Spring Break, Part I: Des Moines

UCM’s Spring Break was this past week, and my boyfriend, Andrew, and I had big plans for a busy break. The first stop on our trip was in Des Moines to see my sister, brother-in-law and new nephew. Kristin wanted new pictures of Cade, and I hadn’t taken any since he was born. Cade’s 1-month “birthday” is today (3/27/12). I have never photographed newborns in a home environment before, so this proved challenging. Cade was not a happy camper. He does not like to be undressed, placed on his tummy, or be left somewhere where he’s not being held. Since Cade was so fussy, I tried to not use any flash and only utilize natural light. This made the process more difficult, because my style of photography normally utilizes flash (either direct or bounced off something). I find that without using flash for a fill you get a lot of contrast and dark shadows, which isn’t the best for newborns.
Kristin had a lot of ideas of what she wanted, but Cade had other plans. We did a few outfit changes and shot quickly. If Cade doesn’t like his Aunt Holly now, what’s it going to be like when he’s actually old enough to know that every time I come over I make him take pictures?

View the whole set here: HERE

Cade Kapusinski © Holly Hildreth 2012

Cade Kapusinski © Holly Hildreth 2012

Cade Kapusinski © Holly Hildreth 2012

Cade Kapusinski © Holly Hildreth 2012

Cade Kapusinski © Holly Hildreth 2012

Cade Kapusinski © Holly Hildreth 2012

Cade's first St. Patrick's Day

Cade Kapusinski © Holly Hildreth 2012

One Unhappy Easter Bunny

Cade Kapusinski © Holly Hildreth 2012

Greg and Cade

Cade Kapusinski © Holly Hildreth 2012

Kristin with Cade

Cade Kapusinski © Holly Hildreth 2012

Cade Kapusinski © Holly Hildreth 2012

Cade Kapusinski © Holly Hildreth 2012

Cade Kapusinski © Holly Hildreth 2012

All Image © Holly Hildreth 2012 | hhildrethphoto.wordpress.com

Cade Micah Kapusinski

I found out last Wednesday that my pregnant sister, Kristin, was being induce into labor on Monday (2/27/12). Kristin’s blood pressure was high, and the baby’s stomach was measuring small. To make sure everything was all right, they decided induced labor was the best option. I traveled up to Des Moines Sunday night and spent the night at their house. Kristin and Greg were to be at the hospital at 7:30 am on Monday morning. I wanted to do a documentary approach to the whole thing, so I came to the hospital around 9:00 am to ensure that I got a few “detail shots” before Kristin went in to full-on labor. The rest of our family arrived around 10:45 am, and things seemed to be going slowly. Kristin was gradually having more regular and powerful contractions, but after 4 hours, she was only dilated 1/2 way to what she needed to be. I asked the nurse about progress, and she said that she’s be “extremely surprised if she delivered any time soon”. So, we had lunch and walked around, running errands, and we didn’t think she was going to progress as quickly as she did.
The next thing I know, I’m running into her room, grabbing my camera as they’re pulling the baby out all the way. I immediately went to work, snapping my first picture as they placed the baby on her chest. I’m not even sure what followed after that. I must have been in the zone . I documented everything from the baby’s first breaths to cleaning him off and weighing him, to both Greg and Kristin’s family holding the newborn. I’m so grateful that they left me to do my thing.

Cade Micah Kapusinski was born at 1:47 pm on Monday, 2/27/12. He weighs 6lbs, 2.5oz and is 20.5 inches tall

I know these aren’t my usual dog pictures, but these images mean more to me than I could have imaged before going into this. I don’t think I have ever taken such powerful photos, and I am very proud of this set. I am so glad to have been a part of this experience. It’s definitely something I will never forget.

After getting back to Missouri, I put together a little slideshow for the proud parents. As soon as I watched the finished product for the first time, I admit I cried. (I guess it’s good if your own images can move you to shed a tear or two!) Here is the video:
Cade Video

Here are some stills that I used in the video:

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

First photo of Cade. They are placing him on Kristin's chest. He is less than 10 seconds old here.

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Weighing in at 6lbs, 2.5oz

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Cade opens his eyes for the first time

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Greg hold his son for the very first time

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

The First Kiss

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Calling our Grandma McBain to tell her the news

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Cade holding his grandma Nancy's hand

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Dad's on diaper duty. Grandma Linda is there to help.

© Holly Hildreth 2012

All images are © Holly Hildreth 2012 | hhildrethphoto.wordpress.com

Ice, Ice, Baby

My older sister, Kristin, had contacted me a few weeks ago about possibly doing a maternity shoot. Kristin is currently 35 weeks pregnant and her and her husband, Greg, are expecting their first child on March 2nd. Needless to say, I’m excited to be an aunt!

Kristin was being honored with a baby shower thrown by her high school and college friends on Saturday in Des Moines, so she had me come up so we could kill two birds with one stone–I could shoot their maternity pictures and take  a couple shots of the shower for the baby’s scrap book as well.

Unfortunately Mother Nature reared her ugly head and made the drive up to Des Moines an interesting one. When I left Warrensburg after class at 3:00pm, it was 48 degrees and raining on and off. By the time I hit Liberty, MO, it was raining pretty steadily. The farther north I drove, the more the temperature plummeted, and the icier it got. Normally it takes around 3 1/2 hours to get to Des Moines, but it took more around 4 1/2 this time.

On Saturday, I photographed my sister, brother-in-law, and my nephew-to-be. They didn’t want the session to be too intense, as they only wanted a couple of picture and didn’t want the shoot to be very long. I had never done an on-location maternity shoot before, so I was extremely nervous. We photographed in the baby’s room and then decided to go outside. With 30mph winds and temps in the middle 20’s, we soon realized this was a horrible idea and scrapped all outside shooting. I wish I could have taken more images, but with such a short time-span, it’s difficult to do everything I wanted. Plus, as my sister and I agreed, the most important pictures will be taken when the baby arrives.

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

After the maternity shoot on Saturday, we had time to eat dinner and then head to Smokey Row in downtown Des Moines for Kristin’s baby shower.

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Snack table with the amazing cake one of Kristin's friends made.

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Tricycle made out of diapers.

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Shower games: Erin tries to guess how big around Kristin is.

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Comparing guesses.

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

All-in-all it was a busy, but productive weekend. I feel like I need a day to recover from it all, though! Driving 500 miles in 2 days can be quite exhausting! But, I am glad I was able to capture some photos for them, and I’m really looking forward to meeting my new nephew.

Full photo set can be found on my flickr: Slideshow

All Images © Holly Hildreth 2012 | hhildrethphoto.wordpress.com

Georgia Vacation – Part Two: Atlanta II

The second day we were in Atlanta, we went to CNN’s World Headquarters. The CNN building was once an indoor amusement park and hotel. After 6 months, the amusement park went bankrupt, and CNN bought the building. The hotel is still functional and takes up a large amount of the building. CNN belongs to Turner Broadcasting, which is a corporation also responsible for  HLN, TBS, TNT, TCM, truTV, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Adult Swim, and many more. The tour was interesting. As some of you may know, my sister is a meteorologist for a local NBC affiliate. I had been in her studio a few times before, so it was cool to see the differences and some similarities the two studios share. Here are a few photos from the tour.

 

Before the tour. The family from left to right: Dad, Jen, Mom, Kristin, Greg, and Uncle Randy

Before the tour. The family from left to right: Dad, Jen, Mom, Kristin, Greg, and Uncle Randy

 

Before the tour. My brother-in-law, Greg, Me, and my sister, Kristin

Before the tour. My brother-in-law, Greg, Me, and my sister, Kristin

 

Offices at CNN and part of the hotel © Holly Hildreth 2011

Offices at CNN and part of the hotel

 

CNN Newsroom © Holly Hildreth 2011

CNN Newsroom

 

After our tour of CNN, we used our City Passes to go to the Atlanta Historical Center. My brother-in-law, Greg, is a history buff. On the way down, he was reading, “Team of Rivals,” which is a book as thick as a dictionary about Lincoln’s presidency. So, of course, he was totally into the museum as it was all about the Confederacy and their roll in the Civil War. It was unique to see the South’s side of the War. In school we were taught with a bias for the North. Celebrated generals and other historical figures from the North were cast in a slightly negative light. It wasn’t outrageously biased, but it was interesting to see the different perspectives.

The museum also featured a large wing devoted to the Atlanta Summer Olympics. It contained Olympic torches from nearly the past 100 years as well as the costumes from the opening ceremonies and a lot of the athletic equipment used.

Me in the Olympics Wing

Me in the Olympics Wing

The museum had two historical houses on the premises–one a farm and the other a mansion. Our City Passes let us tour one, so we picked the Swan House Mansion. The museum did not permit photography inside the house, so I was only able to get pictures around the premises.

