It is the season of giving! Lost for ideas? Think about the people in your life… Are they into fitness? Technology? Cooking? Are they going on about their latest diet – paleo, keto, vegetarian, whole30, etc? Are they travelers? Homebodies? Bookworms?
That’s the best place to start – consider what you already know about them and go from there.
Let’s start with those who are foodies, like to cook, or are trying out the newest way of eating… Who has heard of the >>>Instant Pot<<<? I have SO many friends going on and on about how awesome it is! I don’t need one… I’ve gotten along just fine this long without it. But I SURE am curious about it! It’s one of those things that would be awesome to get as a gift – especially because I’m not likely to buy one for myself.
And here in the Coastal Bend, water activities rule the day! If someone you know is always on the water, they NEED a >>>waterproof pouch<<< for their phone. I have one that is very similar to the one in the link and I LOVE it! I wear it at the beach, when I’m out kayaking or paddle boarding, Schlitterbahn, or any time there is a chance my phone will get wet.
Or maybe someone you know is ALWAYS losing their keys? I know it was always my mom losing her keys when I lived at home. I’m not that person, but I KNOW those people… and so do you! Check out the >>>Tile Sport - Key Finder. Phone Finder. Anything Finder<<< - perfect!
Or maybe you’re shopping for someone who really just wants to be completely absorbed in their phone? Or maybe they are a student who needs to be ABLE to get completely absorbed. If that’s the case, check out these >>>Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones<<< - those should do the trick!
Maybe you’re shopping for someone who travels frequently. Hubby and I just returned from an awesome trip over Thanksgiving and let me tell you… we REALLY could have used <<<The Airhook<<< - it attaches to the tray table in an airplane and holds your phone or tablet, as well as your drink. Awesome!
Also, we have pointed out these >>>Really Cool Scratch Maps<<< and keep considering getting one. Disclaimer: I’m not sure if we would enjoy it, or be sad at all the places we HAVEN’T been… Still, definitely worth considering in the gift giving department. Unique and REALLY cool!
Okay, next up is something I WILL have one day… when my son is old enough not to try to ride it – haha! I think the >>>Roomba<<< is one of the most clever invention for busy adults. I would LOVE to come home to a house that has been freshly vacuumed. #lifegoals
Maybe you know some new homeowners? Well, EVERYONE needs to have a good cordless >>>DeWalt drill<<< for household projects. This beast of a tool can do SO much! And you almost can’t destroy them.
And for the children in your life? >>>Squishmallows!<<< They come in a variety of sizes and are soft, squishy perfection! Also, once your kids are all super into these soft fluffies, you can go print them infinite squishmallow coloring pages directly from the website.
Rather a game for the kiddos? Try >>>Gamewright Cha-Cha Chihuahua: The Game of Dancing Doggies<<< - we don’t have this, but I want it! I think all FOUR of my kids would get a kick out of it, and they range from age 3 to age 12!
Now, if you’re looking for some fun and unique gifts that are relatively inexpensive? I have to give Buzzfeed credit for putting together an awesome list! Check it out >>>HERE<<<
Hey, if you found this article particularly useful (or maybe you want to use it to drop some hints!), then PLEASE share! And make sure to leave me some love in the comment section ;)
I recently met one of the most fun families I’ve ever photographed! I did what I usually do – met with them, met the kids, talked about what to expect, answered questions, and figured out the what and when of our session. The kids are teenagers and I never know what to expect from teens… Will they be surly? Angsty? Bored? Excited? Fun?
When I met these two, I knew we were in for some fun. The whole family, actually – they just radiated joy and energy!
So we talked about getting some FUN family portraits. I wanted to capture the family playing and goofing around like families often do… and it really got me thinking. Every family plays differently. I have a family of my own – four kids, a husband – it’s not quiet in our house, but it IS fun!
