Sweet Little Sleepy Guy | Newborn Photographer Columbia Missouri

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Ah, newborns. They’re so sweet. So squishy. So cuddly.

It’s no secret that one of my very favorite subjects to photograph are the brand new humans, with their sweet, sleepy personality and their adorable little poses and facial expressions.

And the little noises they make! Oh, the newborn noises.

I could photograph newborns all day, every day.

(If only I could keep up with the laundry!)

It just occurred to me last night that it’s been a while since I shared a full newborn gallery. And, as luck would have it, I finished up this little guy’s gallery last night.

So, full disclosure…I’m blogging just about half of the number of photos these parents received. And they get everything in color and b&w, so you can do the math there.

Of course, every newborn session is different. And my newborn sessions have been evolving since I went full-time with photography three and a half years ago. I’ve been trying to find my style for newborn sessions, loving both the documentary style shots and the posed, squishy baby shots.

This session blended the best of both worlds.

Heads up to expectant momma’s out there…I am considering a change to my newborn sessions, which will offer another option or two for folks, but may also involve a price increase on my current newborn session. If you are expecting a baby and are not on my calendar yet, this would be a good time to go ahead and lock down the current pricing and package.

And remember—I only take 2-3 newborns per month, especially during the fall busy season. It’s never too early to book your newborn session!

Okay, back to the adorable baby pictures:

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Remembering Spring | Columbia Missouri Family Photographer

One of the perks of blogging older sessions is being able to look back and see photos I had totally forgotten about. I remember this session being one of my favorites at the time (mid-April).

Okay, I have a lot of favorite sessions. But, to be fair, I have a lot of amazing clients that make things fun, so you really can’t blame me for being partial to everyone. =)

The other fun part of looking back on photos is the chance to see one of my favorite locations during a different time of year. Remember when the Bradford Pear trees were blooming? It’s my favorite time of year.

These photos were taken at Shelter Gardens in Columbia, Missouri, in mid-April, near sunset. I just did a family session at Shelter Gardens this Monday at the same exact time as this session in April…and the July photos have a totally different look. I like them both, which is what makes Shelter Gardens so flexible as a photo session location.

I should really do a comparison blog post to show you guys the difference…note to self.

Okay, enough blabbering…here are some of my favorites from this sweet family’s session:

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Lemonade Stand Photo Session | Columbia Missouri Baby Photographer

I’ve been looking forward to sharing these photos since April! I have some of the most creative mommies and daddies as clients, and this session was just completely over the top in the cute department.

Baby girl was celebrating her first birthday, and the party’s theme was “Lemonade Stand”. So, we re-used some of the party decorations for her birthday photos as well. Can you believe dad built that super cute lemonade stand?? It is so darling!

Now if only I could figure out how to hire them to style ALL of my photo shoots…a girl can dream, right?!

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Alexander | Rock Bridge High School Class of 2014 | Senior Photos Columbia Missouri

It’s that time of year—school is wrapping up for the year, caps and gowns are being purchased, and parents are getting in those last-minute senior portraits.

Here’s some of my favorite photos from Alexander’s senior photo session:

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Mr. Cute | Baby Photos Columbia MO

Technically, I should be editing right now. But as I just finished up editing another fabulous photo session, in which I immediately wanted to share all the photos with the world, I was reminded that I’m super behind on blogging other equally-as-fabulous sessions.

So here we are.

I’ve been excited to share this session for weeks! We tried out a new location for me, which was just the inspiration I needed.

Plus, can you get over how gorgeous this little man is? Those eyes! Those lashes!

[Note to momma: please make more babies for me to photograph. Please, please, please.]

Here are my favorites from this little man’s session:

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So serious, but I kinda love it!

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You’re killing me with those smiles, kid! LOVE THIS ONE!

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I love me some baby toes.

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Check out these lashes on this kid…totally unfair! Amiright, ladies?!Lollipop-Photography_0229 Lollipop-Photography_0230

Shut. Up.

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Momma is super gorgeous herself. I love the supermodel pose here! Perfect!

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And then we found this floor…and then I died…

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Sweet Little Cherub Cheeks | Family Photos Columbia MO

This little guy just turned one, and I gotta say…I’m sad I won’t be seeing those sweet chubby cheeks every three months! Aren’t they amazing?!

He was just on the cusp of walking at his 12-month sessions, which is pretty much my favorite developmental stage. They can’t run away from me yet! Ha!

I loved how this session turned out!

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Jump for Joy | Engagement Photographer in Columbia Missouri

 

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Ah, engaged couples. They’re some of the most fun sessions I do.

Okay, yes, I say that about every type of session I post, but seriously though…two people to interact with each other and play off each other’s actions, no kiddos or babies to cry or run away from me, and lots of love to capture.

I love engagement sessions.

These guys were hilarious and adorable, and they were everything I needed this day.

