parkys pics photography

How to Dress for Your Spring Senior Session

Throughout your four years of high school many pictures are taken, capturing fun filled moments you will remember for years to come.  Out of all the snapshots you will take and memories you will make, there’s one kodak moment that will stand out more than the rest, one that is so meaningful, it will last a lifetime.  Your senior portraits.

Senior portraits are treasured photos taken by a professional photographer, they capture the pure teenage innocence and freshness, as it’s poised on the brink of adulthood, ready to enter college or begin a career.  Because senior portraits capture such a precious moment in your life, you will want to knock this photo session out of the park! Here are some helpful tips on how to dress for your spring senior session!

Plan on bringing more than one outfit.

You should arrange to bring at least 3-4 outfits to your photo session in a variety of colors, not just your favorite hue.  When choosing which outfits you want to bring, include different styles, such as casual, semi-formal, formal or outdoors. By having a variety of styles this will give you an opportunity to get creative and allow your personality to shine through!

Professional photographers have a great eye for color and lighting, so don’t be afraid to bring an array of different hues.  Having a variety helps see what colors of your outfits stand out the most, depending on the location of your photo shoot. For example, if you are planning on having your photos taken in some of Humboldt County’s Redwood forests, wearing an outfit with a deep purple hue in contrast with some green redwood sorrel in the background can make for an exceptionally beautifully vibrant photo!

Remember to bring accessories for all of your outfits, from footwear to jewelry and hair accents.  Since several full-body images are also taken, make sure to check your socks and shoes! You will want the right shoes for the appropriate outfit and also want to make sure your socks match! You never know, that full body shot might end up being your absolute favorite pose.

Check your clothing prior to the photo shoot to make sure it isn’t spotted or faded, and be sure to transport your outfits (you can wear one when you arrive), on hangers to prevent unnecessary wrinkles.

Visual simplicity with your clothing is important.

It’s important to not bring outfits with words or designs, stripes or pictures, except possibly your school logo.  You want your face, eyes and true expression to be the focal point, not the words on your shirt.

Color is important.

Solid colors are highly recommended for most or all outfits of choice.  For outside pictures, think of spring and summer colors of sky blue, pale green, watermelon and dark peach to complement the outdoor setting.  Again, depending on the lighting and where your desired location is for your photo shoot, colors may vary.. Bringing a variety of different hues will help you and your photographer make the best selection of an outfit, for each destination location and photo op!

Help accentuate your best features with your clothing.

If you have a more slender build, spaghetti straps and short sleeves will accentuate that feature.  Turtleneck tops tend to look best on people with longer necks. If you have more of a round or square shaped face, square-neck tops will look great!  Thinner faces tend to look great with rounded-neck tops.

Be selective with the jewelry.

Try to avoid wearing attention-grabbing jewelry.  You want the photograph to accentuate your face, eyes and personality, not draw unwarranted attention to your jewelry.  Also, Jewelry can date a photograph very quickly. Classic jewelry pieces are best.

Apply natural makeup but with a little flare to it.

I know it can be tempting to get very “glam” when having pictures taken but this could very well make you look like a complete stranger in your senior portraits.   Be sure to apply some of your makeup as you normally look on a day-to-day basis. It’s important to keep “who you are” conveyed in your photos. Adding a little additional makeup to dress things up and compliment who you are, is also okay and can really tell the story of “who you are” to “who you are becoming”.  Just try to find the balance of keeping your true self in your photos.

Be comfortable and confident.

Last but not least, be comfortable and confident on the day of your shoot!  Your outfits should reflect who you are and your style. Don’t be afraid to be bold!  Feeling good about yourself is key to an amazing photo session! When we feel great about who we are, that is the energy that gets put out into the universe!  Positive, happy, confident, feel good energy gets portrayed in photographs through your smile, your body position and poses. Let your personality unfold and create snap-shots you will look back on and smile for a lifetime!


How to be a Successful Student Athlete

High school is almost like a full time job really.  You arrive by 8 am Monday – Friday and spend your day learning and discussing details on new topics and discovering solutions to problems you may or may not have known existed.  The demands of the classroom can be overwhelming at times with daily in class work to complete, the never ending homework load, project deadlines and of course, studying for multiple finals that are right around the corner.  In a way, it feels like a juggling act.

On top of your busy daily routine you are also an active athlete, the kind that puts in 2 hours of practice each day, stays an extra half hour or so after practice, working on skill development and improving your game.  You are defined as a disciplined, hard working athlete.

