Haselhorst Photography: Blog https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog en-us (C) Haselhorst Photography [email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:34:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:34:00 GMT https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/img/s/v-12/u682094531-o476818480-50.jpg Haselhorst Photography: Blog https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog 120 80 Capturing Everyday Magic https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2019/1/capturing-everyday-magic

Capturing Everyday Magic

I have always loved taking pictures.  I got serious about photography when the gorgeous girl pictured above made me a mommy.  Even though I am a professional photographer, my kids still do not like having their picture taken any more than yours do!  People say to me all the time, “Your kids are more cooperative then mine about pictures.”  I honestly do not think that is true.  If anything, they get sick of me always busting out the camera.  So how do you get nice pictures of your kids with natural smiles?  I have written about this topic before from the perspective of getting an uncooperative toddler to smile.  Please click on this link to be directed to this topic.  This blog post here is more about getting older kids to smile.

  1. Wait for the right mood!  We all know kids, just like adults, can be moody.  Telling a kid to put down their Nintendo Switch to take a nice photo is never going to get the results you want.  I like to catch them when we are sitting around the living room talking and laughing.
  2. Ask permission with a purpose.  I rarely take photos of my kids without asking them first.  When I ask, I always give a reason. “Can you help me take pictures for a blog post for my job?”  “I do not have a single picture of the two of us together this year.  We need to capture these moments.  Can we take a picture.”  “Can we take some nice photos at the park for Mother’s Day.  It would mean so much to me?”  Now you have given them some say, but framed it in a way to get the yes.
  3. If you keep getting told NO, get to the underlying cause.  Tweens and teens can be very self-conscious about their appearance.  I can not tell you the number of times a kid has refused to smile for me because of braces before we chat about it.  If they are self-conscious, talk about it.  Sometimes getting it out there diminishes the feelings.  Reassure them that you will not share a photo on social media without their approval.  Also, talk about what you see when you look at them.  Most kids will smile when their mom is gushing over their baby.
  4. Try deploying an interest or novelty to get them to take pictures.  Capture a few great shots before they start playing baseball.  Grab the family cat and say you want a picture of them together.  In the first smiling photo above of my daughter, she is looking down at our cat.  I also put a white sheet over both our heads making a kind of tent to take these photos.  She thought it was fun.  This novelty helped elicit her real smile, not the “no more pictures Mom” face.  

I hope these ideas inspire you to capture some every day magic with your kids.  As we all know, time is just going by too fast!  I am also happy to help you capture these moments.  Please reach out to setup your appointment today at [email protected].


[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2019/1/capturing-everyday-magic Mon, 21 Jan 2019 20:57:32 GMT
Mommy & Me Mini Session May 5th & 6th https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2018/1/mommy-me-mini-session-may-5th-6th Mommy and Me Mother’s Day Mini Sessions.  This session is a perfect gift for the mom who is always taking the pictures, but never in them.  We will have a cookie picnic and snap some sweet shots of you and your kids.  Mom just gets to enjoy a nice moment with her kids and will even leave the event with a gift certificate for a manicure. 

Here is an example of what the custom cookies will look like, please note this is not my photo.


[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2018/1/mommy-me-mini-session-may-5th-6th Mon, 08 Jan 2018 14:43:54 GMT
Box Sessions!!! https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2018/1/box-sessions I am so excited to introduce this fun alternative to outdoor shoots.  This is a perfection idea for winter birthdays, Easter Pictures, or just because it is fun!!!  I look forward to hearing from you to book this session today.


[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2018/1/box-sessions Sun, 07 Jan 2018 19:43:33 GMT
New Year, New You https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2018/1/new-year-new-you Happy New Year!  Let's seize the opportunity that a fresh slate offers for an update.  Haselhorst Photography is proud to partner with Blushing Bride Hair and Make-up for a full service head shot event for women.  This exciting event will take place Feb 2nd and 3rd.  Please see the flyer below for more details.  I can't wait to hear from you!


[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2018/1/new-year-new-you Sun, 07 Jan 2018 18:33:57 GMT
Tips for taking great senior photos! https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2017/12/tips-for-taking-great-senior-photos Over the last few years photographing some amazing young adults, certain patterns have emerged to get the most out of your photo shoot.  Please read through the following tips to help you prepare for your shoot.

1) Know what you want before the shoot and share it with me.  Do you want to highlight your interest in a specific sport, have a favorite downtown location you want to include, or do you want to do an out of the box 1950’s Rockabilly themed shoot?  All of these things are possible, but not if you wait to tell me at the start of the session.  I need to plan for lighting, timing between locations, and to make sure we can get a variety of angles and expressions.  If I know beforehand, I can already have our shoot laid out for maximum impact when you show up.  If you surprise me with new requests, I can accommodate you but it will not be as polished of a final look.

2) Check out Pinterest for ideas.  Pinterest or other photo websites are fantastic for helping you decide if you want a more casual or formal look, what type of background you are drawn to, and what type of poses you like.  One word of caution though about Pinterest ideas.  If you show me a picture done in a garden with a mansion clearly in the background and the girl is wearing a Versace Gown with professional hair and make-up, that is great.  Do you own a Versace Gown, have access to a mansion, and plan to get professional hair and make-up beforehand?  This is why talking through the shoot with the photographer beforehand can really help.  We are trained to notice the details and why you are drawn to a type of photo.

3) Do not bring an entourage to your shoot.  It is best to bring one parent and that is it.  Most people get uncomfortable if their entire family is watching them closely having their picture taken.  This leads to forced smiles and the senior just wanting to the shoot to be over with rather than focusing on getting the look they wanted.  Also, bringing friends to a shoot is an equally bad idea.  I guarantee too much time will be spent taking selfies and them giving us a “new great idea” for a picture to try.  Shoots generally last an hour and with an outfit change we are already down to 45-50 minutes of actual shooting time.  Do you really want to waste another 10-15 minutes talking/taking selfies with your friends?  It would be better to just meet them afterwards and give them the run down.

4) What to wear???  The typical shoot involves two outfits.  I encourage at least one of the outfits to be a classic casual look.  You want something that fits well and has a timeless vibe to it.  No one wants to look back in twenty years (when this photo is still being displayed at your parent’s house) and see huge baggy jeans, purple converse, and a coordinating flannel.  That may or may not have been the look that was cool twenty years ago when I graduated high school.  The second outfit can be more trendy, or highlight your interests.  Here are a few bullet points to follow when picking outfits:

                A) Keep it Visually Simple - no wording on t-shirts, wrinkles, or loud patterns

B) Consider what colors look best on you.  Solid colors tend to photograph better.  Darker colors can be slimming, but a quality fabric and good cut are always more important.

C) Accentuate the positive.  If you are uncomfortable about your arms, do not wear a sleeveless shirt.  Again, quality fabric and good cut are so important to looking your best in photos.

5) Grooming is good, but not the day before your photo.  You should get a haircut, eye brows waxed (if you do that), or try a face mask to look your best.  All of these things should happen a week or so before the shoot.  That will allow time to fix a bad haircut, give any red skin a chance to calm down, and a break out from a face mask time to subside.  On a related note just before your shoot, pay special attention not to get sunburned.  That is a tough edit.  Also, drink plenty of water.  It helps your skin look its best.  Do not try and pop a zit the day before a shoot.  Zits are an easy edit, redness from aggravated skin is much harder to make look natural.

6) When applying make-up, remember you are young and gorgeous.  You do not need a ton.  If you want it to be more glam, feel free to up the blush and eye make-up by 30%.  However, avoid sparkly eyeshadow, shiny lip gloss, and SPF in your foundation.  All three of these things tend to reflect light and leave white spots.  Bringing blotting paper or a translucent powder is also a good idea to keep shine at bay.

7) Guys need a fresh shave unless you want 5 o’clock shadow in the photoIf you have some serious facial hair also consider using a real razor verses an electric.

[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2017/12/tips-for-taking-great-senior-photos Thu, 14 Dec 2017 18:13:06 GMT
Tips For a Fun Photography Session and Great Pictures Afterwards https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2017/6/tips-for-a-fun-photography-session-and-great-pictures-afterwards

Tips For a Fun Photography Session and Great Pictures Afterwards

Over the last several years working with dozens of different sizes and ages of families, I have gained some sage wisdom (I hope) that I would like to share with you to get the most out of your photography session with me.

