Powell Maternity Session

Sometimes in your life you meet someone and you don’t realize until years and years later that maybe they were put there to help you change your life. Laura and I went to high school together. We had some of the same friends and would run into each other here and there but it wasn’t until much later that we began to form a relationship outside of acquaintances. I was honored to photograph her first maternity session several years ago as well as her daughter’s newborn pictures. She contacted me again about doing a maternity session for their newest arrival, another girl too! Of course I was over the moon.

While I absolutely love documentary style sessions Laura enjoys the more formal genre of photographs and was unsure if she wanted to keep the beach theme that we did with her first born or do something completely different. We sat down one night for a consultation to talk about ideas and instead a wonderful thing happened. While we did briefly speak about photography we also ended up talking to each other about some of our own insecurities in life and what followed was each of us building each other up based on them. It was so wonderful to just sit down and talk to another woman, to build each other up, empowering each other based on our own different but similar fears and worries. I left that consultation feeling wonderful. I felt confident, I felt strong and empowered and I hope that she felt the same way.

A short time later she contacted me again and wasn’t sure if she was feeling the beach theme that they had done before and another amazing thing happened, something that has never really happened to me, she asked me what my absolute unhindered vision would be instead. Knowing she enjoyed the more formal type of photography I did of course keep that in mind but after I explained my idea she said she loved it. She was feeling inspired again and excited and so was I. Almost all of my clients trust me to some degree or another (or they wouldn’t come to me) but no one had ever essentially asked me, What do you see for us? and then trusted me completely to deliver it.

I don’t think she realized just how much asking me that question, me honestly answering that question, her trust and enthusiasm in her answer to that, her cooperation to make it happen and her response to the final images really helped my confidence and inner strength. And if she doesn’t realize, I just want to say thank you. She sent me this quote just the other day and it’s so true,

“When women support each other, incredible things happen.”

Let’s remember to support each other, we need it more than ever. <3

Here are just a few pictures from our session together. If you love the pictures, please leave a comment below and spread some love! And if you want to book, send us a message! The Powell’s chose the complete digital collection (a lifetime high resolution digital gallery of all final images and printing rights) for their custom session. We can create the perfect one for you too. XO

Lucky Elephant Photography, Day In the Life Sessions, South Florida Photography

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A Minute In the Life – Pregnancy Announcement Style

I photographed Shannon and Ian over three years ago in celebration of their engagement and upcoming wedding. Every single time I photograph an engagement session or a wedding, deep down inside I’m always hoping I get that future call back for a maternity or newborn session. Obviously there are some times when the universe has different plans which is totally okay but really, getting to document couples as they enter new chapters in their lives and then having the opportunity to document them again as they start brand new ones later is such a privilege. It’s an honor to be included and trusted with what will eventually be their fondest memories as a family.

When Shannon contacted me with the news I was over the moon. These two have amazing chemistry together and it’s no doubt that will be a wonderful gift towards their journey in parenting. Those of us with kids know how important it is to have that in a partner and how grateful we are (or at least should be) when we have it. These two are going to make an amazing team and I was so excited to help them create an announcement that would let the world know that one of their dreams was coming true.

Enjoy this sweet Photo Story shot by Amanda Ballard and let us know what you think in the comments! And don’t forget, if you have a special announcement, story, milestone or memory that you want us to tell through photographs send us an e-mail today!

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Why is family photography so expensive?

This is a great question and one that I’ve been trying to find a simple answer to for many years. Recently I stumbled over a fellow documentary photographer’s blog post and his answer was so great I wanted to share it. This is the reason why family photography is so expensive. It is wonderfully written by the talented Thomas of Day In Life Storytelling Photography. You can find a link to the exact article here, and his home page here. Note: All photographs in post are the work of Thomas or Мария Струтинская.

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Lucky Elephant Photography serving Broward County South Florida. Specializing in photography that tells a story.

