Pioneers Park is one of my favorite locations for photography. There are countless backdrops just perfect for taking (human) portraits, but when the mood strikes, I like to get out and give that close-up treatment to the animals that call the park home.
On Friday I got up early hoping to take advantage of the soft morning light, but was disappointed to see gray clouds. I went back to sleep for an hour, and when I woke up most of the clouds had passed, so I decided to head out even though I had already missed the morning’s prime lighting.
I walked around various parts of the park for more than two hours, just enjoying the sights and sounds of nature. I followed a couple families of geese, one of which was tolerant enough to let me take close-ups of its babies (and didn’t even threaten to bite my face off!). I even encountered a trail I had somehow missed in the past, which took me close to the bison (who were enjoying a nice morning wade in the pond) and also allowed me to get a couple photos of a red-winged blackbird (who teased me by flying back and forth between two posts before finally allowing me to get one decent shot). It was a bit breezy, so I didn’t attempt much macro photography, but when I happened upon a pretty purple flower all alone amidst the prairie grass, I gave macro a try and got one shot I think turned out pretty nice!
Being out in the quiet of the morning (unless you count croaking frogs, tweeting birds, and rustling grasses as ruckus) was really good for me. The “keeper” photos just happened to be a plus. Another plus? I only had one tick in my hair when I got home! =P
Sugar and spice, and everything nice... That's what my youngest niece Ally is made of.*
Ally turned seven in early November. To celebrate, we did a shoot at Pioneers Park before sunset. Each year, this girl gets cuter and cuter! In addition to being a talented model, Ally excels in math and dance (jazz, tap, and ballet).
*Most of the time! =P
In mid-August, I had the opportunity to work on a senior portrait session for an old family friend, a young man named Austin that I happened to babysit when he was two years old. (Enter here the obligatory statement about how time sure does fly, and oh my, look how he's grown up!) During the shoot, I thought it would be funny to remind Austin that I used to change his diapers. Unsurprisingly, he wasn't amused. =P
Austin was really great to work with. We chose Lincoln's Railyard and Haymarket for a more masculine, urban, and casual environment that fit Austin's style. Even more exciting than his model-worthy style was that he was genuinely engaged in his shoot—he tried out his own posing ideas, offered feedback on the images, and patiently followed direction.
The fresh, casual quality of the final products shown here really speak to his level of participation and made his shoot relaxed and fun.
Good luck in your senior year, Austin!
Annual birthday portraits have always been a tradition in my family. Within a couple weeks of our birthday, my mom would take each of us kids to get our portraits done by a talented neighbor who lived down the street and had a studio in his house. Four times a year (once per kid), my mom would replace the photos, updating the visual growth chart that hung on she and dad's bedroom wall.
So many years later, I have taken over annual birthday photos for some of my nieces and nephews. In late July, I shot a few portraits of my nephew JD, who finally reached the big 10! JD is always a great model, and in between making silly, dorky, and downright weird faces, he puts on his smile and makes awesome pictures.
Happy birthday to my handsome nephew, and thank you for always letting me take your pictures!
On Saturday, curious, bright-eyed Camden was the very first baby to have his photos taken at my in-home studio (which I like to call Goldenrod Studio). Awhile back, I decided to convert our one-stall garage into a working studio where I could practice with lighting and props. The hubs and I have never parked our cars in the garage anyway (with only one stall, it would have been a battle for who got to use it in the dead of winter when a foot of snow is in the forecast), so I cleaned up the space, installed carpet and backdrops, and made it as cozy as a garage can be.
Back to the cute baby... Camden is about a month old, making his session more of a "newborn-ish" shoot. With all of his life experiences thus far, Camden was able to give the camera some very expressive poses and moods, and he even let his mom and dad in on the action for some adorable family portraits!
Thanks to Camden and his parents for giving Goldenrod Studio a try. It was a fun challenge to work in my own space with my own lighting (as opposed to an outdoor location with natural lighting). I really love some of these photos!