I looked at my blog the other day. I knew it had been a long time; and in fact the longer it had been, the longer I stayed away. But, finally, I came back. It has been a year and a half since I have posted here. Sad, but true. So i decided the best way to get back into a photography blog was with a session of “selfies”, to let you see how much I have aged in the past year. 😉 Self portraits are always the hardest sessions for me. I much prefer to be behind the camera – not in front of it. But I think it helps me grow as a photog to do them from time to time. So here they are. Enjoy! ~ Christine 🙂
Its not that I really LIKE having my picture taken….surprisingly I don’t…which is probably why I rarely ever ASK anyone to include me. When I sift back through my memories, however, I am a bit troubled by the fact that SOMEDAY, when it may be important to them, my children will not see me in any of these pictures. There will be but only a few pictures of me throughout there lifetimes. Why is that, I wonder?
I know the simple answer. Its because I am the one always taking the pictures. At first, I was convinced that this was because I am a photographer, and that I have a rather expensive camera that no one in my family feels comfortable touching. As I talk to more of my friends (also moms, I must add)…it seems that this is common in most households. Millions of pictures of the kids. Lots of pictures of Dad and the grandparents, several of aunts and uncles at family holiday get togethers, and one or two of Mom. Period. If you are lucky. Most of the time, only if you asked.
In honor of Mother’s Day, I would like to offer the local moms of Erie PA the opportunity to change that.
I am offering a Mother’s Day Photo Contest. Check out the rules below. But its simple: have a friend, your spouse, or a family member grab your camera or cell phone and take a snapshot of you (mom) with your kids. It can be silly, it can be sweet, it can be anything you want it to be. Email that to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday…and you will be entered into the contest. How do you win? With votes (see below). The winning prize??? A free session with me on Presque Isle in June. But the beauty of it? Even if you don’t win, you have a picture of you and your kids. It captured you and them at this exact moment in time. They will have that picture to remember you and them, and where you were at this moment in time, and they will have it (hopefully) forever.
Looking forward to receiving your submission! All submissions will be posted here for voting beginning on May 1st.
Christine Erin Photography – 2012 Mother’s Day Photo Contest – Rules and Details
1. You will need to submit a photo of yourself with your children to be entered in the contest. Please submit with the tag line you would like used to represent your photo. (ex: Susan, Mary, and Margaret…etc)
2. The photo you enter in the contest must be taken by yourself or a family member… And you must have permission to use the photo. (no copyrighted or professional photos, please).
3. You can not currently owe Christine Erin Photography for any past sessions due.
4. Email photo to : email@example.com. Photos will be collected from now through April 30 (only 2 days!!!) . Photos will be posted on Christine Erin Photography’s BLOG (https://christineerin.wordpress.com/) on May 1st. Voting will begin May 1st and run through May 12. Winner will be announced on Mother ‘s Day (Sunday May 13th).
5. You can vote for your photo once per day, each day, from May 1st through May 12. Tell your friends, post to Facebook, tweet it…..the person with the most votes wins the contest. It’s that simple!!! So rally your team and have everyone vote once a day if they can for these 12 days. I will post a direct link to the page for voting on May 1st.
Grand Prize Winner: FREE session with Christine Erin Photography in June on location at Presque Isle.
BONUS!!!!! If we get 20+ photo entries, I will offer a MINI session day in June to ALL participants of the photo contest for $50.00 per session, and each family gets a free 5×7 print of their favorite “pose”from their session with me. So spread the news…tell everyone about the contest!!! Then you can either win your FREE regular session, or get a $50.00 mini session with Christine Erin Photography!
HAVE A WONDERFUL MOTHERS DAY! YOU DESERVE IT!
Hope – “to cherish a desire with anticipation”
While growing up, my one “hope” or desire was to have a child/children and be able to be a stay at home mom. Once I achieved that goal, the word “hope” took on an entirely new meaning.
I hope they are healthy. I hope they have a good life. I hope they stay safe. I hope people are kind to them, and that they experience as little heartache as possible. I hope they find happiness. I hope they find someone, someday, who loves them as much as I do. I hope they have children of their own. I hope they live long, prosperous lives.
I have so many hopes and wishes for my children, and every night when I pray, I always ask for these things for them. Hope, I have found, is really all that I have.
I can’t believe how long its been since I have blogged! I apologize to my many clients who have not had their (gorgeous) sessions put up! I guess the birthdays and holidays of November and December have gotten the best of me. 😛
Here are a few snapshots of the beautiful couples and families that I have been blessed to photograph over the past few months! A huge thanks to Leah and Johnny, the Showman Family, and the Young Family for allowing me to photograph them and get to know them a bit better! 🙂
I tried to think of a word, one word, to title this blog post with.
