Tips & Tricks

Children, Photography, Public Places & Events by Jennifer Evans

As a Mom AND a Photographer, I wanted to share some insight into the legalities of children, photography, public places & events. From time to time I volunteer my photography services to the town where I live.  This means I photograph public events and activities for them.  Today I photographed a public event where there were A LOT of children in attendance.  Having been in this profession for years, I knew going in that at some point during the event a parent was going to ask me about what I was doing with my big camera taking photos of their children...and I was right - a concerned Mom asked me to not photograph her children.


In today's digital world, there are cameras to be found everywhere and as parents we want to protect our children from unknown lenses...but there are a few things that you should know regarding the legal rights of picture-takers.


MISCONCEPTION: Many parents believe that a photographer (or someone with a camera) must request consent before capturing or publishing a photograph containing the likeness of their child or children.

This is NOT TRUE.

TRUTH:  Photographing a person in a public place, including children, DOES NOT require a model release or expressed consent.  When it comes to PUBLIC places or being in PUBLIC VIEW (even if you are standing on private property), consent or a model release is NOT required unless the photograph will be used in advertising (think billboard for Verizon or some other company) AND the person is recognizable.

Think about it - if photographers were required to gather model releases from everyone they photographed our news and tourism industries would quickly die.


MISCONCEPTION: Parents believe that they can demand that a photographer or person stop taking photographs of their children and/or delete any that have been taken.

This too is FALSE.

TRUTH: Private citizens (and even Police Officials) DO NOT have the authority to require that the photographer stop taking or delete their photographs.


MISCONCEPTION:  If someone takes a photo of MY child, that photo belongs to ME!

No, this is FALSE.

TRUTH: When a photographer takes a photo, no matter who their subject is, copyright belongs to THE PHOTOGRAPHER.  It's called "intellectual copyright" and believe it or not, it is perfectly within their legal rights to not only take the photos, but they have the right to display them, and even sell them as long as they aren't doing so commercially (as indicated above).

AWSrodeo-26SO WHAT CAN PARENTS DO?

I know this may seem scary - but  there is something you can do.

Approach & Inquire

If you are concerned about someone photographing your child in public, the first thing is to remain calm and respectfully approach the photographer.  Simply ask them what they are taking photos of and for what purpose.  You will probably find that it is a student, tourist or media photographer who means no harm.  You might find that your child may make a newspaper or blog article...and I can tell you from experience, that may be a very fun and rewarding experience for your child!

Voice Your Concern and Kindly Request They Stop

You are always within your right to kindly ask that they do not include your children in their photographs.  Please do not be rude and approach them in anger...they are probably just doing their JOB.  When you ask kindly, MOST photographers will completely understand and agree to your request without confrontation.

What If They Refuse to Stop?

If the photographer refuses, and they are not breaking any rules dictated by the public domain (some locations do not allow for reflectors, tripods, etc), it is up to YOU to take your children and leave the area.  You cannot demand the photographer to stop taking photos and you cannot force them to leave.  So instead of getting angry and frustrated, do the one thing you CAN do - move elsewhere.

AWSrodeo-21IF YOU ARE A PHOTOGRAPHER

If confronted by a concerned person or parent, be calm, respectful, and prepared to explain yourself. We live in a somewhat fearful society and it is important to recognize that. Understand that most people who question you are most likely coming from an honest place of fear or concern. Parents just want to protect their children!  Confidently explain to those who ask, who you are,  what you are doing and why you are doing it.

I personally respect requests from parents whenever possible.  If they ask that their child not be photographed I will take photos from angles that exclude their children.  It's not that difficult and it will be appreciated.

Another thing I tend to do when photographing children in public places is try to capture them in a way where their faces are not completely visible.  I realize that this isn't always possible or practical since media relies on facial expressions to depict mood and emotion, but it is always nice to get faceless imagery when it makes sense to do so.

Oh, and if you were wondering about that request today - of course I excluded her children from my photos - I even went back and deleted any I had taken before the request right in the camera.  No hard feelings...I'm a Mom too and I get it!

