Tag Archives: art and discord studios

Massachusetts Tattoo Convention Seminar

I am so excited to be teaching a seminar at the upcoming Massachusetts Tattoo Convention! I will be teaching a seminar called “Photoshop Techniques for Tattoo Artists” on Monday, Sept 5th at 1pm.  I will be walking attendees through 2 complete tattoo design projects, demonstrating a number of different techniques including shortcuts that will save time and energy in tattoo design, how to improve and how to combine references, creating line drawings from your references, manipulating lettering, and more.

Attendees do not need laptops and drawing tablets, but they are recommended.  All attendees will receive both the video of the seminar and a screen capture of the original process of putting the designs together, along with all files used to create the designs.

Email me at artanddiscordstudios@gmail.com with seminar inquires and registration.  Cost is $150.

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Happy International Women’s Day!

      Today is International Women’s Day, which intends to bring awareness to the oppression and inequality of women globally.  Personally, I think it is insane that in a world which is so advanced in so many ways, that antiquated belief systems which support the idea that any human being is lesser than any other still exist.

      As women especially,  it is important that we support each other, and help lift each other up.  It is always my greatest joy to create images which show the immense variety of beauty that exists in the universe, and some of my favorite sessions are portraits that reveals both inner and outer beauty for a woman to see in herself.  Celebrate and share yourself, your inner and outer beauty, for all the world to see.

You are amazing and you deserve for everyone to see it.

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Posted in Beauty, Fine Art, Inspiration, Photography, Portrait Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |

How is your LinkedIn profile photo affecting your career or business? or, Why professional headshots matter!

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When was the last time you updated your headshot? Does your LinkedIn profile have a blurry, awkwardly cropped iPhone photo of you instead of a clean, professional headshot? Did you know this could be hurting your business or career and limiting your network?

In an age in which we often are introduced to new people via the Internet, their profile photo is the generally the only visual cue we have to figure out what kind of a person they are.  On business related profiles, such as LinkedIn, where our personalities often don’t come out in the text we write, how do we communicate something about ourselves that encourages people to connect and get to know us better? It is our profile image that will make the quickest and most direct impact, and will encourage a new viewer want to learn more about you.  In fact, TheLadders did a study tracking the eye movements of recruiters on LinkedIn while they looked at profiles and resumes.  What they discovered was that the recruiters spent 19 percent of their time looking at the profile photo, compared to an only cursory glance at the candidate’s actual resume.  That is a pretty astonishing piece of data!

So, with that in mind, look at your current profile photo.  Does it say at a glance who you are and what kind of a person the viewer should expect to encounter? Is it a weirdly cropped photo that contains the shoulder of your best friend from a fun night out? What does that kind of a photo say about you? Is it a vacation photo? A crooked, poorly lit selfie? Do those images speak to how amazing you are at your job and how dedicated you are to your work? These are some serious considerations to make if they are influencing your professional life.  Would a potential client or employer give you a second glance with the photo you currently have?

If the answer to those questions is no, it’s time to think about having a professional headshot taken!  Now, I know that getting in front of a camera can be a stressful situation for a lot of people (heck, that’s why I’m behind the camera, not in front of it!), but some of the stress can be alleviated by walking into the situation prepared.  Think about what you want to convey about yourself: Do you want to appear approachable and confident? Funny? Serious? What is your message? Depending on the business you are in or the job you’re looking for, it might be a much different picture.

Generally speaking, you want to wear clothes that are appropriate to your industry.  If you work in an office that requires you to wear a suit every day, then you’ll want to put on your best suit for the photo.  If you work in an environment that is more business casual, you should try to wear the same kind of clothes you would normally wear to work (although, if you’re trying to move up the ladder, so to speak, you might want to consider dressing the part, whatever that might be).  I always recommend wearing wardrobe that makes you feel good, fits really well, and shows off a bit of your personality.  This should help alleviate some of your stress, because you’ll already know that you look amazing and it will give you some confidence walking into your headshot session.

