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Welcome

Hi! Thanks a million for visiting my blog! This is a place for my business, photography, ideas, inspiration, life stories and, of course, mounds and mounds of pictures. If you're looking for information about my photography services, i welcome you to view some of my most recent work here and then click on the portfolio link above. If you're looking for a place to have fun, relax, feel happy, and be inspired, stick around and grab something to drink! May I suggest the "what I'm sippin'" list of favorites to the bottom left?

Decker: First Birthday Portraits, Garrett County MD Portrait Photographer

This might be the most stylish first birthday session I’ve ever done. Decker was “decked out” ( : ) ) in bow ties, hats and the cutest little boy outfits. He also had some balloons, a cake and other props to really play up the birthday theme. It sounded like his mama and grandma were the ones to credit for all the cute extras, but Decker definitely had some of his own cuteness to share. :)

Happy First Birthday, Decker!

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Ah! Look at that smile on the left! :)

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Of course we added mom and dad in some pictures… :)

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Love these family portraits! :)

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I just love this scrunchy nose smile! :)

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And suddenly, I bored him. :)

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Outfit and location change!

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This is a behind  the scenes look at the session. :) Good thing the woods in our backyard provides lots of privacy!

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I love how Decker was so aware of his birthday chalkboard…and he wanted to make sure we were aware of it, too. :)

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One of my favorites from the session!

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What a pose! Ha!

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End of the session means cake! Time for a smash!!!

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Jordan and Matt, thanks for having me for a THIRD time! It’s always so nice seeing you guys! Let’s do it again sometime soon. :)

 

S Family: Summer Portraits, Garrett County MD Portrait Photographer

Krista was the winner of one of my winter contests. She shared a blog post on Facebook, was entered and won a free family portrait session! It just so happened that she and her little family were traveling to Ohio to visit her parents this month and they’d be passing right through Garrett County! Perfect for a backyard session. :)

I first met Krista at her wedding five years ago (I didn’t know it had been that long!!!). She and Marshall were married in Virginia and they were one of my first JFP couples. But I knew Marshall before that. We went to Bridgewater College and had some classes together. So it was neat to reunite with him for his wedding and now with his growing family.

Krista and Marshall welcomed little Uriah into the world last year and after seeing him here and there on Facebook, I was excited to meet him. He was pretty aware of me and what I was doing, constantly looking at the camera and smiling. All in all, it was an easy-peasy session! Thanks for visiting me, S family!

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Uriah was pretty happy throughout the whole session!

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What an expressive face. :)

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Such a pretty little face. :)

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Daddy time!

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Awe! A favorite for me!

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Another favorite! Even far away with my zoom lens, Uriah had his eye on me. :)

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Yay for mommy and baby smiles! :)

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A few portraits outside the woods to round out the sessions…

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Photog Tips: Rent Before You Buy

It’s the first official post in my new series “Photog Tips”! I’m planning to be much more active with this series when my new website and blog launch (maybe happening in August!?), but since I’m currently in the hunt for a new camera and know there are other photographers out there also looking for new equipment, I thought I’d share my first tip now. :)

I LOVE my Canon Mark II 1Ds so much and hate the idea of it not being my “workhorse” when it comes to shooting. But I know it’s getting old and I know it’s time for an upgrade. After chatting with Canon, I determined that I don’t need to spend $6000 for a new camera like I thought I did. (Thank you Canon for saving me money and not trying to up-sell me!) I will still need to spend a nice chunk of money, though, so my next step is to rent.

I’ve been renting equipment since the early days of JFP. Before spending thousands on equipment, I want to make sure it’s the right for me and that it’ll actually get used well. My most rented piece of equipment was the 70-200 2.8 L lens. When I purchased it a few years ago, the price tag was $2400! That’s a big chunk of money! So instead of spending that much and potentially realizing that I didn’t actually need or like it, I rented it for a few hundred dollars. I liked the lens and decided it would be valuable to my equipment lineup, so I took the plunge and never looked back. (It’s currently a fave lens of mine…and you can rent it here!)

I’ve also rented the 85mm 1.2 L lens from Canon. I had heard wonderful things about it…great for portraits, awesome glass, amazing sharpness…but before spending $2000, I rented it first. And you know what, I determined that I didn’t need it. I spent a couple hundred to give it a try, but saved a couple thousand. Thank goodness for renting!

Right now I’m between the NEW 5DS/5DS R and 5D Mark III. There’s a $1000 price difference so I’ll be renting the 5DS before making a final decision (I rented the 5D Mark III last year). I’ll rent from either Lens Rentals or Borrow Lenses and recommend both to anyone else looking for new equipment. The rental process is very easy! You simply visit their websites, find the equipment you want and choose when you want it. You can sometimes get equipment in two days and you can rent for as little as a few days or as long as a couple months (the longer you rent, the more expensive it is). When you’re done with the equipment, you package it back up in the materials it came in and take it to a FedEx or UPS shipping location. Easy peasy!

So rent before you buy. It’s easy and it could save you lots of money. Happy equipment buying and renting, y’all! Getting new camera equipment is sort of like opening gifts from under the tree on Christmas. :)