August 2, 2018

Erin and James 'The Wedding Cake'

This was SUCH a fun wedding here is a little teaser for ya!

July 24, 2018

Why to Choose a Professional Photographer

Why should you hire Land of Wild Designs Photography to be your portrait photographer?  Lately, I have been seeing a lot of photo-shoots with someone taking Senior Portraits with a cell phone.  It is actually pretty common.  Yes, cell phones these days do capture beautiful photos, they really do - but let me take a moment of your time to explain to you why I think it is worthwhile to hire a professional photographer, and more specifically - - - me.
These photos are a rarely seen glimpse behind the scenes of one of our photo-sessions. We don't often post unedited images, but I wanted to let you know that part of the experience with a professional photographer is the final image.  The way they are in the camera isn’t always the way they end up in print.  As we move from area to area during a photo-session, the light changes, color-casts happen due to surrounding vegetation or objects, or other variables may come into play.  We are doing regular adjustments to the camera settings in the effort to get the photo as perfect as possible in camera during the photo-shoot, but occasionally, we move so fast with ideas and inspirations that we just shoot first and look second.  It is generally when we get the photos offloaded from the camera and onto the computer that we notice some of the details that need attention, such as an incorrect crop, or color balance or contrast that isn’t exactly what we want . . . so that is why every image that you get has been individually reviewed and enhanced with our professional editing software.  It is because we want the images we provide to you be end up in a frame.
Don’t get us wrong, keep taking those cell phone photos – please make sure that you document life in your own creative way, but keep us in mind for the professional portraits that will last a lifetime.  Sadly those cell phone images won’t print in the quality you hope and they end up looking so different in print than they look digitally on your device, and that can be disappointing.
Our images are individually edited, then sized specifically to be printed professionally to retain the resolution you are seeing on your computer or phone when you view your gallery.  We are selling more than just a digital image.  Land of Wild Designs provides an experience, we also provide very careful edits and we capture more than just the photo, we capture the emotion – the feeling.      

 A before/after image enhancing her skin, brightening the shadows, and bringing the color back into the background.

With a simple crop and rotate, the photo looks completely different.  On this image, we edited the background in a different style than we edited her skin & clothing so the contrast was wonderful - it really pops!

January 12, 2018

A few things I've observed as a Wedding Photographer that may help you...

Look at that … two wedding related blog posts in a row.   And all this for a photographer that started out in business with a vow to NEVER photograph weddings!  And just look at me over here talking about weddings – oh how the tides bring change.

I think of myself as a pretty observant person, but sometimes it takes more than just observing to make an effective difference.  Anyone can see what is going on around them, but it is time to speak up about some of the things that I have observed in the past and hopefully it will help you in the future as you plan for your big day (or help a loved one).

This is just some low-carb food for thought (and some really fun images from a few of the weddings we have photographed) ... and I hope you get a morsel or two of great information out of this.

First and foremost, communicate – communicate – COMMUNICATE

I touched on this a little in my last post, but I just wanted to unpack this subject a little bit more for everyone.  Communication is key – you deserve excellent communication.  I believe that communication is a basic need in any customer service industry.  I want to provide you with the best and most information that I possibly can.  I also hope that in return you share with me when things change, when dreams and ideas migrate into actions that will affect how we provide you with the highest level of customer service available.
No we aren’t planning your wedding, no we aren’t the first person you are going to call, no we aren’t going to be helping you decorate or clean up, but you know what?  We care about every single step of this wedding just like we are one of those people.
We would like to meet with you to discuss some things – we will ask you questions, and hopefully answer your questions too. 
I thought about posting a sampling of the questions we would ask and the items we go over during our initial consultation, but I’ll keep that on a personal basis between you and our Land of Wild Designs photographer(s).  We do however try to keep an open schedule and will meet with you as often as you like to go over your photography needs, ideas, inspirations, and concerns.
Everyone has a different style, we happen to follow inspirational ideas and hopefully our style migrates and evolves with the changing times and the mood and personality of our clients.  We don’t want to take the same photograph that everyone else has in their wedding book, but folks … let’s face it – weddings are pretty typically the SAME.  The same photos anyway, you know?  Cutting the cake – tossing the garter, first kiss, standing in front of our wedding guests stating your vows and promises of forever.  Same-Same and that is ok.
What we want is to find a style that suits your personality and your heart.
So this goes back to communication – we need to talk about what kind of images you want of your wedding.
Here is where I tell you about things I have seen and maybe some suggestions for how you can be prepared for a few things I would have never thought of if I hadn’t seen it for myself.

