As a photographer committed to continuous growth, I recognize the importance of staying up to date on the latest industry trends and technologies. The last week of January took me to Louisville, Kentucky, for the annual Imaging USA conference hosted by the Professional Photographers of America.
The journey kicked off with a pre-conference 2-Day Business Intensive, covering essential topics like accounting, budgeting, and marketing. The workshop not only equipped me with valuable insights but also provided an opportunity to forge connections with fellow photographers from around the country. Our shared experiences during the conference created a network of like-minded individuals, fostering friendships that go beyond professional collaboration. From Washington to Virginia, we became a diverse community, offering mutual support for learning, creative inspiration, and even potential referrals for clients in different regions.
Exploring Uncharted Territories
Determined to break free from my comfort zone, I attended sessions on newborn photography as well as creative lighting. The experience was transformative, sparking a newfound fascination with manipulating light and experimenting with colors in my work.
While I've always admired newborn photographers, the specialized training and certifications they undergo for safety became evident during these sessions. Although captivated by the artistry of newborn photography, I discovered that my comfort lies in capturing more natural, lifestyle images where the warmth of familial connections shines through. For those seeking newborn photos, I'm excited to connect you with exceptional local photographers who specialize in this delicate niche.
A Memorable Closure
On the conference's final day, serendipity played its part in a heartwarming encounter. While waiting for one of my last sessions, I struck up a conversation with a retiree who attended the event to stay connected with industry developments (and just for fun). As our chat progressed, it was revealed that he was my high school senior photographer from Southern California. The reminiscence of shared memories, including photographing my siblings over the years, added a personal touch to the conference's conclusion.
Setting Sights on 2024
Returning home from the conference, my mind buzzes with aspirations for the year ahead. My goals extend beyond personal growth, focusing on better serving my clients and pushing the boundaries of my creativity. The lessons learned and connections made at Imaging USA serve as catalysts for an exciting and fulfilling year in the world of photography.
Here's to an amazing year of capturing moments, fostering connections, and pushing creative boundaries!
#ImagingUSA #PhotographyJourney #CreativeExploration #ProfessionalGrowth #PNWphotographer #headshotphotographer #UhaczPhotography
New Year…New Space! We are thrilled to share some exciting news with you—Uhacz Photography LLC has moved into a brand new studio space! Our commitment to providing exceptional headshots and family sessions is now accompanied by a space that reflects our passion and dedication to capturing special moments. Situated conveniently off I-5 with free parking, our new studio promises a seamless and enjoyable experience for our clients.
The Perfect Location
Location matters, and we've found the ideal spot to elevate your photography experience. Our studio is strategically placed just off I-5 and 40th Street, making it easily accessible for clients coming from all directions. Whether you're a busy professional stopping by for a new headshot or a family seeking a relaxed session, our studio's prime location ensures a stress-free journey to capturing those precious moments.
We understand that convenience begins the moment you decide to work with us. That's why we're pleased to offer ample free parking for all our clients. No need to worry about circling the block or feeding meters—simply park and focus on the excitement of your upcoming photography session. Your comfort and ease are our top priorities.
For our clients seeking professional headshots, our studio is now a haven for capturing your best angles and expressions. Whether you're updating your LinkedIn profile, preparing for a career change, or simply wanting a polished portrait, will work with you to create images that exude confidence and professionalism. Additionally, for companies looking to enhance their professional image, we offer the convenience of booking directly with our studio for individual or group headshot sessions. Moreover, we understand the demands of a busy workplace, and for those seeking efficiency, we are pleased to offer on-site sessions for multiple employees. This streamlined process ensures that your team can receive high-quality headshots without leaving the comfort of your office, providing a seamless experience for both the employer and employees.
Families are at the heart of what we do, and our new studio space reflects that sentiment. The warm and inviting ambiance ensures that family sessions are not just a photography appointment but a memorable experience. We believe in capturing genuine moments and emotions, and our studio sets the stage for creating timeless family portraits.
