Happy 2018!

Blue Sky’s is now open for the New Year and ready to start photographing again! I love new beginnings. Yes, I am one of those annoying people that actually spends the first few weeks of the year, reflecting back on the previous year and looking at a few key things! That is one of the reasons I always commit to taking 2 weeks off during the holidays.

Here are some of the questions I ask myself:
  • What went right in 2017?
  • How can I improve in 2018?
  • What are my business goals for 2018?
  • What are my personal goals for 2018?
  • What are my family goals for 2018?
  • What are my spiritual goals for 2018?
As the saying goes, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
That is why it is so important for me, after the very busy holiday season, to take a few weeks off and unwind and spend time with my family. This frees up my mind to start thinking creatively again and start dreaming of the next big thing for myself and my business. I feel grateful that this holiday season I got to spend 10 days with my son Cameron (he only got a short break for the holidays and then back to LSU to train), spent time with my in-laws and enjoyed some much needed one on one time with both my husband, Bob and my daughter, Kasey.
I am so grateful for all the things that went well in 2017 with Blue Sky’s Studio. We had an amazing year and launched our brand new reveal sessions (if you haven’t had a chance to experience the reveal of our favorite images from your session, you are in for a real treat the next time you do a session with Blue Sky’s). We photographed so many new families, high school seniors and corporate headshots. Thanks to Bob, we got an amazing studio makeover complete with a beautiful hair and makeup station. We were involved in numerous charity events and were able to contribute in so many meaningful ways.

Personally, I enjoyed helping Cameron move into his new apartment in Baton Rouge and helping him start his college career at LSU.  I proudly saw my daughter Kasey achieve her goal of getting excepted to Columbia University.  I had several amazing trips with my husband, including a fantastic trip to Florida for a much need week of rest and relaxation and a first time trip to New Orleans which lived up to all of my expectations.

I was inspired by so many amazing teachers in 2017 including the incredible Sue Bryce (Canon explorer of light and all around amazing photographer and educator).  I felt so lucky to get an opportunity to go to Palm Desert and participate in the Portrait Master’s workshop.  I was also able to listen to some really amazing business books.

Here is a list of just a few of my favorite books from 2017: 

Hacking Growth, by Sean Ellis (proudly, he is my brother) and Morgan Brown

Disrupt You! by Jay Samit

The 10X Rule by Grand Cardone

Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy

Unshakable by Tony Robbins

Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller

10% Happier by Dan Harris

The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

I Can’t Make This Up by Kevin Hart **** my favorite this year

The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins

Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch

The 12 Week Year: by Brian Moran and Michael Lennington

Grit The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff (a reread cause I love this book)

#Girlboss by Sofia Amoruso

Purple cow: Transform your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin

Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges by Amy Cuddy

Living Forward by Daniel Harkavy and Michael Hyatt

 

To name just a few….. LOL  My key to all of these business books is to listen while I am on my walk or walking the dog.  I feel like I am a more active listener when I am moving.

For 2018 I have decided I will have a word for the year.  My word is Intuition.   I feel like I have great intuition, but I don’t always listen to it.  Usually my inner conversation goes something like this, “I know I should really do this but, I don’t want to hurt someones feelings, or someone might misunderstand, or I can do it later”… etc, etc.  You know, those crazy conversations you have in your head.  This year I am committed to listening to those intuitions and acting on them with love and kindness.

Over the last few years, as many of you know, I have been committed to The Miracle Morning, by Hal Elrod.  Basically for me, it is getting up early, starting the day with a morning medication, followed by a list of everything I am grateful for in my life, a prayer to start the day and ask for God’s blessing and a visualization of my future goals.  For me, this has been life changing.  I am happier, more relaxed, less worried, and generally just a better person.

My hopes and prayers for all of you for 2018 is that you reach for your dreams, enjoy your friends and family and that you are loved and cherished.  Have a wonderful year and I hope to see you soon.  Here are a few images from my family photography session.  Thank you abundantly to Kathryn LeBoye for taking the images that include me and my family.  The gift of photography is priceless to me and I will cherish these images forever!

