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How would you like to be the face of our newest campaign launching this spring?
Between now and April 1, enter to win an introductory photography session for two. This spring, we are launching a new collection – the Tulle Series – and you and your BFF could be a few of the faces of our campaign! Enter the contact form below for one entry. Refer a friend to enter and tell them to mention your name in the contact form and you’ll get a 2nd entry!!
Bring your BFF and your favorite spring heels and we will do the rest.

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Rachel & Suranga – Recently Eloped

 

It’s so often that we hear stories of couples on their big wedding day, sharing and expressing their love for one another while their friends and family cheer them on. But what about couples who forgo the traditional route in favor of a more intimate profession of love between just the two of them? Sure, big weddings are a magical time for everybody, but elopements don’t seem to get as much attention. So let’s break from this narrative and shine a light on an amazing couple I recently photographed during their elopement.

 

Meet Rachel and Suranga, a recently eloped couple whom I had the honor and privilege of photographing during and after their ceremony at City Hall in Salem, MA. Rachel, a southern Indiana gal, and Suranga, who hails all the way from Sri Lanka, are two PhD students at Indiana University. These two lovebirds met on Match.com and began emailing each other, amassing an impressive nearly 90,000 words since the beginning of their relationship. As Rachel puts it, “Writing each other simply never got boring!”

 

While they may share many interests, they also support each other in their differences, mainly academics. Suranga studies Health Informatics, while Rachel studies Speech and Communication in Autism. Despite their differing respective fields of study, they were able to agree on the future of their relationship: elopement. Let’s take a look.

Rachel and Suranga opted to elope during their winter break due to their demanding PhD programs. They chose Salem as they both share keen interests in history, architecture, and folklore. Justice of the Peace Ilene Simons married the couple at City Hall. During their stay on the east coast, they split their time between exploring Boston and venturing around Salem, enjoying the “quaint and quiet streets” as Rachel recalls. On their wedding day, after City Hall, Louise drove them to various parts of Salem, including the Salem Willows for some ocean shots, Salem Common, and finishing off at the Hawthorne Hotel where they warmed up in the lobby after having braved the frigid and unwavering cold. From the get go, as a resident of Salem, Louise was able to offer them ideas about where to photograph around Salem. Louise offered an outlet of comfort to the happy couple, as friends and family were unable to join, which attests to the level of care Louise takes in her profession.

 

Here’s what Rachel had to say about the photographs taken on their wedding day:

“Louise photographed our elopement on a frigid day in December 2017! She made us feel completely comfortable, and we were inspired to cross many icy paths in below freezing weather to get the perfect shots! We definitely got them. We love our photos and the special artistic impressions she made of them – we plan to use them on our thank you cards.”

As they both work in the mental health field, they were drawn to Louise Michaud Photographer because of her involvement with the 99 Faces Project. The 99 Faces Project challenges traditional societal views of people with mental illnesses by celebrating them and those who love them through the art of photography.

 

Using Photography to Break the Cabin Fever of Winter

Do you ever find yourself experiencing cabin fever when the snow is just too much? We hardy New Englanders are all too familiar with heavy snowfall and snow days spent inside because of it. But how can you avoid boredom when shut in? Sure, you can watch TV or Netflix, pop in a DVD, or even curl up by the fire, hot cocoa in hand. But what about doing something a little more productive? Something that will really break the cabin fever better than your favorite TV show? Consider turning your snow day into a photoshoot. You’ll be able to further develop your photography skills while also having fun with it. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Clear the Clutter – The first step to any project is to make sure you have a clean workspace, and, in the case of an art project, a clean canvas. For the photoshoot be sure to clear any clutter from the background. If not, people’s attention could be drawn more toward this clutter than to the actual subject, even if the background is blurry.
  • White Balance – It is important to capture the true colors of whatever you’re photographing. Sure, your eyes can automatically detect the waves of light, which your brain then translates into the color you see. Cameras and their lenses, however, haven’t quite caught up to speed though. In order to capture the true colors, you need to do what is called white balance. This can be done with a plain, white posterboard. Place the white posterboard as a background, then put the object in front of it. The white posterboard should be the only thing in the background with the object you plan to photograph in the foreground. White balance is a simple technique to get the truest color in all your photos.
  • Let it Shine – Another technique that will enhance the colors in your photos is to let in natural light from the most abundant source: the Sun. You may have to feng shui the room a bit to get the right amount of light focused on the object, but it’ll be worth it to get that perfect shot. If the picture is still too dark, though, you may want to use the flash as well to really get the desired effect.

Don’t let a winter storm bring you down. Enhance your photography skills by turning your snow day into a full blown photoshoot. You’ll get some great photos you can be proud of and share with others. It may take some prep work, but you’ll be a pro soon enough.

