Archive for the ‘Newsworthy’ Category

I often have clients ask me… “what should we wear?”  My answer is always, “something coordinated, but not too matchy-matchy.”  In an effort to help you, as a client, and  as a reader, I’d like to share some tips in how to dress for your Custom Portrait Session.  I’ll be using my own clothes, that I have purchased for portrait purposes to help illustrate my advice.

I often tell clients and friends to find a nice bright patterned piece of clothing and put that on one person in the group.  Then you pull the colors from that pattern and dress everyone else around it.  I, personally, like a blend of brights and neutrals.   The following two photos represent two family-type outfits with a boy and a girl.  Now, I’m also *that mom* who matches her two boys.  So I have no problem with doubling up on the boy’s outfit, or possibly in your case, the girl’s outfit.

This top collection is perfect for a more natural-type setting of tall grass.  The colors are what you might find in nature.   The second collection is more suited for an urban-type setting.  I know for a fact that there will be some All Star Converse shoes with that collection.  ;)

andrea burns photography

andrea burns photography

One pattern, the colors pulled from it for everyone else.  Please feel free to get funky with accessories and shoes.

The next two photos show just samples of sibling session possibilities.  The first is more winter, the second more summer.  The first would be great with a third child in chocolate brown.  The second, I think that a third child can match and duplicate the polo or dress again.

andrea burns photography

andrea burns photography

Now I’m going to show you the above principles/ tips in practice with my own family photos from last year.  One pattern, the colors pulled from it for everyone else, a blend of brights and neutrals.

andrea burns photography

andrea burns photography

Coordinated, but not too matchy-matchy.

Now where do I find these clothes?  Everywhere, I shop around.  But I have the best luck at Gap, Old Navy, Gymboree, CrewCuts, and Anthropologie.

Hopefully this helps you.  I’d love to hear if it does.  :)

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This Weekend….

May 3, 2010

Mark your calendars!  May 8th at Derwood Alliance Church there will be an Arts Fair, where I will have a booth set up.  Come enjoy Arts, Crafts, Baked Goods, a Book Swap, and enter a drawing to win a free sitting!

andrea burns photography

Come join us for a lot of fun! Shop for yourself or for your Mother!

I’ll be there, don’t you be square! Come on by!

Andrea I have a question for you! I am from Az and I have been looking for some great materials and rugs to use for infant photos could you please recommend where to look? Thank you in advance for your help :)

I have found great fabrics at my local Jo-Ann’s Fabric.  I just look for great texture or pattern.  I’ve also been known to use a fun shower curtain every now and then too. 

how do you finish your photos? like what photoshop tricks do you have…if any? do you use actions or are you just naturally awesome sooc?

I always finish my photos with an Unsharp Mask in Photoshop to defog the photo.  Digital images tend to have a little bit of “fog” or softness that an USM can clear.  I also religiously use a Sharpen-for-Web action that resizes and converts to web color for me.  I never show anything on the web that hasn’t had that action run.  That said, I do try to get everything right In Camera first.  But I do usually adjust levels and might pop color a little in my post processing.

Are you planning on having any more babies? :o) Also, Are you still running? What advice would you give to someone who is not a runner but would love to start?

We are done having babies.  We have always just wanted three children, and I am just beyond blessed with the beautiful miracles God has already given me.   I am still running!  I took a couple months off over the Winter, but am back at it in full swing.  I actually have a 10K race this weekend, and am looking forward to racing in my first full marathon this Fall.  As for advice, you can look at the Couch to 5K program.  I always just went slow and added mileage and speed as my endurance built.   Another piece of advice, go get specially fitted for shoes that are perfect for you!  And invest in a GOOD pair of shoes!  Take care of those feet!

Have you ever considered teaching an online photography and/or photo editing course? Or, maybe including a photography tips and tricks section on your site?

I have considered it!  Winter is usually a little slower with clients, so I am thinking of offering a beginner’s class next Winter.  Owning a DSLR will probably be a requirement.

What lenses do you have and use? What is your “go to” lens?

Well, first off, I shoot with a Nikon D700.  The lenses I own and love are all Nikkor lenses…. 24-70 f/2.8 – 70-200 f/2.8 – 50mm f/1.4G – 60mm macro f/2.8 – 85mm f/1.8.  My go-to lens, the one I use 80% of the time is my 24-70mm.

