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Why You Should Hire a Professional Photographer


Why You Should Hire a Professional Photographer

With the current digital camera market and smart phones that take such good photos, is there really a reason to hire a professional photographer? Below are just some of the reasons why a pro is a better choice. 

1.     An expensive camera does not automatically result in photographic skills. Just because your friend, co-worker, or relative has a high-speed, top quality digital camera doesn’t mean they know what they’re doing behind the camera. While quality equipment does help the average consumer improve their photography game, a professional photographer offers an artistic approach, creative eye and experience that cannot be purchased at a camera store.

2.     Professional equipment has its perks. Shooting with top of the range cameras and professional lighting equipment helps us to take the best shots, even in less than optimal circumstances. Capturing low light, nighttime and even high-speed action shots can be tricky for the amateur photographer but a professional knows what’s required to capture those types of shots. 

3.    Posing is our thing. Ever tried to get friends and relatives, including kids, to stay still and pose for a big group shot? It’s easier said than done. Need a little inspiration for your own special portraits? A professional photographer can help. Photographers perform these tasks sometimes daily, so they have perfected the skills required to get the best results while making everyone feel comfortable in front of the camera.

4.     They’re hired. Using a friend or family member to take your photos could mean missed moments. A professional photographer is exclusively hired to capture the day and won’t miss out on photos because they’re chatting with the other guests, grabbing a drink or dancing. Hiring a professional photographer guarantees you capture as many perfect moments as possible.

5.     The end result is part of the process. Professional photographers not only capture your photos, they also edit and retouch images in order to achieve a beautiful finished product. They can also assist with extras such as albums, custom prints and canvases. 


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Hannah and Jered's Sugar Mill Garden & Beach Sunrise Engagement Session

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Hannah and Jered's Sugar Mill Garden & Beach Sunrise Engagement Session

Sometimes people come into your life, not by choice, but just by pure circumstance. That is how Hannah and I met. When I was an English Teacher and Assistant Varsity Lacrosse Coach at James I. O'Neill High School, Hannah ended up in my Social Criticism class and I coached her at the same time. Even though Hannah is 10 years younger than me, she was my person back in high school. We would have deep conversations about life and she is well beyond her years. She was one of those students that had an impact on my life and I was so ecstatic that she asked me to capture one of the most important moments in her life. 

I flew down to Orlando to take their engagement photos. Hannah and Jered are the ideal couple. They are laid back and go with the flow. I have always wanted to do a beach sunrise session, and I asked them if they would be willing to do it. So they woke up at 5:30 am and went down to New Smyrna Beach to take their first set of pictures. I am so glad they agreed to do it, because I love these pictures! Here are some of my favorites from the beach: 

Later in the day, we went to Dunlawton Sugar Mill Gardens in Port Orange, Florida. This is a botanical garden that features a 19th-century sugar factory; part of the former Dunlawton Plantation. We were eaten alive by mosquitoes, but it was all worth it for the pictures! I am so excited for their wedding next year and thankful that they allowed me to capture these moments for them. Here are my favorites from Sugar Mill Gardens: #Shewentwithjered 


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6 Ways to Always Look Fantastic in Photos

6 Ways to Always Look Fantastic in Photos

From school yearbooks to friends’ weddings, we’ve all been in front of camera at some point or another and if you’ve recently looked at a photo with disdain then this post’s for you. If you know that you’re going to have a lens pointed in your direction in the near future, below are six simple ways to get better results.

1.     Get to Know Your Face. This applies to professional photoshoots as well as every day photos. Take time getting to know your face, how to smile naturally and which side or angle of your face you like better.

2.     Easy on the makeup. While an evening out is a different story when it comes to makeup, if you’re having headshots, family or maternity photos taken, go easy on the makeup. You want some basic coverage but don’t overdo it. You should also only stick to accentuating one part of your face so choose either your eyes or lips but not both.

3.     Facing the camera. Your photographer will help you when it comes to posing for photos but in general you shouldn’t be facing the camera head on. Positioning your body at an angle always makes for better photos.

4.     Controlling your chin. Photos where your neck is elongated and your chin is pushed slightly forward will lift your face and give it a more angular look. You might want to practice this beforehand in order to get used to it.

