Maggie Takes Pix: Blog https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog en-us (C) Maggie Takes Pix (Maggie Takes Pix) Fri, 17 May 2024 01:41:00 GMT Fri, 17 May 2024 01:41:00 GMT https://www.maggietakespix.com/img/s/v-12/u1071866758-o1063903939-50.jpg Maggie Takes Pix: Blog https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog 120 90 Available Presentations https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/5/available-presentations Did you know that Maggie Takes Pix is available for speaking engagements? I’m currently offering four topics of varying lengths and formats.

  1. “The Importance of a Photograph" is a TED-like talk that dives into why someone should be photographed by a professional - regularly. It’s personal. It’s emotional. It’s motivating. It’s about 15 minutes long. 
  2. Everyone has a personal brand (read: reputation), whether they have crafted it themselves or someone has crafted it for them. “Personal Branding 101" can be presented as a 10-minute high-level introduction or as a 45-minute presentation or breakout session that covers how to show up the way you want to be seen. It can also be structured as a full day workshop that dives even deeper into branding strategies.
  3. “Looking Good in Pix” can be offered as a 10-minute introduction to help the camera-shy or a 45-minute presentation or breakout session that touches on everything from what to wear, lighting, posing for individuals and groups, and even how to take better selfies.
  4. Want a blend of all three topics? “Overcoming Blocks to Visibility" covers a bit of everything. Designed as a 30-minute presentation, there is an optional workshop component to add more practical value that brings the “runtime" to about 50 minutes.

Some statistics regarding the importance of imagery vs words.Imagery is stronger than words.Imagery is processed faster than words.

So, what makes me qualified to lead these sessions? In brief, I have the education (a BA in Journalism, an MBA, and tons of continuing education), experience (practical practice both in my own business and by helping others), and ability (former middle and high school teacher, as well as adult trainer). 

If you are looking for someone to speak to your group, please give me a call. Let’s chat about what would be most engaging for them.

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) professional photographer https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/5/available-presentations Fri, 17 May 2024 12:00:00 GMT
Why choose Maggie Takes Pix https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/5/why-choose-maggie-takes-pix I've been thinking a lot lately about what makes me different as a photographer from others in the area. Honestly, what I do is a luxury service experience and product, not a commodity. There are quite a few commodity photographers out there, referred to in the industry as “shoot and burn” that provide lots of photos for relatively inexpensive pricing.

I am not a commodity photographer.

I want to get to know you and your vision for your photographs. I want these images to be a worthwhile investment: something you are happy to hang on the wall or place on the mantle or shelf and share with family and friends. I want these to be the pictures you not only want to pass down but that will be of the quality you that you can.

So, you know you want photos. Why invest in a portrait experience with Maggie Takes Pix instead of someone else?

  1. Discovery Call. I really want to meet with you ahead of booking your photoshoot. I want to find out what ideas you have for your photographs. Is it a special occasion? Is it time to update your headshots? Is there a special birthday you want to celebrate? Did you move to a new home and want to fill a wall with a gallery of portraits celebrating your new space? Or capture memories in your old space before you go? Perhaps you want to make an album for your coffee table or bookshelf. Are these photos a gift for someone else? Or a gift for you? Do they involve other people? What vision do you have for your portraits? Indoors in my studio, at your home, or somewhere else? Outdoors at a local park, my studio backyard, or someplace special you like to go? Do you want them to be more relaxed / casual, formal / traditional, glamorous, or creative? Do you want hairstyling and makeup services?  All of these thoughts – and more – go into creating an experience you’ll enjoy and the photographs you’ll love.
  2. Consultation. The consultation is where we design your photo shoot. Sometimes it's simple and can be done over e-mail, and sometimes happens after you arrive at the studio. But ideally I will meet you at your home ahead of time, since this is where your photos are going to live, to find out more about your particular aesthetic. This will allow me to better guide you when it comes to specifics for preparation and will inform the product choices I offer. Your photographs will ideally coordinate with your home decor, so what you wear in the images and the frames you choose to surround them, the size(s) of the finished pieces, et cetera, will all be taken into account. And, since I'm there, I can help you shop your closet for shoot day outfits. If we can’t find anything you’re thrilled with, I do have several pieces in my studio wardrobe we can use. I am also willing to go shopping for the perfect outfit with you.
  3. Styling Assistance. You will receive my Client Preparation Guide ahead of time, filled with tips on how to prepare for your photoshoot. Included are tips for choosing what to wear, from fit to color, to final little details that can enhance your look. As mentioned earlier, I’m happy to help with clothing selection, and to coordinate hair and/or makeup services from trained professionals to help pamper you for the day. My hair and makeup artists can help you relax and know you will look great: not overdone but enhanced. Should you choose to do your own hair and makeup, there are tips in the Guide for makeup application for the camera.
  4. Lighting and Set Considerations. Regardless of your set choice, I will make sure that you are lit in a complimentary manner. I tend to use what's called “flat” lighting – even, with few shadows – as most of the people I photograph are a little more… let’s say… experienced. I find that this lighting style fills in shadows caused by smile lines, so the finished picture is a little nicer. If you want something dramatic in lighting, I am happy to do that for you, as well. If we are outdoors, I will also make sure that the light is even. I will use a diffuser or find a shady spot to make sure you do not have dapples of light and shadow on your face, which can be distracting. I will be watching for things like trees poking out of the top of your head, horizon lines cutting you off at the neck, and other distractions in the background.
  5. Posing Guidance. Most people do not know how to pose for the camera… and that’s okay! I'm here to help! I will guide you with poses that flatter and prompts that provide movement. I have learned more than a few tricks over the years to help translate your three-dimensional body into a good two-dimensional image – no matter your size or shape. From your toes to your nose... and what to do with your hands... we'll make sure you look great. Take the tips you learn from our photo session together and use them the next time someone points a cell phone camera in your direction.
  6. Session Length. Generally, we will take as long at a session as we need for you to feel confident that we have captured what you want to see in your pictures. For a simple headshot, that may be 20-30 minutes. For a high school senior session, that may be several hours. Multiple sets, multiple outfits, whatever you would like... but I will tell you that both of us will be exhausted if you go more than three hours.
  7. Image Choice. No, I’m not going to throw a filter on your pictures and send you the whole batch online. You’ll end up with a bunch of photos you don’t really like, cluttering up digital space, and there’s a good chance you’ll add “go through photos” to your To Do list, become overwhelmed with the thought, and never actually get around to printing any of them, and regretting the whole process. What I am going to do is go through all of them, choose the 10-15 (or so) best images from each set, make sure they are properly exposed / color corrected / cropped / in focus, and then meet with you in person. We’ll go through your proofs together so you can choose the images you love. Sometimes that decision can be difficult, so I am there to provide my expert opinion on which I think are better, depending on your planned use. You only buy the ones you want; there is no minimum purchase required.
  8. Retouching. Once you’ve selected and purchased your favorite images, I will give them what is called a master retouch. Blemishes and lint will be removed, fly away hairs will be smoothed, backgrounds will be fixed.... Basically I will be going over every inch of every image to make sure it looks fantastic. You'll be able to put it up on a billboard and no one will know that you had a rogue hair. More importantly, you’ll be able to walk by the enlargement on your wall without regretting the nail polish chip you got on the way to the studio.
  9. Quality Products. Yes, you can get digitals, but I strongly encourage you to get professional prints in some form. Local camera shops are disappearing, and discount stores have terrible quality (both in look and longevity). Technology will change again, and we will no longer be able to retrieve those files off a floppy disk  compact disc USB drive… and online access is not always available. You’ve invested in the portrait session experience; you should invest in a physical souvenir of it! The photographic prints and products that I provide are archival quality and made to last. I have a product pricing guide that goes into great detail about the items I've chosen to offer, from gift prints to albums to wall art, covering their features and benefits. Once your selected items have arrived, I’ll do a quality control check and deliver your products to you… and even hang those photos on the wall for you.
  10. Experience. Service. Heart. I've been doing this professionally since May 2010 and I have learned where many of the bumps in the road are. I want to take care of as much of the work involved in having a photo session as possible. I want to make it easy for you to say, “Yes!” I want to remove any burdens or hassles, whether that's choosing what to wear or choosing the images to print or finding the time/nails/hammer to actually hang the pictures. I want you to feel relaxed and confident in the whole process.

My goal is to help you see yourself in images that reflect you at your very best. A custom portrait session can – and should – create an enjoyable experience that leads to having photographs you are proud of and want to share, that remind you of the beautiful person you are at this very moment. This is what I strive for.  And this is how I do it. This is what makes me different.

I want this for you.

I want there to be photographic evidence of your incredible shine, the way you want to be seen.

Let’s create it together.

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(Maggie Takes Pix) portraits professional photographer session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/5/why-choose-maggie-takes-pix Fri, 10 May 2024 13:25:47 GMT
Portraits of Tammie https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/5/portraits-of-tammie Tammie was the last of my Over 50 with Maggie participants in the Fall 2023 celebration... and I was thrilled to be able to include this champion of service.

Her story:

My name is Tammie Mullins-Rice and I live in Virginia Beach, Virginia but I am originally from Baltimore, MD. I am 60 years old, and I am the Hospice Volunteer Coordinator for Sentara Enterprises. While I was raised in Baltimore, my family roots extend north to New York and south into both Carolinas.  I grew up very close to my cousins. After college, I moved to San Diego met my husband and started my life as a Navy wife. I have two adult children and have spent the last 30 years working in the nonprofit field, with the majority in volunteer management.

Have your values changed over time? No. I still value time with my family, friends, and church. Two major changes in my life were my divorce and the loss of my parents. The change for me was recognizing I matter, and it is okay to do things that make me happy. I will go to the movies, concerts, or events on my own. Bucket list items include: traveling to historic, iconic sites or National Parks with my daughter. Two big ones were the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls.  Most recently, we toured the National Volcano Park in Hawaii; my son joined us on that trip.

I would like people to see me as consistent and fair. Willing to listen and work on a solution. My favorite trait: my flexibility. I am always willing to see the other side or point of view. I may not always agree but I will listen and consider other’s opinions.

What is the one piece of advice would you give your 20-something self? Change your major to computer science.

“Life is short - don’t waste a minute being unhappy.”

African American woman wearing glasses, large pearl necklace, and lavender dress in front of a blooming flower bush. African American woman wearing glasses and a pearl necklace with a black-and-white polka dot dress. African American woman wearing glasses and a pearl necklace with a black-and-white polka dot dress. African American woman wearing glasses and a pearl necklace with a black-and-white polka dot dress.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here!

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty portraits https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/5/portraits-of-tammie Fri, 03 May 2024 12:00:00 GMT
Portraits of Jeannie https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/4/portraits-of-jeannie It took both Karen and Regina to prompt Jeannie to be photographed. She was very reluctant, but the results speak for themselves! She had so much fun, and we captured some gorgeous photos of her!

Here's a bit of her story:

Not old, but “less young” at age 69.  Born and lived most of my life in Roanoke. 

I’m retiring soon, having spent most of my career in banking. I was also fortunate to train and practice massage therapy.

My focus has been family. My two sons and two grandchildren are my greatest joys and accomplishments. 

I don’t have a list of talents, but one that’s most appreciated is my baking😊

Most people perceive me as a strong, independent woman with a kind heart. I feel that my kindness is my best trait.

I have survived many hardships and obstacles in this lifetime and if I could say something to my 20-year-old self that could have helped navigate, it would be: You are lovable, worth so much more than you have been made to feel. And, you have a voice!!! 

To my 69-year-old self, I’d say that it’s never too late to listen to your voice. I now have a future that gives me so much to look forward to. 

Not a quote, but words in an old song by Jewell that have always spoken to my heart: “In the end, only kindness matters.”

Older woman with red hair wearing a brown sleeveless dress, sitting in a blue armchair, kicking up her cheetah-print heels. Older redhaired woman Older redhaired woman

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here!

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty portraits https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/4/portraits-of-jeannie Fri, 26 Apr 2024 12:00:00 GMT
Portraits of Regina https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/4/portraits-of-regina After Karen shared her Over 50 with Maggie experience, Regina was onboard! She didn't want anything formal, though; that just wasn't really her style. As much as I'd like you to take my clothing advice or take the opportunity to pull out that formal gown from the back of the closet that you never get to wear, or borrow one of my studio closet pieces, your portrait session is about you, not me.

Now more about Regina, the small business owner who enjoyed her session so much she's considered another.

Her story:

My name is Regina, but to my family and old school friends I am called Nina (pronounced Neena). Born in the beautiful mountains of Marion, I have always lived in Virginia, from Chester to Virginia Beach to Roanoke (for an astounding 36 years!). All of my life I have loved the Blue Ridge mountains in VA, the beach, horses (I owned for over 40 years) and cats (especially Persians). For the past 15 years I have owned water turtles—some call me the “turtle whisperer.” And I love to travel! I try to go when the opportunity arises!

I am a feisty 67 year old Aries workaholic who has always “burned the candle at both ends” as my Grandmother would say. Not only loving to barter and horse trade, I have always been a consummate salesman (yes-salesMAN) as I realized early in my life that this is a man’s world and I would have to deal with it! Over the years, I have been involved in family businesses including owning my own sign company and an independent owner-operator of July 4th fireworks stands business - BOTH for over 24 years.

On my bucket list, my most favorite thing I have checked off is the 12 day “Wine Dine and Tour” trip to Italy with my then 79 year old mother and stepdad. She was a real trouper and a great travel companion. Perfect weather, fantastic food and wine and sites; a special time as this would be the last trip I would have with them before my mother passed.

One of the things that gets me up and motivated everyday (other than hungry cats!) in the morning is the daily challenges and dealings in my sign business. It is always new and fresh; each customer has their own unique sign needs that has to be met. I love designing and producing the signs; seeing the results that make customers proud of their business image.

I am the most confident now as I have ever been in my whole life. All of my experiences combined with the work and moral ethics my mother raised me with has led me to be confident in my decisions (no regrets). I just wish that I could have felt this way a lot earlier in life (say 30-40’s!). I would have made much different and wiser choices in my life I am sure. The piece of advice I would give my 20-something year old self is to find out EARLY what you really LOVE to do and to find a job that pays you to do what you love already!

Over 50 blond woman wearing a blue and white blouse and jeans under a tree. Over 50 blond woman wearing a gray top with flowers and blue jeans, smiling. Over 50 blond woman wearing a blue and white blouse and jeans under a tree. Blond woman in gray shirt with pale pink flowers holding a fluffy tabby cat.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here!

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty portraits https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/4/portraits-of-regina Fri, 19 Apr 2024 12:00:00 GMT
Portraits of Karen https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/4/portraits-of-karen Karen brought Jeannie to her session with her for moral support... and later convinced both her and their friend Regina to participate! All three ladies are well-accomplished, inspiring, and so much fun to get to spend time with.

Here's Karen's story from last fall's Over 50 commemoration:

I work professionally as a licensed massage therapist, yoga teacher (one-on-one for osteoporosis/scoliosis), craniosacral therapist, Reiki Master, and less professionally, as a maker of pottery, both functional and decorative. I have a rental office in the quaint little town of   Fincastle (Botetourt County) and a small studio space for pottery at my home. 

I grew up in a rural area on a dirt road about four miles out of Fincastle, VA, with my parents and a couple siblings, lots of uncles and aunts, a cousin or two, and a grandmother all within walking distance. My life was very sheltered with an overly religious upbringing. I was quite studious, but although I did get a lucrative scholarship to Hollins College, I had such low self-esteem that I was afraid I'd be bullied by rich, entitled girls. Instead, I found myself doing clerical work for the next 20 years. I was bored and hated my life. With counseling, I found a way to attend massage school; it all fell into place at the age of 40. I have been self-employed ever since and still love my job(s)! 

I love to travel and finding places I want to go where I can get training [around the world]. I enjoy nature photography, hiking, riding my Harley, making art, cooking and baking, reading, music, and spending quality time with my many friends.

I decided that I did not wish to turn 65 this year feeling old and decrepit. I just got lab work back and I am no longer prediabetic! I feel more confident every day. I recently held a 25-year work anniversary celebration and the accolades from colleagues, clients, and friends were so overwhelming to hear—knowing how I have touched so many lives through my work filled my heart with joy. I am most fulfilled when I can do something for someone else, but now I am also seeing that I can be better at that when I am practicing self-care.

I look back on my younger self in photos and see a beautiful, green-eyed redhead who had absolutely no idea she was gorgeous due to that little demon on the shoulder whispering, "You're not enough" and I wish I could tell her to *flick the demon off​ and stomp on him once and for all. Working to become fit and healthier has made me feel 15 years younger, so that's the woman I see and adore in these photos.

blond woman over the age of 50 wearing a sleeveless royal blue top

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here!

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty portraits https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/4/portraits-of-karen Fri, 12 Apr 2024 12:18:43 GMT
Portraits of Laura H https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/4/portraits-of-laura-h Laura is a "regular" headshot client, as an actor, and chose to combine an update with an Over 50 Experience. I'm cheating this time by sharing some of my favorite photographs from several sessions.

She shared her story:

I’m a wife, mother, business professional, small business owner, and actress. I was born at Lynchburg General, and have lived my entire life in the Lynchburg, VA, area, except for the 4 years I went to college. I am the mother of 2 wonderful adult children.

Significant points in my life: graduating college, getting married, having my 2 children. Graduating college made me realize that life isn’t easy, as I struggled to find a job in my field. However, once I got a job (not in my field), I did everything I could to be successful at it. Getting married and having children changed the focus from myself to focusing on family.

People typically describe me as a “take charge” woman who doesn’t need help. I’ve also been told that I’m the strongest woman people know. However, I would like people to describe me as kind and supportive.

I think the biggest “myth” I would like to bust is that it’s too late to try something new. This is definitely not the case. I didn’t start my small business or start acting until I was in my mid-40’s. I think I’m more likely to try new things now that I’m older, and realize that it’s never too late to try something new!

The one piece of advice that I would give my 20-something self is not to care what other people think. Do what you know is best for you.

My “life quote” is that I give everything I’ve got to everything I do.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here!

 

 

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty portraits https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/4/portraits-of-laura-h Fri, 05 Apr 2024 12:00:00 GMT
Portraits of Sonya https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/3/portraits-of-sonya Sonya needed new headshots and decided to combine it with an Over 50 Experience.

Her story:

My core values have been the same for as long as I can remember.  My family, my moral compass and being me.  They mean more as I get older.

Losing my parents at 12 and 35 taught me early that life can change in a minute.  Do all that you can in the time that you are given.  Use your talents and never leave anything on the table. 

I think I’ve had a fairly successful career.  I received my college degree at 43.  I’ve traveled the world and seen so many sights.  My son is grown and a good person.

I love fiercely.  At times I can be brutally honest.  I have a servant’s heart.  I am someone that they can always count on. 

I never put myself in a box.  I love to learn and often step out of my comfort zone.

The world is wide.  Life is short.  TRAVEL. 

Always find a seat closest to the front! What you see depends on where you sit.

 

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." - Mahatma Gandi

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here!

 

 

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty portraits https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/3/portraits-of-sonya Fri, 29 Mar 2024 12:00:00 GMT
Portraits of Amy https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/3/portraits-of-amy Amy and I had so much fun capturing her spirit during our Over 50 session, and she went home with quite a few. This is just a sampling.

Her story:

Hi, my name is Amy Connolly. I live in Staunton, Virginia, and I am 54. Currently, I am an independent travel advisor at AmyConnolly.intelliletravel.com (no WWW).

I am the second of five girls born to a Seamen and a Gypsy, traveling all over the US. It was the not so typical, typical '70s life. 

At the age of 13 years I was no longer living with family. I was a ward of the state and then on my own. Like everyone's life, it has its good and bad. I moved out of foster care, graduated and had my first daughter all at the age of 18. My next daughter came at 20. I did what all single mothers do. I worked my butt off to make ends meet. Now I’m grandmother of three amazing individuals.

When people look back on their lives, I hope that we all have changes in values of our beliefs. It's all about learning and growing. Having fought for everything all my life, I have realized that temperance and compromise have more value in the world. When you learn to make the changes in your life is not always about you. For me, they came when I was given away, when I had my children, and the birth of my grandchildren. The biggest changes were from loss. The loss of my grandparents, parents, friends and sister all within 5 years. What do I like about myself and how I would like people to remember me is that I have a big heart. Bucket List is forever growing but parasailing is no longer on it and one piece of advice, I can choose only one?

Keep your eyes and ears open and only speak when you are standing for justice.

Now I have a life quote. Some will get it. Some will not.

“The hardest thing in this world is to live in it. Be brave live.”

- Josh Whedon / spoken by Sarah Michelle Geller in as Buffy, the Vampire Slayer.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here!

 

 

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty portraits https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/3/portraits-of-amy Fri, 22 Mar 2024 12:00:00 GMT
Portraits of Laura M https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/3/portraits-of-laura-m Laura participated in the first round of the Over 50 Experience and got lots of photos to include in her scrapbook.

If you don't know her already, she's a sales and marketing professional, currently at WSET ABC13 as a Marketing Consultant. She holds an MBA from Averett University and was a BS marketing major Virginia Tech. 

She serves the Forest Rotary Club on their Board on Directors and is an Ambassador with the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance.

Happily married with one son, her advice: be true to yourself. Know who you are and embrace yourself.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here!

 

 

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty portraits https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/3/portraits-of-laura-m Fri, 15 Mar 2024 12:00:00 GMT
Portraits of Susan https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/3/portraits-of-susan Susan was one of the participants in the first round of the Over 50 Experience. She's a multiple business owner who's dedicated to living a great life with her family... but I'll let her tell you about it:

My favorite trait about myself is that I love unconditionally. Unconditional love defined by me is that you love your family; i.e., my children and grandchildren specifically, no matter what and no matter the circumstances. You can truly love the person unconditionally, but not the action. Unconditional love is not just saying it, but truly living it. 

Most people think that when you turn 50 life is halfway over…. At 50, I decided that the next 50 years were going to be amazing and the best 50 years of my life. I also, thought that I would be staying at home waiting for my children and grandchildren to spend time with me.  I realized that they too have a life for themselves, and I needed to enjoy the journey not the destination. I have had so many cool adventures, i.e., zipling, parasailing, spending weekends riding my SXS (Side x Side) on trails in WV, KY, TN. I traveled north to CT (I haven’t been much past Baltimore, MD). We are planning a month long vacation with our camper and SXS going to Maine and Canada.

I will never stop learning or trying new things. I own two businesses now (Dragon Recovery and S & M Shed Adventures) and I don’t foresee me stopping….. I finished college at 45 to show my children that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to, and it doesn’t come with an age restriction.  I have been a part of Leadership Lynchburg to immerse myself in working with other personalities to make myself better.  I would say that my ambitions to be all that God made me to be started at age 50.  I have more goals, more ambition, more willingness to learn at this age.

I have a bucket list, it started small, but the beauty of a bucket list is that you can add to it at any time. Even though my list is mine, I always try to include members of my family, so they get to enjoy their journey. About 10 years ago, I started giving the gift of presence to my grandchildren for their birthdays and Christmas. We have been on helicopter rides, pirate boat tours, train rides, beach trips, NASA, and indoor skydiving in Virginia Beach. I got to    enjoy the new experience with them and to see the joy in them trying something they probably would not have put on their bucket list.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here!

 

 

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty portraits https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/3/portraits-of-susan Fri, 08 Mar 2024 13:00:00 GMT
Portraits of Lisa https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/3/portraits-of-lisa Lisa celebrated turning 75 with a photoshoot and participation in the Over 50 project.

Here's a bit of this delightful lady's story:

I am an original baby-boomer, a happy individual that savors every waking moment and loves to share smiles and laughter. To be honest I think I am a child of God’s as my Mother told me she did everything she knew to abort me. I was born healthy and legitimately at the U. S. Naval Hospital in Chelsea, Massachusetts. I am 77 and retired.

I was taken to Vermont as soon as my Mother was allowed to travel with me and we lived on the family farm until my Father got out of the Navy, then we moved to Urbana, IL, from there to someplace in California, back to VT with my Mother when I was around 2, there until she married again when I was 5, and we moved to Cambridge, MA, until my step-father graduated from MIT, then to New Haven, CT, where he graduated from Yale. I was adopted by them when I was 12 so we could travel to Europe. After seven years living in the Chicago area, another divorce, back to VT. Graduated from high school there, went to Bishop DeGoesbriand Hospital in Burlington, VT, to Nursing School until I was 18.

Met my natural Father in Urbana, IL, that year, then worked various jobs. Met my first husband and moved to NYC, NY, for a year, then we came back to Burlington, and divorced within another year. The next five years were fulfilled by getting to know my Father and his family, then I moved to Waynesboro, VA, on June 6, 1972, met a man on June 10; we fell in love, virtually at first sight, and we married June 30, 1972. We had a son in 1975. I believe we were happily married and lived happily ever after until he got ill and died May 26, 2018.

I write letters and send cards with notes and have since 1959. It continues to be my hobby. Meeting my last husband was the significant change in my life. The life we had together was better than I imagined life might be for me. I honestly believe God gets me up in the morning and enlightens my days. He motivates me to embrace every moment. I like the idea of people seeing me and smiling!! The piece of advice I would give that 20 year old is that you can’t make other people happy, they have to do that for themselves.

Life quote: “Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been.” - Mark Twain

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here!

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty portraits https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/3/portraits-of-lisa Fri, 01 Mar 2024 13:00:00 GMT
Portraits of Joy https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/2/portraits-of-joy Joy participated in the first celebration of the strength, beauty, and wisdom of women over the age of 50. She was one of our earlier participants, driving something like two hours to get to the studio. She is a travel nurse and was unable to return her questionnaire... but we had such a good time together. Joy brought her (adult) daughter to the session, so I was able to enlist her as an assistant, which lead to some fun pix with flying rose petals!

Here are a few of her photographs:

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty portraits https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/2/portraits-of-joy Fri, 23 Feb 2024 13:00:00 GMT
Portraits of Janis https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/2/portraits-of-janis Introducing Janis H. Fugel, ARM, AINS, AU, CPHRM—Director, Financial Risk Management, and participant in my first "Over 50 with Maggie" celebration:

Losing my husband to cancer in 2016 changed my life forever. He was my support system. I leaned on him for so many things. I had to learn to do things on my own. He was no longer there to ‘fix’ things for me and I had to learn to rely on myself.

I’ve always wanted to travel. Growing up, my family didn’t have the resources to travel. I’ve been on cruises by myself and I have a solo trip to Portugal planned. I have a job I enjoy that has a lot of responsibility. I’ve learned to rise to the challenge each day. I’m contemplating retirement now and don’t know how the lack of responsibility will sit with me.

Last year, I had to stand in for my manager to give a presentation to our Board of Directors. Normally that would have upped my anxiety level but I made sure I was prepared and knocked it out of the park. I was able to answer all questions that were asked without a   moment’s hesitation.

I’m responsible and I get things done. On a personal level, I had to help both my ailing     husband and my aging mother get the health services they needed. Fortunately I work in healthcare and knew the right people to ask. On a professional level, I know the “right” people to help me get the job done.

The one piece of advice I’d give my 20 something self is do not be afraid to speak out and stand up for yourself.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a personal or professional situation.  Do your homework first and get out there and shine.

My favorite quote is by Oscar Wilde, “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.” I’ve learned that I don’t need to be part of the pack or like everyone else. I’m me! I don’t care if that scares people off or turns people off (especially men!).

 

 


Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here!

 

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty portraits https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/2/portraits-of-janis Fri, 16 Feb 2024 13:00:00 GMT
Portraits of Debi https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/2/portraits-of-debi Deborah, or Debi, participated in the first celebration of the strength, beauty, and wisdom of women over 50. I've been honored to take branding photos of her as an acupuncturist, but this session featured her wildlife photography passion.

Here's her story:

Most people call me Debi; I’m currently 63 years old.  I am a Licensed Acupuncturist and Doctor of Oriental Medicine and the owner of Acupuncture Works, LLC.  

I am originally from Berea, KY; when I was 28 years old, I moved to Montego Bay, Jamaica, where I was employed as Managing Director of a Data Processing company. After nearly 2 decades of working in Jamaica, I lost my job due to a company buyout. At the age of 40, I enrolled in acupuncture school, earned a Master’s degree in Oriental Medicine with a Bachelor’s of Professional Health Sciences. I moved to Richmond, VA, where I worked as an independent contractor before opening Acupuncture Clinic of Richmond. In 2013, I met my forever guy, Paul McCroskey, and in 2016 moved to Lynchburg, VA.  In 2019, I closed the Richmond office. Paul and I do wildlife photography as a hobby.

My values have not really changed over time.  I’ve always valued important relationships and that our time here is very short. I still value my relationships and over the last 15 years have balanced my work and personal time so that I can continue to enjoy living life and all that it has to offer. When I turned 50, I made a bucket list of places in the world that I wanted to see. It’s very hard to pick one favorite thing; however, I would say the Serengeti. I’ve fallen in love with Africa and have made three trips and am planning a fourth.

I would like to be described as the person who lived life to the fullest and welcomed the challenges that made me grow to the woman that I am now.  I would like people to know that I am strong, resilient, how much I enjoy helping others, and my playfulness. My favorite trait about myself is my courage, strength, and how much I love all that life has to offer.

My ambitions are to continue to serve my community through my work, do my best to stay healthy, and to continue to enjoy life to the fullest. My ambitions have not changed since I turned 50. 

What I would tell any 20-year-old now is the same advice I gave myself when I was that age, which is set your goals, be kind, be honest, save for the future and emergencies, and don’t wait until tomorrow comes to reach your dreams. Life is to be lived. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here!


 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty branding portraits https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/2/portraits-of-debi Fri, 09 Feb 2024 13:00:00 GMT
Portraits of Cindy https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/2/portraits-of-cindy Cindy was a two-time participant in the Fall 2023 Over 50 with Maggie experience. She was originally photographed very early on, but in the interim lost over 120 pounds... so she got updated images before we held our celebration of the strength, beauty, and wisdom of this first group of participants.

Her story:

The single most significant point of change in my life was August 2, 2011, the day my husband, Dan, died. I thought about saying it was the day we married, or the day we became parents for the first time. But neither of those changed who I was at that moment. There were, of course, changes that happened because of both of those. But those changes happened gradually. The day Dan died, I changed forever. I became someone else at my core. Eventually, I have been able to use my grief to become more confident, resilient, and brave. The person I am now is my favorite version of myself.

There have only been two items on my bucket list. One was going on a cruise and I’ve done that. It was everything I’d hoped it would be. The other is going to Ireland. My son has instructions that if I die before making it there, he is to take some of my ashes and send them there. I don’t care how he accomplishes it. That’s his problem, not mine.

Right now is when I feel the most confident. I spent a large part of my life worrying about what others thought of me and felt that I wasn’t enough. Not pretty enough, smart enough, talented enough. I have finally realized that I only have to be enough for myself and for God. I finally like who I am.

I can’t stand it when people think they are too old to learn something new. I especially hate it when they use age as an excuse for not knowing how to use technology. It was our generation that came up with the personal computer. I taught my children how to use computers. It’s true that technology has been changing at a rapid pace, but it’s ridiculous to use age as a reason for not keeping up with it. I’d much rather hear someone say they just weren’t interested enough to learn than use age as an excuse.

At age 66, I think I’m at my most ambitious stage. I have started a business and have worked harder at it than any other job I’ve ever had. It’s something that I can call my own and any success or failure is mine and only mine. It’s also the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done, because it comes from the heart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here!

 

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty portraits https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/2/portraits-of-cindy Fri, 02 Feb 2024 13:00:00 GMT
Portraits of Allison https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/1/portraits-of-allison Alli participated in my first "Over 50 with Maggie" Portrait Experience. She is a multi-talented artist and dear friend. Her featured photo was taken during a branding session for her business, Alligraphy Photography and Script.

Her story:

What gets me up in the morning?

Coffee. And sunrises.

After that, learning and watching and seeing. I love this time in my life. While raising an amazing stepson, I learned all kinds of things because of his interests and because of my former husbands’ interests. Those things added value and depth that now make things in my life more interesting. I enjoy learning big things and all of the bits and bobs in between.

My ambitions [now] are to feel more together and driven in a new path. I want my own small business to be sustainable, but I also enjoy working in a different area because, yet again, learning new things and meeting new people. I don’t have the corporate “climbing the ladder” yearn anymore, but I do have the drive to be the best I can be at what I am doing and mentoring younger colleagues along the way. I have an ambition to somehow create more family time. More creative time. More exercise time. More time!!

My siblings are older than me. I am the baby of the family and we are all myth busters. From my own perspective, my parents grew and expanded their own horizons after their children were grown and gone and they had retired. It was joyful to see. My sisters and I are still trying new things, doing new things, creating new things. I think that our generations (Gen X and Boomers) are able to truly appreciate the past that didn’t include cell phones or other   pieces of technology, but we have adapted and embraced it.

The wit and humor has so much depth and flavor. I am fortunate to work with people of all of ages, but the humor of post-50’s cannot be beat!

Over 50 business woman Calligraphy business branding Photography business branding

 

 

Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]
 

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty branding portraits https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/1/portraits-of-allison Fri, 26 Jan 2024 13:00:00 GMT
Portraits of Rhonda https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/1/portraits-of-rhonda Rhonda was a participant in the first round of the "Over 50 with Maggie" exhibit.

Her biography:

I'm a small town girl born and raised in Charlotte County, VA. I grew up on a dairy farm in Phenix with my family: Momma, Daddy, older brother and two younger sisters. I learned very early the meaning of hard work and the value of a dollar. I learned a lot of life lessons on the [tobacco] farm; some of the best memories of my childhood were going to the creek after a long days work. I've been married to my husband, H.T., for 32 years; we have three girls, two sons-in-law, and six grandchildren. I'm a 56 year old retired Deputy Sheriff that still lives on that small family farm in Phenix. I have been blessed by God in so many ways.

My values have changed quite a bit. I thought working and having money to be able to provide everything my family wanted was the most important thing. I now know that spending time with them is so much better; being rich has nothing to do with money!! The very first time I went to Virginia Beach I fell in love with the salt water and sand. ...My bucket list to spend... time at the beach.... Every year we try to spend 2-3 weeks at North Myrtle Beach.

I hope people see me as a woman who loves God and her family, [and] describe me as a kind, caring and fair person. But don't mistake my kindness for weakness! I'm an easy going kinda person. I go with the flow of things I don't have to have plans, I don't let little stuff stress me out. I'm not going to worry about things that don't matter or stuff I can't change.

My definition of attractive in my 20's was definitely a physical description; in my 40's it was the way you treated and cared for others. The love a person gave their spouse and children — the look in their eyes made them the most attractive people. Today... attractive people are people that are happy and content in the life they've lived. They are people who you want to be around because the inner beauty shines through.

Advice: Don't do anything stupid!! Karma karma karma… it's real and it will always come back to haunt you. Two quotes I shared with my 5th grade students  a favorite author of mine wrote and I quote loosely " Why try to fit in when you were made to stand out" Dr. Seuss; the other from a famous older lady Madea " it's not what they call you that matters, it's what you answer to that's important."

Celebrate retirementCelebrating retirement Celebrate retirementCelebrating retirement Celebrate retirementCelebrating retirement Celebrate retirementCelebrating retirement Celebrate retirementCelebrating retirement

Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty portraits https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/1/portraits-of-rhonda Fri, 19 Jan 2024 13:00:00 GMT
Portraits of Suzanne https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/1/portraits-of-suzanne Suzanne is an uber-talented woman: actress on stage and screen, dancer, singer... and makeup artist! She's stepped in front of my camera for a variety of looks to use in her portfolio. Here are just a few.

Suzanne was part of my first round of "Over 50 with Maggie" exhibit. 

Her biography:

My values have definitely changed over the years. I value time more now. Time with others, time to go and do. Time, because it is not a guarantee, as we foolishly thought in our younger years.  I value my 91 year old mother and her wisdom, as well as I value my children and their dreams, goals and aspirations. I value my health, and that I know how to take better care of myself. I value my relationship with God, the most important relationship ANYONE can have. The significant points of change in my life are any moment when God 'hit me in the back of the head with a 2x4'. There have been several. One, was when he sent me back home from Los Angeles.... I didn't know why until 10 years later. There were three children He knew would need a loving home, and we adopted them. And the moments that happen when you transform from having two parents to one. The change that had to happen then was most uncomfortable, but growth inspiring. It was then, that many of my aforementioned values took hold.

