Morgan; a little girl full of strength

Morgan is 8. She is a dark haired, beautiful little girl here in Florida. She has a loving family, including a 5 year old brother. She also has inoperable, in-curable, terminal brain cancer. Morgan was diagnosed with DIPG, which, as her mom describes it, is brain cancer that is more like string cheese then a solid tumor.

We met Morgan when we were contacted by Quiet Strength, a non-profit based out of California. Quiet Strength partners with photographers to give families who are dealing with childhood cancers a chance to have their photos taken. Photographers donate their time and skills to spend time with these families and work to give them amazing portraits of their children, who may not be with them much longer.

Morgan

Our day with Morgan was amazing. Her favorite color is purple, so her mom picked out a dress with lots of purple in it and we found some beautiful purple flowers for her hair and some for her portraits. Her mom wanted her hair to look nice, so we found a student at a local beauty college who was willing to donate her time and skills to Morgan and her family.

Despite what she is going through, she smiled, seemed happy and did her very best to help us get her portraits. She never complained and even when you could see that she was getting tired, she continued to smile.

If you would like to learn more about Morgan by following her story or if you can help her and her family, please find her on her Facebook page Morgans Journey (link is below). Her, and kids like her, so desperately need a miracle.

Morgans Facebook Page

 

Danville, Vermont USA

For the Thanksgiving holiday, we decided to get out of dodge and head north, to visit my (Jess’) family in Danville, VT. If you think you have never been to Danville, its possible you have, but you accidentally blinked while you were driving or riding and soared right through without noticing. Its a quaint New England town, sitting in the northeastern part of Vermont, about 55 miles south of the Canadian boarder and 20 minutes west of New Hampshire.

We flew into Boston, then took a bus north into New Hampshire, where we were met by my parents. My Dad recently had throat surgery to remove some cancerous lumps, so he regaled us with tales of the hallucinations he had while on the medication while we drove the 1+ hr further north to my parents house.

We were there for 7 days, 2 of which were spent traveling. My brother and his family came as well, so the house was plenty full (7 people, 3 dogs and 3 cats). While there, we hung out, played cards & Yahtzee, watched some westerns and of course took photos.

Barn in Danville, VT
A barn in Danville, VT

Tony took a crash course in the art of blacksmithing. He quickly learned that the hammer gets heavier with every swing. (That might be due in part to him taking 100 hits to achieve something that my dad can do in 10) Regardless, he made a plant hanger that we will definitely use on the patio.

 

We also traveled to Bretton Woods, NH to the Mount Washington Hotel Resort. Its a beautiful old hotel at the base of Mt. Washington and has some fantastic views from its wrap around balcony.

mount washington hotel, NH
The Mt. Washington Hotel, Bretton Woods, NH

Of course, with my niece Zoey there, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take some portraits. Zoey takes after my sister Eliza, the horse trainer. Zoe loves all things horses and is beside herself with joy any time she is around my moms horse Arlo.

Zoey & Arlo
Zoey & Arlo

Overall, we had a fun trip and it was great to see some family. It even snowed a couple of times. Apparently, it snowed quite a bit more the day we left, as my mom texted me a photo of it snowing with a text that said “thanks for wishing it would snow”. I can only assume she was being sarcastic. We arrived back in Tampa on Monday night, flying in to a beautiful sunset over the water.

Sunset over Florida
Sunset over Clearwater/Tampa

Win Some Photography!

It’s that time of year. The time of giving, the time of receiving oh and the time of giveaways and raffleboxes. Speaking of raffleboxes….we have two and are excited about them!

familyraffle copy

We are so happy to have joined with the pediatric dental office of Sandra Makram, D.D.S. for our family portrait session rafflebox. The winner of this giveaway can win a portrait session that can last up to an hour and a half. To sign up for this please go to: 13027 W Linebaugh Ave Suite 102, Tampa, FL 33626. Don’t forget to call and set up your child’s dental appointment with them too. (813) 854-5800

quinceaneraraffle copy

We are also happy to have joined with the Calla Lily Rose Boutique. This rafflebox is for 6 hours of photography for a Quinceañera. That’s right 6 HOURS! So if you or anybody you know is getting ready to turn 15 years old head on over to the Calla Lily Rose Boutique. They specialize in Quinceañera celebrations. They have dresses, tiaras and all other accessories for that special Quince in your life. To sign up for this giveaway head on over to: 2815 W Waters Ave, Tampa, FL 33614. Don’t forget to call them if you are looking for something in particular. (813) 935-8282

