Posts tagged kids
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 :)

Preschool Photos

This was by far one of my most favorite schools to photograph!

Can I have favorites?

Three things I do to make myself different than the regular school photo company…

  1. Learn and USE each kid’s name

  2. Work with each kid for 1-2 minutes to try to get a genuine smile

  3. Photograph outdoors to make kids look and feel more natural

Location: Carrollton, 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 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.

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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!

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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.

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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

A Happy Birthday Photo Shoot

A little girl turning 1 is a big deal!

It always makes me really happy when families document their family’s growth when the oldest child is not the baby anymore.

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I LOVED Justin and Michell’s answer to the question
Q: What is one thing you said you’d never do before you became a parent?
A: Give in as easily and give over the phone in public.

Doesn’t life seem so idyllic before you become parents about parenthood? You don’t really dream about the tantrums that your kids will throw in the restaurant or the few minutes you just need to get something done and are willing to let them do anything.

But through it all we love our kids! Taking photos help us remember that they are the most important people in our lives. Seeing our photos in our house help us love and appreciate them more by reminding us to do that! AND….after the years when they don’t live in your house anymore, you’ll have a tangible photo legacy to hand down to your kids so that they can remember their childhood.

Location: Prairie Creek Park in Richardson, Texas

The Wendel Family (one of my family reps!)

I very very very randomly met Amanda almost a year ago! Every time I photograph their family it is so easy peasy.  They always dress great, are up for anything, and have really good attitudes. 

What more could I ask for? 

We also went off-roading this time which gives them major points. 

I feel like Amanda gets me in the fashion way for photos (she's way more fashionable than I'll ever be!) and Eric totally understands when I crush on light.  I also bonded with Cade over his new play room and all his firetrucks and jeep toys! 

(Which gallery below do you like the best below?) I love providing a variety of gallery options for people to get to know them during our pre-session planning meeting. It's a personality thing - do you like random, square, symmetrical, circle? 

Cade is two and you can't ask a lot out of those "type of people", haha! We played some fun games that he probably didn't think were games at all, but got him moving instead of asking him to sit in front of the camera and CHEESE (by the way that word is on the photographers top 10 hated words).  Another word that's on the list for me? Pics. ugh. I'm so snobby! :) 

He barely sat still for more than 45 seconds, and that is enough.  That is why having a professional photograph who knows the tricks for kids and has a fast shutter is totally worth it! Don't get me wrong, some phone cameras are really good in the right light, but they're missing the fast shutter that a pro camera can provide.  

This is one of my families in my family rep program! Have you heard about the program yet? If you've ever thought of a family session with me...this is a NO BRAINER.  You get a TON of freebies, discounts, rewards, perks, VIP access, 3 photo sessions in a year and the AWESOME heirloom locket for FREE!! Applications have been rolling in but won't be official until September (my birthday!).  

If you can't wait and want to apply NOW you totally can here: 

Location: Little Elm, Texas

411 on my frames: Glass vs. Acrylic

When you think of a photo frame, chances are you think of a traditional wood or metal frame and a glass pane. It’s what you’d probably find on the walls at your parent’s house. But there’s a new kid in town that we’d like to introduce you to: acrylic.

Let's chat about glass first

Glass is classic and the weighty feel of it makes the frame feel luxe. It’s been a mainstay for years and when you walk the home decor aisle of any superstore, or even in your own home, glass is always there. This is mainly because glass is inexpensive, lowering costs of production for manufacturers, and durable, being able to withstand some rough treatment from cleaning agents. A couple of pro photo labs use glass in their photo framing as well.

But I have quickly learned, glass is a huge pain. Huge. Here are the realities of glass:

It’s highly breakable. Especially in transit. I can’t even tell you the number of times I had shipping damages when my frames were comprised of glass. Too many. It’s for this reason that many online retailers, prefer frames with acrylic. It also weighs less than half of glass, which helps keeps shipping costs down. So because I hand deliver or ship my frames, acrylic is the superior option.

Because of the risk of injury that comes with glass frames, they should never be used in rooms where children frequent - living rooms, nurseries, etc. Anything could happen, and you don’t want the risk of the glass breaking and injuring someone. Not to mention when glass breaks it can seriously damage the photograph itself. Plus the pain of having to sweep of all that broken glass? Ugh, no thanks.

