portrait photographer

Golden Fall // Oak Knoll Park // St. Louis, MO

I was able to squeeze in one more photo session before going on maternity leave- hooray! I met the Dermer family at Oak Knoll Park, here in St. Louis, MO. Luckily, we caught the last of the fall foliage before it slipped away. There were sprinkles of orange and yellow leaves scattered among the trees in the park. I love fall, and it is the busiest time of year for photo sessions, but the colors slip away fast. It can be a gamble as to when the leaves turn and if they stick around for very long. So I always feel blessed when I capture them on film (I always say film even though I'm shooting digital-get used to it!). I never realized how much I would be in tune to the seasons, weather, sunrise/sunset and lighting when I started my photo business. I have a great respect for Mother Nature and all of the things that she will throw at you during a photo session! 

Keep in mind that I always honor a photo session that is cancelled or interrupted due to bad weather. We always can re-schedule for no extra fee.

The Dermers are an adorable and very photogenic family. They all have twinkly blue eyes and dark hair. The kiddos have freckles sprinkled across their noses. Baby Bennett probably has the most twinkly eyes and the silkiest hair! What poster a poster baby! Millie and Eli were so much fun, breaking out in dance (Whip and Nae Nae!) and laughing at themselves throughout the shoot. The kids were all loving on their Momma with lots of kisses and hugs. Simply way. too. cute.

My bump // Faust Park // St. Louis, MO

Hey ya'll. Did you know I was pregnant? Well, I am... and he (yes, another he!) is coming soon! He just happens to be due 3 years and 3 days to the day of Finn's due date. Finn arrived two weeks late, so there is a big chance this guy won't share Finn's birthday. So we think. 

I was determined to get some maternity shots since I didn't do my monthly bump update like I did with Finn (check my instagram feed for the orange wall series of my growing bump with Finn). I really wanted to do the photoshoot at 6 months pregnant, but you know how life just slips away in a whirlwind. I finally got our family motivated to get it done at 7 months pregnant.. so here I am, in all my third trimester glory! I recruited my Dear Husband to take the photos at Faust Park, just outside of St. Louis, MO. It is an adorable rural park, with barns and open land. Thank goodness Tom is an artist/designer/art director and has experience with photography as well. Don't you think he did a pretty kick as job? I art directed him, set up the camera for him, and he took over from there.

Photo credit to Tom White (the photos with me in them). The ones with all three of us are thanks to my nifty new MeFOTO tripod (I got the green one). The ones with me not in them are of course by me!

So here I am letting you know that I will be on maternity leave from now until about March 1st, just in time for spring blossoms. I will be slaving away for (and snuggling with) my second baby boy all winter. I am excited to be surrounded by boys... I was never a girly girl. So, bring on more trucks, cars, trains, buses and legos! I am so excited & will of course post photos of Baby #2 as soon as I can.


Addie & Ellen // Cousin love // Oak Knoll Park // St. Louis, MO

Here is a recent session with Finn's gorgeous babysitter, Addie + her younger cousin, Ellen. These two beauties don't look very similar, but both have to-die-for hair, beautiful eyes and the BIGGEST smiles. Ellen was also gorgeous, with the most breath-taking red hair. She looked like a little fairy/sprite when I had her standing in the woods—with those red locks & freckles sprinkled all over her face. 

What an incredibly fun session. Thanks girls! 

finn turns 2 (cont'd) // my new canon 5d mark iii

This is a continuation of the below post, journaling Finn's 2nd year; leading up to his 2nd birthday in December 2014. I will be posting all week. 

The first series seen here (Finn in his plaid overalls) was taken at a local music festival in Alexandria, which is one of our favorite local events all summer. The next series (and all photos from hereon out) were taken with my amazingly, incredible, brand new Canon 5D Mark iii. We were in Delaware for the 4th of July, visiting the Grandparents (and Finn was exploring their backyard). The last series was taken in my kitchen. It was so hot out that Finn wanted water time in our kitchen sink, not the outdoor baby pool. The lighting was to die for, so I whipped out my new camera to continue getting familiar with it. 

You can see the astounding difference in image quality/clarity/color between the 5D and my loyal ol' Canon 40D. You could say I'm satisfied with my purchase! If you are thinking about purchasing a professional camera, as a professional or striving-to-be-professional photographer, the 5D is worth the purchase. I've also heard great things about the Canon 70D and 6D, if you don't want to break the bank. If you are just a Mom/Dad or amateur/hobbiest, I would recommend something a bit more affordable. I started with the Canon Rebel, which was an incredible starter camera! Do your research and ask someone who knows about this stuff if researching is too overwhelming. I went with the 5D because I did want the high ISO (for indoor low light situations. I knew I would be diving into the wedding industry, needing high ISO when the flash wasn't an option, or my style of choice.

