Child Portraits

Easter Sunday // Family Time & Portraits of the Kiddos

I really enjoyed this years Easter Sunday gathering: my mom-in-laws ham was SO GOOD, the weather was beautiful, and we had a Lamb Cake - yes, a Lamb Cake. It's not a REAL lamb, but it was a real good cake (there's a pic down below). It actually looked more like a cat than a lamb. I'm just sayin'. The family met up at my brother-in-laws house over in Flossmoor, IL. He and his wife recently purchased a really nice place over there. The house was packed and all of our kids made sure that there was not a silent moment all evening long. Seeing the kids dressed up in their Sunday's best was so cool - the girls looked so beautiful in their dresses and the boys were so handsome in their dress pants and shirts. They were all so endearing.

Here are a few pics from the day. I love the portraits of the kids. I had been looking forward to taking these photos all week long:

p3 lightbox gal placeholder Easter Sunday // Family Time & Portraits of the Kiddos

My many thanks to my family for making Easter so much fun. It was kind of a quick evening, but it was a much needed one.

Kid Portraits Set-Up

  • Nikon D90 - shooting in RAW
  • Nikon 50mm f/1.4
  • Nikon SB-800 fitted with an umbrella - Thank you Gary for helping me out
  • Pocket Wizards (2)
  • Adobe Lightroom 2 and Photoshop CS3 for editing
  • Rock On! info@ottorascon.com | my portfolio | facebook | twitter | 773.430.4785

    By The Way: I had pre-visualized where I would be taking the portraits of the kids. I had thought it through and knew what I wanted. But then came the rain. It forced me to rethink my plans and I had to make some quick decisions. I really liked the trees in the background and I figured they would make for a nice background.

    My Little Ballerina! Chicago Toddler Portraits

    My daughter is a part of every photo shoot that I do. She is a) either entertainment for the models, b) a testing "assistant" while I adjust my lights, or c) just a innocent bystander while I shoot. Whatever she is, I am glad that she is there to watch me work. These portraits came after my model was done with her Dramatic Portraits. Jocelyn came in with her tutu ready to be photographed, and I am not to shy away from a portrait session opportunity. Plus, I love photographing children, especially when it is my kid.

    Here are a few of my favorites from Jocelyn's impromptu portrait session:

    [gallery columns="1" size="large" orderby="title"]

    Set-Up

  • Nikon D90 - shooting in RAW
  • Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8
  • Alien Bee 400 strobe with 22" Beauty Dish
  • Pocket Wizards (2)
  • White seamless for backdrop
  • Adobe Lightroom 2 for editing
  • Rock On! info@ottorascon.com | my portfolio | facebook | twitter | 773.430.4785

    By The Way: Be ready for impromptu shoots. I was getting ready to pack up my gear when Jocelyn came in dancing and wanting to be photographed. I was tired and ready to stop, but I could not pass up taking a few frames of what I knew would be a memorable portrait session with my daughter.

    Sam the Handsome! Huntley Baby Portraits

    I love baby Sam for many reasons. One is that he is just so darn cute (his head makes a perfect circle)! Another reason is that he was such a pleasure to photograph (I love baby photos). He also has this very cool and calming attitude about him that makes him even more lovable. But the main reason I love him is that he is my nephew, my youngest baby nephew. I love photographing my family, even if it means traveling to Huntley, Orland Park, or Merrionette Park. I do my best and make sure that my nieces and nephews are photographed because they will never look the same. They grow up so darn fast. Here are a few of my favorite Sam portraits:

    [gallery columns="1" size="large" orderby="title"]

    Set-Up

  • Nikon D700 - shooting in RAW
  • Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8
  • Tokina 12-24mm f/4.0
  • Nikon SB-800 fitted with an umbrella for background
  • Alien Bee strobe with medium softbox
  • Pocket Wizards (2)
  • White sheet for backdrop
  • Adobe Lightroom 2 and Photoshop CS3 for editing
  • Rock On! info@ottorascon.com | my portfolio | facebook | twitter | 773.430.4785

    By The Way: Always be careful when shooting babies. I always have the parent sit right next to the child as I photograph them. The final image you see is a composite of 2 images. The one with the baby originally had the mother right next to him. Then I photographed the background without the baby and then combined them in Photoshop.