I have a form of a bucket list, mostly for my career. I've accomplished several of them... like being able to work with some of my favorite actors. Cameron Arnett and Karen Abercrombie are two who were near the top.

We aren't 'out of touch', we are more IN TOUCH with the things that truly matter. We would survive if all this 'internet stuff' disappeared.... we got along without it before it ever came along, we would survive without it. We aren't stupid. We know times are different... duh. However, the human condition hasn't really changed, we are just inundated with so much more 'informational junk' than ever before. We are still born, live and die. All the junk that's been 'added to it' doesn't change any of that.

Naturally, I actually felt most attractive when I thought I was not. As we all look back, how many of us say, "If I could only be as thin as I was when I thought I was fat." We all look back with hindsight that's 20/20. Yet, today as we age and learn new, bolder values, I submit that I feel pretty good about myself right now. I embrace the sparkle God has put in my hair, the lines on my face that display I concerned myself with my children's welfare and sat out in the sun to watch them play ball. I am now, empty nested and can pursue my original passions.... the use of my talents to go where God puts me. To me wisdom, passion, being comfortable in our own skin, and a peacefulness is extremely attractive. Physical attributes take a back seat to all of that. The one piece of advice to my 20 year old self: develop respect for others and yourself, self discipline and healthy boundaries.... in all areas of your life. Health, Relationships, Spirituality, Career paths etc.

 

Portraits in multiple styles, sets, wardrobe changes, professional hair and makeup included.Portraits of SuzanneWomen are multi-faceted. How do you want to be photographed? Portraits in multiple styles, sets, wardrobe changes, professional hair and makeup included.Portraits of SuzanneWomen are multi-faceted. How do you want to be photographed? Portraits in multiple styles, sets, wardrobe changes, professional hair and makeup included.Portraits of SuzanneWomen are multi-faceted. How do you want to be photographed? Portraits in multiple styles, sets, wardrobe changes, professional hair and makeup included.Portraits of SuzanneWomen are multi-faceted. How do you want to be photographed? Portraits in multiple styles, sets, wardrobe changes, professional hair and makeup included.Portraits of SuzanneWomen are multi-faceted. How do you want to be photographed?

Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty portraits https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/1/portraits-of-suzanne Fri, 12 Jan 2024 13:00:00 GMT
Portraits of Sylvia https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/1/portraits-of-sylvia Sylvia was part of the first round of my "Over 50 with Maggie" project. 

Her biography:

Born: Sylvia Ann Johnson in Baxter, Kentucky, I am 79 years old . I grew up in Kentucky. At age 4, I was taken from my home in Baxter to Bledsoe, Kentucky to live in a Baptist Home for Children (AKA orphanage). When I finished 8th grade, I went to Red Bird Mission High School located in Beverly, Kentucky.  Here I lived and worked for my room and school tuition until I graduated high school. I returned to Bledsoe on holiday and two weeks each summer.

After high school I married my sweetheart and went to work for J J Newberry five and ten cent store in Pineville, Kentucky. I was age 18.  I worked there pending my admission to Pineville School for Practical Nursing. Once I began school again I worked part time as nurse aide. When I got my LPN license I went to work full time for Pineville Community Hospital.

I became a mother at age 22. And, once again at age 28. Nothing is as wonderful or as challenging as being a parent. I am very proud of my two children. They are both good citizens and independent.

I moved many times to many places through the years. I kinda had a thing that said “if you don’t like where you are, change it.” Complaining never fixes anything if there is no action. I also feel that if you want something be willing to work for it. I realized I needed to go back to school. I needed to increase my income and my position. I began to take night classes. The last two years I went full time to school and worked part time. I received my RN in 1984. I worked a total of 51 years in nursing.

My husband and I love to do ballroom dancing, hike, and travel.  When we can’t go we both like to read. I do not believe my values have changed. I have always felt that family is the most important thing in life. To love and be loved. My bucket list is never going to be empty. I have done a lot of the things that are on it. It seems each one completed brings two more that I want to do. "Move it or lose it" is more important after age 50.

"You never get a second chance to make a first impression."


Celebrate your birthday with a portrait session.50 over 50older woman glamour shot Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty portraits https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2024/1/portraits-of-sylvia Fri, 05 Jan 2024 13:00:00 GMT
Personal Update - December 2023 https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/12/personal-update-december-2023 Hi, yes, I'm still here.

I haven't posted in a while, as it has been a season. I've been searching for ways to better serve you... with mixed results on my progress. I'm sharing here for your information and my... what's the term?... hope that this is cathartic in some way? This is your warning that if you don't want to see my brain dump on the last three months that you might want to skip this post. If you're a small business owner / solopreneur or just nosey / super curious about where my brain is right now, feel free to read on.

I had stopped my blog posts as I was planning to change hosting platforms for my website. It turns out that this particular platform does not allow for easy transitions, so I hired not one, but two people to scrape that copy for me, thinking I could repurpose it into helpful e-books / guides. The first person took six weeks to do nothing, while the second took four weeks to put everything into 285 individual documents, rather than into a useful one-document-per-keyword / topic format. By the time this process was up, my website was renewed for a year... so here we are... still. I'll try to do a refresh soon, when I get some bandwidth back. I have a third person now working on converting some of those documents into the format I originally requested, and blog posts will start back here again soon.

I've also got on my project list a helpful email series based on a lot of that blog information. I reached out recently to reconnect with those on my mailing list... but then hit a bump in the road. There's another 2024 goal for you.

Some of the other in-process upgrades I've been working on include access to my calendar to easily schedule a Zoom-based consultation anytime you're interested in learning more about some aspect of my business... or just to share some networking time together. That piece appears to be working. I also provided access to schedule in-person studio Simple Sessions. While the calendar feature is working, the automation process was supposed to also lead you through contracting and payment... and that appears to have disappeared from my platform. Don't know where it went but hopefully I’ll figure that out soon... again.

I also signed up for a mentoring program that has turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. In speaking with the sales guy (yeah, I know) it sounded like there might be some assistance in tying together all of the multitude of pieces of running a photography business into a smooth-running system. I've piecemealed this together for 13 years, albeit part time, so maybe there is a defined way to make these processes easier and less clunky feeling. What I got was a list of the multitude of things that are required to run a photography business. I have listened to hours and hours of educational content hoping for some golden nuggets. I have shared several conversations with my assigned mentor. Nothing was tied together. There is no pretty, shiny bow that will make this any easier than what I've already learned elsewhere. I'm sick at having to make this last payment on the "program," but I don't want to lose access to what I’ve already got. I'm still hoping new pieces come along to enhance this.

One of the things my mentor really pushed me to do is to raise my prices across the board. That said, it did force me to take a harder look at how much time is dedicated to each session, so those fees will increase. I do and will continue to earn those fees and will clarify my processes so that they are easy to understand. However, I cannot justify raising other prices significantly higher than they already are. I'll be finishing up my supplier pricing review and have a new the product guide available in a few days.

I'm also in the early phases of putting together a mastermind / networking group for women entrepreneurs in Amherst County. This came about through a convergence of a few different ideas. Michelle was looking for additional support in the form of people to bounce ideas off of and help each other, Cindy is looking to grow her business coaching skills, and I have been in the process of creating a workshop on personal branding. We've mashed it all together and we'll kick off this new group in mid-February, with each every-other-week meeting having a main topic presentation followed by roundtable discussion and problem-solving / collaboration. Watch my socials for details.

All of this is going on during the busy fall session season, delivery of portraits from the first Over 50 exhibition, obligatory family travel for Thanksgiving, all the things around Christmas (yes, including a few parties)… toss in a brief illness or two… nonprofit and volunteer activities….

So, I've taken some time over the last week during this “Betwixtmas” to reflect and figure out where to go next. I usually don't make resolutions or set goals so much as I choose a “word of the year” to serve as a guidepost.

This year, I have resolutions.

Follow along. Better yet, come see me in action.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here!

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) personal https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/12/personal-update-december-2023 Fri, 29 Dec 2023 13:00:00 GMT
Documenting Your Family History in Photographs https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/10/documenting-your-family-history-in-photographs Have you ever found a box of old photos and spent some time looking through them?

Old family photos are fantastic for reminding us of memories and sharing our experiences all over again, whether with those who were there or by telling them to others gathered around those precious prints.

Family photographs continue to be important for adults, especially for parents, for a variety of reasons. Here are ten of them:

1. preserving memories.

Just as with childhood and graduation photos, family portraits for adult families help preserve memories. They document the moments, events, and milestones that occur as families grow and change. Parents can look back on these images and cherish the memories of their adult children and relive family experiences.

2. nurturing emotional bonds.

Adult family photos can strengthen emotional bonds between family members. They serve as a visual representation of the love, connection, and shared experiences among parents, adult children, and even grandchildren. Looking at these photos can evoke feelings of love and togetherness.

3. celebrating life stages.

Family photographs capture the progression of life stages. Parents can document significant events like their children's weddings, the birth of grandchildren, and other personal achievements. These images are a testament to the family's growth and development over time.

4. connecting generations.

Family photos are a bridge that connects different generations within a family. They enable older generations to share their stories and experiences with younger ones. Parents can use these photos to convey family history and values, fostering a sense of continuity and belonging.

5. legacy and family history.

Photographs serve as a tangible record of a family's history and legacy. They document the family's journey, accomplishments, and the values that have been passed down through the generations. Parents can use these photos to pass on their family's traditions and heritage to their adult children.

6. reinforcing family identity.

Family photos help reinforce a sense of family identity and belonging. They remind adult family members of their roots and the importance of family ties. Parents can use these images to reinforce the idea that no matter where life takes them, they will always have a family to rely on.

7. healing and comfort.

Family photographs can offer solace during challenging times or when family members are separated. They serve as a reminder of the love and support that exists within the family. Parents can find comfort in these images, especially when their adult children have moved away or when family members are going through difficult times. I can also share with you that these photographs are the first place loved ones turn in the event of someone’s passing.

8. communication and storytelling.

Family photos provide a platform for storytelling. Parents can share their life experiences, values, and life lessons with their adult children through these images. They can recount family narratives, providing context for family traditions and cultural heritage.

9. creating a sense of pride.

Family portraits capture moments of pride, such as achievements, special occasions, and family gatherings. Parents can take pride in their adult children's accomplishments and see the evidence of the love and support that have contributed to their success.

10. supporting future generations.

Family photographs serve as a legacy for future generations. They offer a visual record for grandchildren and great grandchildren to learn about their family’s history and the people who came before them. Parents can leave behind a meaningful legacy through these photos. One day, these will be the “photos of your ancestors” that will be shared around the table.

Family photos for adult families, especially for parents, are essential for preserving memories, nurturing emotional bonds, and passing on a family's history and values. These images connect generations, offer comfort and support, and create a sense of family identity and pride. They are a way for parents to celebrate their adult children's achievements and to leave a lasting legacy for future generations.

These photos serve as a reminder of the individual's journey and the moments shared with their family.

Photos of your ancestors, especially when you know their stories, help connect you with your family history, drawing a line from the past to the present… and leaving a lasting gift to the future.

Special notes

1. Please be sure to PRINT those photographs to leave behind for your family and friends. There is no feeling comparable to passing these physical historical photos or a family album around the table and sharing the story within. Technology changes, and we don’t always have access to those photographic images and legacies anymore.

Case in point: my parents thought getting an 8mm movie camera when I was a toddler was the greatest thing ever. Still photos stopped for several years. My dad realized the changing technology was an issue, so in July 1989, he hooked up that 8mm movie projector and played the films, narrating and recording the stories in them onto a VHS (no, not a “transfer” – he set the VHS camera up next to him to record the screen in front of him). He gave it to me, and I still am eternally grateful. In 2017, I sent off that VHS to be recorded on a DVD. Still not great for passing around table and sharing with loved ones. It’s time to grab some still shots off that movie of a movie of old home movies and create a new photo book.

2. Become the family curator and create a family history book. 

Preserve a little more of your family history by providing additional information in your photo album. Consider including a family tree as far back as possible. Perhaps you can find and include marriage certificates or military records or old newspapers. Look up the meaning of your last name.  Go to a couple of genealogy sites or historical societies and include any genealogy research record sets you can find to help tell the story of your family. 

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here!

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(Maggie Takes Pix) family professional photographer session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/10/documenting-your-family-history-in-photographs Fri, 20 Oct 2023 12:00:00 GMT
Fall Outfits for Your Family Photoshoot https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/9/fall-outfits-for-your-family-photoshoot Let’s expand on the style tips found at this blog post for what to wear for your family photo session with ideas for a different look.

Once you’ve chosen your favorite location, date, and the perfect time of day (that golden hour light comes a little earlier this time of year), it’s time to choose a color scheme to put together your family’s outfits. Your selected color palette should coordinate with each other and with your backdrop.

Fall colors of rust, pumpkin, mustard, and olive might the most obvious choices, but they don’t all look great on everyone…. There are some universally flattering colors, however, that can serve as the base to build from for the whole family. Coordinated neutral or muted tones built around one main color can make the entire family look good.

Try these fall family photo outfit ideas:

I like to start with Mom and the perfect outfit for her. A timeless look would be a sweater dress or a long-sleeve maxi dress in a deep chocolate brown. She can then add a pop of color in the form of a chunky knit scarf or bold jewelry to tie her outfit to other family members and their accent colors while adding visual interest. Knee-high boots complete the look.

With brown as Mom’s dominant color, a great option for Dad is a solid color button-down Oxford cloth shirt and Navy blue V-neck sweater over brown pants.

For the rest of the family, little girls and little boys can then be dressed in bolder colors and even subtle patterns. Avoid, however, combining a floral dress with a plaid shirt. Put your daughters in a flowy dress and sons in something that matches Dad.

Alternatively, if you are looking for family photographs for your holiday cards, you might choose a palette of burgundy and dark emerald or shades of blue. 

The most important thing when choosing what to wear for your family portraits is to make sure everyone’s outfit fits them properly. Uncomfortable clothing makes everyone cranky, so it’s a good idea to try everything on well before your fall photoshoot.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here!

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(Maggie Takes Pix) family style tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/9/fall-outfits-for-your-family-photoshoot Fri, 29 Sep 2023 12:00:00 GMT
Five Fall Outdoor Family Photo Ideas and Tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/9/five-fall-outdoor-family-photo-ideas-and-tips Picture it: fall colors with the entire family – each in their perfect outfit – against a perfect backdrop creating a memorable moment… with a professional photographer to capture the best photos of your smiling family members in your fall family pictures.

Yes, autumn is a great time of year for family photos.

Here are some ideas to get you started.

Pumpkin Farm

Gather the whole family at your local pumpkin patch. Pick a pumpkin as a photo prop or enjoy some pumpkin spice latte. Pose between the rows for some visual interest.

Apple Orchard

The fall season is a great time of year for picking apples, which also make for fun photo props. Pose among the trees. Enjoy some fresh apple cider.

Corn Field

A corn maze, especially, can make for a perfect backdrop for some fun family photos.

Hay Bales

Most hay has been harvested and put away by the time autumn’s bright colors come along, but it’s generally pretty easy to find hay bales to use as seating in an open field… or at your local park.

Our Yard

My studio is on our property, offering a good-sized yard with deciduous and evergreen trees, with the hills of the George Washington National Forest in the background. My favorite thing to do with families of any age, from young children to older adults, is to have you play in the fallen leaves.

Where else can you think of? Will your yard work, too? Is there another favorite outdoor space you and your family enjoy? In any of these locations, be sure you have the permission of the owner to be there. We don’t want to be cited for trespassing.

Start watching the leaf forecast to set a date as far ahead as you can to try to get that perfect time with the most vibrant colors. Professional photographers book fall season photos well in advance, and we’re watching Mother Nature, too.

Once you’ve chosen your favorite location, date, and the perfect time of day (that golden hour light comes a little earlier this time of year), it’s time to choose a color scheme to put together your family’s outfits. Your selected color palette should coordinate with each other and with your backdrop. Do you want to go with bright colors or more neutral colors? Jewel tones or Earth tones? I can help you choose in a style consultation.

Start a Pinterest board to gather creative ideas for all of the above and share them with me! I’ll be brainstorming, too!

Your fall family photo session will look picture perfect when all is said and done. That’s when the fun of selecting the ones you love best comes in… so also start dreaming of how you’ll display them.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here!

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(Maggie Takes Pix) session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/9/five-fall-outdoor-family-photo-ideas-and-tips Fri, 22 Sep 2023 12:40:48 GMT
Over 50 with Maggie Celebration https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/9/over-50-with-maggie-celebration The promised culmination of my “project” to gather the photographs and stories of women over the age of 50 finally came together after two years of interruptions (to include two major surgeries). Ideally, there would have been 50 over 50… but for this round, there were 19 (including myself), because I just didn’t want to make my early adopters wait any longer. 

The Over 50 Experience sessions are designed to celebrate the strength, beauty, and wisdom of women in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and better. And I’ve met and photographed some of the most wonderful women through this campaign! Many of them traveled over an hour to step into my studio – a true honor. 

Our reception was held Wednesday, September 13, at Second Stage Amherst. This venue is near and dear to me, and I could think of no better place to gather everyone to share these images. 

Catering was provided by Tea to Thee. We enjoyed a mill-about with their special Lavender Lemongrass and Lady Grey teas, savories (open-faced sandwiches: Cucumber, Coronation Chicken Salad, Caprese, Goat Cheese & Fig), traditional scones, and sweets (melt-in-your-mouth Rosa Franklins, Lemon Crème and Thumbprint cookies, and Orange Blossoms). I asked for a few gluten-free options, and they delivered, with goodies supplied by Frosted Ridge Confections. And when I ran out of time to make my lemon-lime punch, in case someone wasn't a fan of tea, Martha's team jumped in and did it for me. 

Also set out: decorated vanilla sugar cookies, packaged to go, from DeLitch Baking, branded for the event with multifaceted diamonds, cameras, silhouette portraits, and more. 

I was still hanging our 12x18 gallery-wrapped canvas prints when Susan and her daughter arrived. Susan drove the 45 minutes or so from Rustburg to attend. Laura H and Suzanne, both actresses who regularly have headshot sessions with me, came in from Brookneal. Laura M popped in from Lynchburg - I missed getting her picture with her picture.... Karen, Regina, and Jeannie drove up from Blue Ridge/Fincastle. And Lisa came down from Fishersville with her two daughters! 

Our portrait exhibit will be on display at Second Stage Amherst through the end of October! All are welcome to see each participant’s chosen image, accompanied by a short biographical piece about their lives, beliefs, and advice.

If you cannot make it to see the gallery in person, you can view the commemorative magazine online. I'll feature them in future blog posts, too. However you view these images, I hope you celebrate these talented women with me.

Now that I’ve got some stability in place, most medical challenges beaten into submission, and this global pandemic behind us, the question is whether to do this again… and actually shoot for 50 over 50... or maybe 40 over 40? Your thoughts are welcome.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here!

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/9/over-50-with-maggie-celebration Fri, 15 Sep 2023 12:30:00 GMT
Fun Outdoor Photoshoot Ideas: Picnic Pictures https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/9/fun-outdoor-photoshoot-ideas-picnic-pictures Picnic basket? Check.

Picnic blanket? Got it.

Picnic food items? Maybe a charcuterie board, a bottle of wine… Okay.

Perfect location? An outdoor space, maybe even the back yard… Done.

Great time of day? Golden hour, of course. Check.

Professional photographer? Yes!

If you are looking for a fun outdoor photo session, consider putting together a beautiful picnic setup! Whether it’s board games with your best friend or a birthday party with family members or a romantic engagement photoshoot, picnic pictures are a lot of fun and a great option to celebrate a warm weather time of year.

Man and woman drinking champagne while enjoying a picnic.Picnic PhotoshootPicnic photoshoot ideas: anniversary, date night, engagement, family, friends... who will you dine in the great outdoors with? Bring along a professional photographer! Who will you bring? Is it a romantic picnic for two? Picnics are also a fantastic way to celebrate with your best girls - maybe for a bridal or baby shower or your next birthday? Maybe you want a family picnic picture, with group shots and individuals to update everyone's social media. 

What will you wear? If you're going for a romantic vibe, consider a fun dress and fairy lights. Birthday or other gathering with friends? Consider vibrant colors. The bright colors help build the idea that you are having the best time ever! For family pix, build a palette around your favorite color or colors (or the colors in the room where you'll be hanging your wall art, for best results). 

What's your ideal picnic spot? The picnic area of a local park can work well, or maybe an open space at some other beautiful location - maybe overlooking a creek - or an open field with a
mountain view? 

Think this is only for personal pictures? Think again! Are you a baker or caterer... or a foodie? A great way to showcase what you do is with a great picnic photoshoot, capturing your food creations from different angles as people have a good time. 

A little creativity can go a long way to turn this cute photoshoot idea into a great idea - with professional photos to commemorate the occasion. Let's plan it out together!

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here!

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(Maggie Takes Pix) session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/9/fun-outdoor-photoshoot-ideas-picnic-pictures Fri, 08 Sep 2023 12:00:00 GMT
What’s the best time of day for a photo session? https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/8/what-s-the-best-time-of-day-for-a-photo-session Professional photographers are sometimes asked about the best time of day for a photo session. The answer: it depends. Different times of day lead to different lighting conditions.

For indoor photos, with controlled artificial lighting, there are fewer factors to consider. Outdoor conditions can still affect the natural ambient light of the room, important to natural light photographers. But in a studio environment, or with portable supplemental lighting on location, the sun, clouds, or time of day are not the determining factor in the best times of day. Now your concern is only when photographer and subject(s) are feeling at their best. As an example, I’m not a morning person, and if it’s been a particularly busy day, I may fade in the afternoon…. I’ve found that 10 am is my sweet spot. Do you function best in the afternoon or evening? That’s great! I’ll schedule a nap so I can be refreshed. If we’re having a family portrait session, we need to consider family members and whether they need a nap, too.

African American woman Outdoor portrait photographyTammie, photographed outdoors in mid-afternoon in August. An assistant held a diffusing panel to soften the harsh light. For outdoor photography, things are much more complicated, but the best time to be photographed depends on the time of year. The magic hour is affected by the sun’s position, which changes daily with the seasons. While 7pm is a great time in the summer, it’s way too dark in the winter. Photographers really like the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset – the so-called golden hours – because the quality of light from the low sun is warm and flattering. Blue hour photography takes place before sunrise and right after sunset, and provides a different type of light. Are you up for the soft light of an early morning session? Or the warm light of a late afternoon session?

Generally, portrait photographers are going to avoid the harsh light of midday when the sun’s position is at its highest. This time of day, regardless of time of year, is particularly difficult, creating unflattering hot spots and harsh shadows... and squinting! Can great photos happen in the middle of the day? Well, yes – it just takes a little thought. We’ll look for a shady location to help block the sun of high noon to help diffuse and soften the light and shadow. Is it an urban location? or under the greenery of a large tree? Your photographer will want to watch their white balance settings to keep skin tones looking natural.

Weather also plays a factor and can give you a little more flexibility in the time of day. A cloudy day makes it easier to work a location, like an open field, that doesn’t provide shade, but your photographer really needs to pay attention to how the light changes their camera settings. On overcast days the sky actually works like a giant softbox, spreading beautiful even light.

Is there an ideal time? Yes, there is… but it depends. That's one of the reasons I want to speak with you before we schedule your portrait session. Together we’ll consider the type of photo session, location, sunrise or sunset times, and more to find a good time just for you.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here!

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(Maggie Takes Pix) professional photographer session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/8/what-s-the-best-time-of-day-for-a-photo-session Fri, 25 Aug 2023 12:00:00 GMT
How long does a photoshoot take? https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/8/how-long-does-a-photoshoot-take How much time you spend in front of the camera depends on the type of portrait photography you are doing, whether there is a shot list of specific images you’d like to create, or if there are different locations or sets needed… and to some extent, whether you’re working with professional photographers that know their equipment, lighting, and posing. It's always a good idea to allow enough time before and after your portrait session as a buffer to lower that stressor, as it will show in your final images.

Mini photoshoot sessions are the quickest, and a lot of photographers offer them, especially in the early fall for family photos or later for Santa sessions. These run typically 10-20 minutes on one specific set.

Regular photo sessions are generally better for professional headshots and family photo sessions. I call them Simple Sessions, and they take about 30 minutes or so, depending on the number of people involved… and potentially their ages. One person for business purposes, one or two simple backdrops in my photo studio, with no wardrobe changes can be in and out fairly quickly. Start adding people, especially small children, and it takes more time, not only to prepare the sets but to get the best shots for your final images (e.g., who blinked or looked away this time?). This is why it costs more for more people: coordination and extra time in the editing process.

Then there is what I call my Signature Portrait Session. These photo shoots include the talent of a makeup artist and hair stylist to help you look your best. This service adds up to an hour to the beginning of the shoot day, but it’s so worth it. Typically, these full sessions involve multiple wardrobe changes and are great for engagement photos, fashion photography, bridal boudoir… anything beyond a simple headshot. The finished product for these sessions are collections of images, such as an album or wall art gallery, not just one or two pictures. Usually, you’ll spend perhaps two hours actually being photographed, but I always ask that you allow extra time the day of the shoot, as these can last up to four hours if we start getting creative! After that length of time, however, we are all too tired to get anything great out of the session anymore.

I also ask for up to four hours for Personal Branding Sessions as we have a lot of content to create. It’s always a good idea to have your social media plan in place with a detailed shot list. We’ll take care of specific photographs you have in mind first to allow time for changes as the shoot day progresses. I also like to take care of the people photography before any product photography, so no one looks rushed or tired in their final images.

These are my particular timeframes, based on years of experience with the dynamics of the human element. Any time you add locations or set changes, travel, extra people, wardrobe changes, etc., you are adding time. A professional photographer will make the most of the time you give them, ideally at a level that allows them to effectively create connections for better portraits, but efficiently, so you can get on with your day. 

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online HERE!

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) professional photographer session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/8/how-long-does-a-photoshoot-take Fri, 11 Aug 2023 12:00:00 GMT
Revenge Porn and other legal matters https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/8/revenge-porn-and-other-legal-matters Disclaimer: I am NOT a lawyer and this is not legal advice. This is background information only.

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There was a post in a local online group asking for advice about an ex posting boudoir photos. The subject of the photographs had gifted them years ago, and now the recipient is sharing these private images without the subject’s consent. These are causing embarrassment, and the question was if there is anything that can be done about it legally.

The answer: maybe.

Reportedly, a magistrate has said there’s nothing that can be done about it, because the pictures are not fully nude so don’t fall under the “revenge porn” statute in Virginia. The statute as written, however, also covers states of undress that exposes certain body parts. So depending on what’s actually showing, this aspect of the law might still apply. If so, the subject can clearly file a civil lawsuit to seek personal injury damages, especially if their face or other identifying marks (tattoo, birthmark) are on display.

There may also be a case for intentional infliction of emotional distress, especially if it can be shown the perpetrator knew about requests to take down the photographs but chose to not comply.

Our subject should not only send an official cease-and-desist letter (via old-fashioned Certified Mail), but also report the images to the social media site(s) where they’re posted. It’s a good idea to ask Google to remove content from search results, too.

They should also reach out to the photographer! Unless otherwise stated in their contract, the photographer holds the copyright to those photographs, generally authorizing the buyer a limited print release. Copyright sets ownership of the work along with rights to copy, display, create derivative works (e.g., a painting or drawing)… and any transfer of these rights. The ex’s distribution of the pictures in question may constitute a violation of the agreement. As copyright holder, the photographer could issue what’s called a DMCA Takedown Notice and potentially pursue an Intellectual Property case.

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I’m guessing that this discussion might bring up questions about the photographer’s potential usage of boudoir or other private images. Although according to my contract and print release, I retain the copyright of every photograph, I do ask for you to sign a model release. If you’ve willingly stepped in front of my camera, there is no perceived right to privacy. Under the law, I can use any image for editorial purposes without permission, such as when sharing information. However, if I want to sell something or promote a product or service, I need your permission to do so.

More importantly, however, is my promise: if you ask me to not share an identifiable image of you, I won’t. I’ll respect your wishes. That option exists on my model release for a reason… and I’ve removed a large number of tattoos, birthmarks, freckles, signature jewelry… and even changed hair length and color… to share anonymously. That’s my personal contract.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here!

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) boudoir professional photographer https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/8/revenge-porn-and-other-legal-matters Fri, 04 Aug 2023 13:10:28 GMT
Do you remember ‘Glamour Shots’? Business Model Comparison https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/7/do-you-remember-glamour-shots-business-model-comparison Back in the early 1990s, Glamour Shots portrait studios (usually at the mall) were all the rage. They scheduled you in for hair styling and makeup application, then had a range of outfits and accessories for you to dress up with for your photoshoot. Frankly, I loved the concept… and I still do! This was a chance to be as cute/fun/sexy/glamourous as you wanted to be.

There were, however, a couple of drawbacks to the business model.

1. The styling was often way over the top, creating images that didn’t look anything like the real person.

2. They brought you in with a low up-front sitting fee with the hope of large sales at the back end. If you walked away with just your one included 8x10 print (hard to do, but I’m sure it happened), they likely lost money due to their high overhead.

While I also offer full styling and no requirement for an additional purchase (or even a large investment), I do things a little differently than GS:

1. I want you to look and feel your very best in front of my camera, and I have found that some people are more confident with having a professional do their hair and makeup for them. That service is relaxing, as well, helping calm nerves before the camera is pointed at you and reducing the stress that sometimes accompanies packing and driving and all the things competing for your time and attention. Departing from the Glamour Shots model, however, I bring in hair and makeup artists that will make sure you still look like you, just on your best day. They are enhancing your natural beauty, not changing you into someone else.

2. Your session fee is set to cover my basic cost of doing business, which includes making sure my hair and makeup artists are paid what they are worth, and my software usage licenses for editing and storing your images stay up to date. Beyond that, I honestly don’t make a huge profit. But I’m not losing anything, either (but time) if you don’t want to make an additional purchase, as the studio space is paid for in full and I have no employees (like a receptionist) to pay.

Hand-held 4x5 print of Maggie, your photographer, from her Glamour Shots session circa 1992.Glamour Shots me, circa 1992Glamour Shots was so much fun! If you’d like to recreate Glamour Shots for your photo session, I’m completely on board! I love to have clients play in the studio, and I have collected a ton of dresses and accessories – including feather boas – over the years. Since you’re here already and the headshots are done, let’s have a little fun!

There are only two Glamour Shots studios still in operation: one in New Jersey and one in Texas. That’s too far to travel, when I’m just up the road, maybe 10-15 minutes west of Amherst. Come see me.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here!

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/7/do-you-remember-glamour-shots-business-model-comparison Fri, 21 Jul 2023 12:00:00 GMT
Why People (especially Women) Should Be Professionally Photographed https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/7/why-people-especially-women-should-be-professionally-photographed Why People (Especially Women) Should Be Professionally Photographed

In today's digital age, where smartphone cameras have become a ubiquitous part of our lives, the value of professional photography may need to be improved. However, there are compelling reasons why people, especially women, should consider the transformative power of professional photography. Capturing moments of beauty, confidence, and self-expression, professional photography offers a unique experience that goes beyond mere snapshots.

Let’s explore the benefits of professional photography and how it can empower individuals to celebrate their true selves.

 

Unleashing Inner Beauty

When it comes to professional photography, it's not just about capturing a visually appealing image; it's about bringing out the inner beauty that resides within each person. With the guidance and expertise of a skilled photographer, individuals can discover their unique qualities and see themselves in a new light. Professional photographers have an eye for detail, composition, and lighting, which helps to accentuate the best features and bring out the natural radiance of their subjects.

 

Boosting Confidence

Professional photography sessions provide a safe and supportive environment for individuals to showcase their true selves. For women, these sessions can be transformative, allowing them to embrace their femininity, express their individuality, and celebrate their bodies. With the guidance of a professional photographer, women can explore different poses, angles, and styles that accentuate their beauty, boosting their self-confidence in the process.

 

Preserving Precious Moments

Life is a collection of precious moments that deserve to be cherished and remembered. While smartphone cameras have made it easier to capture these moments, professional photography adds an extra layer of depth and quality to these memories. Whether it's a milestone event, a family gathering, or a personal achievement, professional photographs can freeze these moments in time, ensuring they are preserved for generations to come.

 

Creating Lasting Legacies

Photographs have the remarkable ability to tell stories and evoke emotions. Professionally captured images become cherished heirlooms that can be passed down through generations, creating a lasting legacy for your family. They serve as a window into the past, allowing future generations to connect with their roots, understand their heritage, and feel a sense of belonging.

 

Embracing Self-Expression

Professional photography allows individuals to express their unique personalities, passions, and interests. Whether through a captivating portrait, an artistic composition, or a themed photoshoot, professional photographers work collaboratively with their clients to bring their visions to life. By embracing self-expression, individuals can break free from societal expectations and celebrate their individuality.

 

Celebrating Milestones

Life is full of significant, big, and small milestones that deserve to be celebrated and remembered. Professional photography allows individuals to capture these moments in a way that reflects their significance and joy. From graduations and engagements to birthdays and anniversaries, professional photographers have the expertise to create images that encapsulate the essence of these milestones, making them even more memorable.

 

Emphasizing Connection and Relationships

Photographs can capture individuals and the connections and relationships that define our lives. Professional photography can immortalize the love and bond shared between family members, friends, and partners. These images become treasured reminders of the people who have shaped our lives and the moments we have shared.

 

Empowering Women

Professional photography allows women to reclaim their narratives in a society that often places unrealistic expectations on women's appearances. It allows them to define their own beauty standards, embrace their uniqueness, and celebrate their bodies, regardless of societal norms. Professional photographs can serve as empowering reminders of self-acceptance, self-love, and the strength within every woman.

 

Overcoming Insecurities

Many people, particularly women, struggle with insecurities about their appearance. Professional photography sessions can be a powerful tool in overcoming these insecurities. Through the guidance and expertise of a skilled photographer, individuals can see themselves in a new light, appreciating their beauty and uniqueness. The experience of being professionally photographed can help individuals realize they are worthy of love, acceptance, and celebration.

 

Leaving a Mark on the World

Professional photography allows individuals to leave a mark on the world, make a statement, and be remembered. Whether it's through a beautiful headshot, an impressive portfolio, or a powerful visual story, professional photographs have the potential to make a lasting impression. In today's competitive landscape, where personal branding and online presence are crucial, professional photography can give individuals the edge to stand out and leave a lasting impact.

 

Conclusion

In a world dominated by snapshots and filtered selfies, the significance of professional photography should not be overlooked. It offers a transformative experience, allowing individuals, especially women, to embrace their inner beauty, boost their confidence, and celebrate their unique selves. Beyond capturing moments, professional photography preserves memories, creates lasting legacies, and empowers individuals to express themselves. So why settle for the ordinary when you can capture the extraordinary? Embrace the power of professional photography and let your true self shine.

There is magic in professional photography. Let me capture your most beautiful moments and create stunning images that tell your unique story. Contact me today to schedule your personalized session and embark on a journey of self-discovery and empowerment.

 

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here!

 

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) professional photographer https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/7/why-people-especially-women-should-be-professionally-photographed Fri, 14 Jul 2023 12:00:26 GMT
What happens between our photo session and image reveal? https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/7/what-happens-between-our-photo-session-and-image-reveal Here’s a peek into what happens between the time your photography session with me ends and we get together to look through your proofs together, whether we’ve been able to sync our calendars for two days later or two weeks.

I’ve blogged before about my culling, editing, and retouching process… but not about the Artist Journey that takes place during this time.

My perfectionism joins the party before the party even starts. Right away, within mere minutes of saying our goodbyes, I think of at least three other poses I should have tried with you.

Depending on the intensity of our session, and when we’re meeting up again, I may need to decompress for a bit. I’m an introvert, and as much as I love taking your picture, it’s an energy drain. It’s a good drain, as I imagine runners feel after a race, but I do need a little recovery time. Because I also know what’s coming.

Once I find a block of time, I will load your image files into an editing program called Lightroom. It’s my favorite, allowing me to batch edit if needed, and it’s pretty smart. I usually allow it to automatically correct issues with exposure and tone (sometimes the RAW photos look a little flat), but I will tweak them more to my liking – and what they really should look like: clean and clear. But not until I’ve culled through them.

My perfectionism and I will look at every single photograph. If you think I’m fussy with the lights, stray hairs, and other little details during our photoshoot, it gets worse once I’m looking at your photos.

I check every one for focus (ugh! missed! how?), posing (oh, I should’ve moved her hand a little more this way), expression (oops! That’s awkward… Toss!), lighting (why didn’t I lower that a bit more?), background (where did that tree come from?), and other details.  

