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.

 

 

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.

Outdoor-Family-Photo-Fort-Worth-Texas

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

Alyson ~ Lake Travis Senior Photos

I’m so glad I’m finally getting around to blogging Alyson’s senior photo session right here in Lake Travis! We actually did her session last fall and the photos turned out beautiful, and we had wonderful fall (well Texas fall) weather. We stayed pretty close to the Lakeway area. We first started out at Hamilton Pool, then we headed over to Bee Cave Central Park, then finally ended our session at Lakeway City Park where I photographed her doing some of her dance poses.  We had such a great time, and we even snuck a few in of her and her sister throughout the day! Here are a few of my favorites from her session.

Senior Photo Lake TravisSenior Photo with Sisters Austin Texas Senior Photos Austin TexasSenior Photo Lakeway Texas Lakeway Senior Photographer Bee Cave Senior PhotographerLake Travis Senior PhotosHamilton Pool Senior Photos Austin Senior Photographer

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Click here if you are interested in viewing more photos from my senior sessions. And, please fill out the form on my Contact Page for more information about your session.

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Lake Travis Senior Photographer

 

6 Must Haves For Your Christmas Checklist

If you are anything like me, then Christmas literally sneaks up on you ever single year!  I mean I know it’s the same day every year, but somehow before I know it it’s Christmas again. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE Christmas and the holiday season, but for some reason I can’t seem to get with the program which leaves me running around scurrying for gifts or doing last minute budgeting to fit it all in.

That being said, I have created a condensed checklist for you/me! I have researched a few different  websites and have found two that are my absolute favorite. I will provide links for those who are interested in seeing the complete, original checklist.

The Busy Mom’s Christmas Checklist

  1. Don’t forget the Stocking Stuffers! I’ve totally done this one year and had my husband go out on Christmas Eve to Wal-Mart, because it was the only place open, to go buy goodies to fill everyone’s stocking. Needless to say that will NOT happen again! I’m definitely adding this one to my Christmas Checklist.
  2. Start pulling out those hidden gifts NOW! I may not be guilty of this one, but my mom sure is. Every year she hides the gifts she buys and every year she forgets about at least one of them. One year she even forgot where she hid it lol But, we lover her anyway 🙂
  3. Kiss someone under the mistletoe! This one is so important, because a lot of the time we have tunnel vision until all the gifts are bought, wrapped, and under the tree that we forget that Christmas is about spending time with family and friends and celebrating Jesus’ birth.
  4. Wrap gifts as you buy them! Since it is already December and your tree is already up (unless you are like me and can’t find the time to go buy a tree) then there is no point in hiding the gifts and cluttering up your closet. Go ahead and put them under the tree. A Christmas tree is so much more fun to look at with presents under it anyway 🙂
  5. Buy batteries for children’s toys! Oh my this needs to be number one on my checklist every single year! I can’t tell you how many times we have bought something that requires batteries and we had to take the ones from the TV remote just so our kids could enjoy their gifts on Christmas day!
  6. Re-charge the batteries on your camera/video recorder! This is something that I forget to do every year, but luckily my hubby got tired of standing next to the outlet while recording Christmas morning so this job has officially been delegated to him.

I hope some of these will help you out in preparing for your upcoming Christmas season as much as they have helped me and will continue to help me.

Would you like to check out more Christmas Checklists on Pinterest? Then head on over to my All About Christmas board on Pinterest and pick your favorite! Oh, and have a Merry Christmas!

When Is The Best Time To Take Maternity Photos?

The Best Time To Take Maternity Photos Photo

Taking maternity photos is such a sweet experience for the mommy and daddy-to-be. The anticipation of meeting your baby is like nothing you will ever experience. It is such an exciting time and maternity photos are a wonderful way to capture those emotions that the mother and father and some times siblings have while waiting for the arrival of their newest family member.

when really is the best time during your pregnancy to take maternity photos?

Now that you have decided to take maternity photos your next question is probably, “When is the best time to take them?” And, no I don’t mean what season or time of day. I mean when in your pregnancy is the best time to take maternity photos? My suggestion is always when you are between 32-36 weeks along. By this time you are showing just enough and you have a nice round belly. It is also before you hit 36 weeks and start to retain that extra water/weight; or at least most of us do 😉 Also, this is a good time because you still fee great and should be really enjoying your pregnancy at this time, not to mention your clothes tend to fit their best during this time frame as well. So, depending on when your baby is due will depend on the month and season you will be taking your maternity photos, but always remember the 32-36 week mark is ideal not only for you, but for your photographer as well as they may ask you to get into some positions that just will NOT happen after 36 weeks and beyond lol But, don’t worry, all of the poses are made to be safe and comfortable for you and baby.

