Monday, July 28, 2008

A fundraiser on July 30, 2008

The news about the With Love for Lucy Spaghetti Dinner, Auction and Raffle has spread like wild fire in Anchorage. A baby girl, a little over 1 years old, is suffering from some kind of leukemia and her family has gone bankrupt because their insurance won't help them anymore.

I know a couple of the family members and they have told me that this is such a blessing for this special family. When I spoke to Nicole at the Arctic Gym, she sounded very excited about the event and I understand that over 500 tickets for the dinner have been pre-sold (yes, that's $5,000!) already and they are gathering prizes for the silent auction from all over.

I am going to be giving away a fabulous deal: a free session, a portrait package worth over $100, and a frame (a total value of $235) for my contribution, plus I'll be there eating spaghetti and bidding on some stuff. There are also going to be Cakes by Deb, Art by Andrea, Security system through Guardian Security, Alaska Railroad tickets, Sports packages and so much more!

Please consider coming to this very worthwile fundraiser. I know that you will have fun there and help celebrate a little girl's second chance.

This event will be at the Anchorage Lutheran Church, 1420 N Street. Tickets for dinner are $10.00 each. For questions, please call Nicole at 563-3330 (Arctic Gymnastics) or 317-4210.

Friday, July 25, 2008

A most miraculous pregnancy

I saw Rebecca at the hospital back in January or February on base, and I noticed that she was glowing.

"Megan, I'm pregnant! I'll be needing you this summer!" I knew of her difficulties of being able to conceive and that this was just the best-est news EVER for her and her husband.

She called me last week and the joy in her voice is hard to miss. The story of them being able to have babies is truly a miracle and hearing her and Randy talk about their adventures is funny and inspiring.

I went to her very cute home this past week to do her maternity portraits with her husband. Because they know EVERY other detail of their pregnancy due to the modern miracle of in-vitro fertilization, they have chosen to be surprised about the sex of their baby when it is born. Rebecca is constantly referring to the baby as "him" or "her", alternating randomly, and she doesn't miss a beat. Our evening was full of laughing, and feeling the baby kick, and hearing about their story, and we had such a wonderful time.

Rebecca and Randy, thanks so much for letting us come to your home and help you celebrate your future by doing your maternity portraits. I'm excited to come to the hospital after the baby's been born and I know you guys will be just such wonderful parents to this little miracle of yours.

Here are a few of my favorites. I hope you love them, too!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Four Generations

It's not often that I get to do four-generation portraits, but I LOVE to do them. Imagine all that family history and the knowledge that the older generations have, if but the younger ones would listen. I love to see the interaction and the love between the members of the family.

Yesterday, it was rainy. I mean, WET. I called Becka, who lives in Wasilla and was on her way here, to tell her it was raining. We were to meet at a park that was near her mom's work and I told her I'd call to see if there was a pavillion. Well, after some searching on the internet, I found out that indeed, there was and we'd meet there. So, despite the rain and such, the scene behind was lovely and green and my son told me that he was SURE that the scenery was a backdrop LOL.

Because it was so dark, we had to use fill-flash, but I think that these images are lovely and show how much love this family has for each other. Apparently, Becka's mom and dad are about to celebrate 40 years of marriage, so I had to get them in a couple of poses together as well.

Becka, more are to come, but I hope you enjoy your sneak peek!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

NILMDTS is an organization that was co-founded by photographer Sandy Puc' (pronounced "putch") a few years ago when she photographed a friend's child right before he passed away. This is an organization where photographers sign up to donate their services and time, to give a most precious gift to a grieving family, a CD of images, generally in black and white, to keep and help with the healing process.

You can visit the site at Please have tissues handy.

I have recently been accepted by this organization to photograph families and these tiny, precious gifts from God who are about to go back to heaven. If you, or anyone else you know who needs these services, please direct them to this site and you are able to contact any of the photographers on the list. There are several of us in the Anchorage area.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Mini-Engagement Session

A client of mine referred me to a young couple, and I went to meet them today, Ian and Jessica. They are a sweet couple and were a little nervous (read: giggly) but I think as we went on with their session they felt a little more comfortable. We went to Green Lake on base and found some spots that we think we'll use the day of their wedding.

So despite the threat of rain, we managed to get some really great images. Of course, as I'm about to post this blog, haha... the jokes on us since the clouds are finally parting.

Jessica and Ian, here are a few of my very favorites. I hope you love them, too.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

"Before we PCS...