So...you're not photogenic? by Jennifer Evans

As she sits in front of me, lovingly cradling her infant, we talk about options for her upcoming session.  We discuss what she envisions her ideal family portrait to look like and how she is thinking of displaying it in her home.  We review potential locations and she tells me about each of her children.  She is excited, but throughout the meeting I notice her fidgeting her hands and the hint of insecurity behind her eyes.  We work out the details and then I ask, "do you have any concerns you wish to bring up?"  The fidgeting stops and I can tell she is struggling with something.... she takes a deep breath and says...

"I love your work, and I'm really excited about this - but I'm not photogenic."

She is not alone.  The majority of my clients come to their consultations with this EXACT concern.  Whether it's about their weight, their nose, their hair...there is something that makes them believe they are unable to look great in a photo. Heck - I share the same insecurities!  Head on over to this blog post where I bear my personal photography fears.

Text Image "I'm Not Photogenic"Can I let you in on a secret?  It's not that you aren't photogenic.  I swear!  You may not believe it, but I can make YOU look just as amazing as the folks in my portfolio!  I'm serious.  My portfolio pictures are of REAL PEOPLE.  They are not models, and many of them had the same worries you.  No - I don't practice magic, I won't perform photoshop plastic surgery and I promise not to put you on the cabbage soup diet before your session.  What I will do is photograph you in a way you've most likely never been photographed before.

Here’s how I do it...

I will LISTEN One of the many reasons I require consultations is to get to know you.  This includes finding out what your hesitations and insecurities are.   When I know up front what you are self-conscious of, I can make a point of diminishing that issue.  Hate your mid section?  I'll use people, props and objects to camouflage it.  Not crazy about your nose...I'll make sure to have you facing forward in many photos.  Self conscious of a double chin?  I have a few tricks up my sleeve that will make that disappear in photos without photoshop or surgery.  Confide in me and let me take the weight off your shoulders by doing what you hire me to do...create amazing imagery!!

We will PLAN I will help you with choosing location, wardrobe, hair and makeup.  I will give you my cell phone so you can send me photos from the store or your closet!  I will plan and customize the session WITH YOU and answer any questions and address your individual concerns.  From posing to props - everything will be strategically planned around your specific needs.

I will PAY ATTENTION TO DETAILS Let me worry about where you should place your hands or the angle of the light hitting your face.  I will walk you through subtle posing techniques, show you how to hold your head and make sure your necklace is straight.  I coach you through the nerves and we'll have fun doing it!

I will use my KNOWLEDGE & EXPERIENCE I have been perfecting my craft for quite some time now and all my years of knowledge and experience are at your disposal. I will use it all to create gorgeous portraits for YOU.  From lens choice to posing - you can trust that each and every choice I make will be done with purpose.

I can't tell you the number of times I have had clients in tears at their reveal simply because they actually liked the way they looked in the photographs!

But I don't want you to just believe me blindly.  I mean, I could be lying to you - after all, this is a blog post written by... um...ME!  I'd much rather you head over to Facebook or Google and read what my clients have to say.

Photo collage of Fotoplicity Clients

And you know what?  You don't have anything to lose.  Put your trust in me for ONE session.  I stand behind all of my work with a satisfaction guarantee.  If you come to your Reveal and don't love a single photo I will either offer a reshoot or refund your session fee.  Want to know another secret?  I've NEVER had anyone take advantage of that guarantee!!

So...what do you have to lose?  Schedule a consultation and let's talk!

 [button url="http://www.fotoplicity.com/contact/"]I AM Photogenic![/button]

Five Tools That Will Help You Hang Your Photos With Ease by Jennifer Evans

I hear the struggles of hanging pictures all the time.  As a matter of fact, I know a bunch of people who have purchased prints and wall art but are afraid to actually hang them!  Hanging photos can indeed be a somewhat daunting task, but with the right tools that task can become less scary and maybe even fun! As a photographer I have hunted high and low for tips and tools that might help with this challenge.  Today I'm sharing my favorite five.