If you are in the Austin or DFW area and are interested in getting your maternity photos done then I would love to hear from  you! Just head on over to my Contact Me Page and fill out the form and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Or, you can email me directly at deborah@debleaphoto.com

Don’t forget to follow my maternity photos on Pinterest!

3 Tips for a Happy Halloween With Your Family

Halloween 2015 Photo

Hey there! It’s almost that time again where the entire neighborhood gets out of their homes and roams the streets with their families. Our pastor mentioned that it was a little ironic that Halloween is the one holiday that promotes being a good neighbor. I mean what other holiday do all of your neighbors get out of their house, give you candy, and answer their doors after dark? So, let’s take this holiday and turn it into a “Get to know your neighbor holiday”. That being said, I’ve come up with some tips in order to make this your best Halloween yet.

3 Tips for a Happy Halloween

1. Do A Family Activity Together

The holidays always bring families together, and this year I challenge you to come up with some sort of activity to do outside of Trick or Treating. For example: pumpkin carving, pumpkin decorating, baking cookies, decorating cookies, cooking some delicious pumpkin soup, etc. Pinterest has wonderful ideas for how to do these things. My family always has a little competition with our pumpkin carving given our competitive nature.

2. Hang out in your front yard

I can’t tell you how many people you will meet if you just sit in your front yard or at the end of your driveway and pass out candy. This is a wonderful time to actually get out of your house and meet your neighbors that you have lived near for years but have never found the time to actually introduce yourself. If you are shy, then no worries. Make sure your kids are close…they usually make for great conversation.

3. Dress up as a family with a theme

There is nothing better than giving your family a theme and dressing the part. I love it when families go all out and do this. My brother and his sons did this a couple of years ago where he dressed up as Thelma HA! and his two sons were Shaggy and Scooby. It was pretty awesome. My neighbors this year are going with a football theme. Their oldest son is going to be the player, the hubby and wife are going to be the referees and their newborn is going to wear a football onsie. Please don’t forget to take pics when you do this. It creates great memories later on.

Notice that all of these tips involve being with your family. There is something to be said for a family that hangs out together. Have a very Happy Halloween and don’t forget to take lots of pics of your little ones! They won’t be little forever…tear :’)

 

If you are in need of updating your family photo then head on over to my Contact Me page and fill out a form and I will get back to you as soon as I can! Talk with you soon!

 

Top 5 Tips In Taking Your Senior Portraits in Austin, Texas

Taking your senior pictures should be an exciting time and you should be having the time of your life! I love photographing high school seniors simply because they are so full of life and are so much fun to pose. They seem to have this attitude and confidence about them that portrays beautifully in their photos.  For those who may need a little help in figuring out which poses look the best then these tips for taking senior portraits are for you.

Have Fun

When taking your senior pics remember to have fun with it. Try that crazy, fun pose you saw on Pinterest. Because even if it doesn’t turn out to look like you wanted, know one will ever know but you and your photographer.

Senior pictures lakeway

Relax

Don’t overthink your poses. Of course you can bring your ideas to the shoot, but let your photographer pose you to where you will look your best. Your job is to just relax and look beautiful/handsome.

senior-girl-lying-in-grass

Strike a Pose

Let your inner model come out and strike all of the poses you used to do in front of your bathroom mirror. You never know which ones may actually look fabulous in your senior portraits. So don’t be afraid to just go for it.

Austin_High_School_Senior_Photo

Show some college spirit

Some of my seniors love to show off their new college. This senior decided to accessorize with her new school, and looked fabulous doing it.

Senior Portraits Austin Texas

Represent your high school

While some like to show off their new college, other like to continue representing their high school spirit. While, some do both!

senior-girl-letterman-jacket

Remember, your senior portraits are all about you! So, make sure to have fun, relax, and bring something that represents your future, your past, or both. To view more photos from senior sessions then visit my Senior Portrait page and take a look around. Or, if you have a question about anything then feel free to email me at deborah@debleaphoto.com or fill out the form on my Contact Page.