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simple joys | backyard

Whether we lived in our 900 sq foot condo and had only a backyard porch,

Our little 2 bedroom rental with just a little patch of grass,

Our old rental downtown with a big, old yard and room to roam,

Our first home we could really make ours, and poured our heart into a backyard that was ours,

And now dreaming up a new space for the next years of our lives to unfold….

watching our babies play in our backyard is one of the simplest joys of my life.  No matter what our backyard looks like.

 

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photo tip tuesday | mikell’s maternity shoot

Welcome back to photo tip Tuesday!  Today I am sharing some sweet pictures I had the opportunity to take of my dear friend Mikell who just delivered her first baby girl YESTERDAY!

I am currently not taking new clients, but I am slowly getting back into the groove and have exercised my creative side with friends and past clients over the last year.  Hopefully I can get caught up on blogging all these sweet sessions.

Today I am talking a little bit about CONNECTION.  Connection is the gasoline that fuels a session for me.  It’s what makes me a “lifestyle photographer” and not a “portrait photographer”.  I seek out connection wherever I can find it – in siblings, in a couple, in a mama with her babe.  It is there if you look for it, and if you’re really lucky, you can catch that connection in your photography.  This has become my niche.

I get asked often how I capture these natural moments in my photography.  While it takes lots of practice (and possibly some natural talent.. I know wonderful photographers who cannot seem to shoot naturally, and I know wonderful lifestyle photographers who cannot seem to shoot posed – myself included.) I think this is the wonderful part of embracing the talent you have, and working on that.  That is exactly what I have done with my photography work and it has served me well.  ANYWAY, I am giving you some tips today on getting natural looking images.  I also use these tricks for my casual instagrams, or snaps of my kids, so even if you’re not a professional photographer, you may be able to get some better snap shots of the ones you love most.

First of all, I am starting out with a beautiful  couple. I mean, seriously beautiful.  This is surely doing me some favors.  Also, they are in L-O-V-E, which is very helpful for shooting natural pics. :D

For the pictures of Mikell by herself, I just simply talk to her the whole entire time.  When I get quiet, my subject gets uncomfortable.  So I just chat away.  We were talking about how beautiful she looked pregnant and how exciting it will be to deliver this sweet little girl.  I asked her questions about her pregnancy and baby.  Having her focus in on her pregnancy during her maternity shoot, I loved how I got her natural emotion and how she felt about it captured in these shots.

When we brought Seth in, I knew I wanted something cozy and natural feeling, so I asked him to stand behind her, positioned them how I wanted the light on them, and then continued talking.  For couples, I like to prompt them with actions so I can capture a little movement.  Instead of positioning Seth’s head right near Mikell’s neck and then saying “hold that, let me snap the pic” I’ll just ask Seth to stand behind Mikell and then when I’m ready I’ll say “Seth, nuzzle into her neck a little bit, get nice and cozy, love on that belly of hers!”  Seth is then able to do these things in a natural way, and the couples natural connection shows through.  I love the movement in these shots.  They were all taken one after another in about an 8 second time frame.

By allowing this couple to be themselves, we were able to keep this shoot so simple and relaxed, all shot right by a window in my home.  This session really focused on the connection they have in this sweet season of life.  That’s my favorite favorite favorite kind of session.

 Mikell was right at home with pregnancy and it shows.  I know she’ll wear motherhood just as beautifully.

These images were shot in natural light and edited with my custom actions.

actions used: At the Studio, Light & Hazey at 50% and Add Some Cream at 20%.  Black and whites were edited the same and then with Black and White 02.  I used the print resizer for Mikell’s copy and the web resizer for my copy.  I promise you guys, these actions are the serious jam. ;)  Not a single detail was left unnoticed.  You can purchase these actions HERE.

