Sensational Senior Photo Sessions: Top Tips for Rocking Yours!

It’s completely normal to feel a little awkward when taking senior portraits. Many seniors tend to feel self-conscious about their appearance because they feel uncomfortable taking photos on their own. You are probably used to taking photos with a friend, or snapping the occasional selfie in the privacy or your own car or home, having complete control of the situation. Having a pro take photos of you can be a huge adjustment!

Below are my top five tips for taking on your senior portrait session with grace and confidence, and leaving with killer photos that you will be thrilled to share with your family and friends, and love for years to come.

1. Use your eyes.
Use your eyes to express emotion. When you smile naturally your whole face lights up and your eyes look bright and awake. Before the photo session practice smiling in the mirror and use different expressions to see what looks best.
2. Relax. Great photos happen when the subject is relaxed and confident. Let the excitement of you photo session show through the lens as you take a moment and breathe, relax and just have fun. You may feel silly during this process but keep in mind that you probably look much less awkward than it feels. I will do everything I can to help you feel more relaxed, comfortable, and have a good time.


3. Breathe.
This may sound obvious but breathing is key to capturing a natural look. Take time to practice taking a deep breath while smiling in front of the mirror. Slowly release the air while holding the smile and notice how your face and eyes settle into a natural and relaxed expression. Allow your eyes to “smile” by focusing on the apples of your cheeks pressing upwards. When in doubt, just breathe.
4. Move.
Staying stationary can sometimes produce a very staged and cheesy look. Just because you are sitting or standing still doesn’t mean you can’t change the angle of your body to create a look that is fresh and inspired. Try leaning into the camera slightly to appear more engaged, shift your weight from left to right, or simply move your chin slightly up and down for different shots as this gives us a variety of facial expressions to work with. Of course, your photographer will guide you in posing your body, too… but its always nice to have an idea of what works ahead of time.
5. Beautify.
This goes for everyone. Ladies, spend some extra time getting your hair blown out or curled, get your makeup done and choose an outfit that makes you look and feel your best. As for the men, take a shower and schedule a haircut, but make sure you get it at least a week before your session to give your hair the time it needs to settle into itself after a crisp cut. I will send you a style guide to go into more detail, but just remember that when you look your best, you feel your best and when you feel your best, you are naturally more confident. Go that extra mile to walk into your senior session feeling confident, attractive, prepared, and inspired.

 

Got it? Try these 5 tips and you will come to your senior session ready to rock it!

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Unsure if You can Believe in God? This is for You…

I realize not all my readers believe in God, much less a loving God for that matter. If that is you, can I ask you something?

Could it be that you are unsure because Christians like me are imperfect people too, who sometimes do and say things that hurt others? I hope nothing I’ve ever done or said has turned you off from believing in a wonderful God.

Could it be that maybe you’ve misunderstood who the real God of the universe is, what He is like, and how much he truly loves you? What He gave up for you to be loved and free?

Could it be that maybe a lot of us have misunderstood how a God can be powerful, sovereign, and at the same time good, when this world is so messed up? Did you know that the missing piece is a couple of things called free will and true love? The two go hand in hand, and are the key to all of this.

True Love frees. True Love does not control. True Love pursues. True Love protects. True Love inspires and True Love leads. True Love, continues loving when it is not returned, hoping for the Beloved to return, freely.

Our Father God is the full personification of this radical love. And He wants you to know Him. His Son Jesus died so you could KNOW Him, and conquered death so you could BE WITH Him.

I just felt like I needed to share that with you, dear readers! I’m ok not being politically correct — sometimes you just gotta be you! If you have questions about God or want to talk more about this, please leave me a comment below! I’m happy to chat and spread the love.

 

Why Your Photographer Loves What They Do

If you have ever wondered what spurs on a photographer’s passion, you are about to find out.

Below are just some of the many reasons your photographer wouldn’t change their job for anything in the world:

  1. Photography changes how you see things. You notice colors, textures, flowers, trees, people, shapes and light in a way most people never see them.

  2. You pay more attention to the beauty around you. Even the most mundane object can become beautiful when you photograph it in a creative way. Many photographers love their job because they develop a fascination with the world around them by viewing it through new eyes

  3. It’s an amazing creative outlet. You get the chance to put a little bit of who you are into each photo that you take. Anyone can click a camera’s buttons but not everyone can truly make a photo come to life

  4. It’s a challenge. Creating amazing photos that capture the magic of everyday life doesn’t come without hard work, dedication and imagination. There is always something new to explore and a new way to take the same photos. It’s a job that never gets boring

  5. You get to meet new people all the time. A photographer works with people from all walks of life. Getting to know someone new is a part of the process of bringing someone’s personality through in a photo. It also makes the job a lot more fun!

