Tuesday, November 15, 2011

maddie and ariana

a little something i made last night for my dear friends, alan and emily. so blessed to have friends less than 4 hours away. :)

Maddie and Ariana from Yen Minns on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

pay it forward.

this morning, i had some much needed time to myself. so what do i do? i blog stalked. i quickly scanned my google reader trying to get my fill of photos and stories, but one blog stuck with me the whole day: jasmine star.

jasmine was fortunate enough to be offered a free website when she first started out, so she is giving away a free website to someone who is willing to pay it forward as well. i was beyond thrilled when i saw this post! i thought that i could have a chance to win a free website. one of my goals was to get a website up and running before the new year begins. but due to unexpected monetary setbacks, it most certainly does not look like that will be happening.

the conditions of the contest are simply to post how you would pay it forward should you receive the website. sounds simple right? not so much.

for the rest of the day, all i could think about was what i had to offer to others. i bought my camera fall of 2009, started learning about photography through 2010, and only started getting paid for some of my work here and there since the fall of 2010. reading through the comments left on jasmine's blog, i found a number of motivated readers. many aspire to mentor people of all ages the art of photography, while others offer free sessions and prints to those less fortunate.

just starting out in the business,  i feel as though i don't have much to offer. i have little experience and knowledge of photography. and on top of that, an empty wallet. who am i? what can i give? how can i help others? forget about the free website! i need these answers to help me move forward with life. how can i go on with life not trying to give back to others?

oh, but i have so much to give. and half the time, i don't even realize it.

i have an open heart. i have fears. desires. passion. i have a past full of regret, growth, and love. i have a shoulder to cry on and arms that will give hugs like nobody's business. i've been through a lot of darkness and am learning to see the light. i understand failure and embarrassment. i know love. i know God.

there are so many people out there searching for a passion. and i just want to say that i get it. i get life. and if you are struggling, i am here for you. i will listen and be there for you. i will give all of my heart to make sure you feel loved. because, quite simply, you are.

and that is what i have to give. my heart.

[taken february 2010]

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

tag along | carole & henry | ferndale, mi wedding

last month, i had the amazing opportunity to be a 2nd photographer at a wedding to nicole haley. it was such a blast to work with nicole! of course it helps that her clients are also fun to photograph.

before the wedding, carole and henry were so relaxed and ready for the moment they would be united. it was clear that these two were meant to be together. thank you nicole for allowing me the pleasure to experience this beautiful day!


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

kelly moore bag review | 2 sues in raspberry

shh... just let me have a moment... sigh. i finally bought a kelly moore bag. the newest 2 sues bag in raspberry to be exact. i've been drooling over kelly's entire line of camera bags since january 2010. yes, i check her website almost as much as i blog stalk other photographers. i'm not ashamed to say that i know exactly what colors each bag comes in and wonder why some colors get switched out often. but i do know that this bag is not the last kelly moore bag i will own.

before going into detail about the pros and cons of the bag, i should let you know that this is the only camera bag i own. i do my own portrait photography, but i also shoot as a second photographer at weddings. i don't own as many lenses as a main wedding photographer usually does. here's a peek at what i do bring to a wedding (as a second photographer):

nikon d90

nikkor 18-105mm f3.5-5.5 dx
nikkor 50mm f1.8
nikkor 35mm f1.8 dx
nikkor 70-200mm f2.8

nikon sb-900

sd cards
lens cleaning cloth
extra batteries
memory card reader (so the main photographer can upload my images)

tylenol/other meds
candy (don't judge)
hair ties/bobby pins
ID/credit cards
wedding schedule
camelbak water bottle (insulated)

so let's get into it. the 2 sues bag essentially has two fronts to it. the front side that i use has two deep magnetic flap pockets and two more shallow zippered pockets right behind it. the "back" side is just awesome. there is a flapped pocket that zips out to have one side as a card wallet with the other side dedicated to holding either compact flash cards or sdhc cards. under the same flap is another pocket. if you aren't sick of the pockets yet, there's another zippered pocket right behind all of this!

i love, love, love these pockets because it fits everything i listed in my accessories and others list minus the camelbak water bottle. i'm pretty notorious for losing my lens caps. these pockets are great for storing lens caps when you're switching out lenses.


i should let you know that i had originally ordered the classic bag because it had three dividers allowing for 4 interior compartments. i knew that with nikon gear, you can't really close the bag, which is a bummer, but i was ok with that. so when i was finally ready to order the classic, the 2 sues came out. uhh tough decision! i really needed several different compartments for the weddings, but i loved the 2 sues bag! the 2 sues bag is slightly narrower than the classic, but it's deeper and higher.

so i emailed kelly asking if they sold dividers separately. goodness. i could probably write a whole post dedicated to what great customer service kelly moore bag has!!! they immediately responded saying they would just include extra dividers for free and would change my order from a classic to 2 sues if i would like. heck yes!

the great thing about the 2 sues bag for nikon users is that the bag will allow you to have your 70-200 in the bag and zipped comfortably and still have the "slouch" look.


