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  • You found me! I’m so glad…

    A little about my biz, so you can start stalking ahead of the game:

    It's called BDphotography not only because it rhymes (tho' i am a Suess fan) or because those are my initials, but because they are also the initials of my husband, our two daughters and our son. without them, i'm nothing. they are the reason i do things the way i do. i LOVE photography and everything that comes with it. if i had the leisure i think i might just do it for free. in my head, that's just what i do. you don't pay for my service, you pay for the time i spend away from my family: planning, traveling, shooting, editing...

    But welcome to the {B}log! stop by often and you can keep up with my most recent adventures in photography, meet my amazing clients, and occasionally take a glimpse into my personal life, because what proud mama can resist a little bragging? i'm sure your family is just as fabulous as mine and the ones you will see here. i bet you actually prefer them to us, but you are biased :) either way, i can't wait to meet them! for now...kick off your shoes, have some more brownies, browse around, and make some silly faces. no one can see, but it's great practice for when i get my lens on you.

    { Bridgette Davis }

theo is three!! {{ cincinnati dayton superhero session super hero photography }}

and just like that, he is three.  the boy with no real name is defining himself before our very eyes.  we worried that “spike” or “boober” might not work when his kindergarten teacher one day asks what he should be called.  turns out, he has chosen “Theo” {tee-oh if you ask him}.  or he might let you slide with calling him hulk, iron man, batman or the like.  he spends a good portion of his days as those alter egos. 

super theo is a great example for his little super bronx sidekick.  my own baby is quickly becoming a boy, fast on his heels.  yes, there are moments when the pair of them are baby theo and baby bronx is demanding attention from mamaw, but either way, they are partners which delights me to no end.  on this day, they were big superheroes having a big day in the big city.for theo, 3 is avengers, chicken nuggies and “bye bye in mamaw’s car”sweet thang.  my favorite is how he gets me everytime:

“bridgette, i have ice cream?” in his whineysmooshedtogethertoddlerwords

“you want some ice cream?”

“okay!!!” in his surprised but delighted that i would suggest such a thing tone

every time i try to clarify his words, he acts as if they are my own new idea, like he is completely innocent and i am proposing he have ice cream out of the blue on a tuesday for breakfast.  clearly this is his actual super power. gets me every time.
so proud of you.  thank you for filling our hearts the way you do.  aunt bridgey will still probably call you Borey Borey Boo Boy until you can take it no more.  just know that a hero, by any other name, is still just as noble.

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{DIY tutorial} quick simple sweet sentimental projects

so here is a peek at the soft vintage gentleman inspired nursery i did on a teensy budget for our baby boy.  each project was super affordable, super easy and barely needs a tutorial, which hopefully means i won’t be so superfluous with my writing. mama has things to do!

the canvas shaded lamp was a gift from one grandma.  i used a sharpie to write a poem written to him by his other grandma.  soooo sweet and triple sentimental.  i don’t love my handwriting, but i love to find my mom’s handwriting on things, so hopefully bronx will too.


i repainted the girls’ letter B with the paint leftover from his walls.  his middle name is spelled out in scrabble letters because everyone in this family is a scrabble F-A-N-A-T-I-C (12 points + 50 pt bonus for using all your tiles!) .  the puzzles were picked up for $3 at an estate sale one morning by the girl’s school.  i love that they are from a local picture and puzzle company i never knew existed, and OLD.  the curtains are a $20 painters dropcloth.  it was actually seamed in 3 pieces, so i cut along those, used two of the sections for curtains and the third for pillowcases and tie tab loops for the curtains. i used the sewing machine to hem them as need with very simple straight stitches, and i finally used the “buttonhole” feature on the machine to make sure my loop slits would hold up over time.  this was so much easier than i expected!  the loops are simple strips pushed thru the new buttonholes and tied.  fray away, i like the look!  the curtain rod is a branch i picked up on the side of the road after a storm.  

