I know it doesn’t quite feel like it yet, but the autumn is upon us!  Before you get distracted by the cool breeze and the smell of pumpkin and spice in the air, it is time to book your fall photography session!  

As much as I would like to photograph all of your happy faces, I will (mostly) be sticking to my 2 session per month rule so spots are limited.  I unfortunately won’t be able to accommodate as many families as I have in the past, so if you want a session, act quickly!

Now for the fun part.  Just to show how much I love an early bird, I’m offering a $20 credit towards prints in my print shop to the first 3 people to grab a spot.  

 

Below are the available sessions and dates:  

Full Sessions:  $385 – You may choose either Saturday or Sunday on the available weekends.  Sessions will be about an hour long and be held in the evenings an hour before sunset at a location of your choice.  Full sessions include 20-30 edited high resolution photos.

Mini Sessions:  $260 – Only 3 of these sessions will be available and will ONLY be available at specified times on October 25 at Nichol’s Park in Gilbert.  Sessions are 30 minutes long and include 10 edited high resolution photos.

  • September 25th or 26th – Full Session  Booked!

  • October 3rd or 4th – Full Session  Booked!  

  • October 10th (Full Session)   Booked!

  • October 25th – Mini Sessions at Nichol’s Park
    • 4:15 pm – 4:45 pm
    • 4:45 pm – 5:15 pm
    • 5:15 pm – 5:45 pm  Booked!

  • November 1st – Full Session  Booked!

  • November 14th or 15th – Full Session  Booked!

Contact me at Mjeras@gmail.com to snag a session.  HAPPY FALL!

 

 

Its not everyday one gets to snuggle with brand new babies, so holy cow, am I grateful for such a lovely job perk!  Newborn Tristyn was just 8 days old on the day of the shoot, and is as sweet as they come.  The rest of the family was equally as sweet, and I’m sure if Tristyn could, she’d be giving a pretty big fist pump for being so lucky to be born into such a nice gang.  With 2 super fun and silly older sisters, and an awesome mom and dad, I’d look pretty content like this too…

 

Here are some of my other favorites from this session.

 

Remember the giveaway I had last month?  I NEVER have giveaways so this was a pretty big deal for me, and I have to say I was giggling with excitement to see who would win.  The challenge was to take a look at a series of photos on this blog and guess what the change was to my upcoming sessions.  I had a variety of creative guesses, (including several just silly guesses that I was expecting another baby!)

Well, my dear friend Michelle was the lucky winner, and in her words, “stalking your Instagram photos,” pays off.  That smarty pants guessed correctly that I would be incorporating film into my sessions in the future, and her prize was a child mini session on film.  Lucky for me, that meant I got to do a session with her super handsome and charismatic little man, Avery.

Not that I can say any of my session feel like “work,” but this one was so far the polar opposite of feeling like work it was just silly.  Avery and I went trailblazing through all the vegetation, climbed trees, and searched for dinosaurs in all the crevices of the park.  Did I mention Avery is a walking 5 year old dino encyclopedia?   So. much. fun.  

Here are some of my favorites of this little buddy of mine…

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“You must save them to a floppy they said.
And so, I did.

And then they stopped making floppy disks.

You must NOW save them to a CD or DVD, they said.
And so, I did.

And then Apple stopped making CD drives.

You must NOW save them to a hard drive or USB drive, they said.
And so, I did.

And then the hard drive failed to open and the USB drive reads empty.

You must NOW upload them to the cloud, they said.
And so, I did.

And there they sit today until the next thing comes along.

Meanwhile, the print over the fireplace looks down and smiles. And the family photo albums on the bookshelf nudge each other and giggle.”

-Lynn Cartia


This brilliant little ditty was recently shared on social media from Lynn Cartia and it is oh so relevant to a project that I just finished.  My good friend, Julie, recently asked me to restore a collection of old family photos.  This project had me so delighted, and with each photo I restored, my heart did a little happy dance.  Family history!  This is important work people!

Seeing all of those charming old photos, and playing a roll in keeping Julie’s family history safe, left me inspired, but also with the sudden dreaded feeling of “Oh crap.”

Yup, you know that feeling.  Where you know you have an important task to finish but you keep procrastinating, and then the swift realization that it is STILL not done.  Yeah that one.

What about MY family history?

For me that realization came in the form of “Oh crap, my children’s childhood photos are still 90% on a hard drive!”  I previously posted this blog on the importance of family history and printing your photos.  I vowed to print all of my photos.  I had good intentions, and to give myself a little credit, I did print some and got more hanging on the walls, but the majority of almost 6 years worth of photos still were not in a tangible form.

Hard drives are known for failing!  What if I lose any trace of evidence of those chubby wrists, the weird baby hair, messy faces, countless kid projects, vacations, and boat loads of milestones.

