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Why I Love Irving/Las Colinas as a Family Photographer.

I was actually really excited that we chose a house in Irving/Las Colinas.  When we picked our house, one of the great features was that we lived next to a park, in the Heritage District.  I was thrilled that I got to have built in photography backdrops next to my house.  There’s a decorative bridge, for cryin’ out loud!  What child won’t look adorable on a decorative bridge?

When we really started driving around, I realized that there were as many parks in this town as most towns have bars.  As we started to settle in, we did have to adapt to the operating hours of the restaurants (there was some whining involved, truth be told), but one of the first things we did was to go to the ground breaking ceremony around the convention center for the new music complex. Then I realized where this community was headed, in that it was going to try and attract professionals with families.  It became even more important as we had our own child to throw in the mix.

It is my privilege to serve those families, to photograph the children that will grow up with my child.  I love that Irving has an art district, with a museum that caters to children of all ages.  We live next to a recreation center that I popped into to get some new recycling bags, and there was a teenager, hanging out and doing his homework.  That is a positive community, that kids have places to be in, where they can focus on school and get some energy out at the same time.  This city is really focused on families, and providing industry to employ those families.  I think that as a child and pet photographer, that is a great place to be!

So, if you are ready to have a portrait session of your children in one of the beautiful parks around Irving, or even on that bridge, get in touch!  Let’s take your dog out to the park!  As always, no session fees, and you can take advantage of my lower product prices by calling to book an appointment by the end of October!

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Why should anyone spend money on a family photo session, when I can take the photos myself?

One word, Mom: You.

I know. I try to take photos of myself, too.  Sure enough, when I see them, they don’t look right.  I can’t see myself to take the photo.  Even if I hooked it up to a lap top to use the screen, inevitably I am going to snap the photo when I have my eyes closed, or I have given myself extra chins, or the toddler pokes me in the eye. You know what else I see?  Me trying to concentrate on taking a good photo, instead of enjoying the session with my child and husband.  Believe me, that joy shows up in photographs.  You want that joy, because that is the whole point of freezing time for your family in the first place.

You can take photos without being in them, but that isn’t really fair to your children, or your husband.  Take it from mine, who said, “Don’t shortchange me!  I want the photos of you, not just the baby. Don’t let him steal all your thunder!”  (He is pretty cute.  He steals a lot of thunder, if I do say so myself.) Although the thoughts cross my mind that something could happen to me, and my child would deserve photos of his mother, don’t I deserve photos of all of us being happy?  Don’t you?  There is A LOT of work that goes into keeping a family running smoothly, and you deserve to be seen in the photos of that family that you work so very hard to keep happy.  Those happy faces that your family has does come from somewhere.  I’m guessing you are apart of it.

Then there is the issue of just being able to look good.  You deserve to have a very sharp pair of eyes that notice when someone might need their nose wiped, BEFORE the shutter closes.  Or at the very least, can remove them in post.  I do clean up a lot of messy noses in post, it is true.  You also need for someone to tell you that the pose you are in isn’t quite there, yet, so that you feel amazing when you look at your photos.

I won’t even go into how money is tight for families, today.  It sure is.  However, people spend money on what they value, and I know parents value their families above all other things.  You can find photographers that meet your budget, but you need to feel like you are getting the best, or the money isn’t worth it for bad photography.  It really is wasted if all you have are negative feelings about yourself when you look at that portrait on your wall.  If you are hiding them on your computer, because you think you look tired, or fat, or just not your best, then you definitely will not feel positively about the room in the budget you made for your photos.  That’s why you need someone who understands photography and fine art fundamentals, and takes pride in their work.

Moms are important.  Family is THE most important thing keeping our society moving forward.  You keep that family moving forward, and you need to be IN the photos.

 

If you are a mom in the Irving, Texas or DFW area who agrees that it is time for some great family portraiture, and a really fun, relaxing session, contact me!

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First Official Special for Portraits in the DFW/Irving/Las Colinas area!

I am running my first special!  Since I’ve changed my business model to something that I hope might serve the Irving, Las Colinas, DFW community better (no more session fees), I want to get you in the door.  At the end of October, I am officially raising my product prices and changing the types of products offered.  I am going to a museum quality color print (giclee), and offering a very upscale black and white process, so my prices will adjust. In the meantime, if you call and book by the end of October, you can have the current print prices, but with no session fee!  For boutique style work, you are going to get amazing prices!  I will fill however many appointments are necessary to book anyone who seriously wants a customized session, but appointments must be finished by July 2017.  You can reach me by email or phone.  Go to my contact page.  The current prices are listed under services.  This applies to portrait sessions only.  You only have to call or email by October 31st to take advantage!