  1. When booking a session, choose a time that has the best possible light which works for your family.  The golden hour, the hour right before sunset or after sunrise, is the best possible time to take photos.  Here is a link to an article about why this light is so much better.  However, if you are taking photos in June, sunset is at 8pm, and your 1 year old turns into a crying pumpkin at 6pm, that is not the best time for your family.  In this case pick a location that offers ample open shade. 
  2. Choose your outfits wisely  before the photoshoot.  What look are you going for? A soft color pallet, casual, or darker richer colors?  I highly recommend spending a few moments looking at examples of family photos that speak to you. Pinterest and photography websites are a great resource.  Also, please do not wait until the night before or the day of to choose your outfits.  I can almost guarantee a child will have outgrown a pair of shoes, a shirt will have a stain that you had forgotten about, or you will miss a lot of small details.  That approach raises your stress level and will make this process less enjoyable.  Here is an article I wrote about how I pick my family’s outfits.
  3. Give yourself enough time.  It is not a good idea to run to a family photo straight from a soccer game and changing in the car on the way over.  It is hard to look polished if you do not have the time.  Also moms, give yourself enough time to do your own hair and make-up.  Here is a link to an article I wrote about make-up in pictures.
  4. Wash your kids’ faces and have them brush their teeth just before leaving the house!  Kids are the best at getting dirty and picture day is no exception.  Sure I can edit the dirty spot on your kids face in post, but the better we can look before editing, the more natural and beautiful the photos will look.
  5. Never give your kids a messy snack or ones that can stain their teeth.  Teeth are a hard edit in post due to the large and unique variations people naturally have in color.  You would be surprised by the amount of time I have spent trying to fix Goldfish cracker stained teeth!  Honestly, orange Goldfish crackers are the worst. 
  6. Choose to enjoy yourself.  Taking a family photo can be a tough sell for some kids and some dads!  If people show up stressed or half angry to be there, it will certainly show in the final product.  Talk with your family about how these photos will be a legacy for your family, how taking a nice photo is a way to show how much they care about one another, and how choosing to be a willing participate will make the process enjoyable for  everyone.   Choose Happy!
  7. If we are not getting smiles and willing participants, then take action.  Bring something fun to do during the shoot.  Blow bubbles, play a card game, or have dad give the kids a piggyback ride.  Pictures of your family engaged with one another smiling is much better than a forced smile sitting still.


[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2017/6/tips-for-a-fun-photography-session-and-great-pictures-afterwards Thu, 22 Jun 2017 16:38:25 GMT
What I see https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2017/4/what-i-see

[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2017/4/what-i-see Mon, 24 Apr 2017 15:59:40 GMT
Photo Gift Idea https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2016/12/photo-gift-idea This time of year gift giving is on everyone's mind.   Some of the most challenging people for me to buy for are my parents and my in-laws.  They really do not want/need more stuff.  I want to to show them how much they mean to us.  It is from this desire for meaning that this particular photo gift idea was born.  I have had the idea to do this composite (merging of several photos) for some time.  One of the challenges was I wanted it to be a surprise for them.  PLEASE keep my secret until Christmas if you know my in-laws!  This past Thanksgiving they were not able to make it, but all their grandchildren were there, so I seized the moment!  Here is the image I made.


I am in love with how this turned out.  Although at first glance you might think I lined up all the kids in front of the red fence and took a group picture, this gift is actually a series of individual photos that I merged into one.  By taking a series of individual photos I was able to focus on each child, making sure they were looking and giving a nice natural smile.  If you love this idea as much as I do, here on some things to consider before you start taking photos.

1)  How large do you want your final print?  I knew I was going to take 2x3 photos of everyone and that my final print was going to be a nonstandard size of 16x6.  I know a great local/professional shop that can do nonstandard sizing for me.  I also know this means a custom frame job.   

2)  How many people are in your photo?  This answer combined with your final print size will have you doing a little math.  Do not worry I have faith you can figure it out.

3)  Keep the backdrop/lighting the same.  The first three older kids needed to kneel down in order to take a photo in front of the same part of the fence as the littler ones.  I also made sure to take all the kids' photos one after another in open shade.  I did this so the lighting would be uniform in the photos.

4)  Keep the camera settings the same.  This is where shooting in auto mode might hurt you.  If the camera is doing the thinking for you, it might make different decisions from one child to the next.  I made sure my f stop (the amount of light I let in to the camera) was the same for all eight children.  I also used a higher shutter speed 1/200.  I did this because little ones fidgit a lot and you want to freeze them without any hand blur.

5) Take the same type of picture of each child.  I kept my zoom and distance consistent with each child as well as having them hold their letter in relatively the same spot.  This will make editing the composition much easier later on.

6) When cropping the photos for the composition, use the rule of thirds.  If you are not sure what the rule of thirds is click here.  By lining up the eyes with the rule of thirds you will keep them all relatively level in your photo, giving the allusion that everyone stood still and smiled nicely for the camera at the same time.

7)  In order to merge all these photos onto a new layer backdrop I used Photoshop Elements.  Crop each individual photo to the same size.  Open a new blank document with the dimensions you worked out earlier.  Select each individual photo, hit control C and then on the new blank layer, hit control V.  Your photo will now appear on the new layer.  To move it into place/resize it, use control T.  Repeat with all subsequent photos.  There is free photo editing software out there if you do not own/want to purchase Photoshop Elements, however, I am not familiar enough with any of it to offer a recommendation.

8) Put your own stamp on this idea.  You could have the children all hold a sign saying something they love about their grandparents or have all the kids lined up with their bare feet showing and a secret message written on their feet.  The sky is really the limit when it come to creativity.

I hope you enjoy my example.  I would be happy to help you create a one of a kind composite for the grandparents in your life.  Contact me today to set up a session.  [email protected]

[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2016/12/photo-gift-idea Sun, 04 Dec 2016 23:24:10 GMT
Back to School Mini- Sessions https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2016/8/back-to-school-mini--sessions

[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2016/8/back-to-school-mini--sessions Tue, 16 Aug 2016 16:14:04 GMT
New perspectives for a better vacation photo https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2016/6/new-perspective-for-a-better-shot Summer is here!  I know many of us doubted it would ever arrive.  Now that the kids are out of school and summer vacations are underway, I thought I would share a few ideas on perspective to help your family vacation photos.  I am going to use a few photos my family took on a recent day trip to the "big city" as my kids like to call it. 

This first photo is what I like to call the "standard vacation shot."











We all have pictures of us like this as kids where the family members are these itty bitty figures in front of something famous.  Here are my kids at Buckingham Fountain, but really they could be anyone's kids.  It is an overall nice shot of the fountain, but not of my kids.  If you really want a nice shot of the fountain, then just take one of the fountain.  After you get your fountain shot then take a close up one of the people you care about.  Like this for example:











Here you can see enough of the fountain to know what it is, especially when paired with a nice shot of just the fountain.  You will also notice I took these pictures at noon on a sunny day (which if you have read my blog before you know it is the worst time of day to take photos).  But real life cannot just happen during the golden hour, so I used my flash to fill in the light.   This keeps their faces properly exposed.  Lets get back to perspective.  What if you want the impossible? You want the whole fountain and to be able to tell it is your kids in the photo?  Well you can try something like this for example:













Here you can tell my children are the focus and get a nice complete shot of the fountain.  I increased the distance between the kids and the fountain quiet a bit.  I also used the rule of thirds to draw attention to them.  What is the rule of thirds?  It comes from the golden ratio based on the Fibonacci sequence.  This is a perfect example of how art and math are interrelated.  The rule of thirds in a nut shell states that an image should be divided into nine equal boxes.  Then you make sure to compose the image so that the object of significance (people) should be placed where two of these intersecting lines meet.  Here is the same photo with the rule of third lines on it.


























I hope this way of composing a photo gives you some great family photos with a few breath taking backgrounds on your next vacation!










[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2016/6/new-perspective-for-a-better-shot Mon, 20 Jun 2016 00:22:31 GMT
Last Day of School Freebie! https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2016/5/last-day-of-school-freebie

It’s that time of year again, the end of school.  I am so looking forward to the grind of school being done with for a bit.  I love lazy pajama mornings with my kiddos, swimming at our local pool, taking fun road trips to the city, or strawberry picking.  However, as we approach the last day of school I have a picture idea/activity for you.

Most people take pictures on the first day of school and I encourage you to take one on the last day as well.  If your child can wear the same outfit, it is fun to see how much they have grown and changed that year.  I personally have my kids hold a small chalk board with “Last day of XX Grade” written on it.  I always include these pictures in our family’s photo books.  They really help tell the story of our year.  I have made a little something else to add that I think will be fun.  I have a “My School Year” survey for them to answer.  I would love for you to have it too!  I am going to have my kids write them in their own handwriting and then scan them in and add it to our book.  You could also take a picture of the sheet and upload it or just keep it in the front of your photo book.

Life goes by so fast!  It is so easy to forget the small memories that make life so beautiful.  I hope this survey helps you and your children treasure a few more of those little memories. 


[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2016/5/last-day-of-school-freebie Sun, 22 May 2016 16:29:04 GMT
Spring Mini Session Details https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2016/4/spring-mini-session-details

[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2016/4/spring-mini-session-details Sat, 09 Apr 2016 13:01:53 GMT
Fun photo location idea https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2016/3/fun-photo-location-idea I love documenting my kids and our life.  I feel like we are in this perfect little bubble in time right now.  They are young enough that I am still cool and they need snuggles at bed time, yet out of diapers and old enough to make it to the toilet when they are sick.  I am living the dream!  One thing we love to do, and have since they were in diapers, is go to our local library.  It is "our place."  I decided I needed to document my kids in "our place" so I brought the trusty camera along.  Here are a few shots I took that day. 

You will notice in the first one she is ignoring me.  That is exactly how I wanted it.  This is my girl doing what she loves best.  This is how I catch her very often at home and certainly when we spend time at the library.  I will miss when this is not "our place" any more.  We have spent so many mornings before lunch and nap time here.  Now that they are older it is our Friday after-school treat.  I just wanted to document this time in "our place" together. 

The second shot was posed.  I thought it would be interesting to get a shot of her with all the books in the background providing those fun leading lines.  Then I asked her to look up and give me a smile.

Where is "your place" with your kiddos?  Bring your camera along next time.  Maybe you like doing craft projects together, so take pictures of the process.  Sit quietly with your camera for a few minutes and watch them draw or paint and then snap them in the moment being creative.   Maybe grocery shopping together is your thing or you have a favorite restaurant you always go to. 

