Create a Gallery Wall in an Apartment

Creating a gallery wall in your apartment is a wonderful way to infuse your space with personality, style, and visual interest. This versatile design element allows you to showcase your favorite artworks, photographs, and treasured items, turning a simple wall into a captivating focal point.
In this ApartmentGuide article which we were featured in, we share nine expert tips to help you design a stunning gallery wall that reflects your unique taste and creativity. So whether you’re selecting the perfect pieces for your rental apartment in New York, NY, or your townhome in Boston, MA, these tips will ensure your gallery wall becomes a striking and cohesive statement that enhances the beauty of your apartment. Be sure to check out Artful Arangements: 9 Expert Tips for Crafting Your Apartment’s Gallery Wall.

Article written by Ryan Castillo/Redfin with collaboration from Innovative Images and other photographers.

Do Not Choose a Busy Pattern for a Professional Headshot

We suggest to our clients that they do their very best to avoid busy patterns. Here’s why. Our philosophy is that YOUR FACE, your expression is the star of your headshot. Everything else, the clothes, the background, are supporting actors. By the time your images get to LinkedIn or a casting website, they are going to be so small that it will be really important for your face to be thing that draws attention. In those situations, you don’t want want a busy, crazy shirt distracting the viewer. I would love to show you some samples of clients that have come in with the absolute wrong clothing, but I wouldn’t want to embarrass anyone! I can fix many problems, but a poor clothing choice is tough!

Busy patterns, bold colors, and wild accessories definitely have their place in business and lifestyle portraits. For your basic headshot, we recommend that you pick a classic piece in a solid color that complements your natural complexion.

If we pair that with a complementary background, we create the style and color harmony that will make your headshot, and most importantly, your FACE, stand out.

Make Up Tips for Portraits

  1. LIGHTEN UP. Avoid going too dark in your foundation shade. Have your shade professionally matched to your skin tone as close to the day of your shoot as possible. This really matters!
  2. MATTE IS A MUST. Especially for your cheeks, stay away from shimmery powder, no exceptions. For eyelids, keep shimmer strictly to the lids.
  3. PRIMARY FOCUS. Primer is essential for keeping makeup intact! It’s like the base coat of a nail manicure. Oil-free versions are best and also sensitive skin-friendly.
  4. SAY NO TO SPF. Primer and foundation should be SPF-free. Formulas containing sunscreen cast a ghostlike glow with the camera flash or reflector.
  5. LINE UP. When lining eyelids, start in the center and work your way to the outer edge. Lining the entire lid will cause the eyes to appear smaller. Use a slanted brush with a dark (but not black) shadow to line the lower lids.
  6. MORE IS MORE. Camera lighting will wash out colors, no matter what. Don’t be scared off by a dramatic finished look. It won’t photograph that way unless you have gone overboard. Your makeup should be a bit more intense than your every day look. Please avoid too much eyebrow pencil but do fill in your brows for a natural look. Eyebrows frame your face so a delicate balance it absolutely critical.
  7. BLEND, BLEND, BLEND. When it comes to concealer, cheek contouring and eye shadow, a quality set of brushes is key. The camera will highlight and pick up on unblended edges, creating a clow-like look. Unblended concealer will highlight fine lines.
  8. MELLOW YELLOW. To set makeup, choose a yellow based powder rather than a translucent powder Much like SPF formulas, translucent powders cast a white glow when photographed.
  9. AU NATURALE. Always have makeup applied in a natural light. This will be the best indicator of how it will look when photographed. Please wear a little make up even if you do not normally do so because a totally natural look can really make you look washed out in photos. We love natural looks, but a little lip color, cheek color, brow pencil, and mascara will go a LONG way!