Make sure that you think about where you will be signing your marriage license.  We will want to take photos of that event and you will have about five people signing that license, so it needs to be an area that can accommodate a small group of people – we have seen weddings do this where they are eating their wedding dinner, but you have plates of food and glasses of beverages in your photos, so maybe the wedding party could move to the guest book table, or even have a designated location set up…just food for thought…

Be sure to bring a steamer to the wedding.  This is not something I usually think about personally, but when you look around, you see a lot of uses for a steamer!  Anything from the tablecloths that have fold-creases to the veil, there are always things that need to be steamed.
 Get yourself a Wedding Coordinator – someone you trust.  Even if you aren’t paying a professional wedding planner – even if it your Mom or Sister that is keeping everything organized, on track and held together for you.  Get yourself a wedding coordinator (worth repeating).  The entire weight of this wedding shouldn’t fall on the shoulders of the Bride.  (My 2¢)

Placement of that beautiful wedding cake is another thing to think about!  You dreamed of the design, you have a lot invested in this amazing cake and now you should think about how to display it for optimal visibility and function.  Yes, function.  I have seen so many amazing, even phenomenal wedding cakes hidden in a corner behind the Bride and Groom table or in an obscure location in the reception hall with no way for guests to clearly see the cutting of the cake, or even for the photographer to have mobility to get good shots of the cake-cutting.  I suggest that you visit the venue, draw a rough floorplan of the room and use little sticky pad papers or sticky flags to mark placement of everything – then move the sticky papers around until you are happy with the layout.  Draw around them, and make yourself a little map of the room so you (and whoever is helping you get set up, delivering the cake, etc.) remember where or how to place things.  Major timesaver!!
Okee dokee, this is all I am going to say on this (for now, lol).  Have a GREAT day and enjoy that wedding planning. 

Oh yes, ONE MORE THING: if you need a wedding photographer, I’m your girl!  Let’s talk!

January 8, 2018

Looking for a Wedding Photographer?

First of all, CONGRATULATIONS!!!
You are engaged. 
This is one of the most exciting (and probably most stressful) times of your life.  We understand – weddings are complicated and expensive.  There are a LOT of decisions to be made in what seems like too little time.  Everywhere you look, there seem to be many sources for great information to many of the questions you have and even to questions you didn’t know you had.  Anyone and everyone seems to have advice to offer, and it is easy to get overwhelmed.
∙  There are color schemes to choose…
∙  You have to decide on who is in your wedding party…
∙  You need to be thinking about the menu and catering…
∙  There are important details to remember like getting your wedding license…
∙  You need to ask your officiant to perform the ceremony…
∙  You need to choose a PHOTOGRAPHER…
∙  and the list goes on and on….
We here at Land of Wild Designs Photography understand that this is a large task and you need help sometimes!  You need do what is best for you, but we always suggest to plan this out, it is possible to have the wedding of your dreams.  It really is!
This is how we go about it:
Figure out your budget – put it on paper – talk about it – AGREE and stick to it … (revisit it often)
- Cost
- Value
This is a challenge folks, because ‘Cost’ and ‘Value’ really are different.
What does it cost?  Well, that will fit into the financial portion of your budget easily enough, but there is so much more to consider.
What is the VALUE?  That is the question that stays with you for a while.  You may spend money and recover any financial losses, but the value – well, that is something that means something to you emotionally and it is typically something that stays with you long after the financial part is forgotten.  It is okay to use emotion when making these plans, by all means – it is your love that brought you together, your friendship that makes you want to spend the rest of your lives together.  So how about planning the value and cost together – then prioritize and see where you are.
We suggest writing everything down with three columns following – value first and cost second – then in the third column, add your notes.  Now that you have everything (or most everything, because we know this list changes frequently) start thinking/talking about what priority to place these items in – here is an example:

This is the way we see it…the longer it will last, the higher the priority needs to be.  Let me explain.  Hair and makeup will be gone the day of the wedding (or the next day), but the way they made you feel - made you look - the memory will last far beyond that day.   The venue is only something that you have for the day usually, but the dream of having a wedding there - the way it makes your wedding come together – the memories will last far beyond.    The Photographer will be gone after the last planned event at the reception in most instances, we are only going to be with you for the day, but the way we made you feel – the attention we paid to your desires will last beyond that day - - - and the memories – the photographs will be with you for long after your wedding day.

We don’t want to assume the priority you are placing on any one thing on your list – everyone is different of course and that is wonderful.  But if Photography is a higher priority for you, please consider Land of Wild Designs Photography.  We would love to talk to you and see if we are what you are looking for in a wedding photographer.

When we book a photography session, these are some of the little things that we ask of you – it isn’t too much, and it doesn’t seem important sometimes, but to us – it is very important!

We want to meet with you a couple times before the wedding – (in person would be great), but we can also do it through phone conversations, emails, messaging, etc. 
Here are some of the things you may want to consider…
- to be sure to send us a wedding invitation if we are photographing your wedding.  This is a big one folks! (When you schedule with us, we will make sure you have our mailing address)
- tell us what time and where you will be getting ready if you would like the ‘getting ready’ images included
- and please understand that we care about your images, we don’t rush wedding photography or the editing of your images, for this reason there may take some time (up to 2 months or so) to get your wedding photo portfolio.  We will send you (or post to social media if you like) some previews, but the full portfolio will come to you customized after it is final.  These are your tangible FOREVER memories and we want to do our best to get them right!

Fun talk!
Thanks for listening ;)

January 5, 2018

Welcome Back to my Blog!

I haven't blogged in a while - it is not that I don't think of it often, it is not that I am lazy.  Honestly, I really don't know why I haven't posted to this blog in over a year, but it is definitely time for a change.

Just to catch you up on what has been going on with me and Land of Wild Designs Photography...

2016 and 2017 were good years, but 2016 ended with quite a few changes for me, and that is probably why you haven't seen a post here on the blog since Sept 2016.  Time for that to change.   No excuses.  

In 2016 I quit a full-time job that I had been working at since we returned to Arizona from Alaska.  I loved the job... I loved the people... I just had to take the leap, you know?  So I jumped.  

Now, as it has been explained many times, we don't jump and expect to be able to fly immediately.  We jump and on our way down (before we start to rise) we bump a few things, fall faster than we hoped, get some bumps and bruises along the way - - - but eventually, we get the courage to rise, get wind beneath our wings, and soar..  I am not all the way there yet, but I am rising friends - and I am flapping my arms as hard as I can trying to turn them into wings.  Because as soon as my wings sprout I am flying to the MOON, I hear the view is incredible from there!
In 2016 and 2017 we  experienced other personal changes - began a journey to improve our health - continuing education - family moving - buying homes - changing jobs - marriages - losses - and we even were blessed with a couple of adorable step-grandchildren in 2017.

