Caitlin’s Bridal Portraits

I’ve been aching to share these images!  Caitlin and Justin’s wedding was this past Saturday and I’ve had to keep Caitlin’s bridal portraits a secret for almost two months!  Do you know how hard that is, when you have such a beautiful girl like Caitlin in front of your camera lens.  Super hard!!! We had excellent weather, and The Settlement in Bulverde, TX provided the perfect location with it’s old buildings and of course those turquoise doors!  A place after my own heart. Caitlin did an excellent job with making these images her own by bringing a blue jean jacket (super cute), her grandpa’s ladder and an adorable old chair.  I was in prop heaven.  Enjoy some of her bridals below and stay tuned for her fabulous wedding!

Megan Smart Photo

Megan Smart Photo

 

 

To learn more about the Bridal portrait keep reading…

The Bridal Portrait is mainly a southern tradition where 1-2 months before the wedding, the new bride has a photo session with her full wedding attire. It is one of the few times in a women’s life where she will have her portraits taken alone, and most brides use their trial run on their hair and makeup for the session. No sense it wasting all that beauty.

It’s also used to create those beautiful images that you don’t have time for on the wedding day and for the bride and the photographer to get to know each other a little better. It makes for a wonderful afternoon spent in your dress, all made-up, feeling like a supermodel. Also, you get that gorgeous portrait at the sign in book for your wedding which is traditionally given to the mother of the bride..  A Bridal Portrait is a must, because they are great gifts for the groom, parents and grandparents.

The daily struggles

Last week I posted on my Facebook page, “What are you struggling with?” because I really want to help people with their lives. I was prepared to give out advise (if I had any) or send them a link to an article I found, or a blog I like, or a book I’ve read or send out referral. Whatever it took to help them in their life’s journey, and while nobody said anything because my Facebook following isn’t very big, or they just didn’t want to tell me, I started to think about my own struggles. So I’ll go first. And right now, I’m struggling with believing in myself.  Struggling with if I can even do this photography/business thing.  I’ve been at for three years. Well that’s actually a lie. I’ve been super serious about it for a year, and have had my business for about three.  And that gets me down too, because what the heck was I doing for first two years.  Oh, that’s right, I had no clue what I was doing.  hahaha.  Which is typical of any first-time business owner.

However, recently I’ve been second guessing myself. And I HATE that.  The unknown is super scary to me and failing is something that I can’t stand.  Which in long run means I’ll never give up.  But I’m worried that I will be driving myself into the ground, working so hard for something that might never get here.  I guess that’s where Faith comes in, and I’m trying super hard to believe in that.

 

Sorry for the rant this Monday, but I had to get some things written down.  I found this little motivational quote for today!  I hope it helps you with whatever your struggling with and I hope it brings some light to your life.

 

HAPPY MONDAY, MAKE THINGS HAPPEN TODAY!

DontbeAfraid

Wedding Wednesday!

Whew! It’s been awhile since we had a Wedding Wednesday! Larra and John’s wedding in Comfort, Texas was the wedding every little girl dreams of with beautiful colors, pretty flowers and of course a handsome groom. They are definitely a Texas A$M couple and that’s what’s so great about them! Their commitment their university and the fact that they made a commitment to each other.  We had A&M koozies, an A&M grooms cake and even sang the A&M fight song. It was one fantastic night filled with good food, love, and fantastic dancing. Enjoy some of their wedding images.

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Taking a stand…

Over the past several months I have had several brides contact me and then say I’m to expensive to hire. Which is perfectly fine. I understand that my prices do not fit into all budgets. Everybody is different and everybody has different financial situations. However, most of them say they have a family friend or family member who has a pretty nice camera, and they are going to do their wedding photos. Here is where I have a disagree, UNLESS your family member or friend is professional photographer, please do not do this.  IT’S REALLY NOT THE CAMERA THAT MAKES THE IMAGES! and yes, I’m shouting at you because it’s really true.  A great photographer can make awesome images with a point and shoot.  I’m not just saying this because I’m a photographer and I want to get hired to pay my bills. I’m saying this because your images are all you have left after your wedding day is over. They are the memories. Your first family heirlooms.

