Beautiful Edge Photography: Blog en-us (C) Beautiful Edge Photography (Beautiful Edge Photography) Fri, 05 Jan 2018 19:48:00 GMT Fri, 05 Jan 2018 19:48:00 GMT Beautiful Edge Photography: Blog 120 80 Smith Family Session at Mesa Center for the Arts  

The Smith family have proven themselves to be such an important part of our lives over the past 2 years.   They were the first family we met when we moved into our new neighborhood.  The kids and I went door to door with cookies and high hopes of making friends.  We exchanged phone numbers and I remember getting a text the next day asking us to have dinner at their home.  I looked at Chris with cautious enthusiasm "Dinner!  That's like a real proper date."  Turns out the Smiths are about the best people you could wish to live next door to.  They watch out for us, and all their neighbors.  They are generally the first people to let us know we've left the garage door open, to drop a bottle of wine at our doorstep when they know we are having a bad day or to offer up a ladder for us to hang Christmas lights.

Stevie, Aiden and Katie are three of the sweetest kids.  Stevie get so excited about life - to quote Knocked Up " I wish I loved anything as much as this kid loves bubbles".  She just makes you want to twirl and dance and cover the world in rainbows.  Aiden is wise beyond his years, mature, well spoken, kind and respectful.  He follows in his Dad's footsteps of being self-reliant and utterly dependable.  He looks out for his sisters and his mom.  We love having Aiden in the neighborhood.  Katie is just a ball of love and energy and joy.  She dances and sings and hugs with every ounce of her being.  We love our sweet Katie.

Clay and Andrea are such amazing parents, wonderful friends and a great model of a strong marriage.  They have each others' backs, they support and love each other unconditionally.  I was so honored to document their family at this moment of their lives.


]]> (Beautiful Edge Photography) beautiful edge child photographer children family photographer mesa center for the arts phoenix photography Fri, 05 Jan 2018 19:46:13 GMT
Family Session in Arcadia

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of the Mackle family.  They are dynamic, wonderfully creative and kind-hearted.  Grayson (aka Pilot) lives in a world ripe with adventure, where there is no room to doubt secret treasure, sea monsters and fairy dust.  His dad, Dennis (aka Kid), meets him there often (generally when the two of them are SUPPOSED to be out running errands or shopping for mom).  Adventure Girl (aka Angela, aaka Mom) does her best to keep everyone just this side of the law, but she too has an itch for the fantastical world of fun and exploration.  The Mackles just added sweet Addie to the family (Kiwi is her alter ego).  Addie is a tiny little sweet smelling ball of adorable until she slips into character - Kiwi shows to have the temperament of a surly sailor.  Her eye on the prize (food, sleep or a clean diaper) like it's her own personal white whale.  Here we see Dennis cowering to Kiwi, terrified for his personal safety.  Feed him to the sharks!

In all seriousness, this family is as attractive as they are genuinely nice.  We always have a ball together and they make me feel like I'm one of the gang (though I've yet to get my moniker yet).  I guess I'll need to work on my ability to believe in magic, to laugh in the face of danger (or a poopy diaper) and to always see life for what it is...a great big adventure waiting to happen.

]]> (Beautiful Edge Photography) beautiful edge child photographer children family photographer phoenix photography Mon, 01 Jan 2018 22:40:40 GMT
Family Session in Mesa

We did this 1 year old session with Claire right when she was fighting a bit of sick bug, but she was so sweet you never would have even known. The Stum family have been our neighbors for 2 years and they have three of the most beautiful and charismatic kids.  Claire is just a lovely little girl, so fun and easy.  We decided to give her a session of her own before we tackled the whole family.  

Claire's big sister Eva has so much personality, you can tell she loves having her photo taken...which makes my job so easy!

Big brother Wesley is so incredibly articulate and charming.  He does well to tolerate all the hugs and kisses that go along with having two little sisters who adore him.

