An 80th Birthday and Celebrating Thanksgiving | A Family Reunion in Bent, NM | captured by Karina Schuh Photography

NancyThis is Nancy. Nancy was looking for a photographer that would take pictures of her family reunion on Thanksgiving 2016. Thirty one years ago, Ed and Nancy moved from Chicago to a beautiful ranch in Bent, NM where they still take care of many horses. It is a beautiful place out there. She found me by asking people at her church if they knew a good photographer. They didn’t but did a research and this church family recommended me, Karina Schuh Photography, to Nancy.

Nancy called. Her voice was full of energy and she explained that her two daughters and her son will be here with all her ten grandkids + partners to celebrate Nancy’s birthday at the same time. She expected twenty two family members to stay at the ranch. I offered Nancy to meet that I can get an impression where she wants to get the photos taken. So, I went to Bent and visited this beautiful place with many trees, grass, a little stream that runs through their property, and a beautiful little house. Ed and Nancy have shown me their property and explained everything to me and also what she wants her photos to look like. I made suggestions and explained my point of view. We wanted to include their property and the surrounding mountains and were hoping to have some fall colors for Thanksgiving.  When I left, I already felt very good. I liked Ed and Nancy from the very beginning and she told me later that she felt the same. We stayed in contact and I came back another time before the big family reunion when we talked about what to serve to the family during the whole week and which restaurant might be good for deliveries etc.

When I came home that day, I talked about that to my husband, Michael. Without big thinking, he said he would cook a German dinner for these twenty two people. Nancy got very excited about that and discussed that with her family. They got excited, too. My husband marinated the meat for a ‘German Sauerbraten’ that he wanted to prepare for the birthday party.

On Thanksgiving, I brought Michael with me to be my photo assistant as I knew the property is very large and with so many people I just wanted to be on the safe side concerning lighting and equipment etc. The big family was getting ready, everywhere, in this little house were people. We took the truck to bring my equipment to the first location for pictures at the ranch. All people were in a good mood, shared stories and laughters. I started doing my job and posed the family for their photos. Randy, Nancy’s son was very helpful and pulled out a picture list where he created groups and told them who would be in the photo and who would not be in the photo. That helped me tremendously. Michael took care of my lighting, and the horses tried to get to my equipment on the back of the truck ;-). It was wonderful, the weather was gorgeous, the people were happy, everybody had fun.

After finishing the sessions, we explained them the dinner for the next day. They decided to celebrate Nancy’s 80th birthday on Friday, November 25th. They invited us to have dinner with them. Arriving at home, I uploaded the photos from the day. They turned out amazing. The lighting was perfect and the location was stunning. I became excited to show them the next day.

On Friday, Michael prepared the ‘Sauerbraten’, red cabbage, and together we formed many dumplings. We loaded up our car and drove over to Bent where the family just came together after a big hike in the mountains. I connected my laptop to their big TV screen, and together, we went through my first selection of the photos. It was wonderful to see the reactions on their faces. That is a moment that I never want to miss anymore, when you get together after a photo session and your customers see the photos for the very first time. As there were so many different groups, it made it hard to decide for the best photos. We decided to do that later. Before dinner, all family members and Michael and me, hold hands in a big circle. Nancy’s youngest daughter started to thank for the come together and thanked her brother and sister for being there for each other, and that all the family members can be proud of themselves and what they have achieved in their lives. I was very impressed and also got tears in my eyes. We have never seen/heard something like that in our family. This family is just very close together. And we are so thankful that we were invited to Nancy’s special day. We had a wonderful dinner and everybody enjoyed the German food and the German beer. 

Thank you Nancy for inviting us to your family. We will never forget this very special photo session with you and your family. We really felt like a part of your family. 

Check out some of the photos of this session! 

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A variety of Christmas-Sessions 2016 | Families | Children | Maternity | different locations in the area Alamogordo, New Mexico by Karina Schuh Photography

For a photographer, the Christmas-Season starts early, right after the summer. I am always happy when people think of creating their Christmas Pictures during a session or book early enough to get their Christmas cards ordered. And, can you imagine, my Christmas family session was done at the beginning of July by my very good friend and great photographer, Tina from Tina Beltran Photography. Me as a photographer never think of getting my pictures taken until I am so busy with all the other sessions before Christmas, and then it is too late. Our Christmas cards were printed already in August. 