Booking Your Session
Ready to experience our new studio? Booking your headshot session or family portrait is just a click or call away. Contact us directly to secure your spot and embark on a journey of capturing beautiful moments in our new, conveniently located space.
See you in 2024!
We are beyond excited to welcome you to our new studio space, where the art of photography meets convenience. Whether you need professional headshots or want to capture cherished family moments, Uhacz Photography LLC is here to make your experience exceptional. Come and join us on this exciting journey as we continue to freeze time and create memories that last a lifetime. See you at the studio!
A couple of years ago, my husband found out that he cannot tolerate gluten (not celiac but still challenging). This time of year is all about yummy holiday foods! Oh, and his birthday! He LOVES all the sides for a turkey dinner like stuffing, gravy, and rolls. (Yup - all the gluten items on the menu.) He hasn’t been able to enjoy that for a while. He mentioned a couple of months ago how much he misses banana breads and cakes.
I decided to try my hand at baking gluten-free (“GF”) flour. For anyone who has struggled with the challenges of baking GF, I want to share a few tips that I have tried and worked on. Some of these I figured out on my own through trial and error and some were shared with me and I’ve added to my baking routine.
I have my favorite baking book and simply substitute the all-purpose flour for the GF flour and use the other tricks mentioned above to make cakes, cookies, banana bread, etc. So far, I'm happy to say that have all turned out great.
For pie crust - I did not want to take on this challenge. Never made a pie crust and everything I read online recommended just buying one. I found Wholly pie crust at Fred Meyer and it was delicious! Made pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving and was so happy with this crust. I used this recipe for the filling and so very happy with it - but I did add ¼ teaspoon cloves and reduced the ginger to ¼ teaspoon. (We like the flavor combo with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.)
For stuffing, I found Aleia’s on Amazon. I didn’t add carrots like the box called for and I added two cloves of garlic and sauteed with the onion and celery. This was so yummy!
For dinner rolls, I found a “no knead” recipe and converted it to GF. I did the rolls in a “drop” style so they didn’t look great, but I’ll do better next time. The roll recipe calls for “rest” time and I followed it but, next time I try them I’ll add even more “rest” time so they can rise a little more. Overall, the rolls turned out good but they were a little more dense than I expected.
My husband is so happy to be able to have treats again and a traditional Thanksgiving meal.
Wishing everyone a happy holiday season and happy baking!
#glutenfreebaking #glutenfreelife #holidaybaking #gfholidaybaking
Portrait photography is a wonderful way to freeze moments in time, preserving memories and emotions that you can cherish for years to come. Whether you're preparing for a family portrait, a professional headshot, engagement photos, or any other type of portrait session, proper preparation can make a world of difference in the outcome of your photos. In this blog, we'll share the top ten tips for clients to prepare for their portrait photography session, ensuring that you get the best possible results.
Top 10 Tips for Preparing for Your Portrait Session
1. Communicate with Your Photographer
The first step in a successful portrait session is effective communication with your photographer. Discuss your vision, preferences, and any specific ideas you have in mind. This collaboration will help your photographer understand your expectations and customize the session to suit your style.
2. Choose the Right Location
Selecting the right location is crucial for your portrait session. Think about the mood and atmosphere you want to convey in your photos. Consider outdoor settings like parks, beaches, or urban areas for a natural, relaxed vibe. Alternatively, indoor locations can provide a more controlled environment with unique backdrops.
3. Wardrobe Selection
Your choice of clothing can greatly impact the overall look of your portraits. Coordinate outfits with the other participants in the session and consider the location and season when selecting colors and styles. Solid colors and timeless clothing choices tend to work well but feel free to inject your personal style.
4. Grooming and Makeup
For many, a portrait session is an opportunity to look and feel your best. Schedule haircuts, styling, and makeup appointments ahead of time, and make sure everyone involved is prepared. Avoid trying drastic new styles just before the session, as you'll want to feel comfortable and confident in your appearance.