Story Sessions with Lucky Elephant Photography

Somewhere along the lines I lost touch of my true passion in photographing people in what I thought were the technicalities of portrait photography. The things I thought I had to do in order to gain respect or be looked at like I knew what I was doing. I spent a lot of time and investment in learning poses and techniques for setting up people to look their best. Positioning them nicely in a park or a beach. I even learned studio posing, for what I thought I needed. Telling my clients to, “Say Cheese!” or “Open your eyes at the count of 3!” wasn’t something I ever felt proud of doing but it’s what I thought I had to do to get ‘that shot’. This is the traditional way of portrait photography and it’s the way most people think it has to be. It’s the way I thought it had to be and what I thought was the ‘must do’ to be a professional family photographer.

Then I had an epiphany one night while trying to select three of my favorite photographs of my daughter for a frame. Suddenly it clicked in my head and I realized that posing and forced smiles or fake emotions aren’t present in any of them. Most of them are beautifully composed, yes, but they are all genuine real moments. All my favorite pictures of my own family and of others’ families have always been the candid ones too. Once this dawned on me I instantly realized why I’ve had a hard time promoting this business. I didn’t believe in what I was doing. I was stoked to be taking pictures of people and wanted to keep doing it but the people in the frames weren’t behaving naturally and it always felt off to me. Who just stands in the middle of a field with their family, all facing the same way, arm to arm, smiling in a certain direction instead of at each other? The answer is no one. It wasn’t what I loved in my heart. I didn’t feel like I was capturing real people and that’s what makes my heart sing. That’s what fuels me to work so hard. I couldn’t bare to take more time away from my family while posing others in ways they would never naturally be.

Story Photography by Lucky Elephant Photography

While I love each one of my clients and the experiences we’ve had shooting, a whole lot of me wishes I hadn’t been so worried with poses and techniques, backgrounds, baskets and props. I wish I could have sat down with my clients, gotten to know them a little better, then accompany them on an adventure or spend a day in their home, capturing real moments between each other, telling their individual unique story.

To me, it’s not the nice park setting with the pretty trees. It’s not making sure to stand in the direction of the wind so that your hair won’t fall in your face when posing out on the beach.  It’s not the perfect smiles or the fake laughs. It’s not wrapping up newborns and setting them in buckets. It’s not jingling bells so babes will look at the camera. It’s not about props and backdrops. It’s about the love and the connection – and I let the poses and the technicalities get in the way of that.

To me, it’s about the way a child looks at her mother, or the way a daughter’s hand can fit inside of her father’s just so. It’s about the miracle of birth or joining hands in marriage. It’s about a first trip to the zoo, children wide eyed with wonder. It’s about a carnival date between two lovers, sharing funnel cakes and kisses. It’s about celebrations and parties, exploring and adventures, days spent at home and evening walks on the beach. It’s about tears over spilled milk. It’s about the real moments. Most importantly, it’s about the small little things that we don’t think to get captured but end up missing the most over the years.

Story Photography by Lucky Elephant Photography

 

The standard posed portrait is the way people think it’s supposed to be, the way they think it has to be. Well I’m here to break the tradition of the standard portraits. I’ve done them and I’ve not done them and now I know I don’t need them. I want to capture real genuine moments. I want to create photographs that will become family treasures. I want people to look at my images and be able to feel something. Those small special moments or special occasions that time takes away too quickly, I want to preserve them forever and that is exactly what we are doing here now. We are telling real life stories one beautiful album at a time.

 

If you’re interested in having your family’s memories photographed by us send a message via the Book a Shoot page or call and leave a message at (954) 900-9927. Because I am super duper excited about this change, we are currently offering session discounts for a limited amount of time if you let us come along and capture something super fun and unique! Let’s chat!

Those of you that read along or that continue to work with us, thank you!

Much Love,
Amanda Ballard
Owner of Lucky Elephant Photography

 

Emilie & Seth {Quickie Family Session}

Emilie and Seth brought Giana and Mason to meet me for a quickie photo session in celebration of Mason’s 3rd birthday! I don’t typically do solo mini sessions if the star of the session is under 5 as it’s just too much pressure to expect them to take direction in such a short amount of time but Emilie had been waiting and asking for so long, I had to! Mase’s big sister was so sweet and soon Mason is going to be a big brother himself, Congratulations Emilie and Seth!

