Karen Santilli Photography: Blog https://www.karensantilli.com/blog en-us (C) Karen Santilli Photography karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:13:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:13:00 GMT https://www.karensantilli.com/img/s/v-12/u812285676-o1033353910-50.jpg Karen Santilli Photography: Blog https://www.karensantilli.com/blog 80 120 Darrian + Cory's Wedding! https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2017/11/darrian-corys-wedding I love that my job gives me the chance to travel to new locations and experience new cities. For this particular chance, not only did I get to catch up with some old Air Force friends of mine, but I got to go to Columbus, Ohio to capture a gorgeous wedding on a perfect August day. I actually met Darrian and Cory while I was still in Active Duty service at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, and the wonderful thing about friends in the service is that you find ways to reunite anywhere in the world, and what a better way to do that than at a wedding?! 

Well, needless to say, I had a blast catching up with old friends as well as doing what I love - photographing precious moments that will last a lifetime. Darrian and Cory were stunning, and they had a really fun bridal party that helped to keep the whole day feeling like a party! We started out at Columbus's downtown Hyatt Regency, where we did the first look photos in a beautifully architected corner of one of their public lobbies. We then headed down to the famous Main Street Bridge, a perfect backdrop for group photos with views of the skyline. Then we finished the evening at Dock 580, where Darrian and Cory had their ceremony and reception. It was a perfect day, and I hope these photographs helped capture that for Darrian and Cory, for many, many years to come!

A link to the full album can be found here.

 

A link to the full album can be found here.

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) columbus karen santilli photography milwaukee ohio photography photos session wedding wedding photography wisconsin https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2017/11/darrian-corys-wedding Mon, 06 Nov 2017 05:45:39 GMT
Jeannie + Derick's Wedding! https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2017/10/jeannie-dericks-wedding What an absolute gorgeous day it was, and how lucky we were to get to use the Milwaukee Art Museum as the backdrop for in incredible setting for Jeannie and Derick's first look! This is why I love what I do...I get the privilege to not only witness but also be entrusted to capture two people's most life-changing moments, moments that they will remember forever. We then enjoyed their ceremony at the stunning Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Milwaukee, where the architecture abounds with art deco details and a beautiful grand staircase that the couple used as their aisle. And of course, the night ended with the most adorable customized first dance routine and a banging party. What more can you ask for? I hope these photos captured the beauty and memory of that day, as well as all of the fun moments that just go by way too fast. Congratulations, Jeannie and Derick!

A link to the full album can be found here.

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) art karen santilli photography lake michigan milwaukee museum photography photos wedding wisconsin https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2017/10/jeannie-dericks-wedding Fri, 06 Oct 2017 04:28:43 GMT
Lisa + Jerry Engaged! https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2017/8/lisa-jerry-engaged It was another lovely summer evening in Milwaukee, and I got to spend it taking engagement photos of Lisa and Jerry, a fun couple about to tie the knot next spring! They picked Lakeshore Park as the setting, and it was absolutely gorgeous. Lakeshore Park is set just south of downtown Milwaukee, overlooking Lake Michigan, with winding pathways through beautiful green spaces and fields of tall wildflowers. I'm honestly amazed that I had not done a session there yet! We enjoyed a leisurely stroll as the sun set while I snapped away. Towards the end, we hit that perfect angle of the sun where I could get some beautiful sun flares - a photographer's dream for dramatic moments. Needless to say, I really enjoyed discovering this new space and walking the park with Lisa and Jerry; and Jerry with his spontaneous bursts of hilarity (see photos below). Looking forward to shooting their wedding next spring!

A link to the full album can be found here.

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) engagement flares hessell jerry karen santilli photography lake lakeshore lisa love michigan milwaukee park photography photos puzach romance sun wedding wisconsin https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2017/8/lisa-jerry-engaged Tue, 08 Aug 2017 04:28:23 GMT
Jeannie + Derick's Engagement https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2017/4/jeannie-dericks-engagement There was no better way to spend one of the first beautiful afternoons of the spring than with this lovely couple, capturing their engagement session!  Jeannie and Derick were such a romantic and down-to-earth couple, and taking their photos was such a pleasure.  We lucked out with the weather, too, as every other day we were considering ended up being practically a monsoon!  They also brought their sweet dog along to the photo session, and anyone who knows me knows I absolutely love dogs (and cats), so I enjoy any opportunity to get to meet another furry friend as well as incorporate them into the memories!  We wrapped up the evening with some beautiful sunset shots -- my favorite lighting.  Who said you can't shoot into the sun? Congratulations, Jeannie and Derick, can't wait for the wedding!

 

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) Karen Santilli Photography brook engagement fox foxbrook foxbrook park park photography photos session wisconsin https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2017/4/jeannie-dericks-engagement Mon, 17 Apr 2017 04:52:34 GMT
Hannah + Kyle's Winter Wedding https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2017/3/hannah-kyles-winter-wedding I had the honor of capturing Hannah and Kyle's beautiful winter wedding in Jasper, Georgia a few months ago.  Hannah and Kyle were and are the embodiment of the love, honor, and commitment that I think every human being seeks to find, and in addition to being able to capture their union, I was just blessed to be there and help them celebrate! Kyle and Hannah's story is just about as romantic as you can imagine, involving a swing dance lesson at a local university and some help from Kyle's brothers to help him land a number and a date with the cutest girl in the room!  So, one thing led to another, and there I was, photographing their wedding! They decided to do a first look in a stunning setting amongst the tall Georgia trees and surrounded by a lake. The threat of rain was not enough to deter these two from being outside, and it all worked out beautifully. So I have here before you a collection of my favorite photos from their special day.  Enjoy!

