Brand Family - Las Vegas Family Photographer

Here's another family I've photographed for a few years, and it was great to get them all back in front of the camera again! 

Genio Family - Las Vegas Family Photographer

Here's another sweet little family I had the pleasure of photographing this fall.  This little boy is sooooo cute! He held on to his little Hot Wheels car and would look at me with those deep, brown eyes. Mama, be ready, those girls are going to be chasing him!

I found a REAL aspen tree here in Henderson and it's my favorite place to photograph!

OpLove Session - Las Vegas Family Photographer

Have you heard of Operation: Love Reunited? 

OpLove is a non-profit organization of photographers who volunteer their services to photograph active-duty military families before deployment or at homecoming.

This November, I was blessed to photograph this little family with the cutest kids ever! Dad was deploying soon and we adjusted schedules to fit them in. 

I'm currently the only OpLove photographer here in the Las Vegas Valley. I receive several requests each year to photograph our Southern Nevada military families prior to deployment or at homecoming.  I have to say 'no' sometimes and it breaks my heart. 

If you're a Las Vegas area professional photographer and are interested in volunteering, contact Operation:Love Reunited!

Young-Cheney Family - Las Vegas Family Photographer

 I was excited for our annual Family Session and couldn't wait to catch up on all the news with this sweet family!  One of the blessings of being a family photographer is watching the littles grow up before my eyes.  

We met by Pittman Wash in Henderson, Nv. on a beautiful fall morning. The sunlight streaming through the leaves provided the perfect scene...

An adventurous Morning at the Airport!

When Melissa mentioned doing their family portraits at the airport, I was a more than a little intrigued. Visions of hangar doors, jet wheels, reflective surfaces danced in my head! 

                        I'm so glad I brought my ultra-wide angle with me for this shot! 

                        I'm so glad I brought my ultra-wide angle with me for this shot! 

I could have spent the whole day here photographing this charming family with a whole line-up of lenses. Unfortunately, none of us had all day... but I'm game in the future! 

The light floors and bright morning sun created some dreamy haze, so we embraced it. 

And I have to say, I love being someone's family photographer! I enjoy seeing how the kids have changed from last year, plus they're used to me in their face with a camera and can be relaxed, haha. 

There were just so many cool photo opportunities! 

Thanks again, V family! It was an adventure and I can't wait till next year!

Jason & Angelica, Hilton Lake Las Vegas Wedding, November 6, 2017

Weddings are always a special event. 

They're even more special when the bride & groom are just really sweet people and I get to attend! I met Jason & Angelica last November before he deployed. I casually mentioned 'call me when you get back about your wedding.'  I was thrilled to receive an email from Jason this summer about photographing their wedding! 

November 6th came quickly!  The day started with the bride getting ready with her bridesmaids. It was obvious this group is tight-knit. The laughing was contagious and non-stop!

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As you can see from the photos, the location was simply beautiful. The setting for the ceremony was the Pavilion, which is part of the Hilton at Lake Las Vegas. The ladies gathered for photos on the bridge and the gentleman - by the courtyard and shops. 

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The ceremony began on this beautiful fall afternoon, right before sunset.  The bride arrived on the arm of her father... the groom was bursting with emotion when he saw his bride for first time in her dress. 

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Jason and Angelica wanted sunset photos on the bridge over that spans over Lake Las Vegas, so we made a mad dash for the bridge as the sun was starting to set. We fought against the setting sun and the wind, but I know we won because we have the most gorgeous photos! 

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Jason and Angelica, thank you so much for including me in this most special event. It was a privilege to be a part of your wedding day. 

****

 

Featuring One for One Mini-Sessions - Support a local military family!

One for One Mini-Sessions

$100

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15 minutes, 5-7 images in an online gallery

Prints, digitals, and canvasses available for purchase

through your online gallery. 

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https://https-www-desertbloomphotos-bookmeforphotographers-com.bookmeforphotographers.com/usa/booking/?alias=one-for-one-mini-sessions

 

Vintage Market Days!

I was thrilled to be asked to be the Event Photographer for the
Vintage Market Days of Southern Nevada in October!

Vintage Market Days' is a upscale market featuring vintage & vintage-inspired items and is featured all around the country.  VMD of Southern Nevada took place at Downtown Summerlin Oct. 27th-29th and it was just fabulous! 

Here is a sampling of some of the wonderful vendor booths! 

This market is definitely my Happy Place! 

I love Fine Art School Portraits!

I remember my kids'  'Picture Days.'  Oh... how I disliked 'Picture Day.' 

