ben & chaunie | families

Chaunie B Final2

North Branch, MI - I was so excited to photograph this family, not only are they adorable and related to me, but Chaunie is the talented writer behind Tiny Blue Lines and various other sites and books. She just released an ebook called, The Moments That Made You a Mother, which features yours truly, check it out! I've also partnered with her on a super exciting upcoming project, but you'll just have to wait for that to be announced...stay tuned :-) … [Read more...]

week #6 – out of focus

Schank Wedding 61-2

Week #6 is going to be a bit challenging for all of us. We've always been taught that a good image is crisp, clear and IN focus. In fact, that's one of the biggest challenges for me as a photographer is to make sure all of my images are in focus, especially when there's low lighting or lots of movement. So what happens when you see an image that's not in focus, but it strikes your attention? I've seen a lot of photographers using a technique called "free lensing", which is extremely hard to do. However, if you can master it, it can create the most whimsical, dreamy-looking images. I'll explain how to do it in my tips and tricks below. But for this week, I think we can challenge ourselves to take an image that's out-of-focus image that can still tell a story or show movement. A fellow photographer once quoted, "sometimes the best focus, is out of focus" - Jodi Bodke of Giving Tree Photography. She's definitely nailed the out of focus shots, her work is ahhmazing! Tips/tricks - Free … [Read more...]

week #5 – summer treats results

Photo challenge #56

Week #5 is bitter "sweet", it means summer is coming to a close and we are remembering all the treats we want to keep in our memories to get us through until next summer. Here's all of your summer treats! Elaine Czaczkowski - Bike rides on the farm. Alicia Hartwick - Summer Treats-Ice cream cone dipping our toes in the water to finish up a hot summer day. Danielle Goncalves - Even my pooch gets her summer treat. doggie ice cream. Liz Makedonsky - My new favorite summer treat...yummy, especially when you add it to a glass of vanilla ice cream! Amanda Swoish - Lake time. Kathleen Reed - Summer treat is swimming in our pond grandma and grandpa dug in 1967.Tara Greenaway - Summer Treat: happy hour snacks (and beverages!) everyday on "the knoll" overlooking Great East Lake at "camp" in New Hampshire. Mary Beth Jacobson - Drinking from the hose...(I have to say, I loved doing this as a kid too!)Bridget Fleck - Camping with wine... Alyssa Novotney - Popcorn on the … [Read more...]

week #5 – summer treats

Washington DC47

Week #5 - As I look at Facebook, I keep seeing "back to school" images and it tugs at my heart strings because this year, my first born will be starting Kindergarten, ahhhh. Now I know why my mom was always a little blue this time of the year. As the summer 2015 is slowly coming to an end, I thought it would be fun to do a challenge that related to it. Summer is full of summertime treats, some of these may be editable, some of these may be drinkable and some may be the treat of simplicity! So take a moment capture one this week. Tips/tricks - Well, not too many tips for this one except to savor the moment and treats :-) When I think back to summers growing up in Michigan, going to get huge ice cream cones on summer nights was one of my favorite things to do with my family. … [Read more...]

week #4 – something you love results

Photo Challenge Week #415

Week #4 - This challenge was so fascinating, I love seeing what you love. I included everyone's caption because I thought it was important. Danielle Goncalves - My favorites "things", my photos...(I'm lucky enough to have taken some of these for Danielle :-) Crystal Dhooghe - Never realized how much I loved the fresh water lakes of Michigan until I had to move to Texas! Ahha was blessed to be able to capture this sunset when I was home a couple weeks ago out on lake Michigan. Really fit this week perfect for me! Catherine Brusie - #‎somethingilove‬ the fact that this is my work office and the opportunity to have something I've always loved as my job:) Cassie Sohn - I Love the Beatles, I Love street performances, and I Love to travel the world. This picture is taken at the John Lennon Wall in Prague, while listening to the song "imagine" being performed by this musician. That is what I will always love. Kathleen Reed - I love so many things - hard to choose but I … [Read more...]

week #4 – something you love

August 20151

Week #4 should be a pretty easy one for us all. We all have items/people/activities we love in our life, so this week take the time to take a picture of it. Tips/tricks - For many of us, our first instinct will be to take a photo of our children, because they are probably the thing we love most in our lives. They were definitely my first thought when I decided on this challenge. However, that wasn't really a challenge (for me at least), since 99% of the photos I take are of my children. So I rethought my image and decided to challenge myself to capture details that make me who I am. This will help me with my wedding and family shoots, so I can capture little details that they love and that tell a story about who they are. So take a moment and think about something you love in your life that you would never take a photo of and then capture it! I decided on my coffee cup from Argentina. I love to travel and LOVE coffee, so it just made sense to do this shot. I also have a slight … [Read more...]

week #3 – the moon results

Week #3 Photo Challenge6

Week #3 definitely challenged my photography skills. I didn't come close to capturing the moon's definition or contrast like some of you. I'm so impressed with everyone's images! Good job! Me (Jacquelyn) Mary Beth Jacobson Kathleen Reed Amanda SwoishCarol Reinig Liz MakedonskyKathy Bailey Jody BrusieEmily Laurie Bridget Fleck Whitney Jean Laurie Walker Julie Morehead Samantha Dionne Alicia Hartwick Jordan Moses Alyssa Novotney … [Read more...]

week #3 – the moon


Week #3 is an exciting one for me because it's something I've always wanted to improve on, it's capturing the moon! And this weekend happens to be a full moon, yay! I don't have many tips and tricks for this one, but hope to learn something as I practice my skills this weekend. But I will share what I do know about night photography and using a DSLR camera to take the picture. However, as always, these challenges do not have to be done using a DSLR camera, you can use your cell phone to capture some creative shots of the moon like I've shown below. Get creative with having the moon in your frame! Tips/tricks - For night photography, it's smart to use a tripod or to set your camera on a steady surface since you have low lighting and any movement during the shot can make your image blurry. Also, from what I've read (going to test it this weekend) it's easy to overexpose the moon because it's so bright compared to the night sky, so you don't want to use a slow shutter, more like … [Read more...]

week #2 – silhouettes results

Photo Challenge Week #26

Week #2 for our photo challenge was another success I'd say. I just love the variety of silhouettes and pretty pink and blue skies. Great work everyone and I hope you all learned a little from this challenge :-) Crystal DhoogheKathleen ReedChaunie BrusieJulie MoreheadKathleen ReedValerie Czaczkowski Christina Wood Alyssa NovotneyAlicia Hartwick Amanda SawchukLiz MakedonskySandy CzaczkowskiLeslie Coonfield Elaine Czaczkowski Mary Beth Jacobson Natalie Amaro Jordan Moses Calyssa SmithFranky Vitale   … [Read more...]

week #2 – silhouettes

June 2015 edited1

Week #2 - Silhouettes. If you follow my photography, you'll notice I do a lot of silhouettes. It's my take on being artsy fartsy. They are typically shot best at my second favorite time of the day for photography...the "blue" hour. The blue hour is similar to the "golden" hour (which we will do as a future challenge), but the blue hour is the time after the sun has set and the sky gets a gorgeous purple/blue above the horizon. These skies make for an awesome silhouette image since your light is very diffused and your sky is very dimensional (similar to the first image below). However, there's no need to wait until the sun has set to get a great silhouette, all you really need is strong source of light behind your subject, which is called backlight. You don't even need a fancy camera either, I captured the second image below with my iPhone. Tips/tricks - So here are some things to keep in mind when doing silhouettes. 1. Like I stated, make sure you have backlight and have little … [Read more...]