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Don’t Let Pinterest Take Over Your Portraits.

July 31, 2017

The most popular portrait season is upon us – fall! (Can’t you just smell the pumpkin spice everything already?!) Quite frankly, despite the busy chaos, I get so excited to style all the different sessions during this time. There’s nothing like a little chaos to bring out creativity!

But for the last 7 years, when the word “creative” comes up in general, millions of folks flock to Pinterest (and similar websites) for inspiration. A place where ideas seem to be endless…but let’s face it – Pinterest has became a beautiful, but equally infuriating place.

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Pinterest | Join at Pinterest.com

Now if I tried to sit here and tell you that I hated Pinterest, you could be a 100% sure I was lying to your face. When I say “Don’t let Pinterest take over your portraits,” I simply mean don’t become fixated on the inspiration you find there. When it comes to your portraits, let it be just that: Inspiration.

As an artist, nothing kills creativity more than trying to perfectly recreate someone else’s shot. When I’m able to find my own fun ideas, or even make a spin off of what you found, your photos become much more personable than doing something that worked for somebody else. Not to mention, sometimes it’s not realistic to recreate, for a few reasons:

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  1. You can’t recreate candid photos. A LOT of those ridiculously cute shots online are often candid photos snapped at “just the right moment.” Instead, it’s so much better to just let your artist know that you’re interested in some candids. This will get those fun, natural shots that are truly you to the core.
  2. Every group and how they “fit” together is unique. When I pose a family, couple or individual, I’m considering SO many factors to make sure the client looks natural and comfortable in each set up. The right angles, the height of everyone in the shot, and sometimes even what the clients are able to do (ie. Whether young children are at an age to lay down, sit up or stand, and etc.)¬† Believe it or not, there is an art to it! While some poses are “one size fits all,” others may depend on the people as individuals. Not every child giggles instantly when you flip them upside down and not every couple looks natural when physically tangled up together like a vine. You are all beautifully unique!
  3. Sometimes part of what makes the photos look the way they do is the accents around them. Often things or places you see in portraits are unique to that artist or the area. Now and then, it’s even prop accents that clients bring themselves! Making it very difficult to capture the essence of a particular photo you may find online with out extensive research, shopping and extra money spent.
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Image © Noel Photography and Design | Do not copy or alter.

In the end, by all means enjoy browsing the web for ideas of things you like and want to try. Just remember to give your artist a little freedom to let their own creativity fly and make the portraits unique to you.

After all, it’s those creative moments artist find that end up online in the first place! ūüėČ
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Hopefully you’re all getting excited for the surprise fun in your next session! Thanks for reading and be sure to follow Noel Photo. & Design here on WordPress by blog or email, and hit LIKE on the Facebook page!

Happy Creating!!
Noel

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The Benefits of a Longer Senior Portrait Session

June 28, 2017

My favorite part of planning collections for High School Seniors is knowing how different each and every student will be. With that in mind, I love to make sure there are a few different options in my collections. However, I can’t lie about how much I love, and recommend, the longer sessions.

Understandably, being the subject of pictures is not everyone’s forte. Although, the number one thing to remember about your senior portraits is they are a once in a lifetime opportunity. They not only celebrate a huge accomplishment and right of passage, but your portraits may be necessary for use in your future endeavors.

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Which brings me to the most important reason why longer sessions are preferred.

Your outfit styles can vary more widely.

It’s always a good idea to have your outfits range from casual to (semi)formal. Even if you’re not a “dress up” kind of person, it may be necessary to have at least a few formal or semi-formal shots. On top of your grandparents wanting a dressy picture of you, it’s very likely that colleges, scholarships or even job applications may like you to include a photo. In these instances, having a professional looking shot included with your credentials could improve your chances of being accepted. It shows them you’re really getting ready for the adult world!

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Image © Noel Photography and Design | DO NOT COPY OR ALTER

In addition to having more outfit choices, we will also have extra time to visit more locations. Your experience and your photos will certainly be heightened if we are able to put some variety in your backdrops. It gives you more options to choose from when deciding the best images to hang on the wall and to hand out to friends and family.

Lastly, another one of my favorite pro’s to a longer session is creativity! While we can get a lot done in just an hour or two, there’s no question that setting up truly unique shots take a little extra time. The longer sessions mean we can knock out a few different locations and have time to play with more challenging ideas!

