Oops - This post has been republished here: How to Get Awesome Family Photos
Want to get the best images possible from your photo session?
CHOOSE A COLOR PALETTE
The biggest thing you can do before your photo session is to plan what you will wear. Ideally, this will happen a few weeks before the session. Having things in place before hand will allow you more time to realize things like, "I don't have any shoes to go with this outfit" or "Timmy is all set but I'd love to get him a fun hat to tie it all together". Start with gathering the main pieces and then polish it off with accessories - and hopefully a decent pair of shoes.
My favorite method of choosing clothing and accessories for a photo session is to use a color palette. It's super easy for everyone - including the fashion-challenged folks like myself. It takes the mystery out of it and adds a simple way to make you look amazing. First, you choose a color palette. I love the color palettes at design-seeds.com and feature many of them on my Pinterest pages. I tell clients to select a color palette that will go well with their home decor. If you're home is bright a full of color, then go with a similar palette. Is it neutral with a pop of blue, then go with that. The next step is to select all clothing with the palette in mind. All tops, bottoms, shoes, and accessories should match a color in the palette. I recommend avoiding matching outfits where everyone has one color top and one color bottom. By mixing it up for each person, you will add interest and variety to your photo and allow each individual's style and personality to shine through.
In my experience, people are so much happier with their photos when they have taken the time to coordinate using a color palette. Those are the photos that get hung on the living room wall and enjoyed day after day. So, give it a try for your next photo session and let me know how it goes.
Check out the What to Wear for Spring Photos Pinterest page and let me know your favorite color palette in the comments below.
It's been several months now since my friend Kimberly messaged me about doing their family photos. Her family had recently grown by one more, bringing it to a total of three kids. Her and her husband Robin, along with their two boys and brand new baby girl would be up in the Richmond area visiting family and wanted to capture this huge milestone in their life. Of course they wanted to capture their growing family, but they wanted to celebrate another milestone. A very different milestone.
We've been friends since middle school and even roommates in college. I've always adored her spirit and spunk, and I always knew she was a strong person. When her oldest boy Benjamin was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia back in 2010, her family's inner strength and determination really got to shine. Benjamin was only 2 years old when he was diagnosed. And from the start, they began to fight with the help of family (especially his little brother Brody), friends,and their medical team at Duke Children's Hospital.
Over the next three and a half years, Benjamin received medical treatments at Duke Children's Hospital. His numerous needle pokes were carefully documented by each round ball on his cancer beads. His port was a daily reminder that he had cancer and needed lots of medicine. I'm sure they spent more time there than they would have liked. In the end, they left singing the praises of the doctors, nurses, and other medical staff at Duke Children's Hospital.
Benjamin's cancer is in remission now and life has been getting back to normal for their family. They continue to have a big hand in supporting Duke Children's Hospital and cancer research. This is his second year appearing as the Duke Radiothon's poster child! He also appeared this year in a Duke Children's Hospital commercial to support the Jimmy V Foundation (linked below). So, while Ben's new normal life is just beginning, some child's cancer journey is just starting. Please join me in supporting the great work at Duke Children's Hospital. Click the thermometer badge below to read more about their story and to donate to Benjamin's fundraising page. As Family Ambassadors, they have a goal to raise $10K. Let's help them reach that goal and then some - every little bit helps!
Thanks for having me capture this beautiful time in your family's life!
If you'd like to book a family photo session with me, please email me at email@example.com for more information.
Last week I was presented with a bit of a dilemma. It was snowing one evening and several people had posted on Facebook that the snow looked sparkly. That meant one thing to me - PERFECT SNOWFLAKES! We usually get wet clumps of snow here in Virginia, but every once in a while we get the powdery kind made up of individual little snowflakes. I just knew that I had to photograph them. But wait, it's cold outside and I'm in my pajamas already! I was so tempted to just go on to bed and hope that they would still be perfect in the morning, but my inner passion won the argument so out I went.
Back in my rambling days at camp, we would sometimes have Square Foot Rambles (you can read a bit more about Rambles on my first Ramble blog post, so go check it out). It was an interesting change from our typical rambles given that instead of walking around to explore, you actually stayed in one place. The idea was to explore the square foot of space that surrounded you. Have you ever just thoroughly investigated a square foot of forest floor? It can lead to some very interesting discoveries! And so I determined that a Square Foot Ramble was in order - right there on my front porch. Armed with my camera and a tiny LED lantern, I spent almost 30 minutes photographing the perfect little flakes. In the end, my knees and fingers were frozen, but I was so glad that I had ventured out.
This year I am working on a year-long daily project. The goal is to take (at least) one photo a day for the entire year. I've balked at this idea for several years, but have decided that this is the year to make it happen. I would love to have that kind of detail of the daily events that make up our year. I also know that it will push me to try new techniques and improve my photography skills. So, here goes....
This month was exceptionally challenging for many reasons. I started the project about seven days late. We had an unexpected trip to the ER which turned into a two night/two day stay with my youngest. son (he's all better now). And then there was the part where I was trying to play catch up on life after said trip to the hospital. In the end, I am missing only 3 photos. I'm okay with that, though. I am thankful for my 365 support group (photographers need lots of support groups), they have kept me on my toes and provided some encouragement to keep at it.
I hope you enjoy taking a peek inside life with the Cartwright family. If you want to read some of the stories behind the images, you might want to check out my husband's blog A Life of Gratitude. I promise it will make you smile!
I'll be posting my monthly progress here: the whole month, top nine, and a favorite.