How to Preserve & Organize Your Printed Pictures | Richmond Hill Photographer

While most of us possess hundreds if not thousands of digital photos, most people still have countless printed photographs lying around the house.

In order to preserve these precious memories, it helps to know how best to organize and store them so that you and your family can keep them safe and easily accessible. It would be a shame to lose family portraits that have been passed down through the generations, which is why proper storage is so important.

Below are some suggestions for organizing and storing your printed pictures.

Keep climate in mind when choosing a storage space. Spaces such as basements and attics that experience major fluctuations in temperature are not the right places to store images. Instead, choose closets or cabinets that are in climate-controlled areas of your home.

Avoid the ground. Elements such as water become a concern when you store your pictures on the ground. Plus, there is a much higher chance of them being damaged by falling objects, people, pets, or pests.

Keep your portraits properly enclosed. Dust, sunlight, and pests can all damage your memories if they are not properly enclosed in a box, frames, or plastic folders.

Use dividers. Once pictures start aging, they can stick together, which leads to permanent damage once you need to pull them apart. While it might seem like extra work, place non-acidic dividers in between your pictures to prevent this from happening.

Do get rid of adhesives. If you have any pictures that are stored in albums that require adhesives, it’s best to remove them and place them in an album that contains acid-free sleeves or protectors to prevent damage in the long run.

Organize portraits according to dates and events. In the same way that you file your digital photos according to year, month, and event, do the same with your printed images so that you can easily find what you’re looking for. Stick an inventory list on the front of each photo box for ease of reference.

Spending time organizing and storing your printed pictures may not seem like the ideal way to spend a weekend but you will thank yourself for it later.

Feel More Confident in Portraits – Mom Edition | Richmond Hill Family Photographer

Moms always do a fantastic job of documenting their children’s lives all the way from birth to college. You only have to look at a mother’s social media pages to see how much they cherish the big and small moments in their children’s lives. Every milestone is important to them.

Moms are no strangers to scrapbooking, blogging, and documenting their child’s special moments, but the problem is that they often leave themselves out of their collection of pictures.

Occasionally (and sadly), moms will ask to be left out of portraits when they bring their children in for a session. We urge EVERY mom to be in more pictures with her children and every mom deserves to feel good about the way she looks in those portraits. Here are a few tips to help you look fabulous in front of the camera.

Keep that smile natural. There’s nothing more beautiful than a natural smile or laugh so do what it takes to smile as sincerely as possible. Your photographer should also assist in bringing out natural smiles in everyone.

Angle your body. It’s time to put all those yoga classes to good use! In order to make your hips look narrower and your shoulders wider, aim to position your body at a ninety-degree angle from the photographer. Now, simply turn your hips towards the camera, square your shoulders, and pop the knee closest to the photographer. This helps pull your hips and booty away from the lens, making them appear smaller.

Use your children as props. Many women really can’t stand looking at themselves in pictures or prefer to hide certain parts of their bodies. If this is the case for you, have your children stand or sit in front of you to avoid being the main focus of the image.

Keep that chin down. Despite what you might think, sticking your chin in the air doesn’t make for a flattering portrait. By keeping your chin down, you create shadows and contours that will compliment your face. If you’re worried about having a double chin, lean forward slightly to prevent this from happening.

Tone down your outfit. A busy outfit is not the best route to go if you’re looking to go slightly unnoticed in a picture. Keep your clothing simple in order to hide anything that you don’t want to draw attention to. Not a fan of your arms? Choose a long or 3/4 length sleeve top. Legs got you down? Opt for a long skirt or denim jeans.

Use natural lighting. Forget the camera flash and opt to have your photos taken in a room where there’s tons of natural light. It truly makes the best images!

We all have something about ourselves we might prefer to change; whether it’s those last few pounds of baby weight, hair that has thinned with the rise and fall of hormones, or wrinkles that have appeared with age. But as a mom, you must ask yourself, is your legacy as a mother being documented? You are doing a great job of memorializing your children’s life stories, but are you leaving out one of their favorite characters?