That weighty, luxe feeling that we all love? Yeah, that’s not a good thing when it comes to medium and large sized frames. The weight of the glass will cause the frame to bow. There’s not much that can help you avoid this issue. Even at a professional custom frame shop, acrylic will be recommended in frames over 16x20 and in frames with modern, thin profiles.

The glare and tint. While most don’t realize it, glass is not completely color-free. It commonly has a green tint due to the iron content which Compromises the viewing quality of your work. No one wants to see a greenish tinted wedding photo.

That's it for now! I'll be sharing the pros and cons of acrylic soon! 

Did you see that you can get my FREE guide to a wall make-over? just CLICK HERE!

What to Wear Wednesdays

These! Welcome to spring! Who needs a little pop of spring color in their lives? As soon as Chelsey, Jason, and Emery got out of the car I knew they had read and followed my exclusive style guide!

(Did you know that I gift my families my exclusive style guide after booking?)

Blush, Light Blue, Ivory with pops of navy and a tad orange.  Perfection. 

This is a story about open adoption.  It's a good one. I also love how adoption always reminds me of God's love for us and adoption us into his family.    

These photos will be featured as a story for Real Options,
a support center for pregnant women in Plano. 

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Thank you so very much for having me photograph you! I love being apart of people's families for a tiny bit of time! 

Before and After (in the office today!)

A little secret -I go to the schools that I'm going to photograph beforehand and bring my little one. I have SO many photos of her - and often bribe her with marshmallows.  She's very good.  I think she's getting a little tired of being my model but it works great! It helps work out a specific location that can be tricky for outside school portraits. 

Here's a straight out of camera shot and just a few tweaks that I do in Lightroom.  

I don't usually have to go a lot of edits but sometimes I bomb a specific photo. It happens.  I was so sad when the cute first one was blown out - just a simple edits made it a winner. 

I'm excited to photograph this school this spring! 

School Photo Re-Take Day FAQs

If you missed the announcement here it is! For this spring I'm hosting an exclusive re-take day for any of you who had a bad experience with school photos this last year, especially if you hated them so much you didn't buy them! 

If you've been here awhile you know that I'm all about creating a photo legacy for your family. So if you didn't like your kid's school photos and didn't buy them, well that isn't a photo legacy.  I want to be apart of creating something that you love AND to give your kid's confidence in their school photos - because they don't have to be bad!!! 

I'm getting a few FAQ's about the April 29 sessions...

1) What ages are your photographing? 
I photograph from Mother's Day Out Programs (including babies!) to High School.

2) What photos will you be taking? 
For me, the looking at the camera smiling photo is what parent's want most of all.  You probably will get the option to select more than one photo. I usually take up to 5 photos of each kids. I can also take sibling photos! This is what makes having a school boutique business awesome - I can do what I want! So this will also be an option for viewing afterwards as well. 

3) What should my child wear? 
If your child wears a uniform to school and you want them photographed in that, bring that AND also bring another quick outfit.  My general clothing suggestion is to dress in light, neutral, and freshly ironed clothing.  

4) What time will the mini-sessions be offered? 
They will start at 2:30pm and be scheduled incrementally after that.  You should allow up to 15 minutes for each child to be photographed - this will be plenty of time. 

5) Where will the mini-sessions be offered? 
They will be photographed outside (who said school photos had to be inside?!) with a natural backdrop and then I will also use a white photography seamless background.  Once you sign up for a spot the exact address will be given to you.  It will take place near Hebron and Josey intersection in Carrollton. 

6) What is the cost of the session? 
Best news - there is no sitting fee! If you do say you are coming, please please please show up.  After your photos you can see them and decide if you want to purchase any of my collections or a la carte prints.  Collections start at $39 and include the digital downloads.  All prints are mounted for framing, except wallets (that would be weird) or if you for some reason do not want to frame the photos.  

School Photo Re-take Day

If your kid’s school photos don’t look like this, if they didn’t end up on your wall but in a drawer then {LISTEN UP!!}.

School Photo Wall Design

Why are you buying something that is sub-par?

Wouldn’t you rather buy school photos of your kids that you actually LOVE? That’s like throwing your money away...and that’s just bonkers!

