In early April I met Julia and Caleb in Dover, Delaware and we rode around to several interesting locations to take some engagement photos for their wedding guestbook. We had a nice day driving around and stopping at various out of the way places to take photos. When I gave Julia a little sneak peak via Facebook she wrote, “Blonnie—These are sooooo beautiful!!! Wow!! I’m speechless!! Thank you soo much!” I’m so happy she likes them and she seemed equally as happy when she picked up her album today! :)
Below are the spreads from their wedding day guestbook with the images I created from the day. Stay tuned: soon I’ll post some pictures of the actual album after printing. I know they’re both excited (as am I) for their wedding this coming Saturday!
It’s spring, the grass getting greener by the minute and the trees (well, at least one of the ones in my backyard) are getting buds. Soon, we’ll be seeing actual leaves on the trees here in Delaware. I can’t wait! Personally, I feel that you can’t beat a lovely leafy green backdrop for photos.
Spring has also sprung here on my own website and I’ve officially launched my new logo. This is my third rendition and hopefully my last for quite a while. I was pretty proud of my previous, self-created logo, but it just lacked a certain je ne sais quoi. My new logo was created by Krishna’s Creations and has some awesome qualities that make it more flexible for business use. For example – I really love the new watermark I was able to create using this logo (you can see it on the photos I’ve posted below).
More things that make me happy this spring: brand spankin’ new babies!!
I was very honored to travel to Pennsylvania and do the newborn portraits for an awesome friend of mine. Devon is one of the coolest chics I’ve met since moving up here to the North East from Texas (over 10 years ago! crazy!) and I was so happy for her and her husband when I found out they’d soon be parents. She is actually one of 8 siblings (yes, 8!) , and all of them seem to be equally as kind, welcoming and friendly. One of her sister’s had a baby just a little bit before her, so I was able to do a few pictures of her new baby as well. Not only did I take some pictures of the two shiny newborns, but a couple of the newborns’ cousins also came for the photoshoot. Can you believe the cuteness that abounds in this family? These little one’s parents are all just as beautiful! Next time they’ll have to let me get them in the pictures too. ;)
Here are a few photos from the snow we got in Delaware last Saturday. Now we’re due for another wallop tonight and tomorrow!! I can’t imagine what it’s all going to look like!
This is definitely the most snow I’ve ever seen. Growing up in Texas, it was a wonder to just see it falling from the sky, much less actually accumulating! Of course, this is the most snow in one season that everyone else here has ever seen as well – as long as the predictions come true.
The previous record was set in the 1995/1996 winter with a measurement of 65.5 inches and we have already gotten to 56.3 inches this year with the latest prediction estimating another 12-18 inches on its way!!
While at the conference I had the opportunity to attend many classes on photography and marketing from some of photography’s most successful industry leaders; all of which, were extremely inspiring. The majority of classes I attended were focused on wedding photography, with a few technology, marketing and portrait classes thrown in for good measure.
Here are a few paparazzi photos of photographers I ran into while walking around the tradeshow.
*Walks up to the mic* — *tap*tap* — is this thing on? Hi! My name is Blonnie Brooks, and I’m an addict. I’m addicted to taking pictures. I’m addicted to editing pictures. I’m addicted to looking at photographs. I’m addicted to learning about photography. I am so thankful for this addiction, because it helped me realize my dreams and discover what I’m going to spend the rest of my life doing.
I bought my first camera from a gypsy peddler on the side of the road. First, she told my fortune — My fate is to be an extremely talented, unique, world-renowned photographer. Next, she brought out an ornately carved silver box and told me that within it lay the key to my destiny. She opened the box slowly and a smokey glow began to envelop her caravan. Heavenly music filled the air as she carefully removed a turquoise Kodak Pazzazz 110 film camera. From that moment on, I knew my future as a photographer had been set. It was destiny.
Ok? Ok. Actually, I just wanted a fabulous story to share about how I knew I was going to be a photographer.
To be truthful, I don’t have a wonderful story about how I “always knew” that photography would play such a large role in my life. I wish I had realized it earlier — because maybe I’d have actually gone to college with the sole purpose of being a photographer. I would have been on the fringe of still being able to learn about film and dark room development methods, while still being young enough to enter into the digital age with ease.
So the real truth: My first camera was, in fact, a 110 film Turquoise Kodak Pazzazz. I took pictures of my friends at school – that was about it. Film was expensive and my parents paid. The transition I had into photography was very gradual. I wish I had realized where my interests were leading me sooner, so I could have begun my “love affair” a little earlier. I actually started by using Photoshop — without photos. I made my first webpage in 1994 with my own graphics that I’d designed in Photoshop. I have played with Photoshop from that point on (and had a webpage from that point on as well).
I bought my first digital camera in 2000 – another Kodak – a DC210. A 1MP camera. Seriously. But I loved it.
Around 2002, I started to get very involved in restoring old photographs. I would beg for people at work to give me their old torn and stained photos just so I could have fun seeing how well I could fix them. I would even find antique photos online and restore them just for fun! I had no one to give them to; I just wanted more to play with. I also did a little bit of digital painting in Photoshop with my Wacom tablet (I wasn’t all that great, but it was fun :) My favorite digital painting was of my doggy, Izzy!
We eventually got a better camera – this time it was a Canon PowerShot S400 (I still think that is a great camera!) I began taking it with us on motorcycle rides and would photograph pretty scenery from the back of the motorcycle. I never knew if the picture would turn out — but I took many and hoped that one or two wouldn’t be blurry! This was my ‘shoot and pray’ era.
The big epiphany for me came (like many other photographers of my generation) when my daughter was born in 2006. There were not many pictures of me as a baby. Actually, just a few (about 4?) and I had resolved that this would not be the case for her. I upgraded to a Canon G7, learned how to use it in manual mode and eventually outgrew the camera’s capabilities (I still use it as a casual/walk around camera – it is great!) I upgraded to a Canon Rebel XTi which gave me the opportunity to learn about RAW files and finally gave me the capability “develop” my photos in my own “digital Lightroom” (literally!)
I have since upgraded to my current camera, a Canon 5d Mark II. My DREAM camera. I am in love with it… seriously. If I weren’t already Mrs. Brooks, I would gladly be Mrs 5d Mark II, if it would have me. My “love affair” has reached an entirely new level.
During this time, I believe I have taken more pictures of my daughter than she will probably ever even get to see! In fact, my goal this year is to take -fewer- photos of her, but make the ones I do take, very meaningful. I want to capture the true emotion and detail in the moment and show exactly why I took my camera out to photograph her, in as few pictures as possible.
My journey into the depths of photography has only just begun…. I would love for you to follow along with me by keeping up with my blog. I hope to fill these pages with tidbits about my life, notes about my favorite things (sometimes photography related and sometimes not) and most of all, beautiful pictures.