Capturing Personalities In Portraits ~ The Portrait Rodeo

The Portrait Rodeo

For some of you, especially those of you with young children, the thought of having family portraits created makes your hands clammy and fills you with more dread than a root canal. I understand.

Children have abundant stores of energy and usually choose to release bursts at the most unexpected times. These bursts often bring about fits of laughter in those of us who are friends and grandparents, but generally, parents feel that getting those kiddos to behave is like wresting a rodeo steer. You prepare to wrangle them and tire them out.

Capturing Personalities in Portraits

When the time comes for taking that trip to see me, here are a few tips for getting the best portraits of your children that you’ll cherish forever.

I know I’m not the only one who laughs at silly family portraits online. You know what I’m talking about; those awkward family photos. Everyone is trying to be so serious while one child is knuckle deep in his nasal cavity. Consider this: Staid and static is boring.

With me, playfulness is encouraged.

iRobot

Here’s my suggestion to parents of toddlers and young children before we start our photo session. Don’t expect your kids to suddenly become little robots, who will sit still until you give them the command to move.

The expressiveness and unabashed nature of a child is really what we want to capture. When your adorable rambunctious 4-year-old has grown up and suddenly breaks out the old photo album, laughter trumps cringing any day of the week.

During the time I spend behind the lens with the children, I want to not only see, but feel their energy and personality in the finished portraits. Believe me. You’ll thank me later.

Remember, our precious babes are small for such a short period of time. It’s so much more fun to capture that magic together and then enjoy your portraits for a lifetime.

Can’t You Just Settle Down?

What I encourage parents to understand is not to expect the tykes to settle down. How has that worked the rest of the time? I thought so. Let them have fun with the whole process. There will come a day when your kids will stand still and smile in front of the camera. That might not be today.

My motto is: If they want to run, let ‘em run… and jump… and twirl. Let them burn off the excess energy. If that expressiveness is stifled, you better believe it’ll show up in the pictures.

To sum this all up, kids will be kids. Every moment is fleeting and never to be repeated. Try to relax and enjoy the ride.

As they grow older, you’ll long for these days. Enjoy their exuberance and innocence. Make memories for your children by letting their personalities shine like diamonds in these photos.

Do a little exercise for me now. Think about what brings you joy. I bet a screaming and crying child was not conjured.

So, in order to set you up for success for your next family portrait session, do these things I suggest. You will love your family’s portraits displayed on your wall!

Wouldn’t you like your memories to reflect the sweet, silly and fun time you spent with your family in front of the camera? I thought so.

I Capture Personalities in Portraits!

Let’s create a fun session for you and your family.

For Portrait Ideas, check out my galleries here
Portraits Ideas

I am a Southern California based Portrait and Fine Art Photographer who sees the world a bit differently.

You can view more of my work here
Donna Edman Photography

To schedule a session or chat about your Family Portrait experience, call me! 
(714) 746-2418

Together, we can capture YOUR FAMILY’S LIFE, One Image at a Time!

Capturing Personalities In Portraits ~ Let Kids Be Kids

In Part 1 of this series, I encouraged parents of small children to enjoy the “Portrait Rodeo” ride.  Expect kids to run around and be silly or to be shy and observant.  The expressiveness and unabashed nature of a child is what I want to capture in your family portraits.  To read the Part 1, click here:  Capturing Personalities In Portraits

Let’s continue…

Encourage, Don’t Discourage 

Each child has their own individual personality, and it’s that uniqueness you want to capture. Encourage them to make faces and behave silly for the camera. These are the “Kodak” moments. When they make silly sounds and whisper goofy secrets, the results are genuine expressions.

It’s Not Play Time? 

It may seem counter intuitive but preparing for family photos is exactly the time to play. Getting your wee one to act natural in an unnatural situation isn’t easy. Making up games, or playing old standbys, like Simon Says, can be an excellent way to get your stiff soldier to loosen up and have some fun.

If your shy, quiet child won’t smile, try playing a game where they’re not allowed to smile. Reverse psychology works.  Music works too!  Load up a few of their favorite songs on your phone.  Of course, for your wee ones, singing a few verses of “Baby Shark do do do do do do” is always engaging.

Security Blankets and Well-Loved Toys

Another tip I like to tell my parents is to bring props (e.g., favorite toys, stuffed animals, sports equipment, and hats) which is a good way to get your child to focus on something else besides the lens.

Candid portraits with an unaware child at play can be the best. I know you weren’t expecting to have a pink bunny in your photos, but a big smile on your little one’s face is priceless.

