Best Times To Book Your Outdoor Photo Session

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Best Times To Book Your Outdoor Photo Session

There are a lot of things to consider when booking your outdoor photo shoot. Whether it is for an engagement session or portrait session you want to ensure your images come out looking stunning. Many people book their shoot thinking that the afternoon would be the best time to shoot since there is plenty of sunlight, but this is actually one of the worst times to do an outdoor shoot.

The afternoon light from the sun is often harsh and strong which causes unflattering shadows. While diffusers and shade can help reduce these shadows it still isn't ideal. So when should you schedule your outdoor shoot?

The Golden Hour.

Any professional photographer will agree that the best time to shoot outdoors is during what is know as the golden hour. This is typically the hour just after the sun has risen or the hour just before the sun sets. It is during this time that the lighting is ideal because the sun is typically at its lowest point in the sky. As a result, the light is soft and diffused which creates less contrast and shadows.

Additionally, during these hours there are fewer people out and about. This gives you the extra bonus of not having to worry about anyone walking in the background or distracting you during the shoot. The glow of the sun at this time will also help add dimension to the background and allow for more detail to come through the images.

How to determine the golden hour?

Since the sun rises and sets at different times every day you want to make sure you plan accordingly. From about March to July the sun will begin to rise earlier and set later and from August to December the sun will rise later and set earlier. Keep in mind that your location will impact the length of time you will have this ideal light to shoot with. As you move closer to the equator the “golden hour” will typically not be as long because the sun moves up in altitude more quickly so the light becomes harsher much faster.

While it may not seem ideal to have to wake early to get in your photo shoot the images you will come away with are well worth this small sacrifice. Most parents also agree that booking their family shoots earlier in the morning was met with less resistance from their children. Keep this in mind when you decide to book your next outdoor shoot.

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Simple but Effective Tips for Taking Photos Indoors

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Simple but Effective Tips for Taking Photos Indoors

Whether it’s because the weather took a turn for the worst or you simply found the perfect indoor setting for your next photo session, there are a few things you need to be aware of when taking photos indoors.

  1. Work with windows. Natural light does wonders for photos. If you can find a window or open door and use that light as front, side or back lighting it will give your photos a really nice look and feel. It also brings natural warmth to your images.

  2. Pay attention to your surroundings. While shooting photos inside a home gives you loads of great backdrops and props to work with, you miht need to move a few things around before your session. Make sure that your space isn’t cluttered as this can shift the focus in the photo.

  3. Check the light sources. It’s very important to only stick to one light source. If you’re shooting photos in a room with strong overhead lights but there are also several windows, rather opt for the natural light and switch off any other light sources.

  4. Discover your space. If you’re shooting in an indoor setting, take a proper walk around the area and see if there aren’t areas that you can shoot in that you never thought of before. This is your chance to get creative.

  5. What you wear still matters. You will often come across advice on what to wear when taking photos outside but what you wear to an indoor photo session matters just as much. Your clothing should complement your backdrop and the overall mood that you’re trying to create.

Taking photos indoors might be a little more work sometimes but it’s totally worth it.

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A Quick Guide to Taking Better Vacation Photos

A Quick Guide to Taking Better Vacation Photos

Top tips for perfecting your vacation shots.

Taking a vacation, whether it’s on your own or with family and friends, is a happy and exciting time. There is always a memorable, funny or majestic moment to capture as you relax and unwind. Taking great photos is not a skill that comes naturally to everyone but there are a few things you can do to ensure that you have plenty of wonderful images to remember your vacation by.

Simple Photography Tips for the Traveler

  • The moments are what matters on a vacation so try not to get the people you’re with to pose too often. Instead, focus on capturing special moments between your children or between friends. You also never know when a unique moment might present itself in your surroundings so always have your camera ready.

  • If you are looking to get some great shots of the scenery around you, it’s always best to get up early if you can. The lighting will be better earlier in the day and hopefully there won’t be as many people around.

  • Before you pack up your belongings and head out the door, become familiar with the settings on your camera. Take out your camera’s manual and have a quick read through the settings and features to ensure that you’re up to speed with what your camera is capable of.

  • Don’t forget to take some detailed shots too. While you want to capture the scenery and be able to show others what you experienced on vacation, taking the time to zoom in on the smaller details can make for some amazing photos too. Whether it’s a great meal that you had or the beautiful detail on a building, try not to discount those shots.

