Orion Shooting Orion

If you didn’t know, my name is Orion. It makes sense for the business name, but as my wife is really the face of the business, I’m the name. So when I got contacted to shoot someone else with my name, I was immediately excited about the opportunity.

IMG_3505I’ve known of a few other people in the area and in the world of Facebook with the name Orion, I’ve never met another in person in real life. When I finally met Orion, I was surprised again to find out that she was a she! How rare is that!

Orion was a rather shy senior who was a pleasure to work with. We went down to Deepwood where we captured some nice photos among the trees, along the river and on the stairs. Like a majority of our senior sessions, we also shot some photos in the studio (it’s definitely a great thing to have available during the Oregon winters!)

It was such a neat experience taking pictures of Orion! I hope it was equally unique of an experience for Orion. How many times has that happened where Orion got her pictures taken by Orion!

Two children hugging

5 Tips to help you get the best portraits of your kids

Here at Photos By Orion, we love working with children! They are so fun and spontaneous, and they can have such engaging smiles! But kids, like pets, have only a short amount of time and attention they are willing to give to a photographer, so here are a few tips for helping you get beautiful portraits of your child.

Baby portrait in the Photos By Orion studio

Being well rested and having a full tummy helps little ones create great photos.

 

  1. Have them well fed and rested 

No one does well in photos if they are hungry or tired, so the best time to do a photo session that will involve children is right after lunch and a nap. It is also best to keep the photo session short, so don’t plan on having your child involved for an entire hour. When we do photo shoots with small children (under the age of 5) they are regularly finished early so the child doesn’t have to be “on” for that whole time.

2) Bring a favorite toy

Often times a favorite toy or toys can make the process easier for a child. They feel safe when they have their “snuggy” with them or when they can see it, so bringing a few props like that can enhance the photo shoot. It is also important to remember that YOU are their most favorite, so helping your photographer out by standing right behind them to call out and play with your child can make a huge difference.

Child's portrait in the park in Salem, Oregon

The first photos tend to be the best when working with children

3) Location, location, location!

Choosing where to take photos is a very important decision. Some children do well indoors at a studio (especially the really young children as a studio can be more temperature controlled than an outdoor venue), while others need to be able to run. Whenever we are working with children I tend to recommend venues that are close to, or include, a playground. We use the park as an incentive to get through the “boring” first part of the session, which we try to limit to 30 minutes, and then get fun playing shots at the playground to round out the session and give the children a treat. During the really hot of the summer, three great parks we love to take clients with children are to Riverfront Park and West Bennett park in Salem, and to River Road park near Keizer because each of these parks not only has a playground, but it also has a splash pad where kids can cool off after all that work of looking cute (and it makes for great photo opportunities)!

Young boy plays at the park in Salem Oregon

Having somewhere fun to take photos can be a big hit!

4) Keep directions (and expectations) simple

Kids are good at following simple directions, so when it comes to posing them for photos, the simpler the directions they are given the better. For the photo on the left, all the direction we gave was to sit on the stool, look at the camera, and smile. He naturally posed himself into that adorable pose so we snapped fast and got that great shot. Children don’t always understand why we are getting photos, so to them, posing is weird! They get lost in multi-step directions like “sit up, put your hands here, your feet here, point your nose toward the camera, etc., and will forget to leave their bodies where we put them as they get each new direction. So with your kids, simpler is better. Letting them sit as they naturally do and then changing 1 or 2 things is the best way to get great photos and to set appropriate expectations for your portrait session.

 

5) Be relaxed and remember, this is fun!

Children will take their cues from their parents, so it is important for you to be relaxed and to have the attitude that this will be fun. I know that can be hard to get everyone dress and ready to go, but taking a moment to breath and re-center yourself you can help everyone to be in a better mood and therefore get better photos. These are your memories that will last well beyond your lifetime, but they are also a shared family experience. Whether that experience is good or bad is up to you. Getting family photos each year should be something that is fun for all, because having memories of each stage of your family’s life is so important!

