Wednesday, October 29, 2014

portraits of the Whitney family : cedar rapids, ia family photographer

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I totally LOVE making new friends and just meeting people in general..
and I get excited thinking about all the cool people in the world that I haven't met yet!! :)
Back in January one Sunday at church I briefly saw Nora and thought "she looks like someone cool, I want to meet her"
and about a week later we crossed paths and I told her how I had wanted to meet her --
in response she stuck out her hand and said, "well let's make it official!" :)

When I first met Nora and Brandon they were expecting Aleah, and she was just born this summer!
So precious..and that striped outfit she has on always makes me think of the "lollipop guild" on Wizard of Oz, haha!! 
I'm so glad they moved down here, and have loved getting to know them better throughout this year!
For her baby shower I gave them a gift certificate for a session, and these are my favorites
from our shoot back in August..enjoy!!
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the tongue!!
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Nora had said Aleah responded to eye contact and interaction, 
but I still can't get over how she LIT UP in these images when mom talked to her.
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~H. Elise

p.s. thank you all so much for the sweet comments on the VLOG!!
really blessed me to hear that it was an encouragement to so many!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Boho Blogtober : VLOG!! || Chelsy Renee + Hannah Elise

Today I am really excited to share with you all the promised video blog for Boho Blogtober!!
Chels + I filmed this about a week ago, and had so much fun doing it.
We briefly talked through it, and then filmed everything in one take, miraculously!!
Although it isn't perfect, we are both happy with it and hope it will encourage you!

a few disclaimers before watching:

- Please bear with us for any awkward moments, fast talking,'s kind of intimidating
to be speaking to a camera on a tripod, and afterwards when we watched it we were totally 
cracking up at ourselves. So keep in mind that this isn't a professional video, and as mentioned, 
we filmed it one take and wanted it to feel low-key -- 
like you were sitting at the table there with us having a conversation. :)

- If we didn't get to answer a question you submitted, we will get to them in a future blog post! 
We both just pulled out a couple questions to keep things simple and not have the vlog be too lengthy.

- There is a small break in the video, which was because the camera stopped recording.
Allison (who was filming for us, thanks girl!!) told us it had quit and so we stopped, 
got it going again, and picked up right where we had finished you didn't miss anything. :)

Thank you so much for watching!! 
If you enjoyed this video at all, please comment and let us know! 
That would seriously make our day. :) 
We both regularly discuss how much blog comments mean to us, and hope this is a blessing to you!
And depending on how much feedback we get, we may attempt another vlog down the road..
but you guys will have to convince us of that!! :)

~H. Elise

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fall Giveaway Winner!!

Wow, I was blown away by all the entries for my fall giveaway, thanks so much!!!

I kind of have a love/hate relationship with giveaways at times, because everyone who enters is so sweet
and I really wish I could give a gift to everyone.
Because who doesn't love happy mail?!!
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However, the lucky person who will receive the goodies, 
(prairie blossom beanie, anthro mug, rifle paper co. notecards)

Emma Borisuk!
(@emmaborisuk on instagram, and as I was looking through her profile I noticed she has an amazing
Etsy shop. Click HERE to check out her work!! 
Emma, please e-mail to claim your prizes! :)

I just got back from a gorgeous weekend up in Wisconsin photographing the wedding
of my friend Kayla to an amazing guy, David.
Seriously, talk about a stunning couple!!

Cannot wait to blog their full day in the future.
Also check out my facebook page for some other previews!
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This image below is probably my top favorite from Saturday..because I almost didn't take it.
I was shooting through the window at the back door of the sanctuary and had the thought of shooting 
through the skinny crack in the doors. 
But then I thought 'ehh it's too small of an opening -- I won't be able to see them through it and so it wouldn't work.
But I crouched down and shot a couple frames anyways, and I am in LOVE with how it turned out. 
One of those magic moments where you were meant to shoot this, at that time, while they were standing RIGHT there 
before they went up on the stage. 
Really grateful for how God coordinates images like this and that I have the privilege of documenting them. 
And it was a reminder to me as an artist to step out creatively more -- even if I think something might not work.
Because you never know when it will.
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Hope you all have a beautiful Monday, and get excited because the VLOG (video blog)
from Chels & I is going live TOMORROW!! :)
Get excited!

~H. Elise

Friday, October 24, 2014

Hannah Elise : Fall Giveaway!!