For those images that make it through the initial culling, I’m double-checking what’s called the “white balance” to make sure the color is right (and you aren’t too green or purple or blue or yellow). I’m also straightening up any tipped horizons or cropping the photo to create a better composition.

And I’m going through them again. Unless it’s a wedding or we’re planning an album, I’m going to try to cut what you see to just 10-15 or so pictures from each outfit or set.

I go through the analysis paralysis to you don’t have to!

Your proof set will be the best we have, and my goal is to make sure YOUR perfectionism doesn’t join our reveal and ordering session. My inner critic and I want you to love what you see when you view your photographs. So if a pose didn’t quite work, or I caught a blink or open mouth, or one picture is almost identical to another, I’m not going to include it in your gallery.

While I don’t want to spend a lot of time doing final retouching on photos you don’t like, I may choose one or two to demonstrate what they could look like after I’ve made them a little more perfect: lightened under your eyes, brought out your irises, eliminated temporary blemishes, de-linted that dark jacket, smoothed that wrinkle on your top (or softened the one between your eyes)….

And then I hold my breath - up to and through our reveal and ordering session.

I want you to love your portraits. I want you to feel good when you see them. Every time you look at them, I want you to be reminded of our time together, when the focus was all on you.

You deserve the best I can give. So while I may wallow in doubt and agonize over details, it’s worth it if you like what you see.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here!

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) product info professional photographer https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/7/what-happens-between-our-photo-session-and-image-reveal Fri, 07 Jul 2023 12:15:52 GMT
Wall Art Sizing https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/6/wall-art-sizing Some time back I shared about sizing wall art for your available space. 

In it, I take on the role of interior decorator: viewing distance, height, and size of the piece or grouping. Don’t panic! I take care of all that for you (full-service boutique includes all the math and the installation). But as a reminder,

As a general rule in the decorating world, proper viewing distance for artwork is from three to four feet away. Tape a piece of standard printer paper to your wall. That’s 8.5x11 inches. Are you sure you just want an 8x10? I think you’ll agree that it’s a bit small all by itself… or unless you have a much tighter viewing distance.

I now have a couple of visuals for you to see relative sizing of the most common sizes, from 5x7 (best suited for desktops or mantels) to an impactful 30x40 (a great statement piece for over the sofa).

Wall Art Sizing - horizontal landscape Wall Art Sizing - vertical portrait

p.s. The subject of these photographs had a Couture Sensational Session, which included the rental of this “high-flying” dress. Her vertically oriented photograph is being custom printed at a nonstandard 10x20, then matted and framed to 20x30, as it will be hung in a fairly tight area. 

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here!

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) product info professional photographer https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/6/wall-art-sizing Fri, 30 Jun 2023 12:00:00 GMT
No, You Can’t Have All The Digitals https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/6/no-you-can-t-have-all-the-digitals Back in the days of film, photographers had to be much more intentional about what they captured. The cost involved in the film, developing the negatives, and creating prints was a deterrent to overshooting. And those negatives were precious indeed, as they were the only way to create prints and reprints. Once digital cameras became de rigueur, and we realized we could take all the pix without worrying about waste, the “negatives” became commodities – numerous (from overshooting) and super inexpensive (in relative terms).

 

But the negatives (files) I create during our portrait session are most definitely NOT commodities. They are the drafts of your personal art, not a cell phone snapshot of your lunch. Think of them as artist sketches; not all of them work.

 

Part of my boutique process is to cull through those photographs to provide you with a proof gallery of the best. You don’t really want to sort through blinks, open mouths (because I caught you talking), or any other unflattering pictures I may have taken. You don’t really want to pick from a series of similar poses or expressions.

 

Part of my boutique process is to sit down with you and review your images together. We take a lot of photographs during our session, because we can, and – in my experience – having them all uploaded to some online gallery (or just handing them over on a disc or USB) for you to pick from alone becomes an overwhelming process. Or you ask everyone and your brother to help you pick, and everyone has a different opinion. It leads to analysis paralysis, and you end up procrastinating on the decision making, leaving the photos sitting in digital purgatory.

Instead, I will sit with you, and we’ll go through them and choose the ones you like best, based on your product choices (are we filling an album or a wall?) and budget. If you get stuck between a couple, I’ll share my professional opinion as to which I think is better and why. The decision is always yours, but you don’t have to make it all by yourself. I’m here to help.

 

And I'm here to encourage you to get your photographs printed, whether loose prints, in an album, or hanging on the wall. Get a physical copy you can hold and see every day. You've invested in the session; enjoy the products of it!

 

Can you have digitals? Yes! You will receive all selected photographs in digital format, too, so you can share on social media, your website, via email… and get reprints (up to 8x10). But no, you can’t have all the digitals.

 

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here!

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(Maggie Takes Pix) product info session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/6/no-you-can-t-have-all-the-digitals Fri, 23 Jun 2023 12:10:01 GMT
Props for Your Photoshoot https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/6/props-for-your-photoshoot Generally speaking, I like to keep it simple – solid colors, basic backdrops – so the focus of your portrait is YOU. However, sometimes telling your story in photographs might be enhanced by a well-selected prop or two.

In theater and film, a prop is any item on the set of a production other than the costumes and scenery. It especially refers to an object handled or used by actors during their performance.

For example, when I get new headshots, I like to include my camera to show that I’m a photographer. Ruth is an artist, so we photographed her with paintbrushes. Jan is a business consultant, so we photographed her with her laptop. What are the tools of your trade?

Props work for other portrait sessions, too – not just business. Aaron was photographed with his 1966 Ford Mustang (I’m first on the call list if he ever decides to sell it). Alaynna picked a pinwheel and a fake ice cream cone for her shoot. Hannah’s included Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Kisses (the purple coordinated with the lavender stripe of her dress). Caitlin picked an umbrella (her artist handle is @pluviophon – literally translated to “sound of rain”)… and a wild daisy. What do you like?

Combining personal and professional, I recently did a branding shoot for a small business and asked each employee to bring something personal for “getting to know you” pix for their website About page and social media posts. They brought game controllers, headphones, cell phones, computer keyboards, painted pieces, pix of cakes, Bibles, kitchen tools…. Now they can create points of connection with current and potential clients – and deepen relationships that might not have otherwise been more than surface level.
Girl laying on her stomach reading a book, surrounded by other books.Props can make a difference.Bring whatever props you think will help show your story in your photographs.

I ask high school seniors to bring props not only related to their interests now – sports equipment, books, musical instruments – but their favorite childhood toy… and a photograph of themselves as a baby (yes, mom – I’m going to play that up). These props help create a connection to the past as they look to the future at this special point in their life journey.

What props might help show your story? Need someone to brainstorm with you? I’m happy to help.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here.

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(Maggie Takes Pix) session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/6/props-for-your-photoshoot Fri, 16 Jun 2023 12:00:00 GMT
Photography vs AI Digital Art https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/6/photography-vs-ai-digital-art There is a lot of chatter in photographer circles regarding the growth of artificial intelligence (AI), especially now that it’s becoming readily available for visual media.

Some see it as a tool. Some see it as the death of the industry.

I’m in the former camp.

AI can create some interesting photorealistic art, but it does not create photographs. It certainly doesn’t create a portrait that acts as a visual souvenir of your life: your special birthday, your graduation, your business anniversary, your wedding, your family gathering for the holiday weekend for the first time in what feels like forever.

Honestly, I haven’t played with it much, yet. When I did, I noted that the AI made “decisions” I would not have, and it needed editing to match my vision. Now that it’s integrated into Photoshop, I’ll play more. It may help me with future Sensational Sessions that involve creative edits, but those are rare occasions, as most of my clients choose something that reflects reality rather than composites.

Dancer on point with leg extended vertically.Grace in Motion - redGrace in motion, dancing in gray with a red skirt, enhanced with a fine art background and additional red skirting through the new Photoshop generative AI tools. But I don’t see it replacing photography. I don’t see it replacing our human connection. I don’t see it creating something authentic. I don’t see it coaxing out your beautiful smile. I don’t see it creating a sense of confidence. I don’t see it making a memory. Those are all things that happen in front of my camera, and AI can’t replace that.

Yep, it can generate some fun digital art – with other peoples’ creative works – but it won’t replace photography, and it certainly won’t be the “death of the industry” any more than stock photos or cell phone selfies.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here!

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(Maggie Takes Pix) product info professional photographer https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/6/photography-vs-ai-digital-art Fri, 02 Jun 2023 12:00:00 GMT
Resource: Planning Your Photography Session https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/5/resource-planning-your-photography-session I hope that you’ll find all the tips and inspiration you might need here on my blog… but if you’d like to explore more, there are several topics available on the Professional Photographers of America’s Find a Photographer consumer site at https://www.findaphotographer.com under the “Planning Tools” tab.

As always, if you have any questions or want my assistance with anything related to your photoshoot, please reach out! I’m always happy to provide any information that will help you feel more confident in your decision to exist in photos.

And yes, you’ll find me listed, as I’ve been a proud member for several years.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here!

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(Maggie Takes Pix) professional photographer session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/5/resource-planning-your-photography-session Sat, 20 May 2023 00:00:00 GMT
Photographic Style https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/5/photographic-style Since the beginning of my photographic journey, I’ve seen countless trends. I remember when double exposure portraits (with ghostly heads floating in the corner) were the thing. When I started professionally, spot color was all the rage (e.g., the photo in black & white, except for a red rose). Washed out colors. Super punchy colors. Old Hollywood film noir. Harsh light and shadows (shudder).

You may have heard terms like “dark and moody” (underexposed) or “light and airy” (overexposed) which, if done properly, can actually look really pretty… but often, it’s not. For a short while here, there’s been a trend to turn everything almost sepia – warm, orangy-brown – sometimes combined with dark and moody (contrasty) or light and airy (creamy).

And now? As the kids say, “I saw it on TikTok,” the latest fad: blurry and grainy.

Meme describing word replacements to sound artsy, not wrong.Ways you can sound like a professional photographerMemes for Togs post on ways to sound like a professional photographer.

I was raised old-school, I guess. WYSIWYG: what you see is what you get. That was the goal. My personal practice, my college photography and journalism classes, my photo-journalism roommate… the goal was clean and crisp. It still is, honestly, my default. It takes conscious effort for me to incorporate any bokeh (out-of-focus background).

I want to create a true photographic representation of you. In focus. Correctly colored.

So when it comes to your portraits, I might lightly blur pronounced wrinkles later, but I want super-sharp focus on your eyes. You’ll see that I often use solid color backgrounds (usually neutral) and ask that you dress in solid colors, because I want to create clean images that draw all the attention to your face – the subject of a portrait. I might ask that you take a test shot with a black/white/gray target so I can make sure the color is correct and your skin tone is accurate (not too pink; not too yellow).

As far as I can tell, there isn’t a fancy style term for what I do. Clean and crisp works… but I saw another photographer describe something similar as “awash in true color with a hint of vibrance.” I think I like that.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule online here!

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(Maggie Takes Pix) product info professional photographer https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/5/photographic-style Fri, 12 May 2023 12:45:04 GMT
What to Wear: Headshots https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/5/what-to-wear-headshots Your personal brand is reflected in your headshots, so it makes sense to put some thought into what you wear.

The most classic look, especially for business headshots, is a black blazer. Choose a well-fitting blazer that accentuates your body shape. Style it with simple black trousers and a solid-color top. You can remove the blazer while taking photos to get a second look from the same outfit.

A skirt and blouse option is a perfect combination for the woman looking for a more feminine style. Consider a monochromatic look, using different tones of the same color throughout the outfit. Add a belt for extra detailing, or a silk scarf to give the look a little flair.

Want something a little more casual? Consider a solid-color blouse with jeans and nude shoes, which gives your look a little more of an unassuming feel. If you’d like to add a tailored aspect to this style, throw on a blazer.

Want some assistance shopping your closet? I'm happy to help!

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here!

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding style tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/5/what-to-wear-headshots Fri, 05 May 2023 12:00:00 GMT
Let’s Talk: Four Tips for Older Lips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/4/let-s-talk-four-tips-for-older-lips Collagen.

That’s the substance that plumps our lips… until production slows, starting in our 20s, and lips start to look thinner, especially by the time we’re over 50. Lack of collagen also leads to creases and fine lines.

Here are four tips to help your lips look great on camera:

1. Exfoliate. Just like the rest of your skin, your lips can use a little help shedding dead, dry skin cells to stay soft and smooth. Try a gentle scrub (make it at home with a bit of sugar mixed with water) or even just a soft toothbrush.

2. Use an “occlusive” balm. Occlusives stop water and natural moisture evaporation from skin by creating a waterproof coating on it. Since we don't have oil glands in our lips, they can't recover from dryness without help. Choose a lip balm with a thick occlusive, like beeswax, to lock moisture in. Consider one with olive oil or honey to nourish and soften your lips.

3.  Add creamy color. Filling your lip up to and including the ridge of your lip line with a creamy, natural looking lip color helps add visible volume. What color is best? A technique I recently learned to choose a flattering color is to match the inside of your bottom lip!

4. Try a subtle lip contour. Avoid “overlining” to make lips look plumper, as that can call more attention to creases or fine lines around your lips. Instead, once you've applied your lipstick, apply a lighter shade to the centers of your upper and lower lips. This helps enhance lip shape and volume. Go a step further by adding a touch of highlighter just above and below each lip to help emphasize the edges of your lips. Use your finger or a brush to apply a bit of highlighter to your Cupid’s bow (just above the center of your upper lip) and then just below your lower lip line at the fullest part.

Bonus tip: Use caution with lip glosses. Too much shine can look odd on camera.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here!

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(Maggie Takes Pix) style tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/4/let-s-talk-four-tips-for-older-lips Fri, 28 Apr 2023 12:00:00 GMT
Framed Wall Art https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/4/framed-wall-art I’ve upgraded my framed wall art provider.

Framesuite offers the ability for us to design your gallery wall without having to “do the math” to convert standard photographic sizes to account for frame width. And we can preview exactly what it will look like on your wall. I just need to remember to use the program in Google Chrome’s Incognito mode….

The Frame Previewer takes away the guesswork by demonstrating exactly how each frame will look paired with your art. The virtual rendering will shift in scale as we move the print size up and down, giving you a better understanding of the final presentation. Plus, by surrounding the image with the entire frame, you’ll get a better grasp on how the colors enhance and support not just the portrait itself, but the entire room décor. There are also 3-D frame corner videos so you can appreciate the finish and profile of your favorite frames. There are 36 different frame options in 24 sizes.

frame cornerWell-crafted frames

Making it simple to get that nail in the wall in the right spot every time, they come with Beehive hangers! The hanging bracket has a pinpoint to mark the wall where the specialty nails go… but if we’re off a little, that’s okay! The bracket has lots of little holes to make it easy to adjust.

Adjust frames up, down, left, right, even diagonally in less than 5 seconds without moving any hardware!

Stops frames from tilting, even when cleaning!

Greatly reduces wall damage

Floor to wall in under 5 minutes

Beehive hangarBeehive hangar and nail

Framesuite creates beautiful archival quality prints, too, with finished backs, presented under acrylic (offering lighter weight than glass) to protect your images.

acrylicframed family photo under acrylic

They use Premium Archival Matte artist-grade paper that is heavy (230 gsm), neutral white and acid-free, resulting in long-lasting imagery.

Optional mats, in standard or wide presentation styles, are created with Artique® Conservation matboard that’s FSC Certified alpha-cellulose, 100% acid- and lignin-free, pH buffered, and bleed and fade resistant.

What can we create for your walls?

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here!

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(Maggie Takes Pix) product info https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/4/framed-wall-art Fri, 21 Apr 2023 12:00:00 GMT
Body Language Cues https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/4/body-language-cues I’m always trying to learn (or stay up to date on) new things that might help me help you look awesome in your images. Especially for my personal branding photography clients, I was excited to find the latest book from Vanessa Van Edwards, Cues: Small Signals, Incredible Impact. In it she addresses the verbal and nonverbal cues we send out to and receive from each other to communicate, whether we’re aware of them or not.

 

“Cues are the powerful verbal nonverbal and vocal signals humans send to each other. What we don’t realize is that we send thousands of these cues to each other every day, yet they often go missed. I believe those cues are all filled with opportunities.”

Book cover portrays a woman seated, her hands steepled to show confidence and her feet pointed toward the reader to show engagement.Charismatic Communication through CuesMaster the Secret Language of Charismatic Communication - Cues: Small Signals, Incredible Impact book by Vanessa Van Edwards

Part of the process in a photo session with me is creating the right message in your pictures. What do you want your photographs to say about you? Should they show your soft side or strong? Do you want to appear warm and caring? or cool and confident?

While your facial expression is incredibly important, including micro expressions, your other nonverbal body language also matters. Crossing your arms and leaning back is a very different message than having those arms open with you leaning in.

This helpful guide has confirmed some of the things I already knew which is always reassuring and I've picked up another tip or two to try. Definitely recommend, as she also discusses situations beyond appearance, like vocal qualities and even seating arrangements in meetings. Fascinating, really.

But your appearance cues are definitely something we want to capitalize on, and one of the reasons I always ask, “how do you want to be photographed?”

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here!

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding professional photographer session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/4/body-language-cues Fri, 14 Apr 2023 12:06:12 GMT
Grooming Tips: Men’s Edition https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/4/grooming-tips-men-s-edition With a specialization in women’s portraits, my posts focus on tips for women to look their best when they step in front of my camera. Every now and then, men take a turn as subject… and they deserve tips to look their best, too!

Choose Your Appointment Date Wisely. If you are going to cut your hair before your headshot or portrait session, don’t do it the day before. Cutting your hair a few days before ensures the lines look a bit more natural. It also gives your hair a chance to recover should something go wrong.

Shave at the Right Time. If you generally shave the hair on your head every few days, shave it a day or two before your session for the best results.

Avoid Razor Burn. While your face should look neat the day of your session, you also want to avoid razor burn. Whether you’re shaving your face clean or simply tidying up your facial hair, use the right shaving cream, and moisturize your face afterward.

Tidy Up Ear and Nose Hair. Don’t forget to trim any nose and ear hair before your session.

Stay Hydrated. Water is your skin’s best friend, so drink up daily the week before your headshot appointment.

Shield Your Skin Against the Sun. Stay out of the sun as much as possible the week before your session. And if you do need to step outside, apply sunscreen.

Get Some Shut-Eye. Under-eye bags will show up in your photos and makeup can only do so much, so make a point of getting enough sleep, particularly the night before your session.

 

And if you are looking for some advice on what to wear, there’s Maggie Takes Pix | What to Wear: Men’s Edition.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) style tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/4/grooming-tips-men-s-edition Fri, 07 Apr 2023 12:00:00 GMT
Regarding Printed Photographs https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/3/regarding-printed-photographs There is a professional photographer with a personal blog on Facebook geared to her photographer colleagues. Missy Mwac recently posted this; I think it’s worth sharing:

 

Our lives are overwhelmed with pictures.

A cell phone holds thousands.

We take them haphazardly, in passing. Thousands and thousands of pictures.

Our food, our drink, a blurry sunset.

We take them not because they are important; we take them because we can.

 

We download galleries and shove them in between the image of a margarita and that time when the dog got into the trash.

 

And when our phones are full, we delete the food, the drink and the blurry sunsets. We might even wonder, as we look back, why on earth we took that image to begin with.

And once deleted, we will never miss it, because it didn’t really matter.

In fact, most of us can’t even remember what’s on our phone.

 

A professional portrait is different, because it is made with purpose.

 

It is made to mark a time in history; a moment in life.

There is nothing haphazard about it.

It is special because of the people in it.

It is made with care…

it is made to be remembered. It is made to last.

it is not made to be sandwiched on a phone between meaningless images

IT IS MADE TO BE PRINTED.

 

For memories do not live on in a phone; they live for generations on paper.

My friends, not every occasion in life will require a professional photographer and a printed photograph.

 

Only those times that really matter.

 

What holds you back from getting your professional portrait? Will your family have physical printed photographs they can enjoy regardless of technology changes? Will you have memories that can live for generations on paper?

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) product info https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/3/regarding-printed-photographs Fri, 31 Mar 2023 12:00:00 GMT
Especially for Mothers https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/3/especially-for-mothers As a woman, you are extraordinary. You are doing something amazing for someone else at every stage of a relationship.

At the beginning, you are giving someone love, support, and meaning by being their partner. If you are pregnant, you are performing the miraculous task of bringing new life into the world and building a family. As a mother, you are nurturing and guiding that remarkable family through countless stages. All the while, you are giving support and understanding to others, most especially your spouse or partner.

At the same time, you are becoming more unique as a person. The special combination of experiences and relationships that you have is unlike any other in the world. At every one of these stages, you are priceless and irreplaceable.

One gift you can give to yourself and those who mean something in your life is beautiful images – photographs that reflect your remarkable uniqueness. It’s certainly hard to put yourself in the spotlight, but having the courage to let yourself shine is an extraordinary gift you can give yourself and those you love!

Why choose to get a beauty photography session?

  • Capture your radiant qualities in a way that isn’t possible in day-to-day routines or selfies.
  • Use lighting, poses, clothing, and other techniques to highlight your best features.
  • Show a sensual side to your partner in a way that sparks a flame.
  • Give loved ones a wonderful way to remember this stage in your life or this moment in a relationship.
  • Remind yourself that you are unique, beautiful, and most definitely worth the fuss.

I generally recommend that women get professionally photographed every two years or whenever there’s a major change in your style: hair, glasses, weight. It is important to do this for both those we love and ourselves. We all deserve to see ourselves at our most beautiful!

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/3/especially-for-mothers Fri, 24 Mar 2023 12:00:00 GMT
Four Makeup Tips for Older Women https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/3/four-makeup-tips-for-older-women I’m in this age group, and I love celebrating the beauty and wisdom of women over the age of 50. But our skin changes over time, so even though you’ve been doing your own makeup for decades, please consider these tips if you are doing it yourself for a Simple Session.

  1. Choose cream-based products. Powdered and matte-finish products add texture… and we’ve already got enough of that. Take care to find the right shade of foundation for your skin color.
  2. Lovely lips come from a color that matches your natural skin tone. After years of searching for – and not finding – a favorite lipstick color, I came across this tip: match your inner lip or gums.
  3. Enhance your eyebrows, but don’t go overboard. You’ve probably lost some definition. Even them out, going for a light, natural look.
  4. Keep eyeshadow light, if you wear it at all. Eyelids tend to get more “hooded” as we age; any contour in the crease deepens the look rather than opening up our eyes.

We all want to look our best in our photographs, and while we love celebrating our ages, there’s no need to appear older than we are. Look your best and your confidence will show! Talk about beautiful.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) style tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/3/four-makeup-tips-for-older-women Fri, 17 Mar 2023 12:00:00 GMT
What Lingerie is Right for Your Boudoir Photography Session? https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/3/what-lingerie-is-right-for-your-boudoir-photography-session Once you’ve decided to have a boudoir shoot, you’ll want to start preparing… and I’m here to help!

In addition to my standard Client Guide, there’s also my Lingerie Guide. It describes the most common types of lingerie and what works best for these photoshoots. It also details what style would work for enhancing your favorite parts… or beautifully disguising other parts.

Some of those tips - shortened:

  • Now is a good time to be professionally fitted for a pretty bra. Good support is more important than padding!
  • Looking for a great tush shot? Skip the stringy thong and go for “cheeky” or Brazilian bottoms. The higher the leg opening the longer your legs will look.
  • Concerned about your arms? Consider a long-sleeved bodysuit or throw a button-down shirt over your killer lingerie.
  • Want to hide your tummy? Choose some pretty, meant-to-be-seen shapewear…

Whatever you choose, pick something that shows off your shape; don’t hide beneath a ton of fabric!

Want more tips? Search the keyword “boudoir” here on the blog!

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) boudoir style tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/3/what-lingerie-is-right-for-your-boudoir-photography-session Fri, 10 Mar 2023 13:00:00 GMT
What to Wear: Men’s Edition https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/3/what-to-wear-men-s-edition My client guide focuses on tips for women to prepare for their sessions… and I thought it was time to pull out the advice that applies to men and add a few more.

Opt for Solid Colors. Solid colors are always better. Not only do they look more professional but they’re not distracting. Some patterns (thin stripes or small checks) do not photograph well, either.

Think Twice About White. A white shirt is certainly professional but keep in mind that does reflect more light. If you are going to wear a white shirt, then it is better to wear something darker over it too.

Fitted is Better. Whatever you wear, make sure it fits you well. Baggy, loose clothing looks unprofessional. This is also why it’s important to choose and try on any outfits a few days before your shoot – it gives you the chance to tailor your shirt and jacket or come up with a plan B.

Undershirts Are Not Recommended. You might wear an undershirt daily, but they do tend to show up in photos since brighter lighting is used. It’s best to skip the undershirt for your headshots.

Photograph of a men's navy blue blazer and trousers, white long-sleeve button-down shirt, brown shoes and belt, and a coordinating tie.What to wear for headshots, men's edition

Need something more specific?

Those in more professional industries will want to opt for a more conservative look. A well-fitting navy suit is a fantastic option when taking corporate headshots. Don't forget to accessorize, these items add important details to your look. Brown leather shoes and a belt pair nicely next to the navy which will elevate your style.

Looking for a modern alternative to a suit? This look takes a light khaki blazer and pairs it with chinos and a classic chambray shirt, making the outfit read a bit more casual. This is a great option for the man who might not need to look as conservative in his headshots.

For business casual looks or those in a more creative industry, try a bomber jacket as an alternative to a suit jacket or blazer while still giving you a polished look with jeans. A polo will give you the option of going without a jacket in your shots. Keep your accessories simple.

 

Have questions? Let me know! 

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) style tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/3/what-to-wear-men-s-edition Fri, 03 Mar 2023 13:00:00 GMT
Caveat Emptor https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/2/caveat-emptor As a trained brand photographer part of my service is staying on top of current best practices, so whenever I see an opportunity to “learn branding,” I try to take it. I came across an ad on social media providing information on creating your brand online. It promised to do so in a short period of time, and I could watch a video for free information.

Within 1 1/2 minutes the presenter began to bash brand photography. Within another 45 seconds I decided this needed to be addressed.

What came around the time we got halfway through the video had my jaw on the floor.

Here’s the summary.

Presenter complaint #1: hiring a brand photographer is expensive and “not good for cash flow.”

My thought was that the presented price tag actually seemed quite appropriate for what they got from the brand photo shoot described, especially as a return on the time value for the business owner. In theory, strategic use of these photos should be helping the brand earn back their investment with additional qualified business. If cash flow is an issue, perhaps they could find a brand photographer that offers a package that better fits their budget or a payment plan.

Presenter complaint #2: she felt it was “extremely limited” to spend four to five hours with “no plan” and minimal outfit or location changes.

With a properly trained photographer, there should be a brand shoot plan, and four to five hours should be plenty of time to create what you need. We want to work smarter, not harder, and frankly I'm a little tired after four hours of solid work. How many outfit or location changes do you need to represent your brand? I don't limit it, but they apparently found someone who did. In any case, your shoot should be focused and intentional, and lots of good work can be created in half a day.

Presenter complaint #3: with standard brand photography, you “only” get 50 or so photos, of which you only use 10, that are edited in the photographer’s style, not necessarily on brand for your business.

First off, 50ish photos per quarter will allow you to post daily Monday through Friday, with just enough room for you to blend other graphics or “in the moment” social media photos. You should be refreshing these fairly regularly, and if you are only using 10, that's an important conversation you should be having before your next session. A brand photographer should be creating a clean slate of images for you to edit to match your brand as desired, or ask if they include editing to your style as part of any of their packages. For instance, I provide clean edits and allow further editing. I also offer further edits, such as cropping for particular social media or retouching. Want them warmer or cooler? Sure, I can do that. These details are all part of the planning process.

Presenter complaint #4: you have to organize the content yourself with no extra support.

This is an important conversation to have with your brand photographer ahead of time. You should be pre-planning what you need your images for and how you will use them. If you skip that step, your photographer cannot help you. They are shooting blind and don’t know how you best access your assets. If they do not offer pre-planning, find another photographer who does. A brand’s photography service should be able to provide you an organization option that matches your needs.

Presenter complaint #5: hiring someone with no stake in your brand and no marketing knowledge of your industry or who is not trained to create marketing content for your needs.

Well, that's true. You hired a brand photographer, not a brand manager or social media manager. Ideally, you will look for a brand photographer who has experience in your particular industry niche. Collaboration is the key to a good business relationship, and a good brand photographer will get to know your brand and marketing needs and become part of your business content creation team alongside you. Yes, they do have a stake in your brand, because if they don't do it right, you don't rehire them and you do not refer them to your colleagues.

The presenter then goes on say, “no wonder people only wanted to create custom content every few years.” I'm trying to figure out why they didn't hire a brand photographer they felt comfortable with, who provided for their needs, or why they didn’t rehire them when they needed fresh material. This should be part of your regular marketing plan so that you can show up online consistently. Brand photography is not a “one and done” kind of thing. You should be reviewing and renewing regularly. Ideally this would be seasonally, but you can still gain great benefits from twice a year or even annual shoots, if done correctly.

So, what did they say you should you do to create your online brand presence if standard brand photography is so disappointing?

Imagine my surprise when the offer for her services started and it was for... drumroll, please... a subscription model branding photography and social media management package… for approximately these same cost per month that she was complaining about at the beginning of her video, requiring a 12-month commitment for four shoots per year.

It surprised me that the very thing she was doing wrong was her answer.

Don’t get me wrong: their offer does sound good.

I think it’s perhaps too good to be true.

First, they set up a “brand identity” for you with choice of two fonts and four colors that match your “vibe” – but they'll use yours if you have one already.

Secondly, they'll set up a brand photography shoot, complete with travel to wherever you want to hold it, with an agenda and shot list and prop list and all of the things that a good brand shoot photographer should provide you in advance when you have collaborated with them. They promise 600 to 1000 images per shoot. After a full day of photography, it is quite possible to have 600 to 1000 images, but I have to ask: why do you need that many pictures for a three-month period? Are they all going to help move your business? Are you really going to use ten different pictures a day?

Third, their base price includes “daily” Facebook and Instagram social media posts scheduled for you, and of course you can invest more to get more. No indication was provided as to what captions are written for the posts, how many, etc.

And of course, they'll plan and photograph new content with you every three months (or four times per year) as your business your changes needs change through the year. This is actually a best practice, which is why you need to set up a plan with your brand photographer.

At the end of the day, I'm scratching my head at how they are profitable at the quoted price, but maybe they make it up in their “other services” upsell or there are unspecified fees (like travel?).

And needless to say, I was quite disappointed in the bash and pitch.

If you want to grow your brand, there are ways to do it properly. Find a brand photographer who will work with you to bring it to life and communicate with them.

Reach out if you want to learn more.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/2/caveat-emptor Fri, 24 Feb 2023 13:00:00 GMT
Six Makeup Tips for Eyeglass Wearers https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/2/six-makeup-tips-for-eyeglass-wearers If you usually wear glasses, they are a part of “you” and we’ll photograph you in them. Some people have multiple pairs; if that’s you, bring them all!

If you are doing your own makeup for your Simple Session, here are some tips for makeup to enhance your look.

  1. Balance out your frames. Are they bright? Thin? Blocky? Your eye makeup should counter the look of your glasses: pair delicate frames with more elaborate makeup but keep it simple if your frames are bold.
  2. Nearsighted? Skip heavy eyeliner. Your prescription lenses make your eyes appear smaller, as does heavy eyeliner… so you don’t want to combine the two. Choose neutral eyeshadow and use a light touch. Apply mascara to the lash line to add definition.
  3. Volumize, rather than lengthen, your eyelashes with mascara. If your lashes are too long, they rub against your glasses lenses and can be irritating. Curling your lashes will help with this while opening your eyes, especially if you are nearsighted.
  4. Define your eyebrows. Ideally your brows should show just above your frames. Brush them upward to help create a stronger frame for your frames. Consider a brow pencil or powder to fill in sparse areas. Brow gel can help keep everything in place; I personally use a color brow gel to even out the color differences in my eyebrows.
  5. Place your blush around your eyeglasses. Add it to the apples of your cheeks and blend it back toward your ears.
  6. Balance out your eye makeup with a flattering lip color. Glasses draw attention to the upper part of your face, so bring appropriate attention back to the lower part. If you’ve done a bold eye, choose a lighter, more neutral lip. If you’ve kept your eye makeup lighter, you can choose a bolder lip color.

Glasses can share a lot about your personality. Choosing makeup that works with them while flattering your face helps you look authentically beautiful, and your confidence will show.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) style tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/2/six-makeup-tips-for-eyeglass-wearers Fri, 17 Feb 2023 13:00:00 GMT
What To Wear: Family https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/2/what-to-wear-family When it comes to family portraits, one of the most common questions is, “What do we wear?”

Since these photos will last a lifetime, you’ll want to choose something timeless.

First things first: make sure everything fits everyone and is comfortable. Keep in mind you may be posing in different positions, so the outfits should be comfortable while sitting, too. Ask your children what they’d like to wear. It will make sure they feel comfortable and involved, which might help them feel more like cooperating.

Wear coordinating (not matching) outfits. Stick to a palette of one or two main colors. Lay everyone’s outfits out next to each other to see if they go together, in color, in style, in seasonality. Soft tones and shades of the same color work very well together. Stick with neutrals on the parents, especially if the children are wearing bold colors. If you are planning to hang these pictures on the wall, try to choose a palette that coordinates with your home décor.

Use textured clothing to add depth to your photographs. Accessories, such as a scarf, can add an element of interest. Just don’t go overboard or they will become a distraction. Think one key piece above the waist (e.g., statement earrings with a simple necklace OR simple earrings and statement necklace – not both) and one key piece on one arm/wrist/hand (rings/bracelets, as above).

Stick with solid colors (avoid patterns). One or maybe two family members wearing a pattern or print in moderation might be okay, but patterns tend to draw too much attention and too many tend to clash. Avoid graphics, too - including large logos, as they tend to distract from the most important part of the photo: your faces!

Start with one outfit and build everyone else’s around it. Styling looks one at a time makes it easier to visualize how they will complement each other.

Make sure everything is wrinkle and stain free.

Since it’s cool outside:

For Mom, I recommend a simple, yet elegant, dress. Something in light gray tones and classic lines, such as a sheath dress or A-line skirt. The silhouette is timeless and flattering for any body type. Pair with black heels and delicate jewelry (like a long neck chain) to complete the outfit. Works in any season.

For Dad, let’s put him in a sweater and jeans, if that makes him more comfortable. Choose a dark gray pullover for texture and interest while coordinating with Mom. Black jeans and dress shoes bring some polish to the ensemble. Once it gets warmer out, trade out the sweater for a classic button-down.

For your daughter, I bet she’ll look adorable in a cute red dress. Choose a darker shade to add a pop of color without standing out too much. Strappy black shoes, tights, and a headband complete the look.

Have your son follow Dad’s lead with a sweater and nice jeans, too. Choose a solid neutral gray that picks up Mom’s or Dad’s grays or select a color that coordinates with his sister’s red. Pick a simple but stylish dress shoe. In warmer weather, go for that button-down shirt or a nice T-shirt.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) style tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/2/what-to-wear-family Fri, 10 Feb 2023 13:00:00 GMT
Not a model? Great! https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/2/not-a-model-great One of the commonly expressed concerns people have is that they don’t know what to do in front of the camera. Don’t worry; I’ve got you!

When we first start our session together, I will take a few photographs to check my light and settings to make sure they are capturing you properly… with the added bonus of seeing a little about how you naturally move.

We’ll begin with basic poses, and I’ll adjust you from your head to your toes, ensuring your best angles are captured in the images I take. Special attention is paid to your posture and placement of your chin, shoulders, and hands. We’ll create interest with asymmetry and hourglass shapes, keep body language in mind, and build a sense of connection in your photographs.

Seated, standing, leaning… I’ve got a repertoire of prompts and set-ups in mind, with the experience to know which will work best for you, and a set of inspiration poses on hand at all times. You don’t need to be a model to look good – you already look good, and I’ll make sure you look your best, even if you aren’t a model.

Over 50 with MaggieYou don't need to be a model to look great in your photographs.

Honestly, photographing models is easy: they look good at every angle and know how to move and pose themselves… and unless I have something specific in mind, I don’t need to think about what to do with them. Creating great images with someone who feels like they don’t know what they’re doing, on the other hand (and perhaps a bit selfishly), gives me a sense of accomplishment. And you get the added bonus of being one step closer to your modeling career.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/2/not-a-model-great Fri, 03 Feb 2023 13:00:00 GMT
Show, Don't Tell https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/1/show-dont-tell You’ve no doubt heard the adage, “show, don’t tell.” According to an MIT study, our brains can process images in as little as 13 milliseconds.