I know you only want to be photographed looking and feeling your “best” – but your kiddos want YOU. They want to be able to look back and see their mom as she was – sometimes gracefully put together yes, but also messy, undone, beautifully imperfect. And isn’t that exactly the definition of motherhood? Now go take a picture with your little one.

Theodore and Caroline Milestone Session | Richmond Hill Children’s Photographer

Welcome back to the studio sweet babies Theodore and Caroline! They are now 4 months old and growing bigger by the day. They keep mommy and daddy pretty busy now as they are quickly reaching more milestones. They are at such a fun stage right now. You both are just too cute!

Look at those dimples!!! Theodore is just stealing heart that’s for sure! He looks amazing in this simple classic pose on one of our comfy rugs. He’s quite happy there as you can tell!

Caroline loved the camera! She was quick to flash us a smile and give us some sweet coos.

Babies love the toys and props we use here in our studio; we have a wide variety to choose from. You can also bring a favorite toy or item such as a book or a blanket they love. These often make your images even more fun and meaningful. You may also want to bring your favorite outfits for your little ones to wear during their session or borrow from our curated wardrobe closet.

Childhood goes by way too quickly, most especially that first year filled with milestones. They change so rapidly that first year too. Oftentimes parents choose to be a part of our Grow With Me Plan which allows you to create memories and milestones of your little one during their first year. If you’d like more information, please contact us!

When it’s time to celebrate bay’s first birthday, we provide a fun cake smash session as part of our Grow With Me plan. They are so much fun to photograph! We have a very talented baker who makes our cakes. Her name is Leslie Ates and her cake business is Ates’ Bakes & Cakes. She is also local here to Richmond Hill! We love shopping local, don’t you?

It was such a pleasure having these two adorable babies back in our studio for their 4-month milestone session. They really enjoyed it here too. What a joy it is to capture these precious milestones and moments in the life of these beautiful babies for their parents to cherish forever. We hope you and your family enjoy these images for many happy years to come.

Understanding Photographer Lingo | Richmond Hill Photographer

If you’ve recently started discussing a session with a photographer or you’re still on the hunt for the perfect one, you’ve more than likely come across several different terms and expressions that you’ve never heard of before.

To make you more comfortable during your conversations with your photographer, here are a few common expressions that you should familiarize yourself with:

  1. Raw Files. Raw files are images that have not yet been processed. Most professional photographers only ever shoot RAW so that they can easily process their pictures later on. Most photographers will also refuse to give raw files to customers since it could result in their images being altered by someone who isn’t familiar with editing processes and techniques.
  2. Reprint Permissions. Sharing a photographer’s work online or in the media will require reprint permission. This ensures that a photographer knows where their images will be showcased. You will also need your photographer’s permission to print images for your personal use.  
  3. Copyright. A copyright means that the images your photographer takes belong to them and that the photographer can use those images as they see fit. For example, photographers are allowed to use your images in their portfolios. It also means that people or organizations are not allowed to use those images in promotional materials without the photographer’s permission.
  4. Golden Hour. The golden hour is a period of time around 15 – 20 minutes before sunrise and sunset when your photographer has access to the best possible natural light. Most photographers will always opt to shoot during this period when possible.
  5. Straight Out of the Camera (SOOC). When pictures are straight out of the camera, it means that they have been through no editing or processing.
  6. Style. Photography style is another term that will usually pop up during your conversation with your photographer. Some common photography styles include classic, lifestyle, documentary, and artistic. It is useful to research a few of these photography styles before you reach out to a potential photographer. Professionals tend to only specialize in one, maybe two styles.

Remember, your photographer is there to make this a fun and pleasant experience, not to throw technical terminology at you. If there are certain terms that you’re unsure about, ask away. Your photographer will be more than happy to explain the entire process to you.

10 Cool Mother’s Day Gifts for Momtogs | Richmond Hill Family Photographer

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and I thought I’d round up 10 of the coolest Mother’s Day gifts for the momtog in your life! (Perhaps that’s you and if that’s the case, I suggest leaving this blog post up on your iPad or phone, see if the hubby takes notice! Or heck, just buy one or more of these items for yourself. You deserve it! :)) And bonus points, several of these items are on sale right now … score!

