Liam and Overalls // Lifestyle Photography // Puyallup Photographer

There's something special about little boys and overalls. They have always been an all American favorite of mine. There's something about them that makes them nostalgic and classic.
This morning, after my coffee (of course), I saw gorgeous golden light pouring in which gave me a spark of energy. So I threw Liam into some overalls; the same pair that I shot Oliver's overall session in when he was 18 months old. Time flies people! 
I had the other boys occupied up stairs so I was able to have some one on one time with my youngest babe. It was quite a sweet little session. He just explored around the living area, he especially loved my fake books and climbing on and under the reading chair. He also loved playing with the barstools, by the way, don't mind my unswept floor. I hadn't done my daily chores yet, this is definitely a glimpse into real life. I just loved following him around and laughing with him.
I love lifestyle photography for so many reasons. One of the BIG ones being that you truly get to press pause, freezing the moment of that little sweetie forever. Ordinary portraits are great but looking back and remembering just who they were at that tiny age is such a treat. Like I said earlier, times flies. I'm so thankful I have these little quiet moments to reflect on. 
I would LOVE the chance to document special moments within your four walls too. If you ever have any questions about what a lifestyle session looks like, please reach out. I always enjoy capturing glimpses of your beautiful life too. 
 

I hope these make you smile! 

PNW, Snow and Fur

Normally, there are two types of people when it comes to snow. People who love it and people who hate it. I personally don't love it, although I do enjoy two snow days a year. A day to play and a day to shoot. When you have three young boys, snow days can involve a lot of preparation. In Washington, snow days sometimes come out of no where. One day you wake up and there is snow everywhere which means there is a lot of yelling and screaming both in excitement and in frustration. Then I have to frantically search for the box with all the snow gear; making sure it all fits from last year and if it doesn't then making it work with adjustments, safety pins and Crisco (just kidding...obviously...) but alas I do love a good snow ball fight with my little men. 
Here's a favorite shot from our snow day last year. This was when we lived on JBLM.

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A day to shoot...

My favorite reason for snow is shooting, of course! I love the light, flaky snow and the fashion! There is no better excuse for a fur jacket then snow! 
We just moved into a new house and there is an old golf course right in my backyard. It won't be there long because they're building more houses on it (just what we need in Puyallup..) but in the mean time it provides a beautiful canvas of trees and on this day, snow. Untouched, glowing snow. I reached out to a member of my 2019 Senior Rep Team and asked if she would model. It was completely spur of the moment and thrown together but sometimes that creates the most magical moments. This session is my favorite session of 2018 so far. 
Hannah was completely willing even after I asked her to basically bring half her wardrobe along so I could style her. I had a few things here that I knew would work with the vision in my head. Together we collaborated and made magic. I did her hair and makeup and picked 3 stylin' outfits. We froze, we laughed and we explored. Have I mentioned recently that I'm obsessed with styling?? 

I hope you enjoyed this snowy senior session. I love creating special sessions for seniors, please don't hesitate to reach out if you're wanting to have your senior photos be unique and full of style. <3

xoxo,
Cortney

How to Take Self Portraits

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Hi Beauties!
Self portraits have been a large trend amongst photographers lately. I see new self portrait groups pop up on Facebook all the time and I see photographer's self portraits on Instagram all the time. For myself and many others, I know being in front of the camera is a much scarier place then behind it. We feel so at ease behind it while guiding our models but in front of it, we feel awkward and unattractive. This has to stop so I have put together some useful tips for photographers who want to jump in front of the lens!  

But why? Many people ask why we do these and why not just hire someone to take photos of you. There's a vast difference between having someone take a portrait and you capturing a moment of yourself. We all see ourselves differently. This is one reason I personally take self portraits, I am incredibly hard on my self so I take them in a search to love myself through the flaws I see. Another reason I take self portraits is because I want to be in photos with my children. They're growing up so quickly, I want to be able to look back and see a photo of me holding each of them when they were small enough to hold. 
Another reason is many of us find it theauputic to capture raw moments of ourselves. Grief for instance, maybe you've been through a divorce or you've lost someone dear. I've seen some profound images based on sadness, images that made me cry along with them. These raw and real moments can be a simple step in a healing recovery. Happiness is another amazing intention. A joyful laugh in the midst of chaos can make such a beautiful piece of art.
Get creative and have fun with it.

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Equipment

  • DSLR Camera
  • Lens
  • Remote control (I found this inexpensive one on Amazon)
  • Tripod (My husband gifted me this one)
  • Window Light
  • Random focal point (could be anything like a vacuum, dresser etc)

Get ready 

Set your intention for how you want to look and the feeling you want to portray. A few popular ideas are movement, headshot, no makeup, cuddling your children/spouse etc.
Self portraits are art, you're saying something with every one you decide to publish. Be very direct with the emotion or moment you want to highlight.
In my personal self portraits without my kiddos, I choose an outfit with texture and something that I wouldn't normally wear out. I hoard certain dresses that I have found over the years to bring out a soft, bohemian vibe and they almost always have a low back. I love backless dresses but I don't wear them out a lot because of having to go braless. I use this as an opportunity to be vulnerable yet still controlling how they are presented. 
Be sure to pick an area in your home that has great window light. Don't stand too close to a window though, this creates extremely harsh highlights, take a few steps back and that'll be perfect. 
In the self portraits I take at home, I always simplfy the background. Moving any thing that might distract the photo from my purpose for the photo.
In my photos with my children, I keep it casual, I don't normally change. I want to capture a true moment of my life at home.
Messy hair, no makeup, and yoga pants. 
No matter how you decide to dress and style yourself, be you. Any part of you. 

Set Up your Camera

Attach your camera to your tripod at the height you will be. I like to put a marker in the area I think my head will be. If I'm sitting, I use a vacuum and focus on the top of it. If I'm standing I focus on the wall behind where I will stand. If you have someone home with you, you can always use them in your place also. There is a little bit of trial and error so don't get discouraged. Make sure your remote and base are set up. Mine slides onto the top of my camera and then I hold the remote and click when I want the photo taken. I always have to make sure and hide the remote in my self portraits, which can be hard at times. 
I know other cameras can hook up to wifi and you can download an app which allows you to see what your photo will look like! How cool is that?? I wish my camera had that. Check your manual to see if your camera has wifi ability. 
Once your all set up, go over and sit or stand and take a test shot. Go check to make sure its in focus, being careful not to disrupt the camera. 

Have Fun with It

Now It's time to shoot. I usually will take a series of 5 or 6 photos. Then I go look to see how they're turning out. This is your time to adjust and changes, it can be tricky sometimes so be patient. 
This is definitely my favorite part. It's exciting to figure out your favorite angles but also going outside your comfort zone.
I challenge you to push yourself. I challenge you to find beauty in any flaws you think you have. 
Another idea to play with is slow shutter speed; lower your ss down a lot and then go twirl around. These images will be flowy and different. I love to try things I normally wouldn't because why not?? You're by yourself. If they don't work out, then throw them out, no one has to know.
Get creative. Grab your kids or your significant other and capture those sweet, fun or crazy moments. 

 

Please let me know if this article helped you, and I would love to see your self portraits.
Hope to hear from you soon!

xoxo, 
Cort


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