You will probably get a few weird looks when you take out a real camera in these situations, but who cares.  I know I did at the library when I busted out my big camera with my external flash.  (That is why my pictures are not yellow from the florescent lights by the way.  I used an external flash.  We have a great library with terrible yellow lighting.)  If you do not have an external flash you could always put your child near a big window and snap away.

I love these pictures.  I feel like they really capture my girl, this special time and the importance of our everyday.  Stop and think about where "your place" is with your kids and make sure to bring the camera along next time.

[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2016/3/fun-photo-location-idea Wed, 16 Mar 2016 12:10:41 GMT
My photos are blurry HELP! https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2016/2/my-photos-are-blurry-help We have been playing in the snow and sledding a fair amount in the last few days.  It occurred to me how tough getting a good picture of my kids sledding down the hill can be.  As if getting a nice picture of your kid is not hard enough.  Let's add to the madness by making them come hurling at you and you have to dodge them and half a dozen other kids.  Then there is also the fact that you are freezing and probably have to take a glove off to take the picture.  Because of all this, let me provide you with several ideas to help you take better clearer pictures of your kids when they are moving, whether it be sledding or running to make a basket on the court.  These tips will be helpful anytime motion is involved.

Tip #1: You will need to leave auto mode.  I know that is a scary idea, so maybe take half in auto and the other half out of auto. When your camera is in auto mode it is doing all the thinking, not you.  You may have your eye on your kid sledding, but the camera decided the patch of grass showing through the snow was the focus and now your picture is blurry.

Tip #2: Use "s" mode or shutter speed (ss) for action shots.  This mode is available on point and shoot camera, you do not need a DSLR to learn about shutter speed. This mode allows your camera to do a fair amount of thinking, but leaves you in control of two things shutter speed and focal point.  Let's just deal with shutter speed for the moment.  The faster your object is moving the higher you want your shutter speed set at.  For example, if I have two adults sitting still I would shoot at 1/80, or with little kids sitting still I aim for 1/120.  Kids fidget and wiggle a ton, so you need to up your shutter speed to compensate.  Now if I am taking pictures of a bike race or a kid sledding I will try 1/500 to begin.  If you are getting nice results, try backing off and lowering the shutter speed.  The lower the shutter speed, the more light you will be able to let into your camera and the brighter the photo.

Tip #3: Where is your focal point?  Have you ever taken a picture and it looks great on your LCD, but then when you load it on the computer the tree next to your subject is crystal clear, but your subject is soft (blurry?)  That is probably because you let your camera pick the focal point.  Your camera can only focus on one spot. It is not possible for a lens to focus on two spots at the same time.  When you look through your viewfinder, you see a bunch of dots or small boxes. Those points show you where you are focused.  If you do not see those points check your manual to see how to turn them on.  This is critical information for you to have when picking a focus point.  This is another reason not to use auto mode.  Your camera will not let you change your focal points in auto mode.

Tip #4: Make yourself into a tripod or use a tripod.  Ideally you would use a tripod to eliminate your hand shake on the camera.  Lets be real for a moment.  I am not taking my kids sledding with a tripod.  So instead turn yourself into a tripod by tucking your elbows in tight next to you sides.  This will help minimize your hand shake and make the picture clearer.

Tip #5: Take lots of pictures!  I do not take six pictures and hope they come out and neither should you.  Have you ever noticed when you have your pictures taken by a professional they take hundreds of pictures, but you only see dozens?  That is because not every shot turn outs for anyone!  So the more pictures you take the more likely you will be able to get a shot like the one on the left instead of the one on the right!

Good luck and happy sledding!


[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2016/2/my-photos-are-blurry-help Wed, 17 Feb 2016 13:22:49 GMT
Let's get organized! (Well let's try) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2015/12/lets-get-organized-well-let-s-try I have been asked a few times this holiday season how I organize photos.  I thought that since the New Year is all about new beginnings, this would be the perfect time to share a few ways you can start off 2016 a little more organized (at least when it comes to your photos).  The good news is any digital camera adds dates to your photos in the data, so when you upload it does so in chronological order.  Also, many people make albums on social media sites like Facebook by season/family events.   When going back to organize photos from the past, I would rely on these tools.  However, I suggest not trying to go back and organize everything at once, especially if you have never done any organizing.  I suggest starting with setting up 2016.  Get your organization system down and then go back bit by bit when you have time.  This is the same method I suggested for making photo books in a previous blog post.

I love making photo books for several reasons.  First, it keeps piles of pictures from just sitting there.  Second, it helps give your precious images context.  Lastly, it is something I do for myself.  Obviously, I love taking pictures.  To print out every cute shot of my kids or pictures of every little day trip to the zoo or the city would be too much.  Who has that many frames!?  I love making a book for each year.   This allows me to print all these great shots, but also give them meaning.  For example, when my daughter lost her first tooth, I have a page from the day she lost her tooth.  It also has several cute backyard pictures of my kids playing with one of the big grins sans tooth.  I then wrote the date in below the picture.  I love being able to tell the whole story of the day and have a place to write down the date of this milestone so I will not forget.

Back to organizing your photos.  First you need to regularly download them!  I was with someone this fall and they told me they missed taking many pictures at their youngest child's birthday party, because they had over a 1000 pictures on their camera that weren't uploaded!  People, that is crazy.  If you fall into this category, this is the first step to getting organized.  Download those photos regularly.  I do not have a set time/day I always do downloading.  I am a picture nerd who likes to organize, share, and work on my photo books.  However, if you are less nerdy then me, might I suggest adding in a "download photos/organize them" on your "to do list" for after a big party just like cleaning the dishes or after a vacation just like unpacking and doing laundry.  You could also set a reminder in your phone once a month on a Sunday evening or another quiet time in your life.

Actually organizing the photo on your computer is not that hard, if you download them regularly.  I organize by season.  So I will have four folders for this year Spring 2016, Summer 2016, Fall 2016, and Winter 2016 (this folder will also hold January and February pics from 2017).  I prefer organizing by season rather than month because as time passes between me and these life events it makes the pictures easier for me to find.  I can not always remember what month a vacation happened in, but whether it was hot or snowing I can handle.  Then within the season folders, I will have several subfolders of big events like vacations, birthdays, or special outings like our annual trip to the pumpkin farm.  I do not keep every photo in a subfolder.  Lots of the small every day moment pictures are just under the seasons/year folder.  As time passes I take my four season folders and put them in a folder just with that year's heading.  I also tend to organize my work photos in a similar manner.  Every family has a folder by last name.  At the end of the year, I put all of those folder into one folder with the year's heading.

Finally, I recommend printing photos and backing them up on an external hard drive.  One of my fellow preschool moms dropped her phone in the toilet and lost three years of her kids pictures she never downloaded/backed up!  I would be heartbroken just like she was to lose so many precious memories.  Electronics are fragile and things happen, please save to multiple sources and get yourself hard copies of ones that are really meaningful to you.

I certainly do not have the only method for organizing photos.  I have found after years of serious picture taking this method has worked nicely for me.  I do tend to get asked by lots of family to email pictures to them after the fact.  That is an easy task for me, because I can quickly find the photo in question.  This also makes creating my photo books much easier.  Lastly, I love to go back and look at picture of my peanuts from when they were little and enjoy their cuteness.  Who doesn't like doing that!?  Now enjoy a few photos of my peanuts from what seems like just yesterday, but was really almost three years ago!  Time really flies doesn't it?



[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2015/12/lets-get-organized-well-let-s-try Thu, 31 Dec 2015 21:20:20 GMT
A Little Christmas Card Inspiration https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2015/12/a-little-christmas-card-inspiration It is that time of year again, ladies and gentlemen.  It's Christmas time!!!  It is probably not a shock that I love sending photo Christmas Cards and receiving them.  (I get super excited if I get a card that I also took the photo for, but I am a photography nerd.)  In case you do not share in my jubilation and have not done your card or even thought about what to do, let me help you out with a few photo ideas!

Idea number one:

I love that this photo features the "reason for the season."   That phrase gets bounced around a lot, but it is important.  I think keeping the focus is a goal that we all strive for with our children.  In addition to the message, this particular set up does not require your children to be looking at the camera.  My daughter was actually going over all the names of the figurines with my son when I took this photo.  So, if your little ones do not like looking at the camera, this might be the photo idea for you.


Idea number two:

This idea is also a good choice for kids who do not like to look into the camera.  This one will also probably work on the anti-picture crowd too.  Dress them up in their Christmas jammies, add a cute elf hat, and tell them to write their Christmas List.    Most kids only need to be told once to work on their Christmas List, and then they are off and running. 

Also, a few other things to keep in mind when taking your own Christmas photo: have your space set up and ready to go.  Your kids will only sit for so long. Remember that they are kids!  Also, have your kids ready to go.  Do not start taking pictures and then realize you want to brush their hair.  We took these at the end of the day and my kids' hair was a mess (hence the hats.)  In our house we do a Christmas count down of activities. Some days we do little things like singing "Jingle Bells", and other times we have bigger activities.  One of the activities is to take Christmas pictures. This helps get the kids in a more cooperative mood if this activity is in the mix of lots of Christmas activities.

