Marissa is a senior at Chelsea High School — but she wanted to go somewhere else for her senior portraits. As in, out of Chelsea. No problem! We spent some time before her session at the studio talking about what Marissa liked and wanted for her senior portraits. Sometimes during these planning appointments, I’ll even pull up Pinterest so we can pick out favorites …and so I can get a feel for what my client is looking for. After we made a “custom pinterest board” for Marissa, I had a pretty good idea of what she was envisioning.
Style… check. (Love when technology helps like that!)
Next, with Marissa’s vision in mind, we started looking for locations. Ultimately, we decided on Cobblestone Farm — Marissa really loved the barn and the little red building there. It wasn’t urban or grungy, and there were lots of natural options within a short walk.
On the day of Marissa’s session, the weather cooperated. Although it was a little hot and humid, you’d never know it from these senior portraits. Take a peek and if you can decide on a favorite, be sure to let me know. We ended up with such a wide variety of senior portrait images… and I loved the last set of portraits we did as the sun sunk below the horizon. So much fun!
If you’re looking for a customized and unique senior portrait experience, but don’t know how to put what you want into words,… give us a call at 734-424-0472 (or contact us online)! Betsy will walk you through the planning process, help you determine your style, the location that fits your vision… all those decisions that can be tough if you don’t have someone to help you through your senior portrait experience.
My family loves photos. Maybe that’s part of the reason I was drawn to photography, right? Anyways, my mom has a standing request when it comes to family. When we have relatives visiting from out of town, she wants a family portrait. Specifically, she wants me to take a portrait of everyone. Sometimes we’ve been able to go more formal or planned with the portrait session, and other times, it’s on the impromptu side of things.
And that’s where this family snapshot was on the spectrum. Desired, but spur of the moment, as our weekend plans had been put through a blender and the timing was just not conductive for a true family portrait.
Seriously, I think it took me longer to pack my gear before our trip than the photos took for me to take. I spent less than five minutes taking snapshots of the kids, and about five minutes max taking a group portrait of the entire group.
Pre-session planning? Non-existant. Coordinated clothing? On hand, but not being worn. Relaxed session with lots of time for getting people to warm up and smile? Nope, no time for that. You name it, we covered the list of what not to do when planning your family portrait session.
But that’s okay.
Because this wasn’t a family portrait session.
This was a family snapshot.
Sometimes you need to document those moments — and there isn’t time for anything better.
So, what can you do to get a family snapshot with your out of town relatives?
First of all, relax.
Don’t worry about getting it perfect.
It’s okay if not everyone matches
If your kids don’t have their shoes on, don’t sweat it.
Do what you can with the time you have.
Document your family with a snapshot, and know that it will be enough.
Seriously. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Not every family photo will be elegant. But it will be real and authentic. This family snapshot isn’t a portrait I would call award-winning. But it does capture the moment, the spirit of our crazy busy weekend together with my out of town relatives. People are looking at the camera. Almost everyone is smiling. And that’s life.
Sometimes you take what you can get, and have to remind yourself that it will be enough.
You don’t have to do perfect.
You know when I mentioned that family photos tend to happen every time we have out-of-town relatives visit? Well, I wasn’t kidding. And I’m thankful I have these, to show you how different styles of family photos can be valuable and precious — whether they are true studio family portraits or simple family snapshots on the fly.
Here’s a set of family photos from when my cousin and her daughter were visiting from out-of-town. Naturally, we did a portrait of my grandfather with (some of) his great-grandkids.
This last family portrait I’m going to share is the most formal. We did a studio portrait with three generations of extended family. My mom has a set of these displayed in her living room as canvas gallery wraps — they look gorgeous. We used the portrait of my kids for part of our Christmas card :).
So, there you have it. Family photos don’t always have to be perfect. But they will always be representative of your family. Make the best of the situation, get as many smiles as you can,… and if at all possible, have a family portrait photographer do your next family portrait. Because I know from experience. When you’re in charge of taking the picture, it’s a more stressful environment.
