Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC: Blog https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog en-us (C) Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) Mon, 05 Jul 2021 22:07:00 GMT Mon, 05 Jul 2021 22:07:00 GMT https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/img/s/v-12/u946996734-o838752065-50.jpg Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC: Blog https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog 80 120 Our 2021 Disney Experience https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2021/4/our-2021-disney-experience

My sister and I always knew we'd take the kids on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Disney World, but we wanted to wait until they were EXACTLY the right age.  We had imagined that 6, 7, and 10 would be old enough to remember the trip but young enough to still enjoy it.  We were all set for June 2020 until a pandemic put a kink in our plans.  We questioned when or if we should reschedule since after Disney's re-opening there were many attractions and activities that were not going to be available.  However, after weighing the pros and cons, we decided to go ahead and go before the boys got any older.  This was our experience...

First, let me start off by saying that neither my sister nor I have been to Disney since we were kids ourselves.  So, besides the few slight memories we each had, we really didn't know exactly what to expect.  All we knew is that we had six days at Disney and we wanted to see and do it ALL! 

Once our plane landed in Orlando, we boarded the Magical Express that took us to our resort.  We did have to wait about 45 minutes
 to an hour to board, but once we got on, it took us straight to our hotel with no stops along the way.  The ride was provided at no extra cost but I read that Disney is going to be charging for this service starting January 2022.  

We stayed at a Cars themed suite in Disney's Art of Animation resort.  I would definitely recommend this resort.   Disney has done a fabulous job with the themes.  There are four themed sections at Art of Animation; Cars, Lion King, Nemo, and The Little Mermaid.  The suites are pretty small but they do have 2 bathrooms, which is nice.  Since the suites have a microwave and refrigerator, we placed a grocery order online from Walmart which we were able to have delivered for a fee of $20.  Our groceries were already at our resort when we arrived.  The resort will hold them for you and you can pick them up when you get there.  We ordered lots of water bottles, snacks to take with us each day, and a few quick meals we could heat up for the kids in the microwave.  This saved us a lot of money on food since Disney is not offering the dining plan at this time.  The Art of Animation also has access to the Skyliner which you can use to go to Hollywood Studios or Epcot.  They have buses that you can ride to all of the parks.  We found the food court to be pretty good at our resort too.  

While we're on the topic of Disney transportation, I would have to say that it exceeded my expectations.  Each time we took a bus from our resort to a park or vice versa, the bus went directly to and from each location.  I assumed that we would be stopping at other resorts to let people on and off, but that was not the case.  The buses come frequently so we spent very little time waiting on buses during our stay.  Of course, we were up early so that might have had something to do with it!  We chose to ride the Skyliner to and from Hollywood Studios and Epcot.  The lines get long at times but they move very quickly and it was fun to fly over some of the other Disney resorts.  

Currently, Disney requires that you make a reservation for a park for each day.  Then, at 2:00, you can park hop if you wish.  We opted for the park hopper tickets and were pleasantly surprised when we were upgraded to the park hopper plus which includes waterpark tickets as well! 

We had decided to start off with Magic Kingdom on our first day which was a Sunday.  The parks open earlier than the time posted for guests staying in a Disney Resort.  Opening time was 8:00 but we arrived about 7:20 and they were letting people in.  This was great because we were able to ride 4 to 5 rides without waiting in any lines!  They park didn't seem to get crowded until around lunch time that day.  After lunch, a little storm blew through.  It continued to rain for about 4 hours.  We stopped to eat but after seeing the rain wasn't going to let up, we pulled out our ponchos and kept going.  Rain ponchos are a must at Disney! Fortunately, most ride lines are inside or at least covered so you only get wet walking from place to place.  Because of the storm the park cleared out and wasn't really crowded at all.  Wait times were short the rest of the day and we were able to ride and see every attraction that was open by closing time!  Our favorites at Magic Kingdom were Pirates of the Caribbean, The Haunted Mansion, The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Space Mountain, and Big Thunder.  

On day two, we Skylined over to Hollywood Studios.  Right away, we noticed it was more crowded and the lines were longer.  We hit Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway first, then headed to Toy Story land.  If you are a Toy Story fan, you will love this area of the park!  We saw a few characters the day we were at Hollywood Studios.  They were either behind some type of barrier or riding in a parade so the kids weren't able to touch them or get their autograph.  When we stopped for lunch, we were able to get a spot in the virtual cue for Rise of the Resistance!  This is one of the newer rides at Disney and you can only get in line if you secure a spot in the virtual cue through the Disney app.  Once you secure a spot, it will tell you what time to get in line.  We aren't Star Wars fans but this ride is a MUST do!  Calling it a "ride" doesn't even do it justice - it was an experience!  Ride of the Resistance was one of our favorites at Hollywood along with Tower of Terror, Toy Story Mania, Smuggler's Run and Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway.

 

After the second day of being in the parks from opening until closing, our feet and legs were feeling pretty tired so we decided to go to Blizzard Beach the next day.  Blizzard Beach is one of two Disney Water parks.  This may have been the kids favorite day and we were able to sit down and let them play some while we watched from our lounge chairs!  It was a much needed break for our feet and patience!  If you don't want to do one of the water parks or it's too cool, I would consider scheduling a resort day in the middle of your trip.  The kids can swim in the pool while you give your feet a break.  Also, we used this day to get back to the resort early and do some laundry.

The next day we were up and at 'em early to get to Animal Kingdom.  Animal Kingdom is quite a bit larger than the other parks and we ended up walking about 12 miles while we were there!  We did a Kilimanjaro Safari in the morning and evening.  I would definitely recommend morning as the animals were much more active.  But on our evening safari, we got a little more pixie dust sprinkled on us when our guide's radio went out halfway through the tour.  Because of that, they offered for us to ride again with no wait.  No one else in our vehicle wanted to so we ended up getting a private tour.  Our guide was able to give us a little inside information that you don't hear on the regular tour so that was fun.  There are a lot of things to do in Animal Kingdom besides just look at the animals.  There are plenty of rides and a few shows to see.  "It's Tough to Be a Bug" was an awesome 4D movie - probably my favorite in all of Disney.  Expedition Everest is a really cool roller coaster at Animal Kingdom.  We went to it first thing and were able to ride it twice in a row with no wait.  My favorite area of the park was Pandora.  We rode Flight of Passage at the end of the day and it ended up being my very favorite ride in all of Disney!  If you go, definitely do not skip out on it!

 

When we originally planned our trip to Disney, we considered taking a day to go to Universal but ultimately decided against it.  However, while we we there, we started to rethink that decision and, on a whim, decided to take a day and go over to Universal while we were there.  I am a huge Harry Potter fan so I was excited about that particular area of the parks.  We got a park hopper pass to Universal and Island of Adventure for the day.  We were able to cover about half of the attractions that day.  We knew there were 5 Harry Potter rides and wanted to try to ride them all so when we entered, we headed straight for that area.  Universal was super crowded - a lot more crowded than Disney - even though they both say they are only at 35% capacity.  Which, by the way, I can't imagine what it must be like at 100% capacity because 35% was still what I consider crowded.  Anyway, as we were headed over to Hogsmeade Village, we saw the line for Hagrid's Motorbike Adventure was already huge - over two hours according to park workers.  So we bypassed that line and went to other HP rides and figured we'd try Hagrid's again later.  Well, after talking to other people, we figured out that the morning is the only time you can just get in line and after that, you must get a spot in the virtual queue using the Universal app.  So we tried to get in throughout the day but were unsuccessful.  It was getting close to closing and we were starting to realize that we weren't going to get a spot.  With Hagrid's being the most expensive roller coaster ever built in the world - 300 million to be exact - we knew we didn't want to leave without experiencing it.  I made my way to guest services while the kids were enjoying Dr. Suess-ville and pleaded my case to the park employee.  I gave her a sob story and I guess she felt bad for us so she was able to help us outing get us a spot in line!  We were so excited!  Hagrid's was definitely unlike any roller coaster I have ever ridden.  It ended up being everybody's favorite ride of the day and possible the whole trip!  

Our last day at Disney we returned to Magic Kingdom in the morning and re-rode a few things, then headed to Chef Mickey's for breakfast.  This was the one and only character dining we did.  The kids got to get closer to the characters but they still couldn't touch them.  It was fun, but without the dining plan, our bill was pretty hefty in my opinion.  I was glad that we did it but I would not have wanted to do another character dining at those prices!  

The last afternoon, we visited Epcot.  This park was our least favorite.  For one thing, there is lots of construction going on.  they are building several new attractions and I'm sure it will be awesome once they are finished but the barriers around the construction really took away from the beauty of the park.  There are less rides at Epcot than any other park.  The kids really enjoyed Test Track and my sister and I enjoyed the Frozen ride.  There are lots of restaurants at Epcot and the park seems more for adults than kids.  If you are taking the kids, you can probably finish this park in half a day.  

All in all we had a great vacation - Disney did not disappoint!  I thought I would put together a list of tips and just general information in case you are thinking of going to Disney in the near future.

 

Covid:  Everyone wants to know how Disney is different since the reopening after the pandemic.  As I stated above, there are certain shows that are not open yet which was a bummer.  There are no fireworks, no lighted parades, no autographs, and no touching or having pictures made with the characters.  Although we did see some characters, we never once saw a Disney Princess.  I'm assuming you would have to pay to dine with them to see one.  Of course, since we have all boys, that was not a big deal.  Masks must be worn at all times over your nose and mouth and they do not mind telling you to pull it up.  Social distancing is encouraged in lines by markings on the ground indicating where to stand to remain six feet apart.  Hand sanitizer stations are placed at every attraction.  Rides are not filled to capacity which makes for longer wait times.  But, then again, the park is only at 35% capacity so the lines are not extremely long.  Like I said, the longest we waited in a line was an hour during the whole trip.  While in line, you may not eat or drink since you would need to remove your mask for that.  and, when you eat and drink, you must be stationary.  So you can't walk around while drinking something.  

Food:  Without the dining plan, food could easily get expensive.  I know many people go to Disney to enjoy the food but that was not something we were interested in.  We ordered groceries and ate in the room for breakfast and when we returned from the parks.  We took snacks and water with us and waited until midday to order lunch from a quick service restaurant.  That way, we only paid for one meal a day in the park.  Quick service meals for 5 cost about $50-60 depending on what you ordered.  

Things to bring:  Ponchos (the reusable kind), umbrella, neck fans of some sort, flavor packets for water bottles, at least two pairs of tennis shoes, flip flops or crocs, plastic straws (they only supply paper straws), multiple masks

Planning: Book early and use a travel agent.  The travel agent we used was wonderful!  Her name is Kristi Homes.  You can contact her at kristi.h@magicalvacationplanner.com

 

Things I would do next time:

1.  Purchase the Memory Maker.  There are photographers stationed around the parks taking pictures.  They just scan your band or your card and the pictures show up in your app minutes later!

2.  Get Mickey bands for all.  They are $5 online and you can buy before your trip.  This way, you don't have to worry about looking for tickets.  You just scan your band at the entrance.  You can even use it to pay.

3.  Purchase the park hopper plus tickets.  Our kids really enjoyed the water park so the plus tickets would be worth the extra for me.

4.  Get matching shirts.  Before we went I kind of thought it was stupid to get matching shirts for every day.  However, it really looks better in pictures if everyone is wearing the same color.  Plus, it's easier to keep up with the kids.  

5.  Bring a sunglasses case.  Sometimes you need them and sometimes you don't.  It's really handy to have a case so you can toss them in your backpack without worrying that they will get squished.

6.  Bring a travel hamper or bag for dirty clothes.  This comes in handy when you get ready to go to the laundry room.

7.  Bring hard containers for snacks like crackers or ships so they don't get squished in your bag.  

 

I hope this helps some of you that are thinking about going to Disney in the near future.  If you have been to Disney and have additional tips to share, please leave them in the comments!

 

 

 

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) Disney Disney 2021 Disney family vacation Disney tips Disney World trip What to know before you go to Disney https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2021/4/our-2021-disney-experience Tue, 20 Apr 2021 22:17:28 GMT
Grad Card Etiquette https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2021/3/grad-card-etiquette

LET’S TALK GRADUATION CARD ETIQUETTE! Did you know that there’s a right way and wrong way to send your grad cards and party invites?!? I’m here to help you out & give you the details on the dates!

INVITATIONS: Graduation commencement and grad party invitations should go out 3 weeks in advance! This gives everyone time to clear their schedules and make plans to attend.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: Now, these are A LOT less formal when it comes to timing. Some of our clients like to send them out a few weeks before their graduation events and we even have some clients who send them out post-graduation as well!  Sending our announcements up to four weeks after the event is acceptable.

WHO GETS ONE:  Obviously, family members will be the first ones on the list - including extended family as well.  Family friends, teachers, coaches and even classmates can be included.  Don't forget to save one for yourself to add to your keepsake box! 

WHAT TO INCLUDE:  Feel free to include information on your future plans or college name, along with any high school honors.

 

Styled Stock Photos for Instagram and Social Media, Flatlays, Social Squares from the SC Stockshop

THANK YOU CARDS: If you are sending announcements or invitations, you are bound to receive GIFTS! Woo hoo! Because of that, thank you cards are a must have item in your grad collection. Thank you cards should be sent within one month of your celebration or from the date you received your gift.  Be sure to keep track of the gifts you receive and send proper graduation thank you notes in a timely manner. If you order your thank you cards the same time that you order your announcements they’ll be ready to go as soon as you receive gifts. 

 

If this information has you panicking because you haven’t booked your senior portrait session yet, have no fear! We can get you booked TODAY!

Are you planning a grad party?  Check out this blog post for some great ideas! 

 
 


 

 


 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) grad card etiquette graduation graduation announcements graduation invitations northeast Texas photographer senior photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2021/3/grad-card-etiquette Wed, 10 Mar 2021 16:00:00 GMT
Senior's Guide to the Portrait Perfect Face https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2021/2/seniors-guide-to-the-portrait-perfect-face
The Senior's Guide to the Portrait Perfect Face:  Make Sure YOU are Camera Ready!

EXFOLIATE  Exfoliate with a physical exfoliator at least 2 days prior to your application session. It will help reduce dry patches and texturing. It will

also smooth your skin which will make your airbrush foundation apply smoothly to your face.

 

WASH AND MOISTURIZE Wash your face thoroughly before your session and apply a hydrating moisturizer. The foundation will apply more evenly if

your face is prepped and ready before any color is applied.

 

PRODUCTS TO AVOID Try to avoid using products containing salicylic acid at least 3 days before your appointment. It can leave your skin red and

extremely dry which can look patchy and textured.

 

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WEAR  Be sure to wear a loose, light colored shirt with a large neck hole or a button up for easy removal after your

makeup & hair is done. You don’t want to smudge your face with your favorite shirt!

 

GROOM THE BROWS  Please GROOM your brows so they look clean! There’s nothing more messy than errant hairs! Do not have your eyebrows

waxed for at least a week before your session. It can cause a lot of redness and swelling. In some cases even some scabbing.

 

GET SOME SHUT EYE  Be sure to get a good night’s rest prior to your appointment.  There is nothing attractive about puffiness and bags under the

eyes. Apply some ice cold tea bags to your eyes if you wake up with any issues.

 

 

TANNING TIPS  Don’t tan in the natural sun or tanning beds for an entire 2 weeks before your session. You could appear really red or even burn.

Porcelain skin photographs best as it can actually reflect the light from our shoot beautifully!

 

LIP CARE  For the entire week before your session, use your toothbrush to brush your lips vigorously. Then apply Vaseline to your lips and sleep in it.

This will make your lips smooth and ready for lipstick. Chapped lips looks awful in camera (and let’s face it, in life too).

