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.

modern-fall-family-photos

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.

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

 

Have Fun With Your Family This Easter!

Easter Crafts

I always try to do something special with my kids on Easter, and that usually involves dying eggs. It’s a tradition in our house and thank the Lord for Pinterest or else we would have the same colored eggs every year. I know most of you go 100 miles per hour like I do, however, I encourage you to take the 30 minutes to an hour and do something fun with your family this Easter holiday. Here are some ideas I have found that may spark your creativity. I’ve pinned all of these ideas on my All About Easter Pinterest Board so go check them out.

Easter Egg Ornament

This would make the coolest centerpiece for your dining room table or island in your kitchen.

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www.designmom.com

Yarn Egg Garland

How cute would this be hanging on your fence or in a small tree in your yard?

Easter-craft-yarn-egg-garland

www.modpodgerocksblog.com

Decorating Easter Eggs

Holy moly aren’t these adorable! Any ninja turtle fans in your family?

Dyed-Ninja-Turtles-Easter-Eggs

www.apumpkinandaprincess.com

Galaxy Easter Eggs

If any of you have older kids, this may be a fun one to try as she made it seem like it took a little more patience and work than some of the others. Or if you are really ambitious then go right ahead! I think I may try them out myself 🙂

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www.dreamalittlebigger.com

Easter Themed Baking Ideas

Marshmallow Bark

I think the photo says it all. YUMMMMM!

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www.butterwithasideofbread.com

Peep Fruit Kabobs

This is for those of you who want to attempt to stay away from all of the sugar that goes along with Easter. Aren’t those just the cutest?

Easter Peep Fruit Kabobs

www.ameessavorydish.com

Coordinating Outfits For Easter Photos

Easter family photo

When picking out clothes for a family photo, I want you to stay open minded. I find it especially fun to pick out clothes for my family during the holidays, because there is usually already a color scheme picked out which makes the decision of having to pick out colors way easier. When it comes to Easter family photos the colors are super duper easy, and all you have to do is think of spring. When I think of spring, the colors, yellow, pink, blue, green, purple, white, cream, etc. come to mind. Now, no one ever said in the law book of Easter photos do you have to wear pastels. I personally am more bold in my color choices and therefore choose richer colors (as shown above). It’s totally your style and taste, so stick to your gut.

Now, when it comes to coordinating, make sure you aren’t all wearing the same color (shades of the same color is acceptable). But, rather mix it up by throwing in various patterns, colors, textures, etc. It will really make your photos pop, and you will be super happy for it!

That’s all for now! If you are wanting to get some spring photos taken, then please fill out the form on my Contact Page or email me at deborah@debleaphoto.com and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. If you are wanting to view more of my work then hop on over to my Family Photos Gallery. I look forward to hearing from you!

 

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 deborah@debleaphoto.com.

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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.

Cozy-Newborn-Photo

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.

Well-Fed-Newborn-Baby-Photo

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.

Mommy-and-Newborn-Photo

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.

Siblings-With-Newborn-Photo

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.

Well-Fed-Newborn-Baby-Photo

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.

Fun-Family-Newborn-Photo

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 deborah@debleaphoto.com.