I love photos of my kids, but I would cringe when I saw the neon backgrounds or race car tracks around my child. I was not happy having to prepay for photos I didn't know I'd want to keep. And I know I'm not the only mom who felt or feels this way.

Enter Fine Art School Photography. 

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Fine Art School Photography offers a new, classic twist to a traditional portrait.  I am passionate about capturing a child's personality and providing the parents with a timeless portrait... one that hang on their wall for years. No more cheesy backgrounds, no forced smiles, just personality coming through! 

I recently had the opportunity to offer Back to School Portraits to my own Homeschool Group. Yes.. even homeschoolers want Back to School photos!

Seriously.. what cuteness and joy!

I photograph small schools, large schools, daycare centers, preschools, and homeschool groups. No group is too big or too small.  I offer the same products the 'big companies' offer, but with a personal touch.  

Here's some more from my most recent School Portrait session!

Wouldn't you love your child to have a school photo like one of these? It's easy to do. I would love to talk to your school or group about Fine Art School Photography! 

Oh, the mountains are calling, we must go for a photo shoot!

What do you do when it gets too hot in the desert? You head up to the mountains. 

Lydia joined me by Lee Canyon for a stylized session a while back. We packed up the car with clothes, snacks, water, and more clothes, ha ha,  and off we went! We started up by the Bristlecone Trail, where the cool breeze and beautiful dappled light made us think we had entered autumn a little early! 

It was like entering a different world, so far away from the desert 20 miles down the mountain...and we took advantage of it! 

This photo ^^^^^^ is probably my favorite from the day! We were having too much fun! Did I mention Lydia is also a photographer? She is comfortable on both sides of the camera, as I rarely had to lead her into a pose. 

We headed down towards the Upper Meadows and just found a bunch of aspen dreaminess along the way! 

Little did we know the beautiful meadow that was awaiting our arrival! 

We were racing with the sun to our last location, and the sun had set before we set up our last shots. Not to worry, because the light after sunset is beautiful, in it's own special way!

Thank you, Lydia, for a wonderful adventure! 

Engagement Session at Corn Creek with Jason & Angelica!

I originally met Jason and Angelica last November, when we did an deployment session with Operation Love Reunited ( I'm a volunteer photographer with OpLove).  They told me their wedding date and I said 'Oh I'd love to photograph you're wedding!'

The November wedding date is soon approaching so we gathered together for engagement photos at Corn Creek Station, part of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge. 

Jason and Angelica met all my 'posing' ideas with enthusiasm..

I was less enthusiastic when I realized my toes were covered in goat heads, lol! 

 

We moved on as the sun was setting very quickly behind the Spring Mountains, to the south-west of us.  I love how the light played on the red mountains of the Sheep Range... and I had to snap this intimate moment and light. 

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We raced against the setting light for more photos...

Jason and Angelica, I'm so happy to be celebrating this time in your life with you! 

Glorious day on the mountain!

Moriah's Senior Session! 

Moriah is no stranger to my camera. I've known Moriah throughout her high school years and have had the pleasure of watching her grow and mature into the beautiful young woman she is today. She's a precious soul on the inside, kind and generous. She's smart and shy, with a little bit of sassyness thrown in to boot!  I really wanted to go up to Mt. Charleston and do a session among the trees and cool air and Moriah was on board!  

Moriah brought a long a few special props...

I love all the flannel, plaids, denim, texture, and turquoise and tangerine! 

Moriah, I thank you for one for one of the 'funnest' sessions I've ever had! 

 

A little adventure every now and then is good for the soul!

Our trip didn't go as planned, and it was probably more fun!  Sailor Boy made it back from the seas a few days early, so our Navy-sponsored Family Cruise was cancelled.  The benefits were we didn't have to wait around for a phone call to drop & go and got to spend more time with Sailor Boy and his wife, Sailor Girl. We spent their 3rd anniversary together with them and shared some good ol' home made comfort food! 

Home made macaroni & cheese

Home made macaroni & cheese

with Key Lime Pie for desert

with Key Lime Pie for desert

We also had more time to explore the area! The kiddos live in the Paulsbo area of Washington, west of Seattle. We spent a day exploring by foot and a few days exploring by car and foot. 

Port Ludlow was a beautiful stop on our tour. It seems to be a retirement community, lol -  maybe our next neighborhood? (Nah - don't ever let me do that!!) 

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This little sea otter was sunbathing and he let us know he didn't want company!  That's ok.... hubby found a huge starfish that enjoyed the attention. 

Love this view of Port Ludlow Marina on the Olympic Peninsula 

Love this view of Port Ludlow Marina on the Olympic Peninsula 

Some scenes from the peninsula 

Port Hadlock - not much there but the private marina and this bear 

Port Hadlock - not much there but the private marina and this bear 

Wild berries and rose hips everywhere! This was taken in Juanita Bay Park in Kirkland. Such a beautiful place! 

