gemstone.  I love that about 30% of the time she lets me sweep her bangs to the side with a bow, and the other 70% of the time is left running with her hair catching in the wind as she flitters from one thing to the next.  She often asks me to cut her hair so it doesn’t get in her eyes – pulling on hair that is not even in her bang purview.  I have yet to give in and give her a short haircut.  I love the innocence of growing curls.  Maybe in the coming months you’ll see a new shorter curled gemstone.  We’ll see.

Every year, we attend Ottawa’s Lion’s Club Carnival.  Last year, I photo-documented (instead of rocking the twirly pukes) as I was pregnant.  This year I lost out on rock-pape- scissors to get the parental wrist band.  So I opted to photo-document again.  I can hardly wait until next year when the flower will be old enough to try out a few rides!

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Ending on a stolen moment as my baby quickly grows into a little girl.

For more inspiring images take a gander through my child and  family portrait galleries!

Interested in having me capture those special moments of your little one?  Send me a note!

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) 11-0n-11 11-on-11 project IL Family Portrait Photographer family photos il child photographer lifestyle session ottawa il family portrait photographer portraits in your home https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/6/Carnivals-and-Kiddie-Gyms-11-on-11-JUNE-2014 Fri, 20 Jun 2014 15:35:27 GMT
Little Fingers and Little Toes! https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/6/Little-Fingers-and-Little-Toes If there was one thing I regretted with my first child, it was not having her newborn days professionally documented.  At the time, I was still an amateur hobbyist and thought I’d be able to lug out my gear and capture every perfect and beautiful moment.  Boy was I overestimating how much energy I would have being  a first time mom!  I have a few portraits, but they were nothing compared to what I would have gotten had I hired someone to document.  I also would have been able to get some images of myself with my first little baby.
Newborn sessions are quickly becoming one of my favorite types of sessions to take.  Not only are my subjects mostly happy or sleepy (witht he aid of mommy and some milk), but it’s a special time that only lasts a few weeks and then they become larger.  They grow, they change, and become less little.  And honestly, I love the littles!

Today’s little man was a true gem to work with.  He has an amazing family that I am super happy to call friends.

Little Man littleman04 littleman08 littleman12 littleman16 littleman18 littleman21 littleman24 littleman27 littleman29 littleman34 littleman36

For more inspiring images take a gander through my child and  family portrait galleries!

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) Family Portraits IL Family Portrait Photographer child portraits family photos il child photographer newborn ottawa il family portrait photographer ottawa il portrait photographer https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/6/Little-Fingers-and-Little-Toes Thu, 19 Jun 2014 13:24:40 GMT
A Summer’s Eve. Utica, IL engagement session. https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/6/A-Summer-s-Eve-Utica-IL-engagement-session I naturally truly love all of the couples I work with but this couple was just too cute.  Not only are they adorable and extremely photogenic but he’s chivelrous!  Matt carried a suitcase filled with just in case I needed them items (like bug spray and blankets) on a five minute hike up and down hill in high humidy and considerable heat for me.  Jessie is one lucky lady!

mattjessiecollage a summer a summer a summer a summer a summer a summer a summer a summer a summer

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) e-session engagement pictures engagement portraits engagements golden hour lasalle county wedding photography matthiessen state park north central illinois wedding photography ottawa il engagement photographer ottawa il wedding photographer utica illinois wedding & engagement https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/6/A-Summer-s-Eve-Utica-IL-engagement-session Sun, 15 Jun 2014 19:34:45 GMT
11on11 – May 2014 https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/5/11on11-May-2014 Wow has this past month flown by.  It was so jam-packed with goodness (and craziness) that it felt more like four months.  Parenting has become a bit of a chore as the gemstone becomes older and more stubborn and the little learns that to get attention when she’d like it tears should be involved.  I’m slowing down my paid photography pace this year due to this.  I have one more slot for a wedding in July and limited portrait sessions available.  The adjustment from one to two children has been a bit harder than I anticipated, but also very rewarding.

As I sit here typing considering the last 30 days, I’m trying to remember to stop and breathe.  Breathe is a mantra I need to practice daily.  It’s how I teach the gemstone to calm her frustrations and how I try to be present in the moment.  I read an Eckhart Tolle quote once that talked about  not worrying about the future because you were cheating yourself out of the present moment.  April-May brought a lot of worry and anxiety and equally as much awesomeness to be present in.  Here are some of the moments I stopped and immersed my presence in.

At the start of the month we visited family in Michigan and Ohio.  My baby got to meet all of her living great grandparents (4 – that lucky girl!) as well as many family and friends.  I made sure to take some amazing images and was awed and moved by them.  Then after our trip my memory card got mixed up with another and formatted before I could transfer the images to my computer or external.  I did as you might wonder; I cried.  It made me so sad to only have these memories for myself and to not be able to visually share them with the girls when they are older.  There will be another trip and I won’t do the same thing again!

For Easter the gemstone was gifted a PRINCESS tee ball set.  I
For Easter the gemstone was gifted a PRINCESS tee ball set. I’m learning she’s got some decent hand-eye coordination. I may see some softball games in my future.
In April the gemstone wanted to make art so I thought it
In April the gemstone wanted to make art so I thought it’d be great to make work for an art competition (which I forgot to send in before the due date *mom of the year!*). We talked about what certain people in our family did for a living and then I asked her.
“what do you want to be when you’re grown up?”
“A Princess.”
A whole nother blog post can and should be written on this. Her artwork amazed me but I haven’t yet photographed it so you’ll have to suffice with the making of it.
Preschool this month has been jam packed with really fun special days.  This was kite day.  all 11 of the 2-3 year old preschoolers walked a block to the park and flew their kites. Gemstone got hers up by herself on the first try :)
Preschool this month has been jam-packed with really fun special days. This was kite day. all 11 of the 2-3 year old preschoolers walked a block to the park and flew their kites. Gemstone got hers up by herself on the first try :)
Flying next to a friend always makes things better.
Flying next to a friend always makes things better.
We
We’re trying to focus on experiences instead of things in our house. I feel swallowed up by the “things” in our house. For Mother’s Day I requested we spend a day at the zoo. It was great. We made the 1.5 hour travel to Peoria and started the day off at Joe’s Crab Shack on the River. It was a great way to kick off a fun and beautiful Friday (the hubs took the day off so we could avoid weekend crowds). Then we trekked to the Peoria Zoo. The flower learned to sit up this week so of course we took advantage of it and used our stroller (since she’s strong enough to handle it now!)
The Peoria Zoo is a great small zoo.  They have a wonderful African Safari area complete with giraffes, rhinos, zebras, and two lions.  Here the gemstone was goating on Arthur the lion to roar.
The Peoria Zoo is a great small zoo. They have a wonderful African Safari area complete with giraffes, rhinos, zebras, and two lions. Here the gemstone was goating on Arthur the lion to roar.
The zoo usually takes us about 1.5-2 hours to get through - the perfect amount of time for a preschooler and her parents.  This turtle spent quite a few minutes talking with the gemstone nose to nose.
The zoo usually takes us about 1.5-2 hours to get through – the perfect amount of time for a preschooler and her parents. This turtle spent quite a few minutes talking with the gemstone nose to nose.
My family watching the warthogs.  We found ourseves singing like Pumba from The Lion King "When I was a young warthoooooggg…"
My family watching the warthogs. We found ourselves singing like Pumba from The Lion King “When I was a young warthoooooggg…”
The flower got tired of the stroller and I was sure to be ready with my rockin
The flower got tired of the stroller and I was sure to be ready with my rockin’ wrap.
Since you barely got to see the flower this month I threw in this beauty.
Since you barely got to see the flower this month I threw in this beauty.
The day before Mother
The day before Mother’s Day I decided to shake things up. I asked for bangs. Fringe at it’s finest. My hairdresser Jodi rocks. She does her thing and does it well. I freaking love her *squeals!*.
You got two self portraits this month to make up for previous months past. I also apologize for posting on the 12th. I decided to take Mother’s Day and nurse the gift that keeps on giving. The gemstone gifted me a head-cold for the big event. Have a wonderful May friends!

For more inspiring images take a gander through my child and  family portrait galleries!

Interested in having me capture those special moments of your little one?  Send me a note!

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) 11-0n-11 11-on-11 project IL Family Portrait Photographer family photos gemstone and flower il child photographer lifestyle session ottawa il family portrait photographer peoria zoo zoo portaits https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/5/11on11-May-2014 Mon, 12 May 2014 12:44:14 GMT
Classy and Elegant Starved Rock Wedding – Rebecca & Tim https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/4/Classy-and-Elegant-Starved-Rock-Wedding-Rebecca-Tim I first met Rebecca and Tim on a cold winter evening in a small but funky coffee shop.  There I first met this fun loving and amazing couple and learned Rebecca doesn’t like coffee so much but loves Vera Bradley and has a fine taste in clothing.  Tim just likes to hang with guys and comes from a big Greek family.  They have a certain affinity for a special little metal rooster.  Family is important to both and is what drew them towards each other.  They fell in love with Starved Rock Resort and all its charm and couldn’t wait to bring all their family to the countryside to learn its wonders too!  Your day was beautiful special and amazing.  Thank you Rebecca and Tim for letting me share it!

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Starved Rock Wedding - Tim & Rebecca Starved Rock Wedding - Tim & Rebecca Starved Rock Wedding - Tim & Rebecca

Starved Rock Wedding - Tim & Rebecca Starved Rock Wedding - Tim & Rebecca Starved Rock Wedding - Tim & Rebecca

Starved Rock Wedding - Tim & Rebecca

Starved Rock Wedding - Tim & Rebecca

Starved Rock Wedding - Tim & Rebecca Starved Rock Wedding - Tim & Rebecca Starved Rock Wedding - Tim & Rebecca

Starved Rock Wedding - Tim & Rebecca

Starved Rock Wedding - Tim & Rebecca

Starved Rock Wedding - Tim & Rebecca

Starved Rock Wedding - Tim & Rebecca

Starved Rock Wedding - Tim & Rebecca

Starved Rock Wedding - Tim & Rebecca

Starved Rock Wedding - Tim & Rebecca

Starved Rock Wedding - Tim & Rebecca Starved Rock Wedding - Tim & Rebecca

Starved Rock Wedding - Tim & Rebecca

Starved Rock Wedding - Tim & Rebecca Starved Rock Wedding - Tim & Rebecca Starved Rock Wedding - Tim & Rebecca Starved Rock Wedding - Tim & Rebecca

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) il il wedding photography lasalle county wedding photography north central illinois wedding photography ottawa il wedding photographer starved rock lodge starved rock weddings utica wedding & engagement weddings https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/4/Classy-and-Elegant-Starved-Rock-Wedding-Rebecca-Tim Wed, 30 Apr 2014 22:49:07 GMT
11-on-11 April 2014 https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/4/11-on-11-April-2014 This month I offically started into the journey of my thirties.  There are no longer any zeros in my age.  I got everything I wanted and was spoiled just enough to be considered a delicacy and yet not compostable.  I offically started back from my maternity leave by shooting my first wedding of the season.  I can’t say enough how I love being a part of such a beautiful day.  I can’t wait to show off their wedding images in the next coming weeks.  Until then enjoy!

 

My little gemstone has become a true diva as of lately.  She wears a princess dress or tutu most everyday.  She has declared she cannot dance to music with out a frilly skirt.  She even begs to stay in her pajama dress all day long - because who wouldn
My little gemstone has become a true diva as of lately. She wears a princess dress or tutu most everyday. She has declared she cannot dance to music with out a frilly skirt. She even begs to stay in her pajama dress all day long – because who wouldn’t want a pajama dress all day long? Here she is so kindly helping me test out my off camera flash before a wedding I shot this month. True to form while clad in pajama dress and princess shroud.

 

This little cat has become the bain of my existance (yet such a great lighting model!).  If you have ever wondered what present to purchase for a child that will annoy their parents - fear no more.  All robotic kitties bring out these emotions in me (I rather like me real kitty).
This little cat has become the bain of my existance (yet such a great lighting model!). If you have ever wondered what present to purchase for a child that will annoy their parents – fear no more. All robotic kitties bring out these emotions in me (I rather like me real kitty).

It It’s been hard to capture her smile on camera lately. She’s three.

The flower had a blast trying to touch this wide angle lens I rented.  I was trying to get my money
The flower had a blast trying to touch this wide angle lens I rented. I was trying to get my money’s worth and goofing off arund the house.
Self-Portrait.  This is one of my favorite mirrors for self portraits (i
Self-Portrait. This is one of my favorite mirrors for self portraits (i’m really not into remotes although I should probably invest in one if I’d like to get more creative with these).
The flower is starting to not mind tummy time.
The flower is starting to not mind tummy time.

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I adore this smile.  You know you
I adore this smile. You know you’ve made her happy when you see BOTH dimples.
Who wouldn
Who wouldn’t want to wake up to these monkeys?
A smile!
A smile!

11on11-04-11-14-11

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) 11-0n-11 Personality Portraits Portraits https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/4/11-on-11-April-2014 Thu, 10 Apr 2014 22:09:35 GMT
11-on-11 MARCH 2014 https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/3/11-on-11-MARCH-2014 In honor of today I must start out the blog with a big

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

to best dad a girl could ask for.

 I sincerely hope it bring many pleasant surprises your way.

 

February left and March brought in more wintery splendors to stay.  Along with more snowy splendors came a virus that has been rocking my household for about 2 weeks.  It’s quite a bugger but somehow imagines to evade all men with the name Chad (it’s true my friend’s household had it and it evaded her hubs named Chad as well).  I’m not sure if all Chad’s have a gene mutation or sheer luck but I am a little jealous as I sit here with an achy back and heavy head.  This is purely why there is no self portrait this month.  I’m sure the only people who wouldn’t mind seeing me in my fluish splendor are my husband, parents, and children.

This month I kept up with a tradition I started with Ruby.  I took Marygold’s three and a half month baby images.  I had planned on splitting the session between two days but alas Marygold came down with the Anti-Chad Virus.  Her ultra cute outfit will just have to be saved for next month!  Enjoy the baby cuteness of my little chunker!

A testiment to my clearly related daughters and improvement of photography skills!  To kick off tradition I started the morning with the girls in the same outfit (I just couldn
A testiment to my clearly related daughters and improvement of photography skills! To kick off tradition I started the morning with the girls in the same outfit (I just couldn’t find the hat I used back then!). Three years ago Ruby was such a doll just lying on this blanket it made up half of her session.  It wasn’t even the outfit or place I had planned.  So I set out to capture Marygold in the same way.  Can you tell who is who?

