Tips & Tricks Archives - Family, Maternity and Newborn Photographer in Goodyear, Arizona

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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The Best Time to Schedule a Newborn Photo Session

Every mother wants to capture as many photos of her new baby as she can and if you’re currently expecting, you’re probably wondering about the best time to schedule your newborn photo session.
The reality is that all parents have different preferences, with many not wanting to photograph their little one too soon. Others simply don’t have the time or energy to schedule in a photoshoot directly after birth.
Every shot of your newborn is special and this is a time that you’ll want to remember for years to come, so what are your options?

Understanding Your Newborn Photo Session Options

The First 48 Hours

The first few hours after your baby is born are very special and filled with ‘first moments’. If you want to capture your little one’s first bath or the moment they meet siblings or other members of the family, schedule your newborn shoot during the first 2 days. Usually these will be taken at the place of birth whether in the hospital or at home, you will be happy to capture these very special ‘firsts’.
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The First Two Weeks

If you want time to find your feet as a new mom and you simply love how newborn babies look when they’re sleeping, schedule your shoot during the first two weeks after your baby is born. Your little one will still be very new to the world and will spend more time sleeping than anything else, which makes for beautiful photos.
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One to Three Months

If capturing your baby’s personality is more important to you, wait a month or two before you schedule your session. During the first three months, your baby will become more alert, open their eyes and even smile. If this will be your first baby, you may only be feeling more relaxed after a month or two, which will make the shoot more pleasant for you.

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Newborn photo sessions are very personal, so do what’s right for you and find a photographer that you feel comfortable with.

 

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July 7, 2020

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6 Inspiring Ideas for Your At-Home Photo Session

In-Home Newborn Lifestyle session

Home is where the heart is, which is why it’s one of the best locations for family photos.

Your home is where you feel most comfortable and it offers countless photo opportunities for you to take advantage of.

If you’ve been looking to take some updated photos of your family but want to beat the summer heat or keep things close to home, here are a few inspiring ideas for your upcoming photo session.

Take it to the kitchen.

There’s something about making a meal together that really brings a family together. You already spend a lot of time in the kitchen so why not use it as a backdrop for some new family photos. Throw on some aprons, choose a fun recipe and get the entire family involved in the process. These candid shots will definitely be something that you’ll want to print out or place in an album.

It’s all about the cuddles.

Curling up with the people you love in a big bed on a Saturday or Sunday morning is simply the best so throw on your best PJs, grab a few books, a cup of coffee, and let your photographer do the rest. Have a laugh together, read a story to your children or show off your matching socks at the foot of the bed.

Head to baby’s nursery.

If you’ve spent a lot of time decorating your baby’s nursery, it’s the perfect place to grab some memorable photos with your family. Plus, the natural light from the window will provide you with a warm atmosphere that will enhance every photo.

Hit the couch.

The lounge is another area of the home that your family probably spends a lot of time in, especially if you enjoy lazy days on a comfy couch watching all your favorite movies. It’s also the perfect spot to take some updated family photos. Depending on your preferences, you can all wear something comfy or outfits that are casual and coordinated – the choice is yours.

Have a playdate.

You don’t even need to pick a particular room for your family photos, you can simply aim to have a little fun with your kids for the afternoon and let your photographer capture your time together. Whether your kids want to throw on superhero capes or they want to play with building blocks in their room, these are all perfect photo opportunities.

Spend some time outside.

If you have a picturesque backyard, why not have an intimate picnic with your family while you capture some new family photos at the same time.

 

Your home is filled with perfect photo opportunities, you simply need to think outside the box!

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June 1, 2020

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Why Your Professional Photography Session is Worth the Price

Ashley Flug Photography west valley, Arizona

A lot of people may love the idea of a professional photo session but many end up being put off by the price.

While it might seem like YOUR photographer is simply getting paid to push a button for an hour or two, it’s so much more than that.

Here are 6 reasons why a professional photography session is well worth the price:

Your photography session extends beyond the shoot.

Even though your photo session may only last an hour, your photographer still needs to travel to and from your location, spend time selecting the best photos and edit those photos too.

Photography gear costs money.

Producing high-quality photos requires professional equipment. The price of your session factors in your photographer’s camera, lenses, flash, reflectors, tripods, storage cases and more. Certain types of photography can also cost more because more gear is required. Wedding photography being a prime example.

You need the right skills to take great photos.

As with any other profession, building up the skills required to be a successful photographer takes time and money.

Technology doesn’t come cheap.

Along with having all the right gear, photographers also need to have certain technology in order to process and edit their photos. This includes high-end computer equipment as well as professional photo editing software.

