Welcome to a new monthly installment, “Around the Hill”! As your Richmond Hill photographer and a local business owner, I thought it would be fun to introduce you to some of my favorite fellow local businesses in and around Richmond Hill with a short Q&A session (plus some images, of course)! Considering this awesome guy is my biz neighbor, I figured he would be the perfect business to start with.
Introducing the fun, exuberant, incredibly talented, energetic Jim Leahy of the Leahy Art Gallery!
How long have you been in business? 14 years
Where are you located? Leahy Art Gallery is located at 11258 Ford Avenue, across from the Ford Plantation, in Richmond Hill Court.
Describe your business. What service(s) or product(s) do you offer? Everything art related: commissioned art pieces, custom picture framing, art installation services, free in-home framing consultations, or you may visit the gallery and frameshop.
How did you get started in this business? My father was a famous Marine Corps combat artist who taught me everything I know about the principles and elements of design. Additionally, every job I’ve ever had has been art related, including technical illustration, art supplies, framing, art acquisition, delivery and installation.
What is unique about your business? The in-home designed, custom framing option includes free pickup, delivery, and installation of all framed pieces. Just call 727-5330 to schedule a visit.
To what do you attribute your business success? Having worked with literally hundreds of very talented interior designers, art consultants, gallery owners and framing decorators since I opened Leahy Art Installation 20 years ago in the San Francisco/Bay area.
Where do you see your business in 5 years? Right where it is. Perfect.
What do you enjoy most about what you do? People are generally very happy when I’m done. Whether it’s painting a commissioned artwork, framing a special piece of art or photo, or installing the artwork for a new homeowner. Also, there’s no such thing as an art-emergency.
Best piece of advice you’ve ever received? If possible, buy the gallery, don’t rent.
Favorite quote? “Water off a duck’s butt.”
When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up? Seriously? An artist, of course.
Jim, thanks so much for your time and for sharing your talents with the Richmond Hill community. You may reach Jim at the Leahy Art Gallery by: phone (912) 727-5330, website, or via Facebook.
Have a business you’d like to see featured? Please call the studio at 912-200-5284.
Yay to May and your May newsletter! 4 days of school left … anyone else counting down? I know I am! And while summer days definitely require a little more creative coordination to get work done, I have to admit I do love spending endless days with my boys. At the pool, bowling, the library, the beach, sleeping in (staying up late), s’mores, playdates with friends, rounds of baseball after a dinner made to perfection on the grill, and star gazing as the sun goes to sleep. What are your favorite parts of summer?
The 3rd Annual Mommy & Me event was a huge success! Thank you to all the wonderful families that helped to support the Pay It Forward Foundation of Bryan County. Here’s a sneak at some of our favorites from the day. Hopefully you and your child(ren) will be able to join us next year!
High speed photography sounds complicated, but it is only a form of photography used when trying to capture something in fast motion. This can be people playing a sport, cars moving quickly, people walking in a street, anything that doesn’t involve holding still and yes, toddlers most definitely count! To do this, you need to have a high shutter speed on your camera. A shutter is what is inside your camera – it opens and closes to catch a moment, turning it into a picture. The longer it is open, the more light can be let in, and the more still your subject needs to be. In order to do high speed photography, your camera’s shutter speed needs to be fast, so it can capture a moment quickly without catching motion blur. This can be adjusted on any DSLR camera, and with some point and shoot cameras as well. It’s an awesome thing to learn how to use, especially when wanting to photograph anything in motion.
In the image below, my shutter speed was at 1/640 of a second to capture my youngest jumping off the fence. Any slower, and I would have increased the likelihood of motion blur. Another tip, keeping your camera at a higher shutter speed allows for you to “open up” your lens during a sunny day like this, creating a more shallow depth of field and keeping the sky that gorgeous hue.
So many times we look for that “perfect” picture – everyone smiling, looking at the camera, bodies positioned appropriately, everything appearing juuuuust right. This however, is not always the best image. The purpose of a picture is to remember a certain point in time – maybe your wedding, a graduation, your child’s first birthday, a particular milestone, or a special vacation. Sometimes, a photograph that captures that specific point in time the best is the one that is off-center, or one that you are looking away and laughing. These pictures can be perfect without being posed! The most important aspect sometimes is the memory, capturing that true moment, and the feeling that one picture can bring with it. The English idiom, “A picture is worth a thousand words”? It’s true. Embrace the silly, the imperfect. Because chances are, you’ll look back and realize how just how “perfect” the not-so perfect truly is.
