Maternity Photography – Jessica

The most wonderful realisation is that as a wedding photographer I have the opportunity to document not just a milestone in a couple’s life but the beginning of a new life. Whether a couple has been dating for a decade or a couple of years, declaring those vows and exchanging rings is the beginning of a new chapter in their lives.

Now in my 6th year as a wedding photographer, I am being invited back into my clients lives to document their family as it grows. Through maternity, newborn and family sessions I am able to continue to photograph their legacy. I always love catching up with my couples because we work together so closely during their wedding that we often become friends and spending time with Jess and Luke was just that. In fact we spent so much time talking about life and everything in between that I had to remind myself to take some photos of Jess looking incredible in her pregnancy.

Jess and Luke welcomed their little girl into the world two weeks ago and I was so thrilled to meet her last Friday but before I share some of those lovely photos, here is Jessica. Expectant for the newest chapter in her life as a mother.

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The School Sessions

The School Sessions is a one-day event across the globe on Sunday, April 12, 2015 to raise $200,000 to build a school in Haiti and I am so thrilled to be one of the many photographers that have signed up to photograph a portrait session and donate 100% of fees to The School Sessions!

$200,000 will buy land and build a ten-classroom school for 220 students. The previous building was destroyed by the horrific 2010 earthquake and these children (ages 3 to 16) are in need of a earthquake and hurricane-proof school to learn and grow.

I strongly believe that knowledge is power and I was amazed to learn that 47% of Haitians are unable to read and write and 50% of primary school aged children simply don’t even attend school. If there ever was an opportunity to pass on my blessings to others and use my skills to give back, this is it.

I have one lifestyle session available to help The School Sessions reach their goal and your session must be booked and scheduled before April 12th. However if you are unavailable on this date, we can do the session at an earlier date. So if you want to get some beautiful photos of you, your family, your children AND you want to help build a school in Haiti then get in touch ASAP!

WHAT’S INCLUDED
* 45 minutes on location lifestyle session for up to 5 people
* Minimum 65 High Resolution Digital Files
* Online Gallery for 3 months for viewing and downloading your images

HOW TO BOOK
* Get in touch via the contact form or email angela@angelahiggins.com referencing the School Sessions.
* The cost of the session is $770 and includes everything listed above and must be paid and photographed on or before April 12th 2015.
* The session can be an engagement, maternity, baby, family, or just because and 100% of your session fee paid will be donated directly to The School Sessions.

I can’t wait to hear from you! Let’s make some beautiful photographs AND be part of a global effort to raise $200,000 to help build a school for over 200 children!

Oh and if you’re a photographer reading this, then head over to The School Sessions, sign yourself up and get shooting to be a part of this amazing cause!

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Sandalford Winery Wedding – Lauren and Josh

From his proposal to a huge dip for the first kiss at their ceremony at Sandalford Winery (and his pre-wedding shenanigans with his brothers), if you want to meet a man with all the right moves it’s Josh.

While on cloud nine having just completed their pre-start meeting for their new house, Josh suggested they look at engagement rings. I don’t think there is a girl in the world would say no so off they went and Lauren chose her favourite and she said that Josh should go back on his own and buy it when he was ready.

A few no doubt torturous weeks later as they were down south getting ready to go to dinner, Josh called out to Lauren to come into the bathroom. As he opened the door she entered a steam room and as the air cleared she saw Will you marry me? written on the mirror in the fog surrounded by hearts. Josh fell to his knee and asked her the question out loud and she fell into him in tears. Happy tears of course.

I was delighted to see Josh and Lauren officially get married at Sandalford Winery last month surrounded by their loved ones. It was the most spectacular day with perfect golden sunlight and I wish them all the world of happiness.

Gown: Paula & Jo // Bridesmaids Gowns: Goddess by Nature // Makeup: Sparkling Belle // Florist: White Posie // Officiant: Shannon Flemming // Venue: Sandalford Winery // Cake Artist: Candy Cakes // Rentals and Hire: Bride + Groom // Videographer: Shannon Stent Images // Photography: Angela Higgins

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Tips for better photos on Instagram – Part 2

I hope you enjoyed part 1 of tips for better photos for Instagram and here we’re going to dive in the remaining 3 tips to help you get the best photos on your phone.