 

I wasn
I wasn’t quite sure what theme I wanted to use for this session. I scoured the internet for inspiration and then I found it in one of my favorite babywearing stores. I am an avid babywearer. I carry marygold in a carrier almost daily . I can’t say enough how it has saved my sanity and back!
www.paxbaby.com is an amazing little online boutique run by an awesome rainbow clad family (literally they have rainbows everywhere in their home, clothing, and baby carriers). If you are in the market for a carrier I suggest looking them up on youtube to watch their very helpful demonstration videos.

 

I follow PaxBaby on Facebook and one afternoon it hit me - Marygold
I follow PaxBaby on Facebook and one afternoon it hit me – Marygold’s bedroom theme is rainbows. I should do a brightly colored rainbow theme to showcase her room!

 

Marygold is posing on a full sized fouton in her room.  We love keeping th efouton as it is great for when baby has a bad night, family visiting, and extra seating.  If you have room for it - I highly reccomend!
Marygold is posing on a full sized fouton in her room. We love using the fouton as it is great for when baby has a bad night, family visiting, and extra seating. If you have room for it – I highly reccomend!

 

 

She wasn
She wasn’t all smiles but she definetly has a loving look!
baby toes.  enough said!
baby toes. enough said!

 

This is my image of the session.  I had brought out the crown in case I wanted to play with it and quickly realized a princess needed jewels as well.  I ran to my jewelry armoir and picked out this sparkly masterpiece.  Marygold perked right up as magestic royalty before I even got the camera to my eye.
This is my image of the session. I had brought out the crown in case I wanted to play with it and quickly realized a princess needed jewels as well. I ran to my jewelry armoir and picked out this sparkly masterpiece. Marygold perked right up as magestic royalty before I even got the camera to my eye.
there
there’s a smile!
Marygold wasn
She wasn’t really digging the angel ensemble I had prepared.
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I tried again…
11on113-11-1410
As good as this angel gets! :)

 

For more inspiring images take a gander through my child and  family portrait galleries!

Interested in having me capture those special moments of your little one?  Send me a note!

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) 11-0n-11 11-on-11 project 1st birthday 3 month portraits IL Family Portrait Photographer child portraits il child photographer lifestyle session little princess ottawa il family portrait photographer ottawa il portrait photographer portraits in your home rainbow child sisters https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/3/11-on-11-MARCH-2014 Mon, 10 Mar 2014 23:46:22 GMT
You talked, I listened. https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/2/You-talked-I-listened
 

The dewey scent of flower bouquets and the pop of champagne are just a few of the scents and sounds that have been on my mind of late.  During my down time from two little ones I have been revamping my website, blog, and wedding packages!  The upside of this is there is always a party going on in my head!

During 2013, I worked diligently to build my wedding portfolio and expertise in order to bring you the best wedding photography possible.  I photographed ceremonies in low lit balconies, in churches, under trees, in parks, rode on boats, indoor and outdoor receptions, had sunny days, rainy days and the like.  With my new experience and knowledge in mind, a few months ago I rolled out the RJA Custom Wedding Package.  Brides and grooms choose everything from which album to how much photography coverage you prefer.  After I rolled this out, you let me know through overwhelmed eyes and unsure sighs that these were not the decisions you wanted to make during the booking process.  You wanted an even looser and more customizeable package and I listened.  Instead of five catergories to build from – you now only have three.  Three easy guided decisions to get the photography you want in the budget you need without deciding the details that you might not know for months.

Take a moment and check out the Red Jasper Artistry Custom Photography Wedding Client Guide Magazine.  Not only will you learn how to build your own package, you’ll find out what people are saying about RJA and some great tips for planning your big day!

 

2014 RJA Custom Weddings Magazine

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If you are interested in booking a wedding consultation send me a note!

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

 

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) Portraits grundy county wedding photography kendall county wedding photography lasalle county wedding photography north central illinois wedding photography ottawa il engagement photographer ottawa il portrait photographer ottawa il wedding photographer pregnancy announcement wedding & engagement wedding planning wedding tips https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/2/You-talked-I-listened Wed, 26 Feb 2014 08:32:51 GMT
11-on-11 February 2014 https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/2/11-on-11-February-2014 I’m still getting ahold of this being a parent to two children thing and it is impeding my timeliness of the 11-on-11 project.  I apologize for this.  To make up for it, I’ll be showing you a ton (or 9) of cute images of my two little monsters.

Gemstone has great leadership skills.  She is always trying to be in charge which makes for a great game of playing house.  She is also an amazing older sister.  Whateer actvivity I partake in with the baby Gemstone is right there reinacting it with her babydoll.  Here she decided that she needed to babywear her doll while eating (yes this is how I eat with sanity some mornings).She
Gemstone has great leadership skills. She is always trying to be in charge which makes for a great game of playing house. She is also an amazing older sister. Whatever activity I partake in with the baby Gemstone is right there reenacting it with her baby doll. Here she decided that she needed to baby wear her doll while eating (yes this is how I eat with sanity some mornings).  She’ll be a great mommy when she grows up.
We have two dogs.  Dozer here is the older and wiser of the two.  Since the flower is so little the dogs spend most of the day in their gated area in the house.  January and February have been filled with subzero temperatures which makes for bored inside pups!
We have two dogs. Dozer here is the older and wiser of the two. Since the flower is so little the dogs spend most of the day in their gated area in the house. January and February have been filled with subzero temperatures which makes for bored inside pups!

ruby mg play01

ruby mg play02

ruby mg play03

It is so adorabe to see those little eyes on that chubby cheeked face look up at her sister and scream "I love you!" with no sound.
It is so adorable to see those little eyes on that chubby cheeked face look up at her sister and scream “I love you!” with no sound.

ruby mg play05

Gemstone has a bad habit of waking up predawn and wanting to come into my sleeping quarters to wake me up.  I devised a plan to put a strand of christmas lights (with start light covers) on her wall and attach them to a timer.  When the lights go on it
Gemstone has a bad habit of waking up predawn and wanting to come into my sleeping quarters to wake me up. I devised a plan to put a strand of christmas lights (with star shaped light covers) on her wall and attach them to a timer. When the lights go on it is time for bed and when the lights turn off it is safe to get up and wake mommy.
details of gemstone
Details of gemstone’s room.
Last month I left you wanting a self portrait so this month I
Last month I left you wanting a self portrait so this month I’ll give you two!

self portrait02

 

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) 11-0n-11 11-on-11 project Family Portraits IL Family Portrait Photographer family photos il child photographer lifestyle session ottawa il family portrait photographer ottawa il portrait photographer personality portraits portraits in your home https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/2/11-on-11-February-2014 Fri, 14 Feb 2014 08:23:19 GMT
11-on-11 – SUPER late! January 2014 https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/1/11-on-11-SUPER-late-January-2014 So I am now officially a mama of two little ladies (last month was the honeymoon!).  It is suuuper crazy, fun, exciting, and exhausting.  I haven’t taken much time to work on  photography and the business  since I’m devoting most of my daylight hours to feeding and clothing the ladies as well as keeping up our home.  Every now and then I remember to take my camera off the mantle (where it’s been since Christmas!) and document these early days.  It’s true, the first child you want to remember each and every little thing.  Even an eye-roll is amazing and memorable.  With the second child you forget to stop and smell the roses because everything isn’t quite new.  I’m working on smelling the photography roses more (and not just with my cell phone!).

This month’s post is missing a self-portrait.  There have been many instances of me looking amazing (like right after you go to the hairdresser and feel like a million bucks) but I just haven’t taken the time to set up a shot and click.  Next month I promise there will be more.

As you probably know, the Midwest is going through some amazing snowfalls and freezes.  I was lucky enough to have my husband home on paternity leave during one of these winter gleams (I actually really like snow when I can play in it).  He tried to take our gemstone outside at least once a day to help wear her out while we were trying to keep the flower holed up in the home safe from germs and colds.  This is also a nice run down of our Christmas morning.  Enjoy!

The gemstone was so excited for Christmas morning.  She could barely stand herself.  She did three laps at full speed around the living room to burn off all the excitement before she sat  down to open Santa
The gemstone was so excited for Christmas morning. She could barely stand herself. She did three laps at full speed around the living room to burn off all the excitement before she sat down to open Santa’s gifts.
 
flower girl
The Gemstone had a cold the first few weeks of the fower
The Gemstone had a cold the first few weeks of the flower’s existence so we naturally kept them apart. Here is the first time she got to hold her sister — boy was she excited!

christmas pj

These were about as close as I was going to get of a picture of my two in front of the tree in matching pj
These were about as close as I was going to get of a picture of my two in front of the tree in matching pj’s. The flower just didn’t feel like going with the flow.
The gemstone is a girly girl as heart but that doesn
The gemstone is a girly girl as heart but that doesn’t stop her from using tools!
My parents traveled from Florida to meet the latest edition to the family.  She spent most of Christmas morning snuggled in their arms while we all watched the excitement of her older sister.
My parents traveled from Florida to meet the latest edition to the family. She spent most of Christmas morning snuggled in their arms while we all watched the excitement of her older sister.
I bought this wooden ladybug top spinner as a stocking stuffer.  Gemstone was a little overwhelmed with flashier toys to show much excitement over my little wooden top.
I bought this wooden ladybug top spinner as a stocking stuffer. Gemstone was a little overwhelmed with flashier toys to show much excitement over my little wooden top.
The best gift of Christmas was seeing that my gemstone really loved what we got her.  I was nerve wracked with anticipation!
The best gift of Christmas was seeing that my gemstone really loved what we got her. I was nerve wracked with anticipation!
My little cheeser through the window while playing with daddy.
My little cheeser through the window when playing with daddy.
Her father spent about five minutes building this jump and 30 minutes being a tow rope for the gemstone
Her father spent about five minutes building this jump and 30 minutes being a tow rope for the gemstone’s thrilling rides.

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) 11-0n-11 Family Portraits child portraits https://www.petallens.com/blog/2014/1/11-on-11-SUPER-late-January-2014 Thu, 23 Jan 2014 20:22:20 GMT
A Wild and Crazy Ride. 11-on-11 December 2013 https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/12/A-Wild-and-Crazy-Ride-11-on-11-December-2013 So it’s been a while.  It has been a wild and crazy ride keeping me from my blogging success.  You know that thing they call mother’s intuition?  I’m pretty sure I’ve got it hard core.  I’ll explain more in a minute.

November went and December came in fast and furious.  It all started with my precious gemstone turning three years old.  I wanted this birthday to be special as it would be her last birthday as an only child, so I planned to throw a birthday party.  The gemstone ended up catching a head cold and we rescheduled the party for a Monday afternoon.  The party-goers were small but the numbers were perfect for a preschooler turning three.  Two friends came to her fairytale express spectacular.  We simply combined everything she loves from trains, to dressing up, and fairytales.  After the party was over, Thanksgiving week ensued with all it’s shopping madness.  I was bound and determined to finish holiday shopping as I wasn’t sure if I would be pregnant or postpartum at Christmas.  Mother’s intuition was also kicking in high gear this week.  I had a horrifically strong feeling that my little flower would be making her presence into this world earlier than most expected. I was right. I tried my hardest to complete every project needed to be done from laundry to painting before her debut.  I managed to do everything accept complete the painting on the walls of her room.  I have one more color yet to add.  I’m a detailed person and have a pretty cool room in mind.  Who know’s maybe it will debut in January’s 11-on-11?!

On Sunday, December 1st, 2013 our family welcomed our first ginger edition to our family.  My husband (a blazen haired gentleman) was smitten to be able to share his fiery hair with one of our offspring.  In the past week we’ve gotten settled in with our newest family member and even decorated our home for the upcoming holiday.

 

These egg-free cupcakes were soooo yummy.  I am allergic to eggs and peanuts so I have picked up cake making to my repritoire as most bakeries won
These egg-free cupcakes were soooo yummy. I am allergic to eggs and peanuts so I have added cake making to my repertoire as most bakeries won’t even touch an egg-free cake. The gemstone got cupcakes this year as I was too pregnant to devote the time needed to make an amazing full cake. (She loved the cupcakes!)
All of a three year old
All of a three year old’s favorite foods.
Decorations that adorned our home for over a week.  It was a sure fire way to make her feel special when she woke up.  These decorations will double as room decor for her sister.
Decorations that adorned our home for over a week. It was a sure fire way to make her feel special when she woke up. These decorations will double as room decor for her sister.
Self decorated crowns adorned the party-goer
Self decorated crowns adorned the party-goer’s noggins as they opened their goodie boxes.
She has the best inquisitive look.  She is sure to have a ton of personality.
Our little flower has the best inquisitive look. She is sure to have a ton of personality.
This girl
This girl’s stare can unnerve you and she’s not even 10 days old!
My two ginger loves.  He couldn
My two ginger loves. He couldn’t be prouder.
Self-portrait.  I can
Self-portrait. I can’t seem to stop myself from kissing my little one.
My tree is sprinkled with macab and glittery decorations.  This little elf is something I savored off of my Grandmother
My tree is sprinkled with macab and glittery decorations. This little elf is something I savored off of my Grandmother’s Christmas tree after she passed away. I love her crazy ornaments and cherish that they are now family heirlooms in my home.
I had no idea how much my to daughters looked alike until we decorated our tree and I got to see images of the gemstone as a newborn right next to the flower.  Good thing their hair and eyes set them apart!
I had no idea how much my two daughters looked alike until we decorated our tree and I got to see images of the gemstone as a newborn right next to the flower in person. Good thing their hair and eyes set them apart!  Love this ornament?  Have your own custom ornament made here http://www.etsy.com/shop/summerlynndesigns.  
I love vintage inspired candies.
I love vintage inspired candies.  They bring a wonderful sweetness to our home decor.

 

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) 11-0n-11 11-on-11 project Family Portraits Portraits birthday party ideas child portraits christmas decor christmas ornaments family photos il child photographer lifestyle session maternity leave ottawa il portrait photographer https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/12/A-Wild-and-Crazy-Ride-11-on-11-December-2013 Wed, 11 Dec 2013 01:54:23 GMT
Fresh Air Portraits in Ottawa, IL & Surrounding Areas. https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/11/Fresh-Air-Portraits-in-Ottawa-IL-Surrounding-Areas I wasn’t raised in a barn.  I had a barn but nothing close to a farm growing up.  I lived smack dab in the middle of a bustling little town in Michigan.  One block from school and a five minute drive to the nearest corn field.  Even though my life consisted of fast food and shopping malls, I grew a love for fresh air and vintage finds as I aged.  To this day, some of my most treasured shooting locations include weathered old barns, matured and natured trees, and  country roads.