 

If you liked this blog post, be sure to check out Accessorize for Your Senior Portraits

 

 

 


 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) beauty tips camera ready Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer senior pictures https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2021/2/seniors-guide-to-the-portrait-perfect-face Wed, 24 Feb 2021 18:00:00 GMT
4 Top Tips for a Picture Perfect Senior Session https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2021/2/4-top-tips-for-a-picture-perfect-senior-session Whether you’re already comfortable in front of the camera or you’re more on the camera-shy side, you should look and feel your best during your entire senior photo session. Here are four ways to prepare beforehand for a great photoshoot experience.
 

 

 

1. Wear clothes you’re comfortable in.
Throughout your photoshoot, you’ll be posing in different ways -- sitting, standing, walking, jumping, etc. If you’re wearing a dress that you’re constantly adjusting because it doesn’t fit right or shoes that pinch your toes, it’ll be difficult for you to relax and really live in the moment. Wear an outfit that you can move comfortably in and that makes you feel good about yourself.

 

2. Look your best -- whatever that means for you.
Try to look nice for your senior portraits -- but make sure you still look like you. Dress up a bit, but don’t wear a dress or a suit if it’s something you don’t usually wear. It’s great to put on some makeup to help your features pop in front of the camera, but don’t pile it on if that’s not what you usually do. If you feel your best, you’ll look your best.

3. Choose a professional photographer you can trust.
Selfies work fine for your Instagram story -- but they just won’t cut it when it comes to your graduation announcements. Look for a professional photographer who specializes in senior portraits. Take a look at their portfolio to make sure you like their work. As long as your photographer knows what they’re doing, they’ll be able to make sure you look great and feel comfortable.

 

4. Location, location, location!

If you’re a little nervous about spending so much time in front of the camera, choose an environment that makes you feel at home. Pick a photoshoot location that’s significant to you. But if nothing comes to mind, outdoor locations or studios with plenty of natural light are great for photos.

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer senior picture ideas senior pictures senior portraits Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2021/2/4-top-tips-for-a-picture-perfect-senior-session Wed, 10 Feb 2021 06:00:00 GMT
Calli ~ Class of 2021 https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2021/2/calli

 

Calli is a senior at Pewitt High School.  She is involved in many extra-curricular activities and school organizations including; volleyball, basketball,

softball, FFA- show pig and steer, trap team, STUCO- President, Class President, NHS- Reporter, and Daniel's Chapel youth group.  When she's not busy

with her school activities, Calli can be found fishing, hunting, shopping, or just hanging out with friends.  After graduation, Calli plans to attend UT

Tyler where she will pursue a degree in Nursing and eventually become a Nurse Anesthetist.  


 

Sport Loft Main TemplateSport Loft Main TemplateGame Changers by Shirk Photography

 

Calli's advice to other seniors concerning their senior session?  Listen to the photographer! Even if you think she has you taking the most awkward

picture, listen to her, she knows what she's doing. She has an eye for things you would have never thought would make a remarkable portrait!  She

also advises to ask questions about the location so you can match your attire appropriately.  
 

 

 

 

As far as tips on hair and makeup, Calli says, "Go with your natural look! Don't overdo it on make-up and hair, you want to look as much like you as

possible. Remember, this is about the "real" you, not a "fantasy" you!"

 


 

 

 

 

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) Jefferson Texas Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer senior portraits sports pictures https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2021/2/calli Wed, 03 Feb 2021 18:00:00 GMT
Options for Displaying Your Images https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2021/1/options-for-displaying-your-images Options for Displaying Your Session Images

 

Sure, digital images are great to have for immediate sharing and posting but let's think about the future for a minute...

 

In 20 years, are you going to remember where that disk or USB is?  Or maybe you downloaded those pictures to a hard drive you don't even have

anymore.  Then what?  What will you have to show your children and your grandchildren? 

 

You don’t want to leave these priceless memories behind. Wherever your future takes you, printed products always gives you something to look back

and remember this important time in your life.  

 

Digital files and printed products are BOTH important.  That's why, at SCC, we offer digitals and printed products to all of all clients.   

 

Albums

An album turns your senior images into the story of who you are.  The allure of your images, perfectly captured in a crafted keepsake

album. Bring home a collection of all your favorite images, all in one place. It’s the most personal and visually stunning way to tell your story.

Our Luxe Album is the ultimate senior session keepsake.  Our albums are custom designed to match your session images and personality. Each album

and memory box features a beautiful acrylic cover image cover wrapped in leather in the color of your choice.  No need to choose images or narrow

down your selection, our Luxe Album can hold all of your images from your session.  Your album cover can be personalized further by adding your

name, school and graduation year.  The memory box contains a USB holder and features a luxurious linen interior and ribbon for easy removal of your

custom album. 

 

 

Storyboards

An all-time favorite product has been The Storyboard and one of the most popularly ordered keepsakes in the studio. Storyboards are a fabulous way

to display multiple images from your session.  Choose three, four, or six of your favorite images and we will create a custom storyboard designed

especially for you!  Storyboards come matted, framed, and ready to hang.  Perfect for hanging in the family room or in dad’s office.  

 

Another great option is to design your storyboard around your sport or hobby!  One of the most popular sizes is the 12x12 square or the 16x20 for a

major WOW factor! 

 

 

 

Gallery-wrapped Canvas

There’s nothing like showcasing your favorite senior images in a gorgeous canvas collection in your formal living room, staircase, hallway, entry or

family room. Gallery wrapped canvases from SCC Photography have exceptional color rendition, rich blacks and a smooth gloss finish.  Maximum

quality white poly-cotton canvas is used to print your senior images for the perfect saturation and sharpness. Only the top photography labs are used

to print and stretch our canvases for unsurpassed quality. 

 

 

 

Metal Wall Art

Our Metal Wall Art is the radiant and modern-day substitute for traditional framed and unframed fine art images. Metal prints represent a new art

medium for preserving photos by infusing dyes directly into specially coated aluminum sheets. Your images will take on a magical luminescence. 

You've never seen a more brilliant and impressive print! Colors are vibrant and the luminescence is breathtaking. Detail and resolution are unsurpassed.

 

 


 

Image Box + Prints

Our  gorgeous custom image box and  5x7 prints are a great way to present your entire senior gallery. The image box is custom designed to match

your session images and personality. Each image box features a soft touch full-image cover, luxurious linen interior, and clasp closure and ribbon for

easy removal of your prints.  5x7 prints are great for framing and gifting.  Your custom image box can serve double duty as a keepsake box for

additional pictures and memorabilia from your senior year.  

 

Want to see more about print products?  Check out 4 Products Every Mom Needs from their Senior's Session


 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer senior picture ideas senior pictures senior portraits Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2021/1/options-for-displaying-your-images Wed, 20 Jan 2021 18:00:00 GMT
Senior Session Options https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/8/senior-session-options Senior Session Options

At SCC Photography, we offer 3 types of senior sessions.  So which session matches YOUR needs?

 

The FULL Senior Session

This session includes it ALL and is the one most senior want!  Our full session is 3-4 hours long, includes unlimited location and outfit changes within that time frame and can incorporate a studio sports portion if desired.  When you book a full session, we will get together before the actual session date to discuss and plan all the details.  About a week after your session, you will come back for your big reveal!  This is the fun part.  We will view all of your images in a slideshow and then choose and design your custom products.

 

The All-Inclusive Session

This is for the senior who just wants a simple, quick session.  With the all-inclusive session, you pay one fee that covers the session, 10 digital files, and a custom phone app.  These type of sessions include one location within 20 miles of Omaha, TX and one outfit.  All-inclusive sessions do not include a planning meeting or a reveal and may only be scheduled on weekdays.

 

The Studio Sports Session

This is for the senior who just wants to show off their athletic interests.  These sports sessions are one hour long and take place in my studio.  We can show off multiple sports or just one favorite.  

So, which one is right for you?  Still not sure?  Click HERE for even more information about our sessions!

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) northeast Texas photographer senior photographer senior picture ideas senior pictures senior portraits senior session Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/8/senior-session-options Wed, 26 Aug 2020 17:00:00 GMT
Katelyn ~ Class of 2021 https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/7/katelyn-class-of

 

Katelyn is a senior at Chapel Hill High School in Mount Pleasant.  Katelyn plays basketball and golf and is the manager for the cross country and volleyball teams.  After graduation, she plans to attend Texas Christian University and pursue a bachelors degree in criminal justice.  Upon completing her degree, Katelyn plans to transfer to Southern Methodist University and go to law school.  

 

In her free time, Katelyn enjoys going out on the lake in the boat or riding jet skis.  At home, she might can be found watching her one of her favorite tv shows such as How to Get Away with Murder or Green Leaf.  
 

 

 

Her advice to upcoming seniors is "to take as many dual credit classes as you can.  Take spontaneous trips to wherever and have fun!  And when you're ready to schedule your senior pictures, choose Shana!  You will not regret it."

 

Katelyn's advice for  other seniors getting their senior portraits made?  "Research your locations and choose an experienced photographer such as Shana!  Also, don’t be nervous around your photographer!"  She also advises, "Plan your outfits before! Make sure you have time to order or go shopping for any other clothing item you may want".  

 

 

 

As far as makeup goes, Katelyn suggests, "If you are getting your makeup professionally done I would try to get a practice round in to make sure you like their work. I used Lauren Lesher for hair and makeup and was very pleased."

 

When I asked Katelyn what her biggest fear or worry about her session was, she had this to say, "I was worried about the weather not cooperating and not having enough sunlight but Shana knew exactly how to handle that! I was also worried about not being comfortable or just being awkward but Shana did a wonderful job getting me out of my shell!"

 

 

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior picture ideas senior pictures senior portraits https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/7/katelyn-class-of Tue, 21 Jul 2020 17:00:00 GMT
Sunflower Sessions https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/7/sunflower-sessions

 

Sunflower fields make a gorgeous location for pictures - especially senior pictures.  A field of sunflowers is quite a sight to behold. The tall flowers swaying gently in the breeze often serve as inspiration for poetry and art. Bright yellow petals stand out from their green leaves and blue skies. Sunflowers get their name because they are heliotropic. That means their flowers turn and follow the Sun as it crosses the sky. June is the time sunflowers come into full bloom and there is a stretch of highway in Northwest Louisiana filled with sunflowers.

 

The sunflower trail is a 20-mile drive through the outskirts of Shreveport, traveling through Dixie and Belcher into Gilliam, where the festival is held. It begins on Highway 3049 north between Shreveport and Gilliam and on the Sentell Road Loop, near Dixie Maze Farms. The flowers are in full bloom from mid-June through early July. Families can drive along the trail and take photos in the fields. Blooms generally last for about 3 weeks.   


Traditionally, the annual Sunflower Trail and Festival takes places every third Saturday of June in Gilliam, Louisiana from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is known to deliver a full afternoon of family-friendly fun, complete with food and crafts vendors, live music, and fields of vibrant sunflowers. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer sunflowers Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/7/sunflower-sessions Wed, 08 Jul 2020 17:00:00 GMT
How to Make Sure Your Senior Pictures Represent You https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/6/how-to-make-sure-your-senior-pictures-represent-you SENIOR PICTURES SHOULD REPRESENT YOU!

 

Your high school senior portraits don’t have to look just like everyone else’s. In fact, they shouldn’t! There’s only one you. Every high school senior should infuse their senior session with their interests, style, and unique personality. Here are a few ways you can do that...

 

Bring props - Show off what you love to do and what you’re best at by bringing a few props to your shoot. Did you play in the band? Bring along your flute. Did you play high school volleyball? Grab your jersey and a ball. Did you star in the school play? Bring along your tap shoes or the hat you wore in the role. Don’t be afraid to make your photos your own!

 

Powder Explosion Photoshop TemplatePowder Explosion Photoshop Templatephotoshop template for athlete, sports template, with volleyball, baseball. powder explosion with wood gym floor

 

Wear a favorite outfit - Don’t dress like someone you’re not. Resist the urge to go out and buy a brand new outfit for your photo session. Instead, wear something you already love. Dress in an outfit that makes you feel great, shows off your individual style, and expresses who you are.  If you’re a dancer, bring your favorite dance costume. 

 

Take photos at your favorite location - Consider doing your photoshoot at a place that’s meaningful to you -- and don’t be afraid to get creative! Did you spend countless hours at football practice? Snap a few photos on the field. Did you walk over to the nearest Taco Bell during lunchtime every day? Strike a pose with a burrito. The more creative, the better!

 

 

Show off your less serious side - Sure, you’ll want to get some posed formal shots for Mom -- but that doesn’t mean all of your senior photos need to be that way. Get a few fun, candid shots of you just being you! Make a funny face, strike some silly model poses, balance a football on your head -- don’t be afraid to goof off a little in front of the camera.

 

 

Bring your pet - High school friends may come and go, but your furry friends are as loyal as they come. Bring your pet along to your senior session to make your senior photos even cuter.🐶

 

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer senior picture ideas senior pictures Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/6/how-to-make-sure-your-senior-pictures-represent-you Wed, 24 Jun 2020 17:00:00 GMT
Pinterest Ideas You'll Love! https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/6/check-out-my-pinterest PINTEREST IDEAS YOU'LL LOVE!

 

When you need ideas do you go to Google or Pinterest?  Many of you probably try Google first, but Pinterest is really a better place to search for ideas for things.  If you don't have a Pinterest account, you are really missing out.  There are some great reasons to use Pinterest over Google when searching.  Pinterest is visually pleasing and well organized.  Pinterest has a solid white background with square pictures that are hyperlinks that take you to recipes, craft instructions, organization tips, etc. The pictures are pretty and inviting, begging you to check out their cites. You can literally find ideas for anything on Pinterest!

I have been crafting my Pinterest account for years to be a resource for my followers and clients.  I have boards that seniors, moms, and photographers would be interested in.  I want to share some of those boards with you today.  Check them out!

 

Boards for Seniors:

Graduation Cap Decorating Ideas

Senior Parking Spot Painting

Seniors: What to Wear

Planning an Awesome Grad Party

 

Boards for Moms:

Ways to Display and Organize Your Photos

Texas Vacations

How to Preserve Your Child's School Memories

What to Wear for Family Pictures

 

Boards for Photographers:

Pricing for Photographers

Marketing for Photographers

Photography Tips and Education

Beginning Photography Tips

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) child photographer family photos Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/6/check-out-my-pinterest Wed, 10 Jun 2020 17:00:00 GMT
Jeffery ~ Mt. Vernon Class of 2020 https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/6/jeffery-mt-vernon-class-of-2020 Jeffery is a senior at Mt. Vernon High School.  He is involved in the FFA program.  Jeffery loves hunting and welding so we were able to incorporate his hobbies and interests into his session!

 

 

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer senior picture ideas senior pictures senior portraits Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/6/jeffery-mt-vernon-class-of-2020 Tue, 09 Jun 2020 17:00:00 GMT
McKinley ~ Pewitt High School Class of 2020 https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/6/mckinley-pewitt-high-school-class-of-2020  

McKinley is a senior at Pewitt High School.  She has been a cheerleader for the Brahmas throughout her high school years.  She plans to attend Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, AR in the fall and major in nursing.  

 

 

McKinley's advice for any senior girl preparing for her senior portraits session is to "just have fun and make the most of it".  McKinley recommends bringing 6 outfits to your senior session.
 

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) child photographer Longview Texas Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer senior picture ideas senior pictures senior portraits Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/6/mckinley-pewitt-high-school-class-of-2020 Thu, 04 Jun 2020 17:00:00 GMT
Gracen ~ Chapel Hill High School Class of 2020 https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/6/gracen-chapel-hill-high-school-class-of-2020 Gracen is a senior at Chapel Hill High School in Mount Pleasant. Gracen is involved in numerous clubs and organizations including Destination Imagination, Theatre, Choir, Advanced Musical Ensemble, FBLA, FFA, Literary Criticism, State Solo and Ensemble, All-Region Choir and One Act Play.  She loves music - especially the oldies - and her mom described her as an "old soul".   Gracen plans to attend A&M University in College Station in the fall where she will major in English.  