What stories do your pix show?

Working with a brand photographer helps you create an on-demand image library that shows your followers personalized photos that reflect you and your brand.

And you don’t need to tell just one story in your photographs!

Are you multi-passionate, like me? Let’s shoot all the things so people get to know you!

Your business: your desk, your office/restaurant/store, your favorite pen, your favorite mug, you interacting with your clients doing your thing… not something generic that looks like everyone else’s stock photos.

Alli is a left-handed calligrapher.business branding photographyshare photographs of you doing what you do

Your personal life: your front porch, your pets, your hobbies…. What makes you light up? We’ll share that and create uncommon commonalities and points of connection with others like you. Alli is a photographerbusiness branding photographyshow what you like to do

More than one business? Lots of volunteer activities? The more we capture, the more you have to share.

business branding photographyshow off your personality in your personal brand photos

Feeling overwhelmed? Please don’t! I’m here to help you create the ideal shot list for you.

A little work up front leads to easy options later to help spark multiple 13 millisecond attention-grabbing posts, keeping you visible online and connecting offline. 

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/1/show-dont-tell Fri, 27 Jan 2023 13:00:00 GMT
Pretty Pictures Anywhere https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/1/pretty-pictures-anywhere One of those items your photographer should pay attention to is the background for your pictures. Is it beautiful and worthy of highlighting, helping to tell the story in your images? Or are there objects creating distractions?

While your location can add texture to a shoot, even “ugly” locations can work if the light is right. I’ve been known to pose people where they are blocking street signs, trash cans, etc. and play with depth of field to blur out less-than-pretty buildings.

Angel, for instance, was photographed in the parking lot at a store's loading dock.

Bride leaning against a wall by a loading dock bay door.bridal picture at loading dock bay doorEven loading docks can provide interesting backdrops. Bride leaning back on loading dock bay door with her bridal veil draped in front of the camera lens.Bridal photo using veil to create drama and hide ugly location.Using a veil helps disguise elements of an ugly location and add depth to the image.
Bride getting ready to pose by loading dock door next to rain downspout.Bridal pictures in ugly placesPull back showing downspout.

Pullback showing some of the less-than-attractive elements of the location.

So if I drag you off into some random alley, it's because I want to shoot you... with my Canon... Boring, cluttered, or dirty can be amazing.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) professional photographer session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/1/pretty-pictures-anywhere Fri, 20 Jan 2023 13:00:00 GMT
Looking Picture Perfect: Headshots https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/1/looking-picture-perfect-headshots If you opt for a Simple Session instead of a full Signature Portrait Session, you’ll be doing your own hair and makeup. We want you to look like your professional best, so here are three tips.

  1. Clean and polished makeup is the best look for this type of session. Save any dramatic choices for your lashes (they’ll show up better) rather than your lipstick (choose a softer color to give you a finished look that doesn’t distract) or heavy eyeshadow (stick to something lighter that complements your eyes).
  2. Clean and polished hair can be achieved with a professional blowout, or you can do this at home, too. Light hairspray will help keep fly-aways in their place.
  3. Neutral clothing helps keep the focus where it should be: on your face! Avoid patterns (and other people’s logos) and opt for solid colors that enhance your eye color.

Headshot of a woman with soft makeup, solid color clothing, and smooth hair.headshot styleHere are a few tips for headshot session styling. Want more? Check out my other style tips blog posts.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding business style tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2023/1/looking-picture-perfect-headshots Fri, 06 Jan 2023 13:00:00 GMT
Advice for the Newly Engaged: Wedding Planning https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/12/advice-for-the-newly-engaged-wedding-planning There is an estimate that some 40% of engagements happen in the roughly 2.5 months between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. If you are among them, congratulations!

Now you will be bombarded with questions: “When’s the big day?” “Where are you having your ceremony?” “What are you wearing?" “How many people are you inviting?” and so on.

And now you have questions.

And you’ll come up with answers.

And people will question your answers.

So my first bit of advice, as someone who has “been there, done that” more than once, and who has observed it from the outside more than a few times as a guest and as a photographer, is to take a moment with your partner and figure out what the two of you want to create in celebration together.

After the initial thrill of the ask and answer has calmed, sit down together and discuss what’s most important to you. My priority, of course, is always the photography. My current husband’s priorities were the venue and the food. Share your visions of your ideal day. This may be your first test in flexibility; it may be super easy. In any case, once you know what’s important to each other, you know where your focus should be.

A few things as you start your planning:

  • First up: the date and the venue. Once you’ve found and locked in that combo, find your officiant (if you aren’t holding the ceremony in a church), and then work on your priority pieces.
  • Magazines are full of great ideas, but they can be unrealistic.
  • Bridal shows are full of great ideas… and salespeople who want your business.
  • People will have opinions, and they will share them. Freely. Without being asked. If their opinions do not match your vision as a couple, thank them for their input, tell them you’ll take it under advisement… and then ignore them.

At the end of the day, no matter when/where/how it happens, your wedding is about the two of you becoming legally bound as a married couple. Signing the paper in front of a wedding officiant is the most important part of it all. Everything else is just icing on the cake. “You are having cake, aren’t you?”

I invite you to explore the blog further under the keyword “wedding” and to reach out for advice or guidance… or just to act as a sounding board.

Best wishes!

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) wedding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/12/advice-for-the-newly-engaged-wedding-planning Fri, 16 Dec 2022 13:00:00 GMT
Things I Watch Out For: Details https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/12/things-i-watch-out-for-details It's a great picture! Your smile is beaming, with just the right glint of a smile in your eyes. Your outfit looks great on you. You've nailed the pose! Yes - you love this photograph! Let's print! 

Well, wait a minute...

   "Can you fix that?"

Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference, so when we create your photographs together, I’ll watch out for all those little things during our session. No one wants to walk by their 20x30 wall portrait and see the missed detail.

  • Do you have hair out of place? I’ll ask to fix it for you… or ask you to.
  • Is there fur or fuzz? I’ll ask to remove it, use a lint roller on you… or ask you to.
  • Is a necklace clasp visible? I’ll ask to fix it for you… or ask you to.
  • Is there a ponytail holder / hair tie on your wrist? I’ll ask you to remove it, unless you really want to keep it on.
  • Is one of your rings twisted? I’ll ask you to straighten it.
  • Is your clothing not falling correctly? I’ll ask to fix it for you… or ask you to.
  • Is there too much shine on your face? I carry blotting tissues and powder, so I’ll ask to fix it for you… or ask you to… or adjust my lights accordingly.
  • Do you have glasses glare? I’ll fix that in posing or by adjusting my lights accordingly.

The devil is in the details, so as many of them as we can get right, the better. Your photographs are part of your legacy, and we want them to be as perfect as possible – especially if they are going to hang on your wall.

And no, I do not want to “fix it in Photoshop” after the fact. I might be able to. A professional retoucher may be able to. But I'd rather we get it right the right way.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty style tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/12/things-i-watch-out-for-details Fri, 09 Dec 2022 13:00:00 GMT
What Can Brand Photos Do For You? https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/11/what-can-brand-photos-do-for-you If you’re a micro or small business owner, you might know how important it is to be visible and stand out from the crowd. Social media and the world wide web have made things easier… and harder. In order to be seen, you have to show up consistently!

Unfortunately, many businesses either don’t show up at all or only share basic stock photos that look… well… basic. And just like everyone else.

Your clients (and potential clients) want to know who you are. Who would they be working with? Showing your own face – consistently – across all your marketing platforms – helps build relationships. People feel like they are getting to know you, and eventually like and trust you.

Personal brand photographs help you display a consistent look, wherever you are online, that helps clients connect in real life. These pix can help create credibility while you become a more familiar face. Use them to share relatable content and convey your story, strengthening your messaging, building awareness, and inspiring action.

Man and woman unpack champagne flutes for a wedding reception.Champagne Wishes Event PlannerBrand photos can show you and your team working together for your clients.

Person brand photography can help you build your reputation and scale your business.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/11/what-can-brand-photos-do-for-you Fri, 25 Nov 2022 13:00:00 GMT
Boudoir Without Baring It All https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/11/boudoir-without-baring-it-all Boudoir photography is all about intimate portraits, but that doesn’t mean you have to get naked in front of the camera! In fact, inhibition is sexy… so let’s play with that.

Many women are nervous about being photographed, and adding in the idea that they need to undress adds to the stress. But boudoir photography is all about the woman, not about the viewer, so we can create boudoir pix fully clothed. The focus is on expression. From thoughtful to playful, I’ll coach you through.

Woman in a white button-down shirt.boudoir doesn't mean nakedYou don't have to bare all to bare your soul.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) boudoir https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/11/boudoir-without-baring-it-all Fri, 18 Nov 2022 13:00:00 GMT
REVERSE Wedding? https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/11/reverse-wedding A friend of mine recently photographed a REVERSE wedding, and I’m compelled to share the idea with you.

Here are some of his comments to describe the event, edited to protect the identities of people-not-my-clients:

I photographed my first ever reverse wedding last night. That's right- I said REVERSE wedding.

 

What's that you ask? It's when the ceremony is at the END of the night rather than the beginning.

 

I have to say: I wish all weddings were this way.

 

We did a first look and all of the wedding party and family photos ahead of time.

 

[Bride] and [groom] spent the afternoon hanging out with their family during the reception that kicked things off.

 

They started with a "last dance" rather than a first dance. They cut cake. They ate food. They drank beers.

 

And at the very end they were surrounded by all the people they love most they had their ceremony under twinkle lights and the moon.

 

But not in a sit down traditional ceremony. Everyone was standing (and some sitting). They participated. They laughed out loud (not just LOL- like for real).

 

It was really- really cool.

I agree – it sounds really, really cool to me, too. Especially if this is an encore event or if you have lots of out-of-town guests who might otherwise miss the ceremony because they’ve hit a delay somewhere (like my friend Kristen, who flew all the way cross-country to make a point of being here… but even though we held off for an hour, she still missed it by maybe 15 minutes). It seems to me that everyone would be more relaxed in reverse. Twinkle lights, candlelight, moonlight… all sound beautiful – and we don’t have to be night owls to enjoy the reception.

What do you think? Neat idea? or “stick with tradition, please”?

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) wedding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/11/reverse-wedding Fri, 11 Nov 2022 13:00:00 GMT
Things I Watch Out For: Posing Tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/11/things-i-watch-out-for-posing-tips You don’t need to know how to pose for your pictures! I’ll guide you every step of the way. At the outset, I’ll work to figure out what is natural for you as far as stance, posture, and gestures. Then I’ll start to coach you through how to do what you’re doing so it looks better in the camera.

Some of the things I’ll suggest:

  • Posture, even during headshot sessions where the rest of your body doesn’t show, is critical. Lift up from your head as if pulled up by a string. Let your shoulders drop down.
  • Shoulder position in relation to the camera creates body language. What message do you want to send? Squared up to the camera adds a sense of presence, while angled shoulders soften the look.
  • I’ll ask you to extend your neck (a bit) to help position your chin and enhance your jawline to be flattering to the camera. This has the added benefit of reducing any “double chin” concerns and smoothing skin. Bringing your chin forward also brings your eyes closer to the camera, and whatever is closer to the camera appears larger.
  • Your “good” side: do you have a preference for one side over the other? I’ll capture you from all angles so we can determine which is more flattering.
  • Connection in your eyes helps you look confident. Squinching helps create this look.
  • Expression, from no smile to full on laughter: we’ll cover it all! But I’ll lead you through it with prompts that help make it look natural.

Mature woman posed from her head and shoulders to her expression so she looks great.Posing is important, even for a headshot.Posing is important, even for a headshot. I hope that when you leave my studio, you’ll have a better idea of how to look good in pix no matter when and where you are – even selfies.  

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) session information style tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/11/things-i-watch-out-for-posing-tips Fri, 04 Nov 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Headshots Are Not All The Same: Actor https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/10/headshots-are-not-all-the-same-actor Not all headshots are created equal. What kind do you need? And do you really need a personal branding shoot, instead?

Traditional “business” headshots are just that: simple, head-and-shoulders only.

Actors, however, need something a bit different.

- They need something that creates an immediate connection, especially with their eyes.

- They need something that inspires the characters they want to portray, from clothing to expression.

- They need something that is not overly retouched (cleaned up is fine; airbrushed and altered is not).

- They need something that is properly lit to showcase the face, not the environment.

- They need something that works for commercial work (lifestyle shots, likely with a natural smile) and something else that works for theatrical work (character focused, usually with a more serious look).

woman smiling in her commercial headshotcommercial headshot woman not smiling for intense look theatrical headshottheatrical headshot
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What kind of headshot do you need?

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/10/headshots-are-not-all-the-same-actor Fri, 28 Oct 2022 12:00:00 GMT
How to Pick the Right Boudoir Photographer https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/10/how-to-pick-the-right-boudoir-photographer Choosing to have a boudoir session can be a brave thing, but you need to do a bit of homework before you hire that random guy with a camera on Facebook offering a free or cheap photoshoot.

Some things to look for:

  1. Pretty pix. Of course, the first place to start is their online portfolio. What are they sharing on social media and their website (they do have a website, right?)? Is there a consistent photographic style you like? Are you comfortable with the way the models/clients are posed, dressed, and portrayed?
  2. Professionalism. Meet with the photographer well ahead of scheduling your shoot. Ask questions so you know what to expect. How do they run their photo sessions? Where? Will anyone else be there? Is there a private area to change outfits? What will the set be like? Can they offer posing guidance without touching you? Are you expected to bare all?
  3. Contract policies. While you are meeting with your potential photographer, ask about all the provisions in their contract so you fully understand what’s in it, especially regarding the use of these pictures. Can you keep your boudoir images private? Or select the ones you are okay with them sharing in their portfolio? Will they attach your name to an online gallery or can you remain anonymous? If you don’t want to share your images, will they edit out any identifying features (like tattoos or special jewelry you always wear) before sharing “anonymous” photos from your set?

boudoir photo of a woman on a bed boudoirCheck out your boudoir photographer before you book. You’ve done these three things. Now, do they pass the “vibe test”? Your gut will let you know if something is off about them. If you aren’t comfortable at any point of your meeting, don’t schedule. If they seem legitimate, but you’re still a little nervous going alone, ask to bring a friend.

If you are completely comfortable with them after this meeting, schedule the session, prepare to be photographed, and go for it! Boudoir sessions are so empowering! Let’s get the best experience for you!

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) boudoir professional photographer https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/10/how-to-pick-the-right-boudoir-photographer Fri, 21 Oct 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Couples Session: Plan a Surprise Proposal https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/10/couples-session-plan-a-surprise-proposal You’ve finally decided it’s time. Or you’ve decided it’s time again. It’s time to Pop The Question: “Will you marry me?” A bit nerve-wracking, even if you know the answer is going to be “YES!”

How can you make the occasion special? I mean… beyond the absolutely special situation it already is, of course. Plan ahead to do an activity together as a couple, like a photoshoot! She’ll absolutely love that you thought enough to make sure there are pictures of that special moment for later reminiscence and for sharing with family and friends. But don’t tell her it’s an engagement shoot or that you plan to ask her to spend the rest of your lives together! Do, however, tell me! I don’t want to miss the moment because you took me by surprise, too.

Schedule the portrait session (birthday or holiday gift? or “a friend wants us to model for her”?), and we’ll come up with a theme. Cooking dinner at home together? Picnic at the park? Hike in the woods? Couples' boudoir? One of those activities from the DateBox Club post I shared earlier? I can help you figure out the best time/place/way to go about the actual moment so she’s swept off her feet and I’m ready for it. We’ll come up with a particular pose idea or prop or secret code word or phrase that sets the scene. When the time is right, you do your thing and I’ll do mine. Then it becomes an engagement photoshoot and we do all the lovey-dovey ring-centered shots y’all know and love.

Man down on one knee to ask his wife to marry him again after 25 years.25 YearsGary and Suzanna celebrated 25 years of marriage with a photoshoot. He surprised us both by dropping to his knee to ask her to marry him again. Please let your photographer know your plans so they can be ready to capture the moment.

Even if you don’t want to make a production of it and just want to do a simple session, please don’t pull a Gary on me and ask your beloved Suzanna to marry you (again, on your 25th anniversary) without warning, while I’m adjusting camera settings. I almost missed it!

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) session information wedding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/10/couples-session-plan-a-surprise-proposal Fri, 14 Oct 2022 12:00:00 GMT
The 50 Over 50 Portrait Experience https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/10/the-50-over-50-portrait-experience You may have noticed it elsewhere on my site. Last year, when I hit 55 on my age-ometer, I started thinking about how life is different now that I’m over 50 and an empty-nester. I’m different… and so many women of our certain age are in a time of our lives that is so unique from even a few years ago. And I wanted to celebrate that.

We are beautiful not in spite of our smile lines but because of them. We are strong not in spite of our body’s challenges with aging but because of them. We are experienced. In most cases, we’ve reached a new level of confidence, independence, and resilience because of our experiences.

Photographers around the world have done these special “50 Over 50” projects, so I looked into what they were doing and how. Some of them focus on business “boss babes” (not a fan of the term, but I like the concept). Some focus on boudoir (woo hoo!). Most go full glam – big hair, dramatic makeup, couture dress, dark and moody set – so you look like you stepped out of a page of Vogue magazine. This is where I started… but I really came back to my preference that you look like YOU. If you would like to go full glam, yes, let’s do that! What I’ve found is that most of my clients for this celebration prefer a more toned-down look, wearing a hairstyle and makeup that looks like them for a nice date night, perhaps, and wearing something that fits their natural style. No one has rented the flying dress… yet.

I expect that when my first "50 Over 50" collection is complete, it will be quite an eclectic book - as it should be! I’m not curating it to look slick; I’m showcasing the beauty in all of us. I'm allowing you to choose the facet you believe shows you off best to the world and sharing your one-of-a-kind story.

If you’re over 50, please check it out and get in touch soon. I want to celebrate you, too!

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/10/the-50-over-50-portrait-experience Fri, 07 Oct 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Beyond Self-Image https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/9/insights-beyond-self-image I had a conversation with a social media client that got me thinking about image, and I’d like to share part of it and carry on that conversation with you, too – whether here in the comments, via some message service or in person with a beverage in hand.

I am restarting one of her social media channels and starting another from scratch. That means I need to have something to post. Early on, there really should be a photograph that represents her as the owner and creator of her products. You’ve probably read or heard me say it before: people want to see the face behind the brand. I needed an introduction to the new page, and it should have a picture of her, too.

I asked why she was reluctant to show up for her business. Most people just give me a surface response. Hers was deeper than I expected, and it went beyond her own self-image to thinking about her business image.

She explained that she felt sharing a photo of herself was performative; her work should stand on its own, without putting a stamp on it that might affect someone’s perception. She opened up about feeling judged and a bit concerned about how it might affect her business. Sharing an image representative of her true self in the role of product creator is also a challenge. She is indeed one of those multi-faceted women I speak of, so what expression works best with her work when there is so much variation? "Serious" seemed cliché, but smiling seemed too personal.

We talked some more about personal and business representation and how they can overlap or separate. And we finally selected a few neutral-expression images that would work for her brand.

Hispanic woman with long dark hair whose face is half hidden under a white umbrella with netting.Pluviophon

Is this something that’s keeping you from showing up online for your business? Let’s chat about how we can create images that match your brand.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/9/insights-beyond-self-image Fri, 30 Sep 2022 12:00:00 GMT
No “Pain Points”? Not So Fast https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/9/no-pain-points-not-so-fast Even aspirational brands – those that address wants instead of needs – can still talk about their potential client’s struggles. This is where your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) come in; share those questions and answers. Better yet, share answers to questions they don’t know to ask!

A few examples of things you can share:

- Does your discretionary product or service fall within your client’s price range? Are there options that make it easier for them to afford it? Is there a payment plan or pre-purchase savings?

- How can they buy your product or service? What are the steps involved?

- Can you reassure your customer that their new purchase will arrive quickly and intact? That it looks as good in person as it does in the pictures?

- Can you show social proof of the experience others have had with you?

Female in a blue shirt and wearing glasses  sharing paper samples with a calligraphy client during a virtual meeting on her laptop. Her work area shows wax seal and ink options, as well as other visual crafting tools.Alligraphy Zoom consultationShow your clients how easy it is to work with you!

Make it as easy and friendly as possible for your audience to work with you. Show them with your content… and the pix that accompany your words.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/9/no-pain-points-not-so-fast Fri, 23 Sep 2022 12:00:00 GMT
What NOT To Bring to Your Boudoir Session https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/9/what-not-to-bring-to-your-boudoir-session You’re doing a boudoir session? Awesome! There are lots of lists and guides about what to wear and how to prepare… but here’s the short list of what not to bring with you:

  1. Anyone who might say something critical… or even look like they are thinking it! Yes, I welcome someone coming along for your safety and security. This can be nerve-wracking for some people, especially since I’m asking you to be vulnerable with me – a practical stranger. But your support person should be supportive, and they are absolutely not allowed to interfere with the camera confidence I’m trying to build with you.
  2. Your inner critic. She needs to check it at the door, too! We’re about loving our bodies, not shaming or negativity.

That’s it.

That’s the list.

Anything else, we can work with.

Have 15 different outfits? Dump the drawer into your suitcase, and I'll help you choose the most flattering.

Have props? Ooh! I'm about to find out a lot about your fantasies... and that's okay, too. Your secret is safe with me. 

Want a partner to share in the fun? Bring it! We might make it steamy, but I have rules!

Cropped anonymous image of a woman's torso in a mirror. She's wearing a black corset with red trim... and a slight smile.

Oh! One more thing: there's no need to bring your worries. It's okay if you do, but you can leave them at home, too.

Don’t have matching undergarments? That’s okay – we’ll use one piece at a time with your outer garments. Don’t have anything that fits? We’ll fake it with strategically placed sheets. Forgot your lacy undies? I probably have a pair you can wear for your session (and keep; those are never reused here - ew). There’s a whole drawer full of fun things to play with.

Forgot your confidence? We’ll work through that, too!

Literally, just show up and we’ll create a beautiful celebration of you!

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) boudoir https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/9/what-not-to-bring-to-your-boudoir-session Fri, 16 Sep 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Wedding Photography Work Style https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/9/wedding-photography-work-style Once you’ve decided you like a photographer’s visual style (see this post), it’s time to find out their work style. This person is going to be up close and personal with you on what is ultimately a fairly stressful day (even though it’s a good stress).

Meet with several photographers and spend a little time with them. Review their experience and their portfolios with them. Ask for references; if they take epic pictures but are a pain to work with, you might want to pass on this added stress.

Are they a solopreneur or part of a studio with several freelance or staff photographers? Let them know your preferences about the type of photographer you want to work with. Make sure the photographer has experience shooting the style you’re after.

Are you comfortable with this person?

Be sure to ask about:

  • Who will be doing the actual photography the day of the wedding, especially if from a group studio
  • Whether and how they work with videographers; this dynamic is important as each needs to work get what they need without interfering with the other trying to get what they need
  • Finished samples of work similar to what you are looking for, preferably at the venue you’ve selected (are they familiar with the location’s lighting, for instance)
  • What’s included in their packages/pricing *
  • Cancellation policies and payment schedule (can you meet that schedule? If there’s a postponement or cancellation, and the photographer isn’t available on your new date, can you get your investment back, less the retainer fee?)
  • Any guarantees of their work
  • What time they’ll start and finish
  • How soon you’ll receive your images, album ordering process, etc.

* Packages vary – sometimes wildly – among photographers, and might include an engagement session, or albums, or wall art… or just their time and talent. Do their packages have what you want? Do you get all the best digital files automatically? Or do you order them individually and pay per photograph? Are professional prints included? Can you get duplicates for family members? Is there an online gallery for them to order for themselves? Is there any deviation allowed if you want something different? What is the pricing for each of these? Most photographers should allow you to lock in with the lowest package and upgrade later; they may not offer downgrades.

These decisions can take a lot of thought on your part ahead of time… and a good photographer will walk through it all with you. If they aren’t willing to answer your questions or won’t accommodate minor changes (requested well ahead of time; please don’t ask for adjustments at the last minute… think months, not days), you might want to consider hiring someone else. Your photographer should make you feel confident that you’ll have great evidence of this Best Day Ever.

Bride and groom standing under a shade tree near a display of champagne flutes and decor reading Mr. & Mrs.Abby & James at Alvis FarmsCapturing quiet moments together.

Personally, I’m all about the elopement or microwedding – maybe a handful people on a random afternoon, for just a couple of hours. I’m a hybrid of posed formal shots and lots of photojournalistic “ninja” candids. My packages are all listed online; custom options are available. Two include an Engagement shoot, which can be very helpful for getting to know each other better and getting you and your partner more comfortable in front of the camera. Any of my pre-wedding sessions (engagement, bridal, boudoir) are available a la carte, if you want to “try before you buy,” with the session fee credited to your package if you decide to hire me for your wedding coverage.

This service is one you want to book early. Once you have a venue and date, lock it in! Your pix will last your lifetime together and beyond. Make ‘em good.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) wedding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/9/wedding-photography-work-style Fri, 09 Sep 2022 12:00:00 GMT
What else am I? https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/9/what-else-am-i You may note that I’ve been ending my posts about women being multi-faceted, and it’s so true that we take on many roles in life: daughter, granddaughter, sister, wife, mother, employee, employer, friend…. We’re also cooks, cleaners, caregivers, taxi drivers, volunteers, family photo historians, hobbyists… and so much more! And deep in our core, we are ourselves.

Your photographer, MaggieWhat else am I?Whatever support you need to make your portrait session go so well you'll tell everyone about your dream photoshoot and share the pictures everywhere!

Even within a role, there are roles. For instance, I am a portrait photographer. But I’m also a business manager, marketer, equipment manager, lighting technician, janitor, location scout, clothing stylist, weather analyst… and, as one of my mentor photographers, Megan DiPiero, has said, “At times I’m a marriage counselor. I’m usually a therapist. I’m often an interior designer and a gracious concierge. Above all, I’m a friend and a listening ear.”

I’m whatever you need me to be so that you can celebrate your best self with pix.

  • Need help choosing outfits? I’m here for you.
  • Can’t decide if you want studio or location? I can help with that.
  • Nervous about posing for the camera? I’ll direct you down to your pinky finger!
  • Want a makeup artist and/or hairstylist to help polish your look? I know some that do great work making sure you look like your best version of you.
  • Want someone to guide you through wall art sizing or layout? I’m your person.
  • Can’t decide between two pix to include in your folio box? I’ll tell you my preference and why (but let you make the final decision).
  • Need an album designed? Guess what! I do that, too!

Any question or concern, I’m here with an answer. My multi-faceted experience is here to make easy for you to shine!

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) professional photographer session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/9/what-else-am-i Fri, 02 Sep 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Content Counts https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/8/content-counts If you have a brand that solves a problem, it’s a bit easier to show your audience how you do that. For aspirational brands, however? We’re going to need to address your potential clients’ desires:

- to feel confident, sexy, attractive, inspired, __________ (fill in the blank)

- to showcase their uniqueness, beauty, individuality, __________

- to receive compliments from people significant in their lives

- to learn more about a process

large frame picture of bride and groom above couchwall artWall art

What does your audience want?  And how do we address that?

Ideas to consider:

- share inspirational quotes

- educational content

- promote exclusivity or scarcity

- share stories that create connection

- paint a picture of how they’ll feel

Having an idea of how you are going to address you client’s wishes will give us a starting point for creating appropriate images to go along with your content.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/8/content-counts Fri, 26 Aug 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Body Parts https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/8/body-parts Body parts? No, it’s not a murder mystery! It’s how we share anonymous boudoir photos to maintain your privacy online. But it’s also a really nice way to celebrate your body and all it does - and has done – for you.

What’s your favorite body part? Let’s start there. Perhaps you have an incredible waistline? Or have décolletage that turns heads? Maybe your derriere is to die for? Legs for days?

anonymous boudoir photo of a woman's derriere butt tushtushy celebrate your body parts

We’ll celebrate other parts, too, that might not be the first to come to mind: your neck, collar bone, back… lips.

If you have a partner, we’ll make sure we get their favorite parts, too… but only if you’re feeling extra nice.

What’s your favorite body part? Would you want to do a session of just parts? And – here’s a thought – would you hang them on your wall as art?

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) boudoir https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/8/body-parts Fri, 19 Aug 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Date Night (and photoshoot) Ideas https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/8/date-night-and-photoshoot-ideas My husband and I attended a wedding and were considering what to give as a gift to the young couple, whom we don’t know well. I know that “experiences” rather than “things” are trending right now, especially as many couples are setting up households before they marry, and they probably don’t need another air fryer. Enter the Google search….

I found the neatest site!

It’s called DateBox Club. I am not an affiliate in any way, but I love this concept! It’s a subscription service for couples that are “setting aside intentional time to spend together.” DateBoxes are themed, and might include a game, an activity, or a DIY. There are instruction cards to walk you through the experience. Past boxes have included Road Trip Puzzle War (two destination puzzles, a states trivia deck, popcorn…), Playing with Heartstrings (custom string art kit with two projects, candy…), and Jenga Party (a Truth or Dare version of Jenga!). There is also a Digital Dates option – no physical box, but monthly email with a download of instructions and themed printable(s). There are more “intimate” options for both boxes and digital versions….

The site also offers a bunch of freebies, like “10 Free Date Night Ideas” that includes such things as: volunteer somewhere, buy a Tarot card deck and read each other’s fortune, and share embarrassing photos (a personal favorite). There’s the “100 Dad Jokes Challenge” and “10 Free Outdoor Date Ideas” and “50 Love Language Date Night Ideas” and so many more. There’s even an option to sign up for 52 free micro-dates, like “Each of you secretly purchase a never tried flavor of ice cream for your partner. Keep it hidden in a bag in the freezer and eat straight from the carton on your next movie night.” How fun is that?

In any case, I wanted to share this resource with you… and offer to come capture your date night in photographs. What? Yes! Use these as a theme for your photoshoot together! Check out “Lifestyle Family Photography Sessions at Home” here on my blog. 

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/8/date-night-and-photoshoot-ideas Fri, 12 Aug 2022 12:00:00 GMT
How to Determine Wall Art Sizes https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/8/how-to-determine-wall-art-sizes Mine is a full-service boutique portrait studio, to include hanging the photograph(s) on your wall, whether you choose one impactful piece or a gallery of images… if you want. If you would rather do it yourself, here are tips for creating that statement wall.

As a general rule in the decorating world, proper viewing distance for artwork is from three to four feet away. Tape a piece of standard printer paper to your wall. That’s 8.5x11 inches. Are you sure you just want an 8x10? I think you’ll agree that it’s a bit small all by itself… or unless you have a much tighter viewing distance. Let’s see what we can create that’ll fit the wall better.

To figure out the available area to hang your printed images, measure the wall height and wall width. Multiply both numbers by .6 and .75 to get the minimum and maximum area to fill. For example, I wanted to hang something above our queen-sized bed. I don’t really need the width of the whole wall; I just need to know that the wall immediately above the bed is 60 inches wide. The headboard is tall and covers the bottom four feet of the wall, so the wall area I need in this case is 60x48 inches. Doing the math, my artwork should be somewhere between 36 and 45 inches wide and 29 and 36 inches tall to fill this space. A single 40x30 impact piece would be amazing, but I’ve decided on a grouping of three vertical images at 12 inches wide in ¾-inch thick frames, with spacing between them (I’m going with 2x the frame thickness, so 1½ inch wide gaps) that will put me very close to the maximum width (at 44 inches total).

But wait! There’s more!

We also need to consider viewing height. Proper viewing height is “eye level” – which we’ll have to figure out for you and your family. What’s “eye level” for you might be too low or too high for someone else. And is that artwork being viewed from a seated or standing position? For pictures that will be viewed from a standing position, which is most of them, the general rule is to hang them so that the centerline of the piece or grouping is 60 to 66 inches from the floor. My frames are only 18 inches tall, short of the 29-inch calculated minimum area above the bed. But by hanging them with the centerline 60 inches from the floor, a better viewing height for the almost seven-foot viewing distance from the foot of the bed, the tops will be at about 71 inches. This falls comfortably near the maximum height if calculated based on the full wall height of 96 inches. And it gives me plenty of clearance above the headboard. Boom!

At your ordering appointment, we’ll design your artwork to fit your space, whether that is one picture or three or six (or more). And if all this seems like way too much measuring and math, don’t worry! I’ll take care of it for you! I want you to celebrate your life in pictures that you can see every day. I do not want you to stress about your framed or canvas photographs… or leave them stacked – lonely – on the floor or in the closet where no one can enjoy them and celebrate with you.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) product info professional photographer https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/8/how-to-determine-wall-art-sizes Fri, 05 Aug 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Creating an Emotional Response https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/7/creating-an-emotional-response Recent popular marketing advice is to find out the pain points of your ideal client and create a product or service that solves their problem. Some people I work with (myself included) have brands that don’t exactly solve a problem. What we do, instead, is more aspirational – making the world a better place with a “discretionary” product, like art or jewelry or floral design or boudoir photos. It’s not exactly a need; it’s really a want.

So how do we show that story? With pix that create an emotional response that prompt people to want to know more about your business, like what you do, and yes: buy your offer.

Sometimes we respond to an image just because it looks pretty or intriguing. What can we create together that’s compelling? Let’s consider:

- good overall images (of course) of you and your work

- enticing details that create interest (what bits and pieces can we highlight?)

- behind the scenes or work in progress pix that help people feel invested in your process

- a human element that creates a connection to you and your work

We’ll look to provide some context in all your images, so your pix are useable for showing your story and enticing your audience to take the next step.

We’ll focus on photographs that show how you help enrich people’s lives… and perhaps even create a pang of longing for you to make their world better by being in it.

If your pain point is wanting to be more visible online with just the right images, including some very flattering photographs of you, too, I aspire to help.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/7/creating-an-emotional-response Fri, 29 Jul 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Five Myths about Boudoir Portrait Sessions https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/7/five-myths-about-boudoir-portrait-sessions Some women have expressed that they don’t think they could actually do a boudoir session. Nerves, lack of confidence… and maybe a little bit of misinformation... are at work.

These are five of the biggest myths about boudoir sessions. Follow the links to read more!

  1. You have to get naked. You can look sexy in practically anything.
  2. You have to be confident in front of the camera. You'll probably get there, though....
  3. You have to be young. Age is just a number.
  4. You have to be skinny. Nope. All sizes are beautiful.
  5. You have to have someone to give the photos to. Keep it a secret if you want!

I try very hard to create a No Judgement Zone with my boudoir sessions. I want you to feel comfortable and confident, authentically and beautifully you. And I will not share any identifiable photographs without your permission.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) boudoir https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/7/five-myths-about-boudoir-portrait-sessions Fri, 22 Jul 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Couples Session: Just Because https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/7/couples-session-just-because Sometimes you want to celebrate your life together, but there’s no special occasion coming up. That shouldn’t stop you from scheduling a portrait session!

“Just because” is reason enough! If you really want to create an excuse, see last week’s blog post.

Let’s go take pix of you at your favorite place, doing your favorite things. Or let’s find some place you haven’t been and create a new memory for you.

Couple kissing in a field during a photoshoot "just because."Kissing coupleHave a portrait session "just because." You don't need a reason to have a photoshoot.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty portraits https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/7/couples-session-just-because Fri, 15 Jul 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Nine Reasons to Hire a Professional Photographer https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/7/nine-reasons-to-hire-a-professional-photographer You don’t need a special occasion to hire a professional photographer. You can have a photo session just for the sake of having pix that include everyone – together – with much less stress than trying to DIY your own photoshoot. But if you feel you need a reason, here are some for you to consider:

  1. Vacation – whether it’s someplace special or the first (or last) time everyone will be together, make a photoshoot part of your plans.
  2. Art – have a visual idea you want help creating? A pro might have just the insight needed to make your vision come to life.
  3. Milestone – birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, holidays… so many reasons to bring in a photographer to capture the memories while you enjoy the celebration!
  4. Day in the Life – it’s hard to take pix documenting your daily life while you are trying to live it. But if you want to photos to remind you of how beautiful your normal day is, hire someone to follow you around.
  5. Time Capsule – having a new child or grandchild is a great reason to have a session for you, so they’ll be able to look back and admire the people they come from. I know I love looking at old pix of my parents and grandparents when they were younger.  Triptych of dancing poses.dancing pix on the wallWall art to celebrate life.
  6. Friends – create and capture some special moments with special friends, whether doing something special (vacation?) or something ordinary (book/wine club?)! They are, after all, the family we choose.
  7. Family – multi-generational family photos celebrate your connections and will be cherished for years.
  8. Place – is there somewhere that’s special to you? Have some pix taken there.
  9. Professional – you need a new headshot every time you change anything about your physical appearance (new glasses, new hair…) or every two years or so. Having a fresh headshot shows everyone you are on top of your game.

