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Rhode Island Family Photographer

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Things Worth Celebrating. (Also: Help Wanted.)

RI lifestyle photographer_0371.jpg

RI lifestyle photographer_0371.jpg

First thing yesterday morning, our two-year-old snuck her way into a bag of Milanos and ate an undisclosed number of cookies, then promptly found life to be undeniably worth celebrating.

So she stripped off her clothes and, with cookie in hand, threw her arms and face to the sky, running gleeful naked laps around the dining room table, laughing all the way.

May we all take a lesson from the little one and find the little things to be worth celebrating this weekend.

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More thoughts:

  1. Speaking of little things worth celebrating, you can finally view photos from one of my favorite photo sessions last year.

Have you seen 'em?  Here's a tease and a link to more.  Which shot is your fav??  :)

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RI lifestyle photographer_0372.jpg

2.  Speaking of little tasks that I'm having trouble time-managing, I would like to officially put it out to you and to the universe that I am looking for part-time assistance.  Are you enthusiastic, dependable, somewhat tech-savvy, and have access to a computer?

If this interests you, please get in touch!  No need to be local to RI.

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Back to our daughter.

As high as her high was, the sugar crash hit her just as hard.

Later yesterday morning, she promptly screamed for--I am not kidding--45 minutes straight.

"I WANNA COOKIE!!"

Detox is a b*tch, innit?

In one of my less lucid moments, I tried to talk sense into her, explaining the highs and lows that come along with a sugar rush.

A few minutes later, I channelled Jack Nicholson from "A Few Good Men."

Her:  "I WANNA COOKIE!!"

Me:  "YOU-CAN'T-HANDLE-THE-COOKIES!!"

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3.  Speaking of Jack Nicholson, due to popular demand, we have added a second "Photography 101" class date, if you're interested.  

I've received many emails of gratitude after the first class, my favorite compliment being that it was "packed with ALL the information that had previously confused me about using my camera.  A ridiculous value!"

4.  Speaking of ridiculous value, in the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that the Photography 101 class has nothing at all to do with Jack Nicholson.  I was just looking for a smooth transition a few sentences ago.

Mr Nicholson does not endorse the class, will not be in attendance, and, if you can believe it, doesn't even know who I am.  

Although, if this post does circle back to him, (sorta like when this post I wrote circled back to Oprah's peeps) I'm sure he'll enroll in the class, because I'm guessing HE CAN'T HANDLE HIS CAMERA.

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Okay good.  I can see that today's post has been filled with non-random things that are not random.

Sounds to me like a little thing worth celebrating.  

Happy weekend, Light Catchers!

with love and light

with love and light

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I'm Teaching a Photography 101 Class in Warwick, RI. Come!

Facebook Ad for Photog Class.jpg
Facebook Ad for Photog Class.jpg

Great news for fellow photography-lovers!

WHAT:  Photography 101 Class with Bethany

WHEN:  Saturday, January 25th, 2014  2-4:30pm

WHERE:  Best Parenting Shop Ever  (Bellani Maternity, 1276 Bald Hill Rd, Warwick, RI)

WHY:  Because you have a nice camera and you're not using it to it's potential.  Or you love photography but feel intimidated by it.  Or generally you are just awesome and enjoy hanging out with other awesome people in awesome places.

HOW MUCH:  $99

HOW TO SIGN UP:  Call 401-345-4177 or email bethany@bethanyo.com.  Or call or sign up at Bellani.  You have many options.

I plan to JAM PACK as much good info and light-heartedness as I can possibly pack into these two-and-a-half hours!  Don't miss it!

FAQ's

Can I give this as a gift to someone?

Absa-freakin-lutely.  You can and you SHOULD give this as a gift to someone.  We'll even give ya a gift card to give 'em.  How 'bout that?

Aperture, shutter speed, and the rest of those shenanigans are SO CONFUSING.  Do you like to make things confusing?

I'm so glad you asked, Hypothetical Question-Asker.  No, I do not like to make things confusing.  I like to make things fun.  I took a similar photography class at the ripe young age of 15, and the teacher made things so confusing that I didn't attempt to learn photography again until almost another 15 years had passed.  I won't do that to you.

Do I need to have a fancy camera to take this class?

No, the concepts we'll be covering will apply to all photography captured by all cameras, including iPhones.  If you do not have a camera, though, the class is going to leave you WANTING a camera, because of the extended control the DSLRs [i.e. "fancy cameras"] give you over your camera settings.  Consider yourself forewarned.

Do I need to bring my camera with me for class?

It's encouraged that you bring your camera so that you can familiarize yourself with the controls and settings we'll discuss, but this is not a workshop, so a camera is not necessary.

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Honestly, has no one gotten to the bottom of this yet?  Woodchucks DO chuck wood, don't they?  Is this a test?

Which lens do you recommend for a beginner learning photography?

