Welcome to Russo Photography!

My blog has moved!! I will keep this old one up and running for reference. Please check out my new blog at www.justinerussoblog.com Thanks for stopping by :)

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New Blog!

Today I launched my new blog! I am so excited and a little sad at the same time!

I am happy  because the new layout is more me, it was more customizable, it shows of my photos better, and it is what I wanted this blog to look like when I started this one!

I am sad because to have a new blog I have to give up this one :(  I am also sad because this will be my last post on this blog :( No point in having two blogs! I am sad because my new blog doesn’t have an option for people to email subscribe to my posts. So for those of you who are subscribed to this blog  THANK YOU for your support, and I hope you still find the time to follow me on my new one!

I will still keep this blog up and running so people who had their photosessions featured will still be able to share their posts!

Check out my new blog at www.justinerussoblog.com!

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Sheree and Blake: Kelowna Maternity Photos

So I was hoping to be doing this post on my new blog, but when I went to load the photos they don’t center nicely in the middle like they do on this blog. Not sure why.  It is very frustrating! So it may be a few more weeks before the new blog is up and running, unfortunatly!

I met Sheree at the show I did at St.Josephs Elementary School back in November. She stopped by my table to inquire about a maternity session (she was very very newly pregnant then!)

I met with Sheree and her husband Blake at Knox Mountain. When thinking about locations for this session, Marco and I went for a drive one night to do some location scouting. When he realized I had never been to Knox Mountain, he drove me to the top.  I was SO excited! I knew I had to do a session here! It was stunning!!! Long grass, stunning views, thick forest, and lots and lots of lake! So I was beyond excited when Sheree and Blake agreed to have their photoshoot done there!

Sheree and Blake were amazing! Sheree is just glowing, and she has fantastic hair! :)  They are both so excited to meet their baby girl sometime around the end of May!

They were so in love! Their kissing pictures were so romantic :)

I LOVED Sheree’s choice for shirt colour! It’s her favourite colour!

Congrats Sheree and Blake! Can’t wait to hear all about your daughter when she arrives! :)

The Happiness Project

I follow a lot of blogs…photographers and non-photographers. Over breakfast and morning tea, while Luca explores his toys, I read blogs. I have been admiring a few blogs that have projects. Like 101 in 1001. (which is to accomplish 101 goals in 1001 days), or 250 books in one year, or the 365 photo project (where you take and post a photo everyday for one year). There are so many of these kinds of projects and I was inspired. I wanted to do one. But I wanted to do one that worked for me. One that I loved. One that I was more likely to follow.

Last week while grocery shopping, I stumbled across the book “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin, and in the spur of the moment bought it. I am SO glad I did. This book is literally changing my life without changing it. It is so full of amazing ideas, that I read most of the chapters twice! I have found my project! Here is the “back cover commercial” that hooked me in the store!

Gretchen had a good marriage, two healthy daughers, and work she loved-but one day stuck on a city bus, she realized that time was flashing by, and she wasn’t thinking enough about the things that really mattered. “I should have a happiness project” she decided. She spent the next year test driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific studies, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier.

Each month, she pursued a different set of resolutions: go to sleep earlier, quit nagging, forget the results, or take time to be silly. Bit by bit, she began to appreciate and amplify the happiness that already existed in her life.

So starting May 1, I am beginning my Happiness Project. The book clearly says that not everyones happiness project will look the same, or take the same route. If you are interested in starting one along with me, check out her blog where she has tools and ideas for starting your own!

 I can’t wait to see where mine takes me!

Dance lessons

In my head I am a fantastic dancer….like “Step Up” good. In my head I look great…I nail every move….I am completely in time with the music.

I am also not delusional enough to believe this to be true. I can see the look on Marco’s face everytime I dance. I have heard the laughs of my sisters as I used to dance in the kitchen while washing the dishes. And today, when dancing to Adele with my son he laughed at me. My 18 month old, sweet, and adorable little son laughed at me! It was too funny to not laugh back. So yes I am very aware of my HUGE lack of dancing skills. I am a 6 foot 1 Volleyball player…what do you expect?!

For my birthday Marco’s parents got me dancing lessons. (Lucky Marco he gets to come with me!) This Monday we learnt to Salsa. Once again in my head I was wearing this super flowy sequined bright pink dress and high heels.

 I was awe-some!

In reality I was wearing LuLu’s and a gray t-shirt, and at one point the instructor told us to “put some life into it”. I caught Marco laughing at me, and he said I had the deepest look of concentration as I counted the steps….one, two, three pause…five, six, seven, pause…over and over and over again. It’s a lot harder than it sounds. But after a few practices we nailed the steps with two turns, and a New Yorker! (and just like that I was ready to sign us up for a competition!)

