Posts in Tips & Tricks
8 Ways to look Amazing in Photos
 

Whether you’re preparing for a portrait, group photo or love taking selfies, it pays to know how to look great in photographs. 

Start here.

Determine your best feature. Determine your best asset. And then, highlight those features.
But besides the wearing clothing that highlights your features or that feels good, hair and makeup here are some posing tips to help you out:

 

1. Twist a little

If you’ve ever worried about the camera adding 10 pounds to your middle, try this trick to LOSE 10 pounds instead. 
Twist your waist by turning one shoulder toward the camera and the other one away from it. This is a great angle to help anyone look slimmer.

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2. Control your chin

Extend your neck towards the camera very slightly. This may feel awkward, but from the camera’s perspective it doesn’t look awkward at all.
Instead it conceals any hint of a double chin!

 

3. Avoid Direct Sun

Avoid the direct sun at late morning and noon as it will only create deep shadows under your eyes, nose and chin. Instead, look for some shade. 
The diffuse light in the shade will illuminate your face evenly.

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4. Be Yourself

Try to forget there's a camera in front of you and just chat, play and be yourself as much as possible. You'll be able to capture a much more natural expression.

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5. Shoot From Above

Everyone looks better when the camera is looking down from just above the subject. So if you find yourself straight on, rather find something to sit on or squat a little lower.  Looking up at the top of the camera will help to make our eyes look brighter and bigger.

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6. Don’t Say Cheese

We've all said “cheeeese”  in one too many pictures. To help bring out your most natural and genuine smile, think of a joke or try exchanging a few jokes with the photographer.

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7. Do something with your hands

If you’re standing, place the hand closest to the camera on your hip; this adds definition to your upper arm.
If you’re sitting, gently clasp your hands in front of you or place it on your knee. 

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And lastly:

8. Take a breath and drop the shoulders

Right before the snap, take a deep breath and release it. This will relax your features, giving you a more natural look.
Also, drop back those shoulders. Often nerves and discomfort goes straight to the shoulders.


 
The Benefits of Framing
 

You've done your photo session - you got everyone all dressed up and there on time. Good for you. You had a great session but now what? Ever wanted a beautifully design wall of your photos but just don't know where to start or what frames to go.

Gorgeous, modern photography deserves perfectly flattering frames. I believe that there is great value in completing your images through a polished final product. Presenting your photographs in archival matted frames elevates your portrait investment to the status of fine art, transforming your walls into a gallery to be experienced and enjoyed daily. 

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Wondering how to get yourselves up on your walls? I offer hand crafted frames to elegantly present your favorite images, and will help you create a showpiece display. My line of low-profile, high-impact frames is designed to complement any decor. Their clean style ensures that the frames don’t compete with the image, but enhance and elevate it. Made in Oregon of hardwood, with frame-grade acrylic and acid-free mats, the frames’ archival construction protects your photographs, ensuring your images will become treasured family heirlooms.

I believe that photographs should be shown in groupings. My Wall Gallery Collections are designed to do just that: illustrate the complete narrative of your wedding or family through a harmonious display that complements your decor, rather than competing with it. My Wall Gallery Collections frame your images in an expert array of sizes and shapes, perfect for displaying your experience in a modular, scalable arrangement.  

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Whether your style is classic, modern, beachy, or rustic, I carry a Wall Gallery whose aesthetic reflects yours. From traditionally ordered straight lines to delightfully quirky asymmetry, our Wall Galleries are a starting point for creating your own collection of frames. Add more frames from my à-la-carte offerings for a completely custom arrangement!

 
Let it snow... Tips for Preparing for Your Winter Session
 
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Now that fall is at an end, let's look forward to the next few months of snow and winter and it really can be a lot of fun.

Some people shy away from winter sessions because, well, it’s cold. But winter sessions make for some prime photo ops, so don’t write off the brr months.

1. Keep tracking the weather. Those white winter days after a lot of snowfall can result in some seriously gorgeous photographs. Booking two months out probably won’t work, and you’ll instead want to book on a shorter notice.

2. Really play up the winter accessories when planning outfits. Think cozy knit scarves, colorful coats, adorable boots, mittens and more. 

3. Plan the day out so that nobody gets fussy or too cold. A bribe of hot chocolate after the session goes a long way. Also make sure that everyone’s dressed warmly. 

4. Don’t be afraid to have fun in that snow. Snowball fights? Snowman building? Angels? The possibilities are endless and this should be all about having fun. 

5. Choose colors and prints that pop. An all white background is absolutely beautiful, but having that pop of red or that flash of gingham can really make for a gorgeous photograph.

6. Pack the necessities. Noses tend to run in the cold, and glasses can fog up. Bring tissues, hand-warming packs, clean clothes and hot beverages to keep everyone perky throughout the shoot. 

7. Because it can be really cold, note that a shorter session may be in order. Make the most of your photos by using every single second to the max, especially at the beginning of the session when everyone’s still warm and spirits are particularly high.

Now, if standing around in the snow and cold is really not for you then I have a fully equipped studio ready for you and your family.

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7 Tips for Preparing for Your Autumn Session
 
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Autumn is one of the most popular months of the year for portrait sessions. After all, nature is doing its thing with all those vibrant colors, plus you get a chance to really play up your wardrobe with accessories in the crisp weather.

1. Make use of accessories and clothing that play up the “autumn” feeling. For example, opt for leather boots, cable knit scarves and comfy cardigans look amazing on the whole family and can really bring a picture to life. Tip: neutrals do really well in the fall against all that foliage. 

2. Timing is everything. Start paying attention to that shift in weather as summer melts into fall. Once the leaves start changing, call up your photog and book a session. I know that I like to plan fall sessions, so chances are I’ve got a session ready for you. 

3. Location is everything. If it’s autumn, you better believe we’re playing outside in the gorgeous weather. I have a lot of locations to choose from that have particularly pretty backdrops. I’m also open to your suggestions. 

4. Plan for a mid-afternoon to early-evening session, when the light is just gorgeous. The days are shorter in the fall, so we need to plan accordingly to get that golden hour light.

5. Play in the environment. Chances are there are leaves on the ground or a few buds lingering around. I may have you throw leaves up into the air or something similar. Remember, this shoot is all about capturing your family bond and having fun, so let loose and get into the season! 

6. Pack the necessities. It can get chilly in autumn, so you may want to bring some necessities on hand. I recommend a lip balm, moisturizer, warm packs for your hands, tissues, and, of course, warm apparel. 

7. Wear comfortable shoes and accessories. Since we’re going to be outside, we’ll probably do lots of walking. If those boots look amazing, but kill your feet, scratch them. If the scarf looks adorable on Timmy, but it’s scratches his face and makes him unhappy, it’s better left at all.



 
How to be OK if your baby won’t stop crying on picture day
 

We’ve all seen those adorable photos of new little babies looking so peaceful and relaxed without a care in the world. As new parents, we want similar photos of our children to send out to grandparents, make into screensavers, and blast out to our social media pages to show off our amazing baby. But then session day comes around and BAM! – your baby does NOT want anything to do with it.

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You’re thinking, “Why won’t you stop crying? I’ve literally done everything I can think of, but you’re still not happy. Don’t you know I’m paying good money for this session? Sarah’s baby cooperated in her session, why can’t you just go to sleep and let us get some nice photos?!” If this is happening during your session, I want you to stop, breathe, and remember one thing: all newborns cry. It's nothing to be ashamed of. This is a natural, real emotion that all newborns have for most of their first few months of life. It’s not abnormal. There is nothing wrong with your child for doing it. They aren’t doing it to embarrass you. And when you stress out about the fact that your baby is crying, that then makes things even worse because he or she knows you’re upset.

Don’t let the crying upset you. Embrace this moment in time. It won’t be long before you forget how her little forehead wrinkled up whenever she screamed, or how his toes would get all stretched out and tense when he was upset. Let us capture these little details. Crying photos can evoke real emotion and demonstrate the love you have for your child as you try to soothe him or her. Your child can look back at these photos once they’re all grown and remember the solace that they found in your arms. These tender moments are just as important, if not more so, than the sweet sleeping posed photos. 

