Golden Hour Farm Portraits

I’ve been meaning to get some new pictures on the blog for what seems like ages. I guess when you’re taking pictures, but also a mom to three very busy boys, the blog generally takes a backseat to soccer, Taekwon Do, Baseball, swimming and life in general. But I’ve got some beautiful pictures of some fantastic people and I think they need to be shared.

The pictures for today’s post are what you get when you combine a woman full of joy, life and beauty with an amazing location (this is her farm! Love it!) and fantastic evening light.

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Outdoors and In | Halifax Nova Scotia Senior Photographer

I was really excited when this graduating girl wanted to get senior pictures done.  Just like the grad in my last post, she was full of personality and we had lots of laughs.

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We started out at the park, but when rain cut our outdoor portraits short, she was more than game to head inside (which actually worked out well, since she was freezing).   I’m still hoping to get a shot of her with her guitar, but we did manage to fit some beautiful pictures of her with her violin in before it really started to pour.

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One of the great things about ending up inside, though, is that it shows that you can still get great, personal grad portraits without braving the elements.

 

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And that something as simple as a different outfit can complete change the feel of a picture.

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If you’re interested in senior/grad pictures that go beyond the cap and gown, I’d love to hear from you.  We can brave the snow or stay inside – your call.

 

 

Golden Hour | Halifax Contemporary Portrait Photographer

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sunset sailboat portrait

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I’ve been so busy with photo sessions and editing that I haven’t had to post some of my favorites from the summer.  When my niece was visiting New Brunswick all the way from the mid-western US, we decided to head out for a photo shoot at Pointe-du-Chene Wharf in Shediac.  They have a beautiful wharf, fantastic little buildings in a fishing-cove style, a beach and a place to get ice cream (because sometimes you just have to stop for ice cream after a photo session).

We got there just as golden hour (the time when the sun just starts to set) began, and the combination of great light and a great subject lead to some gorgeous shots. I love the fact that this girl is equally at home on the wharf by the water as she is breaking horses on the ranch at home.

 

Made for the Woods – Halifax NS Children’s Photographer

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When visiting with this little lady early in the summer, I had a chance to head out with her and do some pictures to surprise her mom and dad.  As soon as we headed into the woods, she just looked like she belonged there.  I’m pretty sure that if she was a tad smaller and had a pair of wings, she would make a beautiful little woodland pixie.  I don’t get to see her nearly as often as I’d like – which can happen when you live half a continent away from someone, but I think for our next photo session, I’m going to need to look for a flower garland for her gorgeous hair.

How to Hopefully Take Great Pictures of Your Own Kids | Halifax Nova Scotia Children’s Photographer

Although I love candid pictures of my kids, sometimes I want a picture that’s a little more formal for the wall or hand out to grandparents.  However, that’s not always easy to do. Often, people think that when you’re a photographer, taking great pictures of your own kids comes naturally. This may give me a bit of an edge because I do it more often, but sometimes, being a photographer just makes taking pictures of your own kids worse.  See, I can be a perfectionist when it comes to posed pictures. I know what I’m after, and it’s very frustrating when I feel like my boys aren’t making it happen.  When I’m taking pictures of someone else’s children I can almost always get a nice, natural smile or expression, but if I so much as whisper “Picture Day” to my own, their memories of past experiences result in groans and gnashing of teeth the likes of which aren’t often witnessed in pre-apocalyptic times.

With all this in mind, here are some things I’ve learned that I thought I’d pass along:

 

 

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1. Bribery works.  Period. Especially when you have a kid or two who would much rather be doing something else. Taking nice pictures of my kids is usually a once or twice a year thing and it’s worth it to me to make it worth it to them.  Tell them what’s expected of them, pick something that your children want and use it to your advantage.  For my kids, money talks, and so I pay my kids to be in pictures.  I don’t pay them a lot, mind you – usually just $2 or $3 – but if they complain it’s not enough, I just remind them that, as their mom, I could just MAKE them do it for free.

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2.  Relax.  Once you’ve established what’s expected of your kids and what the reward is, relax.  If you’re constantly getting in their faces, fixing their hair, telling them to smile and getting frustrated when they don’t do it “right”, they’re going to get uptight, and feed off your frustration.  And when everyone is angry and/or crying, the pictures just aren’t as pretty.

 

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3.  Engage.  If you’re taking pictures of your own kids, don’t use “Say Cheese!”.  You’ll get a much better response if you talk or sing or tell jokes while you’re behind the camera. Once you see that look that’s your child at her best, snap it. And, if you need to pull in another family member or friend to stand behind you and make your kid giggle, then go for it.  In our family, few people can make my boys laugh for pictures like their brothers.

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4. Let it go.  Some details are important, some aren’t – figure what hill is worth dying on.  For me, in the case of these pictures, sometimes it was about letting my 10-year-old pick out his own shirt.  Yes, I knew it wouldn’t match anything else that his siblings were wearing since it had giant neon stripes on it, but he was a lot happier about pictures wearing something he picked out. Sure, in 20 years his kids would make fun of him for his choice, but that just made it sweeter for me.

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5. Know when enough is enough.  I really wanted a great picture of all three of my boys smiling at me, but we’d been at it a while and the novelty had long since worn off.  I knew I already had great pictures of each of them individually and some of them together laughing.  They were tired, I was far from relaxed and we all wanted to be done and go home, so I decided to call it a day.  We never did get the last picture I wanted, but we did get this one.  I’d say that I definitely got my six bucks’ worth.

One Foggy Day

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One foggy day, I went for a walk in the woods with a little boy.  When I realized how gorgeous it was and saw how his red coat stood out beautifully against the greens and browns and mist, I decided to come back later with the boy and my camera .  The boy the boy happily agreed and we set out again. He promptly put his world-class imagination to work as we walked on the path in the woods.  And I gladly snapped away as he did.

Capturing the Moment

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One of the things I love about being a photographer is catching a moment that beautifully shows people as they really are.  It means going beyond the “Everyone!  Look here and say, ‘Cheese!'” moments and looking for a way to capture the feeling and the personality of those I photograph.  This was one of those times.  Our family picnicked at the park with this family.  The kids could barely eat, they were so excited to play together.  Then, in the middle of it all, this boy came over for a quiet moment with his dad.  I turned, saw it and snapped the picture as quickly as I could. I love the relaxed pose: dad’s hand on his son’s shoulder, the boy leaning into dad, and the quiet connection it shows.  Other people there don’t even remember when this took place.  But it did.  And I’m glad I caught it.

This photo was submitted to the I Heart Faces photo challenge – www.iheartfaces.com

Sticks and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails, Growing Up

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So I have a hunch that my boys are growing up.  This hunch was verified even more when I looked at my Sticks and Snails post from almost three years ago.  The pictures in this post were taken late this past fall and I love to see how my little boys are getting bigger and getting along.  The former just keeps happening whether I like it or not.  And the latter, well, that all depends on the day, but the glimpses I see in these pictures give me hope.

 

Family Pictures at the Park

 

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There’s a gorgeous park not too far from my home.  When this family asked me to do fall pictures for them, I thought this would be a great setting.  The fall backdrop was fantastic, the girls were loving the camera, and the pictures turned out beautifully – even if it was a little chilly.

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