I’ve also had people contact me and want me to edit the photos their family/friend took and make them look like my images, and while I will for sure give it my best shot. It’s very very VERY hard to do this. I can’t advise enough about hiring a professional for your wedding photos. Even if it’s not me, find a photographer that you love and try to work something out with them. There are plenty photographers out there, one will be in your budget.  Start the memories of your lives together off right. Don’t be disappointed when you see your images. I’m a big believer in you get what you pay for and it kills me when I see an email stating, “my images are terrible, can you help?”

If the images are important to you, let a professional handle it.  Like I said, even if I’m not the photographer you hire, I want the images of your day to be perfect. Think about it.

 

The Back of My Camera

When I first started my glamour brand, I invited some friends over for a “girls night in” at my home studio. I paid for hair/makeup artists and I wanted to get some photography practice with models and build up my portfolio. The night went pretty well, we had wine and snacks. We laughed and dressed up in pretty clothes. The girls were so excited to see the photos that they kept asking to see the back of my camera. Only I knew that I was just practicing and that there would probably be some not so flattering shots on there, because let’s face it, I didn’t know what I was doing! I was learning, making mistakes, and basically just practicing my posing.

Handing over the camera, was like handing over my heart. And it was super hard to except the fact that the shots weren’t perfect. That someone of them just didn’t work, some were under-exposed, sometimes I caught them when they were blinking, and some poses were not as flattering as I thought there were. Also, when the girls did see some of the images, they picked themselves apart (like most women do) and that was totally not my intent with hosting the party. I wanted my friends to feel pampered and gorgeous.

To this day every time someone asks to see the images on the back of my camera, I cringe a little inside. It’s my least favorite part after a session (and something I do not let clients do because it ruins the surprise). And while I’m trying to get better about letting people see some of the photographs, I still feel really vulnerable. When I watch CreativeLive, I’m all always amazed at how confident those photographers/instructors are shooting tethered to a TV screen. I guess I’m struggling with that fact that not every image I take is going to be perfectly exposed, perfectly lit, or perfectly posed. I’m a human photographer after all. And I’m always learning, or at least trying to get better.

 

Words to LIVE by…

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I hope as you read the words above that you feel empowered to take on the world and to accomplish anything because that’s what they do for me. I have this quote on my phone screen saver to act as a reminder everyday of what I’m trying to mold my life into. Something I can be proud of. A reminder that it’s ok to be a girl but make sure you’re a classy lady. And that in today’s world, you have to think like man. You have to be smart. And while I know, females have made huge strides in that last couple of years towards their careers and holding positions of power, men are still number one. And if you want to get somewhere, sometime you have be inside their heads. And of course my favorite. Work like a boss. Because I’m HUGE believer in hard work. Work hard and work smart. Two keys things to making your dreams come true.

Have a happy rest of week everyone! Don’t give up on whatever you’re trying to accomplish today!

-M

10 things you might not know about me…

I know on this blog I try not to talk about myself, because my business is really about the people who want me to take their portraits. It’s about other people, and giving service and helping. But I understand that sometimes it’s interesting to read about photographer as human being. Because online, most of the time people only put the highlights of their lives, the good stuff. And I’m just as guilty of it as well. So here’s a few things you might not know about me:

1. I really like junk food. No I mean, it’s like crack to me. I have to tell myself, that fruit and vegetables are better than chips and soda. Even though I seriously want that stupid soda and bag of Cheetos. And then afterwards, I feel like a loser or failure or whatever when I give in to the craving of junk food.

2. I’m a very proud person and sometimes take life way to seriously.  My husband helps me with this, because he is silly and I’m not. He helps me loosen up.

