Hello & welcome to the blog! I'm Angela Norton, and I'm a family, senior, & wedding photographer based in North Central Florida. I'd love for you to relax a while here, and enjoy reading the ANP stories. You'll also find resources for your next session or wedding!
St. Augustine & Washington Oaks
Rebecca and Austin’s wedding at the Ocala Boat Club in the Ocala National Forest in Florida was one for the books! They planned this wedding for a couple of years, and when I got the call that they had a date, I was ecstatic! You see, Austin is in the military and he had a very hard time getting a schedule nailed down. And as you will see, it was worth the wait!
Ocala Boat Club Wedding
Unless you are a professional model and know how to pose, posing in front of a camera isn’t easy. I totally get it. I teach people how to pose all day long, but put me in front of the camera and I freeze!
I’d like to give you just a handful of some basic tips that will help you feel more comfortable during your session.
You’ll want to angle your face towards the light. What this does is bring life to your eyes with catchlights. Also, it will give your skin a bit of a glow and help blur blemishes and fine lines.
Angling your body 45 degrees to the camera, with your weight shifted to one leg, is also preferable. It slims you down, and is a more natural look.
Keep your chin down a bit. We all have a tendency to lift our face when we stand up nice and tall. Instead push your face forward a bit, thus elongating your neck, and ever so slightly lower the chin.
Easier said than done, I know. Happy and relaxed body language makes for a great picture, and any tension you feel is shown in your body language and especially your eyes. At some point during almost every session, someone will start fake smiling. So, I’ll ask them to smile with their eyes. Even if you don’t feel it, just squint your eyes a tiny tiny bit, and that will do the trick!
Make sure you have good posture, BUT don’t get so stiff you look like a soldier standing at attention. Stand up straight, relax your shoulders, and give a slight tilt of your head, with your chin down slightly. Great posture makes you look thinner and more confident.
Also, if it bends, bend it. A slight bend to any of your limbs instantly makes you look more relaxed. Bending your limbs gives separation from your body, and is slenderizing.
Sometime the outfit you are most comfortable wearing day to day, is not right for pictures. For example, a nice flowy, comfy top, can make you appear boxy and hide your curves. For more details on wardrobe choices, take a look at my wardrobe articles for Family Sessions or Engagement Sessions.
If you already have a side you prefer to take your pictures on, let your photographer know! I’ll be honest, sometimes I get so in the zone and excited that I’ll sort of forget that you like one side. So, don’t be afraid to remind me!
What? I promise I’m not trying to be contradictory! Some of the best images happen while your in motion. While you are walking, truly laughing, or brushing back your hair.
Some products just aren’t made for picture taking. Greasy products make for shiny faces, and this includes using an SPF product under your foundation.
Unless you are a professional model and know how to pose, posing in front of a camera isn’t easy. I totally get it. I teach people how to pose all day long, but put me in front of the camera and I freeze! I’d like to give you just a handful of some basic tips […]
Here’s a perfect example of why I offer Petite Sessions all year long. A half hour is perfect for quickly getting in a milestone session.
And ain’t nothing cuter than this sweet girl! K is a toddler on the move, and her momma and me were having a hard time keeping up with those cute little legs.
Bree and K were down visiting their family farm, and called me for a quick session. You see, K’s daddy is very far away in Washington serving in the military, and Bree wanted to do something special for him. I love it that Bree was super relaxed about it all. She simply wanted some pro images of K, with no fanfare…. easy peasy!
We had the session at Bree’s parents’ house, and just let K explore and run as much as she wanted! I just chased her with the camera, and played peek a boo every now and again.
This session was actually a reschedule from the night before. We were rained out of an evening session, and worked with our schedules to fit this one in on the next morning. The bright midday light was just what all of us needed, and the look fit’s K’s personality just right.
Bree, congrats on the other thing (wink, wink) too! I can’t wait to see ya’ll again!
Give K some sugar for me. 🙂
A petite session is available all year long, in Morriston, Monday-Thursdays. Schedule your easy petite session today!