Check some of the cards out that I created for my customers this year! 

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This year’s Christmas photos were taken on different locations in the area of Alamogordo, NM. I had a few sessions up in Cloudcroft, NM where also our session took place. I love the mountains in this area. The forest near Cloudcroft provides the perfect location for a beautiful family session. The kids can climb on the fallen trees and stomps, run around in a nice cool air. It is just a relief and very relaxing up there. Another location that I love a lot is the backyard of very nice people. It feels like an oasis there. They allow me to use their property to create beautiful memories. There are also many nice trees, lots of grass, swings, just gorgeous. White Sands National Monument is the most common location for a family shooting especially the white sand almost looks like snow. People bring their sleds and Christmas decoration out there and are having a nice time between the beautiful dunes. Kids can run around and have a great time. It is just spectacular out there. A nice studio session is also a great choice for a session. With different backdrops you can create the atmosphere the customers want. Especially when the weather is not nice or there is a family with babies, this is the perfect location for the photo shoot. 

All these locations and more can be used for any kind of photo-session, maternity, children, families, senior, engagement … 

Unfortunately, I am fully booked before Christmas. But if you are looking for a photo-session in January and February, please feel free to contact me and you will receive 10 % off for your session. Just tell me that you have read my blogpost! Check out one of my family photo shoots over on Shutterfly’s Christmas photo ideas!

And here are some examples of my Christmas-Photo-Sessions from 2016:

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Andy & Jayne | Beautiful colors in Cloudcroft, New Mexico | Family Photography by Karina Schuh Photography

Andy & Jayne celebrated 50 years of love this year, in 2016! Can you imagine 50 years being married and they have never got their pictures taken. Jayne has shown me a few images of their wedding in 1966 but there are not many and during all these years when their kids grew up until now no family pictures.

Now, with their 50th anniversary, their grown up children were asking for photographs of Andy and Jayne, so, I got the chance of creating their memories.

When Jayne booked their session, I offered to come and check out their property in High Rolls because that’s what their children remember from growing up. We met and very quick I understood that Jayne loves the nature and it’s beautiful colors as much as I do. And we looked for a way to include it in this session. The fall colors worked great for us and we thought of including a beautiful sunset into their session.

The day of the session, we decided to meet at the Trestle Trail in Cloudcroft, New Mexico to take some of their photos. From there, we went down to the trestle and back to their house. So, we did three different locations. And I love all the pictures of them. Even Andy enjoyed the photo session a lot. I had so much fun during their photo shoot. Unfortunately, it was very cloudy, so we decided to not wait for the sunset over the Tularosa Basin that you see from their deck of the house.

After I arrived at home, I started uploading these beautiful photos. Suddenly, I saw the light changing outside my office. I went out on the street and what I saw was so beautiful but in the same time made me so sad that I did not stay with Andy and Jayne. There was this beautiful sunset and the clouds were just breathtaking. I had to take a picture and just went out on the street to catch it. So sorry for Jayne.

Anyways, we had a great session with lots of fun and we enjoyed each location and loved all the fall colors. These are amazing memories that their family will treasure forever!

It is still beautiful outside – Book your Fall Session now!

Contact me: www.karinaschuhphotography.com or call: (575) 415-5593

 

A very special Christmas-Family-Session | Baking with the kids | A documentary Family-Session | Family-Photography in Alamogordo, New Mexico

Documentary Photography Sessions are a different kind of Family-Sessions. They usually take place at your home. At home, your children feel safe and you can catch the smiles and laughters of them much easier.  The photos are not posed, I just catch the individual moments. Documentary photography works for families with little kids until the age of maybe 8 years. You can play with your kids their favorite games, cook together, or go outdoors where they can jump, ride their bikes, and run through the sprinklers,  etc. Bedtime stories are also a great way to document family-time, play in the bathtub, read them a story, and cuddle each other.

In my latest family-documentary-session, I was looking for something unusual to create their Christmas cards. As it is very common to make Christmas cookies, we decided to document the Christmas baking.

