And the winner is …

I want to start by sharing a story.  Not too long ago I was sifting through my mail and came upon an envelope from a local publication – Madison Magazine.  I opened it and then my jaw hit the desk.  “Madison Magazine wishes to congratulate Sweeney Photography as the Gold Winner in the BEST Photographer category for 2013!”  (Okay, just typing that got me a bit choked up.)  My first thought was – wow that’s so wonderful!!!  Followed by – I wonder who the big winner is?  I quickly went to their website and realized that the big winner was indeed me.  A smile formed, a tear fell and a silent WOOHOO rang out. Why silent?  I had to keep this fabulous and truly unexpected news to myself until today.

Today I finally get to share it and say THANK YOU Madison Magazine!  THANK YOU Madison Magazine Readers and Voters!  THANK YOU Family and Friends for your support the past 11 years!  And above all – THANK YOU to the Brides and High School Seniors and Families and Babies and Professionals that have allowed me to share their special moments, days and events!

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Grooming tips for the big day

I have spent a bit of time over the last 11 years retouching the images I’ve taken.  Thousands of images, thousands of hours spent removing blemishes, stray hairs, double chins, opening closed eyes – switching heads from one image to another.  You name it I have done it.

While retouching portraits of several different handsome men today I noticed that I was spending quite a bit of time on facial hair.  I can easily fix a stray nose hair but the mustache/beard area is a whole other thing.  This for me is one of the trickiest areas to do.  In one click the portrait can go from realistic to mannequin.  This made me stop and ponder the issue.  Maybe they just need a few tips on what to do and when to do it before their big day.  Do they know that a proper shave by a professional can change their life?

So here you go fellas.  I did a bit of surfing with the help of Google today and found a site/page to help you out.  I liked this one because of the tips are plain and simple – no fuss.  Ladies – feel free to share with your guys so you can make sure your wedding day photos are stunning!!!

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Making senior portraits more than …

… average.

Shouldn’t graduation portraits be more than just a nice smile or a new outfit?  I think so.  Typically the senior portrait sessions here in the studio start out with what I call “The Grandma Wall” poses.  You know the ones – the ladies are gently resting a cheek on their ever so delicately folded hands and the gentlemen are looking very serious as they rest their chins on a rugged fist.  Thank goodness today’s Grandmas are way cooler and want to see something more exciting!

I encourage  all the young adults that come to me for their senior portraits to bring in items that really help to tell their story.  I want their proof booklets and finished portraits to unquestionably show who they are at this time in their lives.  It is my hope that they will someday look back at these photographs and remember that they were the bees knees.  (Translation: awesome, cool, hip, swagger, Gucci, fizzy)

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Friday is Share Wedding Photographs

I love taking wedding pictures inside the Capitol building.  It’s architecture just screams for a bride and groom to pose.  On this particular day I had the luxury of time with my couple so we played.  On our way down from the third floor an idea for a mini photo story popped into my head.  I asked the bride and groom to stand in the middle of the elevator doors and kiss.  This is what happened …

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