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: ‘siblings’



It’s a Family Thing

Friday, February 13th, 2015

Getting really “into” photography starts with family for me. It ends with family as well. I love the chances I have had to work with clients – But my true inspiration is Family. My own grandmother was never seen without a camera in hand. I remember Grandma Joy at family events snapping at anyone and everyone. People would snicker or cringe at the sight of the camera, but nothing stopped her. She has albums all full with family pictures and events. Her actions stuck with me. That and my love for capturing what was seen before me.

When Nathan and I married, we both knew we wanted children. After years of trying we were told we would never have children of our own. On our sixth year of marriage and trying to have children, I became pregnant. With no hope of keeping the baby (because of all the other losses), I went into the dr.s office to confirm and see if there was a possibility or if this one will mimic the past pregnancies.  They said the chances were very small but we would try. I had to inject myself with progesterone daily and take asprin for the first 3 months. There were a few scares in those months, but the baby stayed. I had to have shots in each hip for 5 months instead of 3 though. All the sudden I was at 31 weeks of pregnancy and my body said NO MORE! From 31 weeks to 35 weeks she threatened to join the world early. I was bed bound. After week 35 they told me they would not try to stop her from coming and I no longer needed to be on bed rest. Well, she decided she liked it there and stayed put until week 39.  My first child was born February of 2002; 7 years into our marriage.  If you think that was an adventure – we went on to have a set of twins and 2 other singleton live births after. My world changed forever! I was going to capture their lives the best way I could. I wrote journals, but pictures spoke volumes to me.

My 5 children have always known me with a camera. The funny thing is they beg for their turn to have mom shoot them. I ask them where they want their pictures, what they want the theme to be, and what they would like to wear. Although I have thoughts and share it with them – they expound on it and then allow me to be creative with it too. It has turned into a family project. So last year, the kids and I decided on Artistic themes. We have done just a few so far.  We have Halloween & Hands completed.

Halloween was intended to be quirky, fun, unique and Different. I think we did well with that.

Meet the Wilkerson Family

FAMbanner1Right to left we have Nathan (hubby), Samuel (bottom 4th child), Nathanya (top 3rd twin B), Jared (bottom 2nd twin A), Miriam (top 1st child), Edmond (bottom 5th child), and lastly – myself.

“Cross My Heart”

We all had so much fun in this venture that we were excited for the next one. In a small group I run we do a monthly challenge to help each photographer hone in their skills or just let loose and have fun. The challenge before us was Hands/Protection – Interpret as you will.  All the sudden my mind had some very specific thoughts and images that needed creating. This one was done only with my children and not with Nathan and I. However, I might rectify that down the road. To create this image I decided that it would work best in my dining room. I wanted the focus to be on the faces and hands. It was important to include the hands of all their siblings. I think that part was more for me than anyone.  My childhood was not the best and I have never had much support from my family. There are a couple of my own siblings that talk with me, but it has only been that since 2010. I know children will fight with each other – but developing a love and friendship with your own siblings is very special, at least in my mind.

_DSC7804bfweb

“Healing Hands”

Miriam is my oldest. We have found out this last year and a half that she is plagued by migraines like myself. Here her siblings all cradle her head in a show of love and empathy to her situation.

_DSC7814bfweb

“Speak no Evil”

Jared came up with the theme for himself. I had to laugh because he is my child that never stops talking. It was great though, because each of my children watch out for the other, and that sometimes includes censoring or discussing what is or is not appropriate behavior. I sit back in amazement at these children of mine!

_DSC7835bfweb

“Hear no Evil”

Edmond is the youngest of my children. In large families, the youngest often finds that every one of their siblings seem to act as parents. In this house, he turns it on them too, hahahaha. Anyhow, it is not uncommon to see the others sheltering him from hurtful, mean, or just bad words.

_DSC7860bfweb

“Lean on Me”

Each child has their own struggles or difficulties in life. Nathanya being a premature baby needed support medically as a baby with her twin brother Jared.  We all have our certain supports in life. What I hope my children learn is that they can each help to support each other. Not having had support I have grown in many ways, but to have the loving care of a sibling is something that goes such a long long way to making this life a better one than it can be at times. Lean on me has such a deep impact to me personally!

_DSC7834bfweb

“See no Evil”

Samuel opted for seeing no evil. It is funny that they chose themes that at first I would not have expected but match them perfectly. Samuel is a great kid who has a soft heart. He likes Legos, super heroes, and all boy things. The interesting thing is, he is not a fan of the gory and overly scary. When he asked for this it just clicked. I love his ability to get into character too.

Throughout the next few years I have several themes set up with my children. They each are contributing with ideas for themes as well. We are working on 2 others at the moment. If anyone falls in love with any particular theme, I am more than happy to replicate a theme shoot for you. Simply let me know which theme when signing up for a session. If it speaks to you I am willing to help make it a reality.

All in All it is a Family Thing and we are having a blast with it! Stay tuned for the next family project. We cannot wait to share it with you!

