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How I discovered selecting portrait wall art is like finding the right couch.

How I discovered selecting portrait wall art is like finding the right couch.

 

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.

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 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.

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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.

Couch layout-web

 

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.

wal art layout-3images-web          wal art layout-1images-web

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.

 

Go Shopping

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.

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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!

 

Number 5 – Elk Grove Newborn Photographer

Number 5 – Elk Grove Newborn Photographer

Elk Grove Newborn Photographer

Elk Grove just got a little sweeter with the arrival of this newborn. And this photographer has the pictures to prove it 🙂 I will just let these first few pictures soak in before I tell you about her.

Elk Grove Newborn Photographer
Elk Grove Newborn Photographer
Elk Grove Newborn Photographer

Baby L was sent over to my Studio by her cousins who were also photographed here as babies, thank you Miss A & Miss N 🙂 Both of her cousins have had newborn photos, family photos, cake smashes and Easter Egg hunts with me and I am looking forward to sharing that with Baby L as well.

Elk Grove Newborn Photographer
Elk Grove Newborn Photographer
Elk Grove Newborn Photographer

Baby L turned their family of 6 into a full car! Completing this family of 7 and giving them many reasons to smile every day. Her siblings were very helpful during the session and eager to be the one to hold her for their group photos. I can see how fortunate Baby L is to have so many helping hands around her as she grows up.

Smiles all around

Look at that open eyed laugh! You have to be patient for a smile from a newborn. After they are wrapped up, relaxed, and comfortable they will often give a little smile if you wait long enough. Baby L just kept giving us laughs. I think this newborn enjoyed her portrait session more than I did!

Elk Grove Newborn Photographer

I saved Mom’s Favorite Photo for last:

Elk Grove Newborn Photographer

Elk Grove Newborn Photographer

Click here to download your own FREE nursery inspire guide and get some tips and tricks to put artwork in your own home!

Nursery Decor Guide
Exploring Shutter Speeds – Kids Photo Camp

Exploring Shutter Speeds – Kids Photo Camp

Kids Photo camp is 5 classes compiled together in one week to form a camp. This doesn’t need to happen in one week, which is why I also offer weekly classes to those who do not have a full week to devote to a camp.

Camp/Class 1 needs to be taken first before advancing. Understanding ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture are the elements of a good exposure and each need to be understood individually.

We talk about Lesson 1: aperture in the last post. Lesson 2 was devoted to Shutter Speeds. To first demonstrate why shutter speeds are important to understand, one student stood behind the camera and the other stood on a stool with a ball. The student behind the camera took a photo of the ball being dropped at a variety of shutter speeds from 1/1000 of a second to 1/20th of a second.

Bringing it outside

Thankfully we had a nice day and we were able to step outside. After setting up the camera on the tripod and the students took turns photographing each other running past, jumping and doing cartwheels at different shutter speeds. By the end of this exercise, they were able to understand that a slow shutter speed created more motion and blur while a fast shutter speed had sharp images and held their subject still in the frame.

Sign up below for info and updates on kids photo camps and classes:

Exploring Apertures – Kids Photo Class

Exploring Apertures – Kids Photo Class

Kids Photo Class can be considered a success! Teaching photography might be in my future. I didn’t realize how fun it would be and how much I had to share. Each student in my very first Kids Photo Class was eager to learn!

After a little history lesson in photography and exploring what’s in my camera bag, we began Photo Class 1 with the three components to creating a good exposure. Each component needs to be understood individually before we can put them all together and use them to manipulate our images.

kids photo class

Kids Photo Class – Lesson 1

Our first lessons were in Aperture and how they can control the depth of field in your image. After creating their own backgrounds and finding some still subjects, each student created a scene and stepped behind the camera. Each student photographed their scene at f2.4, f5.6, f8, and f16 to get a better understanding of how their depth of field changes along with how much the aperture opens.

kids photo class
kids photo class
kids photo class
kids photo class

Depth of Field

We kept working on understanding aperture and depth of field. This time gathering 5 still subjects and placing them in a line, moving them each 3 inches back from the one next to it. Each student then photographed their main subject, the character on the left, from f32 to f2.4:

kids photo class
kids photo class
kids photo class
kids photo class

Each student was able to understand through these exercises that a higher f-stop means a smaller aperture. This in turn means that there is an increase in the depth of field and that you would use this when you want more of the subject and image in focus. They also understood that a lower f-stop means a bigger aperture and in turn means that they will have a shallow depth of field and less of the subject in focus.

Keep Reading… Lesson 2 is here

6 reasons to make your High Schoolers Senior Portrait Session a Family Day.

6 reasons to make your High Schoolers Senior Portrait Session a Family Day.

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.

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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!

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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 🙂

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(virtual software helps decide design, style and size appropriate for your room. Actual images of client homes are used during design appointments.)

 

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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.

Senior_portraits_Urban

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.

 

 

 

You don’t have to wait for fall to get great family portraits

You don’t have to wait for fall to get great family portraits

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.

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des-plaines-kids-picture

It looks great framed as well!

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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!

downtown-arlington-heights

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.

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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.

When was the last time your family was photographed?

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!

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