Posts tagged families
A Cheat Sheet for Acrylic Frames

The professional framing community is mostly using acrylic instead of glass these days.

Why you ask?

It’s cheaper to ship, shatterproof, and is not as heavy to bend and bow your frame or photos; to name just a few reasons. My families and school families are curious the best way to care for acrylic because this might be their first acrylic frame purchase. Here is a cheat sheet so you can reference the best ways to care for your frames.

acrylic frames cheat sheet kaitlin roten photography dallas family photographer

It seems like I spend at least ten minutes a frame wiping down so that all the dust goes away before it reaches your eyes. So I have a ton of experience getting those frames just perfect for you. If you ever want to update your frames clean the area that you will work on the frame first. The best space in my house is my oversized ottoman. I always vacuum the ottoman before I open any frame boxes! I also lay down a sheet of packaging material as an extra layer of protection from dust.

Once I helped a family update a frame and they laid the acrylic on the floor. The acrylic was crawling with SO MUCH DUST that the only option was to take it to the sink and give it a good water bath. I then wiped it down with a lint free cloth.

You might be interested in reading more about the 411 on acrylic frames and comparing it to glass! Head over here to read about that…

Frame Sizes Displayed and Explained

Have you ever wondered about how to choose the best size of frame for your wall? I’m going to explain the different sizing along with some cropping issues you might not be aware of.

Here are the different sizes of framing that are standard and that I offer. This gives you a good perspective on sizing so that you can buy the right size so that it looks the best on your wall. Even better, you can even send me a photo of your wall so that I can size your wall gallery specifically to your wall!

different sizes on wall-Kaitlin-Roten-Photography-Dallas-Family-Photographer.jpg

All of my frames come with the mats so that is also something that you need to consider. If you are wanting to put 8x10s or 5x7s on your wall I suggest no mat because for the 8x10 frame the print size is 5x7 and for the 5x7 frame the print size is 4x6. Kinda small for a wall gallery. But if those same frame sizes are going up on a photo ledge or bookcase then mat or no mat, it’s up to you. I generally prefer the mats for the bigger frames because I think it gives a finished look. I hope this also gives you a perspective that BIGGER IS BETTER! That 8x10 on a lone wall looks pretty silly.


You might be interested in reading my four mistakes in hanging wall art here!

Cropping

This is a tad confusing but with instagram square crops you will be familiar with this a little. Obviously if you want square photo product some of the image will have to be cropped. The red line indicates which portion of the photo will be printed. So obviously with a square crop you can’t get all of the photo. This photo would totally work, it’s just your preference if you want the whole photo printed. Cropping is a bit more complicated because cameras and standard product sizing aren’t the same ratio. So what that means is that some of the standard product sizing means you’ll have to crop some of your image. Normally your photographer will do this for you so you won’t be involved but sometimes it gets a tad tricky.

Here are the sizes that you get your FULL photo printed: 4x6, 6x9, 8x12, 10x15, 12x18, 16x24, 20x30, 24x36

You’ll notice that those sizes above are not NORMAL frame sizes! Just to make it a tad confusing, right?

So if your photo product is ANYTHING besides those sizes (and they were shot with a regular camera) than some portion of the photo will be cropped off. It’s important to know in some circumstances.

What about if you have a specific spot and your photo needs to have a different crop orientation? For instance, if you have need a horizontal photo but you love the vertical one.

By the way - this is a HUGE communication thing you need to tell your photographer before the shoot! I remember the very fist school that I photographed a mom asked if I could change the crop orientation of her child’s photos because she has a whole wall of horizontal photos and I only photographed vertically. Since then I try to get both orientations but I think I’m more heavy on the vertical photo orientation…no idea why!

You might have some options if you need to change the orientation. Photos that are closer in crop (meaning the subject fills more of the photo) are harder to change crop orientation. This one could work, just depends on your liking of the crop and the other photos paired with it. I also think it depends on the size of the photo product you’re getting this for. Would he want his face HUGE like 20x30? Probably not.

But as an 8x10 his face wouldn’t be as huge :)

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If your subject doesn’t take up as much room in the photo, like there is a lot of extra space, then the changing the orientation of the crop might not be as severe like this example…

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That’s a basic as I think you need to know as the consumer! One thing I would again say is COMMUNICATE with your photographer if you need something specific beforehand!

