These photos are from one of my favorite baby sessions, taken at one of my favorite developmental stages. Six months old is a sweet time to capture baby as she really starts interacting with the world and people around her.
This is also a sweet time for baby and her family. Baby recognizes and responds to family members, and baby's personality is really starting to shine. This six month photo session is just as beautiful, monumental, and important as an infant photo session.
There are so many changes during our first few years of existence, and a six-month photo session is a great way to save memories from a time during which "they just grow up so fast."
As a natural light photographer, I do these sessions at clients' homes using natural window-light or going outside. Babies are much more comfortable and naturally adorable in their own environment, around their own things. Being home also affords us the flexibility for quick outfit changes, as well as last minute additions to the session like a favorite toy, snuggle time with parent, or even bringing in a beloved family pet. The photos are beautiful, studio-quality, but with the natural feel that can only be created from a "real-life" environment.
Shooting With Reckless Abandon
A concept photo shoot experimenting with movement, light, and laughter:
As a photographer, I am always looking for new and beautiful ways to create portraits for my clients. Recently I had the opportunity to collaborate with another fabulous PDX photographer, Lindsay Bryant, on a conceptual shoot to see what kind of portraits we could create utilizing a trampoline, the wind, and a beautiful PDX cityscape! We borrowed a small trampoline/rebounder, found a nice cityscape on the east waterfront near OMSI, and we got to business right by the bike trail, and made a few people's days by creating a hilarious spectacle of ourselves jumping, laughing, and enjoying the beautiful Portland afternoon. It's during shoots like this that we get to release our creativity monsters and experiment with our craft!
When it came to capturing these beautiful shots, there was definitely a learning curve. As we continued shooting, we learned how to coach our models and set everyone up for success. Most clients and models appreciate a little direction and encouragement from their photographer, and in this session both direction and encouragement wer absolutely necessary. We found things that worked and tried a lot of things that didn't work; along the way we learned new ways to communicate direction and encouragement to one another.
Committing to the shot and working to create a culture in which both photographer and client feel comfortable "going for it!"
Along with images from jumping, we were also experimenting with fabrics and the wind, as well as the beautiful afternoon light the overcast weather and reflective river were offering us. I'm always amazed by the beautiful portraits that can be captured in Northwest natural light. Not only could we capture beautiful images of movement along a cityscape, but we also captured gorgeous portraits and headshots that can be appreciated for years.
I am always so grateful for the willing models who volunteer for photo sessions like this. Along with my own ideas, they bring their interpretation and individual beauty to the photo session, and together we make magic happen! I always love having someone attack a shoot along with me--with reckless abandon! With flexibility, laughter, and the guts to "go for it" in a photo, we can create lasting memories and images.
While schedules don't allow for these types of sessions to happen often, I am always looking for fresh faces and adventurous spirits to join me on concept photo sessions. If this is something you might be interested in, feel free to email your contact information to me! I would be happy to contact you if/when we have a need (my email: firstname.lastname@example.org)!
Part of what made this experience so exciting and enlightening for me was my time in front of the camera. Sometimes as photographers we forget what a vulnerable feeling it is to step IN FRONT of the lens because we're always busing working behind it. In all my pregnant glory, I stepped in front of the lens to jump on a trampoline, in the wind, with props. I kept reminding myself how intimidating this could be for some clients. Not only was I not feeling my best because I'm about 6 months pregnant and just feeling generally "large," but I also was feeling awkward because of the jumping, balance, and inability to know what the film was looking like; I didn't quite know what to do! Most of the time I know what to do in front of the camera because I spend so much time directing others. But this time there was a new element because I didn't know what I would look like while jumping. I have a lot of moving parts, so I definitely had lots of "outtake" photos of myself that looked ridiculous! What a fun challenge as a photographer, but definitely a vulnerable feeling as a subject!
Behind the scenes...
Here are a few snaps of me trying my hand at movement-modeling. Any time I am in front of the lens I'm reminded of how self-conscious it can make anyone feel. These photos show a more accurate reflection of what a lot of the photos ended up looking like. There was a lot of experimentation and really "going for it" with our ideas, seeking to grab the perfect shot composed of clarity, beauty, and movement. What a challenge! As models continued jumping and trying different poses, it was also a challenge for the photographers to capture the perfect focus and composition. Experimenting like this is one of the ways I deepen my own understanding of the emotions that go into both ends of a photo shoot, and I also get the opportunity to sharpen my skills and portfolio. This is one of the more challenging sessions I've done, including the low-light, high-movement dancing photo sessions I do on a regular basis. After it all, there were lots of photos that captured the beauty, movement, and laughter we were looking for.
