If you live in Seminole County Florida like I do, you are well aware that every October there are these jaw dropping gorgeous bright yellow wildflowers that bloom off the 417 highway near Lake Jessup. It's not uncommon for motorists to stop their car on the side of the road to snap a few pictures with their cell phones and post immediately to Facebook or Instagram. These flower fields sit way back from the road and are separated by a wire fence from the 417, hence making it difficult to conduct any kind of photo session in the flowers...until now! After doing my research, I found a patch of yellow wildflowers (not sure if these are the same that you see from 417, but who cares?) on part of the Lake Jessup Conservation area that was somewhat easily accessible to by car. Knowing that the flowers do not last long, I called my next Oviedo High School Senior Abbie that I had on the books and asked if we could bump up her time to shoot in the wildflowers. I'm so happy it fit in her schedule because look at the amazing shots we did!
Amazing right? Now that I found my very own secret garden I can't wait to fill up my calendar with more seniors, family and children sessions there next fall! We finished Abbie's session in Maitland and I think the shots we got are stunning too so of course I'm including them here. Call now to schedule your senior session and/or holiday session! 407.340.2990 or firstname.lastname@example.org or simply leave a comment here on my blog.
I love my work. The other day I was invited to photograph one of my favorite baby's one year birthday party. You might recognize Kinsley from recent blogs, she's the adorably happy baby with the cute underwear and also the one featured on this year's Holiday Special ad. If you missed it click here.
I don't want to write too many words about her very special day, but rather let you experience her party through some of the images. Photographing birthday parties is one of the shoots I love to do because I get to capture not only the birthday child, but family and friends interacting together. Hiring a professional photographer to cover your child's birthday is a great way for you to relax and be in the moment and not feel like you have to film or take all the pictures yourself. You can even be IN the pictures! Wow! What a concept, right? Trust me I know from looking at all my kids' past birthday party pictures and not seeing myself in them because I was always on the other side of the camera. So consider calling me for your child's next birthday party and see for yourself how much more relaxed you'll be.
Several of you have started to ask me about my Holiday sessions so I am posting my deal now. We don't have too many weekends left (hard to believe) so don't delay! Check your family calendar and call or email me to secure your spot. 407.340.2990 or email@example.com
With my oldest off to college and an empty room and extra place at the dinner table in my house, it should come as no surprise that I have brought out the old pictures and memorabilia like pre school crafts and home made Mother's Day's cards. Looking at all our old photos has motivated me to take up from where I left off in my scrapbooking endeavors from a few years back and am pleased to report I'm currently in 2006.
As I creatively cut, trim and design my scrapbook pages of distant memories, I realize, like most of us moms that I am only in about two pictures a year! Another thought that comes to mind as I ponder all the piles of pictures is that not all the pictures are necessarily good pictures. Some are shot too close or from too far away, some are...GASP, blurry ! Some photos are even redundant. How many pictures do you need of exploding scenes from the Indiana Jones show at Hollywood studios or funny dancing seals at Sea World? But I'm glad I have them all because they all represent visually our family memories of the milestones our kids reached and all our experiences we shared together.
I'm also blessed by the pictures that I shot of my kids when I put my Professional Photographer hat on and made sure the lighting was right and my shots were creatively composed in my camera. These are the images that were created after hours of editing in my digital darkroom using my professional software and then custom printed using my professional labs.
It's not unusual that I will have stacks of scrapbooks filled with imperfect pictures, but it has made me wonder how many of you will also have beautiful stunning images shot by a hired Professional that you can also treasure and frame on your walls? Even with the influx of moms and dads that own great DSLR cameras that can be bought at your local Target or Best Buy, the answer is most likely not too many. I've had some fun coming up with my Top Ten List of why you need a professional photographer and while I hope you LOL as you read it, I also hope you realize that you just might see some truth in my reasons and schedule your session sooner rather than later. 407.340.2990 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Packing, shopping, Facebook posts showing before and after dorm move in pictures, tearful goodbyes, First Day of School pictures of my High School Senior and Middle Schooler...this has been my world for the past couple of weeks. I just finished moving our oldest son into college at RIT, barely able to catch my breath and now must begin the new role to our middle son of college application editor. Most of his summer was spent writing and re-writing his college essays and editing his top ten college list. Early deadlines are quickly approaching and test retakes need to be done, as well as acquiring teacher recommendations and high school transcripts. My son has had college on his brain since we took a college road trip last summer and has carried it over through his junior year until now. With all this whirlwind of getting one son into college and now getting another son ready to be accepted into a college of his choice, I can't help but wonder if we are jumping too far ahead.
Where are the days when you could enjoy your senior year? Instead my son's senior schedule is jam packed with AP classes and already two college classes at UCF. He's going to be working harder than ever before plus keeping up with his clubs and varsity water polo. I remember when senior year was a student's time to exercise their newly earned status to rule the school, kick back and relax and enjoy their last pep rallies, football and basketball games, senior prom and of course graduation, open houses with families coming together.
I'm afraid this is not the case. I can still remember the high school principal saying at freshman orientation, "Your child's first day of ninth grade is the first day of their high school transcript that colleges will see." The seeds are planted very early. This may not entirely be a bad thing, as I do feel it creates high achieving students. But since the college admission process has become almost a part time job for both the high school student and their parents, I do feel there's a sense of missing out on savoring their high school experience, especially their senior year.
