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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

AHP 52 Week Photo Challenge ~ Week 52 ~ The final photo

If I said I was happy or relieved that the challenge was over, I'd be lying. I'm sad to see the end of year approaching and the challenge ending. I truly enjoyed every weeks themes, seeing your submissions and interacting with all of you. Next week I will do one final post about this challenge to wrap up the year so to speak but in the mean time we've got one more theme to complete!!!

Last week's KITCHEN theme was funny for me. I had totally intended to take a photo of my kitchen! I cooking project, a utensil or appliance or my family sitting around the kitchen table. But last night, we were putting up our Christmas tree and when I turned off the kitchen lights and looked out at the tree, the view was priceless!! The view from my kitchen is the best view in the house!

So with one week left in the challenge, I wanted to pick something great. Something inspiring and creative. But at the same time- it's Christmas this week and I know we all will be busy busy busy. So I picked this theme as sort of a compromise between the two notions.

The AHP 52 week photo challenge theme for week 52 is....


Friday, December 21, 2012

New products for 2013 ~ The Heirloom Collection

For the love of all things romantic and sentimental, I have an extraordinary announcement to make.
Imagine for a moment, you're thinking back to your wedding day, looking at your album and reliving those moments. Why not take it a step further.

The perfume she wore, the lace from her dress, the ground you stood on a flower petal from your big day, salty sand from your honeymoon. All lovingly collected and stored in one beautiful heirloom. Year after year, love notes written to each other on the softest of Loktah paper. And your favorite images of the two of you on the day you pledged your bond wrapped in cloth and leather and sealed with a kiss.

Immediately I am offering a new luxury product line that every bride and groom will covet. Three matching options that will showcase your wedding memories and where you can save momentos from your life as you grow together. Something that I am proud to offer to my clients that matches my belief that lifelong pieces of art should be passed on to the next generations.

Introducing the Heirloom Collection.

Solid, hand crafted, walnut, Amish made box. This is something you will want to showcase in your home like fine art. Not an album to collect dust on a shelf but something to cherish and display.

Inside you will find a few treasures. 

Sheets of the softest Loktah paper and envelopes- for loves notes, moments to remember or wishes for the future.  

A gorgeous leather wrap, with a WWII era metal button clasp. Folded around your favorite wedding photos, protected by a beautiful piece of fabric.

6 small vials to save those keepsake objects from your wedding day. 

Perhaps the Nostalgia Box would be better suited for your children. Write words of encouragement to your child on his first day of school. Save a single thread the size of his wrist on the day he was born. A locket of hair, a first lost tooth. The Ultimate Baby Memory Box!

As a companion to the Nostalgia Box, I am also offering the Unbound Album for those who wish to have more of the traditional album style, storybook layout for their photos.

Again, wrapped in fine cloth and genuine leather, you will find fine art storybook spreads, showcasing your favorite wedding or photo session images. These spreads are custom designed and printed by professional photo labs on the highest quality papers.

Why "Unbound" you ask? Again, your wedding photos are meant to be displayed and showcased in a beautiful and unique way, not stored on a shelf to collect dust. Along with the Unbound Album, comes a matching frame to house your album spreads- to be changed with the season or your mood. A forever reminder of your beautiful wedding to adorn the walls of your home.
Made with the same attention to detail, hand crafted and built to last a lifetime or more.

Of course, options are available- all products come in 4 beautiful finishes to match your personal style. 

I am offering the Heirloom line to any of my clients, past, present and future as an a la carte item as well as included in some of my wedding and photo session packages. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Olivia Act

I've been quiet about the tragedy that occurred last week in Sandy Hook CT. I wasn't even able to wrap my brain around what happened let alone try to make a statement. I have however, come across something I can relate to and I'd like to share.

A photographer who wishes to remain anonymous out of Texas started The Olivia Act
The premise behind this initiative goes in line with something I have mentioned over and over again. Having photos of your loved ones is important. Being able to look back at those images spark memories and emotion. For those families who lost their young precious children (or anyone who has ever lost anyone) their photographs are priceless treasures. 

Rather than re-inventing the wheel, here is a nice description about The Olivia Act that has been going around the photography community.

"The Olivia Act, is a photographer's challenge and named after the founding photographers daughter, Olivia, and inspired by all the innocent lives killed in the Sandy Hook tragedy. She was moved to give away a 30 minute family photo shoot and has challenged other photographers to do the same. We go about our daily lives and sometimes we don’t take the time or have the resources to have family photos taken.

