When was your last family portrait?

Summer is coming!

"Umm, no kidding, Jared, everyone knows this."

Well, fire season is coming too!

"Oh, yeah...I hadn't thought about that."

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There just one EXTREMELY important thing you must know...

Waiting too long to book your family portraits could cost you. You might be trading the beautiful blue skies of Washington for a thick, brownish-red cloud of smog. While we hate to say it, the late-summer fires are a real thing around here now. 

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How long has it been since your last family portrait?

If this summer is the one for you, be sure to plan your family session early! Everything we love about the beautiful Northwest is happening now. We want your family portraits to have that dream look you would be proud to display on your walls for years to come. 

Now is the time! Call us today to get started!

206.659.7468

© 2019 Jared M. Burns Photography
Snohomish County Family Photographer
www.jaredmburns.com | 206.659.7468 | info@jaredmburns.com


What is the value of a photograph tomorrow?

Determining the personal value of a photograph is a complex issue. Initially, it seems like it shouldn't cost any more than the $0.13 developing fee, but consider the relative value to the one who holds the memories. People invest their wealth in lifestyle, homes, and vehicles, yet if presented with the choice to rescue only one belonging from a catastrophe, all choose their family's "Photography Memories" knowing these are the only belongings that can never be replaced.  

So what is the value of a photograph?

My wife and I on one of our first dates.

My wife and I on one of our first dates.

A Photograph is the only...

  • way to stop time

  • opportunity to the world through another's eyes

  • truly unique thing we can own

  • way we can relive a moment

  • thing that lasts after the wedding

  • evidence our memory was real

My grandfather when he was young.

My grandfather when he was young.

A Photograph is a tangible connection to...

  • our past, present, and future

  • the our life experiences that make us who we are

  • the people, places, and things we care about most

  • our heritage

  • our greatest life moments

My wife holding our newborn son.

My wife holding our newborn son.

A Photograph can...

  • never be replaced

  • say more than words

  • capture personality

  • make us remember

  • share life with others

  • show moments we may have missed

  • traverse time and space

  • bring people together

  • transcend language and culture

My sister and I a long time ago.

My sister and I a long time ago.

A Photograph has the power to...

  • communicate knowledge, ideas, understanding, and love

  • change the world or change our world view

  • remind us of what is most important

  • elicit the strongest of human emotion

  • take us places we have never been

  • show moments we may have missed

  • strengthen the bonds we share with ones we love

  • live forever

My daughter's first ride on a ferris wheel.

My daughter's first ride on a ferris wheel.

My friend and mentor, Skip Cohen of Skip Cohen University, always says, "With the exception of modern medicine, no career field has given society more than professional photography!

The strange thing about photographs is they always appreciate with age. So, what is the value of your photograph?

It's your story.

-JMB

© 2016 Jared M. Burns Photography
Snohomish Family Photographer
www.jaredmburns.com | 206.659.7468 | info@jaredmburns.com

Series: Top 10 things that KILL Summer Photos #1

Your life and memories deserve to be amazing! This series focuses on the 10 biggest mistakes that kill your summer family photos and how you can fix them.

MISTAKE #1 - Using Only Your Smartphone Camera

Smartphones are indeed cool and convenient, but they have a ways to come yet.  Your family summer vacations are outside the normal routine and take you on many new adventures...meaning countless complex lighting situations phone cameras cannot deal with.  Have you ever tried to use your phone to make a photo in lava tube, attempted to capture the beautiful sunset at the beach resort, or got a blurry group shot around luau table after dark? Then you know what I 'm talking about and how your smartphone just couldn't keep up.  

Taken on an iPhone in a little morning shade. Not very good.

Taken on an iPhone in a little morning shade. Not very good.

Let's take a closer look. Really bad.

Let's take a closer look. Really bad.

iPhone trying to deal with low light in a tent.

iPhone trying to deal with low light in a tent.

SOLUTION:  At the risk of stating the obvious, use your real camera instead

Like you, I have been lulled into the iDevice age.  It takes considerable effort to remember the old digital-camera-thingy. Nearly all digital cameras are still better than nearly all smartphone cameras today, even the ones that boast 40 megapixels.  We can certainly argue that phone technology is getting better...but so are high definition displays. How will your phone images look on that 4K screen you have been eyeing?  Regardless which tech wins the race, I want to give my family memories the best possible chance which will never come from a built in camera smaller than a button.  In twenty years it will be irrelevant which device we made images on...no one remembers nor cares. In that day, the quality of the memory will be determined by whether or not the image even is worth viewing.

