Steadman Photography's CT Portrait and Senior Blog Post
Thursday, July 24, 2014
By Barbara Steadman, Plainville CT Senior Photographer
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You arrive at our studio and you look around, thinking "how can my photos be different from my friends?"  Afterall, many senior photographers have standard poses, props and backgrounds they use.  However, you can take control of your portrait session so that the resulting photographs express your personality in a way that's different from anyone else.  You are a unique individual and your photos should reflect that. One way to make sure that happens is to schedule a pre photo consultation.   But even if you skip this step, your portraits can still be a one-of-a-kind knock your socks off expression of YOU!  

All it takes is a little organization and pre-planning.  

  • First choose your outfits carefully.  We encourage our seniors to bring up to four changes of clothes.  If you play sports or are involved in another activity that requires special gear or clothing, bring that too. The goal is to pose for portraits in clothes that reflect who you are -- whether playful, romantic, athletic, intellectual or some other trait describes you, choose your outfits accordingly.  If you have several facets to your personality -- and most people do -- bring outfits to showcase your different moods.  You might like to dress up for a party, and go hiking too.  Your outfit choices should tell your whole story!
  • Bring accessories to spice up those four clothing choices.  Hats, belts, jewelry, scarves, boots and shoes can give a totally different look to the same outfit. 
  • Wearing your hair both in an up do, and down to your shoulders can add glam. 
  • Bring props.  Think interests and hobbies.  If you're an artist, bring your sketch pad.  if you play an instrument, bring it (well, unless it's a piano).  If you fish, bring your pole (we even have a brook next to our property).  Whatever it is, we can make you look like a natural!  
  • Don't forget your BFF -- whether he or she is your significant other, childhood friend since grammar school, or of the furry variety, we want to photograph you together.  You can even bring your sports team for an awesome group photograph.  We never charge extra for buddy shots even if there's multiple buddies in it!  

Many times we create our best portraits by catching you unaware, so don't be afraid to be yourself.  Don't wait for our instructions, but mug for the camera and strike your own poses.  We may just click the shutter and get the best photo of the session.  Of course we're always there to guide and direct, but sometimes just being yourself can make a relaxed and natural looking portrait that everyone will love!   

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Saturday, July 12, 2014
By Barbara Steadman
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Choosing your senior photographer is the first step in the process toward getting great senior portraits that will mark this pivoltal point in your life.  But what happens after that?  This post is to walk you through the steps we use when working with our high school seniors.  We feel that if you know what to expect, the whole senior portrait experience can be fun, rewarding, and a true confidence builder!  

Of course the first thing you need to do when scheduling your senior portrait session is to call the photographer you are interested in working with.  It is a good idea to visit your chosen photographer's website first to familiarize yourself with their style of shooting including posing and background choices as well as pricing information if listed on their website and any other information that is available.  It is best if the photographer has at least one page on their site devoted to highschool seniors.  Our senior information page is HERE, and our senior gallery is HERE.  By viewing the website first, you can write down any questions you may have about their service or shooting style to ask during the telephone "interview".  I call this an interview because it is your chance to make sure this is the photographer you want to work with.  This is crucial as you are in fact hiring the photographer to work for you.  Possible questions to ask can include:

  • How many poses do you take for the session I'm interested in purchasing?  How much time will you spend with me?
  • Do you offer on location sessions and is there an extra charge as opposed to having all photographs taken at the studio location?
  • How many changes of clothing can I bring?  Can I bring extra, and ask you to help me decide what would look best for my portraits?
  • Can I bring props, my best friend, parents, or pets?
  • I'm really nervous about having my portraits taken.  What can you do to calm my nerves?
  • I'm a blinker (or a cheesy smiler, or one eye is smaller thatn the other, or I'm afraid of a blemish breakout)?  What can you do to help me?
  • How will I get to see my finished images?  How long before I can see them?
  • What kind of products to you offer?  
  • What is your payment policy?
  • How long before I receive my order?

These are just some of the questions you might be prompted to ask after looking at the photographer's website.  The key is to write them down as they come to you so that you will be organized and prepared to ask the questions you need answers to before committing your senior portraits to a photographer.

