Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

“Professional” Photography is too Expensive!

Filed under: Boudoir Photography,Photography Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Oh, really?

There are a lot of people who think professional photography is too expensive. Please take a moment to consider the time and care that your photographer takes to create beautiful memories of your wedding for you. This is a great little run down sheet that shows you the time a photographer spends on a session. Some of my photographer friends say the time expressed in this graphic is on the low end.

Please think twice before you have your “friend” with a good camera take photos at your wedding! NOTE: Photo on the left below is by Aleksandar Jaredic.

PROvsAmateur

I would ask you to remember that you really do get what you pay for. Check references. Talk to others who have used the photographer you are considering. Make a wise choice.

BONUS Articles: Click here for at least a dozen articles, tips, etc., that may save you money when you hire a photographer!

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Website. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 470 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Monday, June 6, 2011

Christians and Boudoir Photography

Filed under: Boudoir Photography,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am
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Kristin Smetona, Guest Author

I have recently been very involved in boudoir photography. With that comes a lot of questions from potential clients, especially from my fellow Christians. I want to take just a few minutes to address what boudoir photography is and why I think Christian women ESPECIALLY should be involved in boudoir photography.

First, what is boudoir photography? Boudoir (pronounced bood-wah) refers to a woman’s dressing area. This can be a bedroom, vanity, or anything of the like. Specifically, boudoir photography refers to sexy, cute and tasteful photos that a woman might have taken of herself to give to a special man in her life. Think Victoria’s Secret photos of YOU. 🙂

So, why do them? I once heard a pastor refer to a man’s brain as a Rolodex. A man has thousands of images that he is bombarded with every day. Some good. Some not. Some holy. Some not. And whether he knows it or not, he remembers them. Ever so often his Rolodex goes on shuffle and pulls up an image in his mind. These images could even be as old as a Playboy cover he saw years ago. Now, don’t go thinking men are sick. It’s just the way God created them. They are visual.

But, why should Christian couples be interested?

Because of my Christian convictions, I believe that boudoir photography is best used in the context of marriage. I think any man would be delighted that his wife (or wife-to-be) would think enough of him to give him a gift that takes a lot of courage and love to do. Now, remember that Rolodex, ladies, how much better and holier is it if your husband’s brain goes on shuffle and up pops a gorgeous image of you. . . HIS WIFE? He is now thinking of the wonderful woman God blessed him with! What could be more God honoring than that?

Christian ladies, that are getting married. Some of you are (like I was) unfamiliar and intimidated by the thought of being *gasp* sexy. Just the thought of being naked with your husband makes you blush. I remember the feeling. I walked in the hotel room for my boudoir session and the first thing I thought was, “I need Vodka.” (Granted I had never even had Vodka, but for some reason it seemed to fit the bill.) Having a boudoir photography session is a great chance for you to warm up. It’s a safe environment for you to practice being sexy and see that it’s not bad or scary. In fact, I am convinced that if you are scared or nervous, it is all the more reason to do it.

“But what if my body is not in shape?” So what?!? Most ladies will NEVER be in the ideal shape that they want to be. But I bet you that even if you aren’t perfect, your husband will adore the photos. Why? Because it’s you! I had one boudoir photographer tell me that “Hey thanks for writing that post about Christians and boudoir! You totally rocked it!” I had a christian girl say it changed their marriage! You never know what a little sexy confidence can do for your marriage.

Let me also take this a step further, married ladies, when you are in the privacy of your own home with your husband, why do you stay so covered? Why not add even MORE images of you to his file? Why not prance around the bedroom in a piece he hasn’t seen in awhile instead of that old t-shirt? Just saying.

A few days ago, I came into our bedroom to see Dustin (how I love him!) looking through the boudoir pictures he has of me. I gently kissed him and asked him what he was doing. “Oh, just looking,” he responded with a grin. What a blessing it is to know that I have a husband who not only loves me, but appreciates the body of the wife he has!

I want to leave you with one last little thing. It’s from the TV show “According to Jim” and the episode called “Cheryl’s Boudoir Photos.”

(Cheryl hands Jim the envelope containing her boudoir photos as a Valentine’s Day gift. He opens it. Pulls a photo out and his eyes get big.)

Jim: WOW! YOU ARE AMAZING!
Cheryl: You think so?
Jim: You know, you could go pro! I mean as a model!
Cheryl: Do you like it?
Jim: Like it? I want to marry it! But I did! [Laughs] I can’t take my eyes off it!
Cheryl: Maybe you can take your eyes off of it for this. [She kisses him.]