Happy Texas State Wildflower Day! Family Portraits with Bluebonnets

April 24th is the official Texas State Wildflower Day!

Here are some bluebonnets trivia if you’re ever on Jeopardy!

  • Did you know that as the bluebonnet ages one of the top petals turns purple-red? Some of them shrivel (probably because of the heat!) before getting the purple-red tip. So I guess if you see that claim yourself lucky?

  • Some main species of bluebonnets ONLY GROW in Texas! That’s something that Texans can sure be proud of!

  • There are NO laws against picking bluebonnets in Texas according to the Texas Department of Public Safety, but there are laws against damaging or destroying government property. This could include picking bluebonnets on the side of the road. It’s just common curtesy to be nice and save the bluebonnets for everyone to enjoy!

One of my favorite spots in North Dallas to photograph bluebonnets is the JCPenny’s headquarters. That’s my go-to-place this time of year and it didn’t disappoint.

When families show up who’ve followed my style guide it is THE BEST THING EVER. This family’s style was on point! I love how Jennifer, the mom, referenced it and I noticed when her family showed up in the most perfectly styled outfits. I love her navy jumpsuit and the layering of some of her kid’s clothes. Jamie (the dad!) did a great job keeping it clean looking but casual at the same time.

——-what’s my style guide??? After booking, I mail each family a detailed 20-page magazine that goes into detail about what to expect, what to bring, what to wear, where to shop, how to hire for hair and make-up. The addition for this year was suggestions of how to style your session to fit in your home. What products look best in your home, how to pick clothes based off of your home colors, etc.

The below gallery would make the perfect addition to a large wall. It is great because it incorporates a variety of different groupings of family members. Just remember in your home to always try to style your photos with plants. The added touch of the plant on the coffee table and beside the couch is a great example. Especially with these very spring like photos! It’s an added bonus of having plants in your home near your photos.

Family portraits in Plano Texas with perfect spring outfits

While I don’t sell ready made configurations of gallery walls, this configuration is very versatile. Parents love it because they can get a large family and sibling photo and spotlight individual kids in the smaller frames. The rest of the spaces can be filled with mom and dad photos, another sibling photo, and another family photo. It makes it visually interesting when the large products are filled with posed shots and then the coordinating smaller products of the same family groupings are filled with casual shots (or vice versa!).

The best compliment is that there are just “too many” good photos! yah! So a large wall gallery like this can accommodate for you to put all that you love up on your wall to love and appreciation the ones closest in your life even more.

One last design tip about this specific gallery is that it also looks very nice on the wall going up the staircase, just slightly rearranged. The only thing I would change would be to make the mom and dad photo a tad larger for the end to balance the upwards design.

plano texas family wall gallery with bluebonnet family photos

Jennifer and I were also talking about down the road when she wants to update family photos these framed photos will look nice dispersed around the house in different groupings.

Location: JCPenny’s Headquarters Spring season

Should you buy new outfits for your session?
Style Guide Cover

My style guide (which comes in the mail to you before your session) goes over some serious details about what they best colors and clothes are that look best on camera.

Gone are the days of everyone wears the same thing. The idea is for your family to look natural, but styled so that all the colors look great together.

So should you buy new outfits for the session?

Most of my families do in some aspect buy something new for the session.

After you’ve received your style guide, you should look to see what you already own. I’m not one to waste, so I’d hate for you to buy something if you already have something you could wear. I think buying something new attributes to family photos as being special.

Once you’ve seen if you actually need to buy something, you can see if you can incorporate things you already own into your session.

Accessories are a great addition and you might already have something that could add that extra wow piece to your session. Accessories are also a great thing to ask to borrow. Chances are your friends won’t be needing that necklace the time of your session and they will be more than happy to lend it to you. They probably will feel special that you asked!

Necklace accessory for photo shoot

Many women are more than happy to use this as an excuse to rent something from Rent the Runway. I have some examples here on my blog of options. CLICK HERE TO SEE

What about this one for a spring session?

The KIDS

What about your kids? My kid’s clothes are usually pretty beat up so in my case I always buy new clothes for them. The secret? Once Upon a Child. Besides saving money (obviously!) I love that place for photo shoot clothes because they are sorted by COLOR! I already know what color scheme I’m working with and I’m in and out in a matter of minutes! It’s seriously the best! The even have kid’s shoes, which can be tricky to have for a photo session.

