I’m still on a high from photographing Danielle, who’s eight months pregnant with her little one and looking straight up gorgeous! We headed over to South Pointe Pier in Miami, where we were able to utilize the gorgeous sunrise light. Needless to say, from the location to the clothing to the light and beyond, every element came together to make for some incredibly beautiful images.
FLAW-LESS! You make my job easy, Danielle, and it was an absolute pleasure to hang out with you and photograph you during this sweet time of your life!
Relax. We’re going to have fun! My sessions are casual and relaxed — definitely not rushed. You and your family set the pace and tone. During your shoot I’ll combine gently posed shots along with capturing spontaneous, unguarded moments as they unfold — no forced smiles or awkward poses here.
Our session will generally last one hour or so. This gives us plenty of time to capture the full range of your family story with no undo pressure on kids or parents. The casual tone of my shoots allows everyone to simply be themselves in front of the camera. That’s when the magic happens.
Preparing For Your Session
• Avoid “the grumpies” by making sure your little ones are well-rested and fed before your session.
• Take any unease out of the session by talking to your kids about how much fun the session will be, and that their “job” is simply to be themselves. Don’t make it a chore. Make it a fun event.
• Pack an emergency bag with drinks, snacks, wipes, favorite toys, and any needed props or clothing accessories.
• Work with your kids early on with wardrobe. Support their choices with latitude and gentle guidance to give them confidence, and to make the process more fun.
If you want your pictures to really showcase your love story, I have some ideas to help you plan the perfect engagement session. Let me help you prepare for your session by sending me over the answers to the following questions:
Where did you first meet?
If you want to add some sentimental value to your session, tell me about how you first met. If it was at a local place, we can stop by during your session and recreate the scene.
What do you like to do together?
What kinds of activities do you enjoy doing together? This will help me to create memorable photos for you. Do you love riding your bikes together or racing model airplanes? Do you go to the park and push each other on the swings or playing laser tag together? Tell me your hobbies and I will try to incorporate them.
Where/how did he propose?
I would love to recreate this moment for you during your session. This is the moment you decided to spend the rest of your lives together. This is important, especially if you were not able to capture this moment as it was actually happening. I want you to be able to share your proposal story with photos to go along with it!
What are your common interests?
By informing me of your interests, we can add a more personal touch to your photos. Are you both fans of the same sports team? Are you really into comic books or video games? Do you work in the same profession?
Do you have any pets together?
If so, they make a perfect addition to your session. I welcome your pets in your session.
Do you have ‘a spot’?
You know that place where you always wind up going on date night? Where was your first kiss? What is your favorite hang out spot? Tell me your favorite go-to locations and we can check them out to see if they would be good spots for a photo shoot.
Day 4, the best day of all, was jam packed with amazing experiences! check out the videos (scroll up a little). We went to Allen’s Cay to feed Iguana’s, Norman’s Cay to see Pablo Escobar’s sunken plane, Waderick Wells Cay, Compass Cay Marina to feed and swim with nurse sharks, Pig Beach to feed and swim with the piggies, Lorraine’s cafe for lunch and Pipe Cay.
Day 5 we traveled to Spanish Wells and had lunch at Wreckers Marina & Restaurant. After lunch we took a ride to Harbour Island and tied up so we could swim with the turtles, which we apparently frightened away with too many engines.
I did not take my Nikon with me so these iPhone Pics/Videos will have to do : )
You know we’re ready for a hot summer, but are you? Here are seven ways you can make sure your summer portrait session goes off without a hitch.
1. Dress appropriately. Summer means hot and humid weather, which can lead to sticky bodies. Choose breathable, lightweight fabrics that don’t weigh you down. As for shoes, sweet flats or loafers are a great option.
2. Think about your hair. If you or a family member’s hair reacts to humidity in a negative way, opt for a hairstyle that won’t leave you feeling insecure. For example, a pretty braid or an updo is a good choice. Or you can wear a headscarf, or use a little extra product to keep frizz at bay.
3.Pack necessities. When packing your photo shoot necessities, we recommend bringing the following items: Lots of water for all, a snack for sustenance, sunscreen, umbrella for shade, water mister, makeup touchup.
4. Get creative with session ideas. Summer offers a host of activities that lend themselves to amazing photo sessions. For example, there’s the fair (elephant ear, anyone?), the circus, festivals, and plenty more. I’d be more than happy to shoot a really creative session with you.
5. Think about head to toe details. For example, if you’re wearing flip-flops or open toed shoes, you want to have manicured feet. If it’s really breezy, a hat or scarf can keep things under control.
6. Rest assured knowing I won’t let you overheat. Sometimes it’s hard just to walk outside when it’s scorching outside, but know that we’re going to have an amazing shoot. We’ll spend lots of time in the shade, dive into the cool A/C when we can, and I will never push your family into staying longer than they can or want.
7. Incorporate props. Outdoor summer shoots are loaded with imagery as is, but we can always incorporate a few props into the mix. Blankets, balloons, and even visually striking treats (lollipops, ice cream, etc.).
Your session is right around the corner! Are you ready? We’ve prepared a checklist of things for you to remember in order to make sure your child is prepared for their big day!
1. Don’t forget to feed your child before the session. Also, pack snacks just in case hunger strikes again while we’re shooting.
2. Bring more than one outfit. Make sure you always have backup clothes just in case. And we suggest that you don’t change your child into their session clothing until after you
have fed her. Also, be very careful with drinks, as well – only clear liquids in a safe cup.
