The Kindness Challenge

When was the last time you took pictures? If you’re like me, it wasn’t that long ago as I was practicing facial expressions in this morning’s “selfie adventure” lol. Chances are though, that you are among the more common side of the population who generally avoid personal photos for as long as they can.Shooting your star moments!

Far more frequently as adults we opt to avoid the photographic opportunities we seek to capture. Thinking that the moment, perfectly framed, frozen in time is better in some way without our presence. I hear the excuses all the time; “not today”, “let me get dolled up first”, “I want to loose a couple of pounds” or “I just don’t like how I look in pictures” we opt to remove our countenance from joys of today with the hope that tomorrow will be different.

And yes, tomorrow will be different, but the moments will be gone. With every excuse, we keep ourselves out of the visual archives of family history that our children will return to and share for generations to come. The photos they will use to describe who we are and our roles to their children will be left to just words.Shooting your star moments!
Not to mention, the idea that in denying ourselves these opportunities, we are also in a way saying that there is something lacking in who we are.

As a woman, I know that being self-conscious about my appearance can be a difficult struggle, but as a mom, I know that to my son, I AM PERFECT. He doesn’t care if I’m wearing makeup or in my pj’s, he thinks I’m beautiful and if he’s like me, he will always think his mom is beautiful. Our families are not looking to see the latest styles or the skinniest version of our physical selves. They want to enjoy the memories of love in our eyes and bliss in our smiles.

So whether you want to loose a few pounds or need a tan or don’t like your freckles; take your mind off those things and put yourself out there any way. Take your mind off what you think are imperfections and allow them to be the things that make you beautiful!

Today is random acts of kindness day and I challenge each of you to be kind to yourself!Shooting your star moments!

Remember: “you may not be perfect, but you are an original, limited edition!”~author unknown

For the love of Shutter Pt. 1

As someone who really loves seeing the beauty through the eye of my lens it can be hard to throttle back the amount of images I capture. This is especially true since my shooting time is so limited (if you didn’t know I have a full time admin job, an insane hunger for learning, and a family complete with kids, husband, & dogs). So when I’m out at a session or just wandering around some of the beautiful places I see, I just can’t help taking pictures……LOTS of them.
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This is great for the experience of studying my work and eye value later, but not so great when I’m on a timed session or it’s time to pick and choose what to show, keep, and share.
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I think I may have a shutter addiction (don’t judge me, the struggle is real). My clients love the fact they have so many awesome and breathtaking photos to choose from, but for me picking favorites is a nail-biting, on the edge of your seat thriller.

As I get busier with appointments, I had to creat a set of rules to follow before, during, and after sessions. So here’s the first of three posts about what you can expect me to be doing so we can stay on track:

1. Define a clear vision that we want to get from the session. This happens in our scheduling conversation (if its a major session we might have several). Be clear about what you want your portraits to look like. If you don’t have an exact idea, we can create one that you’ll love together based on things you enjoy.
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2. Set a time-limit for each activity. If your session is a 2 hour beach photo shoot for your family and you want to change clothes once, there’s no worries about how we can time that (an hour in each outfit), but if you have a mini-shoot (generally 45 minutes) changing clothes is really not a great option. This being said, if you want a shoot that shows several different scenes, we have to allot for that as well. .facebook_1406151074757

What do you love about how your favorite photographer manages their sessions? If you’re the portrait artist, what are some of the things you do to keep control of your sessions?

What to expect, when you’re expecting….Great Portraits

Lately I’ve received a LOT of referral business and that is AWESOME, but it made me reconsider the expectations new clients have for me.

Of course, they want great quality images that truly portray who they are, but for me that’s not enough! I expect the portraits I capture to really reflect the emotion hidden behind the eyes of my subjects! I want that flaming passion to rise, the excitement to glow, and the love to rush through each picture pouring onto the viewer in a way that is so textured its transports you!Shooting your star moments!

The easiest way to accomplish this is to make sure my clients enjoy their session and have confidence in me as their photographer. So it’s important that we chat a bit before we even meet to find out a little about each other. Then we chat some more when it’s photo time and throughout the session we talk, laugh, and play in order to lower barriers; truly displaying the person’s spirit.Shooting your star moments!

Other things I think clients are looking for are guidance; what to wear, how to pose, should we bring props? My honest opinion is that all of this is a matter of preference. Clothing shouldn’t be the center of your portraits (even if it’s the BIG day, you should always be the shining star, not your dress).

Pick clothes that look nice and are comfortable yes, but aren’t so busy or bright that they overpower YOU! Remember you wear the clothes not the other way around. I generally suggest items that arent too flashy (unless that’s what you like), keeping patterns to a minimum, complimentary makeup, jewelry that isn’t excessive in size, those kinds of things. Then I tell people don’t worry so much about poses, we’ll get to those when we get there, but if you find one you REALLY love we can totally include it in the session.
Props make a session fun and can add a little variety to the portraits you take, but keep it to a minimum (2 or 3 tops) or you’ll have more silly momento-like portraits and not enough of the ones you’d like to send out as wedding announcements or Christmas cards.
Shooting your star moments!

All in all, no matter who your portrait artist is, your session should be a reflection of you with an artist’s flair. Don’t stress too much over the small stuff. Have fun with your photographer and let the naturla smiles flow!

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What do you expect from your Portrait Photographer?

The WHY……

Shooting your star moments!

Yesterday, I read a blog by a popular photographer (who also happened to be a military spouse).  In her post, she talked about the struggles she faced rebuilding her business in new markets  and how she almost gave up.  This definitely hit home for me, moreso because I’m still building my brand and will probably be facing a move within the next year. 

Shooting your star moments!

Sad, I know, but it is what military life is all about.  Packing up and starting fresh in a new place….

But I digress.  In the blog she mentioned the difficulties she had gaining momentum and the impairment changing her fee schedule had on her confidence and I could definitely relate!  Although I have not had to experience this first hand yet (I know it’s coming), I could relate on the level of confidence. 

Shooting your star moments!

In a business where you are only as good as your last session, you find yourself competing to make the “newest trend” in portraiture.  It’s so easy to get caught up in trying to immulate and perfect what everyone else is doing you forget to do the things that make you unique as a photographic artist.  And although trying different styles from other photographers is a way to help you grow (something we all should strive to continue), it doesn’t hurt to merge what you’ve learned with how you want your art to speak to you.

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Afterall, isn’t art just an evolution of the spirit presented in a creative medium? 

If this post speaks to you on any level and I hope it speaks to someone, please know that your view of the world is worth sharing, whether you sing it, dance it, or capture it in a portrait.  Share what you recognized and maybe, just maybe it will tap the heartstrings of someone else!

Always evolving,

Deme Star

It’s OK to Paint…..With Light

Some say that anyone can take a picture and while that is true, not everyone can paint with light. To me that is really what separates just taking pictures from photography.
Taking the time to look at what you have in front of you and transforming it into a creative vision that people are proud of. A moment in their lives they can hold close even if only for one more second.
Portrait photography helps keep memories alive in a shareable way that sparks a different kind of nostalgia and I think that is the biggest reason why I love it!
Shooting your star moments!