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Your memories are important | Placerville-Children-Photographer

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Your memories are important | Placerville-Children-Photographer

I have this friend that told me once that if she can afford to make a memory for her kids then she will do it. I always took this to heart. She has five kids and they don't make a ton of money but they are always doing things that make me envious of their quality time together. Ever since meeting this person and us becoming friends I have taken this quote and kinda spun it into my own web. You don't need a lot of money to make memories, you just need the quality time. Your kids will thank you for it and honestly, they will be better off. We all know this. Quality family time, makes for stronger bonds and it makes for better behaved...

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New Jewelry Offerings! | Placerville-El Dorado Hills-Folsom Children-Family Photographer

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New Jewelry Offerings! | Placerville-El Dorado Hills-Folsom Children-Family Photographer

New Jewelry Offerings! | Placerville-El Dorado Hills-Folsom Children-Family Photographer

So I was thinking today that most people may not be aware that we sell custom jewelry with along with our normal wall portrait orders. This jewelry is literally amazing! I have a necklace myself that I just love love love. I wear it all the time and it has my little kids on it so why wouldn't I love it?! These make great gifts for moms or grandmas and your favorite aunts!

But what about the men you say?  Well don't forget about he key chains, money clips or paper weights for your favorite dad, grandpa or uncle! I am so excited to be offering this and I just can't wait to see what your creations will look like!

Contact me today to get your custom portrait session scheduled. My spring calendar is filling up fast and I really want to make your session as memorable as can be!

Now, if you have been paying attention, my last post discussed what I do to prepare for a photography session. You will surely want to stay tuned for the part two of this educational series about me!

Much love.

Heather

_________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

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How I Prepare for a Photography Session | El Dorado Hills Children Photographer

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How I Prepare for a Photography Session | El Dorado Hills Children Photographer

"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail"~Benjamin Franklin

While brainstorming my discussion topics today, I got a little distracted. For those that know me, this is not an unusual occurrence. I tend to get distracted all the time. You know- when you walk into a room and you have zero clue as to why you are there? Or you sit down to your desk to get some work done but you get sucked into Facebook and you can't get out again? This happens multiple times a day for me. Couple that with the fact that I am homeschooling my son, am a cub scout den leader and acting as a chauffeur most days of the week, you can virtually forget the idea that I actually might accomplish something meaningful in one day. So what do I do to help this? I plan ahead. I make lists and I stick to them. If I have a master list I can get anything done and I can always refer back to it when I notice that I have gotten off track.

So on my list today was to start brainstorming for a new session I have coming up. I will photographing three little ones and their parents. I get really excited with multiple children sessions, especially when the number is an odd one. Working with three or even five kids gets all my ideas flowing and I can't wait to begin! Needless to say I am excited but I just wanted to make a small list for you today to show you what kind of planning goes into a session like this one. It's no easy task to get everything ready. Without my list I would be completely lost.

1. Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork:

This one task, although a boring one, is probably one of my most important. Paperwork is a must. Keeping track of model releases and contracts, mileage and extra costs per session is surely a hard one! If it were not for some really awesome computer programs to help me out I think I would be completely lost. But all in all I feel like I am in control of the madness that is paperwork and I have to be proud of that. Boring tasks are never fun to complete. Multiply that by several clients per month and you have a confusing mess! I love that I can take control of this with ease.

2. Meetings, meetings, meetings

From the consultation to the ordering session there is a lot of times that I am in contact with my clients face to face. Several emails and lots of questions later we have planned the perfect session at the perfect time and at the perfect place. My thinking never stops and my lists are never ending throughout this entire process.

3. Gear check!

Before the actual session takes place there is a ton of things I need to make sure I have ready before I can meet my clients. My gear is obviously a very important part to my business. It is not the end-all be-all of how wings work but without it I would be lost for sure! Checking to make sure things are working properly and are clean are just some of the steps I take to make sure I am prepared. Having a backup camera and battery and a "plan B" is something never to take for granted. Photography gear is just that- gear. It's not a brain or a fool proof method to anything. Having backup plans and back up gear is an essential part of this business. Having it all in tip top shape is the next step. I check my gear before each and every session- even if I had a session the day prior. You never know when things are going to fail.

4. Props?

Well for those that follow my work, you will know that it is very rare that I use any type of props at my sessions. I always try to use natural props or things that enhance the portrait rather than take away from it. Client requests are always taken into consideration and I love that people sometimes will have great ideas for themed lifestyle sessions. Because, as you know, I do everything completely customizable. So, bottom line? Making sure I have all the props I need and making sure they are clean and ready is obviously very important.