Don’t you want your kids to have a great school portrait experience that can boost their confidence by how awesome it makes them look and feel?

If you didn’t do it right the first time...or the last 13 times {I’M HERE FOR YOU!}.

I’m launching my exclusive spring mini sessions so we can just say no to bad school photos...it’s like a re-take day.

And you get to see my new 2018 student products- don’t they look lovely?

{April 29!} School Photo Re-Take day, without the cheesy poses, weird backgrounds, or props that aren’t focused on your kids! And what’s great is...there isn’t a session fee! It’s just like school photos, come, I’ll photograph them, you see and like them, then buy.

School photos with frame
Professional frame options
Cohen Reinartz – Family Rep Program

So it’s a rule that you have to think your baby is the most adorable baby ever.  There is no pretending here – Cohen really is so adorable.  When my son, Phoenix was about this age, a lady stopped me in a coffee shop and said (very genuinely!) “I really think you have the most beautiful baby I’ve ever seen!” I loved that and still remember almost 7 years later.  I’m pretty sure that when Kevin and Jessica are in public with Cohen people say the same things.  He is just so beautiful and sweet! 

Photo of Baby in Texas

I love photographing kids as they grow up!
It’s so great to see how much they’ve changed physically but also to see their personalities to come out! 

If you missed his sweet puppy and dinosaur newborn photos SEE THEM HERE! 

Photo Gallery Wall Design

I’ve recently discovered that I love what babies do with their arms.
They are really great at arm/hand models. 
Babies usually just put their hands and arms in the perfect spots to create a spontaneous photo…you know when they’re not chewing on their hands.  

Thank you, guys!!! I am looking forward to photographing the whole family next month! I love having you apart of my Family Rep Program! 

Location: Friends of Furneaux creek in Carrollton, Texas off of the Blue Trail.  

Baby Photo Pose
The Bird Family: Family Rep Program

Introducing the Bird family! I secretly wanted to be friends with Amy before she even knew who I was. She always amazed me with her carefree attitude of taking care of so many people in her life but still managing to look really cute and always using a nice sweet voice with her kids:)

I think we became friends when my youngest starting calling her youngest “Dadda’s baby” because he was her teacher in nursery at church. 

And to make matters even more confusing, her husband, Eric is about the same height as my husband (which is really tall) and they usually wear the same color of colors (do they coordinate that stuff?!) so I often find myself from the corner of my eyes *almost* mistaking Eric for Thomas — which could be really embarrassing one day.  

They really do have an awesome family! 

Some of the favorites…

Here is Sydney, Evie, Eric, Amy, Josie, Silas, and Owen (from left to right)

Thank you, guys!!! I love having you apart of my Family Rep Program! 

Location: Friends of Furneaux creek in Carrollton, Texas off of the Blue Trail.  

The Baxter’s Christmas Session

I’m nervous about sharing Christmas sessions because of the anticipation of sharing for Christmas cards – but when Carrie shared over her social media I knew that I could too! I love repeating photographing families! Last year this little girl was much harder to get her to look decently happy for her photos – this year….completely different! It’s so fun watching kids grow up in front of my camera! So many cute family photos to share with friends and family I can’t wait to see which one they choose! 

Having photos on our walls help us remember sharing fun experiences with each other. 
They also help you remember to love and appreciation those who matter most in your lives. 
When you’re having a tough day, you inevitably walk by a portrait of each other and it acts a reminder to appreciate each other.  

Location: Downtown Prosper, Texas

Our Fall Family Photos: What we wore/What to wear Wednesdays

We went to Wimberly to celebrate my husband’s 30th birthday! The place that his parents rented out was AMAZING. It’s also a wedding venue so naturally it was breathtaking.  At the very last minute I announced we were all doing family photos! I (naturally) went to Express to buy the a floral tie for Thomas that I mentioned just a few weeks ago as an awesome accessory for guys.

I do have to brag that he and his dad both reacted strongly against the tie but then they both commented how nice it was (yes! Fist pumps!!)
And also a huge thank you to his dad and mom for taking the photos and for entertaining our kids to have them actually look at the camera! I can’t wait to get these huge up on my family wall! 