Taken on a 12 year old camera

Taken on a 12 year old camera

Taken on a 12 year old camera

Taken on a 12 year old camera

Taken on a 10 year old camera

Taken on a 10 year old camera

Taken on a 12 year old camera

Taken on a 12 year old camera

Taken on a 3 year old camera

Taken on a 3 year old camera

Taken on a 3 year old camera

Taken on a 3 year old camera

© 2015 Jared M. Burns Photography
Snohomish Family Photographer
www.jaredmburns.com | 206.659.7468 | info@jaredmburns.com

Series: Top 10 things that KILL Summer Photos #2

Your life and memories deserve to be amazing! This series focuses on the 10 biggest mistakes that kill your summer family photos and how you can fix them.

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MISTAKE #2 - You didn't put much effort into it

We were excited to use the camera when we first got it, but remembering to always bring it soon feels like a burden.  For us, it usually goes down a little like this...

[Car is packed, kids are belted, and we just settled into our seats.]

  • [Wife]: "Did you get the camera?"

  • [Me]: "Nooo, I thought you were going to get it."

  • [Wife]: "But you're the one who takes all the pictures."

  • [Me]: "If you want me to take all the pictures, then can you go find the camera?"

  • [Wife]: "I don't want to go back and look for it."

  • [Me]: "If I have to go get it now, we are going to be late. Let's just go."

  • [Wife]: "I have my iPhone with me anyway."

Sometimes we are just camera lazy people. We don't feel motivated to be creative or intentional with the photos and opt for the path of least resistance. It results in thoughtless snapshots or absolutely no shots.

 

SOLUTION: Have a theme, make it fun

Bringing the camera is a discipline...You just have to do it. However, planing a summer photo theme is an easy way to help make it fun again. It encourages family participation toward a common photo goal. It boosts your own creative energy along the way.  Best of all, the vacation photos are much more fun to share with people when there are themes to tie everything together.

Here are some theme ideas you may steal...

  1. Take photos in a visual sequence to tell the vacation story

  2. Make at least one campfire portrait each year

  3. Hide a silly prop in shots as an Easter egg for other people to discover when they view photos later

  4. Include some fun repeating element as many photos as you can

  5. Whoever takes the funniest photo wins a prize

  6. Look for objects in your travels that are weird/quirky to build a photo collection

  7. Make a quick group shot at every landmark

  8. Spot and photograph strange signs along the way

  9. Snap a quick photo of the heritage markers then read about it in the car as you drive

  10. Make funny forced perspective pictures at all the tourist sites

  11. Document it every time someone gets to do something new or unusual

  12. *My Favorite* Shoot with the intention to make a family vacation album each year

© 2015 Jared M. Burns Photography
Snohomish Family Photographer
www.jaredmburns.com | 206.659.7468 | info@jaredmburns.com

Series: Top 10 things that KILL Summer Photos #5

Your life and memories deserve to be amazing! This series focuses on the 10 biggest mistakes that kill your summer family photos and how you can fix them.

MISTAKE #5 - Never appearing in your own family photos

In photography we say, "If it is not in the frame, it doesn't exist." Since you are the one reading this, much like me, you are are likely the one in the family with the passion for taking photos and making sure you appear in photos is easy to over look.

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SOLUTION: Be intentional about getting in shots yourself!

You are a critical part of your family's stories. When these memories are passed down, you simply must be in them. No selfies or selfie sticks. This requires the assistance of another family member, friend, or dare I say, handing your camera to a passing stranger.

When no one else is available, use a tripod. They certainly don't have to be cumbersome. Here are a few affordable and cool tripods you will want to carry when you travel: Joby GorillaPod ($46), Pedco UltraPod ($12), or AmazonBasics 52-Inch Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod ($80).

Tel Dan, Israel thanks to my tripod.

Tel Dan, Israel thanks to my tripod.

Skagit Valley, WA thanks to my wife!

Skagit Valley, WA thanks to my wife!

Zion National Park, UT thanks to my brother!

Zion National Park, UT thanks to my brother!

Camping near Mountain Look Highway, Granite Falls, WA thanks to my tripod.

Camping near Mountain Look Highway, Granite Falls, WA thanks to my tripod.

North Creek Park, Mill Creek, WA thanks to my wife!

North Creek Park, Mill Creek, WA thanks to my wife!

© 2015 Jared M. Burns Photography
Snohomish Family Photographer
www.jaredmburns.com | 206.659.7468 | info@jaredmburns.com

Series: Top 10 things that KILL Summer Photos #6

Your life and memories deserve to be amazing! This series focuses on the 10 biggest mistakes that kill your summer family photos and how you can fix them.

MISTAKE #6:  Disregard For Your Own Children, Photographically Speaking

Parents often act as though their perspective is the only perspective...let me explain. Millions of vacation photos each year are ruined by adults taking photos from above, looking down the children.  No matter how special the moment was, there’s nothing significant about seeing the tops of heads.

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SOLUTION:  Consider who you are photographing

Consider their perspective. How can you make a photo that tells their story? It is easy, just get down to their level and try to see the world as they view it when you take the picture.  There's nothing more special than seeing it through their eyes.

