Thursday, January 30, 2014

Welcome to Reese Studios FYI

During my sessions clients ask me a myriad of questions ranging from baby advice to how to move forward with their modeling careers.

I find that I enjoy giving my two cents.

I know photography blogs tend to focus on.. well photography, so I wanted to touch on topics that I think I would've liked to know if I weren't a photographer, but had the opportunity to speak directly to one.

So I am happily sharing what I have learned over the past 10 years and if one person learns anything or is able to avoid a bad situation from one of my past experiences then I would consider my musings (that's what a blog is, right?!) a success. On this rollercoaster that we call life I have learned and grown so much and I look forward to sharing the good, bad but mostly amazing moments!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Family Portrait Advice: What to wear for Family Portraits

Getting your often times unwilling family together for the quarterly family portrait is, pardon the pun, no walk in the park. Tack on coordinating everyone's outfit's, and of course the back up outfits for those right before you get to the session juice spills, your stress levels can be out the roof. To help alleviate a bit of your stress here are some helpful ideas and links on what to wear.

  • wear solid colored clothing
  • choose  brightly toned colors that are eye catching
  • choose similar tones for your top and bottom (both dark or both light)
  • choose 1-3 colours for your group portrait, ones with similar tones that go nicely together and have everyone work within that colour palette. For example: green, navy, and burgundy  OR tan, bright pastel green, and denims
  • choose a top with sleeves at least to the elbow
  • choose long pants for men/ladies or a skirt below the knee for ladies
  • choose dark socks and footwear (unless it’s a barefoot photo on the beach)
  • keep jewellery simple and minimalistic(mom)
  • Let your kids add touches of their personality with accessories and footwear
Check out these great links for more ideas:

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Wedding Advice: The Importance of the Engagement Session

When planning a wedding session we always tend to focus, of course, on the big day.. The Wedding Day. I am guilty of doing just that myself when I was married I wasn't concerned with engagement pictures, trying the cake, testing the caterers food, none of it was of any concern. As a bride, I just wanted to get married! 

However, as a photographer I have come to appreciate the moments before the "I do's" and  actually advise all of my clients to think carefully about all the decisions that they make before committing to any vendor. (Including myself!)
I know that if for whatever reason the bride/groom and I don't have chemistry it will make for a terrible session..Now in all honesty, that has yet to happen, I consider myself very easy to get along with and strive to please all of my clients, but I still always warn against leaping before you look.

One thing I offer with the majority of all of my wedding sessions, to a bride and groom,  is a complimentary mini engagement session. This serves two very important purposes:

1) The couple will get to know me, outside of the hectic, stressful and fast paced environment of their wedding day. Which will allow them, when the big day comes, to be very comfortable and natural in front of me. My goal being to become a good friend. fast.

 2) It allows me to get a feel for the couple, their sense of humor, what they are and aren't comfortable with,  if they need a lot of direction, allowing me to tailor their wedding day photography to them.

100% of all of the weddings that I do this with are better overall!

As a bride there are worse ways you could spend 30 minutes of your day than holding your future husband and creating memories that you will look back on for years.
As a photographer, there is nothing more imporant than knowing your client and you are getting 30 minutes to do just that.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wedding Advice: Key Photos and How many pictures should you get from your wedding

There are 3 very important questions you should ask your photographer. 1: How many pictures should I expect. 2:  Key moments you want to capture 3: When/how will you receive your images.

I agree with those who value quality over quantity.  On average we shoot around 2000-3000 images for an 8 hour wedding.  Our brides were getting really overwhelmed with that many choices so we edit the images down to the best selection possible. Most couples don't really need 6 of practically the same shot.
We brought the number of images available for preview down to 600-800 confident that the images they receive is going to showcase their wedding at it's best. It also means the couple receives their photos much sooner as it now takes less time to edit, so this is a win/win for all parties. Sometimes, and I hate to be cliche, it really is more important to have quality over quantity My suggestion is to ask prospective photographers to see a partial wedding/ not just 20 of the best pics.. ask for about 50-100, so you can note their style and consistency and whether it matches the expectations for your own wedding.
The amount of images we provide for a 4 hr wedding is about 100-400 and an 8 hour wedding 600-900.

