Would you travel three hours for your senior portraits? Areonna and her mom did just that! Why make the trek to Ann Arbor to have me do their senior portraits? Because they were looking for a unique senior portrait experience…. and they found me via a web search. Love when things are serendipitous like that!
Anyways, Areonna’s mom contacted me because her daughter didn’t want senior portraits that looked like anyone else’s. And she’d seen my senior portraits at Graffiti Alley in downtown Ann Arbor — it was the perfect spot for Areonna.
While I always enjoy helping my clients plan their senior session, in this case I got to go a little more in depth… suggesting hair and makeup stylists in the area that would be close to the spot where we’d be doing her senior portraits in Ann Arbor. You might think it would be stressful ….planning a senior photo session for someplace you’ve never visited, but that’s why I am here. I am happy to provide location suggestions, put together a collection of locations on Google maps, recommend stylists, whatever you need.
As usual, we monitored the weather in the days leading up to the photoshoot, and while it was muggy, there wasn’t a raincloud in sight. We met at Nickel’s Arcade for the first set of senior portraits, and then moved onto Graffiti Alley for the second set. It’s always fun to see what props people bring along with them for sessions. I know I mention this a lot, but one perk of being my client? I have a portable changing room AND a folding wagon (for extra camera gear and also for client outfits). It really makes the whole senior portrait experience a lot easier. I’ve done it the old fashioned way — and let’s just say, there’s a reason I bring both things with me! 🙂
Okay, enough chit chat. Let’s get onto Areonna’s senior portraits. Make sure to tell me which ones are your favorites. I have a few in mind myself!
If you’re looking to plan a really unique senior portrait session, please contact Betsy via our web form or call 734-424-0472 today. Betsy will walk you through the planning process and answer all of your questions — whether you’re familiar with the area or not. And yes, travel is an option (check out this senior session we did on Lake Michigan)! If you have a particular vision for your senior portrait session — just let us know, and we’ll make your dream a reality! Talk to you soon 🙂
Twins run in my family, so I am really familiar with how different twins can be — whether they’re identical or fraternal. So, for this senior portrait session, I enjoyed the challenge of creating senior portraits for twin brothers David and Joseph …and giving each of them senior portraits that weren’t exactly the same. My goal is always to let everyone’s personality shine through in their senior portraits. And I think we did just that!
Both boys play football, so after a few portraits in the studio, we headed out on location to Mill Creek Park in Dexter. It’s a tested and true location for senior portraits, and even though I do senior sessions there often, no two senior portrait experiences ever turn out alike. Even these guys’ portraits are different — but similar enough that mom will be able to display portraits of her boys side by side. Love it!
If you’d like to plan a senior portrait session that is relaxed, stress-free, and showcases your personality, please contact the studio at 734-424-0472 today! Betsy will help you through each phase of your senior portrait experience, and you will love the results!
Caitlin came to the studio this summer for her senior portrait session. Last summer, when I did her brother’s senior portraits at Mill Creek Park in Dexter, Caitlin tagged along too. It was fun getting to see her again, and create some new, updated, portraits of Caitlin for her very own senior pictures. This time, we stayed inside the studio for most of Caitlin’s portrait session, since the weather was ominous and all.
Our plan, assuming the weather held off? To finish off the session with a series of outdoor soccer portraits. Thankfully, the weather turned out beautifully (isn’t it crazy how that always happens?)…. and Caitlin’s senior portraits were able to go as planned. Bonus? You’d never know it was terribly muggy and humid from the photos. Love that Michigan weather, right?
I really can’t say which of these outfits was my favorite. Caitlin did such a nice job of curating (or is it coordinating) her own outfits, down the accessories. While I’m happy to give advice, I love it when my clients are confident in their own style and know what looks good on them!
So, without further delay, here are her senior portraits. Enjoy!
Have you been thinking it’s time to plan your senior portrait session, but maybe you just want to enjoy your summer first? No problem! Give us a call (734-424-0472) or email us so that we can get the planning process started. Let’s set a date now, and iron out the details as your session date gets closer.