You see, I had just returned from a fabulous photography workshop from the world-famous Indianapolis photographers Bobbi + Mike, and these two were my (involuntary) guinea pigs to try out some of the new techniques I picked up at the workshop.

And these two did not disappoint. They were game for anything I threw at them!

It was also pretty fun to use a location that I photograph regularly (Nifong Park in Columbia, Missouri) and try to challenge myself to get different images than usual.

The workshop itself was amazing and incredible, and it was awesome meeting two photographers I’ve been following and admiring for years before I had even considered opening for business. I’ve been aspiring to attend this workshop for years, and 2014 was the year the stars and the calendar aligned to allow me to go.

Bobbi + Mike have a wonderful, quirky, graphic design-centered creative style that has always spoken to me. As I continue to develop my personal photography style, I can confidently say that I gravitate toward graphic lines, clean backgrounds, and interaction between my families and couples. It was awesome being able to learn from the best in this genre of photography, as well as to get affirmation on many things I’m doing right already.

Although it takes a lot of work to make sure my clients are taken care of while I’m out of town and a good quality workshop such as this one isn’t cheap, attending workshops and conferences is important to me to further my photography education, invest back into my business, and improve my clients’ experience. This year, in addition to the Bobbi + Mike conference which focused on couples, weddings and families, I’ve also attended a wonderful two-day newborn workshop for hands-on training as I continue to improve and evolve my newborn photography style.

It’s been an awesome year already, and it’s just April. I can’t wait to see what the rest of 2014 will bring.

For now, let’s see the rest of my favorites from this couple’s images:

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When the kids get the camera | Columbia Missouri Family Portraits

I simply adore this photo from a recent family session:

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But here’s the secret—I didn’t take this photo.

Nope. I can’t take any credit.

If you want to get technical, the copyright belongs to a five-year old! She was the art director for the photo too.

So, lest anyone thinks I’m being lazy and making this poor family do my work, here’s the story…

This beautiful family had three kiddos: a five-year old, a three-year old, and an 15 month old. Going into the session, I figured the five-year old daughter and I would be golden together—I usually win their friendship pretty fast and, not to brag, but I can usually get a five-year old girl to ham it up for the camera pretty much guaranteed.

I also knew the three-year old was gonna be on my side pretty quickly too. She has an older sister who’s going to listen to me. Automatic win for Lollipop.

But that little 15-monther? Oy. Basically, by the time a baby starts walking until the age of about three or four, they are a wildcard when it comes to photos. Sometimes we luck out and they behave perfectly and do exactly what I want them to. Okay, that’s happened like once. But more often then not, they’re busy, busy, busy and have better things to do than to stand still and look at the camera.

So I had to be on my A-game going into this session.

About halfway through, I could sense we were losing the kids and they needed a break. So the girls and I decided it was picture time for mom & dad!

“Hey, girls! Do YOU want to take the picture?”

And I offered the camera out to them.

This is usually the point that mom and dad panic, thinking that this crazy photographer is going to hand off thousands of dollars worth of glass and electronics to their precious-but-oh-so-precocious kiddo. And I always reassure them that I do this all the time, that the camera is built tough, I have a backup in the car, and everything is fully insured.

And I’m sitting next to the kid the entire time. I’m brave, but I’m not dumb. =)

These photos rarely come out well, and that’s not the point of this exercise. I do it because it’s an easy, quick distraction for the kiddos, and they get to be in charge for a few minutes (so they let me be in charge for the rest of the shoot).

Back to the story…so, I ask the little 5-year old what she’d like mom & dad to do—she gets to be the boss—and she didn’t hesitate to tell mom that she was supposed to be a mermaid princess and dad was to be a prince.

And then this magical photo happened.

AND I LOVE IT!!

And you know what? The kids were suddenly back on board for the photo shoot and we continued to capture some beautiful, loving family images.

Here are some of my other favorites from their session (and, yes, I took the rest of these!):

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These kiddos look like they belong in a J. Crew ad, don’t they? So fashionable!

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Here was my photo series of mom & dad in that same position:

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I told them to get lovey…I love the booty grab here! Ha!

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Slightly more family-appropriate. =)

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Shut. Up. You guys are killing me with your cuteness!

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I always try to get a shot of mom + kids and dad + kids at my family sessions. Here’s mom’s sweet photo:

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And crazy daddy’s!

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Favorite:

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An Update on Mini Sessions

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2014 SUMMER MINI SESSION DATES

Friday, June 20 | Shelter Gardens FULL

Saturday, July 26 | Cosmo Park Playground FULL

Saturday, August 9 | Mizzou Columns FULL

Saturday, August 23 | Location TBA – field/rustic FULL

I love mini sessions.

They’re such a great way to get an updated family photo, or pics of the kids, or an engagement or maternity session done in a pretty location…quickly, efficiently and affordably.

