Personality Portraits for Middle Schoolers!

Dear Moms of Middle School aged kids,

In just a few years, your middle school aged child will be entering their senior year of high school—and let me just tell you, these years will fly by faster than you can imagine. You will go through all of the milestone events of the year with disbelief, pride and a bit of anxiety for the future.

You will schedule senior portraits and college visits, order cap and gown, send out graduation invitations and plan a perfect open house. Whether you have been a serious scrapbooker or just a loyal cell phone picture shooter, you will compile school pictures, vacation pictures and sports pictures into some kind of wonderful memory board to display at the party.

But that is still a few years away. Today, you have a middle schooler. You probably have a collection of appropriate baby milestone photos, delightful toddler images and those awkward stages of elementary school. But the young teen you see today is going to change a lot over the next few years. Braces will come and go, hairstyles and makeup will become more important, sports and activities they participate in now, may not even be important to your graduating senior.

middle school portrait

senior portrait

Take the time now to capture who they are today. You won’t get this back, as the song goes, “You’re Going to Miss This;” and take it from me—you are!

I can say all this because this has been a year of milestones in the lives of my kids. High school graduation for one and off to college in the fall—College graduation for the other and a wedding. I can’t go back—but I have the photos to help me relive those days.Will you?

Call now and set up a session—expect it to last about 30 minutes and include both indoor and outdoor portraits. Feel free to bring an outfit change and any props that might help tell your teen’s story! We’ll include a free 8×12 metallic print— Vicki

Vicki 517-605-5769.  Lad 517-605-5541

Four Reasons to Go Local with your Marketing Photos

Using an actual stylist from your salon helps customers relate to your business.

Using an actual stylist from your salon helps customers relate to your business.

Have you considered using photos of local people and places in your own marketing? Here are a few reasons that using your own staff and your own customers may be beneficial to you.

Stock photos look like stock photos

They are clean and sharp—and yes, that is a plus, unless they are so clean that they don’t say anything. If the photo is just a good photo—what message are you sending?

Customers relate to people they know

That does not mean that every customers has to personally know every model you use. It just means that there is a genuine message that on any given day, they may actually see that person in your business. This means that using your own staff—friendly, familiar people—sends a message that they will be greeted by a friendly, familiar person when they choose to do business with you.

Local is the New Black

Right now, it’s hip to be local. People feel good when they shop locally for their produce at farmer’s markets or buy gifts from a local artisan. And they feel good doing business with someone who appreciates that.

Customers share what they like

If you feature staff members or clients on Facebook—that image will be shared by people who know them! They share the photo—as well as the positive comments!

Take a look at some of our work featuring local places and people and when you are ready to talk about your own marketing images, give us a call. We would be happy to help you determine your photo needs! View some of our Marketing Photos

New Year – New Marketing Photos

New Year Marketing Photos for BusinessA new year always brings with it the possibility of starting over—starting fresh. Like many others, you may have made some resolutions to get fit, eat healthier, spend less, etc. What about your business? Do you make resolutions for your company? Is it time to set some goals to reach more customers, secure more repeat business or expand your marketing?

Let wePhoto help you brand yourself and your business with fresh, new marketing photos. We will work with you to help you decide what photos you need and how to best use them to continue to grow your business. We have connections with teams that help design logos, build websites, increase traffic to an existing website. Whatever you need to grow your sales, your impact and of course, your bottom line—we can help! Consultations are free, so call today to set up a time for us to help you promote your business!

It’s time to hit the ground running with fresh, new marketing photos! Give us a call today to schedule time together.

Why Hire a Professional Photographer for Your Event?

Event Photography by wePhoto Professionals

Capture the excitement and emotion of special events, like at a past United Way Day of Action when Jonathan Tobar, Principal of the JC/LISD Academy provided motivational encouragement during the annual kickoff breakfast.

If you own or manage a business, there will probably be some point that you have an event worthy of taking photos.  The purpose of the photos may be to share with those who attend the event, to display the photos on social media to show what is going on, or possibly just to document the day.

You may be tempted to have someone in your office bring a camera in for photos, or maybe you are even tempted to handle that yourself.  Below are a few reasons you may want to consider hiring a professional to do the job for you.

