Home photo shoots problem:


by Shawni

I just got addicted to studio lighting.

The thought of having my own studio lights has never, ever, in a million bajillion years appealed to me before. The more natural the lighting the better as far as I was concerned…

…until my friend Nicole invited me to come experiment with her in her “studio.”

Which is bad, because now I can’t stop thinking about where I could set up my own lights in my own house…what kind of a backdrop I could get…all the cool photoshoots I could do. Isn’t Christmas is right around the corner? AND my birthday right after that? (Dave…oops, I mean Santa, are you writing this down??)

I loved that when my brigade of kids and I showed up for our “back to school” studio shoot we didn’t have to rush to bottle up the good light…it was just there whenever Nicole and I felt like clicking our shutters.
Remember this is a “back to school” shoot…in case you’re wondering about the fascination with the apples…
Don’t ask about what’s up with that outfit (shorts under skirt and boots???). I don’t know the answer.

I’m pretty fresh into this, so please excuse the occasional camera shake.Esp. on that one…but I loved Claire’s expression so there you go.

That one above is Elle’s fav., so I had to put it in.

Even Max appeased me and agreed to sit there for a couple shots.
I love his smile.

So, dear Nicole, I apologize in advance if my car mysteriously makes it’s way over to your house to shoot again…it’s the darn magnetic power of those lights that are sucking me in like a lazer beam (plus you’re kinda fun to hang out with too…and that baby of yours…oh and those very photogenic kids of yours that I wish I had taken some pictures of…can’t wait to see yours).

Yeah, you’ve got quite a pull over there. Thanks for the good times.

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Julie September 3, 2010 - 9:08 am

Can I come, too?! It's only a six hour drive from here. 🙂

Ojibirish10 September 3, 2010 - 11:50 am

Looks great, I wish I had access to something that cool!

Sophie September 3, 2010 - 12:30 pm

WOW! Like you, the though of studio lights has never really excited me, but these look so natural!

I love how they look like they were done in a full studio for like… A school ad campaign or something. Such great shota!

Brooke September 3, 2010 - 12:33 pm

ok i just have to say this, your kids are so beautiful! every last one!

Stacey September 3, 2010 - 12:36 pm

The only problem I see is that you'll be fighting the boys off with those beautiful girls! And I'm sure there will be a few young ladies after Max! Beautiful pictures and family.

Heather September 3, 2010 - 12:46 pm

Looks like you all had fun and you got some great shots too! What a cute idea with the books and apple. I might have to try that next school year.

Angie September 3, 2010 - 12:51 pm

Love these! Boy are you making me crave a mini-studio! And I do love the textbook/apple idea.

pakosta September 3, 2010 - 1:36 pm

OH my goodness!!!! Your 2nd oldest daughter ( I can never remember names!!!) she is looking soooooooooooooooo grown uP!!!! love all of these shots!!! Love the one esp. of 3rd daughter on the books *full body shot!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE it! I think studio lights can be awesome and you proved it! thanks for sharing!!!!!!!

likeschocolate September 3, 2010 - 2:13 pm

These are great photos! However, I think all of your photos are fantastic!

Kylene September 3, 2010 - 2:50 pm

Gorgeous pic's! Next time you find yourself moseying over to your friends, will you take a pic of the lighting set up??! I just got my first softbox YESTERDAY and am dying to see how other photographers set up their home studios. Thanks for sharing.

Nicole September 3, 2010 - 3:53 pm

Dear Shawni, come on over any time!
I need to make time for it like that more.

Next time, I'm thinking more dramatic lighting, gray background…..what do you think?

Shannon September 3, 2010 - 3:56 pm

I LOVE THESE!!!!!! so, so cute!

Chocolate on my Cranium September 3, 2010 - 4:43 pm

These turned out GORGEOUS!! I think I'll have to pull out the studio lights my father gave to me. Can you believe I've been too intimidated to try them? After seeing these though I may get up the nerve.

Andrea and Casey September 3, 2010 - 5:07 pm

These look straight out of some magazine ad. Gap kids maybe?? They are amazing!! And your kids are so adorable!

