Family Summer Photos in St.Louis, MO by Resa Design Photography ©2015

I had so much fun with this sweet family during their session in a beautiful meadow. It started with, “HI RESA!!!!” as the little guys jumped out of the car and ran to me. I mean, how could it not be amazing. He had never met me but was so excited to make a new friend and let me capture his sweet face.

Family Summer Photos in St.Louis, MO by Resa Design Photography ©2015

The sky isn’t always this amazing for me.. We pushed back a night because of crazy high heat, and I am SOOOOO glad we did.
Family Photos by Resa Troyer for Resa Design ©2015

This left shot is one of my favorite to get of young children. To capture this shot, have the child lay down. Step over them (so their body is between your feet). And shoot. If the child is little, it’s easy to gently use the sides of your feet to hold them from rolling over.

Family Summer Photos in St.Louis, MO by Resa Design Photography ©2015 Family Summer Photos in St.Louis, MO by Resa Design Photography ©2015

It’s so hard to get toddler to stay in one spot or even near one spot for family photo sessions. I always pack some vintage toys for shoots like this. It keeps them busy and interested, and well they still run away, but not the whole time. Family Summer Photos in St.Louis, MO by Resa Design Photography ©2015

The end of a session is sometimes my favorite. Everyone is done trying to pose, and either tired or relaxed. These sweet moments will be cherished I am sure.

©2014 Resa Design, LLC Photos by Resa Troyer for Resa Design PhotographyIt is such an honor to have families ask me back year after year. I am biased, I know, but investing in photography is the gift that keeps on giving for generations to come.

Mom did such a great job with the layers of texture and “all american” color scheme. Worked perfect for the rustic location she wanted too.

©2014 Resa Design, LLC Photos by Resa Troyer for Resa Design PhotographyThis bright little girl was such a trooper. Poor thing was shivering but didn’t seem to let that stop her from having fun.

©2014 Resa Design, LLC Photos by Resa Troyer for Resa Design Photography

Such a handsome and sweet boy.

©2014 Resa Design, LLC Photos by Resa Troyer for Resa Design Photography ©2014 Resa Design, LLC Photos by Resa Troyer for Resa Design Photography

Relaxed, natural images are my favorite. It’s my opinion that the more often your kids are in front of the camera, the more relaxed they are. I think families that I see often end up with the best images, like these. When they are comfortable with me, they really show their true colors.  And how about these sparkly Sperry shoes!
©2014 Resa Design, LLC Photos by Resa Troyer for Resa Design Photography ©2014 Resa Design, LLC Photos by Resa Troyer for Resa Design Photography


Family Photos by Resa Design Photography ©2014

Trying to catch up on posting sessions from this year! How is it October already?

We had such a fun time with this family in the summer. Mom had a specific look she wanted and I think we nailed it. She brought along these giant letters and I may have tried to take them home they were so cute. Loving the neutral tones and pop of color.
Family Photos by Resa Design Photography ©2014

This was one of our “Preppy” Session. One location up to one hour with a print credit. Taken at a Chesterfield, MO area park. Family Photos by Resa Design Photography ©2014 Family Photos by Resa Design Photography ©2014 Family Photos by Resa Design Photography ©2014 Family Photos by Resa Design Photography ©2014 Family Photos by Resa Design Photography ©2014 Family Photos by Resa Design Photography ©2014

3 month baby girls pictures by Resa Design Photography ©2014

When you are exercising your body they really need to remind you, that you will not see these results for at least 3 months. I feel that way with photography right now. I have spent years practicing the art of capturing light. It’s a tricky business and although there is science, lots of it, it’s ever-changing and seeing results can take a while.

This winter I dedicated myself to refining my skills and increasing my knowledge of photography. I wanted to step up my images to the next level. I also wanted to grow my business in a sustainable way (work smarter not harder kinda way).

To do this I spent hours and hours taking photography classes. I examined other photographer’s work from a new perspective. Practiced how to get the image I want and just cross my fingers and hope it appears (which is an over exaggeration, but you get it).

Also, I did a lot of research; and drafting and redrafting; to create a business plan that works for my company. I would be remiss if I didn’t add that I upgraded equipment too, but I don’t want this to be about “doing better with better equipment” because all the best equipment in the world doesn’t great a lasting product, the creator does.

It was a lot of work. Not always fun. Sometimes really, really boring actually. But…. last night when I was editing…. it happened. I saw the muscles I had been working so feverishly during the winter, appear finally!

3 month baby girls pictures by Resa Design Photography ©2014

So… I didn’t write this to toot my own horn. I did write this to encourage you, the discouraged photographer (OR enter whatever title you are HERE) to keep at it. Don’t give up. Push yourself. As long as you are moving forward you WILL see results.

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do no return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing see to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”  Isaiah 55:10-11 (New American Standard Bible)

3 month baby girls pictures by Resa Design Photography ©2014

Family Photos by Resa Troyer for Resa Design Photography ©2014

We (or maybe just me) had a fun time during this family photo session at Busch Wildlife in St. Charles County, MO. It was such a beautiful (although windy) evening. Dad, professional musician and song writer, brought along his guitar, and we did a little impromptu sing-a-long which photographed so beautifully. Littlest brother was so interested in the guitar he would not turn for anything, but when you are photographing a two year old, sometimes you just have to let it go.

I later found out the guitar is a family heirloom. It’s a beautiful guitar, which I was also able to photograph (I’ll share those soon). What a special way to include something important and sentimental into your family photographs. Another great way to do this subtly would be with a family quilt or blanket; or a chair. Clients, something to think about. Let’s chat if you have something you want to try to include, I bet we can make it work seamlessly, like we did here.

Family Photos by Resa Troyer for Resa Design Photography ©2014

In technical news, I recently upgraded to a Cannon 7D. Wow! I am really enjoying the versatility, added strength and detail it brings to my images. Plus now my clients can print their images on giant canvases and prints. This summer I printed a 20×30 canvas for my parents and it is amazing!

Family Photos by Resa Troyer for Resa Design Photography ©2014

My clients do such a great job styling their sessions. I love when they ask me to help and send me text pictures of what they are thinking about wearing. We sometimes go back and forth on a few items, and then I wait and see what they (we all know this is mom’s job) show up in at the location. This family did a great mix of spring colors, or as my drama teacher used to say, “ice cream colors”. Now you’re hungry. Sorry!

Family Photos by Resa Troyer for Resa Design Photography ©2014Family Photos by Resa Troyer for Resa Design Photography ©2014

This sweet, beautiful, girl… her eyes just suck me in every time. And maybe it’s because I only have sons, that I LOVE capturing the details like toe nails, shoes, and headbands?

Family Photos by Resa Troyer for Resa Design Photography ©2014Family Photos by Resa Troyer for Resa Design Photography ©2014

Two year olds make the toughest subjects (I think). And for whatever reason this spring half of my sessions have involved two year olds. I think it helps that I have had a few two year olds of my own, but it still requires a lot of patience, and movement (on my part), to get anything worth developing. This little guy gave me a run (literally) for my money, but I ended up with about 6 great images to deliver to the family. The parents are usually so concerned about how the child is behaving, but I’m totally cool with it. The more you “make” them do anything, the more they rebel. So mom’s and dad’s reading this before your session with a two year old– “JUST LET THEM BE.” These parents were surprised and excited we got anything useable out of the whole session, just because the little guy was, well, acting 2.

Family Photos by Resa Troyer for Resa Design Photography ©2014

p.s. I am annoyed with how this images uploaded on the blog. not nearly the coloring they should be. Hopefully I can figure out the problem and re-upload them soon.



Newborn by Resa Troyer for Resa Design Photography ©2014

I know I say this a lot, but it is really a huge honor to be invited into the lives of my clients. They trusting me to capture very special moments and memories with skill and creativity. So when a client asks me back, it’s huge.

Newborn by Resa Troyer for Resa Design Photography ©2014

This little brother was 1 month old when mom called for me to come take pictures. Unfortunately, he didn’t want to do sleepy newborn like photos, but we got some great wide awake ones.

Newborn by Resa Troyer for Resa Design Photography ©2014Newborn by Resa Troyer for Resa Design Photography ©2014Newborn by Resa Troyer for Resa Design Photography ©2014

This is the third time I have worked with this family (first, second). Big Brother and I are buds now. He was nearly begging to have his picture taken. It was adorable.

Newborn by Resa Troyer for Resa Design Photography ©2014Newborn by Resa Troyer for Resa Design Photography ©2014

©2014 Resa Design, LLC. 3 month old baby boy photos.This little man. He’s such a looker and a sweet boy. These are a few of his 3 month photos.

