Mlchapman's Blog

Miss Presley
April 6, 2010, 10:42 am
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I had the pleasure of meeting little Miss Presley in March at a couple weeks of age.  I met her proud parents earlier this spring for some maternity pictures (the “before” pictures) so I was very happy to come back for the “after” pictures.  I was so surprised by how alert and aware sweet Presley was for a newborn!  What a good baby she was to photograph – lots of eye contact, some great expressions, and she didn’t complain once! 

This just makes me say, "Oh hello there!"

and hello again!

 This next one wasn’t an ideal photo but I just love the look that Presley is giving her mom.  It’s that sweet “I recognize you!” look of adoration and it’s just beautiful! 

love that look.

I love photographing newborns.  For other sessions, I try to stay within a one-hour time span, but with newborns, it could drag out a bit longer.  I just love to take time to hear new parents talk about their baby’s personality quirks, sleeping habits, and all the changes that are occuring in their lives.  For a single, childless woman, it’s fascinating to me to hear about the adjustments that a new mom goes through – and it astounds me how they handle it all.  Lucky for me, I’ve got a lot of pregnant friends and clients so there’s no shortage of these conversations!

Back from Photoshop World
March 30, 2010, 3:11 pm
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This year’s Photoshop World was the best yet.  Each year NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals), the people who produce Photoshop World, come up with a theme for the conference and each year they outdo themselves.  This year was a KISS theme and as you can see from the keynote video, they didn’t disappoint.

A funny story about my keynote experience…I was staying at the Rosen Centre – across the street from the conference center but about a mile from the concourse where PSW was held.  I knew from previous conferences here that comfortable shoes are essential so I packed accordingly – a pair of versatile black dress sandals that are especially comfortable for lots of walking.  The morning of the keynote, I trekked the mile to the concourse feeling very confident in my footwear choice.  But as I reached for the door of the conference center, the entire back half of my right shoe FELL OFF.

I didn’t know what to do.  I could dash back to the hotel to put on another pair of shoes but I might be late for the keynote.  I could just go to the keynote and hope no one notices, then return to the hotel and skip the first session.  While I weighed my options, the most unlikely thing happened…the entire back half of my left shoe FELL OFF.  I’m not kidding you. 

I can only assume that my beloved comfy black sandals had reached their breaking point.  Maybe it was due to the long winter of unuse.  Maybe it was God giving me a little dose of humility in the form of rotten foam soles.  Whatever the case, I got a good laugh at myself.

In the end, I hobbled back to the hotel on the toes of my shoes (as that was all that was left) and spent the rest of day 1 of Photoshop World in black slacks and Sperry Top Siders.  Classy.

But back to the conference – it was awesome!  As always, I greatly enjoyed sessions by Joe McNally, Scott Kelby, Matt Kloskowski, and RC Concepcion.  But I was really blown away by Zach Arias.  I’ve enjoyed his work for about a year now but now I have a professional crush* on him.  More about what I learned at Photoshop World in days to come!

*Professional Crush – admiration for someone to the point that I would quit my job to work for him or her for little money, possibly even as a coffee maker.

Photo Nerd Conference
March 22, 2010, 9:00 am
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I’m off this week for a really great conference – Photoshop World!  I’ve been three years in a row now and every year I come away with a head full of new ideas, reenergized, and feeling very creative.  Not only is it a great educational opportunity, but there’s just something really pleasant about spending a week with fellow photo nerds.  And it’s the brainchild of my favorite photo guru, Scott Kelby.  If you’ve ever considered taking up photography or if you have a cool camera but have no idea what to do with it, Scott’s digital photography books (there are 3 volumes) are outstanding.  

This is me with Scott Kelby at the 2008 Photoshop World.  Look how happy I am!  I’m such a nerd! 

Melissa and Scott Kelby at PSW 2008


This year, I took a big step out of my comfort zone and entered three images in the Guru Awards.  These are annual awards in digital imaging presented at Photoshop World and the past winners’ work will just blow your mind.  I’m not at all expecting to win but I still entered for a really good reason – because I need to become more comfortable sharing my photos with my peers and opening myself up for criticism.  Here are my three entries (feel free to critique them!): 

Jamaica Pond, Boston

Balloon Festival, Foley, Alabama

Koi Pond

David, Lauren, & Cooper
March 15, 2010, 10:27 am
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My friends David and Lauren were in town last week with their new pup Cooper.  David and Lauren are getting married in a couple months and I couldn’t be happier for them.  I’ve known David for a few years now and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Lauren.  David’s a hometown boy and loves Pensacola so we knew these pictures would have to express the area. 

Talking about getting hitched at the courthouse.

Aren't they a great looking couple? Lauren is going to be a gorgeous bride!

I loved that David and Lauren wanted to include their “baby” Cooper in the photos.  Check out his popped collar…

David, Lauren, and Cooper

Too bad Cooper can’t be in the wedding.  That little guy would look pretty dapper in a tux, don’t you think?

New Beginnings
March 15, 2010, 10:14 am
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A few weeks ago I met Ashley and Ryan – a really great couple who were expecting their first baby and wanted some photos of this expectant time in their lives.  They are such a sweet couple and they’re going to be fabulous parents. 

Here’s my favorite of Ashley.  These photos were taken around their home and this spot in particular was special to them – it’s where Ashley told Ryan the big news. 


Ashley and Ryan

Ashley was feeling pretty tired last time I saw her but it didn’t show.  She’s one of those girls who looks so beautiful pregnant, even if she doesn’t feel her best.   

How pretty is Ashley?!

P.S. Ryan and Ashley had their baby girl Presley on March 8.  Congratulations to them on their new addition!

February 24, 2010, 4:53 pm
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Wow, I’m a bad, bad blogger lately, huh?  No good excuses.  I could tell you that it was the holidays, then I went on vacation, came down with a bad cold, and have been busy at work…but really blogging takes 10 minutes of my day so those are pretty lame excuses.  I’ll be better – I swear! 

In all seriousness, this is a really busy time of year for me at “real work” so I’ve been behind on my photos. 

Last weekend I visited my little buddy Adrianna.  She’s 7 months old and so stinkin’ smiley! I really didn’t have time to go through all of her photos the other day but then I saw this one in my catalog and I couldn’t resist spending some time on it.  I can’t wait to get to her other photos (and her mom probably can’t wait either!). 

I love that smile!

In other news, my website is currently inacessible…to ME.  I can’t upload anything to it right now so I’m relying on the blog until I get it fixed.  I guess that means I’ll be blogging more often, right?  Right.

Taking a break!
December 10, 2009, 2:50 pm
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I haven’t posted anything new recently for a few reasons:

1.  It’s Christmas so I’ve got lots to do.

2.  I still have a “real” job.

3.  The only photos I’ve been taking have been for ad campaigns, photos of my own family, and photos for a friend’s non-profit promotions that can’t be published yet. 

But I’ve been busy with some behind-the-scenes projects like:

1.  Planning my winter vacation to Utah.  Yea!

2.  Planning my spring trip to Photoshop World.  Yippee!

3. Trying to find a print shop to tie into my website for easy ordering.  Sigh…keep you fingers crossed on this one. 

Until I have some fun new portraits to post, enjoy some old Pensacola images!