What other kinds of things would you like me to explain on photo tip tuesday?  I’d love to hear your input!

xoxo

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welcome home baby quinn

I’ve said it before – there is just nothing like bringing a new baby home.  If I could have a newborn constantly installed in my home, I would absolutely do it.  Only the fact that that same newborn turns into a toddler one day is what keeps me from having 10. ;)

Especially after I have shot their birth, I love getting back to that new baby the following week after they’ve settled in.  I love seeing how they’ve changed in the last week, and I love to see the bonds they’ve already formed with their siblings.  Baby Quinn was no exception.  She had her big sisters already wrapped tight around her little finger.  Her sweet mama was melting my heart with how much love she had for these three little ladies.

 

Gotta love the outtakes! If this pic doesn’t sum up what bringing a new baby home to toddlers is like, I don’t know what does! :D

 I’m hoping to book more births and newborn sessions this fall and winter.  If you’re interested, email me at cassmillerphoto (at) gmail (dot) com.

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Baby Ayla at Home

Angela is my sister’s best friend and we have been so excited to welcome her new baby girl into the world.  Baby Ayla is absolutely precious!

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Best of 2012 – Photo posts

I could have posted every single session of 2012.  I had such a great year, with so many wonderful clients.  My business flourished this year, and I could not feel more fortunate or blessed.  I was given opportunities to push my photography beyond my limits of what I thought I was capable.  I had such a great year and I’m so looking forward to 2013 and upcoming sessions.  I am looking forward to pushing myself in new ways and to keep on this path I’ve had laid out for me.  Here are just SOME of my highlights for 2012.  These were the sessions that helped shape me as an artist this year.  The milestones for both my art and my business.  The photos I keep close to my heart.

  Harlo and Stella 

 Ali and Willow

 Baby Lydia At Home

 The Campos Family At Home

 My Life, My Loves

This Mama Is Loved

 Lets Get Personal | Jessica’s Maternity Session

 This Is My Favorite Her

At Home With The Madisons 

Megan and Egan In Love

Welcome Home Baby KJ

 Meet The Tooheys | New Orleans

I hope you enjoy these sessions as much as I did creating them.  Thank you, thank you, thank you to ALL my clients in 2012!  You have made my dreams come true.  Truly!

All my love, C

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merry merry

If you missed our card this year.. (and it may still be coming since I was so late getting these out!) here she is in all her glory.

Feeling so very grateful this holiday.

Thank you for following my little slice of the internet.

xoxo – C

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At home with the Madisons

This session…

I can’t even explain how much I loved this session.

Firt of all, it came to me in a day I was feeling  a little burned out.  I wanted to push myself in my art.  I was feeling like everything was getting stagnant.  Does that ever happen to you?  I’ve had ideas on how I wanted to rework my art and fine tune my specialty.  I just couldn’t quite put my finger on what exactly that meant.

And then Joie (who is a super talented photographer herself!) emailed me about doing a session for her family.  She shared parts of her story with me that touched my heart.  She wanted a session at home, with her family, exactly as they were.

And then I knew what I wanted (needed) to do.

Home sessions speak to me in a way nothing else can.  They feed me, they nourish my very artistic soul. (and now I’m getting all ‘starving artist’ on you) This is how I like my family documented and it’s because I love the story of the family.  I believe it’s harder to convey when everyone dresses alike and poses perfectly for an image.  There’s not enough story in that to feed me the same way.

I have just finished up my year of shooting for the busy season.  I’ve had a great year and I have been blessed with being booked out, but I’m very excited for next year and the projects I’m working on and the direction I’m hoping to take my art and business.

I’m hoping to tell the story of each and every one of my clients next year.  Whether this means more clients or less, I’m excited for this change/redirection/fine tuning.

I’m hoping to share a lot more sessions like this one.  Joie has impeccable taste.  (they MADE that bed!) I loved her home and her style.  There was a love in this family like I’ve never seen before.  I can’t imagine better parents for that sweet boy Max and that little lady Dempsey.

Thank you to the Madison family for allowing me into your loving home and allowing me to capture such a wonderful connection.  I’ll cherish this session!

xoxo, C

 

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The Campos Family at home | Family Photographer

Where to even begin with this family?