Today’s session with little Lucas was one of those treasures.  I have been photographing this little charmer since he could barely sit up!  His family are big farmers so fresh air and dirt are in his blood.  There wasn’t much thought of a setting other than a barn or pasture!  Little Lucas did excellent for our sunset shoot.  He turned one in the same month and was showing off his standing skills.  In honor of the momentous birthday it was decided to do a fruit smash (a great alternative to a sugary cake smash)!  I have done this before and I can’t stress enough how much fun it is.  Lucas loved the watermelon and his smiles were real and alive. If cake isn’t in your little one’s diet or you are trying to curb the consumption of frosting try watermelon, banana ice cream, a strawberry tower, or other fruit delicacy.

barns and tots 3

barns and tots 2

I love this old barn.  It is a beauty but unfortunatly not really functional for modern farming.
I love this old barn. It is a beauty but unfortunatly it’s not really functional for modern farming.  I fear it won’t be standing much longer.  If you have an old barn in LaSalle County you’d love to let me borrow for a shoot please send me an email!

barns and tots 5

barns and tots 4

 

 

For more inspiring images take a gander through my child and  family portrait galleries!

If you would like to be put on our mailing list to receive updates keep in the now on specials and goings on at Red Jasper Artistry click here!

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) 1st birthday Family Portraits IL Family Portrait Photographer cake smash cake smash alternative child portraits family photos golden hour il child photographer ottawa il family portrait photographer ottawa il portrait photographer https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/11/Fresh-Air-Portraits-in-Ottawa-IL-Surrounding-Areas Fri, 15 Nov 2013 08:14:07 GMT
The 11-on-11 Project November 2013 https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/11/The-11-on-11-Project-November-2013 Oh my it’s that time again and I’m not sure I could be anymore excited.  I get to share 11 of my favorite images of the month!

October was a full bustling month professionally and personally.  I have been obtaining my goal of writing 2-3 posts a week with the exception of Halloween week.  Halloween happened and took most of my attention!  I love Halloween.  Maybe it was that I was a rule follower most of my childhood and Halloween was one night of the year I could express myself and get attention for it.  One year I asked to dress up as Betty White.  I’m not sure how I would have accomplished this as a 4th grader and no wrinkles, but I surely wanted to. She was beloved on my TV set for Golden Girls and in my book one of the funniest ladies. At this time I also wanted to be a comedian when I grew up .  I loved making people laugh and smile so I guess in a way I still get to do this as a photographer – dream fulfilled!  Well, that year, my mom decided to make me a clown with my brother instead of a Golden Girl.  I will say the clown costumes were very original and super cute.  I’d adore to photograph anyone in as original costumes as my mother made us and I am glad I got that experience.  The longing is still there and one day I will be Betty White and maybe a good friend will be my Dorothy or Blanche.

This year I asked Ruby what she would like to be.  Being a good 21st Century mother I pulled out the computer and looked up costumes.  The consensus I got from my almost three year old is that she loves animals and anything that looked super cool.  She’s a girl after my own heart.  So I did some thinking and decided it wouldn’t be too bad to make both of us owls for the occaision.  The materials cost a little more than I envisioned and took about 6 hours to complete but I felt so accomplished to do it.  I als love that they are original and no one on the block was dressed up as pink and grey owls except us.  We get over 350 trick-or-treaters this year, I can honestly say not one pink and grey owl came to my door.  SUccess!  We were a hoot!  Best of all, Ruby could wear her costume and let it be seen whether it was warm or cold out making this Midwest mommy happy.

What a hoot.
What a hoot.
pouty owl
She is the cutest pouty owl I’ve ever seen. This was her preferred stance for the photo, I do think she just may have a flare for acting as she had me convinced she was an owl perched like that in front of the window.

11on11nov03web

My love so graciously went trick or treating with us to our downtown merchants.  He
My love so graciously went trick or treating with us to our downtown merchants. He’s not one for the dramatics of dressing up, but I do think he enjoys our shenanigans.
Posing on a limb or street corner.
My hubby so awesomely caught this shot of us.
Taking Flight
I do think my husband is starting to get the hang of this whole being behind the camera thing. I really love his perspective!
Some days I am completely awed by her eyes.
Some days I am completely awed by her eyes.
Dolly makes everything better.
She has been fighting a cold for the better part of two weeks. We were having a jam jams and movie day.

11on11nov09 copyweb

Almost there!  Only a few more weeks.
Book a session with me and I promise I’ll make this face quite a few times. I’m horrible at looking through a camera and opening my other eye!

Ombre.

 

 

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) 11-0n-11 11-on-11 project Halloween Personality Portraits child portraits love ottawa il family portrait photographer portraits in your home https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/11/The-11-on-11-Project-November-2013 Mon, 11 Nov 2013 00:46:18 GMT
Red Jasper Artistry Maternity Leave for Ottawa, Il Portraits and Lasalle County Weddings. https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/11/Red-Jasper-Artistry-Maternity-Leave-for-Ottawa-Il-Portraits-and-Lasalle-County-Wed This week I officially called it.  I put myself on the sidelines, dusted off the bench, started shining my cleats, and massaging the pitcher’s arm.   I am officially not booking any sessions until further notice (most likely the spring of 2014).  Besides this ever growing belly (my maternity shirts have turned into belly shirts and don’t ask how I still manage to lay on the ground for certain shots!) I have had a few pretty normal but painful complications in my pregnancy.  These side effects make pulling off a portrait session pretty painful and dreaded.  Don’t worry, I am still fulfilling previously scheduled sessions and meeting with 2014 prospective brides and grooms!  I’m in high hopes that a few weeks of massages, chiropractor visits, and super duper gentle yoga that I’ll be back to normal (all midwife approved and suggested approaches) just in time to deliver this amazing baby!

I remembered that a few months back I shared our pregnancy announcement but never shared the full session.  These images are too cute and in light of my woeful announcement I’d like to bring a smile to your face with an adorable and playfully proud big-sister-to-be.  I can’t say enough how glad I am to have these images.  It was a super fun way to share with the world that we were in fact expecting and keeping great memories.  If we ever decide to bring another child into our family, I would without a doubt announce by photo again.  Since this announcement has made airwaves, I have had the wonderful opportunity to photograph two more unique and wonderful announcements.  If you are missing an idea, but want to book a session, I’d love to help (once I’m back from maternity leave that is)!

 

 

My lovely husband helped me achieve this montage of multiple images.  He helpfully took my camera after I had adjusted  all the settings and followed my every instruction on where tostand and hold the camera.  I think the results were outstanding!
My lovely husband helped me achieve this montage of multiple images. He helpfully took my camera after I had adjusted all the settings and followed my every instruction on where to stand and hold the camera. I think the results were outstanding!

Announcing Baby Rowe #2

Announcing Baby Rowe #2

Announcing Baby Rowe #2

Announcing Baby Rowe #2

Announcing Baby Rowe #2

Announcing Baby Rowe #2

Chalk is great entertainment during a portrait session just keep some wies handy for dusty colored hands!
Chalk is great entertainment during a portrait session just keep some wipes handy for dusty colored hands!

Announcing Baby Rowe #2

At age 2 1/2 my little Ruby  is a bundle of energy and would rather have 10 diaper changes than sit down for 2 pictures.  Luckily her mama is pretty good at capturing her in motion.
At age 2 1/2 my little Ruby is a bundle of energy and would rather have 10 diaper changes than sit down for 2 pictures. Luckily her mama is pretty good at capturing her in motion.

Announcing Baby Rowe #2

Announcing Baby Rowe #2

We announced our little secret to Daddy using this shirt.  Ruby followed him from room to room asking him to look at the alphabets on her shirt.  He kept replying "Yeah I see it.  So what?"  He claims he thought it was a "thoughtful" shirt from Grandma.  hehehe.  Then he saw me through the mirror around a corner giggling.  I like to play tricks in this house, but this was a trick that he played on himself!
We announced our little secret to Daddy using this shirt. Ruby followed him from room to room asking him to look at the alphabets on her shirt. He kept replying “Yeah I see it. So what?” He claims he thought it was a “thoughtful” shirt from Grandma. hehehe. Then he saw me through a mirror around the corner giggling. I like to play tricks in our house, but this was a trick that he played on himself! Score!

 

For more inspiring images take a gander through my child and  family portrait galleries!

If you would like to be put on our mailing list to receive updates keep in the now on specials and goings on at Red Jasper Artistry click here!

 

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) Family Portraits IL Family Portrait Photographer family photos maternity leave ottawa il family portrait photographer ottawa il portrait photographer portraits in your home pregnancy announcement pregnancy announcements https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/11/Red-Jasper-Artistry-Maternity-Leave-for-Ottawa-Il-Portraits-and-Lasalle-County-Wed Wed, 06 Nov 2013 00:09:34 GMT
Follow the Sun with Red Jasper Artistry for a Modern and Edgy Ottawa, IL Engagment Session. https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/11/Follow-the-Sun-with-Red-Jasper-Artistry-for-a-Modern-and-Edgy-Ottawa-IL-Engagment-  

Have you ever heard of the “golden hour”?  This mystical time when the light seems to shine the best for photos making for magical moments full of trolls and treasure chests of love?  If not that’s okay!  You have now!  I’m not quite sure that this special hour provides treasure chests or magical creatures but I can say it is my favorite for portraits.  Not only do you get to see more than just the color blue in the sky, but the light seems to reflect off of most surfaces around my clients in a flattering way.  I still bring my standard lighting equipment to a session, but I do not always pull my flash or umbrella out.

Kendall and Brittany trusted me to take them on a walk through a lot of unnoticed locations in Ottawa.  I had scoped out most of the locales prior to the session, but others were simply found as we literally followed the light.  If you are open to new ideas please by all means let’s set up a session!  I have a few more ideas cooking up in this brain and can’t wait to share and give them a spin!

 

following the sun

following the sun

following the sun

following the sun

following the sun

following the sun

following the sun

 

Browse more engagement wedding images.  If you are interested in booking an engagement session send me a note!  

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) golden hour ottawa il engagement photographer ottawa il wedding photographer wedding & engagement wedding planning https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/11/Follow-the-Sun-with-Red-Jasper-Artistry-for-a-Modern-and-Edgy-Ottawa-IL-Engagment- Mon, 04 Nov 2013 02:00:41 GMT
Finding the Hidden Moments in your Ottawa, IL Child Portrait Session. https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/10/Finding-the-Hidden-Moments-in-your-Ottawa-IL-Child-Portrait-Session
 
The In-Between Moments

 

My daughter is a riot.  She truly tries to be entertaining and always engage your attention, non-stop.  Sometimes she is trying to be so in front of the limelight it is hard or impossible to see what she is really feeling.  Then every once in a while I’ll catch her in between moments.  She’ll be hatching her next plan or thinking back on a previous one and I’ll see it.  I’ll catch a glimmer of sadness or ultra happiness that is far from over done and definitely not covered up.  This is when I get to see what she is really feeling.  Some of our best conversations (she’s three so our conversations aren’t that deep yet) occur.  Moments like these are a rarity to capture in a photo session, but like my experience with my daughter some of my favorites.

It takes a high comfort level, and a lot of trust to let your guard down even for a millisecond -but these images speak the truth.  They are the most thought provoking and emotion toiling pictures.  Rarely are the subject looking directly into the camera, or engaging the camera at all.  Some photographers would toss these images as they aren’t the quintessential portrait.  To me, it takes a lot of work to make your client feel comfortable, even more persistence and patience, and a lot of observation mixed in with a little luck to catch an image in between moments.    They are worth it.

Today’s client was in between moments.  She didn’t like smiling at the camera, but I got a few hidden giggles like this one.

The In-Between Moments

For more inspiring images take a gander through my child and  family portrait galleries!

If you would like to be put on our mailing list to receive updates keep in the now on specials and goings on at Red Jasper Artistry click here!

Interested in booking a family portrait session?   Send me an email by using the contact form below!

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) Family Portraits Ottawa child portraits il child photographer ottawa il family portrait photographer ottawa il portrait photographer https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/10/Finding-the-Hidden-Moments-in-your-Ottawa-IL-Child-Portrait-Session Fri, 25 Oct 2013 03:05:40 GMT
My Yoga Portrait Revolution Starts in Ottawa, IL. Personalizing your Practice and Portraits. https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/10/My-Yoga-Portrait-Revolution-Starts-in-Ottawa-IL-Personalizing-your-Practice-and-Po I can’t say enough how much yoga has changed me and my life.  To some people who have never found a passion in what could be called a hobby it may sound silly or crazy.  Yoga has changed me.  I was very fortunate when I got to know the owners of Energyoga, the studio I practice at, and they asked me to start a revolution.  To adorn their walls with portraits of regular average yoga students doing regular average yoga poses.  It sounds quite inspiring.  Many times when you pick up a magazine like Yoga Journal, the people who lace the magazine images are all experienced top of the line yogis or personal trainers.  They are not your average Joe.  So when you go online to a stock photography site looking for work to dress up your yoga studio, you naturally find these images with nearly perfect bodies in nearly perfect poses.

It has been in the past year that I have come to realize that when you have perfected a pose, you learn you are not doing it “right”.  That is what makes yoga (and photography for that matter!) so much fun.  Every practice poses a challenge even if I don’t want it to.  This is why I am so excited to be working with Energyoga to re-adorn their walls with a view of average people striving to perfect their practice.  My teachers often say that they are happiest at their studio when they look around and see ten different variations of the same pose.  To them, it means that their students are listening to their bodies and pushing their practice where it needs to go for themselves.    As a pregnant yogi with no prenatal yoga classes in town, this is amazing to hear.  I need to modify about 80% of my practice in order to stay safe for the baby and I.  It has been a true joy.  In another month, I will have another very talented photographer capture a maternity session for me.  In this session I plan to incorporate yoga.  It has been such a large part of my life and had a huge impact on my pregnancy that I can’t help but want it documented.  I highly suggest that you incorporate personal hobbies or lifestyles into your photo sessions.  The images will be more memorable and a great marker of your journey.  Just like yoga is a forever perfecting practice, photography is forever perfecting the session.  Each session is unique to the individual client and the individual day.  My sessions have never proved to be dull!

Today’s session was taken early last spring with two of the teachers at Energyoga.  They also happen to be good friends.  It was not only lovely to capture their practice, but document their friendship.

