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On my blog you can find featured galleries, tips and tricks for your upcoming session as well as  mini session information and the occasional personal update. Feel free to comment on  the post with any questions or contact me directly at info@ashleyflugphotography.com. 

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7 Tips to Make Your Next Photo Session Your Best One Yet

Whether you’ve booked a family, children or maternity photo session, every shoot should be a memorable one.

While I do everything I can to make your photo session as successful as possible, there are a few things that you can do to ensure fantastic results every time too.

Here are 7 tips to help you prepare for your next photo session:

  1. Give your location some real thought.

    Your backdrop makes all the difference to your photos. What energy and atmosphere will really bring this particular shoot to life? Taking the time to scout out the best possible location will leave you smiling from ear to ear when you see the end results.

  2. Find some inspiration.

    Do you have a specific vision in mind for your shoot? Head to Pinterest or Google and collect a few images that you can share with me ahead of time.

  3. Grooming matters.

    While you may not want to spend extra money on a hair stylist or makeup artist, being impeccably groomed can change your photos completely so spend time on your hair and makeup before your shoot, even if you just get a friend to help you out.

  4. Food and sleep are your friends.

    While this is particularly important when you’re shooting with kids, having a good night’s rest will also ensure you fully enjoy your photo session as an adult too.

  5. Speaking of food, forget the cheese.

    Saying cheese right before someone takes your photo will result in a smile that looks forced and unnatural. Relaxed faces and happy memories are all you need to have a natural smile in your next set of photos.

  6. Think about your face first.

    If you want the best possible results, don’t wear anything that will distract from your face in your photos.

  7. Think real life.

    When thinking of photo session ideas as a couple or as a family, incorporating your life into your shoot is the easiest way to be original and have fun at the same time. What do you enjoy doing together? Where do you spend time together? These are all aspects that can be used to create a photo session that’s unique to you.

Don’t forget to check out any additional tips and tricks on the blog that you may find useful before and during your shoot. Now just relax and enjoy.

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October 20, 2019

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Tips for Preparing for your Newborn Session: Part 2

Newborn photo sessions in Buckeye, Arizona

How to prepare the baby to ensure they are happy and cooperative during the session

In my last post, I discussed what to bring and wear to your session. Now it’s time to talk about how to ensure your baby is happy and cooperative once you are at your session. Check out part 1 here.

  1. Make sure your child is well fed before the session. Try to schedule the photos around feeding time. If your baby has a full belly, that usually equals a happy baby.
  2. In addition to that, you should also be sure your baby has a fresh, clean diaper. No child is cooperative sitting in a dirty diaper. This may seem like an obvious tip, but in the rush of everything, sometimes we forget the basics.
  3. I mentioned this before, but it is important, so I’m saying it again: bring a pacifier to your session. Even if you are not allowing your child to regularly use one, it will be good for a short time just to help him or her calm down during this time of potential stress. If your baby starts to fuss and we cannot stop the crying by other means, this will typically help ease the baby’s nerves.
  4. Keep your baby warm. Newborns are used to being in a small, warm place. That’s where they’ve been the past nine months,and they are uncomfortable when they are cold. We like to keep our studio warm on session days for this reason. If we are doing a session at your house, we suggest bumping the heat up as well. We will also have plenty of blankets handy for in between photos.
  5. I suggest playing soft music or white noise to create a soothing environment for your newborn.
  6. This is probably the most important thing to note: be OK being a part of the photos. If your child is not cooperating with the session, the best way to soothe newborns is to hold them and rock them to let them know everything is OK. Sometimes babies just need to be held. A lot of new moms are uncomfortable in front of the camera during the first weeks after birth, and I completely understand. If you do not want to be in photos, I can work around this, but I may need to borrow your arms. You just have to make sure not to tense up when you get in front of the camera. Babies sense these things and will, in turn, think they need to tense up as well because something must be wrong. If you’re absolutely against being in photos at all, I could cover you with a backdrop and rest the baby on you. This will help your baby feel secure while keeping you off camera.

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September 8, 2019

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How to prepare for a successful newborn session: Part 1

I know that you have been busy with your new bundle of joy but have you thought about newborn photo session prep yet?

You’re in a new and exciting time in your life. You’ve now got this adorable, precious little soul and are ready to document his or her first memories in photographs. I want to make this a joyous experience for you and your family. I know how nerve-racking picture day can be, especially when you’re running on, little- to -no, sleep. To help you out with this process, I’ve compiled a list of preparation tips to ease some of your stress. If you have any questions at all, feel free to contact me at info@ashleyflugphotography.com and I can get you the answers you’re looking for.

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What to Bring

If we are doing a session in your home, you don’t have to bring anything, however, I suggest that you take a look at this list and have these items readily available in case we need them during your session. If you are doing a studio session, please follow this checklist to avoid under or over packing your diaper bag.