  6. The flexibility is great. Being a full time photographer means you get to work your own hours. This doesn’t mean it’s a laid back profession though. A photographer is always aiming to perfect their craft, taking on new challenges and helping their clients achieve the perfect pictures.

  7. Its incredibly rewarding. Bringing joy and beauty to so many lives just comes with the territory, and is one of the best parts of the job. Photographers are obsessed with enriching people’s lives. They get a thrill out of seeing a client’s happy face when they show them their photographs.

When you decide to pay for a professional photo session, know that you are hiring an individual who is passionate about what they do and is willing to go the extra mile to help you create beautiful photos that you can treasure forever.

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How to Survive a Family Photoshoot

How to make your next family photo session a stress-free one.

Family photos are truly timeless and such a great keepsake for future generations. Getting the family together to take those perfect portraits can turn into chaos if not approached correctly. There is usually a lot more to consider when it comes to a family photoshoot since there are members of all ages, which means that there will be some extra coordination involved.

Below are some family photoshoot ideas and tips to keep you and your loved ones calm and smiling the whole way through:

  1. Timing is everything. If you have younger children involved in the shoot, try and arrange the photoshoot at a time when they would be well rested. A rested child makes for happy photos. On that note, make sure that all family members have gotten enough sleep the night before as this helps with the fun and relaxation aspects of the session.

  2. Dos and don’ts of bribery. Try getting your family excited about the photoshoot instead of simply offering a reward in return for their cooperation. Without preparing your family by describing what will happen and sharing how much fun it will be and how much it means to you will help everyone be more emotionally invested when it comes time to pose for the camera. Bribery alone, without talking the experience up tends to lead to forced smiles and an irritated bunch of people. If you do have small children coming along it’s not a bad idea to give the photographer some bribery options in the form of toys or small food items to make those difficult moments a little easier.

  3. Relinquish control. As much as you’ll want to direct your children on where to stand and how to pose, it’s best to leave that to the photographer as they know what works best. Not having this pressure will also make you feel more relaxed.

  4. It’s not just about the posing. The best photos happen when you’re having fun so joke and play with your children, hold your partner’s hand and just let the moments happen.

  5. Plan ahead. Discuss all of your requirements with your photographer beforehand so that the family photo session can just flow. Let your photographer know if you want specific pictures taken.

  6. Keep those sugar levels up. If everyone is well fed, the photoshoot will also run a lot smoother. It’s also not a bad idea to take a few snacks and some water along for those who might need it.

Enjoy capturing those memories! If done correctly, your family photo session should be a great bonding and memory-making moment for everyone involved.

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How to Choose the Right Camera for Your Child

If your child has recently started showing an interest in photography and you are thinking about buying them their first camera, there are a few things you need to consider. As a parent you probably know that a kid’s interests can change tomorrow, next week or even next year, but the good news is that you can still support their new hobby without breaking the bank.

Here are my top 7 tips for choosing a camera for your kid.

  1. Choose a camera that will enable your child to learn the basics quite quickly. 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. Children love to experiment and tend to learn faster when they can do so. An entry-level DSLR camera will allow them to adjust exposure settings such as ISO, shutter speed and aperture. Interchangeable lenses are also a great learning tool but definitely not essential as a beginner.

  3. When deciding on a camera for your child, take a look at the screen. It should be large, bright and have great color reproduction. It should also be easy to use both indoors and outdoors as there is nothing more frustrating than not being able to see your images clearly on the screen due to bright sunlight.

  4. Ensure that the sensor resolution is good enough and meets your specific requirements, especially if you want to print larger size images. In most cases a 10-14 mega pixel camera is a sufficient for an entry level photographer.

  5. As a first time photographer, your child will want to keep practicing so it’s important that you are able to extend the camera’s memory using a SD/SDHC memory card.

  6. Next come the accessories. Your child will want to download their images from the camera onto a computer for editing so a USB cable will be an essential accessory.

  7.  If you aren’t sure that a brand new camera is the best route to go as your child pursues their interest in photography, you can also look at buying a secondhand camera instead. Ask around because many photographers may be willing to sell an older model camera. Be sure to find out about all the camera’s features and any extras that it might come with before making the purchase to ensure that it meets your specific requirements.

Did you know I offer beginning photography classes for kids?

