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Monday, May 26, 2014

Meet the Long Family! ~ Tacoma Family Photographer

Sometimes I meet new clients through friends.  Sometimes they've seen my work on someone's wall and asked about it.  Other times, my husband will tell someone at his work about what I do.  But every year for the past few years, I have met new clients through the athletics fundraiser at the school where my husband teaches.  It's a tradition I look forward to.  Every year since I started participating in the program, I've had the pleasure of meeting and photographing a new family, and this year, it was the Longs!  Although I had met and interacted with the Longs on multiple occasions in the past, this was the first time I'd done a shoot for them.  Photographing a family never fails to give me a new perspective on its members, a glimpse into what makes them "tick" as a family, and a chance to spend a couple of hours with them focusing on nothing but... them!

For the Longs, I chose a location that I am personally quite familiar with, but had never used as a portrait location before.  It had some great features: a lake, a dock, old buildings, a large white pergola (fun!), and plenty of trees, park benches, and the like.  Our only hiccup came in the form of a seasonally locked dock, which we worked around quite nicely without breaking any laws.  Of course, if you were to ask the kids, they might say the biggest hiccup was the breezy-cold spring air, but hopefully now that summer has fully set in, they won't remember that part of the shoot...


Right off the bat, I taught the Longs my "secret" fake-laugh trick for getting good smiles.  Once they got over the awkwardness of laughing on purpose, they actually got very good at it!  ;)


There's no demographic quite like middle-school boys for that penultimate smiling challenge.  They always start out so serious!  Consequently, I get such satisfaction from getting real smiles out of them.  :) 

Really?  A grand white pergola over an old cobblestone walkway... in a public park?  Instant romance.

Just look at these two.  Adorable!

If you've visited my blog before, you know I have a soft spot for genuine brother/sister shots.  Memories are made of these, my friends.

How do I get so lucky to always snag such beautiful families?

These two were getting pretty silly by this point in the session.  In my opinion, silliness can be a great tool.  I love how it reads on camera.

Mother + Daughter + Sunset = Lovely.

Backlighting can be a tricky thing to master, but it's so rewarding when it works.  I love the dramatic light in this one.

The chin on the hand was all his idea...  ;)

When I took this adorable shot, I remember thinking, "Oh my goodness.  One day my son will be able to carry ME?"

Again with the sweet brother/ sister shots!  This one should probably be kept in a highly visible place in the home, just for those days when they're... not so amicable toward each other.  ;)

A sweet parting shot as we were losing the light.

Well, don't you just love this family?  I had such a fun time working with them, and I was honored to be let in to their world, as I know I've said before.  I have such a great job!

~ Kathryn

Friday, May 23, 2014

Milo Turns Four! ~ Tacoma Child Photographer

Although I have been a professional photographer for longer than I've been a parent, my oldest child, Milo still seems like my photographic "guinea pig."  He was the newborn, infant, toddler, and now pre-schooler that I have tried all my equipment, props, poses, and techniques on before ever trying them out on a client.  He's not aware of it, but I think that's a pretty honorable distinction, and I hope he'll let me keep on taking his picture for many years to come.

When Milo turned four years old this month, I realized it had been way too long since I gave him a proper portrait session.  I've done a lot of sibling sessions and I've certainly done many shoots for my adorable little girl, but Milo has been left out of the fun recently, so I decided that needed to change.  On the morning of his birthday, I dressed Milo up in some of his favorite clothes, told him to choose one stuffed friend, and hauled an antique chair out to the backyard.  (Seriously, a photographer can never have too many antique chairs, am I right?)

I'm always learning new things with Milo.  I guess that's the way oldest children are.  So in the case of portrait sessions, I learned that four year old boys can be tough to keep in one place!  The saving graces for this shoot were simple conversations (always good for a few funny expressions, or to keep him in the chair longer) and good old fashioned bargaining.  He's old enough now that I can use some new tools in my "child photographer's toolbox," and that was a pretty cool discovery.  This was also the first time Milo has been able to have real input on his own poses, which was really neat.

So without further ado, I'll show you some highlights from Milo's four-year session.  I can't believe my little boy is growing up so fast!

My wonderful husband put up this tire swing JUST in time for Milo's birthday.  Best prop ever?  I think so!

Talk about an idyllic childhood photo.  Ahhh...


Milo is so imaginative, who knows what he's conjuring up in this photo.  The dandelions make the shot look almost magical, too.

This shirt is legitimately very old.  I bought it for 25 cents at a rummage sale, and the date on it is 1981.  Oh, and Milo chose Mister Bear as his friend for the portrait session.  These two have been best buds for their whole lives.  :)
 
This is Milo's "neutral" expression.  Nothing fancy, not really paying much attention, just sitting there.  Oh, and his funny little forehead dimple shows itself quite prominently in this shot.  ;)

This is what I get now when I ask him to smile...

Milo is such a tender-hearted boy.  He loves to hold our chickens any chance he gets!

This might be my favorite photo from the entire session.  The look on his face is so transparent and gentle (and quiet).  He's my little chicken whisperer!

Well, there you have it!  Thanks for visiting the blog and checking out Milo's portraits.  I hope you came away even more fond of this little guy than you were before!

~ Kathryn