Fall Newsletter is Here! {Columbus, Ohio Photographer}

Click on the image above to read our fall newsletter.  Also, as a reminder, I have serveral boards on Pinterest with “What to Wear” clothing ideas for your fall and holiday photo shoot.  Click here for that.  Although please feel free to call me with any questions regarding your session, including “what to wear”.  Be sure to get your session booked early in order to get the best fall color.  Our late September and early October sessions are already starting to fill up!


What to wear for family photo shoot

As a photographer, the number one question I get is on the topic of what to wear to their photo shoot. When booking a portrait session I think it is almost always a given that the client is going to ask for suggestions on what to wear. I struggled with this question when I was first starting out. My clients would come dressed in matching outfits or in the same color head to toe. These clothing choices do not make for the most visually appealing image.

I knew that I had to change my clients way of thinking when it came to choosing outfits for their portraits. I personally believe that is part of my job to help style a session. This gives my clients another reason to hiring me over going to a chain portrait studio. I always tell them to choose items with good color, texture (ie, knits, ruffles, denim) and accessories. I tell them to think coordinating not matching. I even go as far as offering to come to their homes and dig through their closet with them or tell them to bring a trunk full of options and we can put together outfits on location.

I am guilty of dressing my family in white shirts and khaki pants. I now realize how visually unappealing that is, so I really stress to my families to think coordinating outfits not matching. I tell them to browse their favorite stores websites for new collections and a lot times you will see outfit ideas that coordinate really well together. I honestly think that when you let your clients know that it is OKAY not to have matching outfits it lifts a weight off their shoulders. Now they can look for outfits that fit each family member individual style but tie all the looks together by picking a few select colors to coordinate. Trying to find one color and style that works for every family member is hard! I use to dread picking out family outfits for pictures now it is one of my favorite parts!

Special Kids Photography Charity (Columbus Special Needs Photographer)

Special Kids Photography Charity:  After being involved with Now I Lay me Down to Sleep Organization for a few years, I found that this charity was wearing me down!  I decided to take a break for a while and possibly get my photography  skills involved with a different, more upbeat charity.  I happened upon Special Kids Photography of America (SPKA) and it CLICKED!  I ADORE kids!  Any and all kids!  I feel like I have a special gift for patience and the ability to communicated with them on a different level.  This helps them to feel comfortable with me and their surroundings.  Therefore; it seemed like this charity was a perfect fit for me and my photography studio.  Thankfully, SKPA requires an accreditation process for any of its photographers.  I love that the organization doesn’t just take your money and let any photographer “have at it” so to speak.  SKPA requires the photographer to take a workshop, two exams, get written letters form parents with a Special Needs child AND submit images for review and approval BEFORE they will list you as an approved photographer.  As of now, there is only one photographer accredited in all of Ohio and they are WAY north!

LONG story short…..  I will be looking for several Special Needs Children as models to photograph (with or without their families).  If you are reading this and have or know of anyone with a child (any age) that would fit this criteria, please send this info on to them and ask them to call or email me!  I have included som info below on the foundation.  Stay tuned for SKPA images in the future. Thanks so much for your support!


Special Kids Photography of America (SKPA) began operation in 2000. The concept of training photographers to obtain beautiful images of children with special needs was conceived by Heidi Lewis, who experienced resistance and frustration when attempting to obtain a studio portrait of her one-year-old son, Taylor, born with a severe connective tissue disorder. Although she was eventually successful in convincing the photographer to take the picture, “studio stories” from other mothers with similar children made her acutely aware of the need for education and training of professional photographers from a parent’s point of view.

Through generous sponsorship of Pacific Life Foundation and hosting by Epson America, Inc, the first pilot “Discovery Workshop” was debuted the next year at Epson headquarters in Long Beach, CA. Professional photographers, as well as care providers of special children were invited to attend and offer input in order to establish further goals and direction for the organization.
At the same time, the book, Photographing Children with Special Needsresearched and written by SKPA’s co-founder, Karen Dórame, was published by Amherst Media. This valuable resource is used to educate photographers in achieving heart-warming images of children with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and a number of other well-known conditions.

