Monthly Archives: January 2014

Into the Woods Goes Little Red Riding Hood

It’s taken some getting used to not having a studio to shoot in during the winter. I’ve learned that what I thought was cold is not really cold for one thing. Anything above 25 degrees or so in the Poconos of Pennsylvania is a moderate winter day. I guess since we’re literally on top of the mountain we get the brunt of the cold. Just a few miles south (to Stroudsberg) or north (to Scranton) I would have never even considered shooting outside in North Carolina if we were anywhere near freezing. Here is like its almost summer when we hit 32 and I feel like spending hours outside shooting! Its been a long winter already and although there are many things I love about mountain life, the endless cold (below zero) and inches of snow are already making me dream of being somewhere different. Granted, I do enjoy the images that can be created on a very snowy day. These types of pictures can’t be copied even in the best of studio environments, but decent days in the month of January are few and far between. Thankfully I have some resilient children and several neighbors who are more then willing to let me have their kiddos for a few moments to fulfill my creative desires. I hope to get more red riding hood images up here shortly, but for not I just have a few. After all we were out there about 5 minutes and all of us were nearly frozen to the core!

Red Riding Hood photos - poconos pennsylvania

Nursing in the Winter Woods

One of the challenges I have given myself this year is to encourage.. I mean really encourage moms to get in front of the cameras. We all know how fast time goes by and how quickly our kids are growing. What I think we as moms sometimes forget though is that our kids won’t remember what we looked like when they were little. Hopefully you’ve all taken the time to find a custom photography studio at least once within the first year of each of your children’s lives, but even many moms who have done that have neglected to be on the other side of the lens too. Our babies will want to know what we were like when they were little. They’ll want to see images of us playing, laughing, cuddling with them. We are beautiful to them now and we shouldn’t take that for granted. I always hear from clients.. Oh I just want pictures of the kids.. I’ll get a family picture once I loose this weight.. or once I get my hair done.. or I have nothing to wear. Well moms, my challenge to you this year is forget all of those reasons you feel like you can’t be in front of the camera and just get their for your kid’s sakes. They love you exactly how you are!!! Let’s capture the two of you together this year!!

_MG_8695

You can see by these images, that even winter is a great time to do that. Especially when you can get snuggled under a cozy blanket and enjoy some sweet and quiet moments with your baby. I love to capture nursing images. I think there is nothing more beautiful then a new momma bonding to her new baby. I hope these inspire you to say yes to having your photos done this year moms!

6 months old already?!

I will proudly say this little baby belongs to me. :) I’ve been on a bit of a break for awhile. With the birth of my daughter and our whirlwind move to Pennsylvania saying things have been crazy is an overstatement. Needless to say, I’m not letting these moments pass without taking the time to capture them! She’s now 6 months old.. ugh I can’t believe it. I think every momma should get professional pictures at three main times during the first year for so many reasons. The first is ofcourse when a baby is a newborn. I went into the reasons for that in Ellie’s newborn post. The second is sometime from 5-9 months. Why? Well because they no longer look anywhere near what they looked like as a newborn. Plus they are starting to engage, smile, laugh, sit, roll over, etc etc. Sooo many wonderful changes happen during this time! Even if you can’t hire a photographer, find a little spot in your home next to a nice window and get a few photos of these little milestones.

Something fun about these you may notice, she’s sucking on her fingers. This is something she does all of the time! I’ve never seen another baby do this before so to me it’s something that is so extremely unique to her. It’s a small little trait that is showing me she is who she is and I’m so excited to watch her grow to become her own little self.

I hope you enjoy!

Baby Photographer - Northeast Pennsylvania

Baby’s first year portraits

The Photography Industry and why I needed a change – the Meg Bitton Photography workshop

I’ve been in a rut.  You ever felt that way? It’s hard. Once you’re in it, you don’t know what to do to get out of it. You either stay there, determine that you’ll just make it work how it is or you make the choice to do something about it. I just didn’t know what I could do about it.