I keep my sessions pretty basic and focused in on your new little bundle of joy, and therefore, take a minimalistic approach in my prop usage. Especially if I am traveling to you, I do not bring a lot of props with me. I will take care of the backdrops, wrap and headbands, etc., but I tend to pack light prop-wise. If there is something you’d like to include in your photos – a special outfit or blanket, a favorite stuffed animal or toy, heirlooms, etc. –, I will be more than happy to incorporate it in your session. The more personal items we use in your session, the more unique these photos will be to your child and your family’s personality.

To ensure that your baby is happy and calm during the session, I suggest bringing a blanket that we can swaddle him or her in, as well as a pacifier. Also be sure to have fresh bottle — if your child is currently using a bottle — and diapers ready to go.

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What to Wear

Newborns are not very patient when it comes to outfit changes. I suggest having your child in an outfit you’d like for him or her to wear in photos before you get to the session. On the way to the session, covering it the outfit with a bib or burp rag in case of little incidents. After we take a few photos in this outfit, I prefer to take the rest of the photos in wraps –, or completely in the nude. In my opinion, babies photograph best this way and they will also cooperate longer if we are not constantly changing their outfits. If you are not comfortable with this, I can stick with one to two outfits for the session.

If you are going to be in photos with your child, I suggest bringing a backup shirt, just in case. We also suggest that you wear a white or light shirts in case we need to photograph parts of you with your child on the backdrop (for example, just your hands holding the baby) so you don’t stand out. For mommies, we suggest keeping jewelry to a minimum, as babies like to grab ahold of these items.

If you have any wardrobe questions, please contact me. I’d be more than happy to help. Thanks for reading and I look forward to your session!

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June 21, 2019

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Gracelynn’s Newborn Session ~Buckeye, Arizona

studio newborn photography

Hi gang! Today on the blog you get to meet Gracelynn Rain, the 7-pound, 6-ounce bundle of sweetness who belongs to Corisa. This session took place at my home where I have lifestyle & posed newborn set ups, and I was able to capture some of my favorite images to date!

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I loved that we included mom and big sisters, Emma and Annabella, in this shoot, because I loved the sentimental touch.

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Not to mention, it total helps to have such a photogenic baby in front of the camera! Umm… can you say baby model? Plus, check out all the little details!

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Thanks again for giving me the honor of photographing Gracelynn, Mom! You’re going to be an amazing mother to this sweetheart.

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April 30, 2019

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Creative Family Photoshoot Ideas You’ll Want to Try

If family photos are one of your annual traditions or if you’re just looking to change up the photos that are currently hanging in your home, there are so many unique photoshoot ideas that you can use that go beyond the usual posed portraits.

Below is some inspiration as you plan your next family photoshoot.

Silhouettes

If you have a beautiful location in mind, taking family photos at dusk or even at night with the stars as your backdrop, will allow you to capture your silhouettes and give you a unique family portrait to hang in your home.

Reflections

Have your family stand in front of a still body of water so that you can capture your reflections instead.

Footprints

If you still have young children in the house, use your feet to create a special image that you can frame or print on canvas. The photo could be of your feet intertwined at the foot of the bed or of your feet in the sand at the beach.

Perspective

If you’re looking for something a little more creative, why not line your family members up and take a shot from the side so that you see your faces from a different angle.

Kisses

This is another great option if you have a new baby or a toddler in the house. Have each parent plant a kiss on baby’s face. This photo allows you to capture the sweet innocence of your child at that age and the love you have as a family.

Dress Up

The best family photos are those that capture a genuine moment between loved ones. Have your husband and son get dressed in their Sunday best to get a shot of them fastening their ties or bowties in the mirror. Play dress up with your little girl by placing curlers in your hair and hers and get a shot of the two of you looking in the mirror.

Don’t be afraid to get creative at your next shoot. Ask us for advice or ideas if you need some extra help.

 

 

 

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March 21, 2019

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6 Things That Make a Photo Beautiful

Have you ever wondered what makes a photo stand out and stir certain emotions in you when you look at it? Of course, photos of your family and places you love will naturally give you the warm and fuzzies or leave you in awe but there are also very specific elements in great photos that help bring them to life and make you take a second look.

  1. When a photograph has beautiful lighting it gives the image a certain mood and highlights the important aspects of a photo. Light is an incredible tool so using natural light from an open window or door or even a soft artificial light can make all the difference.
  2. While focusing on a specific person in a photo is how we naturally take photos, that person is only a part of the greater whole. Your background and any other objects in a photo all make up the structure and scene that draw you into that moment.
  3. A good quality photo will usually allow you to pick up on certain textures such as a pair of woolly socks or the texture in a heavy wooden door.
  4. Sometimes the most beautiful photos are taken from a different perspective such as getting down to a toddler’s level at a birthday party or taking a shot of a tall building by looking all the way up from a street corner.
  5. Play with colors when you take photos, match them up or emphasize specific colors to draw the eye to a certain detail in a picture.
  6. The moment. Capturing a moment that will never happen again makes for incredible photos.

Photography isn’t only for the professionals. Everyone has the ability to take a great photo by focusing on a few simple elements, getting creative and being ready to capture something beautiful or everywhere you go.

