Autumn family photos at Inniswood

I've been to Inniswood previously to photograph clients - you can see a previous session HERE and HERE - but I had not been during the fall. Usually I hang around Highbanks, but that park got very bare very fast. The leaves stayed yellowy orange for quite some time due to the warmer temperatures but when the first weekend of November came around, they had had enough. So Highbanks was out, Inniswood was, well, in.

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Talk about Grand Central Station! There were actually lines of families waiting to get photos in the most beautiful spots. The foliage was still lovely and the leaves were still mostly on the trees and not in heaps on the ground like at Highbanks. We saw lots of high school seniors with soccer uniforms and sousaphones and various percussion instruments patiently waiting for their turn next to a certain bright orange tree.

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Richard and Jessica were concerned because earlier that morning it was in the 30s. I looked outside when Jessica called me and there was frost on the ground. No way did I want 18-month-old Ari traipsing in the freezing cold. We waited until noon and it was perfect. The bright sun usually causes problems with ugly shadows on faces but I brought with favorite lighting with me. It's a bear to carry around and my arms were definitely wibbly-wobbly after our session, but it was so worth it for these beautiful family portraits.

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Look at that sweet, slightly mischievous smile! Ari was exactly as I expected - 18-month-olds can't or won't sit still or even pause and smile for a second, in my experience, so this was an amazing shot. We captured some sweet peek-a-boos that made her laugh at herself.

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I had a doggie photo shoot after this, so I happened to have my usual dog squeaky toys with me. I had a new one that I hadn't tried out yet. Mr. Chicken made his debut and Ari thought he was pretty neat. He squeaked and sat on my lens and tried to climb all over my head. Oh the things we do for a laugh!

Look at Daddy's Girl! Clearly they are two peas in a pod. Richard made Ari laugh and then she'd laugh and start making him laugh in return for real. It was adorable to see them interact. Of course when nap time started approaching and Ari got super tired, she needed a quiet moment with Mommy.

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Richard and Jessica were wonderful to work with and I'm delighted that they love their photos! We wound up with a ton of lovely portraits and I'm glad I wasn't the one who had to choose which to keep.

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I love this family portrait!! This is one to treasure, I am sure.

Are you interested in booking me for custom family portraits at Inniswood? I know lots of great spots that make for fantastic photographs you will love. Contact me now. I would love to hear from you!

Inniswood family session

I've been so busy shooting new fun sessions that I'm getting behind on sharing some beautiful images. A few months ago I got to spend a perfect spring morning with this happy, bubbly little girl and her hilarious parents.

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This family had never been to Inniswood Park, in Westerville, and I knew they'd love it. It's not far from Lewis Center and has a variety of landscapes for awesome pictures. The flowers were in full bloom in the park when we arrived. I had seen the tulips all over the park a few weeks before this shoot, but unfortunately we had just missed them. There were still plenty of gorgeous trees like this one with these HUGE purple blooms.

There is a rock garden, which did not sound appealing to me at all until I saw it in person. It's a must-do, picturesque backdrop for families. This little one absolutely loves water so she was enamored with all of the streams and brooks and fountains.

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Sometimes the best way to keep a toddler at hand is to plunk him or her on a bench! She has so much energy and was running all over the place. I usually have a box or something sturdy with me to set a child upon if I want to photograph a sitting pose, but I knew Inniswood is filled with benches. This portrait shows how the morning sun backlit her sweet face beautifully.

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Mommy better watch that bracelet! It looks very posh with that blue romper and would go with so many different outfits! It adds just the right amount of bling for a stylish toddler.

We moved on to the Sisters' Garden, which is dedicated to the two sisters who donated the land for Inniswood to the city of Westerville. Look who got to play with Mommy's bracelet!

There are so many sweet portraits that it's tough to choose some favorites.

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There's some sort of water contraption in the Sisters' Garden. It's next to a life-sized house, and I'm not sure what it does but water flows down and kids absolutely love it!

Look at how happy these two are together. It was a beautiful day and a fun time. I'm sure they're going to go back because all the different sources of water was a big hit with this little one!

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Want to explore Inniswood with me and have your family portraits taken? Contact me now!

Newborn session at home

Congratulations to Jessica and Nick, big brother Ryan, and their entire family on their new addition, Colin!

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I was lucky enough to spend a warm Sunday morning with this family a few weeks ago. Their newborn was just seven days old and boy, he is a wee one! Jessica looks absolutely amazing for having just given birth, doesn't she? I'm so impressed that she was not only up and about but also so game for this newborn session.

The first thing I do for these newborn sessions is take off my shoes at the front door and ask where the sink is to wash my hands. No outside germs for the itty-bitty clients!

Then I always take some time at the beginning of any session in a client's home to check out the best spots for photos. I'm looking at the direction of light, the brightness of the rooms, furniture placement (and possibilities to rearrange if needed), and what artistic interest I can create in their family portraits.

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For instance, in this picture I liked that their sectional couch coordinated with their outfits. I noticed how I could set up the shot with the kitchen with the fresh roses in the background. I turned everyone at an angle on the couch facing the windows, so I could show the hallway in the background leading out from the scene. I also saw the staircase as visual interest (known as leading lines in art - it helps draw the eyes through the entire picture; here it's like a huge arrow saying 'Look at this beautiful family!').

One of my favorite shots of any family is the bird's eye view. I try for interesting angles in photography to create more visual interest. Throughout our day we see people from our own vantage point five to six feet off the ground. Standing overhead looking down with a family's heads clustered together makes for a different and intimate shot.

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You might think that we were in a room with a large window on a sunny afternoon, but it was completely dark outside and we just used Jessica's smile to light the scene. Pretty good for a midnight session, right? (Of course I'm kidding, but seriously, she could do toothpaste commercials!)

