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The Allgrims {State College, PA family photographer}

Being that this lovely family lives in Virginia, we had a heck of a time getting in the same state for a portrait session! We tried for over a year without success until last week when they were on vacation and drove six hours to see me on their way to visit family in New York. We met in their hotel lobby, and Ava showed up ready to twirl in her pretty pink skirt. On our walk to the park, Andrew talked about soccer and the responsibilities of being a big brother. Later we did some dance moves, chased a few ducks and Andrew gave me the craziest high-five in the history of high-fives.

We put up with a little rain here and there, but I couldn’t possibly have had a better time with this bunch. By the end, we were all laughing and covered in grass.

Definitely worth the wait!  

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What to wear {Wardrobe Wednesday}

When we first started Wardrobe Wednesday, I knew it would be a useful tool and an incredible visual database for those planning a portrait session, but I had no idea how much my clients would rave about it. I’m not exaggerating when I say ALL of my clients mention that they’ve checked out this series for tips in preparing for their closeup.

It’s music to my ears because believe it or not, your photographer wants you to look good, too! Clothing definitely impacts the feel of a session, not to mention we want you to be comfortable and confident.

So when I was talking to one of my clients during her pre-session consultation recently, she mentioned that she had taken a few snapshots of the clothing she was considering for her kids and asked if I would take a look at them.

Not only did I think that was a great idea, I loved it so much that I asked her if I could use them as examples. So here we go!

Here are the four photos that Eva sent me as options for her 4-year-old twins:

Option 1: Although I love both outfits individually, I think the patterns are too powerful and overwhelming when paired together. The navy shirt matches the waist and neck bands in the dress perfectly, but it just feels a little too plain.

Option 2: With the collar and buttons, this shirt is definitely a little more “dressy casual” and compliments the outfits better, but the color isn’t quite right, and we still have the problem with competing patterns.

Option 3: Love the dress in this picture, but the shade of the shirt doesn’t quite match the blue in the dress and they end up looking uncoordinated. Personally I adore boys in purple, so I might pair it with a matching purple polo if I could find one in the exact shade.

Option 4: Bingo! This is a perfect example of complimenting patterns. The shirt is dominant with the bold plaid, but the dress still holds its own without looking overpowered and plain. I also love that there’s a pop of turquoise on the neckline, giving a secondary color for mom to work with in her outfit. Add in some classic neutrals like khaki and denim and you’ve got your color palate!

Keeping this in mind, I started with khaki shorts for Eva’s son. I would’ve preferred them without cargo pockets, but I had trouble finding them, so I went with it.

I didn’t want Dad to be too matchy-matchy in identical khaki, so I suggested navy shorts for him. Paired with a light blue polo and neutral tan shoes, he looks put-together and well-coordinated. A white polo would also work perfectly.

Knowing I wanted to play with that pop of turquoise from the dress, I decided an accessory would be perfect for Mom. I chose a scarf in this case, but a chunky ring, bracelet or necklace would also work. I know the scarf competes a little with the top I chose, but I figured if arranged correctly, it would cover the flowers and the rest of the tank would act as a neutral. And the best part about scarves is that it can quickly create a different look without much effort by taking it off. Then you’re left with the pretty flower detail that also stands well on its own without being too plain.

Here’s the final look!

And, again, there are so many different ways to personalize this look as long as you stay in the color palate. Mom or Dad could substitute a white top. One of the girls could wear a turquoise headband. The boy could be in navy shorts and Dad could be in khaki … you get the idea.

But if you like the options I put together, here’s where to shop! (And Eva was kind enough to share her shopping destinations, too.)

