Maryann Newman Photography, LLC: Blog en-us (C) Maryann Newman Photography, LLC (Maryann Newman Photography, LLC) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:31:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:31:00 GMT Maryann Newman Photography, LLC: Blog 90 120 Print Well, My Friends. Print Well. You book the session.  You spend hours on Pinterest finding the perfect wardrobe for your family.  You order the outfits online, exchange what doesn't fit, find the right accessories and everything is perfect.  The day of your session is precisely the gorgeous day you prayed for.  The kids are all in a good mood AT THE SAME TIME.  The dog is actually sitting and even looks like he's smiling.  The sun is really shining on you today!  The session goes off like magic, your image gallery looks like you're the family from the Land's End catalog and you just couldn't be happier.  And then off you go to WalMart with your digital images and print release to have some prints made.  Or maybe it's CVS or Target or some other big store with photo printers that make cheap prints on glossy paper while you wait.  When you see your prints, suddenly you're not as excited about the images you see as when you saw them on your screen and you're wondering just where that photographer went wrong.  Well, he or she didn't go wrong.  This one is on you, and I'll tell you why.

Back in the day, when you used a professional photographer you had to order your prints from them directly.  This allowed them to maintain control of the final prints.  Since the advent of digital photography, it has become commonplace for clients to receive digital image files with a print release that gives clients ownership of a number of their images so they can use them as they wish, but here's where things get sticky.  A professional's equipment technology and post processing expertise produce a range of color, exposure, and detail that cannot be accurately reproduced by a One Size Fits all in-store photo printer or even by the completely automated lab they send their special orders out to.  Colors will be "off".  Sharpness is compromised.  The darkest and lightest parts of the image lose their detail.  And then, as if that wasn't enough, the thin glossy paper they print on makes it so much worse.  But it's not your fault if you didn't know, and that's the purpose of this post.  

You paid good money for your photo session, and you spent a lot of time prepping.  Don't make it less than perfect in the end by making prints of a lesser quality.  I love it when clients order directly from their gallery using my lab so I can maintain quality control but if they decide to print elsewhere I don't take it personally. I just want them to end up with prints that validate everything that went into their session because I know they deserve nothing less.  There are a few online printers that do a professional level job.  The cost barely more than the big stores and their turnaround time is usually just a few days.  I won't mention then here but an online search will turn up their names along with reviews.  In life as in sports, you have to play your best game through to the very end.  Don't drop the ball.  Print well!


(Maryann Newman Photography, LLC) amesbury family photographer newburyport family photographer photography salisbury family photographer Tue, 17 Dec 2019 16:17:54 GMT
Why you should consider having an "Unplugged Wedding" Credit, David Stubbs PhotographyPhoto credit, David Stubbs PhotographyCredit, David Stubbs Photography The term "Unplugged Wedding" is being thrown around a LOT lately.  Now that a variety of devices come with a built in digital camera feature, there are more amateur photographers than ever taking photographs at weddings.  Using cellphones, tablets, Ipads and digital cameras, many people have taken on the role of documenting every moment for their friends and relatives.  They mean well, and it may be fine at Aunt Mabel's seventieth birthday bash, but it becomes an issue when they cross paths with the professional that is being paid to capture a couple's wedding day especially if they obstruct his or her ability to come through with the images he or she is being paid to capture.  The image above shows what the wedding photographer of today typically sees as he or she is capturing the "must have" shot of the bride coming down the aisle (photo credit David Stubbs Photography).  Not only do all of those glowing screens ruin the beauty of the classic shot but many of these guests will not hesitate to immediately use social media to post images for the world to see.

Kings of Facebook, Queens of Instagram, these wedding guests mean well.  They might even catch a few nice shots but they pose a very real threat to the professional wedding photographer who is using an artistic vision to capture an entire collection of images that will tell the story of your wedding to your children and grandchildren someday.  I will never forget the woman in the white dress with black and yellow polka dots who stepped out into the center of the aisle, right in front of me, to get the shot of the bride's father kissing her cheek before he gave her away exactly as shown above (credit David Stubbs Photography).  Yes, I did miss the shot but my talented second shooter captured it from another angle. In fact, it is partly due to the proliferation of cell phone cameras that I long ago decided not to shoot weddings without an associate photographer.  My policy paid off on that day!  And, for those couples who decide not to limit amateur photography, the fact that my associate and I will always shoot from separate angles offers reassurance that the likelihood of an interrupted shot is significantly diminished.

