Santa Sessions are Here!

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I am so excited about these sessions! I've been looking forward to this all year. Full disclosure, Santa is my father-in-law. He moved here recently from Austin, Texas, where he plays Santa for my sister-in-law's group home. My sister-in-law, who is actually in her mid-30s, was born with a brain defect that renders her unable to think past the age of 2. When my husband and I first started dating, one of our first excursions was to the group home Christmas party. My father-in-law disappeared for a bit, and then Santa emerged, bearing presents. I knew immediately that I could be part of this family! 

I was so excited when he agreed to play Santa again, this time for my clients! 

I've been offering mini sessions several times a year since I started my business, and one question I get most often is "How Do I Prepare?"

For the best photos, your main job, mom and dad, is to dress your kids in ways that compliment the rest of the session. The colors I chose for this session are black, white, gray and that bright cherry buffalo check red that is so popular right now. You should have no trouble finding something to go with that. Remember to keep it simple and don't mix too many patterns.  I am a big fan of solid colors with subtle patterns as the details. But do what makes sense for you!

I will be dressed as one of Santa's elves. When you get to the session, I'll explain to the kiddos that Santa is going to be there soon and that we are going to make some art of them meeting Santa. I want to warm them up to the idea that they will be getting their photo made. I will tell them that if they are good, Santa may even have a little gift for them. We will do a couple of photos without Santa, and then I will "go check to see if he's arrived." I'll bring Santa out, we'll take some photos, and then I'll let Santa go back to the North Pole. When I return, I will have a gift that Santa wanted to leave for them.

I am so excited about this shoot. Please let me know if you have any questions!

Professional Headshot: What to Wear

Lately I've been booking a number of professional headshots for Realtors, property management professionals, clients in the finance industry, and others. It's been a lot of fun getting to know these professionals, and since every industry is slightly different, they've all had questions about how to make their headshots the best they can possibly be. 

For the sake of the curious, I thought I would share my most recent email, laying out some expectations for how to dress and what to expect. This is for a property management company. Because they have more than 10 employees, I am setting up at their office rather than having them all come out to my studio. 

Hello! I am excited to take your professional photos on May 16. As Jennifer said, I will be setting up sometime between 9-9:30, and I hope to get started around 9:45. We are going to move through these quickly — taking about 10 minutes per person. I will give you posing direction, but plan for one close up pose (shoulders and above) and one zoomed out shot that includes more of your body. Dress accordingly. You’ll want to look like the best version of you professional self, so if you wear jeans to work, it’s okay for you to wear jeans in the photo, but make sure you’re wearing a clean, untatterred pair of jeans and a nice shirt. I prefer layering, so think about pairing a jacket with a collar or a cardigan over your blouse or shirt. Button up or polo shirts work well for men. Avoid shiny fabrics or ties, avoid bold patterns. Sometimes tight grid-like patterns have a strange effect in camera, so avoid those. 

For women, don’t wear turtlenecks, which tend to make people look like they don’t have a neck. Also avoid low-cut shirts that show off cleavage. Keep jewelry simple and classic. Again, I suggest layering. Don’t wear tank tops unless under something. Try to avoid incredibly bright colors OR colors that will wash you out like stark white (you can break this rule if you’re planning to wear a jacket over your bright or white shirt).

Aim for classic styles instead of something trendy. 

I wanted to add that it is wise not to schedule a headshot session immediately after a new haircut, especially for men since it tends to take a couple of weeks for your hair to adjust to a new 'do. If you have a beard, trim it nicely. Try not to do an emergency whitening right before a photo session. Instead plan for one a few weeks out. Some vibrant hair colors don't look great on camera, so give your hair a chance to calm down if you're trying out a new color. Make sure you get plenty of rest in the days leading up to the session and don't consume a lot of alcohol. It will show in the photos. 

Keep these tips in mind for your next professional headshot session and you'll be impressed by how the photographer can make you look!