5 tips for a successful summer photo session

Finally! You can feel summer is actually coming! If you were thinking of scheduling a summer family session or you need photos of your graduating high school senior here are some guidelines for a successful photo session. Remember you don’t have to have it all figured out. A great photographer will be able to guide you through the entire process.

1) Check everyone’s schedule! Work hours can change in the summer and there are activities, camps, and family vacations to consider. Have all that info before calling to set up a session.

2) What look are you trying to achieve? Summer clothes and a session by the lake? Tall grass and golden light in late summer? Fall color and leaves? After 20 years of photographing families I can help you schedule a session for the look you want.

3) Be careful of the sun! Sunburns, too much tan, and faded hair color can all happen so keep that in mind! A session the day after a weekend at the cabin may not be a good plan.

4) Clothing choices. Not sure what to wear? You may have everything you need right in your closet. Feel free to bring additional clothing choices to your session to get the photographers opinion. Coordinating not matching clothes look best. Solid colors photograph better than busy patterns. Everyone should be in the same season and sleeve length.

5) Relax and be yourselves, let the kids be kids, show connection instead of worrying about posing. Outdoor sessions are beautiful but if the weather doesn’t cooperate you may have to reschedule. Bugs and pests can be a problem so bring bug spray or better yet schedule your session in June when the temps are cooler and bugs are at a minimum.

Lastly please don’t ask your kids to say cheese. I have my own ways of bringing out great expressions and genuine smiles. Let me do the work! Scheduling a senior session? Don’t forget to find out when the yearbook photo is due. Some parents feel overwhelmed about senior photos and what to do. I have graduated three kids of my own and I work with all the schools in the area, let me help! Do you have more questions about scheduling a photo session? Call to set up a complimentary consultation. 952-210-2688 or email me at lynn@laumannphotography.com

What does your photo say about your business?

Take a look at your own website. Hopefully there is a photo of you on it whether you are the owner, sales person, or any one who is a part of the business. Examine the photo and ask yourself if the photo is a good representation of your business or service. Is it old and outdated or is it current? Is is dark, blurry, or hard to see or is it clear and visible? Is it friendly and professional or is it candid and maybe even unprofessional? If your business is trending and successful shouldn’t the photos look that way? If your service is caring and compassionate shouldn’t your head shot look the same? If you have the latest updated and sought after products shouldn’t your photo look new and your style current?
Don’t let a photo affect your ability to turn a website visit into a customer. Be sure that when someone is visiting your site they are looking at who they are going to be doing business with. Do you need your photo updated so it matches the vibe of your awesome business? If your photo is more than 5 years old it can make people feel thrown off when they meet you. That isn’t the first impression you want to make! Is it outdated with a 90s studio back drop or your hair isn’t even what is in style? Did someone snap a photo of you with a cell phone that isn’t a profession photo? Are you standing against a wall like a mug shot? What more do I need to say? Set up a complimentary business head shot consultation at your location or the studio. I can help you navigate where to begin and help create an easy session so you can create the image that increases your positive impression on all social media platforms and your website. This can help you successfully increase your business and revenue! Not sure about all of this? Ask a trusted friend, client, or network member to check your image and give you honest feedback about your photo. I can be contacted at lynnlaumann@gmail.com

Are you losing business because of one simple thing?

What is the value of your business portrait image?

Have you ever searched for a website to consider doing business with a company only to move on to the next website because of a business portrait that you didn’t like? Maybe it just didn’t feel professional enough or maybe it was a photo that looked a little shady? You thought to yourself “no, not this one.” Or “I am not using this guy”. Sound familiar? So how does your head shot look? Does it show who you are? Does it represent your passion and expertise? If not you could be losing business from this one simple thing. A poor business photo.

Maybe you even know of a great business that you use all the time. The owner is fantastic and the service outstanding. You recommend them and feel confident that it is a good referral. But their on line presence doesn’t show them the way you know them. You can help them by recommending they get a professional business portrait. It’s 2019 and on line presence matters. A new business head shot can increase your business and sales!

Does getting a new business photo feel overwhelming?

No worries! I offer a complimentary consultation at your location or at the studio and we can discuss how to easily get it done. I can help you figure out the easiest way to get an updates look to show off your business or make you look great. You have a great business and you put your heart and soul into it. Let’s show that off! Don’t let your old business head shot make you lose business! Need more information? email me at lynnlaumann@gmail.com Or check out some of my photography I have done for other awesome businesses! www.laumannphotography.com

Tempted to use stock photography? Creating authentic marketing images is your best decision.

