greensboro photographer

Prom 2018 - Greensboro Senior Photographer

At the beginning of March, I was asked to take some pictures of the youth from church before they headed off to  Prom.  I did not hesitate to say YES!  They met as a group before the dance for pictures and dinner.  I know I've said this before, but I really love spending time with teenagers.  Being that I am still squarely in the midst of life with little kids, I find being with the teens a breath of fresh air and it really makes me look forward to those years with my own children.

Teens often get a bad rep, but I'm not sure why.  If you spend time with them, you'll find that they are smart, friendly and excited about what's to come in life.  They're not yet run down by the responsibilities of adulthood but out of the silly childhood years - it's an awesome phase of life.  My hours with the youth at church each week and during my Senior sessions, I find are some of the most inspiring and joyful hours of my week.  

Take a look at how awesome and happy they all looked!  It was so fun watching them all squeal with delight and huge smiles as they gathered together.  (And because Mamas play a huge role in how these kids turn out, I always like to include Mom in my teen sessions.)

 

Project 52 - February 2018 - Greensboro Photographer

I'm really not sure where February went.  It pretty much flew by in a haze of traveling husband, sick kids, me being sick and random projects/events.  I did manage to keep up with my Project 52, but the 365 took a hit and I'm okay with that.  In the end, I'm still taking way more pictures of my personal life and that is the whole point.

February marked one more step toward no more baby stuff in our house.  I noticed how much the pacifier was messing up my toddler's teeth.  One morning I woke up to find her and everything in her crib (including the binkies) covered in vomit.  So, rather than buying new ones, I encouraged her to throw them away and be a big girl.  She happily obliged and that was it.  She shocked me because she really loved those things, but she hardly shed a tear that first night and never asked for them again.

And I have very obviously been on a black and white kick lately.  I even ordered a few canvas for my dining room and those are all black and white, too.  I'm loving the simplicity of it.

Project 52 - A 2018 Lifestyle Journey

I have always wanted to do a Project 52 or the even more ambitious 365, but life has been so hectic for the past 7 years I just felt overwhelmed at the thought of such an undertaking.  But, as I sat down to think about the things I want to FOCUS (my word of the year) on for 2018, I really want to get back to documenting my family's life day to day.  When my oldest was born and through his toddler years, I had a personal blog and every year I created photo books using those blog posts.  As I was looking back through those books, I realized they stopped when my middle child was 2.  That immediately made me sad!  It was right then I committed to finally completing a Project 52 (and am actually thinking about making it a 365).


I always think things like this are more fun with friends, so I have created a Facebook group to share, inspire, encourage and motivate each other.  When I put out the call for others to join me, I expected a handful to request to join me.  But, the number has already surpassed my expectations and it's not even January 1st!  This group is open to all - cell phone, dslr or point and shoot - I really don't care what you're using.  All I care about is that this group encourages you to find joy in the every day and make sure you have something to look back on later in life.  Personally, my intention is to use my big camera (Canon 5D) on my own family and not just for clients.  I plan to create a yearbook for each of my kids for Christmas every year and I want to make sure I have plenty of memories to fill the pages with. 

If you'd like to join us, hop on over to Facebook and request to join the group - Project 52: A 2018 Journey.  The more the merrier!  All I ask is that the atmosphere stays positive, no critiques unless asked, and encourage the other members to complete their journey. I have created a document of themes for each week of the year - you can use that to inspire you or do your own thing.  I plan to highlight some of the images on my business Facebook page (Audra E Photography) and here on the blog.

I can't wait to see what memories everyone is capturing in the new year!

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Greensboro Portrait Photographer ~ Introducing the Simply You session

Coming in 2018 are the Simply You sessions!