That’s why I try to offer at least one date of mini sessions per month (except in December). I typically offer mini sessions on weekend dates if I can, because I know that’s most convenient for families.

But all this fabulousness means that they’re EXTREMELY popular.

So, for the past several rounds of mini sessions, they’ve been announced to clients first, and then to the general public.

This has led to what I’ve feared most…a near sell-out before they even reach the general public.

I hate turning people away…I really do. It makes me sad that I can’t capture every family’s sweet memories in the timeframe they need.

This meme really explains how I feel about my job:

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But, there’s only so many sessions I can do per day (thanks, sun), and it’s only fair that my previous clients get first dibs on these popular spots.

Looking ahead to the next round of mini’s…fall. They are Lollipop’s most popular photo sessions, and last year’s sold out within 2 days.

Two. Days.

This year, fall mini’s will be announced and available to clients first. No exceptions.

If you have a Lollipop gift certificate and have been anxiously awaiting the mini session announcements, you need to email me to ensure you are on the client list.

So, what happens to those people who really want a mini session but aren’t a client yet? Well, I’ve got a couple of options:

1. Book a regular session

With a regular family session (or baby or maternity or engagement or whatever), you get to choose the location and we have a lot more time to tailor the session to your family.

I typically shoot regular sessions during the week these days, as my weekends are kept very busy with weddings, mini sessions and Cub Scout stuff (thanks to my kiddo).

I know that weekdays aren’t always the most convenient for families. I know. And I’m sorry.

There are just only so many hours in the day that we can shoot, and I haven’t quite figured out how to clone myself to give us more options.

Some of my families have made a weekday session work by taking the day off and making it a “fun day” for everyone to make sure kids (and parents) are well rested and relaxed for the photo session. What a great way to top off a fun day with some playing (and photographing) in the park! And I definitely suggest ending the day with ice cream after the shoot.

See? Instant super-happy-fun day.

2. Book an Anytime Mini Session with a friend

These are also held on weekdays, but they are the same price as the regular mini sessions if you split the cost with another family. You guys get to choose the location, and then we spend 30 minutes with each family getting lovely pictures!

More information about the Anytime mini sessions can be found in this blog post.

 

So, that’s the update on the mini sessions for 2014.

As always, I am super grateful for all of my past clients, as well as all of you who have been trying to snag a session!

Wait a minute…I took that picture! | Columbia Missouri Family Photography

I love seeing friends’ pictures on Facebook.

This photo showed up in my newsfeed today. My super cute college roommate posted a picture of her adorable family:

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Adorable, right?

This photo caught my eye because it was so super cute and fun and totally shows off the personality of everyone in the family. And I loved the composition and the lighting.

I paused on it for a couple of seconds, admiring it.

And, as I often do when I see great photos on Facebook, I wondered who took the picture so I can go look up the photographer and follow their work.

And that’s when it hit me…

I took that picture!

And then I got all excited and happy…and then I got embarrassed and confused that I totally didn’t recognize it as mine right off the bat.

I mean…how does that even happen?

Well, I know exactly how this happens. And it’s the dirty little secret of my business…

Are you ready?

I have no “review” process in place to pull out my favorite photos after your sessions are delivered.

Ugh. I hate even writing it! It’s so bad!

Families want their photos as quickly as possible after a session, and I TOTALLY take that to heart, working as hard as I can to deliver the best possible quality as quickly as possible after your session. I’ve done a lot of streamlining over the past year or so to finally get to an efficient post-processing workflow cuts down on the time it takes to deliver photo galleries.

And I’m super proud to say that my average gallery delivery time is down to two weeks after the session. Woo hoo! We’re only four months into the year, but I’m really striving to keep up that average for this year.

But here’s the other reason…when I’m working on photos of your family, we are on an intimate one-on-one level. We’re talking 100% zoom, people. I see every blemish, every crease, every snot bubble your adorable little family has, and my goal is to eliminate as many distractions as possible so that the focus of the photos is on your beautiful family.

So, my super-efficient workflow coupled with an exhaustive snot search means that once your files have been exported, uploaded, and archived, I’ve mentally moved on.

It’s true.

And what I’ve come to realize is that I’m totally missing out on the best part of the photo session…the celebrating of how great the photos look!

So, I’m determined to change that. Starting now.

I’ve shared just a fraction of the photo sessions I’ve taken over the last couple of years. I haven’t even updated my website portfolio with photos from the last 16 months. And it’s a shame because I’ve photographed some dang cute families, kids and weddings! I’m proud of every single one of them.

So, while I may not share every single session here on the blog or on Facebook, I’m going to do my very best to share the photos that speak to me. Like this one.

And, just for fun, I went back to this family’s whole session to see if there were other cute photos I overlooked and, yep…there were 18 more from their gallery that spoke to me.

This was a mini session, you guys.

I really need to be reviewing my work more!
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