Monday, December 31, 2007

Photographing a Photographer

Yesterday I photographed a local photographer and friend to document her pregnancy. I'm honored that Kim chose me to create custom portraits of this special time in her life. We had a great time collaborating to create maternity portraits. She came with many ideas of poses to try - I added in my own knowledge of studio light and I think the results are beautiful!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

A beautiful partnership

Many of you may not know that while I'm the public face of Center Stage Photography, I actually have a business parter. Her name is Tonya Ebner and she handles the accounting for Center Stage; she also owns the Academy of the Arts, the dance studio where the portrait studio is located. I couldn't do it with out her -- she was the one who nudged me into starting on this adventure with her just a year ago. It's been an amazing year for us - 2007 brought more success than we ever imagined.

For Tonya's birthday... 6 months ago ... I promised her a portrait session, and because we've both been so busy, we just found the time for it yesterday. I think it was worth the wait! Here's some portraits to look at, Tonya, while I work on the rest of your session (yes, even my business partner has to wait to see her portraits!). Enjoy! I can't wait to find out which ones are your favorites (and which ones you want on your portrait bag!)

Family Ties

My friend, Leslie, asked me to create portraits for her, and her brother and sister, and their families, who were all together for the holidays. Her siblings don't live here, and so it was a rare chance for portraits of the extended family. The portrait session was a memorable experience for many reasons - and I'm honored that Leslie and her family trusted me with their portraits. Here's a sneak peek for you all - one of the siblings and then one of Leslie's aunt and uncle, who came along. Your portraits will be ready in about a week.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

How Precious and How Loved

The words on his blue blankie say, "How Precious and How Loved," and it's obviously true. This 6-week-old was in my studio yesterday evening for portraits - one of my Baby's First Year babies. Mom loves portraits, so I know I will be seeing the baby and his "big" sister many times over the next year. It's great to have you on board with Center Stage Photography, Amy. I look forward to our ordering session.

Enjoy your sneak peak - your gallery will be ready in a few days.

(click on the portrait to see it better).

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Backdrop Love

As a mainly studio photographer, I love backdrops. They play a very important part in making a beautiful portrait. And because I want to provide you with beautiful portraits, I'm very picky about backdrops. I prefer dark backdrops, and I love ones with "hotspots" - that is, a lighter area in the center that creates drama and makes for a a classic looking portrait.

Recently I purchased a new hand-painted backdrop that is very newly introduced, so I am among the first to have it. I can't wait to photograph you, my clients, on it. It will look beautiful for family portraits, baby portraits, ballerina portraits -- even senior portraits! So, introducing "Brown Sugar." Isn't it beautiful? (Thanks goes to my kids, who helped me to test it today).
It looks good in black and white, too!

And, for my many little (and some not so little) dancers - isn't this a fun backdrop? I have wanted it for some time, and actually bought it a few months ago, but have been so busy with portrait sessions that I haven't had a chance to test it out. But here it is! Won't this make fun portraits?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My math was right

Back when Mary and Ryan came for maternity portraits a few weeks ago, I posted a simple equation: Cute Mom + Cute Dad = Cute Baby -- and I was right!

This evening I had the great fun of photographing their tiny baby boy. We've all really looked forward to this session, and were so disappointed when the weather on Monday caused us to have to postpone.

It's funny how people are connected; and how we discover these connections. It turns out that Mary and I have many connections:
- She is a good friend with a young woman from my hometown who has turned out to be one of my best clients (I already knew this one);
- She used to take a fitness class from one of my best clients (I knew this one, too, because the two of them ran into each other at my studio last time they were in);
- She was a student of one of my best clients at KU Medical Center;
- Her mom works with a good friend of mine in the math department at Johnson County Community College! If it weren't for the baby needing several nursing breaks during our session, we would never have discovered two of our connections.

Well - I know you are dying to see them, Mary - so here's your sneak peak! Choosing was so hard and I know that once I post this I will change my mind about which ones I should have chosen - but no matter what, I know you are out there reading this and enjoying my choices. Hello to all your friends who are my clients as well - I think some of you need to be making your baby plan appointments soon! :)
(Remember that you can click on an image to see it more clearly).

Thursday, December 6, 2007

New Web site!

I am so excited to announce a new Web site for Center Stage Photography. This new web site is so beautiful and showcases my work so well. I hope you enjoy it - let me know what you think! Our domain name has not changed -- so you can find our new site at

The old Smugmug site is still there. We will continue to use it for selling recital portraits, dance performance photos, and to show off our custom products, such as Christmas cards, baby announcements, portrait bags, etc.

To all my ballerina portrait clients and recent private session clients - your proofs are still on the Smugmug site -

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Dr. Mom Part IV.... and make that Dr. Dad, too!

Julia and John came tonight for maternity portraits. Julia is the fourth pregnant doctor I have photographed in the last three months - all young, beautiful and nice as can be. Dad-to-be John is a doctor, too - makes scheduling appointments a bit difficult, but it always works out. I had a lot of fun this evening! Here's a few portraits to look at while you wait for me to get your gallery online - I know you are eager to see them (and hello to Mary and Katie, who I know will be reading this, too! - See you next week, Mary!).

As always if a portrait looks pixilated, just click on it - Blogger does odd things to pictures.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Nutcracker: All Jazz'd Up!

As most of you know, my portrait studio is located in a busy dance studio in western Shawnee called the Academy of the Arts. Besides my private portraits that you see featured on this blog, I also take recital and cast portraits for the dance studio. My little girl has danced there since she was 3 years old - and she's 9 now! We love the Academy of the Arts! A very special production is about to be staged - their third annual "Nutcracker: All Jazz'd Up!"

