The Yearwood Family

Family Portraits with Pets

It is always so important to us that we find the most perfect and meaningful location for family portraits. The Yearwood family wanted to capture their Jan Gratz Family portrait at the community beach where they have enjoyed so many summer days and boat rides.
 
One brown eyed beauty perhaps ended up being the most photo ready member of the session. This was, of course, the family pup Mason!
 
All in all it was another beautiful evening on the Chesapeake. The soft hues accenting the skies created the perfect backdrop for another beautiful family portrait for the client’s home.
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Want to include your pup in your family portrait session? Here are some tips to think about ahead of time!
1. Wear them out! – In the case of portrait sessions a tired dog is a good dog! Depending on your pup’s energy level this may mean a quick walk around the block or maybe a romp around the dog park. While we can of course work with any situation a tired pup who is happy to just sit in your lap for awhile is the best case scenario.
2. Who will they sit with? – Now we don’t want to play favorites and flexibility is key but it is important to think ahead about who your dog will be most comfortable with. Be sure to let your photographer know who will calm down the pup as opposed to riling him up for the posed photos.
3. Be spontaneous! – Sometimes, everyones favorite portraits are those that are the least expected. When dogs and children are involved it is inevitable that life will come into play!  An adorable professional portrait of your family playing with mans best friend is not only capturing a moment that is so rarely appreciated, but could also tire him out for the posed portraits to come.
4. Dress him up! – Fido needs some fashion too. If you are planning on including your dog in the family portraits you might want to look out for a collar or leash that will work with your family’s outfits.
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Women’s Portraiture

A few months ago we had the opportunity to attend the #WomensEmpowermentExpo, meet some incredible women from all around our area, and capture some women’s portraiture.

A few years ago, we met a very special woman, Wendy, and her daughter Kayla while photographing for a local magazine.  Their story inspired Jan to choose them to be a part of her women’s portraiture portfolio.  Jan was immediately drawn to Wendy’s vibrant personality, smile, and strength!

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After her second child was born, Wendy was diagnosed with MS. Now she is a wife and mother of two young children and a professional woman who travels weekly for her job. Not to mention is leading the Maryland chapter for the MS Society in its fundraising efforts.

Needless to say, Wendy is a woman of great strength and confidence and we are thrilled to have been able to capture that in these portraits.  She is a true blessing to know because one hug and smile from her will warm your heart and bring joy to your day.

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Dorm Room Decor: Making Your Dorm Room Cozy and Fun for the New Year

It’s that time of year again. Stores are filling their aisles with school supplies and dorm room furniture, so here are some tips and trips for putting together a dream dorm.

Choose a Theme

Dorm rooms are typically small and shared between two people, which can make for a cluttered space. Choosing a themed design will help you keep your room looking trendy and clean.

Themes to try:

  1. Boho Chic: This is a very common theme to have in a dorm, with a purposefully messy look. All you need is a large tapestry, a few posters and a string or two of fairy lights to land this carefree yet cute design.

 

 

  1. Classy Coachella: If you’re a flower child at heart and want to bring summer vibes to your dorm, try this look. Statement pieces are key to nail this design. Colorful and textured throw pillows and a few classy art pieces will make any boring dorm room feel like a place to make memories.

  1. Minimalist: This is one of my personal favorites, and an easy way to keep your room looking crisp and clean. It focuses on neutral palettes and the bare essentials. A few personal pictures on the wall and some simplistic throw pillows keep this look clean and classy.

  1. Vintage: Records and Polaroid’s. The simplest of designs, and satisfies the wannabe hipster in us all. Vintage designs are a great way to make a room feel personal and show personality.

  1. Artistic: This design tends to look messier to an outsider’s eye, but feel like a haven to the one who occupies it. It’s simply decorating with personal artifacts, such as books, drawings, paintings, and photographs, to create a lived-in look.