That’s why I do this. I want my clients to be able to have memories of their family — without having to go through the stress of getting everyone posed for a family photo. When you tell people to just listen to the photographer — you get to hand off the responsibility. It’s no longer your job to make sure everyone looks good, or that everyone is smiling for the camera. That’s my job. Your job is to relax and trust me to create images you will want to give to your grandchildren one day. For more information about scheduling a family portrait session, call 734-424-0472 or contact the studio via our website. I’ll walk you through the whole planning process and make your next family portrait the most relaxing one yet!
I got to meet Yara this summer… and she is adorable! Her mom had the cutest outfits planned for Yara’s newborn portrait session too. The only problem? Yara, who was wide-eyed and cheerful at the beginning of her portrait session, just could not stay awake by the end! No matter how much you plan, this sometimes happens… so we made some adjustments in our plans and instead of creating newborn portraits of a wide-eyed baby girl, we created some adorable sleeping newborn portraits at the end of her newborn session. Not what mom had planned, but sweet nonetheless.
Such is life! Next time Yara comes to the studio, she will be a bit older, and I know we’ll capture some portraits with her not-so-sleepy-personality on display!
So, here’s a sneak peek of Yara’s portraits…. enjoy!
That’s all I have for a sneak peek, but there is another adorable portrait in the works. I have a little more work to do on it yet, as I’m making a digital painting…. but I’ll share that with you when it is ready for the world to see :). So, for now, enjoy these portraits, and try to decide which is your favorite!
If you have a newborn, or are expecting soon, please contact me at 734-424-0472 to learn more about our Baby’s First Year plan! It’s a great alternative to an a la carte portrait session, and you will love how easy your portrait experience is! I’ve worked with babies of many temperaments, and it’s always fun to help bring out their personalities so you will end up with adorable portraits like these ones of Yara. Not one newborn portrait session is alike, I can tell you that for sure!
Life is sometimes so busy it’s hard to find time to do things for yourself. Even if it is something helpful to your business, like getting an updated headshot portrait, right?
Well this past month Sydney came to the studio for a session, and she was on a tight schedule. We scheduled the session to be an hour before she needed to leave for an appointment… no problem, right? Well, add an unfortunate traffic jam into the mix, and things got a little more complicated.
Fortunately, I knew we could get a nice headshot in 15-20 minutes, easily. Sydney was relieved to know she would have plenty of time to get a nice business portrait …and still meet her client on time.
Sydney and I briefly discussed how she wanted to look in her portrait…. Not too big of a smile, but definitely smiling, and a word that came to mind was “approachable.”
So, here’s the final headshot portrait that Sydney settled on. I love this one! She looks so approachable, friendly, and I think it really captured her personality well.
If you need to update your headshot but haven’t because of a busy schedule, know that we can easily fit a basic headshot portrait session into most busy schedules. Contact the studio at 734-424-0472 to learn more today!
On Saturday I left my older son Toby’s baseball game to go hang out at Mill Creek Park for an engagement photoshoot. Since Steven (my husband) was coaching the baseball team, I took our younger son Zack with me. Which was actually helpful…. because this wasn’t a typical engagement portrait. My client hired me to photograph her son as he proposed to his girlfriend.
And I had to be inconspicuous.
So, I figured, what better way to be inconspicuous than to have a toddler in tow? Right? I mean, no professional photographer would be hanging out at the park with a kid, a toddler bike, and a wagon full of snack supplies!
It was kind of exciting, too! I hadn’t met the couple, I didn’t know what they looked like (aside from a photo that the mom had texted me). I knew where he was planning to propose (at the friendly troll statue next to the boardwalk. And we had a general idea of the time it would take place.
So about 45 minutes before the proposal was set to happen, Zack and I headed over to the park. Zack was on his bike, and I brought the wagon along just in case he got tired, so we could make it in time. We set up a “picnic” on a bench near the troll, and waited. Since I figured Zack might not be good at keeping a secret, I didn’t tell him what we were doing — we were there to “look for birds and other animals.”
For a three year old, he was a trooper! We hung out, I pretended to look for birds while secretly checking out everyone coming down the path — I didn’t want to miss the soon-to-be-engaged couple! Towards the end, Zack got a little antsy and wanted to start biking again. Fortunately, I was able to persuade him to stay a little longer with a cup of trail mix.
