In today's digital world I feel that it's important that the books, prints and wall portraits that I create are designed to last a lifetime. I hope they help you relive precious moments and bring you joy each and every day.
For parents (okay, mostly moms) there is a lot of stress involved in having the perfect family portrait for the holidays. Choosing an experienced photographer makes this whole process a lot easier, but just in case you are brave enough to try this without a professional, here are some tips to help insure your success:
1. Indoors or Out? Choose whether you want your portraits indoors (in your home or in a photo studio) or outdoors. The current trend is to create family portraits outdoors in a natural setting, so we’ll start there. Fall is a great time of year to be outside and it tends to relax fussy little ones.
2. Pets or no pets? Many families love including their pets – after all, aren’t they family, too? If you opt to include them, make sure they will be bathed or groomed in advance of the big event and that you choose a location without too many distractions.
3. Time of day? Think very carefully about nap times, meal times and bed times if you have small children. Assuming a hungry, tired child is going to sit and smile for an hour just because it’s a convenient time for the rest of the family is a little unrealistic. Additionally, consider the outdoor light. Late afternoon or early evening light will always be more comfortable and more flattering. Your photographer should advise you on this but just in case you’re attempting a DIY family portrait, now you know.
4. Where? The typical backyard is not pretty enough or shady enough for a nice family portrait, but if you’ve got lots of open shade and grass, you’re all set. Most families hunt for a scenic spot they’d like to see displayed over the mantle. Just be careful your background doesn’t overwhelm your subjects – you want the viewer to notice your faces first, and mother nature second.
5. What to Wear? The days of “everyone wears matching outfits” are fast disappearing. Families today are wearing complementary colors, dressing in layers and playing with texture. It’s not that difficult – just pick 2 or 3 shades of any color that looks good with your hair color and dress everyone in those shades with one or two pops of an accent color like a belt or a sweater. Go easy on the jewelry and you’re all set. Remember if you’ll be sitting on the ground you don’t want super short skirts on the girls, and grass stains don’t look great on light colored pants. Avoid the default “white shirts with jeans” – light colors not only add weight, but often show every wrinkle and stain. If you just can’t manage anything but one color, choose a dark one.
6. Posed or Casual? Everyone says they want natural, unposed portraits and then they stand still in front of the camera and smile. If casual is what you want, then relax and play in front of the camera. Have a silly joke or a game in mind to amuse the kids while the camera is clicking away. You can run or jump or even throw one of the little ones up in the air and make some magic!
7. Setting the Stage. This should be at the top of the list, but you have to make some of the other decisions first, so we listed it as number 7. This needs to be fun for your family. If Mom is stressing out and Dad is grumbling under his breath about “do we have to?” or “are we done yet?” you’re setting yourself up to fail. Make this a fun family activity. Give the kids a role in either choosing their outfits, the location or the theme so that everyone is invested in the outcome. Start planning and sharing your excitement a few weeks ahead of time so you can really sell it to the whole family. Make time during the session to take some silly shots that the that gets everyone laughing and that the kids can get excited about (even if they don’t ever hang on the wall). Then don’t forget to reward everyone with a special treat afterwards -- it will pay off with increased enthusiasm and some great smiles for next year.
Dog Shots for Everyone!
A one day pet photography workshop for non-professionals with Teresa Berg Sunday May 19th 9am-6pm
For years we have had requests for a one day workshop for dog lovers to be held here in Dallas. So we're scheduling this wonderful day long adventure to help you learn your camera and get the skills you need to make great pictures of your dog. This workshop is not for pros, but we ask that everyone use a DSLR.
Got a nice camera but have no idea how to go beyond the automatic settings? This is the workshop for you. Whether it’s indoors, outdoors, natural light or studio lights, Teresa will cover all different types of shooting and help you achieve the results you want! Using live pet models indoors and out, we will explore the different camera settings, lenses and tools that make professional portraits look so amazing.
Here’s a list of topics to be covered:
Which lenses for which effects?
Shutter speed + Aperture + ISO
Dog body language and “Managing your subject”
Choosing the right location
Flash vs Natural light
Setting up the shot
The cost is $295 per person for the 8 hours of instruction, lunch and all the fun you can handle. We will keep the group small so that everyone has an opportunity to ask questions and shoot. We will provide a variety of dogs to photograph in a variety of different settings, both indoors and out. We will have less than 20 people in the class so that everyone has an opportunity to shoot and ask questions.
If you’re a hands-on learner, this is the workshop for you. And this is a shooting workshop, not an all day lecture –so dress comfortably!
The full amount of $295 + tax is due to hold your space in the workshop and it is non-refundable. Call us to use a credit card, or use the paypal button below. If you have paid for a seat and find that you cannot attend, you can sell your seat, but we will not be issuing refunds.
If the weather is unworkable, we will work around it. Call the studio at 972-250-2415 with your questions. For those of you coming in from out of town, we're working on a discounted rate at the Aloft Hotel in Plano www.aloftplano.com--- it's fun and dog friendly.
EDITED MARCH 20:
SORRY, DOG SHOTS FOR MAY 19TH IS SOLD OUT! CHECK BACK FOR OUR NEXT WORKSHOP
So often, we rely on a website or an email to reach out and make connections for us. But more than most businesses, portrait photography is personal. For years I have wanted to introduce myself and talk about my work in a personal way -- and this video does it perfectly! I hope you enjoy it and I hope you will share it! Many thanks to the AMAZING talented Allen Peck of AP2 Films for putting together this wonderful video.