Thursday, June 4, 2015

A Lavender Garden In The Vineyards

Sonoma County has a huge number of wineries. The gentle hills are covered with vineyards, the valleys are lined with them. More and more meadows and pastures are turned into vineyards - it's not a monoculture yet since fortunately we still have a lot of agriculture here as well.

The wineries are a huge magnet for people from all over the country with several events taking place almost every weekend, especially in the summer and fall. However, you can still find a neat little oasis if you look around.

One of them is the lavender garden at Matanzas Creek Winery. It's quite a big garden with just lavender and few other tall grasses and some sunflowers. On a sunny day the bees are going berserk here, there's constant humming when you walk through the garden. I think it might be a great backdrop for a wedding.

Kaefer and I thought it might be a great place for taking her senior pictures. She will be a senior next school year, and beside the "formal" senior pictures, each graduate can have a "casual" student picture in the yearbook. Since I am not willing to pay $ 200.00 or more for a professional photographer, I am determined to take these "casual" pictures.

I am NOT a very accomplished portrait photographer, so this is quite a challenge for me. I bought this book from which I already learned so much. And at the moment I am practicing, practicing and more practicing.

Kaefer and I were brainstorming good locations for a shooting, and one idea was the lavender garden.

We went there yesterday afternoon when it was bright, but overcast. Perfect for portrait photography!

Thankfully Kaefer is used to get her picture taken (our friends have always teased us that she is the most photographed child...) and behaves quite naturally in front of the camera. We had a lot of fun during this shooting. We limited our time to 45 minutes.

In those 45 minutes I took about 360 photos of her of which I really like about a handful. Now I get why these photo sessions are so expensive...

None of these pictures will end up in the yearbook. These are all practice shots - I learned so much! We have until the end of the year to get the "perfect" shot.

This one is my favorite from yesterday's shooting. It shows a lot of Kaefer's personality.


Elephant's Child said...

That is a glorious photo. Of a very beautiful girl.
Happy practising.
And the lavender farm sounds like a blissful place to be.

Monika + Bente said...

Der Lavendel und das Gesicht gefällt mir sehr.

350 Bilder in 45 Minuten - wow, da warst du aber fleißig - und dazu kommt das Sichten am PC und das Bearbeiten der Fotos - plötzlich wundert man sich, warum Portraitbilder beim Fachfotografen so wenig Geld kosten ...

Liebe Grüße - Monika

Anonymous said...

So viel Lavendel das hat sicher traumhaft geduftet. Das letzte Bild ist wirklich sehr gelungen mir gefällt es auch am besten
Liebe Grüße, Patricia

Linda Kay said...

Such a lovely subject in your lavender field. Our wineries here in Fredericksburg TX are expanding as well, and we have one (Becker vineyards) that offers lots of lavender products from their lavender fields. I think we are getting lots of new wineries from California folks.

Darla said...

I would be pleased with any of these photo's. Very professional to my eye. I know you will finally come up with just the perfect one that pleases you.


Cheri said...

She's a gorgeous girl! And I guess the question is, does Kaefer like any of them? She is the only one you have to please.

Anonymous said...

The lavender garden is beautiful - a lovely setting for a wedding or a portrait shoot, as long as one is not allergic to bees! Your daughter has grown up into a lovely young woman. I love the ribbon braided into her hair. I have no doubt you will do a wonderful job with her senior portraits, and they will be all the more meaningful to her because you took them.

Jeanne said...

All of your shots are just lovely. Your daughter is beautiful and know how proud you are of her. The setting , also, without a doubt is lovely.

John's Island said...

Hi Carola, Your daughter is very pretty! Your photography is excellent! Putting the two together is perfect! Thank you for sharing your blog and for your kind comment on mine.

TexWisGirl said...

she is a fresh-faced beauty! i really like the 2nd one of her. and love the winery area! gorgeous!

Nancy Chan said...

I like those wooden chairs. Kaefer is a very beautiful girl and very photogenic.

Unknown said...

Toller Garten, muss richtig Spaß machen, dort zu lustwandeln :)
Und mein Favorit ist das zweite Foto vom Käferchen, ist so schön natürlich :))

Liebe Grüße
Tinna ✐

Pamela Gordon said...

What a gorgeous spot for a photo shoot! Kaefer is so beautiful and I'm sure that you will find the perfect shot for her yearbook.

Debbie said...

lovely, all of them!! i love the natural vibe!!!!

JoZart Designs said...

How lovely that your daughter has grown into such a beautiful young woman. You are deservedly proud of her and manage to capture the essence of her character and personality.
Lovely photographs. I adore your lovely sweater in the next post even though I do not favour shades of yellow at all. Your knitting is real quality. Do you knit the German way? My daughter's MIL knits in a way that I just cannot comprehend.
Jo x

Maria Ontiveros said...

That last one is beautiful!
If I can offer one word of advice, it would be to buy an inexpensive set of reflectors. You can find them on Amazon. Then have someone go with you and hold up the reflectors opposite Kaefer's face to bounce the light back into her eyes. This will create the beautiful catch lights which really make a portrait subject come alive. It does take practice, but it makes a huge difference.

GreenComotion said...

What a beautiful view, Carola! Your portraits are fantastic.
Have a Wonderful Day!
Peace :)

Kia said...

Such a beautiful smile in that lovely lavender field. :)
Kaefer is a very beautiful girl and very photogenic.
Happy summertime.