Tips for taking better images of your day to day beautiful-ness, whether you are using an iphone or a fancy camera

I love composition, and if done well, makes an otherwise so-so picture look amazing! It is that powerful. I have come to realize that some folks just have a natural eye for composition, like my teenager does! But this is something had to learn and train my eye for, and I hope you find these tips useful and you will notice a significant improvement in your pictures!

What is involved in composition? It boils down to how you are guiding the eye to a particular space in your image, and you are balancing negative and positive space, because that makes our brains really happy and content.
How do you do this you may ask?? Well, I have advice!

Notice on this impossibly cute baby perfection I posted above? Her eyes are on what is called a “rule of thirds” line. If you divided the image in 1/3’s, horizontally and vertically, you get these third’s lines, and if you can take your picture so that the main subject of the pictures falls near that third line…you are doing awesome. Even better yet, if you can get the eyes on that third line, or take it next level and get one of the eyes right near where the “third lines” intersect. Below is what those rule of thirds lines look like.

This is a screen shot of this sweetie, to show you what those rule of thirds lines look like.

And this image below is what it looked like before I did some cropping. Now I realize that not everyone has access to the ability to crop an image like I have here, but this concept is pretty easy to follow in how you move your camera before you take your picture. I still wanted to show you this before picture, because this baby had the most glorious cheeks, and her blue sparkling eyes, and I really wanted that to be the focus point of this picture.

It is still a great picture above, but if you notice when you look at this, your eyes might first look at her face, but then you will find your eyes wondering around the picture, looking at her hands, her pants, and maybe the leaves in the grass. Composition helps to keep that eye where you want it to focus!

Ahh, more cuteness. Notice this guy is centered, but his eyes are on the top third line. Below is the same image and his face is dead center of the image…and it just does not have the same power and does not feel as balanced as when I follow the rule of thirds.

Most times a picture where the subject is dead center, like this one, is not ideal. Sometimes it works, but I am a rule follower, and following the rules is a bit of a safety net to taking great pictures!

Above, her eyes are quite close to the top intersecting 1/3 lines.  I also have a good amount of negative space, and when looking at this picture my eyes settle right on her face and the sunlight.

I will discuss more about composition in my next post, and about negative and positive space. Thanks for hanging with me and reading! I hope I was able to explain this concept clearly. Start using composition rules next time you snap a image of your kiddos, and I think you will surprise yourself!!

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!!

Happy 2019

The end of 2018 was quite a whirlwind over here and I am really happy to see 2019!! And I am especially thankful for all the families I got to reconnect with this fall and early winter. I think I am finally getting caught up on business and life, now that we are a full month into the new year I can see light at the end of the tunnel. Stay tuned this year, as I plan to continue to share current photo sessions here, but also I want to share tips and tricks on how to take better pictures of your own kids, your vacations, your special moments. So stay tuned!

Ah, this family….so lovely, and brave! We met on a chilly afternoon near the river in Downtown Minnie, and let me tell you this family runs like a well-oiled machine! It was cold, and these precious kids just went with it, and we were able to get some just gorgeous family pictures that they can cherish for a long time.

Seriously amazingly beautiful littles!

Okay, mom you are looking just stunning!

Despite the cold, this was an honor to hang out with this family and these sweet kids! Thank you for trusting me with capturing your life moments!!

6 Months Old!!

How fun to meet up with this sweet baby girl and her beautiful Mama again!  We first met 6 months ago for a newborn lifestyle session.  And to make life simple they have this gorgeous backyard to shoot in.

sweet curiosity

She was so mesmerized by the breeze blowing through the tress when we laid her on her back…how sweet.  I think of all the fun days of playing in her yard that are yet to come.

the toes
she has beautiful sparkling hazel green eyes
showing off her spit bubble skills
working on those 6 month old sitting skills….almost there little one

Hope you enjoyed the beauty of this little girl as much as I did!

End of Summer Mini Sessions Available!!!

As soon as August 1st hits it seems these magical days of summer are fleeting.  It puts my heart in an odd place, I adore summer months, but yet look forward to the newness of fall, of new beginnings, and being forced into a new time of quietness and routine that fall and winter can bring.

But I felt a pull to try to capture these fleeting moments by offering End of Summer Sunset Mini Sessions.  I scouted out this new beautiful location in Bloomington, with soft prairie grasses and flowers combined with my worn vintage quilt, just the perfect backdrop; a place to stop and ponder the beauty and warmth that is summer, before school and homework and new schedules filled with sports and dance, and music lessons and recitals….

Details and Dates:

I have 3 evening dates available:  Saturday Aug. 18th, Monday Aug. 20th, and Friday Aug. 24th, with sessions starting at 6:45.

Mini Sessions are perfect for families, or just the kids, you decide.  I often hear moms say  “I just need a few nice pictures of the family and kids”, and this type of session is perfect.  These sessions are short and simple, just 25 minutes long, and you will receive 5 to 7 fully edited digital images with a print release, all for $150.  I will aim to capture one or two posed family images with all those lovely smiles, single images of each child, and a few  “unposed” emotive images capturing the connection and personality of your family.  Session spaces will be limited, with only 3 time slots for each of the dates.   

Contact me (click on “contact” at top of page) for more info and to secure a session!  Limited sessions available!

Growing Families

One of the many side benefits of this job, is that I get to see families grow…how absolutely amazing and magical to watch these little humans grow, and how new siblings add so much beauty to the family dynamic; like they were always meant to be here…they were just waiting for the perfect time to arrive.

I have had the pleasure of watching this little family grow, and now there are 2 precious little ones!  

My favorite from this session!

Okay, they are pretty much the cutest family!

And this sweet girl….a bit spunky, and curious and smart.  I predict she will be a world changer.

Until we meet again..,

Ah… spring in MN

So I feel like one of the things that makes Minnesotans so great is this crazy, unpredictable weather;  blizzards and 18″ in the middle of April, ugh.  It forces one to look at the bright side of things, otherwise how would we survive the insanity of this?  So I thought how fitting to post this session, when things were right in the world.

And I am taking this opportunity to introduce this brand new space on my website, a  place where I can be  sharing my current  sessions with you and be more active and engaged!  However, I tend to like pictures more than words (shocking, I know) and my future posts will be short and sweet and filled more with images that I have been blessed to capture, and less words, because I am certainly not a writer.

Not only did I choose this session because this family is wonderful and the impossibly cute kids, but the man in this family also happens to be  wickedly smart, and one of his many talents is web design (and his wife is pretty darn amazing too, as I am blessed to call them friends).  I am so grateful the work he has done on my website, and a recent redesign that has allowed for this blog and a bunch of other super cool features that have officially blown my mind!

This session was so much fun, and these boys did amazing. I LOVE photographing families. I go into sessions with a bit of a plan in mind on what I want to capture and how, but I have learned to keep my expectations wide and open and my camera always ready when there are kids… because kids; beautiful, free spirited, curious kids. And then these 3 boys under the age of 5 did such an incredible job, and just plain adorable!! Mama looked so lovely and the weather was perfection; sun, warmth, and green stuff! I couldn’t ask for more. So sit back and enjoy some of my favorites from this session, and thanks for visiting!!

The sweetness in this little guys face, and those perfect cheeks 🙂