5. Plan for Children and Pets
If you're including children or pets in your portraits, plan for their comfort and cooperation. Avoid booking a session during your child’s usual nap time, bring their favorite toys or treats to keep them engaged and happy during the session. A relaxed and joyful atmosphere will lead to more natural and authentic photographs.
6. Timing Matters
If you want an outdoor session for your portraits, consider the time of day for your portrait session, as lighting conditions can vary. Many photographers prefer the "golden hours" shortly after sunrise or before sunset for soft, flattering light. Check with your photographer to determine the best time for your specific location and preferences.
7. Props and Personal Touches
Feel free to bring props or personal items that hold special meaning to you or your family. These can add depth and uniqueness to your photos. It could be anything from a favorite book to a cherished heirloom.
8. Relax and Be Yourself
The key to beautiful portraits is to relax and be yourself. Trust your photographer's expertise and direction, but don't be afraid to let your personality shine through. Genuine expressions and emotions make for the most memorable photographs.
9. Stay Hydrated and Well-Rested
In the excitement leading up to the session, it's essential to take care of yourself. Stay hydrated, get a good night's sleep, and eat well on the day of the shoot. Feeling your best physically will help you feel more confident and comfortable during the session.
10. Enjoy the Experience
Above all, remember that a portrait photography session is about creating memories and having fun. Enjoy the experience with your loved ones, and trust that your photographer will capture those special moments. Genuine smiles and laughter make for the most captivating portraits.
Preparing for a portrait photography session may seem like a lot of work, but the investment of time and effort will pay off in the form of timeless, cherished photographs. Remember that every session is a unique opportunity to capture the essence of who you are and the relationships you hold dear. With these ten tips in mind, you're well on your way to a successful and enjoyable portrait photography experience. So, go ahead, smile, and let your story unfold through the lens of your talented photographer!
Ready to Book Your Session?
If you have questions or would like to schedule a call to learn more, please contact me at Sara@uhaczphotographyllc.com.
#PortraitPhotography #PNWPhotographer #UhaczPhotography #Top10TipsforPortraitSession
Planning My Year
As I began planning my 2023 year, I knew I needed to attend a photography conference. Why? To continue learning my craft and connect with other like-minded individuals. This was my first time attending a photography conference. In the past, I’ve attended conferences for my administrative background but this was new and out of my comfort zone. I felt that attending this conference at the beginning of the year would also help me set the tone for my business. Push out of my comfort zone and take risks.
On My Way to Imaging USA
In November, I joined the Professional Photographers of America (“PPA”) for their educational content and support for photographers. The upside was the conference. As a new member, the registration fee was waived for my first conference. Bonus! Aside from all the other incredible resources, I thought this was the icing on the cake. So, I signed up, booked my flight and hotel, and started the countdown to the conference. And on January 21, I boarded a plane and headed for Nashville.
The theme for the conference was Connect. Learn. Thrive. In my opinion, it truly lived up to it! The venue was the Gaylord Opryland resort and it was huge. I spent that first night walking around trying to gain my bearings. Everyone I ran into was so helpful. Big shout out to the volunteers!! Everything went so smoothly from the attendee’s point of view.
Early on Sunday, January 22, I headed down to the registration area, printed my badge and my adventure truly began. The classes and presentations were amazing. The expo was huge with an incredible variety of vendors (gear, photo labs, etc.). The two keynote speakers made an impact. I met several new photographers and had great conversations. The conference wrapped up on the 24th and I left wanting more.
The Return Home
The last bit of time I had before my return flight to Portland was spent writing up my notes. There were a lot of nuggets of information that I was bringing home and writing it out helps me retain it. One of the best feelings I had while being at the conference was feeling that I fit in. Everyone who attended were at different stages in life and their photography journey and everyone was encouraging. Such a unique experience in a competitive world. I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest of 2023 has in store because January was freaking awesome!!
