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The Reasons Your Last Photoshoot Didn’t Go Well

Your last photoshoot was… less then stellar. What are the reasons Your Photoshoot didn’t go well? You decided to invest in a professional photoshoot. After combing through the internet and friend’s recommendations you finally picked out a photographer and hammered out the details with them. Then you went through getting your whole family dressed and to a certain location on time only to get your images back and not really like them. What are the reasons why your last photoshoot didn’t go well? What went wrong? Is it your fault? Is it the photographer’s fault?

Frankly, it’s probably a combination. I have been doing this now for 5 years, and let me tell you when I look back at my images from when I started it makes me cringe. At the time these images were taken, I was not charging for my services – So I don’t feel too terrible. Which leads me to my first lesson for Family Photographer consumers!

 

Disney Yacht Club family vacation photography Orlando FloridaPin

Photo taken at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort 

1. You Get What You Pay For!

This lesson is  hard pill to swallow for a lot of people. It is kind of like when you ask someone how they lost all that weight and they tell you “Diet and Exercise.” It’s never a surprise, but it also is always a let down because you already know this one! I started in photography not charging people because I had a full time job that paid my bills and I knew I needed to PRACTICE. Photographers are just like musicians or athletes – practice is the only way you get better.  And in portrait photography, just knowing how a camera works isn’t enough; you also have to know how to direct people. There are hours and hours and hours of classes on all different kinds of posing. There are actual RULES on where to put people and how to make people look their best. Then, on top of that, there is each photographer’s personal style of photography. These things all take lots of time to develop. Which means if you got a great deal on that family session and you aren’t totally over the moon about your images – your photographer is probably just starting out and hasn’t figured things out yet. We all start somewhere — and it’s usually at the lower end of the price totem pole.

 

Why Your Last Photoshoot didnPin

In Home Family Session in Orlando, Florida.

2. Styling

You feel like your favorite plaid shirt makes you look like you’re 100 lbs heavier then you actually are. Your whole family looks like a cult in matching white shirts and jeans. If this is how you feel about your last photoshoot Styling is the reason your photoshoot didn’t go well. Taking time to research a little bit about what you want to wear at your session is SO IMPORTANT! There are a few standard tricks and tips to making your family look totally awesome in images while still keeping their style in mind. Although some families are just so good at looking effortlessly cool, IT ISN’T EFFORTLESS. They think about it, plan it, and know the rules. This topic is SO important that I actually wrote a blog about it already with some extra references included for what I didn’t cover (Check that out here. )

If you’re still have questions about this topic, ask your photographer! They usually have a standard “Dos and Don’ts” list of their own to help guide you down the path of style choices to the glorious land of beautiful family photos!

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Same Sex Wedding at their Home in Orlando, Florida 

3. Not Enough Communication

Although I would LOVE to be telepath and read every one of my client’s mind’s to ensure they get exactly what they are looking for – I am just plain not. Neither was your photographer (unless they are some sort of alien sent back via temporal shift in time like a Star Trek episode… in which case, give them my number) they were really just guessing at what you wanted. This is where communication is so key! The bigger the family the more communication needs to happen prior to the session. Let your photographer know EXACTLY which groupings you MUST HAVE. If there is a pose you are dying to recreate, tell them. Send them an example of what you mean – and understand that the photo you are sending them is merely an inspirational image – not something they can copy exactly. If you have a “side” or something you’d like to be keen on hiding, let them know! This is what you’re paying for – a professional who knows how to get a great image. Make use of them – and do it BEFORE they take the photos – not after they are done. Retouching in photoshop takes tons of time and can get expensive VERY quickly. Most of the retouching I get requested is something I could have fixed during our shoot if I knew the client was self conscious about.

 

Central Florida Family Photographer Barn Photography Session Family Matnerity Kate Mclean Photography Black and White CandidPin

Photo taken at Horse Power Ranch in Geneva, Florida

4. Wrong Time of Day

I’d rather take photos of a poorly styled family next to a dumpster with good lighting then a perfectly styled family in a manicured park with bad lighting. Lighting makes ALL the difference in the world. You want that perfect rose gold glow from the sun? You can’t get that at noon. No matter what. When your photographer suggests a time, it is usually based on sunset. I like to start my larger family shoots an hour and thirty minutes before sunset — and if your photographer suggests a sunrise shoot — it’s because the light is SO amazing at that time, not because we want to torture you by making you wake up at the ass crack of dawn. No one looks good in direct sunlight at noon – and if they do it’s because they’re a model. You’re not a model. Your husband isn’t a model. You’re going to look like you’re hot and squinting – because YOU ARE!

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UCF Graduation Shoot taken at University of Central Florida at Sunrise.

5. Too Much Planning

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Believe it or not, your plan can be one of the Reasons Your Photoshoot didn’t go well. So I totally get that this is the opposite advice from number 3 — but there is a point where too much planning kills the moment. I think the key is to make sure you communicate everything to your photographer PRIOR to your shoot (and for the love of God, do it in an email so we can go back and read your concerns before the shoot. It’s so hard to keep everything straight if it’s not written down.) Then when you arrive at your shoot, let go. Relax. Stop yelling at the kids. I’ll let you in on a little secret: Your photographer is a control freak. We love photography because we get to control everything about the shoot. Step back and let the photographer do what you paid them to do. As long as we don’t have to read your mind before hand, we can deliver great images and a great experience if you just step back and LET us.

Champagne Clad Family Photography in Winter SpringsPin

Image taken at Winter Springs Town Center 

6. Location, Location, Location

Here is a little tip: Lakes look crappy in photos. Unless it’s a huge lake, surrounded by mountains or some other kind of interesting thing, they look super crappy. I am sorry. I have taken SO many images next to lakes because clients request it. I am not in the business of telling people no. But they never, EVER like the final product because Lakes make for crappy backdrops. Find things like this out from your photographer. Ask them what they think. Ask your friends what locations they used. Take my advice, and do your homework. Take your photographer’s suggestions into consideration. It can change the whole outcome!

This is so important! I wrote an entire blog about where to go in Orlando: Here 

 

Family Photography at Downtown OrlandoPin

Photo taken at Leu Gardens in Downtown Orlando, Florida

 

 

Check out my Family Photography Portfolio Here.

Book Online today! Here 

 

 

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Graduation UCF Photography Session

Graduation UCF Photography Session starts with an early morning wake up call, and a jacket because it’s been so chilly out! I’ve been so busy out collecting photographs – I haven’t updated my blog in so long! The good news is, I have some stellar images to share and inspire your next shoot from this Graduation from UCF Photography session, to your next family photo shoot. I have examples out the wa-zoo!

If you’re new to the blog-o-Kate, then you might not know my adoration for early morning light. This Graduation from UCF Photography session is a perfect example of why I love it SO much — that total glow of a morning sunrise session is just hard to beat! When you pair that with a happy family celebrating Ana’s Graduation from UCF with her freaking PHD + Champagne, uh… there just isn’t a better set of photography circumstances out there folks!

This Graduation from UCF Photography Session just totally captured my heart. I mean, not only do I like waking up for sunrise sessions (Seriously, I get as excited about watching the sunrise as people get about new Star Wars movies, BECAUSE I’M A BIG OL’ NERD) — I’m straight up obsessed with Rose Gold. {cue my ever repetitive line, “Dat Rose Gold Doe”} So when I saw the Rose Gold windows on Millican Hall along with the classic brick – OH SNAP. I was not about to let that background go to waste on this cool morning.

We had a good time laughing as we shuffled through the family photos. Graduation UCF Photography Sessions usually start with a few individuals then I have everyone get their time with our star: the Grad! When the whole fam is there to watch you graduate with your HARD EARNED PHD, you take time to get a few frames of everyone together laughing and looking just right. Next up was the Champagne — because CHAMPS DRINK CHAMPS!

I laughed pretty hard at the littlest’s face and reaction the popping the champagne – he was not super excited and a little nervous of how this bottle was going to be opened. It totally cracked me up! But once the cork was popped, everyone was all smiles as they passed their celebratory bottle back and forth on the walk towards the main event: graduation!

Congrats to Ana on all her hard work in earning your PHD from UCF – and thank you for letting me capture your fun a fabulous family!

