Sunday, May 21, 2017

Messing Around with Macro

Several years ago I rented a macro lens just for kicks and had a lot of fun experimenting with it.  However at the time I saw no reason to own one, not to mention that I didn't love the one I rented, so I wasn't tempted to rush out and purchase it.  Fast forward a few years and I found myself dipping my toes into the waters of wedding photography and I was in need of a macro lens to do ring shots.

Several wedding photographers I know swear by the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM.  They said that it was amazing for ring shots, but it also doubled as a good portrait lens, so I decided to trust their judgement and purchase it.  I did a little practicing with it on our wedding rings, and then used it for the few weddings that I photographed.  However, I quickly decided that wedding photography wasn't my thing, and I just never fell in love with it as a portrait lens.  So, I've intermittently considered selling it.  Now that I've decided to begin exploring some other areas of photography, I'm happy that I held on to it because I can see myself getting into taking macro shots.

I decided to make a date with the lens last week to try my hand at taking some night shots of scorpions. Ever since I learned that I could use a blacklight to see scorpions at night, I've wanted to take some photos of them - but of course I never took the time to actually do it. Until now that is - I went out a few nights last week to see if I could find any scorpions to photograph. Sadly, we do have a lot of scorpions where we live, so it wasn't too hard to find some hanging out in our yard.

I'm not sure there's much to say about these images, so I'll let them speak for themselves...







I have to admit that while I'm not necessary afraid of scorpions, they do kind of creep me out!  I was ok taking the photos since my concentration was on holding the blacklight and working my camera settings.  However it was giving me chills when I was editing these images, especially these last two of the scorpion crawling around...



I apologize to anyone who is creeped out by these.  I promise there won't be very many images like this on the blog!  However, I do think there will be more macro shots making an appearance soon.  We recently had new landscaping put in our front yard and I've been tossing around the idea of taking some macro shots of the flowers that are blooming, so stay tuned for those.

Michele Whitacre used to be a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona.  Now she just takes photos for fun when the mood strikes. Like Michele on Facebook | Follow Michele on Instagram | Follow Michele on Twitter

© 2017 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC

Friday, May 19, 2017

I'm Back ~ Sort Of

There are a ton of reasons why I decided to close my photography business and perhaps one day I'll write about all of them.  For now, let me just say that I still believe it was the right decision and I have no regrets.  So, in response to everyone who has recently asked - No, I will not be re-opening my business or returning to shooting client sessions, but I do appreciate the inquiries.

I'm quite certain that I still wouldn't be shooting if Amanda hadn't asked me to take maternity photos for her a few weeks ago.  However, I've been having a lot of fun getting back behind the camera the past week and I'm so glad she did!  I think the extended break did me a lot of good and is allowing me to view my photography with a new perspective and I'm excited to say that I've decided to start shooting again.

Of course, I have no idea what I will be shooting.  Portraits have always been my thing, so if I'm not taking portraits I'm not exactly sure what I will be photographing.  But that's ok.  In fact it's great!  For the first time since I picked up a DSLR camera, I have absolutely no plans regarding my photography.

I do have a few thoughts percolating in my brain, but nothing I'm willing to commit to quite yet.  I think there is a possibility that I might resurrect my self-portrait project. I'm probably going to start taking more photos of my fur babies. I think I might do some google searches to see if I can find any fun photo prompts to get me thinking outside of the box and experimenting with some new things.  I'm also considering digging out a very long list I have tucked away that contains new photography techniques and photo project ideas, so maybe I'll revisit that blog feature, as well.  I might even do a few portraits here and there, too, but no promises. Then again, maybe I'll pick my camera up for a few months and then take another two year break. My only goal is to have some fun with it, which is something I'd lost sight of when I was always so busy with client photo sessions.