If you are an entrepreneur, own a small business, or work in marketing with any company, you know that today’s advertising and marketing contain images and photos.

Now more than ever great photographs are used to create immediate interest and make your unique brand stand out against all the others. Images are used to show who and what, or where and why. With so many decisions made on mobile devices about where to go out for dinner, buying homes, purchasing products and so much more, the photos used in marketing are critical.  Some businesses opt to use stock photos that can be purchased on-line on websites that sell images individually or at a monthly fee.

Stock photography may be tempting but often you can’t find exactly the image you need that gives the message you are trying to convey.

Images may have been used in other places and that may give a feeling of being unauthentic. At the very least a stock photo isn’t truly showing your unique business, service, or product. It doesn’t show your people doing what makes your business special. The cost of stock images can also add up quickly to become very costly. Hiring a professional photographer to photograph your business, service, employees, or product ensures you can properly represent what you are marketing. Whether it is printed pieces, social media images, or website photos, you will speak your message more clearly with original unique images captured for you and your business.

A professional photographer with the highest quality equipment and experience will creatively show your business and give you the authentic feeling your marketing needs in today’s market.

A pro has the expertise to choose the angles and lighting, and to process images to the specs and file sizes needed. Do you want to dramatically improve your on-line presence in 2019? Call my studio today for a complimentary business consultation that will help you assess your business needs and create a plan for creating a photo session for dynamic images that show off your business!

  

Senior session tips for the class of 2018! What do I bring to my senior photo session

Summer is here! It’s time for senior photos and that means making a few decisions about having senior photos taken.

One of the things that can be confusing and I get a lot of questions about this is “what do I wear for my photos?” “What do I bring to my senior photo session?”

So my first tip is a big one….. Try it on before you bring it to your photo session.

It only takes a few minutes but try it all on before you come to photos, especially if it is new but even if you have had it for years. Maybe you loved it last time you wore it but please try it on before you come. Maybe there is a stain you never noticed. Maybe you will try it on and realize it won’t be good for photos. It might need a button sewn on or needs to be ironed. I do recommend you bring things you already love and have in your closet, but quick try them on to be sure they are ready for photos. Clothing you have to fuss with a lot, that is uncomfortable, that needs a lot of adjusting, are not good choices for a photo session. Also clothing that is low cut, revealing, or really short can make posing for photos a challenge.

Have one item that is long sleeved.

I know it’s hot and summer weather, but what if you bring four short sleeve tops and then realize you don’t like your arms or you want something more conservative later, that can be disappointing. Photographers know that arms can be unflattering on even the thinnest person because of angle and posing. I always recommend one long sleeve for variety alone, if anything else! To add to that, pants are easier to pose in, and overall look better on boys and girls, than shorts. Senior poses may involve sitting and situations that aren’t great for shorts. But ultimately it’s up to you to choose the clothing you love!

Solids photograph best.

It might be hard to find but solid colors look better in photos. Prints, stripes, and busy patterns, can be distracting in your photos. Bring at least one item that is solid in color. The color black photographs great and is slimming, and white can look too bright and look unflattering. Most people have some idea what colors look best on them but if you need help choosing colors your photographer can always help you decide.

Wrinkles and dog hair might show! I know it’s easy to just throw something on that’s a little wrinkled to go out but it might show in your photos and you might not like that. Take a few minutes to make sure your clothes are clean, wrinkle free, and on hangers and ready for your session, the day before. If you need help, a parent or grown up would be glad to help you make sure your clothes are looking great!

Bring what goes with your clothes.

You may need a belt for those jeans you love or a special undergarment for that backless dress. Be sure to bring everything that goes with wearing that outfit including your coordinating shoes and jewelry. It’s okay to bring more than you need and is much better than forgetting something you really needed.

Have your hair and make up complete when you arrive but do bring your make up, hair straighteners, and hair products, just in case you need to touch up! You may need to powder for shine or reapply lip gloss, so be sure to bring all your personal stuff with you.

Always bring at least one extra outfit. A back up. When in doubt you should be able to call, text, or email the photographer with any questions you have so you feel ready for photo day.

