Monday, April 29, 2013

Beautiful Spring Wedding {Utah Wedding Photographer}

 Over the weekend I got to photograph this amazing couple! Jairo & Jaime are so in love, and so cute together!! It was an amazing day! Not a cloud in the sky, a slight breeze and the perfect temperature! Tulips were in bloom everywhere and there were even some blossoms on the trees! Everything was just beautiful!
We had some good laughs, and I really enjoyed my time with this awesome couple!
I was lucky enough to have Tara of Winsor Photography (go check out her post) 
and Tiffany of  Harston Designs be my 2nd photographers.
 Together we had so much fun, and got some amazing pictures!

 I don't think they knew that I took this, but it shows some of the amazing 
action that was going on behind the scenes. I think from now on I will 
have 2 photographers with me. It was too much fun!
Also, go check out the AMAZINGLY GORGEOUS Bridal shoot, 
shot by none other than the awesome Erin Summerill
I got to shoot this with her and she is so much fun to work with!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Documenting Birthday Parties {Kelli West Photography}

 Hey everyone!! Congratulations, you have made it to Friday...alive (at least that is how I feel). With Friday being here comes the welcome of the weekend for many of you. Time for the fun to begin! Time for getting chores done, going to the movies and having Birthday Parties!

I am going to share with you all some tips on taking pictures at a child's Birthday Party!
There is usually a lot of planning that goes into a Birthday party, and you definitely don't want to miss out on those shots that showcase your hard work and the fun that is going on!
To help you along I am going to show you pictures that I took from my cute Nieces 4th Birthday party. 
(I will not be including the photos with faces of all the little girls for some obvious reasons)

#1 Birthday Child
I think this is obvious, do a quick 2 minute photo session of the Birthday child! Take them aside and snap some cute photos. Have the child be silly and showcase their personality!
#2 Shoot the activities taking place. 
This was a princess themed party, and there were several
 stations for the girls to do things. One was making princess wands, one was face painting,
and one was for receiving your tiara.

 #3 Get the Details!  
Take pictures of the cake and all of the other cute decorations that you spent so much time on!

 #4 Action Shots
whether you are at a party with little girls twirling or a ninja party with boys karate chopping, get the shots of all the kids playing! No one told these girls to twirl at first. It was just a natural instinct for them when they have crowns, princess wands and princess dresses on! It was SO cute!

 #5 Get pictures of the Birthday Child with the parents and guests
It is always the best when you as a parent step in and be a part of the picture! 
#6  blowing out of the candles
This one is another obvious. :)

One more tip, if you don't want to worry about taking pictures and just want to enjoy the party,
 hire a photographer! There are many out there that love to be hired on for birthday parties!
Either way, you will be so happy that you got so many memorable pictures!
Just remember to enjoy the party and use available natural light before flash(it just looks better)!

Now, head on over to my friends blog
to see what event she is documenting!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Never Stop Learning!! {My view on Photography}

Allllll righty then...(bet you said that in the Jim Carrey voice-i sure did)

Today I want to talk about something that I think is very important,
education in the photography world! I am going to start off by saying that you do
NOT need a degree in photography to be a good photographer. 
Period. The End...
There are many things that one can learn at a College or a University.
I, one day will go back and get my degree in photography.  Until that day comes for
 me to do that, I am doing and will continue to do all that I can to further myself on the craft
 that I love doing in any way possible. There are so many resources available at our
finger tips. The internet has opened so many doors to learning. 
When I have had questions about my camera, I turn to the internet.

If you are a new photographer starting out I URGE you to not just sit and hope to get
better. Follow some of these steps and you will succeed. 

Free Resources

1- Watch a video on You Tube
2- read an article you found in Google search
3- Join a group on FB and ask questions.
4- Join a forum specifically for what you want to learn
5- Go to the library and rent out the books. I don't know the selection each library has, but they are bound to have some.
6-find a mentor. Photographers use to be so closed off when I started out.(7 years ago)
It was an insult to ask for help. I feel now things have changed and many photographers
are willing to mentor and help the ones starting out. We all start from the beginning. Be kind and share the love...what goes around comes around.
Check out [framed] netowork. Amazing and fun information at your fingertips.
Also check out Creative Live FREE videos when they air live. Love Creative Live.

Non Free Resources

1- Workshops! Find a workshop. They are everywhere. They can range from $200-$4,000 (or more). Find a photographer who's work you admire and go to their workshop.
I try to do one a year. You do have to save up for them, but I think it helps your business SO MUCH!
2- Conventions. I just got back a month ago from WPPI in Vegas. There were THOUSANDS of photographers there. So many vendors in the photo world. So many classes to choose from.
I loved every minute of it and learned so much, and ended up becoming REALLY good friends with the girls I roomed with. There are up sides to everything.

