CJ Wilkes

About CJ Wilkes Photography

Capturing Your Dance In The Rain is such a thrill and joy to me. Being able to look back on those special times through beautiful artistic imagery makes it a worthwhile challenge.
Learning to Dance in the Rain has been very easy for me. I am drawn to Water & Life! The exciting part for me is to teach you to enjoy your moment in the dance as I capture it from behind my camera.
Looking forward to Capturing Your Dance In The Rain
CJ Wilkes

Tag: ‘Boys’



Birthdays and Pictures

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

I find that Birthdays are some of the best time for pictures. Don’t be surprised if you see lots of pictures of my own children the months of Feb. April and Sept.  That is when their birthdays fall and I enjoy capturing the passing of another year. I am captivated at how quickly time passes. It is inspiring to watch their progress and growth. So here is how I spent the morning / mid day hours on Feb. 2, 2013 – taking pics of my kids being – My kids!

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Those are marbles for anyone wondering. They were tossing marbles into the air to see them glisten in the sun. Then they would laugh hysterically.  These are things that people just can’t imagine until they see it. My little goofballs. Awesome part is that I have it all in pictures.

You know – Pictures really can be taken almost anywhere. This particular spot is in our yard near our chicken coup. The dried grass and the coop made for such a lovely spot that I had to take individuals.

Birthday Boy

Birthday Boy

This young man was so excited to finally be 5! He is such a go getter and goofy as all get out! The sticks? I have no idea – but they made him happy. As you can see he was grinning ear to ear!

The stick

The stick

 

I had even asked him to put it down – “You mean this, Mom?”  He is all boy and I love it!

Holding On

Holding On

 

I don’t know about other people’s kids, but my boys seem to always have to be doing something with their hands.  I have to take these moments for them and for me. I don’t remember everything so looking back just makes me giggle inward and say “You remember how so and so always had to….”

Laughter makes a heart happy!

Laughter makes a heart happy!

I have said it over and over again. I will say it here now too. Laughter is one of my very very favorite things to see in pictures. There is not enough of it in this world. When this boy of mine laughs it is so contagious.  He cracks me up – cause when he laughs he shakes all over, letting his whole being enjoy the laughter. You know that if anything he is enjoying the moment. Hahahaha.

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Then you get the twins together and it just keeps going! They can laugh for hours on end!

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Being the oldest can be hard because mom and dad rely so heavily on their help. Days like this are beautiful because she is able to just be a kid and have fun. Being able to enjoy one’s childhood is vital in my opinion. From they way they dress themselves to how they play.

Last Day being 10

Last Day being 10

 

In our house we have birthdays in pairs. My youngest child was born the day before my oldest turned six. I try to let them have their own days, but sometimes it is nice to do pictures on the same day. A little less work for mom.

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This image is a bitter sweet image for us. The sweet is the love my daughter has for our animals. You can see her light up when our cats or dogs are around. The bitter is that she was our favorite cat and she has since past. Had I known then what I do now – we would have taken more pictures of her with our children.

Dusty and my Girl

Dusty and my Girl

It is true what they say “A picture can tell a thousand words”!

This moment in time is ours forever. I am grateful I do not have to rely on my own brain to remember all the details. I have enjoyed that day all over again while putting this post together to share with all of you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

It started with my kiddos…

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

Photography became serious because of my kiddos. I love and always have loved photography, but my kids are what helped me take it to the next level. I wanted great work of them on my walls and in books. So when I take time out to spotlight them, I don’t feel bad at all. My children are the reason I am able to do this all for you too. They are super sports willing to do anything for the perfect shoot.  ***I do not put my kids in danger, nor any of my clients. Everyone’s safety is my first priority*** Basically, the kids are willing to take their coats off and face the wind and chill to get the “look or shot”.
We live near a jetty that just adds a certain element to the beach shoots. I kept thinking – what a fantastic spot! I have to take my kiddos there. Christmas came and the kids received some awesome clothes – it was set! I had to take them there for pictures :)

Just before sharing the images I want to talk about clothes. People always ask me what to wear in a photo shoot. My suggestion is this… Matchy Matchy does not always work, but sometimes it does.  Sometimes I dress my girls alike and then my boys, but I mix it up slightly by having them in different colors than the other. So they don’t all have RED or all WHITE or all GREY. In the images below you will see that my boys all have 1/4 zip sweaters and the girls are in sweater dresses.  It worked out beautifully in my opinion.  I love that the sweater theme was the same, but the colors are mixed. I chose some colors that work really well with each other. Red, White, Black, Gray.  The boys all chose to wear the pants that they wanted. I think my oldest even chose to wear khaki’s LOL.  Usually I would say 3 or 5 main colors but a touch of white or cream  or black does not really count as a color all of the time.
In images words don’t always look great. Patterns are fine if you try to match it with a solid. If you don’t want anyone really matching like my kids do here – then choose Sunday dress, dress/casual, casual, PJ’s and then choose a set of colors…  Blue, Pink, Cream or Mustard, Gray, Black, with a touch of red or maroon.  Make sure that the colors are in the same family. You don’t want a Navy and a teal and an aqua blue.  Each blue is a different blue. Finding a color in the same tone is important. If you have to take a shirt with  you or a color swatch.

