A Day at the Beach

Family at Clearwater BeachOne of the great things about living in Florida is how beautiful it is!  There are so many parks and outdoor locations for photo shoots, but the best is the beach, hands down.  Granted you might end up covered in sand by the end of the shoot like I was.  And that might mean that your house is full of sand, which it was…and still is.  But it’s totally worth it!

If you hit the beach at the right time, you can get great light, great skies, and fewer people on the beach.  When I met this family at the beach, I got all three.  Also, I have to say that they did a great job coordinating all the outfits!  Not only do the colors go great with each other but they are sooo fitting for the beach setting!

Parents and Kids at Clearwater Beach

Advertisements

Photographing Toddlers

So, you’ve got a toddler and you want some photos.  Good luck!  No, just kidding!

Whether it’s a photography session or you’re a parent chasing around your kid with a smartphone, photographing toddlers can be a challenging experience.  But for all the effort it takes, it’s worth it in the end when you get that perfect shoot!  Here are some tips to help you prepare for your toddler’s photo session, so your photographer can get that perfect shot.

1) Don’t expect your toddler to pose!

Toddler dressed as Supergirl

Have you seen any of my photos with toddlers and wondered how I got them to pose that way?  Yeah, I didn’t try to get them to pose.  That was a combination of patience, running around (on my part), and working with a fast shutter speed.  Toddlers tend to be go, go, go, so asking them to sit still isn’t likely to happen for long.  If you want to have a family portrait, try it at the beginning of the session when your little one is feeling a little more shy.  Once they warm up to the photographer and the location, they’re more likely to want to go exploring.

2) Props + toddler = good times

Props are a great way to bring out a toddler’s personality!  But, not every prop will work for every kid.  Props are something you should  discuss with your photographer before the actual photo shoot: what types of props you want in the photos, what types of props your child will be interested in, and who is bringing what to the shoot.  I recommend bringing your child’s favorite toy (or two) to a photo session as a backup in case the other props don’t work.

3) Playgrounds are where it’s at!

Toddler playing in Clearwater Florida park

One way to get a toddler more interested in a photo shoot, is to make it feel less like a photo shoot by holding it at playground.  This also works great if your child happens to be shy.

4) Bring drinks and snacks!

You probably already know this one, but make sure to have drinks/snacks on hand.  Snacks can also be a great reward if you really want your toddler to do something, such as going over to a particular location, look at the camera, etc.  This isn’t a guarantee that snacks will work as a reward, but it can work in some circumstances.

5) A tired toddler is a cranky toddler

Toddler playing in park

Do your best to make sure your toddler is well rested and ready to go!  When you’re scheduling the time of your photography session, keep in mind your toddler’s ideal time – when he/she is happiest and most likely to be well rested.  Try and work with your photographer to schedule during this time.  But keep in mind that your photographer may not be able to schedule the session at the time you’re requesting because of business hours, weather (Florida gets hotter later in the day), etc.

Make a New Year’s Resolution…Why You Should Print Your Photos in the New Year!

Couple poses with toddler

Looking to do something different for your 2017 New Year’s Resolution.  How about printing your photos?  It’s a great way to preserve precious memories and it doesn’t involve giving up your favorite foods.  Sounds like a win-win to me.

 

Oh, but  I just want digital files, no prints.  So this topic came up in conversation with a client the other day.  And unless you’re a photographer or some lost of your precious photos, it’s probably not something you’ve really thought about.  These are some reasons I think it’s important to print your photos.  It may not change your mind right now, but hopeful it’ll stop and make you think about all the digital photos you’ve accumulated.

 

Reason #1:

Digital files don’t last forever.

If you’re old enough to remember regularly using a film camera, then you always printed your photos!   But with the advent of digital cameras and smart phones, it doesn’t seem as important anymore.  After all, we can just save them up on our computer, post them on Facebook and Instagram, and they’ll always be available, right?  Well maybe not… Digital files don’t last forever.  Have you have saved a document on your computer only to come back later and find it’s “corrupted”?  Or smart phone crashes and you weren’t backing up your photos to the cloud properly.  Or, maybe your computer crashes and you can’t recover anything on your hard drive?  And don’t even get me started on technology changes.  Remember diskettes?  These things happen all the time.  They may never happen to you but I’ve experienced them all in my lifetime, either directly or through a relative.

