Photo Session Ideas You’ll Love

Did you know that basic concept of photography has been around since about the 5th century B.C.E. but the first camera that could capture permanent images- like we do today- was around 1830s in France.   Joseph Nicéphore Niépce exposed a pewter plate coated with bitumen to light, and that is the first permanent recorded image.

There is magic in capturing images and creating memories with your loved ones.  When I was about five years old (likely I was going into first grade) our family had our portraits done.  I recall setting up in our spare room and me chasing down my tabby cat to be sure he was in the picture with me.  I still have that print with me. If you are like me, and want to capture those memories on film here are some ideas for your next session. I am sure you will find one below that you’ll love.

Family history.  Do you have a wall dedicated to your family tree in portraits?  Are you swooning at that ‘old’ masters style of your grandparents portraits or just the tone and color?  It just takes is a bit of creative posing and editing and you can achieve the same timeless feel.  When you are ready to display them display thhem in an ornate frame and voila!

First and last day of school.  Facebook gets flooded with the first day of school images, usually all ready to head off.  What about adding a little something more and get some fun pictures of them getting ready.  How about your teen graduating from the last day of high school.  Fun!

Generational photos. I have a portrait of my grandparents and my great grandparents that hang on our wall. These type of portraits are one of those treasures handed down through generations so why not create one for your own family tree? Have a session with your daughter(s), mother and grandmother to capture the generations of women in your family,  or perhaps the men of your family there is no limit to the combinations.

Maternity portraits. You may not really feel like doing maternity session but they are a fun way to capture your pregnancy. Years from now you can look back and share the stories of that time with your child. 

Pet portraits. Pets are part of our family, so why not capture them in a session as well. You can either do formal studio sessions or more casual outdoor – like a day in the life of your pet or you can shoot in the comfort of your own home.  So many FUN ideas to share with your pet.

Save the date. These sessions are becoming quite popular with newly engaged couples.  Why not it’s a personalized way to invite people to your wedding. Be creative you can do anything from writing the date on the bottom of your shoes to using chalkboards or balloons to display the date.

Displaying Your Photos


Your images are gorgeous and they deserve to be displayed accordingly but this doesn’t mean you always have to use a traditional frame to showcase them in your home. 

 Here’s some inspiration on how to display your cherished memories.

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Contemporary

If your décor is modern contemporary you might want to consider canvas gallery wraps, mega mats or go frameless if you’re looking for something truly sleek and modern

 If rustic or vintage chic appeals to you and you want to get your creative on, you could turn old pieces of wood into funky stained photo clipboards, binder clips to hang the photos in place.  Or try hanging a thin cable or string  and hang your photos. .

Vintage Frames

How about vintage frames from a second hand store, find different sizes, colors and styles and create one entire wall into a display of your favorite variety of memories. Be creative, there many shapes and designs which will allow you to create your own unique photo display

 Finally, there are folio boxes or image boxes that allow you store you images that have a window in the box to allow you to show off your image and easily change them out without hassle.

 No matter which you choose make it your own and get creative. Filling your walls with a lifetime of memories is one of the most special ways to tell the story of your life or family.

White Sheet Sessions

Have you heard the term ‘White Sheet Session’ and wonder what it’s all about?  Well, imagine a boudoir session without the lingerie.  I don’t mean a nude session, this is about about the intimacy we can create with a white sheet. It’s about embracing the sultry side of you. With a basic white sheet you have full control over how much you want to reveal or not. You may start our feeling a bit nervous, but trust me it's full of laughs and when you leave you will be glowing. I have had women literally gliding out the door feeling sexy, gorgeous and empowered. I strongly suggest a night out after your session, why not you are already made up and ready to take on the town.   

While the idea of this may seen like something you do in your 20’s and 30’s, I am here to say NO!  Do it now,  no matter your age! Celebrate a milestone birthday, or surprise your special someone.

 

Choosing the Right Props for Your Next Photo Session

I love using props in a photo session.  They can add interest, depth and flair.  Children in particular are great to introduce a prop in their photos.  It could be children holding coordinating flowers for a spring or summer shoot, bubbles or colorful balloons, who doesn’t love colorful balloons?  Does your family love sports? Then use baseball bats, a football as example in your next family photo to bring out your passion. Here are a few tips for ways to incorporate props in your next photo session.

