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October 2016

Teddy Bear Portraits Photographer Profile: Lexi Mize

By | Daycare and Preschool Photography, Portrait Photography, Professional Photographers | No Comments

teddy bear portraits photographer lexi mizeLexi Mize, who began her career as a Teddy Bear Portraits photographer in 2011, has always had a special connection with kids. “I love working with little kids because they are very in-the-moment.” Lexi continues, “Children aren’t fake, which I really enjoy. They are completely honest and they will tell you exactly how they feel.”

Lexi’s passion for photography began at a young age when she received a camera as a Christmas gift. “When I was younger, my dad gave me a camera for Christmas and ever since, I have been hooked. I have always found it interesting to photograph children in a way that you don’t always see them, I try to capture what makes them so special.”

When it comes down to keeping the kids motivated, Lexi tries to get in touch with each child’s energy. “I am pretty good at feeling out their energy and seeing what they respond to. For instance, if they feel nervous, I quiet down a little bit.” Lexi understands that connecting with the children and earning their trust are keys to a successful Portrait Day.

Lexi cherishes each interaction with each child. “I really just love having fun with the kids.” She enjoys getting the children to smile and laugh but she also enjoys a challenge. “It is so rewarding to hear a parent say ‘Wow, you got them to smile?’ or a teacher say, ‘good luck- they never smile.’ I feel very accomplished when I get those kids to smile. As a photographer, it makes you feel good knowing that you can get those reactions.”

On Portrait Day, “I make them say silly things and let them call me funny names. I also use feather dusters to get the kids to smile- just the anticipation of being tickled does the trick!”

Using a little reverse psychology has also proven to be helpful in making the children smile. “Telling them not to smile, actually makes them smile.”

Lexi’s enthusiasm for photography and children are noticeable to everyone involved on Portrait Day. By creating a fun environment, Lexi offers a unique way of connecting with the children to produce memories that will be cherished for a lifetime.

How to Take Great Smartphone Photographs of Your Kids

By | Photography Tips, Smartphone Pictures | No Comments

taking-great-smartphone-picturesWhile it would be convenient to have a professional photographer following your family around to capture all of those candid moments, it’s just not going to happen, unless, by chance, you’re a celebrity.

Don’t let the absence of paparazzi cramp your style. You’ll be amazed at of the family portraits you can capture with your smartphone. In this post, we’ll share our top five tips to capture everyday moments of your children using your smartphone camera.

5 Tips for Taking Great Smartphone Photographs

Tip 1: Clean it Up

It may sound obvious, but the first step to capturing quality images on your phone is to clean it up. Clean all those sticky finger prints (and germs!) off of your phone. Most office supply stores sell disposable cleaning wipes that are designed just for tablets and smartphones. To clean your lens, use a soft, clean microfiber cloth to help remove all smudges. If it is extra gunky, dip a cotton swab in distilled water and gently wipe the lens and then gently dry it with a microfiber cloth. Be careful when using liquids, though! Too much of a good thing could ruin your phone.

Tip 2: Know Your Phone

Get to know the features on your smartphones camera to take great school pictures or special events. Tap the screen to focus on your subject and get comfortable pointing and shooting. Even if your phone has an autofocus feature, you’ll be much happier with the exposure and composition of your shots if you tell your phone where to look. Speaking of exposure, if your phone has High Dynamic Range (HDR) function, use it wisely. Instead of taking one image at one exposure, your smartphone (emphasis on smart) is snapping three images and giving you the one that looks the best.

As your phone is working triple-time, be advised that it may take a fraction of a second longer for the camera to process. If your kid is in action, you may want to set HDR to auto or turn it off altogether. Remember to keep your hand extra still and use a wall or chair to help ensure there isn’t any motion from when you take the child’s picture either.

Tip 3: Ditch the Flash

There is a secret about the flash on your smartphone. It’s not really a flash. With old-school SLR cameras, flashes are designed to freeze the action and light the scene with appropriate levels of brightness. The LED eye on your smartphone fails at both functions. Smartphones have come a long way, and often you can simply adjust brightness levels when editing photos right from your phone. On those occasions where you’re really in the dark and the flash is the only way to go? Go for it. At other times, use the available light.

Tip 4: Get Closer

Drop your phones zoom feature- that’s what editing and cropping is for. In fact, most smartphone cameras excel at close-ups, so step in. Unlink traditional camera lenses, where depth of field becomes a challenge. Cell phone lenses are designed to make the most of close situations. Keep your target and the surrounding evenly focused, especially for those sibling portraits

Tip 5: Edit, Delete, Repeat

Hitting the shutter is pretty addictive, but you really don’t need to post five pictures of your child eating a cookie on Facebook. At the end of the day, scroll through your treasure-trove of pictures and delete the truly awful ones and crop and keep the great ones. Forget the gimmicky filters, but do play around with the light and color saturation. You may be surprised with the level of detail and depth of color you can achieve. Capture the special moments and memories to share with friends and family. Remember, every day can be picture day!