Baby Collins | Raleigh Newborn Photographer

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These first few moments of life are just so unbelievably precious. The Crabtree family and their sweet baby girl, Collins, were just so amazing. There was SO much love between these three and it was pretty awesome to watch.  The absolute SWEETEST part was that Dad had refused to take off his bracelet from their time in the hospital. I mean, how sweet is that? Sweet Collins was a dream and slept for almost the entire session (which really RARELY happens with an in-home session). There's something about these lifestyle sessions that just warms my heart. 

Thank you, Crabtree family, for letting me capture you together. 

Simply stunning | Raleigh Photographer

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Claire is one of the most beautiful people I've ever met and working with her over this past year has just been so fun. Most of our time together is spent shooting editorial work for her blog and website, but sometimes I bribe her to stand in front of my camera for portraits. Her beauty is inside and out. 

The Fitzpatrick Family | Raleigh Lifestyle Photographer

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A few weeks ago, I hosted charity photo sessions for hurricane relief and I got to photograph THE BEST families. It was so much fun and my heart kind of loves mini sessions. They're short and sweet and just long enough to capture that love and connection of a family (without kiddo meltdown or fussiness). 

When I scheduled these, my hope was for pretty fall weather with those cool, crisp breezes. Unfortunately, NC is still on a summer schedule, but we made it work anyway. The Fitzpatrick Family were my first of 12 families and even though it was hot, they still showed up, loved on each other and let me capture them together.

Here's a peek at their sweetness. (And the mom, Sara, owns the best cupcake shop in downtown Raleigh! The Cupcake Shoppe is simply divine and if you're local, you just have to stop by and grab a cupcake (or 6))!

Baby Collins | Raleigh Newborn Photographer

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"Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."

Welcome to the world, baby Collins.

It was such an honor to spend some time with Allison, Chris and their sweet new bundle of joy, Collins. She was just a dream and so perfect in every single way. These moments are so raw, but so tender and being able to capture a new family will always be a great privledge to me. Thank you, Crabtree family, for letting me document this most precious time for you. 

Our summer on film: Ektar 100

Last week I mentioned my love for film and how I would be sharing some of the stocks I've been shooting just to help anyone else out who might be interested in film. Today is all about Ektar 100!

Ahh....Ektar 100 is just amazing. It has minimal grain and is just so vibrant! I started off with a love-hate relationship with Ektar but I was determined to figure this stock out because the colors are out of this world. I still don't have it down to a science, but after practicing and changing some things up I feel way more confident shooting this stock. I shot a few rolls of this when we were in St. John, USVI and the pictures were EXACTLY as the island was - bold, vibrant, clear, colorful! My biggest struggle with Ektar is the skin tones. Ektar has a red undertone and if you under or overexpose, skin tends to get super red/orange and scary looking, lol. My daughter has more red/orange to her skin tone in general, so I really noticed this if I overexposed/underexposed with her (vs. my son who has a little more peachy-pinky skin tone).

The key with Ektar is to expose it properly. When I first started practicing with Ektar I'm pretty sure I was overexposing by a stop or two (by the way I was metering - bulb in, facing down at 45 degrees). In the Virgin Islands, I didn't take into consideration the light reflecting from the sandy beaches, so I probably added on at least another stop of overexposure there....whoops! 

Now I meter (using my external light meter) bulb in, racing my camera, at 90 degrees....and typically, the skin tones are perfect!  The amazing Wendy Laurel has an article on her blog about shooting with Ektar that is definitely worth checking out!

 

Here's some of my favorite Ektar 100 images! 

Maxton is one | Raleigh Lifestyle Photographer

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I mean, what is better than a first birthday? 

Maxton turned one right before my session with his sweet family, so we HAD to incorporate a cake smash into our time together! This little buddy LOVES cake (don't we all, lol), and I absolutely loved watching him pensively taste-test the cake and then proceed to dive right in. Such a cutie. Cake smashes are where it's at, y'all. Happy 1st birthday little man!

To book your first birthday cake smash session contact me at stephanie@stephaniebryanphoto.com or via my Contact page.

Baby Carter Lifestyle Session | Raleigh Newborn Photographer

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You guys! There is seriously nothing like the air in a house with a brand new baby. There's nothing I love more than spending time photographing a family as they welcome their newest bundle of joy. I love how even though new parents are tired, their eyes have never seemed brighter. Thank you, DuPont family, for inviting me into your home and allowing me to capture this fleeting time.

