5 Takeaways from The Magic of Light Workshop

Last month, I was absolutely giddy with joy to get a coveted spot in Illuminated Classes "The Magic of Light Workshop," an online photography course created and taught by the incredibly talented Summer Murdock. She has been a source of inspiration for me for a while and I knew I had to take this course, although getting in is not easy. The class sold out in about 4 minutes flat this year. Thanks to high speed internet, my trusty iMac, dexterous fingers, and a little stroke of luck, I got in!

So, I'm not going to give away anything that is taught in the class, but I wanted to share my work from it and some reflections!

1. Beautiful light doesn't just appear in front of you - you have to look for it and sometimes even chase it. One of the best things about the class (aside from all the amazing technical lessons taught) was just that it simply heightened my awareness about light and I found I was constantly looking for it. So, when I was playing out in the garden with Theo, I was immediately captivated by the beads of morning dew on these plants we have, and the light flickering off of them. I ran inside and grabbed both of my cameras - the freelensed one below turned out to be my favorite. Equally, I was at this old wooden playground with the boys, and looking for light. I thought, "hmmm I wonder how it looks inside of that treehouse" and BAM. My favorite photo of the month - never would have thought to do that before!

morning dew by laura barr photography
inside the treehouse by laura barr photography

2. ...but ALL light can be interesting - as a mom of two young boys, its really hard to get out during the golden hour when its dinner, tubby and bed time. This course helped me see all of the different ways to use light and all of the different kinds of light I could utilize because there's way more to light than the golden hour. 

waiting for a friend by laura barr photography
at the museum

3. A "good" photograph is not about technical excellence or perfect people/places - those things help you make nice photos, but a truly "good" photograph is one that has the power to move the viewer. It's about the emotion that the photographer feels and how they capture the essence of that in the frame. 

gram by laura barr photography
self portrait by laura barr photography
the met by laura barr photography

4. Photographer's FOMO is real - I have a serious case of FOMO when it comes to photography. Like, sometimes, I CAN NOT STOP for fear of missing something. This was never more true than during "the magic of light" - any twinkle, ray, or beam of light would have me running for my camera! I love being that excited about something, but constantly have to remind myself that there will always be more light! That's the beauty.

play time by laura barr photography
golden light


5. Tapping into your creative juices is essential - this course made me feel ALIVE. I love my job and I adore photographing babies and families, but stretching myself and my creativity was life giving. Even if you think you're not creative, you are. Follow your curiousity and explore it, you won't be disappointed!

autumn is coming by laura barr photography
shadow play
the shed by laura barr photography
waiting at the met by laura barr photography


In conclusion, this class rocks!!! It's a lot of information and an intense 3 weeks, but it was SOOOO worth every single penny. Thanks, Summer!!!



Maine, Summer 2017 | fairfield county lifestyle photographer

I fell in love with Maine when I was 12 years old and got to go on an adventure sleep away camp, where we camped and traveled around the state for 3 weeks hiking, biking, rock climbing, and more. It wasn't until my sister and her husband started renting summer vacation homes in Acadia National Park that I returned, and now that they've purchased a second home we have the pleasure of visiting every year. Our kids are all very close in age, and our two oldest are the bestest of friends, so it really has become an awesome tradition. The magic of childhood mixed with the magic of Maine is something very special.

a Tod's Point engagement session | fairfield county lifestyle photographer

The month of August was a blur for me, and I'm finally catching up on posting lots of sessions including this beautiful engagement shoot I did before I left for Maine...

Kaitlyn & Matt's session at Tod's Point fell on one of those perfect summer low tide evenings, and it could not have been a more fun and laid back session. Before every shoot, I have clients fill out a questionnaire to help me get to know them a little better and understand why the photos are important to them. Kaitlyn told me that having these pictures done with her fiance and her daughter were important because they were their first official photos together as a family, and that her daughter will (of course) be a huge part of their wedding day so she wanted to include her in the engagement photos, too. I just loved that, and I love the idea that photography can hold such meaning in it. I often find it's a wonderful reminder to people of what they already know - that they have created a beautiful life, full of love and joy. 

So happy for this little family!

a sweet lifestyle newborn session | fairfield, ct newborn photographer

I love being able to go into people's homes to photograph them - it's where we all feel most comfortable, if you think about it. And when it comes to those early newborn days, it's where you spend your time nurturing, bonding, and cuddling around the clock. So, it seems only natural to me that when you look back years from now, reminiscing about that brief moment in time when they were still a tiny babe, you'll also want to remember the love-filled home where you spent it. Maybe you'll still live there, maybe you won't - all the more reason to document the real, everyday moments and spaces you lived. That is why I absolutely love in-home newborn sessions. They are definitely my fave :)

a stormy evening at Weir Farm | Fairfield County Family Photography

Sometimes you just know when you are going to love a new client - Anne and I had so much in common from the beginning including loves of yoga and gardening, being passionate about natural birth, among other things. She and her family were just the cutest and most laid back group I could've hoped for, especially when we showed up to Weir Farm one Saturday a few weeks ago and big dark storm clouds were looming. I know from experience that storm clouds can be a beautiful and dramatic addition to a session, but I always feel a little bit nervous about the unknown - will it start raining, or worse, thundering & lightening? Will the clouds make it dark much earlier? Will the colors look blah (though that time and time again my cloudy/stormy sessions come out soooo beautiful)? So I was super relieved that these guys were more chill about it than me, and for good reason - the session did turn out to be just perfect and those big, dark clouds added so much depth and beauty.