Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December Photo Challenge : Christmas Tree : Part 2

In the post right before this one titled "December Photo Challenge: Christmas Tree" I explained how I was entering a photo challenge by Rock the Shot and the story behind the image.  Well, I also told you that it was a hard decision, in fact, this is my problem, I am the WORST at making decisions. (Ask my husband.) So, because I really get attached to my photos, I wanted to give all my Christmas Tree Photos some "Face Time".  Here are all my favorite pics for "Christmas Tree".

This is the picture I submitted for the challenge.






The tree can be seen by the bokeh lights only in the background, I almost chose this photo just because it was "different" then all the other more traditional Christmas Tree entries.





So what do you think?  Did I make the right decision with my submission?  Let me know what you think!

LOVE, LAUGH, CLICK

Thank you for reading! 
Jessica Leigh Larson
Strawberry Snails Photography
Please "LIKE" us on Facebook! : www.facebook.com/strawberrysnailsphotography
Please FOLLOW us on Twitter! : www.twitter.com/lovelaughclick
Oh Yes!  We are on Instagram and Pinterest too!!! :
www.instagram.com/strawberrysnails   http://www.pinterest.com/lovelaughclick/




December Photo Challenge : Christmas Tree

I think it is important for you to surround yourself with people who share your same passion, and especially people you can learn from, that is why I am a member of a photography forum called Rock the Shot, and over the past year I have really enjoyed learning and being inspired by this group.

Every month they host a photo challenge, it is different every month, and this month it is "Christmas tree".  I usually don't enter photo challenges mostly because I can never decide what photo to use, and there are always such amazing photos being entered that I shy away.  However, Christmas is my favorite holiday, and I love Christmas Trees so I thought what the heck.

Here is my submission for this month's challenge.



This is a picture of my sister in law, Katie's Christmas tree.  When it comes to Christmas decorations she is by far the most enthusiastic and best decorator for the season I know.  She starts before Thanksgiving and her main tree in the family room is a work of art.  I have total tree envy every year when I walk into their house.  I took this image right after Thanksgiving. I was about to photograph her and my brother's family for their Christmas card pictures, and while I was waiting for them to get the kids ready I became entranced with the beauty of the ornaments on their tree.  I took this particular photo with my 50mm 1.8 lens set at 1/25 sec at f/1.8, ISO 800.  I edited it using only Lightroom 4. I do have Photoshop CS6, but I was happy with the results that Lightroom gave me alone.  I wanted a soft, whimsical, dreamlike feel to the photograph.







www.rocktheshotforum.com


I hope you all like it.  Let me know what you think.

LOVE, LAUGH, CLICK

Thank you for reading! 
Jessica Leigh Larson
Strawberry Snails Photography
Please "LIKE" us on Facebook! : www.facebook.com/strawberrysnailsphotography
Please FOLLOW us on Twitter! : www.twitter.com/lovelaughclick
Oh Yes!  We are on Instagram and Pinterest too!!! :
www.instagram.com/strawberrysnails   http://www.pinterest.com/lovelaughclick/

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Texas and PA Mini Sessions!

This year I attempted to pull off Mini Sessions for the first time and they went fabulously!! I was so thrilled to be able to photograph families in two different states. My PA mini sessions had a couple more challenges with the weather than my TX ones did, but nonetheless they all were amazing. 

Thank you to all the families pictured below, I really appreciate them entrusting me to capture their family memories. 

I also loved seeing my images being used as their Facebook cover photos, and profile images, as well as on their Christmas cards they sent to all their loved ones! You can't get a better endorsement than that.







Photography is a passion of mine, and to be able to use my passion to capture families and their special moments is a beautiful thing.

“Family is not an important thing, it’s everything.”– Michael J. Fox

Jessica Leigh Larson
Strawberry Snails Photography
Please "LIKE" us on Facebook! : www.facebook.com/strawberrysnailsphotography
Please FOLLOW us on Twitter! : www.twitter.com/lovelaughclick
Oh Yes!  We are on Instagram and Pinterest too!!! :
www.instagram.com/strawberrysnails   http://www.pinterest.com/lovelaughclick/










Friday, December 27, 2013

May your Days be Merry and Bright!

Strawberry Snails Photography
Did you have a Merry and Bright Holiday?  I hope so!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and Holiday, my family and I had a wonderful time.

