New Website Launch!

24 Jan

Alright, friends, I have been waiting sooooo long to show you this!

I have been working on a brand new website with a whole new look, and after so much blood, sweat, and tears, I can finally say that it is ready for its official launch!

You can now find me at!

The blog is there, too.  All the old posts have been completely transferred to the new site, so you can find all of the old stuff and all future content in one place.

Head on over and take a look!  Be sure to update your bookmarks or sign up for the email updates on the new site.  You can also join the facebook page to stay in the know on all my photography adventures!

I have absolutely loved my time here on wordpress, and I have met so many fantastic photographers!  I hope that I can continue to talk to you all on the new site :)

Shooting for the Album

21 Jan

Lately, I have been learning about being intentional as I shoot, even more so than just preparing for different poses and moods.  I want to intentionally shoot for the products that I want my customers to buy.

I am primarily a portrait photographer.  So… what products do I want my customers to buy?  Do I want my ideal customer to purchase a canvas?  An accordion book?  An album?   All of the above?

Today, I want to talk about shooting for an album.

I love the idea of selling albums or coffee table books to my portrait clients, especially for my seniors.  It is such an awesome way to share the photos from the session and celebrate a time in the client’s life.  It’s like a yearbook all about you :)

But… how do I shoot to make sure I get the best photos to make a kickin’ album?

1. Start with the establishing shot

I actually took film classes in college.  I don’t know how I got away with taking film courses on my parents dime, but I did.  And one of the first things they talk about is the establishing shot.

The establishing shot is your setting.  When you are on a shoot, make sure that you grab some photos of the location, just the location, and every location you go to throughout the shoot.

These photos are the beginning of your story.  When you are shooting for an album, you want to maximize the storytelling aspect, and that means starting with the  setting.

Speaking of story…

2. Always keep the story in mind

Think about the story you want to tell with your photographs.  Talk to your client about the story that he or she wants to share.  Shoot to capture this story.

You’re going to use everything you know about mood and posing to move this specific story along.  You can also engage your client in action shots or lifestyle portraits to help communicate the story.

I know this is a little bit vague, but, basically, if all of your planning and thoughts go through the filter of the story you are trying to tell, you will end up with images that tell that story.  Those storytelling images will make a perfect album!

3. Don’t forget the details!

Wedding photographers are so, so good at this one!  But portrait photographers don’t think about it too often.  Shoot the details of the shoot and your client.

If your client is wearing a fantastic piece of jewelry, shoot it.  If you near a door with the coolest antique handle, shoot it.  Flowers, shoes, coffee cups, whatever it is, shoot it.

All of these little details paint the picture of your day with your client, and your client will love seeing these little additions to the album.  They are also a beautiful way to move the story along and move you from one location or action to another.

And let’s be honest, even your client will get bored with a 40 page album filled with pictures of just herself.  She will enjoy it a lot more if all of those killer portraits are mixed in with some of the details and storytelling elements of the day.

*Bonus Tip*

I love it when things come in groups of three.  It really is the magic number, and, tonight, I couldn’t bring myself to write four points.  So… this is now the bonus tip :)

Try to capture inside jokes and humorous tidbits throughout your shoot!

These are album gold! Your client will absolutely love it if the album contains a few things to make her laugh.  At the risk of sounding crass, emotions make people buy things.  If you can make your client laugh or cry, you will get some extra money in your pocket!  And on a less crass note, emotions make amazing photographs.  Give your clients amazing photographs that make them laugh, and give them an awesome album filled with all kinds of emotions!


P.S. Okay, wedding photographers, I’m calling you out!  What did I forget?  I would love to hear your tips for creating those gorgeous albums.

P.P.S. A big change and a big move is coming for my little photography business!  I could be more excited about it, but I can’t tell you all of the details just yet.  But… if you like following my blog and want to make sure you don’t miss anything, join the facebook fan page, otherwise you might get lost in the shuffle!

Hair Tips for your Photo Session

19 Jan

There are a few simple guidelines that you can follow to make sure that your hair looks amazing for your photo session.

1. You can get it styled but don’t get it cut!

You can really have some fun pampering yourself before a photo session.  Go to the salon, relax, and get your hair styled for your shoot.  You certainly don’t have to, but it can be a huge relief and often a lot of fun to leave your hair up to the professionals for a day.

But… be weary of a haircut right before your photo session!  If you need a haircut, schedule it a couple of weeks before your session so you have plenty of time to fix it if anything goes wrong.

We have all had a disaster of a hair cut.  The last thing you want is to have a disaster of a hair cut two hours before a photo session!

So… do it yourself or have a professional style it, but don’t get it cut!

