It’s Nice to be Honored

It was nice to be honored with an article in the Yorba Linda Hills Magazine.  Just received my copy so I’d like to share it with you!

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 Portrait experience, call me! 
(714) 746-2418

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

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.

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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!

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!

Family Christmas Traditions in 2020

This year certainly has been an opportunity to focus on family togetherness. Here are ideas to review the year and embrace traditions, old or new.

First, set aside a time for everyone to sit down together and create a list of how you’ve grown as a family. It’s meaningful to chat and see these ideas in writing.

What did you do this year together that was new or special? Have you started a family tradition? Perhaps it’s eating meals together again at the table. Perhaps you began riding bikes or playing board games or creating crafts or learning an instrument. Have you simply been more “fully present” with your loved ones?

Christmas traditions

For our family, it has been a year of the unexpected and of blessings. Here are 10 of my favorite Family Traditions!

  1. Give a tree ornament that represents your child’s interest each year, and then save them to present as a special gift when they leave home.
  2. Make a Christmas Playlist of your favorite songs.
  3. Make a pillow case with Christmas theme fabric, used only in December each year.
  4. Create Christmas cards and wrapping paper.
  5. Make cookies or candies from a family recipe (or create your own traditional recipe), only made in December.
  6. Make a Family Bucket List for things to do by the end of the year.
  7. Have a Christmas Movie Night to watch a favorite holiday movie only watched in December.
  8. Drive to see Christmas lights.
  9. Attend a Christmas Eve service or read the Christmas Story from the Bible and sing Carols.
  10. Create a Family Portrait!

Christmas socks

If you are looking for more Christmas Tradition ideas, Carly the “Mommy On Purpose” has a great blog. You can read her entire list here: 30 Memory Making Family Christmas Traditions To Start In 2020

This is been a year of uncertainty and yes, even a bit crazy. But… It has been a year of togetherness and a year to build traditions!

Wishing you and your family a holiday filled with love and traditions.

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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!

 

“You Must Be a “Kid-Whisperer!”

This message made me laugh. A “Kid Whisperer.” Hahaha!

Here’s what Sondra sent to me:

“Donna,

I have followed your work for years. Though I haven’t had the pleasure of being photographed by you… yet; I hope to next year. 

I realized looking at some of your kid and family photos and reading what your clients have said about their sessions, you must be a “kid-whisperer!”  How you can get kids to do what you ask and end up with such fantastic photos is amazing.

Please continue to share your entertaining and beautiful work with us. I just wanted you to know that you are a true artist.

Sondra”

As most of you know, I simply love being with kids. I hold my early mom-years as a special blessing and still love being a mom to our adult children and, of course, now our grandchildren.

I think there really is something about that intuitive connection with kids. Just never heard it as being the “Kid Whisperer.”

If you have been thinking about creating Family Portraits, and are not sure how your kiddos will behave, now is the time!

Call me … “The Kid Whisperer.”

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.

(714) 746-2418

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

7 Things Toddlers Say about Being Photographed

1.  Don’t tell me to say, “Cheese.” 

Unless you want pictures of me with all teeth and squinty eyes. 

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2.  Don’t make me sit still.

OK, I’ll sit still for maybe one or two pictures.  Let me run, jump, twirl and be silly.

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3.  Let me play.

Let’s play tickle, let’s play peek-a-boo, let’s play tag, let’s race, tell me a silly secret.  I’ll play along and you’re going to get some genuine smiles.

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4.  Don’t bribe me with food.

I know what you’re doing.  If I need a break, give me a break. Let me explore on my own a bit and you just might get some pictures of me enjoying being me.

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5.  Don’t feed me crumbly, gooey foods.

You know they are just going to land on my shirt and stick to my face and my teeth.  Do you really want pictures of that?

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6.  Give me something to do.

I like fiddling with my favorite toy, I like chasing bubbles, I like dancing, I like giggling at funny things you say and do.  Let me do things I like and you’ll see my eyes light up in the pictures.

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7.  Don’t Stress.

Hey … I’m a kid.  Let me be me for an hour.  Don’t get upset, don’t raise your voice, just relax. When you’re relaxed, we’ll have fun together.

