Charlotte, NC: Fall Mini Portrait Sessions

It is almost autumn (finally), and my fall mini photography sessions are open for  prebooking!

Matthews, NC Portrait Photography

The pricing below is good for couple and family sessions. Your furbaby is welcome to come along!

details:

30 min. outdoor portrait session

15 images

$100 + tax

Sept. 22 2018 – Nov. 5 2018

Charlotte NC Matthews NC Photography Photographer

Photography sessions will be conducted at parks in the Charlotte, NC area.

Fall mini photography session pricing valid 9/22/2018 – 11/5/2018.

Space is limited, book your mini portrait session now! Click “contact” in the upper right corner and send me a message to set up your mini photography session.

-Elizabeth A.

*sessions subject to NC State tax rates*

*Pricing good for 5 humans and 1 pet per session*

Matthews, NC Portrait Photography

Matthews, NC: The Enterprise of EMS

I love to talk to women who are passionate about their jobs. I think conversations like the one below are important; they add to a culture of encouraging ambitious women to pursue their dreams + succeed in their careers!

Emily is an local Emergency Medical Technician. Her career began a year and a half ago after completing a Charlotte EMT program, practical exams, and state exam.

Over a breakfast of bagels and coffee, Emily and I discussed her passion for healthcare, experience with EMS, and self care routine.

Matthews NC Portrait Photographer

Emily credits her attraction to working in healthcare in part to having a veterinarian father. “I’m fascinated by healing!” Emily exclaims, recounting observing surgical procedures with enjoyment and a long-time interest in the effects of medication. She loves the ingenuity in medicine, especially the way healthcare workers strive to better themselves and the lives of everyone else.

When asked what personality trait make her well-suited for healthcare, Emily names her healing personality -a combination of natural empathy and compassion. She loves to help others, and wants each of her patients to leave in improved emotional and physical condition. “I’m an amateur therapist!” she laughs, recalling the way friends tend to come to her when needing to talk. She enjoys connecting with her patients, especially when one of them “shows their entire heart to her.” Emily understands the responsibility that comes with her position; patients look to her in the worst moments of their lives! She expresses a love for the relief in her patients’ faces upon her arrival as she knows her presence is a significant comfort to them.

Matthews NC Portrait Photography

Emily works 40 hours per week with opportunity for overtime. Her schedule is flexible; her rotating shifts are between eight and thirteen and a half hours in length, with two days on and two days off duty. Emily says a typical shift consists of seven to fifteen calls, with each call taking an hour on average to complete. Lunch and restroom breaks are unscheduled -only to be taken if there is a spare moment!

When I asked about local EMS workplace culture, Emily replied, “I love it!”  The county has more than 500 employees, giving EMS providers opportunities to make new connections with every shift. Emily says due to shared experiences involving working strange hours, uncommon situations, and generally unapproachable topics (accidents, violence, mental health, etc.), bonds between EMS professionals serve as a great support system.

Matthews NC Portrait Photography

When I asked Emily what the most difficult thing about being an EMT is, she quickly responded, “letting go of trauma that isn’t mine.” She finds that assisting patients with physical problems is much easier than helping patients to cope with emotional or psychological distress. “The hard calls are when you are dealing with a battered woman or a hurt child,” Emily explains, “People don’t realize that emotional healing is just as important as physical healing!” Because of her aforementioned healing personality, Emily finds herself empathizing easily with patients dealing with emotional/psychological trauma. She says she has had to learn to maintain emotional boundaries; as soon as the call is completed, she must be ready to attend to the next call’s patient with just as much attentiveness and care.

Self care is a essential on Emily’s days off. She realized that to recover from her demanding job, she must be intentional about taking time alone to recharge -despite being an extrovert! Emily has developed a self care routine that works well for her. She lists practicing yoga, journaling, and driving with her favorite music on blast as her favorite ways to relax. After full reset, she spends time with her friends (often other EMS workers) with whom she can externally process.

Matthews, NC Photography Portrait Photographer

In EMS, Emily has found a fulfilling career with meaningful interactions and a family atmosphere. She emphasizes that being an EMT, though meritorious, is not all glamour. “I don’t put on a badge and run out the door and be a hero. It’s not all chest compressions and saving lives!” She regards her work in simpler terms: being an EMT is holding the hand of an elderly dementia patient who persistently requests their deceased spouse or amusing an anxious child with a blood pressure cuff during an ambulance ride. “I finally found a job that I would do for free,” Emily enthuses, “Being able to get a paycheck for something that I would gladly do for a free on a daily basis is the greatest thing that has ever happened!”