If you're a Nikon shooter, get this one.  That lens is not only an incredible value, it also lays the smack down on all other lenses as far as learning lenses go;  I'll tell you why in class.  For Canon shooters, I recommend this lens, which is almost as good.  :)  You do not need to have either of these lenses for the class.

I don't receive any kick-back if you purchase those lenses, in case you were wondering.

This class is being held at Rhode Island's best pregnancy and parenting shop.  What if I'm not a parent, or I am not interested in photographing kids?

Do not fret yourself, sweet grasshopper!  All are welcome, and this particular class is not specifically about photographing kids.  The concepts we will discuss apply to all types of photography, which may or may not include children, depending upon your preferences.

Will you cover XYZ topic in class?

This class is going to be a discussion of basic photography concepts:  shutter speed, aperture, ISO, how they interact, tricks for how to deal with difficult shooting situations, concepts that can improve any photo, etc.  If you are wondering about specific subjects that will or will not be covered, feel free to email Bethany.

What about refunds?

Since seating is limited, we are unable to offer refunds or exchanges for tickets purchased for this event.  HOWEVAH.  You are welcome to sell or give away your admission in the unlikely and frankly insane event that you change your mind about attending.  Kinda like a concert ticket, you know?  Only better.

Should I sign up sooner...or later?

SOONER, for shizzle!!  Spots are limited.  I think it was Abraham Lincoln who once said, "You snooze, you lose."  Or something like that.

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Sunset Photo Session in a Field: Rhode Island Family Photographer

Bethany O Photography_0142.jpg
Bethany O Photography_0142.jpg

One of the other arguments against mini-sessions is that you simply can't give every client the sunset slot.

Sunset light is so very yummy.

I met Meghan through my friend Bonnie and I think Meghan and I might be soul-sisters.  I feel like I have known her forever.  And by "forever" I mean "since before I was born."

What a beautiful soul she is.

If you are curious about the thought-process that went into planning these mini-sessions, check this out:  this session was featured on Spark, an inspirational website for photographers!  :)

To see more photos from other sessions on this mini-session day, see my previous post!

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Bethany O Photography_0143.jpg
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Bethany O Photography_0146.jpg
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Bethany O Photography_0145.jpg

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What's your favorite photo from this session?  :)

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Mommy and Me Mini-Sessions: Rhode Island Family Photographer

Bethany O Photography_0139.jpg
Bethany O Photography_0139.jpg

Back in June I ran a promotion for a Mommy and Me mini photo session day.

It was an awesome opportunity to meet new clients, make new friends, spread the word about my business, and build my portfolio.  Each family who came that day truly touched my heart, and I am so grateful to have met them.

Will I do it again?  This, I am not sure.

I am still navigating this photography business thing.  Here are a few thoughts factoring into my thought-process regarding mini-sessions:

1)  They are a good thing for the reasons above, and for serving clients who have either recently had a full photo session and want updates or for working with potential clients who either want to "try" my services at a lower financial commitment or who don't have the budget for a full session.

2)  Many fellow photographers and industry experts discourage the idea of mini-sessions because they encourage clients to wait for a "deal," can devalue your work in the eyes of clients, and can lead to the all-too-common "photographer burn-out."

3)  On a more personal note, how do mini-sessions affect ME?  The reason *good* photography is not cheap is because there is a tremendous amount of behind-the-scenes work involved.  Was the sudden barrage of a very heavy workload good for my life balance?  Do I feel I can put forth my best product when we only have 30 minutes to shoot?  (Often we are just getting warmed up at the 30-minute mark.)  How does decreasing my rates affect my self-esteem?

I intend to build this business around honesty, authenticity and openness.  So those thoughts are me being real with you.

If you want to weigh in on this debate, I'd love your opinion.

Okay, on to the photos!  :)

(Many thanks to my fabulous and oh-so-helpful assistant, Audrey, for all of her helpful help that day!!)

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Bethany O Photography_0128.jpg
Bethany O Photography_0128.jpg

First up was the incredible Kelly LaChance Guertin of Bellani Maternity.  Kelly has been such a valuable resource for pregnancy and parenting information for me over the last five years; it was an honor to photograph her with her dynamic, kind, intelligent children.

Kelly recently won a few awards for being an outstanding businesswoman in Rhode Island.  If you're a parent, regardless of whether you're local, you'll want to be a part of the Bellani community.  Here's their facebook page.

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Bethany O Photography_0129.jpg

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Next up was the fun and lovely Bridget, whom I met for the first time that day by means of a mutual friend.

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Bethany O Photography_0130.jpg

Isn't it wonderful how good people have a way of connecting you with good people?

My fav of these photos is the bottom right.  Aint nothin' like the safety of a Momma's arms, especially at this age.

I love capturing that bond.

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Bethany O Photography_0131.jpg

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Bethany O Photography_0132.jpg

I mean honestly.  These two!!!  BAM!  BAM!  BAM!  One great shot after another.

Jenn and I were in high school and at Boston College together; it was so nice to see her again.