3- Books! Go to amazon and buy books. I have so many photography books. Books on lighting, books on photoshop, books on everything you could think of and most of them are pretty inexpensive.

4- Community classes at a local college. They usually have several different teachers you 
can choose from and are inexpensive.

5- There are videos you can buy from Photo Vision Video that follow around photographers.

The last advice I will give to you all is to practice. practice. Need I say it one more time?
PRACTICE!!!!!  To become a master at something you need to put in either 40 years or 10,000 hours!! So get out and shoot. That is the best way to keep moving forward!

Photography will always be a changing field. You will always have to keep
learning and growing, so start now!
 Don't ever stop! Enjoy every failure and success along the way. 
You only succeed after you have failed!!

I hope you found this helpful and use all the resources that are available to you.
We are so lucky to have the knowledge so accessible!

And just for fun enjoy some pictures of the beautiful Sky and her fiance Cam. I followed Erin Summerill along on their engagement shoot! Aren't they so cute!

Now, head on over to the lovely Tara of Winsor Photography to see what she is up to!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

The UNDFIND Camera Bag! {Product Review}

 Hey everyone!! Happy Monday to you all! For me when it comes to making purchases I tend to research a lot, go back and forth and then sit on it for a while thinking. I want to always make sure that I am buying something that I REALLY want, and something that I will help me out. Today I am going to share with you my new camera bag! :) It is the UNDFIND bag.  

I love everything about it! I have been looking at this bag I think for almost a year, and when I was down in Las Vegas for the WPPI convention I had a plan to go up to their booth and finally see it in person. I wanted to feel it, wear it, look deep into it and really finally decide if it is what I wanted. IT WAS. The minute I put it on I knew I would be making a purchase
 right then and there, and I did.

Some things that I love about this bag are...
1- The shoulder strap is SUPER comfy (or as my 3 yr old son would say, "it's cozy")
2- I love having it available at my waist. It is so much easier to switch my lenses. Everything is just more accessible.
3- It is stylish, but also doesn't scream "I'm a photographer!!"
4- It holds more than just a lens and a camera. It can hold a laptop. It has many pockets that keep you organized. As you can see in one of the pictures you can pull the middle part out to make room for whatever you want. 
5- everything about this bag just makes sense! You can even switch out the front flap if you get tired of the design you chose!

If you have been looking for a bag I urge you to check them out. 
Now go on and head on over to Erin's Blog to see what crazy amazing thing she will post about this time around!! 

Happy Monday!!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

More CUTE Clothes!!

 I am posting today to let you all know of another fabulous deal going on over at SOLE DESIRES
Starting today and going through Friday everything on the WEBSITE is 20% off!!
Included in that is this top seller, these super cute chevron leggings. They come in mint and coral-the ever so popular colors of Spring! They are a nice, thick fabric and super comfortable!
To get the 20% off just use the code KELLIWEST at checkout! 
You can thank me later! Happy Shopping! :)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Don't wait! DO it NOW!

Today's post is going to be a little more serious. 

About 2 weeks ago one of my Western Digital passports (external hard drive) stopped. I would plug it in, it would spin up...and the nothing. My computer was not reading it. I finally gave it to my husband to take a look at. He use to work for Dell and knew a thing or two about recovering hard drives. 
He went downstairs to fix it. When he came back up I could tell by the look on his face that the news was not good.  After doing everything he could (even with some input from our neighbor) he told me the bad news.
I CRIED! And then cried a little more. It was a 1TB hard drive that was 100mb away from being full.
It had the last year of all my clients on there, and the last year of my own personal pictures. Pictures of my two cute boys. Family happenings, holidays, even pictures of my nieces and nephews. 
I thought to myself, "how did this happen? The hard drive is not THAT old!"
and then I thought,
"Kelli, you know better. You should have backed it up sooner."
The sad thing is I had just bought a 2 TB hard drive to back it all up on. It came in the mail around the same time it stopped working. 

I am here to plead to all of you photographers AND non photographers to back up your hard drives. ALWAYS make sure you have 2 copies of a picture.  I am going to give you some options below.

Option #1
Have several external hard drives. When you upload to one hard drive, upload to the other one right after that. That way if one fails you have another copy. And if that happens (one failing) quickly get another and copy it.

Option #2
Use the cloud! It may have a fee with it every month, but it will not fail! You can also access your files from anywhere! Here are a couple of the companies...

Get something like THIS that will automatically back it up and is fast and more safe than a regular external hard drive!

Option #4
Get your own server. This is what I will be doing. It makes sense for me. My husband and I have talked it over and hopefully soon I will have my own server!!

