How to Prepare for Holiday Portraits

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What kind of price can we put on holiday portraits? Family portraits are priceless!

It is that time of year again–It is the Holiday Season. It is time for family portraits.

10 Ways to Prepare for Holiday Portraits

  1. If you want fun images, check out Pinterest for ideas. If you want traditional images, fall, cool colors are great.
  2. Decide on a studio or location look. You can have more of a classic look in the studio. If you go on location, you will have the nice light and the outdoor scenery. If you choose to have a more intimate setting, your home is another choice for your holiday portraits.
  3. Decide on the date. The best times for holiday portraits are from October 15- December 1. You want to beat the rush and get your prints and holiday cards back in time. Schedule your session early. Some photographers have early bird specials.
  4. Let all the family members know when the session will be and let them know the colors. It is best to alert all members at least 2 weeks before the session date so there is plenty of time for them to plan.
  5. A typical family session will last from 1 hour to 1.5 hours. Block off this much time for portrait day. You want to have a good time and not feel rushed by having too many other things on your agenda.
  6. Get your beauty on for your session. Plan for hair and makeup. Plan for feet and nails to be done. Most photographers may have a package with hair and makeup. Ask ahead.
  7. The night before the session, get plenty of rest. Drink lots of water. Getting rest and drinking water will ensure your face is camera ready.
  8. On the session day, plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early. At this time of year, photographers are booking back to back. So, you don’t want to miss your slot.
  9. After the session, plan a day for your proof and order session. This is a great day. You get to see your session and choose portraits for your home and for friends and family. It is also a time to see other cool products like canvas wraps, albums and holiday cards.
  10. Pick up your order from your photographer, give portraits as gifts and have a great holiday!


How to Know When It’s Time for a Change in Direction with Your Photography

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Photography today is different from how it was just a few years ago. Before the smart phone and before everybody with a camera became a photographer, the photographer stayed busy documenting events and special moments in the lives of people. Today, it can be hit or miss  for the professional photographers who have put all of their time, talents, hard work and dedication into learning this craft and art of photography.

So, what do you do when you see the tides changing in photography and with your own business? Maybe a change in direction is just the thing you need to reinvent or revamp your passion as a photographer. Let’s look at some ways of changing directions.

7  Ways to Change the Direction of Your Photography and Keep Moving Forward.

1. Decide what areas of photography you really love. Pick 3-4 and write them down. For example, I like fashion, headshots and fine art portraiture.

2. Develop a plan to become the best in those areas that you love. You may take some classes or go to some workshops, attend meet-ups or watch videos.

3. Once you have your plan down, decide on your target market. Who do you want to be your clients? How do you find them? Where do they hang out? Maybe it’s on social media or maybe you need to start setting up displays at events.

4. Make sure  you look good everywhere. Revamp your website, business cards, your social media, your marketing materials and your pricing.

If you want to be a professional–then look the part! You have to invest in branding!

5. Write your goals down for the month, the quarter and the year. Decide how many sessions of each you want and go hard after them. How much do you want to make? For example, if you want to make $2,000 per month-figure out how many sessions and the pricing that you need to reach that goal.

6. Give a little. It is always good to give to a charity or cause. Giving to the community will render you great results. In addition to giving, you let people know about your change in direction.

7. Think positive. Sometimes change can be difficult. But, when you embrace change and approach your new direction with a positive outlook, you will find that changing directions could be just what you need to move to  newer and higher levels in your photography business.



People Do Judge a Book by it’s Cover- The Professional Headshot

It has been said that you should not judge a book by it’s cover. Well, the truth of the matter is…people do judge a book by it’s cover.  Dynamic professional headshots can mean the difference between getting hired as a model or being recognized as a leader in your industry on social media.  As a business owner, fashion model, corporate professional, industry leader or a recent graduate who is in the current job market–you need a professional headshot.

Tips on how to put your best “face” and ” brand” forward when preparing for a professional head shot.

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  1. Go ahead and invest in yourself. Hire a professional photographer for your headshot or professional portrait. Having your friend shoot your headshot with the IPhone just won’t get it. If you want to appear professional…be professional. Splurge a little. The investment will be worth it.
  2. Have a pre-consultation ( in person or on the phone) with your photographer before the shoot. The professional photographer can advise you on places to shoot ( in studio, outdoors or at your office) and what colors to wear to compliment you along with discuss how your images will be used and what is your purpose for the headshot session.
  3. Make sure you feel comfortable and you feel good in the clothes you choose. Most photographers will let you choose 2 looks. You wear one outfit and then bring a jacket or sweater for your second look. The clothes are important, but not as important as how you feel.headshot blog images (1)4. Lighting is key to looking your best. Off camera lights should be used to give your look the professional edge. The professional photographer will most likely use 1-2 lights for your shoot. One light will highlight your face and sometimes a hair light is used. Light gives dimension and as you can see with this model–the light gives confidence and power.

5. The eyes are the most important feature in a headshot. The focus is always on the eyes. Before your shoot, get some sleep and drink plenty of water. Keep those eyes looking great.

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6. Today’s professional headshots are not the same old boring shoots from years ago. While some professionals like a nice background in the studio, others are fine with an open background.

In this image, the client chose a nice open background although still in the studio. It is good to match the background with the purpose of the shoot.

