Why Do I Create Photo Images?

Hands 2When I was asked to describe my “Why,”  I did some soul searching.

Encouraging people, and blessing others, is my whole life passion. In my role as a professional photographer, encouraging an individual during their portrait session and blessing the work of worthy organizations, is the answer to my “Why.”

During a portrait session, when a client is nervous, self conscious about how they look, or thinks everything has to be perfect, genuine compliments with eye contact can help them relax and begin to see themselves as others do. It’s wonderful to see their body posture and expressions change as they begin to enjoy our time together.

During a family portrait session, when the kids run a muck, the parents can feel embarrassed.  With a love and life-long experience with kiddos, I encourage the parents to let me take care of the session.  They can sit back and relax.  Their kids “enthusiasm” is common and can be incorporated into the final images.  I see the parents’ “Awww, thanks” moment.

It can be when  be when a charitable organization asks me to capture images for their event, or make a donation to their silent auction.

Creating photo images is what I do for a living.  It is also what I do to bless those around me.

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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!

 

 

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What to Wear for Your Photo Session

Getting ready for your photo session?  Here are some helpful ideas!

Coordinate and Compliment
but no Mini-Me

 When styling a photo session, let’s start out with a basic color palette.  For group sessions no patterns are best.  If there is a “Center Stage” person who is to stand out, it helps to have just that one person in a pattern of which the rest in the group can pull from with complimentary colors and accessories, keeping their outfits more simple.  Another idea is to have all folks in your group wear different colors but all within the same tone.  This means for all colors to be bright, dull, or neutral.  For pants, jeans or dark colors are best.

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Accessorize
… add color & interest

Think outside the box.  Scarves, hats, jewelry, sweaters, vests, jackets, flowers in the hair for girls – All of these things can make an image look interesting and feel complete.  However, don’t overwhelm the subject, as the viewer’s attention should remain on the subject’s face.  See how in this photo, her blue headband is accessorizing his blue shirt, and his tie is accessorizing her nail polish? The location colors also compliment the subjects!

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Layers and Texture
… add detail and depth

Tweed, crochet and embroidery details, lace, hand knit items, smocking, ribbons and ruffles can add interest to a photo creating layers and textures.  Also adding different layers of clothing and accessories can add another dimension to the overall texture of the image.  These are especially important in black and white images.

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Subtle Props
… add meaning

The absolute best prop is something that is meaningful to you.  This can be grandpa’s vintage camera, a child’s favorite stuffed animal, a vintage magazine, mom’s handmade quilt or the family’s pet.   Without distraction, props add meaning to, and compliment  your image.

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On Your Feet
… shoes matter

The choice of shoes can make or break an outfit.  Slipping on a pair of hip distressed boots, colorful stylish flats or funky colorful Converse can tie everything together. Pick a color or texture to accent your clothing. Sometimes wearing no shoes at all look best, especially if you’ll be posing where the bottoms of shoes can be seen.  And don’t forget to add another splash of color with some funky socks if your overall look is fun and bright.

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How Will They be Used?
… where will they be displayed?

Think about the primary reason you are doing the session and dress accordingly.  For a business or actor’s head shot, consider your industry standard.  Then decide to match or deviate from it.  What message do you want to portray – conservative, artistic, trustworthy?  Will the image be displayed on a business card, website, brochures? Will the family or children’s image be displayed in the drawing room, family room, bedroom?  Is the image to say, “conservative”, “fun”, “funky”?

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Don’t Date Yourself
… A timeless look extends the life of photos

Considering Who You Are Today, choose clothing that is timeless, perhaps a little vintage in style. Use soft neutral tones with a pop of color then add interesting accessories, layers and textures.  I do love color so consider bright and funky as long as it’s not distracting from your face or personality.  Of course, this is a personal choice and many folks will go all out in the latest trends, thinking of their clothing choice as a time stamp.

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Movement
… clothing that flows and moves

In both the studio and in wide open locations, I love movement and flow.  Nothing better than a twirly, whirly dress or scarf or hat that moves when dancing, spinning, jumping.

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Get Comfortable
… to be You

Make sure clothing and accessories are comfortable, without the pull or scratch of some new items, especially with children.  Allowing children help to pick out their outfit can make them much happier during the session and  allows their beautiful personality shine through in images.  Think of layers instead of changing outfits.  For both children and adults, make sure you select an outfit that makes you feel stunning and relaxed.

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Patterns are Good
… in moderation

Patterns can add visual interest and texture as well as a good does of personality.  Just make sure that either just one person is in a pattern with the rest of the folks in simple, more solid color pieces or the patterns are subtle and complementary.  A patterned dress can actually be the secondary focus  and part of the story as long as it doesn’t distract from the face.