As always, if you have any photography needs, please reach out. I’m happy to chat to see if we are a good fit or refer you to a colleague.
#UhaczPhotography #PNW #PNWphotography #Portraits #FamilyPhotography #SeniorPix #Headshots #Branding #WomenOwnedBusiness #VanWA #VancouverWA #PDX
What can I say about 2022?
So much! But like many folks, I like to take time and reflect on the year – what went well and where I can improve. Taking a moment to look at my personal and professional life this last year, I can say, without hesitation, it has been full of joy and sadness. There have been many challenges, lots of problem-solving as well as moments of pure gratitude.
My Amazing Network
I’m so thankful for my network. They are amazing! Having a network isn’t about what they can do for you or referrals they can send your way but it is a two-way street. Also, as an entrepreneur, your network can be your sounding board, help you when you need referrals for services, and help cheer you on. Again, this is a relationship and I count myself lucky to be able to be a sounding board, cheerleader, or help share my referrals/vendors with others.
Challenges & Problem Solving
Lighting can be a challenge and depending on the location frequently requires quick thinking and problem-solving skills. The same is true for outdoor shoots in the Pacific Northwest. The summer is generally safer to schedule without fear of rain. However, the fall, winter, and spring present the biggest challenges for the weather. Knowing the places that have covered areas for photos is very important, but also being aware of rules for allowing pets (they are family too), or if they are accessible.
My Awesome Clients
Yes, I am bragging. I do have awesome clients. We get to laugh and maybe dance a little to music during the shoot. I get to capture special family moments or take a new headshot for someone starting a new work journey. I’m so grateful for the trust they put in me.
My Incredible Husband
I’m so blessed to have such a supportive husband. He is my biggest cheerleader in my business. He’s always encouraging me to try and make my dream a reality. I regularly run my blog posts by him, get his thoughts on an edit I’m not sure about, or even location ideas. He’s been my model when I have wanted to try new equipment or see how a location looks during a specific time of day. Lighting can be critical!
Professional development, in any career, is so important. As technology changes, we need to keep up. Understanding what tools are available and how to use them is necessary for running a successful business. I regularly work on a variety of professional development activities throughout the year. And, in January, I am doing something I have never done before; attending my first photography conference! The conference is several days and includes a variety of speakers and an expo. I guess that the whole conference experience will make my head spin. Bring it on!
I am excited to see what 2023 has in store.
In August, I celebrated my third year in business. I’ve made it through the pandemic, self-doubt, and a steep learning curve on running a business, including marketing and taxes. It has been a wild ride and I’m loving every minute of it. OK so maybe not every minute, the self-doubt can be a little bugger. But overall, it has been amazing to look back and see all the progress I’ve made.
As I reflect on the last three years, I think about how little I knew about having a photography business and how much I still have to learn. Actually, I’ve learned that owning a business, especially a technical and creative business such as photography will require constant learning.
What I love About Being a Photographer
There are a few things that I love about being a photographer:
So, what will the next year hold? More mistakes…I mean more learning opportunities. For sure! The most important thing I’ve learned about owning a business is that the learning never stops. I make progress every day, every month, and every year. The second most important thing I’ve learned (whew it’s hard), do not compare myself to other photographers. We all have our own journey and are working at our own pace.
I’m looking forward to seeing what the next year holds.
#headshots #brandingphotography #portraits #lifestylephotography #seniorportraits #seniorpictures #schoolpictures #back2school #schoolpictures #firstdayofschool #headshotphotographer #profilepic #professionalphotography #portraitphotography #portraitphotographer #familyportraits #portraits #familyphotos #siblings #familyphotography #familyphoto #familysession #familypictures #pnwphotographer #pnwphotography #PNW #VancouverWA #VanWA #SeasideOregon #OregonCoast #UhaczPhotography
Tattoos. Tats. Body art. Ink.
