The weather finally cooled off a little bit, and I had driven past this really cute 'new' pumpkin place several times... it was perfect. After speaking to the owner to get permission, I sent out a note to our class of 2018 high school senior models to see who was up for a fun creative session right away, and immediately got two volunteers. (Our whole group of ladies is pretty great, to be honest.)
This adorable place is right on Denbigh Blvd, near highway 17 in Yorktown. The owner used to sell his pumpkins behind Pop's, but the woman who owns the large farm across the street let him grow his pumpkins there, so he sells there, too! Go support him! After talking to him for awhile, I found out how much he gives back to the community, including donating pumpkins to my children's school.
(And if you're wondering, there are more photos of one girl than the other because, well, she hit a bit of a snag and arrived late. I love them both equally.)
Are you interested in fun senior portraits? We would love to talk to you!
In this day and age, most of us take photos every day and have thousands of photos of our children and families (or pets - let's be honest, some of us have more photos of our pets than our kids) to sort through every year. It can be overwhelming, knowing what to do with all of these images. As a result, here's what most of us do with our amazing, but enormous, collection of snapshots each year: nothing. The idea of choosing the very best ones and deciding how to display them is just too much, and many of them aren't print-worthy even though they definitely can't be deleted. So they live on our phones and computers, a digital security blanket reminding us that the moments we want to remember happened and could be called back up with a swipe, tap and a glance. But they don't surround us in our homes in the way that family portraits are meant to. Which is one reason why professional portraits are so important - they are meant to be displayed, and enjoyed.
A professional photo session should produce artistic and beautiful images of your family, as well as beautiful decor for your home. Snapshots are wonderful, but they capture everything that doesn't need to be captured - the cheesy guy photo-bombing you on your cruise to the Bahamas, the glaring sunlight as your kids squint into the camera while picking strawberries, the sweat and dirt coating everyone (as well as the random kid who adopted your family at the campground) on the campout in the Blue Ridge. When you choose photos to grace the walls of your home, the cheesy photobomber dude need not apply: you want just your family looking their very best in a beautiful setting, nothing more, nothing less. Wouldn't it be incredible if someone could help you produce a wall gallery of custom-framed, beautiful images of your favorite people? It would, and we can help. We're going to walk you through the process with a fun client (and now our awesome co-worker) in a two part series designed to show you how we get it done.
To start with, we visited Beckie's home to get an idea of the space that she ultimately wanted to decorate with photos from her upcoming session. In the light and bright kitchen, this family has a cozy eating nook with a big empty wall calling out for something to personalize the space and to say something about their family. Looking at the decor throughout the home, it's easy to see she prefers a classic, comfortable, but clean and uncluttered look to her decor, we try out various frame samples against the walls and step back to see how they look.
Using our software, we can show her exactly how her wall would look with images in various sizes on it to help her visualize what size prints would achieve the desired result. In the past, Beckie had defaulted to choosing 11x14 prints of her family, but it left her feeling like things weren't pulled together. She really didn't know what to choose, so we laid out a few options for her. We were even able to show how it would look with the frame she selected.
This is her wall with a single 11x14. Meh.
Next we tried three 11x14s. We knew this was a size with which she was familiar and comfortable. She loved the idea of three, but this still didn't have the impact she was looking for.
Next, I suggested a single larger image with a mat. Whether or not a client chooses a mat is purely personal preference, but we do highly recommend it when displaying a single image alone. This is a 24x30 image with a 2 inch double mat and 2.5 inch frame.
She liked this, but was really drawn to the series of three images, so we created these options, based on the same 24x30 portrait, now with two smaller images on either side.
She loved both of these, and we knew were on the right track. At this point, we have enough information going into the photo session to provide her with several options for these layouts, and she is feeling very comfortable knowing more about what the final display will look like. The final decisions of whether or not to including matting, or which of the two final layouts, will be decided after she has seen the images and has chosen her favorites.
Next, we talk color scheme. Because the photos will be used as decor, they need to fit in with the color scheme exisiting in the client's home. Beckie leans towards classic, somewhat muted colors, so we help her choose clothing for the family in colorways that will blend nicely when the photos are printed out and displayed throughout the home. Thankfully, the family's caramel-colored mini goldendoodle perfectly coordinates with the color scheme we're going for, so we have an excuse to use him in the photo session (i.e. take Logan cuddle breaks whenever necessary.)
Finally, we look at the clothing Beckie has chosen for the photos and add and subtract pieces for each family member until we feel that the outfits will look great together, but not overly matched. Colors and patterns can look great together, but it's important to make sure that there are some solids in the mix to break things up. We take one of the shirts Beckie has chosen for one of her sons and replace it with another shirt that will complete the group better, laying everything out on a bed to help us see how the colors and textures look all together.
And that's it! Beckie is now ready for her photo session (minus the fun part, wrangling 5 kids and the husband into the cute clothing). Stay tuned for our next blog post on this topic when we'll show the gorgeous finished result!
