10 on 10 – February Blog Circle

What type of photos draw you in, make you stop and look a little longer?  For me, it is a beautifully done black and white photo.  There is something about the absence of color, just using the light and shadows to tell the story, that really compels me.  My eyes can be drawn to the smallest details that the light is highlighting, rather than the brightest color.  Black and white photos create a sense of nostalgia and remind me of what it felt like to be there at the moment the photo was snapped.

I’m lucky to be part of an amazing group of photographers joining together to do a blog circle.  Each month, we are each posting 10 photos, and then we’ll link to the next person in the line.  This month, I chose to do black and white photos.  The ten I’m posing here are some of favorites.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!   When you are done, please check out the next blog in our circle, Precious Photos by Helen in Lisburn, Northern Ireland.




Leslie Crane - February 10, 2015 - 10:35 pm

Oh my gosh. These are stunning. I love each and every one. You have quite an affinity for capturing the “black and white moment.” Amazing work.

Shannon - February 11, 2015 - 1:19 am

These are gorgeous! Wish I could do b&w like these. The ones of the girl on the table eating and the little boy reading in the rocking chair are two of my favorites.

Irene Smith - February 11, 2015 - 1:38 am

Those are just GORGEOUS!!!! I agree – I love BW too.

Kari Hicks - February 11, 2015 - 1:54 am

These are all so gorgeous! I love that you chose to do an all black and white theme. But that second one just made me stop and look for a while. That little ponytail and the beautiful light. So great!!

Karen - February 11, 2015 - 2:16 am

Beautiful pictures! 🙂

Shannon Stroubakis - February 11, 2015 - 5:53 pm

Gorgeous series of black and whites! The light is amazing.

Helen Savage - February 12, 2015 - 10:27 am

Gorgeous Janet! I absolutely love a good black and white too, and these are all great ones!

Alishia Potter - March 3, 2015 - 5:42 am

Janet these are all spectacular black and white images, but oh my gosh that second to last baby shot is simply stunning in every way…the light, those eyes…amazing shot!

Jennie Lennon - March 20, 2015 - 11:55 pm

Beautiful photos and I love the idea of a blog circle!

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Tips for Taking Better Snow Pictures

The snow is falling, the temperature is a balmy 30 degrees, and your children are laughing as they finally get to play in the snow.  You get out your camera to capture the memories, but unfortunately, the picture doesn’t look like the beautiful scene in front of you.  Sound familiar?  Your camera is making its best guess at how bright to make the image, but most likely the snow looks dirty and gray and your children are very underexposed (too dark).  Maybe it is so white that you can’t even see any of the details on your snowman.

Luckily, there is an easy fix, regardless of what type of camera you own.  All you need to do is find your “exposure compensation” dial.  It should look like a number line with a zero in the middle.  It usually goes from -2 to 0 and then 2+  (or reversed, depending on what type of camera you own).   If you have a dSLR, it is most likely on the top of the camera.


On my point and shoot, I have to be in “P” for Program mode (as opposed to Auto), and then turn a dial on the back of the camera to access it.   Even the newer iPhones and other smart phones give you the ability to make the scene lighter or darker.



Your camera assumes that everything it sees will reflect 18% of the light.  Basically, it is trying to get to a middle gray.  This works well for most situations, but white snow reflects a lot more light, which throws the camera off.  The camera will try to make the white snow darker until it appears gray.  The solution?  Using the dials on your camera, move that “exposure compensation” closer to the + side.  This can take some guesswork, but it will pay off.

Here was my first photo today when we went out in the snow.  I set my exposure compensation to “0”, right in the middle, and you can see that it is way too dark.


Here I bumped it up to a little more about 1 1/2, and you can see that it was too bright.  There is no detail in the snow, it is completely white.  If I printed this photo, it would look like my daughter was in front of a completely white background.


Finally, I moved the dial to very close to +1.  Here is the result.  The snow is no longer gray, my children’s faces are bright enough, and there is still detail in the snow.


I hope this is helpful!  Remember, if you are taking pictures with a black background, the opposite is true.  You will most likely need to move your dial closer to the negative side, because your camera will want to turn that black background into gray.  Enjoy!


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Happy Baby | Cleveland Aurora Baby Photographer

This beautiful 7-month old girl was about the sweetest, happiest little girls that I have ever had the pleasure of photographing.  She was at such a great age for pictures – so interactive, sitting steadily, and showing off her new waving and crawling skills, not but yet fast enough to crawl away from my camera!  Such a precious little girl!


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