Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Time... I need some MORE please!

First of all, I am really blown away by the kind and lovely comments I've received.  It makes me really happy to know that I've captured "moments" in pictures for people that make them feel GREAT and will be a treasured keepsakes!  When I started to really focus on improving my camera skills, my photoshop skills and my editing skills, I really didn't expect that there would be much interest beyond a few close friends and family.  I told one friend that I thought it would be great if I got to shoot 1-2 sessions in a year.    

So, here I am 7 amazing photo sessions later and I'm still blown away by the interest and positive feedback I've received for my photographs.  

Originally, I wanted to offer 2 types of sessions.  A full session that would last between 2-4 hours and would include 32 finely edited images.  I wanted to be able to shoot photos at an event like a birthday party, a family outing, an anniversary celebration etc. (WHAT was I thinking????).  Of course, I came up with this option when I was on "summer break" from teaching first grade.  I know NOW that I couldn't possibly manage more than ONE of these types of sessions during the school year.

The second option was a mini session (thinking this would probably be the most popular type of session - and I was right).  Even with the mini session, I ended up editing way more images that I originally planned... it's hard to stop when your subjects look so AMAZING! :-)  

There had to be a way to melt these 2 sessions into ONE option that would be manageable for me, a good value for my clients and a reasonable time commitment.  

I think I finally came up with the perfect SESSION!  I will offer a photo session for 1-2 hours at one location and edit 15 (OK there might be more sometimes) images.  I LOVE doing multiple effects on the edited images, so I'll just throw those in for free.  This new session is very similar to the mini session and I think it will work out great for ME and my clients.  Wa - La, problem solved.  If you have previously requested my information packet and want to consider a photo sessions with me in the future, please request the new packet.  Of course, if you have already booked a session, I will honor the old sessions and rates.

For those of you who are just reading and viewing my blog, I hope you are enjoying the photographs!  I love sharing my passion for pictures and knowing that others are enjoying them is really rewarding!

Whether you are interested in booking a session with me OR just enjoy visiting my blog, I am thrilled to share with you!!  Thanks for stopping by!

Bird of Paradise... taken on my summer trip to Niagara Falls.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Penny Family Photo Session

I woke up this morning and looked out to see FOG!!  This was actually better than seeing rain... I cannot do a photo session in the rain (smile).  I was hoping that it would burn off by the time I started taking pictures of the Penny Family... and it did.  It wasn't the bright, sunny morning that I'd hoped for, but it was better than rain!

We met at Hedges Boyer park.  I arrived a little early to check out the lighting and to plan out a few locations to use.  All kinds of memories came flooding back to me...  you see, I spent a lot time at this park when I was a little girl.  I rode my bike from across town to swim at the big, above ground, outdoor pool (back in the 70's it was safe to ride your bike across town to the pool - everyone did it!).  I watched both of my brothers play baseball at various fields in the park.  My family gathered on a big blanket every 4th of July to watch fireworks at this park.   ....and since my Dad worked for the Park Dept. in the summer (when he wasn't teaching), I got to ride around on the back of some contraption that my Dad used to "drag" the baseball fields.   This was GREAT fun with dirt flying everywhere.  Yes, my siblings and I were filthy, but we had a blast! There was also this HUGE (well it looked huge to me then) hill that was always a challenge to climb down... all dirt, roots and plants at a steep, vertical slant.  I remember my parents making me feel so proud when I managed to climb down without any assistance!  So, when I arrived today, I was reminded of all these wonderful memories.   

I had a lovely time with the Penny family.  They are absolutely adorable and so in love with each other!  It was incredibly fun hanging out with them, watching them interact with each other and capturing it with my camera.  Both children were delightful and I loved all their smiles and energy.  Mom and Dad are so comfortable with their children and made the experience fun and light hearted for the kids.  It was pretty soggy from all the rain this week, but that didn't bother this family.  We walked through soggy, wet grass, got dripped on by the trees and the little one lost his shoe and got a wet sock!   No one was bothered a bit... you can tell these parents know how to "go with the flow".  

