Wellesley Family Photos | The Keating Family

Here are some favorites from Finn's one year photo session at Wellesley College! They were referred to me by my cousin and we had so much fun wandering the Wellesley campus. Finn was such a sweetie and I love his light red hair and bright blue eyes! 

Arnold Arboretum Family Photo Session | Michal

It's always an honor when another photographer asks me to take photos for them! Michal is also a family photographer and we had so much fun at Arnold Arboretum. She knew exactly where to find good light and her kids were naturals in front of the camera! 

Boston Public Garden Elopement | Sean & Lynsey

Sean & Lynsey had an intimate wedding at the Boston Public Garden. Their closest family watched as they read their handwritten vows to each other in front of the bridge. Lynsey's aunt officiated and it was clear how much she loves them both. After a few portraits in the park we went to Acorn Street in Beacon Hill. Even though it was still cold the flower boxes were full of beautiful blooms. Their families were so sweet and happy, they made for a perfect day!  

Spring Cleaning Tips for Instagram

Are you tired of Instagram consuming your life and getting stuck in the never ending scroll? Are you frustrated with the algorithm and the follow/unfollow game? I’ve written a 2 part series on how to clean up your Instagram account and how to deal with the frustrating changes.

 Image from  Twigy Posts Stock

 

Instagram Spring Cleaning Tips:

1. Unfollow anyone you don't enjoy following. Whether they make you jealous, give you FOMO, or you just don't want to follow them anymore. Clean up your following list to just the people you truly enjoy following. I went from following 528 to 304. Now I only see posts from people who motivate and inspire me.

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2. Mute stories: Did you know you can mute people’s stories so they don’t show up in your story feed? You’re still following them and can see their stories if you want to but when you’re watching your feed it won’t jump to them automatically.

How to mute stories:

1. Press on the story circle of the person you want to mute. 2. Tap mute username at the bottom. Now you won't see their stories unless you scroll all the way to the end! To un-mute someone just scroll to the end where their username is grayed out and tap their circle and choose un-mute username at the bottom. 

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This has been a huge time saver for me. I love watching stories but I get sucked in and waste so much time. Watching other people’s stories doesn’t advance my business. I also like completing things and I could never ‘finish’ my stories reel.

Now I only watch people who talk to the camera, teach me something, or are entertaining.

 

3. Spruce up your bio: Do people clearly know who you are and what you do when they land on your feed? Do they know where you’re located? You can write out your bio in the notes app and copy and paste to your Instagram bio for a cleaner look.

 

4. Follow relevant hashtags: I follow local hashtags so I can engage with my peers but I don’t have to follow every local creative. When you follow a hashtag, posts under that tag will pop up in your photo feed.  

 

5. Organize your highlights. I have a detailed blog post on how to make cover photos for your highlights. Add any pertinent information and delete your highlight clutter.  

 

 Image from  Twigy Posts Stock

I hope these tips help you clean up your Instagram and get you thinking about who’s content you consume and why.

 

Next week I’ll be posting my thoughts on the Algorithm and the follow/unfollow method that’s driving everyone crazy. I’ll share my tips for dealing with it and why you shouldn’t care if people unfollow you!

 

 

Pregnancy Announcement Photos at UCONN | Steph & Nick

My all time favorite roommate from college is have a baby! Naturally we had to return to UCONN to shoot their pregnancy announcement photos. It had just snowed the night before and Jonathan the school mascot looked especially handsome. We had to get a few shots in front of Gampel Pavilion, home of the incredible women & men's basketball team. 

It was so much fun walking around our old home and reliving our favorite memories. I can't wait to see Steph & Nick enter this next adventure in their lives with even better memories to come. 

How to Make Cover Photos on Instagram Story Highlights

By now you've probably seen accounts with cover photos on their Instagram story highlights.

Instagram story highlights can be used as mini video channels to showcase helpful information for your followers. I have some FAQ's, an about me channel, wedding tips, and my favorite portfolio images.