Emily plans to advance her EMS career by becoming a licensed paramedic. As a paramedic, she will be able to provide her patients better care, equipped with more knowledge and an advanced skill set.

-Elizabeth A.

*All photography captured with my Canon 5d III and 85mm lens*

Matthews, NC Photography Portrait Photographer

3 Common Branding Mistakes to Avoid

Marketing your small business is a critical yet daunting task. While word-of-mouth referrals are the best way to bring in new business, personal recommendations need to be supplemented. Many business owners fail to market their businesses effectively with so many marketing methods and mediums available.

To learn about common business marketing blunders, I interviewed Kayla Almon, a social media marketing manager with five years of experience in the field. With the help of her graphic design degree from Augusta Technical College, Kayla has worked with many businesses to achieve consistent brand presentation across platforms and meaningful social media engagement and growth.

Matthews NC Portrait Photographer Photography

Here is Kayla’s list of three most common branding mistakes and how to avoid them!

Lack of design consistency: Many businesses put so much work into their social media platforms and website, yet fail to aim for a consistent look in their online presence. Kayla suggests using colors and font choice to achieve a uniform online appearance. In addition to appearing more professional, this purposeful consistency will help build brand recognition!

No social media strategy: Kayla likens brands using social media without a strategy to starting a business without a plan. She recommends having a written strategy with clear goals that are flexible enough to adapt to the platform and the business itself. Kayla notes that not all social media platforms are suited for every business; think about which platforms will best propel you towards your social media goals.

Fail to direct content towards ideal client: A vital part of marketing is formulating your ideal client and directing marketing efforts towards this them. Without intentionally driving content towards your ideal client, you will attract less of the customers that you want to serve! Kayla recommends first creating a detailed buyer persona for your ideal client, then building your website and creating content that is centered around this person. Your content needs to be information that your ideal client is interested in and available where they will naturally encounter and engage with it.

Kayla recommends hiring a professional photographer to photograph your products, services, and staff. Kayla says, “It’s hard to create compelling social media content and an engaging presence without good photos!” Represent your brand better by partnering with a local professional photographer to create attractive photos for your website and social media platforms.

Marketing your brand may not be easy, but with these common marketing mistakes in mind you can direct your energy more effectively, draw in business, and achieve your goals!

Matthews NC Portrait Photographer Photography

If you are looking for a professional photographer to photograph your products, services, and staff, I would love to work with you! Click “contact” on the upper right and send me a message.

Although Kayla is not taking new clients at this time, she is always up for a brainstorming session and would be happy to answer your marketing questions! E-mail her at kaylaalmonmarketing@gmail.com.

-Elizabeth A.

*Photography captured with my Canon 5d III and Canon 50mm lens.*

 

5 Tips to Make Your Brand POP

Being a small business owner demands a variety of skills and substantial effort. Besides producing a product or service, you must also be an accountant, public relations specialist, and savvy marketer! The rapid rise of social media in the last decade has greatly changed the landscape of modern marketing, further complicating the enterprise of effective brand visibility.

To learn about business marketing essentials, I interviewed Kayla Almon, a social media marketing manager with five years of experience in the field. With the help of her graphic design degree from Augusta Technical College, Kayla has worked with a plethora of businesses to achieve consistent brand presentation across platforms and meaningful social media engagement and growth.

Matthews NC Portrait Photography Photographer

Here are Kayla’s top five recommendations for brands to market more effectively.

Claim your Google Business listing. Having a Google Business listing means that when people search Google with terms related to your services/products, your business will be suggested. Be sure to add (and verify) your contact information, business hours, and website! You can also add photos to highlight your services or products.

Hire a professional photographer. Attractive photos of your products, services, and staff are basic marketing materials that can be utilized in many ways! Professional photography is an effective way to represent your brand and attract new customers. A skilled photographer will provide quality images to be used on your website, social media, and mailers.

