Top 6 Things To Consider When Hiring A Professional Photographer

1. Your Photographer Should have Excellent People Skills

Having people skills is one of  the most important things you can ask for in a photographer. There is nothing worse than going to a shoot and not having a very friendly photographer taking your happy family photos. This job is most photographer’s passion in life, so therefore, that should shine through during the session. So, make sure you and your future photographer connect in some way before booking them and get to know them a little better as a person. I find this especially important when you have little ones.

Also, if it takes forever and a day for your photographer to respond back to you (I’m talking longer than 48 hours typically) before you have even booked them! Then that is a huge red flag. Of course, there are exceptions, but those are far and few between. For the most part, your photographer should stay in constant contact with you before, during and after your session with them, and if they don’t then do not move forward with booking them.


2. They need to have a Good reputation

Another very important detail is they must have a good reputation. Go through their website, Facebook, Yelp, Google, etc. and see what people are saying about them. If it’s all good things then great, book them! If you can’t find many good reviews, then don’t let that deter you because they could be new to the area, just starting out, doing this part-time etc. But, for the most part, there should be positive ratings and comments about their work and their experience somewhere on one of their sites.

3. Find one that offers prints and products

A professional photographer will have an established pricing guide where they offer a variety of prints and products. I, for example, offer prints, canvases, mounted prints, digital files, custom framing, digital albums, and albums. Your ultimate goal should be to print the photos you hire the photographer to take, therefore, they should provide you with a wide variety of options to choose from that will work for you and your family.

Professional Photographer

4. Make sure they are insured

Insurance is often one that is frequently overlooked. Every business should have some sort of liability insurance for your protection and theirs. Just in case anything were to happen, just know that you are protected with a photographer that is properly insured.

5. Check out their Portfolio

Make sure you like their work. If you like what you see then book them, if not, then don’t. Every photographer has a different style and so do you. So, go find the one that fits your style best. The best way to check out their artwork is go to their website, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. The photographer you hire will have a great portfolio, and if they don’t then, that may mean they are just starting out, or it may mean you want to go with someone else. Or, if you don’t like it, then don’t book them. Trust your instincts.

Modern Family Photographer Photo Austin Texas

6. Know their Turnaround time

Last, but not least, make sure you know their turnaround time before you book your session. I cannot stress this enough. There are some photographers who over-book and then end up not getting your photos to you in a timely manner, and then there are some who just naturally take a long time to edit the photos and get them back to you to review. My turnaround time is 1 week for you to review, then 1 week for the prints and products to come back in. So, all in all I have a 2 week turnaround of product delivery, and during those 2 weeks I like to stay in constant contact with my client to make sure my they don’t think I have forgotten about them 🙂

I hope this helps some of you who are looking to book a professional photographer this fall and holiday season. If you are interested in learning more about my sessions then please head on over to my Pricing Page so you can learn a little more about my services.



Top 5 Reasons To Take Annual Family Photos


1. Kids Grow Up Way Too Fast

We all know that we can’t freeze time unfortunately, and it seems as though every year our little ones continue to grow up and loose all their cute chubbiness by age 5 or so. That’s why it is pertinent to take annual family photos. Now, professional photos may not be in the budget every year, but who said a good ole iPhone pic won’t do the trick? And remember, once you take your family photos, print them out so your kids can go back and reminisce.

2. Memories are priceless

One of my favorite things to do at my parent’s house is to go through all of the old family albums and look back at all of our old family photos. Now, if my parents didn’t value family portraits then I wouldn’t have anything to remember my past by. Therefore, fill your albums with prints your little ones can go back and look at when they get older.

Lifestyle Family Photo Lakeway Texas


3. Fashions Change

Another, and yet very true reason to update your family photos is that fashions do change, especially hair fashion! Oh how I remember all too well the matching perms my sister and I had when we were younger. They are so much fun to go back and look at and laugh at ourselves for our crazy hair and outfits. That being said, If you look at the last family photo and start to chuckle, then it’s time to update that bad boy.


4. New Photo For Christmas Card

It’s almost that time of year again where we all start stressing about getting Christmas cards out in time. If you don’t have a god family pic that you want to share with the world then you know it’s time to get some done. Whether it’s hiring a professional or buying a selfie stick and take your own family portrait yourself. I am actually guilty of this as we took many family selfies on our family vacation this summer 🙂 So, go schedule your family session and update that photo for your new Christmas card this year.Modern-Newborn-Photography-Austin-Texas

5. You Have a New member of the family

What better reason to update your family photo, other than adding a new member to your family. Whether that’s a new baby, spouse, sister, brother, pet et. It doesn’t matter, it will still need to be documented and cherished forever. So, once you know you will be having a life event coming up go ahead and plan your next photo shoot in preparation and enjoy those photos!

If you have recently had a life event or change in your family please let me update your family photo to reflect your new family. Please click here and book your session today!


Precious Baby Boy Newborn Session ~ Baby Maxwell ~ Austin, Texas

I was so glad to  meet the Shepherd family and their sweet baby boy Maxwell. They are genuinely such nice people and so easy going. And, I can’t say enough good things about sweet Maxwell. He was such a good baby and slept beautifully and was very calm when he was awake. Except for that one time he got hungry lol. He is such a cutie pie and below are some of my favorites from his session.

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Click here to view my session pricing and learn more about what all my newborn sessions include.

Miss Georgia’s Fun 1 Year Photo Shoot in Austin, TX

Oh how I love sweet Georgia and her sweet parents George and Ashley. We have been friends with them since college (which feels like forever ago). So, when they asked me to do Georgia’s 1 year photo shoot I was elated! She has a January b-day so we had to plan her session accordingly, and of course we picked the windiest and coldest day yet. But, at least it was all clouds and we didn’t have to fight the sun as well as the weather. And, I must say Georgia was extremely well behaved and the cold didn’t seem to bother her one single bit! She rocked it! Below are some of my favorites from her big day.

1 Year Birthday Photo Austin Texas 1 Year Bloomers Austin Texas 1 Year Old Photo Shoot 1 Year Photo Austin Texas 1 Year Photo with balloons Austin Texas 1 Year Photos in an open field 1 Year photos with balloons Blue Eyed 1 Year Old Photo

Want more information about my sessions? Then head on over to my Pricing Page to get more information about how I run my sessions. Or, feel free to email me anytime at

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1 Year Photo Shoot With Balloons Austin Texas


Sweet Baby Peyton’s Newborn Session in Dripping Springs, TX

Last month I had the pleasure of photographing a friend’s sweet newborn. Her and my hubs went to high school together and I was ecstatic when she asked me to do her newborn session for her. He is such a good little baby and Fran and Lance are wonderful parents to their sweet baby boy. The session went really well and after a few feedings for the little guy he settled right down and I got some great shots of him and their new family. Thanks again for asking me to take them for you and I hope to get the chance to take many more of that growing baby boy. Here are my favorites from their session.

Sleeping Newborn Photo

Mother and Newborn Black and White Photo

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Thanks again Fran and Lance and baby Peyton!

If you are interested in learning more about my newborn sessions then please fill out a form on my Contact page and I would love to send you more information. Also, you can follow my All About Newborn Photography board on Pinterest.

Oh, and don’t forget to LIKE my page on Facebook and FOLLOW me on Instagram @deborahleaphoto

Talk to you soon!





9 Tips To Help You During Your Newborn Photo Shoot

Taking newborn photos is something that definitely takes a special skill and person to do them. It has taken me years to perfect my newborn photos. However, I find that my favorite sessions are when the parents and baby are relaxed and happy which allows me to take over and use my creative skills to provide you with beautiful newborn photos.

keep the peace

We are all familiar with the term “sleeping like a baby”. And, even though this is so true most of the time, we really want it to be true on the day of your newborn session. That being said, we need to create a nice serene environment for the baby so they will be able to sleep soundly without any loud disruptions (as much as possible). This will help ensure the baby to rest peacefully and soundly which will ultimately result in beautiful newborn photos.

Newborn Baby Sleeping Peacefully Photo

Turn up the heat

Another way to help ensure your baby is comfortable is to turn up the heat during the winter, or turning off the air during the warmer months. Why, you ask? Well, your baby is going to be nakey, as my kids like to put it, during their photo shoot, and let’s face it. Who really likes being cold? This is why I ask my clients to make it a little warmer in their house than it usually is to ensure your baby is all nice and cozy. In addition, I bring my own space heater to help out as well, and by the end of it, yes I’m usually sweating ha! But, the baby is comfortable and that’s all that matters.


Fill that belly

Before your photographer arrives make sure you feed your baby a full feeding. Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t feed them once your photographer arrives, but it is always helpful to try and get one last feeding in right before we get there to ensure your baby is happy and full. This just helps make your baby happy and starts everyone off on the right foot. If your baby still doesn’t seem settled after your photographer gets there then don’t sweat it, feed them again if you want. I’ve had sessions where the mom would go and feed their baby 4 to 5 times to get them to settle down, and guess what it worked! I’ve also seen some where they didn’t have to feed the baby at all during our session and the baby did beautifully. Not one newborn session is alike and neither is one baby. You as the parent ultimately know what is best for you baby so follow your own instincts.


Get in the picture

While taking sweet photos of your newborn is wonderful, I always encourage my clients to jump in that photo with their baby. It is always my goal to capture your first official family photo, and that means you have to be in the photo for that to happen. Will I make you? Of course not! I will encourage you, however, because I don’t want you to look back and say I wish I would have gotten in a few pics. I know asking a new mom to hop in a photo a week after she had a baby isn’t exactly what she is up for, but that is where I can use my creative skills to help mask those insecurities you may still have.


