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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ben & Jessica, Part 2 * Stillwater Wedding Photographer

Check back tomorrow for yes- not kidding here- part 3!  (We almost never do that!)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ben & Jessica, Part 1 * Stillwater Wedding Photographer

As soon as Jessica told me that her colors were aqua and red, I knew we were going to get along.

But, it was only after working with and getting to know them that I realized just how special this day was going to be- and it was.  It was SO emotional, but in a very good way.  There is something about a father crying when he sees his daughter in her wedding dress that makes you feel a little better about the world, you know?  And when she walked down the aisle to her groom...perfection.

This day was amazing.  I seriously can't say enough about this couple, the venue, the bridal party, everything.  And by the way, they waited to see each other when she walked down the aisle, which led to some interesting pictures beforehand : )

Ben and Jessica,  thank you so much for choosing 1000 Words Photography by Nicole Wilke to capture your memories.  It was a blessing to be a part of your day.

Please remember to leave a comment below- if the newlyweds get 50 in the next 24 hours, they get a FREE 16 x 20 print!

Check back tomorrow for LOTS more to come!

Monday, October 29, 2012

9 Ways to Display Your Photos * Make A List Monday

Every Monday, I will post a list that in some way relates to photography.  Subjects we've covered include apparel mistakes, photos you shouldn't miss, and unexpected locations.  Upcoming subjects include what doesn't matter (in a photo shoot), how to prepare your children for a photo session, photo session timing tips, how to choose a photographer, and many others.  I have learned so much from my clients since we began this business, and I am eager to share it with you all.

This week we are talking about ways to display your photos.  Since the digital photography revolution began, the lower cost and ease of use has meant that the number of photographs taken has increased exponentially.  However, the percentage of photos that actually make it to physical form is minuscule.  You likely have hundreds, if not thousands, of photos on your computer, but how many have you actually printed?  

***Confession:  I rarely print pictures, except when using them for gifts : ( ***

So, to inspire you to get some out of your "My Pictures" folder, here are some ideas for sharing them with the world:

1.  Collages.  

Obviously, prints are the first place most of our minds go when we think of displaying our pictures.  Prints are great, but you may not want to go through the hassle of printing each shot individually.  1000 Words Photography by Nicole Wilke does collages for FREE.  If you are a client of ours, be sure to ask us about this if you are interested.  Wouldn't it be great to get one 10 x 20 or 16 x 20 print to display on your wall instead of 20 smaller ones?  Here is an example of a recent collage:

2.  Mini- Albums.  

Obviously, you don't want to make a huge album for every photo session or event you take pictures at.  However, doing a mini accordion album or a 5x7 size album is perfect to stick in your purse and bring to a family reunion to show off the kids pictures, or to share your new engagement pictures with friends.  

 photo credit mpixpro

And really, these are super- reasonably priced.  We sell accordion albums for $20.

If that isn't in your budget, check out this tutorial on how to make a handmade version.

3.  Canvases.  

Canvases have been all the rage now for a while, and I don't see them going away any time soon.

4.  Smash books

Sort of like a scrapbook, but much faster and less fussy.

See examples here, here, and here.

5.  Metal prints.

photo credit mpixpro

These seem to be the new trend, nipping at the heels of canvases.

6.  Christmas cards.

Or New Year's, Valentine's, birthday, or whatever-occasion-you-want-to-celebrate cards.  We now offer flat cards, folded, tri-folds, and cutout shapes with multiple paper possibilities.  There is a perfect option out there for you!

7.  Calendars.  

I am not really into the cutesy keychain-and-button photo display genre.  Not judging those who like it, it's just not my thing.  However, I think calendars can be safely considered in the "classic" category.  They are a simple, easy, and fantastic way to display your photos year-round.  Perfect gifts for grandparents!

9.  Other creative displays.  

If you look around the internet, you'll find tons of creative ideas for displaying your photos.  Or come up with your own!  Some of my favorites can be found here, here, here, and here

Whatever you do, get some of your photos out there for you to enjoy on a regular basis. Photos have the ability to recall precious memories that remind us of the good in life.  Surround yourself, and enjoy!

