It’s that time of year again when I’m offering mini sessions!
Update: Louisville, KY is completely booked for the month of October & November
BROOKLYN, NY: Friday, Nov. 2nd- Monday, Nov. 5th
Booking mini’s for Prospect Park in Brooklyn, NY on Saturday, November 3rd
- $250 for a 30 min session // Custom share site with color + select bw images available for download 2 weeks after shoot date // Order prints directly from share site
BOOK YOUR SESSION
ORLANDO, FL: Thursday, Nov. 15th-Saturday, Nov. 17th
Booking full and mini sessions for areas within 2 hours of Orlando, FL (15th-17th)
- To schedule a phone consultation & book your session, go here/ or use the contact page on the website
Ok, so if you didn’t already know, I’m a HUGE fan of Halloween and costume making… it is my favorite holiday and I truly love my busy busy photo month of October.
I finally did it and actually documented most of my costume making process this time (for Oblina from Aaahh!! Real Monsters). I usually only post professional photography work on here, but since Halloween is fast approaching and I have clients and friends ask me all the time on how to do this. It really doesn’t take a long time to create this costume, but it does take short amounts of time and dedication (and some trial and error).
- Scissors, black marker/sharpie, masking tape, hot glue gun (+ plenty of glue sticks), plastic solo cups (for drying eyeballs), and bubble wrap
- 1/2 inch foam mattress pad (to make Oblina head) & tail if you choose to make one (I didn’t because it is too hard to keep track of). Link here for the one I got from Walmart for $16
- Paint and Paint Brushes: Red, Green, black, and white paint (I already had all of these except the green, so I just went to Michaels and tend to always buy the Liquitex brand, link here). Just buy a brush kit, it’s cheap and you will need a few different sizes. If you want to extend your paint so you don’t go through it too quickly, just add some water and thin it down a little.
- 2, 4inch durafoam balls (for the eyes). You can find them at Michaels or Amazon for under $5. Better than foam because the durafoam doesn’t soak up paint like the normal foam ones do.
- Black Pipe Cleaner/Chenille Stems- Link. For the eyelashes and fake little hairs on head. Small details matter.
- A wire hanger (and a wire cutting tool) AND a headband. You probably already have both of these things. This will be for the eyes. You will not be able to assemble this together until everything is completely done, as it will not stand on it’s own unless it is on your head or mannequin head (this really came in handy). You will need headband to keep wire hanger in place within the headpiece.
- Fabric fuse tape & Outfit: I mostly used things I had and then went to Goodwill to find the rest. Since Oblina is black and white, I just cut off a sleeve off one arm and replaced with another shirt sleeve and same with the one leg. To do this, I bought fabric fuse tape (the stick on kind (not the head/iron kind) because I didn’t want to spend more time then I needed and sew everything. If you are good at sewing and you have the time, go for it.
Overall, I probably spent about: $40
1. Write out a step by step plan first. I did this so I didn’t overwhelm myself and think I had to get everything done all at once. Hardest part was just getting started.
2. Create the Head
- Use the mattress topper material. Keep in mind that you will be cutting two pieces to create the head.
- You can either use a measuring tape and measure your head or just wrap the back of your head with the material to see what size you need to cut. Make sure this is slightly larger than your head and there is plenty of space above… you will need the extra material for folding and fusing pieces together. Don’t worry if you mess up, I did the first time and ended up starting all over again… there should be plenty of material to use. Don’t cut round at the top, but a rectangle, since you will be folding these inward and fusing together.
MAJOR TIP HERE: The best way to fuse the two pieces together is inside out. Once you have hot glued these together (so the bumpy mattress side is out and smooth side is in), wait til the hot glue dries (an hour, just to be safe) then flip it back to the smooth side.
- Once it is dry, try it on and get someone else to use the black sharpie to mark where you need to cut. For me, I marked halfway into my eyes and halfway at my mouth and then straight down from the ends of my eyes to make an upright oval. You don’t want to overcut and show way too much of your face, better to start small then cut more if you need to.
- You can go ahead and mark will you will paint black (check out the photos for reference)
- Paint and set aside to dry overnight (I also painted the top of the head white because the mattress pad material was a bit off white and I wanted a nice clean white)- stuff the top of the head with bubble wrap to keep the shape, it will be WAY easier to sit up straight.
- Attach two of the small black pipe cleaners to the head
3. Lips + teeth
- Not an exact science and plenty of trial and error for me. Just try your best to draw out lips that look like Oblina on another piece of mattress pad, but make sure you draw on the bubbled side and not the smooth side (I ran out of time before Halloween and you can still see some of the bottom lip markings) ALSO make sure they are large in size like the head.
- Once you have drawn and cut out the two pieces, paint them red then let dry overnight
- Fuse lips together on the sides
- Make the teeth. Cut out little rectangles from a cardboard box or from a box material, paint white (wait til they are completely dry) then fuse on lips
- Fuse Mouth to Head (check out my pictures)
- Durafoam balls. Draw it out first, then paint.
- Paint one side at a time, dry overnight or with a hair dryer for quicker results.
