We met Connor and Zane at the Star Telegram bridal show in August 2017 and immediately knew the chemistry was there for the perfect client/photographer partnership. Between the love for fishing, skeet shooting, rustic wedding, and simply having fun on their big day we were probably more excited to shoot their wedding then they were to have us!
Rain or Shine, Let’s Get Married
Connor & Zane’s wedding was originally scheduled for April 2018 but a change in plans moved the date up to December 2017. Of course the weather in Texas in December is unpredictable, and we drew a really cold, really windy day for them. The Stearns wedding took place at Lucky Spur Ranch Retreat in Justin, TX. Despite the freezing temperatures and drizzling rain, everyone was in great spirits. As professional wedding photographers, we are prepared for any type of weather. In certain situations we prefer to photograph in the available light, without flashes. In other situations, we can create beautiful light by augmenting the available light with our portable strobes. Because of the weather, we were challenged to create beautiful lighting at nearly every scene. See if you can tell the difference in the places where we used our strobes vs where we used the available light.
Bridal Portraits and The First Look
Our day with Connor (the bride) started early for a private bridal session. The Lucky Spur Ranch makes an amazing backdrop for any portrait sitting. With the weather, we were limited to certain parts of the venue just to keep Connor out of the wind. Focusing on our bride and the details of the venue, we captured her excitement and beauty in a variety of settings, lighting styles and poses. As a part of her bridal portraits, Connor made sure to take time for her father. We helped her set up a special Dad’s first look with him in the courtyard. Zane and Connor had already planned a first look, and with the help of the videographer, we staged a scenario that kept everyone as warm as possible, while still in position for photos and video.
The Wedding and Reception
On any wedding day, we feel it is our duty to capture things that are already happening, without interruption, while at the same time, using our experience as photographers to capture moments in the best light. We generally like to spend 30-45 minutes with the groom and his family while he gets dressed and we make portraits. From there, we like 45-60 minutes with our bride and her family. All the while we are creating moments or capturing them as they happen. Since we work as a two photographer team, we are generally prepared for any wedding day scenario. With the wind, the families decided to relocate the ceremony from the traditional outdoor space into a covered barn area. We were able to make a few adjustments to our plan and capture their ceremony without issue. Everything went smoothly and we made it to the reception where creativity and fun intertwine to build a memorable series of images that are always my favorite to capture. We did get a chance to pull our bride and groom from the fun and excitement and capture a key portrait of just the two of them and then quickly returned them back to their party so nothing was missed. We made it through the highlight moments of first dances, toast, garter/bouquet toss, and cake cutting before the grand exit was made. Having a 2 man team makes these moments a breeze and allows us to capture two different perspectives of the events.
This rustic wedding was planned beautifully with every detail that went into it. It was such a pleasure working with Connor and Zane and all of their family and friends. We look forward to seeing them all again very soon when we shoot Connor’s brothers wedding later this year!
When I walked in, I immediately had a vision of simple, black and white, relationship portraits. The only exception to the finished images is the one of Derek and Kim on the bed. I loved the color of her skin in this light and thought the hazy tone fit the day so perfectly. Sit on the couch with your shoes off, wrap up in each other’s space, and let me shoot. They were more than willing to take direction, but mostly, they just did what couples do on a lazy Sunday. Derek poured the wine. Kim baked the cookies, and they really just enjoyed each other. I appreciated their love for each other and got a glimpse into their real lives.
Kim and Derek have the sweetest, most shy rescue pup ever. He’s a pit bull mix and came from an abusive home. Although it took a few treats and some gentle words to get him out from under his bed, he came along for his closeup and some bed time with mom & dad. Photographing dogs is very rewarding. I take pride in being a dog person, and being able to understand and work with a dogs mood and posture to eventually create a portrait. My goal with this pup was to tell his story and how he relates to his people. He likes his treats, he likes his naps, but he LOVES being on the bed with them. Once they shared that with me, the location for the shot was an easy one.
As far as the lighting and techniques used, luckily, their apartment had two large windows in both of the rooms we worked in. I LOVE window light. The play of highlight and deep shadow are fantastic, and I believe it is the most flattering light for any portrait. And nothing says morning coffee like sitting by the window with your sweetheart. For the kitchen sequences, I did add in some off camera flash, which the doggie did NOT like! He ran under the bed again, so we had to sooth him and get the flash put away before he would come back out. No worries, he likes cookies more than he hates photography equipment.