So my moral of the story is… who cares what you look like on the outside…I think it’s all about how you think you look in your head! :)

Lara and Kevin: Langley Wedding 03.26.2011

When Marco and I got married just over 3 years ago, we were so blessed to be able to have our wedding at Newlands Golf and Country Club in Langley! They were beyond amazing! I loved everything about our wedding! I especially loved our wedding photographer Sherri Spierings.

When I first started my own photography business, Sherri was my go to person! She put up with countless emails, numerous questions and she had so much great advice! She has been a huge part in the starting of my business going so well! Thanks Sherri!

I was given the opportunity to 2nd shoot for Sherri in March, and I was so excited!! First to get to work with Sherri and second to get to work at Newlands!

I got to shoot with my camera, but using her 70-200mm 2.8mm IS USM lens, the lens that is next on my list to buy…but at $2500 it’s a HUGE purchase, so I was glad I got to try it! I fell in love with it! It is definitly worth the money! We worked so well together, and I had a blast! We ended the evening off after the wedding back at her house with a drink on her patio! Thanks Sherri for an awesome day!

Lara and Kevin opted to have a First Look done at Bear Creek Park in Surrey! Kevin and his groomsmen got there first to get ready!

Poor Kevin had to wait almost 15 minutes for Lara to walk all the way down from the car!

…it was worth the wait

oh I love first looks!

They both got a bit teary eyed and yes I did too!

I was a tad obsessed with photographing her bouquet! Newlands does AMAZING bouquets. (and I was a little biased….her bouquet was almost identical to mine!)

Lara’s flower girl was just adorable!

Lara and Kevin’s wedding party was amazing! The guys were a blast…always cracking jokes, and Lara’s girls were so attentive…always making sure every hair was in place, and her dress was perfectly laid out!

About an hour into photos Lara lifted up her dress to surprise us with her amazing shoes!!

After Bear Creek Park we headed back to Newlands for the ceremony……Isn’t she just the cutest!?

After the ceremony, Lara and Kevin took a moment alone around the corner from everyone to celebrate those first few moments of being husband and wife!

From the ceremony we headed over to the Newlands owners house to get some photos in their yard. It was so green and fresh! A great Spring day! Sherri and I were so glad the rain held off until later that evening!

I loved their cake!

Congrats Lara and Kevin! Thanks for letting me help photograph your special day!

The Kinley’s: Maple Ridge 6 month photos

First off a big thanks to Luca for me getting these done so fast! He hasn’t been feeling well at all, and is on antibiotics…which in turn has had him taking 4-5 hours worth of naps since Monday. So I have had LOTS of time on my hands to get work done!

I first met Michelle, Jay and Mitchell when I took Michelle’s maternity photos way back last July! Linden made his appearance in August and I took his newborn photos last September! Michelle emailed me a few months ago asking me to photograph Linden at 6 months! Wow has he ever gotten big!

I absolutely love it when I get to photograph maternity, newborn, 6 months and on year! It’s my absolute favourite! I get to see and photograph that amazing journey from belly to busy one year old! I just love it! Watching them grow is so fun! Linden has definitly grown and has quite the fun little personality! He was full of smiles and his two eye teeth definitly make him live up to his nickname “vampire boy” haha!

Mitchell is still the proud and protective big brother! As long as I got lots of pictures of just the two of them together he was happy! They are such a great family and I can’t wait to photograph Linden at one year! Can’t wait to see the mischief he is up to then :)

I just love how smitten Mitchell is with his little brother!

Some Mama and baby photos are always a must :)

This one is by far my favourite!

FAQ: Editing Photos

I have had a few people during photosessions ask about my post processing. While out for dinner with Tanis and her hubby last weekend we were talking how most people don’t know that every photo we take has to have some post processing done to it. We both shoot in RAW, and this format has had no processing done to it. It can’t be printed or uploaded on to a website.

So I thought I would go through what I do to every picture from the minute it is taken to the minute I burn into on a disc for my clients!

First I upload the image to my computer….it looks something like this… (I HATE showing people what the RAW files look like…they are so boring, and look awful!)

Once I have uploaded all the RAW files into their own folder I import them all into Lightroom 3. In lightroom I touch up the exposure, the contrast, boost the colours a little bit and finally export them into Photoshop. Here is what the photo from above looks like by the time I export it out.

Much better hey? This is where I will leave a lot of the photos. Many of them don’t need too much done after this point. My favourite photos, I will take into Photoshop and play around with. Try some different actions, and filters to see what happens. I will turn many of them into black and white as well!

Here are a few I liked!

Most of them are very subtle differences but differences that change the entire feel of the photo! Some are warmer in colour, others are brighter, and some more contrasted! I usually play around with the photos until I get my favourite mixture and then I save!

After that I watermark my 10-15 favourites and put them on my facebook page and upload them to my blog for my blogpost! I then burn them onto a disc and either hand deliver or mail the disc to the clients!

Time wise a portrait session takes me anywhere from 2- 3 hours and a wedding can take anywhere from 6-10 hours depending on the amount of time I spent at the wedding and how large the wedding was!

Hope that helps! :)