I have been thinking about this photo for a few days. It was actually taken by my husband in 2009. The image is of his grandfather, in his daily work boots, and his daily work overalls, in his mother’s rocking chair. To me the boots represent hard work and commitment. They have seen a lot of life, as has that rocker.

I think shoes say something about their wearers. What do yours say about you?

When you pull out your camera this weekend, try looking at the world from a different perspective. Capture the muddy cleats instead of the muddy face; the fallen leaves, instead of the trees from which they fell; of for some of you, the pile of snow clothes left at the door after frosty is built. [Remember to squat, and get close up to your subject. Be brave. Don’t wimp out on me now.]

One of my brother’s recently got married. Yipee! It was an amazing day. I am so glad he let me tote along my camera and capture some of their special moments. Like this one…

But here’s my life long dilemma.. What do I do with all these pictures? I have already sent him the photos, but I’d really like to make sure this one get’s the treatment it deserves. So I’m thinking about this…

Source: etsy.com via Resa on Pinterest

Which reminds me that I have a first dance photo from our wedding way back when. Maybe I should do this for myself too!

Have any suggestions on what to do with wedding photos (besides look at them once a year in the big black book)?

I found this shot on Pinterest the other day and I thought it was a great example of working your family’s style. Plus, how well did they rock the stripes? I love the little guy in the suspenders with the red stripes, right next to the girls in the stripped leggings. I personally don’t have the guts to rock such fun outfits, but you can totally tell they are comfortable, this is totally normal for them, and that they must be a super fun family. Props to Simplicity Photography for a great image.

Source: simplicityphotography.com via Resa on Pinterest

Just a small peek at into my world. This is my “intern” who is developing our blog [aka playing games on my iPhone].

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE… the lighting in this photo. I didn’t touch it up, i.e. photoshop, this image at all. (Well besides adding the watermark, because there are creepy people out there who steal photos. Zeesh!)

This one will make it onto a wall somewhere in my house.

Happy Friday! It’s a great weekend for taking pictures (here at least).

[Shameless plug- this reminds me to tell you, if you are in the St.Louis area, I do have a few more spots open this week and in November, for photo shoots. I’m still developing my portfolio, so you’ll score a great deal! Currently available to capture the love and essence of families, couples, children, grand children… I’m game. At your home or an outdoor location. Pets… not so sure we would get along, but I’ll try.]

I recently captured this adorable newborn, John. Isn’t he yummy. It isn’t often that I catch newborns wide awake, so this was a special treat. He wasn’t as in love with me, as I him, so I worked fast, and I think the photos turned out well in the end.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating, newborns are not usually known for their clear complexion. This can become a distraction in a photo and sometimes a disappointment to the parents. For this reason, I find it’s most flattering to photography newborns in black and white.

You know who you are. The parent who looks down on their child and says, “Say Cheese!” [We’ll deal with cheese another day.] Do you really think you’re getting the best shot of your messy cake eater or toothless star? With a quick bend of your knee, I promise you’ll get a shot you can be proud of.

Here’s how:
1- Level your camera (and this INCLUDES camera phones) with your subject’s eyes. (This applies to pets too!)

2- Center your subject in the view finder frame.

3- Click!

I know, easy right? Try it for a week and see what you get. I bet you’ll be impressed with yourself. I know I will be.

P.S. From time to time, you might find you like the looking up shot, and that it’s appropriate. I’m totally cool with that. I agree actually. On adults it’s usually more slimming. Sometimes you get brighter eyes too. But let’s limit this pose for special occasions, and not the daily facebook post for grandma. Cool? So glad we agree!

Is black and white photography better than color? I think it’s personal preference. I also think it really depends on the image. Sometimes a photo has a distracting background and making it black and white helps the viewer focus on the subject or story of the image.

With photo editing software at almost everyone’s finger tips, either at home, or a photo printing kiosk, it’s easier than ever to create black & white photos. I remember having two cameras years ago so that I could keep one loaded with black and white film, and the other color. And the black and white film processing was so expensive.

I really do love black and white photos. Here’s why. I love how crisp they can appear. How much contrast you see. As I wrote here, they are usually flattering on most faces and in most lighting scenarios. Black and white photos also have that timeless feel. Don’t you think? Maybe it’s just me and the fact that I have tons of childhood photos in black and white (because, yes, I am that old I guess). Finally, a black and white photo looks good in almost any home decor setting. But, you can lose the warmth that a color photo brings.

I’ve posted two photos. Exactly the same image. I did adjust the contrast and brightness in the black and white one a bit, so maybe it’s not a totally fair comparison of black and white photography vs. color, but for our unofficial survey, let’s call them equal.

Which do you prefer? Why?

Does your child have a plush lovie? One of my boys has a hippo. (The other had a blanket.) He, Hippo, was actually lost for a year (behind the dresser) and was recently reunited with his owner, but I digress.

I love the idea of photographing with items of special importance. Grandma’s hankie in the hand of a bride, mom’s mixing bowl and a child covered in batter… in this case, a special bear.

Photo credit: Ange de Lamour

I have quite a few family photo sessions on the books in the next few weeks. I always get asked, “What should we wear?” Not being a huge fan of matching outfits, I try to suggest coordinating instead. This is easy for some, and harder for others. But isn’t this chart of suggestions fantastic! And you could outfit your whole family for your photo shoot from the Gap and Old Navy. You may even have a few of the pieces already.

I found this chart via Pinterest from here. I’m totally impressed. Maybe I’ll get up the courage to make a few of my own style boards here soon, since a few of my clients aren’t quite the Gap or Old Navy type. (Although I totally am!)

A few other styling tips of my own and a few I’ve picked up recently:
• Dress in colors you have in your house. (These are usually your favorites. If you live with grandma, maybe pass on that suggestion. Or not!)
• Layer. This is especially easy for fall and winter photos. A sweater with a jacket. Hats. Boots with knee socks sticking out.
• Mix textures. Again this is especially easy for fall. One kid in denim, another in corduroy. Blazers, sweaters, Oxford shirts…. You get the point?
• Don’t be afraid to pop some color in if you must go with white shirts and jeans. Just a pair of colorful shoes, or a chunky bracelet will take a basic outfit a long way.
• BE COMFORTABLE! Unless you are aiming for a Royal Wedding style shoot, wear what you would wear on an “above average” day. (i.e. Grandma’s birthday party or a lunch date with your besties) You will like this photos more and look natural. If you have kids to include, this will help them ease into the shoot faster, and be more cooperative.

What tips do you have for “what to wear for family photos”?