Monday, December 28, 2009

Big Rocks and Beautiful Girls!

It was a crisp chilly morning as I headed out to Big Rock Park Christmas Eve morning. The sky was blue and the colorful trees had managed to hang on to most of their leaves during the blustery windy day we'd had the day before. My assistant, Ashley, arrived and we were gathering all my equipment for the photo shoot when Laura and her daughters, Alex and Jordan, pulled up.

All bundled in sweaters and cute boots the girls looked darling. Laura looked amazing in her very fashionable boots! The girls were excited about having their photos taken. The last time they had had photos taken they were just little things, so it was definitely time! We headed into the park with the girls chattering about all the places they thought would be good spots for photos. Alex wanted photos down by the creek among the trees. Good idea. I had that thought also. Jordan wanted photos on the slide in the play area. Absolutely, but maybe at the end of the shoot. Only one idea was nixed and that was Jordan's idea to have them all lined up with their backs to the chain link fence! Kids are funny, aren't they? Jordan was okay with it, because I promised her we would take photos on the slide.

All was going very well until my off-camera flash died on me. I'm sure I recharged it. Was it last night or the night before? Oh well, next time I'd better make sure it's the night before my shoot! Out came the reflectors and the on-camera flash. Back to basics as Laura said. We managed to finish up the shoot with some lovely photos of Laura and her girls. You can see all their photos on my website.

Now, go forth and do something that will take you back to the basics!

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Blaze of Color and "I Do!"

It's a crisp chilly day as I head out to take photos for James and Chelsea's wedding. As I drive over the bridge I can see the blaze of fall color in the trees at Santee Lakes below where the wedding will take place. The gazebo is being "dressed" to welcome the couple who will say their marriage vows in front of their guests. The tables are being decorated with Chelsea's colors, red and black. Excitement fills the air!

The cloud cover provides beautiful translucent light for taking photos, and I wonder if it will last or if perhaps the sun will pop out to say hello. I busy myself checking the locations I have envisioned for the formal portraits. Ah, the perfect spot! A huge gnarled tree bursting with color. I can see the happy couple on the little pier with the colorful canopy framing them in all their wedded glory. Yes, it is the perfect location.

It's time to get busy. My assistant, Jerome, arrives and is ready to help with anything I need. How wonderful to have help. Weddings are so much fun, but I need extra hands to accomplish all I need to do for James and Chelsea.

And then Chelsea appears on mom and dad's arms a vision of loveliness. The camera loves Chelsea. Her blue eyes sparkle. She has her hair done up and wears a pearl necklace. She is perfect, and I know James will think so, too, when he sees her.

Snap, snap, snap! Weaving in and out of the guests. Skirting around the back of the gazebo. Oh, don't miss that shot. Got it! Oh, I wish the sky wasn't so bright behind Chelsea. Nothing I can do about it now. Snap, snap, snap! Get the kiss. Chelsea loves the "he's just about to kiss her" look. Ah, yes! That's it. Going in five different directions at once. The vows have been said and now it's on to the reception. Keep moving!

It's a small, simple, but very sweet wedding reception. . . so intimate with just close friends and family. Group shots. Get them in front of that big tree with the colorful leaves. No! Look THIS way please. You can take photos when I'm finished. Thank you! Quick, quick, quick. I'm sweating. Peeling off the layers even though it's chilly out. Working hard and loving the shots I'm getting. Stealing the couple for some intimate shots at the fabulous location I've chosen. Oh, no, people along the pier. Thank you for moving. We really appreciate it!

Yes, yes, yes! They are gorgeous and so intimate. Chelsea and James will love them. I know I do. Chelsea and James are fading fast. Oh, dear. They're both sick and feeling awful, but what troopers. We got the photos and I know they will be so happy with them.

Don't relax yet. One more photo. Jerome suggests a photo of the bouquet on the gazebo railing. I like it, so I shoot it. He thinks it will make a nice cover shot and I agree. Almost finished and then I can relax. I've been sick for two days myself and I will be happy to be at home soon. I just know I'll be at my computer processing the photos as soon as I get home. I'm so excited and I can't wait to show them to James and Chelsea.

Monday they are posted. Chelsea contacts me and tells me that she and James absolutely LOVE the photos. YES! I'm thrilled because I do too.

Got a minute? Check out James and Chelsea's wedding photos on my website Elizabeth Heath Photography. They're worth a look.

Now go forth and do something that makes you sweat, but is very rewarding and share it with someone who will appreciate your work!