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Notebook-Inspired Wedding Proposal

Joy and Yenely’s proposal was supposed to happen back in September – but Florida had different plans for them. Hurricane Irma ripped through Florida and their proposal was rescheduled – but it turned out to be a beautiful day for their time on the water. Their session started with me hiding behind a pile of red Canoes at Canoe Escape in Central Florida. I watched as they pulled up and sneakily photographed them getting a safety talk from the staff. Completely unaware of the big question about the be asked just feet away from her, Yenely walked toward the dock, ready for a canoe adventure while Joy trailed behind admittedly nervous about asking the big question. Yenely was hesitant to walk towards the table – stopping to take the cards off of the beautiful flowers provided by Gabro Event Services. Joy ushered her towards the table with a card on it, encouraging her to open it – and when she did Joy dropped to one knee and popped the big question! After she said yes, Yenely put on the ring and as we were walking away to take some more photos a butterfly flew over and landed on their beautiful flowers. After a walk around the property, they jumped into a canoe and we all laughed as they paddled around the small lagoon infront of the dock where Joy proposed. Congratulations to Joy and Yenely! I wish you all the best in your lives together!

 

Xo,

Kate

Coordination by The Yes Girl Events 

Flowers by Gabro Event Services 

Location Canoe Escape 

 

 

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The Dos and Don’ts of styling Family Photography Sessions

 

Style plays a huge role in images or people. Family portraits can be changed dramatically with what someone wears. I have struggled with this aspect of being a photographer for awhile. I am NOT a stylist. I don’t even think people who know me well would call me “stylish.” I am a photographer through and through – which means I am mostly practical. I wear things because they make sense – not because they are stylish. That is my disclaimer to this whole informational blog post! If you want to reference some real true stylists I have some links at the bottom – and you can do your research to your heart’s content!

With that being said – I also take tons of photographs of families. These families are all unique and different with styles that range from classically polished to rustic and outdoorsy. I take photos of large families and small. In the years I have been photographing families, I have come across some basic Do’s and Don’ts in the world of styling a family for portraits. My goal here is to give you some basic guidelines to follow so that your real true style still comes through in the images.

DO Consider the Location you’re Going to be Photographing

I ALWAYS like to start the booking process with this question because it helps to shape the entire shoot concept. It helps me get a grasp on what my client is expecting from the shoot and how I can best deliver that. Your style needs to make sense in a practical way AND within the story of the images we create together. Something as simple as wearing heels in grass (You know, when you continue to sink into the ground with every step of your stiletto?) instead of wedges can really change your mood during your shoot! I want my clients to look their best, and wearing a tuxedo to the beach in 90 degree weather is for the fashion models of Vogue – Not for your family shoot with three kids below the age of 10. Wear something that makes sense for the location of your family photography session — This means taking time to decide on a location. If you want help with that, ask your photographer for suggestions OR check out the blog I did on the subject already!

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DO Ask Advice

Ask advice! If you’re a novice in the style world – don’t hesitate to ask the person you know with great style! They will be so flattered that you asked, that they will probably be head over heels to help you decide what little Susie should wear. Also your photographer might be able to point you in a direction of an informational blog post (like this one!) or have a style guide all ready to share with you. Don’t be afraid to admit you’re not a fashionista — there is a whole world of people out there who would JUMP at the chance to influence your style in these photos – and probably do a great job in the process.

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DO Consider What you are Going to be Using the Photos For

Is this a Christmas card? Are they going to hang over your fireplace for the next 30 years? Are you trying to showcase a sense of humor with these images? It’s important have a concept of what kind of images you want to end up with. If the photos are going to hang in your home and you have a very modern, clean-line approach to interior decor I would convey that to your photographer and consider the colors you choose while styling your images. Or maybe you know you want black and white prints – so color doesn’t really matter to you. Or you’re trying to have a funny Christmas card for all those family members up north so bathing suits and Santa hats on the beach is where you want to go with it. Having a sort of end-product vision helps all those other choices along the way.

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DO Coordinate

I have noticed in my time as a photographer that families DO look better when they coordinate their outfits. I always suggest dressing the littlest in some sort of pattern with lots of colors – then everyone can use the color palette of that pattern within how they dress. This rule helps everyone to look good together with out being dressed like they are on the same team!

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DON’T Dress Identical

This is a huge photographer pet peeve!!! Everyone ends up looking super tacky (which is totally ok if you’re doing some sort of humorous ironic family photo thing or something!) But mostly it just sucks all the personality right out of the photo. It’s also very dated to do this. So please, PLEASE PLEASE don’t show up to your session in white shirts and blue jeans. It’s not cool. It doesn’t look good. Just– stop.