Do It Yourself

Dorms are all about the bare necessities, meaning anything other than a bed, a desk, and in some cases a dresser, is up to you to provide. So don’t be afraid to take matters into your own hands to find easy and affordable ways to upcycle your dorm.

 

Who to Follow

            The best part about DIY-ing is that you can get all of your ideas online, with instructions, so here are a few youtube accounts that can make your wallet, and you, smile.

 

  1. Anne Le {Anneorshine}
  2. Kate
  3. House And Home
  4. AnneMarieChase
  5. Bea Jonite

 

Know the Essentials

There are a few things that every dorm seems to have in it recently, that can help upgrade your room.

  1. Fairy Lights: Never underestimate a little extra light. They’re a cute and cozy feature to tie a room together.

 

  1. Throw Pillows: The can dress up a bland bed and make all the difference in a bland dorm. Finding some fun textured pillows or some printed with cute quotes can complete a design.

 

  1. Photographs: They don’t necessarily have to be your own, but pinning a few photos to your wall can bring a little personality to finish a room.

 

  1. Storage Units: Although it’s an obvious necessity, it doesn’t necessarily have to be an eye sore. Finding something practical and pretty will make you look forward to keeping your dorm clean.

 

  1. Plants: Real or fake, being a college student can lead to a lot of hours spent indoors, whether you’re stuck in a classroom or holed up in your dorm, adding a bit of greenery gives a dorm room new life.

Written by Teen Guest Blogger, Becca Thompson

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Choosing Wardrobe for Your Family Portraits

I know choosing an appropriate color scheme and style for everyone in your family is a stressful thought. To make your life a little easier, read my recommendations for choosing your family’s wardrobe. Use these different ideas to create a look that will best represent your family.

Here are five different ways to coordinate your family’s portraits:

Bright and Wonderful

Colors: Coral, Navy Blue, White, Light Blue, Khaki

What to wear: Coral Dress, Denim Button up with Khakis, Light blue dress with navy blue belt

This is a great color scheme for the fun east coast preppy family. The colors used are very appealing to the eyes. Usually people go towards the coral and navy, but I think adding the light blue allows it to have a more unique look. There also is a good variety for everyone to be able to choose what they would feel comfortable in.

The New Classic

Colors: Cream, White, Denim, Khaki (Optional Color pop: Gray, Teal, Red, Dark Purple, Peach)

What to wear: White top with cream sweater and denim pants, Denim Button up with Khakis, V-neck cream sweater with denim pants..

The old classic white shirt and jeans is a little dated and over done. Keep the same simple style but with a softer cream twist. This is one of my favorite looks. It will look perfect in color or black & white photos. If you both want to wear cream shirts, one person should have a plain shirt, while the other has cream with a pattern or lace/crochet style. 

Sweet Pea

Colors: Rose Pink, Light Pink, Olive Green, Light Brown, Khaki, Cream

What to wear: Light pink dress with light weight olive green scarf/wrap, olive green button up with khaki shorts, floral pink and olive top with solid skirt or dark khaki pants.

This is a unique and sweet style. I see this style for a young family. The girls can feel lady like in blush or light pink, while the boys feel masculine with their earthy greens and browns. It also would be adorable reversed. A confident guy in pink and your little lady in green.

Sharp and Sophisticated

Colors: Black, Gray, Light Gray, Dark Denim (OR switch the gray tones with Camel Browns)

What to wear: Black dress, gray button up with black cardigan and dark denim pants, grey dress with denim jacket or black sweater, black polo with dark grey pants.

I imagine this may be the easiest look to pull off. Everyone owns clothing in black, gray and brown. The only obstacle would be having a variety with what everyone is wearing. Add bow ties and pearls for an even classier look. This is another look that will be great in black and white as well.

Patriot Pride

Colors: Burgundy Red, Navy Blue, Cream, White

What to wear: Navy and white stripe shirt with white shorts and a burgundy cardigan, plaid blue shirt with denim pants, burgundy dress with open denim jacket, cream button up with denim shorts

This look is another one of my favorites. I love showing my American pride, but this style keeps it softer with burgundy colors and creams instead of a bright red and white. These are gender neutral colors so everyone can be happy. Since it’s patriotic, don’t be afraid to add a star print shirt for your little one or have more stripes than you usually would.