Are you sick of displaying your pictures in the same way? Picture frames and canvases? Try shaking it up this time!
Take an old, larger frame, and use it to frame a bunch of smaller pictures. Start by attaching string, jute, or wire horizontally from side to side on the inside of the frame with masking or duct tape, or small screws. Do as many rows as you can, or will fit. Next, get some clothespins, or even colored paper clips to hang the pictures from the wire by. Smaller pictures work best, so that you can get the most in a frame. Polaroids are an ideal size, or 4×6 prints. I love this idea from Little Inspiration on creating a photo frame for all your Instagram images! This might be come a summer project for me, and would be perfect for our playroom!
For fun, try hanging up other things instead of just pictures. For example, if one frame is just displaying pictures from a trip to New York, also hang up a ticket from a broadway show, or cute napkin from your favorite restaurant. Small keepsakes that go along with the memories can make a great addition to your frame.
Mark your calendars! The summer Tiny Clicks class will be held Sunday, June 26 from 1-4 at my RH studio. Cost includes the class, light snacks/drinks, our private FB group, and an extensive workbook to take home for $125. To sign up you may email me or call the studio at 912-200-5284. Learn to rock your camera this summer!
That’s it for May! I want to wish all of you a wonderful last week of school and an amazing start to summer!
Thought this was an appropriate quote to kick off the end of school …
Mother’s Day is just around the corner and I thought I’d round up 10 of the coolest Mother’s Day gifts for the momtog in your life! (Perhaps that’s you and if that’s the case, I suggest leaving this blog post up on your iPad or phone, see if the hubby takes notice! Or heck, just buy one or more of these items for yourself. You deserve it! :))
1. 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens
This is an amazing lens for an amazing price. If you don’t already own this bad boy, be sure to add it to the top of your list. The 50 f/1.4 is wonderful for shooting in low light conditions with no flash. While it is more expensive than the f/1.8 version, it’s worth the added expense. I shot with this lens exclusively in studio for many years.
2. Stylish Camera Bag
This will definitely make the momtog in your life smile! This is the uber gorgeous, super stylish Libby bag from Kelly Moore, and the exact one I stash my dSLR and lenses in. Not only is this bag beautiful to look at, but completely functional, too. With 5 padded, adjustable, removable dividers and room for a laptop, the Libby is almost a necessity. There’s additional room to store memory cards, wallet, phone, even a juice box or two! 🙂 Style not quite right? Never fear! Kelly Moore offers many different types, I’m sure you’ll find one to fit her needs!
3. Camera Strap
Honestly, the strap that comes with your camera does just fine, but it really isn’t all that pretty (or comfortable). Love these camera straps made by Mod. This is the one I own, “Earthy Zig”. It was a gift from my brother and sister-in-law a few years back (thanks, Andy & Laura!) It is incredibly soft and has held up wonderfully – through many, many sessions. Again, huge variety of patterns and colors there’s no doubt Mod has the perfect one for your momtog.
I also love these luscious, glam camera straps from Bloom Theory. Any woman is sure to feel even more beautiful behind the camera sporting one of these.
4. Lens Cap Holder
Ugh! I am constantly losing/misplacing my lens caps! These adorable lens cap holders clip to mom’s camera strap and help keep those pesky caps from wandering away. Available in a variety of fun prints, visit CraftyStaci on Etsy for more details. And Taran, if you’re reading this, I need one of these … stat!
5. Camera Lens Mug
Haha! This is fun gift, to give and to receive! My other sister-in-law (hey, Alyssum!) bought this mug for me last Christmas. Of course the functionality is terrific – keeps my hot chocolate the perfect temperature during that month of cold weather we get here in coastal Georgia. The best part of this gift is obviously how much it looks like a real lens! I don’t know how many times one of my boys has seen this sitting in the kitchen sink and said, “Uh, Mom!!! …..” Really. Just buy it. Too amusing to pass up.
