Kelly Tarleton's portrait

Welcome to my blog! I am a Houston portrait and wedding photographer,
and I also custom design wedding and special event stationery.
This is where I share photos of my latest portrait sessions, design assignments,
and personal projects. Take a look around to see what I've been up to and
be sure to let me know what you think. I love comments!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Just For Fun: Glenwood Cemetary with the Unnamed Photo Club

Several of my friends at work are also interested in photography, so one day, one of them suggested we form a group, a little club you could say. The plan was to get together after work once a month to just shoot. Anything. One of the things I love most about photography is the range of interests under the big "photography" umbrella. While we each love to shoot different things, it's nice to have a little group to bounce ideas off of, share photos with, and experiment together.

The group is still unnamed, although there have been several ideas thrown out there. A few weekends ago, we woke up early on a Saturday morning to meet up at Glenwood Cemetary near downtown. If you've ever driven past, you can't see much from Washington Ave., but this place is huge (84 acres to be exact). We spent about 3 hours there and barely covered any ground. The landscaping and sculpture work is really beautiful. Before the shoot, I imagined I would capture a lot of great black and white worthy images, but when I went through the editing, I found that the colors were too rich to convert.

The names on the headstones are a "Who's Who" of who mattered in Houston history: the last President of the Republic of Texas, four Governors, and more than twenty Houston Mayors. I can't say I saw any of these, I kind of just wandered around, looking for nice light, interesting architecture, weathered monuments, and nice nature shots. And I found plenty!

I love details!

I would love to know the story behind this

Every statue and monument had a character of its own and it was fascinating to see how they varied.

I can't ever pass up a flower photo

Who's that cute redhead?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Confessions of a shopaholic

Almost daily I have been hearing from my sister, "So, have you updated your blog?" Seeing as she is the most (if not only) loyal blog follower of mine, I feel it's a little easier to go just one more day without a new post. It's not that I haven't been busy shooting, I have several shoots I'm excited to post, but I've been even busier depleting my bank account. I won't go into the whole saga, so to make a long story short: I had to buy a new computer in the last three weeks. Yes, I have finally joined the ranks of my creative professional peers and bought a Mac! I am thrilled to just look at the big shiny screen. Even just opening new windows. And just on the heels of this one enormous purchase, I also bought a new lens that I've been coveting for months. I won't say my timing was spectacular, but I had planned on buying the lens before the computer, and well, once I have it in my head that I'm going to buy something, I do. I just do. So despite the blog post title, don't worry, I'm not in debt up to my eyeballs, or any debt for that matter. I just loved the movie.

So to make another long story short: I pretty much refuse to touch my PC now that I have this beautiful machine, which means I have yet to transfer over all of my files and figure out how this thing really works. I'd rather ignore the blog than deal with my Lightroom library and all of my other random assortment of stuff. But, I'll be doing so over the next couple of days and will post the images from the past few weeks.

First off, the first photos taken with my new 85mm f/1.4 lens. I'm really trying to cut back on the "photos of my dog" posts, but she was available on short notice. She still has no concept of "back off":

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Shooting my first wedding

This really was the first wedding I've ever shot where I wasn't related to the bride. To be completely honest, I found Stephanie on Craigslist, right around the time the "Craigslist killer" was making national headlines. I made no secret about it, so of course my mother insisted on going with me to meet her (she didn't, too far for her to drive, I think). I was incredibly nervous leading up to the event, afraid my camera would malfunction, that I wouldn't know how to handle the lighting conditions, that I would miss out on an important shot. However, once I got there, I was instantly at ease. The entire wedding party was so laid back and really made me feel like "I got this." Of course my lighting fears manifested into harsh mid-day sun and shadows during the ceremony, and windowless-near-pitch-black banquet hall conditions during the reception, but I managed just fine! (Thank you Nikon Speedlight and Quantum battery!) I am so grateful that Stephanie and April took a chance on me to photograph their day and gave me the added confidence and experience I'm looking for to pursue my dream!

Some of my favorites...

Such a cutie! Shy at first, but really opens up quickly.

Who says flash is too harsh? I love the catchlight in the eyes.

This wedding party DANCED! It was such a fun party, it made me want to jump out on the dance floor.

Karaoke at a wedding reception: best. idea. ever! Above: the YMCA

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A sneak peek from the wedding I shot in May

Needless to say, I'm a little behind on posting these. I'm going to blame my computer for misbehaving just short of being thrown out the window throughout almost all of June. At any rate, they are ready to post this week and I wanted to share one before I finish all of the editing. This was taken just after the ceremony ended.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

An Independence Day tradition

Most families take Christmas photos. We took 4th of July photos. Ever since I can remember, I spent the 4th of July (and in later years a random day in September) wearing a patriotic hat, waving an American flag and smiling for the camera for our annual 4th of July family photo. There were the early years when my Dad could do no wrong as the apple of my eye and I gladly shouted my best "Cheese!" There were the teenage years when nothing could be dorkier than hugging your sister with a Statue of Liberty crown on your head posing for the camera. And there were the later years when plans, college, and travelling pushed the 4th of July photo to the fall, or the spring of the following year, or just never.

There was something about this tradition that made my Dad so incredibly happy. Was it the goofy grins? Did he enjoy hearing my infamous whining? Was it the pat on the back from my grandmother (she's the one to blame for the birth of this tradition)? I may have, in the words of my father, "pissed and moaned" about taking the 15 minutes to shoot it every summer, but I cherish now being able to look back over the sequence of images and hold onto pieces from my past. Each speaks volumes about who we all were as individuals over the years, and boasts more character than any Christmas card photo!

Perhaps Kim will kill me for posting this shot of us, taken after biking up and down hill around Rottnest Island off the western coast of Australia. It's the last 4th of July photo we took, during my July 2007 trip to Perth to visit her. This one would fall under the category of the "later later years" when I came full circle as Daddy's little suck-up. I knew he would be impressed if I e-mailed him this photo without his asking. And sure enough, he was. We can take them now until we're blue in the face, but there will always be a missing piece.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July....

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Extreme Makeover : Blog Edition, Part II

I went ahead and did it. I redesigned the blog again within a few short months of redesigning it the last time. I'll make no guarantees, but I'll try my best to focus on other projects and leave it alone for awhile. Besides, now I have the redesign of my website and business cards to keep me occupied for awhile.

And I just couldn't publish a post without a picture, so please enjoy yet another photo of my dog from our morning photo session a few months ago (seeing as I clearly don't take enough pictures of her).

About Kelly Tarleton

I've always been a creative person, and the one who always had a camera on-hand at a moment's notice for any occasion. Photography and graphic design dominated my life in school and I loved every minute of it. I miss that constant creative outlet and want to share more of it with my family and friends through this blog.See more of my work at my website:

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