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A Picture is Worth a Thousand Memories

Few things are more valuable to a mom than a high-quality family portrait; I'm now trying to take my own.

The only thing I can compare it to is being 6 years old and being forced to wait to open presents on Christmas morning. It's torture. Not sure what I'm talking about? I'm referring to how brutal and excruciating it can be to have to wait to see your new family photos taken by a professional photographer.

If you're anything like me, you begin stalking your email from the moment you part with the photographer. That is, until the day comes that you're notified "Your online gallery is viewable," at which point you immediately drop whatever you're doing to obsess over each and every pic for the next two days. This is only if you're like me. But some could say that I am a wee bit obsessed with photos. Just a little.

Lucky for our family, we've been fortunate to have our pictures taken by some fabulous local photographers. In fact, we were the recent winners of a Daddy & Daughter photography contest (sponsored by Bump Club and Beyond). As the lucky winners, we received of a $1,200 photography package from Chicago Photographer, Simply by Suzy (by Suzzane Brown & Vasili Gryfakis). It really tickled my fancy, since she was one of the photographers I was considering to pay to take our family photos. Does it get any better than that? I think not!

Well, last month Suzy came to our home to take some maternity photos—mostly candid shots of us "doing our thing." I wanted her to capture our family the way we were with each other before the addition of another family member, and boy, did she do an amazing job! The pics from that session are featured on Suzy's blog and I'm sure you will agree she does great work.

She will be coming back to take our newborn photos once Baby Boy arrives and I cannot wait! I've ordered the cutest newborn hat (pic here) from Etsy for him to wear and I'm already dreaming up the incredible images she is going to capture.

Feeling inspired by what these professional photographers are able to do, I jumped on the bandwagon and recently purchased my very own DSLR camera. After much research, I decided on the Canon Rebel EOS XSI. When I got it home that day and started snapping pictures of our darling daughter, they looked good, but they didn't look anything like Suzy's pics. Then again, that's why they get paid the big bucks, right?

So I decided to look into taking a "DSLR class for dummies" that would teach me the basics about taking photos in modes other than auto, so I could perhaps capture some great shots of our little ones with my new snazzy camera. With that in mind, I took the plunge and attended a class this past Saturday called "Sweet Shots," by Amy Tripple of Amy Tripple Photography. After three hours of explanation, I can say I have a far better understanding of how to use my camera to get the type of photos I wanted from the start. 

The long and short of it? It boils down to a camera function called aperture. Well, aperture, shutter speed and exposure. For a better understanding and description of these things, you can check out this helpful blog that can explain far better than I can. Or, if you feel more inspired, attend a class yourself. A lot of photographers offer them.

My hope is that I will (one day) be able to get some professional-ish pics of my darling kids by using my own trigger finger and DSLR. I do know that I'm my own worst critic, though, so I'll (without a doubt) continue to seek out the talent of local photographers to give me what I want in the end. Besides, they're worth every penny. And in my opinion, one should never spare expense on great photos. They last a lifetime and make a house a home.

Any photography tips out there? I need 'em! Leave advice in the comment section below.

Norma Bower October 27, 2011 at 09:28 PM
I am sure you have what it takes to learn to take those wonderful shots. Love your article.

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