Budgeting for your wedding

Weddings are expensive. Let’s face it.

According to CNN, the wedding industry is a 53.4 billion dollar market and the average wedding costed about 28,000 in 2012. Those are some crazy numbers, and I’m certain they are only rising. That doesn’t mean that you have to take a second job just to be able to afford your special day. Plenty of brides are on a budget and their wedding days are magical. If you were to check out IslandEventPlanners.com, you’d get a paradigm on how those brides make it possible, and also get an idea of devising the perfect theme that doesn’t cost an extra penny.

I believe that there are two main factors that need to come into play when you’re planning and budgeting for a wedding:

  1. Prioritization
  2. Effort

Wait, what?

Granted, those traits sound quite boring, but they are of utmost importance in my opinion.

What I mean for prioritization is to organize what you want your wedding day to be and then prioritize each component. We also offer 13 exciting hen party ideas in London. Think about all the things you want in your wedding and then place them in order of importance. For example, you have a list like this:

  • Venue
  • Catering
  • Photographer
  • Videographer
  • Officiant
  • DJ
  • Cake
  • Flowers
  • Dress
  • Etc

Then you need to organize them in importance to you. Perhaps flowers are at the bottom of your list and the venue is at the top. Order flower delivery in Deer Park TX. Then list everything else in order, for example:

  1. Venue
  2. Dress
  3. Officiant
  4. Photographer
  5. Cake
  6. Catering
  7. DJ
  8. Flowers
  9. Videographer

For this list, I put the venue at the top because I think that getting married in a beautiful location is the most important thing. Videography is at the bottom because I am not very interested in watching my ceremony video years down the road. Videography is still on the list though, because I put some importance to it. If my budget allows, I will hire someone to make a video. Perhaps the dress isn’t a big deal to you. List it lower. Maybe having photos is really important. List it higher. Once you have your basic list organized, you can really start seeing how much your wedding is going to cost when you start approaching vendors and seeing their price lists.

The second thing that I think is really important in planning a wedding I’m calling effort. What I mean is that the amount of effort you put into your wedding day should give it greater importance in your life. I don’t necessarily mean that you should try to arrange all your flowers or make your own cake, but by all means do so if that interests you. For me the wedding ring I gave my wife was really important. I wanted to make sure that not only did I choose a beautiful ring for her, but I actually wanted it to cost more money than I normally would have spent. I had to work more hours and save more money to buy her ring, but it was so worth it. For the extra hours and saving, I’ve ensured a lifetime of her being proud of her ring and the symbol it stands for. I’m not saying that anyone who chooses to buy a cheaper ring is going the wrong way. When you have your list of priorities, you’ll list what’s the most important thing first and I think you should work extra for that. If you really want your guests to have a great memory of your wedding day, perhaps a DJ who can keep the day upbeat and rocking is your thing.

So really take time to prioritize your list of wedding things by importance to you and then put in the extra effort for the important items on your list and you will be more successful at keeping to a budget and you’ll still have your special day, perfect for you.

Beach Elopement story (Bree and Logan)

I had the good fortune to photograph a special wedding one day in Seaside, Oregon.

IMG_7938It was a summer day on the Oregon coast. Kathryn and I drove from Salem to Seaside one afternoon. When we reached the location very near to the Promenade, we hopped out to find the weather pleasant and peaceful on the beach. When we arrived at the address provided by the couple, we discovered only 4 people, the bride and groom, the officiant and a witness. IMG_8633The easy-going couple had everything planned and all 6 of us walked across the Promenade and onto the sand. When we reached a grassy rise in the sand and the waves stretched out before us, the couple informed us the ceremony would be here. I grabbed my camera and began shooting the ceremony as I have done many times before. The couple were so relaxed as they said their vows that afternoon. IMG_8590When the ceremony was finished, the officiant and witness left the couple to us and we spent the next hour photographing them walking down the beach and standing in the waves. It was so peaceful and simple and we captured many wonderful photos before the sun set that day. I will always remember that wedding and how fortunate I felt to be invited as their photographer.IMG_8625IMG_8543

