That’s My Jam…

A few weeks ago I was sitting next to my husband on the subway in New York City. We were on our way out of Midtown Manhattan to meet some friends of ours in Brooklyn so I could take some family portraits of them while I was in town. Suddenly my husband asked, “So when you go on photo shoots, do you psych yourself up by listening to the theme from “Rocky” or anything?” The question made me laugh, because I actually do listen to a certain type of music as I drive to my portrait sessions…not the “Rocky” theme, but music that boosts my energy and puts me in a good mood. Here are my top 5 energy boost songs (in no particular order):

1. “Love Runs Out” by OneRepublic. I love the driving beat from the drum and the piano. This song also gives me the overwhelming urge to play the tambourine. Do you think a person needs lessons to learn how to play the tambourine? Just curious.

2. “Elevation” by U2. Confession: I have several remixes of this, but my favorite is the Influx Remix. This song gives me the urge to run, take a kickboxing class, and then do yoga, all in about 4 minutes. Now if I really could accomplish all of that in 4 minutes, I would do that workout several times every day. Talk about an energy boosting song!

3. “Gospel” by MarchFourth Marching Band. My husband dug around to find this song after we heard it in “Monsters University”. Let’s face it…marching band music is meant to get your cheering section on, and this song gets me going every time! There’s also an awesome section in the middle with a gospel choir that makes my heart happy…happy heart=happy face=happy photographer=happy portraits.

4. “Love You Madly” by Cake. I remember the first time I heard this song. I heard it on another photographer’s website and immediately fell in love with it, so I ran off to purchase the mp3. I was so excited to have my husband listen to it, only to learn that not only had he already heard the song, but we already owned the mp3. At least it wasn’t an expensive purchase, right? Anyway, I love the bass line on this song…it’s so groovy!

5. “I Like to Move It” by Will.I.Am. I know this is a pretty drastic departure from my other top 5, but the truth is that this song does make me want to move it move it. Another awesome bass line, quick tempo, high energy song. Admit it, you are singing it in your head right now (and maybe even grooving out, too).

 

I admit it was hard to narrow this down to 5…there are other songs that fit well into my psych-up category, but these were the first to come to mind. What about you? Do you use music to give yourself an energy boost before an important meeting or activity? If so, what are your favorites? Feel free to put them in the comments…I’d love to try them out!

From one of my favorite family shoots this summer:

Curtis-web (1 of 41)

Gray Wren Photography

Curtis-web (11 of 41)

Gray Wren Photography

Gray Wren Photography Family Photography Lindon Utah

Gray Wren Photography


Newborn Interlude

I am what I call a light chaser…I chase good light, especially when I have my camera in hand. My husband has gotten used to me commenting on how nice the light is when we are driving somewhere in the evening. And the light while we were wandering around my friend’s property in Colorado just about made me start looking for a new job for my husband (not really though, because he really, REALLY likes his job). In fact, I liked that light SO much, I had to quickly find a couple photos, just so you could see it!

Colorado Light 1

Colorado Light 2

If anyone in Colorado wants me to come take portraits, I will come just so I can wander around my friend’s yard again. And take your portraits. But I digress…you are probably wondering what all this has to do with newborns.

Family overhead

Earlier this year, my brother-in-law and his wife welcomed a new baby girl to their family. I immediately called dibs on doing a newborn portrait session, mostly because I love them and am so excited to have a new niece, but also because I L.O.V.E. the light they get in their house. I have wanted to take portraits there ever since they moved in.

Baby L in pink

Baby L in blue

Of course, I had to take some portraits of this little lady’s adorable big sister, too!

Little Miss A

Ahhhhh…I love beautiful light!

 

p.s. If you are looking for the Autumn mini session info, click here. If you are hoping for the mini session giveaway, hang in there…it’s coming, I promise!

 


Let’s Roll Out September!

Hi there! How was your Labor Day Weekend? In all honesty, I could use another weekend to recover from my weekend. We were busy with family events, birthday parties, cousin sleepovers, and various other stuff. It was a doozy of a weekend. But it ended with pumpkin bread, so it can’t have been that crazy.

