November 29th- finding the light with special guest JENNIFER LOOMIS, and October wrap-up!

Hello Mamas! It’s been a busy past few weeks with holiday photo shoots happening all over the place, so I have a lot to catch up on!  Here goes….


First off, please mark your calendars for our last Mamas With Cameras Monday night meeting of the year! Our next meeting is coming up on Monday, November 29th, 6:30-8:30 at Studio R! (Please note that it is the FIFTH monday of the month this month, due to thanksgiving week…)

This month, we are in for a special treat!! Our guest speaker is Jennifer Loomis, celebrity maternity photographer, who pioneered the current maternity portrait genre back in the 1990’s. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Time Magazine, CBS, ABC-you name it! She’ll be doing a presentation called “Finding the Light.” This has been months in the making, so I would say if you are going to make sure you hit one meeting this year, this is the one! 

Since it is our last meeting of the year, I’ll be collecting a donation of $10 from all of the mamas, which we’ll be using to get a holiday “thank you” gift for the staff at Studio R who generously allow us to use their space! Please bring your $10 in cash to make life easy, thanks!!


In other news, our December workshop filled up in a record two days, so we opened January registration early for the folks who couldn’t get in, and now that overflow registration is done, there are only THREE spaces available in our January 22nd Introduction to Digital Photography workshop! Get in while you can!


The assignment for November is to do a portrait exchange with another Mama from the club whom you haven’t worked with before. For November’s meeting, the partners will print out two images: 1) Their favorite image from the portrait session and 2) Their subject’s favorite image. (you’ll be surprised how they don’t match up sometimes!) If you didn’t get a partner at the meeting you can try finding a mama through our Google Group list serve .


Now on to the October notes for those of you who missed our presentation by Blissed Photography’s Laura Totten:

Equipment/shooting style:

-Laura shoots with a Canon 5D Mark II- she shoots at f/2.8 almost all the time, if she is shooting a family of 4, she’ll move up to f/8. At weddings she is between f/7-8 for most of the day except during formals.

-She likes to shoot in Aperture Priority mode for most of the time- she goes up or down 2 stops to allow for the light.

-her favorite lens is her 24-70mm, she wants the flexibility to capture the background elements or zoom in a lot during her shoots.

-She uses Adobe Lightroom to post-process, but recommends that you take a workshop and see what software fits best.

When talking about posing, she refers to her style as “the art of the unposed pose”. She favors really natural images and shies away from very “posed” shots.

It’s all about connection with your subjects

-put you camera away in the beginning

-get familiar to gain trust

-get a feel for their style and gauge their openness and expectations- formal, playful, directive.

The unposed pose

-have your subjects interact or do an activity. If you’re doing an activity, something natural happens.

-make them play: run, jump, skip, twirl

-for fall, have the kids throw leaves in the air- tons of fun!

Do something different

-people can’t be self-conscious if they’re doing something new

-make up a game

-have them focus or think about something to help them connect to the moment- if it is a pregnant mom, have them focus on the baby and what it will be like to meet for the first time.

-She did a demonstration of a technique called “flow posing” (thank you very much to our “couple” who pretended to be a bride and groom!) where she has two subjects moving constantly in one location, holding hands, then looking at each other, then walking away, then one looking back, then the other (it’s hard to explain if you didn’t see the demonstration, but I did google flow posing and found this Vimeo tutorial which isn’t relevant for photographing kids because it’s focused on weddings, but I thought it was a kick to watch how many poses and compositions this guy can get in 10 minutes, and I love the NY accent).

Expect the unexpected

-be ready for in-between moments

-allow for controlled chaos

-don’t put your camera down. She mentioned taking a workshop with Kevin Kubota, who shoots without a camera strap because he never wants to put his camera down. (But really, he should just get an R-strap ;-).)

Background & Light

-consider the light- is it window light, if people are backlit, consider a fill flash

-plan for a clean or interesting background. A background can either help or hinder your subject. Think carefully about background- use architecture or natural textures to create interest.

-Location, location! The arboretum is her favorite location because of the variety of light you can find at any time of day. She also likes to shoot at Golden Gardens, or in people’s own homes where they’re most comfortable. In Wallingford she likes all the colorful walls, and she also likes shooting at the Seattle Art Museum. In Georgetown, there are many brick walls which she likes to use as background.

-Dress- though she doesn’t prescribe a specific style of dress, everyone should be at the same level of dress (casual, formal), and no logo-wear, as it ages the pictures quickly and can be distracting.

She closed with a beautiful quote that she thinks about each time she is photographing someone new: “Every person you love was once a stranger.” It allows her to be excited about the new people she is meeting and the connections that she could be developing with them and their families over time.

Other notes from circle time:

if it’s raining, Bella Umbrella in Greenwood/Phinney rents fun umbrellas was recommended by one of our mamas, who got a cheap canvas for ~$60@

Mamas gave recommendations for good places to find kids’ hats:

MiaPia’s tutu, has girl accessories, including hats, tutus, headbands etc.

Tiny toppers for knit hats/photo props.

OK, th-th-the-th-that’s all folks! Hope to see you in a couple of weeks, and happy Turkey Day to all!





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