Welcome to the Kari Sikorski Photography Blog!

I'm Kari Sikorski, a family photographer based in Salt Lake City, Utah. I have had a camera in my hands since I was about 7 years old. I grew up taking photographs of everything, and have a ridiculous amount of photo albums from my childhood which I cherish today. My dad first taught me how to shoot manually on his old 35mm that he carried in the Navy.

I am a mom to three adorable, loud, rambunctious boys, and photographing them gave me a new appreciation for what a photograph can mean to someone.

I started Kari Sikorski Photography in 2009, and love to capture those smiles, milestones, relationships and special moments for my clients.

July 30, 2014

I was contacted by Hearts Apart to photograph Declan’s newborn session…

HeartsApart.org provides photographs of newborn babies born to military personnel who were serving abroad and were not able to attend the birth due to their military obligations.

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filed under: Babies & Children

Meet 1 week old Declan…

I was contacted by Hearts Apart to photograph Declan’s newborn session.

HeartsApart.org provides photographs of newborn babies born to military personnel who were serving abroad and were not able to attend the birth due to their military obligations.

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“HeartsApart.org was created to keep families connected while our military men and women are serving abroad. Through the efforts of our community’s finest photographers, HeartsApart.org provides our soon to be deployed servicemen and women with pictures of their spouses and children. The photographs are printed on waterproof and durable bi-folded cards, which fit securely in their uniform pocket. HeartsApart.org believes that our military personnel deserve and need the memory of their families to carry them through the difficult times that lie ahead.” ~ www.heartsapart.org

It is an honor to volunteer for Hearts Apart, and I’ve met so many great families!

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Such a sweet baby!

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Adorable! He was so good during his session…

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I love to photograph newborns, and have the excuse to bring out cute props like this owl’s nest!

(www.beautifulphotoprops.com)

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Declan, I could snuggle you for days you are so precious!

This little cutie will meet his daddy in person this Fall. Sr. Airman Bielick congratulations on the birth of your son, and thank you for your service! Lynsee, you are one amazing mama of 2 handsome boys… keep up the great work!

July 1, 2014

Here are my tips for photographing fireworks… Use them as a starting point and experiment with your settings to achieve a variety of fun images. Enjoy! ~Kari

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filed under: Photography

Ever wonder how to photograph fireworks?

I’ve always wanted to bring my tripod to a fireworks display, and finally had my chance at a Salt Lake Bees baseball game. We were seated in the front row of the upper deck, which was perfect – I could set up a tripod with an unobstructed view.

Here are my tips for photographing fireworks… Use them as a starting point and experiment with your settings to achieve the look you prefer. Have fun!  ~Kari

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The key is to have a long exposure and keep the camera steady.

1. Use a Tripod

Longer shutter speeds will not only capture the movement of the fireworks but any movement of the camera itself. The best way to keep your camera still is with a tripod.

2. Remote Release

One way to ensure your camera is completely still during fireworks shots is to invest in a remote release device.

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3. Framing Your Shot

Scope out the location early – get a good, unobstructed position. Think about what is in the foreground and background of your shots and make sure you won’t have people’s heads in your shots (also consider what impact you’ll have on others around you also). Take note of where fireworks are being set up and what parts of the sky they are likely to be shot into.

Find Out the Direction of the Wind – You want to shoot up wind, so it goes Camera, Fireworks, Smoke. Otherwise the images will come out hazy. Make sure you are ready to take pictures of the first fireworks. If there isn’t much wind, you are going to end up with a lot of smoke in your shot as the show goes on. The first explosions are usually the sharpest ones.

Watch your Horizons - This is especially important if you’re going to shooting with a wide focal length and will get other background elements in your shots (ie a cityscape). Make sure your camera is level on your tripod.

Vertical or Horizontal? Vertical works well because there is a lot of vertical motion in fireworks. Horizontal shots can work if you’re going for more of a landscape shot with a wider focal length or if you want to capture multiple bursts of fireworks in one shot.

Remember your framing – spend less time looking in the viewfinder and more time looking at the sky. Doing this will also help you to anticipate the right time for a shot as you’ll see the light trails of unexploded rockets shooting into the sky.

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4. Focal Length?  I recommend using a zoom lens. Wide angle or zoomed in… experiment for variety

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5. ISO & Aperture

Set your ISO to 100 – fireworks are bright, and a low ISO has less noise/grain. Set your aperture to f/8.

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6. Shutter Speed

Set the shutter speed to Bulb (B) setting. Bulb leaves the shutter open for as long as you depress the shutter release, and it’s a great way to make sure that you capture exactly what you see in the sky because you control when the exposure starts and stops. Hit the shutter as the firework is trailing up into the sky, and hold it down until it’s finished exploding (about 1-2 seconds).

Don’t keep your shutter open too long. fireworks are bright and it doesn’t take too much to over expose them, especially if your shutter is open for multiple bursts in the one area of the sky.

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7. Switch off your Flash

If you’re using an SLR, simply lowering the flash and setting the camera to Manual mode will keep the flash from going off.

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8. Manual Focus

If you leave your camera set to auto focus the lens will whir backwards and forwards trying to find something to focus on in the black sky and you’ll end up missing a lot of shots.

Set the lens to manual focus and set it to the ∞ (infinity) mark and leave it there. The fireworks will be far enough away that the camera would focus at infinity anyway.

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9. Experiment and Check Results

Throughout the fireworks display occasionally check your results, but don’t check after every shot or you’ll miss the show.

When you’re shooting fireworks at night, the aperture controls the brightness of the lights, and the shutter speed determines how long the light trails appear in the photo.

