We are portrait artists who believe in the healing power of spending time outdoors. Come, let's take a stroll together through Michigans beautiful forests, sandy beaches, and open spaces. We will bring our cameras, you bring the smiles.
Hello, and welcome to the second post of our Throwback Series. It’s Thursday again, and today we’re going to reminisce about a past wedding of ours that took place in Detroit’s Guardian Building.
This beautiful wedding took place in the middle of winter, and happened in Downtown Detroit. The ceremony took place at the Guardian Building, while the reception took place in the now closed Coach Insignia restaurant that used to be located within the Renaissance Center Building, or GM Building. I started the day with the girls getting ready inside of their hotel room, near the top floors of the Ren Cen, while Jeff met with the gentlemen at the Guardian building.
The ladies and I enjoyed the view from the hotel room window, and after they were ready, we headed on our way to meet up with the guys at the Guardian Building. They had some time to get everything ready for the ceremony to come and once the girls and I arrived at the Guardian building, we started to set up for the first look between Lisa and Rob.
Hello everyone and welcome to the first post, of many, of our Throwback Series! You see, many years ago now (6 years as of writing this), Jeff and I started our photography business. And when we did, we didn’t know the importance of writing blog posts to show off the sessions and weddings and events that we photographed! So, unfortunately, we let a lot of people down. And, we haven’t been able to show everyone what we can do! So, to rectify that matter, we decided to start a Throwback Series. This series, will have a single blog post of a old session, wedding, or event, shared with you all every Thursday! (At least, until we are completely caught up. I’ll let you know when the last post is.) And to start, we’re going to share a fun session we had with a beautiful young woman named Deijah.
We met Deijah back in 2017, because her mom was a mutual friend of a co-worker of Jeff’s, and her mom wanted her to have some amazing Senior Portraits taken in Downtown Detroit! So, we happily obliged. Deijah was an amazing young woman to work with. She was very kind and had lots of smiles for us. We visited the Hard Rock Cafe mural first, near Woodward Ave, before having her pose on Woodward Avenue itself!
Some of the other locations we visited with her was Campus Martius, Greektown, and the Riverwalk of Detroit, near the Renaissance Center. Deijah brought along three different outfits to be photographed in, and she was simply stunning in everything she wore.
And, little did we know, that after this session, we would see Deijah and her mother a few more times for photos, but we’ll talk about those sessions later.
Anyways, please enjoy Deijah’s Senior Photos in Detroit below! And, we truly hope you love the start of our Throwback Series!
Hello everyone! You might recognize the family we are about to feature here on our blog, as they are one of our regular families to come to us for their photographs to be captured. Well, this time, we all went together to take their family photo session in Downtown Detroit!
It was one of the first real warm days this spring, that we met with this family at the Detroit Athletic Club. From there, we all walked to the Tiger’s Stadium for their first few portraits.
While there, we took the above family portraits (and candid of little Spencer), before walking around the stadium for a little to reach the iconic Tiger statue. The kids were a little nervous at first, but soon realized that the tiger wasn’t real, and therefore, could be climbed all over. (And they did a lot of climbing around on this poor tiger fellow. Lol) The only one who didn’t warm up to the tiger statue however, was little Spencer. He cried quite a bit when he was there, but as you know, we love little kids crying in some of our pictures (once in a while), because it’s just so cute. Lol.
After the tiger at Comerica Park, we started on our way to reach Campus Martius. This is where we discovered some beautiful wings artwork on one of the buildings lining Woodward Ave. The girls wanted desperately for pictures to be taken here, and we were happy to oblige.
We then reached the beginnings of Campus Martius, but made a quick pit stop inside of the Compuware Building, where the Hard Rock Cafe used to be located. (It is no longer there, which was a shock to us all.) But, we were able to take a few quick pictures before the security guards informed us that we were breaking some rules. (Oops! We’re sorry!)
So, after being little law breakers (and apologizing to the security guards, and thanking them for informing us) we headed back outside, to find some more spots to take pictures. The white chairs, that sat outside of the Compuware Building seemed a perfect choice, for little Olivia. She recommended it, and, since it was the first time she had mentioned any photo idea to us within the last four or so years that we’ve known her and worked with her, we gladly took her advice and started capturing some adorable pictures of the girls here.
If you’re looking for a boost of confidence in your home for yourself and your family, then you have come to the right place. You see, photography entails so much more than simply having someone press a button for you. Photography, when done right, will capture emotion, beauty, and irreplaceable moments that would otherwise be lost to time. But, for an ever growing number of people, these qualities are lost to the news feeds of Facebook and Instagram, only to be seen once a year or less… Which is quite a sad state of affairs, if you were to ask me.