Now, in order to take advantage of the special, when I say book, I mean that we need to agree on a time and date for the session, and it has to take place before August 1, 2017.  You must send in a signed agreement for the special to apply.  If we discuss this, but you don’t send in your agreement by October 31, then the previous product prices no longer apply.  I am really excited about this opportunity, and I am already booking appointments.  Don’t wait, there is no obligation to purchase until you realize you love the photos. I’m confident you will.

My wedding prices will remain the same until January 1, 2017.

 

If you want to take advantage of this special in the DFW/Irving/Las Colinas area, contact me!

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What’s going on with the business …

Hey, everyone!  I am just updating where the business is, and why this site hasn’t seen much new activity.  I have been on maternity leave.  In July of 2016, I will go full tilt with the business.  There will be lots of new changes.  For starters, I will be dropping the session fee, and updating my prices for wall portraits and packages.  I will also be separating the site into 4 different categories: Portraits, Weddings, Commercial and Photographic Art, and the Blog.  What that will look like is whenever you type in keeciabuster.com, you will get to choose which site you want to enter.  I think it will keep the experience more tailored to what you are looking for.  Each site will have its own look, such as logo, color scheme, and different website designs.  I will also be decorating a studio, for those of you who want in-studio photographs.  Otherwise, I live next to some really wonderful parks and other types of outdoor locations.  The new studio will be in my home, but with a separate entrance. Posed newborn photos must be done in my studio, but lifestyle photos can be shot anywhere you like that is safe for your baby.

Since I am dropping the session fee, what will replace it is a cancellation fee.  That way, you are under no obligation to purchase any photos unless you absolutely love them, but if you decide to yank my chain with scheduling an appointment, my kiddo still gets clothes and food, and whatever awesome learning toy I think he should have.  Oh, and the dogs need kibble.  Let’s not forget those girls.  There will also be a small travel fee, for those that want photos on location, away from my studio.

My wedding packages will also change.  I will be charging a flat fee per hour of coverage.  This will include a disc, and I will be working on creating some wonderful products for you.

If you would like to schedule a session ahead of time, drop me a couple of lines in the comment section, and I will get back to you.  In the meantime, I will begin working on the site changes after April 15th, up to July 1st.

FAQs will be added to each site, according to genre, but in the meantime I need to get my son off of whatever he is climbing on, right now.

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Welcome!

Welcome to my fully functional, newly designed website.  Over the next couple of weeks, the site will be tweaked here and there, because it’s totally capable of looking even cooler.  However, I lack the know how off the top of my head to get it to look exactly as I want, but I didn’t want to leave it unfinished.  Anyways, in order to celebrate getting the website functionally done, I am going to be offering a special, with details to come this weekend!  I also have three full sessions I am working on at the moment, and a new category or two in the galleries section will be added soon.

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Long road to today…

So very much has happened since I was attempting to run a blog before.  The biggest thing being the fact that I had a baby.  While I was pregnant, I had some health issues (nothing too major), and my employers decided to liberate me so that I could go full time with my photography business.  Today, I am redoing the website.  Please bear with me for another day or two, while I update my galleries.  After that, I’ll be on top of the blog and keeping my portfolio updated.  I’ve also had lots of time to think of where I am taking the business, and you should see some shifts in my work that I am really excited about.  For now, I am working out of my home, but in the future I plan on making traditional studio portraits part of what services I offer.  I am really excited about that.  I have some things planned out to write about, but if there’s anything you might be interested to know, leave a comment, even if you have a question about how to photograph your own child better. I am really looking forward to the year.

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DFW Family Photography – Liam Age 3

I had a wonderful session with Liam.  I know this kid pretty well, and his favorite words are, “No!  I don’t like it!”  Therefore, I was prepared for a little bit of coaxing to be part of his session, but to my surprise, he ate it up.  He’s my little champ!  Here are a few photos from his session.

This is my personal little favorite, because it’s such a “Liam” expression.  His pup, Fiona, was a part of the session as well.

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Here’s Liam, looking contemplative, although he’s probably just looking at the other kid that was at the park.

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We’re hanging out on the fire truck.  I don’t think it’s going anywhere to fight fires, though.

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Handsome little fellow!

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Peace, everybody.  Liam’s out.

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Band shoot for Darwin Prophet and the Chronus Mirror

Not too long ago, I did a band shoot for Darwin Prophet and the Chronus Mirror.  They were in need of some promo material, and some pin-up shots for their interview in Gearhearts Steampunk Glamor Review (I spelled Glamor correctly in this instance).  Hope you enjoy them!