For women, make sure your hair and makeup is both work appropriate and flattering.  You want to keep it natural so people can see who you truly are, and you want the photo to remain relevant regardless of current trends.  Consider hiring a makeup artist to make it perfect and to give your self a bit of pampering before your session for some additional relaxation.  For men, grooming is important as well.  Is your hair styled appropriately? Is your facial hair groomed or if you’re clean-shaven, you’ll want to make sure you don’t have that 5 o’clock shadow going on.

My final piece of advice is RELAX!! Stop over thinking it… Once you take a deep breath and shake out all the tension, you will naturally be able to share a bit of your personality!   Leave the rest of the image-making to the professionals, and just try to be yourself in front of the camera!

Start the year off right by having your professional portrait made and watch the impact it can have on your career or business!

Posted in Headshots, Portrait Also tagged , , , , , , , |

A New Project and a Trip to Oregon!

So, it just occurred to me that we are already in the fourth month of 2014 and unfortunately I have been seriously neglecting my blog posting for the year, as this is my first post!   I will be better about posting going forward and can’t wait to share the work I’ve been doing as well as the amazing projects I’ve got lined up for the next couple of months!

I hope the year has been good to you thus far and that you are excited about the Spring, I know I have been seriously jonesing for this warm weather to arrive since my trip to Oregon at the end of February and I’m excited that the temperature is finally where it was while we were on the west coast!  We went out to Portland to visit some friends who moved there a few years ago who we’ve been promising to visit literally since they moved.  Jae did a bit of a guest spot at our friends Joe and Dominic’s tattoo studio, Dead Gods Tattoo and I planned a few photo shoots while we were out there so I could get a chance to work with some new faces on the west coast.

Now, I should go back a bit in time and explain how and why I organized the shoots that I did while I was in Portland…

In January, I decided that I really need to give myself a personal project for the year to allow myself to explore some creative concepts in the midst of the fashion, beauty and portraiture that I usually focus on, and I really wanted to work on getting a cohesive body of fine art work together.  I have a tendency to wander in my interests photographically, which allows me to explore a lot of outlets and ideas, but makes for a strange assortment of work in my portfolio.  I spent a few weeks pondering what makes me happy when creating fine art images and what concepts I fall back on again and again that I have a passion for creating.  I realized that my favorite images have a few things in common, which I should concentrate on: they have a painterly feel, they are inspired by classical paintings in lighting and posing- especially work created during the Italian Renaissance and the Dutch Golden Age, and they have a fantastical or supernatural subject matter.  Using these three ideas to focus my project, I finally decided on: The Female Archetype Project.  This project will explore female archetypes using images depicting mythological female characters throughout the world.  I am really excited to be able to revisit some of my studies from college comparing religions and various mythologies, comparing ideas and finding the concepts which seem to be universal.  My hope is to be able to put a book together with all the images as well as some explanations of the archetypes, sharing the research I’ll be doing into these concepts!

 

Now, back to Oregon!  

So, in preparation for my trip, I put out a casting call on Model Mayhem in hopes of finding a model or two I would be able to work with while I was out there.  Because I would be planning from across the country and had no contacts in the modeling world in Oregon, I figured it would be my best bet to plan to work on the Female Archetype Project while I was there, vs attempting to find a full team of hair/makeup/wardrobe for a fashion-based concept. After going back and forth with a few different models, I settled on three who were interested in creating some mythological figures, had great work in their portfolios already and were available on the day I would have a vehicle and would be able to drive to locations.  We started throwing around goddess ideas and decided on Oonagh, Queen of the Fairies (or Queen Mab or Titania) for Alley, Persephone for Mary and finally Morrigan for Shawna.  Because they were all from the Vancouver, WA area I decided that the hour-long drive to them made the most sense, since they were far more familiar with that area than the Portland area.

I was lucky that my friend Erica Templeman was interested in creating a dress for Oonagh because she loved the concept, and she made a gorgeous piece that really made the images perfect!  She also amazingly created the entire dress from entirely thrifted elements!!  I also made a couple of flower wreath headpieces to go with the concept, which brought the wardrobe together!  Mary and Shawna brought their own wardrobe and props and really went all out!  I was lucky that they were so passionate about their concepts and were dedicated to putting together the perfect pieces for their goddess characters.  Alley also found a hair stylist/ makeup artist to assist us with her slightly more complicated look, and it rounded out the team quite nicely.

