Category Archives: Business
One question I’m asked ALL THE TIME is how I get such great pictures of my kids. Every parent wants to know because they want to be able to have great pictures of their kids too. Duh. Easier said than done though, right? It’s something that I know parents stress out about. I’ve seen it firsthand in sessions – parents want their children to be these picture perfect kids they see on Pinterest, and they want amazing pictures of their kids smiling directly at the camera. Kids don’t normally do that. They want to run, and laugh, and explore, and play with grass. This stresses parents out, which affects the outcome of the pictures. A photographer is pretty used to this situation and can adjust accordingly to ensure families still get great portraits but it’s frustrating when you’re trying to do it yourself. It’s actually pretty simple and I hope after you take a few minutes to read this, you’ll be able to take awesome pictures of your kids too.
1. Set the environment. Plan this out ahead of time and think of a few different places that your kids really enjoy. Maybe it’s outside on a nature hike, maybe it’s in the backyard, maybe it’s in your playroom or coloring at the table. Think of a place that is familiar and natural to them where they will have fun, be expressive, and enjoy themselves. Kids are full of energy, and busting at the seams, so the last thing they want to do is stop playing to stand around while you try to coax smiles out of them through bribery or threats. Do they like to be tickled? Grab your camera and have the tickle monster come after them, snapping shots of them giggling the whole time. Are they really young and think peek-a-boo is hilarious? Play games, laugh with them, and have fun with it. Egg them on, ask them questions, engage them. If you stand there and tell them to say “Cheese!” well then that’s exactly what you’ll get, them being cheesy. If you’re being silly, they will be silly too, and silly moments are the best kind to capture.
2. Recognize the moment. You know your kids. You can tell when they are about to be excited or if something will strike them as super hilarious. My camera is almost always within arms reach. Yes, that’s mainly because I’m a photographer, but I also know that when a great photo op appears, it doesn’t last long. My kids won’t still be giggling or playing in that super cute way if it takes me 8 minutes to dig out my camera from in my closet somewhere. On the days that you’re ready to try taking some photos, make sure your camera is nearby, battery is charged, and you’re close enough to grab it when the fun moments start happening. You have to be ready for those moments and be willing to drop what you’re doing. For me, a lot of times I’ll be working in another room and hear them laughing with their Dad outside. Tons of giggles is a huge clue to me to stop what I’m doing, grab my camera, and start photographing what they’re doing. It’s almost always silly, fun, and totally them.
3. Anticipate the shots. Run around with them, get down on the floor with them, and try to always be at their eye level with your camera. Keep in mind that they will always be on the move, so dress appropriately. I always, always wear running shoes and jeans when I photograph children. I’m ready to run, get down on the ground and get dirty rolling around to capture the shot. One mistake people make when photographing children is that the shots are always blurry. If you’re new to photography, your camera likely has a sports setting. Try that one out and remember that kids MOVE. A lot. So move your camera as they move and anticipate where they will be by the time you press the shutter. Practice focusing as they move around, and try to always keep the focus point on their faces. If you’re familiar with your camera and shoot on manual, make sure to keep your shutter speed fast so you avoid the motion blur.
4. LET THEM BE KIDS! 🙂 Try not to have any kind of structure and just let them be. Kids can sense when you’re pulling in the reigns and they fight against it, or they just “cheese” the whole time. If you’re getting frustrated, kids are smart and they can sense it. They absolutely will pick up on your frustration and start to get agitated themselves. I’ve seen it, and it happens all the time. Just relax. The goal of this is to just capture them as they are because those are the moments you’ll want to remember. I never try to stop my kids from playing. I absolutely love candid shots and want to capture them just being kids. Simple as that.
5. Be patient and try, try again! Maybe you’ll get greats shots the first time. Maybe you’ll have to put your camera down and try again later on or even the next day. Let’s face it, kids can be a drag when you’re trying to photograph them. You definitely can’t force it and knowing when you’re pushing too hard is important too.
Don’t give up! You owe it to them to capture their childhood as much as you owe it to yourself to preserve the memories of the days that will pass by all too quickly… and if all else fails, hire a professional 😉 Haha! Seriously though, if you just take the pressure off of them to perform, you’ll be surprised at what they give you in return. Before we know it, our kids will be all grown up and I’m hoping these tips will help you freeze these precious moments in time.