- Set eyeballs to the side and create your headband/wire holders for the eyes
- Start with headband and have wire even on both sides, tape/wrap it up so it is not going to budge from that headband. Place headband inside the headpiece and adjust so it will fit correctly on your head, then figure out where you will need the wires to come out each side, then attach eyeballs.
- Stick black pipe cleaners into the eyeballs (3 on each)… this is the easiest part since no glue is needed (unless you want to make sure they are extra secure)
4. Outfit- Search your own closet for things you can use or go to a Goodwill or local thrift store. Use the fabric fuse tape or just sew your pieces together.
Done! What should I create next?!
A few wedding teasers for the bride and groom, Julia and Jeff. An idyllic Kentucky wedding in April at the Polo Barn at Saxony Farm in Lexington, KY.
The story of their love and how it all began:
We sat at desks next to each other in graduate school in Pittsburgh for a few years before ever really getting to know each other. We were both studying philosophical questions in the physical sciences. Jeff’s desk in the corner gradually accumulated so many books that he could hide behind them, especially with his headphones on, and Julia was taking on too many projects and not in the office much while she worked on her dissertation. Eventually she moved offices and our contact was even sparser. Then Jeff started playing pool with Julia’s friend, Katie. Julia came along a few times, and later starting tagging along with them to the gym. It turned out that the of us shared a sense of humor and interests in physical training, sci-fi, dancing to ’80s music, and space, as well as some similar philosophical views. Most of all, though, we shared a delight in each other’s company. We began spending more time together and became fast friends.
A lunar eclipse was due to appear over Pittsburgh in the wee hours of the morning on April 15, 2014, and Jeff suggested we watch it together. Julia was skeptical of her ability to stay awake, so put on a movie–Say Anything–to pass the time until the eclipse came out. When the hour was right we went outside. Despite the cloudy night, we caught intermittent glimpses of the moon, growing dark and then deep pink. While we were waiting for a wave of clouds to pass, Jeff spun Julia around and kissed her for the first time. It was a very good kiss.
Venue: Polo Barn at Saxony Farm
Dress: Elizabeth Crum Designs
Hair + makeup: Fleet Street Hair Shoppe
1. Give someone else your phone on the day
Hand your phone over to someone, like your MOH, that way they can handle all the calls, texts and emails. Please believe me… at my own wedding, I had friends texting me at the beginning of the day when I was getting ready, and it was stressful, so I handed my phone over to one of my best friends- problem solved!
2. Eat something and stay hydrated
Bottled water and protein bars are a lifesaver.
3. Hire professionals
When things go wrong (because, let’s be honest, one thing always goes wrong) these seasoned professionals will know what to do to fix almost any situation… quickly and swiftly AND if they are REALLY good at their job, you won’t even notice anything went wrong!
4. A Day of wedding coordinator is SO helpful
This goes along with my last statement! They are usually a lifesaver in one way or another.
5. Pack an emergency kit
Dress tape, sewing kit, tiny scissors, nail polish remover, tide pen, bandaids, etc. *If I’m your wedding photographer, don’t worry because I ALWAYS bring this emergency kit with me to all my weddings.
6. If you are drinking alcohol on the wedding day, don’t start too early and pace yourself!
This should be a given, but again, I’ve seen it all.
7. Allow extra time in your schedule
Seriously, you will thank me and your photographer will LOVE you (xoxo).
8. If you have printed save the dates and wedding invites, send these to your photographer prior to the wedding
This way, your photographer will get plenty of photos of them!
9. Back up shoes
Especially if you are wearing heels. And don’t forget to break in your key pair of shoes if you plan on wearing them all day.
Enjoy the day! I can’t say this enough… try not to stress. Hang out with your crew or be alone getting ready, have a spa morning, drink some hot tea, play awesome music… whatever keeps you calm.
If you think it might rain… bring clear umbrellas for the wedding party. They not only protect you from the rain, but they look cute in photos!
12. Warning, long one here: Trust your photographer and please don’t make a 3 page list of basic wedding day things they need to photograph
If they are a professional and you did your homework, and they shoot weddings for a living… they know). We DO want you to tell us when there are very important things you want photographed (things we wouldn’t know about unless you told us) … FOR EXAMPLE: Your great grandmother will be there and you want to make sure we know that or you want to make sure your gift to your significant other is photographed (please mention these things).
13. Wooden hanger!
For your dress or suit… it just looks better in photos than a regular old plastic one.
14. If you have a photographer there for 10-12 hours, you really should provide lunch and dinner
A fed and full photographer is a happy one!
15. First look or down the aisle moment?
If you are doing a traditional down the aisle moment, please allow extra time in your schedule for photos after the ceremony (not just an hour, I usually need at least an hour 1/2) AND if you are doing a first look prior to the wedding ceremony, plan on getting almost all of your photos done beforehand. Plan this out with your photographer.
16. Go through the wedding day timeline with your photographer and see if anything needs to be altered
17. Alone time with your significant other
THIS. It’s important. Sometimes we can get caught up in everything and the day just flies by… so take some time to spend together alone. A good time to do this might be right after the ceremony, maybe even for like 10 minutes and then go finish your photos.