Model: Megan Henson
Copyright Lindsay Bryant || http://pdxlinds.tumblr.com/ || http://society6.com/PDXLinds
Special thanks to...
PDX Photographer Extraordinaire/Model: Lindsay Bryant
As we are nearing the end of wedding week, I want to bring some attention to one of those "wedding extras" that's important and fun: the engagement session. The engagement session is such a sweet time, and with a full session we have the ability to capture a lovely variety of beautiful moments between the engaged couple. Engagement sessions are one of those "add-ons" I offer when a couple books their wedding with me. Along with the option of a "day-after" session (where the couple gets dressed up again in their wedding finest for a stylized session) and a "bridal boudoir" session (a great wedding gift for your spouse!), Megan Henson Photography includes the option of packaging your engagement session with your wedding photography package. This bundle of photos and sessions comes at an amazing savings!
With a lifestyle session, the photos you get aren't the standard "studio portraits." Because we get to spend some time together, and we move to different locations, I get the opportunity to capture you being yourselves! The photos we will capture together can be lasting memories that you can carry throughout a long, happy marriage together. Later in life, you will cherish the images from your session because they'll bring you back to that exciting time of engagement.
Oftentimes couples know exactly what types of photos they want, but some couples have no idea. Regardless of where you're at, I've got you covered. Part of planning any session is meeting the client and getting to know them. This way you're comfortable with me on the day of the shoot, and I have an idea of who you are and what you might like. Ultimately I want to see you ecstatic about your photos!
Josh & April, the couple in these photos, were a blast to shoot! Not only were they adventurous and excited about different photo options, they were flexible. We tried a lot of shots, and because they were so open to my ideas and came with some of their own, we ended up with a wide variety of beautiful photos.
Trash the Dress || Wedding Week
"Trash the Dress" is a new phenomenon in which brides decide to have one final hurrah with their wedding dress by having an outrageous, often messy photo shoot. When I first heard about this trend, I was like, "oh, no way!" But then I started thinking about the yards and yards of ruched fluff that I've been saving in my closet since 2006. My dress was too big, and I am sure that any daughter of mine--if I even have one--would want her own dress on her wedding day. So, why was I holding on to it? Aside from taking up valuable closet real estate, there wasn't much that dress was really doing for me. I considered several options: making a quilt, preserving it, donating it, etc. I decided I really liked the idea of having one last day in my dress and creating a way to get really magnificent photos. Rather than smear my dress with dirt or paint, I went to one of my favorite places and just played for a day with my fabulous photography team in a Trash the Dress collaborative shoot at Cannon Beach. The results are stunning. Aside from gorgeous photos, I have yet another memory in my special dress, and (despite my best efforts) after the dress dried and I shook the sand off, it is still far from "trashed."
Many brides elect to do their Trash-the-Dress shoot days after their wedding, and many do it, like in my case, years after. After having undergone a significant weight-loss, my trash the dress portrait session was also a celebration of a new body and saying goodbye to insecurities I found so evident in my actual wedding portraits. In order to make the dress fit, we utilized clamps and I held the dress up in some photos, which was awkward, but you can't tell!
I hope more brides consider this option as an exercise of celebration of themselves and their beauty. Along with some of the fun shots we will get of the "destruction" of the actual dress, we also can create beautiful, stunning portraits of you that you would never be able to attempt on your actual wedding day. The shoot itself is a freeing, fun experience full of laughter, adventure, and getting a little bit messy. There are all sorts of ideas and options, ranging from those that really destroy the dress and those--like my shoot--that still might leave you with something to save.
It's "Wedding Week!" As part of our April Showers of Savings Promotions, we are dedicating a week of specials to weddings (or commitment ceremonies)! These daily promotions will be posted on Megan Henson Photography's Facebook Page starting Monday, April 15th and ending Friday, April 19th, 2013. I know you're probably thinking, "but wedding season is already in full swing!" Yes, that's true. Along with offering specials valid for the 2014 wedding season, Megan Henson Photography is also ready to take on some of those "last-minute" and even "low-budget" 2013 bookings! The specials this week will be perfect for some of you couples who might be scrambling to put all the pieces together, and the low-price specials will be perfect for those of you who thought maybe you couldn't afford beautiful, professional wedding photography. I am so excited to be a blessing to at least one couple who might be able to benefit from one of my promotions!
