Before they become three. Maternity Session in Annapolis, MD.

It was a glorious evening in beautiful Annapolis, MD with a lovely expecting couple. This momma couldn't be any more gorgeous! Her floral dress was a perfect choice for her maternity session. So glad that Annapolis didn't disappoint and delivered a lovely sunset that night. I can't wait to meet their sweet little girl soon! 

Sara / Lifestyle In-home Maternity Session

This has to be one of my all time favorite sessions. Not only because, Sara, is a fellow military wife with the most adorable daughter, who I previously photographed, but also because the session took place in their home, the only place in the world where they can be truly themselves free of any obligations. Because I knew Sara and her daughter, I tried to come up with a few words to describe what kind of vision I had for their session. The three words I had in mind that perfectly fit into this sweet mother and daughter duo are natural, organic and romantic. The session turned out to be so much more than that. I can't thank this lovely mama for trusting me with capturing her most precious moments of her last weeks of pregnancy.  

Jude / Lifestyle Newborn Session

Meet Jude Robert. The little peanut, who decided to surprise his parents by arriving earlier, than expected. I was planning his beautiful momma's maternity session, when I got a text from her, two days prior our session, saying that her water broke. Well, hello baby! 

I was honored to photograph this fellow military family, who couldn't be nicer than they are! Their whole session Ashley and Sam were nothing but themselves: natural, loving and sweet. 

Their two boys are very very lucky!

This is one of many reasons I love lifestyle sessions, where you are in the most vulnerable, yet comfortable place, your home, being yourself. Where you can be fully present and see how truly wonderful your family is. Especially for us, moms, who rarely get a chance to be in a frame with their littles when they are only small for short few years. 

Theresa / Annapolis Maryland Maternity Photographer

I had the pleasure of photographing Theresa, who is expecting her 4th baby boy in a few weeks. Her family is so inviting and warm, that I had truly loved every second of photographing them in their home. And, let's talk about how gorgeous this momma is! Wow! And those boys of hers, are simply adorable. You can easily see how much love they have for their mom, and their baby brother. 

Theresa had her mom visiting for the weekend, and I was able to catch a few moments with her and her grandsons. Now you know, their beauty runs in the family. 

2016

It is hard to believe this year is almost over. It feels like the older I get, the faster the years are going by. I truly have so much to be thankful for. It has been the busiest year for me, not only as a photographer, but as a wife and a mom as well. 

A lot of new things have shaped this year into one big happy chaos. This year we moved to a new town, bought our first house. My kids started new school. My husband transferred to a new unit in Washington, DC. This year has been very stressful, yet joyful, and I am so glad we all survived! As much as I miss our previous house and all the friends we made (hey, we are still close enough to be able to visit them often!), I am happy about the change. I need change in my life. I need obstacles and challenges, maybe just a few :) I function better this way. This is one of my goals for the New Year. I want to challenge myself. I want to say yes to new experiences. I want to photograph in the way my soul desires and not what social media calls "popular". I want to do this for myself, as well as for families I work with. 

I had to write a post including some of my favorite images of this year, which was not easy to choose, because every photograph I create for you is special to me. I'd like to thank each and everyone of these families that trusted me and let me capture their memories, milestones and, simply, let me tell their stories. 

I loved being able to see your emotions, your love and connection with each other. I want more of that. I want to see the real you. Families, as they are. Kids playing, giggling and making faces at me (this is the best!). Mothers cuddling their babies, no matter what age they are. Fathers holding their little girls' hands, promising them that they will always be there for them.

This is my goal for 2017. Less posing, more connecting. I want to get to know you and show your story the way I see it. 

I hope you will join my journey.

Make this year different. Come out of your comfort zone. Try new things. Get to know someone you were not sure about. Because that's when the real life begins. 

Here is to a happy, fullfiling New Year!

Oscar

There is no bigger joy, than bringing your baby home. This family, who is so dear to my heart, brought their newest baby home after a long process of adoption. I photographed them when they were a family of three (http://www.dianawhitephotography.com/blog/2015/12/13/beautiful-family-in-the-golden-fall-evening) and I was so honored to photograph them as a family of four! I truly believe, that when a family is created, there's something great above us that brings people together in the most wonderful way. Well, these four amazing people could not have possibly been a better match for each other. 

Meet Baby Oscar.

Anniversary session at Federal Hill.

Last weekend I photographed my beautiful friend, Oquanna and her husband at Federall Hill in Baltimore City. There's not a lot of things that I like more, than spring in Baltimore with all its beautiful blossoms all around.

 To be honest with you, this session had nothing to do with their anniversary, at least not until a few months later. But, why do we even need an occasion to celebrate love by taking photos of a beautiful couple that is contagious with happiness! 

When I handed my husband my camera.

I have been wanting to have some photos done with me and my kids in a long time. So last week, when all of a sudden we had summer weather, while spring barely started, I begged my husband to photograph us. I couldn't resist having photos done in this gorgeous spring sunset! Talk about golden hour! 

