Do I offer Mini Sessions

Dear Kara,

We love your mini sessions! Are you planning to do them this year? If so I can’t wait to sign up.

Sincerely, Past, Present and Future Client.


Dear Client,

I am so happy you love my mini sessions! They take a lot of time and effort to plan, set up, shoot, edit, deliver and enjoy. I love that you appreciate them. I’d love to let you in on a little secret and bit of information on my mini sessions for this year. Feel free to read below. I can’t wait to capture your story this year!

Sincerely, Kara


What is a mini session? This type of photo shoot is a very short, budget friendly shoot where you get a small dose of the photographers session experience.

Before I go in to whether or not I’m offering these I want to talk you through the pros and cons of this type of session. So you can decide if this is the right type of session for you.

Pros of Mini Sessions
-They are short! Great for someone who doesn’t like getting their picture taken.
-You as the client receives a low cost session of images.
-You only get the best photos, so you don’t have to go through a ton of photos and make tough decisions on the few you’ll print.
-You don’t have to decide on a location; it’s already scheduled for you!
-You can use it as a “trial run” with a photographer to see if you like their style and how they work with your family before booking a full session.
-You receive all the digital images that you can use/print
-They are a cost effective way to keep your family photos up-to-date.

Cons of Mini Sessions
-They are short! Not ideal for very shy children who take a long time to warm up to new people. Your time is limited because of the next family/couple scheduled right after you.
-You only receive a limited amount of images from the session whereas you’d receive anywhere between 50-80 from a full-length session. If you’re looking for photos to create an album, or wall collage, a mini session won’t provide you with enough images.
-You won’t get the same “story telling” feel as you would with images from a full-length session.
-You don’t get to select a location that fits your style.
-Mini sessions aren’t as personalized as a full-length session would be.
-You have to be right on time or you lose part of your photo session because of the way these are scheduled.
-It’s hard for the photographer to get to know the real you in only a short amount of time.
-They sell out quickly and you may not get the date/time you’d like!

So you’re wondering…

 

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Does Kara Hanes Photography offer Mini Session?

Although mini sessions make it easier to get all my sessions done in one to two days I’m not a fan of the impersonal connection. Mini sessions are a great way for me to bring in new clients but when past clients continue to do only mini sessions I miss out on catching up with them because the time is so limited. For me I’m all about getting to know them more and investing in our friendship. I’ve invested a lot in to making my business the best experience for all clients and at this time I don’t feel that Mini Sessions are the best. This doesn’t mean that I won’t offer them in the future it just means that right now I want to offer the best for you.

If you’re interested in knowing more about me, my style and what the pricing looks like I want to encourage you to fill out my contact form and you will immediately receive this info. Sessions book fast for fall so make sure to do it ASAP. If I’m not the right fit for you, no problem! I’ll help you find a photographer that is. I also love to stay in touch! The best way I like to do this is by having you join me in my private inbox group. Here you’ll be the first to know if anything new is being offered and you can join here and receive some awesome freebies! I can’t wait to meet you friend!

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Bekkering Kiddos

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My dear friend Michelle and I met this past week at Aquinas college where we played with her 3 kids playing hide and seek while smelling the beautiful flowers. I can not believe how much these kids have grown since the last time I saw them. You can see how much energy these cuties have and all the life they are soaking in. feel free to check out more from the session at www.karahanesphotography.com


Are you interested in having your family or kiddo’s story told? Fill out my contact form and instantly receive information on me, my style and pricing (No obligation to book). Not ready? No problem! Follow me and receive Instagram freebies until you’re ready.

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Thatcher Family

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Meet Chad, Erika, Olivia, Cole, and Kaia. This family is near and dear to me. I met them at our church and their youngest Kaia is in my small group of girls that I mentor. 3 of them are in the medical field, 2 of have the most amazing voices and love to sing, 3 like to run for fun and 1 loves fishing. In their free time you can find them volunteering at church or vacationing in some of their favorite spots. Check out Facebook or instagram to see more from this session.


Are you interested in scheduling a family session? Bookings available starting in September. Fill out the contact form and receive information on me and my pricing once submitted. No obligations. Not ready yet? No problem. Join the e-mail list, follow me and receive some Instagram freebies!

