A Family Story in Golden Light | Orlando Family Photographer

Fall family sessions are in full swing — and I just delivered this family’s gallery of photographs. I know I’ve been slacking on the blogging, but a session like this was just the motivation I needed to get back to it.

Telling you I loved everything about this shoot would be an understatement. Words can’t even express how much I enjoyed hanging out with this adorable family of four last weekend in central Florida. As you can see, the two little boys are the cutest — and mom and dad are some of the most beautiful (inside and out) people I know. And, y’all, they drove all the way from Tampa to meet me in Oviedo. From the mouth of of the girl who thinks driving anyway farther than 15 minutes is “so far away,” that meant a lot!

I sent mom the pin of the location I selected for our time together. When she pulled into the empty grass parking lot, she had commented about how this space was pretty basic — and not in a negative way at all, she was just making an observation and said it with a laugh. She trusted me, and she knew I knew what I was doing, but her comment really stuck with me, because so often clients (and photographers) search for these elaborate spots to shoot and, in my opinion, it’s just not necessary. All I need is some grass and trees, space for kids to run and play, and some golden light of course.

So, warning to future clients — I may ask you to meet me in an empty parking lot, or at a gas station, or at any other random place I find. But, I assure you, I have a vision and I have an eye for light. I location scout every time I’m on the road, or going for a walk — always thinking in my head if that run-down lot of nothing would be a good space for golden hour photos, or sunrise photos, etc.

And, if I do say so myself, this spot I’ve been eyeing for a while was pure perfection. And so was this family. I’m so thankful they chose me to take their family photos this year, and hope I get the opportunity to document these boys growing as the years pass.

Beautiful Belly Session | Orlando Maternity Photographer

A couple of weeks ago, I met Kim and John at my favorite field in central Florida (Oviedo) to capture the story of their growing family.

It won’t be too much longer until this stunning couple welcomes their first baby – a girl –  into the world, and I’m so glad they chose me to document some of the last moments of it being just the two of them.

I’ve been shooting a lot more maternity sessions lately, and I have to admit – I’m totally in love. It’s not because I take a different approach when shooting – I actually shoot a maternity session as either a standard couples session or a family session (if there are any older siblings) and just be sure to put some extra emphasis on the bump. There is something so special about the connection of a mom and dad waiting for a baby to arrive, and Kim and John’s connection really came through in these images. I can just feel the love they have for each other and bond that they share.

Only another month or so until I get to photograph part two of this Belly and Baby Collection. I cannot wait to get some amazing shots of these two holding their baby girl in their arms.

If you’re expecting, I’d love to hear from you, too! I offer maternity, fresh 48 and in-home newborn sessionsCONTACT ME to learn about my availability. 

Waiting for Baby Brother | Orlando Family Photographer

The end of 2017 was so incredibly busy. I spent time with so many amazing families capturing lots of play, giggles and love.  I'm always hesitant to blog full sessions around the holidays in fear of possibly spoiling a card, but I just cannot keep all of the cuteness to myself. So, over the next couple of weeks (well, this may take months because I had so many sessions) I'm going to be sharing a little blast from the past. 

First up, is this adorable family of three, well, technically four. They drove all the way from Clermont to hang out with me in Oviedo so I can finally take their family pictures!

Jessica and I have known each other since high school, and we both went to the University of Central Florida as well,  but we really reconnected once we were both pregnant back in 2014. Harper (her ADORABLE doll) and Kenzie (mine <3) are both three years old. I wish we lived closer so the girls can play more, but when we do get them together they always have a blast. 

So, if you have a three year old, you know these tiny little humans are full of love but so unpredictable. Especially when a camera is thrown in their face. I actually am a bit of an odd ball when it comes to photographing "threenagers" because I absolutely love it! Yes, it can be challenging but I truly find it to be so much fun. I know how stressful it can be for the parents, too. After all, they've just invested their hard-earned money into these pictures, and the last thing they want is for their child to scream the entire time or just not cooperate at all. 

While I don't claim to have any "secrets," it's been said time and time again how amazing I am when it comes to interacting with the children of my clients. I think it's because I approach them in a playful manner, and sneak a few pictures in between.  Eventually, they tire out and sit still enough for that traditional portrait, but the playful in between shots of the laughing and running and just being crazy are always my favorite. 