Target also has some great affordable options for the kids.

The MEN

My thing that I stress for guys is wearing pants. Now I’m not talking about skinny pants exclusively because not all guys can pull the skinny pants off. In fact, if your guy has muscular legs, don’t do the skinny pants! Go for the fitted pants that can be found at most stores. You can also rent stylish clothing items for your guy from The Black Tux (more than just tuxes). I’d suggest renting if your guy doesn’t have to wear the clothes again for work or going out. If he’s not going to wear them again then you should rent or BORROW! Here is a really details post about what the guys should wear. You can also read a funny story about my husband borrow an item for a photo shoot

Intimidated by Photo Session

Are you intimidated by a photo session?

Does the thought of getting your photos taken make you sweat in your armpits?

You’re totally not alone. In fact, I think it’s REALLY AWKWARD to get my photo taken. It’s really comfortable to be on the back side of the camera for me but when I’m the subject - I totally get the sweats. I think it’s so weird having the lens pointed at ME! You can see yourself in the lens and that makes it even MORE awkward! Yikes!

awkward photo

I’ve tried to think of EVERYTHING that might bring you anxiety and I want to ease your fears so you know it’s not as scary as you’re thinking. I’ve included the answers to these questions in my style magazine that you receive when you book a session with me.

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I have to remind myself this every time I’m getting my photos taken - the person taking your photo is NOT starring at your FACE while they’re looking through the camera.

So what is a photographer doing?

You’ll see me first hold my camera down and fix all the settings because I shoot in total manual mode. At this point I’m not even thinking of you, honestly, I’m thinking about all the technical things of my camera to get a crisp and perfectly exposed photo. THEN I’m thinking about how to communicate how to set up the shot.

Where will you stand, who will stand/sit with you, how should you stand, where should you put your hands, what should you do with your head and where should you look. So I’m doing this for every person in the photo.

Next, after you’re approximately how I want you to be for the photo I’ll bring my camera up to my eye and put everything in focus - and then give some sort of prompt to get your relaxed and warmed up. Some of my favorites are “walk toward the camera, look at each other, and talk about really yucky flavors of ice cream…like PICKLE ice cream!” Something like that.

When I have my eye up to the camera I’m totally not starring at your face - that would bring me anxiety. I’m making sure that everyone is doing what they’re supposed to do to make that awesome photo you’ve dreamed of having above your couch.

Photo Wall Gallery in living room above couch, Kaitlin Roten Photography

Beyond that, I’ve tried to make all your questions answered before the session by giving a style magazine. Some things that are answered in the magazine are:

  • What clothing colors look best on camera?

  • What should the vibe be for our session?

  • What types of clothing look best on camera?

  • Who should do my hair and makeup?

  • When should we have our session?

  • Where should we have our session?

  • What should I say to my husband to get him to go along with a photo session?

  • What clothing colors should my kids wear?

  • How much will we spend on products to style our home with the photos?

  • Where should my photos live after our session?

  • How can I style my home with these new photos?

  • What arrangement looks the best in X space?

  • What if my kids are too naughty?

  • What should we bring to the session?

  • How will we view our photos?

  • How long will it take for us to see the photos?

  • What are the best photo gifts to give family that’s not in the photos?

  • Should we give our kids a reward for being good after the session?

I tried to think of ALL of the questions you might have that could cause you anxiety and ease your fears. I’m totally here to help all along the way. That’s why I also have a planning meeting. We can talk about things that you’re worried about and things that you need to plan for.

The biggest thing people almost always say after the photo session is that it wasn’t as awkward as they thought it was going to be. The person who says this the most is THE DAD!!!! ha! The way I get everyone on my side is using many prompts to forget that I’m taking photos of you and think you’re just playing as a family. I do snap a few “everyone looking at the camera” photos in between the candids.

So I hope that eases your fears!

As much fear as you might have,
the memories you make and the
physical photos you’ll have in your home
to remember your family during this time will be totally worth it.
You won’t remember your fear at all!

2019 New Product Contest!

UPDATE: voting has closed now. Thank you all so much for voting! Congratulations to Cortney and Milo for winning!