And speaking of crazy…it’s September now.

The leaves are changing up the canyon and it’s been cool enough to open the windows in the mornings and evenings. Fall is coming, and it’s coming fast! Are you ready? Well, here’s a little something to help you out…

Fall Mini details

Let’s get that Autumn family portrait session scheduled, shall we? Here are the full details on mini sessions: Mini sessions will be held on Saturday, September 20 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm in a mountain location and on Saturday, September 27 from 8-10 am in an urban location. Location details will be given to you when you book, but please be aware that they are both in Utah county. Mini sessions are perfect for groups of 6 or smaller…if your group is larger than 6 and you are interested in a mini session, please call me. I’d love to chat with you about your goal for your portrait session and if a mini session would be the best fit for you.

Last of all, how would you like to earn a reward for referring people? I’d love to meet your friends and make awesome portraits for them, too! For each new client I book from a referral given by you, I will take $15 off either a mini or regular session just for you! Just tell your friends to tell me who sent them…I’ll keep track of the statistics!

Later this week I will be giving away a free mini session slot, so stay tuned! I’m excited for everything I have going on and am itching to share it all with you!

 

 

 

 


First Day of School Photo Tips

2013 Back to School

Summer break is winding down in my neck of the woods. Family vacations, summer camps, and lazy mornings are over and tomorrow is the first day of school. This is met with much jubilation at my house, and I am not being sarcastic. My girls are ready to have some space away from each other (though I have to say that this summer has been one of the better ones as far as spontaneous sib spats go) and I am ready to get back to a more structured routine. In fact, school begins tomorrow, and first day of school photos have been on my mind as I’ve watched some of my friends’ kids hop on the school bus via Instagram and Facebook over the past few weeks. As a result, I am sharing 3 tips for better first day photos here on the blog today.

Tip #1: Plan Ahead!

I’ll be honest: the first school morning is usually a little chaotic at my house. I have high hopes for an organized morning tomorrow, which includes making plenty of time for first day photos with the big camera. Whether you are using a point and shoot, phone, or DSLR, plan ahead for the best results. Make sure everyone knows what they are going to wear (and where it all is) beforehand. You might also want to make your kids aware of the morning plan. For example, I make sure my kids know that I am planning on taking a photo (or 2 or 7) before school. They like to know what to expect. I plan to take their photos before we leave, but after they’ve eaten breakfast and brushed teeth. This isn’t a full blown portrait session, so I just carve out 10 to 15 minutes to take a few photos of my kids before they start to get impatient.

Tip #2: Location, Location, Location!

Where are you planning to take your first day photos? At home? At the bus stop? At the school itself? Wherever your location, be aware of where the sun is located and how it affects your photo. I’ll never forget the photo I took of my daughter on her first day of kindergarten. I was in a hurry to take her picture before school, so I grabbed my camera and snapped her photo without paying any attention to the lighting and how it hit her face. Imagine my disappointment when I looked at the photo a little later…the light was so harsh and she was completely washed out. Some of the details were forever lost. I’ve scouted around my yard since then, finding locations with more flattering light. If you are planning to take your photo at the school, keep in mind that there will be other parents trying to do the same thing and many things vying for your child’s attention…be prepared to work quickly, thus preserving the sanity of both you and your child!

Tip #3: Add a little creativity…2013 Back to School 3rd grade

There are so many fun ways to represent the occasion of the first day photo. The simplest way is to have your child hold up the same number of fingers as their grade. This takes zero prep time and looks great. It’s also easy to maintain consistency of style if you have multiple kids returning to school. If you prepare ahead of time, there are tons of free printables online with nice lettering and charming graphics. Make sure the printable you choose is for the appropriate school year before you print. I love the idea of using a basic spiral notebook with the grade and year written in bright marker on one of the pages. Using sidewalk chalk and some concrete or pavement is another fun way to get creative and supply some details about this big day. And, of course, there’s always the option of adding text to your photo later using a photo editing program. Have fun with it! I started a board over on Pinterest…head here to see some fun ideas and maybe come up with some awesome creativity of your own.

