A Photo Session Family of Three, Tulsa, OK

I have waited to take pictures of this peanut for one year. I’ve taken pictures of her parents when they were dating, while they got engaged, their engagement photos, at their wedding, and a couple’s family photos. Their photos not only document their lives but also the course of my artwork as a photographer. It nearly killed me that I didn’t get to take Addie’s newborn photos. Distance is a cruel cruel beast of a thing. I did take some not so official photos of her when they met us in Dallas for a one night stay/quick girls get together, but she was sleepy and she bonked her head and while the photos are quite hilarious of her yelling while Issa is trying to console her, the photographer part of me was not at all satisfied.

So when we went to Tulsa for miss Addie’s first birthday, my number one mission was to take photos of them as a family of three and a few photos of that beautiful little girl all by herself. My heart is overjoyed and bursting with love for them. I know it sounds super gushy, but really I can not tell you how much I love this family and that little lady and that our girls are such good friends. Friendship is worth more than anything to me, and their’s is something I treasure.

Ok I’m done gushing. Here are their photos.

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Baby CoraLee, a Spring, TX Newborn Photo Session

I’ve known these two for some time. They were students in our youth group years ago. I was Amie’s camp counselor and Bill helped teach Corey to play the drums. We’ve watched them grow and mature and now they’re parents themselves. Which all makes me feel very old. It was an honor to capture their little one during her first days of life, when she was still absolutely fresh and new and with that newborn perfection. Now that my little girl is a running, into-everything toddler it makes me appreciate how short that newborn, teeny baby time is.

This sweet little lady gave us some trouble at first, she didn’t want to sleep, but after a few rounds around the block in the car with her daddy she slept perfectly through the remainder of her newborn photo session. She’s a beauty and I’m so happy she’s finally here.

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Photo Class Pricing Change

Since this is our very first every photo class in this format I’ve decided to make a big change on the price. If this class goes well I definitely would like to offer it again in the future, which makes our very first attendees our trial run. I feel like that means they should pay a bit less since they are acting somewhat as guinea pigs. That said, we’re dropping the class from $250 to $99 per person. There will be two changes with this price drop, lunch will no longer be provided (you’ll need to bring a lunch) and the cheat sheet book will be an optional additional purchase at the class.

I’m so looking forward to this class and I’m hoping the price change will make it more available to everyone. For those who have already signed up, we will be refunding the difference to you.

PHOTO CLASS 101, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 18, 9a-3p, LOCATION IN SPRING, TX $99

You can still register by clicking here, the new price will be reflected in the registration form. For the ALL the details on the class please click here.

I’ve had several people ask about the photography class and if you can take it even if you don’t have a DSLR camera and just a point and shoot (ie. an iphone camera). The answer is YES. The photo of Issa leaving for her first day of school which is on this blog post was taken with my iphone. You can still take amazing photos of your family events without a DSLR. There will be a portion of the class that won’t necessarily pertain to your camera but a great deal will still apply and you’ll still learn how to take better photos. So yes, please, come!

Diliberto Photo & Design Amature Photography Class

Issa’s Very First Day of School

I definitely thought I’d be more emotional. The hardest part was leaving her while she was crying, but sighing a great sigh and meeting up with our parent friends (who also have kiddos in Issa’s class) made things much easier. I’ve learned something about myself over the last year and half of being a mom, I’m a much better, more patient, loving and compassionate mom, when I can work.

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It’s hard not to feel guilt for this, like I should desire to be around my child 24/7 to cater to her to be mom all the time. And I am, mom all the time, but there is something about expressing myself creatively through my work, editing a shoot, designing an ad or logo, or going over paper samples with a client for custom wedding invitations, that makes me a better mom and makes the experience as a whole all the more amazing.

issa-firstday-2 I’m doing it for myself, for my own gratification, for the satisfaction of my clients and for her. After I complete a few hours of work I’m excited to see her. I was so thrilled to pick her up today and incredibly disappointed when she hadn’t napped and fell right asleep in the car on the way home instead of playing with me. I suppose some women go for a massage, or a pedicure or what have you to recharge (and don’t get me wrong, I love ALL of those things) but working recharges me, it fires me up and accomplishing things makes me ready to be mom.

issa-firstday-3 I suppose I might be emotional later, probably when I least expect it. Because my baby girl is growing up and becoming her own person but as sad as it is to say goodbye to the baby version of her I am SO excited to see who she is becoming.