I'm having a family photography product contest.  I'm offering NEW PRODUCTS that are SO beautiful for 2019! I will continue to offer my beautiful frames (a 2018 favorite) standouts (a 2017 client favorite!), canvas wraps, and albums but this year I'm adding 

  • Metals

  • Circle Wood Canvases

  • 10x20 Frame Collage (with three 5x7s mounted prints)

  • Velvet Fine Art Prints with Stand (as accessory add-on items)

So I need new samples of the above products to bring with me all around DFW area to show!  

VOTE FOR YOUR FAMILY PICK IN THE COMMENTS! 

The winner will be the face of my wall art studio set for 2019 and receive a custom heirloom locket! (You can vote once!)

Voting ends Saturday 19th at midnight!

New 2019 Wall Products and Accessories

VOTE FOR YOUR FAMILY PICK IN THE COMMENTS! The winner will be the face of my wall art studio set for 2019 and receive a custom heirloom locket! (You can vote once!)

The Contestants!

How to style a gallery up a staircase and Cortney and Milo's photos!

There are some gallery designs that are fitting for up the stairs and some that are not.

This particular design kind of drives me crazy. Your eye starts with the photo of him laying on the ground then carries up to the right - only to be left for visually wanting to see more or a natural end to the room. It just feels awkward to me.

wallgallery fail.jpg

The staircase is also a great place to start with a wall gallery and then add to it as you get more photos.

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This is just looks much better visually. I do think the only thing I’d say is needed is MORE photos! But again this could be a great started gallery!

I think this design below fits better above a couch

It also makes my favorite wall design “shape” a rainbow.

over the couch wall gallery

So these have to be some of my FAVORITE people to photograph! The are one of my 2019 family reps! I’ve photographed Cortney and Milo many times before and every time I rush home and look at the photos right away. I also tell her that after every time I need to get new business cards because I have a new favorite image! These images are from the 2019 family rep mini sessions! Which are great kick off to the year because I don’t offer mini sessions.

Not quite sure what my family rep program is? Read all about it here. Applications are closed for 2019 but you can still read about it. Application for 2020 (that seems so weird!) will begin last summer, early fall 2019.

Maternity Session (Family rep!)

Introducing one of my family reps for 2019! Now technically you have to be a family of three to be a member of the family rep, but that’s only a “rule” so that I can really focus on families with kids and not just couples BUT this is almost a family of three!

Doesn’t it seem like everyone’s pregnancy and labor goes by way faster than your own? It really does feel like yesterday Rebecca told me she was pregnant and that I needed to clear my calendar for December!

A while ago I wrote a post about the unspoken rules of where to hang different types of portraits. Like, is it appropriate to hang family photos in your bathroom? It got me thinking after we painted our bedroom and I (finally!) could hang something on the wall.

So what about maternity photos? The post addresses maternity photos so you should read about it here

Is there a spot in your home that maternity photos shouldn’t go?

For instance, this huge print of Rebecca (she looks GORGEOUS!) over the couch contrasted with an album….

maternity photo on wall design

Large maternity print contrasted with large album

photo album design

To me, and this is totally my design opinion, but the album feels more natural for a maternity session. Once the baby comes, the baby will be the center of your walls. You could totally design a wall gallery with baby and maternity photos, I just would advise a smaller version of your maternity photos - and using an image of you and your partner would also be nice!

What do you think? Have you ever gotten wall art that you thought after the fact wasn’t fitting for the specific room? I’d love to hear about it!

Welcome to the World Sadie!

How to style your photo shoot

If you’re thinking about a photo shoot there should be some questions going through your mind. You probably are thinking there are a MILLION QUESTIONS! I want my families to have the less stressed photo shoot ever. So I always help beforehand with questions to make it go smoothly.

One of the first questions I ask is, “Where do you imagine your photos living in your home?” Often times this will happen in their home so I can see first hand the room they’re thinking about.

You should definitely look at the colors in that space and plan on using those room colors for wardrobe color inspiration. Take a look at this design…

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The yellow in the chair with the yellow in the girls clothes pair it nicely. It looks like this shoot was styled for this specific space. The warm colors of the location also help add to that affect too.

Did you notice this wall is brick too? What a nightmare to install a gallery on, right? Well no fear, all of my wall gallery purchases of three or more pieces come with professional installation. So you can sit back and watch your gallery being installed.

Location: First United Methodist Church, Carrollton Texas.

The best practices for just enjoying your family

Often times when holiday’s (or birthday’s) come about as a mom you’re the designated photographer.

