Types of Prints: Metal

You read that right…. you can get your photos printed on metal. There are options for different finishes for metal prints and the photo itself can help you decide which finish to go with. In this video in our series about photo prints we discuss metal prints and finishes, how to choose as well as pros and cons to metal. Check it out here:

Types of Prints: Paper Prints

In this series we are talking about types of prints, and in this video it is all about paper prints. Most people think of the glossy prints you got from a grocery store photo lab. There are actually many options for paper prints. Check out this vlog about different paper types and what to consider when choosing a paper type.

New Vlog Series: Types of Prints

Now that you have great photos, what do you do with them? You want to display them so you can enjoy them. There are quite a few options available for printing photos. In this five part series we talk about some of the options available for prints and pros and cons of each type. Check out the first video:

3 Tips for taking portraits with your pet

Senior portrait with his golden retriever
A boy and his dog, what a great pair!

As a family photographer, I am privileged to work with many diverse types of families. Many times we work with children, and young children need special attention for getting great photos with them. But young children aren’t the only kids that need special consideration in photography. I am talking of course about your fur babies!

Our pets can be our children too

Over the years I have worked with dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, horses, and even chickens in portraits with my clients. I love to see the interactions and love that is very obvious when these fur babies come in.


I have found over the years that there are few things that will make the portrait experience more enjoyable when your fur babies join you. So here are 3 tips for making portraits with your pets easier on them and you!

Tip #1: Don’t go against your pets personality
You know your fur baby best. And just like any 2 or 3-year-old, working with their personality not against it will make the whole process much easier.

Dog and girl look sad at getting a photo taken
Sometimes the picture just isn’t going to happen


If your dog is always on the go, it is best not to try and get him to sit still.
If your cat doesn’t usually get held, chances are someone will end up bleeding if you try to hold her for a photo.


Plan to work with your pet’s personality and your result will be better.

Tip #2: Communicate info about your pet to the photographer

Photographers will do their best to work with you and your pet, but any help you can give them will make things go smoother. For example, if your pet always comes to the sound of their name, then it is probably not good for the photographer to continually call their name and have them walk out of frame. If you have a dog that gets aggressive if someone gets too close, let the photographer know so that they can keep their distance. Anything that will help is important to communicate to your photographer.

Kitten on man's back

Tip #3: Keep an open mind and reasonable expectations

Just like working with toddlers, pets will have good and bad days in front of the camera and that’s ok! The important part is that they are there, not that they are perfect. Sometimes it is the quirky imperfections that make a memory endearing, like this kitten who only wanted to be on his dad’s back! Sometimes, that is what makes the cutest photos.

I hope these tips help you the next time you have a family portrait scheduled and you want to include the whole family!

Cherry Blossoms, Camas, and Japanese Wisteria…oh my!

Beautiful family portraits and preserving them for the future

That special time of year has arrived again! The cherry blossoms are here and that means the camas and wisteria are not far behind. Each year these 3 beautiful flowers offer their blossoms up and families want to take advantage of their beauty for family photos like these:

I always love this time of year because I know the kinds of amazing photos I can give my clients. But it is also a bittersweet time because every year I also see destruction left by those photographers and budding photographers (pun intended) when they take a client or model to these places and knock cherry blossoms off or stamp down the wild camas so their subject can be “among the flowers.” Every year when we take clients to do photos, well anywhere really but especially these one a year treasure places, we always make it our goal to leave the place just like we found it (and sometimes better!).

Sometimes the ends don’t justify the means

There are always ways to get the photo without destruction. For example, To get the falling blossom effect we pick up blossoms off the ground or wait for the wind to knock them down (as it would do whether we were there or not). For the wild camas, we try to put our clients on paths where we look over the camas to them, or use places that have only grass, to get the same effect as planting them on the camas.

Beautiful woman's portrait among the camas flowers of Salem, OR
It is all about perception

So if you are going to be looking into booking a family session to take advantage of these rare opportunities, it is worth taking the opportunity to tell the photographer you choose (though I would love it to be me!) that you want to conserve the natural beauty as much as possible and save the flowers. Our community and your children will thank you!!

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!

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

3 Posing Tips for Your Portrait Session

Part of the reason why I love photography is because I don’t have to be in front of the camera =-).

If that sounds like you too, then I have some important advice for you that I’ve learned from being in front of the camera that can make your portrait session much more rewarding.

7B4A3407

Be yourself

One of the best things you can do to improve your portrait shoot is to be yourself. Really! From behind the camera, it’s very obvious when my subject is uncomfortable because they are not acting like themselves. Stiff body lines, pasted grins and body language translate to photos that are not comfortable and whoever sees those photos will understand the same thing. It’s those moments where your happiness are captured and frozen in time that you will see every time you look at that photo that make it a great experience.