    Happy Holidays From The Rascon Family

    Chicago Illinois Child Photography

    Happy holidays guys! I know we are all getting ready to celebrate with friends and family, so thanks for stopping by my blog. What are some things you are all doing for the holidays?

    I am look forward to a few things like hanging out with my family and watching some movies. I am just about done with my Family DVD slide-show I do every year. So I am pretty darn excited about finishing that and giving it to my family on Christmas. I also just got a Play Station 3, so there will be some HD viewing this holiday season at my house.

    I hope that you all have a fun time and make some amazing memories over the next week. Peace and see you soon!

    Here are a few outtakes from the shoot:

    Set-Up

  • Nikon D700 - shooting in RAW
  • Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 (I love this lens)
  • Alien Bee strobe with medium softbox
  • Pocket Wizards (2)
  • White sweep with 2 lights pointed to it
  • Adobe Lightroom 2 and Photoshop CS3 for editing
  • Rock On! info@ottorascon.com | my portfolio | facebook | twitter | 773.430.4785

    By The Way: I am a big fan of holiday music. I especially like KT Tunstall's Christmas CD. Check it out!

    Family Portrait Fun - The Espinoza Family

    I LOVE it when families make the time to take portraits. I guess I feel that way because my family never made the time to do so. I cannot look back at a time when my family was together and when my siblings and I were younger. That's kind of a bummer. As a parent I now understand how it can be difficult, and even frustrating, to make the time and get everyone ready to go out and take family pictures. But family portraits are important to our lives, they are an important part in our histories. Think about this: never again will this couple (whose photos you are about to see) look the same, nor will their children. Their likeness have been captured in time. They can look at these photos later in their lives and reminisce about how young everyone was and how beautiful they all looked. That is pretty cool and almost magical.

    Here are a few of my favorites from this session:

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    My HUGE thanks to the Espinoza family for coming in all the way from Rogers Park. They looked great and were so much fun to spend time with. Their little ones are SO cute! You guys rock!

    Set-Up

  • Nikon D700 - shooting in RAW
  • Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 (I love this lens)
  • Alien Bee strobe with medium softbox
  • Pocket Wizards (2)
  • White sweep with 2 lights pointed to it
  • Adobe Lightroom 2 for editing
  • A lot of energy to keep up with the 2 kiddos :)
  • Rock On! info@ottorascon.com | my portfolio | facebook | twitter | 773.430.4785

    By The Way: Make sure that only one parent is communicating with the kids during the session, or even just your assistant. Having both parents talk and make noises can be too much, both for the kids and for the photographer :)

    Hattie the Cuttie - Chicago Baby Portraits

    I was really pumped for this baby portrait session. You see, my wife and I are great friends with Hattie's parents. I have photographed their little Henry before. We were so excited to hear the news when they told us they were pregnant! My wife and I were both like "No way! Congrats! I hope you guys have a girl!" Well, I wanted them to have a baby girl. They already had a boy, so a girl would bring balance to their family :)

    Here are a few of my favorite portraits of the new born shoot:

    [gallery columns="1" orderby="title" size="large"]

    Set-Up

  • Nikon D700 - shooting in RAW
  • Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8
  • Nikon 50mm f/1.4
  • Alien Bee strobe with medium softbox
  • Pocket Wizards (2)
  • White sweep with natural light
  • Adobe Lightroom 2 for editing
  • Rock On! info@ottorascon.com | my portfolio | facebook | twitter | 773.430.4785

    By The Way: The power of the strobe was beginning to make little Hattie fidget, so I decided to only use the modeling lamp of the strobe to get a handful of images. I switched to my 50mm f/1.4 lens and went to town :)