With highlights new followers can learn about you quickly and it takes away some of the pressure to post daily. 

I created my images in Canva and you could also use Phonto, Photoshop, or any other platform that allows you to create graphics. 

I created a Canva tutorial so you can make icon cover photos for your account!

1. In Canva go to the "Use custom dimensions" button on the top right. Enter 1080 x 1920 for the dimensions.

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2. Next choose a background color for your image. You can choose any background you like but I prefer a solid color. You can choose from Canva's pre-selected colors or add you own custom color.

        

 

 

 

3. In the "search" bar enter the name of an icon you want to use. For instance, 'camera', 'house', 'leaf'.

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4. Choose an icon, I prefer simple outlines. I center the icon in the middle of the page and enlarge it to about 230 x 230.   You can also change the color of the icon, I chose white for all mine. 

 

5. Save your image. Now it's time to upload to Instagram stories. There are many ways to do this, I prefer to add to my scheduled stories using Planoly on my desktop. I then post to my stories using the Planoly app on my phone. 

6. Once you've posted to your stories, go to your story and tap the 'highlight' icon 

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7. Tap 'new' to create a new highlight.

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8. Name your highlight whatever you'd like.

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9. The new highlight will appear on your feed!

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10. To change the cover image or adjust the placement go to the highlight and tap 'edit highlight'

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11. Tap 'edit cover'

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12. You can now change the cover image or recenter the placement of your icon.

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13. To add to your highlighted story go into 'edit highlight' and simply tap any story you'd like to add to that section.

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That's it for this tutorial! If you found it helpful let me know in the comments and if you make your own covers tag me in a story so I can see what you created @erica_pezente! 

How to Propose: 7 tips for a Successful Marriage Proposal

Happy proposal season! If it seems like everyone on Facebook is getting engaged that's because we are currently in prime proposal season. The joy & festivities of the holidays puts guys in the mood to get down on one knee. If you're thinking the time is right to ask the question, here are my top 7 tips for getting a yes. 

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1. Talk about marriage before hand. It may sound romantic to propose out of the blue but it's not much fun once you get married and you discover only one of you wants kids. Talk about children, jobs, where you want to live, your roles in a marriage. Talk about it a lot, this is the biggest commitment you will ever make (besides kids). Make sure you're on the same page before you even consider proposing.  

2. Know her personality. Is she an extrovert who would love a public proposal? Is it important to have family and friends in attendance? Is she a private person who would prefer just the two of you? Set up a proposal where she'll be comfortable and happy. A shy introvert probably won't appreciate a jumbo-tron proposal and a city girl might not like a mountain hike proposal. Make it personal. Show her that you listen and care about the things that are important to her. 

3. Ask her parents for their blessing. If she has a good relationship with her parents tell them you intend to propose to their daughter and would love their blessing. You're not asking for permission, she's her own person, but rather showing respect to her family. 

4. Select a location that has meaning to you. Think of where you had your first date, her favorite place, or somewhere with happy family memories.  The proposal should match your relationship, chose a place you would normally go. 

5. Outfit check. Make sure she’s wearing something location appropriate and wouldn't mind having her photo taken. If she's happy in a T shirt and jeans that's fine but if she gets dolled up to go to Target take that into consideration. Tell her you’re going out to dinner at a nice restaurant or that you want to plan a day trip to her favorite location. 

6. Hire a photographer/videographer. She won’t remember exactly what happened or what you said. Having someone hiding in the bushes to document the moment will help bring back the memory. And she'll have something amazing to post on Facebook!

7. Prepare what you're going to say. You don't have to write out a speech but tell her why you love her and what saying yes would mean to you. Make sure you get down on one knee and the ring goes on the left hand ;) 

Bonus tip: Just ask! If she's the one for you she'll just be happy you asked, no matter how you do it. 

