Not Your Grandmother’s Wall Portraits {Interior Design Photographer}

Too many of us think that displaying portraits on our walls will make our home “look like Grandma’s house”.  Honestly, this is NOT TRUE!  There are a few tricks to prevent that “look”.  The number one trick or rule is….8×10 is NOT a wall portrait.  If you hang one or many 8×10’s on a wall in an unorganized and unfashionable way…then you risk having your home look “old fashioned”.  Secondly, choose portraits that are artsy and in a similar color palate to each other.  I can help design a display for your home!  It is not a well known fact that prior to becoming a professional photographer, I graduated from  Interior Design School…A little BONUS you get with me!  Please let me know PRIOR to your session that you are interested in this option so we can plan your shoot accordingly.  We also have a program that can take a photo of your existing wall space and digitally display your portraits in various arrangements and sizes until you are happy with the look!   Contact me today and I will be happy to discuss your ideas, wants and needs!  You’d be surprised what amazing artwork photographs of your loved ones can make in your home!  It NEVER goes out of style.  It’s the best kind of artwork… artwork that MATTERS.

The above is a canvas wall collage I just finished in my home.  Yes, I live in Ohio…But a girl can make believe, right?

My studio manager, Brandi, ordered this display before she came to work with me.


Senior Portraits -What to Wear {Columbus, Ohio Photographer}

I have a new collection for Senior Portraits What to Wear on Pinterest!  Graduation is just around the corner for high school seniors this year.  It is a VERY exciting and BUSY time of year for you, but if you haven’t made the time yet for your senior portraits, it’s not too late! This is such an important time in your life your senior portraits is an important way to document your personality. In my Pinterest collection “Seniors-What to Wear”,  I’m featuring some ideas for the high school seniors. For senior sessions I always recommend outfit changes with layers and tons of accessories to change up the look in your portraits. Always bring clothing that is in your color palette.  If you don’t know what your color palette is, Skin Perfect is a great place in Columbus to go get an analysis. Skin Perfect describes it as “An analysis and identification of a person’s natural skin tone and determination of the best colors that are in perfect harmony with their tone. This includes clothing and hair recommendations. A customized makeup lesson and take home swatch booklet is included. Knowing this information ensures that money is never again wasted on the wrong makeup color and your face color seamlessly integrates with your neck color.” I have had it done and it is life changing!  It has saved me tons of money on clothing and makeup that I used buy that is NOT my color and I end up not wearing it and wasn’t sure why?  Also, be sure to bring MORE than you will need for your portrait session so we can go through and chose what will photograph best. Feel free to contact me before your session to talk more about wardrobe…for seniors, children, family or any type of session.




What to Wear for Family Portraits via Pinterest {Columbus, Ohio Photographer}

I have to admit, I have a new love in my life….PINTEREST!  If you are not familiar with Pinterest, you REALLY  need to check it out.  If you don’t have an account yet request an invite from or a friend like me (contact me with your email address and I’ll send you an invite).

A person can have multiple boards, each with multiple pins. Each pin is a saved image that links to the original webpage showing the image, and a description set by the person who pinned it. Pins are organized by boards – a simple way to connect pins together under a single topic or theme.  If you are like me, I’ll see something I love and then FORGET where I saw it and search for hours to find it again.  Pinterest SOLVES that problem.  I use interest for inspiration, bookmarking, sharing and organization…as well as some web marketing for my business.

Anywho, I have created a board that I think might be helpful to my clients. Its the number one question I get asked before a photoshoot….WHAT DO WE WEAR??  Well now you can go to my board and gets some ideas and inspiration.  You can find it here  .   If you find other ideas, feel free to pin to this board.  I have included a “pin” from the board below.  I hope you guys find this helpful for future portrait sessions.  Happy Hump Day!



Photographer’s Tricks – {Columbus Ohio Photographer}

I am going to show you one of the tricks photographers use to get the most unbelievable shots.  It’s photoshop magic!  Many of todays most popular portrait poses look almost too good to be true!  Most of the time they are!!  I am going to show you step by step how to get amazing portraits with photoshop.  This is the final image.

I don’t have images of the first few steps in this process, but I will tell you that my assistant went into the woods and drug this LIMB into the studio!  We cleaned it up and let it dry for a few days.  In the meantime we went to Hobby Lobby and picked out some silk flower bunches that we liked. When we got back to the studio, Brandi (my creative studio manager) proceeded to patiently plucked off the silk flowers and glue gunned them to this branch hanging out in our camera room!  After that we were ready to shoot!!

So now for the fun stuff!  We started by taking a photo of the limb – camera on tripod to keep the same distance and height, etc.  The image below is what we used as the base image.

Next we moved in a giant bean bag and the baby!  you can see what we got in the next photograph.  Again, camera in same location, same lighting, same white balance, etc.

WOW!  Lots of stuff to clone!!  NO NO, its much easier than that!  In the next photo you will see how I used the lasso tool to circle the baby and a bit of the surrounding area. Then switch to the selection too and drag the part you have circled with the lasso onto the base image. as in the following photo.

As you can see the baby is too large for the background image. Simply hit the shortcut “ctl/cmd T” on your keyboard and resize the layer to fit nicely into your background photo. Then just use your erase tool on soft edges to take away the excess around the baby until it all blends nicely.  Flatten your image and VOILA!  Baby hanging in a tree!!  I save my limb/background image in case I want to use again- I won’t have to repeat that step.  Feel free to email me if you have any questions!  Happy Photoshop-ing!

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!

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!!

Black and White Photography – Turn the ordinary into extraordinary!

Black and white photography has the ability to make even an everyday image seem like a beautiful work of art. Since we are accustomed to viewing color photos on a daily basis, black and white portraits often comes across as much more sophisticated and elegant. This makes black and white photography very popular for timeless family portraits.

Style & Color
An off-white or charcoal top with a stylish neckline or collar helps direct attention to the face. Clothes should cover the shoulders, arms and legs. Wear styles with simple lines. One option is to bring a change of clothes with a different neckline or sleeve style. Essential any color is fine, after all it will be photographed in black and white. The primary goal to to wear flattering clothing! When dressing a family or group, try to stick with all light color or dark color clothing. This will make your portrait timeless and classic!

Patterns & Textures
Fabric should be solid colors or subtle patterns. Avoid clothing with slogans and logos. Loud, busy designs such as wide stripes, checks, plaids or dots are distracting and could date the image. At a black and white photo shoot, wearing textured fabric can give a sense of richness to the final image. Clothing shouldn’t distract attention from facial expressions in the images.

Makeup and Accessories
A light dusting of translucent face powder helps reduce shine. For dry lips, try a non-waxy lip balm that leaves no white residue. Women should avoid lip gloss or high-gloss lipstick. Also avoid dark-toned lipstick, such as burgundy. Choose non-reflective accessories with elegant shapes, such as classic pearls.

I love to talk black and white so if you have any questions on your session, please feel free to give me a call or email us anytime!

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.