Tag: 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.

What Are You Thankful For?

I am thankful for family and the abundance in my life.  I am also thankful for all the special moments I have had the privilege of capturing this year and of all the clients I have gotten to know.  I loved discovering new places and sharing in your happiness and I look forward to many more of these moments in the coming year.

Thank you for making my days brighter!

Here a few tips to keep in mind this holiday season:
1.  While entertaining, keep your glasses, ice and beverages in the living room so that your kitchen doesn’t get too crowded.
2.  Fill big pots with soapy water after dinner so that you can soak smaller items such as utensils.
3.  Need to create space in your refrigerator?  Fill an ice chest with ice to store smaller items.
4.  Prepare any sides the day before to save some time the next day.
5.  Keep kids busy by getting them to help you with any desserts that require decorating.
6.  Remember your pets and the items that can be dangerous to their health:  turkey bones, sugar-free baked goods, chocolate, tinsel and ribbon, and holiday plants – i.e., mistletoe, poinsettia and holly.
7.  DON’T STRESS OUT!  Remember what is important in your life during this what is usually a stressful season, family and friends.  Your pup or kitty can feel your stress and get stressed out as well and act out – so for yourself and your household – take everything in stride, make lists and enjoy the season!

Promo:  When you are planning what gifts to give and you are going to be ordering prints from me, make sure to use the secret password “thankful” and get a complimentary 8×10 gift print of every canvas order you place during the month of November!

Next Step in Life – Milestones . . .

These are my sons.  As you can imagine . . . getting this done was like pulling teeth.   I had to trick the younger one and beg – well force – the older one.

Both of my boys graduated from their respective schools which was pretty cool – both the Class of 2017 (middle school and high school)

As always we ended up having a great time and got some fun images!  I know when they’re an old fart like me, they will really cherish these images!  And YES – I did print them!!!! #PRINTYOURPHOTOS

 

 

Jake

I had the pleasure of heading south again (San Diego) to take this young man’s senior portraits.  Working with Jake was great – as with most of my clients (minus my own son) – he was easy going and willing to do anything!

I’m happy to add him to the group of great young men I have photographed this past year!

No One Wants Pictures of Me or I’m Too Fat, Old . . . Fill in the Blank

Here is one personal story about why those objections are not going to fly with anyone . . . First of all – everyone who loves you wants pictures of and/or with you – so knock that off now.  You are who you are today and your photographer is trained in posing, wardrobe advice and post-production to help you look your absolute best – we know all the tricks!

So being a photographer – you would assume I am constantly taking pictures of my family – not with my phone.  You would also think that I would practice what I preach – and have a family photo that I’m in.  NOPE.

I CANNOT stand to have my picture taken.  I think I look horrible – yes that is the word I use – HORRIBLE.  Lots of shame going on with my self-image . . . I am not AT ALL the way I want to be remembered – or seen.  I’ve had 40-50 pounds to lose since my last child – 14 years now!  Okay so with that thinking – unless something drastically changes – like I actually get serious about my weight – my children won’t have a picture of me with them except for the little selfies we take and post on FB (facebook).

This past Christmas, I said okay this is stupid!  I need to take family pictures with me and my kids.  The ONLY portrait I have of me and any of my kids, I took of my first child and me when she was three – it was a self-portrait and it was fun and I still cherish it – I weighed 40 lbs less than I do today – it’s a big difference.  I’m a different person physically and it is upsetting – HOWEVER – it was more upsetting that I could possibly be in my grave before I took pictures with my kids – and the dog!

So being the photographer I am, I chose an outfit that would compliment my body the best, got clothes for the kids so we all coordinated and asked my photographer friend, Karen ReVelle Photography, to take our family photo!  I am so glad we did this and we will do it probably every year now – which is what I hear from other mothers that resist doing this.  As soon as their session is over and they see the results – they are thrilled and hooked!

Since we had a time limitation with light, I took some photos ahead of time of the kids while we were waiting for Karen.  All-in-all, we laughed a lot and it was great family time.