Celebration…recognition….nostalgia…..honor….. Many words were swirling around in my mind, and I just could not settle on one. Finally I determined it was because there wasn’t really “one word” that could describe the wonderful event I was fortunate enough to photograph this past weekend.
W.I.L.P Hall of Fame. (Acronym of WILP represents Wesleyville, Iriquois, and Lawrence Park) Each year, this organization inducts people who are quite impressive in our city’s history of sports. Their records are so impressive, in fact, that they are to be recognized permanently and forever in this Hall of Fame. As quoted from their website: “All inductees must have been out of school a minimum of ten years. They must have distinguished themselves or have made a significant impact on athletes in one of the three schools. These graduates must have demonstrated good citizenship in high school and beyond. They will continue to serve as role models for our current school students.”
I knew it would be fun to watch these people and their families and friends celebrate this life achievement together. John Kolb, a former Pittsburg Steeler, was the guest speaker for the evening–so I was excited to photograph him, as well. SO I willingly took the assignment ,and went off to my 3 evenings of photo shoots to document this event.
What I did not realize, was how many WONDERFUL people I would have the pleasure of meeting. How deserving they were of these awards. Over the course of three days during the different events, I got to know a little tiny piece of both the people who were inducted as well as the people who run the WILP Hall of Fame. The people who come from across the country each year to support it. Wow…I was blessed to get to know these men and women. I only wish I had more time to talk to them and get to know them better while I was there. (Sadly, an occupational hazard of event photography is you have to be so focused on the moment, you have little time to talk.)
I sincerely thank them all for allowing me to share in their celebration. I applaud them for all of their accomplishments (both the inductees, and the people who pull this event together each year!) I hope that by photographing it for them, I have returned the favor by preserving the memory it has now become in their lives. 🙂 And with that, I leave you some of the photos. Enjoy!~
Something has been bothering me for a while.
At first, it was just a nagging little bothersome thing. I could put it away and not even think about it—until it hit me in the face again a few days, weeks, or months later.
Each time that I was “exposed” to this bothersome thing, it grew. It grew from a minor annoyance, to a bigger annoyance, to a major annoyance. Now, it has become a thorn in my side. A perpetual thorn, that in order to get rid of I MUST pull out. I can’t just let it sit there and get infected anymore. So, the way I know best to just yank it out is to write about it, to share it, to explain it. Maybe then, I will understand it. Maybe you can give me insight into it. Maybe I will just feel better for venting.
I am a photographer.
Yes, thats right, I am a photographer.
I call myself a professional photographer.
Now, how will you judge me????
Being a professional photographer, I like to surround myself with other photographers. In this day and age, its very easy to do that. There are blogs, facebook, twitter, and a numerous other amount of social networking sites that allow me to look at others work, see their ideas, hear their stories. Is it because I want to steal from them? No….its because I want to LEARN from them. be INSPIRED by them. Every time one of you clicks “like” on my blog or leaves a comment….I go to your site. I pour over the pictures. Some I love, some I just like. Not because of your lack of talent or your greatness of talent—-a lot of it is personal preference in art. But I am so thankful I have this medium to learn from you all. To see HOW you manipulated light, HOW you composed, WHAT you saw. Its all truly inspiring to me.
And this leads me to my point.
Guess what??? You were a beginner once. I was a beginner once. There will be thousands of people that are beginners after us. Did you have someone who inspired you? Did you have someone who judged you?
The first time you picked up your camera, you may have gotten one or two good images out of 100. A year later, it might have been 20-30. The year after that, maybe 50-60. Thats the learning curve. We have all experienced it.
Although I have been obsessed with taking pictures for 18 years, I have been a “professional photographer” for 2.5 years now. I have a LONG way to go to hit the level of talent of someone who has been doing it for 15 years. But guess what? Someone who has been doing it for 15 years has a LONG way to go before they hit the talent level of someone with 30 years under their belt. Some of it is a gift…a talent…..a lot of it is knowledge. Its a combination which, through time, training, and experience gets more and more fantastic.
So why…..WHY….do I constantly see posts by photographers who have been doing this for 10 or so years SLAMMING the new people? Guys……don’t you remember when that was you?????? Don’t you remember when you started with a Canon Rebel or even a point and shoot? My first camera was a Rebel, and while I have been fortunate enough to upgrade, it taught me many things and was a great camera to learn on.
Don’t you want to inspire? Why do you want to hurt? Does it make you feel better about yourself? Is it a competition? I just don’t understand.