Experience is priceless.

Photographers spend years honing their skills and developing an artistic eye that allows them to produce the results that they do. From knowing how to work with different types of lighting to being able to spot the perfect photo opportunity, you really can’t put a price on experience. It’s also experience that gives them the know-how necessary to guide you and pose you during your photo session.

Sometimes assistants are required.

This is particularly true with event or wedding photography. When there are multiple things happening all at once, an assistant will be required to get the job done right, which will often be factored into your pricing.

At the end of the day, you get what you pay for. If you truly like a photographer’s style and are impressed with their skills and experience, the price you pay for your photo session is definitely well worth it.

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March 19, 2020

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How to Get Rid of Your Photoshoot Jitters

If you’ve never done it before, the thought of being in front of a professional photographer can be rather nerve wracking.

If you are really excited and terrified about your upcoming photo session, there are a few things that you can do to relax and enjoy your session to skip the photo jitters.

3 Ways to relax during your professional photo session

Keep your mind busy

When you’re about to have your photos taken, it’s difficult to not think about where you should stand and how you should pose, which often makes you act unnaturally. It’s important to remember that it’s not your job to work for the camera, the camera is here to work for you.

To take the best photos, you should ideally be as relaxed as possible. To help you do this, start by focusing on your surroundings. How would you naturally act if you were alone with family and friends in this type of surrounding? Treat your photographer as if they were someone you’ve known forever and that they’re simply spending a few hours with you.

Turn your thoughts to things that make you happy and what you really appreciate about being alive.

Don’t let the quiet moments make you panic

During your shoot, there will be moments when your photographer will pause, which can make a lot of people nervous.

It’s important to keep in mind that your photographer is a professional and is either dealing with something technical or thinking of their next shot. If they need you to change your pose or do something different, they will let you know. If they don’t, just keep engaging with your surroundings and enjoying yourself.

Be kind to yourself

Even though it can be easier said than done, it’s best not to let critical or negative thoughts take over. If you’re feeling uncertain or self-conscious, take your thoughts back to a positive place before the negative thoughts can build on each other.

Adopt a fake-it-till-you-make-it mentality and own your photo session. You can also think of all the positive things friends and family members say about you to bring yourself back from a spiral of negative thoughts.

You should know that it’s completely normal to feel nervous before and during a photo session but choosing the right photographer and going in with the right mental state makes all the difference.

 

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March 9, 2020

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How often should I update my family photos?

Wondering how often you should update your family photos? This is what you need to know.

Busy schedules, family commitments, and lengthy to-do lists mean families don’t always get the time to update their family photos.

The years also seem to be going by faster and faster, which is especially true when you have children. As parents, you don’t want to miss the chance to capture your child’s milestones or how much you’ve changed as a family.
So, how often should you be updating your family photos?

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Ideally, you should try and take new photos of your family every year. Here’s why:

Do it for future generations.

While you are taking photos for yourself, you are also making sure that future generations have amazing photos that they can look back on too. Your children and grandchildren will thank you for it.

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It’s a chance to make memories.

By making a point of updating your family photos on a regular basis, you’re also taking the time to be with your family and make new memories. You never know when your family dynamics could change so capture new memories whenever you can.

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Professional photos last a lifetime.

While we are a society that is constantly snapping photos on our phones and uploading them to social media, investing in professional photos gives you a completely different result. Not only will a professional know how to compose and edit each photo to perfection but these are the best photos to print and add to your family albums too.

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Document your family’s growth.

You never realize how quickly your kids are growing until you look back at photos of them or you run into someone who hasn’t seen you in a while. By updating your family photos on an annual basis, you can really document your family’s growth, creating a beautiful series of photos that you can treasure forever.

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Remember, updating your family photos every year doesn’t need to cost a fortune either. Talk with your photographer about the different options available to you.

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February 12, 2020

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9 Unique Backdrops for Your Upcoming Family Christmas Photos

Whether you want to take a few updated family Christmas photos to put in the album or you’re a big fan of sending holiday cards, there’s no reason why you need to settle for a studio backdrop or your usual spot in your lounge. There are so many creative backdrops out there that you can use to make your upcoming family shoot even more fun and unique.

If you’ve been searching for family Christmas photo ideas, here are some to get you started.

  1. Head out to the nearest tree farm.

    Regardless of where you live, chances are you’ll have a Christmas tree farm near you, and the beautifully shaped trees make for an excellent photo backdrop. Whether you pose amongst the trees or capture the process of choosing your own tree, you can’t go wrong at this location.