Friday, October 26, 2012

P Family * Albert Lea Family Photographer

We had the privilege of working with this sweet family for this amazing announcement just a few weeks ago:

We recently had the chance to do some more pictures with them, this time with the whole family!  What a blessing they are!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

D-H Family * Chicago Area Photographer

This was a session we looked forward to for a very long time.  Due to our tight schedule and the travel, we had to schedule it a couple of months in advance.  However, we couldn't have planned it any better- the fall colors were perfect!  We had been warned that some members of the family were not big fans of smiling, but I am happy to report we got lots of smiles out of everyone.  1000 Words, for the win : )

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

G Family Bonus * Woodbury Photographer

Sometimes, even I bring the camera out just for fun  : )

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

G Family * Twin Cities Photographer

We love this family SO. MUCH that it is impossible for words to describe.  So I will just show you the pictures : )  

[For more G family loveliness check out posts here, here, here, here, and here.]

Monday, October 22, 2012

Cake Smash! * Albert Lea Photographer

This little guy turns one this month, and his momma wanted to celebrate in style with a birthday cake all his own.  He ate is slowly and carefully- he is by far the neatest one-year-old I've met.  He kept looking at us with questioning eyes- "...are you sure?"  Check out these adorable shots of his experience!

7 Fantastic Locations You Might Not Notice * Make A List Monday

Every Monday, I will post a list that in some way relates to photography.  Upcoming subjects include Apparel Mistakes, What Doesn't Matter (In a Photo Shoot), Pictures You Shouldn't Miss, Unexpected Locations and many others.  I have learned so much from my clients since we began this business, and I am eager to share it with you all.

Today we are going to talk about locations you might not otherwise notice.  One of the more challenging- and important- aspects of being a photographer is choosing locations and figuring out how to work with them.  Some photographers eventually develop an eye for such things, and they can immediately see the potential.  However, you as a client might want to get involved in the process as well.  

Of course, there are the old standbys- parks and brick walls.  There is nothing wrong with those, but I LOVE originality.  Little in photography frustrates me more than when a client says they want to be original, then gives me a laundry list of shots or locations they want that their friend did.  This is YOUR session, so we want it to be unique to you!

With all that in mind, here are some ideas you may not have thought of:

1.  Zoos and aquariums-  they give a very relaxed, laid-back feel ideal for working with kids or couples.  Great distractions for fussy little ones.

2.  Coffee shops- sometimes, you just need an indoor location.  Even if you aren't a lover of coffee (and especially if you are!) the quirky, cozy nature of a coffee shop can be a good fit for a couple or small group).  Check out this post for some sweet coffee shop shots!

3.  Carnivals and fairs- lots of action and fun!  Make sure you have a photographer who knows how to shoot action, but this can be a very cool idea.  Look forward to a few carnival shots on this blog coming soon!

4.  Private land of people you know.  You've probably got friends, right?  Talk to them about using their land!  It doesn't have to look perfect, but it will definitely be unique.  Also, most people are honored that you appreciate their property enough to want your photos there!

5.  Places that are important to you.  Maybe your workplace has great lighting or is really cool.  Maybe you spend a lot of time at your church, the library, or a certain restaurant.  Why not?  Make it say you.

6.  Your house!  I know you might think it's nothing special, but it's YOU!  Let me come in, we might move some stuff around, and you will have beautiful shots in "your" space.  This is especially great if you have little ones, or if you want a winter session.  

7.  Let the photographer decide.  Sometimes, something that might not jump out at you sticks out to me.  I've  shot at hotel lobbies, pools, barns, alleys, and random side of the road locations most people would never choose.  But you know what?  It turned out amazing!  Of course, if something isn't your style, say so.  But, if you are willing to take a risk, you might just get a pleasant surprise!

Thanks for checking in on this week's edition of Make a List Monday.  We have some great photo sessions coming up the rest of the week, so I hope you will visit us again!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Josie * Menomonie Portrait Photographer

Let me introduce you to Josie.  She is a friend and fellow blogger, and she has a heart of gold.  She recently asked me to take a couple of updated pictures, because she just became involved in a new ministry, and I am so excited for her!  It is called Broken but Priceless, and is dedicated to encouraging people with chronic illnesses.  I love this quote on their website- 

"Even though our bodies may be broken,
we are priceless in God’s eyes."

Beautiful.  Just like Josie.

Isn't she gorgeous?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dusty & Amber, Part 1 * New Richland Photographer

We had been looking forward to this day for a very long time by the time it came.  It was a beautiful day for a beautiful couple- bright, sunshiny, and joy-filled.  

