Thursday, March 31, 2011

Make a Statement in your Home

A photograph can be more valuable than a work of art. But not everyone recognizes the decor benefit of these exceptional pieces, nor do they always know how to best display their personal art.

The secret is to design around the canvas. Allow the piece to own its space in a way that makes it look larger than it even is. Pair it with complementary colors like in the example below:

Find a place where your photos won't be in a visual competition with other decorations:

When it doubt......sweet and simple is the way to go. Overwhelming the space will only take away from the magnificence of the piece.

Photos of similiar formatting should be displayed together to promote a cohesiveness. Keep in mind that positioning your pieces across from seating creates an instant conversation starter as well as ensuring that your guest will notice your pride and joy : )

Never underestimate the power of matting! It's the accessory of the photo- and just like with a good outfit, the right accents have the power to make it or break it.

Oh, and I think I forgot the most important part!
Have fun and make it your own : )

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

For the Mom that has Everything

Mother's Day is coming up quickly! (I think it gets sneakier every year)
When it comes to moms, there are two gifts that never fail: photos and jewelry
This year combine the two with a one-of-a-kind piece from Kimbra Studios

Each sterling silver piece is waterproof as well, to ensure that your newest family heirloom will last through generations of use.

In addition to the jewelry, bottle stopper, and wine charms pictured here, Kimbra designs a variety of other jewelry styles as well as collar charms, lamp shades and night lights, and even Business Card Holders- for the business-minded mom.

From now until Mother's Day, take advantage of Shutterbug's Special on the Mom Heart Keychain and Mother's Love Necklace:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

How to Choose a Wedding Photographer.....Part 1

When brides-to-be contact me for information on wedding packages and the process of telling their wedding day story through photos they tend to fall into two categories: very well informed or overwhelmed and unsure of the best way to approach the choice.

Wedding planners have been known to advise brides to designate 25% of their budget to hiring a photographer and purchasing prints as well as other photo keepsakes. Not only are you putting a large amount of money at stake, but once-in-a-lifetime memories as well. Your photographs become your souvenir of not only the excitement of the wedding process, but also a representation of the rest of your lives together that you will someday share with your children and grandchildren. Choosing the best photographer for your wedding day is not a decision to take lightly. In addition to my experience, I performed a week long search of the information available on the internet and am pleased to share with you what I think will be the most helpful advice.

For starters, the three standard styles of wedding photography are:
Traditional- formal portitature that captures the day in a straight-forward manner
Journalistic- an editorial style (if the name didn't already imply that) where the photographer takes more of a "fly-on-the-wall" approach.
Illustrative- a hybrid of the two. While the illustrative photographer directs more formal pictures while still trying to evoke a natural feel and uses thoughtfulness to try to capture moments the way the client will want to remember them.

When you envision your special day, what mood are you looking to portray? Whether you take a playful, romantic, family-oriented, elaborate, or your own unique approach, it's critical that the photographer be able to translate the emotions from life to print in a manner that best represents your vision.

Your first step will be a potential photographer's portfolio. Keep in mind that he/she will be showing you what he/she believes to be the best wedding shots of their careers. If you aren't blown away by their best, consider the "Get Out Now" sign to be neon colored and flashing.

Ask to see a complete album so you can get a feel for the stories he/she tells through film (realistically, digital images- but the story should have a romanticism similar to the art of film).

Check out the brides you're seeing. Are they all poised for the runway? Making pretty people in pretty dresses look pretty in a photograph doesn't showcase talent as well as a photographer who can highlight a less photogenic bride in ways that make her glow off the page.

A Los Angeles Love explores the same topic (beware: she does not appear to be a fan of sugar coating her words), with a point that I couldn't help but share: "A photographer is great when they can see the genuine beauty in pure love, regardless of how it's packaged."

A couple other tidbits for thought:
Look for consistency in how the photographer handles the light and what are the varieties in shooting with different lenses, angles, and from different locations?

Is there an appreciation for details? Think of the damage to your stress levels concerning decisions from chair coverings, to options at a candy bar, all the way down to your flower girl's shoes.... an observant photographer will notice all the little details and highlight them as a perfect piece of the overall wedding day puzzle.

Have you come to a point where all the styles have started blurring together? Visual people often benefit from obtaining samples from their top choices to compare side-by-side. Not only will you be able to compare style, but also quality of the finished product!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Pretty in Print

ShutterBug Photography is tickled pink to be a featured vendor in TheKnot and Inframe Bride. The specialty magazine, Inframe Bride focuses on wedding photography specific to Michigan. For an added bonus to the preferred vendor status, you can find many ShutterBug originals in the pages of the latest Inframe Bride issue.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Some Sunshine a Day keeps the Doctor Away

We all find ourselves consumed by our busy lives from time to time. This time of year, life tends to throw alot at us all at once, wrapping up winter projects, preparing for summer, and all the day-to-day necessities squeezed in between. Yet this time of year also brings us a lovely respite in the form of Spring and Sunshine.

Natural sunlight provides us with much needed Vitamin D to strengthen our bones, muscles, and immune system. Sunlight also stimulates serotonin production from the brain aka sunshine boosts your mood and makes you happy!

