graduation is coming! (north little rock senior photographer)

 In spring as the air fills with floral smells and the people in my house amp up the benadryl intake I am always reminded of newness and new life. Both of my boys were born in the spring and I love watching as the trees wake up from winter. I love nothing more than sitting on a patio taking in the fresh spring air. And I love the season of seniors. What an exciting time.

sharpie eggs

I must confess that Easter is truly one of my most favorite holidays. It started as a child with a deep love for color, egg hunts, new dresses and as a southern girl even the occasional easter hat. In my adulthood I maintain the love of all those things and also the triumphs and traditions of Easter. I am preparing my heart for the next week. To wave palm branches, finish reading through the book of John, decorate eggs, make treats, to mourn and celebrate, break bread, and anticipate what is to come. I love Easter. 
Eggs are tied to Easter as a symbol of rebirth. Dying eggs has long been one of my most favorite things.  As the smell of vinegar fills the air I am immediately taken back to a little girl dressed in her easter best with fingers and nails that were dyed every color of the rainbow. I look forward each year to doing the same thing with my boys, enjoying the many colors of their little hands. 
As much as I enjoy the memories of that smell and those colors we decided to try something different last year. We used sharpies to color our eggs. It was a great option for less mess and offered more details. This year I might try a combination, but for quick and easy I say give sharpie easter eggs a try. 
What are your favorite Easter traditions?

fashion for dressing for a photo shoot

family photo, styled photography, arkansas photographer, whitney loibner
From early childhood I had two loves, clothes and cameras. I spent equal amounts of time watching my dad put together and clean his Minolta 35mm and playing in my mom's closet full of heals and shoulder pads. Into high school I fell in love with photo journalism and went to college in hopes of finding some way to study photography. In a turn of events that I honestly can't even remember, but I think might have mistakenly had something to do with what the responsible choice might be, so I instead went the sensible way of pursuing a degree in fashion merchandising. I can not explain the choices, but I can say how thrilled I am that my job now brings me back to both of my loves. 
It is my biggest thrill when I get to be involved in dressing clients or at least working their clothing choices into a story and our location.
family photo, styled photography, arkansas photographer, whitney loibner
This is the Chino family. If you have been around my blog much at all they will be familiar. They are family and friends and were some of the first people that I photographed regularly. They are also always completely willing to go and wear what I want. Alison and I have approached photographing their family in many ways over the years. We have started with a pair of tights we loved for Mary Polly or that I found this building that I don't think I will be able to talk other people into entering or that we must photograph the family camping even if none of us have showered in days or like this shoot we are really starting with a concept. Last summer the Chino family moved to Scotland and before they left we wanted to document this stage of their lives. It would be a time for them to cling to one another, packing all their belongings and pretty much taking all they could carry to chase a dream. Right away I thought of a train station and really had visions of Harry Potter, subdued colors and baggage.
family photo, styled photography, arkansas photographer, whitney loibner
In all aspects I would call this a styled photo shoot, from the clothes to the location and even props. This type of photo is certainly not for everyone or for all seasons, but I love it as a way to bring in what is important or happening with your family at a certain point. SO today I will give a few tips on dressing for a styled shoot, though some might apply to any photos or just life.
family photo, styled photography, arkansas photographer, whitney loibner
1. Think about what you want to say. Alison is a blogger so we knew we wanted the photos to tell a moving overseas to do super smart school stuff (my words, as I still don't 100% understand all the smart things Taido is doing).
2. Love what you are wearing. I think this is important in life, but certainly important for photos you will repeatedly look at and hopefully have up in your home...also your kids will look happier if they don't totally hate what they are wearing. Give them something that feels like a win. With Alison's kids we usually give them choices of things that will work starting with the one that cares most about clothes and moving down accordingly.
3. Think from head to toe. I love shoes and they do matter and an accessory or two goes a long way. I love how much is added to these photos by the addition of the ties.
4. Make sense together and try on before. You want to make sure things fit, especially important with kids who are known to grow overnight. Also just seasonally and such you want it to flow together. It was a 90 degree August day when we took these photos, but we wanted them to be seasonally ambiguous so just think that way. I also lay things out as I start to pull clothes and make sure they work in a variety of groupings. This really matters when you start to work with more color, like most design pick color in odd numbers so you can easily mix it up.
5. Color matters. I am a girl who deeply loves color so as we started to pull for this I was struggling with the lack of color, but I knew that in this case it would really help the location and props to pop if we stayed neutral. Also it felt very studious and European to be subdued and serious with color. In picking color for a personal shoot I always imagine how the images fit into my space, I go with colors that make sense in my house.
6. Have fun. Clothes are probably the single most intimidating thing about having your photo taken, but they don't have to be. At the end of the day if you have fun with it that will show.

