Life captured beautifully.

Advice

10 Tips for a Fabulous Senior Portrait Session

Have you booked your portrait session for your Senior Pictures?  I’d love to have you call my studio and inquire about our services.  This is the time to book your session.  July and August are almost full and you don’t want to be stuck doing them once school starts in the fall, that’s just asking for a headache when it comes to schedule conflicts.

I’ve put together my top 5 tips to get you prepared for a successful portrait experience that leaves everyone, even mom, feeling good at the end of the day.  Read on!

  1. Check out all your options
    You think I’d just say, call me, fall in love, be done!  LOL!  Well, that’s all fine and dandy, as long as you’re a very go with the flow kind of person… but if you haven’t researched the options, you won’t have any point of reference to judge quality, service and price.  Is quality important to you?  If the answer is a resounding yes, then choose a professional photographer, someone who has been in the business for a while and you’ve heard delivers a great product.  Service is huge too!  There are amazing photographers out there, delivering high quality photos at high and low prices, but if they’re so overbooked (because they’re cheap) or so high and mighty (because they’re so ridiculously expensive) then they are not going to treat you the way you deserve to be treated.  Finding someone in the middle ground who is going to appreciate your business and work hard to please you, that’s who you’ll want to hire.
  2. Find the person you feel comfortable with
    As soon as you get on the phone… and PLEASE, get on the phone with your photographer… you’ll know if this is a person you and your child will “click” with.  The personality of your photographer is going to make or break the outcome of the session (AKA the beautiful portraits you hope to hang on your wall).  Don’t sacrifice price for someone who takes forever to get back to your or seems annoyed by your questions.  Having someone who is cheerful and patient is going to result in images with genuine expressions and natural poses.
  3. Ask the right questions
    Instead of asking “How much is this going to cost?” instead ask, “What will I get for my investment?”  You might be able to spend $500 at two different places and you would be amazed at the difference in the quanitity and quality of what you’ll be walking away with at the end
  4. Choose outfits with care
    It used to be that there were “rules” about what to wear.  Dark colors, solids, no prints, v-neck & long sleeves.  Now days those rules are blown out of the water.  Yes, if you follow those guidelines you’ll be able to get a nice, classic, simple portrait that focuses on your beautiful face… but life is so much more interesting and colorful than all that.  So I always recommend one “classic” outfit and then ANYTHING GOES for the rest.  Keep in mind, you’ll want to pick items that fit well, that flow over your body and don’t cling to areas you’re not wanting to showcase.  Also, if you wear a print, just make sure it’s a flattering proportion to your body and if it’s paired with other items, let those be more simple so they don’t compete.
  5. Communicate with your photographer
    My favorite part about almost everyone having a smart phone with a camera is that they are able to text me pictures of the outfits they’ve chosen and I can spend a day or two thinking about their upcoming session and where I might want to take them if we are going on-location.  I also love when moms send me pictures they have of their older children that they want to capture something similar to, to complement the wall arrangement.  Waiting to announce something like that at your ordering appointment isn’t a good idea, best to be proactive and that way your photographer can make sure they capture it, versus trying to find something that “fits” later.

Well, there you have it!  My Top 5 Tips!

I’m super excited for all the upcoming senior portrait sessions this year.  I hold off on doing them until after July 1st if possible, which most photographers would tell me I’m crazy, not to take advantage of June, but I just feel it’s too early!  I think kids need a little break after school ends, and the mosquitoes get horrendous around here.  We spray for them, but all those great places to get photographed, in the long grass or just off the beaten path will still be bad.  And what about the June winds and rains?  That’s just asking for rescheduling headaches.  So I, along with my high school seniors take a break.  I connect with my kids, take them to the park and the pool and just enjoy being with them.  I hope you’ve been doing the same this month!

Enjoy,

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Jenni : Mason City High School Senior Portraits

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I love welcoming old friends back to the studio. Jenni visited in 2011 when her brother, Taylor was getting his senior portraits taken. Here’s a cute picture of them together back in 2011… #tbt Siblings portrait