FOR SHEETROCK

Simple Hanging Tool

You can pick up this tool at Home Depot or Lowes for under $15.  Hang your photo on the hook then hold it up on the wall to find the perfect location.  Once you do, remove the photo (leaving the tool on the wall) and push the button to mark the wall exactly where you need to nail/screw the hook.  Easy Peasy!

hanging tool

Beehive Picture Hangers

I recently became aware of these awesome hangers.  For those of you who struggle with getting the measurements perfect, as long as you come close - it won't matter.  Multi-image displays are a breeze with these.  Simply attach the hook to the back of your frame/canvas and place the picture on the wall where you like it adding a touch of pressure to make a mark (similar to the Hang & Level Tool above).  Install the hanger where you marked and now you can easily hang and adjust the picture to the perfect location.  I love that you can micro-adjust the location of the picture up, down, right or left.  You are pretty much guaranteed a perfect install!beehive

Monkey Hooks

These are so cool.  Not only are they cool, but they are very affordable.  You can pick them up in any hardware store - I've even seen them in Target.  All you need to do is push them into the drywall and finagle the hook through.  The large hook balances the weight of the picture on the inside of the wall.  Best part - no drilling, hammering or tools required!  monkey hook

FOR PLASTER

For those of you who live in older homes (like me) you have the added joy of worrying about cracking and crumbling the plaster when you try to nail or drill into it.  So much fun, right?  This makes picture hanging twice as scary because fixing a mistake can be much more involved than it is with drywall.  But no worries - here are two options to consider.

Command Strips, Hooks, Etc

Oh 3M, how I love you for coming up with these amazing little strips!  You can use the velcro versions or the hook versions to get those photos on the wall without doing any damage!  I highly recommend this for lighter weight products like Standouts and Mounted Prints.  They do make heavy duty command strips for heavier items (framed prints and canvases), however I personally prefer to use regular hanging hardware for those. command strips

Painters Tape Trick

  • Once you know where to hang your piece, cover the mark with painters’ tape or masking tape to prevent the plaster from cracking or crumbling around the nail hole.
  • With a pen, mark the hanging spot over the tape.
  • At slow speed, drill a pilot hole using a drill bit just big enough for the size of the hardware you’ll be using.
  • Remove the tape and put your nail, screw or toggle bolt in the hole and hang your picture.

drilling-in-plaster-570x428

What to Wear for your Fall Photo Session by Jennifer Evans

It's that that time of the year when you start thinking about booking that annual Fall photo session.  This year, make it better by taking the time to plan and coordinate your entire family's wardrobe.  This simple guide will save you from the confusion of picking the perfect wardrobe.With the season comes warm, golden colors....gold, brown, yellow, orange....  you will want your wardrobe to compliment all those beautiful colors.  Here are some tips that will help:

Fotoplicity Toddler Holiday Photo SessionGO NEUTRAL WITH A POP OF COLOR My favorite Fall portraits tend to be when people wear mostly neutral fall tones with a bright pop of color mixed in.  Colors that immediately come to mind are red, orange, brown, yellow, grey and beige.  Not sure about what colors go with what?  Check out Design Seeds.com

Your color choice will also depend on where and how you are being photographed.  When the leaves are in full color, you won't want to compete with them, but later in the season when the trees are more bare, or in a brown field, adding more color will benefit your photo.

YOUR HOME DECOR MATTERS Believe it or not, your home decor actually matters.  If you have any plans on displaying your photos in your home you need to consider the space!  Make sure any colors you choose to wear will look good in your home.  COORDINATE, DON'T MATCH

LAYER UP Coats, sweaters, jackets, hats, scarves...these things can not only help you be prepared for quickly changing weather but they also offer quick and easy options that can really change the look of a photo.

Fotoplicity Child Photographer, Central New JerseyADD ACCESSORIES Scarves, hats, sunglasses, belts....accessories are for EVERYONE!  As long as your accessories coordinate with your outfits, you can’t go wrong. Use accessories to tie different outfit colors and themes together.  For example, a cute red scarf around your neck can coordinate nicely with the orange dress your daughter is wearing.  And if you're up for some fun, bring along your dog...his red collar will match and he will complete your family portrait!

