Friday, January 31, 2014

Snippets + Snapshots | January 2014

Snippets + Snapshots from the past month...
new washer and dryer | pizza. yum. | new specs | cute pool boy | spoiled babies | lexi is crazy | new name tags for the babies | dinner | with the hubby | imaging usa 2014 | soaking in some rays | daisy is crazy | ready for guests | new photo toys | 72 degrees | ahhhhh | photographer in the making | almost over | practice makes perfect | more toys | sweet peas | test subject | arizona is awesome | gatsby's favorite place

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
© 2014 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC

Thursday, January 30, 2014

BBL 2013-2014 | Have New Professional Photos Taken With the Hubby


#30 HAVE NEW PROFESSIONAL PHOTOS TAKEN WITH THE HUBBY

Why did I include this on my Bucket List?

Kevin and I started dating on August 17th, and got married on August 17th two years later.  When we celebrate our anniversary we celebrate the length of time we have been together not how long we've specifically been married.  So, this year marked our 5th anniversary as a couple and we wanted to honor the milestone with new photos since the last ones we had taken were at our wedding.

Was the experience what I had hoped it would be?

Our photos were taken by Trevor Dayley, who I've mentioned a time or two on my blog before.  While I would have preferred to be the one behind the camera instead of in front of it, Trevor is a really laid back, easy going guy and he made the process a breeze.

The details...

August in Phoenix is pretty toasty, so we decided to wait until things cooled off a bit to have our photos taken. We were originally planning on doing them back in November, but then things got really crazy with purchasing our house and Kevin wrapping up law school so we bumped them to earlier this month.  We had our photos taken at one of my favorite downtown locations to shoot, and it was really awesome getting to see Trevor's vision of this area come through in the photos he took of us.

Here is a collage of just a few of my favorites...


Do you want to see my entire 2013-2014 Birthday Bucket List?  You can find it here. Did you miss my 2012-2013 List? You can find it here.  Or my 2011-2012 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


© 2014 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC

Monday, January 27, 2014

Self-Portrait | January 2014

I swear I just sat down and wrote my December self-portrait post like 3 days ago! Seriously, WHERE HAS JANUARY GONE?

It's been an interesting month, to say the least.  The first part of January was filled with a ton of frustrations while attempting to settle into our new house.  It kind of felt like something was going wrong at every turn, and there was a point where I was ready to run screaming down the street and never look back.

Let's just say that I'm trying to find the good in the fact that 90% of our faucets are leaking by focusing on the fact that we've decided to fix the problem by remodeling two of our bathrooms, and I'm looking on the positive side of a dying dishwater motor by focusing on the fact that I will very soon have one that I got to pick out.  And as an added bonus, I am seeing the huge blessing in the fact that my over the top OCD required me to clean every inch of our house, and then some, upon moving in, meaning that the mold growing in our heating/cooling duct system was detected in the early stages instead of years from now after it had invaded the entire house and affect our health.

But I bet you're wondering what any of that could possible have to do with the photo you see below.  So, let's move on to the second half of my month.  A few days ago, I photographed my very. first. wedding.  Eeeek!  I swore I would never photograph weddings because I didn't want the pressure of capturing someone's big day on my shoulders, yet I some how found myself agreeing to photograph a few special ones this year.  So, I spent the past few weeks feverishly reading and watching everything I could possibly get my hands on to help me prepare for the big day.

One of the things that the bride and groom requested was photographs using sparklers.  I did learn how to do sparkler photos during a workshop I attend last spring, but practicing them wasn't a priority and they were relegated to the bottom of my list of things to experiment with someday.  You can bet they got bumped up to the number one spot as soon as the couple asked for them!

So, I rounded up some sparklers and literally made myself dizzy practicing these photo a few nights ago.  (And I do mean literally dizzy.  After spinning in circles for one of the longer shots, I tried to walk toward my camera to set it up for the next shot and I couldn't walk in a straight line.  I had to sit down for a minute and recover.)

So, for January's photo I decided to share one of the photos I captured of myself while running in circles with sparklers.  (If you want to see the resulting photo from the wedding, you can head on over and see it on my Facebook page.)


And I'm just now realizing that I have on the exact. same. thing. as I had on in last month's portrait.  I swear I do own more clothes than this outfit.  Apparently this is my go to comfy outfit lately.  So much so that I didn't even realize I had it on in both photos until just this very second.  Too funny!