You can also view the full album here, and you can see rehearsal dinner photos here.

 

You can also view the full album here, and you can see rehearsal dinner photos here.

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) Karen Santilli Photography georgia north photography photos trees wedding https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2017/3/hannah-kyles-winter-wedding Wed, 29 Mar 2017 01:50:09 GMT
Mike + Lori's Christmas Family Session https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2017/1/mike-loris-christmas-family-session Love and babies during the Christmas season - it can't get much better than that!  I had a wonderful time with Mike, Lori, and their little one, Aiden, taking their first family Christmas photos. We were lucky to get one of the first snowfalls of the season, too, which made for a beautiful natural backdrop that you can only dream of!  Here are some of my favorites from their session.

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) Christmas Karen Santilli Photography baby family newborn park photography photos session snow wisconsin https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2017/1/mike-loris-christmas-family-session Mon, 02 Jan 2017 01:41:00 GMT
Nick and Jess's Fall Family Photo Session https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2016/12/nick_and_jess_fall_family_photo_session It was another gorgeous day in Menomonee Park of Wisconsin!  Nick and Jess got some lovely photos with their two sons, Nico and Ryan, just before the fall colors started to fade away for the winter.  We happened upon two of the most bright and full trees and capitalized on their yellows and oranges for our fall background.  It was a beautiful day for a beautiful family, and I was glad to be able to capture some of the precious moments right before the holidays!

If you'd like to view the full gallery, order prints, or download these photos, please click here.

 

f you'd like to view the full gallery, order prints, or download these photos, please click here.

 

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) Karen Santilli Photography boys fall falls family leaves menomonee park photography photos session trees wisconsin https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2016/12/nick_and_jess_fall_family_photo_session Sat, 03 Dec 2016 01:28:55 GMT
The Robinsons' Family Session https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2016/8/the-robinsons-family-session7 Brian and Kate plus two!  Will and Hudson are the lucky boys who get to be children to the coolest, most awesome mom and dad in the world.  Our photo session started on the front porch of their beautiful Victorian home, which they're in the process of updating (see that nice new porch?) and ended up on the beach by Lake Michigan in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.  Who says you can't get "ocean" views in the Midwest?  Family sessions are always a bit of a challenge (usually more stressful for the parents, because they're worried about getting the shot...to which I reassure them it will all work out, I promise!), especially with a toddler involved, but there was no shortage of winning shots with this family.  I loved capturing their free-flowing energy and spirit!  The love in this family just shines right through the photographs, and all I had to do was snap away.  

If you would like to view the entire gallery, download pictures, or order prints, please click here.

 

 

If you would like to view the entire gallery, download pictures, or order prints, please click here.

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) Karen Santilli Photography family karen lake lake michigan michigan park photography photos santilli sheboygan wisconsin https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2016/8/the-robinsons-family-session7 Mon, 29 Aug 2016 03:46:59 GMT
Mike + Lori's Newborn Session https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2016/3/mike-loris-newborn-session When two wonderful people meet and fall in love, it's only natural that they become amazing parents to a precious little boy!  Mike and Lori welcomed their first son, Aiden into the world this year, and I had the privilege of taking his newborn photos!  We used the space in his nursery to create different backdrops and sets for him, while he went in and out of sleep (which was perfect, so I could catch some of his cutest yawns!).  I love having the opportunity to capture that natural and pure love that a mother and father have for their newborn...with a child of my own on the way, I am always excited to be able to be an important part of that experience and to help document it for families to cherish for years to come.  Congratulations, Mike and Lori, and best wishes to you as Aiden continues to grow in your love and care! 

If you would like to view the entire gallery, download pictures, or order prints, please click here.

If you would like to view the entire gallery, download pictures, or order prints, please click here.

 

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) Karen Santilli Photography babies baby father infant love milwaukee mother newborn newborn photography newborn session photography photos session wisconsin https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2016/3/mike-loris-newborn-session Mon, 14 Mar 2016 01:03:11 GMT
Nick + Jess's Second Newborn Session! https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2016/2/nick-jesss-second-newborn-session I have had the distinct pleasure and privilege to photograph this family multiple times throughout the last couple of years, and this time, the occasion was the birth of Nick and Jess's second child, Ryan James!  We had fun recreating some photos from his older brother's newborn session, as well as capturing some new ones, not to mention the precious combination of the two brothers together!  You can definitely see the similarities between the two, except for the stark difference in hair color, of course!  Wishing the best for these two parents as they embark on yet another adventure in growing their beautiful family.

If you would like to view the entire gallery, download pictures, or order prints, please click here.

If you would like to view the entire gallery, download pictures, or order prints, please click here.

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) Karen Santilli Photography baby boy milwaukee newborn photography photos toes wisconsin https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2016/2/nick-jesss-second-newborn-session Sun, 21 Feb 2016 16:00:00 GMT
Sarah + Sean's Newborn Session https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2016/2/sarah-seans-newborn-session Well, this one is special for me...a newborn photo session for my twin sister's firstborn and the first grandchild of the generation after us!!!  Not to mention, I'm expecting my firstborn in just a few months!  No, it was not planned that way :)  I flew to San Antonio, Texas to be with Sarah and her husband during the delivery.  I did have to extend my flight by a few days, but it was well worth making the flight change.  Plus, I couldn't not take my sister's newborn photos!!  His name is Fox Everett, and he was born on February 1st!  What a beautiful little bundle.  I'm so glad I was able to be there during such a momentous event for her, Sean, and for our whole family.

If you would like to view the entire gallery, download pictures, or order prints, please click here.

