Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!! ....and the winner is....

First of all, Merry Christmas! I hope everyone is having a fantastic holiday with their family & friends today.

Second, I apologize for not posting the winner of the BIG giveaway last night as promised, but the winner WAS notified last night... Just didn't get around to the post here!

Due to the confidential nature of this giveaway, I don't want to say much here without speaking to the family first, but I'll just say that the winners of the giveaway are a family of NINE (with a set of QUADS thrown in there!) and the amazing mother (who carried all those babies beautifully) homeschools them all! I did hear through the grapevine as well that they have not had family photos done in 4 years, so I am so happy to give them this gift! Bless you guys!

Thank you to everyone who nominated your loved ones! You are amazing & this choice was not an easy one!


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Just Because.

PLEASE be sure to read the BIG GIVEAWAY post if you have not yet... and get your nominations in! Click HERE to read the post!

I spent this afternoon with a few of my photographer friends.... We chatted over brunch & pumpkin spice coffee & then enjoyed the surprisingly non-freezing weather by strolling around Newport, Covington & Cincinnati with our cameras taking shots of anything that jumped out to us. I love what I do, but I often forget to just shoot for the heck of it. It was so nice to chat with other professionals & just relax! Here's just a quick little set of some of the random things that grabbed my eye today (I'm a sucker for details... specifically OLD details :o) ....and I couldn't pass up my initials carved in the side of an old church!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The BIG Christmas Giveaway!

The awesome Kristen Kalp came up with the fantastic idea for Giving is Awesome - Where photographers worldwide are coming together to offer a major giveway during the Christmas season for deserving families.... I am honored to join in and help bless a family in need....

You know someone. You know someone who's experienced a tragedy, is struggling to stay afloat, is raising kids while holding down more than one job, or is volunteering selflessly despite extenuating personal circumstances. You know someone who can't afford custom photography, but who would cherish it this holiday season. You know someone who deserves a year-round reminder of their family's spirit, love, and beauty.

You know someone. I guarantee it.

I want to know who they are, and I want to give them the chance to experience complimentary custom photography -- $500 worth, to be exact. It's in your power to give them the artwork they deserve this holiday season.

Oh, and the best part? The person who nominates the winner receives a $150 credit. What better reason to show some love could there possibly be, people?

The rules:
* You cannot nominate yourself, and the person nominated must sincerely be incapable of purchasing my services. (Being unable to make mortgage payments for a two-million-dollar-vacation-home in Paris does not qualify as sincere financial need.)
* The nominee must reside in or near the Cincinnati-Metro Area. Tell me who you know, what they're experiencing, and why they deserve my artwork. Please include a way to contact both your nominee and yourself as well.
* You must e-mail me the full story :

The winner will be announced on Christmas Eve -- get nominating! I can't wait to read all of your entries!

Open your heart to someone this holiday season -- and thanks for giving me the opportunity to open mine.

Amanda Donaho

PS - If you have someone you would love to nominate but they are not in my area, please visit the Giving is Awesome website for a list of photographers particpating worldwide!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Rachel - Maternity Shoot

Rachel & Ben have a special place in my heart.... I have been their photographer through their engagement session, wedding day, family photos and now, their maternity session. It is such a cool thing to be able to capture so many amazing moments in one family's life. I hope to have many more sessions with them & am so blessed that they've come to me over & over. I love you guys!

We both used to live in Oklahoma, but we've both since moved! So, Rachel & Ben drove up from Nashville, TN for their session... and I'm so glad they made the trek!
Here's just a few from our time together.... Rachel looks AMAZING. Seriously. It's ridiculous!

We had dinner with the parents-to-be and then before they headed back to Nashville, I pulled Rachel out into the cold one last time for a funky head-light shot in the dark.... I love it!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Checking in...

Just a quick stop by the blog to say hello to my Internet family :o) - I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I have been swamped lately with life in general, the holidays, the traveling that comes with it, and photography. The winter is upon us now, which means I will have a little break soon! I work non-stop during the summer and into the fall, so the winter is always a nice little break for me. Not many shoots going on in the freezing cold :o)

Check back within the next few days for a new photo blog! Until then, curl up with some cocoa, a good book & stay warm!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The "M" Family! Sneak Peek....

My friend Margaret, her husband Ryan & their ADORABLE boys met me in Cincinnati yesterday for a family photography session! The boys are so sweet... full of energy & always moving.... just like boys should be :o) Little Liam was sleepy when he first arrived, so I jumped on the chance to get some shots of him cuddling with his daddy...

Doug was such a little ham! He did so good during our time together!
The whole family!

The awesome parents.... Thanks for bearing the cold with me, guys!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Carolyn & Aaron - Engagement Session - Miami University

Last Saturday was another gloomy, cold day as I headed up to Miami University in Oxford for Carolyn & Aaron's E-session. Once again, another awesome couple that were warriors through the blistering winds. We worked with the elements instead of fighting them & I'm loving the golden warm fall results.

L.O.V.E. this shot..... Probably my favorite of the day... Carolyn is so beautiful!

