Hello, DeF-Stop Fans!
The Fall/holiday photography season is coming to a close. It has been another amazing experience for me. I am grateful for so many returning clients who honor me by asking me to capture their families again. When I can see these kids grow taller and another year wiser, I feel blessed.
I am also thankful for so many new clients who learned about me from referrals. There is no greater compliment! I look forward to seeing more photos shared with my name on the photo credit on Facebook/Instagram and to opening many holiday cards with familiar photographs. My clients often send me a photo of their walls decked out with my photos and it is awesome! For the first time recently, a client shared how they showcased my work in a painting that they commissioned to have painted. Wow! If you have any examples to share of how you have used my photographs, I would love to see it!
Thanksgiving is a daily practice for many reasons, photography being a BIG reason for me!
…and here I am. Where I love to be.
It has been an immense honor and privilege for me to photograph in my community. Whether it be family, senior or newborn portraits, head shots, sports photography, events or another reason, I truly love photography. Combine that with the fact that I love where I live, I am very lucky. What has been even more of a blessing has been getting to know an extended network of clients and new friends. It is a great feeling! (Though, there is more pressure to avoid wearing sweats while grocery shopping because there is no such thing as going incognito at Safeway!)
Since launching my photography business 19 months ago, I have felt very proud that I have been able to give back to my community almost immediately by sponsoring a few local events and organizations. The Moraga Baseball Association, the Moraga Juniors Women’s Club’s “Beyond the Garden Gate” Tour and the Moraga Ranch Swim Club’s upcoming 2016 season are recent and some repeat examples. In addition, being available to donate my photography skills to these and other non-profits such as benefit concerts, triathlons, schools and more ends up being a bigger gift to me since these are such amazing and worthy causes.
While I cannot say yes to every opportunity, I do enjoy what I can do. I hope that you might have come across some of the photos that I have taken for these groups!
So, in honor of being where I am, and loving where I live, I am excited to announce that I just joined the Town’s Chamber of Commerce.Yes, DeF-Stop is Legit!
Too legit, too legit to quit…
Okay, sorry, I could not resist.
Are you in town for the 4th of July? Be sure to visit my first-ever BOOTH during the morning festivities at the 2016 Moraga 4th of July Celebration.
After the Fun Run, cross over to the Commons, grab your pancake breakfast and then please stop by my booth to say hello. You can enter to win a free photo session.
You can also sign-up for one of my summer photo sessions on Saturday, 7/16, Sunday 7/17 and Sunday, 7/24. Email me to sign-up for one of these spots, or stay tuned for Fall Photo Sessions, which will be released in time for the booth!
Cheers to you all and thank you the continued support that you generously share with me!
Life in a small town certainly has a few drawbacks. We lack “nightlife” unless you count the crowd at the gym or Safeway at 9pm. We would benefit from more restaurants though the newest eateries show lots of promise. Our biggest controversies tend to be about traffic, protecting open space or whether or not to allow a Dollar Store to set-up shop.
However, as a small community we do a LOT really well, including but not limited to: prioritizing safety, supporting education (preschool through Saint Mary’s College), or coming together to help during a crisis – be it a landslide or a neighboring family that is struggling. The outpouring of concern and willingness from virtual strangers to step-in to help is inspiring, beyond generous and makes me feel so proud to be a part of a close-knit community.
Small towns also certainly know how to have fun! Popular events include summer concerts, the Town’s Cinco de Mayo and Oktoberfest celebrations, Spring Egg Hunts and recently, an army of volunteers hit it out of the park with the 2nd Annual MBA Opening Day Parade.
February 27th was a bright and clear winter day, and DeF-Stop Photography was honored to capture the celebration as the official MBA photographer.
All 21 teams along with their coaches participated in the parade, from the littlest sluggers, who loaded up on hot chocolate and donuts, and had wide-eyes as they dreamed of hitting their first home run to the veteran 8th graders who did not walk but proudly rode in vintage convertibles while laughing and posing from time to time during their last MBA opening day and everyone in between. The crowd was happy and excited to cheer these players along the route. You could see young siblings waving flags, parents and grandparents tailgating with breakfast and video cameras in-hand and many residents who stopped during their morning run to cheer loudly along the route.
