Posts tagged lifestyle
So He's Not Into Photos - This Type of Session May Be Perfect For You
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com

If you have a grumpy groom-to-be that's not jazzed about engagement photos, a lifestyle session may be the perfect thing for you and your hubs-to-be. Picture this: you are recently engaged, and besides staring at your amazing bling and grabbing every copy of bridal mags out there, your are pinterest-obsessed with planning the perfect engagement photos to make it Facebook official. But what if your new fiancé is totally not into photo sessions? At all. Enter lifestyle engagement sessions. This is were a photographer comes into your home and photographs you doing everyday things, but cutely! They may be posed, they may be totally candid, but they will always be fun! Guys are usually much more comfortable in a familiar environment, and definitely more comfortable when they know what's expected of them and they have things to do or clear directions. 

What if we don't have a house together yet?

That's totally ok!! If you love the style and relaxed vibe of lifestyle shoots, your photographer can find a cozy living room, nice kitchen, and cute dining room for you to do photos in. My current house is perfect for this! It could even be at one of your family members homes or a friend who has a floorpan you admire. Most people will be flattered that you asked them to use their home because that says "I think your home is beautiful enough to photogrpah."

What do we do during our shoot?

This is where your personalities and preferences can really shine! A lot of couples opt for sharing a cup of coffee together with some cute pastries for props, playing a favorite board game together on the living room rug, snuggling together on the couch, jumping on the bed, pillow fights, 

What if my house is ugly?

Keep in mind that only a select part of your home will show up in the photos, so if you have a couch that you like and you don't mind the wall paint color, you will have some killer photos. Is there an area or room that you love? Incorporate it and plan activities that would make sense for you to be doing there. If you love your kitchen, you can do lots of photos making coffee, baking cookies, or just kissing on the counter :) 

How much do I have to clean?

You don't. I mean, minimally. Depending on the room you want to be photographed in, go ahead and run the vacuum, do the dishes, and make your bed. Look around at the "stuff" in each room too, and if you don't like it or it looks cluttered to you, chuck it in another room temporarily. As as far as the rooms you are NOT photographed in? Don't even think twice about them! You can also check out this sister blogpost about getting your house ready for an in-home shoot!

 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
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How to Get Your House Ready for a Photo Session | Johnstown PA Family Photographer
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com

If you have a photographer coming over to do a session in your home, don't panic - here's some great tips and things to prepare to get your house ready for a photo session with amazing results. Maybe you have a brand new bundle and your photographer is hauling their gear to come to your place, or maybe you have all the relatives in for the holidays and would love a session around the fireplace where you all grew up. There's definitely amazing benefits to having a shoot done in your home, even if you don't feel like your place is quite up to par with Martha Stewart's. Here are some great things to zero in on to help your photographer out a bit before she gets there, and some things to not worry about at all (you'll be surprised!)

LIGHTING

Because I adore natural light, when I travel to people's homes for sessions, the first thing I look for is a window with some great light coming in, or light colored walls. If you are doing a newborn session, head shots during a family session, or a lifestyle session with only two people, natural lighting can most likely be used for your session. Don't be afraid to think outside of the box!  You can get some amazing close up shots with gorgeous light even if we are all standing by your bathroom sink! Some things you can do to prep: clear furniture or other items away from windows that have great light coming in! But what if I don't have great light anywhere?! Don't panic! Good photographers (ahem!) will always bring lighting equipment with them that can light the whole room softly, regardless of the lighting options you have.

CLUTTER

Don't feel like you have to clean and clear away every last shred of proof that people live in your house. Zero in on one or two spots (and your photographer can help you identify these) that you will be using, and pay no mind to the rest of the house. The places I usually shoot are living rooms, nurseries, and bedrooms! For living rooms, clear away anything stored on the floor or coffee table like magazines, blankets, and remotes. For nurseries, focus on the crib and a nearby chair. Choose sheets that have a simple or understated pattern, and let your photographer know if you're up for rearranging the placement of furniture for the best lighting and backgrounds! If there are certain decor pieces that you just love and speak to your style, or sentimental things you want represented in your photos, absolutely let your photographer know! Otherwise, it's usually a good idea to clear away any holiday decor, floor lamps, framed photos, etc. The more simple the background and surrounding area, the better!

