Archive for the ‘Helpful Information’ Category

The Importance of an Experienced Makeup Artist

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

We may be a bit biased, but of course we feel like photography is one of the most important decisions for a bride and groom to make for their wedding!  In reality, so many decisions are important and for each couple and what paramounts is different.  This may come as a surprise to our readers, maybe not, but considering who you choose for your makeup artist may need to be at the top of your priority list.  One big reason is the effect it can have on your timeline if makeup runs late.  More importantly, I (Kristin) know that every bride wants to look retouched… in real life… on her wedding day.

So today I’m going to talk you through what a professional photographer is looking for in wedding day makeup.  Some of our brides want a more natural look while some are perfectly willing to go dramatic.  Yet there are key elements to color, shadows and highlights that mimic what we’re trying to accomplish with light.  When these two factors are on point (light and make up), the finished portrait is exquisite.  Ok… so what are these elements?  The first… shadows.

Our first bride is Changyi who was honestly very worried about her makeup.  She mentioned that she was a bit self conscious of the shape of her face.  Our makeup artist shared with her that she studies the features of her brides faces and knows where and how to bring out her best features.  Whether you have a round face or narrow, a key component of wedding day makeup is shadowing below the cheekbone.  Notice how defined Changyi’s cheeks are.  It’s subtle, but key.  Whether we’re using off camera lighting or natural light, we’re looking for those beautiful shadows below the neck and cheekbone.  Now this is just my opinion, but I prefer a rosy brown for this shadow.  When it’s pink, it’s often lost in our cameras and when it’s too brown, it looks like you’ve been punched in the face.  Yikes!
Changyi&Dapeng Spread 017 copyJennifer and Trey-0007

Study the album spread above.  Now you’re noticing Jenn’s perfectly rosy brown shadow under her cheek aren’t you?  Now, study her jaw line.  See the beautiful shadow that goes all the way from her ear to her chin?  Don’t we all want that perfectly slim neck!  Well, there’s contouring there and this is one of the MOST missed details we notice.  The same color used to contour your cheekbones should be used below your neck to give beautiful definition.  There have been weddings where I wished I carried bronzer with me and when the make up artist wasn’t looking I would apply to my bride myself!

Courtney&Nick Spread 011

Another key component of wedding day makeup is color.  Seems obvious, but there are colors you should use and colors you may want to avoid.  While shimmery eyeliner and eye shadow are fun for going out, they are not the most flattering when you’re being photographed.  The shimmer in eye shadow can actually reflect light and makes your skin look speckled or dirty.  The white or colored eye liner washes out your eyes instead of accentuating them.  Even you’re hoping for a dramatic look, we recommend you sticking to a neutral color palette but just taking it up a notch.  A smoky eye is perfectly fine, and we always love a dramatic lip.  But the key is to keep the color around your eyes neutral and with a matte finish so we see your eyes first, not your makeup.

Kelly&Dale Album CoverCassie&Trevor Spread 025 copy

Often times our brides will look at their makeup when it’s finished in a hand held mirror.  They are still in their t-shirt and who knows if the light is pretty where they’re sitting.  So they see their face super close up and have a mild panic attack… just wait!  Before you cry to your makeup artist to tone it down, wait until your gown is on and we put you in beautiful light.  Then, make a decision.  It often puts our brides at ease to see what their face looks like in our cameras.  When you’re a distance away and, not to mention, in a gown, the makeup must be substantial in order for our cameras to see it.

Maggie&Devin-0002 Megan&Frank Spread 009 copy

Natural from a distance looks bold up close…

Notice our stunning bride Megan shown above.  She is exquisitely natural and still looks like herself.  I’ve heard many times that my brides worry about wedding day makeup because they want to look like themselves on their wedding day.  Of course you should look like yourself!  But just the most beautiful version of yourself!  Close up, Megan has a dark red lip, but notice from a distance how soft it looks.  She has false lashes and contouring and all key elements of wedding day makeup.  Emily and Sean-0035

Ok, now let’s talk about brows.  No matter how dark or light or perfect you think your eyebrows are… in order to have a complete look, your makeup artist should color them in.  Whether slightly or not, it finishes the look.  Notice above Emily’s brows are already dark and you may not think necessary to color, but they are and are done so with precision.  They don’t look thick or fuller than normal, nor do they change the structure of her face, which brides often worry about.  Rather, they define her eyes and anchor her cheekbones.