Thank you,

CJ Wilkes (Cindy)

 

Blast Back through 2013 (The beginning)

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Blasting back through 2013 because I have neglected my blog for so long. Why? Same old excuses, I suppose – LIFE. Family, Work, Sessions. Only issue is that I was not able to juggle it all on my own. So I guess it is not really the same old same old. Either way, I have missed my time sharing – writing and sharing some outstanding images with all of you. So I am going to try to get back into the swing of posting more regularly.  At first, please be patient with me as I am going to be catching up on a Year worth of images and session. There has been quite a mix of things happening, such as my branching out into designing book covers and editing as well as being the Mom of 5, doing it with my husband working away from home for long periods of time, being a parapro at the kids school, and doing what I love PHOTOGRAPHY.  But don’t worry, I will try to break it all down step by step. So let’s rehash 2013, step by step, as I throw in the current as well.

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014. Myself, I am excited for the new. Grateful to be looking back on 2013 as a memory.  Let’s take our first walk back into 2013.

January 2013

January 2013

Do you all remember this image I brought to all of you? Can you believe it was over a year ago? I think it is a great start. Let’s move forward to the present from here. This session thrilled me because not only did it look great with colors, setting – but it worked perfectly with colors in my home. I will come back to this session one more time once we get to April’s posts for 2013. For now I want to talk about color.  If you notice we have a few colors going on in this image. My girls are wearing sweater dresses. Both are the same style but different colors. My oldest is in gray, white design, and a red ribbon trim that matches her sister’s red sweater dress. I don’t always go for the matchy matchy, but this went well because they were different in color, but one dress had only 2 colors while the other had 3 colors, drawing on the younger sisters colored dress with that ribbon color. They both have matching winter boots. White and black.

Fun thing with gray’s and blacks is that they work well if they are in the same tone. So I have my boys in Red, Drk. Gray, and Black White and Red sweaters. For pants, I would have liked them to wear jeans, but my boys have different personalities. My youngest and oldest like to dress up so they chose dress pants. LOL obviously the oldest child was not too concerned about it matching perfectly. My middle son likes jeans so he went with that. Sometimes it is worth not even worrying about “the exact look” I want, but on the session being a success & remembering that this is them! They dress like this. I don’t want a fake of what they like to look like – but to capture them and what they do look like now. So we made it work.

Why sweaters? Well, it is cold out here at winter time. I figured that if the girls were in sweater dresses then why not sweaters for the boys. I love the texture and look of sweaters. It dresses it up without having to throw a tie in. The kids are comfy and happy. That is what you want when planning on your next family session. Happy, and comfy – while keeping their personalities in tack :)

As a group they looked fantabulous. As Individuals they looked just as spectacular!

_DSC1534fweb

 

With girls – I like clothing that allows motion. Motion in movement, motion in wind.  The setting makes a difference for sure. If you look here you can see her movement, the dress’s movement, with the waves splashing in the background. Together it makes a very fun and moving image.

_DSC1477fweb

I am a girl to the very core. I love twirl! So if someone comes to me with ruffles and skirts… well, we must twirl! It helps having motion and texture in the outfit.

_DSC1183fweb

I really thought his pants would not work – but you know, they match the sand. Who would have thought. Nature taught me a lesson. I relaxed and that is when magic happened. My son became a knight fighting battles with his stick sword on the beach. His phantom enemy retreated in defeat, back into the ocean. My son the victor was one happy boy!

_DSC1228fweb

A moment that would not have been as beautiful had I flipped out on the choice of his britches.

_DSC1266fweb

Where one boys stick becomes a sword – the other’s becomes a shovel of sorts. The possibilities are endless when you have more that one boy or stick or both!  At sessions I try to tell people to not be so worried about dirt either. Dirt washes, while moments last forever, especially when you take a moment to allow myself or a photographer capture it for you!

_DSC1233fweb

Had I been upset about the dirt I would have never captured the pure joy in his face. In fact, I am pretty sure the stick and the dirt both had a part in his delight. Hahaha

_DSC1324fweb

When I see this I see not just what he is wearing and the setting – but his entire personality. The clothes do help create that atmosphere alone with everything around him. As you can tell, he does not have movement, but a look of satisfaction.

_DSC1114bfweb

If you are a fan of black and whites and you can’t find anything that matches – I suppose you can have it all converted to a black and white session. Those are just as beautiful. However, if you want it in color – try to find colors within the same tones. Blues within the same tones, Reds, Pinks, and so forth.

_DSC1084fwebA

In the end – just try to enjoy the moment. The more you enjoy it – the better the images will turn out. If you are a parent then relax. If you are tense it will be a miserable experience for all. You might even get some blackmail images for your child in the future. Hahahaha But it will turn out ok. You would be surprised at the magic us photographers can capture and produce when you do not see it in the moment. For instance – this particular image above. Just moments before they were bickering (not uncommon between close sisters or siblings.) The very next moment they were best friends! Wa – la!  One f my favorite images and moments captured forever!

This may seem like an endless post on clothing, colors, and hints – but I hope you will have also learned that the best thing to do once you have researched and found the photographer for you is to then enjoy the session & relax!

Please feel free to post comments or thoughts. I will have some newer sessions on here shortly for you to enjoy!

 

 

 

All Images Copyright CJ Wilkes Photography | Blog Theme Created by LJP & SLR Lounge