So there you have it! There's nothing left to do but pick out a ring and work up the courage. Best of luck and I hope she says yes! 
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Couples Session on Acorn Street in Beacon Hill | Katie

I cannot believe I've never shot in Beacon Hill before, Acorn Street is the perfect place for Christmas photos! I love the old historic parts of Boston, and it's close to the Boston Public Garden too. 

Marcus & Katie nailed their Christmas mini session! This newlywed military couple was so much fun and Katie balanced perfectly on the cobblestone street in heels.  I hope you have a wonderful first Christmas as husband and wife and treasure these photos always! 

Black Friday Deals for Photographers & Creatives

Anyone else overwhelmed with the amount of Black Friday ads piling up in their inbox?! I've rounded up my favorite deals for photographers & other creatives so you don't miss out!

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Photography Courses

 

KATELYN JAMES: Sale starts on Black Friday. KJ Collection is 30% off, KJ Courses open for enrollment, 20$ off, and a payment plan will be offered

AMY & JORDAN: EVERYTHING of theirs is on sale. I have their Posing Course, Shooting & Editing Course, e-mail templates, and timeline pack. Amy & Jordan's products are worth every penny. They're former teachers and they create their courses with meticulous attention to detail. If you're going to buy one course on Black Friday I would get one of theirs. 

A PRACTICAL WEDDING WORKSHOP BY ABBY GRACE: $347 (Usually $457) Abby takes you through her thought process of the entire wedding (Including pre-wedding prep and her post wedding workflow) 

JUSTIN & MARY: Their posing, business, and lighting course are on sale

HOPE TAYLOR: Get $250 off her in person workshop early bird rate with code THANKFUL. Workshop is in February and it is in Richmond, VA

 

Actions & Editing 

 LAURA FOOTE'S 1 HOUR WORKFLOW: The 1 hour workflow will help you reduce your culling and editing time so you can spend less time behind the computer. Use code EARLYBIRDBFF for $40 off

LJ HOLLOWAY EDITING COURSES: $99 for 17 hours of edits. 

MEG BITTON LIVE: Everything $39 or less. She also has dozens of edit courses for $12.99

LIGHT & AIRY PRESETS: By photographers Annamarie Akins & Caroline Logan. $60 off regular price of $179 with code BLACKFRIDAY119. Only available for 50 people!  

GREATER THAN GATSBY: 50% off entire shop with code SALE50. Photoshop & Lightroom actions and overlays

PHOTOMECHANIC: The best photo culling software. 20% off Nov 24-27 with code SHOPSPEEDY17

BLOGSTOMP: 40% off until November 29th at midnight. Blogstomp is blogging software that allows easy image resizing and collages 

ALBUMSTOMP: 40% off until November 29th at midnight.Easily create albums 

SIMPLY JESSICA MARIE: 20% off with code HOLIDAYCHEER.  Jessica is a watercolor artist with tons of prints and products. My favorite product is her 2018 Cocktail calendar. It comes with double sided cards, one side has a watercolor print, the other a cocktail recipe! 

Website Templates

GoLiveHQ- 50% off Squarespace and Showit website templates starting Friday at 12AM

TONIC SHOP: 20% off all website templates 

SHOWIT: 30% off over 130 website designs. Showit is a website hosting platform

 

Products & Prints

ARTSY COUTURE: Up to 50% off products

PHOTOGRAPHER RISING: Heidi Hope's product and backdrop shop. Only running Friday the 24th from 8AM-8PM. Her signature artist rising course is on sale as well as her other business courses. 

BITTERSWEET DESIGN BOUTIQUE: 50% off everything with coupon code GIVETHANKS. Every template you could ever need! From magazines to business cards to website templates. 

MEGAN MARTIN CREATIVE: 40% off everything, no code needed. She has beautiful templates for welcome packets, brand boards, and email marketing to name a few. 

SOCIAL MAGGIE: $10 off her 2018 social media prompt calendar with code 10OFF. Her extensive hashtag list is only $15, I use it all the time for Instagram posts! 

