When you think about portraits there’s a pretty good chance that you get a mental picture of what a portrait is. Some prior experience has colored what comes to mind when you think about having your portrait taken. Maybe it was annual school photos taken in the first weeks after the start of school. Maybe it was family portraits in a studio. Some of you may think about fashion models on a photographer’s set getting their photograph taken for a magazine.
Preparing for your photo shoot usually begins a few days or weeks before the actual day of your session. You have to set up the details. You have to pick the outfits. You have to get everyone ready for the shoot. And then there’s you. You hold the whole thing together. And you want to look good!
I will help you with great lighting and posing, but usually they makeup and clothes are up to you. This post is to help you get the makeup right so you look gorgeous and feel confident.
In the world of professional portrait photography there are two basic pricing models. There is the you pay one price and you get your photographer’s time and talent, plus digital files. This is called “All Inclusive” by the photographers who adopt that model and is called “Shoot and Burn” by all those who follow the other model. In general, more established photographers avoid this model and opt for the more customizable (and profitable) prints/products model.
If you’ve followed this blog for a while you probably know how I feel about having physical prints of your photographs, if not, you can read about it in this post Digital Isn’t Forever. That being said, I feel very strongly that the best place for your photographs to be kept is as physical prints. A hard drive stuffed full of precious memories is great, but there is nothing quite like a print hanging on your wall.
At the heart of every great photo shoot creating an environment where the people being photographed can relax and be themselves. Because of that main goal, the location for the photo shoot is very important.
This is the first post in a series of session profiles. These posts are different than session shares where I show you the highlights of a single client session. This series will show you what is possible.
Family sessions feature you and your family. The point of family sessions is both to capture an important time in your life, but also to capture the interaction between the members of your family.
The number one question when thinking about your session is probably, “what should we wear?” If you already have something in mind, great! We will chat about it and make sure everything will photograph well. As the photographer it's my job to help you decide what to wear so that we can make photographs you will love.
Photo Albums have long been the gold standard in collecting and displaying family photographs. You may be fortunate enough to have albums from several generations of your family.
When most people think of photo albums they either think of the old press and stick albums you buy at the drug store or super expensive wedding albums. Fortunately, there is actually quite a bit between those two extremes.
One of the best parts of fun family photo sessions is that you end up with lots of great images to choose from. Often our goal is to get images for holiday cards, baby announcements, or wall prints. I always also capture a ton of natural interactions of you and your family while capturing those timeless images. Informal family images are just as special, even if they're not quite right for your living room wall or your next holiday card. They tell a larger story of who you are and how you connect with your loved ones.
When we were little Valentine’s Day was easy. You would either make cards for everyone in your class or you would buy the box from the grocery store with little punch out cards. If you were *really* fancy you would buy the little boxes of conversation hearts and give those out.
As we get older we get more selective in our choice of recipients for Valentines, but we also get a whole lot pickier about what we want to receive.
When we were in our teens we wanted candies and flowers. In our twenties we wanted candy, flowers, and jewelry.
I met Mallory while taking photography classes at Cypress College. As a photography major she was in the photo department a lot. All photography students have open lab hours for their classes and so there is a lot of interaction between students of different classes. I saw her in the lab for a few semesters before we actually had a class together. Mallory is an extremely talented photographer and I have admired her work for a long time.
It’s easier than ever to capture and share photos. The prevalence of smart phones and social media sharing means that we take more photos than ever before. But I’m worried that those photos may not be as permanent as we think. If the only place your photo exists is on your phone or in Facebook, will you still have it in a year, in five years, in thirty years? What happens when you lose your phone or Instagram accidentally shuts your account down? Will you get those photos back?
One place I recently discovered is the Corona Civic Center. This place has everything I look for in a great portrait location: lots of open shade, interesting architecture, and wide open places for kids to run and play.
Corona is located on the western edge of Riverside County and is bisected by the California 91 freeway. Much of Corona is new development, but the central part of the city dates back to early 1900s. The Civic Center is located in this older part of town.
If you’re anything like me, you spend a great deal of time taking care of others. You keep the family clean, organized, and well fed. You stay on top of all the important stuff. But you don’t always take time for yourself.
The job of the portrait photographer is two fold: capture moments and make their subjects look great.
The best solution to keep your images safe is to have both physical and digital copies. Have a digital copy of your photos and physical prints. Keep a back-up copy on your hard drive that you move from computer to computer when you upgrade. Make a back-up of that drive and keep it in a safe place.
When considering location for your portrait shoots think outside the box. This beautiful portrait location is down a dusty side road in Chino Hills, California. Adjacent to a private horse ranch, this road makes a beautiful, scenic spot for family and senior portraits. If you’re looking for something outdoors, this is perfect.