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I am so excited to add these sessions to my line-up in the new year.  I adore doing outdoor, scenic portrait sessions.  Everything about them is amazing and so much fun.  But, this past year for me has been about simplifying and finding peace within the chaos of every day life.  Being proactive in seeking out simplicity really forced me to see things in a different light.  One of the things that has been on my heart is getting back to exploring the natural emotions and expressions in people.  I think sometimes we get so caught up in 'trying' to be happy, that we forget to actually let ourselves work through feelings.  Having small children, I am often reminded that we are meant to experience a full plethora of emotions.  My toddler certainly exhibits a range from thrilled to angry to fake sad every single day.  And that right there is what led me to wanting to offer these sessions.

Take away the beautiful trees or cool old buildings or rolling hills.  Look away from the well thought out wardrobe.  Let's get back to basics.  These images are meant to capture the sparkle in your eye.  The expression of being deep in thought.  And even, perhaps, a little bit of annoyance (like the blonde one featured above).  These images will be raw, real and timeless.  All done on a plain white backdrop.  Just you (or your child) and me with my camera.

Greensboro Senior Photographer ~ Distinguished Young Women - North Carolina

As long as I have been booking clients, I have had a deep desire to somehow get involved with a local organization in some capacity.  One of my core missions is to help build confidence in young girls and teens.  So, imagine my excitement when a new friend basically dropped an opportunity to combine both of those wishes in my lap.

This past weekend, I was lucky enough to spend a few hours taking head shots for the NC Distinguished Young Women program in Greensboro. 

"Distinguished Young Women is a unique program that combines the chance to win college scholarships with a program that offers Life Skills training to prepare young women for the world after high school. Each year we make over $1.5 billion dollars in scholarships available and it costs nothing to enter!" (distinguishedyw.org)

This program is 100% in line with my personal values and those I hope to see instilled in young women as they grow up.  If you are a high school junior or parent, I highly recommend looking into this amazing opportunity.  The girls I met all had a sparkle in their eyes, they were kind, fun to be around, and stunning!  I am so excited to be at the final event in January.

 

It was cold, windy and rainy, but all the girls obliged a group shot outside before getting started on the work weekend.

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Darian is the reigning North Carolina Distinguished Young Woman and will be passing along the torch in a couple months.

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Greensboro Family Photographer ~ C & S

I used to be embarrassed to admit that I met friends online, but honestly, so many of my really good friends are now people I met online somewhere.  This sweet mama is one of those people and we just happened to have moved to the Greensboro area within a few months of each other.  And the really fun fact is that our daughters were in the same class at school.  Yay for new friends  - when you don't live near family, you tend to lean on each other.

We met up on an amazingly beautiful Saturday evening at Country Park in Greensboro for this session.  These 4 love to explore the great outdoors together, so this setting was perfect.  C & S are such a cute couple and you can just tell they are happy together by the way they look at each other.  And I loved getting a firsthand glimpse at how much their daughters love each other.  Little best friends are so fun to watch.

 

Winston Salem Event Photographer ~ Housewives in the City - Winston Salem

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to connect with local women business owners at a networking event in Winston Salem.  We met at Firebirds Grill and enjoyed an evening of conversation, learning about each other's businesses and eating good food.  I fully believe in buying local and supporting other small businesses when I can - especially home based businesses.  I know how much work and time and love goes into trying to build something from the ground up.  It's truly a labor of love and being able to connect with other people who share that same passion and mind for business is such a great experience.  

Housewives in the City is a national organization with over 80 chapters across the United States.  If you're local to the Triad, our chapter is Winston Salem.  If you're in a different region, you can find your local chapter at http://www.housewivesinthecity.com/.  This is such a great non-profit to connect with people in your area.  Meet-ups are held monthly at various locations.  I definitely recommend checking it out.

 

Greensboro Family Photographer ~ Boosting Self Confidence in Your Child

Every morning while she eats her breakfast, my toddler stared at the wall in front of her and shouts 'Mama...Dada...Lena...Baby...Dylan.'  At first I thought she was just practicing her new words, but I quickly came to discover that she was telling me that she can see her family in the pictures on the wall.

