Thursday, May 20, 2010

Inspired and Encouraged

Almost a month ago I was lucky enough to attend the first of many photography workshops now being offered by Donna Boucher. My intention was to post about it before we left for Kiawah Island, but I got hung up on the editing thinking I was going to invest in Lightroom (editing software). Then I realized that Adobe is releasing a new version in the coming months so I'm going to hold off a bit. I did not want to wait any longer, however, to talk about the workshop as it was the highlight of the month for me so I quickly edited in iphoto all of the following photos taken that day.

The day long workshop was geared toward "inspired beginners". There was a nice small group of us so we were all able to ask as many questions as we wanted, and we asked plenty. If Donna drinks, she definitely had a drink when we left her place;) The day started with monkey bread:

As far as I'm concerned, any day that starts with monkey bread is a good day. She also served a yummy lunch. We were spoiled.

Donna's daughters were our models for the day. They were both as sweet and patient as they are beautiful. And they are truly stunning. In my humble opinion, they have the perfect hair color.

Top ten things I learned at the workshop:

1) How to find the light. Photography is, after all, all about the light. Donna pointed out how to find it and how to make it work for us.

2) Focus on the eyes and make sure they are reflecting the light. It makes all the difference.

3) It is okay to have your own style. I happen to like less saturated images and I learned how to achieve this effect in camera (and through editing/post processing). I also like pictures taken in window light when one side of the face is sort of shadowed (like the one above). And I like that you can tell that it was overcast outside.

4) A great local spot for a photo shoot:)

I can't wait to take my girls here.

5) How to operate my camera manually! Until now I'd always used aperture priority. Now I can find just the right exposure and adjust the settings as I see fit in a given situation. I'm practically a professional after this workshop;)

6) Either I have arthritis or my new lens is HEAVY. Which means I have to be mindful of keeping still and use a faster shutter speed for sharpness.

7) How to take a good action shot!

8) I like averted gazes as long as I can see the eyes. I think I read this somewhere before and it's true- if you can't see a good portion of the iris it doesn't look as good.

9) And smiles like this...when you wonder what the person is thinking. This picture reminds me of the Mona Lisa:

10) Katie is as silly as she is sweet and is a perfect muse:

It was a wonderful day, full of fun people, photography, learning, sharing, good food and a new Land's End bag. I wish everyone could have a day like this every month.

If you are in the area (or not- Madison is a great place to visit) and have an interest in learning how to take better pictures, I highly recommend this workshop.

Donna, thank you! Consider me inspired and encouraged:)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Flower Girl

I was given the OK to post these professional shots of Poppy as a flower girl back in April. I can't believe this little child is mine (she's the short one):

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


We're home now and back to reality. Kiawah Island was almost perfect. The only thing it lacked (in our opinion) was good restaurants. Do you find resort restaurants to be very mediocre? Someone needs to capitalize on this and cater to the foodies. That would be a place I'd return to year after year. Other than that, the week was wonderful. We practically had the place to ourselves, beach and all. We drove into Charleston on our one rainy day and took a driving tour of the Battery and Rainbow Row. We also went to the South Carolina Aquarium in town. My mom drove up from Florida for the day and Chris and I were able to get away for a quick walk on the beach. Unfortunately, we missed the last plane out of Detroit on Saturday and had to drive back to Madison through the night. Delta: doesn't even leave the airport (got that from Miz Boo- she is too funny). Ain't that the truth. I'll spare you the details, but suffice to say we will never fly Delta again. They could learn a thing or two from JetBlue.

That's all for today, just wanted to sit down and post something before any more time went by:)

I thought these pictures were funny:

Chloe, 15 months:

Me, 13 months: