Modern Portrait Photography

Archive for September, 2012

Photography Composition Tip #3: Fill the Frame

I think often times when you take photos you include too much in the frame. To make sure your subject is the emphasis you need to fill your frame with it! Now this doesn’t mean you have to always zoom in major close. Include enough of the background to set the scene or create the look you are going for without taking away the emphasis from your subject. I have included a couple sample photos that one of my parents took on our trip in Kawaii. The first is from further away so me and my family are barely noticed. Another photo features my family where we fill the frame and you can see us a lot better! Now if you are wanting to document the whole cave then you should make sure you include it. Just make sure you only include elements that help complete the photo without creating distractions for your main subject.


The Poulsen’s Family Portraits { Rifle, CO Family Photographer }

The Poulsen’s.

Click the link above to see a slide show of all their family portraits.

I just love this family! They are so much fun- as I’m sure you can tell from the photos. We took their family photos here in Rifle, CO. I think one of the best parts was how excited their 5 year boy was about the whole experience! He was cracking me up the whole time! He just could not wait to get started taking photographs and to see what I was going to do with all my equipment. I think I’ll have a little photo assistant soon! He already was helping me out by telling me I had to take the lens cap off!

Their youngest child is a bit more somber. But as soon as I told her to say “Daddy wears diapers” she cracked up! It worked every time- especially when her dad Dad said it while shaking his booty! Unfortunately, I had to follow suit and do the same little dance while standing on a fence and saying “Ashley wears diapers!” Yea, I usually look like an idiot when taking photographs- but at least it gets good expressions!

Pictured below is the Christmas Cards that I designed for them. I do custom designed double sided photo cards. They are perfect for this upcoming holiday season! Don’t they look great with their perfectly coordinated outfits!? Such a beautiful family!


Fish Monthly Theme

So I’m the type of mom that needs structured activities planned in order to play with my little boys. I don’t last very long playing cars for example. So in order for me to be a better mom and want to play with my boys I decided to have a monthly theme (since I like planning things based around a theme) that I provide different activities based on. I really would want a weekly theme but I knew I better start with a monthly or quarterly theme and see how it goes. I wanted to try to do activities from all the different subjects. My boys are 3 and 10 months so a lot of my ideas are a little advanced for them (really I’m only doing this with my 3 year old). But Beckett still loves doing projects with me even if it doesn’t turn out the way mine does. For those that don’t know my degree is in art education- so we of course have to do lots of art projects. I love to do activities that allow creative thinking versus cookie cutter projects- but with such young kids that is hard to do- so I try to find a good balance. I am a big Pinterest fan- so you can go check out my boards where I have collected many of these ideas and more!

This first project was right up Beckett’s alley! He loved blowing bubbles in the paint with a straw to make a beautiful water background for our fish drawings! My husband, Dan, drew the top two fish pictures. Dan also has a degree in art so I like to make him do some of the projects with us! When I was teaching art- I would get him to make samples for me! Beckett drew his own fish too- but I didn’t attach his pictures- sorry!

Here’s another project we did that Beckett loved. We used oven baked clay and shaped it into a rainbow fish and then stuck sequins in it to make the pretty scales. I wasn’t sure how the sequins would do in the oven- but it seemed to work. They just started to curl a little. After the fish cooled down we colored it. You can use colored pencils, permanent markers or paint. You can also glue a magnet on the back and hang it on your fridge.

There were quite a few fish songs and finger plays we did. We made this clothes pin shark to go with one of Beckett’s favorite songs:  “5 little Fish” (there were a few different songs we did with that title). This one goes:

“Five little fishes swimming in the sea
teasing Mr. Shark
you can’t catch me you can’t catch me!
Well along came Mr. Shark as quiet as can be
SNAPPED that fish right out of the sea…”

We made a couple easy fish origami that Beckett colored and drew designs on. The photo above the origami is one of my favorite art projects: metal tooling of the rainbow fish.