Love Being a Nonny September 3, 2010 - 5:19 pm

Oh MY!!!! These are great!!! Your children are beautiful!!

Land family September 3, 2010 - 5:36 pm

Wow, beautiful beautiful children.

I had to laugh at your little one wearing boots though.

It was 83 here the other day and my oldest wanted to wear boots to school.

But I'm mean and I said no!

Cristina September 3, 2010 - 7:33 pm

Great shots!!! You are just as amazing with studio lights!

carlotta September 3, 2010 - 8:39 pm

These are wonderful photos! I prefer natural lighting, but having said that, I've never shot in a studio setting. So who am I do judge?! 😉

sweetpea September 3, 2010 - 8:59 pm

beautiful pictures!

Trenton + Brooke September 3, 2010 - 11:47 pm

I love everything about this post. Beats the traditional school pictures! 🙂

Heather September 4, 2010 - 12:29 am


Corrie September 4, 2010 - 1:14 am

oh wow those are the best photos ever!!!!!!!!!!

my dad bought some lights for home and was going on and on about the store and how I have to go out there to check it out but it does scare me a little! I have a room ready and everything and I agree – not having to race to get the perfect light would be a dream come true!

you deserve it so go for it!

Ashley September 4, 2010 - 1:30 am

Beautiful pictures! I would love to be able to shoot in a studio

Jonah and Aja September 4, 2010 - 5:15 am

you are better without the lights. just sayin'.

Margaret September 4, 2010 - 9:29 pm

Those are lovely! We live in the Pacific Northwest so we don't always get the most beautiful light. But I would love to put studio lights on my wish list. Would your friend be willing to share what she has in her set-up?

it all adds up September 4, 2010 - 9:38 pm

I have the same question as Margaret… can she share her set up? I also live in the Pacific NW and already the weather has changed and light is hard to find. I'd love to start experimenting with studio lights!

it all adds up September 4, 2010 - 9:39 pm

I have the same question as Margaret… can she share her set up? I also live in the Pacific NW and already the weather has changed and light is hard to find. I'd love to start experimenting with studio lights!

{Staci} September 5, 2010 - 2:14 am

PLEASE share set up and where to get that dreamy colored back drop…I have been hunting and haven't been happy…what a fun idea with the apples. lovely kiddos.

Robyn September 5, 2010 - 3:50 am

I would love to see how it is all set up too! So if you want to post about that….. 🙂 I am all about natural light too but I love those shots!!!!

Eyrealm September 6, 2010 - 11:41 pm

Is it the lights that are making Grace looks so old? I can't believe how much she's changed since you left five weeks ago. What treasures you have there. Besides the outside lights those those little souls are full of light from the inside too!

Kathy @ Real Mom, Real Life September 7, 2010 - 12:12 am

Um. DANG GIRL!!! That is some serious shooting!

staciebowers September 7, 2010 - 3:15 am

You are an amazing photographer, mama, woman, home decorator, wife, daughter, follower of Jesus … I wish I knew you in real life or could have you take pics of my kiddos 🙂 OH is a little far from AZ though!

Just had to make sure you knew that I love to read your blog and I truly believe you're amazing!!

xoxo, stacie b.

Denei September 9, 2010 - 2:45 am

Seriously… can your photography get any better?! Wow…I love these! Your kiddos all look like models… and if they were selling something I'd be buying. Oh how I wish you were doing our family photo this year. You're the best!!

Grace August 13, 2011 - 12:08 am

Really beautiful. I am April's daughter and I think you are the best photographer in the WHOLE world! Great job with the photos!

JaLesha November 11, 2011 - 7:12 am

Hahahaaha! Those are SUCH fantastic pictures!!! You don't know me but I came across your blog while doing research on a lens to get for my camera. :o) Your kids are GORGEOUS! I love the "14.99 Photo Tip" fan post too! Can't wait to see what else I find on here! (on a side note, I sent you message to the email posted on your profile. I think it's your photography email? Hope that was ok!)


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