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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 :)

crop orientation.jpg

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…

crop orientation 2.jpg

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!

Finding the right size for your wall

I’ve mentioned before about some of the mistakes in hanging art on the wall. One of the biggest and most frequent I see is choosing the 8x10 size and hanging it on a gigantic wall. Here are some visuals to see the common sizes and how they look on a pretty standard size wall. So if you’re dealing with an even bigger wall, then you might need to go bigger or go with several wall art pieces to make the gallery complete. If you’d like a custom design for your specific wall I can do that! So instead of seeing this person’s random living room you’d see your own with your own photos you’re considering putting on the wall sized to show you the best size for that space. Scroll to the bottom to see how to get that started!

Did you miss my 4 biggest mistakes in hanging wall art? See them here!

How to photograph your walls for a custom design

Photographing_Your_Walls_PDF (1).jpg

Once you have that photo you can email the photo to me at photo@kaitlinroten.com

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.

staircasewallgallery.jpg

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.

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.

bokeh-christmas-christmas-wallpaper-76931.jpg

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 :)

Best time for a photo session

Quickly on in the photo experience we will talk about the time of your session. Typically, I shoot in the morning or evening.

So what’s better?

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I ask a few questions to get to the bottom of that question. First, if kids are involved they rule (the world!) and so it’s when they are the happiest. This is key (among other things!) to avoiding meltdowns.

It also depends on the time of year. During late spring and summer the morning and evening times are pretty early and late, respectively. During the late fall to winter the morning and evening times are later and early, respectively. If I really kept to the rule of shooting towards sunset, your two year old might be up until 9pm. So there is some flexibility when choosing times. BUT I do try to shoot around the same time to have a consistency to my photographs. Being a mom, I totally get it. I will never push a certain time on your family. That’d be bad for both of us.

Do I have a preference?

I’m so glad you asked! If I do have a preference it’d be for the morning. There are several reasons for this. The first photography technical side would be that in the morning I’m gaining light instead of loosing light. I love the photos that happen at the end of a photo shoot and so if I’m gaining light then I have more of a chance of getting those great shots.

stanley(1yr)-4.jpg


The morning light is just prettier to me too, if I had to be a poet (which would be the most awful job to me) I’d describe the morning light as innocent and humble. Does that make any sense? That might be such an artsy statement that shows I live on a different planet.

The morning is also less crowded. This comes in handy when photographing at an urban location. I also get the creeps when other photographers and families are around. In asking my families, they don’t like people around either.


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 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?

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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!

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.

Make up for a photo session or not

To make up or not to make up

I definitely don’t want to add something to your list just to have busy work BUT I really encourage if you’re planning on a photo session to schedule professional hair and make-up.

Professional hair and makeup is on the top of most of my family’s checklists because it looks amazing on camera and removes the stress of getting ready on your own.

This is the time to treat yourself!

Professional hair and makeup will give you an extra boost of confidence in front of the camera, and it always photographs like a dream. Good makeup artists know how to get it all just right for the camera — and our clients always love the final result.

Pro Tip: Confidence. It’s always the best accessory.

I didn’t alway think this, and only once have I gotten pro hair and make-up…and let me tell you from experience…it really does make the difference. I just felt awesome. A photo session is exactly the time I want to feel awesome.

Places to eat with playgrounds!

I highly recommend coming up with a fun family treat to do after your family photos. The questions is, what could the treat be?

If you’re looking to grab something to eat after your session then you might need to consider these places around the Dallas area that offer dining for you and a play area for your kids! That’s a win-win. Your kids are probably going to want to run around and get some energy out, you’re probably are NOT going to want to cook, and you look FABULOUS…so cozy up in these places with a cold drink and let the kids play!

family eating dinner in dallas with kids

The Lot
http://www.thelotdallas.com/

Try the lakewood lemonade and fish tacos while you send the kids out to the sandy playground for hours of entertainment.

Location:
7530 E Grand Ave, Dallas, TX 75214


Hat Creek
http://hatcreekburgers.com
Very allergy friendly! (and bonus every Tuesday kids are half off from 5pm and on!)

Try the sombrero burger (you can make it skinny with no bun and lettuce wrap) with an ice cold beer on tap.

2 locations in DFW:
8185 Walnut Hill Ln, Suite 1400 Dallas, TX 75231

3321 South Custer Road McKinney, TX 75070


Communion Coffee
http://www.communioncooperative.com
There is an old bus, some faux grass and a chalk wall that keeps kids entertained for hours.

Try the avocado deviled eggs!

Location:
514 Lockwood Dr #1, Richardson, TX 75080


Arepa
https://www.arepatx.com

There is a small dining area that has a huge chalk wall, kid sized tables and a variety of things to entertain little hands while parents can eat their sandwiches, and finish their meal with a popsicle cocktail.