How I Prepare for a Photography Session: Part One | El Dorado Hills Children Photographer
How I Prepare for a Photography Session: Part One | El Dorado Hills Children Photographer

5. Research!

This one is super important. I am in constant "photographer mode" when I am driving around. There is nothing I won't do to get a great location if we need it! I want the background to your portraits to match your style and vibe of your home. No small detail goes unnoticed when it comes to the location of your photography session. And, on any given day you can spy me catching up on my cartoon themes so I have some background knowledge when I go to sing them to your children. Or- you can catch me reading my son's Scooby Doo joke book so I have fresh joke to tell to get a laugh. You could also say that anything Disney is my forte so I have plenty of kid knowledge in my back pocket.

6. Tricks of the trade!

Photographing kids is probably my favorite part of this job. I love getting families the artwork they deserve for their homes. I love getting that great "money shot" where everyone is looking at the camera and smiling. But, for the most part, the kids are the best. With some cool tricks I have up my sleeve we usually have tons of fun. Some of my tricks may even surprise you! Naming my pet "giraffe" who lives on my camera is kinda fun for the little ones and the stickers they just may get in the end of the session can make any kid happy!

How I Prepare for a Photography Session: Part One | El Dorado Hills Children Photographer

Bottom line is, no stone goes unturned to make sure I am prepared for your session. You can bet that what ever you want I will probably be able to do (or at least consider!). And, if you have no idea what you want thats ok too because I love surprise sessions. To do this for people every day is surely a dream come true and it makes my heart sing.

Want to know more? Go ahead and contact me today to discuss the finer details of your next session! I can't wait to hear from you!

Much love,

Heather

_________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

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How To Take Better Pictures: Part Three | Placerville Family Photographer

"Every artist was first an amateur." ~Unknown The three most important things a photographer needs in order to take a photograph are a camera, a subject and light! It's funny because we don't usually think of the third one very much. But for obvious reasons, light is surely a necessity! If you don't have light you cannot have a photograph. Sometimes your camera will help you get light in dim situations (i.e. the flash) and sometimes you can add light yourself (i.e. lamp light or other alternative light). You can also just rely on the environment to give light to you (i.e. the sun or the moon). Today we will talk about the third option, taking light from your environment and making it work for you. I think every photographer knows that this is a life lesson that never stops. Learning how to manipulate light in your environment is not only challenging, it is very intricate and difficult to explain. The best way to learn it is to just experiment with it. Try different angles and see how it works for you. See what you like. Here are a few examples to get you started.

1. Side light.

Side lighting is just that: light that comes from the side. There are tons of ways to get this type of lighting. You will see it often inside homes next to your window. You can also see this outside next to a building or in a doorway when you half in the light and half in the shadows. Sometimes your subject will fall completely dark inside the shadows and other times they won't. But placing your subject just in the middle is the important step here. Anything else and it becomes a different type of light. Trust me. There are many!

How To Take Better Pictures: Part Three | Placerville Family Photographer

How To Take Better Pictures: Part Three | Placerville Family Photographer

2. Back light.

Back lighting is something that takes a while to master. When you have the light coming into your camera from in front of you a couple things tend to happen. You can get lots of glare and haze if you are not careful. And, as you can imagine, your subject will become dark because the light is behind them! You can make this work for you by making your subject a silhouette but sometimes that is not what we want! Sometimes just moving a few inches from left to right will make a difference on how the light shows into your camera. Here are some examples of mine.

How To Take Better Pictures: Part Three | Placerville Family Photographer

How To Take Better Pictures: Part Three | Placerville Family Photographer

So go out there and experiment with light! It is so fun to be able to know how to manipulate and mold the light to do what you want. Not only that, your pictures will thank you for it.

If you missed my last two lessons please feel free to take a look. It is amazing what wonderful things you can accomplish with just a few tips under your belt. First you can learn all about composition and when you are ready go ahead and read about how simple backgrounds can make your subjects pop.

Lastly, if you think this is all fun to read but are not ready to take it on yourself then please don't hesitate to contact (me!) the professional so I can do it all for you! Contact me today so we can schedule your dream session!

