Maura is the photographer but you may also see her husband, Vincent, who runs the website and takes care of more of the technical things, or his mother Bernadette who assists with some of the school events.
Where are you located?
We are based out of Warminster, Pa and are willing to drive up to 20 miles (1 way) from zip code 18974. After 20 miles there is a $0.50 per mile charge.
We are happy to serve clients in Southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Do you have liability insurance?
Yes. Many venues and locations require the photographer to have liability insurance. So before hiring “Uncle Joe” to shoot your event, make sure he’s covered. (see bottom for story about hiring “Uncle Joe”)
Did you go to school for photography?
Yes. I graduated from Antonelli Institute of Art and Photography in 2008 with an associate’s degree and have been professionally shooting since then. Before that I just loved to take pictures everywhere I went and was rarely seen without my camera. A trip to Ireland after graduating from high school resulted in such nice photos that several friends and relatives urged me to go to photography school to pursue a career in it.
What equipment do you use?
I shoot in raw format with a Nikon D7000 and a D200 backup camera, with an assortment of different lenses. I also have a mobile studio with two alien bee studio lights, and several different backdrops and background poles to setup.
How long does it take for me to receive my photos?
If you are waiting to see your images from a school dance, photos are usually posted to our website a few days after the dance, and prints are delivered to the school by the end of the week. (So if your dance was on Friday, images are usually posted by Sun or Mon, and the prints delivered to the school Thurs or Fri, unless there is a holiday or the school is closed, then it would be delivered the following week.)
If you are a client who has had a portrait session, we will schedule the viewing and ordering appointment for 1-2 weeks after your session, and your prints and products will be available for pickup/drop off 1-3 weeks later, depending on what you order, and the time of year.
Do you touch up all the images before you post them for viewing?
Yes, we do basic touch-ups such as color correction, exposure correction, obvious spots and blemishes are removed, and anything else that may need some tweaking. We also remove those unflattering photos where eyes are closed, and people are making unflattering faces. We do not usually remove full facial blemishes on teens/young adults unless specifically asked to do so. (Depending on complexity, we may charge extra for the time needed to clean up these images) For this reason, we are unable to show our clients their photos as soon as they are taken on the back of the camera, we appreciate your patience as we make your photos as perfect as possible.
What do you photograph?
We specialize in family portraits from newborn through high school seniors, we also do school parent/student dances.
What is your style of photography?
I like to say more of a fun and relaxed style. I don't like to overly pose my subjects during school dances, enjoying the connection of parent with child, so give a basic pose as a suggestion. With children I love to let them do their own thing and capture them in the moment, such as giving a baby a stack of blocks and watching their face when they knock it over.
Where are your photo sessions?
The location of your session is entirely up to you! We have a studio space available in our home, but it can also be setup at a location of your choice. We also do many outdoor sessions at various locations.
What do you need to setup a studio at my location?
First, I need a power source for plugging in my lights. I do have an extension cord, but more outlets gives me more options for setting up. Next, if we are setting up a background I need a minimum space of 8x8 feet with no furniture taking up that space. If we are taking photos on a couch, I need the space around it to be free of other furniture to setup my lights. (about 5-10 ft. radius if possible) If you are unsure, we can do the consultation in your home to discuss what location will work the best.
What should I wear?
When it comes to clothing, simple is better. I want to keep the main focus on the subject, not what they are wearing. With this in mind I suggest solid colored clothes, that do not have distracting patterns, stripes or words/logos. Dark to medium tones (brown, burgundy, green, blue, black) always photograph well. The lighter colors (red, purple, yellow and light greens) tend to be distracting by calling attention to themselves instead of the face. Not only do the light colors dominate a portrait, they also add bulk to the subjects wearing them. Dark colors are more flattering and slimming.
Another thing to consider when selecting colors is the location of the final print. If it will hang in the living room over the fireplace, you should try to incorporate the color scheme of the room into your clothing choices.
I like having my groups dress with the same color pants and shirts, such as blue/black jeans or khakis, and all the same color shirt. The coordinated look photographs a lot better than not. Long sleeves tend to photograph better than short, but it looks better if everyone wears the same sleeve length whether long or short.
For girls in the group they could match with a skirt in the same color of the pants and a top that matches the shirts, or a dress that is the same color as the tops.
Hats and scarves can be a fun accessory to add, especially with children and teens.
Bare skin is great for newborns and babies. You may have different outfits you would like to put them in, but please keep in mind that they may get grouchy when there are too many clothing changes so keep it to 2 or 3 max. You might also consider using a diaper cover for those bare moments.
Great portraits don’t just happen. They are the result of efforts on both sides of the camera. Your portraits will reflect the thought and effort you put into them. The more we plan in advance, the more successful the finished portrait will be. Here are a few things that you are in control of: hairstyles, facial hair, nail polish, makeup, jewelry, sunburn and especially wardrobe selection. If you are considering a couple different outfits, bring them with you and I will help you decide which will go best with the look you are going for.
Because shoes often show in portraits, ensure that the shoes you wear compliment your clothing. However, bare feet also work in many cases.
What else should be considered?
