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Decatur GA Newborn Photographer – Lifestyle Photography

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As a Decatur GA Newborn Photographer capturing families as they grow is one of the best parts of my job.

I had the joy of photographing this family’s first baby as a newborn.  I was really just getting started in business then, and my style has evolved a lot since then.  Those sleepy, posed newborn photos are precious, but I’ve come to embrace a Lifestyle approach to newborn photos.  In face most of my work now reflects more of a lifestyle approach to photography.

I work hard, even in an outdoor family photo session, to capture the “in-between” moments.  These are the real and unposed moments that just don’t happen during the posed parts of the photo session.

This session at Forty Oaks Nature Preserve was on a cold December day.  I loved how this mom decided to embrace the chilly temperatures and got her little ones bundled up for a wintry photo session.  This little one wasn’t too sure about the chilly temps as we were getting started.  But I always work to get the little ones moving, and that always does the trick to bring out the fun and the smiles.

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She’s One!

First, this mama’s main goal was to capture her new one year old.  Some cuddles and bounces worked to bring out the joy and love.

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Next we focused on more playing and moving.  This resulted in lots of fun images of the two big sisters.

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Winter Light

Winter light can be really amazing.  Perhaps it’s because there aren’t as many leaves on the trees, or the sun is a little lower than it is in the summer.  The light here was certainly magical, and I think we captured the quintessential one year old portrait.

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Lastly, as the sun was going down, things got even cooler.  But mom just bundled the kids up a bit more and we captured a few more sweet images as the session came to a close.

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If you are looking for a Decatur GA Newborn Photographer or a Lifestyle Family Photographer I would love to talk with you. I invite you to read more about the Lifestyle Newborn Sessions I offer.  I would love to hear from you.  Please hit the contact button on the menu bar to get in touch.

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As a Vinings Family Photographer, this family session was such a dream for me.  I just LOVE photographing a one year old. So much happens in that first year.  One year olds are on the cusp of so many new things, making that transition from babyhood to toddlerhood.  Look out world!

Atlanta’s Piedmont Park was the perfect setting for this session.  There were lots of interesting sights to be seen – people and dogs galore!  Yet in the end you could never tell from the images we captured that the park was full.

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This was my first session at Piedmont Park.  I love the variety of backgrounds we found at there – old stone stairs, open spaces, city skylines, and scenes by the water.  Dad really wanted this location and I love the vision he had for this special session in an urban area he loves.

vinings-family-photographer vinings-family-photographerThis little one was such a doll with those sparkly brown eyes!

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She just wanted to walk, so walk we did!  I find that little ones always give me the best smiles when they move.

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This series of shots is my favorite from the session – the leaves, the light, the beautiful baby – it was really magical.

vinings-family-photographer vinings-family-photographer vinings-family-photographer vinings-family-photographer vinings-family-photographer vinings-family-photographer vinings-family-photographer vinings-family-photographerI’m so thankful for the privilege of capturing a special session like this.  They are only little for so long.  One is such a big milestone.  I’m so grateful to this family for entrusting me with the task of capturing this very special time in their lives.

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Happy birthday sweet girl!  I hope to have the privilege of watching you and your family grow through my camera lens!

I always present my clients images to them in person through a slideshow set to music.  Here is the slideshow I put together for this session:

If you are looking for a Vinings Family Photographer I would love to talk with you.  Please hit the contact button on the menu bar to get in touch.  I look forward to hearing from you!

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As a Brookhaven Newborn Photographer, understanding my camera settings and how they affect the image I am making is crucial.  Since it’s Christmas time, I thought this would be a great opportunity to explain how one camera setting – the f/stop (also known as aperture) – can work to create a magical thing we call “bokeh.”

Bokeh is the way a lens renders out of focus points of light. These are the pretty sparkly areas of light we see in the background of many great photos.  They are an especially fun element to add to your images around the holidays!

If you would like to learn more about how to control your camera settings, join us in Atlanta Moms with Cameras.  AMWC is a private Facebook group for local moms who want to improve their camera skills.  We have great tutorials in the group on learning to use your camera settings to get better photos from your camera.

F/stop

F/stop (or aperture) is a camera setting that determines how much of an image will be in focus.  A low f/stop number, like f/2.0, will render the background more blurry than a higher f/stop number like f/5.0.  A lower f/stop number will also make the points of light in the background (such as those on a Christmas tree) appear larger.

Examples

Let’s look at some examples – notice how as my f/stop number gets larger, the size of the points of light on the tree gets smaller:

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Your Lens

The lens you have will determine how low you can take your f/stop number.  Some lenses may have a maximum aperture of 3.5.  This is usually the case with the lens that comes with your camera.  This is a limiting factor, but there is a way to overcome your lens’ limitations.

Add Distance

Adding distance between your subject and the holiday lights will maximize the size of the bokeh.  Below you can see two images with the same f-stop (f/5), but larger bokeh points are achieved by moving farther away from the lights.

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And of course, being further from the lights and using a lower f/stop number will have an even more dramatic effect:

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How blurry you want the points of light to be is a matter of taste of course – there’s no right or wrong, but knowing how to utilize your cameras settings to achieve the effect you want is powerful.

Camera Settings

If you normally shoot in auto mode, I recommend switching your camera to Aperture Priority Mode.  On a Nikon camera, choose “A” on the mode dial.  On a Canon camera, choose “AV” on the mode dial.  In this mode you can select the aperture you want.

