Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween and some other stuff!

Hi again... I just keep posting yesterday and today! LOL
Here are some pics of Noah in his mime costume. His face paint wasn't as intense as it is in the photos. We went looking for the makeup way too late, so we had to use cold cream and then the black stuff. I think what I did in Photoshop turned out pretty good LOL.

Remember to set your clocks back one hour tomorrow night before you go to bed! Come visit me at my table at the Country fair tomorrow at the Buckner Gym on Fort Rich.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The BUZZ! November 2008 Newsletter

Wow, Wow, Wow!
I can’t believe that the holidays are gaining up on us soooo FAST! It just seemed to be summer and we were enjoying lots of sunlight and now… it’s going to go back to regular time and our days are getting really short! I do have to say I’m happy to see the moon again though… a few weeks ago I was photographing it. It didn’t turn out as good as I wanted… but I was cold and I only did a few shots. Here’s one of the ones I did:

Noah came home with the lunch menu for November; there is usually some kind of trivia about food on the menu somewhere. This month, the trivia was about the food that the Pilgrims and Indians enjoyed at the first Thanksgiving. They didn’t have turkey, they had mostly shore birds like goose and duck, and of course fish. They probably also enjoyed plums, watercress, berries, lobster, clams and maybe even venison. It says that there was definitely NO milk, NO butter, and NO potatoes. There was also no flour left, so there was no bread (NO BREAD??????) or pumpkin pie… *sigh*… but they probably had boiled pumpkin (ewwwww!).

What are your plans for Thanksgiving this year? Who are you inviting to share it with? What yummy things will you be making, and will you be incorporating old traditions and make new ones, too? Do you have special things that you do over the whole weekend for your family? Yeah, we haven’t figured out ours either LOL. But one thing for sure, I’m having a photo-session spectacular the day after Thanksgiving… more info to come in the newsletter.

I have lots of great stuff coming up in the next couple of months, so with no further ado…

Thanks to the families I photographed this month!
Tips on photographing your Thanksgiving holiday
HBP sightings this month Sign-ups for my Photo-session Spectaculars (day after Thanksgiving and first Saturday in December)
The special I’m offering to families who have visitors the week between Christmas and New Year’s.
Second annual Pin-up Party: perfect for ladies who want a very special gift for their lovers.

I did quite a few families this month, as you’ve seen in my sneak-peeks… here are some more for you to enjoy looking at. Thanks to everyone who invited me into their home or came to my home studio on base!

Tips on photographing your Thanksgiving holiday
I have to admit… every year I get so tied up in cooking at the last minute that I don’t get to photograph the turkey or anything else… so this year I have a goal of getting my family and guests totally involved in our preparations so I can enjoy myself and not feel stressed. That will help me be able to set a beautiful table and take some photos of the turkey and other yummy food. I really want to get some nice details for the scrapbook I intend to do someday LOLOLOLOL.

I also want to get photos of everyone present… and not just the regular snapshots that are usually captured of the guests with their half-eaten pie sitting on the table in front of them LOL. Here are some tips to get the perfect photos… I will be posting on the blog photos from my own Thanksgiving, too.

1. Turn off the red eye button; if you do get red eyes, you can take care of it very simply in any basic editing software. Adobe has a free one, called Photoshop Album Starter. You can resize in that and click on the red eyes, and some other simple things.

2. Spin that dial to the macro position (the tulip), or try out the portrait position (Big-Hair Lady). This will blur out your background, so if you have “stuff” around, you don’t have to look at your snapshots with your “stuff” in perfect focus with your subject.

3. Do you have a button where you can turn off the flash and use natural light? Can you change your ISO from automatic to 100, 200, 400 or 800? The higher your ISO, the less light you need… but be prepared for digital noise (the red, blue and green dots in your photos). So I suggest if you are going for natural light, turn it to at least 400 because we don’t have super strong sunlight this time of year due to clouds or just the angle of the sun. Have your kids stand next to a window, and you’ll have your back against the window yourself to get a great shot, but I LOVE natural light. Pull in a little more light with aluminum foil and reflect it back on your kids’ faces.

4. If you have your friends come over, make sure they lean in towards each other for photos. There are many times I tell my clients that they need to get closer, and all that’s touching are their arms. I’ll take that and then show them what it looks like… they are often surprised that they aren’t closer together. Get them to touch shoulders, and if they are really good friends, touch heads together. You’ll be surprised to see your snapshots improve from this very simple technique.

5. If you have a DSLR (digital single lens reflex camera) and a removable flash, flip up your flash to bounce off the ceiling so you don’t ghost out your subjects or get huge ugly shadows behind them. If you have a PandS (point and shoot), see if you can find some wax paper and tape so your flash isn’t so bright.

6. Using that macro position, after you’ve carefully placed your beautifully browned turkey on the platter and put it on your table, get down to the turkey’s level instead of standing straight up and photographing it from your level. This way you can capture your guests a little out of focus with appreciative glances and even drool from that position. Make sure you photograph your table after it’s been set. Do your kids make napkin holders and place cards? Photograph them making those. Do they set the table for you? Capture them doing that, too. It makes a great leverage point when they complain about doing chores… that they actually enjoyed setting the table on Thanksgiving day LOL. Then get a shot of the table, then with all of the guests, and of course get someone to photograph you or hubby bringing out the turkey LOL.

7. Do you have a tradition to do after dinner? Some folks watch football *yawn*. Some do crafts with the kids LOL… like everyone brings either graham crackers, royal icing, candies, etc and they make beautiful graham cracker houses. Make sure you make the royal icing with meringue powder rather than with raw egg whites, it’s safer. You’ll be able to get GREAT photos of the kids concentrating on those houses… parental help is probably needed as they glue the walls together. It’s a lot of fun and very relaxing LOL.

8. Well, these are some of my ideas. I’d LOVE to see your photos from Thanksgiving, and you are welcome to email them to me at With your permission I can even put them on my blog to show them off to everyone.

I hope you have the most blessed of Thanksgivings.

HBP sightings this month
I am going to be at a couple craft fairs this month, and I’ll be selling $30 gift certificates for $25.00 each, and include a $1 credit towards one of my products, like mugs or mousepads. So, if you purchase 4 certificates, you get $120 of gift certificates for $100, plus $4 credit towards products.

Saturday, November 1: The Country Fair at the Buckner Gym on Fort Richardson. I have booth #76.

Saturday, November 8: The Orion Elementary School Fair on Elmendorf AFB. It is right inside the Gov’t Hill Gate, next to the fire station.

Saturday, November 29: The Colony High School Bazaar, a 10-year tradition (at least) in Palmer. I’ll be giving away in the Door Prize drawings a free session and portrait package to be done for next spring/summer.

At each of these fairs I’ll be doing a personal give-a-way of a free session (valued at an average of $50) with an 11x14 (a $38 value).

I hope to see you at one of these fairs!

Sign-ups for my Photo-session Spectacular
(day after Thanksgiving and first Saturday in December; dates are Friday, November 28 and Saturday, December 6, 2008)

This is an awesome deal and I can’t wait to do these! Forget about going to a department store studio where they are *so rushed* and behind by hours even with your appointment, and they won’t remember you five minutes after you’ve left feeling disappointed that you got one shot and that was with the baby crying…

These will be done on a white seamless backdrop at my home. I will have simple Christmas decorations for props, but mainly these will be featuring your family at their best! After a half hour session, one of my assistants will be presenting you with 10-15 images that you get to see pre-edited right after your session. You’ll be able to choose your favorite special effect (if you want) like black and white or a color pop, a vintage look, soft focus or an illustrated look. I will have special packages made up, and they all include greeting cards (the smallest package will have 5 cards, so you do get some). You can also add on other portraits and products when ordering your package. I will email your final watermarked images within a couple of days for your final approval before making the order on my end. From the date of Nov 28, you’ll get your order delivered by the 10th (depending on your timely approval) and from the date of Dec 6, delivery will be by the 17th.