Nate and Jamie are such amazing friends and the absolute best neighbors in the world.  We have been so blessed having them in our lives, and being able to capture their family in these images was the cherry on top to 2017.

]]> (Beautiful Edge Photography) beautiful edge children family photographer phoenix photography Mon, 01 Jan 2018 21:50:33 GMT
Senior Session in Evergreen, Colorado

Colorado is my home town and whenever I get a chance to photograph there I jump at it.  For someone who has spent the last 5 years photographing in the desert it is an absolute treat to work in such a lush and beautiful place, not to mention 40 degrees cooler!  After some exploring (and help from a local photographer who generously shared this location) we ended up in Evergreen at this amazing lake house.  Gorgeous views, wildlife and perfect lighting - this was an absolutely ideal spot.

Cody is the son of close friends, Heather and Bill.  I was so honored to be asked to do his senior photos.  Cody made me look like a very, very good photographer when all I really did was let him smile and tried not to get in his way.  I mean really - can you stand how handsome and effortless this Colorado kid is?  A true outdoorsman that would look just as comfortable in a cabin or at the beach.

Cody goes to Thunder Ridge High School.  He is creative, loves to create, play and listen to music.  He is funny as well as so respectful and kind.  The type of teenager that has been taught how to present himself with confidence but also with a fair dose of humor.  We had so much fun exploring Evergreen Lake.  Cody was game for climbing into the weeds or trudging through the mud in order to get the shot I had in mind.  


Cody brought along his gorgeous girlfriend Shelby as well as his folks.  They were so helpful and fun, this was truly an ideal session.  Relaxed and fun - and the finished images definitely represent that laid back atmosphere.  Cody was recently accepted to Colorado Mesa University.  I am so excited to see all the amazing things that this young man will do in this world.  Thank you to the Taylors for allowing me to share this special moment with them.

]]> (Beautiful Edge Photography) beautiful edge colorado evergreen phoenix photography senior photographer senior photos Tue, 17 Oct 2017 13:12:23 GMT
Family Photos are a pain, do them anyway. Every year about this time I start thinking (and stressing) about my own family photos. I think about how much work it takes to find time in our schedules, I think about navigating the moods of two 8 year olds and a busy husband. I think about picking the "perfect" location, the "perfect" outfits and the 5lbs I really should lose beforehand. By the time I'm done I've almost talked myself out of doing photos all together. So I thought it might be a good time to remind myself why I put myself through this every year..and why I will continue to do so.

I am by nature someone who likes to document life.  I've felt compelled to do so since I was a kid.  I started making photo albums when I was 8 years old to keep a record of the milestones and the mundane.  To me, photos are memory bookmarks.  Without them I wouldn't remember where things happened, or who I was with or (God forbid) what I was wearing.  There are times I look at a photo and am absolutely astonished that I had completely forgotten about an event or even a person that was definitely worth remembering!

So I hope you'll join me on my little trip down memory lane....

2014. Chris and I were just dating but I still wanted to get a photo of all of us together.  I remember that this was the first time I picked out clothes for the kids.  I was just getting started in photography and, although I cringe at the technical issues I see in the image, I love everything else about it.  Brayden was going through that stage where his camera smile looked more like a pained grimace.  Kinsley looks so sweet and so tiny on her daddy's lap.  I remember breaking into a sweat setting up the tripod, framing the shot, prefocusing and then hoping the remote would work all the while trying to hurry before the kids lost interest.

2015. I had asked a photographer friend of mine, Tammy Zelez, to take our photos.  Though I do have a certain pride in taking our family photos myself, I have to say that hiring another photographer is definitely the way to go!  We took these images at 7:00 am on a Saturday at Scottsdale Civic Center, which means we were all up at 5 am.  The weather was overcast and I was so disappointed because I thought that would ruin the whole thing, we've all been there right?  I think this was probably the second to last time Kinsley ever let me put her in a dress.  The kids were so incredible while Tammy did our photos, I remember being so proud of them and their manners. They kept coming up with different poses and ideas for photos, I loved their interest in the process. To this day this is still one of my all time favorite photos of our family.