Do you struggle with just wanting to enjoy the moment but wanting photos for memories?

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For a while I would bring my camera everywhere. I would find myself looking through life through my camera lens instead of using my OWN eyes to enjoy the moments.

So how do we enjoy the moment AND get special photos?

Think about what photos you want before hand. If it’s a birthday party, you probably want photos of your kid blowing out their birthday cake. Do you want a group shot? Narrowing it down to what you want will give you the freedom to put your camera down and LIVE in the moment. Do you want your kid to remember you at their birthday with your phone/camera in your face?

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If it’s Christmas then also make a photo plan. What photos are you going to want? Maybe you will organize a group shot before Christmas breakfast. Maybe there is a special gift and you’ll want to announce you want a photo of the person opening the gift right before they start to open it.

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All of these events will likely occur someone where you can also set up your camera settings. This even applied if you’re planning on using your phone camera. There are certain spots where you’ll need to stand to get the better spot. Don’t be afraid to ask to stand there if someone is in your spot. If it’s your kid’s birthday party, then you got this. Don’t be afraid to ask to stand somewhere.

I think with these tips you can have successful photos AND enjoy your family!

Like I always say photos help you love and appreciate your family better. So actually love and appreciate them more by taking less photos and being off your phone more :)

How to style your living room (color choices!)

I talk about this during my planning meetings with my families but this is one tip that is so good to share!

If you want a photo gallery wall for your living room then you should style your clothing choices around the color of your room.

Take for instance this beautiful beachy shoot I had at Rockledge Park in Grapevine. Mom, Paty, did such a great job picking out clothing colors to match her blue decor colors.

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Notice their clothes aren’t matching, but perfectly coordinated. The paler colors work really well with my photography style, so extra bonus points for that! I also love the location choice with the general color scheme.

I think white simple frames with mats would make this gallery look top notch! They have a great beachy feel to it. Living in north Texas this might be the closest thing to a beach shoot!

Most of the time I don’t really have that great of a story of how I met someone (I think because I’m really bad at telling stories!). BUT…I met Paty a few months ago on a preschool forest hiking excursion. That already starts her out as someone I want to be friends with! As we hiked with our kids it was so refreshing to talk to someone who has the same opinions on a lot of parenting things!
I also really admire that she is opening her own ice cream truck! The ice cream is REALLY yummy and the flavors taste exactly like the ingredients. We bonded over the struggle of becoming a mom and then finding yourself again after that big life change. I’m really excited about her ice cream truck - find it local in Carrollton “Zuzu’s Ice Cream”!

Thank you Paty for the adventure of my new favorite location, Rockledge Park!

I hope that your photos help you love and appreciate those closest in your life even more!

Urban family photos: Wendel Family

I never walk away from photographing Amanda and Eric without a great story.

That’s why photographing them this year apart of my family rep program has been such an adventure!

Amanda has great style and I expected no less when I knew she was bringing her very stylish sister along for this shoot. The colors of their outfits were SO great! AND I love the urban feel with the colors they chose…and to get even more dorky obsessed I love the juxtaposition of the floral dresses with the urban landscape - ok ok I’ll stop!

But seriously if you’re here because you have NO idea what to wear for your photo shoot…just go grab what they wore. You won’t be disappointed!

I cant’ exactly post the specific location where we were (that’s the great story from this shoot) but you might recognize it if you’re from around here. And if you’re here looking for location inspiration for your shoot, you can’t take photos here. wa waaaaa.

Bummer, because I really loved it! I guess these will be considered collector edition prints?

Photo Wall Gallery

Here is a PRO tip:

During our planning meeting for your session I’ll ask you where you want your photos from the session to live. Look at the room that you’re envisioning and select your outfit colors to compliment the space. LIKE THIS CHAIR! I think it works really well with the grey and small bits of purple in the floral dresses.

What is my family rep program?

You might enjoy taking a peek at:

Their sunflower session

Their styled wedding shoot

Spouse photos or skip them?

During a family photo session should you take time to take photos of you and your spouse?

Let’s be real.

During the toddler years your relationship with your spouse often takes a backseat! Those toddlers require so much physical energy. So while family photos are about documenting your growing family through these years should you take photos of you and your spouse?

What if you haven’t lost those extra pounds you were hoping to loose?

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What will your kids do while I snap a few of you and your spouse?