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March 17, 2019

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How to Be More Natural In Front of the Camera

“Just act natural.” It’s easier said than done when you are in front of a camera and trying to look your best while feeling a little awkward and maybe even a little insecure. Even the top models need some help to look and act more natural in front of the camera. There’s no need to be nervous going into your shoot, with a little bit of practice in front of a mirror and these tips you’ll be feeling confident and relaxed from the very first click!

 

  • Have Something to Hold

Hands can be the most difficult things to figure out what to do with. For some reason, it always feels awkward just having them at your side so bring something to hold onto. Flowers, a book, musical instrument anything that is significant to you can be the perfect addition to your shoot.

 

  • Natural Smile

You don’t want to get caught with the deer in headlights look and faking a smile is often not very flattering. One of the best ways to show your natural smile is to press your tongue to the roof of your mouth. The corners of your mouth will naturally draw up and it won’t look forced at all.

 

  • Wear Something Comfortable

If you aren’t comfortable in what you’re wearing this will show through in your images no matter how much you try to fake it. You want to wear something you feel comfortable in not only so you can move around easily but so that you will be more confident in front of the camera as well.

 

  • Posing

While your photographer will help direct you in how you should sit or stand it’s a good idea to know a few simple tricks when it comes to posing. First, just about everyone has an asymmetrical face and most often one of the eyes is slightly larger than the other. You want to turn the side of your face with the slightly larger eye towards the camera. This will help balance out the face. Second, stick your neck out slightly. This helps elongate the neck and will eliminate the dreaded “double chin” that many people have. Third, ladies, cross your feet at the ankles. This elongates the body and adds a little depth to your images.

 

  • Think Happy Thoughts

Before you go into your shoot you want to have an image, joke or happy story in the back of your mind. During the shoot, you’ll want to recall on these thoughts to help bring out a genuine smile. If you start to get nervous just think your happy thought and you will instantly begin to relax and feel more comfortable.

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March 7, 2019

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Portrait Photography Styles Explained

When it comes to hiring a photographer you don’t just want to go with anyone. Each photographer will specialize in a niche and favor a certain style when they shoot. If you want something more traditional you wouldn’t want a photographer that prefers to shoot documentary styled shoots. This tends to be an overlooked factor when it comes to hiring the right photographer and understanding the different styles will help you better when looking for your perfect photographer.

The Basic Styles of Portrait Photography

• Traditional

Traditional portraits are classic images where the main subjects are posed and fully aware of the camera. They can be formal for more professional images or informal for senior, kids, or head shot portraits.

• Candid

Candid portraits are taken in the moment and are very similar to journalistic shooting. Typically the subject is not aware that their images are being taken with little to no interference from the photographer. Candid portraits are often common during events or weddings. These images tend to capture the more natural emotions of the subject and surroundings.

• Lifestyle

Lifestyle is the most common type of portrait for editorials, fashion, family, engagement, and weddings. These portraits capture the sense of living style from the subjects. Lifestyle portraits can often be a combination of other styles like environmental and candid.

• Glamour

Glamour portraits are more stylized focusing on the physical appearance of the subject. These types of images usually have a team on hand and various lighting setups and equipment. Glamour shots tend to give off a more romantic appeal.

• Environmental

These types of portraits are the most common for business professionals. Environmental portrait photography captures the person in their natural environment. Whether that is in the kitchen of a restaurant, behind the desk at the office or in a large forest. These images are planned out and often staged to allow for the surroundings to enhance a characteristic of the main subject.

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March 3, 2019

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What to Bring Along to Your Child’s First Photo Session

If you’ve recently booked a photo session, there are a few things that you might want to consider bringing with you to the shoot.  Some parents might wonder why they should be the ones to bring stuff along. They’re the customer right?

The truth is, you’re hiring a photographer to do what they do best, take amazing photos, and there are some things that even the best photographer’s won’t have available to you.

Here are a few things that you should consider bringing along to your child’s photo shoot if you want the best possible photos:

Toys.

Whether you’re bringing several children along to the photo shoot or you would like to fit in a few shots of you and your spouse alone, you want to keep your child occupied when they aren’t in front of the camera and toys are the best way to do this.

A good book.

Is there a specific book that your child simply loves? Bring it along to the session to either read to them while they’re being photographed or to read to a child that isn’t being photographed at that time. Your bedtime routine is so special but you never really get photos of it so this is the perfect opportunity to do just that.

Their favorite stuffed animal.

Every child has that one stuffed animal that they take everywhere and even though it might be looking a little worse for wear, that stuffed animal plays a big role in your child’s life. One of the best parts about taking photos is that it captures a specific moment in time and that raggedy old bear is going to make for heartwarming photos years from now.

Additional outfits.

If you have a young child in the house, you’ll understand how quickly an outfit can get ruined. The last thing you want to worry about on the day of your photo shoot is whether your child is going to ruin their outfit before or during the shoot, which is why it’s always a great idea to bring an extra change of clothing just in case. It will really help with your nerves too.

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February 27, 2019

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