Learn to Strike a Pose!

A Learners Guide to the Perfect Pose

Posing for a picture can be difficult. We all have those images where we just look plain awkward despite how hard we try to look good. Why? Well sadly, it’s because our bodies naturally place themselves in a not so glamorous, photo worthy position. If you’ve had a professional portrait session before, then this concept would explain the awkwardness you may have felt while the photographer was posing you. Posing is just not natural! However, don’t lose all hope as you can still achieve a perfect pose by learning how to position these four regions of your body.

The Hair

There are several ways you can style your hair. And going over every style just isn’t possible. For that reason, we are only going to discuss two generic hair styles: up and down. First lets talk about those lovely up dos.

When you pull your hair up, it exposes a great deal of your face. This can be both a wonderful and awful thing. Framing your face is important because it allows some of your better features to pop, while down playing others. Because of this, its important that you avoid slicking your hair back into a tight ponytail or bun. Instead, allow your hair to flow by making your up do a bit looser. Also, placing some strands of hair down and around your face is a good idea, as this will help frame your face. However, having your hair look good while up doesn’t always pan out, no matter how hard you try. For that reason, we highly encourage that you give a hair down style a try.

Not only is having your hair down easier to achieve, but it is also easier to maintain. Plus, it almost always looks great in a portrait because it frames your face beautifully. However, there’s still one crucial thing you’ll need to keep in mind while having your hair down for portraits, and that is placement. To make your hair look picture perfect, try to always have some of your hair placed over one of your shoulders, while keeping the rest behind the other shoulder. In some cases, you may be able to pull off having your hair over both shoulders instead. However, don’t ever have your hair behind both shoulders or directly on top of your shoulders, as this will quickly make your hair appear nonexistent or heavy and frumpy…

The Face

Naturally, we all want our face to look great in portraits. However, this can be difficult to do because placing your face perfectly is sometimes hard to achieve. But don’t lose hope just yet! With these three easy tips, that perfect placement can be attained with ease. First, lets go over that cute chin of yours. When taking a picture, it can be difficult to get your chin to really pop and show off that gorgeous jaw line of yours. To help avoid the appearance of a double chin and help maximize that slim jaw of yours, pull your chin slightly forward. Doing so will instantly define your chin and slenderize your face with the appearance of your jaw.

Next, don’t let your nose break your cheek line. This might sound odd, but this situation is a serious issue whether you are aware of it or not. Such a problem occurs when you over turn your face to one side. As a result, the tip of your nose goes past the line of your cheek. This will cause your nose to appear abnormally long. Of course, no one wants a Pinocchio nose. So to avoid this issue in the future, remember to only turn your head slightly to one side during your next portrait session.

Lastly, never let the whites of your eyes take over the show. What we mean by this is that when you turn your eyes too far in either direction, a huge chunk of your eye becomes white. Sadly, this is not flattering. In fact, it looks a little creepy… To ensure that your eyes look great, try to keep your gaze forward. Looking at the camera is not always necessary to capture a beautiful portrait. However, if you want an image of yourself looking at the camera, then try to only slightly turn your face to avoid making too drastic of a sideways glance.

The Body

Most of us enjoy looking slender or curvy for portraits because it looks appealing. However, as a result of being born in our own unique and beautiful way, we don’t all score those perfectly luscious hips or that tiny waist. But never fear! Anyone can appear to have a smaller waist or a bit more curves with proper posing. And here’s how you do it…

First, turn your body so that one of your hips is slightly closer to the camera than the other. Next, pop that closer hip to give it a little dimension. Lastly, turn those cute shoulders of yours so that they are facing almost parallel with the camera. And voila! You suddenly have those curvy hips and that tiny waist you’ve always wanted. However, if you would like to make your body look just a bit thinner and less curvy, then try elongating your neck. Doing so will give you that beautiful model neck and your body the appearance of being leaner.

