Thursday, January 31, 2013

Snippets + Snapshots | January 2013

Snippets + Snapshots from the past month...
lexi isn't impressed with the new year | hot air ballon love | video gaming it up | share with me | observation day | editing buddy | seat thief | burr | new glasses | handsome hubby | my work displayed! | zzzz | yum! | trouble maker | movies and junk food with the hubby | time to sleep in the big bed | cuddle bugs | visitors | bettin' on the races | visitin' the zoo | hole in the rock | sedona | grand canyon | crazy lazy wavy hair | dessert for dinner | book club read | tucked herself in | rained out session | slipper weather | storm clouds | rain drops | cuties | cover hog | mind candy | sunset porn | mastering my new flash | soakin' in the rays

Since I had so many photos from January, I only included a handful of images in this month's Snippets + Snapshots post from when we had family in town for a visit. You can find the rest of them in a special family visit edition post here.

If you want to see all of my Instagram photos, you can check them out online here or search for me on the app - my user name is michelewhitacre!

Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area.
Visit Michele's Website | Like Michele on Facebook | Follow Michele on Instagram | Follow Michele on Twitter


© 2013 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Street Photography {at the races}

One of my favorite things to do in Phoenix is to go to the horse races at Turf Paradise. We usually do pretty well betting on the horses and at least win enough to cover our entrance fee and lunch. Unfortunately, during our last trip to the track, we were big fat losers. In order to console myself over my losses, I decided to indulge in a little so called street photography in between races.

This lady caught my attention as she was walking by because she looked so happy. I hope she just won it big on the previous race!...


This gentleman was intently watching the horses before the race, probably trying to decide which one to put his money on...


This guy spotted me from a long way off, and gave me lots of smiles, knowing I was taking his photo. The guy in the background doesn't look quite as happy, does he?...


Intently studying the race roster...


This guy stood there with this intent look for a loooong time. I can't help but wonder if he had big money riding on the race...


Swoon! Could this guy be any more perfect? Hat, boots, cigarette, and beer. Doesn't get any more classic than that!


Sweet lovebirds (aka my brother-in-law and his girlfriend) watching one of the races...


I got such a kick out of taking these photos! When I took my camera along, I wasn't necessarily planning on taking any "street photography" photos but once I started watching the people around me, I just couldn't resist. Plus, I have to start somewhere with this whole getting some guts thing, right?

Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area.
Visit Michele's Website | Like Michele on Facebook | Follow Michele on Instagram | Follow Michele on Twitter


© 2013 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Day at the Phoenix Zoo

Today I was planning on posting a sneak peek from an anniversary session that I had scheduled a few days ago, but a rare Phoenix rainstorm put a damper on that plan when it forced us to reschedule. Instead, I decided to share some photos that I took during a recent visit to The Phoenix Zoo. Kevin and I spent an afternoon there a few weeks ago when my brother-in-law and his girlfriend were in town. Neither one of us had been there yet, so it was a nice opportunity to check it out and visit with the animals.

Here are some photos of the cute critters that we got to see during our visit:

As soon as we arrived we were greeted by lots of cute little ducks swimming in the water in front of the zoo entrance. This guy was just hanging out on the log, waiting for someone to take his portrait and I just couldn't let him down!...


I took quite a few photos of the little animals in their aquariums, but my sister-in-law gets grossed out by creepy-crawlies, so I decided not to post any of the snakes or spiders just to be nice to her. So, instead here is a cute little turtle and a passed out lizard from that portion of the zoo...



This one's for my mother-in-law, who has recently developed a love for owls...


These little guys always crack me up!...


Kevin actually took this next photo. He's been practicing his photography skills recently, so I turned the camera over to him for a while while I amused myself taking photos with my cell phone and posting them on Instgram...


Admittedly, there's nothing too exciting about this photo. I just found the line up of the animals amusing. It seemed like they were an unlikely group of friends playing an odd little game of follow the leader...


The large cats are always my favorite animals at the zoo. Kevin had the camera while we visited most of them, but I did get to take a few photos of this guy...


I'm really not a big fan of birds and when they are flying loose around me they kind of creep me out. But when they are at the zoo I always enjoy photographing them, especially the brightly colored ones.