If you would like to view the entire gallery, download pictures, or order prints, please click here.

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) Karen Santilli Photography blue boy karen newborn parents photography photos sanity https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2016/2/sarah-seans-newborn-session Sun, 21 Feb 2016 03:51:53 GMT
Meghan + Adam's Wedding https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2015/12/meghan-adams-wedding Meghan and Adam...what a cute couple!  You can just see the romance oozing out of them on their wedding day, set in the beautiful Green Bay Botanical Gardens of Green Bay, Wisconsin.  Adam did not fail to impress with his charm, humor, and dashing uniform, and Meghan's sweet personality shined through, and to say she was stunning in her white dress would be an understatement!  Even though the chill was just enough to make people want to cozy up inside with warm drinks, we were able to catch some gorgeous shots outside in the gardens that Meghan and Adam will be able to enjoy forever. The night ended with a legendary party - one for the books!  Congrats, Meghan and Adam, here's to your life of love!

If you would like to view the full gallery, download pictures, or order prints, click here.

If you would like to view the full gallery, download pictures, or order prints, click here.

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) Green Bay Green Bay Botanical Garden Karen Santilli Photography blue bride bridesmaid dresses groom groomsmen military navy park party photography photos uniform wedding wisconsin https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2015/12/meghan-adams-wedding Thu, 10 Dec 2015 01:20:08 GMT
John + Ange's Wedding https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2015/12/john-anges-wedding It was a gorgeous fall day in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.  John and Ange had a heartfelt wedding ceremony on a perfect day in Menomonee Park ("Lannon Quarry") of Menomonee Falls, set amongst the trees as they started to turn for the fall.  Even a bee sting to the bride (who also happens to be allergic to bees) didn't keep this couple from having the best day of their lives!  She came prepared and handled the situation like a champ!  I had a wonderful time shooting their wedding, and I wish the absolute best for the two of them!

If you would like to view the entire gallery, download pictures, or order prints, click here.

 If you would like to view the entire gallery, download pictures, or order prints, click here.

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) Karen Santilli Photography bride falls groom lannon menomonee outdoor wedding park photography photos quarry wedding wisconsin https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2015/12/john-anges-wedding Thu, 10 Dec 2015 00:44:34 GMT
Sarah + Sean's Maternity Photo Session https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2015/11/sarah-seans-maternity-photo-session Just at the turning point between fall and winter in Milwaukee, we managed to squeeze in a morning maternity session with Sarah and Sean by Lake Michigan!  I had also been looking for an opportunity to take some photos by the beautiful aisle of trees that I'd driven by a few times, not far from the lake, and this was the perfect chance.  While it was a bit chilly (OK, a lot chilly if you weren't able to wear a jacket for photo-taking) and a bit early to catch the soft morning rays, it was well worth it!

If you would like to view the entire gallery, download pictures, or order prints, please click here.

If you would like to view the entire gallery, download pictures, or order prints, please click here.

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) Karen Santilli Photography lake maternity michigan milwaukee park photographer photography photos shore south wisconsin https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2015/11/sarah-seans-maternity-photo-session Tue, 01 Dec 2015 03:41:00 GMT
Mike + Lori's Wedding https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2015/9/mike-loris-wedding "Saturday...in the park...think it was the Fourth of July...."  Anyone remember that song by Chicago?  Well, if you don't, or if you've never heard it, you should check it out.  This song was practically written for this wedding!  The bride and groom's pianists played it at the end of the ceremony, and it was absolutely perfect.  Mike and Lori's fun spirit, down-to-earth personalities, combined with their classic and genuine love for each other created the perfect setting for a gorgeous wedding in Frame Park of Waukesha, Wisconsin and a rockin' party later at Tuscan Hall...all on a Saturday on the  4th of July!  It was definitely a day to celebrate, and hopefully my photos captured that. Special thanks to my assistant, Kyle Mostellar, for helping me shoot that day! Congratulations, Mike and Lori!

If you would like to view the full gallery, download files, and purchase prints, please click here.

 

 

If you would like to view the full gallery, download files, and purchase prints, please click here.

 

 

 

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) 4th July Karen Santilli Photography bride bridesmaids flowers frame groom grooms groomsmen lori mike milwaukee outdoor park photography photos pianists piano summer waukesha wedding wisconsin https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2015/9/mike-loris-wedding Wed, 23 Sep 2015 22:49:35 GMT
John + Ange Engaged! https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2015/9/john-ange-engaged I spent a lovely, bright, sunny afternoon with John and Ange at Hoyt Park in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin!  What a fun couple, especially with Ange (a horticulturist), who was able to tell me all about the plants and trees in the park!  Since I've started to do gardening on my own, I had quite a bit to learn.  We enjoyed the park's winding pathway by a small stream, an old stone bridge, and some big, green lawns for our session, a wonderful backdrop against Ange's awesome hair color, both of their beautiful green/blue eyes, and the pure happiness I could see in the couple's faces!  Looking forward to their wedding!

If you would like to view the full gallery, download files, and purchase prints, please click here.

 

If you would like to view the full gallery, download files, and purchase prints, please click here.

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) Karen Santilli Photography engagement hoyt park photographer photography photos wedding wisconsin https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2015/9/john-ange-engaged Mon, 14 Sep 2015 00:53:28 GMT
Nico Celebrating 1 Year!! https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2015/8/nico-1-year Well, my job is easy when the cuteness abounds!  Had a lovely afternoon with parents Nick and Jess celebrating their son's first year...and we can't forget their dog, Nova!  We took pictures at Fox Brook Park in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, where we had a beautiful lake, tall grass, and majestic old trees as our backdrop.  The mosquitos started feasting on us towards the end, but we made it, and even got a few pictures at the end in front of their lovely home.  Beautiful family, and I hope these pictures bring them happiness for years to come.

