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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tips to taking the BEST photos of your family on Christmas Day! {San Antonio Family Photographer}

Here are some great tips to getting the BEST photos of 
  • The NIGHT BEFORE: Charge the battery and be sure you have a fresh memory card!
  • Start your storytelling images with Christmas Eve (such as Santa's milk and cookies, the tree as it waits for the BIG morning reveal and mom or dad reading them a bedtime story)
  • In order for the images to look similar to the way your eye remembers it, turn on all your lights, open window shades and turn up the ISO on your camera (this is the speed of the camera). Depending on how much light is in your room, that could be ISO 1600, 3200 or higher. Too high, and there could be a lot of digital noise.
  • Try to have your shutter speed at 1/125 or higher so that your photos are not blurry.
  • If your photos are blurry, raise your ISO or turn your flash on if necessary. 
  • If there are windows in your room, do not use them as a background to your subject (or they will be in silhouette). Instead, stand in front of them and use them to illuminate your children.
  • If possible, stand by your tree so you get your kids faces as they see what Santa has brought instead of their getting photos of their backs.
  • Zoom in on kids expressions as they open their gifts!
  • Get down on the kids level when they are opening gifts for a better viewpoint.
After you have created some wonderful images that create a story, make a STORYBOOK from an online source such as Shutterfly or Mpix and continue to relive the day for years to come.

If you are getting a new camera for Christmas and want to learn a little more about HOW to WORK your CAMERA, keep an eye on FACEBOOK and our EMAILS for dates for our  Amateur Photo Classes.

Friday, December 12, 2014

2015 Destination Portraits {San Antonio Destination Portrait Photographer}

Our 2015 Destination Portraits are really taking shape!
We are so excited that we will be visiting EUROPE this summer again, 
but this time we are hitting 
Paris...June 9-14
Trier, Germany (and surrounding countryside)...June 15-19
London...June 20-25

**We already have THREE sessions in Paris, so if you are thinking about joining us in Paris, please contact us right away so we can chat about the possibilities!

As of right now, we only have a couple of tentative session interest in the other two cities and are open to venturing away from the cities if you would prefer more countryside portraiture.
Either way, CALL us if you are interested!
Click HERE for more detailed information

Maui, Hawaii...July 4-9
I wasn't planning a trip to Hawaii so soon after the long adventure we took last summer, BUT, my arm was twisted (ouch) and I will be going back to MAUI again!
I currently have FOUR sunset sessions booked, but could fit a total of 4 more sessions in (but you may have to wake up early for a sunrise session).
Click HERE for more information.

Padre Island, Texas...July 17-20
We are heading to NORTH Padre Island (close to Port Aransas) for the 21st year of Beach Portraits!
If you want to join us, we only have FIVE sessions available, so give us a call to set up a consultation!

South Padre Island...early August (dates tba)
We have yet to book a session for South Padre, so if you would like us to photograph your family, give us a call and we can chat about dates. Most of August is open for us (due to our Big Sky postponement until 2016).

Other locations that I will be visiting this year:
April 25-26...Dallas, Texas
May 29-June 2...Birmingham, Alabama
If one of those locations interests you, be sure to call ASAP!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

These aren't your average Pictures with Santa! {San Antonio Portraits with Santa}

These aren't your 
Keep reading to learn more about our One-of-a-kind Santa Portraits and see images below for samples of our 2014 Sets.

T'was the Night Before Christmas

Santa's Christmas Cottage 

The Process of Creating Santa Portraits:
It all starts about the month of January. The Artistic Images team researches and discusses the theme for the next year. The team then shops for unique props and backgrounds that supports the new theme. In July, we completely design, build and photograph the new theme to begin the marketing that
will take place in the fall months. 
The Artistic Images Santa Portrait sets are unlike any other in the state of Texas or quite possibly even the United States.  I use my 22 years as a professional photographer to create dramatic lighting that create a storytelling image that will be worthy of displaying as an
Art Piece on the wall of your home.

I can guarantee you, that NO ONE else puts as much time, effort and creativity creating these amazing sessions for Santa Portraits.

But, it is not just about the portrait that hangs on the wall, the awesome set design or the Adorable Christmas Cards.
It is about the EXPERIENCE the Children have when 
they are at Artistic Images. 
The MEMORIES that are created with Santa Claus 
that will never be forgotten. 
It is the REASON that we still have teenagers come that 
don't want to miss a single year of that experience.

These aren't your average Santa Pictures.

Here are just a few Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Will I have to wait in line?
NO WAY! All of our sessions are by appointment only. If there were an unforeseen circumstance where waiting may occur, you will do so in a comfortable enironment where seating is available. While we RARELY
have this happen, there are the occasional times that
waiting 5 minutes may be necessary.
2. What if my child is afraid of Santa?
If your child is between the ages of 9 months-3 years, the chances are EXTREMELY high that Santa may be a bit "scary" to them. This is normal. We begin every session with images without Santa and introduce him as the session evolves.  There are many times that Santa is in the portrait and the child is unaware of that.  Rest assured, with or without the man in red, we will capture a beautiful image of your child or children in our amazing scene.