A professional photographer has the right gear for the job.

A professional photographer has invested a lot of money, not only in a high quality camera, but also a variety of lenses and lighting options to get the best possible exposures.

You and the photographer have the same goals in mind.

And that is great looking photos!  It is the desire of a professional to get the highest quality shot because it makes them look good!  They are not there to socialize or be entertained, they are there to capture the uniqueness of your event.  When you share those photos, you are sharing their work and they want it to look as good as possible.

A professional photographer knows how to put your guests at ease in front of the camera.

We all know that many people are not crazy about being photographed, but a professional is used to working with reluctant subjects and can get the best from them.

A professional can get the right mix of candid and posed shots.

You want to see people having a great time at your event, and a professional knows how to capture that.  Whether they are posing small groups or capturing the event as it unfolds, they are there to tell the story of the event.

There are a variety of times to photograph special events for your group or business; from small events such as an office gathering to a large fundraising gala. The professional behind the camera can capture unique moments during:

  • Retirement parties
  • Dinner events
  • Annual meetings
  • Dignitary visits
  • Training sessions
  • Awards presentations
  • Promotions
  • Golf outings
  • New business opening or expansion
  • Group or individual photos of key personnel

Now is the perfect time to plan an event for your business, church, or special group. Contact wePhoto for event photography that will be a long-lasting memory to cherish.

Outdoor Business Portraits Give a Fresh Perspective

Firemen Outdoor Business PortraitA quality business portrait shows your professionalism and portrays success if you choose the right image to use. Many are worried about the right color to wear, or even the right clothes that will present the best impression, but there are other things to consider when getting a new business portrait done. Here are some tips to help you think of different options.

Don’t limit your photo session to a studio.  Take your business portrait session outdoors this fall to take advantage of the scenic beauty or some other location that shows others who you are.  People want to connect with the person behind the business, so show yourself in a photo that helps them relate to you on a personal level, building their trust in you.

Have your portrait in a location that shows where you work – either inside or outside.

An inside portrait of a bank teller against a plain background depicts professionalism, but the same teller helping an elderly customer with individual care gives a more personal message that this teller is someone who can be trusted for guidance by that type of consumer.

The outside of your place of business helps to identify you with a familiar brand. There’s a big difference in showing a studio portrait of a school principal, vs. a casual photo of the principal outside the school, talking casually with a group of students.

Choose a landmark that your clients—or potential clients can relate to, and they may even remember you easier.  Let your choice of location help tell the story of who you are. Portraits don’t have to be stuffy or boring and they don’t have to be in front of a painted background.

Let wePhoto help you choose the right business portrait location for your personal branding!


Business Portraits – Be Different, Be Yourself

Be Different Be Yourself Professional PortraitsSet yourself apart from your competition with a great portrait that truly shows just who you are!  While a standard headshot might be fine if you are one of a number of employees representing one company or one brand, you need to stand out as an individual!

We’ve all learned that we need to differentiate ourselves in order to stand out, and it follows through in so many different areas of a professional life:

When you’re applying for a new job, you want your resume to be noticed more than the others;

When you need to make a speech, you want to be remembered for the great topic you presented;

When you’re presenting a proposal, you want yours to be the one that will make the sale;

And there are probably dozens of other scenarios you can think of when you’d like to be remembered “front and center” above others in a similar situation.

We’ve discovered that standard business portraits in a headshot pose don’t always do this for every person, and there are plenty of options available that would make a difference in their professional marketing image.

Let wePhoto show your friends and followers who you are!  Your photo creates an immediate impression when someone views your social media presence or your website. Here are some questions to consider:

What sets your portrait apart from the countless other profile pictures that your contacts will view?

Does your photo show that you care about your impression?

Does it attract customers or potential employers?

Think “outside the box” (or at least outside the portrait studio!) and consider some poses and locations that show who you really are and what you really do.

If you’re a coach and work with athletes all day, an indoor head-n-shoulders shot gives the impression of stuffy and unapproachable. But, a well-lit outdoor shot of you on the football field where you coach, or surrounded by a group of the kids you mentor, puts you in the environment and immediately changes your approachability and the perceived success of what you do.

