So many choices and so little time…..

Choosing a photographer for your special event or portraits can be a daunting task. There are a lot of us out there, and we range from “just bought a camera last week” to “20+ years of experience”. We know that it can be super confusing and frustrating trying to narrow down your choices. Some people even get so frustrated they just give up and either don’t ever get portraits or they pick some random name. So, we decided to give you some pointers to help you make an informed decision.

Here are some things you should look for when checking out a website or social media page:

  1. Consistency. Do the photos look good throughout, or are only the 1st few nice while the rest are just OK?
  2. Do they look like real sessions or do they look like they were staged? (More on this in a later post)
  3. Is the site/page regularly updated or is everything on it old?
  4. Do the photos look like they have a ton of filters/photo shop work done on them? This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but can sometimes mean that the original photos aren’t that good, and the photographer has to rely on digital technology to make them passable. This can be a sign of someone who doesn’t really know a lot about the important aspects of photography.
  5. Do they have good reviews/comments from past clients?

Here are some things you should pay attention to when you are trying to get information:

  1. Is it easy to get a hold of the photographer? They may not answer the phone when you call, but do they call you back if you leave a message? Or answer in a timely manner if you email?
  2. What is their demeanor on the phone/email? Do they sound like they are rushing you or not listening to what you have to say?
  3. When you ask questions, are they truly answering them or are they moving past them without giving you a real answer?
  4. Are they giving you information about costs and charges that will be associated with your session or event?
  5. Do they have a contract for you to sign? (contracts, while sometimes a pain to go through are vital. They protect you and the photographer)

And lastly, here are a few questions to ask to get a feel for the photographer and their personality/style. It is important that you mesh well, especially in a wedding or quinceañera situation, as you will be together an extended period of time.

  1. Ask about pricing. It should never be a deciding factor, but you have to know if they are in your budget. If they are not,  you may need to re-evaluate your choices or your budget.
  2. Ask how long they have been doing photography. Everyone doesn’t need years and years of experience to be good, but if you are going to pay for it, you should get what you are looking for.
  3. Ask if you can do an in-person consultation. This is super important, so that you can make sure you are on the same page in relation to what you are looking for and how much you will spend.
  4. For portrait sessions, ask for clothing tips, location suggestions and time of day options. Trust me when I say that these are all important and will effect the overall look of your portraits.
  5. Ask about anything you are unsure of. The photographer should have no problem answering your questions, clarifying information or solving your objections.

If you have any questions or need more information about what to look for, please feel free to contact us. We are happy to help, even if you aren’t our client. You can always contact us at the form below:

Meet our new Hair & Makeup artist!!!!

Meet Hannah! Hannah is currently attending Empire Beauty School here in Tampa and lives in Brandon, FL where she said she loves the weather, because its always sunny and warm. Empire offers a 9-month program and she will be graduating in March. Hannah is our new hair & makeup artist and will be available on an as needed basis. We are super excited to add her to the DLPS team!

I did a sit down interview with Hannah last weekend after Tony did some head shots of her and asked her the following questions:

How long have you been interested in hair/makeup?

I’ve been into it “my whole life, ever since i was a kid. I always got in trouble for cutting my sisters hair and ruining all my barbies and baby dolls”

What do you hope to do with your HMU experience?

“I want to work in a salon to get some experience and eventually open my own business doing photo shoots and bridal hair & makeup. I enjoy doing the styling part”.

Whats your favorite thing about doing Hair & Makeup?

“The art of it and making people feel beautiful in their skin”.

Whats a piece of advice you would give someone who is looking for a HMU artist?

“Look for someone who actually loves doing what they do and has a passion for it instead of just trying to make money. Someone who wants to make you look how you want, rather then how they want you to look”

Lastly, when asked about how she feels about working with us she said; “I’m so excited to be working with DLPS and your clients. I am looking forward to growing with your company and doing some awesome photo shoots”


We are really happy to be adding Hannah to the DLPS family and can’t wait to introduce her services to our clients. For more information about how to book a session and adding on hair, makeup or both, please contact us through the form below.


