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My birthday experience

February 18, 2011

If you read this post, you’ll remember I celebrated my birthday in January with my family and had plans to celebrate with the hub’s family the following weekend.  Since it’s so far we decided to meet in a semi-halfway place in Newberry called The Flying Pie.  It had a really neat atmosphere, great food, and live music (we’re talking about 25 guys ranging from 8 to 80 all playing their guitars).  Here’s a few shots from that evening:

I opened up birthday gifts after dinner and the last thing I opened was a diaper wrapped up in a box.  Caroline (or Sissy) announced that she and her husband were expecting!  Here’s a picture of the happy soon-to-be-parents:

I love the expression on her face.  The gift from Scott’s parents was a birthday experience.  For Christmas I got this new camera:

A Canon Rebel T1i.  It has been overwhelming trying to learn how to use this bad boy.  I’ve solicited the help of some great photographer friends, but it’s challenging to learn via iChat or through e-mails, so Pam and Don orchestrated that I spend a day with a friend of theirs who is a professional photographer.  Pam has wanted me to meet her friend for a few years.  I’ve heard lots about her, and how well Pam thought we’d get along, so I wasn’t that surprised once I found out I would be spending a day shadowing her.  The funny thing about all of this is that before I received my birthday-experience-gift, I had a comment on one of my posts from no other than Heidi Graves herself, so it seems we discovered each other all on our own; it’s a small world.

Heidi is a professional photographer in Camden, SC.  You can see her website here.  She also is a blogger, and you can check her blog out here.  We were going to get together on the 27th of January, but her poor family has been struck multiple times by the flu among other things, so we didn’t actually get together until last Friday.  I pulled up to her beautiful house bright and early:

I pulled this image from one of her blog posts when the south was covered in snow a few weeks back, so imagine it not covered in snow.  Anyway, it was so gorgeous I had to share.  It’s got that charm of old Camden houses that I love.  Then I finally met Heidi:

(Picture from her website) and she’s just as pretty in person.  We went inside and I was immediately in love with the way she decorated her house.  She has a very unique style, but it was great!  It has the traditional feel that matches the architecture of the house, but is painted with contemporary colors and she mixes modern patterns on drapes and pillows with rustic wood elements in her accessories.  I should do a younghouselove-style House Crashers post of it someday…

Anyway, we began chatting about what our day was going to look like, and she introduced me to Adobe’s Lightroom software until her first appointment arrived.  It didn’t take long for me to feel like I’d known her forever. The first shoot was of a sweet little baby girl.  Unfortunately, that baby girl wasn’t having the best day, so they had to reschedule her appointment.  Heidi’s sister was up next with her adorable nephew Roger.  Heidi taught me some tricks about natural lighting, so that I can try to emulate the setup at home as well as some tips for photographing a playful toddler.  Here’s one of the shots she got of him that I pulled from her facebook page:

Isn’t he precious?  I could have stuck him in my bag and taken him home with me.  We did a few more things to learn about editing, chatting continuously, then she took some shots of me.  I attempted to use some of the things she taught me to touch it up, but it takes me so long that I only have one to share with you.

After my mini photoshoot, we headed to lunch before picking up her children.  It was amazing to us both how quickly the day was flying by.  After some soup and salads, we picked up these cuties along with a bunch of teenage girls: (again photo is from her blog).

Even her kids are cute!  That evening, Heidi was taking her daughter + a few of her friends to see the new Justin Bieber movie in Columbia.  Sitting in an SUV filled with teenage girls certainly took me back to middle school days: I had to smile as I listened to the day’s gossip and the loud screaming and laughing.  I enjoyed that time in my life, but I sure appreciate being 26.

As a final lesson, we went to one of Heidi’s friend’s home that is for sale.  This was another neat opportunity to learn a few tricks of the trade when photographing inside.  She taught me how to deal with too little light in some rooms, and way to much in others.

Finally our day came to a close, and I was sad to have to leave.  I learned more than I retained despite my notepad covered in notes of software to try, blogs to check out and accessories to get for my camera, but I have spent the week trying to apply some of the tricks she taught me before I forget them.  We’ve said we’re going to get together again soon, and I hope we do, because I loved spending the day with her!  I’m excited to say that I think I’ve found a new friend!

Seems Pam was right all along 🙂

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 18, 2011 2:28 pm

    Heidi is wonderful! So beautiful and sweet. And a very talented photographer! She has worked magic with my boys!

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