The point of booking a newborn session is to help you preserve the first memories of your child’s life. You’ll look back at these photos and remember all the nights you walked your baby around the house or rocked him in a chair and hummed lullabies to try to calm him down. Those times are very stressful, but they also help you form a bond and that’s what makes these photos so treasured. 

All that being said, if you have your heart set on those peaceful posed photos, we can always take a break and try again, and, if all else fails, reschedule.  

 



 
What to Wear Guide
 
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What to wear can be one of the biggest stresses when getting your picture taken. Should you and your partner or environment match or not? Dark or light colors? Stripes or no stripes? Here's a quick guide to help you make the easiest and best decisions for your session, however, just use it as a guideline. 
 

1.  Match your house

If you plan on hanging these images in your home, or in a specific room or office, then it’s a great idea to wear colors that match that room. This way, the images will blend perfectly with your décor. If your walls are tan, then you might choose tans, blacks and reds. If your walls are gray, then you could choose cooler colors like gray, plum, or turquoise. If you don’t have a specific style in your home, or are unsure whether you'll be displaying a large image, then you could choose to wear neutral tones.
 

2.  Patterns are both good and bad  

If you choose to wear patterned clothing, be sure to complement them with something solid. Remember, too many patterns become distracting. You want the focus to be on the faces and the emotion in the image and not have the clothing distract from that.
 

3.  Avoid logos 

Similar to the patterns tip, try to avoid wearing clothing with big distracting logos or slogans on them.
 

4.  Choose color groups 

Here are a few COLOR GROUPS you might want to use as inspiration: 

Traditional and classic: Tans, denim, black, white, cream

Jewel tones: Purple, cranberry, teal, squash yellow, navy

Bright and colorful: Red, blue, orange, yellow, bright pink

Neutrals: Sage, navy, black, cream, olive

Fall colors: Purple, orange pink and brown

Holiday colors: Red, silver, gray, black

Spring and summer: Tan, coral, gray, yellow

Color pop: Stick with whites, tans, grays, and just a pop of red or pink highlight

For further reading you can take a look at

my official clothing guide


 
How to Choose a Photographer for Your Senior Pictures
 

Graduating from high school is a huge accomplishment, and one of the most fun traditions at this time of year is to have some senior photos taken. Whether you're finishing up your junior year and looking for photos for your yearbook next year, or you're about to graduate this spring and want to capture the moment, here are some tips for hiring the best photographer.

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Do Some Research

This kind of research is a lot more fun than the kind you do for history class because it involves looking at photos and albums from a bunch of different photographers out there. Every professional photographer has a different style, and getting the perfect senior pictures means finding the photographer whose style matches your personality and whose images really speak to you. Check out the photographer’s website, review several albums, and picture yourself in the photos to figure out if they would work for you.
 

Meet the Photographer in Person

Great photography happens when you connect with the person taking your photo, which is why it’s a good idea to meet the photographer in person before you hire them. You can ask them questions, review their work, and talk about what to expect before, during, and after the shoot.   When you feel comfortable and relaxed during your session with a photographer you really "click" with, you'll get photos that reveal your personality and your true self instead of ones that look forced and awkward.
 

Look for More than Just Picture Quality

You want more than just great pictures.   That’s why it’s a good idea to ask about other services that are included with your photo shoot.   For example, is the photographer prepared for emergencies during the photo shoot with things like hairspray, bobby pins, and makeup?   What would they do if something unexpected came up, like a really windy day or unexpected rainstorm?   Could they improvise and still get great photos?   Also ask about what happens after the shoot - do they do touch-ups and editing, will you get the photos on a disk or in some other format, do they offer services such as albums and prints, and how long will it be before you can expect to see and order the pictures?
 

Discuss Budget and Get Your Parents Involved

We understand that these are your senior pictures, and you may not really want to work with your parents, but in many cases they can offer some perspective and advice that will help you get photos that will stand the test of time. If they are footing the bill for the photos it’s also a good idea to discuss the budget with them, or bring them along to talk to the photographer about how much it will cost, so they get what they expect cost-wise and there are no surprises.