I will be posting the photos I shoot on my blog, as I really do enjoy blogging and I've missed it. I've also created an Instagram for my photography where I'll be sharing some of my images along with links to blog posts. (If you're interested in following, it can be found by searching for @michelewhitacrephotography on IG.)  I'm still not sure what I'm going to do regarding my photography FB page.  I'm not a Facebook fan and I tend to keep my personal profile deactivated most of the time, which I can't do if I want to still have my photography page.  So, the jury is still out on that one.  For now, I'm just going to enjoy getting back to taking some photos.

Stay tuned for some upcoming photos of my sweet kitties, Daisy & Gatsby, and for some fun blacklight scorpion images I'm working on editing.  As always, thanks for stopping by!

Michele Whitacre used to be a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona.  Now she just takes photos for fun when the mood strikes. Like Michele on Facebook | Follow Michele on Instagram | Follow Michele on Twitter

  © 2017 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

My Sweet Pups

I don't know that I'm back to shooting and blogging, and I don't know that I'm not.  What I do know is this: I had a ton of fun getting behind the camera last week to shoot Amanda's maternity photos and it has been for-freaking-ever since I photographed my sweet fur babies.  So I decided it was time to take some photos of them and add them to the blog.

The last time I took any photos of Zoe & Lexi was on Lexi's birthday in December 2014, and the last time I took any portraits of them was in November 2014.  It just breaks my heart to realize that I missed capturing two years of their lives and two years of their birthdays.  While I don't regret taking a break from my photography, I know I am going to regret not capturing those times in photos.

I have to admit that taking these photos didn't go as smooth as I would have liked!  The dogs were out of practice, just like I was, and it was a challenge to get them to stay in place.  Lexi did pretty well (which I'm sure is a huge shock to anyone who knows her!) but Zoe was a total goober and wouldn't stay sitting down for more than 5 seconds.  As soon as I'd back away and start lining up a shot, she'd pop up and come running towards me...



You can see her getting ready to do it again here...


And then Lexi decided to join her, and the next thing I knew I was trying to keep dog noses off of my lens as they ran up to me expecting treats...


This image of Zoe cracked me up with her little tongue poking out!...


I was basically grabbing any photos I could while they were staying put, so here they are with Zoe's flipped ear and all...


Like I said, Lexi was posing like a champ, so I ended up with a lot more photos of her.  Good thing she's so darn cute!...



Zoe was born on September 11, 2007 and Lexi was born on December 2, 2007 so both of my sweet babies are going to turn 10 years old at the end of the year.  I'm not sure how to even begin to wrap my mind around that.  In my head they are both just a few years old, so I'm still shocked every time I register the grey in Lexi's ears and Zoe's face.  (Of course, I do the same thing every time I take a good hard look at myself in the mirror because in my head I'm still 25!)  Thankfully, both of them are still in excellent health and doing quite well...


For some reason, Zoe was doing a little better posing alone, so I did manage to get a handful of decent shots of just her...






I just adore those sweet faces....


Does anyone know if dogs can have ADHD?  Because seriously, I swear Lexi has it.  She can't keep her attention on anything for more than a minute or two and even at 9 1/2 years old she still will race around the yard in circles like she's still a puppy.  Here she is focused on some noise that caught her attention...


And again...


And again!...


Oh, and again!...



Such happy girls...



AWE!!!...



Lexi loves her yard, I think she'd be content to spend all day in it if her people and Zoe would stay out there with her...


Another of sweet Zoe...


I managed to catch a silly photo of Lexi sticking her tongue out too...



I just love this photo of sweet little Lexi Lou...


Mmmm.  Did somebody say treats?...


BFFs...


I know she's thinking, "Would you just give me the treat already!"...


Definitely a favorite of Zoe...



Enough photos already!...


If you made it this far, thanks for stopping by and checking out the photos of my pups!  Stay tuned for some photos of my sweet cats soon.