Hugs,

Kristin

Owner, Blue Sky’s Studio

Karkoska KidsKristin & KidsFamily photos-Karkoska family

Since our photography year is winding down, we thought it would be fun to do a roundup of some of the fun photo ideas we’ve seen all over the internet. There’s still time to order or make these great gifts.

Holiday Photo Frame Wreath

Make a holiday photo wreath with photos of your family. You could even include a photo of each Christmas.

holiday photo wreath

Get more info on how to make this wreath of frames on Pinterest

 

Cookie Photo Prints

The family will love this special treat! Get your photos printed on cookies.

To order your cookies, visit Zazzle.

Wooden Photo Box

This wooden box of photos is just darling, make it as a Christmas present or even  a Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day gift.

wooden box of photosClick here for instructions on how to make this gift.

 

 

Put those Portraits on Display

Do you have too many wonderful photos to  hang individually on the wall? Make the most of your space by displaying your photographs on photo shelves. display your photos

Image from Pinterest.

Photos on Rustic Ornaments

Photos printed on ornaments have been around for a while, but this fresh, rustic take is just adorable.

wood photo ornamentOrder your custom wood photo ornament on Etsy.

Make a Stamp from Your Photo

Who doesn’t want to stamp things with their face? These could be a great idea for for wedding save-the-dates, holiday cards, senior graduation announcements, or even individual family member stamps.photo stamp

Order on Etsy.

Albums, Canvas Prints, and More

gorgeous albumsWe hope you’ve enjoyed this round up of fun photo gift ideas. If you’re looking for something more elegant we also offer an array of archival quality photo products. Check out this blog post which features some of our great photography products.

 

 

 

This holiday time of year is our busiest, but we took a moment to compile some of our favorite holiday portraits from our years and years of Orange County photography. We know you’ve got a lot on your to do list, but we hope you’ll enjoy this little moment of pure holiday joy.children's holiday photosOrange county children's photographerbaby photography

Orange County holiday photography

Happy Holidays, from our family to yours!

So you’ve had some wonderful family photos taken, now what do you do with all of these amazing new images of your loved ones?

With all the options out there these days it can be hard to decide just what to choose when it comes time to order your new photos. Well, don’t worry, we’ve planned ahead.

We have some great products and packages, but today I just want to give you a sneak peek at just what they look like. It’s hard to show just how high-quality these items are online, but know that when you come to your review session after your photography shoot, you’ll be able to see all of these wonderful options in person.

Professional family photography is an investment–not just some quick prints from Costco–but it’s hard to think of many better investments than high quality images of your family! Your portraits will be adored for years, decades, and generations to come. Let’s take a look at some beautiful ways to showcase your new photography.

Folio Boxes

Let’s start with folio photo boxes. This is one of my absolute favorite products that we carry, and not just because it is completely hand-crafted in Italy and looks amazing, but because of it’s versatility as well.

folio-boxes-for-orange-county-photography

One of the challenges you’ll have when you come to view and order photos is that it’s so dang hard to choose between so many amazing shots. Folio Photo boxes are an elegant and practical solution to this problem.

As you can see from this video  below (yep that’s me, in studio), you can display one lovely image, framed and matted in the box–maybe on your coffee table, or an entry table, and you can also switch it out whenever you want. Just open the box and view up to 20 matted images or store some of the images while you swap others out into frames you have elsewhere in your home. You can even display the images on a nice photo ledge like I’m doing here in our studio in Laguna Canyon.

 

Fine Art Matted Prints

Now that you’ve seen an example of one of our folio boxes, let’s talk about just how crazy-amazing the prints inside them are! Printed on luxurious acid-free paper, these ultra high quality prints can be available the very same day as your review session.

Like I said, it’s hard to really show just how gorgeous these super saturated fine art prints are online, but trust me, when you see them during your review session, you’ll know what I mean.

fine-art-print-photography
These allow you to easily change up your photos each year, or even throughout the year, since they come in expertly crafted mattes.

We select our very favorite 20 images from your session (before you arrive) to present to you in person and when you purchase, each print includes the fully edited digital file as well!

 

fine-art-prints-on-shelf

You can display these luxe prints on an easel, on a photo ledge, or even in a frame. They also make great gifts for loved ones.