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Plaggemeyer Family

 

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Meet Joe and Emily and their beautiful kids, Emmia, Aaliyah, Shaylee, Jakob, Emmie and Ismael. Emily babysat me when I was little and is the oldest of the cousins in our family. That’s right, her and I are related. I remember when her and Joe started dating (over 22 years ago!) Their best friends were dating each other and set them up to join them one evening and the rest is history. Together all of them are so fun to be with and just hearing their laughter is contagious in itself.

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Session at Rosy Mound Natural Area in Grand Haven.


Are you interested in scheduling a family session? Immediately receive information on Kara and her pricing when you fill out a contact form. Not ready to schedule a session? No problem. Join the e-mail list and stay up to date with what’s going on in Kara Hanes Photography.

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Deemter Family

They met through their friends, married and years later have 3 amazingly handsome boys. Meeting Tim and Renee for the first time I could tell they were amazing parents who have a lot of love their children. This family enjoys being outdoors and loves golf. Most nights you can find them riding around in the golf cart or chasing one another around. I had fun playing peek-a-boo through the apple trees and hearing about the upcoming school year for the two oldest (Logan and Dylan). Little Levi just soaked it all in as he picked wild flowers for his momma and felt the tall grass through his tiny little fingers. It was such a pleasure meeting them all and I hope to see them again real soon!

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A special thanks to Motman’s Orchard for allowing our visit. The boys enjoyed counting the apples and talking about their favorite ones to eat.


Are you interested in a family session? Reach out to Kara by filling out her contact form and instantly receive information on style and pricing. Not ready for a session? That’s okay! Join the e-mail list and stay up to date with specials, sessions and what’s new with Kara Hanes Photography.

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What to wear in family photos

Let’s just admit it: picking out what to wear for family photos is one of the most stressful parts of the process of getting them taken. Did you know that it doesn’t have to be? The next time you schedule your family for photos I want you to remember my…

