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.

Beautiful-Family-Photo-Austin-Family-Photographer

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.

 

 

5 Do’s And Don’ts For Fall Family Photos

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Yes, that’s right FALL. I absolutely love fall. It is definitely my favorite season. The leaves start to change (only sometimes in Texas), I get to wear boots, sweaters, and sometime scarves, and not to mention the colors that fall brings. Have I mentioned I love fall? LOL Well, with fall also comes Fall Family Photos. It is definitely the most popular time to take those coveted family photos right before Christmas, however, the question still remains. What do I wear?! I have laid out the Do’s and Don’ts of Fall Family Photos for you below.

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Do: Mix patterns and colors

Don’t: Put everyone in a pattern

Don’t be afraid to mix patterns. The family above nailed it! They started out with a color scheme of navy and red and chose pieces that fit within those parameters and ultimately gave their family photo some interest by not being afraid to mix their patterns.

DO: Match

Don’t: Wear all the same color

I love a good photo where the clothes aren’t a distraction and you look at the people vs what they are wearing. That being said, your outfits should all go together, but not be too matchy matchy. The family below did an excellent job in wearing a variety of colors, but still making it look good. Grown-Family-Photo-Austin-Family-Photographer

Do: Wear Layers

Don’t: All wear The same “Layer”

Give your photos some dimension and interest by wearing layers. This family below has the perfect layered look for this brisk fall day. They have added a scarf, boots, jacket, eternity scarf, sweaters, etc. They look amazing, and all I want to do is look at them!

Winter-Family-Photo-Austin-Family-Photography

Do: Create a color palette

Don’t: All wear the same color

This family’s color palette is definitely grey and maroon, and I LOVE it! They did awesome in choosing what to wear and if you notice the colors they chose pop right off the photo creating a interesting family photo they get to cherish forever.

Fall Family Photos

Do: Add pops of color

Don’t: wear Too Many Distracting colors

When choosing your outfits don’t forget that extra pop of color to make your photos really stand out. I love a good neutral, but when it comes to photos, bring out that color so your family shines! However, I would not put everyone in a “pop” color as it could be a bit distracting. The family below nailed it by putting the wife in the pop of color, and pulling it all together through the little girl’s dress. LOVE!

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Click here to learn more about my Fall Family Sessions.

 

The Williams Family ~ Downtown Austin Family Photos

Oh, how I loved this session! First of all it was the perfect cloudy day, and second of all I had never shot in Downtown Austin before and got my first chance to do so and had a blast! I loved shooting this gorgeous family and their personalities were so contagious. Not to mention, their kids were excellent which always helps 🙂

First we met at The Long Center downtown which is such a gorgeous building and with the cloud cover made for the perfect backdrop to their family photos. And to top it off the Austin skyline was directly in front of it so we had the best of both worlds in one spot! Then we headed down the street to Lenoir Wine Garden for the reminder of the shoot. Again, this family had so much fun which really showed in their family photos.

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Ready to book your session? Click here to learn more about my sessions and what all is included with each one.

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.

sleeping-baby-boy-newborn-photo-austin-texasmom-and-baby-boy-photo-austin-texasbeatiful-baby-boy-photo-austin-texasnewborn-family-photo-austin-texasadorable-baby-boy-photo-austin-texasawake-baby-boy-newborn-photo-austin-texasfather-and-baby-boy-newborn-photo-austin-texasfamily-photo-with-newborn-austin-texasModern Family newborn Photo Austin TexasSleeping Newborn Photo Austin Texas

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

6 Tips To Help You Prepare For Your Family Photo Session

Family Photo With Kids Austin Texas

1. Eat a good meal before your session.

Make sure your family, and yourself is well fed on the day of your photo shoot. I know I can get a little cranky when I’m hungry so I can only imagine how our little ones feel when they are hungry. If you know your little ones can’t make it through the entire session the please bring a snack for in between shots.

2. Get plenty of rest.

It’s best if you and your family are well rested in preparation for your photo shoot. This not only allows you to look your best, but it also helps the kiddos be on their best behavior and in a good mood. Speaking from my own personal experience with my own children, Sleepy Kids = Moody Kids 🙂 Depending on the time of day your session is will also depend on if your child, or you, needs to take a nap. Sleep is good and makes for great photos!