It’s gonna get steamy in Arizona!

There are 14 spots and I need 14 lovely ladies to book sessions to cover the hotel room and my flight to Arizona. When you decide to book, email me at the address below (make sure to include what day and time is best for you & any upgrades). You will be sent a booking proposal from me with payment information. Simply complete your booking and you are set! (After booking, you will not receive a refund if you cancel your session.)

If the 14 sessions do not all get filled, everyone will be refunded all monies paid and the marathon will be cancelled. Decision to cancel will be made prior to August 1st if necessary. So, tell your lady friends and make it happen for everyone!

FAQs:

Q: How long will the whole session last?
A: Your session will last approximately one hour. If you upgrade to include hair and make-up, we ask that you arrive at least 30 minutes early.

Q: Can I see any of your past boudoir work?
A: Of course! E-mail me at info@smetonaphoto.com and ask for the link and password to the boudoir portfolio.

Q: Where will the marathon be?
A: The boudoir marathon will be at The Legado Hotel in Gilbert,Arizona. Check it out by clicking here!

Q: Who is boudoir for?
A: Boudoir is for every age! Single? Do it to feel sexy and confident. Getting married? You’re perfect! Married? He will love it! Been married for awhile? You will be stunning! Most women can’t believe the spark that a few images can bring back to their marriage!

Q: What if I don’t have a model’s body?
A: Your man loves you because of your size and shape, so don’t worry if you feel like you aren’t ready for the cover of Playboy! We all have things we wish we could change. I professionally retouch each and every photo, so you will look your absolute best! If there’s a specific issue that you’re concerned with, we will chat before your session and I can provide you with some tips and tricks for before and after.

Q: Can I bring a friend for moral support?
A: Absolutely! All I ask is that you limit it to one friend, so our suite doesn’t get too crowded.

Q: How many outfit changes should I bring?
A: As many as you like. We’ll go through them and pick out the most sexy and flattering for the photos. Most sessions will have time for 2-3 outfit changes.

Q: Can I add-on upgrades later?
A: Absolutely! You can purchase books, prints and disks up to 30 days after you are sent your proofing gallery.

Q: How do I keep this a secret for my husband or husband-to-be?
A: A great option is to tell him you are going out to do “wedding shopping” or “some time with the girls”. You could also tell him what you are doing. Who knows! He might pay for everything, treat you to some new lingerie, and maybe a beauty day to prep. 😉

For more information or to book, please e-mail Kristin at info@smetonaphoto.com! I can’t wait to work with you! This is gonna be so much fun! Check the Boudoir Marathon Schedule.

BONUS Article: Confessions of a Boudoir Photographer

Larry’s Note: A special thank you to Jessica Gelder, Wedding Consultant, Sweet Soiree, LLC, East Valley (AZ) Event Planner, for suggesting this article. Visit Jessica’s Blog!

Copyright © 2011 – Kristin Smetona. Reprinted with permission. Kristin Smetona has been a photographer for six years. She owns Smetona Photo in Orange County, CA. She graduated from California Baptist University (2010) with a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Journalism, but ended up taking more photography classes then journalism courses. She has officially moved to Southern Califonia, I (and Dustin, her husband) are rebuilding the photography business she had in Kansas City (Kristin Joy Photography). Visit her Website.

Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 460 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Confessions of a Boudoir Photographer

Filed under: Boudoir Photography,Guest Authors,Photography Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am
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1st a NOTE from Larry James: Hey, Brides! Thinking of surprising the groom with a peek at your passionate side? Boudoir photography is a sexy new trend that’s especially popular as a wedding day gift from a bride to her groom. Boudoir portraits or as I call it, “Romantic Glamour” photography is a collaboration between the Bride and the photographer. It proves to be fun for guys, and self-esteem boosts for women. It’s a gift from someone who is taking time to capture their “self” or their essence at a particular time of their life and immortalize it.

It’s probably safe to say that all women have a part of their body that they wish they could change as well as a few that they love. It is the job of the photographer to highlight each woman’s best features while minimizing her least favorite. With flattering poses and lighting, every woman can look her best and overcome any body image issues while seeing herself in a new way.

leannamcdonaldFor a photographer, there is nothing better than helping a woman rediscover her inner and outer beauty through portraits. The thing is that every woman has the potential to look just as beautiful and glamorous as the women in the media. The opportunity exits through boudoir photography. Boudoir photos can be a fun-filled, pampering experience for any woman, and they also make a great gift for the man in your life. Whether you are a size 2 or 20 does not matter. Every woman is beautiful and a great photographer can capture that beauty and give it as a gift to her man or even herself.