Super excited to announce one of the biggest giveaways I have done so far, 
and have it as a part of Boho Blogtober!! :)
I have been planning this for awhile now, and am delighted to share what I am giving away this weekend!!!
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+ Prairie Blossom slouchy beanie. You guys know how much I love these, and hopefully you remember Irma's fabulous interview earlier this month. I have a mustard slouchy one, and it's almost embarrassing because I wear it all the time!! A few people have commented to me how they wish they could pull off the 'beanie/hipster' look with one of these, and it made me laugh. Because I definitely don't consider myself a hipster and just wear it because I LOVE it. Such a soft hat, and keep in mind that you could always give it as a gift to someone else! So don't let that hold you back. :) p.s. in the photo it is a mustard beanie, but the winner will get to choose their own color option. 
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+ Rifle Paper Co. notecardsI am forever hooked on this brand, and I know you guys love them too!! All their products are so clean, beautiful and classic. This is a set of 8 floral notecards in fall tones, with envelopes.
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+ Anthropologie mug Isn't this unique?! Talk about a gorgeous mug..Anthro is always right on. It looks smaller in the photo, but is 
actually pretty wide and holds 10 ounces.
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Ahh, I can't wait to give these goodies to one of you sweet readers!!

You just need to share about this giveaway using any of the following options,
and then comment on this blog post stating which ones you did! :)

+ Enter on my Instagram by tagging 3 friends in the comments!
+ Repost on Instagram the giveaway photo and be sure to tag @hannahelisephotography!
Tweet the link to this giveaway and be sure to tag @hsandersfeld!
Pin the first image in this post to pinterest!
Post on your blog the link to this giveaway!
+ Share this post on Google+!
Like my facebook page (if you haven't already) and share the giveaway photo to your personal or business page!

Then come back and comment on this post (just commenting itself counts as an entry!).

i.e. "I posted about the giveaway on my blog, reposted on instagram, tweeted, and shared on Facebook!"
If you enter in every single one of these areas and including your blog comment,
you can get your name in the hat 8 times total!!

*Also if you aren't on any social media venues, then just leave a comment on this post 
and you will still be entered for a chance to win. :)

Giveaway ends this Sunday, October 26, 2014 at midnight CST, and one winner will be chosen at random 
to get all the goodies (beanie, cards + mug) and announced Monday, October 27 here on the blog!

Have fun sharing!!!

Hannah Elise


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Things to Woot About : Francesca's + Coffee

Time for another 'Things to Woot About', amen?!

In posts like this I share some recent things I am raving over -- because we all have them,
and good things are meant to be shared with the world. :)
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+ Caribou Coffee. need I say more?! Man, that place. Sometimes I have a major love/hate relationship though because the nearest one is 30 minutes away from me. :( Which is GOOD for my wallet, but on the other hand REALLY depressing at times. Oh, and speaking of coffee I now am turning into a coffee drinker. (insert fireworks + all my coffee addict friends patting me on the back!) I have liked frappes and the once-in-a-blue-moon mocha for awhile, but now am actually wanting coffee coffee. And snickers lattes. Don't even get me going on those. #movingon

+ VLOG filming. wow, this was hilariously fun. :) The other day Chelsy and I filmed our VLOG,
and we are both really happy with how it turned out!! Cannnot WAIT to post it next week. 
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+ Fall. I feel super cliche talking about the fall leaves, but seriously, does it get anymore beautiful?!
Someone online was talking about God's ombre with the autumn colors, and I couldn't agree more. 

+ Dana Cunningham.. My Dad found her music awhile back, and this week I have been listening to
her a, talk about calming melodies!! Love her style, and also her Christmas CD is an absolute favorite of mine.
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+ Banquets with my bestie, Amanda, and other friends! Really enjoyed this the other night. Also, I am shamelessly obsessed with my new headband from Francesca's. It has been ridiculously long since I've been in that store, and last week I was at the mall and stumbled upon it again...which, is kinda bad because now I'm dying to go back again. :)
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+ Weddings. This weekend I am headed up to Wisconsin to photograph the wedding of David + Kayla, ahhh!! I literally got chills yesterday thinking about this..going to be such a beautiful day. 

+ Giveaways!! TOMORROW I am doing perhaps the biggest giveaway of my blog so far..and Rifle Paper Co. may just be involved, among other things. :) Get excited, people!!

have an awesome Thursday!!
~H. Elise

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Allix Ruby : Natural Posing

Can you guys believe we are in the last two weeks of Boho Blogtober?!
Man, this month is going fast!!

I hope you all have been enjoying this month's guest bloggers as much as I good.
Today I am thrilled to have the fabulous Allix Ruby sharing some thoughts on posing.
I really love this girl (got to meet her in person a couple years back!) and she is super awesome,
and totally rocking her business.