Take a Break

No matter if the session lasts 20 minutes or two hours, kids are always either starving to death or dying of thirst (when they’re not running to the bathroom) within ten minutes of starting the session. Am I right?

Children’s metabolism is usually on eleven and they burn more fuel than a fighter jet.  It’s wise to pack water or juice and some light, non-sticky snacks — snacks that do not melt on their face or stick in their teeth.

Now, whether you use it as a reward or bribery is up to your discretion.

Relax – Kids will be Kids!

To sum this all up, kids will be kids. Every moment is fleeting and never to be repeated. Try to relax and enjoy the ride.

As they grow older, you’ll long for these days. Enjoy their exuberance and innocence. Make memories for your children by letting their personalities shine like diamonds in these portraits.

Here’s what Mary says about this session with her two running kiddos…

“Donna is an amazing photographer.  How easy it was to work with her including our two small children.  We’re never sure how the kids will react to strangers.  They felt right at ease with Donna.  We love our family photos!”

While you are preparing for your portrait session, think about letting your kids be themselves. Think about how we’ll capture their genuine expressions and how you’ll love your family’s portraits displayed.

Wouldn’t you like your memories to reflect the sweet, silly and fun time you spent with your family in front of the camera? I thought so.

I Capture Personalities in Portraits.

Let’s create a fun session for you and your family!

For Portrait Ideas, check out my galleries here
Portraits Ideas

I am a Southern California based Portrait and Fine Art Photographer who sees the world a bit differently.

You can view more of my work here
Donna Edman Photography.

To schedule a session or chat about your Family Portrait experience, call me! 
(714) 746-2418

Together, we can capture YOUR FAMILY’S LIFE, One Image at a Time!

Brighten Your Day ~ Colors and Shapes

Did You Know … Colors and Shapes Have Meaning?

BLUE which represents peace, tranquility, calm, stability, harmony, unity, trust and confidence.

Let’s mix in a little
GREEN which represents nature, healthy, good luck, renewal, generosity and vigor

and a whole bunch of 
OVALS which represent uniqueness and a zest for life.

Taking a look at this image again, what does it mean to you?


. . .

For more colorful Fine Art Images for your HOME or OFFICE, check out my galleries here:  

Fine Art Services

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I am a Southern California based Portrait and Fine Art Photographer who sees the world a bit differently.

You can view more of my work here > Donna Edman Photography.
If you’d like to book a session or commission a fine art photograph,
I’d be honored > Contact Me
or call me (714) 746-2418

Together, we can make YOUR LIFE beautiful, One Image at a Time!

May Day is Here!

May Day is celebrated each year on May 1st.

Since the 1800s, in America the tradition is to leave a paper basket or cone with spring flowers and sweets on each other’s doorsteps.  This tradition is especially popular with children or sweethearts.  The custom is to knock on the door, yell “May Basket!” and then run.

Who can you bless with a May Basket?

A very special gift is a bouquet of flowers from your own garden.
For additional pretty basket ideas and other fun handmade gifts to share, check this out.

I invite you to gather a few flowers and sweets, and then place them in a paper basket or cone, or a woven basket, and share it with your neighbor.

What better way is there to show you care on this May Day!

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I am a Southern California based Portrait and Fine Art Photographer who sees the world a bit differently.

You can view more of my work here > Donna Edman Photography.
If you’d like to book a session or commission a fine art photograph,
I’d be honored > Contact Me
or call me (714) 746-2418

Together, we can capture the beauty of YOUR LIFE, One Image at a Time!

What’s Your Favorite Color?

As a child, I was so excited to receive a new box of crayons.  Their perfect points, complete paper wrappers and oh, so many inviting colors.  Over time, my boxes went from 8 colors to finally a huge box of 64 colors … with a built-in sharpener! 

Did you know that today crayons come in 152 colors?  Wow. What we can do with that many colors!

With so many colors to choose from, what is your favorite color?  If you want to know its Crayon name, check this out:  Crayon Names 

March 31 is National Crayon Day.  Pick your favorite color.  Perhaps even draw with it. I’d love to see your creation!

For colorful Fine Art Images
for your living and working spaces,
check out my galleries here:

Fine Art Galleries

I am a Southern California based Portrait and Fine Art Photographer who sees the world a bit differently.

You can view more of my work here > Donna Edman Photography.
If you’d like to book a session or commission a fine art photograph,
I’d be honored > Contact Me
or call me (714) 746-2418

Together, we can color YOUR LIFE beautiful, One Image at a Time!

