I’m Bringing the Photograph Back

This looks INCREDIBLE on the computer screen you’re staring at right now.

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Ok folks…we’re going to school today. Yep! I’m taking you to the classroom so we can talk about photography, your legacy and what a photograph truly is and represents.

I’m bringing back the photograph.

No, I don’t mean the photograph that’s sitting in your phone, camera or computer. I’m not talking about the photographs tucked neatly away on that hard drive you just had to have from your photographer, rather than order prints. I’m talking about a bonafide, genuine, true article, actual, live, printed photograph on paper that you can touch, pick up, put down, pass around, put on your wall, your desk, your nightstand or your whatever.

So what is a photograph? It’s a physical representation of that moment in time, caught, captured and solidified for all time and is meant to be viewed and hopefully cherished. How many of you have digital copies of grandma from her wedding day? Now how many of you have photographs of grandma on her wedding day framed and set up on your mantle? Yup. My point exactly. I have one too! I cherish it and love it and it brings a smile to my face every time I see it.

There is even a big difference between a photo album and a real photograph. Photo albums today are mostly collage-style with more than one photo on a page and eventually the book gets closed, hiding all of the photos inside until someone opens it again. Photographs should be seen, displayed, laughed at, cried over and put out there for all to see and enjoy every single day.

Because of my commitment to getting all of you out there to understand the value of a photograph I have now started offering a new product to celebrate the photograph. And the reason I’m making a big deal about it and shoving it down your throat today is because it’s a product that seems to be confusing my clients.

Let me introduce to you what I have now lovingly named the Legacy Photo Boxes.

Legacy Photo Boxes-0001These stunning boxes, filled with even more stunning photographs, is going to help me bring back the value of a photograph to all of you.Legacy Photo Boxes-0002These boxes are designed to hold a certain number of beautifully printed photographs inside a custom-designed photo cover. Just look at those sweet little ribbon ties!! Ah! Legacy Photo Boxes-0003Legacy Photo Boxes-0004Each photograph inside the box is showcased in a lovely mat. Legacy Photo Boxes-0005I offer 2 sizes and 2 variations for you to choose from. You can have a white box with a white tie, a black box with a black tie…white mats…. Legacy Photo Boxes-0006 Legacy Photo Boxes-0007…or you can choose black mats as well. Legacy Photo Boxes-0008 Legacy Photo Boxes-0009So what is so great about these boxes anyway? Because they hold bonafide, genuine, true article, actual, live, printed photograph on paper that you can touch, pick up, put down, pass around, put on your wall, your desk, your nightstand or your whatever. I know what you were thinking: what’s the difference between turning off the computer screen, closing the album or shutting the box?? It’s all the same, right? Nope! Because these photographs are real and matted, you can take them out and frame them, even changing them out when you get bored with them! And I know what you’re thinking now: I can’t have a photograph of my butt hanging in my house!! What would grandma say?!? So don’t hang your butt on your wall. You have a variety to choose from so hang whatever you want. And PS I bet grandma would tell you to shake that rumpmaker and show off what God gave you because someday gravity will play a very mean joke on you.

And for the photographs you decide to keep tucked away in the box for his and your eyes only…then yes, what is the difference between that and the album you thought you had to have to show off your photos?? Your photos are either tucked away in an album or tucked away in this gorgeous photo box. At that point it becomes about preference: tucked away in an album, or tucked away in a box. Makes no difference at that point.

So to my lovely, beautiful women out there that are considering a session: might I suggest considering a product outside the norm a bit? My albums are gorgeous, trust me. But all I’m saying is…don’t you think it’s time we brought the photograph back??

It’s not just a box; it’s box filled with your legacy.

