How does it all work??

Ever wonder what goes into a session?

What to expect before, during and after your photo session

A photo session—whether it’s a maternity, newborn, child's milestone, or a family session—isn’t just about the day of taking pictures. The process can start weeks or even months before, and extends through a post-session process to finalize editing, retouching and product delivery. 

I'm all about creating a truly personal, truly immersive experience for my clients—and that starts with you. Here’s a step-by-step look at the process, and the important part you play in getting the best pictures:

Step 1:  Before the consultation

This is definitely one of the most fun parts of the process. Check out Pinterest for inspiration on location, poses, props and general styling. Start thinking about your style and what you’re looking for in your session. 

Step 2:  The consultation

Ask questions, look through our portfolio and figure out what approach you’d like to see in your session and final prints. If you’ve found great inspiration in step #1, bring print outs or websites along! We’ll discuss how you intend to use the images — canvas artwork, framing, album to hold all your favorite images — and help you refine the message you’re looking to convey within your session. Once you decide I'm the photographer for you, a session fee, which acts as your hold the date, and a signed contract are all you need to go forward.

Step 3:  Finalizing the details

After we determine a location we’ll confirm a date, time and, based on that information, help you finalize apparel, props and poses. I always like to have a backup date as well because you never know when Mother Nature will change her mind on a beautiful sunny day.  Clouds in our forecast?  Even better!  Clouds are nature's own soft boxes so I can put you anywhere and not have to worry about the placement of the sun as well as colors seem to pop so much more on cloudy days!

Step 4:  The Photo session 

The day is finally here! Have fun, relax, and let your kids be kids, and you’ll naturally take better photos! 

Step 5: Post Processing 

This is where I'll color correct any images, maybe crop a little here, check for highlights and shadows, and do a tiny bit of retouching if needed.  Within a week after the session, I'll post a favorite to Facebook and Instagram.

Step 6:  The Reveal & Order Appointment

We’ll schedule a time about 2 weeks post-session for me to come your home and show you all the hand-edited images that you can turn into works of art.  We'll decide which portraits you want to create into wall art, which favorites you might want to turn into Mini Accordion Albums as gifts, and then gather all your favorite portraits and make a one of a kind Heirloom Album.  Your children will love looking at themselves and the rest of the family every single day.  And you'll say to yourself, "Why didn't I do this sooner?"  

Step 7: Final delivery

Turnaround time for products is based on the specific product you order.  Once your final prints/products arrive and I make sure they are absolutely perfect, I'll arrange a time to deliver them to you!  No worrying about gathering all the kids in the car again to pick up your products.  If you've ordered wall art, I'll even be happy to help hang them (as long as hubby is ok with me making the holes in the wall)!

So much more goes into a photo session than just the hour long time I spend with the camera in front of my face.  I put my heart into everything I do.  My goal is to make your time so enjoyable, you'll want all your friends to join the fun too! 

Interested in a session?  Contact me today!

How I got the shot feature

I have been following Cinnamon Wolfe with Cinnamon Wolfe Photography for over 3 years.  When I first sent her an email, she was so excited to hear that someone was actually reading her blog posts!  Three years later, she is creating her own website for photographers and small business creatives, as well as has her own podcast (how cool is that?!?).

So when she asked for entries on her new site, Cinnamonwolfe.co to show other photographer's how they got a certain portrait, I couldn't wait to enter!

Today on her new blog, she's featuring a portrait that was taken last October for a maternity session.  This family was so beautiful, it was so hard to choose a favorite image!  And can you just feel the love that is in the air between these two??  It's easy to see why I chose this one.

maternity session with Jessica LS Photography in open field

Thanks to Cinnamon Wolfe for featuring this portrait on your new website! Can't wait to see where your new adventure takes you!

Why sometimes an 8x10 just doesn't work

So you decided to print some of your portraits from your recent photo session or maybe that awesome picture you captured with your phone of your daughter.  That's great!  Now the big question:  what size should you print it?