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DON’T Let your Husband Decide what He’s Going to Wear

I mean, am I right ladies?! Unless he just has impeccable style — usually guys just want to wear comfy sneakers and the shirt they got from the Vegas airport with his buddies. Put your foot down and insist on a button down. Insist he irons his shirt. Make him wear something that coordinates with the rest of your family, then compliment the hell out of him and make him feel sexy! Otherwise you and the kids will look cute and put together and he’ll be in the back looking crabby and in tie dye – it could totally throw off your whole session!

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DON’T Over-Do it with the Props

This one is kinda huge. While I do love using props, I hate it when a family shows up with three bags of crap. We end up just doing posed shots the whole time and they never end up liking their session! Keep the props to a minimum. Some props I totally love are sunglasses, umbrellas and letters (maybe of your last name or of a soon-to-arrive new addition.) It’s too hard to tromp around the beach, park or hotel we are shooting at and keep track of all the extra STUFF. Keep that in mind for your session!

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DON’T Be Afraid to be a Little “Extra”

Go get your hair and make up done – get your nails done – put a little more effort into yourself for your session. Not only will we be able to see the extra effort, you will be more confident infront of the camera! NO ONE likes having their picture taken, so these little things can help you boost your confidence a little bit — plus it’s just fun. 🙂

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Here are some other great resources and tips on how to style your family photography session!

Click it up a notch. 

What to Wear Guide 

6 Families Who Nailed Color Coordinated Portraits

If you’re interested in booking a session to showcase your awesome style do so at our online booking page! Or you can inquire with me, Kate, and I will get back to your email as soon as I can. Also call or text anytime.

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Location ideas in Orlando for Family Photography

Because we are on the brink of family photography season – I’d love to share location ideas in Orlando for Family Photography Sessions!

When clients come to me looking for a session, one of my first questions is “Where?” The location of your family photography shoot can change almost everything about the shoot! The amount of time, the price, what you wear, the final outcome, if you bring your pet or not and so on. Location is always a really big questions to ask when planning your shoot and communicating with your photographer. I like to start with asking clients what they’re looking to achieve and go from there. Luckily – Orlando, Florida is absolutely brimming with FANTASTIC locations for all different kinds of Family Photography shoots and looks. Here is a list of some of my favorite Family Photography locations to consider in the Orlando area.

1. Hotel Properties

If Orlando is known for anything – we are know for our Family Vacations! Orlando is internationally recognizable as the home of The Mouse and with that comes a slew of absolutely STUNNING hotel properties. It is a good idea to clear it with the hotel before planning your photoshoot on their property, but there are some really great opportunities for all different kinds of backdrops. I would even suggest making the most of your photoshoot and planning a simultaneous staycation if you live in the area! The properties don’t only offer a great Family Photography Locations – but also great activities for the kids and some pretty stellar restaurants! Some of my favorites include Disney’s Grand Floridian, The Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes, Portofino Bay, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, and of course Disney’s Old Key West Resort where I recently photographed the family you see below!

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2. Local Parks

This one is kind of a photographer g0-to for photography – which makes it a no brainer for our list! Us photographers are always looking for good outdoor locations for photography. Our requirements are usually somewhere with good parking, lots of shade, and a unique look. We are CONSTANTLY looking for new and unique places to shoot outdoors. It’s important that you find something unique, as there are some areas of town that you can walk in and there will be upwards of 10 photography sessions going on. I prefer a more private outdoor location so I can interact with the Family during our session without worrying about them caring about being goofy. My favorite outdoor parks in the Orlando area for photography sessions include Dickson Azalea Park, Cypress Grove Estate House, Rollins Campus and Leu Gardens, where the shot below was taken.

 

Location ideas for Family Photography sessions in Orlando FloridaPin

 

3. Plan an Activity

I am a huge fan of incorporating an actual ACTIVITY into your photoshoot and planning around that activity. If you’re looking to capture a more organic feel, as well as candids plus posed shots – consider planning your location around particular activities rather then just a backdrop. Some great ideas for photoshoot activities are a picnic, getting some ice cream with a little one (remember – they WILL get it all over them, so don’t plan on taking a clean baby home afterwords!) going to the beach, or exploring a new activity with a little one. Taking the location concept and thinking about an activity you can do instead of just a location is great way to keep everyone interested in the shoot and having a good time rather then forcing the whole family to do a family photoshoot they just plain DREAD. Don’t be afraid to collaborate with your photographer and come up with some good activity ideas. I promise you’ll get some great shots but also make awesome family memories. Some great activities to plan your family photography session around include The Lake Eola Farmers Market, A trip to a petting zoo or horse farm like Horse Power Ranch, or a trip to the beach!

