Christmas Card photos and Interview with the photographer!

One tradition I always like to keep alive during Christmas time is sending out Christmas card photos! I love getting dressed up and getting some good photos of Alex, Lulu (our baby and star of all our photoshoots), and I. And getting to send them out to our friends and family wishing them a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Every year I have been sending them out I have been using Minted (not sponsored) I really love their designs and most of all free address printing!

This year I had my amazing bestie Haley from HOP Studio take our Christmas card photos and I could not be happier with how they turned out! She is an artist ya’ll! Don’t miss my interview with her below.

Dress // Blanket // Alex Shirt

What type of photography do you specialize in? I specialize in capturing authentic moments to attribute to my clients legacy. It is my goal to learn what your legacy is and capture a moment of it for you to have forever. I currently focus on families and couples, but hope to venture into seniors and blog photography. It is my greatest joy to provide my clients with a beautiful gallery of images that they will have forever to look back and reminisce that special time in their life.

What are should someone do to prepare for a photoshoot? Not do? If you are a client preparing for a shoot with the photographer there are a few important steps to make sure you don’t forget. 1. Arrive to your session on time. It’s so easy especially for us girls to get caught up in curling our hair just perfectly and we end up 15 minutes late everywhere. However it is likely that your photographer has chosen a very specific time dependent on the sun location to makes sure they give you the quality of images you are hoping for. Even a few minutes late to a session can miss some really beautiful lighting.

2. Choose an outfit you are comfortable in. You want to feel your absolute best during a photo shoot because if you feel great, your images will be so much more authentic. Avoid outfits that will have you constantly adjusting, checking for bra straps, or tugging at. This consistent worrying will most definitely be apparent in your photos. Ideally, you won’t even be thinking about what you’re wearing and just about how great of a time you’re having hanging out with your photographer.

3. Remove the distractions. I know, I know, so boring. Leave your phone/purse/wardrobe change in the car. You don’t want to have extra items to have to carry around when your photographer is trying to get the best shots of you with an ever moving sun. Without extra items to carry you can more easily move from on shot to the next without worrying about forgetting anything on the other side of the park. Huge tip: GUYS do not for any reason keep your phone on your pocket during a photo shoot. No matter how convinced you are, I promise everybody can see it and it will show up in your photos.

4. Confirm your means of payment and get it prepared. Whether this means paying online before your shoot or writing the check to hand to your photographer at the shoot. Either way, get it ready so this isn’t something you have to think about during your session. If you want to put your photographer at ease, just hand them the payment before the session begins so it is one less thing everybody has to think about.

5. Bring IT! Bring the real you. The authentic you. The you with the silly smiles and quirky sense of humor. The more of YOU that you bring to the shoot the more authentic the images will turn out. Sorry but I’ve got to get on my soap box for a moment. The world needs the REAL you. We don’t need the fake or hiding or fearful you. We need the real you with all the imperfections and insecurities. No matter what you may believe of yourself, you were fearfully made by a perfect creator and were placed here on this earth with great purpose. I’d be sad for you if you didn’t showcase that purpose, but I’m more sad for the rest of us because we need what you’ve got.

What are import questions to ask any photographer when thinking about hiring them for a special event? Talk to your photographer a lot about how exactly they plan to deliver your photos. You don’t want to get stuck paying extra costs at the end just because your photographer was really clear what was included in your package. Also, even if you have a specific location in mind for your session, be open to thoughts from your photographer about where they know they can capture the quality of image they know you are expecting.

If I want to do an outfit change how much time should we allow per outfit? This totally depends on the experience level of your photographer and what kind of package you have agreed upon. For instance, if there is an outfit change included in a couple or family session I will recommend a session of at least 1 hour.

What can you do to make the most out of your shoot? Relax. Let the amazing photographer that you hired do their thing. Have fun! Don’t worry about how your posing. If it looks weird it’s your photographers job to adjust you. Give your photographer the opportunity to capture the authentic you. The REAL giggles and smiles not just the posed ones.

Helpful tips? It’s always a good idea to be very clear about what is in the package you are purchasing. If you have any confusion be sure to bring it up to your photographer before the session. Also, many clients like to bring an extra person with them to shoots, BFF or Mom. This is great and usually the perfect tool for getting some authentic facial expressions out of you. However, make sure this person is on the same page as you about the types of images you are wanting and know their role in the shoot. The last thing you or the photographer want is the extra person taking over an otherwise perfect session by constantly fussing over outfit, hair, etc. Most importantly have so much fun and be you! The more fun you have the better the images are going to be and they happier you will be with your gallery!

Thanks so much Haley for letting me interview you and the great advice!

To book with Haley or inquire about her work visit her website, or shoot her an email

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