Busy Bee Photography Update :)

It has been a very busy year so far and I have not posted in too long!  Here is a little of what I have been up to.

Little country princess:

This little one was not too sure at first when I took out my big camera and flash.  With a little time and patience she wormed up for just long enough to get some beautiful smiles.  This want taken at the Capital town town Austin TX.

4th time photographing this beautiful family:

I remember when this mom and dad were newlyweds.  Time goes by so fast.  This beautiful family of 5 are alway so sweet and fun, I just want to say thank you for be so amazing to work with!

Social media headshots:

  I would say that the era of the professional social media headshot is here!  And understandably so.  Whether you stick to Facebook or Linkedin to Flickr or blogging the images you choose to represent YOU online is important in net working or communicating with new and old connections.   It is a great tactic to have professional headshots for social media!  This one was a lot of fun at the Domain in North Austin.

Black and White for you website:

Changing it up a little.  This company had all of the staff photographed in B&W for their website.  I love the look of B&W and you really don’t see this style much anymore.

Sibling portraits:

5 girls and 1 boy! Love this family so much!

I will be post more soon.  Please take a look at my portfolio for more of my work 🙂

All the best


Take Group Photos Like a PRO

Group photos are some of the most popular photos around.  At a wedding they are especially popular because you get to see everyone who attended! There are many challenges to getting good pictures though. The problem is, there is always that one person looking away or blinking isn’t there?  Or it’s just not a good shot, it’s too far away or too close up or one person is in focus and everyone else is blurry.   Plus, how do you get everyone to smile at the same time?JJ PhotographyCR (56 of 149)

  1. TIMING – Take your group photos at the beginning of the event.  Everyone is happy and smiling and looking their best.  Plus the alcohol hasn’t set in too much yet.  But if it’s too sunny – you may have to wait until a little later so you don’t get a bunch of squinty eyes.
  2. TAKE CONTROL – you may seem a little bossy but everyone will thank you later.  If you get lost in the crowd, you are going to have a hard time getting a shot.
  3. SMILE – You should be smiling. Think “follow the leader.”  Motivate them.  Give them a reason to do this shot.  Talk to them and explain what you are doing

4. VISIBILITY – If people can see your camera, it can see them.  Remind them of this!

5. POSE POSE POSE – Pose people…if they are your friends this may mean literally grabbing them by the shoulders and moving them into position.  If you don’t know them, we don’t recommend this! 🙂 Get the heads of everyone on different levels. People have a natural “bubble space” they do not want to invade but get everyone to tighten and squish together. But don’t take too long or get too creative with posing or you will start losing people fast.

6. CREATIVE ANGLES – Get up high, looking down to everyone.  Or get down low and look up at people.  Switch it up.

7. TAKE LOTS OF PHOTOS – like…a LOT.  Put your camera on continuous speed. Then you have more to pick from later.

8. USE WIDE ANGLE LENS – if possible

9. SET APERTURE – to f8 or higher so you get everyone in focus

10. USE A TRIPOD AND HAND HELD REMOTE- if possibleSarah%20wedding%20285-M


And remember, the larger the group, the harder it is to get that perfect shot.  Don’t beat yourself up.  Just take a lot of pictures and even if it turns out there was a kid picking his nose in the corner…well it makes a great funny story later.  Happy shooting!

Kiss Me…I’m Irish…and other St. Patrick’s day fun!

Yes it’s true, we don’t just talk about photography here although we are pretty nerdy about that! Since it’s March, we thought  a blog on St Patrick’s Day would be appropriate. So what is St Patrick’s Day anyways and what are some of the slang expressions associated with it?

According to Wikipedia:

Saint Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, “the Day of the Festival of Patrick”), is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), the foremost patron saint of Ireland.

Saint Patrick’s Day was made an official Christian feast day in the early 17th century and is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland),[4] the Eastern Orthodox Church, and Lutheran Church. The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland,[3]. Christians also attend church services[5][7] and the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol are lifted for the day, which has encouraged and propagated the holiday’s tradition of alcohol consumption.[5][6][8][9]

Ya think? Can you say “green beer” anyone? Drinking is a big part of St. Patrick’s Day, but sometimes drinking can bring you good luck, not just a hangover.  The Irish believe that if you float the shamrock in your whiskey before drinking it, you will have a prosperous year.


Kiss Me, I’m Irish – The phrase,  is a reference to the famous Blarney Stone found in Ireland. It is said anyone who kisses the stone is blessed with being eloquent

The color green – Green wasn’t Saint Patrick’s color but as St. Patrick’s Day shifted from just being a religious holiday to a day celebrating Ireland’s history, colors associated with March 17 turned green. On March 17th, during the Irish Rebellion of 1798, an uprising against British rule in Ireland, Irish soldiers wore green uniforms as a political statement. People enjoy wearing green, eating green food, and drinking green beer to celebrate this day.  Green pancakes are my fave.  Here is an easy recipe.

Four leaf clovers – there are approximately 10,000 three-leaf clovers for every “lucky” four leaf clover.

Luck of the Irish – it’s interesting that Christians don’t really believe in luck, but instead the providential sovereignty of God. But somehow the idea of “luck” has invaded this holiday.  According to Edward T. O’Donnell, an Associate Professor of History at Holy Cross College and author of ‘1001 Things Everyone Should Know About Irish American History,’ the term is not Irish in origin.

“During the gold and silver rush years in the second half of the 19th century, a number of the most famous and successful miners were of Irish and Irish American birth. . . .Over time this association of the Irish with mining fortunes led to the expression ‘luck of the Irish.’ Of course, it carried with it a certain tone of derision, as if to say, only by sheer luck, as opposed to brains, could these fools succeed.” The word was probably introduced into the English language in the 15th century as a gambling term.

HAPPY ST PATRICK’S DAY!  WE WISH YOU ALL THE “LUCK” (or Providence) YOU CAN GET!  And don’t forget to keep those pocket cameras available at a moment’s notice.  You might catch some pretty fun and interesting photos with your shamrock whiskey or green pancakes in hand.  Now that’s gold!

Choosing a Wedding Photographer

Choosing a wedding photographer is SO important to your big day.  That day will come and go but your photographs are the only thing that last.  Don’t skimp on your photographer.  I have a few questions listed that you should ask, but also just make sure you meet with them well in advance.  Pick someone that fits your personality and has the experience.  Pick someone with a style you like and don’t be afraid to ask questions and spend some time with them before you make your decision.  Here are just a few questions to keep in your back pocket at that first meeting.JJ Photography (78 of 197)

1. Do you have photos of entire weddings that I can see?

You want to make sure your photographer can tell a story. You also want to see the beginning posed photos on into their evening candid photos.

2. Can I see a variety of different style options?

3. Who will be photographing my wedding?

Just make sure you aren’t hiring one and getting another.  Make clear how many and who your photographer/s will be.

4. When will my proofs, prints, and wedding album be available?

Find out your photographer’s turnaround time. You want this expectation determined from the beginning.

5. How many pictures will you take?

A photographer usually shoots about 500 exposures at an average wedding, but how many of those images will you have to choose from?


We can’t stress this enough: Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  This is an important day and you want the right fit for it!

New Trends in Senior Portraits

Senior portraits are becoming a much bigger deal than they used to be.  There aren’t many times in this teen’s life to get all glammed up and treated like royalty for the day.  Teens want to stand out from their peers.  Senior portraits are now more elaborate. Kids want to be unique and make a statement with their photos.  They want to go a step above their predecessors. This is a huge event and something many kids look forward to from the time they can understand what it means.  Now we are seeing things like

THEMED Portraits – from disney charaters to sports stars to favorite color pallets and or music.  Themed photography give a sense of direction and are be a lot of fun!

CANDID Shots – the standard posing has gone out the window from some young folks.  They want to be captured mid laugh or pondering life’s important questions as they look out over the water.

GROUP SHOTS – sometimes best friends are added to pictures or maybe cousins or coaches, etc. How cool is it to see who you used to hang out with?

UNIQUE LOCATIONS – instead of beside the water, what about IN a waterfall?  Wide angle lenses are becoming more important as backdrops are becoming bigger and better.

TEXTURE – photographs in front of or next to some interesting texture really adds dimension to any photo.

FURNITURE – an old sofa in the middle of a field?  Yes please!JJ Photography (47 of 69)

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Last Minute Wedding Checklist

Last Minute Wedding Checklist. Use this checklist and will help you enjoy a stress-free wedding!

1. Have your things that you are going to take with you ready the day before. Make a list that you can check off so you don’t forget anything.

2. Call your coordinator and get a list of the order of things. So you have your own copy.

3. Call the wedding venue or chapel and find out if there is anything going on before or after the wedding. So you know what it’s going to be like when you arrive.

4. Call all of your venders the day before or two days before and confirm your wedding date. Call the band and or the Dj, the Minister, Photographer, Florets, transportation, and the place doing your wedding cake.

5. Have all of the contacted information for venders, bridal party, and the solon doing your hair and nails with you on your wedding day.

