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Buster and Diane

October 28, 2011

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What a fun couple!  Buster and Diane were high school sweethearts and reunited again, this time forever!  They were married at a small, quaint tabernacle where Diane’s parents were married in Columbus and held a lovely reception at First Baptist Church.

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Carsyn is One!

October 19, 2011

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Baby Carsyn had just awakened from a nap when she arrived for her one year-old “Smash the Cake” session.  We began with pictures of Carsyn and her brothers and sisters, and Carsyn let me know very quickly that there would be no posing whatsoever!  Carsyn likes to move around and explore – so we followed after her and got some beautiful shots.  Brother and sister were amazingly photogenic and I sneaked in a few shots of them as well.

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Tia Northside High School Class of 2012

October 19, 2011

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This girl could work the camera!  Tia knew all of the poses that I was aiming for and really enjoyed having her picture taken.  She is an excellent student with a GPA that would make any parent glow with pride.  Her entire family came along and we look forward to photographing little sis when her time comes.

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Emily Columbus High School Class of 2012

October 19, 2011

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On a Saturday morning in September we met at Lakebotton Park in the heart of Columbus to begin Em’s senior session.   The captain of the CHS track team, Emily is a sweet, athletic senior a bit on the shy side.  Fully outfitted in  running clothes complete with a sports watch and brand new shoes, Em quickly warmed up to the camera since the track at Lakebottom has been her second home for the past few years.

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Jill Welch Photography/Tips for a Great Senior Photography Session/Columbus GA Senior Photographer/LaGrange GA Senior Photographer/Auburn AL Senior Photographer

August 18, 2011

It’s not often that I encounter the parent (translation: mother) of a high school senior who doesn’t tear up a bit at some point while I’m shooting her child’s senior pictures.  This milestone is bittersweet because it signals the major transition from childhood into adulthood that makes we, as parents, feel old, yet more relaxed, sad, yet excited about all of the wonderful things they will accomplish, and anxious that we may not have taught every single life lesson thoroughly enough.  I am happy to report that my first “senior,” who graduated eight years ago, is still alive and doing very well in the IT business.  My next, and last, will graduate in 2013 and I am confident that he will be just as successful as his big brother.

Senior pictures have come a long way! In my day, one chose between a boring head shot in the traditional cap and gown or a full length picture of yourself leaning against an artificial plant in front of a fake rainbow ( the backdrop for my senior class’s session.) It’s now the 21st century, baby, and today’s senior portraits are colorful, awe-inspiring, mini-masterpieces shot at a scenic location that artistically express the uniqueness of the subject. Photographers now aim to capture the very essence of a senior’s personality through candids of the young person just “hanging out,” close -ups of changing expressions as the face in front of the camera laughs and interacts with others, formals shot from unique angles, bodies in motion playing sports or dancing, and by utilizing personal props brought from home like favorite hats, musical instruments, or even Dad’s sports car. Shooting on location is now the norm, and personal style is reflected at places like farms, gardens, a modern city street, a shabby old house, an industrial park, or even the school sports arena.

5 Great Tips for a Fabulous Senior Shoot

1.  Choose clothing and accessories very carefully.  Extremely trendy clothing will outdate your pictures fast and in only a few years leave you scratching your head and wondering what you must have been thinking when you chose that outfit.  Timeless items like jeans (in a traditional cut), solid or very small patterned blouses, shirts, or polos, khakis, and classic style dresses are always a great choice.  Avoid large jewelry, clothing with any logo prominently displayed, mini skirts or  “maxis,”  theme clothing like western shirts and camouflage, and very tight clothes ( only the thinnest of the thin can pull this off without looking like a stuffed sausage.)

You certainly want to bring along accessories that are funky, fun, creative, and provide a peek at who you are, but these should be added to a few select pictures, not all of them.  For example, a country-western buff may want to wear cowboy boots under his jeans  or even his hat in some shots, and a leggy fashionista may be dreaming of placing a picture of herself on Facebook in a short skirt with platform shoes, but these should not be your main clothing items.

2.  Have a vision.  Are you aiming for sophisticated, high tech, intensely colorful images or would you rather have soft, subdued dreamy images with a romantic flair?  Are there specific locations where you’ve spent a lot of time that are important to you?  Are you  into sports, music, or drama?  Think ahead of time about what you want to see in your final images.  The internet is a cornucopia of senior, fashion, sports, and commercial images, and nothing beats a Starbucks and a stack of magazines on a lazy Sunday afternoon.  Make a folder of ideas and take it with you when you meet you photographer.

3.  Family adds flavor.  An image showing proud parents and siblings crowded around the senior always add a nice touch.  Although the main focus of the session should and will be the senior, most photographers will pull in family members for one or two shots.  Mom, Dad, and brothers and sisters who come along should dress up a bit in preparation for a few of these pictures.  If you are not sure whether or not your photographer will include these, just ask!

