Thursday, May 31, 2012

Fun Things to Do in Cecil County, Maryland This Summer

People who are used to the hustle and bustle of the city often struggle to find things to do in our lovely rural area. While I'm doing an on location family portrait in Port Deposit or setting up a beauty session for a busy Rising Sun mom, I am used to hearing, "Sooo...I just moved here from (insert city name here) and there doesn't seem to be much to do around here." The thing is, we have an absolute ton of things to do in Cecil County, but it takes time to find all the events and the great places to hang out with your kids and all the don't miss events. How about if I give you a little head start on your treasure hunt? Here are some great things to do with your kids in Port Deposit, Rising Sun, Fair Hill and Perryville:

  1. Visit the Plumpton Park Zoo - I love this little rescue zoo. It has recently been purchased by a new family and they have done just incredible things to improve it. Local families know buying a membership is the way to go, because the kids want to go back again and again to explore a place that is just the right size for having fun without getting overtired. And then, when they are done exploring, they know they can head to the playground equipment beside the eating area. 
  2. Check out the Cecil County Fair - This very nice fair up in the Fair Hill area has been voted Maryland's best by one of the regional magazines. Rides, livestock exhibits, 4H displays and the famous demolition derby make this a fun outing, especially if the weather isn't super hot for July. 
  3. Sunfest - Every year, the town of Rising Sun throws a party. In 2012, it is on June 2nd. There's an idol competition, trips to the zoo, face painting and more.
  4. Port Palooza - Port Deposit has a street festival on the first Monday of every month from May to October. The town promises great music, great food and plenty of vendors. (The white pizza from Delorenzo's is my personal favorite, with the turkey reuben at C.M. Tugg's running a very close second.) 
  5. Cecil County Public Library - The summer programs are really awesome. And they are free. All you have to do is sign up for each program you would like to attend. Join the summer reading program for adults and have the kids sign up for their summer reading programs while you are there. The prizes are really nice - what kid wouldn't want to read a few books so he or she is able to drop a ticket in the box for the new bike drawing? 
I've barely scratched the surface with these places and events, so I'll probably be posting some more of my favorites in a few days. (Best ice cream I've ever had made right from the cows on the farm behind the shop anyone?)
There are bears, buffalo and Jimmy the giraffe at the Plumpton Park Zoo, but the prairie dogs are our favorites.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

How Can I Help Your Cecil County Area Charitable Organization?

If you've visited the Katelyn Thomas Photography fan page, you've probably seen the update mentioning an important part of my business philosophy:
Give back in some way every day.

While most of my giving is on a smaller scale, I'd also like to give back in a slightly bigger way once a month. If you know of a local charity doing a fundraising auction I can donate a gift certificate to, please message me.

If you have a different need, such as photographing rescue pets to give them a better chance at finding a home or photographing a local soldier's homecoming, please feel free to message me, as well. If I am available, I may be able to help.
 I'm looking for June's giving opportunity, so if you know of a charity that could use my help or you have a worthy cause, contact me. If I can help, I will.

May's Charity:

If you have been looking for a way to give back, too, join me in my effort to help support Team Blaney's Believers, a group raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. They're having a Howl at the Moon Happy Hour at Power Plant Live in Baltimore on June 1st at 5 pm and a Casino Night event at the Perryville Outlets in Perryville, Maryland on June 9th at 6:30 pm. (Look for a silent auction for a portrait session package gift certificate at the Casino Night event.

(And if you attend the event, but miss out on the auction, mention that you were there supporting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to get 10 % off your session and have me contribute an additional 10% of your session fee to Team Blaney's Believers.)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Happy Memorial Day Weekend

I thought this weekend would be a good time to revisit one of the first digital collages I created in honor of September 11th - Patriotic to the Core. I hunted for months for a flag that was a little tattered, but still flying free. I can't remember how many apples I made people eat looking for the core shape I wanted...but it was worth it because this piece means so much to me. It is my way of saying thank you.

Thank you to all the brave men and women who defended my freedom in years past and those who are still defending it today. Thank you to all that sacrificed their lives and the families that lost someone they loved.