That was around the time when I saw my couple walking down the path. I tried to look the part of mom with camera, looking for birds with her toddler. When I saw him start to pull the box holding her ring out of his back pocket, I stopped trying to be secretive and just made sure I was in the right spot to get the best photos of them.
So, while my cover was blown, at that point she was focused on something other than me — her ring. It was so much fun to document her reaction; seeing people so excited always makes me happy :). At that point she kind of looked around at everyone standing and watching — and I said, “congratulations!”
He had succeeded in surprising her, and she started to piece things together. We introduced ourselves, and I took a few more posed portraits of them next to the troll. And that was it. I congratulated them a final time, and then they went back the way they came, arm in arm.
I was really proud of Zack for holding himself together, so we headed off for a celebratory ice cream cone at Dairy Queen (this time he didn’t bike; I pulled him in the wagon). What a fun day!
Here are some of my favorite images from the session (and to see the whole series, you’ll find a slideshow at the end of this post!)
And, as promised, here’s the slideshow:
Congratulations!!! I am so excited to have been a part of your big day 🙂
It seemed fitting that I should post rainy day senior portraits on a rainy winter’s day like today. After all, it doesn’t feel like winter right now here in Michigan at all, does it? Anyways, before I share the still senior photos, here’s a video highlight reel of some of favorite senior portraits from Genna’s senior photo session. I just have to say, I’m so grateful that these old growth trees were plentiful in number, because even though it was rainy we stayed relatively dry!
And in case you’re not one for video shows, here are some still portraits from Genna’s senior photo session. Enjoy!
You might think it’s a little early to start planning for senior portraits, but in fact, we’ll be publishing our senior portrait “model” call soon! If you’re interested in have a two part senior portrait session and getting some *perks* for sharing your senior photos with all your friends, then you’d be a perfect fit! Let me add that you don’t have to look like a model to participate. We love having real, normal teens as a part of our program — because everyone is special in their own way.
To learn more about planning your senior portait experience with Betsy’s Photography, please contact the studio at 734-424-0472.
It seems like every year I do a new self portrait. I don’t know if it’s to help ring in the new year, to keep my image looking updated and current, or what. Maybe it’s just because I’m a photographer and I can’t help myself! Anyways, this portrait was fun because I had curls!
But with the new year also comes new resolutions, right? At least, if you’re into that. I didn’t make any resolutions, persay, but I did take a mini-retreat during the winter break — that alone time with my planner, my laptop, and a cup of tea was invaluable for helping me plan out my vision for 2018. I always think big when it comes to planning, but this year it seemed smart to take some extra time to lay out a game plan for achieving balance between the many different hats I wear. …entrepreneur, yes, but others too. …wife, mom, pet owner, homeowner… you get the idea.
Long story short? I came up with several mini-goals for each month to help keep me motivated, excited, and on track to have a great year! But enough about me, right? Here are those self-portraits I was talking about. I LOVE how they turned out.
Are you excited about what 2018 holds?
I am. And I hope you are too.
But if you need some encouragement to get excited about your resolutions, your “new you” for 2018, make sure you’re not neglecting yourself. We tend to take care of things that are more pressing and put our own personal needs at the bottom of the list. But if you don’t make time for the things that motivate you, how will you have enough energy to change the world?
Make yourself a priority.
And if you haven’t had a new professional portrait done in a while, please consider letting me help you update your image. I can provide clothing suggestions, makeup tips, and do my best to make sure you will be at ease for your photo session. Because for your headshot to look like you, …well, you have to feel relaxed and be comfortable.
Whenever you decide you’re ready, I’ll look forward to hearing from you.
These adorable little munchkins came into the studio for their portrait session this month. Shh… don’t tell their grandparents, because it’s a holiday surprise! It was really cute to see the kids interact, and to hear their ideas for how the portrait session should go.
If you are looking for the perfect gift to give a loved one, consider a portrait session! While printed photographs are great to give (and receive!), it’s just as common for my clients to gift a certificate for a portrait session — especially if the recipient is supposed to be in the family photograph! Contact the studio today or call 734-424-0472 to learn more about scheduling a session or purchasing a gift certificate for your loved ones.
Ian came to the studio last week for his senior portrait session. We did some portraits inside the studio, including the obligatory high school yearbook photos. In case you’re not up to speed with senior yearbook requirements, it really varies across the board. Some high schools will take anything, or allow any background as long as no hands or props are showing. Other high schools, including Saline High School, require the senior portrait for the yearbook have a professional backdrop. So, for that reason, we started in the studio.
After the studio portion of Ian’s session was finished, we headed outside (here at the studio) for some really cool fall portraits. I love how easy it is to create portraits both indoors and out here. Make sure to scroll down so you an enjoy some of Ian’s senior portraits that include the natural wooded area with the fall leaves strewn all over the ground!
Well, that wraps up this sneak peek. I know Ian’s family is really excited to see all the portraits we created when they come back to the studio for their ordering appointment. It’s easy to compare favorites when you can view images on a studio projection system 🙂 — and I’m here to help along the way with any tough decisions.
If you are needing to schedule a portrait session this fall, please contact the studio or call 734-424-0472. The leaves are falling, but not as quickly as I would typically expect. Or, if you want to keep things simple and plan a studio portrait session, I’m always happy to help you with that too!
I love going on location for senior portrait sessions! And, I love when my clients have a specific location in mind! T and his mom started his session at my studio (so we could get the yearbook photo), but the bulk of his amazing senior portraits were created on location in Dexter. Mill Creek Park is just one of those versatile places, I love how it never looks the same twice.
If you need to plan your senior portrait session, please contact the studio today so that we can fit you in before your yearbook deadline! We typically get booked up with last minute appointments as high school senior yearbook deadlines approach. So, a little advance planning will ensure you get your senior portrait planned — at a time that is convenient for your schedule!
If you’re thinking about skipping the whole senior portrait thing. Please reconsider. My guess is that you just want something simple and painless — well, look no further! We can make your senior portrait session short, relaxing, and maybe even fun! With studio senior portraits, there is nothing to distract you from the person. Everything, all your attention, is drawn to the high school senior — you really get a sense for their personality. You get to look into their eyes and see their smile. Years down the road, you will look at that senior portrait and fondly remember that time in your life.
A few years ago, my mother-in-law gave me a picture book illustrated by one of my favorites, Tomie DePaola. The author is Nancy Willard, and the book is called “Simple Pictures are Best” (#afflink). The brief synopsis? A man and his wife hire a photographer, but add so many props and “things” into their portrait that they end up with ….well, let’s just say the photo doesn’t turn out as planned. Anyways, I digress. Let’s take a peek at these simple senior portraits that we did in my studio that meet most high school yearbook requirements in the Ann Arbor area.
There’s something to be said for the classic portrait. Whether it’s the more traditional suit and tie, or a somewhat relaxed studio portrait — these senior photos really will never go out of style. As I said before – if you’re on the fence about hiring a professional for your senior portraits, please give me a call at 734-424-0472 or visit our contact page.
I’d be happy to talk with you personally about what you want for your senior portrait session and help you make that happen. Your senior year of high school is already crazy enough, so let me help you make at least one thing go smoothly!
Sometimes my clients contact me looking for something simple and in studio. Maybe it’s because the yearbook requirements dictate a formal studio setting for the portraits, or maybe it’s just because simple can be easier. Whatever the reason, I’m always happy to create timeless portraits like the ones we created for this senior boy’s portrait session. So, without further ado, enjoy these portraits I created for this class of 2018 senior.
I’m excited to see which portraits G. and his mom will like best. It’s always interesting to see which of my clients’ favorites end up being my favorites too!
If you’re needing to plan your senior portrait session still, know that it’s never too late. Even if your yearbook deadline has come and gone, we can still create a series of senior portraits that you enjoy and want to display in your home. If your yearbook deadline is coming quickly, make sure to get in touch, as we may be able to fit you in before the deadline. Contact the studio today at 734-424-0472 or use the contact page on our website to get in touch!
