Dreaming of the Future
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Behind The Lens

My family and I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and my children are always such troopers while I dress them up and take them out to follow my imagination. The area that we live in looks so unreal, nature provides the perfect backdrop for anything you could possibly dream up.
The Golden Hour is always my favorite time to create magical fantasy-like portraits, so when I saw the sun setting I grabbed all of my equipment and walked the kids to the nearby field while everything was still glowing.
Using only natural light for my outdoor portraits, finding the perfect spot to place my littles was so important. I typically look for a shady spot to keep the sun from glaring off of their porcelain skin, but this particular area was only beautiful open field as far as you could see. The sun shared the spotlight with my kids and gave me a beautiful warm flare to work with!
Shot with a Canon 5D Mark III on a 50 mm lens.
I'm a sucker for themed portrait sessions and a family member had given my children these 4th of July outfits to sport for the holiday. I was so grateful for the thoughtful gift and thought that I would take advantage of the adorable pieces with an Independence-themed session. I wanted my children to represent a timeless feel: two small children holding a limitless future of possibilities, almost seeming to discuss something between them. The freedom of nature all around them and an underlying message of how beautiful our country is.
Highlighting the flare from the sun was so essential, I increased the brightness to contrast and give a glittering background for the butterflies that I then added in. The colors around the field were so brilliant and beautiful, I added a touch of richness and matte throughout the portrait to really wrap it in the classic look that I envisioned.
In my camera bag
My Canon 5D Mark III is my best friend. I tag it along with my go-to 50 mm that was used for this portrait, and a few other secret-weapon lenses that probably do more work than I do. I lug around a tripod that I honestly have only ever used to justify the purchase, and when I'm doing studio sessions I never leave without my jumble of lighting equipment. I back up my camera-bestie with another Canon: the T2I that I originally taught myself on. Two very different cameras, abilities, and sensors but I wouldn't have my career without them.
If you're in the Pacific Northwest it's all about being patient with the weather, and being flexible due to changing weather patterns. One moment it will be hotter than the surface of the sun and the next a great typhoon could appear from thin air. If you can meet the perfect weather during a sunset you're guaranteed a beautiful shot: nature provides the most magnificent backdrops. Find a shady spot to pose your subject in so that you keep shadow patterns and blinding highlights from washing out their skin, turning their back toward the sun. Wait for the right moment when the sunlight flitters through your image and viola! The perfect Golden Hour shot.

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