Don’t you love being outdoors? I’m so glad that the warm weather has finally showed up! Although, with spring and summer comes a flurry of activities. Baseball, swimming, golf, nature walks, you name it!
My oldest son, Toby, has moved up to machine pitch baseball with Dexter Little League this year, so we’ve been spending quite a bit of time at the ball diamond. My husband is coaching for the fourth season, so we constantly have baseball gear coming out of our ears. It might seem like a big time commitment, right? Yes… but it’s worth it.
I get to set my to-do list aside and simply watch Toby being a kid. And I get to chat with other parents who are doing the same thing! And the little siblings have fun too, in their own way (Zack, my younger son, loves to playing on the bleachers, or in the ball diamond dirt). I love the community that comes with baseball.
Most days, you’ll find me happily carrying a pocket camera. But, every so often, I’ll bring my DSLR camera and zoom lens to a ball game. For me, there’s just something about capturing a moment, a memory. It’s the process of creating and documenting life… and while I’m often busy doing this for my clients, it’s important to me that I do the same for my own family!!
So, with that in mind, here are a few photos from one of Toby’s recent games. Enjoy!
Thanks for letting me share these family memories with you! I hope that you’ve found fun ways to capture memories of things you enjoy doing as a family. 🙂
It's that time again... that time when we start planning ahead towards next year. Maybe you're really excited to be finished with junior year, and can't wait to be a senior! Well, if you want to get a jump start on all awesomeness that comes with being a senior, you should look into our Class of 2019 Senior Representative Program.
Being a senior rep is fun AND easy! You will be able to earn photos, cash, and more ....just for referring new clients to Betsy's Photography. And that part will be easy, because you're going to love the senior photos we create for you.
Learn more about what's involved and find out how to become a senior rep today! You can click on the button below to access a Google Drive hosted PDF with information about our Class of 2019 Senior Representative program.
Claudia and her mom came to the studio in October for her senior portraits. We did the indoor formal portrait for the yearbook, and then headed out to Mill Creek Park in Dexter for some more artistic senior portraits in nature. I am really excited for Claudia and her family to see these photos, it was hard for me to pick my favorites to share for this sneak peek!
The next big step for any Monarch caterpillar is to pupate! That’s when it turns from a caterpillar into a chrysalis. I was blessed to be around when one of the caterpillars pupated, but he was sneaky so I only managed to capture a before and after rather than a “during” …maybe next time. (if you missed my earlier posts, you can see the caterpillars when they were tiny, and the caterpillars when they’d grown bigger).
For purposes of disclosure, I should mention that I rehung most of the chrysalises… they were either on tin foil that I secured to the twig, or tied up there with dental floss. I did a bit of research beforehand so as to avoid damaging the creatures, don’t worry. But I wanted to let you know because these photos have been photoshopped — to remove the unsightly dental floss, tin foil, etc. I did my best to give an accurate rendering and not depart from reality. Maybe next time I’ll be brave enough to try the super glue method!
Anyways, enjoy these macro photographs of the Monarch caterpillar and Monarch chrysalises. They are really amazing to look at close up… and I just today learned that you can tell whether a butterfly is male or female while it’s in its chrysalis. There is a little seam at near those black dots at the top of the chrysalis. Very interesting! Maybe next time around I’ll know to photograph… 🙂 …hindsight is 20/20, huh?
Last night I was going through old photos. While I have my client images well organized and backed up appropriately, my personal photos have been stored haphazardly on CDs, DVDs, and old external hard drives. My goal? To make sure my photo memories didn’t get lost forever. If there’s interest, I’ll go over some ways to store photos in another article — send me an email or comment on this post.
Anyways, it was really interesting for me to note my experience taking a walk down memory lane.
Every photo was steeped with emotions, feelings, and memories.
When I looked through a series of images from a family vacation, I could recall additional events that occurred that same day.
It was amazing.
Some of my favorite photos now, are ones that wouldn’t have been all that important in the moment. Photos of loved ones who’ve passed, photos of pets who aren’t with us anymore. Even photos of the exterior of my childhood home.