The final day to sign up for our raffleboxes will be November 30, 2017. If you need any additional information on our raffleboxes, have any questions about our portrait sessions, quicneañera or wedding collections or if you’d like to schedule a free consultation call or email us or you can use the contact form below. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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:

What to expect from your DLPS Family Portrait Session

We want you to have a wonderful experience as a member of the DLPS family. We strive to be flexible, work with you and get you the images you want and need. We do have a process that we follow with each client and we want to explain that so that everyone is on the same page.

martinfamily_014_071115_2

The first step is for you to contact us and we set up a consultation. The consultation will probably be either in the evening or on a weekend. They usually go for about an hour, and during this time, we will find out a little more about you and what you are looking for. We will make a plan for your session, give you some tips on clothing choices, answer any questions you have and determine a location & date.

Next, is your session. Plan on your session lasting approximately 1 ½ hours. During that time, we will do portraits of your family as a whole, then split you up into smaller groups. The kids together, the parents together, each of the parents with the kids, etc. This will give you great options when it comes time to order your wall collections.

At the end of your session, we will schedule your sales appointment. At that time, we will meet, you will review your portraits, choose the prints, canvases and albums that you want and pay for your order. We accept credit/debit cards as well as cash. Plan on your sales session lasting at least 1 hour. We also ask that parents attend and that the kids are left at home if at all possible. This will limit distractions and will make it easier for you to concentrate.

You will receive your products approximately 2-3 weeks after your sales appointment. This can vary depending on what products you order. (Canvases & albums take a little longer, online galleries a little less time).

That is the basic process of doing portraits with DLPS. We encourage you to ask questions and to always get more information if you need it. We try to be as open and up front about everything and we want you to be comfortable with your choice. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

WARNING…This might touch your heart

Some years ago, Tony & I both worked for a company that does school day and HS Senior portraits. One morning, a mother called the studio. The company had taken her sons photo less then a week earlier and he had been killed in a car accident a couple of days ago. Would the family be able to get a copy of the picture for his funeral? Naturally, the company made her a large print to display. That was the last picture that family had of their son.

The end of last year, we photographed a wedding. Less then a month after the wedding, the grooms grandfather passed away and the couple contacted us to see if they could get a print for the funeral. We had taken the last photos of his grandfather.

People never think that it will happen to them, but what if someone close to you passed away suddenly? Would you have real photos to remember them by, or just a fuzzy cell phone picture that will be lost the moment you upgrade?

grams2

Take for instance Tony’s situation. Right after graduating school in Massachusetts, Tony had moved back to Oklahoma and photographed his grandmother. Shortly there after she had fallen ill and passed away. The featured image as well as the one above are the final images that she had taken. This was the last time that his grandparents had a professional portrait together. Prior to that the last time his grandparents had a portrait together was about 15 years ago. That was also a family portrait.

Things happen quickly and people forget how important it is to have photos of themselves and the people around them, but when someone’s house is burning, one of the first things they save is photos & albums. It doesn’t matter if you think you should wait til you lose that extra 5 lbs, or until your child’s adult teeth have come in. You never know what can happen.

Think about that next time you put off getting a professional to photograph the important people in your life……..

 

To schedule your family, senior or child session, contact us below:

 

 

 

Coming Soon….To Monroe, Louisiana

We are making plans to come back to Monroe, Louisiana. Yep, that’s right we are coming by to say hello and of course do some photography. We will be in town September 14 – 15, 2017. This is your chance to book us for a portrait session, whether it be senior, family, children or an engagement session. Maybe you want to book us for an upcoming wedding that takes place at another time. This would be a good time to meet with us to go over all the details and book us for that wedding date.  Besides, how often can you say you hired an out of state photographer for your portraits?

Our sessions are first come first serve and will be booked up quickly. Contact us for more details.

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:

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