So you may have guessed by now who’s techniques we’ve been referring to in this post.  While we work with many amazing makeup artists, the famous Kara Winslow is a makeup artist we trust 100% to deliver a beautiful service while staying on time… always.  Kara understands how to make our brides look their best while also understanding what we want as a photographer.  We have worked countless weddings with Kara and never once has she been late or taken longer than she said she would.  For my brides, I know you have so many decisions to make and sometimes that’s overwhelming.  But I promise you you will not regret investing in a professional makeup artist and Kara is our first recommendation.  Twice a year, Kara and Footstone host a Makeup Workshop where we talk about these elements in more detail and can talk specifically with you about how your make up could look based on your individual features.  Stay tuned for that or email us if you want to be added to the email list.  Thank you Kara for being so wonderful and taking such good care of our brides!

Defining Milestones – Every Moment Counts

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

“Life isn’t a matter of milestones, but of moments.” – Rose Kennedy

I (Kristin) read a book one time… I should remember which one, but I don’t.  But it said, often we keep putting things off in life saying, “Well, I’ll just wait until I get that job”, or “I’ll wait until the kids are older”, or then, which I now hear my parents say routinely, “We’ll wait until we retire”.  The author goes on to ask, do we really think there is this rolling landscape of flowers just over the hill and someday, when we reach it, we’ll finally start to do these meaningful, but non-essential things?  Truth is, it’s never yet always a good time.

Photographers use the word “milestones” often.  The big ones are – go to school, graduate, get a job, find love, get married, start a family… How special it is that we get to work with families through these major life events!  We are incredibly grateful for it.  But today’s post is simply to encourage you to also pay attention to the small moments. Capture who you are on the journey. Stop and snap a shot of the little moments as you go, so that when you look back you see more than just the big events, but also the in-betweens that life is made up of.

Small moments are worth capturing and remembering. So many of them go by without any acknowledgement, but I find that these are the moments that you look back on later wishing that you had captured that belly laugh, the crooked smiles, or the spider man costumes and princess tutus as they ran past you.  We live in a generation where cameras are a pocket away, so we have no excuse not to use it to our advantage and immortalize those precious everyday occurrences.  But here’s my challenge… PRINT these moments.  Make them real.  I know you’re shaking your head right now thinking of all the “files” on your computer.  Set a date… make a deadline… PRINT them.

Ok… I’ll stop harassing and move into the session that inspired this post.  You may remember this precious session we did with Kara Winslow and her beautiful grandmother, Grace.

Generations Family Session Album -

This legacy session is close to our hearts, as both Paul and I have lost our own grandmothers in the recent years. We were honored to be able to memorialize Grace in her 101st year and capture her personality and relationship with her family.  Generations Family Session Album -

This is one image of Grace that I absolutely adore – her hands resting elegantly on the arm of her chair. How beautiful for Kara and her family to forever have those tender hands frozen in that moment. I wish with all my heart that I had an image like that of my Granny’s hands.  It’s often hard to just stop and treasure our loved ones with new eyes.  I never realized how much I would miss my Granny’s soft, wrinkly hands.

If you take away anything from this short thought, take inspiration to remember your moments.  Take out your camera if you must, or simply sit there and soak it in.  Memorize every detail.  And even better, print it and make it real, so when those moments are gone, the memory is fresh and ready to relive.  And who knows? Maybe one of those little moments will become one of your most cherished milestones.

A Personal Story – Making Health a Priority

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

Today’s blog post is a special one to me, Kristin, as this session has quite the back story.

