food, photography

Why Candid Photos Are The Best.

One of the beauties of photography is being able to catch someone in the act. It’s what I would call still video, because it adds so much life to an image.

Here are a few tips that will help you magnify  he effectiveness in your shot.

  1. Always have your camera cued up before you find a subject
  2. Keep your camera on the appropriate settings
  3. Being still and making observations is most important
  4. It’s imperative that you have your subject in viewing range while not paying attention.

A great example is this is exemplified in the shot I created. I was in Whole foods grocery store. I had my camera on hand; when I captured one of the most moving images of a mom and her five children. She gave the boys  instructions on where to find items she wanted. They were listening very carefully . I’ve held on to this photo for many years. Often times I wish I could have sent her a copy. It is just a precious time spent with her little ones.

Capture your children while there sleeping , having a conversation amongst one another or at play. Don’t let them see you. The best shots are the natural expression and mood.  Honestly anyone can shoot candids, because there is so much freedom. As a photographer I take it to another level looking far and wide,  for that one in a million shot. Like this one. Most people would have been afraid to be this up close and personal without any awareness. That’s what makes a great candid shot! Get out there and try it. You’ll create better images. noname-2


From Bikes To Cars: They Grow Up So Fast.

DSC_2672.JPGThese are my girls. The younger one in the long sleeves is actually my niece, but I helped raise her, like a daughter. She received all of her shots along with my son and daughter . I have photo albums of her growing up and I can tell you every cute little story about her when she was a baby. When she was little she’d call me Aunt Mama. I thought it was so cute. Her mother didn’t raise her. Therefore, I was the closet thing to being a mom to her.


One hot summer day, my daughter decided to help my niece ride her bike. This brought so much joy to my heart to see them riding together. My daughter always said she bugged her when they were growing up. She followed her where ever she went and wanted to be like her.  It was out of admiration ; she looked up to her like a big sister. Back then it seemed as if , my niece was so much younger than my daughter. In essence they are only 5 years apart. In lady years, this mean you are the same age. Females  have so many challenges to face, the commonality makes us the same age for sure.

I can’t believe how much time has past.  I taught my daughter to drive a car and now I’m teaching my niece. Where did the time go? It’s frightening , but I have to let them go. Being independent is part of life. It’s healthy and natural . Yet, it doesn’t erase the fears of letting them go out in the world. They have to face disappointments, just as I did.  No one is shield from it. Men will hurt them , jobs will reject them and people will let them down.

As a mother, I wish I could hold them and rock them, the way I use too.  Each night I’d give them a bath, give them a snack before bed and massage their faces and backs until they were sleep.  I remember the 3 am feedings and the early morning fevers.  There was the time my daughter was a newborn and she was so constipated. I took her to Kroger at 2am, in my jammies to get a jar of apple juice. She screamed the entire time in the grocery store.  I opened the jar  of juice in the store and placed one of her nipples on it, from her bottle. As she sucked on that juice, I got in line to pay for it. She was a huge infant. My angel was a 10 pounder at birth. God’s work is amazing the way HE enabled her to fit in my tiny body.

One of the fondest memories of my niece was her loud piercing screams. She’d startle me with the scream. The weird thing is, she’d scream anytime she was excited while playing. No one could play games with her unless they were ready for the scream. Some times I’d have her sit down and rest to calm down. The more excited she got, the more she would scream. It drove me nuts!

Now my little girls are no longer little. They are 20 and 25 years old.  I’m so proud of them. Yet, I cry when I see them drive away.


Maybe I Should be a Baby Photographer .

I love  shooting almost anything; I don’t mean with a gun. I have to watch how I say this in public. Once I’ve been on the phone in a coffee shop, talking to a client. I asked her if she wanted me to shoot the baby too.  Instantly I received stares from nearly everyone around me. I spoke up immediately, informing everyone that I’m a photographer. Then I received looks of relief  and spontaneous smiles. That’s a little side story that came to mind  as I gathered   my thoughts for this blog post.

Have you ever loved doing something ,but did everything in your power  to avoid it? It doesn’t make since but apparently it’s pretty common. For example: Have ever heard of  stories  where someone  always dreamt of owning a bakery, yet they go to law school to  to please their parents? Every semester that goes by, they are thinking of baking the pastries and all sorts of cupcakes. They’ve picked out the business name their and has practically written a mental business plan.  Everyone in their family is proud except them. Often times the story ends where they go off and start that bakery business  ( after practicing law) they’ve  yearned for.

