portraiture

Dylan (again, at 4 months old) + Macro is amaze-ballz

I think it's about time I purchase a macro lens. I always rent it as needed, and just simply love it! You wonder where your investment in my photography goes? Usually, new equipment. Aren't these lashes just drool-worthy? Macro is a lot harder than it looks! You think you can just get up in on those lashes and click away? You still need to keep composition and framing in mind (and negative space). When I first used a macro, I was shocked that all of my photos weren't amazing, lol! Amateur! Like anything, you have to practice, practice, practice. Luckily I have some cute subjects to help out in that area!

Dylan at 4 months (4 months ago!)

Hey guys. I'm just doing a quick post about MY baby boy... since I haven't done that since, er.. he was born? I think that is super awesome that I am so so busy that I don't have time to do blog posts.. I'd rather have a busy business and be behind in blogging then a slow business with all the time in the world to blog! If you don't follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you should.. because I am more up to date in those places. Anywho, here is Dyl Pickle at 4 months, and he really doesn't look or act that different! He is such a laid back baby. Still bald and still not mobile! :) Good news for me! His eyes are still mystery hazel- dark green/brown.

Maggie + Patrick (and coming-soon, Henry) // Maternity // St. Louis, MO

How can I forget the star of the show, Bart (the bulldog)? He simply wanted to steal the spotlight during my recent photo session with his pregnant Mommy/owner.  His sweet, older companion, Homer (the pug) was also adorable and loving, doting on his pregnant Mommy. I love the names— Bart & Homer, my favorite childhood tv show, the Simpsons! These two adorable pups are smitten with their Mommy Maggie, as I am sure the NEW star of the show, baby Henry, will be as well. Maggie has a very calm energy, already deeply in love with this little baby. With a history of being a Nanny, I teased that she is already a professional Mom. Soon-to-be-Dad Patrick also has a calming energy, and is as loving and supportive as a Dad could be. These highschool sweethearts are starting a new, exciting chapter in their lives, and will no doubt be amazing parents. Their house will be a fun little circus for sure, with these two furry big brothers welcoming baby Henry in just a month! 

shae // wild thing // Hockessin, DE

Who says you can't do an outdoor photoshoot in January? My sister and I. When Amy and I get an idea in our head, you can't stop us! My sister and I took advantage of a brief opening in our crazy holiday schedule this year while we were visiting our family in Delaware.

The sun was golden as it went down, the air was crisp and our toes were collllllld. The boys were GREAT sports about it. Sure we may have had some more photos had the weather been 60, 40.. even 10 degrees warmer. Sure the boys would have been a bit more relaxed and smiley, had their faces not felt frozen. Sure the trees would have been greener and the light would have been a little richer. But the landscape turned out incredible, because it was so golden and neutral (great for lighting and skin tones). And that barn popped out just a bit more against the barren landscape. And had I not done this session, I never would have captured my Godson, Shae "Willy" shining as bright as a sunbeam, completely unfazed by the 20 something degree weather. He was a free as a bird (we also call him Shae bird), with boundless energy. I could not get him to stop smiling, or running for that matter. I cannot believe how much this little man has grown up, right in front of my lens. I captured his first week on Earth, in the arms of his Mommy. And editing just now, I saw traces of peach fuzz where his manstache will grow in. Where does the time go? 

Shae's younger brothers, Luke and Ross(y) were not as thrilled to be outside, but they were such good sports. I was SO thankful that Luke let me take a few portraits of him. I'm seeing hints of the little man that he is becoming too. It is thrilling and terrifying all at once. This "old soul" has incredible blue/grey eyes that hide behind his deep set brow. But oh do they twinkle when they catch the light just right. Since I photographed him backlit (with the sun behind him), for that juicy golden light, his eyes did not catch that twinkle this time around. I'll get them next time Luker! Maybe on a nice, hot, sunny beach day (in shade or indirect light of course).

Kids are incredible. Sometimes, the weather does not faze them at all (to a fault at times). Really, children tend to be unfazed by so much. This crazy world is always throwing things at them, and they continue to shine brightly. Can't we all learn so much from them? 

To see how tough this family is in cold weather, check out my post from our winter shoot on Lake Erie a year and a half ago.