Granted prints are susceptible to their own problems, such as exposure to the sun or water.  But they’re a lot easier to maintain.  Even if you decide you’d rather keep most of your photos digital, please save them in more than one location.  So that you always have at least one back up, especially for those photos that are very special to you.

Brother and Sister Hug on St. Pete Beach

 

Reason #2:

You’re not just printing for yourself, you’re also printing for your children and grandchildren.

But I don’t even have kids yet, let alone grandchildren!  That’s not what I meant.  What I mean is that you’re printing photos so that future generations will be able to enjoy them.  Do you remember looking at old family photos with your parents and grandparents?  Do you remember how much fun it was to see them when they were younger?  How funny their hair looked and those clothes they were wearing?  Were you lucky enough to see your great-grandparents and possibly your great-great-grandparents?   If you don’t print your photos, chances are the next generations of your family won’t have that opportunity – see reason number 1.

Father swings boy in air

 

Reason #3:

You just paid to have your portrait taken, why limit it to a tiny image on Facebook?

So you just paid to have your family portrait taken, what are you going to do with it?  Did you really just want to share it with your friends on Facebook?  Or do you want to hang some of the best photos on your walls, so that you can enjoy them with your family and show them off to your friends?  Your photos were meant to be enjoyed in a larger format and not just on the small screen!

Family portrait in Tampa Bay

 

Reason #4:

Ok, so this one isn’t a reason necessarily for just printing your photos.  It’s more of a reason of why you should choose to have your photographer print your photos.  So yeah, you can print your photos at a drugstore, office supply company, and even bulk-discount stores.  But these places don’t offer the same quality of prints.  They also don’t offer the same range of products that photographers using professional printing services can.  Purchasing prints through your photographer also takes all the work off of you.  After all, that’s why you hired me right?  That’s especially true for albums, trust me on this one.

Family walks on Clearwater Beach

Happy Holidays!

Today I wanted to feature some of my clients from a two recent holiday sessions.  These families wanted some Christmasy options for their holiday cards.  So I came prepared with a few themed props.  Now, don’t feel like you have to have themes or props for your photo sessions, but they can be fun to add into the mix.  Props can work really well with younger kids because it gives them something to do and can help shy kids open up a little more easily.  Sometimes, it can even get the more stoic kids to smile!

The little girl in this first set of photos was a little more reserved and didn’t smile as easily as some kids.  She really did like mashing her face up to my lens though…until she saw the cookies.

christmas-shoot-1-of-3
Little girl enjoying Santa’s cookies in Clearwater, Florida

Nothing says Christmas like a toddler trying to decide which chocolate chip cookie to eat first!

christmas-shoot-2-of-3christmas-shoot-3-of-3

In this next set of photos we had two brothers who I think really just wanted to wrestle the whole time.  I had to be patient and use a high shutter speed with these two because they were really energetic.  But I got some great candids and I hear they got ice cream after they were done.

christmas-shoot2-1-of-4christmas-shoot2-2-of-4christmas-shoot2-3-of-4christmas-shoot2-4-of-4

Peek-a-boo in the Park

Toddler in the park

 

I’ve had the chance to photograph this little one three times now.  These photos are clearly from one of my shoots earlier this year – as you can tell by the sweater.  We here in central Florida don’t have much of a winter, so February’s about it for us!

 

eva-2-14-16-1142-edit

eva-2-14-16-1270-edit

eva-2-14-16-1274-edit

eva-2-14-16-1279-edit

 

This one’s an outdoor girl!  We tried indoors first but she wasn’t having it.  It didn’t matter though, because once outside her real personality came out and she had a blast running around and hiding behind a tree.  And then there were the swings.  But who can blame her because swings are the best – obviously!

 

eva-2-14-16-1191-edit