2017, Portraits, Senior Portraits

When should you get your Senior Portraits done?

Hello my lovies!!

It’s been awhile since you’ve heard from me, but in the midst of my busiest season, I wanted to address a very important question.  It’s one that always comes up when you have a High School Student in your household, and it is really one only you can answer.  “When should we get Senior Portraits done?”  If you’re asking me, I’ll tell you the short answer is:  Anytime you are ready!!  The long answer just leads to more questions.  🙂  Personally, I have had parents and students contact me for pictures during their Junior year in High School, after their Senior has already graduated, and even for College Graduations because they never had “senior portraits” done before!

So the real question is . . .

WHEN DO YOU WANT TO HAVE YOUR SENIOR PORTRAITS DONE?

Let me start by introducing to you Rose, Class of 2017.  She is one of seven kids in her family and only the second one that wanted to have Senior Portraits done.  She is a beautiful and unique young lady.  She is the ONLY girl I know that is going to be a welder!  Yes, you read that right.  This gorgeous girl is going to be hiding behind a grungy, dirty mask to protect herself from the harmful light that welding produces.  Her tiny little frame will be hidden by a jumpsuit to allow her to move freely throughout the job site.  It’s that small petite size that will make her invaluable in the industry since she will be able to fit into all those small spaces that a man cannot get to.  She is finishing up her education at Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology and already has a job lined up!

Rose is not the first Senior that have I have photographed that was not longer a High School Senior, but she is the first one this year!  Let me tell you how it all came about ….

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Our conversation first started in the Fall of 2016, the beginning of her senior year.  Her mom and I had talked about winter portraits, in a stream, with a summer dress.  It sounded really cold to me, but this Senior Photographer was excited to try something totally different!  🙂  After the consultation with Rose, I got even more excited!!  I started planning and brainstorming about how it was going to work, where it would be, and got myself ready to be “on call” for the moment we had snow.  Here in Central Pennsylvania, that could be anywhere between October through April!  hahaha!  Sadly, due to the series of unfortunate events, that plan never happened, and before we knew it her senior year was over.

Now just because she was technically no longer a Senior, didn’t mean that her dream of having Senior Portraits was totally shattered.  We just simply adjusted the time frame.  She did have a little trouble getting off work because they didn’t think it was possible for her to be getting them done after her graduation, but that was the only trouble we had! So on June 15th, about a week after she graduated high school, we did her portraits!

 It turned out to be a BEAUTIFUL day!  Perfect for portraits!!

The water was still cold, but it didn’t slow us down much  . . . and I’m sure it was warmer than it would have been in the winter!!  🙂

In the end, both Rose and her mom were thrilled with the results.  It wasn’t what we originally had planned, but it was beautiful none-the-less.  In fact here is what her mom had to say,

“Fantastic photographer!  Fantastic lady! I am beyond happy and satisfied with all of the choices! Mindy is so professional and easy to work with and so flexible which was very necessary in my case. Will definitely hire her again.” 

This review was completely unsolicited . . . I just got a notification in my inbox and went to check it out.  These are words from a truly happy client . . . and that means the world to me.

So whether you are a Junior, Senior, or post High School, don’t feel like your chance is over!  Your portraits can be taken ANYTIME you are ready!  Even if you are a Freshman that just wants to start planning out your session with me.  It truly doesn’t matter.  If you want “Senior Portraits” I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!  Let’s make it happen together!

If you are ready to start planning your Senior Portrait Session, feel free to Contact Me anytime!  I’d love to get you on my schedule!

Until next time, Love and Blessings,

Mindy 😀

 

2017, Portraits, Uncategorized

Leaving a Legacy

Hello my lovelies!

I had the privilege of photographing a wonderful and beautiful soul last week!  Edwyna turned 88 years old this month and wanted to celebrate her life through photographs.  She wanted to leave a legacy for her children and grandchildren . . . to be able to show them what is possible at the grand age of 88.  How wonderful is that?!?  This woman is SO full of life, love, and laughter!  It was a complete honor to be a part of this legacy in the making.

So . . . what is a legacy?  Merriam-Webster defines it as:  something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past.  Based on that definition, a legacy could be anything we leave behind for those that follow us.  I absolutely LOVE that Edwyna shares my passion for pictures, and considers them to be a legacy for her family . . . something they can look back on for many years to come!!  I believe the same thing!!!