The traditional MBA Opening Day Ceremony that followed did not disappoint as teams stormed and/or strutted into the gym to their team’s theme songs. Boy Scouts presented the flag, the JM band played the Star Spangled Banner and Campo Cheerleaders cheered. Local businesses visibly and financially sponsored the raffles, alumni from local high schools and guests from Cal Men’s baseball came (back) to talk to the young players and inspire them to work hard and have fun this season. What a day of the Town coming together to celebrate.
It is only the end of January, yet my daffodils have been blooming with intensity for well over a week. What makes more sense is that it hailed this very cold afternoon, and there was a rainbow. Mother Nature is a tad bit eccentric these days!
Early Spring is one of my favorite times of the year, and it is one of the best times to photograph.
Beautiful flowers and blossoming trees create such a vibrant and memorable backdrop for family, engagement, graduating senior and headshot photo sessions. I enjoy the conversations we often have while photographing on these Spring-time shoots since no one can get over how each subsequent blossoming area is as, if not more beautiful than the next.
Email me today to schedule a photo session to take advantage of the seasonal opportunity. Late February/early March is the peak time before the blossoms are gone. Some weekend times are still available for locations within the Lamorinda area and where the numerous blooms have already begun to appear.
Talent. Joy. Athleticism. Artistry. Beauty.
These words describe what I had the privilege of viewing while photographing the annual CAPA (California Academy of Performing Arts) Nutcracker ballet performance in December. It was another community photography opportunity for me that I thoroughly enjoyed….I certainly must have enjoyed it since it resulted in over 2,800 images to sort through afterwards!
From a technical perspective, photographing in a theater is challenging. You are usually in a dimly-lit theater with fast-moving dancers under multi-colored stage lighting where flash is prohibited and you are searching for a good spot that does not obstruct anyone’s view. These conditions definitely pushed my camera’s functionality and my own skills, which is precisely why I enjoyed it so much! One moment a dancer might be lit by white light then the next moment, two yards to the left, the dancer or their partner are lit by green light! Yikes! The settings on my camera had to constantly and quickly be adjusted to keep up.
Next there is the need to know or anticipate where the action will be. From which direction will the dancers enter? When will they turn, leap or jump? Listening to the music for cues helps as does knowing the choreography. This is very similar to sports photography – if you miss the moment, it is gone.
Finally, reviewing the images and selecting the ones for the parents’ gallery allowed me to experience the performance again but more fully. I could better see the myriad of facial expressions up close as well as analyze the full choreography as a still scene. The best part of the post-production review was seeing how much fun the dancers were having: from the youngest tots dressed as party guests to Mother Bon Bon in drag to the poised high school Queens and Fairies. Their excitement to share their talent and results of their hard work during the performance was completely contagious.
Bravo CAPA dancers and staff! Great work yet again! I am very grateful to have had a small role in capturing this beautiful tradition.
The DeF-Stop Fall/Holiday mini sessions concluded last weekend. Can you say “whirlwind?” 😉 It has been a gift for me to spend some uninterrupted time with many families, getting to know each one just a little better through my camera’s lens.
A bonus is always hearing later how the photos get OUT of the computer and get used in framed wall galleries, prints, ornaments, photo books and more.
An even BIGGER thrill is the excitement of receiving and opening our mail to see so many beautiful photo cards featuring images of smiling and laughing faces that I captured. I literally have been running to the mailbox like a kid at Powell’s. I feel a mix of emotions: pure glee, pride but most prevalent is a feeling of gratitude. Here I am, while working full-time and raising three kids with an ultra-supportive husband, getting to pursue something I truly love. Thank goodness also for coffee!
My clients have generously shared their feedback about their images. I appreciate their excitement. I am also in awe of their creativity to showcase the photos in such new yet meaningful ways.
Meaningful is what largely sums up why I am a photographer. Not only for the love of capturing who my subjects are at their very essence and how they interact but for being able to convey this same glimpse of personality for the world to see. It is meaningful and often magical. It started with me photographing who I loved the most, and now I get to share the fun.
As the year winds down, I want to thank those who chose me to photograph them this year. I am especially appreciative to those who referred me to friends, posted about me in online forums and/or who wrote up a review. I look forward to seeing what will be in store for DeF-Stop Photography in 2016 and I really look forward to creating meaningful images many times over in the year ahead.
Best wishes as we continue this holiday season and may your 2016 be picturesque.
On Facebook: DeF-Stop Photography