1. 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens

This is an amazing lens for an amazing price. If you don’t already own this bad boy, be sure to add it to the top of your list. The 50 f/1.4 is wonderful for shooting in low light conditions with no flash. While it is more expensive than the f/1.8 version, it’s worth the added expense. I shot with this lens exclusively in studio for many years.

2. Stylish Camera Bag

This will definitely make the momtog in your life smile! This is the uber gorgeous, super stylish Libby bag from Kelly Moore, and the exact one I used to stash my dSLR and lenses in. Not only is this bag beautiful to look at, but completely functional, too. With 5 padded, adjustable, removable dividers and room for a laptop, the Libby is almost a necessity. There’s additional room to store memory cards, wallet, phone, even a juice box or two! 🙂 Style not quite right? Never fear! Kelly Moore offers many different types, I’m sure you’ll find one to fit her needs!

3. Camera Strap

Honestly, the strap that comes with your camera does just fine, but it really isn’t all that pretty (or comfortable). Love these camera straps made by Mod. This is the one I own, “Earthy Zig”. It was a gift from my brother and sister-in-law a few years back (thanks, Andy & Laura!) It is incredibly soft and has held up wonderfully – through many, many sessions. Again, huge variety of patterns and colors there’s no doubt Mod has the perfect one for your momtog.

4. Lens Cap Holder

Ugh! I am constantly losing/misplacing my lens caps! These adorable lens cap holders clip to mom’s camera strap and help keep those pesky caps from wandering away. Available as a downloadable PDF pattern, visit CraftyStaci on Etsy for more details. And Taran, if you’re reading this, I need one of these … stat! 🙂

5. Camera Lens Mug

Haha! This is fun gift, to give and to receive! My other sister-in-law (hey, Alyssum!) bought this mug for me several Christmases ago. Of course the functionality is terrific – keeps my hot chocolate the perfect temperature during that month of cold weather we get here in coastal Georgia. The best part of this gift is obviously how much it looks like a real lens! I don’t know how many times one of my boys has seen this sitting in the kitchen sink and said, “Uh, Mom!!! …..” Really. Just buy it. Too amusing to pass up.

6. Photoshop Elements

Little brother to the full Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements is a powerful program every serious hobby/enthusiast photographer should own. Priced starting at $99, I think the momtog in your life will be impressed with the astounding capabilities of PSE. The newest version includes animated overlays, redirecting a person’s gaze with face-tilt, you can even add inspirational quotes!  I used PSE exclusively for my business for 2.5 years before upgrading to full Photoshop.

7. Smartphone PhotoMobile Printer

If you’re anything like me, you have probably have 4,600,399 images on your phone, all begging to be printed (we print what matters, right??). The awesome Polaroid ZIP Mobile Printer is the perfect solution! This nifty hand-sized printer hooks to your smartphone via Bluetooth and spits out prints of your fave pics in less than a minute. For fun, you can even add special effects and fun filters to the image before printing using the Polaroid ZIP iOS app (there’s an Android version, too).

But the best part of all? The mobile printer uses special Zink zero-ink printing technology. NO printer ink to switch out! I’d call that a win-win! This cute little device is definitely on my Mother’s Day list this year. 🙂

8. Fun T-shirt

I absolutely adore graphic Ts and keep adding to my ever growing pile of them. This is an adorable choice by Salt Cove Jewelry.

9. Funky Pillow

Another obsession of mine (can you have too many of them?!) is pillow covers. I discovered several years ago that buying pillow covers is the way to roll. With two boys and three dogs it just makes the most sense to have covers I can remove and wash (plus it’s fun to switch things up!) This one by T and L Company is perfect for mamas!

10. Amazon or B&H Giftcard

Amazon and B&H are my go-to places for camera gear and equipment. If you’re unsure what to purchase for your momtog, a gift certificate from either of these places will be sure to land you a multitude of kisses of gratitude. And let’s be honest, you know she’s worth it, right?