What other reasons have you thought of? I’d love to help celebrate your life’s true beauty in whatever way works for you.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty portraits https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/7/nine-reasons-to-hire-a-professional-photographer Fri, 08 Jul 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Six Uses for your Headshots (you may not have thought about) https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/7/six-uses-for-your-headshots-you-may-not-have-thought-about I’ve mentioned many times (including in my introductory branding pdf) that you’ll want a few coordinated pix to update all your social media profiles, in your email newsletters, and on your website. Here are some other ideas that may be less obvious:

  • email signature block. Studies show that “seeing” who you’re talking to increases likability.
  • business cards. This serves as a visual reminder of who you are to people you may have recently met at a networking event.
  • press releases or articles. You’ve got news? Share it with author pix!
  • print ads. Your image is your brand. Show ‘em who you are.
  • directory photos. Does your Chamber of Commerce or another group have a photo directory? Make yours professional!
  • podcasts or other speaking gigs. Whether your own or as a guest on someone else’s, there’s often a little snapshot of the host and/or guest shared somewhere.

HeadshotActress HeadshotUse your headshot, and variations of it, everywhere online and off. What other uses have you thought of? Please share!

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/7/six-uses-for-your-headshots-you-may-not-have-thought-about Fri, 01 Jul 2022 12:00:00 GMT
You don't need a partner to do a boudoir session https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/6/you-dont-need-a-partner-to-do-a-boudoir-session Women often have a boudoir session to present images to their partner as a gift. It’s the most common “excuse,” really. They regularly find, however, that they feel so amazing during and following the experience!

I’d like to tell you that you don’t have to have a partner to book your boudoir session – or any session. You can totally do this just for you! I have. 😉

Boudoir doesn't have to be revealing or over the top. Image close-up of woman's face with light natural makeup, eyes closed.Bridal BoudoirHold a boudoir session just for you!

When I was a 20-something, I did a boudoir shoot for my then-husband (we had a 16x20 for the bedroom of my favorite shot). But I’ve also mentioned it before that when I was 49, I was a client again. While I shared a few images with my readers, there are 25 prints that are just for me. It was an unforgettable experience, and the prints remind me of that time and of my courage in showing up.

Whether you are giving prints or an album to someone else or not, please make sure you get some for yourself as a souvenir of your time in front of my camera.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) boudoir https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/6/you-dont-need-a-partner-to-do-a-boudoir-session Fri, 24 Jun 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Tips to Prepare for Your Maternity Portrait Session https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/6/tips-to-prepare-for-your-maternity-portrait-session Congratulations on the pending arrival of your little one! If you are interested in a maternity photo session, the first thing you should consider is the timeframe, ideally around your seventh month. Once on the calendar, it’s time to prepare. In addition to my normal style tips, here are four more:

  1. Moisturize your bump! Stretch marks are part of the process, and dry skin is common, but let’s make it looks as good as we can.
  2. Choose body-conscious clothing that will accentuate your belly without being too tight or restrictive.
  3. Make sure you share the types of images you want with your photographer. As an example, is having the father kissing your belly classic or cheesy? Are you looking for implied nudes? Do you want to include any older children?
  4. Don’t forget to bring any sentimental items, like your ultrasound picture or heirloom baby blanket or toy.

This is such a wonderful time to document your growing family and your life’s true beauty.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) session information style tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/6/tips-to-prepare-for-your-maternity-portrait-session Fri, 10 Jun 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Four Tips to Use the Photos from Your Brand Photoshoot https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/6/four-tips-to-use-the-photos-from-your-brand-photoshoot One of the things that breaks my little photographer heart is when people invest their time, energy and money into a branding photoshoot and then don’t use their pix as strategically as they can. I will (happily) help you plan it out as part of the session design process! But so many times I’ve seen clients get excited and share a bunch of the photos in a Facebook post all at once… and then not again.

This is never the plan.

Here are some tips to use your images as you should:

  1. Determine where you need photographs. There is a list available on page 7 of my guide at https://www.maggietakespix.com/maggie-takes-branding-pix.pdf to kickstart your plan. Update your website (share that pic from your About page, not directly). Update your social media profile and cover pictures (share those pix from those pages). Do all of this in increments over several days, not all at once!
  2. Create your marketing collateral for your upcoming campaigns. Use those specific photos only for those specific purposes.
  3. Pre-plan a bunch of blog and/or #FridayIntroduction posts (if you need help, see page 11 of the guide for more on how to do this) and decide which pix you’ll use for those. Save them for those posts.
  4. Once you’ve run through the above, repurpose as you please!

Building a brand means showing up consistently. Having your own photo library personalizes your content and gives you a way to share potential points of connection with your audience.

But please do it over time. Don’t photo-dump-and-run!

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/6/four-tips-to-use-the-photos-from-your-brand-photoshoot Fri, 03 Jun 2022 12:00:00 GMT
A Word About Body Image https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/5/a-word-about-body-image I’m here to tell you something you may or may not believe: your butt is not too big, and your boobs are not too small, to celebrate with a beauty or boudoir portrait session!

No, your belly isn’t too much. Your arms aren’t too flabby. Your thighs are not too thick.

Your smile is not too crooked. Your skin is not too wrinkled. Your hair is not too gray or too curly or too straight. You are not too old.

Your scars are not ugly.

You heard me.

Now let me show you.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty boudoir glamour https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/5/a-word-about-body-image Fri, 27 May 2022 12:00:00 GMT
What’s Your Style? https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/5/what-s-your-style When choosing your wedding photographer (or a photographer for any purpose, really), one of the most critical things to consider is their style and how it meshes with yours! If you don’t like how they work, you won’t like the results… and these photos are arguably among the most important keepsakes of your life.

So what’s your style?

  • Classic? Formal portraits, traditional poses, composed detail shots, with maybe a mix of black and white pix.
  • Natural? Easy, fuss-free, artful candids in natural landscapes, prompting movements but less posed.
  • Modern? Fashion forward, stylish close ups, and posed knockout scenes.
  • Playful? Trendy and experimental photographs, open to trying new things.
  • Romantic? Every secret kiss and loving look… capturing those in-between moments.

Whatever your style, check your potential photographers for theirs. Review their online presence: are they posting images you like? Review their portfolio: is their collection reflective of photos you like?

Once you know you like their pix, then it’s time to find out their work style. Are you going to be comfortable spending this special day with them? 

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) wedding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/5/what-s-your-style Fri, 20 May 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Lifestyle Family Photography Sessions at Home https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/5/lifestyle-family-photography-sessions-at-home There are so many wonderful moments in your everyday life to remember, and there’s nothing like a photograph to be able to share it with loved ones or as a reminder of what you love about your experience. The only way to make sure no one is left out of the picture is to have someone else take it.

male female couple with bottles of beer and a tray of s'more ingredients by the firepitlifestyle at-home sessionCelebrate your everday life in pix!

What do you do together that you’d like to celebrate? Is it cooking together? Reading together? Hiking? Nights by the campfire? 

Whether your family is two people or five, human or fur-baby filled, create a photographic souvenir of your favorite activities to relive your at-home (or wherever) moments whenever you’d like.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/5/lifestyle-family-photography-sessions-at-home Fri, 13 May 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Four Tips to Enjoy Your Photoshoot https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/5/four-tips-to-enjoy-your-photoshoot For many people, the idea of being photographed is… uncomfortable. They know that they need to show up, but don’t want to go through the process. Here are a few ways to make your photo session more enjoyable.

  1. Prepare! Consider the story you want to tell with your photographs. What clothing style will reflect that? What props? What locations? Knowing these and proper prior planning will help you feel more comfortable.
  2. Ask questions! Read anything your photographer sends you to help prepare. If something isn’t clear, ask about it. If you are inspired by something in your planning, share it with your photographer and ask about if and/or how you can incorporate the idea in your session.
  3. Trust your photographer! If they ask you to do something, even if it feels a little weird, understand that they are seeing you from a different perspective. They are trying to make you look your best, taking into account the lighting, their equipment, and more.
  4. Be yourself! Really, your session is about YOU. Have fun with the experience! Dance along to your favorite music. Share your humor. Feel free to make mistakes and laugh about them.

woman dancing in studiodance and have funEnjoy your photoshoot! Don’t worry about being nervous; once you get into the flow, those nerves will calm. Once you relax, you’ll show up in your images as confident and compelling.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/5/four-tips-to-enjoy-your-photoshoot Fri, 06 May 2022 12:20:18 GMT
How old is too old for a boudoir session? https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/4/how-old-is-too-old-for-a-boudoir-session The desire to be sexy comes with no age limits. Older women want the experience of getting in front of the camera for a boudoir session just the same as any young bride. I did a shoot myself at 49, and I frankly would love to have someone older as my subject.

Here are some great reasons for women to book a boudoir shoot:

  • You’ve raised beautiful children and it’s time to do something wonderful for yourself
  • You’ve achieved great successes
  • You’ve lost 10, 20, or 100 pounds
  • You’ve lost a spouse (whether through divorce or death)
  • You’ve beat cancer or faced down another medical situation
  • You’re an empty nester, and it’s time to experience something special for you, because you’ve been busy taking care of everyone else.

You may be thinking, “my body is not what it used to be.” Maybe it’s not, but it’s still beautiful. Let’s rejoice in all you’ve been able to achieve with this body in this life. A boudoir photoshoot is not about perfection. It's about celebrating you in the here and now and the result is taking self-love and appreciation for yourself to a new level.

BoudoirBoudoir for any age and bodyCelebrate all that your body has brought you through with a boudoir photo session!

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) boudoir https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/4/how-old-is-too-old-for-a-boudoir-session Fri, 29 Apr 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Couples Session: Anniversary https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/4/couples-session-anniversary Do you ever wonder what to give your loved one for an anniversary gift?

The traditional gift for a first wedding anniversary is paper. How about a special image of the two of you, printed on photographic paper, presented in a beautiful frame?

The traditional gift for a third wedding anniversary is leather. How about a collection of special images in a leather-bound photo album?

Let your loved one know how much you adore them by commemorating your relationship with a custom photoshoot, just as you may have with your engagement. Spend a romantic hour or two with your partner, and share the souvenir after.

Anniversary CoupleAnniversary SessionsCelebrate your continued love with an anniversary photo session! And this doesn’t need to be confined to just the first or third wedding anniversaries! You can do this for any anniversary… or birthday… or holiday. Fun fact: the 51st anniversary gift is photos!

I’d love to help you celebrate your love by being your photographer.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/4/couples-session-anniversary Fri, 22 Apr 2022 12:00:00 GMT
The Perfect Time to do a Maternity Portrait Session https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/4/the-perfect-time-to-do-a-maternity-portrait-session “I wish I had photographic evidence of just how much love I felt for them, even before I had laid eyes on them.” – Jessica Collins Grimes, for The Bump

Like many women, I didn’t feel particularly photogenic when I was pregnant with my daughter… and maternity photos weren’t “a thing” back then. I have only a few pix of my growing belly, and none of them show me “glowing.” But once my dear little one entered the world, I realized how much I missed being pregnant, even with the last weeks of complications we faced. And like Jessica in the quote above, I wished I had more photographic evidence of how much love I felt for my little girl, instead of snapshots of me wishing I wasn’t so large and uncomfortable.

Maternity photos are better now.pregnant photographerMaternity photos weren't a "thing" back when I was pregnant.
I wish I had pix of me smiling at my cradled belly as a gentle reminder of the beauty of my body cradling my daughter before my arms could.

So I always recommend these photoshoots now. If you’ve decided to have one, your first question is likely surrounding when the best time to hold your maternity session is. Ideally, we’ll want to photograph you some time between 28 and 36 weeks of pregnancy. We want you to show a nice bump while still being comfortable standing, posing, and generally moving around. Are you having multiples or at higher risk? Let’s go a little earlier, at 24 weeks or so. Missed the “ideal” window? That’s okay – it’s not too late! We’ll adjust the poses to keep you comfortable, up until you are in labor, if necessary.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/4/the-perfect-time-to-do-a-maternity-portrait-session Fri, 15 Apr 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Four Tips to Prepare for Your Brand Photoshoot https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/4/four-tips-to-prepare-for-your-brand-photoshoot Once you’ve decided to invest in a branding photoshoot, make sure you get the most of your images! It would be a shame to take the time and spend the money to not use the product to its full potential. It starts with preparation.

  1. Pre-plan what you need. Make a list of everywhere you want to share your images. Website: home page, “about” page, contact page. Blog. Newsletters. Social media profile and cover photos… and posts.
  2. Have a clear vision of how you want to be photographed and share it with your photographer. Create a Pinterest board with images that inspire you: style, color, location, lighting, emotion. 
  3. Think marketing! Use your brand colors in your images through your choice of clothing or accessories, props, products, etc. Also consider the coming season and any promotional needs you may have.
  4. Consider the environment you’d like to be photographed in that best represents your brand. What reflects you and what you do? Indoor: your office? coffee shop? studio? favorite store? Outdoor: woods? barn? urban? small town?

Once all of these have been planned with your photographer, then comes the fun of the photo session itself! And after, strategic use of the pictures.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/4/four-tips-to-prepare-for-your-brand-photoshoot Fri, 08 Apr 2022 12:00:00 GMT
How to get all the group pictures done in less than 30 minutes https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/4/how-to-get-all-the-group-pictures-done-in-less-than-30-minutes Weddings are probably one of the few times all your family members – and all your favorite people – are together, and everyone wants these pix. But there’s a celebration going on, so let’s do this quickly so you can get back to the party!

  1. Let’s create a plan. Before the big day, let me know if there are family dynamics that will affect who is being photographed together. Has there been a divorce? Was it amicable, or should we make sure that certain members are kept apart? What groupings will you want photographed together? We’ll start with the new spouses and build in immediate family and then more extended family (if you want).
  2. We’ll choose a location near the ceremony site that can accommodate the largest of your planned groups.
  3. Make sure that everyone who needs to be in the group photos knows this before the wedding, so your brother-in-law, for instance, doesn’t wander off after the ceremony.
  4. Designate a “photo assistant” – a guest who’s not in the wedding party or an immediate family member that can run off to find missing those family or wedding party members who have wandered off. It’s also helpful for this person to share that other guest photos (like your cousins or high school friends) will be done at the reception, not during this time dedicated to immediate family and wedding party pix.
  5. Flexibility is key. We’ll work with whomever is present at the shoot location first, rather than stand around and wait for your wrangler to find the someone who’s wandered off.
  6. “While you wait” (before we begin a group series), I’ll ask everyone to make sure their flowers are ready and pockets are empty.
  7. Formal, then fun! We’ll get all the “classic” poses (actually, several, in case someone is a blinker), then work in some individualized photos that fit your personalities (are you #TeamJump or nah?).

I’ll also be sure to remind everyone that the faster they cooperate, the faster they can get to the party. And I’ll be sure to look for candid moments throughout the day, as well.

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I specialize in small, intimate weddings. Does that describe you and your future spouse? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) wedding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/4/how-to-get-all-the-group-pictures-done-in-less-than-30-minutes Fri, 01 Apr 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Five Tips to Boost Your Confidence for Your Session https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/3/five-tips-to-boost-your-confidence-for-your-session “I booked my photoshoot, but now I’m freaking out about it!”

I remember when I booked my own boudoir session to celebrate my upcoming (at the time) 50th birthday. Even though I’d been a professional photographer myself, and had photographed quite a few boudoir sessions, I was super nervous! I nearly cancelled several times, even while sitting in the parking lot, but I remembered that there was a whole team that blocked their time to help me feel good about myself while I was there. I didn’t want to waste their time, and I wanted to honor the commitment I’d made - especially to myself.

Maggie, your photographer, during her own boudoir session. Your confidence will grow! Even if you aren’t having a boudoir shoot, you might be worried about being in front of a camera. Here are five ways to “keep calm” and give yourself a boost of confidence:

1. Realize that no one expects you to be an experienced model. It’s great to look at photographs for inspiration before your session but remember, it’s my job to work with you and guide you to get your best shots. You’ll feel your inner supermodel come out in no time.

2. Don’t push it. You may want to walk into your session with sky-high confidence, but you don’t need to. Once we start shooting, you will start feeling more and more self-assured as we go. Plenty of women book photoshoots because it’s a way to feel more confident, not because they have a ton of confidence already. It'll grow as we go!

3. Get out of your head and be present. Don’t overthink it or worry “am I doing this right?” You’ll end up with photos you don’t like and that weren’t even fun to take! If I see you tensing up, I’ll try to reset you. Close your eyes and breathe. Tune back into the present moment rather than self-assessing. The more relaxed you feel, the more fun you’ll have and the better your photos will be.

4. Be honest. If you’re anxious about something, let me know! Realize that I do this for a living and have worked with plenty of women who felt like you do, but still left with gorgeous photos and a feeling of accomplishment. If you don’t like a certain side or feature of your body, or if you have one you really love and want to celebrate, remember that this is your session. I don’t ever want you to feel uncomfortable.

5. Hold onto your “why.” Why did you book your shoot? Think about what made you say yes to having a portrait session. Was it to build intimacy with your partner? To celebrate your body after a baby, weight loss, or leaving a less-than-happy relationship? To feel beautiful? To share your story? I want you to leave the session with your “why” fulfilled as much as you do, so if you feel a twinge of self-doubt or self-criticism, remind yourself why you took the time to do the session in the first place.

At the end of the day, your session should be fun and empowering. Authenticity is captivating, so you really can’t get it wrong. Relax, take a breath, and go with the flow!

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty boudoir branding professional photographer session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/3/five-tips-to-boost-your-confidence-for-your-session Fri, 25 Mar 2022 12:00:00 GMT
A Word About Sneak Peeks https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/3/a-word-about-sneak-peeks We photographers get very excited about our work and the clients who appear in our photographs… and we’ll often share a “sneak peek” at your proof gallery.

I prefer to post “behind the scenes” pix of our session instead, but I might share one favorite image from the back of my camera – a real sneak peek at what we’re doing. I may also share a finished image from our session, as a hint of what’s to come, but not generally until after you’ve seen and chosen your favorites.

Most critically, I won’t post anything identifiable as you or your family or your brand without your permission.

Even then I will not post

- any photographs intended to be a gift for others (like bridal boudoir pix) until that date has passed.

- your engagement or elopement pictures until you have told your family and friends.

- your branding pix until your business is ready to use them.

I love a good sneak peek as much as the next photographer, but I’ve seen this go astray. The incident that triggered this post was a Facebook gallery of something like 15 images (what I would consider a full post, not a “sneak peek”) of a bridal portrait session. On it’s face, that may not immediately trigger a second thought, but consider that part of the joy of weddings is seeing the bride decked out on her special day: daddy’s first look at his baby girl, the groom or fiancée’s first look, wowing the socks off the guests as they turn to see her walk down the aisle. The photographer has now inadvertently (I assume) spoiled that surprise for their client’s family and friends. What they could have done, instead, is select a few anonymous detail shots that hint at all the beauty they wanted to share without giving away all the glory.

anonymous bridal portrait

Not only am I giving thought to how to style your session ahead of time, how to best light and pose you during your shoot, and what edits might suit each image after, I am also thinking about how you will share your pictures… and when… and then how I should (or shouldn't), too.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) professional photographer https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/3/a-word-about-sneak-peeks Fri, 18 Mar 2022 12:00:00 GMT
Ten Tips to Prepare for your Headshot or Simple Session https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/3/ten-tips-to-prepare-for-your-headshot-or-simple-session Perhaps you aren’t up for a full Signature Portrait Session or Branding Session. Maybe you just need to get a quick update or are having a simple family session. Here are ten tips to prepare so you still look your best!

  1. Wear clothing that fits well and doesn’t bunch or stretch.
  2. If you have light skin, do not wear white, beige or pastels. If you have dark skin, don’t wear colors that are too dark. Subtle contrast is what we’re going for, not blending.
  3. Choose clothing that makes you feel professional and confident. Avoid cleavage, patterns, shiny fabrics, logos, or sleeveless styles.
  4. Layers give texture that adds interest.
  5. Simple jewelry (stud earrings or small hoops, simple chains) is less distracting.
  6. Apply your makeup as though you were going out to a nice dinner or a wedding. Avoid heavy foundation, shimmer, or contouring.
  7. Choose eye and lip colors that are just a shade or two darker than your skin tone.
  8. Fill in eyebrows if necessary.
  9. Hairspray is your friend! Even if it’s lightly applied, it will help avoid fly-aways.
  10. Drink plenty of water and get a good night's sleep before your session.

Want more tips? Search for the keyword Style Tips on the blog menu and scroll back a bit to find more information.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/3/ten-tips-to-prepare-for-your-headshot-or-simple-session Fri, 11 Mar 2022 13:00:00 GMT
How Revealing Will My Boudoir Session Be? https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/3/how-revealing-will-my-boudoir-session-be One of the most common concerns I hear from women are that they are too uncomfortable “showing so much skin” to do a boudoir session.

Good news: your boudoir session is only as revealing as you want it to be!

Honestly, as far as boudoir photographers go, I’m actually a bit of a prude. If it goes against Facebook's Community Standards (no uncovered female nipples, no genitalia or close-ups of fully-nude buttocks, and nothing sexually explicit), I probably won’t photograph it. I want you to celebrate you, and I believe we can do that without pushing beyond that envelope. Our goal is tasteful, not tacky. For most women, it’s enough. 

That said, if you truly want something more revealing, I’m willing to talk about it. If I’m not comfortable with what you want, I know other photographers who might be a better fit.

I’ve shared several ideas for what to wear in past blog posts, but keep in mind that boudoir is more about attitude than outfit. It’s about being fully present in love for your self and your body. Boudoir pix can be more covered up than your standard beach/lake/pool attire... and even fully clothed.

More good news: if you do not want me to share your session online, I won’t! Even if you do allow me to share, I won’t tag you. And anonymous pix will be truly anonymous; any birthmarks, tattoos, scars, etc., that might be recognized will be removed in Photoshop.

Still have questions? Ask away!

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) boudoir session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/3/how-revealing-will-my-boudoir-session-be Fri, 04 Mar 2022 13:00:00 GMT
Couples Session: Engagement https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/2/couples-session-engagement Did you recently get engaged to be married? Something like 40% of proposals happen between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day! It’s that gift-giving, family-gathering time of year, followed by celebrations of love, so it totally makes sense.

Now to share that love with the world! Got pix?

  • Having an engagement shoot provides you with professional images for your Save the Date notices and gives you something to share with media announcements.
  • Your and your partner’s parents will want prints of the two of you together.
  • If you aren’t used to being photographed – or photographed together – it will help increase your confidence in front of the camera (which you’ll want on your wedding day).
  • Creating an album from the pictures can serve as your guest book at your celebration, too.

Need another reason? Your session can double as Date Night!

If your wedding photographer doesn’t include engagement shoots, or you haven’t picked your photographer but want to celebrate now, I’d love to chat with you about how we can showcase your relationship together.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) session information wedding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/2/couples-session-engagement Fri, 25 Feb 2022 13:00:00 GMT
Multi-Sensory Experience: Smell https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/2/multi-sensory-experience-smell When you walk into my studio, I want you to smell Nothing.

I arrive about an hour before your session (all the way across my back yard) to make sure everything is in place and ready for you. Depending on the season, I’ll go earlier to turn on the propane heater or the window air conditioner to adjust the temperature.

I know that when you walk in the door, the first thing might notice is the smell… so I have an air purifier to help eliminate that (especially from the propane).

What I’d like to do, however, is have you smell Something. Something pleasant.

Linen Spray from Evergreen Lavender Farm near Appomattox VirginiaLinen Spray from Evergreen Lavender Farm near Appomattox VirginiaLinen Spray from Evergreen Lavender Farm near Appomattox Virginia I’m going to ask you during our pre-session consultation if you have a favorite scent. Is there a type of smell that relaxes you and puts you in a good mood? I’ll try to bring it in, whether as an air freshener or candle. Citrus? Roses? Fresh Linen? Evergreen? Lavender? Love them all and want to share the happy!

Is there a scent you don’t like? Let me know about that, too! For instance, there is something about fake vanilla and fake coconut smells that I just cannot stand. If that’s your preference, I’ll still try to make it happen, though. My olfactory sense usually shuts down fairly quickly when a strong smell lingers. Remind me to tell you about a long-ago visit to a French perfumery….

I want your experience in front of my camera to be wonderful in every way, including what you smell.

 

 

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/2/multi-sensory-experience-smell Fri, 18 Feb 2022 13:00:00 GMT
Collaboration is Key https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/2/collaboration-is-key I just want to take a minute to talk about collaboration.

If you really just want a Simple Session headshot, I can do that for you… but I do hope you’ll read through the styling tips in my Client Guide and on this blog. Easy peasy.

If you really want photographs of you that are amazing, then I am going to need more information than where to message you with directions to my studio. Really.

We can get some good pictures, regardless. But if you want to make your investment truly valuable, we need to work together ahead of time in a more collaborative manner.

I posted about this earlier for my branding clients, but it’s important for your Signature Portrait Session (or 50 Over 50 Experience), too!

You may not have had professional photos taken in a long time, if ever, and that’s okay. It’s also okay if you don’t know exactly what it is you want. But, if we spend some time together, and find inspiration “in the wild” somewhere (Hello, Internet), we can make something that truly makes you happy – not just me.

My goal is always to create personal artwork that feels authentic to you, that makes you feel beautiful, and gives you the confidence to share your images with your family and the world.

To do that, I want to know what you want to look like. I have a set of poses and settings that I tend to run through with folks, but if you have a specific vision in mind, you won’t be happy with the outcome if I don’t shoot that. Skill means nothing, no matter who is “pushing the button,” if your photographer doesn’t also see the vision in your mind.

I have always asked at the end of every session if we’ve captured what my client had in mind. I’ve started asking that question earlier in the session. I’d really like to know at the beginning.

If you don’t know where you’re going, how do you know when you’re there?

Understanding that there are 50 Billion Things going on at any given time, please spend a little while thinking about how you want to be photographed. Take a few minutes (or an hour… or two) to scroll through Pinterest and save images you like. Share it with me. And meet with me to talk through what about each pin inspired you to save it. Let's talk about what can we realistically recreate from what you’ve saved.

Honestly, most of my clients have been perfectly happy with what we’ve created together. It breaks my heart on that rare occasion they aren’t satisfied… or are just satisfied. Truly, I don’t want you to be “satisfied,” or even “happy.” I want you to be thrilled! I want you to look at your photographs and have your heart leap with joy that you look like your best image of yourself.

I want my picture of you to be your favorite picture of you. Or at least in the top five.

So when I ask “How do you want to be photographed?” I mean it! I really want to know!

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty glamour professional photographer session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/2/collaboration-is-key Fri, 11 Feb 2022 13:50:50 GMT
What’s Your Brand? https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/2/what-s-your-brand One of those things I love to do is brainstorm visibility techniques and tips with other women small business owners and share what I’ve learned over the course of my personal brand photography journey. I’ve actually been photographing business and personal brands since before that was a recognized genre! We just knew business lifestyle photographs could convert potential clients into actual customers.

I’ve done a Personal Branding 101 series and you can find other business-related topics on this blog by searching the #business and #branding subject categories (works best on laptop/desktop).

So maybe you’ve decided that you’re ready to sign up for a session but aren’t sure exactly what the brand is that you want to create. The good news? Whatever is true to you! You’ve got a reputation, whether you know it or not; let’s make sure to guide it to what you want to be known for.

How do you clarify your brand? Let’s take a look at five tips shared by Sally Hogshead, author of Fascinate: How to Make Your Brand Impossible to Resist, with my added commentary.

  1. What skills do you have? What can you do? Which skills differentiate you from others in your field? As an example, I have learned how to pose and light women to create flattering images.
  2. What experience do you have? What experience does your team possess? How can your experience differentiate you from your competition? To continue my example, I’ve been specializing in women’s portraits for over a decade. And I hire hair and makeup artists that know how to make sure you look like you at your very best. I believe I’ve shown that I’m here to serve for the long haul, and won’t burn myself out by shooting anything and everything, even if it doesn’t bring me joy.
  3. What are you already known for? What is your existing reputation? I’m known for showing up and helping out. I’m known for photographing women of all ages and sizes in a way that encourages them to feel good about their pictures.
  4. How do you do what you do? What attitude do you use when approaching each task? Is that attitude different than others? Flaunt your mindset! Each of my clients is different, so my approach is different, based on her needs and desires. I don’t want to push something that doesn’t fit!
  5. Who in your network knows what you do? What do they say about your current brand? Do they have ideas to better show off who you are and what you do? I reached out to a couple of my repeat clients to ask them about my existing reputation… and since I’m still working on my own online brand, I’ll be working with a couple of them to help me show that better. Asking someone outside my immediate friends, on the fringe of my network, helped me understand that I need to show more images of my clients on my blog.

Just reading through all this might sound daunting. Although this exercise is ultimately about you and what you want to share with your ideal audience, you are not alone! I’m happy to help – from brainstorm to execution (including what to do with all those pix).

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/2/what-s-your-brand Fri, 04 Feb 2022 13:00:00 GMT
How to Make the Most of Bridal Shows https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/1/how-to-make-the-most-of-bridal-shows Bridal show season is in full swing! It’s considered “best” to attend one at least a year (or more) before your wedding, but for some reason, the shows tend to be held early in the calendar year… which works well for vendors, as it’s their “quiet” season, but may mean you are attending one with just a few months before your big day. The good news, though, is that your entire wedding can be planned in one afternoon! If you have three months, it can still happen and be super awesome.

Wedding expos, however, can be completely overwhelming. Here are some tips to make it a little easier.

- Wear comfortable shoes. You will be walking for hours and are definitely going to get your steps in today! Consider bringing pain killers, too. It’s hard to enjoy the excitement of a bridal show if you hurt.

- Get some blank address labels and print your and your partner’s names, wedding date, and contact info on them. Nearly every vendor is going to offer some kind of promotion and all will ask for the same information. Save your hand by printing these before you go. Trust me.

- Bring a bag with comfortable shoulder straps. You will receive a “tree” of paper with vendor information to take home and review later. Even if the show gives you a tote bag, it’s going to get heavy. Having your own with a padded strap (or a backpack) will help save your neck.

- Break the flow! When the doors first open, almost everyone will start at the right, then work their way left. If you get there early, head off to the left for less traffic. If you get there later, the crowd will have worked their way left, so go right.

- Bring your calendar! You’re going to find vendors you will want to meet with to discuss your event in more detail, but please show that you value their time by scheduling a later meeting. They want to meet lots of people and hope to book several weddings while there. You’ll receive much better attention if you arrange to meet them later. That said…

- Bring your credit card and/or checkbook. If there is a vendor you just know is The One for you and they have your date available, you want to be able to put down that deposit right then and there.

- Be prepared to take notes: old school with a small notebook and pen, or snap pix with your phone. This will help you keep track of anyone you might want to call later, so you don’t get confused sorting through all that material.

- Bring a trusted friend who knows you well… or maybe two… to make the event enjoyable, but skip having a large entourage with all their differing opinions. Consider bringing your partner so they can share their opinions; after all, it’s their wedding, too.

I no longer attend wedding expos as a vendor, but I’ve been to enough to know what to expect at these events. And a really great thing about them is that you’ll find so many people who can really help shape your vision.

Can’t attend a bridal show but need some help getting started with your planning? I understand that this isn’t something you do every day, so reach out to me and I’ll be glad to assist!

I’d also be honored to speak with you about my photography services. I still shoot some weddings, and love creating all the related sessions – engagement, bridal, boudoir…. 

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) wedding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/1/how-to-make-the-most-of-bridal-shows Fri, 21 Jan 2022 13:00:00 GMT
Shoot Checklist https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/1/shoot-checklist I’m working on a comprehensive checklist that covers the timeline of preparation for your custom portrait session so you feel confident you are fully prepared and ready to go. Your confidence shows in your expression and demeanor, and we want this to be fun and relaxing, not stressful!

Once you’ve booked a photoshoot:

  • Create an inspiration Pinterest board and share it with me, so I know what you’re thinking and can start planning sets.
  • Choose your look(s), and gather your outfits and accessories… or ask about selecting something from my client wardrobe.
  • Hydrate! Drink plenty of water (aim for at least 64oz) every day for at least a week before your session.
  • Touch up your roots or hair color the week before. It’ll still be fresh, but any staining on your skin will have faded.
  • Treat yourself to a Mani- Pedi! Your nails will show, so make ‘em look good. A neutral color is recommended… or something that will go with every outfit.
  • Wax or thread your eyebrows at least three days before.
  • Shave/Wax/Trim other unwanted hair – especially for boudoir sessions.
  • Cut out any tags that may show.
  • Prepare and pack outfits the day before.
  • Clean your jewelry, including your wedding and engagement rings.
  • Pack up heels and accessories.
  • Gently exfoliate the night before your shoot.
  • Eat! A healthy meal before the shoot will help you keep up your energy.
  • If you’re having a Signature Portrait Session, come with dry, “day old” hair and a clean, moisturized face.

You’ll find more tips and ideas on what to wear elsewhere on the blog, and I’ll send my Client Guides ahead of time. I hope getting ready for your session helps you feel fabulous and excited for what we can create together! Can't wait to see your supermodel come out!

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty boudoir glamour session information style tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/1/shoot-checklist Fri, 14 Jan 2022 13:00:00 GMT
Photos vs the Mirror https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/1/photos-vs-the-mirror Are you one of those women who don’t really like pictures of yourself, or you think photographs of you don’t quite look like the “you” you expect to see? There are reasons for that!

woman taking a selfie with her cell phoneSelfie vs the MirrorYes, you DO look different in photographs!

First, the only time you see your face, it’s a reflection… so it’s backwards of what the rest of us see. When you see an actual photograph, the image seems off because no one’s face is perfectly symmetrical, and those asymmetries can seem odd when the picture is flipped around. Because you’ve only seen your face in reverse, every day, that’s the face you've come to know and love.

You also may be looking at a still photo and focusing in on the details, looking for the blemishes, scars, moles, freckles, pores… things you might not generally seek out when walking by a mirror, and things your friends and family ignore.

Lens choice makes a difference, too. I cannot tell you how much I dislike the “selfie” mode on my phone. That front-facing camera is a wide angle, and combined with how close I have to be to it with my short arms, it makes my nose look huge!

Explore more at this fun article: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/selfies-vs-the-mirror-face_n_5a4faf77e4b01e1a4b14cdf9

The good news is that professional portrait sessions can help you get used to seeing yourself in your best light as others see you… and give you a bank of images to share with friends and family. You might even be so happy with them that you might even want to hang one on the wall… or create a collection of pix in a folio box or album.

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Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2022/1/photos-vs-the-mirror Fri, 07 Jan 2022 13:00:00 GMT
Behind the Scenes: Process Roundup https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/12/behind-the-scenes-process-roundup What’s it like to work with me as a photographer? Check out these posts that walk you through step by step from planning to delivery!

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…) and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365 and let me know when and where you’d like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) professional photographer session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/12/behind-the-scenes-process-roundup Fri, 31 Dec 2021 13:00:00 GMT
Getting Engaged? Get Pix! https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/12/getting-engaged-get-pix Are you about to pop the question? Bring a photographer along to capture the “YES!” I love couples’ sessions, and this is one of the best: someone asking their partner to spend the rest of their life together. When you start thinking about the perfect time and place, please also consider having a “wing man/woman” to catch the action on camera.

It is super easy to set it up as photoshoot… but be sure to let your photographer know about your plans ahead of time! I thought one gentleman had stopped to tie his shoe, so I wasn’t really paying attention. Then I realized he’d pulled out a ring! I barely caught the moment.

Alternatively, be sneaky about it. Hire a photographer to hide away within view of where the action will take place, staying out of sight until you’ve got your answer, then popping out for a few celebratory pix before letting your date carry on.