I started the day meeting Alley at her place in Vancouver and getting her into her wardrobe after she had been getting her hair and makeup done for a couple hours.  I unfortunately got lost on the way and ended up being 30 minutes late, which did actually work out because they were just finishing up hair and makeup when I arrived.  We got Alley into her dress, jumped into the car and headed to the first location, a beautiful huge tree in the middle of a field.  We took some great photos of the dress (before we got it dirty) and makeup, as well as exploring a few ideas about what a fairy queen might be doing in a field.  We had a quick makeup change and headed to our second location, which was an amazingly beautiful forest down the road. The trees were HUGE and everything was green- covered in moss and lichen, a truly magical little world.  We tromped through the woods looking for the perfect setting for our queen and Alley led us to a beautiful tree which had fallen over, revealing the root system, which made a lovely throne.  With rain constantly threatening, we set up the lighting, and started shooting to get as much material to work with for composites, exploring different poses and positions.  We worked fairly quickly and got what we needed in about 30 minutes, which was amazing!

After dropping Alley back off, Jae and I headed to another location on the other side of Vancouver; a beautiful state forest abutting a lake.  As we waited for Mary and Shawna to arrive, it started pouring out.  I was determined that we would not call of the shoot, as long as the rain lightened up a little bit, we’d be able to stay and work through both concepts.  We did a bit of recon to see where on the main path would have the most coverage from the rain and also had interesting features and found a few places that I could see us working from.  Shawna and Mary arrived a little bit later and started getting into their wardrobe and makeup.  With everyone set to go, I loaded up on plastic trash bags to cover my lights and camera if necessary, grabbed our umbrellas and props and headed into the woods. It was definitely a tricky situation shooting in the rain, also having to move aside for the dozen or so people who passed us on the path while we were working.  But, we got both Shawna and Mary’s concepts completed and none of the equipment got wet!

 

Here are final images from all three shoots!

Alley:

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and the image created for the Female Archetype Project

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Mary:
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And the image for the Female Archetype Project

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And Finally, Shawna: 


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Thank you to everyone who was involved in making these amazing images: Alley Blom, Mary Ward, Shawna Colton, Brittany Nowers, and Erica Templeman as well as Joe for letting Jae and I crash at his place, and his lovely other half Jen who let us borrow her car, and of course my husband Jae who was my chauffeur and voice-activated light stand for the day!

Posted in Female Archetype Project, Fine Art Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

Beauty with Heather Schofield

A couple of months ago, I had the pleasure of working with Makeup Artist Heather Schofield of HS-Artistry at The SOPHA in Manchester, NH.  We brought in two models neither of us had worked with before and had a blast creating some fun beauty shots!  Lavanyai and Kira were great sports and I am excited to share my favorite shots from the day with both of them!

Kira:

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Lavanyai:

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Beauty Test with Erika and Makeup by Lyndsay


Erika is a gorgeous girl who came to our rescue last minute, when the model that Lyndsay, from Makeup by Lyndsay and I had planned to work with last week was terribly ill, and we had to track down a model an hour before our shoot.  Erika had never been in front of the camera before, but she did an amazing job and we had a ridiculously awesome day!  We started off by experimenting with a bit of a grungy rock and roll inspired look, which we transitioned into a bohemian/warrior style because we were having so much fun… it gave me a chance to finally pull out one of the vintage slips I found at Brimfield this summer and I was also able to incorporate the Fire Dragon Mohawk I created a few months ago.  For our second makeup look, Lyndsay created a fun glamour inspired look, and I got to pull out a cute pink dress I picked up a couple of years ago-  all in all, we had a blast and I was able to not only create some amazing beauty headshots, but we got to play a bit with fashion and fine art images as well.  Here are some of my favorites for the day!