Sometimes you just need to stretch for the heavens.   Roz is practicing triangle pose.
Sometimes you just need to stretch for the heavens.
Roz is practicing triangle pose.
I couldn
I couldn’t imagine Roz more as herself than in this image. She is truly a centered person and very calm.
Not only is eagle arms pose a great stretch for your shoulders, arms, and backs, but is a good stretch for the mind to figur eout how to get into it for the first time!
Not only is eagle arms pose a great stretch for your shoulders, arms, and backs, but is a good stretch for the mind to figure out how to get into it for the first time!
There is a whole specialty in yoga for partner poses.  These types of classes I
There is a whole specialty in yoga for partner poses. These types of classes I’m sure are a riot as you can see we could barely keep straight faces.
This is one of my favorite images of Sara.  She leads a very devout and internal practice where every move is calculated and done with concrete thought.  You can literally see the intensity  of her start of sun salutation.
This is one of my favorite images of Sarah. She leads a very devout and internal practice where every move is calculated and done with concrete thought. You can literally see the intensity of her start of sun salutation.
This image is unique to Sara as she is doing Warrior 1 pose, but has modified it so she can stretch her shoulders.   Just like in photography no two sessions are alike and sometimes we modify a session to meet the needs of the individual client.
This image is unique to Sarah as she is doing Warrior 1 pose, but has modified it so she can stretch her shoulders. Just like in photography no two sessions are alike and sometimes we modify a session to meet the needs of the individual client.

 

To see more amazing images of people incorporating their personality into their session check out the portrait gallery!

If you would like to be put on our mailing list to receive updates and  keep in the now on specials and goings on at Red Jasper Artistry click here!

 

Ready to schedule your own portrait session?  Send me an email via the contact form below to discuss your idea!

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) Personality Portraits Portraits energyoga finding your peace hobby portraits ottawa il portrait photographer personality portraits yoga yoga portraits https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/10/My-Yoga-Portrait-Revolution-Starts-in-Ottawa-IL-Personalizing-your-Practice-and-Po Thu, 24 Oct 2013 06:06:09 GMT
What exactly is a lifestyle session? The Pros and Cons Named. {Ottawa, IL Family Portrait Phot https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/10/What-exactly-is-a-lifestyle-session-The-Pros-and-Cons-Named-Ottawa-IL-Family-Portr You may have read the term “life style session”.  Then you immediately thought hmm… sounds interesting.  Then you wondered what the heck it is!  The term does not really explain itself very easily.  Loosely put a lifestyle session is any portrait session that represents you and your lifestyle.  It could be as detailed as the photographer hanging out at your home or wherever you are and documenting your life.  It could also be translated as loosely as having portraits taken in your own home.  No extra cleaning, no moving things, just wake up and come on over.  I prefer to offer lifestyle sessions somewhere in the middle of these extremes.

After we pick a date for our awesome laid back journey, I’ll still assist you in choosing outfits or accessories to compliment your theme.  I suggest you sweep and vacuum your floors (dust bunnies show up amazingly well on the camera!) and wipe finger smudges of shiny reflective surfaces (if you can – I know my toddler and two dogs are like a tornado in the path of my cleaning!)  We may choose what rooms in your home offer the best lighting and which rooms best represent your family or theme.  On the day of the shoot, I’ll come on over with a flash and umbrella in tow (because that is how I roll!) but very minimal props.  Any props I bring will certainly only be for entertainment of small children.  We’ll use your home and your things for this type of shoot.  I’ll once again walk through the chosen areas and possibly suggest moving a few pieces of furniture or any thing that may be distracting to our images.  Then we’ll get going!

I personally love lifestyle sessions and have one planned for my family later this year.  It not only gives me a chance to show off all the hard work I’ve put into my home, but I have a plethora of outfits at my finger tips if baby spits up on me, my toddler has an accident, or many of the other possibilities of disaster!  If baby is fussy, I have a million pacifiers stashed, favorite treats in the cupboard, and lovies on stand by.  I won’t be stuck by what I have crammed into a bag (and what I can find in that bag!).  Being at home is where some children feel best.  They can play with their toys and just seem more comfortable (which always makes for better images!).  These pictures are not only an overpacking mama’s dream but will be personal to our family and the time.  They will show our family growing as well as our home!

Now that I have laid out all the amazing pros to this type of session, I should warn you of the negatives.  If you don’t like cleaning your home, you’ll have to at least do a little picking up of your home.  Also, these images are usually more realistic and journalistic. If you prefer highly posed images set in grand landscapes this session might not be for you.  Other than that, lifestyle sessions are just amazing!  Check out this session with the wonderful Novario family.  They chose a lifestyle session as a way to keep their family (who lives all over the country) in one spot as long as possible.  It worked out well, as they could start their day together, work with the little one’s nap times and playtimes as well as not have to do an hour or so of packing and traveling to get to their session destination!

Even the littlest is a hero!
Even the littlest is a hero!
He
He’s super in his cape.
He
He’s sleeping! Thumbs up!
You can
You can’t forget about grandparent/grandchildren shots!
This family was so playful - I loved it!
This family was so playful – I loved it!
I can
I can’t get enough of these two boys, they are the bee’s knees!
Happy to be Together!
Happy to be Together!

 

  Don’t forget to check out the family portrait gallery!  Get the newest blog updates keep in the now on specials and goings on at Red Jasper Artistry by clicking here!

Book a family portrait session by sending me an email  through the contact form below. [contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) Family Portraits family photos lifestyle session ottawa il family portrait photographer portraits in your home https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/10/What-exactly-is-a-lifestyle-session-The-Pros-and-Cons-Named-Ottawa-IL-Family-Portr Mon, 21 Oct 2013 02:27:39 GMT
Plan Your LaSalle County Wedding and Enjoy Most Every Minute of It. https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/10/Plan-Your-LaSalle-County-Wedding-and-Enjoy-Most-Every-Minute-of-It Weddings.  I love weddings.  I love photographing weddings.  I love planning weddings.  I think in a past life I may have been a wedding planner.  There is something about walking into the dress shop knowing you’ll be there for 2 hours trying on dresses even if you are sure of the exact dress the moment you walk in.  It all a part of being the bride.  Hopefully you’ll never plan this day again so why not make the most of each and every experience?  There is a reason TLC and other channels host shows like “Say yes to the dress”.  Weddings can be so much fun and so exciting!  They bring out the best and the worst in people.  In order to enjoy your wedding planning as best as you can I have compiled a list of guidelines for you to stick to and remember. (In case you haven’t caught on – I like lists a teeny eenie bit – they bring a little bit or organization to the chaos and creativity that is my head).

1. Prioritize your budget right away.  What is the most important items for you and your fiancé’s special day?  Are you music buffs? Foodies? Partiers? Gardeners? By making a list of what is an absolute must in your big day you can start to figure out how you will divide your budget (unless you are amazingly lucky and don’t have a budget!).  When I planned my wedding priority list it started with finding a specific date with a location that would hold about 100 people for ceremony and reception.  This was the number one thing for us to hold our wedding – we were holding the wedding 6 hours from most of our family and knew we would have a small turnout.  Yes folks, I did say small. My father’s side of the family –  siblings and children makes up half of that number easy if we had a wedding at home.  After that, the next important items were food (we wanted our guests who had traveled so far to celebrate with us have an amazing meal), the photographer, the dj (I love music and have a broad range of tastes but am specific in the amount of fun – a lot –  associated with it), and alcohol.  I was lucky enough to find a venue that fit our budget which took care of most of my needs for me -leaving me to do what I do best, being creative!

2. Have two people you can bounce ideas off of.  One who is super thrifty and who is super lavish.  Your lavish friend will give you all the ideas in the world to make your day sparkle.  Your super thrifty friend will hopefully give you ideas that keep your dreams in your budget.  The best of both worlds is to have one friend who will  play both roles for you!

3. Make a pinterest board, evernote notebook, or old fashioned folder or scrapbook of ideas.  You must keep those somewhere as the day will get closer it’ll be nice to have back up ideas at your fingertips incase something falls through.

4. Book your photographer as soon as possible.  The day will come and go, the food will be eaten and you will have another meal, the dj will play your song list, but those images will be with you for the rest of your life.  Choose a photographer who not only understands your style of wedding, but works well with you.  I personally strive to give you images that repeatedly take your breath away when you look at them.  Talk to your friends and family members and find out what they wished had been captured differently at their weddings.  Let this be your guide in questions at your consultations.  The last thing you need to worry about on your big day is if the photographer is getting the shots you want.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask your wedding professionals what they have seen at weddings that made them go – “that is so cool!”  DJ’s, photographers, caterers, and officiants have often seen countless weddings and usually aren’t shy to share ideas that stood out in a good way.

6. Don’t forget your thank you gifts for anyone who has input a substantial amount of help for your wedding day.  Photographers often have mini albums, Christmas ornaments, and other personalized items you can gift these special people.

 

Today’s couple had a beautiful wedding in a church that surprised me with it’s amazing light on a late November Day.

 

Late Autumn Wedding

Late Autumn Wedding

Late Autumn Wedding

Late Autumn Wedding

Late Autumn Wedding

Late Autumn Wedding

Late Autumn Wedding

Late Autumn Wedding

Late Autumn Wedding

Late Autumn Wedding

Late Autumn Wedding

Late Autumn Wedding

Late Autumn Wedding

Late Autumn Wedding

Late Autumn Wedding

Late Autumn Wedding

Late Autumn Wedding

Late Autumn Wedding

Late Autumn Wedding

Don’t forget to check out the engagement wedding galleries!

If you would like to be put on our mailing list to receive updates on the blog, important news, and specials click here.

If you are interested in booking an engagement session send me a note!  

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) ottawa il engagement photographer ottawa il wedding photographer wedding & engagement wedding planning wedding tips https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/10/Plan-Your-LaSalle-County-Wedding-and-Enjoy-Most-Every-Minute-of-It Fri, 18 Oct 2013 02:00:10 GMT
Intimate Wedding Ceremony Portrait Session. {Ottawa, IL Wedding & Engagement Photographer} https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/10/Intimate-Wedding-Ceremony-Portrait-Session-Ottawa-IL-Wedding-Engagement-Photographer Sometimes a huge celebration just isn’t for you.  My husband and I even toyed with the idea of a nice little courthouse wedding.  We wouldn’t have to worry about caterers, cakes, DJ’s, or even  bridal party.  It would be us, a very few close family members and an officiant of the court.  It sounded lovely to me.  I have a family of 45 immediate family members on one side alone.  This didn’t even take into account my husband’s family or our numerous friends.   In my book, it is too hard to pick and choose who to invite so if you are a first cousin, you are all invited.  That was a lot of food and invitations!  After much thought and contemplation, my groom-to-be and I chose to “do it up” with a medium sized wedding.  I am so glad we chose this option.  I am my father’s only daughter (he has 3 sons!) and he wouldn’t get the chance to be bestowed the honor of walking me down a grand aisle if I chose a small wedding.  I also love a good wedding that doubles as an even more fun party.  It was perfectly us.  This is what you should look for when you plan your special day.  A day that is perfectly a compilation of the both of you.  If a small intimate ceremony is for you, then that it should be!  Just don’t forget to schedule a portrait session for your big day!  These images will be markers of a new era in your life and there’s not quite a better time to document it.

Today’s couple chose an intimate courthouse ceremony to secure their vows.  The bride contacted me a few weeks prior to the big day and inquired all the normal questions: availability, rates, and what to expect.  We talked about how she loved a family heirloom image of her grandparent’s wedding.  She wanted to capture this image with her wedding day.  She had a beautiful vintage inspired dress picked out and the shoes to match.

The morning of their nuptials the bride was feeling under the weather (you’d never know she was battling a cold!) and there was a haze of fog that just hung over our town.  After a short studio session (I currently do not offer in-studio sessions) they took me to their amazing home.  I am a sucker for old victorian era homes and Ottawa has a lot of these houses.  This home is special.   When I first moved to the area I remember driving by this exact house ogling at the grand columns and porch.  It is a true treasure worthy of this family.  It was a sordid delight to photograph them in such an intimate location and the fog!  The fog!  It was amazing!  It was my first shoot in the weather and I wasn’t afraid as I knew it could help create spectacular images but boy did it!

The newlywed
The newlywed’s home is so grand and regal that it is only worthy of a timeless love.
Dancing the fog away
At most engagement sessions I teach the groom to be how to dip his lady to be for a portrait. This is usually an exercise in trust for both partners and the results are usually quite entertaining and make for stunning images.
I couldn’t resist taking a few images around this tree. I absolutely adore how it’s branches weep and twist almost capturing the lucky couple.
I love capturing the special moments of catching your breath of newlyweds and engaged couples.
I love capturing genuine laughter in a session even more.

 

If you are interested in booking an engagement session send an email to redjaspeartistry@gmail.com.  

Don’t forget to check out the engagement wedding galleries!

If you would like to be put on our mailing list to receive updates on the blog, important news, and specials click here.

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) fog fog images intimate wedding love ottawa il engagement photographer ottawa il wedding photographer wedding & engagement https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/10/Intimate-Wedding-Ceremony-Portrait-Session-Ottawa-IL-Wedding-Engagement-Photographer Wed, 16 Oct 2013 02:52:42 GMT
Pep in your step & some Holiday in your Spirit! {Ottawa, IL Family Portrait Photographer} https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/10/Pep-in-your-step-some-Holiday-in-your-Spirit-Ottawa-IL-Family-Portrait-Photographer  

I know – It’s not even Halloween yet.  You and I both hate going to our favorite stores (like the one with a logo made of big red circles) and seeing other holidays being passed right up.  Long before Halloween has even become a reality the aisles are usually condensed into oblivion and replaced by not the next momentous celebration, but the one after that.  Whether you celebrate Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, or simply December 25th this time of year seems unfair.  Poor Halloween (and it’s my favorite!).

Either way, it’s the way things are.  I cannot explain why big box stores skip the measly holidays but I can explain why in my marketing I usually skip the warm up celebrations.  I live a good 6 to 16 hour drive from my nearest relatives.  There is one time a year I regularly get correspondence from these people and that my friends is Christmas.  Every year I put together a nice little letter talking about our hardships and accomplishments (to keep the family in the loop) and make a custom Christmas card (incase they’ve forgotten what we look like).  In order for all my hard-work (or hard earned money) to go noticed these cards need to be mailed out a good 2-3 weeks before the holiday hits.  Otherwise they hang in someone’s home for about a week (New Year’s Day) and then are taken down along with the tree.  I like getting the bang for the buck.  So in order to be on top of things my holiday cards need to be in my hands no later than December 1st, 2013.  Now if I were going to schedule a family portrait session I would schedule it for no later than November 1st, 2013.  Here is why:

#1 – I like fall colors and in Illinois the leaves are usually gone by the end of October (or at least in huge piles on the ground if any rainy days haven’t ruined them.