Here’s a perfect example of why I offer Petite Sessions all year long. A half hour is perfect for quickly getting in a milestone session. And ain’t nothing cuter than this sweet girl! K is a toddler on the move, and her momma and me were having a hard time keeping up with those cute […]
Planning is the key to having a successful family session! No matter the type of photography session you have scheduled, here are 5 tips that will maximize your shooting time, boost the experience, and be my dream client!
is not just about scheduling, it’s really about the light. If your session is outdoors, I’ve very intentionally chosen your start time. I’ve considered sunrise/sunset, studied your questionnaire answers, anticipated the needs of the individuals participating, scrutinized the forecast, all to give you the best results possible. So, if we start late, we typically won’t stay late.
Pampering yourself before your session is a great way to relax and feel even more gorgeous. If you opt to get your hair and make up professionally done for your session, allow plenty of time for you to enjoy the treatment! If you have daughter(s), this can make for a really special time together!
Small details like having manicured nails and the right colored socks help ease stress, so consider setting out your family’s outfits the night before, or morning of, while making sure you have every accessory you want ready! Check out my article on Wardrobe Tips for Your Family Photography Session for more details.
If you have little ones, I advise you to not make other plans for the day. Inevitably, kids will get tired, mom will be rushing, and everyone will be just a little bit over it. I also recommend late afternoon naps for little ones (and maybe even dad!).
Feed everyone prior to the session. I can’t tell you how many times the teenagers are starving and it shows on their face towards the end.
Schedule plenty of time to get dressed. If you are rushing around, and anxious prior to the session, this will set the tone for the rest of your family. Focus instead, on being ahead of schedule and sending good vibes to your crew!
If you’re wondering about how you can make your experience personal and memorable, feel free to bring along any props that are special to you. I want your session to scream YOU, so if that means bringing your four legged friend along or props that tell your story, please do! We can incorporate them into your photos in a fun way! Maybe it’s something from your wedding day, maybe it’s a sport you love or an old photograph that is special. Whatever you want in your photos, I’ll do my best to make it happen!
Another great idea is to bring an activity that ya’ll enjoy together. It could be a food, hobby, or game. Or, it could be something ya’ll like do, like piggy back rides, ring around the rosie, or eskimo kisses.
Most likely you are not a professional model or social media superstar who gets paid to pose. That’s where I come in! I’ll get ya’ll into positions, where you are comfortable and relaxed. I’ll also always be watching to make sure you are holding yourself in a flattering position.
And really, feeling awkward is sometimes the funniest part of it all. Just imagine…. You are all decked out, strolling through a field of wildflowers, lovingly looking at each other, holding hands, kids are clean….. perfectly normal right? Haha! Just thinking about it makes me laugh!
I think that was a lot more than 5 tips for a successful family session!
And just remember, we will be totally flexible, following your family’s lead. And believe me, no matter how good we prepare, we will surely have surprises along the way!
Planning is the key to having a successful family session! No matter the type of photography session you have scheduled, here are 5 tips that will maximize your shooting time, boost the experience, and be my dream client! The start time… is not just about scheduling, it’s really about the light. If your […]
“What should we wear?” is the #1 question I get. I truly understand because I’ve been there! Here are some wardrobe tips for your family session.
And I’ll be totally honest here…. I am no fashionista, so when I’m in need of answers, I go to the internet and get ideas!
Here’s one of my Pinterest boards for a Spring session. I just enter ‘wardrobe inspiration’ or ‘what to wear’, and there are so many talented people who have done the work for me!
Choose your inspiration piece. It could be a sentimental object, favorite accessory, or the outfit that you love. It could also be a prop, or better yet, a location.
One important thing to consider when choosing your color theme, is to make sure it matches your homes aesthetic. You also will want to consider the time of day you are taking your photos. Here is an article I wrote on Color Theory + Color of Light.
Go online and create searches like, “portrait color scheme fall (or winter, beach, spring, gray & yellow, woods, pinks, preppy, etc.)”. Pick a scheme that will go with your planned location and session time.
You can also plan your own color scheme by using the color wheel and color theory!
Typically moms outfit is decided on first. Then the others are built around it. Solid colors are usually a little more flattering, but a print layered with a cardigan would work nicely too. And mom, this would be a great time to treat yourself to professional hair and makeup! When you are feeling extra pretty and confident, it reflects on the rest of the family as well.
Layers are key to making a look really soar and adding flair. Your accessory list could include: sweater, vest, scarf, jewelry, headband, hair bow, belt, tights, hat, the list goes on. These various accessories can be changed during the session and offer us more looks during a set. Bring extra!
