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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.

how to photograph kids: outside at the worst time of the day | scottsdale family portrait photographer

When we schedule children’s portrait sessions, we always suggest starting an hour or so before sunset. The light is just perfect, that sweet beautiful light that makes photographs so, so gorgeous.

Aaahhh but what happens when you want to photograph a child at the worst time of the day? Mid day sun is unforgiving. It is awful. It is so bright that everyone is squinting and you just know the photograph is going to be horrible. But you need to take a picture. What do you do?

Well you move the subject. You look for shade. You run for cover. And then use the sun to your advantage.

Just before this photograph was taken, we were walking towards Fauchon to have a bite of something sweet to celebrate Isabella’s birthday. It was our last day in Paris and we really wanted to document the kids just walking around the city. One problem, it was a hot and sunny day (that is not a typo!). The Madeleine Church was right in our path. A large neo-classical structure with large columns and covered areas. The kids were having a blast, running in and out of the columns the whole length of the church.

Isabella stopped for a second to rest. Keith took advantage. The open end of the covered passage acted as a large light source while the neutral colored walls and ground provided substantial fill lighting. The dark column to her right provides shadow to give shape and contrast to her.

The result? A gorgeous portrait taken at the worst time of the day.

for photographers
camera: Canon EOS IV
film: Kodak Porta 400
Lens: 85mm f/1.8

today’s quote | scottsdale children’s photographer

I have been a big fan of quotes since maybe forever. I remember a college paper that I wrote about World War II. I was fortunate enough to interview a Holocaust survivor that retold so many amazing stories. I needed to figure out a way to incorporate his story into my term paper. By using his meaningful quotes to begin each section of my paper, I was able use the emotion and meaning of his stories as exclamation points that gave a human face to the suffering endured during the Holocaust. The impact was tremendous.

From that point on, I understood how important a quote can be. A quote can tell a story, bring back memories, motivate you or open your eyes. But the importance of a relevant quote can not be overstated.

The above quote from A Single Shard (a children’s book) by Linda Sue Park is a perfect example. A disappointment can easily turn into an opportunity.

What is your favorite quote?

Book of the Week: The Star Who Fell out of the Sky | children’s book reviews

For this week’s review, I asked my 5 year old little girl what her favorite book was this week. She handed me the The Star Who Fell out of the Sky by Ian Robson.

Just one look at the brilliant illustrations and I could understand why. Bright colors, sweet characters and a heartfelt story combine to make a really fun read. How will these jungle animals work together to get the little star that fell from the sky back home to be with his friends? My daughter smiles every time Harold the Hippo climbs into the rocket to escort the little star back home – his sense of achievement is obvious and she can tell.

This inspirational story about listening, teamwork and cooperation is a great way to share these ever important life lessons with your child.

What is your child’s favorite book right now?

Kim - September 10, 2012 - 7:27 pm

My kids LOVE Wacky Wednesday by Theo LeSieg (I just learned that he’s only referred to as Dr. Seuss when he did his own illustrations). It’s a silly book but also teaches critical observation skills, a prerequisite to reading.

melissa - September 10, 2012 - 8:06 pm

I’m definitely going to look for that book! We haven’t read it yet. Maybe next week’s feature! Thanks for sharing.

california family beach portraits | scottsdale children’s portrait photographer

We are headed to California for some beach portrait sessions. Hard to believe that Fall break is just around the corner for those of us that live in Arizona. The temps are still hovering around 110 but October is only a month away!

We are booking family sessions in the San Diego area from October 14 – 19th. Send me an email to find out all the details:

a very long wait | phoenix children’s portrait photographer

Isabella has wanted to take sewing lessons for as long as I can remember. She asked for the lessons on her 5th, 6th and 7th birthday – but the minimum age is 8. Since she was turning 8 this year, she knew she was old enough – at last – to start her sewing career.

Her grandmother made sure she signed her up for the sewing class as close to her 8th birthday as she could. And she gave her a sewing basket to put all her supplies and some cool zebra fabric to be used to make the pillow case at her first class.

Isabella was soooo excited. She loves to sketch little outfits and really wants to learn to sew so that she can make her designs come to life. She sprang out of bed Saturday morning – ready for her first lesson. Gabby was so cute, she said to Isabella “You have been waiting for this your ENTIRE life!” I almost cried.

Grandma took her to Joanne’s but wasn’t allowed to stay in the classroom. I guess little kids probably get distracted with parents/grandparents around. Three hours later, Isabella had made her very own pillowcase. Oh my was she excited! She had a smile from ear to ear, she was so pleased with herself. She used a sewing machine all by herself and the pillowcase came out great. Next class: pajamas pants.

Well I guess waiting her entire life was worth it!

Nick T - August 28, 2012 - 4:21 pm

That’s awesome. She might have a career in fashion design. Touching.

Keith - August 28, 2012 - 4:33 pm

Thanks Nick. Fashion design would be great. I hope she enjoys whatever she choses to do with her life more than anything though.

Caroline Barkley - August 28, 2012 - 9:57 pm

I was so happy to be able to give her a gift that was so meaningful to her. I am so proud of her (better stop here or I will cry)..

Kristen B - August 29, 2012 - 12:30 am

I love this SO much. How wonderful to have such passion, and PATIENCE at her age. What a gift already. And sewing IS pretty great. I can’t wait to see how she progresses!