Category Archives: PHOTOGRAPHY
Well friends….we are planning. AND oh, we are excited.
I have been shooting wedding for 6 years now. When I first started….weddings would make me sick on my stomach! I was so SCARED! The whole week leading up to wedding I would fret and worry and stress. Like…what if I really messed and missed the first kiss? What if the bride didn’t like the photos? What in the WORLD was I doing saying ‘Yes, I would love to photograph your wedding?!!’ Me? I mean, weddings are a BIG DEAL. Like no second chances. No room for mistakes. Ah, yes. I was SO scared of photographing weddings. But we all learn. We all start somewhere. And there is nothing wrong with that. Part of the journey, my friends. As my dad would say, “That is how we learn”.
And learn I did! I learned how to set myself up for success on a wedding day. I learned how to come up with a game plan for a wedding day…and not just wing it! I learned how to organize and shoot the family and bridal party photos quickly. I learned what to do when I needed to shoot midday in the bright sun. Or in a dark church. How to shoot wedding details and create pretty ‘getting ready’ photos…even is that is in a Sunday school room. I learned how to be intentional about TELLING THE STORY of the wedding day.
And most importantly, how to look fear in the face and say…”Oh no, you are not having the final say here.’
We learn. Today is feels so nice to walk into a wedding day with confidence….I know I did it before, I can do it again. Yes, it still is a lot of hard work and it requires a lot of energy and preparation…but I does not scare me to death anymore.
SO FRIENDS…we want to meet you…collaborate with you…spend the day with you! Share with you a little but of ourselves. Give you the tools needed to successfully shoot a wedding day.
ANNOUNCING OUR 2013 WEDDING WORKSHOP!!!
*Credit for the this graphic goes to MARGO, our awesome intern. You will meet her soon! Can you believe she hand drew that design…then scanned..and well, I was lost after that.;)*
This workshop will be a one-day intensive workshop with the CHAR team focusing on equipping you with all you need for successfully shooting a wedding. The workshop will cover coming up with a game plan for the big day, shooting the wedding details and getting ready photos, organizing and posing the family and bridal party photos quickly, bride and groom portraits, utilizing ALL types light…even if that is bright midday sun or dark churches, shooting for variety, simplifying the editing workflow, marketing, establishing your style, setting goals, and overcoming fear. You are guaranteed to go home inspired and ready to take your business to the next level!
The fun-filled day includes a full styled photo shoot by our stylists, GRACE and Karen. If they are doing the styling? You know it will be STELLAR. For a sneak peek into what Grace is planning, go HERE. In addition, there will be hands on training, plenty of Q&A, as well as an opportunity for one-on-one conversation.
FOR MORE DETAILS AND TO GRAB YOUR SEAT, GO HERE!
Don’t miss the EARLY BIRD SPECIAL and you chance to win a FREE SEAT. See you in June! :)
Friday night was the AFTER PARTY! The goal for the night was to honor our senior models, meet and connect with others, create a warm and inviting atmosphere, and give everybody that came just a really good evening. Grace poured heart into making this night a special night and she did such a good job with it. The event was held at Tomato Pie Cafe in Harrisburg. If you have never been there…GO. It is a gorgeous coffee shop. At the After Party, we shared the senior model images from the big shoot (stay tuned:) and our new promo video (stay tuned:). Live music was provided by the talented and beautiful SAINT ELOUISE. Sweets and good eats were provided by Tomato Pie. A Silent auction and raffles added to the fun.
For myself? I was so blessed by the support….by all you who came. The senior models that brought friends and family. And all the members on the CHAR team. So blessed.
Little bits of the night…
My dear friend, Angel. :)
Karen with her husband and daughter! It was so fun to have all our husbands part of the night!
And the team! (Just missing Andrea who had already headed out.) And the T-SHIRTS! This was all Grace. In fact, her husband Jeremy screen printed the logos on the t-shirts BY HAND. The t-shirts are so soft and pretty and just the right shade of gray…..:)
XOXO…that’s all. :)
Oh but wait, one more thing. Tomorrow the WEDDING WORKSHOP registration will be OPEN! Check back tomorrow for details.
It is Thursday and we have a lot of going on around here this week! It has been a great week…and I am excited about all that is coming up this week and this spring! Spring always feels like a new beginning…another chance for new life, new plans, new things. I love that we are given another spring every year.
