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Generations of Love

This photograph is approximately 94 years old. It is my father, his father, his grandmother and great grandmother. My great great grandmother was born in 1866 in Illinois. My great grandmother was born in 1882 in Arkansas. My grandfather was born in 1901 in Illinois and my dad in 1926. I have this photo hanging on my wall and look at it every day. It is a piece of my history. (I’m so curious why my dad and grandfather were not looking at the camera hahaha – I bet my grandmother was on the side of the photographer trying to make my dad smile.)

Generation sessions show your history. Where you came from – who you came from. You can see the connection and the honor my grandfather and great grandmother felt for my great great grandmother. They wanted to make sure their family was documented for future generations. I’m so thankful they did this.

During the month of March our studio is honoring Irish History Month – by focusing our efforts on all family history – your history. We are looking for families with three to four generations to come in for a special photo session. If your loved one cannot come to the studio, we will go to them. We want to know and tell your story. Enter here and let us know why you want a special multi-generation photo session.

Four Generations of Love and Beauty

Benefits of Meeting with Your Photographer Post-Shoot

While the idea of having your photographs delivered to you on a flash drive or via dropbox seems like the easiest way to get your hands on photos from your latest session, this isn’t always the best way. If you truly want to make the most of your photo session, meeting with your photographer after your session is highly recommended.

Your photographer puts a lot of time and effort into your session as well as the editing of your photos. A true professional won’t just abandon you as a client once the shoot is done. If you’re wondering why it’s important to meet with your photographer after your session, this is what you need to know.

  • A post-shoot meeting completes your photography experience. Having your photos taken is a personal experience, so why shouldn’t the entire process be personal too? Photographers prefer to take you through your photos so that they can assist you from start to finish and share in your joy.
  • Your photographer will assist you with the photo selection process. For some people, receiving a disc or flash drive filled with photos can be quite overwhelming, especially when it comes to selecting the best photos to print. Meeting with your photographer after your session allows them to give you their professional opinion on the best photos to print and the printing options available – e.g. paper type, size, metal, acrylic or canvas, etc.
  • Your photographer will be the perfect guide on where to place your photos. If you choose to meet with your photographer post-session, you may want to opt to meet them at your home. This way they can walk through your home with you and guide you on the best places to display your portraits.

How to Style Your Photo Session

One of the most common questions people have when preparing for their photo session is what to wear and what to bring.  You want everyone in the photos to look their best, but you also want all the details in the photos to tie together so it looks cohesive and not overly matching.  These simple tips will give you a better idea on how you can style your own outfits, accessories, and props so that everything meshes, but still pays tribute to who you are as a family.

Styling Your Photo Session

  • Coordinate Colors

Most families tend to match their outfits by pattern or color but for the best results, you’ll want to skip putting everyone in matching clothes and colors and instead coordinate their outfits to play off one another.  Let one of the family members secretly be the star of the photo shoot.  Dress them in a patterned outfit that consists of at least three colors.  Keep the rest of the family’s outfits simple with pops of color that coordinate with the star of the show’s outfit.  And don’t forget to take the shoes into consideration as well.

  • Accessories

Think about adding hats, scarves sweaters, vests, jackets or even flowers to hold or put in the hair.  Consider accessorizing your kids in layers, textures and offer something for everyone to interact with.  You don’t want the accessories to overwhelm the photo, but they can be a great way to offer a lot of variety throughout your session.  Think of things that can be easily taken off or put back on.

  • Props

It can be easier to work with children especially if they have something to play around with or hold for some of the images.  Think about adding in some props that are meaningful to you and your family, maybe a favorite stuffed animal, family quilt or heirloom or even the family pet can be a great addition to your photo session.  When choosing props ensure that they fit in well with the photo session and coordinate with the colors in your outfits – no bright pink bottles of bubbles with an earth-tone outfit.  Nature’s decor like flowers, apples, or pumpkins are also a few great ideas for props.

How to Find the Perfect Photo Shoot Location

Choosing a photo shoot location might seem like a big deal but it really doesn’t have to be difficult. A location usually drives some of the other decisions you will need to make about your shoot so it’s important to choose the right place.  Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you decide on a location:

  1. What kind of theme do I want?  If a particular building or natural backdrop would work well with your theme, look around your area for spots that meet your requirements. If you don’t know what kind of backdrop you want, take an afternoon drive around your city for inspiration. It’s easy to overlook beautiful spots that are practically in your backyard.  Ask family, friends or your photographer for ideas too.

  1. Are you allowed to take pictures there? Make sure that you can legally take pictures at the location that you have in mind. If it’s not public property or available to the public you will need to get permission first.

For example, this is an adorable English cottage facade, it is located at a venue that charges $300 an hour to photograph there.  Is the venue worth it?  My answer is yes, of course!

A great number of sought-out venues require a fee and many others need permits purchased ahead of time – so make sure you do the homework.

