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CT Headshots: No Selfies Please!

CT Headshots: No Selfies Please!

Headshots are really important these days for all professions online and in print.  All professionals need a headshot including business owners, real estate agents, actors, musicians and even photographers.  IF you now a business, you need a good professional headshot.  I created quite a few headshots at the studio this year, however, at least 5 people told me they finally called me after struggling with white sheets, make-shift lighting set ups, cell phones or a friend with a camera to create their own headshot on the cheap. Please DO NOT try to make a selfie headshot and believe that you may get work from it.  Hire a professional photographer because we are here to help you.  It is unlikely, unless you have the skills to do retouching properly, to get a photo from a cell phone or cheap camera that would look professional.  If you want to stand out, do it right and hire a pro.

CT Headshot for Actors:

Like so many others, this young actor below tried a selfie at home with her family but thank goodness she came to me for professional images.  She is graduating from High School and is applying to theatre programs for college.  I could see the talent in her and now she was free from the stress of trying to do this herself.  She was able put all her attention on being herself and as a result her headshot came out much better!  She gave me every expression possible during our session together.  It was fun for both of us and she loved how they turned out.  These are 3 of the different looks she created with me.  Best of luck to her in college and beyond! CT Headshots:no Selfies Please, Kim Bova Photography CT Headshots: No Selfies Please, Kim Bova Photography CT Headshots for Actors, Kim Bova Photography My headshot sessions are customized for your profession or brand.  As a result, this enables us to create something that truly represents you.  For more headshot info please click HERE  . Thank you, Kim

Family Portrait Wrangling

Family Portrait Wrangling comes in handy with kids in the portrait session.

Family portrait wrangling is the photographers responsibility at a session with kids involved.  (Occasionally I have had to do it with adults but thankfully, not too often.)  I understand how hard it is for parents to get everyone together because I have I have a family, too.  However, the rewards are great and I encourage you to take the plunge if you have not already done so. Here is a common scenario at home while getting ready for a portrait session:
  • Everyone is grouchy
  • The boys don't like getting dressed up.
  • The girls can't decide what to wear or if their hair should be up or down.
  • Dad could care less and hopes it won't take too long.
  • Mom is feeling the pressure.
  • Sound familiar?  This story before a session has been retold multiple by my clients over the years.
First, let me share some photos of a family of 5 who came to me this past October for Fall Family Portraits.   Below is the last photo we created at our session.  Everyone was relaxed and comfortable. (I think I was making some strange sounds and funny faces to get their baby to look at me, too!)  It did not start this way.  In fact, this family never saw the first few photos I took.  They had nervous smiles and felt awkward.  This is normal!  This image below shows you where we ended up - everyone relaxed and looking at the camera.  Family Portrait Wrangling, Kim Bova Photography , Best CT Portrait Photographers

TIME

With enough time set aside, I have a chance to help my clients feel relaxed and make it a fun experience.  This session took about an hour and 15 minutes and we went to two places quite close to each other near my studio.  Small kids are more cooperative and relaxed with time and patience.  When they feel comfortable enough to roll in the grass and be themselves, you know you are on the right track!  Capturing the natural character of the kids are what parents love.  When they are not constantly being asked to be attentive to me and the camera it is easier on them all. Family Portrait Wrangling, Kim Bova Photography , Best CT Portrait Photographers
Family Portrait Wrangling, Kim Bova Photography , Best CT Portrait Photographers

In this photo above, I gave them all a job to do - pretend you are on a walk together, chat and make eye contact with each other. Kids like to play pretend!

 Family Portrait Wrangling, Kim Bova Photography , Best CT Portrait Photographers Family Portrait Wrangling, Kim Bova Photography , Best CT Portrait Photographers Family Portrait Wrangling, Kim Bova Photography , Best CT Portrait Photographers

Tips on wrangling.

