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Sweet baby Isabel

Hey guys!

Remember this beautiful beach maternity shoot that I did over the summer?

Well, she had her sweet Isabel in September and while they were in town for Thanksgiving I was lucky enough to take some pictures of this adorable little girl.

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Pumpkin Patch at Congaree and Penn

Every fall since my oldest was only 2 months old, I’ve loved and looked forward to pumpkin patch season. We’ve been to many over the years and have had fun at most of them. I soak these moments in because there will come a day that my girls will be too old to want to visit a pumpkin patch. This year we had heard through friends about this new patch at Congaree and Penn. This farm is really beautiful with its orchards, outdoor eating, and oak trees. After taking a few shots of the kids we let them loose to explore the property. They ran down the long dirt paths and just enjoyed their time together playing. I highly recommend Congaree and Penn. They seem to always have fun events and are so kind and welcoming.

Do you guys visit pumpkin patches or pick one up from the store?

 

 

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Family friendly Castaway Island Preserve

Last weekend I convinced my family to take a Sunday evening stroll around Castaway Island. This Preserve is nestled between San Pablo Road and the Intercoastal waterway. It has a floating dock that my girls enjoyed walking on and looking for crabs. They have a family friendly trail that has animal footprints along the path. It has long winding wooden paths that lead to a look out over the intercoastal. From there you can see the Beach Blvd Bridge. My family had a wonderful time exploring this preserve and I highly recommend it. Not only does it have beautiful views, it also provides fun educational information for young learners.

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Challanging your photography

I challenged myself with this session because I shoot at this location a lot. It can become dull or lose its spark when you become familiar with a location. I decided instead of focusing on the location that I would stretch my imagination and focus on the angles and getting outside of my normal location shots. I played with the camera settings and pivoted my body to change the look. I ended up having a lot of fun. It is funny how we can slip into a comfortable bubble of how we shoot and angles we like and all it takes is taking away one aspect of photography and honing in on other skills. I took the location aspect out and zoned in on framing. I challenge you to go to a spot where you always shoot and think about how you can get different shots. Pivot, change settings, get low or take a step back and really take a look around and stretch your imagination.

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Autumn Photography

It is now officially Autumn and I am excited for the golden tones that start showing up in pictures during this time of year.  The pictures can come across warm, cozy, and almost magical.  For the past two years my daughters and I have made it a tradition to do a photo shoot on the first day of Autumn.  There are some great locations this time of year around Jacksonville to take Autumn-like pictures.  In the past we’ve visited Bird Island Park.  They have a great maze that my daughters enjoy running around while I take some shots.  The dark green from the bushes and trees almost makes it feel like you are deep in the woods. Here are some shots from Bird Island Park from the past two years:

This year I reached out to my friend Kim who is an amazing photographer (check out her website here) and asked for recommendations on a new “Fall” feeling location.  She mentioned that she also wanted to get some Fall pictures of her kids too.  We set up to go out together and get some shots.  We had a great time and the kids did well for letting us take pictures of them in 90-degree weather.

I also adore fall attire with boots, warmer tones, and sweaters.  I found my girls’ dresses at Target.  Let me just say that OshKosh has some seriously cute fall clothing out right now.  Definitely check them out on your next trip in.

Links below to check out these adorable dresses:

Toddler Short Sleeve Fox dress

Girl’s Wide Sleeve Green Dress

Here’s to a new change of scenery and cooler temperatures!  I am looking forward to shooting more fall-themed pictures and hope that you’ll come back to check them out.

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Washington Oaks Park. Three areas to check out during your visit.

Last weekend was my birthday and one of my wishes was to spend some time exploring with my family. I had been once to Washington Oaks Park before and knew that next time I needed to bring my husband and two daughters. I knew they would find this location to be beautiful and magical. So, we set off Saturday afternoon and headed south. Washington Oaks Park is located in Palm Coast, FL. It is approximately an hour and 15 minutes south of where we are located. We took the A1A scenic route and enjoyed taking our time looking at the houses along the ocean. While we were there we explored The Rose Garden, The Large Oak Tree, and The Gazebo.

Rose Garden

After exploring the Rose Garden we then followed the path to The Large Oak Tree. If you do any research on Washington Oaks Park you will find many pictures in front of this tree. I’ve seen engagement and small wedding pictures taken in front of this beautiful tree. My girls were in awe of how large it was and how its branches spread out like it had arms. They enjoyed running around its base and resting in its shade.

The last spot we visited was the Gazebo. It was nearing the end of our adventure and it was getting warmer. We stopped and rested here and enjoyed the views before heading home. If you are looking for a day trip to a state park here in Florida. I highly recommend Washington Oaks.

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Black and white photography, what’s the appeal?

Fall is just around the corner and my two daughters are back in school. We are back into a routine and I am now able to focus my attention on some of the things around our house that have been neglected due to summer fun. I have been wanting to freshen up some décor in our home and update some pictures on our wall. Especially in our dining room since fall and winter bring more people to gather inside around the table. While we were in Asheville on vacation there was a lot of local art and it got me to thinking “why don’t I have any local art in my home?” I live in a beautiful beach town and I wanted that represented in my home. I’ve grown up in this town and have a beach spot that my family I use still till this day. I decided that I wanted black and white pictures of this location hanging on our wall. Why black and white? Well, I’ve always loved black and white and feel like it gives off great emotion. Black and white photos emphasize texture and expression of light giving it that powerful notion behind the photo. It really makes you focus on the composition and lighting. Here are my three favorite from our local beach spot.

Do you love black and white photography? If so, I would love to see it!

Don’t forget to follow along on my Instagram : hayleyconwellphotography

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Location and headshot ideas…

I recently had the opportunity to take some headshots of my husband’s cousin Samantha. She writes for the wellness section of a blog called Sky Braun. She needed some headshots and pictures for the site. She wanted them to feel relaxed and approachable.  Here are some of the shots.

Here are some headshot locations and ideas:

Locations: Typically with it being a head shot you can get away with a simple background because the focus is from the shoulders up, but if they need some full body shots in as well then these locations are great.

  • a local library
  • a farmers market
  • beach
  • hiking or bike path
  • garden
  • downtown for more of an urban feel

Ideas: I would suggest gearing your pictures towards what your client needs. With Samantha she needed some shots that felt approachable and casual. We both loved the idea of the beach and I brought along a sweater made of cozy material and a white blanket. These props weren’t the main focus but gave the pictures a relaxed natural feel. Here are some other ideas:

  • Brick background with glasses or books
  • yoga mat and a garden background
  • at a kitchen island with cooking props

Like I said above, since the idea is to have the main focus from the shoulder up props are not always necessary but they can help bring variety.

Do you like to add a few props or subtle extras to make a headshot unique?