Pearson Bloopers!

The majority of the pictures that make it to the blog, Facebook, and Instagram are the “posed” pictures and not the “fun” pictures.  Don’t get me wrong I LOVE posed pictures, those are usually the ones that grandma wants printed on a canvas and hung in the living room, or they are used for Christmas cards and birth announcements.  With that being said, most of my personal favorites from my sessions and of my family as well, is the “bloopers” if you will.  Personally, I LOVE the bloopers…and usually those get the most compliments because they capture the true personality!  I recently took family pictures for a family friend that I have known for a very long time.  She has two of the most adorable little girls ever, and I couldn’t wait to get them in my camera lens.  At first they were a little shy, totally normal, then as they let loose (or we tried to get little sister to open up)…the personalities started flowing and we got some cute “bloopers”…enjoy!

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Big sister tried her best to get little sister to dance with her.

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More big sister silliness!

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She’s a hoot!

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Even though little sister didn’t want to dance, big sister did!

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Little sister was skeptical about dancing.

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Even with the entire family spinning and dancing, little sister still wasn’t sure about it.  But talk about adorable pictures right?!

 

I’ve always tried to snap some candid shots at every session and most of the time they turn out some really awesome pictures, but I’m going to start snapping more!

 

#PearsonBloopers were too adorable to not share 🙂

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Beautiful Fall Sunset

I absolutely love fall, pretty much everything about fall is amazing.  Fall is full of football, cooler temps, gorgeous leaves, and beautiful sunsets.  Photography and the “golden hour” (one hour just before sunset) go together like Oreos and milk!  During the fall, that hour of light is even more precious, almost looks like God’s canvas!  That “golden hour” of sunset offers the best lighting for backgrounds in photography.  The sun is low enough in the skin that it doesn’t cast harsh shadows on your face, and the backlighting from the sun creeping through trees creates unique backgrounds for portraits.  It really is my favorite time of the day to break out the camera!

 

Tonight I was walking through the house and noticed a warm, orange, glow on the walls.  When I looked outside, I noticed one of the most gorgeous sunsets I have seen in a long time.  I couldn’t resist breaking out the big camera.  I’m glad I did, these images are going to make awesome computer backgrounds….maybe even a Facebook cover page!! 😉

Ms. Betty & Bella 

 Ms. Betty and her puppy, Bella, were such a fun session. This was my first time photographing portraits with animals incorporated, and I loved it. Bella was such a good girl, she was so easy to get to sit facing towards the camera.  She knew I was holding her chicken strips so that may have had something to do with it. And Ms. Betty, such a sweet lady.  Her home was gorgeous and made for the perfect portrait setting! I could have stayed for hours looking at her decor and furniture.  Thank you again Ms. Betty for welcoming me into your home, and loving on sweet Bella! 
  
    
    
    
 

Carrie & Justin Maternity

**I’m JUST realizing this post never made it to the blog, I’m sorry Carrie & Justin!**

 

If you follow Renee Dawkins Photography on Facebook or Instagram then you have already seen this gorgeous maternity session.  I wanted to include them on my website and in my portfolio as well.  I’ve know this couple for a few years and I knew they would be a beautiful couple to shoot, but I had no idea exactly how gorgeous Carrie would be with that baby bump.  She is one of those women that carry babies beautifully.  I remember when I was pregnant I was so envious of women like Carrie.  Carrie you are gorgeous anyway, but pregnancy really glows on you.  The two of you are going to be wonderful parents and I cannot wait to meet baby Jackson!  Congratulations again.

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Happy Veteran’s Day

IMG_2454aVeterans Day- another holiday? Technically yes, but it’s one that comes with great sacrifice. Today I wanted to venture from a photography related post to one about our Nation’s history.

Each holiday I try to talk to my children about the holiday, why do we get to take a break from school and work, what made today a holiday.  Sad to say when it came to Veterans Day, I didn’t really know much more than it was a day to honor our veterans.  After a quick Google search I found myself intrigued.  I want to share with you a few Veterans Day facts I learned this year and I prepared to honor our vets.

  • Originally called “Armistice Day”, beginning on November 11, 1919 and served as the first anniversary marking the end of World War I.
  • In 1938 it became a national holiday for annual obervance.
  • Unlike Memorial Day, which honors the veterans who died in service, Veteran’s Day honors all American Veterans.
  • In 1954 President Eisenhower changed the name of the holiday to Veterans Day.
  • Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday of October in 1971; however, in 1975 President Ford moved the holiday back to November 11  due to its historical significance.
  • Britain, France, Australia, and Canada also commemorate veterans of World War I and II around November 11. Europe, Britain and Commonwealth countries observe two minutes of silence at 11:00 every November 11. Isn’t that awesome?