The last thing to keep in mind is to make this fun.  If your picture does not look just like mine, that is OK.  I probably have nicer gear than you and have spent a lot of time learning how to use it.  This activity is about getting the best picture you can.  If you want more technical specs on these photos, please contact me, and I will be happy to share.  I generally keep this forum more about ideas that anyone can use with a point-and-shoot camera.  If you live in the Downers Grove area, I would be happy to come to your home to take similar photos of your little ones. Have a joyous holiday season


[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2015/12/a-little-christmas-card-inspiration Tue, 01 Dec 2015 20:13:32 GMT
"I just want one nice picture of my kid!" - A How To https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2015/11/-i-just-want-one-nice-picture-of-my-kid---a-how-to Have you ever thought to yourself, "I just want ONE nice picture of my kid!"  Chances are that thought has passed through your mind at least a dozen times this month.  Welcome to the club.  We all have thought that to ourselves, including me.  Believe it or not my five year old is totally unimpressed that people pay me money to take their pictures.  He does not like to sit still or give me a nice smile, just like your kids. 

I have tackled this topic before on my blog in different ways here and here. Today we will be talking about how to get them to stop for a moment at the park and catch a few sweet pictures.  Many of the rules are the same as my prior blog post Small Miracles: How to get a three year old boy to smile for the camera.

However, we are going to modify and add a few steps to help us in the outdoor setting.  Here is a scenario where you take your little one(s) to your favorite local park. 

1) Do not immediately go for the gold and try to snap your pictures.  Your kids just go to the park to play.  Let them check it out for 10-15 minutes before asking them to sit still for a picture.

2)  Tell them your expectation to take a nice photo before getting out of the car.  I use this technique in parenting in general.  I tell my kids they are expected to "sit quietly and listen" every week before we go to church.  We also tell them before going into restauraunts, "You only get one bathroom trip.  Use it wisely."  I find most kids if given expectations beforehand do pretty well with them 90% of the time.  Tell your kids before you exit the car, "After we play at the park for ten minutes, Mommy is going to take a few nice pictures of you and then I will push you on the swing as a thank you for going something I want to do."  If they do not sit for a moment, do not push them on the swing.  Try this technique next time.  If expectations are new, they might need a few tries to understand.

3) Have they recently snacked?  It is amazing how blood sugar levels can make or break your attempt.  Make sure they are not almost in need of a snack or give them a snack before the shoot.

4)  Know where you want take the picture.  Is there a cool tree or a rock you want them to sit by?  Think through this step before you have them stop playing.

4a) When looking for a place to snap a picture during the middle of the day when the sun is high in the sky, find open shade!

5)  Have them sit!  Kids are constantly moving and you will buy yourself some more time.  Ask them to sit for a picture rather than stand still.

6) Make it a game.  There are lots of ways to do this.  One of my favorites is "crazy face/nice face."  Have them make a silly face and take a picture.  Then ask them to smile nicely.  Then ask for a surprised face.  Then a nice face.  Then an angry face...you get the idea.  My kids love this and always ask to see the pictures afterward.  If their smile is forced, show them the photos and ask them for their real smile.  It works quite often for me.

7) Know when to give up and try another day.  If it becomes stressful, table it and try next time.  If you always get angry or disappointed when you take their picture, of course they will not want to do this activity with you.

Now for some examples:

This is a the first photo I snapped before moving him to "the shoot location."  Notice I found some shade to work with.  I also laughed when he stuck his tongue out rather then getting mad so he would want to work with me in a moment when I was going for a nice picture.

The next two were in my "chosen spot."  It was a nice rock to sit on under a tree with some good open shade.  I told him, "Taking pictures is how Mommy has fun.  Please sit nicely and smiles for two minutes. Then I will push you on the zip line as a thank you for giving Mommy a turn."  Make sure you truly only spend a few minutes doing this or they will not believe you next time.

Here he is playing on the zip line!

[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2015/11/-i-just-want-one-nice-picture-of-my-kid---a-how-to Mon, 16 Nov 2015 02:33:50 GMT
How a photgrapher prepares for family photos. https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2015/9/how-a-photgrapher-prepares-for-family-photos I have written blog posts about what to wear and how to do your makeup for photos on the blog before.  I thought I would review a bit about these topics in a different way.  I want to talk through the process I used to get my family of four ready for our family pictures.  First, here are links to my previous posts about what to wear and makeup

I decided to get our family photo done in early Sept before the change of colors.  I wanted to do this for two reasons: 1) it was my birthday present, and 2) most of our family photos are taken in the fall and I want a little variety.  Our backdrop was a great park a few towns over with lots of gardens and green space.  I decided I wanted more of a summer look to this photo.  My first thought as a primary color was blue (Just an FYI, blue is the best color choice for families that have large differences in skin tones.  Blue looks great on everyone).

Following my own rules about how to pick outfits, I started with my toughest costumer...me.  I have this great electric blue open cardigan.    I decided to pair the cardigan with a white tank and jeans. I then raided the rest of my family's closets to get things that went together.  I did go buy my daughter a shirt with the same color blue as my cardigan.  I laid everything out and took a picture with my phone. 

I was not sold on the look.   I  felt like the look was just too blue.  I decided to add an accent color like orange or maybe a mustard yellow.  I went with orange and this is what I can up with.

I did not like the bold look of the orange on me.  I felt like I would be the center of every photo.  I decided to start from scratch. 

I went looking online at family photos to get some ideas (Pinterest is great for this).  I decided I wanted a less matchy look with an overall softer color pallet.  My daughter has this great cream long sleeve shirt with a dusty purple vest and army green pants.  This became my inspiration.  I took this outfit with me to Old Navy and T.J.Maxx.  I like both of these stores for shopping for family looks.  They have clothing for everyone there and you can take things from each department and put things together.  Old Navy does tend to go with color schemes for each season, so it is easy to fill in a family look there.  In the end I only wound up buy a dusty purple shirt with a gentle floral pattern for myself and a cream polo for my son.  The rest of the clothes we already owned.  Once I had everything I asked my friend to look at it and she swapped out my husband's shirt for another one with a pattern.  I would not have thought to do this.  I do recommend once you are happy with the look to have a fresh set of eyes take a look.  They can either confirm you are all set or help with small tweaks that can make a big difference.  Here is our final look.


I love the way they turned out.  I think we look coordinated without being too matchy.  The layers give a more polished look.  Yes putting this look together took a bit of effort on my part and two trips to the store.  However, I am paying someone to take my families picture.  We are giving up a good chunk of the day to get ready and have the session.  Why would I not put in an extra bit of effort to love the look of our photo?  I hope reading about my process helps you with yours.

[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2015/9/how-a-photgrapher-prepares-for-family-photos Mon, 21 Sep 2015 02:16:35 GMT
Quick tips to improve your birthday pictures https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2015/8/quick-tips-to-improve-your-birthday-pictures Everyone one wants to snap a few great birthday photos of your little ones on their special day!  It can be a daughtning task especially if you are hosting it at your house.  There is just so much to do cleaning, decorating, baking the cake the list can go on and on.  After all that work you want a few great pictures to remember the day.  Especially of the big moment "blowing out the candles."  How do you go from this:



To this:

Let me give you a few tips and they will be easier then you think.  First, both are cute pictures of my little man on his birthday.  However, the second picture is better for three main reasons.  Lets list those reason to help you analize photos so you can develop your artistic eye.  The camera is a lot closer to the subject in the second image.  The second image only includes elements that help tell the "story" of this moment. Lastly, but most importantly the lighting.

So, the first issue of proximaty is an easy fix.  Get closer to your subject. The second issue of story telling.  The only physical elements in the second image are the ones I choose.  The Birthday Boy, cake with candles and the toy fire truck.  The toy fire truck was intentional, since that was the theme for the party.  I also created a little bit of bokah to blur the background further forcing your attention on the subject.  What is bokah and how do you do it?  Great questions!  Bokah is simply a blurred background.  How do you achieve it?  Well you need a more then an iphone or a point and shoot.  You need to have a low apature number on your camera mine was 2.8 in this shot.  This creates shallow depth of field.   Depth of Field is the distance between the nearest and farthest objects in a photo that is sharp or in focus.  This dream like type of photo has a shallow depth of field.  So the child in the image is in focus, but the background is blurry.  You achieve a shallow depth of field by having a low aperture number on your camera.  A weird fact is that the lower your number the more light you are actually letting in to your camera.

The last element of this picture and most important, lighting.  Really interpating and manipulating lighting is key to any good image.  In this image we have one main source of lighting, the candles.  We do have some secondary background light from the room next door.  I turned off the lights and closed the blinds in this room.  If I could have I would have gotten rid of the background light.  However, my dinning room is open to our great room, so that was not an option.    Back to our main lighting source, candles.  Candles are the lighting source for the face.  Candles provide such a unique, warm, and flattering light source.  When people kid around about wanting to always be lit by candle light they are on to something.  Candles do not provide a ton of light, so this is a low light senario.  Since this is a low light shot, I up my ISO on my camera to 1200.  As a general rule you always want your ISO number as low as you can, while still getting the shot.  A high ISO number can cause "grain" on an image.  Since we were dealing with candle light a high ISO was nessasary.

One last tip, I took my artistic photos before the party event started.  I set the room, called over my little guy and sang "Happy Birthday" to him without any other people or distractions.  It made a a great picture, but an even greater Mommy and me moment.