In addition to workshops for photographers, much of SKPA’s attention is directed toward policy change in areas where special children might achieve increased visibility and positive acceptance in society. SKPA theorizes that if people can get used to beholding lovely images of children who have disabilities, they will not be so inclined to turn away when they see these beautiful children in person.

2011 Ohio Sate Fair! – Columbus Ohio Photographer

Come visits the 2011 Ohio State Fair! SO much to see and do! Who knows, I just might snap a pic of you and surprise you and post it here!

Family Pictures- Take Better Vacation Photos

I have compiled a few tips on how to take better family photos on your next special event or vacation. Being a professional photographer, I used to be a SLAVE to my camera over vacation…I felt like it was my duty. Thankfully I have learned that quality is way better than quantity. I spend more time interacting with my family and less time behind the lens (and they are thankful and less aggravated as well!)

1. Capture the Moments: Most of us have gotten into the habit, at one time or another, of ONLY getting posed shots by the Christmas tree, in front of Cinderella’s castle at Disney or beside the Washington Monument. While there IS certainly a place for those in your photographic history, those images generally do not evoke the emotion nor do they conjure up the memories from that particular trip or event. The images that capture our imaginations, the ones that will stick you as a warm embrace are never – yep, never the ones of everyone lined up and posed. They’re moments – individual, natural moments. They are also the ones that your family doesn’t grunt and groan over having to “line up AGAIN!” Looks for the moments that will tell the story of your trip…the things that you will look back on and say “Awwwe, remember when you….”

2. Walking Away: Yes, you read that right. An image I love is the one of someone walking away. This moment will come back to you time and again. The example I am using here is one of my nieces at the beach in the fall. Notice the relationship of the older niece teaching her younger sister and their contrasting sizes. This image is priceless to me.

3. Use Props to tell your story: In this image, my son was taking his first surfing lesson. He was 8 years old. I had the instructor hide behind the surf board to hold it up for us so I could show the size comparison. He is sporting the “hang loose” sign that is popular with surfers.

4. Full Sun Lighting: The toughest situation for taking family vacation photos must certainly be on the beach in bright sun! Obviously the best beach pictures are taken early in the morning or later in the day around sunset or in the shade. Although we all know that 90% of our time at the beach is spent in the bright midday sun. When you aren’t in optimal lighting, the best way to remedy this situation is to keep the subjects back to the sun (no squinting) and pop up your flash. Most consumer cameras will automatically adjust for having the flash on during the day and the extra light will prevent the harsh shadows on your subjects face.

5. Change Your Perspective: Get down on your 2 year olds level, shoot a pic of all their tiny sandy feet after they write their names in the sand in front of them, tilt the angle of your camera, the possibilities are endless. With todays digital cameras, you CAN’T make a mistake and you wont waste film…just delete and try again! Just make sure to invest in a large memory card!

6. Refer to #1: Tip number 1 on this post is worth repeating. If you capture the moments rather than a posed portrait, you will be forever thrilled with the memories you have captured! Good luck and have a GREAT VACATION!!

Family Portrait Clothing Ideas – April Edition- Columbus Photographer

Wearing the wrong colors in a family portrait can be haunting. Those photos are usually found years later in a forgotten closet, and instead of reminding you of the good times in your family’s history, they only point out the wardrobe mistakes of your past. Choosing the right colors can make your family portrait the treasure it was meant to be. We suggest wearing clothes from the same color palette but aren’t exactly the same to keep your family portrait from looking too “matchy-matchy.” Dressing your family in colors that blend keeps the focus of the photo on the family rather than their outfits. When dressing in the same color palette, make sure there is a contrast between bottoms and top. If everyone wore khaki pants with khaki tops, your photo would be a sea of khaki and your family portrait would not very interesting. In addition to blending your colors, try to wear clothing that expresses each family members personal style. This will add interest and personality to your family portraits! If you have questions about your portrait session, feel free to give me a call and we can discuss it further! Take Care & Happy Spring! Stacy