So, I arrived at Melanie’s and Jens’ house. The dough was ready to roll. We placed Lara and Lena on the island in their kitchen that they can easily reach the dough. Lara, the oder daughter jumped right into it and had to taste the cookie dough, then started to make their first cookies. While doing that, she discovered how to play while making cookies. The sprinkles were thrown through the air onto the dough and she just had fun. Lena first had to get used to this situation but after awhile she started to do what her sister was doing and the fun began. At the beginning, they ‘only’ threw the sprinkles through the air and tried a few of them to eat, but then they discovered the flour. The cookies looked great and they had to get more done. They threw the flour through the air and had so much fun. Melanie and Jens first had fun watching the mess but then quickly realized they would have to clean the whole kitchen. Look at these two girls then you know they had fun making Christmas cookies. They got the flour all over and when we had to finish both needed a shower very bad.

I really had fun watching this family during that time even my camera got flower all over ;-). The cookies are delicious. The only problem they have now, these children will never ever make Christmas cookies without creating a mess in the kitchen.

Are you looking for an unusual family-photo-session? Go with a documentary family-session. Together, we are creating these special moments that you will never forget.

Contact me & book your documentary photo-session now and get your Christmas cards for free! 

(575) 415-5593

karina.schuh@gmx.com

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Abel’s birth story on October 05th, at 00.03 a.m. at Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center | Alamogordo, NM | Birth Photography by Karina Schuh Photography

Everytime, I am waiting for a delivery, I am ‘on call’, that means that I should not leave Alamogordo about two weeks before due date until the baby is born. Libby’s due date was September 28th, 2016. That meant I had been on call since September 14th. We texted back and forth but baby Abel took his time. My husband planned on going on some trips as the German School was closed for vacation and my cousin from Germany came to see us here. The first weekend in October was a long weekend and my husband planned on going to see the balloon fiesta in Albuquerque. But as the baby did not want to arrive, I did not want to risk to leave for the weekend. Too bad but that’s my work. Sometimes, it is hard to understand for my family that I love birth photography so much as I am very limited during this time. And even for me, it is hard for me too.

Libby was induced on October 03rd in the evening. The next day I stayed very close to my phone and received some updates from time to time. At the end of the day, Libby was 4 cm dilated and until then nothing really happened. I went to bed at 9 pm hoping to get some sleep before I go to the hospital. I was thinking of them and was not really asleep when Caleb sent me a text that Libby suddenly was 9 cm dilated. That’s when I jumped out of my bed to make it on time to the hospital. I ran through the long corridors of the hospital and arrived at their room … on time. Everything was prepared for the delivery. Libby looked very tired from such a long time in labor. At about 10.45 p.m. the delivery started. But Abel took his time to arrive. He did not want to arrive on October 04th so he waited till midnight and finally arrived at 00.03 a.m. All the time of labor and pain was over and forgotten and I had a very happy family in front of me. Congratulations Libby and Caleb. Your son is gorgeous, precious and absolutely handsome.

I can’t find words for the time when parents finally hold their newly born son or daughter in their arms, so much in love. These are the most beautiful moments of my work and I can’t everybody thank you enough for inviting me in such a private atmosphere to create and document their baby’s birth story that they will be able to look back for years to come. Their baby when he or she is grown, they can even look at these beautiful images full with love and precious moments.

Documenting a birth story does not mean that I as the photographer is interrupting the family during labor and birth, NO, I try to stay as quiet as possible, I don’t talk unless I am asked and I am just squeezed behind the bed and try to do my job using my best technical skills to document each individual moment. As it is very hard in the delivery room, I need these technical skills to produce the photos in good quality. I never use flash to not disturb anybody in the room.

After a delivery, the parents and families are so happy and they are thankful when I snap all these beautiful moments that happens right after like first breastfeeding, first kisses, exploring babies body, cuddling, bathing, measuring, and weighing the baby, and when parents or family arrives, I also document these moments.

Thank you for letting me document Abel’s birth story on October 05th, Thank you Caleb & Libby! You are a wonderful family!

