MUSINGS OF A PORTRAIT ARTIST
Monday, January 22, 2018
By Senior Portrait Photographer and Headshot Photographer - Irene Abdou Photography, LLC
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It was almost three years ago that we worked with Shannon's older sister, Emily, on Emily's artistic senior portraits & acting headshots. Every time I spoke with Shannon's mom since then, she talked about eventually bringing Shannon to our Maryland senior portrait photography studio when it was time for her senior portraits, so I was super excited when the time finally arrived!

 

Just like her older sister, Shannon is very involved in acting and theatre, with both of them being represented by agencies now. In addition to senior portraits to preserve the memories of her final year of high school, Shannon also wanted one or more edgy/quirky acting headshots for her promo materials and website that she's working on. While this would be Shannon's first time working with a professional photographer, having previously done all her own acting headshots herself, she was most excited about getting an amazing senior portrait on canvas to go up next to her sister's canvas senior portrait on the wall of their family home. Classic, simple, beautiful, fashionable, and personality-filled were the words Shannon and her mom chose to describe the senior portraits they were envisioning!

Shannon was so busy touring colleges and going to theatre rehearsals that she didn't have time for the pre-session planning & design meeting that we normally do before our senior portrait sessions. So when Shannon and her mom and dad arrived at our Maryland photography studio a few days before Christmas for her senior portrait session, we began with a little studio tour to explore setups, props, and backdrops. Shannon's sister, Emily, had chosen our hardwood staircase, silver sofa area, and purple & aqua area for her senior portraits three years earlier. Shannon's favorite color was a self-confessed "sparkle," so of course, she would choose the same purple sofa, but paired with our brand new copper sequin backdrop, in addition to the same silver sofa area and a simple grey backdrop setup for the envisioned acting headshots.

 

In the end, Shannon proved to be just as amazing, fun, and beautiful a subject, as her sister, Emily, was three years ago. And, as a senior portrait photographer, I happily played around with some new creative ideas, including creating a chevron pattern on some of the grey backdrop photographs by placing a piece of paper with a chevron pattern cutout in front of a background light, and then adding a colored gel to the background light to turn it blue/purple.

 

Oh what fun! Congratulations to Shannon, Class of 2018! I surely can't wait to see both Shannon and her sister on Broadway one day!

 

High school senior in the house? Leave the boring senior portraits to the school photographer, because our senior portrait photographer does edgy, modern, and fashion-forward only!

 
Thursday, January 18, 2018
By Family Photographer - Irene Abdou Photography, LLC
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Have you ever felt like you have to take 100 family pictures to get just 1 good one? That in the other 99, one or more people are looking in the wrong direction or for one reason or another simply don't look good? If this sounds like your typical family photography experience, then here are five tricks to remember for your next professional family portrait session so that you end up with a large collection of family photography in which EVERYONE looks good!

1) Don't talk or look at your child(ren), or stick your hands out to get your child's attention, when your family photographer is trying for a portrait in which everyone is looking at the camera.

 

Imagine that you and your spouse are sitting on a bench with your 8-month old child in your lap. You're both looking at the camera, but your baby is more attracted to his or her toes. Your family photographer is trying to get your baby's attention, but it doesn't seem to be working. Naturally, you feel a sudden urge to look down at your child and talk to him/her. Maybe you even stick your hand out in front of him and start snapping your fingers. But don't! If you do that, then right when your child looks at the camera and your family photographer presses the shutter button, your baby now looks amazing, as maybe does your spouse. But you... you are looking down with your mouth wide open mid-sentence and hand sticking out mid-snap... and alas, family photography ruined!

 

So the trick to perfect family photography with everyone composed and looking at the camera, is to simply hold your smile and gaze, and let your family photographer do all the attention-getting. It may take a while, but eventually, your child will look up, and right when s/he does, everyone will be looking just perfect. (To help this process along, what you could do is gently bounce your child while still looking at the camera and smiling... no talking or singing!)

2) Go with the flow by looking at the same thing your child is looking at.

 

After several minutes of trying, if your family photographer still can't get your child's attention, then try going with the flow by looking in the same direction your child is looking in. The trick is for everyone to be "together." You don't want one person looking left, another looking right, and a third at the camera, etc. To get a feeling of "togetherness" in the family photography, you all need to be engaged with each other. So if your child is looking left, all of you should look left. Alternatively, if your child is looking left, you can both look at your child, or mom can look at your child, and dad can look at mom.