I’ve always loved tattoos. But they used to have a seriously bad reputation and were looked down on. Times have changed so much! When I was in my early twenties, tattoos were NOT considered professional. One did not dare have any tattoos that could be visible if you wanted to be a professional. Now, you can have full sleeves tats, and no one blinks an eye as you walk around a lawyer’s office, etc.
Cody booked a headshot session because she got a new haircut and a new job. She really wanted an update photo for LinkedIn. I’ve worked with her in the past for family photos and I’ve admired her ink. It is vibrant and fun–just like her. Since the session would be her solo, I asked if I could add some time to do some pictures of her ink after the standard headshot. I just really wanted the shots for my portfolio. She gave me an enthusiastic Yes!
We put in some music and had some fun trying different posing and angles to highlight her tats the best possible way. For me, music is a must during a shoot, especially if it is inside. I ask clients if they have a specific playlist they want to put on or a genre of music so I can turn on my Sonos speaker or the I Heart Radio channel. Music can help the client relax and boost their mood. Always important before having your photo taken. Warning: I will often dance around to the music. But I’ll try not to sing…to loud.
No matter what type of photo you want, traditional headshot, one that showcases your personality, or some of each let’s chat! We can find the perfect package for your session.
#tattoos #bodyart #tats #authenticself #headshots #headshot #headshotphotographer #portraits #profilepic #profilephoto #PortraitPhotographer #portraitphotography #VancouverWA #VanWa #personalbranding #business #professionalphotography #photography #photoshoot #headshotphotography #portraitphotographer #professionalheadshots #headshotsession #corporateheadshots #studiophotography #businessheadshots #PNW #PortlandOregon #SeasideOregon #womanownedbusiness #smallbusiness #UhaczPhotography
Your Network is Gold
There are many photographers in our area and around the country. Some could say there is a lot of competition. But being able to be a part of a network of female photographers that is collaborative and supportive is simply amazing. When I first opened my business in the summer of 2019, I was nervous, afraid, and clueless about how I was going to be a successful photographer. Everyone has their own definition of success so I will not go into that here, but I will say there were many unknowns. Shortly after “opening” my business, I was chatting with someone in my network (a real estate agent extraordinaire) about my new adventure. She let me know about a local networking group of female photographers she had heard about from someone in her network. She offered to connect me with them in case I was interested in learning more about the group. I couldn’t say “Yes and thank you” fast enough. The group is called Viewpoint Collaborative. I started by joining the private Facebook group—it is gold! You can check them out on their public Facebook page or Instagram pages.
Viewpoint Collaborative holds monthly meet-ups to share business successes, tips, and tricks, and have outside speakers occasionally share their expertise (like taxes - Yikes!). The first meet-up came around and I gathered all my strength and courage to head out. I’m an introvert and really shy when I’m in a large group where I don’t know anyone. (Once I know you and feel more comfortable, I’m a big goofball.) It was a big challenge for me to show up to the first monthly meet-up of the group not knowing anyone, especially with a big case of imposter syndrome. But I’m so happy that I did. I’ve met some amazing women. Some do photography full-time and others work part-time while juggling another job (either outside of the home or inside the home). They are at different stages in their own journeys with photography and business ownership.
I highly recommend folks to look for ways to introduce people you meet to others in your network. I’m so thankful for my diverse networking group. I love referring folks in my network from tax, legal, and financial experts to pet-sitters to personal trainers.
Not All Creatives are Created Equal
I grew up saying: “I’m not creative, but I can take a good photograph.” I’m very good at office work and slay with my organization skills. Yup, I own that! But I don’t have that same sense of being a badass when it comes to creativity. But I’ve been reflecting on that lately and realize that what I do in an office takes creativity, and knowing how to frame an image to take a good photograph is creative. To me being ‘creative’ always meant painting, playing an instrument, or acting. I’ve met some photographers who are more on the creative side and others who are like me with a mix of the creative and logistical. I love learning new computer programs and geeking out on my lists. Other creatives operate differently–not better or worse just different. But I thought that was the only way to be defined as a ‘creative.’ Cheers to learning it’s okay to be wrong.
