Friday, December 29, 2006

Happy Birthday Maria!

This is Maria. She recently celebrated her first birthday, and came by for birthday portraits. I loved her little white dress, it was simple and had a vintage feel to it.

I like this image because it looks very similar to one that my parents had taken of me when I was little. The exact same position, the same simple outfit, the same simple background. Any one of those things alone wouldn't be particularly special, but put together they become a classic image. Twenty years from now, it won't be immediately obvious that this portrait was made in the early 2000's - and perhaps one day Maria will bring her own children for a simple, classic portrait that will become a cherished family heirloom.

Happy birthday Maria!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas! Wesolych Swiat!

Christmas is here and the kids are excited. Santa has visited our house and soon the kids will be tearing open presents. The dog already got her gift - a $6 box of chocolates from Poland that weren't meant for her. Luckily they weren't all chocolate, there was lots of non-chocolate filling so she isn't sick from it. Still, those chocolates were for Zbyszek, not Mocha!

I wish everyone a peaceful and Merry Christmas. This picture is a 7-week old baby I photographed recently. She'll be celebrating her first Christmas today, and I hope Santa is good to her. If cuteness = presents, she'll be unwrapping all day!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Get a head start on those New Year's Resolutions!

I recently photographed this little cutie who happens to be the cover baby for the January issue of a local magazine. Her parents run a local gym, which means that while my busy time of the year is winding up - theirs is going to start in a week or two! January is the time for resolutions, a time for fresh starts. It's the perfect time to begin working on new goals. But so many of those goals get set aside by...well, by January 15! It's hard to change who we are, especially when we don't yet know exactly who the new person is going to look like.

Here are some helpful hints to keeping those New Year's Resolutions and accomplishing those goals.
  1. Make your goal realistic and measurable. Don't just say "I'm going to become a size 0 supermodel." That's unrealistic (although measurable!). Start with a small goal - "I'm going to exercise 3 times a week for 30 minutes each time." Or maybe "I'm going to lose 5 pounds by cutting back the sweets I eat." Both of those are doable, and certainly measurable.
  2. Give yourself something to look forward to - what will you do when you reach your goal? Make it something you really want! In the meantime, set mini-goals with smaller rewards along the way.
  3. Share your goal with someone else. This gives you accountability. It's harder to go back on a promise when someone else knows you made the promise! You don't have to tell everyone about your goal, but let one or two close friends or family members know. It's harder to look them in the eye if you've been slacking off! And sometimes they can encourage you.
  4. Look back and enjoy your successes. Maybe your goal is taking longer than you thought. Maybe it feels like you're spinning your wheels. But chances are, you have made progress. Before my youngest child was born, I lost 49 pounds over a period of two years. I would NEVER have guessed it would take that long. Sometimes it felt like I'd never get to the end of my quest to lose 50 pounds (and I didn't - thanks, Grace!). But I knew that even if I never got to 50 pounds, losing 10 - and then 20 - and 30 - and 40 - and 49 pounds - those were all accomplishments in their own right.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Have a merry, merry, merry Christmas!

Yesterday I got the chance to photograph triplets. I've got two surviving triplets of my own, and I've had the opportunity to do sessions with triplets and quadruplets before - so by now I feel like I'm a pro at dealing with three little ones! If nothing else, it does give me the chance to really relax at sessions with "only" one baby!

It seems that invariably when you work with multiples, there will be ONE baby that just doesn't want to cooperate. They fuss and cry - or they want to sleep when everyone else is awake. So it's really a nice surprise when all the multiples are content and willing to work with me!

These babies were little cuties, and I'm sure Santa will have to spend a little extra time at their house Christmas Eve. What a blessing for their parents, to have a house full of love and little feet this year.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

You know Dasher, and Dancer...

This is Matthew. Matthew and I go a long way back. When we first met, he did NOT want his picture taken - by me or anyone else. More than one session was spent waiting for him to sit still long enough to take even one shot. I'd usually end up with a couple of shots, but not very many smiles.

I think I've photographed Matthew at least 5 times now, some times more successfully than other. But we finally made friends in October. Instead of coming to the studio, he came to a church Harvest Festival where I was taking pictures of kids in a wagon filled with pumpkins. Somehow, that got him interested. And - it got him smiling! For the first time ever, I didn't have to fight with him to take his picture.

Yesterday he came over for holiday photos. He was so handsome in his Christmas outfit! He showed his little sister how it's done. And not only did he sit still, he even smiled! I think the promise of a big candy cane did the trick...and even got him to sit still with silly reindeer ears on his head and a nice red nose.

I hope that Santa is good to Matthew this year. I don't know how good he's been at home, but he was a very good boy for me.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Sharing a secret...

These two sisters I recently photographed. You can tell how much fun they have together just by the way they play and giggle with one another.

Sometimes photography isn't about capturing the "perfect" pose that will be a classic for all time. Sometimes, photography is about capturing two sisters being silly. While this photo may never become a classic for the world to admire, it will always be a reminder of the times when two little girls were able to just be silly. Those photographs can be just as important to a family as the perfectly posed classic photographs can be, but for different reasons. While a classic photo can show you how a person looked, they don't always show you who a person really is. For that, you need a little bit of silliness from time to time.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Welcome to the world, Iago!

I was lucky enough to photograph the recent baptism of Iago. What a wonderful name - the world needs more Iagos! And the perfect setting for a baptism - a gorgeous church, decorated for the holiday season.

I wish many blessings for Iago and his family, and congratulations on your entry into the church.

A little princess...

This little girl is such a sweetheart, and she looks like a little princess. Of course, every little girl is a princess. But some just show it more on the outside! I can imagine her with a little tiara, can't you? And yet behind the sweet smile, there is surely a little bit of mischief hiding.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Cobbler's Children have no Shoes...

I've been so busy taking holiday photos of other people's kids that I didn't get around to doing my own until this morning.

Of course, everyone wants to do their own thing and I never did get that perfect holiday shot. Gracie wasn't willing to cooperate at all, so that was the end of that.

At least Marie made me proud by losing the second of her front teeth in time for Christmas!