So, how can you boost your confidence in your home? We have the answer right here for you: Install your portraits onto the walls of your home! Now, you may be thinking, “Yeah right… You just want us to buy something from you, isn’t that right Mrs. Photographer Lady?” Well, if that’s what you’re thinking, then let me be the first to tell you that you are wrong. Sure, I would love to help you with the steps below, but, this is an article for anyone who wishes to increase their confidence and self-worth through displaying their portraits throughout their home.
Alright then, how will this increase my confidence?
I’m glad you asked! You see, one of the best things about family (wedding, senior, etc) photography, is that when you display the portraits throughout your home, you will be able to see, daily, these feelings of warmth and happiness. Not only by yourself, but also by anyone who visits your home. And, you’ll even be able to pass these pieces of happiness down to your children, and even your grandchildren! (And even further, if you have the right medium for your portraits.)
While you may not think that seeing these feelings of warmth, happiness, and otherwise gone moments in time, will increase your confidence or self-worth, they will. There have been countless studies done (a lot for children especially) to scientifically prove that these statements aren’t just bologna. They are factual, and something you should greatly consider if you or anyone else in your household who could use a boost in their self-confidence.
I won’t go into too much detail, as I could write an entire blog post explaining it all to you, but that isn’t the point of this article. However, if you are curious, I’ve included some links to a few of the studies I have found supporting this notion.
If you have never enjoyed a visual legacy, and the satisfaction that comes from having physical prints in your hands of yourself and your family, then this will be a real treat. If you have, and you know just how awesome it is to see and feel these physical representations of moments otherwise gone, but need to know how to get these moments onto your walls, then this is for you as well.
Step 1. Pick the Room and Wall in that Room that Relaxes You Most
The first step, is to choose the room and the wall within that room, that relaxes you the most. The reason for this, is that the artwork you choose to display in this room of your family, senior, or wedding session, will compound with the relaxing effects that the room you choose already gives you. (Two benefits for the price of one!) This could be any room, by the way. It could be your living room, dining room, kitchen, library, study, bedroom, bathroom (Hey, some people only get a moment peace while doing their business!), etc. But the best place to start is the room that relaxes you the most.
Step 2. Start to Plan the Size & Location of your Portrait
The second step, is to start planning not only the size, but the exact location of where you wish to display your portrait. My advice, is to choose the location within your chosen room, that attracts the most attention from you. The simple way to envision this, would be to picture a living room that has a fireplace and a mantel. The mantel on the fireplace will draw your eyes to it almost instantly, and that is where you would want to start your journey with this project. Don’t have a fireplace with a mantel? What about a couch against an empty wall? That would be another example of where you could place your pictures for maximum effect.
Now that you have the location picked out, you will want to also measure the intended space, to know what the overall size of your project will be! Don’t be afraid of a lot of space (and also, the reverse. Don’t be scared of smaller spaces either.) Once you have the space measured, then you can really do some fun planning for that space. If it’s a larger space, and you feel uncomfortable with the idea of a huge picture of yourself in this space, don’t forget that you don’t have to stick with one portrait for that entire space. You can also create a collage of pictures for that space.
Shameless Self Plug: If you need help planning your space, let us know! We will ask you to send us a picture of your intended space (head-on, with the wall as straight as possible) with an 8.5″x11″ piece of paper (this is the standard size of paper in the US) taped in the middle. We will then use a special program we have to show you your artwork on your wall, appropriately sized for that wall. (We don’t try to sell you simply the largest works of art we can, but rather, we try to encourage you to purchase what fits perfectly for your space.)
Step 3. Choosing the Perfect Portrait for Your Space
You may already have a picture in mind, after viewing your room and the space you wish to decorate. But, let’s dig into this a little bit shall we? Take a step back and start to look at the colors you have in your chosen room. Are there a bunch of cool colors (blues, greens, magenta’s) or are there a bunch of warmer colors? (Reds, yellows, oranges)
When choosing your portrait for your chosen room, you’ll want that portrait to reflect what’s already going on in that space. You wouldn’t want to choose a winter themed photo for a room that is filled with mostly reds and oranges, just as much as you wouldn’t want to choose a fall colors session portrait for a room that is filled with a bunch of blues and greens.
You will want to enhance your space with this portrait, which will help to maximize the relaxing and happy effects it can have on you and your family.
Step 4. Deciding the Medium You Wish to Display Your Portrait With
The medium of your pictures will also help or distract from your chosen picture when it is displayed. What I mean by this, is that whether you choose to display your portraits on a canvas, or with a metal print, will help determine if it matches the area you are planning to fill with your pictures.
For instance: if you are decorating your family room, and you find that you have it all laid out in a modern way, you will probably want a more modern medium for your pictures. You could choose an acrylic print, or a metal print per chance. Or, if you are decorating your bedroom, and it has a very rustic feel to it, you will probably want framed prints, with barnwood frames.
The point is, that you’ll want to make this portrait (or portraits) fit in with how the room is already presented. (Unless of course, you’re starting everything from scratch, then I would suggest choosing your favorite medium, and planning the decor of that room around the look of that chosen medium.)
Another Shameless Self Plug: We can help you decide all of this as well! If you need help knowing what to choose, or even simply what options there are, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help!
Step 5. Enjoy the Boost of Confidence
After you have chosen everything, the last step is to simply enjoy the new sense of purpose you will feel while looking at your portraits. You’ll of course, want to hang or display the portraits, but all of the hard work has been finished.
Every day, you will be able to see and reflect upon the happy moments that were captured by your photographer(s), which will in turn, boost your confidence. When ever you are having a rough time of things, look at these portraits. Remember the happiness you felt, and remember exactly why you work so hard to do what you do. You are worth this. Your family is worth this. And your children will thank you for these printed portraits long into their lives, even after you have left this world.
If you followed these 5 simple steps, I can guarantee that your home will feel more homely, and that your confidence will boost anytime you see them. You will finally have some artwork in your home that you are proud to share with visitors.
Final Shameless Self Plug: We will gladly install your artwork for you when we hand deliver it to you.
Quite honestly, I expect that less than half of the people who read this blog post to follow these easy steps. They’ll give the excuse that they can’t afford the pictures and/or mediums they want. But, these same people, I have found, are the same people who will happily pay $1000+ for a new iPhone that will be easily replaced within a year or so.
But, I can also tell you the feelings I can see and get when I do encounter people who have done these steps for themselves, or even through the services I offer. These people are happier than ever, and can’t wait to show off their new artwork to family and friends. They brag about it, because they’re so proud of themselves and their family. They have artwork that they love, and can pass on to their children, and even their grandchildren.
If you are one of these people, who want to cherish your life with your family, and want to show your love of your family, the pride you have in your family, but just don’t feel you can do it all yourself, then I ask that you reach out to us here at Intrigue Photography. We can help you with every step that I’ve outlined above. Our consultations are always free (with no obligation to purchase anything), and we can make your dreams for your family and home, come true. And when we do, you’ll have something priceless in your home, that you will never regret having or showcasing. Trust me, you won’t be able to take your eyes off your new work of art.
Thank you for reading and I hope you are able to share with us your own family pictures, and how you’ve displayed them throughout your home!
Hello everyone! I wanted to write about, and maybe even gush about, our recent winter session Jeff and I had with another photographer. You see, Jeff and I have been together (as of now) for ten and a half years. You would think, within all that time, we would have had our pictures taken at some point, right? Well, no… So long as you don’t count our wedding, we have had a whopping zero photo sessions, at least, until January 19, 2019 that is.
You may be thinking, “What?! Don’t all photographers get their photos taken like, all the time?” Nope! You see, Jeff and I are a lot like our clients. We don’t feel photogenic. We don’t like having our pictures taken (Jeff, more-so than myself for this point), and it’s not something we’ve really planned for.
However, after all these years of being a photographer, I wanted some pictures of him and I together, and not done by ourselves. (Yup, we’ve totally done the selfie thing with the camera on a tripod. Haha!) So, I searched around and was able to connect with a photographer friend, Megan of Memoirs Photography.
Remember the tripod selfie I talked about? Here’s one! This was taken at Munising Falls.
Megan is a great gal, and we’ve been friends for a few years on Facebook, but had never met one another in person. When I reached out, I told her what exactly I was looking for. I also added some lenses that I’d like to have used, if possible, because I really like a certain look. (It’s a look I try my best to achieve with our own clients, so I really wanted it emulated if possible for my own pictures.) I told Megan too, that I wanted Jeff and I to be treated exactly like any of her other clients. I told her, “Hey, I might have a lot of questions, probably more than your typical client, but I think that comes from being a photographer myself! Lol”
And I must say, Megan was great! Her communication with me was on point. She answered all of my questions, and I never felt neglected, or confused about her services and policies for her business. And that, helped me to instantly feel more confident with her as my choice for our pictures. She and I (and Jeff too, lol) decided on a winter session, with a flexible date, so we could get some snow. This was in an effort, on my part, to celebrate my anniversary with Jeff. (He and I got married in January.)