Looking through all those photos made me nostalgic, sure.
But it also made me feel grateful.
Grateful for my childhood. Grateful for so many memories. And grateful for the photos to share with my kids.
Going through those photos was a chance for me to get out of the mindset where I can’t see the forest for the trees. In the daily grind, sometimes you just forget to look at the big picture. But those details, while they matter, have to be aligned with your master plan to be effective.
So, this year, as you look forward — consider looking backwards first. You may find, as I did, that it helps clarify things for you. You become more aware of your blessings, or rediscover forgotten goals.
My kids are really excited for December. And since Thanksgiving has come and gone, there’s definitely been an uptick in the Christmas spirit around our household. Last year, I’d been considering making kindness elves for the Christmas countdown, but never got around to it. I have never really liked the elf on the shelf idea, so this year I did a little more exploring of alternatives to elf on the shelf, and kindness elves.
Some people made kindness elves, kindness kids, etc — whose purpose was to help the kids learn to pay it forward. I liked the idea. But then I stumbled across this idea of a Christmas angel.
I decided to print out a few kindness elf printables for the Christmas angel to share with the boys each day. After checking out a bunch of different options, I decided to use these cute circle tags by Passionate Penny Pincher.
And since we celebrate Christmas in both the secular and religious sense, the Christmas angel will also be delivering a daily advent prompt to help my boys understand things on a more spiritual level too. That part was easy, as I found this printable that goes along with the Jesus Storybook Bible #afflink …so I printed out a set of free printable advent cards for December.
When the kids wake up, I’m going to have this cute little clothespin angel sitting out on the kitchen table with some of the printables I mentioned inside this envelope. I also wrote a brief “introduction” letter to the boys, from the Christmas Angel, of course. The text was inspired by a Christmas Angel note I found at The Riches of His Love.
How to Make the Clothespin Christmas Angel
Now, in case you’re wondering how I made the clothespin angel, here’s the quick cliff notes version.
(Sorry, I didn’t take step by step photos, as I honestly wasn’t sure how it would turn out!)
I took a square piece of fabric that was about five inches by five inches — and cut a small hole in the center. Then I pushed the clothespin through the opening.
Using the gold pipe cleaner, I made a halo at one end, then bent it around the neck of the clothespin angel to secure the fabric “dress.”
I used another gold pipe cleaner as a combo waistband and set of arms.
Then, I took two more pipe cleaners and bent them into angel wings. Honestly, they looked more like flower petals than wings at first, but I still think it turned out cute!
I then attached the wings to the clothespin Christmas angel on the back side (at the “waistband”).
Using some permanent markers, I colored the main part of the clothespin gold (it turned out more brown, but oh well), and drew a face on the Christmas Angel too.
I kept it really simple… because, well, simple is better!
So, if you don’t have all the supplies, then by all means, improvise! Make it work for you 🙂
I’ll see how many days we continue the Christmas Angel concept… it might be a huge hit, or it could be a bust. I’m all for being practical. So, I’ll try to report back and let you know how it turned out. It may be that this Christmas Angel ends up as nothing more than a cute decoration for our Christmas tree!
What are your ideas for helping kids get in the Christmas spirit? Do you try to focus on being kind, or…? Do you love/hate elf on the shelf? Don’t care one way or the other? That’s cool too.
Regardless, I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Thanksgiving kind of snuck up on our family this year. I’m not sure if it was just because life was busy, or we were preoccupied with school and the daily grind.
Whatever the reason, Thanksgiving is here. And we haven’t decorated. We haven’t finished going grocery shopping. We know we’ll be spending Thanksgiving with family, but the details? Nope. Those are still TBD.
Maybe you’re a little more on top of planning ahead for the holidays than I am. But, then again, maybe you’re not. Whatever your holiday preparedness, I’m going to share some easy last minute Thanksgiving crafts and activities for the whole family!
And, if you scroll all the way to the bottom, you’ll even find a round-up of 12 or so recipes to help you use up your Thanksgiving leftovers.
