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Elena

Elena

 

I love photographing children. They are so curious, honest, funny, smart, and crazy. All at the same time. My wife and I have three boys of our own and they remind me on a daily basis to not take life too seriously. After all, when you see someone look at chocolate milk like it’s the best thing in the world, how can you not laugh a little and remember to look for the good in every day?

The above photo was taken in 2013 when Elena came to the studio with her parents and younger brother. She is a ball of energy and can give anyone a run for their money. I have numerous photos from her session when she is smiling, laughing, jumping, twirling, and just being a crazy kid. But I really like this one. This is right between a smiling pose and a twirling pose. She stopped for a brief second to collect her thoughts and I could see her planning her next move. A split second later she was all over the place. However, in this instant, she gave me the pose I really love to capture. Not the big ear-to-ear grin, not the laughing, not the dancing, but the complete stillness and wonder of childhood. We all need a reminder from time to time to be still, look around, and take it all in. Life is short. Don’t ever lose the child that still lives somewhere inside.

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Learning to unplug has been a challenge. I’ve tried a few times before and had zero success. And I’m not even talking about 100% unplugging. I’m talking about the few hours in the evening I have at home with my family. I’ve started to make a real effort to not only put my phone away, but TURN IT OFF COMPLETELY in the evening. I’m about two weeks in and you know what, it’s awesome! The first few days were a challenge. Seriously. If you’re self employed, you know that it’s like your lifeline to your business. Emails, social media, texts, etc. They are always there and need answered. You know what? They don’t. Not ALWAYS. They absolutely do not ALWAYS need answered. It okay to take time for yourself. It’s okay to take time for your family. In fact, it’s not just okay, it’s needed. The biggest change I’ve experienced is that end of day stress that is telling me to keep checking email. Keep checking social media. It’s just TOO MUCH! So I’ve started shutting the phone off and putting it away where I can’t even see it. In fact, it’s on the second floor where I have to work to get to it. It’s made such a change and I’m more present with everyone at home. I’m spending more time playing with my kids. My wife and I can have a conversation without her having to want to chuck my phone out the window. Just because you’re self employed doesn’t mean you can’t take time to yourself. Set hours, stick to those hours, and shut it down. Give it a try. You might be amazed by the difference .

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This is Grayden. And like most children is age, he has 100 different faces he makes when I photograph him. He was in the studio this past November and decided to distort his face as much as possible. While his parents were begging him to smile, “just once and you can have any candy in the entire world,” he was busy doing this. I’ve found it’s best to just keep shooting, no matter what the child is doing. You never know what you might capture. And when some time has passed and the parents see the photo, I almost feel as though they like it more than the smiley photo. Because it’s a genuine capture of their child. A capture of him doing something he would do at home. A face he makes that his parents will always remember. It’s more than just capturing a half smile. This is childhood. Carefree, silly, and not really worried what anyone thinks about you. Rock on Grayden.

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Already? Yes. Already. It’s the first wedding of 2015 and I’m working with Leslie Gilbert Photography today. Before I get too far into it, I have to say that Leslie has always been easy to spot at weddings when I need to check with her about something. She may be tiny, but she’s always had this awesome blonde hair that could be spotted from across the room. Last month she dyed it a light brown (ish) color. I have no idea how I’m going to find her today. She’s just going to blend in. And before I forget, did you know she was recently voted one of the “Top 100 Wedding Photographers in the US?” Super honored to be asked to shoot with her!

Anyway, we’re off to the Cork Factory Hotel in Lancaster today and it’s a little bit freezing cold outside. But that’s cool becuase we’re always ready for anything and should have no trouble coming up with some creative stuff inside. A little off camera flash, a little Ice Light, a little natural window light, and we’re good to go. I’m pretty pumped to be shooting today because usually January is a long, cold, slow month. This can make it challenging to get the creative juices flowing. But today is going to be a much needed “get out and shoot” kind of day.

I hope everyone is having a great start to 2015. Enjoy the warmth of your homes, make some hot chocolate, play with your kids, take a nap, watch some football, and cheers to what is going to be the best year ever!