So here is how you do it:
Feeling inspired? Good! Leave me a comment :D
I love LOVE. I love being in love and I love being married and I love dating my husband. Not that you stumbled on over to the blog to hear me wax poetic, but seriously… I love… love.
I love encouraging my female clients to give their significant others a “Little Black Book” album of them looking their sexiest. Let’s call it my little contribution to keeping the passion alive. But I love reading thoughts others have on the same topic. How do you constantly and creatively let your partner know you are still thinking about them all the time, that you still want them all the time, and that you’re still so happy that you belong to each other? Give the gift of BOUDOIR photography!
I was recently reading a >>>VERY clever article<<< and there are definitely a couple of things on the list that I want to do for my love.
Oh, and I think they should add, “Give him an album of you looking HOT” to the list of timeless gifts. Just sayin’
There is a lot that goes into a portrait session, from planning, to execution, to editing. I truly enjoy every aspect of it! But it IS a process and the best images are created from that process.
Ever wonder what photographers do when they aren't actually taking the pictures? Well, here is just a piece of the process:
1. Plan the session. This involves consulting with my clients and meeting with them in person, when possible. The more advance notice I can get on the booking, the more likely we are to get some good planning time.
2. The portrait session. This is you (and your family, if it's a family session) getting out the door on time, being prepared to actively participate in the session, and me taking the pictures. I have the technical and creative end of this covered. Your cheerful participation is what will make your session amazing!
3. Culling and editing. I take a LOT of pictures... typically hundreds at each session. People blink about once every six seconds. For each person you add to the image... well, you can do the math. There are a lot of unusable images just from blinking. Also, not every expression or angle is great. It truly becomes a numbers game - I take enough images that I can afford to cull any that don't excite me. I narrow the session down to about 20 or so images and I spend time retouching each image to make it as perfect as possible. This includes getting rid of awkward bulges, blemishes, and trash/debris at the location, among other things. It takes about 10-20 minutes per image (more for newborn and boudoir... there's a lot of skin to edit on those). Again, you can do the math. It's not something I rush through. I tend to be a bit OCD about my editing and I take a lot of pride in my work - you will benefit from this ;)
4. The Viewing and Ordering Session. You will meet with me and choose your favorites. This is when you make your selections and your purchases. It takes about 1-2 weeks for your order to arrive. In the meantime, you get to enjoy the "share files" - digital files sized for social media sharing - while you wait for your order.
Simple enough, right?
If you have any questions at all, or you're ready to book a session, give me a call! 361-445-4661
Enjoy this video of me explaining all this on Facebook Live!
We all have smart phones, right? And we all use them to take the majority of our pictures. Even I do! I’m not just a photographer, I’m also a busy mom, wife, friend, etc, and my phone is always on me somewhere.
We are not always going to take awesome pictures, but when you’re in the mood to intentionally take a better picture, here are a few tips and tricks that will produce a MUCH better image for you – even if all you’re shooting with is your cell phone.
Five Tips and Tricks for Better Phone Pictures:
set your focal point to the eyes
face a window
level the horizon
keep out the clutter
There you have it – a few things to focus on that will improve your image! Let me know what you think! Even better, practice those few things and share some of your images! Don’t be shy… I LOVE seeing pictures. Post away!
Questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
(Shout out to my kids, who are the subjects of MOST of my images)
Black and white is timeless, and I believe that is the appeal. You aren't drawn to the clothing so much, but to the subjects. And one of my favorite things about black and white? It looks great in every room, no matter what colors the subjects were wearing!
“When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls!”
But there are techniques involved to make an image appear exactly as you want it to, whether it is color or black and white. Sometimes you want a soft look, while other times you want a stark contrast, and the options are truly limitless, even in black and white.
Check out this video of different effects with black and white!
I LOVE newborn sessions - love them! Let me give you some fun facts:
I believe that every mother deserves a set of gorgeous images of her baby. Carrying that baby inside you for nine months is no joke… it is HARD on your body. Then labor comes along… yeah, mommas, you earned those pictures!