Here's my suggestion.  Hire a wedding photographer you trust and let them do what they do best so they can capture all the images that tell the story of your wedding day.  Consider asking your guests to leave their cell phones in their pockets or purses at least during the ceremony.  If you wish to allow all photography, then consider reminding guests to be discreet.  There are many ways to pass this information along to your guests.  Some couples place an insert in the invitation envelope.  Some post a nice looking sign at the entrance to the church and or reception hall (see Pinterest for ideas, search "unplugged wedding").  Some even have the wedding coordinator or clergyperson make an announcement before the ceremony to remind guests of your wishes. 

The inspiration for this post was my own based on personal experience but the photographs used to make the point are from , photo credit goes to David Stubbs Photography.



(Maryann Newman Photography, LLC) amateur photography at wedding cellphone cameras at wedding photography unplugged wedding wedding wedding photography Sat, 07 May 2016 20:41:11 GMT
Who Will See the Photographs of our Lives? Recently a friend was going through the heartbreaking task of sorting out his mother's things and getting her house ready for sale.  Mom could no longer live alone, and the home had been in the family for generations.  You can imagine how much "stuff" had collected.  Although there was not much to smile about, there were a lot of old photos that told of happier times, long ago.  These found photos were a treasure chest of family history, and no one knew they even existed.  There were tons of them.  They were in shoeboxes, in albums, in envelopes... they were everywhere because "back in the day" everyone printed photographs.

I began to wonder about all the photo sessions I've shot over the years.  As time goes on, people print less and keep more images in a digital format.  CD's, flash drives, external hard drives etc. are full of data that no one can see unless they have the technology to view them.  I have VHS tapes that I cannot watch anymore because technology has changed.  The CD's that I once included with every session are useless to people with newer computers that do not have a CD drive.  How long will it be before the CD's are completely obsolete, and how long after that before flash drives are obsolete as well?

The point is that someday in the not so distant future, the images we are taking today might never be seen.  We need to print!  We need to print images and fill some shoeboxes and scrapbooks the way our parents did.  We need to choose the ones we love and have them printed well, really well.  We need to have them matted and framed, and we need to hang them on the walls of our homes instead of some mass produced stuff from a home décor store.  How will the stories of our lives be told?  When our basements and attics are cleaned out by our children, will anyone try to access the data on those CD's of years gone by?  Will they throw them away with the rest of our junk?  I don't know, but I know they'll take time to look at the prints.  Digital images may be memories, but printed photographs are legendary.

(Maryann Newman Photography, LLC) family photographer newborn photographer newburyport area photographer nostalgic photographs salisbury, ma photographer wedding photographer Sat, 19 Mar 2016 14:18:41 GMT
My wedding photography style, explained. One of the first questions wedding clients ask is, "What is your style?". Bridal magazines, wedding planners and photographers throw around several different terms, and I find that couples often don't really know what those terms mean.  It's so important to understand how the story of your day will be told by your photographer, so I always want to be sure my clients understand what I mean when I say I am primarily a documentary style wedding photographer.

Documentary photography is NOT candid photography. While we want the subjects to be unaware of the camera most of the time, it's more complicated than that. In true documentary photography we seek to create a series of images that tell a complete story without manipulating people or objects in the environment. Throughout a wedding I am continually making subtle but important choices to put myself in the best position to create images which will tell the story while conveying the emotion of the moment. I am also constantly looking for all the details that make the story unique to YOU. Far from being a bunch of candid snapshots, each image is planned and deliberate with best possible angle for lighting and a flattering view. A true documentary photographer refrains from moving, touching, or controlling the environment because it disrupts the flow but is skilled in shooting in a way that minimizes undesirable components. Basically, I use a creative vision to tell your story while giving up complete control of the environment in which I am working. Sounds scary but it works. Of course if formal photos are a component of your vision I stage an attractive location and create poses that are flattering to showcase the dress and details and show everyone at their best (the shots your parents and grandparents want for the wall) but when it comes to the events of your day you will be photographed in documentary style as the story unfolds. 




(Maryann Newman Photography, LLC) ceremony documentary photography traditional wedding Sat, 13 Feb 2016 02:33:23 GMT
Reflections on Holiday Sessions

Another season of Holiday Photo Sessions has passed!  Although we have great fun in our Salisbury, MA studio when the weather gets cold, some of our best Holiday sessions take place outdoors in Autumn.  Capturing these great Holiday Card shots outdoors in nice weather is easy.  In the comfortable months of September and October we can find nice spots among the pines that don't show any fall color.  Against an attractive building or at the seashore there is not a hint of which season we're in as long as you dress for the part! We can decorate a tree, bring some props along or find a spot to hang a sign with your name and the year.  Although the major retailers do not generally have holiday styles on the racks in September, they are available in their online stores.  Temperatures in the 60's are comfortable in a light sweater and even a scarf.  You can add a hat for effect, and we can try a Photoshop snow overlay effect if you choose!  Trust me, it's much nicer to take a break so clients may remove a layer and cool off than it is to take a break so clients may go back to the car and turn on the heat.  It just takes a bit of planning.  When friends and family receive your gorgeous card in the mail they will never guess it was taken early in the fall.  They WILL notice that you look relaxed and comfortable, with natural skin tones, instead of looking like a shivering Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.   Another bonus is that with a quick change of a shirt or a layer, we can move toward the foliage and grab some great Autumn shots as well!  Make it one of your New Year's Resolutions to schedule your Holiday Card Session early next year!  Have a great 2016, and contact us by the end of July to lock in your date!