Well, finally the day arrived, and it happened to be on Jeff’s 44th birthday! (Yes, he really is that old. Lol) It was a snowy day for sure, where Port Huron received about 18 inches of snow. During the session itself, it was snowing and the wind was blowing harshly, but Jeff and I took it all in stride, beyond excited about the weather conditions and how cool the photos would be because of them. This was, after all, everything we had hoped for and planned for with Megan.
After the session, Megan, Jeff and I all took a selfie together, and went our separate ways. Jeff and I went off to explore Port Huron a little bit, before driving home in the snow. Megan, went home and started to work on some of our pictures. She surprised us with a sneak peek from the session, and then on the day of our anniversary (January 21st), she surprised us further with a blog post from our session. Needless to say, we were ecstatic about everything we saw!
After our cold and snowy session, Megan took this selfie of the three of us with her cell phone. Look at just how happy we all are despite the cold and snow!
The Point of this Blog Post
So, now that you know a little more about how everything went about and came to be, let’s talk a little about what I took away from the session, aside from our photographs.
Megan even brought the blanket we are sitting on in this photo. Something I forgot myself to bring! (Doh!) Glad we hired a prepared photographer!
1. Getting In Front of the Camera
Overall, getting in front of the camera was a lot of fun. Megan was great at posing us, keeping us entertained (although, that’s really not hard to do for us, we’re both like giant kids, lol), keeping us relaxed, and overall allowing us to be in the present. This, is something we attempt to do for our own clients as well, and so she left us in great confidence throughout our entire experience with her.
Wide angle shot on a path that has birch trees? Umm, yes please! This was a unique photograph that Jeff and I simply love! It’s totally a different perspective and one we can appreciate!
2. A Different Perspective
Being a photographer, you have a lot to think about at all times. Not only do you have to think about your camera settings for the shots you want, but also angles, posing, light, background elements, emails, marketing, blogging, posting to social media, phone calls, editing, ordering prints, and so very much more. Seriously, we do a lot as photographers. And so, one of the many things we don’t think of, is things from the clients’ point of view.
You see, most of the things that photographers do, and that make great photographers, are completely unseen to the client. Clients don’t know what an “F-Stop” is, or why “ISO” can be so important. They only know that they want their pictures taken, or that you have taken their pictures, and they want to see them. Being on the client side of the aisle, allows you as a photographer, to take a different look into the whole process.
This is by far my favorite image from the entire series. I never would have been able to capture this type of a photograph myself.
3. A Photograph’s Value
As a photographer, I feel that I already know the “value” of a photograph. However, that value changes immeasurably, when the photograph is of you and your loved one(s). These pictures, taken by Megan, are already priceless to Jeff and myself. We absolutely love them. We love where we are in that moment in our lives, and we will treasure these photographs for many years to come.
I mean, after going out to buy new outfits, getting my hair done, doing my makeup, driving almost two hours in the snow to the session location, freezing in sub-zero temperatures while snow pelted us in the face, and then driving another two hours in the snow back home, you would think I would feel that the value of these photographs are less than priceless. However, all of that only enhances their value. Why?
The experience of it all. Our snowy adventure. The fun we had at the mall, while shopping for our new outfits. The warmth I felt as Jeff snuggled me in the snow. The fun I had, during the entire experience, made our photos that much more to us.
The wind was fierce here. I’m glad I had Jeff there to warm me up, even if it was just with his one arm! Lol!
4. A Reinforced Belief in Communication and Customer Service
Jeff and I have always been big believers in communication and customer service for our clients. However, seeing things from the clients’ eyes, has reinforced our belief in both these things even more. We know how good it feels to know what exactly to expect. We know exactly how confident we feel when we are posed confidently. We know how much fun it can be to work with a photographer that we connected with.
None of this would have worked, if Megan wasn’t so great at communication and customer service. She was amazing, and we can’t sing her praises high enough. She left a lasting impression on us, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.
We love the background in this portrait. We love how happy and close we are, and that we don’t look like we’re cold… Even though, we were freezing! Lol!
5. Broadening My Own Photography Skills
After watching Megan work with Jeff and myself, there were little things I noticed her doing, that I now find myself doing. That is the kind of impression Megan has left upon me. Watching someone else in your profession work, is seriously something every professional, in every profession, should be able to experience at least once.
You see, I was pretty confident in Megan’s ability when I hired her. However, I still had that nagging self doubt that I would make the pictures look bad. (And by this, I mean my face. LOL) I was worried that I would look as cold as I felt (it was very cold that day). I was worried that maybe I had gained a little too much weight, and that it would somehow “ruin” my pictures, even as they were being taken. But, that isn’t so. Because of her experience with posing, and because of her confidence, and her ability to really listen to what her clients are hoping for, the photos have far surpassed any doubts I may have had, as well as any expectations.