I always get a kick out of the monkeys at the zoo! This one seemed to be covering his face, as if to say, "those darn people and their cameras, always staring in at me."...


I just loved these little guys, which is obvious from all the photos of them!...






He reminds me of an old man, just watching the world go by and patiently waiting for something...


Thanks for stopping by! If you enjoyed these animal photos and want to see more, you might want to check out the photos from the Wildlife World Zoo that I took in December 2011.

Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area.
Visit Michele's Website | Like Michele on Facebook | Follow Michele on Instagram | Follow Michele on Twitter


© 2013 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC

Saturday, January 26, 2013

BBL 2012-2013 | Visit the Grand Canyon


#3 VISIT THE GRAND CANYON

Why did I include this on my Bucket List?

Kevin had never been to the Grand Canyon and my last (and only) visit was about 25 years ago. I didn't want us to be those people who live in Arizona but have never taken the time to see it!

Was the experience what I had hoped it would be?

Absolutely! I really didn't remember much about seeing it the first time, so I think I was just as impressed with it as if it was my first visit. The pure size of it is astounding!

The details...

Kevin's brother and his brother's girlfriend came to visit us for a week, so we planned a little trip to show them Sedona and the Grand Canyon while they were in Arizona. We left early and drove through Sedona, toured the red rocks and had lunch before making our way to the south rim of the Grand Canyon. We stayed just outside of the park and spent our evening and part of the next day seeing various parts of the canyon before heading back to Phoenix.

I will admit that the temperatures in the higher elevations were a bit cold for me now that I am a fully adapted Phoenician, but other than freezing my fingers while taking tons of photos, everything about the trip was too amazing for words!

Here are some of the photos I took during our visit:

The first three images were taken during our late afternoon/evening visit, and the fourth one was taken just as the sun started to set.  While I don't like these first photographs as well as the more vivid ones further down (what a shock!) I decided to share them to show the huge contrast in the lighting and appearance of the canyon depending on the time of day...





The rest of these photos were taken the following morning/afternoon when the sun was out full force. This second set of images is my favorite because, as I'm sure you know by now, I heart bright, vivid colors in my photographs...







The last two photos are closer ups of the watchtower pictured above, which we climbed to get a bird's eye view of the canyon...



As you can probably tell, I was getting a kick out of playing with the trees that were along the edge of the canyon for framing my images. While I had a lot of fun experimenting, I have to admit that this trip definitely opened my eyes to the fact that I don't know a thing about landscape photography! Before my next trip I definitely need to see if I can pick up some pointers for how to improve my landscapes.

Do you want to see my entire 2012-2013 Birthday Bucket List? You can find it here.  Or did you miss my 2011-2012 Birthday Bucket List? You can find it here.

Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area.
Visit Michele's Website | Like Michele on Facebook | Follow Michele on Instagram | Follow Michele on Twitter


© 2013 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Self-Portrait | Januaray 2013

January has been a whirlwind of preparing for visitors combined with scheduling portrait sessions, taking personal photos for upcoming blog posts, and photographing our adventures while my brother-in-law and his girlfriend were in town. Since so much of my month has been spent behind my camera, I knew I wanted to include it in this month's self-portrait.  I also wanted to do something to remind me of the fun time we had showing our family around our new home city. It wasn't until we were viewing the gorgeous sunset that I decided on this spontaneous, spur of the moment location for this month's self-portrait.

This photo was taken at Hunt's Tomb in Papago Park, which we visited after spending our day at the Phoenix Zoo, and checking out the hole in the rock at the park.  When it comes to playing tourist, I'm all about comfort!  So, here I am sporting pigtails, a hat, and my comfy walking shoes while holding my camera for January's self-portrait...


Did you miss some of my past self-portraits?  Clicking here will take you to all of my self-portrait blog posts. Clicking here will take you to my self-portrait Facebook album.

Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area.
Visit Michele's Website | Like Michele on Facebook | Follow Michele on Instagram | Follow Michele on Twitter


© 2013 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC

Monday, January 21, 2013

Snippets + Snapshots | Family Visit {January 2013}

My brother-in-law and his girlfriend came to visit us in Phoenix to see our new city and to escape the frigid cold temps back home. We tried our best to keep them entertained while they were in town in the hopes that they would have fun and want to hurry back for another visit. Of course, I took about a million photos of our adventures while they were here. I thought posting the Instagram photos from the week would be a good way to share some memories from their visit. So, I give to you Snippets + Snapshots from their trip...
first stop: dinner! four peak brewery style | a day at the horse races | a tour of PSL aka home of the coolest staircase ever | phoenix showing off with a gorgeous sunset | a game of gloom | experimenting with new shot recipes | partying it up | visit to the zoo | hole in the rock | hunts tomb | king of the mountain | papago park | red rocks of sedona | frozen peanut butter pie | found some snow, even though we weren't looking | gorgeous grand canyon views | back to the warmth | phoenix says goodbye with another gorgeous sunset

If you want to see all of my Instagram photos, you can check them out online here or search for me on the app - my user name is michelewhitacre!

I did take photos with my DSLR camera all during their visit, too! So stay tuned for more photos from these adventures over the next few weeks. As always, thanks for stopping by.

Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area.
Visit Michele's Website | Like Michele on Facebook | Follow Michele on Instagram | Follow Michele on Twitter


© 2013 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Photo Project | Christmas Light Bokeh

Over the past few years I have complied quite a list of photography tips, tricks, and techniques that I am interested in trying out some day.  However, no matter how well intentioned I may be when I add the items to my list, once there they take up permanent residence and never leave.  It's high time I evict some of them, and in order to help propel me in that direction I have decided to add a new monthly feature to the blog.

Every month I will be experimenting with one of these ideas and sharing the results.  Some of the ideas are new tips and tricks that I have read about and want to learn how to do.  Other things are subjects that I have seen photographed and want to try my hand at photographing for myself.  Some are simply challenges that I want to give myself to help me think outside the box.  No matter what the subject for the month, the photos will show up on the blog in the form of a photo project post.

For my first personal photo project, I decided to tackle something that has been on my idea list forever! As you probably know, I am a sucker for soft dreamy bokeh in photographs so it makes perfect sense that I would want to try my hand at creating some using Christmas lights.  So, before I took the tree down this year, I did a little experimenting with my camera.

The first thing I did was put my camera on my tripod and take photos of the tree using different apertures and corresponding shutter speeds.  I wanted to compare the size and the shape of the bokeh balls using larger and smaller apertures.  I did take all of the photos for this project using the same lens, but it would have been interesting to compare the exact same settings of different lenses to see how the bokeh balls changed. For each of these images, the aperture, shutter speed and ISO is listed before the photo.

(Note to self: clean your lens before doing anything like this again in the future! Every smudge is easily visible in these photos and it looks like you let the dogs lick your lens before your took these.)

f/1.6 1/125 ISO 400

f/2.0 1/80 ISO 400

f/2.5 1/50 ISO 400

f/3.2 1/30 ISO 400

I then decided to play around with placing some of my other holiday decorations at different distances from the tree so see how the bokeh balls changed as I moved my subject closer and farther away from the tree lights in the background. In general the closer I am to the tree, the smaller the bokeh balls and the farther away from it I am the larger they are.

This first photo cracks me up because it looks like it is just a floating snowman head. It is actually attached to a little post, but the scarf is covering it up so it looks like it has no base on it...


My brain was apparently stuck in portrait orientation. Sorry for the monotony of the rest of the images! Hopefully the pretty colors make up for it!




I have a thing for singing christmas stuffed animals. The cornier the better! My mom bought me this one for Christmas a handful of years ago, and I decided to take his portrait this year...


If you haven't figured it out by now, I love snowmen holiday decorations! About 90% of my ornaments and other decorations are snowmen. Poor santa and his reindeer get left out in the cold at my house!


Can you believe that I don't own any white lights? I didn't realize it until after I had already done all of my holiday decoration shopping or I would a bought a strand or two! I had a few other ideas up my sleeve that I wanted to try with some white lights, but I guess they will have to wait until next year. Until then, I hope you enjoyed my first photo project and will join me back next month.

Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area.
Visit Michele's Website | Like Michele on Facebook | Follow Michele on Instagram | Follow Michele on Twitter


© 2013 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...