Please leave a comment below- if this couple receives 50 or more in 24 hours, they get a free 16x20 print ($50 value).  Which shot is your favorite?

Be sure to check back tomorrow for more pictures of this lovely couple!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Michael & Emma, Part 1 * Stillwater Photographer

Oh my word, these two were so cute.  They were so eager to see each other, and just wanted to be together.  There was so much laughter and joy it was crazy.  When we tried to get them to do a serious face, it always ended up in a laugh. 

Their day was filled with so many little details that reflected who they are- reception flowers arranged by family, Asian accents from their time spent there, a venue with special meaning, the groom's father giving the message and the bride's father offering a special prayer- it was all so thoughtful and heartfelt.

Michael and Emma, your day was spectacular, and your were both radiant.  We pray each day of your marriage will rekindle a bit of the sparkle of your wedding day.  Thank you so much for choosing us to capture your special day!

Don't forget to leave a comment- if the newlyweds get 50 comments in 24 hours, they will receive a free 16x20 print (a $50 value)!

Be sure to check back tomorrow for more pictures of this amazing day!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bekah, Class of 2013 * Blooming Prairie Senior Photographer

This girl is so bright and lovely, and was a joy to work with.  Her session was bright and early in the morning, and she didn't complain even once.  Her attitude was joyful and refreshing, and it was a pleasure to work with her.  Bekah, I can't wait to see what God has in store for your life!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Monday, October 8, 2012

7 Apparel Mistakes You Don't Need to Make * Make A List Monday

Every Monday, I will post a list that in some way relates to photography.  Upcoming subjects include Apparel Mistakes, What Doesn't Matter (In a Photo Shoot), Pictures You Shouldn't Miss, Unexpected Locations and many others.  I have learned so much from my clients since we began this business, and I am hoping to share it with you all.

This week, we focus on common clothing mistakes made while taking pictures- but once you know, you don't need to make them.  We all want to have a great photo look, right?  Here are some mistakes to avoid to ensure you look amazing for photos!

1.  Wearing white socks with black shoes.

2.  Wearing teeny-tiny prints, like pinstripes.

Not only will the print not show up on camera, the camera has a hard time capturing and processing this kind of thing.  Hence, pinstripes become a random mass of swirls : (

3.  Too-tight clothing.

Even the most toned bodies get muffin tops with too-tight pants.  Clingy and tight just highlight problem areas.  Avoid this fatal fashion mistake at all costs.

4.  Too-loose clothing.

I know it's comfortable.  Nonetheless, it photographs TERRIBLY.   Are you feeling less-than-trim and wanting to cover it up?  Don't try this- it just makes you look shapeless.  Instead, aim for balance- something more closefitting on the top and looser on the bottom (or vice versa).  

5.  Wearing socks with sandals.

You may think it's comfortable, but it's not cute.  Go sockless or choose other shoes.

6.  Wearing the wrong undergarments.

I don't care if your outfit is amazing and fits perfectly; if you wear the wrong undergarments it is a waste.  Get properly fitted for a bra (they say it can make you look 10 lbs thinner!),  and avoid anything that cuts into the skin.  I am not going to spend hours editing out pantylines just because you didn't check.

7.  Chasing trends.

Where what suits you.  Trends may come and go, but we want these pictures to be timeless.  Neon might be "now," but it doesn't necessarily photograph well on all people.  Skinny jeans might be popular, but if they don't fit your body, go with what does.

Be the best version of YOU!

***Bonus Tip***

Take a picture of yourself (even in the mirror) of the outfit you plan on wearing.  That is what we are working with in reality.  What do you think?

That's all for today- thanks for reading!  Do you have any other tips to add?