18. The best advice I can give: Make your wedding reflect you and your partner!
And if someone says, “Well that isn’t what we did at my wedding, you can’t do it this way, or you HAVE to do this because it’s tradition”, NOPE! Follow tradition or don’t. Do what makes you and your partner happy.
A few professionals that can help you have an awesome wedding day:
Wedding Planner & Day of Coordinator - Weekend Wedding Warrior
Professional Makeup - Kana Brown at The Beauty Room // Rick Bancroft
Professional Hair - Brooke Meadows at Crescent HairCraft
Florals - Rose and Honey Floral // Mahonia
Custom Wedding Dress - Elizabeth Crum Bridal
Ok, so that’s it from me for now! I hope this helps you have a great wedding day! If you feel like I missed something, or I should add to it, give me a shout: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure”. - Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter, The Half-Blood Prince
In October I was honored to capture Jesseca and Jonathan get married at the historic Conrad Caldwell house in Louisville, KY. With my husband, Matt Simpson by my side as my second shooter, we teamed up to document the magical Harry Potter themed wedding day. There were unique details everywhere… from an Olivander’s wand making station at the reception, the supreme cake by Adrienne and Company, handmade paper flower bouquets by K and K Geekstop, and the list goes on.
Jonathan initially proposed to Jesseca while they were on a trip to London to catch the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play (2016).
I had the best time photographing Alex and Jesse in Winter Park, Florida recently for their engagement session. Winter Park is so adorable, just to name a few examples why: Spanish moss hanging on all the trees, tons of cobblestone streets and one of my all time favorite restaurants is there (Prato).
I always encourage my couples to have a cocktail or beer prior to a photo session… it seriously helps calms the nerves! Alex concocted some old fashioned cocktails for her and Jesse to enjoy while we started photos at their home. After getting some essential comfy, home shots, we made our way to the beautiful Harry P. Leu Gardens then ended at the Orlando Amtrak station for a more industrial/urban setting.
Thanks to those awesomely cheap Allegiant flights offered from the Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky airports, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to Florida quite a bit this year, and I promise it will continue (Kentucky weather is a bit bipolar, so I love a good break from it).
Twins! It really doesn’t get much better than two cute little babies… I’m obsessed and fully feeling the pull of baby fever after photographing Eva and Josie for their 1 year birthday party in Louisville, KY. I was invited out to their home to document the party and to also capture a few posed family photos a few weeks back. I seriously cannot express how much I love documenting childhood and kids birthday parties… I’ve always enjoyed capturing moments, but even more so after my niece Bella was born in 2008. Bella is my forever photo subject, documenting her life and her funny moments of childhood will always be one of my favorite things to photograph. Oh so soon one of my best friends will be having twins (in November!), so you will be sure to see more cute babies around here.
Hey y’all! I wanted to share a special promo I’m running for my photography business in Louisville, KY! Booking now for fall mini sessions! If you haven’t had your family photos taken for a while or it’s about that time for your annual session, let’s set it up! Time goes by fast and photo documentation is important to capture of those little ones. 2 dates available: October 8th and October 15th. Slots will fill up fast, so don’t delay. I can be reached at email@example.com or through the contact page on the website. *A Lexington, KY mini session is also available for booking for Sunday, October 22nd.
A couple weeks ago, I had the pleasure of traveling to Newburgh, Indiana to capture all the snuggles and kisses of sweet baby Abell. It’s crazy to think that it was 2 years ago (+ a month) that I was photographing Larren and Jim walking down the aisle at the coolest small town wedding venue, 20 West. Thanks for keeping me around to photograph your transitions in life.
In home family sessions are a good way to be photographed and still hang out in your pj’s if you want (or a onesie, like Abell). My version of a home session would start off like this: I would probably be wearing my comfiest jeans and a t-shirt, drinking a cup of coffee, cuddled up on the couch with my husband, Matt (then our dog Loki would try to squeeze in-between us). A bit of a hot mess, but I love it and wouldn’t change anything about it (except maybe a new couch, that’s next on the list). Home sessions don’t have to stay home, wander! The second part to our session: We would probably go for a walk, and take the dog to the unofficial dog park area by the Crescent Hill Reservoir (and if you’ve never been, it’s kind of a hidden gem of Louisville). The reservoir is such a beautiful spot, except you cannot take your dog up the steps to the walking area, so keep that in mind. Think about what your in-home family photo session would look like.
To give a little backstory, Jess and I met in my hometown of Lexington, Kentucky in 2008 while working together at a local restaurant. I had graduated from college that year and was enjoying photo life as a hobbyist. Jess was going to school at University of Kentucky, pursuing her degree in English. We met, bonded quickly, and for the past 8 years have had a close and treasured friendship.
8 weeks ago, Jess and Patrick welcomed baby Ruby to their family. They live in a quiet neighborhood in Brooklyn and, as you can tell, have a home full of love. Ruby’s birth was the perfect opportunity for me to take a weekend trip and photograph some of my favorite people. For all that’s been said of 2016, for now, while baby Ruby sleeps softly in her bed, life is beautiful.