Having a diverse network of female photographers helps me in my business in so many ways. For instance, when I get stuck on a lens, posing, or light issue I can reach out to my group for help. They can also reach out for brainstorming ideas on areas where they may be stuck. As the only member of my business, it is nice to have a group where you can ask questions and brainstorm. It is also a great referral source for second shooting/assisting or for a client that wants a specific type of photo session that you perhaps do not specialize in (for example, newborns or boudoir).
Another reason why I love this group is for the fun we have. This spring a few of us got together to do a shoot and try and capture some of the spring blooms (getting a dry day in the Pacific Northwest in spring with blooms is like chasing a unicorn). Luck was on our side and we had great weather and some pretty trees blooming. One of the photographers acted as our model while the rest of us took turns photographing her in various poses and outfits, then we also photographed each other. “Behind the scenes” photos were a must as well. We spent a couple of hours just before golden hour. We talked about lenses, cameras, lighting, our favorite type of shoots, and posing. One of the photographers had a lens I had been interested in and she loaned it to me to play around with for a bit. We both had the same body model so it fit perfectly. I fell in love with it and knew I was right to upgrade. It is the little things like that where you truly appreciate your supportive circle.
We are not each other’s competition. We are cheering each other on!
Below are some of the images from that fun afternoon.
Players for the day:
Julie Court Jacob
Taylor Erickson (model)
#MakingMemories #womensupportingwomen #womenownedbusiness #FamilyPortraits #FamilyPhotographs #Portraits #Photography #FamilyPhotography #brandingphotography #headshots #highschoolseniors #seniorphotos #VancouverWa #PNW #smallbusiness #UhaczPhotography
Why Do I Need to Update My Photo?
In business, our photos are all over the web from websites to social media sites. These are often the introduction of your business to future clients. Staying current with your images and being on-brand sends a clear message to your clients of who you are and how you can help them. Remember, first impressions count!
I recently updated the headshots for a local tax firm in Vancouver. Their last headshots were a couple of years old, and they had some recent staffing changes. Also, since the pandemic, they have changed their dress code to more casual office attire. I was able to use my mobile studio to set up in their office and use the outdoor space in front of their building to provide several options for them. Even in winter, we had some nice evergreen trees and the brick from the building to serve as a nice backdrop. We quickly photographed everyone with the two options. I was even told by someone who had been dreading getting their photo taken that the process was “painless.” That made me so happy to hear ~ mission accomplished!
Several folks liked the indoor studio style for their LinkedIn profiles, however, for the company website they decided to use the outdoor shots. Those outdoor images are more on-brand for them. They decided to use those images for their website. Instead of doing one big group shop as they had in the past. Several employees have alternative work schedules, and it was challenging to find a date and time that worked for everyone to be in a group shot. So we decided to take a different approach. Instead, we took individual photos and then created a composition shot of the group. This will allow them more flexibility for updating with staffing changes.
Interested in scheduling updated photos for you or your team? Let’s chat!
#headshots #headshot #headshotphotographer #headshotphotography #portraitphotographer #professionalheadshots #corporateheadshots #studiophotography #businessheadshots #brandingphotography #portraits #growyourbusiness #lifestylebranding #digitalmarketing #personalbranding #digitalbrand #profilepic #profilephoto #business #headshotsession #professionalphotography #commercialphotography #visualmarketing #portraitphotography #photography #photoshoot #lifestylephotography #PNW #VancouverWA #VanWa #PortlandOregon #SeasideOregon #womanownedbusiness #smallbusiness #UhaczPhotography
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I'm a Vancouver, WA photographer focusing on portraits and have a love of travel!