Okay, so I decided I wanted to challenge myself to get my camera out more and take and post a picture each day. Of course, as I mentioned on FB yesterday, I did this in typical me fashion and decided it 6 days into the new year. Am I going to let that stop me? Heck no! I'll just start late, backdate and then move forward from there! So today I am going to post Day 7 and Day 9. Cause this is my blog and ain't no power in the 'verse strong enough to stop me! :)
Just so you all know - most of these pictures are probably going to be of my little ones because I am with them every day and they are often distracted. That and they are used to ignoring me and my camera. Oh, and I also can't promise that I'll only post 1 picture for each day because I suck at following the rules and excel at doing what I want to.
Hope you all had a wonderful Saturday, January 9th! See you tomorrow with another picture (or maybe it will be Monday cause I will still be me tomorrow too).
The other day I wrote about worried, stressed parents and children not “cooperating”. I should have mentioned that I recognize how difficult and stressful it is for parents to get everyone ready for a photo shoot. Then when I get there or they get to the location and it seems like no one wants to participate or that their children are running away and not posing for pictures, it adds another level of stress and they worry that they won't get a good shot or possibly even that they're wasting their money.
Again, I say, don't worry, parents! The reason you are paying me is because I am good at my job. My job isn't just to know how to use my camera, understand lighting, location and framing; my job is to try and help everyone relax and have fun, to let everyone do what they need to so I can truly catch their personality, to capture those in between moments - really, the moments we see when we're with our children, but aren't fast enough to catch with our own cameras or can't get in focus because they never stop moving.
This little girl is a perfect example of what I think I do best. She did not want me to take her picture at all. She didn't want to pose (yay!), she didn't want to smile, she didn't want me to come anywhere near her with my camera - she just didn't want to listen at all! I'm pretty sure her mom was mortified, but honestly, I kind of loved it! Catherine is spunky and has a strong personality and I'm positive her mom isn't going to have to worry about her taking care of herself and exerting her will. She is independent and fun and because she wanted nothing to do with me, I got a TON of fabulous pictures of her that I'm totally in love with. Seriously, I think I "narrowed it down" to like 15.
Anyway, thank you Catherine for being such a perfect little model for me and allowing me to do what I love best and think I'm pretty darn good at (and thanks mom for hiring me to do it)!!!
I was so inspired by this shoot and I am so in love with my job that I am offering a special for the month of September: $125.oo for a child session for ANY amount of your children with 10 edited images on disc with release to print. PM me on Facebook or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to book!
Usually when I post I write a bit, post a few pics, write some more and then post a pic of two here and there. However, with this post I want to keep all the pictures together. My reasoning is that they tell such a powerful story all together, in sequence and I don't want to interrupt that at all. So I am going to write my little bit first and then post the images since they are the real storyteller in this. The story is the birth of a beautiful baby boy that I was privileged enough to witness coming into this world. I took this job because I had been questioning whether or not I wanted to do birth photography. When I was asked 3 times in one day I took it as a sign that I should probably consider it a bit more! This session was sort of my "try it and see, if you don't like it, you don't have to do it again" (kind of like the thank you bite of dinner my boys have to take when I cook something). I wasn't sure about the being on call for a delivery, wasn't sure if I could make it work with my boys and our schedule, wasn't sure about the intimacy of the situation and how I could work myself into it without intruding, wasn't sure if I could do it.
Turns out, I LOVED it! There is a certain rush about being on call for this (not that I would like it if I had to do it all the time like the midwives and docs do, but for a birth I'm taking pictures of, heck yeah). I found I had a lot of adrenaline waiting for the call to come to her room. I kept worrying I'd miss it and I nearly did! I got there as she was pushing hard. I barely had time to get my camera together and snap a few of her laboring before his little head was coming out.
When I take pictures, I sometimes feel like I don't know what I'm doing. I don't mean that I don't know what I'm doing with my camera or the technical elements of photography (though, there are moments when I definitely feel that way about that too); it's just that when I'm on a shoot I often feel like my brain shuts off, like I'm not thinking at all about shutter speeds and apertures, ISOs or framing. It's like instinct just takes over, zones in on what I'm meant to catch and somehow, at the end of the trance that is photography, I end up with these precious, perfect moments captured on film forever. I often find myself processing images and asking myself, "Did I really take this? Did I really catch [so and so] with this exact expression in this exact frame at this exact time and it turned out so well? Did I really catch that lovely moment for this lovely family?"