Admittedly, I think this is my story.  I’ve always loved babies. Besides they are the sweetest thing on earth. Seriously, I can’t think of anything more precious than a baby. Many years ago I made an attempt to own a childcare center, but there were so much red tape involved ; it was nearly impossible to go for it. I owned some property that would have been perfect for a childcare center. It was located in an area that was inundated with businesses. I thought to myself , it would be a piece of cake to get approved. The city turned down the thought. For me it was a way to stop in and play in the infant room and get my baby fix. For some reason it didn’t seem to impress anyone with my idea.

Whenever I’d go out and shoot a wedding, I’d get a different response . There were people who admired me more for shooting a wedding. I decided to take on the challenge merely , because I was always told weddings aren’t a joke. I’d have to be organized and make sure the bride was completely happy . Anytime someone tell me it’s a challenge or that it’s something most photographers are afraid to try , I wanted to try it. The problem is , I’ve tried several years to get a consistent client wedding data base. For whatever reason it hasn’t worked for me. Each time I get stood up for a wedding portrait or turned down to shoot a wedding, I think to myself; maybe it’s not where God wants me to be. I love babies.

Photographing infants has it’s own challenges. Most often the newborn is sleeping while being placed in all typed of poses. The sky is the limit with creativity using props. They must be kept warm and have some sort of white soothing sounds. They’ll sleep throughout the session on a warm bottle of milk.  It takes tons of patience to get the perfect shot. You have several factors that can work against you. A fussy baby and excited parents. Most sessions will last 2-4 hours , because patience is a virtue. There are clothing changes and breaks for the baby that can prolong the session. At the end of the day, it brings me joy to know I was a part of creating the babies first real session. It would be treasured forever.

This year is my attempt to switch genre’s . Weddings are great and I’d shoot one in a heart beat. However,  when I browse the internet for baby photography; I imagine if it were me making those precious memories.

Have you ever avoided a true passion to please someone else?colin-maynard-231363.jpg




Motherhood: The Bond Between A Mother And Son.

When I found out I was having a boy 29 years ago, I was deeply worried. I thought how can I teach a boy, things that only a man would know? I was close to my dad and felt I would rely on my dad a lot for guidance on raising a son. Especially potty training . Besides I never owned a weiner gun. Someone needed to show me, how to show him; where to aim it in the toilet.  We had to learn so much together.

It was easy in the beginning. Infant boys and infant girls have the same needs. Love and attention. I did that, but I made sure I went the extra mile. As he grew older I became more frighten that I would not be able to guide and teach him. I didn’t want to baby him too much, but didn’t want to seem distant as well. Eventually I learned the happy medium. Don’t call him pet names in public, don’t caress his face and say that I love him around his friends and don’t ever sit with him in the movies. I had it all down!

I hated taking him to the barber shop. As expected the barber is filled with men. It was tough finding a good reliable barber. I went through many before I found one that didn’t watch porn in front of kids, curse, speaking down on women and talk about who they had last night. I’d find myself closing his eyes and ears and sometimes walking out. I could have gotten his uncles to take him to get hair cuts, but I was his mom. When he was born I vowed to God I’d be the best mom I could be. Eventually I found a good respectable barber. He was like a grandpa.

Once  he became an adult something changed. The space he desired as a teen didn’t seem as desirable anymore to him. He’d ask when is our next lunch date, or when or we going for a drive, by the way when can we just hang out on the couch and talk. Wow! what happened? I thought I was” too mommy” for him. Although the space hurt my heart just a little bit, I knew it was healthy for him to be his own man.

I’ve taught him all the basic things, clean your room, always groom and never play with a woman’s emotions. I’d always say, remember you have a sister and a mother. Our bodies and souls are attached to feelings. Then there are the funny times. Teaching him to ride a bike and drive a car. Watching him graduate from high school and college with my big box of tissue. Oh yeah! I cry when I’m happy and sad. I’m a big cry baby. The milestones that once seemed far fetched and scary. It literally flashed before my eyes.

I worked up so much misery in my head . Perhaps I’m just feeling lucky. With Mother’s Day around the corner. I wanted to jumpstart the joys and memories of motherhood, by expressing my love for my wonderful son. He’s more than I could have imagined. He protective, loving, kind and talented. As soon as he learned to write he could draw. He’s also bilingual. English / Spanish. By which he taught himself Spanish as a kid for the fun of it.  He loves eating healthy and working out. As a kid he was bullied for being skinny, quiet and different.

Raising a son wasn’t too bad. I don’t know why I worried so much. He’s know longer my skinny little boy. He is a full fledged intellectual man. I’m a proud mama whom still calls him pet names behind closed doors. untitled-1756-1