I have been dying to put together a themed photo shoot. Let my creativity run wild! So, I am jumping in with a little girls boho-hippie chic session. If I have learned anything from my nieces, its that girls still love to play dress up and model in front of the camera. So, this is a way to offer that experience to some local gals while giving them (and my portfolio) some memorable images.
Let's talk wardrobe...
After several hours of searching rental sites, I found the look I wanted. I want this to be a unique experience for the area, so something designer seems appropriate. I settled on these three dresses for the base of the shoot.
For accessories, think flowers, feathers and floppy hats.
How about locations and props?
The location will be in the public lands just north of New Auburn (less than 10 minutes south of Chetek). I have shot here before, and it has the open area and prairie feel I am looking for.
I am working on cleaning up/refinishing an old high-back antique chair. It's button upholstery and light green/yellow velvet material will be just perfect for the session. I am on the fence on adding too much more to the set, as I want the focus on the girls and the environment. Might include some books for that vintage look. I have quite the collection of old Nancy Drew's from my mother's collection (not sure who even knows this series anymore).
Dates, Times and Session Fees, oh my!
I am hoping to schedule this styled shoot July 11th and 12th, with a rain date of July 25th and 26th. Time will be later in the day, around 4 or 5 for a getting-ready. I have a spot set up for changing and hair/makeup (thanks Lisa for the use of the bunkhouse!). Shooting will be coordinated around the best lighting, so most likely a 2 hour shoot from 6-8. There will be 3 girls for each evening of shooting, so that means only 6 girls can sign up. The girls will need to be between the ages of 6-12 (to fit the sizes available for the dresses). They will need to be well-behaved (for the most part) as these are rented designer dresses. Also, they will be interacting with girls they haven't met before, so an outgoing or friendly personality will be key to getting the group images I am looking for.
In order to cover costs of rentals and accessories, I am charging a small fee per child. But for the investment, each girl will get to share in an amazing experience, and you will have some unique and beautiful images of your daughter/granddaughter. :)
If you are interested in your child participating in this session, contact me no later than July 3rd. And again, spots are limited to 3 girls a night, 6 girls total, so once they are full, they are full.
So, we warmed up by this shrub row, in the alley. Its amazing how many awesome locations you can find close to you just by wandering around. Anyways, while we are shooting, this older gentleman walks up. He owns the house on the other side of the shrubs (and the shrubs), and tells us we can shoot in front of his arch. Just had to dodge the sprinklers. Turned out to be a great little spot!
You know when you find the perfect spot, during the perfect time of day? That is what happened here. The setting, the sun flare, the back-lighting. It just all came together.
So I stumbled on this location, and did not realize how awesome it was until I started editing. Just a random space tucked away between buildings, but it gives me this Italian or Greek feel.
Beyond the location, Hannah was really getting in her groove here. I love how her personality was really coming out. That's what senior portraits should be, you. I look back at mine and they are very posed and not authentic to who I actually was. Who cares if the photos are a little messy, the composition is outside the rule of thirds, she isn't looking at the camera with a bit smile. I want to capture images that she can look back at in 10 or 20 years and still see herself in, not a series of someone else's idea of what she should be.
I would like to dedicate a little love to the black and white image. Add a little haze and it just makes an image ooze with moodiness. Not to mention, I feel like she is full-on in the model zone in the image by the brick wall. Love this shot.
Hannah's senior session was just a blast. We had some fun, some food and made some beautiful and memorable images.
Winter photo shoots are unpredictable here in Northern Wisconsin. There is no telling what kind of weather might show up for a session date. Fortunately, my recent engagement session with Nick and Brittany was one of the lucky days. It was about 28 degrees when we met up at 7:30 on a Saturday morning. Practically balmy for January up here. We were even blessed with a soft snow which just added to the day. Fantastic!
This was my first session at Interstate Park. It did not disappoint. After driving through the park (with me driving behind, randomly slowing down while making mental notes of sites as we drove), we decided to start by the river. It was open in the middle, but frozen along the sides. We bumped into some guys headed out to ice fish, so decided it was frozen enough to head out. Nick is no stranger to ice fishing, so I trusted his judgement as well. After walking around a bend, we found a great spot by the rocks, away from the eyes of the fisherman, to start our session.
We had some great fun out on the ice, despite the ice making noises that made me very uncomfortable. And me almost slipping a few times. I told Nick and Brittany that if I went through, I would be throwing my camera bag first. Save the equipment! But risking our lives was worth it, because it resulted in some wonderful images.
So, it was time to warm up in the cars for a few minutes, and move on to our next location. I had an idea on where I wanted to go next, but my plans were derailed when we drove through this incredible grove of trees. I had to pull over, which thankfully my couple noticed, as I was behind them. This impromptu session yielded some of my favorite pics, as the snow started falling just a bit more. It was magical!
Next we moved on to a little open wooded area that was just off the road. We found a log, threw down the blanket, and had a little fun with some "sexy cereal". They know what I mean....
And finally, we ended the day at a little park area, getting a few more "mom" shots and one more walking series. With Brittany unable to feel her toes, and my fingers tingling, it was time to call it a day. We trekked back to the cars and headed home, after waiting for the deer which did not seem phased with us passing by (and not in a great hurry to leave the road). I can't wait for the big day for you both!
So, relaunching my business, and my brand, has made me think about what my style is. Who I want to be as an artist. I have been working through some fantastic classes online, and I feel like I have found what I was searching for....lifestyle photography.
So often, I feel a photographer is pressured to make images that are perfect. Perfect smiles, perfect hair, perfect focus. Perfect. Well, life isn't perfect. And those perfect pictures are just that, pictures. They don't evoke a feeling. I want my art to mean something, to me, to the client, to the viewer. I don't want to be afraid to make messy art. Shoot wide open, fill the frame. Lifestyle photography is just that, life. Not every shot has someone looking at the camera, but you look at it and feel something.
In the picture above, I can feel how much this momma loves her little one. She is just breathing him in, and he is so content to just be there on her chest. I look at this and feel love.
Or, the picture below. Not everyone is wanting to be in this moment. And that's ok. It's life! You can look at this, as a parent, and completely relate. And that is what I am after.
I am so excited to get back into photography! I had to make a tough decision to step away for a few years because I just didn't have the time to balance my job, my family and my passion. But 2019 started with a new career opportunity, which has allowed me more flexibility in my scheduling (weekends specifically). And I am ready!
Since I was relaunching my part-time business, I thought it would be a great time to update my branding and website. I added a gorgeous new signature logo (shout out to Photologo!), which I am busy adding to my images to share with you all. And I am working through each page of my website, cleaning it up to be easier to navigate and view my work. So keep checking back to see how things are going!
And...I will be hosting some family mini sessions soon, to take advantage of the gorgeous fall colors. Be sure to watch for more information on these! They will be on location at Hunt Hill, north of Rice Lake. A gorgeous location, full of woods, water and prairie. What more could you ask for to capture some beautiful memories? So stay tuned....
Elizabeth Ann Photography