Join us in our WARM Studio for a Family Portrait Session in January! | Northern VA Family Photographer

Join us in our WARM Studio for a Family Portrait Session in January! | Northern VA Family Photographer

Once your children are college-aged, it can be challenging to coordinate any family outing let alone a professional family portrait. As a studio photographer working with families throughout Northern Virginia, including Oakton, VA and Vienna, VA, we understand the complexities of family schedules. We have lived it ourselves! It is why we are offering the entire month of January for family portraits in the studio!

If you weren’t able to schedule family portraits before the holidays, the days following the holidays are equally useful for professional pictures! College-aged kids are likely still home. Call our studios to take advantage of everyone being home (and maybe driving you a little crazy) to do fine art professional portraits!

We can do your portraits at our portrait photography studio – whether indoors or outdoors (weather permitting). Keep in mind that doing January portraits in the Northern Virginia area usually means taking them indoors. That’s not a bad thing, though!

Here are six reasons to do family portraits in January at our studio:

1. Doing indoor winter session portraits mean we can select the background.
2. We can easily manipulate the lighting conditions using our equipment.
3. All of our equipment is within arm’s reach, so there’s no need to pack up any gear and take it off-site.
4. The studio is climate controlled for your comfort. Ahhh, warmth!!
5. The holiday frenzy is over! Yes! Breathe!
6. Kids are home for the holidays – meaning you can do a portrait with the entire family represented!

So, if you’d like to work with an experienced studio photographer who understands family schedules and dynamics, contact us TODAY to schedule your portraits! You can find us working hard at our craft in Sterling, VA, not far from Oakton, VA and Vienna, VA.

 

Family Photographer, Studio Photographer

Ever After Portraits is comprised of Mindy Belcher and Joriana Belcher Anderson, a mother-daughter portrait photography team located near Oakton, VA and Vienna, 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

What do I look for to find a great photographer?!  | Northern VA Family Photographer

What do I look for to find a great photographer?! | Northern VA Family Photographer

As a professional portrait photographer in Northern VA, in Sterling, VA, we used to think a lot about what constitutes bad photography or a bad portrait photographer. Let’s just say that we have had personal experience with both. At some point in their career, every photographer has been too familiar with it! However, like most portrait photographers, we have grown a lot since our early years, and we have learned from our mistakes. We have also heard from colleagues about their mistakes and made it a point to learn from them, too.

Defining Photography

Simply put, photography documents or captures imagery. So, how can you get that wrong? How can it be “bad”? Well, there are many ways in which photography can go wrong or be considered bad. (We can say the same when it comes to bad portrait photographers!)

What Makes Photography Good or Bad?

We know that to produce good photography, we have to invest ourselves in the subject and the portrait. Without that investment, the photograph is likely to lack a certain level of depth and dimension which makes photography transcend ordinary to become good or even great. Without these, you’re likely looking at only average photography.

But, there’s more:

• A technically perfect picture (composition, balance, etc.) doesn’t always equal a good picture. There are several reasons why that is.

• We learned early on that there’s a lot more to good (or bad) photography than perfect composition.

• Bad photography falls flat (remember we mentioned the need for depth and dimension?). It doesn’t evoke emotion or capture depth – whatever its subject.

• A bad portrait doesn’t reflect its subject’s personality. There’s no authenticity about the subject, and it’s especially evident to those who know the subject but, in some cases, to the average viewer as well.

• Whether a portrait is of a building or a baby, a photograph should draw the viewer into the picture – an invitation to step closer and look more intently. It should feel as if there’s a connection of some sort – one that draws you in for a closer look. (Bad photographers don’t do a good job with this.)

• A good photograph should pull at you either emotionally or intellectually.

• A good photograph stops you in your tracks like a great piece of art.

• The subject doesn’t have to be looking at the camera for the shot to be good. Sometimes the best portraits are the more candid ones, without anyone looking right at the camera. That offers a certain level of intrigue or interest, and a good portrait photographer can accomplish this well.

• Good photography is a piece of art and could be and should be displayed prominently in your home. What better art than images of your family?
 