1.      Avoid trends. While you might have recently seen a few photos that incorporate a specific prop, try not to use something that will look dated after a few years’. Keep it simple and classic.

2.      Be realistic. It’s easy to go wild when thinking of a theme for your photo session. You should decide on one that you can actually find props for. For example, if you want to use seasonal props, try and source them in that season as they’ll be easier to find.  Oh, and before you decide to remake your favorite movie scene, think twice about whether you’ll be able to find suitable outfits for everyone. 

3.       Size matters. There are some larger props that work really well in photo sessions such as using your grandpa's classic car or his farm combine.  Bigger is not always better make sure that your prop enhances the photo and doesn't detract from it.

4.       Use what you have. Make the current season work to your advantage by using what’s available. Leaves in the fall make for amazing props in photos and don’t cost a thing.

5.       Make it meaningful.  In my experience this is the most important point.  If you or your child has a favorite ‘thing’, like a stuffed animal or a musical instrument that you treasure, that would be a good prop to try and incorporate into your photo session.  Your pictures will have more meaning for you and your family. 

Remember, using props can be the perfect addition to your photos but make sure that they don’t become the main focus.

How to Find the Perfect Photo Shoot Location

Choosing a photo shoot location might seem like a big deal but it really doesn't have to be. A location drives some of the other decisions about your shoot so it’s important to consider the location.  Before settling on a location ask yourself:

1.       Do I have theme for the shoot?  If you don't know what kind of backdrop you want, take an afternoon drive around your city for inspiration. It's easy to overlook beautiful spots that are practically in your backyard. Ask family, friends or your photographer for ideas too.

 2.       Am I allowed to take pictures there? Make sure that you can legally take pictures at the location that you have in mind. If it's not public property or available to the public you will need to arrange permission first.

 3.       Is it accessible? ‘That amazing riverside beach would be perfect!’ Consider that not all outdoor locations may be available all year round.  That beach you thought would be perfect is currently under water this time of year.   Another important aspect is your safety taking pictures on a mountain ledge may look stunning but it’s best not to put yourself in harm’s way.  

 4.       How do you get to your location? Will it be easy to walk to the session location and if not, are you able to change your clothing and touch up your hair and makeup before the shoot? You should also find out whether there is a restroom that’s close enough in case you need it.

 5.       Will the photo session be in a public place? If your perfect spot is one that has a lot of foot traffic, you need to check in with yourself that you are comfortable being photographed in front of others.

Make sure that your location doesn’t become a distraction and that there is shelter nearby if you need it. Your location tells a story so it’s worthwhile to choose a meaningful spot.

Tips for Beautiful Fall or Winter Photos

There is a special kind of magic that comes with outdoor, fall photo sessions. The leaves are changing color, and covering the ground. There is a crispness in the air and a glow to the light that creates a lovely backdrops at this time of year.   If you are looking to book a session here’s a few tips to make your session go smoothly.

1.       Dress warmly. You will be surprised at how often this is overlooked. Since you’ll be standing outside for a long period of time think of layering your look.  A great jacket, warm sweater, shrug or scarf and gloves will be welcome.  Trust me, shivering makes it hard to stay relaxed, enjoy your session and pose properly. I suggest investing in hot pockets

2.       Bring heat packs with you. This is an add on to dressing warmly particularly if it is a winter shoot. Be prepared with reusable or disposable hot packs that can provide instant heat to warm your hands and body.

3.       Watch the weather. Fall days in my neck of the woods usually means misty rain or fog, which may not be the images you want. If you are looking for bright sunny fall day, try and keep an eye on the weather forecast to make sure that you don’t end up with a downpour.

4.       Be flexible. If the weather isn't exactly what you had hoped for, see if you can still make the photo session work.  Perhaps adding a nice umbrella would give you fun fall images as well.   If your photographer is agreeable, reschedule the date.  However, if you were scheduling this session in advance, you may just have to work with the weather on that particular day.

5.       Incorporate color. Even though fall and winter have some amazing colors to work with, why not wear a splash of color to really stand out in your photos? For example, vibrant shades of blues and greens look amazing amongst crunchy brown leaves.