3) When trying to attract your child(ren)'s attention, stand behind your family photographer with your eye level as close to your professional photographer's eye level as possible.

 

Your child(ren) will respond best to your voices. So when your family photographer is capturing portraits that don't include you, you can help to get your child(ren)'s attention, not by calling them from the sidelines, but by standing immediately behind or next to your family photographer. If your professional photographer is crouching, then you'll need to crouch too so that as your children track your voice and look in your direction, they will also be looking directly at the camera.

4) Play or interact with your child(ren).

 

In addition to more "formal" family photography in which everyone is looking at the camera, you'll also want some more candid looking images. Interact with your child(ren) by hugging, kissing, and playing with them, whether by throwing them in the air, playing airplane, holding them upside down, etc. You know how your children like to play with you! This is also a great time for your professional family photographer to capture the smiles on your children's faces that just melt your heart away!

5) Don't lose your cool.

 

Let's face it. Children have minds of their own, and as a parent, it's easy to get frustrated when you really want amazing family photography, but you feel that your children are being super rowdy or otherwise uncooperative. Whatever you do, don't lose your cool by yelling or shouting at your children. You want everyone to be feeling jubilant and happy, and shouting at your children is a sure way to dampen the energy of everyone involved. Instead, allow your professional photographer to go with the flow. Let your children be as explorative (if outdoors) or rowdy as they want as your family photographer follows and captures action images. Then, after they've released some of their energy, you can all try again for more directed family portraits.

Each year your children age, the memories of the previous year become ever more precious. By the time your children have grown, married, and have families of their own, the memories of their childhood - and the family photography that encompasses it - have become absolutely priceless.

 
Monday, January 15, 2018
By Newborn Photographer - Irene Abdou Photography, LLC
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What kind of baby will your baby be? There's just one thing for certain, and it's that your baby will be unique, special, and one and only.

 

Let our newborn photographer design a newborn photography theme for your baby that is just as unique & special as she or he will be.

The Athletic Baby

The Shooting Star Baby

The Fall Turtle Baby

The Zookeeper Baby

The Holiday Baby

 
Thursday, January 11, 2018
By Photographers in MD - Irene Abdou Photography, LLC
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Hooooraaaaaay! The 2017 "People Love Us On Yelp" award is out, and our photography studio is an award-winner for the second year running! Nothing warms our heart more than having the honor of creating gorgeous portrait photography of babies, families, couples, and individuals, and having amazing, wonderful clients who are nothing short of ravingly joyous about their experience with our photography studio. Thanks to each and every one of you who took a few moments from your busy schedule to share your thoughts online with others this past year!

 
Friday, January 05, 2018
By Irene Abdou Photography, LLC, Family Photography Maryland
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I originally met Mrs. B through a professional headshot event that we had held in partnership with the Bar Foundation of Montgomery County. Mr. B said that we made her look like a movie star in her professional headshot, and that it sealed the deal on this fall family pictures session! At the professional headshot event, Mrs. B. had been telling me about her 2 young grandchildren and their lack of quality family photography. She had to check with her daughter to see if she would be up for a family photography session, and sure enough, all was arranged.

 

It was just two days after Thanksgiving, and we headed to Cabin John Regional Park in Bethesda, Maryland. The trees were bare, but the setting still beautiful for their fall family pictures.  While the youngest B was all smiles and laughs, his older brother called for us to bring out our fabulous big bubble gun and noisemaker, which resulted in a super-interesting, bubble-filled extended family portrait unlike any other! 

 

While we also had no-bubble versions, Mr. & Mrs. B chose the bubble-filled family portrait for their custom-framed 20x30 wall portrait, along with two other family portraits as canvas gallery wraps, to complete a 3-piece love grouping for the family room, plus desk prints for themselves and gift prints for family members and friends as holiday gifts.

 

We're so very thankful to Mr. & Mrs. B for taking the time to both write about their experience with our family photography services on NextDoor (scroll to the end of this post to read their reviews)!  Enjoy some more of my favorites from their Bethesda fall family pictures session below!

Do you have grandchildren who are changing every day, without professional family photography to remember their earlier years by? Don't let another day pass without preserving these priceless memories.

 
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