I love to incorporate my farm animals into my photography with my children. My daughter is a natural with the animals, possibly the result of being the child of a veterinarian :D. Whenever we are out in the field for photographs, we generally have a visitor - either a cat, a pony or a horse wants to have their picture taken too, and I try and work with the visitor to include them too - these are the moments that would be difficult to stage, but look like magic and end up being my favourite portraits when they happen.
I am so honored that two of my portraits were award winning photographs during the National Association of Professional Child Photographer's (NAPCP) International Image Competition. One of my child photographs placed third in the child photography competition and one of my portraits of a brother and sister received a merit recognition award. The talent featured by the NAPCP is amazing, there are some of the best child photographers in the world among its members.
I don't usually post the story behind the portraits I photograph as I like my viewers to have their own stories, but for this photograph, and because it's Christmas, here is the story.
I wanted a picture of my child outside of a shop window that had Christmas decorations in it - for the Christmases in England, it gets dark Very early, so pretty much any time out and about after school means it's dark. The shops decorate and have some amazing displays and I remember looking forward to them, and to seeing what was in them each year. The path outside the shop was always cold and damp, but inside the shop the lights and display glow and give off warmth and make the season magical. I used a lens that I struggle with - the canon 50mm 0.95. It is a vintage lens that gives off the most spectacular bokeh, but it is manual and the camera that I had to pair it with, a leica, does not offer live view (not that I use it when I have it available on my regular camera, but I like to complain about how it doesn't have it and like to think that if it were available with this particular lens that I would use it). I took a picture and knew that I wanted to use it, but ended up having to composite 3 photographs together to get the look that I wanted.
I have been busy opening Jefferson Veterinary Hospital and planning the artwork for the walls. One of the nice touches that my husband and I have put into the hospital is a dedicated bereavement room with a separate entrance and exit so clients do not have to walk through the waiting room and have more privacy. We are putting touches to try and make it a little more comfortable and homey and choosing the perfect portrait to go up in a room that we know no one wants to go in has been a challenge. I finally settled upon this portrait of my daughter and a YBR farm lab puppy that was taken during a workshop with one of the best child photographers in the world, Elena Shumilova Photography, during the fall in Northern Virginia.
I had the pleasure of attending and taking photographs of some beautiful equine and human friends at the opening day hunt of the New Market Middletown Valley Hunt Club the other weekend. In the past i've enjoyed following the hunt as best I can, but this year I was limited to hobbling around on a small area of lawn because of a slowly recovering broken ankle :(
I am thrilled to announce that one of my portraits received a merit recognition in the National Association of Professional Child Photographer's International Image Competition. It is such an honor to be featured amongst so much talent! You can see all the entries and winners here. This portrait of my child and one of my horses was taken in the spring, when buttercups take over parts of fields. The horse photographed here came over to check on what his little girl was doing - if you look closely you can see that she had picked some flowers and put them on his head :)
The National Association of Professional Child Photographers describes it's International Image Competition as:
I took these portraits of my child in the fall in Maryland. Each year we go out and pick a place and spend some time exploring it and taking photographs. One of the great things about living in Maryland, particularly in our little corner of Frederick County, is the abundance of beautiful countryside. This year we found the most gorgeous location and the photographs looked beautiful! (Not that I'm biased in anyway - my child/my photography ;) :D ).
Thank you so much, Child Photo Competition, for featuring my portrait of siblings in Northern Virginia as part of your "Inspiring Monday." Photographed during a workshop by child portrait photographer Elena Shumilova.
Photographed on location in Northern Virginia at a workshop held by Elena Shumilova
One of my portraits of my child watching a sunset with a chocolate labrador puppy was featured by Child Photo Competition for their "Inspiring Monday" volume. One of my photographs was also selected as a finalist during Child Photo Competition's "Rustic" photography competition - you can see that photograph here. I am honored to be selected and featured among so many incredible photographers from around the world!
The following photograph was featured during "Inspiring Monday" by Child Photo Competition
Thank you so much to Child Photo Competition for selecting one of my photographs as a finalist during the "Rustic" photography competition. Child Photo Competition also selected one of my photographs as a feature in their "Inspiring Monday!" You can see it here. I am honored to be selected and featured among so many incredible photographers around the world!
The photograph below was a finalist during the "Rustic" child photography competition
portrait of a little girl holding a chocolate lab puppy during sunset. Photographed by Clare Ahalt Photography, a fine art portrait photographer located in Frederick, MD, serving Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington DC. Taken during a workshop held by Elena Shumilova on location in Northern VirginiRead More
This sweet puppy was generously loaned to me by YBR Farm Labs, located in Jefferson MD, for the recent workshop I attended with internationally famous Elena Shuminlova Photography held in Northern Virginia.
The puppies were all so sweet and happy go lucky. We created a little station for them on the back of a pick up truck, where they had a couple of watchers and we created a little water hole for them that they drank from and, in true lab fashion, laid in too :)
If you aren't familiar with the name Elena Shumilova Photography, you have likely seen her beautiful work, it's been featured internationally and even had a segment on the Today Show. Her work is stunning, true fine art portraiture of a simplistic childhood that we would all love our children to have. I was privileged and honored to attend a workshop that she held in Northern Virginia in the early fall. It was a truly amazing experience, I learned so much and Elena was so kind and sweet and generous with her knowledge. I arrived each day armed with a basket of between 3-4 lab puppies, generously loaned by a good client of my husband's veterinary practice, YBR farm, my daughter, camera, a variety of lenses and my walking shoes (actually flip flops, and it was pointed out to me that I repeatedly stood, sat or laid in horse poo each day and I was ok with that :D ).