Well, since then, Jenni sure has grown up and is a gorgeous young lady who is very athletic like her older brother and very much interested in sports.
We actually did two full sessions in one day to capture all her cheerleading, track and softball images as well as all the more classic looks. She picked a wonderful variety of outfits so I felt like she opened a door for me and all my creativity just started flooding out.
I’m in love with these images. I had such a hard time narrowing it down but luckily since we did two sessions, I get to show twice as many for their proofs! LOL! Now they are faced with the hard part, choosing! (Yikes!)
But that reminds me to mention…. One of the best parts about choosing my studio is that I am there for my customers, every step of the way, with an amazing ordering experience where we work together, in my studio with their images and lots of samples and I’m able to show them different creative ideas for displaying their favorite images with my state of the art ordering software. It’s so great, why don’t you call and book your session today and see what it’s all about?!  507-383-2344
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Enjoy!
Rebecca
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The Carlson Family : Austin, MN : Family Portraits

This is one of my most loyal customers, and I have grown to love her and her children dearly! (Her hubs is pretty great too!) 😉
I’m always in for a treat when she calls to book her session… we’ve photographed her kids with baby chicks, and balloons, and their favorite things… well, this time we did an update of their favorite things and … wait for it… (pause for effect)… Fainting Goats!!! How fun is that???
Check out all these great pictures. Taking the time to plan something with your photographer that is unique to your family makes for much more meaningful family portraits = better memories!
Enjoy,
Rebecca

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Little Ruthie : 2 Years Old : Child Portrait Session

I have a confession to make… I’m not perfect. I’m not a perfect person, and I’m not a perfect photographer. I’ve made my share of mistakes (which I skillfully correct and have never ended in a disgruntled customer, I am happy to say!) and there are definitely aspects of my business and photography skills that I’d like to improve upon… but I have to say, I think I have one thing nailed…

I’m awesome at creating works of art with my photography that make you FEEL something!

There. After a little self-depreciation, I’m boasting a bit. LOL! Bear with me though… I have a point I’d like to make sure I get across.

Now, most people hire me thinking they want a nice picture of their child, looking at the camera and smiling. I get that! (I mean, I understand that… but I guess I also mean that I get plenty of those to pick from)
I love those smiling portraits too! I’ll print one as an 8×10, 11×14, (or 16×20 if I’m feeling frisky) for my wall at home…

But it’s the images where my son isn’t looking, and often times, not even smiling that grab me: Make me stop & stare. I find myself studying his fine features that I adore so much… his soft hair, his long lashes… sigh.

THOSE are the ones that I wouldn’t dare put on my wall any smaller than a 16×20 and tempt me to order that 24×30 that I think just might be perfect!

I have found, repeatedly that I capture at least one of these grab-you-by-the-heartstrings-type of emotional images, that I throw into the proofs and hope that my customers are brave enough to step out of the box and order.

This mom is definitely one of those customers who always steps up to the plate and orders the images that are “non-traditional” and charged with emotion. Often times, we settle on the ones that make us laugh, that communicate the “realness” of life with four healthy children.

Here are some of my favorite images from our last session with little Ruthie who is growing up, and graduated from the “baby plan” and is now 2 years old!
Enjoy!
Becca

This first one just gets to me…
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5 Reasons To Buy Holiday Cards from your Photographer

So you did it! You hired a professional to take your family portraits! And you knew you wanted to use the images on your Christmas cards, but you’re thinking maybe you could save a little extra money if you order them yourself through one of the many online printing sites out there??? I’d encourage you to think again and read on.

Here are 5 good great reasons to let your pro photog take care of your holiday cards for you.

1) Saving time – This is a huge one! Chances are, you’re a parent (usually the mom gets charged with this duty) and you can literally spend hours online looking at different sites and designs. The options are endless… and as much as you might feel a bit limited when you look at your own photographer’s spread of a dozen or so samples, it’s really much easier to choose from 12 amazing designs than it is from 2,000 sort-of-good ones. Because heaven knows, once you find one you like… you’re going to want to customize it.

2) One-of-a-kind – Another key benefit! Who wants their card to be pretty much EXACTLY the same as hundreds, maybe even thousands of other peoples??? Not me. I love the idea that I have created the card designs I sell at Rebecca Lynne Photography from scratch or used bits and pieces of different templates I’ve purchased to make designs tailored specifically to showcase the images chose by my client for their card.

3) The Price is Right – When you first look at your photographer’s price list and compare it to an online site, it is probably going to be significantly more… but once you start spending all that time perfecting the limited options for customization you realize this isn’t such a cheap option after all! The sites are notorious for having the base-line price to grab your attention, but then as you finalize your order with a design on the back, your own quantity, paper options, envelopes and finishing touches they add-on and add-on to the price until it rivals that of the professional’s.