I mean besides run around like crazy animals??? Who RAISES them??? haha.

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I’d argue that this is the PERFECT time to take photos of you and your spouse together. It’s probably been a few years since your wedding, when you last had professional photos, and as much as it is important to photograph your family together at this time, you and your spouse are equally important! So what if you haven’t lost those extra pounds? You’ll just feel even better when you do and you look back on these photos. If your weight is holding you back from taking photos DON’T LET IT! As the years pass you’ll want to remember these days, no matter how you look or dark the days are for you.
I’ve talked to MANY people about this conflict - not wanting to take photos because they’re aren’t happy with the body. They did take photos and guess what? NONE of them regretted having their photos taken. My style guide goes into details about what looks best on camera, that could help you a lot picking out the right outfit for your body type. I also have some posing tricks that will make you look comfortable in the photos. It’s REALLY important to voice your concerns to your photographer BEFORE your shoot so your photographer can help you achieve the best photos!

So what will your kids do?

In my style guide it prepares you with things to bring for your kids for the photo shoot. So those tips could come in handy during the few minutes I set you guys up for a photo. I also have some sneaky tricks that work well during this time that always are really fun. Most of the time the kids are behind me trying to “make mommy and daddy laugh”. It’s really fun for them to be on this side of the camera being my special helper.

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What your wall gallery says about your personality

I LOVE meeting with families and talking about what they’ve always dreamed for their wall galleries.

It’s really interesting!

There are some questions I ask in the planning meeting to get down to the bottom of what people like. Wait, what’s a planning meeting? Read all about it here

There are people who like symmetrical, even spacing, exact same sizes and products.

symmetrical wall art

There are other people that are repelled by symmetry! They like different photographic products, sizes, textures, and spacing.

non symmetrical wall gallery

Both of these wall gallery designs fall into great wall pieces but are fitting for different people and different spaces too!

So what about you -
what does your personality say about your gallery you’d prefer in your home?

There are definitely mistakes in hanging wall galleries - for those check them out here!



Location of shoots: Lumen Room White Dallas (top) and Little Elm Texas (bottom)

How to communicate with your photographer

Has your photographer ever asked you what you actually want out of your photo session?

Have you always dreamed of a certain photo or your photos living in a certain place in your home?

Well you need to tell your photographer this!

All my sessions begin with a planning meeting. Here I ask several questions, never scripted, but I want to listen to what families have always wanted for their photos!

In one recent planning meeting I asked what was the main purpose of Whitney wanting photos. She told me that when her and Matt got married they didn’t have photos that they really wanted. If I would’ve never asked this question I would have never known the important of getting this amazing portrait of them together!

husband and wife portrait carrollton texas

In another planning meeting I asked the same question, Geeti mentioned that they had done family photos when their first was born but had become so busy they hadn’t had a single family photo of their family of four! I asked Geeti what style of portraits she likes better, posed looking at the camera or fun candid shots? She immediately told me candid. I focussed on those for the shoot (while still getting the posed looking at the camera shot - I call that the “holy grail” shot!) . I think this set us both up for success!

family candid photo coppell texas
What is a styled session?

Have you heard of styled sessions? I provide styled sessions for all of my families in my family rep programs and the question often comes up..

What is a styled session?

I always say that most of the wedding photos you see on pinterest are actually styled sessions, I’m not sure that’s actually true but I feel like it gives you a good idea of what I mean. A styled session is a session where they help select a portion or all of the different aspects of styling that goes into a session. This could be, har and make-up, clothing, location, or props. The photographer often works with different vendors in a collaboration effort to make the styled session happen.

Here is an example:

I worked with Keight and Ashley from Lonestar Lettering to create a style session for a one year old in my family rep program. They created the hand painted sign to be photographed in the session. Keight and Ashley were told the colors and details of the sign but then they were left up to their own creative juices to come up with the sign. Styled sessions are a great way for creatives to style something they’ve always wanted to create.

lonestar lettering hand painted sign for style session one year old

Keight and Ashley (owners of Lonestar lettering) are based out of Wylie Texas. They provide hand painted signs, calligraphy, and watercolors for weddings and birthdays. Keight and I talked about how the also have done busy books for babies and want to do more of those. They sounded really fun and enjoyable for babies! They also do memory books of baby first year with painted pages and a customizable cover.

