Mother’s Day -Maryland Photographer

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Hi everyone! My website is still under construction. The big reveal will come in May. Mother’s Day is coming up and I wanted to share a few photos from yesterday’s Mother’s Day session. There are only three spots left and … Continue reading

Updated My Trusty Camera

It is always best to work with what you have first and truly master it. It is also a good idea to work with in your budget. I feel as if I have exhausted those good ideas with my Canon rebel. A great camera for taking photos on the fly, but not so wonderful for the low light situations I often encounter at weddings receptions and inside dark churches. So after a lot of planning and thinking I have finally updated to a Nikon D600.

I feel as if I have betrayed my beloved Canon a little bit (I love both camera companies. Honestly they are both amazing and one is not better than the other. I just prefer how the shutter button does not lag as much with the Nikon cameras. It is going to take a while to get used to the extremely different Nikon design. Even the lenses go on in a different direction. Sneaky marketing!)

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My Canon Rebel XSI was a valuable learning tool in learning how to shoot manually and setting the correct ISO, white balance, aperture, and shutter speed for each shot. The 8 mp and low quality ISO that only went to 1600 was really beginning to keep me from reaching my potential. I feel as if I have learned so much over the past year and my rebel just was not able to keep up with me and translate those new skills.

My Nikon D600 has 24.3 mega pixels and goes up to an ISO of 6400! I feel like I can take on the world. Plus it is full frame. The photo above illustrates the difference. Both photos were taken at an ISO of 800 at 125 and f/4.5. Both pictures are nice, but the top has digital noise from the ISO and is not as sharp and crisp. There isn’t a huge difference in the day light, but at night the D600 takes photos that my rebel cannot. I honestly feel like I cannot take a bad photo with this camera right now (I’m sure my inner critic will wear that down quick).

I am so excited to be learning more. I have been reading the manual. Only on page 99. A couple hundred to go! I wanted to share this exciting news with everyone to let you know that I am striving to always better myself and my photography. Expect a lot of changes and hopefully an insane amount of improvement! 644240_461787977221297_206456939_n

(This inspiration quote was made by and is copyrighted to http://www.girlheartscamera.com)

Top 10 Tips for [Hotel] Boudoir Sessions -Maryland Boudoir Photographer

  Top 10 Tips For [Hotel] Boudoir Sessions

If your own home is not boudoir worthy or easily available and a studio session is not your style, a hotel room is an obvious solution for your boudoir ambiance. Or is it? When you think of the rooms from hotels past, how beautiful were the rooms that you have stayed in? Take a moment to picture in your head the pattern of the comforter, the color of the carpet, or the generic pictures on the wall. Does luxury come to mind? Beauty? Do not lose hope yet. I have compiled a master list of my own top 10 tips for making your hotel photo shoot as gorgeous as you are.

blog 71.If you can aford to, pay for the best room that you can. If you are investing in a luxurious photo shoot you want the atmosphere to be the best that it can be. It is the back drop for your photos after all. In off-season months hotel room prices are lower.

blog 52. Cannot afford a four or five star room? Don’t be discouraged because there is plenty more you can do. Inns and Bed & Breakfasts often have beautiful and affordable options. Ask if they have discounts for using the room for just a few hours instead of a full day and night. Smaller businesses like Bed & Breakfasts are easier to negotiate prices with. In exchange for free advertizing on your photographer’s blog post they may consider a decent disocunt. It doesn’t hurt to ask.

3. If at all possible, look at photos of the rooms online or through a brochure before you decide so you will know what to expect and what you may alter when you arrive.

blog 44. Invest in looking your best. The location is important, but you darling are the centerpiece. If your session does not include a professional hair and make up artist then consider hiring one for the duration of the photo shoot or visit a salon. The way the location looks comes in second place to you so pick out various clothing otpions and langerie that flatters your figure and makes you feel confident. Trying new things is great, but if it makes you uncomfortable it will show in the photos so stick to what you know that works.

5. The atmosphere of a room may be easily altered. Remove ugly wall decorations during your session and replace them when you are done. Your may also bring in some decorations of your own such as a screen divider, a chair, or something beautiful from your own boudoir.


6.
The bed is a very important prop so do not neglect it. If the comforter leaves much to be desired bring in your own. The most simple way to change the look of a room is to cover the bed with a beautiful blanket and some gorgeous silky pillow cases. The bed may be one of your best back drops.

blog 17.Do not worry if you do not have the best blanket to bring along. Most hotel beds have white sheets and pillows. Simply remove the hideous top layers and use the classic white sheets like the movie star you wish you were, this is your photo-op after all.

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8.
Props are important. Whether it is something big like a screen divider or a beautiful chair or small like a basketball or your man’s favorite tie, props add variety to your photo shoot and gives you new pose possibilities.

9.Use an empty wall as a backdrop or ask your photographer to bring in some back drops of her own. If the room is very small or not very pretty this will allow you to change the scenery and get a greater variety of images. They can be serious or playful. Different colored sheets and fabrics taped to the wall (with Painter’s tape) will do the trick just fine. Get creative!

blog 610. Lights, camera, action! Lighting drastically changes the look and mood of a photograph. Ask your photographer what lighting they plan to use. Window light, strobes, off-camera flashes, umbrellas, soft boxes, and beauty dishes all provide different looks. Suggest some of your favorite styles, but also trust your photographer when she comes up with some suggestions on the spot. She may see something you cannot see being on the other side of the camera. Variety is important. Also show your photographer examples of photos that you have seen and would like to use similar lighting, poses, or props.