We'd like to use the gift certificate our friend gave us from your company." Miss S. called me out of the blue one day last month.

"Oh, when do you PCS?" I'm thinking... oh, a month or so.

"We leave on Monday!"

"Oh! We'd, uh, better get you photographed this weekend."

This was a sweet family, ready for new adventures in Misawa, Japan. I really enjoyed getting to know them in the short amount of time I had to photograph them, amidst the mosquitos LOL (I couldn't find the repellant in my van).

This session was done at the Eagle Glen Golf Course, on base. There are some really beautiful areas there and it's easy to stay out of the way of the golfers.

Operation: Love Reunited reunion pictures for Michelle

*WARNING* You need tissues for this post.

For weeks, she's been obsessive about getting her home ready for her beloved husband to come home from serving our country in Iraq. As the days grew closer, Michelle has worried about seeing him, hoping that we'd get to the airport on time, and worrying that the kids would recognize him.

Yesterday, I had a vendor show in the morning, and I called her to see how she was doing. Her morning was super-busy, getting 4 children dressed and ready for a church activity (for which my son couldn't go because he was sick-ish). I could feel her anxiety over the phone and felt it the rest of the time I was at the show. She picked me up and we went to the airport on base, to catch the bus to go to the Anchorage Airport. We were accompanied by many men and one woman in uniform, to make the official welcome home, and there was another gal who was meeting her husband too. We got to be in front of the lines, as we were VIPs, and got to go to the gate. I was trying very hard to swallow back tears because this was such an emotional moment. We got there in time to see the first person walk off the plane and I told Michelle, while I had my camera trained on the doorway, to tell me the second it was him. I knew what he looked like, but I had to be sure. As soon as he appeared, my photography instincts took over and I just started composing and clicking, and enjoyed every moment of photographing their wonderful reunion. You can see different folks' reactions in the back grounds of the images and how touched they were. I love the joy expressed on Kayla's face. She was stuck to her dad like glue and wouldn't leave his arms once she was settled.

Yesterday, when I got home and loaded them onto my computer, and watched them SOOC, I cried when I saw them because the emotion finally washed all over me. Please have some tissues ready before you look any further. Michelle, I hope you love these as much as I do. Thank you for letting me capture your family's reunion; it was truly one of the best experiences I've had since I decided to go into business for myself.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hospital portraits 2

Here are a couple more that didn't fit in the original post. Hope you love these as much as I do! Thanks again, Mr. E and Miss P for letting me into a little slice of your lives.

Hospital portraits!

Last evening, my cell phone rang. Miss P from Monday night had said that she felt she'd be having the baby that evening, or the next day. Well, I got a call from a good friend of hers who said that I needed to call them right away... at the hospital! LOL They sounded very tired, but happy.

I went in with my husband, Jim, who was my assistant for today with the reflector. I don't like to use flash at the hospital because baby eyes shouldn't be exposed to such harsh flashes. Everyone was wreathed in smiles... except R. He... was a little jealous LOL. I did get a few of him and his baby brother, much against his wishes, but I think we got some great photo-journalistic shots of this family and their new addition. This baby is so sweet. He loves his binky! Here are my favorites from their session today. Look for the baby's "smile" with his parents! It's so sweet!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Beautiful Maternity Portraits

I got a phone call from a new client, from Mr. E, and I called him back. He was interested in doing the Bringing Home Baby package, and I asked him when his wife was due. He replied that she was due any day now, and I responded, well, we gotta do the maternity portraits NOW.

I went over to their home last night to photograph Miss P, Mr. E, and their adorable son, R. Miss P's mom is visiting her daughter's family to help her with the baby. My assistant and I were completely spoiled by authentic Turkish food, recipes so simple and delicious. They are going to email the recipes to me for a delicious artichoke dish, and also a wonderfully perfect tart, salty and a bit sweet cabbage rolls. I will put those recipes on this blog when I get them.

Miss P's baby bump is beautiful, although she is very ready to give birth to A. He's going to be a beautiful baby, and she is looking forward to having him in her arms. Here are my favorite images from our session last night. Mr. E and Miss P, thanks so much for having us in your home and getting to know you! It was a fun evening and I know we enjoyed being over. Best wishes for a safe and exciting delivery. Don't forget to call me when you guys get to the hospital!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Buzz July 2008

The Buzz
It’s July! It’s Independence Day! It’s Pioneer Day! It’s a wonderful month to be in Alaska!
It’s summer now in Alaska and I’m looking forward to doing some fun things this month. I’ve been doing a bunch of biking, which has been so fun! I’ve seen more of Elmendorf biking than I have been driving.
We went to the Air Show on Saturday. THAT was pretty exciting! All those tricks and fly-bys were dangerous looking, but I know they practice all the time! Here are some photos from that day.

