Fairytale Session

I was beyond thrilled when this all came together. It all started in my mind and from location, wardrobe, models, and the weather, everything was perfect!

I am a fairytale girl at heart and loved recreating these. Location was at The Fairytale Castle in Fairhope AL. The owners of the home graciously allowed me to shoot on the outside of the home because I was doing this for my portfolio. I am so thankful they were so wonderful.

Also a HUGE thank you to my friends and family who helped out (Christina, Shawn, Taylor and Jessica)! I still want to do a villains and other character session so stay tuned for that (although it has not been planned yet).

Here are some that I have gotten to edit so far:

IMG_1946watermark IMG_2060 edit watermark snowflake IMG_2109editwebwatermark IMG_2151editwatermarkweb IMG_2178editwatermarkweb IMG_1813edit IMG_1920editwebwatermark IMG_2211editwatermark IMG_2326watermarkweb IMG_2366editwatermarkweb IMG_2381editwatermarkweb

 

 

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Color Or B&W Images?

That is the question! Well, maybe as far as which one do you print. I almost always include some of my favorite images from your session in a B&W option. I feel like B&W makes the image so much more intense or dramatic. It also looks amazing matted, framed and placed on a wall with other B&W’s!

What is your personal preference? Take the poll below and then check out some sample images I have uploaded to show the difference a B&W image can make!

JennaWATERMARK Little girl WATERMARK mason watermark Presley WATERMARK Watermarked Married Wedding Dance WatermarkHappy Hump Day!

Love,

C

Chic Critique Magazine Cover Contest

I love seeing updates from Chic Critique in my inbox as well as on Facebook! Beautiful images and great advice for photographers. I was so excited to enter this photo of my sister in thier cover contest! Wish me luck ūüėČ

COURTNEY MICHELLE PHOTOGRAPHY

COURTNEY MICHELLE PHOTOGRAPHY

 

Check out more of these photos @ www.facebook.com/courtneymichellephotography

Thanks so much,

Love,

C.

 

Fashion- Style Guide for Engagement Photo Session Part 1: Blue and Green Hues

Hello beautiful people!

How about some fashion for your lunch break?!

I realize it has been a while since my last post and my blog has been terribly neglected… again. That just means I have been √ľber busy, right?…Right… Haha, actually, for the past year and a half I had been working with a local magazine, Access, but have slowed down with them because I have other plans. I am heading back to school soon! Yay! Also, I have 5 weddings so far this year and I am pretty excited about that! My first wedding of the season is next weekend, April 13th, and I am so excited to get down to the Gulf for Danielle and Leebo’s nuptials! Then the next weekend it’s Laurie and Kyle’s turn and then the weekend after that, it’s Dana and David! Whew, April is going to be a busy and exciting month!

So when I have a couple come to me, wanting me to shoot their engagement photos, I am always looking for cute outfit charts, etc., to show them ways to style their session, but also to tailor it to fit their personalities. So basically color schemes are what I look for. For example, the gf can wear a green toned dress and the bf can wear a blue and white checkered button down shirt with blue jeans. Not the same colors, but they will look great together on camera!

Also tips I like to give are to :

1. Try on your outfits to make sure you are comfortable in them! If you are not-¬†it will show on your face :ő∂

2. Make sure you at least lay out the outfits side by side beforehand to make sure they are complimentary.

3. Do the above with 3 different outfits (including shoes) and bring them all along. I love to capture the couple dressed up, casual, and comfy! It just makes the shoot more fun too.

4 Something I learned from magazine world, more looks better on camera- as far as makeup goes. Wear slightly more than you usually would, especially if you choose to do a dressy look! These are your pictures, have fun with them!

5. I always suggest to wear colors. If you want to wear black, that is fine if he’s wearing a black sports coat and pants or you are wearing a little black dress or something like that.

6. Bring a pair of flip flops- just in case and especially if you are shooting on a beach/ pier area.

7. I will always email you the weather report for the day we plan the engagement session so you can plan to dress accordingly.

(The fashion collages are below, keep reading, then I promise you are almost to them)

Actual email content in regards to engagement session…give or take a word:

I say to plan for at least 3 hours for the Engagement Session, just to give time for travel (for multiple locations), outfit changes, touch ups, etc. You never know!
I like to shoot them in the late afternoons. Once we have a date, I will send you tons of information on what to wear, where to go and inspirational ideas for the shoot and for what type of engagement photos you are looking for… etc. If you have any ideas or photos you love, send them my way- I love to hear¬†your ideas!