    Belden Stratford Family Portraits - The Adelman Family

    I photographed a very fun event earlier this year for NIPRA. I was so excited to help out NIPRA and to meet Alpana Sing, who was the hostess for the event. I was eager to meet new people as well, all while sipping on some really yummy wine mind you. I met the Adelman family through a friend of theirs that attended the NIPRA event. Marc contacted me about photographing his parents 50th Anniversary and the rest is history. The Adelman family decided on taking the family portraits at the beautiful Belden Stratford because that is where the parents were married 50 years ago! That is awesome. I had a fantastic time meeting and photographing The Adelman family. They had so much warmth and laughter that it made my day seeing them all interact. Here are a few photos of that family portrait session:

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    My many thanks to the Adelman family for inviting me into their lives and allowing me to capture such an important day in their families history. Thank you!

    The Belden Stratford 2300 Lincoln Park West Chicago, Illinois 60614 773-281-2900

    Mon Ami Gabi 2300 N. Lincoln Park West Chicago, IL 60614 773.348.8886

    Set-Up

  • Nikon D700 - shooting in RAW
  • Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8
  • Tokina 12-24mm f/4.0
  • Alien Bee strobes (2)
  • Pocket Wizards (2)
  • 42" Alien Bee PLM
  • Alien Bee Vagabond - portable power
  • Adobe Lightroom 2 for editing
  • Rock On! info@ottorascon.com | my portfolio | facebook | twitter | 773.430.4785

    By The Way: The new Alien Bee PLM is really a great modifier. I am looking to pick up the larger 86 inch PLM for studio work. That is A LOT of light :)

    Cute Sibling Portraits - Chicago Family Portraits

    Jennifer and Vanessa were high school friends. I photographed Vanessa's wedding earlier this year. Jennifer saw Vanessa's wedding photos and really liked them. So she emailed me wanting some family photos and set up a family portrait session. I love how these connections are made. Okay, that was a really quick intro on how I came to meet Jennifer and her family. They are a really warm and loving family from Downers Grove with two amazingly beautiful children. The little girl and her baby brother both made my job pretty easy as they smiled and allowed me to take their portraits. Having a 2 year old has helped so much in preparing for kid portraits. You have to be quick and ready for anything that they throw your way.

    I really love photographing families out in different outdoor environments. But there is something very special about going into the families home and photographing them in their home environment. Here are a handful of my favorite photos from this family shoot:

    [gallery columns="1" orderby="title" size="large"]

    My many thanks to Jennifer and her family for having me photograph them. It is such a privilege to meet new families and for them to allow me into their lives. I hope to see them again soon.

    Set-Up

  • Nikon D700 - shooting in RAW
  • Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8
  • Nikon 50mm f/1.4
  • Alien Bee strobe with medium softbox
  • Pocket Wizards (2)
  • 36" silver reflector for natural light portraits
  • Adobe Lightroom 2 for editing
  • Rock On! info@ottorascon.com | my portfolio | facebook | twitter | 773.430.4785

    By The Way: Have a plan A, B, and C when photographing young children. You just never know which plan will work best.

    Hi-Key Little Beauty - Chicago Child Portraits

    Is there anything more cute and amazing than seeing a baby smile? I don't think there is. I became really interested in baby portraits the second I knew my wife and I were going to have our daughter. Since then I have had the privilege to have taken so many of my families, friends, and clients baby photos. I have traveled to Wicker Park, Downers Grove, Orland Park, and other places and into peoples houses and lives. So my many thanks to you all! Here are a handful of images from one of my latest baby portrait sessions. This cute little baby girl is probably one of the best babies I have photographed in recent memory. I don't recall her crying at all, or even fusing. We wanted to do her first year pictures and some Christmas pictures, but that might have been too aggressive of a plan. We ended up breaking up the portrait session into 2 sessions. Her parents were so cool about doing so and brought her over the following week. It was a bit of a challenge to select the images to post just because she had such a great smile most of the time.