Have you ever been part of a team that just “works?” Maybe it’s how you feel with your spouse (on a good day!) or perhaps you’ve been lucky enough the be part of a team that has real synergy in the workplace. Doesn’t it feel great? It’s almost like your team is reading your mind and anticipating your needs before they arise. Work gets done better and faster than if you worked alone, and the results of that work are often so much more impressive because they combine the best ideas of people with varied perspectives. When I joined the Timorah Beales Photography team 3 years ago, it was clear to me from the outset that being part of a photography team was a win/win for me; I’d have other photographers to work with when I needed an assistant, I’d have other creative minds to bounce (my often harebrained) ideas off of, and I’d have a greater opportunity to work on the type of photography sessions I enjoyed the most (babies, babies and more babies). What wasn’t clear to me right off the bat was how the same things that made the photography team concept such a great option for me, would be equally wonderful for clients (a.k.a., YOU.) But just as you know that good teamwork makes for a sweet marriage or a great work environment, it also makes the best photographers.
I’ll share a story of two photo sessions; in the first one, a frazzled photographer, sweaty, sand-covered and wild-eyed searches a beach for her mini session clients. She’s running behind; her first mini session ended later than it should have due to a runaway two year old and now her second group of clients is wandering the beach aimlessly searching for her. Finally they meet up and the session goes as planned… but everyone feels a bit unsettled by the experience, and the photographer (a purely hypothetical person, of course) and her clients feel ready for a glass of wine (or three) by the time it’s over. The resulting photos from the session are pleasing to the clients, but the memory of the session itself brings back a feeling of stress and worry.
Now the second session. This time, the photographer meets her clients on time and immediately is able to put them at ease; she has an amazing and intuitive assistant she works with frequently who knows just how to wrangle the family’s active children, whom the parents worry will hardly sit still long enough for a photo, let alone smile at the camera cooperatively. Not only are the photographer and assistant able to make the photo session painless for everyone involved, they are even able to offer the parents a rare opportunity to get a photo of just themselves together, something that hasn’t happened in years. As the assistant plays with the children, the parents relax and enjoy the experience of being photographed without wondering just how far down Duke of Gloucester Street their non-stop runner has gotten while they were otherwise occupied. Just as the session is wrapping up, the photographer’s assistant (who is also a photographer and adds much more than just kid wrangling to the equation) spots a gorgeous field with amazing light and points it out. She devises a fun game to get the kids to run through the field to their parents and the photographer captures what becomes a photo that genuinely captures the energy and joy the family embodies when together.
Now for the truth; I shot both of those sessions, and have been both that frazzled photographer, and the calm and cool photographer with assistant in tow, who is able to handle whatever comes my way. And I’d never go back to that frazzled one-person operation, even if a lifetime supply of wine came with it! It wasn’t good for me, and more importantly, it wasn’t beneficial for my clients. Many photographers use assistants, but what we have is more - we’re a team. We know each other, we work together every day, and we love it. Our team dynamic is like “marriage on a good day;” we have so much fun working together towards our common goal of producing an amazing photo session experience for you. Before your session, we brainstorm for creative ideas and troubleshoot potential issues that might impact your session and determine how to work around them before problems arise. During the session, we make certain that we have the right assistance when needed, great ideas that mesh with your own unique vision. When the session ends, the teamwork continues. We collaborate on designing albums and wall galleries using our varied expertise to help you determine how to display the artwork we’ve created of your family (because what good is a gorgeous family photo if you don’t get to look at it every day?).
Our goal, really, is that no one should need a stiff drink after a family photo session; maybe instead you’ll want to pop a bottle of bubbly and celebrate how well things went (didn’t lose the two year old this year! actually got a photo of all three kids together, not looking like they’re about to fistfight!). We know that our team can help capture your team in the best light (both figuratively and literally), and we can’t wait to work with you. If you are interested in a stress-free photo session, whether you need family photos, a fresh headshot, senior photos (of the baby you could swear you just brought home from the hospital yesterday), or even want us to capture an upcoming life event such as a wedding or birthday, we would love to help.
On Behalf of Our Team,
The stress of divorce brings out the worst in people. One case became so bitter, the husband actually took an ax to the house and demanded the wife tell him which half she wanted.
The only people that win in divorce are lawyers.
So now, I marry people.
Marrying couples allows me to see the love and happiness they begin their life together.
Plus, it’s a lot happier. And less stressful.
I’m 82 years old and being of Eastern European extraction, I just don’t know when to stop working. Funny how it all happened, really. In 2003, my son called me up and said he was going to get married but his fiancée was on a 90 day Visa… it needed to happen quickly. I told him to find a judge but he ended up coming across a marriage commissioner instead. I had never heard of such a thing! Fast forward a bit and my grandson was born. I had been commuting back and forth from New Jersey and I finally said, “Ah, to hell with work. I’m going to play with my grandson in Virginia. So I transferred my licenses and consulting business to Virginia and made it home.”