6. Photoshop Elements
Little brother to the full Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements is a powerful program every serious hobby/enthusiast photographer should own. Priced at only $99, I think the momtog in your life will be impressed with the astounding capabilities of PSE. The newest version includes haze removal, camera shake reduction and automatic filter effects. I used PSE exclusively for my business for 2.5 years before upgrading to the full Photoshop.
7. Smartphone PhotoMobile Printer
If you’re anything like me, you have probably have 4,600,399 images on your phone, all begging to be printed (we print what matters, right??). The awesome Polaroid ZIP Mobile Printer is the perfect solution! This nifty hand-sized printer hooks to your smartphone via Bluetooth and spits out prints of your fave pics in less than a minute. For fun, you can even add special effects and fun filters to the image before printing using the Polaroid ZIP iOS app (there’s an Android version, too).
But the best part of all? The mobile printer uses special Zink zero-ink printing technology. NO printer ink to switch out! I’d call that a win-win! This cute little device is definitely on my Mother’s Day list this year. 🙂
8. Fun T-shirt
If you’re a client, chances are you’ve seen me in this exact shirt. And as my poor boys will attest, it’s true on most days. (I keep telling myself that eventually they will look back on all of these printed memories and be thankful; but until then, I just keep clicking’ away …) What I love about this shirt is that it’s sooooo soft (I’ve even slept in it) and the length is really, really flattering to all momtogs. If you get my drift. Available at the Clickin’ Moms store, along with a bunch of other utterly terrific goodies.
9. Funky Camera Pillow
Love me some pillows! It’s a crazy obsession, I tell you. I have discovered, quite recently, that buying pillow covers is the way to roll, instead of the pillow itself. With two rambunctious little boys and two dogs it just makes more sense to have a cover I can remove and wash. I’m digging this vintage camera pillow cover from BrunoAndBetty on Etsy.
10. Amazon or B & H Giftcard
Amazon and B & H Photo are my go-to places for camera gear and equipment. If you’re unsure what to purchase for your momtog, a gift certificate from either of these places will be sure to land you a multitude of kisses and gratitude. And let’s be honest, you know she’s worth it, right?
When I think about some of my most cherished clients, the Francis family immediately comes to mind. They have been with me over a year and I’ve had the opportunity to photograph them numerous times. Genuinely good, loyal, kind people, I am lucky to call them among my friends.
We gathered together in Savannah one early December evening to capture their Christmas card images. Shooting in downtown Savannah is always a treat, and when you get to spend it with fantastic people, it makes it all the better.
This bridge never disappoints, it is one of my favorite spots downtown. Every time I’m there the landscape looks different; the lushness of the trees, the pops of color … it’s almost magical. To me, it’s such an iconic spot that completely radiates the alluring charm of Savannah.
Love it when the kids are comfortable enough around me to let their little personalities shine through. 😉
The first time I met the Francis family is for the birth of their youngest, Abby. One of the joys of being a photographer is watching “my” MMP babies (and their siblings, of course) grow. It’s almost impossible to not fall in love.
Aren’t they a stunning family? And the girls? Always dressed to the nines. I swoon each time I see them and my heart skips a beat. I always tease that I live vicariously through my clients who have girls. 😉
Honestly!!! Those lovely faces!
Carl and Lauren, thank you for trusting me to be your family photographer. I truly appreciate your loyalty and willingness to tell everyone you know about the MMP experience. I hope you know how much I enjoy working with you and providing your gorgeous family with memories that will last a lifetime. Looking forward to our next adventure together! We are going to hit the beach, right? 😉
Welcome to your April Newsletter! Hard to believe we are flying through Spring and on our way to the hot, hot summer! I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter spent with the ones you love. Ours was lovely … small Easter egg hunt in the morning plus gifts from the Easter Bunny, making our traditional Resurrection Rolls (find the recipe here), church, lunch with friends, then relaxing at home. It was a perfect start to Spring Break!
This month’s issue is packed full of great information, so let’s get started!
The Children’s Spring Portrait Event was a huge success! We welcomed several new and familiar faces to the studio. Here’s a peek!
My job is pretty amazing, isn’t it? Love all these sweet faces!
