Day 7 of the Blog Challenge "Write about a HOT TOPIC. Something that people hold strong opinions about.
So I had lots of ideas on this. The purpose is to evoke some sort of following based on your opinions on a topic if I understand the course materials correctly.
Sorry peeps, that's not what this blog is going to be about. If you want to get into some weird never ending debate with me on whether or not I think you should be depressed if you had the opposite sex baby than you wanted. You are going to have to "friend" me personally. Bottom line, I have super strong conservative values, not a real shocker if you have read any of this blog. I respect the rights and opinions of each person and try not to judge. What works for me may not work for you and visa versa. There now that is over with.
BUT it's the last day and I am not giving up! So instead I am going to answer a reader question.
"What are 5 things that every photographer wishes/wants their client to know before beginning a session?" Because I am ME I took this question 2 ways. So I am going to answer it this way, because in this post Preparing Children for a Photo Session I think I have covered 5 things that are important before each session.**UPDATE** The reader who asked the question confirmed with me I went the right direction for her question!
I had to think long about this, because truthfully I have some freaking awesome clients. I really can not say that enough! However, in the super secret underground photographer society...hahaha (hear my witchy laugh) these are some of the things that get tossed around and usually make me go Yep I can relate!
These are in no particular order....And please know if you have ever fell into one of these categories, it's Ok I still love you!
Please, please stand DIRECTLY behind me. Not to the left of me, not to the right. Right behind me, like we are awkwardly one person. Don't worry I won't be weirded out. I totally get it. You are just trying to help. Sometimes it is essential and other times just standing behind me relaxing is fine. I love a picture where a kid is not looking at the camera. What I don't love is a forced smile directly at me and eyes totally somewhere else.
"Photoshop" is not a miracle. Adobe Photoshop is a wonderful tool and can be used to adjust and fix different issues however, if you want the LA model experience you have chosen the wrong photographer. And guess what you probably don’t realize is that you’re already gorgeous & that your children love you for who you are. So just embrace it and don't spend your whole session going on and on about how much you hate how you look.
Every session is different. As is every photographer. Photography is a form of art no different than a commissioned painting, we just use a different type of brush. Each photographer has their own style and if you don’t like what you see on my web site chances are that I am not a good fit for your family. While I love, love Pinterest, she and I have had our rough patches. I do encourage people to share their boards with me to help me understand their vision, but it has happened that I am hired by client and then forwarded a Pinterest board that does not reflect my style or visions as a photographer. Please, don't expect me to change my style to match your Pinterest board. Please choose your photographer based on their style.
There is just no reason I can come up with that you need to see all 250 snaps taken at your session. Trust me, I pinky promise I won't keep any of the good ones for myself.
Please don't sweat the small stuff. If little Lilly has a hair out of place, but is finally sitting nice like you want her to. Now is not the time to start fiddling with her. Don't worry I will tell you if I want you to adjust something if I am unable. We all have vision of exactly what we want, but reality is that it is just that a vision. Sometimes when dealing with children it's best to just roll with it!
Well there is some of the not so glamours part of being a photographer.
Above all when my clients come to a session I want them to relax and have fun. I want them to leave thinking that was not bad at all.
When ever I take my own children's pictures it is a HOT MESS! They don't listen. They give me the smile they know I want but their eyes and minds are elsewhere. One is always off cue. The list goes on and on. They know all my tricks, so that is hopeless. They know all buttons, so that is just annoying. Some years I hire a photographer to take them and other years I don't. Well last night after a particular "vision" I had in my head went down the toilet I was feeling a little defeated. I was like really, how bad is it going to look if I can not even get a decent picture of my 3 kids together for a Christmas card ? Well by the time we got home and I was backing them up and looking at them. I was just laughing at all their crazy little faces, the attitudes, the 2yr old glares. Yep, these are my 3 crazy's. Would they have done better for someone else? ABSOLUTELY! Will I accept that an imperfect group photo shows how we lived? You betcha!
Thanks for sticking with me through the 7 Day Blog Challenge. I look forward to many more posts. I would love ideas on what you would like to see on the blog.
Leave me a comment if you have an idea.
Many Many Blessings ~ Monique
Day 6 of the Blog Challenge "Post a vulnerable story"
WHAT ARE THEY CRAZY!? Didn't they read my #9?
My inspiration for today's post comes from this article that crossed my Facebook news feed earlier today. 20 Things to Remember If You Love A Person With ADD. (Click the link to read it).