 

Trust your photographer7B4A3750-Edit

I want to take photos of my portrait sessions as perfectly as I can. I want you to go home with your photos feeling and looking your best because I have a happy client and because I can use that photo to promote my photography business. If you come to the session knowing that I am there to make you look your absolute best, then you can feel safe that how I direct you is helping you look great. Trusting your photographer helps you both have a great session experience and get great portraits.

 

Come preparedIMG_1068

There are many things you can do to come prepared to your photo shoot. It all depends on what you want to get out of it. A few things that I recommend thinking about prior to your shoot are your clothing and color choices and bring props or an activity that you enjoy. It will make your session more relaxing and fun.

 

 

– Photos By Orion

3 Things to Know Before Scheduling Your Spring Portraits

7B4A3750-Edit

Alexis and the Cherry Blossoms

Natural light is your friend

Have you ever had a photoshoot scheduled and it looks like it’s going to rain shortly before your outdoor-Oregon family photo session? Don’t worry too much about it, call your photographer up and see if they think it’ll still be a good time to take photos. If the weather is like many Spring days in Oregon are, there is likely a chance that that dull gray sky will actually enhance your photos. I like to think of those dull gray clouds as a gigantic light diffuser. Talk to your photographer to see if the weather will be good or not, you may be surprised.

IMG_5162

Danika in the Japanese Wisteria

Great foliage backdrops

Spring time is the best time to go out and capture family photos with excellent greenery and flowers. The grass is vibrant green and the flowers are usually plentiful and colorful. If you don’t have a special place in mind for your photoshoot, your photographer will. I have several places around the Willamette Valley that I enjoy taking clients to and I typically try to schedule photoshoots around the times when those flowers and trees look their best. A personal favorite are the Japanese Wisteria in Bush Park.

OK

The Davidsons in jackets

 

Clothing Choices

The weather in Oregon during the Spring is a time of change and your clothing choices should follow suit. =-) I recommend being prepared for both rain and sun. If you happen to have a new jacket, bring it along. It may go great with the background. Not every photoshoot needs to be formal.

Props

Sometimes, props can be great add-ons to a session. Here in Oregon, an umbrella may not get used in the rain, but it can make a great prop for photos! Giving it a little thought and grabbing a couple things that are special to you can take a good photo session to great in a flash.

 


From your photography team at Photos By Orion

Child's specialty portrait at Bush Pasture Park under blooming tree

Spring portrait opportunity

Child's portrait at Bush Pasture Park in Salem, OR

Beautiful opportunities abound at Bush Pasture Park

Spring time is nearly here and that means there will be some great opportunities for outdoor photography in Salem. One such location that I really enjoy taking photos of families at is Bush’s Pasture Park.

Bush’s Pasture Park is a 90 acre park located just south of downtown Salem. It has several sports fields, including Willamette University’s track and field stadium, a soap box derby track, running trails, open fields and play structures. But that’s not all. It also contains several gardens including a rose garden with gazebo. Wildflowers grow all over the park during the spring and it’s these areas I like to take clients to for photo sessions.

With the plethora of available backgrounds available, I consider Bush’s Pasture Park to be an ideal location for family photo sessions. The rose garden and gazebo are great places to capture classic photos. Add in the few historic buildings in the background and you have an excellent location for photography.

I personally enjoy the extensive Camas meadow. It’s a great location in one of the quieter parts of the park where Camas flowers (Wild hyacinth) bloom in a sweeping bed amongst a small grove of trees. It provides ample shade during hot days and a nice colorful backdrop to photos. (see photo to left). The purple Camas add just enough color to really make the portraits pop.

Family Portrait in Camas medow in Bush Pasture Park Salem, Oregon

 

Another excellent spot is this one tree near the Bush House and rose garden. It only blooms for about a week each year so getting there can be a bit tricky and you have to be flexible with dates to make it work, but the photos from there are simply amazing and worth the hassle! This tree blooms beautifully purple every year and gives the illusion of being surrounded by wild blooms, making for stunning portraits for a small group or individual.

IMG_9869 IMG_5162 Child's specialty portrait at Bush Pasture Park under blooming tree

 

 

 

 

 

The Bush house also offers other beautiful blooms that are around a bit longer than the one tree, and with a large porch there is more room for larger groups.Family Portrait at Bush House in Salem Oregon

Child at Bush House in Salem, Oregon Senior Portrait at Bush House in Salem, Oregon

To book a session at Bush Park, please contact Kathryn at 503-871-8417. For the special tree call between February 15th and April 15th to get on the schedule and we will contact you when the time is right.