Wednesday, March 25, 2009

mary s!

This pretty lady is Mary. Don't even get me started on how much I love her curly hair! Her style is equally fabulous. Our first session attempt was rained out...thanks mother nature! We decided to use some of that time to go over wardrobe choices to use for the rescheduled shoot. She brought so many great options that I was about to bring out a coin to start flipping.

As we were snapping these pics, I couldn't help but notice Mary's uncanny resemblance to the teenage version of my Aunt Marilyn. Okay, I realize this means nothing to you who have never seen my Aunt Marilyn, and sadly I don't have a photo of her from the '50s. What I CAN tell you is that according to many accounts from my mother, Marilyn was considered quite the hottie. Of course, the word "hottie" hadn't quite caught on yet, so she was probably called a "real looker" or "the cat's meow".

Thanks so much Mary for being patient with the weather and so fun and easy to work with!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

fletch update

I figured it was time for another Fletch update. He is now 2.5-ish months old, and roughly the size of an aircraft carrier. He thinks the word "no" is hilarious, and one of his favorite places to nap is on the bathroom floor wrapped around the back of the toilet. Classy.

I've started a journal and will supplement it with a photo diary. My little project is entitled "What I've Killed by Irwin M. Fletcher". So far, he's destroyed 3 rugs, a blanket, and a rubber door stop.

In the photo below, doesn't he have the cutest little mouth? Be warned...that is the same mouth that today discovered the joys of cat poop.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Melanie is one of my dearest friends. When we first got to know each other years ago, she was going through a difficult time, and I was so struck by how she handled it with such strength and grace. On several occasions since then I've thought of her example when I wasn't feeling strong or graceful.

She is now dealing with some even greater issues, and again I'm moved by how she faces life with a powerful will and love.

Melanie and Lee had a gorgeous baby boy a few months ago. Elliott is almost too wonderful to describe in words. You wouldn't know it by looking at this perfect little guy, but he's struggling with a list of daunting health issues. Although I was so thrilled to finally meet him, I was worried that being around him might make me sad, which is the last reaction I wanted to have around Melanie. I instantly realized that being around Elliott brings nothing but absolute JOY. He's such a dream, and I couldn't get enough of him.

I adore this family, and had the BEST visit with them. Melanie and I got to have some girly fun and giggles. I had a blast playing with my buddy Owen, and I got to cuddle with Elliott. Yay! I'm already looking forward to the next time I see them!

Here are a couple pics Melanie took. Here's Elliott making me swoon.

I was introduced to the awesome "Guess Who?" game. Owen was an astronaut and I was a monkey. No guesses needed.

Owen is quite the master of the point-and-shoot camera. In a few months, I'm sure I'll be working for him. If I'm lucky. Here, he caught me trying to be like him.

Thanks Lee for taking this shot of us! I loves me some Melanie!

Here are some shots I snapped during our visit.

Oh, Elliott....I want some more snuggles!

There were so many cards and gifts. The Walkers have a LOT of people who care about them.

Owen wanted to take a photo with my camera, so I put it in front of him, tried to aim it, and let him hit the button. This next shot is what he took. Seriously, I'm going to make him start shooting weddings with me!

Owen is REALLY into Superman right now and even has a big poster on his wall. I noticed something when I looked at the image of the hero hanging in Owen's room. Now, I don't want to give away an secret identities or anything, but don't you see a resemblance below?

I just love this moment with Lee and Elliott.

So beautiful...

To view the slideshow of the lovely Walker family, please click HERE

Monday, March 16, 2009


I'm always getting a hard time from my friends who claim that I only photograph beautiful people, so I'm prepared for the earful I'll surely get after they see these pics of Erin. As if it's not enough that she has long, luscious hair, big blue eyes, a pout that rivals Angelina's, AND a striking resemblance to Milla Jovovich....she's also one of the nicest gals you'll meet.

As usual, Sloane Warren of Atlanta Body Retreat did a wonderful job with Erin's hair and makeup. It was such a gorgeous day that Sloane did her work outside on my porch while we chatted with Erin, sipped on tea, and enjoyed the beauty of the day. That's how all photo shoots should begin!

Here are a few shots from my session with the lovely Erin...

This next shot may not be at the top of Erin's list to use as her headshot (or maybe it will!), but I just love her expression!

Thanks Erin for being so sweet and fabulous!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Christy is fun on wheels. She is the opposite of a diva, and she is not afraid to wave her sassy flag. Yay! Christy has a very warm expression that is super easy to photograph. Gotta love that! Her friend Susan came along and did a fine job of hair patrol throughout the session. It's obvious that these two know how to have a good time. At one point during the shoot, I told them that I wished we were shooting video instead so that folks could hear the crazy banter going on.

Ok, so now I have to play celebrity look-alike with Christy. She looks so much like Jessica Lange! After seeing King Kong in the 70s, I wanted to marry Jeff Bridges and I wanted to be Jessica Lange.

In her smiling shots, I think she has a Diane Lane look going on. Not bad, right? However, she's 100% Christy which is cooler than looking like any hot celebrity!