4.  Be prepared.   Bring along a make-up kit, a needle and thread, safety pins, hairspray, wet wipes, a snack, bottled water, and a couple of extra changes of clothes.   A colorful umbrella and cool rain boots are also a necessity for young ladies if it’s cloudy outside.  Photographers will not shoot in the rain or fog, but a light shower that comes and goes leaves behind beautiful, dewy leaves and flowers and shiny puddles to splash in.  Flat shoes are a must for walking to and from locations if you are being photographed in heals.

5.  Decide in advance what size pictures you want and where you will display them.  A photographer may shoot more candid images for a coffee table book than for traditional prints on paper.    Faces are easier to see on wallet sized prints if they are shot close up.  You may want a specific color scheme in portraits that will be hung in a particular room in your home, such as the living room or your bedroom.  Make an informal inventory on what you plan to purchase and share this with your photographer.

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Collages are a nice way to display senior pictures.

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A good example of pictures incorporating a family member into the session.

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The parents of this drop dead handsome young man wanted a contemporary look. We accomplished this with a concrete and water background setting and a print on metallic paper mounted on masonite for a modern, frame-less display.

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This close-up is perfect for wallet prints. Becky is pictured with her sister, in center image, in vintage clothing, for a fun twist to her session.

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Timeless clothing + vintage setting = unique candid to place in a coffee table album.
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Is he a deep sea fisherman? A scuba-diver? A timeless pose with a "themed" background.

Jill Welch Photography/Banning Mills Zipline Tour/Columbus GA Sports Photographer/Newnan GA Sports Photographer/

August 16, 2011

This past weekend my family and I packed it up and  traveled an hour or so to the tiny town of Whitesburg, GA, just above Newnan, home of Historic  Banning Mills (but absolutely nothing else.)   Banning Mills is a recreational complex that features seven miles of ziplines, ranging from 60 to 300 feet high, where brave participants can soar as fast as 60 mph.  By far my favorite part of the trip was the huge, southern buffet breakfast served in the expansive, thoroughly modern Lodge and the beautiful Snake Creek that runs through the property that once powered almost a dozen mills in the late 1800’s.  History buffs –  you will be intrigued by the site’s fascinating story.

We stayed in a large cabin that seemed fairly new and was a very comfortable fit for 12 people.  There were several large cabins like ours nestled along the creek with two pools close by, an area for RVers and campers, hotel-type accommodations near an Olympic size pool, cute little mini cabins lined up like milk cartons along the entrance to the lodge, and nicer log cabin- inspired rooms facing the creek with bonus sleeping  lofts- kind of  a “townhouse meets Lincoln Logs” combo.    In cooler weather we could have played volleyball, basketball, tennis, horseshoes, miniature golf,  hiked trails along the creek, or spent time coaxing the donkey penned near the highway to talk, but it’s still August and the air conditioning worked very well in my car and our cabin.

Brides, remember that the deep discount on our most popular wedding package ends August 31.  And seniors, it’s not too late to have portraits done on a Saturday or after school.  Email me for more details.

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August 6, 2011

I don’t know how it is where you live, but the heat and humidity will not let up in Columbus, Georgia!   It has to be tough on those who work outside all day, and you have my sympathy.  Crossing my fingers that we all make it through August and much cooler air is on it’s way for September.

I have never understood how youth football still has a following in the South since the kids practice in 99 degree plus  temps with enough padding to make a body sweat in a snowstorm,  but we all certainly enjoy relaxing  in the stands in crisp fall weather watching games.   We will soon be photographing the entire Columbus Northeast Packers football league, and were able to shoot a few promo pics last Sunday.  These two young men, best friends Blake and Jaedon, were old enough to project a manly appearance in all of that bulk, yet still young enough to throw a few childishly sweet smiles our way.

Our featured gymnast is Chase Connors, who is an instructor at Gymnastics Unlimited on Warm Springs Road in Columbus.  Check out the moves girls, and yes, he is single!  Chase is an exceptional young man who’s character and integrity are as strong and beautiful as his outward appearance and physical strength.

I dread cooking each evening in this heat and came up with this super recipe for a pork loin roast that turned out great and is worth sharing.  It’s simple:  Buy a bottle of Parmesan Blend Bread Dip Seasoning (found at Publix in the deli department,) a pork loin roast (make sure it’s low fat,) and a bottle of apple juice.  Press the seasoning mix onto the meat, place in the crock pot, and pour in enough apple juice to cover it completely.  Cook on low for about 6 hours.  I suppose you could add a few vegies in the mix, but I served ours with brown rice and steamed asparagus from the (hot) stove.  Yes, we’re health conscious around here!

Brides to be, please don’t forget about the super special pricing on our five hour wedding photography package that ends August 31.  High school seniors and families, we have something new for you, too.  Check out the promos button, above, for more info.

And, drum roll please, the winner of the Starbucks gift card is T Davis!  Congratulations and enjoy!  Please subscribe!  This month we will be giving away a gift card to Chill Yogurt Shoppe in Columbus at the Columbus Park Crossing Shopping Center to a lucky August subscriber.   But you have to subscribe to win!  Chill features a gazzillion yummilicious toppings and a couple dozen flavors of yogurt to pile them onto.   A fitting end to the pork loin dinner, I might add.

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