Props! They can make your photograph unique. Consider flowers, picnic baskets, stuffed animals (make sure they are clean), leaves, scarves, and more. We can also try out some larger props such as bikes, sleds, and boats (outdoor only of course).
We recommend that you do not schedule other activities close to your photo session. Rushing in for your session or “clock watching” while you are with us creates stress and fatigue that can be reflected in your portraits.
Why should I choose a professional photographer instead of “Uncle Joe”?
While the names and locations in the below story are fictional, it is based on real and unfortunate wedding photographer horror stories, borrowed from another photographer.
“My Uncle Joe has an amazing camera, I think I am going to just pay him $500 to shoot my wedding.” While Uncle Joe may be very good, here are a few reasons to go with the professional.
As you are about to read, wedding photography is so much more than just having a nice camera. Uncle Joe may have a nice camera, in fact, let’s say Uncle Joe is a lawyer and photography is his passion. So, not only does he have a nice camera, but he has the best camera money can buy at the moment, the Nikon D4($5,999). Even more so, Uncle Joe loves shooting in his spare time so much that he even bought a full set of Nikon lenses and accessories ($15,000).
Already, we are assuming that this Uncle Joe is much more prepared than 99% of the Uncle Joe’s out there. Now let’s assume that Uncle Joe frequently goes out, once or twice a month and shoots nature and urban scenes with all of his great equipment. Uncle Joe even had some of his work published.
Wedding time comes, and Uncle Joe is feeling great and confident that he is going to do an awesome job. Uncle Joe starts with some outside shots of the preparation location and everything is looking good. Then Uncle Joe steps inside where the preparation is taking place. Uncle Joe doesn’t like manually exposing his pictures, so he shoots with the cameras help. Unfortunately, the camera is only so smart.
Uncle Joe starts snapping preparation shots and notices that his lens isn’t wide enough. So, he quickly goes out to the car to swap out his lenses since he wasn’t anticipating this problem. When he gets back, the bride’s makeup is done, and now they are working on the hair. Uncle Joe didn’t take any time to check out the lighting prior to the shoot, so he has no off camera lighting, or any additional lighting equipment. So, Uncle Joe figures that he can just raise his ISO settings super high so that he can capture enough light to properly expose the scene. This works, however, little does he know, that every picture shot will be too grainy to blow up beyond a 4×6 print.
Uncle Joe now heads over to shoot the groom. Uncle Joe looks at the scene and adjusts his camera settings based on what the camera reads. Unfortunately, because there was so much black in the scene from the suits, the camera was over exposing all of the shots to compensate. Uncle Joe didn’t realize though, and just kept chugging away.
Let’s say this is a simple wedding and now it’s time for the ceremony. Uncle Joe scopes out a great spot, pops on his zoom lens, and waits. The groom makes his way in, and Joe shoots him like a pro snapping 50 shots as the groom is coming down the aisle. The only problem is that all 50 shots are out of focus because the subject was walking towards Uncle Joe, and his focus settings were not set for moving subjects.
The father and bride begin coming down the aisle, and just the same, Uncle Joe fires away taking 50 more shots. Again, none of which are crisp and in focus.
The wedding ceremony is going great, and Joe grabs several great shots. But Uncle Joe realizes again, that his camera lens isn’t wide enough, so Uncle Joe runs to his bag to grab a different lens. On his way back, he sees the couple just as they kiss for the first time. Uncle Joe missed it. He also didn’t think to shoot any of the bride or grooms family during the ceremony, as he was trying not to miss anything in the ceremony.
After the ceremony, it’s time for formals. Uncle Joe guides everyone to his favorite spot outdoors where he has a beautiful shot of the view. The subjects are facing away from the sun, so that he can capture the grandeur of the scene. Because the formals are being shot in the bright noon-day sun, Uncle Joe doesn’t realize that the camera is under exposing the entire scene since the background is so bright.
Uncle Joe takes only a few family formal shots, and only one shot of each set. Little to Joe’s knowledge, every shot is coming out too dark and completely underexposed.
Reception time has arrived, and Uncle Joe has already worked 10 hours! He figures that he should relax and enjoy the wedding too since he is family. So, he gives his camera to his young son who loves photography and tells him to shoot.
Uncle Joe is so exhausted that he doesn’t shoot for the rest of the night. I mean, he is helping out the bride and groom so much by saving them money, and doing it for so cheap that he figures it shouldn’t matter anyway.
Since Uncle Joe doesn’t have the software, or even know how to post produce images. He simply gives the bride and groom a DVD with all of the images burned to it. The bride and groom sit down, dying with anticipation and pop the DVD into the computer to start looking through their uncles beautiful work!
100 pictures into the 2,000 pictures Uncle Joe shot, the bride is already in tears, as every photo is too dark, too bright, blurry, or just not that good. Furthermore, the bride and groom notice that there is no shot of their first kiss, and the only reception shots were of Uncle Joe’s son shooting all of the kids at the reception.
While this story in particular is fictional, each one of the events and outcomes are from real situations, which is why you should choose a professional if you want to be able to enjoy your photos later.