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: ‘Dad’



Sometimes We Create the Mood Feb. 2013

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

I find it interesting with mood shoots that not everyone comprehends the artistry behind it. I often get comments like – Why are they angry? Why are they not smiling? It makes me laugh a bit actually. Until more recently in time – smiling and laughing for the camera was just not done. Look at all the past images from centuries before. Smiles are not often portrayed. Laughter, hardly ever. Fast forward to today and people wonder what were they thinking? However, some of the images are so profound because of the non smiling faces. In my opinion it is because – without the smile you are drawn to the EYES, the overall look. It does come down to preference of coarse – but this is one of my favorite types of shoots (especially in studio).

This particular shoot was done in my dear friend’s studio, Stacey Hamilton of Times 3 Photography.  This was her family. We discussed the look we were going for – then we raided all the closets to find what we would use for clothing. I find that you can make a shoot from most whatever can be found in ones own closet. Here we wanted white – plain – simple, using texture to give variety. One child I took a shirt and turned it upside down, allowing the fringe from the bottom to create that texture. Another child, we had her squeeze through the neck of the eyelet dress then pinned the sleeves behind her. The other child we had squeeze through the neck of a Tshirt also pinning it behind her. We intended for this session to be all Black and White. All of them had exposed shoulders to accentuate the soft flow from the top of the head, down the neck, then down the soft curve of the shoulder. All this was pre thought. Because of this, when we looked for clothing for Mom and Dad, we wanted to keep the same feel. Mom, we had her in a simple tank top while dad had a button down shirt opened in the front. For the family image though, we simply had him shirtless. His white shirt was a bit too disruptive to the feel. However, when I did their couple shots it went very well with the whole set.

Love of a Mother

This was a highlight from my visit in Wisconsin. The opportunity to do this session of Stacey’s family – the best! Being a fellow photographer – I have to admit I was nervous. I always get nervous around other photographers.  Each of us do things differently from the other. It was so much fun though and her children were so stinking adorable. Super fabulous to work with!

Our first goal was to get the images of mom with her girls.

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Every photographer needs a spouse like Stacey’s. He was up for anything. One moment he has his shirt on, the next he is asked to take it off and he did with no complaints. He understood that we had a vision we were trying to put into reality and just went with our (my) crazy schemes. Looking at these – I think his willingness to not be difficult is what made this shoot all the better. Thank you Peter!

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I have found that an ever slight change or movement can change the entire feel of an image. Both great images and very similar but so different.

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This little mini me of her mom – well, she just was a natural! She understood small movements. Had the perfect eyes – followed direction. You could tell her mom had worked with her before!

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This little girl is so full of life! She is smart! Beautiful! And I could spend an entire day just taking her picture. Miss her tons :) She made me smile all the time.

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Little Miss P is the baby of the family, born the same time as my baby. Who does not love the little one of the family? Adorable, Funny, and boy can she make one laugh! She was good at this modeling thing too!

If I could go back and do any session again I would love to do this one! It was so creative, fun, experimental, and just the best people to work with! Love these girls and family! Can’t wait to get back to Wisconsin again!

 

 

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!

 

 

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