One thing that always surprises me is the number of brides/photographer that don't plan ahead what pictures they want to take. I came across this list here: must have shots. I've been shooting enough weddings now that this list is automatic, but it is a very good place to start for brides trying to figure out the flow of their wedding day pictures. Depending on the amount of time you have booked your photographer for this list may be shortened or added to, but as I mentioned it definitely serves as a good starting point.

  1. Prep Shots – Bride & Groom
  2. The Dress – Hanging or Draped
  3. The North Window Shot – Bride facing out northern most window
  4. Bride walking down stairs
  5. Bride looking out (window or door)
  6. Maid of Honor & Brides Mom – Zipping Dress
  7. Bride Applying Make Up
  8. Groom Fixing Hair
  9. Grooms Father & Best Man РAttaching Boutonni̬re to grooms lapel
  10. Groom Checking the Time
  11. Groom with Grooms Men & Fathers
  12. Bride with Bridesmaids & Mothers
  13. Bride with Mother & Father (also grandparents)
  14. Groom with Mother & Father (also grandparents)
  15. Bride Limo – Groom Limo
  16. Bride & Groom – Exiting Limo (Bride being helped out)
  17. Groom waiting at altar
  18. Church Wide Shot (with & without guests)
  19. Bride walking down aisle ( Side Profile & Front )
  20. Father giving away bride
  21. Groom over the shoulder shot of bride ( & Vis Versa)
  22. Holding hands – Bride and Groom
  23. Bride & Groom Kiss
  24. Bride & Groom Leaving Church ( Receiving Line)
  25. Bride & Groom – Inside Limo Shot
  26. Reception/Banquet Hall Outside shot
  27. Food Shots (Cocktail Hour, Drinks, etc.)
  28. Shot of each table full of guests
  29. Shots of Bride & Groom with & without family
  30. Bride and Groom Portraits
  31. Bride & Groom with Bridesmaids & Groomsmen
  32. Bride and Groom Hand & Ring Portraits
  33. First Dance
  34. Bride & Father Dance
  35. Groom & Mother Dance
  36. Bouquet Toss
  37. Guarder Belt Toss
  38. Cake Cutting, Bride and Groom Feeding each other
  39. Misc. Guests Dancing
  40. Bride & Groom Eating
  41. Best Man & Maid of Honor Toast/Speeches
  42. Bride & Groom Toast/Speeches
  43. Centerpieces & Flower/Decorations
  44. Guestbook Signatures
  45. Small Children Dancing with Bride & Groom
  46. Bride & Groom’s Parents Dancing (Plus Grandparents)
  47. Venetian Hour Photos (Coffee, Ice Cream, Etc)
  48. Bride & Groom giving away wedding favors
  49. Groom Giving Coat to Bride
  50. Bride & Groom “Just Married” Vehicle – Driving Away
If you are a bride and know how your want your day to flow, what pictures you want and how/when you want to receive your images it makes the job of the photographer a lot easier. So don't be afraid to do your research before selecting a photographer, and ask plenty of questions!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Wedding advice: Finding the "Cheap" Photographer

I came across this article and found the content, for the most part, to be spot on and really something brides should think about when looking for a photographer

"I Found a Cheap Wedding Photographer!"