Most people have heard of the universal sizes 4x6, 5x7, and 8x10.  But are those really the right sizes for your photos?  I'm here to tell you, that sometimes those sizes just don't work.

Generally, when we take portraits with a decent camera there is a specific size that the file is made into: 4x6 portrait or a 2:3 ratio.  

This is the size that comes out of most cameras, 4x6, or a 2:3 ratio.

This is the size that comes out of most cameras, 4x6, or a 2:3 ratio.

So what were to happen if you wanted to increase the size to a 5x7?  Keeping the right side of the portrait all the way over so not to lose some of dad's knee, you can see there's not that much of a difference.  You seem to crop a little closer to mom's toes, but it's still ok.

5x7 print takes off just a bit from the edge of a portrait, but not enough to make a big impact on the portrait.

5x7 print takes off just a bit from the edge of a portrait, but not enough to make a big impact on the portrait.

When you crop to an 8x10, you are changing the ratio drastically and losing 2 inches off the end of the portrait.  Mom's toes are almost to the edge of the frame and dad's knees are really close as well.

Notice how much is cut off from the original 4x6 print?  

Notice how much is cut off from the original 4x6 print?  

In these examples, because I included so much extra negative space, or empty space off to the left, creating this into an 8x10 portrait really wasn't that bad.  Unless of course the client and the photographer wanted that extra negative space in the portrait to create a visual effect.  Also remember, when you place a portrait inside a frame, you're generally losing another 1/4 inch all the way around to be able to hold it into the frame.  In this case, there would be no extra space at all.  The frame would go all the way to dad's knee and mom's toes.  But what happens when you have a portrait with no room to be cropped?

Here is a portrait with mom and baby.  I purposely photograph these portraits close for a couple reasons.  One to really show the closeness and bond between mom and baby; and two because new moms normally don't feel like showing off too much of their post-baby body.  So here's the original format, the 4x6 portrait.

The original format of the portrait shows all of baby and  a little bit of room above mom's head.

The original format of the portrait shows all of baby and  a little bit of room above mom's head.

When we crop to a 5x7, mom is slowly losing room above her head and we are cropping closer to baby's toes.

The 5x7 portrait really isn't that bad, but mom is slowly losing room above her head.

The 5x7 portrait really isn't that bad, but mom is slowly losing room above her head.

You really notice the effect of the crop when you try to print it as an 8x10.  You lose some of mom's head AND you lose baby's toes. Displayed in a frame, you would also lose another 1/4" all the way around to be able to hold it into the frame.  It would be cropped further into the top of mom's head and into baby's knee.  This is not the best way to display this portrait.

Not only do you lose baby's toes, you also cut into mom's head in the 8x10 portrait.

Not only do you lose baby's toes, you also cut into mom's head in the 8x10 portrait.

When you hire a photographer to take your portraits, you're also hiring them to help you decide which portraits should be displayed where and how.  You are hiring them for their expertise and their knowledge of how your portraits should be displayed.  Next time, ask your photographer to help you so you can display your portraits beautifully and not cropped!

To inquire about a custom experience and a photography session with Jessica LS Photography, contact her today at hello@jessicalsphotography.com

2016 in Review: Favorite Children Portraits

It still absolutely amazes me how much babies change over the first year.  Did you know that a baby will roughly triple his birth weight, grow 1-1/2 times as long as he was when he was born, and have about 1-1/3 times the head circumference in the first year?  That's a lot of growing!  That's why I feel it is so important to capture them every 3 months.  Some photographers only bring them in the studio every 6 months, but they change so much in that time!  

In 2016, I was able to watch 13 children grow over the year.  A couple I only met once hoping to see them again soon, but the ones I saw every 3 months was so much fun!  Here are my favorite images from those sessions.

I first met this baby boy in February 2015 when he was only 2 weeks new.  Seeing him again at his first birthday was a special treat!  Although he wasn't into the cake, he was definitely into giving lots of smiles!