I recommend starting at f/3.5, or as low as your lens will allow.  Just be aware that your camera will automatically choose your shutter speed for you.  If your shutter speed falls below 125 you will most likely have blurry photos.  If this happens you will need to raise your ISO setting.  Check your camera manual for how to do this.  Raising the ISO setting will bring more light to your camera’s sensor so that your shutter speed will stay high enough to get a sharp image.  You will also need your f/stop setting to be high enough to get your subject in focus, so play with it until you have a good balance between your subject being in focus and your points of light being blurry.

Go give it a try!  I would love to see what you capture.  Join us in Atlanta Moms with Cameras where we are sharing our holiday bokeh images this month.

If you found this tutorial helpful, please share it on Facebook.  And if you are looking for a Brookhaven Newborn Photographer, I would love to hear from you!  Please hit the contact button on the menu to get in touch.

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As a busy homeschooling mom and a Sandy Springs Newborn Photographer I’ve got a lot on my plate.  I want to provide healthy whole foods for my family, but time is limited.  I’m always looking for healthy, easy recipe ideas.

I was recently introduced to Chia Seed Pudding and I am hooked.  Chia seeds have some amazing health benefits.  They are loaded with healthy fats, antioxidants, fiber, protein and calcium.  Chia seeds contain 5 times more calcium than milk and 2 tablespoons of chia seeds yields as much Omega – 3 as four ounces of salmon!  They have as many antioxidants as blueberries.  Chia seed pudding is a really easy way to get some essential nutrients into my family’s diet! Best of all my kids really like it.

There are lots of great recipes out there for chia seed pudding – check out this one and this one.  Here’s my variation:

Easy and VERY HEALTHY Chia Seed Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups coconut milk (we sometimes use coconut cream, which makes it even creamier!)
  • ½ cup Chia Seeds
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup maple syrup (may need more if your kids like sweetness)
  • Optional: ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1.5 cups frozen fruit

sandy-springs-newborn-photographer_00001.  First, blend together all ingredients except the chia seeds.

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2.  Second, stir in the chia seeds.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

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3.  Wake up to chia seed pudding!  Overnight the seeds will absorb some of the liquid, creating a pudding-like consistency.  It’s sweet and yummy – great for breakfast or dessert!

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This recipe has become a favorite in our family.  It may look a little lumpy but it really does taste great.  And just knowing that it is packed with some many amazing nutrients keeps me making it over and over for my family.  Give it a try, it really couldn’t be easier!

If you are looking for a Sandy Springs Newborn Photographer I would love to talk with you!  Please hit the contact button in the menu bar to get in touch.

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It always happens around the autumn of the year. Several times each fall dads I know will exclaim on social media “Glad the yearly torture – I mean photo session – is over for this year!”

Are you thinking about scheduling family photographs, but hesitant to broach the subject with your husband?  Perhaps you’ve had less-than-fun experiences with family photos in the past.  Does the thought of trying to get everyone looking nice and looking at the camera and smiling at once make you want to run in the other direction?

Do you worry about how hard it will be to keep the kids from being grumpy or uncooperative and (worst of all) keeping dad from fussing at them?

I’ve been doing Atlanta family photography for several years, and spent lots of time before that learning what works (and what doesn’t) with my own family.  I’ve got 3 tips for getting dads on board and helping them understand how family photos can actually be lots of fun and a joy for everyone – dad included!

Tip 1: Be Playful

I always tell moms and dads who are stressed by the behavior of their children that their kids are 100% NORMAL!  Posing and sitting still and smiling just so really aren’t natural activities for children.  That’s why I keep that to a minimum in my family photo sessions – kids will only tolerate so much of that, and it’s NORMAL. And it’s not dad’s job, or yours, or even mine to force them sit and pose.  Trying to force someone to do anything is stressful, and definitely not fun!

But dads are masters at playing with their kids. 

And really, that’s all they have to do have a great photo session.  Lifestyle Sessions at Home are particularly great for creating opportunities to play like these: atlanta-family-photography

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I tell my dads that all they have to do is play with their kids.  And it’s amazing how they relax, which sets the stage for a great photo session.

Tip 2: Be Present

That’s really what it’s all about and what our kids will remember.  Tell your husband that he can be the hand they hold…

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the shoulder they cuddle on…

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the dad who spends time with them…

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the strong presence who is always near, always loving…

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Tip 3: Be Helpful

Kids always give the best smiles for their dads.  Scolding never works – but getting silly?  It’s a surefire formula for great smiles.  I LOVE IT WHEN DADS GET SILLY behind the camera while I snap away!  These smiles were brought to you courtesy of dads standing behind me doing all sorts of silly things:

atlanta-family-photography atlanta-family-photographyDoes everyone have to be posing and smiling to make great photos?  Absolutely not!  Great photos happen when everyone is being themselves and having fun.  When Dad is on board with this idea, we always have a great photo session.

atlanta-family-photography atlanta-family-photographyShare these tips with your husband today.  They will help him see how family photos can be enjoyable and natural – and how he can play an important role in making your photo session great.  Trust me when I say that my years of experience in Atlanta family photography have proven to me over and over that the tips I’ve shared work!

If you are thinking of scheduling a fall photo session now is the time to schedule!  Please hit the contact bar in the menu to get in touch.  I look forward to hearing from you!

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