SHOPPING LIST

DAD
Shorts: http://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=49822&vid=1&pid=838840&scid=838840002
Polo: http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=66299&vid=1&pid=832923&scid=832923012

MOM
Scarf: http://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=35300&vid=1&pid=839355&scid=839355032
Tank: http://piperlime.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=64474&vid=1&pid=861052&scid=861052002
Skirt: http://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=5727&vid=1&pid=832047

BOY
Shirt: http://www.gymboree.com/shop/dept_item.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524445999580&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374306259467&ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=1408474395917465&bmUID=1307558199416
Shorts: http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=67541&vid=1&pid=837123&scid=837123002

GIRL
Dress: http://www.teacollection.com/product/g1s2169/girls-dresses-flamenco-dot-playdress.html

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Eva - June 22, 2011 - 4:32 AM

If the rain doesn’t get us again, you’ll soon enough see what we came up with…

Mr. & Mrs. Albitz {State College, PA wedding photographer}

I used to think I had it together when I was getting married. But my 2011 brides are putting me to shame and it’s just the start of the summer season!

Katlyn and Brock had an absolutely incredible day. The forecast had been calling for rain all week, but not only did the sun end up shining, the sky had some incredible clouds, too. Their magazine-worthy reception had beautiful lemon-themed centerpieces, a candy table and fun throwback soda in glass bottles.

If that wasn’t enough, they had a caricature artist, a busy dance floor with guests showing off some killer dance moves, and a whole lot of love in the air.

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What to wear {Wardrobe Wednesday}

Lets hear it for the boys! In honor of Father’s Day, Jennifer put together a post for Dad. And I took a photo of my own boys recently that I’m really excited to share below. Sometimes all you need are great ties and a basic white button down! 

Here’s what Jennifer has to say:

Father’s Day is this Sunday, so there’s no better time for us to focus on all of the men (and boys) in our lives! When giving advice on wardrobe compilations, we usually start out by having the outfits revolve around the little gals or moms. So, when there’s not a female involved in the session, it can be difficult for the guys to plan what to wear.

It’s best to keep it simple and introduce just a couple of basic coordinating colors. An easy way to do this is with plaid shirts or shorts. Be sure not to involve too many different plaids, otherwise it becomes too busy. With button-up shirts, you can roll up the sleeves, and leave it untucked to have it on the casual side, or tuck it in and add some accessories to dress it up.

One of the simplest ways to add a little class to your outfit without putting too much effort is by including a tie.  Who can resist a bare-bellied baby with some adorable polka dots, a handsome father with his precious newborn son, or a young man dressed to impress? Just add a tie to the basics you already own, and people will think you spent hours putting the outfits together! A great place I’ve found to purchase these ties with style is Trendy Ties. Not only do they have modern neckties and bowties, but they can also create hair flowers and brooches for sister and mom. You can check them out on Facebook or Etsy! She just completed a crazy sale, so she’s taking a short vacation, but be sure to visit her starting June 20!

SHOPPING LIST

Boy’s Outfit – Belk
Shirt – http://www.belk.com/AST/Main/Belk_Primary/Kids/Shop/Boys/Boys47/Dresswear/PRD~45006644513840/J+Khaki+Long+Sleeve+Woven+Shirt+Boys+4+7.jsp?off=4
Pants – http://www.belk.com/AST/Main/Belk_Primary/Kids/Shop/Boys/Boys47/PantsJeans/PRD~4500761SUFFI457138/Ralph+Lauren+Childrenswear+Suffield+Pant+Boys+4+7.jsp?off=11
Shorts – http://www.belk.com/AST/Main/Belk_Primary/Kids/Shop/Boys/Boys47/Shorts/PRD~4500250464A095/OshKosh+B+gosh+Light+Blue+Plaid+Short+Boys+4+7.jsp?off=18
Polo – http://www.belk.com/AST/Main/Belk_Primary/Kids/Shop/Boys/Boys47/Shirts/Polos/PRD~4500761322102717740/Ralph+Lauren+Childrenswear+Mesh+Polo+++Boys+4+7.jsp?off=25
Shoes – http://www.belk.com/AST/Main/Belk_Primary/Shoes/Shop/Kids/Boys/Casual/PRD~4800035YB38684A/Sperry+Top+Sider+Halyard+navy.jsp?off=4
 
