Giving Back featuring Rachel K Photo LLC

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Several months ago, I signed up to be a volunteer photographer for Together We Rise, a non-profit that amongst other things connects photographers and families that have recently adopted for free family photo shoots. The first time Together We Rise contacted me, I unfortunately was unavailable, but the next time, despite being only about 2.5 weeks from my due date, managed to make it work!

If you read my very first blog post on here about finding my passion, or my about me on my website, you probably know that I was a nanny for about 6 years prior to dedicating myself full time to photography. What isn’t mentioned however, is that two of the families I worked for had children from adoptions. Because of that, adoption is something that is so incredibly close to my heart, and so it is such a joy and privilege to be able to give back and give families the gift of family photography. As a photographer, it’s very important to me to find a way to use my talent to bless others, and I’m so glad that I teamed up with Together We Rise, and I look forward to the next shoot I do for them!

Until then, enjoy this beautiful family below ❤

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What a Photo Shoot With My Own Children Looks Like!!! featuring Tara Geldart Photography

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I am in the business of photographing families; most of these families include young children.  Typically, I shoot a lot of lifestyle and documentary with a few posed images thrown in there.  I’m magnetically drawn to documentary family photos: the connections, the emotions, the raw, gritty stories that a single image can portray.  I love it all.  Then, there’s this side of me that really wants to be able to get that perfect posed family shot.  I don’t over pose, the natural family connection and natural expressions are still what the goal is no matter which type of image I am taking.

So, why in the world, if I successfully do this for other families, can I not seem to get a decent “lightly” posed image of my four children?  I don’t know!

This mini shoot had been a few weeks in the making.  I didn’t want anything fancy…just a few minutes of their time.  That’s not so much to ask, right?

Well, the teenagers complained, the toddler wouldn’t sit and the middle baby sat pretty and waited for the others to all fall in line 🙂  In less than 5 minutes, they all took off to play on the bales of hay.

This is what it looks like when I plan a photo shoot with my own children!

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As you can clearly see, I did not achieve my goal of getting one nice posed image of all four children together.  I didn’t even come close!  But I LOVE the set of images that I did get.  Their personalities shine through so strong and I can help but laugh no matter how many times I flip through them.  This is what life is like right now…

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Home Is Where Your Heart Is featuring Always Matilda Photography

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Walking into a client’s home and documenting their family makes me SO nervous.  To me, a home is a sacred space, it is where a family should feel safe and comfortable and protected.  When families allow me to come into that space and document the every day of their lives, it’s like inviting me into their family, and I take that responsibility heavily.

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The moments that I capture are the moments that I know I wouldn’t want to forget.  Something simple like my kids’ first room, or their big kid bed, or the way their hair shines in the sun.

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I like to pull kids away and just let them do their thing, I want to see their authentic personalities in the photos.

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Following the kids around also helps get honesty from them.  Rather than directing and posing, allowing them to lead the way makes my images feel organic and I thrive on that.

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Of course, I always like to include images of the entire family, with everyone looking and smiling, but I much prefer the breath of fresh air in between those images.

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authentic • organic • honest
what more could I ask for?  Home is, after all, where our story begins.

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10 Facts with Facebook Guest Judge 10/31-11/6 | Momma Got Soul Photography

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Hi! (I say that in a super excited voice)

I’m Kelly from Momma Got Soul Photography. I am a documentary photographer  in the hot humid Tampa Bay Area. I know everyone else is getting ready for fall but not so much here. I’ve been at this a few years, I don’t really keep track. It’s hard to nail down that moment that it went from hobby shooting in “P” mode thinking I was cool to an actual business. I am a Canon girl, strive to get all my editing done in Lightroom, and I haven’t been too unhappy with my Sigma lens. I shoot with either a 35mm or an 85mm. I have no where in between. I am stoked to be the guest judge this week over at Dear Photographer! It will be fun to expand my role past just a monthly contributor.

Feel free to stop by and check out my work at:

WebsiteFacebookInstagram.


10 Fun Facts About Me

  1. I drink lots of coffee and beer, usually in that order, but not always
  2. I have 2 kids (5 and 2.5) that most days I adore, but not all
  3. Some days I love my work
  4. Some days I hate my work
  5. I was going to be named Kelly whether I was a boy or a girl. It was my Dad’s choice
  6. At one point in time I said I would never photograph people………
  7. I love craft beer (yes, I am mentioning beer twice) 🙂
  8. I have zero will power and will eat the whole bag of cookies at night while my kids are sleeping. Because of this I hardly ever buy my kids junk food. I eat all the sugar!
  9. My favorite house growing up was over 2 miles to the nearest neighbor
  10. I have webbed toes.

