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  1. Sep

    TOPIC: Family Sessions.

    Pink Ladies | Bartlett Family Photography

    My pals Shelby and Chris wanted to give their moms some new photos of Tamsie and Evie for Mother’s Day. We were nearing the end of azalea season, but I managed to find some bushes still in bloom over at the Elva Bledsoe gazebo in Bartlett. Because after all, these twin girls basically live in pink, so I could think of nothing better than a burst of color.

    You can tell that they both fell in love with the many pine cones in the general vicinity, and that Evie takes tickling very seriously. And the little section where Tamsie is leaning over the gazebo wall and fluffing her hair like a total pro? Totally unprompted. I almost could not believe I was watching a two-year-old. Shelby’s always said Tamsie’s the “show pony” of the two because she’s always hamming it up, and this was a pretty spot-on example!

    Bartlett family photography

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  2. Sep

    TOPIC: Mini Sessions.

    On Her Own Two Feet | Memphis Family Photography

    When my cousin Jessica asked if she could take some photos of her and her daughter Kaylea as a Father’s Day surprise for her husband, I of course said yes. We happened to have good weather for it on a weekday morning, so I photographed them at the Overton Park golf clubhouse on the way to work. The friendly manager, Ali, completely captured Kaylea’s fancy. It was a tossup as to whether she found him more diverting, or the act of being held aloft in the Old Forest. Either way, it was a treat to watch her just beginning to stand on her own two feet.

    Memphis mother-daughter photography

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  3. Sep

    TOPIC: Family Sessions.

    A Little Song, A Little Dance | Youngstown Family Photography

    It is always a treat to hang out with my friend Joanna, her husband Jon, and their kids Julia and Jude. This time was no exception–we visited Youngstown State University, where I was halfway to jumping a curb before realizing I was trying to drive on the sidewalk. So we were off to a flying start! Along the way we sang a rousing rendition of the alphabet song, Jude performed his customary “Hulk out/damsel rescue,” and Julia continued to be the single easiest child I ever have the pleasure of photographing. She is better at knowing poses than I am. Perhaps one day she’ll be a smashingly successful photographer, if not a famous face!

    Youngstown family photography

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  4. Sep

    TOPIC: Newborn Sessions.

    Another Brother | Pittsburgh Newborn Photography at Home

    Gracious, my blogging laziness seems to have reached record levels. But I have sweet sessions from my friends to share, so I’m going to knock some out. Get ready!

    This one takes us back to April and the arrival of baby P to my longtime boo Laura’s family. It’s hard for me to remember a time now when Mr. O, her first little boy, wasn’t around to crack us up with his wit and wisdom.  And I’m sure before long we’ll feel the same way about his little brother. P is like the zen-master–he pretty much spends his life giggling and snoozing, so he is a little dream.

    See if you can tell at what point in this photo shoot we start slinging a stuffed monkey into the ceiling fan and watching it spin.

    Pittsburgh newborn photography

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  5. Jun

    TOPIC: 365.

    Project 365-5 #3: Laissez-Faire

    When I look back over the last few years, I’ve spent most of them in a constant state of hyperactivity and stress.  While not all of it was stuff I brought on myself (certain health issues kinda just happen), a whole lot of it was.  At this time last year, I was in the middle of a two-month period of sleep deprivation brought on by chigger bites and overscheduling photo sessions that turned me into a raving disaster.  My exhaustion sent me rocketing back home from a dragonfly conference I’d been looking forward to for almost a year.

    This year, I’m happy to say, has been different.  I knew back in December when I made the decision to increase my photography prices that it would send me along one of two paths: either I’d continue to have clients and would be making enough to consider supporting myself as a full-time photographer, or my business would totally dry up and I’d have a little something I hadn’t seen in years: free time.  I was so worn out that I decided that whatever direction this process took, I was going to go with it and make the most of that path.

    You can probably tell that option #2 is where I’ve found myself.  Don’t get me wrong–I’ve still been shooting for friends and family, and I don’t think I will ever want to let that go as long as they’ll have me.  But it’s been so manageable.  Shooting less, and not spending every weekend tied to my computer screen, has made pretty much everything in my life more enjoyable.  I can say yes when someone wants to hang out.  I can go watch birds and bugs.  I just got back from a butterfly conference in Chattanooga, and I never once entertained the idea of leaving early.  I’ve had the time to spend with my mom while she’s been completing the back half of her chemo regimen.

    Plus, things have been what I would generously call insane at my regular job (you may have heard of a little thing called parking on the grass).  Had I been trying to work a shuttle launch (no, not the space kind–I’m not that cool), run a media relations campaign, AND shoot 2-3 times a week, I’d probably just be spending every waking moment sobbing.  I needed to take a step back.  It stings a little bit to move on from this era of my life, because I poured so much into it, but the writing was on the wall.  I’m a fatally poor businessperson, I enjoy portrait photography more when I’m doing it as a hobby, and I’m in love with the conservation field and really want to continue in it.  I don’t find myself in a situation where I have to shoot portraits or I’m completely lost.  I’m lucky enough to have a lot of things that interest me.  Happily, one of those things hands me a paycheck without my having to ask for it, which is why it probably makes long-term sense for me to stick with that.  I’ll save for another day my melancholy ruminations about how we photographers are initially so desperate for clients that we price ourselves too low for too long, ensuring that most of us will burn out just as soon as we get really good at it.  (And that people will expect a custom service to cost very little.)  There will always be another generation ready to take our place for a few years, and so it will go.  I’m not bitter or upset about it at all, because I know I brought it on myself 100%.  But I bet if I did it all over again, I’d make a lot of the same mistakes anyway.  Because I’m a ninny, and ninnies may just be more content working for The Man.  Or in my case, The Environment.  😉

    (Welcome to my thirties.  One of these days, I’ll do a Project 365 post that doesn’t involve philosophical rumination on career and life choices.  I’m sure there’s a more entertaining way to fill space!  Thank you if you are reading this for some reason.  Ha.)

    As far as highlights from this quarter go, I’m going to urge you to read the caption entitled “Fire Ant” for one of the weirdest-ever culminations of “What a cool camera–will you take our picture?”  I veer into some epic tangents, including the full expression of my rage at the “How I Met Your Mother” finale.  (An argument for “bail when something starts to suck” if ever there was one.)  I pay a brief tribute to country-western artist Moe Bandy.  And the final photo in the slideshow is captioned entirely with content from my all-time favorite Twitter account, which is a parody account by the “employees” of the truly terrible Kroger grocery in the neighborhood where I work.  It contains the phrase “due to cheese problems,” and if those four words strung together don’t amuse you, well.  I don’t know what to do with you.

    Here’s hoping you’re getting through the day without cheese problems, friends.

    (Don’t see any images below?  Click on the title of this post!)


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