 

 

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  • Mikkel - Loving all the blog posts. Keep ’em coming! Great dress photo too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Artemas - Thanks Mikkel!! Hope you’re having a great start to 2015!

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Oh, Self Employment. It’s a blessing, it’s a curse, it’s crazy, it’s fun, and it can break you down in a matter of minutes. Those of you out there who walk this line every day know what I’m talking about. You probably have someone in your life who says, “Stop thinking about work.” But it’s really, really, really difficult to do. After all, you’re in charge of everything. Bills need paid? That’s you. Phone needs answered? You. All those emails? You again. And when a client has a complaint? Yep, it’s on you. The advertising, the marketing, the pricing, the accounting, etc. etc. etc. And it can make you question your sanity at the end of the day.

Right now, our studio is closed until the end of January. And you know what? Some people have said, “It must be nice to not have to work for an entire month!” And I’m guessing it must be. But I wouldn’t know. As I type this, it’s 2:20 in the morning. I just got home from the studio and my work day started at 6:00 yesterday morning. That’s a 19 hour day. So yes, the studio is closed. But no, that doesn’t mean we’re not hard at work. There is an entire year to prepare for and some loose ends to tie up from last year. And I’ve learned over the years that January is a great time to take a breath, look around, and get organized.

Now you may be wondering what I could have been doing for 19 hours. Accounting. Numbers. End of year finances. I hate hate hate hate doing the numbers. Actually, I hated the numbers when I started. Now I’ve spent so much time doing them, I’m starting to love them. It’s kind of like runner’s euphoria. ย And yes, I’m a photographer, not an accountant. Although I put all my numbers together, I will hand them over to a professional to take care of taxes. It’s safer for everyone.

Speaking of numbers, I once worked for a company who said, “The drudgery of the numbers will set you free.” And you know, it’s kind of true. The more you know about your numbers, the more you can manage where you are and where you are going. So it’s become my resolution for 2015 to embrace the numbers and own them. I used to hide my head in the sand on accounting day. This year I’ll at least poke one eye out and take a look.

I hope everyone is having a great start to 2015 and enjoy the weekend! I know I will. I’m self employed so I can do whatever I want! As long as it involves work.

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  • Angie - love this post!! Yay for you embracing your numbers!!! “The numbers” tell the story of the business…..just don’t let Shannon touch the numbers ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Artemas - Thanks Angie! And yeah, Shannon isn’t allowed near the numbers.

Holiday Family Fashion - Casual

Winter is by far the least popular time for family portraits. However, it’s actually a pretty comfortable time for pictures. Since we can moderate the temperature of the studio, everyone is comfortable. That means layers, texture from sweaters and dresses are great. There’s no panic if it will be too cold or too hot that day. It’s much easier to plan and relax. You know exactly what to expect without the variable of weather.

Today’s family fashion Friday is perfect for a studio portrait in the winter. The sweaters add lots of texture, so we went easy on the patterns, only adding in one. We kept it fairly neutral with the colors adding in some green. It’s easy to start with neutrals and add in a pop. Studio sessions are also great because you can bring food and drink and we’ll play music. It’s an all around comfortable experience!

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Jamie and Treven were married last month at the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court in Baltimore. Even thought the Baltimore Marathon was going on that morning and the wind was blowing around 100 mph, the day was awesome. They are about the most adorable couple ever and Treven had to be the most enthusiastic groom I’ve ever met. Their bridal party was a blast to hang out with and when it was time to dance, the guys rocked the floor. I mean they killed it. Seriously. Everything went off without a hitch and as it was my last wedding for 2014, it was a phenomenal way to end the year. Congratulations Treven and Jamie! Thank you so much for including us in your day!

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Beth and Jeff met us at Jerusalem Mill yesterday for their Engagement Session. They are probably one of the coolest couples ever and I realized when I just let them laugh with each other, they have some of the most genuine smiles ever. Sometimes I have to coach couples to smile, or shake out the “awkwardness.” As soon as they laugh with each other, it’s like the whole day gets brighter. I wanted to share one quick photo from their session and can’t wait to share the rest of them. The big day is August of next year and it’s going to be absolutely phenomenal. Thank you both for an incredible session!

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