Enjoy the images and leave us a comment about who you’d like to spend a lazy Sunday with.
MIDLOTHIAN, TX Photographer Earns Craftsman Degree and Awards
Chris Smith of Ivey Photography recognized for helping to advance the photography industry
Midlothian, TX – January 14, 2018 — Chris Smith, M. Photog. , of Ivey Photography in Midlothian, TX has earned the photographic craftsman degree from Professional Photographers of America (PPA). The degree was presented to Smith by PPA p resident Rob Behm , M.Photog. Cr. , CPP , at the association’s annual convention, Imaging USA, held January 14 – 16, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee .
This Photographic Craftsman degree is not merely a piece of paper. It means that Smith has met the standards of excellence set by PPA. He has been awarded the photographic craftsman degree in recognition of his service to the photographic profession as an orator, author and mentor.
Smith’s degree — and all the expertise it requires — illustrates his accomplishments and talent as one of a select few.
This is the second PPA Degree awarded to Mr. Smith. He earned the Master of Photography degree in 2017 for excellence in Print Competition and continuing education in photography. The PPA will now list Mr. Smith as a Master of Photography, Photographic Craftsman (M.Photog.Cr.)
Smith of Ivey Photography wins national and regional awards for excellence in competition.
In addition to the degrees awarded to Mr. Smith at the Nashville conference, he was recognized for outstanding achievement in the 2017 International Print Competition held in August of 2017 in Atlanta, GA. Mr. Smith was named Gold Medal Photographer of the Year in the Photographic Open category, and Silver Medal Photographer of the Year in the more difficult Artist category. There were only 70 photographers to earn the Gold Medal distinction and only 108 earned a Silver medal overall. Smith was one of only 21 entrants from the over 2000 professional photographers, to earn more than one medal distinction. His print “Urban Assault” featuring the Midlothian and surrounding area Special Response Teams earned the Sunset award at the 7 state district competition for its excellence in impact, storytelling and print quality.
Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is the largest international nonprofit association created by professional photographers, for professional photographers. Almost as long – lived as photography itself, PPA’s roots date back to 1869. The nonprofit assists 30,000 members through protection, education and resources for their continued success. See how PPA helps photographers be more at PPA.com.
Contact: Chris Smith, M.Photog.Cr.
972-723-2464 firstname.lastname@example.org www.iveystudio.com
We are SO excited to have Santa Chuck Lee as our featured Santa Claus in our Midlothian, TX studio. He truly represents the essence of The Storybook Santa Experience. Little Alex came in to visit Santa and learn all about his workshop, the magic bag, and learn about how Santa maps out his path for Christmas Eve. During his one-hour, private visit with Santa Chuck, we watched them as they laughed and played, all while we made beautiful images for The Ramirez family. These are just a few of our favorite images from their session. Mrs Ramirez took home 2 wall portraits, a collection of Christmas cards, and a number of gift prints for her family.
We met The Bird Family last year when Mrs Bird called us in September to book a session for The Storybook Santa Experience. It isn’t unusual for a family to book early for Santa. We are usually 50% full by September. But the Bird family wasn’t actually complete when she called. Mrs. Bird explains that she’s 6 months pregnant, and her due date is December 20th. She asks, “Can I bring my newborn baby to you for his first portraits?”….. Now, my first thought is that this client really loves Christmas, but also, if we book this session, it is a SHORT window to get it done. Santa is kinda busy on Christmas Eve, and the baby is not even being born until the 20th! Well, to wrap up this part, Mrs Bird brought a 4 day old, newborn baby boy, to meet Santa on Christmas Eve.
That brings us to THIS YEAR, where she gave us a bit less pressure on the shoot date. She brought her two boys, this time 1 year old, and 4 years old. Santa enjoyed getting to see them again, especially since they are both moving about and able to fully participate in The Storybook Santa Experience. We get LOTS of babies, from newborn to 2 years, and because we allow a one hour window to visit with Santa, we are able to create what we want, and take the pressure off of what would normally be a stress filled photography session.
Here are a few of our favorite images from the Bird Brothers 2017 session.