Last year I was training for my first marathon.  I have been a runner for many years now, but a marathon has been on my bucket list for awhile.  I finally committed to a race in Jacksonville in February 2015.  I trained and studied and trained and collapsed and trained… you get the point.  I made it to my 21 mile training run and I did it!  And I surprisingly felt fine.  Just a few days before the race, my younger sister called that her water just broke.  She was having her first baby and she, along with my other younger sister, lives in Boston.  There was no way I was going to miss this!  So Paul booked airline tickets out of Gainesville and I hopped on the plane within a couple hours.  I made it in time for my precious little nephew, Lakin, to be born.  THAT is the good news… bad news was… no race.

Needless to say, I absolutely do not regret missing the race.  But what happened was I had no desire after this to start training again.  I had hit the wall even though I didn’t run the last long run.  So what began to happen was I started putting on weight because I was still eating like I was training!

About 3 or 4 months later, I had put on about 10 pounds.  No, not anything crazy, but on a 5’4” body, that matters in the way you feel.  My good friend Lauren had started working out at Zen Fitness, a personal training gym in Gainesville.  She invited me to join her. Wow!  I went in thinking I was in pretty good shape because I had almost run a marathon.  Uhh… almost threw up my first session.  Literally!  Had to sit on the floor in the bathroom for awhile praying it didn’t happen.  How humiliating!  But what I realized was with extra weight and a poor diet, I had quickly lost a lot of strength.  Embarrassed, I sluggishly came out of the bathroom and did my best to finish the session.

Fast forward 5 months and I’m down to 13% body fat, my diet is on point, and I’ve made great friends in the process.  I feel better and stronger in every aspect of my life.  I almost keep up with Lauren now!

For this shoot, Paul photographed Zen trainers in action at the gym.  Visit their website to see how they’ve used the images.  This was so much fun to be a part of.  And I will happily share more details about training at Zen with anyone who is interested in learning more!

Zen Fitness Gainesville GI1A0502 GI1A0566Physical Training GI1A0607

This is Lauren above on the left.  At barely 5 foot, she kills it at the gym!  She’s incredibly strong, but more importantly, super motivating and encouraging.  Making the time to train has reminded me that we can’t work all day every day.  Health must be a priority. Wow, how much health dictates the success in almost every aspect of our lives! But, I’ve also learned that spending time with my girl friends, laughing and teasing and giggling over how awkward we look sometimes, is equally as healthy and important.GI1A0801Healthy Eating GI1A1060 GI1A1084

There was a day Carly, the owner and lead trainer, shown above, asked us to do a quarter mile of lunges… yes, you read that correctly.  Somehow, we did it!  Perhaps with a little whining and crying, but nonetheless…  I don’t think I could walk the next day, but I can honestly say I have better definition in my legs now then when I was training for the marathon.

While I’m a little embarrassed to share my personal story with training at Zen, I’m honored to share this session.  These a great people who are passionate about healthy living.  I’ve learned so much about strength and diet and I’ve realized I need the accountability of people asking me how I’m doing.  And for the marathon, I’m training again now in hopes of running the same race in Jacksonville, February of 2016.  I have recruited one “virtual” training partner to run the half marathon at the same race.  If you want any information about it, let me know!  You can join us!


Tuesday Tips | Winter Session Colors

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Footstone Photography

We have had the chance to work with some amazing families this winter!  We wanted to share some wardrobe inspiration from their sessions.  Even in similar settings, the color palette your family chooses to wear can make your session very unique.  The two most important things to keep in mind are one, what colors do your family look good in, and two, what colors will look good in portraits hanging in your home.

With these two family sessions, we’re showing you an area that is our new favorite location.  With the long dirt road covered with canopied trees, a deserted railroad track and a handmade vintage “blueberries” sign, we fell in love with the timeless and organic feel of these surroundings. In this first session, we love that Kari Leigh and Jason chose to use a mix of different shades of blue for all the boys. But then Kari Leigh was able to add a fun pop of pink.  The blue looks great against these natural backgrounds, and the statement color makes it unique.  We adore this family… we’ve had the honor of photographing all 3 boys since they were babies!

