Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Oh baby!

They are only tiny for a short time. Check out some of these shots taken of baby Charlotte. With a macro lens you can get similar results. All those little details like newborn fingers, toes and simple expressions will bring you back to that moment years from now.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Photo Mounting Project

If you love photos and don't love the expense of, or clutter created by frames, consider going frameless. Here are the steps to getting photos mounted on foam core.

If yo don't already have these supplies, get:
  1. A full sized sheet of foam core (less than $3)
  2. A bottle of spray adhesive ($7 and lasts forever)
  3. An Exacto knife, plenty of fresh blades ($10)
  4. A T-square, metal is best ($10)
  5. A rubber mat ($10)

Once you have all the stuff, spray a section of the foam core about the same size as what you'll be sticking on there (do this outside) and to the back side of what you'll be sticking on there (I usually lay it face down on newspaper and over spray a bit). The bottle of adhesive will say how long to wait before putting the two pieces together. Usually not long. You can try to line up the edges with the foam core, but don't worry about doing it perfectly. Do push down in the center first and then smooth out the picture to the sides so you don't end up with bubbles. Now you are ready to cut. Line your t-square up with the side you want to cut first. Hold down firmly and make about two passes with your exacto knife. Then, line up the T-square with another side, using your first cut as your guide for what is square. Again, making about 2 passes with your knife. Cut remaining two sides. After cutting out a 12x18 image, I throw away the exacto blade (key to getting exact cuts is s fresh blade).

My sister-in-law puts pictures out on the shelf in a stack and periodically shuffles them. I've hung some on the walls with 3M Command Removable Interlocking Fasteners as seen in the photo at right.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Gotta Love Costco Prints

Our living room wall has turned into a photo gallery thanks to Costco. For just $2.99 you can get a 12 x 18 print. And, recently they added a photo site that allows you to upload photos from home and pick them up in a hour (larger prints take 24 hours). I've always been happy with the quality of their prints. Check out their calendars and My Publisher books.

Other pricing:
4"x6" $0.17
5"x7" $0.69
8"x10" $1.99
Wallet set (Sheet of 4, 2x3 prints) $0.69

Vanity Photo Stamps

I've got to give credit to my sister-in-law Anne. She was the first one that I saw use these nearly a year ago when little Zach was born for his birth announcements. They were under trial then and apparently now are available to the masses. They are a bit pricey - about $.85 instead of $.37, or 229% more. Get details and order your own at

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Must Have Wedding Shots

A lot of lists you'll find on the web are over the top. A good photographer will find a way to get most of the shots listed below natuarlly, that is to say, not pose people for every shot. Afterall the day should be enjoyed instead of feeling like a 10-hour modeling session! Take a look at the list and let your photographer know which of these you are dying to have. Likely you'll have a few unique to you to add to the list (i.e. great grandma and grandpa married 59 years).

Must-Have Photo Checklist

Getting Ready
Bridal party getting hair and make up done
Bride getting dressed
Mom helping the bride get dressed (buttoning buttons, putting on veil...)
Bride looking into the mirror
Bride all ready to go
Bride leaving her house
Details of bride's clothing
Groom getting ready with his groomsmen (tying bowtie, putting on boutonniere)
Groom and his father
Groom all ready to go
Wedding rings with the invitation

The Ceremony
Bride getting out of the limo
Guests arriving at the site
Groom waiting for the bride
The processional
Bride and groom at the alter
Bride and groom holding hands (close up of hands)
View of the wedding party at the alter or canopy from the back
Bride and groom exchanging vows
Bride and groom exchanging rings
The first kiss
Bride and groom being announced to the guests
The recessional
Bride and groom leaving ceremony site
Formal Pictures (before the ceremony or during the cocktail hour)
Bride looking at her bouquet
Bride with her mother
Bride with her father
Bride individually with each bridesmaid/flower girl/ring bearer
Bride with all of her bridesmaids/flower girl(s)/ring bearer(s)
Bride with her entire family
Groom with hismother
Groom with his father
Groom individually with each groomsman/flowergirl/ringbearer
Groom with all of his groomsmen/flower girl(s)/ring bearer(s)
Groom with his entire family
Groom with the bride's father
Bride and groom
Bride and grooom with each family and then everyone together
Bride and groom and the entire wedding party
Bride and groom signing the marriage certificate

