<![CDATA[Baltimore Girl Photography - Blog]]>Tue, 14 May 2019 18:57:58 -0400Weebly<![CDATA[Baby Everleigh- Easter Giveaway Winner 2019 | Sherwood Gardens | Baltimore, MD]]>Tue, 14 May 2019 10:38:59 GMThttp://baltimoregirlphoto.com/blog/baby-everleigh-easter-giveaway-winner-2019-sherwood-gardens-baltimore-mdHow adorable is this little one?!  I photographed Everleigh when she was a newborn, too. She is her momma's rainbow baby and her perfect little smile could certainly light up a dark day. I was happy to see her smiling face again. She is a bit bigger now of course, but still such a tiny little girl. 

Everleigh's mom, Kayleigh, was the winner of the 2019 Easter Giveaway. She won a FREE session with use of my wardrobe and a large matted print in a beautiful gold frame. This outfit is from www.moderntot.co who I just adore. They have the most awesome outfits that range from newborn to toddle sizes. 

Ohh! Did I mention I do these giveaways often, so be sure to follow me on Instagram for your change to win friends =)
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<![CDATA[Professional Editing: Yes, It Matters!]]>Sun, 05 May 2019 02:11:13 GMThttp://baltimoregirlphoto.com/blog/what-i-see
I am not one to share unedited images. You pay for a finished product, and well, I can assure you that an unedited image is just NOT what you pay for.  When you invest in photography services you are looking for a complete service. If you went to a baker and purchased a cake and he delivered a half baked, undecorated mess, you would be pretty upset, right? 
 
With that being said, I do feel it is necessary to demonstrate the difference professional editing makes with your portraits. It is part of creating a beautiful product & giving you a stellar experience. We are all happy when we look our best!

The following images are from a recent personal branding session with the lovely Dr. Denise. We chose to shoot at Sherwood Gardens in Baltimore, MD. Sherwood is a truly gorgeous place in the spring and early summer. The park is full of painters, picnickers & children at play. I searched the park for an empty space, all the while looking for soft light. I found the perfect spot, with one downfall... there was a large circular sprinkler pad right where I needed her to stand. So, I put my photographer goggles on and I thought of the "big picture" versus what I saw in front of me. 

Can You See the Differences?

Unedited Image

Edited Image

I started by sending this image to my professional team of editors over at Photographers Edit who color corrected the image. The shadows needed brightened & the blacks were a little to deep causing the grass to look murky, so they had to soften them up. Then, it was my turn. I adjusted the tonal curve to make the highlights pop and added a bit of contrast. Then, that sprinkler pad had to go, as well as the corner of the building visible in the trees. After correcting the background, I decided to add a bit of gaussian blur to the bushes and grass in the background. The purpose of this is to add a layer of separation between the subject, Dr. Denise, and the background. Finally, I got to work making this lovely gal look her best. I removed the shadows casted on her dress along with any lines or wrinkles on the dress. I enhanced her eyes, whitened her teeth and enhanced the highlight on her lips. Afterwards, I softened her skin. Lastly, I lightened the small dark circles under her eyes. 

The difference is very visible between the two images. The ability to shoot in a less than ideal place and turn it into something beautiful is often referred to as "The Photographer's Eye". Most people have heard someone say the phrase "an eye for photography". If you scour the internet you will find many blog post and articles from photographer's everywhere titled "WHAT YOU SEE VERSUS WHAT I SEE" (or some variation of that phrase). "You" is meant as a general term for a someone who isn't a photographer.  To mean, the phrase means that what "you" see when you look at a scene isn't always what I see. You may wonder why a photographer chooses to shoot in a specific location, but I promise you, with professional editing most things can be corrected. If a tree in the background isn't quite perfect, if the wind has blown a few stray hairs lose or in this case, if the best light just happens to be on top of a sprinkler pad- a photographer who knows how to edit can correct those minor imperfections making your image perfect. 

Every session that I offer includes a gallery of fully edited proofs. I take my time to ensure each image is perfect before it is presented to you. I select only the BEST images to edit, which is called culling. I edit the images where your smile looks the best or your eyes aren't closed, where your posture is as perfect as possible, where your hair is in place and where you look the very best. I typically shoot 6-8 shots of each pose. This allows me to select the best one out of six (or eight) where you look AMAZING. 

