Sailventure Day Six on Elysium

Captain's Log:

Little Choptank - Annapolis

Early morning storm came whipping through the protected anchorage we had chosen last night.  At least 50 kt winds were involved.  So forceful it flipped the dinghy.  Motored out into three foot waves, which killed speed.  Finally got to the bottom of Tilghman Island and broke out full sails in WNW winds of 15-20 its.  Great sunny sail home at 6 kts.  Good to see Thomas Point Light.  Elysium is home in her slip.  Thank you Anne for a wonderful adventure and all the laughs (and great dinners.)

Ship Photographer's Log:

Beautiful sunset shortly after we settled into our last anchorage - last image!  It is very peaceful here in the Little Choptank - a little hideaway!  Yet another storm blew through last night with insane winds - it started blowing around 3:00 a.m. so we are a wee bit tired from keeping a constant ear on the activity surrounding Elysium.  At one point, when the 50 knot winds occurred, Elysium heeled over on about a 30 degree "down bubble" and the galley drawers came flying open!  Our anchoring skills proved once again to be on point, and we stayed tight to our anchor!!  Bay was again too rough to handle a camera - and needed to relieve Norm on the wheel as much as possible.  Anyway - enjoy the last sunset of our journey!  We are already planning our next sojourn into the "Seafood Capital of the World" - Crisfield, Maryland and Smith Island - so we will let you know when Sailventure II sets course!

Sailventure Day Five on Elysium

Captain's Log:

Moved over one creek nearer to Point Lookout.  That's it. No passage.  Just a "fun day."  Found a great place to tie up - the Corinthian Yacht Club.  Showers * Pool * Nice people.  We dinghied around so Anne could get some great photos.  Tomorrow, on the other hand, we hope to go out the C Bay and begin moving north.  Strong winds nothing unusual for this trip!!

Ship Photographer's Log:

Had a fun foto day!  Once we arrived in Jutland Creek and got settled in at the Corinthian Yacht Club, we headed off in the dinghy to buzz around and explore the creek!  To our surprise and excitement, we came upon yet another beautiful wooden sailboat, Rainbow.  Many, many herring sightings and a plethora a working boats to behold.  Please pay close attention to the image of what appears to be a "stick" in the water -- that would be our dinghy paddle that got stuck in the muck!!!  Don't worry we had a successful man overboard drill and am glad to say that it made it safely back into the hands of the Dinghy Captain.

Sailventure Day Four on Elysium

Captain's Log:

A wonderful sunny day.  Moved back down the Potomac to the St. Mary's River on a beam reach with 10 kt SW winds.  Walked around St. Mary's College and visited the Dove.  Dropped anchor in St. Inigoes Creek. Covered 18 miles in total.  Cocktail dinghy cruise in the evening to explore the creek.  Finished the evening with Anne's homemade meatballs and spaghetti.  

Ship Photographer's Log:

A beautiful and lazy day for the photographer!!  It is again very quiet on the C Bay today - so we decided to  head up to St. Mary's College, situated right above the beautiful Horseshoe Bay, to visit the Dove. Make sure to check out the link for the history of this beautiful sailing vessel!  Tying up along the college dock, we were able to walk over to this wonderful replica.  If you are interested in sailing her - she does make several C Bay passages and they are always looking for crew!!!  What a beautiful ship!!  I also became fascinated with what appeared to be hundreds of Atlantic Sea Nettles, which are so common in the Chesapeake Bay this time of year!  So fun to watch but not so fun to get stung by!!  Enjoy the day!

Sailventure Day Three on Elysium

Captain's Log:

Solomons Island to Machodoc Creek.  The 50 knot storm in Solomons buried the anchor, so it took some encouragement to get it released.  Motored south with 8 knot sw winds on the bow (nothing new.). Sunny skies. At. Point Lookout, winds turned west to our favor and were able raise the sails.  Had a beautiful 15 mile run up the Potomac.  Covered 48 miles for the day in total.  Quite and serene anchorage at Machodoc Creek.  BBQ shrimp and marinated flank steak - A very good day.

Ship Photographer's Log:

Well, the winds finally gave me a chance to sit comfortably in the cockpit with my camera.  While in Solomons, we anchored right off a navy warfare base.  Had fun capturing planes practicing a "touch landing" with immediate take off.  Excited to see some C Bay pelicans enjoying a sunny morning in the marker penthouse.  My favorite moment was when we came upon Point No Point Lighthouse equipped with outhouse.  The architecture to me was French in appearance so very formal to my eye.  We finally anchored in a beautiful creek in perfect timing to enjoy a gorgeous sunset!  Enjoy what I saw during the day!  Off to Smith Island on Wednesday - hoping to take some pictures of the watermen!