It was a chilly morning when I arrived at Edwyna’s house.  She lives on the same property as her son and grandson . . . but in her own beautiful home.  We planned on doing her photographs in her home, which I had never seen before.  I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived.  Edwyna answered the door and was dressed in a formal gown, and the many windows in her home lit up the house beautifully . . . no studio lights needed!  It was perfect!

We started with a few formal photos to get her warmed up and used to me and the camera.  She was a little nervous but her daughter and friends were there to help her relax and make her feel more comfortable.

Once she started to play the piano, she settled in, and just had fun.  The music just flowed through her . . . and her true personality began to show through.  After all, the piano is where Edwyna spends a lot of her time.  She continues to play at her church for worship on a regular basis.

A true blessing was watching both mother and daughter play the piano together.  When Linda asked her mom, “what should we play?”  Edwyna immediately responded with “Jesus Love Me.” and away they went.  It was beautiful.  This wasn’t the typical simple song we all learned as children . . . they truly jammed and let the music speak to their hearts and souls as they played!  We (Edwyna’s friends and I) HAD to clap in response when they finished!

This incredible woman sews, colors, has her own computer and cell phone, bakes for her grandchildren, entertains her friends and family, keeps up on her grass with a battery powered weed-wacker, and still plays basketball.  She is truly amazing!

Though we ‘acted’ as if she was actually sewing and baking, we were really just pretending and going through the motions.  Edwyna made the sound effects to make it more realistic . . . which only made us laugh!  😀  She did, however, truly shoot that basketball and got it through the hoop about 50% of the time.

This was my favorite!  When her daughter, Linda, mentioned she wanted to have a photo of her mom sitting on her car, I truly thought she was joking.  Boy was I wrong!!  LOL!!  Isn’t this just fabulous?!?!?!  Without hesitation, Edwyna went for the step stool and climbed up on the hood of car!  With her daughter and friends around, she really made a show of it!  😀

My hope for myself and for anyone reading this is that we find and keep JOY in our lives.  That we enjoy life to its fullest everyday.  That we will stay activeshare our wisdom and love with those around us.  Live knowing that each day we are given is a blessing from God . . . and there is purpose in our lives.  Our lives touch others in ways we may never know or understand.  Even when you think no one is watching . . . someone is.  Let you life be an example and a blessing to others.

Edwyna’s life has been a blessing to her 4 children, her 11 grandchildren, her 8 great grandchildren, her late husband of 63 years, her friends, her church family, countless others, and me.  Be a blessing to those around you, and your legacy will be the life you lived and the love you shared!

Each client that I am blessed to photograph finds a special place in my heart.  Edwyna is no different.  This photo session will be treasured forever!

If you are ready to schedule your photo session, please feel free to contact me anytime!  I’d love to help you start planning or answer any questions you may have!  Until then . . .

Love and Blessings,

Mindy 🙂

2017, Eagle Scout, Senior Portraits

Court Of Honor

Hello my lovelies!

This week I found myself thinking back and remembering when I was in Elementary School and Middle School ~ I was a Brownie and a Girl Scout.  My brother was a Boy Scout . . . my mom was also a Den Mother.  I remember camping with my with my fellow scouts, learning lots, trying new things, and having lots of fun together.  My brother and I eventually dropped out of our troops, and life went on.

Fast forward to when my boys were in Elementary School, we decided to get them involved in Cub Scouts . . . and I, like my mother, became a leader for my younger sons’ group.  We built birdhouses, camped, ice skated, and plenty of other fun things.  My husband and I both hoped that they would continue and move up to the Boy Scouts Troop . . . but no such luck.  They lost interest and dropped out.

On Sunday, March 12, 2017, I was honored to be a part of something amazing.  Something that I knew was possible, but had never personally seen.  One of my Seniors invited me to his Court of Honor Ceremony.  A ceremony to celebrate becoming and Eagle Scout.  The highest honor of any Boy Scout.  He didn’t start out early in Cub Scouts and even got a late start as a Boy Scout, but Noah, with hard work and determination made it happen.

I first met Noah when my oldest son began to play soccer for the our high school team.  Noah is a year older than my oldest and was on the varsity team.  It was obvious from the very first game that he was one you keep your eye on.  Then, I ran into him on the track team, when my younger son joined the team.  Soon, I was seeing Noah everywhere.  He’s a member of the drama group, the choir and regional choir, the band and regional band, and is even the drum major for the marching band this year.  He’s on the track team and was a captain of the varsity soccer team . . . and of course a Boy Scout.  I know there is much more that I am forgetting, but you get the point.  Noah is an exceptional young man.

Part of becoming an Eagle Scout is to do a service project for the community.  During Noah’s Senior Portrait Session, we took photos of him at his project location.  Bald Eagle State Park is a park that I go to often.  It’s close to my home and is a beautiful location for photos.  With the mountains in the background, the lake, and all of nature around – you can’t go wrong!  When The Nature Inn was added to the park, it only made the scenery more beautiful.  It was at this State Park that Noah did his Eagle Scout service project.

Noah’s project was located at the Environmental Learning Center at Bald Eagle State Park.  The project was to restore and make additions to the bird-watching area.  It included tiling the area and planting new grass, removing rocks and weeds, sanding and sealing the split-rail fence, placing mulch under the length of the fence, fixing a large open bird feeder and building a second, identical bird feeder, and then painting both.  He also refurbished two raised flower beds for planting native plants, butterfly milkweed, and bee balm at the request of the park.  He began all of this work on July 2, 2016 and finished on August 20, 2016.  His hard work paid off . . . It turned out beautifully!

Finally the day arrived, five years after he first became a scout and 23 merit badges later, Noah and his family were about to celebrate this huge accomplishment.  He had his family and friends there along with his Scout Troop 370 and several honored guest there, all to pay tribute to him.  He stood at the front of Faith UM Church and accepted each token and certificate with humility and grace.  As a parent, I know that his parents sat proudly beaming, and probably fighting back the tears at times.  I know this because as his photographer, I was beaming with pride and fighting back tears of my own.  I have never been of part of such a ceremony . . . and I was truly amazed at the number of guest that were there to honor Noah’s accomplishment.  Among those guests were our State Senator, Jake Corman and our State House of Representatives, Kerry Benninghoff, along with our Centre County Commissioners, Mark Higgins and Steve Dershem.  There were also representatives from the Elks Lodge #1094, Nittany Leathernecks, PA State Police, the Centre County Sheriff, and though our U.S. House of Representatives, Glenn Thompson, couldn’t be there, he sent a certificate to honor Noah.

For me, there were a few very moving moments during the ceremony.  The first being when Noah’s grandfather took the podium for the Eagle Charge and Promise.

That was closely followed by Noah receiving his Eagle Scout Pin and then presenting his parents with their own pins.

And then the presentation of Noah’s Mentor Pin.  I found this particularly special because he chose his best friend, the one that got him involved in scouts, to receive his Mentor Pin. Though Dion may have suspected that he would be the one chosen, he was still clearly moved by the decision.

After it was all over and the colors were retired, we celebrated!  Photos and food and close inspection of all his certificates and gift given during the ceremony.  There were SO many certificates, that in the photo below, some had to be covered by others.

Noah plans to return to Philmont Scout Ranch with Troop 370 as and adult leader in the summer of 2018.  In the meantime, Noah will graduate from Bellefonte Area High School in June of 2017.  In the summer he will begin his college education at Penn State, where he will study Nuclear Engineering.  He also hopes to join he Naval ROTC.

Noah, I am honored and proud to call you one of “my” seniors! Thank you for including me in this monumental moment in your life.  Thank you for choosing me as your Senior Portrait Photographer.  I wish you all the best in everything you do . . . though I have no doubt that you will be successful in anything you put your mind to.  Stay true to who you are and never doubt your abilities.

 “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 

Charlene and Frank, congratulations!  You have raise a wonderful young man and should be very proud!  Thank you for sharing him with me, and for inviting me to his ceremony.  I truly enjoyed myself and will remember it forever.

If you are interested in learning more about Boy Scouting in your area, visit this website: www.scouting.org.  If you are interested in learning more about Girl Scouting in your area, visit this website:  www.girlscouts.org.

The Bellefonte Class of 2017 has been a truly incredible class to photograph.  Every time I turn around I hear of another one of “my” seniors accomplishing something new, being honored in some fashion or another.  I truly look forward to hearing about each and every little and big “win” in their lives . . . and I can’t wait to see what the Class of 2018 will be like!  If you are ready to schedule your Senior Portrait Session or just have questions, please feel free to contact me!

Until then . ..

Love and Blessings to you all!

Mindy 🙂

2017, What to Wear

What To Wear for your Senior Portrait Session

So you’ve booked your Photo Session and now the fun part of planning what to wear starts.  You open up your closet . . . and go completely blank.  You call your bestie for advice,  but you’re still not sure what will look best in your photos.  Are these photos that you are so excited about even going to turn out good if you can’t even figure out what you are going to wear??

Relax . . . this is something that I can help with!!   Remember in your photo consultation, we talked briefly about colors and outfit choices?  You already have all that information in your Welcome Packet!  If, however, you are reading this and you haven’t gotten your Welcome Packet from me yet . . . I’ll let you in on a few tips that will help you knock your Senior Portrait Session out of the park!

Let’s start with the basics:  Colors!  There are 3 colors that will look good on anyone, no matter your hair, eye, or skin color.  They are Navy, Teal, and Purple.  Seriously . . . these colors look good on EVERYONE!  In my color guide, there are different colors that will look best on you based on your hair & eye color . . . but anyone can rock these colors!!!  colors

Now here are come colors to avoid and limit:  colors-2

Don’t get me wrong . . . I love bright colors.  They just don’t look good on camera because they are SO bright that the color tends to reflex onto your skin . . . which does not look good in your final photos.  In the same respect, if you choose to wear Black or White, just be sure to wear another pop of color as an accent.

Now that you have an idea on what colors to wear . . . let’s talk more about fashion! Whatever you choose to wear in the end, make sure it’s YOUR style, which speaks to who YOU are!

For my lovely ladies:  

Dresses and skirts look the most stunning because they really flatter every female body.  I recommend avoiding pants and shorts for your session, and saying yes to a dress or two instead.  Long, full-length, flowy dresses and skirts look amazing on camera because they bring extra movement to the photos.  Especially when combined with nature, like fields & forests.  Consider softer fabrics like chiffon or tulle which allow for beautiful movement in the images.

High Heels or Pumps elongate ladies legs, making them look fabulous. Closed-toed heels in particular look great on camera because they carry out the line of your leg all the way down to your toe.  If your toes are showing in a peep-toe heel, you might want to schedule a pedicure before your session so you don’t regret letting your feet show.

These little tricks make all the difference!

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For my handsome gentlemen:

Long, fitted pants and closed-toed shoes are the most sophisticated and masculine looks for men. They draw attention away from your legs and feet and place it where you want it: on your handsome face.  So, for your session, it’s best to leave the shorts, sandals and jeans at home ~ as well as any pants that are loose or baggy. Fitted dress pants or fitted colored pants work best on camera.  I recommend staying away from graphics and logos.

Layers on men look great on camera, so even when it’s hot outside, trust me when we say that it’s worth an hour or two of discomfort for photos that will last you both a lifetime.  Adding another layer will bring extra dimension and visual interest to your photos.  Blazers, vests and coats up the level of any look.  If the temperature permits, he could even consider adding a v-neck sweater with a pop of color from a long-sleeved collared shirt and tie underneath. Don’t be afraid to get a little creative with layers!

Whatever you choose to wear, make sure you follow the look through all the way to your shoes!  Those little details really do matter.

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If you are ready to schedule your Senior Portrait Session with this Bellefonte Senior Photograher, or would like more information on what you should wear, please feel free to Contact me!

Love & Blessings!

Mindy 🙂

 

 

2017, New Premium Products

Digital Files

Digital files are something that everyone wants, and very few people ever do anything with.  When I first started out as a Bellefonte Photographer, I gave out digital files as part of the session fee.  I’ve come a long way, and I’ve learned a lot along the way!

One thing I learned is that most of the clients that walked away with the digital images never printed any of their photos . . . and some even lost the CD with the files!  I was truly shocked.  I talked to several of those clients and discovered that they we’re sure what size photos to purchase or where to get the best prints for their money.  Which is why I am now offering Photo Collections!  This is just one more way to service you better.

With all that being said, I decided to offer my digital files in my new Photo Collections.  This will be the only way you can get the digital files ~ they will not be a part of the a-la-cart section. Each Collection will have a different amount of digital files included.

For those purchasing Photo Collections you will be delighted with the Custom Case that the USB Drive will come in.  It is a Matte Finished Photo Cover book that looks like an album!  Outside the photo is wrapped around to cover the front, spine, and back of the book.  It continues to the inside and is finished off with beautiful tight corners.  On the inside there is a soft interior to cushion and protect the USB Drive.

If you would like more information about my Photo Collections or would like to set up your Senior Portrait Consultation or Session, please feel free to Contact me anytime!

 

2017, New Premium Products

Framed Photo Collage

This 16×16 Framed Photo Collage is sure to be a favorite for all my clients!  It comes with a 1 1/4″ Black Onyx frame and all your images are mounted to perfectly fit the frame!  Each image is double matted for a little extra style!

Your Framed Collage will arrive ready to display with finished backing and hanging hardware.  There are also 2 wall bumpers to insure both your walls and your frame are protected.

One of my favorite parts of this Framed Collage, is that you get to choose the number of images in your own collage!  You can choose from 4 4×6 images; 4 5×7 images; 9 4×4 images; 1 8×12 and 3 3×3 images; or 1 9×9 and 5 4×4 images (see images below).  Make it your own and choose the layout you like best!

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If you would like more information about my Photo Collections or would like to set up your Senior Portrait Consultation or Session, please feel free to Contact me anytime!

2017, New Premium Products

The Accordion Brag Books!

Here is another favorite product of mine that has been a hit with my clients!  This little booklet holds a total of 12 individual wallet sized images.  The photo covers have a beautiful matte finish and close magnetically to insure the booklet stays safe and secure. The inside pages are a thick photo paper which feel so nice in your hands.

You have to option to use vertical and horizontal images, and can mix and match them however you like.  All you have to do is choose the images you want, and I’ll take care of the rest.

The Accordion Brag Books come in sets of 3, making it an ideal gift to share with your family members.  That way mom get one for her purse and so do both grandmothers.  Any which way you decide to split them up, you will have a happy family members!

If you would like more information on these wonderful booklets or would like to schedule your Photo Session, please feel free to contact me!

2017, New Premium Products

The Photo Image Cube!

This 4″ image cube can be customized however you like it.  Whether you want 6 individual images, 4 images on one side, or one side customized to commemorate a special event (Graduation Year, Birth Information, etc.).  The design is totally up to you.  This is a fantastic way to showcase your photos on your office desk or at home, and is the perfect gift for grandparents!

This past year, I have had several clients order them and they have always been thrilled with the results.  From newborns to high school seniors, and even a gift for a great-great grandmother.  It’s sure to bring joy to everyone!

If you would like more information about this fabulous product OR would like to set up a Photo Session, please feel free to contact me!

2017, Reviewing Last Years Photography

Remembering 2016

Oh my!  What a year 2016 was!  I am truly grateful for all of my clients and all the wonderful memories we made together.  I can’t begin to thank you enough for all your love, support, and encouragement throughout the year!

So let’s review what all we did throughout the year!

There were 16 amazing Seniors that will be graduating in June this year.  Each one brought a something new for me to work (play) with, which makes their sessions even more fun for me.  I still have a few more that still need to have their Photo Sessions.  There will be one in the winter and a few that wanted to wait till the Spring!

I had 2 fabulous Engagement Sessions and one 50th Wedding Anniversary!!  A destination engagement that was what dreams are made of; a country engagement that stole my heart; and a fabulous couple that was celebrating 50 years of marriage with photos at the church they were married in.  Be still my heart!

Two Maternity Sessions!  There is nothing like celebrating the joy of love with a new life!

Six Newborn Sessions . . . One of which was Fresh 48 in the hospital!

Three 1st Birthdays ~ some with a smash cake and some without . . . but always fun!

And ten Family Sessions!  Some traveled from near and far just to have their photos taken by this Bellefonte Photographer.  What an honor!

WOW!!!  Throw in a few Business, Event, and Product Photos, and you have one truly busy and amazing year of photography!

I am truly blessed to have worked with each one of these amazing clients!  I truly cannot wait to see what 2017 will bring.

Make the most of every moment ~ laugh whenever possible, dream big, and reach for the stars.  Make this the best year ever . . . you are the only thing standing in your way.

2017

A Brand New Year and a Better Photography Experience for You!!

Happy New Year!

This past year, I have been working on finding new ways to serve you better, and I am SO excited to start this year!!  So let me tell you a little bit about what your photography experience will be like with me!

It all starts with a consultation!  I’ve found that your photographs turn out so much better when you and I are comfortable with each other.  The consultation gives us time to get to know each other and we get to plan out your photo session together!  By the time you leave the consultation you will have your session date selected, your locations chosen and we will both be excited about the session!

After your fabulous photo session, there will be a special Reveal Night where we’ll get together again so you can see the photos we created!  This is one of my favorite parts of your photography experience!  I’ll put together a slide show, and then we’ll go through all the photos so that I can help you choose the best photos for your to display in your home.  I can help you choose the sizes that will best fit the space available in your home.  I will be 100% at your service!  Once you have chosen your Collection, and selected the photos that will fill it, I will take care of the rest.  When the photos are ready . . . I’ll be back to hand deliver them to your door!  Service with a smile . . . and a hug!  😀

If you would like more information you can contact me anytime!  I can’t wait to start planning your Photo Session!

Love & Blessings,

Mindy 🙂