I am going to be posting some color ideas in the short future. I think  you will love the ideas. :)  Now some amazing picks of my babies.  Yes, I have mommy goggles. I know it and don’t care. You will see that each child has their own personality. Oh… and know that even my children (children of a photographer) are not easy to shoot. These kiddos made me WORK for these shots. LOL It is all part of being a kid and I love it!

You have to see this too. This was a highlight to our photo shoot. Look behind the kids in the water. There is a seal. Actually, there were 3 that kept bopping in and out of the water. The kids got a kick out of that.

I love to take pics of my kids looking at the camera of coarse because I love to see their faces… but the pics that thrill me are the ones that show their personalities or what I see on a daily basis. My one daughter is always in her own little world. She does not scream for the lime light ~ in fact, she is a quiet little soul most of the time. She is very difficult to photograph because I can rarely get eye contact from her. I don’t mind though because that is her. This next shot with her and her siblings happens to be a very favorite of mine.

When there are young kids I don’t like to mix the poses up very much. They are already out of their comfort zone with someone taking their pictures. Getting the shot is a big deal for these little guys. I do change things up though when I break into smaller groups or individual shots. It really all depends on the children and what they are telling me with how they respond to it all.  Actually, I find it is harder on the parents than the children LOL. Parents, even if your babies cry… it is ok. Your kids will never offend me. Crying is ok. Your caring for  your babies is ok. Never a need to apologize. In fact… those crying babies make for some cute pics too :) I have some arguing sisters in these next few pics that we totally get a kick out of here at home!

Funny thing is that we always tell them that one moment they are enemies and the next they are best friends. This was just one very small moment and we have it recorded for time. Hahaha. For the most part they are so good to each other. I like getting them in their element talking to each other or looking at the seals or watching their brothers. These are my daughters. They can look pretty at the camera… but it is all the other looks that as a mom mean something to me. As a photographer the different crops and angles are fun too.

My boys seriously crack me up! They each have such different personalities and are little goofballs. Samuel loves to cheese it up BIG time! LOL Edmond is a ham who loves to pose or be the center of  attention. The little man is definitely a youngest child. Jared is a young man. So responsible – but he does love attention too. He is not one for taking his picture so he does not always cooperate, but then he will let his personality shine. He is so awesome. Love that boy!

What is a photo shoot if each individual can’t shine for themselves? There is no way I could let these cuties dressed in their best get away without letting them each have their own moment. I usually ask where the child would like their pics or let them do their own thing while I go all paparazzi on them. This time Jared went and found a stick and was roaming around. Of coarse Samuel and Edmond had to pick up sticks too. Instead they were playing king of the mound LOL.  My girls were dancing, jumping, twirling in the wind. Nathanya is like a little dear bouncing and walking on air. Miriam loves to leap and just do her thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaang.

Anyone who knows Jared knows that this is him! I am glad I spend time with each child waiting for the real them to pop out. This is the one I look on and think… now that is my boy! The boy who thrives on the smiles, laughs, and attention. The other images are cool, fun, and something to be proud of but this one is the one that touches my heart strings!

Samuel disguises himself as serious then changes in a split of a second. He just makes me laugh as I literally watch his brain in motion in each shot.

Sir Edmond! He begs me to get the camera out and go take pictures of him. He cracks me up!

Nathanya was not in the mood for a photo shoot today which is not unusual. She was not angry. She was not cooperative either. She kept her hands right inside her sleeves to keep them warm. In an image it is not ideal to have the hands not showing, but this is the way she likes to walk around every day. She has no body fat so any extra warmth she will take. The images are not being added to a contest… these are for me and our family.  I love that she is being her.  When we look back on it we can say – remember how  you always…. We still got some very fun shots from her playing on her own.

This is how she travels normally. She almost walks on air.

Ok mom – I think this is old news now! LOL

And last but not least ~ although in birth order she is first, is our Miriam.  All I have to do is ask her to go do her thing… and she does.

There you have it… My kids in our little world.