Finding the right photographer to preserve the memories of this important milestone is a big job, but if you do it right you'll have the perfect pictures for life.

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11 questions you should never ask a photographer (and 2 you should ALWAYS ask)
 

You want to hire a photographer but you have a lot of questions...some good ones and some that should NEVER be asked. Here are a just a few of those.

 
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“Why can’t you send us all the photos the next day?”

Because I need to transfer the HUGE raw files from my camera to my computer, select the very best ones, painstakingly edit each one of them in Photoshop, arrange them in a digital album, and then upload all the photos online. That will take me at least a few days. Part of my photo process is to send you a little sneak peek within 24 hours of the shoot. I'm usually just as excited to get started and see the photos as my clients, so I gladly share that with you.
 

“Great photos! You must have an amazing camera”

Do you get compliments on your cooking? Then you must have a great oven! I have an amazing camera, yes, but it takes more than that to make a good photo.
 

"Can my friends and family use their cellphones for photos?"

Don’t make your photographer have to compete for your attention or little kids' attention for that matter with all the cell phone photographers. People can even get in the way of a great shot, which can ruin that moment. As the photographer that is my job to get the moment captured.
 

“Can you just photoshop that out or make me look younger in photoshop?”

I'll make sure everyone looks good and small things are taken out but please be realistic or don't rely on editing for major changes. I can make you look younger, but it will take me ages (pun intended). 
 

“Check out this photo on Pinterest, can you please do the same for me?”

I'll  gladly consult with you about a creative solution that will achieve a result everyone will be happy with and not just copying someone else's ideas.
 

“I think this photo would look great in black & white”

I absolutely love black & white photos, and if I feel a photo should be black & white I'll include that with your files (at no additional cost even). I have great editing software and the skill to make great black & white pictures. Please don't just press BW on your printer.
 

“I just need a couple of shots, can’t you give us a discount

or make it a mini-session?”

From time to time I send out great offers. That's the time to jump for joy and your phone. A lot goes into a professional photo shoot, and afterwards too, so if you just want one or two shots by all means go for it, that is why I have an A La Carte menu, but you'll miss out by not ordering one of my collections which have been specifically designed to offer you a great deal.
 

“Can you make a portrait photo of me for free or trade services?

I’ll tell everyone it was made by you!”

I prefer not to trade services, but I am open to partnering with other small businesses for voucher deals and special packages depending on how appropriate it will be for my clients.
 

“Can I have the raw files, with the rejects too?”

There’s a reason they are called “rejects".  I reject them so that you don’t have to. Often there are light testing shots in between or burst (duplicate) shots. Let me do all that purging for you and just send you the very best images. You will see a online gallery and if any files are purchased it will be JPG files as final files. RAW files are stored with me for any future editing that may be needed.
 

“Your work is so easy, you just need to press a button”

I wish! There are so many aspects to being successful as a photographer that you end up wearing ten different hats in one day. From creating a stunning photography website, to online marketing and actually mastering the art of photography! There’s barely any time left to explain what a photographer’s job is really about.
 

Can you just give me all the digital files on a disk or USB?

I strive to provide clients with quality prints and products from a professional lab that will last for many years to come. You can definitely get the files, they are included in the three collection I have to offer as well as the A La Carte menu. I can't  guarantee material or color quality of consumer labs from the shop down the street. It would awful if you ended up with a product you are not happy with or worst of all a CD or USB ending up in a drawer and never being printed.

And now ...

The 2 questions that YOU SHOULD always ask

1. Do you bring backup equipment and how do you backup your photos?

Crisis management might be one of the most important things a photographer can do at a photoshoot. Let’s face it, things happen. Photographers rely heavily on very complicated and expensive pieces of equipment to do their job, and they’re not always perfect. Your photographer likely spends a lot of money on regular cleanings (they have to send everything out – cameras, lenses, flashes, etc), as well as repairs. One little “ding” can throw off the entire focus of a lens. So why does this matter to you? Well, a good photographer will bring working backup equipment that is as good as their main equipment in case of an emergency.

