Subscribe to the feed Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Email Us

Welcome to Verve Life Portraits:

We offer custom photography services for High School Seniors, Newborn Babies, Weddings, and Families. Book today and pre-pay for your package and get your session fee FREE! That is a $125 savings!

  • 10 on 10 – February

    February 10th, 2012

    10 Images One Day February

    This is a personal project.  It is chance for me to look past technical imperfection and post pictures I love for reasons other than perfect focus and lighting.   When I was first starting, I tossed a lot of these kinds of photos.  I’ve grown.  This is what counts.  Real counts.  Who cares if you can count the lashes.

    Leappad.  Morning.  Big Boy.  Mess.  Teething.  Draw.  Robot.  Read.  Real.  Bedtime.

    10 images of my kids from February

    10 Images One Day February

    Leappad.  Morning.  Big Boy.  Mess.  Teething.  Draw.  Robot.  Read.  Real.  Bedtime.

    Shot with D300 ISO 1600-6400 in my very dark house.  Various wide apertures, mostly < 1/100.

    Follow our group journey by visiting Melissa Van Leeuwen, Tillsonburg, ON Photographer

    Sick day

    January 31st, 2012

    Mend soon little one… mommy loves you.

    sleeping baby

    What was I thinking? (no… really!)

    January 31st, 2012

    In trying to “get out of my comfort zone” I committed to a series of 12 self-portraits for 2012.  I mean really?  How hard can it be to take ONE picture of myself per month for a single year?  I thought… I WILL NOT leave this until the last minute.  This is something I can DO.  It’ll be fun.  It’ll be real.

    Well, turns out…  as per usual for this super procrastinator, I left it until the very last moment.  I didn’t even THINK about it until Nancy Lary, a South Bend Indiana lifestyle photographer posted on my facebook page with a quite innocent “selfies today?”.  Uh, yeah… Panic.  I’ll make time tonight.  I committed.  I must make this happen (cue the heart palpitations… ).  I’ve decided to wing it tonight, with promises of a better effort next month (uh, that starts in 3.5 hours self… start immediately!)

    I’ll be honest.  This is more real than I intended it to be.  I work full-time, at a demanding job, then come home every night to another demanding job of being a mommy of young kids that NEED me (every second of the day).  The baby has been sick.  He only knows about 2-dozen words with 23 of them being a firm “NO” and the other one being a softer “no” followed by some piece of rejected food being thrown at my face.  I know he knows more than that but lately, his repertoire has been “fine-tuned” by this new vocabulary of single syllable words beginning in N and ending with O.  I don’t remember my older guy being this… obstinate… but my husband assures me he was.  How can I feel outnumbered when there are two grown-ups and two kids.  We clearly should have this under control.  Should…

    After caring for a sick baby all night, I hauled myself out of bed at about 6 this morning and headed to the office.  We should have been ready by 730, but somehow time slips away and we pushed into daycare at 8AM sharp, the time I’m supposed to be IN my office.  Imagine my surprise when I walk in and suddenly remember that while I was away last week on business, my office was being moved.  Begin the hauling of accumulated files of useless old stuff from the old place to the new.  By lunch I was exhausted, and I hadn’t even started my day.

    At 5:30 I called it quits, headed home and was relieved that my wonderful husband had picked up the kids from daycare and was mid dinner prep.  Lovely.  We ate before 630.  This is a miracle on most days.  My older son needed to use the potty mid-meal, and after having strawberries chucked at my head for 15 minutes I was relieved to call dinner over.  It worked out well, this potty break… the baby smeared vegetables in his hair between strawberry chucking and “NO” meaning I could kill two birds so to speak by bathing the baby while I waiting for the lovely “Mommy, I need a WIPE!”.  Awesome.

    730 rolled around and the baby was in bed, so I set out to get this self-portrait.  No time for anything but REAL here.

    self portrait | this is real

    I often spend the last 30-minutes of my day in me-mode.  I’ll watch MTV reality shows for a dose of insipid drama or read in my kindle.  Brad joins me and we watch the History channel.  I swear I swore I’d never be my dad in this way.  Turns out the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree.