10. SAY NO TO SPIDER LASHES. The worst mistake that people make is wearing long, fake, thick eyelashes. Your eyes will disappear in the shadows of the spider like lashes. If you are dead set about falsies, keep them shorter and less thick than normal. I promise you..eyelashes can ruin portraits and no amount of retouching can repair the damage. I wish I could post some of my clients who have made this tragic mistake but I wouldn’t want to embarrass anyone. Too much mascara can have the same negative effect. Mascara is great but do not apply it over and over making the lashes stick together and look clumpy.

11. USE COLOR HARMONY. Think about what you are wearing and select lip and cheek colors that blend with your clothing. A complementary nail color is essential too. For example, if you wear pink, do not use coral shades for lips, nails, etc. If you are someone who doesn’t like pink on your lips, you should avoid pink clothing too. It’s probably not your best look!

11. PRACTICE RUN. Don’t let the day of your photo shoot be the first time to try new products. Trial runs are essential to creating the perfect final look!

A Sample Senior Photo Shoot

Senior photo shoots at Innovative Images start with a decision regarding what type of session a person desires. We base our sessions on how much time and travel needed to achieve a client’s goals. We offer a 1 1/2 hour session which normally allows for three clothing changes and no locations other than our studio setting which includes indoor and outdoor areas. The session fee is $100. and must be paid in advance to schedule a date/time. We also offer a 2 hour session which allows for another clothing change and a location within a few miles of our studio, if desired. This session fee is $150. Our final offering is a 2 1/2 hour session which includes 4-6 clothing changes, studio areas and locations. See the link at the bottom of this posting for online booking.

During the session, Kurt will help determine what a client should wear and the best background for the outfit. We do have a dressing room where clients can place their clothing and freshen up between changes. If multiple clothing options are being used on location, we find a place to change or use our vehicles. It always works out! Kurt does all sorts of poses in each clothing choice allowing for lots of creativity and options. He will do close ups, full length, smiling, serious looks, etc. Clients love the way he takes charge and helps them look their very best.

Depending upon the session, you will see between 50-100 images at the order appointment which is typically 2-3 days after the session. Prior to arrival at the order appointment, Kurt will review the pics and narrow the choices down to the best ones so clients will not be overwhelmed. He will delete those in which eyes are closed, etc. In addition, Kurt picks his very favorite images and does a little retouching so clients can see what the end results will be.

Check out these photos of a Super Safari session done in February, 2024. You would never guess it was in the middle of winter! Part of this photoshoot was at Adriatica Village in McKinney and the others were done at our home studio.

Senior Photo Session – 1 1/2 Hours

Changes in Professional Photography for Family Portraits

Back in the 70’s and 80’s, almost every professional family photo was taken indoors. Popular portrait studios like Olan Mills and JC Penney had a corner on the market. There were many individually owned brick and mortar photo studios too. At that time, the photographer had to have an understanding of lighting and posing in order to be successful. Many photographers had their own darkroom for film processing. Retouching was possible, but it was a process! Most of the time, the photographer would send his/her film to a professional lab for retouching specifics. It was a lengthy process but the results could be absolutely stunning when it was done correctly.

We opened Innovative Images in 1992. We did all of the things detailed above, but we were young and open to change. We started using Photoshop from the very beginning and it was definitely rogue. We remember the very first time we saw a digital camera at a professional conference. It was incredibly expensive and the results were VERY POOR. We knew the digital technology wasn’t up to our standards, but we watched as things progressed rather rapidly. We ended up buying our first digital camera a few years later and used it specifically for business headshots because the images were not good unless they were very small. In 1998, we rented a very expensive digital camera to use for a family portrait session of a high profile celebrity. The client ended up ordering beautiful, large wall portraits from indoor images we created and our journey into digital photography was off and running.

Never could we have imagined the introduction of the cell phone camera. This invention allowed everyone to have a digital camera on them all the time. Many people decided they no longer needed professional photographers or printed photos. Family photos shifted to almost exclusively outdoor settings and the lines of what constituted a professional photographer became blurred. Today, digital cameras are everywhere and many “pros” actually use a cell phone during their sessions. Believe us when we say that there is a difference in the output of digital cameras but mostly the difference in high quality work is still the result of a high degree of understanding in lighting, posing, and retouching.

