Thursday, December 13, 2012

how to ... do it yourself holiday photos


It is that time of year when there is a pressure to get in a holiday photo session. Being a photographer, I too feel the pressure. But, as Christmas comes speeding around the corner finding a good photographer might be tricky. So my friends, I want to inspire you to take your own. Even if you do not print out your photos for cards they will make great gifts or frame worthy photos for your home. Here are some of my tips for great do it yourself holiday photos.

1. Do not match in that awkward lets all wear black and white kind of way. Wear similar patterns but have fun with it. I always encourage clients to wear colors that are opposite but throw in a scarf or sweater that will tie all the colors together. Marc and I settled on greens and reds, colors that are opposite but for obvious reasons (Christmas) go. Dress to your character ... if you do not own a lick of plaid don't go out and buy plaid. Use what you have in your closet. You will be comfortable and your photos will show that. I pulled out Marc's favorite beanie and a hat for me that we have owned for years. Be yourselves and dress like you!

2. Bring props but not props that are overly pinterest inspired. While pinterest is amazing for inspiration try to bring props that you have from your home. The less stressful the better. We had an old vintage camera and some binoculars (we love antiques and recently I've wondered if I hoard antiques haha) a wool blanket, and a Noel decoration we had up in our house. We chose Noel because Marc is a Frenchie and well ... I am a Francophile ... you should know that by now. Pick props that convey who you are. Both Marc and I are lovers of Oregon, love plaid, goofy, obsessed with Parks and Rec, fun loving people and I wanted props that show that. Be yourselves and use whatever props you want.

3. Use a tripod. This will save so much time and allow for steady shots. Set your camera on continuous for a series of photo booth like shots.

4. Change your poses. Come on you can only smile looking straight into the camera for so long. Have FUN, be goofy, make silly faces ... go with it.

5. After your shoot grab holiday drinks and make your photo session an event ... something you will remember and better yet, make it a tradition.

6. If the do it yourself thing is not up your alley find a photographer that is fun, easy going, and can capture your family for who they are and if they tell you to match your outfits ... run for the hills. Ok not really, but do find a photographer that will bring out the best in your family members.

Happy Holidays and Bisous.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

salted caramel hot chocolate ... oh my


It is that time of year when the weather gets colder, the drinks get warmer, and all I seem to crave are holiday beverages. Green smoothies do not seem as satisfying as they once did in summer. When the last couple of leaves have fallen I always find it a telltale sign to start making my homemade salted caramels. I love how the sweet aromas of butter, cream, and sugar take over my kitchen and it does not really matter what the weather is like outside because in my kitchen it is … heaven. Now there are two things that I think should go hand in hand, and that is salted caramel and chocolate. This little duo is sure to put a smile on just about anyone’s face. Take your hot chocolate one step further and make salted caramel hot chocolates topped with homemade whipped cream. Believe me when I say this, your little holiday beverage will have you singing Christmas Carols and dreaming of cold winter nights. I am a big believer in doing little things that go a long way and I always make homemade whipped cream. For me, it is the way homemade whipped cream melts softly, tastes sweet but is not too overpowering, and transforms just about any ole hot chocolate that affirms why I make it.


I encourage you to set some time aside, grab a blanket and your favorite mug, and get to making your very own, straight from your kitchen, salted caramel hot chocolate. For the recipe check out the latest issue of Delighted Magazine. I was honored to contribute photos and share one of my favorite seasonal beverage recipes. I hope everyone is having a great week!! Bisous.