[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2015/8/quick-tips-to-improve-your-birthday-pictures Thu, 27 Aug 2015 12:00:00 GMT
Back To School Mini Session https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2015/8/back-to-school-mini-session

[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2015/8/back-to-school-mini-session Sat, 15 Aug 2015 03:14:55 GMT
Quick idea for getting your kid to want to take a cute photo. https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2015/6/quick-idea-for-getting-your-kid-to-want-to-take-a-cute-photo Luckily, I have been busy both professionally and personally.  I apologize for the time lapse between blog posts. Today, I thought I would revisit the idea of how to get a less then enthusiastic little one to smile for the camera with a fun prop idea. We all have trouble getting our kids to sit still for a picture.  I tell my four year old that people pay me to take their photos, so he should be happy I do it for free for him.  He is not impressed (nor cooperative a lot of times).  With summer upon us and lots of celebrations we usually see a bunch of balloons.  Most kids get pretty excited to see a big bunch of balloons.  Mine were thrilled this past weekend to get to play with a bunch at my nephew's graduation dinner. 

I siezed the opportunity and excitement to get my normally reluctant little man to smile for the camera.  Before you get them to try and take a picture, let them play with the bunch of balloon for a bit.  Find your light source if you are indoors or some nice open shade if you are outdoors.  Call them over to play near you.  Then have another adult hold the bunch of balloon taught.  You do not want to give them too much string to move around.  Once your light and the adult are set, ask the child to peek through the balloons and find you.  You are getting a great picture, but they are playing a game.  If you react when they peek through and snap the photo, they will want to play the game at least a few more times before they bore of the game.

Please click here to read my first post on how to get a toddler to give a real smile for the camera.  I hope you have a wonderful start to you summer.  Do not forget to take photos!

[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2015/6/quick-idea-for-getting-your-kid-to-want-to-take-a-cute-photo Thu, 04 Jun 2015 17:23:25 GMT
Tricks for cute spring photos before it greens up. https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2015/3/tricks-for-cute-spring-photos-before-it-greens-up Many of us are beginning Spring Break with our kids and Easter is also right around the corner.  That probably means you will be grabbing the camera to snap a few pictures.  We all want to capture those first outings to the park after the weather finally breaks, our little ones hunting for Easter Eggs, and the all important dressed up Easter photo. 

Unfortunately at this time of year, although it feels nice outside, it still looks pretty brown and bare.  How do you minimize the unattractive background and keep the focus on your little ones?  Here are three easy steps for you to incorporate into your snap shots.

First use an urban backdrop.  You won't notice the lack of green grass if there is no grass in the picture.  Here is an example shot with a brick background.


The second idea is to get close up.  You really just want a shot of your little one anyway.  So instead of incorporating the entire park in the shot just get them as they play.


The third idea is fake it!  I was taking my daughter's birthday pictures and wanted the scene to look alive so I used some nice fake flowers to create a headpiece.  You do need to be careful to use fake flowers that look real otherwise it won't look as nice.

Really in this last picture of my daughter I am using all three ideas at once.  We have a nice brick background, a tight shot, and the fake flowers.

I hope you have a wonderful Spring Break, full of picture perfect moments!


[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2015/3/tricks-for-cute-spring-photos-before-it-greens-up Sat, 28 Mar 2015 14:21:06 GMT
A cute and easy photo idea using window light https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2015/2/a-cute-and-easy-photo-idea-using-window-light Let’s learn how to take a really soft and dream like picture of your sweet kiddos.  It all comes down to light!  Let’s take a look at my image below.  She is a cutie, right?


This image was shot only using window light and my camera.  This image is straight out of camera with no edits.  So what key elements do you need to do this with your kid?  First, put them right up against the window.  Our window ledge is too small to sit on and my daughter is not tall enough to stand at that height.  I have her resting her feet on a step stool so that she was the right height for the window.  You will want the light to fall over the entire face, not just part of the face.  Also, I personally get better results when I have the child’s back against the window and they turn to look out.  Otherwise too many kids mush their nose again the window or do not turn enough toward you to get their full face.

The next key issue with light is that it should not be coming in directly through the window.  You will get harsh shadows and a squinting child if you use a window with sunlight beaming in.   Pick a window that is not getting direct light (this window is on the north side of our house).  At this point shoot in auto mode.  You will get a nice picture of your child.  However you do need to add one more advanced element to get that dream like effect.

The last element you need is shallow depth of field.  I know right now you are saying to yourself, “Hey, this is supposed to be a blog for moms that are not photographers and love to take pictures of your kids”.  Don’t worry, you can do this!  Depth of Field is the distance between the nearest and farthest objects in a photo that is sharp or in focus.  This dream like type of photo has a shallow depth of field.  So the child in the image is in focus, but the background is blurry.  You achieve a shallow depth of field by having a low aperture number on your camera.  If you can switch your camera into aperture mode, put the setting as low as it can go.  My settings for this image are ISO at 100, shutter speed at 1/125 and aperture at 2.8.  Depending on the amount of light coming in through your window your setting might be different.  Here is a picture of the space I used for this photo.

As you can see there is nothing special about my set up.  Just a window and a space clear of background clutter.  (I moved the lamp for the picture.)



[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2015/2/a-cute-and-easy-photo-idea-using-window-light Fri, 06 Feb 2015 13:15:00 GMT
Start your 2015 photo book now! I will teach you how. https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2015/1/start-your-2015-photobook-now-i-will-teach-you-how January is well underway but it is not too late to make a New Year’s Resolutions, so let me suggest a fun resolution to try out: make a photo book for your family in 2015.  Most people I suggest this to love this idea, but then follow up with a ton of “buts.”  They would say, “I would love to do this, but I do not have the time”, “I have never made one and it seems overwhelming”, or “I have so many other years to do first”.  Let me teach you how to find a good online site, how not to make it overwhelming, and why to start with 2015 rather than going back a few years. 

I love making photo books for several reasons.  First, it keeps piles of pictures from just sitting there.  Second, it helps give your precious images context.  Lastly, it is something I do for myself.  Obviously, I love taking pictures.  To print out every cute shot of my kids or pictures of every little day trip to the zoo or the city would be too much.  Who has that many frames!?  I love making a book for each year.   This allows me to print all these great shots, but also give them meaning.  For example, my daughter lost her first tooth this past year.  I have a page from the day she lost her tooth.  It also has several cute backyard pictures of my kids playing with one of the big grin sans tooth.  I then wrote the date in below the picture.  I love being able to tell the whole story of the day and have a place to write down the date of this milestone so I will not forget.

There are a ton of sites to make photo books online. Although I have not tried them all, I have tried several.  Here are some key features to look for when choosing a site:  1) The photo site should upload your photos in chronological order, 2) it should have a variety of premade layouts (which can be modified), and 3) it should allow you to save your work for a long period of time.  Most sites do these things I just mentioned, but please double check before you begin because I have seen some that do not.  Another key thing to keep in mind is how many pages each site allows.  Some sites can go over a 100 pages and others stop at a maximum of 74.

 The most important thing to consider in choosing a site is the price/quality of the book.  I say price/quality for a reason.  In the half dozen or so sites I have used, my experience has been that the better the deal, the lower the quality of the book.  A site I have tried and really liked is Adoramapix(http://www.adoramapix.com/.)  They max out at 76 pages, but the pages are much thicker and the book lays flat.  It feels like a professional book and there is no color bleed from backgrounds into your photos.  That can be a huge problem with cheaper books.  The quality of the photos in the Adormapix book is better than any site I have ever used.  For someone like me who does not do a ton of printing throughout the year, but wants quality in both the book and prints in the book, this site is a perfect fit.  Take a look at this picture of my Adorama Book (on the left) verses a leading online site.  Both books have the same number of pages.  The thickness and durability of the Adorama book is easily seen.

Once you pick a site, start uploading sooner rather than later.  I try and log on to my photobook site at least once a month.  Then I am having fun uploading and arranging a few pages.  If you wait and have to do several months at once, it is a chore and you forget to add some of those everyday moments.  I will also make an effort to work on my book right after a big event like vacations, birthdays, or holidays.  In order to make the actual process of designing the book go faster, I upload photos, count the number of photos I want to include from a specific event, decide how many pages I will need, and then pick a premade layout as my starting point.  From there you can modify the layout, add text or stickers, and play with backgrounds.  Lastly, in order to keep yourself from being overwhelmed, especially if you have never done a photobook before, is to start now with this year!  It is daunting to go back and do a huge book all at once.  Start with 2015 and do a little at a time as you go.  This is a gift of time doing something you enjoy now.  It will also be a gift of cherished memories in the future.  After you do a few photo books, you will get good at it and then going back and tackling previous years will not be such an overwhelming idea.

[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2015/1/start-your-2015-photobook-now-i-will-teach-you-how Thu, 22 Jan 2015 13:30:13 GMT
Improve the pictures you take of your kids in three easy steps. https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2014/11/improve-the-pictures-you-take-of-your-kids-in-three-easy-steps

[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2014/11/improve-the-pictures-you-take-of-your-kids-in-three-easy-steps Thu, 13 Nov 2014 14:09:38 GMT
What to wear for the family photo?!?! https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2014/10/what-to-wear-for-the-family-photo

So you have booked your family photo session.  Good for you.  Now you have to decide what you and everyone else in your family is going to wear.  Some of you might be inserting some choice words at the idea of tackling this.  Have no fear.  I have a few tips that will make your life much easier.

1) Start with your toughest customer.  Who is the hardest to shop for in your family?  If they already have an outfit that will work use that as your inspiration.