Swan House Mansion © Holly Hildreth 2011

Swan House Mansion

 

Swan House Mansion © Holly Hildreth 2011

Swan House Mansion

 

Back side of the Swan House © Holly Hildreth 2011

Back side of the Swan House

 

Wall of the Swan House Garden © Holly Hildreth 2011

Wall of the Swan House Garden

 

As always, this is just a small sampling from the day’s shoot. Head over to my Flickr page to see the whole slideshow by clicking: HERE!

Georgia Vacation – Part One: Atlanta

I’m finally back from Georgia! We had a great vacation. We saw and did so much that it seems like we were there longer than a week. To get from Iowa to Atlanta was about 16 hours of driving. We broke the trip up, (which was a good thing, because there were 7 of us in a van that could comfortably fit 6). We stayed in Mt. Vernon, IL the first night. I drove us from Waverly to the hotel, which is about 7 1/2 hours. I’m used to that amount of driving since the trip from Warrensburg, MO to back home in Iowa is about 6 1/2 hours, so it wasn’t too bad. The next morning we drove from IL to Atlanta. I’ve always liked the South and thought it to be pretty country. I hadn’t been south of Missouri in about 7 years, so it was nice to see the area again. We got to our hotel in Alpharetta, Georgia, and hung out for the rest of the night. The following morning we headed into Atlanta. We got the City Pass, which is a bundle package rate for many attractions in the area. We started out at the Georgia Aquarium.

The Georgia Aquarium is only about 6 years old. It’s located in Olympic Park, next to the Coke Factory. It’s the largest aquarium in the World, and it’s a must-see for those vacationing in the area.

Entrance into the Georgia Aquarium © Holly Hildreth 2011

Entrance into the Georgia Aquarium

Inside the front entry © Holly Hildreth 2011

Inside the front entry

My sister, Jen, touching a stingray © Holly Hildreth 2011

My sister, Jen, touching a stingray

© Holly Hildreth 2011

Tide Pool area where you could touch the animals © Holly Hildreth 2011

Tide Pool area where you could touch the animals

Conan Dolphin © Holly Hildreth 2011

Conan Dolphin

The Family waiting for our behind-the-scenes tour

The Family waiting for our behind-the-scenes tour

The World's largest indoor aquarium. This is behind the scenes. We're above the aquarium looking down. The tank itself about a football field in size

The World's largest indoor aquarium. This is behind the scenes. (We're above the aquarium looking down). The tank itself about a football field in size.

Jellyfish © Holly Hildreth 2011

The Family

The Family

The World's Largest indoor aquarium © Holly Hildreth 2011

The World's Largest indoor aquarium

Whale Shark. This is the largest fish in the world, and the Georgia Aquarium is the only place to have one in captivity. Very little is known on the species, so having four of these fish is quite the feet. © Holly Hildreth 2011

Whale Shark. This is the largest fish in the world, and the Georgia Aquarium is the only place to keep them in captivity. Very little is known on the species, so having four of these fish is quite the feet.

Georgia Aquarium © Holly Hildreth 2011

The family in downtown Atlanta

The family in downtown Atlanta

After spending the morning at the Aquarium, we grabbed some lunch and headed over to the Coca-Cola Factory.

Waiting in line at the Coke Factory © Holly Hildreth 2011

Waiting in line at the Coke Factory

In line at the Coke Factory--it was HOT!! © Holly Hildreth 2011

In line at the Coke Factory--it was HOT!!

The entrance into the World of Coca-Cola © Holly Hildreth 2011

The entrance into the World of Coca-Cola

Olympic Torches at the Coke Factory  © Holly Hildreth 2011

Olympic Torches at the Coke Factory

A machine bottling and packaging bottles of Coke © Holly Hildreth 2011

A machine bottling and packaging bottles of Coke

Us Girls before the 4-D movie at Coke World © Holly Hildreth 2011

Us Girls before the 4-D movie at Coke World

Gift Shop © Holly Hildreth 2011

Gift Shop

After the tour of the factory, we headed back to our hotel. It was still very hot outside, so we took a dip in the outdoor pool and then played some cards.

Up Next: Georgia Vacation – Part II

Also, if you would like to see ALL the photos from our vacation, feel free to check out my Flickr. I only posted a few pictures in my blog, but I have about 160 proofs you can see if you watch the slideshow: CLICK HERE