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.



Billings5What a BEAUTIFUL girl! I had such a great time with Anna Maria during our fall Senior photo session.

Fall Highschool Senior Photos by Resa Troyer ©2013 Resa Design PhotographyShe styled herself for this session and, as most girls her age, did a fantastic job. Don’t you think? I wish I had been so stylish when I was a high-schooler. (Please DO NOT dig up any old photos of me please!)

Billings7 Billings6

She had her makeup done for the session, and although she is gorgeous to begin with, I can’t encourage my clients enough to take the time to have professional hair and makeup for their portrait sessions. It makes such a difference in the final product. Natural makeup is what I most highly recommend. Keep the colors neutral and most-true to your daily routine. Billings4 Billings3

We had one of the windiest days I have every experienced in St. Louis. We didn’t get to shoot exactly where we wanted because we searched for cover and escape from the wind, but I think we ended up with great images. I know her mom was thrilled. Billings2

©2013 Resa Design Photography

Happy Graduation Anna Maria!


Newborn photography is not my specialty. There are so many amazing professionals out there that do AMAZING work. BUT newborns are so yummy, and when a friend has one, well I run over as soon as possible to cuddle them up. This little guy was no exception. Patten_2Newborn photos for Resa Design Photography ©2013

And what a pretty mama! Four boys in tow, she is one of the best mothers I know. (I was so not trying to rhyme there.)


St. Louis Children's Photographer Resa Troyer for Resa Design, LLC Horst3

I had so much fun with these three girls during our session in a beautiful St. Louis park. No only were they super photogenic, they were so much fun to play with.

It’s truly such a privilege to photography families.

(Check out the sneak peek photos from this session here.)

You might like this sweet print for your sister from our ETSY store.


Indoor Natural LightIndoor Natural LightA few months ago I got to create these images of two adorable siblings. Sister was not so thrilled with having her photos taken, but we got a few without too many tears. Big Brother was a trooper and totally great in front of the camera.

Taken in the client’s home using natural window light.

How to utilize natural light indoors during cold weather: 1- find the brightest set of windows in the house. (windows act as a great diffuser as long as the light is blasting through) 2- play with the position of your subject. In these photos, i had the clients perpendicular to the windows and I mainly kept my back towards the light source. Because of this, one side of their faces is a little darker than the other. If you don’t like that, turn the subject more straight on with the window.

I love this video tutorial from Photography Concentrate on how to use window light:

What a fun time I had photographing this St. Louis area family a few months ago. When photographing newborns it’s always a good idea to give yourself a lot of time and arrive prepared. We had our share of “accidents”, feedings, and diaper changes, so I was glad I had slotted a few hours for this shoot.

I always send an email to the parents letting them know what to expect. Parents have said this really helps and puts them at ease when they hand off their fresh newborn to a “stranger”.

Of all my clients, new parents require the most sensitivity. They are tired, sometimes hormonal, and almost always nervous about either the shoot, you, or how their baby will behave. (Or sometimes all three). It’s your job as a photographer to make them feel as comfortable as possible, as well as get the best photos you can. This takes patience and experience.

I try to start off by just hanging out with the family. I explore the house for the best light, while they get used to the idea that I have arrived to photograph their newborn. Then I talk to them for a bit about the baby, how it’s going, etc. This gives me sometime to gauge their personality and the normal expressions of their faces (assuming you are taking some photos with the parents). There is nothing like seeing a photo that doesn’t represent your personality at all, is there? Then I start shooting.

Newborns can’t really pose, so sometimes it’s waiting for them to make the cutest face, yawn, or open their eyes. Other times, I actually pose the child by setting them how I want, and holding them there for a few seconds until you feel them relax. For example, if you want a hand on a cheek, place the sleeping child’s hand there. Then keep you fingers on it for a few seconds until the baby relaxes. Let go, and shoot.

In my bag of tricks for newborn photo shoots:

  • heating pad (and extension cord)
  • towel
  • extra blankets
  • a waterproof crib mattress pad (This is great for folding under any blanket or material you are putting the baby on.)
  • a burp cloth (I usually ask the parent to led me one.)
  • trimmed nails (I don’t want to scratch the baby I am trying to photograph.)
  • quiet accessories (Not the time to wear the bangle bracelets or noisy earrings.)
  • warm hands (I try to warm up my hands before I hold the babies when they are undressed. This helps them stay asleep, or at least feel less uncomfortable if they are awake.)
  • a list of poses (Sometimes I actually write out a list, sometimes I have a list in my head. Sometimes mom or dad has provided some sort of a list, or ideas of what they want. And sometimes, you just have to go with the flow and what the parents are comfortable with.)