2) Pick clothes based on the location/time.  If you are doing an outdoor photo shoot avoid going to dressy.  It usually does not blend well with a park type setting.  Also do not forget the time of year.  It is hard to get a kid to smile in a sleeveless dress in 50 degree weather.  Lastly, do not forget about time of day.  If you have a morning shoot the light will be lovely, but there will be dew on the ground.  Wearing a white skirt is probably not the best idea, unless you are go with the flow and understand you will be visibly dirty after sitting on wet grass.

3) Choose a neutral base color pallet with pops of color.  I usually tell people to pick one neutral color such as navy blue, brown, white or grey.  I try to avoid black (more on that in a minute).  For example, if you have a beach summer shoot go for a white pallet with pops of coral or turquoise.  If it is a fall photo shoot try for navy blue with pops of orange or green.  One of my favorites is a brown/cream base with pops of maroon for fall.  You can certainly use more then one pop of color.  If you go back to the navy blue base you could do pops of green/pink. The key to making this idea look natural is not everyone should be wearing the pop of color.  Another tip to making it look natural is to mix up the types of clothing everyone is wearing.  So if you have a dad and son both wearing white dress shirts put one in a brown corduroy jacket or a vest to help mix things up a bit.  Everyone wearing a camo jumpsuit is not coordinated, it is crazy!  So do not worry about everyone matching perfectly and just keep the outfits in the color scheme.

4) Cut, fabric, and layering will slim you, not the color black.  Yes if you take a picture in a white t shirt and then in a black t shirt you will look slimmer in the black.  However, if you take a great button down white shirt that fits well and has some darting and wear that with a fabulous necklace and structured jacket, you are going to look better/slimmer then you ever would in the t shirt.  So pay attention to the cut and quality of fabrics.  If you have to pull at an item after putting it on to look nice, do not wear it for pictures!  It will more then likely bunch up and you will be unhappy with the extra attention drawn to that area.  If you do use a black base color be careful with the neckline.  Crewnecks and turtlenecks can produce a "floating head look."  Opt for scoop or v-necks instead and try and work in the pop of color with a scarf or necklace.

5) Be careful with loud patterns and stripes.  As a general rule patterns and stripes can bunch up in odd ways and not photograph as well as solid colors.  So if you are going to wear something with a pattern, snap a quick picture of yourself both standing and sitting to see if this pattern will work.

6) Get inspiration elsewhere.  Use resources like Pinterest or photography websites for examples you like of coordinated families.  I have included several images of family outfits below. 







[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2014/10/what-to-wear-for-the-family-photo Thu, 02 Oct 2014 14:10:57 GMT
Fall Mini-Sessions are Here! https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2014/9/fall-mini-sessions-are-here

[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2014/9/fall-mini-sessions-are-here Fri, 05 Sep 2014 12:21:24 GMT
How to use your photos for thank you notes. https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2014/8/how-to-use-your-photos-for-thank-you-notes I will admit it, I am cheap!  But I love doing personalized things like invitations and thank you notes for my kids' parties.  So that leaves me with two choices: pay someone to make them or learn to do it myself.  As I said I am cheap, so I learned to do them myself.  Now I would like to share with you how to make a personalized kids party thank you notes.

Here is my thank you note I created using a photo software call Photoshop.  However, you can create something similar using Microsoft Publisher.

Whether using Photoshop or Publisher, choose an 8x11 format, so you can print it out on regular paper from your home printer.  In Publisher use the Insert tab and then Select Picture.  A pop up window will come up to select your photo.  Once added, you can resize and use free rotation to get your images to resemble mine.  For the text from the Home tab, select Draw a Text Box.  From there you can choose font, font size, and color.  

The one thing I am able to do right in Photoshop that you can not in Publisher is to just select a portion of the photo.  However, you can certainly crop your photo using a free software like Picasa first and then insert the image into your Publisher file.  This thank you note took me at most fifteen minutes to do and that was with my little guy "helping me." 

One other aspect I love about making my own notes in addition to the cost savings is the ability to match the invitation to my child's level of writing ability.  My son just turned four and he can write his name and all all his letters.  However it takes him a while and the idea of him writing an entire thank you note is not reasonable.  However, writing his name and me helping him with addressing the note is reasonable for him.  I feel it is really important to get him involved with showing appreciation for his gifts.  We are all trying to raise grateful kids, right!  Last year I did something similar for my daughter who was in Kindergarten at the time, however, she had several blanks to fill in describing the present and thanking them.  So the next time you have a thank you note, try creating your own.  People will think you are creative and they do not have to know how much money you saved doing it!

[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2014/8/how-to-use-your-photos-for-thank-you-notes Tue, 26 Aug 2014 12:00:00 GMT
Picture Idea for Summer Events https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2014/8/picture-idea-for-summer-events

[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2014/8/picture-idea-for-summer-events Mon, 04 Aug 2014 15:35:50 GMT
Summer Mini-Session at Sunset! https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2014/6/summer-mini-session-at-sunset

[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2014/6/summer-mini-session-at-sunset Tue, 24 Jun 2014 14:38:10 GMT
Picking the right time of day for a professional look https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2014/6/picking-the-right-time-of-day-for-a-professional-look Have you ever heard of the "Golden Hour" in photography?  The golden hour is considered the best time of day to take outdoor pictures.  It is the hour right before sunset or after sunrise, approximately.  The reason the light is so wonderful during the golden hour is that the sun is low in the sky creating diffused light.  This type of lighting does not create harsh shadows that can give dark circles and cause squinting.  In fact this type of light acts like a filter minimizing wrinkles and smoothing skin. 

The only reason not to schedule a photo-shoot at this time, in my opinion, is if you have little ones that are not happy at one of those times.  I just did a 7AM photo shoot for a family celebrating their little one's first birthday.  Although sunrise is at 5:30AM these days, 7AM was still early enough.  We worked in open fields at first and then went to open shade. What is open shade?

Open shade it the large shadow of a building or under a few trees with good coverage.  If you can not be out taking photos in the golden hours, which is fairly limiting, then look for open shade.  Just be careful that you are not standing in speckled light on your face.  That is unflattering in photos.

Here are a few example photos of my girl.  They are taken on the same day at noon, mid-afternoon and the golden hour. I think the difference is pretty clear.



[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2014/6/picking-the-right-time-of-day-for-a-professional-look Mon, 23 Jun 2014 12:40:38 GMT
Father Day Picture Idea https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2014/5/father-day-picture-idea This past weekend I focused on getting some good pictures of the kids with daddy to use for a photo card for Father's Day.  I thought I would give you an easy picture idea for Father's Day as well.   The reason I emphasize the word easy is that you do not have to get your little one to sit still or smile, but it will still be very personal and super cute!

A few tips to recreate this idea:

1) Make sure your subjects are in "open shade" if taking the picture when the sun is high in the sky.  What is open shade?  Under trees or in the shadow of a large building.

2)  Have your subjects hold hands.  This creates the personal connection we all want.

3) Use the rule of thirds.  I cropped this photo so their hands are on the intersection of the bottom third and right third.  Are you not sure what the rule of thirds is?  See my previous post here.

4) Use props to tell the story...as you can see my boys were gone fishin'

5) Get creative.  You could have take this photo of them actually fishing and sitting on a dock.  If your boys do not fish, then substitute a baseball bat in the dad's hand and a glove on the boys hand.  

[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2014/5/father-day-picture-idea Thu, 29 May 2014 12:00:00 GMT
Summer Picture Bucket List https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2014/5/summer-picture-bucket-list My kids are growing to fast!  Maybe if I take enough pictures I can slow their growth a little bit at least.  With that desire in mind, I wanted to develop a picture bucket list for us to do this summer together.  There are tons of these must take picture lists out there on the internet.  I find they very often have a "100 must take photos or you are not doing your job as a mom!" feel to them. That is overwhelming to me. Although I am sure all 100 pictures would be fantastic, I just want to make a list that I will actually complete this summer.  I think 25 must take shots for summer 2014 seems doable and a fun project.  So lets get started clicking shall we?

1) playing in the rain

2) playing catch in the backyard

3) playing at the park

4) blowing bubbles

5) pool/beach photo

6) zoo visit

7) catching fireflies (courtesy of my friend Cindy!)

8) eating a huge popsicle/ice cream

9) riding a carousel/fair ride

10) coloring with chalk

11) their face while watching fireworks

12) eating corn on the cob

13) picking flowers

14) riding bikes/trikes (thanks Anita!)

15) running through a sprinkler

16) attending a parade

17) raining day craft/painting project

18) rolling down a hill

19) eating watermelon

20) a family photo that you are in with your babies!

21-25) your choice, get creative!

[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2014/5/summer-picture-bucket-list Fri, 16 May 2014 12:15:00 GMT
A quick styling and posing tip for Mom in photos https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2014/4/a-quick-styling-and-posing-tip-for-mom-in-photos Mom's, I wanted to give you two quick tips as we enter good weather for outdoor photos.  The first is a styling no no in pictures: bat-wing shirts.  Bat-wing shirts are super cute in person and if they are your thing, great.  But I would not recommend taking pictures in them for one main reason.  You completely eliminate the "thin triangle" you create between your arm and your body. What is a thin triangle?  When you place your one hand on your hip.  I never place my hand on my hip in pictures, you say? Well that brings me to my second tip.  Put your hand on your hip in pictures.  When you put your hand on your hip it thins your arms.  You have to remember that when taking a picture we are capturing a 3D image in a 2D format.  Because of this difference, depending on how you pose and dress, you can dramatically make yourself look bigger or smaller in photos.  I think we have all experienced looking at a photo of ourselves and thinking, "I look great," and another picture thinking, "I am huge."  Help yourself take more "I look great" pictures with these tips.  I promise to do more in depth posing and dressing guides for Moms in the coming months!