That's definitely how I felt going through the pictures for this family and I knew before I'd even left the room that I simply had to do birth photography again. Their images told such a story and anyone who knows me knows I love stories. I am very proud of these pictures and so happy to be able to share them. I have already shared them on Facebook and I am overwhelmed at the volume of people they have reached and the overwhelmingly positive response they have brought out in those people. I think a lot of it is because so many of us have gone through this. We know how special this exact moment is and how it is never the same, yet evokes memories that take us back to our own birth. I LOVE birth stories. I think a lot of women do. And we should. We are amazing. Our bodies are capable of so much. Even when everything doesn't go as planned and we struggle to accept that, we are still amazing and deserve the time to grieve the loss of how we hoped things would go. I believe that when we see images like these, it reminds us of our own birth stories (or of the one we hope to have) and if takes us back to the whirlwind of our own experiences, instills us with gamut of feelings we felt: scared, powerful, elated, pained, emotional, horrible, wonderful, crazy, intense, strong, amazing and absolutely, one hundred percent sure that it was all worth it - so much so that we might just do it again!
I hope you enjoy my pictures and that it brings back your own special memories of birth. Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read this and thanks so very much to the wonderful family who allowed me to be a part of this intense, emotional, private and absolutely precious time.*
If you're interested in me doing birth photography for you, I'd be honored! Just click on this link and message me to discuss it.
*I just want to mention that these images are only a handful of the images I captured for this family. Obviously, there are many, many more (and their faces are in most of them, I swear) that come in a birthing package, but he mother of this baby asked me to keep faces out (for the most part) and I absolutely respect that wish!
So, at our house, messy play is encouraged. Okay, perhaps encouraged isn't the best word, perhaps necessarily tolerated is better. I know it's something my boys need, but if I'm completely honest, I only ever do it if I am in the right mood. This is because I know that if I'm not in the mood to clean up and get messy, I probably shouldn't let my kids even start. It won't end well for anyone. That said, when I am in the right mood, I really do love watching them dig into something ooey, gooey, muddy, dirty, slimy and gross. I love watching their faces as they find new ways to make something more disgusting, more messy and more malleable to their will!
This activity wasn't particularly messy (though a bath was taken afterwards) but it was fun to watch them. It started out innocently enough. See:
However, after a few minutes of dabbing the paper (which wasn't working very well - guess that's what I get for buying the cheap Paint Dabbers), they moved onto something much more fun: their own little bodies.
It quickly became apparent this wasn't nearly as satisfying as this:
(Ha ha! I love the look on their faces!)
After a while, my youngest decided he'd had enough.
While my oldest could've done it all night long! Love the mischievous look on his face as he continues to find new things to dab paint on! That said, the photo session was over quickly when he came for me
and the camera!
If you haven't tried messy play with your kids, I can't recommend it enough! Though, like I said, make sure you are in the right place to enjoy it too cause you are bound to end up with something on you! Mud, paint, baking soda and bottles of colored vinegar, pouring stations, play doh -
if you can think of it, I promise your kids will love it!
Seriously, take time to make a mess today
(then make your kids clean it up cause they'll have fun doing that too)!
There is pretty much nothing about this beautiful baby girl to not fall in love with! From her sweet cheeks to her chubby belly to her crazy masses of dark hair, she is gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!
See what I mean?
I don't think she could have been a better subject! She hardly moved the entire time. I could have cuddled her the entire day and I'm pretty sure she would have been okay with that!
Just look at the sleepy satisfaction on that face!
This beautiful little girl has an older sister who I'm pretty sure likes her a lot.
Just look at Seneca's face! Love it!
I have the privilege of knowing this family pretty well and it was wonderful to spend a chunk of the day with them capturing their new daughter, both their daughters together and all of them as a family of four!
I wish them all the best with their new little family and can't wait to see them again for Lucia's 6 month pictures! It will be here before we know it!
Sioux Falls Life Event Photography - Ever wish you could just relax and enjoy your child's birthday party AND get great snapshots?
People always remark to me that it must be wonderful to have the skills to be able to capture every event and milestone on film. I suppose it is wonderful, but honestly, it's not something I do often with my own family. The reason being, I want to be in the moment, I want to enjoy it fully and I never feel like I can do that if I am behind the camera. Photographer me is very different from mama me or wife me or daughter me and unless it is a specific shoot - like a one year or grandparent session - I rarely even take my camera with me. I just can't stand being in work mode when I want to have my child's hand in mine or when I would rather be laughing next to my family as we're doing something fun and goofy.