Try the pulled pork or portobello mushroom arepa

Location:
5940 Royal Ln, Dallas, TX 75230


Nico’s Cocina
http://www.nicoscocina.com/

Nico’s has a large patio area with a playground. It can get crowded in the spring and fall on the playground but there is always seating outside available.

Try: Cowboys Enchiladas and a frozen margarita

Location:
3065 N. Josey Ln. #24 Carrollton, Tx 75007


La Vista
http://www.lavistacocina.com/

Our favorite! We have very fun memories here. In fact, as you’re reading this there is a good chance we are here. Say hi! It has an outside covered eating area and an outside playground that seems to have new playground equipment every time we go! Watch the sunset if you haven’t missed it by now.

Try: The brisket tacos and the frozen margaritas are the best.

Location:
1012 W Hebron Pkwy W #100, Carrollton, TX 75010


Heritage Pizza and Tap Room
http://www.heritagepizza.com/

Has an outside playground that is shared with Another Broken Egg Cafe.

Try: the goat and fig pizza and something on their extensive drink menu! I’ve heard on Tuesdays, if you bring a board game kid’s eat free!

Location:
3750 Plano Pkwy Suite 600, The Colony, TX 75056


The Magic Time Machine

https://www.magictimemachine.com/

So this doesn’t technically have a playground, but your kids won’t notice with the fun decorations and costumed servers (such as Superman, Jack Sparrow, and Peter Pan)

Try: sharing the rack of ribs

Location:
5003 Beltline Road Dallas, TX 75254


The String Bean'

http://thestringbean.com/

Try: Pecan toasted Tilapia and their ice cream!

Location:
1310 W Campbell Rd, Richardson, TX 75080

eating in dallas with kids
2018 Holiday Card Designs

It’s that time of year again!

HOLIDAY CARDS!

Here are the options for holiday cards for 2018. These designs are fully customizable. You can change the orientation of the photos, what the text says, background colors, ect. You may also mix and match front and backs.

Or you can feel overwhelmed by all the different options and just choose a design!

Cards are printed on pearl cardstock paper.
Round or square corners
5x7 size with envelopes
Set of 25 $45
or included with the purchase of a wall gallery

FAQ: What size looks best over a fireplace?

Next to “what should we wear?” maybe the second most asked questions I get is “what size looks best over the fireplace?”

The fireplace seems to be a great spot for hanging a family photo. In most floor plans, it’s naturally where your eye is drawn so it makes a good choice for hanging an art piece from your family photo session.

I love being able to virtually show my families what sizes will work over their specific fireplace - it’s a great “try before you buy” kind of thing.

So what sizes work the best for over the mantel? It depends on some factors, mostly what else you have going on up there. Here are some size references for you..

Something else to consider (that is slightly related): do you see the 16x16? This photo works just fine as a square BUT some photos do not translate very well to square format. This is one of the reasons I LOVE my pre-planning meetings with my families so that we can talk about what the family wants out of their photo session. There have been many times in the past (when I didn’t do pre-planning meetings) and a family has wanted a square print and it just wasn’t possible. So it’s great to set those expectations up front so that everyone is happy!

Did you miss my post about mistakes in hanging wall art? You might find it interesting…

Locations: Nature

Before I talk anything about location, I want to also stress that as much as you might worry about location and clothing, your photo session is about the time that you spent with your family and making memories. 

Did you miss my urban locations post? Check it out here! 

On my urban location post I talked about "What goes into choose the perfect location".  It might not be what you think, so I'd go and check that out.  

One of the first things that I'm going to discuss with you in our pre-session planning meeting is where you want your photos to live.  This is the biggest factor in deciding where your photo session should take place. 

If you want a gallery wall in your living room and the color scheme is brown and green then I'd suggest going for a nature location. You also need to look at the art that is already hanging in your space.  If you have mostly nature locations for your photo shoots already hanging up, then I'd also suggest sticking with an nature location. I can advise during our planning meeting.

 

This is a real example of a family of mine. They chose a nature location and I think it pairs really nicely with the decor going on around it!

This is a real example of a family of mine. They chose a nature location and I think it pairs really nicely with the decor going on around it!

A few nature locations in the DFW area

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the most popular places to photograph in the DFW area.  I don't photograph at the typical locations because I think it's REALLY weird to be around a lot of other people who are taking photos. I think there are some better places around town that can get you the same effect. But if your heart is really set on a specific place that gets a lot of photography traffic, I'd suggest scheduling the session for the middle of the week in the morning. 

 

Your portrait session includes travel time anywhere in the Dallas area. If you’d like to go somewhere outside the city, I’m up for the adventure! Travel fees may apply for outside the area at .57/mile both ways.

