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:

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!!

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?

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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:

A Chilly Fall Wedding

After a week of rain and just all around horrible weather, we were concerned about how the day was going to be for Robbie and Victoria. Even they were concerned when we last spoke with them. As the big day rolled in, the rain finally stopped and the day began chilly as is normal for December. The location of the ceremony got shuffled around due to mud but luckily Ruston Weddings has many areas on the grounds and it was beautiful! The fall colors on the trees and the church pews for guests to sit on complimented each other and there was hot chocolate to keep everyone warm.

After the ceremony we had time to get some awesome portraits of the newly wedded Robbie and Victoria and we are so pleased at how they came out! They were even able to do some with one of the horses that resides at the Ruston Weddings location and he was an excellent model. After doing their portraits, we all headed back to Monroe for their reception at Bella Stanza. Victoria did an awesome job decorating, with fall colors, leaves hanging from the ceiling and fun little personalized coffee cups.

It was a wonderfully intimate gathering of family and friends who came together to celebrate the couples big day. We wish them happiness for many many years together and a big congratulations!

We are Thankful

As we all know Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time of appreciation. A time of being thankful so to speak. We can all get busy in our day-to-day lives and forget to show the appreciation we have. We decided that we wanted to take this moment and reflect some of the things that have occurred for us this past year and say how thankful we are.

We know that without You, our friends and our families, that we wouldn’t be where we are today. The things that the things we’ve done and the experiences we are able to give to everyone that we work with isn’t possible without your support and belief in us.

Here are a few things that we are thankful for:

We are thankful for all the friends we have met here in Louisiana and across the country.

We are thankful for being a part of PPA & PPLA and the learning experiences that we have had.

We are thankful for having chances to take time off to travel about the country and have experiences like a giant key lime pie from Flounder’s Chowder House in Pensacola Fl., or a Zip’s Cafe visit where we tried out their signature appetizer.

Most of all, we are thankful to YOU, our friends and family, for your continued support of our crazy lives.

We wish you a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving with your friends and family.

 

Lets get SILLY, photo booth style

Its strange to say, but the holiday season is creeping up on us at an alarming rate. With that in mind, think ahead a couple months to your holiday parties. What says “party” more then a photo booth?!?!? Photo booths are a great way to have fun, let your silly side out and commemorate a moment in time with some friends, co-workers and/or family.

We have a photo booth set up that we can bring anywhere you are (as long as there is electricity and some space). We bring in a background (we have lots to choose from), some lights, props and a photographer and we can stay as long as you would like.

Not only do you get a photo booth, but you also get an additional photographer to take candids of the rest of the event . We have 2 photo booth options to chose from and a variety of backgrounds and Ala Carte items. We also have the option available to print on site.

SO, when you start planning your holiday events (parties, family reunions, office gatherings, etc) keep us in mind and LETS GET SILLY!

 

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