I am taking nominations for a family who you think deserves this gift of memories. The session will take place sometime after the new year and will be completely FREE to the person nominating and the family being nominated. FB message or email me ( your nominations including a note on who you're nominating and your reason why you think they deserve this. I will be contacting the chosen family via email so please don't forget to include their email address! I will be taking nominations anytime between now (December 19th) and December 31st. Make sure to share this status so your friends and family will know too! Photos are memories that can never be replaced "

So think of a family who you think is deserving of a mini session and email me explaining why. I know this is a simple way for me to acknowledge the tragedy in Sandy Hook, but it's just a beginning. As time goes on and the healing process continues I will seek ways to further support and aid these families effected by this tragic event.

Holiday Give Away Time!

I'm having a bit of trouble getting into the holiday spirit this year so to help me out a bit, I'm going to do a give-a-way!! The rules will be simple- and the prize is WAY cool....

A friend of mine has started up a company called ByWanderlust and has created a product called the CamCuff-- check this thing out!!!

This kind of comes at a perfect time too, because I'm in the traveling mindset as I just got back from vacation with my family. I did lots of photography while I was away and I totally wish I had my hands on this baby while I was gone!

I think this is a great way to keep your camera right where you need it- securely attached, ready to shoot and off your neck (can you say "I see a tourist???"). Not to mention it's wicked edgy looking which I love!!

So the guys at ByWanderlust have gifted me with one of these first edition CamCuffs to pass along to YOU before anyone else can even buy one of them!! That's right- these aren't even available to the public yet!! HERE is a link to explain the CamCuff project and how you can support ByWanderlust! I know many people follow my blog and my page already, what I'm really looking for is for my wonderful "peeps" to help out and support the ByWanderlust guys. It means a lot to me and I would REALLY appreciate it!!

The way to enter this contest is easy
1) "LIKE" A. Hedges Photography on Facebook
2) Visit the ByWanderlust project site and click "LIKE" to like ByWanderlust on Facebook
3) Leave a comment on MY A. Hedges Photography Facebook page telling me that you've completed those tasks.

THATS IT!!! :-)

If you want to be entered in the contest more than once you have a few more options. For ever EXTRA task you complete your name will be entered in the drawing. YOU MUST TELL ME WHAT YOU'VE DONE TO BE ENTERED EXTRA TIMES!!!

1) Share this blog link on facebook and tell all your friends to enter the contest
2) Follow the A. Hedges Photography Blog
3) Follow A. Hedges Photography on Twitter, Instagram (amyhedges) or Pinterest (your name will be entered for each site you follow)
4) "SHARE" the ByWanderlust Facebook Facebook page with your friends
5) "SHARE" the A. Hedges Photography Facebook page with your Facebook friends.
6) Pledge to help fund the ByWanderlust project 

This contest will continue only through Friday so that's three short days to get your entries in!! 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Newborn Baby Photography ~ Albany, New York

You will no doubt remember this family from their maternity session we did a few weeks ago!! 


HERE is the link to the full blog post if you're interested in revisiting that fantastic session!!

A few weeks had passed and I had them on my brain so I sent a quick email to Nicole to see how she was doing in the last few days of her pregnancy. Coincidentally, she wrote me back the very next day and said she was in the hospital and just had the baby the night before!!

Newborn sessions are typically best scheduled within the first week of the baby's life- they're still all rolled up in a ball, very sleepy and just too too cute!!!

The whole family showed up to my house a couple days later with both Grandma's in tow! This baby is loved - that's all I have to say about that and she has everyone wrapped around her little finger already!!

 Of course we had to do some shots with the Grandmas- these are just precious beyond words!

I honestly think this is my favorite image from the entire session!

 Grandma #2 had her time with baby- just as wonderful!!
Everyone was just smitten <3 font="font">

A few of baby by herself. Mom is a big fan of animal print so I knew we had to use my famous chair in this session!

Check out the hair on this little lady!!

If you checked out the maternity session this next shot may feel a bit familiar!

I love doing before and after photos for maternity and newborn sessions. I also love how Nicole's attitude seemed to shift - she was a super hot, rockin' pregnant lady but once she had that baby in her arms, she simply melted into a MOM!!

Congratulations to Nicole and Shawn on your beautiful new baby girl. She is perfect in every way. Best wishes for the future!

Friday, December 14, 2012

AHP 52 Week Photo Challenge~ Week 51 ~ Albany New York Wedding and Portrait Photographer

When I originally posted this past week's "ART" themed photo I kind of jumped the gun. I wasn't thinking of the challenge at all. That actually makes me think then, that I really did fulfill this weeks challenge 100%. I was simply creating. I was taking a photo for me- of a subject matter that I chose- for no other reason than because it was beautiful and in my moment. 