If you would like more information, give me a call or send me a quick email. I am happy to answer any questions you have!
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<![CDATA[Fresh 48 Sessions at Special Beginnings Birthing Center in Arnold, MD]]>Sun, 05 May 2019 00:32:57 GMThttp://baltimoregirlphoto.com/blog/specialbeginningsWhile I offer Fresh 48 Sessions to any client, I offer a very special deal to mother's who give birth at The Special Beginnings Birthing Center in Arnold, MD. I have partnered with their facility to bring an amazing deal to the families who birth there. 

It is important to note that FRESH 48 is not birth photography. This is a session meant to capture the special moments that happen within the first 48 hours of birth like mom's first feeding, dad's first diaper change or a first sibling meeting.

I offer Special Beginning's parents two package options:


​Crib Only Session

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Crib only posing is just the baby. It is all about capturing those adorable little baby details- those perfect fingers, those little toes, that head full of hair, or maybe a bald head. It is completely understandable that a mother who just created life wouldn't feel like being in front of the camera. This session focuses on baby, so mom can rest. 

I use minimal props during any Fresh 48 session because I want it to be more about authentic moments than about props and backdrops. This session is meant to be real and show off your beautiful baby . It is a perfect moment & it doesn't need any additives. I do have a few headbands and wraps, but you are welcome to dress baby however you like. In the case of Rachel, who is pictured here, mom chose a simple pink onesie and a letter board for her announcement.

​With crib only posing, I will spend a half hour photographing your new bundle of joy. You will recieve a proof gallery of 18 fully edited images that bear my watermark, ready for social media sharing. You can choose any 6 of those images for high resolution digital download with no watermark. You can print the images you have downloaded or you can purchase prints from me. You can also purchase additional digital images for download at a discounted rate.


 Baby & Family Session

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The Baby & Family session capture those special first moments between your family, as well as all the beauty of your baby. You will recieve a half hour of baby only posing & a half hour photographing your family. I aim to capture moments like dad's first diaper change or the first meeting of siblings. 

Your ​little one will not be this size long. They grow so quick. They way they smell will soon change. They way they need you so desperately will not last forever. The grip of that tiny hand on your finger, so tight, will soon loosen. They will discover the world, but for now your family is his/her world. 

I have a selection of silk robes for mom if she desires, but mom is welcome to wear whatever she would like, as is the rest of your family. 

This session comes with a proof gallery of 25 watermarked images, ready for social media sharing. You choose any 14 images to download in high resolution format for printing. 

​Important Session Information & Tips

Birthing Rooms & Hospital Rooms tend to be small, so I ask that you have only those you wish to be photographed in the room. Please have other family members wait in the waiting are until we are finished shooting. 

Toddlers can be a handful in a birthing room. There is so much going on and so much to see. It is best to have them arrive right before we shoot the family portion of your session. They should arrive about 20 minutes after I start photographing the baby only portion. This allows their main focus to be on the new baby and on mom, who they may not have seen in a while. That focus doesn't last long. Trust me! After about 10 minutes of checking out their new brother or sister, they will be over baby and on to pressing buttons on the hospital bed. In my experience, this is just the nature of younger children. 

An announcement board is available for use. Let me know as soon as you have baby's weight, birth time, etc what you would like it to say. 

While your family is free to wear whatever you would like, the images are much more beautiful if your attire has a cohesive look. For example, if mom is wear my white silk robe with blue floral pattern, it would look nice for dad to wear a blue button up shirt. Your family does not have to be overly dressed. Remember, these images are meant to be authentic & real- NOT posed and over done. 

FRESH 48 is best done within the first two days after birth. I am avaliable for Special Beginnings Sessions on the following days: Wednesday from 5pm to 7pm, Thursday between 11am to 2pm, Friday from 11am to 2pm and Saturday/Sunday from 1pm to 3pm. 

As space for these sessions are limited & I only have availability for 2 sessions each day, they do fill up quickly. I recommend you reserve your spot during that week in advance. Then, you would just call me when baby has arrived to establish a time. Those who reserve a spot will be allowed to select a time before those who have not.

If you have any questions, please call me at 443-653-4712.

If you have not designed your birthing plan yet, I highly recommend you look into Special Beginnings Birthing Center.