3. I don’t take jokes very well. See #2. I have hard time laughing at myself. I think it has something to do with wanting to being perfect all the time. Which I know is a ridiculous way of thinking but for some reason I can’t shake that feeling.

4. I’m better at making a to-do list than actually doing any of the things on the list. If I could find someway to get paid just by organizing things/events/to-do’s on paper than I would be really good at it. It’s the actual doing that stumps me.

5. I have a secret wish to live like a Gypsy.  I know that sounds strange, but there is a part of me that doesn’t want to be tied down and wants to live from city to city.

6. I’m a big fan of Lord of the Rings and Greek Mythology. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the fantasy part or something but I really like any movies or books that deal with wizards, spells, Greek Gods, special powers, all that. hahaha.

7. Speaking of books – I’m an avid reader. Only thing is when I find a book I really like, I can’t stop reading it. Like, “lay in bed all weekend so I can finish this book” type of can’t stop reading this book. So I’ve been sticking to blogs lately because the posts are short and I won’t stay up all night reading.

8. I’m the same way with movies.  When I watch a movie, I have to watch all of it.  My husband will fall asleep half way through and not care about the movie at all. But not me. It doesn’t matter if I’ve seen it 10 times. I will watch the whole thing.

9. I like the idea of being able to cook, but I do not want to put the work in to learn. So I just don’t cook. Sounds terrible now that I’m typing that out. But it’s the truth. I love good food, but I’m not about to give the time and effort to learn how to do it. It’s just something that doesn’t interests me. Luckily my husband loves to cook. So I observe and clean up.

10. Last thing you might not know about me, I hate scary movies. Like can’t even watch the previews. My mind has a crazy imagination and I hate the feeling of being paranoid. So I stay far away from them as possible. This girl is not about of have bad dreams or feel like she going to be murdered in her own house.

So there you have it. 10 things. I hope you can relate to some of them. If you can, be sure to let me know in the comments!

-M

 

How to : Choose your outfits for a glamour session

Clothing is a big deal when it comes to photos. A major deal.  The person is the cake and the clothes are the icing.  Finishing touches and details are important and make your photographs more unique and special to you.  But what if styling and details aren’t really your thing? What if you want amazing photos but don’t know where to start?  That where I can help.  Read on to learn how to style your own glamour shoot.

1. Start with your favorite clothes. These are clothes that make you feel good because you know they look great on you.

Megan Smart

 

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2. After you’ve selecting your favorite clothes, look at your color palette. Do you see blacks? Neutrals? Or bold colors?  This wear your style comes in. You can tell quite a bit about yourself by the clothes you buy. This gives you some insight incase you want to buy something new.

Megan Smart

 

Megan Smart

3. Add Accessories.  Remember, if the shirt/blouse/dress is bold then the jewelry needs to be subtle. But if the clothes are solid, and neutral your jewelry can be the hero.

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4. For another outfit, add in something that is really formal and you might not get to wear very often.

Megan Smart

Megan Smart Photography

 

5. In my studio, I have some clothing options that you can choose from. We can make a simple dress or blouse into something really unique by just adding a tulle skirt.

Megan Smart

Megan Smart

6. Last, bring in a casual outfit with jeans. Stay away from patterns, unless they are small. Also, in jeans you can move around easily and you will feel more confident.  And don’t we all know, there is no better feeling that putting on a great pair of jeans.

Megan Smart Photo

 

Megan Smart

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this little how-to on choosing your outfits for your next portrait session.  The best advise I can give you, is if you love what you’re wearing, you’ll love how you look. If you would like a free consolation on what a the Glamour Experience is, please email info@megansmart.com

 

 

Why I’m passionate about portrait photography

What you’re not going to hear from me today is that I’m passionate about photography because it’s all about capturing a moment. While that’s really important, and moments make up our daily lives. That’s not the reason why I’m passionate about taking photos. What drives me to get up every morning is the art of photography. The painting with light, the emotion, the awe. The artist stamp on his/her work. The uniqueness to every photographer. While influences can be heavy at times, and journey to finding your own style is what is interesting to me.