Were these tips helpful? Tweet Lovely Lens and let me know as well as share tips of your own @LovelyLensPhoto #MyBoudoirTips. Any questions? I would be happy to answer them!

 

-Courtney

Boordy Vineyards Forever After Photo Session -Maryland Wedding Photographer

Meet Ellen and Bryan. This sweet couple married September 9, 2010 and to celebrate their two year anniversary we travelled to a local vineyard, Boordy Vineyard, to memorialize this point in their lives. A lot of attention is given to the couple photographically as the couple prepares to wed. After that it is maternity, newborn, and family portraits. Ellen and Bryan have three sweet little girls, but for this special occasion we spent the day celebrating just the two of them as a married couple. Ellen’s dress was perfect for the vineyard. She was dressed perfectly for a Maryland vineyard anniversary photo shoot!I love her eyes! When we arrived at Boordy’s we only had 40 minutes of sunlight to spare. You wouldn’t know that this photo shoot was crunched into such a short amount of time! The setting sunlight made a perfect golden hue for these photos when I caught it just right. Meet Bourbon! This enthusiastic pup couldn’t contain his excitement when we were taking these photos. I think he had more fun than Ellen and Bryan. At one point he did take off and Ellen and Bryan had to chase him down through the vineyard. This black and white photo is of them walking him back after they caught up to him. The sunlight was very bright and harsh at this point, but we still got away with these cute pics.Grapes! All this walking through the vineyard had me excited for fall fruit picking. (Cannot wait to get to an apple orchard!)These pictures remind me of a movie.We left shortly after the moon made an appearance.I had such a  difficult time picking out which ones to post and which pics to leave behind. Because I couldn’t upload all of them I did place several more of my faves in a file to upload to Facebook tonight. If you would like to see more pictures of Bryan, Ellen, and yes, Bourbon too, find the album at Lovely Lens Photography on Facebook. It will be up by 8 pm tonight!

Christine and Jeff Part 2

So here it is, the moment you have all been waiting so patiently for! I hope that everyone has a wonderful labor Day off from work. Here are a few moments from the ceremony. The church was so little and cute.I can honestly say that I have never seen a happier groom at the altar! His reaction and laugh was absolutely priceless. He was so overjoyed and surprised to see Christine all glamoured up in her wedding gown. The officient’s joy at the first kiss was so sweet. This is a man who enjoys his job. I have a special thank you to Fred J. Brown of Fred J. Brown Studios. He was the piano player at the wedding and also happens to be a photographer. In the middle of the wedding he disappeared outside of the church to return with an amazing telephoto Canon lens that he let me borrow to take better photos from the mezzanine. There are so many great people out there. Thank you, Mr. Brown!My favorite part of the wedding is right after the couple is married and they have time to themselves to realize it. Then I get to have so much fun taking beautiful portraits of them and they are simply glowing. The groomsmen arrived in style (and on their motorcycles).Above, the maid of honor, Sarah, gives her beautiful speech. The one room reception hall located next door to the church was so sweet. The night before the girls decorated the walls with polka dots and placed out painted flower pots as center pieces. I love the details in weddings. Each wedding is different from the next and the way it is decorated tells you a lot about the couple’s style. Showing off the rings over dinner. I love photographing the rings! Remember these from the engagement shoot? These rings belonged to Jeff’s parents. Jeff had a blast with the first dance.I loved this rubber ducky cake topper!For a short while I set up a photo booth at the reception with some studio lights. We decided to use the wall with the polka dots as the back drop instead of the fabric I brought because it fit with the style of their wedding day. The above photo is just one of many that I took of the couple and their guests. Christine and Jeff are so cute!This last photo is a little behind the scenes picture that my assistant, Matthew, took of me. While Christine and Jeff were preparing to leave yours truly had the honor of decorating the get-away-car with a couple of their friends. The photographer is such a hidden behind the scenes part of the wedding day, which is perhaps one of the reasons why I adore my job so much. In the span of a wedding day I end up helping the guys with their ties, fixing wedding gown disasters, touching up make up and hair, and reassuring the nervous bride that her day is going to be as beautiful as she is. And yes, the occasional get-away-car.

To see more photos from Christine and Jeff’s wedding visit my Facebook page titled Lovely Lens Photography.

WISE Symposium 2012

On Tuesday I had the amazing honor of attending the 10th annual WISE Symposium in Syracuse. Professor Varisco and a fellow classmate, Kristina, and I ventured out at 7:30 that morning and arrived to an exciting array. We collected our name tags and made out way into the exhibition hall. I was simply impressed.

I have never seen so many business women in one place. All the women were dressed up and looking fabulously chic; I knew that I was some place special. Lined up by the entrance of the hall were bagels and muffins as well as some great Tazo tea. I did not take many photos because I was so busy taking notes and absorbing the amazing and inspirational speeches given through out the day. Here is a small collection from the photos that I took. I have also shared some incredible quotes form the inspiring women that spoke. I have learned so many wonderful things. Here are some of the WISE words that I collected:

“Coming here is the best thing you have done for yourself today.” Nell Merlino

“Embrace the thriving artist routine” -Tara Gentile

“Your business does not run you. You run your business.” -Nell Merlino
“When you love yourself, you don’t let anybody do anything to hurt you.”-Juanita Bass“Fun is the key to creativity and creativity is the key to innovation.” -Barbara Corcoran

“Once you get the courage to jump and take that risk, you find the answers on the way down.” -Barbara Corcoran 

“You tell me I can’t do something, I do it twice as good.” -Juanita Bass

“The people you serve, the work that you do. . . It is an art form.” -Tara Gentile