4) Showing off your portraits – Why on earth did you spend all that time and money coordinating outfits, dragging your reluctant family members and narrowing down the beautiful proofs to your top 10 favorites, only to pay a little extra to use ONE for your holiday card? If you get your card through your photographer, they often have designs that showcase 3-4 images at no additional cost. They want you to share the more standard image AND the fun ones because they want all your friends to know how much you loved your experience at their studio.

5) One less thing to worry about – Who doesn’t enjoy letting someone take a weight off their shoulders? Honestly, it’s fun browsing the card options for about the first 15-20 minutes, but after that it seriously turns into a chore. Having someone who will say, “Don’t worry, I’ll create a design you will love, proof read it all, send you a preview, AND if you see anything that needs changing I will take care of that for you, too! Plus, I will order them and have them ready in time for you to mail to all your family and friends.” Now that, is worth every penny!

Designs from a professional photographer - Rebecca Lynne Photography

Designs from a professional photographer – Rebecca Lynne Photography

Thanks for reading! Best of luck with the task of sending holiday cards.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Rebecca Houg


Little Keira : Newborn Portraits

You know that feeling that you get, when a kid you used to babysit is graduating from high school, or worse yet, college? For me it’s like this sinking realization that I really am aging, even though most of the time I don’t feel like I am. Do you know what I mean?

I felt that way when the mommy to this baby girl came into my studio for their newborn session. I did Senior portraits for her when she graduated from highschool, she’s done with college, been working for a while, got married, and now has a little baby!

I know the answer, but it always makes me want to ask the question, “How did this happen?!”

But enough about me… back to this little blessing.

Little Keira was already a month old so I wasn’t going to hold my breath and wait for her to go to sleep, but I knew if I worked carefully, I could still get some of those really cute artsy type of portraits with my favorite props. Lucky for me, she decided to play along and I got some of these beautiful images for her parents (and grandparents!) to treasure for years to come.
Let it be said again, because as much as we get annoyed hearing it, the phrase bears repeating… “They really do change so fast.”

I know, I’m in the midst of it right now with my little guy, Henry. He’s almost 8 1/2 months and he’s pulling himself up on things all the time and loves it when you help him stand on his own two feet! It really was only a few months ago I was cheering him on as he made his first attempts to crawl.

It’s crazy, but we need to do our best as parents to relish every joyful minute of it. And capturing it with beautiful, professional portraits is definitely a great place to start. Kudos to Keira’s parents for investing in her memories!

Enjoy,
RebeccaStudier-004

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A new year, new ideas! And a sweet little newborn!

2014 is going to be a year of BIG and LITTLE changes! I’m so excited to re-draft my business plan like I try to do every couple years.

I am always one to set both business and personal goals at the beginning of a new year, but I know that this year … with the arrival of the newest member of our family expected to arrive any day (the 18th is my due date) I need to be evaluating priorities and creating a new vision of our ideal life… photography business included!

I LOVE my photography business. Self employment definitely has it’s ups and downs, but even at the low moments I still know it’s what’s best for me and our family … and I still have that gut feeling that it’s a gift the Lord blessed me with I need to continue to share with others.

Thankfully, with my gift, I’ve continued to attract the most amazing customers of whom I’m so grateful for. No complaints here! Keep referring me to your friends and family. That’s the only way I can continue to use this gift to support our growing family.

A few of the upcoming changes you can expect to enhance your experience at Rebecca Lynne Photography:

– I will offer some “collections” this upcoming year and embrace the idea of including digital files with some of those collections. (Of course, there will still be the a la carte offerings)

– I will be offering 5-7 pm weekday photo sessions which should actually work better with my clients work/sports practice schedules. I am making this change to delay the need for full time daycare for at least the first 6-9 months of our new little one’s life. Depending on how well this works, I may just keep it this way.

– Prices will only increase very slightly (which I need to do every year to fend off the increasing costs of production) but there will be some amazing new products included in the collections to tempt my customers into investing in the products they have always wanted but maybe didn’t feel they could justify purchasing before, and save them money on things they “had” to invest a large portion of their budget into before the collections (aka gift prints for family members).

– I hope to do more in-home ordering sessions (which will now be called the “Session Premiere”) when it’s more convenient for the customer. This will allow me to see the walls they would like to decorate with the images we created.

– I will be adding in more personal touches throughout the process from the first phone call, to the photo session, as well as the session premiere and the order presentation. My ultimate goal being to take the whole experience to a new level of luxury and make my customers (who are mainly moms) feel pampered.