2018 promises many great things for Land of Wild Designs Photography - we have been spending a lot of time dedicated to growing our brand and I am so excited to share with you in coming weeks and months the exciting things we have been doing and the plans for our future.  We hope you join us on this exciting ride through Two Thousand Eighteen.  😊

We scheduled so many really fun photo-sessions last year, and we customized some really fun personal photography experiences as well - getting ideas from clients, coming up with our own, and searching pins to find inspirations.  It has been an absolute blast being able to have this much creativity surrounding us.  Thank you to all our clients who brought the creativity & ideas to the next level!  This has been so amazing.
Mommy and Me Photo-Session that included an awesome "3 and 30" Mommy and Me Cake-Smash
Twin Newborn Photo Session
Capturing those only once in a lifetime moments
Fierce and Beautiful - Modeling Images
Photographing moments that capture the real you.
These examples are only a very small sampling of what we have been up to, but we would LOVE to start a new year with you.  Contact us and let's begin scheduling your session - let's plan it, let's create an individual plan for your session that captures who you are and let's get photos printed and onto your wall!

September 22, 2016

Styled - Couture - and VERY Kylie ♥

Something amazing happens when we get to take photos of Kylie
We planned a styled, couture session and she absolutely brought it!

And then after we were done shooting the location Couture Session, we had an opportunity to get some couple shots with Josiah! 
And wow - these two are so ... wow!

 See what I mean?  Aren't they something GREAT!?!
 And the best is yet to come, because we are planning YET ANOTHER spectacular session - this time with all the girls!  Can't wait for that!  Stay tuned for the incredible things we will be posting!!!

July 12, 2016

Blah Blah Blah on the blog

What do you do when you have a lot to say and don't really know who to tell it to?
(...and by "a lot to say", really I mean - not much to ACTUALLY say, just a lot of words to put together) 
you blog.
So here is my blog post of the day 'blah blah blah'
Although it sounds silly, it probably isn't so silly.  We all have so much going on in our day-to-day lives not to mention the planned stuff that we have coming up ... and hey wait, what about the unplanned things, interruptions, drop-ins, emails, facebook drifting [that should be an actual term, so if you see it coined someplace someday, remember you heard it here first ... patent pending, lol], and on and on and on...
Alright, here is the definition...
facebook drifting (verb)
The act of intending to check facebook for a few minutes, and waking up to reality an hour or three later when you realize you 'drifted' off in facebook land.  Then what do you do when you realize this has happened?  Yes, of course, be sure to scroll to the top to make sure you didn't MISS anything!
It's a real thing - check it out - you can find multiple sources to confirm - check facebook...I'm sure you'll find it - no, well, maybe after your thumb gets carpal tunnel pain from the repetitive motion of dragging your phone screen from one end to the other you'll see it.
- - - and I'm back!
Ok, well, now I forgot what I was going to blah blah blah about, forgive my blah blah on the blog but whatever you do, don't forget to smile and tell someone you love them - to their face - not on facebook, because come-on!  People are real with all the look up from your phone today - heck, maybe even leave it in the other room today - and be with people you love.
What am I going to do?
I'll tell ya!
I'm going to make home-style potatoes & onions, pulled pork, green beans & biscuits.
Then I am going to eat it
Then I am going to feel fat (cause I am kind-of) well, not kind-of, but don't judge, I'll diet.  I will!
But that meal will be face-to-face with my husband and we will eat and we will talk and we will laugh and we will see each other's eyes.  Cause people do that too sometimes...even though we can't find any Pokémon GO thingies that way, I have a feeling we will probably survive - and we will probably remember the happiness we felt and then we will go outside and run all the people off our lawn because their app is telling them we have Pokémon thingies in our yard....and we don't - but they can feel free to pull a weed or two while they are there if they want.
ok - NOW I think I am done with the blah blah
Be sure to visit anytime for actual photography related posts - many are coming - I have said it before - and I'll say it again...awesome things are getting ready to happen. 
it probably won't be on facebook
probably the blog
probably the website
probably Instagram
maybe twitter
probably not facebook - just saying
maybe in a movie theater near you!  Just you watch & see........

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