I’d love to make your perfect location work! I’ve traveled to far away beaches, New Hampshire, and even Seattle. If you’d like me to meet you in a destination outside of Dallas for your portrait session where I don’t already have plans to visit, just let us know and I can get you a custom quote.

 

Places I'd like to photograph: 

Rock Ledge Park (Grapevine)

Lewisville Lake Environmental Area

Addison Circle Park

Stephens Green Park in Frisco

Oak Point Park in Plano

Lakeside Park in Highland Park

Little Elm Beach

 

 

 

4 Mistakes when hanging wall art

As much as your photos deserve to be hung on your wall, they also deserve to be hung with great placement.  I don't know about you, but when something looks a little funny on a wall, I just can't stop starring, and not in a good "I love that" way. If a room has been irritating you, chances are it might have something to do with the placement of the wall hangings. 

But fear not! Here are some common mistakes laid out so that "now you know!"

For years (even decades!) the normal size was 8x10. If you could see 8x10s on most walls before nailing it in, you'd definitely for sure know that it's way too small.


You probably think you don't want those peanut butter fingers touching your art. I get it.  But hanging your art too high looks like it's floating in an abyss in your room.  Shoot for roughly five to eight inches between the bottom of your furniture and the bottom of your art piece.  Think of it as an art gallery - stand back and look at your piece of wall art.  If you have to strain your neck up to look at the art, it's too high.  


I've already talked about the lonely 8x10s (See mistake #1).  But this rule can be paired with the piece of furniture you're putting next to the piece of art.  Is the piece of furniture large? Then pair is with a large piece of art. Is it a small end table? Then pair it with a smaller piece of art.  


You may think that you have to put them further apart because you want to fill out the space.  This can actually make your space look smaller.  This makes it look like your art pieces hate each other.  This rule applies if you're hanging two pieces up to infinity.  Make sure there is no more than three inches separating them.  


So now you know! Does this leave you just overwhelmed? Look at this great video about creating a great wall gallery. 

Locations: Urban

Location, location, location

Before I talk anything about location, I want to also stress that as much as you might worry about location and clothing, your photo session is about the time that you spent with your family and making memories. 

 

What goes into deciding on a location? 

First things first I think you should think about locations in two different categories. 
Urban or Nature. 
This will help you narrow down the options a bit. 
Not all locations fall into these two categories but I think it's a good starting point. 

Next I want you to think about what suites your family the best. For your whole life you've lived in Plano and never had photos taken downtown, that would be a great option to consider.
Or if your family enjoys bike rides through
Andy Brown East Park in Coppell that might be a good fit. 

Lastly, I want you to think about the space you want your photos to live. 
If you want a gallery wall in your living room and the color scheme is brown and green then I'd suggest going for a nature location. You also need to look at the art that is already hanging in your space.  If you have mostly urban locations for your photo shoots already hanging up, then I'd also suggest sticking with an urban location. I can advise during our planning meeting.

This location fits this space very nicely. The colors are grey, white, and navy and not only do those colors pair nicely with an urban location but BONUS tip is that those colors are repeated in the family's clothing! (more about that later!) Location: Downtown Lewisville

This location fits this space very nicely. The colors are grey, white, and navy and not only do those colors pair nicely with an urban location but BONUS tip is that those colors are repeated in the family's clothing! (more about that later!)
Location: Downtown Lewisville

A few urban locations in the DFW area

Urban places I want to photograph: 

George's Coffee and Provisions in Coppell
The Lumen Room Red in Dallas

Trinity grove on the Margaret Hunt Bridge
Fort Worth Stock Yards
Grapevine Train Depot
The Canals at Los Colinas in Irving
Fountain Place in Dallas
UTD in Richardson
A great find on Airbnb!

Gallery Design

What exactly goes into a gallery design? 

Before a session I meet with my client's and talk about space they have in their home they want their photos to live.  We talk about products they like the best and the overall feel they want their photo session to have. 

This step is so vital!

It helps set up for a successful photo session! For instance, if you know you want to fill your formal dining room with family photos - then you'll need to dress the part.  It wouldn't make sense for your family to dress in comfy clothes and have a more casual shoot.  It would fit the space better if you dress up and made sure that we got formal posed shots. 

I always ask for a photo of the space you want your photos to live in.  This also helps prepare for the shoot.   We can look at the colors you already have in that room so you can coordinate your clothing choices.  This also helps prepare horizontal or vertical shots that I will need to get. 

After your session I will use my software to digitally put your photos on your wall.  Gone are the days where you buy too large of a piece and it doesn't fit - or too small that your wall is the centerpiece and not the family photo. 

During your viewing session you'll be able to see your photos via slideshow and then we will look at the different photo gallery designs I've made for you. 

Here are some different galleries I'm working on right now.