Sailventure Day Two on Elysium

Captain's Log:

Herring to Solomons - 33 miles in eight hours. Our wind was on the nose but we were able to cheat to windward.  Some sailing without the motor today!  Beautiful day.  24 knots SSW steady until the storms began ramping up to 34 knot gusts when coming into the Patuxent River.  Two-handed sailing can be challenging in heavy weather, but we did a great job problem solving our way through it and got the mainsail down with precision!

Ship Photographer's Log:

Again, another day of strong winds and waves making it difficult to keep the camera in the cockpit, but of course I was able to click a few along our journey to Solomons!  Not to many boats out and about - hmmm.  We cruised along with Capt. Dave, the tugboat for a while, actually spotted a sting ray in the bay (wasn't able to get that one unfortunately), raced the storm clouds, watched over our anchor in gale force winds and rain you could nearly see through!  CRAZY DAY - but all is calm and have an amazing sky to take in.  Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday we will be off to the Potomac River!!  See ya then






The First Sailventure Cruise on Elysium

It's official! We are off and sailing! 

Captain's Log:

6/18/17:  Happy Father's Day!  Annapolis to Herring Bay 24 knot SW headwinds all the way in our face, 3 foot waves.  We made 18 miles in 6 hours.  Sail motoring with 1/4 jib.  Found a great anchorage between the bluff and beach.  A nice Cabernet and Anne's gumbo - Captain's happy.  We will try for Solomon's Island tomorrow (36 nm) with the same challenging conditions.

Ship Photographer's Log:

Well attempting to take photos while going up and down three foot waves today, to say the least, was a wee bit challenging!  The day was actually beautiful and fortunately the predicted the storms kept their distance but brought quite strong winds!  We saw only a few sails boats with full sails and you can see the result!  Most boats did quite well just flying their jib!  Norm was completely on top of checking what was coming our way in terms of weather!!  Heading south, we passed my favorite light house on the Bay, Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse!  I can never get enough shots of this iconic site!  Hopefully on the way home the wind will be a little more cooperative - but still am thrilled with what I captured!  We made our anchorage around 4:30 and tucked ourselves into a wonderful little area - where the locals where cooling off the kids on the "BIG" chair.!

Thanks for reading - stayed tuned to see where we end up tomorrow!! Hope you enjoy the images.

ENGAGEMENT: Corinne + Adam and special appearance by Gavin

Engagement Photos

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Favorite Moment:

When it comes to this adorable couple, there were so many favorite moments ... but the moment that really stuck with me was when their eyes met!  They would completely fall into each other!  I was thrilled to also have some special time bringing in Gavin for some images!  He has the biggest twinkle in his eyes!!  They are going to make an amazing new family!

Vibrant Style:

Relaxed and beautiful:  When I first met Corinne and Adam, one of the most important questions I ask my wedding couples is how they envision their big day to unfold.  Without hesitation, Corinne and Adam chimed together "laid back, no hassles."  Their easy-going nature definitely came through in every image!!  

My Favorite Engagement Photo:

I must say that I have a lot, so I am going to choose two!  The first one is where I found a place for Corinne and Adam to sit down in the field - here's where I saw the look of complete love and could have just photographed them for hours on end!  The second is an image on the wall of my pond.  I loved turning this image into a black and white and bringing back the color in their reflection!

Engagement Location:

Ann Peyton Photography's Oasis

Thank You:

The spring weather held up for us and was truly a blessing!  I loved wandering around my property getting to know you better!  I can't tell you enough how thrilled I am to be the photographer documenting the day you say I DO!

Longwood Gardens, PA 5/17/17 - Power to the Flower

Over the past few weeks, I have been patiently waiting for my garden to "wake up" so I could have some floral fun with my camera but the weather has been a little less than cooperative.  Finding myself getting impatient, I decided to take a road trip this week to Longwood Gardens, which turned out to be one of the hottest days so far!   I decided before I left that it would be fun to photograph a little bit differently than just going to document flowers.  My thought process was that I knew I wanted to take images of my favorite types of flowers but now create a photo so that a single bloom was isolated capturing its individual beauty.  Luck for me,  I have acquired quite a collection of various mat boards in colors and sizes and found the perfect size black mat board that was fantastic to place behind any bloom I might encounter - and also not damage the rest of the plant when I used it.  I hope you enjoy the beautiful blooms from my trip!


