Holiday Family Portrait Tips

For non-cheesy family photos!
Well, who am I kidding, if there is a time for cheese it should be the holidays! Here are some tips and recommendations based on my “viral” Family Portraits tips on the beach. And by viral I mean, it gets pinned on Pinterest. I wish I could get bookings from that thing but I guess reputation is great. 

First, I just want to say, take this chance to take a nice photo, even if it’s Walmart, as long as someone else is taking the photo. Dress up, print it, and hang it on the wall, not just post it on facebook.
So take advantage of the holiday pressure and kill two birds. Get an awesome family photo and send your relatives a printed photo.

So my first tip is going to be:
1. Do a formal portrait. Maybe add a touch of red, but don’t make it too Christmasy with the red and green together. Yes, a pop of red is great. But think home decoration. You do not want to print a big photo with your reindeer sweater. It doesn’t look that great the rest of the year.

2. Wear neutral colours. For the same reason above, BUT, add a Rudolph scarf? Your ugly Xmas sweater? Your Santa hat? Yes take a couple of really holiday photos but only keep it to a couple.
Wearing neutral colours will let you use those accessories quickly without stopping a shoot for a change. Remember, kids have the attention span of a, well, kid.

3. Keep it short. Kids give you a solid 10 minutes attention if that.  So be ready, have the arguments in the morning while getting ready, and drag them all dressed up all ready. Yes, promise ice cream and treats if they behave,  but use it as a last resort. Explain how this is a gift for grandma, for someone they like, and that it is very fun and short! A good photographer will capture honest laughs or action shots. I always ask them to show me how high they can jump. The joy of playing is priceless. Or instead of a kiss, to blow a raspberry  🙂

4. Tickle and play. It will be great if all of you are looking at the camera at the same time, but really, it rarely happens. So tickle away, I will make sure those 4 takes look like one awesome one. Or maybe just get a moment like this: 

And here is the fancy holiday guide 🙂 

Tip: Shoes for Boudoir session

I might have a small shoe fetish. I can’t wear them, but if no one is looking, I will caress them. I have like 6 pairs that I just like saying hi every now and then. I am an awkward high heel walker too. Like my grandma used to say: You walk like a chicken with thorns on your feet. A thorny chicken. It sounds as ridiculous in spanish.

Anyway. Since then I kinda know how to walk if I practice for a bit before I have to actually go anywhere, but in reality the occasions to wear them are very few and far apart. And I feel like a giant if I go out with hubby. So flats are my thing.

As a general tip, when you come to a boudoir shoot, it is nice to have a newish pair of shoes for the shoot. Your heels go all over the place in weird positions that I make you do, but you can see the heels in some shots.

HERE IS THE TOP SECRET TIP: 

“Buy a new pair and return the pair the next week.” You really are not walking anywhere except from one corner to the bed.

A suggested this to a client that wears flats and has the one pair of very used high heels, you know, thinking she is getting a $60 dollar pair at winners or something. She came in with a freaking pair of $1,200 Louboutins. OH NO, SHE DIDN’T, YES she did!

She is my hero now. I am making room on my credit card so I can do that. To at least feel what a nice pair of shoes feels like. Apparently this is done a lot for styling photo shoots and movies. The trick is to use the non-stick painters tape if you are going to practice your walking. If you are just lying down for photos then you do not have to worry about it.

There is something sexy about that darn red sole…

It might be the proximity to the butt as well. 🙂 
It’s funny I started looking in the archives and apparently I have shot a lot of Louboutins. Even those pink ones. Pink and red look good together without looking like roger rabbit. Who knew!
Oh and if your credit card doesn’t have the room for a pair like this like me, just paint a newish pair.
Old jar of red nail polish here I come.
UPDATE: Awesome client painted her shoes, she used acrilic paint from the art store, and did give it a coat of shellac to make it last. But she actually uses those shoes so she wanted it to last. If you do not care for the lasting effect – just paint works!

Boudoir photography for couples- updated gallery and tips

It takes a really committed and confident couple to go for this type of photography.  You have to trust the other half that these images are not going to end up on Tumblr. A great source for ideas and inspiration, I save some stuff there that I see around Tumblr. It’s fun. Check mj-couples.tumblr.com

So! where was I?

Oh yeah, you have to trust your other half that in the case you ever broke up; pinkie-promise that these images do not end on the internets for the world to see your abilities.

I updated the Couples page and a handy dandy BROCHURE
I condensed all the tips there, it comes in handy when someone purchases a gift certificate and info of what to expect is needed.

It is really a lot of making out, cute making out, not eating faces because we do not want to ruin the makeup, a lot of boob grabbing, and a lot of pretending I am not there.

Tips on what to wear:
For her- they are all here on what to wear for your session
For him:
  • Suit with tie and everything (not to worry about the shoes really) or just bring shirt and tie.
  • Jeans and simple t-shirt
  • Boxers/ briefs/thongs I do not judge. Maybe a little but I won’t tell you. Simple colours, preferably no prints.
  • Shave super early in the day on even the night before if you have sensitive skin.
  • Tweeze the unibrow and brush off your lips with your toothbrush for kissable lips.
  • Moisturize after your shower, you want to look dewy
Book yours! If you need help convincing your other half, get the brochure 🙂
(originally published in 2011, now giving it the revamp)

FAQ: What to wear – the Sport item edition

So you see this all over Pinterest. More when the teams are actually winning.
The man in your life loves the darn game. So take a photo with the shirt. Even better the scarf. I am digging the scarf more as you can be pretty much naked under it.
Why are these so popular? I am guessing is two things, the contrast between something masculine on your femenine acting (well, because we don’t always act very ladylike- like currently slouching on a desk with my legs open) There is a little bit of ownership as well. Like: “that sexy woman is mine!” She is wearing my thing! me like! And of course, the sport itself. 

Here are some tips to rock the sporty stuff:

When the shirt is giant, you actually do not have to wear it. Just hold it in front of you like so: Way more flattering and again, points if you wear nothing under it. Maybe even do it for a game too, just maybe not an important one.
Note: see how we are grabbing the shirt and cupping boobs up at the same time? SCIENCE
Scarf:
Really liking this! There are more soccer things but hey, if you find one with the leafs or raptors go for it. BONUS: buy one and then wrap the photo in it and give it as a present. win-win. Extra points for socks!
Hats:
This one is more easy to achieve since it can be snuck out with no problem. Small, fits anywhere.
And topless and a hat just works.
So do not stress about trying to sneak in your boyfriend’s apartment on game day to steal a shirt (true story) grab something simple! Winners has stuff in the boys department. Go crazy there and do not spend too much.
And the ULTIMATE sample of a sport boudoir idea was from a couple, that booked the hotel that faces the Rogers Centre. So they could watch the game after. 
And always, if you have any questions, email me 🙂 I check my email too much. (according to my husband)

Excuses to use to book and get your boudoir shoot done.

Yes, the ladies have to sneak around and keep it on the down low from their hubbies, or hubbies to be, or even their “too curious” friends.

The Excuse:

Here are some good excuses for the day off.

  • Spa day “I bought a Groupon for a spa day with makeup application so I will be gone a couple of hours”
  • Hair Dresser “Yes, I just went to the hairdresser but she has to fix a highlight and it will take a while”
  • Wedding Makeup trial  “we are doing another test – not sure I liked the first one”
  • Your crazy friend is having a glamour shoot and you are coming along for support. 

Keep it simple, as soon as they hear something girly like makeup and hair, their mind strays. This way you can come home all done up and even maybe go out with your nice makeup and lashes.

The Lingerie:

Now the trickiest part I think is to sneak out with a bag full of underwear and sexy things. Especially difficult when you live together. Good thing they are not heavy.

  • A good gym bag can carry most of it. 
  • If you can stash it in the car the day before great. 
  • Leave it at a trusted friends house.
Or just blame it on a friend/sister that is borrowing some stuff for a photo shoot. Don’t give details 😛

See? It all fits on a large handbag. The shoes are the bulkiest item. 

Note: Don’t stress about getting one of his items to wear that he might miss, like his hockey jersey on game night. I’m sure he will like the other pics:)

And lastly, you can shoot on what you are wearing. That white t-shirt with no bra or his favourite band shirt.

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