"Its through living that we discover ourselves, at the same time as we discover the world around us"
- Henry Cartier-Bresson
About the Photographer
Hello, my name is Chris Kirschbaum, I am a Photographer and a Specialty Farmer located in rural Oxford, Iowa. My wife (and love of my life) Lizzy and I own and operate Cherry Tree Farm together.
My journey as a photographer started when I was a child. My father is an exceptional photographer (award winning) and I remember as a kid admiring photos he would take and display in our house and playing with his Cannon AE1 wondering what all of these buttons, knobs and dials did. At that time I was more into abstract painting, charcoal drawing, pastels etc. and I personally never owned more than a disposable point and shoot camera.
It wasn't until about two decades later when my wife purchased a small digital camera in 2007 to take pictures of our new puppy Chowder that things changed for me . I was so taken by the ability to take unlimited photos with no film and the instant gratification of seeing what I shot right away without waiting for film processing. Upon the arrival of our daughter Charlotte in 2009 and a gift of my first DSLR camera from my late father in law Mike, another great photographer, who before that gift so generously let me borrow his new Nikon D50 (more often and for longer periods of time than he would have probabaly liked) that photography became my passion.
I wanted to remember the discovery, excitement, and exuberance of my daughter's childhood through my own lens. I decided to learned everything about the art of photography and post processing that I could. So I took pictures, thousands of pictures of everything that I found remotely interesting. To quote Dorothea Lange- "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." The beauty I find in everyday life now has multiplied ten-fold and there is a great photograph in everything you see, you just have to find it. I am intrigued with finding the unique beauty of each individual subject that I photograph. I try to reveal their personality in distinctive and dynamic shots: catching far-away looks, an offhand smile, mischievous glances, and reflections of unguarded joy. You will never hear me speak the words "Say cheese" I want to capture personality, not manufacture it.
My Photography Philosophy
Now with my skills honed as photographer and all of the new editing software, I can combine different techniques to create my own style what I feel reflects my personality- different, artistic and unique. I strive to present each photo as its own work of art. Attention to detail and my unique post processing style is something in which I take great pride. My art background has a huge influence in the way I approach my photography. From selecting location sites, whether it be my farm, a park, your home, or an urban setting and selecting the most magic light, to the last subtle enhancement on my computer screen. My goal is to create heirlooms my clients will treasure now, and their grand children will hold dear a years from now. Beautiful, priceless memories that capture who they are and the the ones they loved best in the world.
Chris Kirschbaum Photography
I capture and create expressive portraits of babies, children, seniors, maternity, couples, families, and pets. I also do engagement and wedding photography. I am an 'on location' photographer and love the beauty and magic of natural light. I rarely use a flash and do not use a studio. My sessions are relaxed, unrushed, and fun! I want to give my clients an enjoyable experience, not a stressful one. Sessions are generally held in the late afternoon/early evening (depending on the season) and last between one and two hours (newborn sessions usually running longer).
The location of your session is very important and should be well thought out depending on the look and feel you would like your images to have. I have several location suggestions depending on your chosen theme. Everything from fields and groves (I use Kent Park quite a bit), to industrial and urban. I do on occasion use my farm as one of my locations. It has a lot of nice backdrops beautiful scenery, and if your child likes animals we have plenty of child friendly goats, chickens, turkeys and peacocks to keep their attention and excitement level up. If you have a specific location in mind, or would like the session done in the comfort of your own home, please let me know.
Newborns are best photographed during the first two weeks of life. During this time period, newborns curl easily and do not protest as much when being moved into different positions. Please contact me prior to your due date to tentatively book a session. When your baby arrives, contact me to finalize a session date.
If there are poor weather conditions on the day of your session such as rain or high winds, we will need to reschedule. I will work with you to quickly schedule another date if this occurs. The same goes if your child is sick on the day of your session.
What to Wear
Good clothing choices can make or break a photo shoot. Wardrobe, like the location, should be well thought out as it strongly impacts the feel of your images. Classic, timeless clothing is aways a good choice, while bright colors and layers are also fun. Whatever you think best reflects the personality of you and your family. Personal touches (e.g. fun hats, some favorite cowboy boots or a frilly tutu) are encouraged! Please feel free to bring a additional outfit change for more variety if you choose. Be sure to stay away from clothing with logos, and any type of character clothing (cartoon characters, Barbie etc…) as they can be very distracting to the photo. I will be happy to give you any suggestions, or examples if you ask.