There are several printables, some games, many crafts! Most are oriented towards kids, but there are some that I think would be fun for adults too.
Okay, so without further ado, here are the activities.
I love the idea of these conversation starter coasters from Adventure in a Box! You can print out the coasters from the free printable, and enjoy a number of fun conversations that might not have been otherwise had!
Thanksgiving Bingo (printable!)
If your family is into games, maybe you’d like to try this Thanksgiving Bingo Game from One Creative Mommy. It looks really cute, and even if you don’t have Thanksgiving themed m&ms in the house, I bet kids would love playing with whatever snack or treat items you have on hand.
Egg Carton Turkey Craft for Thanksgiving
I love Red Ted Art crafts, and this Egg Carton Turkey craft is no exception! Plus, it holds candy corn… too cute! These would make adorable name cards for a Thanksgiving dinner, don’t you think?
Thanksgiving Gratefulness Game
Planet Smarty created this Gratefulness Game to Promote Wiriting and Math for her kids. I love the idea of this game. And, if you want to make a pretty thankfulness collage like is shown in the image below, check out the blog post for info on how to do that too!
Paper Roll Tukery Craft
How about this cute paper roll turkey craft from Non Toy Gifts? Everyone is bound to have a spare paper roll (or two) lying around the house. And, in a pinch, you could make a cylinder out of a piece of paper, right?
Thanksgiving Thankfulness Tree
Last year, we created this Thanksgiving Thankfulness Tree, and the boys loved it. Even though we haven’t talked about it since then, my older son mentioned it out of the blue as we were talking about preparing for Thanksgiving. I guess it really made an impression!
Pinecone Turkey Craft for Kids
Here’s another cute idea from One Creative Mommy! Have the kids make pinecone turkeys! I can totally see an extension activity for this craft — I think we’ll be making them using autumn leaves as the feathers since my boys love nature scavenger hunts so much.
Quilled Thanksgiving Cards
If your kids want to get in the spirit by making Thanksgiving cards, here’s a gorgeous craft idea from Red Ted Art. You can make Quilled Thanksgiving Cards! I think these would be fun for adults to make too…. but hey, maybe that’s just me.
Thanksgiving Cranberry Slime
Since no holiday is complete without a little mess, or a little science experiment,… why not give this Thanksgiving Science: Taste-Safe Cranberry Slime a try? My boys would love doing this. Although, you’d have to have cranberries (or get them on your next run out to the grocery store!).
Leaf Mandala + Thanksgiving Turkey Coloring Pages (printable! for grownups!)
Yes, I admit, this collection of Thanksgiving activities has been mostly centered on ideas for kids. But, when the kids, are happy, the adults can be too, right? Anyways, here are several Thanksgiving Coloring Page Printables from Red Ted Art. Get the kids set up with an activity, then start coloring one of these yourself!
Another cute idea to keep kids busy? Make Thanksgiving hats! There are ten different ideas in this post by Non Toy Gifts, and I have to admit, some are pretty creative! My boys liked the boat hat best.
Thanksgiving Matching Game (printable!)
Here’s another cute printable that you can use to pass the time on Thanksgiving day! Beauty Through Imperfection created a Thanksgiving-themed matching game printable. If your kids are anything like mine… this should be a hit (no promises, they could be engrossed for hours, or it could last only minutes).
Turkey Place Cards
Since no Thanksgiving table is complete without decoration, these turkey place cards might be a cute project! Although Mommy’s Bundle designed them for the kids’ table, I can see them in use at a low key family table too!
Thanksgiving Turkey Snack + Kids’ Craft
If you’re looking for a somewhat healthy Thanksgiving snack, this edible craft turkey for kids from One Creative Mommy should be a hit…. it was for a class of kindergardeners, at least!
Turkey Baster Pom Pom Game for Kids
This Turkey Baster Pom Pom Race, by School Time Snippets, is very simple, but I bet it will be popular with the younger kiddos! Simple, no prep, and easy to clean up. My idea of a perfect game.