My journey into photography starting with searching for my wedding photographer. While I always loved taking pictures, I didn’t really keep up with industry. Especially the wedding photography industry. Only when I starting looking around, I saw what these amazing people were creating and I was hooked.  I wanted to create artwork like that!  While I had been playing around with fine art mediums, it never really stuck. That’s probably where the whole “I get bored really fast” part of me kicked in. With photography, it was faster. It didn’t take long to get started. But what did take long was the learning part. And it’s an ongoing process.

After that, I feel in love with running a business. Words from a fellow friend ” I didn’t know I wanted to be entrepreneur, but then it seems as if a sleeping giant as awakened” and that’s exactly how I feel. I can’t stop thinking about my business. Growing and making it better. Then I had a eureka moment.

One day, my husband and his family were looking through old and recent photos while preparing for his grandmother’s funeral and he told me that his mother didn’t have photo of just her and his grandma (her mom). Of course she had one where it was the whole family, and then others of just her mom. But none where it was just them two. Mother and Daughter. This bothered me a great deal, because being a photographer I should have offered to take their portraits before my husband’s grandma got sick. At that time, I was listening to classes on Creative Live from Sue Bryce about glamour/portrait photography and I starting thinking about my own mother, about the small amount of photographs we have together. We don’t have many and I’ve been trying to take more when I get to see her. That’s when I knew I had found what I was supposed to do with my business.

I was meant to create artwork so people could remember their loved ones. So they could celebrate their connections and relationships. So they could have beautiful artwork in their home, making them happy everyday. So they could have a day with their families. To remember an experience.

That’s why I’m passionate about photography because of the artwork, the uniqueness of every image, the people in the image, the beauty frozen in time, and the way the image makes people feel. Megan Smart Megan Smart _DSC7322_blog Megan Smart

A girl with big plans and big dreams

Hello out there to hopefully some new and even the old readers. It’s been awhile since I blogged, but I’m trying really hard to get back into the habit. My name is Megan Smart and I’m a portrait photographer. I live with my husband, a dog and a cat. No babies yet, but we are on the verge of making the commitment. We live in a small town in Texas and we are at the point in our lives where we are trying are hardest to make our dreams come true. No matter how big. I’ve always been one of those people who believed anything was possible. That if I worked hard enough and smart enough, there was nothing that I couldn’t accomplish. It’s been a blessing and curse at times, but I still believe it to this day.

This blog is a product of that thinking. I starting my blog because like most people, I thought I had a lot to say. But I soon came to realize that I didn’t have much to say at all and I wanted so badly to find a voice and a place in the world of photography.  I wanted people to see my images and want to hire me. A blog seemed to be the best possible solution to getting my images out there.  Only I came to realize that while looking at pretty pictures is pleasing to a customer, it’s only really helping out other photographers. Not my clients.

And that’s when I changed my whole perspective on my blog.  I started to think about how could I help my clients with their problems through this blog, because right now all I was doing was showing them images. They needed a little more to help them make a decision about purchasing my services. So that’s who my blog is for…my clients.  Trying to be the a photographer that is a full service business. Someone who takes images, but also provides help along the way.

Speaking of help,  what I’ve been working on lately is a brochure/magazine that is made to help clients with using their photos to decorate their home.  Right now, I’m finding that I’m doing my clients a disservice when I hand over a cd of images, and expect them to figure out sizes of prints and canvases to create a display in their home.  It’s something I can’t wait to finish and start offering to my clients.

I want my blog to help people with ideas and educate them about photography services.  What it really means to have a photograph of someone you love and how precious the snap of the shutter can be. It’s a moment frozen in time, and I know that sounds quite silly but I don’t know any other way of putting it. My blog is here to tell client stories, show potential clients what they can expect from me and a little bit of my personal life sprinkled in from time to time.

I hope you’ll continue to keep reading!