6.       Plan your day. The best time for taking photos is just after the sun rises or just before it sets.  You will get amazing light so plan your session around those golden times.

Finally, take some hot tea, coffee or hot chocolate along to make your photo session even more enjoyable, oh and hey include that in the shoot as a prop!Here’s to fall sessions and some beautiful photo memories.

Boudoir Is it for you?

It's that time of year when you see or hear the words “Book your Boudoir Session”!  So, what is a boudoir session? Is it just for the the younger years?  First off, a boudoir session is a portrait session where you wear outfits that you feel empowered and sexy in.  For some that would be lingerie, dresses, his shirt or even wrapped in a white sheet.  While the idea of this may seem intimidating here are  five reasons why you SHOULD do a boudoir session no matter your age!

1. YOU’ WILL  LOOK AMAZING!

Sessions always include, professional hair and makeup, a styling consultation and guided posing session.  With professionals you will get the best of the best!  Oh and by the way, you absolutely want to schedule a date night out after because you will look and feel beautiful.  

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2. IT MAKES A GREAT GIFT !

He loves you no matter how many times you wear your yoga pants and hair in a bun, but you can bet he will be surprised when he opens that black folio box with gorgeous portraits of you.   It may be a side he’s never seen!

3. CELEBRATE A MILESTONE!

Have a birthday or anniversary coming up?  It's a perfect reason to book a session, you get to pamper yourself,  embrace your sensual side, and create gorgeous portraits of yourself.  When you look back at them you’ll remember how wonderful this time in your life was! 

4. YOU WILL FEEL EMPOWERED

Being treated like a celebrity, with hair and makeup, is the best therapy! However when you see  your images for the first time you will be amazed and blown away. You will see just how gorgeous you really are!

5. MAKE IT A GIRL’S DAY OUT!

You rely on your BFF's to get you through all the tough times.  So if you are too nervous to do a session alone, why not make it a girl’s day out! Choose a few of your BFF’s and do a session together! Most  photographers offer special girl’s day out collections that include a day of pampering, food, wine, and each lady getting her time in front of the camera!

Remember you are in full control,  wear whatever makes you feel sexy and confident; a boudoir session is all about you!  So, don't hold back - make 2018 the year you celebrate your sexy. 

Oh and I have a session booked at the end of this month.  I will keep you posted!   

How to be camera ready for the holidays.

49 days to CHRISTMAS!  Ok, I realize it is still a ways away but that thought had me wondering if you curvy ladies out there are like me and hide when a camera is pulled out for snapping those happy moments during the holidays.  Well,  I hope I can help alleviate some of that angst.   

I am not fond of having my photo taken because, well, stating the obvious, I am curvy and have issues with the lack of my jawline..  I call it a 'check' .. my chin and neck collide no jawline there.. anyhow I am not fond of that little 'waddle' nor my buddah belly in photos.  Taken at the wrong angle or - god forbid - in profile I am ruined.  So, my point here is there are ways to slim the body, and also create a 'jawline'.. Here's some selfies I did - it was quick and dirty just to make the point and I will do more of these with more ways to get a flattering pose without too much fuss this holiday season so keep watching the blog.

Relaxed

note the lack of jawline, and with my arms just at my side I look thick in the middle. 

Create shape

Just pulling back your elbows creates an illusion of a waist line, add in a slight tilt forward and push the chin forward.. and I have a jawline! 

Refine shape

Kick out my hip, put all my weight on it, pull my elbow back to create a curve, and bring my right knee across the body.  I have a neckline, and a waist!  

Of course there are many other tricks I am just highlighting one in this blog.  (Personally I think those quick tweaks on my body shape, make me look younger and thinner.)  Additional tweaks - making sure who ever holds the camera is shooting slightly above your eye line also helps.  These images were captured at eye level (and a bit below) for the 'worst possible' angle for a curvy girl - to show you what shaping the body can do!  

Here are other examples of how it shapes the body. 

Relaxed

Shape

pulling the one elbow back, putting all the weight on her one hip and pulling the knee across her body creates a nice 'S' shape, and slims her down even more.

Keep an eye out I will be sharing more of these in the comming weeks... and please let me know your thoughts.