Outfitting:

I like to suggest wearing colors. It always makes for a better photo. I do not suggest  the couple wearing the same color or they will appear to be to matchy-matchy. However, if you wear colors that compliment each other or are shades of the same color family ((warm colors- (reds, oranges, pinks, yellows), cool colors (blues, purples, greens), or neutrals (tans, beiges, grays, blacks and white)), it makes everything flow together well. For example, if you wear a dress a shade of purple, then he could wear a blue shade (casual button down and jeans) or a white and blue plaid shirt. Something along those lines. But if you wanted to wear the color red, then I  would suggest for him to wear a grey or navy shirt or something. Black is ok to wear.

Also- textured clothing is great for photos. Ruffled collars, rosette collars, eyelets, bows, lace, or layers. Layers such as layer a top with a cute/light jacket or sweater.

Necklaces, bracelets, and earrings are always great accessories to add something to your outfit! Oh and of course- SHOES!

Hair and makeup-¬†I ‘m not sure if you have a problem with your hair and humidity, but if you do, I would suggest putting some kind of anti humidity spray/cream in it before you fix your hair (I have fine hair and use a Garnier sleek and smooth cream that works well). The humidity down here can be insane and can make for crazy hair days! If you don’t have that problem, you are a lucky girl! ūüôā Just wanted to throw that in there.

Makeup- From working with a magazine, I have learned that wearing more makeup than usual shows up better in photos. But it is up to you! Make sure to bring any other touch up makeup with you that you may need.

All of that being said, I do want you guys to be comfortable in what you wear and happy about how you look in what you are wearing, so make sure to try on your outfit ahead of time, so you are happy with it.
Ok, so now the fun part ūüôā
I have made up these outfit cards-like hand-picked¬†and placed-¬†to help show the types of things I am talking about above. The cards are from photos I have pulled from Piperlime, Banana Republic, Nordstrom, Forever 21, The Gap, Polyvore, Zappos, J.Crew, ASOS, Baker’s, Hautelook¬†& ModCloth to name a few… I will post info under the description of¬†each card if you want to know where to buy any of this! You may have to click on the photo first.
However, over the next few posts (other parts of this “Fashio- What to Wear” series) some of the photos will be mine. I will show you real-life examples of what to wear to your engagement photo session with me. We still have neutrals, warm colors, B&W’s, and patterns as well to cover, so expect a few more posts on this topic… If these go over well, I may do one for families as well!
BLUE AND GREEN HUEChiffon and Plaid COBALT emerald Orange Prep School Spring is in the air Super Casual sweet earth tres Chic with edge Turq What to Wear
As you notice, I think it is ok for the gf to wear shorts for an outfit-¬†as long as it is classy, like the one above, however, I just don’t see the bf wearing shorts for photos…ever. So just suck it up and stick to pants, guys-just for the photos!

If you just went through these and hate¬†¬†strongly dislike every one of them, then check out the folks at Apple Brides and their what to wear advice ūüôā
See if you like those any better… and if you don’t, log off the computer and go grab a Snickers because you are probably not yourself when you are hungry… Actually, better yet (well maybe not better than a Snickers but), head over to my food blog¬†for a yummy recipe that was posted this morning!
Let me know what you think!
Also,check out my fanpage @
Have a great day!
Love,
C

This is Ladies’ Night……

Oh What a Night….!

Sorry- it’s stuck in my head now too. So tonight’s¬†post is not so much about photos or my photography work as it is about summer and entertainment… for ladies-mostly!

Summer entertainment usually consists of heading to the beach for sun soaking, going out for movie/ date nights with the hubs/ or significant other, and for some of us,¬† a date night with the couch, a glass of wine and¬†a favorite tv show. Well this summer seems a little steamer than others… and I am not just talking about because of yesterday’s rainstorm and humidity content ūüėČ

No, I am talking about steamy books, hott movies, and scandalous tv shows.

