Welcome, Lindye | Chapel Hill Birth Photographer

Sweet baby Lindye came into the world at home in the wee hours of the morning on Sunday. She weighed 8lbs, 14oz, and measured 21 inches long. Her birth was fast, smooth, and absolutely, breathtakingly beautiful…

Chapel Hill Birth Photographer
There are many, many more to come, but I know Heather and Robby and their families and friends have been waiting for a peek at this little one…

Chapel Hill Birth Photographer



Bert - Wait! Sunday in the wee hours?!? That is my birthday, too. Happy birthday to my bday twin! She certainly is cute.

annemie - A fine birthday, indeed! And yes… she is SUPER-cute – those little eyes just kept blinking open!

Spring Fun Roundup Part 2 | Chapel Hill Photographer

Last week I wrote about my wild and crazy idea to get up in front of thousands of people at the WPPI conference in Las Vegas last February and how that helped me accomplish my goal of meeting a whole slew of new people while I was there. But meeting people was only part of what I REALLY wanted to accomplish… I also wanted people to actually remember me (don’t we all?), and given that I have one of the harder names to learn/pronounce/spell, I wanted to come up with a memorable business card to hand out to facilitate that process. The cards I typically carry are letterpress  – they definitely make an impression (so thick! so pretty!), but I like to keep those for my clients  :D, so with the help of my super-talented graphic designer Anna Thompson, I came up with these:

Now, it just so happened that Moo – the company that printed these cards for me – had a booth at the WPPI tradeshow, so I stopped by to chat and give them one of my cards for a drawing they were conducting. The guy I gave it to looked, and then looked again and asked whether he could hang on to that one, then a couple of weeks later I got an email from Moo saying they wanted to feature my new cards for their newsletter and put it in their online inspiration gallery… and now you can see the awesome writeup right here! Such an honor!!!

As you may recall, though, networking wasn’t the ONLY goal I had for WPPI… I also wanted to tap the brains of some of the amazing speakers and instructors who were there. I can’t begin to list all that I learned – I attended 10 2-hour seminars in all – but one quick, easy tip I picked up had a direct impact on me just a couple of weeks later.

I’m part of a photography group here in Raleigh called the WPS (the Wedding Photographic Society)… it’s an amazing resource filled with some of the best photographers in the area (and a growing national and international presence), and throughout the year they host several contests and competitions. One of those competitions is PortraitPalooza, wherein each participating photographer has ten minutes to produce a publication-worthy bridal portrait with a model in a local wedding venue. It’s all in fun, of course, but they put on quite the show, with local makeup artists, hair stylists, florists and bridal salons contributing their time and talent to the event, and at the end, the portraits are judged and the winner is awarded a cash prize.

I went into that competition a week after WPPI, all excited and inspired by the amazing talent I’d seen and learned from during my time there. Specifically, I wanted to step outside my usual comfort zone and create a dramatic, fashion-inspired image in the vein of those demonstrated by Jerry Ghionis in his workshop entitled “In-camera Artistry”. He must have repeated “face toward the light, body toward the shadow” 30 times in two hours, so with those words in mind, I created and submitted the following two images:

PortraitPalooza First Place Winner 2012
PortraitPalooza 2nd Place 2012
A couple of weeks ago, the winners were announced, and I can’t begin to tell you how honored I was that my images placed first AND second… the only time that’s ever happened in the history of the competition :D (If you’re interested, the full writeup and all of the winning images can be found here.)

Aaaaaaand wow: that’s (more than) enough about me! I had two amazing shoots this weekend that I can’t wait to share… watch for sneak peeks from a beautiful middle-of-the-night home birth and a fun, at-home family session later this week!



Jenn - Oh my God Annemie this is so exciting – you are on fire! Keep it up and I wish you all the success in the world! XOXO

Joda - AMAZING and THRILLING. Beautiful shots, by the way. The colours are brilliant.

annemie - Thanks, guys!

Amanda - Of course! I had no doubts you’d win both first and second!

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!



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