Hi! I've always just used my blog for Sneak Peeks, but I'm going to try & be better well rounded in how I use it this year in hopes of being more helpful as well as trying to be better at keeping all my internet venues updated. Some of you may not have realized that this September Star Portraits moved to Madison! We were blessed with a beautiful Victorian built somewhere between 1865 & 1870 & 1.6 acres of a metro park like setting which also include a darling garden shed, a beautiful, bright red barn, 4 enchanting arbors & a quaint creek. Our property also backs to a playground! Both our new home & land makes for magical & fun portrait sessions. Oh!! Oops! Maybe I should also re-introduce myself to my new area of Lake County!
I'm Dawn*! I grew up in theatre & dance, & photography has been another element of art that I have loved for many years. I even took a few years of TV Productions in high school. I'm a Nikon girl thanks to my wonderful & hottie husband...well boyfriend at the time who saw & noticed my passion more than I had & our first Christmas together; started me out with pro gear back in the days of film photography Having children of our own grew my passion to a whole new level to where I can't stop capturing & cherishing each moment of their innocence, wonder & beauty. Soon after our 1st baby was born I upgraded to digital photography & all the things involved with it. Besides my incredible husband ( and many of my wonderful friends who also have supported & encouraged my going pro with photography ) I am insanely blessed with 3 beautiful children!!! 2 girls & my baby man. I have been taking pictures for family & friends for years, but went pro to the public in January of 2009. Over all I would say I have 11 years of film & digital photography experience. Wow!! That's cool! I didn't even realize that myself! :)
I'm a primarily Self Taught Photographer. I say "primarily" self taught, but I have taken a class, numerous online tutorials & webinars as well as instructional books in photography & editing. But I feel I have learned the most of my knowledge from my own experience & mistakes in the shooting & editing process. Beyond anything I have learned or will continue to learn I can promise you that I shoot 100% not just with the lens of my camera, but with my heart. I truly think that is evident in my work. For me there is no better medium or mode to work with & I thank God for being able to do such.
I shoot In Studio ~ On Location or Your Home using 100% natural light. I bring with me a few prop items, but if you want background muslins & access to all my prop junkie accessories; those are reserved for In Studio sessions. Otherwise we go with your home surroundings, your yard, etc... Which I think are so special. Your family will look back and say, "Oh! I remember when we lived there. Good times! etc..." We can also use a blank wall where I can later add the invisible studio set up you couldn't have imagined at the time. It's magic!! haha!! Many of my mommy clients also prefer to use their own prop ideas. It amazes me what they come up with because they don't want the same type of posed pictures at the box portrait studios. They usually use things that are their childrens fave themes or things they are into at that age or many including myself have used items that belonged to a special family member who is no longer with us & want to incorporate them with their children in a very special & loving way. Besides the fun posed shots we also do candids. Your kids playing, moving about the house & just comfortable being themselves in their own environment. Kids get tired of the posed, prop shots very quickly. The candids is when they seem to shine brightest & then of course mom & dad gets the best of both types of pictures. Session are an hour, but I won't rush you. I take time to engage with you & your family when I first arrive & get my gear situated. I will play with your kids. Of course it tends to make them feel comfortable, but honestly I just lllove kids so that is something that is just part of my photography process. Not only do I lllllove babies & children. They are my most fave sessions, but I lllove photography. I enjoy it so much & it makes me giddy & happy & smiley...& sometimes I may just randomly hug someone. I can't help it. Hugs just happen sometimes! I may ask you to rearrange some furniture for better space. I need room to back up & get some shots. I may roll around on your living room floor to get that angle I am searching for. But I promise to never be intrusive of your space or your family. As much as i want you to love your portraits, I realllly want you to love the experience too! Newborns, babies, children & families are my specialty. Weddings are an extra special amount of work that I also take pride in, but also takes precious time away from my children ( 2 of which are not in school yet ) so for the time being I am stepping away from that venue, but I know some AMAZING wedding photogs & am happy to refer them. I'm based in Lake County, but will travel outside for an additional $25.
Miss Mamarazzi = My children & family come first. I book sessions around their busy schedule. Sometimes I will bring them to work with me. They are extremely well behaved, keep themselves busy & my oldest has on her own accord become my "Baby Wrangler" She loves getting kids to smile & look at the camera & she has proven to be very helpful. But if I don't have a sitter they are a package deal with me. Also our own family obligations, school events, cheer camp, etc... come first too. Please understand that Star Portraits is just 1 person...me. :) & because of this I sometimes book a month or a year in a blink. I wish I clone myself to be available for everyone. There are TONS of photographers & box portrait companies in my city let alone Lake County. Sometimes I think it is pointless & I wonder if I should carry on, but to me it's not a competition. I continue on with an open heart. I look at it as there are tons & tons of doctors out there & there are plenty of patients for all of them to share. It's the same with photography or any other field. If I am booked I am honored to refer other photogs I know if you like. I also have a Cancellation List. Sometimes sessions get cancelled in the last moments. If you were hoping for a certain month & can be ready that day, please ask to be put on the list so I can give you a call. I am happy to do so. Again, I llllove children & I lllove photography. I don't care if I am booked for the year or have months open. I will either be spending that time with my lovies or working in my passion. Well...perhaps I will still be doing both. I am hardly not taking pictures of someone.
I'm honored to get to know your children & families & preserving your treasured moments to keep forever in your hearts. Many have started as clients & have become special friends which has made working with everyone all the more emotionally tying to me. Nothing melts me more than walking into someones home & seeing my work on the walls. It brings me near tears every time.
I know that was a long blog post. I guess I have made up 3 years worth! I'm not a "blogger" or an English Major so please excuse any run on sentences or grammatical errors. I'm sure if my husband reads this ( He was in Honors English!!! He likes to brag! haha!! ) he has probably been shaking his head & slamming his hand on the desk multiple times by now. Let's bring it 2013!! Please email or call for packages & prices. It's your turn to shine!!!!