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Image © Noel Photography and Design | DO NOT COPY OR ALTER


To sum it up, your senior portraits should reflect who you are and what you’ve accomplished. Sometimes it’s hard to wrap that into just an hour or so. Not to mention, your investment should help you to move to your next step after high school.

Thank you all so much for reading! Leave any questions or comments in the comment section and be sure to follow Noel P&D on Facebook by hitting LIKE, and to follow along via blog or email here on WordPress!

Happy Creating!

Noel

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What You’re Really Paying for at my Photo Sessions.

April 7, 2017

As a photographer, when I began designing my photo collections I thought to myself, “How can I give my clients exactly what they need and still run my business effectively?” After all, there are about 100 different ways photographic artist conduct¬†business.

Really, once I considered what was important to myself when it came to my personal photos, it didn’t take long to decide what I wanted to do. My business philosophy basically boiled down to this:

“I want to be paid for my time, and creative¬†skill rather than forcing clients¬†to purchase expensive prints that can’t be saved or backed-up.”

That seemed to make the most sense, while still being fair to both myself and my clients. Not to mention, it’s literally how almost every other service functions¬†– pay for service and materials then receive the result.

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Now, of course there are exceptions to every rule. For instance, boudoir portraits. Only¬†professional labs will print these types of photos. (( Besides, who really wants to print their own flirty¬†photos while the photo associate is silently judging you? HA HA! )) Then there are also occasional¬†mini sessions I require some sore of product purchase, because it’s too difficult to put a price on such short sessions, where only one photo¬†or two photos would be¬†the ideal outcome.

But I digress. When it came to choosing between a USB of photos, or print orders for my regular sessions the first “pro” was clients being able to back-up their professionally captured memories. I thought about the thousands (yes, thousands) of photos I have being lost in a freak disaster: fire, flood, tech failure and etc… I would be completely devastated. So why put my clients at¬†the same risk¬†with their most important life events?

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Plus, by¬†providing a USB, I can deliver photos to clients much faster, and have time to¬†offer some totally rad photo products that are much harder to find than regular prints. (And YES, they are completely awesome – especially for gifts and artistic, decor displays!! CLICK HERE TO CHECK THEM OUT ——–> Photo Product Info.)

The only thing I require in return with my Print and Publish release is this:

“The photos are still legally copyrighted to me, and should therefore never be altered other than sizing. In addition, when posting online add my¬†photo credits {ie. Photos by…} to your post\description or even tag my business page.”

My work is my passion and my biggest form of advertisement. So all I ask is please give credit where credit is due.

{So what are you really paying for at my photo sessions and events?} My service, my creativity, my utmost attention to detail during post-production, and the priceless ability to preserve your professional memories.

When you choose to make an investment with Noel Photography and Design, I want it to be a LASTING one!


Thanks for reading and be sure to follow along here on WordPress by blog or email, and hit “LIKE” on the Facebook page!

Happy Creating!

Noel

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How To Get Ready for a Boudoir Shoot.

February 23, 2017

Your wedding, anniversary, or even the mid-term of your pregnancy is around the corner and you’ve decide to do something bold – a boudoir shoot. Now the session is creeping up, and let’s face it, most of us don’t do these types of shoots on the regular.¬†So what the heck do you do now to make the most of it all!?

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Public Domain Image

BE COMFORTABLE IN YOUR SKIN.

Boudoir doesn’t mean you have¬†to find the tiniest piece of lingerie¬†known to man (unless of course you want to!) because there’s really a lot of options. Plus, just like our everyday clothing, there will be things you feel more (comfortable) and sexy in than others. So here’s a few options for your boudoir outfits:

  • Bra/Bralette & Panty Set
  • Corset or Bustier & Panty
  • Babydoll or Teddy & Panty
  • A Button-up Shirt &¬†Matching Panty
  • Sport jersey & Matching Panty

Panties could be boy shorts, cheekies, thongs, or even g-strings depending upon your personal preference, or what works best with the top.

 

GLAM IT UP!

Your look doesn’t stop at the lingerie (or lack there of.) Don’t forget to accessorize just like you would for any other shoot, but on a whole new level!

  • Chunky or long, fancy, fun necklaces
  • Long string of pearls or long plain necklace
  • Body Jewelry: Body chains, arm bands and etc.
  • High Heels – sexy black, colorful, printed or ones¬†full of character
  • Brides – bring your veil and special wedding day/night lingerie.
  • Lingerie accent pieces: hosiery, garters, garter belts and etc.
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Public Domain Image

HAIR & MAKE UP.

Consider taking your make up look to the next level. Doing so can help really accentuate your best features.