I am so excited to continue offering professional headshot sessions in my beautiful studio space in Chicago! There are many reasons for wanting some Headshots – maybe you need an updated photo for your website Bio section, or a nice professional photo for your LinkedIn profile, or some shots for an acting or modeling portfolio. Whatever your photo needs are, you can trust me to deliver beautiful portraits that represent you in the best way possible.
My studio space in Chicago has beautiful wood floors, white walls, and neutral color backdrop options. It is conveniently located off of 90 and 55 in Chicago in the Lacuna Artist Loft Studios. Hair and makeup will be available on set to make sure you look polished and photo ready.
I am offering 45 minute sessions on only two dates, spots will fill quickly so book now!
I clearly remember the day I created my Facebook page and ‘became a Photographer’ almost 4 years ago. I had just photographed a family session and edited all the photos in Picasa (don’t judge!) and was sooo super excited to share my BEAUTIFUL work with the world. But when it came time to post my images, something weird happened. My heart started pounding, my palms got sweaty, and I started to get overwhelmingly nervous after I pushed the Post button. But why? I was so proud of my photos and the moments I captured in them. What was going on?? It was then that I learned how being a Photographer made me feel so vulnerable. It made me feel completely exposed, like I was putting my heart and soul out there for the world to view and criticize or love. But I really was, especially as I get further along in my photography career.
Mostly I was just scared. Plain and simple. I was afraid that people wouldn’t think I had any business taking pictures, that they would tell me I didn’t have the talent to be successful, or they wouldn’t think the emotion I captured was as special as I thought it was. It’s about putting my vision out there in the form of artwork, something I worked hard on and found pride in. Not everyone puts their passion out into the world. Some people keep it private because it’s so special to them that they don’t want to share it with the world for a lot of the reasons I’m sharing in this post.
I think something that people don’t realize or think about is that the photos that we put out there are an end result of so much more than just pressing the shutter. Each image represents so much of ME – countless hours of learning everything I can about perfecting my craft so I can get better at what I love doing, it’s about wanting people to love and find value in what I create, it’s about wanting to feel validated in the reasons I do this – that the hours of family time I give up are worth something to someone and the love and careful attention to detail is noticed and appreciated by my clients. I want you to like what I do. I want to know that the hours of sleep I pass up to edit sessions, or work on my next blog post, or design another album, or update photos on my website, or learn what the heck widgets are for my website, are important and that I’m not doing it for nothing.
Having your own business sucks. A lot. Especially in your first couple years when you’re struggling to find yourself in your style and brand all the while trying to stay afloat with the awful and constant pressure of turning a profit. It’s HARD. You’re subjected to everyone’s opinion, comments, and criticisms of your photos whether it is welcome or not. You’re haunted by the ghost emails of potential clients who contact you but never hear from again. You constantly question your pricing and ask yourself if you’re worth it, if what you do is valuable to people, if people will pay you to do what you love. It makes you sensitive and vulnerable and exposed to the world. It brings you pride, terrifies you, throws you to the fire, gives you a sense of accomplishment, pisses you off, allows you to learn new things every single day, swallows you in self-doubt, brings you to tears, frustrates you like nothing else. It is absolutely an emotional roller coaster that you might ride multiple times a day.
Being a photographer really is a lot like walking around naked – putting yourself out there, exposed for the world to see. I find that the longer I do this, the tougher my skin gets. I have become so much more confident in my work and my abilities and I know that I have come a long way. Photography has become so much more to me than just taking pictures. I have learned so much about myself, pushed myself to extremes, found amazing friendships in my clients, and found that my base of support that has grown over the years has become my life support and I am so incredibly indebted to those who encourage my dreams, help me through the rough patches, and celebrate with me in my successes. The support that I receive helps me feel more covered up, helping me feel less vulnerable and more secure in myself, as I learn that others stand by my side and are along for the ride with me.
My passion has brought me so far and I’m looking forward to see where the next 4 years brings me.
A new year, a new look, and a new website! So excited to be offering weddings in the Chicago suburbs and central Illinois this year! I have so many goals and ideas for this year and I can’t wait to be able to do them all.