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Think About Location
… dress to compliment

Make sure your wardrobe complements the surroundings.  In a park, a little girl can be dressed in a simple, vintage style dress with boots.  That same look might be out of place in an urban setting in front of a harsh graffiti wall.

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A Few More Tips
… things to do & not to do

  • Avoid anything with logos, graphics characters, labels, etc. They distract from the face and take the professional portrait down a few notches.
  • Wait two weeks after a hair cut for the most natural look.
  • Don’t make everyone wear the same color. Matching is boring and dated.  Let everyone have a their own spin on the same color palette.
  • While staying current, avoid obvious fashion trends that will be dated soon.
  • No bright white socks and no sneakers unless we’re talking about something fashionable like funky Converse. Remove watches or jewelry not complementary to the session’s look.
  • Clothing should cover your arms to at least the elbows. All that extra skin can distract from your face.  With that said this depends on the purpose of the portrait.
  • Nails should be trimmed and clean. Gals, newly applied nail polish or none at all.
  • Guys, make sure your neck and any facial hair is trimmed of those pesky little hairs.

Check out Pinterest for some great examples at “Paint the Moon” and other fashion pages.

These ideas were gathered from Annie at Paint the Moon.  The best  collection of What to Wear tips I’ve found.

Images are selected from my work, Annie’s and a few others. 

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I am a Southern California based Portrait, Fine Art and Commercial 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!

How to Choose a Professional Photographer: Family & Children Photography

Many people think of hiring a professional photographer for baby portraits and weddings. However, a professional can help you in almost every event and time of your life.

All professional photographers have special areas of interest, their own personality and artistic style.  Areas of expertise can include one or more of these:

  • Family & Children Portrait Photographers
  • Senior Portrait Photographers
  • Commercial Photographers
  • Photo Restoration and Retouching
  • Wedding Photographers

Let’s start with Selecting a Family & Children Portrait Photographer.

 

The images created by professional photographers touch every aspect of your life and give you a beautiful way to preserve those memories. A portrait can be enjoyed in many ways, whether you incorporate it as a wall portrait in your home décor, create an album or purchase copies of the final print for the entire family.

Consider the following tips on selecting and working with a photographer for your family’s portrait needs:

  • Interview several photographers.
    They should be willing to take the time to listen to what you want and ask questions about you and/or your family. A photographer needs this information to create images that tell the story of who you are, or who you would like to be. Keep in mind that you are not hiring someone to simply take a picture, but to tell your story.
  • Ask about style.
    Do you like photo-journalistic images? Or is your style more classical, whimsical, vintage or romantic? Let the photographer know what you have in mind, and ask if he or she has experience in that area. You want them to use the style that best captures your personality.
  • Look at samples.
    Ask to see some of the photographer’s work. This will give you an idea of both the style and quality each photographer provides.
  • Additional services.
    Some professional photographers may provide specialized services in addition to photography. These services may include retouching, for removing blemishes or otherwise altering images; photograph restoration, which can help preserve memories from past generations; and custom framing, to make your portrait look its best. While your photographer may not offer all of these services, he or she can refer you to a quality vendor.
  • Communicate.
    Make sure the photographer has a clear understanding of your expectations. Take the time to discuss the services and fees involved. This helps avoid any future misunderstandings. The conversation can include asking what you receive for the fee, how you will see and choose from your proofs, amount of editing and retouching, the digital and printing options and how long it takes to receive your final images.
  • Ask about credentials.
    Membership in a professional association, certification or a photography degree shows a certain level of commitment to the profession. Ask for proof of insurance.  These types of credentials can help you determine which photographer is right for you.
  • Check references.
    A friend’s recommendation, the Better Business Bureau and professional associations are excellent sources of information.

The photographer should take time to talk to you about your family and their favorite activities, as well as offer suggestions on location and coordinating clothing and colors. The photographer will use this information to create a photograph that tells your family’s unique story.

In fact, many families make their portraits more memorable by turning them into an event. One way of accomplishing this is traveling to your favorite location, like local parks, your family’s place of worship, or at a family member’s home.

Now ask yourself …

While chatting with each photographer, how did you feel?  Which photographer understood your vision/story, will help you prepare, make you feel at ease and look your best?

After reviewing images from each website, which photographer has the skill needed and the style you desire?

Are you ready?

Call me.  I’d sure enjoy hearing about your vision and telling your story!

Check out my website.  As you browse through the Galleries, you will see samples of my artistic style.

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Information for this blog was gathered from the Professional Photographers of America.

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I am a Southern California based Portrait, Fine Art and Commercial 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!