Many people, after getting their professional pictures back, are giddy and eager to have them printed and hung as soon as possible. Naturally, the first place that pops into their head to order from is the local drugstore. While this would be smart for a disposable camera from a family trip, this is NOT the route you want to go with your professionally edited pictures. Local grocery and drugstores do have printers, but they are not professional-grade quality. The coloring is always off (usually too much orange and red in the skin), and the papers aren’t archival quality or even high print quality. Printing from a professional means that you are keeping your investment alive – and not wasting the money you spent on a professional shoot and edit to only be changed by a cheap printer. When investing in a company that specializes in printing photos (and doesn’t also sell you socks and milk), quality is their top priority, so you will always be getting your images printed exactly as they were intended to be, on the highest quality paper. At the end of the day, if you thought it was worth it to get your pictures professionally taken, it is worth it to get them professionally printed as well.
When starting photography, many people get very lost when it comes to editing. While looking at a picture you just took on a nice camera, it’s really easy to look at it and think “Wow, that looks great! What is there to fix?” Or maybe, “I’ve got a nice camera that I figured out how to use, but I can NOT get my pictures to look like everybody else’s!” Well don’t stress, because I’ve got some good ways to help you get started.
The 2 main things that photographers look at with each image is skin tone and exposure. Many cameras shoot pictures where the skin tones end up looking too orange, too red or even too blue. Fixing the image so that the skin tones look natural can make a dramatic difference. The other major fix is the exposure. Is the picture too light? Is the picture too dark? Even with professional cameras, pictures can come out with the exposure off. (Yes! I do make mistakes while shooting!) The best way to judge if the exposure is correct is to look at the skin again. It’s very important to adjust the image until the exposure is correct. Even if it means making the sky extra bright, it’s more important to have skin be exposed correctly verses anything else in the image.
Still not sure? Not to worry, I’m in the process of creating a Photoshop class, just for you! Woohoo! Details to come. 🙂
Are you a movie watcher? By the time Friday approaches, nothing sounds better than to just relax for a few hours watching a good movie! In fact, our family has a weekly “popcorn dinner” night. As a family we choose the movie we’d like to watch, then we cut up meat, cheese, and fruit paired with crackers and popcorn. A tradition that started while I was young, it’s been fun to pass this on to our boys. It truly gives us something to look forward to at the end of a long week! And while these movies definitely aren’t child friendly, these are the top 10 as rated by IMDb (top movie authority site). It might be fun to take a few weekends and have a “Top 10 Movie Fest” with your significant other. Or, invite some friends over and together you can debate if these really are the best movies ever. No matter what you decide, there is no doubt that great classics seem to get better each time you watch them!
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
The Godfather (1972)
The Godfather: Part 2 (1974)
The Dark Knight (2008)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Schindler’s List (1993)
Angry Men (1957)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
Fight Club (1999)
To help Taran and me select age-appropriate movies for our boys, we often consult Common Sense Media (here). CSM rates movies, TV shows, songs, books, video games, apps, and websites based on developmental standards established by leading child advocates. Reviewers include librarians, teachers, and other various academics who are carefully selected and trained on how to rate media based on CSM’s strict criteria. Taran and I have found Common Sense Media a trusted resource in providing age-appropriate media for our children.
Hope you enjoyed this month’s installment! If you have ideas or suggestions of topics you’d like me to cover, be sure to let me know! You can reach me via email at megan@meganmyrickphotography, Facebook, or call the studio at 912-200-5284.
April is fully booked for sessions, so I am currently booking for May, June, and July. And please don’t forget about scheduling fall sessions early … those tend to book up rather quickly and I’d hate for you to miss out!
For those of you that follow my FB page fairly regularly, you already know how much I LOVE inspirational quotes. It’s a crazy addiction, I tell you! I collect them like some women collect shoes. Or purses. Or costume jewelry (or all of the above if you’re like me). Here’s the link to my “Quotable” board on Pinterest, if you’re in need of some uplifting. 🙂
Have a beautiful week, sweet friends! As always, I love forwards and shares! If you know someone who would enjoy receiving my newsletter, please pass the information along! 🙂
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Megan Myrick Photography
10384 Ford Avenue
Richmond Hill, GA 31324