Now, I do have a school connection to the Penny Family.  The mom's younger sister and brother were in my first grade many years ago.  I remember both of them as wonderful students.  However, I will always remember the sister because of this little story.  It was probably my 3rd or 4th year teaching and this little girl was very worried about me.  You see, she felt I really need to have some children of my own at home.  She just couldn't understand why I didn't have any children.  I explained to her that I wasn't married and that all my students were my "kids" at school.  She looked right into my eyes and said this... "but Mrs. Rombach, if you don't have any kids at home, who will you tuck into bed and kiss goodnight?"  Oh my... she just melted me.  What a kind little heart she had!  This is why teaching first grade is so wonderful - you get to spend time with AMAZING little people who are always "filling up your bucket" (as we say at school when you do something to make others feel great).  

I hope you have as much fun looking at the Penny Family's photos as  I had taking them!

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Parade

Last week end was the annual Heritage Day Festival in Tiffin.  There is always a parade on Saturday morning and I have attended it a variety of times with various nieces and nephews.  One of my nieces is ESPECIALLY fond of the candy that is thrown out.  In fact, I can remember her being very annoyed if there was a lack of candy distributed! (smile)   

I attended this year's parade with my parents, one niece and one nephew.  The kids were excited to see the parade... but were especially ready to "catch" some candy.   The niece who I described above, was actually IN the parade this year (representing her dance studio), but the other 2 were ready!   ...and they were not disappointed.  My nephew, who I think is exceptionally adorable, collected enough candy to fill a trick or treat bag.  I swear, every "candy distributor" who saw him sitting there on the curb, threw candy towards him!  He was LOVING it... in fact, he was so excited about it he told me "I don't want anyone eating my candy". There are 3 other siblings at his house and he wanted it all for himself.(Guess you have to stake your claim in a house with 4 kids!  I should know because I have 3 siblings as well!)  He was actually enjoying some of his "loot" during the parade, but there would be plenty to take home!  

My niece is an amazing dancer and looked like a professional when her group finally came by... I guess they saved the best for last. (smile).  I hope you enjoy seeing a few photos I shot on that morning.  I especially like the photo of my niece sticking her tongue out at me!


Monday, September 19, 2011

The Ringles... 60th Wedding Anniversary

A few weeks ago I photographed my aunt and uncle for their 50th wedding anniversary.  This past week end, I was asked to attend a 60th wedding anniversary celebration of a couple I call "grandma and grandpa".  They are not related to me by blood, but they are the grandparents of a very very dear friend and I've only ever know them as "grandma and grandpa".  I think they like that I call them Grandpa and Grandma and they certainly treat me like a granddaughter!

My friend's mom contacted me to attend and photograph them during a family get together.  They were not told I was coming and their daughter (who lives in Florida) did not tell them she was coming either.  They were so surprised when I showed up... but when their daughter arrived, they were both moved to tears (as was I!).  What a special moment for all of them.  I know that Grandma and Grandpa were so happy to have so many special people to share in their celebration!

They were so cute when they found out I would be taking pictures.  Grandma made Grandpa go change into his blue shirt and Grandma changed into a different dress.  I loved seeing Grandpa help Grandma out into the yard for the photos... you can just see the special bond between these 2 people who have spent their lives together.  I think they really enjoyed being the center of attention and they certainly had fun being photographed!  There were a lot of smiles and laughter and even some silliness.  

I was honored to be a part of this family's special celebration!  I think Grandpa and Grandma are an inspiration to all married couples... I'm sure they have weathered both good and bad times.   ...and yet, here they are, 60 years later, still together, still in love.  Amazing!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

My Nephew's Football Game

My nephew is in 4th grade this year and playing football on a local team.  I wanted to catch a game and see if I could get some good photos as well to document his experience.   He is LOVING it!!

Now, I am no football fan.  I know some basics (I was actually trying to explain some basics to another one of my nephews at the BG football game a while back... I'm OK at the 5 year old level! smile).  Thank goodness my husband got off work in time to come along.  He would say "run over here, he's going to be on defense now" or "move to the other side, he is playing a different position now"!  I got quite the work out chasing him all over the field.  

I shot the photos with my 55-200 telephoto lens, but even with the vibration reduction feature, it was tough to catch the action without some blur.  My lens is not quite "long reaching" enough to get a little boy out on the football field "in action".  Despite this fact, I think he will enjoy having these little "memories" of playing football when he was in 4th grade.  Sometimes, it isn't important that the images are perfect, just that they capture the essence of the event or experience.  That is what I tried to do that night.  

Did they win?  Unfortunately, no.  ...but I don't think they'll worry about it for long.  There will be another game soon and another chance to have some fun!

