Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tips: Photographing lifestyle sessions at home {Delaware & Pennsylvania Child and Family Lifestyle Photographer}

As a photographer, I am constantly presented with many challenges when it comes to the location, lighting, and backgrounds at my sessions.  And I pride myself in being able to flex and bend with these different situations.  When I have a session, it's done in one of three places.  Outdoors, my clients home, or in my home studio.  Okay, my home studio is more of a dedicated room, which technically is my dining room, but it's my office & studio now.  I wholeheartedly follow the sound advice of Tim Gunn, "make it work!".

Today, I am going to talk to you about working within your clients home for sessions.  I typically photograph in home sessions for maternity, newborn, and families (especially when they have large families...the largest being 37 people so far!)  I utilize much of the space in their home, and there are some definite go to shots that I do.  Homes are more intimate, and many clients, especially their children feel a lot better being photographed in their own space.  You can get your clients to relax more when they are in their own surroundings, and let me not forget the benefits of air conditioning indoors when you are having sessions during the summer!

Before the session, I always recommend my clients remove any clutter or objects that they don't want seen in the photos.  Particularly in the living room, the bedroom, and the nursery.  And if there are a couple of blank walls, with great window light all the better!

Walls are the perfect in home backdrop! Utilize them to their fullest potential!

marisa taylor photography, delaware maternity photographer, pennsylvania maternity photographyer

Another favorite spot I like to photograph my clients in is their bedroom.  It's a simple yet meaningful location, especially when you are photographing a tiny little newborn on a giant bed.  If you have the whole family cuddling onto the bed, even better! For bed shots, I usually photograph straight on, and depending on the action from the side. It more so depends where the light source is coming from.

For bedroom shots, I always recommend that my clients either have an all white, down comforter, or a light, solid color comforter.  You want the bedspread to be as simple as possible as to not distract the eye from the subject.

Windows are also another favorite spot for me to photograph in. I totally adore back lighting, and windows provide the perfect light.  Typically when I photograph clients in front of windows, I tend to overexpose by two stops to blow out the light from the windows.  

I pride myself on making sessions work at any location that I am at.  Before going into a session, I typically have a layout of what I plan to shoot, and where. When I arrive, I usually ask for a tour around the house to see what works best, and how easy it is to transition.  Especially when having sessions with newborns, you don't want to move them around too much, especially the new mom.

In the end, make it work with what you have!  If you are a lifestyle photographer, and you don't have your own space for a studio, embrace that challenge and maximize it! Find different spots in the house that have gorgeous light, go in with a plan of attack so to speak so that you transition easily through sessions.  While it would be totally awesome to have your own studio, realize that you don't necessarily need one, especially if your focus is lifestyle photography.  The only thing holding you back is you, get out there and show your talent!

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Happy Birthday Charlotte! {Delaware Child & Family Lifestyle Photographer}

It's always hard for me when I think about how fast my little girl has grown up. I remember when I was younger, it seemed like days, especially in the summer, would drag on forever. Now with my own daughter, those days go by far too quickly.  I still can't believe my tiny, wonderfully sweet, little girl is now two years old.

She loves to dance and spin, and she can sing along with her favorite songs. The sweetest sound is hearing her say mommy or daddy, and when you ask her how old she is, she enthusiastically says "TWO!".  It's the sweetest thing in the world.

For her birthday this year, we celebrated it by taking her to the Maryland Renaissance Faire. It's an even we go to every single year, multiple times throughout the summer.  It was even more special because the opening day for the event, fell on the same exact day as her birthday.  So she was able to celebrate with a ton of people who adore her, and get to hang out with the king and queen!

Charlotte, may you never stop believing in magic, and know how much we love you.

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Fear. The good, the bad, the force.


It is crippling, it is terrifying.  Sometimes it makes you want to curl up in a ball and shut the world away.  Let me tell you something about me.

I am scared all of the time.  I was scared to start my business.  I still get scared right before I have a session.  I'm fearful that I won't make it, fearful that I will let myself and those that believe in me down.  

Fear can also be a good thing. It can be the driving force behind you, so embrace it.  Because I am fearful I push harder, because I am fearful, I strive to learn and grow more.  My dreams are so big that they scare me,  and you know what?  That is probably the greatest thing ever.  For if my own dreams don't scare me, I am not dreaming big enough.

