Spring Fun Roundup Part 1 | Chapel Hill Photographer

So it occurred to me this morning that I hadn’t yet posted about some of the exciting things that have happened for Megapixie in the first few months of 2012. If you follow me on Facebook, I apologize for the recap, but I wanted to put them here, too, just in case anyone missed them:D

2012 WPPI Program

First up, my Photographer’s Ignite talk at the WPPI convention in Las Vegas. A quick bit of background: WPPI is short for Wedding and Portrait Photographers International, and the convention they host in Vegas every year is ENORMOUS… 16K+ photographers all in one place for a week-long party conference, including a huge trade show and dozens of workshops, speakers, and events. This year was the first time I made the trip, and my two objectives while there were to A: learn stuff and B: meet people. Seems simple, right? But I know how easy it is to get lost in a crowd of that size, so I wanted to figure out a way to make an impact and make some new friends along the way. One rather hare-brained idea I came up with was to apply for a spot speaking at Photographers Ignite, which is the big opening-night show. The basic concept is that there are fifteen speakers who each speak for five minutes on some topic related to photography. Since it’s only five minutes, it has to be a pretty concise message, and it’s a little tricky to fit a coherent, complete talk into such a short period of time. Making it even more challenging is the fact that you have a series of 20 slides running behind you that are timed at 15 seconds apiece, and advance whether or not you’re running on time. Oh, and there are no cue cards or teleprompters… yep: memorized. Anyway, I applied with no expectation that I’d get a spot – most of the speakers are internationally-known photographers and speakers – but lo and behold, I did… and here’s the evidence to prove  it:

Not TOO bad, eh? Given how nervous it made me to get up in front of a crowd of 3000+, I’d say the fact that I finished in one piece was an accomplishment in itself!

These next two images were from my super-awesome roommate and partner in crime, Victoria de Martigny of Creative Perspectives in Montreal… first, me up on stage, slideshow running:

Annemie Tonken Photographers Ignite

…then after the fact with Kevin Kubota, seriously the nicest, goofiest guy in the business… can you tell how relieved I was to be done?

Annemie Tonken Kevin Kubota

Thanks, Victoria!

Now although that by itself was plenty of excitement, there’s more to this story… but that’s probably enough procrastination for today;)Check back in tomorrow for part two!

xox,

annemie

Bert - A very fine start to 2012 for a very fine photographer. Keep the photos and stories coming, please.

Milestones | Chapel Hill Child Photographer

Sometime in the last few months, someone took my baby and left a boy in his place. This boy doesn’t babble like my little Judah used to, he talks in full sentences. He runs around the house shooting the finger guns we’ve been unsuccessfully trying to ban since before he was born, and he belly laughs at the potty jokes that Oliver tells. He’s a thousand times more stubborn than his brother ever was, and his tantrums are straight out of the two year-old handbook, but he’s got an amazing little sense of humor and timing, and we often marvel at the insight and perspective he seems to have.

Judah and his Pacifier
Judah and his Pacifier
Judah and his Pacifier

In the past month, those big boy qualities have been underlined by two major milestones – no more pacifier, and no more diapers – and though both are the cause of a lot of celebration, I can’t help but be a bit sad… it seems that all the evidence of my little baby is gone.

On the Potty
On the potty

Have a great holiday weekend.

xox,

annemie

beth - must be time for another one :)

Leacey - Geez, Annemie. This pregnancy is making me so hormonal. Tearing up looking at big boy Judah and thinking that my baby H is gonna be a big brother soon :) Beautiful pics, as usual, and a beautiful boy, as usual!

Molly - Such a big boy! Wah!!!

Joda - Amazing. What a touching sentiment expressed so nicely. I agree with Beth.

Amanda - Lovely post.

REAL Family Portraits | Hillsborough Family Photographer

If you read my blog regularly, you know that I’m not the kind of photographer who cranks out hundreds of sessions a month. I’ve never been interested in a high-volume business, though many such studios are very successful, and some of them do very good work. Personally, though, that environment wouldn’t work for me. I believe that real portraits require getting to know your subjects… and this portrait of Neepa, John, Alex & Asha, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly why:

Hillsborough Family Photographer

When someone asks me to create a set of portraits for them, I ask in turn that they take the time to complete a long-ish questionnaire, which includes questions ranging from the names of everyone who will be included and what their individual interests are to how their home is decorated and what they like to do on lazy Saturday mornings. The answers to these questions give me a good sense of the dynamics of a family and how I can best capture them in a way that reflects who they really are. In response to my question “What do you want to remember about your family life right now?”, Neepa wrote “The chaos and the fun”, and for me, the above picture is pure chaos, and pure fun.

Quoted from other parts of their questionnaire:

“The amazing thing is that childhood goes by so fast that you don’t realize it until you see it in a picture…”

Hillsborough Family Photographer
Hillsborough Family Photographer
“…like the picture on the swings. The idea of wanting to fly so high, it’s almost crazy to watch their expressions…”
Hillsborough Family Photographer
Hillsborough Family Photographer
Hillsborough Family Photographer
“Then there’s the moments of a parent with a child. They can drive you wild, but those pictures can show you the amazing bond between parent and child.”
Hillsborough Family Photographer

And finally: “I want to remember the time when they really needed both of us and we needed them. The way they run to us for boo-boos or to tell us the newest thing that they learned in school. I want to remember them learning to ride big kid bikes, going across the monkey bars, and doing forward rolls. Those moments where you can see that they are connecting the dots and making those connections that will last them a life time. And I want to remember the time when they were still both smaller than me, so that I could snuggle with the both of them.”

Hillsborough Family Photographer
Hillsborough Family Photographer
This is why I love my job. Thank you, Neepa & John… it was a true pleasure capturing these memories for you :D
Hillsborough Family Photographer

xox,

annemie

kate - Wow! Beautiful in every way! It looks to me that you captured the joy and love that abounds in this family. These will sure help Neepa keep clear her cherished memories. Oh, and I love the quotes, too!

Molly - Lovely! I fellow Superman fan, I see. :)

Jenn - There are so many among these that I love! In particular the first one and then juxtaposition of the kids against the wood beam. Really lovely.

Amanda - I love, love LOVE this post. That first photo is crazy fun, and the one of the parents looks as though they’re saying, “look what an amazing thing we’ve done. Look at our beautiful family.”