OK, no. I'm not a skilled photographer by any means. I do absolutely love taking pictures though. It is something that I have recently struck an interest in, and would love to learn more about when I find the time. (someone please tell me when that is...) When my point-and-shoot camera was stolen from my car (on my birthday) last year, I vowed to replace it with a DSLR camera that would allow me to capture the memories of my children with great-quality photos. After saving some cash, 4 months later I met my Nikon D3000. It is what you might call a "base model" as far as fancy cameras go. I still don't know much about it, usually use it in auto mode set to auto focus, but the quality of my photographs is superb. My purchase came with free photography classes, but I've yet to attend any. (that whole lack-of-free-time thing)
I've always loved getting professional portraits of my babies done. I took Joey at 4 months, 8 months, 1 year, and 2 years. I took my girls at 4 months, 8 months, and then I gave up. Trying to keep 3 children entertained, clean, happy, and engaged during a photo shoot in a studio is not an easy task. Our most recent trip to the shall-remain-nameless chain photography store here in Raleigh was pretty terrible. Joey was wrecking the place, the girls refused to smile, I was annoyed, and the girl holding the camera had no personality whatsoever. Oh, and some other dude who worked there kept coming into the studio where we were desperately trying to take a decent family picture telling the less-than-enthusiastic photographer to hurry up. Needless to say, I was really disappointed that we wasted our money by going there buying a portrait package that I was not even close to 50% satisfied with.
After that fateful day in December, I decided that I'd try my hand at taking portrait-quality pictures of my kids. I've done pretty well with it, considering the fact that I've had no training, and three not entirely cooperative youngsters. On Saturday we went to our favorite location for some outdoor photos of my kids. I wasn't very successful in getting a frame-worthy portrait of Joey, but I think we did pretty well otherwise: