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Discovering Damaged Portraits: How I Saved a Family Photo

photo restoration

I was recently at my mother’s house in the country, and I found a huge box full of photographs. Luckily, it was a plastic box with a plastic lid, so we can assume that most of the creepy-crawly things out in the country might not have gotten into the box to make a mess and chew on the precious images. But while I was there, I went through all of the photographs and discovered a beautiful portrait of mum’s five kids, my siblings and I. Unfortunately, the family photo had not been framed properly, so it did not have a mat board between the image and the glass. The mat board is essential to keep the glass off of the image and protect it over time.

What I picked up was just the photograph and the glass, and the image was stuck to the glass. The worst part about the discovery, however, is that the portrait had fallen off the wall at some point and smashed into lots of pieces, as you can see. There were numerous, shattered pieces of glass stuck to the emulsion of the photograph. The emulsion is the light-sensitive coating on photographs, and if it is peeled away then the image can be completely lost. In this case, the glass was both shattered and stuck to the photograph, and beginning to peel away the valuable emulsion.

Step One: Determining What to Do

damaged family portrait

This is the condition of the print when I found it.

I was determined to save the image if I could, because it is a beautiful picture and a lovely memory. However, simply pulling at the glass would have ripped off the emulsion and completely ruined the image. Plus, the glass was quite sharp, broken apart, and sticking onto the print and cutting it. Since the emulsion was stuck to the glass, I had to find a way to release the adhesiveness without ruining the faces in the photograph. I filled a small tub with pure, filtered water, because it is softer and has fewer impurities than tap water and would not damage the emulsion.

Step Two: Patiently Waiting for Results

damage-family-portrait

Here’s a close up of the damage.

The process of letting the family photo soak took about a week, as the water slowly worked its way under the glass. With this method, I hoped I could get the glass off of the emulsion without that thin coating actually peeling off the photograph itself. This part of the process was really quite distressing, because the glass was stuck to many of the faces. Three of our faces were not too bad; however, my face down on the left end, and that of my baby brother Daniel, were both completely stuck to the glass.
I continued to soak the image, and every day I would have a look and see if anything was beginning to lift. The secret to doing this is being very patient and not trying to force anything. If you try something similar, do not rip or pull at the glass. Instead, just let it sit and let the water work to get under the glass. Slowly but surely, I noticed that some of the shards of glass were coming up, lifting off the face on the bottom left and my face. Each day, more and more small shards could be removed, and after three days I realized that I could save all of the faces and that they were going to be okay.

Step Three: Removing the Rest of the Glass and Surveying the Damage

damaged pictures

Tentative steps…the first piece of glass removed.

Saving the faces in the family photo was the most important part, but there were a few other spots where I knew the glass was severely stuck.

 

 

 

 

saving-face-family-photo

Big relief, I managed to save my face from the broken glass

You can see this in the images, including the bottom left corner where my arms were around my brother. After several days of being patient and occasionally, very gently moving the photograph around to try and get the water under the glass, I managed to lift it all off. Peeling it off was a slow, painstaking process with plenty of trial and error, but it was successful for the most part.

broken glass on print

It’s a patience game for the last stubborn bits of glass

You can see in another picture here where the photograph is soaking in the tub of water, and there are a few places I could not save. In those places, the emulsion scratched and ripped and is still stuck to the glass, or left some discolouration. In fact, if you look at the bottom right side, you can see where the emulsion has been completely ripped off and is gone. You can also see other patches of removed emulsion and scratches, but they didn’t worry me as much since our faces were safe. Just to save those faces was so important, but I did manage to repair a few other minor spots. You can see where a bit of my forehead, my hands, and my brothers arms are damaged, but I managed to eventually soak the emulsion back off the glass and stick it back on the picture.

Step Four: Drying and Scanning the Print

restored family picture

Success. All the broken glass has been removed

In the final image I have shared, you can see the dried print laying on a tea towel. It is still easy to tell how much damage was done because of the shattered, mat-less glass, but I am pleased to say that, for the most part, the faces have been saved and the image has been saved.

The final part of this process will be to take the photograph to a professional with a flatbed scanner to have it digitally scanned. I am not going to put it through a roller or feeder-style scanner, because in some areas the emulsion is already lifting and is quite damaged. The rolling action of a scanner could actually tear the emulsion off and make it worse.

restored family photo

The final result, one precious family photo saved and preserved.

So, I’ve let the image dry now for a couple of weeks, and following the flatbed scan I will get it retouched and make extra prints for my brothers and sisters. It has been a tedious but extremely rewarding journey from my initial shock and dismay at finding the original, damaged image to now. This image is something that is precious for us. It is a beautiful memory of us kids at Jiggi School in Northern New South Wales can be preserved forever, for all of us.

How to Preserve Your Memories with a New Family Photo

As much as I loved finding and preserving an old memory, I also love creating new portraits for families to help them capture their own memories on film. My sessions include a mix of both formal, posed shots and more casual and fun lifestyle shots. If you have any questions or would like more information about session options, feel free to call or email me for a prompt response.

Talk soon,
Margherita :)

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5 Reasons to Choose an Outdoor Photo Shoot Location Instead of the Studio

outdoor photo shoot

Studios have numerous benefits for portrait sessions, including full light and climate control. However, since you have the option to book an outdoor session, have you ever considered that it might be preferable? From the variety of backgrounds to the natural joy that comes from being outside, here are five reasons to consider booking a non-studio session:

  1. Takes Advantage of the Season

Although the summer season is winding down, there is still plenty of time to book an outdoor session at a park, on the beach, or in another scenic setting. Thanks to our typically mild winters, I do regularly shoot outdoor shoots during cooler weather. Still, planning a session during the summer or early autumn months means not having to worry about dressing in warmer layers. Plus, if you have little ones, they are also more likely to enjoy being outside if the temperature is milder. Ideas for comfortable clothing that still looks great includes sundresses, light button-downs, and solid-coloured t-shirts with jeans.

  1. Stunning Scenery

I schedule portrait sessions in all sorts of locations, making sure that couples and families have a striking background for their images. Although the background is not meant to be the main attraction, of course, there is no shame in showing off your stunning surroundings! If the only pictures of you and your family are at holiday celebrations or other casual events, it is high time for an upgrade. A few wide, scenic shots mixed in with your posed portraits and casual lifestyle images will make quite the frame-worthy, share-worthy collection.

  1. Increases Variety of Shots

outdoor photo shootHave you ever looking through a friend’s personal or online photo album, only to find that most of their shots were taken in the same location? Outdoor photo shoot locations provide endless options for alternate shots and backgrounds, increasing both visual interest and versatility. We can take a group shot in front of a huge tree, turn around and capture your children walking through a field, or zoom in and capture smiling faces against a cloudy blue sky. Some additional ideas include posing in front of:

  • A bridge, gazebo, or other structure
  • An open field with green trees in the distance
  • Your new home
  • A beach or the sand dunes
  • Big tree trunks or a small forest of bamboo
  • Large boulders, rock formations, or old buildings or other structures

Fences, lampposts, and park benches are also possible ready-to-go props that can keep your images fun and varied.

  1. Makes For a Fun Excursion

Consider taking the day off and making your portrait session a fun family event. Packing a picnic, bringing games, and wearing comfortable clothes helps everyone feel more happy and relaxed. If you have any shy children, the chances are that they will be more excited about going out to play on the beach or on a playground than sitting inside of a foreign studio.

I also photograph pets, including dogs and horses. We can plan a shoot at the stable for a variety of memorable shots. Alternatively, talk to me ahead of time about bringing along your family dog, which, with a bit of planning, can be included in both posed and candid images. The result of a morning or late afternoon spent together is a bunch of natural, genuine smiles and laughs that will make your photos worth keeping and sharing.

  1. Outdoor Photo Shoots Can Help You Relax and Let Go

Booking a non-studio session may require a bit of letting go and managing some wind-blown hair, but it is completely worth it to capture beautiful images you won’t get elsewhere. Indoor shoots can make people feel stiff or formal, but outdoor shoots help everyone focus on capturing personalities, smiles, and relationship bonds in the moment. Picture a casual, very natural setting, with you in comfortable clothes and wearing simple makeup. When your family is comfortable and at ease, it is even easier for me to capture a mix of both posed portraits and candid lifestyle images.

Ready to book an outdoor photo session?

If you choose to book an outdoor photo shoot session, I will help you find a time and location with minimal car and pedestrian traffic. Taking photos outside requires some advanced planning and day-of flexibility, but I guarantee that you will not be disappointed with the resulting shots! I have years of experience photographing couples, engagements, maternity, children, and families. Contact me today for more information about possible locations or dates.

Talk soon,
Margherita :)

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Photographing Children: A Few Essential Tips on Working with Kids

kids photography
It seems like everyone posts, emails, or otherwise shares photos online these days. However, how many of those photos are somewhat blurry, were taken in low lighting, or were heavily edited using various phone applications? Although many parents can capture great candid snapshots of their kids, there are many benefits to booking a professional photography session. Not only will the images be clear and crisp, but the set will also showcase your entire family as well as individual personalities and relationship bonds. Make your session more successful with these must-have tips for photographing children:

Practice Posing

Family portrait sessions include a few posed shots, the kind typically seen in school photos or on Christmas cards. To help your kids feel comfortable, explain the upcoming photo shoot and make a game of sitting in different poses. Set a timer on your digital camera or smart phone so that they can see that the goal is getting a group shot. Depending on their ages, you could even pick up a few photo frames and have them each decorate one to display later in their rooms or throughout the house. An activity like this will help little ones see both the importance and benefit of having a photo session without making it too much of a big deal. It also provides them with a great childhood keepsake!

If practicing posing, however, make sure not to have them hold any one position for too long. Although wiggly kids are challenging to photograph, anyone who tightens up to hold a pose will look stiff and uncomfortable in the resulting image.

Prepare to Work Around the Cheesy Grin

To take your practice session one step further, considering visiting the location with your little ones in tow. Let them play in and explore the area as you take a few casual snapshots. This way, they will be used to having someone take photos without feeling the need to grin every time the camera turns their way. Next, try asking one of your children to turn directly to the camera as you make a silly face or tell a joke. Avoid saying a trigger word, such as “cheese!” or “smile!” Instead of over-widening their smiles into something forced, your kids may begin to understand what a natural smile really feels like.

If that does not work, try this trick. Encourage your child to make grumpy faces, then silly faces, and then smile. The chances are that those final shots will be of a beautifully relaxed and natural smile! After all, the goal while photographing children should be to photograph what is genuine and real. Working around a fake smile can be a challenge, but a little bit of experimentation and creativity goes a long way into taking pictures worth keeping.

pet photography

Let Them Get the Wiggles Out

In addition to capturing posed, formal family portraits, your photographer should actively work to capture candid moments. Dress your kids in comfortable clothes and let them climb a tree, play a game together, build a sand castle, or play on park equipment. A few clicks of the camera will capture your children laughing, smiling, and playing freely and genuinely. Candid shots are the best way to capture individual personalities as well as tight-knit sibling or child-parent bonds.

As a photographer, I often let the little ones take the lead for part of a shoot, as I will happily follow them to a new piece of playground equipment or crawl on the ground to get a truly great shot. You shoot should be fun and enjoyable, as the best images come when everyone feels comfortable and relaxed.

Incorporate a Pet or Prop

Is your youngest one camera-shy? Does your middle child have trouble sitting still or focusing? Try incorporating your family dog into the shoot. The kids can sit or play with the dog, which might make them feel more comfortable and less shy in general. Alternatively, bring along your toddler’s favourite toy or even a few books. Kids can cuddle their stuffed animals, dig on the beach, or examine a pile of shells. Alternatively, you could have older siblings can read to younger ones or organize a game. Do whatever will help your little ones feel happy and at ease.

Book Your Session Today!

Do you need an updated family portrait, but are afraid that your little ones will not sit still long enough? I have years of experience photographing children, including newborns, multiple children, and children with special needs. I want your kids to have fun on the shoot, because those are the memories worth capturing and keeping. Contact me today with any questions or for more information about booking a session.

Talk Soon,
Margherita :)

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Couples Portraits for Valentine’s Day and Beyond

 Kiss Photography Valentine Package

Valentine’s Day is merely a few days away, but it is not too late to give the gift of a photo session! Book a late afternoon session with your sweetie and let me capture a few photos as you spend time hanging out and enjoying one another’s company. The resulting images will be vibrant, full of smiles, and professionally set-up, snapped, and edited. Let me help you give you a gift that will be cherished for years to come: the photos from the session itself, as well as the time you spent together taking them.

Not Just for Big Families

Does booking a session feel too extravagant or formal, or do you feel like only people with children book them? In reality, couples portraits are extremely popular for individuals of every age. Although I love family photo sessions and newborn photography, not everyone has children. Even for those of us with children, there are countless reasons to book both a photo shoot and a babysitter at the same time. You could:

  • Announce an engagement
  • Commemorate a new house or another big purchase
  • Celebrate an anniversary or milestone
  • Show off your beautiful surroundings, whether on the beach or in a local park
  • Revel in your shared interest or hobby

Otherwise, consider booking a “Just Because” session to capture some stunning images of the two of you. Do not let the only photos posted of you to be taken in poor lighting, in a crowded space, or by your three-year-old niece! As a bonus, it is very easy to create a stunning desk display with a framed professional photo or two. Carrying a photo in your wallet or placing a framed photo on your desk at work are two of the best ways to keep your loved ones on your mind throughout the day.

If you do have children, however, gifting a session to your significant other is still a good idea! We can coordinate the shoot to ensure there are plenty of images of the entire family, the kids alone, and you and your loved one alone.

Upgrade from Old Directory Photos

Do any of the following photo-related statements apply to you? “The most recent photo of the two of us is”:

  • From our wedding
  • A casual selfie
  • From the two-year-old church directory
  • A quick photo snapped at a birthday party or holiday event
  • Sweet, but not display-worthy

Why book a professional shoot? I utilize lighting, composition, angles, background, and more to ensure that your images are artistically shot and of the highest quality. Your shots can be as formal or informal as you would like them, from taking a new formal photo to celebrate your big anniversary to nestling in one another’s arms on the beach.

Lifestyle Shots

Do you and your significant other ride horses, surf, collect automobiles, or share other hobbies? Lifestyle photos combine the people in the shot with anything that is meaningful to them. Talk to me about including your family pet, motorbike, art studio, or new home. I will take a mix of posed and candid photos, capturing all the moments besides just smiling at the camera. Your images should tell a story about who you are individually and as a couple.

For example, an engagement announcement photo session could include images of the couple smiling at the camera, a close-up of the bride-to-be’s ring, a shot of their silhouette or shadows, or the groom-to-be looking admiringly at the bride-to-be as she walks to a new location point. Pregnancy announcements or late-term sessions can also include a mix of shots to celebrate everything that bonds the two of you as a couple. Alternatively, consider booking a “just because” session and including a meaningful prop such as an old love letter, first date souvenir, or stack of books.

Make a Romantic Gesture

Picture this: strolling on the beach at sunset, hand-in-hand, knowing that someone is there to capture on film your most candid, sincere, tender moments. From formal portraits to casual lifestyle shots, couples portraits are ideal for celebrating big announcements, shared interests, and loving glances.

This Valentine’s Day, consider giving your significant other a beautiful photo frame with a homemade certificate for a professional photo shoot. Can you imagine being the one on the receiving end of such a romantic gesture? Show your loved one that you care about them and want to celebrate your unique bond and connection. Contact me today to book a session, and feel free to ask for more information about locations, props, and time frames.

Talk soon,
Margherita :)

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How to Prepare for Your First Family Photo Shoot

family photo shoot

Are you considering scheduling a family photo shoot, or have you already booked your session? Although my favourite tip is to simply smile, have fun, and enjoy the day, there are several more concrete things to think about as you prepare for the session.

Choose a Time to Meet

If you have not already booked your session, make sure to book it at a time that is convenient for your little ones. The morning and early evening are prime times for taking photos, but in summer the sunset may come after your child’s bedtime. If you do book an afternoon session, try to take off work at least a couple of hours beforehand so you have time to relax and prepare. I would much rather capture images of you feeling happy and relaxed than tired or stressed!

Lay Out Everyone’s Outfit

The big decision when it comes to choosing clothes for a photography session is whether to wear matching or coordinated clothes. Feel free to dress your little ones in matching outfits, or have the whole family dress in simple basics such as a black shirt with jeans. Otherwise, experiment with coordinating outfits within a chosen colour palette. Make sure your clothing fits the location and that you will be comfortable throughout the session.

Visit the Location Ahead of Time 

You can choose a location for a photography session on your own or in conjunction with your photographer. I have plenty of recommendations that are perfect for capturing a mix of formal portraits and more casual lifestyle shots. Unless you are booking a newborn photography session in your home, consider the benefits of a stunning outdoor location such as a park or the beach. Once you have chosen a location, take your kids there ahead of time. Let them run around and explore beforehand, so that coming back later will feel familiar and fun.

Tips for the Week Before

There are many small pointers that add up to great advice in the week before being photographed. Some of my top quick tips include:

  • Soothe chapped lips
  • Brush teeth regularly to help polish up your pearly whites
  • Stay hydrated so skin looks fresh
  • Have hair trimmed several days in advance
  • Try out new hairspray or clips ahead of time
  • Make sure everyone gets plenty of rest
  • Pack a small bag with snacks and toys to keep everyone happy during the session

In regards to your hair and make-up, I encourage clients to aim for a natural, everyday look. This is not the best time to wear heavy makeup or try out a new hairstyle. Keep in mind that the focal point of your images will be your smile and family bond, not your makeup, clothing, or background.

Family photo shoots allow me to capture your unique family connections in an exciting, enjoyable session. Feel free to contact me for information about booking a session or with any questions about your upcoming shoot.

Talk soon,
Margherita :)

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8 Traits of a Great Outdoor Photo Shoot Location, Part 2 of 2

outdoor photo shootPart one of this post introduced a few things to think about while looking for an outdoor photo shoot location, including natural lighting and safety considerations. To round things off, here are four more traits to look for while choosing the perfect location for your next family portrait session:

  1. Limits Noise and Pedestrian Traffic

Even the most out-going and boldest among us may get a little camera-shy, especially if there are numerous pedestrians about. Visit your potential location at different times of the day to determine the amount of traffic it receives. There are plenty of remote, quiet locations tucked even just a few hundred yards away from busier thoroughfares. Limiting the amount of traffic noise and attention from curious on-lookers will help you feel you comfortable and relaxed throughout the shoot.

  1. Has Different Backgrounds

Surprise! This tip is actually three-fold:

  • Nothing overpowering: The best family portraits show off personalities and personal connections, not your location. Choose scenery that is attractive and warm without any distractions such as wayward lamp poles or overly bright colours.
  • photo-background-tipDifferent backgrounds: Although the background will not be the central focus of your portraits, having different settings will add some variety. If you are considering a park, for example, try to picture at least five different places your family could relax or pose. Ideas include on a trail, in front of a large tree, around a picnic table, or on a bridge.
  • Trust the photographer: Do you feel that your location is too bland? Think again! As long as the setting is clean and well-lit, I will keep moving around to get a great shot no matter the location. Tricks I often use include adjusting the framing, angles, and apertures as well as playing with depths of field and wide and tight shots.
  1. Allows You to Set Up Near Shelter

Unexpected weather can produce stunning skies, but it can also make an outdoor photo shoot more difficult. I will gladly reschedule shoots if inclement weather begins the day of, but occasionally things come up in the middle of a session and the clients agreed to continue. The resulting shots were stunning, but it might be a good idea to set up near some type of shelter in case of heavier rain or colder temperatures. Types of shelter could include an outdoor structure such as an awning, or even an indoor one like a café (with the owner’s permission to continue shooting, of course!).

  1. Makes for a Fun Family Outing

The best way to avoid getting stressed while preparing for a family portrait session is to focus on having fun. Plan a late afternoon family outing, complete with the family dog and a few outdoor toys, and let me worry about getting the shots. I will, of course, help with posing any portrait shots, but in the meantime I love working a bit “behind the scenes,” capturing the special moments between you and your family. With this in mind, try to pick a location that lets your kids be kids, from running on the beach to climbing trees.

Ready to book your family portrait session? Contact me for help choosing a location or to learn more about my photography services. I look forward to working with you!

Talk soon,
Margherita :)

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8 Traits of a Great Outdoor Photo Shoot Location, Part 1 of 2

photo shoot

With so many scenic places around Brisbane, picking the right place for your session can be a challenge! The location you choose will drive the decisions surrounding the rest of the session, from clothing choices to props. You can always ask your photographer for recommendations, but you may also want to follow these tips for finding the perfect outdoor photo shoot location. Here are the first four, with more to follow in part two of this post:

  1. Makes You Feel Comfortable

smile-for-the-cameraDuring your family portrait session, I want you to feel completely at ease and comfortable with your surroundings. In fact, I will have an easier time producing beautiful, natural images of your family bonding together if you feel comfortable in a location that is meaningful or relaxing. If you have young children, consider visiting the location a couple of times beforehand so it becomes more familiar.

  1. Considers Your Four-Legged Friends

Many families opt to include the family pet in their session, which can add a warm, cohesive touch to any portrait. If you plan to include a pet, however, there are many things to consider:

  • Horses: Stables and riding rings are a great background for a variety of casual, lifestyle portraits. We will coordinate with the stable to ensure there is a time and place for us to shoot without interruption.
  • Cats: Due to their sensitive nature, I prefer to include cats in indoor-only sessions. There are plenty of great moments to capture, from a kitten snuggling with an infant to a trio of siblings playing with their cat or other indoor pets.
  • Dogs: Most dogs are welcome at an outdoor photo shoot, especially if they are accustomed to taking trips and have a designated handler during the shoot. I am always happy to work with and around the energy and attention spans of animals! However, you may need to call a park or other location to ensure canine companions are welcome.

Contact me if you have questions about booking a session that will include these or any other type of pet.

  1. Keeps Safety in Mind

Some scenic views are stunning but may not be ideal for a family portrait session due to safety considerations. If you have a running list of location ideas you want to present to your photographer, go back through them and visualize each area with the safety of your children and pets in mind. For example, very rocky areas may be difficult for children to manoeuvre. Similarly, I prefer to take photographs of newborns inside, in a temperature and humidity controlled environment that is free from excess sounds or stimulations.

  1. Is Brightly Lit, Has Diffused Light, or Is Accessible All Day

Contrary to what some might think, the light of a sunny day in a treeless location is too harsh for most portraits. Covered seating areas or overhanging trees provide diffused light that is natural but less harsh than direct midday sun. However, you can choose a treeless location such as the beach if the site is accessible for a shoot early in the morning or late in the afternoon, just before sunset. The light will be much more flattering, produce less of a glare, and be less tiring for everyone’s eyes.

Stay tuned for part two of this post for more tips on choosing the best outdoor photo shoot location for your family portrait!

Talk soon,
Margherita :)

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4 Family Photo Session Poses That Showcase the Sibling Bond

family portrait

Photographing children is always a highlight for me, especially when I can focus on capturing the relationships between different family members. Your family photo session can include a myriad of poses and images, including group shots and something that can be difficult to capture on film: the sibling bond. It is easy to snap shots of smiling faces at birthdays and holidays, but harder to capture the moments in between, as your kids laugh, play, or simply co-exist together. However, these moments are completely worth capturing, and can be found more easily with the help of these four poses:

  1. Admiration from Afar

Photographing children and newborns is my speciality, and I especially enjoy capturing the way older kids peer at their newest sibling. In fact, a favourite pose is having one or both parents holding the newborn as the older siblings peek at the baby. As you can imagine, their range of emotions can vary widely depending on their age and personality! Your photos could include snatches of joy, admiration, confusion, and even jealousy as I work to capture their raw emotions and connection with their other siblings.

  1. Snuggling with a Smaller Sibling

Another way to capture a sibling bond is to pose more directly, with hugging and holding. For this type of pose, an older sibling could hold a newborn baby or the hand of a toddler or other younger sibling. These types of shots typically capture the sense of pride and responsibility instilled in an older sibling by birth right, as well as the pure joy and peace that comes with being with someone you love.

  1. Immersed in Quiet Time

In addition to capturing a group portrait, I love having the chance to take candid photos of an activity. Not all lifestyle shots have to be extremely active, however. Although I might request a few frames of your family walking or running on the beach together, for example, I also like to capture the quiet moments between siblings as they sit together. Imagine your kids kneeling together in a close semi-circle around your family pet, for example, or sitting together under a large tree as an older sibling reads aloud. These quiet moments allow for wide group shots as well as close-up shots that capture expressions.

  1. Playing or Hanging Out Together

The beautiful thing about sibling bonds is how they change over the years. No matter how old your children are, a family photo session can capture their individual personalities and inter-connections. For younger kids, part of your shoot can include a bit of playtime, such as climbing a tree or playing tag. Older children can hug or hang on one another’s shoulders, or simply sit and smile or laugh with one another.

Each of my family photo sessions includes both posed and lifestyle shots, allowing me to capture your kids interacting in a variety of ways. Thanks to my 15-plus years of experience photographing children of every age, I guarantee you will love the results of your session! Feel free to contact me directly to discuss any questions or ideas.

Talk soon,
Margherita :)

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3 Ways to Help Capture Your Newborn’s Personality in Photos

newborn photography
Whether you are weeks away from delivery or have just welcomed your new little one into the world, the next few months may be a bit of a blur. Between busy days and long nights, you may want a few professional photographs to help you remember the incomparable experience of having a newborn in the house. Plus, little ones have a lot of personality that may be evident from day one! Their temperaments may change throughout the years, but it is possible to showcase that initial hint of personality in a newborn photo session. Here are three things that can help:

  1. Choose the Colours

As your baby gets a little older, you can schedule a shoot to capture personality through facial expressions, games, and outdoor locations. However, carefully selected backgrounds, textures, and colour accents can subtly suggest your new baby’s budding personality. Is she fiery and active, or is he calm, cool, and collected? Pops of colour such as a bright red bow can brighten a scene without detracting from the baby, while a soft colour palette will enrich an already calm setting.

  1. Play with Props

Even babies who are active or easily upset have moments of calm, giving me the chance to photograph their tiny, sleeping figures in both classic and creative poses. This mix will help keep your shots unique, but you can also use props to help highlight personality. Here are a few examples:

  • Observant: Catch him or her peering up at a colourful mobile
  • Quiet baby, future bookworm: Have your baby curl up next to a pile of books
  • Little princess: Doll your baby up with ribbons and a frilly dress
  • Pet-lover: Consider including your family pet in the photo, intimating the bond to come
  1. Capture Moments and Milestones

Every baby has standout features that are worth capturing in close-up. I love highlighting tiny details such as curling toes or the way their arms stretch out. I will also take a few photos in scale so that you can remember just how tiny your newborn was. Examples include cuddling the baby in one arm, having him or her snuggle up to a teddy bear, or using a small blanket in a decorative basket as a bed. As your baby grows, you may be surprised at how quickly they reach different milestones! The first few months of life include everything from smiling and playing to crawling and walking. Plus, family portraits at any time highlight unique family relationships and bonds.

An ideal time for your first newborn photo session is within your baby’s first two weeks. My sessions include a mix of posed portraits and more casual lifestyle shots such as feeding and cuddling. Feel free to include any other little ones in the shoot to capture their sibling bond. I have over 15 years of newborn and family portrait photography experience, which helps make each session a success. Contact me today to book a session or learn more.

Talk soon,
Margherita :)

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Portrait Photography: How Much Makeup Should I Wear?

portrait photography

When applying makeup for a photo session, a good rule of thumb is that it should be only slightly heavier than usual. However, what does this mean in terms of the colour or amount of product you use? Use this post as a guide as you get ready for your upcoming family photo session.

Applying Foundation: No Heavy Coverage

The right poses and head positions will help bring out your natural features, so do not feel pressured to cake on the foundation. Choose a tint that exactly matches your skin tone, and aim for light, sheer coverage. Starting with a primer can help conceal uneven textures and fine lines without changing your look drastically. However, this is not the time to experiment with highlighting and contouring unless you are comfortable using those techniques. Be sure to test any new product a few weeks in advance to ensure it works and looks great without irritating your skin.

In general, use makeup to highlight your features while keeping your look fresh and natural. This is especially important for family portraits, where you will be photographed next to the natural skin tones and freckles of your children.

sistersAvoiding Shimmer and Shine

Although shimmery products often look stunning in person, anything shiny or glittery can reflect light and affect what the camera sees. For example, mineral-based products are a top everyday choice, but in photographs it can cause faces to shine or glow. Depending on the lighting, even lip-gloss can create a distracting reflection. Matte, neutral makeup is easy to apply and photographs well.

After applying your foundation and blush, use a translucent powder to banish shine and set your look. You can bring along any products for touch-ups during the shoot, including the powder or oil-blotting sheets. However, I would rather you apply makeup beforehand and then forget about it and focus on the shoot! Particularly for outdoor shoots, a natural, windswept look combined with smiles and laughter often makes for the best family portraits.

Choosing Colours: No Out-dated Eyes or Lips

Although you should not worry too much about your looks during a shoot, I do believe that applying a bit of colour can help your natural features pop. You will want your portraits to look fresh and modern for years to come, so avoid any fad products or seasonal colours when it comes to eye and lip shades. For eyes, stick with neutral shades of shadow that are not too dark and consider using eyeliner only along the upper lash line to help keep your eyes from looking smaller than normal. For lips, find a shade that enhances your existing colour without exaggerating it. Test your full look ahead of time to see what looks best, thinking of emphasizing without overdoing.

More Quick Tips

We have the basics covered, but here is an additional handful of quick tips:

  • Apply your makeup in good lighting or natural window light for best results
  • Use new mascara to ensure it is clean and will not clump
  • Apply a slightly brighter blush or wear more than usual, as it will not appear as vibrant in photographs as in person
  • Blend well using applicator sponges to avoid streaking or uneven coverage
  • Drink plenty of water in the days before the session to stay hydrated and help your skin feel and look its best

Feel free to contact me directly with any questions before your family portrait session!

Talk soon,
Margherita :)

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