Leah Cook


15 tips for better maternity photography

Recently a friend asked me for tips on shooting maternity sessions. I started rattling off some ideas and decided to put them all in one spot. Belly shots are some of my favorites for a lot of reasons. They have definitely gotten a bad rap over the years and we’ve all seen the ‘what not to do’ images on those funny websites, but really they can be so beautiful. It’s a time of anticipation, change and excitement…all of which should be documented! How nice it is to have subjects take direction and it’s also a wonderful time to get to know new parents before you work with their precious newborn. Family maternity sessions with other children (especially toddlers) are a whole other ball game…but these tips can apply too!(…)

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setting and keeping your photography resolutions

Creating photography resolutions in the new year

As the New Year approaches many of us start to think about resolutions, goals and areas we’d like to make changes to in our personal lives.  Let’s take that one step further and relate them to our photography!  The key (or so I’m told) to keeping resolutions is to be as specific as possible and pin point the exact spots you’re looking to improve.  This list is expansive and even a bit overwhelming.  At some point we have to realize(…)

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CMglimpse: an instagram project

Have you discovered the wonderful world of Instagram and the fun new challenge of CMglimpse?  It’s a fabulous way to get a peek inside all of our members’ lives!  The great thing about CMglimpse is that the ‘theme’ of the day is set, so you don’t even have to decide about what to shoot…just find a way to post what you can, however creative or straightforward it might be.  Shooting daily with a ‘big camera’ can sometimes be a daunting(…)

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Photoshop Friday: adding a warm summer glow

1. I’ve made basic edits to this image in ACR including adjusting white balance, tweak exposure, and recover a bit of the white shirt.  After pulling it into Photoshop, I corrected some yellow-green color casts and that was it!

2. Next I created a Selective Color layer and switched it to the neutrals box.  Here I’ve decreased the magenta to -2 which helps add a little warmth.  I haven’t touched the Cyan value, but that one can also be adjusted.

3. Then(…)

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a peek inside | leah cook

It’s time for another installment of one of our favorite blog series, a peek inside. Today we have Leah Cook.
a peek inside | leah cook

I shoot with a Canon 5D MarkII. I upgraded in 2009 from the 40D and love it. The lenses I take with me to all my sessions are:

1. 17-40 4.0L – a super wide angle great for getting the BIG picture…tough to use inside because of the narrower aperture

2. 24-70 2.8L – a versatile lens and especially(…)

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leah-daily 19

Getting started and pushing through a 365 project

This might sound dramatic, but the CMpro Daily Project has changed my life!  For the better.  Oh, and it’s done wonders for my photography!  I can literally look back to the date I started shooting every. single. day and see little epiphanies here and there.  Not to mention, that I have a record of my baby boys’ growth and giggles (and sometimes tears.)  It’s something I’m really proud of…because it’s hard to commit to a project this overwhelming. I want(…)

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Embrace the Funny Faces

Sometimes it’s necessary to take a break from the stress our work can cause and look back on those shots that make us giggle.  I almost always try and include funny pictures in my client galleries…and lots of times my personal family favorites are the ones I can laugh at for hours.  I would encourage you to not delete those ‘outtakes’ right away!!

An oldie but goodie…I was finished proofing this session, when I took a quick peek back through the(…)

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Leah Cook’s blogging workflow

Having a blog to showcase recent work is one of my favorite parts of being a photographer.  I love to blog both personal images and client sessions.  It’s a huge reward after hours of shooting and post processing to hit ‘publish’ on a post…I get butterflies almost every time.  Of course it always feels great to get blog ‘love’ and even better to know that my clients are appreciative.
There are multiple ways to layout a blog post.  Some photographers prefer(…)

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To Sleep, Perchance to Dream…

“…and the children were nestled all snug in their beds”
It’s impossible to not feel at peace when around a sleeping child…and the quiet is kinda nice too, oh and they stay still.  Taking pictures of our babies asleep (both when they’re big and small) is something we all need to do.  We’ve put together a few images and tips so you can create special snapshots of your children in dreamland.
Right Time
When to catch your kids in a deep sleep is(…)

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leah dec_01

december cmpro of the month | leah cook

It’s hard to believe that we’re almost near the end of 2011 – this year has flown by!  We have our final CMpro of the month for 2011, the talented and inspiring Leah Cook!
december cmpro of the month | leah cook

If you could take only three pieces of gear on a shoot, what would they be?
Without a doubt my 5D mkii, 85 1.2L, and 24-70 2.8L (oh I’d love to have the 50mm in the car…pretty please??)
What was your first(…)

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Choosing Your Lens: What’s the Difference?

It’s a big question. With so many choices out there, what lens should you choose and when? This isn’t intended to add to the Canon vs. Nikon debate or even persuade you to purchase an extremely expensive lens but rather to merely point out a few differences. Like many of you I’m fairly certain that I NEED every. single. lens. in the world, but that’s not a reality for me and I’ve learned to make due with what I own.(…)

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