In closing, I just want to say this. If you are a photographer, do yourself a favor. Hire another professional photographer to take your pictures. Not only will you have amazing memories of your own to look back on, but you may learn a few things about yourself and the way you operate your business as well. You may well understand your clients, that much more. As Dale Carnegie said in his famous book, “How to Win Friends & Influence People“, “Many sales people spend a lifetime in selling without seeing things from the customer’s angle.” The best way to relate to your customers, is to be someone else’s customer first. The importance of this, was one of my biggest takeaways from this experience. Let it be yours as well.
Ugh, family photos. It’s that time of the year to be stressed to the max, get the kids and the husband ready to go on time, and and sit in front of a potential stranger with a camera, hoping and praying they get at least ONE good photo for all of your trouble. What if I were to tell you that your family photos didn’t have to be this way? What if I were to tell you that with our 10 Decisive Ways to Save Your Family Photoshoot, you will ensure that every aspect of your family photo session will fall smoothly into place? Don’t believe me? Read the tips below to see just how easy it can all be!
Hi! We’re Jess & Jeff, and we volunteer as tribute for this first tip.
1. Find Your Photographer
You might think, “Gee, this is more than obvious…”, and that would be exactly why, it is our first tip! The best way to ensure that your family portraits are beyond what you would hope for, is to find that special photographer that you feel can deliver not only the best family photos for you, but one that can also help you through the entire process! Think of it this way, would you rather try to plan all of this alone and by yourself? Or would you rather have the professional assistance and knowledge of a great photographer? If you find a professional photographer who is willing to help you the rest of the way, then you can be sure that your photos will be in your heart for the rest of your life! And before you continue on to the next tips, be sure to keep this tip in mind, as the rest will tie into this one quite closely. (If it is important for wedding clients to connect with their photographers, it is just as important for you and your family too!)
This family looks so snuggly in their winter outfits, among the trees and the snow! Good thing they prepared properly for this cold winter session!
2. Think of the Theme of the Session
This one is pretty easy. What exactly are you hoping for from this session? Are you looking for a more relaxed session that captures your daily life at home? (Lifestyle Session) Are you looking to dress up in your Sunday Best for a more refined look? (Styled Session) Are you wanting pictures taken in a popular area that usually has lots of people? (In a popular park, city, etc.) Or are you wanting to go on a unique adventure with your family, exploring new areas, seeing new sites, and having your photographer act as photographer and tour guide? (Portrait Adventure Session) Will your session take place in the winter, spring, summer, or the fall?
Once you have nailed down a basic theme for your session, you can discuss this with your photographer in more detail and make sure that everything will go as you are envisioning it to go.
Choosing a location shouldn’t be a chore. If you need help, ask your photographer!
3. Think of a Location for Your Photos
This will tie into the step directly above. Now, before you start to think on how to make it to five different locations within an hour for your photos, I want you to take a step back for a moment. If you have chosen a great photographer, you won’t need multiple locations for a single family session. Our advice to you is to keep it simple, not only for your benefit, but that of your family. If you are already stressing about what they should wear, how you will get everyone ready in time, and more, then you should take this bit of advice to heart. Keep it simple, and to one location.
If you don’t have any idea where you would like your session to be, discuss it with your photographer! You would be surprised at what a good photographer can do, even in locations that seem less than ideal. Not only that, but many photographers travel their local areas in search of new and interesting places to photograph their clients in. So they may even be able to point you in a direction that is less often used, but closer to what your session theme is!
Depending on the time of the year, inside might be better than outside for your family. Plan in advance in either case!
4. Pick a Date Well in Advance
You won’t want to wait until the last moment to schedule your family session. This is especially true for the Summer and Autumn seasons. Our recommendation is to start planning your session as late as six months in advance. Not only does this give you time to find the best photographer for your family needs, but it also allows you plenty of time to plan and prepare. You will be able to have plenty of time to plan your outfits, hair, makeup, nails, travel time, when you should eat, ask for time off of work (if needed) and so much more! Not only that, but many photographers are booked months in advance, especially if they photograph weddings as well. (If your chosen photographer does photograph weddings, you’ll find that most Saturdays will be unavailable.)
Yes, even dogs can be considered props to some people. If you have dogs, we consider them a part of your family, so bring them along!
5. Plan Your Props
Your props can be as simple as a blanket for a picnic type session in a park, or as elaborate as two hay-bales, blankets, scarecrows, pumpkins and more for a styled fall session. Props can certainly help add more variety to your family portraits, as well as to help tell the story of your family in this time of your life. You could choose something as simple as your families favorite books, or cute hats and scarves for your winter session. Maybe you have a child in band, and they want to bring their instrument for a portrait. Or maybe your youngest child has a favorite stuffed animal. Really think about your families’ story, where you and your family are in this time of your lives, and what parts of your story you wish to be told with your portraits.
Don’t match one another exactly. Show off your personality, and the personalities of your children with your wardrobe!
6. Planning Your Wardrobe
This is one of the biggest questions many photographers face when clients come to them for family photos. “What should we wear?” is almost asked right away. Our suggestion, is to coordinate your wardrobe, but to wear what is comfortable. Remember, you’ll want to match your session theme. So if you’re hoping for a Sunday Best session, you won’t want to arrive in ripped jeans, and wrinkled dresses. If you’re hoping for a beach session, don’t match everyone completely in khaki shorts and white shirts. (You’ll blend into the sky if there isn’t any color from a sunrise/sunset.)
When you coordinate your wardrobe with the rest of your family, you will have one element that is the same throughout everyone’s clothes. That could be a color in different but similar shades, the same sort of style (everyone in jeans of varying colors, but different types of shirts), or maybe you want everyone to be in their Sunday best! (Everyone looks dressed up, but with different outfits. Maybe little Johnny is in a suit jacket with jeans, but Dad is in a full suit with tie.) Again, this will tie into the theme of your session and the story you wish to tell with your portraits. (One website to help you plan or create outfits, is with TrendMe.)
Fall weather can sometimes be warm, and most of the time, be chilly. Dress accordingly, and you’ll do great!
7. Dress for the Weather
This is another somewhat obvious statement. But it is just as important as the rest of the tips. If you are having a colder season session, you won’t want to be in shorts. Just as if you’re having a beach session, it wouldn’t make much sense to be dressed in sweaters and winter hats. (Unless the beach session is in winter, but I digress.) Also, we recommend planning for the worst weather that could befall your session. If it is in the autumn, make sure to have warmer choices in case the weather happens to be cold on the day of your session. If it is in the summer, and it rains, maybe add some cute rain jackets and rain boots to transform your session into a rainy (but very fun) session. In Michigan especially, if you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes, and it will change. But, be prepared for the changes that may come your way.
Don’t let hanger get the better of your kids, and your photos! Keep them full and we’ll do our best, to keep them happy.
8. Hanger is Real, Don’t Let it Ruin Your Session
Everyone knows of the Snickers commercials, where a famous celebrity does something that wouldn’t be normal for them. Their friends notice this, and hand them a Snickers bar to eat. After eating it, they ask, “Better?”, and the celebrity, now back in their “normal” appearance agrees that they are indeed, better. This plays on the fact that people get grumpy when they are hungry. This applies to everyone, in my experience. Whether you are 85 or 2 years old, if you’re hungry, you won’t be happy to do things that you’re not wanting to do. And that’s because your stomach has your attention more than anything else. So, our recommendation to you is to be sure that everyone has a full meal, before their session. Also, it helps if you pack a small snack (and of course water!) for the kids (and for yourself), just to keep their stomachs (and yours) completely tamed.
Let your kids do their own thing, at least for a little bit. If they want to blow the seeds from a dandelion, let them! It may just be an adorable photo you love for the rest of your life.
9. Let Your Kids Be Themselves
Let’s face it. Every parent stresses about how their children act while out in public, especially in front of people who aren’t your best friend or family. However, what you might not be thinking of, is allowing your kids to be themselves during the session. You’ll most likely want them to, “Sit down. Shut up. Smile for the camera! Do what the photographer says! Don’t get into the mud! You can’t run around! Stop it! Ahhh, why did I plan this?!?!?” Now, that may be a little beyond what you are thinking for your session, or it might be spot on. However, our advice to you is to let your kids be themselves. If they want to run, we will chase after them. If they want to play in the mud (be sure to pack secondary outfits to keep everyone clean after the session), let them play in the mud! Your children will only be small for so long, so why not let them be kids and play? Why not let their little personalities (or big ones, lol) show through in the portraits? Wouldn’t you like to look back at these pictures 10+ years in the future and remember how little Susan loved to make mud pies? Or, how little Johnny loved to run and dive into a pile of leaves?
Remind yourself daily about why you do what you do, and who exactly, you do it all for… with printed options displayed throughout your home!