Dad’s Outfit – Banana Republic
Shirt- http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=47521&vid=1&pid=833414&scid=833414002
Pants – http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=22202&vid=1&pid=833216&scid=833216002
Shorts – http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=12640&vid=1&pid=833238&scid=833238002
 
Straw Fedora – http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=47529&vid=1&pid=823719&scid=823719022
Sandals – http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=23656&vid=1&pid=825735&scid=825735012
 
Teenager’s Outfit – Belk
Teenage Boy Shirt – http://www.belk.com/AST/Main/Belk_Primary/Men/Shop/Casual_Shirts/Wovens/Short_Sleeve/Patterns/PRD~320035272103RH/Chaps+Hermosa+Plaid+Easy+Care+Woven.jsp?off=91
Teenage Boy Shorts – http://www.belk.com/AST/Main/Belk_Primary/Men/Featured_Shop/Young_Mens/Shorts/PRD~32006693475109/Red+Camel+Flat+Front+Shorts.jsp?off=9
Teenage Boy Shoes – http://www.belk.com/AST/Main/Belk_Primary/Shoes/Shop/Mens/Sandals/PRD~39028329021059/Dockers+Rinaldi+Sandal.jsp?off=9
Teenage Boy Jeans – http://www.belk.com/AST/Main/Belk_Primary/Men/Featured_Shop/Young_Mens/Jeans/PRD~3202975FL183Z/Red+Camel+Bootcut+Fashion+Belted+Denim.jsp?off=1

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Newspaper column

If this is the technological age, it certainly isn’t bypassing the young.

My 3-year-old knows how to use an iPhone better than I do, she watches YouTube videos of Elmo on our TV and can listen to her favorite songs in the car upon request thanks to our vehicle’s MP3 dock.

When I compare it to my own childhood and the fact that I didn’t have access to a computer until sixth grade, it’s astounding. I remember my class being broken into groups to visit the school’s lone computer lab once a week. Huddled around a handful of monstrous machines, we learned how to turn them on, what the mouse was and how to peck out glowing green letters on a black screen.

My daughter will likely be tapping out texts at warp speed on her phone’s virtual keyboard by the time she’s the same age.

I guess what scares me is that her generation doesn’t have to wait for anything. Music, movies, television, photos and games are accessible from anywhere with a WiFi connection. I can’t tell her “Your show isn’t on right now, go play” because she knows all I have to do is fire up the DVR and select any episode her little heart desires.

I can’t even take a picture without her asking to see it on my camera’s viewfinder. Forget having to wait until the roll of film is finished, not to mention getting the photos developed. Everything in her world happens immediately.

As a parent, the concept of perpetual instant gratification is very scary. I want my children to learn the virtue of patience and perhaps even the old adage that the best things in life are worth the wait.  

That said, it’s not always easy knowing where to draw the line. A large part of me wants to ban the iPhone from ever entering her little hands, but when we’re doing something mundane like shopping for a new dishwasher, I know I can hand it to her and she’ll be content, well-behaved and close by for the duration — as opposed to interrupting and running around when her patience understandably wears thin.

The small glimmer of justification I fall back on is that the games geared toward her age group are educational. Dora asks her to count before doing a little dance, a monkey rewards her with a sticker after she puts a puzzle together, and coloring pages test her eye-hand coordination. Plus, she’ll likely need intense computer skills just to keep up in school, let alone the job market when she’s older.

At the very least, it’s nice to know I’m not alone. I see toddlers everywhere using their parent’s smart phones — at the grocery store, restaurants, even at church. So I’m sure those parents have to strike a balance with other electronic devices at home, too.

Part of me wonders if each generation experiences the same concerns and fears. My mom remembers not owning a color television. She probably struggled with allowing me to surf the net without supervision when I was in high school.

I guess when I really think about it, there are a few things that don’t happen instantly at our house. My daughter’s favorite grilled cheese sandwiches don’t pop out of thin air, we can’t go outside until her toys are put away, and the water park most certainly isn’t going to happen in December — no matter how much she begs.

Technology isn’t going to change that. Well, not for her generation anyway.

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