This week I have been thinking a lot about perspective. You know…we get so caught up in the day in day out activities…that we forget. Our plans, our to-do lists, our ‘stuff’…consume us. We forget how blessed we are. We forget that our ‘problems’ really might not be life threatening. We forget to slow down and b.r.e.a.t.h. We get frustrated. Impatient. Irritated. Selfish. Life is so much bigger than what I know. My reality is world’s different from somebody that may live just down the street from me. I am so BLESSED. Trite. Of course. But do I live like I know that and believe that? PERSPECTIVE. I need a good reminder every now and then.:-)
OK…ON WITH TODAY’S NEWS!
AA WEDDING workshop is in the works for early summer! Do you panic a little when you prepare to shoot a wedding day? Do dark reception centers and shooting in bright midday sun make you a little woozy? How about managing a rowdy bridal party and posing the family? Organizing and managing the day feel stressful? Does ALL the post processing make you want to hide? Then this might be just what you need.
Details to be released NEXT WEEK. Our last workshop sold out in two days. If you would like an early registration email with the details…let us know HERE.
The AFTER PARTY is TOMORROW NIGHT! Don’t miss it! Friends, you are invited to this special night!
If you’ve been following the last few weeks you might have been aware of the Donation Challenge + Giveaway that I collaborated with Nicola and several other photographer with to help raise money for girls in Kenya to be able to stay in school. You can check out all the details HERE. You will find more details on the awesome story of the money raised and the outcome of the challenge on NICOLA’S BLOG. But first, I want to share with you the WINNERS!
The 3 winners of the gift baskets are:
The winners of the photo sessions are:
Family Session: Kara Sawyer
Portrait Session: Kelly Wieand
Winners, please use the contact form on NICOLA’S WEBSITE to connect with Nicola to arrange picking up your prizes or scheduling your session! We appreciate your generosity and can’t thank you enough for your support of this project.
THANK YOU! THANK YOU to everyone who was a part of this challenge. Your generosity is very much appreciated.
pKAROLINE! She’s awesome. Graduating soon! Check back for more photos of her!
In 2013, one of our goals at CHAR Photography is simply to get to know you! We want to meet you, hear from you, reach out to you, serve you, give you beauty and inspiration….in a small way, add a touch of life to your life. We love collaborating, dreaming, connecting and meeting others. In a real way. See their face, Shake their hand, hear their story. We want you to be part of our lives in a tangible way. Relationships. It is who we are…and what I believe we as humans thrive on. :-) Collaborating with this and our Senior Model Team….
PLEASE JOIN US!
The After Party is coming up…and well, we are really looking forward to this. We have a lot of goodness planned and want to give you, your friends, and family a great night.
Few things we have planned for the night…
LIVE MUSIC….it isn’t a party without music!
Food and drinks provided by Tomato Pie Cafe.
A RAFFLE. Don’t worry, you will not have to purchase any tickets. Just by showing up, you will be given a ticket. Prizes for the raffle will include a FREE photo session with us, $300 credit towards products from your session, t-shirts, mentor session for the budding creative, style consultation with Grace…(ask anything about style, how to create outfits, and what looks good on you. She will show to you can think outside of your current style), gift cards, and so much more.
A silent auction! We will be auctioning fun pieces from the photo shoot. Proceeds will benefit a teen trafficking organization.
Revealing the images from the BIG senior model team shoot!
Sharing the promo video featuring our senior model team!
This event is open to everybody. Bring friends and family! We would love to have you join us! If you have any questions, feel free to shoot Kathleen an email at email@example.com.
See you at the Party! :-)
Hey Friends! Today GRACE is going to take over here…..introducing her Intern Karen! But first let me say…these two? Their brains think alike. I am amazed at what they come up with. Being able to let them run with the senior model shoot, studio decor, and all things stylist related has been so, so great. True to God’s record…He brought somebody to us that is the perfect fit!
I am so proud to introduce one of the newest members to the CHAR team, my intern, KAREN!
Karen just started interning this past month and I CAN NOT imagine my life without her! She has already brought a new dynamic of creativity and design to the studio. She is becoming my right hand gal and I am loving it. We spend our time collaborating about clothing, decor, art, and all things beauty. Whatever Karen puts her hands too she makes it lovely and interesting. She is GREAT at what she does! Did I mention she has an eye for style, yep, she’s got it! I am so excited about this coming year with Karen and all the creative goodness that will come forth from her.