Since Jessica is pregnant I made sure to put a focus on her sweet little baby bump in this session too. We got some stand-alone portraits of her and her belly, and of course a few shots of her and her husband as well. 

Later today, I'm heading to her baby shower and I have a feeling she's going to love her gift(s). Speaking of gifts, did you know I offer gift certificates?? They make wonderful baby shower gifts for expecting mamas! 

Well, enough of the words. Let's look at all of the beautiful images. I can't wait until it's time for newborn photos!

If you’re expecting, I’d love to hear from you, too! I offer family (in-home and outdoors), maternity, fresh 48 and in-home newborn sessions.

CONTACT ME to learn about my availability. 

Welcoming Little Brother | Orlando Maternity and Newborn Photographer

This beautiful expecting mama contacted me soon after I moved back to Central Florida. She was pregnant with her second baby (a boy this time!) and was on the hunt for a photographer to tell the story of welcoming a new baby into her family. She wasn’t looking for traditional, posed “maternity” portraits – her vision was to capture some real moments with her daughter before little brother’s arrival. And, once the baby made his arrival, she wanted a more candid approach to newborn images.

When I heard that, I immediately knew we would be a good fit for each other – and that my Belly and Baby package was the perfect collection for her since it includes a family session with a focus on the bump and in-home newborn session! 

A few weeks later, I got the call that baby boy had arrived. Once they were home and settled in, I came back for the  This sweet little guy was a dream to photograph. Here are just a few of my favorites from his gallery.  

If you’re expecting, I’d love to hear from you! I offer family (in-home and outdoors), maternity, fresh 48 and in-home newborn sessions. CONTACT ME to learn about my availability. 

 

Five Tips for Photographing Halloween Like A Pro!

It’s been two years since I’ve been motivated to photograph Halloween with my girls. I mean, technically, I could have photographed last year – but it was dark and raining in Costa Rica. ¡La lluvia no es buena para las fotografías!

The year prior to last, I did pull my camera out for a few shots, but only for portraits of the costumes (remember Kenzie the cupcake? OMG. Sooo tiny and bald!).

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Anyone who knows me or follows my work knows I love to tell stories with my pictures, and last time I really captured the entire story of trick-or-treating Maddie was two and Kenzie was in my belly. C

A few friends and Click and Capture alumni have reached out over the past two weeks asking if I have any tips for photographing Halloween. Instead of responding to each individually, I promised to put together a blog post for some very basic tips for photographing your kids trick-or-treating. Well, in usual Ashley Rogers fashion, I’ve waited until the last possible second. But I work best under pressure. So here goes nothing….

1)    Safety First. Maybe it’s being back to work in the corporate world, but I feel it is necessary to say that the first thing you should always consider when taking pictures outdoors with lots of excited and distracted kids (and drivers) roaming the street is to be mindful of your surroundings. Please, don’t be too distracted by your quest for the perfect image. No image is worth anyone getting hurt.I have no image to share with tip one, because I am always safe. Haha <3

2)    Time your “head out time” according to the sunset! You can google “Sunset on October 31, 2017 in Oviedo, Florida” for example and amazing Google will tell you the exact time it will set. For the best light, you want to plan to head out trick-or-treating the hour before sunset. Where I live, the sun will be setting at 6:40 p.m. So I plan to head out around 5:45 -6. Any sooner, you might end up with really harsh light (if it isn’t cloudy) and it can be difficult to take photos in harsh light. Once the sun dips low enough (starts to happen the hour prior to sunset) you get nice, even, golden light – and that’s much more flattering.

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3)    Be mindful of composition. Looking back at some of my photos from two years ago, a lot of what I’m seeing in them that makes them seem less “technically strong” is my composition. There are simple things you can do to make an image stronger. Like in this image, if I would have stepped back a bit, I wouldn’t have chopped her feet off. Her tap shoes are part of her costume, hence part of the story. Look before you click. If you’ve chopped off a leg or an arm, take a step back and try the shot again – limbs included!