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After we had about a week’s worth of steady rain including a hurricane, I had to get out of the house with my kids. We were stir crazy. We drove the back roads of South Florida just exploring. When I saw these kids on the side of the road I immediately stopped and turned around to photograph them. To me, this is totally childhood summed up in one image.

I am a storyteller. I think that every picture should tell a story. With every image you post, tell your story!

Tis The Season (Creating the Perfect Christmas Card) featuring Momma Got Soul Photography

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Yup, it’s that time of year again. I know it’s only Halloween and I can’t stand the early holiday talk anymore than you, BUT as a photographer I have to start the conversation. I know many photographers are in the throws of mini sessions galore this time of year. There are gorgeous set ups of beds with white linens and beautiful settee’s in a field with a Christmas tree. The time is set for warm back lite images that just make you want to swoon. You gather up the perfect matching, but not too matching outfits for the entire family. Bows for the girls hair and bow ties for the boys. You rush your family out the door, probably after some choice words with your husband if you are like me and my family, to get to the location and find that your son has used his shirt sleeve as a snot rag and your daughter through the bow out of the car door before you left the house. You sit on the couch, try to play with your kids to make them happy and giggle, tell your husband no matter what don’t stop smiling and in 20 mins it is all over. Your fabulous photographer, got beautiful images of you and your children to send to friends and family, and you are thrilled that the excursion known as family pictures is finally over so you can take off your spanx and have a beer (or maybe that’s just me minus the spanx).

What if I told you there is another way? “What” you say, how can that be?  What if I said you could have a relaxed session, where you could just be you? Your kids could just play like they normally do, in the comfort of your own home, no fights with the kids and husband over what they are wearing, no rush, no stress…… It’s really possible.

Have you ever thought of telling a story with the picture you send to friends and family for your holiday card? Something that represents your life at this moment in time. Do you remember when we actually wrote in our cards? We often would write a little story about the highlights of our year, where the kids where in school, what their favorite activities were.

This is one of my favorite clients Christmas card pictures last year. Her one year old daughter had just learned to float on her back and the majority of her family lives up north. She wanted to show how they spent every afternoon in the pool because her daughter was obsessed and to brag a little that they were swimming here in sunny Florida in the end of October. This was their life at that point in time.

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This would be a perfect holiday card image as well. It shows how their 9 year old boy spends so much time building lego sets and their daughter totally runs the show. This is their real life

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This is my holiday card from last year. While it’s not a true documentary photography since I staged it and took it with a remote, it totally tells the story of my life at that stage (and still at this stage). My son jumping on the couch with his pants on backwards, my husband who is always so thrilled when I break out the tripod and even more happy that my son is jumping on the couch, my daughter who had just woke up from a nap and was not happy about it and me…… This to me is real life and while those pictures in the field are absolutely gorgeous, are they real life? Do they preserve the memories of where your life is right now to share with your friends and family. Sometimes it’s ok to have more than just a pretty picture.

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So this year think about seeking out a documentary photographer for you family photos. Have them take pictures in your home of your crazy bedtime routine where your 3 yr old runs through the house screaming in nothing but a shark towel after a bath and your 5 year old is jumping on the bed in their pjs. What about showing your friends how every sunday morning you make breakfast with the whole family, or lay about in the living room playing chutes and ladders. Maybe every October the family goes to pick out the biggest pumpkins to paint and decorate or start your holiday decorating in  November.

Just food for thought on a different, less stress way to do holiday cards.

Want to see more of my work? Feel free to stop by my facebook, instagram or website and make sure you say hello!

Want to see more from the family session above? Check out the {E} family!

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5 Minutes to Cleaner Photos featuring Tara Geldart Photography

 

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Ok, this is going to be embarrassing!  I swear, I have a somewhat tidy house most of the time!  But these two toddlers here, are home all day long and I believe it is their mission when they wake up in the morning to destroy my house.  Once they complete the destruction of one room, they move on to the next!

I am a documentary photographer…I document stuff!  But who in their right mind wants to work in this mess?  Not me!  Who has time to clean up just for the sake of photos?  Not me!  That would take all of the fun out of it!

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But this is where they play…this is where the moments happen.  (Plus, this room gets awesome light, so I needed to find a way to make it work.) Not all of the images that I take in this room are pretty.  Sometimes the moments happen despite the mess and that is okay but for today I will show you how to get a few good, clean and clutter free images out of this room in less than 5 minutes!

I originally picked up my camera because the little one was wearing her princess crown that she has been obsessed with lately.  I really wasn’t feeling it in terms of the disorder that I had to work with.

Assess the Clutter.

My assessment tells me that there is a lot of clutter!  I really don’t like to shoot out towards the kitchen because the lights are usually on in the kitchen which throws off my white balance, the T.V. is always on, my desk is usually a mess, the lights isn’t as great and as you can see, there’s toys everywhere.

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Get in a Better Position

I can see that the best spots to shoot towards without spending a lot of time tidying up would be towards the picture window and towards the coffee table.  Just about anywhere else in the room is too messy.  My main intention is to document her playing and wearing her crown so unless something super cute happens, I am not too interested in documenting anything else right now. Bonus, the two “clean” areas get the best light!  I need to put myself so I can shoot towards these area.

Check Settings and Wait!

I dial in my settings then sit my butt on the floor in the middle of the room and wait!  I am not really sure what I am waiting for…but then she starts to play with her musical book toy.

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I positioned myself here so the junk on the end of the coffee table was out of the frame and I purposely didn’t shoot all the way to the floor because there was toys under the coffee table that I wanted to avoid.

I convert a lot of my documentary images to black and white because most of the time it simplifies the scene if there is too much going on.  Black and white images allow the eye to scan the image and settle on the moment or interaction.  However, I was going to leave this one in color because my living room is pretty neutral and her toy ads a nice pop of color but then I noticed there was a doll stroller tucked in behind the rocking chair to the left and I didn’t want that distraction in my final image.  When I convert this, it’s easier to get rid of that distraction and have a cleaner image.

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While I was sitting on my butt in the middle of the floor she went over to the window and did this!  Dirty hands, no problem!  Just wipe them on the window, mom will clean it later!  I framed it tight to avoid anything in the background and converted it so the brown dead grass and green spruce tree wouldn’t be a distraction.  I wanted the focus to be on her dirty little hands, the mess on the window, her runny nose, crazy hair and that princess crown!

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This is my favorite from this day.  I backed up a little bit from the last image and waited while she played on the rocking chair.  There were some birds out on the lawn that she got up to go look at (after I reminded her they were out there!).  I exposed for the highlights and let the shadows take over the edges of the frame.

This is one of my favorite spots to shoot in and luckily it stays relatively clutter free.  If I was to do a quick clean up before I started shooting, I could easily shove some stuff behind me since I know that I will not be shooting in that direction.

I made these three images in less than 5 minutes by just assessing the clutter in the room, getting into the position I wanted to shoot from and waiting for the moments to happen!  No need to frantically rush around to clean up!

Here’s a little before and after!

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My Kind of Business featuring Always Matilda Photography

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I walked up to Jenny’s family farm and greeted her and her husband and children.  We gathered everyone up and headed out into the field to get some gorgeous golden hour photos of the kiddos.  We had been planning this session since Jenny found these outfits stashed away in a closet in her home.

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Anyone who is, or has been, a mom to a toddler knows… sometimes things don’t go as planned.

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When it became completely clear that golden hour is not Anna’s golden hour, we packed it up and called it a night.  The session was rescheduled and I drove off into the sunset.

For me, it is so important to me to be understanding of my clients and their lives.  Sure, I’m in it to make a living, but I’m also in it because I love it, because the art of photography makes me happy.  If I’m only making money, I’m not truly happy.  I have a vision, I have a mission and I need all of these things to come full circle to feel like I’ve really done what I set out to do… for myself and for my families.

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We tried to schedule our session before the sun was too high over head, but in August, there isn’t really a time of day that isn’t super early, or super late, for tiny humans.  Our tiny toddler challenged me, but I accepted… and I believe the success was ours as a team.

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We poured our hearts, sweat and tears into this session and we got some really great images that I am sure they will treasure for years to come… and this is what is important to me.  Any time that I am able, I will accommodate my families so that we can all walk away satisfied and happy.

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You just need to know when you cut your losses.  ❤

 

❤ always,
Katie

http://www.alwaysmatidla.com
http://www.facebook.com/alwaysmatilda

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