Fall Fields, Photographing Friends, And Do You Believe In Orbs?

I’ve been terrible with taking pictures of us and our life lately. I keep meaning to make it a priority (and I’m actually hoping to take our holiday pictures today), but I’ve felt so blah about it all. In such a rut.

I’ve had the opportunity to take pictures for several friends in the last month, though, which has been wonderful practice for me. I take them all to my little hill, the one we took bluebonnet pictures on. It’s surrounded by tall grass now and looks about as Fall-ish as it can get in North Texas.

This weekend I had the joy of photographing Valerie from Charmed Valerie and her gorgeous family. It was a (amateur) photographer’s dream!

Here are a few of my faves.

I mean… yeah. So gorgeous. AND? Her children are like angels. I would hate her if I didn’t like her so much.

I’ve really struggled with sun flare, and hitting focus when I’m photographing more than one person, but this session seemed to just click for me. Of course, there’s always room for improvement, but I’m really happy with my growth over the last couple months.

For those interested in settings, I kept my ISO at 400 for all of these, which my mk ii handled well. My f/stop was between 4.0 and 5.6 for most, and I mostly fidgeted with my shutter speed (taking it no less than 300) to get the right exposure. 

OH! And do you see all those green orbs around her? I’ve shot in that same spot, same time with the same lens 4 times in the last month. I haven’t seen all these green orbs in any of the other pictures, that I can remember (the purple ones show up in a few pictures with other friends, though).

I don’t know how much I believe in that sort of thing, but find it interesting how they show up so close to Valerie in the pictures she’s in, especially in the one where it’s right on her boot. That doesn’t seem to be a product of sun flare to me. You can also see a tiny green and purple orb near her toddler Rocco’s feet in the picture where he’s sitting in the chair.

What do you think? Another “presence” or just a random photographic occurrence?

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  1. Beautiful job! I joined CM back around Mother’s Day and I finally got brave enough to ask my pregnant friend if I could practice on her. I really surprised myself and was very pleased with my first “official” shoot. Keep up the awesome work!

  2. These are gorgeous!!! If I didn’t live several hours away I’d TOTALLY have you do ours!!! Those pictures came out beautiful.

    I absolutely believe in orbs. I’m the one they appear next to in many of my photographs. Never any one else just me. Five different people could stand in a spot I’m in and nothing show up but as soon as it’s me again there they are. Mine are usually white though. Makes ya wonder.

  3. I think orbs are just a random photographic occurrence but I have no problem with people who think they are more. Everyone needs some magic in their lives. 🙂

    Gorgeous photos, gorgeous family!

  4. The one of Valerie alone….I feel like I can see an eye in the green lower orb! Am I the only one?

    On a related note, I’m a photographer and have been shooting at the same location this past fall. At my second to last session, the family informed me the place was haunted. I looked it up online and sure enough, there were tons of creepy stories about this place. I’m kind of scared to go through my thousands of pictures there and look in the background! I feel like I’m going to find something that will give me the heebie jeebies!!!

  5. Veronica Armstrong on

    I don’t know about the orbs (although I’d love to know why they are there) but I do know you did an amazing job! What a beautiful family.

  6. Those aren’t orbs. They are just a byproduct of shooting into the sun. 🙂 I shoot a lot of sun flare when I shoot weddings and portraits, and I get the colored artefacts as well.

    • And I want to 100% agree with you… but… I have shot that same location, at the same time, same angles, same lens, everything, and I haven’t reproduced those green orbs. And the one that really makes me question a tiny bit is the picture with the green orb on her boot where no sun is reflecting into the lens.

      • That green orb you see on her boot is not “reflecting from the boot,” it’s still a product of the sun hitting your lens, which can create weird artifacts even in your shadows. It just happens to fall on the part of the image where the boot is. Using a higher quality lens or switching to a prime will help minimize this. You might also try stopping down your aperture to f8 or so and setting your ISO to 100. You’ll take advantage of the “sweet spot” for lens color and clarity, and the smaller aperture will help reduce lens flare.

  7. Kristin Wintle Gagnon on

    I totally believe in orbs/spirits/etc and believe that these guys have a feeling they have found a kindred spirit in Valerie and her beautiful family. So cool! (And I hope that doesn’t make me sound totally crazy!)

  8. These photos are gorgeous. Maybe “amateur” because it’s not your paid job… but pro in every other way! I’m a huge fan of the sun flare 🙂 and I love it when cool stuff shows up in pictures.

  9. Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms on

    I remember being taken aback one time when I was showing some school Veterans’ Day concert photos to a group of moms. I said, “My lens must be dirty because look at all of these glowing white spots.” Before I ended my sentence one of the mom’s broke in, “Oh, those are just spirits that show up in pictures.” And then she walked away. I had never heard of that before, but the spots show up mostly during the Veterans’ Day concerts, year after year. Weird. Ellen

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