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: ‘Photo’



Families

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

People ask me what type of sessions I like to shoot.  Well, I don’t think I have a favorite per say. I love a mix of it all.  Individuals to groups. Girls, Guys, Infants, Maternity, High School Seniors, Couples, Brides. The fun part of doing a family session is the combination of personalities and ages. Getting everyone focused on a task or just to look in the correct direction. Having a challenge before me helps to keep my interest in what I am doing. Being able to defeat the challenge and bring amazing shots to the table is really what I enjoy! Because face it – What grouping or pose has not been done before?  It is not about that to me. Not at all. To me – it is the togetherness and learning to enjoy the moment.

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How can you not love a family moment creating finger Hearts?!

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Being an only boy cannot always be easy – but this boy is definitely a fun, intelligent, young man! He is the notch that completes this little group. I have to say – I was so impressed with the respect and mannerisms of all N’s children. This little guy was no exception. So fun to work with even after they traveled over 4 hours to spend some time with me, my camera, and my children.

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Had it not been for the blonde hair, he would have not been discernible from my own bunch of boys. Sand in hand and all!

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It still amazes me after seeing so many families that you can have such a variety of personalities! Those all brought together in one grouping, loving and caring for each other to make the perfect little unions. It is beautiful!

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I have watched many families who have had to make it work with a single parent. My hat goes off to all you single parents. This gal amazes me! She works so so hard day in and day out for her family. Meeting them all it is easy to see that those children are so blessed to have such an amazing woman to call MOM.

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I can honestly say that I aspire to be the type of person this woman is! Such a great time and experience for us all. I would love to have more sessions like this because I walk away feeling happy to just have spent a moment of time with them. Watching them play, interact, and just love being family.

Thanks N’s Family – Looking forward to the next session with you all!

 

 

10×10 Hinged Reception Book with Photo Cover

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Albums come in many sizes. That includes and is not limited to the hinged books. The hinged books are a wonderful alternative to the more costly flush mount albums. It is simple, the design is less complex making it much more affordable. The pages are thinner but not as thin as a regular paper book. The pages are a very durable card stock quality. The finish is gorgeous & the pages do lay flat.

This particular book is a 10 x 10 size. As mentioned – these can come in many sizes, however, I do not recommend going much bigger than this. The pages are thinner and not as durable as you would find with a flush mount album. If you are going larger you really should consider the sturdier album. The smaller books work beautifully as a hinged album. They are great at receptions for your guests to look through, for family albums, for  high school seniors, for birthing books. They are also nice because they do not take up much room in a bookshelf.

This album has a beautiful photo cover. When  you open the album it opens to a blank page to protect the actual album. It gives it a very polished look as well.

The pages start on the right with this album. I do have albums in the flushed mount options that offer starting on the left. It is all about preference. With the hinged books though, you will be starting on the right.

The pages for this album came with a pearl finish. It is one of my favorites for sure, but we do offer it in a luster or watercolor finish. Both gorgeous options as well.

I love the hinged albums we use. The quality is wonderful and they truly lay flat.

The hinge and the spine are not just functional – they look amazing. I often use the word polished, it is because that is what I look for in a product. I look for a polished, great quality, great look, professional product for my customers. Something that I trust and would use in my home too.

When you are thinking of a session with me you can be assured that you will not only get amazing images to treasure, but that I will have many options for you to choose from for show casing you and your photos from your session. I promise that your options are not just options, but the best there is to offer in the market. You will be so proud to display these in your home as your friends and family oooo and aaaaa over them :)

Thanks for checking us out!

New Spiral Bound Photo Books!

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Introducing our newest product. The new Spiral Bound Photo Books!

Why ~ I am not a fan of preview books for a couple of reason, one mainly being that they don’t look great to me. I like polished finished looks to all my products. This is a new product that can serve several purposes. It looks great, it presents beautifully, it showcases images perfectly, it can be used as an affordable alternative, and did I mention how beautiful these are?

The new books come packaged in a black box with tissue wrapped around it for protection.

As you can see the book has a custom designed hard cover with image on the front. The texture is linen. Angled just right you can see it. Gives it a wonderful polished feel. If you prefer no texture that is an option as well.

Both the front and back covers are made of hard material. This book is a 5×7 size. I chose that option because it shows off your images so nicely. Not too small and not to large.

I love how the book lies flat because of the spiral binding. This book takes up very little room, yet has big appeal.

The pages turn on the spiral binding quite smoothly. The picture quality is gorgeous. I would not choose a product that does not show well or that I would not want in my own home. This is definitely a product I enjoy in my home. This is a great gift item for parents or grandparents – family members.

The standard book comes with 10 pages (20 images). Up to 10 extra pages (2 images per page) can be purchased so  you can potentially have a total of 40 images. The Spiral Bound Photo Book I have here has the standard 10 pages.

One thing that I enjoy doing each year is making photo albums or books of my children. I would love to have one for each child. Having an affordable option is something that definitely appeals to me as a mom of 5 with many extended family members. This is also a wonderful option for all types of shoots: Model portfolio building, Children, High school Seniors, Couples, Parent books, Boudoir shoot, Trash the Dress shoots.  I am squealing at how cool these are!

The options are currently:

Spiral Bound Photo Books

Hinged Albums

Senior Session Albums

Layflat Albums

Ice Layflat Albums

Would love to have your feed back on any of these options. If you need information like sizing and pricing feel free to contact me.  Now off to work on editing some more sessions to bring to 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.

 

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