Let me introduce my friend, Leanna McDonald, a professional photographer with whom I have worked many times at weddings. Leanna loves the uniqueness of every client and capturing each woman’s own intimate beauty. She is truly the “Phoenix Boudoir Photography Queen.”

For Leanna boudoir photography is about more than providing high-quality fashion portraits – it is about giving each client a priceless look at how beautiful and sexy they are with images that will last a lifetime. Leanna is a professional photographer who knows how to use lighting in flattering ways and discreetly “retouch” photos so that skin tones appear even and blemishes and other flaws disappear.

Confessions of a Boudoir Photographer

Leanna McDonald, Guest Author

Since I do so many other types of photography: weddings, children, pregnancy, high school seniors and even commercial work, the name “Phoenix Boudoir Photography Queen” seems rather limiting. Long, long ago, in the land of the ‘Valley of the Sun’ (Phoenix, AZ) there existed a credo among ‘legitmate’ photographers that photographing women in their underwear was a dirty thing. Not to be talked about or mentioned in the circles of “carriage trade” photography discussions.

But in the shadows there were photographers, including myself, who were legitimate and prosperous and who thought that a client should be able to express themselves to the camera sexually in an artful way. Most of all without being judged as 2nd class or worse yet, low class. Even those who did do it, did not do ‘nude photography’ or alternative lifestyle folks and couples. Boudoir photography was tolerated, but snickered at by my colleagues.

I remember many laughing out loud when I discussed it. When a boudoir photo was entered into a professional photography competition, it was automatically assumed that it was my work. Unfortunately, they were usually right. It was hard to score high in the competitions with boudoir work, and to a certain extent, it still is.

Well, it seems, these same folks are now doing boudoir photography. Some are really promoting it, some are “hiding” it by setting it up in an entirely new business name. If I sound angry, well I’m not, just annoyed. I am also vindicated. I feel I was ahead of my time. I don’t feel, however, that tolerance is revolutionary, or that being open to explore things that make you uncomfortable is something unique to myself. But I do feel that I am more willing than most to be open to what my clients want and to intuit their genuine desires and their image of themselves as sexual beings.

IMG_9536All that being said, I am now still ahead of my colleagues in the boudoir arena. I know how to get to the core of how a young lady REALLY wants to look. What will get her to relax in front of the camera, stark naked. To express herself without fear of ridicule, and to help her to revive the inner confidence in her looks, sexuality and more. All the lighting instruction, beautiful sets, sophisticated equipment and yes, PhotoShop™, cannot replace that look in the eye of the subject that communicates her inner ’seductive’ self. Her sexual ‘womaness’ to be expressed in HER style, is what I seek to get through to the camera.

So… there are the divas and various others who are now “discovering” boudoir. But I AM THE QUEEN. The ‘Grand Dame’ if you will. At least in my little corner of the world. I love photographing weddings and children and all the rest, but what I am most known for is my Boudoir Photography. Now I can finally feel really proud to say that.

Also, my blog will be very honest and sometimes probably too personal and blunt. But as a good friend once told me, “Be yourself, you are beautiful as you are.” She knows who she is, and I want to thank her for reminding me that God makes us what we are. Who are we to question it?

How to Prepare for Your Photo Session

I get asked a lot of questions about Boudoir Photo Sessions. Mostly, about airbrushing, or what a girl should bring to a session to wear. But I don’t get as many questions as I used to about how a girl should prepare for her Boudoir Photo Session. Preparation is extremely important. You think it would be obvious for a girl to do her nails, shave her legs, etc. But you would be surprised how often I get a client who doesn’t want to show her hands because of her nails!!!

Really ladies, it’s BOUDOIR PHOTOGRAPHY! That means showing your body! including your hands! More importantly, however, there is some mental preparation. The mental and the physical are linked and can affect each other. Without your nails done and your hair cut the way you like it, it can affect how sexy you feel. Which is the most important thing! I can help you with expression, I have some tricks, but ultimately, the sexy, comes from you!

So below I have a list of the most important things to consider when preparing for a Boudoir Photography Session.

1. Do your nails and toes. It’s a good excuse for a spa day. Get a good mani/pedi or do it at home. Your nails don’t have to be long, just a nice manicure. Color is optional. It’s usually best to stick with a color that’s fairly neutral, so it doesn’t clash with any of your outfits. If you don’t like nails or have a job that isn’t nail friendly, the Lee Press-on type of nail will work. They look very real in photos.