If you are fearful, embrace it. Turn that fear into power, into courage, and set yourself on the path at achieving your destiny.
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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Your success, their success, it's all about success! {Delaware & Pennsylvania Lifestyle Family Photographer}

It's easy to want to follow someone because they are successful. As a budding photographer, you can't help but think "If I shoot this way" or "If I do what this person does" then you will be successful.  And that may be true, but for most it's not. Because your path to success is as unique as you are.  No two stories are the same. Sure, they can be similar, but they are never the same.  Different circumstances, different mindsets, different life experiences make each one of us unique. And on our path to success, it can be very easy to measure our success against someone else.

Stop it. Stop it now.

That is probably one of the worst things that you can do to yourself. Sure, there is nothing wrong with learning from people, and growing. Nothing wrong with taking the advice they have to give and applying it to your life, your business.  But if you continue to measure your success based on the success of someone else, you will never truly get to where you want to be.

There was a point and time for me when I thought that being successful was being a name known throughout my peers in my industry, and teaching others.  That's totally not for me.  Not anymore.  When I realized that my value as an artist to my clients is more important than my value as an artist to other artists, it was a game changer for me.

Am I where I want to be? No. And I don't think I will ever get to that point, and that's a good thing.  Because it will keep me pushing for more.
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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Coming back to it {Delaware Child Photographer}

I've been finding recently that when I have sessions with Charlotte, and I try to convey the vision I have, it never comes out the way I want it to. She is two years old, and she is her own person. And I suppose, just like her mama, she puts her own twist on things. I usually end up leaving the images alone for a couple of days, and then coming back to them.

I am totally in love with these. I will admit, when I first went through them, I didn't want to process them. They didn't come out the way I wanted to see them, but now...now they speak to me.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Straying off the path {Delaware & Pennsylvania Lifestyle Family Photographer}

I'm still amazed at where my business has taken me. 5 years ago, I wouldn't have even imagined this is what I would be doing.  But obviously life doesn't happen the way we plan it, and in this case, i'm glad I took the road that was a little less walked on.

For me, I had my life set out. Finish college, get a job in NYC, rent an apartment with my best friends, and later on down the line find love.  I was going to be the head of a Fortune 500 company, and be in Forbes magazine for my outstanding marketing and advertising campaigns.

Who would have thought that I would have dropped out of college, married a man who has set my spirit free and my soul on fire, be the mother to an amazing little girl. And instead of structured, city life, I am now a free flowing, artist. I create art that people display in their homes. My art shows their love and their happiness that they have for each other and their families.

Sometimes it's good to stray off your path, you never know what you will find.  My dreams are big, and there is no stopping me.

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Francesca's Newborn Session {Delaware & Pennsylvania Newborn and Family Lifestyle Photography}

This little sweetheart slept through her entire session and was a dream to work with! Perfectly chubby, cheeks, soft baby skin, and a cute dog as her protector made her session super adorable.  I want to thank her fabulous parents for Jessica and Chris for letting me into their homes just days after little Francesca was born to photograph her and all of the love they share as a family.  They are part of my Milestone Collection, which means that I will be seeing them again for three more sessions!  Enjoy this lovely, in home newborn session.

delaware newborn photographer, pennsylvania newborn photographer, lifestyle baby photography, marisa taylor photography

delaware newborn photographer, pennsylvania newborn photographer, lifestyle baby photography, marisa taylor photography

delaware newborn photographer, pennsylvania newborn photographer, lifestyle baby photography, marisa taylor photography

delaware newborn photographer, pennsylvania newborn photographer, lifestyle baby photography, marisa taylor photography

delaware newborn photographer, pennsylvania newborn photographer, lifestyle baby photography, marisa taylor photography

delaware newborn photographer, pennsylvania newborn photographer, lifestyle baby photography, marisa taylor photography

delaware newborn photographer, pennsylvania newborn photographer, lifestyle baby photography, marisa taylor photography

delaware newborn photographer, pennsylvania newborn photographer, lifestyle baby photography, marisa taylor photography

delaware newborn photographer, pennsylvania newborn photographer, lifestyle baby photography, marisa taylor photography

To see more work and book your own session, visit www.MarisaTaylorPhotography.com | www.Facebook.com/MarisaTaylorPhotography
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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Taking it easy...My trip to the hospital and what I learned {Delaware lifestyle family photographer}

It sometimes takes something drastic to happen for you to learn to take it easy.  For me, it was spending four days in the hospital, with a ruptured blood vessel, unable to sit up for me to get the message. TAKE IT EASY.  I missed my home and family more than anything.  My mind was racing on how to bounce back, and get back to work. And even then, laying in a horizontal position, I still couldn't get the message, TAKE IT EASY.