  • Bonus Tip: Get a few shots of the locals and anything that might be going on around you. These shots tend to tell the best stories.

    Safe travels.

6 Things That Make a Photo Beautiful

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6 Things That Make a Photo Beautiful

Have you ever wondered what makes a photo stand out and stir certain emotions in you when you look at it? Of course, photos of your family and places you love will naturally give you the warm and fuzzies or leave you in awe but there are also very specific elements in great photos that help bring them to life and make you take a second look.

  1. Lighting. When a photograph has beautiful lighting it gives the image a certain mood and highlights the important aspects of a photo. Light is an incredible tool so using natural light from an open window or door or even a soft artificial light can make all the difference.

  2. Backdrops. While focusing on a specific person in a photo is how we naturally take photos, that person is only a part of the greater whole. Your background and any other objects in a photo all make up the structure and scene that draw you into that moment.

  3. Textures. A good quality photo will usually allow you to pick up on certain textures such as a pair of woolly socks or the texture in a heavy wooden door.

  4. Perspective. Sometimes the most beautiful photos are taken from a different perspective such as getting down to a toddler’s level at a birthday party or taking a shot of a tall building by looking all the way up from a street corner.

  5. Colors. Play with colors when you take photos, match them up or emphasize specific colors to draw the eye to a certain detail in a picture.

  6. The moment. Capturing a moment that will never happen again makes for incredible photos.

Photography isn’t only for the professionals. Everyone has the ability to take a great photo by focusing on a few simple elements, getting creative and being ready to capture something beautiful or everywhere you go.

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Mini vs Custom Photography Sessions: What You Need to Know

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Mini vs Custom Photography Sessions: What You Need to Know

f you’re in the midst of planning a photography session, whether it’s for your newborn baby or just a general family session, you’ve probably heard the term ‘mini session’ mentioned quite a bit.

There are a few differences when it comes to a mini photography session vs a custom session. Here’s what you need to know before you decide which shoot is best for you.

Time Limits

This is of course one of the main differences between the two sessions. A custom photography session will last an hour or two while a photographer will usually book several mini sessions in one day since they only last about 20 – 25 minutes at most.

Number of Poses

Secondly, a custom photography session will allow for as many poses as possible within the time booked while a mini session offers less time so your photographer will use their skills to capture as many candid moments at possible in a shorter period of time.

Number of Photos

While your photographer will still try and shoot as many photos as possible during your mini session, you will naturally end up with fewer photos than you would if you had booked a custom session. A custom session generates between 30 - 40 images while a mini session will give you about 10. There will also usually be minimal retouching of the photos taken at a mini session.

So which photography session is best for you?

You may be surprised to find that many of our clients actually choose both! Often our clients will opt for the custom session for the entire family at a location of their choice. This gives them more time to play around with poses, backdrops, props and wardrobe changes. While they opt for mini sessions to get a few great photos of the kiddos as a compliment in between the custom sessions.

Regardless of which you choose, we look forward to working with you!

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Simple Tricks for Looking Thinner in Photos

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Simple Tricks for Looking Thinner in Photos

We have all seen photos of ourselves where we simply weren’t happy about how we looked. It’s easy to be your own worst critic but it’s even easier to make small changes in how you pose for photos in order to look slimmer and more confident.

  1. Low angles are a no-no. Nobody looks good when they’re photographed from below. Photos taken at this angle make you look heavier, shorter and will more than likely give you a bit of a double chin. Instead, take photos from a side angle or from above.

  2. It’s all in the jaw. It might feel rather awkward at first but try practicing moving your chin up slightly and your neck forward so that it accentuates your jaw.

  3. Think before you get dressed. What you wear plays a big role in how you look in photos. Avoid bulky or baggy clothing that doesn’t fit you well. While darker clothes do make you look slimmer, if you want to go for brighter colors, stay away from any patterns that draw attention to your problem areas and always avoid horizontal stripes.

  4. Angles & posture are instant wins. You will always look slimmer in photos if you twist your body slightly to create an angle. Place one leg in front of the other and keep your weight on your back leg. Put one hand on your hip and keep your other arm relaxed at your side, not pushed up against your body. To accentuate your collarbones, stand up straight and push your shoulders back.

  5. Sit correctly. If you’re sitting in a photo, try and cross your ankles instead of your legs. It makes you look leaner and shows less of your thighs.