family photo, styled photography, arkansas photographer, whitney loibner
Happy Friday everybody!
family photo, styled photography, arkansas photographer, whitney loibner

spring seniors (central arkansas senior photographer)

senior photos, senior guys, arkansas photographers
Seniors, It is your time!
This past week I have photographed two wonderful seniors. I often admit that these are some of my favorite sessions and these just reminded me of that fact. It is an exciting time. A fun time to say who you are and enjoy some attention all on you.
senior photos, senior guys, arkansas photographers

senior photos, senior guys, arkansas photographers

senior photos, photography, little rock, baseball photos, senior baseball pictures

senior photos, photography, little rock, baseball photos, senior baseball pictures

senior photos, photography, little rock, baseball photos, senior baseball pictures

senior photos, photography, little rock, baseball photos, senior baseball pictures
Hoping that more warm days are on the way and I would love to work with more seniors. Give me a call to set up a senior session before graduation. AND it isn't too early to start planning for the 2014-15 seniors. I would love to get you on my calendar!
senior photos, photography, little rock, baseball photos, senior baseball pictures

Food Friday...cookies cookies

For this food Friday I won't be sharing any recipes, but some fun cookie photos because cookies are really the only food I have made in the last week. For the last three years I have been a part of a team of people making cookie dough for a fundraiser for our youth spring break ski trip. We sell and make three kinds of cookies and each student makes money for each bag they sell. I am in charge of the snickerdoodle cookies. I think the first year I made around 1,500 cookies and though it is hard to imagine now I made them all in my home kitchen, batch by batch in a kitchen aid mixer with the help of half a dozen high school boys. Since then we have moved the operation to our church kitchen. I am beyond thankful for this kitchen and huge mixer and so many helpers. This year we made 4,500 snickerdoodles with the help of about 20 people and got it done in about 6 hours. I think in total this year the students sold 15,000 cookies! For snickerdoodle alone we used over 15 dozen eggs and 44 pounds of butter and after writing that I think I might take a nap. 
I hope your weekend is filled with sweet things. It will be a while before any cookies are made in my kitchen.
a few cookie recipes I love...
oatmeal cookies by Alison Chino
key lime meltaways by Smitten Kitchen
sugar cookies by Martha Stewart

Arkansas flower and garden show...and giveaway

Tickets for the AFGS Giveaway provided by  Arkansas Flower and Garden Show, but opinions are all mine. Giveaway details below.

On a much colder day a couple weeks ago, I gathered with some of my AWB besties and got a sneak peak into the Arkansas Flower and Garden show. It was a super fun night out filled with beautiful things and eat & drink treats. 
We had a personal floral lesson with Chris Olsen. The whole thing had me wishing for warmer days and thinking maybe, just maybe it isn't too late for me to give gardening a try. I do adore flowers, but my few efforts at gardening have not gone well. I am excited to go to the flower and garden show and get some ideas for my dream garden. 

Since I have procrastinated I am giving away six tickets at the end of the day today(2/19) on Facebook. Stop by my personal or photography facebook page and enter to win tickets to the AR flower and garden show that is this weekend (2/21-23).

i love 14 US

photos by Josh Hejl
Peter & I have been married 14 years

As a girl who loves love I must admit that I entered our marriage a bit naive about real love. I was and continue to be crazy about you, but I have found that love is less happily ever after and more for better or worse. It has taught me to be incredibly thankful for the better and to take the worse with much patience and grace and to hope that you will do the same. 
On this Valentine's Day I am thankful that you are the one I am on this journey with. You are my best friend and my absolute favorite. 

My dearest Whitney,

I love being with you. I love playing games with you. I love watching movies with you. I love driving with you. I love working with you. I love dreaming with you. I love doing projects with you (even if you don't like them sometimes). I love vacationing with you. I love figuring out our kids with you. I love hanging out with community with you. I love taking pictures with you (whichever side of the camera we are on). I love sleeping in late with you. I love going out to eat with you. I love all the times. The good times are so good. And the bad times are worth doing for all the good. I love you dearly. I am so grateful for you and all you have put up with over the years.

You are my favorite.

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