#2 – After a photo session occurs your proofing session does not happen for another 2 weeks.  This gives me time to go through the images, edit, put on special touches) like removing that annoying zit, gussying up the sky, and make a few mockups for holiday well wishes.  After our proofing session it may take another two weeks to get your items in.  That is a full month to have your items in hand and be on top of the holiday card pecking order.

#3 – You can plan your Holiday gift giving!  There is a reason they call 8×10’s and smaller gift prints.  They are historically the size of prints you would gift to someone.  This by any matter does not mean you couldn’t order something larger or a showcase item for a special recipient.  Be spontaneous and creative!

Capturing a moment between sisters is priceless.  A good laugh is something to treasure.
Capturing a moment between sisters is priceless. A good laugh is something to treasure.
Live more freely.  Lovely more closely.  Enjoy life.
Live more freely. Lovely more closely. Enjoy life.
I love whimsy - so why not add a little whimsy into your holiday card?  If you are looking to theme your image to the holiday props are a great way to go.  As with anything non-traditional is a great way to go as well!
I love whimsy – so why not add a little whimsy into your holiday card? If you are looking to theme your image to the holiday props are a great way to go. As with anything non-traditional is a great way to go as well!

If you are interested in booking a family portrait session send me an email by clicking here.  Don’t forget to check out my child and  family portrait galleries!

If you would like to be put on our mailing list to receive updates keep in the now on specials and goings on at Red Jasper Artistry click here!

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) Family Portraits Holiday card picture christmas cards holiday card photo holiday picture timeline ottawa il family portrait photographer ottawa il portrait photographer https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/10/Pep-in-your-step-some-Holiday-in-your-Spirit-Ottawa-IL-Family-Portrait-Photographer Mon, 14 Oct 2013 03:40:46 GMT
From Apples to Cards - {Ottawa, IL - Family Portrait Photographer} https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/10/from-apples-to-cards---ottawa-il---family-portrait-photographer      The other day I was picking apples at an orchard with my lovely husband and daughter.  It was amazing.  I brought along my camera for a project I am working on (to be unveiled very soon!) and proceeded to arrange, watch, and capture the moments.  The only problem is I do not have a single image of my husband, daughter, and I together.  So often in families one person loves taking photos or video of family events and outings.  This person also tends to not be in any of the photos.  In my family that is obviously me.  My husband will ever so graciously try to capture a few images of me if I do all the settings on the camera for him.  Other wives or husbands are not so lucky.  This is one of the many reasons I deem it imperative that an effort is made to have a family photo taken once a year.  Not only do they make great images for holiday letters and cards, but capture the dynamic of the whole family as it evolves.

    Today's family came together to have their portraits taken over a long holiday weekend.  Holiday weekends make a great time for images of families that do not live together year round or in a near proximity.  I often get calls for extended family portraits over long weekends as well, it can be a busy time but the memories are well preserved!

 

 

The oldest boy loooves Ironman.  He made sure to show me how Tony Stark charges up to fly - sound effects and all!  His younger brother was more than happy to play along.  Take a gander at his action sequence!  

 

 

If you are interested in booking a family portrait session send me an email by clicking here.  Don't forget to check out my child and  family portrait galleries!

If you would like to be put on our mailing list to receive updates keep in the now on specials and goings on at Red Jasper Artistry click here!

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) family ottawa, il photographer photography portrait red jasper artistry https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/10/from-apples-to-cards---ottawa-il---family-portrait-photographer Thu, 10 Oct 2013 16:45:00 GMT
The 11-on-11 Project https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/10/The-11-on-11-Project
 

I am always looking for new to me photographers that will inspire me to new depths in my art.  There are some amazing and awe inspiring photographers whether it be their individual artistic style, willingness to step outside of the portrait box, or their sheer ability to bring the best out of their clients.  It’s true a picture is worth a thousand words and to me an inspiring picture is priceless.  I was so excited last week when I stumbled upon a group of very talented photographers who started a project called 11-on-11.  On the 11th day of each month, each photographer posts 11 images they took in the previous month.  The only rule being that one image must be a self-portrait.  This struck me.  I love it.  I loved that they also linked to each other’s blogs so you travel a circle on the 11th day of each month perusing amazing artwork.

Some photographers chose to capture most of their images with their i-phones as a lot of us wear many hats.  Moms, business owners, pet owners, it can be hard to remember to stop and document your life.  This 11-on-11 project solves a few vacant holes in my current photographic life.

 

#1 – I do not document my family’s life nearly enough.  You’d think as a photographer I would have a camera glued to my hand – it’s not true!  I believe in being in the moment and not outside of it.  I love leaving my camera at home and just being an active participant of every activity I do.  I get to share the memories with my family instead of recording them.  I more often than not find when opportunities arise for amazing photos, my camera is packed away in its case and memories are committed to my personal viewer inside my head.  The only way I can share them is through word after that.  This project will give me an incentive to choose one or two events a month to document.

#2 – Number two is about to arrive!  That’s right I am pregnant with my second child due in mid December.  She will most certainly be beautiful, time consuming, and demanding.  This project will be a great way to make sure I am keeping sharp with my creative skills and keeping you engaged while I am laying low on maternity leave and cuttng back on sessions to be with my new little flower!

#3 – Art should grow and not remain stagnant and the same.  This project will push my art to greater heights.  With no one person paying for these images, it is up to me to make them for myself.  There is a lot of freedom in this type of shoot.  I can be as creative or boring as I’d like to be.  Hopefully this will also hone my creative style even more into  it’s home.  I have seen so much growth in my art in the past year and a half that I absolutely cannot wait to see where I end up in another year. There is nothing quite like practice!

#4 – You’ll get to know me more.  If you do not already know me personally, these images will help you to learn who I am as a person.  How my sense of humor is awesome, I adore my children, love decorating, and am focused on 15 things at once or nothing at all!  You will get to see one post a month learning about me instead of my clients.

 

 

 

Stories under the Tree
A simple request to read a book outside. I love the wonder and openess of toddlers.
Afternoon Sweetie
Those lashes leave me breathless
Even though there was no wind what-so-ever this amazing gemstone managed to not only run in rainboots on the wrong feet but fly a kite.
Even though there was no wind what-so-ever this amazing gemstone managed to not only run in rainboots on the wrong feet but fly a kite.
Always be prepared #2
You never know when a bicycle helmet will come in handy.
Who knew an orchard was so much fun!?
We took our annual family trip to the pumpkin patch and first time picking apples! Gemstone’s lovely face tells it all. She was in love.

10-1311on11PROJECT06

Who doesn
Who doesn’t love making a wish?
In every other image she had an apple near her mouth.  This girl was definetly made from her mother.  I love apples!
In every other image she had an apple near her mouth. This girl was definetly made from her mother. I love apples!
My love and I.  I normally wear some nice eyemakeup but learned a few days ago I am allergic to my eyeshadow and am currently still healing from the reaction.  I feel so stripped down and normal without my color!
My love and I. I normally wear some nice eyemakeup but learned a few days ago I am allergic to my eyeshadow and am currently still healing from the reaction. I feel so stripped down and normal without my color!
A third trimester bump!
This is my true self portrait. I am no longer me. Everyone asks about the baby. She is me and I her for the coming few months yet.
A sure thing to add to our yearly fall family calendar.
I asked him to hold the apple in his hands like so. After I took the picture I told him he was officially the true ginger – a vampire. Of course I had to explain to him about the cover of my beloved book Twilight.

 

If you are interested in booking a family portrait session send me an email by clicking here.  Don’t forget to check out my child and  family portrait galleries!

If you would like to be put on our mailing list to receive updates keep in the know on specials and goings on at Red Jasper Artistry click here!

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) 11-0n-11 11-on-11 project IL Family Portrait Photographer Ottawa apple picking fly a kite ottawa il portrait photographer https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/10/The-11-on-11-Project Wed, 09 Oct 2013 17:00:54 GMT
Fields of Love - {Marseilles, IL Engagement and Wedding Photographer} https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/10/fields-of-love---marseilles-il-engagement-and-wedding-photographer

It was slightly before sunset and we were already chasing the light over the bluff.  

The leaves were rustling in the wind and the chatter of horses were a few feet from our ears.  

Chris & Jessica put their minds to ease and let me lead them through this wonderful engagement session.

 

 

 

If you are interested in booking an engagement session send me an email at redjaspeartistry@gmail.com.  

Don't forget to check out the engagement & wedding galleries!

If you would like to be put on our mailing list to receive updates on the blog, important news, and specials click here.

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) and engagement marseilles, il photographer red jasper artistry wedding https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/10/fields-of-love---marseilles-il-engagement-and-wedding-photographer Wed, 09 Oct 2013 15:45:00 GMT
Rainy day? Fear not! {Traveling Child Portrait Photographer Monroe, MI & Ottawa, IL} https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/10/rainy-day-fear-not-traveling-portrait-photographer-monroe-mi-ottawa-il Rainy days - Fear not!

 

As I laid in a spare bedroom at my Grandmother's home reading the weather forcast on my phone, dread washed over my weary eyes.  Twice a year,  I travel to my hometown area of Monroe County, MI.  Twice a year, I open up a few days of my travel to on location portrait sessions.  This means, if the weather doesn't cooperate, memories are not documented and I have a scheduled day open up.  This is something I dread.  I absolutely love taking pictures on location and hate not being able to fulfill a session.  

The next morning I awoke to a dreary overcast morning, but it appeared the rain clouds were at bay!  Even though the sun barely made an appearance during our session it was beautiful!  Overcast clouds can create a wonderful glow through a dull looking sky.  Good thing I'm a portrait photographer and not cloud photographer!  So rainy day - fear not!  

 

Firetrucks and little boys!

 

Giving an old friend a ride.

 

Sunshine! At Last!

 

 

If you are interested in booking a family portrait session send me an email by clicking here.  Don't forget to check out my child and  family portrait galleries!

If you would like to be put on our mailing list to receive updates keep in the now on specials and goings on at Red Jasper Artistry click here!

 
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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) Child Ottawa, IL day family monroe, mi photographer photography portrait rainy red jasper artistry https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/10/rainy-day-fear-not-traveling-portrait-photographer-monroe-mi-ottawa-il Tue, 08 Oct 2013 15:45:00 GMT
Jack of all arts {Streator, IL Portrait Photographer} https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/10/jack-of-all-arts-streator-il-portrait-photographer

 

Her home was decorated in a perfect mid-century modern spin.  Every nook or wall had a personal touch from the paint to exact perfect accessory.  This my friends is an artist.  Rebecca Simpson is a member of my local art league Ottawa Art League.  She graciously led me through her home in order to get an idea of how she used her space as a studio for a presentation I led at a meeting.  She is simply amazing with impeccable style.  The dress pictured above she handmade for her duaghter's prom.  It is one of her shining prides.

Brushes make every painters display of tools. Exquisite in her vase!
tools to paint by.

 

 


If you are interested in booking your own portrait session please send me an email with your ideas or call 815-313-5866.  

Don't forget to check out my portrait gallery!

If you would like to be put on our mailing list to receive updates keep in the now on specials and goings on at Red Jasper Artistry click here!

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) artist il photographer portrait red jasper artistry streator https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/10/jack-of-all-arts-streator-il-portrait-photographer Mon, 07 Oct 2013 15:15:00 GMT
Family smiles! {Utica, IL Family Portrait Photographer} https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/10/family-smiles-utica-il-family-portrait-photographer Annual family photos make great keepsakes!A splendid Fall

As the sun drew closer to the horizen their little eyes grew wider.  And then I handed them another piece of fruit snack.  

Sometimes a snack is an excellent way to keep a toddler or Pre-K'er going through a photo shoot!  If you take a look through my online client magazine, it is loaded with tips in preparing for your photosession.  Everything from a list of what to bring to what to expect through each step in the process is jam packed in this wonderful publication.  Check it out!

 

Oh those baby blues.

 

If you are interested in booking a family portrait session send me an email by clicking here.  Don't forget to check out my family portrait gallery!

 

If you would like to be put on our mailing list to receive updates keep in the now on specials and goings on at Red Jasper Artistry click here!

 
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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) Family Photographer Portrait Utica Utica, IL red jasper artistry https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/10/family-smiles-utica-il-family-portrait-photographer Fri, 04 Oct 2013 15:30:00 GMT
Fabulous Family! {Ottawa, IL Family Portrait Photographer} https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/10/fabulous-family-ottawa-il-family-portrait-photographer

 

This amazing family is large in life and size!  The McGrath's are every bit as awesome as they seem!  

We chose a location close to home yet pituresque with nature's marvels.  With five children it is hard to get a moment where all five kids are in agreement (I personally have three brothers - it's rare!)  

In order to capture some spectacular images, one thing I do differently than a lot of photographers is to go with the flow rather than direct the chaos.  If the kids are actong fidgity we might try walking.  If they need to be rallied we might try a game to giggle.  Many parents are mortified that their children aren't being little angels - but honestly when are children on their best behavior for a full photosession?  I grew up in a family of six people and the hustle, bustle, and livliness of multiple personalities tends to run right up my alley.  In the most chaotic moments I can sometimes catch the best images.  In any family session we will be doing multiple posess, some walking, some running, many sitting still.    And in some of those moments as a parent you want to scream "get in place!I" some of the most amazing and fun images can be caught.    

 

One of those chaotic moments turned amazing.

 

If you are interested in booking your own family portrait session please send me an email with your ideas or call 815-313-5866.  

Don't forget to check out my family portrait gallery!

If you would like to be put on our mailing list to receive updates keep in the now on specials and goings on at Red Jasper Artistry click here!

 
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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) Custom Photography by Rebecca Rowe Family Ottawa, IL Photographer Portrait Red Jasper Artistry https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/10/fabulous-family-ottawa-il-family-portrait-photographer Thu, 03 Oct 2013 15:45:00 GMT
Document your successes! - {Serena, IL Portrait Photographer} https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/10/document-your-successes---serena-il-photographer

 

Whenever you achieve something monumental in your life it is always a great idea to document it.  We mostly hear about senior portraits, engagement session, weddings, and births.  I say - why not document yourself achieving your five years at work, learning to ride horses, selling your first piece of artwork?  Whatever it is that lets you know you have changed as a person. This is a great moment to pause in your life and capture yourself at this new horizon!    

If you are interested in booking a portrait session send me an email at redjaspeartistry@gmail.com.  Don't forget to check out my portrait gallery!

If you would like to be put on our mailing list to receive updates on the blog, important news, and specials click here.

 

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) photographer photography portrait red Jasper artistry serena, IL success https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/10/document-your-successes---serena-il-photographer Wed, 02 Oct 2013 14:30:00 GMT
An Autumn Engagement - {Serena, IL Engagement Photographer} https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/10/an-autumn-engagement---serena-il-engagement-photographer Eye GazingCountry Love

 

One of my favorite sessions is an engagement session.  I love working with the dynamics of two people so crazy about each other that they are willing to pledge themselves for life.  This couple is no exeption!  

 

If you are interested in booking an engagement session please send an email to redjasperartistry@gmail.com or call 815-313-5866.  

Don't forget to check out my engagement and wedding galleries!

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) Ottawa, IL Red Jasper Artistry Serena, IL engagement photographer photography portrait wedding https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/10/an-autumn-engagement---serena-il-engagement-photographer Tue, 01 Oct 2013 14:08:25 GMT
Red Jasper Additions! {Ottawa, IL Family Portrait Photographer} https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/7/red-jasper-additions-ottawa-il-family-portrait-photographer We

 

There is a baby in my tummy!

This coming December, my family will be expecting a new little addition.  We have not found out the gender . . . yet.  We have been hard away and planning for the next step in Red Jasper Artistry and how to make the transition from a family of 3 humans and 3 animals to 3 humans, one ultra needy human, and 3 pets a smooth process.  

How RJA will change & grow:
Due to this momentous occasion, this September and October I will be taking very limited portrait sessions on a first come first serve basis.  If you would love to have me photograph your family or loved one this fall, contact me now about scheduling your session.  

I will then close up shop on Red Jasper Artistry until the spring.  I  truly believe that the wee young days are not only some of the hardest days in a parent's life, but also some of the most treasured as you get to know your little addition.  
 

Weddings can be booked for April 2014 and later on a limited basis. Currently I do most of my editing during naptimes and with two children I am sure this schedule will be out of the window or severly adjusted.  Weddings often take about 20-30 hours of post processing and ordering.   I strive to get couples back their wedding images in a reasonable amount of time ( 6-8 weeks).  In order for me to keep this pace up and continue to be a stay-at-home mom/part-time photographer I will only offer limited weddings during #2's first year of life.  Thank you so much for understanding!

I am suuuper excited to start this journey and look forward to meeting you and watching my continuing client's families grow!  It is a blessing I am glad to have!

 

-Becky



About the image - 
I hunted and hunted through multiple google searches and pinterest boards to find the right kind of inspiration for my pregnancy announcement.  I wanted to do something that I hadn't seen plastered all over facebook, wasn't completely orginal like remaking the Adam's Family movie poster or taking an image of my daughter with red eyes and a tornado and captioning it sibling rivalry.  These are all very cool and gave me good chuckles, but I wanted something I could make my own and yet could be completed with minimal effort from my husband (who is amazingly busy & motivated guy) and my non-stop moving two year old.  I decided to do seperate images of lying on the driveway would work best.  My husband so graciously let me coach him through taking my image and my daughter let me have 2 tries before she ran like the wind in a fit of squeals.  I think it turned out alright!    Next week I will share some of the images I caught of R while she was on the run to complete our announcement.

 

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) announcement family ottawa, IL photographer pregnancy red jasper artistry https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/7/red-jasper-additions-ottawa-il-family-portrait-photographer Wed, 10 Jul 2013 18:57:03 GMT
Strike a pose! {Serena, IL - Senior Portrait Photographer} https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/6/strike-a-pose-serena-il-portrait-photographer Senior portraits are about capturing a transition in your life.   This does not necessarily mean during your senior year od school.

            Senior portraits are generally taken during the spring of your junior year or fall of your senior year.  This timeline always fit every person's needs.    Instead, I like to think about senior portraits as capturing a transition in your life.  Technically, these can be taken at any place in your life when you feel you are graduating from one step and into another - middle school to high school, college to real job, or a more personal triumph such as becoming a published author, or winning an award.  

            Today's ladies found me to take their "senior portraits" that were missed on the traditional timeline.   As sisters, they are close in age, and close in heart.  Their session was a great chance for me to grow as an artist and step out into non-traditional senior portraits.  

 

serena, il senior portrait photography

Wearing a shirt with contrasting colors to your surroundings is a great way to stand out!

Remember to spice up your image with your wardrobe!

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) Serena, IL photographer photography portraits senior pictures senior portrait https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/6/strike-a-pose-serena-il-portrait-photographer Mon, 10 Jun 2013 11:55:53 GMT
What do owls, tractors, and stripes have in common? https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/4/what-do-owls-tractors-and-stripes-have-in-common Owls, tractors, and stripes all have this little cutie patootie in common.

 

I love-love-love sessions with 6 month old babies.  They are usually strong enough to sit up, are very interested in the world around them, and are plain adorable.  Today's little man was an absolute doll on a nice windy October day.  He did great!   His momma even packed his Halloween costume which was a complete hoot!  Then like icing on top of the delicious cake, his cousins, aunt, and uncle also jumped in for a few images.  It was a great way to spend a morning with a wonderful family.  

 

 

Would you like a custom photography experience?  Wonder if your home or family land would be a great place for a session?  Call 815-313-5866 for more details!  I love shooting in new locations and looking forward to help make your idea a reality.

 

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) Ottawa child photographer Ottawa family photographer hints ottawa, IL photography portraits red jasper artistry tips https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/4/what-do-owls-tractors-and-stripes-have-in-common Thu, 25 Apr 2013 20:21:06 GMT
A Secret for You! https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/4/A-Secret-for-You Shh...  I have a secret for you.  

One of the best keys to a great picture is the lighting.  It truly is that simple.  Some images are great due to the act they are catching may be significant, awwing, or never before seen.  Often what separates which images of this event are better than others is the lighting.  Without light most photography would not be possible, so it is one of the biggest factors in where I place my clients, what time their session is, and how original the images become.  

My favorite time of the day to shoot is the hour before sunset.  I will shoot in any light of the day, but during this hour I have the most options and images can be very radiant!  This is called the golden hour.  The sky often lights up with amazing displays of color.  The clouds are painted in reds, oranges, pinks, and purples contrasting in ways you simply cannot see during the day.  Last fall, the Smith family let me document their family during this favored hour.  Can you see the skyline I am talking about?

 

The sun had just recently set, giving just a hint of oranges peaking from the horizon.

The sun had just recently set, giving just a hint of yellows and oranges peaking from the horizon.

The Golden Hour The Golden Hour

 

even without colored images, it is still my favorite time of the day to shoot.

Even without colored images, it is still my favorite time of the day to shoot.

 

If these images inspire you to document your family, call 815-313-5866 and ask for Rebecca to book your session today!

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) hints learning ottawa, il photographer photography portraits rebecca rowe red jasper artistry starved rock tips https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/4/A-Secret-for-You Wed, 17 Apr 2013 15:37:33 GMT
To be a REAL princess https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/3/to-be-a-real-princess Cinderella and her jewels

When I was a child I remember dreaming of being a teacher or Barbie.  Yes, I had many fantasies of being Barbie with long flowing blonde hair, beautiful clothes, living in my very own penthouse with Ken who never told me to eat my peas (thanks Mom and Dad) or that my singing hurt his ears (yes, you big brother).  It would have been a wonderful dream life.  One year I even dressed as the Barb herself for Halloween.  Today's little lady dreams about being Cinderella in her princess form all day and everyday. Right before my favorite holiday of the year her mother let me turn a few memories into images.  For Halloween  she was you guessed it, the one and only Cinderella!  We caught  few images of mommy and child followed by a  second costume I whipped up, but her first love is always Cinderelly.

Note: She has both of her shoes.

With both shoes she is ready for the ball!

 

mommy duaghter time

time for giggles

A daisy for my dear?

A daisy for my dear?

She can

Once a princess always a princess.

 

This year before you go trick-or-treating or out costuming, schedule a photo session with your favorite photographer.  Not only would costume images make an outstanding and memorable holiday card, it captures to essence of childhood fantasy and heros.  Make memories into images!

 

 

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) child photographer learning ottawa, IL, photographer photography portrait portraits red jasper Artistry rock" starved https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/3/to-be-a-real-princess Mon, 25 Mar 2013 05:30:00 GMT
A Little Bit of Whimsy https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/3/a-little-bit-of-whimsy

Meet Carol Crane, nurse extraordinaire, secretary of Ottawa Art League, and inspired painter.  Last fall she granted me access to tour her studio to document where and how she works.  This is a continuation of Inside the Artist's Studio series I presented for Ottawa Art League.  It was a lovely time, I got to better know Carol as a person, tour her whimsical studio, and meet her sweet cats.  (Who isn't a cat lover at heart?)  Want to check out Carol's art?  Click here or visit the Ottawa Art League Gallery at 807 LaSalle St, Ottawa, IL 61350.  

 

A look through Carol

 

A look through Carol's view of the world.

 

Nothing like a good garden gnome for whimsical inspiration!

There is nothing quite like a garden gnome for whimsical inspiration.

 

 

The Favored Brush for this Favored Painter

The favored paint brush.  Every artist has one and hers is green!

 

There's nothing quite like looking back on your past acheivments to see how you have grown as a person and hobbiest/professional.  A documentary session like Carol's is a great way to preserve these memories in a coffee table book or accordian mini.  Click here to see more personality portraits.

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) ottawa, il photographer photography portrait photographer portraits red jasper artistry starved rock https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/3/a-little-bit-of-whimsy Thu, 21 Mar 2013 19:01:28 GMT
Before I Became a Portrait Photographer... https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/3/before-i-was-a-portrait-photographer  

Before I Became a Portrait Photographer. . .

I captured landscapes.  My home rests about a five-minute drive

Paula and I having a shoot out  from the wonderful and awe-inspiring Starved Rock State Park.    Whenever I could, I'd load up my dog and we'd go out hiking for a few hours armed with a backpack filled with a canteen of water, towel, dish for his water, and of course my camera.  We hiked places on the beaten track, some off, and almost always had fun doing it.  To this day some of my most favored pieces of artwork were made in or based on walks in the woods (paintings included).  So when I got the chance to document a few hours in the life of landscape photographer Paula Guttilla of Hatchet Canyon Photography I was ecstatic.  

As of 2013, I hold the president seat of our local art League, Ottawa Art League.  Last fall, I took over a presentation series we had been showing at meetings of inside our artist's studios.  Paula's "studio" was my first documentation for this series.  It really set the tone for what was presented and helped me to figure out how I would like to capture other artist's studios.    

First, she showed me her home where her workstation resides.  Digital photographers spend countless hours at their computers, culling, editing, cropping, and fine-tuning their images.  Paula is no exception; she had a wonderful little workstation.  Then she took me to her real "studio", the woods right outside of her doors.  She led me through a nature walk where we both clicked our shutters, and marveled in the beautiful sunlight.  

It is hard to get a photographer to stop hiding behind the camera showing off her prized lens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

warm sunglow and two photographers = amazing fun

 

 

Tired of the same old portrait with the grey background and studio lights?  One of my favorite ways to capture portraits is in an unencumbered setting such as the woods, field, or horse pasture.  My clients often view their images and had no idea what beauty lies in their backyards.   Have a secret garden or special place in mind for portraits?  Plan a session and make it a reality! 

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) hatchet canyon photography hints learning paula gutilla photographer photography portrait red jasper artistry tips woods https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/3/before-i-was-a-portrait-photographer Wed, 06 Mar 2013 20:19:32 GMT
Capture Your Passion https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/3/capture-your-passion   

A great picture tells a story.   

pas·sion /ˈpaSHən/  

a stong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept.

*as defined by Mirriam-Webster

     One way to make your story more evident through images is to include your passion.  I make no little beans about the fact that I have a deep passion for yoga.  Today's blog showcases an amazing session with two yogis (another word for awesome yoga practitioner).  Here is how the session came from an idea to a reality.  

 

Practicing yoga with others helps our own practice.

     I truly love yoga and can pretty much say it has irrevocably changed my life.  I started regularly practicing yoga after I suffered severe soft tissue damage to my back in a car accident.  I had previously been an avid zumba goer, but couldn't partake in dancing, running, strenuous walking, lifting heavy things, and more.  To help me recover and be physically fit, I turned to a gentle yoga class at the local YMCA.  Yoga taught me patience with myself, boundaries, and the importance of setting achievable goals. Yet, most importantly, that these boundaries can vary from day to day.  Easily said, I wouldn't be a practicing portrait photographer today without yoga.  I'd still be visiting the chiropractor weekly or more, watching what I lift, and how I move.  Each of these things makes it very hard to be a mobile and energetic photographer!  Balance poses takes great dedication and focus, not to mention no pebbles under your feet!

 

     About a year after my accident I started practicing at energyoga, a local yoga studio run by a husband and wife team.  I never knew I would be as physically strong or mentally devoted to the practice as I am today.  Without Roz and Curt's fun and energetic vinyasa flow classes, (did I mention their class time schedule is pretty wicked) I'm not sure I'd have that spark back in my step and full pushup in my back pocket.  Their classes are as hard as you want them to be, but with all kinds (and I mean the whole gamut) of music to inspire you to greater depths.  I'd never imagined being able to complete a full chatarunga, little alone dozens in an hour.  A few weeks into regularly attending their studio and getting to know the owners, they presented me with the awesome opportunity to take yoga portraits.  It was an amazing morning; filled with surprises, and fun for something we all three are all passionate about.  We have big plans for yoga sessions in the energyoga studio in the coming weeks.  Energyogis be prepared!

 

Roz salutes tree pose.

     Just to be clear, your passion doesn't define you, but it certainly helps build your story within a portrait.  A great portrait tells a story.  I encourage every person to have a portrait session with your most favored hobby included.  Tell your story!  When thoughtfully planned and lovingly set in motion, I am positive you will enjoy the memories you can savor as albums, wall mounts, and more.  

