My Year in Review | 2013
For me, 2013 will always be regarded as monumental. It is, after all, the year my nephew, Miles, was born; the year Cliff and I took the trip of a lifetime to Iceland; and the year I launched jh Photography and this website. I have so much to be thankful for. Below are some of my personal best and personal favorite photos from 2013. [don't forget to scroll down to see the geyser slideshow!]
FEBRUARY | PHILLY
APRIL | WASHINGTON, DC + CHERRY BLOSSOMS
JULY | CONNECTICUT + MEETING MY NEPHEW
AUGUST | ICELAND
OCTOBER | LAUNCH OF JHPHOTOGRAPHY
DECEMBER | MT VERNON
What are you thankful for in 2013? Share your thoughts and stories below.
Simple Pleasures | Christmas Traditions
Christmas is always a joyous time of year at the Huseman-Starkey household, in part because of the traditions Cliff and I have started for our family.
Most folks might say they have children--or animals--together. But Cliff and I, we're different. We have a Christmas tree together. I'll never forget the first Christmas we celebrated as a couple living under the same roof. It was romantic and magical, but what made it so special was that time-honored tradition of picking out our very first Christmas tree. Each year when we pull out our tree, those same giddy feelings return.
Lights. We can't forget the lights. So what if we live 15 stories up in the air? It just isn't Christmas without Christmas lights and each year, we make it a point to deck out our floor-to-ceiling windows with rainbow-colored LEDs.
My favorite Christmas tradition is one I've been following my entire life. Each year that I've celebrated Christmas, my mother has presented me with a daughter ornament. It's a simple thing that always brings with it so much joy--and so many fond memories. I now live nearly 2,000 miles from where I grew up, but hanging the daughter ornaments on my tree makes it feel as though I haven't even left.
This year I started a new holiday tradition. I visited a friend who lives in Del Ray, Virginia, a quaint, artsy neighborhood just off of Old Towne's main drag. Despite the blustery air, we strolled up and down The Avenue chatting as we window shopped. The night was so laid back and relaxed that it almost felt as if we had taken a step back in time. Between the lights and kids and decadent smell of baked goods, you could practically feel the holiday spirit permeating the air.
Share your favorite Christmas traditions below!
Livin' with Lou Cat
What photography blog would be complete without photos of Louie?
Those who know me know I'm crazy about my four-footed feline baby. He came into my life six years ago, and neither of us has ever looked back.
Louie is an exceptionally social cat who loves to play, but also delights in a good nap. He's picky about his toys, but not his food, and he never passes up the opportunity to be mischievous. Yup. I'm pretty sure we were made for each other.
This may be the first posting about Lou Cat, but I suspect it wont be the last. I mean, how can you not love that face?
Jonna's Tips for Photographers
Not long ago my mom reached out to me for some photography pointers. Not for herself, but for a class of eighth grade photography students she is subbing for.
Having spent 40 years in the classroom as a full-time educator, my mother is an exceptionally creative person. She can cook, sew, draw, paint, and sketch. But as she said to me in her email, "I am totally not sure about this photography stuff."
She made me realized that even the most confident person can sometimes feel intimidated when using a camera. So, instead of pulling out the ho-hum rule of thirds, I thought about those seemingly simple things I wished someone had told me. Below are my tips and tricks for beginning photographers.
1. Look at everything
Taking a photograph is about more than just capturing the subject. A good photographer must take into consideration lighting, color, contrast, and the background. It is important to look at everything you see in the viewfinder, not just the main subject. Before snapping the shutter, ask yourself these questions:
2. Have patience
Unlike painting, sculpting or dance, photography is an art that photographers often do not have complete control over. A portrait photographer may have to deal with a screaming baby; a landscape photographer may have to work with cloudy skies; a wedding photographer may have to put up with the dreaded photo bomber. While each of these things is outside of the photographer’s control, the one thing the photographer can control is when s/he snaps the shutter.
Getting the right shot requires more than skill—it often takes patience and the insight to know when and when not to shoot. Waiting for the right time is just as important as having the correct composition and camera settings.
3. Don’t be afraid to try new things
Following the rule of thirds and always keeping a light source at your back are great tips that often produce great photos. But don’t be afraid to break those rules. Experimenting with your camera may lead to unexpected but fabulous results.
4. Photoshop does not fix all
As a photographer, you may often hear people joke about Photoshop and all the ways a photo can be altered using this program. Photoshop is a marvelous tool that, if used properly, can greatly enhance good photos. But Photoshop isn’t magic. A bad photo is a bad photo. Don’t assume you can rely on fancy programs to adjust your photos. Always try your best to produce quality work you are comfortable with and proud of.
Have a specific photography question you want answered? Email me!
They say the best things in life are free. Often, I've found that those things are also simple.
That was certainly the case for a family photo session featuring friends Jen, Jake and Micky. We spent a sunny, Sunday afternoon in Rock Creek Park sipping home-made hot cocoa and eating home-made marshmallows. Yup. You read it that right. Jen spent the previous evening mixing gelatin and sugar until she had created a jar full of the perfectly plump, spongy treats.
The end product came together beautifully. We enjoyed the best the season has to offer, all captured here in these simple but cozy winter photos. Happy Holidays, everyone!
Hey there! I'm Jonna! I'm a family photographer serving Silver Spring, Maryland and beyond. During the Covid-19 crisis, I'm using my free time to document the lives of friends and neighbors as we live through a pandemic. Learn more.