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  • Welcome to Our Journal

    Keith is a photographer who believes that kids are nearly perfect and that great images capture a bit of that perfection for all eternity. He loves that children don’t filter their emotions. Living loud is their power. And his job is to capture a moment of their uncontained imaginations: your children, unscripted.

    Melissa is the studio manager, adoring wife, busy mom and occasional writer that believes she is living the most beautiful life in the whole world.

    Keith and Melissa have two amazing daughters, Isabella and Gabriella and a little Jack Russell named Pooch.

    This journal is our personal blog about our family, photography, travel and how we are inspired by children in all their authenticity, one beautiful photograph at a time.

Tips on Photographing Christmas Morning

One of our most popular posts with thousands of views is our Tips on Photographing Christmas Morning. I figured it might be time to repost this tip just in time for the Holidays!

Friends and family always ask me how I shoot my kids around the holidays – especially on Christmas morning.  Here are a few tips:

  • Get as much light in the room as you can – turn up ambient lighting, open shades – we want to be able to use natural light – try to keep flash OFF!
  • Look at the scene – are there windows behind your tree?  If you shoot directly at the windows – your pictures will come out dark.  Move to the side, look for a better spot, find a good angle, change up angles
  • Be ready to push the shutter at a moments notice – we are looking to capture natural expressions on your children’s faces
  • Get down on the ground with them while they are opening presents 
  • Shoot quickly and shoot often!  You don’t want to miss anything – you can edit later!
  • Don’t forget the detail shots – a beautiful ornament, a bow on a present – we can tell a beautiful story by including these pictures
  • Document the day – start the night before – take pictures of Santa’s cookies, the tree before the kids wake up (refer to my tips of photographing holiday lights), your children sleeping, stockings hanging on the mantle…
  • If your pictures are too blurry – then add a flash (only as a last resort!)

Here is a suggestion for an interesting shot of your kids opening up their gifts under the tree:  use a tripod, turn up ambient lighting, if flash is built into camera: turn flash off, use longer exposure setting (for those that have no idea what I’m referring to – like my wife!) set the dial on the big P: Program Mode, focus on the tree (your kids should be ripping open their gifts).  The result should be a great shot of your tree and children with motion blur!

Footnote:  these are general rules – all rules can be broken or depending on your experience level – interpreted in your own way or completely ignored!  This is one way – but not the only way!  Play around with what works for you and your camera!

 

Upper West Side Manhattan | NYC Family Session

nyc family photographerfamily photographer nycnyc family photographerupper west side family sessionfamily session nycday in the life photographynyc family photographernew york kids photographernyc family photographerdocumentary style family sessionnyc kids photographermanhattan kids photographersnyc family sessionnyc family sessionfamily session nycmanhattan family sessionfamily session nyckids session nycchildrennyc family photographernyc family photographerday in the life family photography nycThis is one of the most quintessential NYC family session to date. There are so many aspects to this family and this session that are unique to living in New York – from the beautiful walk up building on the Upper West Side to the amazing roof deck to the views from the kids’ bedroom floor to ceiling windows.

Those that haven’t lived in the Big Apple may not appreciate how coveted outdoor space is when you live vertical amongst millions of other New Yorkers. When this mom emailed me about having a family session in NYC this fall, she mentioned that she would like to include their new outdoor deck if possible. What a space. Multiple levels with amazing views. My oh my what a treasure this space is.

We just clicked with this family immediately. Love how they let their kids live life through exploration and fun. The kids were exactly themselves and that’s why I love this session so much. Improvisation and documenting exactly what was happening in their home on this chilly fall November day. These photos tell their story. And I love that.

Where has my baby gone??? | Film Photography

Gabby with no teeth!

Oh my goodness how is Gabby so old? Front teeth are gone. I honestly could never imagine her without those cute little chicklet teeth that she had. Now here she is toothless and absolutely adorable!!!

I love that Keith captures these little life moments. Since this is film it has been a few weeks since he took this roll so her teeth have grown in. Making me even more appreciative that he took her outside that day and took this shot that I will treasure forever!

Camera: Leica M3

Film: TriX

Sophie’s Pink Out | Bat Mitzvah | Westin Kierland

congregation beth israelbat mitzvah scottsdalecongregation beth israel mitzvah_DSF7909IMG_4805victoria canada wedding and eventsbat mitzvah westin kierlandvictoria canada wedding and eventsvictoria canada wedding and eventsbat mitzvah westinbat mitzvah scottsdalehora bat miztvah westing kierlandbat mitzvah kierlandmitzah westin kierland scottsdalewestin kierland partySophie’s Pink Out was just incredible!  A beautiful morning service followed by an amazing party at the Westin Kierland. The Trailblazer Ballroom was transformed into this spectacular space, everything a 13 year old girl could want. Where does one begin to describe all the fabulous details and fun created by Victoria Canada Weddings and Events? An eyelash bar, tattoos, Bright Bokeh’s Slow Motion Video Station, The Live Photobooth, you name it, it was here. The kids were bouncing around taking in all there was to do – including the fun on the dance floor. Young and old alike had such a great evening!!!! (There aren’t enough exclamation points!!)

Event Design + Coordination: Victoria Canada Weddings and Events

Venue: The Westin Kierland

Other Companies that collaborated on making Sophie’s Pink Out so Perfect:

Creative Occasions 

Classic Party Rentals

Living Energy Events

kool Party Rentals

White Knight Party Rentals

Page & Mason Invitations

A Beautiful Portrait | Family Session Scottsdale

 

beautiful girl

“I am not young enough to know everything” – Oscar Wilde

I love that quote. I love that I used to think I knew it all or at least that’s the way I acted. So unaware of all that I didn’t know and didn’t need to know.

There is something so beautiful about being young. And something just as beautiful about getting older.

But when I see a beautiful portrait like this from a recent family session, I am transported to the intangible beauty of youth. There is such a confident optimism in this girl’s eyes. The world is hers. So much to look forward to. A whole life ahead of her. So much time to really learn everything.