Where to Buy Picture Frames

Printed canvas or standard prints always look their best when professionally framed. Here at Ryan Watkins Photography I specialize in photography and leave framing up to the professionals. Two local stores I recommend to clients for having their custom framing done at are Frames Unlimited in Mt Pleasant, Michigan and Arnie’s Arts and Crafts in Houghton Lake, Michigan. I have had nothing but excellent service from both of these stores and would highly recommend either. For an even larger selection of picture frames pictureframes.com offers a wide variety of gorgeous frames which can be shipped to your home. These frames come with simple instructions for how to insert your images into the frame. 

Product Overview: Digital Files

This is the second of several new blog posts explaining the various products available from Ryan Watkins Photography. 

I now offer digital files from your wedding or portrait session on a thumb drive!

I grant clients web and print rights to the images from their session. Even though I grant clients print rights I do encourage clients to let me take care of printing to ensure optimum print quality.

I make sure any image given to a client meets my approval, because of this I do basic retouching on all of the images put on the thumb drive. I also give most, but not all, of the images from the session or wedding to you. Unflattering images including things like blinks, sneezes, test shots, or people walking in front of the camera will not be included on the thumb drive.

These files are available for purchase on a thumb drive and cost $50.

Find the Perfect Time For Your Senior Portrait Session Using These Resources to Pinpoint Optimum Fall Colors in Your Area 

Fall is finally here and my schedule is getting busy! It’s still not to late to book your senior portrait session and take advantage of Michigan’s beautiful fall colors. I’ve compiled some resources to help you figure out when the fall colors will look the best to help you when booking your senior portrait session. I am also available to travel for sessions.

Preparing for Your Portrait Session

 

 

To have your portrait session turn out ideal it takes preparation. This is why I do pre-session consultations with all of my clients prior to the actual session. Many things like time, location, wardrobe, etc need to be considered prior to the shoot to make sure everything runs smoothly. These are the things which are discussed during the pre-session consultation.

 

Time

 

 

The first thing to determine is the time of day. Usually either morning, evening, or even night is best for portrait session. During midday the sun is very high and the light is unflattering making it unsuitable for most portrait photography. Most of my sessions start in the late afternoon and we shoot thru the sunset and even into the evening. The exact time we start the session is dependent upon the time of year.

 

Location

 

 

I love to travel and have had the opportunity to photograph at many beautiful locations. Many clients like to have images taken in a variety of locations. Some clients prefer to have their portraits shot on their own private property while others prefer public parks, state parks, or other public places around cities. There are several places I regularly frequent like Dow Gardens in Midland, Mi and Island and Nelson Park in Mount Pleasant, Mi. I am willing to travel and have done shoots in Ludington, Traverse City, Grand Haven, Grand Rapids, and Detroit as well. I am also willing to have the session take place on multiple days to ensure we can get the locations during the correct lighting.

 

Wardrobe

 

 

Wardrobe should be non-distracting. These are portrait sessions and not fashion shoots. Avoid clothing with large text, distracting patterns, extremely loud colors, etc. For seniors bring a variety of clothing (ie. casual and formal, light and dark) is good. For family and group portraits the clothing should be complimentary. Similar tones (ie. all cool colors or all warm colors) works well.

 

Makeup

 

 

I encourage women to wear makeup to photo shoots. Most women prefer there makeup to be done a little more in photographs then to little. I do avoid spray tans which if done inconsistently can look very unflattering.

 

Rest

 

 

Being well rested is very important for a successful session. I usually encourage seniors and families to book me on less stressful days for them. Days that the kids don’t have school and parents are off from work are ideal. Getting a good night’s sleep the night before also helps you look your best.

 

To start planning your pre-session consultation Ryan can be contacted here.

 

 

Should you have an Unplugged Wedding?

A current trend amongst brides and grooms are having unplugged weddings. An unplugged wedding is where guests, with the exception of the hired photographer and second shooters, aren’t allowed to bring phones, iPads or other cameras to the wedding. I personally think this is a great idea and will go thru some of the pros and cons of having an unplugged wedding.

Pros

The biggest reason I like the idea of an unplugged wedding is this makes it less likely that guests will photobomb images. If guests don’t have cameras, flashes, phones, or worst of all iPads it makes it harder for them to ruin important photos during the ceremony or reception. During the ceremony and cake cutting many of the guests can inadvertently get in the way or the professional photographer by stepping in the aisle to take a photo or by holding their phones or iPads in front of the photographers view. This recent Huffington Post article has examples of what I’m talking about.