To view the full gallery, order prints, or download digital files, click here.

 

To view the full gallery, order prints, or download digital files, click here.

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) 1 Karen Santilli Photography babies baby brook county fox happy milwaukee park photography photos smile toddler waukesha wisconsin year https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2015/8/nico-1-year Sat, 15 Aug 2015 18:01:15 GMT
Mike + Lori's Engagement Session in Menomonee Park, Wisconsin https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2015/7/mike-lori-engaged Mike and Lori have been together since high school, and the strength of their love has kept them strong through thick and thin.  We did their engagement photos in Menomonee Park of Wisconsin, amidst the summer greens and the backdrop of a beautiful lake.  What a gorgeous couple they make, and I am honored to be able to capture these moments for them, their friends, and their family!  Coming soon will be pictures from their wedding on a Saturday, in the park, on the 4th of July!

To view the full gallery, order prints, or download full resolution images, click here.

  To view the full gallery, order prints, or download full resolution images, click here.

 

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) Karen Santilli Photography bay engagement falls menomonee milwaukee park photography photos view wedding wisconsin https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2015/7/mike-lori-engaged Sun, 05 Jul 2015 12:02:32 GMT
Chris + Corinne's Beautiful Barn Wedding https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2015/6/chris-corinnes-beautiful-barn-wedding There is something special about the natural, rustic feel you can only get in the beautiful setting of Wisconsin's rolling hills.  A feeling that brings you back to your roots, your childhood, and innocence.  Chris and Corinne chose to have their ceremony and reception at the truly Enchanted Barn in Hillsdale, Wisconsin, an award-winning location for Wisconsin brides and grooms. I knew it couldn't get much better when the setting featured an old, rusty Ford truck, perfect as a backdrop for a couple who knows how to have fun and just be in the moment.  

I hope I captured the sincerity of their love for each other.  I could just tell from the words and expressions of friends and family members that the two had never seemed happier in their lives than on that very day, when they made the commitment to spend the rest of their lives with their one and only soulmate.  This ​is why I love photographing such special days - the moments beg to be remembered and cherished.  Congratulations, Chris and Corinne!  Best wishes for all the years to come!

To view the full gallery, order prints, and download images, click here.

 

 

 

To view the full gallery, order prints, and download images, click here.

 

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) Hillsdale Karen Santilli Photography Milwaukee Wisconsin babies newborn photographer photography photos wedding https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2015/6/chris-corinnes-beautiful-barn-wedding Mon, 15 Jun 2015 03:15:20 GMT
Joe + Megan's Engagement Session in Milwaukee, Wisconsin https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2015/1/joe-megans-engagement-session-in-milwaukee-wisconsin I couldn't be happier for my two friends, Joe and Megan, who have decided to take the plunge together!  We hopped around to different areas of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Joe's hometown, as a backdrop for their engagement session, starting by Lake Michigan, then moving to the Milwaukee Art Museum, the old Pabst factory, and finally ending up in the Historical Third Ward downtown.  Of course, we had to grab a bite to eat at Ian's Cream City Pizza for the best mac and cheese pizza I've ever had!  Even though it was a cold and windy day, we had a lot of fun jumping around town and touring some of Milwaukee's most iconic spots to commemorate their engagement.  Here's to you, Joe and Megan!!

To view the full gallery, to download originals, or order prints, go here: http://www.karensantilli.com/joeandmegan

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) Karen Santilli Photography engagement lake lake michigan marriage michigan milwaukee pabst photographer photography photos session third ward wedding wisconsin https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2015/1/joe-megans-engagement-session-in-milwaukee-wisconsin Wed, 14 Jan 2015 04:05:46 GMT
An Engagement Session with Meghan and Adam https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2014/12/an-engagement-session-with-meghan-and-adam Meghan and Adam...what a wonderful couple!  I'm so glad Meghan found me to photograph their engagement and wedding...I don't want to brag, but...I'm just about one of the most hassle-free photographers out there you can find. :)  So, I was really glad to be able to giver her some peace of mind as she and her fiancee embarked on their wedding planning!  I always have a special place in my heart for couples who have to bear the burden of long distance, since I know how difficult that can be.  It's true, distance does make the heart grow fonder, but that doesn't mean it's easy!  Adam travels frequently for his job, so I know how important it is to relish the moments they do have together.  This engagement session was special, because it showcases how precious that time is for them.  This photos were taken in Menomonee Park (also Lannon Quarry) in Wisconsin.

 

If you would like to order prints or digital files, you can visit the gallery here.

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) Karen Santilli Photography engagement falls lannon love menomonee park photographer photography photos quarry relationship session wisconsin https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2014/12/an-engagement-session-with-meghan-and-adam Sat, 13 Dec 2014 19:09:37 GMT
A Special Family Session with the Lingles https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2014/12/a-special-family-session-with-the-lingles Enjoyed a wonderful family session with the Lingle family!  This mother and father have been married for 29 years and have so much love to show for it.  They have four children, a son-in-law, and the cutest little grandson in Wisconsin!  It was an honor to be able to document an exciting and happy time in this family's lives, especially with the backdrop of the beautiful fall colors in Brookfield.


