I love people photography!  In fact, if I won the lottery, I would be one of those people who continued to do my job, because it is really what I love to do (oh and I would travel all over the world between shoots).  But uncovering how my clients want to be photographed, and always being focused on providing the most amazing portraits that fulfill my clients requirements, can sometimes leave me wanting to do a “just because” photo session.  

That is where styled commercial photography sessions come into play and why they are so important for me to continue to stretch my creativity and develop my photography skills. It also allows me to take a different perspective during the photography session.

For example, last year we decided to do a fun, collaboration styled session with Breathe Autumn Rain jewelry (click on her link to see her amazing jewelry), with makeup by Brittany Norton (brittanynortonartistry) and myself all contributing to a photography session.

We were extremely lucky to get several beautiful girls to volunteer their time to model for us in exchange for providing professional headshots for them.  We all consulted together on wardrobe, overall style and also how to best give everyone involved an opportunity to do something a little different and creative.

For the location we decided to photograph around Laguna Beach and Newport Beach.  The results were that everyone had an opportunity to play, be creative and produce gorgeous images that everyone would be able to use in their portfolio.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

I am an avid reader.  I mean, I absolutely love books.  Each morning I start the day walking my dog and listening to a business book on audible.com.  Each night, before I go to sleep, I get lost in a good novel on my Kindle.  And really, I have been this way since I was a small child.  My favorite thing to do growing up with my Dad was go to Crown Book Store (remember than discount books store?).  I would go through the books for literally hours.  He would always give me a limit, like, you can buy three books and that is it.  Somehow, I always talked him into five.  I would take those home and dive in.  My punishment if I didn’t finish a task, was to take my books away…..

One of my very favorite books when I was a child was “Where the Wild Things are”.  I probably read it at least 100 times.  So when Brittany asked me to do a styled session with her boys inspired by the book, I was all in.  I think these type of sessions are perfect for kids of any age, because it help tell their story and define who they were at that period in their history.  Also, looking back on those sessions, it helps your child know that you wanted to capture images that defined who they were in their development.  It opens up dialog and great memories.

So here is our Where the Wild Things Are” session with these two gorgeous boys and seriously the red hair kills me! Enjoy!

I’m having so much fun shooting Valentine’s Day themed photos this season. These kids (most of them are kids anyway) are just too adorable. It makes you realize how precious and pure the love of a child is. Below is some inspiration for your Valentine’s Day photos.

Check out these ideas (and photos) by yours truly. And get ready for cuteness overload. ;)

Kisses & Hugs

It’s so fun to get siblings to show some love, their character shows through in wonderful candid shots. These first two are my babies.

hugs-kisses-valentines-photo1hugs-kisses-valentines-photo2hugs-kisses-valentines-photo3

You’ve got my heart on a string…

The beautiful sisters above are a great segway to “hearts!” Hanging some glittering hearts all around in the studio gives Valentine’s photos a fun, whimsical feel. 

hearts-valentines-photo1hearts-valentines-photo2

Props

Props and accessories are so much fun for Valentine’s Day photos. Let’s start with some X’s and O’s!

xoxo-valentines-photo

Okay, we just can’t get enough of hearts–how about these different takes on the lovely shape?

hearts-valentines-photo3

How about some fun glasses, and maybe just the right book?

props-valentines-day-photosprops-valentines-day-photos2

A family’s home decor can be a nice touch, especially with babies–this wall art provides the perfect scale for baby and carries the theme of love.

baby

Let’s play…dress up!

These little cuties look so adorable, in these fun, candid photos because they were having fun playing while we shot.

boho-valentines-day-photo

I hope you’ve enjoyed these ideas and photos. That’s all I have for now, but we’ll blow you one last kiss, goodbye!

blow-kiss-valentines-day-photography

We all know those women who seem to look flawless in every photo. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “I wish I was photogenic like that.” You can be! I’m going to pull back the curtain today and share with you just a few of the posing tips I use with my female clients.

Ladies, get ready!

The two most important things to keep in mind before using these tricks are: you need to experiment a little bit at home first, in front of the mirror and work on trying to get comfortable practicing these different poses. A little practice goes a long way.

 

know your good sideKnow Your Best Side. Most of us do not have perfectly symmetrical faces and we usually prefer one side over the other. If you don’t know which is your “good side,” take a few moments to look in the mirror. Look a little to the left, then to the right. Which side is your favorite? Need help deciding? Try taking a selfie, just remember to do it with your front facing camera, or you will have a flipped mirror image of your face.

 

  Barbie arm posing trickBarbie Arm. If your girlfriends haven’t let you in on this trick it just might change your photo world. ;) To avoid your arms looking larger than life (an oh-so-common complaint), hold your hand on your hip and bend your elbow slightly toward the back. This creates a nice slimming effect which utilizes the white space between your body and arm.
 

push back your assets trickMind Your Assets. Push your assets to the back (ladies, that means booty and hips).  The other leg (the one closest to the camera) should be slightly bent.  You do this by putting your weight on the foot that is farthest from the camera and push your front hip away from the camera.  This causes you to lean a little towards the camera so the eyes are the closest thing to the lens!  It always looks lovely.

  lean in posing trickLean In. If you lean forward a little bit (not too much), with shoulders back, it can define the chin, elongate the neck, highlight the eyes, and allows your hair to fall forward over your shoulders, creating a stunning feminine look.
  natural smile trickWait for it. To get a more authentic, natural smile, wait until just before snapping the picture. Holding a smile fatigues your facial muscles, so take breaks between shots. Even better, when it’s time to smile, if you can think of a favorite thing, something that naturally makes you happy, hold that thought while you show your pearly whites.
  posing hairHair. Try different hair styles ahead of time to determine which look best on you–the ones that really compliment your face and body: hair down, behind one shoulder, all forward, swept up, whichever it is play up your best look, by posing not only your face and body, but your hair as well.
   

 

 

We had so much fun compiling our previous Fun Themed Portrait Ideas post that we just had to do another!

ENDLESS SUMMER

When creating a vintage themed session like this period props are key. What better props could we have had than an authentic VW van, surfboards, and a guitar? Wardrobe is also essential and for this shoot the family dressed boho/casual.

endless summer family photo

 

FALL IS IN THE AIR

If autumn is your favorite season, why not play it up in your photo session? From leaves, to pumpkins, squash or open fields, fall is a great season for warm, family photos.

fall is in the air

 

LOVE STORY

A few good books, some Photoshop effects and you’ve got a whimsical portrait they’ll never forget.love story

 

GYPSY SUMMER

Old world style meets the modern girl. This is a great way to give a colorful fun feel to your portraits.

gypsy

 

AT THE BOARDWALK

Capture the carefree fun of the beach boardwalk. Dressing in pastels or bright colors add to the playful feel of these photos.boardwalk themed photos

 

MUSCLE CARS & BICYCLES

Go vintage with black, white, red and vintage–add in a classic car, or maybe a retro bicycle for a unique photo.muscle car family portraits