{ a smashing good time }

Oh, to be young again.  Not a care in the world.  Eat, sleep, poop, pee, repeat.  It’s funny how fast our kids grow.  I called my parent’s bluff many, many years ago and wish I had listened to them when they told me to slow down and enjoy things.  So now, I get to relive a lot of my childhood through the lens.

Meet Parker – an adorable little girl who I had the pleasure of photographing her first birthday “cake smash.”  She arrived sporting very cute boots and ready to kick into her first cake.

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I knew she could do it because you see, Parker and I go way back.  I have photographed this little miss from the time she was a bump to where we are today.  She and I have history…

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It was decided that she would look too manly wearing boots.  After all, we wanted the cake to have a reasonable chance.  The idea was to make her look like a sweet little ballerina and have her come out of nowhere and BLAM…tear right into it. Like a lion in the jungle, this little jewel held her arms like she was a passerby looking at the cake in the bakery window.  She was so clever to make it look as though she was going to leave, but then….. the lioness eases towards the prey.

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This poor cake did not have a chance.  Using her foot to block anyone trying to stop her, she attacks with speed and tenacity.

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An aerial view gives us a unique look at how this little bean could be so cruel to the cake.

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Listening to her tear though this chocolate beast was painful.  The screams from the cake (and the lioness) could be heard clear across the room.  She fought a good battle and was putting it away like a squirrel saves nuts for the winter.  Just when we thought she was going for another chunk of the delicious goodness, she fell victim to a mid morning nap.

Parker 1, Cake 0
Well played Parker….well played!
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{ before & after }

One of the most important goals of a photographer is (or should be) to “nail” the shot in the camera and use tools like Photoshop, Lightroom. Aperture, etc. to enhance the image or…bring it to life…make it pop. You get the idea.  If I am being honest, there are times (actually quite a few) when I know almost exactly how I am going to want to edit a shot as I am pressing my shutter.  There are just as many times when I am sitting in front of my computer late at night playing (I mean working) on finding the perfect edit.

I thought it would be fun to share a few shots I have taken over the past few months to show you the before and after. Here are some of my SOTC’s or Straight Out of The Camera and the finished product.

Sometimes the editing is basic, highlight here, sharpen there.  Image

Other times I like to add some color tweaks to bring out a vintage look.

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Not only do I like B&W images for the drama they show…they also hide many flaws that would show in a color picture.  For example, the picture below shows the groom and groomsmen doing some last minute prep work before the ceremony.  The picture SOTC is a bit flawed and the sunlight coming in from the front was not working for me.  Making this a B&W, increasing the exposure a bit on the sun coming in and cropping in tighter to remove the “lone arm beer drinker” off the the left is just what I was looking for.

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Here is another one I did in B&W t because it softened it up and presented a unique look of the mother and he new born. I also cropped it in so the focus could be on them…not the background.

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Here is one of my daughter’s cute little (as my wife says) “hammer toes.”  A very simple photo, but I wanted more!  It’s kind of like a ZOT.  The candy shell on the outside is tasty, but when you crack into the middle…POW!  That’s what I wanted.  We had this enlarged and framed to a 16×20…awesome :)

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Enjoy the weekend.