I’ll be doing a total of 24 lucky families for this Portrait Spectacular (12 each day). Your session fee is $25 for up to 8 people, and you get to pick out your favorite image for a complimentary 5x7. I live on base, so if you need a pass, I suggest that you meet with me before your session to give you a 30 day pass to get on base with no problems. I won’t be able to do that the day of, and neither will my helpers.

The sooner you sign up, the better chances you’ll have at getting a reservation when you want it. The session fees are non-refundable and must be paid when you make your reservation over the phone with a credit card. I will be furnishing the packages within the next week on the blog.

The special I’m offering to families who have visitors the week between Christmas and New Year’s.

There are families in the area who have kids coming home from college or their siblings or their parents and grandparents. What better time to do a family portrait than then? Done in your home with either my studio or your beautiful d├ęcor (natural light/flash), your family will feel more comfortable having their portraits done. With natural light, I can even do some more casual shots of grandparents and grandkids interacting that you will find stunning, or you and your siblings palling around and having fun. Or if you prefer, we can do some woodland portraits and have fun building a snowman. I will have a snowman making kit so your snowman can look something like this:

Generally I charge anywhere for on-location photography from $50-$95 depending on how many folks are in the photos. For that week only, I am charging only $50 for your session, no matter how many people. Inside your session can last up to 2 hours (really depends on how many folks) and outside, up to a half hour (I don’t want you guys to freeze, and I don’t want to either LOL). You also will get a 15% discount on all purchases of $250 or more. What an AWESOME deal!

Your session fee is non-refundable, usable up to 2 sessions should you need to reschedule once, and payable over the phone with a card on my secure Pay Pal Virtual Terminal.

Second annual Pin-up Party:
perfect for ladies who want a very special gift for their lovers.
I will be hosting my second Annual Pin-up Party for Valentine’s day. I’m not giving out too many details right this second… but here are some of the details:

The Dates: Friday, January 10th and Saturday, January 11th, 2009.

Where: At a hotel in Anchorage in one of those fancy suites!

How: I’ll be having 2 different makeover artists that stagger the makeovers, which will last for an hour. I’ll be doing ½ hour sessions and you can bring 2-3 outfits, but you must change very quickly.

The Look: 1940’s era, with eyelashes, red lipstick, nails and toes and sexy Pin-up hair. You bring your own clothing, and I do have suggestions on what to wear: a halter dress with a full skirt, tasteful lingerie or bathing suit, cute capris with a sexy shirt, heels (please, no sandals! Sexy, open-toed look GREAT) or bare feet, seamed thigh-highs, etc. You will be bringing your own makeup and eyelashes with you. You’ll be posed in classic Pin-up fashion, with emphasis on your legs in some. I’ll be photographing all sides of you, so I recommend getting a body polish gel and lotion, such as from the Body shop to make sure your skin is absolutely gorgeous. I don’t do nudes or implied nudes, so you don’t have to worry about getting *that personal*, but if your back is showing, we want the most beautifully nourished and moisturized skin you can have. I do insist that I do tastefully modest photography, and anything that I’m not comfortable doing, I will let you know.

What to expect: You’ll come in with day-old dirty hair (which styles the best LOL) and skin that has been moisturized. Please do not bring mineral makeup as that doesn’t photograph well. You’ll be greeted by one of my assistants who will help you get ready for the before shot (LOL), and then introduce you to your makeover artist. I’ll have light refreshments and non-alcoholic Mimosas and bottled water with straws for your enjoyment. After your makeover, you’ll change into your first outfit and come over to the camera room area. I will have all kinds of neat props to make your final images sexy, inviting and fun, based on the Pin-up pictures and photos from the 40’s. These will include playing cards, cupcakes, roses, sparkling juice (disguised as a champagne bottle) with fancy glasses and some other fun things, old records, opera-length gloves, feather boas, a vintage phone, and lots of other fun things. You are welcome to bring your own props, as well.