Modern Family Photo Lakeway City Park

3. Real Smiles are the best.

I love love love a genuine smile. Nothing can compare to it. Therefore, let’s leave the “cheese” at home. I know there’s a strong tendency to say it, but please don’t. All it ends up doing is giving a forced smile look in your photos, and we do NOT want that. Candid is the way to go. You can thank me later 😉

4. leave yourself plenty of time to prepare for your session.

I suggest laying out your clothes the day before your session, including shoes and accessories. Start getting ready with plenty of time before you have to leave, and inform everyone of what you are about to do so they aren’t surprised when they get there. The more prepared you are, the less stressed you will be for your photos.

Prepare for your photo shoot

5. Coordinate your clothes without being matchy matchy.

Choose your clothes for you and your family, by first picking out colors that you like. Then move onto colors that you look best in. Because come on, you are going to have to look at these babies forever. Next, don’t put everyone in the same color. Having multiple colors gives the photo interest and gives it that extra pop it needs. Keep in mind that everything needs to go together, not necessarily match perfectly.

6. Choose the best time of day for your family

Typically the best time of the day for photographers is the first 2 hours after sunrise and the 2 hours right before sunset. Or, if it’s cloudy then any time of day is good because we don’t have to worry about shadows. Now, for you it’s totally different because you have to worry about bed times, nap times, cranky times, hungry times, etc. I totally get it. So, please if your children aren’t morning people then don’t schedule your session for first thing in the morning. You better believe you will never see my family schedule an early morning session. The photographer may get some death stares lol But, in all seriousness, you know your family best so schedule the best time for you and your little ones.

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Click here to learn more about my sessions and Pricing . I look forward to meeting you!

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 deborah@debleaphoto.com

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!

 

Best Pumpkin Patch Spots in Austin

Looking for fun things to do this October? How about visiting a local pumpkin patch with your family? I found all of the below links at Are We There Yet Mom blog. She has even more on her page for pumpkin patches outside of the Austin area, but if you want to stick around the area then check out the sites below.

Pumpkin Patches

ACTS Church Lakeway: October 3rd-31st

  • 1304 RR 620 N, Lakeway, TX
  • Mon-Fri  1:00 – 7:00 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Austin Oaks Austin: October 13th – 31st
  • 4220 Monterey Oaks Blvd., Austin, TX
  • Monday-Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.; Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.;  Sunday, October 25: 1:30 – 7:00 p.m.
  • October 25 – Concert Under the Oaks at 4pm
Bethany Lutheran Church Austin: October 11th – 31st
  • Storytelling & Children’s activities
  • 3701 W. Slaughter Ln, Austin, TX
  • Mon-Sun (10 am – 7 pm)
  • October 25: Fall Festival from 3:00 – 6:00 pm

Bethany United Methodist Church (Austin): Open October 5th – 31st

  • Pumpkin Patch
  • 10010 Anderson Mill Road, Austin, TX
  • Mon – Fri 3:00 – 7:00 pm Saturday & Sunday, 9:00 am – 7:00 pm

Buda United Methodist Church: Open September 26th – October 25th

  • Pumpkin Patch
  • 302 Elm St., Buda, TX
  • Hours (10 am – 8 pm)
First United Methodist Church of GeorgetownOpen October 7th –  31st
  • Pumpkin Patch
  • Hours (9-dusk)
  • 410 East University Ave, Georgetown, TX

Pflugerville First United Methodist Church: Open October 4th – 31st

  • Pumpkin Patch
  • 500 East Pecan Street, Pflugerville, TX
  • Weekdays 4:30 pm – 7:00pm; Weekends 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
King of Kings Lutheran Church (Round Rock): Open October 11th – 31st
  • Pumpkin Patch
  • Weekdays & Saturdays from 9:00 am – 8:00 pm, Sundays from 12:00 – 8:00 pm
  • Fall Festival on October 31st (12-2 pm)
Kyle United Methodist Church (Kyle): Open October 11th – 31st
  • Pumpkin Patch
  • Monday – Saturday, from 9:00 am – dusk, Sunday, from noon – dusk p.m.
  • 408 West Lockhart, Kyle, TX
  • Fall Festival on October 17 (10:00 am – 1:00 pm)