Frames & Wall Art Collections

We have a variety of framing and matte options to fit your home’s unique decor. We  love to go the extra mile for our clients and we’ll even create mockups of your home using real images from your shoot and a picture of the wall(s) in your home. Check out some of the great frame and canvas print collections we’ve mocked up.

Blue Sky’s Studio takes all of the guesswork out of your photo purchasing process by even laying out and installing all of our wall galleries.  You can replace the hassle of measuring tapes with gorgeous photo groupings you’ll enjoy for years to come, and I promise there will be lots of laughs at our girl tools, too!

Albums–Your Family Story Book

Our Orange County photography sessions include so many special moments that it can be difficult to choose only a few images for your home.

Albums are a perfect solution for the client who loves many (or every) image. We endeavor to create memories to fill the page, and what’s more, we’ll work with you to create a one of a kind album as special as your session.

We’ve been in this business for many years and have tried just about every album out there, but we’ve elected to offer only the highest quality albums for your memories. But we also have different options at different price points. Here is a tiny sampling of our beautifully-crafted photo albums.

gorgeous albums

 

The best part about photo albums is that they give us the opportunity to tell the story of your family.  From silly faces, to soulful looks, we want to document it all so you have tangible memories just as special as your kiddos!

Our albums also make beautiful gifts, and are timeless and wonderful ways to remember your loved ones’ most precious moments.  

We look forward to helping you choose the right images from your Orange County photography session. And remember, if you want the latest news on our best promotions and even tips and tricks on how to get your best photos join the Blue Sky’s Studio email list. We promise we’ll only send good stuff.

Want to see our photography portfolio? Visit our full Orange County Photography website.

Have you ever worried about having the right clothes, makeup, or hair for your photo session?

Or maybe you’ve worried about how you’d look with those few extra pounds you gained recently?

I can relate! But I want you to know a few behind-the-scenes things that just might change everything for you (really)
If you’ve had portraits done with us before you likely know just how far we go to make sure you are thrilled with the results. But if you haven’t, or maybe if it’s been a while, I want to share a little story with you.
Last week you may have seen that I posted a new senior shot on my Instagram. This beautiful high school senior was nervous about her session.
professional styling for your photos
She’d never had a photo shoot like this before and wasn’t sure what to expect. Just after she arrived at our studio, one of our makeup artists went to work, while her mother and I popped in from time to time to weigh in on lip color or hair style. We had fun talking and joking and by the time she was done we could see a visible difference in her demeanor and confidence. When it was time to start the shoot she posed like a pro.
 high school senior photography instagram
This experience reminded me why I do what I do. I am so grateful to be able to help people look their best and feel their best in front of the camera. It also made me realize that maybe because I’m so in the moment I don’t always tell people ahead of time just how much care we pour into our photography sessions.
Every time we do a session we employ not only high-end lighting, cameras and backgrounds/settings but we invest in professional styling (for what you wear), makeup artists and even hairstyling.

Why do we do this?

Because we don’t want you to just be happy with your photos. We want you to be thrilled. Blue Sky’s Studio is not your typical photography studio and we don’t base our values on dollar signs. We base our success on how we affect the lives of our clients.
Before your shoot, if you want help with deciding on what to wear–even for your whole family, one of our stylists will work with you a few days before to help you select items not only from your own wardrobe, but from our freshly cleaned items from style library as well. Whether it’s accessories or even a dress, chances are we have what it takes to make you look and feel your best on photo day.
When you arrive at our studio we have fresh, cold beverages ready. A makeup artist and hairstylist will be there ready to give you the look you want.
And once they’re done, we’ll head to your first shooting location.
During your session, I’ll help you pose in ways that highlight your best features (and hide any you’re not so fond of). My assistant will make sure the lighting is perfect and your hair and clothing is in place.
After your session, my team and I go to the next level and retouch, adjust lighting, remove blemishes, smooth clothing wrinkles, etc.–we can even shave off a few of those pesky extra pounds ;)–so when your picture review day comes, you will be blown away by how great you and your family look. I don’t want to reveal too much, but we also have a few wonderful surprises when during your review session at our studio.
I hope this little behind-the-scenes look at what we do gives you the peace of mind and confidence to get those family photos done so that you capture all of the precious milestones of your life.
 Orange County photographer Kristin Karkoska