If you would like to order prints or digital files, you can visit the gallery here.
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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) Karen Santilli Photography babies brookfield family newborn photographer photography photos session wisconsin https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2014/12/a-special-family-session-with-the-lingles Sat, 13 Dec 2014 18:51:58 GMT
The Schmidts' Family Session https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2014/12/the-schmidts-family-session We couldn't have asked for a better afternoon to snap some family shots, especially after the long, dreary winter in Ohio.  We went to the Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark in Ohio for the beautiful manicured gardens and kid-friendly layout.  But the best thing about this session was watching the personalities of little Margo and Ethan and having a chance to document those moments for parents Jon and Emily.  Margo was the star of the show, running around in her adorable outfit and charming every passerby in the park.  I'm pretty sure she can run a marathon by the age of 10, if not sooner.  And Ethan was so amazingly sweet, looking dapper in his spring outfit!  I absolutely love the candid shot of him pulling dad's face during an attempt at a family shot!  One of the perks of family photo sessions. It was such a pleasure to spend the afternoon with this family, I can only hope I get to enjoy a family session of my own like this sometime.

 

If you would like to order prints or digital files, you can visit the gallery here.

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) Karen Santilli Photography babies family newborn photography photos shots wedding https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2014/12/the-schmidts-family-session Sat, 13 Dec 2014 18:41:23 GMT
Boxing Session https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2014/4/boxing When I found out that a friend of mine started his own small business as a boxing workout coach and that he didn't have a website or Facebook page, I jumped at the opportunity to help him out.  Luckily for me, when I started my photography business, I didn't have to worry about getting photos for advertising…the nature of my work provided it.  But for those small business owners who are trying to put forth a professional image, the painstaking process of getting the quality photos/videos you want can be time-consuming and, quite frankly, a pain in the a**.  That's where professional photographers come in.  We spent about half an hour in his garage getting some portrait and action shots…it really didn't take that long.  But selecting and editing the images took about three or four times as long…hence, the pain in the a** part for those who don't have the right equipment/software.  It's fun to be part of the creative process and to help grow another small business in this changing economy, and I was very proud to see him take the next step with his talent.

 

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) Karen Santilli Photography ad ads advertising arizona box boxing dayton garage gloves hieger jared ohio phoenix photography photos tempe words work https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2014/4/boxing Sun, 20 Apr 2014 22:34:21 GMT
The Santillis' Newborn Photo Session! https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2014/4/the-santillis-newborn-photo-session So, this photo session was particularly special, because this little guy is my nephew, Nico John Santilli!  It was truly an honor to be the one to document his first few days in the world, and I hope I was able to do these family memories justice.  If not, I would never live it down!  In case you were wondering, Nico is a common European short version for the name Nicholas, which is the father's name.  Cute, huh?  And unique!  Nico was so precious throughout the whole session, and you could tell how connected he was to mom and dad.  During each set, Nick or Jess would hold Nico to help keep him calm, peaceful, and content.  A moment or two away from mom and dad, and he would definitely let you know!  As a photographer, you can really feel the untenable bond that exists between parents and their newborns.  I don't have children myself, but being part of these photo sessions has given me the privilege of feeling a small part of that unconditional love that comes with the miracle of bringing life into the world.  It also makes you realize how trivial everything else becomes when you see that you would do absolutely anything to take care of this little soul.  Congratulations, Nick and Jess, on your beautiful baby boy!  And welcome to the world, Nico.

 

For the full gallery, prints and digital files, you can visit: http://www.karensantilli.com/nickandjess

 

~Karen

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) Karen Santilli Photography babies newborn photography photos https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2014/4/the-santillis-newborn-photo-session Sun, 06 Apr 2014 03:55:13 GMT
Anna's 9-Month Photo Session https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2014/3/annas-9-month-photo-session There is only so much adorableness you can put in one baby, but little Anna was filled to the brim with it.  The whole session, she was all smiles!   It also helped that her parents were great at findings ways to make her laugh and clap during the whole session…parents have such an impact on their children at such a young age.  I love seeing the connection and bond they have.  We used the hardwood floor available in the living room, and we had a nice big window for natural light.  Luckily, we also had some old suitcases on hand to use for the shoot as well as a cute, baby-sized rocking chair.  But some of my favorites are also of Anna just sitting on the beige couch…simple and sweet.  The only time she wasn't flashing a great big smile the whole time was when we went outside into the cold!  She wasn't very happy about that.  I don't blame her, this is has been a rough winter.  But we still got some cute ones, nonetheless!  We had a great time together on this shoot, hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed taking them!

 

To see all of the photos or to order prints and digital files, please follow this link! http://www.karensantilli.com/mink

 

~Karen

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) 9-month Karen Santilli Photography babies baby month newborn photography photos https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2014/3/annas-9-month-photo-session Mon, 17 Mar 2014 03:14:59 GMT
Spicey Rooster BBQ Sauce - Product Photos https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2014/2/spicey-rooster-bbq-sauce---product-photos A beautiful thing happens when businesses connect and grow.  Thanks to Jeff, owner of the Heights Cafe in Huber Heights (where I did my very first showing of artwork, and where I also love to enjoy a wonderful weekend breakfast), he put me in contact with another budding business owner, Randy, of Spicey Rooster BBQ Company, who was in need of a photographer to help him build his website.  Randy specializes in making sauces from locally grown ghost peppers…and his sauces are amazing, I use them myself.  And hopefully once his website is up and running, I (and you) can start purchasing them online.  Or maybe you'll see them in stores, who knows?  Anyway, here's a sample of what I was able to do for him...

I learned that with taking photos of products, how you set up your additional lighting is absolutely critical.  Managing the reflections and positions of the lights can make a big difference.  I spent a lot of time playing with my soft boxes and working in Adobe Photoshop CS5 to clean things up.  Needless to say, my "Photoshop" skills were definitely in full swing on this project.  So…if you or anyone you know are in need of product photos…give me a shout!

 

 

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) bbq hot karen photography photos product rooster santilli sauce spicey spicy https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2014/2/spicey-rooster-bbq-sauce---product-photos Sun, 23 Feb 2014 21:59:35 GMT
Dogs in the Snow https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2014/2/dogs-in-the-snow One of the best things about all of the snow we've been getting in Ohio this year is watching my dogs go crazy in it.  Sometimes, I go outside to stand in the cold just to watch them romp around.  It's as if the snow makes them even more carefree than they usually are.  Bauer (short for Special Agent Jack Bauer) and Remi (short for Remingtonfrom Remington Steele) were both adopted at Montgomery County Animal Shelter, and I couldn't have been luckier to gain these two four-legged animals as my companions.  With my hubby being away in Afghanistan this winter, I don't know what I would do without them.  

I spent about an hour taking photos of them with my Nikon D800E in my backyard and came up with these shots…hope you enjoy viewing them as much as I enjoyed taking them!

 

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) Karen Santilli Photography dogs photography photos puppies snow https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2014/2/dogs-in-the-snow Sun, 16 Feb 2014 16:42:07 GMT
The Schmidts' Newborn Session! https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2014/2/the-schmidts-newborn-session It's the middle of a long, cold winter in Dayton, Ohio, but for the Schmidt family, the arrival of little Ethan Robert is keeping them warm!  He was born to parents Jon and Emily Schmidt, as well as to big sister Margo…Emily's mom was even able to be with us for the shoot!  Luckily, I brought my soft box with me, since we were so limited on natural light during these short, cloudy days!  The only other thing I could've done was crank up the ISO, but no good photographer wants to have to do that if they can help it.  I also got to work with my black backdrop to take some of those dramatic black and white shots that I oh, so love.  We had such a great time coming up with these different shots.  I feel truly honored to help document these precious moments with families.  Here are a few of my favorites…hope you enjoy them!

If you want to view the full gallery or purchase digital files & prints, go here: http://www.karensantilli.com/schmidt

~Karen

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) Karen Santilli Photography babies newborn photography photos https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2014/2/the-schmidts-newborn-session Sun, 09 Feb 2014 23:33:09 GMT
Kittens!!! https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2014/1/kittens Who doesn't love kittens?!  My neighbors rescued two kittens (brother and sister) who were abandoned and near death due to malnourishment and eye infections…but they are now full grown, healthy, and living safely and happily with a loving family.  Their names are Ender and Belle, and they got along very well with their big sister, Delilah, the beautiful black lab you will see in the photos.  The photographer in me couldn't resist a mini (ok, actually, a rather large) photo session with these adorable creatures, so here they are for all to enjoy...

 

~Karen

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) cats kittens photography https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2014/1/kittens Mon, 06 Jan 2014 05:14:40 GMT
Beach Rocks in Mexico https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2013/11/cabo-san-lucas The rocks at the southernmost tip of the Baja California Sur in Mexico can literally make you feel like you're on another planet.  The jagged formations juxtaposed with smooth, curvy surfaces of rocks, beaten upon by the ocean for thousands of years, make you question your own existence and highlight how insignificant you can feel standing next to them.  To try to capture the feeling, I woke up at about 5:30 AM on my vacation to trek about half a mile from my resort across the beach to get some shots in the morning light.  I used my Joby Gorillapod tripod to keep my Nikon D800E steady for the low light and low ISO shots.  For those of you who are terrified to take your thousands of dollars of equipment within 50 yards of the ocean, just remember that you have to take some risks to get the shot.  And be sure you have insurance.  I haven't had to cash in on mine yet, but knowing it's there allows me to de-stress and focus more on the adventure of getting the shot I want.

 

~Karen

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) and baja beach black cabo california lucas mexico photography rocks san sur white https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2013/11/cabo-san-lucas Mon, 18 Nov 2013 02:11:54 GMT
Road Triiiip!!! https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2013/11/road-trip Driving through mountain roads with the top down and your friends caravanning around you in perfect weather on your way to the beach to be part of one of the best car gatherings in the world is…well, it's pretty awesome.  Our friends drove down from Wisconsin to Ohio to meet up with us, then we drove to West Virginia to stay in a cabin for the night.  We made a stop for gas in a place that literally made us think we were about to be part of the sequel to The Hills Have Eyes.  All I can say is, "Dang."  But besides the fear of being in a horror movie, we were just loving the fresh air and the ability to see the Milky Way as soon as you step out of your car for a stretch.  After a few grueling hours driving through the mountains at night with 75 foot drop-offs just a few feet from our wheels, we finally made it to the cabin for a rest and a drink, only to start again the next morning to drive through the Shenandoah Valley (where I got pulled over for speeding…mind you, I was only trying to "keep up" with my friends…got a warning) and then make our way to the East Coast to Ocean City, Maryland.  The final destination?  H20, a Volkswagen and Audi car gathering of epic proportions held every year near the boardwalk.  With all the shenanigans, motorcycles, park rangers, angry security guards, Thrashers boardwalk fries, and plenty of wind in my hair, I can safely say this was an awesome road trip that will be difficult to top. 

Welcome to Ocean City

Assateague Island

 

~Karen

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) Karen Santilli Photography board car city h20 motorcycle mountains ocean photography photos road trip virginia walk west https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2013/11/road-trip Mon, 18 Nov 2013 02:10:30 GMT
Rob + Deb's Maternity & Newborn Sessions https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2013/10/rob-debs-newborn Rob, Deb, and I met through the Air Force, so I understand how hard it can be for both husband and wife to work full-time in the military and get ready for their first child!  But despite the hours and commitments, Deb and Rob supported each other throughout the pregnancy, and Deb gave birth to (fully naturally, by the way) little Michael Edward!  He has some big shoes to fill, but I'm sure his red hair will give him the energy and conviction he will need to face life full on.  I had the distinct pleasure of taking both maternity and newborn photos for the Hatalas, so they have both pre- and post- pregnancy memories documented in these images.  I wish them many blessings to come!

 

~Karen

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) Karen Santilli Photography maternity maternity photos newborn newborn photos photography https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2013/10/rob-debs-newborn Tue, 29 Oct 2013 23:29:14 GMT
Louisville, KY https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2013/10/hangin-out-in-louisville-ky I had such a blast spending the weekend back in July with our good friends, Jeff and Crystal, and their three wonderful daughters in Louisville (that's, "loo-uh-vull"), Kentucky.  The hubby and I had only been there once prior, to experience the wild and crazy spectacle that is the Kentucky Derby, but this time we got to enjoy some of the local cafes, parks, and eateries, cruising around in Jeff and Crystal's Jeep Wrangler (be sure to pack a scarf and a brush!).  And I must say, Louisville is a GREAT city.  With a mixture of urban life, country life, suburban, and foodie life, what more could we ask for?  We ate at both Hammerheads and El Mundo to fill our tummies...great restaurants for you foodies out there.  And of course, I had my camera with me to document the experience, so hope you enjoy the day as much as I did!


 

 

You're probably thinking, that's a random cat.  Yes...yes, it was a random cat staring down at us from the roof of a house on our way back home.  So there, you got the full experience. :)

~Karen

 

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) food kentucky louisville photography https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2013/10/hangin-out-in-louisville-ky Mon, 28 Oct 2013 03:30:04 GMT
Jenn + Sean's Wedding https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2013/9/jenn-seans-wedding The way that I met Jenn and Sean could have been nothing other than fate.  Their dog, who normally never escapes, wandered into my husband's (Jim's) and my front yard.  Recognizing that she belonged to the neighbors next door, I brought her (Delilah) back to her owners, and in doing so, met Jenn and Sean for the first time.  And as fate would have it, we became fast friends.  Come to find out, Jenn and Sean were planning a wedding and with only two months to go, they were in dire need of a photographer.  And again, as fate would have it, I was able to help them out in that arena, along with friend and colleague Martin Kim.  So, Martin and I showed up in Cranberry, Pennsylvania and shot away.  The day was spectacular.  The weather could not have been better, the ceremony had everyone in the room crying, and, to top it all off, they had a rockin' party!  Who could ask for more?  Oh, wait, perhaps a Top Gun-style serenade from the groomsmen to the bride?  YES!  I could ask for that.  And that definitely happened.  Jealous?  You should be.

But the best part of the whole thing has been meeting two awesome people and building a wonderful friendship, all thanks to Delilah.  Funny how the world works sometimes.  This is why dogs are awesome. (Cats are cool, too.)

So, without further ado, I present to you some of the highlights of Jenn and Sean's wedding!  For guests who want to view the full album, contact Jenn and Sean for access to the Client Gallery.  Enjoy!

 

~Karen

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) Karen Photography Santilli bride groom pennsylvania photography wedding wedding photography zelienople https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2013/9/jenn-seans-wedding Tue, 10 Sep 2013 06:00:30 GMT
The Chase https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2013/9/the-next-high So, I recently finished shooting and editing an amazing wedding!  The ceremony was sufficiently tear-jerking, the weather was absolutely gorgeous, and there was enough crazy dancing at the reception to warrant a Motrin in the morning (maybe two).  And there to document it in timeless images for future generations to cherish and enjoy were myself and colleague/friend Martin Kim.  We each started our day at 10:30 AM, navigated to four different locations, and wrapped up at 11:30 at night.  Thirteen hours each of hauling thousands of dollars of equipment, evaluating lighting situations, coming up with creative poses, and desperately trying not to miss those precious moments that come and go in seconds.  It is grueling and stressful, but for some reason, I love it.  For some reason, I don't mind spending hours visualizing the shots I want to get or spending endless hours on my feet standing, squatting, bending, contorting -- doing whatever it takes.  You know what it is?  I think it's the chase.  Photographers are like drug addicts, trying to get their next fix, their high on pride and satisfaction of capturing the moment perfectly.  Each accomplishment has to be topped by the next one.    

In a sense, we are all chasing after something of some sort - whether it's love, happiness, success, the next promotion, or even the next Saturday you get to sleep in.  It could be anything.  So, what is that thing you're chasing after?  And if you know what it is, how badly do you want it?  Don't waste any more time, and go get it!

Martin Kim took this shot of me when we were testing the lighting over these pews...turned out to be a really nice setting for some couple's shots.  He has a keen eye for lighting, so he was a great colleague to have as a second shooter that day.  Check him out at www.martinkimphotography.com.

~Karen

 

 

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) Karen Santilli Photography photography wedding wedding photography https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2013/9/the-next-high Mon, 09 Sep 2013 13:22:22 GMT
Wedding Work https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2013/4/wedding-work So, between my assistant (the lovely Sarah Lindsay) and I, we shot 2,110 photos at today's wedding, which amounted to approx 53 GB of data, and burned through one and a half EN-EL15 camera batteries (I had 4 on hand).  I used a Nikon D800E with an 85mm (f1.8G) prime lens, a Nikon D40x with a 10-24mm, and an SB-700 speedlight, while Sarah used her Nikon D40 with a Tamron 28-300mm zoom and an SB-400 speedlight.  Tons of photos to go through.  I will probably end up putting in at least 15 hours of work just going through and editing photos to get to the ~250 best shots of the day.  I've already put in three just uploading, scrolling through them all, and deleting some scrap.  For anyone who thinks this is easy, it most definitely is not.  But seeing the excitement of my subjects/clients/friends when they see the final product makes it all worth it.