All in all, I want to continue to set myself and my business apart from those newbies and part-timers who we all know are out there trying to lure people in with free and discounted sessions.

Most moms (and some dads) know how much time goes into preparing for the photo session… researching for the perfect photographer, coordinating schedules, gathering outfits and scouring Pinterest and other sites for inspiration. A pretty big investment of time that is worth just as much as the money invested in new outfits… but one that is so rewarding when you have a beautiful work of art (aka family/senior/child’s portrait) to hang in the perfect place in your home and enjoy every time you look at it.

My goal will be to make sure you know just how much I appreciate all of that and help you understand that it would be the ultimate DIS-service to you if I were to just hand you a CD or ask you to download the files yourself from the internet and figure out on your own what to do with them from there… when we both know I can provide you with so much more than that.

……

If you’ve made it through this text-heavy post I figured you needed to be rewarded with some beautiful images I recently had the privilege of capturing for one of my wedding clients from 2012. They just welcomed this little miracle, Jace, into their family. I’m so genuinely happy for them. I believe babies are the best gifts we receive in our lives (be it our own children, grandchildren, nieces/nephews, friend’s children), and to be blessed with such a happy & healthy little boy … well, it just about doesn’t get any better than that!
Enjoy!
Becca

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Newborn Boy

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Our Big News : Baby Houg Due in February!

In early August we were happy to announce to our families and close friends, and a few weeks later, to all our other friends via Facebook that we are expecting a baby in February 2013!

How we did it was a really fun idea… but more on that later… I’d like to share more about our joy for this newest addition to the Houg family…

Our son, Collin, who will be 6 years old by the time the baby arrives, is beyond excited. He is the sweetest and asks to hug the baby (aka: my tummy) all the time. He also says the sweetest dinner prayers… “God is great, God is good, and we thank him for our baby and pray that you help the baby grow strong, Amen.”

If that doesn’t melt your heart, I don’t know what will! I have been feeling great, all things considered. I’ll admit, being pregnant at 32 is definitely different than being pregnant at 26 years old! LOL! Plus having a little boy that comes home from school and wants me to get up and go play soccer outside instead of being able to put my feet up or take a nap whenever I feel like it, might be making a difference too!

But it’s all good! I can’t complain for a second. I’m unbelievably excited to be a mom to a new little baby. It took me a while to be ready… but managing my business, working behind the scenes for my husband, and building a new home can kind of put a bit of a damper on the ability to catch baby fever.

We announced our pregnancy to everyone using a clever shirt I’d seen on Pinterest a while ago that the gal had made herself with a plain white t-shirt and fabric paint. I decided I didn’t have time to monkey with painting a t-shirt, plus I’m a perfectionist when it comes to those things so if there was one letter not quite right it would have bugged me every time I looked at it.

So, I designed and ordered a shirt online through Zazzle.com and it was pretty easy. The product arrived fairly quickly and was screen printed to perfection!
I decided to offer the design on their site for other expecting parents to order.

Here’s the link in case you’re interested. I’ll admit, I earn a little credit for each shirt sold which is pretty cool.

Only Child Expiring T-Shirt
Only Child Expiring T-Shirt by RebeccaHougDesigns
Look at other Pregnancy T-Shirts at zazzle.com

And here’s the pictures I took of Collin wearing the shirt…

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Oh, and while I was at it, I designed another shirt he loves that says “Soon-to-be Big Brother” he loves. You can check that one out too!


Cindy and Cole : Engagement Portraits

This sweet couple came my way for their wedding pictures with the “big picture” in clear view. They are paying for their own photography because they knew their parents couldn’t support the budget they knew they needed to spend in order to get the best images, and therefore the most vivid memories, they possibly could.
I will say it again and again… Your photos are the key part of your wedding day memories. Even if a million little things didn’t quite go as planned… if you have an awesome photographer that can keep your energy up and catch you in those moments of beautiful happiness, when you look back, you’ll only remember the joy!
Make sure you have someone that will make sure to capture all the little details too… the flowers, the dress, the decor and other significant items you poured your heart into before the big day. Once the big day is over, most of that is gone, or boxed up.
I’m happy to say that my brides get amazing proof books and boxes to show off their images to their family and friends… as well as slideshows to pop into the tv at the next family holiday and relive the happy memories in a very easy way, together!
They also get UNBELIEVABLY BEAUTIFUL storybook albums that they proudly display on their coffee tables for years to come… they don’t just get “shoved on a shelf” like so many people claim to do with theirs.
Here’s the start of my journey with Cindy and Cole toward their wedding day and beyond. They are adorable and totally cherish their days together as Cole is in the Marines and currently stationed in California.
God bless him for the sacrifices he and his fellow servicemen make every day to keep our country protected from harm.
Enjoy!
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Emilie Rae : Newborn Baby Girl Portraits

This little ray of sunshine came to me from my good friend Kayla. She came to me for her wedding portraits about four years ago for a consultation and our personalities just clicked and we’ve been good friends since! I love the fact that she believes in me and my photographic abilities even when I doubt myself and my own talent. But, I guess, that’s what friends are for… but she’s really good at it!
I didn’t have an doubts that this session was going to result in some fantastic images though! I was very excited upon their arrival to the studio. I was dying to meet this little girl that came about two weeks past when we all expected her. I had been debating all morning which backgrounds and props to pull out for her portraits and Kayla made the choice easy once she told me her wishes for the overall look.
They did have their knit John Deere hat and cowboy booties for Emilie to wear.
The hardest part of the session was getting Emilie to sleep. Kayla even told me it would be fine if she wasn’t sleeping, but I stayed patient and it paid off! Because you really can’t get the picture where she’s on the chair when she’s awake. I worry enough as it is, and always have mom placed next to the chair, just out of the frame so that if by chance, she startles or rolls, all it would take is a quick reach to keep her safe.
I’m the most protective of my subjects. You can ask the parents! 🙂 I’m always saying “Be careful!” and “Don’t worry about ruining a shot.”
I love these little blessings and I want to make the sessions go as smoothly as possible while always staying safe, and still creating the artistic images their mommy is looking forward to hanging on her walls at home.
Enjoy!
Rebecca
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Baby Gabriel : 6 Month Old Baby Portraits

Little Gabriel is back again, for his six month session on my baby plan.

The baby plan features three sessions the first year. One newborn session (ideally within 10 days of birth), a sitting up session (around 6-8 months of age) and a birthday session. These three sessions give new parents a wonderful variety of images to document their child’s first year in portraits. I have been recommending just three sessions for the baby plan for several years now because the older method of 3, 6, 9, 12 months just got to be too much for most parents… (especially when newborn photography gained popularity).

Some people were trying to fit 5 sessions into a year… which just gets to be too much work for the parents… every time they turned around, they were needing to find outfits, set up appointments, decide on their order, pick it up… YIKES! It was too much of a good thing… they didn’t even have time to enjoy the order they received before they were planning for the next session.

The three session plan is perfect! At first it might not seem like enough because you are so enraptured with your newborn and it seems like they change sooo fast… (I’ve almost been tempted to add one more session in there.) But I love the dramatic difference in the portraits… little sleepy baby, cute chubby sitting, (maybe crawling?) baby, and standing, (possibly walking) baby.

The parents are able to enjoy each order for a few months before they even need to think about scheduling the next appointment. They are also able to invest more in each session because their budget isn’t being spread so thin… so they’re able to create wall groupings, collages, or even get that big canvas gallery wrap they’ve been eyeing!

But let’s get back to sweet little Gabriel, shall we???

His parents had lots of outfits for him to wear, and we started off with a little boy classic… a simple polo and shorts. No shoes or socks here! We want to show off those cute little toes!
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I had to work for the first few smiles we squeezed out of him… Apparently, Gabe is a big daddy’s boy and he ONLY bursts out the big grins for him. After Daddy arrived, it was much easier! I was laughing so hard at the silly sounds his dad was making that it was hard to hold the camera steady!

I can’t tell you how much fun it is to see a parent get so involved in the photo session. Some photographers are kind of snobs about letting the parents be involved. I’m all for parent involvement. I don’t mind if the parents just want to go in the gallery area and take it easy, but if they want to stay in back and get on their knees with me.

After the first outfit, we did some sweet bare baby portraits with a little elephant shaped piano his parents brought for him to play with. His daddy is a great pianist/organist and so it was very significant.
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I love adding special touches into your portraits that make them even more personal and tell a little part of the story of your life. Little Gabe loved banging on his piano, and some of the images captured even make it look like he already knows how to play it.
Other outfits included showcasing their love for their favorite sports teams, the Twins and the Vikings. Lucky little Gabe has already been to Target field for a game!
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Well, I best get back to work.
I’ve ordered some postcards to advertise for senior portraits this summer and I’d best get my labels ready!
Enjoy!
Rebecca
P.S. If you want to see Gabe’s newborn session, click here.

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Tyler : Senior Portraits

It’s another returning customer! Yay! I can’t say enough how much I love those! I seriously appreciate them because I KNOW just how many “pro” photogs are popping up all over the place, trying to lure my loyal, satisfied customers away with a few glitzy images and the promise of LOW prices.
“You always get what you pay for.”
LOL! One of my favorite expressions and it usually rings true!
Back to Tyler… I met him on his family farm in the morning and we did some shots of him with his favorite brand of tractors, Allis-Chalmers. I love how the sky cooperated and gave us a brilliant blue to compliment the bright orange tractor.
Next we did some around the farm near some different sheds and a few in where they store the hay.
Don’t you love the one where’s he’s scratching his beard? That’s SOOOO him!
I will point out though, something you’ll probably notice yourself, is his glasses. I didn’t ask and so I wasn’t prepared for his self-tinting transitions lenses.
I tried my old trick that I’ve used in the past in this situation, which is to hide them in a pocket for a while until they turn back to clear before shooting a few quick shots.
Well, the lenses weren’t transitioning back very fast at all. And it was FREEZING out that day… so we did the best we could and I knew the in-studio portraits were going to be fine and I knew from the past that those were the ones his mom liked to order for her own wall and to give as gifts, so I went ahead and processed the images as best I could to lighten the lenses… but there wasn’t a lot I could do and still have it look good.
I sucked up my pride and offered to re-shoot the ones that were their favorite, that they wanted to order, but his mom is so sweet, she knew that’s just the way he always looks anyway and she ordered without hesitation.
Did I mention I love this woman??? LOL!
Thank God for small graces.
Enjoy!
Becca
P.S. As advice, be sure to mention to your photographer, in case they don’t ask if you or a family member wear transitions lenses. As a favor, a lot of optometrists will borrow you a set of frames that are the same or very similar to your glasses that don’t have glass which will also help with the problem of glass glare! 🙂 As for me, I plan on adding this to the list of questions I ask when customers call to book their sessions! TempusT-002

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The Hagen Family : Northwood, IA

The Hagen family are return customers that loved the fun, colorful shots we created at their campground, Happy Time Resort so much they called me up to do it again the following year!
I just love this mom because she is INTO her family photos. She’s been dedicated about having them professionally photographed and I really give her credit for that. It’s all too easy to make excuses for not having them done… I want to lose that extra 5 lbs, or my hair isn’t quite the way I want it, or it costs too much.
Well, I’m here to say, I can make you look thinner by the way I pose you, that you can set up your appointment weeks ahead so you have time to get into your favorite hairdresser, and the biggest investment doesn’t come until a couple weeks AFTER the session… and even then, I only require 1/2 down. You have plenty of time to save up. Right?!
The memories we create are priceless and I truly believe that, with every ounce of my being.
Check out these great images. I love these kids, they are beautiful, great kids… but the oldest boy hates getting his picture taken… not sure why… I’m thinking it might be the braces… but whatever the reason, I’m slowly but surely breaking down walls with this one.
Then there’s the youngest… isn’t she ADORABLE?! Well, she always loves to put me through the wringer, too! I am pretty sure she likes me… but for some reason she thinks it’s fun to make it a challenge by playing the “I’m going to turn my back to the camera and do everything I can not to smile” game.
*Insert Evil Laugh*
Oh yeah??? This ain’t my first rodeo!
I must admit, they don’t make my job easy, but they sure as heck make it a whole lot more interesting and I’m the kind of girl that loves a challenge… so I say, “Bring it!”
Enjoy!
Becca
P.S. To her daughter and middle boy, I thank you for being so easy going and cooperative. You’re the ones that keep me sane! HagenS-007

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Jill + Brent : Anniversary Session

Do you recognize the cute couple in these images? You should. Their engagement and wedding images were featured on the blog a year or two ago. Jill is one of my favorite clients for the reason that she is a great “cheerleader” of my business. If you ask her who to use for professional photography, I know she would always say my name. Gotta love that!
Also, it’s just so much fun for me to maintain a life-long relationship with my customers and I look forward to photographing their future together.
This session was mainly in place to add a few new images in their home and give as holiday gifts, but also to create Christmas Cards to mail to all their family and friends.
Here’s what the front of their card looked like. Isn’t it pretty?
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It’s really a good idea to plan ahead when you want to do holiday cards/gifts.
We photographed this session in early October (and booked it about 6-8 weeks before to get her ideal time with the leaves changing color), which is just right for the end goal of holiday gifts and cards. It gives me plenty of time for proofing the session, scheduling the ordering appointment, designing the cards, and picking up the order in time to mail out the cards and frame & wrap the gifts.
Aren’t these two just so adorable and sweet together? I love that Brent is the kind of guy that is totally okay with all the pictures Jill likes to take of them, because having those images is such a treasure.
Enjoy,
BeccaTweed-003

