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Working as a photographer all of my life, no two days are alike.  One of the reasons I choose photography as a profession was because I enjoy meeting new people, being in a variety of situations and being challenged by new environments. When I am photographing, I am looking for the essence of a person, a family, an animal and work to reveal the inner beauty of that being. I like to get inside how a person is feeling, shape the background and light and choose an expression that is natural and authentic. Photographing families, children, horses and pets requires different gear and clothing. Every day is different. Every job is unique.

A typical day might look like this:

8:00am. On the road to create a new headshot for one of my regular clients. She recently aquired a new job and needed her headshot updated. I always arrive early and find the best light and background for a natural lifestyle type headshot. I pick three different areas to photograph in so my client has plenty of choice when selecting their favorite photograph.My client exudes energy and personality and was a joy to photograph.

Professional Headshots

Professional Headshots 

After the session I dash back to my studio to download and edit the files for her selection. She needed the finished headshot by the next day so I want plenty of time to edit her final choice to make her deadline.

12:30pm  A clothing change from business casual to practical horse show comfort  clothing and the appropriate shoes for dust and dirt.  There were several riders in two classes being held  in classes running simultaneously to each other. Luckily the rings were next to each other. It felt a bit like the Olympic winter sport of cross country skiing and then shooting with accuracy at a target. I ran back and forth from ring to ring with my target being the best jump with the best light and background to create a wonderful wall portrait at the right moment.The horses that compete in both of the divisions are brave, bold and beautiful. 

Open Jumper Class
Open Jumper Class, Lucy DesLauriers

I love the focus and concentration of horse and rider. The fence is huge and requires all of their attention to clear. They make it look effortless.

Hunter rider Scott Stewart at the Hampton Classic 2017
Scott Stewart, Hunter Division at The Hampton Classic 2017

Jumper horses need to clear all the obstacles in the fastest time to win. Hunter riders and horses have a different goal. They need to jump evenly, consistently and gracefully over every jump in beautiful form. They must have the appropriate tack, manes braided and their riders must have on specific clothing for this division. It is like watching a ballet, every jump needs to be smooth. When you see an added step, a hesitation, a rail get hit or dropped, they loose points. Scott Stewart is one of the top hunter riders and trainers in the country.  

3:30pm Back to my studio to download and post the photographs. Another clothing change. This time I need to wear clothes that can get wet and dry quickly. I have an evening beach session with a family I have photographed for a number of years. I will be crawling around in the sand and walking in the water. The weather is perfect and the light is exquisite. 

6:00pm I am at my favorite beach waiting for my family to arrive. Since our last session, there is a new baby coming. I can’t wait to meet her.

Beach Family Portrait Session
Beach Family Portrait Session

Even though I start with some different family groupings in the sand dunes, my favorite part of the session is when the light is perfect and the families are playing together. I love looking for the natural expressions and gestures that speak about the love that embraces this family. Water splashing, sand kicking up, giggles and laughter feeds my soul!

8:30pm. On my way back to the studio to download files, back them up, check my gear and equipment for the next day.

10pm. I have a little time to catch up on my social media, send emails, and pay bills. With all of the days’ jobs complete, clients happy, deadlines met, equipment safe and clean I can call it a day, and a happy one at that!!

 

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Family portrait session clothing choices are key to the photographs success. There are many good reasons to have a family portrait made. Your home is recently renovated and now you have the wall space for an heirloom family portrait. Maybe you have a teenager going off to college and not knowing exactly the next time everyone will be together, now is the right time for your portrait session. Maybe your family pet is getting older or do you have a new puppy? Whatever the reason, choosing the right clothing to wear is key to creating the best portrait of your family. This can be a daunting task in the face of all the possibilities and the personalities in your family. There are three key items to consider when choosing your clothing.

Family Portrait Session Clothing Choices

Here are three things to consider for choosing what’s best to wear:

1. The location of your family portrait Session.Is this portrait being done in a casual setting like at the beach or a park? Or is this a more formal setting in and around your home? Are you looking for a casual look or more formal look?

Family Portrait Session Clothing Choices
2. The room  you are displaying your wall portrait in. Where would you like to hang this portrait? Is it going in a living room? A dining room or bedroom? What are the key colors in those spaces? Are they neutral, if colorful- what colors. Do you like bold colors or pastel?Family Portrait Session Clothing Choices

3. Clothing color combinations.  What colors do you love that coordinate with your room? Think about making a “Bouquet of Flowers”. Since color harmony represents a pleasing balance of two or more colors, not everyone has to wear the exact same colored clothing. Once you choose your basic color, either use a monochromatic relationship varying the hues of that color, or a complimentary relationship of colors that balance each other out as in a flower arrangement. Below are three samples of color choices for family portraits.

Family Portrait Session Clothing Choices 
Complimentary: The pink, green and white colors all complement each other. Even though different colors are used, the tonality is the same and the colors blend well making the image a pleasing family portrait.

Family Portrait Session Clothing Choices
Monochromatic: A lot of portraits I make are at the beach. Blues of any shade usually look great in the finished portrait. In this photograph, the people are wearing blue and white. The blue water and white foam adds to the harmony of the finished photograph.

Family Portrait Session Clothing Choices
Complimentary: The orange and green clothing complement each other. The dune grass in the background adds to the harmonious look with the chosen colored clothing.

 

Don’t forget that simple and plain work best so the focus is on the person’s face. Avoid stripes, patterns and bold logos. Lighter tones are better than darker for outdoor location portraits. If in doubt about your clothing choices I can make a visit to your home before the session or meet you at a store and there is always the iPhone for quick photographs of clothing when you are at a store wondering if you should make the purchase. You can always bring several outfits to a session and if we are going to be at the beach, having at least two outfit changes are always a good idea in case someone gets too wet.

Family Portrait Session Clothing Choices

Most of all, remember to relax and enjoy your time together as a family. I will take care of the rest.

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Equestrian portraits for High School seniors has become very popular. With my experience as a lifetime equestrian and as an equestrian photographer, I know how to work with the horses and their riders. Planning and preparation make the sessions flow more effortlessly.

  1. Make sure the horse is fed and well groomed. Do attend to those ears and whiskers.
  2. I like have several outfit changes so bring along a variety from very casual to more formal attire.
  3. Have a groom to help manage the horse and keep him or her calm between clothing changes. Horses do like to take advantage of beautiful green grass and eat it any chance they get.
  4. Another helper can get the horses attention when needed.
  5. Choose a location that has a variety of settings.
  6. Start in the late afternoon to end with golden light.
  7. Bring peppermints!!

 Having had a successful show career with this horse and many others, saying good-bye to a “best friend” is never easy. Feeling the weight of responsibility to create an enjoyable session and lasting memories for Amber, I was helped by her grace, beauty and connection with her horse.

Horse Portraits

 

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