My husband met us at Cromwell Valley Park after his work (bless his heart, he has enough stress at work and now he had to deal with us!). Maryland people, if you've never been there, I highly recommend checking this beautiful park out, especially in the late evening before the sun goes down. It is gorgeous! I am an urban girl at heart, but sometimes, it is necessary to get away to a quite place like this. 

We, mothers, don't get in front of the camera often, but when we do it has to be perfect, or so we think. In this last minute decision, my husband was my only choice of a photographer. Well, he's married to one, so he knows a thing or two. There might be a few out of focus or improperly cropped photos, but he did an outstanding job without complaining. And these photos, they will be treasured forever.

One trick to make your kids cooperate is to simply let them run around, you have to run with them too! It never gets old! 

If you think our session was seamless, here is a glimpse of funny photos, when kids didn't want to have anything to do with us :) 

Believe me or not, but my husband had no idea, that while he was taking photos of us in this particular moment, Natalie had been picking her nose the whole time. I didn't notice it until all the photos were uploaded to my computer. This will sure be a keeper. 

Sophia wins the best photo face award.

My first roll of film.

When I first started my photography project, I spent many early morning looking through photography blogs and websites for inspiration and ideas. Somehow, my attention focused to these authentic photographs with minty greens, perfect skin tones and beautiful highlights, that I kept seeing eveyrwhere.They were all shot on film. I knew I had to try it. I was finally able to find a great deal on a film camera that I liked a few months ago. This week I got scans from my very first roll of film. I am blown away! 

Because when you have a film camera in your hands and you see a green bush with pretty red berries on it, you have to photograph it! 

Because when you have a film camera in your hands and you see a green bush with pretty red berries on it, you have to photograph it! 

It's not easy to shoot on film, focus is often missed (due to inexperience in shooting film), I didn't get right exposure most of the time, but I fell in love, deeply. 

Natalie hanging out in glorious morning light with my book. I love how I was able to catch that moment when she looked at me. Unposed, candid shots are always my favorite.

Natalie hanging out in glorious morning light with my book. I love how I was able to catch that moment when she looked at me. Unposed, candid shots are always my favorite.

Shooting film teaches me to be patient and purposeful. I am normally all about paparazzi style photography: I keep shooting until I get the right moment. In film, I only had 36 shots per roll. I couldn't just keep pressing the shutter button, knowing that I might get the shot I want. While shooting my kids, I had to stop and patiently wait for the right moment. Of course, I tried to mostly practice on still objects (film is not cheap!).

film, daughter in the snow
film, kids, lifestyle

There is just something about film, that you cannot not love. The grain in images, the unmatchable colors, even loading camera with a film roll. 

film, daughter, lifestyle

One of the most amazing practical features of shooting film is that it's very forgiving to blown out highlights. If I shot the image above on a digital camera, highlights on my daughter's hands would have been completely blown out. It's a lot easier to save them in film.

Gorgeous sunrise outside our window. 

Gorgeous sunrise outside our window. 

film
film, lifestyle
film, lifestyle
film, lifestyle
These two are always together!

These two are always together!

First snowflakes of the season.

First snowflakes of the season.

film, lifestyle, children
film, lifestyle, children
When husband picks up a camera.

When husband picks up a camera.

Here's to a new adventure of shooting film! I can't wait to share more photos with you! 

All images were shot on Canon 1V, film stock Portra 400.

 

 

My 365 photography project tips.

Last year I made the biggest commitment of my life. It seemed even bigger, than agreeing to marry my husband! Okay, maybe I exaggerated a little.  I made a decision to do a 365 project and take a photo every single day throughout the year. Photography has been passion of mine for many years now. I really wanted to take it to the next step. So, in order to learn more and put my skills to work, I had to practice every day. Along with all the amazing things that happened to me last year, having all the photos of my family was the greatest reward I got at the end. 

For those of you, who plan on starting a 365 project or have already started, here are my 5 tips on how to stick with it.

1. Make a list of ideas.

Before I started my project, I made a list of ideas of what I could photograph on days that I'm struggling to photograph anything. Some days, you might not want to use any ideas you have, but the list will come handy another day, when you'd want to use them all! 

When I am out exploring, read a book or a magazine, browse favorite photography blogs, I try to immediately write down ideas I have in my notebook or my iPhone.

There is a few photography blogs, dedicated to this project, that weekly post prompts and themes for each day. It makes it easier when you know what to photograph. I didn't go that way, but it certainly seems like a great idea. 

It is important to remember to be patient. Pick up your camera, and wait. Whether you're playing with your kids, cooking, reading a book or, even, out shopping, the moment will come. Train your eyes to see things. If your project dedicated to taking photos of your family, remember that it is okay to not take a photo of a person. Look around and photograph something, that tells a story without your family member in it. 

Don't forget about perspective. The same photograph of the same subject can look completely different if it's taken from a different perspective. Take a photo from above, below or through an object. Don't be afraid to try new ways to photograph. It is all about practice. 

project 365

2. Share.

Sharing your photos of your project is very important. Do not feel obligated to share every single day or every photo you've taken, but you do have to have a safe place where you can share your favorites. It can be a private Facebook page, your website, Flickr, Tumbler or any other social platform.