The problem I found myself facing was that I wanted to be a full-time stay at home mom but I also wanted to run a successful photography studio, another full-time job.  Possible? Well I was beginning to think it wasn’t. I felt like I was just another mom with a camera. You know us.. we’re on everyone’s facebook feed with our photos.  Many of us are just doing this for fun, or trying to make a few extra bucks on the side.  A handful of us though are trying really hard to make a viable and sustainable business.  So again the question presented itself. Could  I do this and really make it work for my family?

Now I’m not that momtog who is up all hours of the night on editing.  I learned long ago that I wasn’t going to be cheap and work myself to death earning nothing. I’ve always valued my time and priced myself accordingly. However what I was learning is that I just couldn’t compete with the other  part time photographers out there that didn’t.    In the sea of “professional photographers” ,  I just couldn’t set myself apart.

Let’s be honest, clients can’t tell the difference between a good picture and a great one.  They can’t tell the difference between genuine personality and a forced smile when it’s not their child.  They don’t understand what it means for me to be making an investment into them and their family until they’ve become my client. What they do know is what is tangible. Are the pictures good, and what is the cost?  Well everyone these days can get lucky and capture a few good pictures of pretty much any kid. There are lower cost photographers out there with gorgeous packaging and beautiful welcome packets  who can make all kinds of claims about a wonderful experience (I’ve hired one of them before for my own family).  So the predicament was.. I figure out a way to stand out, or I just quit because as I already said lowering my pricing was not an option for me.

So what I did was take a look at my business and figured out what I needed to do to make this work. My business plan was relatively solid. I know my client, the average I need to make per session, my costs, my pricing structure, etc etc. I know what I’m doing technically speaking. I know how to use lighting, reflect/bounce light, create a good composition, etc. etc. I know how to work with kids… heck this is my strongest quality.  I adore kids and they think I’m a crack up.  Getting genuine personality was extremely simple for me. I know how to do a good edit. I’m familiar with my editing programs and I am able to utilize most of their functions with a decent amount of understanding.

So what’s missing? I didn’t know for a long time.  I had been thinking a workshop was a good way for me to figure out what I was doing wrong and to help me get my creative drive back.  But, finding a workshop I wanted to participate in.. well it was easier said then done.

(Getting on my soapbox now so skip this part if you don’t want to hear it)

Every other photographer these days thinks they know and should be teaching a workshop. They think that just because they’ve got a handle on just a couple of those things I’ve mentioned above that they are now an expert in their field and need to start teaching….. or even worse they’ve taken a workshop from another more established photographer, learned a few new tricks and now have decided to take what they’ve learned and start teaching their own workshops.  Don’t think it happens? Do your research on many of some very popular workshops out there and you’ll see I”m right.

So where do I go to find a mentor?  What photographer can not only teach me something, but is also running a successful photography studio ( they need to be running a portrait business, not just a workshop business… another reason why newbies need to be doing their homework on these workshop teachers – SIGH).  I didn’t want to pay someone to teach me something they just learned from someone else a year ago.  Yeah they might be cheaper, way cheaper.. but anyone who does something like this doesn’t have the character of a person that I want to support.  Anyone can regurgitate information from someone else . Again, you don’t think it happens? Even some VERY well known photographers in our industry have been “found out” recently.

So anyways I am getting to the point.

I couldn’t find someone I admired who I felt had the qualities I wanted in a mentor. For over a year I searched. And then I found Meg Bitton and started following her work.  Amazingly creative.  Every images I saw of hers was stunning. She was what I needed and here are the reasons why I knew it, and why I think every photographer feeling like I felt MUST make the investment to do a workshop with her.

1. She has vision. I think that is pretty clear from just flipping through a handful of her images. Every shot is a piece of art, truly.  She teaches you the importance of finding your own vision and gives you the confidence you need to pursue it.  I can honestly say I’ve gone from just shooting pictures to shooting with purpose.

Childrens photorapher - New York  / New Jersey

Meg Bitton’s Souls Imagined Workshop – Into the Woods

2. She has experience and expertise. Again I think the expertise thing is pretty clear by looking at her work.  She’s an expertise at using her environment, no matter what it is, to create a statement. She’s an expert at bringing all elements of an image together to make an impact (wardrobe, setting, composition, lighting, etc). She’s also an expert at taking a photo and turning into a work of art using editing.  I’ve gone back to images I shot years ago and looked at them with a new eye and taken them from a decent photo to something I am now extremely proud of just buy changing a few things in processing.