The Arms

Even the smallest of people struggle with arms looking far heavier in portraits than they would like. Why? Well unfortunately, it’s because arm fat is natural and essential for health. No one can survive on zero percent body fat. But we still don’t love seeing that chunk of arm in our portraits either, no matter how natural and healthy it is. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to hide this. By lifting your arms away from your body slightly, your arms will instantly slender. It’s as easy as that! Doing so will also make your torso appear smaller due to the open space formed between your arm and body. How awesome is that?!

Like arm fat, the appearance of your hands can also sometimes be unsightly in portraits. Unfortunately, we can’t completely change the appearance of your hands, but they can be improved by making your hands more fluid. You can achieve this look by relaxing both hands completely and allowing your fingers to curl slightly.

Well friends, you’re officially an expert at posing. Congratulations! And with the help of a mirror and a little practice, you will be posing like a pro in no time! If you’d like to put your posing skills to the test, then give us a call at (435)986-8272 and schedule a portrait session today! We would love to help you achieve that beautiful pose for your next wall portrait (:

Also, if you would like to receive a free portrait session today (which is a $250 value), then please visit our link: Sign Me Up!

Have a wonderful day!

 

Planning Your Family Session Outfits

The Dos and the Don’ts of Family Session Outfits

Naturally, we all want to wear our favorite, go to outfit for everything because we feel great in it! However, that all too cute outfit of yours may not look so stunning in your next family session… Why? Well there’s many reasons really. To help you nail your look in your next session and avoid outfit catastrophes, we’ve created a list of dos and don’ts. By following this list faithfully, you and your family will look fabulous in your next family session.

1. Pick Your Colors

When putting together your family’s outfits, color is the first thing to consider. Back in the day, it was great to have all the guys and gals in matching outfits. Today, we highly encourage that you don’t do this. Leave the trends of the past in the past. Instead, find outfits that have coordinating colors. This will tie your family together like a beautiful string of pearls and avoid the blandness of matching. When picking your colors, try to limit the amount to no more than four. And make sure that neutral tones are a part of that selection. For most of our families, we highly encourage implementing richer tones or pastels as these colors tend to look more flattering and subtle in portraits. The idea is to make you the focal point of the portrait and not your neon dress.

2. Limit Patterns

We understand that patterns can look dang cute, especially on little ones. However, in a photograph patterns can become a huge, busy mess of unwanted distractions. Because patterns can take away from what’s important, which is you and your family, we advise that patterns be used at a minimum. Of course, dad can still wear his favorite plaid shirt or your daughter can wear that cute floral dress. But please, don’t do both. You’ll be glad you didn’t in the end (:

3. Match Your Home

The goal of having a family session is to be able to hang those beautiful memories on the walls of your home. Because of this, it only seems natural that you would want your portraits to match your home. To make sure your portraits are wall worthy, you’ll need to make sure that what ever outfits you pick for your family session matches the decor of your home. For example, if you have a red wall that you plan to hang your portraits on, then it wouldn’t be wise to pick outfits with colors that don’t go well with red. Same applies to home accent colors found in decor.

4. Layers, Accessories, & Textures

Scarves, jackets, pullover sweaters and vests, belts, hair pieces, statement jewelry, and blazers are all wonderful accents for family portraits! Adding that little bit of texture, layers, and accessories are great because they call attention, but don’t distract from you or your family. So layer up! Show off that adorable necklace of yours, or classy your son up with a dashing blazer. We certainly wouldn’t mind!

5. Split it Up

For most people, it’s easy to put everyone in the same colored top and coordinating bottoms. For your sake and ours, please avoid making this mistake. When a family all has the same colors on top and on bottom, everything starts to look like massive blobs of color. This is definitely no bueno. To avoid this, mix things up by splitting things up! This can be done by having varying colors on bottom and top for each person. Of course, two people can have the same colored bottoms or tops. But make sure that the two individuals that are in similar outfits are not posed next to one another in the session. The last thing you want is a two headed blob in your portrait.