Top five backdrops for senior photos in the twin cities.

It’s almost time for the class of 2018 to get their senior photos taken.

These aren’t your mom and dads senior portraits! Let’s get serious about taking senior photos that are unique to you! Here are some ideas for backdrops for great senior photos.

So where should you go for your senior portraits?

One) Your hometown or your favorite location! Every town has a style all it’s own, If you love your area, let’s use it as a backdrop? Maybe you don’t think there are any “good spots” in your city or town, but a professional photographer can create really great images anywhere! It’s my job to see the great spots and use them right.
Two) The Arboretum! The University of MN has the Landscape Arboretum just west of Minneapolis in Chaska. The Arboretum has so much to offer it’s amazing! Woods and prairies, flowers and gardens, buildings and bridges, and so much more, it is a great place to do a session and walk around in a truly beautiful setting. I have been photographing sessions there for so many years that I know almost every inch of it and can create a session that you will love! Professional photographers must have a yearly pass to use the grounds and it gets clients in for free! I have one and I am ready for senior sessions there! Visit my website gallery page to see samples of these sessions.

 


Three) Downtown MPLS! Colorful buildings and alley grunge, bridges and river front, even nature and flowers, the St Anthony Main area of Minneapolis has many looks in a 6 block area! It is a destination senior session that doesn’t disappoint. Trust a professional to set up your session time during the best time of day for the look you want. These sessions are best during the work week to avoid the weekend bike/walking traffic on the Stone Arch Bridge and other popular spots. Call me for pricing on this fun session!
Four) The Chaska area has nature everywhere! I can get a nature look of almost any kind just minutes from my studio in Chaska. This historic city is nestled right on a river with several small lakes with docks nearby that have a nice outdoor feel. There are woods and prairie grass fields close by for that natural relaxed session you want. Let me know what look you are going for and I will find the perfect spot. I have the experience to do all the work for you!


Five) Chaska! Old buildings and the small town feel! Downtown Chaska is the perfect spot for a senior session. It has almost everything someone could want for a session that is creative and beautiful. Besides the obvious historic Chaska brick around every corner there are fun spots that have so much character and unique style that make for a great senior portrait. You will be amazed at how much it has to offer.

Remember to dress appropriately for the outdoor location you choose.

What you’re wearing and where you’re posing will make a great image if it is all connected. If you want to take your photos in front of graffiti in downtown, wear a trendy dress, jean jacket, or a modern-looking outfit. If you’d rather take photos in a clearing of trees, consider an outfit like skinny jeans and a long flowing top or for guys jeans and a jacket. If you are planning on a session with water, wear a sundress or shorts and consider going barefoot! No matter what, pick a location where you can feel comfortable and you can be yourself. If you need help with what to wear that is something I can help you with!
If there is a specific style of images you love definitely create a Pinterest page to show me or gather a few screen shots to send or bring to your session, It will give me a really good idea of the feel you are hoping for. I love your ideas and creating a session that shows who you are! Communication is the key to the perfect senior photos that you will love!

Family session at The Arboretum

How safe are your family photos?

What I mean is, how are you storing your family’s photos and images? What does photo storage mean to you?

I was recently at a gathering of parents at a high school sporting event. These parents have all known each other for years, and all our kids are all graduating from high school this year. I overheard one parent say to another, “I suppose I need to find all those old CDs with sports photos and make some copies for the Graduation party.” My stomach sank a bit as I heard it. “From how long ago?” I heard another parent ask. “The last eight years” he said, “I have them all in a drawer at home, so I should probably print some photos now and get ready for graduation.” Does this sound familiar to you? If it does, please keep reading.

I was a little shocked to hear this conversation. But sadly, I have heard it before. Friends, I need to be real with you right now. Please print your photos. Do not save CDs, flash drives, or emails containing images, please print your photos. At my studio I pride myself in knowing that even though I sell digital images I send every customer home with printed proofs from their session.

CDs and Flash Drives are not to be considered photo storage, they are a means of transportation for files and images.

If you have a CD or flash drive with photos, they should be downloaded onto a computer and prints should be made. If you want to then “back up” your images to a external hard drive or save files to “The Cloud” or another online storage that is fine, but it is a back up not storage. First print your images of special events and loved ones, that is a guarantee that you have those photos. I recommend a good lab to print archival photos that won’t fade over time but that is a whole other subject for a different day.

