Engagement Session for Leaina & Tyler

When his eyes met hers, you could see the undeniable love he had for her. She was his everything, so much to a point that we did these photos for her and even laid in the grass (which come to find out later, he is allergic to and broke out in hives).

Leaina is my co-worker and one of my close friends. When Tyler proposed I immediately said to her, “Can I do your photos?!” I am so happy she allowed me to capture those moments for her. Tyler was a true sport as we just went along with all of my requests. I couldn’t thank them enough for being more than willing to climb what felt like 3,000 stairs to get these photos.

Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity and have such a blast during your session. Even when I made sure it was safe for you to use the tree branch, but not for me and fall on my face. You both made it so fun and enjoyable.

How to use nature as your props: Winter Edition

For the last season edition of nature of props I am going to tell you how you can use the winter to your advantage. Yes, it may be cold out. However, these winter photos can be magical. I am telling you when I say to go on Pinterest and look at “portraits in the winter” photos, you will be blown away. I am going to give you some ideas on what props you can use in nature during this snowy season.

1. Snow

This comes in so many forms: snow men, snow angels, and playing in the snow. It would be so easy to use this as it is EVERYWHERE! It’s great for kids, families, individuals and couples. It’s great for everyone.

2. Frozen over body of water

Ice skating is where I am going with this one. Only recommend this if the ice is thick enough or if you don’t plan on falling/breaking the ice. If you still want to incorporate this, a good idea is to be cuddled in a blanket next to it.

3. Snow covered branches

These work well as backdrops, or even going right into the branches. One of my favorite things to do is “shove people into bushes/trees.” Meaning, I use greenery to make amazing photos. Having snow on the branches will only help enhance this beauty.

4. Christmas Tree lot

It is about the same as the previous one, but you can also use it to frame the subjects. I love being able to use a tree lot because it screams winter and you don’t need snow for it. I know that the snow likes to take it’s time into late December/early January so this is a great option for when you are waiting for that.

I know this list is small, but it may give you some ideas that you haven’t thought of for your session.

Why it's important to book your holiday card mini session NOW

The holidays are quickly approaching us and before you know it, they will be here. It’s hard to believe this year has gone so fast. That’s why it’s so important to book your holiday card mini session NOW before it’s too late. There are many reasons to back that up.

1. To make sure your photographer’s available

I can’t stress enough how important this is. As a photographer, I can tell you that we book up fast. Plus, we need time to plan your session and get all contracts/payments squared away. This takes time. It’s a very busy time for photographers and making sure your session is on the calendar is important.

2. To make sure everyone involved in these photos are available

Anyone you need in these photos also needs to be available. With my family, this is the absolute hardest part. We all have very busy lives and trying to find a time when all of us can get together for anything is near impossible. Unless it’s months in advance. I always have more than one date prepared to give to my photographer just in case they are not available, so make a few with your family.

3. To have time to design/pick out your cards

The photos may take a minute coming back from the photographer, so be prepared for that. But once they do, you will want to design or pick out a card. I use three different services: Basic Invite, Minted, and Nations Photo. All three I like and they have different varieties.

4. Shipping from card company

Once you have designed and ordered your cards, the card company will need to make them and send them to you. They will do all the work and send you all the envelopes, so it will take time. Expect anywhere from 3-4 weeks.

5. Time to get all mailing addresses

While you wait for your cards to arrive, you can collect all the mailing addresses you need. There are some card company’s that may address them for you and if so you’ll want to do this way ahead of time. I keep mine every year and just update them if need be. I always check to see if I know anyone who may have moved or changed addresses in case I need to update them.

6. Time to get them to the post office and mail them out

If you decide to do the mailing labels yourself, this can take a minute to add them to all of your cards. I also stuff some and some have stickers on the envelopes. I also have to add all the stamps. This is all the prep work I need to do before I even get to the post office. But, once they are there, it’s now all out of your hands.

7. Mail carrier time

It does take a little bit for the mail carrier to actually deliver the cards. Also, things can get lost in the mail, cards can get returned. There was one time I had a card returned to me 3 weeks after the new year and I sent them two months before. Things happen. So plan for mishaps.

This seems like so much happening when it comes to just some simple card that someone gets in the mail during the holidays. Even though it may seem that way, just know you are telling someone that you love them or that you enjoy them when you send them a card. I even do it. I send them out to all my clients and to my family and friends. I know I feel special when I receive one every holiday season.

So, make sure you plan accordingly and get that session booked now! Especially since you are thinking about it now.

What to wear: Children's edition

I honestly think that dressing children for sessions can be the most difficult. Adults can be easier because we know what’s comfortable, we know what to do and not to do with clothes (some little ones are notorious for lifting shirts/dresses above their heads). So I am here to give you some quick tips while dressing the children for photo sessions.

  • Stick with 2-3 colors – give everyone variation based on the colors you choose

  • For something easier – pick 1 color and pick all the pieces from different shades of that color

  • To make it easier – Stick with one store and take advantage of their collections and displays – they’ve done all the mixing and matching work for you already (Tips from Ellendykstraphotography.com)

  • Avoid being too seasonal – You want these photos to be hanging up all year long – to avoid any specific extras (reindeer ears, Halloween costumes, etc).

  • Be comfortable – find something they will be comfortable in. If your daughter hates dresses and will continuously lift it over her head, don’t make her wear one.

  • Think timeless - Fashions and styles come and go. You want your family photos to be timeless, so it is best to aim for more of a classic look, not one that instantly dates you. Just as we can easily point to wedding photos from the 70’s and 80’s, noting the hairstyles, the frills, and lace, your goal is to have this year’s photographs blend right in. (Tips from Prettyextraordinary.com)

You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream!

The best time of year is summer. Mainly because ice cream always sounds great. It could also sound great because it's National Ice Cream Month. Yay! I want you to check out some of these awesome photos from my session at the Chocolate Moose in Bloomington. Enjoy!

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