In the same way that it is important for you to find out as much as possible about the photographer and the experience that he or she can offer you, it is important for us as the photographer to get to know you by asking our own set of questions.  We may ask you what kind of music you like, who your favorite musician is, what sports you like, where you like to shop, or what you hope to get out of the senior portrait experience.  It's all part of the process in getting to know you better so that we can plan an exceptional portrait experience for you.  

I especially love it when we find common ground such as the time we discovered Marisa's love for her Wheaten Junior, the same age and breed as our beloved Cody!  

Although not mandatory, we suggest a consultation prior to the actual portrait session.  At the consultation, we will meet with you to discuss your expectations, go over clothing choices, outdoor locations, products available for purchase after the session, etc.  If you're hesitant at all about booking your session, it is an ideal opportunity to meet with us first -- and if you are sure, it's still a great opportunity to prepare yourself for the possibilities and get the most out of your session.  The session fee which includes your first print, is due following the consultation or upon booking the session.  This is necessary to hold your date. 

During the actual photo session, we do not put a limit on the amount of time we spend with you.  Our philosophy is to spend as much time as it takes to fully photograph every facet of your personality.  We want to tell your unique story which we feel cannot be rushed.  We encourage all our seniors to bring anything with them that expresses their uniqueness including props, friends and family members (pets are considered family by us!), vehicles, sports equipment and attire, musical instruments -- your imagination is the limit!  There is never an extra charge for this.

After your photo session, we schedule your Viewing and Ordering Session.  This is where you actually get to see your finished portraits projected on a large screen, and choose the portraits you wish to purchase.  It is important that everyone involved in the purchasing process attend this session.  Here we offer special guidance to make sure you choose the best prints, sizes and products that meet your needs.  This is actually a lot of fun and we encourage you to invite family and friends to cheer you on as you view your portraits.  We can call it a "movie" night with popcorn and iced tea!

In the following days and weeks, I will write different posts focusing on a different step in the process, covering it in much more detail.  Meanwhile, if you have any comments or suggestions, we'd love to read them.  Just leave 'em in the comments section below.  To visit our website, go to www.steadmanphotography.com.

 
Friday, July 04, 2014
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Have you ever wondered what you were going to do with those beautiful portraits once you purchased them?  Frame them?  Hang them or put them on your desk?  Give them as gifts?  How about coffee table books? 

 These are the most common ways to display your professional photographs.  Besides the normal 8x10 and smaller gift prints, we want to take it a step further, and show you some of the products that can really make your portraits stand out!                                                                                  


Beautiful canvas print ready for hanging without the frame.

The Gallery Wrap

The Gallery Wrap is a beautiful canvas print ready for hanging without a frame.  It’s frameless presentation gives your wall portrait the look of a museum piece.   Sizes range from 8×10 to 40×60.

Classic framed print

Classic framed print

The custom classic framed print can be any size, and comes in any finish from a lustre coating mounted on art board, to a fine art canvas mounted on canvas stretcher or masonite.  Only acid-free paper and archival sprays are used to make sure your portraits provide lasting memories for many generations!

Framed Double-matted Wall Portrait

Framed Double-matted Wall Portrait

The custom double-matted frame gives your wall portrait a much larger presence than is possible with a single frame alone.  Add punch to your portrait with a mat and frame combo to coordinate with your home decor.

Classic Wall Folio

Classic Wall Folio

Or choose a custom double-matted framed piece to display multiple images!

Petite Wall Folio

Petite Wall Folio

The custom petite wall folio is great for people with smaller wall space to display multiple prints.  Choose from over 200 different frame mouldings and matting combinations for all of our custom framed pieces.

The Wall Collage with faux matting

For Seniors only:  The Wall Collage with faux matting

We also offer a less expensive option for displaying multiple prints available only for High School Senior and Engagement sessions.  It is a collage of images printed on one sheet, mounted and framed.  Unlike the Classic and Petite wall folios, the collage is not mounted with glass or acrylic.  These wall collages come in your choice of a platinum or black frame with black or cream matting.

The Desk Folio and the Mini Accordion Folio

The Desk Folio and the Mini Accordion Folio

We just love these awesome portable folios.  The Desk wing-style folio is perfect for a table, desk or mantle.  The Mini Accordion has a magnetic closure, comes in sets of three for perfect gift-giving, and fits right in your purse so you can take it with you anywhere you go.