The adored siblings pic

If this isn’t your first baby then of course you are going to want a picture of all of your children together. There is nothing sweeter than seeing your little ones ooh and ahh over their newborn baby sister or brother. This is a must have pic that I suggest for all families of multiples. It is literally priceless.


Take a deep breath

The best thing you can do for your baby during their newborn photo shoot is to relax. I’m no expert, but I do have three kiddos and I will say that I was way more relaxed with each one, and when I reflected back I noticed a huge difference in those first few weeks of each one of their lives. With my third I really made an effort to calm down and take my time as I swear she could sense when I would start getting worked up which ultimately made her feel restless. So, my suggestion to you is to take a deep breath and relax and everything will be OK.

Relaxed Newborn Baby Photo

Expect Multiple Feedings

Let’s face it newborns are always hungry. Or at least that’s how it seems in the beginning. With that being said, you can expect to feed your baby a few times during your session to ensure they are settled and sleepy. Like I mentioned before, it really does depend on the baby. I’ve had sessions that the mom fed the baby before I got there and didn’t have to feed her again, and I’ve had sessions where the mom fed the baby 4 times to finally get him to settle down and get into that deep sleep. As a photographer I expect multiple feedings and honestly do not mind waiting for a good solid feeding as that means I will have more success in taking photos and getting that fabulous picture.


Have Fun

This is supposed to be a wonderful experience for everyone involved. So don’t worry if your baby takes a while to get settled. It will all turn out OK. Have faith in your photographer and trust that they will be able to produce beautiful photos. I mean you did hire them for a reason, so take advantage of this time where someone is there helping you out with your little one for a few hours and make it a great experience for everybody.


Print out your photos

In order to get the best out of your experience then you must get prints of your photos. Having them sit on a CD in a drawer means you aren’t enjoying them to their fullest. You must print them out and hang those little beauties on your wall for everyone to see and enjoy for years to come. Or, if you aren’t the type to hang photos then definitely get an album so you can go back anytime and look through it and reflect back on that wonderful day.

Tips for Taking Newborn Photos-1

I hope these tips have helped you out for your upcoming newborn session. If you are in need of a newborn photographer then I would love to be of assistance. Please contact me by filling out the form on my Contact Page or emailing me at




The Wong Family – MOPS Austin, Texas

The past two years I’ve had the opportunity to take family photos for the MOPS fundraiser here in Austin. MOPS is Mothers of Pre-Schoolers, and they really seem to be a tight knit family of moms who support each other and build each other up through their own experiences, because Lord knows we have all beed there before when it comes to parenting and it’s nice to have a support system to remind you that you aren’t crazy!

So, the sessions are sort of like speed dating because you meet a completely new family every 10-15 minutes, so I refer to it as speed shooting 🙂 I always have so much fun doing it and really enjoy getting to meet new people. This family was new to me this year, and I must say they have a gorgeous family, and I just love the color palette that was chosen for their session. Here are my favorites from their shoot.

Children Photographer MOPS Family PHoto Shoot Siblings Photo Austin Family Photographer Austin Children Photographer Family Photographer  Austin Family Photographer MOPS

If you are in need of updating your family photo then head on over to my Contact Me page and give me a shout. Or, feel free to email me at

Also, for more family photo ideas head on over to my Pinterest page and follow me!




Outdoor Family Photos at Lakeway City Park ~ The Loyd Family

I’m so excited to blog this session! This family is absolutely fabulous. Each of them have their own personality, and I really feel they each brought a different element to the photo to create some beautiful family portraits. In addition to getting some family photos, I also got to take individuals of each of their beautiful children, and I must say they are quite the models. It is their son’s senior year, so I had the chance to take a few extra photos of him since it’s his special year.

We had their session at Lakeway City Park on a beautiful sunny day. We mainly stayed in the shade to avoid the sun as best we could, and I couldn’t be happier with their family photos. They did wonderfully, and the blues and grays they wore were the perfect color for this scenic background. Below are my favorites from out session!

Lifestyle Family Photo Lakeway TexasChildren Photographer Lakeway Texas Couples Photo Lakeway Family Photo Lakeway City Park Senior Boy Photo Lakeway TexasSiblings Photo Lakeway TexasTeenager Photo Lakeway TexasModern Family Photo Lakeway City Park

Thanks again for letting me take your family photos! I love every single one of them and can’t wait for you to get all of your prints to hang in your home 🙂

If you are looking to update your family photo then head on over to my Contact Me page and fill out a form so we can get to know each other a little better and so we can discuss your photography needs. I look forward to hearing from you!