Thursday, August 23, 2012

the truth about trees | 8.12.12

When you think of Texas, the majority of what comes to mind in the way of landscape is scrub brush and puny little Charlie Brown-esque twigs.  And rightly so.  It was a pleasant surprise to find that East Texas lives up to it's nickname of the "Piney Woods."

As little girls, Kay Lynn and I spent a lot of time in trees.  We didn't lack in the area of toys, but there was always something about a good climbing tree that couldn't be beat.  In my granddad's front yard in central Alabama stands a magnolia tree.  To passersby, it is simply that - a tree.  But the truth is, when you climb up into the branches, they can transform into the polished decks of a fine sailing ship, or the marble floors of a grand castle.  We've spent lifetimes on other worlds in the tops of trees.  

While we're not little kids anymore, we still can't pass up a good climbing tree.  :)

"Among the topmost branches of a tree,
most often lies the door to a secret world."
                   - Anonymous

The "behind the scenes" info on these shots... about a week after our time with the tree, Kay & I went to the Emergency Plus Clinic.  I had a big time sinus infection.  Kay?  Poison sumac... everywhere.  I could roll through a patch of poison anything and not come up with an itch.  Kay Lynn on the other hand, breaks out when she even looks at the stuff.  The pictures of the aftermath will not be shown.

So... the truth about trees, is that you never know what is in them.  ;)

Jill (a.k.a. Tree Climber Extraordinaire)

Monday, August 13, 2012

the investment | 8.10.12

In our American culture, at the age of sixteen, everyone has been saving up their dimes and nickels, and are just about ready to buy their first car.  They drive it home, and in their eyes, that used clunker is more beautiful than a brand new BMW.  But... not me.  At sixteen, I had my eye set on the prettiest little Nikon DSLR you've ever seen.  It was quite the investment, costing me a pretty penny.  Can I just say it was so worth it.  (Granted, you can't drive a camera around town!)

In the long term, the investment you see pictured above - the one that was purchased with money painstakingly earned and saved... started us on a journey that has brought us here today.  That first little camera has long since been retired, but it was the jumping off point for us.  And now, Jill & Kay Photography is heading into our sixth year of business.  (We have been extremely blessed and can hardly believe so much time has passed!)

[ See the difference?  My first camera on the right...
compared to one of the cameras we now use today! ]

I tell you all this to say, we know what it is to make an investment in something - both with our time and with our money.  And we want you to know that when you book a session with us, we take it seriously, for just that reason - you are making an investment.

Look at it this way... If you want to take a vacation, you save all your pocket change (and then some) and map out the best spots that would ensure a time of relaxation.  If you want to freshen up your house, you pour over paint colors and painstakingly choose the absolute best palettes for your walls.  Why?  Because you believe the outcome - whether relaxation, or a fresh look, is worth the work.  It takes time, effort, and an investment.  

We encourage you to look at your photographs the same way we do.  Put effort into them!  Invest your time and money in them!  They are a treasure that will be displayed proudly, shared with friends, and passed down to your children and grandchildren.

So what does this look like?  Our session fee is $125 (with a minimum product order of $75).  When you book a session with Jill & Kay Photography, one of the first things we do is begin scouting out a location, checking and planning for the best light for photographing you.  During our hour and a half together, you can include activities - a picnic, riding bicycles, tossing a frisbee - or places that are special to you.  And yes!  Clothing changes are okay with us... and even suggested!  We so encourage you to personalize your session.  And we love to brainstorm locations and prop ideas with you!  The possibilities are endless!

Right before we left Richmond, KY, we had the opportunity to hang a beautiful canvas wall grouping for the Jaynes family.  Their "investment" is absolutely beautiful hanging in Mrs. Diana's home office! [Thanks Dad for coming along and hanging the grouping for us. :) ]

As we settle into a new place, and learn more about Longview, TX and the surrounding areas, we are looking forward to the opportunity to invest our time and effort into new friendships here!

Jill & Kay

Thursday, August 9, 2012

what to wear... or what not to wear! | 8.9.12

I love my mother, and my grandmothers, and my aunts.  And I love them even after each of them played a role at one point or another in the identical clothing ensembles my sister and I donned for pictures throughout our childhood.  Now I can't lie - we were cute kids.  Even if we were occasionally dressed in the same pink floral dresses with white lace, pearl bead-studded collars.  (A disclaimer: matching clothes are cute on kids who are two... but not necessarily twelve.)

So often, I hear people stressing out before their session, saying "WHAT am I going to wear!?"  (Sometimes I then have flashbacks to those beloved matching outfit portraits of Kay and I.)  I understand what a daunting task it can be at times to dress for the occasion.  That's why we've put together some clothing and color combinations that would look great behind the lens.  Use these ideas to round up a wardrobe from your own closet, or as a springboard for your own color palette!

Light, bright palettes aren't only for summer and spring!  Cheerful shades can add a lot to less colorful seasons.

It's natural for you to want to look your best.  A thought to keep in mind is... while you look good, be comfortable!  When you're comfortable, your body language and expressions will be more relaxed... more YOU!

A good rule of thumb when choosing colors is to choose something that will contrast the season you're in.  For example, if you're scheduled for a session in the autumn when the leaves have turned, try not to dress in oranges or browns, as you'll match your surroundings.  Your images are ultimately about YOU!

We hope these ideas help you out as you prepare for your session!  Remember, don't stress out - because your expressions are even more important than your outfits.

(A final note: please do not choose matching turtle-necks with snowmen on them.  It's hard to make a comeback from that.)   ;)


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Highway 388 | band | 8.4.12

We've done a lot of things on photoshoots.  

However, this session with the Christian band Highway 388 was the first time we ever stopped traffic. Yes! We literally had traffic backed up, thanks to some help from the Madison Co. Sheriff's department!  For about 10 minutes, we sat in the middle of Red House Road in Richmond, KY.  Looking behind us, we saw people were out of their cars, trying to figure out why in the world the road was blocked.  

I'd say the result of stopping traffic for 10 minutes was worth it just to get these first couple of shots!  We had so wanted to choose some locations in keeping with the name of their band.  Actually, this IS Red House Road (a.k.a. Hwy 388.)  :)

A favorite shot from the evening...

Highway 388 is - as they say on their Facebook: a "Good News Band" sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and honoring Him. They truly do desire to uplift and inspire the family of God through their music.  And they have been able to do that in many different congregations in their area.  

"Then the master said to the servant, 
'Go out into the highways and hedges,
and compel them to come in,
that My House may be filled.'"
                    - Luke 14:23

Each of the group are gifted in their musical capabilities.  And they have such a treasure in their friendship!   It was a privilege to capture their group.  Highway 388: Lola, Spencer, Ed, Alex, Paul, Bill, and Mary Beth - thanks for keeping us laughing!  :)

Oh!  They've recorded a CD and if you're in the Richmond area, I'm sure you'll have the opportunity to grab a copy as soon as they're ready!

Jill & Kay