For the styled session I also worked with Julie’s Sweets Bakery in The Colony. They made the smash cake for the session. I liked knowing that they cake would be made with no preservatives, fresh ingredients, and from scratch.

You can also see a wedding styled shoot of mine here

How to make an eclectic wall gallery

True story…I was written up several times in college for having my door “too decorated”.

Apparently that’s a fire hazard

and not just great taste?

I love the eclectic feel of wall galleries and often get asked how to accomplish that look. The key for products is to use different frames, detailed and traditional, and different types of products, metals and woods.

Also, the way that you design your gallery also has to have an eclectic feel too.

If you’re going for eclectic then steer clear from the grid format. You’ll want to create a staircase effect. Don’t over do it with the stair-stepping, you want to reserve something that resembles stair shapes for the actual wall next to the staircase. You’ll also want to have different rows and make the rows resemble rainbows. So bottom line? Remember…

“Staircase and rainbows”

Eclectic wall gallery with photos

The spacing of the photos is about 2-3 inches down from the next photo (which creates the staircase effect). The general shape of the gallery is rainbow shape. You can also see the different colors of frames and the use of image wraps and circle wood prints.

Boho styled photo frame

The Hawthorne frame (above in silver) is my most popular frame and speaks to an eclectic and boho style.

I also LOVE the way

floor to ceiling galleries look!

The have an eclectic style.

Pro tip: make sure the photos near the ceiling are bigger so you can see them from far away and that the products near the bottom are shatterproof (like my shatterproof acrylic frames!)

floor to ceiling gallery wall with eclectic style
Unspoken Rules of What type of Photos to Hang Where

I’m not really all about unspoken rules. Why don’t we just speak them???

So let’s begin by talking about some of the unspoken rules of hanging photos in your house. I don’t mean hanging your artwork too high or things like that

(if you’re interested in reading something like that then check this out)

I’m talking about hanging family photos in the bedroom or in the bathroom. Where is the best place to hang maternity photos. Things like that. Let’s dive in.

Let’s call these the best practices…

First let’s talk about the bedroom.

Don’t you hate when people say, “this is where the magic begins” haha.

bedroom wall gallery

Personally, I think it’s strange to hang family photos up over the master bed. This feels strange to me. I think there is a big difference in hanging family photos over the bed versus on another wall in the bedroom.

family wall gallery in bedroom

While this, doesn’t feel so creepy.

What about the bathroom?

snapshot (17).png

This also feels a little weird to me. A bathroom is a private place, especially the master bathroom. You do private things in there…don’t have to go much into details there.

If you’re interested in hanging family photos I’d go with something more playful.

I’d like to see a styled shoot of your kids playing in the tub with a lot of bubbles.

bathroom wall gallery

With a styled shoot you can get more of the details right to match a certain location or look.

What about the kitchen?

Kitchen Photo Gallery

This screams to me that you didn’t have any other space to put these photos.

I’d also like to see a styled session of a family cooking together hanging in the kitchen. I think that would fit better than the traditional photos you see here. I think it would be a better fit if the photos just had something to do with being in the kitchen.

Maternity Photos

Apparently I have a lot of thoughts about maternity photos and where you should put them. A majority of the decision here would be the style of maternity photos. Is the mom fully clothed? Just a little clothed? Does it have a romantic feel?

First, I don’t think it’s appropriate to hang nude or slightly suggestively nude photos in your house. It just makes people feel weird. I’d suggest those photos to be apart of am album where you can filter who sees them.

You don’t want your plumber seeing your slightly nude maternity photos, do you?

These all just feel weird to me.

I hope I’m not the first to tell you this, but when your baby is born, they’re going to be the center of attention. So any photo of you being pregnant, clothed or not clothed will feel weird in your home if it’s the center of attention.

I think the best practices for maternity photos are:

  • If you’re clothed then you can hang them up on the walls of your home as long as it’s not the center of attention. Think about photos that can be paired with them to make it more balanced.

  • They shouldn’t go in a very prominent place. While they should be smaller and not the center of attention they should also not go over the bed, mantel, or entry way.

I’m sure I’ll be coming back to this post to add more about photos of you and your spouse and wedding photos!

How your kids will act during a photo session

How you want your kids to act during a photo session and how they will act are two very different things…

as is life, right?