How to pose better for portraits

Have you ever been in front of the camera and have no idea what to do with yourself? It happens to all of us. Whether its how to turn your body to what to do with your hands, it can be completely uncomfortable to be the subject of a photograph. So, here are some tips on how to pose better.

For Women:

  1. Don’t stand straight on to the camera. This will make you look wider then you actually are. Turn slightly to the left or the right
  2. Put your weight on your back foot. This will move you back slightly from the camera. Remember, whatever is closest to the camera will look the biggest.
  3. Stand up straight. Sometimes, even when we think we are straight, we are still slouching. Think of having a string at the top of your head and in your mind, pull that string up.
  4. To make your arms look thinner, don’t allow them to rest on your body. This creates a smooshing effect and will make them look bigger. Instead, keep your arms slightly away from resting on your body.

For Men:

  1. Men usually want to look powerful in photos, so being straight on to the camera will make you appear large and in charge
  2. To make your biceps look larger, keep them against your body.
  3. If you want to look leaner, shift your weight to your back foot.
  4. Don’t put all of your hand into your pocket. It will be bulky and look strange. Either tuck your thumb in your picket or your hand with your thumb out.

For Both:

  1. To avoid or lessen a double chin, extend your chin out and down a small amount.

In the end, your photographer should be giving you tips along the way and making sure that you look the best you possibly can. When in doubt, ask questions!!

Southern Pro Exposure New Orleans

Well it was a great weekend in New Orleans for the annual PPLA Southern Pro Exposure (SPX) photography convention. We met old friends, made new ones and learned TONS!!!


We learned from so many great photographers who have tons of knowledge and experience to share with us. We can’t wait to incorporate the new tips and tricks into what we do. We always walk away with new ideas to give you a great experience and a product you deserve.

Mothers Restaurant

While there we got to take a break at one of the many great restaurants there, Mothers, and it was phenomenal. If you are ever in New Orleans check it out you won’t be disappointed.

Jessica got to receive her new bling, CPP Medal (certified professional photographer), during the awards ceremony and we couldn’t be more proud! Photographed with her is this year’s PPA president Rob Behm. By the way don’t mind the outfits. The evening had a theme and it was transportation, Jess is dressed as a road.

Derrick & Victoria

While there we got to bring back two of our favorite models who wanted to come to Tampa. These two have been a part of the Dark Light family since we were in Louisiana. Stay tuned for some awesome photos of Derek and Victoria.

Turn your home into an art gallery!

Imagine having company over and them being amazed at the beautiful canvas portraits of your family on your walls. Our canvas collection wall art pieces are sure to make any room in your house stunning and will be great conversation starters.

The color and clarity of these pieces are phenomenal. We couldn’t be happier with our decision to offer these vibrant, in your face, canvas portraits. With so many varieties in sizes and collections,  you won’t be disappointed. This is a great way to display your portraits in a way that nobody else does. You will definitely stand out among everyone by having portrait art that you can pass down to your children. Portraits printed on canvas are beautiful and will stand the test of time, all while turning your home into an art gallery of your family!mikebritcanvas

Want more info about who we are and what we do? Contact us below:

Calling All Couples!

It’s that time of year! Love is in the air, “engagement season” has just passed and Valentine’s is quickly approaching. If you have recently gotten engaged or are in the midst of planning your wedding, having couples portraits taken is a great way to test out photographers for that BIG DAY by having a session done of the two of you!

Even if you are not engaged, or have been married for years, having your portraits taken together can be fun and a great way to get some new images of the 2 of you just because you can!  Call us now for more information on our portrait & engagement sessions at 318-503-2147.

The Difference Between a Picture & a Portrait

As you read the title you maybe wondering: “Isn’t a picture and a portrait the same thing?” Well… in a manner of speaking yes. They are both photographs, pictures so to speak, they both come out of a camera and people take them.