©2014 Resa Design, LLC. 3 month old baby boy photos.Patten_8How sweet are these brothers? They are two of four! I have a feeling these two have a lifetime of memories ahead. Big brother was so proud to be with his little brother. And then he just looked at me and made these images happen. I’d say, he’s a natural. Not a “normal” two-year old session, that’s for sure.

©2014 Resa Design, LLC. Photographs of brothers.Entire session shot with window light. My favorite.

©2014 Resa Design Photography, by Resa TroyerThe yawn. One of my FAVORITE newborn image. I love how it’s a whole body experience for them, and looking at the image brings back so many sweet memories.©2014 Resa Design, LLC by Resa TroyerI shot this session in a WARM home (mom pumped up the heat before I arrived, my suggestion), and in front of a window with great light. I always bring a heating pad and warm up any place I am going to lay the new baby. It really helps them stay asleep and relaxed. Next time I need to remember how warm the house can be, and dress accordingly.

©2014 Resa Design, LLC by Resa TroyerCapturing siblings together can sometimes be tricky depending on who close in age they are. It’s hard to get them to all look at you, and attend to the newborn safely. This time I skipped that and just had them draw their attention to baby brother. Mom was thrilled how this session turned out. A happy client, is the best client :)©2014 Resa Design, LLC by Resa Troyer©2014 Resa Design, LLC by Resa Troyer

©2014 Resa Design, LLC by Resa Troyer

Grandma was at the home taking care of mom and the family when I was there. I asked her if she would like to pose with the baby for a shot or two. She was reluctant, (since she was cooking and not really “ready” for pictures) but I love how these turned out. What special images to have for your children when they are grown. Note to photographers: Consider suggesting grandma, or other special family member be present during a in home lifestyle session. They are a great help with kid wrangling, and you might even be able to get them to step in front of the lens for you too.


©2014 Resa Design Photography by Resa Troyer, St. Louis, MODuring this long, long winter, I used my stuck inside time to take some photography classes! I had this on my to-do list for last winter, but it never got done. None the less, I am so glad I did it. One of the classes I took was THIS one on posing with Lindsay Adler. I really like the Creative Live classes and like to watch them live so you can get in on the chat groups happening at the same time, and ask live questions. Anyway, back to the point of this post. Posing. This isn’t something that was totally foreign to me, but the refresher and some new ideas really was just what I needed to jump-start my 2014 sessions. My biggest take away from Lindsay’s class was setting the foundation with foot placement – specifically with women/girls, shifting body weight to one leg/foot.

©2014 Resa Design, LLC. Image by Resa Troyer

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of doing a session with this beautiful and talented high school senior. We had been waiting for a warm day (because like almost everywhere, winter has been long and brutal here in St. Louis). I am thrilled with the images we created, and based on the big hug I got from mom the other day, they are too. I’ll use them to share with you some of my new (and old) posing techniques and how I direct the client- because that’s usually the hardest part for most photographers.

A few tips on posing high school senior girls:

  1. DO STANDARD POSES- They are so easy to work with and willing to try new things- so get creative. But first- do the standard poses (because that’s what mom, dad, and grandma want and will BUY). Lindsay suggests these are: Standing, Sitting, Leaning, Laying. I found it’s not always possible to do all 4 of these at every location. It’s also not always the girls “style”. I like to be flexible with rules like this.
  2. FEET- Even when you are taking head shots, take the time to position the lower body. It will set the tone for their whole posture. Women’s body’s are not flattered by feet placed next to each other pointing forward. So, after you have your client stand where you want them to be, go with this, “Put your weight one one foot. Great. Now take the other foot and turn it to the outside and slide it out. Pop the hip of the foot you have your weight on. Perfect!” Now you are ready to set the upper body. (More on feet below in #9)
  3. HAND PLACEMENT- Pay attention to hands. Always. Fingers can get stiff looking, look like they are missing, look angry, show tension, etc. They can also be used to slim a waist line. It may feel awkward to the client, but when they have their hands on their hips, have them pull their hands closer to the middle. This is a great way to create a waist line, or shrink one. Another tip on hands- direct the client to move their hands when they start looking forced or tense. Say things like, “wiggle your fingers” or “Put your hand on your head, now slide it softly down your head and face.” (then have them stop when it gets to a soft place you like).
  4. CHIN DOWN- When people stand up straight, they usually lift their chin, and you lose the jaw and see too much neck. The other problem that happens is when you are very close to the subject (or a client is looking at another client), their tendency will be to pull their face back and away from you, which is never flattering. If you have trouble getting your client to keep their chin down (and out) try asking them to “Push your forehead out towards me.” This will actually get their whole face at a better angle. Sometimes I say, “Push your forehead out. Great. Now down a little bit.” This gets the chin down a little more if they didn’t do that already. CHIN DOWN is flattering on every woman, I think. You can eliminate almost any double chin.
  5. CHIN DOWN (with glasses)- This IS my key to not getting the reflection off glasses. Well that and lighting. I have found when I am seeing reflection in a clients glasses, if they tip their chin down even a little more, but keep their eyes on me, I can get rid of it.
  6. SHOW THE JAW LINE- Don’t cover the jaw line with hands, or clothing. (You will see I broke this rule in a few of these images. Oops!) The jaw line give the face shape. When you hide it behind a hand or anything else, you lose that curve and shape of the face.
  7. NEGATIVE SPACE- This was something that was really hammered home in the class I took. Negative space draws the eye around the image and can be used to create curves and/or a slimming effect. Look in a mirror with your hands at your sides, now put them on your hips with your elbows out. See the difference?
  8. EYES- Most clients need you to tell them where to look. I love asking my clients to look deep into my lens. “See if you can see the shutter snap (I use the word butterfly when I’m shooting kids).” I also like to position faces so they are pointed off my shoulder or even a little farther, but then ask the client to just move their eyes to look at me. This will get you some great white in their eye, and maybe even some catch light if your lighting is perfect.
  9. SLIMMING the LOWER BODY- To create curves, or slim curves, cross the legs. Brilliant, I know. Picked this one up from that class too. In the image above, second on bottom, you can see this technique in practice. By having the client cross her legs, we created an hourglass shape with her lower half. I also cropped the frame at the knee to help this technique work best. If you use this technique, have them lean forward a little bit too, it will bring their middle half away from the camera, and minimize it more.
    ©2014 Resa Design, LLC. Image by Resa Troyer

©2014 Resa Design, LLC. Image by Resa Troyer©2014 Resa Design, LLC. Image by Resa Troyer©2014 Resa Design, LLC. Image by Resa Troyer©2014 Resa Design, LLC. Image by Resa Troyer

What are your favorite posing tips?

(Shot in Chesterfield, MO / St. Louis, MO by Resa Troyer for Resa Design Photography)

Children's Photography in St.Charles, Missouri by Resa Troyer ©2013 Resa Design PhotographyStill catching up on sessions from last fall/early winter. These ADORABLE sisters were my last outdoor session for the year. We got an “almost” warm day in December to squeeze a downtown St. Charles session in.

Hauser2Sometimes kids just show up ready to make the perfect images with you. This is SO RARE! But this adorable little girl did just that. These images of her sitting down were the first photos of the session. She just sat there and looked right at me and posed all on her own. This again is NOT NORMAL. Most kids need lots of encouragement and I use all my tricks to get great images. Even then, it’s not always as successful as you might want it to be. This is why I take LOTS of pictures. ((Even my own kids are not amazing at photo shoots, just so you know.))

Children's photography by Resa Troyer ©2014 Resa Design PhotographyChildren's Photography by Resa Troyer ©2014 Resa Design Photography

Big sister was not as thrilled that day to have her picture taken. We bribed, played games, you name it. She just wasn’t feeling it. When all my tricks fail I back off. This can be tricky because your client might feel like you aren’t engaging or solving the problem of the situation. In reality, I feel like the child needs a break from being the center of attention, so I pretend I am busy doing other things (or taking pictures of someone else) and let the difficult child do their thing. With the equipment I have, I am able to stay far off and still get photos of the child who thinks I’m not paying attention them. Does this make sense? Basically I “sneak” pictures. In the spread below, she was walking down the sidewalk with some attitude. I also just focused in on her cute boots. I even got her being naughty and going around the corner to get away from us. Children's Photography by Resa Troyer ©2014 Resa Design Photography Hauser5

Finally, don’t be afraid to get a photo without a “smile”. My style and aim is to capture “personality” over a posed smile when it comes to children and families. This is something you have to work hard at overcoming if you are used to “say cheese”. I also like to take crying photos, because, well babies cry a lot. It’s real. Hauser6

What are your biggest challenges photographing children? -Resa