I would love to help you coordinate all the details of your special engagement event to get that moment preserved in photos to share with family and friends.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…) and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365 and let me know when and where you’d like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) session information wedding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/12/getting-engaged-get-pix Fri, 24 Dec 2021 13:00:00 GMT
Multi-sensory Experience: Touch! https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/12/multi-sensory-experience-touch I do my best to make your portrait session as relaxed as possible… especially if you are having a boudoir shoot. Sitting around half-naked in front of someone with a camera might not be the most calming situation for you!

I get to the She Shed Studio early on shoot days to turn on the heat or air conditioning… but once you arrive, temperature control is all yours. Need it warmer? We’ll wrap you in fuzzy blankets and point a space heater at you. Cooler? Down goes the number on the unit and out comes the fan.

Touch extends to skin comfort: if you have any allergies or sensitivities, please share, so I can make sure our hair and makeup artists bring appropriate product… and I can make sure anything I might use (from laundry detergent to air fresheners) won’t trigger a reaction.

Your physical comfort also stretches into posing. If you have any limitations, please let me know in advance. Under “normal” conditions, by the time we are done with your session you’ll feel like you’ve been through a light workout. But I don’t want to try to push your body in ways that might hurt! If you shouldn’t twist, for instance, I’ll find non-twisty poses. If you can only stand for short periods, we’ll be sure to do those up front and find plenty of seated positions.

The experience of being in front of my camera is catered to you and what will make you most comfortable, because if you aren’t happy, it shows!

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…) and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365 and let me know when and where you’d like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) professional photographer session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/12/multi-sensory-experience-touch Fri, 17 Dec 2021 13:00:00 GMT
How Can Personal Branding Photography Help MY Business? https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/12/how-can-personal-branding-photography-help-my-business You may wonder how sharing personal photos can help grow your business. Studies have shown that people want to get to know the leader of the companies they do business with, no matter the size!

I’m typically working with small-business people who want to connect with clients and show how they’re involved in the community. Here are some ideas for how our branding sessions might work.

Let’s say you’re a dentist. I’m going to suggest three stories. The first would be you “in action” working with patients and your staff. The second would be you in various places around town – in the community. The third would have you engaging in a favorite activity to perhaps find a commonality with your clients, whether that be trail running or jewelry making – whatever hobby you enjoy.

Do you have an interior design firm? Let’s show you in three stories. The first might show you collaborating on a design or drafting plans. The second might highlight shopping in your favorite local stores, sourcing items for a project. The third showcases you in a client’s home, styling and organizing and putting finishing touches in place.

Are you a financial advisor? Another three stories. This is an industry known for being more “corporate,” so let’s show you in that office environment, of course… but then let’s show you at home, with family, cooking together or getting ready for the day. And let’s show your community involvement, whether that’s reading to children, playing bingo with the elderly, or delivering food to the hungry.

Have a product-based business? Let’s create images of you using the product! Especially if you are in direct sales, personal brand photos will really help you stand out among others with the same or similar products. We’ll photograph you cooking with your favorite utensils and spices, storing leftovers in appropriate containers. Or we’ll photograph you styling the season’s clothing pieces with the latest jewelry options or makeup selections. We can create images of you using the latest tools and designs for whatever you create.

If you still aren’t sure what to share, I’d love to meet with you and see if we can brainstorm options for showing your stories!

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…) and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365 and let me know when and where you’d like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/12/how-can-personal-branding-photography-help-my-business Fri, 10 Dec 2021 13:00:00 GMT
Clean Your Rings and other hand matters https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/12/clean-your-rings-and-other-hand-matters Anytime you are being photographed, I’ll send you my Client Guide with tips on how to prepare for your session. No matter the type, one of the items on your checklist is to take care of your hands and everything on them. Unless you are only getting a basic headshot, your hands will likely show in some of your photos – especially if you are having a branding photoshoot or getting engagement, bridal, or boudoir portraits… or it’s your wedding!

hand with ringclean your ringPay attention to your hands before your shoot.

The week or so before, invest some time in a manicure, whether you do it yourself or have it done for you. Trim your nails to a similar length. Use a rich moisturizer at least daily, paying special attention to your cuticles. If you polish your nails, choose a neutral color; alternatively, choose something that will go with all your selected outfits.

And, of course, clean your rings so they shine. First step is to block the drain! Use a soft toothbrush and toothpaste to gently clean all the crevices. Rinse well, and polish with a soft cloth.

These are simple things, but they are details that really can make a difference in how put together you look.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…) and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365 and let me know when and where you’d like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

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(Maggie Takes Pix) boudoir branding glamour style tips wedding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/12/clean-your-rings-and-other-hand-matters Fri, 03 Dec 2021 13:00:00 GMT
Multi-sensory Experience: Taste! https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/11/multi-sensory-experience-taste What do you want to snack on… or should food be a prop?

A full Signature Portrait Session will take at least two hours, and I do not want you to fade! Believe it or not, “modeling” isn’t necessarily as easy as you might think, especially if it’s a boudoir session.

To help keep your energy up, I offer a selection of light snacks: salty, savory, or sweet – from healthy… to chocolate! Have a preference? I welcome requests! Something I should avoid? Please let me know. Same goes for beverages!

Young man wipes flour onto his wife's cheek while she laughs.couple in the kitchenCouple having fun in the kitchen Have an idea for a food item you want to incorporate into your session? Yes, you can play with your food, despite what your mother may have said. 

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…) and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365 and let me know when and where you’d like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

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(Maggie Takes Pix) session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/11/multi-sensory-experience-taste Fri, 12 Nov 2021 13:00:00 GMT
What’s in my Closet: Accessories https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/11/what-s-in-my-closet-accessories Along with my client wardrobe, there are a bunch of accessories in my collection you may choose to borrow for our session, as well.

Jewelry (of course) choices range from vintage pearls and rhinestones to shiny modern bling. I have a variety of necklaces, bracelets, fashion rings, and earrings – cleaned with alcohol after every use.

What else? Some finishing touches, and just plain “for fun” items, like elbow-length gloves, eye masks, collars, feather boas, silk flowers, hats, scarves, shawls, overskirts….

If you’d like to explore the options to make sure we’ve got just the right touch for your favorite outfits, we can set up either a virtual or in-person meeting to go through the studio dresser. Just let me know!

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…) and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365 and let me know when and where you’d like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

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(Maggie Takes Pix) style tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/11/what-s-in-my-closet-accessories Fri, 05 Nov 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Behind the Scenes: Image Delivery https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/10/behind-the-scenes-image-delivery Maggie Takes Pix clients want a variety of products, and how those are delivered completely depends on your order and timeline.

Digital image pix only? Those will be attached as email files. If there are too many or the resolution is too high, or multiple people need to see them, I’ll upload them to Dropbox and send you a link to view and download them. If you’ve ordered a printed book or wedding package, I’ll deliver your files (usually in person) on a USB drive. This option is available as an add-on for other sessions, too.

Printed products? I work with a few professional photo labs for your print products. All are shipped to me first, so I can make sure they look as they should, before I package them up and deliver them to you. Ideally, we’ll meet up and I’ll give them to you in person. I will even help your wall art, if you'd like! If it’s too difficult to get together (due to distance or a pandemic, for example), I’ll ship your prints/canvas/book to you, providing you with the tracking number so you can know when and how they’re arriving. 

So… not only "how do you want to be photographed," but how would you like to remember the experience?

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…) and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365 and let me know when and where you’d like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) product info professional photographer https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/10/behind-the-scenes-image-delivery Sat, 30 Oct 2021 00:25:46 GMT
Logos, not logos: The Logical Brain https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/10/logos-not-logos-the-logical-brain Next up in our overview of Aristotle: in addition to appealing to your Pathos clients and your Ethos audience, there are also Logos - logical/technical - buyers. These are the folks who want to know “all the things” about your products or services. Let’s get them some answers!

In your marketing, be sure to list the features of your business and show how your client benefits. As a super-quick example, I take flattering branding photographs of you doing your job, working with your clients… and you benefit from having custom images to use in your posts about your features that show how you benefit them!

Show and define your planning process and set their expectations about working with you. For the public, I provide an introduction on my website and in pamphlet form (also available as a pdf) that shares an overview of what I do and how. For my clients, I provide a guide to help them prepare for their session that also speaks to the process. I’ve shared detailed branding photography info on my website and in a special guide for those audiences.

Are there technical aspects that need to be tied in? Do people want to know about the equipment you use (Canon, Lightroom…) or how you use it? Show them!

Show your authority and knowledge of your job, your industry, and their needs! I try to do this with blog posts like these. Want to know more about industries I’m familiar with? Connect with me on LinkedIn and ask about my work with restaurateurs, human services nonprofits, wedding industry professionals (from event planners to calligraphers), realtors, and more! Are you working in an industry I haven’t worked in? I’d love to learn more about it!

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…) and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365 and let me know when and where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/10/logos-not-logos-the-logical-brain Fri, 22 Oct 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Dinner for Two and other Date Night ideas https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/10/dinner-for-two-and-other-date-night-ideas Sometimes our busy life becomes routine, and you look up to realize that some spark or connection seems to be missing in your relationship. Get it back – or keep it – with regular date nights. Focus on just the two of you and remember what you love about each other. Let go of the everyday for a little while, and talk about what lights you up… and really listen to your partner when they share their passions.

Date night doesn’t have to be expensive… nor does it have to be at night.

  • cook dinner together
  • take a walk together
  • have a picnic together
  • work on a puzzle together
  • try something new together

Hang out. Hold hands.

Make it a photoshoot! Take a photographer along for “lifestyle” pix of the two of you sharing precious time together. If you want, I’ll even set it up for you.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365, and let me know when and where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) session information wedding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/10/dinner-for-two-and-other-date-night-ideas Fri, 15 Oct 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Top 3 Ways to Display Your Boudoir Photos – Really! https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/10/top-3-ways-to-display-your-boudoir-photos-really “What will I do with these pix?” Put ‘em on display!

Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Framed 8x10 on the bedside table. Sweet and pretty safe way to see your gorgeous pix regularly. Bonus: keep a luxurious folio box on the dresser that hold more images from your session so you can switch out the photo as often as you wish.
  2. Press-printed photo album of your favorites can sit fairly discreetly anywhere in the room (although I’m not sure that’s really a “display”).
  3. Large gallery-wrapped canvas (or grouping) on the wall above your headboard. Talk about an epic reminder of just how amazingly beautiful and sexy you are just before you crawl into bed at night… and every time you walk into the room! Besides… just how many people are walking into that room? It’s not like everyone journeys in there. But if you’ve allowed them to explore that far into your home, you are likely comfortable enough to share some tasteful pix. Know where else you could hang your wall art? In your bathroom… or even in your closet!

Where do you want to show off your pictures?

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365, and let me know when and where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

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(Maggie Takes Pix) boudoir product info https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/10/top-3-ways-to-display-your-boudoir-photos-really Fri, 08 Oct 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Photographers that Inspire https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/10/photographers-that-inspire Question: What photographers are your biggest inspiration, and what about their work speaks to you?

Answer: Thanks to the WWW, I’ve been inspired by – and continue to learn from – many photographers. Here are a few, in roughly the order I found them…

  1. Jasmine Star – SoCal wedding photographer turned social media maven – creates beautiful, bright images that have inspired my style of clean, authentic photographs.
  2. Jerry Ghionis – international wedding photographer – who makes beautiful imagery happen in the most unlikely places in a short amount of time… and is just a master of light and posing.
  3. Sue Bryce – international portrait photographer and probably my biggest mentor – taught me posing and lighting to flatter women… and that specializing in women’s portraits was actually a viable business model. I had my photo taken by her as part of a week-long class she held in Seattle in 2012. While her style has shifted over the last decade, her underlying “rules” remain. 
  4. Lindsay Adler – NY fashion photographer – is the whole package: lighting, posing, retouching… from simple to creative, her work is always clean and very engaging.
  5. Jen Rozenbaum – NY-based boudoir photographer – has such an empowering message for every woman to embrace whatever makes her feel feminine… and she’s a pose master!

Photo by Sue BryceShot by SueI was photographed by master portrait photographer Sue Bryce as part of one of her classes in 2012.

There are quite a few others I follow for a variety of reasons, from inspiration to education, including Stacie Frazier (boudoir), Peter Hurley (headshots), Gary Hughes (headshots), Sal Cincotta (weddings), Vanessa Joy (weddings), and Joy Vertz (portraits), among others.

All create beautiful work that inspires me to work harder for you.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365, and let me know when and where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

 

(photo of the photographer by Sue Bryce, 2012)

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(Maggie Takes Pix) professional photographer https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/10/photographers-that-inspire Fri, 01 Oct 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Ethos: The Ethical Brain https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/9/ethos-the-ethical-brain People may buy with their emotional Pathos brain and justify it with their logical Logos brain, but they also want to make that purchase with someone that appeals to what Aristotle called their Ethos, or ethical, brain – balancing economies to make sure they are buying from a trustworthy source that aligns with their personal values.

As an example, you really like those killer shoes in that ad (emotion) and decide that your old ones are worn out enough to replace them and they fit your budget (logic)… but you may still have questions about the seller, depending on what’s important to you. Is that advertiser going to deliver a good or authentic product? Do they work with sustainable materials? Are their human resource practices in line with your principles?

To become better known in a way that appeals to this part of the brain, use your social media, website, and marketing materials to build your know/like/trust factor. Share your credentials and experience. Be an authority on your subject matter and in your industry. Drive differentiators (what makes you different?) in your interactions – both in person and online.

Brand photography can help you show your story. I can help.

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Miss the intro post? Find it at https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/7/engaging-the-heart-and-mind-with-your-story

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365, and let me know when and where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/9/ethos-the-ethical-brain Fri, 24 Sep 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Candid Moments https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/9/candid-moments I like so many things about photographing weddings. One of those is the reception, once everyone is relaxing and having fun… in between the traditional first dances, bouquet toss, and other activities. Of course, I’ll capture those photographs, and family photos, and wedding party pictures, and all the things. I’ll even play photobooth for a little while, as everyone wants pix with the wedding couple… but only for a little while. Then I will steal you away for a mini couple’s session to give you a chance to just be together for a moment, take a breather from the attention, and perhaps have a moment to eat.

Back to what I like: when folks start visiting with each other at the reception, I get to go into ninja mode! I’m looking for the candid moments, where two brothers are laughing at a shared memory, the bride’s grandmother is getting a kiss from her great-granddaughter, or the groom’s parents are leaning their heads together and smiling wistfully. I’m also secretly “following” the newly married couple as they interact with each other and their guests, so glad that Aunt Janie and Uncle Bill could make it from three states away. I’m watching the flower girl and the ring bearer as they run around in circles, hyped up on all the attention and a second piece of cake… and again once they’ve crashed and landed in the corner chair. I’m grabbing a shot of the cell phone screen of a guest who is taking pix of the bridesmaids for them to post on social media.

A candid moment of a bride hugging her flower girl at the wedding reception.bride flower girlA candid moment of a bride hugging her flower girl at the wedding reception.

These candid moments help tell your story. These are the people you know and love, and who know and love you. They are the ones who shaped who you are, and I want to make sure they are all included in your wedding album. And I want to show who you are as a couple, and individuals, in this new stage of your relationship.

Yes, I want to photograph epic sunset pix with you… but what I really want to capture is love.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365, and let me know when and where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) wedding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/9/candid-moments Fri, 17 Sep 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Express Yourself https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/9/express-yourself One of the concerns I’ve heard from those curious about boudoir photography is, “I don’t know how to look ‘sexy.’” That’s okay – I will guide you!

I'll help you "look sexy"!expressionfacial expressions help make or break a photograph “We know what we look like when we look in a mirror. In a selfie. In a standard photo. What we don’t know is what we look like when we look at someone we love.” – Ang McCabe

One of the ways I coax your countenance is to have you think about someone you love. Other emotions get different prompts. We’ll go through a range of facial expressions in your portrait session, mostly depending on the look(s) you tell me you’d like to capture, and some that I think might work, too.

And I’ll show you lots of options at your image reveal. What I might perceive as strong “come get me” in your photo, you might think of as “resting b*tch face.”

Even if you are after serious smolder, there will, at some point, be laughter… and those are usually the best pictures of them all.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365, and let me know when and where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) boudoir glamour posing tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/9/express-yourself Fri, 10 Sep 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Shopping Assistance https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/9/shopping-assistance As part of my Signature Portrait Session creative fee, not only do I send you guidance on how to prepare and what to wear, I’m happy to help you “shop” for your photoshoot! The more effort you put into what to wear, the better our outcome, so I ask that you bring several outfits, and we’ll generally pick them once you’re here… but if you need help choosing what to bring or just want something fresh, I’m here for you.

One of the best things about portrait sittings and wardrobe is that it doesn’t need to fit perfectly! We can leave the back unzipped, if it’s too small, or clamp it, if it’s too big, because no one is going to see it! Too short or too long? I’ll crop the photo so no one can tell.

We’ll start in your closet. What do you already have? What are your go-to outfits? What makes you feel good? What’s hiding in the back that never sees the light of day (and should it? or nah?)?

Then, if you have a stylish friend whose wardrobe you admire, let’s “shop” your friend’s closet, maybe borrowing something from them for the special occasion this is. Oh… and I’m your friend, too, with a number of beautiful dresses and accessories in my studio available for you to wear. 

Studio closet client wardrobestudio wardrobeBorrow something from my studio wardrobe closet We could also look at options for renting a fabulous outfit (online, like Rent the Runway, or in person at Hearts & Kisses, locally owned here in Lynchburg).

If you’re sure you want to purchase something new, I’ll even accompany you to shop in store to provide my assistance.

We can set up a Skype or Zoom call and do wardrobe selection together, regardless of location, if I can’t physically make it to you.

Let me know!

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365, and let me know when and where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) style tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/9/shopping-assistance Fri, 03 Sep 2021 13:00:44 GMT
Pathos: The Emotional Brain https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/8/pathos-the-emotional-brain Way back when Aristotle was studying and teaching, he understood that people tend to make decisions with their emotions first, which he called pathos. Current studies show that approximately 90% of decisions are made based on emotion, then rationalized (which I’ll touch on in another post).

This is something to keep in mind when reaching out to your emotional buyers with your branding photo session: we want to stir the imagination and emotion (I like “hope” best), and establish common ground and empathy with their problems. Help your potential clients with this process! Start with your “why,” then back it up with features and benefits.

If you look back on my posts, whether on social media or here on the blog, you’ll find I’m always trying to serve with some emotion, share a silver lining, and show that I can help with a variety of problems (from hiding an extra ten pounds to building your personal brand).

Let's work together to tell your brand story in pictures that reflect your mission and vision, as well as your “how.” Imagine what it would be like to have a bank of images that you can use to emotionally reach your audience, sharing the reasons behind your business and creating in them a desire to sign up for your services or purchase your products, because they feel connected to you. 

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Miss the intro post? Find it at https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/7/engaging-the-heart-and-mind-with-your-story
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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365, and let me know when and where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/8/pathos-the-emotional-brain Fri, 27 Aug 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Detail Shots: For Weddings... and Branding! https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/8/detail-shots-for-weddings-and-branding One of the highlights of photographing weddings is celebrating in pictures all the details you’ve selected to share with your guests. Most brides have put a great deal of thought into their selections of their accessories, flowers, paper suite, and so on. Photographs of these will help tell your wedding story when the time comes to put your album together.

Details are also quite useful to tell business brand stories! Showcase items in your brand colors, tools you use to do your job and serve your customers, your space, your products, etc. These detail pix can stop the scroll of someone looking for more information about you and your business.

There are several angles that photographers use to capture these images, and I try to use all of them, because one might work better than another in your design (whether that be for a wedding album or marketing plan). Some of pictures can’t be re-created, so let’s try to get it right the first time.

  • angle: flatlay – this is what they call those “overhead” shots.
  • angle: 45 degrees – close to your usual viewpoint.
  • angle: straight on – eye-level shots that can offer a unique perspective.

flatlay wedding paper suite details branding for calligrapher and plannerWedding DetailsFlatlay detail shots can work for branding, not just weddings. All your details will be shot on their own, but many of them may be photographed to include a human element, too. What does that mean? Some part or whole of a person will be in the image with the item. The most common example of this is your hands (human element) showing something off (detail), like a bouquet... or your favorite coffee cup, your wedding veil... or your pen taking notes.

What detail items help tell your story? Let’s talk about them!

Important note: the techniques may be the same, but the thought process behind them differs. While a wedding photographer can beautifully style and capture details for your business, they are generally working with what you’ve given them and a few pieces of their own. A branding photographer who has taken the time to learn about your business can help you select what those details might be. For example, does the current trend of an old-fashioned wood spool of frayed-edge silk ribbon in a muted tone really portray your business story? Or does your collection of turquoise office supplies help paint a more accurate picture?
 

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365, and let me know when and where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding wedding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/8/detail-shots-for-weddings-and-branding Fri, 20 Aug 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Body Image https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/8/body-image During a recent session my client and I had a brief discussion about how the version of you that shows up on my camera doesn’t always match the “you” that shows up in your mirror every morning… or in your mind.

I’ve had this conversation before. I’m sure I’ll have it again.

“Look in a mirror and one thing’s sure; what we see is not who we are.” – Richard Bach

Body image is how you see yourself when you look in the mirror or when you picture yourself in your mind. It’s a combination of the thoughts and feelings that you have about your body, and may range between positive and negative experiences, and one person may feel at different times positive or negative or a combination of both.

My hope is that you’ll see what I see when you look at the photographs I’ve captured of you: the truly stunning person you are. What I find sometimes, however, is that some people are resistant and push back with, “that doesn’t look like me”… and then they start picking themselves apart. It breaks my heart when this happens. My goal is for you to love what you see; these photos are not to provide fodder for self-criticism.

“We look into mirrors but we only see the effects of our times on us – not our effects on others.” – Pearl Bailey

You and your body are amazing! Let’s celebrate it, instead of tearing it town. Are you still breathing? Fantastic! Can you still laugh? Oh, joy! Are you still dreaming? Wonderful! Even if they rest of you isn’t quite what you hoped, I want you to find the positive in your pictures.

I want you to feel good about yourself… and I want to showcase your beauty in timeless images. You know where your beauty is? It’s in your smile, your eyes, and your confident attitude. It’s in the love you exude so brightly that we can’t help but see it. It’s your inner beauty showing itself on the outside.

So you may have a few extra pounds or stretch marks or saggy arms, but that is not where your true beauty is! Your true beauty is in you -  your heart and soul - and the way you love your children and your family and your friends. And those flabby arms? They hug and comfort and bring joy to those you share them with. Let it shine outwardly, and let me save that image for you as a reminder.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365, and let me know when and where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) glamour style tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/8/body-image Fri, 06 Aug 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Behind the Scenes: Retouching https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/7/behind-the-scenes-retouching While every photograph is checked and edited for correct exposure, color, and crop, not every photo is retouched. I do, however, retouch all beauty, boudoir, and headshot images purchased. What do I retouch? Glad you asked!

I will remove temporary blemishes (acne, cuts/scrapes/bruises), but you’ll keep your freckles and scars. I’ll take care of stray hairs that fall across your face or clothing. I will brighten up your eyes and teeth just a little bit (we don’t want radioactive-glowing pearly whites or eyes) and perhaps soften your smile lines (but not totally remove them – you earned those!). Just Say No to overly-processed (plastic-looking) skin! I might nudge a bulge created by your under-garments, but I will not reshape your body. If you ask me nicely, I’ll remove a crooked necklace or errant bra strap.

If it’s a boudoir session and I’m going to make your picture anonymous for sharing, I’ll take out anything identifiable, like tattoos or statement jewelry that someone might recognize as yours and yours alone. I’ll even remove a few freckles, moles, and scars to make doubly-sure no one but you knows it’s you.

Lastly, I’ll clean up the background/set.

Photo retouchretouching exampleSome retouching is included with beauty, boudoir, and headshot photographs. This is all included in your purchase, of course. If you want more extensive retouching (like a “head swap” because you liked your expression better in this picture, but your partner’s expression better in that one), there is an additional fee.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365, and let me know when and where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) professional photographer https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/7/behind-the-scenes-retouching Sat, 31 Jul 2021 00:00:06 GMT
Engaging the Heart and Mind with Your Story https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/7/engaging-the-heart-and-mind-with-your-story “The human mind is a story processor, not a logic processor.” – Jonathan Heidt, social psychologist

People are 22x more likely to remember something if it’s in the form of a story. I should probably tell one here!

Once upon a time, there was a small business owner struggling to figure out what to post on social media, which she knew was a free form of advertising that could help her business if leveraged properly. She really didn’t want the struggle of coming up with a picture every day, spending 30 minutes deciding the right subject, with the right background, with the right lighting, then taking 35 selfies so she could be in the photo, too (because studies show that engagement goes up by 38% if there’s a face in the photo… and people want to know who they’re doing business with), then editing the picture… and on and on. All that time adds up! Posting daily? That’s 3.5 hours a week… 182 hours a year… wait… that’s a month! Certainly there were better things she could do with that time. So she found herself a photographer to help her, but not just any photographer: one well-versed in branding photography, that took the time to get to know her business and what she wanted to share about it. In one afternoon together, they created an entire bank of images she could pull from to show and tell about her business for the next quarter. So much easier and more professional, clearly representing her mission, and allowing her to brand to maintain a cohesive look across all platforms, both online and off. And she lived happily ever after. The End.

I’ll have to work on this, and try again after we go through the next few posts about storytelling to engage pathos, ethos, and logos – telling your story to appeal to the emotional, ethical, and logical brains of your audience.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365, and let me know when and where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/7/engaging-the-heart-and-mind-with-your-story Fri, 23 Jul 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Building Your Wedding Day Timeline https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/7/building-your-wedding-day-timeline A full formal wedding is an all-day affair! Here’s a sample of how it might go for your photographer:

2:00 arrive - get the “lay of the land” and set up off-camera lighting

2:30-3:15 bridal details: dress, shoes, rings, stationery, etc.

3:15-3:40 getting ready: makeup, hair, dress

3:45-4:10 Bride & Bridesmaids

4:15-4:30 First Look

4:35-4:55 Groom & Groomsmen + groom details

5:00-5:20 Reception details

5:30-6:00 Ceremony

6:10-6:40 Family formals

6:45-7:05 Full bridal party formals

7:10-7:30 Couple

7:30 Reception

10:00 Special Exit

Adjustments to the schedule happen, of course, to fit the day and the couple. Your photographer may ask for a shift in schedule to make sure you get those epic sunset pix, or not be squinting in the harsh mid-day sun for your ceremony. Please take their advice to heart because they’ve likely done this before. To make sure, however, ask them if they can handle situations that might be tricky (e.g., “Have you successfully photographed a late-night sparkler exit? Can I see examples?”).

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At this point I only photograph small weddings of fewer than 100 people (preferring a backyard gathering of less than 50) lasting only a few hours (as opposed to the 8-hour day in the example) using natural light. And, of course, all the related Engagement and Bridal pix! 

Please note: this is only the wedding day itself! Your photographer is spending several hours before the event to make sure all their equipment is in proper working order, batteries are charged, digital file cards are formatted, etc. Then they are spending hours after the day processing the photos, culling through them for the best, editing as necessary to make sure horizons are straight, color and lighting are correct, and more. Then after you've selected the images you like best, they'll spend hours designing your keepsake albums and wall prints and whatever else you've requested,  checking your order when it arrives to make sure the professional lab has processed everything correctly before delivering it to you. 

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365, and let me know when and where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) wedding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/7/building-your-wedding-day-timeline Fri, 09 Jul 2021 12:00:00 GMT
The Top Reason to Get Professional Photographs https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/7/the-top-reason-to-get-professional-photographs My mother-in-law, Eleanor, passed away on Friday, June 25, 2021. She was a lovely lady of 86.

One of the things the funeral home asks for is a recent photo for styling and for the obituary.

Probably more importantly, however, is that family will start looking for recent photographs that show the person they remember best.

The most recent snapshot of Eleanor was at her husband’s funeral a year and a half ago… but her hair was a bit disheveled. The one before that? The family photo I made them take together six years ago at a local restaurant. In that one, she was looking “herself” and smiling. Can I find a clear print anywhere? No. We had a canvas print made for our wall… and I had posted it to Facebook. For whatever reason, the original digital file is missing. I downloaded one from Facebook. Knowing I didn’t have time to extract her image from the group, I sent it off to my preferred professional retouch company, who were not happy with the low resolution of the file but made it happen!

In the meantime, we started sorting through pix for display at the funeral. We have quite a few from the late 1950s… but then she became the family photographer and therefore did not appear in front of the camera except in a few studio family portraits. She clearly liked to take pix of a couple of her passions: flowers and quilts. We were hoping to create a collage that covered every decade of her life. We weren’t able to do that, especially after her 50s.

We had just brought Eleanor from her home in Pennsylvania to an assisted living facility near us in Virginia, as her health was declining, and we wanted to make sure she was better cared for. We expected that once her nutrition improved, and her levels of activity and socialization increased, her overall health would improve, too. I was planning to include her in my “50 Over 50” project. There was no way to predict that 48 hours after move-in she would be in the hospital, and 56 hours after that, she would pass.

There was no more time to get pix. No more time to celebrate her life while she was still with us.

Please get your photograph taken professionally at least every couple of years. Please exist in photos for those you leave behind… and do it now, because you never know how long you have left.

I’m heading to my mother-in-law’s funeral today. I’ll be in touch later.

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(Maggie Takes Pix) professional photographer https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/7/the-top-reason-to-get-professional-photographs Fri, 02 Jul 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Multi-sensory experience: Music! https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/6/multi-sensory-experience-music I’m the first to admit that I forget to turn on the music during our shoot, but it can make a difference, especially if you’re feeling nervous.

Pandora has a playlist based on “Now That’s What I Call Music: Respect” that’s rather empowering. Or I’ll tune it to the 80s Pop Radio station… or The Pussycat Dolls Radio (great for boudoir)… or whatever genre you prefer!

You can also put together your own music playlist in iTunes, Spotify or YouTube to play during your photoshoot. Play it as you’re getting ready for the shoot, too.

Music will help set the mood, relax you and keep the energy positive and upbeat. That, in turn, affects your mood and expression, which will reflect in your pix. 

So if things are too quiet, because I’ve gotten caught up in the visuals, please let me know!

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365, and let me know when and where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

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(Maggie Takes Pix) session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/6/multi-sensory-experience-music Fri, 18 Jun 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Session: Generations https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/6/session-generations Most family photographs happen when the kids are young or at special occasions, like graduations and weddings. There might be some snapshots at family reunions (where everyone is dressed in their most comfortable matching T-shirt).

Once the kids are grown, however, formal family photos drop to nearly non-existent. I get it: it’s hard to get everyone together.

But I suggest you do. Mom isn’t going to be around forever, and I bet – deep down – she’d love to be celebrated in photographs again, especially if her “babies” are involved. Grandbabies and great-grandbabies are bonus!

I know as I get older, pix with my daughter are just as special as they were when she was a young child. I want that for you, too. I want that for your mother.

Find out more about family photo sessions here and here.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365, and let me know when and where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

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(Maggie Takes Pix) family session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/6/session-generations Fri, 11 Jun 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Branding Session Planning: from Inspiration to Creative Direction https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/6/branding-session-planning-from-inspiration-to-creative-direction As part of the planning process for your photoshoot, regardless of type, I always ask, “how do you want to be photographed?” You may have seen that question before….

Generally, especially for basic business/headshot sessions, we’ll talk about some concepts, discuss ideas you might want to try, and I’ll share some tips on how to prepare. There’s a plan, but it’s fairly loose.

With a full branding shoot, there’s more direction, but I’ve sometimes felt like something was missing. Planning has centered on where and how you’ll use your images: social media profile crops and content pillars, potential marketing needs, upcoming promotions, blog images, etc. We talk about brand colors, props, locations… and while these things are all important, we haven’t necessarily explored your brand identity in full.

I have always asked a couple of key questions that help lead to understanding your brand’s foundational level, but in the past I’ve let it slide if you haven’t done that examination or just opted to skip that part. What that gets us, however, are photos that are “fine” – good for tactics more than strategy. And at the end of the day, a professional branding shoot saves you time, but without deeply knowing your brand, it can’t necessarily help you grow your business.

“Help me help you!” – Jerry Maguire

Our planning sessions now involve more homework… for both of us.

You no longer get to skip those crucial questions from my discovery questionnaire (but don’t worry; I’m here to help you walk through them to articulate the answers, if you want/need assistance).

I will then take your responses to create an inspiration board for our session and share it with you. While this has always been an option, no one has taken me up on it. It’s no longer optional.

inspiration boardinspiration board

We’ll discuss what I’ve put together, refine it to make sure it’s the perfect fit for you and your brand, develop a more-complete shoot plan from there, and bring it to life.

By being more strategic in our planning together, you can be confident that your imagery will help tell your brand story in a cohesive way that connects with your ideal audience.

I’m so excited for where this can take you!

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365.

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding professional photographer https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/6/branding-session-planning-from-inspiration-to-creative-direction Fri, 04 Jun 2021 15:35:27 GMT
First Looks and Other Wedding Day Moments https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/5/first-looks-and-other-wedding-day-moments When devising your wedding day timeline, in addition to leaving plenty of time for all the family pix your parents want, I’ll ask if you will build in time for a First Look or other moment for portraits of you.

A “First Look” is an opportunity for you and your partner to connect privately before the ceremony… and these are usually the most romantic photos taken of the day, as you relax together, knowing you’re about to commit yourselves to each other. You may choose to actually be together… or you can have a “no look” first look: close enough to talk but keeping the tradition of not seeing one another ahead of that walk down the aisle.

private first lookprivate momentsfirst look or no look, take some private time together on your wedding day

After the ceremony, I’d love to whisk you away for more portraits of just you two. Beaming smiles tend to shine in these images… and you’ll have an opportunity to reflect on the ceremony you’ve shared.

Know that I’ll also be watching out for you during dinner. Should I notice guests continually coming up to greet you – and you not getting a chance to eat – I will step in. You have to replenish to keep your strength up! People tend to not interrupt the photographer asking the couple to pose for dining pix (and insisting they take bites between photographs in the process).

Your wedding day will be extraordinarily busy, with lots of people vying for your attention. I try to make these private moments a respite in your day, not only taking pictures, but also giving space for you to just be with each other on your Best Day Ever.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365, and let me know when and where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) wedding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/5/first-looks-and-other-wedding-day-moments Fri, 28 May 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Ten Best Stores for Lingerie https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/5/ten-best-stores-for-lingerie A frequently asked question among women looking to have a boudoir session is what to wear. Most don’t usually have fancy lingerie, and don’t know where to start.

boudoir lingerielingerie stores for boudoirboudoir lingerie
When you book a session, I’ll send you a link to my lingerie guide, which is a quick primer on all the different styles and tips on what might work best for you. There are also some tips on my blog.

Once you have an idea of what you might want, it’s time to shop! Where? That all depends on your budget….

To shop from the privacy of home, open up an “Incognito” or “InPrivate” browser window, and shop online at one of these:

  • victoriassecret.com
  • honeybirdette.com
  • hipsandcurves.com
  • adoreme.com
  • bellabellaboutique.com
  • agentprovocateur.com
  • kikidm.com
  • yandy.com
  • laperla.com
  • fredericks.com

Prefer to try something on in person? That seems to be a little harder. Obviously, VS is a good choice… and you might find something pretty at a department store… but I haven’t found much in the way of specialty lingerie shops here in the central Virginia area. If you know of some, please comment and share; I’d love to find them!

If you can't find something you like that's in your budget or in your size, please don't worry. Remember: I have some things in my studio closet

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365, and let me know when and where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

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(Maggie Takes Pix) style tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/5/ten-best-stores-for-lingerie Fri, 21 May 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Product: Contact Sheet https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/5/product-contact-sheet “The contact sheet (also called contract proof) is a positive print of all the negative images from a roll of 35mm film or medium format film. Contact sheets are typically made to allow the photographer to view a mini-preview of all the film to determine which photographs are best to print.” – Guide to Film Photography

bridal portrait contact sheetContact SheetContact Sheet for Abby's bridal shoot.

A really fun way to display a collection of 24 of your favorite images from our session is in an enlarged contact sheet! It’s like a 16x24” photo wall all in one frame, with a cool “retro” look.

Imagine having couples photos with your partner hanging in your office, or your daughter’s senior pix hanging in your living room, or your boudoir images in your boudoir. What a statement piece that would be!

Let me know if this is something you’re interested in, and I’ll be sure to shoot for it during our session.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365, and let me know when and where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) product info https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/5/product-contact-sheet Fri, 14 May 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Product: Business Magazines https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/5/product-business-magazines Your website is by far the best place to showcase your business images, but sometimes you can’t always show it off… or your new connection might not be able to access it. This is where a great printed piece works well.