 

A Wedding Ceremony in Nogal, New Mexico | Wedding Photography by Karina Schuh Photography | Alamogordo, NM

Raven and Chris invited me to take their wedding photos during their wedding ceremony in Nogal, NM which is a few miles behind Ruidos, NM, located in a beautiful scenery. The wedding took place in between beautiful nature with big trees, high green grass, and a little creek. Everything has been prepared for the ceremony when I arrived at this beautiful place. Chris was nervous and his groomsmen already had fun. Then the ceremony started, everybody was at their spot, bridesmaids and groomsmen walked in, Chris and the Reverend waited in front of family and friends which were already sitting and waiting for the bride to arrive. Ravens dad welcomed his daughter when she arrived by car and walked her into the ceremony location where Chris waited for her. He was the happiest man on Earth and both of them tried to stay calm when their little doggy was supposed to bring their wedding rings but did not want to go into their direction. But everything ended well – Congratulations Chris and Raven! They had a beautiful wedding ceremony including the following reception with family and friends in a magical place.

Thank you for inviting me! I am honored that I was part of your big day!

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Happy First Birthday Jamison! | A birthday party for Jamison at Holloman Airforce Base, New Mexico | Event Photography by Karina Schuh Photography

It’s been exactly one year that I took Jamison’s first pictures when he was born. I was the birth photographer when Katie delivered Jamison. I will never forget this exciting and happy day.

Today, I was invited to Jamison’s first birthday party. I am so honored that I was part of it. Especially, during the birth of little Jamison, I got to know the parents of Katie and Jacqujamisone as we spent the night together in the waiting room at Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center, GCRMC. After one year, I met them all again for this amazing event.

This feels like being part of their family.

Jamison did not change much during his first year, he is just a big boy now. Wow. I even got to hold him.

Many friends and children were invited and all together had so much fun eating pizza, watching Jamison how he smashed the cake, and also after that when the kids had fun on the water playground.

 

Welcome little Amelia | Birth-Photography in Alamogordo, New Mexico by Karina Schuh Photography

I met Steven and Alysia at the birth preparation class in August at Gerald Champion Regional Hospital in Alamogordo. After seeing my presentation for my birth photography, this couple decided to hire me as their birth photographer.

We met another time to discuss the details, I answered questions and talked about other birth stories. From this time on, we stayed in close contact and Alysia sent me updates from her doctors visits. On September, 10th, Alysia’s water broke about at lunch time. Right away, they went to the hospital to make sure that she is in good hands.

I received my updates about contractions and dilation status while I still had a family session up in Cloudcroft and planned on going to the annual German Airforce Oktoberfest at Holloman Airforce Base. After my family session, I decided to go to the Oktoberfest and still got my updates. At 9 p.m. I left as Alysia was already 6 cm dilated. I arrived at the GCRMC at about 9.45 p.m.

Little Amelia did not have any rush. She took her time. I was sitting in a corner in the room with Alysia and Steven. Steven held hands with Alysia all the time. He really took good care of her. The nurses checked her from time to time and after midnight they started to say that the baby should arrive as the water has been broken for over 12 hours now.

It still took till 3.45 a.m. until Amelia was born. During the delivery, unfortunately, the little girl got stuck with her shoulder behind a bone and Alysia did not have enough power and energy anymore to move her forward. The team at Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center did all what they could do to birth the baby. Amelia was born and this team made sure that mom and baby got their best medical inspection as possible.

Alysia is a very strong mom and did a wonderful job by giving birth to Amelia. Both, Steven and Alysia are the happiest parents in the world.

I am still looking back and get tears in my eyes, tears of happiness, tears of helplessness, tears of love!

A birth of a child is a very natural situation and therefore it is the best story a photographer can ever tell.

Thank you so much, Steven & Alysia that I was part of your birth story. I could not be more honored.

A huge family reunion | Color Choices for each individual family | Alamogordo, New Mexico | Family Photography by Karina Schuh Photography

A couple of weeks ago, I was asked if I would take family photos for a family reunion, taking place here in Alamogordo, New Mexico. I did not get many information about the family and tried to make a plan for this session.

I got this exciting job and now had to figured out where we are doing the session with so many people. I was very nervous that everything would work out. When I arrived at the location a few people were there but it did not look like a big family. They were still waiting for the rest of the family to arrive at the location. The sky started to cover with dark clouds, the sun was gone, and it looked like rain.