I made a fishing pole and some felt fish Dr.Seuss’ style. You can get the template and instructions on Martha Stewart’s website. Sorry I don’t have all the links this time- but I can get them for you if you want. I didn’t just do just red fish and blue fish- I made fish with all the main colors- a couple of them aren’t shown above. While I was cutting out all the fish I had Beckett practice cutting with scissors. I drew a line on paper for him to follow. I tried teaching him the correct way to hold the scissors. We will keep practicing! I also cut out shapes and glued them on it’s complementary (color) fish. I would also later do numbers and letters on the fish. Then I had Beckett go fishing so a certain color or shape.

We then did a bunch of different learning activities. I found a lot of these templates online as well. We used goldfish to sort, count, and make patterns. I used fish stickers for him to find the matching fish and to organize from smallest to biggest.

We played out in the backyard in the little pool and went fishing with a net! My little one loved eating the fish and splash in the water!

We had all sorts of fish food as well as you can see above. We had some friends over and decorated fish brownies. I tried making a fish aquarium with jello, jellybeans and a Swedish fish and it did as I expected. The candies started to melt (that’s not the right word)- so it didn’t look real good. We also went fishing for goldfish with pretzels or celery fishing poles dipped in peanut butter.

I had a fish themed playdate where the main activity was a water blob which is a folded tarp taped together and filled with water. I put a little blue food coloring and glitter in it and a bunch of little foam fish. However all my efforts were for nothing because apparently I did not get a strong enough tarp- so the kids feet sink right through! They all still had fun splashing and stomping in the water, using it as a slip n’ slide and collecting all the fish! We also had the kids be fishes and catch the gummy worm bait from a string. I was planning on playing the shark in the water game- that is kinda like musical chairs- but we didn’t have time!

For each theme I’d like to do some sort of field trip. So for this one Beckett went fishing! I also wanted to go to the aquarium or the fish hatchery but we didn’t this time.

We love to read so we read a ton fish books! I like to read to Beckett lots of different books for my sanity- but I have read that the kids benefit more if you read the same book at least 5 x in the same week or so.  Plus kids love repetition! Some our favorite  books that we read were:

Dr. Seuss “1 fish 2 fish”

The rainbow fish by Pfister, Marcus. (and a bunch of other rainbow fish books)


Ten little fish
 by Wood, Audrey.

The three little fish and the big bad shark by  Geist, Ken.

Not Norman : a goldfish story by Bennett, Kelly.

And the lastly we were potty training Beckett- so we of course had to use goldfish (crackers) in the toilet bowl to help him practice his aim! I know I probably shouldn’t have mentioned that- but he thought it was a blast! I had a lot of other ideas that we will have to do next time we do this theme. Let me know if you have any great fish ideas or if you want to know more specifics on any of the projects.


2012 Holiday mini sessions { Rifle, CO Photographer }

I am offering a special holiday mini session October 3-4, 2012. The mini sessions are for 10 minutes- which is perfect if you are looking for an updated family photo. Included in this price is 25 double-sided photo holiday cards (cards’ value $41.25). There are limited spaces available so call 970.625.1013, message me through Facebook or email me at ashley@ashleymickelsonphotography.com. I will be starting the 10 minute sessions in Rifle, CO at 5:30pm so lock in your time now. If you are looking for a more unique session with more than just a new family photo call to schedule your own full session. The standard 1.5 hour session allows time to photograph all of the different groupings like individuals, mom/dad, family, mom and kids, dad and kids… we also can have time to get a little more variety with poses. Contact me with any questions!


Senior Portraits { Western Colorado Photographer }

Class of 2013! Time is running out! For all you saving your senior photos for the Fall, schedule your session by September 15, 2012 and be eligible for our Fall Fashion shoot. Seniors participating in the Fall Fashion Photo Shoot will get their hair and makeup professionally done and be modeling for a local clothing store. So tell your friends and book your session now! We have three different senior photo session options: the mini, standard, and our glamorous photo session that includes professional makeup by a certified cosmetologist. Contact me to book or with any questions. Call 970.625.1013, send me a Facebook message http://www.facebook.com/ashleymickelsonphotography or email ashley@ashleymickelsonphotography.com. Check out my website at http://ashleymickelsonphotography.com