 

How to Choose a Great Portrait Photographer and Avoid Bad Photography

If you’d like to avoid bad photography, you need to start with the right photographer. There are some things to keep in mind when selecting a professional portrait photographer and portrait photography studio:

• A good portrait photographer should want to know at least a little bit about you before you arrive for your session. The more invested the photographer is with their client, the better the outcome. They should ask you some questions – including what your vision or goal is with the portraits you are commissioning from them; where will you display them; are there specific products or sizes you want; and even if there is a budget in mind. A good portrait photographer cares about their client and will want to connect with you at some level before you arrive for your portrait session, not only at the session.

• You should select a portrait photographer with which you are comfortable. You’ll be more relaxed, and your portraits will come out looking more natural and candid. If, when you call to schedule your session, you don’t feel at ease with the person on the phone representing the photographer, or don’t feel comfortable with the photographer (you can ask to speak with them), you might want to search elsewhere for a photographer.

• Experience, reputation, and style matter significantly when working with a portrait photographer. Feel free to ask them plenty of questions such as how long they’ve been in business. Review their website to ensure you like their style. Ask for references, if you have any doubts or questions. Just as they should ask you questions, you should feel free to ask their studio questions as well.

• Lastly, there should be full transparency with any photographer. If you feel they’re not forthright with you, consider going elsewhere. (We are as transparent as we can be with prospective and current clients. We believe communication is key to a successful client relationship, no matter what the business) Fine art photography is an investment and clients deserve answers to any questions.

Portrait Photographer, Northern Virginia

We enjoy working with new and past clients, and we’re always happy to answer any questions you might have before your portrait session. Great photography and a great portrait photographer are about more than just skill producing a product. It’s about creating family fine art through building relationships with clients.

If you’d like to work with a reputable and experienced professional portrait photographer in the Sterling, VA and surrounding Northern VA area, contact our studios for some great photography!
 

 

Family Photographer, Professional Portrait 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

Family Fun at 6 Fall Festivals in Virginia | Northern VA Family Photographer

Family Fun at 6 Fall Festivals in Virginia | Northern VA Family Photographer

As a photographer near Aldie, VA, we love fall for its richness of colors and diverse landscape. Cooler days bring a certain nostalgia each year as another year draws to an end. However, fall also brings a different kind of fun.

Here in Virginia, there’s an abundance of fun and family-oriented Fall Festivals. As a longstanding Northern Virginia portrait photography studio, we love taking things outdoors come fall – both professionally and personally. Maybe we’ll see you around at a local festival! We’ve put together a list of six Virginia fall festivals for you!

Six Virginia Fall Festivals

1. Graves’ Mountain Apple Harvest Festival, Syria, VA.
First three weekends of October 2017.

Less than two hours away, you’ll enjoy this traditional apple harvest festival with food, live Bluegrass music, and cloggers, arts and crafts, a hay maze and hayrides, as well as horseback rides. This annual tradition takes place at Graves Mountain Lodge. You can pick apples and visit the animals.

2. Cox Farms Fall Festival, Centreville, VA
Sept. 16-17; Sept. 22-Oct. 31; Nov. 3-Nov. 7 2017
Tickets required!

One of the largest, if not the largest, fall festival a stone’s throw from D.C. It’s more like a state fair given how large it is but with the feel of a traditional harvest festival. There are rides, food booths, and animals. It is a ticketed event with prices ranging from $6 to $20 depending on date and time you visit. This year they will debut “Foamhenge,” a full-size replica of Stonehenge made entirely of styrofoam.

3. Blue Ridge Folklife Festival, Ferrum, VA, Ferrum College campus
Oct. 28, 2017

A little further afield from Northern Virginia, families can enjoy an old-fashioned festival including Coon Dog Contest, horse pulls, mule jumping contests, Blue Ridge Roots music, Moonshiner Still and Storytelling, vintage cars, and kid’s folk games. Activities run throughout the day. Check website for more details.

4. Pumpkin Village Fall Fest, Leesburg Animal Park
Daily from Sept. 16 – Nov. 7, 2017, Tickets required

This smaller event is more about pumpkins, hayrides, and fun rides than a traditional harvest festival. Bring the kids out for this local event!