  • Bold, Dramatic & Defined Eyes
  • False Lashes
  • Lipstick – Fun, contrasted colors will really pop!
  • Body Glitter – to give you a little extra glow and shine
  • Hair loose and down – whether curled or straightened – looks super sexy!

Whatever you choose to do, especially if it’s new to you, be sure to practice¬†it ahead of time. One, to make sure you really love it, and two, because there’s nothing more time consuming than applying your cosmetics only¬†to remove them and try again.


Lastly, remember to relax! Boudoir sessions should be sassy, sexy AND fun. You are beautiful, so be confident and your images will reflect how you feel. Clients may even decide to theme their shoot: Pin-up, Classy retro, Rockabilly, Wedding, Girly, Dark & Seductive¬†and so much more! Don’t forget to be strategic in your session scheduling if you’re trying to make it a surprise for your other half.

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to follow me here¬†on WordPress by¬†blog or email. “LIKE” the Facebook page for a daily¬†feed. For those in Noel Photography and Design’s area, I encourage you to check¬†out the Boudoir services now being offered! {BOUDOIR INFO HERE}

Happy Creating!

Noel

 

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Should I “DIY” my Wedding Invitations?

February 10, 2017

As couples¬†work through their¬†list of wedding plans, they often find it necessary to¬†pick out certain items and projects to tackle on their own. Understandably. Perhaps because they can’t find what they’re looking for, or more so, because after awhile it becomes WAY too expensive to purchase every little thing “ready-made.”

So what about your wedding invitations and stationary?

As a graphic designer, I work with bride and grooms all the time who come in wondering about professional invitations vs¬†the process of DIY.¬†Because I’m a designer AND a crafty person ((who LOVES¬†to DIY)) I can usually help them sort the pros and cons pretty quickly. This short blog is the process I go through with my clients to¬†hopefully help YOU decide your best option, as well!

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SCHEDULES.
The very first question I ask couples is what their weekly schedules are like. If you’re someone with a full time job, lots of hobbies and\or¬†a busy home life¬†then “DIY invitations” are likely not for you. Like starting anything from scratch, it takes up a ridiculous amount of time. So if you can’t do the time, don’t do the craft!

TIMELINE.
Even with a light – moderate schedule¬†it’s important to consider the amount of time you have before you need to SEND¬†your invites. Typically invitations should be to your recipients no later than 3 months before your actual event. Decide if the amount of invitations you can get done {daily\weekly\monthly} will produce the amount you need and still be done in time to mail.

If you only have a few¬†months to produce 100+ invitations it’s probably best to leave the designing and printing to the pros, and focus your attention on other details. That close to¬†the wedding it’ll be nice¬†to have extra time for “emergency planning” situations that may arise, instead of still worrying about such an important aspect of your event.

QUANTITY.
Before I start any craft, I like to consider my attention span and patience. If you need more than 100 invitations ((plus RSVPs, ceremony programs, or additional stationary for wedding info)) the process of creating them is going to become monotonous, boring and even frustrating. Resulting in the potential of your invitations becoming sloppy, in-cohesive, or worse, not done! Save yourself the frustration when the quantities become very high and avoid DIY.

MATERIALS.
Sometimes we like to fool ourselves into believing that DIY is always going to save us a buck. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Buying all the individual materials can quickly stack¬†up your bill! Especially because you’ll want good, “sturdy” materials to keep them together. So the next thing you know you’ve spent $150¬†on craft items and a new $200 printer, when you could have potentially found a¬†professional option for less than $100 and no¬†hassle.

Before you dive in, list out all the materials you’re going to need to¬†buy to get the job done RIGHT. Not to mention, the real possibility you may¬†make a mistake at some point and have to redo something¬†– requiring extra materials and money. Compare the cost of materials vs. the cost of having them professionally made. The outcome may just answer your question for you.

PERFECTIONISM.
Lastly, I like people to consider how much of a “perfectionist” they are, as well. That sounds silly, but it goes two ways.

One, depending on the style of invitation, it’s reasonable to guess your 80th¬†invitation may not be as perfect, or as exact, as your 1st. Which may just drive your OCD over the edge.

Two, on top of inconsistency, it’s important that your invitations don’t fall apart before your guests get them. Which means no cutting corners when you’re getting burned out, or¬†run out of glue, so you¬†start using tape. If they fall apart, your money’s down the drain and your chairs at the wedding are empty.

