Laura Esposito Photography, LLC: Blog https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog en-us (C) Laura Esposito Photography, LLC (Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) Mon, 10 May 2021 12:47:00 GMT Mon, 10 May 2021 12:47:00 GMT https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/img/s/v-12/u378486278-o763279337-50.jpg Laura Esposito Photography, LLC: Blog https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog 120 80 Tips for Taking Flattering Pictures of Your Graduate https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/3/tips-for-taking-better-pictures-of-your-graduate Ahhh!!! The long-awaited graduation day! There is a very good chance that the day could become hectic. Getting everyone where they need to be when they need to be there in the proper attire is no easy feat. Nonetheless, it is so important that we remember the significance of this day. It is one of the days that we dream about when we hold our babies in our arms. We think about all of the challenges and accomplishments that have accumulated from kindergarten through high school. We marvel at the growth and maturity that has taken place in our graduates. We are both anxious and excited about the next steps they are ready to take. It is truly bittersweet. 

Louisville High School 2018 Graduation I have had the privilege of living this day twice as a mother of two talented and accomplished daughters. Both occasions procured many tears and the events seemed to flash before me with incomplete comprehension. When emotion combines with chaos, it is the pictures to which we cling. So, I hope that you will take lots of pictures and that you will use some of my tips to help your graduate look his or her best in these pictures.

My daughter Abby, Class of 2013

My daughter Victoria, Class of 2018

Taking Group Pictures

So many people will be bursting with pride for your graduate and capturing those loved ones in pictures with them will prove to be priceless in the future. When taking those group shots, think about layering your subjects with the graduate in the middle. Be sure to connect everyone where it looks appropriate. Vary heights and clothing patterns or colors to create interest and balance. Go for expression. The more people you have in the shot, the more "clicks" you will want to take in the hopes that one has everyone with their eyes open and a joyful smile. It isn't necessary to include legs and feet if coming in closer will allow you to appreciate those expressions more. Try to choose a background that isn't very busy but helps your subjects to stand out. Avoid backlighting if you don't have flash to compensate. Also, avoid direct sunlight as it will cast harsh shadows on the face and cause everyone to squint.

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Tips for Making the Gown More Flattering

The traditional cap and gown worn at graduation dates back to 12th century Europe, and have been iconic symbols of this special day. Let's be real... it is not the most flattering ensemble. Our graduates want to look their best on graduation day and that huge gown isn't exactly helpful. Even the most idealistic body type looks like the broad side of a barn in that robe. I have some strategies to help capture your graduate in pictures with the robe that they will actually love.

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Leave the Gown Open

One easy tip is to simply unzip the gown and let it hang open. Doing so creates a vertical line from top to bottom and breaks up the solid expanse of material that appears larger than it is. When you can see the form of the body in that opening, the brain fills in the information that can't be seen behind the robe. The perception is one much closer to what the graduate really looks like.

 

Capture a Side View

Since the gown hangs straight down, a side view is much slimmer than from the front when the body is a flat plane facing the camera. Separating the feet can help to create a flattering silhouette.

 

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Twist, Bend, and Block

This tip may sound like a game, but these little tweaks can help a lot. Giving some shape to the body can help it to appear as a real body under that robe. Using something like the well-earned diploma to hold can break up the expanse of the robe. Make sure that the hands can be seen and are not covered by the robe. It can be unsettling to see the big sleeves with no hands peaking out. It reassures the mind that they are connected to the body under all of that material.

 

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Hold the Robe Over the Shoulder

A great strategy for including the robe, but minimizing it, is to take it off and hold it over the shoulder. Now, we can see the cute outfit and that the graduate actually has a waist. I like taking the shot with the robe hanging off the far shoulder so that I see more of my graduate. 

 

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Eliminate the Robe

Some graduates have additional regalia that identifies their accomplishments or positions held. Just featuring those items without the cap or gown can emphasize their significance and not overpower the graduate like the cap and gown tend to do.

 

Tips for Portraits with the Cap

Like the gown, the mortarboard is not the easiest thing to wear. It is cumbersome and does nothing to complement a hair style. It is, however, a place to connect that coveted tassel. 

Hold the Cap

One easy solution is to hold the cap rather than wear it. That gives the hands something to do. It is still part of the image but not interfering with the ability of the graduate to move and show expressions more freely.
 

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Position the Head so the Cap can Flatter the Face

For the pictures with the cap on, there are some subtle adjustments that can be made to create a more flattering look. It is all about the angles. First, think about the angle of the mortarboard. Be sure that you can see some of the under surface of the mortarboard. Those angles will actually help the shape of the face.

Secondly, be sure that the face is not tilted up too much. It is our tendency to lift our chin when we pose for pictures. That presents an angle to the camera that creates problems that aren't even there. A lifted chin causes our eyes to drop and the eyelids get lower making our eyes appear smaller than they really are. A high face angle makes our nostrils more visible and causes our neck to flow into our jawline with no definition. Instead, think about a long neck, push the face a little forward, and drop the chin a touch. This will open the eyes, minimize the nose, and create a nice jaw line. Madison above has mastered this!

 

Commemorate the Occasion with a Studio Portrait or Portrait Session

Another option is to capture the moment with a professional studio portrait or with a cap and gown session. The studio portrait can include variations of the regalia and utilize a variety of backdrops. A cap and gown session would be very similar to the senior portrait session but incorporate the cap and gown. These sessions are a great time to showcase the college sweatshirt or other apparel to proclaim their future plans. 

Whatever approach is taken or not taken with capturing pictures on graduation day, just be sure to enjoy every moment. Celebrate your graduate and surround yourselves with family and friends (in a Covid-friendly manner). Capture the posed and unposed pictures so that you get the whole sense of the day. And... don't forget to hop into a few pictures, yourself. You will really cherish those one day.

Congratulations Graduates!

Love and Smiles,

Laura

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) cap and gown Class of 2020 Class of 2021 graduate graduation graduation pictures mortarboard photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures senior portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/3/tips-for-taking-better-pictures-of-your-graduate Thu, 18 Mar 2021 21:25:18 GMT
Meet Kirstin | Louisville HS | Class of 2021 https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/3/meet-kirstin-louisville-hs-class-of-2021 Kirstin is a Senior in the Class of 2021 at Louisville High School and her senior portrait session at Historic Zoar Village was beyond ideal. Not only did we create some stunning portraits that celebrate the true Kirstin, but we sure had fun doing it. Kirstin has quite the support network of family and all were part of the fun to make it happen. Between help with her beautiful dog and her fabulous wardrobe, everyone contributed to make the evening efficient and enjoyable. We started with portraits featuring her dog and moved on to capture more in the Village. How about those shoes? LOVE!!!

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Kirstin is full of personality. Her friends would describe her as motivated, crazy and kind-hearted. She is involved in lifting and coaching gymnastics. Such a well-rounded senior certainly needed variety in her portraits, so we made a wardrobe change and captured some of the portraits below.

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Kirstin loves being outside with her family and friends. Her favorite singer is Juice Wrld and her favorite book is Tuesdays with Morrie. These portraits below are also among her favorites and for good reason. They are fabulous!

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After this wonderful set, we had another wardrobe change and headed to the garden. I loved the conservatory as a backdrop for this adorable outfit.

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As we headed into our final set, we had that gorgeous golden hour sunlight to add some magic to our portraits. The results are breathtaking!

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Kirstin pans to attend Baldwin Wallace where she will double major in allied health and exercise science. I'm so happy to know that she will be working with people because that bright personality and smile really must be shared. Kirstin, I know you are headed for much success and happiness, and I am excited to be here to cheer you on.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

 

What did Kirstin have to say about her senior portrait session?

"I chose Laura Esposito Photography because I love her sweet personality and she is always fun to be around. She makes you feel like the camera was made for you! I enjoyed having her so much! I loved how you could choose your spot, and she tried all types of poses!"

 


 

 

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) Class of 2021 Louisville High School photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures senior portraits Zoar Historic Village https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/3/meet-kirstin-louisville-hs-class-of-2021 Mon, 01 Mar 2021 21:42:17 GMT
Meet Sierra | Louisville HS | Class of 2021 https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/2/meet-sierra-louisville-hs-class-of-2021 I am so excited to get to feature Sierra, a Senior in the Class of 2021 at Louisville High School. Our senior portrait session at Zoar Historic Village had faced some obstacles including weather, but was so worth the wait! Sierra had some distinct visions for her portrait session, and I was totally on board. One of our objectives was to pay tribute to her grandfather whom she had lost to suicide. Her sweatshirt that she designed and the very special picture help to tell the story, but it is her expression and the pain in her eyes that bring the emotion to this portrait.

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After focusing on such a meaningful purpose, we lightened things up a bit and found this great rustic setting to perfectly match Sierra's great sense of style. Sierra is a kind of "no nonsense" kind of girl, and can make a statement with very little fuss. I love that. Her friends would describe her as outgoing and intelligent. Both of these features make her so endearing.

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I can't get enough of those eyes and those dimples. So, we decided to capture a few in the garden before we made a wardrobe change.

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Sierra's next outfit really made those beautiful eyes pop. Those eyes are tuned in to see things in a clear, yet different way, as Sierra is into art. She also likes fishing and Texas Roadhouse. 

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Sierra has a level of maturity and innate caring that stems from her close relationship with her mom. These two are practically twins, and getting a lovely portrait of them together was priceless.

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After one more outfit change, we made our way to the covered bridge. I purposely timed our location change so that we could take advantage of the warm glow of sunlight. Sierra said that these are among her favorite portraits, and I must agree. Not to mention, this outfit is my favorite!

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Sierra plans to use her talents to go to college to become a radiology technician. Sierra, any direction that life takes you will be rewarding as long as you bring your deep compassion and positive spirit. I wish you all good things and will be cheering you on with pride.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

 

What did Sierra have to say about her senior portrait session?

"I chose Laura Esposito Photography because she is amazing at what she does and made me feel very comfortable. I knew she would capture the best portraits. I loved all of the fun poses and beautiful scenery."

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) class of 2021 louisville high school photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures senior portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/2/meet-sierra-louisville-hs-class-of-2021 Sun, 28 Feb 2021 20:30:23 GMT
Meet Alexis | Louisville HS | Class of 2021 https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/2/meet-alexis-louisville-hs-class-of-2021 Alexis is a senior in the class of 2021 at Louisville High School and her portrait session at Quail Hollow produced one amazing portrait after another. Just being around Alexis and her infectious smile makes you want to have fun. I knew that would be a recurring theme in our session together when I got to see her wardrobe options that she brought with her. We made use of them in the best way possible by choosing our locations carefully. Plus, we had Mom and two sisters along who were the best support team ever. Here are a few portraits from our very first set and it just kept getting better from here.

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Oh, that hat! I love that hat on Alexis. It totally fits her personality. Her friends would describe her as kind, generous, and very funny. She may be quiet when you first meet Alexis, but getting to know her is rewarded by seeing her outgoing side. Alexis likes to hang out with friends, go shopping, get her nails done, and spend time with her family. After an outfit change and a trek to the field, we captured some of my all-time favorite portraits.

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It isn't surprising that these are among Alexis' favorite portraits, too. Some other favorites for Alexis include movies... all comedy movies, specifically Adam Sandler movies. Her favorite TV show is One Tree Hill. Her favorite music artist right now is Morgan Wallen. Crab or homemade spaghetti are loved foods and Lululemon leggings are the most comfortable leggings of all time. Speaking of clothes, her next outfit was such a great choice for her coloring. I love this portrait!

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Alexis is one of three girls in her family, and I had the pleasure of capturing a really special portrait with all three of them. I know that their mom's heart just swells with pride when she looks at these amazing girls. Having them all together and seeing their interactions makes me so happy.

Alexis-Kirby-Lsvl-2021-2-5027Alexis-Kirby-Lsvl-2021-2-5027 As we made another outfit change, we noticed the magical angle of the sun and created some lovely backlit portraits with that warm glow. We also let a little more of Alexis' personality shine through. It is certainly not all fun and games for Alexis. She may technically be a senior at Louisville High School, but she is actually a full-time student at Stark State through the College Credit Plus program. As one might expect from Alexis, she is also involved in Key Club and National Honor Society.
 

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We finished up our session with just one more outfit as the sun was quickly leaving the sky. Her sisters even jumped into action to help with hair. The rich earthy colors are so gorgeous here.

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Alexis is currently deciding between Bowling Green State University,  Ashland University, and The Ohio State University where she plans to major in marketing with a focus in fashion. Alexis will most definitely be embraced wherever she goes, and I wish her all the best as she moves on to this next exciting chapter of her life.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

 

What did Alexis have to say about her senior portrait session?

I chose Laura Esposito Photography for my senior portraits because last year she did one of my sister’s senior photos and when she got them back I knew that’s who I wanted my senior photos done by! What I liked about my session was that when I had an idea for my photos, Laura could take that idea and bring it to life! I also loved how right off the start we had the same ideas and wasted no time!! We were definitely successful in making my session special and unique! I felt like if I had an idea, Laura knew exactly what to do! The photos are very good and they are all so unique in their own way!
 

 

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) Class of 2021 Louisville High School photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures senior portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/2/meet-alexis-louisville-hs-class-of-2021 Wed, 24 Feb 2021 19:26:35 GMT
Meet Anne | GlenOak HS | Class of 2021 https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/2/meet-anne-glenoak-hs-class-of-2021 This talented and vibrant young lady is Anne who is a high school senior in the Class of 2021 at Glenoak High School.  Having worked with Anne's older sister in the past, I was super excited for Anne's session. We decided to meet at the Canton Garden Center where we started our session together. Knowing that our goals included featuring Anne's dedication to dance, we jumped right in and started creating beautiful portraits immediately. Seeing that bright smile told me that I was in for a really fun session.

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Anne-Hinnebusch-GO-2021-1--4Anne-Hinnebusch-GO-2021-1--4 Anne is described by her friends as funny, nice, caring and one who looks out for others. Our time together illustrated the accuracy of those descriptors. Anne is a big fan of Star Wars with a particular affinity for Chewbacca. She likes to listen to AJR and Location is her favorite song. Steak is a preferred meal and SMOKE the Burger Joint rates high as a place to dine. Some favorite places to shop include Aerie and Box Lunch.

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Anne-Hinnebusch-GO-2021-1-7142Anne-Hinnebusch-GO-2021-1-7142 We certainly captured variety as Anne brought such a great assortment of outfits to offer very different looks. She is a busy girl. Her involvement includes the Glenoak High School Colorguard/Dance Team, the Glenoak High School Dance Program, and the Teaching Foundation. In addition to dance, her creativity extends to arts and crafts. She enjoys outside activities and bike riding, as well. So, her portraits needed to be as diverse as she is.

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Anne-Hinnebusch-GO-2021-2--5Anne-Hinnebusch-GO-2021-2--5 After many portraits were successfully captured, we changed things up to focus on her dance. Apparently dancing is part of the family, as we had created dance portraits for Anne's older sister during her senior portrait session. But, Anne is not her older sister, so it was important that her dance portraits be unique to Anne. Obviously, much dedication and discipline are required for Anne to achieve her level of dance, but Anne's approach is a little more carefree in its expression. That was much of our inspiration as we moved forward.

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Anne-Hinnebusch-GO-2021-2-7252Anne-Hinnebusch-GO-2021-2-7252 Being in high school during the corona virus pandemic means missing out on many things, including prom. So, we made sure that we at least included the dress in a big way. I think that Anne looks absolutely stunning in this color, and the movement in the skirt was fabulous. Here are just a few of the many great portraits of beautiful Anne in her dress.

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Anne-Hinnebusch-GO-2021-4--14Anne-Hinnebusch-GO-2021-4--14 Getting back to dance— Anne's dance style feels full of energy and life yet elegant and purposeful. The dance outfit that you see below inspired some really fun portraits.

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Anne-Hinnebusch-GO-2021-5-7501Anne-Hinnebusch-GO-2021-5-7501 As we were nearing the end of our portrait session together, we just decided to pull out all of the stops and see what we could do. When you get someone as flexible as Anne, you bend and snap. Well, Anne bends and I snap.

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Anne-Hinnebusch-GO-2021-5--4Anne-Hinnebusch-GO-2021-5--4 Anne would like to attend California University of Pennsylvania to pursue a degree in education. She would like to teach math to 3rd through 12th graders. Anne, I so appreciate you and all that you brought to the session. You and your positive energy will be such a blessing to so many in your future. Best wishes to you as you live it to the fullest.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

 

What did Anne have to say about her senior portrait session?

I liked that my senior portrait session was really fun and very comfortable! She always helped to get a smile on my face! The prom dress photos were a lot of fun and it was so amazing in pictures. I also love the red body suit and white tutu part of the session. I had a great time and she made my session special to me and unique to me and different than my sister's but just as great!

 

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) Class of 2021 dancer Glenoak Glenoak High School photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures senior portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/2/meet-anne-glenoak-hs-class-of-2021 Tue, 23 Feb 2021 21:40:00 GMT
Meet Josh | Louisville HS | Class of 2021 https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/2/meet-josh-louisville-hs-class-of-2021 Josh is a senior in the Class of 2021 at Louisville High School and we tailored a senior portrait session to perfectly capture this amazing young man. Along with an interest in video games, Josh is into history and politics. So, the Canton McKinley Monument was the perfect location for us to start his senior portrait session. These are a couple of our very first portraits that we captured.

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Josh-Yarnell-Lsvl-2021-1--3Josh-Yarnell-Lsvl-2021-1--3 The portrait below of Josh with his book is one of his favorites. I remember his Mom making the comment that it looks most like how they typically see him. This might be why Josh thinks that others see him as boring, but that certainly can't be the case when you learn about some of his favorites.  When it comes to movies, Josh likes Animal House, National Lampoons Vacation, and Superbad. Some of his favorite reads would include Rober Middlekauff's The Glorious Cause and Emend Burke's Reflection on the Revolution in France. I think that his perceived association with boredom has less to do with a lack of excitement and more to do with intellectual compatibility. 

Josh-Yarnell-Lsvl-2021-1--17Josh-Yarnell-Lsvl-2021-1--17 Josh has great eclectic musical tastes. He typically listens to classic rock from the 50's to the 80's.  Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty are two stand-outs.  He also listens to some outlaw country, folk, metal, and even classical music. With his talent on guitar, Josh draws inspiration from the Great Johnny Cash. That was our inspiration for some of the portraits that you see below.

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Josh-Yarnell-Lsvl-2021-2-3535Josh-Yarnell-Lsvl-2021-2-3535 In addition to a wardrobe change, we also made a location change. The campus of the University of Mount Union was an appropriate choice because Josh plans to graduate from Mount Union with a major in History and a minor in AYA education. He will work in education while working to obtain a PhD and eventually become a university professor.

Josh-Yarnell-Lsvl-2021-3-3572Josh-Yarnell-Lsvl-2021-3-3572 Josh's aspirations and intellectual interests certainly set him apart in an impressive way, but his personality couldn't be more grounded. He absolutely loves a good cheeseburger. He could eat burgers for every meal for the rest of his life and not complain. Although he spends his summers working a landscaping job, Josh doesn't really care to shop to spend his hard-earned money. If he is in the market to make a purchase, he will look for "whatever has the most monetary value and moral values."

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Josh-Yarnell-Lsvl-2021-3-3607Josh-Yarnell-Lsvl-2021-3-3607 As you can see, working with Josh and his senior portraits brought me so much joy. I know that Josh is going to continue to be a source of joy to whomever will be lucky enough to cross his path. Josh, I wish you all good things as you embark on this next phase of your journey. Not even the sky is the limit for you.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

 

What did Josh have to say about his senior portrait session?

"Laura has a true passion for photography that is obvious as soon as the first pictures are taken. Very enjoyable time for someone who usually isn't a fan of getting their picture taken. "

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) Class of 2021 Louisville High School McKinley Monument Mount Union photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures senior portraits UMU University of Mount Union https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/2/meet-josh-louisville-hs-class-of-2021 Tue, 23 Feb 2021 18:59:35 GMT
Meet Olivia | Glenoak HS | Class of 2021 https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/2/meet-olivia-glenoak-hs-class-of-2021 It was imperative to create a one-of-a-kind session for this one-of-a-kind senior, Olivia, who is in the class of 2021 at Glenoak High School.  Olivia, who also goes by Liv, would be described by her friends as friendly, caring, and bold.  To clarify, Olivia's bold is the type that allows her to bring rejuvenation and life to any situation.  She is the one who might help you to see things in a new way, or to bring interest to the mundane.  She has a way of seeing a big picture outside of herself in a very down-to-earth kind of way.  Her inspired energy was infused in every portrait that made me love them even more.  Our first set of portraits at the Canton Garden Center include her adorable dog and this was certainly a fun way to start.

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As much as I adore those portraits, I really did love some of the others that we captured of just Olivia in this outfit.

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As you can see, we really were having a good time.  That continued as we made an outfit change and opted for a carefree look in this adorable dress.  Those bare feet just begged to be in water, and I knew Olivia would be up for anything.  She loves the outdoors and loves to try new things, so asking her to wade in the stream just seemed like the thing to do.  The results were fabulous!

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Upon our emergence from the water, Olivia spotted a rock that was calling her name, and it happened to have the most gorgeous background.  That is where our fun continued.  Along with cooking as a hobby, Olivia loves taking care of her plants and fish.  So, all of this just seemed to fit together.

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These portraits above are among Olivia's favorites.  Some other favorites would include that she is a fan of the music groups Khruangbin and Glass Animals along with the movie Nacho Libre.  She absolutely loves Indian food and feels that Bombay Sitar is the best Indian restaurant in Ohio.  

Since we had another portrait session destination in our plan, we decided to leave Canton Garden Center and move on to the Veteran's Memorial Park near Glenoak High School.  Along with an outfit change, we created a whole new look.  

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Olivia is part of the Sports Medicine Career Tech Program at Glenoak High School and she absolutely loves it.  Being part of the Sports Medicine Team that offers service at the Glenoak sporting events was such a significant aspect of her high school career, that we really needed to capture it in a special way.  Using the Glenoak Stadium as our setting for these portraits seemed appropriate.  I think these images have special meaning to Olivia because they embody something that is such a part of who she is.

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With this education, experience and passion, Olivia would like to get a certificate through the AMCA and work somewhere in the health care field temporarily until she is more clear about her long-term goals.  Whatever those goals might be, I know that Olivia will follow her heart and that her commitment and passion will make her a success.  Olivia, it is so inspiring just to be with you.  I loved all of your energy that you brought to the session and that I had the opportunity to engage with you.  I wish you all good things as you move on to your next adventure.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

 

What did Olivia have to say about her senior portrait session?

"I loved how Laura went with my ideas and visions I had.  I liked how she modified things and suggested poses to have the best image.  I loved that it was unique to me.  I think Laura is wonderful at what she does."

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) Class of 2021 Glenoak Glenoak High School photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures senior portraits Sports Medicine https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/2/meet-olivia-glenoak-hs-class-of-2021 Thu, 18 Feb 2021 19:11:00 GMT
Meet Ava | NC Hoover HS | Class of 2021 https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/2/meet-ava-nc-hoover-hs-class-of-2021 Today's blog post takes us back to Quail Hollow Park in Hartville where I got to work with Ava, a senior in the class of 2021 at North Canton Hoover High School.  I was so excited for Ava's senior portrait session because I already had a sense of her style and the direction we were headed for her portraits.  When she arrived and we worked out our plan for the evening with regard to outfits and locations, I knew we were in for some fabulous outcomes.  We wasted no time getting started and embraced this lovely fall look.

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Ava's friends would describe her as funny, kind-hearted, easy-going, personable, independent, outgoing, and caring.  I felt all of that in our short time together and I think it really came out in our next set of portraits.  After changing into the next outfit that we had chosen, we headed to the field because I knew that the sun was at the desired angle for these shots.  Oh my goodness, did we have fun out there!

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I think that we could have spent all evening in the field, but we had more outfits and more locations in mind.  Those field portraits were among her favorites, but Ava had many favorites that make her so fun.  She likes all types of music, including Country, Indie, R&B and Classic Rock.  She prefers TV shows over movies, and some particular favorites include One Tree Hill, Grey's Anatomy, Vampire Diaries, and The Office.  She loves sushi, fruit, Chick-fil-A, Chipotle, Chinese, Greek and salads.  Some stores of interest are Shein, Aerie, American Eagle, Gymshark, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Brandy Melville.  But, we were out to create more favorite portraits, so here is how we made use of the garden.

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Ava has a great variety of interest.  She likes learning Greek which is part of her heritage.  She is also involved in learning American Sign Language and the medical program at North Canton Hoover High School.  Since we wanted to get variety in her portraits, we made another outfit change and captured some great backlit portraits in a new setting.

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We were starting to lose light, but we had one more outfit that we wanted to work into the portrait session, so we made the change and headed to a new area of the park.  This look is just beautiful on Ava, too!

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Ava plans to attend Kent State Stark for one or two years before transferring to the Kent Main Campus in the nursing program.  She would like to get her BSN to become a nurse practitioner.  Her plan is to travel for a couple of months once she gets her RN license so that she can take her BSN classes on line.  Ava, your sense of adventure and beautiful heart are such a great combination that will serve you and those around you so well.  I wish you all good things as you embark on this exciting new chapter.  

Love and Smiles,

Laura

 

What did Ava have to say about her senior portrait session?

I chose Laura Esposito Photography because I liked the quality of the photos and the different setting of places to take the pictures.  I loved the scenes and different outfits I chose so that I was able to express myself and was able to do my own thing.  I really enjoyed my session and Laura was very flexible with everything I wanted.

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) Class of 2021 Hoover Hoover High School Hoover Vikings photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer Quail Hollow senior senior photography senior pictures senior portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/2/meet-ava-nc-hoover-hs-class-of-2021 Wed, 17 Feb 2021 14:23:58 GMT
Meet Chloe | Glenoak HS | Class of 2021 https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/2/meet-chloe-glenoak-hs-class-of-2021 This adorable senior from Glenoak High School in the Class of 2021 is Chloe, and she had a perfectly suited portrait session at Quail Hollow Park in Harville.  As soon as we found each other at the park and shared a warm greeting, we dove into her wardrobe and made a plan for our session together.  I could tell that I was in for a treat with those beautiful eyes and sparkly smile.  We certainly wasted no time getting down to business and capturing fabulous portraits.

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Chloe-Lindsey-GO-2021-1-0272Chloe-Lindsey-GO-2021-1-0272 After a proper warm-up in the garden, we decided to use the porch area of the Manor House because I knew that this baby blue would absolutely pop against that white background.  These ended up being some of Chloe's favorite portraits.

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Chloe-Lindsey-GO-2021-1-0359Chloe-Lindsey-GO-2021-1-0359 Based on the position of the sun, we knew that we wanted to make our way into the field, next.  After an outfit change, we made our way into the tall grasses.  It is no surprise that Chloe's friends would describe her as being funny, sweet and kind.  I wanted to capture that in her portraits and I think the ones in the field were especially effective at doing so.

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After so much success in the field and knowing how much Chloe liked this outfit, we decided to capture more portraits around the Manor House again.  She loved that white background, and so did I.  So, we felt compelled to return for a few more.  It is true that the field and porch portraits are Chloe's favorites, and some other favorites include watching Mamma Mia, Vampire Diaries, and listening to Harry Styles.  A favorite food is her mom's lemon chicken and she likes to shop at Pacsun.

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We were ready to change things up a bit, so Chloe made a wardrobe change and we headed back to the garden area for a little more variety.  These few examples show just how much fun I was having.  Chloe is just stunning!

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Chloe is a busy senior.  She is involved in choir and National Honor Society.  She is also dedicated to basketball and has been a contributor to her High School Basketball Team through some very successful seasons.  It was important to capture that, and, of course, we got a little creative.

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Chloe plans to attend The Ohio State University after graduation where she will have ample opportunities to share her warm personality and many talents.  Chloe, you were an absolute joy to work with and have in front of my camera.  I wish you all good things as you finish out your year and move on to the next chapter.  

Love and Smiles,

Laura

 

What did Chloe have to say about her senior portrait session?

I chose Laura Esposito Photography because I loved her photos.  I liked that it was fun and she made me feel comfortable.  The session was unique to me and it was great!

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) basketball portraits Class of 2021 girl's basketball Glenoak High School photography portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior photography senior pictures senior portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/2/meet-chloe-glenoak-hs-class-of-2021 Mon, 15 Feb 2021 22:07:18 GMT
Meet Abby | Louisville HS | Class of 2021 https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/2/meet-abby-louisville-hs-class-of-2021 Abigail (Abby) is a senior in the class of 2021 at Louisville High School and brings with her a multitude of talents and interests to ensure a very engaging portrait session.  Add to that her sweet and fun personality, and we are really in for something special.  That is exactly what we got!  We decided to hold her portrait session in Historic Zoar Village and found a great variety of inspiration.  The images below are a testament to how well we hit the ground running.  

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We even received some encouragement from passersby in vehicles on the street.  That hilarious incident inspired this smile (laugh) that you see here.

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After such a successful set, we decided that we were ready for an outfit change and a short drive to the bridge.  This is where we captured some of Abby's favorite portraits.  You see, along with her interests in band and riding horses, Abby also loves playing with her dogs.  Abby's dad was kind enough to bring Mya to the session so that she could take part in the fun, too.

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Abby's friends would describe her as being caring, a good listener, loyal, friendly and funny.  I wanted to be sure that all of these qualities had a chance to shine through in her portraits.  

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I think that we could have stayed at the bridge all day, but we knew that we wanted to use the beautiful garden as a setting, too.  So, we headed back to the Historic Village and made another outfit change.  Speaking of outfits, I just love Abby's style.  As it turns out, she likes making selections from Shein or American Eagle.  She also likes grilled cheese and the movies Titanic and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  She is very active in band, as you will see later in the blog, as well as Hope Squad and National Honors Society.  As if that isn't enough, she is dedicated to her projects each year in 4-H.

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As you can see, I so often spot another setting that I want to use and we get a little side-tracked.  I soooo loved this outfit and knew it would look fabulous on these steps.  I look at these and think, "this is just so Abby."

Okay, so now we are really going to the garden.  I just love the outfit that we saved for this spot.  The sun was hitting that gorgeous glowing angle and everything just kind of fell into place.  Well.... we did plan for it to fall into place.  We were just happy that it worked!

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So, I already mentioned that Abby is dedicated to the Louisville High School Marching Band.  Well, I did not mention that she happens to be one of the drum majors.  Achieving this position is quite an accomplishment and we absolutely had to capture that!

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As you can see, Abby is an absolute pleasure and I so enjoyed our time together.  She plans to go to Kent State to study psychology.  I know that any direction that life takes Abby, it will be special, indeed.  Abby, I wish you all good things and will be your biggest cheerleader as you move on to your next chapters in life.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

 

What did Abby have to say about her portrait session?

"I chose Laura Esposito Photography because I really liked the portraits that Laura had completed before and I heard a lot of great things about others' sessions with her.  Normally, I don't like getting my picture taken, but Laura made it very fun and enjoyable.   Some of my favorite portraits were the ones I could take with my dog, and ones and in the garden, and the ones on the bridge.  I had a great time and love my pictures!"

 

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) Class of 2021 Louisville High School photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures senior portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/2/meet-abby-louisville-hs-class-of-2021 Thu, 11 Feb 2021 19:21:58 GMT
Meet Genevieve | Jackson HS | Class of 2021 https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/2/meet-genevieve-jackson-hs-class-of-2021 My session with Genevieve, a senior in the Class of 2021 at Jackson High School, was held at Varian Orchards in East Canton which offered the perfect variety of settings to complement this dynamic young lady.  Just as the orchards are full of life and vibrance, so is Genevieve.  The weather wasn't exactly cooperative when we first arrived, so we improvised and made some inside spaces work.  These are some results of that situation, and it was most definitely a blessing.

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Fortunately, the conditions improved and we made our way outside.  True to Genevieve's adventurous style, we incorporated her hat for some of my favorites.  Oh, those gorgeous eyes!  

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Genevieve-Smith-Jksn-2021-1-5594Genevieve-Smith-Jksn-2021-1-5594 And now, for the vintage look.  Could her outfit be any more perfect for this rustic truck?  We really worked a variety of angles here because I truly loved everything I saw.  Sooooo fun!

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I absolutely love it when my Senior comes with a vision, and that is what Genevieve did as her family found and brought this great chair to incorporate into the session.  As soon as I saw it, I knew exactly where I wanted to use it.  Add the hat, and we have something really special!  These are among Genevieve's favorite portraits, and I have to agree.

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And, you can't go to an orchard without playing in the trees.

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So, let's share a little more about Genevieve and then we will see why these next portraits are so appropriate.  She runs track, but loves to hang out with her friends and is always up for trying something new.  She loves hiking, taking pictures, boating, and anything else that might be exciting.  She is quite the country music fan and especially loves attending concerts at Blossom and going to Country Fest in the summer.  Her friends describe her as upbeat, always in a good mood, open-minded, and down for anything.  So..... when I suggest that she sit in the weeds and get in the water for some of her portraits, she didn't hesitate one minute.  And, yes, the results were fabulous!

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Sadly, we were losing daylight, but we still had one more outfit to go.  I just loved the variety that Genevieve brought to the session.  She loves to shop at Dry Goods along with Lululemon and Levi's jeans.  Fortunately, we found some settings to make this work, and even took advantage of the evening sky for a dramatic look.  

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Genevieve plans to attend Akron University or Kent State University for the first two years to complete her associates degree.  Then, she will be going to the Salem branch of Kent State University to become a radiologist or X-ray technician.  Genevieve, you are going to bring so much life and energy wherever you go. I am so thrilled that I got to capture you at this stage in your life because you are obviously going places.  I will be cheering you on every step of the way.  Best wishes to you!

Love and Smiles,

Laura

 

What did Genevieve have to say about her senior portrait session?

I chose Laura Esposito Photography because my brother got his done by her and I really liked the way they turned out which was a great decision because she is so nice, upbeat, comforting, and overall just made the experience great and made me feel comfortable.  She knew exactly what angles to get to make me glow and look the way I did.  All the pictures came out great and she always had a good eye for placement and light.  Everything went great and overall was a really fun time.  I couldn't imagine it going any better than it did.

 

 

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) Class of 2021 Jackson Jackson High School Jackson HS photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures senior portraits Varian Orchards https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/2/meet-genevieve-jackson-hs-class-of-2021 Fri, 05 Feb 2021 16:37:36 GMT
Meet David | Louisville HS | Class of 2021 https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/2/meet-david-louisville-hs-class-of-2021 Talent and intelligence come to mind when discussing David, a Senior in the Class of 2021 at Louisville High School, and his portrait session certainly highlighted those attributes.  We felt that the Canton McKinley Monument and park would be an appropriate setting for David's portraits since his interests include politics, geography, history, science, and linguistics.  

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David is very active and successful in Speech and Debate.  He has been a qualifier at many levels and we wanted to show off the t-shirt to highlight those accomplishments.

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Another defining activity for David has been his dedication to the Louisville Marching Band.  He is one of the few band members in the history of the Louisville High School Marching Band to have worn both the traditional and new uniforms.  We got a little creative as we wanted to pay tribute to both.  We also wanted to honor the band tradition that exists in the family by including his mom in the uniform style that she wore as a band member.

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David's talents certainly don't end there.  We need to add tennis to the list, and we certainly captured that, as well.

 

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The next segment of our session together focused on David's interest in politics, history, and participating in government.  Doesn't he just fit the part perfectly?

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David's favorite book is Unbroken and he likes rock music, specifically Bon Jovi.  He likes home-cooked meals best.  After graduating, he plans to attend Marietta College where I am sure he will be using his many talents.

David, it was such a pleasure to get to work with you and to highlight you in your senior portraits.  I know we will be seeing great things from you.  I wish you all the best in your future endeavors and I will be cheering you on as you go.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

What did David have to say about his senior portrait session?

I chose Laura Esposito Photography because I knew her from school and saw some of the senior portraits she had done before.  My favorite ones are the ones taken at the McKinley Monument.  The session was really about me.


 

 

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) band Class of 2021 Louisville High School photography portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior photography senior pictures senior portraits Speech and Debate tennis https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/2/meet-david-louisville-hs-class-of-2021 Wed, 03 Feb 2021 21:24:56 GMT
Meet Jocelyn | Glenoak HS | Class of 2021 https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/2/meet-jocelyn-glenoak-hs-class-of-2021 I'm very excited to share the details of my fabulous senior portrait session with Jocelyn, a Senior in the Class of 2021 at Glenoak High School.  I remembered Jocelyn from having taken her older brother's senior portraits many years ago, and I was anxious to see the young lady she had grown up to become.  I was also pretty pumped about the opportunity to hold the first part of our session at the Onesto in Downtown Canton.  Thanks to the family's connections, we were able to start our session there.  

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As you can see, Jocelyn has most definitely grown into a beautiful young lady, and is absolutely as sweet as they come.  She brought the PERFECT ensemble for this upscale setting, and we certainly made the most of it!  But, her next outfit was the favorite for both of us.  We just couldn't stop finding new places and poses that were so perfect.  It was soooo much fun!

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For our next segment of the session, we made an outfit change and moved our operation outside.  This family had done their homework and had some murals in mind.  These murals are so colorful and fun, much like Jocelyn.  Fittingly, her friends would describe her as outgoing.  She likes watching original Netflix series and listening to all kinds of music.  She likes to shop at Pacsun, American Eagle, and Target.  She loves mac n cheese, and her favorite restaurant is BJ's Brewhouse.  So, a girl this vibrant and full of life needed a setting to match, and we certainly found it!

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Jocelyn has a serious and focused side, as well.  She plans to attend Marietta College in the fall to major in biology.   So, for our next set of portraits, we took little more formal approach.  Of course, she nailed all of these looks, too.

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We can't talk about Jocelyn without mentioning her dedication and accomplishments in cross-country and track and field.  We appropriately made the trip to Glenoak Stadium so that we could have the proper setting for these portraits.  The sun was low which made for a more interesting sky that we obviously made work to our advantage.

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Thank you, Jocelyn, for sharing your world with me and allowing me to capture all of your awesomeness in portraits.  I wish you much happiness and success at Marietta where I know you will shine brightly.  

Love and Smiles,

Laura

What did Jocelyn have to say about her senior portrait session?

Laura Esposito Photography did my older brother's senior portraits, and my parents loved his pictures, so they knew that was exactly who needed to do mine!  My session was very fun.  I felt comfortable, and ti was very easy going!  I loved being at the Onesto in Downtown Canton and so many pretty locations.  My favorite outfit was my striped jumpsuit!  I felt that my session was very unique to me.  It was great, I wouldn't change a thing!

