I’m so excited to share these images from an engagement party in Hickory, NC last month. I had the pleasure of meeting Nikki and Pratik through my business mentor who referred them to me. This lovely couple was planning their engagement ceremony in traditional Indian fashion and I was blessed to be a part and capture all the culture and beauty of this wonderful family occasion.
Here are some of the images that highlight the great time everyone had at the party.
Here’s what Nikki had to say about her experience with Derek Johnson Photography:
“Thank you Derek Johnson Photography for the great images of our engagement party! We are so pleased with the work you did and they will always remind us of the wonderful time we had. Your photographs are full of life and emotion, and your attention to detail shines through in your work. Thank you again for the amazing memories you have captured.”
Nikki Patel, Charlotte, NC
As you may be planning for your next big holiday party, let’s talk soon and meet at your next event to capture all the joy and memories of family together for the holidays.
Let me begin by saying that I had the greatest time doing this sibling portrait session in Pineville, NC. This was the first time I’ve worked with the Phan children and I loved every minute of it at Johnston Park and downtown Pineville. Cynthia is the older sibling a Freshman at Nations Ford High School. Very energetic, style savvy and FUN!! Young Celina is a 3rd grader and while she started out a little shy and reserved, by the end of our session she was asking, “When can we do this again?”
This fun shoot began in Johnston Park, which on this beautiful Sunday afternoon was quite crowded! I’m used to shoot around the moving scenery and we were able to find some spots around the park to hide and get some beautiful images. The girls were full of energy the entire time and they posed so well together. We left the park and ended up in the very small downtown area of Pineville where the girls changed into dresses and we continued to get amazing images of them.
Check out the rest of the images below and remember this is the PERFECT time to get your kids together for a Fall/Holiday session.
You, my existing clients can save $150 on a session fee if you book between now and the end of November. That’s right, a portrait session is only $50 through the end of November
Let’s get together soon and create some lovely images like the ones below.
So check out the beautiful and FUN Phan sisters!
Have you Viewed Your Custom Photo App Lately? If not then you really should give it a look. For those of you who may not know what I’m talking about read on learn more.
I absolutely love this product! In this digital age we live in we all work and live by our mobile devices. Most of us count our mobile phones as one of the critical items that we never leave home without. Naturally we all want to share photos, videos and other memories with our family and friends directly from our phones at a moments notice. Your custom photo app can do just that.
Here’s a quick tour of the features of your photo app:
You should see a custom app icon on the home screen of your phone.
Click on the icon and be taken into the photo slideshow where you can view your images!
At the very end of your slideshow you’ll find a couple of links that will take you to my website to view more portrait images as well as my amazing REFERRAL PROGRAM. You’ve got to check it out!
So there you have it. Take a look at your custom app if you haven’t checked it out lately. If the images are really outdated and we haven’t worked together in a while, I’d love to see you again and capture some new images of you or your family.
CONTACT me and let’s schedule a portrait session soon!
I’m so excited about canvas gallery wraps! I’ve been offering them for a while and I alway enjoy receiving them in, prepping them for delivering and then watching my client’s eyes light up from joy and surprised at their beautiful portraits.
“So why canvas gallery wraps and WHY SO BIG??” Past experiences with retail portrait studios have conditioned most of use to consider an 8×10 portrait a sizable print – nice photo paper, glossy finish and ready to slip into a simple frame to place on a coffee table. 8×10 portraits are staple product and excellent for viewing an image held in your hand. Most of us enjoy the decor in our house from a distance of 10-20 feet as we move around the living spaces. Fireplace mantles, stairway walls and those large spaces above our couches are typical areas where we add decorative elements that make us smile, that make our house guest stop and admire. These are the areas where we can display beautiful imagery of our families.
“OK, that makes sense but why more than one canvas in one place?” The beauty of a wall grouping is that it shows the various family combinations and the love between different people within the family. A family can relive a humorous moment during the portrait session in a multiple canvas grouping look fondly at the entire family, kids and the parents with the kids in once heartfelt glance.
So enough talking about canvas wrap, here are a few of my favorite canvas gallery wrap wall groupings. Maybe these examples with start to highlight areas in your own home that would make a great display area for a wall grouping of your own.
Quads: The Big T – Arranged and named after the famous University of Tennessee Big T band formation. Besides representing my alma mater, this is a beautiful wall grouping that allows for your favorite portrait and landscape portraits to be displayed on a large wall in a living area or hallway.
The Mantle Mate – This grouping is perfect over a large fireplace mantle. This large quad grouping mixes square portraits and landscape portrait for a symmetrical finish. The great thing about groupings is the variety that can be had from squares, portrait and landscape images. This could totally be configured in another unique and striking way. That’s why I love hanging canvas wall grouping with Command strips. Super quick and super clean and totally rearrangeable!