Happy back to school!

 

 

 


Too Cool for School…so he’s outta there!

High school graduation is the end of one era and the beginning of another. A time to reflect back and a time to look forward to things to come. A time to wear a goofy cap and gown and not be embarrassed, because, hey, everyone else is doing it and for once your mom isn’t asking the age old question “If everyone else jumped off a cliff would you do it, too?” (Yes, valedictorians and student body presidents, you may use this paragraph in your speech.)

Every once in a while someone asks what my favorite type of portrait session is and I really have to think about all the sessions I do before I answer, because I love them all. However, I do have to admit that high school senior portrait sessions are very fun for me. I love hearing the plans of these young adults. They’re excited, ready for the changes that come with closing one door and entering another. Some of them know exactly what they want to do. Others are less sure, but know that they won’t miss high school (at least not too much).

I’ve worked with this young man before during family portrait sessions, but this was his first solo session. We had a great time and he was very fun to work with. One of his shirts was worn at the request of his younger (and only) sister…can you guess which shirt it is?

 

Class of 2014

If you are graduating this year and haven’t had senior portraits taken yet, I have a couple of spots open just for seniors.  Just give me a call or shoot me an email and I’ll throw in a Sticky Album as a complimentary gift with any High School Senior portrait session!  If you haven’t seen a Sticky Album yet, trust me — they are super cool and make sharing your portraits sooo easy!

Congratulations to the Class of 2014!

 

 


Gingersnaps 101

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!  Be sure to let us know how your gingersnaps turn out!

 


Hello, November…and a cool announcement!

It’s November already…I feel like time goes faster and faster, especially after Daylight Savings ends.  Now it is light at 7:30 in the morning, but dark by 5:30, the temperature is starting to drop–as in 60 is feeling warm here–and the battle about wearing jackets and coats has begun (my kids think that coats are optional since the temps were in the 70′s last week…never mind that we are hitting the 40′s and 50′s as highs now).  All this aside, fall really is one of my favorite seasons.  The cooler temps are a nice break from the summer heat and I love the smell of someone using their wood burning stove on the chillier mornings.  I can rotate a soup or two into my weekly menus and have the urge to bake fresh bread…although the fresh bread doesn’t get baked quite as often as the urge would like.  I can only do so much, right?  And right now, fall sessions take precedence over baking fresh bread.  To be honest, I don’t mind.  Especially since I have such fun clients to work with.

For example, I met up with this cute family a few weeks ago to shoot some family portraits and they were a joy to work with!  Every one of them had a great attitude and they even brought grandma along to help out (which she did…I put her to work!)  I had such a fun time with them.  Check these out:

L Family 6

L family 5

L Family 4

L Family 3

L Family 2

L family

L family

Now, not only did we take some very fun family portraits, we did a video at this session as well.  Yes, you read that right.  Video.  At the Blue Lily GoPro Reunion in September, one of the presentations was about making videos during portrait sessions.  I wasn’t sure I could do it at first, but after making one video, I was hooked!  What a fun addition to a family update letter at Christmas or as a gift to grandparents who are far away.  Wanna see what I’m talking about?

https://vimeo.com/78696759

How fun is that?!?  We had such a great time…and every time I watch the video, I remember that.  Now if I, the photographer who just met this family for the first time on this same day, feel that way, how would you feel about your own video?  How will your kids feel about it?  And since the portraits match, the L family has their own personal gallery of this fun day.

Doesn’t that make you want a video of your own?  Well, guess what?  You can get one–at a special introductory price, no less!  From now until December 31*, you can add a video to your portrait session for only $75**!  Interested?  Call me to schedule…the fall leaves may be faded, but there are still great places to take family portraits!
 
*Session must be scheduled for a date between Nov 13 and Dec 31, 2013.
**Price does not include tax.
 
 

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