After your first few years of high school experiencing that “full time job feeling”, and battling to put the time and work into being an asset to your sports team, it isn’t uncommon to experience a bit of senioritis when you hit your senior year.  With the pressure of juggling pretty much “two full-time jobs” it can start to weigh on you, leaving you feeling frustrated.  For some, the frustration they feel leads to a decline in motivation and performance.

So…How does one learn to become a successful student athlete?  Here a few tips on how you can work through these tough times when the going gets tough!

Work on time management.  Treat your life as a full time job, make sure you honor each commitment.  While you may enjoy athletic life more, putting the time in and respecting your classes is just as important.

Communication is key.  Keep lines of communication open between your coaches, teammates, instructors and fellow students.  If you have to miss a class or a practice, notify the right people and let them know your plan for making it up to them.  People really appreciate this, it shows respect for their time and shows you care.

Challenge yourself.  You might be well known as a talented athlete, but it doesn’t mean you have to put yourself in that box and stay there.  Be open, engage with different groups of people outside of our circle of teammates. Venture out and try an activity or two that’s out of your comfort zone.

Stay true to yourself.  Be sure to own who you are and keep the “brand” of you.  To know who you are and staying true to that, says a lot about your character.

Learn from your failures.  Whether it’s a loss on the court or a poor grade in the classroom, don’t let failures affect your goals and winning spirit.  Failures and mistakes are an opportunity to learn and grow. Embrace them.

Don’t ever stop learning.  Be an active reader.  Learn all that you can, whether it’s within your sport or in your classwork.  One of the best ways to keep growing, is to remain open to new knowledge and insights.  Trust me, this habit will serve you well for the rest of your life.

Keep the big picture in mind.  Your day-to-day life may be hectic, but really try to plan down the road as well.  Keep communication open with the key people in your life and never burn your bridges.  Continue to network, communicate and stay connected with people around you. These skills will help you in all areas of your life.

Good questions are important at student-athlete recruit meetings.  Once you’ve determined what you’re looking for in a school, ask relevant questions.  Some examples are: What is the retention rate of the school? What are some common majors among the current team members?  What is the team’s overall grade point average? Really determine what is important to you, and leave each campus with answers.

Plan A and a plan B.  You should always shoot for the stars and go after your dreams.  In some cases though, life takes us on a different journey or you might experience a few setbacks and bumps in the road.   It’s a great idea to have a well thought out plan and also good to have a backup plan if your first one doesn’t work. You just never know what life has in store.  So keep an open mind!


Being a successful student athlete isn’t easy.  It requires effort, hard work and commitment, demands dedication, discipline and desire.  But.. If you want it bad enough, you can have it! Get your game face on, put in the work and go out an earn it!  


So… How bad do you want it?!


The stress free tips for choosing your wedding photographer.

Congratulations you are engaged!!!!

Now all the planning begins! The most important decision to make when it comes to wedding planning is the date! Second most important is who will your photographer be? After everything is said and done, only your photos will remain! Here are my top tips to consider when choosing your photographer:

  1. Decide on a budget

Photography is easily one of the biggest expenses you’ll have for your wedding. Part of this process will be figuring out how much of your overall budget you want to devote to photography. Every photographer has different packages they offer with varying lengths of time, coverage, products and cost options. Make sure you know what is included in each package and what you will be walking away with.

Note: On average, wedding photographers cost anywhere from a $2,000 to 10,000+, depending on the experience of your photographer and what they include in your wedding package. Coverage is usually about 8 hours or so, more or less time will influence your cost.

2. Consider the lighting at your venue

Is your wedding indoors or outdoors? Rosina Vineyards or The Fortuna Riverlodge? Depending on the lighting, your photographer will need specific equipment to shoot your wedding- for example: it is much different shooting in the summer wedding during the day, than it is in the winter wedding in an indoor location. Do they only shoot natural light or do they use a combination of natural light and off camera flash? By looking at your photographer’s portfolio, you’ll be able to see what they specialize in and make a decision based on what fits your venue.

Tip: Your venue will often have recommendations of photographers who have shot in that space before. This can be a great place to start looking for potential photographers!

3. Do your personalities mesh?

At the end of the day, you’ll be spending the ENTIRE day with your photographer! They will likely spend more time right alongside you than your own mother. Obviously you want to make sure you like their portfolio, but personality matching is just as important. Once you check them out online, always set up an in person meeting (or skype!) so you can make sure its a good fit for everyone involved.


4. Use your engagement photos to get to know your photographer

Being comfortable and natural in front of a camera isn’t always easy to do. Most of us aren’t highly photographed on a regular basis. So having a photo package that includes an engagement shoot is a must so you can get to know your photographer, their style, and personality! This will ensure nothing slips through the cracks the day of the wedding!