Would I be willing to do athletic photo sessions for hire?  No way!   I know that it takes a special kind of skill to shoot athletic events and I don't have those skills.  ...however, I think my nieces and nephews will appreciate having some amateur photos of their sporting events (smile)!  By the way, my nephew is #4!!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thomas Family Photo Session

It was probably the gloomiest, most overcast, dark evening possible... and I was scheduled to do a family photo shoot.   I had been concerned about the light when we scheduled the shoot.  Normally, I only shoot morning or afternoons because I use natural light and not artificial light.  This was definitely going to be an experiment!

The session went great!  The Thomas family arrived and we were off to a location close to my house.  I have known this family for over 20 years and we have a lot of history together.  Therefore, it was a smooth and easy shoot.  They were good sports when I asked them to kneel in the grass or gravel... they smiled when I told them to "squat" in a not so comfortable position...  and, there was a lot of laughing which always makes for great photos!  It was really amazing to see how much their daughter had grown up.  I had this little girl in my first grade many years ago.  I remember her bringing these tiny magnetic animals... her "pets" to school one day.  Now, the kids are not allowed to bring toys to school, but she really needed her "pets" at that time, so we came up with a compromise.  She stuck them all under my desk until the end of the day when she could retrieve them.  I reminded her of this at the shoot and she just smiled - I don't know if she actually remembered it or not (she is all grown up and in Jr. High now!).  I think her Mom thought she had done something "naughty" but honestly, I knew those little "pets" were so important to her at the time and sticking them to my desk helped her feel secure during the day.  Sometimes, you have to think like a first grader! (smile)

So, how did the photos turn out?  Well, initially, I was very concerned.  The light was NOT my friend and in the future, I know that shooting after 5pm in September is not going to be an option - no matter how much I want to do it!  I learned a valuable lesson about the power of LIGHT!  While I am still not totally happy with the photos, the power of photoshop has helped me transform some "light deprived" images into better photographs.  

Conclusion:  The sun is my friend and even if I hate the heat during summer, I love the LIGHT it shines on my photographs!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Day at BGSU!

Bowling Green State University is my undergraduate Alma Mater and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!  Both my husband and I graduated from BGSU and we visit often.  Sometimes we go to check out the changes on campus and even though things look different, we always feel like we are "home" there.  We ALWAYS eat at our FAVORITE pizza place, MYLE'S PIZZA... where the pizza is thick and cheesy... the toppings are piled on thick and the pizza dough is perfect.  You don't go to Myles for the "atmosphere" or decor.  The bathrooms are... well, the tiniest spaces ever.  BUT, the food is A-MAAAAAAAZ-ing!!!!  The pizza is like no other and the garlic cheese bread loaf is incredible.  Are you hungry yet?

This past week end, my brother texted me early Sat. morning saying "going to BG, Myles for dinner, evening football game... want to go?"  Did I want to go? OF COURSE!  We headed out early afternoon and started at SBX Bookstore - where we loaded up with "official" BGSU gear (t-shirts, pom poms, hair ribbons, cheek decals and a bright orange "butt cushion" - I'm sure that's not the official name, but I'm sure you know what I mean! :-)  After shopping (and changing into our new gear) we had dinner are Myle's Pizza (yummmmmmy).  When we were done eating, we headed back to the car but had to make a quick stop at a special "site" in BG... that would be the laundromat located behind Myle's which has the "largest dryer in town".  The kids LOVE this place and are so excited to go look at the HUGE dryer!  This just cracks me up every time... they LOVE this place and are just amazed by the HUGE dryer.  So, of course, we had to get some pictures! Then, after we had a nice walk through campus (and some running around for the kids), we headed to the football game.  I am not really a football fan, but there are so many other things to watch, it doesn't matter if you enjoy football or not.  We saw the spirit group called SIC SIC (my nephew called them "the monsters" because they dress strange and wear freaky masks but he did shake one monster's hand and got a piece of candy :-).  The game was great fun (I really have no idea what went on with the football team... I spent most of my time interacting with the kids - they were way more entertaining!) but the BAND was incredible... the patriotic half time show was worth the $15 ticket for sure. 

It is always nostalgic to hang out at BGSU!  Can't wait to do it again.  I hope you enjoy seeing some of our day in the pictures below!