Summer 2015.  I was inspired by the new Mad Max movie and the fact that the summer seemed to be going on forever!  I think the whole family thought I was nuts with this one, but they went along with it.  I told them to put on their "game faces" (normally reserved for Bronco games).  I did this image on a tripod with a remote in my hand. In the back of my mind I'm always thinking "this is never going to work"...but somehow, it always does.  When you do photos yourself you have to want that image badly enough to put up with a high level of logistics, stress and impatience from the family.  I guess I just want these images enough to always work a bit for them.

2016 started rough.  This was the night before we had to put our dog, Jasmyn, to sleep.  We were so sad and I wanted to make sure we had photos of all of us together.  No one was in the mood for photos, but I just knew we would regret it if we didn't.  I set up the tripod and we just started loving on our sweet dog and somehow we captured this shot of all of us laughing.   It was probably because Marlie kept doing something silly, like putting her rear in the camera.  Jasmyn was 14 years old and yet we didn't have one picture of all of us together, which makes this such a precious photo.

2016...again.  I decided to hire Josh and Jennifer Koch, our wedding photographers, to do our family photos in a citrus orchard near our new home.  This was the first time I'd actually gone shopping for outfits for photos - of course doing so the night before in a blind panic.  It was fun and weird to be on the other side of the camera.  The night was so absolutely beautiful, Josh and Jennifer were fun and fast.  I loved not having to be photographer and subject, that I could just have fun with the family and not worry about lighting or focus or hiding the remote.  We took the kids to Peter Piper afterward because they were so great during the session.  

So yes, family photos can be stressful, but they are so worth the trouble.  I will continue to make a nuisance of myself to my family every single year to make sure that we get that memory bookmark that will remind us of where we have been and how far we have come.

]]> (Beautiful Edge Photography) beautiful edge family photographer phoenix photography Thu, 05 Oct 2017 12:55:22 GMT
Ogborne Maternity Session | Wildfire Crossfit & Rancho Manana Golf Course A belated congratulations to Michelle and Ron who had their first son, Jackson, about 8 weeks ago.  I can't wait to meet him!  These images were so much fun to create, Michelle and Ron share a passion for crossfit, and Michelle continued her WODS right up until Jackson arrived.  Watching this woman handle herself in a gym is no joke!  She approaches fitness like she approaches every aspect in her life - with confidence, control and enthusiasm!  We spent a few hours at Wildfire Crossfit, which is their second home.

After "our" workout we went on to Rancho Mañana Golf Course.  We ended the session with a beautiful sunset and Michelle looking (gasp) breathtaking.  These two truly are partners in every sense of the word - they are outstanding people, lovely friends and awesome parents!  Thank you Michelle and Ron for allowing me to capture these precious moments.

]]> (Beautiful Edge Photography) Beautiful Edge Family Photographer Maternity Phoenix Photography Rancho Mañana Wildfire Crossfit Thu, 22 Jun 2017 12:36:41 GMT
Owen Family Photo Session / Grayhawk I had such a wonderful time photographing this family on Easter morning (why, yes I AM a bit behind on my blogging - thank you for noticing). The Owen family was such a blessing and these two little girls were too perfect for words as they smiled for my camera.  David had contacted me to ask if I might be willing to do a session on Easter morning as it was his Mother's birthday.  I found a beautiful spot up in North Scottsdale and the weather was fantastic.  I love that photography gives me the opportunity to meet and spend time with incredible families like this, capturing moments that they will treasure for a lifetime.



]]> (Beautiful Edge Photography) Sat, 27 May 2017 19:14:50 GMT
Lernor Family Dental Headshots  

The team at Lernor Family Dental treats you just as their name would imply - like family.  They are so customer-focused, meticulous and warm.  I have photographed them for the last two years and each time I visit I am struck by how welcoming their office is.  My only objective was to capture just a bit of that warmth and sincerity in their images.  Mission accomplished.