When I shoot a set of newborn portraits, I try to incorporate any family member present – at least any who will allow me to include them. NO one looks their best after bringing a newborn home. Sleep deprivation sets in and everyone is trying to adjust. But you know what? You will never regret being in those pictures. If you don’t do it for yourself, do it for your babies, who will one day look back and realize how loved they are.
Confession time… those gorgeous images you see do not look like that straight out of the camera. There is a lot of effort after the session that goes into perfecting the images you see.
If you’re a photographer and you’re reading, hoping for editing tips, go ahead and watch the video. You can always hit me up if you have questions.
If you’re a curious parent or parent-to-be, then enjoy! THIS is why you book a professional ;)
...And Why You Should Discuss it with Your Photographer.
A large part of what goes in to making gorgeous images is skin retouching. I often ask myself a very simple question: Will it be there in two weeks? If the answer is no, then I remove it. For example, bruises and blemishes are a no-brainer! When it comes to things like moles, birthmarks, and scars, I generally ask my clients about their editing preferences. This is my own set of parameters. But every photographer is different and it’s important to make sure you and your photographer are on the same page.
Not all photographers edit their own images. Many choose to outsource the editing. When they do this, then anything beyond basic edits becomes an upcharge. That is how professional retouchers charge for their services. Blemish removal is usually part of the base fee, but “Can you make that arm slimmer?” might run you 50% more per image.
And then there are plenty of photographers who take great pride in editing their own images, myself included. I’ve been working with Adobe Photoshop for well over a decade and there is almost nothing that is impossible for me at this point. My goal is to make sure my clients get EXACTLY the image they desire – no upcharges. Retouching is included and so are special requests.
That said, every photographer edits differently, has a different skill set, and charges differently. Not all photographers know how to make the changes to an image that you’re hoping to see.
Here are some questions you may want to ask before you book:
You need to be up front with your photographer about the features you love about yourself, as well as the others in the images. You also need to be up front about what you’d rather not showcase (those things that make you self-conscious) – your photographer’s job is to make sure you get images that thrill you! It’s their goal, and input from you gets them there MUCH more effectively.
Want to watch me do an extreme skin retouching session? Enjoy!
Questions? Please feel free to contact me at email@example.com
I’m a professional photographer with a full frame camera and a variety of awesome lenses. I’m also a mother of four who always has her phone in her hand or in her pocket. Guess which one I use to take pictures with the most? That’s right – the one that’s most convenient: cell phone!
And honestly, cell phone quality has gotten amazing! It doesn’t rival a full frame camera, but it’ll definitely do the job for social media or even small prints. And it helps us capture and share our moments. How often do you take a selfie with a friend? How often are you snapping pictures of your kids? Think about that first day of school… social media is littered with images of our kids all dressed to impress and looking their best.
So, without further ado, here are a few tips for taking a better picture with your phone:
Try these – they are game changers! Next thing you know, your friends will be suggesting that maybe you should be a photographer, because you’re the only one who takes good pictures of them… or their kids… or your kids…
Special thanks to my hubby for trying my tips and getting me these blog images ;)
Tried my tips? Leave me a comment and let me know how it went!!!
Why does New Year begin in January? This is something I've often wondered. January seems such an odd time to start a new year. January 1st isn't even the beginning of a new season. It would make more sense to me if a new year begin in the spring.
So whether you're wanting to update your look, clean your home thoroughly, get in shape, or finally showcase your family, there is no better time than spring!
"Lori is an exceptional photographer, and was my first choice for capturing images of my son for his senior pictures!! She made him feel at ease immediately, traveled to the locations he was interested in, and captured who he is perfectly!" ~ Tonia R.
Lori Stead is a fine art portrait photographer in Corpus Christi, TX. She enjoys creating maternity, newborn, seniors, couples, family, children, and boudoir portraits. She is also a wife, mother of four, and adventurer.