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Christy & Humberto {Destination Wedding / Family Vacation}

If you follow me at all you’ll know that in July my daughter and I went along with my sister, our parents and her fiance to Tennessee so that they could get married out of the city. It was a small intimate wedding with the most perfect of details and it took place right in front of the fire place in our cabin in the mountains. After the ceremony the three of us went down to explore and and soak in as much of gorgeous Tennessee as we could. Since they got married on our first day up there we enjoyed the last bit of the trip site-seeing and doing what tourists do – cave exploring, gem mining, trout fishing, deer feeding – you know, the usual! Here are a few (ha ha – in comparison to the whole album) pictures from our trip. Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy!

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Noah {Birthday Portraits}

Noah turns three today and he’s one awesome kid!! I had so much fun with this session. I didn’t realize until I saw him and his grandma (they came along to keep Noah entertained during his session) that I’ve actually taken pictures of them before at a birthday party!  What a small world. Let me tell you, this kid has tons of energy! His mom probably laughed when she saw the session because there are quite a few where he’s just taking off and running. We could get him to sit still for several seconds at a time by asking him to sit and “squish monsters”. He was so good at that! He’s also really kind. Though he stated clearly at one point that he was too busy to pick flowers he managed to sneak a few in for mom and he even ran up to me during the session and surprised me with a hug! Can’t wait to photograph his 3rd birthday party this weekend! Here are some sneak peeks from our session together, enjoy! Click here for information on the Holiday Mini Sessions! There are still a few spots left. LuckyElephantPhotography_Noah-43 Continue reading

Ashley, Andy and Ava {Family Session}

Ack! Bad me! I haven’t updated the blog in some time. I thought the perfect thing to post to get back on track would be this beautiful family! I have had the pleasure of photographing Ava and her family since she was 6 months old. It’s been wonderful to watch her grow into the beautiful, STRONG willed little girl that she is. She knows what she wants and knows what she doesn’t want, and she will let you know! I was over the moon excited that she gave us a few smiles to work with. Her absolute favorite part of the session was mirror time with mom. Ashley, fantastic idea to bring that along!

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Surprise! {Family Session}

This was one of the most thoughtful, sweetest (and challenging) sessions I’ve ever had the pleasure to be a part of. One of my good friends had contacted me one day about taking pictures of his girlfriend’s two boys. At first I thought he was just talking about a normal family session but then the more we talked I found out it was going to be a surprise for his girlfriend. He was going to take the boys “out” for a day but in actuality we were going to meet up and I was going to take their pictures. The goal was that he would present her with the prints once I had finished editing them… A belated Mother’s Day gift. How freaking sweet is that?? (He’s going to kill me if he reads this because he doesn’t like to be known for being “sweet” LOL) However, right before the session some plans changed and he had to end up spilling the secret to get the boys out of the house (hahaha) so mom ended up coming along. Even though it was spur of the moment for her it was so nice to be able to take pictures of her along with her boys. And MAN, these boys were a challenge to shoot!! They. were. everywhere. Boys will be boys they say! Check out a few of our pictures from the session, this group was hilarious and admittedly completely out of my control.. haha…

P.S. Wanna know how I know these boys had a great time? At the end of the session the oldest came over to me, so kindly, and gave me an Andes mint chocolate bar.. THAT WAS COMPLETELY MELTED INTO MUSH. Boys, I tell ya!!!

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Miller Family {Beauty / Family Portrait Session}

I’ve had the opportunity to work with this family on many occasions. Back when I first started getting interested in photography, using just a regular every day camera, I took pictures for one of Tyler’s music videos. Looking back on those now, I’m horrified, but we all have to start somewhere right? 😉 Tyler is a local celebrity that goes by the name Verse Won, a musical artist that you can hear on the radio or find performing at a venue in South Florida with his team, WeFilthyRich Ent. It was no surprise that his oldest daughter would be following his footsteps into stardom. She is an outstandingly smart (mom’s a teacher!!) and beautiful girl and her little sister is following suit. I can’t wait to see them in the movies. I got to meet up with them again to take their portraits and it was the first time that I got to meet the little one. She’s so squeezable and loveable and you can get lost in those eyes! I can’t wait to see the two girls again. In between the modeling we made sure to get some family shots in because how can you not with a family like that? Here’s just a few from our session! Enjoy! Aradia_LuckyElephantPhotography_BeautyPortraits_SouthFlorida

 

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