Our goal is to provide a true professional experience and unbelievable results. We are always learning and growing within the profession and we hope to continue creating gorgeous, meaningful family photography no matter what changes in the world of photography occur. While we love outdoor family portrait sessions, we do offer indoor sessions and the results can be stunning and dramatic when done right. In fact, there seems to be a resurgence of good, quality indoor photography reminiscent of what was produced 50 years ago but better. In addition, clients are loving beautifully done printed, tangible portraits instead of bunch of digital images that get lost and unappreciated. More on that in a future blog post!

What to Wear in a Family Portrait

In the old days, photographers might have told a family to wear something like all white and denim or all black. Easy, YES, but good, NO! Seriously, how many families go around looking like clones? We want your family portrait to be a natural look but there are things to consider. Here are some do’s and don’ts!

*DO these things:

1.Come up with a plan for the portrait session. Do not allow each person to just show up in their favorite clothing. Color harmony and mood is important.

2. Wear colors that would look like a great accent in your home. In other words, if you decorate in gray and blue, don’t wear colors such as red, hot pink, burgundy, etc. Stick with neutral tones that will blend with your home’s decor.

3. Wear clothes that somewhat match each personality yet blend with the family. Solid colors mixed with very small prints containing the solid color choice and jackets, vests, etc. are usually a nice look.

4. Wear layers, jewelry, etc. to highlight each person’s unique style.

5. Women should wear a little make up! You can look sick and pale with nothing to highlight your face! I know you want to look natural, but a little makeup is a great thing.

6. Wear a variety of textures.

7. Wear colors that go with the natural background of the season. (Ex: Do not wear springlike colors in a fall landscape)

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*DON’T do these things:

1. Wear bold patterns ESPECIALLY bold stripes!

2. Wear WHITE especially if you’re the only one! You’ll be too bright and overpowering.

3. Wear short sleeves if you are even a pound overweight. Trust me on this one. We can help the situation in the retouching process but help me by not doing it and help yourself because your arms will look bigger than you think.

Wear socks that will show such as little white athletic socks!

Wear a mix of light and dark colors. Choose either light or either dark or all neutrals on top. PLEASE AVOID SHIRTS LIKE NAVY AND WHITE STRIPES, ETC. This is an absolute killer.

Use this chart to help you come up with a color scheme!

This family did a beautiful job of mixing textures (sweaters, lace, quilted vests, jacket, etc.) In addition, they look perfect in the fall background. There are at least 3 people in off white which is good because if there were only 1, that person would have been the focus of the group. Everyone has on a NEUTRAL color scheme that is similar to option 6 above. They go together but each has their own look! What a gorgeous family portrait!

Senior Pics for College Grads

Most people used to consider a full on senior portrait session as something specific to high school seniors. That is no longer the norm! College seniors are celebrating their accomplishments with senior portrait sessions on their respective campuses. We know that college shapes lives in very profound ways therefore recording graduation with professional portraits is a special way to remember this amazing time of life.

Each spring we schedule local college seniors at schools such as North Texas, SMU, TCU, Austin College, University of Oklahoma, UTD, etc. Call us for more details!

Here are a few of our favs from Emily’s session on the campus of the University of Texas Dallas.

Is it Time for a New Headshot?

HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU UPDATE?

As a general rule of thumb, headshots should be updated every two years. Hopefully you are not one of those people who don’t look like their headshot or worse, your headshot looks dated. Everyone changes and your headshot should too!

Below are 3 instances when you should think about updating your headshot.

  1. YOUR APPEARANCE HAS CHANGED

Sometimes weight fluctuates, or you have a new hair color and/or style. You always want your headshot to represent your current look. This benefits you personally, as well as those people that you know, the people that you are getting to know, and the people you want to connect with.

