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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Handsome Young Man's Senior Pictures from Tyler by Dallas Photographer Lisa McNiel



How cute is Jack? I mean... seriously! But I did his older brother, Nic's photos last year, and they look so much alike.  (Click here  to see Nic's blog.) Jack is much more of a youngest child cutting up, not thinking about time, teasing his mom, plus he's an extrovert. His mom was traveling all the way from Tyler to Flower Mound for Senior Pictures so we carefully planned for July instead of August thinking we could dodge the 100+ temperatures we had with Nic. We were wrong, but Jack was great. His mom, Lisa, did a great job with his clothes, matching his eyes with a light blue shirt, and the crisp tailoring on his white shirt and navy jacket gave him a Country Club chic. He looked like he belonged in GQ Magazine. She also wanted photos in his basketball uniform and favorite UT tee shirt as that's how she always sees him. 

Scroll down for tips on how to prepare for your son's senior session!


Follow me on pinterest here: lisalovespics 
To see more photos from senior photographer Lisa McNiel, click Dallas-Photographer or follow a DFW-Senior-Photographer on Facebook.









How to prepare for your Senior Picture Session for Guys:

1. Bring snacks and water - but especially water - for your son. I know it's mostly moms reading this because I'm a mother of sons and my boys would never think about it until an hour before the shoot! They will not think they need it. You won't think they need it. I want them to have it. It puts them in a good mood to be hydrated and a blood sugar boost about halfway through the session.

2. Put together a really dressy outfit. Buy a suit. He will need it for so many things this year. And when you have that wedding or funeral, he will be prepared. Get help from the stylists at the store. They are up-to-date on fit and style for young men. They also know that cool, funky, socks with a suit are in style now. 

3. All his other clothes should have a "slim fit" or better, "athletic cut," unless he is stockier. The clothes need to fit his body without being tight.

4. Shoes are important. They are important to the dressy AND the casual outfits. They need to not only match the style of his clothes, they need to be on the newer side. 

5. Socks are also important. They will show in various poses.

6. Bring props: a framed photo of him as a little boy, a letterman's jacket, a prop from a sport he plays, sheet music, an instrument, a jersey, a helmet, a globe if he wants to travel, comic books, anything you can think of. The only exception I can think of is gaming. I haven't thought of a good prop for gamers, but if you think of one, please contact me!

7. Please ask me to send you the Questionnaire and fill it out with your son. I find out things in it that can enhance your session with different ideas, and also it gives me something to talk to him about so that he feels more comfortable and relaxed with me and I get more genuine expressions.

8. Please let me know if you have a dog that could come for a few of the shots or can stay in the car for part of the session. Though they can eat up a little time, they make for genuine smiles. This also goes for girlfriends!

9. Please make sure the haircut is not too new. A week to two weeks before the shoot should be good depending on how fast his hair grows.

10. Don't pick at your skin. I can edit blemishes. Also, be sure you do not get a sunburn before the shoot. Red skin is very difficult to edit, and peeling skin, even more so, plus the nose always takes the brunt of it, so it looks crazy. 



Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Flower Mound Family Pictures by Highland Village Photographer Lisa McNiel





I love names like Gabriella and Monique, so romantic and European! I had taken Gabriella's cheer photos a couple of years ago and then she was one of the underclassmen I photographed for a St. Patrick's shoot in downtown Dallas. Her mom, Monique, wanted family photos for her husband's birthday and to my delight, he was in great spirits the whole time. We did the Hill Family photos in Flower Mound and Highland Village and included their two darling dogs. She wanted to know what to wear and I suggested she look at the colors in her home, that she likes to decorate with. She sent me photos of the artwork on her walls which included bright primary colors much like the great girl dance scene from "LaLaLand." She happily got together clothes in those colors for her family. One of the smartest things she did was to get leashes for the dogs in the colors she wanted! It worked perfectly for her walls and for a family album.

Follow me on pinterest here: lisalovespics 
To see more photos from senior photographer Lisa McNiel, click Dallas-Photographer or follow a DFW-Senior-Photographer on Facebook.








Sunday, November 12, 2017

How to Take Family Photos with a Dog - Six tips - by Dallas Photographer Lisa McNiel


When you look back over old photo albums, or slides, or videos, you laugh at your hairstyles, wish you still had an outfit, and realize how good that dog really was.

Family photos can be a challenge, but it's not always about getting the perfect group picture. Sometimes it's more about getting at least one beautiful portrait of each family member that gives you a glimpse of their personality. their unique beauty, and if possible tell a little of their story. In the grouping above, one of the siblings was overseas and couldn't be there for the photos, so when we can get a picture of him, he can be added to the grouping.