Her Legacy

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Legacy is a very powerful word with a very powerful meaning. We all want to be remembered and celebrated and that is your legacy (more on that this week). When K decided to reserve a session with me I had no idea that it was her legacy that spurred her into doing so. About a week before her session this is the email I received:

“The biggest reason I want to do this for my husband is I want him to
always remember me exactly like I am now. I was diagnosed with thyroid
cancer last January, so it’s been a rough year. However they say that
if you have to have cancer that’s the best kind to have (like any
cancer is good) but the docs say the outlook is great. I have the scar
on my neck from surgery, but I don’t want it edited out.”

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And in a follow up email this sentence struck me:

“Although I may live until I’m 100 or get hit by a bus tomorrow,  my life has changed.  I think differently and I feel differently.  The point of getting these photos were to memorialize me now the way I am. No matter what happens in the future,  I’ll have this moment forever. It’s for me as much as my husband.”

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I loved her instantly. As soon as K sat down in the chair for hair and makeup we started talking about her journey. She didn’t go into it too much but when she talked about not knowing what the future may bring her thoughts went straight to her husband. Though she doesn’t know I saw it, she teared up and talked about how important it was to her for him to remember her as she is now: young, beautiful and in love. It was a special moment and I felt honored to share it with her.

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Another special moment was when K came back to see her photos. She was very nervous throughout her session that she wasn’t nailing the look she knew she wanted. I, on the other hand, saw exactly what I needed and I couldn’t wait for her to see her photos because I knew she nailed it. As she sifted through her photos she went from weary, to cautiously accepting, to “I love them!!” It was wonderful to see her fall in love with herself again. To see the delight in her eyes was such fun.

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Thank you, K, for coming to see me, for telling me your story and for allowing me to share it with others. You are a lovely lovely young woman and I am a better person for having met you. You’re simply beautiful, inside and out. ;-)

To all you other lovely ladies out there…what will your legacy be?

Hair, makeup & wardrobe styling by Justine Lynn of Beauty Justified.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun…

…while getting a makeover, listening to loud music and dancing around the studio, trying on clothes you NEVER thought would look good on you…and being a supermodel for a day. Not a bad way to spend a morning, eh?

Pittsburgh Beauty Portraits-0001Hair, makeup and wardrobe styling by Justine Lynn of Beauty Justified.

She invited me…

…into her home. It’s not often that I receive a request to photograph in a client’s home but I’m always thrilled when I do. It opens up a whole new world. I know what you’re thinking: “My house? Psht. There is nothing at my house that I would want in my photos.” You’re wrong. There’s you. You are the subject, the main focus, the reason for the session. Not your curtains. As you can see from the photos below, A’s session had nothing to do with her home. A lives in a beautiful log cabin and stone-type home and the bedroom was dark and moody, with just that bit of window light coming in. It’s all I needed. All we did was walk around her home and follow the light.

What was so fun about this session was that A’s fiance had no idea that when we came up the day before for their engagement session on their land that A had put us all up at a hotel that night to come back the next day while he was at work so I could photograph her beauty session for his wedding gift.

I adore implied nudes. No clothing to take away from the subject….just skin and curves. There is something so vulnerable, not only about nudes, but nudes in a woman’s personal space. It’s so intimate, and that makes her gift that much more meaningful.

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Wardrobe, hair and makeup styling by Justine Lynn of Beauty Justified (even though you don’t see any wardrobe, hair or makeup styling…yet ;-))

Lindsay & Roy | Hall of Sculptures Wedding Reception | Pittsburgh

Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Photos-0010One of the cutest couples ever for you today, folks. We first met Lindsay & Roy last year for their relaxed engagement session. What a fun day it was to just take a walk, take some photos and get to know this couple. Lindsay & Roy decided to take 2 years to plan their wedding and you could see it was worth it. No stress, no craziness…just enjoying the process and letting it all come together. But they did wait long enough; Lindsay & Roy have been together for 8 years….so it was time.

Lindsay is very calm but you could see how excited she was about the day. She kept saying all day how she just couldn’t believe the day was finally here and how excited she was to get it going. And Roy was even calmer. All smiles just floating through the day. His gift to Lindsay was the sweetest I’ve seen in a long time. He had a bracelet made for her with the longitude and latitude of their wedding location. How ridiculously sweet is that?!?

