Monday, October 31, 2011

Fall Fun Week End 2011

My youngest brother, his wife, my husband and I have been celebrating an additional holiday each year that we call "Fall Fun Week End".  We started doing this when my brother and his wife were first married and lived a few hours away.  We would get together to enjoy a fun Fall week end.  When they started to have kids, we continued the tradition by visiting pumpkin farms and doing activities the kids would enjoy.  My brother now has 4 children and we all get excited about our Fall Fun Week End trip.  This year we went to Columbus and enjoyed the luxury of a hotel stay (complete with pool time and an evening sitting around a great fire... this place sure knows how to make a Fall night complete - we didn't have to light the fire OR clean up!  Woo Hoo!).  The following day we headed out to enjoy a day at Leed's Farm.  If you want a GREAT place to spend the day in the Fall (for kids of ALL ages... yep, even the "big" kids have a blast) this is the place to be!  For $8 you can zip around a track on peddle tractors, jump on a HUGE rubber "pumpkin jump", slide down through big plastic tubes, ride on a mini zip line (OR climb up and ride on the BIG zip line - yes, all the adults got a thrill out of this... in addition to my 7 year old niece who was brave enough to do it too!), eat pies, kettle corn (I think you can see remnants of this on some of the kids' faces below - smile) and drink hot cider.  Oh... and you can buy a pumpkin too!  This place is fun for all, well organized and safe!  The people working there are happy and helpful... and we were there  on the afternoon of their LAST day!  It was a day of FUN FUN FUN!  I LOVE Fun Fall Week End!  It is definitely one of my favorite holidays!  Maybe this will make YOU want to start a Fall Fun Week End for YOUR family!  Check out some of our fun below in my photos.  Thanks for stopping by my blog.  Happy Fall!

Now I'm officially ready for SNOW and SKIING! :-)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Walker Family Photo Session

I love October... I was married in Oct., both my brothers were married in Oct., my husband's birthday is in Oct. and my hometown is absolutely breathtaking in Oct.  Today was the "perfect" Fall day!  Crisp and cool in the morning, with bright sun and blue, blue sky... warmer in the afternoon but still cool and crisp.  On days like today, my sister and I used to say we needed to "soak it up" and store a little of the feeling of a Fall day and save it for those dark, winter days when there is very little sunlight.

Today I photographed the Walker family.  I've known this family a long time.  Mom is a colleague of mine and we have been teaching together for over 20 years. All 3 of the children were in my first grade class (lucky me because they are incredible kids!).  I can't believe how grown up they all are... yes, I remember when all of them were born.  In fact, I will NEVER forget when the first child was born!  I was talking to her mom on the phone and she was basically in labor waiting for her husband to come home.  I think I was more freaked out that she was... I couldn't believe how calm she was - like it wasn't a big deal.  Oh my!!  

Fast forward about 17 years and I'm taking this lovely girl's senior pictures.  If you've been following my blog, you have seen her summer pictures.  Today, we shot some Fall pictures and did some with her athletic gear as well.  Her little brother did a GREAT job as my assistant!  I've posted one below, but will add more as I get them finished.

Later in the afternoon I met up with the whole family at a beautiful spot in Bloomville... just down the road from their home.  When we pulled up, I KNEW it was going to be an incredible place to take photos.  There is a huge pond with a suspension bridge across the middle surrounded by a woods.  It was like being in a fairy tale!  I shot lots of photos... and there was definitely a lot of laughing.  Sometimes, the best pictures come from my client's suggestions and today was no different.  The oldest daughter noticed a great reflection in the pond and suggested we get a shot of the family on the bridge with the reflection in the shot.  The photo is below and I LOVE it!  

I hope you enjoy looking at the Walker Family's photos... I had a blast working with them today!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


This past week end I did not have a photo session... instead, I went to Chicago with a very dear friend.  We had a wonderful time! This is somewhat of an annual event for us and we love staying at the same hotel (same room usually...), eating at our favorite Chicago style pizza place, shopping a bit (hmmm, can you shop a "bit" on Michigan Ave.?) and of course, our FAVORITE activity, visiting the spa at the hotel!  This year, the weather was spectacular and the city was full of people enjoying the Fall week end.  We didn't get our usual room... but the hotel made up for it by sending up a bottle of champagne and a plate of chocolate covered strawberries (yum!).  

So, on Sunday it was time to say good-bye to the lovely city of Chicago and head back home to Ohio.  It was rainy and gloomy in the morning, but as you can see from the picture below, the sun came out just in time for take off!  The photo was taken from the plane window with my iPad.  I love how the clouds are just "hanging" about and the city looks so tiny on the edge of the lake... not the most sharp photo as the iPad has a low resolution camera, but I love it anyway because it will remind me of a great week end in an amazing city!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Bridgford Family Photo Session

I normally don't post blog entries 2 days in a row, but this was a week end filed with photos!  I met the Bridgford family at Hedges Boyer park Sat. afternoon for a Family Session.  Now, remember when I was complaining about the lack of sunshine back when I posted the Thomas family photos?  Well, Sat. was FULL of sunshine... maybe I should be careful what I ask for (hmmm).  My favorite time to shoot photos is the morning.  I love the morning light!   If I get to pick the time, this is always what I suggest.  Saturday's session was at 2pm.  I KNEW this was going to be tough with the full sun shining down on everyone creating all kinds of funky shadows and causing the family to squint.  When I arrived at the park and took some test shots, I just resigned myself that I would be editing shadows off of everyone's faces and concentrated on getting great shots of the family.