I first met this baby boy in February 2015 when he was only 2 weeks new.  Seeing him again at his first birthday was a special treat!  Although he wasn't into the cake, he was definitely into giving lots of smiles!

This little kiddo holds a special place in my heart being my first Baby's First Year Plan.  Seeing him turn one years old was like watching my own child's first birthday!  His little smiles during that whole year would make the sun shine brighter!

This little kiddo holds a special place in my heart being my first Baby's First Year Plan.  Seeing him turn one years old was like watching my own child's first birthday!  His little smiles during that whole year would make the sun shine brighter!

Seriously, this little kiddo's smiles just brighten anyone's day.  And those bright blue eyes seem to shine brighter every time I would see him!

Seriously, this little kiddo's smiles just brighten anyone's day.  And those bright blue eyes seem to shine brighter every time I would see him!

Pink and blue just seem to make this little girl stand out even more.  She had SO much fun smashing her cake it was definitely a sight for mom and dad too!

Pink and blue just seem to make this little girl stand out even more.  She had SO much fun smashing her cake it was definitely a sight for mom and dad too!

Mom wanted to capture the love between these two brothers and I think these photos about sum it up.  Big brother was so gentle and caring!

Mom wanted to capture the love between these two brothers and I think these photos about sum it up.  Big brother was so gentle and caring!

I adored every little outfit that mom brought for this baby girl to wear!  And although it would take her a little bit to warm up to the camera, she always had the brightest smiles.

I adored every little outfit that mom brought for this baby girl to wear!  And although it would take her a little bit to warm up to the camera, she always had the brightest smiles.

Dad's love of baseball and the outdoors was the perfect setting for this little guy's portraits.  When he finally gave me a smile it was as if his entire body would light up!

Dad's love of baseball and the outdoors was the perfect setting for this little guy's portraits.  When he finally gave me a smile it was as if his entire body would light up!

I may be a little partial to this session being that it is my daughter.  After watching all the other little babies coming into our home studio, she wanted to make sure she received her own little cake smash.  Who says cake smash fun is only for one year olds?

I may be a little partial to this session being that it is my daughter.  After watching all the other little babies coming into our home studio, she wanted to make sure she received her own little cake smash.  Who says cake smash fun is only for one year olds?

I will be so sad when this little girl turns one year old.  I will definitely miss you personality and smiles!  It is so awesome to be able to watch a baby's personality grow!

I will be so sad when this little girl turns one year old.  I will definitely miss you personality and smiles!  It is so awesome to be able to watch a baby's personality grow!

Every single session, mom would bring in the most adorable outfits!  And hats to match!  His little outfits definitely match his personality as well.  This kiddo has style!

Every single session, mom would bring in the most adorable outfits!  And hats to match!  His little outfits definitely match his personality as well.  This kiddo has style!

I first met this kiddo when he turned 2 years old and loved his big smile!  And when his Husky pal would tag along, it was even more fun!

I first met this kiddo when he turned 2 years old and loved his big smile!  And when his Husky pal would tag along, it was even more fun!

This baby boy's mom is a dear friend that I will surely miss when they leave the area.  Being able to capture this little kiddo was extra special because I not only got to see him grow, but it also meant I got to see my friend too.  

This baby boy's mom is a dear friend that I will surely miss when they leave the area.  Being able to capture this little kiddo was extra special because I not only got to see him grow, but it also meant I got to see my friend too.  

This baby girl is so talkative and personality at 3 months already!  Although she was a little camera shy, as soon as I took that black box away from my face and started talking to her, it would light up her entire face!  I'm so excited to watch her grow!

This baby girl is so talkative and personality at 3 months already!  Although she was a little camera shy, as soon as I took that black box away from my face and started talking to her, it would light up her entire face!  I'm so excited to watch her grow!