Things to think about when doing a winter session:
• Consider waiting until Spring (Joking! Ok seriously, re-consider if it is below freezing- 32 degrees).
• The sun is lower in the winter, so "Golden Hour" shooting can start two hours before sunset, rather than one.
• Look for bright colors that are typically man-made objects (bright barns for instance, or see my previous post of Finn near colorful kayaks). Wear bright clothing, or bits of color in your accessories.

• Jackets, hats and gloves can be adorable. Plan ahead!
• Have the kids run around! Get the blood flowing!
• Scout the location ahead of time so you can get done quickly.
• Keep the shoot to around 30-45 minutes.
• Always try to follow a natural flow in a session. This was a family session that obviously ended up focusing on Shae. These shots were unexpected, bonus shots.

Jessie & John + 1 // Maternity shoot // Los Angeles, CA

You know how there are certain people in your life that you feel like you've know before? As in, from another lifetime? Well, Jessie is one of those people. She is a kindred sister for sure. I feel like we're related, even though we obviously aren't. We can say whatever is on our mind and have no judgement, regardless of how crazy it sounds. So when I started having dreams that she was pregnant.. and I mean multiple dreams.. I knew it was going to happen soon. When Jessie told me that she was expecting a baby, I was not surprised one bit! Jessie is genuine, loving, artistic, driven and super-duper sweet. She giggles a lot. This baby has no idea how lucky s/he is to have her as a Mommy. It goes without being said that John will be an incredible Dad as well. I see the way Jessie gazes at him, clearly as madly in love with him now as she was years ago. With a love that strong, this child is bound to be surrounded with love. I am so, SO excited for these two!

So here is a little story that I want to share with you all…
Jessie and I had dinner with each other and our hubbies the night before the shoot. Jessie told me that she wanted to bring a watermelon to the shoot, and incorporate it somehow. Most women that have been pregnant know that you can go online and see what "fruit" size your baby is that month. It's actually a lot of fun– I got obsessed with it when I was pregnant with Finn. John teased her about it, and I scrambled to come up with poses in my head of a pregnant woman holding a huge watermelon (it turned out super cute!).

Jessie and I really wanted to get up early the next day and head to the beach in Santa Monica to catch the delicious, golden morning light (the Golden Hour that I recently posted about). Since I was visiting Los Angeles, and was still on East Coast time, waking up early was effortless. I woke up to the sunrise and checked my phone. No Jessie. So I got up and started packing up my gear, taking my time eating breakfast and hydrating. Jessie soon texted, "Sorry but I'm running late! I should be there in 15". I had this strong urge to keep her calm and not rush her. Who cares if we aren't in that Golden Light? I know from enough shoots, that going with the flow is the best method. So I said, "Take your time, there is NO rush! We have all morning". I then sent my hubby, Tom out to get me coffee. She arrived a bit later and said, "You'll never believe this accident that I saw on the 405! A car flipped over! I was one of the first cars to arrive. There was another car or two, but I must have just missed it. What is really crazy is that if I didn't stop to get this watermelon, who knows if I would have been in that accident". I got chills. "Geeze, Jessie, that is NUTS! And you were so set on using it in the shoot! I am so glad that you got that damn watermelon. Clearly it was meant to be in the shoot."

So the craziest part of this story is something that I never shared with Jessie. We got so caught up in the excitement of the shoot, that it didn't even enter my mind. I dear friend of mine lost someone who meant a great deal to her earlier this year in a car accident. And they had this inside joke about watermelons. She has been seeing watermelons and watermelon paraphernalia all over the place since he passed. You could say it gives her peace when she sees watermelons. The days leading up to–and while in LA, I had some odd watermelon sightings. Like driving past a pickup truck on the highway, with a guy in the back loading a bunch of watermelons that had fallen out. I didn't think to tell Jessie about all of these watermelons that were entering my life, hers included. 

I heard once that if you are heading out the door, and something prevents you from trying to leave yet (like losing your keys, or stubbing your toe, or having to go change your baby's poopy diaper), that it is your guardian angel preventing anything bad from happening to you (like getting into an accident). So whenever I get pissed off and impatient because I have to run inside multiple times, or I'm waiting on my slow husband and child that poops every time we head out the door… I stop, smile, and think to myself that it is just a little help from a friend. 

I know Jessie has a lot of angels around her. And clearly so does her baby. And one of them really likes watermelon. 

Kelci House // Golden Hour // Northern VA

I can't talk highly enough about this special gal, Miss Kelci House. We are kindred photographer sisters, or something of that nature. We keep each other motivated and inspired. We push each other. We get overwhelmed together. We take photos together, and of each other. We also laugh together, a lot. Can't you tell by looking at these photos just HOW much fun we have (and how much fun Kelci is)? 

