You too can be photogenic EVERY TIME! | Northern VA Portrait Photographer

You too can be photogenic EVERY TIME! | Northern VA Portrait Photographer

Very few of us are born naturally photogenic, but we all know someone who can’t seem to take a bad picture! Whether it’s fine art portrait photography or a snapshot, that person always looks great – maybe even a tad better than in person! How do they manage it? Being photogenic is a skill, and it’s one you can learn.

As Sterling, VA photographers, we can offer you some useful tips on how to look good in pictures. After all, who doesn’t want to look great in print?!

Practice makes perfect!

• You should practice these tips in a mirror.
• Try these tips every time you’re posing for pictures.
• Everyone is already beautiful in some way, and we all looked bad in photos at some point in our lives!
 

 

Hair & Makeup

None of us are camera ready when we get out of bed in the morning – despite what Hollywood would have us believe! If you know you’re going to be doing professional portraits or even a snapshot, start with your hair and makeup.

Ideally, you should have professional hair and makeup done if you’re having a portrait session and you know it. If that’s not possible or you’re just caught in a “let’s take a snapshot!” moment with your girlfriends, then follow these tips:
• Be certain your teeth are clean and that your face isn’t shiny (that shine will appear in print).
• Add lipstick or lip gloss and add some volume to your hair (hair looks flatter in pictures).
• Don’t have time for all of that? Then quickly fluff your hair and add lipstick (or at least lick your lips for a little shine).
 

 

Light Matters

If you’re doing professional portraits, then the photographer will ensure the lighting is nothing but flattering. If you’re doing pictures yourself, then keep in mind that light matters.
• A good rule of thumb for knowing where to stand in relation to lighting is always to point your nose toward the source of light.
• An excellent source is natural light from a large window if your indoors.
• If you’re outside, the photographer should stand between you and the light source.

Camera Distortion

As you probably know, the camera distorts things more than anyone would like. If you’ve ever taken a selfie by holding the camera at arm’s length, you’ve probably seen some distortion.
• To resolve that, take the picture in the mirror or, even better, have your friend take the picture!

Camera distortion also means that the closer you stand to the camera, the larger you will look.
• To make (at least) your bottom half not look bigger, step back, and lean your head in slightly toward the camera.

Posing

Posing has a great impact on how flattering your pictures turn out!
• Turn one hip slightly toward the camera and the other away without turning entirely sideways to the camera.
• Shift your weight to that back foot and cross the knee in after raising front foot on tip-toe.
• Then pull the rear arm toward the outside of your body while resting it on your hip. The other arm should pull slightly away from your body or rest that hand on your hip.
• Remember to stand tall and push your head just slightly forward (like a turtle). Feels awkward but if done right, it looks wonderful in a portrait!

Laugh, Don’t Smile

Fake smiles are pretty darn apparent on camera – and in print. We prefer to see a laugh – even if it’s fake. Fake laughs lead to natural-looking smiles, so we’d rather have you force a laugh than a fake smile! A fake laugh can turn into a real smile once you relax!

After so many years of doing portrait photography in Sterling, VA, and meeting a countless number of clients, we know that being photogenic is a learned skill. Practice these tips before your next pictures and tell us if you see a difference!
 

 

Family Photographer, Portrait Photography

Ever After Portraits is comprised of Mindy Belcher and Joriana Belcher Anderson, a mother-daughter portrait photography team located in Sterling, VA in Northern Virginia. We specialize in timeless and emotive fine art family portraits.

Family means everything and capturing those precious moments to preserve forever will mean family heirlooms for you to share for years to come.

Best,

Mindy & Joriana – Contact Us!

Professional Photographer

Senior Guys, What to Wear Do’s and Don’ts for Your Senior Session | Northern VA Senior Photographer

Senior Guys, What to Wear Do’s and Don’ts for Your Senior Session | Northern VA Senior Photographer

When it comes to doing senior portrait photography, a little guidance from your favorite Sterling, VA photographer (that would be us!) can be enormously helpful. So, we thought we’d share some what-to-wear tips for young men.

Gender aside, it can be tough to know what to wear for these milestone portraits. We also realize that boys are often the more reluctant gender when it comes to posing for pictures. We promise you that, while you might not be too excited about doing them, you will feel better when you see the results. There will come a day when you sincerely appreciate your mother’s encouragement to have senior portraits!
 

 

Let’s start with what NOT to wear:

* Don’t wear anything wrinkled – even if it’s meant to look like that. Sometimes, what looks good in person, doesn’t look good in pictures, especially in such important ones such as senior portraits.
* Don’t wear busy patterns. Those don’t translate well in photographs either and distract from the star of the show: YOU.
* Stripes can be tricky, so we suggest you stay away from bold stripes.
* Cargo trousers are beloved by men the world over – however, we strongly encourage you not to wear them for your senior portraits. Do you really need that many pockets preserved for all time through photography?!
* Sneakers or athletic shoes, what can we say? We realize they’re trendy these days, so we won’t discourage you too actively from wearing them, especially if they coordinate with your outfit. However, we would urge you to make sure they’re spotless and not looking ratty!
* Flip-flops are usually a big no-no – unless you’re having a beach portrait.
 