Family Portrait mini-sessions don't always work as well when young kids are in the mix and here is why:
  • They need to time to scope out the photographer and get a feel for the situation.  They have no idea what is going to happen so they may be a little apprehensive.  The kids just want to play.   MEET the kids before the session if possible, it helps.  I did meet mom and the baby before this session and she shared photos of the whole family on Facebook which really helped.
  • The photographer needs to create opportunities to capture them naturally and being themselves.  This may take a few minutes depending on the individuals.  Patience, getting down at their level, learning  their names, being silly like pretending to forget their names and mix them up for example.  Having fun is key and find way to help them feel comfortable.  Remember that a photo session is hard for adults, too, so imagine how the kids feel!   I usually ignore the kids and talk to the parents upon greeting everyone.  This way the kids have a few minutes to check me out.  Then I will engage the kids, get a little silly, encourage them to look at stuff and explore the area a little.  Once they see how easy it is (and quick), they start having fun.
  • The photographer has to teach them all, the kids and parents, how to stand, how to be close together while looking good.  When everyone gets the hang of it they start feeling comfortable.  It is truly amazing to me how everyone, even the kids, just start hitting poses after awhile.  The kids will become more comfortable and then start ignoring me.  Then I can get those unexpected photos capturing them unaware of me and the camera.
Great day, great family! Interested in scheduling a Family Portrait Session? Call me anytime.  But if you want a schedule a Fall Family Portrait, understand that dates in October are highly popular.  Please call ahead in the summer to make sure you can book a convenient date for your family. Thanks for reading my blog, leave some 'blog love' if you like.  I would love your feedback. Kim  

Cantillon Brewery For Beer Lovers

Attention all Beer Lovers

If in your travels you find yourselves in Brussels, Belgium, you must take the time to visit Cantillon Brewery.  It is the home of the traditional 'Lambic Fermentation Style' beer.  The final product is called 'Gueuze' (More about this amazing beer in a moment).  This post is a continuation of my family adventure to Europe in May.  My son Dave voted to visit Cantillon Brewery in Brussels.  I was luke warm on it since I am gluten free so beer and I do not usually get along very well.  So, Cantillon Brewery was on the agenda and as it turned out, I loved this beer and we are friends.
Kim Bova Photography, Cantillon Brewery

My favorite beers from Cantillon

Cantillon Brewery

This Brewery is a working museum of Lambic Style beer.   For a small entry free of about 10 dollars you get a great experience:
  • self guided tour
  • a tasting of various flavors of beers in their delightful tasting room
  • time to hangout and chat with the owner/creators about their delicious beer and their process.
We were there for a couple of hours.  It was a fantastic experience.  The owners shared their passion, pride and dedication to keeping this craft alive for the world to continue to experience.  This Lambic style of beer is one that these people were drinking in Belgium for hundreds of years! 'Lambic' Style Beer.   No one can make a beer that tastes just like this because it is dependent on the local environment.  It is 'air fermented' and unique to this area of Belgium with the river right next to the brewery.  I am not sure of all the environmental details, but it is naturally fermented with what ever is floating around in the air right next to the Senne River which flows through Brussels and right past this brewery - you get the idea.  I am not a scientist but I find it fascinating!  To taste the real thing you have to go there. Gueuze (or Geuze) is a type of lambic a Belgian beer, a little bubbly like champagne and simply delicious.  Because of its carbonation, Gueuze is sometimes called "Brussels Champagne".   I love French Champagne - so this was a match for me!
Kim Bova Photography, Cantillon Brewery

Since the beginning of the 20th century, brewers have added regional fruits - sour cherries, raspberries and grapes to their lambics during the summer. To make these fruit-flavored beers, empty casks are filled with various fruits and macerated for three months to dissolve the fruits; then young lambic is added for fermentation.

Open Fermentation, Cantillon Brewery, Brussels, Belgium, Kim Bova Photography, Beer Brewing

Then the mash is fermented in this open topped copper attic mounted vat. This is a coppersmiths masterpiece, not a single weld to be found! You can see the open air vents in the attic room here with screens to keep bad bugs out. They never kill spiders in the brewery as they keep the insect population at bay during the summer months.

Kim Bova Photography, Oak Barrels Beer Fermentation, Cantillon Brewery

Then it goes into the oak barrels where slow fermentation happens 3-4 weeks later. This is where the lambic is born. They wait 3 years. Sometimes after 3 year the original liquid amounts may evaporate and only have 80 % of the original left. The lambic may be drunk at this stage, but for a more refined beer like Gueuze and Kriek, we have to wait another year. This is why Annheiser Busch does not make this kind of beer! You see why this is quite distinct from all other beers? The brewer now blends 1, 2, and 3 yr old Lambic for secondary fermentation in the bottle, but first goes into the stainless steel barrels to test for taste and selection for the blend which becomes the Cantillon Gueuze.