SOUTHERN WEDDINGS: 40% off everything. No code needed. The have magazines, wedding planners, prints, vow books, and more!

 ASHLYN WRITES: Everything 40% off.  

Stock Photos

PIXISTOCK: 50% off membership plans with code CYBERSTOCK

SC STOCK SHOP: Everything 40% off with code STOCKUP40 through Friday 

KATEMAXSTOCK: $50 off annual membership with code blackfriday2017

TWIGYPOSTS: Spend $25 get $10 off code TWIGY1o. Spend $50 get $20 off code TWIGY20. Spend $75 get $35 off code TWIGY35

 

Client Management Systems

DUBSADO: $19/month (reg $25/month) or $190/year (reg $250/year) No code needed. Price good until Tuesday November 28th at 4PM

17 HATS: 37% off 2 year subscription. 

Gift Ideas for Clients & Vendors

It's the most magical time of year! Time to celebrate, reflect, and give gifts to the people who matter most. Don't forget the clients and vendors that make your business possible. If you're at a loss on how to thank them, I've compiled a list of my favorite holiday thank you gifts below.

 

Sugarfina is the perfect gift for any sugar loving client. They have every candy and gummy option imaginable. I like that you can go as simple or crazy as you want. They have single boxes all the way to the candy truck with 20 boxes. 

Sugafina gingerbread cookies

Metal ornaments from proDPI

Crate & Barrel Silver Pearl Ornament 

Seacoast Sweets Chocolate Pattes. They're based out of Newburyport, MA and they have 4 flavors, peppermint, peanut butter, coconut, and s'mores. 

Ellery Mae Candles

 

She has so many yummy flavors on her etsy shop like pecan pie, frosted gingerbread, and cinnamon bun. 

The Mistletoe gift box from Teak & Twine. Pre-made gift boxes re a little pricey but if you have a high end business or don't want to spend the time putting a gift together these are a great option.

Love & Found Box Festive Treat 

 

 

Compartes Chocolate.

 

From single bars to chocolate towers there are so many options. Their packaging is gorgeous as well! 

Wellesley Family Photos & Cake Smash | Jaclyn

Baby O had his one year photos and cake smash at Wellesley College a few weeks ago. He wasn't so sure about the family photo part but once the cake came out he started DANCING in his seat! I've never seen a baby so excited about cake but I can definitely relate to him!

What struck me most about this family is how well Jaclyn and Doug work as a team. I could tell how much they care about each other and I loved seeing their complete joy at everything little O did!

Wellesley Family Mini Session | Odetta

This wonderful family nailed the outfit game at their Wellesley family photo session! Even Cujo the dog participated, he was quite enthusiastic about family photos! 

I love how quick and easy mini sessions are for my clients. They're a low stress way to get updated family photos and the kids have fun with it too. 

Wellesley Family Photos | Jeff & Melissa

When planning a photo session, 99% of the time it's the mom's that reach out to me. So I was pleasantly surprised when Jeff contacted me to schedule a photo shoot! We planned to shoot at Wellesley College and luckily we still had some beautiful foliage. 

The kids definitely stole the show, Mr. A is a born comedian and Miss A was willing to take photos anywhere. They made our shoot so much fun, I loved exploring the campus with them!  

Wellesley College Fall Family Photos | Alicia

I've always told my friend Alicia she would make an amazing mother. Now that she has a little girl I can tell I was 100% right! Her daughter has a spunky personality (and the most amazing hair.) I love watching her grow up and become her own little person. 

Old Stone Church Engagement Photos | Megan & Gabe

I used to work with Gabe in the emergency room in Framingham so I was excited when he and his fiance Megan asked me to photograph their wedding next year! We did their engagement photos at Old Stone Church in West Boylston right when the foliage was at it's peak. 

It was a little chilly but they were troopers and we had a blast! Here are some of their beautiful photos.