The¬†book I am talking about, I am sure most of you have read it, read about it or heard someone else talking about it- is¬†Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. It is so racy it has been banned from some book stores! I have only made it to the second chapter so far and I have not made it to the steaminess yet…so I have been told, lol.¬†It is so funny because every social gathering I have been to recently, someone is reading this book- or has already gone through the whole series (3 books, I think). Seriously-¬†a¬†friend had it at the hospital with¬†her after¬†having a baby!¬†Then,¬†I went to a wedding this past weekend and one girl had finished the series, one was going to download the book when she got home and some others had at least heard about it. So-¬†no need to¬†elaborate anymore- the book is getting around ;). Access magazine’s June/July issue¬†has it picked out¬†for the summer must¬†read to carry in your beach bag! But, a suggestion for the modest (myself included)- buy a kindle and download it there- that way no one will know what you are reading… if you find yourself wanting to read it in public, haha.

Photo from here: https://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=302021269850488&set=a.302021263183822.91764.302021129850502&type=1&theater

Below is a poll- who should play Christian Grey in the movie version? Here are photos of some contenders: 

Photo credits @ end of blog post.

On to summer entertainment- Movies! I love going to the movies… especially this summer. Summer is usually the time that blockbuster hits, such as the Avengers (fun watch, by the way, and it also made box office history), The Amazing Spiderman, and Snow White and the Huntsman are in full swing. But I am not talking about blockbusters- no, I am talking about the movie you must go see with the girls after margaritas- Magic Mike. All I have to say is¬†Google the Magic Mike¬†movie trailer.¬†The only¬†thing my friend had to¬†say to¬†get me to go was Matthew Mcconaughey, because he is in it.. Oh and these guys are in it too and clothing is optional: Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, and not pictured: Alex Pettyfer.

Image Photo found here: http://www.newnownext.com/magic-mike-cast-covers-ew/05/2012/

Oh, did I mention they are strippers male dancers? Hahaha, I mean, of course,¬†the plot will probably be very¬†dull and¬†no proper or sophisticated woman would want to see… right? I don’t really¬†think they expect anyone to¬†pay attention to the plot anyway!¬†I still think it would make for a funny ladies night, especially after a watermelon margarita¬†or two! Yummy ūüėČ Will you go see it with the girls?

Image

Credit: André Baranowski (follow link by clicking on watermelon margarita linked words above).

Ok and finally, I have been hearing some about a new show with Jennifer Love Hewett called, The Client List… and since we are on the topic of steamy… just Google it too and check out the info on the show from IMBD. I haven’t seen it yet, but I do like JLH, so may watch it if I ever catch it- it’s actually on Lifetime, apparently, it was a made for tv¬†movie starring¬†her and now it has turned into a tv series! Who knows, comment if you have seen it or want too.

Image

Photo found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Client_List_(TV_series)

Ok, good night everyone, enjoy Fifty¬†because I know you are still up reading¬†ūüėČ Oh and take the poll, it’s anonymous!

Photo credits from poll photos:

Trevor Donovan: Google

Alex Pettyfer: http://www.celebuzz.com/2012-05-22/50-shades-of-grey-dream-cast-who-should-play-christian-grey-exclusive-video/

Chris Hemsworth: http://rawrgg.com/weekly-eye-candy-chris-hemsworth/spike-tvs-video-game-awards-2-121210/

Ian Somerholder: http://www.ouchpress.com/ian-somerhalder/images/92668.html

Made it a Week! WooHoo!

As the scent of cinnamon rolls fills my house this morning, I can’t believe I have made it a whole week on my diet/get healthy plan! No, the cinnamon rolls weren’t for me and I didn’t eat one. I am so happy/proud of myself! I am going to post some pics etc of what I had this weekend-¬†I sort of cheated on Saturday, but nothing major. On Friday my friend and I went on a lunch date (with her precious little 1 year old-¬†my god-daughter) at Rosie’s Grill. As we munched on their¬†Winslow Salad with added grilled chicken-¬†she told me that you have to have¬†a cheat on your diet- or you won’t make it. Lol, I totally agreed. I would be miserable if I hadn’t.

So, weekend update on my meals:

Friday Morning- Plain Nonfat Yogurt, Kashi Blueberry (1/2 serving, the nutritional value of a full serving of this cereal was more than everything in the nutritional value of one cinnamon roll! yikes!), and strawberries.