2. Hair. Your hair is THE most important factor in the style of the photo. It affects the entire tone of the picture. I have the most excellent hair and makeup artist, Lorri, who styles the hair and does the makeup for my girls. But it’s best to have a cut you like and to be mindful of your roots.

IMG_9668I do 3 dimensional photography. The top of your head is likely to show, so make sure you have timed your appt with your stylist correctly. Don’t change your style or color right before a session!!!! Also, you know your hair. Is it best freshly washed? Or does it style better after a day? Do you like your hair best right after your trip to the stylist? Or do you like it better after it has settled in for a couple of weeks?

3. Come to the studio with your hair and makeup as you do everyday. We do not need you to come bare-faced, unless that’s what you want. Do come with dry hair, but you can style it normally.

4. Schedule your appt taking into account your ‘cycle’. Not that I care, but I know you will feel sexier without your monthly visitor.

5. Tanning. Ugh! I get asked about this a lot. Tanning is okay, if it’s what you normally do. The most important thing is an even skin tone. How light or dark you are is really not that important. In fact, a very dark tan really does not photograph as well. If you don’t like tan lines, then the tanning bed just to even things out a bit is a good idea. But don’t overdo! I can’t fix a sunburn! Unless you want all black and white photos! You will not feel sexy with a painful sunburn!

6. Working out. If you normally work out or are active, you know what activities will help you to feel sexy and lean. Do that the day before, but not the day of. Your muscles actually swell after a heavy workout. So unless you are doing a fitness shoot, you don’t want to bulge! If you don’t work out, that’s just fine. I KNOW how hide your flaws. And anyway, working out does not guarantee a flawless body.

7. Shave your legs and take care of your bikini area. The camera doesn’t always pick this up, but YOU will feel sexier, and THAT will show.

8. Eating before a session. I like to do Boudoir Portraits first thing in the morning. Most ladies are thinnest then and they feel thinner. But it is good idea to have a little something before the session. Also, if you want a glass of wine to relax you, you really need to eat a little. I don’t want to scrape you off the floor!

IMG_89309. Clothing selection. This is probably the hardest for most ladies. When you are doing what is probably a once in a lifetime photo session, you want to get the most out of it. So, try on a few things and see what you like. Think of clothes and lingerie as a ‘tool’ to make you look sexy. Check out my post “What to wear for your Valentine’s Day Photography” for some descriptions of different lingerie, and what it can do for you.

Also, use your imagination! I think it was Einstein that said: “Imagination is more important than intelligence”. Look at magazines to see what you like. Raid your closet and your friend’s closets! Play on his profession or yours. I once had a client who worked at the county morgue. She brought a body bag in for her session, and we made it sexy! What does he like? What do you like about your body? Use lingerie and other clothing to show off. You are in the spotlight! Model for the day! Work it!

10. I have saved the most important thing for last. Your mental ATTITUDE! Sometimes a client is just determined that she will not look good. She will tell me about every part of herself she doesn’t like. Point out every flaw (perceived flaw). I will attempt to change her mind, and I am usually successful. But this must occur BEFORE the session is finished. If I haven’t changed her mind about herself before the session is done, it will show in the photos.

No matter how beautiful she really is, you will see in her own eyes what she feels about herself. THIS is the key to good Boudoir Photography. So, my advice here is to believe me when I say, no matter what you think your flaws are, I can make you look your absolute best. Not because I am a magician, but because I see the real beauty that you are. I am not shackled by your preconceived notions of your self image. I simply see what is in front of me, and it is beautiful. Only waiting for me to expose it.

NOTE: All photos by Leanna McDonald.

BONUS Article: Christians and Boudoir Photography

leannaCopyright © 2010 – Leanna McDonald. Reprinted with permission. Leanna McDonald, an Arizona native, has been a professional photographer here in the Valley of the Sun for over 20 years. Her talent and flexibility allow her to expertly photograph weddings, boudoir, bellies and babies, families and children, as well as high school seniors. She was President of the Arizona Professional Photographers Association (AZPPA) for 2 consecutive years. She has received the APPLE award from the AZPPA for leadership and photographic excellence and has received numerous awards including the Fuji Masterpiece Award, Art Critic Award and Judges Choice Award. Leanna has a commercial studio located near 24th street and Indian School Road in Phoenix, but often prefers to photograph her clients on location or in their homes for a more natural feel. Visit her Website (http://www.photosbyleanna.com/) and BLOG (http://blog.photosbyleanna.com/)

Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 455 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

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