Click here to see the FAMILY STORY from Caroline's dedication, as seen above.
Or, you may see some examples of our favorite FAMILY STORY images here.
Signing up for the KPO Fall Special is easy. Hurry, as these fill up fast! To reserve your slot please SIGN UP ON-LINE.
In the Fall of 2012 I will be hosting the annual day of Fall Mini Sessions. The date is October 27, 2012. The fee is $50. You will be photographed at the KPO Photo Studio in Chapel Hill, NC where we can use both the portrait studio and garden venues. These HALF-HOUR SESSIONS are perfect for getting a great image for your holiday card. The fee includes a web gallery of your images.
Every year you all help me to choose a winner amongst those who attend the Fall Special. The winner receives an 8 x 10 as a gift. Here are the past two winners. I can’t wait to see what we come up with this Fall!
I have created a calendar so you may pick the date that works best for you. In general I photograph Family Stories on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. I can start as early as 9. I also try to clear at least two weekend slots per month. Please let me know your desired date in the COMMENTS section when you sign up so I can block it off for you.
You will be photographed at the KPO Photo Studio in Chapel Hill, NC on Saturday, October 27, 2012, where we can use both the portrait studio and garden venues. These half hour sessions are perfect for getting a great image for your holiday card.
The fee includes a web gallery of your images. The $50 Storytelling Fee is required to reserved your space.
Please view the open slots here:
Use the on-line calendar. Scroll to 10/27/2012 to view open slots.
PLEASE PUT YOUR DESIRED TIME IN THE COMMENTS SECTION WHEN YOU CHECK OUT. I WILL EMAIL TO CONFIRM. THANKS!
From March through August 2012 I have a photography show of some of my favorite Family Story images up at The Red Hen at University Mall in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. This was such a challenge for me to choose favorites from the first ten years of KPO Photo! I am usually so busy shooting that I don’t have much time to look back. For this show I sat down and really looked over a decade of images I had taken of many, many families. It was so hard to choose but, here they are:
On the large wall I printed four vertical images. Janet Buehler is pregnant underneath the peach tree in my garden, Genevee Luck is pretty in purple in front of the asters that bloom in October.
On the left is Eleanor Bellamy getting a senior portrait at the studio and the Kennedy family goofing around during their family portrait at their family home.
Also on the big wall I printed my three favorites from the first year of Henry Black. His parents, Barbara Puccio and Chris Black are dear friends and I think they made one of the best babies ever.
Henry at one-week-old.
Henry at six-months-old.
The whole family when Henry was almost one.
Then, on the smaller wall I put 12 photos of the Sato Family, following their journey from their wedding day to now being parents to two wonderful children. Here are some of my favorites. You can see more at The Red Hen.
Finally at the front of the store I put four more favorites.
Jen Neitzel and her boys on the left and Aaron Ramesh and his dog on the right.
The Chandler girls.
Sasha and her giraffe!
We are offering a fun raffle, too. If you visit The Red Hen there is a vase by the cash register. Just fill out your name and email address to win a FREE KPO Photo Story! I am picking one name each month. The April winner is Kerri Williamson. Thanks for visiting the show if you already have. And a special thank you to all the families pictured above. I love watching you all grow and change throughout the years.
How to Photograph Tweens
By Kristin Prelipp Oguntoyinbo
A tween is the stage between middle childhood and adolescence, so from roughly 9 to 12 years of age. This can be an awkward stage as tweens bodies and minds are changing rapidly in fits and starts. They are not little children and are not yet teenagers. They are busy transitioning in mental, emotional, hormonal and physical ways. My own daughter, Amira, is at this stage. Sometimes she is still my little girl and other times she epitomizes sassiness. I joke that if she continues to roll her eyes at me they might just get stuck that way!
Recently I was asked to photograph a tween named Josh Leffler, who is beginning middle school next year. His parents, Donnabeth and Barry, realized that they had many portraits taken of Josh when he was younger but had slacked off in recent years. Many families fall into this trap! They record every moment of their child’s early years and then don’t photograph them again until they are about to graduate from high school. What about all of those years in between? So, I thought I would write some helpful hints on how to photograph tweens.
Collaborate with the Tween
Before I even came to photograph Josh I asked his mom to consult him about what he wanted to do for his portrait. I made it clear that this would be best if we all collaborated. He decided that he would like to have his everyday home life and hobbies documented. Even at his young age he realized that this would be an important document that he would look back on as an adult. Before we even began photographing, Josh led me on a tour of his domain. His mom stayed busy at the computer, leaving us alone to talk. The most important work of this portrait involved talking and getting to know Josh, rather than immediately diving into photographing him and ordering him around. Josh came up with the idea for the photo above. Love it!
Speak to the Tween like They are an Adult
If you have ever met Josh Leffler, you might think he is an adult in a boy’s body. So intelligent and charming! Tweens respond well to adults who speak to them with respect rather than talking down to them. This was not hard to do with Josh as he is so well spoken. We talked about photography, computers and literature. He admires Steve Jobs and loves to read. He even has started an information technology business from his Mac. The photos above are an homage to his idol.
