Category Archives: family

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.

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!

All About Cotillion

You may have heard of cotillion but wondered what it entails. It came to America around 1772 and is alive and well today.

We photograph our local Cotillion spring balls each year. There are seven balls with approximately 130 participants at each ball over the course of two days. The balls are the culmination of a six week course where students are taught how to be respectful, polite members of their communities.  It’s about looking someone in the eye when you speak to them, holding the door for the person walking in behind you, and asking someone who’s standing alone at a party to dance.

The word cotillion was first used in 18th-century France and England to describe a dance choreographed for four couples at a ball. Today, cotillion is typically a season of etiquette classes for middle-school-aged children that ends with a final dinner dance where they get to show off what they’ve learned.

Most of the attendees are around twelve years old in our area. They learn the waltz, fox trot, cha cha and other ballroom dances. They also learn how to greet others with a handshake and a proper “hello.” Table etiquette is another subject covered in the course. Using good manners is a continuous theme throughout Cotillion.

The first rule of cotillion etiquette is to abide by the dress code of your local cotillion class. The dress code usually requires a dress and gloves for girls and jackets ties for boys each week. Boys must have their hair combed, shoes polished, and fingernails clipped. Chewing gum at cotillion is a cardinal sin.

Check out this link https://nljc.com/ to find out more about Cotillion in your area.

The formal pics below are a sample of those that were taken by Kurt Nelson, Innovative Images, during the recent Dallas area Cotillion Balls.

Skin Tone and Color Selection for Headshots

Are you contemplating what color(s) you should wear for your headshot session? You are not alone! One of the most time-consuming parts of preparing to be photographed is deciding on the outfit you want to be wear. Below, we have outlined how to get started with the most important part: choosing your colors.

First of all, check with your company to make sure they don’t require a certain color. It is wise to select something that will look great with your company logo. For instance, if your company is red and navy, a poor choice for your clothing is pink because it will clash. In addition, you may want to identify which skin tone category you fall into — warm, neutral, or cool.

First, take this quiz!

Then, do the vein test!  Check the veins around your wrist & palm:

  • If they appear greenish, you have warm tones
  • If they appear blue or purplish, you have cool tones
  • If they appear colorless or match the skin, you have neutral tones

Also, you can determine your skin tone by recalling the way your skin reacts to the sun:

  • If you tan easily, you have warm tones
  • If you are able to tan or burn, you have neutral tones
  • If you burn easily, you have cool tones

Complementary Colors for Warm Skin Tones

Orange, Honey, Amber, Gold, Olive, Turquoise, Cream

Avoid vibrant tones like Deep Red and Indigo. Some of these colors are quite harsh for headshot photography (bright orange) but  could look great under a jacket as a camisole for women or in a tie for men. Do not confuse the turquoise for royal blue!

Complementary Colors for Neutral Skin Tones

Light and soft colors like Rose, Jade, Gray, Sky Blue

Avoid Neons, Yellows, and Reds.

I see the above color choices as a secondary color selection under a jacket, etc. Gray is ALWAYS a better choice that white as the secondary selection. AVOID WHITE no matter what your skin tone is!

Complementary Colors for Cool Skin Tones

Emerald, Ocean Blue, Purple, Lavender, Cherry Red

Avoid Orange and Yellow. Who would want those colors anyway in a professional headshot?

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Family Portraits Boost Self Esteem

Experts say Family Portraits have a Positive Effect on Children’s Self Esteem

We all love having family portraits adorn our walls, however, experts say hanging portraits on your walls is serving a much higher purpose.

An interesting, and rarely discussed aspect of family photography, is how it instills our children with more confidence, and self worth. When asked,  How can family portraits assist in boosting a child’s self-esteem?, Dr. David Krauss, a licensed psychologist from Cleveland, Ohio said,  “ It is so helpful for children to see themselves as a valued, and important part of a family unit.  A photographer’s job is to create, and make the image look like a safe holding space for kids, where they are safe and protected. Kids get it on a really simple level.” Krauss is one of the earliest pioneers in using people’s personal photography and family albums to assist in mental health counseling and therapy. He co-authored “Photo Therapy and Mental Health” in 1983 that is considered a founding text for the use of photography in therapy.

Additionally, Judy Weiser, a psychologist, art therapist, and author says, “It lets children learn who they are, and where they fit,”  Weiser has spend more than 20 years  using photography to aid in treatment for her clients. She is considered to be the foremost authority on a treatment technique called PhotoTherapy. “They learn their genealogy, and the the uniqueness of their own family, and its story. When a child sees a family portrait with them included in the photograph they say to themselves: ‘These people have me as part of what they are, that’s why I belong here. This is where I come from.’”

Digitals or Prints?

Which will have the greatest positive impact for your child?

 It has become more common for us to enjoy, and store our portraits and photographs solely on our digital devices. So, we are left asking ourselves, Do digital images have the same positive impact on a child’s self esteem?  In response to that question, Dr. Krauss states, “My bias is very simple. I think they (family portraits) should be on the wall. I am very conservative about self-esteem, and I think placing a family photo, someplace in the home where the child can see it every day, without having to turn on a device, or click around on a computer to find it really hits home for that child this sense of reassurance and comfort. They have a certainty about them, and a protecting quality that nurtures a child. It lets them know where they are in the pecking order and that they are loved and cared for.”