 

XOXO,
Kate

Location: UCF, Millican Hall 

Champagne: Veuve Clicquot

Book your session: Here

See my Portfolio: Here

 

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Champagne Clad Family Photography Session

in Winter Springs Florida 

I’m so excited to share this Champagne Clad Family Photography in Winter Springs! I have been touting the importance of location and styling during family photography sessions for a little bit now, and let me tell you – this family totally NAILED it! Mom told me that she started the idea for how to dress everyone when she purchased a dress for the littlest, then built everyone’s outfit around that – which is one of my pieces of advice in my styling blog. If you want to read that blog check it out HERE. For more on picking a perfect location for your family session, check out this blog. It didn’t hurt that the girls were just totally adorable. I mean as a whole this family just was super cute.

When we picked a location, thanx to some recommendations by my fellow photographers, it just all came together to form this Champagne Clad Family Photography Session! Everyone was sparkly and the lighting was just right for this family of 5. Plus after having my last few sessions be with boys, it was fun to get my girly on with these three princesses! They loved spinning and holding hands and hugging – no problem. I forgot how easy girls are to get to look pretty in a photo versus boys! I just totally adore how their session came out. Plus because of the neutral colors the photos will go with almost any house hold! Making them a great thing to print out and put up on a wall.

Because of all the perfect champagne colors, it’s making me crave a little bit of the bubbly… I might just have to toast this Champagne Clad Clan and their photography session. I mean, it is Wednesday – so why not?

 

Xo,
Kate

Location: Winter Springs Town Center 

If you’d like to book a family session – book online now!

Or you can contact me to hear more about the different options I offer.

My family photography portfolio is here

Also, if you’re interested in gifting someone a session for the holidays contact me for gift cards!

 

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Family Photography Downtown Orlando’s Leu Gardens

Location, Location, Location! When Shonnie approached me to do family photos and mentioned Leu Gardens, I was so excited! I just love to photograph there – especially with the weather being what it is right now! We met up on a Sunday afternoon and took our time as we strolled through the gardens. The kids had fun running around and checking out all the different plants and they were absolute angels when it came to photos! I just loved all the funny faces and postures I got to see while editing their images. It cracked me up, and their personality really came through. This family has photography down to a science for sure! It makes such a big difference in the images to have a stellar location like Leu Gardens, and a family that just really enjoys each other. I know towards the end the boys were started to get tired of smiling pretty, but they both still had enough energy to come sprinting toward me and my camera – which is always a fun thing to do with kids. I so enjoyed my time with the Torres family, and I think we got some really great images in our time together. By the end they were all great subjects and I just loved their little family dynamic. The youngest had me giggling with all his funny faces and every once in a while he’d throw his arms up in a fit of joy. I mean, if being at Leu Gardens in Downtown Orlando with a cute Family for photography didn’t make me this happy — I wouldn’t be doing it!

XO,

Kate

Location: Leu Gardens in Downtown Orlando 

Book your family session today at our Book Online page 

Check out my family photography portfolio today

Now offering gift cards for the holidays! Just contact me to order yours.

 

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Family Photography at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

This is one of those sessions that just had the perfect touch of Disney magic! As a photographer I have a few tricks up my sleeve for family photography magic, but there is nothing like that Disney touch – and we absolutely found some during this Family Photography Session at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. From totally perfect weather, to some perfectly timed skywriting, I just couldn’t of asked for better circumstances! These little ones were shy at first, but as soon as we all sat down in the grass, they totally opened up to the idea of having my camera on them! Plus, Mom and Dad promised ice cream – which always helps!

We had fun tromping around the Disney grounds, and bounced between the lovely beach club and yacht club properties. We originally had planned to jump on the free water shuttle to go to the boardwalk but had so much fun running in the grass and playing at the hotel property that everyone was completely out of energy by the end of the session. Mom and Dad were all laughs while the little ones engaged in all kinds of shenannigans – from nose picking to funny faces, this was  really fun one to edit! The girls had me laughing as I looked through our time together, from the moments they didn’t like me to everyone cuddling together on a bench.

I just love seeing a family come together to make some real memories together in the most magical place on earth! I’m so lucky to live right down the road from this happy place where families can vacation and come together and I look forward to shooting there more often!

Best,
Kate

Check out my Family photography portfolio! 

To book a session, use our online booking page, or contact me via the contact form.

Locations:

Disney’s Yacht Club Resort  

Disney Beach Club Resort 

 

 

 

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