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Cheer Up Mouse- In Film

CONCEPT

Several weeks ago I was asked to collaborate on a project between Brittany Jepson of The House That Lars Built and Jed Henry a well known illustrator and the creator of the newly released children’s book, “Cheer Up Mouse“. The book is darling. My kids and I read between 30-60 minutes each night to wind down and I was eager to make this book a part of our collection. They love it. The language introduces fun new verbs to little ones using a sing-song language, features illustrations are nostalgic and a sweet story line of loving others as they need to be loved.

PRODUCTION

Jed and his wife Tanei Henry organized 10 children who were each unique and wonderfully easy to work with. Our team transformed the studio into a minimalistic forest where the children interacted and played out the parts of the adorable animals from Jed’s book. I cannot say enough about the savvy, forward-thinking styling of Brittany Jepson. She is amazingly talented with a personality perfect for large projects. She’s a calm, organized, visionary artist. She created each of these masks and sourced the costumes from local and international children’s clothing stores. She successfully extracted the essence of Jed’s book and translated it well for a small play for children.

PUBLICATION

To see more images and the entire content from this project visit The House That Lars Built where you may see 1) Instructions for doing a small play with children based on “Cheer Up Mouse” and 2) Instructions for making your own masks at home.

I was so happy that our work was featured on the Houghton Mifflin Young Readers Blog as well.

TEAM

We were lucky to have  Jocelyn Brown on our team who is truly the best and most professional hair and makeup artist I’ve worked with on a large production. We have worked together twice now and I hope to make a habit of that.
Thank you to my friend and assistant Meikel Reece for her support and work on this, and every project.

Documenting Childhood- A Collaborative Workshop with Leah Naomi

This workshop is designed for intermediate and professional photographers who have access to a DSLR camera, with some experience shooting in manual mode and a basic knowledge of aperture and shutter speed. Your time with us will be divided into three parts: lecture, mentored shooting and an open question and answer forum.

Topics and exercises will include but are not limited to the following:

• Finding confidence to shoot in manual mode in both ideal and and difficult environments.

• Composition, cropping and how to overcome common problems such as blur, motion, shadows and low-lighting.

• Creating the optimal atmosphere to encourage natural expression from even the most challenging children.

With 12 years combined professional experience, Ashley and Leah bring a wealth of knowledge and skill invaluable to any photographer looking to perfect their craft. Come for what surely will be an enjoyable afternoon of instruction, practice and defiantly a few laughs.

 




 

Children’s Portraits- March

I am really excited about some new changes I am making so that I can offer high-quality, heirloom services and products that better serve my children’s portrait clients. Here are the changes that will begin this month!

- In the past I have offered Children’s Portraits as a promotion that runs 4-5 times per year. In order to accommodate the many requests I get between promotions I am happy to announce that I will be offering these sessions monthly!

- I will now be offering gift prints, albums, fine-art quality enlargements, and folios. As part of your session you will be invited back to the studio to view your portraits.

- For an additional and very reasonable fee,  you may book your children’s portrait session at your home or another location of personal significance. Portraits of children in their own homes, rooms and backyards with sticky faces, outfit change piles and signs of their lives in their environment deepen the personal nature of the portraits and set the backdrop for my work to reflect the individuality of each child.

- I will be offering quarterly art portraits. These will be held in my studio or at unique outdoor locations. Art portraits differ from children’s portraits both in their availability and in their cost. The first of this series will be a collaboration with Erika Eddington of The Fleurist. I will post more information about session availability here in the next few weeks.


Foundations in Photography- Workshop at Harmony in Provo Utah

I am very excited to announce my latest collaboration with Harmony Provo. I will be teaching a Foundations in Photography class on Saturday May 18th from 12- 1:30 pm. During this 90 minute workshop I will help you learn how to take well-exposed meaningful images. You will learn the basics of shutter-speed, aperture, ISO and white balance.  A model will attend so be prepared to shoot.  Learn how to get the most out of your camera!

