Saturday, October 30, 2010

You've got HOW many people?

I have to admit, when I was asked to do a family beach session for 22 people, the majority being children, I was BEYOND nervous. You would think that I would feel just a teeny bit better because I knew some members of the family, but instead, it just doubled the anxiety because I so badly wanted to please my friends.

I met Butch through my 'day job' and just loved him from the start. He is easy-going, genuine, and hilarious! I knew before I had ever met his wife, Mari Kae, that she must be really special to have ended up with this sweet, crazy, funny guy. And I was right. Together, they are the life of the party and I just love them both.

So, it was no surprise to me when I met the rest of the family, and they were just as mellow, funny, and good-natured as Butch and Mari Kae. Not to mention... what a gorgeous family! There are six adult "kids" - 2 guys and a gal for Butch, and three gorgous ladies for Mari Kae. Collectively, they have TWELVE grandchildren (and one more on the way, I believe!). Needless to say, it was a challenge to get a decent shot of that many people, but we did it! :)

After, we spent a lot of time on the beach getting all the seperate family/kids/etc. shots.

Here is my absolute favorite, and I couldn't think of a better family to attempt this shot with. Love it!

I loved the grandkids, too, and especially fell in love with the littlest ladies of the bunch.

Here is another favorite shot. I love how the three (so-adorable-it-ought-to-be-outlawed) rough & tumble little boys are just pounding through the sand, while their beautiful little sister delicately skips along, trying to keep up. Just priceless.

Thank you, Butch and Mari Kae, for being awesome people AND trusting me with your beautiful family. I had an amazing time with you all!

"The advantage of growing up with siblings is that you become very good at fractions." ~ Robert Brault

Monday, October 25, 2010

Chris ~ 2011 MCC Senior

One of my early sessions was with a senior named Micheal. You may remember seeing his awesome photos on the dairy farm and his beloved snowmobile.

This year, Micheal's brother Chris is a senior at MCC, so I had a chance to hang with him as well. Luckily for me, it didn't mean side-stepping around cow patties in early August. :)

We started out downtown for a little urban action,

then headed down to the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan, where Chris rocked out his beach photos.

These next two are probably two of my favorite beach photos from all the sessions I've done. Chris' bright yellow shirt looked amazing against the perfect, cloudy sky.

We finished up Chris' session with a few fantastic studio shots,

and called it a day. Though Chris' session was a little less adventurous than his brother's, I'd have to say it was a success!

Thanks, Chris, for being such a great model, and thanks to mom Tina for trusting me with her boys!

"Just about a month from now I'm set adrift, with a diploma for a sail and lots of nerve for oars." ~ Richard Halliburton

Two perfect little models

I had the pleasure of having Makenzie and Morgan in my studio on a model call a few months ago.

This was one of the most fun sessions I've ever had. Makenzie was SO mature and cooperative and allowed me to doll her up in various outfits. I loved it!

Morgan was precious as can be,

and did a great job with her cake smash, too.

Thank you, girls, for being your precious selves! And a big thanks to your mommy for letting me borrow you for a dress-up session! :)

Monson Photography currently is open for the following model calls for early 2011:

* 6-9 month old infant girl; studio session. Must be able to sit
up on her own.

Models receive a complimentary proof book and an 8x10 portrait of their choice. If you are interested, please contact me at

Girls are giggles with freckles all over them. -- Author Unknown

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Miss Elizabeth... sugar and a whole 'lotta spice

So, my baby girl is turning FOUR on Friday! Yes, four... going on fourTEEN! (Sigh...)

Anyhow, as a photographer, I have to say it is sometimes VERY difficult to get decent shots of your own kids. So when they do turn out better than you'd hoped for, it's such a rush!

I did two sessions with Liz for her fourth birthday. The first one I had in mind the moment I found a pair of vintage kids' boxing gloves at an antique store. Since Liz has two older brothers, she was pretty much born a tomboy. So I had wanted to capture that "boyishness" about her by making her look like a tough little boxer.

Well, when she ended up with a shiner after a pool toy accident, we made lemonade out of our lemons.

Here's a tease:

the rest of this must-see series and some "urban" shots from an impromptu, in-between-running-the-brothers-to-soccer-practice shoot, can be seen here:

Here's a sneak peek at one of my favorites from the "urban" shoot. This one's going to be 16x20 on the wall of yours truly.

Happy birthday to my sweet and beautiful Elizabeth. I love you more than I can put into words.

"I had always been a tomboy - I still am, at heart." ~ Maureen O'Hara

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My favorite little "GAP family"

I once again had the honor of photographing Derick & Jessica and their precious boy, Hudson on the shores of Lake Michigan this summer.

This gorgeous family, whom I affectionately refer to as my "GAP family" because they look like they fell straight out of a fashion magazine, came to me all the way from the Carolinas while they were visiting family here in Ludington.

Hudson is not only adorable, but super smart and funny, too. I had a great time chasing him up and down the sand.

Take a look at some of my favorites from our evening on the beach.

Derick, Jessica, and Hudson - it was a pleasure seeing you three again and I hope I'll see you again in 2011!

“Don't grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.” ~ Michelle Held

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Cute kids and a great cause....

I was honored to be asked by Safari Sun Salon & Tanning to help with a charity event in August that would benefit Lakeshore Animal Friends.

Safari Sun hosted a "block party" in the lot of the strip mall on US-31 in Ludington, where they are located. There were tons of activities for kids, including a bounce house, a rock wall, face painting, and a dress-up booth.

A monetary donation to Lakeshore Animal Friends or a stuffed animal for the MMC Pediatric Unit bought you tickets for a raffle, in which you could win one of many fun prizes, including free pizza, tanning, martial arts, or a stay at one of our fine local hotels.

My duty was to help the kids in the dress-up booth and then take a photo of them, which was sent to them with a print release at no charge.

I had a blast playing with these little girls (and boys!) and couldn't have asked for cuter models that day. Here is a look at some of my favorites:

Thanks to all the lovely ladies & gents that stopped by to see me that day. I hope you are enjoying your photo! :)

"Being good is commendable, but only when it is combined with doing good is it useful." ~ Author Unknown

Friday, August 6, 2010

Brenna... beautiful 2011 Lansing senior

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Brenna and her family from Lansing. I knew right off the bat from speaking to Brenna that she would be SO much fun to work with!

Brenna chose the "urban/industrial" look for her first location. Check her out!

Next, we headed to the beautiful Ludington State Park, where Brenna continued to 'work it'.

Finally, we headed down to gorgeous Lake Michigan, where we captured some fun-in-the-sun images of the lovely Miss Brenna.

When Brenna first told me on the phone that she was bringing her saxophone for a few shots, I was psyched! She said she wanted to do something different with it; not the standard instrument-and-grin photos and I immediately thought of a sunset beach silhouette.

After she was in the water, I explained what I wanted her to do. "Oh!" she said, "You want a horn pop!" (You learn something new every day.)

Brace yourself...

Annnnnnnnnd YES! We nailed it!

I want to thank Brenna, Missy, and Brandon for allowing me to photograph Brenna at such a wonderful, exciting time in her life. And Mackenzie, it was a pleasure meeting you & I can't wait for our session next year!

"If you like an instrument that sings, play the saxophone. At its best it's like the human voice." ~ Stan Getz