  6. Stick to the middle. Taking a group shot? Try and stay away from the end of the group if possible as people standing on the edges of the group always look a little bigger.

Remember that confidence makes a big difference to your photos too so don’t forget to smile naturally and let your beauty shine through.

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Why Your Photographer Won’t Hand Over RAW Files

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Why Your Photographer Won’t Hand Over RAW Files

Almost every photographer has been asked for RAW files by their customers at one point or another. For some, it can be hard to understand why their photographer has refused to part ways with their RAW files, but know that your photographer is not trying to be difficult. They have several good reasons why they don’t just hand over all the photos that were taken during your shoot.

When you’re working with a photographer during a shoot, you’ll notice that they’re constantly snapping away. This is because not all of the images come out perfectly. Sometimes a specific pose or scenario needs to be shot multiple times just to get one good shot. A professional photographer spends a lot of time sorting through all of the images that were taken during a shoot to select the best shots.

Once the best photos have been chosen, they are brought to life through post process editing with professional editing software. This stage which takes a lot of time and results in the beautiful end product that is handed over to you. If your photographer had to give you the RAW files you wouldn’t be seeing the end result.

You’d also be surprised at how many people want the RAW files in order to alter the photos themselves. If that individual then chose to share those photos after making their own adjustments, the integrity of your photographer’s work is put at risk.

Something else to keep in mind is that RAW files are huge and you need a lot of memory to store them. You might also find that you don’t have the proper software available at home to view this type of file, so again you would be sitting with megabytes of files that you can’t do anything with.

When you hire a professional photographer you’re putting your trust in their abilities. You need to trust that the photos they hand over to you are a result of their hard work, experience and eye for the perfect shot.

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2018 Year in Review

2018 Year in Review

I can’t believe that it is December and that the year is almost over. What a year 2018 has been! I wanted to take a moment and reflect on the past year. 2018 was a year of growth and transformation in my personal and professional life. I celebrated 10 years of teaching and started my 11th school year in September 2018. September 2018 also began my third year in my photography business. I watched my daughter turn 2 and hit many growth milestones.

Professionally, I spent a lot of time growing my photography business and continued working on honing my style and craft. This year, one of my highlights was photographing one of my former students that I had years ago. I was so honored that Hannah and Jered chose me to be their wedding photographer and in August, I flew down to Florida to take their engagement pictures. Their sunrise beach session is one of my favorites to date!

Being surrounded by my close friends and family during this Christmas season has brought me so much joy. Thank you to my family, friends, clients, other photographers and creatives who have supported and encouraged me.

I look forward to what 2019 brings and can't wait to share my journey with everyone! Here are some of my favorite pictures from 2018!

My Favorite Things - Christmas Edition

My Favorite Things - Christmas Edition

It’s almost Christmas! With just a few days away, some of you might be like me where I am just beginning to shop! Good thing I have Amazon Prime where I can receive two -day delivery just in time for Christmas. As I was shopping, I came across a few things that would make great gifts. Here are my list of favorite gifts:

  1. Dual Shoulder Leather Harness Camera Strap $74.95

    I have been eyeing this for such a long time and crossing my fingers I get this for Christmas. As a photographer, being able to carry two camera bodies is such a game changer. This comes in useful when you are photographing a wedding where different lenses lend themselves to different situations. This makes a great gift for my fellow photographer friends.

  2. Blanket Shawl Scarf $11.99

    Nothing says winter like having a warm scarf to wrap around you. This warm scarf adds a layer of accessory to your clothes to dress up your outfit or to just keep you warm during the winter weather. Best part, it’s only 11.99.

  3. Koolaburra by Ugg Women’s Short Fashion Boot $79.99

    Ugg boots are one of the most popular boots that offer sheepskin lining. As an alternative to the high- price of Ugg boots, Koolaburra offers a familiar style at a lower price. These boots have bows on them, making them fashionable at an affordable price.

  4. Functional Multi-Pocket Crossbody Bag $14.98

    When you are going shopping, you don’t want to carry a large purse with you, so this crossbody is functional and cute with a double zipper to hold all of your important items. It comes in a variety of colors and an adjustable shoulder strap to give you a comfortable fit.