  2. Add a touch of green.

    If you have some time, take a drive around your neighborhood and lookout for a green backdrop such as a mural or door. Something as simple as this can add the perfect pop of color to your Christmas family shots.

  3. Decorate your own door.

    If you don’t want to venture too far and you have an attractive front door, spruce it up with some lights and a wreath and pose in front of that.

  4. Fun around the campfire.

    If you and your loved ones enjoy camping, head out to your favorite camping spot, build a beautiful campfire and use the woods as your backdrop.

  5. Up and away.

    If skiing is more your thing, ski lifts make for a simplistic, yet fun, Christmas photo backdrop.

  6. Return to your country roots.

    If you have an attractive pickup truck available to you, it makes for a great photo backdrop. The best way to get some cozy photos is to put a blanket in the back and have your family cuddle up together.

  7. Head to the beach.

    If you live near the coast, white sandy beaches are all you need to capture beautiful Christmas photos with your family. Red clothing against the white sand and blue sea makes for very attractive shots.

  8. Build a teepee.

    If your kids love building forts, take the time to build a teepee with them in the lounge and decorate it with some soft fairy lights for the perfect photo backdrop.

  9. Find a red barn.

    If there’s one color that truly represents Christmas, it’s the color red, which is why a big red barn makes for the perfect Christmas photo backdrop.

No matter what style or backdrop you decide on, make sure that it represents your family’s personality to make the family Christmas photos as authentic and joyful as possible. Getting the help of a professional photographer is always a good idea for these shoots so that everyone can be completely involved in the session.

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December 18, 2019

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5 Tips for Rocking Your Outdoor Photo Session

Whether you’re shooting a new family portrait or you’ve just found out your are expecting, there are so many options to choose from when it comes to selecting an outdoor setting for your shoot.

If you’ve never done an outdoor photo session before though, there are a few things that you should know if you want to truly enjoy the experience and get the best possible photos.

Here are a few useful tips that you can use for your upcoming outdoor session:

  1. Timing is everything. 

    When it comes to outdoor photo sessions, lighting is everything, and you will always have the best lighting around one hour after sunrise or before sunset. This is called the Golden Hour. If possible, aim to have your shoot during this period. If this is not possible, choose a location that does offer some shade should the light become too harsh.

  2. Think twice about your outfit. 

    When deciding on an outfit for your shoot, keep the theme of the shoot as well as the location in mind. It’s important that your outfit doesn’t look out of place.

  3. Start with the basics first. 

    While having an outdoor shoot leaves you with endless creative possibilities, start with some basic shots first and get creative from there. Chat with your photographer about some of your ideas if you’re not sure.

  4. Add some color. 

    If your shoot is taking place in winter, incorporate some beautiful pops of color using clothing or props to liven up your photos. Autumn, spring and summer don’t usually require as much color since your backdrop will bring in a lot of character all on its own.

  5. Preparation is key.

    To avoid any unwanted surprises, it’s important to visit your desired location ahead of time to make sure that it’s the right fit for your shoot and to pick out a few spots for your photos. It’s also helpful to bring an extra set of clothes, especially if your shoot will include children as you never know when you may need to change.

An outdoor photo session will leave you with beautiful, unique photos that you can treasure for a lifetime and are the perfect addition to your photo wall at home.

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November 13, 2019

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Tips for Including Your Dog in Your Family Photos

Your furry companions are already a part of your family, so it only makes sense to feature them in as many of your family photos as possible. Whether it’s a wedding, engagement or family photo shoot, dogs really bring something extra special to the shot.

It can, however, be slightly trickier to get your dogs to cooperate long enough for you to get a few good shots, so here are a few tips that will definitely help for future photo sessions:

  • Tire them out. 

    A tired dog makes for the best photo subject as he won’t be wriggling around and wanting to play. Have some fun with your furry friend an hour before your shoot so that he’ll be more willing to sit still for the camera.

  • Keep it close to home. 

    The more familiar your dog is with his surroundings, the calmer he will be. When you bring a dog into a new setting, he’ll automatically want to explore, which won’t help when you’re trying to take photos.

  • There’s no perfect shot. 

    While you may see some perfect photos of families and their pets online, those shots are rare. It’s important to embrace imperfection when it comes to taking photos with your pets and to rather enjoy the candid moments that will take place during the shoot.

  • Use your time wisely. 

    When it comes to dogs, you never quite know what’s going to happen so if you get a period of calm, use it to take some photos as their next burst of energy might be just around the corner.

Some of your best memories are made with your four-legged friends so take every chance you can get to include them in your family photos.

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November 2, 2019

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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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