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4. Your Home

I ADORE doing family photos in their home. I even have an entire concept based around this called Day in The Life Sessions – where I take photojournalism into your home and create some thoughtful artistic images of your everyday routine!  It forces me to be creative while also documenting them in their own environment. Your home can be a great backdrop for family photography sessions if you have really young children, or if you have a grandparent who doesn’t have the best mobility. Doing your session at your house can take a ton of pressure off of you and the timeline of the shoot. I do recommend tidying up your home — including your bedroom! A great spot for family photos is usually everyone piling onto the bed in the master bedroom, so make sure you tidy things up in your room. You do have to consider you are letting a stranger into your home, but if you’re open to it – I highly suggest it! I love the fact that families are in their natural environment – it really makes for some great relaxed images that will last a lifetime. Some of my favorite sessions have been in family homes. Like this one at a grandparent’s house, and a more recent one of little Mae you see below!

 

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Those are just a few of my location ideas around the Orlando area – but I have gone as far as to find an old plane just for a photo shoot! So if the suggestions here aren’t getting your creative juices moving in regards to your upcoming Family Photography session, consider talking it over with your photographer. Firstly we are going to want to know what kind of images you’re looking for and from there we can help formulate some options for you. Take a look at your photographer’s portfolio and don’t be afraid to ask questions about where each session took place. Most photographers are an open book when it comes to our shooting locations – and we are always looking for creative and fun places to shoot. Most of us have a “wish list” of locations we want to shoot at. Don’t be afraid to talk to your photographer! It’s what you’re paying for!

Best,
Kate

If you want to schedule a session today you can do so on our online booking! We will work out location details later. Or if you’d like, inquire through our contact form and I will get back to you as soon as I can! I am also running a discounted price on our Documentary Photography sessions in order to build my portfolio and skill set. Contact me for more info.

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In Home Family Photography Orlando, Florida

This In Home Family Photography here in Orlando, Florida has me so giddy! I have a serious confession to make — I love going into a family home for a session. When I ride my bike around Downtown Orlando, I frequently wonder what the inside of all the homes look like. How would they photograph? Does that bay window have a lovely little seat where the natural light would make for a wonderful portrait of the families inside? I secretly wish the adorable families inside of them would come running outside in dire need of a photographer and I could valiantly save the day! Orlando is full to the brim with awesome photo locations, but in home family photography sessions are so special.

Not only are in home family photography sessions convenient (especially when photographing a family that includes an infant with wardrobe changes) but I’ve noticed they yield more relaxed candids. People tend to be a little uncomfortable when inviting a stranger with a camera into their home, but that awkward tension is sometimes the magic ingredient in creating a really great portrait. I’d also like to point out they offer the oh-so-important factor in in-home family photography sessions — AIR CONDITIONING!

This family session was a quick and fun shoot done in their living room. When I got to their home, we spent all of 5 minutes scoping out good locations for the shoot, and after I saw the big windows in the living room, filling the house with a soft natural light, I was sold! I didn’t over think it or over complicate the shoot and focused on the happy family and their most adorable new addition! Although she wasn’t the happiest the whole time, she still stole the show in her tutu and flower outfit. Add in a couple of friendly wiener dogs and you’ve got a recipe for some really genuine shots. I loved the way they came out.

XO,
Kate

P.S. – Looking to book a family photography shoot? Or learn more about it?

To book now, check out our online booking page

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Contact me now with my contact form!

I’d love to talk over what kind of images you’re looking for and help to create some imagery for you and your family.

P.S.S. Remember — family session season is coming up quickly!

Book now to reserve your spot. 🙂

 

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Cocoa Beach Sunrise Family Photography

Just about a year ago, I met with the Jacobs family at the Cocoa Beach Pier at sunrise – only there was one less! That day we had a great time capturing Haisley Virgina in her Mom’s belly with the waves crashing all around. Fast forward to a year-ish later and we returned to capture the little nugget herself in the same setting. I have an almost annoying obsession with light, and this pier at sunrise is one of my favorites. The warm Florida sunrise on the beach is a perfect way to go about Summer family photography sessions! The heat hasn’t found you yet, and there are no crowds to fight. Plus the pier provides a really great backdrop for a family as good looking as this one.

I loved that the session started off with a text that said “We are running late, I got pooped on.” I had a pretty good laugh after I read that! After we were all ready to go, it was easy breezy. When it comes to photographing babies, sometimes it’s a coin flip. I can not tell you how often the youngest person at the session decides the way the session goes – well Haisley can be the boss of any Family Photography session of mine! She was an absolute delight, cuddling up to dad and laughing at the waves at her toes. Then for the grand finale she revealed her inner mermaid which was just heart-meltingly adorable. She started to get sleepy towards the end and still maintained total composure like a true water-loving pro. I can’t wait to photographer her happy little face again soon. Seeing this family grow and change together has been the ultimate honor. I have truly loved every minute of it!

Xo,

Kate

Check out my family photography portfolio.

Book your session online today! 

 

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