We recently trucked out to a Flower Farm somewhere in rural Northern Virginia to take photographs of each other. Ironically, there were no flowers blooming at the flower farm. Well, there were a few… but it was pretty sparse. I didn't mind at all; they weren't meant to be in the shoot. There was too much beauty elsewhere to worry about the darn flowers. The tall grass, the red barn, and of course–Kelci. And that golden evening light that just drips all over the earth as if it is kissing it goodnight. That isn't so bad either ;)

Please, please consider doing an evening shoot with me at your next session. It is just magical.

What is the Golden Hour?
• The Golden Hour occurs the first hour after sunrise and the last hour before sunset.
• It is sometimes also referred to as the Magic Hour.
• It is the time of day when the special quality of light yields particularly beautiful photographs. 
• It appeals to photographers especially, because of its rarity throughout the day.
• The shadows are softer because the sun is so low. They aren't creating harsh shadows on faces.
• The light is literally golden.
• You can create beautiful backlit photographs with a natural lens flare.
* Photographer tip: A backlit photograph is one where the sun is behind the subject (being shielded by them), creating a blown out background. Be sure to meter the subject, not the background.
* The first series of images here are actually the last ones taken from the evening, and are less "golden" because the sun was already below the horizon. See the difference? Still beautiful, but not golden.

Little Aly // Northern VA

Happy Friday ya'll! Here are some photos from a recent shoot I did for my coworker and her ADORABLE baby girl, Aly. This little munchkin is so full of cuteness, and is incredibly sweet on top of it. She's also incredibly laid back. You know how everyone says they want a laid back baby? Well this girl is that baby. She did not have a single fussy "peep" during the whole session. I think back on Finn, and he would have demanded milk and/or a nap at least once in the span of time that I was with Aly. And he would have tried to eat the balloons. And the crate. And probably the grass too.

Aly also had these great little expressions. Check out that "I may be little, but I have a big personality!" face in the series on the bridge. You'll know which one I'm talking about. This little girl is awesome.

Her parents are chill too, so it all makes sense. Of course my coworker wore a dress that perfectly matched the balloons that I picked up. Totally perfect coincidence. And as two geeky Graphic Designers, we were thrilled. Oh, and their beautiful dog, General Patton hung out with us too. He was also a perfect gentleman! The few times I've done a shoot with a dog, it ends up making things pretty tricky. This fine Sir even let me take a couple snaps of him calmly standing (or laying) guard over his sweet little family.

What a beautiful spot and lovely evening spent with this very cool little family.

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.

Baby Connor & Aunt Pretty

A couple weeks ago I helped my fabulous Aunt Pretty do a newborn shoot for my cousin's new baby boy, John Connor Michaels. Aunt Pretty (Patricia, or Trish) is my Fairy Godmother, and also happens to be a professional photographer. One of my most vivid childhood memories of Aunt Pretty is her kissing on her son's cheek really loudly and saying "OH MY GAWD I WANT TO EAT YOU". The other vivid memory involves her directing a family photoshoot. And that still happens every time we all get together (the cheek kissing and the photoshoots). She is one of the most hilarious people I know. Seriously, Chelsea Handler has nothing on Aunt Pretty. Actually, combine Chelsea Handler and Phoebe Buffay and you will have a slight inkling as to the complexity of my Fairy Godmother. I have always looked up to her, and still do. I love that she is a photographer, and someone I can look up to. Actually, photography runs in the family. My Great-Grandfather was also a photographer. I think he ran a portrait studio actually!

So I was thrilled to do a newborn shoot with her, and help "corkscrew" baby Connor's head around, hold the backdrop blanket, put the set together, prop the pillows and cushions, soothe baby Connor, sweat my butt off, dodge projectile baby poo, and laugh by socks off. SO MUCH FUN! I learned a few new tricks from Trish, and had blast doing it. I hope I get to do it again, sometime soon. Love you Aunt Pretty!

Here are some quick snaps that I took when we put the "Hennessy" hat on Connor. Finn's older cousin Ross wore it, Finn wore it, and now Connor obviously got to wear it! My favorite shot is the one of him in the basket, that Trish took (below).  THAT photograph is hers. The rest I took on my SLR and iPhone. 

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.