I love this Thanksgiving-adapted take on pick up sticks, by Teach Beside Me! The Gratitude Game inspires thankfulness by having you name something you’re thankful for each time you pick up a stick. Great idea!
Cultivating Gratitude: Ideas for a Month of Thanksgiving
Even thought I’m posting this days before Thanksgiving, the concept of gratitude is still valuable. Especially considering, for many of us, the next holiday approaching will be Christmas. And in a world of “I want” and “I need” — it’s nice to be intentional about giving thanks.
Recipe Ideas for Thanksgiving Leftovers
This last one isn’t really a Thanksgiving Day activity, but since the holiday typically includes an abundance of leftovers, you may appreciate these ideas on how to use up all those Thanksgiving meal items!
Okay. Now I’m finished, I promise. Go enjoy your Thanksgiving celebrations, have fun during your festivities, and make sure to remember the most important thing to be thankful for is the gift of friends of family.
This is one of the complaints I hear a lot. Whether it’s a client coming to me for a session, or just a comment in the course of casual conversation, the sentiment is the same. Most of us don’t like how we look in photos.
Formulated in 1968 by a psychologist named Robert Zajonc, it basically says that people react more favorably to things they seen more often. Zajonc tested this with everything from shapes, to facial expressions, even nonsense words. Since we see ourselves most frequently in the mirror, this is our preferred self-image. According to the mere-exposure effect, when your slight facial asymmetries are left unflipped by the camera, you see an unappealing, alien version of yourself.
And wow. I can’t believe I never quantified this reason before, but it makes total sense. We all know ourselves based on part of our daily morning routine — the mirror. We’ve grown up seeing ourselves a certain way — and the bathroom mirror is we spend time making ourselves look beautiful, or examining the intricate details (and yikes, flaws) in our facial features.
So what’s that got to do with this?
Well, our faces aren’t perfectly symmetrical.
One eyebrow may rise a little higher on your left side, your smile might pull back a little more on the right. But when we see these things in photographs, it’s on the “wrong” side.
When you see yourself in a photo — it looks “wrong” because it’s different.
The photo is flipped — it’s not a mirror image, so the facial features you’re used to are on the opposite sides.
And that’s where this sentiment comes in. Even if you look great in your photos, they probably will look a little foreign to you because you don’t look the same as you see yourself in the mirror, day in and day out.
This is why sometimes everyone loves your photos but you. They see you and know you as the photos capture you.
But you? You know yourself in the mirror — the mirror image of that photo.
Ultimately, when we dislike a picture of ourselves, it’s not that we think we look necessarily ugly. It’s just that we find our other self — our inverse self — more attractive.
If you ask a third party for their opinion on the photo, chances are you’ll get a different perspective on whether that photograph actually looks like you than if you tried to make that decision yourself.
Depending on the person, they may like one image of you better and another image less — purely because of which facial features and expressions of yours they have seen you make most!
So next time you see yourself in a photo and think about saying you don’t like how you look, just take a moment to remember — you know yourself as you see your face in the mirror. There’s definitely no exact science to which photo of you is best.
But chances are, you do look good — like yourself — in photos after all (although maybe not to you!).
Here’s a simple family portrait that we did at the studio. The whole thing took about thirty minutes, including photos of the kids by themselves. If you’re looking for quick and easy, there’s nothing simpler than that.
And yes, the kids were being silly, but you wouldn’t know it by the end result (well, not by the family photo, at least). We did take some silly pictures of the boys together, of course. Want to know how this client thought the session went? Here you are:
“Betsy was professional, efficient, and produced a lovely portrait for us! She was great handling my kids’ antics and going with the flow. Thanks, Betsy!” – Abbie L.
Getting your family photo done doesn’t have to be complicated or stressful. You deserve a hassle-free portrait experience. Choose a photographer you can trust to make that happen. For more information about planning your next Michigan family photo with Betsy, contact her today.