Before I let Karen take over and tell a little more about herself, make sure you check out her blog HERE. You will love it!
A few important things you should know about me…
-I grew up on an orchard which really helped me to see beauty in what God creates
-I have a dashing husband named Kyle and an adorable baby girl named Elsa
-I love books and good writing
-I enjoy early morning runs
-I have loved fashion and style for as long as I can remember. Decorating my house and picking out outfits are two of my favorite past times!
-I was never ever the cool kid in high school.
God has always changed the direction where I thought my life was heading. In my teens and early 20′s I figured I would marry a musician with long hair, and we’d be missionaries livin’ on love in some exotic country overseas. Then I thought I would teach high school English for two years, get married, and have children before I was 25. But I ended up teaching for 9 years, marrying an engineer with a buzzed head and a cute little bald spot, having our first child at the age of 31, livin’ in the exotic land of Myerstown.
One idea of mine God did bring to pass was to be a stay-at-home mom. This past year, I resigned from my teaching job, welcomed our little pumpkin Elsa into the world, and have loved playing with her and watching her smile every day. However, I also began to notice Char Photography, follow her blog, and appreciate whoever this Char is behind such a creative business. Long story short, my husband encouraged me to take a workshop, I met Char and the team and immediately clicked. Grace posted her job description for an intern and everything she posted was what I loved. Style, fashion, decorating. The internship was a perfect fit. I could be a stay-at-home mom and spend some time assisting Grace.
So what do I do? Everything that I love. I give suggestions for studio decor. I help Grace create displays and find outfits for the senior model shoot. I create pinterest boards for inspiration for upcoming projects. Grace and I brainstorm a lot together at the studio, and I love how she thinks. I also have some take-home assignments like scouring the internet and my closet for 50s inspired attire that will meet the vision for the upcoming photo shoot.
As for goals that I have, I have some pretty significant life goals that would be daunting apart from Philippians 4:13. One is to be a good steward of each day and each gift God has given to me. Another is to learn more about my husband and how I can best help him be the man he was created to be. And now as a mom, my heart longs to help Elsa develop into a young girl who is secure in who she is in Christ and who learns how to use the talents God has given her to use to make Him look very great. My short term goals? Read a new book each month. Run a half-marathon with Kyle in September with a time of under 1:40. Stop eating so much cereal. Take a daily walk with Elsa. Make one day a week computer free. Cease comparing myself or my life with others.
Goals for the internship? I can’t say I know where this internship is headed. I’m just enjoying my attempt at being a styling intern, and each day at the studio with the Char team is a little treat. As for styling related goals…
1. Love the Creator, not the creation. This one is huge for me. 2. Help Grace and the Char team with excellence. Join them in their mission statement to affirm others, notice details, and honor God. 3. Be able to stick to a budget but still have good style. I enjoy when Grace tells me the max of what we can spend and finding pieces that will keep us under budget. 4. Learn how to work with others to help them develop their personal style instead of trying to thrust my style upon them. 5. Be an assistant Grace trusts and do what I can to inspire her styling creativity.
This has been such a refreshing time in my life, and I am deeply excited for all I will learn in my styling internship with Grace!
You wanna make pretty pictures?:)
BECOME A LIGHT NOTICER!
Light is where it all happens, folks. I remember when I first jumped into photography, got my big fancy camera, and decided I was going to go for this…and hearing about light. The importance of it. That I should learn how it falls on my subject. Learn to use it and see it. I remember thinking yeah, sure. I can see the light. I mean, light is light, right? But as I began shooting and shooting, I started to notice something. Some photos just POPPED. And others were dull and lifeless. Even if the pose was good, the background was good, the expression was good…it was still dull. Flat. Then I realized I was not so smart after all;) Ha. We never are as smart as we think we are. :) I truly did need to LEARN to SEE light. Then and there, I began to respect the power of light.
LIGHT IS POWERFUL. LEARN TO RECOGNIZE LIGHT. LOVE IT, USE IT, UNDERSTAND IT. LIGHT ENABLES YOU TO CREATE BEAUTY.
At our ON THE SHOOT Workshop in February, our goal was simple….to equip the attendees with all they need for a successful shoot. We covered natural light, shooting in manual, gear for the job, styling a shoot, editing, and workflow. I talked all about light and it is a subject that is so fun for me. A few weeks ago I chatted HERE about open shade. Today, let’s talk about WINDOW LIGHT and DIRECTIONAL LIGHT…they go hand in hand. If you don’t use window light, START NOW. Window light is almost always phenomenal. It provides a very soft, indirect light all day long. It is one of the most effective pieces of lighting gear ever invented and is available to all of us!