    It’s not exciting.  I know.  It is real.  For that I’m not ashamed.

    Better luck next month, right?

    Shot with my D300, Manfrotto tripod (it goes all the way to the ground which I’m sure will be useful someday), 10 second shutter delay.  ISO 3200, 1/100.  Wall canvasses from our family session this past summer by Jen Mahoney, Beaverton Family Photographer.  She’s amazing (LOVE <3).  They are 24 x 24 and make me smile every day.

    Fine Art Friday | Camas Wa Photographer

    January 27th, 2012

    I’m participating in a few personal projects this year, primarily to push my own boundaries in both shooting and processing.  It is so easy to feel down upon my own art, simply by looking at others art.  It’s a strange thing really, because I’ll be joyful about what I’ve shot one second, then think it is trash the next.

    The goal this year is to really push myself outside of that thought.  I want to shoot more for me, more for my kids.  I want do document the people, places, and memories of our lives in a way that is organic, and not lead by other trends in composition and processing.  Basically, I’m looking to make me happy.  Photography is a wonderful and life-long hobby.  Anyone can do it, and everyone sees things differently.  If you are a photographer, I hope you’ll share this process, and start thinking about every shot you make as art, rather than a photo.  Your eye is as unique as mine, and even starting with the same camera and lens, using the same tools, we’ll come up with totally different pieces of art.

    This project is a group project, so please step on over to check out the work of a friend of mine Beth, a New Hampshire Family Photographer.  She does great family and newborn photography.  All of us are getting out of our comfort zones.  The assignment is to shoot something as “fine art”.  That is a tough one, because art is subjective overall, but the definition of fine art doesn’t lend easily to photography.  I think my friends have stepped up to this challenge.

    My photo this month is an interesting perspective of the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York, New York.  The project was just completed after 100 years of construction.  The place is magnificent.  A camera and lens simply cannot do the building justice as it is massive in size and minute in the details.  Everything is simply gorgeous and tons of artists have poured their lives into the project.  Make it a stop on your bucket list if you hit NYC. You’ll be glad you did.  I shot this lens with my Nikon D300 and 50MM 1.4G lens.  The image was processed in Adobe Lightroom3, then a texture added in Photoshop CS4.


    Newborn Goodness

    December 31st, 2011

    I took a trip to NYC this fall and spent some time with family that I hadn’t seen in 20 years (or ever met in some cases!)  We sat around and chatted mostly, had some drinks, got to know one-another.  It was such a great time.  I honestly wish I’d taken the kids and hubby with me (who am I kidding?  a week off was luxurious!).  Seriously though, family connection is important.

    Being that I have a passion for photography, I asked my Aunt Phoop … well, really Aunt Susan but at the age of 2, I called her Aunt Phoop, to pull out the old family photos.  Devistatingly, I found that a great majority of them had been lost but there was one treasured shoe-box remaining.  ONE box of photos to document our family for the last 75 years.  Wow.  I wanted to see them and I wanted someone to sit with me and go through them, one-by-one.  I wanted that connection and to know who each person was, how old they were, where the photo was taken.  I spent hours that afternoon, deeply entrenched in my family history and laughed, cried, and listened to stories I’d never been told before.  It was honestly “good times”.

    As we went through I noticed that some photos just really “stick out” in a collection like that.  First, the newborn photos.  To see what my Dad looked like as an infant was amazing.  My youngest son looks JUST like him.  It is incredible.  The other two ages that stuck out to me were the shots at about 5-7 years old, when those first teeth fall out and you start to see the “grown up” in that baby and the high school graduation pictures.  These photos I’ll treasure forever.

    Sorry to ramble, but I just want to share one picture today.  This is baby E.  He was only 9 days old in this photo and he sure has changed a lot already.  Those newborn moments are so fleeting.  I’m so glad I get to take pictures of babies.  It fills me with excitement of new life, and it fills me with joy knowing that someday, some where, a relative might find the picture in a shoe box and think their baby looks just like him.