My son's bedroom floor is sprinkled with half a dozen photo books and scrapbooks that contain all the pictures that tell the story of his parents in college, his Grandparents, his life as a baby and toddler.  He turns the pages of those books almost every single night - I gave up on making him put them back on the bookshelf.  I do not consider myself great at home decor - interior decorating just isn't where my talents lie.  I do, however, make sure that there are pictures of our family hanging in nearly every room of our home.  I know we live in a digital age and everyone wants to share pictures online, but I still firmly stand in the land of the printed image.  And based on the reactions my children have and how much they love to look at old pictures, I'm glad I have stuck with the hassle of printing images.  I got my Bachelor's degree in Psychology, so it's not big surprise that I am intrigued by learning the effects of different stimuli on the brain.  It's become increasingly interesting to me since I had my children and I am forever trying to make sure they have self confidence and know that they belong in our family.  I stumbled upon a few articles recently that discuss how having pictures of themselves hanging on the walls of the home can help boost a child's self esteem.  Judy Weiser, a psychologist and art therapist from Vancouver, says this about displaying pictures in the home, "“They learn their genealogy and the the uniqueness of their own family and its story. When a child sees a family portrait with them included in the photograph they say to themselves:  ‘These people have me as part of what they are, that’s why I belong here. This is where I come from. '”  Don't we all just want to feel like we belong to someone or something?  It's human nature.   “Touching the photograph where a face is smiling or the shoulders, it is the same thing as touching a book when you read it.  There’s a lot of stimulation of the brain when you have that sensory experience. That is a bit lost in the move to digital. You are touching a keyboard, mouse or a touchscreen but you are not touching the image," says Craig Steinberg, a licensed psychologist who works with children ages 5-13.    There are so many other experts who have chimed in on this topic, but I have the proof that what they are saying is true living in my own home.  This is why I continue to encourage and offer print packages with my sessions.  It's tough to build confidence in such a crazy and negative world, but within the walls of our home is where we can have the most impact.  Hanging a picture you love is such an easy way to get your family out the door on a positive note.

My son's bedroom floor is sprinkled with half a dozen photo books and scrapbooks that contain all the pictures that tell the story of his parents in college, his Grandparents, his life as a baby and toddler.  He turns the pages of those books almost every single night - I gave up on making him put them back on the bookshelf.

I do not consider myself great at home decor - interior decorating just isn't where my talents lie.  I do, however, make sure that there are pictures of our family hanging in nearly every room of our home.  I know we live in a digital age and everyone wants to share pictures online, but I still firmly stand in the land of the printed image.  And based on the reactions my children have and how much they love to look at old pictures, I'm glad I have stuck with the hassle of printing images.

I got my Bachelor's degree in Psychology, so it's not big surprise that I am intrigued by learning the effects of different stimuli on the brain.  It's become increasingly interesting to me since I had my children and I am forever trying to make sure they have self confidence and know that they belong in our family.  I stumbled upon a few articles recently that discuss how having pictures of themselves hanging on the walls of the home can help boost a child's self esteem.

Judy Weiser, a psychologist and art therapist from Vancouver, says this about displaying pictures in the home, "“They learn their genealogy and the the uniqueness of their own family and its story. When a child sees a family portrait with them included in the photograph they say to themselves: ‘These people have me as part of what they are, that’s why I belong here. This is where I come from.'”  Don't we all just want to feel like we belong to someone or something?  It's human nature.

 “Touching the photograph where a face is smiling or the shoulders, it is the same thing as touching a book when you read it. There’s a lot of stimulation of the brain when you have that sensory experience. That is a bit lost in the move to digital. You are touching a keyboard, mouse or a touchscreen but you are not touching the image," says Craig Steinberg, a licensed psychologist who works with children ages 5-13.

There are so many other experts who have chimed in on this topic, but I have the proof that what they are saying is true living in my own home.  This is why I continue to encourage and offer print packages with my sessions.  It's tough to build confidence in such a crazy and negative world, but within the walls of our home is where we can have the most impact.  Hanging a picture you love is such an easy way to get your family out the door on a positive note.