I love the ability to be flexible with my clients, both in scheduling and in meeting their needs on their special day. Along with a clear outline with specific photographs each couple wants at their ceremony, I always budget time to snap those "great ideas" and "spontaneous moments" we always find when we are inspired by the day, the location, and the personalities of everyone involved at a wedding.
This wedding (photo left) was located at the McMenamins Grand Lodge in Forest Grove during the 2012 wedding season. I love the bride's adventurous spirit and the idea of climbing up on the bar! During photos taken directly after the ceremony, I was also able to walk around the grounds with the couple and snap photos of them enjoying the grounds and different restaurants. We gained fun, candid photos of the couple enjoying their first minutes of being officially married.
Leaving room for spontaneity in a wedding session can lead to photos you would never expect and memories you'll cherish for a lifetime. As a wedding photographer I offer enough structure to get everything you know you will want, along with enough freedom and artistic vision to get those "fun pictures" that no one else has. You and your wedding--your day and photos--are a unique representation of you and the love you and your spouse have for one another. My goal and heart in serving you on your wedding day is to help capture the beauty of your ceremony as well as the unique spirit of your love.
This week's blog entries will show more wedding images from Megan Henson Photography and I will elaborate on the different kind of wedding-related photo sessions we offer. Along with photos for your ceremony, Megan Henson Photography also offers engagement, day-after, trash-the-dress, and bridal boudoir sessions.
All throughout the month of April, Megan Henson Photography has been doing "April Showers of Savings," which are daily promotions (advertised via Facebook). This is much a celebration of Megan Henson Photography's new space, as well as an opportunity to offer special savings to the loving, supportive Facbeook family. Today's special offers an hour-long pet session with 10 digital images at a hugely discounted price. Normally digital prints are a costly addition to photo sessions, and I'm excited for my customers who get to rack up lots of extra digital prints during these promotions!
Today's special is for the Furry Children, one of my favorite types of sessions: Pet Session. I have been an animal lover all my life, and have always had pets. These photos of this little black and white puppy were taken for the Born Again Pit Bull Rescue, one of the many non-profit organizations Megan Henson Photography has partnered with over the last year to donate photography services and give back to a worthy cause. This little guy was up for adoption, and he found his home! I've also had the opportunity to work with the Northwest Boxer Rescue, which was a blast.
Some day I would love to have a session with a cat owner/lover. That is such a different and interesting element, and I would be excited to take it on!
One of the exciting things about pet sessions is that I get to meet with all kinds of little furry darlings, and I get to play with them! It might be obvious, but dogs are definitely my favorite. Mishka, here on the right, is a rescued boxer mix who was so sweet, but definitely full of beans. It's always fun to be challenged as a photographer to catch the loving, sweet spirit of these little "fur-babies," as many owners call them, all while maintaining a spirit and attitude of play, which keeps the pups engaged and interested in you.
Many of my favorite sessions of pet photography happen on the fly with my own pets of with my friends' pets. I have two adorable pups, Jack (a yellow lab) and Jill (a black lab/hound mix). My Instagram Feed is literally overrun with images of these two darlings. This is Jill, to the right!
Another little furry face that pops up often is the PulsePDX mascot pug, Pookee. And a lot of little cute puppy faces get snapped and uploaded, even when I just meet them for the first time.
Here are some images from my feed that I just can't get enough of...
This last little gem is with Pookee, looking up and around my growing baby bump. Such a fun little lady to have around our new space!
New Space || New Beginnings
New and exciting things are happening at Megan Henson Photography! We are partnering with PulsePDX, a fabulous fitness and event company (who we shoot for often!) in a custom, beautiful new space. The Megan Henson Photography showroom will be located at 3602 NE Sandy Blvd. in Portland, Oregon. This space is slowly developing into a consultation space for clients, as well as a working gallery and showroom for PulsePDX patrons. What a warm, fun-loving community to get to be a part of. We are very excited for this new development and all the future holds!