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A Brief Guide to Professional Photo Restrictions

The photos that a photographer hands over to you are part of their life’s work. It has their name or branding so there are a few important restrictions to note when it comes to the professional digital images that you receive.

Here is what you need to know:

1) Copyright. The digital images that your photographer provides you with have a copyright, which means the photographer has the option to use those photos to market their work and services anytime in the future. We are however also respectful of our clients so if there are any images that you would prefer to keep private, it’s best to let us know about it ahead of time so that we can honor your wishes.

2) Image type. We aren’t able to provide you with the original files or raw images. All images given to the client have been cropped and have been edited. If you do require further touch ups or changes, we would need to provide you with a quote.

3) Image altering. While we appreciate your business and welcome the sharing of our photos on social media platforms, we ask that the images not be altered in any way as this is against our copyright policies.

What constitutes image altering?

• Adding filters or editing photos in Photoshop

• Removing our logo or studio name

• Color correcting, including transitions from color to black and white

• Clipping people or objects out of the original shot.

So why do professional photographers have this as a restriction? Our photos are a representation of our work so when a customer alters an image it directly impacts our name and brand in the industry. When we present you with final images, they have already been through our editing process and don’t require further alterations. When images are altered, the results are not always reflective of our original work and can then be mistaken for ours. We greatly appreciate your loyalty and cooperation in this matter. We are happy to give a quote if you want images to be edited in a specific way or if you want further alterations made.

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5 Fun Alternatives to Displaying Your Photos

Amazing photos deserve an equally amazing display but this doesn’t mean you always have to use a traditional frame to showcase them in your home.

Here is some inspiration for deciding how to display your favorite memories:

If your home décor is very contemporary you might want to consider canvas gallery wraps, image blocks or standout mounts to showcase your photos. Going frameless is also a great option if you’re looking for something truly sleek and modern.

If rustic and chic is more your style, then why not turn old pieces of wood into stained photo clipboards, using binder clips to hang the photos against the wood. Another unique option is to hang your photos on a thin cable to make it look like a clothesline. Binder clips or clothespins also work perfectly for this.

It’s a lot of fun to repurpose ordinary objects and turn them into fun framing or display pieces!

If you’re the creative type and have some extra time on your hands then there is the option of creating frames out of washi tape. This way you can incorporate different colors and designs around your photos to really make your walls pop. Taping directly on the wall is a neat option, especially great for kids rooms or dorms, where you want to avoid putting holes in the walls.

If you are a fan of frames, why not buy different sizes, colors and styles and create one big photo wall that displays a variety of memories. There are so many shapes and designs that you can use to create your photo wall and really make it your own.

Since I work with so many creative vendors who offer a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional framing and display options, I am able to help you pick a unique option that suites your home and style. Whether it’s a traditional frame with hand-cut matting, shadow box or float frames, I can help you pick the right option for your home.

No matter which method you choose, get creative. Filling your walls with a lifetime of memories is one of the most special and visual ways to tell the story of your family, so get hanging.

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Black Friday Special on my New e-Book, “The Killer Blog Workflow”

Hey friends! I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving!! I wanted to announce my brand new e-book “The Killer Blog Workflow” that I am releasing for Black Friday at a HUGE discount!! (Use discount code: BlackFridayWonder2016)

This guide will demystify the blogging process and help you get your awesome content out.

I am super excited about this, and I think its going help save you a lot of confusion and headache in your blogging journey!

The Killer Blog Workflow - Black Friday Special

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Here is an overview of the topics covered in the e-book:

  1. Brainstorm and schedule
  2. Topic selection
  3. Main points or bullets
  4. Expand the details
  5. Read twice for errors
  6. Relevant photos
  7. Relevant tags or categories
  8. Pin-able image creation
  9. Pin-able image placement
  10. Blasting your email list
  11. Social sharing
  12. Instagram it
  13. List of blogging tools mentioned

Pretty cool, right?

But you have to hurry! This deal will expire when the clock hits zero:

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our-guarantee

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Don’t forget your discount code: BlackFridayWonder2016

to get your copy at the Black Friday price of only $0.99!

FREE Lightroom Presets by Laura Vokey Photography

FREE Lightroom Presets by Laura Vokey Photography

Are you a photographer looking for quicker ways to achieve lovely edits for your images? Look no further! The lovely Laura Vokey of Laura Vokey Photography has partnered with me, and is offering my readers her FREE Lightroom Presets Collection!

laura-vokey-presets-sample

Click HERE and enter your information in the opt-in box to receive a download link straight to your email.



Learn more about the lovely Laura and her resources for photographers:

For Aspiring Photographers