About Clare + Session Info

{ me and my adorable nephew, Andrew }

photo credit to my sister, Alison!

Hello and thanks for stopping by! My name is Clare, and I’m an Alabama native (War Eagle!) who arrived in Dallas via Memphis (Go Lynx Cats!) over 10 years ago. A fresh-faced college graduate, here for what I thought would be a temporary stop on the road of life.  Famous last words. I’m still here. With a mortgage and a cat. I think it’s safe to say I’m here for good!

I graduated from Rhodes College in 1999 with a B.A. in Art, but don’t let that word fool you. I couldn’t draw a stick figure if my life depended on it. In fact, I was chastised by my drawing teacher for choosing the smallest sketchbook she’d ever seen in her life. “What are you scared of?”, she asked with a furrowed brow [FORESHADOWING!]. I burned myself repeatedly in the sculpture studio when I’d clumsily lean against my freshly soldered masterpieces. I even attempted to argue my way out of that class where you draw… you know… naked people. Oh, the horror. I actually pleaded with the school to put Art HISTORY on my diploma, mostly to make my parents feel better but also in the name of accuracy since I really didn’t “do” art. I was, in fact, TERRIBLE at art. But no dice. Art it was.  And I am forever grateful for my arts education, despite the occasional trepidation that I’d made the wrong decision. Fun fact: I’d intended on majoring in Political Science. When I wasn’t in art class, I was listening to lectures on the Constitution. Bullet dodged. Whew. Art is WAY cooler.

My adviser assured me I had an eye for it, though. I understood composition and could break it down into its individual elements. I loved learning the stories behind the paintings, the sculptures, and the photographs. He said I’d find a way to channel these obscure talents. And he was right… it just took a few years. I never got serious about photography until after graduation, and it sprang directly out of my other passion: music. For as long as I can remember I’ve had an intense love of music. I still remember taping that penny to the ad in the back of Parade Magazine to join Columbia House and waiting for my first order of tapes. I started taking my little camera to shows in my twenties, and over time it grew into a pretty serious hobby. I graduated to my first dSLR (an old Canon Rebel which I still have) and started to learn the ins and outs of shooting manually. I am entirely self taught, which is really the best way to learn anything in my opinion. I loved trying new lenses and learning how I could use my eyes to tell a story or capture emotions that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Eventually friends began asking me to take pictures of their kids, and the rest is history. I could not be more pleased with where that old art degree has taken me. I’d make a terrible politician, anyway.

I still love taking pictures at concerts and my total DREAM job would be some kind of music photography gig. Related: this happened one time.

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Session Info

[ The Basics ]

- Sessions are only available on the weekends

- Pricing is $500 for up to 5 people, $15 for each additional person (cash, check or PayPal only)

- Payment can either be made in 2 installments ($250 at booking & $250 at the session) or in full at the end of the session

- The fee covers my time, a same day sneak peek, a disk of the images, an online gallery of the set to share with family/friends, and one canvas print up to 24 x 36 in size

- A typical session lasts around 1.5 to 2 hours

- I prefer the sessions to be outdoors or in a place with ample natural lighting

- You should receive a link to your gallery about a week after our session

- I do not shoot newborns, weddings or engagement photos, but can refer you to some great photographers!

[ The Details ]

I am a lifestyle photographer, which means I take casual, fun, day-in-the life, documentary-style images. If you are looking for formal portraits, I may not be the photographer for you. Expect lots of laughs, some terrible jokes, the odd candy bribe, silly faces, real moments – you and your family,  just as you are. I want you to look at a picture from our session and think, “that’s SO him”, or “I know that look”, or “this captures her personality perfectly”.  A lot of the images will come from me following your children around and letting them do their thing. I will ask them to smile and pose from time to time, but I mostly prefer to keep it natural and low-key. These are your children, not J.Crew models (although they totally could be, I know). I want you to look at these photos years later and remember how they were back then; their roly poly baby bellies, those gummy smiles and wobbly first steps, their mercurial toddler personalities, how they loved to explore the world around them, how they laughed at your silly faces, how they adored their older siblings – all those little moments that fly by in an instant. I want to preserve them for you.

[ My Approach ]

I absolutely adore kids and find it very easy to connect with them. It’s rare that a child won’t open up to me, so don’t worry if your child is shy. Often I won’t even start shooting until I’ve had a chance to talk with them for a few minutes. It takes time, but they almost always warm up to me within the first 15 or 20 minutes. I started babysitting in 6th grade and kept the newborn to 6 month nursery in the summers at the local church daycare. They don’t call me the baby whisperer for nothing! I have been told by my clients that I have the patience of Job. When it comes to photographing children, this is more important than any lens in my bag. I will wait them out. You might want to throw in the towel an hour before me, but I won’t let you! It’s easy to get frustrated when you come in with preconceived notions of what should happen at a photo session. Relax and let me do all the work – all you have to do is have fun! The rest will happen naturally.

[ What To Wear ]

Yes: Clothes that fit, classic/simple styles, simple pattern is fine but avoid ones with small stripes/small checks, fun accessories are always a great idea (hats, scarves, statement jewelry), coordinating but not matching colors – I love color!

No: All white or all black shirts, clothing with logos, short skirts, tight clothes, plunging necklines, and try to skip anything super trendy – we’re going for classic and timeless, not this season’s latest fad:)

[ What Else? ]

Patience. I cannot emphasize this enough. I know it can seem SO frustrating to orchestrate a family shoot with little bitties, so just relax and don’t worry about a thing. My number one piece of advice is don’t tell your kids to smile. Sounds strange, but trust me. If you’re standing over my shoulder begging your child to smile, one of two things will happen: 1) they will not smile at all or 2) they will fake smile, and we don’t want that! Beyond that, feel free to bring a special toy, stuffed animal, wagon, tricycle, balloons, bubbles, blankets, or any other item that you’d like to have in your photos. I usually have bubbles and plain white blankets on hand, but I’m always happy to have back ups!

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In My Camera Bag

Shootsac by Jessica Claire lens bag

BlackRapid RS-W1 camera strap for women

Canon 7D

50mm f/1.4

85mm f/1.2L

24-70mm f/2.8L

Speedlite 430EX II

ProMaster Reflector

Share

Sammy Little - Hi, Clare! I met your parents at a dinner party Saturday night in Chicago…..love your work!!!! after hearing about it from Pete and Cindy. And now I am playing Words With
Friends with Cindy!
I am a calligraphy of over 30 years based in DC….my website is being redone and the new one will be up and running in a week or two.
Let me know if you are ever in my area working….I would love to hire you for a session with my son and his family of four….4-year-old granddaughter and almost 9-year-old
grandson.
Cheers, Sammy Little

{ 2013 fall booking & update } | 77 Prints - [...] About Clare & Session Info [...]

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