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


© 2014 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC

Sunday, January 26, 2014

BBL 2013-2014 | Purchase a Macro Lens


#37 PURCHASE A MACRO LENS

Why did I include this on my Bucket List?

I rented a macro lens a few years ago and had fun playing around with it, but didn't see the need to own one at the time.  Since then, I've considered doing a little wedding photography and a macro lens is a must to take ring shots.

Was the experience what I had hoped it would be?

I didn't love parting with the money, but so far the lens has been great!

The details...

Every wedding photographer I know uses the same lens to take their ring shots, and I figured that many photogs couldn't be wrong, so I opted to join the masses and purchase the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM.  I did do some test shots with it using our rings and loved the results!

Do you want to see my entire 2013-2014 Birthday Bucket List?  You can find it here. Did you miss my 2012-2013 List? You can find it here.  Or my 2011-2012 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


© 2014 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC

Friday, January 24, 2014

Life Happens

After spending three years swearing that I would never shoot a wedding, I somehow agreed to photograph three of them this spring.  Problem being, I didn't own a lens to take ring shots with, so I bit the bullet and added the 100mm f/2.8 L Macro to my collection.

I took it out for a little spin this morning to try it out on our rings.  I had no plans to do anything with the photos, so I just took the rings and headed out with them as is. As I was going through the images, I was looking at them to get a feel for the depth of field at different apertures, along with analyzing the angles I was using, composition, etc.  I wasn't paying any attention to the rings themselves, because, well, I'm kind of used to seeing them after us wearing them all this time.

But then I came upon the image below, and it just sort of stopped me in my tracks, and got me thinking (and crying if I'm being honest about it).


After four years, our rings are no longer perfect and pristine like the way they were the day we purchased them.  They are covered in nicks and scratches (and even a few decent sized dents in the case of Kevin's).  They haven't been professionally cleaned in a few years, and they are dirty as can be.  They aren't full of sparkle and shine, like when they were new.

But here's the thing:  Neither are we.

Anyone who's ever been in a relationship lasting several years knows that life happens.  The pretty, perfect, and pristine relationship that you started out with ends up covered with nicks, scratches, and an occasional dent here and there. And maybe things don't feel as full of sparkle and shine as they once did.

But maybe.  Just maybe.  It's the nicks and the scratches and the dents that add the real beauty.  For it is in them that your life happens.  You laugh. You sing. You dance. You scream. You curse. You cry.

You Live.  You Feel.  You Grow.



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


© 2014 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Rebecca's Sneak Peek

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of photographing Rebecca, who may look familiar from her recent law student portraits. Rebecca contacted me a few months ago about doing a session in honor of her birthday, which I thought was a FABULOUS idea!  (I just might have to follow in her footsteps and schedule my own session for my big milestone birthday coming up this fall.)

When I asked Rebecca what she had in mind for her session, she said that she wanted a location that was Arizona-esque, and I did a little happy dance inside. Even though I wasn't born here (or even lived here all that long), I am a true Phoenician at heart.  I love the heat and the sun and the desert, and I get such a thrill when I get to capture the landscape that I adore during sessions.

Ok, I'll hush up and get on to Rebecca's stunning photos.  (Seriously, I don't think this girl could take a bad photo if she tried.)

This first photo is one of my favorites, especially in black and white...


Isn't she gorgeous?...


Because the world just needs a little more sun flare...



Are those boots to die for or what?...


Is anyone shocked to hear that this next one is a huge fav, too? (Yeah.  I didn't think so.)


Love, love, love...



Gorgeous!...


It doesn't get more Arizona-esque than this!...



Rebecca,  thank you for allowing me to take these photos for you in honor of your birthday.  Good luck with the rest of law school and your future law career.  I really enjoyed getting to know you a little better during our session!

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


© 2014 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC

Thursday, January 16, 2014

BBL 2013-2014 | Make a List of 101 Things That Make Me Smile


#19 MAKE A LIST OF 101 THINGS THAT MAKE ME SMILE

Why did I include this on my Bucket List?

It's too easy to concentrate on the negative in the world these days, so I decided to do something to redirect my attention to the positives.

Was the experience what I had hoped it would be?

I was surprised just how hard it was to come up with this list!  I tried to only put things on my list that really 'fit' for me and not include things that were overly random.  It took a while, but I finally came up with 101 things that make me smile.

The details...