I quickly decided to set up my lights and adjust my camera that we can start right away taking the photos when everybody has arrived. My equipment was set up and I wanted to check the power of my flash output when I noticed that both of my sd-cards were at home in my computer as I had another session in the morning of the same day. My husband was my last chance to get it on time. I quickly called him and fortunately, he was home because it was on the weekend. I became so nervous that it would start to rain before we can even start taking the first photo. The rest of the family arrived and everybody of course had to exchange hugs and welcomes. 35 people needed to be posed and organized. I looked at them and what I saw was that each individual family was dressed in the same colors. From white, over yellow, orange, grey, black, white to blue. That was absolutely amazing to see. I just love the colors. What an amazing family. When I started to pose the families for the group pictures, my husband arrived with my sd-cards, yeah. I was so busy and even forgot about the rain that did not start. I was in my element and I have to say that I love this experience to manage to organize such a big group of people. I felt secure and did my job.

During the time I am working as a professional photographer, I often went through situations where you have to jump over your own shadow, situations where you felt uncomfortable but managed them very well and my customers were happy with my work. Huge groups of people are not that scary to me anymore. I know how to handle the situation, especially by knowing my camera and lights very well. Each situation is different and you have to get it right, there is no retry later. These people came from Canada, El Paso, Las Cruces, and Alamogordo for this family reunion. That does not happen that often that they see each other.

I loved every moment, the kids had a great time by running around, the adults had a lot of thing to talk about and I took photos of each individual family. The individual families dressed in the same colors, wow, that was even better organized than a regular family session. As you can see how mixed up this very last photo of the kids together is, you see why I always suggest wearing the same color range.

Everything worked out great and it did not start to rain. We had a great time!

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How to prepare for a photo session / Portrait Photography in Alamogordo, New Mexico by Karina Schuh Photography

Watch my little video that I have created for you on how to prepare for a photo session.

Starting by a simple phone call, I explain all details how I am working, how to prepare for the session, and to get to know each other a little bit before our first meeting. It is also very important for me to find out your personality and what you expect from this session. Are you more the type of customer who prefers to print the photos by yourself or you prefer my professional service to get your photos just created and designed by Karina Schuh. I as a professional photographer have the knowledge to create beautiful artwork with your images when I know my customers better, even knowing their house or just the wall for what we create this piece of art helps me to design a masterpiece.

Starting with colors and sizes that will fit the room, over framing and printing methods. There are so many choices on the market that it is overwhelming for each individual client when they don’t know what options there are.

We as professional photographers have the chance to test and compare professional print labs. We go to conventions and try out new products. Therefore, we have the knowledge and know exactly what works for you.

After our telephone conversation, I can meet you at my office or your home to discuss the different options, or also in Skype. You can even send me the wall including your furniture where you want me to design the artwork.

We will discuss the location, depending on the location, we choose the colors that will work with your family and/or your room. Your wardrobe should be as comfortable for you and also your children as possible. It is also possible to change your wardrobe during the photo shooting.

I always advise to get your hair done if it needs to a few days before the shooting just that you get used to your new hair cut. If you have little children, please bring their favorite toys. We can always include toys or props into your session.

During your Photo Session, together we will have lots of fun, you will be relaxed and feel comfortable. I am a photographer that gives very precise directions what works in the picture and what does not work. I also accept wishes if you bring example photos. I don’t copy these images, we just get inspired by them. And most of the time, we are creating a totally different photo. They never look the same and often these are not your preferred photos from the session.

After your photo shooting, we are setting up a time for another meeting where I will show you a beautiful slideshow with the best images of your session. These images will already be edited after my artistic knowledge. You will love them as you have chosen me as your photographer because you like my style of images that I create.

During your reveal session, we will have a great time together with snacks, coffee or champagne and together, we will select the images to create your photo wall for your home. You can choose what you want, not what I want you to buy. All prints include the matching digital high resolution file.

As soon as your photos, books, or other products will be delivered, I will bring them and show them personally to you and your loved ones.

If you choose the digital version of my service, after the photo session, you will receive the amount of digital files ordered. There is only basic editing involved into this service.

Thank you for reading.