Monthly Archives: April 2008

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Your questions answered…

I’ve been getting many e-mails lately asking specific questions on my gear and or shooting techniques.  Keep them coming, I am so flattered that you find my work inspiring.  I shouldn’t admit this, but it was a very short time ago that I was just starting out in this business and their are a few people who gave so freely of themselves with both their time and knowledge that to be able to give some of that back now makes me feel great!  So I got an e-mail comment on my blog from a Mom who is starting out and I thought rather than answer her individually I would do it here in case it might help someone else too.  Here we go:

I hope you don’t mind me asking, but I am starting out in the business (I’ve been doing photography as a passion for many years), and when I find someone’s work who really knocks my socks off, I like to pick their brain, if that’s okay with you.. What kind of camera are you using for these incredible shots? Aperture?  ISO?  Shutter speed?  I have a Canon EOS SLR (not digital), and a Fuji S700 Digital.  Which would you suggest?  Can I get this incredible intense color with a Fuji digital?  

Thank you so much for your time~please know that you are helping a mommy of two get started contributing to the family income… thanks again!

and my response:

Hi Marilyn,

Thanks for the huge compliment on my work!  I think you seem to have the most necessary ingredient for this line of work and that is a passion for it.  I believe my passion for people and for preserving memories is my biggest asset.  I personally shoot with a canon 5D, but really believe that any decent camera with decent lenses will produce great results.  Some of the vibrant colors you see are because of lighting choices I make based on trial and error experience, and some of it is post production in photoshop.  I adore high apertures (low f stop numbers) best when shooting individuals, but for groups I loose focus on the other family members too quickly (unless of course that is my intent).  I use fast shutter speeds when shooting kids because they just move to fast and all I’m left with is a blur.  For ISO I prefer to keep this low if possible, but that is one area my camera does excel in, the 5D can handle higher ISO with little noise.  In terms of your 2 camera choices that’s tough (I don’t know either camera well) I believe you have more control using your film camera of settings etc.. but I do love the flexibility of digital as far as post processing etc…
 I think the one thing that has helped me the most and it has taken me a long time to really get a handle on (and I still have a long way to go) is understanding how light effects things.  Where the light is coming from in relation to the subject and what to do to make it better, what the quality of light is and how I can best take advantage of it.   I learned from reading everything I could get my hands on, lots of on- line photo forums and tons of trial and error with my own family and friends.  What you did today is also key, when you see something you like go out on a limb and ask I have found most photographers actually enjoy sharing their knowledge with others who share this passion.  
Ok, that was fun so I think I will make this a weekly thing and pick one of the e-mails a week to answer right here in my blog!

Never a dull moment in a Photographer / Mom’s world…

Well I just had to share our excitement last night!  My 10 yr. old son fell and broke his wrist while at a friends playing.  I got the call 2 minutes after my husband and I had walked into a business cocktail party that he had helped plan.  First I took him to Bryn Mawr Hospital (our local hospital)  we went through the whole process there and confirmed that the wrist was in fact broken, but lucky us it was broken on an angle so it needed to be reset.  What this means is that we were transferred downtown to CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania) where they would sedate him to reset and cast the arm.  Well we spent the whole night there, my son was exhausted, hungry and in quite a bit of discomfort, but it is reset and casted.  While he was coming around from the sedation he was very scared, disoriented and upset, I have never felt so helpless.  My heart was breaking for him and all I wanted to do was make it go away now.  I couldn’t help but think about those mothers and fathers out there who are facing real major health issues on a day to day basis with their children.  If I was so disturbed and affected by a broken arm and my son’s feelings of fear, how must these parents feel.  I’m grateful I was able to take a step back from the situation and appreciate how blessed I have been, and grateful for the reminder of how much our little ones need us even when they seem to be growing up before our eyes.  I was also again made aware that my passion for photography can bring someone memories of moments that make us all realize what really matters.

Well a blog entry from me would not be complete without pictures.  I drove my son crazy documenting every step of the way with my new favorite toy my iphone!  Needless to say this is not my usual quality of work, composition, lighting or even subject matter.  But it sure is… “Real Life Captured”  (my tag line by the way)

This Philadelphia family photographer makes sure even the family dog gets her 15 minutes of fame!


That’s right Mocha (the dog) is truly one of the family down to the matching wardrobe.  I have to be honest and say that she (Mocha) was my best subject to date she followed direction perfectly, let down her guard and showed her true self.  The rest of the family all followed her lead and we got some great shots.  Enjoy your sneak peak “E” family.


What a fun, feisty family!

I had a great session with a very feisty family on Saturday.  The weather cooperated as much as the 4 children.  This is my favorite type of session where the spirit of a family shines through.  Here are a few of my favorites so far (I have tons more to go through).

It’s that time again…

It feels like we just finished snow ski season and it’s already water ski season at least for the 3 men in my life.  My guys just can’t sit still for a second so although the water was still really cold, yesterday we ventured out for our first day on the boat.  I don’t love water skiing or (the Skuhkill river) so I am the official photographer and boat driver (when it’s my husbands turn to go).  I will try not to bore you with tons of the same picture of each of my sons week after week, but yesterday I saw something I’ve never seen on the river.   I’m not sure if I should call it a car or a boat?  You decide, but we watched this thing drive right out of the water and onto the street![gallery]

I had one of my “project childhood” sessions!

Had one of my sessions for this great charity and will be updating with fun images soon!  One more session scheduled for later today and the weather has finally started to feel like spring.  I’m just hoping it holds out through the weekend, because I have 3 family sessions scheduled for this weekend.   I find this to be one of the most frustrating parts of being a photographer… I can’t seem to control the weather.

"PROJECT CHILDHOOD" I’ve been searching for something just like this!!

I am honored and proud to be a part of a wonderful charity program that is near and dear to my heart. Project Childhood, which corresponds with Child Abuse Prevention Month during the month of April, is about creating a unified front among professional photographers in order to accomplish one goal: TO CELEBRATE CHILDHOOD

Here’s the deal:
Project Childhood is a non-profit community of professional photographers dedicated to celebrating childhood through the art of photography and community service.

The ultimate goal is to provide a web gallery of photos that will ultimately seek to inspire others to see the beauty of childhood to remember how precious children are. It will be a site meant to CELEBRATE CHILDHOOD, a site filled with content by those who spend each day doing just that through the art of photography. What better people to capture the essence of childhood then photographers. Photographers all over the country will be offering a free session to a child who normally wouldn’t be able to afford it, and giving the parent’s a beautiful portrait of their child. Next the photographer will donate the session fee to a children’s charity of his or her choice. It’s a win-win situation for everyone, a parent gets a free session and portrait, a child gets to feel special and honored and a children’s charity gets a donation.

I am so excited to be a part of something like this, one of my personal goals is to figure out way’s to use my passion for children’s photography to help make a difference. The talented man behind this venture Christopher Lee is a successful Director, Photographer, and Writer who is following his calling; he is actually trying to do something about child abuse and using his gifts to accomplish it.

Now the fun part, I get to pick a subject and that is where you can play a part. If anyone in the Philadelphia area knows a family who would not be able to afford the (very important) luxury of a professional portrait session please e-mail me at:
I have a few ideas for which charity I will donate to and will let you know when I decide. By the way any of my photographer friends who are reading this you must go check out the Project Childhood website and join me in this wonderful opportunity to make a difference.

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