5.     Pick your outfit carefully. Put some thought into what you’ll wear to your shoot. Pair bold designs and patterns with solid colors to avoid too much distraction. You should also pay attention to the fit and shape of your outfit. Make sure it compliments you and that you feel comfortable.

6.     Use lighting to your advantage. This is something that your professional photographer will be an expert at but the right lighting can mean the difference between that wow factor and disappointment. Avoid standing directly under a light as this will create weird shadows on your face.  This is something we will help you out with because we are experts so take our advice when we suggest a specific time for photos.  If shooting outdoors, the best light will be 15-20 minues before & after sunset.  Unless it’s an overcast day, we will always try to get you in full shade so that the lighting isn’t dappled or causing weird shadows on your face.

As much as the above tips will help you during your professional photoshoot, always remember to have fun and relax as this will do wonders for your photos.




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Wedding Planning Tips

Wedding Planning Tips

Yay! You're engaged and ready to start wedding planning! As soon as you have a ring on your finger, people want to know all of the details of your wedding; have you set a date, where will it be held, or how big is your bridal party? Wedding planning is supposed to be fun and exciting, but at times it can be overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you through the planning process! 

Tip 1: Set a Budget: This is one of the most important things that you and your fiancee need to decide early on. Once you set a budget, you need to stick to it. Take it a step further and break it down by how much you want to spend on each vendor. This will help when you receive quotes and meet with vendors to stay within the budget you allocated. 

Tip 2: Set Priorities and Deadlines: Make a list of what items need to happen and in the order they should occur. Once you've set a budget, the next item that you and your partner should be working on is deciding on a venue. Once you have a venue, and you've picked a date, then you start searching for other important vendors such as photography and a planner. 

Tip 3: Ask for Help: This is one of the biggest moments in your life and if you are planning your wedding on your own, don't be afraid to ask friends and family for help. They would be more than willing to lend a helping hand. 

Tip 4: Be Selective With Your Guest List: This is an area where you want to really make sure that  the people who will be attending the wedding are the people you want there and not because you feel obligated to invite them. If you are only inviting close family and friends, that's ok. You also don't have to give every single person a plus one. You can have a no kids wedding, or only ones invited are in the bridal party. All of these decisions are entirely up to you. I suggest making an A, B, and C list of guest invites. The A list are the ones that have to be there, the B list is people would like to and the C list is if there is room in the budget. This is an area where you can save some money by the number of people you invite. 

Tip 5: Take Your Time: Wedding Planning takes time. In the beginning when you decide on date, pick a venue, then all a lot of the planning goes on hold until closer to your wedding date. Take the time to enjoy being engaged and go out on dates. It's also a great idea to practice self-care and make sure you are taking time together with your partner, but also some time for yourself! 

Hope you enjoyed these tips and happy planning! 

My Top 4 Goals for 2018

My Top 4 Goals for 2018

When the New Year rolls around, many of us make New Year's Resolution's and then by the first week of February, we give up. This year I am committing to make these 4 goals a reality this year. 

1. Book 10 Weddings: Whether your wedding is this year (2018) or in the next two years (2019 or 2020), allow me to capture your special day from all of the little details to your first kiss as a new couple! I would love to sit down with you and go over exactly what you want for your wedding day. I believe in offering a unique client experience to help showcase your love. 

2. Photograph a Beach Destination Wedding: My suitcase is all packed, ready to go wherever you and your loved ones are going to celebrate your wedding! It has always been a dream of mine to travel to a warm location and cover someone's wedding in the sand, on the beach with that perfect blue ocean in the background. Anyone having a destination wedding? I would be happy to capture your special day! 

3. Launch a Senior Rep Program: This has been an idea in the making for the past couple of months. I want to be able to offer Senior Portrait Sessions to High School Seniors in Peekskill, NY and Cortlandt Manor, NY. I will be accepting applications for Senior Reps in the next few weeks and excited to add this program to Melinda Anita Photography! 

4. Start Planning My Own Wedding: I can't forget about my own wedding! I want to get some things underway, like deciding where and when we would like to have our wedding and begin looking for wedding vendors! So excited for this upcoming chapter in our lives!