I love them more than words can say.  Jessica is one of my sweetest friends in the whole world.  We met online 4 years ago, you can read about that here.

This was the first time we had met in person and I was coming out to photograph their family and stay at their house for the weekend. ha!  I fell even more in love with them and their sweet family connection while I was there.  I loved every second of my trip.

Jessica and Jose are high school sweethearts, they have two boys, Julien and Jordan.  They’re both from New Orleans and have made a super sweet little life for themselves there.  Jose works hard as a police officer and Jessica works in insurance and they spend all their free time together as a family taking in all New Orleans has to offer.  This family LOVES more than I’ve ever seen.  Their boys were the best of friends, and so are Jessica and Jose.  Even though they’ve been together for over 10 years, you would think they just started dating based on the amount of giggling they do together.  Both Jessica and Jose are so loving with their boys.  I learned so much about parenting and marriage from just being there over the weekend.  I love how they communicate together as a family, I love how affectionate they are, I just love how their family comes first above anything else.

When we started planning for our session, Jessica knew she wanted a home session and I was so glad.  My first night there as I was eating dinner and catching up, asking them about their session details.  The boys were playing together on the floor, creating sound effects and car crashes a plenty and Jessica said, “This is exactly us.  There’s usually toys strewn all over the place and we all just.. play.” I knew we were going to have the most perfect session.

And we did.

If you would like to book a home session with me, I am available for travel nation wide.  Email me for more information, cassmillerphoto {at} gmail {dot} com

xo, C

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Welcome Home Baby KJ | St. George Newborn Photographer

**I am currently booking birth packages for the spring and summer, if you are newly pregnant and want your birth captured, email me! cassmillerphoto {at} gmail {dot} com**

Remember this sweet birth?  The Oliversons are back today with some newborn lovin’.

Have I told you how much I love having a fresh newborn in the house?  I think that it is the most wonderful thing in the whole world.  The time is so fleeting, but it is so magical.  And while I can’t keep a fresh newborn in my house all the time, I am lucky enough to go soak up the newborn goodness from time to time with the families who share it with me.

Thanks for stopping by!

xo, C

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Baby Lydia at home | St. George Newborn Photographer

So here is the final session of Cheri’s birth package.  See her lovely maternity session, here and her gorgeous birth, here.

It was such an honor to go through the maternity, birth and newborn process with these guys.  They have such a calm and peaceful energy surrounding them.  Their house is just overflowing with love.  Lydia was wide awake the entire time we were shooting, but I barely heard a peep out of her.  She is such an alert baby with these giant, beautiful eyes.  She gets her beautiful looks from her mama and has that daddy of hers absolutely wrapped around her finger.  I can’t wait to watch this little lady grow up.

Enjoy!

To learn more about birth packages and pricing, email me at cassmillerphoto {at} gmail{dot} com.

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Oh my love | A week in family photos

All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I’ve been
And how I got to where I am
But these stories don’t mean anything
When you’ve got no one to tell them to
It’s true…I was made for you
I climbed across the mountain tops
Swam all across the ocean blue
I crossed all the lines and I broke all the rules
But baby I broke them all for you
Because even when I was flat broke
You made me feel like a million bucks
You do
I was made for you

Oh, my Mr. Miller.  I have recently written about our whole love story on my personal blog, here.  I think sometimes my blog is a shrine to him, but really.. I’m a lady in love, what can I say?

I will adore these shots of us for the rest of my days.

photos courtesy of Brooke Ashley Photography

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A week in family pictures

Every summer, I make it a point to get our family pictures taken.  If you’re thinking, you’re a photographer.  Why don’t you just take your own family pictures? You’ve probably never tried to be the subject and photographer AND the mom all at once.  Plus, it’s important for me to photograph my family truly as we are each year to document our story.  I save up, plan ahead and every single year it’s worth it.

This year we were graced by the wonderful Brooke Ashley.  Let me tell you a little story about that.