Little man walking // Lockhouse 25, C&O Canal // Potomac, MD

I think we all tend to take for granted so many things in life- like walking. Can you imagine going through life without this incredible GIFT? One of the greatest joys in raising a child is seeing all of the milestones that they go through. We are all such incredible creatures- starting out as a teeny tiny little speck of chromosomes. Within one short year, give or take- a child is up and walking. Or running. Isn't it INCREDIBLE? From a needle head to a teetering toddler. It is no wonder that these tiny little people tend to be focused, fearless and completely besides themselves when they start using their two adorably chubby legs.

Mr. Landon is such a beautiful little boy. One of those poster babies that could be on a Gerber jar or a Baby Gap ad. His parents are just as beautiful. He looks to be a mix of the two in appearance, and his demeanor seems to come from both sides. Did I mention that they are all very sweet people? I have had the pleasure of seeing this little guy since he was pretty small, and he always has a huge grin on his face. So when I was able to see his toothy grin, along with a focused side- I was beside myself. I love deep thinking. I love to photograph it. His focus and determination was clearly due to his newfound talent. Walking. All he wanted to do was walk. Explore. And there was so much to see… colorful leaves, billowing trees, running water with ROCKS. He is free! This boy has everything- the looks, the cheerfulness, the amazingly genuine parents, the determination and focus… what a cool little man.

Aly turns 1 // Old Town Alexandria, VA

I did a photoshoot of this little beauty six months ago. I cannot believe how much she has grown! Yet she is still a tiny little peanut to me, especially compared to Finn. This little one has a big personality, regardless of her size. She doesn't hesitate to speak her mind and "shout" out to the world around her. Yet even her shouting is sweet and adorable. And you should see her pouty face– she would get away with anything in my house! One thing that I love about little Aly are her eyes. She has such incredibly beautiful eyes– that are also probably quite rare. Her eyes are some kind of hazel/green, but her left eye has a splash of blue in it. As someone who is totally obsessed with all things colorful, I couldn't get enough of these multi-colored eyes. You feel like you are looking into another universe when you look into them. Ok, deep thoughts by Ann ;)

She is smitten over Daddy, as beautiful as her Mommy and Babushka (Russian for Grandma) and best buds with Patton (her dog). How I love watching my little clients grow up!

Girls rule // Maternity shoot // Northern VA

Sorry guys, but you are officially outnumbered. This adorable family that I have been photographing for almost three years now, just welcomed a baby girl into their home two weeks ago. I was thrilled to do the maternity shoot for them a month ago, before the Little One arrived. You will have to come back to see the photos of Emmaline, which I will be posting soon. But for now, I hope you enjoy these special photos of the family anticipating her arrival.

More than anything, I am excited for Ellie, who will be a big sister. My family dynamic is the same as this bunch, with the boy as the oldest, followed by two sisters. I had the pleasure of being the youngest sister in my family–and was pretty much obsessed with my big sister. Sure, we fought a lot, but I don't know where I would be without her! I still call her daily for advice! She is my one constant friend. My best friend. And having a big brother to look out for both of us was extremely comforting. He really didn't give us a hard time that often either. He tried his best to avoid our girl drama ;)

So ladies, you rule the roost. Men of the house, be prepared for a house filled with a lot of nail polish, curling irons and Barbie dolls. And I hope you have your own bathroom. Because even if one sister is more of a tomboy, the other one could very well be a girly-girl. But I'll guarantee you this: that little Emmaline is going to be smitten over her big sister, regardless of her interests. She might try to dance like Ellie, run like Ellie and play sports like Ellie. She will carve her own path in the end, but she will always be grateful for that big sister who helped her find her way.

Beautiful Savannah // Tybee Beach, GA

Is there a 'command z' (or 'edit undo') button for life? 

I recently posted that my little family was packing up and moving to Savannah, GA because my husband took a new job. I am happy (and sad) to announce that we are not moving to Savannah. We were two days away from moving when my husband and I decided that it was not the right move (no pun) for him professionally. Sure, it would have been nice to have figured this out a couple weeks sooner – but I sure as heck am happy that we figured this out a few days before loading up the moving truck. 

So here I am, editing this blog post that was originally an announcement about our move. I really do not have much to say, other than – I remain grateful for all of the things that I have in life, rather than the things I lack. There have been a few things that have happened in the last couple months that have given me great perspective. Life is just too short to worry about something like packing and unpacking boxes. And not living near the beach again. Sigh. ;)

So, as I said before, I'll say it again: Sometimes life takes us in a new direction and we just have to follow that flow. It can be exciting, scary, thrilling and sad all at once. But we have to embrace it and make the best of it. We can't look back. We can't worry about the future. We just have to ride that wave–trusting that it is going to be one hell of a ride. 

Here are some awesome reasons to visit Savannah, Georgia. We'll be back someday, pretty lady.

Here are some shots from our visit a month ago… when Finn discovered pure "gold". The beach, the sand and the mysterious ocean. I swear I did not coordinate Finn and my color matching. 

kelci alane photography

I have a dear friend that I want to write about. Her name is Kelci Alane House, and she is one amazing photographer. She is also an amazing person. She is incredibly sweet, but will also tell you like it is. I am so grateful that she came into my life! She is so naturally energetic that she doesn't need coffee. Actually, she should stay away from coffee. Decaf will still give her a burst. Or maybe that is just her. I really can't figure it out. I see a younger version of myself in her.. although she is an old soul (and is wise beyond her years). But she can be a total goofball, which I love! I am so excited for her future. She is going to shine.

We are teaming up to do weddings together, so check her out if you are interested in working with me! If you want to work with me, and I am not quite in your neck of the D.C./Maryland woods, hit up Kelci. She is on the Maryland side of town, while I'm down in Northern Virginia.

This girl rocks! Check out the headshots below I took of her (and you can see the ones she took of me on my "Me" page). She has taken a ton of beautiful photos of my bump and my family. And I am forever grateful for that. 

We recently got together and had an incredibly productive coffee date called "Let's Make Sh%t Happen". Here are few things that we went over, that might be helpful for other photographers (or aspiring photographers):

• Establish your pricelist and stick with it. Be fair to yourself and your clients.
• Create questionnaires for you clients. Here's a sample Bride/Groom questionnaire from a well known photographer, Katelyn James.
• Organize all of your pricelists, contracts, questionarres, etc. through a virtual studio manager like ShootQ.
• Hire a lawyer and/or accountant to help you with contracts and making things legsl. Register your business.
• Take a workshop that is right for you. Maybe this one is better.
• Never stop learning.
• Sign up for a photography conference.
• Practice practice practice. Call your friends if you have no bookings. Use your iPhone for practice. You can learn a lot about framing and lighting (seeing how light bounces off subjects, available light, back-lighting, etc.) Sign up for Instagram. Follow other photographers that inspire you.
• Work with other photographers, like Kelci Alane Photography or your Aunt Pretty!
• Do something good for the world and use your photography skills to volunteer, near or afar.
• Go on location scouting trips! Speaking of… our headshots below were shot in Old Town, Alexandria VA and an overpass near the Rock Creek Parkway. My bump photos were taken at Lockhouse 22 C & O Trust.

turquoise waters // finnstagram // NEW turquoise logo

I decided to write about my BIG news first. I am changing my name to Ann White! After five years of marriage and birthing a huge baby boy, I decided it would be super awesome to share a name with my little clan. I am all about unity, and think that quite honestly–the whole world should be more on the same page with unity. You know, world peace and all that. So, I'm starting with uniting with my family. No more division! I would rather keep things simple, so I am changing my photography name to Ann White Photography also. SO, my url will be changing to www.annwhitephoto.com and my Finnstagram stream is now Annwhitephoto. Please have patience while I slowly make this transition. Blarg. Anywho, you'll also see my new Ann White Photography logo in this post, and my new "AW" mark on the blog post photo. That will be my signature on all photographs posted on my blog–and throughout the interworld. Aw, so cute! Sorry, had to.

For any of you that follow me on Instagram, you know that my stream is called Finnstagram. This is because my son pretty much takes over the whole stream. Don't make fun. Is it so wrong that I am obsessed with my child? Plus, he is a great test subject. Regardless of the fact that I am using an iPhone so frequently, it is PRACTICE. For any aspiring photographers, the best thing you can do is practice, practice and practice some more. The iPhone is great practice, even if you can't use all of the fun settings on your SLR. You are practicing framing, timing and how to use light. I did have the pleasure of assisting my Aunt at my cousin's newborn photoshoot last weekend, and of course I learned a few new things! Such a blast. I will post about that shoot soon!

But today I felt like we all needed a much-needed boost that summer is right around the corner. Here are some of my favorite photos form my Babymoon in St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands (almost two years ago!). Oh, and that fat donkey you see? She was pregnant! I fed her because I knew how hungry a prego can get.