You never really realize how much you actually do each day, just how busy you are, until that opportunity is taken away from you.  And for me, it was both a moment of reflection and thankfulness.  I will never take for granted my busy, crazy life, but at the same time, I will put an active effort into disconnecting and just taking it easy with my love ones.

My health is too valuable to myself and to them for me not to take it seriously. So the next week or so, I will be taking it easy.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Dear Moms,

Dear Moms, 

I am going to take a minute here and tell you that you are amazing. Whether you have grown a baby for nine months inside of your belly, or adopted a baby, you are awesome. You are giving another human a piece of yourself that no other person will have, you will always and forever be their mom.

And because you are so amazing, it always breaks my heart when I hear you talk negative about your body. Your body is a body, and yes babies do change that, but think of how awesome that change is. Babies don't look at your body as being ruined, they look at you as that person that is always there when they cry, and your belly as a soft place to cuddle on.

So when I come to your home or you come to me for your babies session, I know you tend to get nervous when I say "Now it's your turn". But understand, you are amazing and gorgeous. You are a mother. That is an absolutely beautiful thing. My job is to not only photograph your baby, but to photograph the people that created this wonderful, tiny, human being. And that is you.

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Saturday, August 3, 2013

But this photographer will give me that! A breakdown of different business models. {Delaware and Beyond Lifestyle Photographer}

One of the reasons why I decided to pursue photography as my career is because there are not a lot of photos from my childhood.  There is one blue book (in which no one can find) that has most of my toddler photos, some photos floating around in a bin at my mothers house, and the dreaded school portraits (which I hate with a passion).  Other than that, nada. Nothing really to show me as a laughing, goofy, clumsy kid. So that's why I not only decided to pursue photography, but after having my daughter is when I made the switch to focus primarily on families, babies, and kids.  Because I love being able to freeze the moments of childhood, and all of the love that a family has.

Now there are many photographers out there, many with different business models, and I understand it can be confusing to potential clients why photographer a does not offer the same as photographer b.  So I wanted to take some time to break down how and why I run my business and offer the products that I do.

First, let me say that I believe memories are priceless. And I do believe that there is a photographer for every budget. There are also different skill levels to go with those budgets.  Not everyone places photography high on their values list, and that is okay. But for those who do, I love them even more.  I get asked why do I charge so much?  To be honest, there are photographers who charge way more than me, and way less than me!  I charge for my experience and time, cost of doing business, and what I need to maintain a living for my family and I. There are some businesses who have supplemental income to photography, and sometimes they don't charge as much. There are some business in which photography is their only income, so besides having to be able to pay their own family bills, there is also the cost of running a business too. Which involves equipment, taxes, fees and subscriptions and more.

Still with me? Good!

The next big thing I get asked is why I don't offer all of the digital files, or just images in general with my sessions.  Well, I will admit something. I used to. I used to give away everything plus the kitchen sink, the dog, and the deed to the house when I first started! But with years of doing this, having my skill grow, and learning more, I decided that is not the business model for me. I don't include any digital images because I know, from experience, that most times they sit on your computer or the disc, rarely to be seen again. I want the images from your session to be displayed proudly on your walls so that everyone can see! And if you want to purchase the digital files, that is ok too!

For me, I like my business model to be simple. I have a session fee, which includes pre-session consultations, your actual session, and editing. From there, we have an in person ordering session which you get to see your images for the first time, and you can order prints and products a la carte. Unless of course, circumstances lead differently, then you will be sent a gallery.

It works for me, and I am happy with that!

So thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way, and appreciated all that I put into my business and into my clients. You are amazing!

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Friday, August 2, 2013

The Klair Women! [Delaware Lifestyle Family Photographer}

I am back from vacation! I had an absolutely amazing time! And as excited as I am to be back home, in my bed, and access to a shower everyday, I am even more excited to share more amazing images from sessions with you.

So back to work!  I am excited to share this session with you! An amazing family session with four generations of beautiful women.  I have been photographing Maddie since she was 4 months old, so it was a real treat to photograph not only her, but her mother, her grandmother, and her great grandmother!


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