somehow, it happened to the the perfect length but you could easily trim yours down to fit just right.  i planned to paint it white, but ended up loving it raw.  i broke off a few spare branches and threw those in a vase i had been using to collect loose change. room total thus far was about $25 + paint.  the spare change almost covered it;) we hit the hardware section and found the metal to mount the branch.  we weren’t sure what size would work, but loved the raw industrial look.  we grabbed a pair of medium and a pair of large.  the large worked and rather than return the mediums we mounted them as tie-backs to keep the curtains open.the spot of dark blue is the world’s loveliest smell emitting from this anthropologie candle that cost almost as much as the room itself, but is worth every.darn.penny {especially if someone bought it for you for your birthday}.  the whiskey barrel was a find from a local salvaged home goods place, i lined it with a disposable paper tablecloth i had in the garage from 2 christmas parties ago {from ikea}.  the project i procrastinated on the longest was the dresser.  i wanted to find something old and repaint for a totally fabulous makeover.  the size and shape needed to fit just under the window and everything i found on craigslist was just too expensive.  brian’s uncle came to the rescue, gifting us an old white one he didn’t have space for anymore.  the longer it sat, the more i thought the idea of sanding and sanding and sanding and painting at 8 months pregnant seemed ridiculous.  i decided my old friend modge podge would be just the thing, but i figured if it was going to be in the baby’s room, it should probably have some pics of HIM on it, not just the rest of us.  so i lined the inside of the drawers with that same paper tablecloth and the outside stayed white for the first year but it was aged enough that it was a good fit anyway.  finally after our whirlwind first year with the new baby boy, we had enough great memories captured to create our photo dresser.  hopefully it will become a family heirloom because those pics are on there for goooood.  i simply measured out how many 4x6s would fit on the drawer fronts, ordered them as black and whites, noting how many i need in portrait orientation {|} and how many i needed in landscape {-} and had them shipped to my door for less than $10.  

when they arrived i was so excited i didn’t even bother to find a paintbrush.  i smeared a small section of the drawer with modge podge, placed one pic on, and smoothed modge podge over top of it with my finger.  this part is scary but i promise it dries clear and lovely in the end, with no damage to your precious pics. pay special attention to seal the edges and corners.  repeat, repeat, repeat until you have used up all your pics and your hands are covered in glue that is fun to peel off.

share, pin and modge podge away! thanks for stopping by

xo {BD}

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Stephanie - Thank you for your inspiration, I think I will be doing this to my gandmother’s buffet that I’m going to put into my Daughter’s room for her babydolls.It is beautiful and I hope my piece turns out as lovely.

{DIY tutorials} huge modern canvas alternative {{cincinnati dayton photographer}}

if there is one thing i love as much as creating images with my camera, it’s creating something by hand.  i love to DIY.  i love to see something gorgeous and think, “how can i do that on my own”?  i love how happy a completed project, a completed PIN, makes me.  it’s great to fill your home or wardrobe with things you love, or give a gift or decorate a party, but when it is with things you made yourself, you have extra affection for them.

i’ve been on a roll, getting stuff done in between sessions, and i always think i want to share them with you guys because, if i can do it, YOU CAN do it… it’s just finding the time to post about them.  no more excuses, i’ve got to catch you up on a few things that you should definitely move to the top of your DIY on a rainy day pinterest board.  that’s what mine is titled anyway:)  gone are the days of spending my rainy days just pinning more stuff!

so i think i’ll start with the one that you guys will be most excited about, since, if you are here, you probably have some pictures you are in love with and still need to get off of your cd:)

a sweet client of mine left me an excited voicemail telling me to check out a site i was sure to love.

i loved the look, but immediately thought, i can do that on my own.  then i looked at their prices and thought, i have to do that on my own.  immediately.

now, to be fair, a company has to maintain a website, advertising, employees, materials, all sorts of overhead and still turn a profit.  i’m not saying their prices are astronomical unfair, companies charge what they do because they have to, to stay in business.  trust me, i learned this the hard way as a small business owner!  i’m just saying if you neeeeed to have this fabulousness in your home, you TOTALLY can do it on your own if you don’t want to wait on ordering/shipping.  you can have this hanging on your wall tonight!  instant gratification and saving tons of money to put toward your next photo session?  i’m a fan of both.

ok now how?

you need:

a superfavorite image that makes you smile

a big bottle of modge podge

measurements of your space (BIGGER is always better with images. please stop hanging wimpy 8×10 s.  you now have no excuse.  this is a 20×30)

a piece of thin smooth board from lowe’s or the like

a wallpaper roller from there is also handy

and a nice paintbrush if you don’t have one

a “poster print” ordered thru’, ready in 1hour (yay!) at meijer or your fav local pickup (no shipping $!)