Oh, and this is me taking a much-needed coffee break during the reception.  Photographers need sustenance, too. (Photo taken by Sarah with my Nikon D800E and 85mm).

 

~Karen

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) battery camera data en-el15 gear lens light memory nikon photography photos speed storage stress tamron wedding work https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2013/4/wedding-work Sun, 21 Apr 2013 05:05:14 GMT
A Little Closer to Heaven… https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2013/3/a-little-closer-to-heaven I recently got a new camera (Nikon D800E) and had a chance to really test out its capabilities on my trip to Breckenridge, CO.  What a place…the mountains, the views…perfect for any landscape enthusiast.  Adjusting to the altitude was a bit of a challenge (we were between 9,000 and 10,000 feet above sea level for a week).  I had constant headaches and nausea for a few days - not fun.  Drinking caffeine, alcohol, and exerting rigorous physical activity are not conducive to altitude acclimation – yep, broke all those rules.  But Jim and I managed to get out on a couple of excursions to explore the area and take in the views.  Ideally, I would have liked to find some good spots for sunrises and sunset shots, but I wasn’t prepared for those kinds of hours and setup, nor were the clouds providing any spectacular spectrum of colors while I was there, so all of my photos are daytime shots.  But even in the brilliant sunlight, you can’t deny that the mountains in Colorado make you feel at least a little closer to heaven.   

Colorado Grandeur 1/200 Breathtaking views from some of the lookouts around Breckenridge and Keystone

Colorado Mountainsides 1/200

Montezuma Ghost Town 1/200

We also ventured out to an old mining town called Montezuma "Ghost Town." 

No matter how much money you put into your photography equipment to get that shot, no one picture can accurately capture the beauty that is Colorado.  Photographers have definitely come very close, but it’s just not the same as standing on a lookout, taking it all in with your own eyes, and breathing in the fresh mountain air.

~Karen

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) breathtaking breckenridge co colorado country god's landscape mountains views https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2013/3/a-little-closer-to-heaven Tue, 05 Mar 2013 04:55:11 GMT
"Photography is truth..." https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2012/11/-photography-is-truth There are a lot of quotes out there.  You can pretty much just type any word into any quote database and come up with something.  One quote that has stuck with me since high school is one by Winston Churchill: "Never, never, never quit."  Admittedly, one of the reasons it has stuck with me is because it was easy to memorize (I try to be practical when I can).  But more than that, its simplicity speaks volumes to the work ethic I have lived by and want to continue to live by, especially when it comes to my passion.  

Another favorite of mine: "Be the change you want to see in the world," by Ghandi.  Who doesn't love a good Ghandi quote?  That one is particularly special to me because of the importance it places on embodying the positive change necessary to make the world a better place.  I know I’m not always a shining example of this, but I try.

So, what about photography quotes?  These aren't so common.  I would venture to guess that the only people who look up photography quotes are those who try to take it seriously (like me), which, I suppose, isn't a very large demographic – and note, I said “try.”  So, for those less well-known photography quotes, here are a few:

"Photography is the art of frozen time...the ability to store emotion and feelings within a frame." -Meshack Otieno

"Photography is an austere and blazing poetry of the real." -Ansel Adams

"Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst." -Henri Cartier-Bresson

"Photography is truth." -Jean-Luc Godard

The last one, "Photography is truth," is my favorite.  Again, I find myself drawn to its simplicity.  Upon discovering these quotes, I found myself thinking about how I would define photography and how I would articulate what it means to me.  I felt that Godard's quote was the most accurate; however, it was still lacking something.  Photography is actually more than just truth (“truth,” in this case, is the world we see around us every day).  Many pictures reflect the world around us, but I wouldn't necessarily publish all of my photos in a gallery.  No, I normally only select one or two from the batch of the hundreds of shots I’ve taken, and then I have to do some type of refining and editing to make it visually interesting (sometimes I have to start from scratch and re-do it in order to get it right).  The less refining and editing you have to do, the better, of course, but whether it takes place before the shot or after, every good photograph effectively uses the basic elements of composition, exposure, and lighting, among other things.  So I would have to take Godard’s quote one step further to say that, “Photography is truth in its finest, most memorable form.”

 

Photography is Truth 1/200

 

Unlike traditional art mediums, such as watercolor, oils on canvas, or any form where the artist creates something from the imagination, photography is limited only to the images presented to us by the world.  It is the purest form of telling a story from the things that are seen with the naked eye (with the exception of those who take Photoshop editing to the extreme).  I will caveat that by saying that I am an advocate of artistic license in photography, as long as it doesn’t completely change the nature of the subject.  And I’m not the only one who thinks that way…

“I do not object to retouching, dodging or accentuation as long as they do not interfere with the natural qualities of photographic technique.” -Alfred Stieglitz

And finally, I leave you with this, another one from a photography icon, Ansel Adams…

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs." -Ansel Adams

So, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how you define it, how you get there, or what led you to it…just do whatever it takes to construct that “good photograph.”  It’s up to you to define what a “good photograph” is and whether or not your audience gets it.

~Karen

 

 

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karen.santilli@gmail.com (Karen Santilli Photography) Karen Santilli Photography art philosophy photography photography is truth quotes truth https://www.karensantilli.com/blog/2012/11/-photography-is-truth Sat, 01 Dec 2012 04:06:25 GMT