Where are you from/How long have you been taking pictures?
I am from Tuscaloosa. I graduated from Vestavia Hills High School and the University of Alabama (Roll Tide! Don't worry, I am not one of THOSE fans). I live in Orange Beach and have lived in Baldwin County since 1995.
I have over twenty years of teaching experience (fourteen years teaching middle school and the rest in elementary school). I also owned a nightclub... (I know!!) So many moms prepare me for how "active" their children are. No worries. After teaching middle school and owning a nightclub, there is not much I haven't seen or can't handle! With these two life experiences, I have learned how to handle large groups of people and young children in a fun, effective way; from a cranky two-year-old who missed his afternoon nap to grumpy dads who missed their afternoon naps, too! :) I know a photo session is NOT the highlight of the guy's beach vacation. I get it. I promise to make the session as fun and painless for them as possible (I have a subtle sarcastic side that the men usually love!). More than a few Dads have confessed that my photo sessions were really fun! One Dad even put me up there with his fishing trip!!! SCORE!!! :)
My mom loved photography and exposed me to it at a young age. I soon discovered that I loved photography too; mostly nature/landscapes. I remember my Mom telling me to get some people in my pictures! :) Okay, Mom!! In my "adult" life, I started taking pictures of friends and my brother's growing family. With the encouragement from my husband, family and friends, I took the leap into my own photography business in 2010. I have been photographing and meeting fun families who vacation in our beautiful area ever since.
I love meeting new people, taking pictures and capturing special moments for families. This is MY business and I love it!
What should I expect from a session with you?
FUN, FUN, FUN!!! Come relaxed! If you need to have a glass of wine/beer/margarita, have one (or two or three). This is your session so let’s make it fun! I promise to make it as fun and painless as possible. Please tell the men in your session to contain their excitement about the photo session! :) I love to laugh and have a good time at the photo session and I expect y’all to have fun too! We will have races, jump from rocks, collect sea shells, and investigate starfish! Your kids are going to play in the sand and that is okay! Your kids are going to be silly and that is okay. I am going to be silly (I will joke about farting and birds pooping on me to get your kids to laugh!) You should be silly too!! If you are tense, your kids will be tense too. RELAX and have fun! This is not a studio session and I like natural, candid poses. I will give a little direction but I will not tell you every hand and finger placement. It is good to just be natural and let things fall as they may. Happy & natural photographs well!!!
What should I bring to my session?
I’ll bring some "beachy" props (shells, starfish, buckets) but you are welcome to bring anything you want. You can bring special toys or blankets to a cooler of "goodies" for the adults (glass bottles are not allowed on the beach). You should bring snacks if your little one might get hungry. It is always fun to get candid photos of children which means they get a little sandy or wet. I suggest bringing a change of clothes and towels if you want some "action" shots. Baby powder is the best way to remove sand from DRY skin. "Google" it!
Do you Photoshop?
Photoshop extras are NOT included in your package. Included in the package price are general color correction and/or brightness. If you have a little one who has a boo-boo, I will try to edit it out on the close-ups but those little boo-boos should be remembered! I do NOT Photoshop your hair in every photo to make it look like you are in a studio (because you’re not!). You are on the beach, outside, and there is WIND. I’ll try and place you in the best position possible to minimize the wind but again, you are outside (WIND). Unless you are bald, you will not have perfect hair on the beach (there will be WIND and humidity). I will not switch anyone’s head (yes, I have been asked that), eyes, background, skies, etc. If you chose to have your session on a crowded beach with buildings, I will not remove those items. I will not make tan lines disappear. Since you know you are getting pictures made, wear sunblock (reapply!) paying close attention to those sun glass tan lines on the men!! If you do not want tan lines or bra straps showing, wear a shirt that covers them up. Try not to get sunburned before the shoot. If possible, book our session early in your stay and use SUNBLOCK!! The sun is much stronger here than in Louisiana (love my Louisiana families!!). Being so close to that imaginary line (equator) along with the sand and water, you can get burned in a few minutes. Reapply!!! If you really want something corrected, you can hire me for $50 per hour for editing.
What if it rains?
The ole' weather question... :)
I am a photographer; not a meteorologist (we do not like to see Jim Cantore on The Edge!). If I could predict the weather, my lottery ticket numbers would have landed and I would be taking pictures of coconuts in the winter and Aspens in the summer. :) The weather here can change in a minute. I have no idea when it will change but it will change at some point. If it is raining when we arrive at your scheduled session, we will discuss cancelling/rescheduling. Rain earlier in the day will not cancel your session. The most beautiful sessions have been after a rain. If your session is cancelled because of inclement weather, we will do our best to reschedule (makeup could be a sunrise session). Trust me; I am NOT going out on the beach in a storm! If your session can't be rescheduled because of weather, your deposit will be refunded.
What should I wear to the photo session?
Wear loose fitting clothes. There will be some sitting poses. Do not wear tight short skirts unless you like the feel of sand you-know-where... Do not wear outfits where your bra strap is showing (unless you are okay with this). If you do not want tan lines, wear something that covers them up. The traditional white shirts with khaki bottoms are very popular because it is easy to have everyone match but it is very overdone. Color looks GREAT on the beach. It is much easier to coordinate (everyone wear a pastel top and khaki bottom) the outfits than match. Stay away from loud, bright prints. I can definitely help you with outfits! Ladies, don't wear a lot of makeup. Apply lightly. Beach shots should be natural. Your hair will be blowing around in the WIND (yes, there is wind at the beach...). It does not matter how much hair spray you wear. If you want your hair to behave, shave it off… Just kidding! Consider wearing your hair pulled back.
Do you have any tips for photographing young children?
The best tip I can give parents is to relax! I know sunset can be past some children’s bedtime but it is the best times for photographs unless you want a sunrise session. We will meet one hour before sunset. That is the only time for beach pictures, unless it is VERY overcast (can't predict the weather). The white sand and water will cause a harsh glare and squinting. You do NOT want squinting pictures!! If you want an earlier session and shade, there are a few parks around on the bay . I will do sunrise sessions but in the summer that means meeting around 5:45 AM.
Try to be rested, especially children (and grumpy men). A late nap and a full belly can do amazing things for children (and grumpy men)! :-) Bring some beverages/snacks if you have a sunset session and your children might get hungry. If you decide to go eat before your session, please do NOT have the children (and grumpy men) wear the outfits for photographs!!! Yes, you can bring more than one outfit for photographs but remember you have purchased a time-limited session. There is not a place to change clothes on the beach for adults (unless we hold up a towel) but children can change anywhere.
Practice smiling with your child! If you have multiple children, practice giving gentle hugs and not choke holds. If there is a specific pose you want your husband or significant other to do, show him/her a picture of the pose. If you want your children posing together, go ahead and break it to your son that he will have to hold his sister’s hand and sit next to her :)
I think that about covers it but if you have a question, ask!
Family beach sessions are fun!
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