Some years ago I went to the Dr for some concerns I had. While I was waiting in the waiting room I was reading, All You Magazine. I started reading an article about a woman who was suffering from Adult ADD. Initially, when I started reading the article some very stereo typical thoughts had buzzed through my head, but the more I read the more I felt I was the woman in the article. The woman and I had so many of the same issues. By the end of the article I was a little bit in shock, but at the same time I could remember myself thinking "Really Monique adults do not have ADD" and " I am not even sure half the kids who have it have it" . I ripped the article out of the magazine and tucked in my purse. During the Dr. visit I sat there nervously trying to get up the courage to ask him about the article. I figured he would also think I was being a hypochondriac. I mean I am a fairly together person, right? I finally pulled it out and quickly said, " Don't think I am a hypochondriac, but I read this article and what do you think? He said, "What do you think?" I remember it so clearly cause I was so embarrassed. I said, "I think people say they have ADD but very few people do" He said, "very polity that is one of the dumbest things I have heard". He went on to set me up for the necessaries and low and behold the diagnosis that come back was in fact that I had Adult ADD. After reading many articles on the subject leading up to that, I thought how ridiculous am I to form such an opinion on a subject I really knew nothing about. And again felt embarrassed and ashamed. I like to think I grew from that and try not to do that anymore. Although, all these years later I am still on the fence about it. Acceptance of imperfection is always hard. However when I read an article like this and I can literally check off ALL 20 things relating to me it makes me wonder. I mean really, I started getting anxious just checking them all off.
Well there is my story. I hope it was vulnerable enough. Whatever the heck that means, but I do feel stripped down and naked. Geez, I hate talking about myself!
I sent the article to the hubs, just as a little friendly reminder. Think I should make him a life size poster? ;)
One more day of these crazy topics!
Blessings ~ Monique
**1 am update** 3 Times since I wrote this blog post I was going to delete it for one reason or another. Then this popped up in my FB news feed. I am wondering if FB has to much influence on me ;) Was it a sign? Who knows? Either way I read the message from the perspective of me telling myself this as I thought about how people might perceive this post.
Happy Friday ~ Chow!
Day 5. Post something that will help your readers. There were actually a few examples of the route you could take with your post. I chose the inspiring route. I love to be inspired and I love to inspire others.
About 6 years ago I received a little multi-folded pamphlet that was titled 100 WAYS TO SHOW YOUR KIDS YOU LOVE THEM. This was before the time of Pinterest and pinning everything, so I literally pinned it to a wall next to my treadmill. I figured it would give me time to memorize it. Memorizing the list was easy. Remembering to put them into action was another story. Half of the list was things I think as parents we already do and the other half was just a nice reminder of purposeful things we can do. As the years went on I would move the list around to different areas of my home. After about year 3 I typed it into my computer so that if the sheet every got lost I would have it (yep it got lost). It currently hangs in my office near my printer. Don't mind the wall graphics. This used to be Baby Girl's room and I left up the sticky's as I thought they brought a little cheer to the space. Typically I am at my computer when most thoughts creep into my head. Some good, some bad, but if I look at the list and feel like I am purposefully doing these things we are all going to be OK.
I created a list of 5 things I think are simple, but make a huge impact in our house.
My boys love to tell me stories and lucky for me both at the same time quite often. So much that now their sister has started to tell "stories" over them to try and chime in and compete. I try to remind myself to make a conscious effort to listen and ask questions, even if I have no idea what the heck is going on in the latest Minecraft book. If it happens to be during a time I don't think I can give them full attention, I have learned to be honest and tell them now is not a good time. Otherwise I get the "you never listen to me"! My boys love when I ask them to help me cook something and I enjoy showing them how to cook. As a child I was never allowed in or near the kitchen during the preparation of a meal and thus took til my thirties (eek) to learn how to cook. Of course displaying their projects. Who does not like their work on display? And last but not least keeping promises. Ugh my nemesis. I of course always intend to, but occasionally it just does not happen. Even though I rarely use the words "I promise", just telling my kids I will do something is a promise to them. I know my kids feel awful and I feel like I have failed if I can't keep my "promise". I try to be very careful in my wording when it comes to telling my kids I will do something. When I do fall short, I use it as an opportunity to show them we are never guaranteed but one thing in life. Move on and make the most out of each day!
I hope this inspired you to think of the 5 simple things you do to show your kids or anyone for that matter that you love them.
Tell me something you do to show your kids you love them in the comments below!
As always much love and blessings ~ Monique
Day 4 of the Blog Challenge. "Post 10 things most people don't know about you"
Ok, so this topic should be super easy, right? Wrong! I think I am a pretty open book so I feel like writing 10 things is kind of redundant, but in the spirit of things I dug deep.