The Art Book, Photo Book, and Proof Album

The Art Book, Photo Book, and Proof Album

These three albums make great presentations to show off all your favorite photos.  Display them on your coffee table.

Shadow Mount

Shadow Mount

2013-08-12 08.36.52

Back of Shadow Mount

Shadow Mounts are our newest offering.  They are a great alternative to framed portraits.  Similar to Gallery Wraps, this unique way to display your portraits differ in that unlike Gallery Wraps, the image does not wrap around the edges.  Instead, a frame is fixed to the back of the image.  Both Gallery Wraps and Shadow Mounts can be hung just as they are!

The Custom Photo App
The Custom Photo App

Carry your session images wherever you go with these handy custom photo apps created especially for your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.  It will also work on Android phones.

We hope these give you some great ideas on how to display your precious images, but if there is something that you think would make a great addition, please let us know.

Barbara and Russell, Steadman Photography

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Saturday, June 21, 2014
By Barbara Steadman, Plainville CT Senior Photographer
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Plainville High School seniors celebrate in style at a rock'n graduation party at the local Wheeler YMCA.  Who says you need alcohol to have fun?  These teens proved you can have a good clean fun time at Gameland, this year's theme for the graduation party!  Best wishes to all 2014 graduates.  CONGRATULATIONS!Plainville High School seniorsParents and teachers spent months planning the party which included an obstacle course, rock climbing, surfing, a casino, pick up basket ball, portrait drawings, dancing and tatoos not to mention all the great food donated by local restaurants.  

Below are some highlights from the 2014 graduation party.  More photos will be posted to our Facebook page, so check there soon!


Don't forget to check our Facebook page for more photos from Plainville High School graduation night!  If you have any comments, leave 'em below -- we'd love to hear from you.

 

Visit our website at www.steadmanphotography.com!


 
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
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The clothes you wear for your session can make a huge difference in how much you love your portraits.  Choosing something not so flattering can have you wishing for a redo really fast.  So what are the five biggest fashion mistakes, and what should you choose instead?

 

  • BIG PRINTS, patterns and horizontal stripes detract from your face and call attention to themselves.  

  TIP:  Choose solid colors instead.  These should be colors that look good on you and bring out your best features. 

You can also think in terms of the season. For example, you can choose earth tones in the Fall and pastels for spring provided these colors also compliment your own skin tone.  When posing with others, make sure your colors go together.  You don’t have to dress in exactly the same colors as that  can seem a little too boring, but your colors shouldn’t clash — so no orange and fuschia outfits in the same family portrait!  

  • SLEEVELESS TOPS add weight to your frame, so unless you have a great figure, they are best avoided.  Even with thin people, they can be unflattering as they can make the arms look bony.  

  TIP:  Instead choose long sleeves, 3/4 sleeves, short sleeves or even cap sleeves.  

 

  • Likewise, SHORTS can add weight to your legs, and bare legs especially in a family portrait can look like, well, just too many legs!
  • FLIP FLOPS are not the best choice for shoes.  Remember that your feet may show in some of the portraits.

TIP:   Shoes that match your outfit are always a good choice.  And guys, bring matching socks!

  • TIGHT CLOTHES may restrict your movement and make posing uncomfortable.  

TIP:   Wear looser clothing that moves when you do for a more relaxed look.  This does not mean baggy pants or “plumbers” jeans though.  We still want you looking stylish!

To add to our big 5 fashion tips, here are a few tips on hair and make-up:

  • Make sure you bring your comb or brush to the session with you.  You never know when you might need to make a few minor adjustments.
  • Wait at least a week after getting a new style or perm, which needs time to “settle down.”
  • Your regular make-up, especially to cover blemishes, is recommended.  Mascara, blush and lip gloss will enhance your best features.
  • Nail polish should be fresh, and not chipped.
  • Guys should shave before the session.

And REMEMBER!  Rules are made to be broken.  If you have something you think looks really awesome, but goes against the grain, bring it anyway.  It just might make a fashion statement too good to pass up!

When you look good, you will feel good.  When you feel good, you will look GREAT in your portraits!  If you find you are having a hard time deciding, bring more than you plan on wearing for your session.  We will help you put together the most flattering outfits.

If you have any fashion advice for good portraits not mentioned here, please let us know in the Comments section below.  We’d love your feedback.