Summer adventures...

I know it's summertime and we should be off having summertime adventures. This summer, however, is going to be void of the great outdoor adventures at the beach or mountains. With the last two kids going off to college out of state in August (total will be 4 kids in college this fall) and a few other excuses, we'll be hanging around Las Vegas most of the summer, spending our money here, most likely at Walmart and Ikea, lol. 

Desertbloom Photography Beach

I'm spending my summer working - preparing for school portraits in the fall and spring, scheduling family and senior sessions for the fall,  creating photo albums for customers, and playing with FILM! Sounds exciting, right! 

School portraits? 

Desertbloom Photography offers Fine Art School Portraits to local schools and daycare centers! What is a Fine Art School Portrait? It's a modern, boutique twist to the traditional school portrait. My focus is strictly on the child, so the backgrounds are uncluttered. I engage with the child and capture authentic expressions. I offer parents multiple images in an online gallery, making their purchases sweet and simple. Parents love the authentic portraits and schools LOVE that I do ALL the work for them! Want to get your school on my calendar? Tell your school administration about our Fine Art School Photography!

Check out more images here

My Fall calendar is filling up with Family and Senior Sessions. I have a limited amount of these sessions this Fall so if you're wanting to book for Christmas photos, family reunions, Senior Sessions, now is the time to get on my calendar. 

*Desretbloom Photography Family and Senior Sessions come with a 16 x 20 canvas to hang on your wall!

See more photographs here

My clients get their digital images included in their session fee.  I strongly encourage them to print as well, for many reasons. See my last post here as to why. I gift my clients a 16 x 20 canvas with full sessions to ensure they have something printed. Another product often ordered by clients is a photo album.  The albums are created with love and care and contain all the images from the sessions. 

I love when clients get to view their albums for the first time! 

Desertbloom Photography Wedding Album

 

That's what I've been doing for work this summer. In my spare time, I've rediscovered film and am playing and challenging myself with it. I'm hoping to incorporate film into my family and senior sessions this fall! I absolutely love my digital cameras - they can never be replaced. But film..... oh my. The contrast and feel of film just can't be completely replicated in digital photography.  Let me know if you'd like to have a film session! 

These were taken with an old Nikon EF film camera we picked up a few years ago at Savers, a local thrift store. The lenses that came with it are... let's just say well-worn, but I was able to use them a bit. I finally got around to finishing the roll of film I put in in January 2016 (yikes!) and was thoroughly thrilled when I picked up my scans! And I can't wait for the USPS Mail Man to deliver my new film camera today! And my nice Nikkor lenses will fit smoothly on it!  Ssshhhh, though, no one knows I bought myself an early birthday present! 

I can't wait to hear what you're all doing on your summer vacation! Comment below and tell me about all your amazing adventures!

 

When is the best time of year to do Family Portraits?

When is the best time of year to do family portraits? 
That's a great question and I've got a great answer ... any season that captures how you spend time together as a family is the perfect time of year for you to have your photos taken!

Let's explore family portrait sessions during the four seasons and why each could be the best for you and your family. 

Spring is a lovely time of year. Bushes and trees that have lost their leaves begin to bloom again. The warm sunshine and fresh flowers rejuvenate and inspire us after a gray winter. Does your family like to spend time outside, maybe gardening or hiking together? If springtime brings you to your happy place - outside - then spring is the best time of year for your family portrait session. 

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Summer.... oh the fun memories we make during summer. We like to play at the water parks, swim at the pool, boating at Lake Mead, camp at Mt. Charleston. Summer is a time to relax, rest, and regroup as a family. If summer is the season that brings your family together, then summer is the best time of year for your portrait session. Yes... even here in the desert! I'm game for early morning sessions at Lake Mead, sunset up on Mt. Charleston, and a few places in between. . 

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Fall - who doesn't look forward to fall? The cooling temperatures, shorter days, flannel shirts and a pair of jeans, and a Pumpkin-Spice Latte - O be still my heart! With thoughts of harvesting from the garden and preparing for the long winter nights filling your heads.... this is a perfect time of year for family portraits! 

Winter in the desert means chilly mornings, bundling up with sweaters and a jacket, hot chocolate at the Lodge at Mt. Charleston after sledding in the snow,  and preparing for family get-togethers... another great time of year for family portraits! 

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Which season accurately describes your family? Whichever you choose, that's the best time of year for your family portrait! 

I have lots of location in mind for each season here in the valley. If you and your family live outside of Las Vegas, I love to travel! 

Right now my Family and Senior Sessions come with a 16" x 20" canvas ($125 value) of an image of your choice from your session!  Hit the contact button to send me a note to book your family session for 2018!

Let's Just Go!

How do I relax? By heading out on an adventure in the desert, of course! 

Last Friday, my friend Jamie (jamiezanotti.com) and I headed into Lake Mead National Recreation Area to explore the Northshore Road. To access the Northshore Road, enter Lake Mead through the Lake Mead Drive through Henderson, Nv. Once you go through the park entrance, the road is just 1/4 mile down the way to the left. 

We started with a hike at the 20 mile marker, Northshore Summit Trail. Overall, it was an easy hike, but straight up hill. Our efforts were rewarded with a magical view of the park. 

Onward and up Northshore Road, we took a detour into Echo Bay. Echo Bay is one of the few areas left inside Lake Mead from where you can launch a boat. 

Although this was in essence a photographer's play date, we soon realized we had stumbled upon a phenomenal area for a photo session! We explored all the beautiful little spots and made mental lists, took photos, and began to plan a styled photo session. 

If you're a senior or teen in the Las Vegas, Henderson, or Boulder City, NV area and are interested in this peaceful location for your senior session, contact me! 

Next, we explored Rogers Spring Trail at mile marker 40. What a treasure! Rogers Spring Trail is a natural warm spring and fills a wide, shallow area suitable for wading. I'm not sure I would though, haha. 

I'd definitely add this location onto a senior session. The palm trees and bridge area perfect. 

We made it all the way into Overton and took a brief respite at the Lost City Museum (and McDonalds). If you've never been through Overton, I urge you to go explore this cute town. The Lost City Museum is full of native Indian relics and history of the area. It's worth the trip.

Back down into Lake Mead NRA, we were racing against time to be back at mile marker 20 for the sunset. We didn't quite make it, but that's okay. Sunset along any spot of Northshore Road will not disappoint. 

We first saw the light play on this spot in the desert just a little before sunset.... 

Down the road a little more and then this happened. 

All this beauty is in our own back yard. 

Would you like to have your family session or senior session right here in Lake Mead? There are so many wonderful areas I didn't touch on! 

Specializing in family desert sessions and senior desert sessions!

Las Vegas Senior and Family Photographer 

 

Lake Las Vegas Session

The day after Christmas found me up, out and early, to meet up with this sweet mom & her girls. The girls may look familiar as I've photographed them over the years. Actually, I met Mom before daughter's 2 & 3 were born! 

It was a gorgeous morning at Lake Las Vegas and we took full advantage! 

It's always fun photographing these young ladies! They are all joyful, intelligent, and all-around great people!  I did Christina's Senior Photography a few years ago. I can't believe Erica is at Foothills High School - and Meghan is on Crew Team! All athletes - even Mom!

Adventure at the Art District!

Kyla wanted to have her senior session down in the Las Vegas Art District.  Now the Art District encompasses a lot of real estate downtown, so I went down the day before to map out some perfect spots. 

Posing, more than photographing, in the Art District, is definitely an adventure! Lots of people are watching you. Kyla rocked it. She was a superstar and not flustered by any of the crowd!

Can you believe this is downtown Las Vegas? Such a gorgeous background for Kyla. 

This next location screams Art District! 

We moved on and hit some other great, totally fun spots!  I love the turquoise wall...

This next location was totally fun. So bright and colorful. It's near the John E. Carson Hotel!

We ended up in an alley that offered two different points of view. By this time, the sun was high in the sky and we were too hot to shoot anymore!

Congratulations on your graduation, Kyla! 

Class of 2017

5 Top Tips to Rock Your Senior Session!

It's your senior year! You've been crazy busy with SAT's, ACT's, college applications, prom committee, not to mention sports or homework!  You have so many things to do and so many deadlines, it's definitely not as much fun as you were hoping! But wait.... don't forget your Senior pictures! That should be something that's not only enjoyable, but memorable! 

You probably don't want one more thing to think about, so I've put together 5 tips to help you plan the most incredible Senior Session ever! 

1) Budget - Unless you're financing your portrait session, you'll need to sit down with your parents and find out what the budget is for your Senior Session. Is your budget to cover the session only, or does it need to cover prints and announcements as well? Will it cover hair and make-up? 

2) Photographer - There are probably hundreds of photographers in your town or city. There are cheap ones, expensive ones, bad ones, and great ones, so how do you choose the right one for you? First - look at senior photos your friends are posting. Do you just LOVE them? If so, ask them for the name of their photographer. Look at his/her website, Facebook account, and Instagram feed. Is the work consistent? Does his/her style speak to you? Photographers love referrals! 

Not ready to commit yet? Check out hashtags on Instagram! #yourtownseniorphotographer, #seniorphotos, and #seniorphotographer are a few examples. Scroll through the photos to see which ones you really like. Check out the photographer and link to his/her website. Google is another option. Google 'your town senior photographer' and 'your school senior photographer.' You should find plenty of options. Another option is to have your parents ask their friends for a referral. 

Call every photographer who you're considering hiring. Find out his/her rates and what the packages include. Are digital files included? Prints? Print credit? Announcements?  Call and speak to every photographer you're interested in, even if the cost is higher than your budget. I have customized packages on occasion for a client. You never know if you don't ask! 

Most importantly, you want to connect with your photographer. You want to be comfortable with and trust your photographer. This will help you relax during your session, and therefore your photos will be more natural and authentic.

3) Location - Where do you want to have your photos taken? What type of background do you prefer?  Let your photographer know what you preferences are. He/She should have a go-to list of locations to offer you. What if your photographer works in a studio? 

4) Style - This covers outfits, hair & make-up, and props. Some photographers allow for 2-3 outfit changes, some don't. Check to see what is included in your session. Pinterest is an excellent resource for wardrobe ideas. I send my Seniors a board full of wardrobe ideas and a board full of color palettes.  Practice your hair and make-up ahead of time. Don't wax the day before your session! What about props? Do you play an instrument or play a sport? Bring the instrument and your team uniform. Let your photographer know what you plan to bring. Think about all the details before your session. 

5) Parents - Include your parents in this adventure! Most likely, they're paying for it. This is a big transitional period in your life, exciting for you and bittersweet for them. Listen to your mom when she gives you advice on outfits. You might want to wear something totally trendy. She has the gift of experience and knows that in 5 years, you'll regret it. Definitely bring her along on your photo session. She will help hold your stuff, keep you relaxed, and cherish every moment. 

 

I believe your Senior Photography Session should be all about you, and the things that make you shine! I want you to love the experience more than you love your photos!