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Monday, August 29, 2011

Cawfee Tawk is Back!!! And It's All About Perspective!

Welcome back to Cawfee Tawk!! Did you miss it as much as I did? I am excited to be back on Tuesday mornings, and hope to bring to you some simple but great tips to improve your people portraits as soon as today. And today it's all about perspective.

Most of us tend to shoot the way we stand. So all of our shots come from the same vantage point. Kind of boring, don't you think? Plus, we get the tops of all the little heads that follow us around all day. Not their best sides.

One of the quickest, simplest fixes for better portraits is to just move! Change your perspective. Bend your knees. Get on your tummy, or lie on your back. See the world from your children's perspective or get the "bird's eye view" by climbing a tree. The possibilities are endless.

A few things to note about how perspective can effect what we see in our portraits. Sometimes (like here with Tatumn) it's great to shoot down on our subjects. In the right light (here we were in open shade, next to a large building), your subject can look up at you without going blind, and you can get great light in her eyes. And shooting down on your subject brings a feeling of innocence, and simplicity.

On the other hand, shooting up at our subjects creates a feeling of masculinity and strength. This is a great way to shoot teenage boys or men. Any moms out there with young boys in the house? I know my older son is only 7 and I still like to try to shoot up at him sometimes. He likes the way it makes him look older and stronger.

Sometimes shooting up at our subjects is just a fun alternative to the conventional and expected shot. Be bold, think outside the box and get creative. Having digital cameras frees us of having to save our film, so we can shoot all we want!

And often times, the best part of changing our perspectives, is the opportunity it gives us to connect with our subjects. By getting down on our tummies along side our kids, we get on their level, inviting lots of great giggles, or maybe a few moments of thoughtful conversation.

I challenge you to change your perspective. Look at the world, and your subjects, differently, and get creative with how you are shooting. You'll love the variety of shots you get, and your kids will love connecting with you in new ways.

As for Cawfee Tawk, I'm looking forward to connecting with YOU through our Tuesday morning lessons. CT will probably be a monthly or bi-monthly post, so I'll see you in two weeks or so. Until then, shoot me your comments and thoughts, and better yet, some photos too! I'd love to see your perspective!

Keep shooting!

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

It's The Holiday Season... Isn't It?

OK, so it's still August, and some of us have spent the last weekend dealing with hurricanes, not blizzards, but it's there, right around the corner. The holiday season may be a few months away still, but the opportunity to have gorgeous family portraits taken for those holiday cards is right now!

Think about it. What better time to have portraits taken then at the end of summer, when you're looking healthy and tan, and well rested from weekends at the shore? If everyone you know receives a holiday card with your family photo on it, don't you want it to be you at your best?

And if the timing and tan are not enough, how about the new season of JLP greeting cards, or the special that's running for booking your holiday portrait session now? Yes, that's right, you're getting one holiday gift early this year!

(holiday cards from previous years shown below)

So what's the special you ask? Well, you've got to stay tuned to find out! Or better yet, shoot me a call or an email, and I'll let you in on my secret! I promise you, the deal will be as sweet as the new season's designs!
So enjoy the rest of August (hopefully hurricane free!) and stay tuned for the holiday special!
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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

3 Simple Joys

Recently I read a blog post that got me thinking. Titled "3 Simple Joys", the post expressed a few of the blessings in the writer's life. I loved it and want to do the same here. It's far too easy to get overwhelmed with the chaos and "busyness" of life and forget the many blessings, big and small. My hope is that by posting regularly here about 3 simple blessings in my life, I will remind myself (and maybe others) of all there is to be thankful for.

For today, my 3 simple blessings are:
1. An amazing husband who loves me despite our MLB rivalry!

2. Three beautiful children who let me chase them with my camera all day long!

3. The imminent promise of school days, routine, and order! I will miss my babies to be sure, but I will enjoy the routine again!
I challenge you today to think of 3 simple joys in your life, and as always, encourage you to share them with me here. Comment below and let me know what blessings are on your heart today. And let's make it a regular date!

Be blessed!

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Good Luck College Girl: Samantha's Portraits

Today is a very special day for a young lady I know. Today Samantha, a recent graduate of The Hill School, is packing the last of her things, and heading off to college at The University of Pittsburgh.

I'm sure today is going to be filled with all sorts of emotions for both her and her family. Surely she is excited and determined, but also nervous and uncertain. And I'm sure her mom is filled with pride and joy, and a little bit of sadness mixed in, since it probably feels like yesterday that Sam was learning to walk and talk. How do the days, the months, the years go so quickly?

In honor of this beautiful young lady on this wonderfully special day, I am sharing some images from our recent portrait session at Hill. Spending time with her was such a treat for me. Sam is truly beautiful inside and out and I have no doubt she will be an amazing success at Pitt.