Friday, October 5, 2012

H Family * Albert Lea Family Photographer

Oh my goodness, we had such a great time with these guys!  We had the pleasure of photographing them in their beautiful home with gorgeous natural light.  After I found out the parents were fellow Oles, it was just the icing on the cake : )  And these boys- holy cuteness.  Adorable.  That is all.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

G Family * Menomonie Family Photographer

These guys were so fun and full of energy.  We got to experience several different locations, and the boys kept things moving fast.  Aren't they adorable?  They were both very energetic and sweet, with sweet eyes and precious smiles, and lots of hugs for Mom and Dad.  It doesn't get any better than that : )

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

J Family * Albert Lea Family Photographer

This was our second time working with this sweet family, and it went amazing:

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

S Family * Albert Lea Family Photographer

This was our first time working with this family, and they are so much fun!  The kiddos were adorable and well behaved, and they were all so flexible- a treat to work with.  At the end of their session, we got to do something extra-special.  Their little guy loves firefighters, and even has his own impressive uniform with his name on it and everything.  At the last minute, we ran down to the fire station for a few pics-  his awe was priceless!  Definitely an unforgettable moment : )

Monday, October 1, 2012

Jamie * Glenville Senior Photographer

I adore this girl.  One of my youngest cousins, she was one of the babies we all fought over for a chance to hold.  That seems like just yesterday, but she's grown up and is now a  SENIOR.  Wow, that went fast.

Not only is she bright, beautiful, and hilarious, Jamie is a 3 sport varsity athlete and was recently nominated for Homecoming queen!

Love you Jamers!

Make a List Monday * Timing Your Photo Session

I l-o-v-e lists.  I have a list for everything, have entire notebooks dedicated to lists, and make lists of lists.  This comes as no surprise to anyone who knows me well.  Since I am a Gold, INTJ, firstborn child with a terrible short-term memory, lists keep me from going insane.

We will be starting a new series of lists today!!!  Every Monday, I will post a list that in some way relates to photography.  Upcoming subjects include Apparel Mistakes, What Doesn't Matter (In a Photo Shoot), Pictures You Shouldn't Miss, Unexpected Locations and many others.  I have learned so much from my clients since we began this business, and I am hoping to share it with you all.

Today I would like to share some ideas that might help when planning the time for your photo session.  Since you don't do this every day, there are a lot of little details that are easy to overlook.  Here are some thoughts:

1.  If you have a child (or children) used to taking naps, be sure to plan around that time.  I always ask this question [now], and it makes a world of difference.  While we're talking naps, make sure your child doesn't miss his or her nap the day of the shoot- it's sure to cause everyone extra challenges!

2.  Try timing your photo sessions in different seasons, especially if you live in a region where seasons have distinct differences.  Living in Wisconsin, we shoot the majority of our sessions when the weather is warmer. However, don't be afraid to try a nice winter day!  See this session and this one for inspiration.  Your photographer is more likely to be able to accommodate your scheduling preferences during this "off season."

3.  Speaking of which, if your photographer also shoots weddings, don't expect to have your family or engagement session on a Saturday in the summer- it is highly unlikely they won't be booked.

4.  My favorite time of day to shoot is golden hour- one hour before sunset or one hour after sunrise.  This is the best lighting of the day, especially if it's been a sunny day.  Try to schedule your session around these times.

5.  Consider your family's schedule.  If your husband's job is super-busy at Christmas time, schedule your photo session well in advance.  If your 4 kids are all in summer sports, maybe spring is a better time for you. If you farm, consider a winter session- figure out what works for you!

6.  This may sound silly, but consider timing how you look as well.  If your son plays tackle football, he is more likely to have bruises or black eyes during the season.  Perhaps there are certain times of year you seem to gain weight, or times of the month that your skin breaks out.  Make it easy on yourself- schedule your photo session for the time you will look and feel the best!  However...

7.  Don't wait for perfection.  Don't keep putting off this opportunity to have you and your loved ones captured just because you want to lose weight or change your appearance.  I can't tell you the number of people who avoid pictures for this reason.  As someone who has lost a significant amount of weight (10 years ago)- I get it.  However, when I here that someone hasn't had a family picture in 7 years, and they have 3 kids under the age of 5, I wonder if it's worth it.  You never know what might happen, and it is so important to capture those memories with our loved ones.

8.  If you have little ones, be sure to consider mini-sessions.  You will want pictures of them at various stages of their development, but you may not want to pay for 4 full sessions per year.  Mini-sessions will capture those memories without draining your bank account.

That's all I have for now.  Be sure to check back next week for another installment of Make a List Monday!


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Follower of Christ. Wife. Orphan Carer. Midwesterner. Adoption supporter. Marriage and Family Therapist. Researcher. Photographer. Recovering perfectionist. Lover of Summer, Travel, Vintage, Sunshine, Crafts, Peace, and Simplicity.

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