The Reception
The reception site before the guests arrive
Shots of decoration details (place cards, table settings, champagne glasses)
Buffet table, if applicable
Entrance of newlyweds
Receiving line
Guests signing the guestbook
Each toast
Bride and groom at head table
First dance
Bride dancing with her father
Groom dancing with his mother
Lots and lots of candids
Special family portraits to use as gifts
Shots of groups from specific parts of your life (first neighborhood, high school, college, relatives)
Cake table
Newlyweds cutting (and feeding each other) the cake
Dessert table, if applicable
Bouquet toss
Garter toss
Bride and groom waving from getaway car

Source: KRON 4 Bay Area News Station

Get Engagement Photos Included

I didn't know it at the time, but my friends Brynly and Mark got engaged about four weeks after this shot was taken. You can just see it in this shot, can't you?

If you've got a wedding photographer picked out, talk them into taking some engagment photos. Why? Not only will it make you feel better about plopping down a depostion, it will also give you a more informal way to get to know each other and get comfortable getting your picture taken by this person. The photographer can learn more about you, what's going to be special about your wedding and most importantly figure out what angles aren't the most flattering (we all have them) for you. And, trust me, we are all getting older and a couple is often cutest at this stage, then again after 25 years or so (George and Selma at right married 59 years) when the kids have moved out!

Say Goodbye to Glue, Tape and Sissors

I've tried a few different sites for making my own books and have fallen in love with My Publisher Bookmaker. Some folks from the Wall Street Journal reviewed several vendors and agreed, read the article. Thier free software is easy to download and use and I've been happy with the quality of thier books. So far I've made one for my mom with shots of all her grandchildren, grandmother (see two sample pages above)with shots of her children, grandchilren, and great grand children, one for my father-in-law's 60th birthday and two for kid's birthday presents, with titles like, "All About Kai," and "Levi's Big Adventures." If you are a Costco member you get 20% - and prices (before a minimum of $4.95 to ship) start at $9.95.

Taking favorite shots from your wedding and customizing books for key people is a great way to share memories of your big day. I love pictures, but there's only so much space on the walls. A book can easily be stashed away or displayed and offer enjoyment over the years.

For less than $20 they are also a good way to distribute senior pictures. They make good gifts for grandparents, girlfriends, parents and other special people.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Need a bridesmaid gift?

Now if you are one of those hip, soon to be married ladies, you know photo bags (also love the ones at but the price tag ouch) are not only in, but cool. If you don'g have Paris Hilton's fortune, consider these little photobags at $20 each at or get really crafty and print them and make them yourself (printable fabric at WILL GET URL AT A LATER DATE).

Martha Stewart's Wedding Photography Basics

Poor Martha, she's had a rough life. I find it ironic she's so good at putting together such beautiful weddings when she couldn't make her own marriage work. Guess she didn't pay enough attention to those details!

It had been a while since I checked out her bridal site. She and her team still have great taste. There are even some good wedding photo tips at

Where did all the "Good People" go?

Listening to Jack Johnson's song, "Good People" (lyrics at it strikes me that the good, beautiful people are right in front of us. I've been fortunate that I've had a sense of that from a young age. As I get older, it becomes even clearer. So, I've decided to marry my love of people and photography and start capturing more good beautiful people right here in Portland, OR.

Here's one of them, my cousin Geoff posing for his senior portraits ( I think he even shocked himself by how beautiful, well handsome he looks. Maybe it is that you can just see his good shining through.

Key to getting good shots here? He was being himself . . . . whatever you do, avoid dorky poses like these below. Are these real people?