The Storybook Santa Experience, Midlothian Texas
The Storybook Santa Experience welcomed The Wilke Family to our Midlothian studio. Their girls were thrilled to meet Santa in a private setting for their one hour visit. Even mom and dad got in on a few portraits with Santa Chuck. They were one of the first families to enjoy our new outdoor Winter Wonderland set. The scene features 16 real Black Hills Spruce Christmas trees, 580 gallons of “north pole snow”, a walking path, and even Frosty the Snowman! From the moment they arrived, they couldn’t contain their nervous energy and excitement. Santa made sure to show them their names on his Nice List and explain how he maps out his path for the sleigh on Christmas Eve. The girls helped Santa Chuck paint toys in his workshop and took a break for milk and cookies. Outside in the snow, they enjoyed time with Frosty, helping him “come to life” with a little magic from Santa on his silk hat.
Santa Portraits October through December
The Storybook Santa Experience books from October to December in Midlothian and in Richardson. If you are not in Dallas, we have studios in Houston, Sacramento, and Salt Lake City. Be sure to leave a comment for the Wilke Family and let them know you enjoyed their images as much as we did. If you’d like to experience the magic and wonder of Santa for your family, you can learn more at iveystudio.com/santa.
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We photograph ALL kinds of sessions here at Ivey Photography. We are a full service studio in a small community, and part of running a small business, especially as a photographer, is to be diverse, and to be able to adapt to just about any situation. For the past couple of months we’ve spent a lot of time in some of our schools where we have sports and yearbook contracts. We enjoy the kids, and we enjoy creating unique products for them. We pride ourselves on delivering a studio level product at a competitive price. Here are a few of the projects we’ve been working on in schools
Pumpkin Portraits are here!
We offer 3 portrait session types through our exclusive partnership with Shadow Creek Pumpkin Farm. We are creating beautiful photographs in their brand new pumpkin patch and welcome families of all sizes, couples and children to come for any of our sessions. Submit the request form below and we will contact you to book a photography appointment and arrange any payments.
Session Price: $20 Dates available: Friday, Saturday and Sundays, September 30-October 30 Session Times: Fridays 4-7pm, Saturdays/Sundays Noon-4pm Session Length: 1-2 minutes What’s Included:
- $20 Gift Card to be used for print purchases
- Craft portrait mat for kids to decorate (8×10 mat holds a 5×7 print)
- Private online gallery for ordering
- Digital souvenir file for sharing on social media
- Quick take print pricing starting at $15
The Quick Take is perfect for families who want a professional photo to help remember their time at Shadow Creek Pumpkin Farm, with the goal of purchasing small prints and gifts to share with family. You can expect to spend $20-50 on your product purchases.
Session Price: $249 (due at booking) Dates available: October 7, 8, 14, 15 Appointment times: 3pm-7pm What’s included:
- Pumpkin Farm admission fee
- 20-minute portrait session with one of our staff photographers
- Unlimited number of captures, poses and combinations during your session time
- Exclusive access to specially selected portrait areas within the park
- 5 lightly retouched high resolution digital images ready for printing
- A print release allowing you to print your own prints, cards or gifts
- Access to special product and print pricing (purchased separately)
- Additional digital images may be purchased for $50 each
The Mini session is best for families who want quick session, with a variety of poses and backdrops of Shadow Creek Pumpkin Farm, with a goal of creating a set of professional images to be used for a variety of applications. You can expect to spend $249-$499 on your entire Mini Session purchase.
Private Family Portrait Session
Session Price: $499 Dates available: September 30 – October 30. November 1 – December 31 with a $100 park photography fee. What’s included:
- $400 studio print credit
- 10 Social media files ready for sharing
- Pumpkin Farm admission fee
- Up to 60-minute portrait session with Chris Smith, PPA Master Photographer
- Private park access, even when the park is closed to the public
- Access to off-limits areas of the park including ponds, creeks and additional wooded areas
- Pre-session consultation about clothing, style and design of your session
- Post-session sales appointment in our theater to help choose your favorite images
- One hand painted digital preview image
- Full retouching on all purchased images
- Access to our entire product line including digital painting and mixed media finishes, albums, canvas, metal prints and digital files
- Special Shadow Creek portrait pricing and collections at prices not available to our regular clients
The Private session is best for families who want a private experience to explore the full scope of Shadow Creek Pumpkin Farm, with a goal of creating a family portrait to hang in your home. You can expect to spend $500-$1500 on your entire portrait purchase. Take a look at the before and after images of our digital paintings. These look amazing painted directly on the canvas, and as an added enhancement, we can add actual brush strokes in real oils for a fully painted effect.