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Carys : Two Year Old Portrait Session

The little cherub was back from D.C. again. Visiting Grandma! She’s as cute as ever, but not quite the little chunk she used to be. 🙂 Remember those cute rolls she had? Not so much, anymore. Oh well! Babies grow up. 😦 It’s the truth. It’s a good thing because that means they are healthy, but it’s also bittersweet because we will miss that sweet innocence that fades with age. That’s why it’s so important to take lots of pictures that first year and then keep taking professional portraits once a year after that. (Even after they start school and they get that BORING school portrait…ugh. What does that say about WHO they ARE???) … sorry! off my soapbox. 😉
This family has been awesome, diligently visiting the studio three times during Cary’s first year and once a year after that. Luckily, they are expecting another baby so I will be getting to start the process all over again! YAY!
Check out Miss Cary’s images. We only did two outfits this session. It’s usually not feasible to do much more than that with a two year old. They are just wanting to go, go, go… and they don’t quite take directions (that well) yet.
These are usually my most high-energy sessions. I’m using my creative brain-power as fast as I can to figure out what background and props will work best as far as looks, and function goes… I’m constantly moving things in and out, trying to find what holds their interest. Because I know my window of opportunity with a two year old is very short.
Carys took a liking to a little American flag I had lying around (unfortunately it didn’t coordinate with her outfit, but in b&w it works!)

Once we weaseled that away, I managed to get a few more without it before we decided to switch over to her favorite outfit.
They are big Giants fans, if it wasn’t already obvious. 😉 I love the way the blue looks with her eyes and I had the perfect football for her to play with.

Daddy got in on these images, especially since this is the first time he’d been to the studio… we had to capture some professional daddy and me portraits.
I think these would work awesome in one of my multi-image collages.
Enjoy!
Becca

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Just be Yourself!

I was having such a great morning, I got my workout in, I finished a blogsite for my amazing husband http://www.andyhoug.com and had my homemade latte… but then things went downhill.  This happens to me all the time lately, when it’s my slower season.  Although I have plenty of work I should be doing, I found myself stumbing around on facebook after logging in to post on Andy’s new construction page about the first blog post I created…

I began getting distracted by all the newest posting from friends and it’s like falling down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland… suddenly I’m looking at a couple of my competitor photographer’s websites and feeling rotten about myself and so I took a break to go eat lunch and it was then that I realized.  Hey!  I don’t need to do this.

I don’t want to compare myself to other people.  I really have no idea what the whole picture of their life is.  And I figured there were more people like me out there that feel this way.  So what did I do?  I Googled it!  🙂

I have this love/hate relationship with the internet.  I hate it for the fact that it causes me to get so far off track and creates these little vignettes of people’s lives that are so un-real… but I absolutely love it for the vast amount of information you can find.

So anyway, I Googled the phrase “Stop comparing yourself to others” and it came up with some seriously good articles, I couldn’t believe my luck!  So I clicked on the Wiki-how site and just thought the article posted there was awesome.  So awesome I needed to share it and my stinkin’ thinkin’ experience from today.  I hope this helped someone else out that might have been experiencing those same feelings.  I am now out of my funk after reading this article and doing what I can to help someone else, time to get back to work!!!

Enjoy!

Becca

How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

We are all different yet we have a tendency to compare ourselves to others. It's human nature, and while learning from others is an important part of critical decision making, if it is used to reinforce an unrealistic or negative self-image it can be an unhealthy habit to get into.