Friday Lunch- WINSLOW’S Salad

Spring mix topped with avocado, cucumbers, feta cheese, tomatoes and bacon bits. Got bacon bits on side and sprinkled a little on my salad. Add grilled chicken. We had balsamic¬†vinaigrette¬†as dressing. Rosie’s Grill-¬†http://rosiesgrill.com/menu/

Friday Dinner РWe went on a dinner and a movie date night! We went to Stix, Blaise ordered Shrimp and Steak Hibachi and I ordered

Seared Tuna Tataki- Photo from Stix website: http://spanishfort.stixonline.com/#/Item/1469/199,

Onion Broth Soup-no photo

Seaweed Salad-  Photo from Stix website- http://spanishfort.stixonline.com/#/Item/1475/199

and some of Blaise’s zucchini¬†from his hibachi.

Saturday Morning- Coffee, Whole Grain toast with fresh ground peanut butter, spinach, cheese, sprinkle of turkey sausage and onion omelet & strawberries and grapes. I was hungry and it was more of a brunch. We woke up late, lol.

GOING…

GOING…

ALL GONE!

Saturday Lunch- Leftover pesto chicken strips on baby romaine, pine nuts, onions, and vinaigrette. No pic, sorry!

Saturday Dinner- Low cal shrimp enchiladas.

Recipe here from Eating Well: I added a mini can of no salt added tomato sauce to the green chile/shrimp pan…. Also- Blaise even liked it! Score!http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/quick_shrimp_enchilada_bake.html

And last night, the other cheat (sort of) was at Moo Che Che Frozen Yogurt! I had the No Sugar Added Nonfat Strawberry with kiwi, strawberries, blackberry, almonds, and pecans! It was SOO good!

Sunday Morning- Smoked salmon, cream cheese, Wasa, and capers. Which I just found out yesterday that capers are flower buds from a flower found in Italy. Cool!

That’s where I am so far.. prob will have a salad for lunch and the enchiladas for dinner tonight!

I survived a week, and I’m not starving! I feel great and have 21 days left! So…I hope after that I will choose to keep my diet this way and make it a lifestyle change. Thanks for reading!

Love,

C.

Cupcakes!

Ok, so as I said at the end of my last blog- this post is for non-dieters! Man, posting this after 8pm (which is the time I have told myself I cannot eat after) is not easy! These look so yummy! Simply Sweet Cupcake Boutique in Mobile, AL., is where the photo shoot(s) for Access Magazine’s¬†“baker’s” story for December¬†began. 9am.¬†I actually was not originally scheduled to shoot this story, but the other photographer fell ill, so I was super¬†happy they thought of me!¬†This post is going to focus on just one of the four bakeries we visited that day. I¬†may post the other ones separately! Enjoy and pick up a copy of Access! I have another feature in the upcoming February issue!

Such a fun shoot! The Access beauty team dressed up the owner of Simply Sweet Cupcake Boutique, Ashley Sassaman, to help complete this glamorous look! Just precious. What a sweetie!

DIE-t

So… I have started a diet… finally! It’s more of a get healthy/feel better/ get in shape thing. My eating habits have gotten out of control! I love food though. Haha, I don’t think I am alone in that because a few weeks ago while out on girl’s night, all of us munching on a delicious BLT pizza with avocado¬†aoili¬†(yes it was AMAZING!), one of the girl’s said, “I get so excited about food. Like, I would rather spend my money on going out to¬†a delicious dinner than¬†spending it on a¬†new¬†outfit!”¬†I was the same way. But she is in awesome shape…She works out.¬†I know one thing-¬†I can’t blame it on my son anymore (you know the, “I just had a baby” excuse… he just turned two! I am on day 4 now of my diet… I have a jogging stroller and we have been on 1 stroll so far, today will make a second one-¬†may start jogging in it today. I got new tennis shoes for Christmas and socks- so I need to put it all to use and hit the pavement (like I used to). The one day we did stroll it was windy and my son has had a cold and an ear infection, so I didn’t want to¬†make his symptoms¬†worse from all of the wind in his face/ ear… but I’ll just have to bundle him up better this time. Can’t take him to the gym just yet, want to make sure he all¬†is better before he is around other babies.

New Shoes (“Brand New Shoes, decorate my feet between me and the street”… anyone remember that guy who used to come to elementary school with a guitar and sing? He sang the new shoes song and the Unicorn song!)