It was easier for me to create a Facebook page dedicated to my photography. It wasn't time consuming, it was easy to keep up with and it was very motivational to get feedback on my photos. As I mentioned above, I knew I wanted to take this project to the next level and dedicate myself to photography, so it was the right way for me to go.

Whatever you choose, make sure you're fully comfortable with it. If you don't feel secure sharing your photos publicly, you can always make a private account. 

2016-02-13_0005.jpg

3. Embrace imperfection.

Do you ever go on photography websites and blogs and catch yourself thinking "how do they get all these wonderful photos?!". I think at some point we all get there. What we never think of is how many shots it took them to get that one image that stands out. It takes patience and lots of practice. 

Not every photograph you create will be perfect. And that's ok. A lot of my photos from last and current year's project were underexposed, grainy, had terrible lighting or missed focus, because I had to work with what I had. When you chase three little kids around, you don't always have a choice to wait for the perfect moment. You create your own memories. I can honestly say, some of my favorite photographs are not technically perfect, but the moment that I captured was spot on. And, I'll take that! 

The photo below is a perfect example of imperfection. It is dark, people are not in focus, I could have probably made a few steps back to fit more in the frame. But I am pretty happy with what I got, because I was able to get my family watching 4th of July fireworks together in it. I get this chance once in a lifetime.

Charleston, vacation
Charleston battery, South Carolina vacation

4. Get inspired.

If you are in a rut and you do not feel motivated to photograph, you lack inspiration. It happens to all of us. Try to find different ways to get inspired. It does not have to be photography related. Meet up with friends, have a date night, go on a family outing. These little things go a long way. I love browsing book stores, get a cup of coffee, a few favorite books and magazines and dive into reading. These quite moments alone happen very rarely, but I consider them a breath of fresh air. Also, try shooting for yourself as often as you can. Even if you don't share these photos. You don't always have to photograph the same subject. To me, it felt strange when I posted photos of something besides my children. Having uncooperative subjects is not always easy. Sometimes, you need a break. Look around. The world is full of inspiration.  

project 365, summer, family photography
Daughter, project 365
project 365

5. Be kind to yourself.

You will have days when you want to give up. It will happen. It's inevitable. Remember to be kind to yourself. Remember why you wanted to create a photograph every single day. Remember that no one is perfect and anyone can get tired of such big commitment. Not everyone can stick with it. But you can!

Do you need a break? Take one. Take a day off and take two photos the next day. Life happens. And you have to accept it. Last year I caught a stomach virus from my kids and got really sick. The last thing I wanted to do is worry about taking a photo.  It was hard, but I skipped a day, because I am a human and I had to take care of myself too. I took about a hundred photos the next day that I could use to make up for a lost day. 

Last but not least, follow your own journey through this project. Don't compare yourself to anyone else. In our days, with so many great photographers (who are also full time parents or have full time jobs), it's easy to throw yourself in comparison to them. But you are you, you live your own life, and there's no one else who has exactly the same journey as you.

Most importantly, remember to have fun! :-) 

Good luck!

If you have any questions, I am happy to answer them!

Diana

 

 

 

A sweet morning with my littles.

I love mornings. I am a morning person. One thing you might not know about me is that I get up at 4.3o am every day and get most of my work done then, in quite and peaceful environment. A full pot of coffee is all I need to get me started. I know, you're probably saying "is she crazy?!" But, I don't know why, I get a lot more done in two hours while my kids are asleep, than staying up late at night. I even used to study for all my exams getting up at 3 am while in college. I like having no distractions :)  

Real fun begins when my kids join the party. Most of the time I photograph them in the morning. The most treasured memories happen then, when it's just me and them and the most natural state, our home.

2015 review.

2015 has been an incredible year. It was full of events, that seemed to shape me into a completely different person. In January I started my Project 365, photographing my family every single day. This has definitely not been easy. Some days I lacked encouragement and motivation, some days were just too busy. But I got through it, and it’s hard to believe my project is almost over. 

In August my beloved husband convinced me to put my fears aside and start picking up my camera to photograph other people. And, boy, am I glad he did! It was certainly nerve wracking, but at the same time very exciting. I mean, let’s face it, photographing your own kids, that don't always seem excited about having a camera in their face, is not very encouraging. 

I feel truly lucky and very grateful to have had opportunity to photograph all the families and friends this year, that trusted me and let me create what I love most - their memories in a form of a photograph.

Thank you, everyone, who believed in me!

As I write down goals for next year, I realize how extremely busy 2016 will be for us. My family and I are moving out of state, my twins start Kindergarten (how did that happen?!), my husband starts a new job within military (Washington DC here he comes!). 

But before the busiest year of our lives comes around, here are a few glimpses of some amazing people I got to work with. A big thank you to all of them! I would never be able to do what I do without you!

I hope all of you have great Holiday! Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, enjoy this magical time of year with your beloved families. I wish you all the wonderful things in the new year. Make your dreams come true! 

Lots of love, 

Diana