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Shooting for myself- Top Shots of 2012

I realized as I gathered my images for my Top 12 of 2012 post that I had an awful lot of images that I LOVED from last year…that weren’t taken during client sessions.  Some were taken during workshops I was attending, some were of my 2 adorable kiddos, some were from trips we took during the year.  I can’t just leave them out…so, here’s my own personal favorite shots from 2012- things that were shot for me. 😉

And they’re probably in no particular order because I just can’t narrow them down. Ha! 🙂

First let me just tell you that my husband and I aren’t really gun people.  However, we ARE “experience” people- which is why, when we headed to Las Vegas last October, we made a promise to LIVE IT UP and experience as many things as we could.  We packed that trip so full of fun and adventure that we were EXHAUSTED when we got home!  This is at an indoor machine gun range– we each shot an assortment of guns, culminating with a real, live machine gun.  I was thrilled to death when I saw that you could actually see the fiery flash that comes out when the bullets (shells? I have no idea) come out really fast.  My husband looks super hot here, lol!! 🙂

This is another one from our LV trip- we took a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon and it was incredible—- it is SO HUGE…I can’t even begin to describe it to you.  This was one of the most amazing things we have ever done together.. the scenery was just breathtaking.  This is one of my favorite shots from that trip.

Here’s a shot from our trip to New Orleans in the spring of 2012– we took a swamp tour and the guides were feeding the gators marshmallows. (Who knew that gators like marshmallows??) Anyway– see that silvery line across the bottom left corner of the photo? That’s the side of the boat!! There is no zoom involved in this shot– if I had extended out my arm, I could have touched this alligator.  Amazing and terrifying all at once!

Another one from New Orleans. This is the infamous Bourbon Street at dusk, from the 14th floor of our hotel.  Such a fun city to visit!  I loved all the fun stuff going on all the time- but it was nice to come home to our quiet little Tri State afterward!

My oldest daughter on stage at her ballet recital in May 2012.  Her first BIG debut on a stage, in front of other people… she knew every step and worked so hard.  I love this image so much it is in our house over and over- a canvas, a large print, a gift given to grandparents, etc.

2012 was a year of trying new things, like this sort-of macro shot.  I really love walking around our house and neighborhood and finding different things to shoot… this rosebush is in our back yard and blooms hundreds of times over the spring, summer and fall. So beautiful and it smells like Heaven!

We visited Cincinnati for a few days in June and this is from the Zoo and Botanical gardens.  I don’t like birds at all, but if they’re enclosed in protective glass I guess it’s ok.  😉 I love how serious this owl is!

From our trip to Disney (part of Christmas 2011, but the trip took place in early 2012).  This is my daughter, the second they spun her around after her makeover at the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique– her expression is priceless.  She felt like a true princess that night and the whole trip was amazing… just typical Disney, I guess, but it was her first trip (mine too!) and my husband hadn’t been there since he was a small child so it was a super magical time for our whole family.

Also from Disney, in the Animal Kingdom.  There was a huge bank of bamboo outside one of the rides and they were so tall- probably 30+ feet.  I loved this perspective.

This tree is in our neighborhood and I shoot it all the time– it’s my “tree of all seasons” if you will.  I have shots of it in all sorts of different lighting and weather- just such a nice tree to look at.  I love the contrast between the green and the blue in this one, and the cool double-silhouette.

Ahhh yes, sweet Charlie.  This precious little 1lb guy came to live with us for a short while this year and we LOVED him so much.  Unfortunately, this little guy also had extreme separation anxiety and was impossible to house train.  He made a DISASTER of our home in a short amount of time, and I asked my parents to take him back while we were vacationing this year.  After he was gone we made the choice that he wouldn’t be joining us again and he would live with my parents.  We miss him, but he was a valuable lesson in looking before you leap (I never intended to take one of their puppies….it was a spur of the moment decision that neither I, nor my husband, thought through.  We know better for next time!)  Now we enjoy visiting my family even more because we know Charlie (now Boomer) will be there to greet us. 🙂

Look at these precious girls! This was my biggest girl’s first day of Pre-K and she was THRILLED to be moving up.  It was also close to when my younger girl started going to preschool a few days per week (and my sanity returned, haha!)  I love how happy they were on this day and how adorable they are. (OK, so I might be a little biased here but seriously, they are adorable.  You can’t tell me they aren’t).

And last- my backyard!! I promise you 1000000000% that there is no color enhancing going on in this image– we have the most amazing sunrises over the river here and it is just stunning at times (like at this time!)  I loved how red the sky was and the reflection in the water- like something from a movie or a painting.  Totally worth running to the other end of my house to grab my camera and running outside in 40 degree weather to capture this shot!

