Monthly Archives: December 2009

a little trick of the trade

Photo blogs are a little difficult to design well. I guess if you know how to work a camera and write HTML they might be easy, but most of us don’t live in that world. Most blog templates are not made for large images or slideshows. And although you can have a site designed specifically for you, that is super spendy and not always easy to update–and you know we need to be able to update all the time!

As a result many, many photographers use ProPhoto for their blog template. But you can’t tell because they are so unbelievably customizable! No two look the same, but they all look cool! And now Prophoto is releasing version 3, which improves the already good version two by leaps and bounds. I have been beta testing it, so check out my blog and let me know what you think.

Here are some of my favorite changes:
1. You can have slide shows in your posts! (I have alternated and I would be so interested to hear if folks like all the photos laid out or slideshows better)
2. You can automatically watermark you photos as they are inserted. You have NO idea how much time that saves!
3. You can access twitter feeds and facebook from the blog now.
4. You can easily write comments between photos, seems like a little thing, but it was really tough to do before!
5. Most anything on your blog can be any size, color, or style–the things you can customize are seemingly endless. Therefore you can easily develop a signature look that distinguishes your blog from the rest, despite the number of photographers using the template.

And, I should mention that Jared and the others at Prophoto really know something about customer service. They have been a pleasure to deal with, before and after the beta test.

I am still discovering all that can be done to make the blog my own. So come back regularly and check out the new controls that I have discovered in the blog’s “backroom.”

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!

JuJu

This weekend we were wedding dress shopping in the fashion mecca, NYC. My sister is there temporarily as she completes her graduate program and she has a few close friends from college who are nearby, a definite lure when she was selecting among schools.

Most of these women have children of their own. Among these cuties, there is [at least] one model in the making, JuJu. She was a heartbreaker from birth. She was a baby with big, bright eyes and a toddler who could talk to you in complete sentences. She loves dress up and hair accessories and jewelry and is all girl. Her mom once told me that she did not know what it would be like to be a mom before J was born but JuJu was her perfect child, the one that she dreamed of and the little girl it would be the most fun to have.

And, like a woman after my own heart, JuJu’s mom makes the most of little girl clothes! As soon as I saw JuJu in her fuzzy winter coat and hat (self-proclaimed “my favorite”) I knew that the camera should be retrieved from the trunk. I only got a few shots, but with this face, that is all it takes.

JuJu is going to be a big sister in a few weeks. What a lucky little girl that will be. Stay tuned, we plan to feature them later this spring!

T takes Charlestown

There is something incredible about shooting a new family. The introduction of a child changes the parents in ways that are obvious and in ways that are so much more subtle. The eyes of the parents change, the way that they look at the child is priceless. They are so gentle and vulnerable to the love that they feel for that new person. When you can get photographs of that, well, then you are in my sweet spot.

One such new family is T’s. We had a beautiful late fall day for photography. It was glorious out and we visited the quintessential C-town spot, the Bunker Hill Monument. T was enraptured–cars, trucks, and dogs were plentiful for entertainment! As an added bonus we put T on the ground to crawl around. It was his first outdoor freedom and he would not be stopped! Each leaf and blade of grass was endlessly fascinating. We had fun chasing him around and he and I were tied for grass-stained knees by the end of the session–my favorite kind of shoot!

Baby T was so curious and interested in all that was going on around him. It was hard to get his attention, but when he looked up those baby blues, well, they blow you away! I always like to get some photos that showcase the child’s developmental stage–that is what it is all about after all, celebrating where the child is at that moment. A place where they will never be again. His concentration trying to walk will soon be replaced by running. One day soon leaves will no longer be a source of fascination. It is so wonderful to notice these things. To document them.

And then there is the documentation of T’s dad leaning into his neck and his mom madly grinning at him. Important family moments happen everyday.

cutie cousins

It is kind of like you hope that things will work out, you know; you come from a close family, just you and your sister who are friends above all else. You grow up, get married, and live near one another. One gets pregnant and you quietly hope for a girl to mirror your own relationship (and to dress). That was the welcome baby R got 2 1/2 year ago. The first grandchild, the daughter of a daughter. Then the other sister announces that she is pregnant and later finds out that her baby too is a girl! That baby, A, is now 10 months old. Enter grandparents wonderful enough to spend a day each week watching their granddaughters and you have some pretty loving cousins.

As soon as R walked in the door she started calling A’s name. She was full of hugs for her cousin, whose big brown eyes were a little bigger due to the extra company, camera, and busy-ness in the house. Both A and R have their camera tricks. R is full of two-year-old spunk and words, but does not like to aim her bright green eyes at the camera. Although she does make some of the most adorable expressions as she looks the other way. A, often smiley, plays it coy. A also follows a trend among babies her age I have shot lately, all the signs of teething but NO teeth! And she has the coolest shoes that a baby could possibly hope for–following in her mom’s footsteps all the way (despite being the spitting image of her dad)!

When I was there the Christmas tree had just been put up and trimmed, so the ornaments provided extra fun for the girls. Jingle bells are especially popular.

And readers, a question–slide show or scrolling, what’s the preference out there? Appreciate feedback on this *important* issue!

Baby A is here-and he was worth the wait!

You may remember these beauties from a month or two ago when she had a nice little pregnant belly, and a few weeks later they were expecting a second son.

Their first boy, W, is well captured in the family photo–a ball of energy, full of exuberance, and exceptionally fun to be around. He remembered me and immediately whisked me off to see the fancy creations in his playroom. The role of big brother seems to have been an adjustment, but I have every faith that he will be great. Mom and Dad seem to have had no problem welcoming the new baby, sleepless nights and all. They are in love. This time is especially precious for Dad, who was deployed when W was this small, missing the whole thing. For that reason I spent a great deal of the week smiling as I edited the beautiful shots of A and his dad.

A was born in mid-November. And he is delicious! I am pretty much a fan of babies, all babies; spit up, dirty diapers, crying, these things do not put me off–in fact they are completely offset by the tiny hands and feet, the little expressions that tell you how hard the work of being born & figuring out the world is, the smell, and the feeling of a new person in your arms. Pretty special. If you have a baby and invite me to come see him, I will unwrap him to examine all of his beautiful, miniature parts. But I will be just a tiny bit more excited if your baby has LOTS-o-hair. (I think that this is how I am wired, check out the webpage–under the About Lisa link you will see that I had an exceptional mop from birth)

Well, little A, he has the full do. And he was completely alert for the entire shoot. Wooing me with his big brown eyes. Oh, you will see, you will also fall under his spell.

One last thought, if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, or near someone who is pregnant–get newborn photos done. It will feel like a colossal effort to get yourself and the baby together, but you will be so grateful later to have these precious memories. The images will be priceless. Those first few weeks are an exhausted, hormone-filled time, and that daze will make it hard to remember how little, how perfect your baby was. Check out the packages on www.portraitsbylisa.com for some great deals on the first year’s photos.

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