(Maryann Newman Photography, LLC) children's photographer christmas photos holiday photos outdoor holiday photos salisbury photographer Wed, 23 Dec 2015 18:38:27 GMT
It's Wedding Season again! Have you been Pinning? IMG_3199IMG_3199


In many parts of the country weddings happen all year 'round.  In the Northeast, the majority of couples seem to choose the narrow window of months between "wicked cold" and "wicked hot".  That would be April through June, then September through October.  During the "wicked" months, brides are apparently all preparing for Wedding Season and creating Pinterest boards.  Wedding photographers have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest boards.  I encourage them and love to use them so I can see what makes my clients tick and get new ideas, but I tell clients up front that if they choose us their decision should be based upon what they see in our portfolio because that's our shooting style.  As artists the way we shoot comes from something deep inside us.  It's far, far more than knowing how to get the light right and push the buttons on a nice camera.  If you look at our images and they make you feel something then we're the ones for you.  If you want to hire a photographer based on whether he or she is willing to copy the blueprint of another photographer's style to make you happy then you might miss out on the biggest key to great images, and that is the flow of the photographer's artistic energy.  This is easily as significant as technical ability with the camera and lighting and is definitely something worth thinking about.


(Maryann Newman Photography, LLC) boards England MA New photography Pinterest Salisbury Wedding weddings Sun, 29 Mar 2015 13:42:28 GMT
Fun with Social Media 101 You might love it, you might hate it, but social media sites like Facebook have become an important part of everyday American life.  Facebook has actually become the number one way to spread the word about life's milestones.  Let's face it, there's no better way to inform hundreds of people about something you want to share with the world.  This has opened up a whole new avenue for photography.

An announcement session, or a "Reveal" as we call them here, is usually a one hour session.  We create a private board on Pinterest where we can pin ideas for the session and share them only with the clients.  We choose three to five different concepts and shoot away!  The clients get to download digital images from our website and present their reveal as they wish.  We keep the images secret so we don't spoil any surprises! 

We LOVE coming up with creative and different ideas for these sessions, and they're perfect for revealing a new baby on the way, a baby's gender, an engagement or marriage, even a move to a new home.  Of course these images are not designed only for use on the web.  They look great matted and framed too!

(Maryann Newman Photography, LLC) facebook new baby reveal pregnancy reveal Sat, 31 Jan 2015 14:18:55 GMT
FWANC (Friend With A Nice Camera)

     I'm a poor blogger.  Every seminar, class, or webinar concerned with helping photographers build a business tells us the we MUST blog to create interest in our photography.  I don't know about you, but I'd rather spend time shooting so you can SEE what I can do than writing a blog post.  Every once in awhile however, I decide to pass on some wise words.  

     There are a lot of photographers blogging away out there.  They use all the right buzz phrases ("I photograph in the beauty of natural light only" AKA "I do not know how to or do not posses the equipment to create natural looking supplemental light when necessary"),  "I am a lifestyle photographer" AKA "I'm going to follow your kids around and charge you for doing it".). These concepts did begin with talented photographers as valid concepts, but have been over used as above along with many other phrases.  We have to remember not to believe everything we read.  Viewing several samples is the only way to know whether a certain photographer's style is the right one to tell your story the way you want it told.  Anyone with a digital SLR can whip up a website and call him or herself a photographer. We all have a FWANC.  Some just have the nice camera, probably a Rebel and the lens that came with it (maybe two lenses if they got the special deal).  Some have the nice camera and some actual talent to go with it.  The thing is, there are photographers out there with ten thousand dollars worth of equipment hanging around their necks and tons of classes under their belts who don't shoot any better artistically than an amateur with a cheap camera who has a really good eye for what makes a great image.  So, how do you choose?  Should you use that FWANC to photograph you?  Maybe, Maybe not.

