I had the pleasure of photographing the Hale family at Johnson’s Beach in Perdido Key this past summer. Not only did we luck out with a slightly overcast, not so humid, late July evening for their session, but all 4 of their kiddos were sweet, and awesome, and photogenic.
Oh, and the beach was EMPTY!!!
And, I love how mom combined all the blues and whites and stripes and checks in everyone’s outfits!
When photographing families, I try to make a point of getting a couple shots of JUST mom and dad. Because, without mom and dad, there wouldn’t be everyone else. Sometimes moms aren’t immediately thrilled with the idea of a shot or two without the kids, but I’ve never had them disappointed with the final images!
And these two, well, these two were the sweetest couple - even while wrangling 4 kids on the beach for a portrait session.
And I’d love it if you’d let me show you why!
I’m what many in the industry call a “shoot and burn” or “turn and burn” photographer.
What’s that mean? The simple answer is that I provide some of the high resolution digital images to my clients as part of the session fee. Digital images are what my clients want, so that’s what I provide. I also make it a point to let my clients know about the professional print products I offer! I do this for 2 reasons:
In order to put my money where my mouth is, I chose the 2 portraits that had gotten the most love on my Facebook and Instagram accounts from this summer’s Orange Beach, AL Portrait Sessions and had 5×7 size prints made by my Professional Lab of choice (Millers), as well as 4 of the most common stores the average consumer uses for prints – Walmart, Target, CVS, and Shutterfly.
These are the images I chose.
Are you ready to start the comparisons? We’ll start with the portrait of the little girl with the sailboat in the background.
I’ll sit here a minute while the shock wears off.
I have to admit I even I was surprised at the extreme difference in these pictures. I knew they’d be off, but I didn’t expect it to be this crazy!
Let’s break it down –
Here’s a close up of the images laid one on top of the other on a white piece of card stock. This let’s you get a really good look at the color differences in the sky!
Ok, on to the second image.
The differences in these prints is MOST noticeable in the skin tone and sky color.
OOO look at all the pretty blues and greens. lol
Ok, obviously, these labs are fine if you want snap shots or need 1 hour pictures printed for a school project or something where the quality isn’t that important to you. I’m in no way saying they don’t have their place in the market. But, if you’ve paid a professional photographer to take portraits of your family, consider getting professional prints made. The professional labs that I use print on archival quality paper that is made to stand the test of time.
**Disclaimer** Obviously, lab results will vary based on location. This post was not made to bash any discount labs, but to educate clients and other professionals. If you do choose to order from one of these discount printers, please do not select the “color correct” box!
I don’t think I know a single person who doesn’t have an opinion on breastfeeding.
It’s a controversial subject, a potential source of stress for mothers and mothers-to-be, and one of many beautiful ways to bond with and care for your baby.
Let me say that again – one of MANY beautiful ways to bond with and care for your baby.
I breastfed my son from day-one until he weaned himself at 10 1/2 months old. He was also supplemented with formula from day one as I was never able to keep up with his demand. I support any woman who breastfeeds her baby – it’s freaking HARD! I wanted to quit SO many times over the first 6 weeks of my son’s life. And oh man, photographing newborns while you, yourself, are a breastfeeding momma … Can you say overactive letdown? LOL. For those who don’t make it that long, that’s ok! For those mommas who decide to forego or just aren’t able to breastfeed, that’s fine too! As long as your baby is nourished and cared for – you’re an amazing mom in MY book!
A couple of weeks ago, I had the distinct pleasure to be able to take part in a Breastfeeding Group Shoot with a Florida Panhandle photography group. These mommas from Pensacola, Navarre, and Destin, FL were not only beautiful and amazing, they’re fellow local photographers who wanted their breastfeeding journey documented and agreed to model!
I loved this shoot at Naval Live Oaks on the National Seashore in Gulf Breeze, FL.
One morning last week I loaded up all 3 kiddos and we headed to Orange Beach, AL to check out the splash pad at the new Surf Style in Orange Beach.
Over the last decade or so, splash pads have become a HUGE thing for kid-friendly summertime fun. The northern gulf coast offers several splash-pads (all free to the best of my knowledge), but the one all of my Pensacola friends can’t stop talking about is the splash pad at the newest Surf Style at 25033 Perdido Beach Blvd in Orange Beach, AL.
Living in west Pensacola, it took me about 30 minutes with traffic to get to Surf Style – and anyone who’s ever visited a tourist area knows that’s NOTHING! The kids and I arrived around 9:30am (trying to beat the heat) and actually had the whole splash pad to ourselves for a little while.
The Orange Beach splash pad has the usual assortment of bubbling water spouts and sprinklers, as well as 4 water “cannons”, a mushroom, and a fun contraption that dumps a bucket of water on you as the buckets overflow.
My two-year old loved the bubbling water spouts and "shooting" his sisters with the water cannons. My two big girls (ages 9 and 11) loved dumping the buckets of water on each other and running through the sprinklers (one sprinkler was a bit too short for the 11 year old, but she's pretty tall for her age).
After an hour and a half of non-stop play, I counted a total of 9 kids splashing in the cool spray with a total of 5 adults watching from the various shaded areas.
That’s the other thing – Surf Style has provided several nice, wooden benches, as well as a few wooden picnic tables, all in the shade and out of the splash and spray zone! Next time we go (trust me, there will most definitely be a next time), I think we’ll pack a lunch. But for those who don’t want to bother packing a lunch, Surf Style has snacks and drinks for sale just inside the store. Later in the summer, we discovered that they open a snow cone stand in the splash pad area! Totally worth it!
Really, the only thing missing was a restroom. But, I do understand why they might not want to provide a public restroom right on the main beach road.
If you’re in Pensacola and you’ve been on the fence about whether the drive to Orange Beach is worth it – it’s worth it!
It would be worth it if we still lived in Cantonment! Honestly, it would still be worth it if there was small entrance fee (and included bathroom). If you’re vacationing in Orange Beach or Gulf Shores and want to get out of the sand or your hotel/ condo pool for a bit, take the kids to the splash pad. You can’t miss it!
Surf Style is open from 8am – 11pm for the summer, as as best as I can tell, so is the splash pad. I’ve driven past it at all times of day headed home from family portrait sessions on the beach and the water has always been flowing.
Amanda is the prop buying, location scouting, ponytail sporting, flip flop wearing, owner/ operator/ and woman behind the camera for Finding Beauty in the Ordinary Photography.
Newborn Portrait Photography
Family Portrait Photography
Maternity Portrait Photography
Senior Portrait Photography
From Gulf Shores, AL to Navarre, FL. Covering the areas of Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Foley,and Elberta in Alabama and Pensacola, Gulf Breeze, Pensacola Beach, Milton, Pace, and Cantonment in Florida.