If you're like me then you've dreamed of being able to relax and enjoy your child's birthday party without the stress of being behind the camera. As mentioned above, I constantly find myself in the dilemma of wanting pictures to preserve the memories of the day, but feeling like I miss out on being with my kids and just enjoying the moments because I'm trying to snap pictures. I was thinking about this one day and realized that this is a service I would love to offer to people. How amazing to be able to do this for clients, to allow them the very thing I would love so much.
So I did! I will post the link below, but if you have an event coming up that you would like to have pictures taken at, but don't want to take away from your enjoyment of or don't want to add one more thing to the list of things you're already tackling (food prep, serving guests, mingling, etc), then consider one of my packages. Any event is doable. Birthdays, family reunions, baptisms, baby showers, ... if you can think of it, I can do it! I offer different length packages for cost consideration. If you just want the main event captured (for i.e. cake and present opening) then the half hour session might be perfect. If you want most or all of the event captured, my one hour session would be perfect and if you want everything from getting ready to the end of the event, the two hour session would most likely work!
Here's the link(just click on the green words)! I hope you'll consider me next time you have an event!
Party on, people, party on!
Happy Friday everyone! It's nearly the start of a long weekend and I can't imagine a lot of people aren't excited about that! Hopefully, the weather will cooperate with us a bit more than it has the past few days, though, I can't lie - I love a rainy day!!! Two in a row is enough, however.
Labor day weekend. To me, it signals the end of summer. I know things are different now, but when I was a kid, this was the last weekend of summer before we had to start school. It was the weekend you did that final summer family vacation or hung out with your friends or did nothing but sleep (boy, do I miss sleeping). Anyway, it was the time when it truly felt like summer was winding down and autumn was upon us.
I personally LOVE fall. It is my favorite season and I look forward to it every year. Even though it means winter is coming and I know that I will inevitably feel like I could do with 3-4 months less of that come February! Doesn't matter. I still love fall. I love the change in weather, I love the changing leaves, I love hiking and my husband's birthday and jumping in piles of leaves with my boys.
And, of course, I love taking pictures. It seems like this is always the time families think about getting that yearly snapshot and why not?! It's beautiful weather, the clothes are fun, Christmas cards are coming and the scenery is beautiful. There are so many wonderful places to take pictures in and around Sioux Falls during this time of year that it's hard to decide where. Newton Hills, McKennan Park, The Perry Nature Area. One place I have a particular fondness for is the Palisades. We go there every year for my husband's birthday, rain or shine, freezing or roasting, bugs or no. We set up "camp" (I only do one day camping as I'm not a big fan of bugs...or wild animals...or peeing outside), get the fire going, talk, open presents, hike and then roast weenies and marshmallows! Just writing about it and I can smell the fire, see the wisps of cinders flying in the air, hear everyone talking and laughing. Yup, I can't wait for fall!
The other reason I love Palisades is that it is a beautiful place to take pictures.
See what I mean?
I'm not sure if you're a big fan of fall like I am and I realize it may seem like it is still far away, but truly it will be here before we know it and whether we want it or not. I don't know if you've booked your family photos or not, but if not, I hope you'll consider me!
I truly do love Fall and because of this and because I truly want everyone to be able to afford professional photos, I am offering a great deal!
Just $125.00 for 10 edited photos
(on disc with print release)
The first 5 to book will receive (10) 4x6 prints as well!
I am only booking 10 sessions in September and 10 in October so please contact me before the spots are gone. I will tell you that October is already filling up so if you think you'd like that month, give me a call at 605-759-8474 or send me a message here as soon as you decide.
Even if you don't take your pictures at the Palisades, I hope you'll let me capture some amazing pictures of your amazing family!
Though, it really is beautiful at the Palisades, don't you think?
Morning (or evening depending on when you are reading this or where you are geographically located) all! I have an announcement that may not be a surprise to some and may be more of one to others. For those who don't know, you may feel a bit like this after you read my post:
For those who do, just resume breaking your fast and read on calmly. For those who don't, put your fork down a minute, then resume eating as well since I'm going to be a pain and break away from the narrative a moment to build back story and suspense, otherwise known as ticking people off.
It has always been my dream to own my own business. I think I have wanted this since I was about five years old when it struck me as just a plain good idea to be in charge of myself since a) I'm extremely introverted, b) I wouldn't wish it upon anyone else and c) I'm so damn good at it! Seriously, it really has been my dream to own my own business for most of my adult life and for the past year and a half I have been working very hard to turn that dream into a reality.