Dads tend to like a classic, easy look. Often his outfit is more neutral and anchors the group. A nice plaid that contains the color scheme could be perfect. Just let him wear what he’s comfortable in. Trust me, you would rather him be comfortable and happy in your photos, then not. His agony will shine through 😉
By now you have the colors, patterns, and textures set. Here is where you’ll add another pop of color. I suggest a barrette or bow to hold back hair for kids. As we move and play, it’s nice to have her face in view and not having to keep brushing away strays.
Also, I strongly recommend you work with the kids on what they want to wear! Strive to find middle ground, because they don’t want to wear something they hate any more than you do. And I promise, the uneasiness will translate into the picture!
WHAT TO BRING
-Change of clothes for kids
-Touch up makeup
-Lint roller (if you’re in dark colors)
I hope I’ve given you some useful wardrobe tips for your family session!
“What should we wear?” is the #1 question I get. I truly understand because I’ve been there! Here are some wardrobe tips for your family session. And I’ll be totally honest here…. I am no fashionista, so when I’m in need of answers, I go to the internet and get ideas! Here’s one of my […]
So what does a wedding day timeline really look like?
You know, everything just takes longer than you think it will. So many people are involved in each step of the day, and it just takes time to mobilize various groups of people throughout the day.
To help the events of the day to run smoothly, you’ll want a detailed timeline to follow. It also serves as a checklist to make sure everything, and everyone is remembered!
When starting to plan your timeline, you’ll start with the hair and makeup of the bridal party, allowing a minimum of 15 minutes per person. If one person is doing both hair and makeup, allow 30 minutes per person. Remember to account for moms, grandmas, & flower girls. Your professional stylists will give you a custom timeline for your party.
If I am your photographer, I’ll be arriving about 30 minutes prior to the brides hair and makeup being done. I’ll get detail shots of the invitation, flowers, jewelry, etc.
If you are getting ready at another location from your ceremony site, add time to get there. A few quick searches on Google Maps will do the trick!
Mom needs to be dressed and ready before the bride is getting into her gown, because she’ll be in pictures next. We’ll get the detail shots of mom and/or maid of honor helping with the dress, this takes about 15 minutes. We need another 20 minutes to take portraits of the bride, alone. Then another 20 minutes for the bridesmaids portraits.
Allow 45 minutes for these pictures. You can overlap this time with the Bride and Bridesmaids time if you have a second shooter. And again, account for any travel time between locations. We will take pictures of the groom with his mom, dad, and best man helping him get ready.
I can usually get these photos done quicker than an hour, but let’s face it…. The guys are rarely ready on time! I say that with good humor, but it’s still true. I usually jump over and grab some reception shots, if we are near, while someone else is hounding the guys to finish up.
I recommend taking a moment to allow the bride and her dad, or whoever is walking her down the aisle, to see each other, alone. It’s an opportunity for them to be themselves, and for dad to get a good look at his baby girl. Dad is usually just doing what he’s told throughout this whole crazy wedding planning process, and this gives him the honor of having time set aside just for him. It will take about 15 minutes.
If ya’ll choose to do a first look, we’d take care of that next. Allow 15 minutes for a moment alone, and a few moments to touch up any makeup on the bride (including the lipstick transferred to the groom!); then we’ll spend about 20 minutes on photos.
Whether before (if doing a first look) or after the ceremony, the entire wedding party photos will take about 20 minutes.
The family photos will take 2 – 3 minutes per group. To help with the process, you’ll want a loud and firm person to work the shotlist. Prior to your wedding day, we will have created a shot list with an efficient workflow.
I’m sure your ceremony will start exactly on time, but go ahead and save yourself some gray hairs and add an extra 15 minutes to your timeline here! Plan 20 – 60 minutes for your ceremony.
This hour is created to entertain and feed your guests, at a location other than where dinner is being served, while we take any group photos that haven’t already been done.
Since it’s not too much fun for them to go straight to a table and just sit and stare at each other, give them something to do! This is a GREAT time for the second shooter to take a lot of pictures of your guests, so we really don’t want them at their table yet.