[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2014/4/a-quick-styling-and-posing-tip-for-mom-in-photos Thu, 24 Apr 2014 12:00:00 GMT
When, why and how to take a good black and white photo? https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2014/4/when-why-and-how-to-take-a-good-black-and-white-photo      This post is inspired by a recent shoot.  I found myself loving several of the photos in their black and white form rather than full color.  I think black and white when done correctly can give such a timeless look to an image.  That got me thinking to talk to you about when, why, and how to use black and white.  But before we begin, I do have a confession.  I always shoot my black and whites in color and convert them later.  I will address this more in depth in the how section.

       When and why to shoot in black and white?  There are several reasons: to help even out skin tone, to compensate for poor lighting, to play up the texture, highlights and shadows of an image, or to just try and save an overexposed image.  This first reason is particularly handy when photographing a mother with a newborn.  Moms, we have all taken the hospital shot holding our new born with Dad right next to us.  We are beaming with love and pride, but when we look at the photo we are taken aback by how tired and pale we are, right?  Lets face it, you lose a lot of blood giving birth, you have not eaten all day, and it is beyond hard work.  Then to make matters worse your husband who has not been through this trauma is right next to you and the contrast between your skin tones is alarming.  A black and white photo can do wonders to helping minimize the skin tone difference and make the Mom look a lot more refreshed.  It also adds a timelessness to the moment which we all want. Here is an example of a gorgeous mama where black and white helped with skin tone.

      If you are outside and it is a very dark and overcast day (think a storm is coming), or you are a little late for the golden hour, black and white photography can extend the shooting time and give a few more useable images.  If you are familiar with photography terms, this is when you have to turn the ISO up on your camera to high and it becomes grainy.  

    If you have an image with great texture or leading lines, black and white can really add to the artistry of the images.  Here is an example where I love the texture of the brick.  The hard texture of the brick verses the softness of my subject is nicely enhanced by the use of black and white.

    Lastly,  sometimes black and white can save an image that is overexposed.  In this example below, we had just switched locations and I forgot to change my settings.  The highlights were blown out, but I was in love with the facial expression and framing of this photo.  This is where switching to black and white saved this photo.

      How to take a black and white photograph?  I always shoot in color and switch to black and white in post to give myself more options.  By shooting in color I have more information for the computer to work with when turning the image into black and white.  Also you might find after the fact that the image works better in color.  Maybe it lacks the texture differences you thought or you need the color to provide depth or leading lines to your subject.  I use Photoshop and Silver Efex Pro to convert my images and it gives me tons of control for enhancing shadows, midtones, or highlights.  But I am writing this post to help those that are not photographers, do not have software, or a desire to purchase it... so now what?  I would recommend Picasa.  It is a free software download that gives a few nice basics.  It has a few black and white styles preprogrammed in to it.  The software also allows you to brighten highlights and shadows. This software is not as good as the ones I use, but it is free!  It is better then just hitting the black and white button on a photo printing site.  So next time you are snapping a few with the kiddos try one in black in white or go back and convert a few hospital photos and see if you are happier with those images.

If you have any more questions about black and white photography or would like to schedule a session, please contact Haselhorst Photography at 708-466-6593.

[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2014/4/when-why-and-how-to-take-a-good-black-and-white-photo Mon, 07 Apr 2014 05:00:00 GMT
How to document you child's special day in pictures. https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2014/3/how-to-document-you-childs-special-day-in-pictures Everyone takes out the camera and snaps a few shots of your child's birthday, right?  I want to talk about how to get a well rounded collection of pictures that help tell the story of that day or any special day.  This post, like most of my posts, are written for the parent that wants to get better at taking their kids' pictures and is just starting out.  The info below will be helpful regardless if you have a fancy camera or not.  If you do have a nice camera and want to ask me more specific questions about settings or lenses, please email me at [email protected].

1) Start early!  If your party is at home and you have the time, try decorating the day before the party.  This gives you an extra cushion of time to get those detail pictures in.

2) Take shots of the small details.  Get a close up of a cluster of balloons, the decorative toothpicks in the cupcakes, or even something you have that is not specifically for the party but fits with the theme.  My examples below include a close up of a fairy door from my garden decoration.  It helps tell our fairy birthday story.

3)  Get a unique perspective.  Lay on the floor and shoot upwards to make the decorations seem more imposing in your shot.  Take an overhead picture of something just to keep things interesting.  In my example, it looks like we have a wall of wings.  These were the take away favor for our fairy party and I knew I needed to help use them to tell the story and decorate.

4) Schedule time at the beginning of the party (or even better before the party) to get a few family shots in.  You and especially your child are both going to be tired and possibly cranky at the end of the party.  That is not the time to remember that you didn't get a single picture together.  I intentionally schedule time for a few shots after I finish the cake and finally take a shower, but before the party starts.  Your child will be so excited for the festivities to begin they will be more cooperative.

5)  Do not forget the standards.  Get the shots of opening presents, blowing out candles, and a group shot of all the kiddies in attendance.

6) Put down the camera! Do not be so obsessed with capturing the moment that you do not participate in the moment.

I hope these tips help you plan a little time to document your child's special day and all your hard work getting it ready.  Please contact me via Facebook if you any questions or to schedule a session.


[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2014/3/how-to-document-you-childs-special-day-in-pictures Mon, 24 Mar 2014 12:43:06 GMT
Small Miricles: How to ge a three year old boy to smile for the camera. https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2014/3/small-miricles-how-to-ge-a-three-year-old-boy-to-smile-for-the-camera I think most people can agree it is tough to get a nice picture of your toddler.  Starting from the time kids can walk until about four, it is the "tough zone" for getting a good shot.  At first they are just to on the move. Then they start to exert their independence by refusing and/or they develop the forced "cheesy smile."  As a parent I have my fair share of terrible toddler shots.  I even have more moments than I care to admit that I just kept trying and trying until we were both mad.  I actually have a much easier time taking pictures of other people's toddlers.  Just recently before a shoot, I asked a mom, "Any tips you use to get them to smile?"  Her response was, "No, they never take pictures.  Good luck.  Whatever you can get will be fine."  Fifteen minutes later I have a 110 smiling pictures of her two kids.  So parents, do not take it personally.  We all struggle getting shots of our own kids.  However, I have a few strategies specifically for toddlers to help you get a couple of keepers along the way.

1) Read the child's mood.  They should already be in a good mood.  If they wake up rough from naps then do not try this then. 

2) Have they recently snacked?  It is amazing how blood sugar levels can make or break your attempt.  Make sure they are not almost in need of a snack or give them a snack before the shoot.

3)  Have your set up ready to go.  Do not ask them to sit still and then realize you need to open the blinds or clear some clutter. 

4)  Have them sit!  Toddlers this age are constantly moving and you will buy yourself some more time.  Ask them to sit for a picture rather than stand still.

5) Make it a game.  There are lots of ways to do this.  One of my favorites is "crazy face/nice face."  Have them make a silly face and take a picture then ask them to smile nicely, then ask for a surprised face, then a nice face, then an angry face...you get the idea.  My kids love this and always ask to see the pictures afterward.  If their smile is forced, show them the photos and ask them for their real smile.  It works quite often for me.

6)  Use props... preferably not something brand new but something they have played with before but not in a while.  In the session I just did with my son, our prop was 3D glasses.  I did take several with the glasses but obviously that was not my final goal.

7) Know when to give up and try another day.  If it becomes stressful, table it and try tomorrow.  If you always get angry or disappointed when you take their picture of course they will not want to do this activity with you. 

So enjoy my keepers and outtakes with my three year old.


[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2014/3/small-miricles-how-to-ge-a-three-year-old-boy-to-smile-for-the-camera Mon, 10 Mar 2014 13:18:23 GMT
Easy lighting trick to take a better picture https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2014/2/easy-lighting-trick-to-take-a-better-picture So my five year old came down this morning wearing her puppy pajamas and a tiara.  As she sat at the table eating her pear, I knew I needed a picture of this!  Unfortunately, I am painfully aware that at five (and very quickly going on six) we only have so many mornings left where she will decide wearing a tiara at the breakfast table is the thing to do.  I hate taking pictures in my kitchen because the light is terrible.  So I grabbed my girl and headed to my bedroom to grab some great window light and use my freshly made bed as a pretty backdrop.  (I am bragging a little about making my bed.  It does not always happen!)

I opened the shades completely.  I got an angle that was free of background distraction and took the picture.  After snapping a few and getting a nice facial expression, I wanted to take one to demonstrate what would be a bad angle.  I had my daughter turn her back to the window.  Everything else is the same.  Same time of day, angle, editing...same everything.  I think the better photo is clearly evident.  The top photo has a much more polished look and it is all due to lighting.  Please take a second to read the descriptions next to the photos.  I point out some specific differences.  When you first start trying to take better photos it can be hard to articulate what you do not like about a picture you just know it does not work.  Hopefully these detailed comments will help you start "seeing"  the difference.  Here's to many more tiara at breakfast moments!