Any window or door can work as a great indoor light source. As long as it does not have sunlight streaming directly into it and the light is nice and diffused, you are good to go. If there is sunlight streaming in, just check back later when it is gone or find a different window. If possible, I always place my brides next to a window for the makeup photos. Having pretty natural light makes SUCH a difference in the final image.
Side window light is created when the window is to the side of your subject…not the front. This is called directional light. I was a photographer several years before the power and beauty of directional light clicked in my brain. Now I use it all the time and LOVE it. Directional light is more dramatic than light coming from the front of your subject. Directional light creates shadows and highlights as it rolls over details. I love the richness this creates and always use directional light when I am photographing a wedding dress and flower bouquets.
This is the setup for the above photo. I used a reflector to bounce light onto the left side of the flower bouquet.
Directional light also works GREAT for portraits….as Gabi is demonstrating for us. :) Gabi is one of our senior models….more coming soon on these fun shoots!!
If you are taking photos of your child in your house…get them facing a window! You will have a much better photo than a dark corner with your camera’s pop up flash. So simple to do and the difference is stunning. Promise. :) This will forever be one of my favorite photos. It is Corde when he was six months old, sitting on our kitchen table, and facing the window.
Welp, that’s all for today. If window light and directional light is a new concept to you…I hope this gets you started using it!:)
In 2013, one of our goals at CHAR Photography is simply to get to know others. We want to meet you…in a TANGIBLE way. Not just through the computer screen. :) We want to shake your hand, see your pretty face, hear from you, reach out to you, serve you, give you beauty and inspiration….in a small way, add a touch of LIFE to your life.
Our mission statement is simple: Guided by our passion to create beauty; we will enable others by esteeming, affirming, and validating. With attention to detail, commitment, honesty, integrity, and warmth; we will serve others and honor our God.
Yep, we are a photography studio. But our mission statement is the WHY behind what we do. We believe that the language of affirmation and validation is a POWERFUL language. It’s the ART of giving a person permission to be WHO they are. This is the heartbeat of our senior model program. Our senior models are highlight of our year here at CHAR photography. We put a lot of time, thought, planning, and preparation into this program. Our goal is to make this a top notch experience for each of our models from start to finish.
See all this prettiness? ALL GRACE. She has a way of creating and building and styling that continually amazes me. The cloths, shoes, and props were a representation of her vision for the Team Senior Model Shoot.
Her husband, Jeremy, built that awesome clothes rack.
Here is a vision board she created. Complete with pretty striped tape.
Grace and Karen dreamed up these window displayed. Loved the fun party vibe these created!
Fancy cake pops from Lititz Family Cupboard Bakery, sweet and salty popcorn, and little wraps were the munchables.
Justine! Our 2013 intern. You will love her. I already do. :)
Games and fun!
LAST NIGHT…..was such a fun night. Nights like this make me feel so incredibly blessed to have the team (Andrea, Anna, Grace, Kathleen, Karen, and Justine) by my side. These ladies! To each of our senior models…you guys ROCK. :) This is ONLY the beginning…we have a lot of goodness planned for our fine model team this year.
HAPPY EASTER! I am off to paint Easter eggs with the boys. Looking forward to the weekend. XO
Oh she is so fabulous!
So I met Amy about five years ago when I assisted another photographer, Rick, from Titus Touch Photography on a wedding. I remember that wedding, I was so freaking scared! I was so scared that I was going mess up and I was so nervous…I mean, it was a REAL wedding. Well, Amy was at this wedding also assisting Rick and I loved her. She helped me not feel so nervous. She is one of the most upbeat and kind people I have ever met. We kept in touch throughout the years and today she is a jumping in with both feet into her biz…and I think she ROCKS. When she asked me for head-shots for her new website, I was all in. Because I like to share a little with you who others are, I put her on the spot and did a mini ‘interview’. :) Be sure to check out her website and work HERE.
So Amy, tell me a little about you and who you are…
I am married to my closest friend…Josh is amazingly supportive of all I am. We have two kids (7 and 5) who are completely opposite in every. single. way! They keep us busy, inspire us and challenge us. We have a needy (understatement!) golden retriever who demands our attention at all times! As a family, we desire to serve God in everything we do and, of course, fall short often.;)
I like you.:)
What do you love about photography?