FURNITURE

Regarding furniture, I tend to find that when I do a session in your home, unless you can sit on it, I usually won't include it in the frame. Meaning, sofas, beds, chairs, and ottomans are all great props to use! If you are able, push any small tables (if there's room!) away from anything you can sit on to create not only a place to sit, but simplicity around it! Sometimes, furniture or design features of the home make a great statement in the photo, such as arch-shaped doorways or fireplaces. Let your photographer know what you love, and they will figure out the lighting and posing to pull it all together!

Recently, I had the privilege to photograph sweet new parents Alicia and Brian with their baby girl and their amazingly cute pup, Throcken. Not only were they all amazing to work with (even the doggo!), their house had a ton of cool design features, great natural lighting, and simple but seriously cute decor. It made for the perfect in-home session - even if the Corgi did steal the show!

 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
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 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com
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The Light That Shines Brightest This Season | Indiana PA Lifestlye Family Photographer
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So many friends and loved ones we know struggle though the holidays. Whether it's keeping the stress at bay, or trying to fill emptiness left by a loved one passed, the "happiest time of year" sometimes just, isn't. The season of lights may just leave us feeling the darkness more than ever, and as my dear friend and guest blog writer Will reminds us, there is a light available for all of us that can permeate any darkness.

I hope you enjoy this very special guest post edition of the blog written Will and he and his wife's adorable lifestyle photos to follow!


Christmas Season is often filled with parties and time with friends and family.  Bells are heard from Salvation Army volunteers, gift-giving (and friendly smiles) are at their yearly all-time highs, and towns just like our Indiana, PA, have festive "light-up nights" across the US.  And then there's the food.  Lots and lots of good food.  For these reasons, and others, most would say that Christmas is their favorite time of year.  

With all of these highlights, though - life is REAL - and trials and hardships don't take a break during the Holidays.  For some, the Christmas-time joy of others becomes salt in the wound to the burdens that they alone bear.  No holiday cheer or gift given can fill the void of a loss or a circumstantial sorrow that many endure.  

That is the unfamiliar territory where my wife Joelle and I have found ourselves this December 2017.  Life's circumstances have left us hurting, and questioning our laid out plans.  Usually being ones to host Christmas parties and to "fa-la-la-la-la" our way through the end of the year, the unexpected suffering had us cancel the planning of the party, and left us looking forward to a hope of a better 2018.

When Joelle and I asked Jill to take a Christmas photo for us this year, we had intentionally planned to have only one or two shots - and that would be it.  As the single photo turned into a full session (you can't keep a good photographer like Jill down...and we didn't mind!), we were then asked by Jill to write this blog post.

As I considered a topic for the post, I reflected on the photos, and what has become a resounding and reoccurring theme for this season of our lives as a newly married couple.   It is often whispered to each other in dark moments where not much makes sense.  A weighty yet tender spoken phrase that is told to remind a spouse's hurting heart of what is true, even in the darkness:

"We're in this together."

Simply that.  We're in this journey, come what may, together.  For I've found, now more than ever, that the best gift that can be given is not wrapped underneath a tree.  And the most pertinent gesture of purpose and hope comes not in "Holiday Hoopla".  It's not found in circumstances.  It's only found in the personal reminder that you are not alone in the dark. The greatest gift that can be given is yourself.

As Joelle and I are Christians, our gift of our selves to each other is an echo of the great Giver - God - giving Himself to a hurting humanity, over 2000 years ago.  Jesus.  The person of God who came to give hope to those who saw none. That message has really helped us.  Life is REAL - and we need hope that is real.  Be it in marriage, or in life, I'm convinced that the gift of a person is what the world needs.  That's why God gave Himself, and why husbands, wives and friends do best to give of their selves to others. It took a photo session with Jill to remind Joelle and I that we are in this together, and so for that we thank you, Jill.

And for others reading this, I hope this post encourages you in this season, if you too are suffering.  

Joelle and I humbly say Merry Christmas, and may God be with you all of you.

"Joy to the world, the Lord has come, let earth receive her King."

Will and Joelle Rush

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Pastries by  Six Hand Bakery , Indiana, PA

Pastries by Six Hand Bakery, Indiana, PA

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