6. Think Classy

Fashions come and go, but being classy will never go out of style. For that reason, we encourage that when making your clothing selection, you pick something classy. By doing so, your portraits will remain timeless and, as a result, you’ll never want to take them off the walls of your home. If you have a hard time putting a classy outfit together, then shop clothing collections online. J.Crew, Anthropologie, and Ann Taylor are just a few of the many great stores that have beautiful and classy clothing collections for you to choose from.

7. Lay It Out

Once you have everyone’s outfits together, lay them out on the floor to get an idea of how they will work together for your portrait session. If you don’t like the outfits all together, then take out the pieces that aren’t working for you and find a replacement. We understand that this can be a tedious task, but in the end you’ll be much happier with the result of your family portrait if you take the time to do so.

Well friends, we hope this information was helpful! But if this still seems like an overwhelming task, then give us a call and set up a free planning consultation with us! We are always more than happy to help you put together your timeless portraits (:

Please call us at (435)986-8272 or visit our website to set up a free consultation or free session ($250 value) today!

 

Taking the Perfect Selfie

A Selfie For All of Your Social Media Needs

In today’s day in age, it’s almost impossible to not have some sort of social media platform. Whether you use Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn your going to need a profile picture. Which means your going to have to make a selfie as well. For some, this task seems daunting because getting the perfect image of yourself can be frustrating and sometimes feel impossible. There’s so many factors that go into taking a photograph. Lighting, angles, cropping, editing, filters… Sound a little overwhelming? We totally understand (and relate), but don’t lose hope just yet! By learning how to use these concepts correctly, you can create the perfect selfie with ease. And today we are going to share with you how!

LIGHTING

Lighting can be tricky and it’s very crucial. If you have too much or not enough lighting, then your selfies turn into a mess of unflattering shadows or washed out skin. No one wants that. For simplicity, we advise that everyone use natural lighting. Preferably natural lighting that comes through a window, as it almost always provides flattering shadows and lighting that won’t blow out your image. Also, please never use your phone’s flash! Although it may be tempting because it gives you a good dose of easy light, phone flashes will almost always wash you out because of how harsh the lighting is. If you don’t have any natural light and must use a flash, then use the front screen of your phone to take a selfie. Your phone will still emit light from the screen, but it won’t be an obnoxious flash. Same rules apply for florescent lighting. Don’t use it folks! Your selfies are sure to make you sad if you do.

ANGLES

So as you all probably know, angling your phone camera upward towards your face is a no no because unflattering things are bound to take place with your face. Likewise, angling your phone camera too much downward towards your face is also a no no. Trust us on this one. So what are you suppose to do? First, have your camera straight on with your face. Then angle your camera slightly downward so that you still get a flattering, but subtle angle. Lastly, tilt your head to the side and your chin down slightly and voila! You’ve created the perfect selfie angle.

CROPPING, EDITING & FILTERS

Cropping is great because when you are taking a selfie, the last thing you are thinking about is whats in your background or if your face is centered. By cropping your image, both problems can be eliminated. Because M&R believes that everyone has their own unique beauty, we don’t encourage that you do a great deal of editing on your selfies. These images are suppose to be a reflection of you. So embrace the natural and know you are beautiful just the way you are! Of course, we understand if you need to change the contrast or brightness of your image just a little or add a fun filter. All we ask is that you don’t compromise your natural beauty in the process (:

Well friends, we hope this information has been helpful and we wish you the best of luck in creating the perfect, profile worthy selfie! However, if you decide you’d rather avoid the headache and have someone else take your photographs for you, then we’d be happy to oblige. Give us a call today at (435)986-8272 or email us at mrgallery@m-rgallery.com and we’ll schedule your session right away!

Have a great day!

 

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Where did Photography Come From?

Hello everyone!

As you all know, we love what we do. Being a photographer is highly rewarding because it allows us to capture the true beauty of those that walk through our studio doors. It also allows us to create priceless memories and place them on the walls of our client’s homes. Today we wanted to share with you how our passion became what it is today. Not for just us, but for the entire world. We are going to share with you how photography came to be. 