Maintain a strong social media presence. Your clients are on social media, so your business should be too. Kayla says “Pick the [social media platforms] that make sense for your business and do them very, very well!” Kayla recommends choosing at least two platforms, posting consistently, and using one platform to drive traffic to your other platform(s) and website. Kayla noted that having professional photography is key for creating engaging content for your social media platforms.

Start a blog and post consistently. Maintaining a blog for your business is an effective way to establish yourself as an expert in your industry. Blog posts can be used to anticipate and answer your customers’ questions, lending the author credibility and relatability. Additionally, blog posts can be used provide content for your social media and to bring traffic to your website.

Utilize user-generated content. When someone tags your business or uses your hashtag, be sure to engage and regram/retweet/share! This is free advertising and an opportunity to refer more people to your business.

Matthews NC Portrait Photography Photographer

Marketing your small business effectively may not be easy, but it is possible with dedication and the help of other professionals!

Although Kayla is not taking new clients at this time, she is always up for a brainstorming session and would be happy to answer your marketing questions! E-mail her at kaylaalmonmarketing@gmail.com.

Matthews NC Portrait Photographer Photography

If you are looking for a professional photographer to photograph your products, services, and staff, I would love to work with you! Click “contact” on the upper right and send me a message.

-Elizabeth A.

*All photography created with my Canon 5d III and Canon 85mm lens.*

Photography 101: Natural Portrait Lighting

The quality of the images you take, whether it be on your DSLR, point-and-shoot camera, or cell phone, is largely determined by the quality of the available light. Failure to  account for ambient light can result in lackluster + mediocre photography. If you take a  moment to learn about the three types of ambient light, you can step up your photography game, no matter what it is you like to photograph!

 

diffused light

When sunlight is softened by an environmental feature such as clouds or foliage, diffused lighting is created. In the portraits below, the 9 am sunlight was diffused through dense trees. This type of lighting is considered universally flattering!

When photographing with diffused light, it is important to have your subject face the light to avoid unflattering shadows. When shooting in diffused light, it can be helpful to use a reflector to fill in shadows on your subject’s face.

Seeking out diffused light is especially important if you are shooting with a cell phone camera or a point-and-shoot. As sensor capabilities are much lower in these cameras; choosing this type of lighting will result in clear, low-grain images.

Matthews NC Photography Portrait Photographer

Matthews NC Photography Portrait Photographer

 

back light

This lighting situation occurs when the portrait subject is placed in front of the light source. Shooting with a backlit subject is a personal favorite of mine! I love how the ethereal rim light rendered by golden hour backlighting beautifully outlines my portrait subject.

Artifacts appear such as lens flare often appear in backlit photography when the photographer is using a DSLR. Lens artifacts can be used to add interest + emphasis to portraits. In fact, some photographers place faux lens flare in their images with Photoshop!

The images below include lens artifacts that occurred naturally with my Canon 50mm 1.4 lens.

Matthews NC Photography Portrait Photographer

Matthews NC Photography Portrait Photographer

 

direct light

Direct light occurs when the subject faces the light source. This type of lighting situation is difficult as it often results in harsh, deep shadows and blown-out highlights. Photographers working in this condition must be conscious of subject’s position in relation to the light source + adjust their subject for the desired affect.

Direct light is favored by fashion photographers -you may note this the next time you flip through Vogue! Though direct light can be tricky, a skilled + intentional photographer can use the severe light to his/her advantage to create dramatic portraits.

While I don’t have a lot of experience in direct light portraiture, I tested my skills during Emily’s portrait session. I like how the two below turned out!

Matthews NC Photography Portrait Photographer

Matthews NC Photography Portrait Photographer

One last thing …turn of that flash!

All photography captured with my Canon 5D III DSLR, Canon 50mm 1.4 lens, and Canon 85 mm lens.

-Elizabeth A.

Matthews, NC: One Year Later

One year ago today, Matt and I officially adopted Quorra! We had been fostering her for a few weeks and realized quickly that she was a perfect addition to our family.

Not only is she a great companion, but Quorra also makes a for a great subject for portraiture! Quorra is a willing and cooperative subject, sitting politely with a smile for photographs.

Quorra 6.2018-1

When I would like to try out a new trick or lens, Quorra remains my most available subject. She sits patiently while I play with subframing or backlighting.

