I've had an influx of adoption day shoots lately and I love it. This session was incredible because these kids were so sweet. They stole my gosh darn heart! I mean... just look at them. What a cute family.
I love offering free adoption day photos for families. It's something I am passionate about. As a CASA I see first hand some of the work families of all kinds do to become a family and I want to support anyone who offers up their heart and their homes to kids in need.
Usually each year in November there is a big adoption day event where the court tries to schedule as many adoptions in one day as possible and a bunch of businesses donate their time and services for the families. There is food, superheroes, build-a-bears, etc. I'm usually the photographer for the event. Of course this year we couldn't hold the event...so I'm glad to have been reached out to by so many families to capture their adoption day anyway.
Plus, I'm a little partial to shooting outside at parks for kids shoots as opposed to inside a warehouse with a mini studio set. I love being able to catch kids while they are playing and in genuine moments with their siblings and parents.
When I have the availability, I'll shoot the family shots, take portraits of the kids, candids, and even a couples shot. It's my way of saying, "Thanks for what you're doing!"
If you or someone you know has an adoption coming up, reach out to me. I'd love to gift them with a free family photoshoot.
Hannah is a dancer, model, and sophomore in High School. This is my second time working with Hannah to help creative some creative editorial portraits for her growing portfolio. I love working with her and her mom, Emery.
Usually for these types of shoots I start by asking if there is any particular style, theme or idea the client already has in mind...if not, I'll brainstorm a couple different ideas and create little collages to help the client visual each idea so they can choose which direction they want to go in.
Then, I figure out the set, lighting and sometimes the styling, hair and makeup looks. For this shoot we went with a combination of three ideas: 1. Colorful car shoot, 2. Water shoot, 3. Outdoor urban night shoot. These were easy enough to combine all in one location (on the roof of a parking garage in downtown Springfield).
I brought one of my regular lights and two color led lights along with a power converter plug for my car so I could make sure I had power to light the shoot. I love how it turned out.
Eli reached out to me about creating a custom illustration as an anniversary gift and since their anniversary happens to be on Halloween he wanted them to be in costume. Also, I had to find a way include their adorable pooch!
This custom illustration was created on Procreate on an iPad with an Apple Pencil. I used the dry ink brush to illustrate the lovebirds and the dog, and I used various paint brushes to create the background.
I loved doing this spooky, special family portrait illustration. Join me in wishing the couple a very happy anniversary and many more years of love together!
Custom illustrations make terrific gifts for all occasions! If you are interested in ordering a custom illustration, shoot me a message!
I've been the official photographer for all the Springfield Art Museum's exhibits and events for 2 years now. It was one of the first contracts I signed when I started my business in October of 2018 and I have loved every minute of it. It combines my love of art with my love of photography. Sometimes things are just meant to be like that.
Shooting the exhibits this year has been a little different experience, and I have missed all the usual events the art museum puts on, especially Art in Bloom and the 99x events. I hope they are able to do them again next year!
One of my favorite parts of shooting the exhibits at the museum is finding creative shots of patrons interacting with the art--that's of course been harder this year. Some exhibits this year I have shot while the museum wasn't even open to the public--but then, that's pretty cool in and of itself... having the whole museum basically to yourself. Unlike Night At The Museum, I'm sorry to report nothing came to life... or did it? I'll never tell!
This piece above was my absolute favorite. When I first starting shooting it, I thought I was getting a reflection of the art museum off the glass, but then I realized the "reflection" was part of the painting! So skillfully done. I just love everything about this piece, the colors, the details, the light...I could stare at it for hours.
If you're in Springfield, MO I highly encourage you to check out the Springfield Art Museum's Eye to I exhibit. They also currently have the This & That: Cartoons by Bob Palmer exhibit up, as well as their permeant collection Creating an American Identity.
As a reminder, I offer free adoption day family portraits and provide other photo services for free for kids in foster care.
This was an extra special graduation photoshoot! Kaleigh is a young woman in foster care. It’s estimated that only 30-50% of youth in foster care graduate high school and the stats are even worse for going on to college. Kids in foster care have so many hurdles to overcome through no fault of their own.
There are a lot of ways you can help by either donating resources to programs that help kids in care or becoming a CASA (I’m one if you have questions) or becoming a foster parent. There are a lot of kids who need a safe and loving home either as a permanent placement or for a time period while their parents work to get to a place where they can parent again. I encourage you to take a few minutes today to research what you can contribute to making this world a better place for kids in foster care.