If you want brighter fireworks, open the aperture by making the f number smaller (f5.6).

If the overall photo looks overexposed, make the f-number bigger (f11). Try again until you get an exposure you like.

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10. Post-processing—darken the sky for increased contrast

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Writing with Sparklers

  • Use a tripod and the same settings as with fireworks.
  • Practice before lighting the sparkler.
  • Instruct your subject to stay as still as possible, only moving their arm to write with the sparkler.
  • Have an assistant light the sparkler and step out of the frame.
  • Instruct your subject to start moving the sparkler when you say GO and press the shutter – release it when they are finished writing.
  • When they are finished writing instruct your subject to stop moving the sparkler so that there isn’t a light trail coming off the word/shape.
  • Experiment and adjust settings as needed for more or less light, and shorter or longer trails from the sparkler.
May 15, 2014

This gorgeous senior’s session was shot in my favorite Spring location, where these purple phlox bloom for a few weeks creating an amazing backdrop!

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filed under: Graduates

This gorgeous senior’s session was shot in my favorite Spring location, where these purple phlox bloom for a few weeks creating an amazing backdrop!

McKenzie’s mom came along on the session and I just love that they are not only mother and daughter, but also the best of friends. Hearing them giggle made me laugh, and then we were all laughing… it was a really fun session to shoot!

Best of luck to you McKenzie! Congratulations!

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May 1, 2014

This handsome senior is an accomplished musician, and being used to having his photo taken, he made my job easy by being so comfortable in front of the camera!

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filed under: Graduates

This handsome senior is an accomplished musician, and being used to having his photo taken, he made my job easy by being so comfortable in front of the camera!

Best of luck to you in your future Thomas! Congratulations!

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April 27, 2014

…and baby makes 3

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This adorable couple is very excited to be having a baby this Fall!

They set up pregnancy progress sessions, and we will be documenting baby growing every two months at this beautiful location until the special delivery!

I am honored to photograph baby’s progress and it will be fun to see the seasons change as baby grows :) Salt Lake City, Utah maternity photography 2014-04-24_0002 2014-04-24_0003

March 1, 2014

This sweet couple is expecting their firstborn soon…

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This sweet couple is expecting their firstborn soon…

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February 15, 2014

I was honored to be asked to photograph this little cutie’s 1st birthday party. It was fun capturing images of the birthday boy playing with, getting hugs from, and eating cake with his parents, grandparents and family friends.

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I was honored to be asked to photograph this little cutie’s 1st birthday party. It was fun capturing images of the birthday boy playing with, getting hugs from, and eating cake with his parents, grandparents and family friends.

A great way to save these memories is with a 10×10 press printed album, as this family did. I order my albums from a professional printing lab, and they are a long lasting heirloom made of the highest quality materials.

Here are a few of the album spreads featuring many favorite moments from his special day…

2014-05-15_0019 2014-05-15_0020 I love how everyone shared a bit of his yummy rocket ship cake with him!

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and here are a few more favorite images …

The cake… the cake was to die for. so delicious! It was made by One Sweet Slice.

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Dexter had a lot of fun with his party decorations!

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I am sure he slept well that night, dreaming of rocket ships and yummy treats!

January 23, 2014

A HeartsApart.org family session.
HeartsApart.org provides soon to be deployed servicemen and women with pictures of their spouses and children at no cost. The photographs are printed on waterproof and durable bi-folded cards, which fit securely in their uniform pocket. HeartsApart.org believes that our military personnel deserve and need the memory of their families to carry them through the difficult times that lie ahead.

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I am so honored to be a photographer for www.HeartsApart.org.

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HeartsApart.org provides soon to be deployed servicemen and women with pictures of their spouses and children at no cost. The photographs are printed on waterproof and durable bi-folded cards, which fit securely in their uniform pocket. HeartsApart.org believes that our military personnel deserve and need the memory of their families to carry them through the difficult times that lie ahead.

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This family was just adorable, and we were all laughing when they pulled out the mustaches for some shots – I even wore one behind the camera!

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They brought my new favorite prop to get this cute little man laughing… a rubber chicken! I must buy one!

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Safe travels Staff Sgt., your adorable family will be so happy to be with you again soon!

 

January 13, 2014

Storm’s birthday party marked the finale of his Ultimate Baby’s 1st Year Package, and it was so fun to photograph his special day!

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filed under: Babies & Children

I have been photographing this baby since before he was born… starting with his mother’s maternity session. Storm’s birthday party marked the finale of his Ultimate Baby’s 1st Year Package, and it was so fun to photograph his special day!

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A relative with a great eye for design decorated for the party, and I was swooning over the cute details and colors!

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Mom, Dad, big sister & the birthday boy!

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The birthday party was held at the Tracy Aviary, in the historic Chase Mill. Guests were treated to story time, and a chance to feed two cute ducks -Salt & Pepper.

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Guests were then given an up close view of owls, hawks and falcons at a private bird show, where a talented McCaw painted a special picture for Storm!

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It was time to head back to the Chase Mill for the celebration…

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I loved how the cake was decorated like a storm!

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and at last… Storm enjoyed eating the frosting and oh yeah… there was cake in there too, lol!

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Happy Birthday Storm! Have a wonderful year!

December 20, 2013

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening,
in the lane, snow is glistening…

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Sleigh bells ring, are you listening,
in the lane, snow is glistening
A beautiful sight,
we’re happy tonight,
walking in a winter wonderland.

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I was so happy to hear from this family again this Winter for a family session. Their session last year has some of my favorite images and they are such a sweet family!

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These two littles were so good in the cold! Adorable!

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