Holiday Specials!

It's holiday time! Look at this little pumpkin all ready for Halloween!

That must mean the holidays are coming soon!  I am very excited to announce the 2009 chp holiday specials! These are very special packages with huge savings. I am already scheduling sessions in November, so call or email today to schedule your session.

I'll be listing card designs soon, and this year chp is offering card exclusivity!
When you purchase a card, it will no longer be available!

Deck the Halls $550                                                                  Let It Snow $300
1-2 hour session                                                                           1 hour session
    75 flat cards with envelopes                                                      50 flat cards with envelopes
    75 4x6 prints (same proof)                                                        50 4x6 prints (same proof) 
            complete hi res session on disc                                                          8 hi res files on disc
  ($777 value)                                                                                ($525 value)

Jingle Bells $150
30 minute session
25 flat cards with envelopes
25 4x6 prints (same proof)
2 hi res files
($202 value)

Additional cards available in sets of 25.
Flat cards are 5x7 and printed on both sides.
Folded cards are available for an additional $10 per set of 25.
Print credit can be substituted for quantity 4x6's.
All prints and products are available as well.

Print orders should be placed by December 1 for Christmas delivery. Product orders, such as canvases and albums, should be placed by November 24 for Christmas delivery.

Tuesday Tip: It's about color!

As you are getting ready for your holiday session (or any session, really), you'll start to think "what will we wear?"  While it is a personal decision with no right or wrong answer, I'd like to offer some color combination suggestions.  Sessions with people wearing coordinating, but not matching, attire photograph well, giving the images texture and dimension, while letting each person being unique.  I'm not advocating a shopping trip, though.  Look in your closets and have fun pairing outfits.  If you are having trouble, look around your house at the colors you have used to decorate.  

Big news! Big sale! (And some newborn sweetness)

Big news!  chp is having an Archive Sale!

What's an Archive Sale?  Well, I'm glad you asked.  It's time for me to archive 2007 and 2008 sessions.  Before I do that, though, I'm offering high resolution files at a discount!  Couldn't decide which images to purchase?  Want to get some different ones?  Here's your chance to get all your high res proofs at over half off!  If you had a session in 2007 or 2008, your high res files are $130!  Call or email to place your order.

And since I can't post without an image, here is a sneak peek for Little C's mommy. What a handsome fella!

It's about perfection : Huntersville Newborn Photographer

What is more perfect than a beautiful, new life?  Little S is such a sweetie!  I wanted to stay all day! 

Congratulations, J & J! 

Click here to see more.

It's about whimsy!: Mooresville Children's Photographer

Miss L had so much fun with this umbrella. She even let her mom borrow it . . . but just for a minute!

We picked up leaves, too! What a fun day!

Click here to see the entire session.

Tuesday Tip 9.15

Rule of Thirds 
There is general composition guideline called the rule of thirds that can be applied to many visual arts. The quickest way to describe it is to imagine your camera's viewfinder is split into 9 equal parts - two horizontal and two vertical lines. Not confusing at all, right? Here's a visual since I learn much faster that way myself.

©Frame Away

The idea is to compose the image so that your important elements are either on the lines or at the intersections. Think about it the next time you watch a movie or television (or the next time you view a painting if you want to pretend that you don't watch tv): the action is rarely in the middle.
More often than not, the person or thing that is the focus is off to one side.

Check out these images. The image on the right is more interesting.

If the grid is too boring an example, then the Golden Ratio is another composition tool with basically the same end.
The idea with this cool nautilus type guide is to position your focal point within the golden rectangle at the curved end of the spiral.  Turn it around and/or flip it in any direction, and the
golden rectangle is roughly the same as the intersecting points on the rule of thirds grid. 
FYI-The Golden Ratio (or Golden Mean or Fibonacci Spiral or Divine Proportion - whew)  has mathematical and philosophical purposes that I don't begin to understand.  
©Frame Away

With all that said, sometimes rules are made to be broken. The rule of thirds is like many other photographic lessons: Learn it, use it, and then you can break it.  This image was intentionally centered.

 So, as you're shooting, remember these guides to think of different compositions.  Happy shooting!

It's about babies!: Lake Norman Pregnancy Photographer

Little FDR is going to be a big brother!
You can tell from his newborn session here that his parents are in for another dose of cuteness!
Congratulations! Can't wait to meet your new family member!

It's about joy: Charlotte Children's Photographer

I am a bad blogger.  Bad, bad blogger.  No Tuesday Tip this week and many weeks without a session post!  Agh!  I am turning over a new leaf, though!  Starting with the second of the family sessions that I mentioned, oh, a month ago!  This little one is my cousin, and she is A-DOR-A-BLE and so full of joy!  We had a great time!

Tuesday Tip 9.1

It's my job to see the light. Judging the quality, strength, direction of the light.
Ensuring my subject is bathed in it just so.
Sparkling eyes (yes, please). Flattering highlights (always). Moody shadows (sometimes).
But even more exciting than that is seeing the light IN a person.
It's there. People shine.

How they shine is what's interesting to me. The people I am drawn to most shine like the moon, not the sun. A reflection of kindness, grace, gratitude and joy can be seen in them. Instead of blinding you with repeated tales of how wonderful they are, you see it. They draw you in with their actions, their smiles and their generosity, and soon you can't help but shine, too. I know that we all have different spiritual beliefs, and I am grateful to live where each of us can explore that in the way we see fit, but I believe . . . no, I know that I am blessed beyond all I could ask for. And, I want to shine like the moon, too. To be constantly grateful. Consistently kind. Absolutely reflective of the light that I see.

I am very fortunate to have people like this in my life. My sister, who happens to be a stellar photographer, could toot her own horn all the time and be quite justified at doing so. But she doesn't. Her work and her works speak for themselves. As great as she is, she might not speak to me again if I post the picture of her that I wanted to post (Brooke, you + pigtails = cuteness. Admit it.), so here are our boys at the Georgia Aquarium this summer.

Gee, I guess there wasn't really a tip in there. So, here goes. Be the moon.

In the quest for the right camera for you and/or your family, you will want to first decide whether you want an SLR (Single Lens Reflex) camera or a PS (Point and Shoot) camera, also known as compact or subcompact cameras.
There are pros and cons to both, but it all boils down to your needs (or wants!).

PS - small SLR - big
Speaks for itself.

Shutter Lag
Anyone who has taken a picture recently knows about shutter lag - that time between pressing the shutter button and the camera actually taking the picture. With an SLR, shutter lag is virtually nil. Not so much with a PS, but they are getting much faster.

I was going to say that, with an SLR, you have more control over the camera and it's function, giving you control to produce the type of image you want. While this has traditionally been the case, PS makers are enabling some of these little guys with full manual controls and some other pretty cool features. So, really, the distinction now is how intuitive are the controls? Do you need to be able to change settings quickly? (SLR) Or will you set the controls and leave them for an extended period of time? (PS)

Lenses are also a consideration. With an SLR, you can change lenses, again affording you more control over your image. Not so with a PS, but (really big 'but') lenses are expensive.

So, basically, if your main determining factor is a small camera, a PS is for you.
If it's control and no shutter lag, an SLR is in your future.

Happy shooting (and shopping)!