It took us a while to make this session happen but it did and it was perfect! These girlies were flower girls in a wedding I shot and mom received a gift certificate towards a photo shoot! They've never had family photos taken but they look like naturals to me! This session was at the Lehigh Parkway/Bogert’s Covered Bridge in Allentown and it was just gorgeous there- I often say it’s like a scene from Snow White there! I just love these photos from their session and couldn’t wait to share them in a blog! Xo Lg
Emerie and Brynlee had a fun time with their cakes! They were so funny together. I can't believe they're already ONE because I vividly remember their newborn session and it certainly doesn't feel like it has been a year! Happy birthday little girlies! Xo Lg
Five busy days of Easter mini sessions brought 51 families to the studio… FIFTY-ONE! My goodness you guys- I’m so thankful you all chose me to capture your Easter memories this year! Wishing everyone a blessed Easter surrounded by everyone you love most. Happy Easter!!! Blessings, Lg
If you’re looking for a dose of sweetness… THIS, my friends, is as sweet as it gets! This little “Rae of Sunshine” came to visit me for her first birthday cake smash session! Raegan, your features are stunning and your personality makes everything 100 times better! Just take a look and I hope you’ll feel her sunshine radiating from this session too!
Happy first birthday baby girl…. I’m counting the days to see you back in the studio again! Xo Lg
How LUCKY am I that I get to be surrounded by these cuties every time I step into my studio? Just take a look at the smiles that March brought to the studio! 🍀🌈
The last few days of March were filled with my Easter Mini sessions... you can check out the full blog of them HERE! 🐣🐰
Thanks for stoppin’ by... Xo Lg
Stella steals my heart every chance she gets. Her sitter milk bath session at my studio was messy but fun. We listened to Baby Shark and she bopped happily along! I can’t wait for her cake smash session in a few short months! Xo Lg
I can't believe how big Charlie and Lucas got since I saw them last <3 I love how adorable these guys are together. They have a whole gallery full of frame-worthy shots for their wall! Xo Lg
These two girlies and their mama had a magical session at the studio. Their dresses are gorgeous so we did a lot of spinning and dancing and giggling! I might need to buy a couple of these in various sizes for my prop closet because I'm completely obsessed with them! Xo Lg
I was telling someone lately about when I was taking maternity photos for Mackenna's mama while she was pregnant with her and there was a squirrel photobombing and posing with it's hands on it's belly just like Mackenna's mom. It blows my mind that I took that photo four+ years ago! I've been seeing this little lady grow up since before she was breathing air <3 That's what's up! Four year olds are such a fun age group! This gal was no exception. Happy birthday sweet girl! Xo Lg
Ethan is ONE and pretty much the happiest little man of all time!!!! He loves to dance and the boy has moves!!!! So precious! Xo Lg
That HAIR! Those EYES!!! So much sugar, I can't handle it! Baby Stella stole my heart at her newborn session. I also don't have many requests for mermaid newborn photos, but occasionally mom will bring one in, and every time, the baby smiles while wearing it!!! Xo Lg
The greatest compliment for me is photographing a wedding and then photographing their baby. I have had four newborns from previous wedding couples in the last month!!! Best. Thing. Ever!!! I say it all the time but I am so thankful to be doing what I love everyday. Having said that, meet baby Hannah. She was an angel for me and I was COMPLETELY smitten with her and that gorgeous beauty mark on her arm <3 You are SO loved precious girl. Xo Lg
Another adorable newborn girlie Brianna and her big sister Maci came to visit- I just love their sibling photos! My daughter made that purple layer baby Brianna is laying on in the photo of her in the bowl and it makes me love the photo so much more! Xo Lg
I wish I could say Molly and Natalie are laughing at me because I'm super witty and because I tell awesome jokes... Truth is: I had a diaper on my head. My motto at the studio is, "whatever it takes". If sticking a diaper to my pants or my face is going to get a giggle, it's happening. These girls have been coming to me for years and it's so amazing to see them growing into little independent ladies <3 Happy FOUR years silly girlies. Xo Lg
How adorable is Allie??? She has a full gallery of huge smiles!!! So adorable, just looking at her makes me smile so much! Happy Birthday little girl! Xo Lg
Last time I saw this happy girlie, she was cuddled up in my arms as a newborn! Abigail is turning ONE this month!!! She is seriously one of the happiest babies, EVER! She loved hearing silly songs her mom and dad were singing for her. She has lots of different smiles but the one of her in the last photo holding her dress up is my fave! Xo Lg
Double the sweetness <3 Newborn twin girlies Everlee and Selena are just too adorable for words! I love having newborn twins in my studio... these pictures say it all! Xo Lg
My new buddy Logan! Turning one next month!!!! SO handsome and I LOVE the color and theme. Happy birthday little guy! Xo Lg
I get asked a few times a month about business "stuff" so I figured I would make a blog to reference it once and for all so I won't ever miss anything and can add on as I think of more things to add...
So you want to be a photographer? Awesome. I can say, it's pretty much the coolest job ever. For me personally, I get to snuggle A LOT of babies, help brides and grooms get through their big days, watch kids grow up right before my eyes and I've made many friendships through clients over the years. It's seriously the coolest job and most days I still shake my head in disbelief about how it all got started and where I'm at today.
First things first though... you NEED insurance and a proper tax ID. I am an LLC. For me, it protects me the way I need to be protected if something were to happen. Sole proprietor is another option but from what I understand, most photogs are LLC. This is a non-negotiable. There are many resources online to help you set this up in your state, even I did it alone back in the day. Insurance is super important. Many wedding venues ask for proof of insurance before I can shoot there. I work with Megan Harper from Allstate, mention me if you talk to her. I was using another company for YEARS and paying a lot more and then someone smashed a brick through my studio window and it wasn't covered. Call my girl Megan, she'll take great care of you.
A lot of people ask me, "Did you go to school for photography or are you self taught?". The answer is "I'm somewhere in the middle." I started shooting when my kids were babies and I posted this photo online and a few people asked me to take their Christmas card photos.
It all snowballed from there. I ended up taking some classes to learn how to shoot manually with my camera at Dan's Camera City in Allentown and they hooked me up with Creative Photo Workshops from Australia who occasionally come to the US. Glynn Lavender was and still is my mentor. He not only taught me how to shoot manual, he's been one of my biggest cheerleaders from across the world and we talk a few times a year about my business. Find yourself a Glynn. Someone you can learn from, who you trust and respect. Take some classes. Workshops galore. I've taken workshops with Rachel Vanoven in Indianapolis, Brigette Schaffarzick in Seattle and Meg Bitton in New York City. The cost of any of those workshops, especially including the very first one with Glynn at Dan's Camera City, have paid for themselves in a few sessions and 1,000 times over. You can't be afraid to spend money on learning. That wedding class at Dan's was $500 and I specifically remember standing at the counter saying to myself, "I can't afford this" and being deflated when I went home to talk to my husband about it, he said, "If you learn ONE THING that can help you be a better photographer, won't it be worth that $500?". So I went back and I put the class on a credit card and I hoped for the best. That money I didn't have in 2011 was HANDS DOWN, THE BEST $500 I have ever spent. I am not a good teacher so I'm not a great person to ask to mentor, but there are many people who are great photographers and teachers. Don't be afraid to ask the question.
If you want to be a photographer, you must be okay with:
-Working LONG and HARD hours. I am pretty disciplined in my editing. Under promise, Over deliver. Editing for me is the "work" in my work. I hate it. It's part of the job.
- People's reply to you saying you're a photographer, "Oh my (fill in the blank) sister's husband's cousin's dad's brother's nephew's mechanic's uncle is a photographer, too!" Just like when you get a new car, you see that car everywhere when you can't specifically remember ever seeing it before, everyone is a photographer or knows someone who is.
-Missing stuff. My kids are very active. Dance, baseball, horse back riding, softball, basketball. I miss A LOT of stuff. It's the toughest part of my job. Finding a balance is key.
Must Do List
-Invest in lenses, not cameras. I started with a Sony SLR. Invested in lenses and then switched to canon. I had a Canon 7d, Canon 6d and now I shoot with Canon 5d Mark IV. I always refer people to Dan's for which cameras to buy to start. They are the best and know a lot more than I do but I'd say any entry level SLR will be sufficient. Especially since nowadays, their low light capabilities and megapixels are pretty awesome. As far as lenses, they depend on what you're shooting. My favorite portrait lens is 70-200mm and it's on my camera 90% of the time. I love my 35mm and my 50mm. But a great lens that is very versatile is 24-70mm.
- BACK UP EVERYTHING. From photos to your gear. I have all my photos backed up on my hosting site Shootproof and I have back up gear in my camera bag because I can promise you something will break.
-Work with what you have until you can comfortably afford more. Not credit card comfort, cash comfort. I worked out of my basement studio until I literally outgrew it. Make do with what you have because if you try to go too big too quick, you'll find yourself with a closed up shop. I've seen it happen too often. Or share a space with a friend. Lots of options if you think you need a studio.
- Join facebook groups to get your photos critiqued. Some are very mild and some are harsh. The only way to learn is to ask.
- Learn to shoot manual before you call yourself a professional. A professional anything means you get paid to do it. Take on free jobs until you learn more and feel comfortable charging someone.
... BUT DON'T let anyone ever tell you to stop or that you're not good enough. I had a girl message me anonymously saying that I didn't deserve to be a photographer and that my photos looked like I photoshopped everything and that I should be ashamed of myself because of me, she wasn't able to pay her bills. This was 2012. My cousin, a little computer genius, reverse searched who she was and it turns out she was jealous because my boss at the time of a restaurant she frequented, asked me to take some pictures that ended up on a billboard. There's always going to be haters and it's easy to say "don't let them get to you" but I promise they're not worth even ONE SECOND of tears. Imagine if I had taken that girl's words to heart. That same year is when I quit my serving job and went full time. God has provided for me every step of the way.
Be real. Be you. Don't compare yourself to others. Be confident and don't let anyone walk all over you. When you don't know, ask. Never say "I'll fix that later in photoshop." Get it right in the camera. Stay organized. Never stop learning. Have fun and always remember that someone chose YOU to capture their loved ones, never take that for granted. Do your best and everything that's meant to be will be.
PS. If you think you want to sign up with anyone listed above, simply mention my name and we both get free goodies. Here's their contacts.
Megan Harper Allstate: email@example.com
When this mama told me what she had planned, knowing her and her amazing kids... I KNEW it would be FANTASTIC!!!! We might have gotten caught in the rain walking to the car and got stuck in the storm for the whole way home but man was it worth it!!! This session was soooooo much fun- I couldn't wait to blog it for you all to see! Jim Thorpe is one of my favorite locations- the train station, my favorite teal door and just an amazing town... with a super fun ending to the session and my first time capturing anything like it- I just know you will be able to FEEL the fun we had just by seeing these photos! Xo Lg