To schedule your newborn session contact me at stephanie@stephaniebryanphoto.com or via my Contact page. 

Our summer on film: Fuji Superia 400

If you've been following along with me on Instagram, you've probably heard me raving non-stop about film. This summer I was kind of burned out with my personal work. I was struggling BIG time with creativity, motivation, ideas, self-doubt, weirdness and on and on and on. I am a creative person by nature and I ALWAYS have to be doing something, whether it be photography, sketching, knitting, dreaming, etc... But my creativity has to bring me joy. And excitement. And giddiness. There is a spark in me that has to ignited for me to love and enjoy it. And if that spark isn't there, well, then I'm basically just wandering around mopey and sad. 

Enter film.

Film was my summer challenge to myself. All of the cameras I had growing up were good old film cameras but I honestly knew NOTHING about film. And I was SO incredibly terrified of film. It was so different and way scarier than digital. I couldn't see what I was shooting. I couldn't change my angle if the first shot didn't work out. I couldn't make sure I was able to "recreate" what I had in my head. But I love learning new things, so I bought a Canon 1V from eBay, called up everyone I knew who shot film (thank you Ashley, Jamie and Jennifer) and basically just threw caution to the wind. 

What happened was magical. It saved me. It brought back my creativity. It let me get out of the rut of staring at the back of my camera and overanalyzing the image I created. It made me shoot for ME. It made me slow down and actually enjoy the process of "waiting" for the right moment to click that shutter. And that's just the photography side of things.

Film has made me a happier creative. It's made me a happier person, in general. I spend more time with my kids. I enjoy shooting and capturing them WAY more than I did with my digital camera. Film brought magic to the art for me. The unknown is magical. The process is magical. The moments are magical. Our life is magical. 

Don't get me wrong. I'm still terrified of film. I break out into a cold sweat every time my scans come through just waiting for disaster. And yep. Some images are absolutely awful. But most are magical.  They may not be technically perfect. The composition may be all off. I might have chopped a limb off. But you know what, the magic is still there....

Now usually when you start out shooting film, it's recommended to pick ONE stock of film and shoot with that so you get a good understand of exposure, how the stock reacts to light, yada yada yada. But yeah, I hate rules, so I basically threw caution to the wind and have shot every stock I could order from Amazon and B&H photo. I thought it would be fun to share some of our summer FILM photos here on the blog and decided to break them down by stock to maybe help out anyone who might be interested in shooting film/learning more about film. 

First up is Fuji Superia Xtra 400 (35mm)

-This is a consumer stock and you grab it at Wal-Mart and a few other local places (pharmacies, etc..).

-has only 24 exposures (which I kind of love because I'm always jones-ing to finish a roll)!

-It has an ISO of 400, so it's a pretty good choice when it comes to most any type of daytime lighting.  

-Kicks BUTT in full sun (but seriously, all film rocks in full sun)

-Pretty saturated colors

-Gorgeous skin tones when overexposed (it likes overexposure)

-Little grain

And here's a look at some of our summer shot with Fuji Superia Xtra 400!! 

Callie Senior Session | Raleigh Lifestyle Photographer

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"Appreciate the moment. Stop and look around you. Be thankful for all you have and where you are because this time next year, nothing with be the same."

I had SO much fun at this senior session with sweet Callie. We ventured around JC Raulston Arboretum searching for all the best spots. It was hot and sticky, but this girl made it look effortless and easy. Best of luck with your senior year, pretty girl! xo

To book your senior session, contact me at stephanie@stephaniebryanphoto.com or via by Contact Me 

Baby Henry Lifestyle Session | Raleigh Newborn Photographer

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Sweet Henry.

This dear babe and his adorable family are the best. His mama, Laura, and I chatted for what felt like YEARS before I finally got to hug her in person (and yep - when you meet me, I WILL hug you. I'm a hugger.).

Nothing better than a brand new family settling into their new routine at home.  Thank you, Harkin family, for allowing me to capture you all together during this amazing time. xo

To book your family session, email me at stephanie@stephaniebryanphoto.com; or contact me via my Contact page! xo