Much Love,

Heather

_________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

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How To Take Better Pictures: Part Two | Placerville Children Photographer

We all know that photography is art. It is a very subjective type of art just like all other forms of art media but there is a good way to go about starting out and a not-so-good way about starting out. The good way is to learn the rules. For some people it can take years to learn photography. Everyone not only learns at their own pace but they learn different things at a time making it a really intricate type of art.  Those of us from the photography industry know that it takes a lot to be happy with your own work. Sometimes, I myself, go through periods of self doubt and then the next day I will feel better. It really depends on your personal learning curve and what you are learning. I have compiled a few things that I think will help anyone take a photo better. Whether you are taking portraits of people or pets or the field next door to your house- all of these learning tricks will make a difference in your own personal work. If you joined us last week we talked all about composition in How To Take Better Pictures: Part One. Composition is really important to your photo- it tells the viewer where to look in the photo and it makes things either pleasing or not based on what your mind likes to see. Please go back and read it if you haven't because I think it is a very valuable lesson.

This week we will explore how to focus on your point of interest and make it look more appealing. For most people the point of interest seems really obvious. If you are taking a picture of a person then that person is your point of interest right? A lamp on a table or a flower on the ground, the main object in your photo that you want everyone to see is the point of interest.

But what if you have an idea of what you want others to "see" in your photo and they don't see it right away? What have you done wrong? Let's explore some scenarios that make sense.

1. Make sure your background is pleasing and not distracting. What is a background and what makes it pleasing? A background is any part of the photo that you have taken that is behind your point of interest (your subject). If you take a portrait of a person at the park- the background is all the trees and the bushes behind them. The key to a good background is one that is uniform and not too busy. You want your subject to stand out but also be separate from the background. When they blend too much you don't have a good solid portrait. Sometimes people forget to check to see if there are any "tree branches coming out of heads" or other distracting elements in the frame. The best photographer will sometimes miss this. Sometimes just stepping a couple feet to the right or left can make a huge difference. Let us look at some examples.

In these photos- there are nice pleasing backgrounds. The first one has a solid color and no distracting things are surrounding the subject. It forces the viewer to see what you want to them to see- the subject.  The second photo also has a solid background and forces you to see only the subject on front and nothing behind.

How To Take Better Pictures: Part Two | Placerville Children Photographer

How To Take Better Pictures: Part Two | Placerville Children Photographer

2. Make sure your subject stands out from the crowd. It is really important that people know what you want them to focus on. Sometimes there are too many distracting elements to a photograph and it won't allow your viewers eyes to settle on what you think is the most important thing in the photo. Also, contrasting colors can help too so things stand out a bit more from the rest. When we are in "snapshot" mode the background is not really important but when taking a portrait it is an certainly something to consider.

How To Take Better Pictures: Part Two | Placerville Children Photographer

How To Take Better Pictures: Part Two | Placerville Children Photographer

Well I hope these things have given you an idea of what it means to have a good background when photographing your subjects. Sometimes we get so focused on our subjects that we forget to think about the details in the rest of the image. A good photographer will know how to do this well. That being said- if you like the photo then nothing else matters. All of the "bad" photos that I have taken are still important to me because they remind me of a time and place that I never want to forget.

Portrait photography is my passion. It is so important to me that I make you look good. I will not rest until I can get that perfect shot. If you want me to do this for you then please contact me today. I would love to make a custom family portrait session just for you. It is what I do best!

Don't forget that this weekend is my kid's photography class. If you want your child to be a part of it then contact me ASAP so they can get on the list!

Much Love,

Heather

_________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

Follow me:

www.floydfamilyphotography.com

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How To Take Better Pictures: Part One | Placerville Family Photographer

So as I am in the midst of getting ready for my kids photography class coming up, I have had a ton of requests for an adult class as well! Of course I teach an adult class that goes way more into depth but why wait? I decided to give you a tiny taste of the things that are taught not only in my kids photography class but the adult class as well. Super fun and super informative either way! So if you have an inkling to learn more then please contact me and we can just schedule it! Adult classes are fun and can be one on one if you so desire. Today I decided to teach you a little about composition. What is composition you ask? Well Webster's dictionary defines composition as some crazy thing that I just can't repeat! It really isn't that complicated as it is made out to be. So we will ignore that. Composition is the way you arrange the items in your photograph so that they are pleasing to the eye. Easy right? Well, for some, yes composition can be easy to "see" but there are rules we must follow. And when you get really good you can even break the rules and people will still like what you have done. But, don't think you can get away with not knowing the rules first. This is art people! It is very subjective.