This was my second wedding shoot during the pandemic. A third that I had scheduled for this month was postponed for next year, along with others. Both this wedding and my last during the pandemic were downsized to small, intimate outdoor gatherings where social distancing and masks were mandated. While I am grateful that people are following these guidelines, it does create a whole new set of challenges as the wedding photographer!
This wedding took place at the gorgeous Stockton State Park on Stockton Lake in Missouri. The temperature was perfect, the sun was harsh and setting. The bride and groom both wore glasses and masks, along with the rest of the guests. I think you see where I'm going with this... I was also wearing glasses and a mask, shooting into the sun half the time due to where we were positioned on the bluff. So my glasses are fogging up and half the time I'm shooting using muscle memory and faith that my auto focus is focusing where I am needing it to focus. Not ideal, but hey! That's the joy and challenge of wedding photography. It's a game of improvisation and how well you can live in the moment and make the best of whatever is thrown your way!
My advice for photographers shooting weddings during this pandemic? Invest in a great wide-lens camera for socially distanced wedding party photos! The bigger the wedding party, the wider the lens needs to be!
The bluff overlooking the lake was gorgeous but unfortunately the sun was on the less-than-ideal side so when I shot them, Catie & Ryan were just dark silhouettes against the sparking blue water. I knew I would have to do some creative editing to make them work, but thankfully it worked out. I love how their style, the fall colors, and the turning leaves all worked together to create a look that feels both vintage and timeless.
I shot about 1800 images during the four hour period I was there. I edited those down to about 600 which I edited in Lightroom, about half of which I also edited in Photoshop afterward to touch up things further. All photos were delivered within 5 days of the ceremony.
The specialness of getting married in 2020 is the challenges you overcome to get down the aisle any way you can, and the photos taken that document this strange time in history for all future generations. I wish Catie & Ryan a lifetime of happiness and love, and I hope they look back on these photos fondly for many years to come.
I don't think I've ever felt such strong imposter syndrome before this week. It's just been one of those weeks where everything is happening so fast that it feels hard to conjure the special sauce of creation. I had four photo shoots for 12 shirts for Culture Flock and then a wedding, all in one week, plus regular work hours, et all. In short, I felt like a chicken with her head cut off running and shooting and hoping I got the shot, and then editing when not shooting and second guessing myself and re-editing and third guessing myself and re-editing and thinking of all the ideas I could have done but didn't think of in time and then hitting "send" with a prayer and baited breath, just hoping I didn't let everyone down. I don't know... is it at all comforting to know that all these years of doing photography and two years into this being my official business that I'm struggling with feeling "legit" or is it depressing to know that? It is what it is, I suppose. Just a part of the human condition.
This was a great week for my business and I should be celebrating that, instead of beating myself up over all I could have done better... but then, that serves a purpose too, doesn't it? Things to do differently next time so I can create even better work than I have before. This is the process of progress--create, make some mistakes, learn, create better, make different mistakes, learn, create better and so on and so forth until the end. But enough about that! Let's get to the photoshoot itself and these awesome tees on these gorgeous gals!
Working with Culture Flock is always a dream come true--I love their products and I love their mission and I love the creative freedom they give me on these photoshoots. We decided to create four sets with four models modeling all the shirts for each element of the zodiac sign. So Charlotte modeled all the air signs (above)... which had "air swirls" and a yellow backdrop.
Michelle (above) modeled the fire signs and had a fire crown and candles for her set on a pink backdrop. I made the decision to light the candles in post since my studio is a wood paneled basement and the candles were set on wood crates on a paper backdrop... just seemed like that would be tempting fate.
Randa (above) modeled the earth signs (hi! Taurus here!) with plants on a gorgeous green backdrop.
And Kimber modeled the water signs with a blue backdrop, blue floral touches, and vases of water.
These shirts are selling out fast, so be sure to grab yours while you still can at https://cultureflock.com/
And if you're feeling like an imposter at all this week, just know you're in good company and keep trucking along... the feeling will pass, and your talent and skill will continue to improve the more you do it.
PS. Culture Flock's response to the photos was, "I just wanted to say these photos are fucking awesome! Thank you so much! You are SO talented and we love working with you!" So take that imposter syndrome! Take that right to the bank, ya dummy.