Following your photoshoot, your photographer will backup all your images before they even start to work on them. Usually this requires ample storage space both locally at their home or studio, as well as off-site. After your final images have been delivered, it’s good to know how they will archive the images (IF they archive them, and what images they will and won’t save). Always ask about your photographer’s policies, and never assume!
 

2. What's the best time for a photoshoot?

Golden Hour is the most highly requested time to shoot (think sunset photos), and this is a very short span of time directly before sunset, assuming it’s not overcast or raining. Ask your photographer to make suggestions about lighting, timing, and expectations for your final photos! 

If you have questions (apart from the ones listed here), please don't hesitate to call me or email me. 

 
 

 
 
 
10 Tips for Photographing Littles
 

Every parent want a documentation of their little one’s lives. Here are a few tips. Follow along click by click.

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TIP 1: RECORD IT

When my children are grown up, I want them to be able to look back at the photos I took and remember; their favorite stuffed animal, the shirt they insisted on wearing everyday for a week, the proud look they have after figuring something out. It’s their history and ours as a family, and I want to record as much of it as I can.

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TIP 2 PLAY ALONG AND GET IN THE PHOTO

It always helps to play a long and be silly with my kids. If they’re rolling around in the grass, I'll roll around too. This not only helps me photograph my little ones in a more authentic way, but it keeps me present and living fully with my children which comes first, always. They also love it when they see adults acting totally silly and not so serious. Don't wait till your hair is perfect or you loose 5 more pounds. Rather get in the photo and have fun.

TIP 3: GET LOW Get FAST

Shooting at a child’s eye level will allow your photo to be framed at their perspective This angle helps to portray that sense of wonder they have about the world. If shooting with a DSLR camera, use shutter speed of at least 1/125 second to capture kids in focus, no matter what they are doing.

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TIP 4: CONSIDER YOUR POSITION

To eliminate distractions within the frame, sometimes it's as simple as panning a few degrees to the right or the left to crop out a group of people. Other times I need to move to a new position so that the lighting is on the right side, or the backdrop is less busy. And sometimes, I just get up and move some things out of the way quick.

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TIP 5: GIVE THEM SPACE

What works best for me is to give my kids their space. I won't give them an exact spot to be, but rather point them to a general area. That way, they can choose to move however they want and do what feels natural to them. My aim is to simply let them enjoy the experience as I try to weave my way around it.

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TIP 6: FORGET ABOUT YOUR FEED/WALL

Spend less time planning your next Facebook or Instagram post and instead just capture events as they happen in real time. If it works out that the composition is right and the lighting is good, I'll post it otherwise I'll keep it on file for printing later. Either way, I have the moment as a record.

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TIP 7: BE SELECTIVE

When it comes to choosing which photos to keep, I try to save only the ones that really move me. Ask yourself “does this photo bring me great joy?”. Relax your kids are well documented and you will still have plenty of photos.

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TIP 8: STAY IN THE MOMENT

I was guilty of shooting too many photos. Nowadays, I try to anticipate moments that will photograph well, snap a few photos, and move on. There's no point in taking a photo to remember a moment that you missed because you were too busy taking the photo! Sometimes a moment is just too special to interrupt.

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TIP 9: TEACH THEM

Invite them to be part of that fun and let them see what inspires you, a beautiful scenery, great lighting etc. When you get a great shot, call your kids over to take a look. They’ll learn something from you. They’ll take a bit of ownership for being part of that photo that brings you joy. My kiddos will show me a great scene when we are out and occasionally even suggest taking a photo in that moment. I know this might make people nervous but in a save environment (neck strap around neck or resting a camera on a table hand them the camera for a bit and let them try it out.

TIP 10: PRINT BOOKS

When I’m deciding between a few photos of the same scene or moment to keep, I often consider, “which one of these am I going to print?” Printing photo books for our family also helps to keep my photo-life organized. When my second child was born, I printed a book for my oldest from his first year of life – he cherishes this book and loves having something of his own.

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