6. Have a designated person at your wedding that will handle any problems, such as tracking people down, and helping to work out the last minute cynics that may arrive.

Tips on how to handle a missing vendor on the day of the wedding:

If you can’t get in touch with a vendor the day of the wedding, have your appointed party try to track them down. Hopefully, you will have all of their contact information with you at the wedding and reception site. Should your appointed person be unsuccessful in finding them, she should then start hunting down alternatives. Most wedding venders will be happy to suggest last minute fixes for such a problem, and in such emergencies you may be surprised how well people can come together and solve last minute wedding glitches.

If you can’t find a substitute, here are some other suggestions:

Missing Florist: Have your appointed person run to a grocery store or florist and buy as many flowers as you can afford. If flowers are not readily available, tell them to look for tall pillar candles. The members of your wedding party will look simple and elegant carrying a candle each. Candles can also make simple centerpieces. Another alternative would be to build centerpieces out of fresh fruit and votive candles. Your guests will never know that the florist didn’t come!

Missing Photographer: Call as many guests as you can and ask them to bring cameras. If you hadn’t already planned to have cameras on the table, get a wedding party member to run to the grocery store and purchase some. After the wedding, set up a place where people can exchange photos (such as flickr or Kodak. You may end up being surprised at how fun and creative your guests can be with just some point and shoot cameras.  (Special Note: I have never missed a wedding! :))

Missing Minister or Officiant: In a pinch, download a copy of a wedding service from the Internet, and then ask a well-spoken good friend to lead the wedding. While you won’t be legally married at the end of the day, you will still have had a memorable and spiritual wedding. Later, you can go to city hall and make things legal, or get married by a religious leader in a more intimate way.

Missing Printer with Wedding Programs: In the end, no one will notice that you didn’t have programs. If you have enough time, you can try to print out a new original, and run copies off on a Xerox machine, but it will be just as lovely without. In the end, the important thing is to breathe! While you may believe that your wedding day is ruined, remember the important thing is to celebrate your love together in front of your loved ones. As long as that happens, what could go wrong?

Caution…Wide Load!

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Tired of the same old photos? A wide angle lens will profoundly change the overall results of your photography.  They provide an angle of view that’s different from the “norm”, and therefore make a wonderful addition to your stock.  Wide angle lenses provide what is called as a perspective distortion. It’s this perspective distortion coupled with the wide angle of view that makes these lenses a wonderful tool.  They are more expensive to manufacture so they are expensive yes…but worth it!  To sum it up you can see more in the frame with a wide angle lens.  It provides a depth you can not obtain with any other lens.  There are some tips for newbies in the land of wide angle lenses.

Tips for Shooting with Wide Angle Lenses

  1. Compose your photo with a primary foreground object. This helps create a sense of depth and adds to the intensity of the wide angle.
  2. Try taking a photo by getting close to your subject.  The results are interesting!
  3. The distortion created by wide angle lenses can be used creatively for some shots.
  4. Typically, portraits are shot with medium telephoto lenses or standard angle lenses, try using a wide angle for portraiture!
  5. Wide angle lenses are great for panorama photography.
  6. Try taking photos of children with wide angle lenses; they’re one of the best subjects for wide angle lens portraiture.
  7. Homes/rooms/indoors in general can be captured more with a lens like this.  You see those grand looking rooms all the time in magazines or realtor  sites – this is the secret!

Check out these photos Jackie took around Texas with her Wide-Angle Lens.  Beautiful and unique!

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Jackie’s  new toy <3

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What is your style?

One of the marks of a good photographer is someone who can be versatile to meet the needs of client personalities.   A photographer should be able to adjust. At JJ Photography we have had the joy of working with brides with many different styles.  Funky and fun, classic, modern, romantic, silly, and everything in between. JJ Photography wants to capture YOU in every frame.  When you look back on your photos 10, 20, 30 or more years from now we want you to love your pictures as much as the day you took them. Yes fashion changes and culture changes and hairstyles change but you be you.  There is only one you and will never be another like you.   Before the big day Jackie will meet with you to see what look you are going for. We take this seriously and so should you! When that day has come and gone all you will have left are the memories in your head and the pictures you get printed. That is why our tag line is “Memories that Last a Lifetime”.  We believe it…We live it…

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Hair and Makeup Round Rock

All my JJ Brides out there….we are looking to partner with a Hair and Makeup artist for a special shoot.  We are looking specifically in the Round Rock/Georgetown area.  Who is your favorite?  Why do you like him or her?   Shoot us an email or just comment on this blog post. Spill….  and we thank you!

Have a fabulous day!!