We took my daughter to the first year they did the show - she was not in it, but as soon as she saw it she fell in love. It's very fun, and very different than the classical version of the Nutcracker story -- modern and made for a young cast. It features several types of dance - ballet of course, but also jazz and tap. My husband and I love the tapping mice - we think they always steal the show.

I encourage you to take your kids to see this show! You have three chances to see it - Saturday, Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and again on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 2 p.m. It will be performed at Mill Valley High School, between Shawnee Mission Parkway and Johnson Drive on Monticello. Tickets can be bought at the door for $10 each.

I will be there as a photographer taking action pictures, and my husband is doing the performance video. But I'll also be there as a mom - my daughter has 4 parts in the show - it's always a wonderful feeling to see her on stage - I can't wait!

I hope to see you there!
And I can't resist posting a portrait of my own daughter -hamming it up as usual in her Russian Laughter costume!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Triple Blessing

On the Eve of Thanksgiving, it seemed appropriate to photograph this family, as it's clear the parents have a lot to be thankful for - their beautiful, silly, crazy little set of triplets. As a twin myself, I love photographing multiples. This set was my first triplets. They were rather wound up this evening - can you tell?

And as an aside - it seems like my studio has become the Beautiful Mom studio. I'm not kidding! Apparently word has gotten out in the Beautiful Mom newsletter that Center Stage Photography is the place to go.

Anyway - thank you, Jennifer, for choosing me to photograph your family - I had a great time - and no, the triplets weren't that bad! LOL Here's your sneak peak. Remember,if the portrait looks pixelated, just click on it. Blogger does weird things to pictures).

Happy Thanksgiving to all my faithful blog readers and clients!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Christmas delivery info

If you have not yet ordered your ballerina or Nutcracker portraits, please take note: Smugmug has published their Christmas delivery cut-off dates:

Christmas Delivery Cutoffs
First Class: Dec. 7
Express: Dec. 14
Second Business Day: Dec. 17
Next Business Day: Dec. 18

To ensure that you get your portraits in time for Christmas, please make note of these dates and plan your order accordingly.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


I have been wanting to get this family into my studio for as long as I have been a photographer ... which is only a year... but it seemed like a long wait! Our kids go to school together, and their girls are just so beautiful - a portrait photographer's dream. The parents aren't too hard on the eyes, either! With the girls' birthdays coming up, it seemed like a perfect time.

We had a great time tonight, Greg and Brenda! Enjoy the sneak peak and you will have your proofs in after Thanksgiving.

See how they grow!

What a difference a few months makes - this mom is a frequent visitor to my studio, even though she lives in Lincoln, Nebraska. Often when she visits family here in Kansas she stops by my studio for portraits. Last I photographed this baby, he was 7 weeks old - now, at 5 1/2 months, the difference is striking. What a handsome little guy he is! I have a lot of fun watching my baby plan babies grow, and look forward to each appointment.

Thanks, Angie for bringing your baby for portraits. Hopefully next time Daddy can come, too! (if a portrait does not look clear, simply click on it).

Friday, November 16, 2007

She wasn't having any of it!

The tiniest girl in this portrait really, really dislikes being in my studio. Can you tell? Even though these are not traditional portraits, I think they are cute enough to share. Big Sister loves having me photograph her - maybe one day Little Sister will, too! Until then, they can amuse us with portraits like these! (click on a portrait to see it bigger/more clear).

Hmmm. Maybe this one will do? =)

The Finals! Vote for your favorite ballerina portrait!

Here it is! The final round!
All of these portraits won their preliminary round of my "vote for your favorite ballerina portrait" blog contest. The winner will get a set of Moo cards! These are the cutest things - everyone who sees mine wants some of their own. (Please note that only those portraits that you have ordered will be on your cards).

So, here they are - the winners of the preliminary rounds. Have fun voting! The contest will end in one week.
(remember - if an image does not look clear, simply click on it to see it better)

By the way - there's still time to order Christmas cards. Please send me email for information or stop by the studio Monday-Wednesday evenings.

EDITED Nov. 23 - We have a winner! Congratulations to ballerina #5 for winning the Favorite Ballerina Portrait contest! A set of mini Moo cards will be coming your way! Thanks for everyone who voted!







Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Center of Their World

Monday night I photographed a family of adults... and then that one tiny little man who is at the center of their universe. It was really sweet to see how captivated each member of the family is with their 18-pound little prince. They had not had family portraits taken for some time. I like to think I made it an enjoyable experience for them. It was nice meeting you all! Your proofs will be ready in a few days.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I love faces!

Sure, environmental portraits are nice. But I love faces. Always have. Now that I'm a portrait photographer I love to get rid of all of the extraneous and focus on the face. Tonight I had some great faces to work with. Yes, Shelly, I have some portraits that are not this much face, but these are certainly among my favorites. Thanks for choosing me -- your proofs will be ready in about a week.

Loving those seniors!

I photographed another senior today - it's quite a difference to photograph a senior after a month of creating portraits of little people. Maranda didn't run away from me, refuse to smile, or scream during her session! Can you tell I spend a lot of time photographing the under 4 set? When I was in high school, we always had our senior portraits done in the late summer so that we could meet our yearbook deadlines. I'm quickly learning things have changed a lot since the... ahem... late '80s. Thanks for choosing Center Stage Photography for your senior portraits, Maranda! Here's a few for a sneak peak - it's always very difficult choosing but these three caught my eye. (click on the image to see it better)