We’ll slip away for about 20 – 30 minutes for gorgeous sunset pictures. This is a chance for the bride and groom to have an alone moment, and breath each other in, and talk about the joy of their day. And here’s where it’s important to be on track with your wedding day timeline… The sun doesn’t wait for us! These pictures need to happen at a specific time.
Allow 15 minutes for your bridal party introductions, rolling right into your first dance, then the music fades and either you, or your dj, welcomes and thanks your guests for coming and say blessings.
Depending on how you are serving dinner, buffet line vs servers, allow around 45 minutes.
This should take about 10 minutes, and be done just as guests are finishing up dinner.
Rolling right into dances, allow 10 minutes here. You can choose whether to play an entire song, or shorten it. This marks a great transition to open the dance floor and get your party started!
If you so choose, these activities (barring no one gets too crazy) should take only 15 minutes. This is also a great opportunity for you to say a few words and thank your guests for coming.
And that’s about it for the standard events during a wedding day!
You wedding day timeline is a must have tool for you, and several others, to use on your big day.
If you want to nerd out with me, I’ve got a geeky spreadsheet for us to play with timeframes and activities.
So what does a wedding day timeline really look like? You know, everything just takes longer than you think it will. So many people are involved in each step of the day, and it just takes time to mobilize various groups of people throughout the day. To help the events of the day to run […]
We were blessed with a great evening for this rustic summer teen session. I love Summer nights! Yea, it’s hot and humid here in Florida, but we can stay out late and get the most out of our beautiful skies.
One of the things I love the most about photographing high schoolers, is their willingness to try anything, and entertain seemingly crazy ideas! Tori is no exception! She was running through mud, jumping fields, and dabbing the sweat in between.
You see, creating a timeline for any session is a little bit of an art. I have to calculate location & outfit changes, sunset, golden hour, blue hour, etc. Then I have to assess the client, and create the timeline based on their individual goals, stamina, and needs. So I know I can push a teen a bit longer. They are typically very invested in working hard to get a great picture. So we actually did Tori’s session starting at golden hour and ending at dark.
It was phenomenal.
It helped that we’d had a hard rain just prior to her session, and that always perks everything up. That’s also why, here in Florida, I don’t reschedule sessions for rain until the very last minute. Quite often, our most beautiful evenings happen after a rainstorm!
I really admired how Tori was willing to work for some of these pictures, and I really, really enjoyed working with her! I absolutely loved this rustic teen summer session, and the results speak for themselves!!
And if you like the idea of a farm session, please go check out the Farm section of the blog.
We were blessed with a great evening for this rustic summer teen session. I love Summer nights! Yea, it’s hot and humid here in Florida, but we can stay out late and get the most out of our beautiful skies. One of the things I love the most about photographing high schoolers, is their […]
Your engagement session is your first chance to tell the world your story! It’s your time to get pictures for your save-the-date cards, gallery images for your wedding day, and wall art for your home together.
As part of my wedding collections, I offer complimentary engagement photos. This is the time where I really get to know my couples, and connect before the big wedding day. Since the wedding day is typically so fast paced, is super helpful if you already know what I’m going to ask for during our short portrait moments.
So, here’s a few tips I’ve learned throughout the years, to take your engagement session to the next level!
Yep, that’s right. We are documenting is you as a couple. That includes how you look at each other with those goo-goo eyes and how you interact together. And don’t worry, will surely get the smile at the camera pictures for grandma!
You don’t always have to go in for the kiss, although I will encourage plenty of smooching, sometimes you’ll just breathe each other in. Relax, and enjoy a calm moment together.
We are there to have a good time. Taking photos might feel awkward, and sometimes the poses feel weird. So we’ll laugh a lot! I encourage you to talk to each other, tell jokes, whisper nothings into each others ears, and just keep it light!
I encourage you to talk to each other prior to the session and make sure ya’ll are on the same page. Find out what your fiance is, and is not comfortable doing in front of the camera.
If you can’t decide what to wear, just bring the extra outfit! You can change or add as we go along. And even if we don’t use it, it’ll be there if you want it.
This is a time to focus on you as a couple. These are the images you will look back on many decades from now, and see yourselves before you were spouses!
Your engagement session is your first chance to tell the world your story! It’s your time to get pictures for your save-the-date cards, gallery images for your wedding day, and wall art for your home together. As part of my wedding collections, I offer complimentary engagement photos. This is the time where I really get […]