In no particular order, enjoy this randomness!
#1 My middle name is Michelle. For some reason people are surprised by that. I always ask people what they thought it was or should be and they always answer "I don't know, but I didn't think it would be that"
#2 I have 3 older siblings and 3 younger siblings.
#3 I attended 3 different Kindergartens as a child.
#4 As a child growing up in Green Bay in the 80's, people thought my Dad was a Green Bay Packer. We used to go along with it. To be fair my Dad had a few Packer friends and we lived in a neighborhood of apartments where a few of them resided during the season so you could see the mix up.
#5 I always wanted 0, 1 or 4 children. I have 3!
#6 No matter where I sleep, I must always sleep closest to the wall in case there is an intruder. Yeah, I still don't know the logic to that.
#7 I hold my breath when I open the fridge. I hate fridge smells.
#8 I totally believe in signs. I believe we just miss them or we realize them after the fact,but I believe there are little signs everywhere!
#9 I am a super emotional person, yet I am super bad at showing emotion. Just know I always care and probably too much.
#10.....oh what to write..... I am seriously paused here.....5 minutes later, Ah Ha! I am 50/50. Yep it is true. For some it's obvious and for some it's not. I am 50% Caucasian and 50% African American. For some reason I get "Spanish" a lot. Can we all say Seinfeld ;)
Well there you have it!
True story! Today I was driving along with my Diva, it is not often that it is just her and I, I was thinking about how big she is getting and how soon we will be able to do more things like story time,etc... Then I started getting super sad ( #9 ) and feeling so bad that she was getting big, really that all my kids were getting big. We stopped at the library and as I looked over I saw my little Diva reading this book ( #8 ). I grabbed the phone so fast and snapped a picture. I mean, a real sign right there for me. I read the book a few times to her with tears in my eyes and I can't say it made me feel any better, but I felt blessed to be there in that moment with her. Thankfully my phone worked fast enough, which rarely happens, so that I could capture this moment.
Thank you for stopping by! 3 more days of the blog challenge and then I will leave you alone for a while!
Blessings ~ Monique
Day 3's Blog Challenge Topic. Teach your readers something.
Sounded easy enough and then my mind went completely haywire. It is truly painful for someone who suffers from ADD to have to narrow down a million thoughts racing through their head. Then comes the time. WHERE DOES ALL TIME GO? And who starts a challenge like this in the middle of the busiest season for a portrait photographer?
I decided this evening at soccer practice I wanted to give you guys something super easy, but crazy awesome. My favorite thing in the world, well after family and caffeine ;), is catch lights. I am obsessed with them. Sadly shooting conditions do not always allow for them, but when possible they can make the difference between a good photo and freakin' fabulous one!
Don't ask me why I choose to sit in the van with a 2yr old and an 8yr old to watch my other son's practice for over an hour instead of driving the 2 miles back home, but I did. Eventually my daughter wanted to get out (real shocker) and it was freezing, windy and gloomy. I figured what the heck, I might as well grab two shots for this post. I grabbed the camera and took 2 shots. Yep that's all she would do. Lucky for me her brothers recently showed her how to "cheese smile", ugh I was so not amused. I took one shot of her facing west and one shot of her facing east. Extra points for why I chose those 2 directions. I did change my position. I just turned around.
There you have it! Have you spotted the difference? I did nothing different between the 2 photos. I hope that you can clearly see the first one has a little more sparkle in the eyes. In my Snap Camp Workshops I teach you that you do not need to edit the eyes if you shoot them properly. Eyes in their own right are just gorgeous. I preach WHERE IS THE LIGHT! Who of you that have been to a workshop just heard my voice in your head?
My older son was standing there telling me a story. You know how kids follow you even when you don't really move when they are telling you a story? Then you step on them! I figured I would use that opportunity to photograph him for this little experiment. Again, same camera settings, lighting conditions etc. I stood in the exact same place I just rotated around and my son followed me, as you know you must give them your full eye contact when they are telling you a very important story :)
Again you can see the results of a simple change in direction. This one is more noticeable because I was shooting straight at him as he is a little closer to my height than my daughter.
**Note edits to these photos were, re sized for web and contrast increase (I like a little depth) **
Well I hope you enjoyed this post. I can't wait to do others for you. I hope you LOOK FOR THE LIGHT. Fancy camera not required. Maybe next time I will show you with my phone.