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And in this shot, I had her right in the center of the frame. This one would have been stronger if I would had positioned my camera differently. If i would have taken a few steps to my right (to put her on the first third of the frame), gotten lower to the ground and shot her straight on (so the garage door would be the background instead of the random patch of grass) it would have made such a difference here!

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4)    Don’t forget the candid shots. Of course, all moms want the “look at me and smile” shot but don’t put the camera down after you’ve checked that off the list. Some of my favorite images from two years ago are the candid ones of Maddie checking out her candy, strolling on the sidewalk, walking up to the door of a neighbor’s house to trick or treat. Seeing these takes me right back to that moment two years ago. My, how fast time flies.

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5)    Just say no to pop up flash. I know, your fancy camera has a pop up flash and it triggers automatically when it needs to in auto mode. Makes your life so much easier. I get it, I do. But please, just try. Just TRY to avoid using that thing. Pop up flash is not flattering. If you’ve never shot in manual mode, do not try tomorrow. Just don’t do it – you will get frustrated trying to figure out what all the numbers mean on your own and give up.  If you have shot in manual but you’re a little rusty, I cannot tell you the magic combination of numbers to use because it’s all about the light you have available to you. But, I would guess that you can try to set your ISO between 400-800 at the start of the evening, your aperture wide open if you’re on a kit lens or 2.8 if you have a nice prime (or wider if your confident in your ability to shoot wide open), and then adjust your shutter speed. If your shutter speed is able to stay above 1/250 with the combination of ISO and aperture you’ve chosen – great. If not, crank the ISO – but don’t dip the shutter. I repeat, do NOT let your shutter speed go too low. You will likely end up with blurry images.  And remember, as the light goes away (as it gets later) you will need to crank the ISO. Your settings at the beginning of the night will be different than the settings at the end of the night.

POP UP FLASH. JUST SAY NO!

POP UP FLASH. JUST SAY NO!

 

IF that was gibberish to you but you’re motivated, you can put your camera in Aperture Priority and set the aperture as wide open as your lens allows and that will likely get you better results than auto – especially as the sun starts to get lower (when the pop up flash tends to come out).  Then, you can sign up for my mentoring and I’ll teach you everything you need to know about taking control of your DSLR camera. <3

 

I hope these tips were helpful and I wish everyone a safe and happy Halloween!

C Family of Five – Costa Rica Family Photographer

Two weeks ago, one of my talented friends, Melissa from Bebecitos Fotos, sent me a message asking me if I’d have time to shoot a session for one of her clients since she had a last-minute conflict. While Costa Rica used to be home for this lovely family, they are currently living in the United States and were only back for a little Pura Vida for a short time. Mom and I connected and set a time and date for her Family Play session.  

It’s rainy season in Costa Rica. Essentially, that means we have torrential downpour every afternoon. Since I’m a chaser of beautiful golden light, my clients have to wake up before the sun to meet me during that ideal time for photos. When you’ve got three kids, that can be quite a challenge and some clients are less-than-thrilled with the idea. Good thing these kids were natural early risers, because mom didn’t hesitate and agreed to meet me at the top of my favorite hill at 6 a.m.

When her three adorable children hopped out of the car, I knew it was going to be a great session. Not only were they the cutest things I’ve ever seen, they each had the sweetest little personalities and I couldn’t wait to capture those for mom and dad.

One of the reasons why I love this particular hill for my Family Play sessions is because it has this great little playground with a killer view. The playground is an amazing tool to make a family photo session less torturous for kids. I don’t like boring – I like fun – and what is more fun than a playground? The view is normally stunning. Normally… but on this particular morning the view was blocked by fog – and lots of it! While I was a tad bummed about that, the fog did keep us all cool and bought us some extra time to shoot before the light got too harsh.

Toward the end of the session, the sun did peek out from the fog and I was able to grab some beautiful shots with the twinkling golden light that I adore so much.

I hope you love your photos as much as I do, C Family!

If you’re in Costa Rica and want to snag a session like this before I leave, CONTACT ME. While I am all booked up on the weekends, I do have a couple weekday mornings available! You will have to wake up early, but I promise it will be worth it!