When it comes to convincing you of the value of what we do, there’s no better way than to simply pair an image with words. Words, that is, from the client. Because their testimonials cut to the heart of it all, and mean more than any words we could assemble.
I so appreciate what you have done. You did a great job with taking the photo; you were professional and quick! My time is precious with a busy schedule but you got me in and out with a great outcome. The retouching you did was fabulous. Thank you so much.
Yes, a picture says a thousand words. But sometimes you need just a few more. If you want to read more testimonials from other clients, please do so! Rest assured that we can quickly and easily create a business headshot for you within a half hour at the studio. You’ll be pleased with the results, and when you use your updated professional portrait you will be making the right first impression!
We photographed this family a while back, during the summer months. It’s always nice to be able to plan a family photo session for someplace outdoors. And if you can choose a location that is meaningful for your family, so much the better! For a golfing family, there is no place better for family pictures than at the golf course. So we did their family picture at Barton Hills Country Club, their favorite golf course.
Family photos don’t have to be formal, they don’t have to be held in the studio. It’s just as easy to go on location and find someplace that really reminds you of what’s important to your family.
It can be tough to find a spot for senior photos that hasn’t been overused. But even with a place as popular as Ann Arbor’s graffiti alley, it’s all about your vision. Betsy uses her photographic talent to bring dramatic lighting and different camera angles together so that your senior photos will look unique — even if they are taken in a popular place for senior pictures.
Don’t worry so much about whether a particular spot is “overused” — make sure you trust your senior photos to the right photographer, so that you can get creative and unique results — no matter where your senior photos are taken.
For this high school senior’s portraits, we went on location for the bulk of her session. We also did some traditional senior portraits back at the studio, though by traditional we really mean studio setting, with studio lights. With the right clothing, even something simple can still be personalized and unique. With senior portraits, if you’re going to do a two part session, we recommend starting at the studio — that way you have time to get used to being in front of the camera (Betsy will do her best to help you relax and start having fun ASAP). These studio photos are often used for high school yearbook submissions, as they usually have backdrop requirements and such. Once we have that out of the way, it’s off to the location of your choice for a fun and creative photography experience!
Sometimes with a new baby in the family it can be tough to get out of the house. But one of the first excursions, in our biased opinion, should be for newborn pictures! If you are looking for those adorable sleeping baby photos, it is best to plan this session for the first week or two of baby’s life. Because as we all know, babies sleep a lot to begin with, and then become more alert more often as they get older. That’s why we have so much interest in our Baby’s First Year plan — it includes multiple sessions so you can have us photograph each adorable stage.
Siblings and family members are always welcome in newborn baby photos! If you’re worried your kids won’t sit still for the camera — just relax and let us do our thing. Betsy has many tricks to get willful little ones looking their best for the camera.
There’s something unique and special about extended family portraits. Yes, it can seem tough to get the whole family together. But it is worth it. Because you’re bringing the whole family together. So plan your session, have Betsy create your portraits, and then take the rest of the evening to be together as a family. Life is too short, we all are too busy. You have to make family a priority. You deserve to have portraits not just of your kids, but of your entire family, on your wall.
A secondary challenge? Location. Sometimes people want to have their family photo taken, but aren’t sure where to do it. Well, the studio is always an option. But Betsy likes to recommend you consider having your family photo taken somewhere more unique to your family. Your parents’ home. The old farm house that’s been in the family for generations. The park where your grandfather proposed to your grandmother. Family photos are a special occasion — and it’s ok to put some thought into planning where you want yours done!
I recently did a family photography session that included the family’s horse. We met at the barn where their horse was, and after doing a series of family portraits on location (without the horse), it was time to bring her in from the pasture.
Well, needless to say, since it was December, and on the warmer side, it was a little muddy. My client took some time to brush off the dried mud, and then I had her walk up and down this stretch of ground between two of the barns. I love capturing moments between animals and their people. And this one is one of my favorites. The fog lends an ethereal quality to the scene too.
Of course, with horses, one of the challenges is that most startle at a camera’s flash. The same was true of this beauty. So, we concluded the session with another series that included the whole family.