 
Now on to the more positive!

What you SHOULD wear:

* Sporting a classic look for your senior portraits is the best thing you could do! You can’t go wrong with collared, long-sleeved shirts and clean-lined trousers, khakis or nice jeans.
* Tasteful layers are a good idea, especially for outdoor portraits. It’s an easy way to do different looks quickly and easily. Keep your layers light and simple. No parkas, heavy coats, etc. They don’t translate well in pictures.
* If you wear jewelry, we strongly recommend keeping it simple and tasteful.
* Ties of any kind, especially bow-ties, are cool! Bring it on! You’ll look great.
* Color coordinating your outfit will result in a professional look. That means consider the color of your belt and shoes. Do they coordinate? Your shirt and pants should complement each other, and nothing should clash.

Check out our Pinterest board full of clothing suggestions for the Senior Guy!
 

 
If you are thinking about doing your senior portrait photography here in the Sterling, VA area, give us a call! We’d be happy to answer your questions and work with you on commemorating this significant life milestone!

Family Photographer, Senior Photography

Ever After Portraits is comprised of Mindy Belcher and Joriana Belcher Anderson, a mother-daughter portrait photography team located in Sterling, VA in Northern Virginia. We specialize in timeless and emotive fine art family portraits.

Family means everything and capturing those precious moments to preserve forever will mean family heirlooms for you to share for years to come.

Best,

Mindy & Joriana – Contact Us!

Professional Photographer

How to Make Your Multigenerational Session AWESOME! | Northern VA Multigenerational Photographer

How to Make Your Multigenerational Session AWESOME! | Northern VA Multigenerational Photographer

Multigenerational or extended family portrait sessions are a lot of fun for us as a family photographer. With two decades of work shooting at our Sterling, VA indoor and outdoor portrait studios, we’ve learned a lot from our clients over the years!

One thing we’ve learned is that sometimes clients get a little worried about doing group shots – so let us help you out. There are a few things we can tell you to help you through the (wonderful) experience of doing a family group portrait. We promise you that by the time you leave your session, you’ll look back on the experience as something memorable, poignant, and even a lot of fun!

So here are some useful tips for you!

Establish Goals

Whether you’d like to do multigenerational or extended family, it’s helpful to decide ahead of time what your goals are for the portraits.

Do you want only group pictures?

Or, would you like to do individual portraits as well?

One of the most poignant images out of a multigenerational shoot are ones of just the grandparents with their grandchildren. These pictures quickly become a treasured heirloom.

Additionally, we could photograph grandparents alone followed by parents as a couple, and then children also.

If there’s extended family, how about one of the young cousins together?

While additional poses take more time, they’re worth that extra time.

Our advice: Talk to your family about the goals for the portrait session before you call to schedule. We can discuss those goals further when you call us.

Lastly, inform everyone attending the shoot that there will be individual or family unit portraits taken in addition to the group pictures. That way, you avoid any last-minute surprises and people arrive ready to do multiple pictures.
 

 

Wall Art Collections

Once you decide on your goal for your portrait session, we can discuss our various wall art collections and other products we offer. That discussion will set you down the path of thinking about the products you might be interested in purchasing. You will find that it saves time later and it helps to avoid “conflicts” with extended family.

We offer beautiful wall art collections with various finish styles, including framed and frameless. We have something for diverse tastes and interior design styles. We also offer multiple price points because we understand our clients have varying budgets for their fine art portraits.
 

 

What’s Your Style?

Another critical element to consider is the style of your portraits.

Do you want a more formal look or more candid and casual?

Are the portraits meant to be a gift? If so, then the style of the intended recipient often helps dictate the style for the portraits.

If you aren’t sure which way to go, talk to us. We’re happy to offer some guidance. We have a lot of experience working with clients on styling their session, and providing you with clothing suggestions for the entire family is part of our process.

Styling isn’t just for portraits. It also refers to your look for the pictures. Check out some of our previous blog posts on wardrobe styling and selection for your session. Also, check out our Pinterest pages as well for ideas on what to wear and how to coordinate your outfits.

For multigenerational portrait sessions, it’s essential to decide on wardrobe coordination early on rather than waiting until a couple of days before the session, especially if any family members will be flying into town. You want to be sure that everyone has a chance to prepare their outfits.

While you might think it’s going to be challenging to coordinate the wardrobe of a family group, it doesn’t have to be challenging if you follow some of that advice.

Where?

Lastly, where would you like to do your portraits?