The Triplets – This is one of my favorites! A spacious center portrait flanked by two tall vertical images really fills in a large open wall in a family area. You’ll be able to enjoy your family every day you walk through and spend time in the family room with this big, beautiful arrangement.
Hopefully you’ve been motivated to adorn your own walls with some beautiful artwork of your family. Give me a CALL so we can talk more about and schedule a portrait session.
See you soon!
I’m so excited to be previewing one of my most popular gift products for both families and high school seniors – The Image Folio. This modern portrait product is a beautiful album like product that features a custom photo cover and two mounted inserts that can display between 2 and 8 images. There are a number of image display options using both portrait and landscape images from your portrait session to create a timeless, custom portrait product.
So check out this short video showcasing this very popular portrait product. This makes a perfect compliment product to include in your custom portrait package.
I got together with one of my amazing young clients Bailey Tignor for a fun Americana photoshoot in downtown Rock Hill, SC. Bailey is a lovely young lady who I’ve had the pleasure of photographing on multiple occasions. She and her mother are family friends and loyal clients and I have a ball every time Bailey and I get together for a shoot.
The theme was Americana to celebrate the coming Independence Day holiday. We steered clear of the classic flag hugging poses and opted to just celebrate the American Flag colors. For this shoot young Bailey actually scoped out all of the locations while she was driving around downtown Rock Hill. She found some amazing locations around the downtown area while driving around and quickly shot me photos from her phone for me to review.
The shoot was amazing and fun even with overcast skies. We squeezed every bit of sunlight we could out of the late afternoon day and ended up with dozens of beautiful images.
Enjoy your Independence Day and enjoy these beautiful images.
This first location is an old train perched in an abandoned parking lot right as you enter downtown Rock Hill.
This next location was a beautiful mural wall along one of the main downtown roads. We attracted quite a bit of attention at this location as people stopped to compliment Bailey and ask for my business card!
With the sun fading fast we made it to our final location – A beautiful park with a fountain dancing in the background.
So the other week I started a 2-part series addressing some of the most commonly asked questions about having your senior portrait made. Summer is the PERFECT time to have your senior portraits made, so class of 2016 seniors check out this 2nd series of questions and answers about how to have a killer senior portrait experience.
If you missed Part 1, Click HERE to read it.
Can I include other people in my senior portrait session, like my boyfriend or sister?
Absolutely! We have different sessions that allow for more or less time. Choose a session package that allows enough time to include friends, pets or anyone else that is special to you.
What comes with your packages?
All Senior Portrait Session Packages include everything you need to create amazing images and have memories for years to come. We include in all of our packages:
- Professional makeup and hair application (or shave/style for guys),
- 3 digital images for social media sharing and a digital yearbook photo for publication.
- A generous print credit to get you started in creating your own custom portrait package.
- Some packages even include beautiful custom photo album or graduation invitations
If it rains, do you have a studio to shoot at?
I sure do! You’d be amazed at how I can convert my home space into a cutting edge portrait studio. I’ve had some outdoor session rained out and we improvised and took it indoors to create amazing studio images. You may also want a variety of studio and on location images. We can absolutely accommodate your creative vision for your senior portraits.
I’m shy. Won’t it be awkward having my family stare at me while the shoot is going on?
My job is to help make you feel like a superstar, so I’m pretty good at helping my clients feel absolutely comfortable during your session. Don’t worry, I normally put everyone to work – holding a reflector, fixing a stray hair – so they’ll all be too busy to stand around staring at you! LOL! And look at your family as your cheering section. They’ll be there to encourage you and cheer you on as you make some amazing images. If you’re really concerned about your family making you feel awkward, I’ll have a little pep talk with everyone before the session.
How will I know how to pose?
Don’t worry about a thing! I spend a lot of time studying to learn the most creative and natural poses to make you feel and look great. Also, we’ll take time to meet and talk about you and your likes so I can start to learn a little bit about your personality and who you are as a person. That will help me select the poses that will make you look great. And I’m always open to my senior giving me a great pose that they thought about. It’s a partnership with a common goal – EPIC senior portraits!
What other location options do you suggest?
Charlotte and surrounding areas are full of amazing locations for portrait sessions. I spend a lot of time on the lookout for locations that will compliment different personalities and clothing options. We’ll talk about your personality, your attire and your total look and then decide on a location that will compliment and enhance your final look. I did a blog post some months ago highlighting some of my most favorite locations in the area. Check out that post HERE.
So now that you’ve got some of your questions answered, WHAT SHOULD YOU DO NOW? Give me a call and let’s talk about senior portraits and schedule a time to meet in person.
You may not have a senior in the house but you may know someone who does. Forward this blog post to them and maybe they’ll become a happy client of mine. And guess what? You get rewarded for referring clients to me. Learn all about my DFP Referral Program HERE.