This special little girl arrived a lot earlier than Mom & Dad expected and had to spend a bit of time in the hospital while she put on some weight!  Still such a peanut when she came to my studio but totally rocked the session!  It was truly a wonderful thing to create these wonderful images for such a special family!    Enjoy some images from her day!

Size Your Images Correctly

Size Your Images Correctly

Over the past year, I have been contacted on numerous occasions by friends and clients who get very frustrated when they cannot get their photographs of trips, etc. to print correctly.  After my most recent call, it seemed to me that this is becoming a more common problem and would be a great thing to blog about.   Adobe Photoshop is a very complicated editing software program and there are specific things you should and need to know when it comes to setting up your images and being able to print them correctly.

The common thread in this frustration level appears when images are being saved incorrectly when it comes to their resolution.  Not understanding the what resolution means to an image can result in making it impossible to print.  I hate to say it … but in Photoshop, size does matter!

Since this is a pretty technical topic, I felt asking a Photoshop professor, John Whitehead, at the  Harrisburg Area Community College to be my guest blogger was the perfect way to go!  I am currently taking his course to refresh and hone my own editing skills.   Not only did he graciously write a wonderful educational piece but also created and YouTube video (you will see the link below) for those of us who find it easier to understand when we watch something!!

I know you will enjoy John’s very informative tips and techniques, which will no doubt help make your life in Photoshop easier!  – Please feel free to share this with anyone who would be interested!

Guest Photography Blogger – John Whitehead,

John Whitehead Images

Saving digital photographs is a very specific process. Even if you don't have Adobe Photoshop, you need to supply the right image format and size. There are many factors that go into preparing an image for the web so I will keep this simple and break this into two specific sections: files for print and files for web.

Files For Print

To prepare a file for print you need a large image size. The size is a combination of width, height and resolution. Width and height are simple; they are usually a ratio of how big you want the image printed. For example, 4 inches by 6 inches which is a 2x3 ratio. In this case, you would select your width of 6 inches and a height of 4 inches. The last and most important setting is resolution. The most common printing resolution is 300 pixels per inch or “ppi.” However, you should always ask what resolution the client or lab that is printing the file. For example, the lab I use is Modern Postcard, and they require 355 ppi. Knowing this ahead of time will give you the correct file size and optimum image quality when it is printed.

The second part of image preparation is saving as the correct file type. Usually, you will be using .tiff or .jpg.  Tif files are uncompressed files saving all digital information.  They will result in the best image quality and the largest files sizes. The “.jpg” is a “compressed” file format and will have a good image quality and small file size. Not all labs will accept .tif files because of their large size.  Also, know that when emailing .tif files, it can be difficult because they will exceed the maximum file size. If this case, you can use a free service like Dropbox, Google Drive or WeTransfer. Jpg files can usually be emailed to the client but check to see so you don't exceed their max file size.

Files for Web or Social Media

Files for the web or social media are very different than files for print. They use height and width in pixels instead of a combination of width, height and resolution. For example, an image for the web might be sized 300 pixels by 200 pixels. This is the same 2x3 ratio as above but sized for a very specific location. If you tried to print this image it would look pixelated and horrible. It is helpful when photographing for the web to know the exact size of the image before you start. This helps you shoot a nice composition for the correct ratio. For example, Revolution sliders, which is a word press plug-in that helps to display your images, uses a very long width and narrow height.  If you shoot full frame on your camera you will lose a large portion of the image.I heard somewhere that the optimum size for social media files are 2024 pixels on the long side but that could be totally wrong.

Another important aspect when it comes to all social media and web files is that they need to be converted to the color space sRGB. So if you are using Adobe RGB, Adobe 1998 or ProPhoto you need to convert the file to sRGB. When saving web and social media files, they are usually saved as .jpg or .png. The .jpg is the most common and .png is only used for files with transparent backgrounds like logos. For the purpose of this blog, I am only going to talk about .jpg since it is the most common file type.

Wikipedia -JPEG (/ˈdʒeɪpɛɡ/ JAY-peg)[1] is a commonly used method of lossy compression for digital images, particularly for those images produced by digital photography. The degree of compression can be adjusted, allowing a selectable tradeoff between storage size and image quality. JPEG typically achieves 10:1 compression with little perceptible loss in image quality.

