SUMMER DREAMING.Do you miss summer as much as I do? Well, with another n'or easter rolling into Connecticut today, I am really done with winter. Earlier today I was reading a blog post about how going to the beach is so healthy for your mind and body and found myself lost in a fit of summer dreaming. Since it is not a good beach day I started photographing my seashell collection. Yes, it is kind of dorky, but I love photographing pretty things. Still, I would rather feel some warm sand under my feet and smell the ocean air. Hopefully, today is the last snow storm of the season!
My Favorite BeachesI feel very lucky to live here in southern New England because there are many nice beaches a few hours away. These shells and crab leg (above) come from my visits to Cape Cod's National Seashore . If you go there in the warm months, the beaches are amazing before 8 am and after 5 pm. (Less people and free parking.) We like the open space and feeling like we have more beach to ourselves. Here is a great spot I found early one morning on the National Seashore in Wellfleet, MA. Some signs of erosion over the past year or so... but still beautiful.
Did you know:
- A walk on warm sandy beaches activates thousands of nerve endings in your feet that are therapeutic.
- Sand exfoliates your feet and skin and makes them feel softer.
- The nutrients in sea water help retain our skin elasticity.
- And the sun and fresh air help our mood. Just thinking about these things cheers me up!
CT Headshots: No Selfies Please!Headshots are so 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 have 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 as your professional headshot and think that you can get work from it. Hire a professional photographer - 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. She did get into her school of choice, so congratulations to her! 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 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.
TIMEWith 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.
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.
Attention all Beer LoversIf 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.
Cantillon BreweryThis 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.
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.