Announcing an Intimate Photography Class

Diliberto Photo & Design Amature Photography Class

I’m so excited (and nervous) to finally announce that I will be teaching a beginner photography class which will be open to anyone who wants to attend. I’ve had tons of clients ask me about it and I can tell you all, after years and years it’s going to happen. Below are all the details.

WHERE WHEN ETC.

  • The location will be sent to you after we receive your registration form, but it will be in the Spring, TX area
  • The date is Saturday, October 18, 2014 from 9am-3pm
  • A light breakfast and lunch will be provided
  • This class is limited to people 17 and older
  • There will not be child care

WHAT WILL BE TAUGHT

  • How to shoot on manual (ie. how to use your camera to take better pictures)
  • Photography techniques
  • Understanding light and how to shoot in different lighted situations (outside, inside, in dark areas, at night etc.)
  • Basic editing
  • We will do a hands on mini photo shoot where we will review your images
  • You’ll also be able to purchase a cheat sheet book which will go over all the details from the class

WHO THIS CLASS IS FOR

  • This class is for the beginner or amateur home photographer
  • This class is not for professional photographers
  • If you want to take better photos at home, this is for you
  • If you want to understand your camera better, this is for you
  • If you want to understand light and composition better, this is for you

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

  • You should own or have access to a digital SLR camera (also called a DSLR), there are tons of brands and varieties, but basically you’ll need to have more settings on your camera than just an automatic setting
  • If you do not have a digital SLR camera (and take pictures with your phone or an point and shoot) you are still welcome to come to the class!
  • A desire to learn about photography
  • A complete things-to-bring list will be sent to you after you register
  • A sack lunch

HOW TO REGISTER

  • You can click here which will lead you to a form to register
  • Your payment will need to be made in full to secure your spot
  • Space is limited to 10 students so please make sure you register early
  • You can make your payment via paypal using a paypal account or credit card
  • The cost of the class is $250 $99 which includes the 6 hour crash course and a light breakfast (and of course coffee, you can’t have class without coffee).

DISCLAIMER

Please note this class is not for amateur professional photographers. Our goal is not to teach people how to become professional photographers, we are teaching how to better use your camera and take better memories at home, on vacations, during holidays and at kids’ sports games and performances, places you may not always have a professional photographer handy.

That said, being a professional photographer is very hard. Mastering the art takes years of classes, practice, studying under other great photographers and continuing education. The market is saturated with tons of photographers and competition is very tough, especially when many of them give their work away, it’s hard to compete with free much less make a living. I say all this not to steer you away or discourage you, but I just want to be sure folks are coming to this class with the proper expectations of what it will be.

That said, if you’re wanting to learn more about the photography industry and how to make it a business I can definitely steer you in the right direction. I’ve had several amazing mentors that still mentor me to this day and they offer fantastic teaching tools for new professional photographers, or those considering it as a career choice. We’re also always looking for great photo assistants when Bill can’t make a session, and that is the best way to learn. SO if that’s what you’re looking for, let’s talk.

ANNNND A LITTLE MORE INFO…

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me. :)

I shot my husband.

Not too long ago Bill and I were either driving in the car or sitting in bed, or one of those places where toddlers are either in bed asleep or tied down and thus somewhat distracted. He looked at me and said, “you know, you’ve never photographed me”.

And other than just shooting our lives and whatever we happen to be doing at the moment, he’s absolutely right.

I’ve been shooting some commercial photography work here and there. A friend got me into it. It’s something I’ve always been interested in and have studied on my own. I must say it is really nice to get a specific request and get to sit and think creatively a bit and then go shoot that one thing. It’s a different brain space, commercial photography, and it has been an energizing and inspiring change of pace.