May your weekend be blessed with memories of love and laughter and I hope you create many new memories during your picnics and cookouts, as well.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Professional Headshots - On Location Portrait Photography for Cecil County Businesses

When you are a small business owner, there is never enough time in the day to get everything done. You know you need something better than your current profile photo, especially on Linked In. Bunny ears, someone else's arm still appearing around your shoulder after you cropped them out of a snapshot, or blurry faces just aren't a part of the image you want to portray on your professional profile photos. The problem is you just don't have the time to go somewhere to get professional headshots.

If the paragraph above describes you, an on location portrait photography session is the perfect solution to your problem. Let me come to your Cecil County area business to create a series of professional headshots that will help you project the right image on social networking sites, in newsletters and on your business cards.

Right now, I am offering a business headshot package that includes an on location 30 minute portrait session, 2 outfit changes and 5 edited images on a disk for only $200. While we are doing the session, I recommend having a few environmental portraits done along with the more traditional headshots. These portraits show you at work in your office or store and are perfect for using on your blog or website.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Outdoor Senior Photos in Cecil County, Maryland

When you combine a lovely young woman, a gorgeous waterfront location and some stunning outfits, there really is only one possible outcome - a beautiful set of outdoor senior photos. We had a great time, saw a brood of baby geese and their very protective parents and discovered some great places for the on location half of our Maryland senior portrait session.

One of my favorite things about Port Deposit is the amazing local granite used on many of the historic buildings. You can't beat the lovely texture of these amazing walls for a unique and fun photo backdrop!
The best senior portraits take advantage of special local features, such as Port Deposit's granite.

I love finding structures that help frame the person I am photographing. These vertical posts really anchor the image.

You can't go wrong with a beautiful blue sky that matches your senior's lovely flowing shirt.

Moms and grandmoms want a big smile, but I also like to get a few contemplative, quiet shots and poses.

It isn't a unique senior photo shoot without some edgier poses.

Maryland senior portraits by the water don't need a lot of props. 
If you are in the Class of 2013 or 2014, I am currently taking applications for next year's KTP senior model program. If you are accepted, you'll get a completely free mini photo session, a video slideshow of your photos to share with everyone, some awesome rep cards and edgy, fashion style photos for your facebook page. Models who successfully refer friends for senior photos can earn full portrait sessions with professionally styled hair and makeup, graduation announcements and more.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Looking for a Cecil County Photographer to Take Beautiful Children's Portraits?

I've created a little slideshow for a networking presentation I have coming up this summer about my passion - children's portrait photography. It turned out so nice, I thought I'd share it here on the blog.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Fun Beach Family Photo Shoot - Cecil County Portrait Photography

This on location shoot on the beach in Clearwater, Florida was such fun. I loved the whole session, but I'm only going to share one image with you all since the kids were wearing bathing suits for most of the shoot.
Family portrait on the beach.

While you probably aren't going to want to head to Clearwater for your family portrait session, we have equally gorgeous areas in Cecil County. Sitting on the rocks by the Susquehanna just after sunrise will result in something just as lovely. We have some lovely hills, fields and forested areas, too.

Take advantage of the beautiful spring and early summer weather to create some beautiful memories with your family. Contact me to set up your session. You can also visit my website to view my portrait portfolio and to find out more information.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Clearwater, Florida Nature Photography Fun

If you ever get the chance to visit Clearwater, Florida, jump at it. Such a lovely area. I shot a family portrait session when I was down there and fell in love with what I'm calling vacationography - documenting a family's memories of a trip with a mix of video and still images put together in a beautiful slideshow. I loved capturing little moments like a child standing in the waves and spinning with his arms outstretched or finding a special treasure and showing it to his dad. Add video clips of the kids digging a hole and watching the water run in or just running up the beach laughing and you have something truly beautiful to share with family and friends back home and to view long after your kids are taking family vacations with their own children.

Between shooting portraits in that magical "golden hour" light on the beach or during the day when the light wasn't as magical, but the location was perfect, I had the chance to do some landscape and nature photography for fun. Here are a few of my favorites: