ValariC Photography: Blog en-us (C) ValariC Photography (ValariC Photography) Thu, 07 Apr 2022 18:40:00 GMT Thu, 07 Apr 2022 18:40:00 GMT ValariC Photography: Blog 90 120 2018 Marketing Plans I can't believe how fast this year has flown by.  Clients are talking about reaching year end goals and preparing for setting new goals in 2018.

The fastest way to update your social media and marketing is to update your headshot.  The reasons I hear often for not taking this important step are:

1.  I want to lose weight  -  Hire a good photographer.  They can take 20 pounds off you just by the way they have you stand.

2. I know I should but I haven't made the time - Headshots are an important component of your professional image. They are worth the time.

3. Too expensive - Yes, a good headshot is expensive.  But what if that headshot created 2 or 3 additional clients over the course of the year.  Would those                  additional clients validate the cost?

4. I hate pictures of myself - Then you haven't had the right photographer!

It's never too late to take the next proactive step in growing your business!  

I pride myself on taking great shots, putting my clients at ease, and making the whole headshot experience so much better than my clients expected! And of course producing an image that makes my clients very satisfied!

(ValariC Photography) business headshots centralflphotographer headshot orlanddphotographer orlandoheadshots photography professional headshots valaricphotography Tue, 19 Sep 2017 13:42:22 GMT
The Black Dress Project The Black Dress Project is a portrait series I created, first, to challenge myself with a black dress theme, and second, to educate the public on the value of a classic portrait.  Women are notorious for not wanting to have their photo taken.  Oh, they will snap the selfies with their cell phones, or quick group shots with the kids or friends.  But an actual portrait that your grandchildren would keep? Not so much. Most women over 40 are waiting to get thinner. Or change their hair. Or lose weight. Or buy clothes. Or look younger. Or, again, lose weight. I say, let your photographer and makeup artist worry about that stuff and you just get a terrific picture of yourself that you can pass on to the ones who love you!  Yes, you can get a beautiful shot. And yes, they really do want a picture of you!

The Black Dress Project was a series of six photo sessions with six different women of various ages.  We did a before shot, some session "behind the scenes shots", and then the final edited portraits.  One of my goals was to show what a photo session is like.  Most people think of a photo session as a stressful experience, but my clients walk away saying it was a blast.  And that is part of the package, having a great time and getting photos you love. 

I am very proud of the work I did with Angela Winters, Hair and Makeup Artist, and the women featured in the #BDP series.  I hope you will take the time to look at a few of these videos. They are all featured on my ValariC Photography FB page. And I would love to hear your feedback!  A comment would be wonderful!




(ValariC Photography) black dress black dress project creative portraiture glamour portraits sue bryce style vogue Thu, 23 Jun 2016 13:28:29 GMT
Magazine Style Photography Shoots Have you ever looked at the pages of a magazine and, just a little tiny bit, wondered what it would be like to be a model on one of those slick, shiny pages?  Maybe not, but a lot of us have!

I recently did a joint shoot with LAB Hair and Makeup Artistry, and we wanted to put together a shoot that looked very "magazine", or as close to that look as we could get in a shopping center parking lot.  We gave the girls a few guidelines on outfit combinations. LAB did their hair and makeup in varied styles. They wore prom dresses with boots, and sundresses with boots, and shorts with boots.....ok, it was all about boots!!

I set up a backdrop behind the shopping center.  We started actual shooting about 8 a.m.  In Florida, you try to beat the heat, plus we wanted that killer morning light. The light showing through the backdrop gave us the perfect "studio" look. We used one off camera light and umbrella for fill light.

The girls were fantastic!  We coached them on stance and position and then most of them just took it from there.  The images are amazing.  You would never know we are behind a shopping center in a very dingy environment.  One of my favorite photographers to follow, Amanda Holloway, shoots a majority of her famous shots behind the building where her studio is located.  You can take a beautiful and striking photograph just about anywehere, providing you use the right lens and have good light. I believe that the mark of a good photographer is someone who can use almost any environment and get THE shot.


(ValariC Photography) art magazine photo photography photograpy spots studio style Thu, 23 Jun 2016 12:30:16 GMT
Family Portraits - The Time is Now Today I was having lunch with a friend.  We were discussing her husband's family.  Her father-in-law is currently in very poor health in a nursing facility, and is not expected to recover.

A year ago, she tried to organize the family into a family portrait session.  A few of the family members had balked at the price I had quoted to do the session. "That's too much money, why does your friend charge so much?", was their response. We had scouted some great locations and planned a quick shoot to make it fast and easy for the entire family. But, because a few did not want to spend the money, the family session never happened. Now fast forward a year later, their father's health has taken a drastic turn, and the option of a beautiful family photo is now no longer an option. 

How much is a printed memory worth to you?  I love the quote that says, "You will never understand the value of a photograph until that is all you have left." Missy Mwac   That is so very, very true. How about your siblings?  I have lost a sister.  I do not have nearly as many photos of us together as I would like.

We will spend $50 to go out for a mediocre meal for two.  We can  easily spend $200 for a decent meal out with a few family members   But a portrait print?  That will be around for decades? How much for that?  I have done many family photo sessions.  I have yet to hear anyone say they wished they had not booked a session, or that they wish they had not spent so much on their photos.  Now the wallet may cry a little when the actual paying is taking place, but down the road, those families have an irreplaceable memento that will only grow in value. 

I did a large family session about two years ago.  The grandfather has since passed away.  That daughter who organized the session, who listened to her family give her tons of grief for putting it all together - she is a daughter who has a sweet photo of her and her father. Her children have a photo of them and grandaddy. That is what is called irreplaceable.  That is called so worth it!


(ValariC Photography) Family family photos portraits Fri, 08 Jan 2016 22:45:05 GMT
Are You a "Professional" Photographer? I get asked this on a regular basis. "Are you a professional photographer?"  Why yes, yes I am a professional photographer.

What makes me a professional photographer?  

I have a killer camera and great equipment.  Yes, I have a very nice camera and some great lenses. No, that does not make me a professional photographer.  If Jeff Gordon gave me his race car, parked it in my driveway and let me drive it at the raceway on Saturday, I would absolutely not be a professional race car driver.  But why, you have a really nice race car?  True, but the other drivers on that track would not be thrilled that the gal with the "really nice car" was on the track with them.  I believe the reason the other drivers would not be thrilled is fairly obvious!

I take really nice pictures.  Yes, my pictures are beautiful.  But a lot of people take beautiful photos. Taking good pictures does not make me a professional photographer. It makes me a good photographer, but not professional.

I have a cool business name and logo.  Actually, not really.  My business name is my name.  That was not all that creative and my logo is one that I whipped up because I had to have one.  I wish I had a great logo, but I am not interested enough to get one.  So you can have a super duper uber cool name and logo, but that does not make a professional.

The list goes on...

What makes a professional?  Well, first someone who has some serious skills and formal training.  More than just some "self taught" skills, but some serious education in the art of photography.  Second, professional designations- city and county licensed, incorporated with a DBA, insured, tax certified and actually collecting and paying state sales tax.  Yep, that is what makes you a real professional.  Not necessarily a terrific photographer, but a true professional photographer. So now when I am asked if I am a professional, I think about all the work, effort, training, insurance policies, taxation, etc., that I am involved in and I say with authority - Yes. Yes I am!







(ValariC Photography) Photographer Professional Wed, 25 Mar 2015 21:26:29 GMT
Don't Insult the Photographer Just a little FYI, it is very irritating to a photographer when you say their photos look good because of Photoshop. Really?  No, my photos look good because I have spent thousands of dollars on training. I work very hard to make sure I know how to make my clients look the best they can be!  Also, I have professional mentors who critique my work and tell me all the things I do wrong, and I continually grow through them. I also have some very nice equipment that I have worked very hard, and spent lots of $$$  to obtain.  My photos are beautiful because I know how to bring beautiful out of my clients. I know how to use light to my client's advantage. And as those who have spent a few hours in my photo sessions will tell you, my sessions are a real workout. My standard saying is if you don't need a trip to the chiropractor after a photo session than your photographer hasn't really done their job. Do I touch up photos?  Of course I do. Every single one.  Whether it is a 7 year old or a 70 year old, we all have a few things that need to come out. I pride myself on not overdoing my editing.  My portraits are good because most of my clients do hair and makeup before the shoot, are not rushed, are having a blast, and being told exactly how to turn, move, etc. So for the people who think that all great photos are fake are mistaken! Any and all clients are perfectly able to take a wonderful photograph! 

(ValariC Photography) Wed, 25 Mar 2015 21:21:09 GMT
Creating Photo Art


Recently I did a "for fun only" photo shoot in a park in Central Florida.  Early morning, with plenty of humidty and bugs all around.  I had three darling girls who had joined me for the day.  What I love about "just for fun" is it takes all the pressure off of a session.  I am not trying to please a client, and figure out what look they are trying to acheive.  It is all about me, what I think, and what I see when I look through that big ol' 70 - 200 lens!

I have started collecting clothes, dresses, tulle, flower crowns, more dresses.  I go to the second hand stores to find anything that I can turn into a fun fashion accessory for my clients.  It is amazing how many of us, young and old, still like to play dress up!  I think it is just in us to play in front of the camera.  What I have discovered, if I put the guidance and choices in my hands, the girls enjoy the sessions even more because they no longer have to worry about what looks good, or what doesn't. We had a big heap of clothes and we mixed, matched and layered to get all kinds of super dreamy looks. 

So out of this trip to the woods came some of my favorite images to date.  Beautiful images of these girls in their big dresses and flowers.  Sweet lighting, trees, shadows and vines - it was like a magical photo studio for me.  I am already planning my next photo adventure!


(ValariC Photography) art for fun in just photo photo spots photography portraiture Wed, 18 Jun 2014 17:05:44 GMT
Photo Locations

So today I went on "photo location safari" in the quaint town of DeLand, Florida.  One thing I have learned by photographing in natural environments is that you can take a photo almost anywhere.  Light has so much more effect on my photographs than location ever could!

I have watched many excellent photographers create absolutely beautiful images in the most unlikely places.  I have learned to look for interesting lines, good light, frames, repeating lines, etc. everywhere I look.  As a matter of fact, it can become an addiction to evaluate the photographic potential of every area you pass through.  Am I the only one who looks longingly at the fields of flowers in the swale of the highways?

The above photo was shot on a small side street in DeLand.  One side of the street was clutter and cars, but the other a few interesting store fronts.  I knew that a wide open apeture would create a lovely background in this image of my friend.  When in the middle of a messy environment, use creative framing and cropping.  Blow out the background and crop out the mess.  I have seen awesome shots done between dumpsters - you just wouldn't know it to look at the final image!

Keep your eyes open and don't look for "picture perfect" settings. As a matter of fact, take the challenge to go into the unlikely, cruddy, not so scenic areas and make something awesome out of it! Anyone can take a picture in a pretty spot - big whoop.  Commit to finding  great shots in the unlikely places - that will set your photos apart from the crowd. Strive not to use the same tired spots as every other photographer with no eye for the creative. Once you get in the hang of creating beauty anywhere, it opens up a whole new world to your photography options - and options are always a good thing!

(ValariC Photography) Photo locations photo spots Tue, 22 Apr 2014 22:04:32 GMT
Pricing and Photography I have a lot of angst over pricing my photography. Finding the perfect balance. I want people to be able to afford beautiful photographs. I know they will love them and I know they will love them even more in the future.  I also want to make my photography  worth my while.   A session has to be worth the hours of my time and the massive amount of money I have invested getting to the point where I can take a truly beautiful photograph. But "afford" is a very big word with wildly different meaning to different people.

So how much for a photograph?  Well, I want you to understand what goes into getting that photo. Uncountable hours and thousands of dollars in training, thousands of dollars of equipment, hours editing raw photos, then hours spent with the client before and after a shoot.   A client might wonder why I want hundreds of dollars for a shoot? Other photographers charge thousands.  Well, it has to be worth it to the photographer as well as clients.  My ultimate goal is that I want to charge an amount that feels fair to me and is a good value for my clients.

If you think you can't afford to spend money on a professional photographer, you could ask a friend to take some photos and get your pictures printed at Walgreens. That is an option. But for most people, I challenge you  that you can afford a photo session and prints!  Two dinners out, one mani/pedi, one tank of gas and two new pair of shoes probably is more money than most photographers charge for a medium priced session.  All these purchases wear off, wear out and burn out.  But a photograph, printed at a professional grade lab, lasts FOREVER.  

Ask yourself what you would save if your house were burning down and you had 5 minutes to save what you could  I'm guessing that you would give a list that includes your family photographs ...  Every time.

(ValariC Photography) Photography Phtography Pricing Value of Tue, 18 Mar 2014 16:09:06 GMT
Don't Wait! I was listening to a photographer teach today, and she talked about how women are always waiting to lose weight, change their hair, etc. before having a picture done.  She said, (and I thought this was SPOT on), "your family just wants a picture of you.  The people who love you don't see you as fat, thin, wrinkled, bad hair- they  just see you as someone they love."  I thought how true is that!!  I have a few friends who are always fussing over their weight.  Sometimes I know I hurt their feeling because I don't pay much attention to their weight issues. I very truthfully tell them, "I am so sorry, I don't see your weight gain or loss, I just see you."  Don't wait until you are perfect to get a picture done - just get them done.  Someday, your family will look at your pictures and think you were precious, just the way you are!  And they will treasure having a picture of you.  If you wait until everything is just perfect, they may never have a picture.  When you look at a photograph of your great grandmother, grandfather, mother, do you find yourself critiquing their style, hair, weight like we do to ourselves?  Of course not!  You are thinking about memories and that is what a a photograph will invoke for our families!  Someday is now.  Get that photo session booked.  Don't wait!

(ValariC Photography) family photography portraits portraiture women's Tue, 11 Feb 2014 01:41:40 GMT
Photo session and the role of your photographer. Lately, I have been busy taking headshot/glamour sessions with women in the 40 and up crowd.  We women in this age group are always a little spooked to get our pictures done.  And I totally understand why - we are afraid of how our final images are going to look and how many of our "flaws" are going to be glaring back at us. We are not as young as we used to be, and sometimes a photo just makes that truth a little to real. 

The good news is, we all have flaws.  All. Even the youngsters I photograph.  So, it's not like we are fearing something that others aren't fearing also - misery loves company!!  But we all have our good stuff, and that is what is up to your photographer to bring out in your images.  I always tell my clients, "It's not your job to take a good picture, that's what you have hired me for" .  And I totally mean that!  

As a photographer, it is my job to carefully guide my clients through their session, put them at ease and build their confidence in me.  I am 80 percent a cheerleader/coach and 20 percent a photographer.  I have spent a lot of time learning how to pay attention to the details, look for the best angles, keep a fresh perspective all while keeping my client at ease and having a good time. My clients often get "the look" when I ask them to do something that seems really awkward.  I say "if it feels awkward, it looks good."  Then they look at the images and they see it for themselves.  After a few of those sneak peeks at the back of the camera, they are usually on-board for my crazy sounding suggestions.

 I work as hard at making the experience as fun and memorable as I possibly can. There is NOTHING more satisfying to me than to hear my clients say they had a great time and then secondly, to say they love their photos.  Mission accomplished!


(ValariC Photography) 40 clients for glamour headshots over photography session Mon, 10 Feb 2014 04:19:38 GMT
2014 and Contemporary Glamour Photography Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE loves a great picture of themselves.  It may sound very vain or silly to say that we do, but we do.  I really don't like having my picture taken - but I do like it when I look good in a picture!

Some people are photgenic.  Maybe it's natural, or maybe it's a learned thing.  A lot of us are not photogenic so getting a good picture is either an accident or someone behind the camera actually knows what they are doing! 

I have much experience with bringing out the photogenic side of my clients. I have worked very hard to learn to make people relax and feel comfortable in front of my camera.  And when I say "look good", I'm not talking photoshop good,  I'm talking about looking like the natural best version of yourself.  I want you to look like you. I want you to have all of your best angles going. I want you to look like you were caught in the perfect moment!

I have started to really enjoy shooting women in the age group that doesn't often get great pictures of themselves, the 35 to 65 crowd. Some business women might get a headshot occasionally, but as a rule those are not the most exciting photos in the world.  I like to get the headshot, and then have some FUN with the camera!  Why not take a few chances, try some different poses, a few angles and get a beautiful image that you can keep forever?

My clients are usually very happily surprised at the end of a photo session. They had a blast, they learned some new posing techniques, and they went home with pictures of a woman that they knew existed, but couldn't get out on paper. I just had to show them how to bring her out :)

Consider a photo session just for you.  Maybe my Headshot Plus session, where you get a variety of shots that can be used for many different occasions.  Don't wait to be thinner, more perfect. later, special occasion, it NOW.  Do something that you, and the people who love you, will cherish for a very long time - a beautiful image of you!

(ValariC Photography) Beauty Contemporary Glamour glamour headshot Sun, 26 Jan 2014 22:28:20 GMT
Family Photos I love a family photo session.  Not because I really like to take the photos - actually one person is much easier for me than a group. I love it because I feel passionate about how important it is to get those shots!

I KNOW it is stressful to get everyone rounded-up, dressed, spiffed, and transported to get a photo done.  I KNOW how much grief they give (usually the mom) about having to get their pictures done.  It can run through your mind that the aggravation is SO NOT WORTH IT.  Let me tell you, with great authority, taking the time and torture to get the family together for a photo session, IS SO TOTALLY WORTH IT!!

In the past year, I have seen four different families lose a family member.  It is always heartbreaking.  And I can tell you this, one of the first things those families want are pictures.  And those pictures become a treasure, a connection to what has been lost.  There really is no way to put a value on that.  Two years ago, I took some photos for a family and recently that family lost their dad.  Those pictures were incredibly valuable and irreplaceable to that family.  What if they hadn't taken the time?  What if they just didn't get around to it?  What if?

Take pictures.  Get them printed. Make and give prints to your kids so they will have them when you are gone. Someday gets here faster than we think. We are all going to want to remember, and one of the easiest ways to remember is a photograph.

(ValariC Photography) Family Photos Fri, 03 Jan 2014 17:53:23 GMT
Photography at the Beach I love shooting at the beach.  And I hate shooting at the beach.  It is a twisted relationship!

Nothing is more beautiful, and flattering,  than the light that comes up first thing in the morning at the beach.  And I mean FIRST thing, like before actual sunrise.  I love the light, but I'm not crazy about leaving my house at 5 a.m. to get there- but I do!  I advise my clients that they should consider staying in a local hotel at the beach. This gives them an extra hour  to sleep in the morning.  A senior photo shoot is so much better when the senior has had an extra hour of sleep, especially when I tell them that they have to meet me at 6:45 a.m.  

My favorite spot for senior photos is the Pier in Cocoa Beach.  What a lovely place to shoot.  Not that the Pier is the most scenic spot in Florida, but it makes for some great background!

I always say a prayer over my stuff after a beach shoot because no matter how hard you try, there is always sand and grit in everything! Whenever using camera equipment at the beach, be sure to carefully protect it from overexposure to sand.  Saltwater would be a big no, no also!  I make sure that I have bags to cover up my equipment should an unexpected storm come up.  (And they sure have- another post!)  


Until then,

Valari Canonico

ValariC Photography - Oviedo




(ValariC Photography) Beach Photography Cocoa Beach ValariC Photography Wed, 11 Sep 2013 23:08:16 GMT
The Value of a Photograph How much should a photo cost? How much is it worth to hire a photographer? The real question should be, "How much is it worth, to you, to get a beautiful picture of a person, an event, the family, or a special occasion?" 

From a photographers standpoint, let's skip the whole discussion about how much good equipment. software and training costs.  That is a discussion in itself! Let's just stick with the final product--an image.  Hopefully printed on archival paper so it will stand the test of time.  Just a simple picture, maybe an 8 x 10 or maybe a 4 x 6.  Something you can see and touch.  Maybe to frame and enjoy.

I think there is no true measurable value for a great photograph. I say that because, I have personally experienced the priceless value of a great picture. I have seen how much a photo can become a cherished possession.

Nothing in life stays the same.  Children grow.  Loved ones pass on. People move away.  I have seen the frantic scrambling of families searching for decent photographs for a momentous life event.  It may be for a happy occasion, or maybe a sad goodbye.  I have seen how emotional the viewing of photographs can be - tears of joy or tears of sadness.

For me personally, I have images of loved ones, that I treasure above anything.  My children when they were little. My parents. My grandparents. My sister who passed away.  I have always said, if my house caught on fire, I would save my pictures above all else.  And I totally mean that! Nothing else is as irreplaceable as a lost photograph.  

So what do you want to remember?  What will be important to you, or your family, 20 years from now?  50 years from now? Where are those special memories stored now?  On your phone? Have you taken the time, and spent a few dollars, to capture some timeless photographs?  Have you had anything printed lately so you don't lose irreplaceable images in an inevitable computer crash?

The back of my business card reads, "As we look back on our lives, we have our precious memories, and the photographs that go with them."  That is the foundation for my love of photography!






(ValariC Photography) is it worth it to hire a photographer photo pricing photography value Fri, 06 Sep 2013 22:47:47 GMT