Here is my list:

1. feeling the warmth of the sun on that first spring day
2. reading a really good book that I can't put down
3. listening to the sound of crashing waves
4. snuggling with my fur babies
5. getting a compliment from a stranger
6. catching up with an old friend
7. watching a beautiful sunset
8. hearing my favorite song come on unexpectedly
9. opening the mailbox to find a card or letter from someone
10. watching a lightening storm
11. relaxing in a bubble bath
12. having my toe nails painted a new bright color
13. lighting an amazing smelling candle
14. experiencing the vivid colors of a Midwest fall
15. smelling something good cooking in the kitchen
16. having my entire house clean and organized
17. looking through old photographs from my past
18. accomplishing a goal I set for myself
19. coming home to a love note from my hubby
20. really connecting with someone new
21. enjoying a glass of my favorite wine
22. taking an afternoon nap
23. hearing that I look much younger than I am
24. watching hummingbirds in our backyard
25. feeling a cool breeze on a warm day
26. eating movie popcorn smothered in butter
27. celebrating my birthday in style
28. discovering an amazing new recipe
29. finding money I didn't know I'd lost
30. watching an amazing fireworks display
31. being blown away by a great movie
32. floating in the pool
33. finding a new flavor of chapstick
34. having an unexpected day off of work
35. watching my hubby play guitar hero
36. getting a massage
37. finishing a really good run
38. tasting the first bite of a favorite food I haven't had in a while
39. watching fish swim
40. finding a new item of clothing that fits perfectly
41. crawling into a bed made with freshly washed sheets
42. reminiscing about my childhood with the ones who were there
43. throwing a well attended party
44. having an empty seat next to me on an airplane
45. sitting around a campfire
46. popping bubble wrap
47. watching our wedding video
48. pushing the button for the elevator and it's already there
49. writing with a really awesome pen
50. walking on the beach
51. fitting into a pair of jeans I haven't been able to wear for a while
52. having a good hair day
53. trying to merge into traffic and a courteous driver lets me in
54. gazing at a lit christmas tree
55. returning to visit the cities where I used to live
56. wearing oversized comfy clothes
57. capturing the perfect photo of someone
58. being surprised with flowers or a gift for no reason
59. rediscovering old music
60. listening to our cats purr
61. eating a piece of perfectly ripened fruit
62. mastering a new photography technique
63. exploring a new place for the first time
64. waking up feeling well rested and ready to face the day
65. spending quiet time home alone
66. marking something off my bucket list
67. seeing my hubby smile
68. having a good friendly debate
69. singing along to the car radio
70. collecting inspiring quotes
71. finding the perfect gift for someone
72. waking up and realizing it's not a work day
73. laughing uncontrollably at something
74. spending time chatting with my mom
75. finding a coupon code when purchasing something online
76. stepping on the scale to see I've lost weight
77. snuggling under a blanket when it's cold
78. finding the perfect halloween costume
79. coming home to dinner already prepared
80. feeling appreciated
81. finding a front row parking spot
82. drinking pop from a glass bottle
83. experiencing the gorgeous views while hiking
84. being welcomed home with tail wags and puppy kisses
85. getting to see my husband in his work world
86. having an empty email inbox
87. being asked for the recipe for something I made
88. getting dressed up for a special event
89. discovering a new hobby
90. remembering there are good leftovers in the refrigerator
91. going to bed knowing you can sleep as long as you want
92. meeting someone whose name is spelled the same way as mine
93. falling asleep next to my hubby
94. crossing things off my to do list
95. watching our pets play together
96. gazing up at a sky full of stars
97. being told I'm good at my job
98. seeing the kitchen fully stocked after a big grocery store trip
99. experiencing the smells that come with the changes of season
100. watching fireflies
101. seeing a rainbow

Plus a bonus because I mis-numbered:

102. looking up at the clouds

And now I am challenging you to come up with your own list!  What makes you smile?

Do you want to see my entire 2013-2014 Birthday Bucket List?  You can find it here. Did you miss my 2012-2013 List? You can find it here.  Or my 2011-2012 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


© 2014 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Best of 2013 | Portraits

Before embracing 2014 and all that it might have in store for me, I want to pause and take a look back at 2013.  It seems every year when I do these 'best of' posts, I include a little pep talk to myself about being ok with where I am in my photography journey.  I remind myself to be thankful for everything I do have, and to try not to fret about what I don't.  However, for once I feel like I don't need to do that this year.  It really been a great year for my photography, and as I enter 2014, I have to say that I'm right where I want to be!

So before I embrace a new year, here is a peek back at some of my favorite portraits, in no particular order, from 2013...





































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


© 2014 Michele Whitacre Photography LLC
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