4. MOVE YOUR FEET
This one seems simple but rather than using the zoom on your camera, move your feet to get closer to your subject. You will get a better angle and the resolution will be much better! This is something I also use when using my “real” camera where I don’t use zoom lenses but instead move myself to closer or wider. Do your best to crop an image in the camera itself but if you have to crop, use the crop feature after rather than the zoom feature on your phone while taking the photo.

5. LIGHTING
Lighting is so important to a good Instagram photo – so much so that if the lighting is bad I just won’t share an image at all or I will wait until a better time for better light. For example, I could see this instagram picture in my mind the minute I saw the view of the pool from our hotel room. However when we arrived it was late afternoon and the sun was beginning to stream through the window and caused a reflection (left image). Instead I took the photo the following morning (centre image) when the sun was behind the hotel and then cropped the image in to get rid of the construction behind the pool and edited it before uploading (right image). Much more pleasing!

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Quite often your camera will decide on the exposure it will use for the photo you want to take too. Before you take the photo you can override this to use manual exposure by tapping on the area that will be the focus and the camera will adjust the exposure and lighten the image. If this isn’t correct use the slide to the right of the sun icon on your viewer to go up or down in exposure to get what you want. You can see a bit more about this functionality here.

6. EDIT BEFORE UPLOADING TO INSTAGRAM
There are so many apps that you can use to edit and this is where you can give your images a bit of a pop and pizazz. At the end of the day I don’t want to spend 30 minutes editing an image to perfection for Instagram. This is a snap shot of my day and I want to keep it easy so my preferred app is PicTapGo. I love it because you can adjust the intensity of a filter and then you can save a recipe to use quickly in the future. My preferred filters are Lights On, Warm It Up, Crispity, + Contrast, Awake and Air. I don’t use all of them every time but often a combination of 2-3 filters. When I upload it to Instagram I don’t use any other filters. PicTapGo also has a cropping and levelling function within the program which makes things super simple rather than using another program (below is a before and after using Pic Tap Go)

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I hope these tips help and if you have any other tips I’d love to hear them!

Tips for better photos for Instagram – Part 1

I love Instagram and I would have to say it is one of the most frequently used apps on my phone. Being the visual person that I am, its not hard to see why.

When I first started using it, I just shared anything and everything and threw any Instagram filter over the top (I had photos with bad angles, bad lighting and boring subjects) but about 18 months ago I sat down and really looked at what I was sharing and how I could do it better. Now I am a little more strategic with what I share, how I photograph it and how I edit with my phone which most of my Instagram account is made up of. This blog post isn’t about getting more followers or likes but about the process of taking a better photo with your phone to share on Instagram, so let’s get started!

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1. SHOOT IN THE FORMAT YOU WANT TO SHARE
Instagram is built for the square format photograph. I know a lot of people share bordered horizontal or vertical images but all of my photos I take with my phone are generally intended for Instagram so I just take the photo as a square image or 1:1 ratio. If you shoot with your phone camera on its regular cropping (i.e., 4:3 ratio), you then have to crop the image for the square format and can lose important information in the photo. Do it right the first time in the format you want.

For that matter, ensure you take the photograph using your regular phone camera app (ie, not in Instagram) and give your camera lens a light wipe to make sure its not dirty or smudgy. I see so many people post photos that look hazy and could easily be solved with a quick wipe.

2. CONSIDER THE ANGLES AND HORIZON
I’m a fan of either a slightly above point of view angle for close ups of people or things, head on for wider shots or a shot direct from above for food and objects, as I find these most appealing to my eye. Be consistent with your angles and try to keep your horizon level in photos (the horizon is the line that runs horizontally in your photo such as the beach or water, a road, or a wall). If you don’t take the photo with a level horizon you can easily adjust it with Instagram.

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3. RULE OF THIRDS – USE THE GRID
The rule of thirds is a basic rule of thumb in photography that very much applies to your phone camera. The idea is that an image is divided into 9 equal parts through a grid of 2 equally spaced vertical lines and 2 equally spaced horizontal lines. With this concept, when you take a photograph you try to put points of interest (where you want the viewers eye to be drawn to) at one of the 4 points where the lines intersect or along the lines themselves. On an iPhone you can turn on the grid at Settings > Photos & Camera > Grid

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Check back tomorrow for the final 3 tips to take better Instagram photographs!