However, just having my own business wasn't enough. I wanted that business to be a creative endeavor I was extremely passionate about. I majored in film at uni and took photography while there. I have always been in love with telling stories. I am an avid writer and the reason photography appealed to me was that I always felt like, if done in the right way, you can twist a powerful tale in just one still image. The look on someone's face, the placement of a hand, the lines in someone's face, the movement or stillness of the object of focus in your shot, the colors, the objects, every single item in a frame of a picture helps contribute to the story. It is amazing, breathtaking and inspiring and I feel blessed every time I am invited to pick up my camera and participate in someone's story.
However, after a long time working hard at two jobs, it is time to say goodbye to one and that is what I'm here to do today. For the past five years I have had the honor and privilege of working beside some of the greatest people I've ever met. The providers, nurses, techs, and of course, my beloved front desk and office staff at Maternal Fetal Medicine have made five years seem like one and it is going to be hard to say goodbye. I truly feel that everyone in our office works incredibly hard and that they do it for all the right reasons: our patients, each other and the integrity of a job well done. The people I work with are dedicated, talented, fun and pretty much just plain awesome.
I have a special place in my heart for the midwives. I'm pretty sure that if it hadn't been for them, I may never have had a baby. The midwives have been mine (all mine!) to schedule for in the past five years and I am so glad I was given them to work for. I don't think a better match could have been made and I will not lie when I say it is incredibly difficult for me to hand them over to someone else. I feel a very strong connection to all of them and everything they do and if I could shout from the rooftops all day long to all women that they deserve the excellent and personalized care that our midwives provide, I would (though that wouldn't leave me with much time for taking pictures)! To all of the midwives, thank you so much for everything you have taught me over the years, thanks for letting me participate in what you do through Centering and talking with and getting to know your patients. Thanks especially to my midwife, Terry Engelmann, for putting up with my two week overdue pregnancies, my long and crazy births and thank you more than I can say for helping me bring the most precious beings in my life into this world and for having confidence in my ability to do so (no matter what I said in labor).
Thank you to the doctors and nurses who have also taught me so much. Thanks for being patient with me while I learned and thanks for not firing me when I screwed up! I am amazed at the kindness and incredible dedication of our doctors and nurses. I love the fact that they remain humble in what they are allowed to participate in, that they are always learning in order to give their patients the best care possible and that they have the mind set that nothing is 100% so you can't rule something out, you have to keep hope because you just never know. This is so important where we work and I recognize that it is incredibly rare in the medical field. It is one of the things I love most and will miss most about the clinic.
Thank you ultrasound techs for being so fun and upbeat and dedicated and amazing at what you do. You put up with a lot and you work so hard and if I had enough money to buy you all a massage a week for the rest of your lives, I would cause you most certainly deserve it!
Front desk girlies - and this includes you, Renae, no matter where you are - what can I say except I love you! I love that you are just as dedicated as any of the providers in the clinic, I love that you go above and beyond always, I love that you strive every day to give each patient the best care.
Even on those days when we are pushed to feeling like this:
Especially on those days when we feel like doing this to patients that are being difficult or to each other when we're being difficult:
I love that I have been able to be myself, goofy and laid back most the time, serious and darn right moody at others. I love that I can sing and dance when no one is looking and maybe make your day a little better. I love that we can talk about everything. I love that we have each other's backs and are willing to help each other in whatever way we can. I love that we all have the same work ethic and that patients are what matters most to us no matter how many times we are told to worry about stats, time, etc etc, blah blah blah. I love your dedication to the job and to each other. I pretty much just love you guys.
And I won't lie. I love that if I showed up to work like this you wouldn't bat an eye! (In fact, I'm pretty sure I have shown up to work like this at one time or another)!
I couldn't finish this post without thanking the incredible patients, the amazing and strong women, I have had the privilege to work for and get to know for the past five years. Most of you I know on some level or another and many of you have become friends. All of you have taught me something and all of you have given me the gift of loving being a woman. I think women have a special bond, a community we build with each other, that is unique and special. Just being a woman starts it, but I think time, wisdom and becoming mothers strengthens it. I am constantly in awe of the wonderful things we do for each other and the amazing ability we have to build confidence and strength in each other, to lift each other up when we're down, to encourage when we need it, to laugh with each other when joy demands it. It truly is incredible and working in a clinic like MFM has opened that up to me in a way I don't know I would have had if I hadn't had this job.
Thank you to every single person that has come into my life and distinctly changed it while I had the joy of working at Maternal Fetal Medicine these past five years. I love you all and will miss you incredibly! My hat off to each and every one of you!
