My thoughts on my own photoshoot…

Families, Family Pictures, Good things, just because

November 27, 2022

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Thoughts on my own photoshoot | Jacksonville senior and family photographer

Repost… I originally posted this in 2013 when I was a wedding photographer and it is still as relevant now, 10 years later, as it was then. Family and Friends are amazing… but unless they are a professional, save these moments for someone who knows lighting, and posing, and all the ins and outs of professional photography. Whether its special family photos, an extended family get together, senior photos, a wedding, or anything that you WANT GOOD photos and products, don’t settle! I have heard {and seen} some horror stories… and yes, I know an iphone takes a good photo. But, this is in PERFECT even light… and a lot of these moments are NOT in perfect even light. Don’t settle on the moments you want to remember forever, this is your family and your treasured memories. Its kind of like going to the hair stylist… I mean you COULD do it yourself, but is fried, green hair the look you want? I am betting no…

I also updated the photos with a recent{ish} session that I did with my girls with a good photography friend in Sarasota, Christine with the Portrait Boutique. and this reminds me that I am due for new images! I had come in for head shots, and she ended up doing some photos with Ash and Haylee. Now, again, 4 years later, I wouldn’t trade these for anything! The posing, the hair and makeup, the outfits, it all came together for a perfect portrait of the three of us. Moments are fleeting… we are fleeting. Don’t waste them on an iphone, LOL!

Original post {Summer 2014}

Ok, so before I start this post, I am getting up on my soapbox….I am about to tell you why you dont hire a friend {or uncle Bob} to take your wedding Photos. I know, I am sure you have heard this from every photographer out there…but I am different. Wait, what? Why, you ask? Well, because thats why I did- so I am here to speak the truth, to tell you the good, the bad and the ugly- and what I did differently.

Mark and I got married in 2005. It was relatively early in the digital era, and since it was a sunrise service, and a second marriage for both of us, I ended up asking a friend to do my pictures. In my defense, we were getting married at 6:30 AM and she and her hubby {who had a degree in photography} had just got a new fabulous camera. Hmmm, wait that sounds like what I hear too. While I am so thankful she was there, I regretfully would not have hired someone else, when I look back at my images, I am, well, sad. Today, that same woman is an amazing professional {We were her first wedding}, and does amazing work. Why you ask? Because she is well trained, she has amazing lenses {and loads of them} she has multiple cameras, she is an expert in not only her gear, but also her business. She has flashes, and an assistant, and knows how to use each lens and why- and not a single one is a kit lens that came with her camera. She uses only professional gear, and shoots in a manual mode. She has spent timeless hours educating herself at workshops and conferences on lighting, posing, and how to handle challenging (and sometimes sticky) wedding situations.  All of those things make her a professional, and amazing at what she does, and dare I say, worth every penny! She begged me to hire a professional, realizing her own limitation, but I insisted.  Looking back (especially given where she is in her business now) even she says, “Don’t you wish you would have hired a “REAL” photographer? Umm, how many ways can I say YES! YES! YES!

So first, the good- it was free. And while sometimes free is good, when you are talking one of the most important days of your life, you get what you pay for. Now, dont get me wrong, I was one of the lucky ones, my images were in focus, and were not all black {yes, I have heard the horror stories}. Because now its time for the bad, they were not professional, in posing, in layout, in lighting, because, my dear friend was not a professional. All these years I have made albums for my clients I have thought one thing, someday I will have images from the perfect day, and I will make that album for my husband. And my clients are living proof of this because I say it at every meeting- do something with your images!

Now, I am lucky, I can make an album with my new images- a beautiful heirloom album from Queensbury or Couture Albums, and I can have it printed just the way I want it- and yes, it will cost me, and it will cost me a lot. But, here is one thing I know, that brides dont, after eight years of marriage the costs are worth it- every red cent! I cant wait to put it out on my coffee table, to enjoy it whenever I want! And while that is in production, I have printed canvases, and prints, and have them hanging all over. And you know what? They make my heart soar! I always wondered how it felt for my clients when they not only get their disk of images, but when they do something with it! Every time I walk by the canvas I smile, when I look at the frame next to my bed, I get giddy. But more than that, it reminds me of an amazing time in my life, a time I know I will never relive, but will enjoy trying in the future as we plan our next trip to Paris.

I learned so much being on the other side of the camera, but more than that, I learned even more so, how important these images are to us- how these moments are over so quick, and how a quick glance can take you back to that happy, and amazing place again.  I know that hiring professionals is a more expensive route- but in the end, it is so worth it. And if you regret it, call me, I will tell you all the good, the bad and the ugly again!

Whew! Ok, so now onto my photos…these were done by Stacy Reeves of L’amour de Paris- and it was amazing! We photographed in the Louvre, and Vendome, and I did a boudoir session in the hotel {another experience that was incredible}.  While spending an evening of your vacation doing a photo shoot is not for everyone {my husband} I LOVED IT! I learned so much being on the other side of the camera- which I recommend for every professional out there. But, I also saw a whole diffrent side of the industry, the clients side, and it is amazing to see what you would do differently. And while its not a wedding, Mark and I out a lot of thought into this {ok, I did} and I have to admit, I would do it all again!

So, thank you to my husband of 8 years- thank you for {again} satisfying my every whim. For giving me this experience, and smiling through it. And to us both, we finally can get that album we have wanted! It was a long wait, and an amazing trip- worth …every…bit!

** The images of the details were shot by me, the images of mark and I, by Stacy Reeves at L’amour de paris.

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Sash White Magnolia

Photos L’amour de Paris

Lashes Frenchy’s

  1. […] one of my favorite places in the world! I studied it for four years in High School and Mark and I renewed our vows there years ago, and we had hoped to go back in 2020 but we all know what happened to that trip! I […]

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