Posted on August 27, 2014
My life is pretty ordinary. I mean I’ve got one kid, my husbands got a full time 9-5 (sorta) job, and I sorta work from home & act like a housewife.
We don’t have anything spectacular to share when it comes to day to day activities so I decided I’d spice up my boring day with my olloclip.
True story: this post was going to have REAL DSLR images on it. hi res. gorgeous edits. then I thought: thats not real life. What’s real life is raw, and noisy and not glorified. (and because I deleted the images I started on my camera from the morning.)
So here I present you some killer Olloimages.
My images start as I make my way to the school to pick up my baby girl. Welcome to my August 21st.
It looked like a it’d be a pretty gloomy day – it being monsoon season.
It makes for a perfect day to free-lens on an olloclip right?
You’re completely right, I need more coffee. So I stopped into Safeway for some Starbucks.
I was waiting for my coffee when a woman looked at my phone and was like- “Oh isn’t that cool, is that a lens?”
Yes, yes it is. Now let me tell you all about it in 1.4 minutes while we wait for my iced coffee.
Sat in the car, sipped coffee. and then it happened …
the rain was only going to hold off for so long.
the sprinkles they came down and they came down hard, but I’ll tell you we braved that sprinkling like it was no body’s business.
Brought my baby doll home and popped in some Fish sticks for lunch, MMM.
I was then held at my will to play a game with my child, where she later threw a fit that I was winning and threw a pillow at the game.
During her time out, I did some editing.
When she cooled off, we played Legos.
I once again ran away, sanity in hand, to edit quickly between being a mom and slave to my daughter.
I decided letting her rollerblade outside could get out some energy she has pent up,
so we all but roped a pillow to her hind quarters and headed outside.
When she’s red in the face like that, it means the energy is escaping her.
Then it was off to teach her what belly muscles are and why we need them to balance.
The reality hit me.
I was actually a grown up.
Not a playmate, or a Photoshop junkie.
Time for the household chores – PM edition.
One of my best friends has 4 legs and purrs, so what?
Those dishes got done, and I had to show you so you didn’t
pass judgment on me too quickly.
Made some Sodium-filled Velveta Mac n Cheese to go with
whatever I made – It was a very “whatever” dinner night.
I sat with my daughter at her kids table and talked crap about the stuffed the uncool stuffed animals
and raved about all the hottest trends in a 4 year olds life.
I am omitting the picture I have of my amazing husband passed out in bed, which he’s not aware I have
but I am so so so lucky and thankful to have him as someone to share my bed with and settle in for the night with, every night.
My life ain’t glam, it’s not perfect. But it’s sure a heck of a lot cooler through an #olloclip.
Posted on August 17, 2014
A few pieces of photography advice that I have learned to accept and live by. First of all, never leave your house unprepared. Which translates to bring everything you own with you wherever you go if you are on the job.
This includes but is not limited to: extra memory cards, battery charger, the battery to your Camera, an extra battery, speed light, extra batteries for the speed light, a light diffuser for your speed light, reflector, reflector stand if you have one, your lens cap, lens filters, other lenses even if they don’t usually suit what you’re going to be shooting. Extra points if you remember to bring your umbrella, your umbrella stand, your trigger and remote for your speed light, and you win the game if you bring a freaking stool for someone to sit on.
A few other things that I like to have in my trunk are a blanket, and a basket. These items are really versatile when you are dealing with family shoots and children and the basket can help carry things around if you don’t have a super awesome camera bag The size of Texas.
Another tip that is hard to accept because you really want to take advantage of your awesome expensive lens, is: don’t always shoot at 1.8 f-stop. I’m guilty of it I’ve done it plenty before. I want to use that awesome 1.8 to get the blur. But being brutally honest with you, you are better off shooting at 2.8 on a lens that stops down to 1.8 because you’re going to get clarity, and you’re more likely to get two or more heads in focus rather then half an eye as you would At 1 .8. Focusing that low is an artform. Do your self a favor and start high and get low.
One big no-brainer is, always, always, always have a contract despite the work you are doing paid or unpaid. your contract defines the terms of which you’re working under. For instance, do you hate when people are late? In my contract it states if you were more than 10 minutes late you’re not getting that time back to make up in the shoot. What about payment? I know plenty of people who have in their agreement that 50% of the sitting fee is due at signing and the other 50% is due the day of the shoot. If you don’t wish to be taken advantage of, or to be walked all over by a client, be sure to outline and point out every single detail in your contract. When somebody asks, how did you write your contract? I say to them what do I expect out of my client? What do I want my client to do for me and what do I want to do for my client? It isn’t hard to think about the ways you can get burned and abused in this business and how you can prevent it with a single contract.