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) Class of 2021 cross-country Downtown Canton Glenoak Glenoak High School Onesto photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures senior portraits track https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/2/meet-jocelyn-glenoak-hs-class-of-2021 Tue, 02 Feb 2021 21:13:35 GMT
Meet Kierstin | NC Hoover HS | Class of 2021 https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/2/meet-kierstin-nc-hoover-hs-class-of-2021 Kierstin, at senior in the Class of 2021 at North Canton Hoover High School, is the feature of today's blog post.  She came prepared for a successful senior portrait session and that was certainly the outcome.  We had so much fun and created some gorgeous portraits.  After meeting up in the parking lot of Gervasi Vineyard, we reviewed her fabulous wardrobe and choreographed our evening.  There was no easing into the process for Kierstin.  She was ready to go and we started creating some masterpieces from the start!

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Kierstin, who may also go by Kieri, finds joy and success in a variety of areas.  She has been active in volleyball at both the JV and varsity levels.  He is into make-up techniques, fashion, and thrifting, as well as animals (preferably dogs).  So, shopping at Uptown Cheapskate, Shein, and Amazon are some of her favorites.  Friends describe her as outgoing, fun, helpful and smart.  These are some of the qualities that we wanted so show in her portraits.  So, our next wardrobe change into the breezy white cotton sundress lent itself well to the setting around the vineyard and pavilion.  

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We were having so much fun with this segment of the session that we continued on around the pond and archway. Kierstin's mom and dad were great help and certainly added to our fun.  I remember Kierstin actually seeming surprised to see how beautiful her portraits were looking on the back of the camera.  How do you stop when it is going so well?  

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Kierstin-Norris-Hoover-2021-2-4661Kierstin-Norris-Hoover-2021-2-4661 It was time for another outfit change and this one certainly had more of a modern flair.  What a great look, for Kierstin!  We found endless possibilities for portraits and let our creativity loose with some great results.

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Kierstin, I wish you all the best with you plans to attend Kent State University to major in Psychology.  May you continue to share your light wherever you go.  I always love getting to work with your lovely family.  I so appreciate you and will be anxious to cheer you on as you move on to bigger and better things.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

What did Kierstin have to say about her portrait session?

During my session, I liked the location, the ease of poses, and all of the encouragement and compliments along the way. My session was absolutely special and unique to me.  I will always send my friends your way for their portrait sessions.   


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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) class of 2021 gervasi vineyard hoover hoover high school hoover vikings north canton hoover photography portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures senior portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/2/meet-kierstin-nc-hoover-hs-class-of-2021 Mon, 01 Feb 2021 21:28:21 GMT
Meet Megan | NC Hoover HS | Class of 2021 https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/1/meet-megan-nc-hoover-hs-class-of-2021 Megan is a senior in the Class of 2021 at North Canton Hoover High School and she certainly made her senior portrait session her own.  We captured so many details to capture all sides of Megan in her portraits.  Upon meeting each other on the University of Mount Union Campus in Alliance, we reviewed the outfits and props and goals for the session.  That is when I knew that this was going to be fabulous.  We start with a touching portrait of Megan holding a picture of herself holding a picture of herself.  This is just priceless!

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Our next set of portraits allowed us to highlight something very near and dear to Megan's heart.  Megan has danced for about 14 years, so it has been a big part of her life.  She brought her Canton Jazz Company hoodie so that she could incorporate this.  Some actual dance pictures will happen later in the session.

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Megan is currently Editor-in-Chief of the school newspaper, The Viking Views.  In previous years, she was a copy editor and business manager.  We found a way to include these important roles in her portraits, as well.  As if dance and the newspaper aren't enough to keep her busy, she is also in French Club, Student Council, Link Crew, Garden Club, Bipartisan Club, and Chess Club.

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Megan's friends would describe her as caring and friendly, as well as super outgoing once they get to know her.  Her favorite movie is Pride and Prejudice.  Niall Horan, as well as the rest of the members from One Direction are favorite music artists.  Whenever there is a break from school, Megan will read at least one book from the series The Selection.  As you can see, Megan is a multidimensional young lady.  So, capturing multiple sides of Megan was certainly our priority.  I think that we accomplished our goal!

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In our conversations leading up to the session, I learned that Megan loves the rain.  We talked about ways to make that part of the session and they were able to find this adorable umbrella which was the source of a lot of fun!

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After another wardrobe change, we decided to lose the umbrella and focus on some flowers for inspiration.  It really didn't matter where I placed Megan, she graced the setting and created beautiful portraits!  These are actually among her favorites.

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After a short drive down the road to Glamorgan Castle and an outfit change, we found some new inspiration.  I knew this lovely flowered dress would stand out beautifully at the castle, and we were not disappointed.

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And now... it was time to bring out the tutu!  I am always amazed at the dedication and discipline that dancers are willing to dedicate to their craft.  The results amaze me, too!  

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Megan, I just love who you are and everything about your session.  So much thought went into every segment which is why your session is so totally you!  The results are so lovely as a reflection of you, indeed.  Your love of math and plans to major in math to become a math teacher are so admirable.  I wish you all the best and will be cheering you on!

Love and Smiles,

Laura

 

What did Megan have to say about her senior portrait session?

I loved how natural the whole experience felt.  Nothing felt forced, and I think the portraits really capture that!  I think the portraits all really capture who I am and how I was feeling during the session.  I absolutely love all of them!

 

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) Class of 2021 high school Hoover Hoover High School NC Hoover High School photographer portrait photographer Portrait Session portraits senior Senior Pics Senior Portrait Session https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/1/meet-megan-nc-hoover-hs-class-of-2021 Fri, 29 Jan 2021 16:14:12 GMT
Meet Kennedy | Canton Central Catholic HS | Class of 2021 https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/1/meet-kennedy-canton-central-catholic-hs-class-of-2021 We get to focus on Kennedy, a senior in the class of 2021 at Central Catholic High School, and there is soooo much to share!  Kennedy and her mom had invested much time in preparation for her session, so I knew that we had much to accomplish in our time together.  As we looked through Kennedy's adorable outfits and discussed our various settings, we choreographed our evening to be as efficient as possible.  Our session location of Zoar Historic Village was absolutely perfect to find the variety we were after.  

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Kennedy and I jumped right in, and I knew immediately that we would be having a lot of fun together and capturing some amazing portraits!  Her captivating smile and zest for fun brought her portraits to life.  Devising makeup and hair creations are among Kennedy's hobbies, so her sense of style is spot on.  Kennedy will be taking the state board to get her cosmetology license upon graduation.  She plans to work at a salon helping people to look and feel beautiful.  I think she is going to be a huge success!    

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The fun certainly continued as we moved on to the covered bridge.  These are among Kennedy's favorite portraits.  That beautiful lace jacket had such great movement making the action shots engaging.  Including her adorable puppy made me so happy.  OMG... Melt my heart!

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Kennedy says that her friends would describe her as sassy, outspoken, energetic and fun.  I think that all of those qualities are showing up in her portraits.  I still wanted to portray another side to her with this rustic moodier setting.  Of course, Kennedy gave the perfect expression to get exactly what I was after.

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Then, we were off to the garden.  If you have never visited the Historic Garden in the Village of Zoar, you are missing out!  The gardeners must work really hard to maintain such an exquisite display.  Kennedy and I took full advantage of its beauty to create some gorgeous portraits.  What a perfect complement to Kennedy's beauty.  That floppy hat was such a great prop for this setting.

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Kennedy is involved in speech and debate, as well as cheerleading.  Some of her favorite ways to spend her free time include watching Riverdale, Supernatural, and Vampire Diaries, and listening to Ariana Grande.  If it is money to spend, then Sephora, Ulta, and Versona would be top picks.  Throw in Texas Roadhouse as the restaurant and Kennedy is set.

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Despite the setting sun, Kennedy had one last outfit that we wanted to squeeze in, so I worked my magic with lighting and we made these happen.  I like the contrast with the feel of what we had previously captured.  We had a little 70's vibe going as we were channeling Farrah Fawcett.  Hello cheekbones! 

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Kennedy, it was such a pleasure to get to know you and to work with you and your mom to create some gorgeous portraits!  I'm sure your puppy is much bigger now and that you are getting even more prepared for your future in cosmetology.  You will be such a wonderful catalyst for those hoping to find their beauty.  I wish you all the best and will always be cheering you on.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

What did Kennedy have to say about her portrait session?

Because Laura gave information and suggestions on everything from colors and locations, it made preparing fro the session so much easier.  Laura's willingness to go where we wanted and excitement over ideas made the session so fun!  She took our dreams to the next level!

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) Central Catholic Class of 2021 photography portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior photography senior pictures senior portraits Zoar Historic Village https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/1/meet-kennedy-canton-central-catholic-hs-class-of-2021 Tue, 26 Jan 2021 15:56:25 GMT
Meet Mackenzie | Tusky Valley HS | Class of 2021 https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/1/meet-mackenzie-tusky-valley-hs-class-of-2021 It is time to focus on Mackenzie, a senior in the class of 2021 at Tusky Valley High School.  I knew this session would be a special one because it was important for Mackenzie to hold the session at her home which is the place that she loves most and with the people she loves most.  It is so complete when we can make it a family affair.  Holding the session at her home was fabulous for me, too.  I love getting to find new creativity in a new space.  The best part was that her "home" includes all of the wonderful elements that you could want in your portrait settings.  

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The portraits above feature the adorable Gibbs and Smiley.  These are among Mackenzie's favorite portraits.  We planned the first portrait with Gibbs, but Smiley decided he didn't want to miss the fun and literally photobombed the second picture.  We were all laughing so hard that it made for a great impromptu capture. Any portrait that is tied to a good memory becomes priceless!
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These relaxed shots of Mackenzie are especially comfortable because they were taken around her Grandmother's front porch.  Having Grandma "Ninnie" residing in another area of the property must have its perks!  After all, Ninnie is the one responsible for Mackenzie's nickname of "Hollywood."  Mackenzie explains that her mom had a difficult pregnancy so when Mackenzie was born, Ninnie said she was a star... hence the name Hollywood.  I love it!

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Mackenzie-Roberts-TV-2021-4--7Mackenzie-Roberts-TV-2021-4--7 Mackenzie is also an accomplished varsity volleyball player as a defensive specialist.  She really loves a good scary movie.  However, it isn't unusual to find her crying at the happy and sad parts of any movie.  She enjoys country music and her favorite books are Code Talker and Running Dream.  She loves going with her friends to wing night at Hog Heaven.  Texas Roadhouse and El Campesino are favorites, as well.  

Another fun fact about Mackenzie is that she is obsessed with buying bathing suits.  She has started quite the collection.  She particularly likes Amazon.  "You can find all of your dreams there!"  After graduation from high school, she plans to be attending college to pursue a career in the medical field.

Untitled-3Untitled-3 Mackenzie truly embraced the idea that I always promote for my senior portrait sessions... to KEEP IT SIMPLE - MAKE IT FUN - and - LOVE YOUR LOOK.  Mackenzie, I am so happy to know you and your family and that you are now part of my circle.  I love how you embrace life, keep it real, and remember what matters.  Best wishes to you in all endeavors.  

Love and Smiles,

Laura

What did Mackenzie have to say about her portrait session?

"I loved that I was able to make the experience exactly what I wanted.  It was so awesome to be able to have the session at my house - capturing the place I love the most - home!  I really love the portraits by my pond.  My dog Gibbs and the photo bomb by Smiley make me smile every time I look at them.   I was surprised at how fast the time flew by in the session.  Taking pictures is not something I enjoy, however, you made me feel relaxed and extremely comfortable."

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) class of 2021 photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior photography senior pictures senior portraits Tusky Valley https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/1/meet-mackenzie-tusky-valley-hs-class-of-2021 Mon, 25 Jan 2021 19:15:03 GMT
Meet Ryan | Louisville HS | Class of 2021 https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/1/meet-ryan-louisville-hs-class-of-2021 Ryan, a senior in the Class of 2021 at Louisville High School, is the feature of the blog, today.   Ryan's session had a lot of variety as we visited Silver Park, Glamorgan Castle and the tennis courts of Louisville High School.  A more appropriate location might have a chemistry lab since that is his passion.  Truly, chemistry is all around us in every environment, so it really didn't matter..... that stuff that has mass and volume.  LOL  (I'm sure Ryan will get this and maybe think I'm funny.)

Ryan-Knebl-Lsvl-2021-1--4Ryan-Knebl-Lsvl-2021-1--4 As you can see from these portraits with that easy smile, Ryan is about as easy-going as they come.  Thank goodness for that, because he is a busy guy.  He is involved in Tennis, National Honor Society, Science Club, Key Club and volunteers at the Louisville Community Cupboard.  This all fits with the words that Ryan's friends would use to describe him.... smart, trustworthy and nice.  

Ryan-Knebl-Lsvl-2021-2--6Ryan-Knebl-Lsvl-2021-2--6 After capturing several great portraits at Silver Park, we moved on down the street to Glamorgan Castle for a different look.  These distinguished looks fit well with Ryan's plans to attend the Ohio State University, Ohio University or University of Toledo to major in chemical engineering.  Ryan isn't afraid of a challenge.  In addition to the expected affinity for war movies and metal music, books about chemistry rank right up there in the favorites category.  Some other favorites for Ryan include steak and shopping on eBay.
 

Ryan-Knebl-Lsvl-2021-3--9Ryan-Knebl-Lsvl-2021-3--9 The Glamorgan Castle served as a perfect backdrop for the pink polo shirt and he certainly pulls this off in an impressive way.  This was part of our last set at the Castle before we moved on to the tennis courts at Louisville High School. 

Ryan-Knebl-Lsvl-2021-4--6Ryan-Knebl-Lsvl-2021-4--6 By the time we got to the tennis courts, the sun we getting low, but we made that work to our advantage.  How appropriate to see the Leopard blue sky cooperating with our objective.

Ryan-Knebl-Lsvl-2021-5--10Ryan-Knebl-Lsvl-2021-5--10 These are actually among Ryan's favorite portraits.  I have to agree.  These are awesome!  

Ryan-Knebl-Lsvl-2021-5--8Ryan-Knebl-Lsvl-2021-5--8 Ryan, you have no idea how much I appreciate your witty sense of humor and your love of science.  Both of those traits will take you far and I will be here to cheer you on.  Best wishes to you always!

Love and Smiles,

Laura

 

What did Ryan have to say about his senior portrait session?

I chose Laura Esposito Photography because Laura took my brothers' pictures and she did an awesome job. I liked Laura’s different ideas for settings and poses.
I liked how at ease I felt when Laura was taking my pictures.

 

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) Class of 2021 Louisville High School photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures senior portraits tennis https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/1/meet-ryan-louisville-hs-class-of-2021 Fri, 22 Jan 2021 22:21:58 GMT
Meet Morgan | NC Hoover High School | Class of 2021 https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/1/meet-morgan-nc-hoover-high-school-class-of-2021 It is Morgan's turn to be featured, and there is much to talk about!  Morgan, who sometimes goes by Mo, is a senior in the class of 2021 at Hoover High School in North Canton.  She is sweet and kind and enjoys baking, painting and shopping at places like Hollister, Pacsun and Aerie.  She likes Disney movies, Harry Styles, and Taylor Swift.  Her favorite food is brownies (of course!) and she likes Texas Roadhouse.  So, all of this sounds fairly typical.  Let me tell you... Morgan is anything but typical!

Curtain CallCurtain Call For that reason, I knew we had to do something big.  Morgan is a completely dedicated dancer and has accomplished things that she is too humble to share.  Morgan's mom was able to secure access to the Palace Theater in Canton where Morgan has spent much of her time on the stage.  In order to show that, we created this composite of Morgan in several poses on the stage along with a close up of her in mid bow.  I call it "Curtain Call" and with a little bit of magic in Photoshop, we get to see several examples of her fabulous grace and stage presence in the place that holds so much history and great memories.

Morgan-Lineweaver-NCHoover-2021-1c-2672Morgan-Lineweaver-NCHoover-2021-1c-2672 What amazing performer doesn't dream to see her name in lights on the marquee?  This was made possible by her mom who had a vision and I just loved capturing it!

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After using up every single minute we had available to us at the Palace, we moved on to McKinley Monument in Canton to capture a few more shots to feature Morgan in dance mode.  We exchanged the formal tutu for this gorgeous dance ensemble that just begged for movement and backlighting.

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I think that any dedicated dancer holds a special attachment to their ever growing collection of worn point shoes.  It would have taken the rest of the session time to lay out all of her past shoes, but we included several to convey the idea.  

Morgan-Lineweaver-NCHoover-2021-3--4Morgan-Lineweaver-NCHoover-2021-3--4 We switched gears and headed to the Canton Garden Center that is part of Monument Park.  So many settings inspired a multitude of great portraits to show Morgan as the girl who is more than just a dancer.  That smile and those beautiful eyes are so captivating.

Morgan-Lineweaver-NCHoover-2021-3--13Morgan-Lineweaver-NCHoover-2021-3--13 Here we have another outfit change for some variety, but still that consistent easy smile that lights up a room.  That smile will be so greatly missed by her family when she goes off to school to study dance.  And, I'm sure Morgan will miss her involvement with the Canton Ballet Company and Jazz Company.

Morgan-Lineweaver-NCHoover-2021-4a--6Morgan-Lineweaver-NCHoover-2021-4a--6 It is true that I don't know when to quit.  We had one more outfit to feature so our last few shots were actually in the dark.  I must say that I like the result.  Using the parking lot light as a halo backlight and my off-camera flash did the trick to finish out our session together.

Morgan-Lineweaver-NCHoover-2021-4b--4Morgan-Lineweaver-NCHoover-2021-4b--4 Morgan, you are an amazing young lady!  I would love to get to see you in action on stage one day.  Whether you are on or off the stage, you are dazzling all of us with your beauty that comes from within.  Best wishes to you always!

Love and Smiles,

Laura

 

What did Morgan have to say about her portrait session?

I chose Laura Esposito Photography because my brother went to Laura for his and they turned out amazing!  I loved all of the location and outfit changes that we had.  I think the ones in my white dress at the Monument are my favorite.  The session was special and unique because of the locations and dance related photos.  It was all great!

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) Canton Garden Center Class of 2021 Dance Portraits Hoover High School McKinley Monument North Canton Hoover High School Palace Theater photography portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior photography senior pictures senior portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/1/meet-morgan-nc-hoover-high-school-class-of-2021 Thu, 21 Jan 2021 17:38:06 GMT
Meet Jon | Louisville High School | Class of 2021 https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/1/meet-jon-louisville-high-school-class-of-2021 Jon, a senior at Louisville High School, is the feature of today's blog and I loved getting to re-live his session.  Jon was the master of seizing the opportunity to make the portrait session his own, and he did it in such a fun way.  We decided to meet at Silver Park in Alliance where we started off with some casual shots of Jon sporting his love of Ohio State, where he may be attending next year to study accounting.  (It is between Ohio State and Bowling Green right now.)

Jon-Mong-Lsvl-2021-1--10Jon-Mong-Lsvl-2021-1--10 Jon is known for many things, including his fashionable shirts and socks.  The socks are a bit of an obsession, but we will get to that later.  His great sense of style is just a reflection on his magnetic personality.  Friends would describe Jon as funny, trustworthy, and a leader.  Those descriptors are not surprising at all!

Jon-Mong-Lsvl-2021-2--2Jon-Mong-Lsvl-2021-2--2 Along with video games and Legos, Jon is passionate about basketball...  

Jon-Mong-Lsvl-2021-3--13Jon-Mong-Lsvl-2021-3--13 ...and baseball.  He is also on the Louisville Bowling Team.  He likes Fast and Furious movies, Community and pop music - Top 40.  When it comes to food, pizza is a top choice, and shopping at Dick's Sporting Goods is a good time.

Jon-Mong-Lsvl-2021-4--9Jon-Mong-Lsvl-2021-4--9 Moving on to Glamorgan Castle

So......  let's get back to Jon's fabulous sense of style.  Jon is certainly a bit of a Renaissance man.  Not only is he athletically skilled in various sports, but he is a musician specializing in the trumpet.  This portrait below was my attempt to help show some of this variety because I wanted it to look different than the lighthearted images we had already captured.  Jon nailed it!

Jon-Mong-Lsvl-2021-6-B&W-2Jon-Mong-Lsvl-2021-6-B&W-2 That musical talent on the trumpet is appreciated by all when shared in the Louisville High School Marching Band.  This is yet another example of Jon's level of commitment and talent.  Not to mention, that smile is recognized by everyone lucky enough to have a connection to Jon.

Jon-Mong-Lsvl-2021-5--15Jon-Mong-Lsvl-2021-5--15 Okay..... let's get back to the cool socks.  How fun is this?  Jon has acquired quite the sock collection and we found a fun way to show a little of that here.  I mention we are showing "a little" of that here because this is only a small sampling of the complete collection.  I know it is hard to take your eyes away from Jon's smile, but if you happen to run into him, look down and check out his socks.  

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Jon, I so appreciate you and the fun we had together!  You are most certainly destined for great things and I will be here to cheer you on.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

 

What did Jon have to say about his session?

I chose Laura Esposito Photography because I like the pictures of my friends that I had seen.  She is nice.  She didn't rush the session so I got all the pictures I wanted.  She made me feel comfortable and put me at ease.  My favorite ones were the ones at the end at the Castle.

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) band baseball Class of 2021 Louisville High School photography portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures senior portraits trumpet https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/1/meet-jon-louisville-high-school-class-of-2021 Thu, 21 Jan 2021 15:00:41 GMT
Meet Troy | Southeast High School | Class of 2021 https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/1/meet-troy-southeast-high-school-class-of-2021  

It was a gorgeous sunny day for my portrait session with Troy and I was very excited for this session and excited to meet Troy.  Although Troy and I have both been actively involved with Pegasus Equine Therapy Farm for years, we had never had the opportunity to meet.  Friday is my volunteer day and Troy rides on another day, so this was our first meeting.  Troy’s mom had told me so many great things about Troy prior to our meeting, that I knew we were going to hit it off.

Troy-Roberts-SE HS-2021-8718Troy-Roberts-SE HS-2021 Holding the session at Pegasus was the perfect plan because we got to include Annie in the session.  Annie is such a fabulous horse and she and Troy have quite the connection.  She appreciated the chance to munch on some grass, so she was a willing participant.  I love that we even managed to showcase Troy's love of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with his shirt.  Some other favorites include Toy Story, Shrek and Nemo.  

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Another absolutely fascinating quality about Troy is his ability to complete 1000+ piece jigsaw puzzles.  This framed Noah's Ark puzzle is a beautiful representation of this skill.

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We even managed to catch Troy in action.  You can see that he is totally in the zone while engrossed in this endeavor.  Can you believe that he actually starts from the inside and works his way out to the edges?  No searching for edge pieces first.  It boggles my mind!  And how can you beat that feeling of accomplishment that comes from inserting the final piece?  I was thrilled to share and capture one of those moments.

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Troy's Mom says that he is described as smart, handsome and spoiled.  I had to chuckle at the "spoiled" descriptor, but then I remembered that he has a favorite car.  If I had a yellow Corvette, I think it would be my favorite car, too!  These were some really fun portraits to capture, and Troy was happy to pose for these, indeed.

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Troy has some definite favorite things like going to the Hallmark Store with is mom, or eating at Cal's Restaurant in Garrettsville.  He particularly likes Chicken in the form of legs, tenders or nuggets and pita pizza.  He also loves his dog.  I'm sure Troy gets a lot love back from that sweet face.

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Troy is a busy guy!  In addition to riding Annie at Pegasus, Troy is in the All-Star Training Club for basketball, Challenger Baseball, and SuperKids SoapBox Derby.  After graduating from Southeast High School, Troy will be attending Maplewood for two years where they have a hospitality program.

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It was very obvious to me that Troy is surrounded by a lot of love and has a lot of love to give.  I was so honored that they trusted me with capturing Troy's senior portraits.  Thank you for the opportunity and for the relationship!  You have stolen my heart.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

What did Troy's mom have to say about Laura Esposito Photography?

Laura was recommended to me by someone at Pegasus.  She understands special needs and works with their abilities.  I liked how personal the session was and how she takes her time and makes the best of the situation.  Troy was very comfortable and that made Mom happy.  My favorite portraits were the ones with Annie and his puzzles.  Laura was extremely successful in making the session special.  I was also happy with the extremely fast service.  I couldn't believe how quickly I got to see the proofs and then the finished photos.  Thank you for understanding what I meant by photos and portraits.  It made a difference with Troy and me.  Thank you !!!

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) Class of 2021 Horse Portraits photography portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures senior portraits Special Needs https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2021/1/meet-troy-southeast-high-school-class-of-2021 Wed, 20 Jan 2021 16:00:07 GMT
Five Ways a Quality Headshot Will Help Your Business https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2020/12/five-ways-a-quality-headshot-will-help-your-business Corporate Headshots

In today's digital world, the on-line presence of your business is a necessity.  The quality of that presence certainly contributes to how your business measures up to the competition.  For many entrepreneurs and those offering services, you are your business.  People choose to work with you because of who you are and the experience that you offer.  As the identity of your business, you need a visual presence digitally and in print.  You need a quality professional headshot.

 

Other than the obvious and essential purpose of establishing you as the face of your business, a professional headshot can do so much more to bolster the success of your business.  Obviously, you as a business owner hold the task of bringing the sincerity and integrity of what you offer to your brand.  If you are doing that, then your headshot can support and enhance those efforts in a visual and static medium.

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1.  Set the Tone

Imagine walking into an establishment and receiving a warm greeting with a heartfelt "hello" and a sincere smile.  You are immediately associating positive feelings with that place of business.  Your barriers are starting to crumble and your negative thoughts are dissipating.  You are better prepared to engage in meaningful dialog and begin a relationship.  A purposeful headshot can actually help you to do all of that in a digital or print format.  Let your headshot create that inviting welcome to your business.

 

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2.  Establish Credibility

Once you have set a positive tone, you want to give potential clients more reasons to work with you.  Showing that you can dress the part and hold yourself in a confident and professional manner will go a long way to establishing your credibility.  Then, you can talk the talk and walk the walk.  The mere presence of a professional looking headshot indicates that you take your position seriously and potential clients should take you seriously, too.

 

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2.  Instill Confidence

Although instilling confidence is very similar to establishing credibility, there is a subtle difference.  For a potential client to have confidence in you and your business, you must not only know what you are doing, but you must do it with a level of integrity that makes you worthy of their business.  You must be sincere in order to be trusted, and you must be trusted in order to earn a partnership with your client.

 

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4.  Spark the Memory of a Previous Client

How often we hear, "I can't remember his/her name, but if I saw his/her face...."  Many of us are visual learners and face recognition is a strong memory that our brains retain.  If a client had a good experience working with you in the past, they may want to reach out to you in the future.  Returning clients are the absolute best!  The more information that you can give them to help them find you again, the better.  Help them identify you as the wonderful person who helped solve their problem in the past and the person that they want to call for that same experience.  Seeing your professional headshot will not only serve to identify you, but also trigger a recall of the positive emotions they had while working with you.


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5.  Offer Human Connection

No matter how you serve your clients, making a human connection with them is paramount.  That is probably the grandest understatement for 2020 that can be proclaimed.  When your initial introduction is one sided and through digital or print media, making a human connection is not innate.  A professional headshot can actually initiate that human connection.  A warm smile and clear, bright eye contact can be very inviting.  This is the face that will be in your client's imagination as they are speaking with you on the phone or emailing you to make an inquiry.  Give them a reason to reach out.

So, make the investment in yourself and in your business to create a quality, professional headshot.  Let that headshot work for you in the places where you are not able to be at all times.  Stand behind that headshot with all of the sincerity and integrity that make your clients love you.  The process is easy and I dare say, FUN!  I would love to collaborate with you!

 

Love and Smiles,

Laura

 

 

 

 

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) business corporate headshots entrepreneur headshot photographer headshot photography headshots photography professional professional headshot professional photographer https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2020/12/five-ways-a-quality-headshot-will-help-your-business Tue, 15 Dec 2020 16:11:04 GMT
Meet Noah | Pickerington High School Central | Class of 2020 https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2020/6/meet-noah-pickerington-high-school-central-class-of-2020 I am so happy to feature Noah on the blog.  Noah is part of the graduating class of 2020 from Pickerington High School Central.  Along with the rest of the class of 2020, Noah did not have a normal end to his high school career.  As a matter of fact, we had to change his portrait session date several times in order to follow the ever changing conditions with both COVID-19 and the weather.  It was certainly worth the wait!!!  

Untitled-4Noah As you can see above, we had a fabulous start to our session.  Noah dedicated much of his high school career to band and it was important for us to be able to feature that.  I am so thankful that his mom was able to ensure that he had access to his uniform.  I have worked with enough band students through the years to appreciate the dedication that both students and parents give to the band program in order to ensure its success.  Noah's love of music and willingness to serve extends to his church community where he is part of the Youth Praise Band and the Adult Praise Band.

Untitled-5Noah As we settled into the next segment of our session together, I was moved by how Noah is such a perfect combination of his parents.  You see, Noah's mom, Kelly, is a dear friend of mine with a friendship that goes back to freshman year in High School, extends through our wedding days when we stood up for each other, and continues today despite our geographic distance.  All of the intelligence, empathy, kindness, and fun that I found in my friend, I also find in her son.  

Untitled-6Noah Noah is among many graduating seniors who aspire to become an official Ohio State Buckeye and that dream is coming true.  Noah plans to major in Psychology, and I have a feeling that music will continue to be part of his repertoire.  He certainly wears the scarlet and gray well.

Untitled-7Noah Of course we had to showcase the sophisticated side of Noah.  Can this young man wear a suit, or what?  Noah's friends would describe him as caring, well thought out, and friendly.  This suit says to add handsome and professional to that list.  I knew that this gated garden area of Inniswood Metro Garden in Westerville would be the perfect setting for these stunning portraits.  Noah was kind enough to let me gush as I was taking them.  

Untitled-8Noah We finished our session with some great parting shots in this inspiring setting.  Right now, Noah enjoys video games, playing music and spending time with friends.  He likes eating steak, burritos and pizza.  Some favorite movies include Star Wars and Indiana Jones, while his music interests include Crowder and for King and Country.  The beauty of this stage in life is that no one truly knows what the future holds for Noah.  There is every reason to believe that his future is going to be pretty fabulous, and his influence will create a positive landscape wherever he lands.  

It was my sincere pleasure to get to work with you, Noah.  I'm so happy that your mom will keep me informed about all that you are doing.  I will certainly be cheering for you!

Love and Smiles,

Laura

 

*What did Noah have to say about his portrait session with Laura Esposito Photography?

I liked that my portrait session was a good time and actually went quickly.  Some of my favorite photos were the ones in my band uniform and the ones with the suit jacket.  

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) band Class of 2020 photography Pickerington High School Central portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior photography senior pictures senior portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2020/6/meet-noah-pickerington-high-school-central-class-of-2020 Tue, 30 Jun 2020 19:08:39 GMT
Meet Nathan | Class of 2020 | Louisville High School https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2020/5/meet-nathan-class-of-2020-louisville-high-school    

Nathan

     It is my distinct pleasure to introduce Nathan, a senior in the Class of 2020 at Louisville High School.  Nathan's interest and future commitment to aeronautics made our location choice obvious.  We are so fortunate to have the MAPS Air Museum nearby and it served as the perfect backdrop for the start of our portrait session.  Nathan plans to attend Kent State University to pursue a degree in Aeronautics and Engineering, Flight Technology in order to support his intended career as a pilot.  Let's just say that the smiles came very naturally in this environment.  We were both inspired by this setting and its energy propelled us into a very productive and exciting portrait session.       

Nathan

     Friends would describe Nathan as being a funny and loyal friend.  Other adults who work with Nathan would agree with that, but would add a sense of admiration for his quiet confidence that comes from a sincere heart.  Nathan has an unusual level of maturity that makes him acutely aware of his impact on everyone around him, and seeks to make that impact as positive as it can be.

Nathan      As most seniors can attest, Nathan has come a long way.  I love the nostalgia that can be appreciated in the first portrait above.  His proud mom holds all of this close to her heart and she still sees that little guy in the eyes of this handsome young man that we see today.

Nathan

     As I mentioned before, Nathan has a commitment to leave his mark in a positive way.  He has participated in church youth mission trips and volunteered in community organizations.  His work in Boy Scouts led to his achievement of the Eagle Scout Award.  The ticket booth that you see above is the much-appreciated fruit of that effort.

Nathan

     Every player who dons the blue and white to take the field under the Friday night lights understands the long and rich tradition that is Louisville Leopard football.  Nathan even included that sense of tradition by including a portrait from his very first experience as a Little Leopard football player.  Once again, he has come so far.  

Nathan

     Any true Louisville Leopard feels a responsibility as a team member to give 100% and that often means digging deeper than you ever thought you could.  Nathan takes that to heart through commitment, teamwork, and sacrifice.  That is what we were trying to portray in the portrait series above.  We even used some "sweat in a bottle" to pull this off.  Our setting was a fully-lit locker room, but some magic with lighting can create a much moodier feel.

Nathan

     Hanohano.....  that is the Hawaiian word for "honor" and seems to be a fitting word to wrap up our feature on Nathan.  Nathan's heritage is Hawiian and the concept of "honor" works both ways for him.  I see Nathan honor traditions, other people, and the desire to leave his mark in a positive way.  I also see Nathan being deserving of honor, and I hope that is what I was able to accomplish here in his blog feature.

     Nathan's well-rounded interests include camping, space science, computer science and Legos..... because you are never too old for Legos.  He enjoys adventure and comedy movies and likes the author Michael Vey.  Some favorites on YouTube include Generation Tech, Linus Tech, NileRed, and Peterstripol.  In addition to football, Nathan was also a valuable member of the track team.

     Nathan, you are such a gift to all of us and I wish you the best.  

Love and Smiles,

Laura

 

*What did Nathan have to say about his Senior Portrait Experience?

I chose Laura Esposito Photography because she was an awesome teacher.  I thought the fake sweat was cool!  Some of my favorite portraits are from the MAPS Air Museum.  I absolutely enjoyed going to MAPS and being able to take pictures in our team locker room and on the field was fun.  It surprised me that Laura was able to make me look good in the pictures.  I would send my friends to Laura because she helped me feel very comfortable during the photo session.

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) airplane portraits Class of 2020 high school football louisville high school photography portrait session portraits professional photographer senior photography senior pictures senior portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2020/5/meet-nathan-class-of-2020-louisville-high-school Mon, 18 May 2020 19:38:24 GMT
Graduation Announcements for the Class of 2020: Honoring your senior during a pandemic https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2020/4/graduation-announcements-for-the-class-of-2020-honoring-your-senior-during-a-pandemic As if navigating your high school senior's graduation year isn't difficult enough, now you have to make all of this happen in the presence of COVID-19.  Well, pandemic or not, your high school senior is graduating and they deserve to be acknowledged and honored.  Let's explore some options and see how we might share that information in a beautiful graduation announcement.  

At this time, many high schools have announced their alternative to a typical graduation ceremony.  Since it would not be wise to pack a venue with hundreds of people, high schools are creating virtual graduations.  Thanks to the power of the internet, family and friends may "attend" the ceremony from their homes.  This information can be shared on the announcement. 

 

Option 1:  Carry on... but with a fairly late graduation party planned.

We have come to expect that today's environment requires us to be flexible.  It is so difficult to predict what sort of restrictions or recommendations we might be advised to follow at any given time.  Some families have decided to continue with party plans, but to push that party date out to a later time.  This announcement can have the more traditional wording as seen below.

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Option 2:  Push the celebration out even farther as a send-off party.

Perhaps, you want to have the party, but you want to push that party date out as far as you can.  Then, the party can be more of a "send-off" as it is so close to when the senior may be moving on to their post-graduation plans.  Then, your announcement approach could look like the example below.

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Option 3:  Celebrate with a virtual party on line.

One thing that has come from our experience as we make accommodations during this time is our ingenuity.  I am amazed at what can be accomplished through the various on-line platforms.  Maybe your family would prefer some sort of on-line celebration.  This could be particularly helpful if many of your family and friends are not geographically close.  If that is the route you choose to follow, your announcement could be worded as you see below.

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Option 4:  Alert your family and friends that the party information will be coming at a later date.

As we already mentioned, the restrictions and recommendations for how we conduct ourselves is ever-changing.  You may not feel that you have enough information at this time to officially plan a party, but you do not want to commit to having no party.  It would be perfectly acceptable to honor your high school senior by sending an announcement that indicates that the information regarding a celebration will coming in the future.  This way, you are sending an announcement at the appropriate time to acknowledge your senior's milestone, and you are informing family and friends that the party plans have not been finalized.  The reality is that all of us are living with so much uncertainty, everyone will be understanding and willing to accommodate.  Your announcement could indicate that as shown below.

Untitled-199Untitled-199

 

Option 5:  Forego having a gathering, but still honor your high school senior's accomplishment.

A final option to consider with absolutely no shame is to forego a party altogether.  If you and your senior feel that the stress and uncertainty surrounding an actual party is simply not worth the effort, then, by all means, do not have a party.  The absence of a party does not mean that your senior is not worthy of recognition and honor.  I can't imagine that anyone would question that decision in our current situation.  Tasteful wording for such an approach can be seen below.

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I sincerely hope that whatever approach is best for your situation, that you can follow that path with confidence and peace in your heart.  Your family and friends will want to show your senior just how special they are, so do send an announcement to let them know how that can happen.  This is the time for understanding, flexibility, innovation, and kindness.  I am so incredibly proud of all of my Seniors in the Class of 2020.  I hope that I can continue to honor you and your accomplishments.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

*Please note that any information that has been included on these sample graduation announcements is not accurate.  I fabricated the information for the purpose of providing an example.  If anyone knows where Happy Street is located, let me know.  I think we should all move there.  :-)

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) Class of 2020 graduation announcements photography portraits professional professional photographer senior photography senior pictures senior portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2020/4/graduation-announcements-for-the-class-of-2020-honoring-your-senior-during-a-pandemic Sun, 26 Apr 2020 17:10:15 GMT
COVID-19 as the Disruptive Classmate: How our high school seniors have been affected https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2020/4/covid-19-as-the-disruptive-classmate-how-our-high-school-seniors-have-been-affected 58D18035-A226-4405-BB2B-4DD0D8F8C571_1_201_a58D18035-A226-4405-BB2B-4DD0D8F8C571_1_201_a

My daily walk has become quite a highlight for me as it is one activity that I can safely leave the house to enjoy.  The other day, I rounded the corner and caught sight of the spirit rock that is part of the landscape of our neighborhood high school.  The sight actually caused me to catch my breath as its latest layer of paint is in reference to COVID-19.  