One afternoon, my mom and dad showed up at my house, packed my belongings and moved me to North Carolina. I began attending UNC Charlotte where I studied Criminal Justice and Pre-law. I eventually made the move up to VCU and continued to pursue my degree there. I was just shy of graduating when I had this realization that going on to law school wasn’t really what I wanted to do, it was what I was “supposed to do.”
Lynn: “Ha, sometimes I take a look around and go, “Who the hell put me in charge of all of this?!” You know, I started out renting a conference room in a chiropractor’s office with my little curtain blowing in the breeze and charging $25 for an hour-long massage. We now have 22 massage therapists and 13 rooms.”
Ramona: “Really though, who put her in charge?!”
We can try to grab a moment here or there to breathe or just take in the moment but tea makes you slow down. It’s not the same as chugging a cup of coffee. There’s more to tea than just tea. People can enhance their lifestyle and their health by adding in a couple of cups a day. We have first-timers come in and say, “Eh, I’m not really a tea drinker” but after spending time with them and educating them they leave with an excitement about tea and the potential it holds in their lives.
I am currently in the process of hiring a professional to do something I can’t do on my own. As a layperson, it’s really hard for me to know how to qualify someone in a field of which I know absolutely nothing. (I tried to get referrals, but nobody had any they felt strongly about.) In my current predicament, I now have several quotes, all for the same thing, but they differ by quite a bit in price. I feel like I should take the cheapest one, and so far, have no reason to pay any more than that.
Since photography pricing is extremely varied, how does the layperson decide? As an expert, it is VERY obvious to me who you should go to for certain types of photography. I tell my friends all of the time to please ask me for advice before hiring anyone.
This article from Jen Little, owner of The Little Marketing Department describes her experience getting an inexpensive headshot, and then her experience with me. She even posts both sets of photos so you can see the difference. The most important part of the entire article is that the first set of headshots made her feel badly about herself. That's terrible.
You should never pay money to someone who makes you feel badly about yourself.
If you need a refresh on your professional image, the first place you need to look is at the headshot you’re attaching to your marketing materials. If you haven’t updated your headshot in two years, then now is the time. Clients want and need trust when they hire you, and when you present a false or outdated headshot as a representation of you, it sets up a bad foundation for your professional relationship.
So why do so many people avoid updating their head shots? There are three MYTHS which hold people back:
Myth 1. They loved the way they looked 20 years ago. It gives the best impression.
Myth 2. The expense for amazing, professional headshots
Myth 3. They think it takes too much time
The way you looked 20 years ago has no bearing on the professional level of service you provide your clients. It will not give you confidence nor the credibility to present your best light to your clients. A fresh and updated headshot shows potential clients that you are with current tends and modern methods. There is evidence that a headshot which doesn't currently look like you actually decreases your credibility.
The expense and time involved can be tricky - but that’s where my headshot event can help. This event is designed with your budget and time in mind. A great professional setting with me guiding you to your best headshot ever. I have worked with hundreds of professionals over the years and I love bringing personality and life to your headshots.
Check out these testimonials:
“Timorah always brings out my best photos. She’s the only person I trust when I need new headshots for myself or any of the real estate agents I work with at Rose & Womble. She talks you off the edge of an average photo and she brings out your true personality.” Ramona Rice, Communications Manager, Rose & Womble Realty Company
"Mrs. Beales is very easy to work with. She made the experience light-hearted and professional." Mike Mills, Keller Williams
"I love working with Timorah Beales. Not only does she choose beautiful photo shoot locations, she really works hard to make sure you look good. I use the headshot Timorah took of me for programs for speaking engagements, for guest post author biographies, and for my blog. People ALWAYS say, "I love your picture. Who was your photographer?"" Cheryl Tan, television journalist and media coach.
My one-day event will give you one high-resolution, professionally touched up headshot that you choose during the session. You will receive the photo a few days later via email and you’ll have a fresh look for the upcoming busy real estate season.
The best part is the price - $50 per person for a high-resolution, professionally touched up headshot that will give you the confidence you need to push your business forward in 2016. This price is limited to the first 15 people who sign up. Once the first round is filled the price increases to $65.
Her first email to me said, "My husband and I are buying our first home. We take possession this Monday and were hoping for some photos." My mind immediately launched into how beautiful this could be. I knew nothing about them, their style or their home, but I was hopeful. I was actually available that day! This could be pretty unique. As our conversation progressed, we soon figured out we were a perfect match. They wanted sweet and emotional and creative. They are fun, kind and beautiful. (And the sellers left behind a baby grand piano!!) She told me that she really hoped I would be the one who could do this for them. I'm so flattered and thrilled to have had the opportunity! Our clients are the best.
Do you want to look fabulous in any photo? Find out here.