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piano

With no more than a brief discussion, in an instant my husband and I made a decision to swap the piano & the sofa.

 

Little did I know this tiny decision would be so profound.

 

I enjoy a cohesive designed look for a room and I try to practice feng shui. I have had ideas for years regarding updating certain areas of our home (called baguas, certain parts of your life are directly related to the 9 different areas of your home). So, with the piano in the newly created parlor and the couch in the den, I slumped in defeat.

 

Everything needed to change.

 

And there I went; parlor needs more green, no metals or white, add round green plants, the mudroom needed more wood and pink, the family photos needed to come down from the den walls and more knowledge and cultivation items added, the kitchen needed more children’s artwork, I needed to paint the bulkhead, replace the broken exterior lights at the entry, paint the entrance hallway black, and the list goes on and on. Yes, I’m sure you could call me slightly crazy. But one move triggers another and things needed modification.

It wasn’t until I was in near tears trying to figure out the ancestry/family portrait wall that the light bulb moment happened. I had laid out every photo on the floor that “belongs” on the wall. I told my mom I needed to stop taking pictures because I have documented every moment of my life along with my children and I have way too many. And my husband suggested I pick only my favorites.

 

And this was my a-ha moment. I need to practice what I preach. I mean, I’m supposed to be the professional here.

 

So I took a deep breath, and started to evaluate the images (and items) that truly made me happy. Taking a page out of Marie Kondo’s books on organizing, I cleaned each frame, wiped dust from my grandfather’s reflection, and felt a bit of clarity.

What follows are design & portrait display rules I’ve gleaned:

  • Enjoy a few choice beautiful images that make your heart sing and design a room around them.
  • Swap out photographs at least every few years.
  • Dust frames often.
  • Find new homes for favorite pieces of art/photographs/paintings.
  • Move items regularly to circulate the energy.
  • Add more portraits of grandparents and parents to children’s rooms to make them feel safer and “watched”.
  • Color and presentation can have major effects on your spirit, be cognizant.
  • Only photographs of you and your significant others (not kids!) should be on display in your bedroom.
  • Make albums, not every photograph has to be on your walls.
  • Clutter isn’t good.
  • Don’t cascade your photographs down a stairwell, they should be in a straight line.
  • Surround yourself with things that make you happy.

painted picture

Had the piano remained where it was, sure, everything would have been fine. But should we always settle for fine?

And here I am now, thrilled the piano moved. I have a painted portrait of the children in the works that will be displayed right above the piano. Though still in transformation mode I’m feeling lighter, more educated about my surroundings and how seemingly small adjustments can make such a large impact, and I’m trying to better listen to myself! Not to mention I’ve reduced the clutter and the kids have more family portraits near their bedrooms.

Giving more meaning to my environment will not only benefit me, and those I engage with, but will also *hopefully* lead to a happier family.

 

Have you ever done something so seemingly insignificant that subsequently revolutionized your world?

 

I’d love to hear from you. Please comment below; what little change do you think you could make today?

One time earlier this year as I waited to board a plane to Florida I found myself fixated on this woman’s bun. Every last hair on her head was beautifully pulled back, and neatly tucked into a perfectly coiffed twist. Not a hair was out of place. Her face stern and plaster white with light pink cheeks. She was so fascinating to watch. This woman was like a moving sculpture with elegant arms and precisely calculated movements. Her long black dress flowed behind her as she breezed past me. And it was then I noticed her black bag that read The Paris Opera Ballet School.

BOOK NOW

Because the world is moving so quickly, as a consumer society we rely so heavily on visual representations. Our brains are meant to do this. This is why you don’t need to think every morning after you wake up that you must first brush your teeth. It’s autopilot. And your brain is trying to do that with the world around you. The shortest path to a conclusion without having to process the information is simply easier on our brains.

baker in NH

 

Have you ever stopped for a moment to take a look at what others see when they look at you? I’m not suggesting we all start judging, but more importantly are you allowing people to craft an appropriate ideation of yourself, quickly? Should you care what others think? Probably not, but if your income depends on first impressions you’re probably thinking twice.

Whether or not you like the idea, you are your own personal brand. You could work for a Fortune 500 or have your own small business and the rules still apply. Be cognizant of the laws of branding (Al Ries has a great book on the subject) and how they apply to you, as an individual. Do you have an appropriate LinkedIn image? Is it the same image you’re using for your speaking engagements? Or how about the board you’re on for a local land trust organization? What about the country club social directory? Each of these scenarios could very well be one person.

It is essential to be in control of your own brand.

Do you know how to do this?

BOOK NOW

profile pictures

 

If you’re looking to take it to the next level, to think about how you represent yourself, consider booking a personal branding session today. We’re now offering hair and makeup and an in-person image review for these extended sessions. Click HERE to inquire.

holiday card

Quick Tips for how to take a fantastic family holiday photo;

  1. For a horizontal image, leave space on the far left or far right for a caption.
  2. For a vertical image, leave space on the upper 1/3 or bottom 1/3 for a caption.
  3. Download an ap for a self timer, snag a friend to take the picture, or use a remote with an SLR.
  4. Have a one-colored background (like a brick wall, white clapboards, yellow leaves, etc.)
  5. For the wardrobe, don’t use more than 4 colors for a group. (More on group photos, here)
  6. Think about how the background colors work with your outfits. (Don’t make the colors compete, but to compliment.)
  7. Consider using a black & white photo and red letters to really make your card stand out. Glitter, foil, thick paper stock are also the perfect adornment to stand out in the sea of holiday cards this season.

Tiny Prints

We have special access to Tiny Prints promotions. Get ready for the holidays with this great offer!  Enjoy 40% off your order plus get 10 free custom envelopes!

This discount is only valid for a limited time so don’t forget to use it!

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While on vacation last week I had a friend ask if I’m still doing family photos. My business has been built around families from the start and doing this type of portrait work is both challenging & rewarding. To be clear;

I’m still capturing family portraits!

The dynamics that occur during a family reunion, not to mention a regular smaller family, is outstanding. Harry won’t sit next to Sylvia, Sylvia won’t stand next to Maurice, Jane & Betsy want to be on dad’s lap, Sally isn’t speaking to Fred so they have to be furthest from each other, etc. I have some friends who cringe at the thought of the annual family photo.

Consider the alternative. Not taking this photo.

The way the world is moving we’re taking pictures of everything, doing nothing with them other than handing them over to Facebook, and we have no documentation of life. Sadly, we’re all losing out. Technology changes. Where are your digital photos from 2006? Did you take your favorite images and make them wall art or an album? Are you sure your kids in 10 years from now are going to know what they looked like when they were young?

Studies have show that children that grow up in homes where family photos are displayed, are more confident and happy. So consider this new idea.

take a photo today

No, I’m not being paid by CVS, Walmart, or Target.

If the idea is too stressful to think about, hand your iphone over to a friend right now and have them snap a quick shot of the 4 of you. Print it out at CVS, frame it, and see how you feel about this image in 1 month. To take it a step further for next time, put a little more thought and effort into this annual event and make it a priority.

Isn’t your family worth it?

I’ve taken some stress out of this experience and hope you can use a few tips for putting together a group image 8 Tips For Group Portraitsnever look mismatched and frazzled again in family/group photos.

Contact us today to schedule your family session!

So far you’ve seen how to prep your face for amazing photos and how & what you can do for your wardrobe. To continue my tips for looking great in images, I’ve put together my top pointers for group portraits.

Think you are alone when it comes to stressing about the family photo? Does it make you break out in little beads of sweat when you try to figure out how to actually do this? The biggest stressor is the yearly family photo and this is why some families do not have family portraits made. I know, I have 3 kids, I get it.

Take a deep breath, you are not alone. My best advice for how to rock the group shot is to pick a color that you all have in your wardrobe as the base. Maybe navy blue? This way you’re not buying entirely new outfits for everyone in the family. And build from there.

green backdrop

Great Group Pics

  1. First and foremost, what type of portrait are you going for; classic, modern, trendy, formal, etc? Make sure everyone is coordinated in their wardrobe. You wouldn’t wear jeans to a wedding or a tux to a cookout. And you certainly wouldn’t go out to dinner at a high-end restaurant with one person in the group wearing flip flops & a ripped tank with cut-off shorts. Don’t do that for group images either.
  2. Patterns for kids generally are ok so long as you keep it to a small pattern.
  3. Wearing all matchy matchy clothes is a personal preference. I don’t like it. I don’t like it in wedding parties and I don’t like white shirts and jeans on the beach. It’s not realistic. There are many ways to very a tone without everyone wearing the same thing. Think about color grouping; try black, gray, peach, and navy; or try tan, brown, mauve, and off-white, or blue, green, white, and pink. Mix the 4 different colors among pants, dresses, scarves, ties, cardigans, button downs, etc.family portraits made easy
  4. For a group, the person wearing the most starkly different colored outfit will be standing out the most. So if everyone is wearing dark clothes and mom wears a light purple dress, eyes will go to mom in the portrait. If everyone is wearing white and one person is in black, the eye will notice the contrast and see black first. Everyone should complement each other and the clothing in a portrait should make your eye go in a circle (naturally looking at each person).
  5. Think about what your background will be when considering clothing options as well. Typically people have portraits made with the faces of the individuals as the subjects. Assuming this is what you want to go for, then the contrast would need to be your skin tone against the backdrop. For example, if your backdrop is darker, like the forest, and everyone is wearing a variation of darker colors, your eye will immediately concentrate on the faces of the individuals. If you want less concentration on the faces, then on this same backdrop people would need to wear lighter clothing. Monochromatic colors can be really soothing, but make sure you add textures (fringe, tweed, knits, lace).
  6. One last thought on the background and clothing choice. If you’re really getting into the anatomy of a photo and want to make a statement, think about complementary colors. Green and red are complementary colors. So put someone in a red dress against a green foliage and WOW that is really going to pop. Other complementary colors include yellow & violet, orange & blue.
  7. When in doubt consult Pinterest. The possibilities are endless for color groupings & backgrounds.
  8. Browse the websites of your favorite clothing stores. They are professionals! You don’t need to buy everything they are selling but they sure show fantastic groupings options for everyone.

To see more family portraits, click HERE.

Schedule your family session today!!

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