There is a program called JPEGmini. It will reduce you file size even more than the traditional .jpg file in Photoshop or Lightroom but keeps the image quality. It does work really good but the price is very high for the program. Watch it goes on sale once or twice a year. They also have a free version which lets you convert a few files a day.

Here is a link to a YouTube video I made to walk you thought the process with Adobe Photoshop.

Below I have listed my steps to process an image. *Note, I shoot my images in raw format. If you shoot jpg images, the process is a little different, and I have listed the steps for that as well below.

Processing a raw image

1.   Tone image

2.   Flatten image layers

3.   Change mode to 8 bit

4.   Size image as stated above

5.   Sharpen image using unsharp mask or smart sharpen

6.   Convert to the correct color profile

7.   Save image as .tif or .jpg

Processing a jpg image

1.   Tone image

2.   Size image as stated above

3.   Sharpen image using unsharp mask or smart sharpen

4.   Convert to the correct color profile

5.   Save image as .tif or .jpg


John Whitehead

John Whitehead Images



Meet Elowyn!  What an incredibly adorable and perfect angel!  She was the second newborn for my model call and made all the new props even more precious!  Elowyn and her big brother Fox will most definitely have a great time growing up together! Here are a few images to enjoy!

{Ann Peyton has over five years experience as a professional newborn baby photographers in and around the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area.  Please book your session early in your pregnancy as photo sessions are limited and depending upon the month can fill up quickly.  Email or use the Contact form to inquire and book.}

Anne and Chris's Wedding, The Peter Allen House September 4, 2016 - Harrisburg, PA

This Labor Day weekend, I shot a beautiful wedding at the Peter Allen House in Harrisburg, PA.  Anne and Chris's families were so tremendous and relaxed - they made me feel as if I have known them for years!  Everything about the day was perfect, from the weather to the ceremony to the food and music.  Enjoy the photos!


Venue:  The Peter Allen House:

Flowers:  Pealer's Flowers:

Cake:  Kyrsten's Sweet Designs:

Ensemble:  Cherrywood Ensemble:  

A Wedding Photographer’s Timeline

A Wedding Photographer’s Timeline – What We Need in Order to Capture Your Day

Planning a wedding is an extremely large and stressful undertaking, as there are so many details and timelines that need to be coordinated.  A wedding photographer is the one “wedding vendor” that is typical with the bridal couple the entire wedding day and in my opinion a key component to making sure the day stays on schedule – as best as he/she/they can.  

After recently talking with one of my overwhelmed brides on how to plan a timeline for the day, I felt this topic would be a great thing to share - what brides need to consider when scheduling their wedding day – from hair and makeup appointments to being announced into the reception.  

Please understand that with the diversity of the cultural aspects, exact wedding photography timelines will need to be taken into consideration and plotted out with your photographer.  There are, however, ideal time frames that every bridal couple needs to consider when planning out their day.  Some of these times may appear to be long, but please keep in mind that:  

1.  Your wedding day will fly by, and 

2.  Most weddings run slightly behind schedule so that is considered in the planning

When brides start planning how their wedding day will unfold, I suggest that they allow for at least 3 ½ hours for photography (add an additional 45 minutes to 1 hour if you are considering a first look) prior to the ceremony.  Below, is a breakdown of your wedding day through the eyes of a photographer:


* Ideal Time Allotment – Photographer arrives 30 minutes prior to the arrival of the bride coming back from hair/makeup session.

Advice – *Assign the MOH to have the dress (on a nice hanger), shoes, rings, wedding jewelry and bouquet in a pre-determined area so the photographer can find them easily.  Give your photographer at least 30 minutes for details to ensure plenty of time to get great images of the dress, rings, shoes, bouquets, and the other details of the day.  We all know that there will be times when a hotel room is too crowded or simply unappealing; so a photographer may have to take the dress all the way down to the lobby or even outside.

* Ideal Time of the Day – Morning

* Ideal Location – Bridal Suite, Hotel Suite, bedroom


* Ideal Time Allotment – 45 minutes to 1 hour (depending on size of bridal party)

Advice – Giving 45 minutes to an hour to capture bridal preparation is ideal. During this time, a photographer can capture close-ups of the makeup and hair being applied, ties being straightened, and, candid moments, as the bridesmaids and groomsmen get ready for the day. Keep in mind that these can be some of the most emotional and fun times of the day.

* Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Early Afternoon

* Ideal Location – Bridal Suite or Hotel Suite



* Ideal Time Allotment – 30 minutes

Advice *Right after prep is the best time for individual portraits of the bride and groom (separately). Besides makeup and hair being completely fresh, the day hasn’t become hectic yet.

**Also, keep in mind that the window lighting in most hotel rooms creates a unique look that can’t be duplicated in any environment throughout the rest of the day.

* Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Early Afternoon

* Ideal Location – Bridal Suite, Hotel Suite, Venue Lobby, or Venue Garden


*Ideal Time Allotment – 45 minutes to 1 hour (depending on size of bridal party)

Advice – Wedding Party Photos should be around 45 minutes to 1 hour. During this time, a wedding photographer can obtain a variety of shots in a variety of poses. Starting off with the basic, classic photos focused on great expressions and lighting, moving into a set of fun and creative shots and finishing with individual pictures with you and each one of your bridesmaids or groomsmen individually.

* Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Afternoon

* Ideal Location - Venue Lobby, Venue Garden, Beach, Park, Off-site Location


*Time Allotment – 45 minutes to 1 hour (depending on size of families)

Advice – It is extremely important to have these additional images with your parents, grandparents, and siblings and family members.  It is also very important for family members to be prompt for this portrait session time as they may be travelling from a different location. 

* Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Afternoon

* Ideal Location -Venue Lobby, Venue Garden, Beach, Park, Off-site Location


* Ideal Time Allotment – 30-60 minutes

Advice – The first look should be around 30 to 45 minutes. During this time, the bride and groom enjoy seeing each other for the first time on their wedding day. While the actual first look might only be 5-10 minutes, the rest of the time is spent on a few basic portraits of the bride and groom.

* Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Early Afternoon

* Ideal Location – Venue Garden, Empty Venue Hallway (shaded areas with natural light)


* Ideal Time Allotment – 20-30 minutes

Advice – Photographer needs to allow 20 minutes to take pictures of the ceremony site, completely set up with no guests or vendors in the area.

* Ideal Location – Ceremony Site

* Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Afternoon


*Ideal Time Allotment – 45-60 minutes

Advice – Formals should take around 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the size of Families and any other extended guests invited for these photographs.   One can use the guidelineof 3 minutes per group on average. For example, if you have 10 groups, schedule in a 30-minute time slot.  

It is also highly recommended that this is very organized, with a list of groups and helpers from each side of the family to help round people up, as the photographer would not be familiar with all the who’s who

*Ideal Time of the Day – Morning or Afternoon (Post Ceremony)

*Ideal Location – Ceremony Site


* Ideal Time Allotment – 20-30 minutes

Advice – Please allow 30 minutes for pictures of the reception room, completely set up with no guests or vendors in the area. ** Your photographer may want to arrange to take these images early in the day if the reception venue is set up.

Similar to the ceremony details, this is the only opportunity to capture the beauty of the reception room prior to guest arrival.

* Ideal Time of the Day – Photographer can determine

* Ideal Location – Ceremony Site

COUPLES SESSION - SUNSET (Note: this shot depends on time of year, timeline of events, etc.)

* Ideal Time Allotment – 30-45 minutes

Advice – Couple session should ideally take place 30 to 45 minutes before sunset. This is the best time in terms of lighting.

* Ideal Time of the Day – (Sunset)

* Ideal Location – Venue Garden, Beach, Hotel Lobby, Park


* Ideal Time Allotment – 20-30 minutes

Advice – During the reception, if you are planning on sneaking out for a couple of night

Shots - only about 20-30 minutes would be needed, so as not to take you away from your guests. The ideal time for this is right after you grab a bite to eat or during the open floor dancing after you’ve danced a few songs and would like a break. Another a suggestion would be to get these shots at the very end of the night once all the guests have departed.

* Ideal Time of the Day – Dusk to Night Time

* Ideal Location – Areas with interesting lights, fountains, cityscapes

Below, I have listed a basic photography wedding timeline, based on a 4:00 p.m. ceremony.  Please remember this is from a photographer’s point of view!  Feel free to start with this timeline and tailor it to your own!  I hope that it will help you create a calm and beautiful day!

I hope this basic wedding schedule will assist in scheduling your hair and makeup appointments as well so that you are able to finish up as close to the time your photographer needs to start capturing the beautiful images as your day unfolds!!

