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I had the most fun at this beautiful wedding in Santa Ynez. The couple and their families had accommodations at the Santa Ynez Inn, and had their ceremony and reception at the Santa Ynez Historical Museum. It was a beautiful evening, set in a candle-lit courtyard. I was so honored to photograph the incredibly sweet wedding that displayed succulents, to-die-for purple/eggplant calla lilies, and china on the dinner tables. You can see the love between these two. Cheers!

Special thanks to  Amy May Images.



A Step-by-Step Guide to Organizing your Digital Images (for the non-professional)

I am discussing an important aspect of de-cluttering, which is organizing your digital images.

Keeping track of your digital photographs is so important because most often they include images of special moments with your friends and family. You may have flash drives with images that are just sitting on your desk, or you have tons of images on your phone. Like most people I talk to, these images are also in various other places on your computer. This can cause much stress and anxiety because they can easily be lost or wiped out if proper organization and backup of these images is not practiced.

One of the most common questions I receive when I tell someone that I am a professional photographer is “How do I organize my images?” As a professional photographer this is a habit and valuable knowledge that I would love to pass on to you. Once you follow the steps in my e-book, it will become an easy practice, but there are steps you need to take. This e-book course includes easy steps to get your images organized so you can have access to them whenever you need them. Included are tips on software, adding keywords and metadata, editing, printing, archiving, and more, gained from my 20 years of being in the photography business. Yes, there are a lot of free articles online about this, but I break down the information for you and offer my tips gained from personal experience. In addition, you have me as a resource to ask questions.

If you would like to decrease your anxiety, and liberate yourself from the stress of keeping up with your images, then you can follow this link to purchase the e-book for a special introductory rate of $25, which is a 50% discount of the regular price of $50. Purchase the e-book here: E-Book: How to Organize Your Digital Images

This offer will last through May 30 only. Once I receive the payment, I will e-mail you with a link to download a copy of the e-book. The download is good for one usage only.

With the purchase of the e-book, you will receive online support from me if you have any questions. You will also receive a free subscription to my newsletter for additional tips. For additional support, I provide one-one-one training (in addition to the online tutorials included in the e-book) for the Adobe Lightroom software referred to in the course for an additional fee.

Thank you, and here’s to your wise choice to unravel the mystery of keeping up with those important images of yours!



Santa Barbara and Ventura County residents: Mother’s Day is coming up. Photographs are the perfect gift because they are treasured heirlooms. There is still time to schedule a portrait session. I have a few spots left, but the session needs to be booked by this weekend if you would like the prints back in time for Mother’s Day. I am offering a special Mother’s Day Collection that includes the session, three 8×10 prints of your choice on cotton rag, a private online viewing gallery, and images on a flash drive for $375 ($550 value). The fine art prints I offer are printed on gorgeous cotton rag and make a great presentation.

If you can’t fit a portrait session in at this time, a gift certificate is also a great gift. I have designed a beautiful gift certificate that can be presented to her for this portrait special. It comes in a special gift bag with lavender and twine.  I have some spots available on Mother’s Day if you would like for me to do the portrait session on that day.  I can also mail the gift certificates if you do not live close to your mother, but will be planning a visit.

St. Louis and Cape Girardeau residents: I will be in the St. Louis area on May 19 and 20 if you would like to schedule a session during that time. I can mail you the gift certificate package to present to her on Mother’s Day, and the portrait session may be scheduled while I am in town. I am also in town the week of June 20 and June 27.



So you have made a great decision to book a portrait session, or perhaps you really want to book one, but you are hesitant or have some resistance. A professional portrait session is an investment in yourself and your family. Professional portraits preserve memories of a particular moment in time. As you know, time passes by quickly, and before we know it, we are a year older, and our children are growing into adults. In addition, it is a good idea to keep your professional image fresh if you are looking for a professional portrait for your business.

To address the hesitations:  There may be a hesitation about the investment involved. If there is a photographer whose work you adore, and you think that you can’t afford it, remember, that like anything, you get what you pay for in terms of skill, quality of product, and experience. Another concern that I get from clients is that they want to lose a few pounds first, or they are waiting for some special moment to arrive. A portrait session is meant to capture the essence of you and the love between you and your family–right now. An experienced photographer will bring out your best qualities, which is you in a happy state of mind. Nothing is more beautiful.