5. 35th Annual Fall Jubilee, Manassas, VA, Old Town
Oct. 07, 2017 10:00 AM-5:00 PM

This free event is open to the public in Old Town Manassas. There are more than 100 crafters and vendors! There are games and a Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest.

6. 41st Annual Fairfax Fall Festival, Fairfax, VA
Oct. 14, 2017, 10 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.

More than 400 arts, crafts, children’s activities, food & gourmet vendors, and multiple music stages promise something for everyone in historic downtown Fairfax.

As a family photographer near Aldie, VA, we hope to see you for your family portraits this fall. You’ll be able to take advantage of cooler days and beautiful fall foliage!

 

Family Photographer

Ever After Portraits is comprised of Mindy Belcher and Joriana Belcher Anderson, a mother-daughter portrait photography team located near Aldie, 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

Book Your Fall Family Portraits EARLY! | Northern VA Family Photographer

Book Your Fall Family Portraits EARLY! | Northern VA Family Photographer

Guess what?! It’s just days beyond July 4th, but fall is coming and bringing its spectacular colors. Now is a perfect time to book your fall family portraits. As a family photographer, we work all across Northern Virginia from Middleburg, VA to Tysons Corner, VA, and beyond. We can come to you, you can come to us, or we can even meet somewhere including our private, outdoor park. It’s available exclusively to our clients, and in the fall it’s lit up with fall color! It’s a not-to-be-missed opportunity for vibrant, gorgeous fall photographs.

Why book fall portraits now?

Booking now means you’re more likely to get a date which works for your schedule!

Why do fall portraits at all?

Well, if you’re thinking of doing outdoor fine art portraits, then let us, as an experienced family photographer, extol the virtues of fall photographs! In case you haven’t noticed, the autumn colors in our state are spectacular and provide a dramatic backdrop for professional fall photography. The fall weather is more comfortable for outdoor photography, too. Need more convincing? We urge you to browse our gallery of portraits and judge for yourself.

Why do outdoor portraits?

Do you even have to ask? Northern Virginia offers us some of the most gorgeous scenery – whatever the season! Our clients love our outdoor park. It’s a perfect and private backdrop without tourists or strangers photo-bombing your pictures! Outdoor photography also benefits tremendously from warm, natural light.

How do I book?

It’s easy. Just call us or fill out our contact form and we’ll be in touch to schedule your portrait session.

Questions?

You might have questions about our pricing, our experience, about an outdoor portrait session or something else. Whatever your question, give us a call. We’d be happy to chat and answer your questions whether you’re in Middleburg, VA, another Northern Virginia town, or anywhere throughout the DMV!
 

 

Family Photographer, Portraits

Ever After Portraits is comprised of Mindy Belcher and Joriana Belcher Anderson, a mother-daughter portrait photography team located near Middleburg, 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

The Difference between a Portrait and a Picture | Northern VA Family Photographer

The Difference between a Portrait and a Picture | Northern VA Family Photographer

Is there a difference between a “portrait” and a “picture”? As fine art family photographers, we certainly think there is a difference! And, our savvy clients across the McLean, VA & Waterford, VA areas appreciate that difference.

Difference Between Portrait and Picture

As professionals, we do portraits. The only time we do pictures or snapshots, honestly, is when we are with our own families and pull out a cell phone with a camera to do some quick shots. To us, that’s a picture. It can turn out beautifully and be a good representation of someone or something, but it’s still not a portrait. Why?

A portrait can be a picture, but a picture isn’t a portrait.

A portrait is the likeness or representation of someone whether through sculpture, painting, photograph or other artistic media. A picture is a photograph.

If a portrait sounds like it has more depth than a picture, it’s because it usually does have more depth and tends to offer a story better than a picture does.

A portrait is like a book expressing itself through imagery rather than words. A portrait’s story flows from its canvas evoking intrigue or emotion like a book might.

While pictures can evoke emotion and can be as engaging as a portrait, they don’t have the same “finished” feel as a portrait. Pictures don’t often convey the same richness as a portrait nor tell a story as eloquently. We could say a portrait is 3-D and a picture is more one-dimensional.