 

     In the following weeks, you will see posts of sessions with painters, photographers, and of course more yogis.  On www.redjasperartistry.com they are entitled personality portraits.  Simply stated, these portraits show off your personality and what you like to do.  If you have been thinking of having a portrait session but feel you need a momentous occasion to do it, think no more - your passion and you are enough!  These sessions can be documentary or sequenced as this yoga session.

 

     First go check out more personality portraits by clicking here.  Got the itch to have your own personality portrait?  Send me an email to discuss and dream up your concept at redjasperartistry@gmail.com or call 815-313-5866.  We'll talk about what to wear, the location we'd like, and time of the day that would be best.  I love to talk photo! 

 

Curt Acheives a bind that requires great flexibilty, strength, and balance. Eagle Arms is a great way to stretch out your biceps, tri-ceps, and upper torso.

Downward and upward facing dog are two staple poses in yoga.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This partner pose should only be attempted with supervision. Side Planks are some of my very favorite poses.  They require great strength, balance, and concentration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking tree pose to great heights. Namaste - loosely translated to "from the greatest light in me to the greatest light in you" Like my blog posts and want to be in the loop?  Get added to our newsletter! Send me an email at redjasperartistry@gmail.com and say, "add me please!”

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) Artistry IL Jasper Red energyoga hints ottawa photography portrait portraits tips yoga https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/3/capture-your-passion Fri, 01 Mar 2013 20:16:31 GMT
3 Tricks for Reunion Images https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/2/3-tricks-for-reunion-images  

Always be yourself

There doesn't need to be a specific reason for a reunion, it could be something planned for ages like a wedding, baptism, birthday, or yearly reunion.  It could also be that everyone decided a week before to get together.  Whatever the reason, when hoards of extended family members are together it is a primo time to record those memories.  This is especially important if you have globe-trotting family members.  In my family, we get all-together about once in every five years.  I live six hours from the homestead and my brother needs to add another twelve hours onto that drive.   As my cousins are growing older, they start traveling to far off colleges and more.   I'm sure family situations can greatly differ but it always seems difficult to get everyone together in one place at one time.  Even a one hour drive can sometimes be hard to schedule. So if a get-together happens, I call it memory gold.  It is also a great time to plan on getting individual family images or creating your holiday card.  
 

Here are a few tricks and tips for getting the best images from your extended family session.

1.  Hold the littlest ones.

 If you are a parent of a little one, plan on holding them.  Even if you are on one knee, holding your little one will keep them in the picture and you can be there to direct them where to look.  No one likes chasing little Johnny around the group while everyone else is waiting to give their best smile.  Holding is a great alternative!

2. Try to wear simliar colors for each family, or have everyone dress in a similar fashion.  

I love individuality.  I even suggest dressing vastly different from others in some group portraits.  In major family images, it is easier to focus on each person's face when your clothing blends together, either by color choice or pattern. This is not a must, but a little trick for more concise images.  

3.  Plan on taking images in the morning or evening.  Avoid the heavy sunlit hours.

 If the morning or evening hours aren't available, I suggest having a predetermined location with a lot of shade for your image.  Having harsh mid-day sunlight can create malicious shadows on faces, covering eyes and more.  If you can find a large tree or other covering for your images, the photographer can use additional lighting or adjust for the shade in their camera.

All Smiles

love no matter the age Similar Clothing Styles but Color Creates Diversity in A Great Way! This family doesn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turning this colorful bunch into black and white helps calm down vibrant colors and patterns.

Don Accessorize!  Hats and smiles are soem of the best! Being the youngest doesn Be Ready to take multiple images in order to get everyone looking at the photographer and hopefully smiling!

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) Artistry IL Jasper Ottawa Red extended family hints photographer photography portraits tips https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/2/3-tricks-for-reunion-images Wed, 27 Feb 2013 16:00:00 GMT
Perfect Day for a Wedding https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/2/perfect-day-for-a-wedding This summer I got the honor of photographing a really special wedding.  It was intimate, cozy, and swarmed with family and friends.  One of the most unique things they did was decorate a tree during their wedding ceremony.  This was to be a union of a blended family so each member of the family brought their own decoration to the tree.  From the bride's father to the groom's daughter everyone was involved.  After the ceremony the party kicked up at a family member's home where where dancing and good times were to follow.  

 

A Beautiful Day for a Wedding.  Mokena, IL Wedding Photographer Red Jasper Artistry Photography by Rebecca RoweA Perfect Day for a Wedding

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) Artistry IL Jasper Ottawa Photography Rebecca Red Rowe by hints photographer photography portraits tips wedding https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/2/perfect-day-for-a-wedding Mon, 25 Feb 2013 16:00:00 GMT
million kisses smile https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/2/million-kisses-smile In the next few weeks I will catching the blog up on all of 2012's sessions.  I hope you enjoy these blasts from our near past!

There is something just awesome about witnessing the smile of a newborn dreaming.  It is worth a million kisses and more.  
I met little Louisa when she very new to the world.  She is a beauty and did amazing at her photoshoot.  I came right to her home, set up on her mommy's bed with the curtains drawn from the window and went to town capturing the little beauty sleep.

 

In her amazing nursery. She is as cute as a daisy posh peaceful as an infant could be


If you are looking for a newborn session, they provide tangible irreplacable memories.  Infants grow so quick that once they get a few weeks old, they often look completely different and wear completely different clothng!  I suggest to get photoshoots done within the first 2 weeks of life, between 2-3 months, at 6 months (or when your little one has just started sitting), and one year of age (often standing and sometimes walking by now)!  Want to see more images of little ones?  Click here.

 

 

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) Artistry IL Jasper Ottawa Rebecca Red Rowe illinois infant near photographer portrait portraits valley https://www.petallens.com/blog/2013/2/million-kisses-smile Sat, 23 Feb 2013 21:07:53 GMT
Post Elopement Reception https://www.petallens.com/blog/2012/9/post-elopement-reception  

Today I decided to peruse my blog and then I realized – Oh! MY!  Am I ever behind in my session blogging!  I will try my hardest to catch up, give a few tidbits, and stay up with the sessions from now on!  I solemnly pinky swear!
A Smile in Time

One of my very good friends decided to elope to a tropical island and get married.   She is a very special lady with a heart of gold.  We met in one of my soirees in education.  The adventure we took together was cosmetology.   Oddly enough this is where I learned that I had quite a natural talent and didn’t need another degree under my belt to take photos.  So she and I stood next to each other wrapping perm rods, braiding hair, and cutting split ends while laughing, telling stories, and keeping sane.  Cosmetology is not for the weak of heart I tell you.  When I left cosmetology after a few months we still kept in touch and hung out.  She was one of the three people in the hospital room when I gave birth to my daughter (heart of gold I tell you – I had no family within a 6 hour drive – she did a great job as stand in family).  God bless her soul, she may never want to have children after that!


So back to the reception.  Only the closest of close family members were invited.  I truly think this idea is so very special and cool.  I was not on this list, but I was right on the list to go to their post elopement reception (which didn’t hurt my feelings in the least, I was happy to be on the second list).  They even asked me to come and photograph the reception.  The idea was to capture family photos, document the day, and sneak in a bridal session before.  Sweet!

I showed up at the family farm a few hours before the reception was to start.  My friends were about ready to go.  He was cool as a cucumber and she beautiful as I’ve ever seen her.  They led me to a hidden pond where they thought I could get some good shots.  I wasn’t too keen on the pond as it was 2pm and in direct sunlight.  If you are not a photographer, take note – this can be some of the fussiest light to work with.  This is where creativity and experience are helpful.  I immediately looked for the nearest shaded areas.  We took a few images under a tree to ease the two in front of the camera just in time for a golf cart full of relatives to come a ogle/haggle my friends from the background.  They did a wonderful job of trying to ignore/embrace our onlookers.  I took a few in a shade of treeline by the pond and then I found a beautiful willow tree to shoot under.  This is one of my all-time favorite trees to shoot under/in front of.  The texture of the branches combined with the nearly weightlessness of the leaves makes for very romantic and moving images.  To their surprise I asked them to stand in what looked to be a farm truck path.  The lighting was right and I just loved the ruts from years of being driven over and the trees arching around it.  I wish for a driveway like this one day (I’d also like many outhouses all made of different materials, but handcrafted in the early 1900’s with a gorgeous house full of character and modernized for a great kitchen – not too much to ask right?).  Sometimes the best images are taken in the most unexpected areas.  The key to picking a portrait location is light.  The direction, how strong, how harsh, or how amazing.  When using the same location for multiple shoots, I may not be able to use the same spot twice as the light moves, changes, and can make every session unique.

After taking a few images for her grandpa we went to the reception, which was small, quaint, and lovely.  They entertained me with eating cake and a first dance.  We snuck outside to get family portraits.  Back inside to talk.  It was a great night.  Thank you my awesome friends. 

A Beautifully Stunning BrideMaking it Official

A Happy GroomMaking it Official

 

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) hints learning photographer photography portraits reception tips wedding https://www.petallens.com/blog/2012/9/post-elopement-reception Fri, 07 Sep 2012 04:42:05 GMT
Music to my ears, light for my lens! https://www.petallens.com/blog/2012/8/music-to-my-ears-light-for-my-lens Katie singing her heart out

 

As a person, I love photography.  As a photographer I’m not sure what I love to shoot the most!  Children, families, seniors, weddings, landscapes, things, or bands?  So I’m trying a bit of everything until my taste buds decide what they like best!


  I’ve been trying to get my friend Katie to let me photograph her and her husband Joe for a while now.  Katie has this amazing voice and even more spectacular guitar skills.   I heard through the grapevine (mostly Katie) that she would be playing a local bar, Zeller Inn, (which another group of friends just happened to own); so I did what any shutter clicking crazy photographer would do and asked permission to photograph in the gig.  Everyone said yes!

 

When I arrived with my flash and camera in tow I didn’t quite know what to expect.  Katie and Joe had set up their “stage area” in the day light, and as the sun drew to the other side of the world it became increasingly clear that there were no “stage lighting”, or lighting of any kind where they had set up.  My plan was to use the available light and avoid using a flash for a small gig. I wanted to preserve the ambiance for the listeners.  There was no way this was going to happen with my camera (and I love my camera).  So I snuck inside to capture some images for the bar owner and then sat there through the first set disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to photograph Belle and Dufflebag.  Then I remembered my sync cord and flash!  I didn’t have a stand but I had a husband who had an arm that could hold my flash in the air  (Think back to previous posts where I explained about the importance of not using the flash directly on the camera).

I quite literally started shooting my friend.  She may have been blinded by the light,but she’s quite a performer and one really couldn’t tell.  After a while, I wanted to move around a bit but didn’t want to make Chad stand next to me with his arm in the air like Monica in “Love & Basketball”.  So I got creative (it’s in my nature).  I sat my flash on a table next to me, put a glass of water in front of it to diffuse it, set it on the floor, on my lap, and on a chair.  It worked, all positions.  I got some really nice shots in a venue that literally was in the dark.  If you get a chance to catch Katie & Joe perform you should “Katie Belle & Dufflebag Joe”.  Great Stuff!


 If they send me the address I’ll link up to their tunes. – 

 

Guitar skills...  what did I tell you?!

Crooning away a love song for sure.

Isn He sings as well!

The flash was diffused by a glass half full of melted water and ice. Pretty nice effect!

The amazing cash register @ Zeller Inn


 
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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) band belle dufflebag guitar joe katie lighting music photographer photography portrait https://www.petallens.com/blog/2012/8/music-to-my-ears-light-for-my-lens Mon, 13 Aug 2012 02:29:08 GMT
There is nothing quite like the smell of a new baby. Ahhhh. https://www.petallens.com/blog/2012/8/there-is-nothing-quite-like-the-smell-of-a-new-baby-ahhhh  


I’m finally getting caught up in my blogging, it has been a very swift July.  A lot of editing, home projects, and even some more photos in between. Now back to the babies.  I LOVE BABIES.  There I said it.  So you can imagine my pure elation when I realized that I would be home and in town less than a week after one of my very good friend’s babies had been born.  I emailed his father and asked if I could surprise his lady with a visit after all my other sessions had finished.  I had all my gear and would love to visit and snap some shots. 

 

I was imagining that I would knock on the door and my dear friend would have three-day-old pajamas on, hair in a mess and need the dishes done, laundry sky high, and a marathon of Sesame Street for her 3 year old.  Nope.  Not my friend.  She has the hang of this mothering thing!  The house was spectacular, everything in its place,  she was dressed, and in full makeup ready to run to the grocery (and no one had spilled the beans about my visit!).  When I had Ruby, it took me about 6 weeks before I ventured out of the house (it was also in the height of winter).  I guess already going through the newborn stage once makes you a more prepared and braver mother! 

 

So I got to hold the little guy, almost giving me baby rabies.  He is such a doll.  Then we got to business.  I asked to move the 

sweet as an angel

couch in the living room nearest a large window.  I used natural light as I didn’t want a lot of flashes getting the little guy all scrunchy faced and cranky.  I picked out a few hats and blankets from his room to incorporate into the images and we went to town.  I didn’t get too crazy; we kept the diaper on (when traveling it’s imperative to not have infant pee on your backdrops).  I found out that when Adam is sleeping he doesn’t like to be touched.  He wants to put his hands where he wants them and leave him be.  I love how each little person comes into this world with their very own personality from the very start. 


I was hoping to try a composite shot (which is when you take 2 or more images and combine them) of Adam sitting froggie style holding his head.  Infants cannot hold their head or hold this position themselves.  They need to be supported.  This type of image requires photoshopping and caution when attempted.  Since Adam didn’t like to be moved or touched, I decided to move onto different angles and hats, rotating him on his belly and back for diversity.  He was a dream baby, happy with something to drink and then sleep.  

 

His older brother did so well watching the shoot.  He wanted to help and then be in all the pictures.  We managed to bribe his cooperation with candy after it was over, and of course shooting a few frames of just him at the end.  Those turned out adorable!  Thank you my dear friends for letting me spend a few hours enjoying your company and documenting this special time in your life! 

 

 

 

 

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) children family hints infant learning newborn photography portraits tips https://www.petallens.com/blog/2012/8/there-is-nothing-quite-like-the-smell-of-a-new-baby-ahhhh Wed, 01 Aug 2012 21:00:12 GMT
A River Runs Through It, literally https://www.petallens.com/blog/2012/7/ariverrunsthrough All Smiles and Helping Each Other

 

Family Pictures.  Ahhh. 

 

There’s nothing quite like an awesome memory of your family encapsulated in a frame on your wall.  It not only freezes your ever-growing children in that moment, but also is a snap shot of your family dynamic.

