Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Top 5 Reasons to Have Portraits by Irene Jones Photography this Season

Today Alex is 11 days old and I wanted to fill this blog post with nothing but photos of him and our family to show what an average session looks like. Now that I have a few family photos I like, I'm going to let by baby vacation for a few weeks before he has to come back to work on his 1 month birthday. By then his newborn cuteness will have changed into a pudgy Gerber baby motif and more photos will be required. (Whoever says that that parents only photograph the first child and forget about the rest didn't know any professional photographers/mothers.)  If you can't get enough of this little guy please visit my Facebook page for Irene Jones Photography and become a fan. New photos of him are available there. So while Alex is doing his best to fill his days with long naps, meals every three hours, and persistent diaper changes, it's your turn. Now is a great time for holiday portraits and Christmas cards. If you are on the fence about having professional photos this season let me help change your mind.

1. Family portraits. Lots of us, myself included, only get around to taking a family portrait on a yearly basis. Yet far more people out there only get around to this important tradition when someone is born, married, or dies. I consider this a personal tragedy. My approach to family portraits is a mix of the traditional and more modern. I know it's important to the average person to have the shot where everyone is smiling at the camera, but it's always fun to include images that show more then faces, but say something about your family. For our family photo I wanted to highlight our newest addition and so our portraits focused around him. The photo above was actually the first time that the kids wanted to hold Alex. Up till now Tyler wanted Alex to hold his finger but Audrey was completely uninterested in the whole idea of touching him. I'm glad I was able to capture a special moment like this. I've also included one of everyone smiling just because I never noticed until now that my daughter and husband have the same smile. Portraits are good at helping us see things like these little similarities.

2. Flexible sessions. Many portrait studios only allow for a few images per session and discourage combining different groupings into one session. They want to maximize the number of sitting fees where in contrast my goal is to maximize the number of great images provided. That's why I don't limit the number of poses, groupings, locations, or clothes changes in any session. I even allow space between each session just in case we go over, that way no one feels rushed when the next session arrives. Ultimately, I feel customer service is equally important as creating beautiful images and I don't hesitate to go out of my way for my clients.

3. Only tasteful props are used in our portraits. If a prop doesn't add to the image, i.e. help tell a story, we don't use it. The connection between the subject and the prop should be obvious. My studio doesn't stock fake daisies or turn of the century costumes. That's not what I do. However we do have a range of other props that fit a variety of different interests. If you have something specific in mind, please ask when you call to schedule your session and if I don't have it, I'll do what I can to find it for you.

Don't forget that even though the weather outside might be gruesome, location sessions are still great this time of year. My studio equipment is fully portable and can be brought to just about anywhere. By photographing on location (your home, a special place you like to go, even a fancy hotel) another dimention is added to the image that otherwise wouldn't have existed in the studio. Can't think of a location? I can so please don't hesitate to ask for suggestions.

4. Groups of all sizes and ages welcome. Have you ever photographed 10 kids under the age of 5? I have several times. What about groups of 25? My studio can handle both and I've had plenty of experience with every possible combination you can imagine.

5. A better value. When you book with me you're getting more then my time, you take part in my never ending pursuit of doing things better. I want each client to walk away with images they love and want to share. Each photo should tell a story and hold personal meaning; something you can't put a price tag on.

To book your session please visit Irene Jones Photography Online for pricing information, portfolios, and directions to our studio. Please note that all sessions are by appointment only. To schedule your portrait session please call 425.367.4781.

I hope you've enjoyed my collection of family portraits! Tomorrow's blog post switches gears entirely as we discuss shooting and "stitching" panoramas in Photoshop CS4.

One more thing: Here is a video about how I set up the shot of Alex hitting the books.


  1. Love the picture of Alex on the books! And the video is great. I can totally visualize how to set up that lighting now . . . if I only had all the equipment, that is :).

  2. @ Heidi Lawson
    Well the white foam core was $10 at Michaels. They are a little hard to travel with, but you can't beat the price! Plus I bet you could do the same kind of shot with your SB-600 speedlight.

  3. I think I should probably get a reflector soon, as I see you use that a lot. Maybe I should bump that up the wishlist. Any recommendation on size?

  4. @ Heidi Lawson
    Mine is about 4' diameter. Try to pick one that can be a reflector as well as a diffuser. The 4-in-1 kind are the best. Try the foam core first though, you'd be surprised by how much of a photographers gear is about how you use something and not how much you pay for it! Sometimes the best equipment is stuff you've repurposed.