The style you select for can help you decide on a location.

For example, a more formal portrait, such as a black and white, is more likely to be done inside our studio.

A more casual and candid style lends itself very well to our beautiful outdoor portrait park.

Our advice is to make sure everyone knows the location, finds it acceptable and can get there easily. You don’t need family members getting lost! If they get lost, they won’t be happy, and a late arrival could delay the portrait session.
 

 

We hope these tips will help you! Please know that we are always available to answer questions!

We look forward to working with you on your multigenerational family portraits. We are one of the leading Sterling, VA area family photographers, and we have extensive experience working with family groups. Reach out to us!

Family Photographer

Ever After Portraits is comprised of Mindy Belcher and Joriana Belcher Anderson, a mother-daughter portrait photography team located in Sterling, VA in Northern Virginia. We specialize in timeless and emotive fine art family portraits.
 
Family means everything and capturing those precious moments to preserve forever will mean family heirlooms for you to share for years to come.

 
Best,
Mindy & Joriana – Contact Us!
 
Professional Photographer

How to Find the Right Vendors for Your Unforgettable Wedding | Northern VA Engagement Photographer

How to Find the Right Vendors for Your Unforgettable Wedding | Northern VA Engagement Photographer

Before you feel completely overwhelmed trying to find the best vendors to hire for your wedding, let us offer you a few important tips. As a former wedding photographer in the Dulles, VA area, we know the importance vendors can have on the success of your wedding.

We also know how stressful it can be to put a great team together. First of all, selecting vendors is not an easy task, and it’s totally normal for couples to feel overwhelmed, frustrated or confused. Wedding planning is probably new to you, so be patient with yourself.

Consider these questions before you begin

* How do you find the right match for you?

* How do you know whom to trust?

* Where do you go for advice?

First of all, STYLE, PERSONALITY, and PROFESSIONALISM are the most significant things when interviewing vendors. You want to hire someone with whom your guests will feel comfortable because the more comfortable your guests are, the more fun they will have. Each vendor should also match or understand the style and vision of your wedding.
 

 

To decide if a potential vendor is a good fit,
ask them these questions:

1. How many weddings do you do per year? How much experience do you have?

These are fundamental questions. Ideally, your wedding professional should have a lot of experience with weddings for two reasons: They will be better skilled in their craft, and they will be a valuable source of information. Those two things will help ensure that your wedding day goes smoothly.

2. How much do you cost?

Price can be relative, especially when you factor in experience, reputation, and expert skill; and paying more doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting something better. However, typically the most talented professionals have a higher price tag because they are worth it.

If you’re not sure what the going rate should be for vendors or you want to make sure you aren’t overpaying for a professional vendor, plug in the zip code of your reception venue at Cost of Wedding.

You should also ask about deposits, including how much they are, and what is included in their pricing (including deposit).

Keep in mind that photography pricing often varies according to the package offered, and it can be challenging to compare packages. You might need to go through a vendor’s pricing and compare details rather than overall costs to get a more accurate comparison.

The lowest pricing isn’t necessarily the best deal. Some higher quotes include services that you have to pay extra for in less expensive packages. Make sure you take this into account.
 

 

3. What happens if I cancel? What happens if you, the vendor, cancels?

Ask if your deposit is refundable under any conditions or under what specific circumstances. Does the wedding professional have a backup plan if something happens to them?

4. Do you use a contract?

If the answer is “no,” RUN! A contract is designed to protect both you and the wedding professional. Never settle for a verbal agreement that won’t hold up in court!
 

 

5. Are there any additional fees?

Taxes, service charges, and travel fees can add up quickly. Make sure you understand exactly what is included in their pricing, and if there are any other fees for which you would be responsible. This should be clearly defined in your contract.

6. Do you carry liability insurance?

Work only with vendors who carry liability insurance! It protects you in case an unfortunate accident should occur on your wedding day. Carrying comprehensive coverage is the sign of a reputable business since most “fly by night” operations won’t invest in insurance.
 

 
Lastly, one final bit of advice:

Read the contract!

Make sure you understand everything that’s written, and ask questions if you do not.

There is no silly question…except the one you don’t ask. Make sure you know the price as well as their cancellation and refund policies.

Go with your gut! If something feels “off” about the vendor, you’re probably right. Walk away.

Remember: the right wedding vendors can offer expert help, guidance, and advice on every aspect of a wedding – that includes the wedding photographer in the Dulles, VA area!
 

 

Family Photographer, Engagement Photographer

Ever After Portraits is comprised of Mindy Belcher and Joriana Belcher Anderson, a mother-daughter portrait photography team located near Dulles, VA in Northern Virginia. We specialize in timeless and emotive fine art family portraits.

Family means everything and capturing those precious moments to preserve forever will mean family heirlooms for you to share for years to come.