Make sure that the next couple of days before the new year you take some time for you, and get the much needed relaxation and  peace that I know you need.

I will be busy getting my business side of things cleaned up after a very successful year.  I have lots of new ideas for this blog to include "How Tos" for those beginners that want to start taking better photos but just don't know where to start, as well as more of "My Favorite Things" like my favorite places to print photos, my favorite frames (The Organic Bloom), and much much more!


So stay tuned, and be patient with me while I get things geared up for the new year!!!!



I am so grateful to all of you who helped me make this past year at Strawberry Snails Photography a great year.  I have loved meeting all my new clients and loved getting the opportunity to photograph my returning clients.  Nothing brings me more joy with photography then to see my clients and their families year after year.








Thank you!!!!

Jessica Leigh Larson
Strawberry Snails Photography
Please "LIKE" us on Facebook! : www.facebook.com/strawberrysnailsphotography
Please FOLLOW us on Twitter! : www.twitter.com/lovelaughclick
Oh Yes!  We are on Instagram and Pinterest too!!! :
www.instagram.com/strawberrysnails   http://www.pinterest.com/lovelaughclick/

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Quote of the Day…


I am really into quotes, and I think they are often the best way for me to describe the emotion of a photograph.  My favorite places to get quotes from are Goodreads.com, and the quote garden .

Here is my choice for this favorite photo of mine, I got this from the quote garden .

Childhood is the most beautiful of all life's seasons.  ~Author Unknown





What could be more perfect than two beautiful kids and a perfect Texas sunset!
Thank you for reading!
Jessica Leigh Larson
Strawberry Snails Photography
Please "LIKE" us on Facebook! : www.facebook.com/strawberrysnailsphotography
Please FOLLOW us on Twitter! : www.twitter.com/lovelaughclick
Oh Yes!  We are on Instagram and Pinterest too!!! :
www.instagram.com/strawberrysnails   http://www.pinterest.com/lovelaughclick/

I'm Back!!!!!

After a month or two away, I am back.  I know I have been a terrible blogger, and my SEO rankings are in the dumps, but I have lots of new blog posts in the works and I hope you all have not left me for dead yet.  ;)

Besides working at the University of Pittsburgh 3 days a week, being a mother to two fabulous kids, and a wife to one great man, I also have been growing my photography business which has been very fulfilling.  The past couple of months have been very busy, hence my absence… two trips to my home state of Texas, and doing 10 fabulous family photo shoots was a record for me!

So what is in the works you say…..  Well, I am glad you asked, I will be writing several blogs coming up to include: a year in review where I post my favorite pictures of year as well as lessons I have learned, I will have some sneak peaks sessions to catch up on and post, as well as some tutorials for non photographers (average mom and dads) who want to take better photos of their families.  I also will be posting some helpful hints for amateurs and pros. So stay tuned, keep checking back in and I will not let you down.

Me and my dad this past summer. Happy Belated Birthday Dad!!!!!!!!
Thank you for reading!
Jessica Leigh Larson
Strawberry Snails Photography
Please "LIKE" us on Facebook! : www.facebook.com/strawberrysnailsphotography
Please FOLLOW us on Twitter! : www.twitter.com/lovelaughclick
Oh Yes!  We are on Instagram and Pinterest too!!! :
www.instagram.com/strawberrysnails   http://www.pinterest.com/lovelaughclick/

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Strawberry Snails FAN, FREE Photo Session Giveaway!!!




Pittsburgh Photographer



Wanna win a Strawberry Snails Photography FREE photo session??????

Click this link!     a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hey Strawberry Snails Fans, this is my FIRST giveaway, and I am super excited.  Wanna create a memory for your family you will never forget???  Enter the contest and get a FREE personalized photo shoot.

Entry into the contest is EASY just click on the Rafflecopter link below and follow three simple steps:

  1. Log into Rafflecopter with either an email address or your Facebook account,
  2. Like Strawberry Snails Photography on Facebook if you haven't already, and then click I'm a Fan,
  3. Leave me your email address.
It is that simple!  You can also follow Strawberry Snails Photography on Twitter @lovelaughclick for additional entries, and share the contest to receive additional entries as well.  I am hosting the contest through Rafflecopter because they will help me track all entries and make this contest simple for me and fair to you.

Don't wait, enter today!!