Until next week!
Senior Portraits with DJP are designed to an unforgettable experience for each one of my clients. I’ve collected some of the most commonly asked questions and provided detail answers. Here are a handful of questions and I’ll do a few more FAQ blog posts over the next few weeks.
This is my first time having professional photos taken. What should I expect?
You should expect a very custom experience that will make you feel like a rock star. I’m proud to say that I spend a lot of time with each of my senior portrait clients to give them not only amazing images and products, but an experience that you’ll be talking about all year long and beyond.
I don’t want the same photos as everyone else. Can you make mine original?
Absolutely! Unfortunately most seniors and their parents just settle for the school’s contract photographer. He or she is great at what they do but they’re not set up to deliver a custom and creative portrait experience for you. This is where your professional photographer rocks! We’re going to sit down before I ever take one photo and talk about YOU! I want to know what you do for fun, your favorite color, your style of dress and more. We’ll design a unique portrait session that allows you to be your best!
I really like the country, rural look, but I’m not sure where to go for the location. Can you help plan out the locations based on the type of look I want?
I sure can! When we talk and start to plan your portrait session I can’t wait to hear your personal vision for your portrait session. We’ll talk about your vision and discuss not only location but also your attire and how it all ties together to create the final look you want. Don’t worry at all about not knowing any good locations that fit your vision. As I’m driving around town I’m always on the lookout for cool locations that fit different styles and looks. There are some beautiful rural areas in the the cities for sessions!
When is the best time of year to schedule my session?
The summer of your rising senior year is the prime season for senior portraits! So Class of 2016 students, the time is NOW! The weather is amazing during this time of year and there are so many creative options for your session. If you’re not able to have your senior portraits during the summer months, don’t worry! I’ve created portraits for my past seniors in the Spring of their senior year, but by far the summer months are best!
How do I go about securing my session?
Just give me a call and we can talk a bit so I can learn more about you and what you’re looking for in your senior portraits. I’ll want to talk to your mom next so she’s on board and excite about your senior portraits. We’ll meet face to face so we can get to know each other and we can start planning your session. If everything looks great and you and your mom and ready to book a session, we’ll take care of a little business and then you’re all set. We’ll start getting ready for your epic portrait session!
I’m not really good about applying makeup but I want to look glam for my session. Can you help me out with that?
Yes! My Beauty Team is AMAZING!! These ladies help take your natural beauty to the next level with expert hair and makeup styling. My Beauty Team members have over 25 years of combined professional hair and beauty experience and they are my right hand ladies to help make your senior portraits amazing. The best part is their services are INCLUDED in all of my senior portrait sessions. No extra fees for beauty and makeup. You choose a package and be comforted in knowing that you’ll have one of my talented ladies on set working for you. And don’t worry fellas, we haven’t forgotten about you. Guys can enjoy the same “prep” service as well with a shave and style included with every senior portrait package.
Be on the look out for Part 2 of this series next week where I’ll be answering more Frequently Asked Questions about a senior portrait experience with Derek Johnson Photography. You may not have a senior in the house but you may know someone who does. Forward this blog post to them and maybe they’ll become a happy client of mine. And guess what? You get rewarded for referring clients to me. Learn all about my DFP Referral Program HERE.
Here’s Part 2 of the FAQ
Until next week!
I’m so excited to share another amazing senior portrait session with the beautiful Kourtny Owens. This was our second time working together. I met her late last year as she is a good friend of one of my Premier Senior Models Monet Mackey, and they both helped me create a Winter Style Guide. I had sooo much fun photographing Kourtney on a chilly but sunny Sunday afternoon.
With a beautiful location and an amazing senior, making these amazing images was easy. Many thanks to my makeup artist Tiffany Tyson who helped to create the perfect model for creating these images.
Check out Kourtney’s images from her session and please leave a comment below!
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Welcome to my new blog series called Home Tips! Every month I’ll be sharing some tips on various subjects around the house and for your family. This first tip is just in time for Fathers Day and gift planning. Most of your hubbies participate in the age old ritual of shaving as part of their grooming regime. Personally I’ve been shaving for many years and I never really enjoyed it and always saw it as a necessary evil to being presentable – until recently. I recently caught on to the resurgence of the art of wet shaving.
Now I’m not going to get into the history of wet shaving or try to give an exhaustive story on the art, but I want to introduce you to it and encourage you to introduce your man to it. He’s guaranteed to love for 3 reasons:
- It’s actually a form of technology! The implements of wet shaving (explained below) range from economy to luxury and everything in between. Different quality tools will provide various experiences in terms of closeness of shave and nick protection.