Best,

Mindy & Joriana – Contact Us!

Professional Photographer

Photography Tips & Tricks: How to Shoot Great Cell Phone Pictures | Northern VA Family Photographer

Photography Tips & Tricks: How to Shoot Great Cell Phone Pictures | Northern VA Family Photographer

Cell phone cameras are better and easier to use than ever. Whether you are taking family pictures in Oakton, VA or anywhere in the Northern Virginia area, you can snap some high-quality photos using your cell phone. Here are a few tips on how to take better cell phone pictures!

Lighting: Make sure there’s enough light so you can see your subject. If there isn’t enough light, turn on some lights or head outdoors to make use of natural light. Remember that if you’re outside and you’re shooting into the sun, your subject’s face might appear dark in the shadow. Turn on your flash to add light.

Distance: As a family photographer, we see it time and again: People shoot from too far away. The result is a miniaturized subject. Avoid this issue by moving physically closer to the person rather than zooming in. Keep in mind that the more you zoom in, the more you decrease the resolution of the image. You’re sacrificing quality at that point, so, if at all possible, avoid zooming.

Don’t move! As with any camera, be sure to maintain a steady hand or you risk blurring the picture. A steady camera is especially crucial in lower lighting conditions. If necessary, you can use a cell phone tripod or improvise by steadying your arm on a stable surface such as a table.

Think out of the box: Photography doesn’t have to be about all the rules! Use your cell phone to have some fun, think and shoot out of the box. Play with perspective and angles. Remember that with digital photography, there’s no expensive film to waste! Lastly, we recommend not deleting your “bad” pictures immediately. Wait until your back at your computer to view them. You might find they worked out quite nicely, after all!

We hope you enjoy creating some fabulous memories with your cell phone and some quick-snap family pictures. If we can assist you with professional photography in the Oakton, VA or Northern Virginia areas, contact us. We’d love to help!

 

Other posts in this series:
Photography Tips & Tricks: Lighting tips for family snapshots
Photography Tips & Tricks: Get natural smiles from your kids!
Photography Tips & Tricks: Underwater Pictures
Photography Tips & Tricks: Pets
Photography Tips & Tricks: Confidence is key
Photography Tips & Tricks: 6 Tips for Taking Memorable Disney Park Photos
Photography Tips & Tricks: 5 Tips for Photographing Special Occasions
Photography Tips & Tricks: Creative Angles!

Family Photographer, Family Pictures

Ever After Portraits is comprised of Mindy Belcher and Joriana Belcher Anderson, a mother-daughter portrait photography team located near Oakton, VA in Northern Virginia. We specialize in timeless and emotive fine art family portraits.
 
Family means everything and capturing those precious moments to preserve forever will mean family heirlooms for you to share for years to come.

 
Best,
 
Mindy & Joriana – Contact Us!
 
Professional Photographer

Cool Photography Sites and Blogs | Northern VA Family Photographer

Cool Photography Sites and Blogs | Northern VA Family Photographer

After almost two decades working in the South Riding, VA area in childrens photography, we can tell you that the Internet has been our friend! The amount of information available to hobby, serious, and professional photographers is astounding. As we’ve said in the past, we don’t have a lot of personal time, but we admit to spending time online doing research for our photography or reading about what interests us.

Here are a few photography-related blogs or sites we think you might enjoy! Send us a few of yours. We’re always looking for new and exciting readings!

Peta Pixel is more for the serious or professional photographer. Even so, it has great photographs to browse, comprehensive tutorials, and reviews on equipment.

• See what photographers around the world are doing on National Geographic’s Your Shot.

Expert Photography: Don’t let the name dissuade you if you’re just starting out in photography. There’s a good beginner’s guide.

• Time Magazine’s 50 Instagram photographers to follow. Some great photographers from all 50 states!

DPS (Digital Photography School) offers great tutorials and you can sign up for their email list. There’s also information on equipment and post production. It’s more for the advanced photographer.

Digital Trends has something for everyone including info on using that camera on your smart phone!

The Photo Stack Exchange offers a great forum and discussion platform for photographers at any level. http://photo.stackexchange.com/

• For an interesting list of photography blogs to follow, Resource Magazine offers a list of 18 bloggers.

Contact us if you would like to discuss beautiful portraiture for you or your family. Family and childrens photography in the South Riding, VA and Northern Virginia areas is our specialty! (We also provide professional pictures including headshots.)

 

Family Photographer, Childrens Photography

Ever After Portraits is comprised of Mindy Belcher and Joriana Belcher Anderson, a mother-daughter portrait photography team located near South Riding, VA in Northern Virginia. We specialize in timeless and emotive fine art family portraits.
 
Family means everything and capturing those precious moments to preserve forever will mean family heirlooms for you to share for years to come.

 
Best,
 
Mindy & Joriana – Contact Us!
 
Professional Photographer