Congrats guys.... I can't wait to be there for your big day next year! (..and bravo to Carolyn for having all of the planning done already! Whew!)
This next part is just for Aaron.... Beware, these shots are slightly National Geographic......
As we were walking over to a garden for some shots, I gasped as I saw the largest bird I've seen in person outside of the zoo perched in a tree above us.... Aaron insisted that I take some shots with my "super sweet camera", so I obliged :o)

Same shot as above cropped in..... Can you see Mr. Hawk's dinner?? Poor Mr. Squirrel!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Kristen & Sam - Engagement Session - Tipp City

Last week I cruised up to Tipp City, OH to shoot an engagement session with Kristen & Sam. It's officially cold here in Ohio & the day of their shoot happened to be REALLY cold. I mean... cold. I am in desperate need of those gloves with the fingers cut out so I can still operate my camera... what did you say they were called again, Kristen?

Anyways, they were AMAZING! Really, totally made me forget that my fingers were numb. Totally rocked it despite the weather & we had so much fun. I am so stoked to shoot their wedding next year!

Here's a little somethin'- somethin' from our afternoon together...
Holy gorgeousness....

This photo makes me think of Sarah McLachlan's song "Your Love is Like Ice Cream"..... This photo is seriously one of my new all time favorites..... It took me forever to figure out why the heck Sam was covering one eye & why Kristen was laughing so hard.... :o) Seriously though, THIS is what I love about my job.... capturing couples being who they really are, which in this case is hilarious :o)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Jackie - Trash the Dress Cincinnati

Today's post is the last of a few wrapping up my Trash the Dress event a few weeks ago. So far you've seen Erin's boudoir & muddy TTD session, Andrea's food fight TTD, Sarah's painting extravaganza & tonight I'm sharing Jackie's shoot. If you're just now joining in, I spent time a few weeks ago with a great group of photographers (Allie, Chris, Annie & Toby, Cailyn, Sheila, and Sarah) and we did several sessions in one day... It was awesome! Click their names to be shot over to their websites!

Jackie was really (REALLY) awesome... We started her shoot just as the sun was beginning to set & spent most of our time with her in the pitch dark. She had broken glowsticks all over her & her dress that, to me, gave a "bride with a broke down car on the side of the road" look. I know feeling slimy with the glow stick gunk couldn't have been too great, but she ROCKED it. I mean, she was really incredible & somehow looked absolutely beautiful covered in that goop. Thank you SO much for being a great model, Jackie!

On to the shoot! :o)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Trash the Dress... the other side of the lens.

So I was thinking that some of you following along with my blog may be seeing these outrageous Trash the Dress shots from my last few posts and be a little freaked out. You may be saying "who would do that do their dress?!" Well... I would :o)

A month or so ago, I went out with my photographer friends Annie & Toby from Varland Photography (click HERE to check out their site!) and 6 years after the wedding, I too trashed my dress. Here was my thought process with this decision:

#1: I wanted some funky shots of me in my wedding dress that, unfortunately, I did not get from my wedding day.
#2: My dress has been sitting in a garbage bag in the floor of my mothers closet for 6 years feeling very unused and ugly. I felt bad for it.
#3: I don't plan on asking my daughter (should I ever have one) to wear it, as I'm sure it will be terribly out of style.

I decided to take the dress out for one last spin around the block. We shot a LARGE array of photos... Most of which didn't even dirty the dress. If I would have decided to keep it in hopes of the daughter coming & the style changing, I could have taken it to the dry cleaners & it would have been good as new. (This is an option! Just because it's called "Trash the Dress" doesn't mean it actually has to be trashed... I've thought of changing the name just because it sounds so scary).

Most of my shoot was like this - the dress was still totally clean!

I wanted to go another step.... Water!

I didn't stop there! If I'm going to do it, you know... Do it right!

I have to tell you, pouring paint on my beloved dress was pretty crazy! It felt crazy, but was SO much fun! My dress will be living on, not just through these photos, but I will also be wrapping a large portion of the painted dress around canvas & hanging it in my bedroom. I'm STOKED about my new pieces of art..... these images & my new wall-art!
Thanks again to the Varland's for helping me Trash my Dress!

Stay tuned for one more posting from our TTD Workshop... this one ends SO good! If you've missed the ones so far, check them out on the posts below!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sarah & Sam - Trash the Dress Cincinnati

More from last weeks workshop! If you're just now joining in, I spent time a few weeks ago with a great group of photographers... Sarah (one of the photographers in our group) was our model this time around while the rest of us (Allie, Chris, Annie & Toby, Cailyn, and Sheila) shot away!

*Click HERE if you missed the "Holiday Special" post!

Sarah & Sam - You guys rock! You're SO beautiful together!

Sarah is SO gorgeous!

You know I had to sneak in a little vintage twist.....

Sam played a great Piccaso with Sarah's dress...

Andrea & Lucas - Trash the Dress Cincinnati

More from last weeks workshop! If you're just now joining in, I spent time a few weeks ago with a great group of photographers (Allie, Chris, Annie & Toby, Cailyn, Sheila, and Sarah) and we did several sessions in one day... It was awesome! Click their names to be shot over to their websites!

Andrea & Lucas joined in the fun for our shoot. Andrea is a beauty queen.... literally! She's beautiful! We ended the session with a little food fight :o)
*Click HERE if you missed the "Holiday Special" post!