Special Moments for the Holidays

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“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”
-Ansel Adams

 

 

When Our Heads Forget, Our Hearts Remember

December is a wonderful time to reflect on the past year and reminisce. It’s a time to think about accomplishments, as well as look forward to the upcoming year.

As 2019 is coming to an end, take a deep breath and focus for just a few moments on remembering the highlights. Think about time spent with your loved ones; birthdays, costume parties,  new arrivals, and perhaps sad good-byes.

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Are you suddenly an empty nester? If your answer is yes, sometimes that comes with mixed feelings. There’s now more room in the house, but your heart might just hurt a little each time you walk past that vacant bedroom.

Family Traditions Dictate the Conditions

So now let’s focus on families coming together for the holidays. How do you celebrate? Is it with a handful of guests at the dining room table or with 50 cousins and aunts and uncles gathered at Grandma’s house?

What about party styles, do you do things last minute or are you a planner? And how about traditions, is there something special everyone looks forward to doing together?

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No matter the size of your family or what your party style is, gift giving most likely plays a big part in your celebration.

It’s a Wrap, so Let’s Tie that Bow on the Box

Given that humans are visual beings, it’s hard not to make snap judgments based on presentation, and gift giving is no exception. When a person makes the effort to artfully wrap a gift, it never goes unnoticed.

According to certain studies, we apparently attribute more worth to the exact same present if it was skillfully wrapped in beautiful paper with ribbons than if it was given unwrapped.

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Here’s a fun fact: The idea of wrapping presents to get them to seem more valuable or make them stand out from the pack is not new. As far back as the Han dynasty in China, paper was used for wrapping, possibly even before being used for writing.

Koreans have practiced the art of gift wrapping presents in colorful and patterned bojagi, a cloth made from a variety of materials, such as silk or ramie, and the art has been traced back to at least the Three Kingdoms Period (220–280 AD).

Love is Capturing Special Moments

A family photograph fulfills many of love language’s ideals, from time spent together to closeness to acts of service. The idea that you went out of your way to gather the family and commit to a few hours outdoors or in the studio, shows your loved ones how much you care.

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So, my holiday helpers, let’s tie a nice, big, fat, red bow on ideas for this season of gifting. As a person who captures images for a living, I get front-row seats to the most joyful moments with families.

My clients tell me that the beautifully framed photographs on the wall have become treasured keepsakes. Knowing how much people love seeing their families, but there are times when they can no longer travel and visit, a family photograph becomes the perfect gift.

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I am a Southern California based Portrait, Commercial 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.

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

From Latitude to Gratitude

“The journey not the arrival matters.”
–T.S. Eliot

“Actually, the best gift you could have given her was a lifetime of adventures.”
–Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

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Do you know where you’re going?

For a lot of us, the unknown may virtually be just around the corner. There are places in our own city or town we may stumble upon during an afternoon stroll. But sometimes, we don’t allow ourselves to carve out those minutes from our busy days. It seems our everyday life gets in the way of our “living.”

However, when we’ve planned well and scheduled in the vacation, there are those feelings of excitement and anticipation when packing the bags. There’s something satisfying about traveling for pleasure.

Freed from the rigors of everyday life, it feels good to take a deep breath, sit back, and revel in the adventure. Like seafarers of centuries past, you lift the anchor and hoist the sails, unaware of what direction the wind might take you or what people or places you might discover on your journey.

Always be ready to capture the moment.

Of course, like most photographers, I always have my camera handy in case something interesting presents itself. Occasionally, I’m simply capturing images out of the car window as they whiz by. Other times, I’m much more intentional. Setting up the perfect photo can take time but can yield amazing results. Either way, it’s a moment frozen in time that I can share and enjoy for years to come.

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Are you ready for a road trip?

With the Great White North (that’s Canada, eh?) our intended destination, my photo friend suggested a stop in Palouse, Washington, to photograph the farmlands on our way home. I had seen beautiful images of the hills of Palouse before and jumped at the chance to add my name to the list of photographers who have photographically captured this magical place.

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The coolest place you don’t know.

In case you’re unfamiliar with this little gem of a locale, the picturesque, rolling hills of Palouse are a sightseer’s and photographer’s dream. Referred to as an agricultural wonderland and one of the seven wonders of Washington State, Palouse is blanketed in acre upon acre of wheat, barley, lentils and chickpeas; the richest crop in the nation.

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Due to a geological tweak that produced super-soil in this pastoral “Eden,” the wheat alone can yield up to 100 bushels an acre. This is nearly twice the national average, and for Washington State is a billion-dollar industry. You can bet your lentils that’s a lot of bread – pun so intended.

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Are you sure it’s morning?

After spending the night in Spokane, we were determined to reach Steptoe Butte by sunrise. Wanting to get an early start, we crawled out of bed at 4:30 a.m., before the roosters even considered crowing. The undulating hills bathed in the early morning shadows were breathtaking and I was determined to capture the sights in all their natural glory.