Such an effervescent soul, she is.  Baby, too.  (OBS!)

I so appreciate the passion and enthusiasm Jenn brings to her online business as well.  Wellness Enthusiasts:  check her out!!

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Bethany O Photography_0133.jpg
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Bethany O Photography_0135.jpg

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I met the kind and loving Lindsay thanks to a friend sharing my mini-session announcement on Facebook.

These are the joys of Facebook.  (Thank you, friends!)

Hard for me to choose a favorite here.  I think I'd go with the one above, and the top two in the grid below, since their emotions are so unharnessed.

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Bethany O Photography_0136.jpg
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Bethany O Photography_0137.jpg

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Mike was a random passerby who asked me to take a photo of him with his dog when I was in-between sessions that day.

He really loves that pup.

"Fred" is an awesome dog name.

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Bethany O Photography_0138.jpg
Bethany O Photography_0138.jpg

I used to think it sounded very southern when people used the word "dear" to describe a friend, but I can think of no better word to describe my dear friend Linsey.

The shot of her two boys snuggling together below is one of my fav photos ever.

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Bethany O Photography_0140.jpg

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We did

one other mini-session that day

, which I'm going to share as its own post because the light was so very magical.

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If you want to weigh in on my mini-session debate from the top of this blog post, I'd love to hear your thoughts.  

Any favs from these pics?  :)

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Playing Catch-Up:  Rhode Island Family, High School Senior, Headshot Photographer

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Playing Catch-Up: Rhode Island Family, High School Senior, Headshot Photographer

Bethany O Photography_0111.jpg
Bethany O Photography_0111.jpg

I said I would start posting recent photo sessions to my web page.  I'm going to do that with photos from Aug 2013 forward, but there are some photos from the previous year that I couldn't bear to scrap.

Here they come.

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(The photo above was not from an official photography session, but I love how it captures my mother-in-law and her sister:  eyes closed and all.  It's a real moment.  That, to me, is beautiful.)

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Last fall, my friend Kaila Wilcox needed headshots for her website; she is a therapist in Boston.

In executing this shoot, it was important to me to show how approachable Kaila is.  When someone visits her website, I want them to know that she is a kind and vibrant soul who is incredibly easy to speak with.

The photos, in my opinion, needed to be professional without being stiff; relaxed without being unprofessional.

Bethany O Photography_0110.jpg
Bethany O Photography_0110.jpg

The second photo above is obviously too relaxed for a professional headshot, but I love it to pieces so there it is.   :)

A client of Kaila's recently told her that, in choosing between two psychologists for his child, he chose Kaila because of her photo.

Headshot WIN!

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Bethany O Photography_0105.jpg
Bethany O Photography_0105.jpg

My cousin James needed senior photos last year, and his high school's requirements were specific.  Gray background.  Black and white.  Chest and shoulders only.

BAM.  We got that shot, then had fun capturing James' love of skateboarding.

For what it's worth, my aunt told me the shot on the left is her favorite photo she's ever seen of James.  Because that's his real smile.

That comment--and the photo--make ME smile!  :)

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Bethany O Photography_0106.jpg
Bethany O Photography_0106.jpg

Last year, another of my aunts wanted to surprise my uncle with photos of their sons for Christmas.

The headshots above touch my heart.  These are their real smiles.  These are my cousins.

The photo below was my aunt and uncle's favorite of the three boys:

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Bethany O Photography_0108.jpg

And these were two of my favorites:

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Bethany O Photography_0107.jpg

That session marked my first canvas order.  The individual head shots look INCREDIBLE as square 16x16 canvases, and the 24x36 canvas of the three boys is a jaw-dropping focal point in their living room.

If I do say so myself.

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This spring, these two spring chickens celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary:

Bethany O Photography_0112.jpg
Bethany O Photography_0112.jpg

As an anniversary gift, their three daughters (left) hired me to do a relaxed photo session of their extended family (right.)

I felt like a part of their family by the end of the day.  What fun we had!

The photo on the bottom right is now a 24x36 canvas hanging in their parents' house.  I received a handwritten letter (*happy sigh*) from their mother this summer, telling me how much she loves looking at that photo when she steps out of her bedroom every day.

Here was one more of my favs from that session:

Bethany O Photography_0113.jpg
Bethany O Photography_0113.jpg

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Finally, a family session this spring.

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Bethany O Photography_0115.jpg

Bonnie is one of the first Momma-friends I made when I became a mother.  We had been talking about doing photos together for a while.  I'm so glad it worked out this spring!

The photo below of Bon with her three kids is one of my favorites ever.  So real, so true!

She is one inspiring Momma:  let me tell you what.

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Bethany O Photography_0114.jpg

Two more of my favs from that shoot:

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Bethany O Photography_0116.jpg

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Sweet sauce!  Those are some of the photos I just couldn't bear to keep off the blog.

Up next:  some mini-sessions from June!

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Did you like these photos?  Any favorites?  :)

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