Christy (and Susan), thanks so much for our photo play-time. I'm glad we could give you a non-painful headshot experience, and you did a super job.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

christa & grace!

Christa is a lovely lady I've been mentoring for a while now. Not only is she from Wisconsin (like me), but she's also a very patient and understanding person. When she contacted me about mentoring her, I realized that I had no idea how to go about doing that. So it's been a win-win situation of me learning how to teach, and her hopefully learning a few things I've passed along.

She does beautiful family portrait photography, but she's helped me out with some wedding work too. You should totally check out her blog. I know she'll be updating it more soon, but she already has some of her wonderful shots posted.

Yesterday, she came over for one of our monthly get-togethers and she brought her super cutie-pie daughter Grace along. What a well-behaved little lady she is. Which is more than I can say for puppy Fletch, who I had to practically tackle to keep him from using Grace as a chew toy.

At the end of our meeting, we had just a few minutes to go outside to snap a couple pics. Grace was nice enough to model for us. The lighting conditions were bad, which is good when you're trying to teach someone. Because of trees in my yard and the time of day, the only light was very bright direct light with spotted bits of shade. If there had been an area of solid shade, we could have metered for that or filled in with flash. Instead, I figured we'd shoot with what we had and I could demonstrate how you can make that work when necessary.

Here are a couple pics that I took. Seriously...could she be more adorable? Nope.

Grace had just eaten a cookie, and for these shots, I decided not to edit out the chocolate evidence on her cute face.

Shots like these make me so happy. You can just feel the love.

Thanks Christa and Grace! I can't wait to keep working with you and learning with you!

Monday, March 9, 2009


I've got lots of headshot sessions coming up in the next couple weeks as we get closer to the Unified auditions. Scheduling all these shoots allows me to meet awesome people like Ali. Her personality is a breath of fresh air, and I'm not ashamed to say that I'm completely envious of her gorgeous eyes.

I can't help but revisit my obsession with matching my headshot subjects to their celebrity look-alikes. In most images, I think Ali looks like a red-headed Cameron Diaz. When she smiles, I see more of a Reese Witherspoon thing happening. Anybody else with me on that?

Ali, thanks so much for a really enjoyable session, and for doing such a fabulous job!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

bert's big adventure!

Have you ever been so excited about something that you didn't talk about it for fear you'd jinx it? That's how I felt about being chosen to photograph Bert's Big Adventure this year. I was afraid that if I blogged about it, or talked too much about it, they'd call and say "Uh, sorry...we were just kidding about you coming along". Thankfully, it all happened, and I was more affected by everyone than I could have imagined. I also now understand the Disney commercials that talk about how adults will feel like kids again. I think I averaged in at about age 7 the whole trip.

From the moment the kids arrived for the big send-off, it was a non-stop whirlwind of fun. I was amazed at how many activities had been meticulously organized, and it seemed that each one somehow out-did the last. I wish all the people who generously gave to this trip could see every resulting moment of joy experienced. There were too many to count.

All the kids were having such a good time, that I found myself forgetting the struggles these families have been through. These were just kids having the BEST time. I think that's the true magic of this trip. For a few wonderful days, the weight of the world becomes just a little lighter.

There is so much to write and there are acres of photos to post. I realize I may have to do a separate post for each of the incredible BBA kids. I already miss their smiles and hugs so much.

Here are a few photos, and there's a slideshow at the end of this post. Thanks so much to everyone at Bert's Big Adventure for trusting me to capture these joyful, moving, and definitely magical moments!

Here's Bert giving an interview at the send-off. He can only sit still for about 3 seconds before being swarmed by kids who want to hang out with him. I'm sure he has more friends under the age of 12 than any other adult you know.

Do you think Michael is having a good time?

I was SO thrilled to see the lovely and talented Alyson Hoag of Authentic Beauty at our send-off. She and her fabulous team gave makeovers to all the BBA moms. How cool is that? Here's a pic of Alyson and her adorable daughter rockin' the photo booth.

The kids and families got the total VIP treatment. So many big-hearted folks were at the hangar to wish everyone a great trip.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was when all the kids went to Cinderella's castle to be transformed into princesses or pirates. Sweet little Maddie's glass slipper fell off. This proves that she's the real Cinderella.

Here's gorgeous Raven getting the star treatment.

Here I am with my new pals Kaylee and Gracie. These two cutie-pies gave me an awesome back rub after this pic was taken. I certainly needed it after lugging 50lbs of camera equipment on my back. These little ladies are such sweethearts! I'm pretty sure it was Kaylee's mom Kathy that took this. Thanks Kathy!

I braved the treacherous Dumbo ride to get this pic of Wendy and Ashlyn. It was scary, but totally worth it. If Ashlyn asked me to pour honey on my head and dance in front of hungry bears, I'd do it.

One night, the kids got a special surprise. They had milk and cookies, and then Belle showed up to read them stories. Later, Cinderella showed up for a royal appearance. Here she is sharing a moment with Princess Mya.

I'll be posting more images, but in the meantime, I've made a slideshow so you can see some of our special adventure.

To view the slideshow, please click HERE