So when I received a request for a bearded hipster male in sunglasses I racked my brain thinking of all of our hipster friends, non of which currently have beards. Then I looked at my husband, smiled and said “I want to take pictures of you”.

We’re closet hipsters so I’m told. So he grabbed a v-neck and his ray bans and I posed him in front of a tree in our front yard. Here are two of my favorite shots.

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He did a fantastic job. He’s a good man like that, always willing to participate in one of my hair brained ideas, but not without giving me one of those “you know you’re just a little bit crazy right” looks. And if I do say so myself, he looks quite good.

The mini photo session was short lived though because just after the shot above the sprinklers turned on, not two feet away from us. I leapt out of the spray of the sprinkler onto the sidewalk, shielding my camera with my body while Bill ran and scooped up Issa who was playing at our feet while I shot these.

And there you have it, I shot him, with my camera.

So, do I just get a CD of images?

This post is long over due. I get this question a lot, “So, do I just get a CD of images?”, and when I hear it, my heart hurts. This is a loaded question, way more loaded than any client or potential client probably intends it to be. It’s loaded because it’s personal and because I’ve had potential clients argue about it and say hurtful things. It always makes me sad.

In short, the answer is kinda, but not really, and there are a lot of reasons why, which I will explain below. There are ways to get a CD, but there’s a lot of reasons why we don’t just give one over, and never full sized images, and here’s why…

The Why
One of my favorite parts about what I do, other than the photography portion, is getting to know my clients. Often times my clients become good friends, and when they call to have me design a card, we end up chatting for a good 30 minutes about life and the funny things our kids are doing these days. It’s because we spend time together, planning sessions, during the session, and during ordering and later when they call for the next big life event. I get to know their children over the years. I get to watch them grow. My clients become family to me. I truly feel if I just handed over a CD after a session this would never happen, it would be a disservice to my clients. We’d never get to collaborate on how to print the images, or on Christmas card layout ideas or senior photo books. I never want to be a portrait studio that is based on volume. My desire is to be your friend, to get to know your family and to be here to create art and celebrate chapters in life with you.

That said, we are not creating this art together so it can sit on a disc for all eternity. We are creating this beautiful artwork, capturing your family in this time, so it can be seen and shared. This is why we do ordering sessions in your home. I want to see your walls, your decor and help come up with creative ways to print, display and cherish your photos.

You may say “no, that’s not me, I’ll definitely have them printed”. We all go into it with good intentions. Photographer friends have shot my daughter and my family, beautiful images, and as a photographer they have trusted me with the digital images. Are they printed and hanging in my home? No. Because we forget and the disc gets set aside and we get busy and this does not do their art justice. To those photographer friends, I apologize.

There’s also a technical aspect to our policy on not giving away or selling digital images. My computers are calibrated to the printers we use, meaning the color I see on my screen is as close as it can possibly be to the color it will be when it’s printed. Different printers are calibrated different ways so the image won’t print as I intended at any other printer except the one my computer is calibrated to. It’s why sculptors use the same foundries over and over, it’s why painters use the same brand of paint and brushes. It’s creative and quality control and as an artist I’m not willing to let this go just yet.

Thirdly, technology changes, remember floppy discs? Remember VHS? Who has home movies on VHS or High8 with no way to play them? I do. The idea that 15 years down the road we will all still have CD and DVD readers in our computers is kind of silly. We just purchased a new laptop and there’s no CD or DVD drive. So if you’re like me and you get busy and you don’t print the photos, there may be a time where you just can’t because the technology is extinct. But prints, high quality prints like the ones we offer (when kept properly) stand the test of time. Lots of us have old black and white images of our families that were handed down to us by grandparents. These images are family heirlooms and a part of me really hopes the images I capture of your family will be as well.

The Compromise
I’m also not willing to stubbornly sit here and say no. I am well aware that we live in a digital age where photos are shared online. This is why we always share a few images from your session on our Facebook page with our logo on them (this is for both for your protection and our own). We’re always willing to share additional photos you’ve purchased (in prints, a book, cards, jewelry, whatever) on our Facebook page after your ordering session. We even offer to create a free custom Facebook cover photo for you. We LOVE when you share our work. It gives me warm fuzzies all over. It’s also how we get new clients since our business is 99% referral based. We even have a referral rewards program to thank clients who send friends and family our way.

I also know some people just want a disc, even though we keep your photos forever and you can always order more years later. As a photographer I get this. This is why, once a $250 print order has been made, we offer a keepsake disc for purchase which allows you to archive your images. These discs are not full size images (remember that bit about creative and quality control as well as correct color printing above). They are images suitable for printing as a 4×6 or 5×7 for scrapbooking or just to remember or to use as the background on your home computer without our watermark on them. The prices are below:

4×6 size – (ten images) $250    (fifteen images) $375    (twenty images) $500

5×7 size – (ten images) $300    (fifteen images) $450   (twenty images) $600

Years ago, before digital, it was rare that a photographer ever sold his film negatives. If he did they were pricy. Giving away or selling digital images is like a chef giving away his recipes. There’s value there, and trust.

The End
I hope this very long and photoless post helps to clear up my reasoning behind our policies. If you have any questions about anything please do not hesitate to contact me. I’m always willing to work with my clients’ needs and vision.

We’ve entertained the idea of just swallowing that whole bit about creative and quality control, raising the session fee and giving a disc with the session. However when I asked my current clients what they thought they said don’t do it. And when they said that I breathed a breath of relief, not because of the quality control or the creative control but because seeing my work printed is seeing it completed. Seeing my clients’ faces when they receive their prints, or cards, or jewelry, or books or whatever product we come up with is the most gratifying thing an artist could ask for. Developing relationships is equally as important to me as capturing that perfect photo. It makes me smile and it makes me know that what I’m doing, this art, is good and right.

As always, thanks for reading.

Baby Judah and His Family, a Spring, TX Newborn Photo Session

This is a family who is near and dear to my heart. They were some of the first people to reach out to us when we moved (back) to Houston. They took us out to lunch after church one Sunday, neither of us had kids yet and Bill and I had only been married for a few very hard months. They reached out to us and showed us love and have continued showing us love for the past five years. I like to think we do life together.

I was honored to shoot their oldest’s newborn photos three years ago, back when shooting newborns was new to me. I’ve since raised my own newborn, now toddler and have countless newborn sessions under my belt, along with some very excellent mentoring and training from some incredible newborn photographers. Bill is an excellent assistant and baby whisperer so newborn sessions are fun for us, an opportunity to cuddle brand new life and give tired parents a break.

This is probably one of my favorite newborn photography sessions to date and I’m thrilled to share the images with you.

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The above image of baby Judah “rock climbing” is a nod to the work artists Adele Enersen in Finland and Queenie Liao in California are creating. While planning their session, Brittany (mom of Judah) mentioned how her husband loves rock climbing. Considering Houston may be the flattest city in the country we were short on mountains. So I asked her if she’d seen Adele’s work and she had so I brought most of the props and they provided the little man and the climbing rope and this is what we came up with.

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The three images above, are some of my personal favorites, along with the mother daughter smooch below. Issa kissed me like this today and I immediately thought of this photo.Judah-newborn-04.jpg Judah-newborn-05.jpg Judah-newborn-06.jpg

Thank you for taking a look. And to my dear friends, thank you for allowing me to capture this very short time when Judah is so new, and so small. I’m honored and I hope you love these images as much as I do.

Five Things : Smell, Travel, July is For Babies, Dole Whip Envy, Espresso

1. SMELL - Remember how we were sick? We’re all pretty much back to normal over here. All except I can’t smell anything.

Yes. You read that right.

It sounds like an excellent thing to be without when changing a poopy diaper or when the dog lets out a nasty fart, but other than those things it’s pretty terrible. Foods don’t taste right, I can’t tell if things I’m cooking are seasoned properly and much of my baking is based on smell (ie. when I start to smell it it’s done), and I burn bacon, the delicious black forest kind from Whole Foods that’s way more money than any normal person should spend on bacon but I do because if I’m going to eat bacon, I’m going to eat bacon.

I’ve done some WebMD reading and apparently its common after a sinus infection, which is a relief because I was really starting to freak out. I like to smell things.


2. TRAVEL -
In other news we’ve started our four months of crazy travel. Issa and I were in Dallas this week for some really fun things I’ll be sharing later. There’s a lot more travel planned with a good amount of photo sessions mixed in. I’m excited.

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I shot the above photo of Issa while she was running out some energy at a rest stop on our way to Dallas.


3. IT’S JULY, HAVE A BABY -
We’ve also done quite a few newborn photo sessions recently because apparently July is the month to have a baby. In all seriousness three friends/family members had babies within a week of each other, and not all of their due dates where in that time frame.

This also means I’ve been getting a baby fix and have been seriously appreciating the stage Issa is in right now, tantrums and cutting molars and all. She’s learning every day and saying all kinds of words and without fail she makes me laugh out loud at least every few hours because she is a complete goof. If you’re at all curious you can check out my instagram, there’s a lot of her over there.

Diliberto Photo & Design Newborn Photographer Spring, TX

Meet Judah, he was sleepy. More of him later…


4. DOLE WHIP ENVY -
 I’ve seen tons of folks (friends and people I follow in instagram) going to Disney lately. I’ve never been a huge Disney person and haven’t really ever considered it a family vacation option until people started posting about dole whip. Now I’m thinking I might need to spend all the money to go there just to go to some random Tiki Bar in the land of Mickey Mouse, lines and heat just to eat the stuff. I don’t even really know what it is, but I’ve ready basically the entire wikipedia page. I can only hope that the wiki page is correct in the list of other places that serve Dole Whip. There are a few not too far from our coming travel plans and we may have to detour just so I can partake.

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 (source)

 5. ESPRESSO - This post is brought to you by the following conversation:

Bill: Let’s eat this chocolate cake, I have milk! (Celebrating my brother’s birthday at Sunday family dinner, Bill has a GIANT glass of milk filled to the tippy top, because when he pours stuff that’s how he does it. He likes to live on the edge, right there on the edge of the glass with liquids almost spilling out. He’s wild.)

Me: (Looking at my dad) Would you like a GIANT glass of milk (he hates milk) or a cup of decaf coffee?

My Dad: Just regular coffee would be great.

Me: Are you sure? I have decaf.

My Dad: No regular coffee is perfect.

Fast forward in that Shaun of the Dead, Edgar Wright close up quick cut shot style: boil water, put espresso roast in french press, pour water in coffee, press coffee, put in favorite mug, add organic half and half, enjoy it with my father and cake. It is now 2:42. My toddler child will wake up in roughly 4 hours. Never again. But you get to enjoy this post, so at least there’s that.

We’re Real Sick Over Here

sicktissuesI’m 8 tissue boxes deep in some real gross crud. Issa was sick first and as any mom knows that’s basically the worst. Seeing your baby sick evokes the most helpless feeling imaginable. Right as she was starting to get better she was kind enough to share it with me. I mean, when your very sick daughter wants to feed you cheerios from her slimy wet hands because its the only thing that will make her smile, you kind of have to let her. I think she had the light version though (thank God) because I’ve been pretty much knocked out the last five days.

That said please know I am not ignoring your calls, e-mails, etc. This is the longest I’ve felt well enough just to type out this mini blog post. I’m hoping to be back on my feet by Monday and will start replying to calls and e-mails then.

In the mean time take your vitamins (I hear this is going around) and enjoy the holiday weekend for us as we’ve canceled our out of town plans and will be recovering on the couch for the Fourth of July. Sick days are really hard to take when your a small family owned operation like ourselves. Thank you so much for understanding.