This works the same in a business environment. An architect can look very formal in a formal indoor portrait, but take the portrait at a construction site with blueprints in hand and activity in the background, and now you’ve given the image that you know what you’re doing and can be relied upon and hired by someone needing your services.

Visit our professional portrait page to see examples of what we mean: CLICK HERE for Portrait Photography

We can help you put your best face forward and set you apart!  Be different from your competition!  Be Yourself!

Fall is a great time of year to update your photo!  wePhoto can help!  Call today and set up a session, for you or for the office!  We shoot on the location of your choice—we can even come to your office or arrange a studio or outdoor location.

Professional Photographers Offer More Than Casual Photography

Professional Photographers and commercial photos for marketingCasual photos are flooding the Internet, and might be fine for sharing and liking, but often aren’t the best quality for professional photography that a business should be using.

Just as purchasing a chef’s hat does not automatically make someone a five-star chef, purchasing a “nice camera” doesn’t necessarily make someone a professional photographer.

If a prospect were interested in your business products or services, you’d pick the best products to display. You might even take a moment to find one that is blemish-free, and clean, polish, or shine it up before presenting it. The same goes for the photographs that showcase your products and services. A certain visual image should be captured, and when that professional image is used in business marketing, it can often turn a probable prospect into a new, satisfied client.

An experienced photographer will rely on years of wisdom and refined techniques when setting up a photo shoot to feature your product at the best angle, in the best light, and with the best focal point. Business owners who expect high standards from their employees often see exceptional sales presentations when they develop marketing materials with the same expectation of high standards. A professional photographer understands those standards, and can produce the high-quality marketing pieces that are necessary for exceptional sales presentations.

If your marketing photography needs help, rely on more than a “friend with a nice camera” and hire wePhoto professional photography to protect your image by presenting your best image!

Holiday Food Makes a Memorable Commercial Photography Session

Holiday commercial photography takes on many different types of looks and venues. wePhoto teamed up with The Boulevard Market, and Classic Cabinets and Interiors to produce a Holiday dinner shoot for Lenawee Magazine.

Food PhotographyAfter Sue Van Fleet, managing editor for Lenawee Magazine, asked about the possibility for a holiday spread, we contacted Erika Aylward of The Boulevard Market to see if she’d be interested in collaborating with us. Erika plunged right in on the food side and invited Amie Pelham from Classic Cabinets and Interiors to work out the decorating aspect. Amie also brought in Martin’s Home Center to provide some of the serving pieces.

While we all saw the opportunity to highlight our own businesses with the project, we realized the importance of collaborating with others to make the project successful. For our part, we wanted to make sure that we were in a position to shoot the prep work involved—not just the finished product.

Our day started early at the Boulevard Market where we photographed the raw food. We sought to present the food artistically, but not stylized with unnatural products.

When the food went to the ovens, we headed over to Amie Pelham’s home where she had her dining room all decorated for Christmas—in September, to accommodate an early deadline for the magazine. Here we were able to photograph some of the detail shots, including the table settings, the gifts for guests, the beautiful buffet with appetizers and desserts.

Once dinner was served, we concentrated on the personalities of the people enjoying the festive atmosphere and the delicious food. We used a combination of natural light as well as our strobes to produce a natural look both to the food prep shots as well as during the meal.

Our goal with any holiday commercial photography shoot is to spend time getting to know our customers and their product so that when the time comes to make the photos, we are working together so that the final images do as much to enhance your brand as our own.

We were very pleased with the results in Lenawee Magazine (not to mention how happy we were to sample the meal! That’s just a perk for the job!). It is a great example of how businesses can work together to produce an excellent product.

If you are interested in promoting your business with quality commercial photography, contact wePhoto Photography to help promote your business!

Commercial Photography and Holiday Photos


Commercial Photography Tips: What Every Photo Client Should Know

Commercial Photography with PeopleHaving a great photo session requires hiring a great photographer AND communicating your needs and wants. Before you call a photographer, use the following questions to help your photographer create the best possible images to make you and your business look great.

