I recently bought a couch. The last time I went through his process was when my 16 year old was just crawling and since that couch has seen him through snack time, nap time, fort building, sick days and countless popcorn filled movie nights… it was time to retire it to the basement.
As I was making decisions for the new couch I realized how close this process is to buying and selecting portrait wall art.
Measure the space.
Both your couch and your portraits will look unplanned and not well thought out if you don’t have the correct size for your space. You don’t want them too small and you also want to make sure that your couch and your wall art have space around them.
Getting the right size for the space is important. Who wants to go through all the trouble of getting a portrait designed and hung and its too small?? No one should have to get up from the couch to walk up to a wall portrait to see what or who is pictured.
It may cost a little more to get the correct size couch or portrait but you are not doing yourself any favors by skimping on the size. Its a small price to pay for not regretting it every time you walk in the room.
Decide on layout
Take a look at the space and decide on how many pieces you want.
One large piece? multiple pieces to create one cohesive arrangement?
I went back and forth between a sectional and a sofa and two arm chairs. I had to consider the space and what would look appropriate. I measured out the size of the couches and placed masking tape on the floors. I left it there for a few days, if I didn’t think it was right I would try new sizes.
To do this with portrait wall art, hang paper on your wall in the sizes and arrangement you are considering. Live with them for a little bit and make sure that you like the design and layout before you commit. You will have these a long time so make sure you love it.
Make an inspiration board
It helps look at everything together, put fabrics, frame colors and the images you will be using as those colors will play a roll in the design of the space. Here is a Pinterest board of mine. This is a great resource to make a digital board but printing and cutting out images are still a fabulous (and I think more fun) way to still do it. Step back and look, make changes until you love the style.
Decide on Colors and Medium.
Whatever is going in the room needs to coordinate and this includes your portraits. When you are selecting the fabric for your couch you are making sure that it will look good with all the other decor in the room. This holds true for your portraits as well and I am not just talking the color of the frame. Make sure the image will reflect that same look and feel with colors and location. Think ahead on clothing and setting for your portraits.
Getting portraits taken is a lot of prep work. You are getting outfits, making sure everyone is well rested and carving time out of your busy schedule. You don’t want to go through all the work and end up with portraits looking like they don’t belong in your space. You will have these forever and you need to love them. You need to smile at them every time you walk in your room.
Decide on quality, which will also decide your budget
- Do you need it fast?
- How long do you want it to last?
- Do you want quality, last for years and years?
My now basement couch was definitely built to last. It wasn’t cheap and it wasn’t fast. I wanted quality at this time over everything. It may of been my first adult purchase where I made that decision! This time I had to consider the same things, do I just head to a discount furniture store, a chain superstore or that large blue building full of Swedish furniture with instructions that always boggle my mind? Or do I take some time at higher end furniture stores with product guarantees and where it will take some time to get my couch made and delivered?
All of this is important to consider when you are ready for portraits. You can’t have quality, speed and low price in one product so you have to pick what you can live without. Some times speed and low price win, sometimes DIY wins, but for this particular situation quality and a long lasting product won out for me.
See the products in person. Make sure they fit your need. If you need them to last and be of good quality you want to see them in person. Sit on the couch and hold the framed prints or canvas. Not all couches are created equal when it comes to quality in couches and the same goes for wall art. Make sure your photographer is also of the quality you want. Are the images produced properly? Will the paper and presentation be built to last? If you are building a wall gallery or using the images in the same room…. will all of the images coordinate?
Custom Portrait photographers will be able to direct you in proper sizing and design options for your space. They will also assist with locations and clothing. Take advantage of this service and get everything done right the first time. Who wants to drag kids of any age out to this again? And I know no one wants to walk into a room and look at portraits, or your couch, and be frustrated with their decision.
Bring it to life in your own home!
If you are thinking about your own wall display… head here and get a FREE DOWNLOAD with some wall gallery layouts and tips. Get some ideas for your own home and then bring them to life. Some of them will even work well above a couch… if you happen to also be shopping for one of those!
I once heard someone with older kids comment that after the kids get into kindergarten the pedal hits the metal and boom, senior year is here. For me it was more like 2nd grade, after 2nd grade hyper-speed set in. If you took the same ride, chances are that your last family photo is a little outdated. You could fall into the category of never getting a professional portrait OR your last portrait doesn’t include the last born child, because you were busy juggling kids and schools and activities. Not to mention no one was ever free at the same time ……. you are not alone and you wouldn’t be the first family I have helped solve this problem.
1. This could be one of your last guaranteed opportunities to get a professional portrait with your kiddo(s).
Life gets busy and before you know it its time for college graduation or their wedding! We thought High school went by fast? I’ve heard it gets faster and the years get shorter.