This can make for a wonderful display on the wall at home. One reason why is that as the family changes, marriages, children, new family members are added or grow to adulthood, just their photos can be changed out. For example, a son's photo can be changed out for a picture of him and his wife if you still love all the individual photos of the others. These can be added to a group family shot, or as in this example, the anchoring image is primarily of the land where they live, with a daughter sitting on the fence.

I fell in love with "Honey," the 13-year-old Golden Retriever who was happy to amble around the farm, smiling at her people and surroundings. When she cheesed for the camera with her favorite girl I though I might have to sneak her onto the plane home.

If you choose to include your dog in your photos:

1. Make sure you have a leash and collar that will look good in photos on your wall. Bright colors are not recommended.

2. Recognize that extra time is needed to get the dog to comply.

3. As a family, you need to be looking at your photographer and smiling, not looking at the dog and trying to get it to do what the photographer wants.

4. Count on and appreciate candid shots of the dogs and how funny and crazy they can be.

5. Get individual shots of the dogs as they can look great in a display with everyone in a grouping on the wall or in an album.

6. Bring water and treats.

Also, to see more ideas for family photos, check out this post from Shutterfly where two of my families are featured!

Follow me on pinterest here: lisalovespics 

To see more photos from senior photographer Lisa McNiel, click Dallas-Photographer or follow a DFW-Senior-Photographer on Facebook.

These are some headshots done for dad with and without his golden retriever and lab.

A young couple with their first fur baby.



Individual shots like senior pictures with a horse or favorite dog you grew up with to save memories of your childhood furry friends.





Mom needs individual pictures since she's usually the one behind the camera, and when you have a white lab this pretty, how can you resist?



Saturday, November 11, 2017

Senior Pictures for Marcus Brother and Sister by Dallas Photographer Lisa McNiel



Landon and Mari will be graduating in a few short months are are preparing for a list of lasts: last high school football game, parking lot nightmare, prom, bell schedule, and dress code. Mari is an excellent student and was thinking she wanted to go to UT Austin when we last talked. Her mom says she has had a crazy personality since she was three!

Landon was calm and kind throughout the shoot. He enjoys welding and his mom tells me he's artistic. It will be so quiet next year and all these years of raising 4 children and then suddenly an empty nest!

Follow me on pinterest here: Senior Pictures  
To see more photos from senior photographer Lisa McNiel, click Dallas-Photographer or follow a DFW-Senior-Photographer on Facebook.

Here are some tips on hoow to prepare for your Senior Picture Session for Guys when booking with me:1. Bring snacks and water - but especially water - for your son. I know it's mostly moms reading this because I'm a mother of sons and my boys would never think about it until an hour before the shoot! They will not think they need it. You won't think they need it. I want them to have it. It puts them in a good mood to be hydrated and a blood sugar boost about halfway through the session.

2. Put together a really dressy outfit. Buy a suit. He will need it for so many things this year. And when you have that wedding or funeral, he will be prepared. Get help from the stylists at the store. They are up-to-date on fit and style for young men. They also know that cool, funky, socks with a suit are in style now. 

3. FIT is important. All his other clothes should have a "slim fit" or better, "athletic cut," unless he is stockier. The clothes need to fit his body without being tight.

4. Shoes are important. They are important to the dressy AND the casual outfits. They need to not only match the style of his clothes, they need to be on the newer side. 

5. Socks are also important. They will show in various poses.

6. Bring props: a framed photo of him as a little boy, a letterman's jacket, a prop from a sport he plays, sheet music, an instrument, a jersey, a helmet, a globe if he wants to travel, comic books, 
anything you can think of. The only exception I can think of is gaming. I haven't thought of a good prop for gamers, but if you think of one, please contact me!

7. Please ask me to send you the Questionnaire and fill it out with your son. I find out things in it that can enhance your session with different ideas, and also it gives me something to talk to him about so that he feels more comfortable and relaxed with me and I get more genuine expressions.

8. Please let me know if you have a dog that could come for a few of the shots or can stay in the car for part of the session. Though they can eat up a little time, they make for genuine smiles. This also goes for girlfriends!

9. Please make sure the haircut is not too new. A week to two weeks before the shoot should be good depending on how fast his hair grows.

10. Don't pick at your skin. I can edit blemishes. Also, be sure you do not get a sunburn before the shoot. Red skin is very difficult to edit, and peeling skin, even more so, plus the nose always takes the brunt of it, so it looks crazy. 


When preparing for senior photos for girls when booking with me, please follow these tips:

1. Choose clothes that are flattering to you and your figure and coloring regardless of what is in style... If you don't look your best in white jeans. Don't wear them. If the top is completely shapeless and you have a small waist, for heaven's sake, find something fitted, but not super tight to where your underwear shows.

2. Check your fingernails! Make sure they are clean or painted. Chipped fingernail polish looks terrible.

3. Don't tan too much or get a burn before your photos. 

4. Your hair will need to move, so even though it may be curled or straightened, it will eventually "fall." Relax and go with it. Movement in hair is beautiful!