Click here for more information about the services offered there.  
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<![CDATA[Baltimore Girl Photography | A PPA Photographer]]>Sat, 08 Sep 2018 04:00:00 GMThttp://baltimoregirlphoto.com/blog/baltimore-girl-ppa

Great news for Baltimore Girl Photography Client-
Ashley is now a PPA Member!!

What does this mean for you, the client? 
The PPA, or Professional Photographers of America is an amazing organization that provides excellent benefits to members.

​For starters, they provide their members with equipment insurance and indemnification. They also assist with copyright. 

​What makes it so great for clients is that when you hire a PPA photographer you can rest easy knowing that you are hiring an insured photographer. You can also sleep well at night knowing that if for any reason your data (images) is lost, the PPA provides your photographer with world class data recovery assistance from Drive Savers to recover any images that can be recovered. As we all know, Murphy's Law happens sometimes, no matter how hard you try to prevent it.

​The PPA also offers it's members education not only for photographic skills, but business skills, too. They offer their members wit sound business contracts. While these contracts protect the photographer, they also ensure that the client gets everything they are promised. This organization holds its members to very high business standards and members are expected to earn merit, pay dues and remain in good professional standing to maintain membership.

​The biggest benefit to you is the trickle down of savings. The PPA grants its members wonderful discounts on education, gear, liability insurance and so much more. These savings can be 10-50% a year. A lower cost of doing business means you save money, too. 

When you are hiring a professional, it is always best to go with someone educated, licensed and insured. The PPA provides me (Ashley) with education & insurance. This means Baltimore Girl Photography is now a trifecta! Becoming a PPA member was an easy business decision because it benefits everyone.

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<![CDATA[My Why: Why am I in Business?]]>Fri, 07 Sep 2018 02:12:25 GMThttp://baltimoregirlphoto.com/blog/mywhyI participated in a very interesting webinar last night by the fabulous Julie Paisley. She mentioned something very interesting that got me thinking. She said that most professional photographers' had never thought of their "why". I started to think about why I decided to follow this career path, & I came to the realization that I was one of those photographers she was talking about. I could not answer the question of why. Why did I initially choose to be a photographer? Why did I go into business in the first place? Why do I appreciate my clients & what do I want them to gain from a session with me?  

​I decided to sleep on it and start fresh this morning with a clear head. I decided I would write down the first 5 things that came to my mind. I wouldn't alter them, because I want my "why" to be a true statement. 

I decided to start my business anew this morning with a brand new response when people ask me "why" are you a photographer, or "why" are you in business.

​Here is my why... 
​I am in business to provide a fun, memorable, real experience for all of my clients. I want to provide each client with a product they will cherish for a lifetime. Years from now, I want my clients to look at their images and smile, laugh, cry, whatever- as long as the image evokes an emotion. I want my clients to feel beautiful & special. Most of all I want them to feel like the small part of their real life I was able to capture is art, because each and every client is a masterpiece. ]]>
<![CDATA[Baltimore Girl Debates: Prints vs. Digital]]>Sun, 03 Jun 2018 04:00:00 GMThttp://baltimoregirlphoto.com/blog/baltimore-girl-debates-prints-vs-digital
How do you preserve your memories?
This is something that I have teetered back and forth on the whole time I have been in business.. printed or digital images? Now, of course I give every client a print release, but are they actually using it? This week is the would be 30th birthday and 11 year anniversary of the death (yes, all in one week) of one of my very best friends. It is at times like this that I am reminded how much printed images really mean to us.

​Do me a favor? Ask yourself a few questions for me...

Do you still have those images that you took on your phone 5 years ago?

​Now.. I want you to think back to sitting on grandma's sofa, looking at all those photo albums- wasn't there something so nostalgic and awesome about it? Ok, now what will your grandkids have to look at if you never print and image?!

​If your found those questions as alarming as me, if you fear for the loss of your memories- I would suggest buying a few prints here and there. If you still aren't convinced, please read on! Before you do, let me warn you this post is much more personal than many of you are used to. 

​I want to share a few images with you that are my favorites and explain why they are so special to me. 

Picture


​This is my grandfather "Pap" in his formal army uniform in the 1950s. He passed away when I was very young. I don't have many memories of him, but I feel a connection to him when I see this image. 