Early Development of Photography

So, where did photography come from? Well believe it or not, the concept of photography began nearly 2,000 years ago in ancient Greece and China. However, photography was not achieved through a lens like today. So how did they do it? Back then they used a camera obscura, which is a dark room with a tiny hole. With this, images from outside the room could be projected onto one of the walls inside the room.

1,500 years later, a brilliant Italian scientist named Giambattista della Porta realized that camera obscuras could be made on a much smaller scale through the use of a lens. Although this was an amazing advancement in photography history, the camera was still incapable of capturing physical images like they do today. Because of this, artists were required to sketch by hand the images that the lens reflected onto paper to create a physical copy. As you can imagine, this was a very tedious and difficult task. To combat this problem, other brilliant scientists stepped in to find a more appropriate solution.

Continued Evolution of Photography

One such scientist was German Professor of Anatomy, Johann Heinrich Schulze, as he shared with the world that silver salt changed color due to light. From this discovery, Nicéphore Niépce, a Paris inventor in 1828, combined this concept with the camera obscura. This invention created the worlds first camera capable of developing its own physical images on glass, zinc, and pewter plates. However, this process was still very tedious and long.

To fix this, William Henry Fox Talbot, a Cambridge scientist in 1839, reduced development time to one minute with the use of chemicals and paper print. This became the worlds first negative image. With time this method developed into what we had utilized just prior to the 21st century and became vastly popular. However, things quickly changed due to the revolution in technology that swiftly took place in the late 20th century.

Today’s Photography

In 1980 the world of photography saw a change in technology like no other as images went from analog to digital. No longer did photographers rely on chemically developed light-sensitive emulsions. This transition made it easier for everyone to own a camera and become a photographer. By the 1990s Adobe Photoshop was introduced, which allowed photographers to manipulate and adjust their images into something truly outstanding. Due to these advances, we can now create new realities, capture new sights, and experience life more deeply.

We hope you enjoyed learning about our passion! For more information on this topic, please visit: BRITANNICA  

Spring is Almost Here! Are You Ready?

We all have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of spring as days become warmer, blossoms start to bloom, everything becomes greener, and the friendly chirping of birds return! However, along with warmer weather comes needed preparations for the season. To help you survive and enjoy this time of year we have decided to put together a fun spring to do list. Enjoy! Go … [SEE MORE IMAGES]

Which Homes Should You See?

Hey Everyone! It’s that exciting time of year again as the 2017 St. George Parade of Homes is finally here! With 28 luxurious and fully decorated homes, there’s plenty to see from February 17th to February 26th. With there being so many beautiful homes displayed throughout our wonderful community, it’s hard to know which ones to fit into our busy … [SEE MORE IMAGES]

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Why Senior Portraits?

senior-portraits-webAt one point or another, most of us had the pleasure of being a High School Senior. Playing on the varsity team, pulling memorable pranks, applying for college, performing for a play or dance competition, making the winning shot, being club president, and saying goodbye to good friends were all memories that we hold dear from our Senior experience. We may not have realized it then, but for most of us our Senior year was the last fleeting moment we had of childhood.

Now fast forward several years to the present. Your child is a Junior who is going to be a Senior in just a few months. You know that your child will only be a High School Senior once and that many of the wonderful feelings and experiences they have now will only be a memory once they graduate. How do you capture that last moment? That cherished time when they’re still living life free of the adult responsibilities that they will soon undertake? The answer is actually quite simple: Senior Portraits.

Capturing this cherished milestone through the use of photography not only encapsulates a memory, but also an identity that can never be taken back. For that reason, we know the importance of having portraits for your all too quickly growing Senior and provide our Seniors with the best Senior portrait session, experience, and portraits that we can. By doing so, our seniors and parents have a memory and identity that will last forever within the walls of their homes. To learn more about our Senior Sessions please visit this link: M&R’s Seniors or contact us at (435)986-8272.

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Family Portraits: Building a Child’s Confidence, Self Worth, and Identity

psych3293Below is an article written by DESIGN AGLOW, which expresses the importance of family portraits for a child’s mental well being. We wished to share this with you because of the value it places on capturing these small, yet significant moments and the impact they have on our lives. Read on to learn more about this insightful phenomenon.

“One of the hidden but powerful aspects of family photography that moms and most photographers rarely consider is how it can help us raise children with stronger confidence in their own worth and abilities. Psychologists and experts have done some work in recent decades exploring the link.

A revealing study was conducted in 1975 with a group of fourth graders at a Tennessee school by Tulane University. During a five week period, the children took Polaroid instant photos of themselves with provided cameras in a variety of assigned poses, compositions and expressing various emotions. The children worked with the printed images of themselves and created scrapbooks once a week over those five weeks. Testing of the students and teachers at the conclusion of study revealed a significant increase of 37 percent in the students’ average self-esteem behaviors. This Murfreesboro Study shows some evidence personal photography of children seen and enjoyed in a specific way can help boost a child’s self-esteem.

But how can family photography, specifically family portraits, help boost a child’s self-esteem?  

David Krauss, a licensed psychologist from Cleveland, Ohio says, ‘I think it is really important to show a family as a family unit. It is so helpful for children to see themselves as a valued and important part of that family unit. A photographer’s job is to create and make the image look like a safe holding space for kids where they are safe and protected. Kids get it on a really simple level’.

Krauss is one of the earliest pioneers in using people’s personal photography and family albums to assist in mental health counseling and therapy. He co-authored “Photo Therapy and Mental Health” in 1983 that is considered a founding text for the use of photography in therapy.

It lets children learn who they are and where they fit‘, says Judy Weiser. a psychologist, art therapist and author based in Vancouver. ‘They learn their genealogy and the the uniqueness of their own family and its story. When a child sees a family portrait with them included in the photograph they say to themselves: These people have me as part of what they are, that’s why I belong here. This is where I come from.

Weiser has spent more than 20 years using all manner of personal photography to assist in the treatment process of her clients. She is considered by many to be the foremost authority on these treatment techniques, called PhotoTherapy.

When It Comes To Having The Greatest Positive Impact For Your Child, Which is Better, Digital Images or Paper Prints?

Obviously, rather than print and display family photographs, families are increasingly enjoying their images in a digital form, be it a mobile device, a laptop, or simply on social media. But does an image on a tablet, computer screen or social media site have the same impact for helping families boost a child’s self-esteem?

My bias is very simple. I think they (family photographs) should be on the wall‘, says Krauss.

‘I am very conservative about self-esteem and I think placing a family photo someplace in the home where the child can see it every day without having to turn on a device or click around on a computer to find it really hits home for that child this sense of reassurance and comfort. They have a certainty about them and a protecting quality that nurtures a child. It let’s them know where they are in the pecking order and that they are loved and cared for, says Krauss.

The importance of printed photographs displayed in your living space was echoed by other experts.

‘My personal and clinical bias is there is something very powerful in touching your fingers to an actual print,’ says Craig Steinberg, a licensed psychologist who works with children ages five through 13 near Eugene, Ore. ‘Touching the photograph where a face is smiling or the shoulders, it is the same thing as touching a book when you read it. There’s a lot of stimulation of the brain when you have that sensory experience. That is a bit lost in the move to digital. You are touching a keyboard, mouse or a touchscreen but you are not touching the image.

Displaying photos prominently in the home sends the message that our family and those in it are important to one another, and we honor the memories we have experienced‘, says Cathy Lander-Goldberg, a licensed clinical social worker and a professional photographer in St. Louis, Missouri and the director of Photo Explorations, which offers workshops to girls and women using portrait and journaling for self-reflection.

Additionally, Krauss recommends having photographs of that child with their family placed in the child’s bedroom so it can be among the last things they see before sleep and the first thing they may see before beginning their day.

It says we love you and care about you. You’re important.

by Chris Cummins, Contributor to DESIGN AGLOW”

To view more articles by this group, please visit http://designaglow.com/blogs/design-aglow