In my search for more information I also found some interesting, and surprisingly high, veterans statistics.

  • 9.2 million veterans over the age of 65
  • 1.9 million under 35
  • 1.8 million women
  • 7.8 million served during the Veitnam War represent my 33% of living veterans
  • Florida is one of the top five states with veterans among their population at 1.7 million
  • VA Health Care had 54 hospitals in 1930, that has since expanded to:
    • 171 medical centers
    • More than 350 outpatient facilities
    • 126 nursing home care units
    • 35 live in care facilities for injured and disabled veterans

I was amazed at some of the numbers I read. I learned so much from our nations history that I did not know. We are incredibly blessed to live in such an amazing country.  It is important to remember that blessing did not come without huge sacrifices from our veterans and their families. Those statistics listed above are an illustration of the sacrifices taken each and every day by those protecting our beautiful country.

Please take time today to honor our veterans. If your town has a parade go and wave the American flag proudly. If you are out and about and see a veteran take the time to thank them. If you can just taking a moment of silence for those sacrifices made for you, your children, your grand-children and so on. I thank God everyday for the blessings he’s given me and my family and our veterans are a huge part of those blessings.

I cannot say it enough but THANK YOU to our service men and women, veterans, and their families!

Enjoy your day- and happy Veterans Day!

Why I Chose Photography?

Why did I decide to chase my photography dream?  Simply put, it’s a passion of mine.  I work full time in another profession which I also enjoy and thankfully provides for my family.

In high school I joined the yearbook staff as an elective, it was just to fill the space in my schedule.  My love for photography began there.  I was fascinated with not only taking the pictures but editing them in photoshop as well.  After high school I began college and working full time.  In my second semester of school I became engaged to my high school sweetheart and we moved back home to plan our wedding.

As my wedding gift from a high school teacher, and friend of the family, I received ALL of my wedding pictures, unedited, on CDs.  I was able to edit them as I wish and print whatever I chose.  I continued to be fascinated.

My hubby and I purchased our first digital camera for the honeymoon and I must have taken 600 pictures or more that week we were in Savannah, Georgia.  I carried that point and shoot around for months (maybe even a year).  I would snap pictures of anything and everything.  I will never forget sitting at my desk and taking about a hundred pictures of my wedding set, playing with all the “features” the camera offered.  Only to later realize, I “aint seen nothin’ yet”, after our first baby was born we purchased a “fancier” point and shoot.

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That poor baby, I put the camera in his face 24/7 literally.  I loved snapping pictures of those tiny feet, his little hands, and that nose.  I was bursting with photography excitement.  Then little man started moving, a lot…and soon came baby #2!  Suddenly, the point and shoot wasn’t fast enough and we purchased a DSLR.  I will never forget opening that box and holding my first “real” camera.  Ok, I know that sounds ridiculously crazy but anyone that has a passion of some sort will know what it is like to get a new “toy” related to that passion.

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After getting my first DSLR, I snapped pictures like I never snapped before. I blew up Pinterest and the internet researching and learning every detail of my new camera.  Again, bursting with pure enjoyment.  In the beginning I only snapped pictures of my family and our beautiful children, but eventually I had friends and family members contacting me asking if I would take pictures for them.

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More times than not their reasoning was simple, “professional” photographers were out of their price range and they loved my pictures they had seen on Facebook of my children.  I had one tell me they “won” a session with a very well known family photographer in town but after receiving their proofs they couldn’t afford to purchase but one image, even with the discounted prices.  It saddened me to think there are families out there who have never had family pictures taken because they cannot afford it. I too was this way, I looked at several photographer websites and couldn’t find one in our price range.  I knew I wanted to offer services at prices families could afford.

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Don’t get me wrong, I understand the pricing of those photographers. Many have years and years of training, or they offer special techniques and services that I cannot, which justifies their pricing.  I appreciate and respect each of them and their business.

This dream remained in the back of my mind for a couple of years.  A dream of creating a photography business, that would provide families the opportunity for professional portraits at affordable prices.  After months, maybe even a year or two, being pushed by several special people in my life, I decided why not?!  I knew it was something I wanted to do but I always let fear get in my way.  Eventually, I decided I was going to just jump, with both feet.  I knew my goal- take photos of families, children, newborns, and new parents.  Simple, why was I so worried and scared?  So I did it, I jumped…it was a pretty big jump for me, but I’m so glad I took the risk.

I’m blessed to be able to allow my photography to do exactly what I have dreamed of.  It’s just me and my camera, doing what I love and for that opportunity – I will be forever grateful!

PS- It is so fun to look back at how my photography style has changed!