Wild berries and rose hips everywhere! This was taken in Juanita Bay Park in Kirkland. Such a beautiful place! 

Spent a little time with family on the east side of Seattle... Juanita Bay Park. 

Spent a little time with family on the east side of Seattle... Juanita Bay Park. 

All in all, this was my favorite place every morning... 

Viking Brew

Viking Brew

And my favorite place every evening.... 

Sailboats, Sunsets, Paulsbo Marina 

Sailboats, Sunsets, Paulsbo Marina 

Where do you start?

Over the last 2-3 months, I have been asked by several people to help them with their various photography questions, relating to gear or how to get a certain look. I thought I'd take some time, here on the blog, to cover some of the questions that I get asked more often. 

I'm no Ansel Adams, Scott Kelby, or Sue Bryce... I'm basically a mom with a camera who has been passionate about photographer for like, ever, and who decided to be brave and make a business out of what she loves to do. I do some photography well. I'm also a good teacher. So why not share some information with those of you who want to know? I'm not planning on writing a book for each topic, just a few pointers I might give you if we were out shooting together. And please, if you have questions regarding any type of photography or gear, ask away. I might not be able to tell you much, but you get full access to my brain. 

So I put a bunch of topics (that I've been asked about) into a hat and drew out LANDSCAPE. So we're starting w/ Landscape Photography. 

Landscape photography typically shows wide-open spaces in our world. Most of the landscape photos we see focus on nature. Landscapes are not restricted to nature, but can highlight several other views - including man-made objects. Landscapes can show us forests and deserts, mountains and valleys. 

Look at a landscape photo on Flickr or in a National Geographic magazine. What do you notice first? Light? Color? The beauty of the scape? What you will also notice, but maybe not realize is everything is in focus from close-up to far away.  

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Not a strong example of a great landscape, but you can see everything is sharp from close to far away. This is because I set my aperture to a higher #, which actually means my lens is opening up just a tiny bit. I shot this @ f/16.  

One 'rule' of landscape photography is that the horizon line should never go in the middle of your frame. It should lie in the bottom 1/3 line or top 2/3 line of the frame. Look above, and imagine dividing this photo into 3's, horizontally, then place the horizon line accordingly.  And you can see how I did not do that in the above photo. Here's one where I did. 

If I'm shooting for a client or to be published in a magazine, then I'd pay more attention to the horizon line. If I'm shooting for myself... I put it wherever I want. Know the rules first, then break the rules.  Sometimes you just gotta grab the shot as it is, before the view disappears.

Composition is an important element in landscape photography. We see a beautiful sight, and we snap a photo, but it doesn't look amazing on the back of our camera. Not as pretty as we see with our eyes. This is where elements of composition come in. Something is needed to help draw the viewer's eye into the photograph. Elements like leading lines or a strong foreground come into play.

My eyes see lines. I can't help it... call it a curse if you must, but that's what I see.  Used well, they can draw the viewer's eye into the picture. Here's an example.  The fence line begins on the front left of the photo and the fence leads our eye to the middle. The curve of the road takes our eyes back right to the treeline which leads us to the mountain peaks. Movement. 

Another element in landscape composition is to have a strong foreground... something in the front third of the photo to grab the viewer's eye. This item should be in focus most times, when it's not it is for artistic purposes. Here are examples of one w/out the strong foreground and one with. 

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It's an okay photo but nothing to write home about. 

The yellow grass and wildflowers grab out attention and our eyes look up and back to take in the rest of the photo naturally. 

 2 other questions regarding landscape photography. First is what lens do I use and secondly, where do I focus?  You can really use any lens you have for landscape photography. I prefer an wide to ultra-wide angle, such as the Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 or Nikon 24-120mm f/4.  Having a fast lens (aperture 1.2-2.8 for example) is not necessary for landscape as you'll be shooting with f/stops in the 2 digit range, so a 16-35mm f/4 or 24-120mm f/4 is fine. I've seen beautiful landscapes taken with a 70-200mm zoom lens. This lens will offer some nice compression in your shot. Now where to focus in your frame. I've read to and practice focusing about 1/3 into my frame. It works for me. 

The final aspect of landscape photography (I thought i wasn't writing a book) is whether or not to use a tripod. I've used them and I've not used them. The more I advance into photography and my skills increase, the more I use it. I am able to visualize a shot and realize what I need to capture it. Sometimes, I need that tripod, especially if I'm bracketing.