]]> (Beautiful Edge Photography) Beautiful Edge Headshots Phoenix Photography Fri, 26 May 2017 16:00:40 GMT
Headshots with Jacob Gold and Associates  

I have had the pleasure of working with the team at Jacob Gold and Associates for almost 10 years now.  I started meeting with Jacob when I had very little to invest but wanted to start making the right decisions for my future.  Jacob took so much time to work with me, to educate me and to encourage me.  Never did he make me feel like a "small" client.  His whole team follows his lead. When Ida answers my calls she immediately knows who I am, my family, my story. I always feel like their number one client when I call or come in.  This is the type of group you want to work with, and when they asked me to update their headshots I was absolutely honored to do so.  


Whether you are 25 or 65, it is never too early or too late to put together a plan for your future.  Thank you to Jacob, Michael, David, Ken and Ida for 10 years of trust, success and inspiration.  





]]> (Beautiful Edge Photography) Beautiful Edge Phoenix Photography corporate headshots Thu, 25 May 2017 13:11:39 GMT
The Lange Family Photos

I have know Michelle for (gulp) 20 years!  Michelle is the kind of friend that is there for you, no matter what - and that isn't just lip service.  She literally has shown up for me at my absolute toughest moments.  Always ready to help in whatever way she possibly can.  We've been through it all, seen each other at our best and at our absolute worst and loved each other regardless.  Michelle moved to New York 10 years ago and even as I said goodbye to her at her going away party I fully expected her to come back within 6 months.  

Years passed, I visited her in New York and got to know her life (and her love).  Michelle got married and had 2 beautiful kids.  I got married and was blessed with kids of my own.  Then one day; "We are moving to Scottsdale!" and just like that she was back and it was as if no time had passed at all.  

So this photo session was special beyond words.  Getting to photograph one of my dearest friends with her beautiful family.  What could possibly be sweeter.


]]> (Beautiful Edge Photography) Beautiful Edge Child Photographer Children Family Photographer Phoenix Photography family holiday Fri, 13 Jan 2017 03:11:02 GMT
Sarah Pak Portrait Session - Phoenix Rising Gateway Trailhead, Phoenix ArizonaSarah Pak Portrait Session

In a world full of cellphone selfies we don't have many opportunities to have truly beautiful photographs taken of ourselves.  Newborns, High School Seniors, Weddings; those are the standards.  So what do you do when you want to document beautiful, pivotal moments in your life?  Well, you call me.  

Sarah is at such an amazing stage in her life and wanted to capture this period of time - this moment - to always remember.  I love doing photo sessions like this, when I get to create images with someone that reflect their happiness, their contentment.  A celebration of their life.

The desert provided the perfect backdrop, especially against that incredible blue dress.  Sarah danced and twirled and made all of us catch our breath as we watched magic unfold in front of our eyes.

As the sun set we got to play with the warm golden light, the rich colors of the mountains, the dimension of the shadows.  This was a perfect night in Arizona, the desert in all of its glory as a canvas to showcase this phenomenal woman.

]]> (Beautiful Edge Photography) Sat, 05 Nov 2016 18:33:03 GMT
Family Photos - Japanese Friendship Garden Four generations were represented at this family shoot.  Four amazing, funny, good humored and kind generations.  We had an absolute ball planning and shooting this session.  Little Jack wasn't always thrilled to be in front of the camera but it was fantastic fun to chase him around.

This was my last family session to close out 2015 and I simply could not have asked for a better group of people.  We had selected the absolutely beautiful Japanese Friendship Garden as our location and it made the perfect setting.  I have know Ben for years and it was awesome to finally meet his beautiful wife and son.  Not to mention his mom, dad and grandparents.  This group truly loves and enjoys each other, which makes the images so authentic and beautiful.