Thanks for looking at my fave shots!!!  Looking forward to my first client of the year- an adorable mama-to-be coming this Saturday.  Updates soon!! 🙂

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Top 12 of 2012!

Each year I look back on all the photos I have taken (well, the ones that get kept, anyway!) and try to narrow down a group of my favorites.  This year, my “keepers” group is over 12,000 photos strong!

I’ll just wait a minute while that sinks in.

Twelve. Thousand. Photos.

Holy moly.

You probably think that I never delete ANYTHING- that’s just not true!  I do, I promise! But between over 30 client sessions, 2 huge projects with Huntington Dancer’s Guild and an area preschool, and keeping up with my own 2 adorable girls, I really gave my camera a workout!  What follows is my Top 12 of 2012 list…if you’re on it, it’s because your photos spoke to me in a way that made them unforgettable, no matter when this year they were taken.  Maybe it was just the way the light fell.  Maybe it was a unique perspective, a new way to compose the shot, or simply an adorable moment that I was fortunate enough to capture.  Whatever the case- I am so honored that you chose me, and Captured Bliss, to freeze that moment in time.

And now, without further adieu……… I bring you my twelve favorite client images of 2012!

Number 12:

This family was super fun to work with.  They wanted family photos and then some that had sort of a baseball spin on them (Dad is a coach- how cool!) I had asked Mom to bring me some baseballs to the session and she brought these– I LOVE that they are used, green, dirty balls– not some brand-spankin’ new ones (like I would have ended up bringing, ahem!)  When I asked the kids to hold them out, the son asked me what type of finger placement he should use.  I stared at him blankly– I am a girl mom, through and through– I don’t know the very first thing about a curve ball, or a knuckle ball (is there such a thing? I probably sound stupid right about now…)  He had a good laugh when I explained my lack of knowledge here!  We really enjoyed each others’ company this night and I was thrilled with the end images from their session– which you can see here.

#11

This session was very normal and yet very unique all at once.  Mom initially wanted just family photos of the girls (who are amazingly sweet, by the way) and herself…but as the session date approached she called me with a special request: to somehow captured the girls’ late father’s presence in their family.  Together we brainstormed how to best represent him in their session and we decided to use existing photos she had of him.  The girls were very young when he passed away and I know the pain is still fresh for their sweet mama– we shot this photo and tears streamed down my face when I edited it later that night.  It’s photos like this one that make me glad to be in this industry- where else can you capture the love between family members in such a sweet way?  Thank you, W family– it was such a pleasure to work with you.

#10

 

This mama to be was one of my maternity sessions this year, and I loved our time together.  This photo might look nice and sunny and pleasant….but it was FREEZING outside!  Rachel was such a good sport and was really up for anything- even posing in a field on a windy day when it was maybe 50 degrees out?  I love the sunlight streaming around her and the nice rimlight around her body- such a special moment (not to mention, her son is about the cutest baby you’ll ever see!)  You can see her whole session here.

#9

This gorgeous girl and her mom met me for a senior session.  Let me just say that I wish my mom had been as much fun when I was growing up as hers was during our session!  I love her posing here and the location- one of my all-time favorites, over in Huntington.  She’s got such a bright smile that just seems to brighten the whole image.  See her whole session here.

#8

This image just melts my heart.  This family is one of my very, very favorites to photograph because they’re just the best- so nice and down to earth, and just plain fun loving!  The girls are the sweetest things- and then this year, with the adoption of their precious boy, they’ve got the best of both worlds.  He is so spirited and just a ball of fun and laughter- the perfect complement to an already amazing group.  This image, of Mom with her 4 babes….it’s everything I hoped it would be when I asked them to sit together. It’s posed, but not too much- everyone’s personality is showing through and they are just comfortable- with each other, with me, with the camera……it’s bliss.  See their whole session blogged here.

#7

Oooooooh these girls- they’re so much fun!  This session, as a whole, has been a favorite for me because of the friendship that has developed between the mama and me.  She is so much fun and her whole family was a breeze to shoot– happy, carefree, and just joyous! Mom has become a friend over the past few months- we share a love of Pinterest, certain country music stars, and Organic Bloom frames.  It’s reasons like this- capturing a sweet moment between sisters and making friends in the process, that make this job worth doing.

#6

This one, of sweet baby A, is another favorite for the use of light– I love backlit imagery anyway, but when it all comes together- a perfect sun behind the subject, being able to juggle my camera AND my reflector AND get all the settings right…well, it’s worth celebrating! I love the bokeh behind her (the circles), and the rim light on her little face and that adorable hat.  And it’s worth noting that she’s not just looking out of the frame- she was watching her daddy dance around and be silly!  Definitely a special moment, for sure.  See her family’s session here.