How do you get your pics sooooo crisp and clear!! Is it the camera, lens, editing??

Well, I truly believe that my “tools” do lend to my images.  By investing in a nice camera, it can handle noise and grain with great color and clarity.  My lenses are “Pro glass” and there is a huge difference in quality between these and the kit lens you can get.  Now, with both working together, I really try to achieve perfect exposure, b/c that is the key to a crisp photo.  And underexposed photo will be dark, and because of that, very grainywith a loss of detail.  A properly exposed photo wil have hardly any grain and great details.

Hi Andrea, Would you be willing to photograph a family from the Philadelphia area (we live about 15 mins from the DE/PA border)?

Yes!  I am willing to travel a couple hours to shoot you and your family, we can even meet halfway.  I do have some traveling fees that may apply.

How do you get such great shots indoors? Umbrella lights? Enormous windows for natural lighting? Is there a particular lens you would recommend for great indoor shots?

I start off with a great lens.  Indoors I usually use my 24-70mm or my 50mm and open the aperture as much as I can.  I just try to pay attention to where the light is falling.  Inside I usually just use natural light (my softbox is saved for studio work).  If it is raining or unusually gloomy I will bounce a flash off the ceiling or behind me into a window.

I would love to know how you edit the eyes in your pictures. I see so many photographers lately that go crazy with that, and they end up looking fake. The eyes in your pictures just look beautiful. Also, does your baby just have naturally beautiful skin, or do you photoshop that a little, too?

Where the light falls is very important.  I’m always looking for where the catchlight is falling.  Eyes without catchlights are dead-looking.  Once in photoshop I do dodge the whites just a little bit to brighten them.  I do photoshop skin.  I soften skin on a seperate layer and then bring back the sharp eyes and other facial features, leaving skin smoothed.  I tend to not have to do this as strongly with children as I do with adults.

How do you get babies and toddlers to sit/stand still and look at the camera long enough to get a nice shot?

Boy, do I sweat during a session!  The child’s mother and I are forever wrangling and acting like idiots to grab attention.  I may be jumping up and down while growling like a dinosaur, or shaking one of my MANY noisemakers.  Sometimes a parent will play peekaboo around the corner of the light.  Sometimes I put a peice of clear scotchtape in their fingers.  This stops them long enough to check out the tape, in time for me to do somethng rediculous, lol.  Sometimes containment is the way to go… toddlers in a chair or basket.

I use a DSLR to take snapshots of my kids, but our house has almost no natural light. Is there any way to make my photos look more natural in my dark house?

I suggest investing in a speedlight flash.  You can practice with bouncing the light up or behind you to fill the room with a softer, more natural light.

Where did you get that great mat, that looks like old wood flooring?

That was a great find at Urban Outfitters.  :)

This was fun!  Thanks so much for your questions, I’ll be sure to do this again!  I hope you find everything helpful.

andrea burns photography

I will be doing a fan/ client Q&A later this week. Please submit and and all questions to me here or through email. I’ll answer what I can honestly and openly about anything! Can’t wait to see what YOU are wondering about!

andrea burns photography

The Montgomery Village Arts & Crafts Fair was this past weekend.  I submitted the above photo, a water droplets macro into the Color Photography, Pro category.  This year I brought home the Blue Ribbon of First Place!

andrea burns photography

You may remember me bringing home two Second Places last year, and a First Place the year before that.   Again, all the photography winners were non-portrait.  So I am determined to win a fine-art portrait next year…. we’ll just have to see what I can come up with.

Notice anything new?  My new logo and colors!  How fresh and exciting… I’m in love with my new look.  I wanted Pottery Barn Kids meets Anthropolgie… and I think this does just that.  My splash page should also reflect the change, and I’ll slowly start updating my website to reflect newer work as well.

And I couldn’t just leave you without a new photo…. look who can pull herself up….

andrea burns photography

Thanks for stopping by!

February Photo Deal!

February 3, 2010

For my Facebook and Blog friends! Book a February studio session and get half off your session fee plus a complimentary 8×10! Offer is till Saturday, so book now!  Contact me via my Contact Page on my website.

you are what you wear

January 18, 2010

you are what you wear

You are what you wear.

A little cliché? Perhaps. But when it comes to portrait photography, clothing plays a huge role in the success of the finished product.

Before we get going – let’s be clear what you’re clothing does NOT need to be:

1. Brand New
I’m down with your favorite ripped jeans, retro band T’s, and worn converse shoes – as long as you know how to rock them in your own fabulous style.
2. Fancy-Schmancy and Uber-Expensive
Unless it’s your thing (If it’s really your thing, then by all means baby, bring on the bling). If you’re not normally a dress-up kind of person, don’t feel like you have to be one for your session.
3. Matching
No need to focus on matching everything from the color of your fuchsia headbands to the stripes in your socks. In fact, I beg of you, please, please don’t. If you’re heart is set on everyone in white button downs and khaki pants, I’m probably not your girl.
4. Stressful
No need to worry about each and every item, or fret about the suitability of each accessory. This is supposed to be fun. If you’re unsure – call me, and together, we’ll make sure you look fabulous. I promise.

I want you to be happy, thrilled, over the moon about your images, and I know that this is much more likely if we take the time and work together to help you choose clothing that fits these few simple rules:

Feels Good.
During your shoot you could be sitting in a pile on the grass having a tickle battle, rolling down a hill with your fiancé, throwing your kiddos in the air or climbing a tree. Wear clothing that lets you do all that (and more) comfortably.

As for the kids? Well…uncomfortable kids have a tendency to look…uncomfortable, and are often cranky to boot. Happy kids make for happy pictures.

Bottom Line: Don’t choose outfits that make any of you feel constrained, stiff, itchy, scratchy, like you’re dressed up for Halloween, or that leave you with a nagging worry that a button might pop if you bend the wrong way. Trust me.

Looks Good.
This can be tricky, looking good is totally subjective – right? If you’re not a Carrie Bradshaw fashionista in real life, you might want to pull in some extra help from a straight-talking friend or your trusty photographer (that would be me) who knows about such things and has plans in place to help.

Sometimes last year’s of-the-moment dress has already become hopelessly untrendy. Sometimes the current fashions just don’t look or feel like you. Sometimes outfits that look good in the mirror might not be ideally suited for photography. If you’re really looking for extra help, I can put you in touch with some incredible folks who make people look good for a living.

Bottom Line: If you don’t feel fabulous-fierce-take-on-the-world gorgeous in your outfit, you’re not going to love, love, love the end result – and I’m all about you love, love, loving the end result.

Makes Sense.
Here’s where we pull it all together. It’s not just enough that everyone look good and feel good – you’ve gotta look and feel good together AND the outfits should fit with your location and the desired mood for your portraits.

Gulp. That seems like a lot, doesn’t it? (quick – revisit #4 in the top list, and remember, don’t stress).

Before you even begin figuring out your wardrobe, we’ll have an in depth consultation to narrow down what you really want for your pictures, choose the perfect location and make sure you have an understanding about how that all comes together in the finished photograph. I’m with you every step of the way.

Bottom Line: It’s easier than it seems.Think twice about having Emma in a lace prom dress if you can’t get Tommy out of his spider man cape and favorite Star Wars pajama top. If we’re going to be running around in a park, you’ll likely not decide to wear your starched Sunday best. Hate the way stripes and plaids look together but Dad has his favorite stripped polo ready to go? Best steer mom away from her beloved family tartan. Easy-Peasy. [unless Mom is really attached to that tartan, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it).


If you’re still not certain, and you can’t decide between the yellow wrap dress with your red heels or your dark skinny jeans and purple belted shirt – I’ve got good news. You don’t have to decide. Bring lots of options. Heck – throw your whole wardrobe into the back of the car. When we get to the session we’ll wing it all with fabulous results. Trust me.

Now take a deep breath. Close your eyes. Imagine how blow-everyone-away-fabulous-ready-for-America’s-Next-Top-Model you’re all going to look in those pictures….

Can you see it yet? I totally can. You look INCREDIBLE!

I can’t wait for your session.

(used with permission from the amazing Phoenix photographer Jeanette LeBlanc)