Happy Day and Hot Dog, M is 2!


This weekend, I got to work with a gorgeous little family in celebration not only of Easter (so more coming soon) but the big TWO for little M! The camera scared M a few times but that didn’t stop her from yelling Happy Day while we were playing in the park. She got us to sing Happy Birthday quite a few times and even got Daddy to sing Hot Dog for her!

The best part of photography, for me, is meeting families and seeing the way they love and interact with each other. Usually Mommy does the song and dance for laughs but this time Daddy didn’t hesitate to join in and go a step further! It was such a treat to spend time with this gorgeous little family.

I can’t wait to share my first Easter session with you guys next time, stay tuned for more photos of gorgeous little M!

You’ve got to crack a few eggs…

Journey, Learning, Mess Maker J

As Easter hops its way onto the horizon and photographers everywhere scramble to get their sessions and edited, I wanted to go back to talking about my journey as a photographer.

The last time we spoke about my journey, I talked about J.’s first milestone session at one month (linkylink). I struggled at the time with lighting and the bed we were using and low shutter speed with my Canon Powershot. By Easter, I was warming my husband to the idea of a DSLR so I was still using my Canon Powershot.

At the time, Pinterest bombarded me with cute photos of babies and damnit I wanted cute Easter photos of Mess Maker J.! So to work we went. This time we draped a blanket over the back of our loveseat and used better lighting from the window in our living room. The lighting wasn’t that much better…


EXIF: F3.2, ISO 1600, SS 1/160



EXIF: F3.2 (which would mean good bookeh if the background were actually far away and not a part of what was propping Little Mister up), ISO 1250 (which means lots of noise), SS 1/160 (which means his hand is mostly not blurry).

So the biggest problem with these is that they’re soooo grainy and so the focus is soft. The focal point is definitely not on Mess Maker J. in the top photo, the bottom is much better but I think the focal plane is still a little skewed.

What will I do differently this year? Mostly have a 14 month old vs. a 2 month old! Haha. So bigger mess.

Get more light via reflectors. Some white sheets can reflect a decent amount of light, foil over cardboard, etc. Get that good light back in there!

The shutter speed is still too low as there is a touch of motion blur on his hand.

And lastly, that stupid blanket is all wrinkly and I still hadn’t learned my lesson about pulling it tight… so PULL THE BLANKETS TIGHT! Seriously.

That’s it for now, I’m getting pumped for my Easter minis! I can’t wait to see what everyone puts out there!

Keep making messes and taking pictures!

Mr. Darling and his Darling Momsistant

Client Tips, Sessions

When Mr. Darling showed up with his mommy on Sunday, they treated me to one of the easiest sessions I’ve ever done (including Mess Maker J with 2 assistants). She and her husband do sessions with Mr. Darling all the time and so she was cool, calm, and collected. I asked her to share some tips about being a momsistant. SO, enjoy Mr. Darling and his Darling Mommy’s tips!

“My toddler’s photo sessions usually turn out pretty good. If you have a toddler, you know how unbelievable this sounds, but it’s true. Anytime we’ve set up a photo session either ourselves (amateurs) or with a professional we’ve always had at least a few beautiful pictures that we were really happy with. I’m no expert or toddler whisperer, but I have found a few things that might help my fellow toddler parents

1. Plan for the worst.

2. Don’t quit right when things go wrong & they will go wrong.

3. Hope for one good photo.

4. Take extra clothes. At least an extra top. Planning to change your toddler into several outfits during a session is not what I’m talking about. That’s torture. Just take something else that will look good in photos if they decide to ruin whatever they are currently wearing. If you forget this, ask your photographer to help you brainstorm an alternative before giving up. Kids look adorable dressed up in adults clothes. Or in towels for beach or bath time pics. Or wrapped in a blanket reading a book.

5. Take something that will get their attention. I sometimes take an arsenal and sometimes I only take one thing. At our last outdoor session for Christmas pictures I had mugs filled with mini marshmallows, bubbles, books, his red trike, blankets, & a stuffed animal. I used all of these in the pictures and as distractions. He ate almost two bags of mini marshmallows that day, but we ended up with about a dozen beautiful photos during a very cold & windy 30 minute session. My last mini session was easy. Another mom was the photographer, so her own kids toys made the best distractions, along with props for the shoot.

6. Get in a few of the pictures. Most of our photo sessions are of our little one, but believe me they’ll value a picture with you in it so much more later. You don’t have to look perfect and you don’t have to hang the picture you in it on the wall, but just get in the picture. And it also helps to calm them down again. I try to stick with under 30 minutes of photos, so about 15 minutes in I get cuddles from my little one. I may play along with him or get him to dance or laugh if he’s not having such a good time. And at the end of a session I get the feeling that he doesn’t even realize the camera was on him.”

Thank you to Momma Darling for sharing these tips! I am learning from every client and I am loving it!