Beach Stroll with the Family

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

There comes a time in life when your kids go off to school and life starts going in different directions. Some of my most happy moments is when I can do a family session with one of these families that takes the time to stroll and just be family while I capture their togetherness. Hanging out on the beach with the C family kept me smiling. The moments captured were priceless. Enjoy!

 

Part of what makes my job so enjoyable is seeing the interaction in other families. This family had amazing communication and sent off awesome happy vibes.

After a session like this I run home looking forward to the editing time – to relive those happy faces all over.  How can you not smile after spending time with these guys?!

This image above is a square image. I often like to take similar shots and crop them differently to give another perspective of the moment and look for the home. Many frames are built as square – or if someone wants a centered image, the square works beautifully.  15×15, 20×20

The most popular crop in my collections is the 2×3 crop. This is the one that is shot in camera. This particular crop is one I love because it shows so much more. It does not feel cut off as I find the 8×10 feels.  The 8×10 crop works great for a head shot, sure. But when you combine Nature and Family you kind of want it all! For this reason I go with the 2×3. This can be a gorgeous 16×24. Those additional 4 inches captures a lot!

Again, I love my cropping. Here is the same image in a 10×20 (which can be a 15×30 or 20×40) crop. Where the square hones in on one aspect of an image, the 2×4 gives more. By the time you start moving on to the 10×20 you are getting more of an almost (not quite) panoramic type feel. I find that this can be so fun vertical or horizontal. I have quite a few of this crop in my own home. Just love it! Works wonders with storyboard work as well.

Often times, before a photo session, I will show my clients the many products that I offer. During that time I take note of the images that make them go ooooo or ahhhh. If they tend to lean towards images with textures (a bit more artistic) then I make sure that in the session I get enough images that I may play with them using textures. Offering a different and fun look for them to choose from. I loved this setting for textures because of the colors and features already there. I knew I could make it pop in a very fun way.

As you can see ~ The family has pets. These dogs were so fun. They loved the water and were game, along with everyone else, to jump right in!  When pets join the fun I like to take moments and get them individually as well. Many of life’s memories include these fury fun family members. For that reason it is important that they shine too!  In the next 3 you can see I took some very similar images which was the intent. I do that so that if a story board was requested I would have 3 images that match perfectly.

There were seagulls everywhere, the lighting was so dreamy, and the dog was being a dog. What a fun sequence to capture!

There are a variety of looks in just one small area. When talking to the boys I asked what setting each liked. By doing so, hopefully each member in the family will have something they enjoy come out of the session. One of the boys loved the grass. Because this family is 3/4ths men – I thought this son’s choice would be perfect for their together shot.

If dad gets to be with the boys then of coarse I wanted mom to have her moment too. I love how they were all willing to stick their feet in the water. The setting was serene.

You know – I wish I could take credit for what the animals, birds were doing while shooting this. Not only were the guys so natural at smiling and making my job easy – but the animals all seemed to know what I was aiming for and performed perfectly!

I can never explain how important mom and dad time is too. Maybe because I feel that that is so in our house. I love those tender moments. Ok, maybe it is the romantic in me. This beach had its fair share of perfect spots – and this couple were so beautiful together. It is no wonder they have such a darling family!

Here is another crop. I love this image. And yes – often you want a close up of the two – but there are times when a person wants a piece of art in their home. This is an example of that. This is a 10×30 crop. Very thin but works great over archways or doorways. If you have a collage on your wall the 10×30 adds a fun new dynamic to the set.

J&D Thanks so much for letting me spend an evening with you and  your boys! I loved how friendly, fun, and easy your family was to work with. Loved all the smiles and laughter! It was a perfect way to capture this time in all your lives. Thanks again!

 

Fall and My Youngest Boys

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Yup – you read it right.  My youngest boys.  I am the mom of 5 children —> Who are beautiful to me!!!  I got more heavily involved in photography because of my family.  I love love love documenting every bit of their lives through photography.  My babies at every age.  So I saw the beautiful fall leaves and had these sweater coats that had belonged to my husband and his siblings growing up.  I also crocheted some toques (beenies) for my children and thought it is a perfect time for a themed shoot with my children.  Here are a few of my favorites that I have edited so far.  Enjoy!

Samuel – 4 and Edmond – 2

I love the innocence of childhood.  Watching them play in the leaves was a hoot!!!  So much so that I convinced my friend to get her kids ready for a shoot the next day as well.  Even better – the boys rested so well after the hard play giving mom some time to edit these pictures for all of us to coo over.  Ok – that is the mommy in me coming out.  I will coo while you can enjoy.  Happy Fall  everyone!

 

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