Sunday, August 31, 2008

Cranbrook with the Lee Family

On Thursday, I met up with a family at Cranbrook. Many people ask if I shoot at Cranbrook. The answer is yes: if you are an alumni. Otherwise, Cranbrook's rules are quite strict, and the fees associated with shooting at the grounds are prohibitive.

I have shot there on multiple occasions, and am always blown away by the sheer beauty of the grounds. It is gorgeous. (The gardens remind me of the gardens where I grew up in England... yes, I spent about five years in England - but that's a long story in itself...)

Anyway, the I met up with the Lee family, and they were dressed so perfectly: perfect hair, matching outfits, and they even had perfectly painted toes on all the girls. It was great. Their preparation, along with the grounds, made for gorgeous pictures.

Some people tend to like more artsy black and white photographic art, while others like more traditional photographic art. I have worked with the Lee family before, and I happen to know that they prefer the more hand-colored, traditional look. For that reason, I have prepared their images in a very special way.

Here are some of my favorites from the session... Enjoy!

I love this picture of the brother giving his sister a kiss...
Mom and daughter... aren't they both beautiful???

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Laura --> World's Best Office Manager

It is official!!! Beth Merritt Photography welcomes Laura, our new Office Manager. We are now a team of three. Laura is fabulous, and has already made a huge difference around here.

Despite my best attempts (staying up until midnight to get orders finished, etc.), I could not keep up by myself. I have always thought of what we do as very customized sort of product, and with that very customized product should come impeccable customer service. Well, with a team of two, we weren't there yet - no matter how hard we tried. However, thanks to Laura, things are really changing...!

Also, we are in fact planning a charity event as we speak (many of you have asked about it over the past couple weeks). I think most of you know that I strongly believe that we should all give back to our community, and what better way than free pictures??! Keep checking back here for more information.

Have a good night everyone...!


Sunday, August 24, 2008


Every August I generally have reason to celebrate for a week - and this year was no exception. My best friend Gina, who is an actress in California, comes in to Detroit for a week. (I keep trying to convince her to move to Manhattan... so much closer!)

I always say that when she gets discovered, I am probably going to wind up in jail. I will go to opening night of one of her movies, and then when I see her on that big screen I will make a complete idiot out of myself. "Whhhhhoooooo!!!!". Then I will spend the next 24 hours in a black and white striped jumpsuit. ;) ...but it will be oh so worth it!

Anyway, Gina came into town and needed a new headshot. I wanted to get a headshot where Gina's eyes are just piercing - so much so that you want to know more about her (and hence, call her for an audition). Here's my favorite one of the bunch:

Well, I should get going. I have to head out for Sandy Puc's Bellies and Babies Tour where I will be working in the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep booth. Sandy is extremely talented, it will be good to see her at the event.

Have a good day everyone!


Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Harper Family

On Thursday, Lee and I met up with a family that we have been friends with for many many years: The Harper Family.

Kris and Kristin went to school with me and Lee. (I think most of you know this, but Lee and I have Engineering undergrad degrees.) So we met up with them - along with Grandma and Grandpa, and Aunt Robin) to take some family pictures. This family is - and always has been - all about having fun.

I know I have said this many times before, but it is so nice to photograph people you know. (Friends and clients I've gotten to know over the years.) It just allows me to make the sessions a little more crazy...!

Here are my favorites from the session...



The O'Dell Family

This morning I had the pleasure of photographing the O’Dell family. The day, the family, and the outfits were gorgeous – when I saw them I was excited…

The day got even better when I got to meet the kids. These two children are two of the best behaved kids I have ever had the pleasure to work with. And to make matters even better, the brother and sister like each other. I mean for real. I asked them to hug and they did – and smiled too. I am very close with my two brothers, but I have to say I would not have smiled if asked to hug them at the age of six!

Here are some of my favorite from the session…



Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Third Shoot Ever...

So many of you might remember this picture:

Folks, this was (I think) my third shoot ever. Regardless, I remember being terrified... (You haven't lived until you have multiple sets of eyes just staring at you all at once ..."okay, do something with me". YIKES.) I think I have since then semi-perfected the art of looking like I know what I'm doing?? Maybe not. ;)

But I also remember the family being so fabulous. Mom was so kind, and the kids were so full of life...! Well, it's a few years later, and the entire family came back to visit me! As I remember, they are a very kind, and very geniune family.

The girl in this session is one of my favorite subjects to shoot. She doesn't love to get her picture taken that much - not a lot anyway. But she has these amazing expressions that are fabulous.
(I think in the picture below she is looking at a tadpole??? I could follow her around and photograph her forever... I take that back; when I get my lens back... then I could photograph her forever. I miss that lens!!!!!!!!)

Anyway, here are some of my favorite from the shoot.



Family photography "Beth Style"... oh yes, we do the boring family shot - but then I change it up!!!! ;)

Okay, so for some reason this summer, I have become addicted to toes. When I suggested this shot, you should have seen the reactions. Some were excited. Some thought I needed my head checked. It's definitely not for everyone, but I think it's fun!)

(I suppose you could take credit for better looking feet - because no one can be sure with this many people!!!) ;)

Weddings and an Engagement Shoot...