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Parents,

Are you putting off creating Family Portraits because you think your kiddo won’t behave? Are you afraid to invest your time and budget for a Family Portrait session when your kids will not sit still?

There is a time for portraits when everyone sits still and smiles at the camera.  Imagine those traditional wedding photos.  Perhaps now is the time in your family’s life for casual, lifestyle portraits that allow your kids to be … kids!

When you look back at these treasured portraits you have created now, you’ll smile when you see the true personality of your family.  What’s most valuable are the portraits that show your family during all the important stages of life, and yes, that includes when they are little run-about bug-a-boos.

Call me. Let’s come up with a session idea where all of you will have fun, and special portraits to remember the time together.

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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.

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

What to Wear ~ Know Your Color Palette

Do You Shine Like a Diamond?

Not every color looks good on every person. Have you ever looked in the mirror when you’re trying on new clothes and your skin appeared green? The reason for your skin color transformation was due to wearing an unflattering color, according to your skin’s undertone.

So the next question is: Do you know your color palette? You may be a cool, a neutral or a warm. The first step to determining which of the three you are, is to discover your undertone.

skintones

While skin overtone can change based upon factors such as sun exposure, illness, or blood pressure, your undertone is defined by genetics and will never change. A simple test to determine if you’re a COOL or WARM is to put a dab of pink-based foundation on one cheek, and a dab of yellow-based foundation on the other. Spread the foundation evenly on each cheek, creating a thin layer. Check the mirror for which foundation blends in versus which one appears painted on. The one that blends is your match.

Pink means COOL and yellow means WARM. Easy peasy. If your husband or son won’t sit for this foundation test, read on to discover other ways to find undertones.

Hair Color

We are talking natural hair color, here.

If your hair is colored, let’s hope your stylist has helped to find a color that goes with your skin undertone.

You cools might rock very dark brown or black hair to sunny blonde. You have skin with a bluish undertone ranging from the fairest of the fair to very dark.

If your hair is dirty blonde, blonde with ashy streaks or warm-toned browns with highlights, these are all considered neutral. Skin tone for those of you who are true neutrals can be difficult to determine and is variable from warm to cool.

You’re probably a warm if your hair color is in the dark brown to dark blonde shades. Skin tones for warms range from greenish to yellow undertones and some have an olive complexion.

For those sporting red hair, the shade of red lets you move between color palettes, but you’ll typically roam within the Neutral Undertones.

What to Wear?

Cool Undertone

color pallets - cool

  • Cool colors will include bright to royal and sapphire blues, emerald greens, and moderate to deep purples, like amethyst or shades of lavender.
  • Warm colors might include ruddy hues, such as rose and reddish pinks to tomato.
  • For neutrals, your best bet is pure white, navy and grays.
  • Don’t you dare do oranges or yellows.

Neutral Undertone

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  • You look fabulous in peachy hues, and jade green to muted turquoise.
  • Pinks, such as soft rose and blush-toned pinks are your BFFs.
  • Icy blues should also be included in your fashion choices.
  • Burgundy and fire engine red (don’t be shy) will look amazing on you.
  • Taupe, grey, and off white, like eggshell and ivory, are super when you want to go neutral.
  • Bright (red is the exception) and vibrant colors can overwhelm neutrals.

Warm Undertone

color pallets - warm

  • Your best warm colors are oranges, reds, golden yellow, amber, and honey gold.
  • Cool colors that work equally well on warm skin tones are greens and blues.
  • Olives, deeper turquoise, green moss, fern, pesto, red purples like magenta and orchid are also good choices.
  • If your chosen portrait scheme is more neutral, stick with taupe, light chocolates, off whites and wheat.
  • Colors to avoid are light blues and jeweled tones.

 

Color is fun to consider in your wardrobe.  However, it is important to keep comfort first. If you are dressed comfortably, you will act more naturally during the photo session. By focusing on colors and styles that look best, you will confidently enjoy the process and the portraits will shine…like a diamond.

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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!

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 your party style, 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.

Christmas gifts stacked

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!