Now, after all that sappiness and love, I am still PRN so you aren't completely rid of me yet! Wahahahahahaha!
I was super thrilled to be able to take maternity pictures for this lovely family. They were expecting their second baby at any time, so when Bethany asked when I thought we should do her maternity shoot, my response was, "Right now!" Since that wasn't possible, we went with the next best thing, which was that very weekend. It was a good thing too cause her little bundle of beauty made her appearance just 4 days later! Here are a few of the results from their shoot at the Perry Nature Area, an absolutely beautiful spot in Sioux Falls to take pictures!
Hello and welcome to my blog! Just thought I'd give you a little bit of info about me and about this blog. Obviously, I am a photographer, but I wear many other hats as well. I am a wife and a mother. I am a writer and avid reader. I am an explorer and world traveler. I am a teacher and a learner.
I'll start with wife and mother since both are near and dear to my heart. That is Anthony, my crazy husband of 10 years (yes, he is drinking a beer with his french toast, but in his defense, we were having breakfast for dinner). We met on a Dance Dance Revolution Machine right here in Sioux Falls while I was home for Christmas from Japan. A few years later, I came back from Japan and we got married on that very Dance Dance Machine (it was pretty much awesome).
A mere 7 years later, we had our first son, Oliver (that's him over there to the left). He is also, in case you are wondering, pretty much awesome (though he has his moments - usually between 8 and 9 pm when he's super tired. Or right upon waking from an afternoon nap. Or when he wants something he can't have right now five minutes ago).
Apparently, we thought we knew what we were doing (ha, the joke was really truly on us) because about two years after Oliver arrived, our second son, Ellery graced us with his incredible, beautiful little presence (that would be him straight down in the middle of the page - the one with the adorable lip sticking out about a mile, a lip that is well used for mega sulking and cuteness fests).
Life has been a whirlwind of adventure and learning with these two monkeys and my eccentric professor of a husband, but all three of my boys are the loves of my life and a huge part of the journey I am currently on. See, I majored in film in college and loved it! Pretty much all aspects of it. Except the go and live and eat, breathe and sleep the Hollywood lifestyle. This just wasn't what I wanted to do. I wanted to travel, I wanted to tell stories, I wanted to be in smaller towns and I didn't want to do the sort of politicking I felt was probably necessary to be in the film world. While in school, I took photography and I absolutely fell in love with portraiture. This didn't really surprise me as I am also a writer and there is something absolutely lovely and incredible about well written and powerful short stories. This is what I feel a picture is like. If you do it right, you can capture an entire story in one beautiful, powerful image, like this.
So is this what I headed right out to do? Nope. I had some life to live first. I traveled to Ireland where I lived and studied for a year. I graduated and moved back to Sioux Falls. I did wedding photography for two years and then got the travel bug again so I headed to Japan where I stayed for two years. I came back briefly to marry my wonderful husband and then we returned to Japan together for two more years. When we finally came back to the States, we got jobs and I supported Anthony while he got his Master's. Then we had a child. Then we had another one. Fast forward to now when a good friend of mine mentioned that her husband, who is also a photographer, was selling a camera. Something just clicked in me when I heard that (no, this is not a cheesy photographer pun - ok, well it might be, but I didn't intend for it to be) and I knew I had to get it. The rest is history. And a lot of hard work. Still Falling Photography was born out of this friend's offhanded comment and I will always be grateful for that.
Ok, so to cut an already long story a tiny bit shorter, I will stop shortly after I say this next bit about how I intend to use this blog. Obviously, I want to use it to showcase the incredible clients who come to me and trust me to capture their special moments - families, seniors, babies, pregnant women, wedding parties, grandparents and their precious grandbabies. That said, I also want to use it to highlight some of my passions, including food, local businesses (I plan on doing this through Awesome Local Focals, stories I will feature - with pictures of course - on local places in Sioux Falls that you might not know you need to know about, but that you absolutely do), and of course, my number one passion, my own lovely family and our crazy fun adventures together.
Thanks for taking time to read this (for those who made it this far) and I hope you have a wonderful snuggly day like these two are having!
Hey world! I LOVE to talk, especially about the things I'm passionate for! This list is ENDLESS, but includes: my kids, traveling, food, toys, music, dance, theater, film, photography, running, local business, food again... Okay, I'll stop cause this really could go on a while, but hey, I warned you - I LOVE to talk! If you love to listen and maybe learn a few things along the way, I hope you'll keep coming back for more!