]]> (Beautiful Edge Photography) Beautiful Edge Child Photographer Children Family Photographer Japanese Friendship Garden Phoenix Photography Fri, 29 Jan 2016 19:27:49 GMT
Family Portraits, Threet Family at Scottsdale Civic Center I absolutely adore the Threet family.  I was lucky enough to photograph Jude's newborn photos a few months ago and was thrilled to capture their holiday family images at the end of 2015.  They just have the best sense of humor and so much love for each other.  They showed up in the absolute perfect outfits for their photos.  I couldn't have planned it better myself.

Jay and his little man, Jude, are just too handsome for words.  


Jay's sister was able to join in the fun and is such a big part of this family.  Little Gemma just BEAMS at her Aunt.

Thank you Threet family for allowing me to capture these moments for you!


]]> (Beautiful Edge Photography) Beautiful Edge Child Photographer Children Family Photographer Photography Scottsdale Civic Center Fri, 29 Jan 2016 00:20:21 GMT
A Walk In The Woods - Huskey Family Portraits Munds Park, Arizona I adore showing off beautiful people, and these ladies are just that - inside and out.  I have know Delayne and her daughters for many years.  It has been absolute pleasure capturing their big moments over the years.  This year Delayne, who is a VERY talented event planner, took over the preparations and decorating for my wedding in Colorado.  I can't even begin to describe how hard she worked to make it the most special day of my life.  A few months back Delayne did the same for her daughter Cheyenne, who married her high school sweetheart. 

Savannah is Delayne's youngest.  Savannah is a Freshman in high school.  Creative, kind and full of spark.  Savannah took over the role as makeup artist at my wedding and she ROCKED it. 

These ladies are such wonderful examples of beautiful, independent, dynamic women who are living their lives to the fullest.  I am so blessed to know them.

]]> (Beautiful Edge Photography) Beautiful Edge Family Photography Munds Park Sisters Snow Winter Photographs Thu, 07 Jan 2016 20:57:48 GMT
In Home Family Photos | Newborn | Threet Family

I met Lauren when I began shooting commercial fashion photography for Ava Rose Designs.  Lauren is just about the prettiest person I have ever met in real life.  A successful model with a down-to-earth sense of humor and a huge heart.  Can you believe she is an amazing elementary school art teacher to boot?  I loved this woman from the word go.  When she gave birth to Jude I was dying to capture her beautiful family.  Lauren and her husband, Jay, welcomed me into their home, comfortable, friendly and about as gracious as they come.  Their daughter Gemma is a modern day Shirley Temple, and not just because of those curls.  She is funny, sassy and sharp as a whip.  Baby Jude was just a sight to behold, beautiful features, a sweet disposition and just sort of...well,  COOL - as Lauren says "I love your subtlety sir" and that sums him up perfectly.  

I can only hope for another opportunity to photograph this lovely family again.  Lauren and Jay - thank you for sharing your world with me.


]]> (Beautiful Edge Photography) Beautiful Edge Child Photographer Family Photographer In Home Family Photos Lifestyle Photography Newborn Photography Newborn Photos Phoenix Photography Mon, 13 Jul 2015 00:31:09 GMT
Picture Perfect Makeup Tips

I was told by a very wise athlete "never try anything new on race day".  The same rule applies for your makeup before a photo session.  Now is not the time to try fake eyelashes (unless applied by a professional) or do a spray tan, or get your eyebrows waxed.

1.  Start off right.  That means get plenty of sleep, drink more water than you think you need, and exfoliate your skin and your lips.

2.  A few days prior to the shoot is the time to think about your pearly whites... - I highly recommend the generic CVS or Walgreen's advanced whitening treatment, the strips stay in place better than some of the name brand white-strips I've tried.

3.  Use a primer.  This will smooth out your skin and allow your foundation to glide on easily and stay put.

4.  Stay away from mineral makeup.  Mineral foundations are typically loaded with ingredients like mica which reflect light like mad - imagine a thousand glimmering specs all over your face.

5.  Choose a concealer that is no more than half a shade lighter than your foundation.  

6. To camouflage a zit, tap a bit of concealer right on top of it with a synthetic-bristle brush, don't sweep it back and forth as it will simply build up around the blemish.

