Summer Time, Summer Time!

Summer Time Session Tips

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Ah Summer time, a great setting for some fun photos of you and your loved ones in the great outdoors. Like any season there are some suggestions to keep in mind when going out for a session.

1.       Wear sunscreen. If you are going to be out in the sun for a long period of time, especially with children, sunscreen is a must. It can however also make your skin look quite shiny. If possible apply makeup that has built-in sunscreen otherwise apply some powered concealer to spots that look especially oily.

2.       You will ‘glow’. Unless it's a cool day, you're probably going to sweat. Bring along some tissues for dabbing and your concealer powder for touch ups.   

3.       Bugs.  A portrait setting in the woods can be romantic and beautiful, and it could also mean swatting away flies and mosquitos.  Ugh.  So apply or bring a little bug repellent just in case. 

4.       Water. I can guarantee that posing for portraits can be a bit of a workout.  Trust me on this one, but if you schedule a summer session, you may get over heated.  Make sure you bring lots of water and drink up often.

5.       Makeup.  To stay looking fresh with that sun kissed look, avoid over doing your r makeup application.  In this case less is best.  (of course do some trial runs before your session day)

6.       Clothing is not optional. Make sure that what you wear to your session is thought out, you want to be comfortable.  Don’t’ wear anything that is to constricting, or too warm.  Choose clothing that is comfortable and fits your body shape. A quick chat with your photographer may give you some ideas as well with styling.

7.       Choose your time of day. I am sure you have seen those beautiful back lit summer portraits that make you swoon.  Images like that are well thought out with the time of day, so plan your shoot early in the morning or just before the sun sets.

Top Tips for a Sensational High School Senior Session

Sensational Seniors

We all feel a little awkward when we have professional portraits taken.  I remember my own experiences in high school, being awkward and self-conscious when a camera was pointed in my direction.  Now a days most high school seniors are proficient taking

‘Selfies’ with their iphone but still feel self-conscious when a camera is pointed in their direction.  

 Below are few ideas to help you create senior portraits to help create images that will capture your grace, confidence and maybe sassy side?

 1. Smize.

Have you noticed when you smile naturally your whole face lights up and your have a little twinkle in them. Use your eyes to express emotion – just subtle changes make a big difference. It feels weird but before the photo session practice smizing (that is smiling with your eyes) and play with using different expressions to see what looks best.

2. Relax.                                                                                                                                                         Memorable portraits happen when the you are relaxed, confident and having fun. You may have moments of feeling silly but a good photographer will do everything to help you feel more comfortable, and forget you are even in a portrait session.

3. Breathe.

Yes, stating the obvious but breathing is key to capturing a natural look. Just breathe, take a deep breathe, and slowly release and smile.  Try it in the mirror a few times and notice how your face and eyes settle into a natural and relaxed expression.

4. Move.

You are not a model so most of the time you find yourself getting stuck in a stationary pose and that can sometimes look a very staged and cheesy. Small adjustments leaning into the camera slightly, or shift your weight from left to right, or even a slight movement of your chin slightly up and down produces a variety of facial expressions.

5. Beautify.

You know how you feel when you get ‘done up’ – Like a million bucks!  Take that extra time to get your hair blown out, get your makeup done, choose an outfit that makes you look and feel your best.   The same goes for men, take a shower, shave and pick the outfit that makes you feel most confident.  Go the extra mile to walk into your senior session feeling confident, attractive, prepared, and inspired.

Finally, your photographer should help you with basically all the items listed above, so relax and enjoy.  These High School Seniors sessions are so much more than the old ‘Cap and Gown’ of my time, and trust me you (and your family) will look back at them time and time again and cherish them.

Yes, Bring your Pet

Pet Portraits

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Let’s be honest, pets are family, and of course you want to include them in your portrait session.  Of course, including your pet does require a little extra prep,  but it is totally doable, and memorable.

Some tips I have learned to help you and your pet for a photo session.

If your pet is like mine they LOVE new people, so don’t expect to have them sit still right off the bat.  To make this work you will need to allow your pet some time to become acquainted with the new person.   Don’t be surprised if it requires some treats to bribe them with.

Always bring a leash or harness, just in case.  I always try to arrange your poses so you can hold onto your pet securely without it looking like you are hanging on for dear life.

Sessions with your pets tend to take a bit more work, so know that going in.  Give your pets the chance to take breaks, walk around and take a quick drink of water. I know there is no way to force a pet to sit still if they are thirsty, agitated, or distracted, and you will see that in the photos.  So, come prepared and with patience.

Finally, pets pick up on your energy and emotions, so be aware of how you are feeling.   Try to be relaxed as possible, and try to arrange your session in a place familiar to your pet like a favorite trail, garden or park.

Which Camera is best for my child

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For my stepson's 13th birthday I gifted him his first DSLR, it was a way for us to bond, and do things together. I have fond memories of us going on little walks and pulling out the cameras and experimenting. As he got older the photography bug grew, and he starting shooting and upgrading his equipment. That passion, took him to many countries, and created many memories for him growing up. So, if you are thinking about buying your mini-me their first camera, how do you know which is best.  Well, a few things you to consider particularly since children’s interests can change in a flash.  You can, however, still support their hobby without breaking the bank.   

Here are our top tips for choosing a camera for your kid. 

1.       Size Matters - Make sure that the controls and buttons are manageable and that the size of the camera is suited to the size of their hands. The menus should also be logical, easy to read and have intuitive icons that are easy to understand.