As you guys may or may not have noticed, I have stopped doing Weddings. Not because I don’t like it or because someone told me I was doing a bad job (I think some of my favorite pictures ever were taken at these last two weddings…) I have decided to focus on Kids and High School Seniors. (Hey, you can’t do everything, right??!)

Here’s one of my favorite pictures that I neglected to post the blog. We stumbled across it when we were going through the final pictures. This is Shannon… isn’t she gorgeous? I deliberately put her in this spot so the sun would light up her veil. I have to say that I will miss the veil shots!

HOWEVER... I still have some existing engagements and weddings to shoot before the end of 2009. The best part is that those brides are super cool, and the wedding day is going to be incredible. Hey, I didn’t say I don’t love doing it; there is nothing like having a “behind the scenes” pass and being able to witness such sincere beautiful moments. Oh, it’s the absolutely best part of wedding photography. No, but seriously, those of you that know me well know that I have zero time to myself. Something had to go, and so I chose weddings.

(Okay, so I am sensing that this is going to be a long post… sorry guys…)

On Saturday, I had one of my last Engagement shoots. Katie is a good friend of mine and I managed to talk her and her fiance Toby into Engagement shots. (This was a new concept to Toby and it took a little convincing.) We chose to go to Detroit’s River walk and shoot there. Despite the Tiger’s game at Comerica Park and the African Festival with oh, about 50,000 people, we did just fine. ;)

With Engagement shoots, I often shoot in series to complement an album. Here are some of my favorite from the shoot. They are such a cute couple…

Have a good evening!




So in the past two weeks I have dropped my 70-200 2.8 VR lens and my SB-800. It is reaaalllly not good to drop these on cement (and not so good for profitability either)

....Thank God for Oakland Photographic Repair in Madison Heights!!! If you guys need to repair your cameras or camera equipment, I would definitely recommend this place. The owner was really nice, and very accommodating. (I met them for the first time last Tuesday, but was very impressed.)

Just another random tip for any other clumsy photographers out there!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Quick Update...

I just wanted to report a couple updates about Beth Merritt Photography...

I am happy to report that I hired an assistant on Saturday. She will work from Monday-Friday and help to ensure a prompt response is given to each and every client. Words cannot express how excited I am to have someone to help out. Tristan recently got sick with bronchitis, and was out for a week. Needless to say, we got SLAMMED with work in July. (Yes, it's a good problem to have...but it's still a problem!)

So those of you that know me, know I think it is very important to give back to our community. We will be announcing a charity event sometime in the next few weeks. We will have abbreviated shoots, and like last year the sitting fee will go directly to charity and I will be giving out some sort of freebie in return for your donation. It's really a win-win, and I love ding it.

On that note, if anyone has any great charities that they might recommend, I would love to hear about them. Right now, I am leaning toward Haven, The Amercian Cancer Society, World Vision, and Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. I like to let people choose - and plus, World Vision is cool because you basically get to go shopping with your money! ;)

Yes, Irealize it's August folks... but the holiday season is popping up in stores (isn't that just nuts???) But the calendar is starting to fill up for our busy season (September through December 15th is generally nuts.) So, if you would like schedule a session, I would suggest contacting the studio sooner than later. We will try to accomodate everyone, but trust me that those 11:30 and 11:45 slots go quick...!

We started doing a bit of senior work last year, and have been taken on by storm this year with new work. (We are very flattered!) We are working to get the new website and the literature up to date. It should be ready to go soon... well disclaimer: when I say soon, I mean after next Saturday when my new office manager gets here... ;)

Have a good day everyone! Time to put the computer away for a while... whew!



The Cosgrove Girls

Yesterday morning I was also visited by three beautiful blonde ladies: one mom and two daughters. (Dad was at Oakland Hills watching the tournament.)

I remembered these girls very fondly from a school that I do work for. They are such good natured, cute little ladies – and they are wonderful to work with! These are the kind of clients that you'd like to clone and trade for the grumpy ones. :)

These kind of shoots really keep me going as a photographer. (I have been sitting in this chair for about 10 hours straight between last night and today…ughhhh...) But when I look at pictures like this, I know that I am doing something more than just snapping a picture – I feel like I am capturing a family’s relationship for them to remember for years to come. And that alone is worth the ten hours in the chair. ;)

Here are some of my favorites from the session…


I think this one's definitely doing to make the website... She's not looking at anything (her mom and her sister are behind her). She's admiring herself in her mom's glasses. I love it. :)

Ants, beware!

This morning, I am sitting here (literally) laughing out loud as I review pictures.

Yesterday morning, I met up with a family that I have known for years now. The little boy is awesome… he’s two now and FULL of energy. I love it! He ran all around the park looking for bugs on trees. He screamed when he found one, and then smacked it. Sometimes he missed, and sometimes he didn’t (yuck!) Check out the expressions on this little boy – soooo funny!!!!



Dad picked him up to see the leaves... but he was strongly objecting as the branches were quite near his head. This one just cracks me up...
Okay, in this picture, I did what I often do to become engaged with a little toddler... "so, is that (I point to the toy bear) that a donkey??" And most kids have GOT to think I am the world's dumbest photographer. Well, this boy was absolutely disgusted that I didn't know my animals. This was his reaction to my question:

Found a bug...

Bug is about to die...

Bug dies. Everyone celebrates...