Leander United Methodist Church: Open October 19th – 31st

  • Pumpkin Patch
  • 107 S. West Drive Leander, TX
  • Daily 9:00 am – Dusk
  • October 24th: Fall Festival
Manchaca United Methodist Church (Manchaca): Open September 30th  – October 31st
  • Pumpkin Patch
  • Mon-Fri from 2:30 – 7:30 pm, Saturday 10 am – 7:30 pm, Sunday 12 – 7:30 pm
  • MUMC Fall Festival (October 24, 2014) from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Hay ride, children’s games, a moon jump, food, a cakewalk, crafts, prizes, clowns, music and more (FREE).
  • 1011 FM 1626 at Manchaca Rd, Manchaca, TX
Red Barn Garden Center (Austin): Pumpkins available last week of Septemebr thru October
  • Pumpkin Patch
  • Saturday, October 17th : Inflatables & Barnyard Animals from 10 am – 4 pm
  • 12881 Pond Springs Rd, Austin, TX
St. John’s United Methodist Church (Austin): Open October 13th – sellout
  • Pumpkin Patch
  • Hours Vary (Check website)
  • 2140 Allendale Rd, Austin, TX
St. Mark United Methodist Church (Austin): Open October 17th – 31st
  • Pumpkin Patch (daily til 7 pm)
  • 601 W Braker, Austin
  • October 17th: St. Market Day Fall Festival from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
St. Richards Episcopal Church (Round Rock): Open October 2nd – October 31st
  • Pumpkin Patch
  • Benefiting NetsforLife, The Round Rock Serving Center, and St. Richards Episcopal Church
  • Sun-Fri (12-8pm); Sat (9am-8pm)
  • 1420 E. Palm Valley Blvd, Round Rock, TX
Tarrytown United Methodist Church (Austin): Open October 11th – pumpkin sell out
  • Pumpkin Patch
  • Monday to Friday (2-7 pm), Saturday (9 am – 7 pm), Sunday (12-7 pm)
  • 2601 Exposition Rd, Austin, TX
YMCA Camp Twin Lakes (Cedar Park): Open October 1st – 31st
  • Pumpkin Patch
  • Weekdays: (9:30-12 & 4-7:15); Sat (9-4); Sun (12-4)
  • Fall Festival (Oct 17): Inflatables, Hay Rides, Petting Zoo, Vendor Fair and more
  • 204 E Little Elm Trail, Cedar Park, TX

Remember, if you want to go outside of Austin then check out Are We There Yet Mom blog for other great places to go!

Click here to view my family’s pumpkin patch experience from last year at ACTS Church.

Family time at the Pumpkin Patch in Lakeway, TX

About a week or so ago my hubby and I took our little lovelies to the pumpkin patch at a church in Lakeway where I couldn’t resist snapping a few shots. The sun wasn’t exactly in our favor, but the backdrop was too cute to pass up a photo-opp.

No More Excuses

Don’t Let Anything Hold You Back

Most of us are afraid to get our family photos taken because we think that we don’t look good in pictures, or we want to loose a little weight first, or maybe we want to wait until our hair grows out a little longer. Whatever the case may be, there is always going to be an excuse not to get your family portraits taken. However, I think it’s time we change our way of thinking and throw all of those excuses away!

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My Experience

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made excuses for not pursuing my dream of photography. Afraid to fail, fear of rejection, not enough time and money, just to name a few. This way of thinking has held me back for some time now. But, there comes a time when we say enough is enough, and we stop making excuses and start making things happen.

No-More-Excuses-Family-Photo

The Challenge

Now, I challenge you to not let fear, or looks, or insecurities hold you back. Do what you want when you want to without hesitation. So, if that means you haven’t met your goal weight yet or don’t quite like your new haircut; don’t let that hold you back. Capture those precious moments with your family, and don’t let anything hold you back.

What Next

Now that you are the new you, and are ready to get those family photos done click here to view my pricing, and let me be the one to take those insecurities away by capturing beautiful photos of you and your family.