7.  Keep your makeup color choices neutral.  You want your photos to be timeless and your natural beauty to show through.  No room for regrets with a classic and clean approach. 

8.  Make sure you have given yourself a fresh manicure and keep your nail color neutral.

9.  Use oil absorbing sheets to blot shine throughout your shoot rather than applying numerous layers of powder.  

10.  Apply your makeup with a light hand.  Nothing is worse than having people notice your eyeliner instead of noticing your eyes.  

11.  Use a moisturizing lipstick or a tinted balm in a color than enhances your natural lip color.  

12.  Most importantly, top it all off with a beautiful and sincere smile.  


]]> (Beautiful Edge Photography) Makeup Tips Makeup for Photos Sun, 28 Jun 2015 22:01:30 GMT
Miller Family Photographs | Phoenix AZ

This was hands down one of the most fun shoots I've had the pleasure of doing.  The Miller siblings had given their parents the gift of a family photoshoot for Christmas.  What an amazing and thoughtful gift.  The whole family showed up in great spirits, ready to have fun.  This makes SUCH a difference in the images we create together.  We met at an absolutely gorgeous location and were able to get individual shots of each of the kids as well as plenty of group shots before the sun set on our fun.  I don't know when I've laughed so hard.  It was obvious how much everyone in this family loves and respects each other.  Thank you Miller family for allowing me to share just a bit of time with you.  It was a pleasure.

]]> (Beautiful Edge Photography) Beautiful Edge Family Photographer Phoenix Photography Sun, 19 Apr 2015 23:40:14 GMT
Family Photos Phoenix Arizona - The Knapp Family

I've had the pleasure of working with the Knapp family twice over the last few months.  Once to do headshots for this dynamic husband and wife law team and once to capture their family photographs.  Gorgeous weather, a beautiful view and an absolutely lovely family made for a great shoot!

These two kids are just amazing.  The love they have for each other is apparent.  I loved watching their interaction.

I could have continued shooting all evening long.  The setting and sunset was absolute perfect to create something beautiful.  

Thank you Knapp family for letting me into your lives and into your home.


]]> (Beautiful Edge Photography) Beautiful Edge Family Photographer Phoenix Photography Sunset Photos Tue, 24 Mar 2015 00:04:02 GMT
The Adventures of Pilot, Kid and Adventure Girl, Family Photos The Saguaro Scottsdale AZ

The Mackles looked like any other normal (unbelievably good looking) family.  They arrived at The Saguaro hotel for our photoshoot full of smiles and good humor. We took some beautiful shots, Grayson was simply adorable - little did I know he was on the lookout for ADVENTURE!

Grayson was obviously in charge of this operation.  He went by Pilot, and had given his mom and dad their own aliases; "Kid" and "Adventure Girl"  were his trusty sidekicks and they were thrilled to be included in Pilot's imaginative adventures.

I remember my own amazing adventures when I was a kid.  When my tire swing was the only way to get over the hot lava pit.  When the trampoline served as everything from a  deserted island to my winning moment at the Olympics (Mary Lou Retton step aside!)  When all I needed was a hairbrush to transform into a pop sensation.  Life doesn't just get harder as you get older, it gets a lot less fun.  Unless you have a Pilot in your life to remind you that things aren't always what they appear.

Until next time to Pilot, Kid and Adventure Girl!  Until next time....

]]> (Beautiful Edge Photography) Beautiful Edge Children Family Photographer Phoenix Photography Saguaro Hotel Mon, 23 Mar 2015 21:03:33 GMT
DIY Engagement Photos

I'm here to talk to you about getting INTO your photos; whether it's with your family, your kids, a special event like an engagement, or just every day moments.  While it is wonderful to be able to hire a professional with the proper equipment and know-how for your special once-a-year (or once-in-a-lifetime) occasions - what about all the days in between?  