My diet is a low carb, low sugar diet and I am doing it for 28-30 days… After day 2, I swear I could think clearer… I didn’t have as much sugar and carbs clouding my brain, lol! It is amazing how much more energy I have as well already! So this first week is more about getting my portions in control and limiting myself to what I eat… Next¬†week (when my son is all better from his cold-¬†prayers for that please!) I will start a routine at the gym.. and after my routine I really want to start swimming with Rowan (indoor pool). So maybe he will start to like going if he is rewarded with playtime in the pool- and maybe I can teach him to swim as well…..maybe. So I have been¬†trying¬†to do¬†no bread (other than whole grain-if I eat any), crackers (like no Ritz, Saltines, Wheat Thins, etc.)¬†cookies, no sugar in my coffee, not much fruit (I did buy¬†berries and apples)¬†and no sodas… but I have had 1 diet coke…in¬†3 days. It’s not like I don’t know how to eat, I just haven’t applied myself as much as I should have in trying to eat better and stick to it! My Step-mother is all about her¬†natural food, medicine, herb, etc… you think I am kidding? She is hardcore with it. She ALWAYS has a glass of water with her everywhere she goes. She drinks herbal teas, they raise their own chickens for eggs (and an occassional¬†dinner), grow their own veggies, herbs, etc. So I know what and how I should be eating.

Every morning¬† my coffee is black with the serving size of whatever creamer¬†I have-¬†which does have sugar, but it is about 1g. Then whatever coffee is leftover, I pour into a mason jar, mix with serving size of creamer¬†and stick in the freezer, so the next morning I have iced coffee. For breakfast the first two days I had not been to the store to prepare for a diet, so I had eggs with 1 tblspn¬†onion, mushroom, and cheese. Lunch and dinner was like canned tuna and brown rice with sugar snap peas. Now you may think, that’s not really diet, I know, but it is 100% better than what I would have eaten (breakfast would have been waffles with syrup with my boys¬†and also eggs, bacon¬†and coffee with cream and sugar (did I just say that out loud?!). Dinner would have been something like chicken spaghetti or something else carby¬†and awful for you that I concocted). So I went to the store yesterday, day 3. But I had already eaten a Vitamuffin¬†Top low carb thing for breakfast with coffee and then 1 cup of Cheerios for a snack. We went to Publix¬†around dinner time and I was so hungry! So of course I bought about $150 worth of healthy foods= veggies, fruits, Wasa¬†crackers (80 Cal in 3), hummus, eggs, Kashi¬†cereal flakes, whole grain bread, whole grain noodles, organic whole grain brown rice, tilapia, steak, cage free chicken breasts, thin bnls¬†pork chops, ground turkey, shrimp and smoked salmon. Plenty more as well. So my friend and I have a dilemma about how do you cook for just 2 adults and a toddler without having leftovers that will get thrown away? I figured it out last night… I know there are hundreds of bloggers out there who tell you how to do this, but it just clicked for me last night! My AH-HA moment!¬†I went through all of the meats that I purchased and opened them all. I took the pork chops, 12 in total, and separated them into 3 freezer bags. I layered the chops between wax paper¬†before I put them in the bags. Date and labeled the bags. There you go-¬†4 chops per¬†bag, 3 bags= 3 meals! I did the same thing for the other meats. Actually, for my bnls chicken breasts, I split them so instead of having only 3 breasts for one meal, I now have 6 halves¬†that can stretch for¬†two meals. I have certain meals planned for each bag, so I think the portions should be perfect for us to get full (a healthy full, not an, “I can’t move” full. I’m working on a way to freeze some of the fresh veggies: Asparagus, fresh green beans, and corn on the cob (more for my little man than us). I am bad about not using the veggies before they go bad… any tips would be appreciated!

Also-¬†for dinner we stopped at Chick-fil-a… boo. I had the Chicken tender Salad with the serving size of my light dressing at home… that dinner was a bit of a cheat. But I felt it was too late to unload all of the groceries and then start cooking. Because also as part of my diet, I can’t eat after 8pm, just drink water.

My breakfast this morning Thin spread of cream cheese (I need to buy the low fat though), Wasa crackers- the 3=80 cal, smoked salmon, capers, red onion, and greens and my frozen coffee.

So, I will keep you guys updated with photos of what I eat, if I cheat, excercise, etc. I have to do this to help me stay on track! I think the key for me is sticking to the serving size of the right kinds of¬†foods and not indulging! Food is for sustenance. Eww¬†and I read this thing on Pinterest (one of my favorite sites) that showed how you are what you eat… that is so true! I need to learn to respect my body more by watching what I put into it, it’s the only one I’ve got!

So.. for all of you non- dieters, my next post will be from a shoot I did for Access Magazine for Simply Sweet Cupcake Boutique in Mobile, AL.