I first got into photography 12 years ago this summer. That seems so long ago when I say it, but in many ways it feels like that time went by in the blink of an eye. As a new photographer, I took every chance I had to practice the techniques I had learned in the photography classes I took in college. In many ways, it was trial and error. I was trying to still learn what the heck f-stop, shutter speed and ISO meant, but I was mostly concerned with making sure my shots were actually in focus. I didn't have a digital SLR back then, so I was still shooting film on my dad's Canon AE-1 Program from the 1970s (a camera that I still have and use on occasion...more on that in a future post!).
One of my favorite things to photograph back in those days were family events. They were the perfect time for practicing. This is where I learned many skills that still serve me well today as a wedding photographer, although I certainly didn't realize they would at the time. Birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, Christmas gatherings...I documented them all and had such fun doing so! Many of my cousins were much younger than me and were happy to indulge as I practiced my new hobby. Now, almost all these "baby cousins" are grown adults, graduating from high school and college, getting married and starting families of their own.
It seems like just yesterday (and I know that is so cliche, but it really, really does!!!) that our family was excitedly awaiting the arrival of baby Ollie, the first great-grandchild for my grandmother and the first grandchild for my Aunt Lori and Uncle Bobby. It doesn't seem real that it was over a year ago that I did the maternity session for Amber and Luke, Ollie's proud parents. There's something about a baby that really makes you realize how fast time is flying by!
When it came time for Ollie's First Birthday, I knew I was going to document this special occasion with my camera and I had such fun doing so! It reminded me of my early days as a photographer, when I was using all these "events" to refine my shooting skills. I love documenting these events because they help me and the rest of our family remember all these special moments. On top of that, this was pretty much the cutest first birthday party ever. My cousins and aunt really outdid themselves with all the cuteness of this dinosaur themed celebration! This is an overshare of my favorites from the day! I'd definitely say Ollie enjoyed his first birthday and I hope he enjoys looking back on these photos one day in the future. Enjoy! :)