Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bits of Life :: Harrisburg Kennel Club Dog Show (August 09)

It's quite possible that some day I may become a dog show addict. Don't know what it is about the atmosphere of dozens upon dozens of dogs of all breeds competing to be the 'best of show' ~ but it's better than any reality TV show for me. (Of course if you know me, I don't watch much TV so maybe that's not an accurate comparison.) Anyway~ the owners are excited, the newer handlers sometimes a little nervous, the judges show confidence in spotting the best of the breed, fur is floating in the air and everyone is more than willing to share the wonderful traits of his or her particular breed of dog with anyone who simply asks.

Back in April I posted some images from the All-Breed Dog Show in Harrisburg and a few weeks ago we returned to the Farm Show Complex to attend a second dog show. Just for fun, my husband and I tried taking four kids and that excitement lasted all of ten minutes for the five year old. Unfortunately, we got there at the end of the day and the dogs were just plain tired out, which made for some mellow images. I learned my lesson and next time we'll just stick to me taking the oldest, who is now ten, since she just plain loves all dogs and is really into learning about the different breeds. We are already planning our trip in November to the Kennel Club of Philadelphia show! Hope you enjoy a few images here from our short-but-sweet dog show experience.

Just plain tuckered out...

Awaiting some final grooming touches

By default, my sister-in-law owns a pug so I must photograph pugs

I liked her "comb carrier"...can you find it?

Show time!

Another time 'round the ring

These dogs are HUGE and stunning. This one's just plain handsome.
Love the marble coat.

Contrasted by the starlet.
Couldn't get a good image but she was attentive to the handler!

Another in "the price of beauty" series I might start.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Senior Portrait Session :: Katie

The third try was a charm for Katie's senior portrait session~ on our second rescheduled date last week, I was just minutes from her house when the sun was blotted out by clouds and literally put a damper on our plans. Thankfully tonight's weather was exactly what I had dreamed of for this location at her family's charming farmette~ the perfect evening sun with the occasional cloud to create multiple areas of gorgeous light. It didn't hurt much either that her mom has an amazing green thumb, which gave me multiple locations to work in! And with Katie's natural beauty and sweet demeanor, it was just heaven from a photographer's point of view. She will be a senior at Lower Dauphin this fall with plans to major in art after graduation. Thanks for your patience, Katie~ I hope the wait was worth it!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Senior Portrait Session :: Zach

The August weather here has been so unpredictable~ seems downpours occur any time of day and a string of thunderstorms last week wreaked havoc on any type of schedule for photographing. Finally, this weather 'tide' has turned and yesterday I met with Zach and his mom, Shawn, on a sunny but warm afternoon. Shawn is a wonderful friend of mine and I graduated high school with her and Zach's dad. I could not get over how I kept looking through the lens and looking at his dad as a teenager! Zach plays soccer for Palmyra High School and, though he's just beginning to contemplate college choices, he plans to continue playing soccer in college and possibly study finance. For his senior portrait session, in addition to the more traditional images, I wanted to try something a little different for the images with his soccer jersey. What do you think?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Senior Portrait Session :: Brittany

When Brittany, an Elizabethtown 2010 grad-to-be and her mom met with me a few weeks ago to talk about location and clothes (something I like to do with clients before their portrait session) I was overjoyed that they both shared my love of "old" things like run-down barns, old stone houses and locations with rustic charm. With Brittany's looks and great choice of clothes, I just knew in my heart this was going to be a match made in heaven. We could not have picked a hotter day of the year, with temps in the 90's but feeling like 100~ and yet we were having so much fun exploring this property that we barely noticed. The lighting was just amazing and the images turned out exactly how I had dreamed they might be. Thanks, Brittany (and mom, Robin) for being a little adventurous~ and indulging in this idea with me!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Senior Portrait Session :: Kayla

I am always excited when seniors contact me and tell me they want something unique for their senior portraits (and even more excited when Mom is all for it too!) Kayla, an Elizabethtown 2010 grad-to-be, loves art and music so we tried to incorporate a little of each into her portraits to show her personality~ she has a sweet and beautiful spirit which shines through in everything she does~ I hope these images reflect the beautiful young woman she has become. Blessings to you, Kayla, in all you do!

and just for fun...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Baby Portrait Session :: Twin Boys @ Six Months

Yesterday I had the pleasure of hanging out with the two of the most adorable little men I have met in some time. Baby boys C & L are the sons of Eric & Robin, who were given a Circle of Life Photography certificate as a gift from friends for a baby portrait session (this is an obvious hint/reminder that gift certificates make awesome baby shower gifts!! okay. done plugging now ;-) I am still in amazement at the boys' sweet dispositions and their ability to nap anywhere at the drop of a hat (I saw it happen~ seriously they can fall asleep anywhere, with very little fuss!)

While the boys are identical twins, I was happy to find out that they have enough physical differences for someone with a trained eye to tell them apart~ which helped me a lot in figuring out who-was-who after I got home and started going through the images. After a little dilemma over which ones to post...and trying a few different processing effects, here are the ones I was particularly tickled with... feel free to post a comment if you like one (or more) in particular and I hope you enjoy these little guys~ check out the adorable hats Mom found for them~ accessories like this make a world of difference in portraits and take super cute to over-the-top adorableness!

I know most Moms don't like pics of their kids with Nuks, but this stage
really is so short that it's wayyy cute~ both now and years later!


Photo gallery website for proofing and additional info: 

Circle of Life Photography's page on Facebook~ Click HERE to add this page to your favorites!

Michelle Miller allowed me to link to her brilliant post about the art of photographing ... I simply cannot say it better myself! Click HERE to read the post.

Giving Back~ Organizations supported by Circle of Life Photography

In giving back, Circle of Life Photography's main goal is to help those experiencing extreme poverty and nourishing them with food, shelter and spiritual guidance. Education is a big part of helping people learn how to help themselves and change the downward spiral of poverty for a better future for themselves and their children. Locally, a more tangible way of giving back is through using my photography gifts to serve others who are experiencing crisis (see NILMDTS and Pillows of Love.)

Compassion International~ Haiti's Child Survival Project

In 2011-12, Circle of Life Photography makes a monthly $30 donation to the non-profit organization, Compassion International, whose goal is to change Haiti through the rescue, nuture and discipling of children during the critical early childhood years.

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep Foundation

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation (NILMDTS) gently provides a helping hand and a healing heart for families overcome by the grief and pain of the death of their newborn or infant. Offering gentle and beautiful photography services in a compassionate and sensitive manner is the heart of this organization. The soft, gentle heirloom photographs of these beautiful babies are an important part of the healing process. They allow families to honor and cherish their babies, and share the spirits of their lives. I am an active NILMDTS volunteer photographer for Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Lancaster Women & Babies Hospital.

Joni & Friends Family Retreat

I am honored to be a volunteer photographer at the Joni & Friends Family Retreat in the Poconos (Spruce Lake Retreat) for a week each summer (click here for past blog post.) Joni & Friends seeks to serve as a ministry of outreach to people with disabilities and their families across the US and around the world. Families from around the country attend Family Retreats seeking relaxation, encouragement and a time to strengthen their family.