I just love this photo of my grandparents. They had this kind of timeless love and even after 50 years together, they still showed it. I always tell my hubby that my dream is for us to have this kind of love! This amazing man left us a little over a year ago. He stepped in to raise not only my mom & her siblings, but a slew of grandkids, too. He was one of a kind, and so much more to my family than he ever had to be. I love looking at pictures of him and telling stories of his silly antics before he became too  sick, and was no longer himself.
Now, my mom is probably going to kill me (insert giggle), but...
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I couldn't resist! I mean, how cute is she in her senior high photo? I don't often get to see this dolled up side of my mama. She is always so busy caring for other people, that she forgets to take some time for herself. She is busy all the time. I know that she often feels like she isn't the same woman she used to be. I hope she knows that this beautiful young woman is still inside of her. 

With this next photo, I will embarrass myself a little.
                  World, meet baby Ashley!                 
This is a photo of me with my "NaNa" (Aunt Kay). Growing up she was a second mom to me when my own was sick with ovarian  cancer. She was my second mother, and I was the baby she couldn't have. My mom was in and out of the hospital a lot for a few years, and NaNa took great care of me. She even bought me two horses. Yep, two of them! Luckily, my mom is better now & I get to have both of these amazing women. NaNa now lives a few hours away from me with her wife Deb, and I rarely get to see her. I sure do love my NaNa tough, and she obviously loves me. So much so that she had family photographs taken with me for her house.   
Ohh, and here is another of baby me. This is of my wonderful Grandmother Rosie (who is no longer with me) & her grandbabies. This woman raised 14 kids, all by herself. Life wasn't easy for her. Her family was Polish immigrants and they struggled greatly. Despite all she had went through, and how little she had- my dear Granny always had a smile on her face and dinner on her dining room table. She was a great woman- a saint, really. She passed away when I was 15 and not one Sunday goes by that I don't miss her Sunday Fried Chicken & rolls. This photo reminds me of a time when our family was still a cohesive unit and still made a point to see one another regularly. All that changed when our glue was taken from us. Now, we see each other once a year at a family reunion. 
This is one of my favorite images from my wedding day. I have told you all before, I am a daddy's girl! I love this genuine moment our photographer captured between me & my papa-bear. I have always felt like he looked so happy & proud of me in this photo. It makes my heart happy when my daddy is proud of me.
This is a photo from prom, my sophomore year in high school. The beauty in the pink and black dress is Kendall, one of my very best friends in high school. Sadly, she died that same year from a rare form of cancer called Ewing Sarcoma. I know you can't tell it by looking at this photo, by my dear friend was very ill here. She passed away that summer. This is one of the last memories I had with her before she was hospitalized the final time.
Last, is the inspiration for this post. This is a "selfie" ta
This grainy photo, that I took with my Motorola Razr so many years ago (& luckily printed) is the single photo I have of Amber. We weren't besties for long, but in a short time she became my first ever roomy and one of the best friends I have ever had. She died awaiting her second lung transplant on June 6th, just days after her birthday on June 3rd. Her first transplant was a success for a while, but she became ill again and never made it to a "new-new" set (as she would refer to them) of lungs. Today, June 3rd would be her 30th birthday. This picture is all I have of her and I together. 

​Here is my point-

What happens if all you have is a digital copy of an amazing memory? Technology is ever changing. In 20 years that disc or usb probably will not even be relevant. My Motorola Razr is long gone folks & I'm sure yours is, too. Sadly, so is my Granny Rosie, my Peepop, my Pap & my  Amber. If I did not print this awful grainy photo from my 18th birthday party, I would have nothing left- except what I keep in my heart. If I have kids, what would I show them to introduce them to these wonderful people they will never meet?

Please, print your memories guys!

You never know how special a small snap shot or image from a photo session might end up being to you one day. I am in no way suggesting you print every image, but every once in a while, hit that print button!! A print will last far longer than the technology you are using to read this, I promise.

​I send love above to all those featured in this post. To those who I can still hug & tell"I love you", & to those who are no longer with us here on Earth- thank you for a lifetime of love & memories. I love you all...
& to you sweet Amber... I hope you have the biggest 30th birthday bash in heaven! You are forever missed & never forgotten. 
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