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Posted in Fashion, Fine Art, Headshots, Photography, Portrait, Uncategorized, Wardrobe Also tagged , , , , , , , , |

Miss Aniela’s Fashion Shoot Experience on the Framed Show

It has finally been released!!  I am so excited to announce that the Framed Show episode that I was a guest photographer at this past April has finally aired!!  It was such an amazing experience and The Framed Network did such a lovely job bringing it to life in their Framed Show episode.  And now I can finally release all of my images, which have been burning a hole in my hard drive since I finished editing them five months ago.  I am so thankful that I was able to be a part of the show and share the experience with so many other wonderful and creative photographers and especially to have had the chance to work with the incredibly inspiring Miss Aniela!

 

Here are some of my favorite images from the workshop…

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And what an amazing team of people to work with!!  Here are the credits for everyone who was a part of making these beautiful images!

Model: Annabelle Lyttle (lavender dress)

Dress: Daniel Feld

Hat: Anya Caliendo Couture Millinery Atelier

Earring, bracelet, ring: Clara Kasavina

Shoes: Stylist’s own

Hair: Numi Empire

Makeup: Nadine Vendryes

Stylist: Leonid Gurevich

Stylist’s assistants: Marina Gurevich, Michelle Ortega

Model: Ploymanee S. (white dress)

Dress: Leonid Gurevich

Leather harness and mask: Jade Chiu

Rings: Clara Kasavina

Shoes: Uta Bekaia

Hair: Numi Empire

Makeup: Nadine Vendryes

Stylist: Leonid Gurevich

Stylist’s assistants: Marina Gurevich, Michelle Ortega

Model: Maleen Rike Johannsen (red dress)

Dress: Alex Teih

Hat: Raquel Livia

Earring, bracelet, necklace: Clara Kasavina

Shoes: Kilame design by Pamela Quinzi

Hair: Kisha Marie

Makeup: Chifumi Nambashi

Stylist: Leonid Gurevich

Stylist’s assistants: Marina Gurevich, Michelle Ortega

Hosting photographer:  Natalie Dybisz/Miss Aniela

Event Director:  Matt Lennard

Website:  www.fashionshootexperience.com

Project Manager:  Catherine Jolley

Assistants: 

Catherine Jolley

Brent McCombs

Dirk Bergner

Ian Gavan

 

and of course thanks to Melissa Niu and the Framed Network for such a fantastic opportunity!!

 

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Creating a Classic Romantic Ballerina Tutu!

I’m always looking for new ways to add to the wardrobe I have available for clients to use during our portrait sessions and I’ve been pondering adding a series of tulle skirts to my selection to provide some more fun, romantic options for softer looks.  I finally decided a couple of weeks ago that I was going to create a beautiful 6-layer Degas style classical ballerina tutu for my first attempt.  I found a fantastic Tutu tutorial on Youtube by Anjou Clothing (who happens to be from Maine- it’s awesome to see such beautiful work from a fellow New Englander) and I chose to make an attempt at creating something similar with some of the tulle I purchased online in February.

The first step in the process is to pleat all 6 layers (of 128″ long) of the tulle, so that it is a neater gather at the top of the skirt.  I spent a few hours a week or so ago hand pleating the tulle as she instructs in the first video (its a 2-parter), but hadn’t had the time to sit down and actually sew the 6 layers together.  Finally I had some time on Monday to make the attempt to put the whole thing together. I cut out a piece of fabric for the waist band (I used a random piece of blanket edging I had lying around from a box of gifted craft items), and started the process by beginning to sew the first layer of tulle… about 3/4 of the way through my bobbin thread snapped and I lost all my pleats… I was horrified and realized that I had too much tension on my thread… so after making some adjustments, I set aside layer one so I could revisit the pleating and started on layer two.

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Layer two was going fine until I finished, I gave myself a few feet at the end of the stitch so I could adjust the gathers, but it wasn’t enough room, as the tulle had bunched up significantly more than I’d anticipated… I lost about 6 pleats, so after re-pleating and restarting the stitch, I managed to save the layer before I lost any more.  I was better prepared for layers three, four and five, and although I had some glitches, I was able to work them out with minimal hassle.  At this point I realized that in my haste last week, I neglected to pleat layer six… So, needless to say, I decided that creating a four layer tutu would not be a bad first attempt, and setting aside layers one and six, sat down to start attaching the tulle to the waist band.

