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Milestone Photography Session


Milestone Photography Session

This outdoor photography session, appropriately on-location at Oklahoma City’s Myriad Gardens,  celebrated a myriad of milestones for returning clients  Lane and Kearsten Westmoreland.

These outgoing jokesters and dog lovers used this milestone photography session as a vehicle to celebrate the big 3-OH for both of them, and though Sadie, Tobey, and Duke are clearly their furever furbabies, the real puppy love was obviously between Lane and Kearsten, still laughing, joking, smiling, and in love on their tenth wedding anniversary.   

Outdoor photography venues are a popular request in Oklahoma, and amid milder fall weather, Oklahoma City’s Myriad Gardens never fails as an awesome  outdoor on-location shoot. It says, “fun;” it says, “home;” it says, “outdoors in Oklahoma.”  

A photograph is snapshot in time, but it tells a story much deeper.  This milestone session captures turning thirty and marks ten years of marriage; it also a brief shot of  ceremonial grandeur for  Kearsten,  who just received a PhD in pharmacology from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, Oklahoma. 

The ten year journey of marriage, tireless work, studying, goal setting, mind changing, growing up together---the photograph is so much deeper than the paper on which it is printed.  

Congratulations Lane and Kearsten (and to Sadie, Tobey, and Duke--my how you’ve grown!) on a life well done, on a journey peppered with milestones yet a journey just begun.  I hope you enjoyed your outdoor session at Oklahoma City’s Myriad Gardens, and I hope you look at your photographs for years to come and remember the journey behind moment in time. 


Certification and What It Means


Certification and What It Means

One year go I started a personal journey in my photography career. A year ago I declared my candidacy with the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) to achieve my Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) certification.

I know you’re asking, ”What is a CPP?”. This is a program that assures others that photographers have the knowledge, experience and the desire to learn new skills and techniques on a continual basis. In other words, it is not a one time thing. We have to go thru recertification every three years to retain our credentials. It is also an acknowledgement of my professional qualifications. The CPP credentials serve to distinguish professional photographers who have demonstrated technical skills through a written examanation and an image submission. Image submission consists of 15 images, six (6) are compulsory and the remaining nine (9) are client based. The compulsory images must show certain lighting techniques, which compliment the subject well. There are about 15 judges during each round of image submission. I was shocked and even more nervous when I discovered this information.  Just imagine being interviewed by a panel of 15 judges. There are less than 40 in the state of Oklahoma. That is a very small percentage compared to all the photographers in Oklahoma.

Being a CPP is similar to a quality assurance certification, a credential consumers and businesses understand. It was really neat to watch my transformation over the last year. I could see myself improving in so many ways, from posing to lighting and understanding what I was seeing and performing. Most of all my confidence improved.

I chose to earn my CPP certification as way to set myself apart from the average “Joe”. I wanted to grow and challenge myself. I’ve never had any formal training and wanted to fill in the holes where I lacked knowledge. Was I scared, you better believe it. Was I challenged? Yes, most definitely, I had a lot of failures in this process, but in the end it was all worth it. I never gave up, there were times I wanted to, but then what would that serve? It would have meant time was wasted by me and I would have wasted my clients time. I don’t want to settle, I want to succeed. “If you’re not uncomfortable, you’re not growing,”, I heard this quote a couple of years ago at a conference and it totally blew me away. That quote has stuck with me ever since. It’s a reminder that if I am feeling uncomfortable then I am growing which is always a good thing.

If you want more information regarding the CPP program or PPA, I would be happy to visit with you over coffee.

Let a Certified Professional Photographer show you the difference and capture your families memories. Email me and we will set up a time to visit over coffee and danish too.

Special Thanks to Jennifer Tiffany of Jen Tiffany Photography for the awesome images and a Huge Thank You to all my clients for helping me achieve my certification. I could not have done it without you.

Last but certainly not least, a heart felt Thank You to two people who pushed me, advised me and just told me NO, go back and redo. I so appreciate their honesty in this journey. Dawn Muncy of Muncy Photography and Tony Gatlin of Tony Gatlin Photography you both are invaluable to this industry. Thank you for keeping me accountable, pushing me and for believing in me.



Tips for What to Wear in Family Photos

You have made an appointment with your photographer to finally get some updated family portraits to decorate your home. That's the easy part. The hard part it seems is what to wear and how to get everyone to coordinate with each other. Don't despair, below are some helpful tips. You don't need everyone to match like the old bowling days. I know I was a bowler many moons ago. Great for the team, not so much family portraits. I like the KISS method...Keep It Simple Silly. As long as everyone coordinates then the rest is gravy.  So Grab a cup of coffee and read these handy tips. 

1. Coordinating colors, not matching.

The days of everyone wearing a white shirt and matching shirts are gone. Instead, pick a color       scheme and choose a couple of colors that fit in with your plan.       

2.  Look at your home decor.

Do you like bright colors? Neutrals? You will be decorating your home with these works of art, make sure the colors of your clothes go with the color scheme of your home.

3.  Don't forget accessories.

Accessories can totally change an outfit and they can be fun to use in your photos as well. A       hat to hide behind or necklaces for the kids to play with.

4.  Limit Patterns.

Try to avoid patterns as it draws they eye away from the subjects face and distracts from the final image.

5.  Look for clothing collections.

When shopping for clothes for your children, purchase from stores that usually cary color coordinating collections. Purchase clothes for the kids from one store. This helps ease the worry and stress.   

6.  Plan ahead.

When you have booked your session, that is the perfect time to start thinking of your clothing choices. You may think certain clothes will fit your kids or that once dress is clean. Please don't wait until the day of or before you may run into an issue of clothes not fitting, being dirty or need to be dry cleaned.

7. Say no to characters.

We all know the little's love their Toy Story or Barbie shirt, however you may want to skip it for the family photo session. Just like patterns, characters on the shirts can be distracting. Besides in 10 or 20 years you don't want to look back and see Barbie or Buzz Lightyear in the middle of the photo. Leave those to everyday attire or pajamas.  

8. Avoid all white or all black clothing.

If you're waring all white shirts, there is a very good chance parts of your shirt will be blown out causing it to lose its detail and look like a blob of nothing. The same thing can be said with all black, it's easy to have the black get locked up and all detail will be lost.

9. Textures are your friend.

I'm a big fan of cotton shirts, as long as they are pressed nicely and not wrinkled. However, in photographs its nice to add some texture like scarves or belts to add a little more to the image. Don't shy away from adding different textures.

10. Consider your background.

If you're taking photos in front of a backdrop, consider what you are wearing. For example, don't wear black if you're on a black background, otherwise you will have a floating head. True story I was a floating head in one of our family pictures. We laugh about it today, but still looks weird.     

11. Think classic.

These photos will be hanging on your walls and treasured for years to come. By choosing simple, classic clothes you will help give your images a timeless feel.

Now that school is getting ready to start and summer is coming to a close. Christmas will be quickly approaching, it's a good time to schedule your family session. Portraits make great Christmas gifts. Contact me here and we will set up a time to visit over coffee and a danish too.