Even the Royal Family has used this color scheme!

General Tips:

Always consider Khaki

It is a neutral color that blends with everything.

Stay away from popular trends

Keep it classic. Most top trends will be regrettable in 5 to 10 years.

Add texture

Choose a few items that have a simple print (stripes, plaid).   This adds more character to the photos and it also helps create a less super matchy wardrobe. You can also add plain tops that have lace or crochet.

Less is more

This is true for makeup, hair styles and accessories. This is a photo of your family not a fashion ad in Vogue. The focus is on you.  Don’t let wild trends or loud accessories take the spotlight from YOU.

Open Your Mind to Props

Use a cool car as your pop of color or something fun. A picnic blanket to add your favorite print. An old discolored barn as a unique backdrop.

For more examples check out the Pinterest link!

https://www.pinterest.com/jangratzphoto/hannah-blogs-about-family-portrait-wardrobe/

I’ve added a few extra examples … Enjoy!

Written by Guest Blogger, Hannah Litten

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Protecting Yourself from the Summer Sun

Taking care of your skin is very important and it is also important to avoid any sun damage before your portrait session at Jan Gratz Photography. Fixing messy hair and blemishes in Photoshop is very easy. Fixing a full body sunburn is not easy and editing fees add up quickly. Also, peeled sunburned skin makes makeup application very difficult for your makeup artist. These portraits are for you to view for years to come and the last thing you want to remember is your painful sunburn of 2017.

Remember these four helpful tips while you are out in the sun:

1.

Hats! Floppy, baseball, any kind of hat! It is best that it fully covers your face and the back of your neck.

2.

Sunblock – correctly using it and applying it. Use SPF 15 or higher depending on your skin type.  There are areas you might forget or miss while using sunscreen. Always protect the back of your neck, your chest, behind your knees, the top of your feet and your lower back. Also use sunscreen on your hands and ears.

Here are three of my recommendations for sun block.

Tarteguarde 30 moisturizing sunscreen lotion broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection SPF 30

Tarte is a vegan, chemical free company. I love that I know my skin is safe with this product. Another thing I love is that this lotion smells like heaven. Honestly, the best smelling sunscreen I have ever used. Cost  is $32.

Trader Joe’s Refresh Face & Body Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 or Trader Joe’s Nourish Spray Sunscreen SPF 50

I enjoy having a choice of lotion or spray. Both sunscreens are waterproof. The spray contains aloe, vitamin E and even coconut oil. The lotion contains vitamins C and E. The lotion is also non-greasy and paragon free. It is also fragrance free, for those who do not want any scent to their sunscreen.

Cost: $5.99 (both products)

COOLA® Suncare Sport Sunscreen Spray Broad Spectrum SPF 30 

This is a great product because it not only protects your skin from the sun, it also helps heal and replenishes your skin. Another water resistant sunscreen that is paraben-free, sulfate-free & phthalate-free. COOLA is certified organic. Check online for its numerous 5 star customer reviews, even from people with sensitive skin. I also love that it comes in unscented along with citrus mimosa & pina colada.

Cost: $10-36 (various sizes)

3.

Avoid being in the sun from 10 AM to 4 PM. Keep the sun exposure to a minimum during these hours. Find shade if you have to be outside. Even on a cloudy day you will be exposed to UV rays.

4.

Eat your UV protection. Foods rich in antioxidants, vitamins C, E and D and omega 3 fatty acids. Believe it or not, but eating the right healthy food can help protect your body and skin from the sun. Here are a few things you could add to your diet; Kale and other leafy greens, berries, green tea and watermelon.

Keep yourself and your family safe from the sun this summer and keep your families’ skin beautiful for your portraits!

Written by Guest Blogger, Hannah Litten.

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