When Jaime contacted me to book her family photo session, she immediately let me know that he son, Teddy, has autism. She explained that he does not typically like to make eye contact and she wondered if we could focus on some candid moments as opposed to a more traditional portrait style. I was so pleased with Jaime’s openness about their needs for their session. I am always happy to accommodate my clients needs. It is so helpful to have a plan and to have expectations set in a way that creates the most successful outcome.
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Joel is a Maumee Valley Country Day School graduate as of this past May. He just started his first semester at Ithaca College and is studying Cinema Production. Wildwood Metropark in Toledo was the location of choice for Joel’s senior photos. Not only did I get to photograph Joel, I got to photograph Joel with his dog, Indy. Including pets in a senior’s photo session is something I am always happy to accommodate. Joel was comfortable in front of the camera and could switch his smile on and off seamlessly. He let me incorporate some dramatic lighting and he was able to help Indy pose with him.
Lily and Rose were so much fun to work with! These two are a perfect match. Rose is still a young pup and she was full of energy. We definitely worked hard to get her to look at the camera but I am really happy with the cute interactions I got to document between Lily and Rose.
“Infertility has challenged us in many ways, but the main life lesson that has come from our struggle is that we can’t always plan things that happen in our lives. We had a plan and an image of how our life would play out and when we would have kids, but we had to let go and realize that sometimes it doesn’t matter what plans you have. Things happen when they are supposed to happen. We found more peace when we let go and let life happen.”
Today marks four years since I filed for my business license with the state. Four whole years!
If you hadn't noticed, I have learned a lot in that time. I work really hard to be very good at what I do. I am not a half-ass kind of person and I am going to make sure I can do a good job. I take every opportunity to learn something and I invest in my education. Skill and practice are integral to doing my job well.
I wanted to share a few images from the large family group I photographed earlier this month. The Fankhouser family had members come to Toledo from all over the country: Texas, Atlanta, Chicago and more. Hundreds of miles were traveled so that they could celebrate the holiday together. They decided that the rarity of the whole group being together merited professional documentation. The Fankhouser family included five children, fourteen grandchildren, and one proud patriarch. What an amazing legacy.
What is one tip you would give other self-employed professionals who are just starting out? Business can be rocky, especially at the beginning, so it’s important to keep developing ideas—to be innovative, to try new things. Don’t become stagnant. Keep learning—attend conferences, workshops, webinars. If one thing doesn’t work, try something else. Observe and learn what your clients want, and adjust your services accordingly. I’ve learned in life that things often don’t go as planned. This is true in business as well. Don’t fight it; go with it! Being stuck in one certain mindset can be damaging to your business’s success.
Victor and Suzie decided to have an intimate ceremony with only family and close friends. It was a very special event. We definitely laughed during the couple’s lighthearted vows. There were so many smiles as we saw Suzie and Victor’s commitment celebrated. What beautiful moments I get to document as a wedding photographer!
Danielle contacted me about having some photos done of her and her dog, King. Danielle struggles with some really tough physical and mental health issues. She told me how King has stepped up to assist her in so many ways. King steps in when she has panic attacks and helps to snap Danielle out of the anxiety. He also helps to remind her to take her medication and he is by her side every moment of her day. King was genetically tested and it turns out he is part pit bull and part bull mastiff. He definitely got the size and looks more from his pit bull genes but some of his personality really did reflect the mastiff side. King is loyal and would give his life to protect his family.
Isabella is a self-taught makeup guru and her look was flawless. Bella also does modeling, and working with her was a dream. She knew exactly what to do, and how to look great. I never expect this from my seniors, but it definitely makes my job easier. Bella is truly beautiful, inside and out, and I feel that we captured her personality perfectly.
Jillian was the winner of my Pet Photo Shoot giveaway for my Fluff-uary pet event. Jilly had over 100 votes cast to help her win the contest. Jillian’s owner, MK, is a student at BGSU in the music program. MK brings Jillian to campus regularly and she has a real fan following. I was told the whole orchestra was voting for her.
Jessica contacted me in the fall to schedule some branding images for her new proofreading and editing business. I have known Jessica since I was in high school and we worked together for a long time. I know how much she loves her dog and I wasn’t surprised at all when she asked to let Rosie join in some of the photos.
Interviewing a writer about her dog produced a lot of amazing information. Check out Rosie’s story and Jessica’s insights into her dog.
The best part about Lauren’s clothing choices was that they matched. She chose one color scheme for her whole photo shoot. Black and white were a perfect fit for her elegant personality. Choosing a color scheme, can make outfit choices much less stressful. When you are required to follow a theme, it is less likely you will become overwhelmed by all of your options. This idea can be applied to family photo sessions and headshots as well.
I really enjoy working with guys because they come as they are. They don’t have quite as many concerns about wearing the magazine-worthy outfit that some celebrity said they should. I have worked with several who knew how to dress. They looked put together, and they chose pieces that showed off their own style and made them feel comfortable. I have also worked with several young men who struggled to pick more than one look. I enjoy being able to learn a little bit about each, and coach them in their wardrobe choices when needed.
Watching siblings play and interact at family photo sessions is always interesting. Some siblings tease, some wrestle, some even argue. I never expect kids to be perfectly behaved. Often, the adults struggle to listen to directions themselves. Not everyone feels comfortable and confident in front of a camera. That is ok. I make every effort to create a lighthearted and comfortable experience for all my clients. Sometimes, that means tossing the plan and trying something different.
We have had a special promotion running this month! February has been deemed FLUFF-uary! The whole month has been focusing on pets and animals! I have decided to give away a pet photography session to one lucky winner! All entrants were required to post their pet with a brief bio on our Facebook page. Now how do they win? You get to be involved in choosing the winner! Read through this article and pick your favorite fluffy entry. Fill out the form at the bottom with your choice's number to cast your vote! Entrant with the most votes wins!
You don’t have to be a photographer to enjoy documenting your life through photos. Many of us snap pictures on our cell phones on a daily basis. Kids, food, pets, friends, and activities; do you ever encounter a subject that you wish you could take better photos of? All living creatures are a bit of a challenge. They move, the make weird expressions, they don’t always listen or know how to pose. In this article I specifically want to talk about photographing your wiggly woofers.
When we scheduled June’s photos, she had to bring her sister, Paizley, along. Kysha recommended the Whiteford StonceCo Community Park in Temperance, MI. June was a couple of months post-op and her surgical site was all healed up. She jumped out of the car, ready to play, as though she had lived her whole life on three legs. It is truly inspiring to see the hardships dogs can overcome to have a good life.
Fall was just at its peak at the Toledo Botanical Garden when we met for these portraits in November. The boys were quick to smile and help their sister have a good time too. I love seeing siblings interact with each other. Toward the end of the session we let lose and played in the leaves. Elaina did not seem super impressed, but the boys loved it.
Holly is a Nurse Practitioner. When I asked her how she felt about entering a new decade she said, “I’m excited about turning 30! It will be a new adventure”. What a fabulous outlook. Holly was so wonderful to work with. She was positive and completely laid back. We had the session in the studio space at the Big Fab Lab in Bowling Green. Holly decided not to risk the Ohio weather by shooting outdoors. It was the right call because all of those balloons would have been blown away.