Beautiful Mistakes

I’ve always rooted for underdog. You know, the kid who doesn’t get picked for Red Rover (that was me!), the ugly fruit, or the puppy they said no one wanted because he had an overbite. So it’s no surprise to me that when I’m thumbing through photos editing and see an absolutely horrible photo, technically speaking, a fire lights in me, and I set on a mission to turn it into something beautiful.

Last night, while looking through images of dragon fruit that I tried to take on a tripod that was in absolutely no way equipped to hold my heavy DSLR camera steady, I ran across this image of me accidentally firing the shutter at a shutter of .8 seconds, resulting in total blur. There is no redeeming object here.

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However, instead of discarding it, I was elated. What I saw was beautiful movement and softness that reminded me of marble, so I set off to see what I could make of it. I actually think it was beautiful as it was, but this is what I rendered, which I’m calling Digital Marble. I love the subtle changes in color.

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Here is another example of a blurry mistake that I’ve entitled Lights Above Memphis, taken from the top of the Bass Pro Shops Pyramid overlooking the lights of the Hernando De Soto Bridge and the Mississippi River. I wish I had the original photo to show you to compare. It had much less color.


I could go on and on with different permutations of these images, playing with color and contrast to create endless possibilities. So much fun!

Here’s another less abstract example of a technically unsound image that I saw so much potential in, and what I rendered from it. This was taken in a dark school gym at a Father Daughter Dance, with bright spotlights shining on my subject. The end result was a luminescent monotone image. Love it!

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Even though the image is still obviously blurry in parts, it adds to the softness and movement of this beautiful little cherubin girl and her dress as she’s twirling. The highlights almost sharpen the more in-focus parts of the image.

That’s it for today folks! Happy Valentines Day:-) I’m off to get some white chocolate to make some chocolate covered dragon fruit pops for the kids. Check out my Instagram feed @cecilefuscophotography for more on that later today. xo – Ciao!

Meet Lily

My daughter Lily hates that I’m a photographer. Oh how she despises when I pull out the camera, MOST of the time. But there are instances, mostly when she is starts dancing out in public, or when she is running around being her five year old self, that I can capture her free-spirit.

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I’ve always thought of her as a wild mustang, hair blowing wildly in the wind, untethered by fences and straps. She is so perfectly beautiful in her stubborn freedom.

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I love shooting my children this way, just being themselves, out in their natural environment, not limited to having to look perfect or playing a role in a meticulously planned pose. But I’ll be honest, it’s a challenging concept to apply to my portrait sessions.

We are so used to seeing the beautiful family portraits hanging up in pediatricians’ offices with the Pinterest-worth pose and soft, glowing, even lighting. You know the photos I’m talking about. I’ve pinned so many of them, aspiring one day to be able to take photos like those. Unfortunately, I lack whatever magical skill one needs to produce those types of photos! I’ve tried.

Or maybe it’s because I want hair in the face, shadows and depth, sun flare and funky light points, blur and movement. This isn’t going to land my portraits on a wall at the Ob/Gyn’s office, but that’s who I am as a photographer. I know that my photos just don’t look like the rest. They are different, for better or for worse. I honestly haven’t figured that out yet. This is the journey, right?

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Beauty, art, wine, are all in the eye (or palette) of the beholder. I’ve given myself permission, after much internal struggling, to say, “So what if my photos are different?”. I appreciate them. They make me happy. And so, I’ll keep shooting tomorrow!

I leave you with this gem of a photo from Lily’s Pre-K graduation recently. I laughed so hard that my stomach ached captioning this photo.

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Let Love In, C