Mommy & Me for Abbey & Max

I am so excited to share with you this session. So truth be told, I have not photographed a two year old I have not met before. I was a little nervous going into it. I had to pull out my training from my daycare teacher days when I used to care for up to ten 2 year olds at a time. Talk about learning to think on your feet. I had to come up with a way I knew would entertain a two year old while also getting photos and hoping that I could easily keep him happy.

I work with Abbey at a medical office full time and so I knew I would be super comfortable photographing her. The stories she would tell about her son (and her perfect impersonations) pumped me up so much to do this session with Max.

We went to the amphitheater right outside the Bryan House on Indiana University’s campus. I figured it would be a perfect backdrop as well as playground for Max. It was a win-win.

He instantly melted my heart. He was very interested in all of the surroundings, which made it very easy to get photographs. Abbey did mention they take a lot of photos of him, so he was not phased by me following him around with my big camera.

Max loved to climb around and was very interested in the non-existent fishes that were in the creek. He was very satisfied with the bubbles I brought for him to play with as well.

Abbey was a total natural as she knew how to interact with him and make amazing photo opportunities. I felt like I never needed to cue her to do anything. It made it so easy to put more focus on following the never stopping Max around.

I couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful Mommy & Me session. Thank you both so much for your time and trusting me with this special moment.

Without further ado, here are some sneak peeks of their session.

bpg 3 2 tall.jpg

Step by step, how I got this shot

I love having the chance to show off some of my creative photographs. When I am, I always get asked how I “got that shot.” Today, I wanted to take a more creative photo and explain to you step by step how I got this shot. If you want to see how I made the shot the way it looks now, besides the idea planning and direction (so in Lightroom), watch the video to see the rest!

  1. I knew I wanted to use these string lights I had and I wanted something to do with bokeh lighting (large out of focus circles where the lights are). So I tried it with my cousin, Sam. I knew in order to make the lights pop, it needed to be REALLY dark around us. So it was Christmas Eve and it got dark pretty quickly in the day and it was a new moon that night meaning it would be DARK. So we went into my backyard at my parents house to use for the backdrop.

  2. I positioned the lights to wrap around her so I could get a specific focal point. So in order to do this, I made her stick out one of her arms so when I kept focus on her face, the lights on the arm closest to me would end up being blurry (intentionally).

  3. The way I laid the lights made her face light up as well. I put some in her hair next to her ear as well as wrapped more around her other arm. The arm that wasn’t close to me I had her move it to be close enough to her face to give her more light but far enough to not be in the frame.

  4. Since we were in the dark, I had to keep the camera VERY still in order to keep her face (mainly the eyes) in focus. Once I took a few shots in the same place, I did move to multiple angles, but this one I liked the most and was most in focus.

  5. So once I had my composed in camera photo, I went through the editing process. If you would like to see how this process goes, feel free to watch the video below.

So, overall, what I do when composing a photograph is noticing the lighting around me, location, time of day, what is going to be in and out of the frame, focal points, and angles to name a few. Since I have been doing this all my life, I can pick these points out very quickly during a session. It took many years of practice and I still am constantly finding new things to look out for with each and every photo. Now you can see how I go from a vision in my head to what you see in the end.

Paige & Nathan's Maternity Session

There is no secret that I am absolutely obsessed with this session. It’s because it’s of my sister and her man. I love that I was able to take their maternity session for them and my future nephew. I was really excited to take them around my stomping grounds for this session. Paige will be due at the very beginning of January (and I am really hoping it’s a New Year baby). Please enjoy these photos as much as I had putting them together.

Paige & Nathan's Maternity Session JPEG-5.jpg
Paige & Nathan's Maternity Session JPEG-10.jpg
Paige & Nathan's Maternity Session JPEG-25.jpg
Paige & Nathan's Maternity Session JPEG-49.jpg
Paige & Nathan's Maternity Session JPEG-44.jpg
Paige & Nathan's Maternity Session JPEG-74.jpg
Paige & Nathan's Maternity Session JPEG-78.jpg
Paige & Nathan's Maternity Session JPEG-82.jpg
Paige & Nathan's Maternity Session JPEG-91.jpg
Paige & Nathan's Maternity Session JPEG-111.jpg
Paige & Nathan's Maternity Session JPEG-119.jpg
Paige & Nathan's Maternity Session JPEG-128.jpg
Paige & Nathan's Maternity Session JPEG-152.jpg
Paige & Nathan's Maternity Session JPEG-135.jpg
Paige & Nathan's Maternity Session JPEG-141.jpg

Aiming for the Perfect Shot

I am going to get a little vulnerable here today. This post is going to give you a little bit of me and I am letting you into my head. 

I am not perfect, nor will I ever be. Do I strive for perfection? Everyday. Does that seem impossible since it's not really attainable? No. Perfection should always be strived for because perfection should be defined by you and you alone. Someone may think that perfection is getting the ideal body physique while someone else can think that perfection is getting a really high IQ. This is why perfection needs to be defined by you & only you.

This was very hard for me to understand. It was even harder for me to understand that my definition of perfection is attainable, but it needs to be hard to achieve. I need to be able to work for it. With this being said, it was very hard for me to learn something - not everyone is interested in my work for their session.

What?! How absurd! I mean, I am friends with all of these people, why aren't they coming to me for their sessions?!?! I felt a little hurt or betrayed sometimes when my friends and family members would choose someone else instead of me. I mean how rude, right? How can I still be friends with these people?

How wrong am I? I had to learn this lesson and it was not exactly the words I wanted to swallow. I wanted to take their photographs, I wanted to be their photographer and be the one showing off the photos. I wanted their business, but so did many other photographers. These photographers need the business too. 

Perfection to me was getting everyone to come to me for their sessions. Now, I have come to understand that not everyone is coming to me for their sessions, but it has nothing to do with how well I can photograph. There are multiple different factors: time frame, cost, location, style, etc. It took me a while to understand this. It is all okay. 

I should still strive to get these sessions, but I should never be upset with people if they don't. I know my work will fit certain clients and it won't fit others and THAT IS OKAY! 

Thank you for allowing me to open up with you all today. Let me know your feedback below in the comments!

Kaytee Lorentzen | Owner & Photographer

The photographer behind photos of me

Have you ever wondered who takes the amazing photographs of me that you see over my website? Well, I hire someone who I have known since college and I have always been inspired and motivated by her work. She is someone I look up to and am always wanting to be like. 

Her name is Lauren Dahlhauser and she owns Lauren Dahlhauser Photography. She always has amazing photographs and loves to travel. She has been with Rustic Pathways previously for two summers straight where she got to travel to Morocco and Australia to take photographs. She is truly someone I inspire to be one day. 

I wanted to share some photographs she has taken of me that may or may not have come through this website or on my social media before. I hope you enjoy them! Thank you so much, Lauren, for your wonderful talent.

Kaytee Lorentzen
Owner | Kaytee Lorentzen Photography