This isnt something I have seen here on any of your blogs. I am also not referring to ‘constructive criticism’ that we all, as artists, can benefit from. What I am referring to are usually : “And THEY call themselves a PHOTOGRAPHER” articles posted on Facebook or Twitter by other photogs I am linked up with. Things stating how TRUE this article is, and how EVERYONE should read this, and how if you have a Canon Rebel you are NOT a real photographer. I would link you to these articles, but I don’t feel like embarrassing anyone today, and to me—these are an embarrassment. These articles make me cringe. Hmmmm. Are they referring to me? To the new guy? Or to anyone they don’t view as good as them. Some of these people posting this stuff need a serious check of their ego, because while they may be good….. they certainly aren’t the best thing since sliced bread.
My favorite photographer in the town I live in has been in the business for 30 years. They are outstanding at what they do. They make a great income, and are not at a lack of clients. They are well known and well respected. Do you know what else they do? They offer classes, workshops, training sessions, and other forms of learning mediums to new photographers. GASP!!!! They are sharing their knowledge!!!! They are helping the people who WANT to be professional photogs, or are new professional photogs, get BETTER. They are inspiring others!!!!!!!!!
I wish everyone was like this.
So this is my small, little challenge to you. If you call yourself a photographer; regardless of amateur, professional, or hobbyist….. the next time you have the opportunity, please help someone who is learning. You would be surprised how that little act of kindness could change someones perspective forever. 🙂 Come on, it’ll make you feel good…. 🙂
This week……I was lucky enough to do 4 (yes, FOUR!!!!!) trash the dress sessions. (I think I am now officially an addict.) One session I posted already (click here to see), in a barn setting that was SO fabulous and fun. This week I did grafitti walls, waterfall streams, beaches, and even brides up in a TREE! How awesome is that?!?!?!?! I hope you enjoy looking at these photos even a fraction of the amount that I enjoyed taking them. These ladies and their guys were awesome! I thank them for letting me be a part of these memories of their wedding days and dresses. 🙂
I was married 18 years ago, and the concept of Trash the Dress sessions after weddings hadn’t even been thought up yet. If it had, I would have been first in line…..these are the most fun of all the sessions that I do!
If you arent familiar with “trash the dress” sessions, here is a basic description via Wikipedia: Trash the dress, also known as fearless bridal or rock the frock, is a style of wedding photography that contrasts elegant clothing with an environment in which it is out of place. Usually brides decide to have pictures taken on a beach, but other locations include city streets, rooftops, garbage dumps, fields, and abandoned buildings.
So, you can find images of women doing crazy things such a ripping the gown, or even setting it on fire while they are wearing it……all the way to the other end of the spectrum of just some relaxed shots, in a place other than a church or reception hall, where the bride and/or bride and groom are just having fun together.
Why do I wish that this concept had been invented waaaaaay back when I got married? One of the things I remember about my wedding night (when all the festivities were over) was how sad I felt that I had to take that gorgeous dress off….and never put it on again. Off it went to the storage/preservation box, never to be looked at again. TODAY, these lucky gals get to wear it again. To PLAY in it, without the stress of the wedding, the reception, the nerves, and all else a wedding can entail. Its like a “FREE TO BE ME” session in the most gorgeous thing they will ever wear. Who wouldnt be in LOVE with this idea???? 🙂
Bittersweet. That would be the definition of my mother/daughter session last week.
I had the opportunity (and privilege!) of photographing my nieces and their mom before the girls go away to school. One to a prestigious college, the other to a prestigious boarding school she has been dreaming of attending. Both girls, leaving home and spreading their wings within 3 days of each other. Bittersweet.
We chose an urban session in downtown Erie. There are so many beautiful things downtown, we weren’t at a lack for gorgeous backdrops (and I wasn’t at a lack for gorgeous subjects to photograph!). 🙂
One of the things I most treasure about my job as a photographer is giving people memories. Forever memories-to hang on their walls, to put into photo albums, to watch on slideshows on their computers or tvs-whatever they choose, I have helped to give them that gift. Sometimes this gift is more evident than others. Sometimes people realize it during the session, some more as they are looking through their pictures after the session is over, sometimes it might not occur to them until years later what they actually have in front of them. A priceless moment, frozen in time by the click of the shutter. I think these three ladies realize, as they are all embarking on a new path in their lives, what a priceless gift they have in these photographs.
What a fantastic family I was able to photograph last week at the beach. Amy, Shawn and kiddos were so much fun, lighthearted, and easy to capture pictures of while they played on the beach and in the water. The girls were so happy and had such a great time, I ended up with more shots of them than I knew what to do with!!! Thanks guys, for giving ME a great memory of a fantastic session on the beach with you!