Business cards, postcards, and rack cards… or even single-page tri-fold brochures... are generally your first thought when it comes to printed pieces. If you have several buying options, or an involved method, however, consider printing a magazine or even a photo album that shows each choice or process... kind of like those created to show off new cars.

magazine-style brochureclient magazineShow off your product or service like a new car - with a magazine!

Available anytime and anywhere, a multi-page magazine-style brochure covers more ground and cohesively shows what you offer in a professional manner. Your potential client can learn more about you and your business at their leisure and review that information whenever they’d like. If you want something more permanent and high-end, order an album to carry to meetings and/or leave in your reception area.

You can even get a PDF version hosted on your website or to send via email. 

Another idea to consider: regularly-updated magazines, perhaps revised twice-yearly or quarterly with the seasons.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365, and let me know when and where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding product info https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/5/product-business-magazines Fri, 07 May 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Behind the Scenes: Selection Session https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/4/behind-the-scenes-selection-session About a week after our photo session together, we’ll meet up to show you your edited images and select which you’d like to keep. While I might cull down the number for your review (e.g., removing duds like the half-blinks I’m semi-famous for) you pick your final pix. 

I do this “old school.”

I’ll pull up your proofs in Microsoft Photos on my laptop, and show you an example of what the final fully-retouched image might look like. Then I turn over control to you to look through them. For any you like I’ll write down the image number on a pad of paper with my pen (yep – “old school”). 

If we need to shorten the list (for a folio box rather than an album, for instance… or a wall art cluster), I’ll pull those photographs out to a separate file, and we’ll go through them again… as many times as necessary so you get exactly what you want. I do not send you an overwhelming gallery and leave you to pick these out by yourself. If you're stuck choosing, I will help you; I'll let you know which I like better and why. 

When we have your final list, you’ll pay your invoice and I’ll start the final retouching process and get your products ordered!

Please note: once products are requested from my professional lab and/or digital files are delivered, the order cannot be canceled.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365, and let me know when and where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) professional photographer https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/4/behind-the-scenes-selection-session Fri, 30 Apr 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Pre-Wedding Photography Sessions https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/4/pre-wedding-photography-sessions When you are hiring your wedding photographer, please consider the opportunity to have a pre-wedding session with them. Your photographer will be spending literally hours with you on what is arguably one of the most important days of your life. Get to know them, and let them get to know you, before that Big Day!

Take the opportunity to get comfortable with them and how they operate when working. Are they very directive? Or more hands-off? Learn what to expect while posing and/or interacting in front of their camera shutter, especially if being photographed is not an activity you are looking forward to.

What kinds of shoots might you have before the wedding? The most obvious is a traditional engagement session, featuring you and your partner. Make it personal to you! Some ideas to get you thinking are on this previous post about couples’ sessions

You might also consider a solo bridal session, featuring you in your gown ahead of time… or even after the wedding. I’ve shared several options at this previous post on bridal photography.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365, and let me know when and where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) session information wedding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/4/pre-wedding-photography-sessions Fri, 23 Apr 2021 12:00:00 GMT
What’s Available in My Closet: Boudoir Edition https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/4/what-s-available-in-my-closet-boudoir-edition While most clients wish to bring their own lingerie or other clothing items to a boudoir session, I do keep some things available in the studio.

Fishnet stockingsShe's got legs!fishnets? yes! What’s available?

*  Silky chemises (in red, black, ivory, and white) and camisoles (teal, royal blue….)

*  Corsets (in black, light pink, white, lime green, and turquoise)

*  Cute short PJ sets

*  Ivory lace gown

*  Men’s button-down shirts (white and gray)

*  And more, including a variety of accessories, such as fishnet stockings (black and multiple other colors) and super-sexy undies (for emergency use only, and yours for the keeping when we’re through).

Or you can skip outfits altogether and wrap yourself in sheets: white, gray, or black!

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. 

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

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(Maggie Takes Pix) boudoir style tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/4/what-s-available-in-my-closet-boudoir-edition Fri, 16 Apr 2021 12:00:00 GMT
When All You Have Left Are Pix: Part 2 https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/4/when-all-you-have-left-are-pix-part-2 Are you in photographs for your great grandchildren?GrandmotherMy Mamaw, Annie Annie Partin Seabolt was my paternal grandmother. Where we only have a few surviving photographs of my maternal grandmother, we have lots of pix of my father’s mother… at least from the time she married my grandfather forward.

It’s really sweet to be able to look back through the photographs from the Partin/Seabolt clan and watch her with her children growing up… and then with her grown children and her grandchildren as they grew up.

Whole group (and sub-group) family photos were her favorite, so we all always brought our cameras. Hopefully, someone brought a girlfriend or boyfriend to snap the pix; once we were all “married off,” we made sure someone had a camera with a timer or a remote release. Can’t leave anyone out!

I do wish, however, that there were more candid pictures of those times when there wasn’t a big family gathering. I wish there was a photo of the two of us making jam from the raspberries we picked from her garden to go with the one of me and Papaw sitting on the front porch swing. Those little moments become the biggest memories… but then, we didn’t think about picking up a camera for candids; we were just doing our thing.

Is there an activity you do with your children (or grandchildren) that is special? Consider appearing in photographs with them – fully engaged - too. I’d love to capture those candid moments of memory-making for you with an in-home lifestyle session. You do your thing, I shoot, and everyone has pictures to go with this memory of time with you.

 

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty Flashback Friday legacy https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/4/when-all-you-have-left-are-pix-part-2 Fri, 09 Apr 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Batching Your Content https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/4/batching-your-content A common concern with showing up online regularly is the time it takes to create individual pieces of content. Choosing topics, what to say about them (without sounding super repetitive), and what pix to put with each post can be overwhelming… but it doesn’t have to be!

If you think you need to sit down each day or each week to create individual pieces, and you’re just not sure you can commit to that, then batching is the way to go for you.

business planning calendarApril calendarBatch your content creation by writing out several blog and social media posts in one sitting.

Here’s how I do it:

  • Think of broad categories you want to work in. For me, I’ve got five categories for blog posts this year, and one for each day of the week on Instagram.
  • Consider topics within those categories, and roughly plan where they will line up with each other.
  • Sit down and write as many blog / caption posts as you can at one time. I tend to do this roughly once a month, and can write out at least enough to post throughout the month (sometimes more). Remember, some of those social media posts can be repurposed from longer blog content.
  • Select your images to go with each post. Now that they’re written, you have a better idea of what the visuals are that need to go with them… and can better see if you are re-using an image too often in the same place. If you have a bank of images to choose from (perhaps from your branding session with me), this job will be much easier.
  • Schedule your posts. My website allows me to pre-schedule my blog posts. Facebook allows you to pre-schedule to your business page (a feature I wish they would add to personal accounts). Instagram doesn’t (unless you have it linked to your Facebook business page and are posting the same thing at the same time… which I don’t care for), so my current workaround is to have captions where I can get to them on my phone (I use Dropbox to transfer). Consider one of the numerous scheduling apps/software out there, like Buffer, Hootsuite, Meet Edgar, or Later, to see if one might work for you.

If you schedule a branding session with me, we’ll create a list together of what types of images you need and where you want to use them so as we are shooting, I can make sure we’re creating a useful image bank for you. As we choose those images after the session, I’ll make notes for you on where you chose to use each one, so you don’t have to remember! Become a recurring branding client, and I’ll help you set up a system for you to track all your images from all your sessions.

Are you ready to become visible?

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding business https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/4/batching-your-content Fri, 02 Apr 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Wedding Shot Lists https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/3/wedding-shot-lists Most lists included in all the bridal magazines cover basics that every photographer already plans to shoot. What we really need to do is create a custom list together.

Yes, we’re going to take pictures of ceremony, the rings (being exchanged, on and off your hands), your first kiss, your first dance, the flowers (and the bouquet toss), the cake (and its cutting), etc. But please let us know about special or sentimental details, though, that we might not otherwise know about (like a special jewelry piece) so we don’t miss them.

We’re going to take every conceivable family photo. What we need, however, are some details: who are the key people (so we can call them by name) and whether there any special shots (e.g., the bride with her great grandmother) we shouldn’t miss.

We also would love a warning about any special traditions or events that will take place, like a sparkler exit.

Magazine lists are a great start, but know that we already know that part. We need the part that is special just for you!

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) wedding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/3/wedding-shot-lists Fri, 26 Mar 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Lingerie Guide https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/3/lingerie-guide Booking a boudoir session, but haven’t got a clue about lingerie? That’s okay; I can help! I’ll send you my lingerie guide, which introduces all the common types. It also includes suggestions for which pieces may work best for you, should you have any parts you want to show off more than others. There’s also a packing list so you can have a somewhat organized plan.

Want a peek? See it at www.maggietakespix.com/lingerie-guide.pdf.

This guide supplements my standard client preparation guide, which you can find at www.maggietakespix.com/client-guide.pdf.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) boudoir style tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/3/lingerie-guide Fri, 19 Mar 2021 12:00:00 GMT
When All You Have Left Are Pix: Part 1 https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/3/when-all-you-have-left-are-pix-part-1 My mother's mother in the only photo we have of her.maternal grandmother motherMy maternal grandmother

Flora Rose was my grandmother on my mother’s side... and this is the only photograph I have of her. My mother has three more. My aunt may have a handful. Born Apr 1, 1919, she was just 55 when she passed - the same age I'll be this year. I wish we had more pictures of her throughout her short time on this planet....

When someone important in your life passes, where is the first place you turn? Pictures and stories. Some of her pix were lost in a fire, but I also know there weren't a lot taken. I've heard some stories; I wish I had photographs to go with them. 

You’ll be looking for a printed 8x10 to frame and display at the service… and printed pix to share among family and friends (or in the instance of a global pandemic, to share online).

Because of instances like fire or pandemics, or just deterioration because we didn’t know how to keep our prints safe, I am thankful for (and offer) digital options… even though nothing beats a quality print.

What legacy are you leaving behind for those who love you? Do you exist in photos? You really should - as you are, right this moment. 

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty Flashback Friday legacy https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/3/when-all-you-have-left-are-pix-part-1 Fri, 12 Mar 2021 13:00:00 GMT
Four Ways to Reuse Posts Across Platforms https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/3/four-ways-to-reuse-posts-across-platforms You’re getting your online presence together but wondering about content creation and what to do with “all those pix” you have from your branding session. Here’s a plan for you.

Start with a blog post, ideally on your website, but if that’s not an option, link your site in it to drive traffic. There are lots of differing points of view on blog length – some recommend 300-500 words, while others say 2000! - so just “do you” on that. I tend to keep mine rather short, because, frankly, I don’t like to read long pieces online. Use a picture with your post.

Now that your base information is done, can you break it down into several smaller pieces? That would allow sharing over several posts. Take a snippet of your blog post and send it – with a link to the full piece – to your email list. Use a different, but similar, photograph.

 

Blank calendar with social media icons for Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedInsocial media calendarFill your calendar!

Share a snippet to your favorite social media site, whether that’s Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram… or all of the above! Use a slightly different image, but related/similar to the one posted with the blog and shared via email.

Now share another related photo to Pinterest, one of the biggest “search engines” out there, with a link to the blog post.

Why am I suggesting different images for each one? Fatigue. People will want to know they are in the right place with similar images from the same setup, but they don’t want to see the exact same photograph everywhere; they’ll scroll on by, even if they haven’t actually clicked through. Something similar will have them actually reading the caption and considering that there might be something more/different to read. And when they get there, they’ll know they’re in the right place because of a "familiar" (but not tired) picture.

There you go: four places to share the same content without having to reinvent the wheel.

Now… do you need pix to go with your content? Let’s chat about the best way to make this happen.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding business https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/3/four-ways-to-reuse-posts-across-platforms Fri, 05 Mar 2021 13:00:00 GMT
When to Book Your Wedding Photographer https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/2/when-to-book-your-wedding-photographer Choosing your wedding photographer is pretty important, since they are creating critical keepsakes of your day. Making sure you get the photographer whose style matches yours means you should probably book them as soon as you have a date and venue!

Generally in the 12-month countdown checklists found in bridal guides, deciding on a photographer ideally happens at least nine months before your ceremony date. You’ll want to schedule your engagement photo session around the same time, as you’ll want pix for your announcement (and it’s a good way to get more comfortable with your photographer and their camera).

There are other weddng-related photo sessions available, and booking early ensures there is time to fit them all in.

You’ll also find that your photographer is a great resource for other vendors you might need or want. We’re happy to help create your vision; just ask!

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) wedding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/2/when-to-book-your-wedding-photographer Fri, 26 Feb 2021 13:00:00 GMT
Best Locations for Boudoir https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/2/best-locations-for-boudoir As the name suggests (boudoir is old French for a woman’s private “pouting” room), boudoir photography generally takes place in a bedroom or other private location.

Good news: I have equipment that travels, so we can create your custom session in your bedroom (super personal) or a hotel room.

Better news: I have an inflatable bed for use in the studio… or I’ve been known to strip down and depersonalize our master bedroom to shoot in there.

Truly, though, a bed is not a requirement for your intimate session. I've photographed boudoir on front porches and back decks, in yards and living rooms, in hallways, in bathrooms and on beaches.... We can travel to any location that is special to you, and there are several pretty pockets of nature on our property we can use for outdoor sessions. 

Curious about how we can create beauty in any location? Let’s chat.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) boudoir session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/2/best-locations-for-boudoir Fri, 19 Feb 2021 13:00:00 GMT
What’s Available in My Closet https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/2/what-s-available-in-my-closet One of the frequent comments I get is “I don’t know what to wear.”

That’s okay; I’ve got you! Not only will I direct you to my Client Guide, I am more than happy to help you shop your closet… or in store. Or you can borrow something from my closet.

What’s in it? Lots!

I’ve got a variety of formal and semi-formal dresses in sizes XS to XXL. Short, long, pastel, bold, slinky, fluffy, vintage, modern….

I’ve got a variety of lingerie pieces that can also be worn as part of your beauty shoot, including slips, corsets, button-down shirts….

Then there are the creative pieces: tulle “skirts” and throws, sashes to build you a custom outfit… even a parachute that can act as dress or skirt!

What’s really fun about wardrobe in the studio is that it doesn’t have to fit! No one will see the back, so if it’s too tight, we’ll leave it unzipped; if it’s too loose, we’ll clamp it.

Ready to get creative? Let’s chat!

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

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(Maggie Takes Pix) style tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/2/what-s-available-in-my-closet Fri, 12 Feb 2021 14:30:05 GMT
Top 10 Social Media Post Ideas https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/2/top-10-social-media-post-ideas My Personal Branding Photography packages are designed to provide you with a bank of pictures to draw from as needed to grow your business online. One of the questions I get asked is, “What would I do with that many images? I don’t even know what to post about!” Here are ten ideas!        

  1. Repurpose multiple related blog topics, or break down a longer piece (like a white paper) into smaller parts, to create a series. Use a related, but different, image for each post.
  2. Run a contest or giveaway. Use a different image for the teaser, the opening announcement of the contest, a reminder, announcing the end, and declaring your winner. You’ll need:
    1. Something to give away. Ideally, the prize for your contest should somehow be related to your brand (think: free products or a membership).
    2. Terms and conditions. To cover yourself legally, terms and conditions are a must for your contest.
    3. A point of contact. On your terms and conditions page, make sure to leave an email address where people can get in touch with questions or concerns.
    4. A creative way to enter. Whether it’s through user-generated content or a hashtag, asking followers to post about your brand is the best way to encourage entries. After all, the purpose of a giveaway is brand awareness, not just to give away free stuff. Oh, and hashtags are by far the simplest means of keeping track of who entered your contest for free.
  3. Host an AMA (Ask Me Anything). Announce it with a special image of you for the occasion. Consider how an AMA ticks the following boxes for brands:
    1. You get to show off the personal side of your business
    2. You raise awareness for your brand without being pushy or salesy
    3. You learn more about the concerns and interests of your audience
  4. Create a How-To or tutorial. We’ll photograph each step.
  5. Make a meme from an outtake image.
  6. If social media has taught us anything, it’s that people love to share their opinions. Poll your audience: A or B (or C or D)? Pix for each!
  7. Go behind the scenes. Giving your followers a “behind the scenes” look at your company signals authenticity. Brands represent people; share that personal element.
  8. Share your milestones. Telling your brand’s story and showing what you’re worth based on your accomplishments can truly cement your company’s status in the eyes of your audience.
  9. Answer FAQs in list form: “Top 10 Social Media Posts” What images can you use with your list?
  10.  Trending topics. What’s coming up that we can plan for? Think: holidays, business anniversary, wedding season….

People love to see you in your posts; faces drive engagement, and sharing your personal brand helps your audience get to know, like, and trust you.

You’ll want pictures for each of these, then use different ones as you change it up and repurpose your content to other platforms.

Photographer Maggie McCanna photographing another photographer.tipping I'm trying to get better about adding photos to my blog posts, too.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/2/top-10-social-media-post-ideas Fri, 05 Feb 2021 13:00:00 GMT
Behind the Scenes: Cull/Edit https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/1/behind-the-scenes-cull/edit cull

/kəl/

verb

  1. select from a large quantity

 

After our session together, I’ll download your image files off the camera card to my laptop. I use a software program called Lightroom to cull through and select the best pix from our time together and perform some initial edits.

I will look at each image and eliminate any that have blinks, unflattering expressions, missed focus, or anything that does not reflect you at your best.

I’ll then perform some standard edits: level out horizons (I tend to have a 1-2 degree list), balance out lighting, and make sure the color is correct.

Once I’ve gone through this process, I’ll select one image to fully retouch as a sample before we get together and choose which photographs make you happiest.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365 and let me know when and where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) professional photographer https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/1/behind-the-scenes-cull/edit Fri, 29 Jan 2021 13:00:00 GMT
Micro Weddings https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/1/micro-weddings In simple terms, micro weddings are small wedding ceremonies, with maybe 25-50 guests. Many of the details of these petite weddings are just as important as a larger event, but there are fewer of them and the event is generally shorter. Elopements tend to have even fewer people – generally, just the couple and officiant, and maybe a handful of family members – and are more spontaneous.

This is my jam! I specialize in these smaller events. The limited guest list means the people that attend are those most special to you, and I focus on interactions with every one of them.

Originally posted in October 2017, this article from The Knot was updated in September 2020 to reference the COVID-19 pandemic, and introduces the concept of the minimony – a small ceremony with just a few people, like a planned elopement – that may be followed by a sequel wedding with your full guest-count.

I’ve photographed micro weddings, an elopement (held on my back porch - I was one of the five people), and a minimony (nothing like getting a call on Thursday that the ceremony will be on Tuesday evening in the pastor’s yard)… and, of course, several larger events.

At this point in my life, if you’ve got over 100 guests, I will graciously decline and provide referrals to other photographers. I know my limits

If you are having an intimate wedding, however, I’d love to share your day with you, and document your love story. 

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) wedding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/1/micro-weddings Fri, 22 Jan 2021 13:00:00 GMT
BONUS Boudoir Look: “Shower Scene” https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/1/bonus-boudoir-look-shower-scene I posted several Boudoir Looks over the past months. You can catch the roundup here. This session request happened afterward.... Bonus!

When she suggested it, I honestly had to figure out how to make it work. This is not something I had done before, but I’m willing to answer special requests whenever I can.

Most of my boudoir sessions are super tame, generally not showing private parts that cannot be displayed on social media… and I have only photographed a handful of nude sessions. I’d never shot a shower (or bathtub) session before, but with a willing “model” for collaboration, I feel confident that future sessions will only get better!

We pulled out fluffy white towels, and photographed the full story, from checking the water temperature, through the “shower,” and drying off. Your session can be shorter or longer, as you wish; actually, you don’t even have to get wet! Props for this look can include a silky bathrobe, scrubby/loofah, washcloth, bottle of bodywash….

My master bath is spa-like, and there is room, angled properly, for a shower session, if it’s something you’re interested in. It has a full-length, low-rise large shower with glass door, so splashes are contained and add to the look. Feel free to bring shower shoes, if you prefer, for sanitary purposes; I won’t be offended. Unfortunately, I don’t have an awesome bathtub…. Do you? Alternatively, “accessible” hotel rooms generally have the space in their bathrooms, too.

Schedule your boudoir session and receive my lingerie guide to help you choose what to wear!

In the meantime, check out this post.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) boudoir session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/1/bonus-boudoir-look-shower-scene Fri, 15 Jan 2021 13:00:00 GMT
Makeup Trends Updated https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/1/makeup-trends-updated I’m a huge fan of fresh, natural makeup looks, and unless we’re doing a concept shoot, we start off Signature Portrait Sessions with our makeup artist creating a “bridal” look for you, even though you may not be a bride.

The Central Virginia Bridal Guide – as most bridal magazines do – offers a column on bridal makeup trends, so I like to pick up each issue. Checking in like this ensures I’m up to date on the industry and will have the jargon to speak with the artist about what we are creating with your look.

Some things change, while some are classic

  • Eyebrows, for instance, are becoming refreshingly more natural again – not overly thinned, but not big and bushy. Style and groom them, as they are framing your eyes (those most important windows to the soul), but keep it simple.
  • Eye makeup can be built from natural to smoky – and I love that winged eyeliner is a classic look that is still en vogue. False eyelashes are also still a great way to enhance your eyes, especially if you are “sticking” with “natural” styles. They add such drama!
  • As for lip color, remember that even neutral colors can enhance your look, but there’s nothing like a bold lip… especially if you go red

Our makeup artist will create a clean-looking foundation for your skin that may seem heavy to you. As much as a satin glow may look really good in person, it doesn’t always work well in camera, as some makeup reflects light poorly. An expert will know exactly what formulas enhance you best.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

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(Maggie Takes Pix) glamour style tips wedding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/1/makeup-trends-updated Fri, 08 Jan 2021 13:00:00 GMT
Branding 101 Roundup https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/1/branding-101-roundup Branding and brand-building applies to people as well as businesses, and I enjoy working with clients to define who they want to be in their online worlds to help create that brand with their images.

From a detailed presentation on building a personal or business brand, I’ve shared my “notes” slide deck over a few posts, with a bit of the information that goes along with them. Here’s a roundup of those slides for Branding 101:

 

Some notes on the presentation itself:

It had been a few “minutes” since I’d built a breakout session, so I basically took notes for attendees with the amount of text on each slide. Future presentations will have significantly fewer words….

Another lesson learned: if your presentation will be projected on a large screen, do not use low-resolution pix.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2021/1/branding-101-roundup Fri, 01 Jan 2021 15:15:00 GMT
Open Model Call https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/12/open-model-call I will always ask: How do you want to be photographed? And if there is time at the end of our session, I may ask you to do something that I want to photograph….

But every now and then, I love to have full creative shoots with people – just for fun or to add a look to my portfolio when clients have elected not to share their images (I ask for a model release, but it’s not required of my clients).

My selected models are not (always) professionals, so if you are interested and willing to sign a model release, please come play! I’m currently looking to photograph:

  • glamour and/or bridal in the snow
  • outdoor boudoir
  • ballet dancer (with old toe shoes you’re willing to wear in the street)
  • intimate at-home session with a couple á la the sessions featured on https://www.instagram.com/dirtybootsandmessyhair/

There is no session fee for model calls with a signed release, and all photographer-selected photos are available to you, too (generally a gallery of 10-20 digital images).

Contact me and let’s set it up!

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

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(Maggie Takes Pix) session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/12/open-model-call Fri, 25 Dec 2020 13:00:00 GMT
Boudoir Look: What To Wear Roundup https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/12/boudoir-look-what-to-wear-roundup Wardrobe is so personal to each woman. It’s an opportunity to show the different facets of her personality and style. Fit of wardrobe is unbelievably important for flattery. That is why I have each client bring her own wardrobe. That said, I do keep several pieces in the studio, just in case: slips, bustiers, camisoles – all things that can be washed/cleaned. I also have a handful of lacy panties, but if we use those, they are yours to keep; undies just cannot be reused (ew).

When you book a session with me, I will send you a comprehensive guide to help you decide what to wear and where to shop. In addition, I am always happy to help you through the process by giving opinions and/or helping you find the perfect items for your session.

Here are some quick links to give you an idea of looks to consider:

The best look, of course, is your own. Mix and match, or create something entirely new!


There is never a part of the process in which you are alone; I’m here to help every step of the way to help you look your best and the way you want.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

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(Maggie Takes Pix) boudoir style tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/12/boudoir-look-what-to-wear-roundup Fri, 18 Dec 2020 13:00:00 GMT
Branding Photography Session Updates https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/12/branding-photography-session-updates Ideally, you will update your branding regularly. What does “regularly” mean? It depends on you!

We’ll sit down together and plan out what your want to feature and how often as part of our session planning meeting. This will give us an idea of how large an image collection you’ll need.

Most small business or personal brands update every season. The most obvious benefit of this is always having a seasonally-appropriate look (so you aren’t wearing short sleeves in winter or a sweater in summer posts). It also allows you to change the stories you want to feature fairly often.

Some people grab a smaller pool of pix with each session, but they have these updated monthly, which is especially useful if you are featuring a product or service.

Many update every six months and fill in their social media image banks on their own.

In any case, if you’ve invested time and money to have a branding session, don’t let your images grow stale. Use them, then refresh them. Share them, and stay top of mind with your audience.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/12/branding-photography-session-updates Fri, 11 Dec 2020 13:00:00 GMT
Looking Good in Photos: Seated https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/12/looking-good-in-photos-seated If you are about to be photographed while seated, the key to looking your best is to sit on the front edge, rather than leaning back or sunk into the chair. 

Perching on the edge of the seat allows you to have good posture. Sitting up straight, even leaning slightly forward, makes you look engaged with your viewer. You may be able to twist to adjust your angle to the camera, as well, which is a little more slimming than being photographed straight on.

Previous posing tips (like bending) still apply!

Check for clothing bunching up before the shot, too! You might need to sit on the back of your jacket or unbutton it to keep it smooth.

Hopefully, your photographer will guide you to the best position, and watch out for all those things.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

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(Maggie Takes Pix) posing tips professional photographer https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/12/looking-good-in-photos-seated Fri, 04 Dec 2020 13:00:00 GMT
Flashback Friday: 2020 – Ten Years and Growing https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/11/flashback-friday-2020-ten-years-and-growing Despite a novel coronavirus pandemic, this year featured several honors for me.

One of my clients was profiled in a local magazine, with one of my photos featured with their article (I love seeing my images “in the wild” – and they’re a great couple). I was selected as the Gold Best of Business Award winner for Commercial Photographer of the Year by the readers of Lynchburg Business magazine! I also had the privilege of presenting a breakout session on Personal Branding to businesswomen at Central Virginia Business Coalition’s Empower seminar.

Best Commercial Photographer - GoldBest of Lynchburg Business - Gold - Best Commercial PhotographerHonored to be selected

 

Photography clients this year included several headshot sessions, couples’ boudoir, personal branding, and portrait shoots. I was again invited to participate in another styled shoot… and even photographed a backyard microwedding, postponed and downsized due to COVID-19.

Thank you for making this crazy tenth year an incredible one!

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty branding Flashback Friday professional photographer wedding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/11/flashback-friday-2020-ten-years-and-growing Fri, 27 Nov 2020 13:00:00 GMT
Boudoir Look: “Bad Girl” https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/11/boudoir-look-bad-girl Ideas for this naughty look include anything black or red, especially lace. Bring your handcuffs, blindfold, stockings, garter belt, stilettos, thigh-high boots, silk tie, whip or other toys, and a mask. I don’t judge… and I have a few things here in the studio wardrobe, too.

bad girl boudoirbad girl boudoirGo ahead. It's okay.

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Schedule your boudoir session and receive my lingerie guide to help you choose what to wear!

In the meantime, check out this post for lingerie selections.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) boudoir session information style tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/11/boudoir-look-bad-girl Fri, 20 Nov 2020 13:00:00 GMT
Branding 101: 4 C’s of Visibility, Part 4 – Be Custom https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/11/branding-101-4-c-s-of-visibility-part-4-be-custom Custom elements make your brand personal.Custom images enhance your brand.Choose elements that reflect you.

In order to better build your visibility, and so your audience gets to know, like and trust you, your media (social or print) should authentically reflect you.

Create images that are custom to match your brand.

You are the ultimate brand element. Share some of the “behind the scenes” of your business and your life to create connection. Consider including family, pets, staff, or even clients. Include locations and props that reflect your business. Add in your specific brand colors.

Including some personal details – especially images of you (at least on occasion) – helps you stand out infinitely better than the stock images that everyone else may be using.

Don't use the same image everyone else is.Create custom images to stand out.How many times have you seen this ponytail?

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/11/branding-101-4-c-s-of-visibility-part-4-be-custom Fri, 13 Nov 2020 13:00:00 GMT
Looking Good in Photos: Accessories https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/11/looking-good-in-photos-accessories Variety is the spice of life.

Bring jewelry to coordinate with each outfit you bring, along with scarves, hats, jackets, or whatever else might coordinate. Adding and changing accessories gives you layers and looks without having an entire clothing change. You may even find a new combination!

I have a number of accessories here in the studio wardrobe, too: hats, jewelry, masks, scarves, wraps, and more… all for your use.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) style tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/11/looking-good-in-photos-accessories Fri, 06 Nov 2020 13:00:00 GMT
Behind the Scenes: Shoot https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/10/behind-the-scenes-shoot So, just what goes on at a shoot with me?

When you arrive, I’ll introduce you to our hairstylist and/or makeup artist (HMUA) if you’re using that service, and we’ll go through clothing items you’ve brought and sets we’re thinking of using. The HMUA will create a look for you that works best with what you’ve expressed. Most of my clients choose a more natural, but polished, look – more bridal than dramatic, although we’ll build to that if it fits your session style. I’ll fuss around with the set and lights a little more to adjust for our first look, while you relax and get glammed up.

Once you’re in your outfit (there is a changing room in the studio) I’ll check the light placement and my camera settings again, and we’ll get underway. Generally, I won’t provide a lot of direction in the beginning, because I want to watch how you move, your expressions, your mood, etc. I want to figure out what poses and/or prompts will work best to bring out the best in you! Then the work begins: I’ll introduce you to The Turtle. I will begin to pose you more and ask for particular movements, most of which I will demonstrate, so you can see what it is I’m asking you to do.

At some point, I will knock over a light stand.

It’s inevitable. I may be a glamour photographer, but I am not a glamourous photographer. You will look polished; I will be awkward. We will do some really silly things. Go ahead and laugh! I know I will.

We’ll probably dance… or at least sway.

We will change outfits and sets and lights and poses until we’re sure you’ve been photographed in every way you’ve dreamed… or we’re getting tired (I’m good for about four hours, then my creativity starts to wane).

No matter if it’s just a short headshot session or a Signature Portrait Session, as we come to the end I may throw in “just one more” quick take – 15 minutes or so of an outfit/set/lighting that’s different from the rest. Just because.

And after? You will feel like you’ve had a gentle workout… and I’ll start my workout, going through all the beauty we’ve created (including the outtakes) to find the best of the best to share with you. Give me a week or so, and we’ll get back together to relive our session through your images. More on that in another post!

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/10/behind-the-scenes-shoot Fri, 30 Oct 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Flashback Friday: 2019 – Year of the Styled Shoots https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/10/flashback-friday-2019-year-of-the-styled-shoots It seems 2019 was the Year of the Styled Shoot, with four sessions to create branding images for the planners, designers, caterers, bakers, florists, venues… and people (some models; some not). The year started off with an epic multicultural styled shoot with talented designers creating beautiful backdrops for gorgeous portraits based on the national cultures in places like Italy, Greece, Ireland, and more. A later LGBTQ styled shoot was styled with a rainbow of color themes and real couples celebrating real love! Powdered paint pigment and smoke bombs made for a Color War styled shoot – less about the styling; more about the fun. A Gothic styled shoot – just in time for Halloween – featured a previously-abandoned venue that’s now undergone renovation. Have I ever mentioned how much I enjoy photographing abandoned places? I squeeze those in whenever I can.

Dark and moody styled shoot, highlighting some talented vendors.Gothic styled shootSomething a little dark and moody, with the session highlighting some talented vendors.

I’m always ready to learn something new, so I traveled across the state for a Headshot workshop with one of the best in the business, Gary Hughes. Of course, personal branding and headshot sessions were on tap, as well as senior and boudoir sessions… and the sweetest elopement between two 70-somethings.

ElopedWhen you're 75 and in love, you don't wait.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

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(Maggie Takes Pix) Flashback Friday professional photographer wedding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/10/flashback-friday-2019-year-of-the-styled-shoots Fri, 23 Oct 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Boudoir Look: “White Sheet” https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/10/boudoir-look-white-sheet This is the easiest of looks! You swear you have nothing to wear… or we’ve decided to toss in a boudoir look at the last minute, and you wore your everyday bra instead of something “pretty.” I keep a set of white sheets at the ready! We can create the illusion of nude, without you actually being naked. Ideally, you’ll wear nude or lacey undies, but we can work around that, too, as I also have black sheets and gray. Bring any accessories you’d like to highlight, if this is one of your planned looks; I have a bunch available here in the studio wardrobe, too (from strings of pearls to flowers to masks…).

white sheet boudoirwhite sheet boudoirNothing to wear? Got you "covered"!

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Schedule your boudoir session and receive my lingerie guide to help you choose what to wear!

In the meantime, check out this post for lingerie selections.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

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(Maggie Takes Pix) boudoir https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/10/boudoir-look-white-sheet Fri, 16 Oct 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Branding 101: 4 C’s of Visibility, Part 3 – Be Cohesive https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/10/branding-101-4-c-s-of-visibility-part-3-be-cohesive What do you want to be known for? Share that.Create your content strategyWhat does your audience want to know from you? Ideally, you’ll create a cohesive strategy for your brand, creating and repurposing content that speaks to your ideal audienceregularly – about topics that build your Know/Like/Trust factor. We all know people do business (or befriend) people they know, like, and trust. Having a plan helps you become visible faster and easier.

Talk about subjects you want to be known for. For instance, I want to be known for my photography expertise, not bookkeeping… even though I know a LOT about bookkeeping. I’ll search my content library for photographs that help me show the story of what it’s like to work with me for pictures, not debits and credits.

Experts recommend that your content should be:

  • 70% Educational – what information does your audience need or want to know from you
  • 20% Results or social proof – what have others shared about working with you
  • 10% Personal – with a tie to your brand: your mission, your values, your experience... and how that benefits them

These are some of the topics we discuss when creating a plan for your branding sessions, so you know you’ll have appropriate images to use as you share your brand online or in print.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/10/branding-101-4-c-s-of-visibility-part-3-be-cohesive Fri, 09 Oct 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Looking Good in Photos: Feet https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/10/looking-good-in-photos-feet Instantly “lose” ten pounds with just your stance! How? Rather than stand facing the camera straight on, angle yourself (45 degrees) to one side, and offset your feet, shoulder width apart. Push your weight to the back foot, and kick that booty back away from the camera. Bend your front knee, and consider bringing your front foot up until just your toe is touching (depending on the look you want, of course). Practice in a mirror to get the amount of kick just right for you… or hire a pro who knows how to pose you.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) posing tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/10/looking-good-in-photos-feet Fri, 02 Oct 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Flashback Friday: 2018 – Central Virginia https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/9/flashback-friday-2018-central-virginia Having finally moved into our new home, my new husband and I renovated the barn-turned-cabin to become my studio! I jumped into the community, joining the Central Virginia Business Coalition (formerly Lynchburg RMA) and the Amherst County Chamber of Commerce.

I also invested in continuing education to improve my business and personal branding photography offerings… and I kicked it off with photoshoots for Sarah of Blooming Heirlooms, and Glo, The Mobile Artist.
Branding session on locationBlooming Heirlooms by Paper GirlPersonal branding photoshoot for Sarah

Dana, Bonnie, and the Morton family all celebrated with me in portrait sessions. There were Styled shoots with some fantastic wedding vendors. A maternity shoot and an elder parent Legacy shoot brought many happy smiles. I traveled back to Virginia Beach for an elopement and beach wedding, and finished out the year with a Matriarch’s birthday gathering.

 

We should elope.Let's get marriedSmall, intimate weddings are my favorite! I love the microwedding trend.

Thank you all for welcoming me to Central Virginia!