 

 

Gracen's advice for seniors preparing for their own senior session?  "Bring some props that show your personality!"  We had a great time setting up and including some of Gracen's favorite things into her senior session.  When I asked if she was worried about anything before her session, Gracen had this to say:  "My biggest worry going into the session was what exact poses would we do. Shana helped me with this and told me how to stand and what to do."
 

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer senior picture ideas senior pictures https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/6/gracen-chapel-hill-high-school-class-of-2020 Tue, 02 Jun 2020 17:00:00 GMT
Remington ~ Pewitt High School Class of 2020 https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/5/remington-pewitt-high-school-class-of-2020 Remington is a senior at Pewitt High School.  He is involved in many extracurricular activities including FFA, National Honor Society, Student Council, Yearbook, Cross Country, Tennis, and he also served as the class Vice President his senior year.  Remington plans to attend East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, Texas and major in Rehab Science.  His goal is to become a physical therapist.

 


 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer senior picture ideas senior pictures senior portraits Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/5/remington-pewitt-high-school-class-of-2020 Fri, 29 May 2020 16:30:00 GMT
Emma ~ Hooks High School Class of 2020 https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/5/emma-hooks-high-school-class-of-2020 Emma is a senior at Hooks High School.  She participates in volleyball, basketball, softball and track. Volleyball and softball are definitely her favorites. She is also involved in Student Council, BPA, FCA and yearbook. Outside of school, Emma loves to hang out with her friends. She loves to do any outdoor activity...sports, going to the lake, laying out by the pool.

 

 

Emma will be attending Northeast Texas Community College in Mount Pleasant in the fall and will continue to play softball for the Eagles.  She plans to major in Special Education.

 

 

Emma's advice for preparing for your senior session is this, "Make sure you are well rested. Your session will be several hours and is so worth it. Shana makes sure your shoot is unique to your style and she never makes you feel rushed. Get you hair and makeup professionally done and just relax and enjoy your shoot—-you will not be disappointed."

 

Stadium Main TemplateStadium Main TemplateGame Changers by Shirk Photography

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/5/emma-hooks-high-school-class-of-2020 Thu, 28 May 2020 17:00:00 GMT
Product Spotlight: The Senior Yearbook https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/5/product-spotlight-the-senior-yearbook

I want to introduce you to one of my favorite products - the senior yearbook!  Have you thought about what are you going to do with all of those pictures you take on your iPhone of your friends from your senior year?   The Senior Yearbook is the perfect solution!  The Senior Yearbook showcases your senior year through your eyes with your friends, your events, and what’s important to you.  This book is made specially for your year, the way it happened, and the way you want to remember it.

 

 

The senior yearbook can hold up to 200 of your favorite images from your senior year and showcase events like homecoming, prom, clubs and events, graduation, time with friends, really ANYTHING that was as important part of your year.  You get to choose and I do all the design work for you.  You get to choose one of your favorite images from your session for the from and back cover.  A beautiful, durable memory book of your special year!  It's a great way to ensure those photos don't just live digitally on your phone and get lost over the years.  

 

 


 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) Longview Texas Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer senior pictures Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/5/product-spotlight-the-senior-yearbook Wed, 27 May 2020 17:00:00 GMT
Grace ~ Pewitt High School Class of 2020 https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/5/grace-pewitt-high-school-class-of-2020 Grace is a senior at Pewitt High School.  Grace is a very accomplished flute player in the the Blazin' Blue Brahma Band and has received numerous awards for her talent.  Grace is ranked third in her class.  She is also a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council, and SMU’s Young Artist Flute Orchestra.  Grace plans to attend Southern Methodist University in Dallas and major in music.  She will continue to perform at SMU.

 

 

When choosing outfits for your senior session, Grace's advice is to "be yourself, but try different outfits that may be out of your comfort zone".  Grace says her senior session was "the best day". "My mom and I got to spend the whole day together getting my makeup and hair done. Then Mrs. Carter made the day by just being her calm self. She made our day so much fun with laughing - my mom was even in tears at one time."

 

 

Grace has a beautiful future ahead of her and it will be exciting watch where her musical talent takes her!

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/5/grace-pewitt-high-school-class-of-2020 Tue, 26 May 2020 17:00:00 GMT
How to Plan an Awesome Grad Party https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/5/how-to-plan-an-awesome-grad-party

This spring semester may have been crazy, but that's no reason to skip the celebration.  Seniors may have missed out on many important events but when the time is right, a graduation celebration is still in order when the time is right.   All the hard work it took to graduate deserves to be recognized.  When panning a graduation party, it’s important that you do your research & prep when it comes making the party an A+.  Use these tips to give your graduate the celebration he or she deserves and be sure to make it an event where they have a great time making new memories to take with them into the next stage of their life.

First things first...who will you invite?  Is this a get together for family, classmates, or the whole neighborhood?

When will the party be held?  Will it be after graduation or on a different day entirely?  Will it be come and go event, or a set time frame?  

Where will the party take place?  Is this a backyard party or will you need to secure a venue?  Keep in mind the weather may not cooperate so if planning an outdoor bash, make sure you have a backup plan in case of rain.

Once you've decided on the location, time and guest list, it's time to choose a theme.  Will you choose a specific theme for the decorations and food, or just go with a graduation "theme"?

Next up, what type of food will be served?  Will there be a full meal, appetizers, or just desserts?  Will you need to hire a caterer?  No matter which option you go with, let guests know what you will be serving on the invitation so they will know what to expect.

Entertainment is another thing to consider when planning your party.  Will you have the guests play games?  Would you rather hire a DJ?  Another thought is to have a place where guests can either leave a note of encouragement or maybe give some advice for the future.  

Throwing a grad party is much easier with a bit of planning beforehand. Use this guide to throw a party your graduate will remember forever.

Need more ideas?  Check out my Pinterest board for more great ideas for planning a grad party

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/5/how-to-plan-an-awesome-grad-party Wed, 13 May 2020 17:00:00 GMT
Four Products Every Mom Needs https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/4/four-products-every-mom-needs

 

1.  High-Quality Prints
Proudly display your child’s senior photos on the wall, in a picture frame, or in a scrapbook. Custom designed storyboards and canvas collections are a great way to display your images.

 

 

2.  Graduation Announcements 
Share your child’s many accomplishments with your friends and family by sending out graduation announcements. At SCC Photography, we offer complimentary custom designed grad cards.

 

 

3.  Photo album
Order a high-quality photo album to beautifully immortalize every photo from your child’s senior session. Our albums are top of the line and gorgeous!

 

 

4.  Digital files
Get digital files of all photos from your child’s senior session. That way, you’ll be able to make additional prints in the future, save the files on your computer or a flash drive, and share your favorite photos on social media.  Our Custom phone apps make it super easy to share!

 

 

 

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer senior picture ideas senior pictures Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/4/four-products-every-mom-needs Wed, 29 Apr 2020 17:00:00 GMT
Unique Sports Portraits https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/4/unique-sports-portraits

Over the years I've noticed that the majority of my seniors want to show off their love of sports during their senior session.  I have done many sports themed pictures of my senior over the years but I really wanted to create sports portraits that were unique and had that wow factor.  I knew that I would need a studio to fulfill this goal and at the time, I didn't have a studio space.  

I thought about building a studio but decided against it.  My husband actually was the one who suggested converting a room in our barn into my studio space.  It was a perfect idea.  We began working on remodeling during the fall of 2019.  During that time I began taking online classes and studying furiously to learn how to create these awesome sports composites for my clients.  

Earlier this year, my space was complete and I was ready to roll.  I have been able to shoot multiple seniors and a few tweens in my new space so far and I love how creative I can be!  

I am so excited to be able to offer these sports portraits to all of my seniors and I am also able to offer them as a stand alone sports only studio session.  These are just some of the images I have created for clients so far...

Sport Loft Main TemplateSport Loft Main TemplateGame Changers by Shirk Photography Scoreboard Game Time Main TemplateScoreboard Game Time Main TemplateGame Changers by Shirk Photography Stadium Main TemplateStadium Main TemplateGame Changers by Shirk Photography

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer senior pictures sports sports portraits Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/4/unique-sports-portraits Wed, 15 Apr 2020 17:00:00 GMT
Choosing the Right Accessories for Your Senior Portraits https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/3/choosing-the-right-accessories-for-your-senior-portraits

 

 

You’ve got your outfit planned, know exactly what you’re doing with your hair, and have already spoken to the makeup artist about that wicked cat eye. Now it’s time to consider your accessories, which can make or break your outfit. Here are four things to keep in mind.  

 

  • Don’t let the accessories wear you. Too big or too zany can overwhelm your face and body, taking away from the overall image. This is about you.

 

 

  • Choose accessories that mean something to you. Maybe you want to wear a ring your mother gave you, or those earrings that always earn you compliments. 

 

 

  • Try not to choose anything that’s heavily ornamented. In a few years, ultra trendy items can look really, really dated. Funky and fun are A-OK, of course, but be thoughtful in your decisions. 

 

 

  • Make sure your accessories all work well with your outfit. For example, a thin belt may flatter your figure more than a thick belt. And those dangly earrings may look best with your hair up while the studs look good with your hair down. 

 

 

Get a second, and third, opinion. Wear everything you plan to put on for your session day and ask for someone else’s advice. Take some pictures, even, and ask your friends and family if they have any suggestions. 
 

PRO TIP:  When preparing your accessories for your session, if can be really helpful to group things together for each outfit.  You can use plastic storage bags, jewelry bags, or small containers.  This way, you don't have to go digging through everything to find the accessories for each outfit and makes changing go much faster and smoother!

 

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer senior picture ideas Senior Pictures for girls https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/3/choosing-the-right-accessories-for-your-senior-portraits Mon, 16 Mar 2020 13:00:00 GMT
How to Personalize Your Senior Session https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/2/how-to-personalize-your-senior-session

Your senior session is all about YOU! We want to make sure that we really show off your personality and make your photos unique to you. Now is the time to start planning your session so we can fully showcase you during your photo shoot. Think about your routine – where you like to go, what you like to do, etc. We want to get to know you through your photos. We’d love for you to take a list of your hobbies and extra-curricular activities and send them over to us so we can help you prepare your perfect session. 

 

 

Below are some ideas of things you might want to incorporate in your session. These are just suggestions to get your brainstorming started:

 

  • Sports
  • Art/Theatre
  • Music
  • Favorite movie or book
  • Your job or the career you’re planning on going into
  • Your car
  • Your school
  • Your future college 
  • Your pet
  • Your BFF
  • And don’t forget about your favorite hang out – whether it be a coffee shop, park, football field, book store, etc. We can try to add this location to your session.

 

 

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer senior picture ideas senior pictures https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/2/how-to-personalize-your-senior-session Mon, 17 Feb 2020 17:15:00 GMT
How to Prepare for Your Senior Session https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/2/how-to-prepare-for-your-senior-session  

Now that you’ve booked your session, we have a few tips for you to help you get ready for your close up. Follow these guidelines the weeks leading up to your session and we’ll take care of the rest!

 

  • Choose four to six outfits to wear during your session and lay them out so they are ready to go. Make sure they are clean and wrinkle-free. 

 

  • Also, don’t forget to pack any accessories you’ll want for each outfit – jewelry, scarves, headbands, etc. Bring matching socks/tights, and shoes for each outfit if one pair won’t go along with all of them.

 

  • While you’re at it, if you plan on bringing any props – your ballet shoes, favorite book, softball gear, etc. – go ahead and lay that out as well. If you are going to bring your car to the session and want it to be in photos with you, be sure to wash it the night before/day of your session.

  • Get a good night’s rest the night before so you can look well rested for your session.

 

  • Get your hair cut about one to two weeks prior to your session. Don’t drastically change it from your normal style in case you don’t like it. Have the hair stylist show you some easy styles you can do during outfit changes to switch it up a bit. 

 

  • Practice your makeup the week leading up to your session so you can get it just right the day of.  We strongly suggest you hire a professional makeup artist and hair stylist for your session.

  • If you wake up two days prior to your session, or the morning of, and acne has appeared on your face – don’t pick at it and make it worse while trying to get rid of it. Apply some makeup over the area (not too heavy) and leave it at that. I will be retouching all of your images, which includes blemish removal; so don’t even worry about it.

 

  • Get a manicure the day before or day of your session to ensure your nails look their best. Don’t forget that the color needs to match all of your outfits. For this reason, and to keep a clean appearance, we suggest going with the French manicure or just a clear coat of paint.

 

  • Stay away from self-tanning products.  You are better off showing off your natural skin color than taking a risk of something going wrong with self tanners.  Also, be mindful of any tan lines you may have.  If they are dark and obvious, such as on shoulders, wear clothing that conceals the lines.  

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) longview texas photographer mt. pleasant photographer northeast texas photographer senior photographer texarkana photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2020/2/how-to-prepare-for-your-senior-session Mon, 03 Feb 2020 18:00:00 GMT
Lauren https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/11/lauren Lauren is a senior at Chapel Hill High School in Mount Pleasant, Texas.  Lauren is involved in competitive skeet shooting.  She travels all around the United States and competes with people of all ages.  Lauren has won numerous awards for her skeet shooting. She has really enjoyed meeting new people from all around the world at competitions and has made friends for a life time!

 

I asked Lauren, "what advice would you give other seniors about how to prepare for their senior photo shoot?"  

Lauren had these tips to share...

"Make sure you have all of your outfits together, keeps props handy, be organized, be open minded. Most of all take it all in, and make the session yours.  Look on Pinterest, look at past photos and see what poses you like and smiles you prefer, and work on a serious face.  Don’t make your makeup look too dramatic and keep your hair simple."

 

I then asked, "what were you most worried about in regards to your senior session and what was the outcome?"

"Going into my senior session I was nervous about not being photogenic and not look good in my photos. The outcome was completely opposite. Shana captured my personality in each and every photo. There was absolutely nothing to worry about."
 

 



After graduation in May, 2020, Lauren plans to attend Texas A&M University and major in nursing.

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer senior pictures Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/11/lauren Mon, 25 Nov 2019 15:30:00 GMT
Duke ~ Pewitt High School Class of 2020 https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/11/duke It was a pleasure photographing Duke's senior pictures.  Duke is a senior at Pewitt High School where he is involved in numerous activities and clubs, including athletics, FFA, and National Honor Society.

 

 

Duke plans to attend A&M University in the Fall of 2020 and major in political science.

 

 

Duke will be greatly missed!  I don't know if he is aware how much the younger students look up to him, but they definitely do!

 

 

Congratulations, Duke, on all of your accomplishments!  You have a bright future ahead of you!

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) child photographer family photos Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer senior portraits Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/11/duke Mon, 18 Nov 2019 17:30:00 GMT
Top 5 Tips for Making a Photo Session with Kids Easier https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/10/top-5-tips-for-making-a-photo-session-with-kids-easier

If you’re preparing for a photo session with your children, you may be feeling a bit apprehensive. Children aren’t always easy to deal with, which is why the below tips will definitely come in handy before your upcoming photo session. 

 

1. Don't make a huge deal out of it. If you're stressed out and cranky, your kids will usually pick up on it and act accordingly. Their behavior will usually be better if you are relaxed and having fun. You may have to make some compromises to keep the peace such as letting your energetic daughter's hair stay straight instead of curling it into because she won't sit still. Focus on the big picture and don't sweat the small stuff. 

 

2. Make it fun. Let the kids have a couple “fun pictures” where they get to pick their own pose or props. You get to keep the more serious photos while they get to keep their silly photos. This way everyone wins.  If you are struggling to get your kids to sit still, turn the photo session into a game. Simon Says usually works like a charm. 

 

3. Be prepared.  If you're going to be out for several hours, ensure that your children are well rested and have had their nap. Bringing some snacks and activities along is also a great idea. If you are having your own photos taken too then you might want to bring a babysitter or family member along to watch the kids. If you happen to be shooting in a remote location, you never know when you might need something like bug spray, tissues or a first aid kit so bring that along too.

 

4. Be patient. Save your sanity by trying not to control the photo session too much. Sometimes the best photos come from kids just doing their own thing. Work with your photographer and your photos will look fantastic. 

 

5.  Have a chat. Get your children talking to both you and the photographer about topics such as school or their favorite songs. This allows them to feel more comfortable around your photographer and will also give your photographer a chance to capture a few candid and cute expressions.

 

Finding a photographer who is skilled at working with children is a must.  The photographer can play a huge role in the outcome of your session.  Make sure you research your options and find a professional who is right for your family.

 

Self-conscious about being in photographs?  Here are my best tips for How to Look Better in Pictures

 

 

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) child photographer family photos family pictures Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/10/top-5-tips-for-making-a-photo-session-with-kids-easier Wed, 23 Oct 2019 14:00:00 GMT
How to Prepare for Your Senior Session (for girls) https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/9/how-to-prepare-for-your-senior-session-for-girls Preparation Tips for Senior Girls

Now that you’ve booked your session, I have a few tips for you to help you get ready for your close up. Follow these guidelines the weeks leading up to your session and I’ll take care of the rest!

 

 

 

  • Choose four to five outfits to wear during your session and lay them out so they are ready to go.  Make sure they are clean and wrinkle-free. 

 

  • Also, don’t forget to pack any accessories you’ll want for each outfit – jewelry, scarves, headbands, hats, etc. Bring matching socks/tights, and shoes for each outfit if one pair won’t go along with all of them.

 

  • While you’re at it, if you plan on bringing any props – your ballet shoes, favorite book, softball gear, etc. – go ahead and lay that out as well. If you are going to bring your car to the session and want it to be in photos with you, be sure to wash it the night before/day of your session.

 

  • Get a good night’s rest the night before so you can look well rested for your session.

 

  • Get your hair cut about one to two weeks prior to your session. Don’t drastically change it from your normal style in case you don’t like it. Have the hair stylist show you some easy styles you can do during outfit changes to switch it up a bit. 

 

  • Practice your makeup the week leading up to your session so you can get it just right the day of.  I do offer professional makeup credit with our sessions.  This is something I strongly suggest you book for your session.

 

  • If you wake up two days prior to your session, or the morning of, and acne has appeared on your face – don’t pick at it and make it worse while trying to get rid of it. Apply some makeup over the area (not too heavy) and leave it at that. I will retouch every image, which includes blemish removal; so don’t even worry about it.

 

  • Get a manicure the day before or day of your session to ensure your nails look their best. Don’t forget that the color needs to match all of your outfits. For this reason, and to keep a clean appearance, I suggest going with the French manicure or just a clear coat of paint.

 

  • Practice a nice natural smile and cute poses in a mirror.

 

  • If you are doing a session with your BFF or BF, don’t forget to coordinate an outfit with them so you don’t clash.

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) Longview Texas Photographer northeast Texas photographer Prepare for your session senior photographer Senior Pictures https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/9/how-to-prepare-for-your-senior-session-for-girls Wed, 25 Sep 2019 13:00:00 GMT
My System for Organizing and Backing Up my Files https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/9/my-system-for-organizing-and-backing-up-my-files

 

You may already have a system for organizing and backing up your files.  However, if you don’t, or you don’t like your current system, I am going to be sharing my system for organizing and storing my files.  

 

Now, I am in no way saying this is the only way or even the best way to do these things.  This is just the way that I have found works best for me.  

 

First, let's discuss the organization part.  First, I make a folder for each season with the season name and year.  I put the number is front to make sure the folders stay in order.

 

So, for example:

 

  • 01 Spring 2019
  • 02 Summer 2019
  • 03 Fall 2019

 

Then in each folder, I put the name of the client, again with the number first so that they stay in order.

 

  • 01 Susie Smith
  • 02 Jones Family
  • 02 Kelly Williams

 

Inside each client’s folder, I put the same 6 folders.

 

  • DNG - RAW files
  • MASTER - Edits (.PSD files)
  • LOW-RES - 1800 x 1200 to upload to my website
  • HIGH-RES -  .jpg files
  • WEB - web-sized 2018x1365 with watermark
  • PRODUCT DESIGNS - Any album, wall portraits, etc. that the client orders

 

 

Here is my system for backing up and storing my files:

 

After a session, I import my images through Lightroom.  My mac is set up to back up automatically to the Time Machine.  The Time Machine performs hourly, daily, and weekly backups of all the files on your computer.

 

After import, I copy my DNG originals to my external hard drive.  I never format my memory card until these steps are done. In fact, I wait as long as possible to format my memory card.  I have several memory cards for this reason.  

 

Once my edits are complete, I transfer all of the client’s folder and files to my external hard drive.  Then I upload the files to an online gallery within my website which serves as another form of back up. Lastly, I upload the high resolution files to Dropbox.  

 

Once the season is complete, I remove the client’s files from my computer hard drive.

 




 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) backup drive for hard online organize organizing photo photos storage system your https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/9/my-system-for-organizing-and-backing-up-my-files Wed, 18 Sep 2019 14:00:00 GMT
Switching to Sony: Your Questions Answered https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/8/switching-to-sony-your-questions-answered

I decided to make the switch from Canon to Sony this past winter.  You may have already read my blog post about why I made the switch.  If you missed it, you can go back and read that post here Why I Dumped Canon for Sony.

 

Since that blog post came out, I’ve been getting tons of questions about my experience with Sony thus far so that prompted me to write this update.  I am going to list the most frequently asked questions and do my best to answer them from my own experience.  

 

Q:  Which Sony did you buy?

A:  I chose the Sony A7iii

 

 

Q:  Which adapter do you use?

A:  The Sigma MC-11

 

 

Q:  Do all of your lenses work with your Sony?

A:  No. The following lenses that I own work with my Sony and MC-11 adapter:  Sigma Art 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 135mm. All of the lenses listed are Sigma Art lenses.  My Sigma Fisheye and my Canon 200mm do not work with the MC-11 adapter. I have not tried any other adapters or lenses.

 

 

Q:  Do you still like your Sony?

A:  Yes.  Just like with anything, there are pros and cons but I still choose Sony over Canon because of Sony’s superior focusing system.

 


 

Q:  Why did you choose the A7iii over the A7Riii?

A:  Price and file size.  The A7iii was less expensive and this being my first Sony camera, I didn’t know if I was going to love it so I didn't want to fork out the extra for the A7Riii.  The other reason I decided to with the A7iii is because of file size. The A7iii has 24 megapixels compared to 42 megapixels on the A7Riii. Therefore the file size created by the A7Riii is a lot larger.  I didn’t feel I needed the extra megapixels nor did I want the larger files taking up more space on my hard drives. I recently printed a 30x45 from a Sony file and it looked great!

 

 

Q:  How is the color with Sony as compared to Canon?

A:  The coloring is slightly different but it doesn’t bother me since I change and enhance the colors in post processing anyway.  

 

 

Q:  Can you back button focus with the Sony?

A:  Yes.

 

 

Q:  What do you NOT like about the Sony A7iii?

A:  The Sony is smaller than the Canon Mark IV and doesn’t feel as good in my hands.  The Canon feels much more sturdy and solid, if that makes sense. The menu and controls are not as easy to operate on the Sony in my opinion.  Of course, I’ve been shooting Canon for over 10 years so it was a big adjustment to get used to the placement of the Sony controls. Sony, just like Canon, does allow you to customize the buttons and dials to your liking so that helps.  Something I miss is the touchscreen menu that the 5D offers. No touchscreen with the Sony A7iii.  

 

 

I find that the Sony allows me to focus more on my creativity because I am no longer toggling focus points, trying to focus directly on the eyes, or concentrating on holding steady.  The eye autofocus system of the Sony is so intuitive that it does all the work which allows me to focus my attention on my client(s).

 

Want to know why I decided to make the with from Canon to Sony?   Read this blog post Why I Dumped Canon for Sony

 


 


 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) A7iii A7Riii and cameras Canon cons IV Mark Mirrorless of Pros Sony Switch to vs https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/8/switching-to-sony-your-questions-answered Wed, 28 Aug 2019 14:00:00 GMT
The 5 Best Back to School Tips for Moms https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/8/the-5-best-back-to-school-tips-for-moms It's that time again!  Have you ever dreaded something but looked forward to it at the same time?  That's how I feel every school year.  I'm a routine person.  My whole family just runs better on a routine.  However, back to school always fells like going from zero to 100 in the blink of an eye.  Nevertheless, since back to school season is upon us (whether we like it or not), I thought I'd share my best back to school tips.  

1.  Do a trial week

I know, I know.  You want to soak up every bit of summer but, trust me, you will thank yourself later.  The week before school starts, get up at normal school time (or at least close to it), have the kids go through their morning routine as if they were actually going to school.  I promise this will make things so much easier for everybody!

 

2.  Prepare outfits in advance

Purchase a Daily Clothes Organizer such as this one from Amazon.  On Sunday, choose outfits for the week.  Remember to check the weather!  At the very least, lay out clothes the night before for the next morning.

 

3.  Pack the night before

While your child is doing homework, go through their backpack and read any notes or sign anything that needs signing.  Immediately after homework, pack the backpack for next morning and place it close to the door.  Pack lunch boxes and snacks as well.  Store lunch box in refrigerator if needed.  

 

4.  Create a visual

Make a picture schedule of your child's morning routine such as this one from www.thismomlife.co.  This will help your child remember all the tasks he or she is responsible for each morning.

 

5.  Play music

This can be especially helpful if your child is hard to get up in the morning.  An energetic tune such as "Good Morning" by Mandesa can get kids up faster and in a better mood  (and it's good for moms, too).

 

Well, there you have them - my 5 best tips for back to school!  What would you add to the list?  Let me know in the comments!

 

Do you have a high school senior this year?  If you do, you definitely must check out my blog post A Guide to Senior Year for Moms

 


 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) back to school back to school hacks back to school tips beginning of the year first day of school ready for school starting school https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/8/the-5-best-back-to-school-tips-for-moms Wed, 14 Aug 2019 13:00:00 GMT
Grace https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/8/grace  

The first senior session from the class of 2020 is in the books!  What an amazing session to start off the year with...Grace nailed it!  

 

 

Grace attends New Boston High School where she is involved a variety of extracurricular activities.  Grace competes in volleyball, basketball, softball, track and has done so all 4 years of high school.  She is also a cheerleader, on the student council and a member of the National Honor Society.  After graduation, Grace plans to attend the University of Arkansas and major in nursing.

 

 

 

Shana was wonderful and she made me feel so relaxed during my photo session.

 

Pick out the perfect spot for you.

 

I brought about 5 outfits and used 4 of them... it was the perfect amount!

 

 

It was so nice meeting Grace and her family.  

Fun fact:  We figured out that I was actually Grace's older sister's student teacher when she was kindergarten!  I feel old!

 

Makeup by Kimberly Rayborn

Hair by Misti Thomas 

 

Have you decided which month you will choose to schedule your senior portraits?  

If you aren't sure, read my blog post The Best Time to Schedule Your Senior Portraits

 

Let's connect on Instagram 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) bombs for girls ideas Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer mural picture pictures senior session smoke sparklers urban https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/8/grace Tue, 06 Aug 2019 14:00:00 GMT
Choosing the Perfect Planner + My Top 3 Recommendations https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/7/choosing-the-perfect-planner-my-top-3-recommendations I confess.  I could not get through the day without my planner.  I have so much going on in my life that I have to constantly remind myself of appointments and due dates.  I know many people just use their phone these days and plan digitally, but I just can't make that work.  If you are a visual person like I am, then you probably need to see it as well.  

With a new school year on the horizon, this is the perfect time to invest in a new planner.  Here are 5 things to consider when choosing the perfect planner for you:

 

1.  Size

Do you need something that is smaller that can fit in your purse or bag, or do you like something bigger that has more space to write and make notes?  Don't forget to consider the weight of the planner as well.  The bigger the planner, the heavier.  An oversized planner can really weigh down your bag so it's definitely something to consider.  However, you don't want the writing areas to small for your needs either.  

 

2.  Features

What type of design do you prefer for your planner?  Do you just need a monthly calendar to keep track of appointments?  Or does your life require a weekly or maybe even daily layout?  Some of the planners that offer weekly and daily calendars come in vertical or horizontal orientation.  So be sure and check that out while your are making a decision.

 

3.  Binding Style

Do you prefer a simple spiral bound book or a three-ring bound design?  The spiral bound planners are usually less bulky but the ring bound designs have bonuses such as the ability to add extras.

 

4.  Extras

Speaking of extras...certain planner brands offer extras that can be added to the original planner.  Some examples of extras are goal setting pages, budget planning, meal planning sheets, project pages, zipper pouches, folders, and more!  These options can really help tailor the planner to your specific needs.

 

5.  Budget

Last but not least; how much do you want to spend?  Some planners are made to order and can get pricey.  It depends on how important a planner is in your daily life.  Are you willing to pay for a specially made design or will a "one size fits all" suit your needs?

 

My Top 3 Planner Recommendations:

 

1.  The Happy Planner

This is my number one choice because of the options, extras, and price.  The Happy Planner is a ring bound design and you can purchase extra to add in and you can also remove things you don't need or like.  It's available at Micheal's and I believe Walmart carries them as well.

 

2.  Erin Condren Planner

My EC Planner was super nice but a bit pricey.  They offer lots of customizations which makes it nice.  You can even get a photo cover which I love.

 

3.  The Simplified Planner by Emily Ley

These planners come in multiple designs.  The Emily Ley Planner has a spiral binding which is a negative for me.  Overall, a great planner!  

 

So are you ready to get organized for a new school year?  Happy Planning!

 

 

 

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) best planner child photographer family photos Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer planner Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/7/choosing-the-perfect-planner-my-top-3-recommendations Wed, 31 Jul 2019 11:00:00 GMT
6 Tips for Preparing for Your Summer Session https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/7/6-tips-for-preparing-for-your-summer-session Summer is a beautiful time for portraits.  Yes, it's hot, but we won't start shooting until an hour before sunset.   Here are six ways you can make sure your summer portrait session goes off without a hitch.

 

 

1. Dress appropriately. Summer means hot and humid weather, which can lead to sticky bodies. Choose breathable, lightweight fabrics that don't weigh you down. As for shoes, sweet flats or loafers are a great option.

 

2. Think about your hair. If you or a family member's hair reacts to humidity in a negative way, opt for a hairstyle that won't leave you feeling insecure. For example, a pretty braid or an updo is a good choice. Or you can wear a headscarf, or use a little extra product to keep frizz at bay.

 

3.Pack necessities. When packing your photo shoot necessities, we recommend bringing the following items: Lots of water for all, a snack for sustenance, sunscreen, umbrella for shade, water mister, makeup touchup. 

 

4. Think about head to toe details. For example, if you're wearing flip-flops or open toed shoes, you want to have manicured feet. If it's really breezy, a hat or scarf can keep things under control. 

 

5. Rest assured knowing I won't let you overheat. Sometimes it's hard just to walk outside when it's scorching outside, but know that we're going to have an amazing shoot. We'll spend lots of time in the shade, dive into the cool A/C when we can, and I will never push your family into staying longer than they can or want.

 

6. Incorporate props. Outdoor summer shoots are loaded with imagery as is, but we can always incorporate a few props into the mix. Vintage step stools in a field look gorgeous, as do blankets, balloons, and even visually striking treats (lollipops, ice cream, etc.).