  1. Is it accessible? Consider that not all outdoor locations may be available all year round or you might not be able to get to them at all. Your safety is also an important aspect to think about before you decide on a location. Taking pictures on a mountain ledge may look neat but it’s best not to put yourself in harm’s way.
  2. How do you get to your location? Will it be easy to walk to the session location and if not, are you able to change your clothing and touch up your hair and makeup before the shoot? You should also find out whether there is a restroom that’s close enough in case you need it.

  1. Will the photo session be in a public place? If the location you have chosen has a lot of foot traffic, you need to ask yourself whether you are comfortable being photographed in front of others or if they will get in the way.  You might want to rethink your choice in location.

Make sure that your location doesn’t become a distraction and that there is shelter nearby if you need it. Your location tells a story so it’s worthwhile to choose a meaningful spot.

Top Tips for a Sensational Senior Photo Session

Below are our top five tips for taking on your senior portrait with grace and confidence and leaving with photos that you will love for years to come.

It’s completely normal to feel a little awkward when taking senior portraits. Many seniors tend to feel self-conscious about their appearance because they feel uncomfortable taking photos on their own.

  1. Use your eyes. Use your eyes to express emotion. When you smile naturally your whole face lights up and your eyes look bright and awake. Before the photo session practice smiling in the mirror and use different expressions to see what looks best.
  2. Relax. Great photos happen when the subject is relaxed and confident. Let the excitement of you photo session show through the lens as you take a moment and breathe, relax and just have fun. You may feel silly during this process but we will do everything we can to help you feel more comfortable.
  3. Breathe. This may sound obvious but breathing is key to capturing a natural look. Take time to practice taking a deep breath while smiling in front of the mirror. Slowly release the air while holding the smile and notice how your face and eyes settle into a natural and relaxed expression. Allow your eyes to “smile” by focusing on the apples of your cheeks pressing upwards. When in doubt, just breathe.
  4. Move. Staying stationary can sometimes produce a very staged and cheesy look. Just because you are sitting or standing still doesn’t mean you can’t change the angle of your body to create a look that is fresh and inspired. Try leaning into the camera slightly to appear more engaged, shift your weight from left to right, or simply move your chin slightly up and down for different shots as this gives us a variety of facial expressions to work with.
  5. Extra Effort. Ladies, spend some extra time getting your hair blown out, get your makeup and nails done and choose an outfit that makes you look and feel your best. As for the men, take a shower, shave, and clean your nails. Do not wear clothes that are too tight or uncomfortable to wear – it will show. When you look your best, you feel your best and when you feel your best, you are naturally more confident. Go the extra mile to walk into your senior session feeling confident, attractive, prepared, and inspired.

We Love Our Fur Babies

February is for lovers and this February our studio is honoring one of the greatest loves in our lives … our fur babies!!! 

That special guy that doesn’t care what you look like first thing in the morning.  He doesn’t care that the clothes on your bedroom floor are piling up. He greets you with a sloppy tongue and wagging tail everyday after work, and loves you no matter what mood you’re in.  He knows your deepest secrets as he is your safest and most forgiving confident. He licks your tears away without a need for explanation. He keeps you warm at night – doesn’t care if you ate the last piece of cake AND ice cream.  He is your hiking companion, your best friend, you joy. He is the one who keeps you young and makes you love even when you don’t think you can. He is the extra heartbeat in an otherwise lonely home. The one who gives you pure unconditional love and who you don’t have for nearly long enough in your life. 

It is time to celebrate this relationship in a big way and create lasting artwork that will grow old with you both.

For the month of February our studio is selecting five families to win a $250 gift certificate towards their own personalized session and artwork.  Enter to win today and tell us why you and your pet’s relationship needs to be documented.

BUSINESS IMAGE REBOOT

PUT SOME LIFE IN YOUR BUSINESS IMAGE

It’s that time of year!  A new start for those of us in business – and life!  We review the past year and we get to implement the lessons learned from last year and make new goals.   That time of year when we desperately try to plan out 2020.  

What campaigns are you going to run throughout the year?  What are you going to do for marketing, social networking, serving clients, keeping your business house clean, what orders do you need to make, what will get your clients’ attention?  Service, income, product, employees, networking, insurance, communication, marketing – the tasks are vast and seemingly endless. You feel like you’re getting pulled in five different directions!  Can be overwhelming. You need an online facelift, but what – how? Where do you start?   

As a solopreneur I know what it’s like to need that extra pair of hands and eyes to help with branding and online presence.  It’s hard to do it all on your own. You hear all the advice: videos are king – you need to produce a lot of content – you need to be present every day  . . . okay but how can you be present serving your clients if you are spending so much time putting together photos, selfies, blogs, marketing, social media posts . . . Do you even know who you are attracting?  Is it who you are trying to attract? Do you know who your ideal client is? Are you talking to them?

We all need help and cannot wear all the hats in our business – at least not well.  Outsource! Whether you need a quick freshen up of your website images and headshots or a full set of images to help you be prepared for marketing in the months/year ahead – you don’t have to do this all by yourself.