"As in all professions and services, the wedding photography market is rife with a variety of professionals, some of whom are worthy of the “professional photographer” title while others are photographers in name only.  The truth is that a search on the basis of cost will result in a vast range of options from cheapest to most expensive. In a previous article on the selection of a wedding photographer, I used the example of the discount stores.
“If you see big differences in prices, it doesn’t necessarily mean one of the two is trying to con you. Take, for example, bargain basement products. No one really believes that buying a name brand means being tricked because the same item may be marked down 80% at discount stores. It just means that the name brand has more to offer in terms of quality and durability. For photographers, that means more experience, quality equipment, respect for the couple, time devoted to selecting and editing photos, reliability, photo and presentation quality personal attitude, creativity, business premises and many other parameters that unfortunately most couples ignore or are not aware of until it’s too late.”
 In the same way that you would never shop from a bargain basement for your wedding day, you should be suspicious of photographers who offer you bargain prices. As the saying goes, “you get what you pay for.” How can a photographer respect his work and his product and, by extension, you as a client, if your special wedding moments are limited by amateur, repetitive photos taken at random?  How can you get good work from a production based on a rough-and-ready philosophy? Your wedding photographs should be guided by rules related to both technical equipment and artistic approach. Such rules objectively make the difference and guarantee the result, as the professional photographer who has invested in his work supports his investment through to the final product, giving the couple the best possible outcome. Such a photographer can’t be bargain basement; he can’t come cheap."

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Modeling Advice: Important shots to have in your portfolio for new models

Your model portfolio is the most important tool you have as far as getting hired for jobs and becoming a working/paid model. Your portfolio should be a collection of your best photographs. Your portfolio ultimately gives clients a chance to see how you can and do look in different situations, your experience and demonstrates your ability to move in front of a camera.

A standard model portfolio or "model book" should have at least 10 to 16 photos, in good condition.
However there are a few basic shots that all portfolios should have.
1. Beauty shot
2. Casual shot
3. Fashion look
4. Commercial shot

These shots will not only show your range as a model but will also showcase your knowledge as a model in
how to present yourself professionally.
Always put your best pictures in the front of your model portfolio and be sure to place them on the right side of the portfolio as you have it opened. Leave the left side free for the first few images of your book, generally the BEST,  so there are no distractions.
Be sure to have a few strong images at the very end as well, which will make sure that the impression you made from start to finish was a positive one.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Newborn Advice: 3 basics for every newborn session

Wraps: You can purchase scarves or pashminas at a number of local retailers. Wrapping a newborn is a great way to start a session, as it tends to be comfortable, warm and provides them with a sense of security, which will lull them to sleep. I tend to find that all newborns begin a photo session wide awake.  Maybe it is the excitment or apprehension they feel emanating from their parent(s) or maybe it is the introduction of a new character in their life as they have seen so few faces, generally, at this point. Irregardless of the reason, wrapping a newborn is also a great way to ensure that they do not squirm or move around too much, it also serves as a great alternative to the classic birthday suit poses that you are sure to get.

Blankets: Blankets and cloth look amazing in newborn photos. A wide assortment of patterns can be found at fabric stores such as Jo anne fabrics or Hancocks. Make sure that the fabrics are soft to the touch, and never place a baby on a blanket or fabric that is rough. I also recommend choosing fabrics/blankets that are easy to wash, a newborns skin is very sensitive wash all materials in a hypoallergenic fabric cleaner before using for a photo shoot. Some of my favorite blankets are very simple, although plain textured materials looks stunning on camera. Purchasing fabrics as opposed to blankets can be a little cheaper and afford you a wider variety which I believe make an amazing newborn session.

Hats or Headbands: Cute and colorful hats and headbands add a touch of whimsy to newborn pictures. Instead of the classic bare baby shots, simply by putting a floral headband on your little baby girl you now have a more artistic and interesting image. It is very easy to go overboard when staging a scene, but by utilizing this simple prop with a complimentary backdrop the affect is a timeless image that captures the innocence of your baby boy or girl.

Although photographing a newborn is not always easy, being able to get that amazing shot is always worth the time and effort that you put in. Remember they won't be this little forever, dress them up, have their picture taken and most importantly dote on them while you still can!