Here is a great blog on how Life Coach Joanna Turner manifested her photoshoot, and the steps to manifesting anything: How to manifest.

Congratulations! Now that you have made this wise decision to schedule a portrait session, I have a few tips for getting the most out of the session.

I personally recommend to my clients that they schedule a portrait session at three to six-month intervals for their little ones, and at least yearly for family and self portraits. For professional portraits for your business, I suggest scheduling a photo shoot for each season to keep your image fresh and engaging.

Family portraits not only preserve memories, but high-quality, nicely framed prints of loved ones are beautiful accents to your home or office to reinforce feelings of love and belonging. As a Feng Shui consultant, I also help my clients with the placement and framing of their framed portraits.

First, research a photographer whose personality and style resonate with yours. This will include researching web sites online, acquiring referrals from friends, and even interviewing the photographer on the telephone or in person. Taking this time to build a rapport with your photographer will create a better portrait session at which all parties are comfortable. Portrait sessions are meant to be fun! A photographer who is interested in you will make the time for this first interaction and will include a consultation in their portrait session fee, as well as a style guide to help you choose what to wear and how to be prepared.

Another aspect to consider when researching a photographer is whether or not prints are included in the collections (for personal portrait sessions). Prints are tangible evidence of the photographer’s skill and are heirlooms that you will want to have forever and pass to future generations. Digital files can get lost and filed away to be forgotten and not enjoyed. Most of the time, they never get printed, and clients are not equipped to handle printing issues and setup unless they are professional photographers themselves. (Flash drives with images are great for temporary storage, but not for long-term storage, which I address later in this post.) If a flash drive is included with a professional portrait session (most of these are used for web only), then make sure that the photographer has provided you with the proper size and resolution for your online use, and/or instructions for resizing the images.

Check the photographer’s print quality. They should have samples that they can show you. Creating beautiful prints is a skill and an indicator of whether or not the photographer is a professional. Order additional prints through your photographer.  Not only are you supporting an artist, an entrepreneur and your photographer, but your photographer has a vision of how he or she would like their work to be presented.  Your photographer should provide you with a private online gallery for online viewing, from which you can order additional enlargements. Online galleries are great for sharing with friends and family.

Also, check to see if the prints provided with the collection are printed on archival, high-quality paper. Not all prints are created equally, and you want to be sure that your prints will last more than a few years. It is impossible to achieve correct color if sending the images to a non-professional lab to be printed. At the least, your photographer can recommend some printers to use with printing set-up guidelines. Archival papers are made to last longer. Some photographers include framing in their services. Prints should be framed using glass that has UV light protection to prevent them from fading. Here is a great link to the kinds of glass used for framing: Types of glass used for framing. Of course, framed prints are not the only option for display, but they are the most archival. Other options include stand-outs, which are a modern approach, and others.

Prepping yourself and your family.

If you are scheduling a portrait session, the ladies out there may want to consider scheduling a hair and makeup session to reward yourself and to help you feel confident. I have a list of referrals for makeup artists for my clients if they are interested in this. I also help them with their wardrobe to make sure that they feel confident at the session. This doesn’t have to take a ton of time, and it usually consists of texting pictures back and forth. The location is predetermined according to the style and final use of the portrait. Even though I am a lifestyle photographer who photographs with film using natural light, I structure the session according the the needs of the client. If the client needs a professional portrait for their branding image and their web site, we choose a location and a wardrobe together according to the image they want to present. If the shoot is a lifestyle family portrait session, I work with the client to choose a favorite destination to capture the family having fun together. For family sessions with children, I suggest that my clients prep the children so that it can be seen through their eyes as a fun experience. It is also good to inform your photographer of things that make your children laugh. I always ask several questions about the family and the children during the consultation so that I can be prepared to interact with them better. I strive to get the most natural expressions possible. If you are scheduling a couple session, it is great to pick a location that means something special to the both of you. You can recreate a special memory through the session.

For storing your images, I recommend backing up the digital images on two external hard drives, in addition to the flash drive provided. Online storage is an excellent option because hard drives fail. There are several online storage resources, such as Dropbox.com and Mozy.com. And of course, having a set or prints from the session is ideal.

These are just a few tips that I hope are helpful. I hope your day is filled with beautiful little moments.