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The M Family: Bear Creek Family Photographer

I’m so glad I was able to meet this family before we movd.. I’ve known this mom since high school and I got to travel home to photograph her and her family.  We met at a little park beside our old high school and had a nice time talking and taking pictures.  I love the colors in their outfits.  It just screams Spring!

Thanks for having me take your family portrait.  Enjoy!


I love this peaceful image of the family reading together.

The fun candid moments have the most emotion and that’s what family photography is all about for me.

You always need that image of everyone looking at the camera.  Grandparents love it.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  I’m a sucker for backlighting on curls.  See all the warm light on her hair.  It makes my hair happy.

Who needs toys when you have dirt?  I love toddlers.  Their sense of amazement and discovery tickles me.

The only problem with taking pictures at a park is that if a playground is in sight, you’ll be asked if they can go play no less than a dozen times.  After we did the photo shoot, I hung out on the playground for a few minutes to watch her play and chat with mom.  There’s no greater happiness for a “two in May” year old than a slide.

Katie Smith is an on location family photographer serving Chatham County, NC: Pittsboro, Goldston, Bonlee, Bear Creek, Bennett, and Siler City.
She loves Life cereal and chocolate milk but not together because that’s weird.
She loves listening to her oldest son play with action figures because of his strong sense of good vs evil.
When not taking pictures of the world’s cutest kids, she likes to nap on the couch with her two sons.
Want to stay in the know about the latest Katie Smith Photography news?  Find me on Facebook for casting calls, specials, and fun giveaways!

Behind the scenes

Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes at Katie Smith Photography?  Probably not but I’m going to tell you anyways!

If you think my job is done when I leave the session, you’re saddly mistaking.  My work is just beginning!  It usually starts with me sitting at the computer with some chocolate and listening to the Breaking Benjamin station on I Heart Radio.

Getting down to business, I start uploading.  I take 200+ pictures during the session.  It takes a little while to transfer all the images.

Now it’s time to sort.  Unflattering expressions, out of focus, and any other images that don’t pass my strict guidelines get 1 star and are banished to the computer’s recycle bin.  I only want to show you the best.  Then I go back through and find my favorites.  I double check them at 100% (so close I can count your eyelashes!) for perfect focus.  If it passes, I give it five stars.  I’ll end up going back through those and cutting images that are too similar.  There’s a minimum of 20-25 images but I’ve been known to do 40 when I can’t bare to cut anymore pictures.

Next up is Lightroom editing.  This is mostly basic work.  Fixing the exposure so it’s not too dark or too light and fine tuning the white balance so you aren’t too blue, yellow, green, or magenta.  I try to get it pretty close in camera but stuff happens.  Clouds pass over.  Strange color casts come from walls.  I shoot RAW so I can fix these items with no damage to the digital file.

It’s finally time to export to Photoshop!  Once there, I do a little contrast.  While this example shows a flawless model, I do fix blemishes including but not limited to cleaning up runny noses, tucking in muffin tops, removing acne and scratches, smoothing fly away hairs, and softening skin.  If there’s a background object that I couldn’t move at the session, such as a car, trash can, or powerlines, I use the clone tool to make it disappear.  Then it’s time to darken and saturate the color on the background.  That’s going to give the image some depth and make it look rich.  Each file gets individual attention so it can go from “eh…” to “WOW!”

From start to finish, the process takes 5-7 hours depending on how extensive the editing is.  It’s all worth it in the end though when it goes from a good image to a professional portrait.

Have questions?  Feel free to ask using the contact page!