2. This is your first or only graduate.
Your senior will no longer have the same school schedule. Their breaks and vacations may not line up with your schedule or your younger children. If you have younger children, take advantage and get some images together with them too as well as the siblings together, because before you know it, those kids will be seniors too!
3. This is not your first graduate
If you can lure everyone home, this is a great way to get your grown children back out for a portrait. If not everyone in the family will be home, this is a great opportunity to snag some special images of just you and your senior. If they are not the oldest, they may not have many special alone moments and memories of you, let alone professional portraits with just Mom (or Dad, grandparents, the family pet.)
4. You have never had professional portraiture or professional printed artwork.
If your last family photo is from when they were in elementary school, its time to update it with their current size, smiles and style. Don’t ditch the old one, just make the new one the focal point in your home and relocate the old one to a new location in your home or add it to the gallery wall and keep telling your story.
Your kids, grand kids and great grand kids will appreciate this more then you can understand today. Think about your own grandparents and great grandparents.
What images do you have of them that you love to look at? Its fun to imagine your grandparents at that age? Maybe one of them will realize how much they look like you at this exact age.
5. The family portrait hanging is missing your last child
Like I mentioned earlier, you are not alone. We all know we have grand plans when we have our first child. If you stopped at one you may of maintained those plans but if you had more kids, chances are you understand that those baby books are less and less filled out with each child you added. This probably also extends over to photo albums and displayed portraits. I am a photographer with only two kids and I know this struggle.
6. You should celebrate too.
We all know that you were a huge part of their success. All those early morning rides, late night study sessions, cheering from the stands, sitting in the audience for every play or band performance, running them something they forgot (even when you said you never would).
That empty wall you have been meaning to design, the gallery wall you want to finish or the current frame you want to update the family image in. You worked hard, it’s time to show off all your accomplishments 🙂
(virtual software helps decide design, style and size appropriate for your room. Actual images of client homes are used during design appointments.)
If you are worried adding the family won’t keep it special for your senior, that is never the case. The first portion is devoted to your senior only. Special locations to fit your graduates personality and multiple outfits to fit their style still happen. The rest of the family can meet up with us later, fresh and ready to go.
If you have a 2019 High School Senior, click here to get on the wait list and to receive reminders of Senior Portrait sign up
Fall Family 2018 Portrait sign up waiting list and reminder is here.
We would love to take photos now, but there are no flowers out yet.
We will wait for the fall to take our photos, it is beautiful then.
Raise your hand if you have said that. Raise the other if because of those hesitations you still don’t have your family photographed, framed or up in your home. I love fall images. They are amazing and I do think that every family should do them at least once. But fall comes and goes so quickly that it is easy to miss with our busy schedules ….. and then your family photo is put off again.
There are other locations to consider outdoors where it could really be any season! The location won’t give away the time of year and you can get your family photo done. Lets start with an urban setting. Brick walls and colored doors make fabulous locations all year round.
It looks great framed as well!
Texture is another great urban element to look for. You probably drive by this door below, or something similar, and don’t notice it. The sidewalk is directly in front of this picture and people walk by it every day in downtown Arlington Heights. It makes a great backdrop and something different for those who have already done so many outdoor fall sessions or for a family who can’t wait for the leaves to turn or flowers to bloom. This door looks great all year. Photographing here looks even better and easier on your busy schedule!
We take our kids pictures the first day of school in front of the house, every year. Our home is where we spend the majority of our time, its where your kids learn to walk, tie their shoes and where you sit and watch them ride their bike. Its where siblings bond and where your kids feel safe. You work hard for where you live and you should be proud of it. We love to look back at those snapshots in front of our childhood home, there is no reason we shouldn’t consider this as a family portrait location.
If you still are hoping for nature in your images, spring can provide that. The images below were taken in April and provide a great backdrop for their family photo. Priority should be given to getting the family photographed, call to schedule and we will find a great location for you.
Call today, 847-858-7050 or fill out the contact form to get your family up on your walls because next year they will only be bigger and you might only be busier!
If you still want to try for that fall session, make sure to get on the fall session email list. Fall sessions fill up very fast and session info will go out first on this mailing list.
What is the difference between lifestyle and studio newborn photography?
Preparing for a new baby can be overwhelming. What kind of stroller do I need? Cloth diapers or disposable? How do I decorate the nursery? Do we want a newborn photographer?
And after deciding you want a newborn photographer you will often then come across the question of lifestyle or studio sessions. When I talk to some parents there are not sure of the difference between these. Aside from the look of lifestyle images vs. studio images, the experience will be different too.