As a professional photographer I ADORE doing engagement sessions and, though we were blessed to have a fellow photographer do photos for us, I still wanted to try my hand at doing them myself.  I have to admit, I was really happy with the final result.  Doing your own photos takes some preparation, a bit of know-how and a lot of patience but there is no reason why you can't have beautiful, crisp, well-compositioned shots of you and your loved ones!  Now I must preface this by saying - there are a dozen ways to approach this but I'm going to give my own personal tried-and-true tips for getting a great shot.

Equipment you will need: A basic SLR camera with a remote and a tripod.  

You can use the self-timer on your camera but a remote is much easier to work with.  Remotes are inexpensive and, if you are committed to inserting yourself into photos, they are well worth the investment.  Get a wireless remote with a 2 second delay button so you have time to hide the remote before the shutter clicks!

First, pick your location and determine the right time of day for optimum light.  For the purpose of this tutorial we are going to focus on outdoor locations.  The first rays of sunlight in the morning and the last of the day are the easiest to work with and the most flattering.  Depending on where you live you might get early morning or late afternoon clouds that will give a totally different quality of light to your images.  Take the time to notice the sunlight at different times of the day and determine what will add to the overall affect you are trying to achieve.  I wanted the golden warmth of the late day Arizona sun for these images. The light was glinting off the clovers in this field creating an image that looks more like a painting that a photo.  Remember that your background matters but light matters more!  If you find a beautiful tree that you want to stand in front of but the sun will be straight in your face...find another tree.

Second, set up your tripod and camera.  Ideally you will have an understanding of manual exposure so that you can set your shutter speed, aperture and ISO for the ideal result.  If not, set your camera to Program mode ("P" on the dial at the top of most cameras) and the camera will adjust the exposure automatically when you focus on the area where you will be sitting or standing.  I recommend using Program mode as opposed to fully Automatic to avoid unplanned pop-up flash, but feel free to try different settings.  I always shoot in Manual mode, for the image above I set the shutter speed to 1/200 in order to bring down the ambient light and allow the beautiful background colors to pop, I set the aperture at f/4.5 to give just enough soft detail to the background and had an ISO of 100 to avoid any grain or noise in the image.  I used a small flash on a light stand to the right of the camera diffused with a shoot-thru umbrella to add a pop of light to our faces since we were backlit in this position (meaning that the sun was at our backs).  Flash is certainly not mandatory, but in this type of setting it allows YOU to be the brightest area of the image without blowing out the background.  

Third, set your focus.  This is absolutely the most important piece of the puzzle.  To ensure you get the absolute sharpest focus I suggest putting your camera into manual focus mode.  You will need something (or someone) in the approximate spot you will be in for the photo so that you have something to focus on.  In this situation I had Chris get into position, focused tightly on his eyes, threatened his life if he moved and jumped into the shot...ROMANTIC ;)  

Turn your camera to the wireless remote mode or set the self-timer and then align yourself on the same focal plane as whatever (or whomever) you set the focus on.   An easy way to understand "focal plane" is if you imagine pushing your face up against a window, that window is the focal plane and whatever you want to be in focus needs to be at approximately the same distance from the glass.  If your face is in front or behind of where you focused the camera, you will most likely end up blurry. 

Now is the fun part - relax, smile and have fun!  Make sure you periodically check your images on the back of your camera to ensure you haven't moved off the focal plane or you will end up with blurry images.  Take a LOT of photos and make sure you spend a few moments really scrutinizing them before you move on.  I took several images where the remote was clearly visible in my hand, thankfully I had plenty of images to pick from.

I hope this encourages you to get into more photos and have fun with your camera.  Photos taken with your phone will memorialize an event but are certainly not going to be framed over your fireplace for years to come.  Beautiful photographs preserve memories and require a bit of thought and effort.  Your family deserves it and you deserve it.  



]]> (Beautiful Edge Photography) Beautiful Edge Coons Bluff DIY Engagement Photos Engagement How to take your own photos Phoenix Photography Self Portraits Tonto National Forest Wed, 18 Feb 2015 00:01:29 GMT