Bottles of Lambic Beer, bottle fermentation, Cantillon Brewery, Kim Bova Photography

There are many more steps and details depending not the type of beer here, but to simplify, the beer is put into bottles where they are corked and on their sides in the cellar for another several months.

Cantillon is in the middle of Brussels and easy to get to on foot or by taxi.  You probably don't want to drive there as the parking looked a bit tough and if you sit in the comfy tasting room for too long you may not want to drive.  I hope you get to visit this fascinating brewery at some point.  I highly recommend it.  I apparently can tolerate this beer even being Gluten free. Not sure why.  I can truly call myself a beer love now.  Too bad bottles sold in the US are $30 a piece!  But it is still cheaper than traveling to Brussels... so maybe I will treat myself once in a while! Click here to see more photos of my adventures in France. For more information about Cantillon go here. Bon voyage!      

Senior Portrait Photography in Connecticut

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year.  It is a great time for Senior Portrait Photography in Connecticut.  This year has been both a pleasure and a challenge.  The weather for the most part has been wonderful, even with so little rain and unusually warm conditions.  Unfortunately, the colors never really popped.  The only 'reds' I had here were the poison ivy vines!  When the rain and wind did come all the leaves came down except for the mighty oaks which were pretty ravaged in my neck of the woods by caterpillars.  Ah, the challenges of outdoor portraits!  Besides all this, I managed to arrange and rearrange schedules to make it all work this October. Senior Portrait Photography does not have to be limited to High School Seniors.  This year I did a number of College Senior Portraits for graduating UCONN students, both last spring and this fall. Meet Tara, a senior from UConn who called me about senior portraits as a gift for her parents after putting her through college.  What a wonderful idea and I am sure her parents will be thrilled.  Tara is a bright and intelligent young lady from Texas.  She fell in love with New England and wanted an opportunity to be photographed in the beautiful fall colors.

To plan for our senior portrait photography session we did 3 important things:

  • We connected by phone, determined a date for the session.
  • Then we met in person to get to know each other a bit, and I learned about what she loved about New England so I could incorporate those things in the photos to remember her best times here at UCONN.
  • We discussed what she would wear, the colors that she looks good in, and what colors would look good in the environment.
After postponing and rescheduling due to the weather, I think we created some wonderful portraits together.  Here are a few favorites:
Senior Portrait Photography in Connecticut, Fall Portrait Photography, Kim Bova Photography, Best Photographers in CT

Love the soft back light in this lovely grass field.  Her maroon textured dress looks great against the green and straw color of the dry grasses.

Best Photographers in CT, Senior Portrait Photography in Connecticut, Fall Portraits in Connecticut, Kim Bova Photography

Tara rocking her cowboy boots in New England!  The grey weathered barn is a nice combo of color with her outfit.

Senior Portrait Photography in Connecticut, Best Photographers in CT, Fall Portraits in Connecticut, Kim Bova Photography

And the golden back light also looks great with maroon.  Thanks, Tara, for such a fun session!

Let me know if you have any questions about Senior Portrait photography in Connecticut or about my Family Sessions.  I am happy to see if we can squeeze you in before Thanksgiving! Kim    

Wickham Park Wedding CT: Andrea & Jim

A Wickham Park Wedding

I had the honor of photographing Andrea and Jim's Wickham Park Wedding at the Log Cabin in September.  It was a bright sunny day with big puffy clouds so they could not have asked for weather.  Joined by their family and friends, their vows were exchanged high on a hill overlooking the spectacular view of downtown Hartford.

Great reasons to choose a Wickham Park Wedding.

The Log Cabin at Wickham Park is one of my favorite places at the park to photograph a wedding.  This location has a spectacular view of the city and sunsets.  There is a resident Moosehead over the stone fireplace in the cabin for those who care!  The white tent attached to the Log Cabin helps with larger events, rain, or hot days so this is a definite added advantage.  The Guests and newly weds are able to enjoy the gardens for lovely photo opportunities or simply the ability to relax outside on the benches.  On top of all this, the formal flower garden and outdoor ceremony patio (yes with a spectacular view) is a wonderful place for ceremonies. Andrea and Jim planned a day that was totally reflective of their interests and personalities resulting in a great time for everyone.  Here are some photos from the day.  We started photographing Andrea getting ready at the Charles Cheney Inn.
Wickham Park Wedding CT, Charles Cheney Inn CT, Kim Bova Photography, CT Wedding Photographers

Andrea's dress and shoes, including her red petticoat, were fun and dynamic. Just like Andrea!