3 Tips for Getting Better Photos

Capturing great images usually rests firmly in the hands of the photographer, but I have found that the people I photograph who come prepared often capture the best photos. Here are three tips you can do to improve photos of yourself:

1. The “turtle”

IMG_5607-PMIMG_2136Kathryn and I have nicknamed a method of removing double-chins in photos as the “turtle”. The “turtle” is a method of elongating your chin towards the camera. Think of it like pushing your face away from your neck then lowering your chin. It often feels awkward, but the effect when you see the photo will surprise you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Props

7B4A8793Props can make a huge difference in your photos. The best props are ones that say something about who you are. For example, I would recommend a senior bring their sports equipment or musical instrument. These kinds of props always add to the photo, and if it’s something you really love will often help you to be more comfortable in front of the camera.

 

 

 

 

 

3. Clothing choices

IMG_2905

Nadia Senior Photo at Salem's Riverfront Park

Nadia Senior Photo at Salem’s Riverfront Park

Nadia Senior Photo in downtown Salem

Nadia Senior Photo in downtown Salem

Clothing helps us define who we are and clothing choices at a photoshoot are no exception. I recommend families attempt to match each other when they come in or perhaps even have a change of clothes or two. Senior photoshoots should have at least 3 outfits, one that shows the formal you, one that shows the casual you and one that you are most comfortable in.

Photo recreation, Richard Weddle story

Occasionally we get a client who wants to recreate a photo. I especially like the recreations that are funny because of the posing or styling of the original.

Today’s post features the photo of two brothers as young children. They contacted us and told us about the photo, saying it was going to be funny to remake and indeed it was. Obviously the brothers were older and the younger wouldn’t even fit in the photo like the original, but we posed them. They brought a blanket similar to the original and wore similar clothes. The backdrop we had in studio was the same color as the original. Even their poses had to be the same, hence the tongue sticking out. As an added bonus, we had difficulty getting the angle of each brother to be close to the original pose. It wasn’t until I held up the pillow on the right that the angle looked correct. It was certainly a first for me to literally be underneath the blanket holding him up!

The purpose of the photo was to print and frame it for their parent’s wall right next to the original for Christmas. I hope their parents enjoy their joke each time they pass their new family portrait!

I really enjoy capturing the creative visions of clients, even for a joke =-)

The original photo the clients requested we remake

The original photo the clients requested we remake

A remake of a funny photo

A remake of a funny photo

Secret Beach Engagement

IMG_9541Have you ever heard about a secret wedding engagement? Sure, oftentimes the person proposing willkeep it a secret until they are ready to pop the question, but in the case of one groom-to-be, he thought ahead.

He planned how he was going to propose to his future wife and decided to whisk her away to the Oregon Coast for a vacation where he would propose for her hand in marriage. But that’s not all. He also wanted that memory to be a special surprise for her even on the wedding day!

 

IMG_9536

IMG_9556Thinking ahead to his wedding day, this groom called me and together we planned a secret photo shoot at the beach. The plan was for him to take his girlfriend onto the sand at a remote Oregon beach and propose to her, but he didn’t want her to know that I was there photographing the event. So I staged a fake beach shoot of a model where I looked like I was taking photos of the model, but I was really shooting right over her shoulder to the couple near the surf.

As I saw the couple on the beach and the proposal happen, capturing their photos from a distance, I thought how amazing it was for me to do business with someone without ever meeting them, because the photos were a surprise for the bride on her wedding day. What a moment to remember!

I love capturing great photos of people and events, but I love the creative opportunities our clients come up with even more. If you have a great idea for creative wedding or engagement photos, please bring those ideas when you come see us!