Why Create Senior Portraits & How to Prepare

A common question today is “Why.”

If you are a parent of a teen who will graduate at the end of their senior year you may ask yourself, “Why would we want Senior Portraits?”

Capturing the Milestone

This is a milestone in your family’s life — your teen is ending their youth and beginning adulthood. Whoo boy, that’s an important time of transition.

When you have professional photographs created, you are telling your teen they are important, worth the time and money to prepare for creating images that will last for generations. These portraits will be on the wall of your home, on your office desk, or in an album. They’ll be given as gifts for extended family and friends, announcements of their graduation celebration, and will travel with your graduate as they begin their new life journey.

Questions

Look at the differences in these teens. Senior portraits showcase personality and style. Professional portraits show who your teen is at this specific time in their life and what’s important to them.

As a parent of a teen, you may want to talk with them about their session and how best to showcase who they are. As a client, I help you with this. Here are a few questions to get you started:

  • What best represents you this year?
  • What clothing and accessories say, “This is me!”
  • What style represents you:  Casual, semi-formal, formal?
  • What location is important to you?
  • What items do you want to include with your portrait?
    • A sports item, jersey, jacket; a favorite book; your musical instrument; your artwork or art materials; your pet?

Many parents ask if they have to make their teen smile.  Smiling comes from a thought, then a feeling of joy, expressed in the eyes.  Some teens smile, some are more pensive.  Most teens are not immediately comfortable in front of  a camera.  As I get to know your teen and build rapport, setting them as ease, their portraits will capture who they truly are — smile or no smile.

Another question you may have is, “Do I come to the portrait session?”  The answer is: whatever makes your teen most comfortable.  Some prefer to have you with them, some prefer to come alone or with a friend.  

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I’m often asked by a parent, if we can include a few portraits with the graduate in their cap and gown.  Of course we can!  Some teens welcome the idea, others cannot understand the need and don’t want to include them.  A discussion with your teen about what is important to you can go a long way.  “It’s important to me to have a portrait with you in your cap and gown.   Will you do this for me?”

When is a Good Time?

Spring or Summer is the best time for the Senior Portraits for the teen entering their senior year in the upcoming Fall. You can celebrate your teen all year with their portraits proudly displayed in your home. Importantly, these portraits can be used in their final Year Book.

If you haven’t had your teen’s portraits created and they are in the final months of their senior year, the time for their session is as early in Spring as possible. These portraits will be used for your home, as gifts and the “Save the Date” celebration announcement.

An Invitation

I would be honored to capture images of your teen, as they are rounding the corner into adulthood. If you would like to discuss this important milestone, or are ready to schedule a session, feel free to call me. I’m always happy to talk with you!

For Senior Portrait Ideas, check out my galleries here: > Portraits Ideas

I am a Southern California based Portrait and Fine Art Photographer who sees the world a bit differently.

You can view more of my work here > Donna Edman Photography.

If you’d like to schedule a session or chat about your teen’s Senior Portrait experience, call me! 
(714) 746-2418

Together, we can capture YOUR FAMILY’S LIFE, One Image at a Time!

Craft Your Heart Out

I found these fabulously fun Valentine craft ideas at “Sign Up Genius” and want to share them with you!

A simple heart shape can be created out of almost any material and says love in any size and color you desire for your card. 

  1. Sweethearts – Use candy to create and paste heart shapes on your cards and packages. Conversation and cinnamon hearts work well for these.
  2. Blended Hearts – Using markers or colored pencils, create areas of bright, blended colors across a page of white or colored cardstock. Then cut hearts from the best parts of the paper to attach to handmade cards and to use as gift tags.
  3. Magazine Hearts – Find your favorite colors and interesting patterns from pages of old magazines and start cutting all sorts of shapes and sizes.
  4. Mosaic Hearts – Your local craft store has colorful stones and glass pieces made specifically for creating a mosaic. Want a full nature experience? Paint hearts on stones you find while adventuring outside.
  5. Tissue Paper Hearts – You probably have leftover tissue paper in different colors and patterns stashed away. Cut out a variety of shapes and sizes to embellish cards and notes. These are great for paper mosaic cards as well.
  6. Stringing Them Along Hearts – Use string, ribbon, or yarn to create hearts as well as cupid and arrow designs.
  7. Bubble Wrap Hearts – Cut whimsical hearts from the squishy packing material to paste on cards or artwork.
  8. Torn Hearts – Try a variety of papers and colors and start tearing for very natural and interesting heart shapes.
  9. Heart Stamps – They’re always available at the craft store, along with ink pads in favorite Valentine’s colors.
  10. Heart Art – Use watercolors to paint beautiful hearts on paper or card stock. Then get creative with materials like glitter, stickers, puff paint or markers. Gift your masterpiece to a special someone!