Pinning the bunched up tulle was a bit tricker than I had anticipated, and adjusting the gathered pleats to be even, sit relatively flat and also be the correct length for the waist band was a bit more time-consuming than I had expected.  The first layer was easiest to add, since I didn’t have to worry about the other layers getting in the way, but beyond the pinning process, the sewing went much smoother this time around (I only had one tiny glitch where the tulle from an under layer was sewn into the waistband along with the layer I was currently sewing).

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The final part of the process was adding the black satin ribbon waistband, which in retrospect, I should have pressed in half first before sewing it on, but was too distracted to get out the iron at the time.  The waistband ended up being a bit ripple-y, due to the softness of the layers of tulle and the fact that I didn’t iron the ribbon, but it is easily covered by wrapping the excess ribbon around the waist, so I’m not too worried about it.

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After about a total of 5 hours of work, I ended up with a lovely romantic black tulle tutu, that will be about mid-calf on anyone over 5’7″ and floor length on anyone shorter… it is a beautiful addition to my wardrobe and I can’t wait to get someone into it!

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I hope to get a dress form soon, so I can take a better (not iPhone shot) picture to post in a gallery of wardrobe options… stay tuned for my next wardrobe additions which will include similar ones in pink and white, as well as versions for little girls (so we can do some ballerina and princess sessions in the next few months)!

Posted in Fashion, Photography, Portrait, Uncategorized, Wardrobe Also tagged , , , , , , , |

Gold Leaf Makeup with Isabella and Lyndsay

Last Tuesday I had a chance to work with model Isabella Capri and makeup artist Lyndsay Simon once again.  While we started the day not really knowing what direction we were headed in, after a bit of brainstorming, we decided to start with a basic concept of doing something “Metallic.”  Now, I have a habit of collecting random things (some might say “hoard,” but I believe that eventually I will find uses for all of my treasures) and so I gathered up all the random metallic items that might be included in a makeup and hair look with that theme… included in the assortment was gold ribbons in a number of styles, vials of gold microbeads in different metallic finishes, glycerin with gold and bronze pigment to create liquid metal, and gold leaf that I’ve had laying around for the last year or so.

Lyndsay ended up deciding that gold leaf was the most interesting option we had, and mixing this with a few different metallic pigments, including a beautiful rose/gold metallic powder, she began creating what would be an absolutely amazing look!  She even got crafty and decorated a pair of lashes with the gold leaf to complete the look!  For wardrobe, I had a gold pleated dress I had picked up from H&M last year which has been laying around waiting for the perfect look to be paired with and we decided that it would be the perfect compliment to the makeup Lyndsay was doing.

I was so excited about the session that I couldn’t wait to get started editing, and had my first image completed the by the following day!

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After a busy week, I finally had time to complete the rest of the editing from the session and I am excited to share the results today!

Isabella has such a beautiful profile… I’m obsessed!!  This really showcased the beautiful gold leaf work that Lyndsay did, as well.

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Gold leaf has such an amazing texture… it is one of my favorite things about it! Because of this, I love to add it to my encaustics and my headpieces/accessories whenever I get a chance!

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I am in love with this image, partly because it took us so many takes to get it right!!  I generally have a hard time with asymmetry (thanks to the left brained voice in my creative process), but I really enjoyed the challenge of finding the balance in the look and this captures it so well.

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Finally, one for the wardrobe… Isabella kept reminding me of an Egyptian queen or priestess with her lounge-y poses and this dress… I felt that this captured the elegance and feeling of power perfectly!

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Thanks for taking the time to check out my work!  Hope you enjoyed viewing them as much as I enjoyed creating them!