Hey everyone! My name is Allix Ruby; I’m a nineteen-year-old wedding and portrait lifestyle photographer living in Northeast Texas with my beloved husband of almost six months! You can head here to learn a little bit more about me. :)
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Today I’m going to give several tips on something I think we all struggle with - posing our clients...naturally. The whole idea of posing seems to signify stiffness and lack of reality but there is a way that you can work with your clients to capture their truest and best selves. Here are five things I try to keep in mind to help me while posing –
  1. Stay Confident.
Let’s be honest, being a young photographer can be really intimidating. Sometimes we wonder why people even trust us to capture such monumental parts of their lives! But that’s just what you need them to do if you ever want natural looking pictures – trust you. And if you aren’t confident in what you are doing, that’s going to make it very hard on your client to do so. Confidence is an attitude and emotion that we can conjure up if we really try. Believe in your ability! Believe in your creativity! Believe in your own unique ideas! If you portray that you are clearly in charge, know what you’re doing, and are passionate about what you’re seeking to create you will often break down even the strongest wall of shyness on your clients’ part. But when you doubt yourself and act unsure you can make even the bubbliest, most natural and easy-going people clam up and feel uncomfortable.
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  1. Stay Assertive.
Once again, it can be very hard to take charge as a younger professional. But that’s what your clients want and need you to do! Be very clear with your instructions and directions, make sure you’re not keeping all your ideas in your head and just hoping they’ll magically do that naturally. Most likely, they won’t. Be prepared! Know what you want the end result to look like and then pose them accordingly. Give them actions to do to avoid stiffness and keep things full of true emotion. “Walk towards me!” “I want you to run toward each other and hug like you haven’t seen each other in ages!” If you notice something is out of place, don’t be afraid to tell them! “Move your chin down!” “Try putting your left hand in your pocket!” “Put your face closer to hers!” Keeping an open line of communication with your subject will ensure that they know exactly what you want them to do. Instead of, when you’re culling, wishing you would’ve been bold enough to ask them to reposition.
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  1. Stay Positive.
One of the best ways to get genuine expressions from your clients is to praise them! While I am shooting, I am almost constantly directing, joking about, encouraging, and egging on whatever my clients are doing. “Wow! You are stunning!” “This is great, guys! Perfect, keep going…perrrrfect!!” “Awesome! Now spin her around! Yessss! Love that! So good!” The last thing you need to say is, “I don’t really like that” or “Well, not quite…could you do something else?” Basically, if you want them to do something else, don’t tell them what they’re doing is wrong…just move into a different pose while still encouraging and praising them. They don’t need to know what they just did looks horrible…you can work around it, keep reposing them until they do something you love. Everyone likes to hear that they look good and so if you fervently tell them that, they will begin to believe it and feel it. That’s what you’re always looking for; your clients genuinely enjoying their time, feeling important, and being their own unique beautiful selves!
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  1. Stay Observant.
I used to be really jealous when I looked at other photographer’s work because I thought they must’ve hit the jackpot of photogenic clients. But when I started shooting weddings I realized how so many amazing, emotionally stirring, and memorable things can be happening around me. If I’m too busy stressing over the perfect pose and looking for the dreamiest location, I could easily miss the way the groom just gently kissed his new wife’s cheek. If I’m frustrated that the children at my family session aren’t all perfectly lined up smiling like on Pinterest, I might miss the beauty of them grasping onto their mother’s fingers or hiding behind their father’s legs. Life is made up of lots of real, raw, messy, and achingly beautiful moments…that means every life. My tagline or slogan, if you will, of my business is “I capture the life and love of weddings, couples, families, and people.” That’s something I can’t create alone. What my clients spontaneously bring to the table is something I’ve learned to appreciate and work with instead of against.
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  1. Stay Flexible.
If shooting weddings has taught me one thing, it is to stay flexible. I cannot stress this enough. Just like no two people are the same, you can’t treat all your sessions with a cookie cutter mentality. You will need varying degrees of each of these points depending on each person. Things will often go much differently than you anticipate before you begin shooting – either better or worse. But even the most difficult of clients can result in genuine heartfelt images when you do not let it defeat you. If a pose just really isn’t working, move on! If the lighting you’re in is bad, keep looking! If the clients are shy or disinterested or (let’s just say it) awkward, keep trying! The more I learn this, the more I am astonished to watch even the stiffest people slowly loosen up and help me create images I am proud of.
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Thanks so much, Allix!! Please leave her some love in the comments below!

~H. Elise