  5. At A Glance Weekly & Monthly Planner $16.72

    What better way to keep yourself organized than a planner to keep all of your important dates and special events in one place. Although we live in a digital age and I can program these dates into my Google Calendar, I like visually seeing a planner with dates filled in. This is a great gift for the new year to help your friends (or you) stay organized!


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Choosing the Ideal Location for Your Family Photo Session

Choosing the Ideal Location for Your Family Photo Session

Location ideas for your next family photoshoot.

Family photos are timeless and if you are looking to update your family portraits or take some for the first time, you might be wondering about what location to use for them.

Here are some things to consider before choosing a location:

Comfort

A family photoshoot is where you get to smile, laugh and be yourselves. If some of your family members are shy then you might not want to choose a very public spot.

Personalities

What makes your family unique? Choose a location that fits in with who you are as a family. Do you enjoy spending time in your garden or on a couch reading books? Perhaps you spend lots of time outdoors and on camping trips? Your location should speak to your personalities.

Convenience

Take each member of your family into consideration. What are their ages and needs? If you have two toddlers that might need to use a bathroom at any time, then a remote spot is probably not the best idea.

Family Photoshoot Location Ideas

Below are some ideas of where you could arrange your photo session.

At Home

Sometimes the best shots can be taken right at home. Get your family outside in the garden or setup your living room for a classic look and feel.

In the City

For a more modern feel to your photos you could get out in the city and take a few photos next to an interesting building or in a funky alley way.

In Nature

If you’re looking for a calm, natural setting then choose an outdoor location. Parks and forests make for beautiful backdrops.

In Studio

If you’re looking for a more private setting where you can use props and backdrops, then a studio setting might be more for you. Studio photos will also give you the option to take more posed, structured photos.

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Creative Family Photoshoot Ideas You’ll Want to Try

Creative Family Photoshoot Ideas You’ll Want to Try

If family photos are one of your annual traditions or if you’re just looking to change up the photos that are currently hanging in your home, there are so many unique photoshoot ideas that you can use that go beyond the usual posed portraits.

Below is some inspiration as you plan your next family photoshoot.

Silhouettes

If you have a beautiful location in mind, taking family photos at dusk or even at night with the stars as your backdrop, will allow you to capture your silhouettes and give you a unique family portrait to hang in your home.

Reflections

Have your family stand in front of a still body of water so that you can capture your reflections instead.

Footprints

If you still have young children in the house, use your feet to create a special image that you can frame or print on canvas. The photo could be of your feet intertwined at the foot of the bed or of your feet in the sand at the beach.

Perspective

If you’re looking for something a little more creative, why not line your family members up and take a shot from the side so that you see your faces from a different angle.

Kisses

This is another great option if you have a new baby or a toddler in the house. Have each parent plant a kiss on baby’s face. This photo allows you to capture the sweet innocence of your child at that age and the love you have as a family.

Dress Up

The best family photos are those that capture a genuine moment between loved ones. Have your husband and son get dressed in their Sunday best to get a shot of them fastening their ties or bowties in the mirror. Play dress up with your little girl by placing curlers in your hair and hers and get a shot of the two of you looking in the mirror.

Don’t be afraid to get creative at your next shoot. Ask us for advice or ideas if you need some extra help.

 

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What I'm Thankful For

What I'm Thankful For

It’s that time of year again…it’s Thanksgiving. This time of year makes me think about turkey, pumpkin pies and apple cider. But what it also makes me think about, is how thankful I am for my business and the many opportunities that I have been given.

I am thankful for my clients that have trusted me to capture their special moments, whether it be engagements, families, portrait sessions or weddings. Sharing in these priceless moments is what drives me to be a photographer. I have so much fun and joy capturing photos that you will be able to look at for years to come.

I am thankful to the other photographers that have let me work with and learn from them. I second shoot often and it gives me an opportunity to grow my skills and hone my craft. Also, thank you to the photographers that second shoot for me that help me create a one of a kind experience for my clients.

Most importantly, I am thankful to my family and friends that have supported me from Day 1. Whether it is watching my daughter weekend after weekend while I’m out on photoshoots, or sharing my posts and talking about my business to others, without you all, running my business would not be possible. Thank you for your continued support and encouragement.

Let’s take time to show gratitude to others and not just at this time of year at Thanksgiving, but all year around. Wishing you and your families a wonderful holiday!

Cover Photo by: https://www.kristinepalmerphoto.com/