Click this link!     a Rafflecopter giveaway


Prizes:
  • A FREE One Hour Photography Session with Strawberry Snails Photography.
  • A FREE Personalized DVD with 10 images from the session and a print release.

Have you wanted a portrait session with us....well here is your chance to get it for FREE!!!!!













Important Terms to know:

  • The winning photography session will be held at a mutually (between the Winner and Strawberry Snails Photography) agreed upon date, time, and place within 20 miles of the 15085 zip code. Winner's travel expenses will be the responsibility of the winner. Winners must be 18 years old or older or have the written permission from their legal guardian to participate in the photography session.  Winner will be required to sign a photography session contract in order to participate in the session and be eligible for the prize.

  • The DVD prize will consist of 10 images taken from the above stated photo session.  
  • There is no cash value associated with these prizes, and in no way can it be redeemed for cash.  
  • Prizes are not transferable.


I love social media!  Come follow me at my other various 

stomping grounds for different glimpses into SSP. Click on the links below.

Twitter: @lovelaughclick



Instagram:  @strawberrysnails

Pinterest:  Strawberry Snails


This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. We hereby release Facebook of any liability. Winner(s) will be contacted by email 48 hours after the giveaway ends. If you have any additional questions - feel free to send us an email!

Strawberry Snails Photography reserves the right to cancel this contest at any time for any reason without warning or notice.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Pretty in Pink | Family Photography

One might think that a totally overcast day, and the loss of a beautiful bouquet of balloons that were intended as a prop might put a damper on a photo shoot, but not for this beautiful family of three.  We took these gorgeous photos at West Overton in Scottdale, PA and had a wonderful time.  I love this beautiful family, I photographed them last year, and I look forward to many more years capturing them and the love they have for one another. 

The best photos of children are the ones where you capture them as they are, playing, laughing, and enjoying their family, and that is exactly what I set out to capture.  Live, Laugh, and Love and then let me capture the moment.








I love social media!  Come follow me at my other various 

stomping grounds for different glimpses into SSP. Click on the links below.

Twitter: @lovelaughclick



Instagram:  @strawberrysnails

Pinterest:  Strawberry Snails


Thanks for reading!  Jessica




Monday, September 23, 2013

Strawberry Snails FAN Giveaway!!!

Wanna win a Strawberry Snails Photography FREE photo session?????? 

Entry into the contest is EASY just click on the Rafflecopter link below and follow three simple steps:

  1. Log into Rafflecopter with either an email address or your Facebook account,
  2. Like Strawberry Snails Photography on Facebook if you haven't already, and then click I'm a Fan,
  3. Leave me your email address.
It is that simple!  You can also follow Strawberry Snails Photography on Twitter @lovelaughclick for additional entries, and share the contest to receive additional entries as well.  I am hosting the contest through Rafflecopter because they will help me track all entries and make this contest simple for me and fair to you.

Don't wait, enter today!!


Click this link!     a Rafflecopter giveaway


Prizes:
  • A FREE One Hour Photography Session with Strawberry Snails Photography.
 
  • A FREE Personalized DVD with 10 images from the session and a print release.

Have you wanted a portrait session with us....well here is your chance to get it for FREE!!!!!










Important Terms to know:

  • The winning photography session will be held at a mutually (between the Winner and Strawberry Snails Photography) agreed upon date, time, and place within 20 miles of the 15085 zip code. Winner's travel expenses will be the responsibility of the winner. Winners must be 18 years old or older or have the written permission from their legal guardian to participate in the photography session.  Winner will be required to sign a photography session contract in order to participate in the session and be eligible for the prize.

  • The DVD prize will consist of 10 images taken from the above stated photo session.  
  • There is no cash value associated with these prizes, and in no way can it be redeemed for cash.  
  • Prizes are not transferable.




This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. We hereby release Facebook of any liability. Winner(s) will be contacted by email 48 hours after the giveaway ends. If you have any additional questions - feel free to send us an email!

Strawberry Snails Photography reserves the right to cancel this contest at any time for any reason without warning or notice.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Senior Photography Session in Frick Park

Frick Park, in Pittsburgh PA, is gorgeous, and not only is the largest of Pittsburgh’s regional parks at 561 acres, Frick Park is also the youngest. It is known for its extensive trails throughout steep valleys and wooded slopes; however, for this photographer, and one beautiful Senior it proved to be the ideal backdrop for a beautiful Senior Photography Session and a great escape from the noise of the city.

