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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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This isn’t exactly a photography-centric post. But it is about my current state of affairs, and since I am Poppie Studios, I think it’s worth sharing. Hopefully, if you’re experiencing a bad case of the Wednesday Woes, you’ll find a little inspiration to get you back on the happy track.

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So as I’m thinking about everything that needs done today, tomorrow and over the course of the next month my oatmeal boiled over in the microwave… neat. After a few whispered words of dismay I pulled the glass plate out of the microwave (which I had just cleaned no less) and began scooping my oatmeal back into the cup – because I was not going to waste my blueberry cranberry steel cut oats! I was hangry! While hangerly flinging the oatmeal around, a little blob landed on my hand and burned me… awesome.

But then I laughed at myself. How ridiculous am I? Here I am, getting mad at some hot oatmeal because it interrupted my “woe is me” party. That’s when I realized: we all have moments of doubt. Self-deprecation. Dare I say, depression? How we grow from these moments is what makes a world of difference.

I’ve got a lot going on right now. Don’t we all? But the majority of it, I love doing. I’m growing my business. Every day I get to do something that makes me happy. Photography. Graphic design. Being creative. Volunteering at the animal shelter. Those are the things that I love doing because they never feel like a chore.

What weighs me down, and makes it difficult for me to remember how much positivity I have in my life, are all those things that don’t involve photography, graphic design or creativity. Doing dishes. Hitting the gym. Training for my half marathon. Laundry… barf. It’s hard to find the motivation. Therefore it’s hard to be dedicated to those things. And when I don’t tackle those things, I feel defeated. Talk about a vicious cycle!

I misplaced my FitBit about 3 weeks ago. I’ve yet to find it. Every time I look at the tan line marking the place it used to sit on my wrist, I feel a little bit like a failure. I haven’t been to the gym in two weeks either. Or done yoga at night. Another dig at my self-loathing. Dishes and laundry pile up, silently nagging at me day after day. Training for my marathon isn’t easy. My mom and boyfriend will be doing it with me for the third year in a row. How fun, right?! Except I’m out there struggling every single weekend to get my miles in, knowing that if I don’t, then I won’t be mentally prepared to finish the race with a positive attitude. Mom says she’s ready. Tim could run a marathon without any training and still go faster than me. Lame. So every weekend, as I’m lacing up my sneakers, putting on my visor, lip balm, sunscreen and mapping out my route, I’m mentally exhausted before I even get out the door. Because I worry that if I miss just one day of training, or am a half mile short, then I’m a failure. And that many miles consumes so much of my time. I feel like it’s taking away from time that I could be doing something that makes me happy. Like napping. Or baking. Or binge-watching TV.

For what purpose am I walking that many miles? I don’t know. I feel accomplished. But not the same kind of happy like I feel after an awesome photo shoot. Or after I create a new marketing piece. Or after I find out a pup I worked with at the shelter gets adopted. Those things leave me feeling full and awesome.

It’s a mental shift, no doubt. There are so many benefits to walking. And doing yoga. And doing my chiropractic stretches. All of those things make me healthy physically. Photo shoots, graphic design and puppies make me happy mentally. Walking,  yoga and a clean house make me happy too. It’s a different kind of happy. An accomplished happy. And really, any kind of happy will always trump sadness or self-loathing.

I’ve got a dry-erase board, right next to my bed, where I’m going to start writing every night three things I want to accomplish the next day. I’m also going to write something inspirational to give me the right attitude to accomplish those goals. My awesome business coaches firmly believe in the benefits of doing this. And you know what? I think they’re on to something.

Maybe things aren’t as bad as I’ve convinced myself they were…

Now if you’ll excuse me, my oatmeal is finally cool enough to eat.

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Mini Sessions!
Get Your Holiday Photos at Black Friday Prices

I am super excited to announce Mini Sessions taking place for a very limited time. Two Saturday’s this autumn: September 19 and October 3. I’ll be shooting your lifestyle portraits near the Southwood Community Center. This area gives so many backdrop possibilities all in close proximity: the playground, grassy fields, ponds, trails. Perfect for families, couples and newlyweds! And it’s pet-friendly, so you can include your fur-kiddo too which, if you’re like me, is very important!

This is the perfect opportunity for you to have your holiday portraits done – with plenty of time to create your custom holiday cards!

Mini Sessions are just $199 and include:
• one roll of film (10+ artistically enhanced final images)
• 30 minutes
• online proofing + purchasing gallery 2-3 weeks after your session

Mini Sessions are available these dates and times:
• September 19, Saturday – 9am | 10am | 11am
• October 3, Saturday – 9am | 10am | 11am

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Know someone who would love a lifestyle film photography mini session? Feel free to pass this along to them so they can take advantage of this great deal too!

But hurry – there are only six spots total. Reserve yours today by clicking the button above!

I look forward to capturing your life’s light soon!


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