Second, all the images taken during your wedding day will be by the professional photographer. They’re won’t be any unflattering or blurry images up on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter of your special day. Essentially this prevents any bad images from your wedding ending up on social media.

Cons

The biggest disadvantage to having an unplugged wedding is if something happens to the wedding photographer’s images all the photos of the wedding are lost. Granted this unlikely, but it is plausible. The first thing I do after a wedding or sometimes even during the reception is I start backing up the images from the wedding day. By the next morning I usually have three or more copies of the wedding.

There are advantages to allowing guests to take images during the wedding day to. You get far more images and from different view points that the photographer and second shooter couldn’t realistically get to. There are also apps that allow you and your guests to view and share guest images more easily. Check out this article for more info on wedding photo sharing apps. You can also have guests tag all of their Instagram photos and tweets with a specific hashtag or even get 35mm disposable cameras from guests to shoot with.

Here is another great more contemporary article about the subject of the pros and cons of unplugged weddings.

Find this article helpful? Buy Ryan a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/rywatkinsphotos

What to Wear to Senior Portrait Sessions

What to Wear to Senior Portrait Sessions

A big part of having a successful senior portrait session is being prepared and bringing the right clothes. Here are some suggestions for what to bring to your portrait session!

Things to Bring

 

What You Would Usually Wear Everyday

Most importantly you should look like you! Bring some items you wear everyday because you’ll look the most natural.

Something Light

Also bring some lighter clothing for brighter, high key images.

Something Dark

Conversely bring some darker clothing for darker low key images.

Something Casual

Casual everyday clothing is great for sessions in parks like Dow Gardens or in rural areas like near my home.  

Something Formal

Mom’s always want a photo of their son or daughter dressed up so also bring some formal clothing as well.

Something Really Loud

For environmental shots wearing something really loud is ideal! This makes you stand out amongst the surroundings.

Casual and Dress Shoes

If you want full body images wearing the appropriate shoe looks much better than wearing sneakers with dress clothes.

Something Appropriate for the Location

Where something fitting for where we’ll be shooting. Casual is great for in the country and parks. Formal is good in parks or in urban settings.

School Spirit, Athletic Wear, or Something Related to Your Interests

This is a time when you can get away with wearing big text. Show some school spirit or something related to your interests. Feel free to bring items which could be used as props as well. These could be from hobbies, sports, or other interests.

Something You Don’t Mind Getting Dirty

Some poses look great on the ground or in water. Bring some casual clothing you don’t mind getting dirty so we can add even more variety to your session!  

Dress Appropriately for the Weather

I’m a polar bear and would be confortable wearing short sleeve casual shirts into December, but I won’t recommend this. Bring some warmer clothing for if the shoot goes into sunset or the evening hours especially during fall and winter sessions.

Bring Items that are Easy to Layer so Changing Outfits is Easier

It is not always convenient to change depending on where the session is. Bringing clothing that can be layered makes this a lot easier!

Things to Avoid

This isn’t a fashion shoot so the main point is bringing clothing, which makes you look good, and draws attention to you and not your cloth. Here are few things to avoid wearing.

Clothing Which Doesn’t Fit

Most importantly wear clothing that fits. To tight or to big will look unflattering.

Sweat Pants, Sweat Shirts, Loungewear

These are unflattering; leave your pajamas at home.

Strong Patterns

If you wear a plaid shirt almost everyday feel free to bring it, but also bring some solids as well. Strong patterns and plaids can be distracting and draw attention to you and not your shirt. Subtle patterns like small checks, herringbone patterns, and gingham shirts are all acceptable. Don’t bring all shirts with strong patterns.

Big Distracting Text or Logos

Again if you wear shirts with big Holister or American Eagle logos everyday feel free to bring it, but also bring some solids. Just like with strong patters texts distracts from you and bring attention to your shirt. Subtle logos like the Polo or Lacoste logos are fine. Don’t bring all shirts with big logos.

Dirty Clothes

For the most part you ideally want your clothing to be clean with the exception of if we’re doing and country or athletic shoot which you’d intentionally look dirty.

Don’t Only Bring One Outfit

Bring a variety! I’m sure we can find ways to use a lot of your outfits. Hopefully this will help you with planning your wardrobe from you senior portrait session!