Finn Family Portrait

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This weekend I got our little family together to sit for a fun family portrait session!  Of course, I had to include some of the little man all by his cute self… but I also love the ones of him with his daddy too.  What a cutie pie (and yes, I know, you saw him yesterday too; but I couldn’t help myself!).

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Baby Portraits :: Toby

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Toby is crawling like a madman these days… and getting pretty good at standing too!  He’s not quite standing on his own, but is very close!  Here are a few portraits to share.  Don’t you love the little camouflage soaker cover?  I had fun making that for him a couple days ago 🙂

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Too cute!  I may be just a little biased, of course ;).  But it is amazing how quickly they grow 🙂

Baby Finn Arrives! (Meet Toby)

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Toby decided to wait just a little past his due date, but he’s finally arrived! My delivery was definitely a bit more “interesting” than my uneventful pregnancy: after a successful induction, and 24 hours of mostly productive labor, Toby came into the world via an unexpected route — cesarean section.

Happily, Toby got a clean bill of health upon delivery, and I’ve been recovering well from the surgery for the past couple weeks. During our 4.5 day stay at the hospital, family and friends came to visit, including a special cross-country visit from Liz Vance and her daughter (Liz not only created our first family portraits, but documented some candid moments from Toby’s first days too). This first video slideshow shows the birth memories that Liz documented for us:

And then of course, the newborn portraits that Liz created. I absolutely love all of these, Toby looks so adorable and peaceful:

Since coming home from the hospital, Toby has been doing great; he’s a good sleeper, eater, and doesn’t really fuss much at all! And happily, Cinnamon and Ginger have inspected and approved of the new addition to our family too.

We’ll look forward to sharing more as Toby grows; and can’t wait for you to meet him in person!

Betsy :: Maternity Portrait

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Baby Finn is getting closer than ever to arriving! Before his arrival though, we decided to ask our good friend, Liz Vance (she’s a great baby photographer in the DC area), to document the pregnancy and create some lovely maternity portraits for us. Needless to say, Liz did a wonderful job! Here is a video slideshow of the highlights from our maternity portrait session with Liz.

Thank you Liz for creating these wonderful memories to enjoy and look back on once we’re past the whole “being pregnant” phase! And no, I can’t pick out just one favorite portrait… I love them all.

Baby Progress…

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Today we got to find out we are expecting a baby boy! Sadly for my niece, she remains the only girl among her Finn cousins. Such is life!

While they captured a number of detail images for “doctor” purposes, we got to take home this selection of four pictures. Baby was pretty fidgety during the ultrasounds, but the technician was able to check everything she needed to. So yay for a healthy baby :).

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Two’s company… Three’s a family!

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Since I’m my own boss, and I’ve got everything under control… there’s no need to keep the excitement under wraps (well, for any longer!). Steven and I are expecting our first little Finn :)… sometime in March of 2011. It’s all very exciting, we’ve been getting lots of advice and tips from everyone who is already a parent… of course!

Here’s our 10 week ultrasound, which I just got digitized. Very cool to see baby’s tiny heart beating at about 150 beats per minute!

Fortunately, the kittens have been great with babies and kids, so with a little training and prep, we shouldn’t have too much trouble getting Ginger and Cinnamon used to being around things that smell like baby.

Oh, and one last thing: Betsy’s Photography will remain open and operating as usual. We will schedule a brief holiday around the baby’s due date, however we will be operating at full capacity as long as possible.

Purrballs :: Meet Ginger + Cinnamon

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On Sunday we went to the Humane Society of Huron Valley‘s adoption event — Kitty Palooza! There were more than 100 kittens ready to be adopted, and the Humane Society was offering adoption specials that were too good to pass up (that is, if you love cats and wanted an excuse to adopt!). How did I find out about it? One of my clients! (Thank you Angel!)

So, we headed over to the Humane Society, around the same time as yet another tornado warning was announced. Fortunately, we didn’t see much of anything except for heavy rain. Boy was it humid! Walking into the Humane Society, I felt bad for the person inside the furry dog costume — the humidity was so terrible it was almost like being in a sauna. Read More

Portraits of Steven + Betsy

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Well you may have noticed some new photographs of me floating around the website.  And I’m really excited to share some more of them with you.  In January, I was talking with a good friend of mine (Jeff Dachowski) about how Steven and I would really love to have an amazing portrait of the two of us.

There is something to be said for having a professional create your portrait (yes, even professional photographers go to other professional photographers for portraits).  By not doing it yourself, you can actually relax and enjoy the whole experience.  Jeff made sure we looked good, and did all the work.  And I love the natural expressions of our relationship that he captured.

Our portrait session took place in Phoenix during January’s Imaging USA convention.  In fact, it was the evening of the awards ceremony where I was recognized for being Photographer of the Year.  My friend Jeff and his wife both received Degrees from the Professional Photographers of America that evening too!  So, all in all, it was a very fun time.