I have been pretty much obsessed with Brooke Ashley since I was a first year (make that first month) photographer.  Then, when I had a little family of my own, Brooke was taking some time off due to a growing family of HER own.  So this year I woke up one morning with panic in my soul to book our family session and book it at home.. with Brooke Ashley.  How in the world?!

I contacted Brooke, and said something like, “Oh hey brooke, I know you’re not really booking families, but would you make an exception for me?” and she was like “oh totally! I book a couple families here and there.” and I was like, “oh yeah… one more thing.  Can you do it at our house? And also, I don’t live in your same city.” and she was all, “Oh that’s funny! I’m actually going to be driving past your house next month.  I’ll totally stop by for the morning and we’ll do it then.” SCORE.  This is my testimony y’all, that there is a God.  A Photography God, at that.

So then I was so excited I could barely eat my lunch.  …Then the session approached us and the reality that BROOKE ASHLEY would be IN MY HOUSE taking pictures of MY FAMILY set in and I became frantic. Frantic, I say!  I think I was more nervous for this than I was for my own nuptials or giving birth.  Gave me a whole new appreciation for my own clients, especially my home session clients. ;)

But of course, the second she arrived all was calm and wonderful.  She is even more amazing and more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.  It tips the scales as one of my very favorite days.  Not to mention weeks later when I got the pictures in the mail and began flipping through them with tears dripping down my face.  Tears, I tell you!

So I officially name this week Brooke Ashley week here on the blog.  And because I’m sort of vain and I NEED you to see every single picture, I will be featuring parts of our session everyday this week.  So rest easy, my dear souls.  Rest easy.

xoxo, Cass (and the miller crew)

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Expecting a little one | Southern Utah Maternity Photographer

HELLO dear friends.  I have been working on some major projects here at CMP, I can’t wait to share them with you.  Please excuse my absence while I’m working on these changes.. sometimes my children like to have a mother and I just can’t seem to find enough hours in the day to do everything!  Soon though, I’ll be back my regular bloggin’.

Let me tell you a little about my summer thus far.  It has been full of busy, busy, busy.  We’ve started our traveling and as much as it wears me out, it feeds my soul in such wonderful ways.  I love my travel sessions and I love that I can do this as part of my work. What is making my summer, though is all the wonderful sessions and projects I’m working on both near and far.  I always feel like I have the best clients, but this summer something has changed, something has clicked.  My clients are so wonderful and have opened up to me in such amazing ways.  I’ve been a part of love stories, baby stories and become a part of a handful of families.  I am loving where my life is right now and I’m feeling so blessed to be a part of such wonderful people’s stories. This maternity session is so close to my heart.  Cheri and her sweet family allowed me to come into their home for a chunk of their day to really let me see their family for who they are.  As you all know, I’m quite obsessed with all things pregnancy, birth and babies, and to be part of this time for Cheri and her family to me is priceless.

Enjoy!

I hope you’re all having a wonderful summer!

xo, C

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Jax and his mama

I took some time off in May to spend with my family, and while those few weeks off are always nice and refreshing, I can never wait to get back behind my camera.  I have so many cool projects and sessions I’m working on this summer and I can’t wait to get started and share it all with you.  A lot of exciting new changes are happening here and soon all will be revealed. :)

I absolutely adored this session I had with Sweet Baby Jax and his darling mama, Karen.  I spent the morning with them just lounging around and cuddling and playing… the perfect way to spend a morning with your sweet baby, I say!  I was especially excited to get some shots of Karen nursing her darling babe.  To me, there’s just nothing better.  I loved the shots we got and I was so thrilled that she allowed me to capture such sweet and intimate moments between she and her son.  I hope she’ll treasure these images forever.  I couldn’t help but have a permanent grin on my face while editing these, I mean look how delicious that little Jax is!

Enjoy!

 

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My life, My loves | Southern Utah Family Photographer

It really is the simple things in life.

Happy Monday!

-C

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