The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Posts tagged ‘Photography’

An Unexpected Family Photo Session

I conducted a family photo session on Sunday afternoon. On Saturday afternoon, while on the way to my 40th high school reunion, I received a Facebook message from a Facebook friend.  My friend, April, wrote that all of her siblings would be in town on Sunday, that they all hadn’t been together in the same place in 10 years.  April wondered if I would be able to do a family picture on Sunday at her parents’ home in Scandia PA, located not far from where I live.

April and I are friends on Facebook. We had not met in person. I sent April a friend request in August 2013, after meeting and photographing her husband, Ryan, at the Kinzua Heritage Festival–a local event that I have photographed for the past 3 years.

I asked April what time on Sunday. She said 4:00 pm. We didn’t have anything planned for Sunday, so I agreed to take family photographs for April.

I arrived at April’s parents’ house around 3:30 pm and was greeted by Denny, April’s stepfather. April hadn’t arrived yet and neither had the majority of her siblings. Denny showed me around his property.  I decided on two locations for the family photographs.

I was not able to begin the photo shoot until around 5:15 pm. April’s stepsister, Kim, and family were about an hour late. The time spent waiting for Kim and family, though, seemed to fly as Brian (April’s stepbrother) and I talked shop. Brian is an avid photographer too. Once the photo shoot began, it lasted 45 minutes.

April and Siblings with their Parents

April and Siblings with their Parents
and Parents’ Grandchildren

April’s Parents and their Grandchildren

April and her Family

April and Family
plus Significant Others

It was so nice to finally meet April, as well as the rest of her family.  By the way, April is the lovely young woman kneeling beside her mother.  I hope to see April and her husband, Ryan, at this year’s Kinzua Heritage Festival.

Something Red

I am in a Facebook group, called Photography Challenge.  This week’s challenge is “Something Red”.  This photograph of red tulips in a vase was my entry in this week’s photo challenge.

Tulips in a Vase

The tulips, leaves and vase are made of wood and once belonged to my sister-in-law.  I fell in love with this work of art, and it now sits on a cabinet in our living room.

I took this picture in our kitchen on the table.  Soft, natural light is coming in from the windows behind me.  I didn’t like the background (kitchen cabinets, counter top and stove), so I decided to place the flower vase on a different background.

Tulips in front of a waterfall

The waterfall is a digital background, which is included in one of the Photobacks packages that I own.

Photography can be such fun!

How a Portrait is Made

Two photographs that were shared on Facebook earlier this year came to mind, as I read a quotation made by photographer Edward Steichen.

“A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.”

 

Janell-picturetakingThis photograph was taken by Allan Branthoover.
I downloaded this image from Allan’s Facebook page, with his permission.

On one side of the camera is the photographer, Janell Gable.  By kneeling down Janell is on the level of the children.  Getting on their level makes for intimate photographs of children, although shooting directly from above or below can also give a great result.

On the other side of the camera are the children — Janell’s nephew, Owen, and her daughter, Lilly.

When they posed for this photograph, Owen and Lilly were relaxed and having fun.  Janell captured some of their spirit, as she released the shutter button.  The resultant photograph appears genuine and engaging.

Janell-picture
This photograph was taken by Janell Gable.
I downloaded this image from Janell’s Facebook page, with her permission.

I, then, inserted the photograph into one of my Photobacks templates.

portrait-advantage-02

Thank you Allan and Janell for use of your photographs in this blog post.  The two photographs illustrate well the words of Edward Steichen: “A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it”.

I’ve Been Published (Again!)

A short while after publishing the “I’ve Been Published” blog post earlier today, I received a calendar in the mail.

American Milking Devon Cattle Calendar

Earlier this year, Lawrence Gilley contacted me via Flickr asking how much I would charge to include one of my photographs in his calendar.  I didn’t charge Mr. Gilley for the photograph, requesting instead that I be provided a copy of the calendar when completed.

My photograph is showcased in July 2014.

It is such a wonderful feeling to know that my photography is appreciated!