Today the rule I will discuss is called the Rule of Thirds. In the photography world we abbreviate that into three letters: ROT. ROT is the easiest rule in my opinion to get down. It is very black and white. People can "see" this one the easiest. The idea is that when you divide your portrait into three sections you place the subject of your photo into the 1/3 spot. What? No one said we were going to be talking about fractions! Let me break it down for you al little bit better. Here is an diagram of the ROT rule.

How To Take Better Pictures: Part One | Placerville Family PhotographerNow, this is separated into three sections each from top to bottom and left to right. The idea is that if you place your subject anywhere on the lines, and most definitely where the lines cross you will have a good ROT portrait. It will be pleasing to the eye and it will help the viewers look around the photo. This is a very basic concept and it really is great once you get the hang of it! Here are some examples of mine to get you started. Super fun and easy to do.

How To Take Better Pictures: Part One | Placerville Family Photographer

How To Take Better Pictures: Part One | Placerville Family Photographer

How To Take Better Pictures: Part One | Placerville Family Photographer

So go ahead and start experimenting with your photos and see if you can't retrieve the same results! I am an open book so ask me any questions you want and I will answer. Most importantly have fun with this and stay tuned for another installment of this series coming at ya next week. We will be exploring more about composition and other techniques that will give you the ability to take better pictures.

How To Take Better Pictures: Part One | Placerville Family Photographer

If you are interested in getting your kids into this class and having some fun please let me know as spots are filling up quickly and preregistration is required. I can't wait to do another one of my adult classes either so if that is something you are interested in then please let me know so I can give you the details.

And as always if you are interested in me taking your portrait rather than you learning then don't hesitate to give me shout out for this too! I love making people's dreams a reality in photos.

Much Love,

Heather

_________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

Follow me:

www.floydfamilyphotography.com

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Happy New Year! | Children Photographer El Dorado Hills

"Rivers know there is no hurry. We shall get there SOMEDAY." Winnie the Pooh So it's a new year and it's a time of quiet reflection and decision making. Time for all those new year resolutions to take place if you have them. Time for thinking about the future and not dwelling on the past. As I sit here and think about all the things that I have to be thankful for over the past year I am just overwhelmed. All the things I have learned over the year and all things I was able to be present for just because my new job has allowed me to be that way. It is all priceless. So in remembrance of the last year I just want to say thank you to all my new friends and clients. You are all so important to me. More than you know. I am so thankful to have met and worked with each and every one of you that I can't say it enough. I can't wait to see what the new year brings and I am so excited to get going its unreal. My goals for 2015 are much bigger than those from last year but, I want to also remember the wise words of Winnie the Pooh. I will get there someday. Thank you again for all those people that have helped me in this past year and guided me through my first year as a full time photographer. I can't wait to start again!

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If you are wishing to have a portrait session of your own this coming year don't hesitate to contact me as soon as you can. You won't be sorry you did!

Much love,

Heather

_________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

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Custom wall art for your home | Placerville Children Photographer

Often people wonder what to do with the wonderful portraits they have purchased after their session. In my opinion you should feature them in all areas of the home you live in! If there is available wall space I will find it! Trust me! There are more places than you think available for your beloved portrait wall art. What is really cool is that you are allowed to change it up every now and then based on how your tastes change. The wall art then becomes an awesome heirloom piece for your children to cherish for years to come.  Here are a few examples of some clients homes with their portraits in them. This may just inspire you to get more portraits placed in your home. Whether in a front entry way, a living room, family room, bedroom or hallway, there are plenty of spots that will work for you too. Custom wall art for your home | Placerville Children Photographer

Custom wall art for your home | Placerville Children Photographer

Custom wall art for your home | Placerville Children Photographer

Custom wall art for your home | Placerville Children Photographer

 

Starting to visualize what your portrait wall art will look like in your home? Good! If you like these options and want to see more then please contact me to schedule your next session. I can customize anything to match your needs for your personal space.

Much love.

Heather

_________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

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How to prepare for your photography session | Folsom Family Photographer

I am always asked this question and so I thought I would share some tips with all of you. How do you best prepare for your next professional photography session? There are many questions that people have when it comes to this to let's begin to explore what is involved in the process. Folsom Family Photographer | Placerville Children Photography

1. Pick a photographer

Yes! You first must choose a photographer that you are moved by and one that you would be excited to work with. How do you know that? Please refer to my previous post in regards to this matter. There is a lot to be considered when choosing the best photographer for you. 