Don’t continuously undercut the industry around you. VALUE yourself, as well as your work and others will too. Now, I’m not talking about special events, or special occasions where you’ve been invited to be present (parties, festivals, events where you pay-per-image pretty much.) sometimes it’s nice to lure potential clients in with those opportunities. I’m speaking of $30 full sessions with 80 edited images. You’ll be making beans for profit and wearing yourself thin and tired in months.
Okay and my last rant – BE LEGAL. Have your business license. Pay your sales taxes. It’s just good juju. It’s gonna catch up to you, too. Besides if you want to be able to write off purchases you need to be legal first meaning have a business license. Any purchases made after are game to write off!
Anyone else have words of wisdom? SHARE! Build a soapbox and lay it on us in the comments.
Posted on August 4, 2014
This weekend I traveled to Carefree, AZ to witness a wonderful baptism at Our Lady Of Joy Roman Catholic Church.
Being that I grew up Catholic I was 100% comfortable being in a church documenting this awesome day for the C family.
Her gown was phenomenal; we joked that a wedding dress would be less maintenance it was so flowy. Baby C’s demeanor was so calm and easygoing it just made you smile when you saw her so content!
It was a gorgeous day, and the ceremony was short. Afterward we did family images outside of the church for them to really capture the whole of the family and Godparents in light of the day.
I really love being able to accommodate to people during life events. I’m a huge #putdownyoursmartphone believer. In other words ENJOY THE MOMENT – let someone else photograph it for you. Be in the frame, and let your image be more than smart phone quality.
All in all, it was an honor, priviledge and a blessing to meet and help the C family out, as it’d be to help anyone out capturing an important day in their or their child’s life.
Posted on July 15, 2014
I was hesitant to go, because the price seems a bit high. $50 to drive through a park!? drive through!? Sounds like a ploy.
But maybe it’s worth it I mean they’ve got a cool name, it’s gotta be worth the money, right?
I’m speaking of course, of Bearizona.
Experience animal wildlife the way it was meant to be, in a natural environment, all from the comfort and safety of your own vehicle. Your family will enjoy our wide variety of wildlife, from majestic bison and nimble big horn sheep to stealthy wolves and adorable bear cubs.
So we drive in, and first animal whose habitat you drive through is the Rocky Mountain Goat.
Next up, Is the Dall Sheep. They were pretty chill and liked to hide, here you see a mature dall sheep, and then a baby.
Then we moved to the American Burro (thats a donkey)
After the Burros, we move on to what my daughter called, “Mr Hairy face.” Otherwise known as the American Bison!
When you are done getting through these animals you run into a sign that reminds you to roll up your windows, and lock your doors. Why? because you’re about to be surrounded by Alaskan Tundra, and Arctic Wolves. Let me tell you; they made the money we paid to get in WELL WORTH every single penny. They walk right up to your car and you suddenly feel like you’re gonna be in what seems like youtube video of a wolf on a persons car.
When you’re done with the wolves, you go through Junior Black Bears but we didn’t see any. Not sure what was going on, but we end up seeing plenty of black bears at the walk-through portion of the zoo at Bearizona. (plenty of pictures from that t00, don’t worry!)
I could not get enough of the yellow wild flowers and the setting that the next animal, the White Bison.
Next: Ah yes, Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep.
THE BLACK BEAR! They were lazy. They were sleepy. They were HOT. I’m pretty sure that when it downpoured they were ecstatic (while staying asleep) that it was finally cooling off. It went from 82 degrees to 66 when It rained.
That my friends, is the drive through portion of Bearizona. Now, its not just a drive through zoo and I learned when we visited. There is also a walk through portion with shows, exhibits, and shops!
Let me share some amazing bear images I got after they fed the junior bears, and the baby cubs (plus some more other animals!)
Overall: A+. 100%. Awesome! Totally worth the drive if you’re in the market for a day trip, if you’re staying in the vicinity, or if you are an avid nature photographer.
Pay once, go through alllll dayyyy. on wheels. not your feet. Are you getting how awesome it is to go to a zoo where you can stay in the car and not walk?
Like, we realized how awesome it was that we didn’t have to walk and hear about how “tired” our 4 year old is after walking. (heard enough of that in the actual walk through portion of the zoo.)
Bonus points if you go on a cold day, an over cast day, or a rainy day. We went when there was a 30% chance of rain. You bet your bottom dollar it rained. Scratch that — it poured. It was awesome!