When Andrea texted me at 6pm last Wednesday asking if I could create a professional logo for her new pop-up shop, The Local Bevy, I was in the middle of cooking dinner and trying to pay a utility bill online that wasn't going through. She had a lot of ideas for what she wanted, which is good--because it gives me clear boundaries to create within that I know my client already likes. Speaking of boundaries... since I no longer live alone and just work all the time (my partner Kimber is trying to patiently remind me to slow down and make time to relax sometimes too--what a concept!), I have been working to get better at putting boundaries like work hours and more realistic timelines for turnaround so I don't get burnt out so much. It is very much a work in progress for me and something I struggle with--I just want to say yes to every opportunity because I'm so grateful for each one that comes along and I want to get it done as good and fast as possible for my clients! Ho, boy--we got an overachiever on our hands here. Hi. It me. I aim to please. To a fault sometimes. BUT I'M WORKING ON IT. THANK YOU.
So, in this spirit, I told Andrea that I would touch base with her the next day when I had a little more time to devote to understanding what she was looking for. The next day, we picked up where she left off the night before. She sent me some mock-ups she had drawn and created on one of those "instant logo" creation sites. She told me what she liked and didn't like and I went to work creating several options for her to choose from.
I always like to include a few designs that are a little outside of the specifics a client gives me, if I think it will look good, just to give them something else they may not have considered otherwise. In this case, options 1 and 2 were pretty different from what she was looking for, but I liked them enough to include them and give her another option to consider. Turns out, she ended up liking #2 and #6 best, but she wanted to see #6 with the #2 font.
I made that revision and sent her the final two logo designs for her to choose from. See which one she choose below:
Be sure to check out The Local Bevy:
"A temporary holiday pop-up featuring a collection of local handmade art, crafts, and goods located in historic Pickwick Place. Open until December 31, 2020."
This was one of the most fun family/porch sessions I've ever done. Not only is this family absolutely gorgeous, but they are hilarious, loving, and have the best yard with tons of places to take really pretty photos. A photographer's dream!
The girls had lots of ideas for photos, like this one of Momma and daughters laying on the ground... Love it!
Getting your photo taken while being pushed on a tire swing sure beats your usual school photo day! Due to the pandemic, the girls are going to school virtually this year so this Porch Portrait session doubled and tripled as a family photo session and school photos for each of the girls.
Plus, some super romantic golden-hour shots for mom and dad too. They deserve it!
Scroll through for some of my favorites from the shoot below to see how fun and fabulous this family is! There's some bonus shots of their gorgeous pup and cat too!
If you're interested in getting photos of your kids taken this year from the comfort and safety of your own home/front or back yard... shoot me a message! When kids can play and pose on their home turf, you can get so much more of their personality to come out in the photos. Also, the holidays are coming up soon and I'd love to create some more family photos and holiday cards!
When I was in my early twenties, I lived in Los Angeles and was working as a background actor in movies and TV shows. On one of those sets is where I first heard my friend Anthony casually and with great authority break down the various zodiac signs and guess with great accuracy our signs. I was fascinated. I didn't "believe" any of it, but I enjoyed it with a speculative interest. Over the years, I pretty much stayed in that state of quiet curiosity, checking my horoscope periodically for a laugh.
Then, a few years ago, I started checking the romantic compatibility between signs for people I dated, and people who friends were dating and I started to notice a lot of accuracy. My girlfriend and I are Cancer and Taurus respectively and everything I've read about the match between these two signs is exactly, for us, right on. We are extremely compatible. A great match. And my previous relationships (before I was checking astrology compatibility) ended up ending due to exactly the kinds of issues astrology says those two signs matched up would have. It's crazy! And hey, I still take it all with a large grain of salt, and I'm not going to make any decisions based solely off astrology, but I do enjoy it as a fun lens to look at things through and a perspective to consider.
I've been wanting to do a zodiac sign illustration series for a while now. To create these, I pulled up information about each sign and then took a couple different aspects of each description and sourced some images to put together to create my scene and then illustrated it. I use ProCreate to illustrate and I love all the different layers you can use and the variety of brushes available. Then, I used the Template app to add the border and text.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed making them! Which one is your favorite? As it so happens, I'm about to do another project for a client related to astrology.... stay tuned! It's gonna be a fun one!
Throughout my life, I've noticed that whenever I meet someone and hit it off right away, invariably they turn out to be a fellow Taurus. Have you noticed anything like that? Do you put much stock into astrology and zodiac sign compatibility? Tell me! Tell me!
I'm Andie Bottrell, a multidisciplinary creative based in Springfield, MO. This blog is designed to give you an inside peak into the process behind my projects and to share my work.