#5

 

This is where the list gets so, so, SOOOOO tough.  Why can’t I have like, 5 number Ones?? 🙂  This is one of my Hot List Seniors for 2013– isn’t she GORGEOUS!  I’ve known her for years and she has grown into such a stunning young woman, inside and out.  She’s awesome!  I love the light here– you would never guess we are standing (literally) on the side of the road, utilizing the brush/wildflower area on the side of our local bypass.  Just proof that you don’t need a huge space to find beautiful light!  This makes me smile, too, because she is wearing MY necklace and earrings– I get so invested in my Seniors (reps and just regular clients) that I always ask for them to text me their outfits in advance.  This helps me to think about where we will be shooting, what the “feel” of the session will be, etc.  It also gives me a chance to see if I have any accessories or props that would complement their selections– in this case, I brought along some long necklaces that I thought would be great with her outfits…and she agreed!  It’s this personal touch that lets me clients know that you’re not “just” a client– you’re a friend! See her entire session right here.

 

#4

I. Love. This. Image!!!! We met by the Ohio River for this session, on a crisp, clear fall day.  Everyone was playing- both girls and mom and dad too.  I was just enjoying the moment here and watching Mom and sweet little R tossing these leaves back and forth….when this happened.  I love the movement of the leaves between them and their eye contact- this is a Mama’s Girl all the way and it’s plain to see she just adores Mom so much!  Now this is hanging, in large format, in their home– what a compliment to me that they loved it too!

#3

There’s no denying that I love a good silhouette– in fact, I’ve tried to include one in nearly every session for this whole year!  This family was no different, except that they had not just one, but TWO precious little boys to love on and play with during their session.  I have watched these boys as they grow and they just get more adorable with time.  We had to work for this shot– I was WAY downhill from them and had to keep shouting directions (did I mention that it was almost 100 degrees that night?!?!) so they would know how to move…but the end result was perfect!  I love it, and I wish you could hear the laughter the boys had from being tossed in the sky– I hear every time I look at this shot!

#2

There is something special about a little boy and his mommy- but especially this little boy and his mommy, as he was just about to become a big brother when we shot this session.  We met and played, laughed, ran, and threw leaves high in the air.  My favorite parts of this image are definitely the light behind them, the pride in sweet E’s expression as he hands this big mess of leaves over to mom, and how perfectly her jewelry is placed (and no– this was absolutely not posed…just me being in the right place at the right time!).  This is another image that was used over and over again by the family– as gifts, wall art in their home, and that makes my heart sing!  I get such joy when *my favorites* are also the family’s favorites!! 🙂

#1… Drumroll, please!!!

Hands down, when I started thinking about my favorites for this year, this image was top in my mind.  I have grown to know and love this family so much over the past couple of year and they are some of my favorite clients for sure.  I got to enjoy a brand new location with them and insisted that Mom hop in some images as well– and I am SO glad that I did!  Their clothes are perfect against the gorgeous autumn leaves (I’m pretty sure she checked out my Pinterest page with fashion suggestions for sessions!). Her expression is one of pure joy (and it should be– she has the sweetest girls EVER!).  Everything came together in this one moment to make this my favorite client image for all of 2012!

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From the bottom of my heart- THANK YOU for your support during this amazing year!  I never dreamed that Captured Bliss would grow like it has, nor did I imagine how far reaching it could go (that’s a teaser for 2013, haha!!!)  I know that it’s a big decision when choosing a photographer and that there is plenty of competition out there.  I am honored to serve every family who books with me and I hope that you’re able to tell the difference between CBP and all the rest.  I put my heart and soul into this business and I hope you’re able to feel that, and to know I don’t take any of you, or your families, for granted.  Cheers to a happy new year to all, and I look forward to working together again!

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R Family | Proctorville family photographer

This family is near and dear to my heart- the girls are in school with my girls and they are all such good little friends. Plus, this mama is AWESOME!! Super fun to be around and their session was so much fun. I really enjoyed laughing and playing with B and the shy, sweet smiles I got from R. So precious!! Enjoy your sneak peeks!!!

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J Family Session

Let me just say that I ADORE this family– Mom and Dad are just the sweetest and their little boy is seriously the nicest child you could ever hope to know!  So sweet and just adorable- I wanted to take him home with me!  I loved the photos we got today, and loved hanging out with such a nice family.

Thank you, J family, for choosing Captured Bliss!!

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