Matthews, NC Photographer Charlotte, NC Photographer Photography

Matthews Portrait Photography

I love to feature delicate flowers in her photos -fresh blooms humanize her sweet face.

Matthews NC Photographer

Matthews NC Charlotte NC Photography Photographer

Additionally, I think the use of fresh blossoms in these double-exposure portraits highlights her sweet and gentle personality.

Charlotte, NC Photographer Matthews, NC Photography Photographer

Matthews, NC Photographer Charlotte, NC Photography

I’ve found that Quorra’s features lend themselves well to photographs of dramatic tone!

Matthews Portrait Photography

Quorra 1.20-3

This past year with Quorra has been a wonderful one, and I look forward to having (and photographing) her for many years to come!

Portraits taken with my Canon 5D III and my Canon 40D.

Quorra 6.2018 WEB-11

Follow me on Instagram for more portraits of Quorra! @elizabethaimages

-Elizabeth A.

Matthews, NC: Emily’s Summer Portrait Session

On a gloriously clear June morning, Emily + I set out on a Matthews, NC greenway for a styled portrait session.

Emily 6.15.18 WEB-13

Matthews NC Photographer Portrait Photographer

 

styled session: conceptual photography shoot with curated wardrobe, makeup, hair, + props

Matthews NC Photography Portrait Photographer

Matthews NC Photography Portrait Photographer

 

The concept for this styled portrait session is “sun goddess.”

Matthews, NC Photographer Portrait Photographer

Matthews NC Portrait Photographer

Matthews NC Photography Portrait Photographer

 

I took the opportunity to play with my new lens (Canon 50mm 1.4) while we had some quality backlighting to work with!

Matthews NC Photography Portrait Photographer

Matthews NC Photography Portrait Photographer

Matthews NC Photography Portrait Photographer

 

A maxi dress is a great choice for a portrait photography session -it easily adds movement + drama!

Matthews NC Photography Portrait Photographer

Matthews NC Photography Portrait Photographer

 

A wide-brimmed sunhat both adds texture + a natural frame around Emily’s face.

Matthews, NC Photographer Portrait Photographer

Matthews, NC Photographer Portrait Photographer

 

All photography made with my Canon 5d iii DSLR, Canon 85 mm lens + Canon 50 mm 1.4 lens.

Matthews, NC Photographer Portrait Photographer

Matthews NC Photography Portrait Photographer

 

What do you think -did we nail the concept?

-Elizabeth A.

p.s. For a portrait session of your own, click “contact” on the upper right and send me a message!

Matthews, NC: Gracie’s Pet Portrait Session

The cherry on top of a wonderful May week was this pet portrait session!

Matthews Photographer Portrait Photography

Matthews Photographer Portrait Photography

Gracie is a vibrant, 4-year-old Weimaraner. She casts winsome grins towards everyone she meets!

Matthews Photographer Portrait Photography

I paused many times between snaps to reward her with the attention she begged for.

Matthews Photographer Portrait Photography

Matthews Photographer Portrait Photography

I loved capturing her in action as she tore across the yard in pursuit of her favorite tennis ball.

Matthews Photographer Portrait Photography

Matthews Photographer Portrait Photography

That tennis ball demands her attention!

Matthews Photographer Portrait Photography

I loved playing with and photographing sweet Gracie! I find pet portrait sessions like these to be very personally rewarding.

Matthews Photographer Portrait Photography

All photography captured with my Canon 5d III and Tamron 24-70mm lens.

– Elizabeth A.

Would you like to schedule a pet portrait session for your favorite critter? Go to the “contact” page (upper right) and let me know!

Charlotte, NC: Lovebirds Mini Sessions

For the month of June, I am offering mini portrait sessions exclusively for couples!

Matthews Charlotte Photography Photographer

Celebrate your love + document this season of your lives together.

Charlotte NC Matthews NC Photography Photographer

details:

30-minute outdoor session

15 finished images

$99

Matthews NC Photographer Charlotte NC Photography Mint Hill NC Photography Monroe Photographer Waxhaw Concord Photographer Photography

Lovebirds mini photography session pricing valid 6/1/2018 – 6/29/2018.

To book your portrait session, go to “contact” and send me a message

OR

e-mail me at elizabethaimages@yahoo.com!

 

– Elizabeth A.