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  • Welcome to my blog!

    This blog contains updated content about pretty much all the coming and goings of the studio. It also may contain some rants and raves depending on whether there is a full moon. Feel free to leave me a comment. You can also pass these images onto Facebook or Twitter if the spirit moves you!

Last week the weather gods gave us a bone.  Not just warm weather for a few days, but HOT weather!  As in 80 degrees!  Something virtually unheard of in the first week of March.  Be as it may, it was nice.  For my taste, a bit too hot too soon.  I’m a 60-70ish degree kinda gal.  Its funny that the first warm spell that hits us, the phone starts to ring with outdoor session requests, high school senior and in general, Mother’s Day family portrait sessions.  Its pretty funny how the disposition of the weather effects our way of thinking.  In the fall when we have our first cold snap, you would think the entire population of the U.S. is in a rush to start holiday shopping and planning holiday portraits!

Anyhow, keep an eye out for my spring special newsletter.  It will include some awesome things for “Portraits in the Park” as well as High School Senior sessions.

In two weeks it will be Easter.  I pulled this cute portrait from one of my “Portraits in the Park” sessions a while ago.  I just love the smile on this child  and thought it may bring a smile to your face as well.

Donna

TONYA_BW_WEBCass_Sample_BW3_WEB

 

You either love pregnancy portraits or frankly, couldn’t be bothered with an opinion either way.  I have been doing these types of portraits long before they became popular.  And also long after they fell out of style.  Now, they are back.  So, I am here to give you a little insight as to how I do them and why.  You may agree or disagree with what I say, but again, it’s just my opinion.

I titled this blog “Pregnancy portraits… a love/hate kinda thing.” because being pregnant obviously has it’s ups and downs for the ladies.  The first 3 months are usually scorn with sickness and  bloating.  So, obviously, it’s not a good time to start the portrait process.  (May I remind you I speak from experience on this. LOL).  Besides, a lady’s belly hasn’t popped sufficiently enough to get that pregnant look.  The second trimester is the best.  By now, most gals have “popped” and are clearly wearing some sort of maternity clothing.  Also, morning sickness has subsided.  So, I strongly recommend that this time period works best for portraits.  Right around the 5th to 6th month.  I would try to rule out the 3rd trimester for portraits unless it is the 7th month.  Why?  Because in most cases, feet are swelling and hands are swelling.  It’s kinda hard to feel you are at your most beautiful moment when you waddle and can’t touch or see your toes. (Again.. speaking from experience.)

Every photographer approaches pregnancy photographs differently.  For me, I believe it is a beautiful time and I want to show not only the pregnancy, but just how beautiful mom is as well.  I do not, and I emphasize NOT, do pregnancy photographs with hands made into hearts on bellies, dad kissing belly or any of that other hoakey stuff.  It’s just not me… I’m sorry.  I have visions of seeing those types of photographs on one of those weird websites 20 plus years from now and having a good laugh.  Please don’t send me weird emails about this.  Other photographers do it and see nothing wrong with it.  As I said, there are different types of photographers and different types of photography.

I approach each and every pregnancy portrait through an artist perspective.  I want to create a beautiful stunning image of one of the most important periods in a women’s life.  These are the types of images that won’t be the butt of jokes in years to come but rather ones that the baby inside of you at the time of these portraits, will cherish for years to come.

Keeping it real…

donna

 

 

Changing outfits makes a difference

Variation in clothing makes a difference….

It’s pretty rare that a day doesn’t go by without at least one phone call inquiring about professional headshots. I give each person the rundown about what’s included and why. Of course there are a few individuals looking for the “quick” and what I call “down and dirty” headshot. That basically means that they want a “professional” headshot and more than likely don’t care about what makes a great headshot. Perhaps their boss told them to get one or they are looking for the cheapest route.  There is no cutting corners for me because every person is treated with extreme professionalism and are given detail to expert lighting and posing.

One of the key items I try to pass on is the importance of bringing several outfits.  As you can see by the above screen shot, the client used 3 different color schemes.  I also switched out a grey background to a black background.  Sometimes what you think looks good on you may not look all that good behind the camera lens.  It’s may clash with your hair, your skin tones or in general, just look yuck.

I ask all of my ladies to bring in at least 3 changes of outfits. (obviously just tops since it is a headshot).  For the guys, I ask that they bring 2.  It can range from a different jacket, suit, tie or shirt.  I prefer solid colors on the shirts.

The yellow marked one is one that I personally loved.  There were more, but this one was my fav.  I encourage all my people to get two images.  Switching them out increases your SEO and keeps your webpage fresh.

Questions?  Feel free to send me an email at lerephoto@gmail.com

donna

One good match

 

Of course it happens!  How often?  For me, about once a year around late winter.  It’s pretty predictable.  I should schedule a lunch date with Puxatony Phil, the groundhog who makes his early February appearance every year.  I can feel it coming on in late January.  After the previous year’s paperwork and files are sewed up and the calendar starts filling up once again.  I feel like Oprah pulling her famous 50 pounds of lost fat in her red wagon.  Some years are better than others.  Since I network with a few groups, jumping back into my normal routine in January is not where it starts.  For the most part, it starts around the first of February.  As I sit in my networking meetings, the voices of my friends sort of echo into a blurb as if I am in a cloud.  I daydream more of ocean sounds, birds chirping and in general, that big globe that appears ever once in awhile in the sky called the “sun”.

This is the time I could easily pick up the phone and reconnect with my “Debbie Downer” friends.  You know the ones…..  I’m sure we all have one, two or even several.  My mom always says “Misery loves company.”  How true.  In that sea of burnt out matches, I have to remember to stay positive and push though this time every year.  I’m not going to lie and say that being a business owner is joyous.  It is work and hard work.  Staying on top of the mountain is even harder work.  There are some photographers who choose to take the elevator.  By that I mean, that their business consists of the same type of photography day in and day out.  They are happy with their lighting that they learned years ago.  For me, I feel that education is the highest form of success when elevating your business from normal to superior.  So not only does the daily pressure of getting new business in, the constant push to educate myself in state of the art lighting techniques, camera angles and techniques and so on and so on, are just as high on the priority list.

Burn out comes and it is expected.  So, for me, the best way to handle this is to put the camera down for a few days.   Bow out of social media for a wee bit.  You would be surprised how a few days of this can really clear your head.  I call it “defragging”.  Remember years ago when computer experts said you had to “defrag” your computer.  I remember asking my computer guy what the heck that was.  He said, “it put’s everything back to where it should be.”  For me, that may be just a walk on the beach in the winter.

I love what I do.  I love being a photographer.  I believe that I am good at what I do.  My passion to create an image for you to enjoy and pass on to your children far exceeds any job I can think of.  To see tears of joy in a new mom’s face as she sees her newborn’s photograph is exhilarating. To make a woman feel beautiful lost in a sea of negativity brought on by social stereotypes is a gift.

As I sit here writing this, the snow has stopped and that warm sun globe is squeezing through starting it’s quick melt.  The birds are getting together for a networking event and making so much noise that I may even open my window a crack to see what the party is all about.  Burnout period is over.  Thankfully, it only lasted a few days.  I’m ready for 2016.  Bring it on my friends.   I’m taking the stairs and leaving the elevator to the other folks.

Hugs,

donna

 

 

Baby Dom

Meet my grandson Dominick.  He is 8 months old in this photograph.  He has been crawling for about 3 weeks now and stands up with the help of a sturdy object to hold onto.  If you take your eyes off him for 5 seconds, you can find him crawling towards the bathroom where he proceeds to pull out the toilet paper and shove some in his mouth.  If this continues, I’m sure he will be eligable for a spot on that TV show where people do the weirdest things!  Right now, we are chalking it up to teething!

My granddaughter, now 3, never ever did anything like this.  She was into other stuff that kept us just as busy!  My point?  Each child is different.  Each portrait session is different.

Clients will call and say “I want the same picture that Mary had!”  Or, “Can you do the same picture with my high school senior that you did with the Smith kid?”

I don’t take offense at all when a client calls and requests a similar session that was done with another client.  However, it should be noted that although I can try to replicate the same lighting, the same background, etc., the final product will most likely NOT look the same.

Portraits are all about a feeling.  Combine that feeling with perfect light, and of course positioning of the body.  Bam!  A great portrait is born.    Being a cookie cutter photographer is just not my style.  With each session, I analyize body type, personality of the individual and place lights accordingly.  No two expressions are alike.

Its certainly fine to express to me that you love the “Smith’s” (made-up name) portrait and that you want something similar.  But to be exact, is something that I will never guarantee.  You are unique.  No one should ever be copied.  Not even you.

donna

 

P.S.  We have the toilet paper issue under control so no need to write me advice!

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