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Get your camera ready.

We reached Palouse just before the sun painted the sky a rosy hue. This was the moment I was waiting for. I was soon snapping away like a tourist in Rome. The window of opportunity for the kind of images I wanted was small, and I wanted to capture as much as I could. Now I could relax and compose not only myself, but my images.

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Every picture has a story.

The pictures I’ve included are just a few of the dozens I took. The beauty of this place still gives me chills when I look at the images. I can now check this off my bucket list and return visually any time I want.

Capture the present before it’s past.

During this road trip I also had a lot of time for pondering, and in my musings thought life has a way of hitting warp speed. Memories flooded back to when the kids were born. From infants to toddlers, walking and then talking, and then suddenly they’re off to college before we even realized it.

As a person who essentially freezes time for my clients, I realized that family photos were the best way to relive special moments, or simply capture the joys of everyday life.

Oh, I hear the groans from your children thinking they have to sit still, pose, and paste on a cheesy smile for another photograph. Though your children may not appreciate it now, as they grow older, they’ll cherish the small slices of their lives you saved. Once they start having their own children, they’ll look back with joy and happily keep the family tree growing, continuing to share their memories for years to come.

Gratitude is an attitude and thankfulness a virtue.

So, to tie in my summer memories of our road trip into this nostalgic November, I can’t help but look back at this year with an attitude of gratitude. I have a family that I love, my health, a business I’m passionate about.

I’m thankful for all the opportunities that have come my way this year, the health of my children and grandchildren, and for the ability to look forward to next year with hope and excitement.thankfulI’m sure there are things you are thankful for as well.  If it’s family, call me.  We’ll schedule time to create images which will be a part of your memories for years.  You’ll be grateful you did!

Here’s wishing you a November to Remember.
Donna-Edman-BLUE -hiRes Lrg - FIRST NAME Signature

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I am a Southern California based Portrait, Commercial 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.

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

A Special Way to Brighten Your Day! ~ Orange

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In the Fall, we see many things that are
ORANGE, YELLOW and BROWN.

Some of these are fallen leaves, harvest and pumpkins!

 

Color can affect our moods.  Did you know that?  Let’s look at ORANGE.

Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics. Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation.

To the human eye, orange is a very hot color, so it gives the sensation of heat. Nevertheless, orange is not as aggressive as red. Orange increases oxygen supply to the brain, produces an invigorating effect, and stimulates mental activity. It is highly accepted among young people. As a citrus color, orange is associated with healthy food and stimulates appetite. Orange is the color of fall and harvest. In heraldry, orange is symbolic of strength and endurance.

For more colorful Fine Art Images for your home or office, check out my galleries here: Fine Art Services

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Let’s stay connected.  Make sure to like and follow my business page on Facebook www.facebook.com/DonnaEdmanPhotography/.

I want to get to know you, so introduce yourself when you visit!

 

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I am a Southern California based Portrait, Commercial 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.

 

Plaid Is Not a Neutral ~ What to Wear at your Portrait Session

Never wear anything that panics the cat.
-PJ O’Rourke

So you’ve made the decision to pull together the whole family for one big photo session. You’ve wrangled the hubby and your teens, tweens and toddlers, and now Grandma and Grandpa have asked to join in. You thought setting the date was challenging with syncing everybody’s schedules, but now you’ve got to figure out what to wear.

You’d like to create a beautiful and timeless family portrait and you know that finding the right colors and clothing that will flatter all ages and shapes is important. In order to help ease you into what should be a fun and engaging family time, I’ve listed a few hints on what to wear (and what not to wear) that will tell your loving story.

Roses are Red, Denim is Blue

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For years, white tops and blue jeans were all the rage, but not any longer. Now, pairing blue jeans and simple solid-colored tops are popular for that casual, “We dress like this all the time” look. Denim comes in a variety of shades and styles, so make sure to mix it up with pants, dresses, and jackets that play to each person’s body shape.

Color photos featuring jeans and tees work well, but if you choose the blues, pay attention to the hues. In black and white, everything will be a shade of black and grey, and these types of photos display denim particularly well.

 

Though your teen may like neon colors, tell Junior to leave the fluorescent yellow tee in his drawer. Neutrals and coordinating colors are best when working with more than one person in a portrait.

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White is Outta Sight

While all-white outfits may seem like a good idea and are very popular (thank you Claire from Modern Family) the color white is not always the best to capture in a photograph. Very pale pastels and whites can make you appear washed out, unless you’re rocking a Southern California spray tan.  When wearing a white top, because our eyes notice white first, you’ll see your blouse and then think, ”Oh that blouse has a face.” We want you to see your face first.  If you want to wear that extra special white outfit, I can compensate by using different backgrounds and lighting techniques.

Polka Dots, Paisleys and Prints. Oh My!