 

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) family photography family photos family pictures Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/7/6-tips-for-preparing-for-your-summer-session Wed, 17 Jul 2019 11:45:00 GMT
How to Create a Memory Book for Your Child https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/7/how-to-create-a-memory-book-for-your-child This past year my youngest went to Kindergarten.   I swore that since he doesn't have much of a baby book (that happens with number three) that I would document his Kindergarten year and create a special memory book for him at the end of it.  I actually kept my promise and I got it done!  I surprised him with it this summer and he loves it!   Sometimes, when I wake him up in the morning, I find the book in his bed with him.  

I want to share my process with you so that you can do this for your child (or children) this coming school year.  Just follow these 6 steps to create your own memory book:

 

Step 1:  Create an album on your phone for the photos you will collect for the memory book.

 

Step 2:  Document any school events with photos; first day of school, class parties, eating lunch with your child, field trips, etc.  Any time you are at the school, remember to snap a few pictures.  Sometimes your child's teacher will even use an app for parents and she may share pictures through the app.  Save those to your phone.  As you take pictures, I find it easier to go ahead and add them to the album on my phone right then verses trying to search for them later.

 

Step 3:  Document other events with photos.  Your album doesn't just have to include school events.  Anything important happening that year can be a part of the album.  I included holidays, birthday parties, trips, etc. as well.

 

Step 4:  When my son would bring home papers or artwork I would choose one of several that were worthy of keeping.  Then I would take a picture of it with my phone.  I would crop off any excess portions of the photo and straighten it if needed.  You can do all of this right on your phone.  Again, remember to go ahead and save those images to the designated album.

 

Step 5:  At the end of the year, you will have all of your photos in one place which makes it a lot easier to create the album.  There are even apps that allow you to print so all of this can be done right from your phone.  I prefer to transfer the images to my computer - I use airdrop for this - and create my memory book on the computer.  Both of the options that I recommend for printing allow you to create your book right on their website - no special software needed!

 

Step 6:  Print your book!   I recommend mPix for printing books.  One thing to note; their books have paper pages that can get torn and bent.  If you are looking for a book that is more durable that your child can handle and look thorough without having to worry about them ruining it, I recommend ZNO.  Their album will be more expensive than a book, but a lot more durable which is what I chose and what I would recommend.  

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) child photographer family photos Longview Texas Photographer memory book Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer photo album Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/7/how-to-create-a-memory-book-for-your-child Wed, 03 Jul 2019 12:00:00 GMT
*New* 2019 Family Retreat from The Milky Way https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/6/new-retreat-from-the-milky-way

 

 

Milky Way Family Retreat 2019 The Milky Way is releasing their brand new Family Retreat this month and I'm super pumped!  And not just because I'm one of the teachers - yep, you heard that right...I'm one of the teachers!  They have decided to include a segment on senior photography this year.  You guys have been asking for it, and they listened.  They also decided to change the date of the release based on feedback from students.  In the past, The Family Retreat has been released in September, but they have moved it to June this year.  This is good news, right?  We are all so busy in the fall.  I think summer is a much better time for the release since we will all likely have more time to tune in.
 

I'm still in shock that they asked me to teach it.  I have to admit - I was super nervous about doing it.  I mean, I'm BEHIND the camera for a reason.   I do schedule family portraits for my family, and I'm in front of the camera for that but this is VIDEO!  That's a whole different ball game.  I actually thought about not accepting the offer, but it was such a great opportunity I knew I HAD to do it!  Talk about getting out of my comfort zone.  And I want to apologize to everyone in advance for my voice, lol.

 

I have actually been a student of The Family Retreat for the last two years.  I can honestly say that The Family Retreat has been the absolute best resource in improving my family sessions.  It's amazing how much you can learn by watching a skilled photographer shoot.  And it's not just all about shooting; there is always some business training thrown in the mix as well, which is super important.  The variety of topics is great - it ensures there is something for everyone!

 

So the way it works is there will be 18 instructors and each will have their own video lesson.  The videos will be released over the days.  So 6 on June 18th, 6 more on June 19th, and the last 6 on June 20th.  They remain available on The Milky Way sight for one year.  However, you are able to download them at any time to have forever!  Another cool thing is that you get to be a part of the private Facebook group only for attendees.  The instructors will all be a part of that group for a certain amount of time and you can ask them any questions you may have.  The group continues to stay open for attendees.  In my experience, these are pretty active groups so you can learn a lot of information just from the Facebook group!  Oh, and lastly, one of the best parts are the discounts and sales especially for attendees only.  Each instructor usually offers some sort of discount code if they sell products or use certain products, they will have a code from those vendors.  I've got some awesome discount codes I can't wait to share with you!

 

I just got the list of teachers & topics and this year's retreat is going to rock!  Let me tell you about some of the instructors... Kelsey Freeman (one of my faves) is going to be teaching how to pose and interact with families.  Lisa DiGeso from Milk & Honey Photography is going to be teaching us how to shoot in mid-day light.  This is great because you can't always shoot at golden hour, right?  Have you seen Rachel Nielsen's work?  If you haven't, go look her up right now!  Her work is gorgeous!  She is going to be talking about light, editing and posing in her video.  Have you been wanting to learn how to incorporate video into your sessions?  Well, Courtney Holmes is going to be teaching on this very topic!  I'm really excited about this one.  And that's just the tip of the iceberg...

Here is a list of all of the instructors:  Anja McDonald, Brigette Schaffarzick (Penguin Pictures), Chloe Ramirez, Christine Themoulet, Courtney Holmes, Donatella Nicolini, Easton Reynolds, Hailey Faria, Katie Andelman, Kelsey Freeman, Lisa Digeso (Milk & Honey Photography), Mallory Jackson, Maria Lindberg, Rachel Brenke, Rachel Nielsen, Shana Carter, Stormy Solis, Jodi Lynn Buckles

 

This is great investment for your business and we'd love for you to join us!  The early-bird sale starts at 10 AM PST on June 11th.
Early-bird tickets are $247 USD or 3 payments of $89 USD.  Get the retreat here:  
2019 Family Retreat - The Milky Way  

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) family photography online workshop for photographers photography education photography workshop The Milky Way https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/6/new-retreat-from-the-milky-way Wed, 05 Jun 2019 15:00:00 GMT
6 Tips Surviving a Family Photoshoot https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/5/6-tips-for-surviving-a-family-photoshoot Family photos are truly timeless and such a great keepsake for future generations.  Getting the family together to take those perfect portraits can turn into chaos if not approached correctly. There is usually a lot more to consider when it comes to a family photoshoot since there are members of all ages, which means that there is some extra coordination involved.

 

 

Below are some family photoshoot ideas and tips to keep you and your loved ones calm and smiling the whole way through.

 

#1  Timing is everything. If you have younger children involved in the shoot, try and arrange the photoshoot at a time when they would be well rested. A rested child makes for happy photos. On that note, make sure that all family members have gotten enough sleep the night before as this helps with the fun and relaxation aspects of the session.

 

#2  Dos and dont's of bribery. Get your family excited about the photoshoot instead of offering a reward in return for their cooperation. This tends to lead to forced smiles and an irritated bunch of people. If you do have small children coming along it’s not a bad idea to give the photographer some bribery options in the form of toys or small food items to make those difficult moments a little easier.

 

#3  Relinquish control. As much as you’ll want to direct your children on where to stand and how to pose, it’s best to leave that to the photographer as they know what works best. Not having this pressure will also make you feel more relaxed.

#4  It’s not just about the posing. The best photos happen when you’re having fun so joke and play with your children, hold your partner’s hand and just let the moments happen.

 

#5  Plan ahead. Discuss all of your requirements with your photographer beforehand so that the family photo session can just flow. Let your photographer know if you want specific pictures taken.

 

#6  Keep those sugar levels up. If everyone is well fed, the photoshoot will also run a lot smoother. It’s also not a bad idea to take a few snacks and some water along for those who might need it

 

Enjoy capturing your memories. 

Ready to schedule your family session?  Learn More Here

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) family photos longview texas photographer mt. pleasant photographer northeast texas photographer senior photographer texarkana photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/5/6-tips-for-surviving-a-family-photoshoot Wed, 22 May 2019 00:00:00 GMT
Annie's Senior Session https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/5/annies-senior-session Meet Annie!   Annie is a 2019 senior at Mount Vernon High School.  She is involved in all things sports; volleyball, softball, basketball.  Her basketball team even won state!  Wow, what an accomplishment!  Annie plans to attend Henderson State University and major in aviation.   Hence the inspiration for incorporating an airplane into her senior session!

My experience was fun, creative and professional.

Be yourself and don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. Shana is very professional trust her judgement!

 

Six outfits, seemed like an adequate amount of clothes.

Be organized with all your jewelry outfits and shoes.

Thank you, Annie!   It was a pleasure meeting you and your family and I wish you the best!

Want more information about senior sessions? Learn more here

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer senior pictures Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/5/annies-senior-session Mon, 20 May 2019 17:00:00 GMT
Candela's Senior Session https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/5/candelas-senior-session Meet Candela!   She is a 2019 senior at Chapel Hill High School near Mount Pleasant, Texas.  Candela is very involved in a variety of extracurricular activities including President of Student Council, FFA, President of Spanish Club, and IDEA! (gifted and talented program).  Candela plans to attend Northeast Texas Community College for a year and then transfer to Texas A&M Texarkana where she will pursue a degree in business administration.

It was amazing. I was a little nervous at the beginning, but then I started to ease up a little bit and then I definitely got more comfortable with Mrs.Carter. Like I've said before, she made my senior experience so worth it. The pictures ended up amazing and I'm so happy with them!

One piece of advice I'd give to seniors getting their pictures taken is to be yourself. Don't try to be someone that you're not in this experience. It's your senior year, and you've accomplished so much. Be you. You were created for a reason, so express it. Be confident. If you have these basic factors, then it'll all come together. 

I had 6 outfits and it was enough! I got a variety of all sort of pictures. I wouldn't change anything in my opinion.

 

organized!

​​​​​​​

Good advice!   It was a pleasure working with you Candela and I wish you the best as you start your next chapter in life!
 


 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/5/candelas-senior-session Wed, 15 May 2019 17:30:00 GMT
How to Plan an Awesome Grad Party https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/5/how-to-plan-an-awesome-grad-party The days of pep rallies, class trips, team practices, and school shows are coming to an end.   It's time for graduation, which is an exciting time, and all the hard work it took to graduate deserves a celebration.  If you’re planning a graduation party this year, it’s important that you do your research & prep when it comes making the party an A+.  Use these tips to give your graduate the celebration he or she deserves and be sure to make it an event where they have a great time making new memories to take with them into the next stage of their life.

First things first...who will you invite?  Is this a get together for family, classmates, or the whole neighborhood?

When will the party be held?  Will it be after graduation or on a different day entirely?  Will it be come and go event, or a set time frame?  

Where will the party take place?  Is this a backyard party or will you need to secure a venue?  Keep in mind the weather may not cooperate so if planning an outdoor bash, make sure you have a backup plan in case of rain.

Once you've decided on the location, time and guest list, it's time to choose a theme.  Will you choose a specific theme for the decorations and food, or just go with a graduation "theme"?

Next up, what type of food will be served?  Will there be a full meal, appetizers, or just desserts?  Will you need to hire a caterer?  No matter which option you go with, let guests know what you will be serving on the invitation so they will know what to expect.

Entertainment is another thing to consider when planning your party.  Will you have the guests play games?  Would you rather hire a DJ?  Another thought is to have a place where guests can either leave a note of encouragement or maybe give some advice for the future.  

Throwing a grad party is much easier with a bit of planning beforehand. Use this guide to throw a party your graduate will remember forever.

Need more ideas?  Check out my Pinterest board for more great ideas for planning a grad party

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/5/how-to-plan-an-awesome-grad-party Wed, 08 May 2019 11:00:00 GMT
Shelby's Senior Session https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/5/shelbys-senior-session Meet Shelby!   Shelby is a senior this year at Pewitt High School.  She is very involved in extracurricular activities including, Varsity cheer, National Honor Society, FFA, and she is a part of the heifer show team.  Upon graduation, Shelby plans to attend the University of Texas at Tyler and major in Communication Sciences and Disorder.  

 

Makeup by Kinley Wilson & hair by Linda Shaddix at Gina’s Salon in Hughes Springs

 

My overall senior photo session experience was nothing short of excellent. Shana was so helpful and very prepared. She is very professional from planning sessions all the way to the reveal. She really loves what she does; therefore, her work is amazing. You can really see the passion captured in every single photo.

My one piece of advice to other seniors would be to not feel stupid while taking pictures. Believe it or not, awkward poses make amazing pictures!!

I brought seven outfits to my session; however, I only had time for six. I would recommend bringing quite a few, just so you have options. You definitely don’t want the majority of your pictures in the same outfits. I can not stress this enough, ACCESSORIZE!!

I would advise a senior preparing for their session to definitely talk to the photographer. They can help you decide locations, outfits, accessories, and so many other things that tie into senior pictures. They want to provide you with the best possible photo session.

For senior pictures, I advise girls to look natural with a little bit of glam. In my opinion, I think curled hair looks so cute in pictures!

My biggest fear during my photo shoot was that I would look awkward or be fake smiling. Not being able to see myself in “selfie mode,” was definitely scary. My outcome was very impressive though. Shana had me do the best poses and facial expressions.

Thanks for sharing your experience and advice with us, Shelby!   And thanks again for choosing Shana C. Carter Photography for your senior portraits!

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/5/shelbys-senior-session Wed, 01 May 2019 22:15:00 GMT
What About Grad Cards? https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/4/What-About-Grad-Cards Graduating from high school or college is a special event! All that hard work at school is quite an achievement, and one to be proud of. Graduation announcements are the proper way to announce and share this achievement with friends and family

Why Should You Send Graduation Announcements?

#1  Family & friends want to know
Sure, some may know that you are graduating...sometime this year.  Family members that you don't see that often may have totally lost track of time over the years.  An announcement is a great way to keep them informed and to let them know when you will officially be completing your schooling.

 

#2  Your parents love to brag
Have you ever been to someone's house and seen a graduation announcement hanging on their fridge? Wasn't it exciting and impressive? Your family has been supporting you during your time in school; let them have some bragging rights for the next few months by having their own announcement to post.

 

#3  Added bonus...many people may send you money

It's traditional for friends and family members to send money as a graduation gift.  And who couldn't use a little cash as they have to pay for college, work clothes, a new apartment, and everything else that's needed?

 

#4  It's a great keepsake
It may seem like a pain now, but finding a copy 20 years from now of your graduation announcement, stored in a shoebox in your attic, is a great gift you can give your future self.

 

#5  It's a good way to keep in touch with people
Sure, Facebook and social media is a great way to keep in touch with friends. But what about family members or other folks who you don't see very often but still consider an important part of your life? Sending an announcement is a great way to keep the doors of communication open.

 

#6  It's a great way to celebrate your achievement
You've worked hard - you've earned the right to brag a little!

 

#7  It's a great way to thank those who helped you get to where you are today
Did you have an influential high school teacher who helped you get to college? A mentor in your church? A family member who really stepped in when you needed it? Sending graduation announcements to those who really made a difference in your life can be a great way to thank them for all their love and support.

 

#8  It's a tradition

Sending personal correspondence is traditional. As mentioned, graduation announcements are the first line of life’s traditional correspondence. Among others like save-the-dates, birth announcements and holiday cards, your graduation announcements are the perfect place to start building your contact list.


 

 

Who Should  You Send Graduation Announcements?
 

  • Parents and other important family members. Even though these folks have probably already been informed of all the details, we’re sure they wouldn’t mind hanging a personalized graduation announcement on the fridge for all to admire.
  • Extended Family. Think grandparents, aunts, uncles, great aunts and uncles and cousins that you may not see everyday, but still have a great part in your life. Even if they live out of town, they will surely want to hear about your accomplishments and see the official announcement.
  • Friends. Your friends will want to celebrate this special accomplishment with you as well.
  • Tutors, Teachers and Classmates. Don’t forget about the people you spent the most time with during your academic career.
  • Yourself. Last but not least, if you the graduate are creating and sending out your own custom announcements don’t forget to save one for yourself. These little cards also serve as a memorable keepsake for years and years to come!

 

Now what about designing and ordering your graduation announcements?

 

Did you know that I offer grad card design services to all of my clients?  I promise, you are going to be so busy in the spring of senior year that sitting down to design and order grad cards is going to be the last thing you want to do!   Let me save you HOURS of time by designing them for you!

Wondering how it all works?  It's easy!  I will send you a catalogue with all of the designs I offer.  You get to choose your design, let me know which images you want (don't worry - I have an easy to use form for this), I design and send to you to proof.  I can even change anything you want about the design; colors, fonts, orientation of the card, etc.  You'll have the final say before your cards are printed.

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) family photos Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/4/What-About-Grad-Cards Tue, 23 Apr 2019 20:45:00 GMT
Why I Dumped Canon for Sony https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/4/whyIDumpedCanonforSony

I am a very loyal person and I hate change. I’ve had the same hairdresser for 24 years, the same dentist office I went to as a child (even though the dentist retired), I teach at the same elementary school I attended...you get the point.  I’ve been a Canon girl since I started with a Rebel. I never even considered switching to Nikon through the years. However, I began seeing awesome claims about  the Sony mirrorless line and I started doing some research.

 

Now, you may be thinking, "that's all well and good but I've got too much money invested in my glass and I can't afford to buy all new lenses".  For a long time, I didn't even consider the switch because I felt the same way.  However, once I started my research I discovered that you can use Canon and Sigma (Canon mount) lenses on the Sony by purchasing a simple adapter.  Once I discovered that I could keep my glass, that's when I really started to consider making the switch.  

 

After much thought, reading numerous reviews, and watching countless YouTube videos,  I purchased the Sony a7iii.  I've shot only two sessions with it, and y’all, I’m sold.  Let me tell you why...

 

I have struggled with focus since the beginning.  I have read every article and watched a bazillion tutorials on how to improve focus. I back button focused. I toggled my focal point. I upgraded my gear because I thought that would be the answer.  No matter what I did, I still ended up with way too many out of focus images.  On an average sessions, I would say that roughly 30-40% of my images were not tack sharp.  I can’t tell you how many times I came home from a shoot, sat down to look at the images, found the most perfect shot, only to zoom in and realize I had missed focus.  😩  I wanted to cry so many times!  And when you sell prints, you just can’t risk it showing an image that is not completely in focus because, of course, that will be the one they want to print huge for their wall. 

 

Focusing became my number one priority during my sessions.  It's what took the most brain power during the shoot.  Movement shots were the hardest.  I would have my clients do it over and over again because I wanted to make sure at least some images were clear.  I kept my aperture and shutter speed higher than I wanted to during client sessions.  

 

So my process became this: every pose I would click multiple times-like 3 to 6 shots that were identical because I needed to ensure that I got one in focus.  Then during culling, I would zoom in on those 3-6 shots and choose one that in focus. This added a ton of shooting and culling time to my workflow.  I became a overshooter out of fear. 

 

With the Sony, almost every shot is in focus.  I would say like 95%!   Not only that, it's so easy I feel like I am cheating!  No focus points to toggle. Literally the eye autofocus system does the work for you.  I am amazed at its capabilities.  

 

Sorry Canon. We had a good run but we’re breaking up. Don’t worry, I’ll still keep you on the side for video.  💔

 

Want to see what else is in my camera bag? Read my blog post What's in My Camera Bag (links included)

Still have questions about switching to Sony?  Check out part 2 of this blog Switching to Sony - Your Questions Answered

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) a7iii cameras Canon gear lenses northeast Texas photographer Sigma Sony Sony or Canon switch to Sony https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/4/whyIDumpedCanonforSony Tue, 09 Apr 2019 02:09:59 GMT
The 5 Senior Session Mistakes to Avoid https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/3/the-5-senior-session-mistakes-to-avoid  

1.  WEARING THE WRONG OUTFIT.
The wrong clothing can really make a big difference to your senior portraits. If you want your photos to look great, make sure that your clothing is fitted and suited to your body shape and type. You also want to stay away from bold patterns, luminous colors, and logos.

2.  CUTTING YOUR HAIR JUST BEFORE YOUR SESSION.
Your hair plays an important role in your overall look and if you decide to get a haircut or try a new hairstyle too close to your senior session, you could end up with photos that you hate. If you will be cutting or changing your hair, rather do so at least a week before your shoot.

 

3.  CHOOSING THE WRONG PHOTOGRAPHER.
You need to feel completely comfortable around your photographer, which is why it’s important to take your time and do your research before you decide on someone. Be sure to meet with photographers face to face too, to make sure that they’re a good fit for you. If you’re going to feel uncomfortable during your shoot, it’s going to show in your photos. Also, if your photographer isn’t experienced enough, you’re only going to end up being unhappy with your photos and angry that you wasted your money so make sure that they have experience with senior portraits before you pay. 

 

4.  RUSHING THROUGH YOUR SESSION.
If you want to be happy with the results of your senior session, it’s very important not to rush.  Your photographer is a professional and knows that a successful senior session is going to take longer than 30 minutes so prepare yourself to be in front of the camera for several hours. The results will be totally worth it. 

 

5.  FORCING A POSE OR A SMILE.
The more natural you are in front of the camera, the better your photos will look. If you’re feeling nervous or aren’t sure how to pose, rather ask your photographer to guide you so that you get the senior portraits you’re hoping for. 

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/3/the-5-senior-session-mistakes-to-avoid Tue, 12 Mar 2019 22:15:00 GMT
What's in my Camera Bag? https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/3/whats-in-my-camera-bag I often get asked these questions...

  • What kind of camera do you use?  
  • What type of lenses do you use?  
  • Do you ever use flash?  

So today I'm sharing what's in my camera bag(s)

I actually have several camera bags.  The biggest camera bag I own is my House of Flynn Evermore.   It can hold a lot of gear as it is a pretty roomy bag and super cute, too! 

I also have a Lowepro Passport Sling DSLR Camera Bag that I wear during my shoots.  It's lightweight and can hold a couple of lenses in case I need to switch out mid-session.  Not very cute but REALLY functional.

 

I've been strictly a Canon girl up until recently and I own two Canon cameras. The Canon 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera and the Canon 7D Mark II DSLR Camera.  A few months ago, I purchased the Sony A7iii.  It has become my main camera for portraits.  I now use the Mark IV for video and the 7D is my backup camera.

 

These are the lenses that I own:

  • Sigma Art 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art Lens
  • Sigma Art85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
  • Sigma Art 50mm F1.4 Art DG HSM Lens
  • Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS Telephoto Lens
  • Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM Wide Angle Lens
  • Sigma 15mm f/2.8 EX DG Fisheye Lens

My favorite lens that I own and the one I use most often is my Sigma Art 135mm.   I used to own the Canon version of this lens but it was too soft for me.  I sold it and bought the Sigma and have been very happy with it.  It's super sharp and the bokeh is amazing.  I love the look of the Canon 200mm but it is very impractical and so heavy!  I use it occasionally if I have only one subject or possibly two.   I find myself reaching for my 135mm much more often.  Lately, I have been enjoying my 50mm for family shoots to capture more of that lifestyle feeling.

 

Other things in my bag...

I have just discovered the Hoodman memory cards and they have a very good reputation for being the most reliable memory cards on the market.  They are more expensive but I don't mind paying for the higher quality.  If you've ever had a memory card corrupt, then you know where I'm coming from!  

 

I do own the off-camera flash setup listed above but I honestly rarely use it.  Every now and then I will use it during a senior session.  I would like to use it more but it doesn't come second nature to me yet.

 

And that's what in my bag!  I hope I answered all of your questions but, if not, feel free to shoot me an email.

shana@shanaccarterphotography.com

Also, be sure to check out my Online Photography Education

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) child photographer family photos Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/3/whats-in-my-camera-bag Sat, 02 Mar 2019 22:30:29 GMT
Why hire a professional photographer for your senior session? https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/2/why-hire-a-professional-photographer-for-your-senior-session  

THIS is your senior year, which is a very special time in your life. And while you could probably get a friend or family member to take some photos of you, they simply won’t be able to produce what a professional photographer can.

When you work with a professional photographer, you get to benefit from their years of experience, which includes knowing how to work with natural and studio lighting, where to find the best locations for your shoot, and how to compose a great shot. Not to mention the fact that they’re skilled editors and know exactly how to make you look incredible in every photo.  

A professional will also know how to bring your unique style and personality through in each and every image and will be there to guide you on how to pose and smile in order to get the best photos.

A professional photographer is the best person to guide you during the photo selection process too, helping you choose the best shots for printing and your album. Since most photographers have been shooting and printing images for years, they know exactly which paper, canvas sizes and printers to use to get the job done right, giving you beautiful photos that you can display in your home, in an album or on social media.

You only get to be a senior once so don’t miss the chance to capture some great photos of yourself by using a friend or family member instead of a professional for your senior shoot. 

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/2/why-hire-a-professional-photographer-for-your-senior-session Tue, 26 Feb 2019 22:45:00 GMT
6 Outfits to Consider for Your Senior Portrait Session https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/2/6-outfits-to-consider-for-your-senior-portrait-session THERE are a lot of factors that contribute to an amazing senior session and your outfit is one of them. We recommend bringing more than one type of outfit to your senior session, here are a few ideas to get you started. 


 

OUTFIT #1:  YOUR PERSONAL FAVORITE
Bring along an outfit that you simply love wearing. Not only will it let your unique personality and style shine through but it will also make you feel comfortable and confident during your senior session.

 

OUTFIT #2:  SIMPLE & CLASSY
Choose an outfit that you can use for some formal shots. Keep it simple by choosing safe, solid colors such as white, black or brown. Basically, bring an outfit that you would wear to church or a formal family gathering.

 

OUTFIT #3: GET CREATIVE
This is your chance to let your unique personality really shine through. What inspires you and gets you smiling? Who do you want to be? Keep this in mind when choosing this outfit. 

OUTFIT #4: ACCESSORIZE
For your next outfit, simply adding in a few accessories such as a hat, scarf or sunglasses will give you a completely different look. You can also choose to throw in a few props to add some interest to the shot.

 

OUTFIT #5: GO TRADITIONAL
If your culture and family traditions are a prominent part of your life, why not use a traditional outfit or one that represents your culture as one of the clothing changes during your senior session?

 

OUTFIT #6: GET ACTIVE
If sport was an integral part of your life at school, bring your sports uniform to your senior session as an outfit change. You can even add in bats, helmets or gloves as props to add interest to the shot. 

 

And now, where to find the perfect outfits for your session?   Here are some of my favorite local boutiques in the area.  You'll be sure to find unique and stylish pieces at any of these places!

 

LOCAL FAVORITE BOUTIQUES

Melba Dean's - Omaha

Glammiez - Mount Vernon

Betsy's Boutique - Winnsboro

Aden Ann's - Paris

The Willow - Mount Pleasant

Impulse Boutique  - Mount Pleasant

Miss Behavin' - Mount Pleasant

Something Special - Daingerfield

Rancher's Wife - Texarkana

Bleau Dog - Hughes Springs

Tiki Hut - Hughes Springes

Gaudy Me - Longview

Kimboze Boutique - Lone Star

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) child photographer family photos Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/2/6-outfits-to-consider-for-your-senior-portrait-session Wed, 13 Feb 2019 00:15:00 GMT
5 Ways to Slow Down Your Life https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/1/5-ways-to-slow-down-your-life Are you always in a hurry?  Even when you don't really have any reason to hurry?  It's like we get so used to being in a hurry that it becomes a way of life.  I know I am guilty of this.  Sometimes I even stop and think, "why am I in such a hurry?"  Slowing down your life is a skill and skills can be learned.  Here are five things you can do to slow down your life.

Give Yourself More Time

Get up earlier.  If we start our morning in a hurry, we'll be more likely to stay in a hurry throughout the day.  By waking up earlier and slowing down our morning routine, we can set the tone for the rest of the day. 

 

Say No

We have to learn to say no to things.  We simply can't do everything that is asked of us.  Don't feel guilty for saying no when someone asks you to volunteer.  A packed calendar only leads to stress.

 

Decide What's Important

Make a to do list of all the things you do on a normal basis.  Then, considering your priorities, mark things off the lest that are not actually necessary.  Sometimes, we become used to doing things, so we keep doing them just because.  

 

Make time for Relationships

Eat meals together.  Put your phone down and engage.  Make spending time with friends a priority.  Make a point to spend quality time with your child(ren) each day.  

 

Be Self Aware

You must make a conscious effort NOT to let yourself get in a hurry.  When you feel yourself start to hurry, take deep breaths and force yourself to slow down.  This small thing really makes a huge difference.

 

 

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) child photographer family photos Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/1/5-ways-to-slow-down-your-life Tue, 29 Jan 2019 20:15:00 GMT
Senior Year Bucket List For Moms https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/1/senior-year-bucket-list-for-moms Wow.  One really doesn't understand what it's like until your own children are in high school.  The emotions surrounding the thoughts of them leaving home are overwhelming.  Each year brings you closer and closer to the end.  Or the beginning.  Or let's just say to lots of changes for everyone in the house.  

I'm now at this point in my life.  Seeing all the senior moms' postings every May about their kids graduating gets me all teared up.  I will be there shortly.  I'm not ready.  So, I'm writing this blog post for myself as much as I am writing it for you.

 

Okay, so here goes...the list of all the things we need/want to do before our kids leave home.

 

1.  Hire a professional photographer to create a family portrait.  

Once they leave home, it's so hard to get everybody together for a family portrait.  And, if you procrastinate too long, they will have a family of their own.  Hire a professional, have your portrait printed and display it in your home.  It will bring you joy, I promise you.

 

2.  Give them something special.

Whether it's a watch, a piece of jewelry, or something special from your childhood, give them a memento that will commemorate their senior year.  Make it a special event so they understand the meaning of it and will always remember it.  

 

3.  Tell them how much you love them.

Let them know that no matter their failures, successes, or their choices, you will always love them and be there for them.  Let them know that you will always have their back and they can come to you for any reason.  We may think they know this already but maybe they don't.  Maybe you've never told them directly.  Do it now.  

 

4.  Start to let go.

The last half of their senior year, try letting up on them a little.  Allow them more freedom and loosen the reins a bit.  Let's face it, a few more months and they will do what they please anyway.  It will be hard not knowing where they are are what they are doing every minute.  Think of this as an adjustment period for both of you.  

 

5.  Hugs and Kisses

Hold them close every chance you get.  Savor these moments because we all know they will fly by.  Hug and kiss them before they leave for school or you leave for work.  Sit with them while they play video games.  Take time for little talks at night before bed.  Be in the moment.  And enjoy every last thing. 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) child photographer family photos Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/1/senior-year-bucket-list-for-moms Tue, 15 Jan 2019 20:00:00 GMT
Senior Year Bucket List https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/1/senior-year-bucket-list Senior year goes by WAY too fast and you don't want to graduate with any regrets, right?  So what things things should you make sure you do before you graduation?   Here are the top ten senior year bucket list items you want want to skip:

 

  1. Skip a day of school with friends.

  2. Senior Prom (go even if you think you don't want t0.

  3. Tell the teachers who mean something to you just that.  It will affect them more than you could imagine.

  4. Take a video while just walking from class to class.

  5. Make a playlist of all of your current favorite songs.

  6. Have a professional family portrait made.

  7. Thank the school staff -- the custodians, lunch ladies, secretary, etc.

  8. Print out the cell phone photos you take during senior year!

  9. Apologize to someone you treated poorly in the past.

  10. Be proud of your accomplishments! 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2019/1/senior-year-bucket-list Tue, 01 Jan 2019 20:00:00 GMT
Digitize Your Old Memories https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2018/11/digitize-your-old-memories BRING OLD MEMORIES BACK TO LIFE

Do you have VHS tapes with old home videos recorded that you can't even watch anymore?  Did you know that there are companies out there that will take any out-of-date media that you may have (VHS, cassette tapes, slides, reels, beta, almost anything) and convert it into a format you can view and use?   