I have read studies that safely give flash drives and CDs 1-3 years of accessing the files and then everything could be gone. Now maybe you will get lucky and never lose your photos, but why take that chance? Imagine putting a CD into your computer and realizing all the photos that are important to you are gone. A parents worst nightmare.

Save those important images for years of enjoyment and a way to remember special friends, loved ones, and important moments.

But the saving should be in a photo album or a stack of photographs in a box that years from now your family can open and look through and even put on a board to go out at graduation. Don’t take a chance and lose all of your images. Print!

If I can answer any questions about digital files, storage, or recommend a lab for you, please let me know!

How to improve your business website and social media presence with better photos.

How is your presence on social media?

Today more than ever your business presence online needs to be outstanding. One way to improve your look online is the images on your website and on social media. If your photos on your website look professional and current then you look professional also. Potential clients are more likely to stay on your site, browse, and contact you, when you look professional. I can come to your business and photograph your building location, staff, products, service, or anything else that helps people know about your business better. If your images aren’t great it can affect traffic to your website and your business leads overall. Have you ever gone to a website looking for a product or service and been turned off by poor photos.

I have the experience and knowledge to asses your needs and create photos that will improve your business.

Maybe you need updated or consistent looking images of your staff but you haven’t thought of other photo ideas that can make your business look great. Let me help you come up with creative ideas and ways to boost your social media presence and make your website outstanding. I will provide you with images that you can use in all your marketing pieces, website design, and social media. Have a specific need? Let’s get together and find out how to get it done.

 

Maybe you aren’t using social media yet and have questions? I can help you start your presence on social media. I am a small business owner and have been helping other business owners with social media for years. Using social media is fun, it just takes a little time and a little creativity. Any business can benefit from great photos for their marketing and advertising. Your new professional images can be used for websites, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, as well as business cards, email, and direct mail pieces. Having fantastic images for your business is a great asset.

If you have questions about my photography services or would like a consultation to go over ideas and questions contact me.

Childrens session in studio

What is so great about a mini-session?

At my studio I don’t offer a lot of mini-sessions, maybe only about five per year, but they are something people are excited about. For a photographer it is a way to be creative with a theme or a special time of year. It can even be a way to be generous and combine a mini-session with  a local charity.

What is a mini-session you may ask?

Well I will tell you what it isn’t. It definitely isn’t a less creative session or less quality images or prints. The mini-session is a great way to try out a photographer or studio at a smaller session fee. It is just a mini version of a regular session. The time is usually shorter and the proofs you receive may be less, but the quality is all there. It is a great opportunity to get a deal. It may even a fun themed backdrop and also get awesome images!

If you find that it is a photographer that captures just what you wanted then you are all set to hire him or her for future occasions like family events or graduation portraits, maybe even a wedding. So mini-sessions are good for everybody involved!

To see a schedule of my mini-session offer this year check my events page.
Hang some LOVE on your walls!

The Best!

I was recently at a client’s home providing a consultation for a fall family session. I don’t always do a consultation but I can make time for one if needed. As I walked in their home I noticed everywhere I looked there were fantastic images of their children that I have taken over the years. Small images on tables, collages of prints going up the wall near the stairs, and large wall portraits in the living room and family room. I had photographed and printed every one.

I mentioned how many there were and my client started to rave about me…to me. “I love all my photos and can’t imagine my home without them.” She then said, “You have been our photographer from the beginning and hopefully you will be photographing all their weddings someday!” I felt really moved by this and asked her why she thought my images were so great? She went on to tell me that every part of her experience with me was excellent, not just the photo session itself or the end result images and prints.My response time and flexibility when she called and her overall experience from phone call to delivery of prints.I always captured great images of her kids even when she felt they were completely uncooperative. The quality of my work and professionalism. The way I connected with her kids. All of these reasons and more!

I share this because sometimes I doubt myself and I know a lot of people do, but running a business is a lot of work and I really want to be great at it. I really try to focus on getting back to people right away and being really considerate and professional. I love what I do and I am always trying to be better. I constantly read articles on photography, research the best equipment and labs, take classes and watch webinars on everything I can get my hands on, and make sure my studio is clean and inviting. I am always trying to master my skill and treat clients with the best customer service possible. It really is my intent to provide wonderful images for people and a great experience. I am thankful for being able to do what I love to do.