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Snohomish Family Photographer - Boy with jellyfish
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Snohomish Family Photographer - Sister and Brother
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© 2015 Jared M. Burns Photography
Snohomish Family Photographer
www.jaredmburns.com | 206.659.7468 | info@jaredmburns.com

Series: Top 10 things that KILL Summer Photos #7

Your life and memories deserve to be amazing! This series focuses on the 10 biggest mistakes that kill your summer family photos and how you can fix them.

MISTAKE #7 - Leaving the camera in the hotel

Has this ever happened to you? We leave the hotel for a little outing saying, “No need to bring the camera for this one.” It really just means, "I just don't want to carry it around."  Inevitably something special happens and we catch ourselves exclaiming, “Ohh, I wish I brought the camera!”  It's because life always happens in the between moments.  The unplanned events often become some of the greatest stories to share, even the defining moments of your vacation.  No camera means no photo memories.

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SOLUTION:  Bring the camera anyway

Yes, bring the camera wherever you go, even when you don’t want to.  Don’t leave it in the hotel or the car.  Have it with you. Have it out.  Have it ready.  Think about all the unbelievable, amazing, and hilarious Youtube family videos that have only been made by people who remembered to bring the camera.  These unexpected moments are big part of your story and not to be missed!

© 2015 Jared M. Burns Photography
Snohomish Wedding Photographer
www.jaredmburns.com | 206.659.7468 | info@jaredmburns.com

Series: Top 10 things that KILL Summer Photos - #8

Your life and memories deserve to be amazing! This series focuses on the 10 biggest mistakes that kill your summer family photos and how you can fix them.

MISTAKE #8 - Using Those Faux-Filters in Apps

Unless you are posting a photo from the past, “fake vintage” is fake vintage. Just like the word “Rad” is associated with the 1980’s, before you know it, the Instagram-filter-look with lifeless desaturation and gritty-grime will be an outdated mark of the 2010’s.

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SOLUTION: For the love of all that is right in the world, just STOP!!

Just say "No" to faux-filters. You will one day wish to remember life events for what they were and not be distracted by the snazzy processing. The more trendy something is, the faster it will become dated. (If it isn't already a law, it sure should be.)

Snohomish Family Photographer - Canon Beach Family
Snohomish Family Photographer - Canon Beach Child Portrait
Snohomish Family Photographer - Canon Beach Baby Portrait

© 2015 Jared M. Burns Photography
Snohomish Family Photographer
www.jaredmburns.com | 206.659.7468 | info@jaredmburns.com

Series: Top 10 things that KILL Summer Photos - #9

Your life and memories deserve to be amazing! This series focuses on the 10 biggest mistakes that kill your summer family photos and how you can fix them.

MISTAKE #9 - Taking photos in direct sunlight

So often we vacation where it is sunny and beautiful. Sunlight creates bright highlights and deep shadows and our cameras don’t have ability to make sense of such dynamic range. Worst of all, people make squinchy-scrunchy faces. It’s not pretty.

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SOLUTION:  Find shade

Areas of shade are the best photo opportunities on a bright sunny day.  Look under trees and beside buildings or structures.  If none can be found, you can always make shade...just have your subjects turn their back to the sun. Their front side will no longer be exposed to the direct sun giving their faces less intense and better balanced light of their own shade.

Shade of a building

Shade of a building

Shade from bushes and trees

Shade from bushes and trees

Shade created when the subject's back is to the sun

Shade created when the subject's back is to the sun

© 2015 Jared M. Burns Photography
Seattle Wedding Photographer & Snohomish Wedding Photographer
www.jaredmburns.com | 206.659.7468 | info@jaredmburns.com

Series: Top 10 things that KILL Summer Photos - #10

Your life and memories deserve to be amazing! This series focuses on the 10 biggest mistakes that kill your summer family photos and how you can fix them.

MISTAKE #10: Having everyone stand there and smile all the time

Forced, fake smiles are awkward...you and I both know it.  Yes, it seemed like a good idea at the time, but when we look at the image later, we wish it had been more natural.

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SOLUTION:  Think photojournalistic

Vacation is about life together so think like a photojournalist and document the real moments as they happen.  There are still times and a places for posed photos, but have fun with them.  Let people be themselves.  Catch a moment. Tell a joke and snap the photo when they laugh.  I have heard rumor of “certain noises” that can crack even the most stoic and uncooperative of children.

Keegan sits atop a sand dune - Bruneau Dunes State Park, ID

Keegan sits atop a sand dune - Bruneau Dunes State Park, ID

Ella hiking with her puppy at the Three Patriarchs, Zion National Park, UT

Ella hiking with her puppy at the Three Patriarchs, Zion National Park, UT

More sand than they know what to do with - Bruneau Dunes State Park, ID

More sand than they know what to do with - Bruneau Dunes State Park, ID

© 2015 Jared M. Burns Photography
Snohomish Family Portrait Photographer
www.jaredmburns.com | 206.659.7468 | info@jaredmburns.com