As the weather begins to warm up (boy, are we ready for it this year!) our thoughts turn to annual outdoor portraits. We thought it might be fun to just run through some ideas on how to prepare.
Timing – let’s face it, we’re all going in a million directions, especially with kids. Generally, children do better in the morning, and we like to keep the sessions playful. Less structure results in more natural moments and expressions. Whether it’s a week day or a weekend, look to secure a morning session if you have little ones.
Wardrobe – we are fans of monochromatic color palettes, or if you’re a color person, keep it primary. It keeps the images from being dated and allows the viewer to focus on the fun and the family.
Final Product – if you’ve made it a point to schedule a family portrait on a regular basis, think about how they will displayed together in your home. Whether it will be a stand alone image, or another ‘chapter’ in a grouping, considering the colors of the room and the nature of the framing can help us focus (no pun intended!) on what’s important so we get that shot. Laying out these decisions in a thoughtful way ahead of time helps us as artists to be mindful of the orientation of the images themselves as we’re shooting and whether they will be spotlighted in black and white or color. It will also make a difference in the way we approach our composition.
Reserve a time in advance – of course we can’t control the weather, but it’s always a good idea to call early to be sure that you can get the day and time that’s best for your family (like the morning appointment we talked about earlier) and then get it on the calendar. With so many commitments in our lives, having a firm appointment that everyone is good with helps guarantee that you won’t realize at the end of a season “gosh, we’ve let another season go by without capturing our growing family.” We hate regrets. Children grow up so quickly, and photographs are a great way to help document that process, freezing precious stages of their lives.
Our studio will be offering some spring specials again this year, and if you’d like details and available dates, write to us at email@example.com. We look forward to working with all of you again this year!
As many of you know, we have a handsome studio cat. His name is Z. He takes his role of mascot seriously, making sure every client feels welcome.That is unless, of course, you have allergies. And then he’ll simply smile at you from his perch outside our studio window.
Following us one day as we were shooting on location around our grounds years ago, he decided that we’d make good ‘parents’ and moved in. He was a thin young man, but he’s gotten much ‘happier’ now. So happy, in fact, that our wonderful vet, Sharon Wong has suggested that we work on lessening his ‘happy’ for his own good. Poor baby.
His favorite pastimes are sitting in the makeup chair (ready for his close up) or discovering new and fabulous fabrics we bring into the studio for projects. Ever the camera hog, he’s sure to get in at least one of your photos if you’re working around the studio.
He’s so easy and a joy to have around with his soft little purr greeting every morning. He’ll even oversee your work on the computer, making sure you ‘get it right’ especially when ‘waxing loquaciously about him.
Shannah had never had a cat until Z took up with us. He’s won her over completely – a fact that we’re sure he’s proud of. Seriously…who could resist that face?
Do you have a cat that works with you?
Betsy and Josh are just precious. When you meet them both you just want to hug them. Unassuming, kind and soft spoken, we had fun watching them be the center of attention – a place neither of them fight for. And they did beautifully!
They chose their venue for its Victorian details – Betsy loves that period and wanted to include the wedding traditions from that period as well as set the stage amidst beautiful gardens. Hardeman Sams
covered both bases nicely.
Spring colors ruled the day with flowers(link) in a palette of lavender, pale pink and ivory. There were even Bells of Ireland tucked into the bouquets in honor of the couples Irish heritage.
The bridesmaids dresses were in the same color palette, but each girl had the opportunity to choose a style that was flattering to her figure. Nice. Betsy’s gown
was a little vintage and lot glamorous with layer upon layer of chiffon and lace complimenting her veil.
The couples sense of humor was evident in the groom’s cake
, and the poetry of their love evident in their choice of the last dance song
. ‘And I Love Her’ by the Beatles……’bright are the stars that shine, dark is the sky. I know this love of mine will never die’. And so it was that spring night in Athens.
Amy and James settled on Primrose Cottage
because they were drawn to the charm of the grand old home and lovely gardens. Amy’s dress
was soft fabric that moved easily as she walked, and her fresh makeup
and soft hairstyle complimented the surroundings and the theme perfectly.