    [gallery columns="1" size="large" orderby="title"]

    Set-Up

  • Nikon D700 - shooting in RAW
  • Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8
  • Alien Bee strobes - 2 on the background and 1 on my model. Note: the background was about 10 feet away from my model. Any closer and the light reflecting from the white seamless would enter the lens and create some contrast issues.
  • Pocket Wizards (2)
  • White Seamless background
  • Small white table for baby to sit on. Her father was just behind her.
  • Adobe Lightroom 2 for editing
  • Rock On! info@ottorascon.com | my portfolio | facebook | twitter | 773.430.4785

    By The Way: Shooting hi-key images is so much tougher than you think!

    Garfield Park Conservatory Family Portraits - Hamilton Family

    The Hamilton's are a great family and I always look forward to photographing them. Pam is a fellow artist/graphic designers and she gets the importance of family portraits. I love being around them and seeing them all interact. Their children are so mature and well behaved that I forget that they are as young as they are. Shooting at the Garfield Park Conservatory was Pam's idea. I totally dug that idea and we went with it. The Conservatory is a pretty amazing place to visit and to work in. There are so many background possibilities that one has to stop and really focus because there is so much there to choose from. I am sooooo glad that the weather was as beautiful as it was because we were then able to go outside for a majority of the shoot. There is a lily pond, a small bridge, an area of vintage looking stuff, and other really cool things. The Garfield Park Conservatory has become one of my favorite places in the city. Check them out!

    Here are a handful of my favorite shots. I am really happy with what we got that day. But what's even more important to me is that they loved the photos too! Thank you Hamilton family, you guys rock!

    [gallery link="file" columns="1" orderby="title" size="large"]

    Set-Up

  • Nikon D700 - shooting in RAW
  • Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8
  • Tokina 12-24mm f/4.0
  • Nikon SB-800
  • Pocket Wizards (2)
  • 42" umbrella
  • Adobe Lightroom 2 for editing
  • Garfield Park Conservatory 300 N. Central Park Ave. Chicago, IL 60624-1996

    Rock On! info@ottorascon.com | my portfolio | facebook | twitter | 773.430.4785

    Hi-Key, Hi-Drama - Chicago Child Portraits

    I love photographing little ones, especially MY little one. Below you will see a few photographs I took last week of my Jocelyn. What you will not see is the drama that unfolded during the making of these photographs. I was photographing a clients daughter for her 1st birthday when Jocelyn came in and asked to be photographed next. Of course I couldn't deny such a request. But once it was her turn to be photographed she decided that she wanted nothing to do with this shoot. So I was only able to take about 7 photos. I was hoping for a few smiles, especially since she looked so darn cute in this dress. But she just wanted mommy. But it is all good and I ended up really liking these photos. [gallery size="large" columns="1"]

    Set-Up

  • Nikon D700 - shooting in RAW
  • Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8
  • Alien Bee strobes - 2 on the background and 1 on my model. Note: the background was about 10 feet away from my model. Any closer and the light reflecting from the white seamless would enter the lens and create some contrast issues.
  • Pocket Wizards (2)
  • White Seamless background
  • Adobe Lightroom 2 for editing
  • That's about it for now. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about these images or how I created them.

    Rock On! info@ottorascon.com | my portfolio | facebook | twitter | 773.430.4785

    Get On Your (Froggy) Boots!

    There is nothing cuter than kids clothing. I mean, c'mon, they are colorful, cheerful, vibrant, exuberant and sometimes plain ole' silly. Here, with my daughters new rain boots, we see the silly side of kids clothes and I love it. Don't these cute boots just make you want to smile? What would happen if we wore boots like this to work? Maybe us adults should wear items like green froggy boots... Imagine the smiles (and weird looks) we would get... imagine the lightheartedness we would feel throughout the day... imagine the cool points you would score with any child you would come across... But I digress, so back to the boots. My daughter has been asking for rain boots for about 2 weeks now. I am not exactly sure why she thinks they are important. What made her think she needs these boots? I might never get an answer to this question. All I know is that she looks pretty darn cute in her boots and dress. [gallery size="large" columns="1" orderby="title"] Thanks guys & see you later! - Contact Me | Wedding Portfolio | Little Ones Portfolio | Older Ones Portfolio

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