Andrew Marissa Peyton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don't get me wrong, the reference to the refreshing Mexican brew is not lost on me, but the idea that the evil monster that is this pandemic should take over as the focus of the school community is heartbreaking.  That rock is supposed to be highlighting all of the aspirations and achievements of the students, not the culprit that pillaged their school year.
 

Haley Quinten Tapanga

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then it occurred to me.  That virus, whether it has ever physically existed in the building or not, is a palpable presence calling attention to itself, much like a disruptive student in the classroom.  As a former teacher, I have had many experiences with these types of students.  The "corona student" is the one who absolutely must be the center of attention, even if that means the rest of the class is miserable.  We can all remember that "corona student" or maybe we were the "corona student."  The one who keeps everyone else in for recess... The one who causes silent lunch periods... The one who prevents the class from getting to go outside on the first warm day of spring... The one who requires social distancing... The one who prevents hanging out with friends...  The one who shut down the restaurants and movie theaters...  The one who ended all sporting events...  The one who cancelled the spring musical...  The one who ruined prom...  The one who prevented any study abroad or mission trips...  The one who interfered with graduation...  The one who prevented college visits...  The one who placed an internet connection between the teacher and student...  The one who put our families in financial strife...  The one who put first responders and health care workers in harms way...  The one who put fear in our hearts and tears of disappointment in our eyes.  That is the "corona student" and it is the most REAL part of the 2019-2020 school year.
 

Andrew Madison Carter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, it is here.  Now what?

Well, like any disruptive student, you find a way to make the best of it, and even generate something positive.  I must admit that most of the disruptive students I have encountered have held a special place in my heart.  There is always an underlying reason for a behavior.  Once we could establish a team approach, we could make progress and work toward a common goal.  

Brooke Cole Lia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hmmmm..... isn't that what we are doing here, in Ohio?   We are experiencing a team approach of epic proportions, one that is a matter of life or death for many.  We are being asked to make sacrifices for a greater good.  We are shifting our focus from a self-centered, intrinsic view to one of community.  We are practicing empathy and appreciating our interconnectedness like we have never done before.  Could this disruptive "corona student" be teaching us some lessons that our students may have never fully grasped within the confines of a school setting?
 

Nathan Elizabeth Avery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I look so often at the portraits of my amazing seniors in the class of 2020, I feel sadness for them.  I feel sadness because my thoughts immediately go to all that they are missing as their coveted senior year has been so rudely interrupted.  But then I look deeper and I let my memory take me back to the time I got to spend with them during their Senior Portrait Experiences.  Each one touched me and gave me such hope for the future.  These are brilliant, talented, caring, motivated, innovative, and resilient individuals.  They are not going to let this experience scar them.  They are going to take its lessons and employ them to create a world that is kinder, more sustainable, healthier, more prepared, and collaborative.  They will forever be marked with this pandemic, but hopefully in a constructive manner that allows them to more fully discern their priorities and beliefs.  This doesn't have to have a tragic ending.  There can be a silver lining, and if ever there has been a group of individuals up for the task, it is most certainly the seniors in the class of 2020.
 

Destini Brooke Emma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I ask you to please keep these deserving seniors in your thoughts and prayers as they attempt to navigate a very unusual transition from high school into their next endeavors.  Seniors, remember that we are all cheering for you and will not forget your sacrifices.  You make us proud.

 

Love and Smiles,

Laura

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) Class of 2020 coronavirus COVID-19 photography portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior photography senior pictures senior portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2020/4/covid-19-as-the-disruptive-classmate-how-our-high-school-seniors-have-been-affected Fri, 17 Apr 2020 10:58:06 GMT
Our Need for Social Connection: Why your portraits are even more valuable right now https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2020/3/the-need-for-social-connection-why-your-portraits-are-even-more-valuable-right-now Do you need a hug right now?  I would give anything to be able to hug my daughter, parents, siblings, friends... basically everyone I love who is not living in my house right now.  That need for social connection is inherent in all of us.  When we are not able to make those connections in a physical sense, we need to find other avenues that can help us to feel close.  Often, pictures come to our rescue as a tangible tool that can take us back to that time when we were together.  They can invoke the emotional connection that we feel and create a sense of their presence. 

During this time of crisis, I have opened myself up to new sources of information and resources.  Watching Governor DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton give their briefings have become a daily ritual and my podcast library has doubled.  While expanding my horizons, I have embraced some valuable lessons from Gretchen Rubin.  In case you are not familiar, Gretchen Rubin is an accomplished author, speaker, blogger, podcaster and explorer of human nature.  One of her most recognized books is The Happiness Project.  

One of Gretchen's blog posts that particularly intrigued me was from January 16, 2013, long before our world was disrupted by COVID-19.  The title of the entry is 7 Reasons Why Photographs Can Boost Your Happiness and I am struck by how applicable her perspective is on today's situation.  Her blog post is linked to the title, and I think it is worth your time to read.

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So, it isn't surprising that in the midst of a task, I find myself taking a mental vacation to scroll through some of my favorite portraits.  I can use my Photo Moments app on my phone or visit my website on my laptop and allow those faces that I love so much to fill my vision and warm my heart.  I find myself breathing a little slower and smiling a little brighter.

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I do not intend to restate Gretchen's astute observations as I could never explain the connection of photographs to happiness as well as she does.  However, I will remind you that your own gallery on my website is still there for you to share and enjoy.  The Photo Moments App is available to you, and if you would like for me to resend you your customized link, just let me know.  If you need to find your gallery on my website, just find the search bar in the footer of my website and search for your gallery name.  

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I encourage you to use your app to share your beautiful images with family and friends as they will surely gain happiness from your kind effort.  If you desire to use full resolution digital forms of your images for digital scrapbooking, as a screen saver or desktop picture, or to print them on your own, you can purchase a print license release at any time.  This gives you the legal right to use your images in these ways and makes them downloadable from your gallery.  Just let me know and we can make that happen remotely.

As much as I wish I could take away the threat of COVID-19, I can offer my love and support to all of you.  I am happy to help you connect with your loved ones through your images.  I hope that you take advantage of the joy that they can bring and appreciate how their value has so greatly increased. 

Take care of each other and stay healthy.  I can't wait for the opportunity to work with all of you again.

Putting the people you love in portraits to preserve your priceless memories.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

 

 

 

 

 

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) connecting through pictures COVID-19 family pictures family portraits happiness photography pictures portrait portrait session portraits professional photographer social connection social distancing https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2020/3/the-need-for-social-connection-why-your-portraits-are-even-more-valuable-right-now Tue, 31 Mar 2020 18:45:32 GMT
Meet Cole | Class of 2020 | Marlington High School https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2020/2/meet-cole-class-of-2020-marlington-high-school       My senior portrait session with Cole was my first opportunity to meet him, but the impression was lasting.  I will be revealing the how and why as I get to tell you all about Cole who is a senior in the class of 2020 at Marlington High School.  I had the pleasure of meeting Cole with is parents and sister in the parking lot of the University of Mount Union Visitor's Center.  With his piercing blue eyes, tall stature, and great sense of style, I knew I was in for a successful session.  

      One thing that I sensed immediately from Cole was his confidence.  I got the feeling that even if he wan't entirely sure about a situation, you would never sense his apprehension.  That sort of "cool as a cucumber" aura was what I was after from the start because that comes through so powerfully in a portrait.  He proved to be a pro at this as you can see from our first portraits shown below.

Cole | Class of 2020

       Since Cole had such a great selection of clothes on hand, we wanted to be sure to include them all, so we stopped for a quick change.  He wears this refined casual look so well.  Oh, those eyes!  I get the sense that they don't miss a thing.  I feel like Cole is constantly taking in his surroundings and assessing every detail.  I think his perceptive nature will serve him well as he intends to pursue a degree in electrical engineering at Akron University.

Cole | Class of 2020

      We decided we needed a new look so a change in location was necessary.  The backdrop for the portraits below is an absolute favorite of mine and we managed to use it while the angle of light was just perfect.  I can tell that Cole has two very different sides.  I see the side that knows how to have fun and can make it contagious.  I also see the side that is all business and determined to achieve a goal.  I could catch both of those personas simply by adding that winning smile.  

Cole | Class of 2020

      Cole's wardrobe was fabulous, especially since he looks so good in blue.  The next shirt was the one I was most excited about.  I wanted to take full advantage of the trendiness of this shirt, so we used the locations that you see below.  Cole has a way of looking so with it and together but appears to achieve that with absolutely no effort.  

      Our next location was the Marlington soccer field.  This is when it really started to get fun.  Just slipping into the jersey caused Cole's energy level to skyrocket.    I was immediately drawn in to the excitement that Cole brings to the sport and to his portraits.

Cole | Class of 2020

      Cole is not one to sit still if there is a soccer ball around.  The action is where it's at, and we used the magic of flash to freeze some pretty spectacular motion.  If I hadn't been so focused on my camera and capturing the shot, I would have been lifting my jaw from the ground.  Where I see probable bodily injury and pain, Cole sees opportunity and challenge.  His lack of fear is what has allowed him to master these moves and the sport.

Cole | Class of 2020

      Cole's gallery would just not be complete without a powerful composite to fully represent Cole.  Here we have that relaxed confidence paired with the explosive skill that defines Cole.  It really was a treat for me to showcase Cole and all that makes him uniquely Cole.

Cole | Class of 2020

      Cole enjoys hanging out with friends who would describe him as easy to get along with.  He likes Marvel movies and eating steak.  I feel that he is destined for success at Akron University in electrical engineering because he certainly has what it takes.  I will be anxious to join his cheering section as he makes his mark.

 

*What did Cole have to say about his portrait session with Laura Esposito Photography?

"I chose Laura Esposito Photography because she was local and I liked the pictures that she had done for others.  Laura was easy to work with and put everyone at ease.  My favorite portraits were the ones in front of the door on the steps at Mount Union and the composite with my soccer picture.  Laura was great and we even referred her to my friend who used her, too."

 

Preserving memories one portrait at a time.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) baseball Marlington High School photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures senior portraits soccer https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2020/2/meet-cole-class-of-2020-marlington-high-school Fri, 14 Feb 2020 14:56:34 GMT
Meet Madison | Class of 2020 | Louisville High School https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2020/2/meet-madison-class-of-2020-louisville-high-school       I am honored to get to introduce Madison, who also goes my Maddie. She is a very active senior in the class of 2020 at Louisville High School.  One important thing to understand about Madison is that if you are lucky enough to spend some time with her, you will be happy just because she is there.  She kind of has this sphere of positivity that she brings with her and you can't help but to feel lifted in her presence.  

      Needless to say, when Madison and her family met me in the parking lot of the Canton Garden Center that evening, all of that contagious pleasantness launched us into a fabulous portrait session.  As we inventoried Madison's outfits that she had brought with her, I was reassured that we were definitely at the perfect location.  Her first outfit with its great flowing sleeves and ethereal fabric was ideal for the glorious light that filters through the trees at the location that you see below.  This warm backlighting accentuated her already glowing smile.

Madison | Class of 2020

      I was really excited for our next outfit because Madison had the genius idea to bring a floppy hat.  You know I was all about that hat, and we sure had some fun with it.  Madison said that these were among her favorite portraits, and I absolutely agree!  She looked positively enchanting as we placed her among the flowers.

Madison | Class of 2020

      Madison is a whole lot more than beauty and charm.  She is one accomplished young lady.  She plays lacrosse, and is active in the Jo's Girls mentoring group, Key Club and National Honor Society.  She even has the distinction of being an Aultman Ambassador.  All of that happens while maintaining high performance in her rigorous coursework.  All of that success comes from a certain level of maturity and polish that really comes through in the portraits below.  

Madison | Class of 2020

      With all of the effort that is required to be so accomplished, Madison still has time to foster great friendships.  She enjoys the time that she gets to hang out with family and friends on the weekend.  These friends would describe Madison as loving, patient, responsible and caring.  No wonder she is so revered among her peers.

Madison | Class of 2020

      As the evening and the session were drawing to a close, we wanted to change it up a bit.  This called for a move up to the McKinley Monument and a little trendier outfit.  I love the chunky heels with these jeans.  I wanted to find a way to show the fierce side of Madison and I think the shot at the top of these steps is quite powerful.  As much as we have established that Madison is as sweet as can be, she is also incredibly driven.  She plans to attend John Carroll University where she will major in biochemistry on a pre-medicine path.  Talk about rigor and competition!  There is no doubt that she has what it takes.  

Madison | Class of 2020

      As one would expect from such a well-rounded lady, Madison enjoys reading.  One of her favorites is The Great Gatsby.  John Green is one of her favorite authors.  She likes Chinese food and shopping at American Eagle and Madewell.  She enjoys time with family as I had the privilege to witness.  It was so nice that her whole family, including her two younger sisters, were able to join in the session.  They were so fun and supportive as they helped her with outfits and accessories.  Madison has a whole team of advocates cheering her on.  I am certainly among that group.  

      Madison, you are an absolute pleasure and inspiration.  You are destined for great things and I am so thankful that you chose me to capture your beautiful senior portraits.

 

*What did Madison have to say about her senior portrait session with Laura Esposito Photography?

"I chose Laura Esposito Photography because I had seen some of your photos from last year's seniors and I thought you did an amazing job!  I loved how encouraging you were during the whole session and made the environment very comfortable and fun!  I really like the pictures surrounding the pink flowers and the pictures of me in the pink shirt.  I think that everything you did was great and made the session perfect.  You did a great job with my photos and made the session so much fun!

 

Preserving memories one portrait at a time.

Love and Smiles,

Laura 

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) Class of 2020 Louisville High School photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures senior portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2020/2/meet-madison-class-of-2020-louisville-high-school Thu, 13 Feb 2020 12:30:51 GMT
Meet Destini | Class of 2020 | Louisville High School https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2020/2/meet-destini-class-of-2020-louisville-high-school       It is such a treat for me to feature Destini who is a Senior in the Class of 2020 at Louisville High School.  I wear a continuous smile as I write about Destini because the time I got to spend with her and her parents was both heartwarming and energizing.  Destini is one of those girls who has absolutely no idea how gorgeous she really is.  She probably thought I was crazy as I was gasping at every image we captured.  As I share our experience and her portraits, you will recognize the source of my excitement.

      We met one lovely Monday evening at Gervasi Vineyard in Canton where I was met with a warm greeting by all.  We discussed all of Destini's fabulous wardrobe options and I made a plan for locations for each outfit.  We identified our goals and priorities for the session and got down to business.  I could sense a little apprehension from Destini as we got started.  Remember, she isn't aware of her level of "stunning."  Just being the sole subject in front of the camera can be a little unnerving.  All it took was a few shots to get warmed up and a few reassuring peeks at the back of the camera to see that confidence come to the surface and shine.  

Destini | Class of 2020

      It was so easy to just keep capturing one amazing portrait after another.   We had to remind ourselves to take time to change into the next outfit.  I was so anxious for this next outfit because I had decided that we would use the area around the pavilion as our setting.  The sun was at the perfect angle for the soft light I was after and the results did not disappoint.  I loved the effortless elegance we were able to achieve with these portraits.  Destini is flawless... and ohhhh... those gorgeous eyes!

      Again, it was hard to tear ourselves away from this spot, but thankfully we moved on to the next set of portraits.  In this outfit, we found a flirty and feminine look that seemed so fitting for Destini.  This is such a great color on her.  We almost didn't use this outfit, but when I started thinking about the backgrounds we wanted to use, I knew it would be perfect.

Destini | Class of 2020

      It was time for a really fun and playful look so we embraced some bright color and Converse.  I was all about the bold pop of yellow and Destini as all about the shoes.  So, we took full advantage of both by choosing these perfect settings to highlight these elements.  I love that she looks so comfortable in this outfit.

Destini | Class of 2020

      We really switched gears as we moved on to something a little more formal and fancy.  This dress is such a lovely complement to Destini's natural beauty.  She wears the dress; it doesn't wear her.  My favorite part is that we opted for the barefoot look which was the perfect way to keep it true to Destini's personality and style.  Adding your own personal touches and breaking the rules to fit your style is key to creating portraits that are perfectly YOU.

Destini | Class of 2020

      So we have established that Destini is simply beautiful with absolutely no pretense.  She is fun and feminine and elegant.  But, make no mistake, she has a fierce and competitive side.  Soccer is one of her passions and we captured some of that here.  

Destini | Class of 2020

      Destini's athleticism isn't isolated to the soccer field.  Years of dedication and training have led to the success she has found in gymnastics.  We were fortunate enough to be granted some time in the YMCA to use their equipment for her portraits.  As you can imagine, the background was quite busy, so we used the magic of flash to eliminate that clutter and keep the focus on Destini and her passion for the sport.  Gymnastics is incredibly physical in every sense, but it requires enduring mental strength.  That is the part that I wanted to capture in these first few images.

Destini | Class of 2020

      Beyond the physical and mental demands of gymnastics, there is a flair and finesse that sets one gymnast apart from another.  This becomes the personality of the gymnast.  Destini as all of that and more which defines her as a gymnast.  She has the hardware to prove it.

Destini | Class of 2020

      In addition to soccer and gymnastics, Destini is involved in high school track, National Honor Society and Key Club.  She likes doing things outdoors such as hiking, running and bike riding.  She enjoys watching Netflix and Grey's Anatomy, as well as spending time with her friends who would describe her as funny, energetic, outgoing and caring.   She likes eating at Olive Garden and shopping at American Eagle, Hollister, and Dick's Sporting Goods.  Her plans include attending college in order to study pediatric or neonatal nursing.  

      Whatever Destini decides to do, you can be that she will do it with determination and grace.  Destini, you have brightened my days and capturing you in portraits has been such a treat.  I can't wait to see how you share your talents.

 

*What did Destini have to say about her portrait session?

"I chose Laura Esposito Photography because some of my friends had gotten their pictures done here and I liked how theirs turned out.  I liked the flexibility of the session and how I was able to make it to the different locations that I wanted to.  The sports portraits were my favorite."

 

Preserving memories one portrait at a time.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

 

 

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) class of 2020 gymnastics Louisville High School photography portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures senior portraits soccer https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2020/2/meet-destini-class-of-2020-louisville-high-school Wed, 12 Feb 2020 00:49:12 GMT
Meet Quinten | Class of 2020 | Marlington High School https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2020/2/meet-quinten-class-of-2020-marlington-high-school       Allow me to introduce Quinten, a Senior in the Class of 2020 at Marlington High School.  Quinten, who also goes by "Q," captured my heart from the minute he stepped out of the car.  We met at Silver Park in Alliance and started by checking out his great wardrobe choices to make a plan.  We set out with a casual rugged look that was perfect in various park settings.  It was when I started working with Quinten on posing and he flashed me that winning smile that I knew I was in for a fabulous evening!

Quinten | Class of 2020

      After a lot of gushing and some amazing portraits captured, we decided to move on to the campus of Mount Union where I had some specific locations in mind for the next look which was a little trendier.  Of course Quinten, his mom, and I are chatting the whole time and I came to learn the significance of Quinten's tattoo.  Ever since Quinten was a little guy, his mom would always tell him that she "loved him to the moon and back."  As a tribute to this unconditional love between mother and son, Mom has "I love you" on her arm and Quinten's arm finishes the sentiment.  Of course we are going to make that part of Quinten's portrait story!  I felt that Mom really needed to be part of it, too.  The picture of them both is one that will be especially treasured.  

Quinten | Class of 2020

     As you can see, Quinten could truly be a model for Hollister.  But, beyond his great sense of style and fabulous hair, it is his eyes that are so captivating.  Whether they are sparkling paired with a smile or serious and introspective, there is a depth there that reveals just how amazing this guy really is.  There was a point in the evening when we realized that we had lost something amidst the shuffle from one location to another.  At this point, it had gotten dark which made our search a bit of a challenge.  It was Quinten who saved the day.  He sprung into action and put his athleticism to work as he literally ran the entire campus to retrieve the missing piece.  It wasn't just his immediate willingness to create a solution that impressed me so much... or even the fact that he sprinted the entire campus and without breaking a sweat... it was how he did it.  I saw him become the adult in the situation.  He offered reassurance, a sense of calm confidence, and a sense of responsibility that he was going to make sure everything was okay.  My heart became even softer for this guy.

Quinten | Class of 2020

      I may be emphasizing some of the endearing softer characteristics about Quinten, but make no mistake... there is a fierce side.  Just add a soccer ball and it is all business.  That is the side that we had so much fun capturing with the magic of additive light.  And just look at that sky!  God was helping us out and creating a perfect backdrop for us.  Quinten and I agree that these are among our favorites!

Quinten | Class of 2020

      We had decided ahead of time that we wanted to create a composite to show two sides of Quinten: the casual and trendy guy whose friends describe as funny, outspoken, and creative, as well as the fierce athlete who is dedicated to his sport.  We accomplished that with the portrait you see below.  I just love making these and creating the impact of being larger than life.  We also used some fancy lighting techniques to create his contemplative portrait in his warm-up gear.  His mom wanted this look since this is how she sees him coming and going on a daily basis.  That is certainly the goal.  Yes, we want the portraits that create impact and make you say, "WOW," but we also want the portraits that allow Mom and Dad to say, "Now, that's my son."

Quinten | Class of 2020

      Without a doubt, Quinten's portrait session was an absolute pleasure for me.  I loved my time with Quinten and his mom, and his portraits turned out fabulous.  In addition to playing soccer year round, Quinten enjoys running 5Ks, hanging out with friends, hunting and fishing.  No wonder we get along so well.  His food choices would include Chick-fil-A, Red Robin and pizza.  As you can see, he likes Hollister and wears it so well.  You can add Abercrombie and Fitch and Nike to that list.  At the time of our session, Quinten had not yet chosen a college, but has interest in architecture and biology.  Of course, he would like to be playing soccer in college.  

      Quinten, you really do have it all and the sky is the limit for you.  I will be cheering you on no matter where life leads you.  Thank you for allowing me to capture this very special time in your life.

 

*What did Quinten have to say about his portrait session?

I chose Laura Esposito Photography because my friend Cole had his done with her and his mom really liked her.  I didn't realize how fun it can be to take photos.  I like the first ones we did at Silver Park and the soccer pics at Mount Union the best.  I was surprised that I was so comfortable getting my picture taken.  I wouldn't change anything at all.  I enjoyed it a lot and thank you so much.

 

Preserving memories one portrait at a time.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) Class of 2020 High School Soccer Marlington High School Marlington Senior photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures senior portraits soccer https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2020/2/meet-quinten-class-of-2020-marlington-high-school Fri, 07 Feb 2020 12:52:40 GMT
Meet Brooke | Class of 2020 | Louisville High School https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2020/2/meet-brooke-class-of-2020-louisville-high-school      I am so honored to take this opportunity to gush on this beautiful and talented bundle of positivity.  Brooke is part of the graduating class of 2020 from Louisville High School where she shares her talents in the "Pride of Louisville" marching band.  I was anxiously anticipating our portrait session together because I have fond memories of watching Brooke perform with the Powell Dance and Singing Center where my own daughter performed many years ago.  The Brooke that I met at the stadium was a lovely matured version of the little girl that I remembered, but still with that spark in her eye and quiet confidence that I so love.  Starting our session at the stadium allowed us to use the iconic band bus as the perfect backdrop.

Brooke | Class of 2020

      Our next stop was Quail Hollow Park in beautiful Hartville where we found the ideal settings for the rest of the session.  After looking at the great outfits Brooke chose to bring, we made a plan for locations and line-up and got down to business.  This soft and stylish vest was the perfect color to complement Brooke's glowing skin tones.  The trail through the woods created the ideal backdrop to show off Brooke's radiance.

Brooke | Class of 2020

      We had hit the point in the evening when I recognized that the sun was in the ideal position to bring this field to life.  In discussing her session, I learned that Brooke had a vision for using a field for some calm and carefree portraits.  She even brought the perfect outfit.  We certainly achieved our goal!  These are some of Brooke's favorite portraits.  There are so many other breathtaking images from this setting in her gallery.

Brooke | Class of 2020

      Next segment...... the guitar.  I immediately understood the value of this guitar as Brooke reverently removed it from the case.  This was a very special gift from her parents and, rightfully, a prized possession.  But, it was more than the uniqueness and craftsmanship in this guitar.  Its value really lies in what it allows Brooke to do and where it can take her.  Music has always been a big part of Brooke's life, and she intends to keep it that way.  She is even considering a career in music therapy.  Ultimately, these portraits reveal so much about Brooke and her story would never be complete without them.

Brooke | Class of 2020

      What can be said about a girl and her dog?  A whole lot if you look at these portraits.  Oh, the connection these two have!  Brooke's cousin was so incredibly kind to bring her furry friend near the end of our session so that he could be part of the experience.  Brookes smile became more exuberant and the fun meter went through the w(r)oof.  These are priceless!

Brooke | Class of 2020

      At this point, we were losing daylight, but had one more outfit that we wanted to include.  We actually used the changing light to create some drama and a different feel with the magic of added light.  I think that it actually enhances our ability to show Brooke's focused and professional side.

Brooke | Class of 2020

      It is obvious that we captured a wide variety of beautiful portraits to tell Brooke's story, and we had so much fun in the process.  In addition to being part of the Powell Dance and Singing Center and in the color guard, Brooke shares her talents in the prestigious group of Varsity Singers.  As we know, she loves music and the guitar, but also likes reading (especially mysteries) and watching drama or comedy movies.  She enjoys hanging out with friends and relaxing, too.  Those friends would describe Brooke as loyal, trustworthy and even a little quirky, which is why they love her.  To round out her interests, we have to include punk rock and gamers on Youtube.  If she is going out, she would enjoy Steak n Shake or someplace with pasta.  A stop at Hot Topic or Hollister would be much enjoyed, as well.

      Brooke, you know it was my pleasure to tell your story in portraits.  I hope you remember how much fun we had and how much you inspired me to create your gorgeous images.  You have an incredibly bright future and I can't wait to watch it unfold.

 

*What did Brooke have to say about her portrait session?

I chose Laura Esposito Photography because I liked the way others' photos turned out and I knew her daughter.  I liked that she was super nice, accommodating, and made it about my senior experience.  I really loved the pictures of the dress in the field.  I was surprised at how fast the time went by.

 

Preserving memories one portrait at a time.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) Class of 2020 Louisville High School photography portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior photography senior pictures senior portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2020/2/meet-brooke-class-of-2020-louisville-high-school Thu, 06 Feb 2020 15:03:05 GMT
Preparing for Your Family Portrait Session: Choosing Wardrobe Colors https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2019/11/preparing-for-your-family-portrait-session-choosing-wardrobe-colors Preparing for your family's portrait session involves making many decisions, and choosing the colors of your family's wardrobe is certainly an important detail.  The goal of this blog post is to help you make purposeful preparations that will result in portraits you truly love.  

Color Palettes

Choosing a Color Palette

Use the following considerations to help narrow down your options.

1.  Are there certain colors that you feel compliment your hair, skin and eyes?  These can help you look your best.
2.  Where might these portraits be displayed?  If you intend to hang this portrait in a specific room, then avoid colors that would clash with the color scheme of that room.  Also, consider if this room is formal or casual, as that should be reflected in the wardrobe, as well.
3.  Do you want these portraits to represent this time of year?  
4.  Avoid all black or all white.  The absence of color is not complementary to skin tones.
5.  Choose a color palette that will allow you to coordinate everyone in the portrait.  You don't want to be matchy-matchy, but the colors should blend nicely together.  Avoid having too many patterns that will compete.  
6.  I think it is fun to have a pop of color.  For example, grays and blues become more interesting with a pop of yellow or red.  Consider shades of blue and tan with a pop of coral or pink.  Maybe you would like shades of tan and green with a pop of gold, rust or burgundy.  
That pop can come in the form of a scarf, jewelry, shirt collar, shirt, vest..... whatever.
7.  Try laying the outfits out on the bed next to each other to see if you like the look.  
8.  If you have time, hop on Pinterest and look up "what to wear for a family portrait session" and you will find some ideas.  
9.  Most importantly, just be sure that what you are wearing is a true reflection of who you are.  Don't choose something that you would never normally wear.  The people who love you most want to see the real you.

 

Should we all match?

My personal preference is to avoid matching too much.  I happen to like variety as it adds interest.  It is much easier to layer individuals in a portrait when the colors complement each other, but are not the same.  Below are some samples of varying degrees of matching.  You can determine what your preference would be.  Once you know what sort of look appeals to you, I am happy to offer advice.

 

Monochromatic

The samples below represent portraits with a monochromatic color scheme.  Many who are not comfortable determining what colors may look good together like to take the safe route and stick with one or two colors for the group.  This is fine if everyone in the group looks good in that color, and this color will allow you to hang this portrait in a room with a similar color scheme.  Varying the shades will allow me to layer the members so that they still show up as individuals.

Monochromatic Color Scheme

A Color Family with a Pop

In the portraits below, the family members are dressed in colors within a color family that blends well.  Notice that an occasional pop of color helps to add interest.  It is taking a monochromatic color scheme and adding an additional color for variety.  Because everyone still has some element that matches someone else, the look maintains its harmony.

A Color Family with a Pop

A Harmonious Color Palette

The colors used in the portraits below include even more variety, yet the colors work well together.  Mixing warm and cool colors provides balance for your eyes and helps to insure that the portrait will coordinate in many settings.  This is a nice way to allow for individuals to wear a color that is complementary to their skin, hair and eye tones, yet still create a pleasing look when next to the other members in the portrait.

Harmonious Color Palette

Mismatching with Intention

The colors in the portraits below may not appear to have been planned, but the results are so pleasing to the eye.  In each portrait, the colors chosen complement the others well.  There may be similar themes such a khaki pants or linen shirts that help to create harmony.  One strategy is allow one print item to help determine the other color choices.  Again, mixing cool and warm colors provides balance for the eye and helps to bring skin tones to a natural radiance.  

Mismatching with Intention

Make it Your Own

Please remember that this is your family and these are your portraits.  You get to decide what kind of wardrobe would be most pleasing to you.  I am simply here to offer guidance as much or as little as you wish.  

You make the memories; I help you cherish them.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

 

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) family family portrait colors family portrait session family portrait wardrobe family portraits photography portrait session portraits professional professional photographer what to wear https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2019/11/preparing-for-your-family-portrait-session-choosing-wardrobe-colors Tue, 05 Nov 2019 00:49:24 GMT
Meet Brooke | Class of 2020 | Glenoak High School https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2019/9/meet-brooke-class-of-2020-glenoak-high-school      In this blog post, I have the pleasure of introducing you to Brooke who is a senior at Glenoak High School in the class of 2020.  I was so excited for Brooke's session because I remember loving my session with her older sister Emilee in the class of 2018.  I also knew that Brooke was a dancer, and I have found that dancers just have a way of turning any pose into a work of art.  They are also able to contort themselves into any pose I can dream up.  With an endless set of posing possibilities, my creative energy goes into overdrive and I literally become giddy.

     As we met in downtown Canton for the first time, I was dazzled by her smile and enamored by all of her outfits that she had chosen for the session.  We decided to start in the area around the Saxton McKinley House where I quickly learned that working with Brooke was going to be a dream.  Every portrait was declared a "favorite" as we moved from one setting to the next.  It quickly became apparent that Brooke and I had the same vision for her portrait session and I think we were equally ecstatic by what we were capturing.

Brooke | Class of 2020            It helps to have an older sister who already possesses all of the regalia to be worn on graduation day.  What a treasure to have such fabulous portraits of Brooke in cap and gown to truly commemorate this special milestone in her life.

Brooke | Class of 2020

     We decided that a wardrobe change was in order and found this adorable little nook for our next set of portraits.  By this point, Brooke and I were getting quite comfortable working together and I just love the variety of expressions that we have, here.  

Brooke | Class of 2020

     Brooke is outgoing, energetic and funny, so I wanted to be sure to let those qualities shine in her portraits.  Finding these fun locations and varying the posing and expressions allows us to show all of the beautiful sides to Brooke.  And I must say... I was ALL ABOUT THOSE RED SHOES!  Aren't they just the perfect POP of color on those black steps?  LOVE!!!

Brooke | Class of 2020

     So, I wanted to really feature those shoes and use them to tell Brooke's story.  She is very active in dance, as well as color guard;  but it was clear that dance has been a very big part of her life.  I really wanted to create a statement piece that would show the casual and fun Brooke with the intensity and devotion that she feels for dance.  I think that was accomplished in the composite that you see below.  Oh, my heart!

Brooke | Class of 2020

     Again, with Brooke, it was so easy to tell her story.  I just love that she brought shoes from the many years past and what a perfect way to establish that history.  The little pink pair in her hands are her first ballet shoes and they kinda get me choked up.

Brooke | Class of 2020

     I happened to notice that the sun was at that gorgeous low angle to allow for some dramatic backlighting and...  HELLO... you know we used that!  That first silhouette shot is absolutely breathtaking.  Just look at that beautiful graceful outline of her hand.  She is just stunning.  The other images with some flash added are fun to juxtapose her lovely form against the darkening cityscape. 

Brooke | Class of 2020

     We switched it up a little by changing from the formal ballerina tutu into a more modern look with the leotard and skirt.  It made for some fun inspiration to use light creatively to really put her in the spotlight.

Brooke | Class of 2020

     Then, we got serious and out came the off-camera flash to create some absolutely stunning portraits.  With careful placement, we were able to accentuate the beautiful lines that Brooke so effortlessly makes with her body.  These just may be some of my favorite portraits EVER.  Brooke must have been having fun with me because she was game to keep shooting.  I think I was gushing out loud after each click of my shutter.

Brooke | Class of 2020

     We reluctantly decided to end the session with a little edgier look.  I absolutely love the sass and attitude that Brooke gave me when I asked for it.  Needless to say, I don't remember the ride home.  I only remember whipping my memory card into my card reader and anxiously watching as each image downloaded.  I got to enjoy the session all over again.

Brooke | Class of 2020

     Getting to work with Brooke and her mom (and dad for a while) that evening was sooooo much fun!  I feel like she just let me play and push my limits, for which I was thankful.  Besides her love of dance and color guard, Brook likes to shop and hang out with friends.  You might find her at American Eagle or eating at Wasabi.  Showing some diversity, she likes the rapper Jon Bellion and The Lion King.  She plans to attend college.  Both Ashland University and the University of Akron are possibilities.  Wherever Brooke goes, she will bring her beautiful light, let her talents shine, and make all things special.  I wish you all good things, Brooke!  You are beautiful inside and out, and it was the greatest pleasure to work with you!

 

*What did Brooke have to say about her portrait session?

"We chose Laura because she did my sister's senior photos and after seeing the quality of the photos and her ability to capture my sister's vision, I knew she had to do mine!  She worked very well with my vision and did everything that I wanted and more.  She paid lots of attention to detail.  The parking garage portraits and all of the dance photos are my favorites.  I was surprised that when I received my final photos, I was very amazed with the editing, especially on my dance photos!  And when we first arrived, we had the same vision, so I knew it would be amazing.  Everything about the session was fantastic!"

 

You make the memories; I help you cherish them.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

 

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) ballet class of 2020 dancer dancer portraits Glenoak High School photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures senior portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2019/9/meet-brooke-class-of-2020-glenoak-high-school Fri, 13 Sep 2019 19:29:04 GMT
Meet Peyton | Class of 2020 | Louisville High School https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2019/8/meet-peyton-louisville-high-school-class-of-2020      I am thrilled to introduce Peyton, who is a senior at RG Drage but calls Louisville High School his home school.  Peyton is a talented young man who is bursting with personality.  Just look at that smile; it is contagious!  Part of the reason for that big smile is that he is wearing his favorite Marvel shirt.  When Peyton and his family pulled into Silver Park on that Wednesday evening in June, it was this radiant smile that greeted me.  It certainly set the tone for a fun portrait session.

Peyton - Class of 2020      Having Peyton's parents along for the session was so helpful.  Not only did Peyton's dad become an expert at holding the light reflector, but both of his parents knew exactly what to do to elicit great smiles and expressions.  Apparently, there were all kinds of things happening behind me.  I know that "The Office" was referenced on occasion and always did the trick to make those eyes super expressive.

Peyton - Class of 2020      As much as I love Payton's smile, we did try to create some variety in his portraits with other expressions.  One thing that I noticed about Peyton is that his eyes always look sincere.  That certainly fits with the fact that Peyton volunteers at Akron Children's Hospital for various events.  He has also helped at the Akron Race Series.  Peyton shared that his youngest brother is non-verbal with autism and Peyton likes to find ways to interact with him.  He just likes to spend time with him.  Ahhh... so that is where those caring eyes come from... his big compassionate heart.  No wonder his friends describe him as quiet and nice.

Peyton - Class of 2020      Senior year is a huge milestone in one's life.  It marks the end of a very significant chapter and indicates a transition into adult life.  It requires the senior to make decisions that impact the trajectory of his or her life.  Peyton's mom had the brilliant idea to bring Peyton's school picture from Kindergarten to include in a portrait.  It is such a powerful visual reminder of how Peyton's school journey has come full circle.  His mom may be reaching for the tissues on this one.

Peyton - Class of 2020

     It's a JEEP thing!  And we had so much fun capturing that.  Peyton's dad had it all cleaned up and portrait ready.  These are among Peyton's favorite portraits because they were so much fun to create.  In addition to Marvel movies (especially involving Iron Man and Captain America), Peyton likes 80's music, Rockne's, grilled cheese with french fries, and shopping at Target or Amazon.  He enjoys drawing and illustrating, and working with Adobe products.  He likes to hang out with family and friends, playing Uno, miniature golf and go-karting.  

Peyton - Class of 2020

     Peyton is certainly ahead of the game as he is currently enrolled at The University of Akron.  He will graduate high school with an associate degree in Technical Sciences.  He intends to continue college to pursue a degree in Graphic Design/Communications.  He hasn't settled on his college of choice, yet.  I'm sure wherever he goes, he will shine in many ways.  That smile is a good place to start.

     Peyton, it has been such a pleasure working with you and your family.  I'm excited to see where you choose to share your talents.

 

What did Peyton have to say about his portrait session?

"I was surprised at how much fun I had.  I don't really like having my picture taken, but this was different and it was fun.  I liked that we used my Marvel shirt.  I also like the pictures with my Dad's Jeep just because they were fun."