For more information on Bearizona [ location, hours, FAQ] visit Bearizona.com
* This post is in no way endorsed by Bearizona, I just so happened to have been really impressed. *
stay tuned for a super-awesome post about our day long trip to the Grand Canyon!
Posted on July 11, 2014
If any of you know me — I’m sarcastic. Call it a coping mechanism, call it a personality trait; I don’t care. I love sarcasm. I love when people douse a hot topic with sarcasm and press peoples buttons. Because 99% of the time the article has valid points.
The problem is: I can’t write incredibly well. I can’t form complete thoughts and get to where I intend to go without going off onto 60 tangents. Thus, I rely on others to express what I’m thinking and relay the good word of sarcasm.
This article is written by a Photographer, and well.. let me give you a little taste:
WE ALL OWN CAMERAS // We live in an era where everyone carries a camera on them at all times. Cell phone cameras have come a loooooong way. I mean REALLY, it’s just a matter of clicking a button. No big deal. Save your money, buy a fancy phone and go to town!
Now that you’re intrigued –
FIVE REASONS YOU SHOULD NEVER (LIKE EVER) HIRE A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER // SAVE YOUR MONEY
Posted on July 9, 2014
I was born in , raised in, and still visit Grand Rapids, MI. It’s where my parents bought a tiny red brick house and made it their home. It’s where the kids left the nest from. It’s my mother’s resting place. It’s where my daughter loves to visit Papa.
It’s where I met my husband, it’s where my husband’s family lives. it’s where I see my in-laws, its where my husband sees his parents and family. It’s where my daughter loves to see GiGi and Grandpa Joe.
Regardless, it’s a place full of memories. It will always remain a place of memories.
I mock the hashtag and saying #PureMI or #PureMichigan because of the semi-famous “Pure Michigan” (click that for commercial) travel ad campaign that started in 2007 and still runs to this day. I have friends here in Phoenix, AZ that they always see the ads, I saw them when we lived in CA and people worldwide probably have the same testimonial.
She’s never seen a whirly-bird before. (helicopter, whatever you call them.) Her shirt? says it all.
This trip revolved around my brother getting married to his amazing fiance. I may be a bit bias, but she’s awesome. I didn’t photograph their wedding, thank gosh, because I had enough fun in the party to convince me to never shoot a wedding I’m invited to, ever. The amazing Peach Moon Photography based out of Grand Haven, MI shot their engagement photos and wedding photos and were great people to work with. I’m the tall blonde in the family image on the alter with the PRECIOUS flower girl that is my daughter, and the tall bald ravishingly handsome man that I’m married to. Thats my “cleans up well” dad next to me, and then of course her family on her side.
There are plenty of other #thelillis wedding insta-pictures on my IG Feed but you gotta go back a little ways. You can’t miss ‘em!
Besides being there for their wedding, we were there for personal vacation as well. We saw plenty of family, scenery, and I took so many nature/still life shots it will make your eyes numb.
We went to the Grand Rapids Arts Festival downtown Grand Rapids, MI.
We visited Grand Haven State Beach both as a family and as a couples date to just get away.
We went to Traverse City (TC), MI which is known for their berries, and cherries. We went because our daughter had never been there, and I haven’t either. There’s this place called the Sleeping Bear Dunes which is like, arguably one of the prettiest places to visit in the lower peninsula of Michigan. WE LITERALLY SAW A BEAR CUB CROSS THE ROAD. <– caps necessary.
Known for their berries and cherries, so naturally I had to have a very berry filled pie at Grand Traverse Pie Co. Some lighthouse that wanted $4.00 to walk upstairs in it. No thanks! We visited family for Father’s Day. The best part was that my dad came along with us to my husbands side of the family’s gathering. It’s so nice to have them integrated!
My husband and I respectfully saw friends I see once a year (when we visit.) Nothings more refreshing, more awesome, and more rewarding than maintaining friendships over years and years. We pick up where we left off the last time we saw each other — it’s how I’m able to have friends nation and world wide. Friends are the flowers in the garden of life!
Making S’mores with out friends Lisa and Conor whom will be getting married this year.
childhood best friends grow up, and have kids, who hang out with each other — i’d say that’s more like family.
The literally awesome part of the friends that I visit is they continue to grow up, prosper, and I get to see them from afar on facebook them actually meet their kids they’ve had or the ones they’re about to have! (a friend announced she was pregnant on fathers day!)
I saw old high school friends, old family friends. Family.
