Archive for 'Photography Tips'

February 9, 2013

I continually tag this awesome family in the “what to wear” category of my blog posting… Mom has got family outfits down to a science.  I have done… what, almost ten?, photo sessions for them in the last three years since Mom was pregnant with big brother B, and she never runs out of ideas.  The trick to making everyone look good together is in the not making everyone match part of the game.  What I tell clients is to pick an inspiration clothing item that has a few colors in it.  It can be a printed girls’ shirt, or a striped or plaid boys’ shirt, or even in a scarf that an adult wants to wear.  Then, take these two or three main colors & go through the closets of everyone else in the family, and pick things that have similar colors & shades.  If the original striped shirt happens to be red and gray, then one family member can find a gray sweater, Mom can wear a red flowered something or other, and so on.  Mixing simple patterns with plain colors is a good move, too — in a family of four, a couple patterns & a couple plain clothing items are a good combination.  And below, when Mom switched baby L into that cute pirate shirt, he’s the only one with something busy on his shirt.  Everyone else has on simpler stuff, which is nice… it doesn’t make family photos too busy.  When in doubt, go through magazines & look on Pinterest or in Google images, and you’ll probably find lots of great ideas for coordinating family photos.  Planning out your clothing in advance is huge — since you’re investing time & money in family photos to begin with, it’s just another way to make sure that you feel confident about the end result.  I don’t want anyone throwing out the photos I take because “I can’t believe I wore that.”  🙂

On a separate note, I had a ball with these four at the library last weekend.  I can’t believe what a big kid B is getting to be, and how much personality little L has already… at barely four months old!  Seriously, M&A, it was a pleasure.  Always is with you guys!

Aren’t these boys adorable?  And below, B is such a good big brother… we asked for his help making baby L smile & although it might not have worked in this spot, B was so concerned about L.  Super cute!

The downtown library is so beautiful.  Here’s “one for the scrapbook,” too… such gorgeous stained glass in this place!

Since we’re at a library, of course we have to read books.  B got so excited about reading the train books we pulled off the shelves for him.  So excited that below, he even looks a little confused as to how he’s supposed to read if he has to hold his baby brother simultaneously:

Okay, now to the actual reading:

Love love love this pirate shirt Mom put on baby L:

We probably have a photo somewhere of B sitting in this same chair two and a half odd years ago!

I love those sweet brother cuddles!

Yeah, and then this kinda signaled the end of the session… okay, L, you were patient for over an hour & a half.  We can be done now.  🙂


Thanks again, Mom & Dad.  So much fun to see how huge the boys are growing!

xoxo Amy


December 15, 2011

I got a call the other night from a client family that needed written permission to print my session photographs.  Usually when I get phone calls like this, I slightly die inside, because they tell me that Walmart or Shutterfly will not print photos without it.  But this family quickly became one of my favorites when they told me that Dublin Cord Camera was the guilty party! 🙂

At a time when photo gifts are at a premium, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of printing your photos professionally.  There are so so so many places to choose from, and there are a few easy ways to tell if a photo printer is worthy of your holiday photo gift to Mom or Grandma.

  1. If the store specializes in something else, their printing investment probably won’t cut it.  Walmart, CVS, Walgreens… you get the idea.  These are not photo printers.  They are other types of stores/companies that happen to print photos.
  2. If the store promises 1 hour service, chances are… well, same as above.  There are a few exceptions to this.  Cord Camera (a professional lab here in central Ohio) does have a 1 hour turnaround time for their glossy prints, and their more-desirable matte finishes can be done same day (but not one-hour).  More on finishing in a few minutes.
  3. If the store offers photo books and gifts starting at $5.99 (many large websites), they work for the masses and specialize in quantity, not quality.  If you want quality, look elsewhere.  Shutterfly and Snapfish fall into this category of less-than-par photographic printing.  I’m sure there are many other quantity-not-quality labs that fall into this, I’m just not aware of all of them out there.

Having said that, I know I may have eliminated many labs that my clients use.  So where to turn?  Cord Camera in Columbus is the best local resource we have.  They have stores all over central Ohio and if you’re interested in quick turnaround or local pickup, this is who you want.  They’ve got a user-friendly website that you can upload photos for ordering & indicate where you want to pick them up.  (And no, Cord Camera is not paying me to say this… but I would be open to it if they would, because I’m such a believer!)

However, Cord Camera can get pricey, especially if you want prints bigger than 8×10.  I use a few other sources for different things.  I print out my hugest enlargements at  I recently ordered an 11×14 for a beautiful matted frame – a holiday gift, of course – and I paid less after shipping with PE than I would have with Cord.  Not all of PE Photo’s prints are professional grade, so you have to be careful, but if you choose wisely, they do an awesome job.  And for those of you who think that pro labs are for the snooty, PE Photo is 99% of the time cheaper than Walmart (even after shipping)!

And then there’s Radium Photo (, where your prints are printed if you order them through me.  This lab is up in Michigan, and they have their perks, too.  They’re generally midway in pricing between PE & Cord, and they do an awesome job.  It may be petty, but I specifically print with them for my business because they have the rounded-corner die-cut wallets that are perfect for clients to give out to their friends and family.  Nothing looks more professional.  Their larger prints are just as stellar and the public has the option of printing through their website, too.

There are countless professional labs that are out there that aren’t open to the public, and I will tell you that I use these pretty frequently (all my press-printed products & albums, at the minimum) but I think the above sources are reasonable for my client base and a good starting point no matter who you are. 

One last word, and if you get anything out of this post, get this:


No matter where you print, you should have this option.  If you don’t have this choice (i.e., they only print in glossy finishes), RUN!  As a general blanket statement, my style of photography – the natural, laughing family photos that I adore – demand matte or lustre printing.  I prefer the latter, lustre prints, but at the minimum, go matte.  A good lab, with a good finish… there’s nothing that beats this.  Stand back and appreciate your beautiful photo product!

A side note… if you have problems printing your session disc photos, there is a disclaimer on the front of the disc that gives you full printing & web-sharing rights.  If you still have problems or are printing from your hard drive & have lost the disc, please feel free to call! I can help you get a new authorization of release.

Let me know if you have any printing questions that weren’t mentioned here… and happy holiday photo printing! Xoxoxo Amy

(and a couple photos… because I can’t post an entry without them!)