[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2014/2/easy-lighting-trick-to-take-a-better-picture Tue, 25 Feb 2014 17:37:27 GMT
One quick trick to make your photo look more professional https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2014/2/one-quick-trick-to-make-your-photo-look-more-professional The rule of thirds will help your photos have a more polished look.  It will also help draw your eye to your subject.  What is the rule of thirds?  Take a photo and divide it into nine equal parts, with two horizontal and two vertical lines running through the photo.  You want your focal point to be at an intersection of two of those lines.  If it is a head shot you want the eyes on one of the lines.  Ideally you want one eye to be where to lines intersect.  Here is the same photo the first one is after I edited and applied the rule of thirds.  The second is straight out of camera (SOOC) without the rule of thirds.  She is a cutie in both images, but the first looks quite a bit more polished an artistic.

Rule of Thirds Rule of Thirds

How do you apply the rule of thirds?  Most editing software has a cropping function.  I use Photoshop, but I know Elements, Lightroom, and Aperture all also offer this feature. Within the menu options you can choose to have the rule of third lines show up while using the cropping function.  Now that I have taught you how to follow the rule of thirds I am going to tell you not to always follow the rules!  It would be boring if you followed the same format every time.  However, if you take a photo and it is good but needs a little something try the rule of thirds.  Or if you are trying to make something or someone the focal point this rule will be invaluable. 


[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2014/2/one-quick-trick-to-make-your-photo-look-more-professional Tue, 11 Feb 2014 03:35:06 GMT
What a little make-up can do. https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2014/1/make-up-tips-for-mom-in-the-family-pictures How to look your best in pictures?  This is a topic with lots of different idea.  Lets take a look at one aspect of this idea, make-up.  More specifically make-up for moms in a family picture.  I am writing this post as a mom of two little ones who usually if wearing make-up likes to keep things pretty natural looking.  To me that means a little foundation, under eye concealer (I am a mom of two little ones) a little blush and mascara.  I take five minutes tops.  Now when we take a nice family photo I do want to look a little more put together then this, but I still like the more natural look. 

As a photographer I know that the natural look in photos needs to look a little more then natural in person.  As a general rule do your make-up they way you like it to look.  Then add about 30% more color to your cheek, eyes and mascara.  Here are a few more tips:

  1. Exfoliate a few days before taking photos.  Make-up will go on more evenly and you will look fresher.  It is always best to give yourself a few days in case exfoliating makes something "pop up."  I would also never use a new exfoliator.  I actually like to use plain backing soda and make a paste with a little water.  Again do not try this for the first time right before pictures.  Go and try it right now!  Your skin will thank me.
  2. Use a primer.  They really go a long way to helping your foundation.
  3. Do your eye make-up.  I like to do this before foundation.  It allows you to clean up any color that may fall under the eyes and helps you to prevent raccoon eyes.
  4. apply mascara
  5. Pick an oil-free foundation without a lot of SPF.  Although everyday I lather on the SPF in pictures it is not a good idea.  It will make you look shiny/greasy in pictures.
  6. Follow up with concealer for any spots and blend well
  7. Use blush
  8. Use a little bronzer for contoring (This will thin your cheeks/face in general.)  If this concept is new to you check it out on Pinterest or hit your local make-up counter.  Physicians Formula makes a nice one without breaking the bank.
  9. Light amount of setting powder.  This will keep the shine at bay.  Do not go overboard with this step or you will look ghost like in the photo.
  10. Add a bit more blush (the 30% idea here)
  11. another coat of mascara (giving some dry time between coats to prevent clumping.)  

Finally, two thoughts on mom make-up.  Give yourself enough time to do your make-up and hair on the day of pictures.  It is pretty common to have a mom spend so much time getting her kids ready that she rushes herself.  Since we are already our own worst critics this just feeds the fire.  Consider getting your make-up done at a make-up counter a week or so before hand and tell them what you are going for.  They can teach you a few tricks for you to use the day of pictures.  Then you can also treat yourself to something they used that you loved.  If you have time go back the day of photos and do it again.  I would not try this for the first time the day of the photos in case you get someone who is to heavy handed for your liking.  I hope this helps!  And now for my example pictures, drum roll please...

[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2014/1/make-up-tips-for-mom-in-the-family-pictures Mon, 27 Jan 2014 02:43:50 GMT
Valentines Day Photo Idea https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2014/1/valentines-day-photo-idea I love taking pictures of my kids for any reason.  So Valentine's Day is a perfect excuse.  Below I have two pictures for you.  The first is my home set up for this picture and the next one is my sweet boy in the set up.  I used white muslin cloth, four clips to hold the cloth onto the clothing rack, a toddler sized chair, a small chalkboard and chalk, and some Valentine's Day hearts.  You will notice the picture of my set up looks quite yellow.  I did this for a reason to mention to you to turn off any yellow overheard lighting and make sure to place your set-up near a large open window.  That will give you the most professional look.

A few pointers about taking this type of shot.  Use as much natural light from your windows as possible.  (Jen, you just said that!)  I know my friend, but that is so important it deserve to be said twice.  Also, do the chalk much harder and darker then you think you should.  Chalk does not show up well in pictures.  I would recommend getting a chalkboard with a wider border then mine.  It is too easy for little hands to wipe off the letters.   From there, take my idea and run with it.  Change the writing to whatever you like, such as "I love Grandma," and make the best Valentine's Day present Grandma has ever gotten.



[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2014/1/valentines-day-photo-idea Sat, 11 Jan 2014 02:17:28 GMT
Tips for taking pictures in the snow https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2013/12/tips-for-taking-pictures-in-the-snow

We have been blessed (??) with a fair amount of snow here in the Chicagoland area and my kids are already snowman making champs this season.  I love taking pictures of them in the snow.  They are so happy with the novelty of snow.  I do not have to work for smiles.  However, snow can be a challenge to get a nice shot in.  Here are a few tips to help you grab a cute one.

1)  If you are trying to take a shot out at a park/sledding area, be an early bird before the snow gets trampled and grey looking. Do not worry about this so much in your own backyard.  A few foot prints should not make a difference in the shot.

3)  Dress your little one in a brightly colored hat and they will really pop in the picture against the white backdrop.

4) If it is sunny, wait for sunset.  Otherwise the reflection off the snow will make for some over exposed pictures.  A cloudy day should be fine any time. (My example was taken at 2pm on a completely overcast day.)

5) Do not use a flash!  Again, combined with the snow it will probably produce some really overexposed pictures.

6)  Let them get involved in what they are doing.  Get down at their level so you are shooting head on.  Then, call their name and smile at them.  Most kids will just smile back.

7)  If using a DSLR take a few pics first and check your histogram.  If you see a nice mountain then you are ready to shoot.  What is a histogram?  A graph that displays how the light is distributed in your picture.  See below for a picture and link to a more comprehensive discussion.



Happy shooting and stay warm!

[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2013/12/tips-for-taking-pictures-in-the-snow Thu, 26 Dec 2013 17:45:00 GMT
Christmas Photo Idea for any type of camera https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2013/12/christmas-photo-idea-for-any-camera I have posted a picture idea you could take with any camera.  In fact I took this picture in auto.  I was trying to keep it like it would look if you took it with a point and shoot.  I think the biggest advise for people trying to get a great "Christmas Shot" is to think things through and enjoy yourself.  Get an idea from my blog, Pinterest, or your own imagination.  Ask yourself, "Are my kids the right age for this?  If they do not sit still well, is it a picture that they can be engaged in an activity and you just take the shot?"  Set the stage, get the most amount of light possible, and take a few shots to make sure your camera is working before you add the kids to the equation.  Then shoot as many as possible as quickly as possible.  The shot below I took with my kids as one of our Christmas Count Down Activities.  I probably took 30-35 pictures and this was my favorite.  However, I made sure to keep the tone fun (it was a Christmas Count Down Activity after all).  I hate when I try to do an "activity" with my kids that is suppose to be fun and it turns into a chore.  Since I am starting to give parenting advise rather then photography tips, I will end the post here. :) 

[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2013/12/christmas-photo-idea-for-any-camera Mon, 09 Dec 2013 01:49:30 GMT
Christmas Picture Idea without getting the kids to smile! https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2013/11/christmas-picture-idea-without-getting-the-kids-to-smile In order to get this effect you will need to do several things.  First turn off all the lights in the house, except for the tree.  Then set up your camera in manual mode with a high ISO and a slow Shudder Speed.  Make sure your flash is turned off.  I would use a tripod or support your arms on a table.  I like this shot.  It is artistic, but you do not need cute matching pajamas, both kids looking at the camera, or smiling faces.  I would practice a few times on just the tree before putting the kiddos into position.  I am not sure if you could do this with a point an shoot.  I will try and post a few ideas you can use any for kind of camera.

[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2013/11/christmas-picture-idea-without-getting-the-kids-to-smile Sat, 30 Nov 2013 13:30:17 GMT
Fall Photo Idea https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2013/11/fall-photo-idea If you have to rake leaves you should at least get a cute picture out of the deal.   After you rake your big pile of leaves, lay the kiddos down in the middle of the pile.  Shoot from overhead, it is a very flattering angle.  If you tell your kids they can jump in the pile after they smile nicely... you might just get a keeper.




Kids PortraitFun with Leaves

[email protected] (Haselhorst Photography) https://www.haselhorstphotography.com/blog/2013/11/fall-photo-idea Sun, 24 Nov 2013 16:23:27 GMT