New mom, new state ...no job. Last winter my husband accepted a job offer in the Hudson Valley. More money, closer to family, and his closing argument that won me over, "you can quit your job and stay home with the baby". I liked my job, I really did. But the racing home on lunch breaks to simultaneously pump and feed the baby all while shoveling lunch in my mouth was starting to stress me out. Needless to say I handed in my notice, and we quickly packed up our waterfront condo in FL and moved to NY.
Like most of you, from the moment my daughter was born, the camera came out and was never put back down. Her birth made me want to document every little moment of her life, a way to freeze time with each photo. Overnight I had transformed into a "mamarazzi".
Ever since I took my first photography class in college an unidentified amount of time ago (Hint: digital cameras didn't exist yet) I've always owned professional photography equipment and people have always told me I should take photos for a living. Only now that I had all of this wonderful time on my hands, did I start to experiment with different lenses and editing software. I fell in love all over, and I quickly discovered there was a lot I would need to learn. I enrolled with classes with some of the best photographers on the East coast (lucky for me most of them reside in Manhattan which was a short jaunt from my new home in NY)
I learned that I loved bringing my photos to life. Through editing, finding amazing natural light, shooting wide-open, playing with depth of field and then blogging about my photos. Photography in its basic form is light and shadow, pure and simple. Learning to appreciate how light falls on your subject is a photographer's most important lesson. You don't need elaborate landscapes or fancy styling, although I do adore both of those. You just need beautiful light, which is around us everywhere, you don't even need a camera to practice seeing light.
Lucky for you, as it turns out the Hudson Valley is truly a photographer's paradise. The changing seasons provide for picturesque backdrops. From wintry wonderlands and snow kissed mountains to overflowing creeks and fresh vibrant green colors in spring to brilliant red and orange fall foliage. The scenery is awe-inspiring, rolling mountains, tranquil waters, little historic towns with steeple filled skylines. Each photo is unique with it's own personality. (A lot more fun than shooting on the beach year round!) Here is a past photo of us with a fake Christmas tree on a beach, this year I had the opportunity to photograph families on an actual tree farm in Warick NY!
It's pretty easy to get caught up in every day life and overlook all of the amazing things that your town has to offer. Most people think that you have to travel far and wide to see something new and exciting, but more often than not we can find something new in our own backyard. Every weekend I go scouting for different locations for shoots. It's usually a family affair, because who doesn't love exploring for new magical places?! And sometimes, just sometimes I stumble upon amazing places while getting lost on our way to music class, it's okay to be late if its for an impromptu photo shoot ...right?
I encourage you to grab your camera and explore the streets of your own town this summer!
- Think to yourself, if someone were visiting the area for the first time, where would you take them? Approach a day in your town the same way you would a city that you visited on vacation. Check out tourist guides, the web, and visitor’s centers for hidden gems. Photograph something in your town that you never knew existed!
Attend an Event
- We all know that the Hudson Valley has a festival for everything from pumpkins, to beer to country music. Really, I think I have seen a celebration for every fruit and vegetable. Bring your camera along to capture photographs of your family, scenery and the location!
Visit a Park
- Easy enough right? Pack a blanket and picnic lunch and head to a park. Photograph the sunlight filtering through the trees or your littles flying down a slide!
While you are out and about, here are three simple tips for photographing your kids in the Hudson Valley this summer:
- Move in closer
- Focus on the eyes
- Shoot at sunset
If you are up for some summer reading, pick up the manual that came with your camera and really study how to use all of the settings, you'll be shooting like a pro in no time! If you have any questions, shoot me a message on here I'm happy to help! :) Happy Summer!