Steps

  1. Recognize that comparing yourself to others is a bad habit. Society often projects flawless skin, big eyes, full lips, small nose, pure white teeth, smooth and shiny hair, curvy body, and designer clothes for women and they portray them as being happy. They portray tall men with flawless skin, six packs, and designer clothes with lots of women, and they define that that is what makes a man happy. Society is extremely successful in being able to brainwash people into believing they should look a certain way, act a certain way, be a certain someone, when in reality every single one of us is different. What Society does is categorize people and they want you to believe that you have fewer rights to be happy because you do not fit an idealistic lifestyle. That's why lots of men and women resort to plastic surgery, hide away from society, and grow up thinking that there's something wrong with them. Comparing yourself to others, especially celebrities, is a fine way to throw your self-esteem down the drain as there will always be those who are 'better' than you, and those who are 'worse' than you. In the end you will most likely end up wishing you were different with thoughts of worthlessness. It takes you nowhere, wastes a lot of time, and puts you in a psychologically terrible place.
  2. Realize that everybody is different, because we are.People are born to be different; no two of us are the same. We have different mindsets, we interpret things differently, we have different experiences, we feel different emotions. Even identical twins are different from each other. We all will always have room for improvement; nobody is flawless, whether it is on the outside or on the inside. As much as some people may want to believe otherwise, nobody is perfect.It would be wise to stop letting people get to you, and be open-minded and aware of what you are doing to others. Something you can do is start thinking how different they are from you.
  3. Stop being afraid to be yourself.Whatever size, color, religion, gender, race, or sexual orientation, don't be afraid to be yourself. Nobody but you has the right to dictate what you do, what you think, and what you believe in. There is only one you; nobody has more rights over another person to live. Everybody comes into the world the same way; we all age, feel, analyze, and eventually die, so nobody is more special than another. We are all different. If you've forgotten who you are, find yourself again.
  4. Forgive and learn. Learn to recognize that holding a grudge only ties you down from what you really want out of life. Untie the knot and set yourself free. Better yet, analyze and learn what actually hurt you, and prevent it from happening again in the future.
  5. Understand that not everything is possible.You might have heard the saying, 'nothing is impossible'. In reality that's only denialism and false hope. You can't fly, change the weather, time-travel, change the past, live forever, make someone else change unless they are willing to, fit in with everybody, or be somebody else. There are many more things that cannot happen in reality. Be yourself and appreciate where you are now.
  6. Learn to deal with change and embrace it.
  7. Whatever makes you happy, whatever floats your boat. If you feel you need self-improvement and have set yourself an attainable goal, go for it. If you believe that you really need change, do it now. Be sure that you're doing it because it will make you happier, rather than impressing somebody else. For example, stop swearing if it makes you feel better. Learn to meditate. Start helping others. Learn a new skill. Improve your reading speed. Learn how to write poetically, work towards a better grade, be nicer to someone, try to be more outgoing, train yourself to run faster, learn how to wear makeup better, find clothes that will fit your frame, be a better wikiHow contributor, work harder towards that promotion, learn to better manage your time, change your habit of being a perfectionist, etc. Do it because you feel good about it, not because you feel bad about yourself. This is your life.

Tips

  • Don't be afraid to put yourself first. You have needs, too. Take care of yourself. If you have a tendency to bend over backwards for others, read How to Stop Being a People Pleaser and How to Overcome Martyr Syndrome.
  • Make some mutual friends.
  • It's better to be the original you than to be a copy of somebody else.
  • Learn to be patient and accepting with others. This can take a lot of training to do, but in the long run it will be beneficial for everyone.
  • Realize that some methods can work for many others but not for you. When this happens, don't quit. Keep searching.
  • Learn from your experience.
  • If you don't have a solid way yet, find a way to let out your anger, frustrations, disappointments and concerns, a way that you can depend on - such as keeping a journal, making a blog, making music, talking or writing about it with someone you trust.
  • It's better to do it now than think back sometime in the future and ask yourself, "what if?". It's better to get hurt then recover from it than having to accept that you lived a very dull life, realizing that you were the one who held you back.
  • You can never be too old to dream, and it's never too late to achieve your dream, one way or another.
  • Some things can be done and changed overnight; other things cannot be. Habits for example, can be extremely difficult to drop. Don't be discouraged. Comparing yourself to others is a bad habit a lot of people have. It can take some time to change. Don't give up. Think about it this way; if you don't ever give up, you can't ever fail.
  • If you've ever felt like giving up on life but came back from the thought, it's because you have hope in you. Hold onto that hope. Always have hope in whatever you do, wherever you are.

Warnings

  • Beating yourself is a waste of time, energy, and self-esteem.
  • Don't allow other people to compare you with others, either.
  • Don't encourage others if you don't want to hear it. Don't make fun of yourself; others may start thinking it's acceptable to make fun of you.
  • Don't accumulate unnecessary pressure. Let others do their part too. If they don't, make them. If they won't, just let it be. If you have too many responsibilities, chances are you won't be able to accomplish what you really want to, or even need to.

Related wikiHows

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.