In the end it’s a commitment that must get done. If you’re up for the challenge gather as much help as possible and get started as early as possible! If you’re not up for the challenge (IT’S COMPLETELY OK!!) just put the craft scissors down and walk away!


 

Did I get you towards your decision, or are you still unsure? Whether professional or craft questions, drop them in the comments and I’ll give it my best!

If you enjoyed this post, remember to follow me here on WordPress by blog or email. Plus, hit “LIKE” on the Facebook page for a regular feed.

On the off chance you now need invitations, check out my online store (more designs on the way) by clicking here —> {SHOP} OR¬†contact me to start a custom project! Until next time…

Happy Creating!

Noel

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Reminder to Clients Who Receive a USB.

December 15, 2016
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Studio Front | Image © Noel Photography and Design | Do not copy or alter.

As everyone rushes to prepare for the holidays, including getting ready to share their portraits from Noel Photography and Design, I wanted to leave a friendly reminder to clients who received a USB of their photos this year.

{Most} my sessions include a USB of the edited images, allowing the images to be printed at client’s location of choice, as well as being posted on social media outlets. Why? Because they are YOUR memories and YOUR cherished moments. Therefore, I want you to be able to back them up, re-visit, and share them with everyone you love – without charging¬†an “arm and a leg” to do so.

However, as you print and share the photos, please remember those same images that are your memories are still MY work and MY¬†biggest form of advertisement. Not only¬†do these images belong to me legally, but they have a special part of my heart and soul. My work is my passion. So when I give the photos and release, please remember it’s under these two main conditions:

  • Do not alter the photos in any way, other than scaling (size adjustment.) Creative rights remain with the artist, Noel Photography and Design\Jennifer Noel. Making changes is illegal, but also changes my vision for my¬†work. Again, my photos are my biggest advertisement, and should therefore remain in the manor I chose to deliver them in.
  • Whenever possible, particularly on social media, give textual credit by noting at the end of your posts that the images are ¬© or “Created by” Noel Photography and Design.

 

I desperately want my wonderful¬†clients to continue to have access to their photos. So please help me to keep allowing you to save your¬†professionally captured memories by following these simple terms of the print and publish release. If you have questions or concerns about this matter, please feel free to contact me or refer to the “Print and Publish” release included on your USB.

Thank you all for an amazing, memory-filled 2016! I look forward to seeing many “old and new faces” in 2017.

Happy Creating!

Noel

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Announcing “Craft with a Creative” Workshops by Noel Photo. and Design!

November 15, 2016

Though against my nature, I’ve been waiting patiently to announce yet another branch of my business. But the wait is over!

That’s right – I¬†have added yet another side called “Craft with a Creative,” and let me tell you I’m pretty stoked about this. Those who follow the blog and know me personally, know I have creativity coming out of my ears. So when my studio finally opened how could I just¬†stop at graphic design and photography?! I mean there’s so much room for activities!

Now¬†you’re hopefully wondering WHAT IS “Craft with a Creative?” Well…

Public Domain Image

Public Domain Image

How many times have you browsed through Pinterest and other sites thinking “Wow, I wish I knew how to dive into that project?!” Well if your answer is, “All. The. Time.” that’s what Craft with a Creative is meant to do:

Take your doubt away and let your creative side play!

Noel Photography and Design will host¬†“Craft with a Creative” sessions throughout the year, featuring a new creative project¬†each time. It will be a time for friends¬†to hang out, learn a new artsy craft, and maybe even get a bit messy.

Included with a varying, small fee for each session will be tasty refreshments, the instruction of an artist (yours truly,) and all the supplies you need for the project. You only need to bring your friends, occasionally special items to personalize your project, and YOURSELF! It’s that easy.

Workshops will typically take place at the studio in downtown Hebron, NE and will have an average run time of 1-2 hours. However, to keep things crafty each project will differ in time and difficulty. Participants will need to sign up and make their session payments by the deadline given with each project.

Craft with a Creative © Noel Photography and Design

Craft with a Creative © Noel Photography and Design

So, are you ready to get crafty!? Good, because the first¬†workshop is coming up in December and I’d love to get enough people to get started! Find out what we’re making and sign up to reserve your spot by visiting me in store {Tues. – Friday between 12p and 5pm} OR by CLICKING HERE.

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Thanks for reading and please drop me any questions or comments you have about Craft with a Creative! I look forward to crafting with you, but until then: Follow me here on WordPress by blog or email, and give the Facebook page a LIKE.

Happy Creating!

Noel

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