Wickham Park Wedding CT, Hartford CT Wedding Photographers, Kim Bova Photography CT, Wickham Park Weddings, Garden Weddings
Wickham Park Wedding CT, Charles Cheney Inn, Manchester, CT, Kim Bova Photography, CT Wedding Photographers

Matching hairpiece.

Wickham Park Wedding CT, Charles Cheney Inn, Kim Bova Photography, CT Wedding Photographers

Found light in the pretty hallways of the Charles Cheney Inn in Manchester, CT was great for a bridal portrait, as were the grounds outside the Inn.

Wickham Park Wedding CT, Charles Cheney Inn, CT Wedding Photographer, Kim Bova Photography CT
Wickham Park Wedding CT, CT Wedding Photographers, Kim Bova Photography, fun wedding dresses

I love capturing unexpected or  impromptu moments!  As a result, I got this one of Andrea and her mom grabbing a selfie.

   
Wickham Park Wedding CT, CT Wedding Photographers, Kim Bova Photography

Jim was waiting for his bride at the Log Cabin.  He looked great!

Hartford CT Wedding Photographers, Kim Bova Photography CT, Wickham Park Weddings

Here is the ceremony on the patio with the Hartford skyline in the background.

Hartford CT Wedding Photographers, Kim Bova Photography CT, Wickham Park Wedding CT,, Garden Weddings
Hartford CT Wedding Photographers, Kim Bova Photography CT, Wickham Park Wedding CT, Garden Weddings

Living gifts for each guest to take home.

Hartford CT Wedding Photographers, Kim Bova Photography CT, Wickham Park Weddings, Garden Weddings

Now it was time for creating photos in front of the Log Cabin and on the grounds.

Hartford CT Wedding Photographers, Kim Bova Photography CT, Wickham Park Weddings, Garden Weddings

A quiet moment in the garden.

Hartford CT Wedding Photographers, Kim Bova Photography CT, Wickham Park Wedding CT, Garden Weddings

Hamming it up with friends looking on!

Hartford CT Wedding Photographers, Kim Bova Photography CT, Wickham Park Wedding CT,, Garden Weddings Hartford CT Wedding Photographers, Kim Bova Photography CT, Wickham Park Wedding CT, Garden Weddings Hartford CT Wedding Photographers, Kim Bova Photography CT, Wickham Park Wedding CT,, Garden Weddings
Hartford CT Wedding Photographers, Kim Bova Photography CT, Wickham Park Weddings, Garden Weddings

Oh, did I mention that Andrea and Jim are camera buff's and photography lovers?

Hartford CT Wedding Photographers, Kim Bova Photography CT, Wickham Park Wedding CT, Garden Weddings

They built this Photobooth from scratch out of various camera parts and a monitor. Brilliant!  Everyone enjoyed it.

Hartford CT Wedding Photographers, Kim Bova Photography CT, Wickham Park Weddings, Garden Weddings

And a group shot as the sun sets!

Hartford CT Wedding Photographers, Kim Bova Photography CT, Wickham Park Wedding CT, Garden Weddings
Hartford CT Wedding Photographers, Kim Bova Photography CT, Wickham Park Weddings, Garden Weddings

In the white tent attached to the Log Cabin.

Hartford CT Wedding Photographers, Kim Bova Photography CT, Wickham Park Weddings, Garden Weddings

The Cake.

Hartford CT Wedding Photographers, Kim Bova Photography CT, Wickham Park Weddings, Garden Weddings

An ingenious and crafty friend created this unique gift for the couple.  It's made from old camera parts bottle caps and other assorted goodies!

Hartford CT Wedding Photographers, Kim Bova Photography CT, Wickham Park Weddings, Garden Weddings

....and with the Moose inside the Log Cabin where they finished off the night eating ice cream and dancing!

Here are the links to the Charles Cheney Inn and Wickham Park Weddings if you want to look into it. Thank you for reading my blog. Kim  

Seeing Value in Professional Family Portraits

Seeing value in professional family portraits is something I think everyone realizes, but can't aways make time for.  I have fully documented my family in photographs since our children were born.  There have been times that I've thought twice about investing the time and energy into this ritual.  We all feel too busy, a little camera shy or perhaps we have had unhappy experiences being photographed at one time or another.  I hear these stories from my clients.  Creating family portraits for my clients is one of my passions and a very rewarding part of my work.