Oh, and I continued to shoot barns for no good reason at all.
Category: Arizona, Family, Travel, Uncategorized Tagged: #, #PureMI, Arizona, AZ, blogger, chandler, Desert, facebook, Family, Family Photographer, gilbert, Grand Rapids, Melissa, Melissa Garcia, MI, michigan, Oh! MG Photography, OHMG, Phoenix, Photog, Photographer, photography, photos, Pictures, Pure MI, search, South Mountain, Sunday, Sunshine, Vacation, Visiting, wordpress
Posted on July 6, 2014
May 24th we took a trip.
My husband wouldn’t tell me where we were going but he was like, “get ready we are leaving.”
So 1) I knew we were leaving far away, and 2) I know he understands my appreciation and love for the scenic Arizona so I was pretty sure I’d like what I see where we ended up.
After some windy roads that gained elevation, then lost some, then gained again, we passed through scenes unlike ones I’ve seen in Phoenix, AZ.
Mind you, these were shot from the passenger side of our car, window down .. me saying, “sorry really just one more.. ” each time.
I gave my camera a rest and those awesome clouds you see sort of just lurked around. Finally we arrived somewhere between the 188 and 288.
We stopped into the National Park up there and there’s a visitor center in Lake Roosevelt, AZ right across from Roosevelt Lake Marina.
Without spending money on any park passes or parking passes for recreational areas, we made an afternoon of just seeing the sights.
Below is Roosevelt Dam.
A pretty awesome view of the iconic bridge they have there (and an all natural sky, that stuff isn’t made up!)
Then there’s my scared-of-ants photographer-4-year-old daughter.
We taught her the ipad takes good pictures, so she walked around taking umptillion shots of EVERYTHING. (that was fun to delete later.. )
And an Oh! MG family trip wouldn’t be a trip if we didn’t take a family picture. We do this almost everywhere we go.
There was literally three cement pedestals there likely for this purpose, to be tripods.
Lake Roosevelt had much more for us to see. Here’s some that really stood out from our day-trip:
Category: Arizona, Family, Uncategorized Tagged: adventure, ahwatukee, Arizona, AZ, Beauty, chandler, Desert, facebook, Family, Family Photographer, gilbert, Lake Roosevelt, landscape, Natural, nature, Oh! MG Photo, Oh! MG Photography, oh!MG photography, OHMG, Phoenix, photo, Photog, Photographer, photography, photos, Pictures, road trip, Scenic, search, South Mountain, Sunshine, Tempe, Trip, wordpress
Posted on July 5, 2014
Put down your smartphone and jump in the picture for once!
Oh! MG Photography is offering a price point for everyone for a limited time!
I’m debuting a summer special that you’re able to apply through August! These short and sweet sessions start at $99* and can take as little as 20 minutes!
These sessions are designed to be very quick and to the point — I know this summer heat is nothing we wanna sit in! I’m sweating just thinking about it.
Sometimes the summer is the only time everyones off work & school all at once, so now’s the perfect time to purchase!
Starting at 7:00pm, these sessions will capture a thorough glimpse into what your family is in the “now”. Update your family photo quick and painlessly!
Email Melissa@Ohmgphoto.com for terms and conditions, this is a time sensitive deal!
This affordable price point won’t last forever.
Category: Arizona, Blog, Clients, Family, Testimonial, Uncategorized Tagged: $99, Affordable, ahwatukee, Arizona, AZ, Capture, Central Phoenix, discount, East Valley, Fall, Family, Family and Friends, foto, Friends, Mini, Phoenix, Photog, Photographer, photography, photos, Quick, School, Smart, South Mountain, Special, Summer, Sweet, Things To Do, Under 100, West Valley
Posted on May 17, 2014
I got two new lenses recently (a belated mother’s day gift from my husband) and I’m sort of, really completely, totally and utterly am obsessed with my new Sigma 105mm 2.8f AF lens.
I was so obsessed with my olloclip and I still love it but this brings my macro TO LIFE! Everything can easily be gorgeous now with this amazing lens.
I do have a complaint against it when working in low light situations, that’s when I’d go with a fast acting 35 or 50mm. My 50 has never steered me wrong in low light!
Soooo I made a gallery because of the nerdliness.