Newborn studio sessions focus on just the tiny little subject and their sweet features. It resembles that of a classic studio portrait showcasing the newborn and their sweet features. They are carefully wrapped and posed to achieve the perfect newborn portrait. The best time for this type of session is with in the first two weeks. They are very sleepy and they still welcome being scrunched up just like they were for such a long time. Newborns are flexible and can easily bend and fold to get those classic studio newborn poses.
Studio newborn sessions can take awhile. I recommend that babies be kept awake for two hours prior to their session and then given a full feeding. After that I step in, swaddle with one of our newborn swaddles perfect for portraiture and then rock and soothe the newborn to sleep. Baby needs to be completely asleep to achieve any of the poses you see in the newborn studio gallery . This is also true for achieving those close snugly poses with the parent and the siblings like shown below.
The experience with these sessions is wonderful. You get to bring baby in, feed and then watch your new little miracle pose, make cute snugly faces while you kick back on the studio couch and relax. If you fell asleep you would not be the first parent, in fact it is encouraged! You will be tired those first two weeks and this is often your first outing with baby.
Lifestyle photography is creeping into a very close tie for newborn sessions for me. These sessions take place in your home. It is not as important to keep baby awake for two hours or do a full feeding before I arrive. The focus of the session is on your interaction and your family. We do not need to put emphasis on preparing for those poses mentioned earlier. The other element we don’t need to worry about as much is the timing. Babies can be any age to have a successful lifestyle session where it can be challenging and maybe not achievable to get those posed studio poses after two weeks of age.
The images will incorporate babies first home, first bed, changing table or just those places that they spent their first moments with their parents, siblings and maybe their furry family members. Wanting to include those furry family members might be another reason a client chooses to do a lifestyle session. The thought of packing up a new baby….. and your pup(s) might be exhausting. Staying in the comfort of your home can make a lifestyle session very appealing.
Some people avoid lifestyle because they worry about not having the perfect clean house. Here is a secret… just outside this frame is a dog kennel, preemie hospital supplies, diapers, a car seat, a dog bed and a few pacifiers. Even though I come into your home it is my job to make the focus be your new growing family.
We still get plenty of beautiful images of your new baby by themselves. Check out more images in the lifestyle gallery.
Hopefully this gives you a little more insight into the big decision of lifestyle and newborn photography. I am always happy to discuss both of these further to make sure we select the perfect session for your family.
Click here to fill in the details and book your session. It is very important to book your newborn session early. It doesn’t matter if you know the type of session you prefer, book and then decide. Priority is given to due dates so secure your spot to make sure you are not scrambling after baby is born.
Des Plaines Newborn Photographer – Baby M
It wasn’t that long ago that this newborn’s brother made the trip to my Des Plaines Studio to get his own newborn photographs done. Now he is coming in as the big brother! It is such an honor to photograph multiple newborn portrait sessions.
Big brother had to get some time in front of the camera too! He has so many expressions, he was so fun to photograph and talk to.
This is one sweet, adorable family. Baby M sure made this trio one fabulous family of four. Looking forward to watching them grow up. Hold on tight, it goes fast!
Mount Prospect Family Photographer – Fall Session
This family was looking for a photographer, not just take family photos, but to create a long lasting family art piece to put up in their home. If it was up to this photographer (that’s me! 🙂 everyone would have a huge, gorgeous family photo up in their home. We don’t all have the perfect space for it, in fact I don’t really have space for it. There are a lot of other ways to create a long lasting family art piece.
If you are in the Mount Prospect area and surrounding towns, give me a call and we can find the perfect piece for you!
This family rocked their session from the outfits to the perfect poses, genuine smiles and most importantly, they had a fun! When the kids look at these images all over their home, they will remember the great time they had. They will remember throwing leaves, running, being silly for their little sister and playing in the forest preserve. Its more then taking a family picture, its a family experience.
Scroll down to see some of the fun had in our fall family session.
Mom has been looking at this empty stairway since she moved in. She knew she wanted a huge canvas to hang above it. We took the photo of the empty stairway when their youngest was just a baby but we didn’t get the session done for over a year. We decided to wait until their youngest was older and bigger, making sure she wouldn’t disappear or be super tiny in the image. We planned and waited for the perfect time taking into account the colors of their home and her love of fall. Turned out perfect and that’s it good because this will be around forever and ever.
Step one: photograph wall.
Step two: use special software to get correct sizing and spacing
Step three: Hang and Enjoy!
Mount Prospect, IL Newborn Photographers
Newborn sessions with older siblings are tearing at my heart strings lately. Probably because my own two are getting older.. a lot older.