I decided to try this service out for myself.  I chose to use a company called Legacybox.  The process was very simple.  I filled out my information online.  I chose the price I paid based on how many items I wanted to convert.  A few days later, I received a box in the mail to place my items in along with very easy to follow instructions.  

After I shipped my items to Legacybox, they sent me emails throughout the conversion process, keeping me informed of the timeline and reassuring me that my items were safe.  After a few weeks, I received my box with my original media plus the new formatted media.  

We were able to watch videos of our kids, our wedding, even some of our high school days that we hadn't seen in years!  Overall, I had a great experience with Legacybox and would definitely recommend them.  There are other companies that offer this service as well, but I haven't tried them personally.   I will definitely do this again because I still have more old VHS tapes I need to have converted.  Wouldn't this be a great Christmas or birthday gift for someone?  

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) child photographer family photos Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2018/11/digitize-your-old-memories Mon, 26 Nov 2018 14:00:00 GMT
4 Reasons why you should learn how to use your DSLR camera https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2018/11/4-reasons-why-you-should-learn-how-to-use-your-dslr-camera 4 Reasons Why You Should Learn to Use Your DSLR Camera

I remember my first DSLR camera.  It was a Canon Rebel.  I had always been interested in photography, but when I had kids, I wanted to capture better pictures of them.  I just knew if I forked out the money on a big fancy camera, my photos would have to be much better, wouldn't they?  

I quickly found out that wasn't the case.  Sometimes I got lucky and my camera produced a great picture but most of the time they were a little off.  The faces were dark.  My kids skin color was bluish.  The images were just lacking and not at all what I expected when I purchased the camera.  That's when I realized I was going to have to start studying - and I haven't stopped yet!   

 

Not that you have to take it as far as I did, but a little basic camera knowledge can really help to improve your images.  Sure, we can learn online, but how many of us moms really take the time to do that?  a few do, but most of us are just too busy.  That's why I am encouraging you to sign up for an in-person photography class.  Doing so will ensure that you will set aside the time and actually learn your camera.  

 

Now why do you need to learn your camera again?  I'm about to tell you...

 

Reason #1    So you can capture all the moments

MOM is the Photographer. Mom is the one that is there through every fleeting moment in their child(s) life. The mom is usually the one that is documenting their kiddos the most with their camera. Take time to learn how to capture your family’s story well through beautiful storytelling imagery and leave a legacy for your kids!

Reason #2    Because you don't want your investment to go to waste

You've invested the money in a DSLR, now why not learn how to use it?  If you don't, you've essentially wasted your money haven't you?   You have the tool.  Now obtain the knowledge to use it to capture those magical moments.

 

Reason #3 So you can take your images from boring to WOW!

Capture those beautiful Buttery, Blurry Backgrounds that you see in the Professionals images! Learn all about gettting the “blur” in your background and how to capture it over and over again!

Reason #4  So you can get out of AUTO mode 

In auto mode, we are letting the camera make all the decisions.  At times, it does a pretty good job under the right conditions.  But more often, it does a very mediocre job making decisions.  Shooting in manual allows the photographer to make the decisions and overcome situations in order to capture the moment in the best possible way!  You can be in control and express your creativity.

 

Ready to dive in and learn your camera?  Join me for my Beginning Photography Class in January!
Get all the details here...  Beginning Photography Class

 

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) beginning photography course DSLR learn to shoot in manual learn your camera northeast Texas photographer photography class https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2018/11/4-reasons-why-you-should-learn-how-to-use-your-dslr-camera Sun, 18 Nov 2018 22:37:15 GMT
A Guide to Senior Year for Moms https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2018/11/a-guide-to-senior-year-for-moms A GUIDE TO SENIOR YEAR FOR MOMS

 

Do you have a senior this year or maybe a soon-to-be senior?  Are you feeling nervous about all the deadlines, activities, and events that senior year encompasses?  The fear of forgetting something is real.  Sometimes our kids aren't the best at keeping us informed either - especially if you have boys.  Just having gone through senior year with one child, and another senior year fast approaching, I thought moms would appreciate a senior year calendar/list to help you keep track with some of the deadlines and things to remember.  

 

  • Senior Portraits - If you haven't scheduled senior portraits already, make that your first priority.  Decide on a photographer and choose the time of year that works best.  If you aren't sure on when you should schedule senior portraits, read this The Best Time to Schedule Senior Portraits

  • Yearbook Portraits - These are mandatory and actually take place during the summer before senior year, usually right before school starts.  No need for outfits, the drape and tux top are provided.  However, keep in mind that new haircuts/colors/styles, or even the lack of a haircut can be a disaster right before pictures.

  • College List - The fall semester is the ideal time to make a list of at least 3 colleges that your child may want to attend.  Check into those particular colleges to see what type of programs they offer.  They may or may not offer the course of study your child would like to pursue.  Once you have narrowed down the choices, complete the required college applications and plan visits to those colleges before the end of the fall semester.  Trust me, you do not want to put this off.  The spring semester is going to be jam packed!

  • Meet with Counselor  - It's a good idea for you, your child, and the school counselor to all sit down together and make sure you are all on the same page and have a plan of action.

  • ACT/SAT - This semester is the last chance for your child to take these exams again and try to get their score up.

  • FAFSA - The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form that can be prepared annually by current and prospective college students to determine their eligibility for student financial aid.  Nearly every single student is eligible for some type of financial aid.  This form becomes available on October 1. 

  • Cap & Gown - Ordering the cap and gown usually takes place sometime in October.  Your child will receive a packet with offers to buy all sorts of additional senior items as well.  There is a package available that contains JUST the cap, gown, and tassel - but you will have to hunt for it.  

  • Collect Addresses - Start thinking about who all you will need to send graduation and/or grad party invitations to, and start collecting those addresses.  

  • Prom  - Those of you with girls will want to set aside time for prom dress shopping early in the spring.  You may need to plan for more than one day!  Boys will need to reserve their tux and go in for a fitting.  While you're out shopping , this would be a good time to pick up a few dressy outfits for the many banquets, award ceremonies, and events that your senior will be attending later in the spring.  

  • Graduation Tickets - Most schools limit the number of tickets that seniors receive to give to family members.  If that is the case, it's a good idea to find out how many each senior is allotted and make those decisions in advance regarding who will be invited to attend.  Go ahead and break the news to those who won't be receiving tickets.  

  • Graduation Invitations - Ideally, your photographer can take the task of creating these off your plate, but if not, the job will fall to you or your senior.  Creating these can be a timely job, so the earlier you can get them done, the better.  Make sure you order these far enough in advance to get them addresses and ready to mail out in plenty of time.  You should have them in the mail at least 3 weeks before graduation.

  • Graduation Party - Will you be holding a graduation get together for family and friends?  If so, plan ahead for those party announcements.  That will be another thing you will need to get in the mail.  Need some help planning a graduation party?  Check out my Pinterest board for some great ideas! Plan an Awesome Grad Party

 

Your child's senior year will go by extremely fast.  The months of March, April, and May will be particularly busy so the earlier you can get some of these things marked off your to-do list, the less stressed you will be.  Staying on top of things will give you more time to live in the moment and enjoy your child's final days and months of high school.

 

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer senior year https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2018/11/a-guide-to-senior-year-for-moms Tue, 06 Nov 2018 14:00:00 GMT
3 Steps to Organizing Your Printed Photos https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2018/10/3-steps-to-organizing-your-printed-photos 3 TIPS TO GET YOU STARTED WITH ORGANIZING YOUR PRINTED PHOTOS

This is one of those projects that seems very overwhelming, am I right?  You just have to get started.  It's kind of like starting a diet.  You probably won't really be ready to start but it's something that you need to do so you just have to dig in!

Step 1:  Gather all of your printed photos in one location, such as your dining room table.

Step 2:  Sort photos by placing them in sequential order by year (as best you can).  Throw away blurry or duplicate photos to reduce clutter.  

Step 3:  Decide how you will store or display your photos.  I prefer photo boxes with dividers.  You can also put them in photo albums.  

I hope these tips help you get started on this project.  Like any organizing project don’t worry if you don't get it done in one sitting. Working a little at a time can help reduce the overwhelm of this kind of project.  Happy organizing!
 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) child photographer family photos Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2018/10/3-steps-to-organizing-your-printed-photos Mon, 22 Oct 2018 11:00:00 GMT
How to Look Better in Pictures https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2018/10/how-to-look-better-in-pictures 5 TIPS TO LOOKING BETTER IN PHOTOS

We've all had somebody tag us in a photo only to be horrified by the way we look!  It's not a good feeling.  I am going to share some tips that will help you to look instantly better in pictures.

 

1.  Use your tongue.  Say what?  Yes, pressing your tongue to the roof of your mouth while smiling can help you avoid the dreaded double chin.

2.  Turn your face at an angle to the camera.  By tilting your head a little to the side, you can drastically improve your appearance in photos.  So, lift or lower your chin a little, but avoid looking straight on.

3.  Cross your ankles.  If it's a full body shot, crossing your ankles can make you appear slimmer.

4.  Turn your body.  Turn your body so that it is at a 45 degree angle to the camera.  Place your weight on your back leg.  Also, put your hand closest to the camera on your hip.

5.  Good posture.  Like your mama always said, "stand up straight"!  But really, pull those shoulders back so you aren't slouching.  

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) child photographer family photos Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior Photographer Texarkana Photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2018/10/how-to-look-better-in-pictures Mon, 22 Oct 2018 11:00:00 GMT
How to Capture Silhouette Photos https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2018/10/how-to-capture-silhouette-photos 3 TIPS TO CAPTURING SILHOUETTE PHOTOS

 

Follow these tips to capture beautiful silhouette photos:

 

1.  The right location and timing.  You need to choose a location free from distracting elements or other people in the background.  An elevated area, such as a hill works great.  Somewhere that you can shoot up at your subject.  You'll need to shoot when the sun is low in the sky.  That means just after sunrise or just before sunset.

2.  Position.  To capture a silhouette, the light should be behind your subject.  You will need to shoot towards the light.  Your background should be brighter than your subjects.  If your subjects can be on a higher plain than you, this also helps.

3.  Exposure.  You want to expose for the background in a silhouette.  If you are using a phone, tap the brightest part of your screen.  If you are using a DSLR, dial down your exposure until the sky is properly exposed and your subjects are completely in shadow.

 

That's the basics to capturing a silhouette!  Now go practice and have some fun!

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) child photographer family photos Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer Texarkana photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2018/10/how-to-capture-silhouette-photos Mon, 15 Oct 2018 11:00:00 GMT
What to Wear for Fall Family Photos https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2018/10/what-to-wear-for-fall-family-photos

Do you have family portraits schedule for the fall but are having trouble deciding what everyone should wear?  As we know, this job usually falls to mom to make the decisions and it can be tough.  I am going to share my tips on
choosing a fall wardrobe with you today.

1.  Start with the most difficult member of the family.  In many cases, that's Dad.  If Dad will only wear blue jeans, then you know you will be incorporating navy into your color scheme so that gives you a starting point.  Or maybe dad could wear khakis or gray slacks.  This gives you a neutral color as your building base.  

2.  Next, choose no more than one member of the family to wear a print.  If mom is going to wear a paisley print for example, have all the other family members wear various solids that compliment her paisley pattern.  

3.  Layers are a great way to mix it up.  Think vests, cardigans, and scarves.  These items all help break up the colors to add more visual interest to the images.

4.  Shoes are important.  You don't want mom and dad wearing brown boots and little man wearing tennis shoes!  Make sure everyone's shoes coordinate.

For more ideas on what to wear for pictures, visit my Pinterest board...

What to Wear for Family Portraits

Ready to schedule your family session? learn more here


 

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) child photographer family photos Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer What to wear for family photos https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2018/10/what-to-wear-for-fall-family-photos Mon, 08 Oct 2018 11:00:00 GMT
3 Tips for Hanging Wall Art in Your Home https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2018/10/3-tips-for-hanging-wall-art-in-your-home 3 TIPS FOR HANGING WALL ART IN YOUR HOME

Wall art displays, if done right, can really pull a space together and create that perfect finishing touch.  Get it wrong and it just sort of looks like a hodgepodge of "stuff" thrown up without rhyme or reason.  Follow these design tips to make sure your wall art compliments and completes the room.

 

1.  Choose appropriately sized wall art.   Too small, and it just looks silly.  If you have several smaller items, you can always group those items together so that the overall size of the grouping equals a larger and more appropriate size for the wall.

 

Here are some specific guidelines to help you choose:

 

2.  Hang your art at the right height.  Too high and the proportions will be off.  Too low and viewing the wall art will be uncomfortable.  One rule of thumb is to hang the piece where the center of the art is 145cm or 57 inches from the floor.  This doesn't always work if there is a piece of furniture against the wall or perhaps you are hanging a piece over a mantle. In these cases, you may have to use your intuition a bit to get it just the right height, taking account the other objects (furniture, mantle, etc) in the room.

 

3.  Perfect the proportions.  If there is a lot going on in a room, opt for one larger statement piece.  This will help the room look less cluttered.  If you have several smaller pieces you'd like to display, consider grouping them together as a collage for a more cohesive display.


Next, it's time to plan your layout.  If hanging a collage, lay your collage out on the floor first.  Take a picture with your phone each time before rearranging so you can compare the options.  I hope these tips have been helpful.  For more tips on hanging wall art, visit me on Pinterest.  Wall Art Ideas

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) hanging pictures how to create wall collage Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer wall art https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2018/10/3-tips-for-hanging-wall-art-in-your-home Mon, 01 Oct 2018 11:00:00 GMT
The Best Time to Schedule Your Senior Portraits https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2018/9/the-best-time-to-schedule-your-senior-portraits  

Are you a junior?  Even if you a sophomore, it's not too soon to start thinking about your senior portraits.  This is a milestone that is worthy of documentation.  These will be images that you will keep for the rest of your life.  It's definitely not an event you want to put on the back burner.  

 

 

So which month is the best for portraits?  Some months have their advantages, but there really isn't a simple answer.  Let's look at the pros and cons...

 

June/July:  School hasn't started yet so there is plenty of time to plan.  Life is probably pretty stress free during the summer.  However, it can be SUPER hot so may not be so great for hair and makeup.

 

August:  School is starting and practices for extracurricular activities for sports and band ramp up.  Weather is still really hot.

 

September:  School is underway and everyone is getting back in the groove.  Temperatures are slightly cooler.  Time may be stretched thin depending on extracurricular activities.  Late September is actually a popular time for senior sessions.  Getting this task accomplished early in the year can be a relief with all the things on your to-do list.  Plus, you can be one of the first to show off your images!

 

October:  October is a great time for senior portraits.  The weather is cooler.  Routines are set.  October is a busy month in general, though.  Another thing to keep in mind that is in Texas, October is still green.  Lots of people associate October with fall colors, however, fall does't arrive here until November.  

 

November:  If you are wanting fall colors for your senior pictures, November is THE month.  Autumn is short lived in our neck of the woods.  The fall colored leaves only last about three weeks.  The weather is usually still good.  Maybe cool but not cold yet.  Who knows?  It might still be hot on the day of your November session!

 

December:  By December, the leaves are mostly gone and the greens have usually faded into brownish tones.  The temperature can be all over the place.  December is a super busy month for most people.  Not that you can't schedule senior pictures for this month, but not an ideal time.

 

 

January:  January is one of the least desirable months for outdoor portrait sessions.  The weather is very unpredictable.  Many days are cold and windy.  However, east Texas is known for having the a few sunny beautiful days in January, however, I recommend finding some urban locations to use.  Also, expect reschedules due to weather.  


 

February:  Things start to bloom at the end of February and everything is starting to turn green.  Thoughtcrimes it may be cold and windy, the latter part of the month can still be a great time for a session.  But again, expect reschedules due to weather.  

 

March:  March is the month where everything comes back to life!  March is a very popular month for portraits and usually fills up quickly.  Everything is green again and the flowers are starting to bloom.  Weather can still be unpredictable at times, so be prepared for reschedules in March as well.  Keep you extracurricular activities in mind, too.  Often March is a busy month as far as student events and commitments are concerned.  

 

April:  April is gorgeous in Texas.  Everything is green and lush and the flowers are blooming.  The weather is warmer and generally pleasant.  Another bonus is that you will probably have received you cap and gown at this point to wear during your session.  However, graduation is approaching quickly and you need to think about timing as far as graduation announcements are concerned.  You want to make sure you have time to get those in the mail in a timely manner.  Also, by April, yearbook deadlines for senior pages and such may have passed.

 

May:   This is the procrastination zone! :)  I definitely recommend scheduling your senior session before May in order to get your invitations delivered in time for graduation.  Although the weather is typically beautiful, the stress of waiting until the last minute in not recommended.  

 

 

So there you have it - the pros and cons for each month throughout the year.  I hope this helps you make a decision about when to schedule your senior portraits.  Keep in mind the most popular months fill up the fastest so the sooner you can schedule your portrait session, the better!

Ready to schedule your senior session?  Learn more here

Powder Explosion Photoshop TemplatePowder Explosion Photoshop Templatephotoshop template for athlete, sports template, with volleyball, baseball. powder explosion with wood gym floor

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer senior photographer senior portraits https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2018/9/the-best-time-to-schedule-your-senior-portraits Mon, 24 Sep 2018 23:06:03 GMT
Are Background Distractions Ruining Your Images? https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2018/9/are-background-distractions-ruining-your-images BACKGROUND DISTRACTIONS CAN RUIN YOUR PHOTOS

 

One of the biggest mistakes new photographers make is they fail to pay attention to the background. If your background is distracting, it can really ruin your photo. It's easy to get so focused on your subject, that you forget to check behind them before clicking the shutter. 

 

So you've got basically three options:
1. Move your subject.
2. Choose a lower f/stop to blur out the distractions.
3. Change your camera angle.

 

Changing your camera angle is probably the easiest option. Move a little to the right or left. Shoot from higher or lower. 

Before you snap that picture, try to always take a quick look at the background to eliminate those distractions. 

Have any questions about background distractions, or just how to take better pictures in general? Feel free to ask me in the comments and I'll do my best to answer them!

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) child photographer family photos Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2018/9/are-background-distractions-ruining-your-images Thu, 06 Sep 2018 11:00:00 GMT
Lighting is the Most Important Key to Improving Your Photos https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2018/8/lighting-is-the-most-important-key-to-improving-your-photos LIGHTING IS KEY

Probably the most important thing you can do to improve your photos is to PAY ATTENTION TO THE LIGHT. Keep this basic rule in mind; hard light is bad, soft light is good. To find soft light, try shooting early morning or late in the evening. Or, try an overcast day.

Hard light is the type of light you find mid-day, when the sun is high in the sky. It creates very hard shadows, which are not flattering. If you have to shoot when the sun is still high, make sure you move your subject into the shade.  

 

Shade provided by a building or structure works well.  Be careful when using trees for shade as the light may be dappled.  Dappled light is when tiny specks of sunlight filter through the leaves therefore causing specks of light on your subjects face.  

 

If you have had a session with me, or if you do, you'll notice I shoot most of my sessions at the end of the day, preferably in the last hour of sunlight. This is called the Golden Hour and is when the light is soft and the most flattering to your subjects.

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) child photographer Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2018/8/lighting-is-the-most-important-key-to-improving-your-photos Thu, 30 Aug 2018 11:00:00 GMT
Improve Your Photos by Shooting in a Priority Mode https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2018/8/improve-your-photos-by-shooting-in-a-priority-mode IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOS BY SHOOTING IN AV MODE

 

Ready to take your photography to the next level and quit shooting in Auto? Auto mode can take some great pictures in ideal situations, but to have full control of the creative decisions, you'll need to at least switch to a priority mode. 

 

You can use aperture priority mode to control the depth of field, you know that thing that gives you a blurry background? Choose a smaller f-number, like f/4 or less, to achieve it. The smaller the f-stop, the more bokeh (blurry background) you will get.  In AV mode (aperture priority mode) you set the camera's f stop and the camera will adjust the other settings.  So open that aperture all the way up and see what you can create!


Have a DSLR but still shooting in auto?  Read 4 Reasons Why You Should Learn to use Your DSLR Camera

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) child photographer family photos Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2018/8/improve-your-photos-by-shooting-in-a-priority-mode Thu, 23 Aug 2018 11:00:00 GMT
Your First Prime Lens https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2018/8/your-first-prime-lens WHY THE 50MM IS MY CHOICE FOR YOUR FIRST PRIME LENS PURCHASE

Want those sharp photos of your subject with the nice blurry background?   Lenses with a lower number aperture like f/1.8 will help you achieve that look.

A nice, yet inexpensive lens you can use to accomplish this is the 50mm f/1.8. It will cost you around $125, which is a steal when it comes to lenses!  It's often referred to as the "nifty fifty". It's the one I started out with.  Here is one of my favorite images take with my 50mm.

If you have been using zoom lenses, then a prime, like the 50mm, may take some getting used to.  What are the pros to fixed lenses?  Fixed lenses are generally sharper and easier to use when learning how to shoot in manual. It's small and lightweight, which means it also travels well. 

Here's the link if you want to check it out!

https://www.amazon.com/Canon-50mm-1-8-STM-Lens/dp/B00X8MRBCW


 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) child photographer family photos Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer Photography tips https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2018/8/your-first-prime-lens Thu, 16 Aug 2018 11:00:00 GMT
How to Take Better Beach Photos https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2018/7/how-to-take-better-beach-photos 3 TIPS TO HELP YOU CAPTURE GREAT BEACH PHOTOS 

Want to capture some beautiful beach photos on vacation this year?   Here are 3 tips that can help make sure your pictures turn out great!

 

1. Go out to the beach when everyone else goes in. Usually in the late afternoon, beach goers leave to do other activities. 

 

2. The best light is right before or right after the sun goes down. When the light gets softer, you can have your subjects face the light which makes for great photos!

 

3. Wear colors that compliment the water and sand. I find pastels to work really well. Remember, coordinate - don't match. Thinking about everybody wearing white shirts and khakis? Just don't. 

 

Good luck and get out there and take some fabulous photos!

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) camera beach camera tips for beach child photographer Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2018/7/how-to-take-better-beach-photos Thu, 19 Jul 2018 05:44:00 GMT
How to Keep Your Camera Safe at the Beach https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2018/7/how-to-keep-your-camera-safe-at-the-beach 4 TIPS FOR KEEPING YOUR CAMERA SAFE AT THE BEACH

Worried about taking your DSLR to the beach?

 

You shouldn't be! If you are careful, it should be fine. Here are a few tips when taking your camera to the beach:

1. Sit your camera outside at least an hour before you plan to head to the beach. This gives it time to acclimate to the temperature and humidity which means less fog on your lens.

2. Don't change lenses while at the beach. Pick one lens and stick with it to prevent sand from accidentally getting inside your camera.

3. Put sunscreen on yourself and the kids before leaving for the beach and wash your hands. That way, you aren't touching you camera with greasy fingers.

4. Put your camera in a separate bag. Be sure to tell the kids that they are not allowed to get into Mommy's camera bag.

 

By following these 4 simple steps, you can help keep your camera safe and still capture those beach moments!

 

 

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) camera beach camera tips for beach Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2018/7/how-to-keep-your-camera-safe-at-the-beach Thu, 12 Jul 2018 05:44:00 GMT
Setting a custom white balance is a game changer! https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2018/6/setting-a-custom-white-balance-is-a-game-changer

Do you have difficulty getting your skin tones correct in camera? I am going to sharing my best tip for improving skin tones straight out of camera...CUSTOM WHITE BALANCE!

Setting a custom white balance is a total game changer. Below you will see the same image shot with auto white balance verses custom white balance. These have not been edited at all. This is strictly the difference in your white balance settings. Pretty amazing, right?

 

Setting a custom white balance saves me so much time in post processing!  Check out this short video tutorial where I explain how to set a custom white balance

Follow me on Instagram

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) balance Longview Texas Photographer Mt. Pleasant Photographer northeast Texas photographer photography tips Texarkana Photographer white https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2018/6/setting-a-custom-white-balance-is-a-game-changer Thu, 28 Jun 2018 05:44:00 GMT
Our Family Portraits https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2016/9/our-family-portraits It had been 3 years since we had our family pictures done and I knew it was time to have them done again.  They boys have changed so much in the past 3 years.  I have been a fan of Kansas Pitts Photography for awhile and knew she was my first choice for our photographer.  We made plans to go to Destin for summer vacation so I contacted Kansas in December and scheduled an appointment for August.  I'm a planner, okay?  Plus, I knew she would book up fast during vacation season with all the traveling families wanting beach pictures.  

So, I found myself in the client's shoes instead of the photographer's.  In my opinion, its good to go through the portrait process as a client to remind yourself how it feels to be in that position.  I learned some lessons and I think my business will improve because of it.  And why, oh why, does coordinating outfits have to be so hard?!  Mom's outfit is always the hardest, to me, at least.  And is there a gene that makes the male species despise having pictures made?  They never want to do it, although afterward they always say, "That wasn't so bad".  Of course, the day of our session, it rained.  There was no option to reschedule either, because she had sessions the rest of the week.  We had one afternoon to get it done.  Luckily, the rain cleared for a bit and we were able to go ahead with the session.  I'm so thankful to have these memories!  If you are ever in the Destin area and need a photographer, keep Kansas Pitts in mind.  Her photos are amazing!

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) Family pictures beach photos family photos family portraits https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2016/9/our-family-portraits Thu, 22 Sep 2016 23:00:00 GMT
Extended Family Session https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2016/9/extended-family-session To be honest, I don't shoot many extended family sessions.  I don't get many inquiries for them.  To get that many people dressed and ready on the same day, at the same time, is a huge challenge.  "Kudos" to this family for pulling it off!  

You can't tell it from the photos, but we had to dodge a lot of "sh**" to get these shots, literally!  We took these on some of our land and the cows had been hanging out under these trees for shade.  I have to thank them for being good sports, even though their shoes may never be the same!  At least it made for some good laughs during the shoot!

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) family photos family pictures sisters vintage couch https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2016/9/extended-family-session Sat, 17 Sep 2016 20:30:23 GMT
My Little Muse https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2016/9/my-little-muse

So, you may wonder what made me want to learn photography.  Well, like so many other moms out there, my number one reason was to take better pictures of my own kids.  I have 3 boys; Seth, John Cody, & Brady.  Their ages are 17, 13, and 4 now.  

 

However, I have always enjoyed taking pictures and really any activity that involves pictures.  In high school, it was making collages.  When my first son was born, I was all about scrapbooking.  I've always been one to have photos displayed all over my house.  I really got serious about learning photography in 2011. Luckily for my youngest son, by the time he was born I was able to capture great pictures.  My older two weren't so lucky.  At least they have baby books.  My third child may have great pictures, but I think his baby book is practically empty!  Hey, its a trade off.  Anyway,  I wanted to share some of my favorites from when Brady was younger.  He has truly been my guinea pig over the years.

All 3 of my boys have had to be my models over the years but Brady has been subjected to it the most.  He's been great about it up until recently and now he doesn't like to cooperate anymore.  Even bribing him doesn't help!  I know all you moms out there feel my pain!

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2016/9/my-little-muse Mon, 05 Sep 2016 21:13:38 GMT
The Blissful Retreat https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2016/8/the-blissful-retreat In June, I had an amazing opportunity to attend a photographer's retreat/workshop hosted by two amazing photographers; Sally Molhoek of SallyKate Photography and Stephanie Lemmon of Lemmonmade Photography.  The retreat was held in Cat Spring, Texas at the beautiful Blisswood Bed and Breakfast.  We enjoyed three days of styled shoots, learning, and meeting other photographers from all over the US.  It was a lot of fun and I definitely recommend in-person workshops to other photographers who are wanting to improve their craft.

During the retreat, there were three styled shoots.  Our hosts did an amazing job planning all the details.  Let me tell you, a LOT of work goes into a stylized shoot!  The hair and makeup was just gorgeous and the wardrobes were perfect.  I am so grateful to Sally & Stephanie for sharing their knowledge with all the attendees.  It was the highlight of my summer!

Wardrobe by Blu Pony Vintage, Anna Triant Couture, and Zara

HAMU by Polished by Jessica and The Porcelain Teacup

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) Northeast Texas photographer child models child photographer child photography photography workshop styled shoot https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2016/8/the-blissful-retreat Sat, 27 Aug 2016 21:58:56 GMT
Welcoming Baby Wyatt https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2016/8/welcoming-baby-wyatt In July, I got to be a part of an amazing moment...the birth of baby Wyatt.  Everybody always says that every baby, every birth is a miracle.  I truly believe that.  It's an extremely special feeling when a family invites you in to capture a once in a lifetime moment.

 

Little Wyatt was not an easy delivery, but Mom powered through it.  Her strength was incredible.  It was emotional to watch...and to watch Dad go though the pain with her.

 

 

Their video is so beautiful!  I kept having to watch it over and over again while I was creating it to get it just right, and every time it would start up, the tears would start up!  Who wouldn't love to have a video like this as a keepsake from the day their life changed forever?  Priceless.

 

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) baby birth photography birth session fresh 48 hospital birth newborn https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2016/8/welcoming-baby-wyatt Sun, 21 Aug 2016 22:22:41 GMT
Photography Shoot Out https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2016/8/photography-shoot-out I have attended several shootouts for photographers this past year so I decided it was time to host one of my own.  Teaming up with Jana Moore of JLH Photography located in Mt. Pleasant, TX, our goal was to put together an event for local photographers to come together and shoot gorgeous models in a beautiful location.  

 

You may be wondering, "what exactly is a shootout?"  It's when a host photographer (or photographers) come up with a concept or theme, coordinate models, wardrobe, hair, makeup, and a location for the shoot.  Other photographers then sign up to attend, usually for a fee.  This fee covers the costs of the shoot.  On the date of the shoot, photographers bring their gear and get shooting.  Others can learn a lot by watching different photographers pose the models and work with the available light to produce gorgeous images.  We share our camera settings, lens choices, and other tips and tricks that have helped us and may help another photographer as well.  Another benefit to attending a shootout is networking with the other photographers and models. I've made some lasting friendships with some of the other photographers I have met at shootouts.

  

We were fortunate enough to be able to host our recent shootout at Building 67 in downtown Omaha, Texas.  Such a great venue for weddings or other functions!  Also, a big "thank you" to our models who did a great job, even in the heat!

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) Child Photographer Family Photographer Senior Photographer Shootout Styled Shoot TuTu Du Monde https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2016/8/photography-shoot-out Thu, 18 Aug 2016 23:30:00 GMT
Tyler + Emma + Court + Grayson + Jasper https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2016/8/tyler-emma-court-grayson-jasper I had the opportunity to shoot a family session for this family earlier this summer.  It was hot, but they were troopers!

Love the connection between Emma and her boys here...

 

Mom did a great job picking out their outfits!  Neutrals are classic and timeless.  

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shanaccarterphotography@gmail.com (Shana C. Carter Photography, LLC) child photographer family family photos family pictures https://www.shanaccarterphotography.com/blog/2016/8/tyler-emma-court-grayson-jasper Sun, 14 Aug 2016 17:42:50 GMT