Family Portrait Session Outfit Color Inspiration -

Family Portrait Session Outfit Color Inspiration - blue and pink - www.footstonephotography.comFamily Portrait Session Outfit Color Inspiration -

In this family session, our clients chose a color palette of browns and greens.  With the various shades of green, they used the blue consistently throughout their wardrobe.  We love how these greens and blues work together, but also how they compliment the background so well. This family session was incredibly special to photograph because our oldest little boy, Win, goes to school with Tyler, the oldest brother shown below.  Can I get a shout out to moms with twin boys?! Kari Leigh and Cathy… you’re amazing!

Family Portrait Session Outfit Color Inspiration -

Family Portrait Session Outfit Color Inspiration - blue and green - www.footstonephotography.comFamily Portrait Session Outfit Color Inspiration - blue and green - www.footstonephotography.comFamily Portrait Session Outfit Color Inspiration -

 For more color inspiration for your fall or winter portrait sessions, click this link. Also keep an eye out for Spring color palettes on the blog soon!

We can’t wait to talk with you about your family’s session.  Feel free to read our Frequently Asked Questions, and contact our studio to set up your consultation: or 352.562.3066

Tuesday Tips | Family Milestones

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Footstone Photography

In our last Tuesday Tips post, we were suggesting all the important baby milestones to make sure you capture in your baby’s first year.  Once this initial growth spurt has passed and maybe other little ones come to be a part of the picture, there are still some very special times that you won’t want to miss getting professional pictures done as a family.  Before you know it, we will both be 20 years older, and will have some fantastic memories together as we have walked with your family through all of these special times!

Here are some milestones we love to capture of each of your children individually, but also of your family as a whole:

Recommend Family Portrait Milestones to Photograph -

Toddler & Preschool (around 2-5 years)

This is a special age when all your children start to become friends and they are joyful and curious about just about everything.  They may have a hard time sitting still and they may be silly the entire time, but isn’t that all part of the memories from this age group?! When to schedule your family's portrait sessions - Preschool Milestone by Footstone Photography www.footstonephotography.comWhen to Photography Kids Preschool Family Portrait Session -

Starting School (around 5-10 years)

We start to see individual personalities really shine in each child and growth spurts are all too common.  You may feel like you can barely keep up with your children as they start to get busy will all kinds of fun activities and homework, but set aside some time during these elementary years to capture some memories together!  When to schedule your family's portrait sessions - School Age Children Milestone by Footstone Photography www.footstonephotography.comOutdoor Country Railroad Tracks Family Portrait Session -

Pre-Teen & Early Teen (around 10-15 years)

We have decided that kids don’t really go through an awkward phase anymore, like we feel that we did when we were young!  You can definitely convince them to take some fun images during this time of life when they are trying to really define who they are.  This is such a self-esteem building session.Gainesville Family Portrait Photographer - www.footstonephotography.comWhen to schedule your family's portrait sessions - Teen Milestone by Footstone Photography

High School Senior (around 16-18 years)

This stage comes way too soon for most parents.  That’s why it’s so important to not let is pass by.  Believe us, once that first child leaves the “nest” it is very difficult to get everyone back together again for a family portrait session.  Make this a priority before your little chicks fly away!  When to schedule your family's portrait sessions - High School Senior Milestone by Footstone Photography www.footstonephotography.comFootstone Photography Gainesville High School Senior Photography -

College Grad (4+ years later?!)

They will reach great accomplishments all throughout their life, but this one is not one to be missed!  We tend to focus so much on high school seniors, but those 4+ years of college can have a profound impact on your children’s lives.  Let us help you capture the young man or woman they have become!

University of Florida Senior Photography Gainesville -

Your iPhone photos may be great for instant sharing today, but trust us when we say you will want a collection of beautiful images on your wall that you will treasure forever.  We have a beautiful folder full of this information and much more to help you plan your family’s sessions.  Contact us to schedule a consultation, and we will start making getting all the details in place with you! – 352.562.3066

Tuesday Talks with Kristin at Footstone Photography