SHOES MATTER Don't forget the shoes!  They are often an afterthought but they can really make or break a portrait.  Feet can be seen and they do matter.  Guys, skip the running sneakers and opt for a pair of boat or dress shoes instead.  Gals, knee-high boots are perfect for Fall as are a nice pair of heels or even some hip rain boots.  Kids - do you love color?  Converse or a pair of sparkly Sketchers are always a fun option!Family Fall Photo Session by Fotoplicity, Fall, Central NJ Photographer

SKIP THE LOGOS Sure, we all have our favorite sports teams and branded shirts.  Please leave those at home for your session.  Logos typically don't look good in photographs but they tend to date the photo as well.  The goal of any professional portrait is to get a classic image that can withstand the test of time.  Your Yankees or 49ers shirt just isn't going to cut it.  Trust me on this one!

PUT IT ALL TOGETHER I can't stress how important it is to lay out EVERYONE'S outfits together BEFORE your photo session.  This will help you see exactly how everything works together and quickly identify anything that doesn't belong.  If you aren't sure and you are working with a custom portrait photographer, send them a quick cell pic of everything laid out and ask for their opinion - most photographers are happy to offer advice!Family Fall Photo Session by Fotoplicity, Central NJ Photographer

DO YOU WANT TO BOOK WITH ME?

Click here for information and booking on my Fall Mini Sessions.  

The Top 5 Couture Dress Boutiques for Children by Jennifer Evans

It should come as no surprise that I have hunted high and low for the most amazing couture dresses for my Enchanted Sessions.

It has taken me several years to collect all the gorgeous dresses and gowns in my closet.  I often have Mom's ask me where I find these gems so today I want to share with you my top five dressmakers, a little about them and why I love their shops so much.

joyfolie logo

Based out of Longmont Colorado, Joyfolie started as a small Etsy shop by owner Jessica Haley in 2009.  What began as a handmade baby bootie shop quickly grew into a fashion forward company who sells to fortune 500 companies like Gap and Anthropologie.

Joyfolie offers a wide range of apparel for women and girls.  You can find everything from jewelry to dresses.  Joyfolie also produces a wide range of shoes and boots.

I love the simple classic look of Joyfolie dresses.  I shop here when I'm in the mood for something that makes a quiet yet refined statement.  I also shop here if I'm in the mood for some fun accessories.Tween at sunset by Fotoplicity, Central NJ

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Joyfolie is a great place to buy beautiful dresses and accessories without breaking the bank.  Most items are under $100 with a majority in the range of $40-$80.  HINT: If you sign up for their newsletter you'll find that they are constantly running great sales!


Carmen Creation

Carmen Creation was started by Carmen Perez in 1992.  Based out of Los Angeles, California, this dress shop has created items for  Jennifer Lopez, Heidi Klum, So You Think You Can Dance, American Idol and more.

Carmen Creation creates dresses for everything from baptisms to weddings.  Throw in some fairy tale and vintage dresses and that about sums up the shop.  There is a huge variety of items and you can easily get lost in the designs.

I shop Carmen Creation when I want something vintage or fairy tail-ish.  My favorite purchase from this shop is pictured below.Fairy - Fotoplicity Enchanted Session, Central NJ

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When you shop at Carmen Creation you can expect to spend between $150-$300.  Flower girl and fairy style dresses run on the lower end while the more intricate and detailed Renaissance gowns will put you in the $250-$400 range.


Dollcake Vintage LogoSugar and spice and everything nice...that is how I describe Dollcake Vintage.  Created by Christina Campbell and based out of Australia this shop offers delicate frocks overflowing with frills, crochets, rosettes, and vintage lace.

I shop Dollcake when I want something pastel, pretty, ruffled and comfortable.  Every dollcake dress I have is made from soft cotton that my little clients don't want to take off!  When it comes to children, comfort is everything!Softball Princess

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Another reason I love Dollcake is the price!  Most dresses can be purchased for under $100.  Now, you will have to pay more for international shipping, but trust me - it's worth it!


love baby JA favorite amongst celebrities and trendsetters worldwide, Love Baby J is the place to go for quality crafted couture dresses.  Based out of Edmonds, Washington this shop is owned by Jennifer Langdon.