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Preparing for your Portrait Session

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Here are just a few simple things that will help you get ready for your Glamour or Fashion-Styled Portrait Session with Art and Discord Studios: 

Skin: Proper skin preparation is incredibly important for an image!  If you would like to get a facial prior to your session, try to schedule it a week beforehand, in case you have residual redness.  Also, make sure the few weeks before your session, you wear sunscreen if you are going out into the sun!  Sunburned skin looks dry and leathery, and is generally not how you want to remember yourself!  If you have tan lines, you might want to use a self-tanner to even out the tones… it doesn’t need to be perfect, but the less drastic the difference, the better it will look.

Drink plenty of water the 24 hours before your session, and stay away from excessive alcohol consumption as it tends to dry out the skin and emphasize lines and dark circles.  Make sure you get enough sleep the night before and prior to bed use a gentle exfoliant to give your skin a fresh glow.

That day, come with clean, well-moisturized skin.  Lastly, make sure the clothing you wear to the session is loose fitting and does not have tight elastic so it will not leave marks on your skin.  Be aware of undergarments, socks, pant and skirt waistbands as all these items can leave indents if they are too tight fitting.

Hair: Wear your hair as you would normally wear it.  Be aware that if you are planning any drastic changes to your hair style, you should give yourself a few weeks before your session to get used to it.  If you need a trim or your roots touched up, do it about one week before your session.  Come to your session with clean, dry hair and we’ll take care of the rest.

Nails: Feel free to get a mani/pedi before your session, but make sure you don’t come to your session with chipped polish… if you’re not a mani/pedi kind of gal, then clean, shaped, unpolished nails will do just fine.

Glasses: If you wear glasses regularly, you may prefer to wear them during your portrait session as well.  Be aware that they can create some difficulties due to the reflective nature of glass.  They tend to cause distortion when looking at the eyes, or reflections which cover the eye.  If you choose to wear glasses for your session, it might be a good idea to see if you can borrow empty frames from your optician that are the same as your  own glasses– so you’ll feel and look like you, but we won’t have all of the issues that come with putting glass in front of your beautiful eyes.

Wardrobe:  Bring lots of clothing options. I generally recommend at least 5 outfits.  They can be any assortment of casual, formal etc. Dress in colors you feel you look best in and that represent your style. White clothing is excellent for soft portraits, and darker colors are fantastic for adding drama.  Bringing layers is always a good so you  have more options, since we can remove layers and create even more outfit combinations.   Avoid striped tops as they tend to not photograph well,  and realistically its not a bad idea to avoid strong patterns in general, since they have a tendency to overpower the eye and are not as flattering in most images.  Make sure your wardrobe fits well and is comfortable.  Coordinate your outfits from head to toe, hats, belts, scarves, jewelry.

Shoes: Bring a few different styles of shoes, and make sure you have a couple that are basic and will never go out of style.  Bringing at least a nice dark heel and a white heel will cover all the bases, but feel free to bring some fun options as well.  Of course, we can always work with bare feet!

Props: I encourage you to bring any props that inspire you.  Bring items that represent who you are and the things you are passionate about.  Bring anything that helps you to tell your story.  A few examples would be: your favorite flowers, jewelry which was handed down from your grandmother, musical instruments, tools of your occupation.. the sky is the limit!  I will have a small assortment of props for us to use, but ones that have special meaning to you will often read better in the final images.

Music:  The right soundtrack can make a huge difference in your mood and your ability to let go and have fun.  Please feel free to bring your digital player or cds so we have can set the perfect atmosphere for your session!

 

When you feel prepared for your Portrait Session, you will find yourself so much more relaxed and excited for the day!   The entire experience is all about you feeling beautiful and pampered, so if you aren’t worried about whether or not you remembered everything, you’ll be much more able to focus on enjoying the day!  If you have any questions or concerns about what to bring, you can certainly feel free to contact me anytime for advice– even sending me photos of outfits you’re thinking of bringing!  I love to see what direction clients are heading with their session wardrobe so I can brainstorm a few unique options for sets and concepts that we can throw in the mix!

Posted in Beauty, Fashion, Fine Art, Photography, Portrait, Wardrobe Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , |