Well, I’ve fallen behind on blogging again (quelle surprise), but I’m very excited to bring you a wedding I photographed last month! This is Kelley and Linda.

107

 

Their celebrity name is KelLin, by the way.

 

They’ve been together for 9 years, and on April 25th, they finally tied the knot! The setting for their ceremony was beautiful Anderson Park in Tarpon Springs, FL. There was a little concern about the weather as we headed into the weekend, but the storms held off till Sunday.

104

 

They did a great job with all the decorations and details! I love the colors they chose.

102 108

 

One of my favorite nuances of same-sex weddings is that the couple getting married seems to know not to take their ability to do so for granted. People across the state and across the country have fought hard, and continue to do so, for all loving couples to be able to make a lasting commitment to each other in the eyes of the law. Kelley and Linda recognized those pioneers in their vows, and await the Supreme Court ruling in the hopes that other couples can soon marry in their own respective states.

105 106

 

Do you know someone in need of a photographer? Getting in touch with me is just a click away! And be sure to leave a comment below for the happy couple!

Often, when I tell people I’m a photographer, they ask what camera I shoot with. I always tell them about my trusty Nikon D3oo, but I rarely give credit to the camera I use (and love) the most: my iPhone.

It’s true that the best camera is the one you have with you. And if you’re a skilled enough photographer, you can get some pretty incredible shots with whatever camera you’re given. I’m not saying I’d shoot a wedding with my iPhone any time soon (though it’s been done before), but my Nikon doesn’t exactly fit in my back pocket. Plus, I can’t go on Instagram with it.

With all that in mind, the key to getting great shots on whatever camera you’ve got is to learn to use it to its fullest potential. Whenever an update comes along, I read about any new features of the camera app. Stay tuned for a series of tips on getting the most out of your iPhone camera (many of which can be applied to other phones and tablets). Today, though, I’m going to talk about how to turn bad lighting into magic.

I was babysitting my friend’s toddler the other day, and when it was time for his nap (which, as with any 2-year-old, he was opposed to), I sat next to him on the bed while he drifted off to sleep to the sights and sounds of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toy review video, en español, on his iPad. I was going back and forth between Pinterest and Facebook on my iPad, when I got a text from his momma asking if he went down for his nap okay. As is often my habit, I decided to answer with a photo instead of a simple “yes.” So I flicked open the camera app on my phone and snapped this:

IMG_2583

 

 

Now, I’m sure many of you recognize this picture. No, not specifically THIS picture. I mean the phone picture. Bad lighting. Grainy/noisy. Weird color cast. You know it; you’ve taken it.

I sent it to Momma. “Perfect,” she says.

Well…

I set his iPad aside, set up a slightly better angle with my phone, tapped the screen to the area I wanted exposed/focused properly, and took a couple more (I love burst mode on my phone).

IMG_2587

 

Hmm…still grainy and splotchy, if a little brighter. Sure, this picture would show up in a message just fine, because our phone screens are smallish and forgiving. But this is no different than a picture that anyone could take with their phone of their sleeping child.

So, armed with my understanding of lighting, I opened up a blank web page on my iPad (I actually ended up having to Google Image search “blank white page”), turned the screen brightness all the way up, and placed it where I wanted to light that sweet, angelic, unconscious face.

IMG_2590

 

As you can see, the horrible, splotchy noise is gone, and the iPad screen illuminates his face so that the iPhone camera can see and expose it correctly, then the light falls gently off around his hair and his shoulders. But those poor red cheeks! Little man’s been sneezing up a storm all day. So I hit the edit button, picked a black and white filter*, and sent this one off to his mom:

Use an iPad screen to illuminate your subject when taking a photo with your iPhone

“And I’m in love with you,” was the response I got back.

These are the words I like to hear. I took a few more, changing up my angle and repositioning my “softbox.” And then he turned over, and we were done.

The point is, I could have just stuck with that first picture. My friend would have loved it just because her boy looked so sweet and peaceful in it. But I had the tools to make something a little better, with very little extra effort. Seriously, I didn’t even move from my spot. Just sort of scooted and shifted a little.

So, to recap:

1. Make sure your tablet’s screen brightness is all the way up, and navigate the browser to a blank white page – OR – download a softbox app (which I discovered I already had on my iPad after all of this). The nice thing about an app is that a lot of them will let you change the color, so you can get some cool lighting effects, or match the screen output color to odd ambient colors.

2. Position tablet so that it illuminates your subject to your liking. The great thing about this kind of lighting is that you can immediately see it and adjust as needed.

3. Take the shot!

4. Edit as needed.

Thanks for reading!

Jen

*A note about the black and white filter: I used to be very particular (read: stubborn) about using pre-set edits, but now I’ll go through the available filters and adjust if needed. There are myriad apps in which you can edit your photos, but I’ve found that if you have to get too heavy into editing, you should probably just try and retake the picture and make it better from the snap. 🙂

Yesterday morning, I and a few of my friends and family gathered together in Clermont for one singular purpose:

to get muddy.

That’s right, boys and girls, it was the Warrior Dash! There was running, climbing, swimming, and sliding. And of course, mud.

 

101

 

It was a somewhat chilly morning, but by the time we got moving, we were good to go. Although, I could’ve done without the slide into the icy water near the end of the course. But we had fun, and walked away with only minor bumps and bruises. Would I do it again? Absolutely. How often do you get to play in the mud?

 

102

 

Thanks for reading!

This Sunday, I got to meet 5-days-new, sweet little Miss N. I photographed her brother, Mr. W, about a year and a half ago for his first birthday cake smash.

Her momma, Jodie, warned me that Miss N didn’t seem to like sleeping much. But she didn’t seem to mind too much being photographed, anyway.

 

111

 

She even practiced her Jedi mind tricks to get her momma to feed her.

 

102

 

Starting them off on the right path. That’s a parenting win! We eventually got the young Padawan to sleep.

 

103 106

 

Love those cheeks!

 

108

 

We even got big brother into some pictures.

 

110

 

They were so sweet. Congrats to Bryan and Jodie for their beautiful family. Thanks for letting me hang out with you guys!

 

Have you recently welcomed your own Jedi-in-training? Do you know someone in need of a photographer? Drop me a line.

You may remember the newborn pictures of this little guy:

 

Baby in Jayne Hat

 

Well, he’s already 3 months (and some change) old! Which means it was time for the next session in his Grow With Me plan.

He was very alert again, and let me tell you…this kid is expressive!

1002

 

And he’s not afraid to show his skepticism, either.

1003

 

But he eventually seemed resigned to the fact that, yes, this photo shoot was really happening.

1004 1005 1006

 

But that didn’t mean that he wouldn’t be a little mischievous.

1001

 

Thanks to Mr. B’s mom, grandpa, and grandma for letting me hang out with him! He was cracking me up when I was going through some of these.

 

Do you know someone in need of a baby or maternity photographer? Packages are available to cover pregnancy all through to your little one’s first birthday, and we can set up payment plans (psst…they make great baby shower gifts)! Contact me today for more information, or to schedule your session!

 

And hey, thanks!

Jen

 

 

Well, I’m catching up on blogging today. Here’s a newborn session from October featuring Mr. B!

Sleeping newborn

 

Don’t let that picture fool you. He spent more time awake than asleep for this session.

Alert Newborn

 

Though it did make for some amusing photos, like in this next panel.

Hockey baby

 

It seems clear that this little guy prefers the Tampa Bay Lightning over the Buffalo Sabres.

Okay, okay, maybe that’s not entirely true.

Happy Sleepy Baby

 

We did work quickly to get as many different shots as possible when he finally drifted off.

Sleeping newborn in hats

 

We love hats!

Baby in Jayne Hat

 

But they’re also precious on their own.

Sleeping baby Sleeping Baby

 

Readers, you’ll have the privilege of watching Mr. B grow through his first year, as I’ll be capturing milestones through the “Grow With Me” package.

Are you expecting a new baby, and want to document his or her first year? Get in touch! Payment plans are available for the First Year packages, and they make great baby shower gifts!

So, it’s been awhile, friends. Hope you all had a great holiday and are starting off your new year right! I know I’m trying to!

In that vein, I’m finally posting about a wedding that I photographed in *gulp* October.

I first met with Katie in March to talk about me possibly photographing her wedding. As soon as I heard that it was at the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts, I knew it just had to be me! What a neat wedding it would be! So I was very excited when I met back up with her and Jeff, her fiancé, a couple weeks later to book.

St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Art wedding

This venue was seriously gorgeous. Almost as gorgeous as the bride! Bride

A new trend that’s becoming more and more popular at weddings is the first look. Instead of waiting until the ceremony to see each other for the first time on the wedding day, couples plan a place to meet before the ceremony begins, sometimes hours before. I’ve found that planning to have your first look at a planned time before the ceremony helps to calm nerves. It also gives you the bonus of getting some of your portraits done before the real craziness of the day begins! Katie and Jeff opted for the first look for these reasons, and it was fantastic!

First Look First Look First Look

One of the things Katie and Jeff really wanted was to get some photos in front of the Banyan trees in the park next to the museum.

Bride and Groom portrait 114

And of course, there was that fabulous museum front.

Wedding Party

After the ceremony was cocktail hour, which meant we had some more time for portraits (yay!).

Statues
Gallery

Jeff helped bustle Katie’s dress, then they had an impromptu first dance practice.

Bustle and first dance practice

Then it was time for the real thing.

110

The reception was fun, as they usually are. Everyone was having a good time enjoying the music and dancing! The evening finished off with a sparkling send-off.

Sparkler Exit

Thanks so much to Katie and Jeff for letting me be a part of your beautiful day! You guys rocked!

Know someone looking for a wedding photographer in the Tampa Bay or surrounding areas? I’d love to hear from you! I happily cover same-sex weddings, as well! Contact me today and tell me about your event!

Thanks,

Jen

 

This past Monday, I had the pleasure of photographing an engagement session inside Universal Studios and Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme parks in Orlando, Florida. LeAnna, the bride-to-be, is a huge Harry Potter fan (probably a bigger fan than I am), and she’s gotten her fiancé, Azrael, into the series through the Jim Dale audiobooks.

When I met with them, they told me they were torn between doing a Harry Potter-themed engagement session, and a 1940’s-themed one. My suggestion: “Why not both?” Universal Orlando offers some New York City backdrops, perfect for photos set in the 40’s, and of course Hogsmeade and the newly-opened Diagon Alley for the Harry Potter photos. Done!

106

 

 

We decided to wait a couple months for the crowds to die down a bit, and the weather to get a little more bearable. The day we went, it was nicely overcast in the morning, which allowed me to capture these long-exposure shots down busy Diagon Alley.

101

 

We also took a turn down the infamous Knockturn Alley, which was so dark that I had no choice but to break out the flash. A little creative placement and colored gel, and I think we’ve captured the sinister mood of the place.

104

And we did board the train to head to Hogsmeade, so we could get that famous castle in the backdrop. Unfortunately, the sun had come out fully, and it was hot for this lovely couple all dressed in black. So we made it a short visit. 109

 

We hopped back on the Hogwarts Express and made our way once more to Universal Studios, and walked over towards the New York City sets, where we found a secluded alley sheltered from the hot sun, and perfect for some gritty 1940’s shots.

105

 

Would you believe it was close to lunch time when we took these?

108

Finally, we found an excellent prop to round out our 1940’s segment of the engagement shoot. We waited for the clouds to cover the sun, and grabbed a few quick shots with this sweet ride.

107

Thanks to LeAnna and Azrael for braving the Florida weather for this most magical of engagement sessions! You guys ROCKED it!

Know anybody who just got engaged? Need engagement photos yourself? Contact me to reserve your session. You know how much I love the geeky ones!

And hey…thanks!

 

A month ago, I took maternity photos for Carie and Travis at the beach. This week, I got to meet and photograph their newborn baby girl.

Newborn photos work best when they’re done within the first 14 days after baby is born, as they are more likely to sleep longer, and more willing to be swaddled and gently posed than when they gain stronger motor functions. As you can see by those little toes sticking out in this photo, that’s not necessarily a guarantee that they still won’t break free from their wrappings. She’s a kicker.

newborn photography

 

And at only 4 days new, she sure was an alert little bear cub! Bear Cub

But we managed to get her snoozing (and smiling!) a bit, too.

Smile

And you can just tell that mom and dad are so in love with their baby girl!

 

3

She was such a sweet little subject! Thanks so much to Carie and Travis for inviting me into their home to capture the kiddo who’s captured their hearts!

4

Know someone waiting on their own little bundle of joy to arrive? Have them drop me a line to schedule maternity and newborn photos!

Hello, friends! I come to you this Saturday morning with a preview of last night’s maternity session. Carie and Travis are first-time parents-to-be! They’re expecting a baby girl at the end of this month (eek!). Carie and I talked on the phone, and decided that Redington Long Pier in (duh) Redington Beach would be a great spot for some of the shots she wanted. And of course, we had to go in the evening so we could catch one of Florida’s trademark gorgeous sunsets (I’m pretty sure they’re trademarked).

The weather even cooperated by not dumping rain on us! We had a lovely breeze off the water that meant Jen (that’s me, hello!) was not dripping sweat from carrying around an entire portrait studio over her shoulder. It also created some lovely movement in the white maxi skirt that Carie hunted for desperately for this shoot.

But you don’t care about any of that, do you? You just want the pictures. Very well.

It was lovely under the pier, so that’s where we started. maternity Then we headed to the shade thrown by the pier to get some nice solo shots of Carie, and soon enough the sun started to set and the sky started to show its colors. 1002 maternity That sunset was pretty magical. Thanks to Carie and Travis for letting me capture this wonderful time in their lives. I can’t wait to meet the little miss!