 

As a photographer, I believe this can be one of the most challenging images to catch, or one of the easiest.  It really depends on your expectations and the parent’s expectations.  I have seen amazing images taken by very seasoned photographers where every person in the family is doing something different, wearing a completely different outfit, and capitalizing on who they are.  I have also seen images where everyone in the family wears a variation of a favored color and everyone is posed and smiling at the camera.  Both images are amazing and perfect for hanging in cherished spaces in prominent rooms. 

 

 

As a photographer, you have to decide what type of image you strive to catch, and then work to get that image.  As a parent, sometimes I’d like to have an image that when people walk into my living room they think – wow that’s a “perfect” family.  In reality, this image takes a lot of work and preparation from the family and the photographer to get.  Not only is posing and positioning of each person in the family very important for design aesthetics, but the proper frame of mind is as well.  I suggest that if youhave never had a family image taken, or one that you have really liked that you practice with your children first.  About a week before your session explain what the photography shoot might look like.  How much fun it is to smile.  Make a game of it and grab a drumstick, bell, or even your own camera.  Do a count down and have everyone practice laughing on the count of three (at three smack the drumstick, ring the bell, or take a picture).  This will give the kids some practice and know what to 

One of the Many Outakes expect.  I believe this practice will help set the kids up to exceed your expectations.

 

Lastly, if you can, schedule your session for a time that works best for all your children.  If one likes to get up late, one naps n the afternoon, and the other doesn’t have a schedule, maybe right before or after dinner would work best for your family.  Try to avoid keeping your children up through or past their naptimes.  As a parent I have done this to schedule a session, and honestly the images just didn’t have that sparkle and were a lot harder to capture, as my daughter wasn’t at her best.  It would have been a much better session had I scheduled accordingly. 


On my trip to my hometown I got the chance to capture a beautiful family.  We did some solo images of youngest as he was 15 months old and then tried to capture a great family image of the kids together.  I chose a location that I had photographed at before and knew was very scenic.  A cute little one to four inch 

deep stream ran right through this park.  It was beautiful to have in the picture but created a huge obstacle to keep the youngest away from, he was very interested in the river.  I'm not sure I would choose this location with more than one child or less than two parents/caregivers again.   

 

When it came time to photograph the family portrait, each child had a different idea of what they wanted to do at each moment.   It was very comical, but also a bit difficult to get that iconic image of all three looking into the camera and smiling in the same frame.  I could tell this was the type of image their mom was looking for and honestly,  a solemn image just wouldn’t fit her family’s personality.  We managed to do it and it was worth every click of the shutter.  These kids taught me a lot about myself and gave me a lot of ideas on how to make a family portrait easier to capture.  I have another family session scheduled in a few weeks, so we’ll see if my new and improved ideas work!

 

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) expectations family hints learning one photography portrait portraits river tips year https://www.petallens.com/blog/2012/7/ariverrunsthrough Thu, 19 Jul 2012 16:21:21 GMT
Barns, Bumps, & Silos https://www.petallens.com/blog/2012/7/barns-bumps-silos  

Being a mother is one of my personal greatest achievements.  There is something about having a baby to love and take care of that cannot be substituted.  Having become a mother by nature’s means and going through the grueling nine months of body changes and then hardly being able to wait to meet this little person inside me; I know it’s a time in your life you can’t get back.  I feel it’s important to document this awesome time in one's life.  I look at my own baby bump images and still feel the excitement, love, and even anxiety that come from being an expectant parent.  I would suggest having bump portraits taken to every mom-to-be, even if to just hide at look at in the recesses of your closet.  It’s great look at where you were and where you are now. 

My dear cousin Megan honored me by allowing me to capture this special time in her and Nate's (her husband) life.  She even woke up extra early on Sunday morning just to fit me into her busy, busy, schedule.  I didn’t mind the early wake up call as the light is usually awesome in the young of the morning.  We chose to shoot at the family farm.  Both Megan and Nate are avid country folk and it was pefect for them to have the farm as their backdrop. I had a ton of fun and couldn’t be happier with the images.  

If you are thinking about getting your own baby bump portraits, the session timing is something to take into consideration.  My limited stay to my hometown lined up perfectly with Megan’s due date.  It was in the last trimester (about 33 weeks) but not too close to the due date that swelling completely took over or that it would be iffy that the bundle of joy might arrive before her scheduled session.  Sometime during the early 9th month usually works best, but know that your belly most likely will continue to grow!

 

 

She couldn

 

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) baby bump farm hints learning maternity photography portraits tips https://www.petallens.com/blog/2012/7/barns-bumps-silos Sat, 14 Jul 2012 18:24:25 GMT
A Wonderful Day for a Wedding https://www.petallens.com/blog/2012/7/a-wonderful-day-for-a-wedding  

One of the BrideMaking it Official

       I can’t even begin to list all of the things I learn shooting a wedding each and every time.  Each wedding is unique, amazing, and a huge challenge that I love living up to.  This bride and groom just happen to be very special friends of my husband and I’s.  I was ever so pleased and shocked they wanted me to document their special and wonderful day! 

An Amazing CoupleMaking it Official

       Everything went smoothly on the wedding front.  The hiccups on the photography side were there.  As I stated in yesterday’s post, Capturing 4 Years in a Moment, my flash wasn’t firing when I used it off camera.  I’ll explore this idea a little more.  When you use the flash that is right on your camera, all of the shadows on your subject’s face sort of disappear.  This may sound flattering, but it really isn’t.  Shadows create contours that define jaw lines (makes your face appear thinner), makes eyes seem more dramatic, lips look plumper, and cheekbones more pronounced.  The overall effect of using your flash even a few inches to left of the camera is heads over heels different that what you get straight on.  So getting something to make my flash work off-camera was imperative if I was going to deliver the caliber of images I am capable of delivering. I had decided that if I had to replace the sync cord I might as well replace it with what is called a radio and trigger system. This would make my flash wireless and able to move wherever I wanted it to, right now I have a cord that will comfortably stretch about four feet.  This prospect was exciting, but I had to be able to procure this item in the morning (before noon) so I could make the wedding on time. 

Running from RiceMaking it Official

      I called all of the specialty camera shops in a 45 minute driving radius of where we were staying.  Only one said they had the item I was looking for, and it sounded a bit on the inexpensive side to be the item that I was really asking about.  We decided we had no other choice and did the 40-minute drive to the camera shop.  I brought all my gear to make sure what I was getting worked and worked well on my camera.  With one question to the more experienced sales person I found out this was the wrong item.  So I inquired about replacing my sync cord, they didn’t even have one the length I needed.  I was stuck with a flash that wouldn’t fire unless on my camera.  Deflated, we decided to go get lunch and use the free Wi-Fi at the coffee shop next door (which was super cute and lunch was amazing).  While I was perusing the Internet for more stores that I might possibly be able to make a trip to, Chad (my husband and now deemed Camera Superman) decided he should fiddle with the camera/flash setup.  Amazingly he got it to fire!  Then I watched him and together we figured out exactly what was being so finicky on the connection.  It was a coffee shop miracle!  Camera Superman had saved the wedding photographer’s day!

 Thank Goodness We Got My #1 Camera Working!Making it Official            I’d like to say this was my only gear mishap, but it wasn’t.  There is a reason when you hire a photographer to document an event, you should specifically ask if they have backup equipment.  I had issues with an aftermarket (and off-brand) accessory for my camera.  It took me about 20 minutes to figure out what was wrong, unfortunately this 20 minutes was during the first dance, father-daughter dance, and bridal party dance.  Talk about a panic.  I did, in fact, bring a backup camera.  It saved those images and possibly the rest of the night had I not figured out what had actually gone kaput!  Many people will not purchase off-brand aftermarket accessories for their camera and I just may be joining this club after this lesson!   

A Great Reception ShotMaking it Official

       The rest of the day was beautiful and magnificent.  The bride could not be anymore heavenly and the groom was a pleasure to watch marry his love.  The bridal party was awesome and the parents of each were great.  Thank you to each and every one of you who made this day special for the bride and groom and took a moment to help me capture that on camera.

 

 

 

Making it Official

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) gear hints learning malfunction photography tips wedding https://www.petallens.com/blog/2012/7/a-wonderful-day-for-a-wedding Wed, 11 Jul 2012 16:45:00 GMT
Capturing 4 years in a Moment. https://www.petallens.com/blog/2012/7/capturing-4-years-in-a-moment  

A great senior portrait is not only a snapshot of who you are at that moment, but also everything you want to be and feel for the rest of your life and have been for the last four years.  Talk about pressure!

 
Yes, those wishes will most likely change as you grow and transform into your adult self, but a great image captures these hopes and dreams.  I strive to capture great images each and every photoshoot. 

My absolutely gorgeous cousin Olivia allowed me the great honor of taking not only one but many of these amazing portraits.  A few years ago, I was taking her brother’s images and trying to capture the same thing.  I think Olivia just about perfected this for me.  Her eyes are so full of hope, and she just absolutely beams.  I couldn’t be more proud of her and can’t believe that these images came out of my camera!

I have to send a HUGE thank you to my wonderful Aunt Cindy and incredible cousin Taylor for their help in setting up shots.  For this shoot I did, in fact, remember my umbrella, but my flash wasn’t firing!  The luck!  I couldn’t figure it out.  I was using a sync cord to get the flash away from the camera (a must to make the flash work in the professional world – images just do not compare) and I’d press the shutter and nothing would happen.  The flash would work on camera, but not on the sync cord – boy was I sweating… I had a wedding to shoot tomorrow which I absolutely needed this sync cord to work!
 

Well, I wasn’t worried about Olivia’s images, she was stunning and I had brought my trusty 5-in-1 reflector.  The great thing about bringing a trusted friend or sibling along on a senior shoot is the bond between the two eases any tension, and there is usually quite a game of the friend helping me direct the reflector.  If you have ever been privy to being in front of a reflector during a shoot, it is shining light right at you!  This can be quite fun for a pair of friends.  Taylor was an amazing gaffer and great at finding the sun to reflect at different angles onto Olivia.  I wish everyone could have as great of a shoot as we had that day.  The weather was beautiful, the surroundings were amazing (we went to a wonderful nature garden), company was awesome, and my model was absolutely stunning. 

 

To see how the sync cord dilemma worked itself out… stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog.

 

 

 

 

 

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) gear hints malfunction photography portraits senior tips https://www.petallens.com/blog/2012/7/capturing-4-years-in-a-moment Tue, 10 Jul 2012 15:15:00 GMT
Smashing Watermelons is the best! https://www.petallens.com/blog/2012/7/smashing-watermelons-is-the-best

Whew!  So I’m finally getting caught up from my amazing and crazy fast photo-fab weekend! 

 At the end of June, I was planning a trip to my hometown and managed to book five photo sessions and one wedding within a three day window.  That was the most concise and packed weekend of shoots I have ever taken part of.  I loved it!  Today I’ll focus on the first birthday watermelon smash.

 

Firstly, I love a great and unique idea like switching a cake for a watermelon!  Thanks to this little guy's mommy for thinking this up!  Not only was it healthy but fun and there was no sugar crash afterwords! If you have an original concept for a photoshoot, I'd love to help you out!

My lesson for this shoot was to make a list and check it twice, and then remember that you’ll probably not even need what you forgot anyway!  Lately, I’ve been using an umbrella with my off camera flash during shoots.  Since I had traveled about 6 hours the day before, I had put my umbrella in a pile to use at the wedding I would be shooting the next day.  I totally blanked on the fact that I would need it for this session.  I decided to try using the flash without the umbrella anyway.  This little guy hated it!  The bright light being snapped every few seconds just wasn’t letting him be natural and smile.  So I adjusted my strategy and decided to just go without.  Normally I would try and use a reflector, but I knew the constant stream of light aimed at his face wouldn’t make the situation any better.  A few tweaks to my camera settings and I decided to just do more post processing work in Photoshop if needed.  These images turned out great!

 

This little guy has a great bond with his momma.  She had him smiling and animated in no time.  This is my biggest tip to getting great images of your little ones, have someone else there to help get those great smiles.  Even though I love what I do,  hopefully one day I’ll be getting so many sessions booked that I will be able to afford to hire an assistant to help do all these extras like remembering umbrellas, holding diffusers, carrying my gear, and getting little ones to smile at the camera lens.  Until then, I’ll be earning my keep! 

 

 

 

 

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) Birthday First Photography children photographer tips https://www.petallens.com/blog/2012/7/smashing-watermelons-is-the-best Mon, 09 Jul 2012 16:32:02 GMT
Horses and Little Persons https://www.petallens.com/blog/2012/5/horses-and-little-persons  

 

This week I had the pleasure of documenting a little girl leaving the big 3 and turning 4.  This session was jammed packed with a ton of firsts for my photographic profile.  The coolest being that I got to digitally capture a horse!  This isn’t what I will focus on today’s blog.  As said before I’d like this blog to be about how to capture the best images and hints and tricks I have picked up along the way.
 

I love photographing pets and was very excited to have a horse take part in our session.  I have never photographed a horse so naturally I went to the web for suggestions and help.  I took my information which consisted of bring lots of bait (carrots, apples) and do not use anything such as a flash which could startle the horse.  There wasn’t much more to learn so I decided to capture the horse like I would any other person.  It worked.  I got some great shots of her with and without my little person.  One thing the owner decided she might do differently is to not alter the horse’s regular routine.  She was a bit anxious for bit as she had been kept in her stall all night while all the other horses were stabled outside.  It made her grooming much easier (just a quick brush up) but she would have much rather been playing with her friends and kept letting us know that.  She was great and I’d love to capture her image again.

 

This session provided a reminder lesson (as I already knew this but needed a reminder).  It has been a little while since my latest session with a little person.  If I could teach other aspiring tog’s one thing from this session, it would be to take what you get and move on.  Don’t push or stress what will be – will be.  Children are unpredictable and that’s okay.  Remember to keep a time schedule.   A few times I found myself trying to capture an alluding smile from my model, when I should have just set up another shot (switch chairs, new prop, or get some water) to break the monotony.  Maybe she wasn’t feeling the surroundings or maybe she’s just getting tired.  Some of the best shots from this session were from parts of the shoot that I didn’t expect to be my favorites.

 

Happy Togging!

 

-Becky 


 

 

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petallensphoto@gmail.com (Petal Lens Photography) children hints horse learning photography tips tricks https://www.petallens.com/blog/2012/5/horses-and-little-persons Thu, 17 May 2012 23:05:04 GMT