I realize there's not much I am able to change about the highly competitive college admission process, but what I can do is make it my goal to encourage my son to not sweat the small stuff, still work hard toward his goals, but also take time to have fun and hopefully create some lasting high school senior memories that just don't go into a blur of pre-college oblivion. I'm also going to encourage more family time, knowing the school year will go by quickly and I'll be doing the whole college shopping, packing and moving in all over again. At that time, our youngest will be a freshman in high school, and if this mom can help it, her first day of ninth grade will be recorded as the first day to make great high school memories, not just the first day of her high school transcript.
Here are my son's senior pictures that I shot throughout the summer. My senior photo sessions are shot on location that tell the student's story. I would love to help document your senior in pictures before they graduate and go off to college and you're wondering where did the time go? Give me a call 407.340.2990 or email: email@example.com
I couldn't wait to share the latest photos from my six month photo session with Kinsley Paige. The last time I photographed her she was barely a month old and was dressed in her Christmas best when I photographed her whole family, even though she didn't know it. But what a difference a few months make! She was ready to giggle and laugh for my camera almost immediately, even with a few wardrobe changes in between. I shot mostly all of her pictures in her adorable pink nursery because it has beautiful natural window light. I love my in home sessions because they allow babies and kids, and even adults to feel totally relaxed in their own home environment. So...if you've been considering an in home session with me, but still haven't booked yet, maybe these pictures will convince you to give me a call or email me. 407.340.2990 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember when I introduced Macy McCorquodale to you? Well, we just finished all of her sessions and I couldn't be more proud to have Macy represent my work in High School Senior Photography. I would also like to thank Lacy Bott of Esbi Salon (email@example.com) in Oviedo for doing such a fabulous job with Macy's hair and makeup. After chatting with Macy about what her interests are, we collaborated and decided to shoot at three areas around Central Florida. There's a lot to think about when you're approaching your last year of high school. Macy just returned from visiting her top choices for college and there begins the task of applying to those colleges with essays to write and letters of recommendations to gather. You probably realize by now that I am a photojournalist at heart and love to tell a person's story through pictures. If you want your story documented in pictures before you graduate, I would love to hear from you in a comment below on this blog. I'm open for business and booking all summer long for senior sessions! 407.340.2990 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Earlier in the year, I became aware of a new pre-school that opened in Winter Springs called The Creative Inspiration Journey School http://www.cijschools.com/about/ I met with owner Patty Marquis and we decided to work together for school pictures this past Spring. She did not prefer the typical standard pre-school pictures of her students and wanted the pictures to reflect the style of learning CIJS promotes, "guided self discovery, imagination and creativity." And since my portrait style is more on the photojournalism side, we were on the same page. CIJS takes it's roots from an early childhood program started in a small post war Italian town, Reggio Emilia, and is now a world renown childhood learning style, nominated in Newsweek as one of "The Ten Best Schools in the World." CIJS places an emphasis on allowing the child to pursue their own path of learning in a less structured environment that allows them to mature and develop at their own rate into respectful, caring and socially connected individuals. When I first toured the school, I was totally amazed at the design and structure of the rooms and play areas. There were fossils to explore on overhead projectors, a tent all ready to be used for a camping trip of the imagination, an indoor treehouse as well as a real outdoor tree house, staging areas, a pottery wheel, science room, real living room areas and a kitchen that permeated a delicious cumin inspired scent undoubtedly being prepared by the school "chef."
And when I arrived for picture day, I was even more amazed by the intelligence and genuine curiosity of the students that had only previously started CIJS. "What's that?" I asked a student, referring to what appeared to be a turtle skeleton. "A turtle," she replied quickly and with confidence. There were no mere color or letter of the week at this pre-school. There were too many other things to explore. Like not only identifying a turtle skeleton, but actually making turtle shells out of large paper bags and attaching them to your back to discover what it really feels like to be a turtle. Later that day, I watched the older kids make ice cream and sketch plants outside in the garden. Two days was not enough for this photographer to capture all the happenings at this very special school. I can't wait to return for fall pictures. I can smell the toasted pumpkin seeds and pumpkin bread already!
It's like an Oviedo tradition now, since 2007, I have been privileged to shoot the amazing dancers at Tutus on Broadway in Oviedo for Owner Morgan Cate. www.tutusonbroadway.com So it's only fitting that I devote this post to Tutus once again. And as always, I wish I could share all of the pictures, but this year we had a record number of dancers for picture week, so I am left to the difficult task of only choosing a few to represent the entire shoot. I would like to personally thank all the dancers and their moms, dads and grandparents who brought them dressed and ready to go on their picture day. Of course, I couldn't have done the shoot at all without the endless help of Kassie Snow, Chrissy French and most of all Morgan Cate.
I am extremely proud to select as my first High School Senior Representative for Oviedo High School, Macy McCorquodale. You'll be seeing a lot of Macy over the next couple of months, as we shoot at some of her favorite locations around Central Florida. I have known Macy since moving to Oviedo in 2005. I have watched her grow from a young, kind, caring and always willing to share her infectious smile, to a beautiful, graceful and confident young lady. Macy has maintained her high GPA status at OHS, while continuing to be a leader in Beta Club and student government. Recently, she was nominated as Senior Class President. One of her favorite classes has been AP Psychology. In her spare time, she enjoys working out, shopping, going to the beach and hanging out with friends. Macy has a brother Pearce, who will be a freshman at OHS. She hopes to attend Auburn University after graduation in 2016 to pursue a nursing degree.
If you are a High School Senior and you wish to apply as one of Rep Models, please leave me a comment below. I will be posting an application soon.