This is one of my very favorite family photos. My good friend and fellow photographer Halsey took us to Sauvie Island last summer and we finally did our own family photo session! For years, especially before my son was born, I did elaborate setups with a tripod in front of our Christmas tree and then popped those onto our Christmas card. But you know what's not easy with a wriggly little one? GETTING THEM TO LOOK AT A TRIPOD!! And you know what else? Winter is not my favorite season. I know I live in Oregon where it rains 99% of the time, but I am totally and completely a summer person. So last year, when Halsey got us outside in July at a farm, she caught me at my happiest. We weren't worried about rain, there was a beautiful and warm sunset happening, and we traipsed through a dry field with zero mud. Yep. Happy place.
A lot of times I get clients contacting me wanting to schedule their yearly family photo in November because "it's that time of year" or they need a photo for their Christmas card and November is when they get around to it. If you're a winter lover, I say go for it! You're going to be comfortable with cloudy weather and a little rain or mud in your photos, or snuggling up in cozy sweaters in your home for the photos. But if your favorite photos all feature warm, sunlit outdoor scenes with blossoms on the trees and summery dresses, I totally encourage you to think about doing your family photos during summer time! And bonus--if you have kids, often it's way easier to schedule time for family photos during the summer, when school commitments wind way down and winter illnesses are at bay.
Some of my favorite summertime photos:
So are you a summer person or a winter person? What type of photo would make you happiest to see on your walls? What kind of scene or setting do you envision your family photos in? If you're leaning towards summer photos, now is the time to contact me to set up your session! Summer weekends fill up quickly, so plan to get in touch with me 4-6 weeks before you would like to do your session so we can get you on the calendar!
And a (big) mini announcement: I'm opening up a new offering for sessions starting in May: The ANYTIME Mini! My clients are always asking for inexpensive mini sessions to celebrate their children's milestone birthdays, capture a quick maternity session, or try out a mommy and me session! These types of events happen throughout the year, not just during special mini events, so now YOU get to choose when you'd like to do a mini session! Check out pricing and details on The Anytime Mini here.
Summer is officially HERE! There's nothing I love more than warm sunny days. It gets me in the mood to reflect on where I was last summer, the summer before, and so on. This year I am so grateful for the relationships I've been able to have with each of my clients. We've had some really fun times during our sessions, and with the addition of pre-session consultations and image reveal appointments after the sessions, I've really gotten to know some of you! This is absolutely the type of business that I have always wanted to run--personal, authentic, and all about building great relationships! So to celebrate, I'm running a contest for a FREE 16x20 canvas for one of my favorite SSP families!
Here's how it works: I've posted one of my favorite moments from each of my sessions from the last year. Let me know which one is YOUR favorite by voting in the comments section of this blog post. The family in the image with the most votes that follow the rules below gets a FREE 16x20 gallery wrapped canvas. The contest ends on Monday, June 8, at 8am PST, so get your votes in today!
How to vote:
Dreaming of having images like this of your family?
I received a new sample recently that I'm so excited to share here! It's one of my most popular items this year--the accordion mini album! I love the personalization options on these--you get to choose ten photos for the album, and there are a ton of cover options in linen, leatherette, and ecosuede. PLUS, they come in sets of three, which can make some of those holiday gifts a breeze! They are tiny enough to fit in a purse pocket but big enough if you want to display them on a desk. Anyway, I made a little slideshow so you can all get a better look at the mini accordion album and see why I love it so much! Enjoy!
Facebook does some crazy things to your pictures. It might look super amazing on your computer, but then you upload it and BAM! The colors look muddy and you see graininess or blurriness that wasn't there before. Oh no!
Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to make your photos look their very best on social media. Here are the steps that I use:
That seems like a LOT of steps! I totally don't do this for every little iphone picture on my personal page, but when I want an image to look its very best, this is what I do! And if you're a client in 2015, you'll get a web-sized file of any images you purchase with all of these steps ALREADY DONE! Woohoo! You can just pop those images on to Facebook without having to do any of this :)
This is the wall of my dining room, and it's one of my favorite places in my whole house. It's where my gallery wall is: all of my very favorite family photos along one wall of the room. If you've seen my Pinterest page, you've probably guessed that I'm into this kind of thing. There's something about hanging family photos that makes a place feel like home.
The other thing that I've been noticing is how much living with these images on the walls helps me get through the tough times. For instance, when the sweet baby in the picture above, who's almost two now, is throwing a tantrum over who knows what for the sixth time that day. Those days where I am at the limit--I know you've been there too--I can't tell you how soothing it is to look up at the wall and see that image of my week-old baby taking his first bath. It reminds me of how crazy it all felt then, the no-sleep nights on top of no-sleep nights, the colic, the overwhelming sense of not knowing what we were doing, at all. And that moment is all it takes to remind me just how fast time is moving. It's just what I need to take a deep breath, get through that tantrum, and then make time to cuddle my baby.
So when we sit down during our image reveal session to order your photos, this is what I'm thinking about. I offer digital files, because I know you love to have access to your images just like I do. But prints are the things that are going to live with you, each day, and serve as a reminder to slow down and enjoy these moments. And if you're looking at bare walls right now--get in touch with me to book a session, but first, here's your reminder to go snuggle those little ones :)
Here's a quick peek at one of my new samples that just came in--this is a linen textured, mounted print. It's super sturdy with the mounting so it won't be as prone to warping as a regular photo paper print would be, and still fits perfectly in a frame. And the linen texture! I love it! It feels so lush, almost like canvas!
I love December--my schedule slows down, I have extra time for snuggles with my toddler, and I get to think about ways to improve Samantha Shannon Photography in the next year! One thing I'm SO excited about are these slideshows that I'll be adding to the client experience in 2015! Turn the sound on for this one--we were dancing around the kitchen to it, it's catchy! And I may have teared up...I'm going to need to invest in tissues in 2015, clearly!
You know where I got my very first migraine ever? In Marshall's, Christmas shopping a week before Christmas, when I was 27. Retail stores during the holiday rush is just NOT my thing. So you know what I love? Gift certificates. They're fun to get because they prolong the gift-getting into January, when you actually go out and spend it, and bonus for the gift-giver: no blinding headache set to "Jingle Bells" in the middle of your local department store.
I started offering gift certificates last year, and I had a ton of fun designing them. I'm kind of a paper nerd, so choosing the super cute pink envelopes they come in is big time fun for me! If you're struggling with your holiday shopping, think about who in your life might love a portrait session. If you know a family that would love to update their family portrait above the mantel, or a mom-to-be that would like a canvas of her maternity session in the new nursery, a gift certificate for a portrait session is a thoughtful gift!
You can purchase by contacting me on my contact form, and we'll get you set up!