I love capturing life…taking a moment and pausing it, making it last a bit longer than time allows. I love that by taking a person’s photograph, I am becoming a small part of who they are. The camera is like my sketchbook, my way to capture and create and tell stories that are well worth telling. I love that no matter how much I learn about photography, there is still more out there to push and challenge me, to force me to see moments I might otherwise have missed.
A sketchbook…I like that! And yes, always and always more to push and challenge us.
How did you get started?
My photography started as a simple part time job… a friend of mine who is a professional photographer was looking for an assistant, someone to help with paperwork, create albums, and handle some of the business aspects of the job. I had just had my daughter and resigned from full time teaching so I jumped in. What started as a simple part time job, soon grew into a love of photography. I wanted to learn how to capture the images I was working with each week. I bought my own “good” camera and started my journey… first with my own family, then with friends. Finally, I took the leap (always a risk!) and began my own “little” business.
Ah yeah…. a big leap and a little risk….that is life, I think.
Tell me a little about your biz today…
I have been professionally photographing others on my own for about a year. Most of the time I shoot outdoors in natural light. Families and children are a favorite of mine…simple and real. The people in your life last forever. They are priority and I love to capture this special bond. I am committed to getting to know my clients and best capture who they are and love when clients become friends.
Simple and real. Your awesome, Amy. Here is to you and ALL you are and where you are headed. The stars are the limit….:) And BTW, your gorgeous.
Do you like to read? I do. It started with Laura Ingalls Wilder books when I was a little girl. My mother read them to me. When I was thirteen I jumped to reading Sweet Valley Twin books. Oh man, I loved those books. I know, I know…today we are adults and who has time to read? Right? I have quite a few audio books….love these for long drives. AND, it allows me to multitask. Eh…now I feel so productive. But still, there nothing like wrapping up in a blanket with a tangible book…getting whiffs of the paper, feeling the pages, underlining phrases that jump off the page at me, and then stacking it with my other books that have left their mark on me. Satisfaction.:)
One of the first books I read that made an impact on was REWORK. This book was given to me by PROMISE TANGEMAN when we were diving into my website design (I was thrilled to get this in the mail from her….the power of a gift:). Now I have given quite a few copies of this book to others just because I love it so. It is an easy ready. What I love about it is how straightforward it is. It asks me to think outside of what I know and stretches my thinking patterns. It taught me to keep it SIMPLE. So often I get stuck in the trap of perfection…if do this, than I will be good enough. I need to get that…than I can really do what I want to. This books cuts through all the ‘noise’ and says it for what it is. It’s practical. It is a refreshing perspective. It teaches…simply start where I am and use what I have. What I already have with my intuition…is probably worth more than all those other ‘gadgets’. While this book is directed towards a business….as most business thoughts seem to be…it is simply ‘life’ thoughts.
So if you are up for being challenged….get this book. And tell me what you think! Do you have favorite books? Do tell me….:)
Recently we had a WORKSHOP….and we loved, loved the opportunity to connect with others over a common passion…creating beauty. And photography, of course. Our goal was simple….to creatively inspired and equip with all that is needed for a successful shoot. One thing I love doing and do whenever possible is collaboration. Collaboration is a beautiful thing. It enables me to be so much more than I am when I am working with just me. :) Lori from WILDFLOWER BY DESIGN provided the florals. PATRICIA did Aubrey’s makeup. JESSE, one of our seniors from this past year, recommended Aubrey as a model for the workshop…and Aubrey was awesome. CAFE ONE EIGHT provided drinks and biscotti. GRACE styled the shoot. Of course. :)
AUBREEEEEY! Thank-YOU! We love you. You are stellar.
Instead of going buying new things…Grace rocks at using what she already has. The leather purse was Grace’s grandpa’s purse! She made the backdrop with a piece of canvas she already had…and just painted on the gold stripes. The branch is from her backyard. The clothing is a combination of Grace’s and Aubrey’s clothing.
We asked the attendees to send us images…we wanted to see the images too! :)
If you would like to be notified of future workshops….please shoot Kathleen an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am waiting for the SNOW that is suppose to be showing up! One last chance at winter. Happy Snow day (if you are where it is actually happening) and Happy Wednesday!