The Bridgford family arrived with lots of smiles and energy.  Mom is a colleague of mine (teaches the same grade right next door to me!) and the 2 kids are what I call my "fetchers"... yep, they do exactly what you are thinking, they fetch things for me after school.  I can't tell you how much time they have saved me running to the copy machine or printer to pick up things for me!  I call them "fetcher 1" and "fetcher 2" (you know, like Dr. Suess' Thing One and Thing Two - smile) and I absolutely adore both of them!  So, the only family member I was meeting for the first time was Dad.  It was lovely seeing my colleague and her husband together with the kids - they are so obviously a very loving family (and you can see it in the pictures), but they also have a lot of fun together.  There was a lot of laughing, so I got a lot of great photos!  

I am still working on their photos, but I wanted to post a few tonight... before I get busy with my first graders (smile).  They hit the jackpot for Fall colors, but it's the feeling of a close family that I think shines through in the photos!   I hope you enjoy seeing this truly delightful family!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cheerleading, Football and Soccer... oh my!

I have taken so many pictures that last 2 days that my camera is practically "on fire"!  I'm still always learning and these events were definitely challenging.  First off, Friday night I volunteered to take some photos of my friend's daughter who is a cheerleader and plays the flute in the band.  I have photographed her before for some "practice" photo sessions and she is incredibly beautiful both inside and out!  So, what's the challenge?  ...movement and nighttime lighting!  Eek!  As I stated before in my blog about my nephew's football game, I am NO sports photographer!  First, I debated whether or not to take my telephoto lens or the 50mm.  The telephoto allows me to zoom but the 50mm is better in low light... well, the 50mm won.  I figured I'd just park myself right in front of her and hope for the best.  I swear, I tried almost every setting on the camera.  The results were interesting.  While many shots were not the crispy focus that I love, there were some photos that I liked because they captured the moment.  Sometimes, perfect focus isn't the most important thing (hmmm, I keep saying that, but I don't really believe it - ha ha!).  There were some interesting effects due to the stadium lighting as well.  In the end, I just hope my friend's mom is happy with the photos and feels they captured this moment in her daughter's life.

Next up was Sat. morning soccer games for my niece (who is in 2nd grade) and my nephew (who is in Kdg.).  I hadn't planned on going to the games, but when I woke up Sat. morning (at a much more reasonable time than my work days!), my brother had sent me a text with the game times.  It was absolutely beautiful outside, so I "threw myself together" (sunglasses hide all evils, and a pony tail is acceptable for Sat. morning, right?!) and headed over to the first game.  My nephew was out there giving it his all!  He is a serious little athlete and was in control of the ball many times during the game.  I shot these photos with the telephoto... the kids are just too far away for anything else.  What does this mean?  Well, it means things are definitely NOT going to be crispy sharp. I just have to accept that going in.  The sun, while beautiful was really harsh.  I got some great shots, but really had to work on them in photoshop due to the shadows.  

Finally, I finished up the morning with my niece's game.  She is also a "serious" athlete NOW... and I say "now" because when I used to come to her games, she would stop playing and pose for pictures in the middle of a game!  It was really funny and I have some great pictures of her posing in front of the goal post.  When she was really little, I remember her running off the field in the middle of the game because she was hungry and wanted a snack (smile).  The sun was at a better angle for her game and I didn't have to work so hard in photoshop when I edited her photos.  You can tell she was playing her heart out and having a great time!

So, by Sat. at noon, I had hundreds of photos in my camera... and yet, I wasn't done.  ...but I'll save the next photo adventure for the next entry.  For now, I hope you enjoy the pictures below... even if they are all, what I would call, "learning" photos!  I learned a lot trying to get the right settings to capture those moments!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Celebrating a Birthday

Last week end my husband celebrated his birthday.  We used to get each other little gifts on our birthdays, but now that we have caught the "ski bug", we decided that our annual membership to a local ski area was a much better gift!  That being said, we did a little celebrating by visiting my husband's brother and family who live near Louisville.  We always have a lot of fun with them and this time was no different.  A couple years ago we visited them the first week end in Oct. and they took us to an amazing Art Festival (check it out here).  There are over 700 artists selling everything from glass to photography.  We decided that we would go again this year!  While the weather was nasty here at home, it was PERFECT in Louisville!  We spent the day walking, looking, and yes, even buying a few pieces.  It was a lovely week end and of course, I took a "few" photos.  

My husband loves spice cake and my sister in law was so sweet and made him one... in the photo below he is enjoying his first piece for BREAKFAST on his birthday - cake for breakfast is a good way to start a birthday, right?!