Tag Archives: child photographer

VOTE: Photo of the Year – Category 5 (Portraits)

OK, final poll of the year: portraits. So far, voting in the Travel, Landscape + Nature, People in Places and Food categories is being swept by Italy pictures. Not this go around. Anyhow, if you haven’t voted in these categories yet, please do.

For this category, I have a request: please vote on composition, positioning, expression, etc…not based on who’s familiar. And please add feedback in the comments box. In more than any other category, portraits is the one where I’ll value feedback the most. This will help me deliver better and better results for my clients in the future. Click on each photo for a larger view.

#1. Anya Wieder

#2. Peter Ossian + Nancy Cason


#3. Jeremiah Day


#4. Michaelanne Dehner


#5. Ryan, Suzy + Andrew Stone

#6. Lilli Canino


#7. Paul Luellig + Lorene Parrish


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The Stone Family

Well it’s been busy for us lately: HeyDay Creative continues to expand it’s client base, we’re 90% done with a whole new, redesigned TanagerPhotography.com, our first ad will be showing in the Greenlight Guide and website on Monday, and we’ve been getting more inquiries on family portraits. This weekend, I got to meet and photograph the Stone family at Southmoor Park here in Denver.

The Stone’s — Ryan, Suzy, Tyler and Andrew — are good friends with my friends Ben and Michaelanne Dehner, and Suzy was interested in a shoot after seeing my photos of Mikey with her horse Cheerio.

So we met Saturday, and what a spectacular morning it was. Blue sky, little wind and still some fall color clinging to those stubborn cottonwoods.

I really enjoyed working with this family. Tyler and Andrew warmed up to me right away and we all smiles all morning long.

Above is one of my favorite shots from the sequence, where I laid down and shot up with the fisheye lens at the Stones and the golden trees.

Tyler was really into all the sticks lying on the grass, and Andrew…well, he was interested in smiling and giggling for the camera.

We then ventured over to the playground where Tyler showed us his excellent climbing skills…

…and how much he loves his mom.

So here’s what we’ve got going in the next few weeks. Tonight or tomorrow we’ll be pushing the all new TanagerPhotography.com live. It’s rebuilt from scratch with a focus on photo essays and portrait/wedding shoots rather than the existing “cities,” “towns,” “water,” etc. Also, I’m getting a new lens tomorrow: a Canon 24mm f/1.4, which is a fixed wide angle that is crazy fast and lets in a lot of light. And yes, this is a milestone moment: my first piece of gear paid for from photography profits!

And then there’s next weekend: we’re heading to Seattle for four days. I have some business to attend to for Weaver, but Hailey will be coming and we’ll be able to build on our travel portfolio…with the new lens.

Thanks to all of you for your continued support and referrals.

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The Vannoy Family

I’m starting to grow the family portrait segment of my portfolio, which is a lot of fun. I love working with children, especially ones around the same age as my nephews. This past weekend, Hailey and I photographed the Vannoy family — Kris, Teri, Wiley and Brody. Teri works at Weaver as well, as the Director of Editorial, and she hired me right out of college to be an assistant editor. Hard to believe that was more than seven years ago (versus “over seven years ago” … this blog is written to conform to the AP Style Guide).

I’ve probably now opened myself up to some heavy proof-reading….

We met fairly early on Saturday at their house southwest of Denver and headed to a nearby park. The light was rich and soft, but the wind was blustery. Wiley (pictured above) is one happy kid, and he clearly loves being outside.

Nearby is the beautiful Roxborough State Park, a place of sandstone monoliths, rolling foothills and colorful scrub oak. Its one of the more dramatic convergences of mountains and plains. (Wow…my tourism copy is rusty! I’ve done better…)

Wiley and Brody were really great sports. Sitting still when its super windy and brisk is not easy.

Since I got this new camera system a year ago, I’ve been doing a lot of shooting into early morning light with a 50mm prime lens. It creates an effect that, while it is not for everybody, I personally love it. It’s rich, dream like and backlit colors (like the distant trees) really come to life in a different way.

After a few posed family shots, it was time to reward the boys for their patience. Nearby was a playground, which really brought out the smiles.

Here’s Wiley…

And here’s Brody…

After 30 minutes of chase, sliding down the slide and climbing things like a monkey, we headed back to the Vannoy’s house for a final round of shots on the white backdrop.

We had to move this shoot indoors. I initially tried to set up in the backyard, but their house is really close to the foothills of the Rockies, which is always a windy place. I failed to put two and two together: without proper weights, the white backdrop is more like a sail. It started to fall over, I jumped up to grab it, but it was too late. The paper tore all the way across. Doh!

Fortunately, we had more paper and could set up inside. Through it all, Wiley and Brody were still all smiles. Two hours of a photo shoot is asking a lot of any kid, and these two were champs.

The blog posts may slow for a bit. It’s not for lack of material, but rather Hailey and I are buckling down on the new Tanager Photography website. I can’t wait to share with you all. It’ll focus more on photo essays and be more of a true portfolio site. Hailey was working on some of the flash galleries last night, which can be enlarged to full screen. Needless to say, I’m fired up.

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Us Kids Know

Yes, it’s time for another installment of BAJIA: Ben, Amy, Jeremiah, Isaiah and Andrew…my brother and his family, who live down in Colorado Springs. We drove down there last night to take Amy and Ben out for dinner to celebrate her birthday. We ate at an awesome Japanese restaurant, tipped back a few Belgian brews at the new Trinity Brew Pub, played a round of slap-happy cribbage, and then spent the night. In the morning, it was play time. Andrew is five years old (he was born on our wedding day…a lucky kid), and the twins — Isaiah and Jer, pictured above — are 2 1/2. Man, what a fun age, but exhausting.

“Hey: what’s Uncle doing in the backyard?” Yes, Uncle is setting up his white backdrop. Uncle is obsessed.

“How come that paper doesn’t have any color?” Because you look cool in front of it…

“Can we color it?” No. That’s where Uncle becomes no fun and says “gentle…don’t crease the paper. I paid good money for that paper.”


“Because…well, here, dance to ABBA for a little bit.”

Get Mama to dance, too. She loves “Super Trouper.”

“Uncle, can I do my mummy?” Sure…

That’s Andrew on the left, Isaiah on the right. Izzy stole Hailey’s hat while getting a piggyback ride. This was followed by Jer’ wanting a chance to wear it (top photo). Here he is, in one of those “I can see what he’ll look like when he’s older” kinds of photos.

All of these shots occurred in the span of 10 minutes while my brother was upstairs closing a real estate deal. The boys quickly moved on to other things. Andrew dawned work gloves, boots and held a “bug cage” for capturing crickets that live on the hill behind the house. Isaiah and Jeremiah emptied the front closet of winter gloves and hats and spread them on the floor of the living room.

As quick as it was, it was a cool moment. The boys being boys, each one expressing themselves as only they can. As different as they each are, there is a kinship that is real that will only deepen as they get older. I mean, look at these two:

That hug was not provoked or staged. They just hugged. How cool.

If you have kids that you’d like to have a portrait session like this — and you are in Colorado — send me an email.

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