3. Let your child help when picking out their clothes for the session (unless they have a hideous sense of fashion.) By letting your child wear his favorite shirt or shoes, etc. this will help him feel more comfortable. If his choice of clothing is awful or doesn’t match, see if you can use that shirt as an undershirt or tell him he can put it on for a couple of shots at the end of the session.
4. If you have a young child, try to schedule the session around her naptime so she will be well rested and happy for photos.
5. Have a bribe in place. Bring fruit snacks, candy, a toy, etc. and let him know that if he cooperates he will get said bribery. Some parents have bribed their children by telling them if they are good, they can watch Netflix on Mommy or Daddy’s phone. Use whatever you think will work for your child to motivate him to cooperate.
6. Bring along her favorite toy or blanket. This will help your child be comfortable in a new, unfamiliar surrounding. Just be aware that this will probably become a prop in some of the photos, so bring something that is pleasing to the eyes or has sentimental value and you’d be okay with photos of it.
7. Talk to your child about the session and explain what’s going to happen. If your child is informed about the situation, it will be less scary for her when she comes to the session. Tell her that she is going to meet a new friend who is going to take some pictures of her. Let her know that you’ll be there with her and that we are going to have lots of fun. We might change her clothes once or twice and ask her to sit a certain way. During the session, we can show her a couple of the photos so she can put two and two together.
8. Bring Grandma (or someone else your child loves). Bringing along reinforcements is always a good plan. If grandma lives close by, or if your child’s favorite uncle has the day off of work, bring him or her with you. You can use this family member to help get your child to relax and laugh.
9. Wear sturdy shoes. It is a good idea to wear good, sturdy shoes to a session like this, as it’s challenging to chase a little one around in flip-flops or heels. During the session, I may ask you to grab your child if he keeps running out of the frame. Or I may have us walking around exploring, so we need to be prepared to keep our feet safe and comfortable.
If you’re on the fence about whether or not to hire someone to photograph your event, consider these reasons:
Let’s say the event is a family reunion and you want to get a group photo of the whole family. You could do it yourself, but one of two things could happen then. A) You have someone take the photo for you, leaving a family member out of the photo because they had to take it. This could possibly offend that person or make them feel awkward for being excluded. Or B) You set a timer on your camera. This can be problematic because there are so many people in the photo that you will need to take several images to make sure everyone is looking and has their eyes open. You will have to take two to three times as long to get the photos done because you’ll have to keep resetting the timer, and you still might not have gotten the shot. Hiring a professional will eliminate all of this stress.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to go around all night taking selfies with my phone or camera with all of my friends and family members. I would much prefer to relax and enjoy the moment instead of trying to capture it. The quality of the photos will be much better than the selfies. Also, trying to take a selfie with a group of people is next to impossible when trying to get everyone inside the frame.
If the event is a birthday party, you don’t want to miss out on visiting with guests or helping your child open presents or cut the cake because you are too busy trying to take the photos. You want to be part of the action, not stuck behind the camera.
Another great thing about hiring a professional is that you don’t have to worry about editing and distributing the photos after the event is over. You just have to wait to receive them from your photographer.
Finally, it’s really a gift to have well lit photographs taking by a professional who preserve the memory of your event. Those images are going to be cherished by everyone for a very long time to come.
Why do photographer’s prefer to schedule sessions around sunset?
So you want to learn about golden hour, huh? It’s a pretty popular time of day for photographers to shoot. We’ll tell you what it is and why we prefer this time of day to others.
You may or may not have noticed that all of our open availability for sessions is in the evening before sunset. We do have some daytime sessions available, but we prefer to shoot in the hours leading up to sunset. This is called the ‘Golden Hour.’ During this time, the lighting is absolutely perfect.
You get yummy light flares and beautiful soft light.
There are no soft shadows or squinty eyes from the blinding sun at high noon.
In the summer, the weather isn’t too hot, so you’re able to relax a little better knowing there isn’t sweat running down your face or making stains on your shirt.
During Golden Hour, everything is warm and pretty and gives off a magical feeling.
We can also get some sweet silhouette shots as the sun is going down on the horizon
How Not to Have a Mental Breakdown During Your Session
Family pictures are great – they help you create and remember fond memories of your loving family. However, this day can get very stressful, and we want to ensure this doesn’t happen. If you’re stressed it will show, and we want your photos to be carefree. Here are some tips you can use on picture day to help you relax:
1. Take some deep breaths. Deep breathing is a common relaxation method. It can quickly calm your stress level and you can do it anywhere. Breathe in through your nose and exhale through your mouth, counting slowly in your head while letting it all out.
2. Laugh. Laughter is a great way to release tension. It will also help your family relax to get some genuine smiles. Have everyone pretend to laugh and they will feel so ridiculous that they will actually laugh. This will ease everyone into relaxation mode.
3. Count down slowly (in your head) from 10. Take a deep breath between each number. If you’re still feeling super stressed, start the process over, back at 10.
4. Distract yourself. If your family isn’t cooperating and you are getting stressed, suggest that we play a game or take a walk. This will let some of the energy out and also give us some good interacting photos. Prior to your session, think of a short game that your family would enjoy – it could be something like duck, duck, goose, or dancing to head, shoulders, knees, and toes, etc.
You can also distract yourself by going to your ‘happy place.’ Try to take yourself out of the situation you’re in and let your mind wander.
5. Trace your hand. Take your finger and trace a figure eight on the palm of your opposite hand. This helps relieve stress and muscle tension.
6. Give lots of XOXOs. Not only will these make for cute poses, but one of the most effective ways to relieve stress is to hug someone or to kiss them. Gather your family in a big group hug, or give your husband a kiss and let your worries melt away.
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