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    1. Think about where you will display prints of the photos. When my family gets our photos taken, the first thing I think of is where I’m going to place them in our home. Will I want them in my living room, hallway, bedroom etc.? This always affects my outfit choices. The color of my room choice for the photos can make a difference in the color scheme I choose for our outfits. I knew I wanted to put the photos we recently had taken in our living room, so I wanted to bring in the grays, blues and a pop of coral from that room into our outfits.
    2. Choose a location that matches your colors. Choosing a location can be tricky because the tones in your background can either compliment your clothing or be a huge distraction. To find the best balance between the colors in your location and the colors in your clothing, check out portrait locations in advance while thinking about the overall color scheme you’re going for. If you’re a reader wanting to see some locations in West, MI you can check out my other post on West Michigan portrait locations. If you’re really concerned about colors getting lost in the background or, on the flip-side, really clashing with the background, a good photographer will always be willing to offer you advice if you tell him or her the look you’re hoping for.IMG_7960
    3. Mom, choose your outfit (or the pickiest family member’s!) first. In our family I’m the toughest critic. I want to make sure I’m comfortable and feeling great during our photo session. In your case, there might be someone else in the family who needs to be the one to feel their best. This is the person who needs to pick out her outfit first. Choose an outfit that the pickiest family member loves and then use that as your starting point. Once that outfit is chosen, start picking out outfits for the other family members to coordinate well with that one.20247764_1470661919659961_8149764829820702203_o
    4. Limit the number of patterns in your clothing. Don’t get me wrong, patterns are a great way to coordinate outfits together because they typically contain a lot of colors that you can match the rest of your outfits too.  However, patterns can be overwhelming and chaotic if you have multiple people wearing them.  If you choose to use patterns, it is best to have one person wearing a pattern and the other family members wearing complimentary solids. Also, skip the characters. Yes, your little one may love their Frozen shirt, but you may want to skip it for the family photo session. Just like patterns, characters on shirts can be pretty distracting.IMG_7973
    5. Coordinate, but don’t match. Having your outfits coordinate does not mean that everyone has to wear the exact same thing.  Having everyone in a different outfit that still coordinates allows for a pleasing photograph. Recently I laid out clothes for my husband and son for a family photoshoot. Both of their shirts were the same color gray, and the shirts just felt like they were missing something. I decided to look for a darker gray for my husband, and transitioned to something similar for my son that gave he and my husband individuality instead of fading into the background.
    6. Keep your clothing low maintenance. Does your little one hate wearing headbands?  Do you love a certain shirt but always find yourself fussing with it?  Make sure you eliminate outfits that could potentially cause problems during your session.  Even though that headband might be darling on your daughter, if she hates wearing it she is going to be miserable…and miserable in your photographs.  Once you show up to your session, the only thing you want to focus on is having fun and being yourself.20247548_1470659302993556_1924092169243457984_o
    7. Have a pop of color. Creatively incorporating color into your family’s wardrobe is a great way to draw interest into your photographs.  Whether you utilize color in someone’s shirt or in a hair bow, having a pop of color can be very pleasing to the eye when you are arranging what to wear for family photos.  Even choosing something as subtle as your earrings to incorporate color can make such a great difference. One thing you’ll want to avoid when adding color is neon. Neon colors can create color casts on your skin.  This means that the bright neon color will reflect on your skin and turn it an unnatural color.
    8. Accessorize. Accessories are a great way of adding interest to your family portraits.  If you are not one who likes using a pop of color in a big way, using accessories like a  great pair of earrings or a necklace is a great way to still add a pop to your photographs.  Accessories are also a wonderful way to incorporate textures and help coordinate your outfits. My favorite store to find the best accessories is Charming Charlie, where you can find jewelry in almost any color. (If you’re not as lucky as me to have one by you, you can also purchase from their online store.20294231_1470662086326611_3208619449138226922_n
    9. Mix textures. Having everyone wear a variety of textures can help create depth in your photographs and is a great way of incorporating a variety of tones.  Some textures you can mix are varieties like cotton, denim, tweed and lace. Wearing different textures is also a wonderful way to portray your personality through your photographs. For example, dressing a little girl in a lace dress can enhance her sweet and precious demeanor, while denim can show off her more casual side.
    10. Plan ahead. Once you book your session, start thinking of the clothes right away. Make sure to try on your chosen outfits to ensure they fit properly, and then set them aside so they are clean and fresh the day of your shoot. If you wait until the day or the day before the session to prepare your clothing, you may run into an issue of clothes not fitting or needing to be dry cleaned.

      Having trouble finding the right outfits for your color scheme or desired look? Visit Polyvore and place clothing and textures together on an online board to find what looks best. Also, visit my Pinterest board for ideas on outfits you can layer together for family photos. Lastly, don’t forget that you can always swing ideas and questions by your photographer before the shoot.
      I hope the next time you plan your photo session my 10 tips on what to wear can be helpful. I’d love to hear your feedback on this post or others. Has this blog post helped you? Do you have something else you want to know? Comment below.

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Special thanks to my girl at Katie Cook Photography for our family photos.


Are you interested in scheduling a family session with Kara Hanes Photography? Fill out the contact form and immediately receive information about Kara, her style and pricing information. Not ready for a session? That’s okay, stay up to date with Kara Hanes Photography by joining the e-mail list.

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It’s okay to say “No”

There was a day not all that long ago where I came home and I was literally crying. I was in a job where I was told to choose between my family and my job. Tears were streaming down my face, I simply couldn’t take it any more. I thought to myself that every time I say ‘yes’ to more work, I’m saying ‘no’ to my family.

Oh, friends. I’m a workaholic and had gotten into the terrible habit of saying yes to everything. Yes to every request, every opportunity. My desire to please people turned into an unhealthy inability to say no. This escalated and made me a trap for those to walk all over me.

“No” is an incredibly empowering word if you allow it to be. Saying no allows you to say yes to the things that truly matter in your life. We don’t need more hours in the day. We need to be more dedicated to prioritizing, more diligent in protecting those hours that we reserve for our friends and family. When overwhelm begins to weigh on you… I want you to remember that you are not alone. As a creative entrepreneur myself, I know how hard it is.

So I’m here to remind you of the word “no” so you can have “yes” to life. I’m not here to tell you to quit your job but remind you to prioritize and seek what matters most.