With this recent cold spell, fall really seems to be upon us. But it wasn’t that long ago that we had warm sunny days like for Haylee’s senior portrait session. We planned Haylee’s portrait session to take place at Mill Creek Park in Dexter. As you might have guessed from some past blog posts, it’s a popular destination for portraits. But even so, it’s not hard to make your portraits look unique and personalized to you. Haylee was a great sport and smiled beautifully for the camera throughout her entire session…. and we ended up with a fantastic set of senior photos for her and her parents to enjoy.
Make sure to scroll all the way through this series of senior portraits, because I saved some of my favorites for the end. We did do a few portraits standing in the water, which I have to say, was cold but felt refreshing given the heat.
If you’ve been putting off planning your senior portrait session because it seems like a lot of work, just get in touch! We help you through the entire process, whether it’s choosing your location, giving advice on attire and outfits, or selecting the best portraits to hang on the walls of your family room. Your senior portrait experience can be relaxing and maybe …even fun! 🙂
It’s always fun to do senior photos someplace local, someplace meaningful. Or, in the very least, someplace that is amazingly gorgeous! And that’s what Mill Creek Park is — gorgeous. You might know it as the Library Park, because the Dexter District Library overlooks the park. Or maybe you know the park as Warrior Creek Park….which it was formerly named in years past. Whatever you call it, the park is gorgeous.
Let’s just say, if you’re thinking about doing senior photos at Mill Creek Park in Dexter, you won’t be disappointed. I love the boat launch steps, the walking path under the bridge, the grassy natural areas, and even the playground. Mill Creek Park offers a nice variety of settings for most types of portrait photography sessions — and, most importantly, there are some nice shady spots to keep you out of the heat of the midday sun!
Here’s a sibling portrait session I did at Mill Creek Park this summer. N. is a senior at Dexter High School, while C. is a junior this year. It was nice to get photos of both of them during this senior and not-quite-yet-senior photo shoot!
Since you might want to see what some other parts of Mill Creek Park look like, here’s another senior photo session that we did there. Well, at least partly. Madison’s senior portrait session took place in downtown Dexter, and included some senior photos at Mill Creek Park in Dexter too. I love the one of her with her black lab. So adorable!
I’ve done various other senior portrait sessions at Mill Creek Park over the years.. the water is almost always nice to wade in, and feels great during hot summer Michigan days. On rare occasion the water is too high, and the current too fast, but usually my older (i.e. teen or adult) clients are able to comfortably wade into the shallows of the water. Here’s a few photos from a teen photo session at Mill Creek Park….
And for those of you who remember what Mill Creek Park was like before the boardwalk and other improvements went in, I haven’t forgotten either. Here are a few senior photos at Mill Creek Park when it was still known as Warrior Creek Park. Amazing how quickly we grow accustomed to new improvements, huh?
As an aside, there’s another nice park in Dexter that’s similar, but a little different — Hudson Mills Metropark. I’ve done senior portraits there too. If you want to take a peek, you can view Luke’s senior portrait at Hudson Mills Metropark. Here’s a teaser of his senior portrait blog post:
If you want to explore Mill Creek Park a little more, you might check out this blog post of mine about Mill Creek Park in Dexter. I have a few more recent sessions on the schedule to share with you at Mill Creek Park, so if you’re dying to see more senior photos at Mill Creek Park in Dexter, definitely sign up for my email updates so you won’t miss those posts.
If you want to learn more about planning your senior portrait session at Mill Creek Park (or elsewhere), please contact the studio today. We definitely are in a busy season right now, but should be able to fit you in before your yearbook deadline.
Luke’s senior portrait session started at the studio, but most of his photos were created on location at Hudson Mills Metropark. When photographing clients at two locations, I always love to start in the studio because those portraits are a little more formal. By the time we get to the second location, everyone is relaxed and comfortable — perfect for more casual location portraits!
So, without further ado, enjoy these senior portraits taken at Hudson Mills Metropark!
Luke was a great sport during his entire senior portrait session. We managed to create all these senior portraits — and more — during his hour long session.
I’m always happy to work with clients who know exactly what they want… and with clients who want me to direct them completely. We will make your senior portraits uniquely you. If you’re interested in planning a laid-back senior portrait session and need someone who knows what they’re doing, call us at 734-424-0472 today!
One of the best parts of my job is getting to see repeat customers. I love it when my littlest clients come back to the studio, because it’s always so amazing how much they’ve grown! And, let me tell you — if you’re worried about planning a portrait session for your child because he or she just doesn’t behave in front of the camera — don’t worry.
That’s my job — leave the magic to me. I feel a little silly telling you this, but I’ve been called a baby whisperer by clients who were sure the photo session would be a bust. So don’t stress out. After all, that’s why you’re trusting me with your memories, with creating portraits of your loved ones. Relax, and let me do my thing.
I hope you enjoyed seeing these first year portraits of P. (sigh, I can’t call him a baby anymore, he is getting so big!). If you want to learn more about planing your own portrait session with Betsy’s Photography, please call the studio at 734-424-0472 today. If you have a little one, or are expecting, make sure to inquire about our baby’s first year plan!
Rachel’s mom contacted me this summer about doing her senior portraits in a field of sunflowers. Cool idea, right? And we were in luck, because the weather was great on the day of Rachel’s session. A bit hot for anyone’s liking,…but, hey, it’s Michigan. We have to work with what we’re given. You’d never know it from these photos, because Rachel looks absolutely gorgeous, but it was drippingly hot. Seriously.
Enjoy this slideshow of our favorite images from Rachel’s senior portraits in the sunflower field.
And in case you’re a sucker for web photos instead of video slideshows, here they are! Rachel was a great sport. She put up with the hot sun, some windy gusts, and of course, my goofy requests that she pretend to laugh at her mom. All in all, Rachel’s senior portrait session went very smoothly though. We got some great portraits that I am sure her family will enjoy for years to come. And once I’ve designed the memories panel that her mom ordered for their home, I will share that with you too!
If you’re looking at doing senior pictures while the weather’s warm, get in touch with me ASAP to plan your session! Or, we can plan something for the fall… your call. Call the studio at 734-424-0472 to learn more about having your senior portraits done by award-winning master photographer Betsy Finn today!
Life has been pretty busy around here. But, I’ve finally taken studio portraits of my dog. Yes, we have a new pup! As an aside, if you’re looking for a lab, I highly recommend Northern Lites Labs in Grayling, Michigan. We made the drive from Dexter to Grayling to pick him up, and it was totally worth it. This pup is one of the calmest labs I’ve ever met. Except for his mom. Apollo has got a soft mouth already, and is very tolerant of everything our crazy household has thrown his way. Plus, he came to us practically housetrained — and he slept through the night in his crate without any issues right from the get-go. Seriously. Northern Lites Labs is a fantastic breeder.
Now, onto the portraits! Apollo is a chocolate lab, and he’s not quite 5 months yet. What a handsome guy. We are so lucky to have found him! Our dog photo session was cut short because one of my little assistants left the treat container on the floor. Yes, open. So, Apollo naturally got into them… and we had to postpone the rest of the photos for another day. No need for a sick puppy! Regardless, our mini session was very fruitful. I think we spent under 15 minutes getting all these studio portraits of my dog. That’s excluding the two minutes of crazy kid photos you’ll see at the end of this post (my assistants like to pose for the camera).
I have to admit, even though I already think my dog is a good looking pup, when I saw the results of his portrait session I was wowed. Seriously adorable. Okay, I’m sure you’re tired of all the gushing about how cute this puppy is!
Before we wrap this post up, here’s the “test shot” or two of my kids. Yes, my photo assistants wanted to do some silly photos to make sure my camera was working correctly. So, per my usual, I made Toby and Zack smile first.
Although adorable, remember, they are a textbook example of what NOT to wear to your photo session! LOL
If you are looking to have studio portraits of your dog (or human family), please contact Betsy via the web or call 734-424-0472. Let’s get you set up with some fantastic photos of your own!