Please note this does not count:

How often have you heard a warm, radiant smile, compared to sunshine? A genuine smile contains both the health and happiness benefits of a ray of sunshine. So does that make laughter the sound of sunshine?

So the next time you feel overwhelmed, please take a minute (or 15 if possible!) to go outside for a sprin stroll and open up your eyes and ears to the beautiful sights and sounds of the season.

Plus, sunshine in your smile makes for the best photos : )

Look close: This cool dude has been crafted from balloons!
More fun balloon creations available at:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Can you hear the chirping?

Then you must be near the Shutterbug Studio!

The instant our fluffy little ducks and chicks hear people voices, they chime right in with their two cents!

With such distinct personalities, I thought it was only appropriate that they each get their own feature.

Please keep in mind, the duckies are equally as loved and cherished but as they are brand-stinking new to their home in the studio, we're still trying to figure each other out. Name suggestions are strongly encouraged! : )
Meet Alfie!
He's just a go-with the flow, lovable guy who's full of suprises.
The secret trick up his sleeve? Laying on his back and letting you rub his belly.
Downside? Worried parents sometimes think their child killed your bird.
Plus, he looks exactly like a chipmunk! Same stripe down the back and all!

Now say hello to Bandit.
He's the little rascal of the group.
Always pecking and bullying the others for their food.
But we all know that his actions just stem from his insecurity of being tiny,
so he picks on others before they get the chance to pick on him.

Final introductions go to Jolie.....or is this Georgianna?
The two are nearly inseperable, so this photo is quite the rarity.
However, having the together has become the only way to tell them apart!
(See Below)

Ahhh....see, now I know
Chicky to the front- Georgianna
Chicky chilling in the back- Jolie
Georgianna sports a redder down;
almost as if she's constantly blushing ; )
Here's a teaser from the shoot this weekend.
This little boy could not stop smiling and proved to be
a top-notch portrait sitter for his age group!


Bandit trying to play nice with his
new cohabitors of a size
larger than his

Each peep needed some reflective time to his/her little chick-self
to adjust to the hierarchial shift

Fingers crossed that those feathers don't start thinking flying thoughts soon

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sometimes we just need to learn from others people's mistakes....

Thanks to the website, you can get a good laugh as well as some really good ideas of what NOT to do when planning your family portrait.

We've all seen the formal family photos with backgrounds that remind you of the highly anticipated second grade class photo. Which traditionally leads into the topic of matching outfits.
Even if you don't like math, these equations should be doable:
complementary, color-coordinated=good

Ok, with that hot-button issue out of the way, let's start thinking about locations. As always, nothing is off-limits (it's pre-assumed that we're bringing the level of taste and style to the photo that the AwkwardFamilyPhotos are painfully lacking).

A good place to start, as obvious as it may be, your home. Your home is your family's sanctuary, as well as the place best-suited to magnify your unique family dynamics. You have the option to play up everyone's familial "role", whether it be through exaggerated outfits, gestures, or facial expressions. Every member makes up the heart of the home, therefore, your family portrait can be a (noninvasive) CT Heart Scan.
Don't forget the furry members!

Another source of inspiration, Saturdays. What is the one activity that every member of your family willingly jumps out of bed to do on a Saturday morning?

If the whole family likes going to ball games? Let's take your photo on the field!
Are you a family who delights in the great outdoors? Go to your favorite "secret spot" (everyone has one!) and capture the magic of what that special place means to you.
If your family rejoices in volunteering and giving back to the community? Talk to your photographer about incorporating your work and how to take the portrait from a rigid sitting to a work of art filled with emotional meaning for all of you.

And if none of these ideas have got your creative brain juices flowing, think bigger.
Think of that one day every year that your family counts down to the other 364 days. Whether it be a holiday, birthday, special family event (mud football, texas golf, ice hockey....any sort of tournament you might put on), opening day of baseball season, the first tailgate, the first snowfall, the county fair, Memorial Day barbecue.....

In the end, your family portrait should convey more than your faces; when asked the question, "What does it mean to be a [Your last name here]?" you should be able to point to that photo for all the answers anyone may need.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Twas the Night of the Opening.....

Twas the Night of the Opening
And all through the Studio, Not a creature was stirring....

Not even our flower child.

Plants aligned the window with care....
In hopes that friends and family would soon be there.

My Stomach was growling, but I was too nervous to eat
Although these delicious cupcakes did excite my appetite.

With the moon on the breast, and the drive all covered in white....
I reread my good luck card and knew this was going to be a good night.
Congratulations to the Grand Opening $200 Gift Card Winners:
Tammy and Roger VanDam!

And oh-what-fun was had by all!

Here we are playing around in the ShutterBugBooth:

And for all the lovely flowers you've been drooling over from the studio pictures, the credit and a big THANK YOU goes to Ele 3 Event Design and Planning.

Here's a closer look at their stunning arrangements:

Oops! This ones from Darleen, Audrey & Rachelle! Thank you Girls!

And just a couple final looks at Shutterbug's new, happy home:

Never underestimate your decorating possibilities
Organic Bloom frames, Handmade as always,
and a soft touch of ribbon emphasizes the precious moments
such as your newborn's first months or the wedding day of your dreams