Photo by my friend Amanda over at Willow Photo and Design

Summer Bucket List : 2017

The start of a new season gets me excited. I’m most excited for summer. This will be my first summer where I get to explore and spend as much time with my kids as possible. I could not wait to plan out some of the things we’ll be doing. If your kids are anything like mine, all they want to do is stay inside and play on devices. Well this is going to change. I remember as a kid spending so much time outside that the rule was to be home by dark. Well, Today I’m sharing with you our family’s summer bucket list. I’m hoping this will inspire you on some ideas. I’d also love to hear from you, what are your favorite bucket list items?


Grand Rapids Airplane Viewing Center – Free

Air Zoo

Amusement Park: Michigan Adventures

Barbecue with friends

Baseball Game: West Michigan White Caps

Beach: Millennium Park, Grand Haven, Holland, Tunnel Park to name a few.

Bounce: Rebounderz, Sky Zone, Playworld, Jesters Court

Blandord Nature Center

Cooking class Host or attend one: West Michigan Kids Cooking Classes

Coopersville Railroad July 2017 “Train Robbery”

Day Camp: Spring Hill July 17-21 in Hudsonville, Hogwarts Academy June 15-16 Engine House 5 in Allendale

Fair: Hudsonville Fair August 21-26

Frederick Meijer Gardens

Hike- Free

Lazer Tag: The Lost City

Library: Allendale Library EventsKent District Library

Mini Golf: Craigs Cruiser, Locehners, Pirates Landing

Movie Theater:, Grand Haven 9 Free movies for frequent movie goers, Rivertown Crossings $5 movies all day Tuesdays, Free Kid Flicks at Celebration Woodland.

Movies in the Park: Allendale– Free, Grand Rapids– Free, Getty Drive In

Museum:  Children Museum, Gerald R Ford Presidential Library & Museum, Grand Rapids Public Museum

Picnic at a park: Highly recommended West, MI parks Ada ParkSeidman Park, Garfield ParkManhattan Park, and Rosewood Park, 

Race: Berlin Raceway  US 131 Motorsports Park

Splash Pad:  Local Splash Pads

Sleep Over- Free

Slip n’ slide: June 17th 12-5pm

Star Gazing- Free

Vacation Bible School: See Full List Here– Free life stream kids camp. June 12-14 6-8:30pm

Zoo John Ball Zoo, Boulder Ridge, Binder Park


Print out your summer bucket list worksheet here

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I’d love to hear what plans you have that I did not list. Feel free to comment below.

Planner by http://www.heidiswappstore.com Sold in most local Meijer stores.


Do you want to know more about Kara Hanes Photography? Subscribe to my e-mail list.

 

Festerling Family

Meet Dennis, Chriss, Noah, Eli, and Bella. I had the pleasure of hanging out with them last week. This family was the silent auction winner for the fundraiser called “Blessings for Bekah”. Dennis was introduced to the fundraiser through Bekah’s brother’s boy scout troop. It’s such an honor to have been able to contribute to two very deserving families. Untitled-1

Are you interested in scheduling a family session? I’d love to hear from you and tell you about the Kara Hanes Photography experience Inquire Here. Not ready for photos? Would you be interested in following what’s going on with Kara Hanes Photography? Join my newsletter. 

DeBlaay Family

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I met Lindsey and her husband Matt when her and I were both pregnant with our girls and teaching preschool. Needless to say we have been great friends ever since. Not only friends but I’ve come to know her extended family and they remind me a lot of my own. Meet the DeBlaays, Mary (also known as Beppe to her grandkids), her sons Chris, Jake, Matt and Mike and their families. I think it’s fair to say that Mary has quite the beautiful family. During this session we continuously laughed, danced and said the magic word *FART* over and over to make those kiddos giggle and bring out their natural smiles (well, mostly the dads). Would you believe me if I told you that prior to this session it was 60 degrees and raining? We lucked out with beautiful mid day sunshine and a little bit of shade at Aquinas college. If you’d like to check out more from this session you can do so at Kara Hanes Photography

Are you interested in scheduling a family session? Send over a contact form and you’ll instantly receive information on my style and pricing information.

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