 

Childrens photorapher - New York  / New Jersey

Meg Bitton’s Souls Imagined Workshop – Utilizing Your Surroundings / Not props

 

Childrens photorapher - New York  / New Jersey

Meg Bitton’s Souls Imagined Workshop – In the City

 

 

3. She knows how to teach and her techniques are simple but extremely powerful. I think you’d be floored at how easy it is to add some editing tweaks to make your images really stand out.  She teaches what you want to know with nothing being off limits for questions. She’s completely an open book.

 

Fairytale Photography

Meg Bitton’s Souls Imagined Workshop – Creating Magic

 

4. She is expensive. Now you might think well why in the world is that a good thing? It shows that she values herself and her time, she’s confident in herself and her work.   But really this doesn’t have alot to do with her necessarily, but the other photographers you’ll meet while in her workshop. When someone is willing to spend what it takes to do a Meg Bitton workshop, you know they’re serious about their photography. Being in a group of other women as serious and passionate as I am about what I do who are so excited to learn and grow is absolutely amazing. I now not only have Meg’s insight into my passion, but I also have a group of other photographers I can talk to when I need some feedback, encouragement, advice who are exactly where I am.  And Meg jumps in there every now and again too with continued words of wisdom which is the reason why I chose the next on the list.

This image was shot by one of those photographers.  I’ll share all of them another time but you can check out Meg’s page to see a few. You can see April’s beautiful work here.  This is  my baby girl. I was blessed to have the opportunity to model for the group with her and this is one of the moments from that time. Not only did the photographers share all of those images with me, they also shared the images that I missed out on shooting because I was in wardrobe, etc.   What a blessing they all were to me!

Baby Photographer

Meg Bitton’s Souls Imagined Workshop – Be spontaneous – Capture the Beauty

5.Now back to Meg  :).  She’s a real, genuine, caring person and someone I am proud to support. I know that if I had a question today that she’d take a minute in her busy schedule to chime in and offer her advice/opinion. She isn’t obligated to do that, but she does.  She does it for all of us who took her workshop and I’m guessing she does it for every person who ever has.  To me that says she actually cares whether or not we become successful in accomplishing the goals we have for our work.

Childrens photorapher - New York  / New Jersey

Meg Bitton’s Souls Imagined Workshop – Joyous Seasons

 

So what now? Its been 2 months since the workshop. I wanted the excitement of it to settle in before I wrote up a review of my experience to see if what I thought I’d walked away with was actually could be a reality for me.  I don’t know what the next year or two will bring.  I do know that I feel passionate again.  I have a vision for my work again and I am more confident at achieving my goals for that vision. I am done taking pictures.  I am an artist and I will only be creating art.  I will shoot and show what I believe is important and beautiful and I will wait for the right clients to come to me because of it.  After all, I will do my best work with those clients and I only want to do my best.

Thank you Meg Bitton.

The Padawan Project – Star Wars Storybook Sessions for 2014 – Children’s Storybook Photography Studio

I’m excited to announce our new storybook session for 2014. These are limited edition sessions available on a limited basis for certain weeks of the year. For more information please contact the studio at studio@aforgetmenotmoment.com.

Our first 2014 storybook will be the Padawan Project. For those of you who have been to Disney World with a little boy (or girl for that matter – we know there are lots of little girls who love star wars too :)  you may have had the opportunity to sign up (or at least like we did realize you have to get to the park WAY early in the morning to even have a chance at getting in…oops sorry kid) for the Jedi Training they offer to the little ones who dream of learning the ways of the force.  Well this folks is even better than that and instead of getting your own point and shoot crowded photos of the experience, you get gorgeous photos and a completely custom Jedi story to go along with them. Our storybook sessions turn an hour of play into images for your own custom Star Wars story for you to read and enjoy for years to come.

May the force be with you!

 

Star Wars Photos