Summer is in full swing here on Long Island, which means beach days for a lot of us. But there's a whole lot more to summer than just the beach. Every season, I put together a photo checklist for my email list subscribers, to make sure their yearly photo album has a lot of variety.
Summer was so magical when I was a kid. I remember going in my grandma's pool every day, eating hot dogs from the grill and walking around the yard barefoot (until the day I stepped on a slug...flip flops from there on out). Believe me, your kids will want to remember these summer days in the future, when this season is more about high gas prices and less about blessed summer vacation! Make sure they've got a lot of summer memories to look back on.
Click here to download the checklist!
You’ll receive an email with the link to my freebies page, where you can download the checklist and all my other freebies. If you’re already an email subscriber, I sent out a newsletter with the checklist this morning, so check your inbox! There will always be a link to the freebies page at the bottom of every email.
Rather not take these photos yourself? Schedule a summer photo session with me! Email me at email@example.com
Everyone knows that dogs are very important members of the family unit. They're sweet, they're affectionate, and they don't talk back or clog up the DVR with their reality TV shows.
Fido's your best friend, so he deserves more than a blurry cell phone pic in your family's photo album! If you're looking to have a beautiful photo session for your pup, follow these guidelines to make sure your buddy's photographs come out as amazing as he is.
Figure out the When and the Where
Are you planning to shoot in the studio or outdoors? If you plan on an outdoor session, consider the time of year. In spring and autumn, your dog should be fine to stay outdoors for the length of a photo session, but a long-haired dog might not be as comfortable shooting in the height of summer, just as a short-haired dog might not be able to handle a snowy session in the winter.
Choose your location wisely. Always call ahead to make sure that both dogs and professional photography are allowed at your desired location. Here on Long Island, there are countless beaches to choose from, but there are many that don’t allow pets, so make sure you can bring your pup before you get your heart set on a location.
Make sure your dog is up to date on all of its vaccinations and is currently on flea and tick preventatives at the time of your session. Sticking to these guidelines will protect both your dog and all the other dogs that may come into the photographer’s studio.
Talk to Your Photographer about Your Dog
Every dog needs to be handled differently. Some don’t like their bellies touched. For others, paws are a no-go. My Gracey (the cute chihuahua under the heart garland up there) is terrified of anyone who bends down over her. Let your photographer know if there's a way your dog doesn't like to be handled, which may scare it or cause it to become anxious or aggressive. The last thing I want to do as a pet photographer is make my subject uncomfortable, so let me know how I can avoid that.
Walk your dog 1-2 hours before your session time to expend some energy. A dog whose been tired out a little will be much more obedient for photos.
If you’re going to get your dog groomed before the session, try to make that appointment a day or two before the photo session. Doing both in one day might be too much for some dogs, and a stressed out dog doesn’t photograph well.
If you have some time, practice sit and stay commands with your dog for a few weeks before the session. Bonus tip: my dog Gracey’s trainer had me teach her the “watch” command for when she barks at other dogs on our walks/makes my cat’s life a living hell. It’s also come in very handy when I want her to look at me for a photo. To teach this command, say your dog’s name and “watch!”. Reward them when they look you in the eye. Point to your face when you say the command if you like to add hand gestures to your training.
What to Bring
An outfit, bandana, special blanket or favorite toy can really enhance a session. Make sure that whatever you want to bring is not going to get your dog too riled up. A dog that is too focused on getting at his favorite monkey toy will not be paying attention to the camera.
It’s a good idea to bring a bowl and a bottle of water in case your dog needs a break to rehydrate. Bringing some of your dog’s treats is also a good idea, but use these as a last resort to get a dog to look at the camera, because they can make some dogs a little slobbery.
I have endless amounts of patience. That’s why I am particularly well-equipped for newborn and pet photography. At a mini session event last year, I had an owner tell me “there’s no way we’re going to get a decent photo of my dog, she’s too nervous”. I just sat there, casually throwing a few treats to the dog for a while. Eventually she calmed down and was able to sit, and her photos became my favorite ones from the entire day. A lot of times, the first 20 minutes of the session will just be the dog situating themselves, especially in the studio, which is a new place full of different smells. Don’t get frustrated if your dog doesn’t seem to be sitting still for photos. Most people don’t realize how fast a camera shutter can be. I can catch a beautiful moment that you didn’t even notice happened because it was so fast. Plus, dogs can pick up on their owner’s frustrations and it can make them behave even worse if they feel you getting stressed. Keep calm and have fun and your dog will too!
I hope this post helps you and your pet have a really successful photo session!
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Schedule a pet photo session with me! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (631)256-7476.
So if you're still looking for that perfect gift for the amazing mom in your life, I'm happy to offer gift certificates for portrait sessions. You can buy them in any amount, but a purchase of $150 covers a full session fee and comes with a free framed 8x10. Sessions can take place in my Farmingville home studio or a location of your choice within Suffolk County, Long Island. Gift certificates can be issued physically or digitally.
Email me at email@example.com or call me at (631)256-7476 to purchase one today!
I'm relatively new to the world of professional photo contests, but this experience has inspired me to join more and keep honing my craft.
To see more photos, check out shootandshare.com.
Schedule a pet portrait session today! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call me at (631)256-7476.
The professional print lab that I order my products from uses museum-quality, archival papers and inks to ensure that my clients' prints will last generations. I'm proud to say that all the products I offer are hand-crafted in the US with recycled paper in a facility with solar power.
It's important to me to offer high-quality products because my clients are very important to me and so are their images.
Also pictured above are my press printed albums. Look out for a blog post highlighting them soon!
Feel free to contact me for any questions regarding the products I offer!
Email me at email@example.com
or call me at (631)256-7476 to schedule a session!
A few weeks ago (before the lovely blizzard whited out the landscape), I visited Lake Ronkonkoma for a personal project and realized what a great location it could be for a photo session with families and kids. The county park is located on Lake Shore Road, on the north side of the lake. As Long Island's largest lake, there is a huge number of portrait opportunity spots all along the lake front.
The wildlife in the area is very used to the presence of people, so expect some close encounters with the ducks, geese and seagulls that call the lake their home. They'll be happy to get in the background of your photos!
Make sure dear old Dad stays firmly on shore, though. Those Lady of the Lake stories are probably myths, but better to be safe than sorry, right? ;)
I hope you enjoyed this 2nd installment in my series of Best Long Island Photo Spots. Read the 1st installment in the series here.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a photo session at your favorite Long Island location, and comment below if you have a great spot I should visit for my next installment!
Look for Light
Find an area in your home with good natural light coming in. Have your child face an open window or door, or head outside for great lighting. Shooting in the early morning before the school day begins will make light soft and beautiful. Avoid using your camera's flash, which can make photos look flat.
Pick a Spot
Take your back to school photo in the same location every year, whether it be on your front porch or at the bus stop. Keeping it consistent will show your child's growth over the years and make it especially fun to flip through the photos when your children are older.
Provide a Prop
Give them something to do with their hands. Download this free printable sign so you always remember what grade your little scholar was in!
The image is sized to an 8x10.
Long Island, NY