This lens is going to make a newborn shoot much more interesting! I get to shoot baby “B” on the 24th, and I am counting down the seconds until I get to use this lens in a real shoot :)
Category: Blog, Testimonial, Uncategorized Tagged: AZ, baby, blogger, chandler, Desert, facebook, Family Photographer, Luke AFB, macro, Melissa, Melissa Garcia, Mother, move, newborn, Oh! MG Photo, Oh! MG Photography, oh!MG photography, OHMG, Phoenix, photo, Photog, Photographer, photography, photos, Pictures, review, sigma, Sunshine, Tempe, Twentynine Palms, wordpress
Posted on May 14, 2014
I was ecstatic when I got the text that said “baby is here! here’s our room number, when will you be by?”
I LOVE visiting these itty bitties in the hospital, so fresh and so new and so amazing. All they know is mom, the sound of her; the smell & what she offers for them.
to view the whole album, visit my portfolio page link at the top, or click here!
I am honored to be onboard with this family for a year for Newborn, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months & 1-year shoots. Although I’ve done numerous (and I mean NUMEROUS) shoots of different ages of different children I can’t say that i’ve been around for all 5 of those awesome milestone ages for too many people that weren’t my direct friends. Needless to say, I’m super excited!
Category: Arizona, Blog, Clients, Family Tagged: Arizona, babies, baby, blogger, chandler, Family Photographer, first 48, gilbert, hospital visit, lifestyle, lifestyle shoot, Melissa, Melissa Garcia, Mommy and baby, Mother, newborn, Oh! MG Photography, OHMG, Phoenix, photo, Photog, Photographer, photography, photos, Pictures, search, Tempe, wordpress
Posted on May 11, 2014
We still remain resilient, super-humans. We are mother’s now. We are a breed of species that isn’t born and only “becomes”. Once you go “mom” you don’t go back. This is for all you super moms, that don’t have the support you probably need. For all the smart, caring, and over-burdened women who care for their young so selflessly. A lot of us set aside our lives to raise new ones. A lot of us put things on hold and never get back to them but are okay with it because we’ve created even better things to occupy our time. (children) You are a rock, and you are solid. You know how to hug like a champion and kiss a booboo like a pro. There’s not a scary monster in a dark closet that you can’t capture and there’s no bug you can’t squash.
Before I was a Mom – I slept as late as I wanted and never worried about how late I got into bed. I brushed my hair and my teeth everyday.
Before I was a Mom – I cleaned my house each day. I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby. I didn’t worry whether or not my plants were poisonous. I never thought about immunizations.
Before I was a Mom -
I had never been puked on – Pooped on – Spit on – Chewed on, or Peed on. I had complete control of my mind and My thoughts. I slept all night.
Before I was a Mom -
I never held down a screaming child so that doctors could do tests…or give shots. I never looked into teary eyes and cried. I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin. I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep. Before I was a Mom – I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn’t want to put it down. I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn’t stop the hurt. I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much. I never knew that I could love someone so much. I never knew I would love being a Mom.
Before I was a Mom -
I didn’t know the feeling of having my heart outside my body. I didn’t know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby. I didn’t know that bond between a mother and her child. I didn’t know that something so small could make me feel so important.
Before I was a Mom – I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay. I had never known The warmth, The joy, The love, The heartache, The wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom. I didn’t know I was capable of feeling so much before I was a Mom. – Author Unknown Source
Category: Arizona, Blog, California, Clients, Family, Testimonial, Uncategorized Tagged: amazing, lifestyle, lifestyle photography, moms, mothers, mothers day, mums, Oh! MG Photography, Photographer, photography, Secrets Of Motherhood, South Mountain, supermom, women, wonderment, wonderwoman
Posted on May 7, 2014
I want to thank everyone who trusted me to capture some awesome memories for them in Twentynine Palms, CA. I had families of 5, I had small babies, older kids and a blissfully wed couple without children.
I traveled to Twentynine Palms with one mission: to capture one last session for my best friend’s family before they move overseas for the next few years.
This same best friend was my first real client. Our next shoot is tentative for 2018. What can I say, I book out! ;)
Never forget who helped you get where you are now, and never forget what leaps and bounds you took to get here.
Posted on September 19, 2013
It took me forever. I don’t know why I didn’t do it earlier? I’m not sure, really.
Oh! MG Photo is now in Phoenix.
We’ve been situated for a few weeks but it’s been busy with getting unpacked, figuring out routines. Our daughter is enrolled in PT preschool now which sorta frees up but confuses my mornings a bit.
I’ve met some neighbors and really right now i’m just trying to spread word right now; Meet & greets. Networking meetings. Social gatherings. Uprooting is hard! Especially integrating into such a large city such as Phoenix.
I’m just one family portrait photographer amongst a sea of other photographers.