These babies will always hold a special place in my heart.  I've been able to watch them go from laying down to sitting up to holding their head up high to walking.  I hope that once I've finished capturing their first year, I'll be seeing them again soon!

If you're interested in Jessica LS Photography capturing your baby's First Year, contact me today. hello@jessicalsphotography.com

2016 in Review: Favorite Newborn portraits

During this month, I've seen a lot of other photographers who have been looking back on 2016.  Not only is it important as a creative person, but anyone really, to see how far they've come.  Over 2016, I had the great honor of photographing 7 newborn babies ranging from 3 days new to 3 weeks old, watching 13 children grow and change over the year, watch as a family was getting ready for a new baby girl in their family, photographed 15 families, and attended 6 different events.  Wow!  That's a lot for one year.  So although there were definitely times that I didn't feel as though I was accomplishing anything, I can honestly say I did!

So as the first month of 2017 is coming to a close, I wanted to share with you my favorite portraits from each type of session.  Here are my favorite newborn portraits from 2016.

Newborn baby Mateo was only 5 pounds when he was photographed.  We were able to make special size outfits just for him!  So thankful that he came in when he did because shortly afterwards he was hospitalized for RSV for a few weeks.  

Newborn baby Mateo was only 5 pounds when he was photographed.  We were able to make special size outfits just for him!  So thankful that he came in when he did because shortly afterwards he was hospitalized for RSV for a few weeks.  

Beautiful baby Mackenzie looks so lovely in pearls and purple (which happens to mom's favorite color too!). She slept wonderfully during her session, but silly me forgot to take photos of just mom and baby!  When she finally came back a week later, she was wide awake!  

Beautiful baby Mackenzie looks so lovely in pearls and purple (which happens to mom's favorite color too!). She slept wonderfully during her session, but silly me forgot to take photos of just mom and baby!  When she finally came back a week later, she was wide awake!  

This baby girl was born at home and came into the studio when she was only 3 days new!  She slept like a dream!  And meeting her 4 older brothers and sisters was a treat also!  When dad asked if he could add his boots into the setup I was super excited!

This baby girl was born at home and came into the studio when she was only 3 days new!  She slept like a dream!  And meeting her 4 older brothers and sisters was a treat also!  When dad asked if he could add his boots into the setup I was super excited!

At 3 weeks old, this little guy LOVED to lay on his tummy and be wrapped up tight.  And gray is definitely his color.  So glad mom was able to have him photographed when she did before he lost some of his new baby squishiness.

At 3 weeks old, this little guy LOVED to lay on his tummy and be wrapped up tight.  And gray is definitely his color.  So glad mom was able to have him photographed when she did before he lost some of his new baby squishiness.

Mom was determined to have an outdoor session with this little baby boy.  I was so super excited to use little spots throughout my yard to put him in also! He loved being wrapped tight and in the end he posed beautifully on a log stump in my front yard too!

Mom was determined to have an outdoor session with this little baby boy.  I was so super excited to use little spots throughout my yard to put him in also! He loved being wrapped tight and in the end he posed beautifully on a log stump in my front yard too!

This little guy loved to snuggle, so I figured why not add a little sleeping teddy bear for him to hold onto.  It was the perfect size!

This little guy loved to snuggle, so I figured why not add a little sleeping teddy bear for him to hold onto.  It was the perfect size!

Nothing could be sweeter than capturing mom with her new baby girl.  Our babies will never be this small again and it's such an honor to photograph their first family portraits.  

Nothing could be sweeter than capturing mom with her new baby girl.  Our babies will never be this small again and it's such an honor to photograph their first family portraits.  

So there you have it! My favorite newborn portraits from 2016.  I hope to be able to capture so many more during 2017.  It's an absolute honor to meet a family's new addition and to be able to capture their first family portrait is an even greater pleasure.  If you or someone you know are expecting, it's never too early to schedule your newborn session. Contact Jessica today to learn more about a Cherish Newborn session.

hello@jessicalsphotography.com