Thank you Andrew and Harold VanOrd, of Oxhill Devons, for providing permission to have this photograph published.

I’ve Been Published!

This past year I participated in the Allegheny Center for the Arts monthly photo contest. The monthly winning photograph is featured in a full-color calendar for 2014.  In addition, each monthly winner received a $25 prize.  The photographer chosen as the winner of the cover photo won a grand prize of $50.

I purchased one of the calendars yesterday.

There were nine winners in the photo contest.  Two of my submitted photographs won.

“Sunset After Storm”
July 2014

“Fall Kinzua Dam”
October 2014

Each photograph submitted was judged on the following criteria: (1) significance in terms of its relationship to Warren County, PA; (2) relevance to the month in which it was submitted; (3) photographic quality; and (4) creativity and genuineness/authenticity of the content.
My calendar is hanging in my home office, where I can enjoy all the beautiful photographs of Warren County each month.  Congratulations to all the winners of this photo contest!

Granddaughters’ Christmas Photo Shoot

“With the click of a shutter I am able to freeze a moment in time, preserve a family’s history & ensure future generations will come to know their ancestors.” ~ Beth Forester

Ms. Forester’s quotation aptly characterizes my “Days to Remember” photo journal blog.  As written in the introduction, it is my desire to capture a moment in time and place, preserving it, so that I might share a particular slice of time with others through my photographs and words.  This quotation also characterizes my zeal to photograph our family members and friends, whenever we get together.  I am a prolific photographer, both in taking and in printing pictures.   I feel that a hard copy picture is more valuable than one uploaded online. Who knows where the pictures that have been uploaded online will be 5, 10 or more years from now.  If some catastrophe happened to my hard copy pictures, I would want it to be possible to obtain printed copies once again.  This is why I feel it is important to store digital copies of images on storage devices, such as DVDs and external hard drives.

I photograph our twin granddaughters A LOT!  Since their birth in May 2012, it is a rare month that I have not taken at least one picture of the girls.  My granddaughters’ progeny WILL know their ancestors!

This past Sunday afternoon Bob and I went to Stacey’s mother and stepfather’s home to take pictures of Harper and June in front of their Christmas tree.  Both girls had not had their naps and were tired; however, the girls did cooperate most of the time during the photo session.  The photographs that follow are some of my favorite ones from that photo session.

Both Harper and June enjoy books.

June

I love their smiles and laughter.

Harper

What a treasure these girls are!  I love my granddaughters with all my heart.

Family Photo Shoot

My friend Marge has two sons.  Marge’s two sons and their families would all be gathered together at her house on Friday, June 28.  Marge said it isn’t often that the entire family is together in one place.  Marge asked Bob and me to join her family for a picnic on that day.  She asked if we could come a little early so that I could take some pictures of her family before the picnic got underway.

My friend, Marge, and her husband

Marge and I used to work for the same catalog company.  I worked for the catalog company from September 2008 through May 2009.  Marge had been employed at the catalog company for many years; she retired in early 2011.  We have kept in touch with each other via Facebook.

Marge’s son, Michael, and his family

Michael and Andrea’s son is such a loving child.  After some time had passed, he ran up to me, out of the blue, and gave me a hug.  He gave me a hug goodbye too.  Perhaps the hugs were because I asked him to help me, while I was taking pictures of his aunt, uncle and cousins.  He stood next to me and made funny faces to make everyone smile.  Nah, I believe he hugs people whom he likes.

Marge’s son, John, and his family

This is a blended family — one child is hers, one child is his and two children are theirs.  John, Missy and their children interact well together and genuinely care about each other.  If I hadn’t been told that theirs was a blended family, I would not have known it was so.  John and Missy’s youngest daughter was not so much into having her picture taken.  It was a rare moment indeed when she smiled or even looked at the camera.

Marge and her family

Sisters
(and finally a smile from the youngest family member)

Marge, Neil and their grandchildren

Bob and I had a great time with Marge, Neil and their children / grandchildren.  Thank you for inviting us, Marge!

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