The importance of printed photographs displayed in your living space was echoed by other experts.

“Displaying photos prominently in the home sends the message that our family and those in it are important to one another, and we honor the memories we have experienced,“ says Cathy Lander-Goldberg, a licensed clinical social worker and a professional photographer in St. Louis, Missouri and the director of Photo Explorations, which offers workshops to girls and women using portrait and journaling for self-reflection.  

Additionally, Dr. Krauss recommends having photographs of that child with their family placed in the child’s bedroom so it can be among the last things they see before sleep and the first thing they may see before beginning their day. “It says we love you, and care about you. You’re important.”

You have family doctors, dentists, and stylists, but who do you have documenting your family’s journey? Who is capturing your milestones? Your biggest moments? The cherished times that you want to be able to press pause on, and savor? If you don’t have a family photographer, now is the time to change that.

Imagine, having one person, who knows your family, memorializing your legacy. We cherish our lifetime clients. Getting the opportunity to celebrate the moments that make life so beautiful, year after year, is what makes our work incredibly meaningful.

 

We took this sweet young lady’s senior portraits.

 

Fast forward several years, and we were capturing her engagement.

And now we have the absolute pleasure of taking both of her daughters one year old portraits. And we are looking forward to being there for many more precious moments to come. 

 

We’d love the opportunity to be your family photographer. We are experts in preserving Your life, your love, your legacy. 

 

Bluebonnets – a Texas Tradition

“Where flowers blossom, so does hope.” ~ Lady Bird Johnson

Spring is just around the corner, and we are all patiently, (or in my case, not so patiently), awaiting her arrival. For Texan’s, the official announcement of spring will be broadcast by the spectacular Bluebonnets adorning our fields and roadsides. We’ve endured a wet winter, which should ensure massive amounts of bluebonnets to enjoy as the sun returns. Many Texas families have made a tradition of taking family pictures amongst the fields of blooms. If you haven’t joined in this fun Texas tradition, it’s never too late to start! 

 

 Bluebonnet Fun Facts:

In 1901, the bluebonnet was adopted as the state flower. 

In the 1930’s, the Highway Department began planting bluebonnets along state highways.

Texas was the first state in the nation to plant flowers along the highways.

Texas State Wildflower Day is celebrated every April 24.

Bluebonnets peak bloom season actually is May to July

There are actually five species of bluebonnet, and all are accepted as the state flower.

 

In the 1970’s, Lady Bird Johnson, encouraged all Texans to scatter wildflower seeds along the highways, resulting in the remarkable display of bluebonnets along our roadsides.

 

This is the year to join in the fun, and document Spring with this longstanding Texas tradition.

 

 

 

 

 

Keeping your LOVE Alive in Portraits

February is upon us, and love is in the air. Everywhere we turn we see hearts, flowers, and chocolates. But do we see our love documented in current portraits? Or do we have to reach back through the years to that engagement photo, or wedding album? Of course we cherish those memories of days when our love was young, but what about now?

Years of marriage and togetherness have deepened our love, given us a new definition of romance, and probably a very different idea of what, “Happily Every After,” truly looks like.

Celebrate your love, at every stage. 

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How to Prepare for an ENJOYABLE Family Portrait Session

People tend to get apprehensive, anxious, even panicked when they decide to schedule a family portrait session. Sadly, many people chose not to document their lives, and milestones, because of the stress they feel it will bring. This is a decision that they will undoubtedly regret, when the kids have grown, and the time has passed.

We are here to tell you that planning, preparing, and the entire portrait experience can actually be enjoyable, and a whole lot of fun. We’ve been in this industry for 25 years now, here are 5 simple tips to take family portraits from stressful to successful!

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1. Keep it SIMPLE : Clothing should be simple, no bold patterns or bright colors. Medium tones, such as shades of gray, blue, or beige are great choices. You can add accessories, such as hats, scarves, jackets, or, necklaces to make the wardrobe more unique.

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2. Consider your home Decor: Your family portrait is a piece of artwork that you will proudly display in your home. Clothing choices that compliment your style, and color palette are ideal. Will you be hanging this portrait in a room that is formal with ornate decorations? Or will this portrait lovingly adorn the walls of your intimate living room that is very casual? Answering these questions will help you decide how to dress for your portrait.

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3. No Coaching: Refrain from trying to prepare the kids with specific instructions for the portrait session. Our experience has taught us that kids who received, ‘smile coaching’ from loving parents prior to the session, don’t do as well as those who just show up, and go with the flow.

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4. Give Yourself TIME: Allow plenty of time to prepare on theday of the session. Unnecessary stress prior to the session affects the entire mood of the family, and in turn, the feel of the portrait.

5. Unplug: Leave cell phones and tablets in the car. Sessions are only one hour. It is a great time to connect, reflect, and be present with your family.

Family Portraits can be an exciting, and fun experience. Step back and consider how precious capturing this moment, forever in time, truly is. Choose to make it enjoyable for yourself, and your family. Set the intention when you book to fully enjoy the process of documenting your legacy. That’s a choice you certainly won’t regret.