If you want to be the first to get all the latest tips and news at MCP don't forget to subscribe.
If there is something you would like me to do a little tutorial on leave it in the comments below please and I will add it to my list.
As always thank you for taking the time to comment and read my blog.
Blessings ~ Monique
First let me say I am so sorry if you received a blank email from me on Thursday. I know that was annoying. That email was suppose to contain Day 2's blog post. Technology was not on my side that day.
Then if that was not enough Thursday's, Day 3's, topic was announced, "teach something". What? My favorite, I love to teach. What I do not love is being told at noon the challenge for the day is to create a blog post containing a tutorial. I mean really I spent most of my day Thursday just trying to fix the email glitch and get editing under control. I held out that I would somehow get it accomplished but at 1am I said good night without having completing Day 3's blog post. My plan was do to do Day 3 and 4 Friday. Did I mention there was no school Friday. I digress. I am a little behind but I am still going to complete. I had planned on skipping the weekend anyway seeing as I had a few sessions to rock. One thing I have really embraced this year is that not completing something in the time frame you or someone else has planned for you does not mean you failed. It does not mean you give up. It means you just keep giving it your all and it will come together. I consider not completing Day 3 and 4 on the scheduled day a win. I chose to take my kids to the pumpkin patch, instead of blog after fixing the email glitch. This is something for the last 2 years I have had to skip due poor planning and my inability to say no. If you didn't get a chance to read Day 2 ,please do. I think you will get a kick out of it. Please check back on Tues for Day 3.
Is going to pick pumpkins or apples a family tradition for your family?
Leave a comment where the best pumpkin patch/orchard is? We hard a hard time deciding where to go this year.
P.S. I did try to photograph my boys but the maze through the hay bales was just too fun for them and they were too cool for pictures shown by their hiding in the tunnels when I came around :)
Day 2 of the Blogging Challenge.
The story behind what I do?
A story you say or a novel? Well once upon a time...NO, JUST KIDDING!
Let's be real, this life I am living is no fairy tale. It's a great tale, but it is very REAL.
I spent many years in the cosmetology industry. First behind the chair, into management and then teaching. I love teaching. I love seeing the sparkle in someones eye when that something finally clicks. I also love learning and I feel like I learn so much from teaching others.
After I had my second son it became clear to me that I wanted very much to follow my 2nd dream. That dream to be a stay at home mom. Like many dreams they are just that, dreams and fantasies. These unrealistic things in our heads. I enjoyed the first year still working 1 day a week and then finally none. After having worked with the public for so many years it was difficult to lose all adult contact. I very much enjoyed being home with my children but needed a little creative outlet away from play-doh and mud pies. I began pouring my energy into developing my 3rd dream, to become a professional photographer. I spent hours and hours reading and practicing and then spent some more hours reading and practicing. After I had pushed my point and shoot camera to the limit one Christmas my husband and I agreed my present that year would be a new DSLR camera. From there I knew I could help provide for my family by challenging myself to make my love for photography into a successful business. That last part is still an ongoing thing.
My passion for photography has always been there, but it truly surfaced when I had my children. I just don't think I can photograph them enough. These moments in our lives pass so quickly and I am afraid one day I won't remember them. With the advancement of cell phones over the last few years I find myself wishing I would have had that technology even with my first son. Silly me always forgot the camera on the counter! I rarely forget my phone :) Did I mention how much I love my smartphone? Like, LOVE IT! My true passion and inspiration in life is being a mom. I have a love hate relationship with my children growing. I think my camera helps me through that. My children have taught me so much about myself and about how I want to go through life. I want to use my camera to capture those moments for other families and use my skills to teach others how to do the same.
Fifty years from now I want families to be able to pull out a photo album (that means you must PRINT your photos people, but that's another blog post) and gather around and remember all the stories. When my husband's grandma passed she left behind the most insane amount of photos I have ever seen. Some were ones she had gathered from passed family members and some were taken by her. It was amazing to look through the old photos and try to imagine what the story was.
I am just not sure if a person can ever have too many photos.
I feel like as a family we have only cracked the cover of our book, but I am so curious to see where our story takes us!
Can you imagine the story here? Who wants to make a bet someone was yelling
OK EVERYONE LOOK AT THE CAMERA (into the direct sun mind you)
AND SAY CHEESE!
Well there it is. Day 2. I hope this post gave you a little insight into what I am passionate about. Above all I hope it encouraged you to get out whatever camera you have, take pictures of your life, and PRINT them!!! Did I say it loud enough? I will try again, PRINT THEM!