SO. i’m writing this tutorial from here on out, based on a 20×30.  sounds big, but it’s just right if you like the look above.  modern, bold, gorgeous, frameless, edge to edge eye candy.  once you get the hang of it, you can easily do it with other sizes too.  i’m probably going to do some small ones in a collage, like the gorgeous ones designed by pros at canvasondemand.  check out their genius ideas for arranging your own.  a canvas is always in style, but photo to wood is the hot new direction that look is going.  just remember as you go big you need professional high resolution files, not something pulled from your facebook mobile uploads.

i had never gone that big because at $150+ a pop for canvas or wood-mount, it was just too much commitment.  i decided to take my chances with a “poster print” 20×30 because it was less than $20, and i could have it in my hands by the time i got dressed and had the baby loaded into the car etc.  i thought it was risky because we all know posters are wrinkled and creased to death by the time you get them home (i’m looking at you Bieber and “hang in there” kitty falling down a toilet). i decided it was worth a shot and i would handle it with extreme care.  i was THRILLED THRILLED THRILLED when i got to the store and it was a giant photo on real true thick photo paper.  i practically skipped over to lowe’s with it, found the thinnest, smoothest, cheapest board i could find (4footx8foot smooth plywood underlayment, 1/4 inch thick for $12!).  the super friendly guys there cut it for me, to my exact specs for free.  measure your print to make sure it’s a true 20×30. you don’t want over hang, if your scissor skills are like mine.  i had them cut two and have plenty leftover for future projects but if you know how many you need and what dimensions ahead of time, it would be smart to have it all cut at once.  i grabbed a handy smooth hard foam roller from the wallpaper section while i was there.  you could probably use a rolling pin or something if you don’t want to spring for it, but it was worth it to me.

back home, i gave the board a quick spray of white paint, just around the edges.  at 1/4 inch, not much is going to show but here is where you can customize to match your decor.  think spraypaint, acrylic paint or even stain. then i layed out the board, layed the photo on top exactly where i wanted it, had my daughter hold one end in place (had my other daughter grab the baby who was screaming and tugging my pants off me), lifted my end of the photo and poured modge podge onto the wood.  i spread it into a thin but not stingy layer and carefully lowered my end of the photo back down onto it.  still having her hold it in place just in case, i rolled and smoothed out any teeny air bubbles that may have been trapped.  at this point the pic should be secure and in place.  i continued rolling and smoothing probably more than i need to because at this point i could tell i was in love with the look and i wanted this puppy to last, not peel and bubble in a few weeks.  we switched sides and repeated this same process to secure the other half of the photo.  me oh my i am excited!

next- i did a step that turns out to be optional.  i thought i needed to seal the photo with modge podge on top.  this is a VERY scary step because pouring a puddle of white glue on the front of a photo you adore feels so wrong, even when you KNOW it will dry clear.  but trust me. it does dry clear.  promise.  i poured it on and brushed it into a thin coat again.  i used diagonal strokes all in one direction {/}, but you could do cross-hatched for a more canvas effect{#}.  just know that this step will leave your print with a subtle texture.  turned out my guy wasn’t a fan of the texture and so the second time i did this project i tried it without sealing it on the front.  i’m happy to tell you either way works, so you have options people!  just make sure you carefully seal the edges and corners either way with your finger and some modge podge.  also smooth out any drips here while it is still wet.

the images below show the subtle difference.  the first one, modge podge sealed, has a texture that is noticeable from certain angles.  the second one, unsealed, feels and looks like a normal photo. {always choose matte over glossy when you have the choice in photo development!!}  for the record, i love both.  just remember, the beauty of DIY is, it doesn’t need to be perfect.  it’s custom and made with love, so give yourself and break and embrace any imperfections.  with this project, if you aim for the unsealed but get a little messy with the modge podge by mistake, go ahead and seal it after all. no worries, roll with the punches.

now you are to the hardest part- patience.  i noticed my board was a little bowed so i finally made use of the U.S. weekly subscription that magically showed up to my house this year.  {thank you whoever sent that! i love it, just can’t find the time to sit and read them}.  a stack of mags on the center weighed it down flat while it dried. DO NOT DO THIS IF YOU HAVE MODGE PODGE ON THE FRONT! the glue will stick to anything it touches, which is why i lined my work space with junk mail instead of accidentally gluing my project to the table.

if you can let it dry overnight, great.  if not, just wait as long as you can stand it.  finally, hang it in the perfect spot and smile every time you walk by.  i wanted a flush mount so i tried the 3m command poster strips for the first time and they were great!  they are basically non-permanent velcro, come with easy instruction and left no holes in my freshly painted wall.  i can even pop the pics on and off easily if i want to move them around or rotate other images with them:) photobarn has other ideas on how to hang them if you want more options.

the final step is to share the love!  repin or share it on FB.  get your pics off the cd!  help your bestie get her pics off her cd!  no one is more guilty than me.  i hadn’t put up pics of my family for years, since i starting shooting professionally.  brooklynne said to me in march, “mom, spring pictures are tomorrow, can we buy them this time?”  slightly offended i said, “but mommy does your pictures.”  and dead serious she asked, “yeah, but can you actually print those?”  she honestly thought they had to stay in the computer, and look, it only took me 6 months from that slap in the face to get some of my own family pictures done and on the wall.  like i said before, if i did it, you can do it!  happy modge podging!!