12:00 – 12:30 p.m. Photographer arrives 

12:30 – 1:00 p.m. Bride to step into dress – **if you have corset style dress allow 20 minutesfor lacing up 

1:00 – 1:30 p.m. Bride’s individual photos

1:30 – 1:50 p.m. Portraits of:

  • Bride with Father
  • Bride with Mother
  • Bride with Mother and Father
  • Bride with Siblings
  • Bride with Siblings (and their families)
  • Bride with immediate family
  • Bride with immediate family and grandparents
  • Bride with immediate family, grandparents & extended families
  • Bride with grandparents
  • Bride with bridesmaids and flower girl
  • Bride with flower girl
  • Bride with each bridesmaid

2:00 – 2:15 p.m. Groom Getting Ready and Individual Portraits

2:15 – 2:45 p.m. Portraits of:

  • Groom with Father
  • Groom with Mother
  • Groom with Mother and Father
  • Groom with Siblings
  • Groom with Siblings (and their families)
  • Groom with immediate family
  • Groom with immediate family and grandparents
  • Groom with immediate family, grandparents & extended families
  • Groom with grandparents
  • Groom with groomsmen and ring bearer
  • Groom with ring bearer
  • Groom with each groomsman
  • 2:45    Photographer travel to ceremony venue

3:00 – 3:20 Details of ceremony venue (before guests are seated)


4:30 – 5:30 Cocktail Hour for Guests

4:35 – 5:20 – Formal Family Portraits

  •     Bride and Groom with Officiant
  •     Bride and Groom with Bride’s parents
  •     Bride and Groom – bride’s parents & siblings
  •     Bride and Groom – bride’s parents, siblings, grandparents
  •     Bride and Groom – bride’s parents, siblings, extended family
  •     Bride and Groom with groom’s parents
  •     Bride and Groom – groom’s parents & siblings
  •     Bride and Groom – groom’s parents, siblings, grandparents
  •     Bride and Groom – groom’s parents, siblings, extended family
  •     Bride and Groom with Best Man and Maid of Honor
  •     Bride and Groom with Flower Girl and Ring Bearer
  •     Bride with Groomsmen
  •     Groom with Bridesmaids
  •     Bride and Groom with full bridal party mini session

5:20 – 5:40 – Formal Bride and Groom Portraits

5:30 – Reception Begins

5:45    Grand Entrance

  •     First Dance
  •     Toasts/Prayer

6:00    Dinner

  •     Father/Daughter and Mother/Son Dances
  •     Garter/Bouquet toss
  •     Cake Cutting

SUNSET Portraits with Bride and Groom

RECEPTION SNEAK OUT Twilight Portraits with Bride and Groom


Every year, I commit to advance my photography skill and knowledge by attending several on-line seminars or an on-location photography workshop (which I must add is the more expensive route.)  I just returned from a Lighting and Skill Set Boot Camp instructed by one of the most well recognized wedding photographers, Cliff Mautner, in Haddonfield, New Jersey.  

I have been following Cliff Mautner’s beautiful and dramatic imagery for the past several years and was aware that he offered an intense lighting/skill workshop but honestly shied away from taking it because I felt my skill level could not possible measure up to any of his masterful standards.    Earlier this year, I again happened across that he was going to be holding a new lighting and skill set boot camp (which he offers only limited times a year and is not formally advertised) in May.  Something inside pushed me to make a call and inquire more about this workshop.  To my surprise when I called, expecting to speak with a staff person, Cliff in fact answered – which completely threw me for a loop.  We spoke for about twenty minutes and, it felt like I was simply talking to a friend! Needless to say, I signed up within minutes of hanging up and, it was the best decision I have made for my photography business!

With bags in hand and a bundle of nerves standing at attention, I arrived at Cliff’s studio on Monday evening to his welcome reception and was immediately greeted with his warm smile and genuine happiness that I was there.  I sat among 19 other professional photographers – all with a common goals – learning to see light in a new dramatic way – as well as honing off camera flash skills.  What I did not expect to encounter was Cliff’s passion to not only sincerely teach but also to deeply learn about everyone attending.  I have never experienced a workshop where the instructor truly wants to share in depth knowledge and experience so that we may infuse it into our path and journey.