But I’m a firm believer that if you know they won’t act the way you want them, and let me take charge of them, it’ll set you up for those photos you’ve always dreamed for your wall.

family photos in lumen room in dallas texas

Every parent wants their kids to sit when they’re told, smile GENUINELY when they’re asked, and make the most precious reactions to my prompts for candid photos.

Guess what???

That almost never happens.

Here’s all the things that could totally go against your perfect session plan:
(And these have ALL happened to people I’ve photographed in the last 10 years…)

  • Your kids won’t nap the day of

  • They’ll get up early that morning

  • You’ll find you have your security tag still attached to your dress, so you’ll have to run by the store before the session and then your kids will either be screaming for food or fall asleep.

  • They’ll get a black eye the day before and be super grumpy

  • They’ll throw up in the car on the way to the session

  • They’ll be showing signs of getting a cold

The list of possibilities is endless…

I feel like that commercial for the insurance company “mayhem is striking at your door” muawhahaha!

family photo dallas texas lumen room

I want to let you know that SOMETHING with your kids is going to be off the day of your photo shoot.

But wait!

So how do I get those great candid and smiling photos of your kids if it seems like there is no hope???

If you’re a new parent you might not know this but…in general

Your kids act better for other people

true story.

family session lumen room red dallas texas

I have a ton of tricks up my sleeve to get your kids to forget whatever their problems are and to be happy, for a bit. Now, this being said, you totally know your kids better than I do. If you think they’re being pushed a little too far and everything is about to hit the fan, do speak up.

Just ask politely for a break for them!

Breaks are definitely allowed.

I don’t expect to photograph your kids for an hour straight. That’d be bonkers.

Something that definitely works to my advantage (besides my training as a photographer for 10 years) is my camera! My camera is really fast!

It can capture nearly 23 photos in 1 second!

I can guarantee that your kids will probably not cooperate in some fashion - especially if they’re between the ages of 18months and 3 1/2.

Here’s what you can do…

I can definitely tell when kids are done with photos. Let me do some of my tricks to get them back on track and interested in taking the photos.

Something you should probably not do…stand next to me to try over and over and over again to say cheese. It’s really confusing when there is more than one person talking to them at the same time. If I need your help, and I’m sure at several points I will, I will totally ask you to do a specific thing to help. One more thing about saying “cheese”, they always look like they’re pooping when they do this - so let me do some of my other tricks.

Your help is so graciously needed at these times.

I think if you stick with those understandings then you’ll be surprised at the genuine photos I get of your kids.

Location: Lumen Room (Red), Dallas Texas

What is a viewing session?

Hello!

I wanted to give you a sneak peek into my viewing session that is the 3rd step of my photo experience. I’m always REALLY nervous about situations I have no idea what is going to happen, so if you’re like me then hopefully I can put your mind at ease!

There are 4 parts to all of my family’s photo experience. The third step is a viewing session.

So what exactly is a viewing session?

my photo experience

After your photos are edited and ready to go, we have your viewing session. Best case scenario we schedule a viewing session while we schedule everything else. The viewing session usually happens one week or so after your photo session. During busy season it can take a tad longer.

WHERE? At your house
WHAT DO I BRING? My laptop with a slideshow of your photos and my software I use to show you your photos on your walls (or a digitally mock-up of an album if that’s what you want instead). I also bring the products you said you were most interested in for your wall gallery.

HOW IT WORKS


We start the viewing session with a slideshow. One or two times? It’s up to you!

Secondly, you rate your photos. There are only two ratings, Xs or CHECKS.

Next, you compare your similar images. I suggest comparing all the sibling photos, mom and dad together, etc.

The whole point of what has happened up to this point is so that you can narrow the choices down to your most favorite photo.

Lastly, you view the pre-designed wall galleries (or albums).

Remember that photo I took of your wall? Remember that gallery that you said you liked the best? Remember the price that you knew for the gallery? All of that took place during the pre-planning session. View details of the pre-planning meeting if you missed it here!

Now you are just virtually viewing your actual photos on your mock up wall. You can change the arrangement, orientation, and sizes. You can swap out photos for your favorite.

The whole part of the viewing session is to find a home for all your favorite photos. I want you to have all your favorite photos out in the open for you and your family to enjoy them….not forgotten on some hard drive.

See your photos in your home helps you love and appreciate those closest in your life better. We all need a little more of that in our lives?

Location: Prairie Creek Park in Richardson Texas.