Nothing like panic setting in to put you into action.

Well, low and behold, I am relieved to say that I’m officially the proud owner of hard copies of my photos from 2009 until now.  Soon they will be organized in albums nudging each other and giggling should my technology ever fail.

Weight lifted.  Phew!  I feel better.

Ok back to Julie’s photos.  This really was so enjoyable to hear about all of the loved ones in the photos and to see all of the family resemblances.  I wanted share some before and afters of a few of the restorations.

In honor of a little #TBT, I wanted to take a second to reminisce about the blog I had a few years back called Melissa From the Ground Up.  It was a quaint little blog with the tagline “Almost everything is better from scratch. Here is to living simple, doing it yourself, and being connected to life from the ground up.”  There was really no purpose behind this blog except that I liked to share my fascination with learning about things in their original form.  As a family, we pretty much live by this, not because we feel like we’re trying to prove anything, but just because it is fun and interesting, and for most things, it just feels right.  (It also could be that we might be a little weird, but I’m ok with that.)

This blog featured anything from gardening, to kid projects, to our DIY home improvement projects.  It had instructions on how to make your own yogurt or bake your own bread, and even a recipe for homemade deodorant.  It shared our adventures in solar ovens, home birth, cloth diapers, my challenge to myself to not use the microwave, and a story about why you should wash your vegetables first before eating them straight out of the garden.  (If you missed that last one, don’t ask, I’d rather not relive it.)

Anyways, there is a point to this reminiscing.  Taking a step back and looking at all those little things that inspire me, it was a total “duh!” moment as to why I have fallen head over heals in love with, and have a sudden infatuation with film photography.  

I admit, being in my own little photography bubble, the first time I heard about photographers using film instead of our expensive and fancy new high tech digital cameras, I was intrigued but honestly a little confused.  Film is a dinosaur I thought.  Why would someone want to use it?  Film is a slow, film is expensive, and most importantly, you can’t look at that little screen on the back of your camera!  AHHH!  Who even develops film anymore?

My confusion quickly ceased when I began looking at other photographers’ images.  It had been years since I had looked at one really.  What did I see?  Character, softness, beauty, details, and glorious glorious nostalgia.  I can’t even fully describe it, but I was instantly in love.  I could not (and still can’t) stop staring at film photos.  Even photos from my heroes in the digital photography world, I would not study them like I do almost every film photo I view.  

I quickly began reading everything that I could get my hands on about film in an effort to try to relearn it.  I took photography in college, but that was forever ago and it was only black and white.  How does the process even work?  

After figuring out the basics, I couldn’t get my hands on a film camera soon enough.  I pulled out and dusted off my old Pentax film camera that I used for my college photography courses.  I went out and bought batteries for it and a few rolls of film.  Unfortunately, when I fired it up, I found that it wasn’t working properly.  I then searched ebay, and after some research I decided on and bought a Nikon F100.  I got it in the mail, shot two rolls with my kids and sent the film off to a lab to process.  

Then, like waiting for Christmas morning, I waited for the scans to show up in my email box.  I was literally dreaming about them.  Would the exposure be correct?  Were any of them even in focus?  Was I going to even like them after all of the studying I just did, and money I spent on the camera, film, and processing costs?

Finally, I saw the email I was waiting for.  “Your scans are ready.”  I downloaded the files and opened them up for a look.  At first, I honestly didn’t know what to think of them.  They were so different than what I am used to looking at in my digital work. 

…So I closed my laptop and walked away.  

About 20 minutes later, after the first soaked in, I opened the files again for a second look.  With that second look, I realized how much I really loved them.  


I was sold.

The details were amazing.  Its like each hair on my daughter’s head was clear and distinct, but also soft and natural at the same time.  The highlights were retained, even when overexposed.  The skin tones were beautiful.
Best of all I didn’t have to spend hours editing them like I would have if they had been digital photos.  They were perfectly beautiful on their own.  A few tweaks here and there might be needed, but nothing like the retouching and color correcting that is needed with digital.  For a mama who wants to be on the computer less and with her family more, this in itself was like a gift from the universe.  Visions of me going to sleep at normal hours instead of being up editing in the wee hours of each night crept in my head.  Why hello bliss.  

What about the slow and expensive part?  I’ll be honest, the slow part is probably the best part about it. Not only does it make me slow down while shooting and really think about each image, but the anticipation with the processing time is seriously like waiting for Santa.  It is so much fun.  And the expensive part?  Well time is money, so I’m willing to make the trade.  


So, after reading that previous blog that mentioned film, or seeing my film photos pop up on Instagram or Facebook, and you’re wondering what I’m thinking, here you go.  This is the why.  
M o r e   i n f o