Do you print your photos or do they sit on an electronic device? I want to know. Leave me a comment below.
Blessings ~ Monqiue
If this is your first time visiting my blog or your 100th time I just want to say WELCOME and thank you, thank you, thank you!
My name is Monique Curry. Yep it's true. It is not just the name of this fabulous blog site. Yes, you can read some of this on my About Me page but as part of a challenge in a recent course I have enrolled in, I agreed to blog the course selected topic for 7 days straight. Starting today!
Don't worry after this week it will go back to normal :)
So here goes...
Who are you?
I am a professional photographer living in Kiel, Wisconsin with my 3 crazy children and my husband. I live to capture the everyday life of my family and strive to bring joy to others through my work. I absolutely love the daily craziness of my family. In my fantasy life I wish I could just blink and take a picture. There are so many times I don't have a camera of any kind and want to be able to remember the moment. I love all things creative and crafty. Given the opportunity I will always choose something refurbished and fancied up just the way I like vs something new.
My guilty pleasures in life right now are cruising Pinterest and enjoying a quiet hour after the kids go to bed to brush up on something business related, because let's be real when else am I going to do it!
I love a good 100 degree day at the beach and enjoying a little cocktail in my backyard at sunset in the summer.
Why did you start blogging?
Simple. I wanted to showcase my work and connect with people. As someone who works at home I find it gets a little lonely not being able to connect with other adults. I like that my blog gives me the opportunity to do that. Now if I could find a way to do it more often.
Who is your blog for?
My blog is for anyone who loves the idea of the American dream. It is for people who are inspired by images of family. Or heck maybe cause you need a new recipe!
What’s something you've been working on lately that you’re REALLY proud of?
I have been working tirelessly on growing my business and my brand. I am really proud of the fact that each year I am blessed to be able to photograph some of the same families while adding new ones to the group. I am so thankful clients see the value in the memories I capture for them, especially in a world where smartphone photos dominate our photo collections. When a client chooses me year after year for their professional photography needs I am truly humbled.
What’s the ONE MESSAGE that you hope people take away from your blog?
Only one message? That's a hard one. I guess I would have to say that I hope my blog makes people feel connected. I hope that through my images you are inspired to capture your own family whether that be through professional services or a smartphone. "There is a saying the best camera is the one you have with you."
Oh do I live and breathe that statement.
Through blogging I hope to reveal my personality and my work to you! You will get to see what we at the Curry house are up to! I want to feel like we are friends. I want to know all about what you guys are up to and look forward to reading your comments.
Thank you so much for visiting!
What is one thing you would love to see on this blog? Leave a comment below.
Blessings ~ Monique
IT'S BACK!!!!! Well it has been awhile since I have done a What to Wear Wednesday post, but I thought with Christmas Studio Sessions coming up it would be fun to highlight some color palettes that I love for Christmas.
Today when I was looking back at some photos of my kids from the last couple of years there was a common theme, black, red, green and grey. There were some random ones in there of yellow and chambray (love me some chambray). We had a year of coral,blues and brown but my favorites were always the classics. Are you one of those people like me that loves all the new trends but always seem to choose something classic?
Here are a few more inspiration boards to help you along. I feel like it was easier to coordinate when it was just the 2 boys and the fact that they were boys.
I would love to know what your favorite holiday colors are. Leave me a comment below and tell me what you will be dazzling about in this holiday season.
Did you book your Christmas Studio Session? What are you waiting for?
Talk about it! In the days leading up to your session, talk with your children about how exciting it will be. Emphasize how much fun you’ll have together and what a special time it will be.
Dress comfortably. Your family should feel AWESOME and that means your clothing should be comfortable. Make sure items fit well and don't restrict a child's movements. Dress according to the weather. I know you dreamed of Jane wearing the sleeveless twirly number but the weather dropped 30 degrees and it is crazy windy so Jane might be more comfortable in jeans and a fun sweater. If you want some inspiration check out my Pinterest page What to Wear!
Nap time. I know I like to stick to a napping schedule also, but for the littlest ones in the family that take a morning and/or afternoon nap it’s a good idea to plan the nap time in favor of your session start time. and for Pete's sake don't skip nap time altogether. After all it is only one day and nobody likes a cranky toddler.
Full bellies. Make sure everyone has eaten at least 30 minutes before your session. Be sure to pack a non messy snack and plenty of water.
Have fun! If your your kids are acting wild and crazy that’s fine. Don’t worry about the end result. Have fun and giggle with your family. Your photographs will turn out awesome reflecting your family's energy and love for one another.