I’m looking for four businesses to work with during the month of January to help them start their year off right!   I will work with you once a week for four weeks on your plan and help you bring it to life with imagery for your website, marketing materials, social media and wall art for your business. 

If are interested in taking advantage of our introductory offer this month for the Business Image Reboot, please fill out the form and I will contact you.

HAPPY BUBBLE GUM DAY

“The world’s first bubble gum is Dubble Bubble. It was invented in 1928 by Walter E. Diemer—an accountant at Fleer Company.

After his retirement, Diemer admitted that the recipe was discovered by accident. The company founder, Frank Fleer in 1906, attempted to create a chewing gum which he called Blibber Blubber. The resulting product was very sticky and broke easily and was a commercial failure.

Mr. Diemer, an accountant who worked at Fleer liked to experiment in his spare time. In doing so, he stumbled upon a gum recipe that was unique. It proved to be less sticky than the initial versions and was easier to chew. This original gum was pink in color because the factory only had pink food coloring available. This is why most bubble gum is pink today.” (https://www.gumball.com/pages/history-of-dubble-bubble)

So on this special Bubble Gum Day – enjoy a piece of bubble gum and share with a friend!

 

Tips for Beautiful Fall or Winter Photos

Tips for Beautiful Fall or Winter Photos

There is a special kind of magic that comes with outdoor, seasonal photo sessions.  The snow lightly falling and icicles hanging from the branches . . . wait – what?!  We live in Southern California!  Snow or no show – So Cal is gorgeous and there are plenty of places to host a seasonal family session!  And I will travel to Big Bear, etc. for snow! Here are some tips to make your seasonal photo sessions go smoothly.

  1. Dress for the weather. You will be surprised at how often this is overlooked.  Since you’ll be standing outside for a long period of time, short sleeves, thin fabrics, and open toe shoes will not be comfortable for very long in cold weather – as well as when you want a cozy look and it’s 80 degrees outside.  Shivering or sweating makes it hard to look happy and pose properly.  If you want to look cozy in the warm weather, simply layer – wear comfy clothes and just add the cozy scarf and sweater when we actually take the pictures.
  2. Wear sunscreen. Protecting your skin should be a priority throughout the year, not just in summer.  Use a good moisturizer to protect your skin from chilly winds.
  3. Watch the weather.  If we do head up to the snow . . . warmer days may seem more pleasant, but melting snow can change the entire look of your backdrop. If you are looking for light snow flurries, try and keep an eye on the weather forecast to make sure that you don’t end up with melting or heavy snow.
  4. Be flexible. If the weather isn’t exactly what you had hoped for, see if you can still make the photo session work.  I had several sessions in one day that was overcast with light rain and the images came out beautiful as the light was so even.
  5. Incorporate color. Even though fall and winter have some amazing colors to work with, why not wear a splash of color to really stand out in your photos?  For example, vibrant shades of blues and greens look amazing among crunchy brown leaves.  Keep in mind, if we have sunshine, you will not want to wear anything too bright that will reflect on someone else’s face.
  6. Plan your day. Taking your photos just after the sun rises or just before it sets will provide you with amazing lighting so try and plan your session around those times.

Take some hot tea, cocoa or coffee along to make your photo session even more enjoyable and get ready for some beautiful results.

(We can also just create snow in PhotoShop!  LOL)

 

How to Pick the Perfect Professional Photographer

What you need to consider before you pay that photography deposit.

If you’ve started the search for a photographer then you’ll know just how many options there are.  Before you go ahead and book a professional photographer for a shoot though, there are a couple important things to consider.

What style are you looking for?

Photographers have different styles so you need to decide on someone who can help you achieve the end result you are looking for.  This applies to everything from wedding and maternity shoots to family and corporate shoots.  Ask the photographer for some examples of their latest work to evaluate whether they can cater to your needs.
Research and review.

Before you invest in a professional photographer you need to do your homework.  Get online to find a few customer reviews, browse around their website to view their latest work and have a look around their social media pages to find out what others are saying about them.  These platforms will also give you a good idea of their personality and style.  Some other important points to consider when researching photographers are:

  1. Budget.  Do their services fall within your price range?
  2. Expertise.  Are they experienced enough to give you the results you are looking for?
  3. Location.  Are they based in your area and are they willing to travel to a specific location if need be?
  4. Quality.  Is the quality of their photos good enough? Look at aspects such as sharpness, exposure and saturation.

Create a short list.

Once you have done your research, create a short list of professional photographers that stand out for you.  Get in touch with each of them to discuss your needs and to ask any questions that you might have.  It’s important that you chat with the photographer over the phone if not in person as this is the best way to get to know them and find out whether you’ll be able to work with them.  Feeling uncomfortable or stressed out around your photographer makes for bad photos.

It’s important that you pick a photographer that you have confidence in.  Your photos are there to last you a lifetime so while there is nothing wrong with helping out your photographer friend who has just started out, it’s best to choose an experienced photographer for important events and occasions that you can’t relive.