Oh, and I have to tell you.  My hair is NEVER curly like this.  I didn’t even know it was possible!  But, thanks to another photographer friend of mine (Thanks Andrea!), my hair stayed curly and wavy all night long.  Very impressive.

I absolutely love this image (yes, I’m excited about these, can you tell!):

This one is also gorgeous.  Love the lighting fixtures in the hotel lobby (we’re overlooking it from that balcony).

And then finally, I asked Jeff if we could do one with us on the escalator.  So, being the good sport he is, Jeff happily obliged!

This session was a blast, and I really enjoyed being the center of attention for once (yes, I am a photographer who doesn’t mind being in front of the camera every once in a while).  I am so excited to find a place for these lovely images in our home.  Thanks Jeff, Andrea, and other photographer friends who participated behind the scenes for our mini-session!

My Engagement Story

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Working with engaged and married couples allows me to enjoy hearing about many wonderful proposal stories. And while I haven’t heard everything, I have heard quite a bit. From the more typical romantic flowers + tux proposal to a more adventurous underwater scuba diving proposal, I find it extremely interesting to see how each engagement story is different. And then there’s my own engagement story. Nothing extraordinary, you might think, but it’s special to me. It seems so long ago, but of course I can still remember the details.

My Engagement Story - Just Engaged - bphotoart.com

Before We Begin

Before I get into the full story of how Steven and I got engaged, let me start by explaining something. I have an uncanny knack of ruining surprises. Steven has planned numerous exciting and thoughtful surprises, most of which I’ve somehow stumbled across before their due time. I promise that I’ve never intentionally ruined a surprise — I like surprises! But, no matter how hard I try, the surprise aspect often remains elusive.

I can imagine that most guys dream of surprising their fiance-to-be with the perfect proposal. Part of Steven’s goal was to surprise me (yes, tricky!). I won’t ruin the story yet, but keep reading to find out if that happened.

Like any couple, we discussed our future — and the possible timing for the big events of engagement and marriage. Steven and I didn’t set a date or anything like that before becoming engaged, but we had definitely talked these plans and how they would work into our future. Of course I had to have a “timeline” of sorts to share with my girlfriends, because they were asking all sorts of questions, so we settled on planning to get engaged sometime during the summer of 2004.

To make a long story short, a friend one weekend said she’d heard I was getting engaged soon. This was in March of 2004, so I still had a ways to go until the “timeline.” So I set that thought aside, and went about things as usual.

My Engagement Story

A weekend or two later, Steven and I were in town to spend time with the parents (neither of us were in Ann Arbor at the time). We were planning on grabbing dinner at our favorite restaurant (Knight’s Steakhouse), and then going with his parents to Saturday Mass. Our plans for Sunday were still up in the air. We got dressed for church, and then went to Knight’s Steakhouse for dinner. We sat upstairs, and had an uneventful dinner. After dinner, lo and behold, a lovely heart-shaped cake with roses arrived on our table. Can you guess what was on it? Yup, this was it! An engagement ring was nestled in a silk rose and the cake was iced with the words “Will You Marry Me?”

I have to admit I was so extremely surprised that I was speechless! Steven (who was all nerves at this point), took the ring, asked me “Will you marry me?” and put the ring on my hand as I nodded and said yes (finally, right? I’m sure my stunned silence wasn’t too reassuring at first!).

So after that, we enjoyed some of the scrumptious carrot cake that had been handmade for us. It was very delicious, and we left some for the wait staff (it was a decent-sized cake!). While we were celebrating during dessert, an older couple congratulated us and bought us a drink. It was their anniversary!

Finally, there was another element of surprise. Steven let me know that both sets of parents were waiting at Barton Hills Country Club to celebrate with us. On the drive over, some phone calls were made to spill the news. Once we arrived, a champagne toast was in order, and we let some of the excitement unwind as we sat with them.

It really was an exciting day. Steven succeeded in creating a wonderful and memorable engagement story for us to enjoy sharing with others. In case you’re wondering why he picked this particular restaurant, it was because he went to college for Hospitality Business (restaurant management), and during that point in time Steven spent many busy hours at Knight’s Steakhouse working the various positions. While it’s not an exotic engagement location, Knight’s was (and is) a special place for us.

What’s Your Story?

So, there you have it! That’s my engagement story, and I look forward to hearing yours soon. I’ve found as I work with engaged couples, the more you share of your story, the more unique and meaningful we can make your engagement session. Whether we do so by choosing the location of your first date, where you got engaged, or something more subtle, you will be able to fondly look back on your engagement images and remember some wonderful memories. I know I wish we had done our engagement session in such a way to evoke the excitement and surprise of the evening we got engaged!

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