Michele Whitacre used to be a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona.  Now she just takes photos for fun when the mood strikes.
Like Michele on Facebook | Follow Michele on Instagram | Follow Michele on Twitter


© 2017 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Amanda's Sneak Peek {Maternity Session}

I seriously cannot believe that it has been so long since I've posted!  When I announced that I was closing my photography business, I never meant to completely disappear.  I fully intended to continue on with my monthly self-portrait series, and I figured I would still be doing a session every once in a while.  At a bare minimum I figured I'd be sharing occasional photos of my fur babies.  However life just took a turn into insanity the past few years and the truth is that I haven't even touched my camera since the last session I photographed.  When Amanda contacted me about doing her maternity photos, I wasn't sure if I'd even remember how to turn the thing on.  Luckily, it all came back to me like not a day had passed, and the result is some pretty amazing photos, if I do say so myself!


Amanda is an absolute dream to photograph! She has enough experience with posing for photos that she requires almost no direction, and she's been in front of my cameras multiple times, so she's used to my crazy ways behind the camera. The result was absolute perfection...



I adore this image!  I'm not sure I could narrow it down to just one favorite, but this one is definitely at the top of the faves list...



I absolutely adore the image on the right of this next set!  Amanda and I were talking and laughing about something, (I can't remember what) and I was snapping images along the way.  She looks so happy and carefree in the photo, just seeing her smile makes me smile...


I was showing some of Amanda's images to my co-workers earlier and one of them commented that she looks so peaceful and serene in her photos, and I couldn't agree more!  Especially in these next few...




Eeeeek!  Baby. Shoes.  I'm dying of cuteness over here...


This one ranks high on the favorites list, too! Is she not absolutely radiant?...


Doesn't she have the most gorgeous smile you've ever seen?


Amanda's entire session looks stunning in black and white, and I easily could have posted the entire thing without sharing a single color image. I know not everyone loves black and white like I do, and I wanted to give Amanda a variety of images in her sneak peek.  However, this next series of photos is so stunning there was no way I could resist sharing them all in black and white...


This one is another favorite!...




Simply beautiful!...


I love this one!  She looks like a goddess...



I was having a ton of fun playing with the light coming through Amanda's dress in these next few images. I think poor Amanda probably stood there without moving for a good 15 minutes while I amused myself playing with the lighting and sun flare.




Can you believe she's in Arizona?  I was so excited when Amanda picked one of my all time favorite locations for her session!...


Amanda's dress could not be more perfect.  The color of it is amazing against the trees and background greenery...




Another stunning image...





These photographs are of special people in Amanda and Gentry's (her husband) lives and she wanted photos taken with them.  I love it when people bring things like this to personalize their photo sessions...



Another favorite...


Even though I hadn't touched my camera in forever prior to Amanda's session, I've still been shooting for quite a while and it really is second nature to me.  I can often look at my surroundings and see a final edited image before I've ever even lifted the viewfinder to my eye.  Those individuals who have ever been in front of my camera know that this can sometimes turn a session into a wild ride, as I veer off the beaten path towards something that catches my eye.  While this next image didn't take us too far off the path, it was one of those times where I saw exactly how this was going to look as a final image before I even started shooting it.  And it did not disappoint!...



This image, on the other hand, had both Amanda and I climbing in a tree to capture it.  Well worth it, wouldn't you say?


Amanda,  as always you were an absolute joy to photograph.  I am so glad that you reached out to me to take these images for you.  It was wonderful to see you again and to catch up during our little photo adventure.  Congrats to you and Gentry on the new addition to your family.  It's been an honor and a pleasure being included in your journey!

P.S. If Amanda looks familiar to you, it's because you've seen her before:
Trash the Dress
With the Ducati
Engagement
And as one of the Zombies in this Trash the Dress

I told you she's had a lot experience in front of the camera.  I wasn't kidding!

Michele Whitacre used to be a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona.  Now she just takes photos for fun when the mood strikes.
Like Michele on Facebook | Follow Michele on Instagram | Follow Michele on Twitter


© 2017 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC
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