A picture though, is taken by anybody, everybody, young, old, amateur, hobbyist, traveler and with a point and shoot camera or the fanciest camera out there. After all most amateurs/”soccer moms” think the biggest, brightest, shiniest, most expensive camera  out there will get them that amazing photo. Also, pictures are printed at your local photo printer, i.e. Wal-Mart, Walgreens, snapfish, etc. Pictures are seen for a moment and just left to sit on social media waiting to be seen again if ever. I know I have some on my page that I haven’t seen in at least a couple years.

A portrait, however, is taken by professionals. People who have the experience and training to back them up. We take the time to meet with you and get to know you a bit before your portrait session. We go to locations of your choice or come up with an in studio solution for your portraits, if you want studio style. We give you tips for clothing, time of day, and we always aim to provide you with excellent service and great portrait printed products, canvas or fine art albums. Portraits are printed at a professional photo lab, on calibrated equipment and high quality paper. Portraits are hung on your walls in your home, office, etc. and seen for a lifetime.

As you can see from the examples below, there is a huge difference between a picture and a portrait!

Boudoir Portraits…Are they for you?

I think boudoir photos get a bad rap. People often think of nudity, promiscuousness and vulgarity when they hear the term boudoir. I’m here to tell you that they are anything but that. I will be the first to admit that they can be, if they are not done correctly or if you have a less then respectable photographer. (DO YOUR RESEARCH) Boudoir portraits should be done with a trusted photographer that you can be yourself with. The photographer should understand that you are inviting them into a personal part of your life. Even if you trust your photographer you might still feel a bit intimidated or uncomfortable so bring a friend with you. This can make you feel more comfortable and at ease.
Boudoir photography doesn’t mean that you should bare all. Overall, boudoir portraits should be classy, elegant and make you feel incredibly sexy and beautiful. They are meant to make you look and feel wonderful and to show just how beautiful you truly are.
Just to throw out an idea of what you can wear for your boudoir portrait session: your husband’s dress shirt and tie with boy shorts or you can have his favorite football jersey and a football in hand.The ideas are endless. You bring a few props and a few outfits and see what works when the time comes.
Boudoir portraits can be a great gift. You can take them for yourself, your fiancé, husband or partner. They are great as a gift for Valentine’s Day, a birthday, a pre-wedding gift for your groom-to-be or just because.If you think you would like to learn more about having your boudoir portrait taken, please contact us. We would love to give you more information and schedule a session with you. We promise, you will have fun and look amazing!

To make an appointment or for more information, go to our contact page and email us or call us as 318-503-2147. We would love to hear from you

Why Dark Light Photo Studios Doesn’t Offer Images on a CD

We get this question all the time…do you put the images on a CD and give us a print release?

The simple answer is NO. But I’ll tell you what we do and why.

  • We go through your images, one at a time and make sure that it looks the way it’s supposed to look.
  • We adjust color balance (if necessary), do basic retouching, crop your images, make sure the lighting is correct and take out that zit that showed up the day of your wedding or portrait session.
  • We do (usually) go through your pictures with you, so that you can see them before anyone else does.
  • We do put them into an online gallery after you view them so that you can share them with your family & friends.
  • You can also download them onto social media sites, but they are not big enough to print.

So, people ask, why don’t we allow clients to print their own images? The reason is…QUALITY.

We put a lot of time into your images. Not just in taking them, but in the post production. If we were to give you a disk of images, chances are you would get them printed at Walmart or Walgreens or CVS or somewhere else that we have no control over. Then you will show people those pictures and when they ask who took them, you will give them our name. The problem with that is that we can’t assure the print quality. That print might have a weird color tint, be to light, to dark or be printed on bad paper. We don’t want our name associated with badly printed images.

We print all of our images through a professional photo lab. They are more expensive, but the paper is high quality, the ink is high quality and the people who work there know what they are doing. Then we get the image back from the lab and go over it ourselves to make sure it looks the way it should. When we are 100% sure the portrait looks great, then you get it. We wouldn’t want you to hang a poorly printed image in your home.

So no, we will not give you a CD of your images. But we will give you a high quality, professionally printed portrait that we and you can be proud to display and share.

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