What exactly are furbabies? Furbabies are our darling pets that hold places in our hearts that cannot be filled by anything or anyone else. Many of my closest friends have pets in their lives that position themselves as near and dear to their hearts as children. One such friend took a walk with us recently and had us snap a few photos. She, her husband, and her furbabie, Evie, make a beautiful family. I have 3 furbabies of my own, two of whom I've have the pleasure of living with for 16 years. Daisy, my eldest feline furbaby, behaves just like a child. She loves (needs) to be held and comforted whenever she notices my arms are free. She often puts nonstop on my chest all through the night.
Photographing furbabies can present some real challenges. Here is a collection of my recent shots that were successes. When photographing pets, make sure to put safety first - no shot is worth losing your dog in a large park. A good photographer can edit the leash away using composite photography, as I've done in the image of the two dogs below. Safety should always come before the desire for a good shot.
Typically, when you ask a soon-to-be senior what he/she would like to remember about high school, his or her answers are typical. Some want to remember the glory of their sporting days. Some want to remember the magic of formal dances. Some want to remember their friendships.
I asked Aaron this question to gauge what type of photo shoot would best suit his personality. He said he wanted to remember how carefree this time was in his life. Rarely, have I noticed such an awareness of one's own presence and place in life.
So, Aaron and I set off to have some fun and make some memories that will hopefully capture the carefree and exuberant time of his life called high school. During the shoot, I was transported to places and memories of my own high school time. His shoot occurred in the no-man's lands between his hometown and my hometown, Harborcreek and Northeast, PA. In these towns, kids play outside until the sun goes down. Here, little boys catch crayfish in "cricks". Here, some little girls fall asleep eating their fills of wild strawberries and searching for four-leaf clovers. In these little, idyllic towns, memories are made.
Here are some of Aaron's memories.
Many photographers claim that one key aspect of their work that satisfies them is the ability to share in a family's special moments. I'll be honest, under all the walls and mirrors I put up, I'm a sentimental at heart. Laurel, Justin, and Denise recently allowed me the privilege of shooting a newborn session for Laurel & Justin's newborn Lilliana. She's small, very small....and quite....wiggly. Most of all, she's precious.
It's an amazing experience to be with little ones while they are so small and full of new life and wonder. It's quite possible that little Lilliana experienced some firsts during our photo session. I certainly know that I did; let's just say that photographing nude babies presents....challenges. This was my first newborn shoot! And I'm excited that so many friends and family have little ones on the way; now there will be more baby pictures soon! I'm already plotting and planning for holidays.
As a photgrapher's note, the skin softening tool preset in Lightroom 5 is excellent for helping babies appear even more angelic than they do on their own. Another note is to ensure that you position the babies perpendicular to a natural light source, such as aa window. Finally, shoot with a shallow depth of field (F Stop).
Soon, Destiny by Design will put together a tutorial for taking your best newborn shots at home on your own. This way, you can capture the magic when it happens au naturel. Stay tuned!
I had the honor and privilege of shooting for a non-profit organization's annual meeting. I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I gathered up my equipment and set off for downtown Pittsburgh for what turned out to be a humbling experience.
In my alternate life, I'm a researcher specializing in brain plasticity. Here, I met children that suffer from a genetic, systemic disorder resulting in the de-mylenation of neurons, which eventually leads to death. In my alternate career, I specialize in dementia and brain plasticity, but this is a neural disorder I've never studied or encountered. This time, I was learning through experience rather than a textbook.
I suppose I was expecting sadness and disappointment around every turn. What else would one expect from a gathering of the families of terminal patients. But around every turn, I found love, laughter, light, and life. These people have such amazing social support networks and research teams as well as grace and patience in abundance. The embrace every moment. And we should too!
Seeing these children smile brought a light to my heart that will remain unparalleled.
Support them here: http://mldfoundation.org