3. Can my family join in?
Some of our sets have the capability of having families join in the session and some do not. Typically, our sets are designed specifically for children and tend to look a bit "small" when adults join in. This year, we do not have a set with Santa that will work with families, but we do have our Christmas Tree Haul event on December 6th without Santa Claus. 

Christmas Tree Haul 

4. Can I order Christmas Cards?
Absolutely! We have hundreds of designs for you to choose from at our studio or you can have us custom design a card just for you! A select number of card designs are available online or you may make an appointment to meet with one of our design consultants if you want to choose from the entire collection.

5. Is this the REAL Santa Claus?
As you can see from the photos, he is the REAL DEAL! I have known Santa Claus for many years and he makes three special trips to visit me each year. Once when we design and photograph our new set and twice in November.
He typically flies down to San Antonio on an airplane, as his reindeer are eating and resting for the long trip on Christmas Eve. Besides, it is never quite cold enough for those reindeer to hang out while Santa is busy visiting with all the children. BTW, Santa REALLY wants the children to bring their lists so that he can be sure to get them what they want.

6. Is it expensive?
Santa Portraits are part of our "Collector's Series" which are 50-60% off our regular portrait fees. While we will never be "inexpensive", our portraits are considered PRICELESS by everyone who visits. Session fees are $35 and there is a minimum portrait order of $150. Prints begin at $40 and our incredible packages begin at $250.

All sessions are photographed by myself, Elizabeth Homan, Master Photographer, Photographic Craftsman, Certified Professional Photographer, Approved Photographic Instructor, International speaker and
MOM to three little boys.

Check out the video!

And this year, we are doing something EXTRA SPECIAL to give back!
Click HERE for more information!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Home for the Holidays...Family Portraits at the Missions {San Antonio Family Photographer}

Our Home for the Holidays Event
is always very popular!
In fact, every year we sell out and end up adding another day.
This year, we can not add another day due to family commitments and that makes it even more important for you to ACT FAST!
As of today...October 28...there is only ONE morning appointment at Mission Concepcion
BUT, there are SIX MINI SESSIONS available at Mission Espada!
*See Below for more details*
Mission Concepcion appointments are ONE HOUR long sessions at this beautiful location.
There is usually a $100 mission permit fee, but I am taking care of that myself so I can give you this amazing value:
$200 session and $250 minimum print purchase.
A Saturday session is usually $450, then adding the permit fee of $100, you are actually
SAVING $350 on your session fee!
What a FABULOUS deal!

Mission Espada appointments are 30 minute MINI sessions.
Because this mission is much smaller and does not offer the huge variety that Mission Concepcion does. It has a beautiful front door with bells and a wooden cross that make a beautiful portrait. 
So, if you want a quick session at the Missions so as not to miss too much football, then this is the session for you!
$100 session and $250 minimum print purchase.
That is a $450 savings! Wow!

Now that I have pointed that out, what are you waiting for?
Call 210-497-3809
to secure an appointment.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Toy Donations for The Elf Louise Christmas Project {San Antonio Portraits with Santa}

We are so excited to be able to GIVE BACK this Christmas!
Here is the low down:
*Bring a brand new, in the box, unwrapped toy at your Session with Santa (valued at no less than $20)
*Artistic Images will give you ONE COMPLIMENTARY GIFT PRINT (8x10 or smaller) when you purchase any of our Collector's Series Packages.
*Santa and Artistic Images will donate all toys to The Elf Louise Christmas Project once all sessions are complete.

If you wish...
Wrap your gift and have Santa unwrap it during your session!
That would make for some great photos and a great lesson in giving for your children:
Santa not only brings gifts to them, but delivers donated gifts to needy children too!
Be sure your wrapping paper looks FABULOUS with their outfit!

So...take your children shopping for a gift for others and spread the 
Giving Spirit of Christmas!

Monday, October 20, 2014

2014 Christmas Portraits with Santa Claus

T'was the Night Before Christmas
Sunday, November 9th, 2014
T'was the Night Before Christmas is a Classic Bedroom Scene. Santa will join the children in their room on "Christmas Eve", reading a Christmas book, helping them say their prayers and letting them tell him one last time what their Christmas Wish List has on it.
The colors are Browns, Golds and Reds. 
A fancy Christmas outfit or adorable Christmas pajamas are the way to go on this scene. 


Santa's Christmas Cottage
Saturday and Sunday
November 15 & 16, 2014

Santa's Christmas Cottage depicts the outside of Santa and Mrs. Claus' Cottage at the North Pole. It is a snowy wonderland that not only includes the Big Man himself, but will also include an adorable Snowman to help build and a sled to sit on. 
Christmas outfits, sweaters, jackets, hats & scarves are all great choices 
for this Classic Winter Christmas Scene.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


It is that time of year.
The Holidays are upon us.
Sometimes we think of the holidays and we think of....STRESS!
Yikes! This shouldn't be the way it is, and it doesn't have to be this year!