I have so much to share with you guys! For some reason, I didn’t get a newsletter out for June (I was really sick and sneezing so hard that it racked my entire body). So I have some stuff to share about June that happened, and of course what’s coming up in July!
Onto the newsletter!
In this month’s Issue:
How to successfully photograph fireworks
Black and white settings in Photoshop
HBP’s Special of the Month
Fabulous HBP News
Operation: Love Reunited
Some cool stuff I’m going to offer this summer!
Session ideas
One of my favorite things

How to Successfully photograph fireworks.
Living in Alaska and having the sun go down at approximately 11:30 at night causes some problems for us traditionalists who love to watch the fireworks at 9:30 pm when it’s very dark in the lower 48. Apparently there are going to fireworks over the lake in Seward, so that is a place that you could check out. Anyway, here are some tips on how to photograph those fireworks.
1. You need a tripod. This is the only way to get shake-free photos of fireworks.
2. Set your DSLR on manual focus, or your SLR on infinity, and use these combinations.
ISO 100 f/11 ISO 400 f/16 ISO 1000 f/22
If you have a high end point and shoot, you can scroll around and search for manual settings. Check your manual for this information.
3. Since the fireworks create their own paths of light, you should leave the shutter open for a few seconds to capture the trail of light of each rocket. Two-second exposures produce a good pattern, but interesting overlapping patterns can be produced by exposures of up to several minutes. When using such long exposures, however, be sure to arrange your composition so that there are no brightly lit areas in the foreground- for example, streetlights- since these may be distractingly over-exposed. Living in Alaska and it not being dark enough will certainly over expose. So you should probably keep to like a 4 second rule.
-Information from the New York Institute of Photography.

Black and White settings in Photoshop.
Now, I’m familiar with Photoshop, although I am far from an expert. I am pretty sure that you can do these settings in Elements as well. Yes, I use a lot of purchased actions, but I have some great settings to do manually, too.
1. My favorite! Open your image, and make sure you have re-sized it and curved/sharpened it. Go to Image, Adjustments, and Channel Mixer.
a. A window will pop up and you can put in any numbers you want, as long as all 3 numbers add up to 100. My favorite combo is 25 for red, 50 for green and 25 for blue. Play with the constant slide til you like what you see. Click ok, then go back into Image, adjustments, then brighten and contrast. Play with those slides til you get the perfect appearance.
2. Another way to get black and white is to type the CTRL button and the letter U. Play with the saturation slider till you like what you see. Make sure you do brighten and contrast, too.
3. If you like warmer tones of black and white, like a barely sepia look (which looks better on inside photos than outside photos), then follow these directions. Follow the directions from #1. Press CTRL+U. Click on the colorize button. Take the slider marked Hue and put it in the orangey-yellow area, then de-saturate a little. You can actually colorize all black and whites this way. Look at little Allison’s announcement:

I hope I’ve helped you to see there is more than choosing the pre-sets in Elements or using Grayscale. Enjoy!

HBP’s special of the month!
I am extending to all a free session this month! It doesn’t matter if you are a past client or a new one. BUT… if you are a past client, you also get a 25% discount! You need to call right away because I don’t have much left for the books in July.

Introducing Bringing Home Baby!
I found my sweet family to model my Bringing Home Baby package. Dustin and Mandie, and their adorable new baby, Brodie.
I am introducing a new program for families that are about to get bigger in the Anchorage area! This package includes three sessions, The Maternity, the Hospital, and The Newborn. These sessions are done at your convenience, however there is a window of time needed to capture the images you want.
The Maternity session will highlight your beautiful baby bump. Don't worry about the stretchmarks; I can air-brush those! I can photograph you and your husband, and kids in these! This is a studio style session, and I bring my studio to your home, back drops, lights and other accessories. Here are a couple of samples.

The Hospital Session is generally done the day after your baby is born. I come with camera and a reflector and use as much natural light as possible to create beautiful, black and white journalistic-style images that will be treasured for years to come in your scrapbook. Here are some samples:

The third session is your Newborn session, at home and I bring my studio and do natural light as well. This session is best done before your newborn is 3 weeks old. I have a list of recommended props and such that you may already have and I also have a few things that I bring as well. Here are a few samples.