This is why we say that we don’t do pictures. We don’t do “cookie-cutter” photography. We do fine art portraits to tell your unique story – whatever it might be.

So, yes, there is a difference between a picture and a portrait. Just browse our website, and we think you, like our McLean, VA & Waterford, VA area clients, will appreciate the distinction and difference between the two. If you would like to work with a family photographer whose goal is to craft your story through portraits rather than pictures, contact us to schedule an appointment. We would be happy to help you!

 

Family Photographer, Family Photography

Ever After Portraits is comprised of Mindy Belcher and Joriana Belcher Anderson, a mother-daughter portrait photography team located near McLean, VA and Waterford, 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 do I choose the best portrait studio for my Family Portrait Session? | Northern VA Family Photographer

How do I choose the best portrait studio for my Family Portrait Session? | Northern VA Family Photographer

You might not know this, but a portrait photography studio fits within four different types. Each model offers something different to the client. Our Tysons Corner, VA area studio uses the model you should want, the In Person model, but more on that later!

You should always do a little research before choosing a photographer, so here is some information for you to consider while making a decision.

Here are the different types of portrait photography studio models for your consideration,

High Volume Studio

These types of photography studios produce a large amount of work usually with a short turnaround. These are the school photographers, sports team, and chain store photographers. They have a very streamlined process focused on high volume, short sittings/sessions, with little to no customization. You get what you get! Their business model depends on volume. They tend to be the least expensive option when it comes to photography. This model is product driven, not customer driven. You will probably pay less, but you will have little to no say in what you get.

Shoot & Burn

This model offers a fee-based one-stop session delivering only images, not printed portraits. This model is more for the client looking for something quickly done, a deal and wanting their pictures on a CD or USB instead of as wall art or in any other printed form. It often means the client sacrifices quality for pricing by printing out their images at a big-box lab on inexpensive paper at their convenience. This client also handles any framing as well. The Shoot & Burn model is relatively inexpensive because the client is paying for images on a disk more than anything else, usually with no retouching, straight out of the camera. Unfortunately, the reality is that many clients never print even one single photo from their session. They simply put the disk in a drawer, perhaps with the intention to someday print something, but out of sight is out of mind, and it just never gets printed.

Online Galleries

In this model, the photographer takes the photos and then uploads the pictures onto an online gallery. The client can then go through the gallery to view and order (or not) the pictures. While some nice photography is created this way, the client misses out on the personal viewing session and discussion with the photographer. They see tiny images on a screen. They don’t have the opportunity to discuss or review any products. They view the images online, then click, and order prints. There is usually no opportunity to order anything but prints in this model.

In Person

Last, but not least, is the model we employ in our portrait photography studio here at Ever After. You, as the client, are at the center of the entire portrait experience from start to finish. The photographer gets to know you and your family in the process – even before your portrait session begins. It starts from the time you first speak to us on the phone and we set the appointment to meet and discuss your session. It continues with a Design Session, during which we plan your highly customized portrait session, including clothing choices and session location. We strive to make every family member at ease during the portrait session. This is followed with an in-person ordering appointment, where you choose exactly how you want to preserve your beautiful family portraits. You will even be able to preview your portraits exactly as they would look on the walls of your home, due to our specialty design software. When your order is placed, your products are delivered and hung on the walls of your home. From start to finish, everything is customized to what you love and want! This is fine art photography at its best. While it isn’t the least expensive option, it provides the highest quality portraits with products delivered and ready to hang in your home.

While each studio model has its place, if portraits of your family are something to be treasured for years to come, to be handed down to the next generation, then choose a portrait photography studio that truly feels that the experience is for the client and wants you to have high quality portraits in beautiful finishes. These are portraits you will be proud to display on the walls of your home.

If you would like to work with a portrait photography studio based on the In Person model, contact our Tysons Corner, VA area studio to book your session. You will receive top of the line service and the highest quality portrait products. We love our clients, and we can wait to meet you!
 

 

Family Photographer, Portrait Photography Studio

Ever After Portraits is comprised of Mindy Belcher and Joriana Belcher Anderson, a mother-daughter portrait photography team located near Tysons Corner, 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