I also LOVE LOVE LOVE the tulle skirt and hope that it convinces you to wear one to your session! It’s so flowly it looks great on camera. And here’s another tip – my shirt was super tight in all the wrong places – bouquet of flowers fixed that problem right away! Who knew flowers could make you look 10 pounds lighter? 

Location: Sacred Passage Chapel in Wimberly, Texas

Premier School Photos

Another plug for premier school photos.  Are you tired of buying those awful school portraits at school? Check these out!

Sibling photos? Yes, Please!

These guys are so cute!

Another reason I’d like to plug for the premier school portraits (if you missed my other reason I shared go here) taking photos of kids outside rather than inside (like regular school pictures) helps them relax more for a more genuine smile. That’s what you want, right?!

So if you’re interested in having portraits like this instead of the really terrible ones you’re use to listen up! I’ll be sharing what you can do next week!

Headshots and a quicky

 

This has to be the quickest session to date.  These kids are the typical crazy 2 year olds, but they were so good! Jennifer really knows how to wrangle them – even in high heels.  That’s a super mom for you! Scroll down for such a beauty of a headshot! Love it!!!

pinkie promise? love that! 

We were really there to get these great headshots of Jennifer for her Sensegence business.

Location: Downtown Lewisville

Premier School Portraits

For about a hot second I worked for a well known school photo company a long long time ago.  I would come home and cry it was so terrible.  I never thought I would actually be back in the school business. BUT!!! Here I am! It is WAY different than what it was when I first started because it’s the way I want to do it.  Regular school photos are just so so so terrible.  Why do people still buy them? I felt so happy last year when I checked “please do not photograph my child” on my son’s spring photo form.  He also equally enjoyed sweatpants that day.  So I’m ramping up my school portraits and I’d like to call it “premier school portraits” to really set it apart from what parents and kids are use to.

Sibling photos? Yes, please!

There are many many reasons I think this type of portraits for school is better but one of the reasons I am going to share with you today is that it gives CONFIDENCE to the students! If you had school photos of you like this wouldn’t you LOVE them???

Vertical and horizontal – totally an option. 

Family Rep Program

HURRY APPLICATIONS ARE DUE BY SEPTEMBER 12th! Applications for 2018 Family Rep are closed for now.  Stay tuned for 2019 applications.  Please fill out the form below if you're interested in staying up to date with this program for 2019! 

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Name
Interested in 2019 Family Rep Program

Applications have ended for this year’s Family Rep Program.  If you have interest in joining for next year, fill out this form to let me know!

I have a super excited announcement to share!! I’m launching a Family Rep Program!

I will be taking applications for families (of at least 3) to be apart of my new spokesperson program.  This means to be the face of Kaitlin Roten Photography for an entire year.  Spokesmodels are chosen through an application process and receive countless perks including complimentary mini sessions, images to share on social media, styled shoots, cash bonuses, heirloom lockets and more!

 HURRY APPLICATIONS ARE DUE BY SEPTEMBER 12th! 

If you’ve been thinking about scheduling a session with me this is a NO brainer! You receive cash back for any referrals who book through you!

Applicants will be chosen based on their outgoing personalities, involvement in the community and excitement for your upcoming year!

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Application for the Family Rep Program

Please read spokesmodel responsibilities carefully before applying.

Being a spokesmodel for Kaitlin Roten means you have the opportunity to represent the face of the best of the best families in the North Dallas for a whole year! Spokesmodels receive countless perks including a complimentary mini session at the beginning of the year, digital images to share online with friends, a full family session, cash bonuses, and more! I am also going to hint at heirloom lockets – ahhh!! I  cannot wait to work with an amazing group of 2018 families! Before applying, please read the following. Applications are due on SEPTEMBER 12, 2017.

Chosen spokesmodels are required to:

  • Attend a meet + greet event on September 22 at 6:30pm in Carrollton (come and go)

  • Participate in mini sessions with the full team on Saturday, October 21

  • Use Kaitlin Roten Photography as their sole photographer during the year

  • Post on social media frequently about Kaitlin Roten Photography (about 2-3x per month)

  • Book your family session with Kaitlin for a total of $260 + sales tax (This is the only payment or fee ever required with the spokesmodel program and can be earned back through referrals. Wall art and products are extra.)

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