Here are a few of my favorites from our session:

Best of luck Sam. Hill was lucky to have you, and Pitt will be too. Go out there and enjoy every second. Continue to make your family proud. Be true to yourself, and do what you love. I can't wait to hear about all the wonderful things you accomplish!
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Monday, August 15, 2011

Share The Love (and The Contest!)

Pssst!!! Have you heard about Jen Lebo Photography's latest contest?
You could be her SpokesMom!!!
Plus, if you share this contest on your FB page, or Tweet about it, you'll automatically be entered in a drawing to win a beautiful Ena bag from Threadpoets!

But you have to let Jen know you've shared, so be sure to comment below!

Hurry! You only have until August 31st to enter the SpokesMom and the bag drawing!

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Oh Baby!

I have recently had the wonderful treat of photographing some gorgeous moms-to-be. Since my "Watch Me Grow" package seems such a good fit for these moms, I've also been able to photograph their precious little newborns too! I have gone completely ga ga for maternity and newborn photography! After all, there are few things more beautiful than a pregnant mommy, only one of which is her brand new child.

Here are a few shots from recent maternity/newborn sessions.
Courtney and Junior were a beautiful couple enjoying the anticipation of their first child! They did not share baby Haiden's name until he was born!

Just a few weeks later, I was back in their home to photograph little Haiden, and I just fell head over heels for this little guy- just like his mom and dad, and everyone else who laid eyes on him! He was such a beautiful baby and so easy too! Hardly cried, slept through most of our shooting, and never even soiled my props! I was so smitten!

And finally, I shared an evening with Colleen and Chad, another beautiful couple awaiting the arrival of their first baby, a little girl they're naming Colbie (love it!). This session was extra fun as Colleen had once been a student and FH player of mine. When did I get so old? Ah well, it was great fun and Colleen was absolutely glowing!

Baby Colbie has yet to arrive, but I am looking so forward to photographing another little beauty! In the meantime, I thought I'd reach out to all you moms out there and ask if perhaps you might comment below and offer Colleen and Courtney (and any other new mommas out there) your favorite or best piece of advice for this wonderful and crazy challenge called mommyhood. Please pitch in and offer them a tip, something that helped you get through those first couple of months, those sleepless nights, those moments of uncertainty and panic.

As for me, well, I have two. First, sleep when baby sleeps! Don't do the laundry, or vacuum, or catch up on chores. That can wait. Your rest cannot. And second, pat yourself on the back every day. What you are doing is hard, it's brand new, it's the greatest and toughest challenge you'll probably ever face. You're doing great. Give yourself lots of credit.

Hugs to all you moms out there! Including mine! ;)
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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Rosie and Lisandro: Engagement and Wedding

Last month I went out to Philadelphia to photograph the wedding of Lisandro and Rosie, and the month before I met them at St. Peter's Village for their engagement session. As always, it was a treat for me to shoot at St. Pete's. I've come to love the variety of "looks" there. But even better was getting out of my comfort zone to head into the city for the actual wedding. I am SO NOT the city girl, but it was so worth driving on crazy streets to be able to spend time with these two and photograph their love. These two are just dream subjects! So romantic, so fun, so up for anything. They were getting honked at and waved at walking through Philly in their wedding attire, and they had a blast with it. It was so fun!

Here are a few of my favorites from the engagement session and wedding:

Congratulations Rosie and Lee! You deserve all the happiness in the world!
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Sunday, August 7, 2011

SpokesMom Contest


Are you looking for a fun and exciting opportunity to get beautiful custom portraits of your children just for exercising your voice? Do you enjoy socializing with your community and friends, spreading the word about great new finds? Are you the mom I'm looking for? Are you my next SpokesMom?

What's a SpokesMom?

A SpokesMom is a mom who loves her kids and realizes the importance of documenting their childhood with professional portraits. A SpokesMom is an active member of her community, an excited and passionate friend who likes to share great news with others, through social media, mommy groups, church, school, daycare, and other social gatherings. And she's a mom who thinks Jen Lebo Photography is something worth sharing!

What does she do?

The SpokesMom simply spreads the word for Jen Lebo Photography! She tells her friends and family about her sessions, and she shares her images with everyone she can. She tweets, chats, and maybe even blogs about JLP. She shares cards, flyers, and other printed pieces (provided by JLP). She becomes our greatest cheerleader and helps JLP grow by connecting us with her like-minded friends!

And wow, what she gets in return! First, she receives a FREE portrait session for her chlidren, a $150 print credit, and a set of 50 Mommy Cards with her child's image (perfect for scheduling playdates). She'll also get a cute JLP t-shirt, a car window decal, and a 30% discount on her second session (which takes place during her year-long term). Not to mention some serious bragging rights!

So don't wait! Apply right now, simply by clicking on the link below. This year's SpokesMom will be announced on September 1st and her year-long term will begin that day! It's a year promising to be exciting, fun, and filled with gorgeous photos!

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