{special thanks to sarah babcock of mugshotstudios for doing our family session this year.  i am more in love with these images everyday, which is the whole point of investing in fine photography.  memories are more valuable as time goes on and nothing will ever be the same as it is today}

start crafting, refresh your space, make some gifts, get your hands dirty and contact me if you need need some new pics, or help with a step, or someone to hold your hand or pat you on the back.  i want to see what you do with this!

xo {BD}

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Ashley Embleton - I like so many things about this tutorial. It’s doable, well-explained, AND budget friendly.  Wood IS in. I just may have to get my {BD} images off that disk *this* weekend and do some DIY’ing…maybe the hubs will help?! 

Also, BD, has anyone told you–beside being a phenomenally-creative photographer, you can write, lady! Love that you are able to share your creativity through blogs and tutorials. Not all photographers can do that; trust me, as a fellow Word Girl {and teacher}, some people cannot, should not blog. However, your creativity is enhanced through the art of word. Awesome sauce all around. Thx for sharing. 

Megan M - I love this! I did something like this with plaques. I painted them the colors I wanted then modge podged the photos right on top. They are hanging in Parker’s room. I love the idea of making a BIG canvas-like one. I’ll be trying this! Thanks for sharing!

Bridgette - modge podge is the best!!

Chuck Meadors - Love this. Can’t wait to see them. I want one for Christmas or my birthday:-).

BTW, this is my daughter. So proud.

keylocks, live and in color {{ cincinnati dayton hamilton middletown family photographer }}

less is more when you blog. trust me, i know it.  and i swear i really do try.  i sit on sessions for days, weeks or months so i’m less biased and can narrow them down to the top dogs.  and i tried this time too.  it just didn’t work out.  we had TOOOOO much fun.  even at only 1/5 of the final images, the blog still comes to 50 images.  so once again, here i go, overindulging.  buckle in and, as my Brooklynne would say,  feast your eyes!
color and texture were the order of the day.  we ended up at a satellite location last minute.  all’s well that ends well.  even better when it’s unplanned and comes together perfectly.georgie porgie, not to give you a big head, but you are hilarious;)mum tried to steal some quick affection from dad.  evie was having none of it!if i ever make a coffee table book, this. will. be it’s cover ↑

william begging for kisses.  silly boy, she used her charm and irresistibility to steal your hat.  lesson #7 about pretty girls. they are all doing the perfect thing if you ask me! i LOVE THIS ↑okay this ↓ is my second choice  for which image to print and send back home to any aunts you have in england. my first choice would be the one just like this where finn has a whole bunch of tough finn attitude on his face.same age difference as my Briella and Bronx, just flip the boy/girl scenario.  so sweet to watch them together.  he is just as nurturing, protective and in love as Briella ismake it rain mum and dad!!!waiting patiently for their treats… not that she is rubbing it in…oh two can play the “deceive-you-with-sweet-charming-snuggles” game eh?wildman william. how cool is he?!
not in your hair little finney finn finn!
what else can i say? you guys are a blast.  thanks for the honor. xoxo

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a surprise for meadow {{ gender reveal balloon photographer dayton cincinnati }}

i’m not sure if anyone takes up as much space on my hard drive as little miss meadow:) in fact, i even named my signature edit after her because i developed it one day working on her session.  she is one of my longest and most loyal clients.  i’m a bad blogger so you probably haven’t seen tons of her images, but i’ve been her photographer since she was days old, which means i’ve had the inside scoop on all the cool stuff going on in her world.  today was no different.  sarah wanted to do a surprise balloon reveal to let everyone know whether meadow would be a big sister to a boy or girl, which of course meant pictures, which of course meant i got top-secret first access info.  being a photographer has it’s perks you know?!


yep! girl!  Meadow and i knew it all along, didn’t we Meds?  and Olive too, but she ain’t talkin  :)

   i had a some fun tonite looking back thru all her pics…watching her grown from a newborn to a little lady in just a few hundred clicks.

  i really can’t imagine a better sidekick for Meadow than a curly haired little Iris, or freckle faced Daisy, or can we have maybe a shy little Willow or Fern?

i’m excited for you big sister.  your new baby has some big sparkly shoes to fill  :)  i know you will teach her well.


oh and a little note, meadow let us keep the box in case anyone else wants to have a little fun.  just add balloons:)

who’s next?

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