  2. YOU HAVE A NEW JOB OR HAVE CHANGED INDUSTRIES

An updated headshot brings attention to your new role, so you want to spruce it up to look the part you now represent. If you have a job that lends itself to a casual look, your headshot should reflect that. Conversely, if you need to have a business dress look, bring on the coat and tie for men and a nice, long sleeved dress and blouse/ blazer for women E

3. YOU NEED MULTIPLE LOOKS

You may not want to use the same headshot for different events, such as your headshot on your company website vs. your headshot for speaking at events. In addition, a different expression may be needed for different uses.

Do you wear glasses a good amount of time and would like one of your headshots to be with your glasses on? Let us know and we can accommodate that request as well as create something that will look completely different for your many uses.

Clothing styles and jewelry choices can look dated if you’re not careful. Stick with timeless choices so you are not victim to outdated looks.

The photos below were taken only 2 years apart from one another and look at the changes!

College Choice Mini Sessions

Deciding upon a college destination is a huge decision! The choice made will shape an adult’s life in many ways. We wish all of you who are in the process of deciding great wisdom!

Once a high school senior decides where he/she will attend college, a mini photo session may be the perfect way to celebrate and document the decision. Seniors LOVE putting their photo wearing college spirit wear on the back of their high school announcement. Our custom designed high school graduation announcements are stunners!

We offer a 30 minute, add on senior mini session for $50. (photos not included) These sessions are designed for those who did senior pics with us previously and wish to add on either college choice photos, graduation robe and hat photos or prom dress/suit photos. Give us a call @ 972-335-3686 to arrange yours today.

If you did not do senior photos with us, but wish to do a basic senior photo session with 3 clothing changes, 1- 1/2 hours, we can incorporate your college choice photos into the session. (Session fee is $100.and does not include photos. Book HERE

Make the Most of Your LinkedIn Headshot

We take hundreds of headshots each year so we know a bit about LinkedIn headshots. To help make sure you get the most out of your new LinkedIn headshot, we wanted to share these tips with you.

Linked-In Headshot Tips
  1.  Zoom In – Linked in isn’t an app focused on sharing quality visual media. Generally, it’s about networking. It doesn’t have the ability to view, inspect, and enlarge photos like some of the other social media apps. This means that your profile photo is TINY. Even if you do happen to click on someones profile photo, it doesn’t really enlarge that much. Make sure that you crop in as tight. We will give you multiple crops of your headshot including one for LinkedIn. Be sure to ask Kurt if you’re interested in this. You will make sure that people can see your face while they are scrolling.
  2. Keep it simple – There is a big difference between branding photos and a LinkedIn headshot.  Given that, in a branding photo, you may want to consider something with an interesting background or scene if your image is being featured in a magazine or on a website. Alternatively, your LinkedIn profile photo is a tiny little “hello” to show off your face and expression. It’s hard to get that across if your head is two pixels wide and you are surrounded by plants. Accordingly, stick to a solid, out of focus, or non-distracting background. Let your face be the focus of the shot and don’t forget to zoom in. 
  3. Try a pop of color – I can tell you after 15 years in the business, that the most popular background color for a headshot is WHITE. One reason is that companies like all their employees to have a matching background and white is universally offered. I will say that unless the photographer knows what he/she is doing, your white background may end up being a mess. As you know, there are thousands of shades of white. A professional will make sure the white is 100% true. We prefer a neutral gray, but know many of you request white, so we do it frequently. Since so many people use a white or light gray background, you can make your LinkedIn headshot stand out by wearing a pop of color. Catch the eye of people scrolling by your post with something extra by including a colorful blouse or tie in your next headshot session. You could purchase two poses during your headshot session which could include a more traditional color scheme and another with the pop of color.

Make sure that your headshot is impactful, recognizable, and stands out from the crowd if you are really looking to polish up that LinkedIn profile,

Need an Updated Headshot?

That being said, need to update your Linked Headshot or business headshot? Use this link to BOOK NOW!