 

You make the memories; I help you cherish them.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) Class of 2020 Louisville High School photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures senior portraits senior year https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2019/8/meet-peyton-louisville-high-school-class-of-2020 Fri, 02 Aug 2019 12:02:34 GMT
Meet Andrew | Class of 2020 | Louisville High School https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2019/8/meet-andrew-class-of-2020-louisville-high-school      Andrew, a senior at Louisville High School in the class of 2020 who also goes by "Figs," totally rocked his senior portrait session.  I'm not sure that he realized how amazing his portraits were turning out as the evening progressed, but I knew we were capturing some winners.  When Andrew and his mom arrived at Gervasi on that July evening, we discussed all of his possible clothing choices that he brought and came up with a game plan.  I was thrilled that he had so many options in blue because I wanted to really feature those eyes.  We decided to start with a casual look.  No matter where I placed Andrew, I was just loving what I was seeing in my viewfinder.  Here are just a few of those first shots.

Andrew | Class of 2020

     Our next move was to step it up a bit and out came the suit.  And, yes, Andrew can wear that suit.  It was fun to create some sophisticated portraits and really get some variety.  I feel like these portraits should be in a magazine.  I think he may have surprised himself when he saw the results.  Fortunately, by this point in the session, Andrew had become accustomed to my expletives that come from behind the camera.  I'm sure I was squealing with excitement about these portraits.

Andrew | Class of 2020      We had been watching the clock closely because we had other plans for the session and we were chasing the sun.  We loaded up and moved on to Louisville High School so that we could get some portraits where Andrew has spent his high school career.  After all, we were commemorating this significant time in Andrew's life and using the high school as a setting seemed appropriate.  The July heat wasn't exactly conducive to wearing a wool letterman's jacket, but Andrew looked cool as a cucumber for these portraits.  (Notice those blue eyes!)

Andrew | Class of 2020      Our next stop was the Field of Dreams where Andrew spends a lot of his time as a varsity baseball player for the Louisville Leopards.  It was important to show Andrew in this environment where his passion for the sport could shine through.  I could immediately notice a change in Andrew as we entered this domain.  His maturity and dedication came though as he took charge of the situation with a confidence that made for fabulous portraits.  I loved his ideas for locations and angles.  We made a great team!  Andrew's friends would describe him as a good teammate and a hard worker.  I think those are perfect descriptors. 

Andrew | Class of 2020      Once the sun was very close to the horizon, I knew it was time to ramp up the intensity and bring out the off-camera flash.  I wanted to create some dramatic portraits to show Andrew in action, but not the usual action you might catch during a game situation.  I wanted action that included a clear view of facial expressions and also isolated Andrew so that the focus was entirely on him.  I think we achieved our goal.  The funny part is that Andrew had no idea what was happening in the camera.  As far as he knew, he was swinging his bat and my flash was firing.  He did't quite understand why I was gushing over the portraits and barely containing my excitement.  Once I showed him the back of the camera for a little sneak peek, he was pleasantly surprised.  

Andrew | Class of 2020

     In addition to baseball, Andrew enjoys landscaping.  He likes to hang out with friends, play video games, listen to music, go swimming, and play basketball.  He likes the movies Grown Ups, Book of Eli, and any war movies.  His music preferences would be mostly hip hop and rap (not country) and he likes to watch Dude Perfect.  Steak and Shake is a favorite restaurant and he likes to shop at Nike.  Andrew's plans for the future include attending college to major in Business Management/Marketing.

     Andrew, I have a feeling that you just might surprise yourself with what the future holds for you, just like you were surprised by your fabulous portraits.  I see your quiet dedication.  You may choose to run under the radar, but once you find your place, you are going to make your mark.  And, I will be excited to cheer you on.  Thanks so much for trusting me with your senior portraits.  I enjoyed every minute of capturing you in the spotlight.

 

What did Andrew have to say about his portrait session?

"I had Laura as a teacher and she was one of my favorites.  I enjoyed her class.  She did some of my fellow teammates pictures and they looked really good.  I liked Laura's enthusiasm and it was a beautiful day with some really good locations.  My favorite portraits are the casuals ones and the baseball ones.  I was surprised at how quickly the time flew.  I don't like to take pictures and Laura made me feel comfortable while she was taking them.  I would for sure send my friends to Laura for their portrait sessions."

 

You make the memories; I help you cherish them.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

     

     

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) baseball class of 2020 Louisville High School photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures senior portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2019/8/meet-andrew-class-of-2020-louisville-high-school Fri, 02 Aug 2019 11:40:10 GMT
Meet Craig | Class of 2019 | Louisville High School https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2019/5/meet-craig-louisville-high-school-class-of-2019 I am excited to introduce you to Craig who is a pretty amazing high school senior in the class of 2019 from Louisville High School.  You may hear family and friends call him CJ, but everyone calls him a friend.  He is just one of those guys who can get along with everyone, and for good reason.  Friends would describe Craig as smart and athletic, but it would be the caring and thoughtful qualities that win you over.  These were also the reasons I was so excited for his senior portrait session.  Well... that, and the fact that we were taking his portraits at Berlin Lake on his boat!  I was downright giddy at the thought.

A Traditional Start to the Session

When I arrived at their cabin, Craig's mom was in the driveway to greet me and we discussed how happy we were that we had postponed his session by one day.  As in typical Ohio spring fashion, the previous day was a mix of sunshine and storms with some rather gusty winds.  Waiting one day gave us some nicely filtered sunshine and a significantly calmer atmosphere.  Craig greeted me with a smile that I was excited to capture in portraits and showed me his fabulous wardrobe choices.  We discussed our plan for the evening and set it into motion.

We decided to start with his most formal look and I was quite captivated with both his smiling and serious poses.  This was a good way for Craig to get used to my excited expletives from behind the camera.  He just looked great no matter where I placed him.  Ahhh... and just look at this warm light!

Craig | Class of 2019

Going for the Stylish Renegade Look

So, I'm all about the nice polished look that we achieved above, but I was really excited for the next outfit.  I may have labeled this section the "stylish renegade look," but the words that were really in my head were the "badass look."  I knew that this bridge would be the perfect spot to pull it off!  I'm pretty sure that Craig heard the words "holy crap" come from behind my camera several times.  It was hard to contain my excitement.  He gave me everything I was asking for and more to achieve these amazing shots.  I will say that the semi trucks flying by made my heart stop a few times, but it was so worth it!

Craig | Class of 2019

I wasn't quite done with this fabulous look, so we captured a few shots away from the bridge and without the sunglasses so that you can see those intense eyes.  Of course we had to include the letterman's jacket.  Track has been a big part of Craig's high school career, so we wanted to document that.

Craig | Class of 2019

Bring on the Boat and Board

And now, for the portion of the session that I was most anticipating!  When Craig changed into his board shorts and vest, it was clear to me that this was his comfort zone.  Hopping into the boat and revving the engine to a start sparked something in him that I was excited to capture in portraits.  I wanted to show both the intensity of the sport and the sheer joy that it brings him.  This is his passion.  You can see that below.  I think it may have been our discussion of him landing his 360 (that would be a complete spin in the air) that generated the authentic smiles you see below.

Craig | Class of 2019

I could have continued taking his portraits all evening in this setting.  Wakeboarding is a bit of a culture and I wanted to show as many sides of that as I could.  Craig's dedication and work ethic fit into that culture.  Becoming one with your board takes a lot of time on the water.  Choosing the right board is crucial, and Craig seems to have a great partnership with his Hyperlite.  

Craig | Class of 2019

Looking at the Bigger Picture

Let's talk about this sweet boat!  This will be his second season riding behind this beauty.  It is a Moomba and it is decked out.  That tower is a must to maximize hang time, and where else would you mount those speakers?  

So, we had a hard time getting any serious pictures because we were laughing so hard. You see, Craig's dad is actually crouched down between the steering wheel and drivers seat.  He was getting really good a driving the boat from the floor.  We would occasionally see a little head pop up to reposition the boat and we would lose it.  I give him a ton of credit, because he placed that boat exactly where I needed it to get the shots.  This would not have happened without his expert driving.  

Nonetheless, seeing Craig in this environment taught me so much about him and I admire him even more.  I was also thankful that the sun decided to bless us with that lovely glow in the background.  I jokingly told Craig that I was hoping for some action shots.  Considering that the water temperature was maybe 50 degrees, I knew that would not be an option.

Craig | Class of 2019

Craig is an active guy.  When he isn't on the lake, he is busy with track, the YMCA Men's Basketball League, National Honor Society, STEM Club and Spanish Club.  In addition to wake boarding, he enjoys fishing, golf, basketball and video games.  He pretty much likes to do anything outdoors.  His music preferences include Queen, Billy Joel, Journey and much of the 80's and 90's Rock.  Avengers Endgame is a favorite movie.  He loves Oreos and likes to eat at Olive Garden.

In addition to being talented and good-hearted, Craig is a successful student thanks to innate intelligence and a strong work ethic.  He is playing to his strengths with his plan to attend the University of Akron to pursue a degree in engineering.  

Craig, I think you already know that I had soooo much fun with you and your family during your session.  You were amazing, as your portraits show.  I will enjoy watching your future unfold to see all of the good that lies ahead.  Best wishes to you and thank you so much for trusting me with your senior portraits!

You make the memories; I will help you cherish them.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

What did Craig have to say about his senior portrait session with Laura Esposito Photography?

We chose Laura Esposito Photography because of her reputation and the posted pictures of my friends were great.  I liked that she was so flexible with fitting the session to what I wanted to do.  My favorite portraits are the ones with the wakeboard and boat.  I was surprised at how fast the session went.  She did a great job.

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) class of 2019 louisville high school photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures senior portraits wake boarding https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2019/5/meet-craig-louisville-high-school-class-of-2019 Thu, 02 May 2019 13:19:38 GMT
Meet Justin | Class of 2019 | Louisville High School https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2019/4/meet-justin-class-of-2019-louisville-high-school It is my pleasure to introduce Justin, known by some as JB, who is a member of the class of 2019 from Louisville High School.  Just when I thought I had met all of the cream of the crop from the class of 2019, I was blown away by yet another fabulous young man.  I had actually known Justin as a middle school student, and regarded him highly at that time.  Some things get even better with age, and Justin falls into this category.

The Session Begins

As I met Justin and his mom in the parking lot of Silver Park, I was taken by surprise by the maturity and confidence that had developed in Justin over time.  It was so good to reconnect!  We checked out his wardrobe options and came up with a plan.  We were ready to go!

Justin arrived wearing this smart looking shirt that was the perfect color for the settings below.  Despite my usual bouncing around and chatter behind the camera that I had warned him about, he was extremely relaxed in front of the camera.  I find that pretty amazing for the very beginning of the session.  I was thrilled that we were even able to get such fabulous expression from the get-go.  I appreciate that his Mom helped to generate some smiles with me.  We did laugh quite a bit as is typical for one of my portrait sessions.

Justin | Class of 2019

Adding Some Drama

The next segment of our portrait session resulted in some amazing portraits with a little different intensity.  Justin stepped it up a bit with this sharp black and khaki combo.  I typically advise against too much black, but it works here as it really helps to set him apart from the background.   

I chose the locations for this outfit carefully as I wanted to play up the neutral tones.  In the first portrait below, I chose a covered porch where I knew I could get some warm directional light.  The subtle play of light on the black shirt helps to keep the attention on Justin's face and that wonderful expression.  On the bridge and the steps, I was looking to find some continuity in the browns with some darker accents that would make him look like he belongs in that setting.  These portraits are harmonious and they don't tempt your eye to roam, but keep it coming right back to Justin.

Justin | Class of 2019

Time for a Change in Location

When I chatted with Justin and his mom at the beginning of our session, it became apparent to me that getting some great baseball portraits was a high priority.  Justin loves baseball.  He loves playing baseball.  He loves practicing baseball.  He has dedicated much time and effort to baseball.  There is a recurring theme here.  So, I made sure that we left Silver Park in plenty of time to drive to the Louisville Baseball Field of Dreams for the remainder of our session.    

Justin | Class of 2019

Oh my!  Do you see that?  Check out the intensity and focus in those eyes!  Ahhhh!  I was going a little crazy when I was taking these.  His expression matched perfectly with the effect I was going for here.  Justin's mom immediately said how much she loved these.  I think Justin did, too, but he is too modest to say so.

Allow me to set the stage.  There were two baseball players on the field at this moment practicing pitching and hitting.  It felt like we were working in a war zone.  I was really wishing for a helmet as baseballs were screaming through the air.  We survived and the pair on the field was even kind enough to take a little break so that we could get some other angles on the field without being in harm's way.  Justin said that the only thing that surprised him about the session is that we didn't get hit by a baseball.
 

Putting a Lid on It.

To create an even more authentic look, we had to add the ball cap.  He had several to choose from, and I think it's funny that we all agreed on this one in Carolina blue without a doubt.  I wanted to mix up the expressions a little bit, and I love the variety that we got.  It was important to include this bat, as well.  The bat has a story.  It was acquired on a family vacation to Cooperstown, New York and has been a favorite ever since.  Unfortunately, it may have seen its last days in rotation as it is now sporting a crack, but you can bet it will still be cherished.  Oh, the stories it could tell!

Justin | Class of 2019

Getting Creative with Flash

As we were creating portraits together, I happened to notice that the sky was giving us a bit of a show.  In order to preserve that fabulous backdrop and put it to use for us, I pulled out the flash and started making some magic.  The portraits below were taken in the same location and time as the ones above.  We just used a different technique.  I think both Justin and his mom were surprised to see the back of the camera with these results.

Justin | Class of 2019

I think the one with the light post is especially fun because it creates a sea of blue.  How convenient that the color for the Louisville Leopards is blue.  I feel so good knowing that we captured Justin in his element and doing what motivates him.

Justin likes to hang out with his friends who would describe him as passionate, hard-working, and humorous.  I think we can see all of these qualities in his portraits.  He's a pretty easy-to-please guys, as he likes all genres of movies (except horror) and all genres of music.  When it comes to food, pizza please!  If he is shopping, he's probably on MLB.com.  

All of these talents and traits for success will be following Justin to Stark State and Kent State where he will be pursuing a degree in Sports Management.  Somehow, I am not surprised!

Justin, you are a fabulous young man, and I had so much fun creating your portraits with you!  I will be anxious to follow your future successes and will be listening for your name in the news on ESPN.  

 

You make the memories; I will help you cherish them.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

What did Justin have to say about his portrait session?

"I chose Laura Esposito Photography because she did a fantastic job with my sister's senior portraits!  I like that the session was laid back and fun.  I really like the portraits at the baseball field.  You did a wonderful job with everything!  I will definitely send my friends your way for their portrait sessions.  I want to thank you for going above and beyond during the session!"

 

 

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) baseball class of 2019 high school baseball Louisville High School photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures senior portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2019/4/meet-justin-class-of-2019-louisville-high-school Mon, 22 Apr 2019 21:34:03 GMT
Senior Portrait Series: Location, location, location https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2019/3/senior-portrait-series-location-location-location It is okay if you don't know

Don't you just love that question, "Where do you see yourself in five years?"  Some of us have an automatic answer and others really have to stop to think about it.  Some of us know exactly what we want, while others are just trying to manage the events of today.  I have found that the question of "Where do you see yourself for your senior portrait session?" often renders the same range of responses.  Some have a clear vision for the setting they desire, and others have no idea.  The purpose of today's blog is to offer some "direction" for choosing a location for your senior session.

Show me the light!

While many may be automatically focused on the backdrops and landscapes that can be found in various locations, my first consideration is LIGHT.  The amount of ambient light that is available and the opportunities for it to be reflected or absorbed are crucial to my ability to function as a portrait photographer.  Soft variations in light with much access to shaded areas will allow for the variation in portraits that I intend to provide.  This is another reason I work within the two hours before sunset.  Wide open spaces are fine for some shots from a distance, if the sun is at a very low angle, or if it is overcast.  Most of our work must be in shade with ambient light spilling in.

 

Joey - Class of 2015

What does this mean for a location?  It means that we need cover of some sort.  Trees, buildings, or structures that are tall or with overhangs are going to offer those shaded spaces.  Pavilions, gazebos, porches, breezeways, barns, sheds, parking decks, stacks of straw bales, and retaining walls can all offer refuge from direct sun.  Once we find these areas, we can get creative in how we utilize them.

 

Spencer - Class of 2015

Let's mix it up!

Now that we are looking for locations with shade and ambient light, we can think about variety.  One of my goals in a portrait session is to offer you many different types of portraits.  You are a multidimensional individual with many different sides and I intend to allow those to be expressed.   Sure, we can do close-ups and distance shots, serious and smiling expressions, looking off into the distance and looking at the camera angles.  But, if every one of those portraits includes the same tree, where is the fun in that?  I like some variety in vegetation, variety in architecture, variety in elevations, variety in color.  We want to have fun with this!  

Cora - Class of 2015 Scott - Class of 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When thinking about location, it is imperative to consider the personality of the senior and determine what might be the best fit.  The earthiness of a farm setting might be perfect for one individual, but the edginess of a metropolitan area is most fitting for another.  The whimsy of a playground may bring out the playfulness of a lighthearted senior, but an upscale shopping complex may allow another to express his/her style.  Since our seniors have many layers to their personalities, multiple locations can be used if carefully orchestrated.

 

Gretchen - Class of 2015

Being considerate

The obvious consideration, and sometimes limiting, is access to desired locations.  We may need to request permission to use specific areas.  Busy times should be avoided so that other patrons or visitors are not impeding our progress.  Always being respectful of the properties and other people is a must.  I have experienced such gracious cooperation from people when they recognize that our intentions are sincere and that we understand their needs.

 

Alex - Class of 2015

Having said that, let's think about the types of locations that we may want to consider.  Again, we need to assess the ability to gain access, and times when our presence would be least disruptive, yet within the two hours before sunset.  That is where it can get tricky.

Marco - Class of 2015

 

Options

Some locations where I have found success include local and state parks if they aren't too busy.  Schools, stadiums, tracks, and high school fields can provide settings to highlight your high school career.  Family farms are perfect because there are so many textures and structures to offer variety, and we typically have the whole place to ourselves.  College campuses are usually well-maintained and offer much variety.  Golf courses can be beautiful, but you should have knowledge of where you are permitted.  Wineries and vineyards are a gorgeous setting, but may require permission.  Metropolitan areas can be surprisingly effective, but be prepared to watch for traffic and pedestrians.  For some seniors, there may be locations that have special significance and could provide portraits with deeper meaning and purpose.  I am all about customizing the experience and making this portrait session truly yours!

 

Victoria - Class of 2015

 

You make the memories; I will help you cherish them.

Love and smiles,

Laura

 

 

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) Class of 2020 location Louisville High School photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures Senior Portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2019/3/senior-portrait-series-location-location-location Thu, 21 Mar 2019 21:46:46 GMT
Senior Portrait Series: When is the best time for your senior portrait session? https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2019/3/when-is-the-best-time-for-your-senior-portrait-session Time goes fast!

Here we are!  Senior year is right around the corner and we really need to get a date on the calendar for a senior portrait session.  It is so easy to put this task off, but the longer we wait, the more likely we are to become stressed about fitting it in.  Summer flies by.  Fall is over in a blink. Before we know it, we are singing Christmas carols.  But, how can we commit to a date when we aren't even sure what is happening next week?  When is the best time for a senior portrait session?

Well, I have found that my calendar rules my crazy life.  If it is on my calendar, then it will happen.  So, we just need to get a date on our calendars for a senior portrait session.  But, how do we choose the best time?  That depends on many factors.  Let's see if we can narrow this down.

Identify commitments

First, we need to be realistic and look at our commitments.  If the Senior is dedicated to sports, music, dance, 4-H, ministry, etc., then we need to determine if those schedules will interfere with finding a free evening for a senior portrait session.  This may dictate a month or even a season during which this can or cannot happen.

Madi - Class of 2016 Kyle - Class of 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consider the season

Once you have determined the time of year that can work with your schedule, then think about the season of the year that is a good fit for you.  Some just love the lush green of spring.  Others want the full bloom of summer flowers.  Many people crave the rich colors of an Ohio fall.  I have had Seniors who just love a crisp winter with its fresh snow and stark landscapes.  Remember that your choice of season dictates wardrobe.  It also determines the start time for our session.  The optimal time for gorgeous portraits is within the two hours before sunset.  In the late spring and summer, my start times are usually 6:30 in the evening, or so.  If we are scheduling into late fall, we would need to start around 4:00 in the afternoon.  Work and school schedules might need to be adjusted.

Kendra - Class of 2016 Marisa - Class of 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My next recommendation is for you to consider all of the other things on your calendar that could affect the Senior's appearance at that time.  For example, I have had Seniors scheduled for a portrait session immediately after a beach vacation.  They thought they used enough sunscreen, but that red glow just couldn't be hidden.  Another mother was appalled when her Senior shaved his head in preparation for a swim meet.   I can do a lot of things in post production, but putting hair on that shaved head was not an option.

Consider the inevitability of change

One thing that is so difficult to anticipate is how much a senior in high school might change in the course of the school year.  Portraits taken in June may not even resemble this evolved individual walking across the stage at commencement the following May.  Change is inevitable, but whether it is a factor that concerns you is a personal decision.  There have been many extremely successful portrait sessions taking place in April and May of the senior year.  Some people are not comfortable with a tight time frame like that, but it is an option.

Maddie Mikey - Class of 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We live in Ohio...weather is a factor

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that weather is a huge factor in scheduling a portrait session.  Yes, we live in Ohio.  For this reason, I intentionally schedule in some wiggle room on my calendar to accommodate for necessary weather adjustments.  As your session date approaches, I will be watching the forecast and making some possible alternative plans if I anticipate the need.  I will keep in contact with you so that we can collaborate on a plan.  Despite how hard mother nature may try to thwart our plans, I have ALWAYS managed to make something work.

Rachel - Class of 2016 Kyle - Class of 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So....  Let's do this!  Let's find the perfect time to celebrate being a Senior and make some portraits for you and your family to love.  

You make the memories; I will help you cherish them.

Love and smiles,

Laura

 

 

 

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) Class of 2020 photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer scheduling a portrait session senior senior photography senior pictures senior portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2019/3/when-is-the-best-time-for-your-senior-portrait-session Thu, 21 Mar 2019 21:29:33 GMT
Portraits = Cherished Memories: How to Manage and Store Your Photos https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2019/3/portraits-cherished-memories-how-to-manage-and-store-your-photos We have all had the experience of coming across that old shoe box tucked away in a far corner of a closet, under the bed, or in a cedar chest, that is filled with faded photographs of cherished memories.  We can spend hours as a family digging through this time capsule, carefully handling the bent corners as we look on the back of each photo, hoping to find a date, or maybe even a name to help identify the slightly familiar faces on the front.  We look at the surrounding objects for clues and marvel at how times have changed.  

Then, we get to the more recent photos, and even amaze our younger family members with stories about how we actually had to take film to be developed and didn't know what the pictures might look like for days.  We find similarities from one generation to the next, and feel our hearts fill with memories of those who no longer grace the images in our current cameras.  These are the times when we can pause and realize what has really been important in our lives.  The parts of each picture that bring the biggest smiles and tugs at the heart are the people and their stories.  Some of the best narratives from my family's past were shared because of the nostalgia emanating from a single photograph.

So, one has to wonder, how will our future generations have an opportunity to sift through the sands of time in the form of documented images?  Will there still be shoe boxes full of faded photographs?  How often do we bother printing our photos, today?  How many images are stored in your phone right now that have no guarantee of ever being seen by anyone but you?  Many of us take more pictures than we have time to manage and archive appropriately.  This is why I feel it is so important to establish a system to save your precious memories with minimal effort.

Alexis and Kyler: 2012 Alexis and Kyler 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are many options out there for saving your digital images.  Some people have been diligent and actually placed images in folders, labeled them, and stored them on flash drives or burned them on CDs.  Kudos to all of you!  Most people are like me, who let them sit wherever I saved them when the image was taken or downloaded.  Yes, I am diligent about organizing and saving my portrait images for my clients, but I don't have time to manage my personal images in the same way.

Savannah and Landon 2015 Savanah and Landon 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are several things to consider when deciding which method is best for you.  Think about the amount of storage you might need.  Image files can be large, depending on the source.  Some services allow for a certain amount of storage, free of charge.  I enjoyed this luxury for about six months and quickly had to upgrade to a higher memory plan at a cost to accommodate my growing number of image files.  Most services allow for large amounts of memory at minimal cost.  If you are prone to capturing video of special moments that you want to preserve, then additional storage will be a must.

Gabriella and Anthony 2015 Gabriella and Anthony 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other major considerations are convenience and accessibility.  Will you need to take time to upload images periodically?  Is there an automated method for uploads to happen?  Do you need to assign identifiers such as dates and/or locations for ease of later searches, or can this be automated, as well?  Can you access these images from your home computer, your phone, your tablet?  Can you share some or all of your images with others?  Can you allow others to have access to your collection and add to it?  Can you post these images directly to Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest?  How you use your digital images will depend on which of these aspects are important to you.

As a professional photographer, I did the research and found Zenfolio to be the best fit for my needs.  I have been using Zenfolio for over eight years and I have been so thankful that I made that decision.  However, Zenfolio is rather expensive if you are just wanting to store, access, and share your photos.  Zenfolio is designed for the professional photographer who can utilize the many business tools that are built into the service as a business hosting website.

For my personal photos, I have found Dropbox to be the best fit for my needs.  I take lots of photos (shocker, right?) so I do pay a minimal fee for the additional storage.  I love that there is a companion app for my phone that allows me to access everything in my Dropbox from any device.  My favorite feature is that I can enable automatic uploading of any and all pictures taken on my phone.  The reality is that I take pictures for my business with my trusty Nikon, but I take everything else on my phone.  As much as I would like to claim that I would be diligent and manually save those iPhone pic treasures, I most likely will forget.  The automatic upload feature ensures that those images in my iPhone photo library are safely archived in my Dropbox photo library.  This allows me to delete photos from my phone to free up valuable storage space.  I can still access all of them through the Dropbox app on my phone, or any other computer.  In addition to photos and videos, I can store any other files and manage them in the same way.

Obviously, Dropbox is just one of many options that serve the same function in a similar way.  This article from Fortune, The best photo storage services to suit your needs, highlights the ones that I consider to be the best options. I have tried some of the others on their list, but ended up moving everything to Dropbox for the reasons I already stated above.

So, let us imagine that future again.  Your future generations are gathered around a laptop or smart TV and scrolling through thumbnails of images from the past.  With any luck, they are organized by date, and maybe even have some key words as identifiers of people and places.  They might even be organized in folders and labeled with titles of events.  Certainly, there will be peels of laughter and tears welling up from memories that have stamped our minds and our hearts.  The most important element here is that the sources and documentation of these memories are preserved and cherished.

Keep making memories and cherishing them.  Remember that I am here to serve you when you would like professional portraits of those you cherish most.

Love and smiles,

Laura

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2019/3/portraits-cherished-memories-how-to-manage-and-store-your-photos Thu, 21 Mar 2019 21:10:16 GMT
Why invest in professional senior portraits? It isn't about the pictures; it is about YOU! https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2019/3/why-should-i-bother-getting-professional-senior-portraits Hello to all of you finishing up your junior year.  Oh, I'm sure you have the days and hours counted down to the moment you can officially call yourselves SENIORS!  Do you realize how intense your senior year can be?  You have so much excitement ahead; and, unfortunately, you will probably be dealing with some stress.  So, why should you add to that stress by making professional senior portraits a priority?  Because investing in your professional senior portrait session will provide you with so much more than just pictures.  Let's explore some of those reasons for making senior portraits a priority.

Chad

Well, for one reason, you deserve it!  How many times in your life will you have an opportunity to star in your own photo shoot?  For once, this really is all about you.  This is your chance to showcase yourself.  Express your originality!  Make the portrait session uniquely yours.  See just how amazing you look through the lens of a professional.  All of us can use a little confidence boost, especially when we are preparing to transition out into the world.

Helen Helen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another really important reason is because it will make Mom happy.  If not Mom, then someone out there is going to be gushing over your portraits.  Hey, let them gush.  They are just so anxious to treasure a stunning portrait of you that is not a selfie.  You know they are probably sharing any photo of you they can get their hands on, so why not give them the opportunity to share ones that you know showcase you at your best?  You didn't have much control over your baby pictures, but these senior portraits are a reflection of you, here and now.

Michelle

A more practical reason for investing in senior portraits is that you will be needing a professional quality headshot.  This is a great time to capture that portrait that will be sure to impress on your LinkedIn page.  Many scholarship applications require headshots.  The local paper may be requesting a headshot so that they can recognize your accomplishments.  That image of you on your phone with the words on your shirt appearing backwards just won't cut it.  You are a talented and bright individual.  Give them a portrait that portrays these qualities.

Jessica

Riley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As much as you may not want to face this reality, you really are going to move on in a new direction.  The chances are very good that you will no longer be surrounded by your current circle of friends.  Having some quality portraits to share can give you and your friends something to hold on to.  Of course, you can go back through your Facebook or Instagram histories, but there is something special about actual pictures that can be treasured.

Graduation Announcements Graduating from high school is a very good reason to celebrate.  Preparing for your graduation party can be so much fun, and a big part of that is designing your graduation announcement.  Creating a completely original, custom-designed graduation announcement is one of the services that I offer.  Just imagine how thrilled your family and friends would be to see this in their mailbox.  These will probably end up in frames rather than the trash.

Katie Hunter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, what is my favorite reason for having a professional senior portrait session?  It is so much FUN!  Oh, my goodness!  You get to choose your location, and what outfits you want to wear, and what props to include, and try a variety of poses and expressions.  We get creative and crazy and serious and intense.  You will have a blast seeing yourself along the way and helping to create the experience.  Your input is crucial.  My job is to help you capture the essence of you, to show you how amazing you are.  And, if Mom cries in the process, I have tissues.  

Zachary MacKenzie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, the portrait session is just the beginning.  Once your finished portraits are made available and you start to share, you will be blushing as everyone is gushing over your amazing portraits.  Your gallery will be available on my website, and you will have a mobile app that makes viewing and sharing your portraits convenient from your phone.  Like I said before, let them gush.  It really is all part of the fun.

I wish all of you Soon-to-Be Seniors the best of luck.  This really is such an exciting time for you.  I hope that I have made a compelling case for the importance of a professional senior portrait session.  And, if I am privileged to be your photographer and magic maker, then we will both be having fun!

You make the memories; I will help you cherish them.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

 

 

 

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) Class of 2018 Portrait professional Senior senior photography Senior Portraits showcase Year yourself https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2019/3/why-should-i-bother-getting-professional-senior-portraits Thu, 21 Mar 2019 20:48:52 GMT
The Power of Your Photo Moments App: Your portraits are meant to be shared! https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2019/2/the-power-of-your-photo-moments-app-your-portraits-are-meant-to-be-shared Loving your portraits on the go

        Let's face it, we are a mobile society and that is not going to change.  So, once you have access to your gallery of portraits, you will want access to them no matter where you are.  Looking at them over and over will bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.  You will want to show them to everyone you encounter and everyone you don't encounter by sharing on your social media.  What better way to use your time waiting for an appointment or for your child to finish practice than to scroll through your portraits and try to decide which ones are your favorites?  All of these things are possible with the Photo Moments app that is available to all of my portrait clients.

                   Download the fee app to your iPhone or Android Device

        Photo Moments is a free download and is available for both iPhone and Android users.  Once you download the app, you just need to click on the unique link that I will email to you.  Your gallery of portraits will automatically be available to you in the app.  You will only be able to see the galleries that I make available to you.
Once you add a link, I will be listed as your photographer.

        Once you have a gallery linked, you will see my logo pop up when you open the app.  Then, swiping up will allow you to see all of your linked galleries.  If we have been working together for a while, you may have several linked galleries here.  Although this is a new service, it is also available to my clients who already have portrait galleries on my website.  If you are a previous client, just send me an email to let me know that you would like to have access to your galleries through the app and I will send you your link(s). 

When you swipe up, you will see all of the galleries that you have linked.

        When you select the gallery that you want to view, the gallery will open and you will be able to scroll through all of your portraits.  

When you select a gallery, you will see all of your images.

        When you select a portrait, you will see it appear larger by itself.  The buttons below the image allow you to work with the image in the same way that you can from a computer.  

        The little heart can be selected in order to add that portrait to your FAVORITES.  That is super helpful!  Many clients like using the FAVORITES when they are trying to narrow down which portraits to order.  The FAVORITES is especially powerful in that you are able to share your FAVORITES with me.  Sharing your FAVORITES with me will be extremely helpful when we are creating your album or photo book.  This will be an easy way for you to tell me which images you want me to include in your album.  How convenient that this app will allow you to work on your FAVORITES collection from anyplace you have service on your phone.

When you select one image, you can mark it as a favorite, download it, play a slideshow, or share the image.

        The SHARE button is the really quick and easy way to share your portraits on social media.  Notice the image below.  You can share immediately to Facebook and Instagram.  I LOVE this feature!  No more saving the image to my phone before sharing.  This feature alone makes the app super valuable!

Sharing to social media has never been easier!

        The three little stacked horizontal lines that you see at the upper right corner of the app include some additional features.  Notice that you have a settings button to allow you to manage some preferences within the app.

There are other helpful options in the upper right menu.

        The third option in this menu is to VIEW FAVORITES.  Selecting this option will allow you to see all of the images that you have chosen as a FAVORITE.  If you need to cull down your selections, you can remove images from this set.  One fabulous feature is that your FAVORITES list will be saved to your account so that you can access it from your phone or your computer.  Changes made on your phone will be seen on your computer and vice versa. 

Selecting "Favorites" will show you all of the ones that you have already marked with a heart.

        The fourth selection in the menu will allow you to learn more about me.

You can learn more about me, your photographer.

        The last selection from the menu will allow you to email me.  This is great for when you have your selections in your FAVORITES group complete and you are ready for me to work on your album, if you want to schedule your ordering session, if you are ready to schedule another session, or if you have any question at all!

You can quickly contact me with questions or to schedule your next portrait session.

        I am thrilled to make the Photo Moments App available to my clients.  This is just another way I am working very hard to improve your experience of working with me.  I want nothing more than for you to love your portraits and to have fun with them.  I think this app can help to enhance that experience.

You make the memories; I will help you cherish them!

Love and Smiles,

Laura

 

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) class of 2019 family portraits Photo Moments photo sharing apps photography photography apps portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures senior portraits wedding photography https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2019/2/the-power-of-your-photo-moments-app-your-portraits-are-meant-to-be-shared Sun, 24 Feb 2019 16:47:53 GMT
Meet Mackenzie | Class of 2019 | Perry High School https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2019/2/meet-mackenzie-class-of-2019-perry-high-school I remember the afternoon of Monday, October 29th quite well.  I had spent my day checking the weather app in anticipation of the senior portrait session that I had scheduled to start at 4:00 PM.  I know how much preparation is involved for high school senior girls before coming to the session, so I want to be sure that it really is going to happen.  I was sitting in the parking lot in downtown Canton, creating my mental game plan for which parts of town we would be using and chatting with Mackenzie's mom until she arrived with her dad.  When they did join us and Mackenzie popped out of the car, I knew we were in for a great evening together.  Mackenzie, part of the Class of 2019 at Perry High School, presented her beautiful smile and unpretentious, fun-loving spirit.  I no longer fretted about the weather because I knew we would be creating some fabulous portraits together.

Mackenzie | Class of 2019

Confidence despite clouds

As we got started in Mackenzie's first outfit, I was amazed at how easily that smile sparkled.  Her choice of color was absolutely perfect for bringing out her glowing complexion and radiant hair.  The overcast skies filtered the sun for us, so we had endless options for portrait settings.  We certainly took advantage.  At every turn, we found another great spot to "stick her" and we were getting some great variety right from the beginning.

We were off to such a successful start, we decided that we better do a wardrobe change before we got too carried away.  Have you ever had that one piece of clothing that just made you so happy?  Well, that is the case for Mackenzie with this fun striped sweater that you see below.  She shared a great story with me about how she acquired this valuable piece and she literally bounced with excitement once she had it on.  There was no containing the smiles while she was posing in this sweater.  Mackenzie said that all of the portraits of her in this sweater are her favorites.  I think many of them are my favorite, too, just because her smile is so genuine.  

Mackenzie | Class of 2019

Portraits with personality

Eventually, Mackenzie reluctantly changed out of the happy sweater and into the fun red dress-denim jacket combo.  I was really seeing her personality shine at this point.  Mackenzie is such a dynamic young lady, and I was determined that we would show that.  She is very active and accomplished in marching band, percussion ensemble, symphonic winds, choir, french club, and youth group at her church.  When she has any time outside of those endeavors, she likes hanging out with friends, baking and playing piano.  Her friends would describe her as funny and passionate.  That passion is going to be evident when we get to the portraits with her snare drum.

My goal for the portraits below was to show some variety in Mackenzie's magnetic and deep personality.  Our progress was impeded as it started to rain.  We actually persevered and pushed on through.  We had such great momentum going, we pretended the rain didn't exist.  One benefit of the rain is that it made the bricks on the median of the street brighter and shiny.  The walking portraits below were so much fun to capture.  I remember a lot of laughing as we were strolling along in the middle of the street downtown.

Mackenzie | Class of 2019

Portraits with passion

As I learned more about Mackenzie, I gained an even greater appreciation for just how "cool" she really is.  Yes, I used that outdated word, but I'm old and that is the perfect description.  Her absolute favorite movie is Wreck-It Ralph.  She loves Panera (my personal favorite) and likes shopping at Forever 21.  Are you ready for this?  She also enjoys Def Leppard, Queen, and U2.  Oh yeah!

So, I mentioned Mackenzie's passion earlier.  Well, here it is in the portraits below.  We took cover in a parking garage for these portraits, and she totally owned this part of the session.  I knew that we were losing light quickly, so I tried to work efficiently.  I distinctly remember doing a lot of gasping and freaking out as I was checking the back of my camera to see what we were capturing.  Mackenzie is totally in her element here.  We actually ended the session with the fabulous portrait below with the street lights in the background.  Seriously...... how do you get any better than that?  

Mackenzie | Class of 2019

Well, Mackenzie, it has been such an honor to work with you and to help you create some gorgeous portraits.  I'm thrilled that we were successful in showing the real you and just how beautiful you are.  I know that you hope to be attending The Ohio State University next year and I will be cheering you on in whatever direction you decide to follow.  Your gifts are numerous and meant to be shared.  Thank you for sharing them with me.

You make the memories; I will help you cherish them.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

 

What did Mackenzie have to say about her portrait session?

"I liked how well my colorful sweater and dress "popped" in the pictures.  The pictures of me in the colorful sweater were my favorite.  I was a little surprised at exactly how frizzy the unexpected rain made my hair... shocking to say the least.  Yes, I would send my friends to Laura Esposito Photography for their portrait sessions."

 

 

 

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) class of 2019 drumline perry band perry high school photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures senior portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2019/2/meet-mackenzie-class-of-2019-perry-high-school Tue, 19 Feb 2019 19:39:29 GMT
Meet MaKenna | Class of 2019 | Louisville High School https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2019/2/meet-makenna-class-of-2019-louisville-high-school It is my pleasure to introduce MaKenna who is a member of the class of 2019 from Louisville High School.  Her senior portrait session was highly anticipated, as I remembered MaKenna and her family so fondly.  I had visited our chosen location, Quail Hollow in Hartville, and knew that we would be hitting the gardens at peak bloom.  I also remembered that MaKenna was one of the sweetest people I had ever met, and was anxious to show that in her portraits.

The Session Begins

As I met MaKenna and her mom in the parking lot, I was thrilled to see that MaKenna had grown in the confidence of her kindness and brought that same genuine smile and warm eyes that I remembered.  As we examined her wardrobe options, we came up with a plan for which outfits to use in which locations.  I devised an order based on what I expected from the sun's angles at the different locations throughout the session.  We were ready to go!

Anytime I start working with my Senior, I like to explain my process so that they know what to expect.  Typically, a couple of shots are needed to get warmed up and fall into a level of comfort with my method of running around and babbling like a crazy person behind the camera.  Not true for MaKenna!  The portraits of MaKenna on the path in the woods that are shown below are truly the very first shots.  When I looked at the back of my camera, my jaw dropped.  How anyone can be that poised and radiant in front of the camera right from the get-go is beyond me.  Let's just say, I was bursting with excitement because I knew that the session was only going to get better.

MaKenna | Class of 2019

Let's talk for a minute about her fabulous wardrobe choice.  I love how the soft sweater drapes so beautifully.  It is simple, soft, and a solid color.  The patterned texture adds just enough interest without being a distraction.  Notice how it allows her complexion to shine and really makes a nice soft contrast with the lush greens.  It is the perfect complement to that lovely soft smile that is such a signature of MaKenna.

 

Adding a Modern Flair

The next segment of our portrait session resulted in some amazing portraits that are actually among MaKenna's favorites.  MaKenna brought this fabulous dress that is such a fun contrast to the sweater above.  I typically advise against such a busy pattern, but it works because of the simplicity of the structure of the dress, itself.  The colors complement MaKenna's warm skin tones and gorgeous brown hair and eyes.  Notice that she wears the dress; the dress does not wear her.  Because the dress does not cinch at the waist, I was careful to use poses that still gave her shape and created these beautiful feminine lines.  

Posing MaKenna was like poetry in motion.  I swear she was reading my mind and created these stunning outcomes that you see below.  You see, MaKenna is a dancer.  I have found that dancers have the most amazing body awareness and grace.  Asking a dancer to walk through a field becomes a graceful stroll where every step is a work of art.  She mentioned that she liked how I pushed her out of her comfort zone to get such great portraits.  I have to say that she faked her comfort beautifully.  What amazing results.

MaKenna | Class of 2019

When Sisters Are Best Friends

I know that I keep raving that MaKenna is an absolute sweetheart.  Well, witnessing the bond that she has with her sister is further evidence of her sweetness.  MaKenna's sister Riley arrived at Quail Hollow when we were part-way through the portrait session.  Oh, if you could have seen MaKenna's face light up when she saw Riley in the car approaching us.  Once together, they immediately started gushing about how the other looked so pretty.  We showed Riley some of the portraits we had taken already, and she was everything a supportive sister should be.  Makenna took much comfort in Riley's approval and I could almost see her shoulders relax once she had the assurance from her sister that all was going perfectly.  Capturing these portraits of them together was very special to MaKenna, and I know these are such treasures to their parents.  By the way... kudos to these parents for raising this amazing pair of girls!

MaKenna | Class of 2019

Moving on with Confidence

As we continued on with our session, I was amazed to see this new boost of confidence in MaKenna that emanated from her sister's presence and how that confidence translated into her portraits.  In the series that you see below, I felt like we had elevated the connection to a higher level, and the results are incredible.  MaKenna's friends would describe her as caring, funny, loyal and with a great sense of humor.  I see all of those qualities in her, but I also see a depth of character that adds credibility to all of her other wonderful traits.

MaKenna | Class of 2019

Adding Beauty to the Garden

This next series of portraits are also among MaKenna's favorites, and for good reason.  We had been working around the outskirts of the inviting blooms of that garden all afternoon, but I knew I had to wait for the sun to be in the perfect location for these portraits to look as gorgeous as they do.  It was certainly worth the wait.  I wanted a very carefree look here, so we even did some hair adjustments and decided to forgo the part.  One of MaKenna's favorite places to shop is American Eagle, and I feel like these portraits could be part of their catalog.  

MaKenna | Class of 2019

We decided to make these last few shots a little playful, so we did some spinning to get this great portrait below.  These portraits just feel so relaxed and fresh.  It was such a great way to wrap it up.  It seems fitting that MaKenna likes country music and a favorite movie is Forever My Girl.  She also loves Italian food.  Pizza and Olive Garden are first choices.  No wonder we get along so well.  

MaKenna | Class of 2019

MaKenna brightened my life and I was only with her for an evening.  I can imagine the impact that she has on her family and friends who are blessed with her in their lives.  She plans to attend Stark State College where she will be studying in the Dental Hygiene Program.  Can't you just imagine how fortunate her patients will feel to have her working with them?  They will be sharing her dental hygiene work with the world because she will send them away with a smile on their face.  

MaKenna, thank you for trusting me with your senior portraits.  You have touched my life and shown me such a hopeful future.  I wish all good things for you as you make your beautiful mark on the world.  

You make the memories; I will help you cherish them.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

What did MaKenna have to say about her portrait session?

"I liked that it was very organized.  Laura had creative ideas and pushed me out of my comfort zone.  I love all of my portraits, however some of my favorites are of me in my dress, sitting in the middle of the road, and the ones in the flower garden.  I was surprised by how much fun I had."

 

 

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) class of 2019 Louisville High School photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures senior portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2019/2/meet-makenna-class-of-2019-louisville-high-school Mon, 11 Feb 2019 17:48:37 GMT
Meet Daniel | Class of 2019 | Louisville High School https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2019/2/meet-daniel-class-of-2019-louisville-high-school Excitement for the Session

I really do get excited about every portrait session.  I prepare myself by taking what I know and making a preliminary plan for the shots I want to capture.  That was no different for Daniel's portrait session.  Daniel is a senior at Louisville High School.  His session was going to be my first for the Class of 2019, so I was extremely anxious to get back to shooting high school seniors.  That excitement was fueled by the fact that we were holding his session on their family farm.  (Farms are my favorite!)  Furthermore, knowing Daniel's family from church made me fully aware that I was placing an amazing young man in front of my lens.  

As I drove down the long lane to their beautiful home, my eyes were busy scanning the landscape for portrait opportunities, and I was already choreographing the order in which I wanted to move from place to place.  I also spotted a blue chair on their front porch that was just begging to be included in the session.  Then, I was warmly greeted by Daniel and his mom, and we discussed our visions, determined our favorite wardrobe options, and finalized our plan.  

The Session Begins

Do you see that smile in the first portrait below?  That is "so Daniel" in every way.  That is the smile you get upon meeting Daniel.  It says so much about him: warm, hospitable, fun-loving, and confident without a hint of arrogance.  

Daniel | Class of 2019

So, this first series of portraits is evidence that we commenced with a strong opening round.  That fabulous rustic background is a barn that I passed on my way in. The mere sight of it caused all kinds of light bulbs to flash in my brain.  Seeing Daniel in his first clothing choice confirmed my plan for this to be our first stop.  That Ohio afternoon was producing a light sprinkle of rain, and the barn offered a little bit of cover.  It also seemed to be the perfect spot to highlight that beautiful guitar that I get to hear him play in church.  I'm telling you, this guy is talented!  Check out that blue chair below.  Is that perfect, or what?  

The best part came when I got to show Daniel and his mom the back of camera so that they could see just what I was capturing.  We all agreed that these portraits were going to be pretty amazing. The ones with his guitar are among his favorites.   And we were just getting started!  Daniel was so willing to accommodate my every request and gave me such great feedback as we worked.  Together, we were able to build his session to effectively tell his story.

Daniel | Class of 2019

Making a Statement and Finding Meaning

In case you haven't figured it out yet, Daniel is a bit of a modern day Renaissance Man.  He is active at Louisville High School on the swim team, in drama club, in National Honor Society, and at our St. Joseph, Maximo Parish as a music minister and lector.  His friends would describe him as charismatic, adventurous, personable, and as a good listener.  I also know that Daniel is very introspective and his spiritual life is important to him.  So much so, that he has a favorite Bible verse that has become somewhat of a mantra for how he lives his life.  "Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." -Joshua 1:9.  We had talked about the idea of including this verse in a portrait that would be a beautiful reminder of just what that means for Daniel, and how it has, and will continue, to shape the way he lives his life.  I set up the portraits that you see below with this in mind.  Daniel walks confidently into the future with is talents in hand, knowing that God is walking with him every step of the way.  What a wonderful way to embark on life's journey.  It says a lot about why Daniel is such an inspiration.

Daniel | Class of 2019

Mixing it Up

We were ready to simplify things a little bit, so we lost the flannel and settled on the blue on blue look.  Absolutely perfect with those blue eyes!  On my drive down their lane, I had spotted a rock pile high up on a hill.  Again, neurons were flashing about the possibilities.  The sprinkles had now subsided, and we were grateful for the overcast sky to beautifully filter the sun and to frame Daniel with that soft blue texture.  Daniel's zest for life makes him ready to take on just about anything.  This "power shot" of him standing on the rocks seems to say just that.  I really do love the second portrait below where Daniel is framed by the branches and has the whole world displayed before him.  The lush greens feel so nurturing.

Daniel | Class of 2019

Daniel is anything but one-dimensional.  He's not even two- or three-dimensional.  He enjoys and appreciates variety.  Just take a look at some of his favorites.  When it comes to movies, Star Wars and Step Brothers rate pretty high along with shows like The Office and Friends.  His great taste in music includes Billy Joel, Chris Stapleton and the Zac Brown Band.  When reading, he has enjoyed The Grapes of Wrath and books of the Harry Potter series.  Consequently, it was important to capture variety in Daniel's portraits.  So, it was time to bring out the electric guitar.  We also changed up the color scheme and setting.  I loved the colors and texture in this barn siding for the series of portraits below.  I also wanted to capture something a little edgier with the electric guitar.  That was my goal for the portrait on the right.  The angle and lighting here played well off of his chiseled features.  The black and white version of this is one of my favorites, too.

Daniel | Class of 2019

Although Daniel's talents lie in many areas, music is a dominant theme.  His passion for music has motivated him to play a variety of instruments, with the guitar and piano being his specialties.  He finds fulfillment in participating in performing arts in school.  According to Daniel, "there's nothing like having a crowd of hundreds engaged with you!"  That powerful statement indicates his passion.  If we had to narrow down that passion into something more specific, it would be his piano.  

Portraying his Passion

During our planning in the weeks prior to Daniel's portrait session, I was made aware of the baby grand piano that was his pride and joy.  Our conversation upon my arrival included an introduction to the beautiful instrument.  I saw that it had a room of its own and its value to Daniel was obvious.  I knew that I had to make these portraits extra special.

Both Daniel and I made several changes to accomplish this objective.  Daniel certainly did his part by changing into some formal attire and adding the sophisticated spectacles.  I found my lighting and played with reflections to show Daniel's spirit reflected in his journey with the piano.  In order to capture some authentic portraits that would evoke emotion, I asked Daniel to play for me.  I wanted to witness Daniel entering that other world that invites him in when he plays.  The black and white portrait below is so fabulous.  I feel that Daniel doesn't even know that we are there.  I think we accomplished our goal, as he told me these were his favorites.

Daniel | Class of 2019

Some Final Thoughts

Daniel likes spending time with family and friends.  You might find him at his favorite restaurant, Baker's Cafe, or browsing around Sweetwater Music, Guitar Center, or even at Dick's Sporting Goods.  He plans to attend The Ohio State University to explore his interests in Communications or Business.  He will certainly have a long list of activities and accomplishments to adorn his application.  But, some of the best things about Daniel can't be listed on a resume.  Daniel has a servant's heart.  If someone is struggling with a door, he is the first one to jump up to assist.  If there is someone looking a little down, Daniel springs into action to bring them some light.  If it is obvious that a leader is needed, he rises to the occasion.  He does these things not for his own recognition, but for the greater good.  These are the qualities that will make him a success in all the ways that matter.

Daniel, I am humbled that you have sung my praises as your photographer.  It has been my sincere pleasure to work with you and your family.  I will be cheering you on as I watch your journey in whatever directions God leads you.  

You make the memories; I will help you cherish them.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

 

What did Daniel have to say about his portrait session?

We were referred to Laura Esposito Photography from countless friends who had great experiences.
Laura Esposito was full of numerous creative ideas and made the session a very enjoyable experience!
Her positive energy was contagious, and in the end, we couldn’t have been happier with the results.

My favorite pictures include those taken with the piano, as well as those with the red flannel and acoustic guitar.  
I was surprised at how easily and effectively Laura Esposito could understand our requests and make those results incredible.


 


 

 

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) class of 2019 guitar guitar portraits louisville high school photography piano piano portraits portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures senior portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2019/2/meet-daniel-class-of-2019-louisville-high-school Mon, 04 Feb 2019 23:24:29 GMT
Meet Marissa | Class of 2019 | Louisville High School https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2019/1/meet-marissa---class-of-2019---louisville-high-school Marissa is a senior in the class of 2019 at Louisville High School, and her Silver Park portrait session was memorable, indeed.  Sometimes, things just come together perfectly, and that was certainly the case for Marissa's senior portrait session.  I remember when we scheduled her session for the end of October, we were worried that there wouldn't be much color left on the trees.  As it turns out, we hit the peak color of the season and we totally took advantage of every opportunity to use it.  I remember the first things we said to each other after our greeting was that we totally lucked out with the perfect day for a portrait session.  It only got better from there.

The Lacrosse Portion of our Session

As a senior at Louisville High School, Marissa is a busy girl.  In addition to rigorous coursework including CC+ classes at Stark State University, Marissa brings her A-game to the lacrosse team.  Her intense contributions are needed on the field, but I can only imagine how valuable Marissa must be to the morale of the team and camaraderie among the team members.  Marissa's friends describe her as the perfect mixture of silly and goofy with loyal and trustworthy.  No wonder she is loved by all.  

Marissa | Class of 2019

Time for Furry Fun

The more you get to know Marissa, the more apparent it becomes that behind that beautiful smile is a heart of gold.  That comes in handy when she works at a nursing home and sees such value in spending time with family and friends.  I believe that a kind heart is revealed in relationships with animals, and it warmed my heart to see her loving on her dog.  There were certainly no forced smiles here.

Marissa | Class of 2019

Hello Fall Color

So, as soon as I saw Marissa and her red dress, I knew that I wanted to take her to this upper wooded area of Silver Park that was rich with fall color.  The low angle of the sun was just perfect to frame her beautifully within this warm and lush landscape.  As much as I love her smile, the portrait of her below with the soft expression is one of my absolute favorites.  Nonetheless, the whimsical shots of her walking seem to show the real Marissa.  The real Marissa likes shopping at places like Dick's Sporting Goods and Target.  She absolutely loves Chick-fil-a.  (Who doesn't?)  When it comes to movies, Marissa enjoys chick flicks, Hallmark Holiday movies, and comedies.  Another thing that we have in common is that she likes country music.

Marissa | Class of 2019

New Location and New Colors

When I saw Marissa's next outfit, I knew that Glamorgan Castle had the perfect colors and textures to create a whole new look.  Marissa has the perfect adventurous spirit for a portrait session with me.  She was up for anything.  I told her several times that the pose "feels weird, but looks great."  She became a believer after looking at the back of the camera.  She said that she especially loved the portraits at the castle and the ones in her red dress.  

Marissa | Class of 2019

Adding Another Flower to the Garden

Don't you just love how Marissa can take the formality of the gorgeous dress below and bring her own version of whimsy and fun to own this look?  I knew that the collection of red maple leaves that littered the back garden would be ideal to complement her last outfit.  I just love how much Marissa embraced every portion of our session together.  Her positive energy is so contagious.  We laughed a lot and I enjoyed every minute of our time together.  

Marissa | Class of 2019

Moving on Up

Marissa makes me smile and fills me with hope for the future.  Marissa is going to make this world a better place.  She is considering a career in nursing and I would not be surprised at all if she studies abroad.  Her healing heart and helping hands will take her far.  Thank you, Marissa, for choosing Laura Esposito Photography.  I can't wait to see what your future holds and where your talents will take you.

You make the memories; I will help you cherish them.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) class of 2019 lacrosse louisville high school photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures senior portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2019/1/meet-marissa---class-of-2019---louisville-high-school Thu, 31 Jan 2019 22:15:06 GMT
Meet Hanna | Class of 2019 | Louisville High School https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2019/1/meet-hanna-class-of-2019-louisville-high-school It was a lovely October afternoon when I parked in the lot of Canton Garden Center and started assessing my light and locating the fall colors.  I was excited to see Hanna again.  Having known Hanna as a middle school student, I could still envision her with her hair up in a ponytail and wearing her athletic apparel and a smile.  So, when this stunning young woman stepped out of the car, my jaw dropped.  I could still see that very down-to-earth, sweet girl with a a drive and focus for success, yet balanced by an appreciation for having fun.  Some new qualities that I detected were self confidence and a greater understanding of just who she is and what she wants to become.  Those qualities enhance the outer beauty which is already there.

Hanna | Class of 2019

We started our session when the sun was still rather high, so we took advantage of the gorgeous filtered sun backdrop.  We were just getting started, and Hanna immediately nailed all of my posing cues.  Hanna is not one to readily jump in front of the camera, so I was blown away with how relaxed and natural she looks in every shot.  That smile is captivating!

Hanna | Class of 2019

Hanna's second outfit was a winner, too.  By this time, the sun was a little lower and we had more options with more shade available.  I had her all over the place, but Hanna was always game for whatever I wanted to try.  Hanna's mom and sister were great cheerleaders, and it was fun to have them along for the session.  

Hanna | Class of 2019

Hanna's mom mentioned a favorite weeping willow tree that she remembered, and I was so happy that she made the suggestion.  We had so much fun with this dreamy setting.  I think these are some of my favorite portraits because you really get a sense of Hanna's lighthearted spirit and why her friends love hanging out with her.   Hanna's friends would describe her as fun, honest, and loving.  Can't you just tell that is true from her portraits?  

Hanna | Class of 2019

As we reluctantly left the tree that was so much fun, we drove on over to the McKinley Monument where we were able to capture some different looks.  I knew we had captured many portraits of that beautiful smile, so I wanted to be sure to show a little of Hanna's quieter side.  She is just as stunning with that soft smile that you see above.  By this time, we were getting that beautiful warm glow from the setting sun, and I loved how it reflected off the white stone of the monument.  That window of opportunity is so small, but our timing was perfect to capture these portraits.

Hanna | Class of 2019

It was so kind of Hanna's coach to be willing to meet us at the gym so that we could capture Hanna in her true element.  Hanna's two main interests are camping with her family and basketball.  She is also busy with Key Club, Spanish Club, and National Honor Society, but basketball brings out that fire in her soul.  She really shines on the court because she has high expectations for herself and pushes herself through hard work.  The real key is that Hanna embraces the "team" concept of her game so that she is the ultimate asset.  As you can see, she is truly happy in this environment, but we also tried to capture some of that fierce competitor that boils from deep within.  

Hanna | Class of 2019

I love creating these composites where I try to tell a story to reveal a little more about what makes this senior special.  Combining the athletic intensity with a more relaxed Hanna conveys her depth.  

Needless to say, I had a blast working with Hanna and her family.  Hanna's favorite portraits are the ones we took in the gym.  I was not surprised!  I do hope that she can see just how beautiful she is in all of the portraits.  At this time, Hanna would like to see herself attending Ohio State University next year.  She certainly has what it takes to make that a reality.  Wherever life takes her, I wish her all the best and will be part of her fan club.  You've got this, Hanna!  I have a feeling that we haven't even begun to see what you are made of.  

You make the memories; I will help you cherish them.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

 

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) basketball class of 2019 louisville high school photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures senior portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2019/1/meet-hanna-class-of-2019-louisville-high-school Sat, 05 Jan 2019 12:18:29 GMT
Reflecting on 2018: The Year of Gratitude for Laura Esposito Photography https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2018/12/reflecting-on-2018-the-year-of-gratitude-for-laura-esposito-photography Today is December 31, 2018.  Another year has come and gone, and I feel the need to try to make some sense of where I am today, how I got here, and where am I headed.  Isn't that what welcoming a new year is about?  It forces us to reflect.  Like many, I get busy with my day-to-day activities and don't take the time to step back and look at the big picture.  So, I am doing that today.  

As I was preparing my images for today's blog, I took a very meaningful walk down memory lane.  The overwhelming sensation that filled my heart and mind was one of gratitude.  As a solopreneur, it is easy to feel that constant apprehension about each decision that is made.  Have I allocated my budget correctly?  Are my marketing efforts going to reap any rewards?  Have I priced my services at a level that will even pay the bills?  Which educational opportunities will yield the most growth?  How can I better serve my clients so that they will love their experience?  What else can I be doing to improve my SEO?  Is there a valuable networking opportunity that I'm missing?  The list of concerns goes on and on.  

From Quote Master: venspired.com Let me get back to that theme of gratitude.  True to form, I tend to loose myself in the anxiety of an unpredictable business.  So many times, I would feel that cloud of doubt hovering over me as I would fear that the next month would not generate enough portrait sessions to remain sustainable.  Every single time I became overwhelmed, I did what got me through so many situations in the past.  I would pray.  I would place my concerns in God's capable hands, and every single time, I would be rewarded with a phone call, email, or text that held a precious inquiry about using my services.  And, every single time, I would look up and say, "I know that was you, God!  Thank you for rewarding my faith."  

But, my gratitude runs much deeper than the relief of being able to pay the bills.  The deepest source of that gratitude is for the many opportunities to meet and work with the most amazing people.  Listening to the news can be incredibly depressing, as it seems that there is no goodness left in the world.  Somehow, all goodness seems to come my way in the form of beautiful hearts and brilliant minds that appreciate what I can help them to achieve in the form of pictures.  In order to truly meet their needs, it is necessary to find my way into their visions and purpose and to learn about their values.  This is where the true beauty lies.  Yes, I make every effort to work effectively with lighting and angles and composition and everything else that makes for a fabulous portrait; but, the real essence of the final product is in the emotions generated by the image.  When the portrait speaks to the heart as well as the eyes, I have done my job.

Class of 2018

The existence of Laura Esposito Photography came about through Senior Portrait Photography, and that first love has never faded.  My love of High School Senior Photography has been covered in previous blog posts, and the intensity of that dedication grows every year.  The images you see above are Seniors from the Class of 2018 who chose to have their portrait sessions in the spring.  As you can see, spring pictures are a great option.  Portrait sessions in April and May are timely for graduation.  Just look at those beautiful smiles.  I feel very confident that they are doing quite well this year.

Class of 2019

The Class of 2019 is certainly an impressive group!  The amazing young people you see above and below represent the current senior class, and I am hoping to see many more in the spring.  I just love the variety as each Senior is so unique.  There is even much variety within each gallery.  That is one of my goals for each portrait session, and I have seen growth over the past year.  Gratitude fills my heart that I have been able to get to know each of these amazing young people.  I feel very confident in our future with these brilliant minds and kind hearts leading the way.

Class of 2019

I'm not sure about you, but I just can't look at the portraits below without smiling.  The innocence, honesty, and zest for life that is found in the eyes of a child makes capturing portraits of emotion inevitable.  It is almost as if you know the personality of each little person as my style is one that encourages genuine expressions.  I am so grateful for every parent who chose to trust me with capturing this cherished time with their most precious gifts.

Children

As much as I love capturing portraits of children, there is something even more special about including the entire family.  It is so sad that many of us adults allow our insecurities to prevent us from being included in portraits.  When we do make a rare appearance, we focus on our flaws and lose sight of the beauty that is so special to those who love us.  That understanding defines my approach to family portraiture.  

Families

When I look at these portraits above and below, I see the beauty that exists in family relationships.  The caring and devotion that can only be found within the family unit is truly a thing of beauty, and if that can become the focus of the portrait, then everyone in the portrait looks fabulous.  Seeing with the heart renders a much more accurate view than the eyes can allow.  I am incredibly grateful that these families embraced my approach and came away with these memories to cherish.

Families

My journey through 2018 included some honest self-assessment, and I knew that I needed some professional development for posing couples.  This led to an extensive class in posing for weddings, and the results below speak for themselves.  These two beautiful couples placed their trust in me and I am so grateful.  If these engagement sessions are any indication, I feel certain that their wedding portraits will be amazing.  Again, I just marvel at the fact that I get to work with the absolute nicest couples.  You can just tell by the way they look at each other and respect each other that they really are "meant to be."  Spending time with each of them left me with such excitement for the happiness that I see in their futures.  I will have wedding portraits to share in my blog for 2019!

Engagement

Corporate headshots are a less glamorous service that I offer.  Many have a need for a professional headshot for a website, business card, or Linkedin profile and consider it to be a necessary evil.  I like to replace the evil with fun and truly tailor that headshot to match the personality of the professional and the application of the headshot.  "One size fits all" certainly does not apply to a headshot.  These incredibly talented professionals that you see below have different approaches to their headshots that fit their marketable skillsets.  I am humbled to have captured their greatness!

Corporate Headshots

Corporate promotional images are so much fun for me as they push my creativity in a new direction.  In today's electronic age, having an internet presence is vital.  Whether you are building your website or social media pages, images sell;  furthermore, impactful images sell more and are remembered.  That is where I can help you.  The collection below includes some gorgeous shots that were used quite effectively for advertising, fund raising, magazine features, newsletters, banners, promotional mailings, wall murals, and social media blasts.  I just love conversations that start with, "Here is what I am hoping to do..."  Then, I can take it from there!  This approach has allowed me to work with some of the most deserving of causes.  As always, good causes are led by even greater people. Do you see how my job can never become boring?  The possibilities are endless!

Promotional

The meaningful parts of our lives are often marked by events that beg to be documented.  Hence my catch phrase, "You make the memories; I will help you cherish them."  I am grateful to be top-of-mind for so many when there is a meaningful event to be captured.  I must express enormous gratitude to Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union #94.  They have used my services on numerous occasions to document some wonderful events that are both community-minded and fellowship-building.  

Events

So, what can I say?  This collection of portraits is proof that 2018 was a great year for Laura Esposito Photography.  I can look at the numbers and charts created by my Dubsado CRM software to see that I am actually doing this whole "running a business thing" --- EEEK!  But, I prefer to look at the faces in these portraits to see the relationships that have led me to this place.  I prefer to remember that it was prayer and faith that got me through the scary times.  I prefer to remember how grateful I am that this is my life.  

Melody Beattie Quote

Hence, my vision for 2019 is quite fabulous!  With greater confidence, I move forward with an eagerness to see what I can do.  My attendance at PPA's Imaging USA in January in Atlanta will be a springboard to learning and growth.  I am thrilled to have joined the Northeast Ohio Chapter of PPA where I can learn from some of the truly great artists in our area.  I will not lose sight of the wonderful connections that have elevated my professionalism in the past and intend to encourage growth in my high-functioning networking groups such as Networking Today International and my Green Networking Group.  I will modify the marketing efforts that were less effective, and build on the ones that worked.  And, I will continue to push myself for continuous improvement in both quality and client experience.

But, do you know what really gets my stomach aflutter for 2019?  I am most excited about the relationships that I will build and how I can help my clients fall in love with the portrait process.  

Thank you to all who made my 2018 so remarkable.  May 2019 bring even more reasons to be grateful.  

You make the memories; I will help you cherish them.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) class of 2019 family portraits gratitude Imaging USA photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional development professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures Senior Portraits wedding wedding photography https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2018/12/reflecting-on-2018-the-year-of-gratitude-for-laura-esposito-photography Mon, 31 Dec 2018 19:27:35 GMT
Meet Dillon | Class of 2019 | Louisville High School https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2018/12/meet-dillon-class-of-2019-louisville-high-school Meet Dillon, the Senior Feature of this blog post.  Dillon's first name is Charles, but everyone knows that smiling face and fun personality as Dillon, his middle name.  Dillon is a Senior at Louisville High School where he plays football and baseball, as we will see later in the blog.  It was the intense schedule of a dedicated football player that required us to set our portrait session in November.  After Mother Nature demanded some rescheduling, we actually managed to hold our session on a gorgeous fall day.  

I met Dillon, his mom, and girlfriend in the parking lot of Silver Park on that sunny afternoon.  When Dillon showed up with his winning smile, great attitude, and a dedicated support team, I knew we were in for a successful session.  The portraits that you see below were our very first captures, and there was apparently no warming up needed.  Dillon rocked his session from the very first click.

Dillon | Class of 2019 As we moved on to part two of our session, I wanted to try to show some variety, as Dillon is anything but boring!  He plays YMCA basketball, likes golfing and playing video games, bowling, and tennis.  He likes hanging out with his girlfriend and friends, as well as watching NFL and college football.  Some favorite movies include Star Wars, Stepbrothers, Waterboy and Shawshank Redemption.  Chinese is his favorite kind of food, but also likes eating at A1 Japan, Jersey Mikes and Chipotle.  I think that is what makes Dillon so likable.  He can be happy in just about any situation. Dillon | Class of 2019 Once we finished capturing Dillon's amazing portraits, we were ready to move on and feature one of his passions, baseball.  I was thrilled to have sun and blue skies so that we could create that amazing shadow silhouette image that you see below.  I love how comfortable Dillon looks on the baseball field.  You can tell he has put in the time to get to that level.

Dillon | Class of 2019

November in Ohio means early sunsets, so we were careful to watch our time spent at Silver Park.  After all, we still had football portraits to take at the Louisville Stadium.  Football is Dillon's true passion, so I knew that these football portraits would be a priority.  He even plans to play in college which is an indication of just how dedicated he is to the sport.  

When we arrived at the stadium, I could sense a change in Dillon.  It could have been the fact that the temperature dropped about ten degrees, but I am quite certain that the intensity I saw in his eyes was all about his passion for the sport shining through.  No matter what crazy idea I had for a pose, he was all in; and, he totally nailed every pose!  Just look at those portraits below.  I love every one and there are so many more in his gallery that I didn't have room to include.  I'm pretty pumped that Dillon told me the images taken at the stadium were his favorite portraits, too.  Mission accomplished!

Dillon | Class of 2019

I am always trying to challenge myself and to push my creativity, so generating these composite portraits like you see below has become my little extra that I like to add when the session allows for it.  We had discussed that we wanted a football portrait from behind to show the back of the jersey, and I love the spread arms that kind of create a "larger than life" presence.  As I shared the sneak peek on the back of the camera, I knew that this capture was a favorite.  So, using it in a composite was my challenge.  I ended up loving the final result, but it took a few attempts to get this final portrait.  So worth the effort!

Dillon | Class of 2019

So, Dillon, thank you for a fabulous session.  Even through the mud and the cold, I absolutely loved your session and the portraits we created.  I wish you all the best as you move on to college to study business and continue to play football.  You certainly have what it takes to be successful and happy.  I will be here to cheer you on every step of the way.

You make the memories; I will help you cherish them.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) baseball class of 2019 football football stadium louisville high school photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures Senior Portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2018/12/meet-dillon-class-of-2019-louisville-high-school Fri, 28 Dec 2018 13:35:08 GMT
Meet Riley | Class of 2019 | Louisville High School https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2018/12/riley-class-of-2019-louisville-high-school As a portrait photographer, I am very much at the mercy of the weather, and scheduling sessions in November is always a gamble.  As often happens, my very last scheduled session of the season had been rescheduled several times as our fall was incredibly wet.  Nonetheless, I was so excited for this session to happen, and his Mom and I were determined that it WOULD happen.  It finally became a reality on November 21, and it was so worth the wait.

I had never met Riley prior to our portrait session, but everything I did know contributed to my excitement.  We planned to meet at Riley's home and take advantage of their beautiful wooded acreage.  I love using a new location as it forces me to look critically at my surroundings for the best portrait opportunities.  I also knew that Riley wanted to include his dog Chunky and get some shots with his guns.  Yay!!!  But, the thing that made me most excited leading up to our session was the impression I had gained about Riley from others who knew him.  It is common for my conversations with people to include inquiries about my upcoming portrait sessions and I am always excited to talk about my portrait work.  With all of our weather delays, I had many opportunities to mention that my last senior session was going to be with Riley.  Every single time, the other people engaged in the conversation would get a big smile and tell me that I was going to love working with Riley because he is so fun.  Wow!  They were right on the money with that prediction!  

Riley | Class of 2019

As I pulled into their driveway on that cold November day, I was immediately scanning the area and noticing all of the great portrait possibilities.  Upon meeting Riley and his family in person, I knew that this was going to be such a successful way to end my fall portrait season.  We started Riley's session by including Chunky, as seen above.  There is just something so endearing about a boy and his dog.  Both are equally lovable, but together they just make my heart smile.

Riley | Class of 2019

Once Chunky had enough of the spotlight, I immediately asked Riley about the great old truck that I spotted on my way down their driveway.  He had been thinking the same thing, so we made that our next stop.  I absolutely loved the rich colors and textures as a backdrop and the fall vegetation around it just pulled the whole shot together.  I could have worked with Riley at this spot all evening, but I knew we had so much more to capture.

Riley | Class of 2019

Next, we moved on to highlight one of Riley's favorite pastimes.  Riley is a busy guy!  He is active in football, wrestling, riding his dirt bike, and 4-wheel drive mudding.  But, he really gets that gleam in his eyes when we talk about hunting.  These are some great shots of Riley in his element.  I love that beautiful knife at his side, too.  Thankfully, the soybeans were still standing, and isn't that shirt absolutely perfect for this setting?  

Riley | Class of 2019 Although we enjoyed using props in Riley's portrait session, we captured some fabulous portraits of just Riley being Riley.  These black and white shots above are some of my favorites.  Riley's friends describe him as funny and outgoing.  I totally see that, but I would have to add easygoing to that list.  Not only was Riley totally comfortable with whatever I asked of him, but he was great at coming up with ideas, too.  This was a real collaboration and it worked so well.

Riley | Class of 2019

Ahhh!  Notice we are back to hunting again, but this time, the gun has some special meaning and purpose.  This is Grandpa's gun and it is beautiful.  For these shots, we ventured further into the woods and made what was left of the leaves work for us.  It actually started to snow at this point, but we didn't let that slow us down.  Riley stated that on the weekends, he likes to catch up on sleep, but really loves spending time outdoors.  What a smart guy!  With this gorgeous setting in his back yard, he just can't go wrong.

It didn't take me long to figure out that Riley is one smart cookie who is ahead of the game with regard to maturity and well-allocated priorities.  Along with his love for the outdoors, he is part of a beautiful and supportive family that you can see below.  He is also a very accomplished wrestler.  Whether or not you are familiar with the sport of wrestling, I can assure you that it takes incredible dedication, discipline, determination, and confidence.  All of these traits will serve him well as he moves on to attend the University of Northwest Ohio in their diesel mechanic program.  Riley is going into this program with much experience and training, but knows that this is a necessary step to move on up to higher management positions.  I am willing to bet that he goes even farther.

Riley | Class of 2019

When looking for a movie to watch, Riley prefers comedies and action movies.  Not surprisingly, he also likes catching YouTube videos about mechanical operations.  Texas Roadhouse is his favorite restaurant and says that "the rolls are to die for!"  I have to agree!  Riley's favorite portraits from our session were the ones with Chunky and his guns.  He was happy to be outside for his portrait session and liked that I was easy to work with and took tons of pictures.  He said it is hard to choose, but that is a good thing.  Well, Riley..... you are to blame for that.  You took amazing pictures and made it so easy and fun for me to be your photographer!  Thanks for helping me to end my fall portrait season on a high.  I just can't wait to see what amazing things you do.  Your integrity and big heart will be among your greatest assets.

You make the memories; I will help you cherish them.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) class of 2019 family portraits hunting louisville high school photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures senior portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2018/12/riley-class-of-2019-louisville-high-school Fri, 28 Dec 2018 13:34:15 GMT
Meet Madison | Class of 2019 | East Canton High School https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2018/12/meet-madison-class-of-2019-east-canton-high-school I am thrilled to introduce you to Madison who is a Senior at East Canton High School.  The more I tell you about her, the more endearing you will feel toward her.  Let's start with the fact that she wanted to begin her portrait session by including her two beloved dogs as well as her three brothers.  Madison manages to hold her own right in the middle of the boys and is truly a grounding presence.  I love what this says about her priorities.

Madison | Class of 2019

I really think that if you were to look up the meaning of "All American Girl," you would find Madison's picture.  Not only does she possess an infection sparkle in her eyes and smile, but she excels academically and is a member of the National Honor Society.  Her friends would describe her as funny, kind, and genuine.  That shows through in every portrait.  

Madison | Class of 2019

Just like her disposition, Madison's smile is unfailing.  Each of these portraits were captured as a first take with no adjustments.  She is just a natural in every way.  Among her favorite things to do (other than basketball which we will get to) are hanging out with friends and watching movies, especially comedy and suspense.  She likes eating at Red Lobster and shopping at Dick's Sporting Goods and American Eagle.  Doesn't that seem appropriate?

Madison | Class of 2019

As much as I adore Madison's smile, we did get a few portraits with a softer look.  I just love these quiet poses below.  Madison said that what she liked best about her portrait session was the relaxed atmosphere.  She played a large part in creating that relaxed atmosphere and I appreciated it, too.  Nonetheless, Madison's mom and I couldn't help but gush as we would look at the back of the camera.

Madison | Class of 2019

We were able to take advantage of the beautiful early fall when there is a little color starting in some trees, but everything still feels full of life.  I loved the glow of the yellow trees in the background.  The gray tones in the stone worked well with the gray stripe in her sweater and allowed the colorful stripes and her smile to pop.

Madison | Class of 2019

Ah yes!!!  Now, we get to talk about Madison's real passion, which is basketball.  Madison has had a long history playing basketball and plans to continue playing in college.  She will be attending Walsh University and contributing her talents and positivity on and off the court as she pursues a degree in something medical related.  Not surprising, Madison's favorite portrait from our session is the one below that is a composite of her in the doorway and her basketball image on the wall.  I like that she is larger than life in that portrait.  That is how she approaches challenges, hence, she reaps the benefits of success.

Madison | Class of 2019

I have no doubt that we will continue to see Madison tackling her future challenges, and I am quite certain that we have not seen the last of her successes.  So many people in her future will be warmed by that smile, and I am so thrilled that I have been able to capture it and share it through her portraits.  Best wishes to you, Madison!

You make the memories; I will help you cherish them.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) basketball class of 2019 East Canton High School photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures Senior Portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2018/12/meet-madison-class-of-2019-east-canton-high-school Wed, 12 Dec 2018 17:52:56 GMT
Meet Olivia | Class of 2019 | Louisville High School https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2018/12/meet-olivia-class-of-2019-louisville-high-school Meet Olivia, Class of 2019.  Olivia, also known as Liv, is a Senior at Louisville High School where she is seen by her friends as a nice, thoughtful, caring, and hardworking person.  I would have to add a few more adjectives such as resilient and easy-going.  You see, Olivia's portraits may create the appearance of a beautiful setting and a carefree day, but the reality of the situation is that it was absolutely freezing.

We had agreed to meet at Brumbaugh Nature Center in Minerva, and upon Olivia's arrival, I realized that she had just left school and immediately came to our session.  She hopped out of the car and used my pop-up changing tent to change into her first outfit that you see here.  No fuss, no muss.  Looks absolutely adorable and refreshed.  I really should have turned the camera on myself for a funny contrast.  I was bundled from head to toe and my nose was still red.  Despite the cold and gusty winds, we did capture some beautiful portraits, some of which are shown below.  Olivia said that these are among her favorites.  The sweater that her mom picked up for her was just the perfect color for this spot.  I love how it makes her beautiful blue eyes POP.

Olivia | Class of 2019

I think that we were all thankful to hop in the car for a warm drive down the street to the University of Mount Union campus.  How adorable is this outfit?  Keep in mind, it is still freezing out, but you sure can't tell by her smile.  Fortunately, I had a blanket in my car and we would wrap her up like a burrito to move from one location to another.  What a good sport!

Olivia | Class of 2019

This setting was perfect as Olivia plans to attend the University of Mount Union in the fall.  She thinks she may want to major in early childhood education or business.  UMU has recently gained accreditations in these areas and really just can't be beat, so she will be on a very successful path.  

Olivia | Class of 2019

Olivia's next outfit was perfect to show her more casual and playful side.  It didn't hurt that it was a little warmer, as well.  Above and below you see that heartwarming smile and dimples that is such an Olivia trademark.  Some things that may trigger that smile are hanging out with friends, snow skiing, and going to Cleveland Indians games.  She also likes shopping, especially at Target, and eating out at places like Bjs Brew house, Applebees, and Outback Steakhouse.

Olivia | Class of 2019

As much as I love Olivia's beaming smile, I really love the softer look of her portraits below.  Those bright blue eyes and adorable dimples are a great indication of the incredibly sweet heart that lies beneath.  They match the fact that Olivia loves Nicholas Sparks movies and the Hallmark Christmas movies, as well as country music.  No wonder we get along so well!

Olivia | Class of 2019

Olivia, I love you and your family dearly and it was such a pleasure to be your photographer.  I hope that you can see the beauty in yourself that makes everyone around you so happy.  You know I will be watching and cheering you on in whatever path you choose.

You make the memories; I will help you cherish them.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) Class of 2019 Louisville High School photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer Senior senior photography senior pictures Senior Portraits University of Mount Union https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2018/12/meet-olivia-class-of-2019-louisville-high-school Wed, 12 Dec 2018 16:29:45 GMT
Meet Erin | Class of 2019 | Louisville High School https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2018/12/meet-erin-class-of-2019-louisville-high-school Allow me to introduce Erin, Class of 2019.  Erin is a Senior at Louisville High School and is preceded by three siblings who also graduated from Louisville and were also Laura Esposito Photography Seniors.  Erin's down-to-earth but lively spirit shines clearly through her natural beauty, as you can see below.

Although Erin is an accomplished athlete, I love that the portraits we captured below show her feminine side.  That smile is captivating!

In the next series of portraits, we had a little fun letting the wind do its thing.  When you can't fight it, you figure out how to work with it.  What strikes me most is how relaxed she looks in every shot.  That is true to her personality.

As we moved on to the gym where Erin spends much of her time, you could sense that the intensity level increased.  She was so in her element here!  Fall was all about volleyball, and, yes, she was a dominant force on the court.

Erin's true passion is basketball.  I think that is why the smiling shots came so readily in this set.  Erin has some big decisions ahead as she is comparing basketball programs at several colleges.  Her skills and demeanor would make her an asset to whomever is lucky enough to win her loyalty.

Erin, thank you so much for such a fabulous portrait session!  You and your family are very special to me, and it was so fun to spend the evening with you and to be your photographer.  You have great things ahead, and I can't wait to see where you will choose to share your talents.  

You make the memories; I will help you cherish them.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

 

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) basketball Class of 2019 family portraits girls basketball high school basketball high school volleyball Louisville High School photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer Senior senior photography senior pictures Senior Portraits volleyball https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2018/12/meet-erin-class-of-2019-louisville-high-school Wed, 05 Dec 2018 20:25:43 GMT
Meet Josie | Class of 2019 | Louisville High School https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2018/10/meet-josie-class-of-2019-louisville-high-school Josie's September portrait session had already been rescheduled to avoid rain once and we really wanted to avoid another delay.  Despite the heavy cloud cover and wind, Josie was up for the task.  We had decided to meet at The Quarry as this is a location where Josie spends much time on the golf course.  As soon as she hopped out of her car with her bright smile, killer outfit, and determined attitude, I knew I was in for a great session, despite the weather. 

We were not certain what the skies had in store for us, and I knew the blue and white striped outfit she was currently wearing would look great with the waterfall setting, so we decided to make that our first stop.  The heavy cloud cover was a blessing in that seeking out shade was not necessary.  I typically use this spot later in the evening when the low angle of the sun creates enough shade to capture a great portrait.  The ground was rather squishy around the beautiful waterscape, so we worked carefully and the very first shots are below.  Talk about a great start!

I was already loving this girl's spirit, but when she suggested that she sit up in the actual waterfall for some shots, I knew she would be game for anything!  The water was cold and it was quite breezy, but she never let it show.  My camera shutter and flow of excited gasps were both uncontrollable.  Check out some of the results below.

Despite the discomfort of being wet and cold from the waist down, Josie was still up for a few more shots that I had envisioned for this location.  She looks cool as a cucumber.  Did I mention that I love this girl?  Josie said that these portraits above and below are her favorites.  She deserves the credit for braving the rough conditions to make them absolutely amazing.

After being ecstatic with these portraits, we went back up to the club house where Josie was able to change into her next outfit.  We were literally and figuratively just warming up.  When she came out in the beautiful flowered flowing top, I was anxious to capture a softer side of Josie.  Of course, it decided to start misting a little bit, but we just kept on capturing one great portrait after another.  We stayed close to the building so that we could have a little cover, and the stone of the building made for a beautiful background. Thankfully, our perseverance paid off and the mist dissipated so that we could continue to work our way around to the open space in the back of the building.  I was still playing off the feminine flare of her outfit and that beautiful hair that just kept getting prettier no matter what the weather was throwing her way.   Having gained some confidence in the weather, we ventured a little further and I found some perfect landscapes to capture Josie's beautiful smile and eyes.  Oh, those eyes are just gorgeous!  We let the wind work to our advantage and captured some of my favorite portraits below. And now, we get to move on to showcase Josie's passion.  Josie enjoys playing golf competitively on the varsity golf team and as a pastime.  How perfect that this sport can be enjoyed for the rest of her life.  Josie's friends describe her as a caring person with a great sense of humor.  It is no surprise that some of Josie's teammates happened to be at the golf course that day and were cheering her on through her portrait session.  I can imagine that this same camaraderie is something special among these girls.  Notice how Josie shines on the course.

This beautiful and talented young lady likes pizza and shopping on Amazon.  Her all-time favorite music group is Nirvana and she loves the movie What's Eating Gilbert Grape.  In addition to golf, Josie likes hanging out with friends.  She hopes to attend Kent State where she can pursue a nursing degree.  One of the things that Josie liked best about her portrait session is that it was so quick and easy to do.  Remember, this is coming from the girl who was sitting in freezing water at the beginning!  No doubt, with this positive attitude, Josie will will be successful no matter where life's path takes her.  I will be watching and cheering you on all the way!  Thank you for allowing Laura Esposito Photography to capture your senior portraits.

You make the memories; I will help you cherish them.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

 

 

 

 

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) Class of 2019 golf Louisville High School photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer Senior senior photography senior pictures Senior Portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2018/10/meet-josie-class-of-2019-louisville-high-school Mon, 08 Oct 2018 10:48:35 GMT
Meet Noah | Class of 2019 | Louisville High School https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2018/9/meet-noah-class-of-2019-louisville-high-school         August 30th was a beautiful day.  As I made my way to Silver Park in Alliance for my portrait session with Noah, I was, as usual, full of excitement.  After all, I was going to get to meet some new people, spend the evening outside in the gorgeous weather, and do my favorite thing... take portraits.  I started to wonder what Noah was feeling at that time.  Most seniors are a little nervous about the idea of having their picture taken all evening.  They worry that they aren't going to be very good at this.  What if they don't like how the portraits look?  Are they going to feel self conscious posing for a camera in the middle of a park?  There are probably about a million other things they can think of that they would rather be doing.  

        When Noah got out of the car, I could sense a little of those concerns, but I saw a willingness to buy into the system because he knew this is what would make Mom happy.  I mention this because of the transformation that I saw as we progressed through the session.  Below are the portraits from our very first segment.  Doesn't he look fabulous?  Once he saw the back of my camera, he realized that he is actually really good at this.  I saw the concerns vanish and then we really started having fun.  Even though I love that smile, Noah totally nailed the serious poses, too.  Oh, we are just getting started!

Noah's Portrait Session - Segment 1         Noah's wardrobe for segment 2 of our session stepped it up a little bit.  This pop of color was a fabulous choice and I knew the green backgrounds would offer some nice contrast.  The smile in the one below where he is looking over his shoulder is one of my absolute favorites.  I clearly remember gasping as I looked at the back of my camera on that one.  I tend to do that a lot, as Noah quickly learned.  Once again, I can't help but love that serious one below, too.  This is about when we realized he just might have modeling in his future. Noah's Senior Portrait Session - Segment 2         During a portrait session, I make a conscious effort to create variety in the portraits we are capturing.  Of course it helps when there is some variety in wardrobe or props.  Noah did a fabulous job of giving me a lot to work with.  Check out the deep moody portraits below.  I love this look, but it only works well in certain outfits and settings.  We really hit the right combination here!  I knew this shirt was his personal choice, so I wanted to give him something to showcase the look appropriately.  He gave me exactly what I was looking for.  Again..... he is nailing this session!

Noah's Senior Portrait Session - Segment 3         Segment 4 was probably Noah's favorite segment.  I am always happy when both Mom and Dad can come along for the portrait session fun.  In this case, we really appreciated that Dad was able to help carry and care for the gun and crossbow.  When I talked with Noah about his passion for deer hunting, I could see the light in his eyes.  Just look at that smile in the first portrait below.  That is a genuine smile.  We were taking these pictures at the end of August, which is not deer season.  I did manage to create a little bit of a fall look so that it seems a bit more authentic.  

Noah's Senior Portrait Session - Segment 4         Remember when I mentioned that Noah made it easy to create variety in his portraits?  Well, here is a total change in gears as we are featuring his love of golf.  Noah explained to me that he just really loves golf.  He isn't on a team or anything, but he manages to get out to the course to play quite often during the summer.  I was so happy to hear this.  Sometimes, I feel that we place so much emphasis on organized sports and clubs that we forget to simply enjoy the activity for the sake of doing it.  Noah reminded me about this important lesson.  I hope that he maintains his love of golf for a lifetime.  I have to say that I totally love the angle of the portrait on the right below.  He held that pose for a while so that I could get it dialed in perfectly.  It was soooo worth it!

Noah's Senior Portrait Session - Segment 5

        And here is another passion for this well-rounded young man... baseball.  As a pitcher on the Louisville Varsity Baseball Team, Noah spends a lot of time on the mound.  I could tell that just being on the field and slipping on the glove ignited an intensity in his eyes.  I was thrilled he gave me some of that to capture, as well as the easy-going smile that he wears so well.  

Noah's Senior Portrait Session - Segment 6

        So, add another amazing Senior to my list of favorites.  Noah likes to hang out at fires with friends who would describe him as funny.  He likes to shop at Finish Line and eat crab legs.  And, with good tastes like that, he is sure to choose a great college to pursue after graduation.  Noah said that he did have fun during our session and I'm so happy to hear that.  I really had fun spending the evening with him and his parents.  Noah, I can't wait to see what the future holds for you and I hope that you continue to find joy in your many interests.  Thank you for allowing Laura Esposito Photography to capture your senior portraits.

You make the memories; I will help you cherish them.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) baseball Class of 2019 crossbow deer hunting golf hunting Louisville High School photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior photography senior pictures Senior Portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2018/9/meet-noah-class-of-2019-louisville-high-school Wed, 19 Sep 2018 17:09:31 GMT
Meet Jordan | Class of 2019 | Louisville High School https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2018/9/meet-jordan-class-of-2019-louisville-high-school         As I pulled into the parking lot of Silver Park on that beautiful August evening, it was easy to identify my High School Senior because he was standing between two beautiful cars that I knew were going to be part of our session.  As my excitement was growing from the sight of the cars, it grew even bigger once I got to meet Jordan and witness his fabulous smile.  Everything was indicating a great session ahead, and that proved to be an understatement.

        I love to have parents along for the experience, and having both Jordan's Mom and Dad joining us was super helpful.  I'm not sure how I deserve to be so blessed, but I get to meet the nicest families as a photographer.  Jordan and his family rate way up there!  

        So, we started out the session fairly casual, although I learned that normal casual for Jordan is rather colorful.  Black is his "go-to" color when he steps it up a bit.  I did see this theme as the session progressed.  Adding the letterman's jacket was a great touch, and helped to tell his high school story.  This first segment is when most people are still rather stiff and tense as they are getting familiar with how I work.  Not Jordan!  He looked cool as a cucumber.  Apparently, my running around and "oohs" and "ahhhs" from behind the camera didn't phase him.  I think he works well under pressure, which makes sense because he is a pitcher in baseball.  But, I will get into that more later.

Jordan - Class of 2019Senior Portrait Session Segment 1

        As we moved into segment 2 of our portrait session, Jordan stepped it up with this classy dress shirt.  Notice, it is black.  I can't complain because he wears it so well.  Check out these shots!  I truly remember gasping when I looked through my camera and saw what we were creating here.  It felt strange to ask Jordan to give me an expression that was not smiling.  Smiling comes naturally for him.  His friends would describe Jordan as being funny, smart, and always smiling.  I absolutely see all of those qualities.  Nonetheless, he totally nailed the non-smiling poses.  

Jordan - Class of 2019Senior Portrait Session Segment 2

        This next segment of the session is when the fun really started!  Oh yeah!  Check out these cars!  They looked even more fabulous in real life because Jordan's Dad used extra care to get them into showroom condition.  Actually, I think his Dad might keep them in showroom condition.  Anyway, among Jordan's interests are paintball, camping, fishing, video games and cars.  So, is it any wonder that these smiles come so naturally?  The Corvette is technically Grandpa's car, but there just might be a trip to prom in that car's future.

Jordan - Class of 2019Senior Portrait Session Segment 3

        Okay....  Brace yourself.  It actually does get better than this.  Let's just add a sophisticated black suit to the mix and I'm thinking James Bond has a run for his money.  I was literally giddy inside taking these portraits.  His future plans include attending Walsh University where he will be playing baseball and majoring in cybersecurity.  I think he can take on the world!  Jordan said that these portraits with the cars were his favorite and I can't disagree. 

Jordan - Class of 2019Senior Portrait Session Segment 4

        We transitioned our session from the cars to baseball.  Clearly this is another passion for Jordan.  Having played Louisville High School varsity baseball and Terriers baseball, Jordan is no stranger to the mound.  He is dedicated, smart, level-headed and, clearly, so kind.  He would be a coach's dream.  I'm sure Walsh is thrilled to add him to their line-up next year.  

Jordan - Class of 2019Senior Portrait Session Segment 5

        As a mom who has experienced the transition of my own kids from high school to college and beyond, I know how much we cherish the portraits that so purely portray the essence of our kids and what makes them special.  According to Jordan's Mom, these portraits are "typical Jordan."  That makes my heart happy.

Jordan - Class of 2019Senior Portrait Session Segment 6

        You just might run into Jordan at Wings, Winking Lizard, Chipotle, A-1 Steakhouse, or Best Buy.  That is, if he isn't playing baseball, paintball, or video games.  You can spot him in his sweet black car, and he may be dressed in black if it is a special occasion or a little brighter if he's just hanging out.  Either way, you can bet he will be wearing a smile and that smile will make you smile, too.  

        Jordan said that he had fun during our session.  Jordan, I had so much fun!!!!  It has been a pleasure getting to know you and your family.  I wish you all the best and will be watching to see what great things you accomplish.  Thank you for allowing Laura Esposito Photography to capture your senior portraits.

You make the memories; I will help you cherish them.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) baseball cars Class of 2019 Corvette Louisville High School photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior photography senior pictures senior portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2018/9/meet-jordan-class-of-2019-louisville-high-school Sun, 09 Sep 2018 19:34:42 GMT
Help, my kid is a Senior!: 20 questions and answers about the Senior Portrait Session. https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2018/8/help-my-kid-is-a-senior-20-questions-and-answers-about-the-senior-portrait-session So, you suddenly find yourself the parent of a high school senior?  I know you have lots of questions like, "How did this happen so fast?"  Some other stressful questions revolve around the fact that so much happens during a student's senior year of high school.  There are things like making sure that graduation requirements will be met, scheduling and taking the ACT/SAT, exploring possible universities or programs, ordering the cap and gown, preparing for Senior Night of whatever sport(s) they may be involved in, gathering pictures and memorabilia to display at the graduation party, planning the graduation party, applying for scholarships and student loans, and don't even get me started on the FAFSA!  There are some very big decisions to make, too. 

The purpose of this blog post is not to add to your level of anxiety by condensing a year's worth of work into one sentence.  Instead, I would like to make your life easier by answering questions and offering solutions to one of the fun endeavors characteristic of senior year.  I am talking about Senior Pictures, and helping you to see that this aspect is not a cause for concern, but rather something to get excited about.

 

Question #1:  Very often, the first question that pops into one's mind is, "How are we going to find time for this?"  

Well, my flexible scheduling will make it possible.  We can always find a way!  A senior portrait session with Laura Esposito Photography will be scheduled to start two hours before the sunset time of that particular day.  This is the optimal time of day for lighting based of the lower angle of the sun.  Obviously, because we live in the northern hemisphere, that start time will be later in the summer and progressively get earlier as we move through fall.  Seniors and their parents often have work schedules that need to be accommodated. Very often, the senior is involved in sports, band, dance, theater, 4-H, or some other activity that requires consideration.  We just need to find one evening that can be designated for a portrait session.  I have found that most coaches/leaders are very understanding if seniors need to leave a little early to get ready for their portrait session.  Some seniors who are involved in fall sports will even postpone their portrait session until the spring.  I hold many sessions in April and May.  Be aware that we typically continue to take portraits until the sun sets.  Once we start having fun, I just can't stop until the darkness ends the session for me.

Question #2:  "How much is this going to cost?"  

I will be the first to agree that having a high school senior is very expensive.  I obviously feel strongly about the importance of getting high quality professional portraits, but I also understand that this is one of many expenses draining your bank account at this time.  My senior portrait session investment is $350 and that covers me taking the portraits at a location of your choice within Stark County, unlimited wardrobe changes and props, editing all portraits with touch-ups as needed, and making them available to you in your own gallery on my website.

From this gallery, you can browse, share, order and download portraits. Prints and wall art can be ordered from this gallery and will be shipped directly to you. The gallery will remain available to you for years to come, so there is no need to feel rushed, or to order everything you want all at once. You can even share this gallery link with family and friends so that they can place their own orders independently. Portrait downloads from the gallery are lower resolution files that are fine for social media posts. Full resolution files are available for purchase on a flash drive with a copyright release for an upgrade of $100.

Prints and wall art come from a professional print lab and you order only what you want.  There are no packages that require you to spend a specified amount and you are not limited with the number of poses to choose from.  You can space out your session investment and print investment so that you are not paying the entire amount at once.  You could hold the session in the summer and then wait to buy prints in the spring when it is closer to graduation.  To give you an idea about your expected investment in the actual prints, see the list of current print prices below.  This is just a list of the most commonly purchased items.  Many other sizes and products are available in the shop on my website.  *Note that these prices are accurate as of July 31, 2018 and are subject to change by the print lab.

Print prices as of 7-31-18Subject to change

Question #3:  "How many portraits will we get to choose from?"  

Oh boy!  That is a very difficult question.  It really varies depending on the senior and how efficiently we work through the session.  The smallest galleries contain about 60 portraits and some ended up having over 200 portraits.  Sometimes, it is a matter of how many activities they want to include, the number of different facial expressions they give me, and if I end up creating several versions of the same portrait.  Some seniors and their parents prefer to have fewer to pick from and others want many.  I will warn you that most parents and seniors say that choosing which ones to buy is truly the hardest part because they want all of them.

Vivemasblog: Dealing with Choice Overload<a href="https://vivemasblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/25/dealing-with-choice-overload/" target="_self">https://vivemasblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/25/dealing-with-choice-overload/</a>

Question #4:  "Can we get some portraits in black and white?"  

Absolutely!  My typical workflow is that I will edit all color versions of the portraits first.  You will see these show up in your gallery first.  Then, I go back to the beginning and look very critically at each portrait to decide if there is any other variation that would be a good fit for that particular portrait.  If I feel that it makes a strong black and white image, then I will include that version in the gallery.  Sometimes, I will use some different effects like desaturation with high contrast to make it more "moody," or I will use an antique effect to give it a timeless feel.  The personality of the senior and the setting of the portrait often dictate what effect will be most effective.

Question #5:  "What is the turn-around time for this process?"  

Once we have held the portrait session, it typically takes me 3-7 business days to complete the editing process and make the portraits available to you in your gallery on my website.  I am very meticulous with the editing and only want to deliver the best portraits in your gallery.  Print orders typically take about 4 business days to arrive in your mailbox.  This could be longer over holidays, during high-volume times, or for products like canvases and metals.  So, if you were to place an order for prints as soon as I have your gallery created on my website, best case scenario would be that you could have prints in your hand as early as one week after the portrait session; worst case would be about two weeks.  This is why holding a portrait session in April or May is an option.  

Question #6:  "So, what do people typically do with these pictures, anyway?"  

They cherish them!  They cherish them because they document all that is so special about your senior at this unique time in their lives.  This is such a huge milestone as we think of them as officially becoming adults and making big decisions for themselves.  

Beyond the sentimental answer, many families buy prints or wall art to display proudly on a mantle or wall.  Some choose to order prints to use as gifts for grandparents at Christmas.  Many families are using the portraits to create the beautiful graduation announcements and party invitations that they mail to family and friends.  I do offer that service of designing those announcements as an optional upgrade.  The prints are often used in scrapbooking to create something to display at the graduation party.  Others choose to create a book with their favorite portraits.  I have even had families have the giant wall clings or posters made.  

We have found that many scholarship or award applications require that a portrait be attached.  Some seniors are even working on their LinkedIn Profile and having a professional portrait to use as a profile picture certainly adds to their credibility.  

Question #7:  "What about a Senior Portrait for use in the yearbook?"  

Oh yeah!  I left that out above, didn't I?  Some high schools require that you make an appointment with a specific photographer(s) for your headshot so that all of the senior portraits in the yearbook are uniform with the same background and proportions.  Others will allow you to acquire this portrait from a photographer of your choice, but they have precise guidelines that must be followed.  Be sure to find out what is expected from your high school.  

Typically, if you are required to get your yearbook shot from a specified photographer, there is no charge for getting the picture taken.  You have the option to buy that portrait.  You are then free to get your other senior portraits from a photographer of your choice.  (Hopefully me!)

If your high school requires that you submit a portrait from your own personal session for the yearbook, please be sure to provide me with a copy of the provisions and requirements so that I can be sure to follow their guidelines. 

Question #8:  "What if my Senior hates getting his/her picture taken?"  

Then you have come to the right photographer!  My motto is "Keep it simple. Make it fun."  The reluctant senior is one of my specialties.  I can usually win them over rather quickly by showing them the back of the camera after a series of "clicks."  Once they see how amazing they look in the portraits, they are hooked.  I have developed some tricks over the past ten years that help to relax the situation and deliver some great portraits.  One of my very kind parents had the following to say: 

My daughter hates having her picture taken but had so much fun and was very relaxed with Laura.  Her pictures turned out beautiful. -CB

 

Question #9:  "How do we find each other the night of the session and how do I pay?"  

I will be in touch with you to confirm everything a day or so before the session.  Then, we meet in the parking lot of whatever location we have chosen.  I will be the short lady running around with a big camera.  Ha ha!  I also suggest that you have my cell number programed in your phone in case you need to text or call while en route.  (330) 704-6473

You can pay by cash, by a check payable to Laura Esposito Photography, or by credit card.  If you choose to pay by credit card, there is a 3% convenience fee that will be added.  You can also pay by credit card from home prior to the session if you prefer.

Once we find each other, I will want to take a look at the outfits and/or props that you have brought.  We will talk about your vision for the portrait session and discuss any special request.  I will come up with a plan for the order in which we will use each outfit/prop with regard to location and lighting.  Then, we will get started!

Question #10:  "Should I, the parent, follow you and my senior around?"  

Ideally, yes.  There are several reasons I like having you there.  One is that you can help notice things like a folded hem, a hair out of place, a cell phone outlined in a pocket, etc.  I also like that you can typically help to think of things to say to elicit a genuine laugh or smile.  Occasionally, I may ask you to hold a reflector to bounce some light back into a shot.  Quite often, the parents are carrying along props or the next change of clothing.  

Once in a great while, I will find that the presence of a parent is actually making the senior more nervous or self-conscious.  It could be that there was a disagreement of some sort in the car on the way to the session and they are just not ready to let it go.  Sometimes, they just feel embarrassed for anyone to see them posing.  Whatever the reason may be, I try to create the environment that is most comfortable for my senior so that their portraits are relaxed and genuine.

Question #11:  "So, what if I don't like the way they are smiling?"  

Please speak up and let me know.  I will find a way to fix this.

I prefer that you not tell your Senior that they aren't doing it right.  Remember, it can be very uncomfortable to be front of a camera and expected to suddenly have the qualities of a model.  Maybe just let me know that the smile is not looking natural.  I will try to catch them off guard with a question or comment to elicit a genuine smile.  Then, I like to show the Senior and parents the back of my camera and I always ask what smile they like better.  Then, it becomes their preference rather than creating a sense that they are doing something wrong.  We are building success and confidence which results in the best portraits.

Question #12:  "Can we bring extra props and things that are important to my Senior?"  

YES, YES and YES!  This is their CUSTOM portrait session and that means that it needs to be uniquely theirs.  I have included dogs, cows, horses, pigs, tractors, cars, trucks, fire trucks, dirt bikes, four wheelers, boats, guns, bows, tree stands, snow boards, welding machines, trumpets, violins, drums, marimba, cymbals, guitars, flutes, clarinets, pianos, bassoons, playing cards, bathrobes, and items related to dance, volleyball, baseball, football, tennis, soccer, golf, lacrosse, track, wrestling, martial arts, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, 4-H and FFA. Basically, anything that helps to tell their story is welcome.  

Question #13:  "What if we can't agree on outfits?"  

Bring something that makes you happy and something that makes them happy.  This portrait session is really for both of you.  I know that you want beautiful portraits that represent this amazing young person you have loved and cared for all of these years.  So, you will want portraits of them wearing what you feel complements them best.  Your Senior may have a slightly different side that they want to show.  They may want something a little edgier or dramatic.  That is fine.  There is time in the session to allow for both "flavors" of them to shine.  You may be surprised to find that you actually like what they picked out, and they may end up liking what you suggested, too.  It is really fun to be able to show some variety, because that is what makes them complete and interesting.

Question #14: "What if we happen to wake up that day to a face full of blemishes?"  

No worries!  It happens to the best of us.  That is part of my meticulous editing procedure.  I am able to clear up blemishes better than any medication your dermatologist will prescribe.  You just smile and let me take care of the rest.

Question #15: "What if it rains the day of our portrait session?"  

Weather is certainly a factor that plays a role in our success.  Please understand that we do not need blue skies for a successful portrait session.  As a matter of fact, an overcast day is fabulous because a layer of clouds over the sun is the best light diffuser you can find.  Whether it is clear and sunny or cloudy, we will get great portraits.  I know how to adjust my camera settings and change my approach.  

Rain is not something that we can work into the equation unless we happen to have access to lots of sheltered areas, and that is not likely.  I purposely leave some breathing room in my calendar to allow for rescheduling.  I will be in touch with you leading up to the session as we assess the weather report.  If rain is certain, we will find another evening that we can agree upon.  If rain is a possibility, we will determine your comfort level with "giving it a try" and go from there.  

Question #16:  "How do I keep from being overcome with emotion during the session?"  

Hey, I get it!  Watching your child go through all of the rites of passage related to leaving high school and going off to college or the military or whatever their future holds is heart-wrenching.  This Senior Portrait Session is a celebration of your Senior.  They get to be in the spotlight and it is really all about them at the moment.  Enjoy this with them.  Be thankful that you get to share this moment with them and join in the fun.  The evening should be filled with laughter and "ooh's" and "ahh's" as we capture these treasured portraits.  It is good for them to see you swell with pride and show how much you love them.  This really is a fun family affair.

Question #17:  "What if I can't decide and want every portrait?"  

This is actually the most common problem among my Senior Portrait Clients.  They love every portrait and can't decide what to get.  There are several ways to tackle this issue.  Many parents will order a small print of each portrait so that they can have them in front of their eyes for a while before deciding on what they want in a larger print for display.  Some families will narrow it down to five or six portraits and order them in various sizes to make a wall grouping.  Others will commission me to create a collage for them that includes their favorite shots.  Another approach is to order several portraits in various sizes and then display them in many locations throughout the home.  Remember that you have canvases and metal wall art to consider.  Talk about taking the portraits to another level!

Question #18:   "Can I share these on social media?"  

Certainly!  I will be sharing my personal favorites on my Laura Esposito Photography Facebook Page and on Instagram.  You can share them from my page onto yours.  Or, you can download social media resolution files from the gallery on my website and post them yourself.  I would just really appreciate it if you could tag me as the photographer.  The contract does state that you may not further edit the portraits that you download.  So, adding filters or making your own color adjustments is not permitted by copyright.  

Question #19: "What other services do you offer?"  

Once we have your portrait gallery, a variety of other services become available to you.  Upon request, I create photo montages and collages.  I can work with you to custom design your graduation and party announcements so that they feature your favorite portrait(s).  I can create custom memory books and more.

Question #20:   "What if I still have lots of questions along the way?"

No problem.  The more questions you ask, the better prepared you will be for the session.  I am happy to answer your questions by email (lespo@me.com), Facebook Message, text or call (330) 704-6473.   I understand that you may have never experienced the process of preparing for a senior portrait session.  I have been through this many times.  So, you will certainly have questions and I will do my best to have the answers for you.  Click the image below for a link to a series of blog posts that have helpful information specific to preparing for the Senior Portrait Session:  

Senior Portrait Series Blog PostsClick here to find some helpful information about preparing for Senior Portrait Sessions.

I wish I could help to relieve all of your anxieties and concerns that come with navigating a busy senior year of high school.  Just know that when it comes to senior portraits, I've got you covered!  Plan to have lots of fun with this, because I certainly do.  I can't wait to meet you, plan your session, and create some amazing portraits.

You make the memories; I will help you cherish them.

Love and smiles,

Laura

 

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) 2019 Class of photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer Senior senior photography senior pictures Senior Portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2018/8/help-my-kid-is-a-senior-20-questions-and-answers-about-the-senior-portrait-session Wed, 01 Aug 2018 10:47:46 GMT
Water: My emotional and spiritual connection to H2O https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2018/7/water-my-emotional-and-spiritual-connection-to-h2o Emerald Isle Beach, NChttps://lespo.zenfolio.com/p139392126

Our vast universe contains the perpetual motion of the Milky Way Galaxy where a beautiful marbled blue planet orbits around a blazing sun.  On that planet is a layer of salt water interrupted by the occasional land mass.  Within those land masses can be found various puddles of fresh water with tributaries of water leading into them and out of them.  On one particular afternoon in one of those little bodies of fresh water could be found a single kayak suspended on its surface.  The subtle movement of this water and a gentle breeze caused that kayak and the searching soul within it to drift ever so slowly.  The occupant of the tiny vessel sat motionless with eyes closed in order to heighten the other senses and become fully immersed in the experience of becoming one with the water. There was a sense of buoyancy and abandon as everything about her position in the universe was at the mercy of the natural elements.  The rustle and clapping of feathers against each other and the wind revealed the presence of other creatures enjoying the same moment in the same space.  Random slaps on the water's surface would take her by surprise and generate an awareness of the many creatures below and around the sleek little boat that was invading their home.  Could they feel the minuscule changes in current and wind?  Did her oar in the water cause them to take notice?  Was she casting a shadow on some underwater vegetation creating a disruption in its photosynthetic quest?  Exactly where does she fit into this ecosystem and will her impact be positive or negative?  And, how is it that she is so incredibly blessed to be here in this time and place to enjoy this moment, full of appreciation and awe? ---------- And that is where the prayer begins.  The raw rendering of the heart with no filter and no curtain, but only a pure conversation with God that is full of thanksgiving and a purposeful quiet to invite him in... and to listen.

This is a description of how I chose to spend my birthday last week.  These moments of self-discovery, self-preservation, spiritual growth, whatever you want to call them, are absolutely priceless to me.  This was my gift to myself.  I have been blessed to find the value in these moments, but creating them for myself is not always easy.  Through the years, I have learned that one common element can feed my soul like nothing else, and that is water.  The science person in me must clarify that water is actually a compound and not an element, but it is chemically the most amazing compound in the world.  Like every other living being, I need water to live, but I have found that I TRULY need water to TRULY live.  

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/415668240598947838/

When things start to unravel or I feel that I need to center myself, I seek out water to quench my thirst for wholeness.  Yes, I love a nice cool glass of water as much as the next person, but I mean I seek to be in the presence of "natural water."  My definition of natural water is water that is found in streams, rivers, lakes, seas and oceans.  Consequently, "fake water" is water that is found in swimming pools and aquariums which can be pleasing, but does not generate the deep connections that bring me peace.  

AZ Quoteshttps://www.azquotes.com/quote/303088

I have also found that there is a direct correlation between the size of the body of water and its healing properties.  I gain happiness from the water flowing in a little creek along the hiking path, but even more from a river or lake.  Furthermore, nothing compares to the power of the ocean.  I find the most direct connection to the revelation of God's ever presence in the ocean.  The day I first saw the ocean in real life was the day that I got a glimpse of heaven.  Its immense vastness has the power to both take a life and to help me put mine back together.  It continually reshapes the shoreline as it reshapes me to better fit my current life and my role in it.  As a vast carbon sink and global circulatory system, it tries to heal the Earth from humanity's assault as it has healed my heart from loss of loved ones and a loss of identity.  Every time I return to the ocean, it is there waiting for me with waves reaching out to greet me and welcome me home.

Canadian Wildlife Federation Bloghttp://blog.cwf-fcf.org/index.php/en/8-quotes-that-illustrate-why-water-is-life/

As a lifetime Ohioan, my visits to the ocean are sporadic, but that has not kept me from enjoying water.  A recollection of our hobbies through the years demonstrates that water is a recurring theme.  We spent many years boating, camping, waterskiing and wake boarding.  

Our early skiing and wake boarding days.

Then, we moved on to fishing.  My husband and I were a competitive bass fishing team for twelve years.  Having a line in the water generated a whole new way of connecting with water and the amazing creatures that inhabit it.

Our days of bass tournament fishing.Go Team Triton!

It is hard to find a family picture of us that does not have water in the background.

Family portraits through the years

Even my "selfies" and quick snapshots involve water.  The connection is real!

Happy shots

So, part of the instruction manual for myself explains the procedure for performing a reboot, recharge, revive, or whatever might be needed to restore peace.  Step one of that procedure is to find water, natural water.  In extreme cases, a trip to the beach is in order as the beach can fill you up using every sense as a point of entry.  It saddens me to think that some people never get to experience the miracle of communing with the ocean, just as much as I mourn for those who take it for granted.  This understanding of self, like the ocean, brings both power and peace into my existence.  It allows me to find and fulfill my purpose. I just need to keep seeking out water and listening as He speaks.

You make the memories; I will help you cherish them.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) beach God happy place heal lake mental health ocean photography portraits prayer professional professional photographer river self-awareness self-help spirituality water https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2018/7/water-my-emotional-and-spiritual-connection-to-h2o Tue, 24 Jul 2018 02:26:46 GMT
A Tribute to the Class of 2018: Lessons learned from my high school seniors https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2018/5/a-tribute-to-my-graduating-high-school-seniors-lessons-learned-from-brilliant-seniors Well, it is that time of year again.  Our current high school seniors are graduating and moving on to the next chapters in their lives.  What that next chapter looks like for each of them is as different as their Instagram grids.  It is a time of excitement, nostalgia, thanksgiving, anticipation, and possibly, some trepidation.

There is no doubt that this group of Generation Z has their work cut out for them.  We are creating a multitude of issues and problems that their creative and inventive minds will be forced to tackle.  Many cynics have doubts about their ability to navigate our world, let alone, lead it.  With stigmas revolving around laziness, emoji communication, Tide Pod consumption, and You-Tuber idolatry, the critics have some viable ammunition.  "What is our world coming to?"  "Well, in my day...."  "God help us!"

My experience has led me to an entirely different interpretation of this group of young people who are making this prodigious transition.  My role as a portrait photographer working with high school seniors places me in a very intimate position where I have the unique opportunity to get to know these people well in a short period of time.  As I aspire to create authentic portraits of my seniors, I am asking questions and making observations that lead me to all of the conditions necessary for an accurate representation of the true self and all of the beauty that comes with it.  My observations render a very optimistic prediction about the impact that this group of graduates will have on our world.  (I'm sorry if I am sounding a little "science-y."  I can't turn that off.)

It is typical for graduation cards and graduation speeches to contain advice and nuggets of wisdom that we, of older generations, feel compelled to impart on the graduates.  We have been there, done that, and want to help them to follow a smoother path, if they will just listen.  Well, I would like to turn that around.  I have been listening.  I have been listening, and watching, and learning.  My Laura Esposito Photography Seniors have taught me so much over this past year of working with them.  My gift is to share their wisdom and the lasting impressions they have left on me.  (Sniff, sniff.... I get emotional just thinking about it.)

So, let me start with my very first 2018 Senior, Alexis.  Talk about starting the Senior season with a win!  Alexis taught me that we shouldn't take ourselves too seriously.  Laughter that comes easily and is pure in nature is something to be enjoyed.

Alexis | Class of 2018

 

I continued my high with Sydney's Portrait Session.  Sydney taught me the importance of taking time to reflect.

Sydney | Class of 2018

 

Lexi taught me that we need to live a life that is worth loving.

Lexi | Class of 2018

 

Kat showed me the importance of making a statement and embracing the real you.

Kat | Class of 2018

 

Kelsey taught me that striving for and achieving success should never tarnish a heart of gold.

Kelcey | Class of 2018

 

Victoria showed me a great example of staying focused on your dreams and making them come true. Victoria | Class of 2018

 

Valerie taught me that the "natural you" is the most beautiful and authentic version of you.

Valerie | Class fo 2018

 

Nathan showed me the importance of living in the moment and embracing the here and now.

Nathan H | Class of 2018

 

Matt taught me that you find your true identity in your passions.

Matt | Class of 2018

 

Nick showed me that you should not settle for anything less than who you want to be and what you want to become.

Nick | Class of 2018

 

Zack taught me the importance of appreciating the sources of joy in your life.

Zack | Class of 2018

 

Nathan showed me that there is power and presence in subtlety. 

Nathan B | Class of 2018

 

Jacob taught me how to find fun in unexpected places, and if it isn't there, then you create the fun yourself.

Jacob | Class of 2018

 

Kurt showed me the importance of embracing tradition and making it your own.

Kurt | Class of 2018

 

Tyler taught me the value of being passionate in whatever you do.

Tyler | Class of 2018

 

Hayden showed me that the path to success doesn't have to be serious business.

Hayden | Class of 2018

 

Valentina taught me that you really do have the power to make your future bright.

Valentina | Class of 2018

 

Bri showed me the value in being able to find your place and then making it your own.

Bri | Class of 2018

 

Hunter reminded me not to sweat the small stuff.  Why do we forget this one so often?

Hunter | Class of 2018

 

Allyson showed me the power in a smile.  It is such a simple gift that needs to be shared.

Allyson | Class of 2018

 

Rachael taught me to never underestimate others.  People are much stronger than they might appear.

Rachael | Class of 2018

 

Jordan showed me that you won't be able to make your mark until you get in the game.

Jordan | Class of 2018

 

Emilee taught me the importance of embracing your talents and making them work for you and for others.

Emilee | Class of 2018

 

Jared reminded me that to find success, you don't make excuses, you make an effort.

Jared | Class of 2018

 

Noah taught me that your path is your own, and you need to follow the one that inspires you.

Noah | Class of 2018

 

Victoria has been teaching me life lessons for 18 years.  Among the many are some gems such as:

-Work hard and never give up.

-Always look your best.

-Think before you act. 

-Anything worth doing is worth doing well.

-Nothing is impossible if you are willing to work hard.

-Always consider how your words or actions will affect others.

-Put others feeling before your own.

-You can always find a way to give back.

Victoria | Class of 2018

 

Is it any wonder that my view of the future is so bright?  Can you see why I get so excited about working with my Seniors?  

My message to the Class of 2018 is one of pure gratitude.  I want them to know that they have all made an impact on me, and that I am a better person for having worked with them.  I truly wish them all the best and hope that I can continue to serve as their photographer in the future.  I will enjoy watching them fulfill my grandiose expectations.  

To the Class of 2019... I can't wait to meet you!  You have such an exciting year ahead, and I would love to be part of it.  Portrait dates fill up quickly in the summer and fall, so contact me soon to claim some dates on my calendar.  It is your turn to create some amazing portraits to treasure.  What will you be teaching me?

Contact me with questions or to schedule a session, 

 

You make the memories; I will help you cherish them.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) class of 2018 gratitude life lessons photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior senior photography senior pictures senior portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2018/5/a-tribute-to-my-graduating-high-school-seniors-lessons-learned-from-brilliant-seniors Thu, 17 May 2018 14:38:39 GMT
Happy Mother's Day: Mothers as seen through the eyes of a photographer https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2018/5/happy-mothers-day-mothers-as-seen-through-the-eyes-of-a-photographer On Mother's Day, we let the mothers in our lives know how special they are to us and celebrate all women who serve the role of "mother" to anyone they love.  For some, it can be a time of sadness as they might be dealing with a loss in some way.  For others, it can be stressful as they feel that they have to live up to some sort of standard.  In reality, the moms just want to have a day to enjoy and maybe get a little break from the usual day-to-day responsibilities.  Let's face it.  A mother's work is never done.  Becoming a mother requires that you accept the following:

Once you have come to terms will all of the above, then you need to understand that the following will be also be true:

 

And since they will need to be asking Mom all of the above, then one must be prepared for:

As much as we must find the humor in this vocation of motherhood, we also need to recognize the power and responsibility that comes with it.  Seriously, though.... who would voluntarily sign up for a job that requires dedication 24/7 for the absolute rest of one's life?  A job that isn't measured by bottom lines or spreadsheets of data, but in the well-being, success, and happiness of another individual's life. This job has no sick days, no retirement plan, no 20-year recognition watch, no employee of the month.  It does come with insurance of gray hair, wrinkles, sleepless nights, and a drained bank account.  So, why do so many aspire to become mothers?  Why do current mothers claim that motherhood is the best part of their lives?  I guess we must look to the children for the answers.

My role as a portrait photographer has given me a unique perspective.  The view through my lens shows me the deep connections between mothers and their families.  The nature of these connections changes over time, but it can be felt; and, I get to capture it in portraits.  This is the greatest gift that I can give to my clients.  Doing my job means providing a permanent and lasting treasure that embodies and translates those emotional ties into a beautiful portrait.  The portrait that is taken this year will look and feel different than a portrait taken next year because of the growth that happens in the relationship.  It is such a beautiful thing for the eyes and the heart.

Working with mothers and their new itty bitty little ones is so much fun.  There is excitement and everything is just adorable.  I become quite animated behind the camera with all of my "ooh's" and "ahh's" as I can't help but react to all of the adorableness happening on the other end of my lens.  I know how stressed and tired these moms have to be, yet they are all smiles because they are so appreciative of the treasured portraits we are creating.  Just look at these smiles!  These are genuine smiles that reflect the genuine beauty of their love.

 

When I get to work with moms and their older children, I still see genuine smiles, but they have a little different nuance.  These smiles show a sense of the pride that they feel from the success of raising such wonderful children.  The smiles are not trying so hard to hide insecurities or to stifle yawns.  They reflect the deeper connection that has been created through the years.  I particularly see that in the portraits of mothers with their daughters.  There is a kindred spirit and a sense of dependence on each other.  Their relationship has grown into a unique friendship with a level of trust like no other.  Notice how tightly they hold on, as if they understand this moment is priceless.

 

Portraits of mothers and their sons have a slightly different essence.  Again, I absolutely love the sincere smiles, but what I read behind them is special. The connectedness that warms my heart is one that has grown out of mutual respect.  I see sons who respect their devoted mothers, and mothers who respect the young men they have raised. I can feel the protective nature of the sons for their mothers and that stems from love and respect.  Taking these portraits usually involves some playful teasing as we set up the shot, but I can always sense the adoration that the young men have for their mothers. 

Another opportunity to capture the role of a mother is on wedding day.  My, do the emotions run deep on this day!  I think every mother looks to their child on their wedding day and relives every moment that has led up to this event.  It is such a significant rite of passage, that mothers feel the need to pass on all of life's lessons, knowing the significance of this big step.  These smiles are sometimes a result of laughter that is trying to mask the tears.  Nonetheless, these smiles reveal a heart that is bursting with love for all that they have had with their child, and for all that is to come.  Such is the cycle of life.

It has all been fun and games so far, but now we get to the really good stuff.  We have seen how children can be the source of a smile on their mother's face, but that dulls in comparison to the smiles generated by grandchildren.  I'm not sure if it comes with the wisdom of experience, or if the lack of total responsibility is the cause, but grandmas see perpetual halos on their grandchildren and are not afraid to tell everyone about it.  So, getting portraits of this generation split is always a crowd-pleaser.  It makes me giddy knowing how much these portraits are treasured.

 

Sometimes, the circumstances cause a mother to hold on a little tighter and smile a little brighter.  These portraits will help to prove that there is no distance that can dull a mother's love.  This smile will get all of them through some times when the physical hug is not an option.  It is the greatest honor for me to know that I could help them to create these treasures.

 

On a personal note, I must admit that I am blessed with some absolutely amazing women in my life.  My own mom is my absolute best friend, and I know that I rely on her guidance more than I should.  We are alike in so many ways, and I take that as the greatest compliment I could receive. (In the third picture above, I am the one on the left and she is on the right.  It can be hard to tell.  LOL)   As a mother, myself, I have been gifted with two daughters who have the most beautiful hearts and make me proud and happy every day.  The first picture is extra special in that this will be our first Mother's Day without my precious grandma.  When someone you love becomes a memory, that memory becomes a treasure. 

As a mother, I do have one regret.  I feel compelled to share this, as I am willing to bet that many other moms are guilty of the same.  Did you notice that I have no professional portraits of myself?  The pictures above were most-likely taken with someone's phone, and I had a hard time finding them, at that.  As they say, "the cobbler's children have no shoes."  I am always behind the camera, rather than in front of it.  Even if professional portrait photography was not my career, the situation would be the same.  

Why?  I never feel worthy of professional portraits.  I always think that I will get around to it after I lose 10 pounds.  I want to wait for summer when I have a tan.  I need for my bangs to grow out.  I want to get the flower beds done outside first so we can have a nice background.  Well, guess what.  The kids are grown and I have no nice portraits of myself with them to document every stage along the way.  I can't fix that.  It is too late.  However, I can help other people to avoid that mistake.  

So, Moms...... GET IN THE PICTURES WITH YOUR KIDS!  Time goes too fast.  You are beautiful.  Your smile makes you beautiful.  Your connections with your kids make you beautiful.  This stage in your life is beautiful because you were placed in this time and place for a purpose.  Let's document all of it because it matters.  You matter and you are worth it!

 

Happy Mother's Day!

You make the memories; I will help you cherish them.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

 

 

 

 

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) bond daughters family family portraits grandchildren mom mothers mother's day photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer relationships sons wedding wedding photography https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2018/5/happy-mothers-day-mothers-as-seen-through-the-eyes-of-a-photographer Fri, 11 May 2018 10:31:13 GMT
The Beginner's Guide to Getting Started with a Digital SLR Camera https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2018/3/the-beginners-guide-to-getting-started-with-a-digital-slr-camera      So.... You got your first digital SLR camera and you want to start taking some pictures? Yay! But, WOW! There are a lot of buttons on this thing. It is tempting to put it back in the box and reach for your trusty point-and-shoot, or better yet, your phone. Don't waste this investment. Let me introduce you to some basic information and simple steps to get you started. Once you understand how to make a few adjustments to get the images you want, you will be hooked!

     Let's talk buttons. Not only do you have buttons and dials, but you have banks of menus and menus to further customize your buttons and dials. It is enough to make your head spin. Since camera bodies differ by manufacturer and model (I shoot the Nikon D500), I won't get into specifics about where to find these settings on your camera, but I will encourage you to read your manual and experiment. However, much of what is in your manual will make more sense after you have had some experience using your camera.

STEP 1 - Battery and Memory Card
     A wise first step is to be sure that you have the appropriate charged battery and memory card inserted properly. Be sure that your camera is OFF before changing batteries or memory cards. When it comes to memory cards, it is worth the investment to buy good quality. Personally, I prefer the SanDisk Extreme PRO SDHC card. I have been most happy with 32 GB cards because they can hold an entire session of images even when shooting in RAW. However, on a wedding shoot, I like to have several cards so that I can have one card for each segment of the day. (This is just personal preference.) Once your memory card is inserted, find the menu option to format the memory card. You may need to reference your manual for formatting memory cards. I like to re-format my memory cards between sessions to reduce the risk of corrupting a card and making it unreadable.

SD Memory CardsI label my memory cards so that I can dedicate certain cards for specific segments of a shoot. This is especially helpful when shooting weddings.

STEP 2 - Lens
     Most entry level and some higher level DSLRs come with a lens kit of some sort. Don't fuss about your lens choice at first. Our first priority is to get you taking some pictures. Once you understand how to manipulate your camera settings to get desired results, then you can think about fine-tuning with lens selection. I'm not insinuating that using high quality and appropriate lenses play a minor role in photography. I'm simply trying to take a simple approach. If we attempt to tackle every aspect of this high-tech camera at once, we are certainly setting ourselves up for frustration.

     So, if you have more than one lens already, then choose one with a lower f-stop number. This will allow you to get better acquainted with the power of the f-stop. If you can get your hands on a lens that will shoot as low as f/2.8 or f/3.5, that will be great. Be sure to attach it properly and do so with the camera OFF.

STEP 3 - Camera ON... Lens Cap OFF!
     You may laugh, but I can't tell you how many times I look through my eyepiece and see black. Ha ha!

     Okay, let's set up a few more parameters so that we have fewer variables to manipulate. In the next several steps, we are basically telling the camera how we want it to behave. As we gain a more clear understanding of the basics, certain situations may require us to change some of these settings. We are simply putting these in place to make our learning process easier. Many of these settings are programed in the menus or by dedicated buttons. Refer to your owners manual to gain access to these controls.

STEP 4 - Image Quality
     Image quality refers to the kind of file we want the camera to create as it captures the image when we take a picture. Some file types require more memory than others. I always shoot in RAW file format, and I am suggesting that you do the same. The short explanation is that the RAW file format allows your camera to record an image with the most data about the image as possible. With all of this data, I am able to get the highest image quality level which I always desire. It also means that I am able to make more precise adjustments in the editing phase. I can explain the power of post-processing in another blog post, but rest assured, RAW files are so worth the larger file size.

STEP 5 - ISO
     ISO is a scale for measuring sensitivity to light. A low ISO setting (100) is good when bright light is available. It would be like wearing sunglasses on a sunny day. A high ISO setting (800 or higher) would be needed to get low light shots or to freeze an image in motion. The downside to using high ISO settings is that the image may appear grainy (noise) which is more noticeable when enlarged.

     Another option is to set your camera to AUTO ISO. This may be fine to "get the shot," but if your goal is to learn how to manipulate the other two factors that affect exposure (aperture and shutter speed), then allowing your camera to choose ISO for you will introduce a third variable that will complicate how you interpret your results. My suggestion is to set your ISO at 320 for now. You can always change this later, and should be adjusting once you recognize when that is needed. One step at a time.

STEP 6 - Metering Mode
     Setting the metering mode is a way to tell your camera how you want it to interpret the amount of light that is in the frame that you want to capture. Most cameras have a matrix or pattern metering mode that will evaluate the over-all frame. In this setting, the camera will try to choose settings that will properly expose the entire frame. It is taking an average of the whole scene. This can be good for landscapes. Another setting, center-weighted metering, tells the camera to expose for whatever is in the center part of the frame. This option is preferred if you are shooting a portrait of someone or an object that is in the center of your frame. The third option is spot or partial metering. This tells the camera to meter for a very small area right in the center of the frame, or wherever you see the single little box in the viewfinder. This allows you to capture detail in a very small specific area, especially if that area is darker or lighter than its surroundings. I prefer this spot metering method for portraits because I can purposely meter for the face/eyes which is the most important part of my portrait. My suggestion is that you choose either center-weighted or spot metering for the purpose of learning the other aspects of your camera.

STEP 7 - Focus Mode
     Camera brands vary in terminology as it relates to focus modes. I suggest that you start with "Single Area AF" for the purpose of learning and experimentation. Check your owners manual to see what label is used for your camera. Continuous/Al Servo Focus is needed for tracking moving subjects, but will not be helpful for your first learning exercises.

STEP 8 - Autofocus Points
     Much like setting your metering mode to be center-weighted or spot metering, we need to do the same for autofocus points. When setting autofocus points, we are telling the camera where we want it to focus. This allows us to have control over the surface plane (the distance from the camera) that will be in sharpest focus. The easiest way to choose this precisely is to use Single Point AF Area Mode. The other modes have their purpose, but Single Point AF will help us to see the power in manipulating aperture and shutter speed.

STEP 9 - White Balance
     Rather than measuring and managing the amount of light, white balance is a measure of the temperature of light. It is measured in Kelvins. Warm light has more yellow tones and cool light leans toward the blue end of the scale. Getting proper white balance makes all the difference in the quality of an image. In order to reduce the number of things we need to think about, I am going to have you set the white balance on AUTO for now.

     HOLY SMOKES! We haven't even taken a picture, yet. Stay with me. We are almost there.

STEP 10 - Shooting Modes
     Your DSLR probably has a cute little dial on top with some letters and maybe little icon images. You might be very tempted to drop it into AUTO mode and start hitting the shutter. But, that is not why you bought a DSLR! As for all of those other little icon modes (portrait, landscape, sports, close-up/macro, night)... forget about them!

Image taken from Nikon USAhttps://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-products/product/dslr-cameras/1571/d3400.html

     You have POWER in the ability to control your settings to make purposeful choices. The only way to harness that power is through experimentation and practice. So, let's do this!

     The setting that truly allows you to be the artist of your images is Manual Mode (M) because you are making all of the decisions. Successfully using this shooting method is the goal. But, let's be honest, that is a lot to think about. We just want to start taking some pictures, already.

     The two shooting modes that will be most useful to you in the beginning are Aperture Priority (A) and Shutter Priority (S). In my brain, I also think of Shutter Priority (S) as "speed." When you are using Aperture Priority, you determine the aperture and allow the camera to choose the best shutter speed based on the metered information about light that it is taking in and your ISO setting. (We already set our ISO at 320.) When you are in Shutter Priority, you choose the shutter speed and let the camera determine your best aperture based on the metered information about light and your ISO setting.

     In order to know which setting would be most appropriate, we need to discuss what they are and how changing them affects an image.

     I'm sure you have heard many times that photography is all about light. Making adjustments to your camera is telling it how you want it to handle that light. When you press the shutter release button, the shutter opens and allows light to pass through to the electronic sensor that records the light digitally. The sensor interprets the ambient and reflected light to create an image, much like our own eyes and brain allow us to interpret images. If the shutter opens up to a wide opening (aperture), then much light is able to pass through to create a brighter image. It is like having dilated pupils or opening the window shades as much as you can. If the shutter says open for a long period of time (shutter speed), then more light will be able to pass through to create a brighter image. So, whether you are in aperture priority mode or shutter priority mode, you are still controlling how much light is being "exposed" to your sensor, and ultimately your image. That is, you are controlling one aspect of exposure.

     You just have to decide if you want direct control over aperture size or shutter speed. In order to make that decision, you need to understand the other ways aperture size and shutter speed affect the outcome of an image.

Aperture = Depth of Field
     The aperture setting refers to the size of the opening that is made when the shutter opens. The size of this opening affects the amount of light that is able to pass through to the sensor, thus contributing to exposure (how light or dark the image will be). The size of the opening also affects the angles of light passing through the lens. The way these angles of light converge determines the depth of field (how many focal planes are actually in focus). A shallow depth of field (achieved with a wide open aperture) means that only surfaces at a very specific distance will appear clear and in focus. Anything closer or farther away will appear blurry. A deep depth of field (achieved with a small aperture) means that surfaces close, middle and far will be clear and in focus.

From ™2011 HowStuffWorks https://electronics.howstuffworks.com/cameras-photography/tips/aperture.htm

     Aperture openings are measured in f-stops. An understanding of how aperture affects the outcome of an image will give you the power to control your outcome.

     When you are in Aperture Priority Shooting Mode, you are telling the camera what aperture (f-stop) you want to use and allow the camera to choose the shutter speed that will give the optimal amount of light for proper exposure. So, if you choose a large aperture (f/2.8), your camera may have to choose a fairly fast shutter speed to prevent too much light from being exposed to the sensor and overexposing (blowing out) your image. If you choose a small aperture (f/22), your camera will need to use a much slower shutter speed so that it can bring in enough light to prevent underexposure (an image that is too dark).

Depth of field and f-stopsNotice how the number of shells that are in focus increases as the f-stop number increases.

Shutter Priority Mode (Speed)
     Shutter speed is the length of time that your shutter remains open allowing light to pass through to the sensor. Shutter speeds are measured in fractions of a second. Occasionally, it is measured in whole seconds if a long exposure is desired. A fast shutter speed (1/1000th of a second) will be needed if you are trying to capture a moving object without any motion blur. If the object is stationary, a slower shutter speed (1/200th of a second) may be sufficient to get a crisp image. If you actually want some motion blur (to show movement in flowing water), then a shutter speed of 1 or 2 seconds may be desired. A tripod is required for slow shutter speeds to avoid camera shake which blurs parts of your image that you want to be clear.

     Note that shutter speed on most cameras is expressed as a whole number rather than a fraction. So, if you are in Shutter Priority Mode and select 125, you are really going to have the shutter open for 1/125th of a second. Whole seconds often have a quotation mark after the number. Selecting 2" will be telling the camera to keep the shutter open for 2 whole seconds.

     So, when you are in Shutter Priority Mode (S), you are telling the camera how long you want the shutter to remain open to give you the desired effect of allowing for motion blur or freezing action. If there is no action, then a more moderate speed may be preferred. Your camera's sensor will meter the light and determine what aperture will be needed to get proper exposure. If your subject is a stationary object, you may choose a shutter speed of 1/60th of a second. Your camera will use a moderate aperture to allow for the optimal amount of light, based on the conditions. If your subject is a bird in flight and you are wanting to freeze its motion, you may choose a faster shutter speed, such as 1/4000th of a second. Your camera will need to use a wide aperture to allow enough light to pass through to the sensor to capture the image.

Shutter SpeedNotice that the motion becomes less apparent as you increase the shutter speed by choosing a smaller shutter speed number. Increasing shutter speed also decreases exposure.

Choosing Your Shooting Mode
     We have identified our role and the camera's role in both shooting modes: Aperture Priority Mode and Shutter Priority Mode. How do we know which one to use? Well, we need to determine which variable is most important for us to control in the given situation.

     If I am taking a portrait, I obviously want my subject to be in focus. However, I want my background to be blurred. This means that I want to control the variable of depth of field. Depth of field is determined by aperture, so I will choose Aperture Priority Mode. My desired shallow depth of field is achieved with a wide aperture, so I will choose a small f-stop in Aperture Mode.

     If I want to capture a landscape where I have some rocks in the foreground, trees in the middle ground and mountains in the background, I want all of it to be clear and in focus. Again, I want to control the variable of depth of field, but I want a deep depth of field this time. I will still need to choose Aperture Priority Mode, but to achieve a deep depth of field, I will need a very small aperture with a high f-stop number.

     Suppose I am taking pictures at a sporting event and I want to freeze the action to get a clear picture of the athletes in motion. Freezing motion is controlled by shutter speed, so I will choose Shutter Priority Mode and select a fast shutter speed.

     Finally, if I am taking pictures of a waterfall and I am hoping to show some motion in the moving water, I am wanting to control the variable of motion blur. Motion blur is controlled by shutter speed, so I will choose Shutter Priority Mode with a slow shutter speed and my camera mounted on a tripod.

     Basically, you determine the priority of your desired outcome and shoot in the mode that gives you control over that variable.

Let's Practice
     If you remember in the very beginning, we set up many parameters for your camera. With those predetermined, we can now focus on just two variables at a time and really get a sense of how they work together to give you proper exposure.

     I suggest that you start in Aperture Priority Mode. I shot almost every portrait session in Aperture Priority for the first several years in photography before moving to Manual Mode. It is still my "go to" if I am in a situation where I have to be shooting quickly in changing conditions (wedding reception). So, set your shooting mode to A. Now, play around with the various f- stop settings while shooting the same scene and see if you can notice a difference in the depth of field. Choose a scene where you have some surfaces close to you and some farther away. As you moved up and down the f-stops, do you notice a difference in your camera's shutter speed?

     Take a picture of something at the lowest f-stop (wide open aperture) that your lens will allow. Now, crank it down to the highest f-stop (narrow aperture) that your lens will allow. Can you hear the difference in the shutter speed? Take a look at the metadata in your camera for the two images. How has the shutter speed number changed? Is there a difference in the exposure of the two images?

     You will eventually realize that there are some limitations. Have you tried to take a picture of something in low light and a narrow aperture (high f-stop) and wondered why your camera was simply refusing to take the shot? That is your camera saying that it doesn't have enough light available at that small of an aperture to get an exposure that you can see. It could be the case that there isn't enough light for the camera to even find something on which to focus.

     You may also experience slow shutter speeds and unwanted blur from hand shake. If you don't have a tripod available, try allowing more light in by opening up your aperture (choosing a lower f-stop). With a wider aperture, your camera will be able to use a faster shutter speed to eliminate this unwanted blur. Conversely, if shooting in really bright light, you may need to narrow your aperture (increase the f-stop number) to prevent overexposure. As you gain familiarity with your camera, these are the times when you may decide to go back and adjust the ISO to get the shot you really want. We will save that for another time.

     Practice a lot in Aperture Priority Mode so that you become comfortable making adjustments to get desired results. Especially in the beginning, it is helpful to bracket your shots. Use the f-stop that you feel is best for your desired outcome. Then, take the same shot one f-stop below and one f-stop above that. Don't be tempted to make judgement calls based on what you see on your LCD screen on the back of the camera. Keep all of the shots and see how they look when downloaded to your computer. Remember, you are shooting in RAW, so all of the image data will show up on the computer where you can really assess which image is the best. Pay close attention to the metadata for each image on your computer. Metadata is the information that is part of the image file that will tell you the camera settings you used to capture that image. Chances are, you may not remember the exact aperture and shutter speed for each image you shot. Look for patterns that gave you results that you like. Try to implement these same settings the next time you are in a similar situation.

Metadata as seen in camera and then in editing software on the computer. (Shown in Adobe Lightroom CC)

     Repeat this same process for Shutter Priority Mode. You may want to spend several weeks in Aperture Priority Mode before you make the switch.

That Little Square in my Viewfinder
     Way back in steps 6 and 8, we set the metering mode to Spot Metering and the autofocus to Single Point AF Area Mode. Those settings make that little box in the center of your viewfinder quite useful. When you partially depress your shutter, you are asking your camera to assess the situation. Because we set those parameters for metering and focus, the camera is basing its assessment on what it "sees" at the spot where the little box is aiming.

Spot Focus in ViewfinderImage from Nikon USA.

     Knowing this is helpful and gives you, the photographer, more control. Suppose you are taking a portrait of a fair-skinned person who is wearing all black against a dark background. The person's face is your greatest concern. You want to get exposure that will clearly show the features of the face. If you make sure that little box is aimed at the face (I always focus on the eyes) the camera will choose an exposure appropriate for the light that it detects coming off of their face. Perfect! If, instead, I aim the box at their dark colored shirt, the camera will detect the small amount of light being reflected by the shirt and choose a high exposure. This higher exposure may be too high to maintain the features in the face and the most important part of the portrait will be overexposed and blown out.

     Conversely, if you are trying to get a picture of your black dog sitting in the snow, then you will want to aim the box at the dog. The camera will detect the amount of light being reflected by the dog and choose an exposure that will allow you to see the details in your dog. If you aim the box at the snow at the dog's feet, then the camera will interpret the large amount of light being reflected by the snow and choose a lower exposure to compensate. This low exposure may cause your dog to appear as a black blob with no discernible features.  Notice that the crosses photographed on the black and white backgrounds show the best overall exposure when the focal point/spot meter point is aimed at the brown cross.  The brown cross is not overly light or dark. 

     Understanding how your camera "thinks" and using that to your advantage by aiming that little box purposefully will give you even more power as you make decisions to get the outcome you are after.

You are on your way!

     Wow! That is a lot of information, and we are just getting started. Please note that I do not claim to be an expert! I simply remember the intimidation I felt getting started. I remember feeling overwhelmed by all of the buttons and dials and menus. I just wanted to take pretty pictures! I knew that I had to break it down and tackle one aspect at a time. In the beginning, I didn't understand why things worked the way they did. I just knew that if I turned the dial, I could make it better. Understanding why turning the dial made it better reduced a lot of frustration.

     I hope that sharing my suggested approach for beginners can be helpful to someone out there. If your fingers are itching to touch that DSLR and to start your journey into the world of digital photography, get that DSLR out of the box and let's start having some fun!

You make the memories; I will help you cherish them.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

*Please note that the information in your camera's owner's manual will always supersede any advice that I have given here. 

**A huge shout out to PicMonkey Photo Editor and Graphic Design Maker for helping me to create the images used in this blog post!

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) aperture aperture priority aperture priority mode autofocus points battery bracketing depth of field digital slr camera dslr focus mode f-stop get started image quality iso learn lens memory card metadata metering mode nikon photography picmonkey portrait portraits professional professional photographer raw shooting modes shutter priority shutter priority mode shutter speed single area af single point af spot spot metering mode white balance https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2018/3/the-beginners-guide-to-getting-started-with-a-digital-slr-camera Thu, 22 Mar 2018 17:11:50 GMT
My Evolution from Nature Photography to Portrait Photography: Why it matters. https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2018/2/my-evolution-from-nature-photography-to-portrait-photography-why-it-matters Once upon a time, I found my aspirations, inspirations, and delight in nature photography. My research led to educated purchases for the pursuit of amazing nature shots. I took classes and workshops to sharpen my skills in landscape and macro photography. I subscribed to Outdoor Photographer and planned family vacations around the availability of scenic locations.

Trees

 

I found inspiration in all things natural.  Trees and flowers were among my favorite subjects.

 

 

Anytime I could find some critters willing to cooperate, I was ecstatic!

 

 

Water was always my ultimate inspiration.

 

My practice in nature photography taught me about high dynamic range and the importance of maintaining detail in all parts of an image.  I learned about balance and composition, and developed a keen eye for texture. The most valuable training came with an understanding of light.  Recognizing the intensity, angles, temperature and direction of light are probably the most important tools for any photographer. All of this training and practice helped to mold me into the portrait photographer that I am, today.

So, how does a background in nature photography affect the style of a portrait photographer? Let's take a look.

Marisa

First of all, I am keenly aware of all aspects of the environment. Light is always the first criteria that I evaluate to determine if a particular spot will help me to create a fabulous portrait. But, I am also paying attention to colors, textures, and lines to create a portrait composition that is both visually interesting and complementary to my subject. When I saw this beautiful blanket of leaves, I knew that Marisa would look absolutely stunning here with her dark green sweater and gorgeous cascading hair.  Just look at how her blue eyes pop with this contrast of the orange, which is blue's complementary color.

 

Natalie

The series of portraits that you see above are a result of the same kind of assessment. I was literally gasping as I was taking these shots of Natalie. The deep gold with flecks of green in the reeds behind her just made her skin glow and brought out the lovely rich variation of highlights in her hair. My exact words at the time may have been, "Holy crap, this is gorgeous!"

Victoria

My inspiration for Victoria's environment resulted in a much softer series of portraits. The refined look of her lace dress and pearls just looked stunning against a backdrop of soft greens. The purple and pink hues of the hydrangea made her complexion look even more porcelain-like and seemed to soften the eyes.  You just can't get this inspiration in a studio. In the first image, I used desaturation to create a nostalgic feel. I am in love with this dreamy look.

Allyson

When choosing the perfect setting for this series of portraits of Allyson, I was again looking for that dreamy soft light, but with richer tones to go with her glowing complexion and warm hair tones. The blacks and greys in her scarf sent me looking for earth tones, but I love how the black iron railing tied it all together. The soft texture of the pine needles worked well with the geometric designs in the scarf.  Just look at her eyes. This was another moment that took my breath away.

Victoria

Early morning light has a very special quality, and that was my inspiration for these portraits of Victoria. First of all, we were at the beach. Hello... I love the beach and find myself awestruck by every view. So, using the ocean as a backdrop with this warm glow of the sunrise made me giddy. The color palette of blues and greys worked to show off her tan and blue eyes. The white sundress and straw hat made it feel fresh and joyful, which is exactly how I see Victoria. I can almost feel the warm breeze and smell the salty air. More importantly, this setting, while gorgeous on its own, brings the attention to Victoria.

Sydney

Notice the different quality in the light of Sydney's portraits above.  This sunset produced a cool, soft light that created a sense of serenity. Sydney has an inner glow that was complemented by the glow in her surroundings. When I saw that amazing sky reflected in the lake, I knew it would help to convey the genuine beauty that is Sydney. I remember actually feeling my breathing slow down as I took these images. I didn't want the moment to end.

Matt

For the portraits of Matt above, we obviously felt that the wooded area was perfect for the hunting theme we had going on. I was loving the light in the first image and was thrilled that I could show some variation in the foliage while still featuring the beauty in his gun. My focus was on his eyes that show such intensity and concentration which is needed for a hunter. I thought we were ready to leave that spot until I turned around and saw how pretty the sky looked with the setting sun. Letting that light spill over his shoulder almost points the way to where Matt is focusing with is bow. It is clear that Matt is in his element here and it was so fun for me to experience this with him.

Haley

Haley's portraits above are both examples of backlighting, but, WOW, are they ever different! The first portrait shows a lovely soft backlighting that makes her glow. The contrasting rough texture of the tree makes her beautiful face even softer and those eyes are just amazing. There was a shadow on the left side in the grass that almost served as natural frame to direct the focus to Haley. The second portrait of Haley uses the contrast in the sky to create a dramatic effect. The intensity of her expression and piercing eyes make her look just as fierce as she really is on the track. I know that I gave a gasp as I took each of these portraits but for very different reasons. Haley is a gorgeous, dynamic young lady, and I was so happy that I could show that.

Jimmy

As I continue to talk about light, take a look at these portraits of Jimmy. Oh my goodness! I don't recall if I said that exactly when I was looking through my camera (I may have said something a little stronger), but I can remember how I felt in that moment. We were near the end of the session and had found an old shed on this farm property that had a really cool hearth and fireplace. I loved the aged brickwork and thought it had great texture with some wonderful color contrast for Jimmy's blue shirt. Well, that particular setting didn't work so well because the light was too intense. I remember feeling disappointed that I couldn't make that spot work the way I wanted to, and turned to my left. My eyes fell upon this rustic grey door and the fabulous directional light that was spilling across it. There wasn't anything to sit on right there, but I knew exactly where I wanted to place Jimmy's face for this portrait.  Jimmy is one of the most kind-hearted and respectful young men I have ever met. In an attempt to appease my search, he quickly found something and dragged it into place and sat down. He must have thought I was crazy because I remember almost squealing with excitement as I got him in place and looked through the eyepiece of my camera. The strength of his features and deep set of his eyes became more evident in this fabulous light. I contained my excitement the best I could until I got home and saw on my computer that this series of portraits really was all I hoped it would be.

Lexi

To share with you my goals for the series of portraits of Lexi that you see above, I need to remind you that my roots as a nature photographer are strong. When Lexi explained to me her connection with this particular location on her grandparents' farm, I could totally appreciate that. I made it my mission to provide her with some really special portraits to help her remember this place and how it makes her feel. The cornfield, the fence line, the trees beyond that fence line, the lane she drives her truck through... all have special meaning.  Her easy smile is a reflection of the joy that she feels here. Could she look any more relaxed and at peace here? This is just so Lexi. It makes my heart happy to see her in this place.

Pusateri Family

Here is a family with a connection to the land. This is a beautiful farm, but it is more than that to the Pusateri family. This is home.  And, for some reason, when your home is shared with animals, it is even more precious. I love showing the relationships among family members, but when that can be enhanced by a setting where their love spills over to include their surroundings, it really becomes special.

Stertzbach Family

This is the Stertzbach family and they have become quite near and dear to my heart. They are incredibly rooted in nature and keep themselves grounded with their cattle and dogs. This particular setting felt perfect for so many reasons. For one, it is located on the farm where they work so hard to raise their cattle. The pond in the background with the soft light made it feel serene. These fabulous trees seem to frame this family and direct attention to them. They also provided such soft shade and a sprinkling of leaves on the ground for interest. These are genuine smiles here. It all just feels so right. That is how it is working with them. Pure joy.

Westfall Family

I could truly go on forever, but I will leave you with one last example. The Westfall (and Skolmutch) family is a special one for so many reason. Having been such close friends with them was probably a good thing because I may have been jumping up and down and squealing after I took some of these portraits. (If you haven't noticed, I get really excited about what I do.)  I adore these portraits because I adore the people in them and the connections they have with each other. But just look at these settings! I feel like they are just framed by nature and these spots were just waiting for the family to nestle into them. I am smiling from ear to ear just writing about this because the emotions are still there.

So, yes, I may have started out as a nature photographer, but I have truly found my passion in portrait photography. I feel very connected with nature and I use nature to enhance the people in my portraits. It is so much more than just finding a pretty spot for a picture. It is using that spot to portray my subject in the most authentic way possible. The result is always a crowd pleaser. More importantly, I can create portraits that are beautiful because of the underlying emotion that tugs at the heart.  

You make the memories; I will help you cherish them.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

 

 

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) attention to detail family portraits nature photographer photography portrait portrait session portraits professional professional photographer senior photography senior portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2018/2/my-evolution-from-nature-photography-to-portrait-photography-why-it-matters Tue, 06 Feb 2018 20:37:43 GMT
The Portrait Process: What to expect before, during and after your portrait session https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2018/2/the-portrait-process-what-to-expect-before-during-and-after-your-portrait-session  

The Westfall Family

When making the decision to invest in professional portraits, it can be difficult to compare photographers and to fully understand what you can expect once your decision is made.  There are many different photographers and each has his or her own style with regard to the portraits they create and how they manage their relationships with clients throughout the process.  This is a good thing, because there is surely one to fit your needs and preferences.  My goal in this blog post is to explain the Laura Esposito Photography experience.  You will find that the experience I create for you is based on my values and beliefs as an artist, a business woman, a fellow consumer, and a busy wife and mother.  

