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11.3.15 long beach

This time last year we visiting Long Beach, California! During the day Tim attended the conference and I got to catch up on some rest and relaxation by the pool. It’s an absolutely gorgeous city! We went for a run along the boardwalk Saturday morning. Had absolutely delicious food at the super popular Schooner or Later, which sits right on the marina. One evening we walked over to 555 East American Steakhouse, which surpassed Tim’s expectations with their ginormous steaks.

Palm trees, ferris wheels, fresh seafood… what’s not to love? If you ever get the chance, I definitely recommend spending a long weekend in Long Beach.

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What I Bring to a Photo Session

I’m willing to bet that if you’ve been to a public park recently then you’ve probably witnessed a photo session in progress. What photographer’s bring with them can vary widely. You may see something as simple as the photographer and their camera – maybe with a flash on top all the way up to full-on lighting-equipment on tripods, reflectors being held by assistants and three or four cameras with various lenses dangling around the photographer’s neck and/or waist.

When you and I have a photo shoot together, this is typically what you’ll see me toting around:

  • one 35mm camera
  • small crossbody bag for film

And that’s it. I go light and easy. I don’t know about you but much more than that and I’m sweating the entire time – no thanks. Now I do have a camera bag that I bring along full of “just in case” items, like another 35mm camera, two extra lenses, two flashes and extra film, but I don’t lug that around during the entire shoot.

Simple and beautiful. That’s my philosophy. And I think you’ll see how that philosophy comes through in my work: lifestyle photos of you being you. Nothing staged, overly complicated or over-edited.

Because that’s life… simple and beautiful.

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Let’s face it. Not everyone likes being in front of the camera, and they worry about how the experience will feel. In this blog post I’d like to explain to you, my lovely clients, how I help you feel natural in front of the camera.

My ideal clients are not actors or models. You’re real people, with real lives and real feelings. You probably don’t have experience in front of the camera. And anytime we, as humans, do something out of the ordinary, we get a little nervous.

As a lifestyle film photographer, I don’t do a lot of staged poses. I will tell you to walk this way, look that way, I’ll help you with your hands (because where do they go?! Am I right?). But for the most part, we’re just capturing your life on film. Act natural, try not to force things. Those photos you love on Pinterest? What do you like about them so much? Probably the authenticity the emotions elicit in you when you look at them. And often times, those genuine feelings aren’t staged or posed.

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If posing is required, I don’t tell you how to pose – I show you. I explain it in a way that makes sense to someone who doesn’t know, and really doesn’t need to know, why they’re being posed that way from a technical standpoint, just that it makes you look your best.

Throughout the session, you’ll repeatedly hear me say “Do what feels comfortable. Relax.” And when we combine natural motions with a little posing-direction, we are guaranteed to capture the beauty of your family or your wedding on film every time!

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At Poppie Studios I’m busy preparing for the holiday season and want to introduce you to the new card line I’m offering this year. These gorgeous new cards – with traditional flourish and nostalgic notes will have you wishing “Merry Everything!” – mean that I have a card that will perfectly frame your holiday greetings. Unlike many card templates, my designs are completely customizable; the colors, text and design elements can be easily tweaked to your specifications! Let Poppie Studios capture those special moments of joy and happiness forever with holiday portraits. Then share your beautiful photos by creating a custom holiday card!

Know what you’re giving everyone this year yet? Have you considered gifting a framed portrait or two? Who doesn’t love receiving a beautifully framed photo that you picked out just for them!

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I’d love to help you create your 2015 holiday card. Ready to schedule a complimentary custom design appointment? Call me right now at 850.728.3113 or e-mail me at

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9.22.15 titleWhen we sit down together a couple weeks after your session to review and choose your favorite images, it’s my job to help you “see the forest through all the trees.” I’m a firm believer in quality, not quantity.

There have been occasions where I take several photos in quick succession. I may even take a few before you were ready. When that happens, I’m usually metering for light, or trying to avoid eye blinks or hair blowing over your face. I’ve had clients say “I heard you taking lots of photos, where are the rest for me to see?” It’s my responsibility to present to you the images in which you look your best, the ones that convey the best emotions and truly capture your personality.

If I show you too many images, you can quickly become overwhelmed and unable to choose what you truly love. On the other hand, if I provide too few you may feel disappointed or even cheated out of something. Like everything in life, there is a balance.

As a film photographer, the “spray and pray” method of shooting rapid-fire then hoping for something good isn’t a viable option. This mentality alone helps reduce a lot of “waste.”

9.22.15 tripleDuring our selection session, I show you images are a moderate size and scale. I do it this way for a couple of reasons. From a distance you can’t see all of my “imperfections” and I’ve even been complimented on my “great” skin. I however, have seen myself in one of those hideous zoom mirrors and let me tell you – I have pores, lots of them. And blackheads, gray hairs, wrinkles, slightly crooked teeth and an uneven smile. But how often is someone seeing me THAT close? Never. No one, other than myself, is ever going to see my “flaws” at that scale.

That’s why I show your images on a scale that you, and others, will view them. Like on a gallery wall in your home. Even if one of your guests were to creep a little too closely at the beautiful canvas wrap on your living room wall, they wouldn’t be able to zoom-in so closely as to see any imperfections.

Also during our selection session, I choose several together at a time. When we view images in a group we are able to quickly and easily choose the ones we like best. If you were to scroll through one by one you could become overwhelmed and unable to see the differences as easily.

I know the selection process can be stressful. What if you don’t pick the right ones? Trust me. We did. And when you leave the ordering session with a bunch of great items, you’ll be excited to display your images asap. Believe me. This is my job 🙂

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