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty branding Flashback Friday wedding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/9/flashback-friday-2018-central-virginia Fri, 25 Sep 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Boudoir Look: “Sports Fan” https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/9/boudoir-look-sports-fan This is a fun theme! Ideas for this look include a sports jersey or tee, knee socks, lacey panty, cheeky boy short, football/basketball/props, and team hat. Playful or sultry? Or both?

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Schedule your boudoir session and receive my lingerie guide to help you choose what to wear!

In the meantime, check out this post for lingerie selections.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

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(Maggie Takes Pix) boudoir style tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/9/boudoir-look-sports-fan Fri, 18 Sep 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Branding 101: 4 C’s of Visibility, Part 2 – Be Consistent https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/9/branding-101-4-c-s-of-visibility-part-2-be-consistent Consistency builds trust.Be ConsistentDecide on your platform and show up regularly.

Where does your ideal client “hang out” online? Generally, you’ll find more women on Pinterest, more businesspeople on LinkedIn. Choose whatever platform is best for you, and get consistent on it, before trying to be everywhere. Choose a posting schedule, and stick with it. There are “ideal” social media schedules, but they change as the platform’s algorithms change… so don’t be concerned with that – just do what you can. You do not need to be everywhere all the time, but build trust by showing up regularly where you are.

As an example, I post something on Instagram every day. It was a challenge to start, but my audience knows there will be something daily. Ideally, I would be more consistent with the time of day that I post… but I’m not there yet. I’ve tried to pick up posting on LinkedIn, but I’m not doing as well with that. I tend to “post and ghost” – randomly drop something in the feed, but not coming back and interacting with others on a regular basis. My new goal is to go onto that platform twice weekly. According to social media gurus, I should be on Pinterest every day, but I know I will not be able to sustain that, yet… so it remains on the list.

With all that posting, you’ll want a bank of images on tap that truly represent you and your brand. That’s what brand photographers (like me) do: help you create that library, so you always have something appropriate to share with your audience.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding professional photographer https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/9/branding-101-4-c-s-of-visibility-part-2-be-consistent Fri, 11 Sep 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Looking Good in Photos: Necklines https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/9/looking-good-in-photos-necklines  “Often, when an outfit doesn’t work, it’s because of the neckline,” explains Houston stylist and fashion show producer Todd Ramos to The Style Glossy

Which should you choose?

Lower, open necklines like a sweetheart (which is shaped like the top of a heart), scoop, square or V-neck tend to look good on almost every body type and size. “They bring attention to your face and elongate your upper body, especially if you’re petite or have a short neck,” says Ramos. These cuts are great for everyone, unless you’re top heavy or have an especially long neck. Whatever size you are, a halter will flatter your figure. If your arms or shoulders are a “trouble spot” for you, top it with a fitted jacket.

If you have a long neck, narrow face, small chest or sloped shoulders, a high neckline -- one that rests on or very near the collarbone -- is your best bet. Crew necks and boatnecks draw the eye out to your shoulders so you appear more balanced and proportioned. But on the flip side, these necklines can make you look bigger than you are if you have generous curves, a short neck or broad shoulders.

A true turtleneck that hits a couple of inches below the chin will whittle away your height, making it best for those who want to offset a long neck or face. A cowl-neck, which is a looser version of a turtleneck, naturally drapes at the chest, creating a vertical line that elongates the body. A mock neck hits slightly lower than a turtleneck and serves as a good midpoint if you can’t part with your more covered-up sweaters.

Want more "what to wear" tips? Search for keyword "style tips" on the blog.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) style tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/9/looking-good-in-photos-necklines Fri, 04 Sep 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Flashback Friday: 2017 - Time to Move https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/8/flashback-friday-2017---time-to-move Three friends got together for a Best Friends Session.Best FriendsCapture your joy of being together with a BFF session! Lots of changes happened in 2017 – including my move to Amherst, Virginia! I was able to do some product photography of art pieces for a gallery that was moving online. I had my first sessions in central Virginia, two of them being Bridal boudoir (one very romantic; one very playful). Before I left Norfolk: Seniors, best friends, boudoir, and another wedding. After I left Norfolk: got married in my new back yard… and started networking in the Lynchburg region.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty branding Flashback Friday professional photographer senior wedding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/8/flashback-friday-2017---time-to-move Fri, 28 Aug 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Branding 101: 4 C’s of Visibility, Part 1 – Be Clear https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/8/branding-101-4-c-s-of-visibility-part-1-be-clear Grow your visibility by using images and words that speak to your audience.Be ClearUse images and words that appeal to your ideal client.

Posts with images get more attention than posts with words alone. Choose something scroll-stopping and different… but that goes along with your message and appeals to your ideal client. What do they want to see from you? Now how can you make that unique? (I can help with that).

The same with your words: both the message and how it’s delivered should match your brand. What does your ideal client want to read? Is it in your authentic voice?

Read more Branding 101 posts by searching for the keyword branding.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding professional photographer https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/8/branding-101-4-c-s-of-visibility-part-1-be-clear Fri, 21 Aug 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Looking Good in Photos: Hands https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/8/looking-good-in-photos-hands “What do I do with my hands?”

If your photographer isn't posing your hands, here are some tips for what to do with them (your hands, not your photographer).Fun with HandsWhat do I do with my hands?

If your hands might show in an image, here are a few tips:

  1. Have your pinky finger facing the camera, not the wider back of the hand.
  2. Relax and soften – think delicate ballet hands, not clenched fists or claws… or karate.
  3. Bend at the wrist
  4. Do something – like adjusting clothing or an accessory – that feels “natural.” Or play. Your option.

Hands on your hips is always a good place to start… or cross your arms, keeping the above tips in mind, and both hands visible.

Think of the waist as the dividing line for finger direction. Hands above the waistline should generally be pointing upward. Hands below the waist should point downward.

In group photos or couple’s photos, watch out for “hand spiders.” Try to keep the back hand invisible. When people put their arms around each other, the back hand tends to poke out at the oddest places.

When all else fails, hide ‘em.

During your session with me, I will let you know what to do with your hands, if they are going to show. How hands are posed helps tell a story in your images: open, friendly, seductive, strong, shy…. 

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) posing tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/8/looking-good-in-photos-hands Fri, 14 Aug 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Flashback Friday: 2016 – New Experiences and a Reminder https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/8/flashback-friday-2016-new-experiences-and-a-reminder ‘Tween photography kicked off my sixth year in business. Ten- to twelve-year-olds (in between kid and teenager) are such a fun age – open to new experiences, with a lot of interests. We always keep these sessions age-appropriate!

Age-appropriate stylingTween BeautyEven almost-11 enjoys playing dress-up.

Another favorite: Engagement sessions (still all about her… with her favorite partner). This was also a year of more Event photography, with another wedding workshop and two more weddings. I started outreach to central Virginia at a bridal show, since we finally had a rough timeline of our move to the area.

Photographed more Seniors and Headshots… and personal branding, before I knew what it was called….

Casual headshots during a senior sessionMother / daughterHer senior session... but we got Mom in for a few headshots for her realty business.

I was also brought back to WHY I started this business with my father’s death. One of the first things we turned to, after he passed, was the photographs. Of course, I picked up part of my shutterbug from him; he loved to take and share “pix” (that’s where I got my business name). There were plenty, which brought us great comfort.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty branding Flashback Friday professional photographer senior wedding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/8/flashback-friday-2016-new-experiences-and-a-reminder Fri, 07 Aug 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Boudoir Look: “Good Girl” https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/7/boudoir-look-good-girl Ideas for this sweet look include a white sheer tee, over-the-knee socks, off-the-shoulder sweater, lacy panty, tank top / jean shorts / cowboy boots, silky or lacy kimono/robe, or other items in pastel colors.

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Schedule your boudoir session and receive my lingerie guide to help you choose what to wear!

In the meantime, check out this post for lingerie selections.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) boudoir session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/7/boudoir-look-good-girl Fri, 17 Jul 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Branding 101: Creating Connection https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/7/branding-101-creating-connection Create content that your audience wants to consume.Create Content that ConnectsCreate content that your audience wants to consume.

Once you know your brand and who you are talking to, think about where you connect. What do you believe in, and what does your client value? Look for “uncommon commonalities” to help build a relationship.

As you create or curate content, run it through your ideal client’s “What’s In It For Me?” filter. How can you help her through her problem?

Want more? Check out Storybrand by Donald Miller. This is an important step before personal branding sessions, so you can’t skip it. I’ll work with you to figure it out.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/7/branding-101-creating-connection Sat, 11 Jul 2020 00:00:00 GMT
Looking Good in Photos: Color and Pattern https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/7/looking-good-in-photos-color-and-pattern When it comes to pictures of people, I always recommend that people choose colors that complement their skin tone (cool, warm, or neutral). When in doubt, match/coordinate with your eyes – you know, the color that makes them pop!

I also recommend staying away from patterns near your face. Why? Here’s an experiment for you. Pick up a clothing catalog, and flip through it. What is your eye drawn to: the model’s face, or the clothing? Clothing companies know that patterns tend to draw attention! In portraits, however, I want your beautiful face to be the highlight of the picture.

If you are attending an event that you know will mean your photograph might be taken, keep this tip in mind while deciding what to wear. 

Want more tips? Search for the "style tips" keyword on my blog!

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

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(Maggie Takes Pix) style tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/7/looking-good-in-photos-color-and-pattern Fri, 03 Jul 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Flashback Friday: 2015 - Five Years https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/6/flashback-friday-2015---five-years The 5th anniversary year of my business was filled with creativity, from steampunk- and pinup-themed studio shoots to environmental sessions – from the beach in winter to wandering neighborhoods for great backdrops in downtown Norfolk and Olde Towne Portsmouth to family sessions in the park – and on-location headshot and event photography. I also signed up for wedding photography workshops and stepped up my food photography.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

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(Maggie Takes Pix) Flashback Friday professional photographer https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/6/flashback-friday-2015---five-years Fri, 26 Jun 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Boudoir Look: “Bridal” https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/6/boudoir-look-bridal Ideas for this wedding-day gift include a white bra & panty set, white slip, wedding veil (one can be provided), wedding shoes, garter, and pearls or other jewelry. We’ll drape you in the innocence of white tulle… but won’t necessarily keep it innocent, if you’re feeling more playful than sweet. Your partner will be pleasantly surprised!

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Schedule your boudoir session and receive my lingerie guide to help you choose what to wear!

In the meantime, check out this post for lingerie selections.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

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(Maggie Takes Pix) boudoir style tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/6/boudoir-look-bridal Fri, 19 Jun 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Branding 101: Who’s Your Audience? https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/6/branding-101-who-s-your-audience Who is your ideal client (buyer, employer, life partner…)? Yes, your personal brand is for more than just business! Identify who you want to reach. You need to know who that is before you can reach them; you speak differently to a potential boss than you do to a potential lover!

Some people find it helpful to create an avatar: an “invisible friend,” if you will, that represents your perfect person. Go beyond demographics (47-year-old female) to psychographics (she’s raised her children; now it’s her time to follow her dreams).

What does your audience want to see and hear from you? What problem is she having? What is she Googling at night?

Want some help figuring this out? Give me a call; I’m happy to help.


Tips for identifying your audience.Ideal ClientIdentify your ideal client avatar or buyer persona.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/6/branding-101-who-s-your-audience Fri, 12 Jun 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Looking Good in Photos: If It Bends, Bend It https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/6/looking-good-in-photos-if-it-bends-bend-it This is one of the tips I learned early in my journey, and it really does make a portrait more interesting.

Bend every joint you can, even if it’s just a little bit: elbows, knees, wrists… even move your shoulders and hips a little. Put some twist in your body, even if you are only having headshots. Go for that beautiful S curve.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

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(Maggie Takes Pix) posing tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/6/looking-good-in-photos-if-it-bends-bend-it Fri, 05 Jun 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Behind the Scenes: Preparation https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/5/behind-the-scenes-preparation Before your session, regardless of type, we talk about how you want to be photographed. What images will show you at your authentic, beautiful, and confident best? What images will best show the stories of you?

  • Beauty shoots: Are you a casual gal? Classic? Dreaming of some glamour?
  • Boudoir shoots: Are you shy? Or daring?
  • Business shoots: Are you formal? Friendly? Both?
  • Branding shoots: Are you a solopreneur who works at home? Do you have a team to spotlight? Is it a personal branding focus, or business only? There is a rather extensive list for us to go through together to develop our strategy.

Knowing these things helps us figure out your best wardrobe choices, makeup looks, locations/backdrops, lighting, and more. Knowing where and how the images will used helps me know how to photograph it: am I working for multiple images for an album, a few coordinated images for a website, or one epic wall piece or collage?

Preparation before our photo session helps ensure you get the pictures you want.

Prepare for your session ahead of time.PreparationWe talk about every aspect of your photo session before it happens.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) professional photographer session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/5/behind-the-scenes-preparation Fri, 29 May 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Flashback Friday: 2014 – Couple’s Boudoir? Yes, please! https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/5/flashback-friday-2014-couple-s-boudoir-yes-please May 22 – Flashback Friday: 2014 – Couple’s Boudoir? Yes, please!

I’d moved locations in late 2013, but still had a dedicated space in 2014 to hold portrait sessions. This year I practiced and photographed more bridal and boudoir. One of my favorite sessions: couple’s boudoir.

Couples in love have a glow about them that is beautiful to capture. Concerned about “someone watching”? You don’t get to do anything in my studio that isn’t “Facebook safe”! There are certain body parts my camera doesn’t need to see; each partner’s job is to block that view.

These lovey-dovey sessions are a great way to connect with each other and rekindle some of your passion. Interested? Contact me. 😉

Couples BoudoirCouples BoudoirCapture your passion in photos just for the two of you. Purple and white pin up girl with KissesPin Up FunPin Up Sessions are classic and cute!

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) boudoir Flashback Friday https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/5/flashback-friday-2014-couple-s-boudoir-yes-please Fri, 22 May 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Boudoir Look: “Sexy Secret” https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/5/boudoir-look-sexy-secret Ideas for a classy "sexy secret" look include a matching bra & panty set, lacy bodysuit, white business shirt (tie optional), cocktail dress, pencil skirt, garter belt with stockings, and stilettos.

Possible story idea: undressing after a special occasion night out.

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Schedule your boudoir session and receive my lingerie guide to help you choose what to wear!

In the meantime, check out this post for lingerie selections.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) boudoir style tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/5/boudoir-look-sexy-secret Fri, 15 May 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Branding 101: What’s Your Brand? https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/5/branding-101-what-s-your-brand Before you can build a personal brand, you’ll need to do some internal work.

To start, you’ve got to know two key things: what are your goals, and why? These are your guiding principles!

Identify your Unique Value Proposition. Figure out what benefit you offer people, how you solve their problems, and what makes you different from others like you.

People remember stories. What is yours? What have you overcome?

What character traits do you want to highlight as you build your brand? For instance, I know a lot about bookkeeping, but you won’t find me talking about it.

Craft a compelling brand statement: think “personal mission statement” for this aspect of your brand. Make it interesting, so it continues to serve as guidance for how you move forward.

Steps to define your personal brand

If you’d like to work through your brand building together, I’d love to help.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/5/branding-101-what-s-your-brand Fri, 08 May 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Looking Good in Photos: Hairstyling https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/5/looking-good-in-photos-hairstyling My Signature Portrait Sessions include professional hairstyling and makeup application. Limited Headshot sessions, however, have you come hair-and-makeup ready. You are, of course, going to be photographed on other occasions, too. Anticipate them!

  1. Touch up your color, if you use it, but don’t make any major changes; if you don’t like it, you clearly won’t like your photos.
  2. Make sure you pay special attention to the front of your style; we won’t see the back.
  3. Even if you don’t normally use it, hairspray not only can help build volume, it’s a miracle-worker against flyaways (and if you don’t use it, I might ask if I can).

During a portrait session, regardless of type, I will watch out for stray strands and put them back into place.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) style tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/5/looking-good-in-photos-hairstyling Fri, 01 May 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Flashback Friday: 2013 – Model Mayhem https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/4/flashback-friday-2013-model-mayhem My third year in business was one of great learning. From headshots to fashion, to pin-up and boudoir, I worked with a number of models to learn posing and practice lighting and editing, and I worked with clients to provide them images they wanted.

From my third year in business From my third year in business

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

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(Maggie Takes Pix) Flashback Friday professional photographer https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/4/flashback-friday-2013-model-mayhem Fri, 24 Apr 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Do it for you! https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/4/do-it-for-you You might be thinking that you are booking a photo shoot for business, for fun, or as a gift… and you are! However, there is often an incredible side effect of this experience.

Women will often start to realize their full potential. They might figure out some of their secret superpowers. They might start to realize their true worth.

They will likely get in touch with feelings they repressed and forgot about a long time ago. These feelings might open their minds and their worlds.

A photo shoot may very well give them the power to LIVE. To go after what they want in life.

The possibilities discovered really are endless!

A photo shoot is not just a photo shoot. It’s a life experience that offers you self-confidence, freedom, and a retraining of your brain that you can do something daring, and good things will come of it.

While most women book portrait sessions (especially boudoir) as a gift for someone else, the truth is, the experience is for you! The photographs are the souvenir. Embrace the experience, and the feelings that come along with it. Look back at the photos and remember how incredible you felt that day. You deserve this gift, too.

While we’re on the subject of photographic souvenirs.…

I am going to take really gorgeous images of you. As much as I might like to share them, I will totally respect your privacy. If you don’t sign a model release, I will NOT use your photos in any way that might identify you, and I will not hold it against you. Your happiness is the most important thing in the world to me. That said, we love when you tell others how awesome we are. Boudoir, especially, is built on referrals and trust. If you love and trust us, please tell someone!

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty boudoir glamour https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/4/do-it-for-you Fri, 17 Apr 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Got Shots? https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/4/got-shots I encourage you to create an inspiration board on Pinterest or elsewhere of photographs you like. I have a running list myself, but I always want to make sure you have everything you’ve thought of when thinking about your session. So if you have ideas, please share!

Samples for my Branding shoots include:

  1. Brady Bunch – looking in every direction
  2. Emotional – show excitement, happiness, thoughtfulness
  3. Workplace – room, wall art, desktop
  4. Family & Pets
  5. Favorite things – books, art pieces, tchotchkes

I know you’ve got something special in mind. That’s why I always ask, “How do you want to be photographed?”

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty boudoir branding glamour senior session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/4/got-shots Fri, 10 Apr 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Looking Good in Photos: All About Angles https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/4/looking-good-in-photos-all-about-angles When you are being photographed, there are three posing tips to keep in mind.

  1. If you can, adjust so that you are at a 45-degree angle to the camera, and not straight on. Straight on will give you a wider look: great for appearing more commanding, maybe, but not particularly flattering if you are wanting to appear more feminine.  
  2. Asymmetry is more interesting. Dip your front shoulder - just a little. Push one hip back, with weight to one side. Go for that S curve.
  3. Shoot from slightly above the eye line. No one wants to look up your nose… and it will make your chin look larger. But don’t go too far up, or your forehead gets larger, and your body looks shorter.

As your photographer, I keep all these things - and more - in mind.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) posing tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/4/looking-good-in-photos-all-about-angles Fri, 03 Apr 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Flashback Friday: 2012 – Eureka and Pivot https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/3/flashback-friday-2012-eureka-and-pivot As I approached two years in business, I discovered photographer Sue Bryce. She is an award-winning photographer who specialized in glamour photography for women. Sue completely reassured me that focusing on photographing women, which was the original impetus for starting my business, was a viable niche. I learned her techniques, and even flew to Seattle to be in one of her week-long classes in person – and to be photographed by her.

I also started learning more about boudoir photography, and how to best create flattering poses for these intimate sessions. I sought out models to practice with. Eventually I was blessed to have a dear friend, who hated having her picture taken, choose me to shoot her boudoir session. She told me she had never felt so beautiful in photographs before. Kelly passed away just months later, following a sudden-onset illness, and I was so glad we had taken non-boudoir images to share with family and friends that she was proud to show off.

Kelly's boudoir sessionKelly M's boudoir sessionKelly hated having her picture taken... until now.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) Flashback Friday https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/3/flashback-friday-2012-eureka-and-pivot Fri, 27 Mar 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Tips, topics, and tactics https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/3/tips-topics-and-tactics Size or age doesn’t matter.

We don’t care if you are a size 2 or a size 22, 25 years old or 85 years old. For me, I want all women to celebrate their unique femininity. That truly means ALL women. Don’t put boundaries on yourself just because you “think” it’s not for you. That is just your brain lying to you.

You don’t have to lose 5 or 10 pounds to book a shoot.

Here is a tip, ladies: wardrobe is key! With the proper wardrobe, you are giving your photographer the ability to pose you any way they would like. By posing you properly, we will always make you look as good as you look in real life, if not better!

By the way, most women are wearing the wrong bra size. The proper bra size makes you look firmer, trimmer, and way hotter. Please do yourself a favor and get yourself measured!

And, by the way, your period isn’t an excuse to cancel a shoot; a little bloat doesn’t really show on camera.

No, we can’t just Photoshop that out.

Okay, yes, there are SOME things we can Photoshop out, like that little tattoo you got one drunk night when you were 18. Maybe that can easily go, but if it covers your whole back, maybe not. Talk to your photographer about their Photoshop policies before you book them! While I am happy to fix temporary blemishes, I’m not going to reshape your body….

That said…

The more it hurts, the better it looks.

A lot of photographers bill a photoshoot as a fun day in which you will be pampered… almost like a spa day. It’s true: it is fun! BUT I am here to tell you that even though you WILL feel amazing, it is also a lot of work. We are going to pose you in positions you don’t usually get in to, and make you wear uncomfortable shoes and wardrobe. Your back will be sore, and you may get blisters on your feet, but I promise you it’s worth it. Even though it might feel weird, trust us when we pose you. Our expertise is what you are paying for! Your photos will be fabulous, and you might walk away with a newfound appreciation for models.

The women I photograph aren’t supermodels; they’re just like you and me. With good wardrobe choices, professional hair and makeup, and my expertise with light and posing, your photos will be stunning.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?
 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) professional photographer session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/3/tips-topics-and-tactics Fri, 20 Mar 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Choosing Your Location https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/3/choosing-your-location Not only to I have studio space on our property, ten minutes west of Amherst, but I also will travel to you! Having your photoshoot in your home and/or office helps your viewers see you where you “live,” and gives them a sense of connection. Or we could photograph you outdoors (property or favorite park, perhaps?) or on site somewhere else that’s convenient or special to you (e.g., hotel, restaurant, library, or store).

I do ask that you keep our location within 50 miles or so of the town of Amherst... but yes, I will travel.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/3/choosing-your-location Fri, 13 Mar 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Looking Good in Photos: Makeup vs Digital Camera Wash Out https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/3/looking-good-in-photos-makeup-vs-digital-camera-wash-out Makeup helps enhance your natural beauty and makes sure we see the true you in your digital images. While it may seem like quite a bit more than you are used to, there’s a reason for the type and amount of makeup used in portrait sessions. It’s not that we’re trying to hide you; we’re trying to enhance you… and make sure that the camera doesn’t make you look like a ghostly apparition that I have to adjust later, as digital cameras tend to wash out people.

Want tips on DIY makeup to look great in photos? Check out https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2018/7/top-4-makeup-tips-for-photos or search the blog for “Style Tips” keyword.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) style tips https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/3/looking-good-in-photos-makeup-vs-digital-camera-wash-out Fri, 06 Mar 2020 13:00:00 GMT
Flashback Friday: 2011 – Still Learning; Slowly Growing https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/2/flashback-friday-2011-still-learning-slowly-growing Still new in business, at one year, I was still looking to photograph anyone and everyone… and learning that getting mothers in the frame often required photographing their children with them. I also discovered PPA: Professional Photographers of America. Through them, I picked up additional classes on not only running a photography business, but improving techniques in lighting and posing, in studio and on location, and in post-processing.

* I think this is the last photo/year I feel the need to re-edit before sharing….

Flashback to 2011Flashback to 2011Still new in 2011, but growing and learning Flashback to 2011Flashback to 2011Still new in 2011, but growing and learning

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) flashback friday https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/2/flashback-friday-2011-still-learning-slowly-growing Fri, 28 Feb 2020 13:00:00 GMT
It’s okay to be nervous https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/2/it-s-okay-to-be-nervous It’s okay to be nervous in front of a camera. In fact, nerves mean you are outside your comfort zone. Guess where all the fun stuff happens in life? Outside your comfort zone! That’s where growth and self-discovery thrive. Embrace the nerves; I promise they won’t last long.

We aren’t judging (or even really looking at) your body… not even during a boudoir shoot.

I know that sounds crazy, but as photographers, that is not our job. Our job is to master posing, light, emotion, etc. So, yes, although we SEE you, we aren’t picking you apart. We are actually aiming to capture the best of you, so that is what we see.

When searching for a photographer, think about who will make you feel more comfortable. Want to bring a friend to the shoot to help you relax? Great! But be sure you bring a friend who won’t be insulted when you throw her out of the room! A true professional will never make you feel uncomfortable, so you might not need her as much as you think.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) boudoir professional photographer https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/2/it-s-okay-to-be-nervous Fri, 21 Feb 2020 13:00:00 GMT
Website Photos https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/2/website-photos What images do you need for your website?

  1. A classic headshot: look straight at the camera, making “eye contact” with your potential client. Necessary for your “About” page, as a minimum, you can also use this same (or similar) image on your social media, on your business cards, in your email signature… and anytime someone “finds” you, they’ll recognize you.
  2. Horizontal images: your website designer will thank you. When people are looking at your site, their screen is generally “landscape” format; your images should be, too. Even on mobile devices, horizontal photos will resize to fit their screens better, rather than having to scroll a vertical image to see the whole thing. Try to keep some negative space to one side for layering text or your logo; it’s visually more appealing, even without those additions.
  3. Blog posts: brainstorm a list of potential blog topics, and consider what images would work best for each. Talking about your process? Let’s get some behind-the-scenes. New product line? Let’s highlight a few. New service? Let’s show you working with a client. Sharing a story about your grandmother’s raspberry jam? Use pix to show some… or her… or both of you working together to make some!

Using personal, custom “stock” photos showing you, your personality, your process/behind the scenes, etc., help your potential clients get to know, like, and trust you!

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding product info https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/2/website-photos Fri, 14 Feb 2020 13:00:00 GMT
Looking Good in Photos: Chin Forward and Down https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/2/looking-good-in-photos-chin-forward-and-down There are so many things to think about and monitor during a portrait session, it’s hard to pick just one posing tip to share with you, but the most valuable is probably “chin forward and down” (like a turtle). You will hear me say this A LOT in our sessions together. It feels really weird, but trust me: it makes such a difference! Whatever is closer to the camera appears larger... and this part of the pose moves your eyes closer while helping eliminate any “extra” in the chin/neck area, appearing to thin the face a bit. Practice in a mirror, adjusting the angle and amount, until you find what works for you. Your selfies and group snapshots will look so much better, too!

Posing TipChin Forward and DownLook at the difference a change in angle can make!

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) posing tip https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/2/looking-good-in-photos-chin-forward-and-down Fri, 07 Feb 2020 13:00:00 GMT
Behind the Scenes: Pre-Planning https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/1/behind-the-scenes-pre-planning Anything goes with your bespoke portrait session... well, almost anything. From conservative headshots to playful boudoir, your session is custom made for you. That said, I need to know what you want. We’ll work together before our shoot so I can find out what it is you have in mind for your session and do some pre-planning with you.

What are you picturing when you think of your photographs? Share your ideas with me, and I can prepare accordingly, suggesting locations or backdrops, props or wardrobe, appropriate hairstyling and makeup, lighting and posing to make that vision come true for you.

Between the two of us, we’ll create something special that celebrates your true beauty.

How do you want to be photographed?OptionsWhen you decide you're ready for your portrait session, we'll talk about the options and what you want to see in your photographs.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365 and let me know when and where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) behind the scenes session information https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/1/behind-the-scenes-pre-planning Fri, 31 Jan 2020 13:00:00 GMT
Flashback Friday: 2010 – The Beginning https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/1/flashback-friday-2010-the-beginning My family has always taken photographs, whether for holidays, special trips, or just because we were gathered together. All (okay… most) of those ended up in photo albums. We have a bookcase of photo albums, documenting our lives.  Some of those albums, however, didn’t survive well; you know the kind with the peel-back plastic over strips of adhesive? Wanting to better preserve the images and the stories behind them, I became a scrapbook consultant. 

In over a decade of teaching scrapbooking classes, I realized that I did not see very many pictures of “mom” in those memory books. She was usually too busy taking pictures to be in them, or the snapshots that did exist she didn’t want to include because she didn’t like the way she looked. This bugged me… a lot… but other than encouraging them to step out in front more often, I wasn’t sure what to do.

Inspiration to start my portrait photography business came from the moms who asked if I was a professional photographer in addition to scrapbook consulting. I wasn’t truly comfortable as anything more than serving as photo historian of my own family, and guide for them, however.

The idea became fully enabled, finally, by my “little” brother, who gave me my first digital SLR camera for my birthday. Best thing ever, and it changed my life! I’m not sure either of us realized the impact of that most thoughtful gift. I had a little digital point-and-shoot, but it just didn’t make pretty pictures like my film camera. Now I had “real” camera that did what I wanted it to do.

I started searching out books and classes to learn more about going pro… and I got my first business license on May 19, 2010, in Virginia Beach. I was riding an inspirational high following a two-day online conference on the business of photography. It was the last day of my job at a nonprofit from which I was being downsized. I was feeling froggy, so I jumped. It has been an incredible journey that has introduced me to so many of my friends and has taught me so very much.

My first sessions were, of course, thrilling… and frustrating… and rewarding… and true learning experiences. I look back now, almost ten years later, and cringe a little bit at the quality of those early shots. Thank you for those brave subjects who gave me the opportunity to grow!

The photos here are from two of those early sessions. I couldn’t just leave them as they were, so beside them is a more-current edit that’s closer to what I wish I had done then. Still not great... or "finished" as I like them now.... These copies don’t have the highest pixel count, and I can’t re-take ten-year-old images to hit the focus or adjust the lighting, white balance, posing, etc., but this was 2010.

Flashback to 2010 and my first portrait sessions.In the beginning... In the beginning, I didn't really know what I was doing.... Flashback to 2010 and my first portrait sessions.In the beginning... In the beginning, I didn't really know what I was doing....

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Ready for some great photographs? BETTER THAN THESE !? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) Flashback Friday https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/1/flashback-friday-2010-the-beginning Fri, 24 Jan 2020 13:00:00 GMT
Boudoir Photography: A Definition https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/1/boudoir-photography-a-definition A boudoir shoot is generally considered a sub-genre of beauty or glamour photography. Boudoir photography also celebrates beauty, but in a more intimate way. And, as the name suggests (boudoir is old French for a woman’s private “pouting” room), it takes place in a bedroom or other private location. Because of this facet of privacy, there is generally a certain level of undress.

These sessions aren’t about creating a response from the viewer (like glamour… or pornography). Instead, the images feel almost as if the viewer is peeking in on a scene they weren’t necessarily meant to see... like she’s been caught in a private moment. Boudoir is more about making women feel beautiful, and it can help a woman feel more confident in her own skin. It’s a bit daring. It’s fun. And it tells a bit of her personal story in a personal way that isn’t seen by many.

Boudoir photographs can be sexy, sensual, sweet, or even silly. What’s your fantasy? Can’t decide? That’s okay! Variety is the spice of life, and I’ve got look, pose, and set ideas for whatever look suits you. While it is common to see women in lingerie for a boudoir shoot, it isn’t a requirement… nor is nudity. You can wear just about anything (or yes, “nothing”), and make it a boudoir session! You decide how much skin you show… and whether anyone else ever sees these pictures of your personal celebration of your beauty. That said, I’m glad to give you some ideas for what to wear, depending on your selected look.

By the way, you can bring your significant other in, too, for a couple’s boudoir session. These romantic, fire-kindling sessions can create closeness and bonding like no other. Talk about celebrating beauty! Ah, love….

Think you are too old, too overweight, too… not hot? Think again! I did a boudoir shoot myself at 49 years old and 30 pounds too heavy, and had a blast! I talk about it a bit in this blog post.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) beauty boudoir glamour https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/1/boudoir-photography-a-definition Fri, 17 Jan 2020 13:00:00 GMT
Branding Photography: A Definition https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/1/branding-photography-a-definition Seth Godin defines a brand as “the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” The best brands share these stories and develop relationships through the content on their social media platforms.

Why develop a personal brand instead of a business brand? People want to do business with people. That’s why so many companies use celebrity endorsers… and why so many celebrities start their own companies. They are “known,” and that carries clout, deserved or not. You do not have to be a big-name personality, however, to make an impact, but you’ll make a bigger impact if your ideal client knows who you are.

“If you have an online presence -- no matter if you’re a life coach, a dog trainer, a yoga instructor or you teach online marketing strategies like I do -- having professional branding and lifestyle photos can massively up-level your business, especially when you know when and where to use them.” – Amy Porterfield, Online Marketing Made Easy podcaster

People want to see who they are potentially working with, so show them your face.

But before you run off to your local family or wedding photographer, please know that Personal Brand photography differs from traditional portraiture. You’ll want to make sure you are getting what you think you are getting, some of which are deal-breakers for some photographers. For instance, I serve my branding clients by offering:

  1. Full-resolution digital files – use them anywhere, at any size, for any reason.
  2. No requirement for attribution/credit, and no watermark – these are designed to build YOUR business, not mine.
  3. Permission to edit your photos as you wish – crop, add text, filter… whatever you need!
  4. Images shot for web – e.g., with plenty of space for cropping to your preferred/needed format.
  5. Images to strengthen YOUR brand – discovered as part of our consultation, we’ll identify the best way to tell your story to connect with your clients.
  6. Assistance in determining when, where, and how to make the most of your custom image library.

Controlling your personal brand by telling your story your way helps differentiate you and your offer from your competitors, build trust, and create visibility.

By the way, personal branding isn’t just for business! Employers will research your online presence, too. They want to know who is potentially joining their team. Make sure they see you in your best light.

Want to know more about why developing a personal brand is important, whether you are growing a business or working for someone else? Check out articles on the topic at https://www.entrepreneur.com/topic/personal-branding.

Find out more about what I offer at www.maggietakespix.com/branding.

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Ready for some great photographs? Let’s get to know each other over coffee (or smoothies… or milkshakes…), and talk about celebrating your life’s true beauty in images you love. You can reach me at [email protected] or (434) 226-0365. You can also schedule a consultation at https://calendly.com/maggietakespix; pick a time convenient for you, and let me know where you'd like to meet!

My Promise: Together, we will create amazing photos you’ll want to share. How do you want to be photographed?

 

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(Maggie Takes Pix) branding https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/1/branding-photography-a-definition Fri, 10 Jan 2020 13:00:00 GMT
Beauty Photography: A Definition https://www.maggietakespix.com/blog/2020/1/beauty-photography-a-definition Beauty photography has many definitions, and none. Do a Google search. I did. I was looking for an “industry standard” to start with. There isn’t one. You’ll end up with an array of references, but no single definition. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” applies to beauty photography, too.

The bottom line for me, however, is that beauty photography – also known as glamour photography – focuses on the person being photographed. It’s a portrait, but something more. It’s not about the make-up, wardrobe, or accessories. It’s not about the set or lighting. It’s not even about the pose. All of those can influence and help define the person in the image, but those elements are not the point of the photograph. What matters in beauty or glamour photography is how everything comes together in a portrait to celebrate an individual’s beauty. 

Before you get too turned off by the term “glamour,” please know this is not the glamour photography of 30 years ago! Soft focus? Nope. Big hair? Also no. Feather boas? Actually… I have a couple, if you want to play with them…. This is a new kind of glamour: photography with a more classic, refined look; one that’s authentically you, reflective of your inherent beauty.

For me, beauty photography is about making all women feel authentic, beautiful and confident.

As another photographer put it in an article about the "comeback" of the genre,

“What I am asking you to consider is how having one day of pure beauty (your own brand of beauty — as you see it), followed by images that you'll be able to reference for a lifetime as a reminder, might just take you a few steps closer to the confidence we all struggle to find within ourselves. Once you have the opportunity to see your unique radiance, whether through someone else's eyes/lens, or in a simple moment of clarity, it becomes much easier to focus less on the little voice in your head that whispers about conformity or how you should probably ‘reduce your flaws’ in order to find love, acceptance, friendship, the right job, etc. And that's a gift. The precious type, that truly impacts the rest of your life.” – Jen Marie

Beauty photography is about having a true portrait of you, as you want to be seen. 

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