My husband and President of Visual South, Jack Shannon, needed a photograph of himself for a business marketing plan he’s putting into action. I was more than happy to help out. We headed to one of my favorite portrait locations in Charlotte one Sunday afternoon.


Jack wanted the photo taken from the waist up and we were looking for a “pose” that said, “I’m approachable, I’m here to help, and I’m a nice guy”.

The photo above was shot with a 100mm macro lens with camera settings of ISO 100, f/8.0 at 1/40 sec. and an exposure compensation of +2/3. A bit slow handheld, but it worked! I raised the ISO when I heard the slow shutter speed and took other photos, but this is the one we liked best.

I initially used an aperture of f/4.5, but soon realized it didn’t give enough depth of field and Jack’s ears were a bit out of focus. Jack wanted his portrait cut from the background and sharper was better. Here’s one of the ways he used the photo. It’s a page on the Visual South website.


He also used it for his business signature to put a face with a name.


Now there’s a guy I would contact if I worked at a manufacturer and I were looking for an ERP software solution!


Cute Kids

Emma & Dylan live on my street. They wave every time I drive by, play in my yard, visit while my husband & I are sitting on the deck, and enjoy playing with toys I’ve saved from when my children were growing up. They bring back fond memories of when my now grown kids were younger.

I once again had the opportunity to photograph Emma & Dylan before the holidays.


I used my usual 100mm lens for taking portraits and stayed with an aperture of 4.5-5.0 because I was working with two people, and I knew they may not be on the same plane of focus when posing.


They did great during the 40 minute photo shoot, but I was reminded that the attention span of a 7-year-old boy needs to be considered when taking portraits. Work as quickly as possible and change things up often.



Emma & Dylan’s mom created  a beautiful holiday card using one of the photos from the photo shoot.


Happy Holidays from the Behlke kids and me!

Will You Marry Me?

When I was recently in Charleston, SC, I went with a friend to photograph at sunrise. We chose the Pineapple Fountain in Waterfront Park. While there, I noticed a couple sitting on a nearby ledge enjoying the morning. I said, “hello” and continued to photograph the fountain. They sat for a bit and then got up and walked to the other side of the fountain where my friend Mary Presson Roberts was photographing. A few moments later I was asked to photograph them at the fountain because they just got engaged!

I had my 100mm f/2.8 lens on the camera, and I quickly tried to move my attention away from taking creative photos of the fountain, and focus rather on making a reasonable portrait. We started out right where they had approached me. Although there’s a great catch light in their eyes, I felt the light was too bright on the side of the fountain that was getting the morning sun.


We then moved a quarter of the way around the fountain, but the side light was causing shadows on the faces and strong highlights on the girl’s hair.


As we continued to move around the Pineapple Fountain, I found a shady spot that had even light.


It was wonderful to be part of the special moment these young adults shared at the fountain that morning. I’m pleased I was able to capture the images and share them with the couple. Much happiness to the future Mr. & Mrs.!

Wanted: A Forever Family

I was a volunteer photographer this morning for South Carolina Heart Gallery and it pulled on my heartstrings. The organization helps children in foster care find a forever family. My role as a photographer was to provide the organization with 25-30 images of each child to be used for web display, as prints to be framed for community exhibits, and for a keepsake book for the child. I photographed one teenage boy and two teen sisters.

I cannot share any of the images on this blog or on any social media or website. That is completely fine with me. I understand privacy and I understand that the photos now belong to SC Heart Gallery.

I can share my feelings with you though. I didn’t realize there are SO many children in need of a permanent home. The SC Heart Gallery website shows pages of images of children without a mom, or dad that will be there for them unconditionally. That is sad. I can’t image my kids growing up in that situation, and I’m heartbroken that the ones I met today are in that situation.

I’m thankful I was able to use my talent to help those in need. They smiled for the camera today. I  hope one day soon they will smile because they are part of a forever family.


I was asked by the Creative Director at Selmarq , a marketing agency, to photograph Kim Zegil for her new website. Kim is an experienced yoga teacher, yoga teacher trainer, and Registered Nurse. She recently graduated from NC Massage School with a concentration in Neuromuscular Medical Massage. She is currently developing workshops, trainings and healing work, and accepts private clients.

I enjoyed working with Kim! She’s so easygoing and is a natural in front of the camera. Once I suggested and coached a pose, she comfortably “worked it”.  We went to two of my favorite locations, and the light at both was excellent. It was a sunny day, but I knew there would be shade near the buildings at the time of day I chose for the shoot. Temperature was a bit warm at 86 degrees. Not a problem though. We had water and air conditioned cars nearby.

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I had a flash with me, but there was no need to use it. The bright day lit up Kim’s face and the reflection of the sky created a catch light in the eyes. I worked in aperture priority using f/2.8-f/3.2 and didn’t need to adjust the exposure compensation. ISO was set at 100 and the shutter speed varied between 1/200 and 1/500 sec. I always use center-weighted average metering mode for portraits. My 100mm macro lens is quite sharp and was a good choice for this assignment.

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Kim has a favorite hat that she wears often. So why not wear it for a few portraits?

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I look forward to seeing Kim’s website and wish her success in all she sets out to accomplish. This girl has a terrific attitude and I can tell she’s a strong woman!

Keep Calm and Prom On

A prom shoot for eleven young adults brought back memories of when I was in their shoes. It made me happy to be part of their big night. Thank you to friend, Melinda Manning, for asking me to be the photographer.

The original location of a pond and gazebo in my area was nixed when the forecast was calling for rain. Plan B was the Headquarters of the Oasis Shriners because it has a large, outdoor covered area that still lets in a lot of light. I spotted it while the upcoming shoot was on my mind, and I was running into Sam’s Club across the street. Turned out to be a great location. We had light drizzle toward the end of the shoot. Thank goodness it wasn’t a downpour!IMG_7982

The girls were beautiful!


The guys were handsome!

And together they made beautiful couples!





I had 1 1/2  hrs. to take all the photos before the shuttle to take them to dinner arrived. I used just one lens – my Canon 24mm-105mm. It’s not as sharp as my 100mm, but I felt I didn’t have time to be changing lenses during the shoot. It was much easier to zoom in or out as needed. I used a flash to fill in shadows and to get a catch light in the eyes. I took over 300 photos and each “prom person” received a disc with 90 images.

I hope they all had a awesome time at prom! Looks like they were off to a good start. 🙂



Law & Order…and Photography

I was pleased to have been asked to photograph the staff of William K. Goldfarb Law Offices in Monroe for their new website. We started with headshots of the office staff. Like many people, most did not like having their picture taken, but it was my job to make them feel comfortable. We used the small foyer area of the office building. There was some natural light, but not too much. With my camera in AV mode and an aperture set to 3.2, I used ISO 640 and 1/60 sec. I used my usual go-to 100mm fixed focal length lens and a flash bounced off the ceiling at -1/3 flash exposure compensation.

Photos of William, Alex, and William’s father Carl were taken at the old Monroe Courthouse. Awesome location. Old wood and big windows. I used an aperture of 3.2 for most individual shots. The shutter speed was 1/60 sec. and I adjusted the ISO when I need more or less light, but stayed mostly around 100.


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It was William’s idea for me to stand on the judge’s bench to get the photos below. Great idea, William!

The firm celebrated their 20th anniversary the day I was there photographing. Wishing you continued success, William and staff!