So that's it. I hope you're able to pull out a nugget or two of useful information. Please let me know if you 1) enjoyed this post 2) learned anything new from it 3) have any questions! 

Blessings!

Here's a little about me & photography.....I offer clean, classic photography for my clients, with a twist of authentic lifestyle! I specialize in senior and family photography. I love macro and landscape for personal projects.  

 

Summer, oh Summer, what will we do with you?

Last night, at 9:24pm, PST, Summer of 2017 officially began. 

Now here in the Las Vegas valley, it felt like Summer began mid-May. That's the joy of living in the desert, we get a sneak peek of summer way ahead of time! But I digress.... 

12 weeks of free time coming up, right? Time to sleep in, read some good books (grab the Mitford series by Jan Karon  (Jamie @ www.jamiezanotti.com has me hooked on those), catch up on Netflix series, lounge poolside. Throw in 2 sessions of summer school (early morning wake-up for most of us) and afternoons working on fall and winter business, that's us in a nutshell for the summer. 

This is what I'd rather be doing.... 

or

Just sayin....

What adventures do you have in store for the Summer of 2017? I'd love to hear!

 

Carie and her family!

During the first week of May, I ran a contest on my Facebook page for Teacher Appreciation Week.  Being a homeschool teacher for the last 10 years, I totally get the idea of showing our teachers how much we appreciate all their hard work. I was giving away a full session and a mini-session to a teacher who had been nominated on my FB page. 

I drew two names, one for a full session and one for a mini-session. Carie won our mini-session give-a-way! The cool thing here - my two youngest children were in Carie's kindergarten class before we started homeschooling!  

This family likes to be outdoors and I was happy to photograph them at one of their favorite spots!

Congratulations Carie on 21 successful years of teaching in Clark County! 

 

Adventure at the Art District!

Kyla wanted to have her senior session down in the Las Vegas Art District.  Now the Art District encompasses a lot of real estate downtown, so I went down the day before to map out some perfect spots. 

Posing, more than photographing, in the Art District, is definitely an adventure! Lots of people are watching you. Kyla rocked it. She was a superstar and not flustered by any of the crowd!

Can you believe this is downtown Las Vegas? Such a gorgeous background for Kyla. 

This next location screams Art District! 

We moved on and hit some other great, totally fun spots!  I love the turquoise wall...

This next location was totally fun. So bright and colorful. It's near the John E. Carson Hotel!

We ended up in an alley that offered two different points of view. By this time, the sun was high in the sky and we were too hot to shoot anymore!

Congratulations on your graduation, Kyla! 

Class of 2017

Pinterest Win or Fail?

I'm so excited to start this project on so many levels! 

1) I love to craft! 

2) I love photography! and this project is about photography.

3) I'm overwhelmed with life right now and when I'm overwhelmed, why not craft instead of focus on my 'to do' list? 

4) I have so many business ideas spurred on by this craft. 

Stick around to see how it turns out! Place a bet on the win/fail if you're feeling adventurous! 

Desertbloom travels to Seattle!

I was so excited to go see two of my boys recently! Not only because I hadn't seen them in ages, but because they both live in Washington - the state. I've never been there before. Van and Janet drove into the city to give us a whirlwind of a mini-tour!  

After landing in Seattle, I took my first Uber ride to the Ferry Terminal. I had my camera ready to take photos, but I had to give up 15 minutes into the ferry ride because the wind was sooo cold! 

I spent a few hours walking around Bainbridge while waiting for Sailor Boy to get off of work and come pick me up. Thankfully, Bainbridge has lots of little shops which kept me occupied. 

Friday morning I headed to downtown Paulsbo to walk the waterfront and main street of this quaint town. With my hot cup of fresh-brewed coffee in hand and camera slung over my shoulder, I set out on my adventure before the rain came! I walked for hours, took hundreds of photos, and explored several shops. It didn't start raining until I got back in the car to head back. 

We took the ferry over to Seattle on Saturday to meet up with Uncle Van & Aunt Janet for a wonderful lunch & walking tour to Pikes Place Mkt.  It was fun to see all the goodies and smell all the flowers and delicious pastries...  we ran into Jim A & his son James too! Jim is Dad to Mrs. Sailor Boy, also known as Sailor Girl! (She is currently out on deployment so keep her in your prayers!)

My final day in the PNW area was gorgeous! 

Frost on the grass and cars, fog everywhere else! It was simply beautiful. The skies opened up as I boarded my final ferry.  The Olympic range was shining in the sun and Mt. Rainier came out to say hello as well! Doubly-blessed! 

It was a great trip, but mostly because I was able to see my crazy boys. I love them and miss them so much!