This is just a sample of the many poses that I do for you in the Bringing Home Baby package. Please consider that I spend a lot of time with you; at least 2 hours for the maternity and new born sessions, and just 1 at the hospital, plus all of the editing that is done, which can take several hours per session.
With each session, you receive an 8x10 of your choice, and also a 10x20 collage plus mini-mount, with artist's choice of images from all 3 sessions. This is a value of $368.00, available to you for only $300.00. Any portraits or products that you might purchase in addition to your package you will receive 15% off extra.
Fabulous News: I am introducing this package for only $250! That is a steal! If you are currently expecting, and you want to lock in this price, you need to call ASAP. The first session is to be done 32-34 weeks. If you are farther along, but not by too much, and you want to do these in the next week or so, then call right away. You can lock this price in and have your maternity session by December 31, 2008. (Don’t worry, I will have more specials for the new year, but I have to let the dates expire at some point in time).
Operation: Love Reunited
I just joined an organization called Operation: Love Reunited. The website is Get your tissues out before you go to the site; you *will* cry!
If your dh is deployed, or about to deploy, I can offer you two free sessions, the first would be all of you together before he leaves, or while he's gone of your family. From that session, I would put together a 4x6 photo album of 20 images (artist's choice) to send to your beloved airman/marine/sailor/soldier. Then, when he comes home, I will accompany you to the airport to capture all of the emotion and drama of the moment you and your family are reunited.
Again, these 2 sessions are free, and the first session your husband gets the free album of 20 images, professionally printed. The value of this is $260. I'm also offering a 20% discount for any portraits or products purchased. However, there is NO obligation to purchase anything, according to the guidelines set by the organization.
If you would like more information, please call me or send me a private message. I hope to hear from you!
I live in Anchorage, Ak on Elmendorf AFB. I am willing to travel up to 10 miles away from where I live to photograph you on location for this service. Otherwise it will be $0.50 a mile.
These sessions need to meet the guidelines as put forward by this organization.
Here are some cute girls I photographed a couple of weeks ago for their daddy serving in Iraq.

Cool Ideas for Sessions!
Are you in love or just love to be loved by your lover? Let’s do some “romantical” images of you and your significant other at sunset. Yes, sunset! Then we can get something beautiful like this:
Now I know that sunset is really late, but get a sitter, and include this as part of your date for the evening. These sessions start at 10:30 pm and the retainer fee is $50.00. This is a fabulous deal, and I don’t know any established photographers who will do this for you at this cheap a price!
Playground portraits are super fun and you hit two birds with one stone: You get fun portraits, and your kids get to play!
Portrait parties are a great way to earn portraits, visit with friends and have one of your guests win a 16x20! Call for more info!
Summer is a time for family reunions, and there is always someone missing from the photographs… the person taking the picture. Call me to do your family reunions, and have both posed and candid photography done for up to 4 hours. A fun time will be had by all and you won’t have to worry if someone got photos done with Auntie Mildred.
Another NEWS tidbit for Honey Bee Photography!
We are going to start doing weddings again, and we are looking for head-hunters to help us! If you know a bride who is looking for a CHEAP but good photographer, then both of you will get a great deal! I need to update my wedding portfolio, and so I am doing weddings really cheap this summer: $299 for up to 4 hours of service. This price also includes 25-4x6s and 20% off portrait purchases. My head-hunters get a FREE session and a FREE 16x20 with purchase. Call today for more details! This offer expires August 31, 2008 for the weddings, and head-hunters must do their session by September 15, 2008. These headhunter sessions are outdoors, natural light only.

One of my favorite things
Well, anyone who knows me knows I am a snacker. I went to Costco and discovered a brand new product called Popchips. Oh my heck… they are sooo tasty, crunchy, salty and flavorful. You can dip them, too, and they don’t get soggy like baked potato chips. They are very healthy and I don’t have to feel guilty for having some with my sandwich. You can check out for more information.
I do not receive endorsements from any products or services that I highlight in this section of my newsletter.
Thank you for reading my newsletter, The Buzz. You are receiving this newsletter because you have requested it. If you wish to be removed from my mailing list, please email me with the word Unsubscribe in the subject line and I will remove you. However, I hope you stay!

Megan Martineau