The Importance of Family and Family Portraits for the Holidays

Family Portrait

It’s that time of year again. As the days get shorter, the holidays draw nearer and nearer. And this means several family gatherings, whether it’s a Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa party, or a party to ring in the New Year, there are many occasions to celebrate with loved ones. And who could forget the holiday cards? This is where you get to show off your beautiful family, pets included of course! Let’s take a look at why family is so important during the holiday season, and what you can do to document the growth of your own:

  • Family is always there for you – The great thing about family is that they’re blood. Friends may come and go, but family is forever.  You may not get to see them every day, so cherish the time you do spend together. You also have the chance to catch up with each other, to talk about what you’re studying in school, a new job opportunity, or even to formally announce an engagement or pregnancy to all your loved ones.
  • Family Portraits – Louise Michaud Photographer takes family portraits year ’round. Arguably the most important part of any family portrait is, of course, the family, so get the family together, dress to impress, and don’t forget to smile. Family portraits let you document your lives and the seemingly endless growth of your family. What’s more, you get to show off your beautiful family in their best dressed when you have friends or extended family over to visit. You’ll be sure to get a few compliments about how beautifully your family is growing, especially the kids, and even the family pet(s). Be sure to hang or place the masterpiece somewhere where it will be the center of attention so you can see it every day and remember the importance of family.

If ever there is a time for family, it’s during the holiday season. Gathering family members is what makes the holidays so enjoyable. It’s not everyday you get to see each other, so make lasting memories together. Happy holidays from Louise Michaud Photographer!

Taking a Corporate Headshot

You might be questioning the importance of, or the reason for having a corporate headshot. It is generally a good idea to have corporate headshot of yourself as well as employees. You can upload them to the staff page of your company’s website. This is particularly advantageous if yours is the kind of business which deals heavily in client relations, as the headshots and accompanying, written staff profiles give personality and identity to your staff and company as a whole. Incorporating headshots may help clients engage and interact with your staff, as the headshots act as a friendly “hello”. However attractive the final product may be, headshots can be rather costly, which is why some businesses opt to do it themselves. But before you take out the camera and start shooting, read our tips and tricks for taking the best headshots of you and your team: 

  • Getting started – Let’s begin with outfit choice. A headshot should be, you guessed it, shot from the chest up! Having said that, choose a few nice shirts to wear. It is best practice to wear something comfortable and in which you look and feel good – fashion with a function. When you feel good in the clothes you wear, it shows through a bright, smiling face. Sometimes, you’ll even get a good day out of it. You know how that song goes, “It’s a good day to have a good day.”

  • Putting on your face – You’ll want to look your sharpest, not only in the clothes you wear, but more importantly, the point of the headshot, the face. Don’t go overboard on the makeup though, as you could end up looking nothing like yourself on a normal day. The point of a headshot is to provide a clear, attractive, and friendly picture of yourself. Women should lean more toward neutral colors or a light application of makeup. Men should be either clean-shaven or well-trimmed, depending on if you usually sport a beard or mustache, or not. You should also take the time to style your hair for some added flare and personality.

  • Lighting and backdrop – These will change depending on if you’re either inside or outside. If you’re inside, you’ll have to set up artificial lights and maybe even a background if the walls are unflattering. Stick with a solid color background, and make sure the lights aren’t too bright and in your face. The lights should complement the face, but not be so intense that they project shadows on your face or give your skin a different color. Two lights on either side of you should do the trick, with one closer to your face to create a soft shadow. If you’re outside, you’ll have to play with angles for a bit, depending on where in the sky the sun is. You don’t want to be in the deep shadows, as it may be too dark to see the image clearly, but you also don’t want to be in direct sunlight, as it will bother the subject’s eyes and the excessive light may be unflattering as it falls on the face. You’ll want to be in the “open shade”, or the spot in which you’re not directly in the sun, yet you’re still lit up. Choosing the background will depend on the angle you previously chose, as it would be harder to fight with the angle and sunlight if you were to choose the background first. Pay close attention to make sure the angle, light, and background complement the subject’s features, including face and hair.
  • Selecting and editing for the perfect headshot – You should take several photos with different poses and degrees of smile, so you have a selection from which to choose. Once you’ve chosen the best, most attractive picture, it’s time to do some last minute touch-ups and editing. You can either do this through a program like Photoshop or with a simple camera app. You should first crop and straighten, then adjust the brightness, improve the color and lighting, and sharpen or soften the image as needed. And finally you can save it once you’re happy with the finished product.
  • Profile write-up – Underneath each headshot on your website should be a proper description of the employee, including their skills, talents, specific role(s) within the company, and special interests or activities outside of work for added personality. You can even include something quirky, like a favorite food, tv show or movie, sport, if they met a celebrity and how or what the interaction was like. Be sure to include their education background as well to attribute where they learned their specific skills. The write-up itself should only be about 4-5 sentences long and really showcase who the employee is as a person and why they’re a valued member of the team.

While having corporate headshots aren’t necessary for every company, it will provide your clients with a view of your team and how their respective talents, skills, and roles culminate to make up your adroit and dexterous company. As with any photoshoot, the subjects should be well-rested, well-fed, hydrated, and eager to get their picture taken. Be sure to have fun with it, too, so the personality can really shine through, making for an even better headshot. Choose the most professional yet attractive photo for each employee and write a dazzling description.