While I can't give you a ton of advice on how to make the turkey, get your relatives to get along or get your shopping done in a timely manner, I CAN give you some advice on having your family portrait made.

Here is my advice for a STRESS-FREE family portrait:

1. Plan ahead. Book your session NOW and don't wait until the week of Thanksgiving to think "Oh my, I need to get my Christmas Card Photos done!"
2. Be flexible. This is the busiest season for portrait photographers. While we try to accommodate all schedules, it is not always possible. Remember to schedule your portrait session for your child's BEST time. This may not be after you get off work (in fact, we call this the "worst" time in my house). If your child is hungry or tired, there is no amount of bubbles and Elmo that will make that child happy. Plan for a successful session by keeping nap times in mind. If your portrait session is outdoors, lighting is important. While it may seem awesome to have your session at noon, most of the time this is the worst time to do outdoor portraits. Early morning or late afternoon is IDEAL for most environmental locations.
3. Don't obsess about clothing. Clothing is a VERY important factor in the success of a beautiful family portrait but it is not worth obsessing over. Clothing as simple as black and jeans is easy to find and looks great in a portrait. My favorite style, however, is to pick a color family and mix and match coordinating colors and patterns to make a great and stylish combination. For example: If you pick warm tones such as gold, camel, brown, pumpkin and cream you can intermix all of those tones within a family and it will look great together. Keep in mind BOLD patterns are not a good idea, but soft or small patterns add dimension and interest to the finished portrait.
4. Try not to "over" prepare your kids. Children are best if they come to the session knowing only that they are going to have their portraits made by Mrs. Elizabeth. Over coaching them to "sit up straight", "smile right", "don't bite your lip" etc will only result in a stiff child and we will not truly be able to capture their personality. Let them relax and be a kid....and allow myself and my fabulous assistant to work our magic!
5. Give yourself more time than you think you need. There is nothing worse than arriving at a portrait session late, sweaty, cursing at your significant other and mad at everyone in the car. If you will give yourself more time to get ready and more time to get to the session, you will come to the portrait session with a relaxed and ready spirit.

As of today, Christmas is only 11 weeks away.
You've got time, but don't hesitate.
Make your appointment TODAY. Go shopping for clothes tomorrow.
 Leave the rest to US!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Destination...BIG SKY, MONTANA {San Antonio Destination Portrait Photographer}

I have been asked to go to Big Sky, Montana for an extended family portrait session.
The dates are August 8-15, 2015. 
I would LOVE to see Montana, and what better time to go than August? When it is 105 degrees in San Antonio, it would be lovely to feel a cool breeze and see the mountains.
The location I will be going to is about 45 minutes from the west entrance of  
Yellowstone National Park and is near the Gallatin River.
So, if this area is a place that interests you for your next family portrait, 
give us a call to chat about details.
Here are a few images of  the area (provided by a friend that has been there)
to give you a taste of the amazing scenery!

Click here for more information about Destination Portrait pricing and details.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fall Family Portrait Options {San Antonio Family Photographer}

And I am excited about the cooler weather 
the AMAZING new locations for this fall's family portraits!

Here are some examples of the BEAUTIFUL locations that we will be heading to this fall.
ALL of the Portrait Events still have openings as of today.
There are TONS of images, so be sure to see them all!

I have yet to photograph a family at Enchanted Rock, so the only samples I have are this beautiful dancer. If you are concerned about hiking, don't be. Most of the locations shown are super close to the parking lot!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Magical Miracle {San Antonio Family Photographer}

Two years ago, I had the pleasure of photographing a wonderful family that I have known forever at DisneyWorld. We had an ALL day adventure as we photographed at The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, The Grand Floridian and The Beach Club Resort. It was a fun, adventurous and exhausting day for all of us. However, it was especially exhausting for the littlest girl, Claudia.

Now, I do not know all the details but here are the basics: Claudia has an unknown medical issue that has taken away her ability to walk. In fact, she could only stand completely assisted by her sisters during our portrait session in 2012. Speaking with her mom over the years, they have had many tests and tried many different medications to help Claudia but none worked. Until late 2012.

When Claudia and her mom WALKED into my studio to pick up their album, I was shocked and completely unaware that Claudia had made such AMAZING progress in such a short time. I know this wonderful family is jumping for joy and praising God for this miracle for Claudia.

Fast forward 1.5 years and we were planning our trip to Disney again. Turns out, we were going to be there at the SAME time again. Are you kidding me? That was it, I KNEW what we had to do. This "princess-at-heart" needed portraits at Disney...Walking. Standing. Skipping through the Magic Kingdom. So we did it!

So here are some of the images from 2012 and then some images from 2014.

I was SO lucky to be able to capture this for this WONDERFUL family and to document this miracle.

 And now for this past summer 2014...

And Congratulations to oldest sister, Danielle for her graduation from Disney's College Program!