Smithville, TX: All About YOU Portraits » Portrait Photography focused on YOU!

Just last weekend the weather was very warm – uncomfortably HUMID warm. But that didn’t stop a group of us photographers being a paparazzi to this group of young lady models. They did this for us as TFT (trade for time). Many models when they’re first starting out do this to gain public exposure to their looks and talent. These ladies sure did a fantastic job of endless poses and dress to keep everything mixed up nicely. And they did this for HOURS! And everyone had fun, especially when one of the models decides to play in the water. I hope you enjoy this snippet of the fun we all had together!
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What is STEAMPUNK?

According to Wikipedia, Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction or science fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrialsteam-powered machinery.[1][2] Although its literary origins are sometimes associated with the cyberpunk genre,[3] steampunk works are often set in an alternative history of the 19th century’s British Victorian era or American “Wild West”, in a post-apocalyptic future during which steam power has maintained mainstream usage, or in a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power. Therefore, steampunk may be described as neo-Victorian.

With regards to fashion, also according to Wikipedia, Steampunk fashion has no set guidelines but tends to synthesize modern styles with influences from the Victorian era. This may include bustles, corsets, gowns, and petticoats; suits with waistcoats, coats, top hats,[56] tailcoats and spats; or military-inspired garments. Steampunk-influenced outfits are usually accented with several technological and “period” accessories: timepieces, parasols, flying/driving goggles, and ray guns. Modern accessories like cell phones or music players can be found in steampunk outfits, after being modified to give them the appearance of Victorian-made objects. Post-apocalyptic elements, such as gas masks, ragged clothing and tribal motifs, can also be included. Aspects of steampunk fashion have been anticipated by mainstream high fashion, the Lolita fashion and aristocrat styles, neo-Victorianism, and the romantic goth subculture.

While I haven’t seen this fashion trend active in Bastrop, Texas, I’m sure many people here will find it as a really cool look!

 

How Wall Photos Will Boost Your Child’s Self-Esteem

Here is an important article I’m sharing published by Design Aglow.

HOW FAMILY PORTRAITS BOOST YOUR CHILD’S SELF-ESTEEM

How Family Portraits Boost Your Child’s Self-Esteem

One of the hidden but powerful aspects of family photography that moms and most photographers rarely consider is how it can help us raise children with stronger confidence in their own worth and abilities. Psychologists and experts have done some work in recent decades exploring the link.

A revealing study was conducted in 1975 with a group of fourth graders at a Tennessee school by Tulane University. During a five week period, the children took Polaroid instant photos of themselves with provided cameras in a variety of assigned poses, compositions and expressing various emotions. The children worked with the printed images of themselves and created scrapbooks once a week over those five weeks. Testing of the students and teachers at the conclusion of study revealed a significant increase of 37 percent in the students’ average self-esteem behaviors. This Murfreesboro Study shows some evidence personal photography of children seen and enjoyed in a specific way can help boost a child’s self-esteem.

But how can family photography, specifically family portraits, help boost a child’s self-esteem?  

David Krauss, a licensed psychologist from Cleveland, Ohio says, “I think it is really important to show a family as a family unit. It is so helpful for children to see themselves as a valued and important part of that family unit. A photographer’s job is to create and make the image look like a safe holding space for kids where they are safe and protected. Kids get it on a really simple level.”

Krauss is one of the earliest pioneers in using people’s personal photography and family albums to assist in mental health counseling and therapy. He co-authored “Photo Therapy and Mental Health” in 1983 that is considered a founding text for the use of photography in therapy.

“It lets children learn who they are and where they fit,” says Judy Weiser. a psychologist, art therapist and author based in Vancouver. “They learn their genealogy and the the uniqueness of their own family and its story. When a child sees a family portrait with them included in the photograph they say to themselves: ‘These people have me as part of what they are, that’s why I belong here. This is where I come from.‘”

Weiser has spent more than 20 years using all manner of personal photography to assist in the treatment process of her clients. She is considered by many to be the foremost authority on these treatment techniques, called PhotoTherapy.

When It Comes To Having The Greatest Positive Impact For Your Child, Which is Better, Digital Images or Paper Prints?

Obviously, rather than print and display family photographs, families are increasingly enjoying their images in a digital form, be it a mobile device, a laptop, or simply on social media. But does an image on a tablet, computer screen or social media site have the same impact for helping families boost a child’s self-esteem?

“My bias is very simple. I think they (family photographs) should be on the wall,” says Krauss.

“I am very conservative about self-esteem and I think placing a family photo someplace in the home where the child can see it every day without having to turn on a device or click around on a computer to find it really hits home for that child this sense of reassurance and comfort. They have a certainty about them and a protecting quality that nurtures a child. It let’s them know where they are in the pecking order and that they are loved and cared for,” says Krauss.

The importance of printed photographs displayed in your living space was echoed by other experts.

“My personal and clinical bias is there is something very powerful in touching your fingers to an actual print,” says Craig Steinberg, a licensed psychologist who works with children ages five through 13 near Eugene, Ore. “Touching the photograph where a face is smiling or the shoulders, it is the same thing as touching a book when you read it. There’s a lot of stimulation of the brain when you have that sensory experience. That is a bit lost in the move to digital. You are touching a keyboard, mouse or a touchscreen but you are not touching the image.

Displaying photos prominently in the home sends the message that our family and those in it are important to one another, and we honor the memories we have experienced,“ says Cathy Lander-Goldberg, a licensed clinical social worker and a professional photographer in St. Louis, Missouri and the director of Photo Explorations, which offers workshops to girls and women using portrait and journaling for self-reflection.

Additionally, Krauss recommends having photographs of that child with their family placed in the child’s bedroom so it can be among the last things they see before sleep and the first thing they may see before beginning their day.

“It says we love you and care about you. You’re important.”

by Chris Cummins, Contributor to Design Aglow, Images by Elizabeth Messina

 

On 2nd year as a HeARTS Speak artist!

My love for homeless animals’ plight continues

As Bastrop County’s *only* Certified Professional Photographer, I continue my pro bono work for the HeARTS Speak global organization, providing beautiful dog portraits to help homeless dogs get adopted.

Why do I continue to do this? My love for all innocent creatures is quite simply put, endless. And for dogs in particular, which is kind of strange considering I got bit in the face at the tender age of 4 by a dog I bent down to pet. This event required stitches for  my face by my lips. You’d think that would have traumatized me, but no. My favorite TV show was Lassie, and my older brothers and sisters would make fun of me for crying whenever an animal on that show got hurt.

My first “big book” read was “Lassie Come Home”, which I read at a very young age for that size of a book. So the origin of these deep-rooted feelings comes from deep within my soul. I now keep four dogs as pets of all different sizes and breeds – all rescues. I really wish I could save them all!

When I first moved to Bastrop County late 2012, I got involved with the community by volunteering to transport dogs to places like Austin Pets Alive! to prevent them from being euthanized due to shelter overcrowding. But once one of the volunteers, Anne Ford (now at Bastrop Animal Rescue) learned that I was a professional photographer, she started keeping me busy photographing the shelter dogs weekly to help them get adopted. After she left there, I primarily worked with a different volunteer as a dog handler, Amy Baxter. This activity went on for a few years until Amy left that shelter and went to a different one.

In 2016 I learned about HeARTS Speak, Artists Helping Animals organization’s flagship program made up of hundreds of creative and marketing professionals providing countless shelter animals the unforgettable first impressions their lives depend on, which I promptly joined. United in their efforts, their global community of innovative thinkers, top-notch artists, and tireless advocates are saving lives, supporting animal welfare organizations, and transforming the world’s perception of pet adoption. 

This also coincides with the time when I started working with Amy at the Lockhart Animal Shelter. She is a tireless volunteer there who oversees the rescue efforts of the homeless pets there, plus she’s my primary dog handler so I can take great photos of them for marketing them for adoption. I could write a book on how Amy has transformed that little country animal shelter! Funds were raised to provide air-conditioned kennels and large play yards for their dogs. It makes me proud to know that this is with whom I volunteer!

Despite all my experience and love for animals, I have yet to be hired as a pet photographer. My primary income comes from corporate headshot photography. But that in no way will stop me from providing my pro bono work photographing homeless pets up for adoption. A few of the other organizations that I’ve provided pro bono work include Bastrop Animal Rescue, Hardy-Hayes Refuge, and I Once Was Lost Animal Advocacy. I also cross-post animals in need of homes on Facebook as “Marlene’s Hope”.

Do you happen to volunteer anywhere? Do you have an endless love or passion for anything? Please do tell me, I would love to hear about it!

 

How Important is a Professional Headshot?

First Impressions

Need I say more? We all know only too well how important first impressions are and with business nowadays normally first conducted via an online search for your product or services, it’s important you represent them well with a professional head shot. Virtual personal branding is as important as a firm handshake once was in introducing yourself to the world.

Especially for Small Business Owners…

Your face represents your business! It’s so important to update your visual brand annually. So taking a photo with your phone’s camera just doesn’t cut it. In fact, it will reflect poorly on you and your business!

Potential Customers

Your potential customers want to know who you are as opposed to just what you do. And without a head shot available on your website or social media site, no initial trust can be formed. People only want to do business with people they feel they can trust.

Job Hunting and Recruiting

Depending on your industry, many professionals are on LinkedIn and it is used to keep others posted on a current job status and for looking at peer’s statuses. I’ve heard from others that if you’re not getting messages from recruiters, then you’re LinkedIn is not serving it’s purpose. Therefore, keeping your LinkedIn up-to-date is key! You’re probably already aware that One of the first things people see on LinkedIn is your photo. If you want to show a recruiter or a future employee that you’re serious and experienced, then your photo should show that too.

The Importance of a Professional Photographer

This is when it becomes really important to choose your photographer wisely.  The right photographer will prepare you in advance about what to wear and, if applicable, where to do the session for atmosphere, to achieve the desired effect in your profession. She will know how to make you feel at ease on the day if  you’ve never spent any length of time in front of a camera lens. She will use her trained skills to  be able to set up lighting, composition, backgrounds and props appropriate to your goal and advise you on posing. She will show you the camera’s images from the back of her camera as you do them to ensure you’re getting what you need.

Alice Traugott head shotHeadshot samples

 

Some Steps to Consider

  • Hire a professional photographer
  • Hire a professional makeup artist
  • Consult with your photographer or stylist to assist you in choosing the most flattering outfits for your head shot
  • Select at least two outfits in which to be photographed; pick a colorful jacket, tie or scarf, but not so much to detract attention from your face
  • Plan on spending $200 – $800 to get exactly what you need
  • Be sure to get both web-sized and full-resolution files for online use and print, respectively
  • For the full-resolution files, be sure to get a print-release from the photographer

Up-to-date

Make sure what you choose to wear for your head shot is up-to-date.

Investing in a professional head shot can do wonders for your business!

M o r e   i n f o