M's first birthday! | Lake Norman : Davidson Child Photographer

M's session was a guilty pleasure for me. His mother and I went to high school together - in Tennessee! Now, we both live near Charlotte! It was won-der-ful to see her again after almost 20 years (yikes!), and I fell in love with her little one, who was just about to celebrate his first birthday!


M's dad plays Rugby, so we had fun incorporating some Springboks gear.

Look at his sweet smile!! Love it!!
Thanks, M! So, so good to see you! Hope Mr. M's party was lots of fun!

Fun news!

Hello all! I've been trying to find time to write some articles on some of the more frequent questions I get and just all around good stuff, but that Mr. Time is quite elusive. So, instead, I'll have little snippets on Tuesdays called . . . . .
. . . . . (wait for it) . . . . . the Tuesday Tip! I am as clever as ever.
I'm also going to include whatever is striking my fancy at the time because sharing is fun!

For the inaugural Tuesday Tip, I'm going to start off with a baking tip. But isn't this a photography blog, you ask? Yes, but you get the whole enchilada with me, folks! (Wow, the cheese meter is really off the charts now.)

Okay, when you make homemade frosting (and you really should at least once because it's quick, easy, inexpensive and a whole lot better for you than store-bought - and I know you're all thinking about healthy living when you're thinking about frosting), really let the butter sit at room temperature for a good while. If your frosting is clumpy, bumpy or otherwise bleh, it's probably because the core of the butter was still chilly. All is not lost, though! Leave out your frosting at room temperature for a good while just as though it were butter. When you're sure it's room temp throughout, mix it again. You should be all set to eat it with a big spoon. I mean ice your cake or cupcakes.

If you don't have a recipe you love (or even if you do), try this one! I just found it last night under the heading 'Best Buttercream Frosting,' and it's not lying. You probably have everything you need already and no shortening!

Buttercream frosting (makes enough for 30 cupcakes, can be halved or quartered)
1 cup unsalted butter at room temp
6- 8 cup confectioner's/powdered sugar
1/2 milk
1 tsp vanilla (clear vanilla if you want bright white frosting)
Combine all ingredients, but only use 4 cups of conf. sugar. Beat until creamy (3-5 min). Add remaining sugar one cup at a time and beat for 2 minutes after each addition. Enjoy!

Now for some photography fun! For this tip, I'll post and answer a general question. We'll get into meaty stuff soon!
What kind of camera do you use?
I use Canon cameras for no other reason than that was what my first point and shoot in 9th grade was. It treated me so well that when I wanted an SLR, I leaned automatically toward Canon. I knew and trusted the brand. That film SLR was five cameras ago, and I'm still shooting with Canon. Digital camera R & D is really top notch these days, so you will get a great camera whether you go with Canon, Nikon or any of the other popular brands. I won't get into the Canon v. Nikon debate because, well, I say shoot with whatcha like and don't worry about what anyone else is doing. To answer the question specifically, I shoot with Canon 40D.

When you're looking for a camera, be sure to hold it in your hands. How does it feel? Are the controls within easy reach? Is operation intuitive? Do your research, yes, but before you buy, check it out in person.

Lastly and most importantly, a camera does not a photographer make. Your camera is taking the photographs; you are making the photographs. Corny, but true. Get a good piece of equipment, then use it.

If you have questions leave them in the comments for Tuesday Tips or email me. Until next Tuesday . . . .

Fun at the beach! | NC Child Photographer

I had a great time with M & K at Ocean Isle Beach. These two are just gorgeous and super sweet, too!

I knew I wanted to play with a little sunflare so we timed it just right.

Thanks, W & I!

On love and light

Years ago, my friend Wendy described a beautiful way to explain a family's love that involves lighting a candle with a lit candle (you) as an example of giving all your love. You still have so much love left. That newly lit candle (your spouse) and any other new candles (children) get all your love and none is diminished by the other.
I still remember her telling me this and thinking that it was such a concrete way to show how infinite love is.

I love my children equally. Equally, but differently because they are different people.
I love the way J still asks for our bedtime routine. The same one we've had since he was an infant.
I love the way S has to kiss me in the same place and the same number of times I kiss him.
I love the children they are now, reminisce about the small babes they once were
and look forward to the men they will become.

But this post is about my youngest. Today is his birthday. My sweet little baby, who at 9 lbs 14 oz was never really little, is eight today. This passage from The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver takes my breath away every time I read it:

"But the last one; the baby who trails her scent like a flag of surrender through your life
when there will be no more coming after...oh, that's love by a different name.
She is the babe you hold in your arms for an hour after she's gone to sleep.
If you put her down in the crib, she might wake up changed and fly away.
So instead you rock by the window, drinking the light from her skin, breathing her exhaled dreams.
Your heart bays to the double crescent of moons of closed lashes on her cheeks.
She's the one you can't put down."

Happy Birthday, my angel. I love you.

L is One!! | Lake Norman : Huntersville Child Photographer

Baby L is on her way to Toddlerville! She is just so, so cute!
I have to thank my assistant, her big brother, for helping me get those sweet smiles! Here are a few favorites...

Pensive and just plain adorable

We did a few to try to match a series of her older brothers, and I just love this one!

C, I didn't tell you that L's name is one of my favorites! It was on my short list of girl names.
I love it, and it suits her so well!

I talk too much.

Really, I do. I can hear the sarcastic chorus of "No, really? You?" Yesterday, however, after trying all day without success to get my boys to stop arguing, I stopped talking. Out of frustration or desperation maybe. I'm not sure. I just stopped talking, and since we were outside, picked up the bucket of sidewalk chalk. Without a word (not talking, remember), I set to work. And without a word of their own, the boys joined me within minutes.

Without talking.

Which means without arguing.

(Insert sigh of relief and wonder)

They did start talking after a bit, but it was "can I use the blue?" and "nice owl."

Half an hour later, we had this.

Our puppy enjoyed the idyllic scene from the cool garage floor.

Life is good.

chp on Yankee Candles!

This has been in the works for several weeks now, and I was so excited to get my samples yesterday!
Yankee Candle is using two of my images for the promotion of their custom candles.
They make great gifts: birth announcements, retirement, birthdays, you name it!

Both images they chose are of one my favorite little girls in the world.
I know we are not technically related, but I love Miss L like a niece.
I have had the pleasure of watching her grow from a teeny preemie to the precocious almost three year old she is today.
(Take a look here and here. She is too cute!)
I look forward to years of that sweet smile. My boys love her, too. Thanks, Ash!

Thanks, Joy!!