How much notice do you need to set up a session? Ideally, you want to plan you session well in advance–it gives you and the photographer a chance to set the schedule and get a vision for how these photos will look and how they will be used. We prefer to have 1-2 weeks notice so that we are not squeezing you into a day that is already busy.

How much time should I set aside for the shoot? Don’t ever think that a photographer can walk into your office, snap a photo and walk out with the perfect shot. While we strive to create a natural look to your business, understand that setting up lights, spot cleaning and identifying the right location in your office takes time.

Will your shoot require space to set up? Whether a photographer needs space depends on the type of photo being taken. When we take head shots, we need several feet of space to set up lights and background to insure that your face is well lit and not distorted. High ceilings help a lot, too!

Will your shoot require access to a power source? Sometimes we need to use lights that require a power source. If that is an issue, we can work around it–we just need to know what we are working with ahead of time.

What is the best time of day to shoot exterior or interior shots of my business? Bright, sunny midday shots are generally going to be about the worst way to present your building. It may be that early morning or late afternoon provides the best natural light to show off your building. Let us work with you to determine the best time of day for your shots!

What should I wear? We often tell clients to avoid white and red. They just are not the best colors to wear for photos. It is best to avoid bright, wild patterns and even short sleeves.

How soon can you return the images to me? Make sure you check ahead of time to see how long it will take your photographer to return images to you. We have had times where the shots needed to be delivered immediately–we uploaded on site and burned a disk before we even left. Obviously, that is not ideal for anyone–but make sure you handle that before your photographer shows up to take the photos. I know some photographers require several weeks before handing over any images.

Who should be in the photo? This is probably the most important question. You want to have people in the photo who will represent your business in a positive light. Think about whom you are trying to appeal to. Don’t just grab someone from their desk and make them the model. This requires some thought, planning and discussion.

WePhoto Photography can help you with great Commercial Photography that can make an impact for your business marketing. Call Lad Strayer or Vicki Schmucker to schedule an appointment.

The Love of the Art – How Street Photography Differs from Commercial Photography

Lenawee County Fair PhotographyIf you do a Google or Yahoo search for Street Photography you might be surprised what you find. It won’t be pictures of streets or building landscapes, but rather people just being people out in public.

A commercial photographer usually carries a lot of equipment, but the street photographer is usually someone who tries to be very non-descript. No bright colored clothing, tripods or camera with big long lenses. Just blend into the crowd with a small camera and shoot away, looking to capture that very telling moment where you don’t need many words to describe to a viewer what is going on.

Street photography isn’t commercial photography except for a select few. It’s more about being a people watcher and documenting life with your camera.

I’ve had a passion for street photography for years. Unfortunately for me, I get my street photography fix looking at books and surfing websites. Living in a small community just doesn’t lend itself to many opportunities. Maybe someday when I’m less focused on commercial photography.

I recently had a great experience walking around the Ann Arbor Art Fair, which has the feeling of the streets of New York City. Best of all though, was the Lenawee County Fair. For our community, this is one time all year when there is a whole week of things going on where it brings lots of people together. The one time where I feel like I have a week to shoot street photography in my hometown. After that, it’s back to helping others look great for their business, with high-quality portraits and commercial photography.

Event Photography – Adrian College 150 Years

Adrian College Event PhotographyI stood on top of the press box at Adrian College waiting to shoot this picture, watching Vicki perform magic making it all unfold. She had charted this out the week before on paper knowing only that she would have about 500 Adrian College Freshman to mold into the shape of 150.

So, armed with only that piece of paper and assistance from a few Adrian College staff, they showed each student where to stand. With temperatures over 80 degrees, once the last students were put into place they were given the order to look up at me and I pushed the shutter release.

The nice thing about wePhoto is I get part of the credit even when Vicki does all the work.

Sunset Swim

Sunset Swim

After playing backyard wiffle ball in temperatures near 90 degrees on Saturday, it was not too difficult to coax this group of boys into jumping off the dock for this shot.

The setting sun not only warms the scene, it provides great back lighting for the silhouette. I still used a little exposure compensation to lighten the scene.