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News from the LLP Studio

  • kristin@littlelakes

I have lots of news to share, starting with the launch of a previously secret section of this website - the Newborn Color & Prop Guide!

Located under the Newborns tab, this page not only catalogs all of the color and prop choices I have available and coming soon, but allows parents to fill in a form ahead of their session indicating their favorite color and prop combinations. This new tool helps me keep track of the plethora of props I hoard in my stash - let's be honest, it's a little overwhelming! - and gives parents the ability to let me know what color scheme and style they'd most love for their little one's session! You can pick colors and props that fit your personal style and in-home display desires. It's so easy, fun, and takes some of the planning anxiety out of the mix for everyone!

This feature works great for milestone sessions as well! Whether you have a roller (3-6 months), sitter (6-9 months), pull-to-stand/early walker (9-12 months), or cake smash (first birthday) session coming up - use the guide to select your color/prop scheme.

Not pictured - all of the hats, headbands/tiebacks, and milestone wardrobe options I've got in stock. I can't decide if this would be helpful, or overwhelming - should I add them?

Head on over to http://www.littlelakesphotography.com/color-prop-guide and check it out - let me know what you think! And what you'd vote for as I expand into more colors.... a sunflowery, mustard yellow, and maybe a bubbly aqua are next on my list of things to hunt down.... what do you think? :)

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  • kristin@littlelakes

So you've booked your fall mini session, and as the days are counting down, your anxiety is building. On top of your already-busy fall, now you're starting to panic about those 20ish minutes you'll be spending in front of a lens - don't worry! I've got your back.

Here are the top 5 scenarios I most regularly encounter from MY side of the lens - and some easy tips on how to avoid those photo day blues.


Let me tell you - as a mom, I've agonized over this one probably more than any of the others! Not only do you have to worry about what YOU'LL wear and feel your best in, you probably have to worry about what each and every one of your family members will wear that day, to.! Here are some basics to guide you into the not-having-anxiety-over-what-matches-in-that-pile-of-laundry zone:

Choose 1 "pop" of color, and 2-3 complimentary neutrals. Think about the season, where we'll be shooting, what colors you expect to see in your surroundings, and avoid a color pop that will clash. Take, for example, our upcoming fall sessions - which many of you have coming up this month! Colors we'll encounter in the parks we're visiting will include reds, burnt oranges, yellows - you can't go wrong with a pop of color you know will be in the trees! Then choose a nice balance of dark and light neutrals to pull it all together.

Follow the basics of pattern mixing. A good rule of thumb? Mix a big pattern with a small pattern. If you've got one person wearing a wide-striped shirt, a second pattern that will mix well might be a small, simple floral. If on the other hand, you've got a big floral pattern, use a small stripe in the other outfit. Pattern mixing extends to textures as well - while I always suggest having at least one person in a solid, it doesn't have to be flat! Play around with textures in your solids to add some dimension, without overwhelming with too many patterns.

Balance your colors/patterns throughout your group. If you're a family of four, a nice mix is one adult in a solid, one adult in a pattern, one child in a different solid/texture, and one child in a complimentary pattern. If your family is smaller, use at least one solid; if your family is larger, follow a rule of adding a solid each time you add a pattern, and avoid putting anyone in an overwhelming pattern that will steal the show.

Do a flat-lay ahead of time! I know. It sounds silly. But - getting all of the outfits together in one place and taking a picture of them together can be so helpful! It will solidify your vision and allow you to move on with other, more important things in life - and, it'll mean your outfits are already organized so you're not frantic the day of the shoot! Just tuck them away for the next few days/weeks - it'll be a great feeling to be so organized when the day arrives! One less thing to worry about. Boom.

Make sure each outfit pairs with any of the others. Almost as important as making sure the whole group's look is cohesive, is checking to make sure any smaller groupings you might want photographed look good, too. Keep it in mind when you do your flat lay, you won't regret it! If you want some feedback, snap a picture and send it my way, I'm always happy to help!

Don't forget your shoes. While they may be an afterthought, your shoes will undoubtedly be in some of your photos - so make sure they match!

Dress for the weather. It might be chilly out there! Cozy up in your fall favorites so you're comfortable, and don't be afraid to play with layers! They can be super flattering, and keep your teeth from chattering!

2. What if it rains?!

If there's anything we know about living where we do, it's that Mother Nature can be super unpredictable - especially this time of year. But, don't fret! I've got your back. My basic rule of thumb on the day of a photo shoot (and the days prior) is to keep track of the radar, and an eye on the sky. Cloudy, overcast days can actually make for really stunning photos, especially with fall foliage. However if rain decides to fall from those clouds, it might make everyone miserable - we like to avoid that! If it's going to rain, no if's, and's, or but's about it - we will move your shoot to a raincheck date. I've blocked time in my calendar to reschedule sessions as needed - for our upcoming fall mini sessions, which are mostly on Saturdays, these raincheck times typically fall on the next day. If you can't make it, don't fret! We'll carve out a time when it works for everyone. I will be in touch in a weather situation, so be sure to check your email/messages. When in doubt, call/text/email/message me to see what's up!

3. What if my child/dog/spouse doesn't like doing photos?Let me worry about it, you've got enough going on! All I need is 20-30 minutes of your (and their!) time - it'll be over before you (and they) know it, and I promise you'll end up with beautiful photos of everyone - and, they'll even have some fun with it! (whether they wanted to, or not!)

4. What if I'm Feeling a Little Self-Conscious?

Trust me, I know the drill. You've rushed around making sure everyone else looks great, and then you're stuck trying to do your makeup and put your shoes on in the car on the way to your photo session. Maybe you've recently had a baby and don't feel quite like yourself, or have always been uncomfortable posing for photos. Again - let me worry about it! Trust that I will help you look your best in posing with your family. I also ALWAYS retouch photos at no additional cost, unless I'm asked NOT to - so don't worry about that smudge of mascara you didn't see until you looked in the rearview mirror on the way home, or the giant clump of dog hair that somehow found its way onto your dress - I've got you.

5. What if I'm Not Sure What to Do with My Photos?

I can help with that, too! Ask me about a special service I'll be offering my fall (and soon, winter!) mini session families, in which you'll have several holiday card design options to choose from, and then I'll take care of the rest - designing, printing, and shipping them right to your door!

Good talk - can't wait to see you out there in the next few weeks! Happy Fall, y'all!

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  • kristin@littlelakes

When you live where we do, it's almost impossible to count on the weather! Just because you've booked the perfect date, written into your calendar with a Sharpie - doesn't mean Mother Nature isn't going to pull a "not-so-fast, this is Western New York, my friend!"

Sometimes it's clearly unavoidable - when you open your weather app, and your heart drops at seeing those little clouds raining on your parade for the next 10 days in a row. Other times, it's been a beautiful morning, then you're enjoying lunch outside - and the storm clouds roll in, just in time for your 2pm photo session. Or like this summer full of beautiful, sunny, hazy summer days - but, it's 96 degrees + maximum humidity, and you'd rather not be melting, thank you very much!

So, what do we do if the weather isn't cooperating?

First and foremost - I am always more than happy to reschedule a session if there's weather concern. Whether you're hoping for a specific look, or if you know your toddler will be downright miserable - whatever the reason. IF the concern includes a safety hazard - such as extreme temperature exposure, or the possibility of say, lightning - I will put on my referee hat and call for a new time/day!

If however, the weather is iffy - I'll leave it up to you! Sometimes, an overcast sky can produce stunning lighting conditions that make for beautiful photo opportunities. And if you're like me, sometimes running a schedule so busy that the thought of finding a new date/time puts your brain on overload, I'm more than happy to try and dodge the raindrops with you!

Last week, I had clients take different paths in this scenario, and both had successful sessions!

The first was a full session of senior photos, which we decided to go for even though there were scattered showers and thunderstorms throughout the region, because it's back-to-school time and just had to happen as scheduled. I've cropped the first photo below so you can see it was legit raining for parts of Hunter's senior portrait session! See those little lines all around him? Yep - raindrops! Good thing he was such a trooper! The final version of this image is on the right - where you'll notice that it's magically NOT raining :)

This session is an example of a successful rainy day shoot - we had to take cover and be patient a few times when it was really coming down, but I'm so glad we were able to fit it in for this busy family:

little lakes photography, all rights reserved.

Another client in this same iffy-weather week chose to reschedule, and I was so glad they did because we had a beautiful afternoon in the park for their family mini session:

little lakes photography, all rights reserved.

...and during their original session time, it was pouring rain!

Long story short? Flexibility is the name of the game! If you're feeling uncomfortable about the weather, let me know - I'd always rather find a new time or day, than to have you feeling unsettled about the look or feel of your session and the resulting photos. At the end of the day, it's not just about the images, it's the memories you tie to the experience - so let's make it a genuinely positive one! Photos don't just look good, they should feel good too - now, and when you look at them in the years to come - rain or shine!

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