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Pet Photography: Tips For Photographers

Pet photography is a relatively new kind of session offered in the photography world, with people now seeing pets as family, so I thought I might lend some of my tips for photographing these sessions.  After leaving the road, I wanted to practice with a subject that would absolutely not take any direction without hard work, and just having gotten a new Border Collie mix puppy, she was exactly the subject I was looking for.   I shortly began photographing for a rescue group, All Texas Dachshund Rescue, and gained more event experience photographing all kinds of random dogs that were overstimulated and looking for the next thing to sniff, instead of posing for photos.

 

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Preparing for the session:  Animals are very keyed into what is going on around them, and this can be a challenge when choosing gear.  I prefer zoom lenses, to allow them to move during the session, and if need be, stand far away if the animal is exhibiting nervousness about the camera.  Never use flash, as that can chase a dog or cat away, and that will end your session quickly.  The last thing you want to do is put yourself in the bad graces of a big dog that doesn’t think you’re his friend anymore.  Use a quiet camera, or at least turn off all the beeping functions in your menu settings.  Bring a lens cloth, because you want to introduce your camera to the animal, and that can get a little wet when they sniff your lens.  Let them.  Having a lens stick out of your face can seem like aggression.

 

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Getting the pet acclimated to the session: Have treats, definitely, but be aware that animals can have allergies.  If there aren’t treats the animal is used to, either bring some meat bits, or get some premium kibble for the session.  Avoid chicken and anything with grains.  Dogs love hot dogs, but they can love them too much.  My dog won’t do anything but drool at the hot dog when I try and use it for treats.  Also, they can be loaded with preservatives, and some human clients won’t appreciate it, especially if they are the type to want to book a session for their pets.  I use Orijen 6 Fish kibble, as it’s not likely to interact with allergies.  You don’t have to train the dog to sit (even though I have), you just want them hanging out in your area and looking at you like you’re their best friend.   After you have a good rapport with the pet, begin introducing them to the camera, especially with dogs, and fire the trigger while she’s sniffing the camera.  Use a soft voice and give him a “good dog” if he doesn’t react to the shutter.  Put the camera in front of your face, then let the dog sniff the camera again.  Repeat, fire the trigger, and give another, “Good Dog!”  Treat liberally. Spend 10 minutes or so getting to know the animal before beginning the session.

 

 

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Location: In dealing with pets, you can photograph them in a studio setting, but my suggestion is that you do it on their home turf.  You’ll get a much more relaxed dog in the end, and lose less time at the beginning of the session, as she won’t need to investigate her new surroundings.  They might even show you their toys, which can add interest to photos.  Cats?  Forget about it.  They don’t like new, and unless they are trained to perform in new locations for photographers, go to them.

 

 

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Posing:  My method of posing varies.  For posed shots, getting them to sit for even a minute requires treats.  If the owner is present, have them stand over your shoulder while you kneel, and give commands and treats.  That keeps the pup looking towards you, but performing.  When you need them to look at you, the noise I use is to say (are you ready for this?), “BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!” Just roll your tongue, and make the most ridiculous noise you can.  Another way you can get some of them to look at you intensely, is to take the squeak out of a squeaky toy, and hold it in your trigger hand.  Squeak and shoot.  They’ll get pretty curious pretty quickly, so this has a short duration.  Use it sparingly throughout the session.  You can bring a clicker to your session, too.  Otherwise, if you can get them to hang out in a central place, just let them do what they want to do.  If you are in a park, or at an event, just bring a wide zoom and a telephoto zoom and let them go nuts. Just try to get their attention, bring fast glass, and you are good to go!

 

 

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The most helpful suggestion I can really make about pets is watch them like a hawk, get to know them, and practice that sublime timing.  Keep your eye in the viewfinder, follow that dog like crazy with the camera, and press the shutter. Watch for patterns and watch their body language.  They’ll tell you what’s about to happen next.  It might be in a fraction of a second, but they’ll let you know. The adrenaline you’ll get from being that keyed into what they might do is far more fun than editing 12 of the same shots to pick one tiny change in movement. The exception might be shooting events where you are getting paid by a dog club, who may want many shots.  Then that might be something you want to think about, but I prefer to hover over my shutter for the thrill.  Cats?  Forget about it.  Just photograph in great light, and follow him around for a bit.  Be prepared for a lot of shots on the couch, though!

 

Pet sessions are one of my favorite type of sessions to photograph.  They are fun, fast paced, and your subject will always do something different, without you having to even come up with it.  I hope this helps you to enjoy it as much as I do!

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Almost there!

While my gallery page is slowly filling, and I need to post my fees for pet sessions and events, and also headshots, I at least got an About Me page done.  Does anyone else find it as uncomfortable as I do to have to break down who you are in a few paragraphs?  lol

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