Blue was used as the primary accent color, showcased in the bridesmaids gowns
and the floral arrangements. Little pops of blue even turned up in the brides’ bouquet as well as the cake.
Hand made elements like the sign for the couples table at the reception and the little gifts of candy jars filled with blue and purple sweets kept it simple yet personal.
Having chosen an April date, the couple was certain to have a bounty of color in the gardens, and they were not disappointed. It was easy to capture lovely moments wandering with them through the pathways of the manicured grounds.
As they were swept away at the end of the night amid cheers of well wishes, all agreed that Amy and James had planned the perfect wedding for them: relaxed, beautiful and fun for everyone. What more could you ask for?
Have you seen the color blue used in interesting ways as an accent color in a wedding? What made it different?
Flowers: Magic Moments
Having family portraits or wedding pictures taken with animals can be beautiful, but it requires a great deal of patience, preparation and realistic expectations to be a success.
One should be aware that when working with an animal the shoot will take more time and space unless the animal is very well trained.
Brides, if you want pictures of you in your gown take note as to whether the animal will shed or if your choice of location will require extra care so as not to dirty the gown. Precautions will need to be taken ahead of time to minimize these issues.
To create a win win for both you and your pet, think about what setting it will be most comfortable in. Is your pet shy or a social butterfly? If you’re thinking larger (horse for instance) the setting should be very controlled and you will need extra experienced hands on deck to be sure that all goes smoothly. No matter how calm a horse is, big white dresses can spook the best of them. Make sure to bring treats, too, to motivate and reward your pet.
In the end, the choice to include your beloved 4 legged friend can create both unique and very personal images that bring a smile to your face each and every time you see them. And a little preparation and common sense will go a long way towards making sure the process is fun for you and your pet.
Family traditions and beloved objects can add a beautiful touch to your special day. On July 28th, 2012, Mary Frances Stokely Hansford was wed to John Ralph Kiffmeyer, joined by family and friends and surrounded by generations of family history and tradition.
From the 1812 antebellum home lovingly restored, to the table used during the ceremony handcrafted by the Brides fraternal grandfather, to the piano, owned by the Brides family for generations – guests were never more than an arm’s length away from centuries of history.
The brides bouquet was wrapped in her maternal grandmother’s beaded lace handkerchief and fraternal grandmother’s Phi Beta Kappa key.
And to honor another tradition from the 1800’s, Mary Frances carved her initials and the year of her wedding in the pane of glass adjacent to the previous bride – who was wed in 1870!
The couple cut the wedding cake with the same knife given by the groom’s fraternal grandparents to his own parents to cut their wedding cake in 1968 after a lovely toast given by the Brides father (who taught history at a local university).
This couple truly paid homage to their southern roots with every detail of this lovely wedding. It was a journey, past and present, in love .
Significant savings will be offered on all canvas (individual or collections) orders placed by the end of April. Canvases can be designed from past ZoomWorks sessions, or planned for use in a future session*. The only requirement is that the canvas collection be selected and paid for by the end of April.
This is a fantastic opportunity, and we offer a complimentary design with some of your favorite endearing photographs that you can enjoy every day. These would also make a GREAT Mothers or Fathers Day gift! For pricing information, call 706-227-3777 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so you can qualify for up to 40% off!
*Session must be complete by December 31 2013
Knock next time, why don’t you……
Our studio cat, Z, is a constant source of inspiration and amusement. Plus, he’s darn good looking don’t you agree? He found us actually. Shannah was shooting one day, down in the river that our studio overlooks, and this pretty young cat came up, curious, and followed her out on the rocks in the water. He stayed with Shannah and the models the entire time, and when they got back to the studio, with him still in tow, it was apparent that he had decided we would make good ‘parents’.
At night he has the run of the studio. By day he stays busy ‘courting’ the sweet young female kitten next door, much to her chagrin. His other favorite pass times (besides eating), are playing with fabrics and hair. Small children delight in the fact that they can pet him without being shredded and he really doesn’t mind the occasional dog that wanders in for a portrait.
What would life be without a studio cat? Certainly a lot less fun. And Z would add that it would be ‘boring really’. So there’s that.