First of all, entry level digital SLRs (costing up to around $2000) do not posses the technology to capture an image the same way a professional level camera can.  It's about sensor size, megapixels, frames per second, focus points and lots more boring technical stuff.  It's also about the difference between a $300 lens with plastic focusing elements and a $2000 lens that's made of real glass and weighs enough to give you a workout every time you lift the camera to your eye.  Anyway, can the cheaper SLR and lens give you a great image?  Absolutely!  Especially in the hands of a good shooter.  Will the expensive camera and lens always give a better image?  Technically speaking, yes.  Artistically speaking, no.  Think of it this way, if I give you a professional oven you won't automatically become an award winning chef.  SO, it all comes down to this.  You must choose a photographer by looking at his or her work first and foremost.  Second, you need to realize that if you are looking for a high quality print to frame and hang you should choose a pro who has the kind of equipment necessary to produce a superior quality image.  Third, for life's important moments (weddings, newborn sessions and other once in a lifetime events) always choose an experienced professional.  Don't leave those moments to chance, even if your FWANC offers to shoot for free.  All you have after those precious moments are over are the photographs.


* Despite Maryann's poor commitment to blogging, she has somehow managed to build a robust business based on photography of families and children, along with a half dozen very select weddings each year.  Studio and on location sessions are booked by appointment.



(Maryann Newman Photography, LLC) Friend a blog camera nice photographic style with Sat, 12 Jul 2014 20:44:46 GMT
Never Say Never When I got back into photography I only had one rule.  No weddings.  I did do weddings, in another life.  It was before children, before digital photography, before a lot of things.  Weddings were a lot of pressure but they paid the bills.  I always said I wouldn't do them if I didn't have to.

This time around things are different.   I can pick and choose.  I've chosen to click away at smiling children and their families, High School Seniors, and the occasional well behaved dog.  I kept repeating the No Wedding Mantra for a few years and then I cracked.  I gave in.  Just one, I said.  Just to see...  and the next thing I knew I was shooting weddings again.  Digital photography has changed everything.  When we shot weddings with film, even though we knew what we were doing it was always a little nerve racking.  Things move quickly and sometimes you really did pray you got that shot at just the right moment. No wonder we placed the Bride and Groom in those silly poses to make sure we caught the important moments back then! Nowadays that little LCD on the back of the camera provides reinforcement.  Glancing at it every once in awhile provides a sense of security we didn't have back then. 

My approach to capturing a wedding is so different from what it was the first time around.  I wouldn't call myself truly a journalistic or documentary photographer although I definitely lean in that direction.  Purists in that realm capture everything from the sidelines like a news photographer.  They don't interact with the wedding party and they capture the day like a fly on the wall.  I do strive to document events as they unfold in a natural way, but I will certainly encourage the Bride and Groom to make slight adjustments if doing so will turn a good image into a great one.  It's far from a "stand here and do this" approach but I'm not leaving everything to chance either.  If the Bride and Groom want formal photos of themselves and the wedding party those are definitely posed, but in a relaxed way using what I call "directed posing".  I arrange people in a pleasing configuration as a starting point but then we just see how things evolve.  With this approach to the day it's easy to feed off of the energy all around me and channel it into a creative direction that tells the love story in my own photographic style.  It's exhilarating.  Never say Never.





(Maryann Newman Photography, LLC) creative directed photography posing wedding Fri, 04 Apr 2014 02:05:19 GMT
Reflections on Live Bunny Sessions 2013


My colleague Eleanor and I spent last Saturday photographing adorable little children alongside two incredibly patient and gentle rabbits.  There's something about the interaction between kids and animals that is priceless.  It was a very successful and productive day thanks to our two Bunny Wranglers Mallory and Paige who kept the bunnies hopping in the right direction, and my daughter in law Courtney aka the baby whisperer.  It was a long day and a lot of work but it was extremely rewarding.  Every time slot was filled and sadly we even had to turn a few clients away.  I think we will need two days of sessions next year.  Thanks to all of you who participated in this special event.  Stay tuned, because you never know what we'll think of next! 


(Maryann Newman Photography, LLC) bunny live photography/spring portraits portraits/children's sessions/easter Tue, 05 Mar 2013 03:53:49 GMT
Winter Blues and the Confessions of a Prop Addict


It's Winter Blues time.  Portrait photographers are confined to the studio for the most part, and we miss the varied settings that Salisbury and the Greater Newburyport area provide.  Winding country roads, the Atlantic Ocean, the parks, rural farms and vintage downtown areas... we are fortunate to have it all at our disposal.  Except when it is either frozen or covered with snow.

As I count the days until I can use the great outdoors as a backdrop again I challenge myself to make indoor sessions fun and interesting.  Finding tiny furniture, crates, barrels, funky hats and whatever else might inspire an idea has become a sort of addiction.  Literally.  My props are crowding me out of my current studio so I will be moving to a larger space above Tom's Discount Store in Salisbury in a few weeks.  I'll keep you all posted on the move.  Think Spring! 


(Maryann Newman Photography, LLC) / Greater Newburyport Salisbury Tom's Discount Store and area moving props Thu, 31 Jan 2013 04:40:41 GMT