Over the next two and half days, Cliff opened his business like a book for us to read – answered questions on every level, shared his own personal trials and tribulations, and joked with us every minute.  Our days were jammed packed started at 9:00 a.m. and always going past the 9:00 p.m. ending point to ensure nothing was missed.    Cliff’s instruction was meticulous on how to see good light when “technically” it is the worst light.  We were taught how to create beautiful images from locations that I would not readily feel I could see a beautiful and dramatic image.  On both days, there was time set aside to put our “classroom” skills to work and set out with more than enough models – which usually there are never enough models for the number of students.  Our “working” groups were small and never did a battle or struggle over time to instruct or pose the models come into play.  Cliff would turn us loose yet was always floating equally around making sure that we were seeing situations or light in a different way - affording his critique of any image - without a sugar coating of course! 

We ended our time with Cliff doing a formal critique of our images – he asked for a couple of prior images and a couple take during the boot camp.   As you can imagine, all 20 of us sat in intense anticipation of whether we would receive what Cliff referred to as a “@#IT Sandwich.”  Once again, he sat and commented with such sincere care and afforded honest direction as to improvement.  If we nailed with the technical tasks that we came there to achieve, he proudly pointed it out.  My heart beamed when he told me I nailed it!  I worked hard, I listened hard, and I have never been so excited about creating images as a result of this workshop!

Vacation Photo Tips

Summer is around the corner and that means time for vacations. Mobile devices have made capturing your vacation moments and sharing them on social media a breeze. Below are some tips to help you with capturing those perfect photos on vacation. 

1. Pre Vacation. The vacation is going to be great, but the excitement surrounding the build up to leaving on vacation is just as fun. I know that kids are always overly excited about what they are looking forward to. What a great way to show and remember the build up and lead in to your vacation.

2. Don't be a bore. Look for creative ways to take different angles and shots. Don't just have your family stand in front of the ocean, but try some great angles and clever ways to capture it. Play with colors and poses too. Look for items or props that are on site that you can use. 

3. The Sun is Your Friend. Most vacation photos we are not going to worry too much about if the lighting is just right. Even when the light is not optimal get creative and capture the shot. When you need to, try using your flash. 

4. Look for shade. Look for nice even lighting where something is blocking the sun. The sun could be a building, a tree, a car, an overhang, etc. put your family in front of trees that block the light.  If you look at the ground by their feet you can see very few bright spots and none of the bright spots are on their bodies. The point is to try to find a place that diffuses the light if it's too bright. 

5. Don't Stand Still. Repositioning where you are standing in reference to your subject may just be the answer to the perfect shot. Move around and create different perspectives when shooting. 

6. Natural. Don't always tell your subjects to "look here" and "stay put, let me get your photo". Instead let it be natural. Capture the photos and those shots when they are not looking. These can actually be some of the best photos from your entire vacation. Those natural shots. 

7. What seems irrelevant can be fun. We've all had those amazing meals or shared those moments at the breakfast table at the local diner. These can be some amazing family memories you should not forget to capture. I have shared some great laughs at photos I have shot during the not so relevant times on vacation. 

9. Now What?  Don't forget real time! Upload some of the best of the best relevant photos on your Instagram or other social media platforms.When you return home create albums on your social media platforms where you can upload all the photos and share with friends and family.  Don't forget to print those photos that you can give as gifts or frame for your desk or living room. You would be surprised at the great photos you can capture on your phone during your vacation! 

My 5 Favorite Things About Being A Newborn Photographer

My 5 favorite things about being a newborn photographer

  1. I am a mom myself to two beautiful daughters . There is really no need to explain here, I love my job as a mother and my love for babies. The one thing I wish I did more of when they were small was capture more photos. The ones I do have, still to this day, cover the walls in my home. A smile always appears when I stop and soak up those images and "remember when" .
  2. I love meeting and talking to new moms and dads about their sweet little bundle(s). Seeing the joy and love being shared by parents with their new baby is something that is so exciting for me.  Getting to be present within the first few days after birth is something I truly cherish and take pride in.
  3. I love helping new moms and dads with questions or giving tips/ideas that have worked well for me. I also love hearing how things have changed so much with technology and gadgets that are available now from when I was a new mom. 
  4. I Love seeing the reaction on parents faces when they see how adorable their little darling looks in the images. Taking those first few shots and showing parents how I am able to capture the peace and tranquility of their newborn is something that will never grow old for me.  The reactions I receive are so important to me as I show parents my art. Having their newborns as my muses is incredibly rewarding. 
  5. I get to snuggle babies for a few hours and get my baby fix! That alone should sum it up. How lucky am I? I get commissioned to work with the most precious subjects around.