Love Baby J is known for creating one of a kind designs.  There is tulle, feathers and ruffles to be found for miles!  The shop offers everything from flower girl dresses to ball gowns.  The styles are endless and you will get lost in all the beauty.

I shop Love Baby J when I'm looking for something special.  This Love Baby J vintage style dress is definitely a client favorite.Waltz4_WM

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These dresses are made to order and crafted with the utmost care and quality control.  You can expect to pay between $200-$500 for these dresses with most in the $300 price range.


anna triant couture

Decadent...Exquisite...Refined...Quality...Artistry...Ultimate Couture.  Yes, that pretty much sums up this high end boutique shop founded by designer Anna Triantafellou in 2009.

This shop is my absolute favorite.  I have several of Anna's dresses in my Enchanted wardrobe closet.  The quality and customer service is top notch and every single dress is beyond breathtaking.  I should clarify - these are not just dresses, they are pieces of art.  Anna is an artist.  Not only is she an artist but she knows how to run a business focused on customer service.  As busy as she is, she finds the time to connect with her customers.  You can find her personally responding to emails and social media posts and inquiries.  I have chatted with Anna personally about each order I have placed.

I shop Anna Triant Couture when I'm looking for something ridiculously gorgeous, timeless and show stopping.Couture dress with dogTutuDress-500

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I'm not going to lie, these dresses aren't for those on a budget.  When you purchase an Anna Triant Couture dress, you are making an investment in a custom made piece of art and top notch customer service.  You can expect to spend between $300-$600 on one of these dresses and if you want to go all out, shop her LUXE collection which can run you between $600-$1000 a piece.  The good news is that if you are looking for a dress for a single occasion or photo shoot you can now RENT some of these dresses for a few days for a fraction of the purchase price.

Fun Fact: The above Fotoplicity image is featured on the Anna Triant Couture Shop!  See it here.  

So there you have it.  Those are my Top Five Couture Dress Boutiques.  I source most of my couture dresses from these shops.  I do have some other favorites when shopping more fashion-forward, trendy wear which I will share with you in a future post, but for now take some time and enjoy browsing through these five shops.  If you are a dress/fashion connoisseur they're bound to keep you occupied for hours!

Fotoplicity Enchanted Session, Central NJ Photographer

5 Tips - How To Photograph Your Tween / Teen by Jennifer Evans

As the Mom of a Tween AND a photographer, this is a topic that I can speak to through experience.  Once your child gets into double digits you've moved through most of those typical photo-worthy milestones (first smile, first steps, first tooth, etc.)   At ten, our "babies" start their journey into adulthood.  You know the stage....the one where they start testing boundaries, develop strong opinions and explore all pieces of their identity.  They also go through some significant physical changes. All of these changes are significant and as parents, wouldn't it be nice to be able to look back at this time 10+ years from now and remember when she was first old enough to sit next to you in the front seat of the car?  Or remember when he surpassed you height wise?  These often overlooked moments are just as important and monumental as those baby milestones.  These are memories that aren't captured in the annual school photos.

So get your camera out and start documenting your tween/teen's life.  Capture important moments and be as enthusiastic as you were when they were little.  I guarantee you will be glad you did years down the road.  Of course getting those pictures may not be as easy as it used to be.  Five Tips for photographing your tween, teen

Here are five tips on photographing your tween or teen.

Tip 1 - Photographing Teens / Tweens

Take photos of them doing what they love. Whether its dancing, gymnastics, playing football or soccer - when they’re enjoying themselves they will be more inclined to go along with your request getting some pictures OR, they'll be too busy to notice you with your camera.

Tip 3 - Photographing Teens / TweensThis goes along with the first tip.  Instead of just standing on the sidelines, engage and interact with your child.  Show an interest in their hobbies and passions.  Don't make getting a photograph your only goal - take the time to connect with your child and take those photos only when the opportunity presents itself.  If you are actively engaged with your child they will be much more open to letting you get a genuine photo of them.  Even better - get IN the photo with your child!