And so the day finally got there. ;-) A few vows, a few giggles, lots of hugs and a dance floor that neither Lindsay or Roy left for the entire evening. What a party!

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Weddings-0002Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0001 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0004 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0005 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0006 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0007 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0008 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0009 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0010 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0011 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0012Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0002Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0013 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0014 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0015 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0016 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0017 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0018 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0019 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0020 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0021 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0022 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0023 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0024 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0003Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0025 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0026 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0027 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0028 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0029 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0030 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0031 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0032 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0033 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0034 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0035 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0036 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0038 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0037 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0039 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0040 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0041 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0042 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0045 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0043 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0046 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0047 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0048 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0049 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0056 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0057 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0058 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0059 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0060 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0061 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0062 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0063 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0064 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0065 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0066 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0067 Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures Wedding Receptions-0068Venue: Carnegie Museum Hall of Sculptures
Wedding Ceremony: Heinz Chapel
Hair & Makeup Styling: Beauty Justified
Florist: Blooms
Caterer: Parkhurst Dining
Lighting: Benack Sound Productions and Lighting

When Should You Schedule Your Beauty/Boudoir Session with Me?

Before & After Beauty Portraits-4Whoa, whoa, WOW has my inquiry rate gone through the ROOF (she says jumping up and down clapping her hands wildly)!  This, obviously, makes me super-excited because that means all you gorgeous women out there are coming to the conclusion that celebrating yo-self with me is actually a good idea….and that is just fantabulous.

Little did I know how much fun this was going to provide me in trying to squuuueeeeeeze you all in, all while carrying a full load with weddings as well. I’m the kinda gal that sees 5 minutes open on her schedule and then figures out how to use it to get just one more task done. I’m not so good at sitting still, which has been a benefit to my clients. However, there is some scheduling magic even I can’t sprinkle fairy dust on to get you ladies what you want when you want it. So I am giving a bit of advice here on when is the best time to schedule your session with me, depending on what occasion you’d like your products for.

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First, I like to have at least 6 to 8 weeks from session to product delivery. I can do it faster but I charge rush fees to do so. I’m super quick y’all, but the album/product companies are not and no matter how much I keep begging, crying and stomping my feet they simply will not speed up their process for me. Boogers.

I typically have your photos fully retouched and ready for you to view them within a week (or 2 if I’m really swamped). So it usually takes a total of 2 to 3 weeks to edit, get you in for your reveal, create layouts for your products, have you view and approve the layouts (or request changes) and then order them.  Then it’s another 3 to 5 weeks to have them delivered to me, at which time I inspect them, repackage them and then send them out to you. That’s a ton of steps to get your gorgeous products to you so it does take time. Some of my products can be delivered in 2 weeks, others are 5 weeks.

Before & After Beauty Portraits-3**I actually originally wrote this blog post a few days ago and at that time I had 6 slots left for this year. Now….

For the rest of 2014 I only have 3 slots left, as of this date today, and all in December. I cannot take anymore sessions in time for Christmas presents this year. If you’re interested in a 2015 Valentine’s Day gift then you’ll want to reserve one of the three slots left, or you can also reserve a session the first week in January for V-Day too, but I’m only taking 4 sessions that week. So if you’re in the market for a doozie of a knock-his-socks-off gift contact me. ;-)

A really good rule of thumb is to reserve your session date at least 8 weeks before you need your products. This will allow you time to enjoy the whole process of preparing for your session, the time at your session, seeing your photos for the first time, ordering your beautiful products to showcase your beautiful photos and have them delivered in plenty of time before you need them. If you do it any other way the whole thing becomes about timing rather than the experience and it’s a lot of money to toss out there to miss the experience.

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So when you’re ready…I’ll be here!

All fabulous makeovers above by Ms. Justine Lynn of Beauty Justified.