Pretty much what I am saying is that you have many options to choose from. Whatever one you choose will be great, just get it done. Otherwise you will be crying over lost pictures like I still am. :) I went 7 years without any problems-which is amazing. I did back up my files but it was never a fast thing. Please, pretty please don't wait and do it now!! Because it will happen to you!!

Oh, one little side note. Stay away from the USB 3 drives. Out of all the hard drives I have, I only have two USB3 ones but those are the ones that have given me problems. Never again!!

Now, to actually see some pictures head on over to my friends blog. 
Tara is awesome and rocks at what she does!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Tips on Photographing your Kiddos!

 No matter where your skill level is at with photography one thing that is important to do is document the day to day life of your family. Once you let go and realize that your kids don't need to be smiling and looking perfect you will relax just a little see those more special, tender moments that make your heart smile much more than a perfect smiley photo.

Tips to get fun pictures of your children

1- Interact with your kids. Don't just tell them to smile and look at the camera! Instead play with them. Chase them. Make them giggle and laugh by saying funny things.

2- Give them actions to do. I will tell my boys to hug, dance, kiss, run, flex... you get the point.

3- Pull the camera out when they are playing. Getting photos of them when they are unaware are some of my favorite ones. They are usually in their zone doing what they do best everyday, playing! Capture that!!

4- Take pictures of places you normally would not. When you go to the grocery store, get out your camera. So many funny things can happen while you are there, and let's face it we all take our kids to the grocery store.

5- Let them be themselves. If your kids are older let them pick the clothes they want to wear. Give them creative freedom to do what they want to do, not what you want them to do. If your son wants to wear snow boots with his gym shorts and a tie...FANTASTIC! Let him wear it. If your daughter wants to layer her 10 princess dress one upon the other, let her do it!! 

The key to photography is to capture memories. So I challenge you all (photographers and non photographers) to try and relax a little and let life happen and capture it in the direction it goes.

And now for some pictures of my cute, hilarious little guys!!

The boys were taking a bath so i decided to snap pictures of the fun they have while soaping up! 
 They both fell asleep. I love this peaceful moment.
 Here Mr.J was walking and really biffed it (all while I was taking pictures) and Mr.B ran up so fast to comfort his brother and make everything ok by giving him a hug and kiss. SO glad I had my camera on me and captured this moment.
While playing outside last summer in the sprinklers they both thought it funny to sit on the water toy.
Spontaneous picnic on the front lawn with pizza!! Is he looking at the camera and smiling? NO!! And I love it that way!!!

 This picture is by no means perfect (My husband took it-and he is not camera savvy if you know what I mean) but I love the craziness of it all and the smile that I am looking at!!

  These last pictures were done 5 minutes before church on Easter Sunday! I had my boys laughing and hugging and dancing around!! Don't get me wrong, I LOVE to see their cute faces and their smiles because I love them, but I love to see their personalities come to life in the pictures as well!!! I hope you enjoyed this post and go out and tackle your own kids with your camera!!

I am in an amazing group of women photographers! We have started a blog together called Our Forever Neverland. Everyone submits one photo for the week of their life-kids or no kids. You can still document your life. Go check it out and follow along on FB here. Just looking through this blog can give you ideas of anything and everything to photograph your kids.

And next stop by Erin Summerill's blog to see what she is up to and posting!!!

Friday, April 12, 2013

What is your SOLE Desire?

So on Wednesday we talked about guilty pleasures... well today we are going to talk about your soul desires or should I say the company Sole Desires. :)
Sole Desires is owned by my very own, amazing sister Cari. Yesterday she called me up
to inform me of some super cute skirts that she just got in. So I said, "hey, call a girl to model them and I will come take some shots for you" (yes, I rock I know)!! So I packed up my boys and headed out to her house and we got these fabulous pictures!! 
They are a chevron maxi skirt that come in the colors MINT and CORAL... 
two very popular colors of Spring right now. 
Because my sister loves me (and you) so much she is going to give you an AMAZING deal that will go through the weekend, or while the supplies last. 
All you need to do are these simple steps...
1- Just click this link Sole Desires . It will take you to the Facebook page. 2- You must then LIKE it!
3- Go to the site SOLE DESIRES and use the code
 at checkout to get the skirt for only $15.99
YES! You read that right. It's a great deal and you don't want to miss out on it.
Remember this only last through the weekend or while the supplies last so act fast!
You are probably also wondering how to get those cute tops that she is wearing with the skirts, 
well they will be up soon so check back!
 I hope you all take advantage of this awesome deal!
Have an amazing weekend and smile knowing you have a cute skirt headed your way!
*Also, just a quick note. I am told the skirts run a size small. So go up a size :)

To see an awesome (and most likely hilarious) post go check out my friend ErinSummerill. She's the