5. Questions to Ask:

  1. What is your primary style? Candid shots, natural light, off camera flash, portraits, etc.

    • If my wedding goes longer than expected, will you stay? Are there any overage fees?

    • Do you have insurance?

    • How long after my wedding should I expect my album to be ready?

      • Typical is 7-8 weeks

    • If other members of my family want to order extra prints, can they do that? How?

    • What is included in the package I am getting? How many photos will you edit/color correct?

    • Will you have an assistant?

    • How many weddings have you shot before?

    • How many backup cameras/lenses do you have?

    • How will you keep our photos safe during and after the wedding?

    • How long does it take to get our gallery back?

    • Do you travel?

    • Can I look at a full wedding gallery?



I hope these tips support you in choosing the perfect photographer. These photos will last a lifetime!


Do you need a photographer for your upcoming wedding? Check my availability here: www.parkyspics.com.I’m happy to answer any questions you have!


How to feel confident in front of the camera

As a professional photographer, I often get asked for advice on how to feel confident and comfortable in front of a camera.  This has also been something I have struggled with in the past and has taken me awhile to feel happy with someone taking photos of me.  I mean, we all agree its awkward right?  You just standing there, trying to look cute and pose naturally, all the while feeling as though everyone is staring and judging you.  It can be downright nerve racking to say the least!  Since I have been in your shoes and have experienced this first hand, I thought it might be helpful to talk about a few tips I have learned in how to feel confident and comfortable in front of the camera!

 

Get to Know Your Photographer

Before your photo shoot, try to get to know you’re photographer.  Take some time to check out their website and social media page.  If they have a blog, take a few minutes to read what they write about and share with the world.  Once you can get a feel for who your photographer truly is the far less intimidating they will be!  If your photographer is going to be the one shooting your wedding, it’s a great idea to have an engagement photo shoot with them before your wedding.  By doing a shoot prior to your big day, it helps make you and your partner more comfortable in front of the camera, as well as makes a great opportunity to get to know the person that will be capturing some once in a life time moments! Some photographers will offer package deals with engagement and wedding shoots, so be sure to ask for additional details!

Wear Something You Feel comfortable In

If you’re not naturally comfortable in front of the camera, I highly recommend choosing an outfit that you feel comfortable and confident in.  I have worked with clients before that have picked out a more “daring” outfit that was out of their comfort zone.  When we took a look at the photos the client did not like how she looked in what she had picked out and the way she had posed in it.  She stated to me she had felt uncomfortable and lacked confidence.  By choosing an outfit that you absolutely love and feel really great in will allow confidence to naturally shine through!  When you feel great about how you look and feel in something, your smile becomes so much brighter and your body will pose more naturally!

Know Your Angles

Speaking of posing naturally, do you know your best angles?  Obviously it’s my job as a photographer to know what angles compliment the best, but you knowing how you like to look really helps with confidence in front of the camera!  Taking a few moments to stand in front of a mirror to see what angles you prefer on your body is really beneficial before your photo shoot!  Take a few pictures of yourself, pose a little, get creative and review what you look like.  Trust me, once you get used to this it will make it much easier when someone else is taking photos of you! 

Understand the Light

If you have ever worked with a professional photographer before, I am sure you have heard them go on and on about evening light.  I know it sounds strange that we always seem to want to photograph in the evening on a warm summer night, but it’s totally normal.  The light is far more flattering and soft when the sun is setting.  By having your photos taken midday when the sun is at it’s highest peak in the sky, leads to unflattering and harsh shadows on your face.  Be sure to stick to the golden hour.  We want the glow of the radiance you have within, to be what shines brightly!

Ignore the Rest of the World

All too often it is so easy to let the little voice inside take over when you’re having a photo taken.  It doesn’t matter if you are surrounded by a lot of people or in the middle of nowhere, just you and me, doubt will start to creep in.  You may feel concerned about what others are thinking of you but in reality, most of the time, people aren’t even noticing that there is a photo shoot going on.  Most photographers won’t mind if you are shy either, it’s their job to help make you feel more comfortable!  So try to forget about the rest of the world and who is around you and just enjoy the moment at hand!

Have Fun

Similar to above and ignoring the rest of the world, it is so important to try and have fun while you’re being photographed!  As a photographer I do my very best to try to keep the mood light, entertaining and comfortable.  I may not be the classic comedian but I’ve learned a thing or two about making people laugh and loosen up!  The more relaxed you are and can let yourself go in a photo shoot, the more confident you will feel and the nicer the photos will turn out!

I hope these pointers will help you feel more comfortable in front of the camera and help build your self-confidence!  Put on that perfect outfit you absolutely adore and work your best angles!   Photography is meant to be fun and creative so enjoy the experience!