Call Harmony at 801/615.0268 to reserve your spot. Session fee is $60.

This is first come first serve and has a small capacity so call soon!

Nikki Bertola - I would like to reserve a spot if you still have room in your workshop. My phone number is 951-252-3533. Thanks so much!!

Nikki

admin - So glad you came Nikki!

Thoughts // the family home

I have shared some of these images before, but last night as I was working through some professional and artistic projects I found these again. I love photographing children. The raw, uninhibited expression and total freedom to use their surroundings as extensions of themselves creates so much room for me to be creative. The pressure is off and I am able to provide them with the space and comfort needed to create the perfect environment that yield the portraits I prefer.

When working with children, and all clients in fact, the family home is my ideal location. A lot of potential clients feel apprehensive to have their home documented and I understand. Society’s demand to have a magazine-ready home can be burdonsome but we can either comply with or reject this demand. I have never been inside a client’s home that I didn’t love and want to photograph. Certainly some homes appeal more to this wanting by the variety in light, texture, composition, and style but I can honestly say that all homes draw me in. When I was first starting out I felt like photo sessions in canyons and fields were ideal so most of my sessions were conducted away from my client’s homes. Luckily, I would still have the chance either in the consult, when we met for the session, or when I delivered my packages to meet them at home. I always felt a little regretful of the open field wishing more for a session on kitchen counters and under backyard trees. I wish I  had the bravery to honor what I was drawn to as a new photographer.

Gaining the confidence to shoot what you love  is something that only experience can teach. I didn’t know how hard and disappointing it would be to shoot things I didn’t like but now I do. Saying no to certain clients, shoots, opportunities, collaborations and partnerships is admitting you aren’t the right fit for the job because sometimes you aren’t and the word no becomes a way to honor your client and what they want. As Justin Hackworth says about developing your voice, “Say something”. I would add to that, “Say something, but don’t say everything.” I didn’t understand what he meant when he started mentoring me as a new, young, overly-confident photographer. I didn’t understand it because I didn’t know what it meant. I understand better now. I understand because I have 5 years of experience with the a cowards regret. I didn’t have the bravery necessary to speak and I didn’t know how to learn from the discomfort of saying things I didn’t mean. More importantly I didn’t understand what a huge guide the tangible joy of developing my voice and seeing it reflected in my work was for my personal and professional development. I’m not there yet but I look forward to every new work, photo and opportunity that will gift me with more experiences in learning to say what I mean.

Cluttered or minimalistic, modern or eccentric each home becomes completely rich to me in material and inspiration. Last year I photographed the family home of some close friends. I empathized with their apologies and worked hard to push through their objections that I photograph things that, to them, seemed unworthy. I didn’t push out of disrespect for my client’s boundaries rather, I sense a clear difference between a boundary and an undefined objection. I find that an objection is usually something that time or experience will remedy. I’m not taking photographs to represent cleanliness or sell paint colors. I am taking photos to document the life that my clients live. These images improve with time. I’ve experienced this again and again and so have my clients. The unattractive forehead bump on a toddler’s head today is the endearing mark of development that parents will, and do, ache for as time carries them away from the little years. Images of toy-littered childhood homes today will become a long-gone symbol of a family that evolves and a childhood that gives way to aging. These things are remembered with nostalgic love that doesn’t much care for or notice worn-out rugs and unfinished projects. And this is why I do what I do.

lauriann Wakefield - Do you know the work of Molly Flanagan? http://mollyflanagan.com/
I think you’d like her.

Kristi Burton - Ashley-I love this and I love your work. I feel the same way. There’s something so beautiful about imperfection. xo

admin - Kristi,

Thank you so much for your comment! I am glad to see your work on FB! Well done.

admin - Lauriann, I took a look at her stuff and very much understand why you wondered. I do like her! How did you home session go the other day?