- It totally cool and retro! This is the classic style of shaving that his grandfather and great grandfather used. He may even have an old Parker safety razor that was passed down to him. Either way it’ll take him back to the good ole days before disposable razors were born.
- He’ll save money!! Once he sees how long a small pack of double edge razors will last him, he’ll retire that Mach 3 for good.
So here’s what you man needs to get started on his way to cool, retro wet shaving.
STEP 1: The Safety Razor!
He’ll need a safety razor. A good safety razor is a work of art. Once he get’s a taste of the beautiful razors out there he’ll do his own research and settle on an appropriate one to start with. My recommendation is to start basic and get the hang of shaving in this way before breaking the bank on premium metal.
The safety razor shown above is a simple razor that I’ve been using for several months as I learn technique and get used to this new shaving method. I really like this razor by Van Der Hagen which is a butterfly style razor. You just twist the bottom knob to release the blade – Very cool! Other popular brands are Parker and Merkur safety razors.
The key to the safety razor vs. a flex head or roller head razor is there is only the heavy weight of the razor and your man’s steady hand that guides the blade over his skin for a close shave. It forces patience and discipline (nicks can be nasty) that becomes very theraputic over time. This little guys packs some weight and feels very solid in the hand. He’ll definitely feel manlier just holding this tool.
STEP 2: Get a Quality Blade!
There are a ton of double edge blades to choose from and so much research on how to choose the one that works best for him. I just want you and your man to know that you will save so much money vs. disposable razors!! I recently bought a pack of 100 blades from Amazon. After a few months I’m not even through the 2nd pack of 5 blades. We’re talking pennies per blade and a baby smooth shave!
STEP 3: Soap and Apothecary Cup for a Superior Lather
A good shaving soap will help your mans whiskers stand at attention on his face and head and await the swift cutting from the razor. Scented or non-scented, economy or very high end, the choices are endless and he’ll have fun researching and determining what’s best for him. Poraso is a well-known brand of shaving soap that is readily available on Amazon.
STEP 4: A Badger Fur Brush
This is where the fur hits the face. This is the one tool that I would recommend getting quality over economy. There are badger fur brushes and boar fur brushes. I’ve found the boar fur to be very stiff and not comfortable on the face at all. Splurge a little and get a quality badger fur brush and your man will appreciate it.
STEP 5: A Smooth, All Natural Shaving Oil
Shaving oil acts as a natural lubricant and allows the blade to glide smoothly over the man’s face. It reduces the nicks and with natural ingredients makes his face feel great after a shave! Be warned, most shaving oils sold in stores come in little bottles and are quite pricey. The shaving oil shown above was purchased at Harris Teeter for $7. Such a tiny little bottle and I like to use oil generously. I found a wonderful do it yourself recipe for shave oil here that I’m going to try. That way I can make my own from bulk ingredients and use as much as I want!
Let’s Put It All Together!
Here is my regime for shaving. There is no strict guidelines and every man will find his ideal process but the key steps are universal – wet, wash, oil, shave, dry
- WET – OK, Either before a shower or in the shower get some hot, HOT water going on a washcloth and apply to the face for several minutes. The hot water opens the pores and softens those whiskers.
- WASH – Use your favorite facial wash to clean and exfoliate the skin and further soften the hairs for shaving. I’ve even read that some people use the shaving soap as a facial wash. A good soap has natural ingredients and does a great job at cleaning the skin.
- OIL – While the face is still wet apply several drops of shaving oil to the hands and rub into the face against the grain of hair growth to pull the hairs up.
- SHAVE – Now here’s where there are different schools of thought. There’s the “shave with the grain of the hair” camp and the “shave against the grain of the hair” camp. If your man has sensitive skin and is prone to razor bumps I would shave with the grain. The against the grain move is way too close for my sensitive skin and would sprout a razor bump forest on my face in no time. Wet shaving is different from shaving with a disposable razor. The strokes should be shorter and blade should slide across the skin at a particular angle. Some quick research from reliable sites like The Art of Manliness will reveal proper angle and shaving technique.
- DRY – Rinse the face clean and pat dry or just air dry. The face and head will feel amazing and will be ready for your man’s preferred moisturizer.
So that was a simple introduction to wet shaving. As Father’s Day approaches this would be a great gift idea. If you’re not sure if he’ll get hooked on it and want to try a simple entry into wet shaving, Wal-Mart has a great brand of wet shaving products by Van Der Hagen. They have a great starter set for about $50 with everything your man need’s to get started with wet shaving.
Here’s another great guide for beginners to learn more about wet shaving, safety razors and proper technique. CLICK HERE
So let me know if you introduced your man to this method in the comments section. Include your husband’s name and how he felt about going to this new method. I’ll pull a name from those who comment to win a Parker 91R Classic Safety Razor! It’s a classic safety razor and it’s a beauty!!