10. Think About What Happens to the Photos AFTER the Session
Oh! I bet you thought the final tip would be something like, “Relax and Have Fun!” While, that is also a major thing to think about for your session, we wanted to touch on this tip first. What will you do with your photos, after they have been taken? Will you post them on Facebook, and only see them for a week before moving on to the next thing in your life? Will you let them sit in a USB Flash Drive in a drawer, to be left, forgotten, until the technology has advanced so far that you no longer have an easy way to access them. (Think about the CD’s photographers used to give. Now tell me, does your laptop or computer even have a disc drive anymore? Mine doesn’t.)
While it is important to not only prepare for the session itself, it is equally important to plan and prepare for what you wish to do with the photographs after they have been taken. If you’re hoping to print the pictures yourself, you will want to find a photographer who allows you to do so. (*Studies show that 67% of people store photos solely on a computer or phone, and 53% of people have not printed a photo in more than 12 months.) However, if you don’t want to worry about that hassle (like finding the perfect print medium, size, and do the ordering yourself), you’ll want to find a photographer who will assist you with these choices, and do the ordering for you. (Hey guys, shameless plug here. We do all of this!) Will you want a family photo album? Will you want some framed prints? Will you want some prints for frames you have already? Will you want a new canvas over your couch to show off your family for years to come? What about gifts for grandma? There is a lot to think of here, and it helps if you have a photographer who can help you wade through all of these options, without allowing you to sink into indecision and inaction.
Why have a photo session, if you’re only willing to go halfway? The other half, is what to do with the photos, once they have been taken.
Have some fun! Even if it means being a personal jungle gym for your children. Lol!
BONUS TIP: Have Fun and Relax!
Hahaaa, and there it is folks! Seriously, I can’t stress this enough. Make this a fun experience for yourself, and your family. Why go through all of the planning, only to make yourself and your family more stressed than you probably already are! If you have followed all of our steps above, and if you have found the right photographer, you can be sure that you will have no trouble what-so-ever with this bonus tip. You’ll be able to sit back, relax, have fun with some of the people you love most in this world, and you’ll end up with beautiful portraits after the fact! It’ll truly be a win for everyone involved.
Whew! So, after reading our 10 Decisive Ways to Save Your Family Photoshoot, do you feel more confident in, and less stressed about, your ability to have a family photo session of a lifetime? I sure hope so! Remember, if you follow our tips above, you should have a fantastic and remarkably easy time preparing for, loving, and saving your family photoshoot. The key tip, would be to find the perfect professional photographer to assist you along the way.
I truly hope you enjoyed reading our tips, and if you have any questions, or would like to learn more about how Jeff and I could help you with your family session, leave a comment below! Thank you and have a wonderful day!
*Statistics are based on a 2015 nationwide survey conducted by Professional Photographers of America (PPA).
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So, you feel that you have found the perfect wedding venue. They’re even open for your wedding date! But, now what? Well, before envisioning yourself dancing the night away there, and actually booking your wedding with this venue, we recommend asking these top 10 questions before signing your wedding date away. Trust us, wedding venue regret can be a real thing! We are here to help you avoid that becoming a very real aspect of your wedding day.
1. What exactly does your pricing include, and exclude?
We know this is kinda two questions in one, but as our number one question to ask your wedding venue, it is a must! A lot of venues offer different things included in their packages, and exclude some things that you might assume is included in their pricing. The only way to know for sure if your food, beverages, staffing, equipment, furniture, decor, and more, is included in their pricing, is to ask exactly what is included, and excluded in their packages. Also, be sure to ask how much extra their exclusions are, if you happen to need something that they do not include up front.
2. Are there any minimum requirements for us to use your venue?
Some venues require a minimum number of guests to attend, in order to fulfill their end of the wedding day bargain. These can vary from time of day, number of hours that you’ll be with their venue, even the day of the week or the year! Be sure to ask about these ahead of time, so you’re not surprised with any additional bills later on.
Exclusive use and access to a winery’s wine cellar on your big day? Yes please!
3. Will the venue allow you exclusive use throughout the day, or only a small part of the day? (And, how will that exclusive use be enforced?)
Some venues have space for more that one event to occur at the same time. However, for weddings, this can be a problem, especially at venues with beautiful lobbies or stairways that brides and grooms would like to have photos of. And one thing that can quickly ruin the fun and pictures in these spots, is when other guests from other events are in the way of those spots, because the exclusive use is not enforced by the venue! So, always ask about the usage of their properties and how that exclusive use (that you’re paying for) is enforced.
4. What are the maximum capacities for the different floors or rooms that the venue has?
Depending on these capacities, you will be either limited or have limitless ways to ensure your venue looks exactly how you wish it to. Are you wanting a big dance floor, or cake station? You better make sure you’ll have room for those things, along with room for your guests to sit for dinner too.