About 2 weeks after your session, you will get to see your images that will be edited and airbrushed to perfection. Within a week after that, you’ll be meeting with me in person at my home by appointment to order your package. I’ll have special packages pre-made and I’ll be posting those on the blogs within a couple of weeks of this newsletter. I can tell you right now that your makeover and session fee will be $100+ (I will do my best to make it as affordable as possible, but I have to pay makeover artists and the hotel… ), and is to be paid in advance when making your reservation. It is non-refundable, so please make sure you either have the day off and you have adequate daycare. Most importantly, make sure you are ready to have fun that day and be ready to make unforgettable images to share with your honey for a romantic Valentine’s day. Delivery should be by February 10th-12th, dependent upon your timely order.

I can’t WAIT to do these… I LOVE doing Pin-ups!

Don’t forget about the Bringing Home Baby package!

If you are expecting in 2009, the price is going up as of Jan 1, 2009, so you can purchase it still in advance for $300 (a $368 value). This package includes 3 sessions, the maternity session, the day after the baby’s been born at the hospital, and the newborn session up to 2 weeks old for that curled-up sleepy look. You ALSO get an 8x10 from each session and a 10x20 collage featuring images from all 3 sessions, and a matching 5x10 for your scrapbook. You can purchase your additional portraits at a 15% off savings! You can pre-purchase your package for this amount up until December 31, 2008, because as of Jan 1, 2009, the package is changing and will most likely be a different price.

Thank you...

Thanks for being a reader of my monthly newsletter. I hope that you are able to get lots of great ideas from my tips column. You have given me your email address for the purpose of receiving the monthly BUZZ newsletter by request. If you wish to be removed, please send an email to with Please Unsubscribe in the subject line.

It is my desire to give my clients friendly service, high quality portraits and products, and personal attention to details. Some say that my prices are too much, but when you consider all that I do to ensure that your portraits are beautifully done and printed professionally, sprayed and mounted (for enlargements), you will find that Honey Bee Photography is in a class by itself. I do spend a lot of time for each client that you don’t see (particularly the editing process which can take many, many hours), many hours that you do see (the session itself and the ordering process) and a great amount of patience with 19 years of experience photographing families. You won’t find that kind of service at a department store studio.
Some concerns... lately I've had clients who have purchased just 8x10s or 5x7s. This concerns me because every client I work with is very aware of the copyright that is signed at the time of the session. When a client purchases just these two sizes, it tells me that either a. they don't have anyone to give portraits to, or b. they have plans on scanning the portrait, and having them reprinted at a local place or through a company like Snapfish. I do hope that neither is true, and that the work I do for my clients is cherished, loved and appreciated. From now on, when a client purchases just 4x6s, 5x7s and/or 8x10s, these portraits will receive a 3-d texturizing that will make it very difficult to scan and get a great image. I work very hard and have invested a lot of money in my business; this is how I earn my living and I feel that my prices are quite reasonable for the kind of service I provide. Thank you for your understanding and I want everyone to know I am NOT singling anyone out.

I love what I do and I participate in 2 different organizations, Operation: Love Reunited ( and Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep ( If you decide to visit those websites, please have tissues available as the images are very touching. Both of these organizations are close to my heart.

Have a WONDERFUL November!

Holiday card templates!

Hey everyone! It's really getting time for your holiday sessions and holiday cards... perfect for Christmas and Hannuka! Stay tuned for packages and prices in the next newsletter, coming SOON!

Monday, October 27, 2008

My friend, Brandon!

So here's my friend, Brandon B... so snuggly and so mischievous... and yet deceivingly innocent and sweet as well LOL. Oh yeah, and he's just over the age of 1... Look at those bright blue eyes!

Michelle, I hope you love your images! Thanks for letting me have fun with your lil guy... he's growing up sooo fast!