Even when I was going in for a more traditional portrait I lightly directed Josh to move around. He and I chose a spot with pretty scenery and nice light and I asked him to turn to the side then look at me. Once your subject stops moving that first frame you quickly snap is crucial! After they are posing for just a second they start to look staged and stiff. I wanted to capture him like he really is, not with a canned smile. So I had him keep moving around. I told him I was trying to figure out which was his best side.
Don’t Forget Mom and Dad
While your tween is busy changing, you are, too. When your child has grown to be an adult they will want to see their loving parents in photographs as well. Don’t worry if it is a bad hair day or if you don’t feel like it, just jump in there. Both Donnabeth and Barry were more than happy to get in a photo with Josh. No arm twisting here. This whole process took less than an hour. A tween’s attention span is longer than a toddler’s but don’t push it! Now get out there and document your lovely tween before you blink your eyes and they are off to college.
Thanks for reading! I am always looking for great photo stories to tell in the Chapelboro area. If you know of someone or something that should be documented please write to me.
During the winter I spend a lot of time in the studio. The garden is quiet and everyone wants to stay inside where it is warm. Recently a new mom named Carrie brought in her amazing three-month-old, Helen. Prior to the shoot Carrie and I discussed what she wanted to do in her family story. When she filled me in on her new daughter, she mentioned, “She has a lot of hair.” I didn’t think much of it as my three children also had lots of hair as a babies. But nothing could prepare me for Helen and her amazing locks. So, I call her, Helen of Hair.
As with most of my newborn shoots we took our time. Helen was amazingly patient with the outfit and backdrop changes. We made time for a couple of feedings and even a little nap. I figure if you do something you may as well take your time and do it well! Carrie, thank you soooooo much for bringing Helen into the studio! Here are some of my favorites.
Well, this is a fun blog post to write! My very dear friend, Amanda Fortuna, has a birthday tomorrow. As she celebrates with her family and friends in Roanoke, Virginia she is waiting. They are all waiting. We are all waiting! She is 39 weeks pregnant and gorgeous! When her baby is born I will complete the story by visiting them during the first week or so the baby is here. I cannot wait to see if it is a boy or girl. Mandy Sue and I kept calling her “Myrtle.” Reminds me of how I used to call Leo by the name Lola while in utero. I still love that name. Look for a follow up post soon!
Kathryn Bacon Goldman made a promise to her mother last Christmas that she was going to get her a family portrait as a gift. Her mom, Ellen, takes great pictures of the family but she’s never in any of them. Kathryn had good intentions of completing the portrait quickly but several months had gone by and she had not actually scheduled the session yet. When you have two small children sometimes things understandably get delayed. She and her husband, Jeff, who live in Maryland, were planning to visit her parents in Durham so she seized on this opportunity to finally make good on her promise. One of her good friends, Cora Harrison, referred her to me. Thanks, Cora!
Alya is incredibly adorable with her curls and great smile but, unfortunately she had not slept well the night before and was a bit cranky. I figured she would eventually smile and she did! I wrote about how I got this great photo above in my Local Buzz column on WCHL’s Chapelboro.com for you photo geeks who want know how to do a head swap.
Kathryn had filled out a survey before I came. This helps me to understand who is coming and what kind of photos they want. The most important photo on the list was the whole family- her parents, her family and her brother. Their yard had a great view of a lake and the light was even and beautiful so we easily knocked out the list. The whole process took about an hour and, I hope, was fun for all involved!
Only two head swaps to make the photo above work!
We cannot forget mom and dad! I love this moment between them.
I bet this one will be their holiday card!
A sweet moment between Darren and grandma.
Even though Alya was tired her Uncle Michael could always make her smile! How nice that they are so close!
So, the moral of the story is to not put off until tomorrow what you can do today! My grandma Vivian always said this and it is so true. Book your KPO Photo Family Story at any time or take part in the KPO Photo Fall Family Story Special on October 23rd. Only four slots are left!
This a new installment of a blog post that was originally published on April 28, 2010.
Back in April 2002 I photographed the wedding of Marisa Ferguson and Michael Kelly. I remembered them well as they were journalists like me, and thus shared a bond. I knew that after the wedding, Michael took the foreign service exam and they ended up moving to Turkey. It turns out that Marisa also ended up working for the State Department, and they have most recently been living in Mexico City, Mexico. It is there that they gave birth to their first child, a daughter named Maura. They were coming into North Carolina to visit with family and made time for a portrait session. I loved meeting seven-week-old Maura! She has her mother’s eyes and was a very patient, sweet baby as we changed her outfits and posed her in the studio and out in the garden.
You can see the WHOLE story in their GALLERY.
In July of 2011 Michael, Marisa and Maura came through North Carolina again to visit friends and family. I am so excited that they made time to visit me as they had big news and it is just wonderful to see how Maura has grown! First, they are moving from Mexico to Vancouver, Canada. Secondly, they are pregnant and due in October. Maura was so tiny when I first met her. She is now a great walker with beautiful curls and still has her mother’s eyes. At her age she would not “sit” for a portrait, which is fine. So we spent an hour or so just playing. She wandered all over the studio and the garden while I followed her with my camera. Here are my favorites.
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