Remember these beautiful Seattle Workshop ladies and the token man, Brian? We joked about how this image demonstrates how the fear the Seattle Sistas felt when we started teaching them how to shoot in Manuel.
Well my friends, it’s time to show you how well they shot during the workshop! I’m so excited. We’ve been meaning to do this post since June, but life got a little crazy this summer. Let’s not waste another second!
On the Saturday of the workshop, we had a handful of mamas come with their new babies. The Seattle Sistas (attendees :)) were split up into groups of 3-5, and they were given different lighting situations to tackle with their assigned mama and baby. The focus of the practice shoot was to consider lighting and composition when shooting a mom and baby. What are the types of things we must be sensitive to with a new mom, when we consider composition specifically? This type of question and a bunch more are what we were tackling together.
On Sunday, we had a handful of families join us for a mock “family shoot”. One family had seven people! That was our beloved blog reader and friend, Kari Hale! She and Dave came with all five kids. I started our time by demonstrating different strategies I would use with a bigger sized family. And then the women were split up again and given their own assigned families to work with. One of the best parts for me was having Pascaline and Blaze participate for the first time. I felt like they were old enough to handle being one of the model families, and they did great (plus, we got some great images of the kids!).
The Seattle Sistas sent me some of their favorite results from both shoots to share with you! Some of them told me that they were holding their breath as they pushed the “SEND” button b/c the idea of having their images up here is terrifying. But I know that you will be the encouraging audience you always are! Thanks for helping me welcome the Seattle Sistas images!
First up is Katie. She took these beautiful images during the Baby Shoot on Saturday. She flew all the way from Washington DC to join us. What a pleasure to have her with us. Katie is so talented.
I just love how intimate this first one is–a precious moment between dad and baby.
And then look at the sweetness of this one! Doesn’t this image make you want to kiss baby Nathan to pieces!
Katie, these two images are AMAZING! I love that you captured baby Nathan sucking on his mama’s finger b/c that is such a timely detail shot that shows us how old he is. Knowing that this time for baby Nathan is limited makes the image that much more significant. The color is also beautiful on both images. Fantastic job!
Tacey captured Valerie and baby Nathan from a completely different angle. Look at how sweet his eyes are.
And I love how tight Tacey got on this next one. We see just enough of mom’s smile to know that she adores this little guy and for this moment, he is her whole world.
You have to check out Tacey’s new blog. I loved getting to know this firecracker of a woman. Tacey had found our blog only a month before the workshop happened! She told me she had read three years of blog posts in that single month (giving her an amazing perspective on how this blog has transformed)! And now she is GOING FOR IT! So proud of you girl!
Erika had the opportunity to work with Marianne and her baby. Marianne came to our workshop a couple years ago, and it was WONDERFUL to have her back as a model with her precious baby. The first baby shot above is her husband. But look at this image Erika caught. I love so many elements of it. I love Marianne’s hair that falls over her face. I love how sweet this little guy’s face is cuddled next to his mama. I love how you can almost hear Marianne comfort him with soothing sounds. Wonderful Erika!
And one more! I can’t resist. I pulled this from Erika’s blog. It’s just beautiful! Same mom but hair down. Don’t you love it?!
During the Family Shoot on Sunday, one of the challenges was to capture moments that show the personality of the different family members. I’m thinking Erika nailed it on this shot!
Erika did a great job of using the Thirds Principle to frame this image. I love all the empty space on the other side of us. It brings more attention to Blazey’s face. And I love how Brian is standing there, thinking about his own things. You can totally tell this is a mama and Blazey dynamic. Erika, thank you! I love that you caught this moment! To see more of Erika’s work, visit her blog!
And if you want a window into Pascaline’s personality, Melanie did an AMAZING job of capturing the moment! This is totally my (superhero) daughter. Blaze idolizes Bruce Wayne (the hidden identity of Batman). I guess Bruce Wayne will rub his chin when he’s thinking, and thus, there you have it. Melanie, you caught them both in total character–and different characters! Way to go!
Remember the tight black and white image that Tacey captured? Here is another perspective of that moment. I love that you can frame the same moment in so many different ways!
I love all the circular motion in the above image. Melanie, you did a great job of framing this image b/c mom’s arm looks good, her hands are gentle, baby’s tucked into her, and it gives you the feeling of him being in her womb–safe and surrounded by her love. Beautiful Melanie.
Jennifer Caplinger (yesterday’s Vacation Photo Contest winner!) captured this image of Valerie’s husband and baby Nathan the next day. I loved this image because of how Jennifer chose to frame it. Zane and Valerie are some of our dearest friends, and the expression on Zane’s face is classic. I can just hear him talking to baby Nathan. And then I love how Valerie and the girls are blurred in front. What a great composition!
Here is another one of Jennifer’s images. Look at how she used composition in this image with a totally different focus.