Another bird's eye view. Colin wasn't so thrilled by this point. I have added another shot below where he's rubbing his eyes. Sleepy little fella!

Jessica was game for anything, which was so fun.

Open all the blinds? Sure.

Move around furniture? Absolutely!

Stick her baby in a bucket for a picture? Let's do it! (That will come in a later post. I love putting babies in wooden crates for pictures.)

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I could just gaze at these images all day. Colin is so relaxed and Jessica looks amazingly well-rested and calm for having two small children.

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Speaking of two children! Ryan got involved in the action too. The shot above shows off newborn Colin while Ryan grins at his grandmother off-camera. The photo below is a darling sweet shot of the three of them. Again, Jessica looking so serene.

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When we talked on the phone for our pre-session consultation, Jessica mentioned that her parents might be around the house watching their older son while we photographed the newborn. I asked Jessica - if Grandma and Grandpa are planning to be there, why not have a big family picture?

One of the most surprising and wonderful joys of being a parent is seeing the pleasure my own parents take in spending time with my child. It's fun and rewarding to see my son learn and thrive in the world, and it's so much sweeter to see my family enjoy my little one too.

Jessica not only got her parents but also her husband Nick's parents ready for this at-home session. After just a few minutes with them it was apparent how close-knit this family is.

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I'm so glad that everyone was available to come into town on this beautiful day to visit with the baby. Everyone was excited about family portraits and looked fantastic.

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More grandparent love! They look so proud and happy with Ryan and Colin. I love how everyone coordinates without being too matchy-matchy - a blue scarf on Grandma, blue jeans and blue stripes for the boys, white tops and dark accents... I could go on and on. They really brought their A-game!

Thank you so much to Nick, Jessica, Ryan, Colin, and both sides of their families for letting Browning Photo capture this special day. Congratulations again!

Maternity photos at home

Last fall, Sarah, Bill, and Liam chose Browning Photo to share their MAJOR news with their friends and family. See pictures from their epic announcement HERE!

I was so excited when Sarah wanted to do a family photo shoot / maternity portraits at home / nursery pictures. Whatever you want to call it, I think we got some adorable photos. Here is my very favorite.

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This picture of Bill and Sarah kissing Liam melts my heart. I snapped the first photo and Liam's arms were down by his side. He naturally put his hands up to draw his parents' faces closer to his and WOW, it was perfect. Sometimes I get an overwhelming sense when it all comes together for a shot and know that image is going to be a winner.

Liam's sweet gesture towards Mom and Dad made all the difference in their photo. It looks like such a blissful image, but I found myself tearing up when I was processing this shot, knowing that he cradled his mom and dad's heads out of comfort and love and instinct, not from directions from me but out of the bond he shares with them.

For Sarah's maternity photos, we hung out in the master bedroom and played with different lighting and then brought in the rest of the family. I knew I'd want all three of them in the master for this barefoot shot, to which I added the text in Photoshop later. It came out even better than I had hoped!

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While we were in the bedroom I wasn't sure if this would work, but they were all game and it came out great! Liam was such a trooper. He was probably wondering why on earth I had him lying flat next to his parents with the camera nowhere near them. I love the result of his cooperation!

Maternity photos at home are really special because your future child gets to see 1) what Mom looked like when she was pregnant and 2) what the nursery looked like and 3) what the rest of the house looked like.

Babies won't remember what their nursery looked like, and with people moving for jobs or for various reasons, there's a good chance your baby won't know what his first house looked like. And even if you stay in the same home, your child will want a different decor after his toddler years and later won't remember what his bedroom looked like when it was his nursery.

Sarah showed me the babies' nursery. Those flags (are they called bunting, maybe? I see that term on Pinterest a lot) with the twins' names on them are great. I had my own son's name in his nursery, too - I've wondered if maybe the trend of putting the name on the nursery wall is to help sleep-deprived parents remember what they've named the newborn.

(Half the time I still call our son by our dog's name, so it didn't help in my case.)

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If you're self-conscious about your pregnant body, BELIEVE ME, I understand. I've been there. Look at gorgeous Sarah. Some of it is lighting, some of it is that pregnant glow, and some of it is me working hard to get the pose just right. We set out to just make it a family shoot and if we got some good shots of her, then great. We tried a lot of different angles and created family pictures she loves!

Having never set foot in their house before, I had no idea what to expect. I came equipped with everything I owned, just in case I needed something. I brought with me every lens I own, every piece of lighting equipment, safety pins, even painter's tape - because you never know when a lamp cord is in the shot or the chain of a ceiling fan dangles too low and is in the way of an otherwise ideal shot. I ended up not using hardly anything but my go-to lens for indoor sessions. That's all I really need anyway - my 35 mm and a sense of adventure.

This is Liam listening closely to his baby brother talking to him.

That's a really fun part of doing these maternity photos at home - I love that I don't know what I'm walking into so I don't know exactly which shots will work and which will not, and Sarah and Bill had some awesome ideas that made for great photos. Not only do they know their house better than anyone, but they get to show off where they are most comfortable. For these indoor shoots it's a lot of trial and error. That's why I take pictures from all different angles with different poses and different sources of lighting.

I'll leave you with some photos but check back soon, because in a future blog post I'll share some sweet dog pictures. I LOVE when dogs get in the picture because they're definitely part of the family. Better yet, to make sure you don't miss anything, sign up for the Browning Photo newsletter at the bottom of this page!

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This picture of Liam hugging Sarah was totally impromptu. Liam had been playing with a Valentine's Day toy and ran into the nursery to show us and gave his mom a fast hug before darting out again.

For all we do as moms, with the daily struggles of raising a child, the fierce sweet hugs from our babies make it so worth it.

UPDATE: Sarah and Bill had me back to take newborn portraits of their twins - see them HERE!