What to wear for Engagement photos { when it rains on your engagement photo day }

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Josh and Maggie tied the knot on April 18th, 2015.  We did this session after rescheduling for rain many times.  Finally, we embraced the rain and shot the session anyway.  After all, isn’t marriage about weathering the storms?  Grab an umbrella, some casual clothes and if you are the photographer, Hunter Boots, (my fav). Now get to shooting.


What to eat before Senior Portraits?

Contrary to what you may think, starving before your senior portraits WILL not make your little belly flat for pictures!  That being said, here’s what to eat on the big day. . .

1. Breakfast:  Eat a BIG hearty breakfast, something like eggs and bacon.  I love oatmeal with fruit.  Or Greek yogurt with fruit.  By all means, drive through Hardees, McDonalds, DQ, anything, just don’t starve.   Your senior portrait photographer will be blocking off hours of your time.  You will need stamina and energy!  Most seniors don’t realize but posing for senior pictures can be exhausting.  Don’t skip breakfast, even if you normally do.  It is hot and humid in Kentucky all summer, no matter the time of day.  Drink plenty of water.  Here is a portrait of one of my FAVORITE seniors, Andrea Stidham.  She posed for these shots for me while I was teaching a senior outdoor lighting class  a class at PPN, right before she PASSED OUT!  I’m not saying she skipped breakfast but I KNOW she wasn’t hydrated.   In her own words, “Hydration yes, food is even better.”  Watch as she starts to fade away on me.

stidham-PPNStidham-250Then, she goes and puts on her most awesome, but HEAVY prom dress . . . and got even greener around the gills, just before she went down.


Long story short, please eat and drink breakfast before a photo shoot.  If your appointment is late afternoon, eat lunch!


2. Lunch:  Protein and some fruit. Pack an apple and some nuts with your outfits.  Grab a chicken sandwich or turkey sub.

3. Snack:  By Afternoon, my senior girls are usually ravenous.  They would never mention it, but when I  offer them cookies they ALWAYS say yes!  We keep chocolate chip cookies for those exact moments of crashing.

Hope these tips help.  Find me on Twitter @suzannedeaton and instagram @suzanneadeaton  for more Senior Photography tips.

First Birthday Photography ideas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here are some of my favorite First Birthday ideas and what to do with the images.

1. Find something they  like to get into:

Meet Nash.  He’s a little over ONE and LOVES toilet paper!  Well, he doesn’t wipe with it yet, just plays with it.  So, we planned this photo concept with the END result in mind {no pun intended} hanging it in the bathroom above the toilet.

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Here’s little Hope!  She happens to LOVE her Minnie Mouse, which was a perfect prop for this 1 year session.


2.  Get Crafty:

Gone are the days where you sing Happy Birthday and make the cake yourself. In 2015, moms and especially my crafty clients are going ALL OUT for 1st birthday themed ideas!  A big trend right now is the hot air balloon.  Please don’t ask me how they made these, but I’m sure Whitney Neace and Misty Breeding can teach us.  Let me get back to you on that. Misty says she will post to pinterest.

Breeding -9Neace-1823.  Think outside the box:

Is it difficult to load up the baby grand piano?  YES!  But, not the little one.  There is a mozart in all of us, right? Bring it to the studio. Big props are adorable for some fun pictures.  And, it keeps the little ones distracted so I can capture expressions like this one.  Thanks Adysen.

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How to Wrangle a 3 year Old . . . {Children’s photography Session}


chloe-37_1600This is Chloe.  She has a perfect 3 year old smile and brings beautiful outfits for her yearly photo shoot.  For all intents and purposes, she arrives at my studio to have pictures taken.  But, what 3 year old REALLY wants to have “pictures” taken?   Not many.  They come to the studio to play with ME, not sit in front of a camera.  “Smell the flower Chloe”, I said.  “I don’t wanna smell the flower.”

“But, these are the most beautiful flowers EVER Chloe, and they match your outfit,” I beg.

Not a chance.  Chloe points out that these flowers have ants on them.  “I don’t like flowers either, Chloe. They make me sneeze. AAAAAAAAHHHHHH-CHHHOOOOOO!”

And she CRACKS UP!!!!!!!!!!!!  Gotcha!  Got the photo.  And a few afterward I think are just priceless.  I LOVE a 3 year old.


So, here are a few of the tricks of the trade for wrangling a 3 year old for a photo shoot!  These are tricks moms can use too!

1.  Establish trust:  It may mean putting your camera down for a few minutes and building a connection so the child doesn’t feel threatened.  Moms, it NEVER fails, the moment you whip out the camera your child suddenly becomes Satan’s spawn.  They stick out their tongue, flash their belly, pick their nose, you get the picture.  The trick is to make them forget they are being photographed.  For me, this is with chatter.  Which leads me to my 2nd point.

2. Distraction:   I have the gift of gab.  It’s annoying to some, but a 3 year old gets me.  Talk, tell stories, whisper, change your voice pitch, etc.  Something to keep them interested in YOU, not the camera.  Farm Animal Sounds are my favorite go-to noises.  I love a COW, DUCK, AND FROG.  I am great at a monkey sound. Which leads to my 3rd point . . .

3.  Lose All Dignity:  3 year olds don’t care about how cute I dress or what camera strap I have, they have an attention span that’s only 2 minutes long, so you better put some things in your arsenal for the worst case scenario moments.  BOYS, especially like noise, armpit noise, blowing rasberries, which can also substitute for fart sounds.  Yes, I said it. Fart noises are perfect for 3 year old BOYS.  Call it something cuter, but I have to be honest.   I had a little boy for years who made me pretend I had a shank behind my back during his shoot (ahem, Parker Williams).  I constantly said, “Shank-Shank”  and he would DIE laughing, not literally. :)

4. Reward: All 3 year olds LOVE a reward.  I typically bake chocolate chip cookies for all my clients as soon as they cut teeth.  Just last week, during a Mother’s day shoot, I reminded one of my school-aged clients, Logan Sizemore, cookies were waiting at the end.  He said, “Well, thank GODDDDDDDD!”   Cause, why else would he come right?  He’s been here so many times he knows where the cookies are and how to bake them himself.  It didn’t hurt to remind him.  A 3 year old loves any kind of sugar.  Cookies are a cheap way to bribe, and hey, I get to send them loaded up and they go home with mom right?

Thanks for reading my “How to wrangle a 3 year old” story.  Here are some adorable images from Chloe’s 3rd Birthday Session using all the tactics listed above!




May 27, 2015 - 5:06 am

Melissa Franklin - <3!!! I’ve been watching your sessions do you have a price list have available spots!?

May 26, 2015 - 10:15 pm

Andrea Wert-Chapelo - gorgeous images!

May 26, 2015 - 5:25 pm

Laura Brock Sizemore - Love it Suzanne!! Logan thinks there is nobody in the world who can fix cookies like you! So glad we have you to capture his personality for going on 9 years now! We love you!

May 26, 2015 - 4:45 pm

Joyce Simmons - As always Chloe is beautiful!