She left us empty space on the right side and bottom corner. I feel like that little bit of empty space gives more motion and a rocking sense to the mama’s hands holding baby’s feet. Wonderful job Jennifer! Your composition for both images is so distinct! To see more of Jennifer’s work, check out her blog!
Kalli caught one of the sweetest images of my kids! I’m so excited to share this with you! I LOVE the expressions on both their faces. Totally their different personalities, and yet I love how this images shows us so many of their similarities from twinkly eyes to hair color. Thank you Kalli! What a gift you’ve given me and Brian!!!
And Kalli unknowingly gave all the women of the Discovery Workshop and last year’s Seattle Workshop another gift b/c guess who showed up to be a model! Our own sweet Jenny!
Every time I look at this image that Kalli caught of Jenny, I think JOY! And Jenny’s smile is beautiful! Great job Kalli! We ALL thank you for capturing these priceless images of people we love!
Here is another image of Jenny’s little guy from a different perspective. There is a little movement in this image, and I think that softens the overall story of the image. I encouraged the women to not be quick to throw out blurry images that have moment or soft focus. Sometimes those images have a wealth of emotion that we miss b/c we’re so focused on finding the sharp images. Jennifer, thank you for sharing this image of Jenny’s little-big guy!
Jennifer also captured this family image. This little guy has two big sisters to contend with, and yet his personality is so sweet. I love how Jennifer’s composition helped accentuate the relational dynamics with big sisters blurred in the background. Great storytelling Jennifer! What a moment!
Speaking of little boys, Phillipa caught this great image of Dave with Ty. We were challenging the women to get out of the box with their framing and composition, and I think Phillipa reaped the rewards in this image! I love how powerful and solid dad looks with his son. I feel like the empty brick wall accentuates that strength. What do you think?
Going to the other side, focusing on mama and baby, look at this little one’s FACE! It’s so precious! Another great image taken by Phillipa! For those of you who have had babies, can’t you taste the binky in your own mouth remembering those days? The image below is like a “time setter” where it shows us the story of the “time” of life they are in. One that feels so overwhelming when your the parent, and yet it ends so quickly. Thank you for noticing this precious dynamic Phillipa. Great work! Phillipa is GOING FOR IT with her photography! Check out her new blog!
Here is Jenny’s sweetheart again! Look at those eyes! Erin Wheeler captured this magic!
Erin’s husband Bill has a photography business, and Erin came to the workshop to build her confidence with the camera. She sent me the sweetest email and said;
I want you to know that, thanks to you and Brian, the camera doesn’t mock me from it’s lofty position on the table anymore – 5D and I are becoming better friends every day
I know exactly what she means. I remember starting out and feeling like my new DSLR smirked every time I walked by it. It took a while before I had the guts to show that camera who was boss. Erin, I’m so excited to see what images you continue to capture! You have an awesome eye. Bill is a lucky man to have you shooting alongside him! I mean look at this image below of our family! Did Erin capture ALL our different emotions responding to Brian’s jokes or what? Check out Erin and Bill’s portfolio and blog!
Same crazy family, but a little more tamed and in color! The shot above and below were in the same five minutes that Brian and I jumped out of helping the small groups. The image below was captured by Jen Wills. I love how gentle we all look, at peace. Thank you Jen. I put these two images side by side b/c I love how dynamic the images from a family shoot can be–even within minutes of each other!
And here is Jenny’s sweet boy again! Look at those BLUE eyes! What grabbed me about this image is how Jen blurred out a blue element in the background. That blue element brings the blue out of his eyes even more. Don’t you think? Talk about creative and smart composition. Great job Jen!!
Okay ladies, if you think the image below is great than wait till you see Jen’s new website! OMG, the first image of Jenny and her baby are AWESOME!! (Jen, I’m so excited for you! And I love that this is all bringing such joy and life to you! yeah!)
Melisa did a great job of capturing an image that makes you feel like your looking through a window into someone’s life. For instance, look at this moment she caught between Marianne and her husband. His arms are wrapped around them, and you feel like you are looking through a window seeing this sweet, unscripted family moment.
Here is another one of Melisa’s images. What is more precious than a baby cooing at his mama? I know, not much! This image is another great example of how Melisa clipped in enough of Valerie to know that mama is there and what baby Nathan is looking at, but the image is still full of baby’s cooing. Melisa has started her own blog. Check it out!
These next two images were captured by Allison. The first image is so special. Look at this little guy’s pensive look. I can totally see mom and dad’s face in his expression. And I love how he seems totally at peace, resting in dad’s arms. Great job Alison.
This next one is so CLASSIC! I happen to know this little girl that Allison captured. She is a spirited little girl–full of confidence and personality. I love the energy that comes out of this image. Allison you captured the best expression on her face. You have no idea how much personality is in this smile you caught! Good job! Check out Allison’s new blog! (I can believe your doing it! And I’m so excited for you!)