2. What type of session do you want?

Ok so this obviously has a little bit to do with what type of photographer you find is best for you, but truly it is a really important question! Do you like studio photography or outdoor portraits with natural light? Do you like a more lifestyle portraits or posed portraits? Choosing what you like best will help you determine not only your photographer but it also can help you determine other aspects too. Determine what you think will look best in your home when its finished. If you have a more modern taste then studio photography might be for you whereas if you have a more natural earthy vibe then an outdoor session may be for you. These are not values that are set in stone so bottom line is that you have to choose what best fits your personal style.

Placerville Lifestyle Photographer | El Dorado Hills Children Photography

3. Where will this take place?

Ok so if you have chosen the "studio" route then obviously this step can be eliminated for you. However, if you prefer outdoor settings then you really need to start thinking about what is most important to you in the outdoors. Is your favorite place the beach on a hot summer day - or at sunset when its calm and dreamy? Do you like the forest with all its natural beauty? Do you live in the midwest where there are great plains everywhere? Do you like to play sports? How about a cool baseball diamond for some neat lifestyle portraits? Is this just too much for you to decide? Don't worry! Your photographer will likely have tons of options for you and if you want you can let them do all this for you. Part of a photographer's job is to know where to go and when so you don't have to. But if you want to have a hand in choosing where your dream session takes place please don't hesitate to ask! A good photographer can go anywhere and take good portraits for you.

child photography | children photographer placerville

4. What do you wear?

The most often asked question is, "What should I wear?" This is such a personal choice and throughout history the best "what to wear" recommendations have surely changed over time. The best thing about it is that is a personal choice! There are some basic recommendations that will never change. Don't wear white!! Don't wear anything with a large logo! Don't have clothes that EXACTLY match. Matching colors and textures is helpful if you can but most importantly you also have to be comfortable. Here are some recommendations I have found to help my clients on what to wear on my pinterest page. Your photographer can't pick your wardrobe for you and its also very possible that your photographer won't edit out a lot of bad wardrobe choices on your part without charging a lot of extra money. Editing out something large like a hat or a large print on a a shirt takes a lot of time and I am sure they will want to be compensated for his/her time. Choosing the right wardrobe in advance will help greatly.

5. Prepare your kids!

A lot of work goes into a session from start to finish. The last thing that anyone wants is a child who won't cooperate or have fun during the session. Plenty of times there is a way to prevent this. If a parent is stressed out about a session because they are nervous to be in front of the camera, then the children will be the same way. They mimic what you do in everything. Its really hard to be calm when you're not but putting on that brave face will not only help you - it will help your them too. Explain the process to them a couple days in advance and talk about it often. Eliminating the unknown will ease fear. Telling them it will be over soon also helps because depending on the age of the child they often don't have a good concept of time. Bribe them if you have to! Make it so they are comfortable and cooperative. All good photographers will have a couple tricks up their sleeve to help calm you and the kids down but no one can work magic if there is not a good foundation present. ;)

children photography | children photographer placerville

6. What products do you want?

Understanding what you want to get out of the session in terms of product will help you greatly when the session is over. Thinking ahead of time about this will speed this process up tremendously. do you want wall portraits? Do you want digital files? Do you want a lot of gifts for family and friends? No idea? Let the photographer you chose help you through this process. Any full service photographer will know how to help you figure out what you want. That is their job.

I hope these tips will help you when getting ready for your next professional photography session. If you have any further questions about this please don't hesitate to contact me or better yet- just schedule your custom session today. I would love to talk to you in person about these things in your consultation so book today.

Much love.

Heather

_________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers

Heather Floyd NAPCP

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www.floydfamilyphotography.com

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How to choose a photographer that is best for you | El Dorado Hills Family Photographer

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How to choose a photographer that is best for you | El Dorado Hills Family Photographer

So what is the best method for searching for a photographer that is best for you? People are always asking me how hard it is to find clients these days. With more and more people being able to afford fancy cameras it can be really easy to find someone that will take your photographs for free or very cheep, but as with anything you experience in life- you do get what you pay for. I am not here to talk to you about how important it is to get professional photographs and spend a lot of money on a photographer but what I am here to tell you about is what kinds of options you will most likely face out there and how best to choose between all of them. If I type in "photographer" or another search term like "best photographer" or "cheep photographer" in the google browser I will get MANY results. There are hundreds of local photographers...

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