Family Portrait Clothing Suggestions

What to Wear for my Portrait? Columbus Ohio Photographer

Here it is!! My monthly guide for what to wear for your upcoming photo shoot. This is the question I get from my clients the most – by far! The guide is to be used as inspiration for your portrait session, not as “gospel”. These suggestions are for color portraits only. Stay tuned for what to wear for black and white portraits. As always, feel free to call for more direction and advice. We want you to LOVE your portraits! We want you to let your personalities shine through. Clothing is definitely an important part of making your portraits the best they can be! Click here for more information on our studio.

Shoot a Wedding?? Not Me!? – Columbus Ohio Portrait Photographer

Well, you caught me!  You are correct, I generally do not photograph weddings….as a rule.  Although I advertise that I do not photograph weddings, I will take a handful each year just for fun.  This wedding was one of those instances.  The bride was referred by a portrait client of mine and she let me know that it was going to be a very small second wedding for both of them.  Awe, what the heck, I agreed to photograph the ceremony at the Granville Inn a couple of weeks ago.  I am very glad that I did!  They were such a great couple and it was a beautiful day!  Their blended family is so perfect – they even gave each of the kids a “wedding” band and promise during the ceremony.  What a super idea.  Here a a couple of sneak peeks.  Aren’t they gorgeous!

March Portrait Special – Columbus Ohio Portrait Studio

The CORE Center is the only pregnancy resource center in Delaware County. They provide FREE and confidential services, including pregnancy testing; they give information on life affirming options, such as parenting and adoption; they also supply material aid for expectant families, community referrals and a hand of friendship in a time of need.

In March, Spirit Photographers is supporting the Core Center’s effort by donating our reduced portrait session fee to the Core Center. See more information below and hurry to book your March appointment and support a good cause. See more information about our studio here


BOY – OH – BOY . . . Fun Portrait Sessions – Columbus Ohio Child Photographer

This has been the week of boys portrait sessions for sure! I have one boy myself and 2 brothers (no sisters), so I am well versed in dealing with the opposite gender . . . most of the time! This week of photographing started with the 1st of the most handsome, 2 year old, blonde boys. I’ll call him “T”. Well “T” started off with a bang…because he was in full Blue Jackets garb, including hockey stick and 2 sizes too big hockey skates. He was in HEAVEN! I could have photographed him for hours in this outfit and he would have been content. BUT Mom wanted her boy in a more traditional pose also and……well, I don’t have to tell you, that didn’t go over so hot! But we quickly distracted him with C-A-N-D-Y and all was well! Oh No, we are not against bribery here!


2 year old, handsome, blonde boy #2. I will call him “J”. “J’s” obsession was with animals, specifically horses and cows. I mean farm animals are his “thing” right now. I remember when my son went thru the same stage and he just couldn’t get enough. I have a couple of carousel horse props here at the portrait studio and “J” was in LOVE! We were hard pressed to get a shot of him without his horse….until we brought out the C-A-N-D-Y. Mom was close by (as was the horse) and was an excellent photography assistant! She was quiet and stood behind me and let me get his attention. When you see Photographs were the kid is NOT looking at the camera, generally its because Mom or Dad are off to the side trying to make them smile. Here are some sneak peaks of “J”. More information about our Studio.

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Last boy, BUT certainly not least, is “L”. “L’s” Mom and I were introduced 2 years ago by his Big and very special Bro, “W” via an organization I volunteer for called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep {www.nilmdts.org}. If you are familiar with the organization, you will know how very special baby “L” is to me. We had his 2nd portrait session at the Studio last night at 5:30. And let me tell you, that kid SMILED all the way until 7pm when I reluctantly stopped photographing him! This kid has the most amazing red hair and looks like his Dad spit him out in the delivery room! Mom knows better! What a joy and blessing all children are, but “L” will always be a little extra special for me! Enjoy the sneak peek and give your kids an EXTRA kiss today from Baby Angel “W”.

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