5. Bring props that reflect your interests or those you used to enjoy, or plan to major in. You can be creative! If you want to travel the world, bring a globe!

6. Bring more clothes than you think you need. Put the outfits together and get a ziplock bag and put any jewelry, special underwear, or lipstick into in that bag and poke a hole in it and hook it onto the hanger. Time is precious when the light is pretty, and changing needs to be quick!

7. Bring a strapless bra. Bra straps are nearly impossible to photoshop.

8. Hats make great props. You can wear them, play with them, pose with them. Try to bring a hat for at least one outfit.

9. Take the black ponytail holder that is always around your left wrist off before we start shooting your session! Hahahahahaha!









Tuesday, November 7, 2017

10 tips for Do-It-Yourself Family and Children Pictures - by Dallas Photographer Lisa McNiel




With the holidays coming, you may be thinking about family pictures for Christmas cards!

Whether or not you are hiring a professional, you'll need to plan to coordinate their clothes with each other and with your house colors if you plan to display any in your home! If you can bring a piece of art or pillow that has your colors in it when shopping, that will help. Also, try to keep the level of formality the same in all the family members or children if you are just having photos of your kids done.  Don't worry about matching Christmas colors for a family Christmas card. You can easily match any colors to all the array of holiday cards available now.

It's important to not match each other exactly though, unless that's what YOU want. You might want to pick three colors you would like in your home and everyone can stick to those colors. One of those colors should probably be a neutral like the tan in this little boy's khaki pants, or if you're a jeans family, denim can be your neutral. You may want to steer clear of white as one of your colors unless it is prominent in your home, as most of the attention goes to bright white in photos.

If you are doing the photos yourself, here are a few tips:
1. Plan to take your photos in the 45 minutes after sunrise or before sunset.
2. Look for a location where there will be few distractions competing for attention.
3. After you get some photos of the children together, be sure to get individuals of them.
4. Get close-ups and full-length photos both in the group and individuals.
5. If they're little, have them look up at you. It's darling and that's how you usually see their faces anyway.
6. If they really, really, really want to bring a batman cape, a princess dress, or a favorite toy, take a few photos of them with those. They are classic. We have an extended family photo with my young daughter wearing a scratched up pink rabbit "necklace" on a string around her neck. I had her in tears trying to take it away and my sister said, "Leave it! It's a classic!"
7. Feed them beforehand.
8. If they cry, take a photo. It will be funny some day.
9. Give yourself a break if they aren't perfect. Life's not perfect and neither are anyone's children, no matter what their Christmas letter says!
10. Laugh!

I'm normally a senior photographer and don't usually feature my family sessions on this blog, but it's that time of year to get your loved ones together and celebrate the bond between you (and how stinkin' cute your kids are!)

Follow me on pinterest here: lisalovespics 
To see more photos from senior photographer Lisa McNiel, click Dallas-Photographer or follow a DFW-Senior-Photographer on Facebook.














Saturday, November 4, 2017

Senior Pictures for a Bubbly Future Teacher by Dallas Photographer Lisa McNiel




Laura Minyon is very bubbly and outgoing. You are not going to miss her! Sweet, happy confidence and humor, blond hair, blue eyes, and long legs! She plans to be a teacher and is in the Texas Association of Future Educators and also Manager of the Marcus High School Girls Soccer Varsity Team. She is the very first person of either gender to bring a calculus textbook as her prop. She loves hanging out with friends, and by necessity does homework, eats and sleeps besides that and her busy schedule and class demand. Her favorite songs are Small Town Boy by Dustin Lynch, Hurricane by Luke Combs, and just about any Country song. Laura's favorite quote is, "Home is the child's first and most important classroom," and her favorite memory is winning 6th place at the national level for one of her lesson plans! Woohoo!

I asked her mom to tell me about her - this is what she had to say:Laura is a very mature girl who has always known what she's wanted and gone after it. She has always had a huge heart and loves to help others. She donated her hair to Wigs for Kids when she was only six years old. She decided to play football on the boys middle school team in 7th and 8th grade when volleyball didn't interest her. She knew by the time she hit ninth grade that she wanted to teach high school math as a career and that's what she'll pursue in college. Laura is funny and loud and has been a person filled with joy ever since she was a baby and everyone called her Happy Baby. She's a protective big sister and although she'd never admit, she loves her younger brother Matthew and watches over him. They get along great yet love to pick on each other. She loves to cook and especially bake but don't ask her to keep her room clean, because that's way too difficult for her!

Follow me on pinterest here: Senior Pictures  
To see more photos from senior photographer Lisa McNiel, click Dallas-Photographer or follow a DFW-Senior-Photographer on Facebook.