Tip 2 - Photographing Teens / TweensAs children get older, they develop their own sense of style.  Instead of giving them grief about it, embrace it.  This is who your child is, it's how they are known by their friends...why change that just for a photograph?  The idea is to capture your kid as they are - not some made-up, fairy tale version of them! Besides, I can pretty much guarantee they'll be more comfortable and willing to pose for a picture while wearing their favorite clothes.

And if you really want those fairy tale pictures, consider a Fotoplicity Enchanted Session and let me create an entire experience that will get them excited about having their photo taken!

Tip 4 - Photographing Teens / TweensThis is where most parents fail...it is so important to treat your tween/teen like an adult. When you respect them they will be much more likely and willing to participate and smile for you. If you make them feel like the adults they're becoming it will go a long way.

Tip 5 - Photographing Teens / TweensThis goes hand in hand with the last tip.  In today's world of social media most don't think twice about posting pictures for the world to see.  Sharing cute and silly pictures didn't matter to to them when they were toddlers, but now they are self-aware and conscious of how they look.  If they have their own online presence, they will want to control the photos that are shared.  If they know that they have the ability to veto the photos that get shared publicly they will be more likely to participate in your photo shoots!Tween Portrait by Fotoplicity, NJ

Are you interested in getting professional pictures of your tween or teen?

TWEEN/TEEN WEEK - July 18-23, 2016

Session Fee:  $35 (plus tax) Includes:  Consultation, 20 Minute LOCAL Outdoor Session, Reveal Appointment Restrictions:  One child per session, session fee & signed contract due in full at time of booking, children ages 10-17 only, limited availability - only a handful of early morning and evening sessions are available.  If you book back to back sessions for siblings I will take images of them together.

Interested in booking?  Please CONTACT ME.Teen Tween Week

 

8 Tips for Preparing for Your Summer Photo Session by Jennifer Evans

You know we're ready for a hot summer, but are you?Here are eight ways you can make sure your summer photo session goes off without a hitch.

  1. Family KissDress appropriately. Summer sometimes means hot and humid weather, which can lead to uncomfortable bodies. Choose breathable, lightweight fabrics that won't weigh you down. As for shoes, nice flats or loafers are a great option.
  1. Think about your hair. If you or a family member's hair reacts to humidity in a negative way, choose a hairstyle that won't leave you feeling insecure. Consider a braid or an updo - or maybe wear a decorative headband, or use a little extra product to keep frizz at bay.
  2. Pack necessities. When packing your photo shoot necessities, I recommend bringing the following items: Lots of water for all, a snack, sunscreen, umbrella for shade, water mister, makeup touchup kit.
  1. Creative Sessions. Summer offers a bunch of activities that lend themselves to amazing photo sessions. For example, think pools, sprinklers, the beach, lakes & streams.  I'd be more than happy to discuss a really creative session with you.Summer Photo Session
  1. Head to toe details. Details are everything when it comes to photos!  For example, if you're wearing flip-flops or open toed shoes, you want to have manicured feet. If it's really breezy, a hat or scarf can keep your hair under control.
  1. I won't let you overheat. Sometimes it's hard just to walk outside when it's scorching outside, but know that we're going to have an amazing shoot. We'll spend lots of time in the shade, dive into the cool A/C if and when we can, and I will never push your family into staying longer than they can or want.
  1. Props. Outdoor summer shoots are loaded with natural imagery, but we can always incorporate a few props into the mix. Vintage step stools in a field look gorgeous, as do blankets, balloons, and even visually striking treats (lollipops, ice cream, etc.).  Talk to me about this during your consultation!
  2. Timing.  The time of your session can have a huge impact on the heat.  The best time of day to schedule your session is 1-2 hours after sunrise or before sunset.  Don't worry, I am an early riser and can do a photo session as early as 6am!children with balloons by fotoplicity

Interested in Booking A Session? [button url="http://www.fotoplicity.com/contact/" style="red"]CONTACT FOTOPLICITY[/button]