Colorful prints are so much fun to wear. The selection is mind-blowingly endless, and the blaze of colors help you stand out in a crowd. My suggestion, though, is to keep busy patterns to a minimum. Wild prints tend to draw the eye. One print may create visual interest, but two is a crazy party. The focus should be on your faces and not on summer prints and Grandma’s garden blouse.

Here is a spontaneous family portrait at a reunion:

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A Family of Twins

Matchy-matchy is now a no-no in the photography world. A very good rule of thumb to follow is: No mini-me’s. Matching outfits are not only totally ’70s but are sure to land you on the awkwardly family photo website.

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Allow your kids to be kids and let them rock what they’re comfortable wearing (of course, within reason). When they wear clothes they like, rather than a suit and tie with a starched white shirt, their enthusiasm will shine right through the lens and you’ll capture happy-happy kiddos. A proper suit may be appropriate for office wear, but not for a family-fun photo.

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To reiterate, color coordination is your aim. Solids are the best. Basic black, grays, deep purple, and navy all work well with jeans and slacks alike.

 The Long Sleeves Rule

When dressing for your studio session, avoid no-sleeve and short-sleeved clothing, and short pants. My mantra is, with long, you can’t go wrong. Three-quarter length sleeves work well, too.  Even in casual portraits long pants trump shorts. Every. Single. Time.

Exposed arms and legs are a major fleshy distraction to the visual storytelling we do with portraits. Do you want friends and family commenting on your large biceps (girls, please) skinny white legs (got you, mister) or your beautiful face? I thought so. Leave certain things to the imagination, and remember, pictures are a forever thang.

Accessories: Dress for Success, Not Excess

Jewelry, hats, scarfs and the like should be strategically used to compliment and not overwhelm. Less is more, if you get my drift.

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Keep comfort first. If your family is dressed comfortably, they will act more naturally during the photo session. By focusing on styles that look best on each family member, everyone will confidently enjoy the process and the portraits will shine.

See you in the studio!

 

“I capture personalities in Portraits.”  ~ Donna Edman

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I am a Southern California based Portrait, Commercial 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.

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

A Special Way to Brighten Your Day ~ Green

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What’s your favorite color?  Can you guess mine?

Color can affect our moods.  Did you know that?

For those of you, like me, who are drawn to green, here’s what researchers in the field of color psychology suggest:
Green has strong associations with nature, bringing to mind lush grass, trees and forests. It’s often described as a refreshing and tranquil color, having a calming affect reducing anxiety.

For more colorful Fine Art Images for your home or office, check out my galleries here: Fine Art Services

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- IMG_6475-1_pp 3 BW square-1
I am a Southern California based Portrait, Commercial 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.

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

Capture Personalities in Portraits (Wrestling the Alligator!)

“A two-year old is kind of like having a blender, but you don’t have a top for it.”
-Jerry Seinfeld

Wrestling the Alligator

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

Children have abundant stores of energy and usually choose to release bursts at the most inappropriate times. These bursts often bring about fits of laughter in those of us who are parents, but generally, getting those kiddos to behave is like wresting an alligator. Eventually, you tire them out but expect to get bit a few times in the process.

 

When the time comes for taking that trip to the photographer’s studio or (perish the thought) out in public, here are a few tips for getting the best photos of your children that you’ll cherish forever.

Capturing Personalities in Portraits

I know I’m not the only one who’s laughed 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. It happens. It’s the reason America’s Funniest Home Videos was so popular. Staid and static are boring.

In this photographer’s space, there’s no chastising for goofy behavior. In fact, playfulness is encouraged. We’ll talk about that in a minute, so hold on.

 

Can you relate to the evergreen musings of Erma Bombeck?

“When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen.  When they’re finished, I climb out.”

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Here’s my suggestion to parents of toddlers and young children before we start the 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 product. 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 the pictures for a lifetime.

Can’t You Just Settle Down?

What I encourage the 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.

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.

 

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Most photographers who work with children have seen it all, and a time out will not improve the situation. A pouting child does not a good memory make.

Leave the duct tape at home.

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 so called “Kodak” moments.

 

A forced smile on your unhappy child will make you cry when you look at these family photos on his/her wedding day, but for the wrong reason.

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.

 

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Security Blankets and a Hairless Barbie

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

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My Kingdom for a Fruit Snack and a Juice Box

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 some light, non-sticky snacks (NO SNICKERS or other chocolate/sugary stuff) and water, especially when outdoor locations are scheduled.

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 photos.

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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, too, will be seen as content when the finished product is seen hanging on the 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.”  ~ Donna Edman

 

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I am a Southern California based Portrait, Commercial 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.

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

 

Street Photography ~ A Lovely Moment

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I started a pleasant conversation with this lady as she stood smoking on the sidewalk in downtown Los Angeles. She saw my camera and asked if I’d like to see the lobby of her apartment building. She wanted to show me its beautiful Art Deco decor.
She then agreed for me to create a portrait of her. A lovely moment.
This image was recognized at the Top Image of the Week in an international contest, Street Photo Showoff.

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I am a Southern California based Portrait, Commercial 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.

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