7. Not all professional headshots are used for the same purpose. Some are for social media while others may be for an acting job or for print media.

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8. Professionals can get creative with professional headshots and portraits with just a few simple pieces of equipment. This shot above was taken in a parking garage. I  used an off camera light, a light stand, and a shoot through umbrella. Sorry, IPhone.

9. The right lens is important. The best lenses  for  professional headshots are usually 85mm and 50mm/1.8 lens. They are good for focusing on your client and blurring out the background.

If it is in your budget, a 70-200 is great too. But the first two will do the job.

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10. The professional headshot should put your best face forward while making your look like the professional that you are . Avoid not looking professional ( putting an amateur image up on social sites) and avoid not making a good impression ( bad light images) the first time people see your online portrait.

Yes, people do judge a book by it’s cover,  and sometimes the first impression is your image on social media, your website or a cover presentation.

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Putting your best “face” or “brand” forward can be fun and it doesn’t have to break your budget.  A professional headshot can range from $175 up. But, the investment will be worth it.

Who knows where your portrait will end up? Twitter, Facebook, Blog, Instagram, LinkedIn, Email profiles…. But, one thing will be for sure–you will be looking your professional best.

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How to Take Better Pictures Outside


It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words.

As a photographer, I couldn’t imagine a world where I couldn’t take portraits.

Sometimes, I look back and see pictures that I took over 10 years ago, and they

still bring a smile to my face. I am sure you are the same way. With this new

technology, we can take good pictures outdoors, but there are a few tips that

will help you take great pictures outdoors.

  1. Try to find some shade.  Taking pictures in the direct sunlight is too harsh. However, you can use the sun

as a light, but make sure the sun is diffused by trees or a building.

2. You can use flash. The flash can be powered down and used as a fill light to throw some light on your subject’s face.

3. Make sure your subject is not facing the sun directly. This can cause them to squint and the sun can cast harsh

shadows on their faces. If you place the sun behind your subject, you can get some great back light and it will enhance

your pictures.

4. Avoid taking outdoor pictures in the middle of the day. Try to take your outdoor pictures

in the early morning light or evening before sunset. You will get some beautiful images in this type of outdoor light.

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5.  The last tip– get familiar with your camera. These tips are great for outdoor pictures, but knowing your camera

will help you to be even more creative.  When you learn your camera, you can manipulate the settings to create

some “wow” masterpieces. Take some time to get out there and play around with the different settings on your camera.

The Bluebonnets are Coming

imageIt’s time for some fun in the bluebonnets. Marsha Anderson Photography will be capturing special memories this year as always with Texas Bluebonnets.

Tips on Taking Bluebonnet Portraits:

  1. Dress for fun. You want to sit in the bluebonnets.
  2. Wear comfortable clothes to move around in.
  3. Wear pretty solid, spring colors.
  4. Make sure all the people in your family are coordinated in color schemes.
  5. It’s a spring shoot. Ladies, have those nails and toes nice and pretty.
  6. Early morning or early evenings are the best times for shooting. No mid day shooting when the sun is too high.

Get ready fast because the bluebonnets are not around but for a short period of time. Contact Marsha today for your family or individual session on Sunday, April 3rd at

10 Tips on Giving Your Clients a Great Experience

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As a professional photographer, it is your job to give your clients the best you have to offer in portraiture. However, what they will really remember is the experience. With each session, you should focus on these 10 tips:

  1. Have a consultation and explain to them all that will be involved in the session.
  2. Give them some options for some great locations. You should have a few in mind.
  3. Go over clothing options and educate them on what looks great in a portrait.
  4. A few days before the shoot, text them to see if they have any questions or need any help with preparation.
  5. On the day of the shoot, be happy and fun. Have bottled water for your clients.
  6. While on the shoot, you should have ideas of poses, props to use and ways to have them interact with each other. Clients need help with all of this.
  7. Make sure you are funny and vibrant. Get out there in the shoot with them. Get on the ground and pose with them. Be funny and pose yourself to make them comfortable.
  8. Show them a few of the shots you took from the camera screen. They will love it.
  9. When you get home, text them about the great time you had and post one image to FB for them to tag and share with their friends. You will get more clients this way.
  10. Do minor retouching, have about 40 proofs for them to see. Invite them to come and see their session with you at least within a week. End the session with a great order from your happy clients.

Home for the Holidays


    Oh…The Holidays.

Family.  Laughter. Togetherness. Memories.

Photography is not just about taking pictures. It is about preserving memories. How can we preserve memories for our clients?

8 Tips on Preserving Family Memories

  1. Find out about our clients before the session. Find out about their personalities.
  2. Keep in touch with them prior to the session via text or email. Become more than just the photographer. Be someone who cares about making their session the best.
  3. Ask how many will be in the session and find out the ages of the kids. Have a treat for the kids at the end of the session.
  4. Find out what kind of backgrounds they like and pick a location that meets their vision.
  5. On the day of the session, make sure you see to it that they have a fun experience.
  6. Send them a teaser or sample  image of the session soon after either via text or on social media.
  7. Let them tag the image to their social media so their family and friends can see.
  8. Enhance about 40 images and present your best to your clients.  These will be the times that they remember for years to come.