I have had so many great big brothers and sisters in the studio lately. This big sister was so excited to be part of the session and help out which was a huge relief because the main focus of the session was the siblings images.
If you live in or around the Mount Prospect and you are looking for newborn photographers… Give me a call and we can chat about your own newborn session!
Now booking through Fall 2018.
If that picture below doesn’t say PROUD BIG SISTER then I don’t know what does! We were able to get some images of Mom and both of her kiddos, which I am hoping will be a great keepsake and addition to part of this families growing story.
Ok. Ok. Big sisters have their moments too 🙂 One of my favorite images above ^^^
Baby Charlie woke up and even gave us some giggles and laughs. He didn’t make it into the studio until after he was a month old. I think Baby Charlie just proved that even if you miss the perfect newborn time frame of 7-10 days, you can still get some amazing family images. Don’t skip a session! Just jump in and document your family at any moment you can.
The most important part… What did this family do with their newborn portraits? Click here for the post on their heirlooms and keepsakes
Mount Prospect Newborn Photographers
The best part of the custom portrait process is meeting with your photographers and viewing your newborn photos. It can be overwhelming and fun (yes, at the same time) deciding how you will preserve and view them. When we are unable to have the actual wall we can use some mock home images, seen below. We went through so many ideas and here is the final design choice in our new Heritage Wood Print.
Live in Mount Prospect and looking for newborn photographers? Give me a call to discuss your new arrival!
I need to correct myself. The best part is the delivery of your art products. The final result of your hard work. Getting outfits together, getting everyone ready AND getting yourself ready, making sure everyone naps and is fed. Getting everyone there and then imagining and deciding on how you will enjoy and love them. All the work comes down to the delivery day. It is kind of like Christmas Morning or your birthday. On this delivery day, Big Sister was very excited and was suggesting that the small wood print be hung just at her eye level so she could look at it all the time.
Do not just tell your children, show them. Show them they are important, show them family is important. Print and display. Even if it is just one professional product.
Booking now through September 2018.
Chicagoland Family Photographer
I will always tell couples 2 pieces of advice with wedding photography. That advice lends itself to all photography; newborn, first birthday, lifestyle, studio, portrait, outdoor, sunset sessions, milestone…. you get the picture. Your photographer ends up being a big part of that time. You spend a lot of time getting ready, picking out clothing, blocking out time from busy schedules and in some cases, like weddings, this time cannot be recreated.
My two pieces of advice:
1. Make sure they not only love their photographers work but that they enjoy working with and being around their photographer. They are around you ALL day. Aside from weddings, your photographer is still around you for a long time. With newborns, they will be close to you for a few hours. And you need to trust them with that new life. If the kiddos love having them over or heading to their studio, that’s a HUGE plus, because it is now fun to see the photographer and they are comfortable with them.
2. Make sure your photographer is aiding and providing you long term preservation and display of your images. Please inquire about the details of the album provided for your wedding, or products for any session. An image is only as good as the paper it is printed on and today we can add the proper care of the digital file. Imagine going to a favorite gourmet restaurant, you order their signature dish and they throw you the box of ingredients. Yes, the ingredient selection is important but unless you are a skilled chef, and honestly unless you are THAT skilled chef, it will not taste the same. Sometimes it just doesn’t taste the same if you don’t eat in their fabulous atmosphere.
Part of your photographers job is to provide their knowledge of proper display and proper output methods.I would rather see less professional work done per family at a higher quality. We all have phones in our pockets now for the other stuff.
It’s an honor to watch a family grow and get to know them. I know I am doing a good job when I get invited by the kids to stay for dinner and when they are sad to see our session end.
Chat with your photographer on the phone, or if you are looking at hiring me, I love a reason to meet up at the local coffee shop. I also will stop by clients homes to help with the daunting task of picking out clothing for the session as well as ideas on where to consider placing their portraits, because that is overwhelming.
See this families images on the wall in their own home here.
Chicagoland Newborn Photographer
Just before Christmas baby number 4 arrived for this now family of 6! Best part of being invited into their Chicagoland home for this major family milestone is that I have had the honor of documenting the milestones in all of the kids lives. If you look on the back wall you will see their story told. Among the kids artwork hangs portraits taken (by Kelly Fitzgerald Studio 🙂 of their kids throughout the years in studio, on location, outdoors, in their home and in their backyard.
Baby H needed a little time to feed so me and the boys hung out. Knowing that mom and dad were busy the little guys talked their way into a popsicle, I don’t blame them!
After the popsicle and game of hot lava with a thorough explanation of house rules, baby H was ready to spend some time in front of the camera.
Special thanks to this family for trusting me with an important task. Documenting their lives and preserving their memories.