I read recently that that taking nature, landscape or sunset photos were "cliche" and if you aspired pro level photography you should avoid that subject matter altogether. It's easy to make beautiful things look beautiful in photos. So instead challenge yourself and make unusual things look interesting in photos. This is very true to a certain extent. But sometimes you have to break the rules. I spend so much time watching sunsets- here at the beach, at home, up in the mountains. Sunsets speak to me and  ground me. I have always had a really hard time ending the day. I've always been a night owl and wanted to "keep the party going". So watching the sunset is almost ceremonial for me- a gentle nod to the ending of a great day and the reminder that tomorrow we can do it all over again.

Just because something is beautiful or easy to photograph, that will never cause me to ignore it, not photograph it or discount photos that contain such subject matter. 

Well, today is my last day on this island and tomorrow we make the trek back home. I hear it's Christmas time in Upstate NY....I better get to work :-)

The AHP 52 Week Photo Challenge theme for week 51 is 


Friday, December 7, 2012

AHP 52 Week Photo Challenge~ Week 50~ Albany New York Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer

I received the nicest note the other day from one of the AHP 52 Week Photo Challenge participants. She has hung with me allllll year long and I've thoroughly enjoyed her, her work and her enthusiasm for my weekly photo challenge themes!

"Amy, I just wanted to thank you so much for doing the 52 week photography challenge. I'm sure it must have been discouraging to have all but a very few drop out over the year. But, as a brand-new DSLR user in January, it's been a HUGE boost to me - making me take pics every single week when I might not have picked up the camera otherwise. On Monday I finish up a beginner's digital photography class at our local jr. college. We had our class gallery last night and I sold FOUR of the ten pics I included!! I owe much of that to you - for making me keep shooting weekly!

Just wanted you to know how much I've appreciated this challenge. :)"

Thank YOU for participating!! All of you- those who have submitted week after week, for those who started out in the beginning and decided to simply watch from a far. I appreciate the effort you put in. The effort to try, to challenge yourself, to try to grow as a photographer. Thank you <3 span="span">

I'm showing you two shots from last week's SUN theme. The first one is the one I submitted- our new family member, Molly, napping in the sun. She is a pro at finding the warm sun spots and just loafing about.

The second shot was taken just moments after the first. She sat up, gazed outside and then went about her business (back to napping). The sun light on her golden coat was so warm and beautiful! Yes, folks, that's natural light right there. No reflector, no modifier, no artificial light. Just good old, properly executed natural light photography.

I started this photo challenge more for myself than anyone else. While it was nice to have people right there with me during the journey I really just wanted something to challenge myself. I wanted a goal. I wanted to pick up my camera each and every week and take photos of things that inspired ME. That got me thinking, that got me shooting. While I love photographing my clients, their families and events I really needed to make sure I was still shooting for myself. I love photography. I want to continue to love photography and I feel the only way for me to do that is to create works that encapsulates my own vision, in my own style. I don't have to worry about how the paying client will feel about it. I don't have to worry about making anyone else happy. 

This is a project I plan on continuing throughout the 2013 as well. Not the photo challenge, per se, but photography for me.  I still plan on doing a photo challenge for the new year, but it will be a different, less intense format. I'm hoping I'll get a few more participants with this new challenge so spread the word and get pumped. I'll announce the new challenge format in a couple weeks!!
I have a few personal projects I want to tackle as well, I want to refine (discover) my photographic style, I want to create art. This will be a big part of my blog for 2013. I will be sharing more of my personal work. 

The AHP 52 Week Photo Challenge theme for week 50 is:

I want to see YOUR art!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

AHP 52 Week Photo Challenge ~ Week 49

We're in the final stretch, my lovies, and we did such an amazing job! I'm actually very proud of myself for keeping up with this all year long. Even though I have been tardy a few weeks (a LOT of weeks lately) I still love looking back through the album and seeing all that we've accomplished. Let's keep it up and finish out the year strong!!

Last week, the LAMP theme, wasn't meant to be anything difficult, but I knew that I'd see some variety in the photos- that's what I was really looking for!

I picked to photograph the new lamp in my office. I have a new client meeting room where I meet new and prospective clients to discuss wedding details, photo session plans and to order products. I promised to show photos of my office when it's complete--just hold tight--we're getting there!! :-)

The AHP 52 Week Photo Challenge Theme for week 50 is....

...try to find some :-)