5. Will the venue be providing you with a set schedule of the events to come, or are they just going to “wing it”?
You’ll want to be sure that you not only have time to decorate the place, but also, what times they will want to serve dinner and more. Some venues are very strict on time (for example: only 30 minutes for photos to be taken directly after your ceremony.), and others can be lax about it. However, it is up to you to discern how strict you want the venue to be, and when not to use a venue if they are too strict for your needs.
A smaller venue location can mean less decorations, less people, or both!
6. Are there any limitations on what you can do with their space?
Remember in question number four, where you asked about the room size and maximum capacity of the room you’re looking into? Well, now we will delve a little deeper into that aspect. You’ll also want to ask if there are any limitations to what exactly you can do in that room. And yes, that will depend on your maximum capacity size for the room too, but you’ll also want to know if you can use things such as: confetti, candles, sparklers, up-lighting and more! If possible, ask for a printed list of what you can and cannot use in their space that you are renting from them.
7. What happens in case of rain, or other weather events? Is the venue weather-proof?
You’ll definitely want to make sure that you have a backup plan in place in case of foul weather. If you’re using an outdoor venue, will they be providing an emergency tent in case of rain? If you’re booking a venue such as a botanical garden, will that be too warm in the summer if it is inside? (Some gardens require high temperatures to keep their plants from other locations alive, which can make for a hot summer afternoon inside of them.) Be sure to know exactly what will happen in case of bad weather. (Rain, snow, sleet, hail, etc.)
8. How convenient is the location for the other festivities happening throughout the day?
Some venues will offer you shuttle buses to help make themselves more convenient to you and your guests throughout your wedding day. Others do not. Some are right next to popular photo locations and ceremony locations, where as some are literally out in the middle of no-where. It is up to you to ask them how their location can be of benefit to you and to your guests, especially if you don’t want a lot of travel time throughout the day to contend with.
9. Does the venue have a preferred vendor list?
Some venues will require that you work only from the vendors they recommend. Other venues will simply give you a list of vendors they recommend, but don’t mind whom you use on your big day. This is very important to know, especially if you have already found and booked some other vendors before your venue.
Want a big group picture? Be sure to ask your venue if they have a space for your photographer to get up high!
10. What other policies should we know about?
Last but not least, make sure to ask if there are any other policies you should know about. This can include things like payment deadlines, cancellation fees, and other important booking terms. Before you sign, always know everything you can possibly know about a place, and if you’re still confident with them and their policies, then feel free and confident in signing on the dotted line!
That was our Top 10 Questions You Need to Ask Your Wedding Venue! There are plenty of others, and if we missed some that you feel would be more important to ask, please leave a comment below! Thank you for reading and good luck in your wedding venue search!
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A couple of weeks ago, Jeff and I had the great honor of photographing, and performing, the marriage between our cousin Rebecca, and her fiance, Kyle. You may be wondering, “Wait, aren’t you guys just photographers?” Yes we are, however, I (Jess), am also ordained in the State of Michigan (by the American Marriage Ministries) to perform marriages. This was my first time performing a marriage, and it touched me in ways I never contemplated before. However, this isn’t about me, this is about them. So, with that being said, let’s learn more about this beautiful Michigan Winter Elopement!
Rebecca and Kyle had been engaged for a little while, and Rebecca had also heard that I was ordained, and so she reached out to me about five days before the day they got married on. You see, they truly wanted to be married before their daughter was born. So, we decided together to make it happen. We discussed many things, but mainly where and when to hold their ceremony, as well as, what they wished to have said during their ceremony. We decided on Elizabeth Park in Trenton, Michigan for their elopement to take place.
It was a beautiful Sunday, and not too cold, especially considering this past weeks’ wind chills and polar vortex. The sun was shining perfectly as guests started to arrive. I began practicing once more before everything was about to begin, and was quite nervous and excited to be joining these two amazing souls together, until the end of their days.
As Rebecca walked down the aisle, she was glowing. There was no music for her approach, and Kyle stayed facing away, until I gave him the signal to look, and see his stunning blushing bride, walk down the aisle. We were surrounded by the sounds of winter, a few birds, once in a while a car, as it drove around Elizabeth Park, but mainly, just a calming and serene silence. Everyone waited with baited breath for what was to come.
As I began, I was able to watch everyone in a totally different way than typical for me at weddings. Usually, I’m with Jeff, wandering around, taking pictures of everyone, capturing details and emotions, and unable to truly pay close attention to what is being said. However, this day, I was the officiant. I was able to watch with apt attention at the reactions of the guests, and of the Bride and Groom to what I was saying. And I must say, they all seemed to very much like what I had to say.