Feb 042016
 

I’m having a moment… a moment for change, preservation, celebration and reflection. All at once! (It’s a bit of a stream of consciousness post… bear with me).

This is the second month of the new year and I hope it’s treating everyone well. It’s been good to me thus far, especially in light of change. My only resolution for 2016 was to cut the garbage and create action. No lingering allowed and no getting lost in the details! But as I was moving, grooving and shaking this month- prepping my travel portfolio for a future collection, I came across this:

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and I got lost in the details, (lol). This is one of my favorite moments from our travels in Italy last year. It was cold, rainy, dark, damp and completely romantic! I always carry a few pieces of gear everywhere I go when traveling so I had them ready for this last-minute impromptu self-portrait of me and the hubs. I slapped a warm filter onto the end of my flash, strapped the flash into the tip-top of my umbrella and set-up my timer. It’s now one of my favorite photos of us. It takes me back, fills me with awe and wonder and makes me anxiously ask- “where the H we’re going next?!” I have no idea, but it’s gonna be good cause I’ll be with the best damn travel partner ever. So, getting lost in the details, occasionally, not so bad….

Now back to work! Here’s to rockin the rest of 2016.

Jan 052016
 

It was just another gorgeous, eighty degree winter morning in Los Angeles when I set out for Kolten’s shoot. He’s all of 2 months old and already bursting with personality. This was actually Kolten’s first session. Three years ago I had the pleasure of documenting his parents as they spoke their wedding vows so meeting and documenting him was an awesome bonus. Plain and simple, this family is Fantastically fun. Mom’s an talented R.N. with a quirky personality and dad is a working actor. I see him in commercials all of the time and so the spontaneity and sense of improv is always vibrant throughout our sessions. And Kolten, well, he was a zen master. Seriously, I don’t know what they’re feeding him but he was chill and happy for the entire hour. It’s not always that smooth however and It’s not their fault, they can’t communicate yet. I’d be cranky too if nobody understood my p.o.v. Sometimes they have a bad day, maybe he/she is teething or didn’t sleep and the last thing they want is a large camera in their face. So you roll with the punches, prepare for anything and try to make their session as comfortable as possible.

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For the ages of one and younger, I usually come to the family’s home and set up my studio there. In general I like to capture shots that embody each child’s spirit; their room, daily routines and any personal affects.  I start out by touring the house, mainly focusing on the natural light within. I choose the best spot and then set-up. Usually I set-up atop a bed or on the floor. I utilize one backdrop stand, a textured blanket (you can get a few good ones at IKEA), a few clips to hold it all in place and a prop-pillow for underneath. The set is super small, usually a max of three by four feet but it’s the perfect size for our subject. A few personal props and a sassy sailor-suit later, we have ourselves a shoot.

baby photography los angeles, bella baby photography, burbank ca, candid photography, diy photography, family photography los angeles, family portrait photographer, family portrait poses, fine art photography, journalistic photography, Los Angeles county, newborn photography props, photography blogs, portrait photography tips, professional photography, ©Jen Castle Photography

baby photography los angeles, bella baby photography, burbank ca, candid photography, diy photography, family photography los angeles, family portrait photographer, family portrait poses, fine art photography, journalistic photography, Los Angeles county, newborn photography props, photography blogs, portrait photography tips, professional photography, ©Jen Castle Photography

Keep in mind, Kolten is only 2 months here- he can barely lift his head, definitely can’t sit yet, is far from crawling and tummy time can be rough. So I always make sure to communicate with mom and dad ahead of time and we take breaks if needed, “if baby’s not happy, we’re not happy so break whenever needed,” If they’re hungry, we break. If they need to have a good cry, we break. It’s that simple. Usually, it’s no more than 2 breaks per session but you never know. From there, we play and I’m always creating action to keep things interesting- we sing songs, make funky noises, clap, dance, whatever it takes. Oh and stuffed animals can often be found dangling from the edge of my lens. It’s all about baby and I do my best to make the session safe, warm, fun and interesting.

baby photography los angeles, bella baby photography, burbank ca, candid photography, diy photography, family photography los angeles, family portrait photographer, family portrait poses, fine art photography, journalistic photography, Los Angeles county, newborn photography props, photography blogs, portrait photography tips, professional photography, ©Jen Castle Photography

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This is where personal affects or vintage hand-me-downs come into play. This home-crafted sweater and beanie were made for Kolten’s dad, it was his first outfit out of the hospital. The blanket he’s laying on was moms, also hand-made. Items like these are priceless for family photos and always make for a great gift with the grandparents.

baby photography los angeles, bella baby photography, burbank ca, candid photography, diy photography, family photography los angeles, family portrait photographer, family portrait poses, fine art photography, journalistic photography, Los Angeles county, newborn photography props, photography blogs, portrait photography tips, professional photography, ©Jen Castle Photography

baby photography los angeles, bella baby photography, burbank ca, candid photography, diy photography, family photography los angeles, family portrait photographer, family portrait poses, fine art photography, journalistic photography, Los Angeles county, newborn photography props, photography blogs, portrait photography tips, professional photography, ©Jen Castle Photography

baby photography los angeles, bella baby photography, burbank ca, candid photography, diy photography, family photography los angeles, family portrait photographer, family portrait poses, fine art photography, journalistic photography, Los Angeles county, newborn photography props, photography blogs, portrait photography tips, professional photography, ©Jen Castle Photography

This ended up being the winner for the Christmas card, we even got the family dog in on the action. The album that we constructed later (below) was a Christmas present from Kolten’s grandmother. It’s a 16 page, lay-flat. leather-bound album and it ended up being the perfect surprise for mom and dad on Christmas morning.


Here’s to 2016 everyone. I hope it’s treating everyone well thus far!

 

Any questions regarding the photography you see here or would like to inquire about wedding photography packages / family portraits?… Feel free to connect with us at any time through our social media or via email: info@jencastlephotography.com

 

Dec 222015
 

We managed to get our Christmas card done this year!… and in a timely fashion!!!… lol, I can’t believe it! It’s been about five years since our last card so it was time. In fact, our cattle-dog Shasta is only three years old so this would be her very first Christmas card photo session. In all honesty, I don’t know why it took us so long because our dogs are so easy to work with (we’re blessed) and we had so much fun doing it. And while it did take an obnoxious amount of treats and wackadoo noises from me, to get them to sit pretty, they definitely nailed it in the end.

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So without further ado, from our family to yours, we’d like to push a tremendous amount of joy and peace your way. Let’s be sure to spread the love this holiday season. Pay it forward, love thy neighbor and inspire the world. Thank you to my readers and clients for helping to create and support Jen Castle Photography. We love and appreciate you all!  xo.        Sincerely,  -Jen, Joe, Shasta and lil Hoshi.

 

Any questions regarding the photography you see here or would like to inquire about wedding photography packages / family portraits?… Feel free to connect with us at any time through our social media or via email: info@jencastlephotography.com