Thursday, January 26, 2012

Olympus- Reaching Higher

Welcome to Olympus apartments!
I drive by this place at least once a day. It will be completely gone soon. Some of the people in this community (the Gentilly area of New Orleans, if you need specifics) are refusing to let this community go to waste. They're spending their time, energy, money, patience, and hope to rebuild this area. It, like many houses in New Orleans, has remained mostly vacant and devastated since Katrina. I say mostly vacant because there are people who are desperate enough to have considered it a place to stay.

Through the efforts of people who love this community and see a future for it, this place will be torn down and something new will stand in its place soon. They are looking for a revitalization of an area that has seen better days way before my time.
Don't we need more people who don't give up on a community because a building looks like this? People who give their time, effort, and, let's face it, money to revive a culture? I'm grateful for people who spend their lives serving others. They are my heroes.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Family Photos: This ain't ya mama's photos no more!

I had the best time photographing this great family. The kids were so lively (meaning, I got my workout for the day) and precious! I wanted to photograph them as themselves. I really didn't give much instruction at all that day. I like capturing real smiles or even sad faces. I think that letting them guide the time made for a relaxing but very fun shoot. And I was proud of the parents, too. I know for me (and I'm sure that I'm the only mom who is like this), I use to make my girls wear what I wanted them to. But I LOVE how this family came as they are. The kids (minus the cute little one) picked out their own clothes.

While girls love to be pretty and pose like their idea of a supermodel, boys love to emulate their favorite things- superheroes! So, maybe for a tip if you need a boy to come out of his shell, ask him who is favorite character is. His, above, is Buzz Lightyear. He had us cracking up all day with his expressions! And it's almost the same with girls, but I ask them to act like their favorite princess. I notice that when my girls act like their favorite princess, they all of the sudden just know how to act "proper" (said with a British accent) and use their manners. I try and get them to act proper all the time...

While I didn't ask the kiddos to do too much, I did promise to take them to a really cool place (aka a fountain) if they did a few smiles for me. I know we're supposed to frown on bribery, but really is there a better parenting tool?

When you get the whole family together, what becomes the most important shot? A picture of the WHOLE family together. I did get a few goods one that day, but the kids wouldn't stand for much. Which is okay, because I can be spontaneous (picture Steve Martin in SNL: I'm a wild and crazy guy! No? I'm getting too old...). I think that one of the my favorite family shots is the one where even apart from each other, they still look like a cohesive unit. So, look, when doing family photos, be creative. Make use of your time in capturing who they are as a family. I didn't bring props. I didn't set a scene with tons of cool vintagey items (which I am NOT saying is bad because I'm really jealous of people who have a bunch of cool vintagey items). Just have fun and enjoy being a part of that family's life for a time.
Happy photo-ing!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Favorite marketing product!

I can't wait to share what I got today! I think with the craziness of starting a business and working at a job, I haven't had too much time to put into marketing products. And let's face it, until my marketing budget is larger, I'm really limited on what I can do.
A week ago I visited the major Photographer's Expo in New Orleans, where 100s of vendors showed their products. And then I saw the ones I'd been hoping for...The people from Moo! Not heard of them? You have now, lucky duck!
They have a range of hot products from business cards to branding stickers! Yes, I know vistaprint makes that too. But moo has a system which you can print everything with different pictures! What? Leslye, you mean I don't have to have the same boring print/photo on every card or stick? Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying! See my cool examples below...
And stickers will be in later this week!
So go to and have a big smile on your face, too!
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