The lovely Maya was a wonder to work with.  Senior Portraits are always so fun for me to do, not only is it a very special time, a rite of passage for every High School Senior, but it is a chance to capture the spark of youth at its peak for an heirloom that a family will cherish and keep on its wall forever. (My parents still have all 4 of us kids' Senior Portraits hanging on their wall.)  :)  Thank you Maya and family for such a special honor of capturing these special photographs for you.  You are lovely inside and out.  Best of luck in your Senior year!!!!!
















I love social media!  Come follow me at my other various 

stomping grounds for different glimpses into SSP. Click on the links below.

Twitter: @lovelaughclick



Instagram:  @strawberrysnails

Pinterest:  Strawberry Snails


Thanks for reading!  Jessica

Thursday, August 29, 2013

6 Tips on taking Back to School Photos

I recently sent off my first born and sweet baby girl to Kindergarten.  I of course took pictures of her on the first day of school, but those were more for me, full of emotion and slightly rushed.  I really wanted a more relaxed shot of her in her school uniform, and with a little better light than the cloudy morning offered me the first day of school.  Below are the more formal pictures I took, and my tips for getting your own great Back to School portraits of your little scholars.

  1. First of all know that it is NOT TOO late to take your back to school photos, either by a professional photographer like Strawberry Snails Photography, or yourself.  In fact now is the perfect time since all the back to school excitement and jitters have calmed down.
  2. If at first you don't succeed try, try, again.  If you are taking the pictures yourself, of your own kids, and they are not cooperating, don't be ashamed to throw in the towel for the day and try another day.  You will be amazed at what a fresh start will bring, new attitudes, and new inspiration.  However, if you are a professional photographer on a booked gig, you don't have that luxury... so change it up.  Get out a new prop, move the child to a new area of the location, and change the topic of conversation in which you are engaging the child.
  3. Get the best lighting.  Good lighting makes a world of difference.  There are hundreds of books on the topic, and I could write a whole blog just on that subject; however, in effort to keep it simple my best advice is to shoot the pictures during the GOLDEN HOUR, the time of day after the sunrises and before the sunsets that give soft diffused beautiful golden light, usually one to two hours after sunrise or before sunset.  The pictures I took of my child below were taken at 7:00 PM.
  4. Engage the child.  Get the child to do some sort of activity to get their mind off of the camera and then start giving them simple direction.  Personally, my own child always refuses to "pose" for me, so I engaged her in activities I know she likes.  For the pictures below I said,  "wanna look at a cool book?"  and then when she was looking at it I said something to get her to look at me, "Do I have a bug on my camera?" (she falls for that all the time since bugs fascinate her). :)
  5. Don't say, "Say Cheese".  If you can believe it, there are several books out there on this very topic because it is so important.  If you want a natural smile, try to avoid telling the child to smile, rather make them giggle, tell a joke, or do something silly.
  6. RELAX!! If you are uptight, the child will be uptight, and the pictures will look uptight. Relax, have fun, and remember step number 2.


I love social media!  Come follow me at my other various 

stomping grounds for different glimpses into SSP. Click on the links below.

Twitter: @lovelaughclick



Instagram:  @strawberrysnails

Pinterest:  Strawberry Snails


Thanks for reading!  Jessica


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Girl & Her Horse: Senior Portraits

I am really excited to show you the pictures from this Senior Portrait Photo Shoot. Rachel was such a great model, you know it is not easy working with animals in a photo type setting, but she did great and so did the horses.  Rachel has a great connection with her horse Skittles and I really wanted to capture not only her gorgeous beauty but also the admiration and trust between the two of them. I also really loved the South Park location where we shot these portraits, Pittsburgh has so many beautiful places and parks.

This photo shoot in particular was pretty special for me, this is the anniversary month for Strawberry Snails Photography, one year.  The cool thing is that my very first official Senior Portrait Photo Shoot last year was with a beautiful girl and her horse, and to get to photograph another beautiful Senior on my One Year anniversary was perfect.

I hope you enjoy the photographs as much as I do, I would love to know which ones are your favorites, I know which ones are mine.
















I love social media!  Come follow me at my other various 

stomping grounds for different glimpses into SSP.

Twitter: @lovelaughclick



Instagram:  @strawberrysnails

Pinterest:  Strawberry Snails


Thanks for reading!  Jessica