but it gets better! it can even hold the 70-200 with the hood out and still zip up!

hood on:

and zipped up!

not shown in the above pictures was my camelbak water bottle. i have a metal one with an insulation sleeve. it gets its own compartment so that my gear doesn't get any moisture on it. my camera fits comfortably with a lens attached on the top of all my gear, and you guessed it. the bag will zip up.

while i'm out at a wedding, i don't like to zip up my bag so that my lenses are accessible, however, i don't like the thought of my equipment being so exposed to weather all the time. good news! right above the zipper are two hidden magnets. that way, your bag will close up when you're not using it. all you have to do is slip your hand inside to open your bag!

kelly moore forgot to send me my extra dividers, but they are graciously sending them to me without extra charge. again. amazing customer service. and i mean, they respond to your email within a minute. no joke.

unlike the classic bag, both walls of the bag (and long divider) have the soft velcro along it so you can move the dividers as you please. i really wish the classic had this option. if i end up buying the classic some day, i may just add my own velcro to the inside of it to add extra dividers.

***UPDATE*** two sources, one of them being kelly moore herself, informed me that the classic is lined with velcro panels, so should you wish to move those dividers around, have a go at it! ...of course, this only fuels my wishes for a classic bag...

since i don't have a laptop or ipad, i take the long divider out. this gives me more room for my lenses, flash and water bottle.

another great thing about this bag compared to the classic is the two shoulder straps. one to carry like a purse and the other as a messenger bag. i have some pretty bad back issues i'm working out. this is very conflicting when it comes to having to rush around on a wedding day carrying some heavy gear. however, i keep both these straps on so that when i need to pick up my bag quickly and set it down, i can use the shoulder strap. but if i'm walking around and need my gear on me, i can just use the longer messenger strap. both straps are removable.

did i mention that this bag is perfect for me because my husband can also rock the raspberry look? **christopher says it's not his color of choice...but it really is an awesome color. :D

yes, when i get tired of walking around with my bag, my amazingly sweet husband takes my bag without me even asking and puts it over his shoulder. sigh... what's sexier than christopher? christopher wearing my sexy kelly moore bag.

messenger style:

shoulder style:

the color of this bag is just gorgeous. i don't know what you all are seeing on your computer, but on their website, the color is more like a muted raspberry. almost like a coral raspberry. but my bag is a very deep, rich raspberry. it's beautiful. i love it. the color pops, that's for sure.

one thing i don't like: i can only shorten the messenger strap so much before i can't use the shoulder pad. i'm a short person, and i wish i could shorten it more (and still use the shoulder pad). i know this is a pretty standard messenger strap length, but i just had to put it out there.

***UPDATE*** i've had a number of people suggest pulling the pad across the buckle or even switching the pad to the other side of the buckle. brilliant! thanks for the help!

and here's a quick summary of the pros and cons i've compiled. feel free to add to the list!

//bag zips with 70-200 with hood on
//messenger style strap allows for weight distribution
//shoulder strap makes the bag feel even lighter!
//no need for a wallet
//room for a laptop/ipad
//if you don't own a laptop or ipad, even more room for lenses!
//the color. o the color! it's very vibrant.
//AMAZING customer service. hands down.
//my husband can wear it.

//since i use this as my main bag, i would like it slightly wider.
//for traveling purposes, i would like to have a 2nd layer of padding to cover the lenses when i put my camera body on top and zip the bag close (like the libby bag).
//messenger shoulder strap sometimes too long.
//**this one is from my husband** it's not real leather

***UPDATE*** kelly also said that they are indeed working on a leather version. woot woot! it just may be a little more on the pricey side...

not only is the bag great for a second shooter, but i think a main wedding photographer, a hobbyist, or even a mom on the go would enjoy this bag. i will most likely use this as a day bag and carry my camera around with me more often.

seriously... longest. post. ever. if you've made it this far, you're a trooper. i just wanted you to have a detailed review of the 2 sues bag. leave a comment letting me know you made it all the way down here. :)


Thursday, September 8, 2011

tj | northville, mi | infant photography

meet tj. tj is the most precious thing i have seen to date.


and his parents? they are filled with love for their little miracle. 


the entire time i was with this family, i could feel their love for one another just radiating out and enveloping each other in God's goodness. i consider myself fortunate to have the opportunity to spend time with this new family of three. for the past few months, God has been showing me all the beauty that michigan and its residents have to offer. clearly, the Lord is wonderful. don't take my word for it. see for yourself.


terrance is a wonderful father. you can just tell by the way he holds his son.




did i mention this kid has style?? :)



we went to downtown northville and a nearby park. michigan is ridiculously gorgeous. why did i not know this before i moved up here?!
















tj and his family live at the same apartment complex as i do. beyond our front office and pool is a gorgeous lake. we just had to sneak down to grab a few shots before we ended the session!


isn't bernice just radiant?! ahh!!! the genes of this child just kills me!