In my experience – the family sessions I do go like this – the family shows up, the kids are usually grumbling or look like it took some fighting to get everyone coordinated and out the door – during the session we have fun, laugh and then they go out for a fun meal.  Getting family photos done is not just something you REALLY need to do for yourself and future generations, or a chore, it’s something to do together and can be super fun.  Think about venues – places you like to go and schedule a family session there.  Make the session about your family’s personality.  One of my packages offers a longer session so we can do some lifestyle photos of kids playing, parents torturing their kids or kids torturing their parents – whatever.  This certainly does not have to – and should not be – a chore.  The more fun we have, the more receptive the kids will be to having their photos taken.

The next VERY IMPORTANT step to the family photo session experience is PRINT YOUR PHOTOS!  Get a folio box of matted images, photo album or book, framed wall art . . . GET THOSE IMAGES ON PAPER OR CANVAS and put them on your walls.   “Let’s sit around the computer and look at pictures,” said no one ever.  I can help you with this!  I can handle everything from concept to framing.

If I do your family session, we will talk ahead of time about what you would like the end product(s) to be and we will shoot with that in mind.  Then after your session, we will get together and go through your images and decide what goes where and how.

Any other objections you can think of to not take family or individual portraits?  Throw them my way and I will bat them down!

A New Life Means New Hope . . .

With each new life there are new hopes and dreams.  What will she do?  Will she impact the world on a global level?  Will SHE be the one that brings peace and kindness to this world?  Will she be the first woman to . . . .?

Even with all the hopes and dreams, our hearts always glow with pure joy and gratefulness of being blessed with your own little angel – she will absolutely have a blessed impact on her family and friends. #foreveragift

I can’t wait to meet Harper!

 

A Wedding is a Circus . . .

Years of preparation – horse drawn carriage – stilt-walker – ringmaster – they said it couldn’t be done . . .

Angela and Gary said, “Yes it can.”  I know there are a lot of images here, but there was a lot going on.

When Angela asked me to photograph their wedding and told me it was a circus theme, I was so excited!  I knew it was going to be spectacular!

The creativity and can-do attitude of Angela, Gary and Angela’s family is limitless.  Angela and her family created, designed and built all the details of this wedding.

We started our journey at the hotel.

Hair and makeup by:

Hair – (David Douglas Salon) Nikki – 714-848-8186

Makeup by Pearl – 816-419-8931

We are on our way . . . surprise for the bride!  She had no idea that her father was going to dress like the ringmaster – he was also the officiant!

 

The first look.  I love the first look.  Not only can I have the couple selfishly to myself right after they just finished getting ready, but this is the perfect time for them to see each other and have the last quiet moment they are going to have together until the honeymoon!

 

All aboard!  The venue has such a cute little train depot along with an engine and car.  Great photo venue!

 

Let the show begin . . .

 

And the details . . . . The flowers were designed by the bride and arranged by Jen K Floral Design

In closing . . .

 

Credits:

Photography:  Cathleen McGrath Photography

Videography:  Thai Huynh – 805 813-7587 – thaihuynhstudio@gmail.com

Photobooth:  Jay – 657-888-3757 – booking@evolovphotography.com – www.evolovphotography.com

Caterer:  Café’n’Stuff – Roberta – cell 562-254-8216/office 562-940-4494

Deejay – Jonathan – 310-753-6590 info@djandpartyrentals.com OR djandpartyrentals.com

Raj Tents…. Maurice Walsh…510 418-2576 cell…
310-329-8222 office ext 25…. events@rajtents.com or Maurice@rajtents.com

Orbit Rentals – Nori – 562-696-8875 – crystal@orbiteventrentals.com
Cindy Cinderella (Horse) – Cindy – 951-201-5269 – mustang1998fury@yahoo.com

2Create designs (Chair rentals) – Ali – (949) 735-4909 – ali@2createdesigns.com
or Erika (562) 712-2154 erika@2createdesigns.com

Cake – Katella Deli – (562) 594-8611 – info@katellabakery.com

Bartenders Caitlin…562-388-3838
Victoria…310-480-7662
Katie…..562-552-5987

Dog Trainer Anthony…..562-413-5799

Coordinator:  Arielle – 949-632-9041 – arielle@lvlevents.com