Seeing Value in Professional Family Portraits On Your Walls.

Professionals know how to photograph all kinds of body types and we study the best way to compliment everyone.  We understand light and composition and how to handle kids who just want to have fun and not stand still, or who don't want to smile right now.  My clients come to me because they see the value and the difference between the photos I can create for them and snapshots they make themselves.  They hang them on their walls so they can get the most enjoyment out of them. Seeing Value In Professional Family Portraits, CTPortraitPhotographers, Kim Bova Photography,

My goals as a professional photographer:

  • To create a family portrait or a series of portraits that show who my clients are as a family.
  • Show the connections and love for each other while creating images that preserve a moment in time for for years to come.
  • Plan the portrait session before hand in order to get to know the family I am photographing to capture their personalities.
  • Make it a fun experience.

Where do I like to photograph families?

Your portraits can be created almost anywhere.
  • In natural environments.
  • Urban settings.
  • In your back yard or home.
  • In my studio.
Locations that best represent your family is what I prefer.I can also suggest plenty of wonderful locations with great light and backgrounds for my clients.  Not every backyard is good for portraits. Seeing Value In Professional Family Portraits, CTPortraitPhotographers, Kim Bova Photography,

Client Feedback:

I asked Monica, the mother of this family highlighted here, for a testimonial about her experience with me after her portraits were delivered and hanging on her walls at home.  Here is what she wrote:

"Our eldest child was leaving the house to go to college. This felt like a moment to be marked with a family photograph. My biggest fear was being nudged into a style of photo that did not match our sense of who we are as a family. I was already reassured that this was unlikely to happen when I saw Kim's photos on her website. I was further reassured when I met Kim in person. Kim took the time to ask us questions to learn about what we wanted and why. She took many different kinds of shots, suggested different set ups, and ensured that we had a lot to choose from. When we sat down to look at which ones we liked the most, she did not rush us and offered helpful insights. While in some ways a professional family portrait felt like a splurge, we enjoy Kim's photos every day and I'm very glad we did it."

  Seeing Value In Professional Family Portraits, CTPortraitPhotographers, Kim Bova Photography, Seeing value in professional family portraits directly link to the printed image.  Preserving images of our loved ones is so important for our kids and grandchildren.  "Who were my great grandparents?"  Family Portraits and the stories that go along with them help answer that question. Interested in a professional family portrait?  Please reach out via my contact page or just give me a call at: 860-230-8828.  I would love to plan your session with you! Kim

Fall Portrait Sessions – Booking Now.

Fall Portrait Sessions are a favorite of mine.  Autumn seems to be arriving early this year so I would like to encourage you to get a jump on scheduling a portrait session time for yourself, significant other, family, pets, or all of the above!  The days are warm and the evenings cool - perfect weather for portraits here in Connecticut!

Fall Portrait Session, Kim Bova Photography, Family Portraits, Best CT Photographers

There are limited weekend days so hurry and call me if that is your only time to schedule your Fall Portrait Sessions, or I am available on weekday afternoons after school or work as well.

Things to think about:

1-Portraits make create holiday gifts for family.  Why not get a jump of the holiday shopping?  Portrait gifts make it easy to create a personal gift that can be shared with many family members.  Family portraits are priceless, especially to parents and grandparents.  Whether they are far away or living close by, grandparents love having your beautiful faces and smiles on their wall or mantle all year round.   2- Children grow up fast. (Although I realize, sometimes it feels really slow) Time flies and before you know it you may realize that you do not have a professional quality family portrait that is up to date.  Right NOW is a great time to do it!   3- What to wear?  This is one of the things that my clients worry about the most.  PLEASE don't.  I have helped many families through this at my portrait consultations.  Believe me, it is not as hard as you think.  Just keep it simple and wear the clothes you feel comfortable in (therefore you will feel  like yourselves)  and pick two main complimentary colors like in this example below (blues and maroons with with black pants, or it could have been with jeans) and it usually works out great!  I can give you my Clothing Ideas for Family Portraits when you call or meet with me.

So call today and schedule your fall portrait session.  You will be happy you did.

  Thank you for stopping by my blog!