Monthly Archives

January 2017

Dust Off your Camera and Capture Memories on Snow Day

By | Daycare and Preschool Photography, Family Portraits, Photography Tips, Portrait Photography | No Comments


Although the temptation to crank up the heat, light the fire, mix up a nice warm mug of hot cocoa and hide under a quilt may be overwhelming, snow days provide a wonderful opportunity to bond with your child and experiment with your camera.

The odds are you have dozens of snaps of your little one swimming around in the water or playing in the sand, but very few pictures of a snow angels or snowman. Winter presents some magical moments for both amateur and professional photographers.

Capture Memories with Tips for Winter Photography

Here are a few tips for helping you climb snow mountains and capture adorable moments.

Comfort is King

Be careful out there when photographing in cold temperatures. Wear warm coats, silly hats, wool socks, and easy-on, easy-off gloves or mittens are a must.

Bright White, Bright Light

Snow can be a tricky subject, fooling your camera into thinking that it’s brighter out there in the world than it really is. For most hobbyist photographers, a modern digital SLR camera probably understands the scene better than you do; however, if your images read as gray rather than brilliant white, it’s time to tell your SLR a thing or two.

It’s totally counter intuitive and confusing to most photographers, amateur and professional alike, but your camera thinks that great white world is super bright. Too bright, if fact, so it’s trying to tone things down a bit by kicking down the aperture, letting in less light. That’s not good for taking the best photographs in the snow. So adjust your f-stop one- to two-stops to let in more light. Boom! Bright white!

Think Fast

To catch those gorgeous flakes as they’re falling, use a fast shutter speed. Again, you may be smarter than your SLR on a snowy day. Your camera will automatically capture motion, if it’s fast enough; however gently falling snow may pull the wool over your camera’s eye. If your flakes are blurs, increase your shutter speed to 250th or 500th of a second, depending on the size and speed of your snowfall.

It’s All About Contrast

While a white winter wonderland is a gorgeous place, rarely is the world entirely enshrouded. Look for contrast and capitalize on juxtapositions for the best pictures. Keep your eyes peeled for trees standing strong into the sun. Once you’ve found your strong shadow or your surprising splash of contrast, focus on that image and play around with your exposure. The contrast is striking in these photographs.

Black and White and Bright

Winter is full of color; you just have to look for it.  Or generate it! Get those brightly clad kids of yours outside. Start romping in the drifts, making tracks in the snow, building snowmen with bright orange carrot noses and rocketing down hills on neon-colored sleds. Keep your finger on the shutter while you play.

The Early Bird Gets the Photo

Keep in mind, the best winter light is morning light. If your kids are lucky enough to be enjoying a snow day, then they’re up with the dawn and you may as well take advantage of it. Get out there and chase those rays! Experiment with angles and figure out where the sun works best on your subjects. Traditionally, shooting with the sun to your back is best, but in the winter months, give sidelight a chance. You may find taking photographs of the sunrise or even a sunset become more stunning when the air is cold and clear.

Believe it or not, cold is good. When it’s below freezing teeny tiny ice crystals fill the air, causing light to diffract and generate brilliantly hued pictures. You can capture some remarkable images during this special season. Get started early in the day and enjoy every moment with your children. Your child’s portraits will be well worth the extra preparation and sticking to these simple cold weather photography tips.

Teddy Bear Portraits Sales Profile: Brandi Reed

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

teddy bear portraits sales manager brandi reed
When it comes to Brandi Reed and Teddy Bear Portraits, it’s a family affair. Eleven years ago Brandi left the corporate world to become a Teddy Bear Portraits photographer. That was after she shadowed her husband on the job, who has been with Teddy Bear Portraits for 27 years.

“At first, when my husband invited me to shadow him, I said ‘No way.’  But I took some time off from my corporate job, followed him around for 3 weeks and fell in love with it.

“I love children, but you have to have something in you more than loving children… Being able to make those kids smile and laugh—I dare you to try to find another job that lets you do that every day.”

When asked ‘what is your favorite part of working with Teddy Bear Portraits?’ Brandi replied, “It’s the joy of it. It’s being able to provide parents with memories of their children they’re still going to enjoy seeing 20 years from now. How awesome is that?”

steve_brandi_reed_2847Brandi continues to excel in a territory that she describes as ‘easier than others.’ With the same Teddy Bear employees in the area for over 30 years, who just so happened to be her in-laws, she admits that her initial entry in the job came equipped with schools and support.

She explains that creating meaningful relationships with her fellow employees and centers is one of the keys to success in the preschool and daycare portrait photography industry. “You have to foster meaningful relationships with everyone you work with.”

“The one thing that has really helped me in this journey is the group of people that I work with. I mean, it’s never just you. Ever. Teamwork is absolutely essential in our business.” Brandi’s enthusiasm for her job is contagious.

Brandi believes in being effective and uses the philosophy of ‘doing what you say you’re going to do.’ She emphasizes that “Our word is our bond; we need to do everything we can to keep our word.” With the combination of trust and deeply ingrained relationships Brandi and her team enjoy making memories for busy parents and serving the daycare centers in Alabama, Mississippi and the Florida Panhandle.