 2.       Learn by Doing - Children love to experiment and tend to learn faster when they are hands on. An entry-level DSLR camera will give them enough settings like exposure, ISO, shutter speed and aperture.

 3.       Big Screen – The digital screen on the back should be large, bright and have great color reproduction. Another thing to consider is how easy it is to see in both indoor lighting and outdoors lighting conditions. 

 4.       Pixels – Most camera’s will have plenty of resolution, but if you are purchasing second hand you want to consider the sensor resolution. In general a 10-14 mega pixel camera is a sufficient for an entry level photographer.

 5.       Memory Cards – Obviously, they will need some SD/SDHC memory cards, to store all those amazing images.  The only suggestion is a little more research, buy from a camera store and have backups in case of failure.

 6.       Add-ons – After a day of shooting your mini-me will want to download images from the camera onto a computer for viewing or editing so a USB cable or external device to transfer the images from the card to the computer will be an essential.

Finally, if you are concerned about price, and worry that this is just a fad, you could invest in a used camera.  Many photographers sell their ‘older’ camera’s to upgrade and you may be able to get a deal.  Your other option for a second hand camera is check in the camera stores, they often have a used section. 

Expectations

Congratulations!  Bringing a baby into the world is an amazing life event you definitely want to capture. Trust me, it’s a time you want to remember, and it is a beautiful way to bond with your little one once they are older.  So this blog is for you if you are considering or have booked your maternity session

How to prepare for a White Sheet Session

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You booked your white sheet session so now what? Here’s a little list of things to think of before your session.

1. SCHEDULE A MANI PEDI

I am not saying you need to book one, however take some time to ensure that your digits are well groomed, clean and if you have polish I suggest having them match color or tone.   

2. HAIR REMOVAL

I strongly suggest that if you are going to shave, that you will want to do that a day or so prior to you scheduled session. That goes for waxing as well. You don’t want to have annoying little redness appear during your session.

3. MOISTURIZE

Use your best moisturizer and ensure that you are well hydrated. The intent is to have glowing skin, so include some lip balm as well if you have dry or chapped lips.

4. HAIR STYLING

If you regularly dye your hair, a quick reminder to have the roots touched up prior to the session. Yes, it is something I can fix in post however it can be easily corrected with a quick visit with your hairdresser.

Photo Session Ideas You’ll Love

Did you know that basic concept of photography has been around since about the 5th century B.C.E. but the first camera that could capture permanent images- like we do today- was around 1830s in France.   Joseph Nicéphore Niépce exposed a pewter plate coated with bitumen to light, and that is the first permanent recorded image.

There is magic in capturing images and creating memories with your loved ones.  When I was about five years old (likely I was going into first grade) our family had our portraits done.  I recall setting up in our spare room and me chasing down my tabby cat to be sure he was in the picture with me.  I still have that print with me. If you are like me, and want to capture those memories on film here are some ideas for your next session. I am sure you will find one below that you’ll love.

Family history.  Do you have a wall dedicated to your family tree in portraits?  Are you swooning at that ‘old’ masters style of your grandparents portraits or just the tone and color?  It just takes is a bit of creative posing and editing and you can achieve the same timeless feel.  When you are ready to display them display thhem in an ornate frame and voila!

First and last day of school.  Facebook gets flooded with the first day of school images, usually all ready to head off.  What about adding a little something more and get some fun pictures of them getting ready.  How about your teen graduating from the last day of high school.  Fun!

Generational photos. I have a portrait of my grandparents and my great grandparents that hang on our wall. These type of portraits are one of those treasures handed down through generations so why not create one for your own family tree? Have a session with your daughter(s), mother and grandmother to capture the generations of women in your family,  or perhaps the men of your family there is no limit to the combinations.

Maternity portraits. You may not really feel like doing maternity session but they are a fun way to capture your pregnancy. Years from now you can look back and share the stories of that time with your child. 

Pet portraits. Pets are part of our family, so why not capture them in a session as well. You can either do formal studio sessions or more casual outdoor – like a day in the life of your pet or you can shoot in the comfort of your own home.  So many FUN ideas to share with your pet.

Save the date. These sessions are becoming quite popular with newly engaged couples.  Why not it’s a personalized way to invite people to your wedding. Be creative you can do anything from writing the date on the bottom of your shoes to using chalkboards or balloons to display the date.

Displaying Your Photos


Your images are gorgeous and they deserve to be displayed accordingly but this doesn’t mean you always have to use a traditional frame to showcase them in your home. 

 Here’s some inspiration on how to display your cherished memories.

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Contemporary

If your décor is modern contemporary you might want to consider canvas gallery wraps, mega mats or go frameless if you’re looking for something truly sleek and modern

 If rustic or vintage chic appeals to you and you want to get your creative on, you could turn old pieces of wood into funky stained photo clipboards, binder clips to hang the photos in place.  Or try hanging a thin cable or string  and hang your photos. .

Vintage Frames

How about vintage frames from a second hand store, find different sizes, colors and styles and create one entire wall into a display of your favorite variety of memories. Be creative, there many shapes and designs which will allow you to create your own unique photo display

 Finally, there are folio boxes or image boxes that allow you store you images that have a window in the box to allow you to show off your image and easily change them out without hassle.

 No matter which you choose make it your own and get creative. Filling your walls with a lifetime of memories is one of the most special ways to tell the story of your life or family.