Here is another special example of capturing diverse images in the same couple minutes. Look at Allison’s image of baby above. Now look at Michelle’s image! What mom or dad could resist either? Even though the moment is within seconds, the look on his little face is totally different. Thanks so much Michelle for letting me use your image as an example of this! Great job!
Michelle also caught my little guy in a defining moment. This is the kind of “defining” moment that shows the world why this little guy has me wrapped around his finger. Man, oh man! I love how he’s leaning back, elbows propped, and just chilling. Blazey knows my number in a way that puts Brian to shame! Classic example…I walk out of the bathroom in the morning, and Blaze looks at me from the bottom of the stairs and gasps, “Mama, you look so beautiful today.” …see what I mean! “WRAPPED”
Michelle, thank you for being tuned to the moment and capturing this image of Blaze! I LOVE it! As you can see, it brings up all kinds of goosebumps in me! Check out Michelle’s website to see more of her work!
And speaking of having your parent wrapped around your finger…guess who has Zane wrapped around her finger?
Totally! Melinda caught this image of Zane and Solenne. It’s priceless. Zane’s smile is great–relaxed and present. And Solenne, can you tell she is daddy’s girl? Oh boy! Melinda, I also love how you got rid of the background and let it become a soft blur. Sometimes we make the mistake of having background that distracts from the story in our image. But Melinda, you did a great job with keeping your framing tight enough for this one and the next one of Jenny.
Again, the background is blurred and we are totally engaged with the subjects; Jenny and her little guy. I never noticed the blue ring Jenny was wearing. I like how you clipped that in. It adds a little to mom’s personality. In fact, I noticed mom’s beautiful highlights even more with the blue ring included. This isn’t any mom, this is a hip and fun mom! Good job Melinda! To see more of Melinda’s work, check out her website too! She has some great food and travel images to see!
Amy Little flew out from Utah at the last minute to jump in the workshop. It was wonderful to have her with us. (Amy, I loved our talk that night. Thank you.) She captured two beautiful images of Valerie and baby Nathan.
This first image feels so clean to me. I know “clean” is a funny word, but it’s clean, crisp, alive. The blacks are saturated well which adds the overall crispness, and I think it also helps the emotion become that much stronger. Plus, don’t you feel like you could just reach through your screen and feel his soft hair? I love the back of his head!
Then Amy sent me something totally different from the first image. I like how she mixed it up. This reminds me of goals I have while doing a baby shoot. I love to get those super clean, crisp images. But I also love the stories in the type of image below; where mama is blurred out, the framing is tight, maybe there isn’t even a face, but emotion is still incredibly present.
Look at those folds in his skin! Wonderful job Amy! To see more of Amy’s work with kids, check out her website!
And last but certainly NOT least, these next two images were taken by our Running on Empty Winner, Sarah. She flew in from Idaho last minute and was so ready to be there!
The first image is of Marianne and her baby. Look at how tight the framing is on this image. Doesn’t the tight frame make it feel that much more cozy and intimate. I love how Sarah clipped Marianne’s profile and sweet kiss, but her sleeping baby fills the frame. Sarah, you must have been standing real close to get this shot. But I’m not sure. What lens did you use? Do you remember? Was it the 50mm?
And if you ever wondered where Ty got his blue eyes from, wonder no longer! Sarah solved it for us in a magical way! Man, look at Ty’s expression! Isn’t that priceless! And Kari, good choice on having him wear a blue shirt. That made his eyes pop even more.
Sarah, you did a fantastic job with these images. Thank you for sharing! Thank you for getting on a plane last minute and blessing our group with your presence. I’m sure I speak for a lot of us when I say I LOVED laughing with you! (Wait, you drove didn’t you?! Weren’t you the one sitting outside my house on the night of the Meet and Greet?! :)) To see more of Sarah’s work, visit her website!
To my beautiful Seattle Sistas,
I know some of you were terrified of sharing your images on the blog, but I’m proud of you for sending me your work!
I’m sure you’ll see from today’s comments that I’m not the only one who thinks you did a FANTASTIC job!
xoxo, Me Ra
To all my blog readers, if you have time, leave a comment today and tell these ladies they had NOTHING to be nervous about. Isn’t their work AMAZING! And keep in mind, we didn’t give them perfect, ideal photo situations with lighting. What on earth would they learn if we did!
Want to join us for an upcoming CONFIDENCE workshop? We have a workshop in October that will be in Minneapolis! I don’t think we’ll be able to make it to the East until next Fall, so if you are near Minneapolis or on the East Coast :), come join us! If you register before August 31st, you get 20% off!! To find out more details and get yourself a spot, CLICK HERE!
Want to learn more about Framing, Composition, Blurry Backgrounds and Lighting? Check out our Award Winning DVDs, Refuse to Say Cheese and Beyond the Green Box (They are BACK IN STOCK!! Yeah!!), or discover our popular 101 Kits for starting or expanding a business in photography, click on the titles of your choice!