Gather the kiddos around the table and have some memory building fun!

I am a Southern California based Portrait and Fine Art Photographer who sees the world a bit differently.

You can view more of my work here > Donna Edman Photography.
If you’d like to book a Family Portrait or Couples Session
I’d be honored > Contact Me
or call me (714) 746-2418

Together, we can capture YOUR LIFE, One Image at a Time!

Brighten Your Day ~ The Color Purple

Do you know that colors can evoke emotions?

Purple is half-blue, half-red, and our understanding of purple lies somewhere in between the serenity of blue and the passion of red.  Purple both calms and stimulates our bodies, putting us in the right place for introspection and focused insight.

It fosters creativity by awakening our senses while promoting the quiet necessary to make intuitive, insightful observations. Purple creates a harmonious balance of awareness and peace.

How about that.  Now ya know!

As we begin this new year, find some purple! Spend time in introspection.  Be intentional to create an inward-outward balance.  May you experience awareness and peace.

For more colorful Fine Art Images
for your living and working spaces,
check out my galleries here:

Fine Art Galleries

I am a Southern California based Portrait and Fine Art Photographer who sees the world a bit differently.

You can view more of my work here > Donna Edman Photography.
If you’d like to book a session or commission a fine art photograph,
I’d be honored > Contact Me
or call me (714) 746-2418

Together, we can make YOUR LIFE beautiful, One Image at a Time!

Grandma Iva’s Christmas Candy

In my precious blog, “Family Christmas Traditions in 2020” I listed one of my favorite traditions is making cookies and candy. My Grandma Iva was an avid baker and candy maker. I’d like to share with you one of her most unusual, and deliciously sweet, candies.

I have many fond memories of making these with my mother, standing side by side at the kitchen counter, chatting, assembling ingredients, feeling the closeness of my mother’s love.

Grandma Iva’s Old Fashion Potato Loaf Candy

Christmas potato loaf candy

1 small boiled potato, mashed
1 -2 one-pound box powdered sugar (depends on potato size)
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup nuts (I like pecans!)
1 cup chopped or split dates

Mix potato and enough sugar until consistency of pie crust.  Cover bread board with wax paper.  Roll out into a rectangle on wax paper.  Spread with one layer each of peanut butter, then dates, then nuts. Roll as a jelly roll, removing wax paper as it is rolled.  Wrap tightly in wax paper and refrigerate until firm.   Slice.

Wishing you and your family a holiday filled with love and yummy treats.

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I am a Southern California based Portrait and Fine Art Photographer who sees the world a bit differently.

You can view more of my work here > Donna Edman Photography.
If you’d like to book a session, I’d be honored > Contact Me
or call me (714) 746-2418

Together, we can Capture YOUR Life, One Image at a Time!

Making Holiday Memories

In my previous blog, “Family Christmas Traditions in 2020” I listed one of my favorite traditions is making cookies and candy. My Grandma Iva was an avid baker and candy maker. I’d like to share with you one of her most unusual, and deliciously sweet, candies.

I have many fond memories of making these with my mother, standing side by side at the kitchen counter, chatting about her making these with her mother, assembling ingredients, feeling the closeness of her love.


Grandma Iva’s Old Fashion Potato Loaf Candy

1 small boiled potato, mashed
1 -2 one-pound box powdered sugar (depends on potato size)
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup nuts (I like pecans!)
1 cup chopped or split dates

Mix potato and enough sugar until consistency of pie crust.  Cover bread board with wax paper.  Roll out into a rectangle on wax paper.  Spread with one layer each of peanut butter, then dates, then nuts. Roll as a jelly roll, removing wax paper as it is rolled.  Wrap tightly in wax paper and refrigerate until firm.   Slice.



Wishing you and your family a holiday season filled with love and yummy treats.

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I am a Southern California based Portrait and Fine Art Photographer who sees the world a bit differently.

 

 

You can view more of my work here > Donna Edman Photography.
If you’d like to book a session, I’d be honored > Contact Me
or call me (714) 746-2418

Together, we can Capture YOUR Life, One Image at a Time!