Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lisa & Christian's Engagement Photos

September 1, 2011.  It's exactly one year prior to my rapidly approaching wedding date.  It's also the exact day that Lisa, Christian, and I ventured out into our small town's backyard with the mission of taking their engagement photos. 

Before every photo session I always deal with nerves.  In this case I probably should've been more at ease considering how close I am with the couple, but to be honest, I wasn't.  As my future sister-in-law and one of my very best friends, I simply didn't want to let Lisa down.  I needed to keep my style of photography, but still give Lisa the pictures she'd been conjuring in her head for months (or years?) -- a challenge that churned my stomach a smidge.   I knew she wanted vintage, "The Notebook"-esque style photos, so I wanted to deliver her Rachael McAdams and Ryan Gosling on a silver screen platter.  So I did my usual prep work and sketched out my famous unflattering stick figures in shots that I deemed "Notebook-worthy".

Lisa did her fare share of prep work as well by outfitting her and her Fiance to fit the vintage role.  On the day of the photo session, she showed up in a sweet ivory lace frock and her trademark country curls.  Christian looked quite dapper himself, sporting an ensemble reminiscent of a time where iPads were replaced with back-country fishing adventures.  They looked good.  That makes my job a little easier.  But all of my anxiety melted away when I started shooting and realized that the photographer in me was going to pull through.  As the future Habersacks led me through their territory of the Gunpowder State Park, I effortlessly snapped away -- it was easy considering these beautiful people fit right into their element.  They shared stories about how they used to climb the rusty green bridge in high school, and how they'd fish while their hound dog Blue carelessly splashed around in the creek bed.  I felt like I was seeing a lovey-dovey side of them that most people don't get to, and that made the photos more "special" to me.

The happy couple has since entered wedded bliss on May 12th of this year, but it's never too late to share a few photos.  Obviously these photos are some of my personal favorites since my new bro and sis are near and dear to my heart, but I also appreciate these snip-its in time because, to me at least, they represent both Lisa and Christian as I know and love them.  With that said, meet Mr. & Mrs. Habersack:

A personal favorite.

This one made the cover of their Save the Date card!

A rare shot of the Blue-weasel.

This truck served as their guest book at their wedding!

And as an additional wedding treat, I went back and re-edited some of their photos.  Here ya go:

A "Cool" Memory

Today is easily one of the hottest days of the year.  Not that I'm complaining, since my reaction to cold temperatures usually involves a ridiculous show of convulsions accompanied by a slew of whiny noises.  Yeah, I'd much rather be hot.

I was flipping through some of my pictures and came across this one.  I actually stopped and stared at it for a couple of reasons.  One, because I fancied the idea of slathering myself with icy handfuls of snow.  Second, because I miss my Patches.  I have many fond memories of my dear, late Patches, but this photo reminds me of one of my most vivid.

January 12, 2011 - I awoke this weekday morning to more snow than the weatherman had anticipated.  Fearing my little car wouldn't be able to conquer the slick, un-plowed back roads of my little town, I decided to wait it out for an hour or so before driving into work.  Luckily my boss approved and delayed work for a couple of hours.  At 23 I still reacted to freshly fallen snow the same way a 5 year old would.  Incredibly giddy to capture the beauty of this particular morning, I threw on my boots, tossed on a jacket, and grabbed my new camera.  Being the loving companion that he was, Patches was by my side wagging his invisible tail.  If I had a tail, I'm sure I'd be wagging it too.

I've noticed that when it snows, my body seems to become immune to cold.  Maybe it's because I'm enchanted by the wondrous playground before me.  Or maybe it's simply because I'm not focusing on how cold it is and subsequently acting a fool.  I waded through the snow, snapping pictures of icicles and ground that had not yet been imprinted with footsteps.  All the while I would stop and soak in the moment.  I would think of how much I enjoyed snow, how quiet the world seems to be when it snows, how bright and alive the woods look even though the trees were naked and baron.  My reflective thoughts were often interrupted by Patches romping around in front of me or nudging my leg in what I interpreted as "Let's keep exploring!"  Onward!

Patches and I took pictures for about an hour.  At one point he located an apple that had been buried in inches of snow, dug it up, and gnawed on it like the little porker that he was.  Either Australian Shepherds are scent hounds, or Patches just had a nose for any and all food.  Definitely the latter.

On hot days like this, it's fun to think of snow and icy temperatures.  In the winter we can't wait until we're melting in the sun, begging for a swimming pool or a popsicle.  In the summer we decide that shoveling snow wasn't half as bad as we thought it was way back in February.  Either way, it's important to enjoy the "here and now".  I did just that on that brisk January morning with Patches, and now I have a cool memory to visit whenever I miss the cold or my Patches.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Baby Chase Alexander Kroll

I like to consider myself brave.  Brave enough to venture into new photography territory and try working with new subjects, techniques, angles, etc.  This week I had the sweet opportunity to photograph a 9 day old little cutie named Chase.

I'm not going to lie -- I was a little nervous about this session.  I mean, I've worked with babies before but never a newborn.  Like a good photographer should, I scoured the internet for any sort of tips and tricks that would help teach me about newborn photography.  Usually my internet research calms me down a bit and reassures me that everything will go smoothly -- not in this case.  I kept reading about swaddling, and heating pads, and excrement cleanup supplies, and reschedules due to fussiness.  Ohhh man.  But I had to press on and do what I could to prepare myself for baby Chase, who by the minute, was becoming less and less "newborn" like.

I did my usual pre-photo session sketching of various shot ideas that I come up with.  And by sketch, I mean scribble some incredibly crude stick figures all over a page and label them with notes that only my crazy little mind can interpret.  I felt as ready as I was going to be.  Sketches in tow, I was ready for Chase.

Upon meeting Chase I was instantly relieved.  This baby is as chill as can be.  He'd squirm a little when we'd move him, but then he'd settle right back down and pass out again.  From what I read online, he's a photographer's dream.  He's also a lifesaver in my book, considering he helped me immensely on my first newborn shoot by looking handsome and adorable, like all newborn babies should.  He also happens to have a pair of incredible parents that had me cracking up the whole time.

So without further adieu, here's Mr. Chase in all his naked newborn glory.  I like to think that these precious little photos will come back to haunt him in 18 years in his high school yearbook or at a graduation party.  Thank you Kroll Family!!