Every portrait session is unique because every person or family is unique, but there are some specific steps in the process that remain the same.  One common goal is that we set out to create some beautiful portraits for you to treasure and to have fun in the process.  I like to "keep it simple and make it fun."  Let's start at the beginning of the process to see how we make it happen.

Allyson | Class of 2018

Scheduling your portrait session

So, you have decided to entrust me with the privilege of creating treasured portraits for you and/or your family.  Yay!  Thank you!  Let's set this up and make it happen.  That means that we need to connect in order to communicate.  Depending on your schedule, it can be a challenge.  This is why I am happy to make that connection in whatever manner is easiest for you.  A phone call (330) 704-6473 is great because we can have a conversation with much information shared at that moment in time.  Unless I am engaged in a portrait session or in church, I will most likely be able to take your call.  If you have never met me, you may just want to hear my voice to get a sense of who I am over the phone.  However, if we have already met, you may prefer the flexibility of sending a message.  I welcome messages from email (lespo@me.com), texting (330) 704-6473, and Facebook messaging (@lespophoto).  I try to be prompt in my replies because I understand that you are ready to make some decisions and waiting for replies can be frustrating.  

During our conversation, I will want to learn your goals for the portrait session so that we can best choose a time and place.  I will want to know the subject(s) in the portraits, the intended purpose for the portraits, and any special requests or vision that you have in mind.  Almost all of my portrait sessions take place outdoors, so we base our starting time on the sunset time.  If you are scheduling a typical portrait session, we will make our start time two hours before sunset.  This could be at 3:30 in the winter months or 7:00 in the summer.  My Senior Portrait Sessions are usually the most inclusive and we often use all of the daylight we can get.  A typical family portrait session is completed in an hour or less.  It is important to remember that my portrait sessions are completely customizable.  A family portrait session with extended family that includes portraits of various groupings will probably take longer than an hour.  A High School Senior may have multiple settings that we need to use in order to fully tell his/her story.  We can make that happen.  If we are scheduling during busy months like September or October, we may want to get two dates on the calendar so that we have a back-up in case of rainy weather.

Once we have settled on a time and place, I will send you a portrait contract with the agreed upon information.  I will ask that you review the specifics so that we are both clear on the needs and expectations from both of us.  For a typical portrait session (weddings are the exception) you will bring the signed contract and payment to the portrait session.  I do not require a deposit to hold your date.  Thankfully, I have been blessed with wonderful clients who have never given me a reason to require a deposit.  

Ryan & Mary

Preparing for the portrait session

Once we have your portrait session scheduled, you will want to prepare your people, your wardrobe, and your props.  I suggest that you take a look at some of the other blog posts that I have shared for helpful information.  There is an entire series of blog posts dedicated to High School Seniors and one specifically for the Family Portrait Session that would be most helpful.  I also suggest that you browse some of the other galleries on my website <lespo.zenfolio.com> to gain some inspiration.  It is helpful if you come to the portrait session with some specific portrait ideas in mind that you really like.  

This is the time when all sorts of ideas and questions will come to mind.  I wholeheartedly invite you to send those questions my way.  So many of my clients apologize for messaging me with questions at this point.  There are no apologies needed!  I am happy to help you through this thought process.  Remember our goal?  We want to create beautiful portraits for you to treasure and to have fun in the process.  I understand that I orchestrate portrait sessions on a daily basis. Most likely, you, my client, may have a portrait session once a year or once every ten years.  You will have questions and I have answers that I am happy to share.  You are investing time and money in this portrait session, so we both want to make it special.  

Hutch

Enjoying the portrait session 

The day has arrived!  Yay!  Here we go!  Notice the title of this section: "enjoying" your portrait session.  The first step is to maintain communication so that we are both clear about where and when we are meeting.  If you have never met me in person, I will be easy to identify.  I will be the little lady running around with a big camera and a big smile.  I will want to meet everyone involved and again review our goals and any special requests that we hope to achieve.  I will want to take a look at any additional outfits that will be incorporated and discuss a game plan for how we will use our time together based on the conditions of the day. This is also the time when we will take care of the signed contract and payment.

With that out of the way, let's have some fun!  I will place you or your group in various settings and arrangements.  Once I get you in place, prepare to see me all over the place.  I will keep you in your spot, but I will be buzzing around to different angles and elevations and distances to get as much variety out of that one location as I can.  This strategy adds to our efficiency and gives you more variety.  I will ask you to move your head slightly this way or that.  By the end, I don't even have to say anything.  I love it when I barely start to move my hand and my intuitive subject does exactly what I had in mind.  We become pretty connected as we work together.  I will place hair, clothing, and jewelry if needed, but I always welcome other eyes (Mom) to help with that job.  

During the shooting process, I must warn you that I can be rather expressive.  When I look through that viewfinder and see the portrait we are creating, I become so excited and overwhelmed that I may gasp or even give the occasional "OH MY!"  When I check my work on the LCD screen on the back of the camera, I am checking to see that I have used the settings that give me the desired effect.  I am also checking for sharpness and to be sure that I am happy with the lighting at that location and angle.  This is another time when I just can't hold back.  That beautiful portrait staring back at me is energizing and sometimes emotional.  I like to share some of those views with you so that you can see how amazing you look.  It also helps for you to give me some feedback at this point so that I can adjust accordingly.

Gabriella & Anthony

Viewing your portrait gallery

After your fabulous session, you go home with nothing but expectation and I go home with your beautiful portraits in my camera.  That doesn't sound fair.  I totally understand your excitement and anticipation.  This is why I do my best to post a "First Image Edit" on Facebook so that you can see at least one of your portraits soon after our session.  I take great care in editing your portraits.  I want them to be perfect for you.  I edit your portraits in the order in which they were captured.  The portraits that I complete in one edit session will be uploaded into your gallery on my website.  You will see your gallery grow over the next couple of days.  I will share a few of my favorites on Facebook and Instagram as I go, so be sure to "like" my Facebook page (@lespohoto) and to follow me on Instagram (lespophoto)

Once all of your portraits have been edited and placed in your gallery, you will see some of them show up again in black and white versions or with some color adjustments.  This is where I use my artistic judgement to give you some variety and create some works of art.  When you see these additions to your gallery, you will know that your gallery is complete.  

Lyla | One year old

Ordering portraits

Many of my clients will agree that ordering the portraits is the hard part.  The difficulty is not in placing the order, but rather in making the decisions about which portraits to order.  You will probably want all of them.  Many of my clients do order at least a small print of every portrait.  The print prices are reasonable, so this really is an option.  

One of the benefits of ordering from an online gallery is that multiple households can place orders independently of each other.  You simply choose the portrait image that you would like to order and click on it.  That portrait will be visible by itself on the screen.  You will also see a list of the most common items to purchase show up on the right side of the screen.  You will see the most popular print sizes listed as well as a few wall art options.  You can select to add any of these to your cart.  If you want to purchase an item that you do not see listed, you may click "VISIT SHOP" and you will be taken to a menu of product types.  From here, you can look around and find other print sizes, types and sizes of wall art, and even gift options like mugs and phone cases.  

Once you have placed all of the items in your cart that you wish to purchase at that time, you can check out and pay with credit card.  Your order will be sent to me for approval.  I will look for things like cropping of images and wall art choices to be sure that your order will be fulfilled at its best.  If I see something in your order that I think you may want to adjust, I will contact you so that we can discuss exactly what you desire and adjust if needed.  Again, I want you to be completely thrilled with your portraits.  This is why I am happy to answer any questions you have along the way.  The products will be shipped directly to you.

Rachael | Class of 2018

Depending on your purpose for these portraits, you may want some additional consultation.   If you are planning a grouping of wall art on a specific wall of your home, I am happy to come to your home and discuss your options.  I have samples of the various wall art products so that you can get your hands on them and see the quality of each piece.  We may want to do some measuring and play around with shapes.  We can talk about colors and balance.  We can even place the order together so that you feel confident about what is coming in the mail.

If you have any desired use for these portraits that you do not see on my website shop, please let me know and we can find a way to fill that need.  I offer other services such a photo book design and card design.  Just share your ideas and we can explore options.

Remember that you can place multiple orders.  There is no pressure to get everything in your first order.  Your gallery will remain available to you for several years.  

Sevanah & Landon

Maintaining our relationship

Capturing your portraits and providing you with these treasures is an intimate process and results in a relationship that I value.  I will want to hear from you when you get your order to be sure that you are happy with your products.  Your family and your needs will grow, and I would love to make that journey with you.  Being your photographer is an amazing privilege.  

 

You make the memories; I will help you cherish them.

 

Love and Smiles,

Laura 

 

 

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) family portraits ordering portraits photography portrait session portraits professional senior photography senior pictures senior portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2018/2/the-portrait-process-what-to-expect-before-during-and-after-your-portrait-session Tue, 06 Feb 2018 20:35:48 GMT
Redefining My Busy Season: Making my "busy" more productive and on my terms. https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2018/1/redefining-my-busy-season-making-my-busy-more-productive-and-on-my-terms "The busy season!"  Oh my!  Many people find themselves in a job or other role where they can define a busy season.  For accountants, March and April are typically a very busy season.  For retailers, delivery services, and many others, the Christmas season is their busy season.  For most photographers, especially in Ohio, September and October define the busy season.  Needless to say, I expected to remain busy though those months, and I anticipated some down time to follow.  I actually came up with a list of things to pursue and accomplish in my "off" season so that I would still be "busy," and more importantly, "productive."

Socket Wrench ArtFeeling a little artistic.

 

"Busy"

This is such a funny word when you think about it.  First of all, shouldn't it be spelled "bizzy?"  As you can see, the phonics lessons from the Sisters of the Humility of Mary are still ingrained in my brain from elementary school.  The word "busy" is defined as having a great deal to do.  And, notice that it is the base word in "business," which implies that having a business requires you to be busy.  But what connotations come with the word "busy?"  It really depends on the context in which it is used.

Rich - Fellow PhotographerPracticing with my new lens and lighting.

I am certainly guilty of using the word to convey both negative and positive messages.  I can still hear my voice in earlier years whining something to the tune of, "I am just so busy that I don't know what to do."  I am not proud of those rants, but they were part of my reality.  At the time, being overly busy felt like an unavoidable part of life.  Striving to be the attentive wife and mother while giving my students the best science education and experience that I knew they deserved required me to carry way more on my plate than was humanly possible.  I was setting myself up for failure and making my version of "busy" a very negative, exhausting, and counterproductive part of my life.  

Today, I feel the need to still use the word "busy," but in a positive and reaffirming way.  When people ask me how my photography business is going, I have found myself smiling and saying with much satisfaction that, "It is great!  I have been really busy!"  I find that so interesting that I feel the need to share that I am busy.  Why?  Why do I equate being busy with the success of my photography business? 

Getting more clients and more portrait sessions is an indicator of the success of my business and those things certainly keep me busy.  Learning to properly account for my income, operating expenses, cost of sales, taxes, etc. keep me busy.  Continually defining my brand and delivering consistent messaging about my brand keep me busy.  Preparing for custom personalized sessions, being responsive to clients in the most kind and thorough manner, sharing my work in an exciting way, maintaining my equipment, refining my technique... all of these things fill my days, weeks and months.  So, "busy" seems like an appropriate descriptor.

Victoria and LucyPracticing with my new lens and lighting.

Nonetheless, I feel the need to change my response to something that is more appropriate for how I feel about the current state of my business.  I think that we, as a society, need to stop the glorification of "being busy."  It seems that there is the perception that someone must be busy in order to have worth or to be successful.  "Unsuccessful people are busy being busy.  Successful people are busy being productive."  -Kevin Abdulrahman  What a profound statement.  So, maybe I need to adopt the adjective "productive" to really describe my photography business.  Think about the shift in perception that comes with describing my business as "productive" rather than just "busy."  It implies that my hard work is getting results and that is my goal. 

So, how do I make this shift from being "busy" to being "productive?"  I make sure that I am "busy with a purpose."  I invest myself in the activities that I believe will help to improve my business and to better serve my clients.  There are a million things that I would love to be working on right now, but I know my limitations.  I know that doing a few things well will give my clients a better experience than doing lots of things just so so.  "It's not so much how busy you are, but WHY you are busy.  The bee is praised.  The mosquito is swatted." - Mary O'Connor  I want to be the bee.  I want to produce something that will thrill my clients and empower my continued growth.  In this way, I can ensure that the things that keep me busy have both meaning and purpose.

Griffan JosephUsing my studio space.

This recent shift from an emphasis on being "busy" to an emphasis on being "productive" has revealed some much-appreciated benefits.  It really hit me one day after a trip to the grocery store.  I must first explain that growing up and living in a small town means that I am related to half of the population and I have worked with the other half in one capacity or another.  Well, on this particular grocery store trip, in typical fashion, I ran into several people I had not seen in a while and I did carry on some rather lengthy conversations with them.  My daughters have come to expect this, but what was different this time was my attitude about the encounters.  I can remember a time when I would have held the conversation out of courtesy, but inside, I would have been in knots as my stress level would rise just thinking about how much time I had lost and how I was never going to get those minutes back and that I would be up even later trying to get everything done so that the next day could happen.  I think I felt my blood pressure rise just writing that sentence.  That was the old "busy me."  The new "productive me" came away from that very long grocery store trip full of nothing but gratitude.   I felt so grateful that I could hold those conversations and be totally present and attend to what they were saying, rather than thinking about how much work waited for me.  I felt gratitude that I actually have so many wonderful people around me who care to share some of their precious time talking to me.  I felt gratitude that I could carry a little happy nugget from our encounter with me throughout my day.  I felt gratitude that I could take some time to thank God for putting me in this place at this time and to be able to see a much bigger picture in which I have a role.  Wow.  What a difference.  

Hutch MontagePracticing my Photoshop skills to create montages.

So, I am happy to proclaim that, "My business is great!  I have been really productive!"  But, it is the "off" season for a photographer.  How have I been productive?  Oh my!  I have creatively found a way to use some inside space for a studio to hold some portrait sessions.  I have been working through my Business Challenge Class through PPA.  I am getting totally energized by participating in the Ultimate Posing Course, and I am learning to take my portraits to the next level by working through a Photoshop course.  I am participating in some wonderful networking groups and making some great new partnerships.  I am practicing with a new lens and finding any excuse to shoot, shoot, shoot.  

So, bring on that "busy season!"  I will continue to be productive.  I am so energized and excited for what Laura Esposito Photography can offer in 2018!

You make the memories; I will help you cherish them.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

 

 

  

 

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) busy season busy vs. productive off season perspective photography portraits professional professional development professional photographer self growth senior photography senior portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2018/1/redefining-my-busy-season-making-my-busy-more-productive-and-on-my-terms Mon, 22 Jan 2018 20:54:28 GMT
Thank you for a great 2017 - Progress in 2017 leads to a plan for growth in 2018. https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2017/12/thank-you-for-a-great-2017---progress-of-2017-leads-to-a-plan-for-growth-in-2018 This was a huge year for Laura Esposito Photography as it marked the beginning of my full-time dedication to running my business.  In a previous blog, I discuss the circumstances that led to this decision that put myself on a path to the most challenging and rewarding career endeavor.  I started by enrolling myself in a year-long business class through Professional Photographers of America.  I invested in a new camera with higher resolution and better performance in a variety of light conditions.  I upgraded my accessories and computer software, and even created a studio space.  I spent time in various training workshops and courses to improve my skills, especially in wedding photography and photoshop. I reworked my website so that I could offer the most desirable products, and built a supply of samples to help my clients make more informed decisions when making a purchase.  

 

Despite all of my efforts, it was my fabulous clients who made 2017 a truly great year for Laura Esposito Photography.  Reflecting on all of the people who entrusted me with preserving their memories has been humbling.  Below is a tribute to all of my special clients.  Come with me as we take a walk down memory lane.

 

My roots and my specialty are high school senior portraits, so I will start by showcasing these amazing young people.  They are as unique as their portraits and I was energized by every single session. 

Senior Girls

Senor Boys

 

Senior Girls

Senior Boys

Family portraits are so special to me, because FAMILY is so special to me.  Any opportunity that allows me to preserve special memories within a family is such a blessing.  I worked with some very dear families this year and their portraits are a reflection of that.

Family Portraits

 

Children's portraits are equally cherished as they grow up and change so quickly.  With the addition of my studio this year, I was able to capture some specialty portraits despite the weather.  This was rather appreciated as many families wanted something specifically for their Christmas cards.  I also expanded my services and designed cards for clients this year.  That was a fun way to use my creativity and help my clients save some precious time around the holidays.

Children's Portraits

After my various equipment upgrades and investing in my education and training, I found myself excited to tackle wedding photography.  This year, I was honored to work with two wonderful couples as they tied the knot in 2017.  My most sincere best wishes go to Kaitlyn and Aaron and Samantha and Steve as they start their lives as married couples.  I have no doubts that they will continue to grow together.  I'm hoping to get the call one day for a baby or family portrait session!

Wedding Portraits

 

One of the funnest things about my job is that I never know what kind of request might be made.  Sometimes, events require a professional photographer to properly document the occasion.  This year, I was thrilled to take portraits for Louisville and Marlington's Proms, for Saint Joseph's First Communion, for Louisville's Girls Tennis Senior Night, and for the Palette2Palate charity event for the Stark County Hunger Task Force.

Events

A new venture for me has been to work in the corporate realm.  Product photography certainly broadened my horizons and I have made some exciting new connections.  Plumbers and Pipefitters Local #94 enlisted my services for some great projects, including a four-generation portrait featuring four generations of Cramer men who were/are Local #94 Members.  My photoshop skills came in handy for that one.  I put my studio to good use to generate the images for the Ultimate Bucket Caddy.  My husband will no longer wash a car without one.  I was thrilled when school board candidates solicited my services for publicity portraits.  The most rewarding job has been working with the wonderful crew at the Whole Latte Love Cafe.  A smile remained on my face for a very long time after that portrait session.  I owe much credit and thanks to a dear friend, Diane Adams, who is a graphic designer and helped to make many of these connections for me.

Corporate

 

As I look to 2018, I am excited about some new directions where I would like to expand.  I dabbled enough to know that I like these new ventures, and I am making plans to take some additional classes in order to sharpen my skills.  I have always had a pet, and I am not ashamed to admit that my pets are always family.  Growing up on a farm while showing horses makes me sensitive to the bond that one can have with their fur babies.  Our family dog is truly my baby and I spoil her like crazy.  Needless to say, pet photography seems like a natural fit.  

This fall, I tried something new and had a BFF Session for my daughter and her very good friend.  I understand that high school seniors have such great friendships, and that they know how limited their time together might be.  Often, best friends part ways after high school as they go off to different colleges, enlist in the military, or simply find different paths in life.  The BFF Portrait Session is an opportunity for these friends to create some fun professional portraits to treasure when their friend is no longer by their side every day.  I am hopeful that other high school seniors will recognize the value in such a session and ask me to help them to preserve this moment in time together.

Family Lifestyle Portraits are gaining in popularity, and it may seem quite simple to just snap some pictures, a professional lifestyle portrait is much more complicated.  That candid, "in-the-moment" look actually requires preparation and skill.  I intend to work on this genre so that I can add it to my family portrait repertoire and really give my clients the variety they desire.

New Ventures

 

Another new skill that I have been practicing and hope to expand is the creation of a collage/montage.  This is a reflection of one of the classes that I enjoyed this past year.  I have taken the concept and made it my own.  The process is extremely time-consuming, but I intend to make the collage/montage an optional add-on for any portrait session.  One of my very special clients ordered their montage in a large metal wall art and it looks absolutely amazing.  

Collage/Montage

 

This reflection on 2017 has reminded me how fortunate I am to be able to do what I truly love.  I have found my passion.  Being your portrait photographer has given me meaning and purpose.  To all of my past, present and future clients, I am eternally grateful for your trust and for giving me the opportunity to create beautiful and priceless portraits for you.  I am ready to leap into 2018 with continued excitement and dedication to being the best portrait photographer that I can be.  But, don't worry; I will never forget that it is really all about you.  I'm just here to document all that is special.

Laura Esposito, Photographer

You make the memories; I will help you cherish them.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) corporate event photography family portraits new year pet photography' photography photography" portrait portrait session portraits professional senior photography senior pictures senior portraits wedding wedding photography https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2017/12/thank-you-for-a-great-2017---progress-of-2017-leads-to-a-plan-for-growth-in-2018 Wed, 27 Dec 2017 21:41:14 GMT
The Craft of Capturing Candids: How the second shooter brings a wedding portrait gallery to life. https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2017/12/the-craft-of-capturing-candids-how-the-second-shooter-brings-a-wedding-gallery-to-life Being a wedding photographer is so much more than showing up on the day of the wedding and taking pictures.  There is much preparation that takes place in order to be sure that you are properly documenting the events and capturing the desired portraits on their special day.  Every couple is unique and their needs will be unique.  There are no "do-overs," so you either get it the first time or you don't.  You can't ask the Father of the Bride to make that adoring expression again.  You can't ask the Bride and Groom to go back up there and do the first kiss over again.  You can't put the cake back together and cut it again.  You must be prepared to be at the right location with your equipment functioning and in the proper settings with needed supplies at your fingertips.  This is why having a second shooter and assistant to support my efforts is so crucial.  Preparing them with a detailed agenda for the day makes them better equipped to fill their roles.  With specific times and lists of the shots I need to capture at each step in that agenda, they can help to make it all happen.

My Assistant - Chris

Meet Chris.  He was my assistant for Samantha and Steve's beautiful wedding.  He was integral to the process as he helped to carry equipment from one location to the next.  He had a thorough understanding of the layout of my camera bags so that he could quickly produce flashes, fresh batteries and memory cards for either camera.  He knew my labeling system and didn't require my specific directions to meet our needs.  His height was quite beneficial as he was also the one holding the reflector at just the right angle to take advantage of the best light.

My Second Shooter - Victoria

This is my second shooter, Victoria, who captured the shots that I could not and really helped to tell the whole story from Samantha and Steve's special day.  Her preparation included a coordination of the kinds of shots I wanted her to capture, a choreography of where we each needed to be during the ceremony, and collaboration on the camera settings that I wanted her to use for each application.  It certainly helps that Victoria has an artistic eye and her attention to detail is needed to properly assist me in setting up my bridal party for portraits.  Justifying the value of a second shooter, such as Victoria, is best achieved by showcasing some of the results. 

Candid created from a different angle

One of the goals for a second shooter can be to capture different angles of the portraits.  While I am setting them up and getting the traditional portrait with everyone looking at the camera, she can be getting that same shot from a different angle.  The results create a beautiful portrait with a more candid, "in-the-moment" feel.  

Smaller groupings within the larger one

Another goal for my second shooter is to capture smaller groupings of individuals within the larger portrait that I am creating from my angle.  These are priceless and help to offer some great variety without taking any extra time.  Time is a limited commodity on any wedding day, so I am extremely thankful that she can produce these additional portraits.

Capturing genuine emotion

There is so much happening at once throughout the day of a wedding.  The passing expressions or gestures can really help to tell the whole story, but only if they can be captured.  Again, my second shooter is often able to be sneaky and capture those things going on behind my back.  As for Samantha and Steve, they just seemed to be exuding joy, and I love that Victoria was able to catch some of their genuine laughter.  She also captured a very subtle gesture of Steve making sure his new wedding band was properly in place.  I think that is such a sweet little treasure.

Sometimes, you just have to laugh!

 One of the times when my second shooter is most appreciated is when our entire group breaks out in laughter.  That happened on several occasions with Samantha and Steve because they are such a fun couple.  Above, you can see an occasion when we all lost our composure, but fortunately, Victoria was able to document the scene.  It may not be the perfect "portrait," but it certainly is priceless.

Staying inconspicuous as the photographer

Another purpose that the images from my second shooter serves is for me to be able to catch glimpses of myself in the background.  I am not in any way looking to provide my couple with portraits that include me.  I am, however, looking to see how conspicuous I am while doing my job.  Getting the perfect shot during a wedding ceremony and reception requires some finesse.  I need to make sure that I am where the action is, yet do so in a way that I am not noticed.  During the rehearsal, I like to have a conversation with the celebrant to discuss his or her comfort level with my movement during the ceremony, and to learn where I may and may not go.  After Samantha and Steve's ceremony, I asked their celebrant, Pastor Jeff, if my work was in any way distracting.  He said he didn't even realize I was there.  I take that as a great compliment.  

Portraits with emotion.

Finally, my second shooter shares my goal of getting the shots that really show the connections and emotions of the day.  Each couple will bring their own unique flavor to their wedding day, and effectively conveying that through portraits is our ultimate goal.  Along the way, we both find ourselves fixing dresses, inserting veils, pinning boutonnieres, fetching tissues and transporting flowers.  We also can't help but share in the laughter and tears.  

As a wedding photographer, I develop an intimate connection with my couple and their families.  In order to tell their story, I have to become part of it.  Providing couples and families with portraits from their wedding day is such a privilege and a responsibility that I take very seriously.  Knowing that they will be sharing these portraits for many years to come makes me so happy.  

You make the memories; I will help you cherish them.

Love and Smiles,

Laura

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) photography portrait portraits professional second shooter wedding wedding photography wedding portraits https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2017/12/the-craft-of-capturing-candids-how-the-second-shooter-brings-a-wedding-gallery-to-life Sun, 24 Dec 2017 03:11:02 GMT
Telling Your Story: How will we create a portrait session that is uniquely yours? https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2017/11/telling-your-story-how-will-we-create-a-portrait-session-that-is-uniquely-yours Lexi | Class of 2018

They say that the only constant in life is change.  We can fight it or embrace it, but change is inevitable.  As a photographer, I am very thankful for the changes in technology, technique and trend.  My gratitude is not because these changes make it easier, but because they help me to tell your story.  You are special and unique.  Your story is special and unique.  Your portraits should be special and unique.

Nathan H | Class of 2018

When I think about you, my client, looking at your portraits, my goal is not for you to simply see them.  I want you to feel them.  That means that I intend for your portraits to have emotion and a connection to who you are.  That mindset drives my approach to everything connected with your session.  It determines the location, the lighting, the posing, the angles, the depth of field, the white balance, the saturation, the contrast, the cropping and presentation.  All of these elements come together in a deliberate way to make that portrait a true reflection of you.

Kat | Class of 2018

So, how do I get to know you?  There are some very subtle observations that help me to uncover what makes you special.  My twenty-five years in education provided me with the opportunity to work with thousands of different people, and I have learned to pick up on the nuances of facial expressions, body language, and interpersonal interactions.  I gather information from your choice of outfits and props.  My purposeful small talk helps me to learn more about you.  But, I have another "secret weapon" that tells me so much more...your eyes.

Matt | Class of 2018

They say that "the eyes are the windows to the soul."  I believe that wholeheartedly.  When I look through the viewfinder of my camera and stare into your eyes, I feel like I am seeing the real you.  I am seeing the quiet insecurities and the bold confidence.  I can see reserved emotions and loud exuberance.  I feel like I am the only one who gets to see the amazing show happening within that viewfinder.  That is, until I have the opportunity to share it in the form of your portraits.

Victoria | Class of 2018

A fortunate truth is that everyone is multidimensional.  You have many sides, and the fun comes when we can show those various facets through your portraits. This provides us with great variety by the time we complete your collection.  These portraits will evoke different emotions which means that I will employ some different techniques to make that happen.  

The quality and style of our old family portraits and my senior portraits certainly date me.   The stiff poses that look just like every other portrait with the same boring background as every other portrait were the norm.  I could never be that photographer.  I don't want to simply provide you with a service, I want to create an experience and a gift by providing portraits that may, one day, tug at your heart.

 

You make the memories; I will help you cherish them.

Love and Smiles,

Laura  

 

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) class of 2018 custom portrait session portrait photography portrait session portraits professional photography senior photography senior pictures senior portraits telling your story https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2017/11/telling-your-story-how-will-we-create-a-portrait-session-that-is-uniquely-yours Tue, 07 Nov 2017 14:33:01 GMT
The Family Portrait Session: Tips for a successful and stress-free portrait session https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2017/9/the-family-portrait-session-tips-for-a-successful-and-stress-free-portrait-session  

 

Ahhh.....  The family portrait session.  You see beautiful family portraits posted on Facebook and Instagram that depict the perfect family with everyone dressed perfectly with perfect smiles and perfect hair and looking so perfectly happy.  But, in your mind, all you can imagine is something like what you see in the images above.  The thought of getting everyone ready and where they need to be at the right time, and keeping everyone happy and trying to look fantastic yourself is just an exhausting concept.  Well, it doesn't have to be.  The first step to a successful family portrait session is to embrace the fact that your family is perfect just they way they are.  They are perfect because of the love that binds them.  It really is as simple as that.  They are yours.  You love them.  You cherish these years that are passing too quickly.  You want to capture that and treasure it, forever.

As a fan of Modern Family, I am reminded of a great episode that poked fun at the stress of preparing for a family portrait session.  In typical fashion, Claire held on to the unrealistic expectation for a perfect family portrait.  She was setting them all up for failure because her concept of perfection does not exist in the human world.  Had things gone according to her plan, the resulting portrait would have been stiff and fake.  As a result of one hilarious mishap after another, the portrait that you see above is full of emotion and reveals the genuine love that binds them.  I am not advocating that your family have a mud fight right before our portrait session, but rather, remember that all of Claire's fussing and nagging was in vain.

So, what might be a better approach?  Well, let's first identify the goals of your family portrait session.  What do you intend to do with these precious portraits that we are creating?  Would you like a piece of wall art to display on the mantle?  Are you thinking about a series of three or four square canvases to hang in a series in the hallway or foyer?  Do you just want something to frame on your desk and use for the Christmas card this year?  Knowing our desired purpose will help us to make smarter decisions along the way.

Okay.  We have our goal.  How do we get there?  Planning and communication are the keys.  Since we have our "why" (the goal), we need to carefully establish a plan for the "who, when, where, and how," and then effectively communicate these plans to everyone who is involved in the portrait session. 

The Hardie Family

Who?  You might be thinking that the "who" is obvious, our family.  Defining your family can require some thought.  If there are step siblings, think about how you want everyone included.  Would you like for any grandparents to be included?  If older children have girlfriends or boyfriends, would you like for them to be in any of the portraits?  Are your pets an integral part of the family?  Would you like any portraits of just mom and dad?  It is possible that the wedding portrait is the last good portrait featuring just the parents?  What other groupings should we capture at this time?  If one of our goals is to create a wall collage or a series of portraits, then what combinations would you like to feature?  Identifying the answers to these questions will drive our portrait session.  Communicating this information to me will make our time together more efficient.  Communicating this information to your family members will prevent the need for discussions in the moment and avoid hurt feelings.

When?  The sunset time dictates the time of day for our portrait session, but the time of year must be considered.  Maybe you are hoping for a particular season. Fall portraits are absolutely beautiful.  However, if you intend to hang this on the mantle in the formal living room which is decorated in a palette of pale blues and silver, then a portrait with oranges, reds and golds may not be a good choice.  If your kiddos are involved in multiple activities, think about the time of year when the schedules are less hectic.  If you have kids away at college, find out when they will be home for break.  Think about your work deadlines and busy seasons to avoid.  Again, communicating the time of your scheduled portrait session to all involved will help to ensure that you have everyone participating.  Kindly make this information known as soon as you schedule the appointment so that all can plan accordingly.  Providing tactful reminders as your session is approaching would be helpful to set your mind at ease that this is really going to happen.

The Pusateri Family

Where?  Sometimes the where is obvious.  If you live on a farm, we will want to take advantage of that beautiful setting.  If you have property on a lake or belong to a country club, then you may want to utilize those pretty settings.  If your family has a special place where you have built some treasured memories, then that may be your ideal location.  Is your family comfortable in the outdoors immersed in nature?  Is a metropolitan look a better fit?  Are we looking for casual or formal portraits?  Do we need a location that can offer both?  

If your family includes younger kiddos, then think about how they will engage in the location.  Portrait sessions in the home with toddlers can be difficult.  They know their surroundings too well.  You may want them to play by the pretty tree, but they remain fixated on their Little Tikes car in the driveway.  Forcing a move will surely bring tears.  I love documenting toddlers exploring a new setting and capturing the wonder in their eyes.  Keeping things fresh and new, but maintaining a feeling of security is key to natural-looking portraits with little ones.  Again, be sure to communicate the specific location with all involved so that we have everyone together in the same place.

The Mathie Family

How?  My philosophy is to keep it simple, but make it fun.  The Claire Dunphy style of neurotically micromanaging every detail will add stress and set us all up for failure.  If we have addressed the questions already stated above, then we are well on our way to a successful portrait session.  Nonetheless, we do need to address the all-important issue of "what to wear."  In the future, I will be dedicating an entire blog post to this significant element in a portrait session, but there are some key factors that I will share as they relate to the family portrait session.

Allow me to reemphasize: keep it simple.  When someone looks at your family portrait, they will be focusing on your faces and reflecting on the relationships among your family members.  This is not a portrait of outfits, it is a portrait of precious family members who are individuals, yet part of a dynamic family unit.  That is not to say that the wardrobe is not important, but it should not become the focal point.  Bold patterns and large graphics tend to take the focus away from the people.  Outfits that are too matching actually become distracting.  Having everyone in exactly the same thing makes it difficult for me to pose members in a way that creates layers and interest by separating bodies but still creating connectedness.  This is why I advise against dressing members in black or white, not to mention that wearing black or white will wash out pale complexions.  

Rather, when planning a wardrobe for a family session, it is best to choose clothing items that represent a family of coordinating colors.  A few examples can be found above. Go back to your purpose.  What is your intended use for these portraits?  What is the color scheme in the room where you want to hang a large piece of wall art?  Do you have an accent color in that room that you can use to make this portrait add interest?  Is this going to be a casual or formal portrait?  Does your intended setting dictate what might be appropriate?  What colors look good on your family?  If you want a palette of soft pastels, then remain consistent with that.  If you want deep oranges, golds, and dark greens, then stay within that family.  Shades of blues and tans can be a beautiful blend.  I recommend laying the intended outfits out on the bed next to each other.  If they are pleasing to the eye, then you are good to go.

The Ramsey Family

When dressing the little ones, think about their comfort.  Place your hand inside the clothes and feel it for yourself.  Is there a scratchy seam where the tulle is gathered at the waist?  Is there an annoying tag at the neck?  Check the gathering points around arms, legs, and necks.  Are they too tight?  When buttoned or zipped, can they still move freely?  These are things that can make for an unsuccessful portrait session.  That outfit is only cute if the little body inside is happy.

Remaining consistent with the need for communication, be certain to make the wardrobe expectations clear to all members in advance of the session.  You do not want to deal with a meltdown or resistance as you are trying to get everyone dressed on that day.  Have the outfits set aside so that you are not rushing things in and out of the clothes dryer.  Start getting ready early so that you are not rushed.  If you are concerned about little people getting dirty, then dress them when you arrive at the location.  Let them know that they are included in this special day and that "all of us are looking so nice today."  

The Groves Family

So, as we prepare to create your gorgeous family portrait, we will strive to "keep it simple, but make it fun."  You bring me your prepped family and let me do the rest.  Together, we can plan and communicate to enjoy a successful and stress-free family portrait session.  Your family is already perfect.  Let me show you just how beautiful that is.  

You make the memories; I will help you cherish them.

Love and smiles,

Laura

 

 

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(Laura Esposito Photography, LLC) family family photography family pictures family portraits photography planning portraits professional photographer professional portrait photographer session https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2017/9/the-family-portrait-session-tips-for-a-successful-and-stress-free-portrait-session Tue, 19 Sep 2017 01:19:52 GMT
The Power of Portrait Presentation https://www.lauraespositophotography.com/blog/2017/8/the-power-of-portrait-presentation There was a time when a portrait only existed as a sketch or painting.  With the invention of the camera, a portrait could be captured on film and developed into an image on paper or some other medium.  For centuries, portraits were a luxury and treasured.  

It is amazing how differently we handle our images today.  Most exist on our smart phones.  Some get uploaded to a website or downloaded to a storage device for safe-keeping.  Some get published on social media.  A small percentage actually get printed and become tangible.  Finding a way to display these few "print-worthy" pictures can make all the difference in how you are able to enjoy them.

Once you find that portrait that takes your breath away, you need to decide how you can use that portrait to enhance a particular space.  You also need to consider what display method would make the most of that portrait for the display location that you have in mind.  There is so much to consider.  My goal in today's blog is to help you to better understand the options available to you with regard to displaying portraits, and to help you determine which display option would best meet your needs.

There is a significant difference in the reaction to an image that is presented as just an image, compared to an image that is displayed with a purpose.  Simply placing a picture in a frame of appropriate size and in a complementary color or texture can elevate the impact of any image.  Matting can certainly have the same effect.  This does not have to be a huge investment.  I have often purchased large framed art that had been place on clearance simply because I like the frame.  I tear it apart and place my own image inside.  Many of these clearance pieces of art have gorgeous frames and matting that only cost a fraction of what it would cost to buy it all separately.  You can amaze yourself with the results.  That portrait can come alive with enhanced depth once you get it on the wall.

If you are wiling to be a little adventurous and invest in a portrait display method that will really be something special, then you may want to consider some of the products that I offer in a category called "Home Decor."  Within the Home Decor category, I will be talking about Print Wraps, Canvas Prints, Metals and Acrylic Prints.  I recently purchased examples in each of these categories so that I could share the specifics with you and help you to make informed decisions when purchasing products from my website.

 

 

Print Wraps  

Print wraps are a fun way to give your images some dimension as the print is actually wrapped around a frame to make it a little puffy.  It is about 3/8 of an inch thick.  Because the edges are wrapped around the frame, you lose the ability to see the outer most edges as they get tucked into the back.  The good news is that these are less expensive than canvas wraps, but are also less durable.  You can choose from a wide range of sizes from 8 X 8 to 16 X 24.  You can choose from the most common E-Surface paper or upgrade to the Kodak Metallic paper which has a little more luminescence.  You can choose from a gloss or matte finish.  I was impressed with how nicely the back is finished and that the mounting makes for easy hanging.  

 

My print wrap sample that I ordered is 11 X 14 on E-Surface paper with a gloss finish.  In the pictures, you can see how the corners are finished and the mounting block is attached for hanging.  It is not very heavy, so wall mounting is not a big concern.  You can see that the mounting block also elevates it away from the wall and makes your portrait "stand out" nicely.  The E-Surface can be wiped off, but would not hold up very well if hung in a location where it could get dirty and require cleaning beyond dusting.  So, a kitchen or bathroom where you have the likelihood for grease or steam could cause this print to show some wear.

 

Canvas Prints