2. Bring quick fix items with you

Hairspray, clips, bobby pins, or a hair tie can save your life in the middle of a photo shoot.  Be prepared and throw all of these in your purse before the shoot.

3. Have a second hair style ready

Wether it is a great headband or a simple ponytail, a second hair style can add some variety to your photos.

Mixing different outfits, accessories, and hair styles will give you so much more to choose from when you are looking at the photos from your session.  If you have 30 photos from your session but you have the same hair style in all of them, they will start to all look the same after a while.  Any way you can mix it up will help.


P.S.  If you have hair questions, please leave a comment!  If you have any other tips, I want to hear those, too!  Please share :)

P.P.S.  If you want regular updates on my tips and photo session, become a fan of the facebook page.  I would love to see you there!

Ilea :: Maternity Session Sneak Peek Melbourne, Florida

17 Jan

I ventured into a whole new photography world this weekend.  Maternity sessions!

I was able to photograph the beautiful Ilea, her fantastic husband, and their soon-to-be son, Liam.  Ilea is just gorgeous, brimming so much new mommy joy.  Liam will be her first child, and she already seems like an expert at motherhood.  I would be such a wreck!  Ilea, though, is going to be such a rock star mom!

Here is a sneak peek from our session together…

My Photography Challenge

14 Jan

A phrase has been running through my head lately. 

I heard David duChemin say it during his creativeLIVE seminar, and I don’t remember it verbatim, but it is something like this:

There are no uninteresting subjects, just uninteresting ways to photograph them.

He went on to talk about cats, and how we tend to categorize pictures of cats as uninteresting.  There are millions of pictures of cats, why would anyone want to take another picture of a cat?  But the only thing that makes a picture of a cat uninteresting is if it is shot in the same way that everyone else did it.  If you change your perspective, change your lens, change or editing, or change one of a thousand other things, you can have a truly awesome photograph of just a plain old cat.

I have a habit of avoiding certain subject matter because I think it is boring.  I have been planning for a few upcoming sessions, and I keep catching myself saying things like, “We can’t use that location because it’s boring.  We can’t use those props because everyone uses them and they’re boring.”

I’m all for thinking outside of the box and pushing myself to be creative, but one way to do that is to try to look at “boring” things differently.

I have been letting my creative muscles get lazy.  I need to challenge myself to try to put a new twist on things that seem commonplace or overused before I brush them aside.

Whew.  I feel better.  Does anyone else need to vent!? :)


P.S.  Do you find yourself falling into this trap?  How do you work through it?  Let’s share ideas!

P.P.S.  How do you need to challenge yourself?  It is a new year and the perfect time for reflection.  How do you need to step up your photography game?

Setting the mood of your photo shoot

12 Jan

When we get ready for a photo shoot, most of us spend a lot of time thinking about which outfits to wear and what location would work best for the shoot.  But we often overlook the most important part about planning a shoot: What mood do you want your shoot to convey?

Spending some time thinking about the mood of a shoot will steer the rest of your decision-making.  It will help you choose an outfit and a great location, and you will love the result of a set of images that show exactly what you wanted to express.

Try answering some of these questions to find the mood of your perfect photo shoot:

What feeling do you want to have when you look at your photos? 

When you look back at your engagement photos do you want to feel a sense of romance or do you want it to feel fun and playful?  Do you want your senior portraits to feel edgy?  Or dreamy?  Or quirky?  Do you want your family photos to feel loving or distinguished?

Take some time to reflect on this!  It will help you and your photographer plan your perfect shoot.  A whole shoot can be styled around that theme.

If you want a huge list of “mood words” try clicking here.

Which parts of your personality do you want to see in the photos?

This is so important in portraits!  We all have so many parts of our personality.  Do you want to portray your sassy side or your creative side?  Do you want to focus on how sweet you are or on how confident you are?

Be intentionally about it.  Think about what you do and do not want your photos to say about you.

After you answer this question, picking out the perfect outfit will be so much easier!  If you are trying to decide between your three favorite shirts, ask yourself which one demonstrates the personality trait the best.  It brings focus to your decision-making process, and you will end up with photos that really show you exactly as you want to be seen.

Keep in mind…

that your photo shoot can incorporate multiple parts of your personality and multiple moods, but it is important to think about each part and plan for them separately.  Each different part of your personality and each different mood might require a different wardrobe or prop to support it.


Take some time to answer these questions in very specific ways and have fun with it.  It will help you to make decisions about your shoot confidently and it will help your photographer style and unique and wonderful shoot for you! 

P.S.  Questions?  Post them below; I would love to try to answer each and every one!

P.P.S.  Photographers, how do you set the mood for a shoot?  and… What information do you want from clients to help you plan the shoot?  I would love to hear your thoughts on this and figure out any information that I am missing!


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