Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lilyan Grace Howell - Newborn

I had the opportunity to photography a beautiful newborn baby girl a couple weeks ago. Her name is Lilyan.  She was born on February 3, 2012.
This sweet little nugget was 10 days old when these portraits were taken. I love photographing newborns because it is such a magical time in the family’s life that goes by So quickly.  It is very important to me to capture all the details that the parents and family are already cherishing. 

What to Wear Wednesday: February 29, 2012

It’s not to early to start thinking about Senior Portraits.  Juniors, summer is almost here and before you know it you will be starting your last year of High School!
This weeks What to Wear Wednesday is showing off some casual yet stylish senior looks.  It’s good to have a variety of looks for your senior session.  Consider casual and more formal, bright and monochromatic.
If you are interested in Sarah Linnea Photography’s Senior Spokesmodel program, we are taking applications. visit this link to apply.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Homemade baby food for your little Sprout

I thought I might take a personal minute on my blog.  My son is almost old enough to start solids (almost 6 months) and I am, of course concerned for his nutrition.  As I work with so many new moms I thought you might appreciate a few healthy options for your babe.

Nutritional and Easy Homemade Baby Foods your Little One will Love

Serve fresh, mashed with a touch of garlic salt. If you’re feeling fancy, add finely diced tomatoes.

One cup contains more protein than a tablespoon of peanut butter! Steam or boil until tender and puree. Tastes wonderful with steamed and pureed carrots as well!

Many varieties are perfect for one of baby’s first foods. Roast until tender, puree and voila! Stir in some applesauce and a pinch of cinnamon for a delicious dish.

Peaches and Pears
You can use fresh or canned peaches and pears. Simply slice, mash and serve for a yummy treat any time.

Remember – You should always consult your pediatrician about all dietary choices for your baby. Be sure to allow a week after you introduce a new food, before you introduce another. Use clean hands and utensils when preparing baby food, and be sure that foods are at a comfortable temperature before giving them to your baby.

Bon’ appetite!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Useful Guides for Photographers - Issue 1

This Weeks Photography Friday is all about helping the wedding professional avoid a disastrous mistake by showing up in all the wrong outfits.  The well meaning wedding professional may well be considering some of these wardrobe choices today.  Be warned, they will not yield positive referalls or happy clients.

Top Ten What not to Wear Outfits as a Wedding Professional


She is off to her "other" job after the reception


 Just because midrifts are in does not make them professional...gentleman

 I don't care if it's a beach wedding...

 Men this rule applies to you too.

If you are undead the bridal party has more important things to worry about than your outfit i suppose.
still try to avoid bloodstains.


Do not dress like a douche. The End.        

 Camouflage pt 1-its good to blend in; its bad if the bride thinks your camera may be a deer hunting rifle

Camoflage pt 2-it's good to try to be invisible; however your camera should be too.         

and finally #1
Bridezilla skipped the firing and went straight into attempted murder

Have more ideas for wedding professional wardrobe? What about an idea for another useful guide you would like to see.  Let me know in the comments below!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What to Wear Wednesday: February 22, 2012

I thought I would introduce some fun spring colors a little early. If your are planning a portrait session for march, consider introducing some fun color into your wardrobe and don’t be afraid to break from the single color tradition.
This What to Wear Wednesday blog shows a family keeping it casual with some warm tones, and comfortable shoes. This will make for a wonderful lifestyle portrait session in a park.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Leap Year 2012

Leap Year comes around once every 4 years! In celebration of this extra day all sessions booked for February 29th are only 1/4 the price!

There are a limited number of openings so call or email to schedule your session.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What to Wear Wednesday: February 15, 2012

Winter is (hopefully) on its last leg but if your family is planning a portrait session before the end of the frost here is another What to Wear Wednesday winter look using cool blues.  This is a bit more casual than the last look but definitely offers potential for a fun lifestyle portrait session.

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Eulogy for Picnik

Pin It


We are here today to honor a great friend of many. Picnik was born in Fall 2005 to beloved fathers Mike, Darrin and Jonathan.  Picnik started quiet, shy and illusive but soon grew to be incredibly popular amongst people wishing to make the most of cheesy photo edits.

I feel a deeper connection to you already wild bill

Picnik was taken under Google’s wing in 2010. His hopes and dreams seeming to come to fruition. For more than a year Picnik flourished under his new ownership and it seemed nothing could stop him from reaching the stars.
In Jan 2012 those dreams were ripped from him when his mentor and new father figure, Google announced they will be killing him in April.  This imminent doom has not dampened his spirit. Picnik continues to bring joy to millions through text and image overlay

the walrus died of shame 1 week later

Picnik is survived by Picasa, Flickr, Yahoo, and API partners across the country.  You will be greatly missed Picnik.  I challenge all people everywhere: do not forget what Picnik brought to you.  The joy, the magic, the ability to feel like a professional photographer for a day.
just like the pros

How will the world survive without your wisdom and knowledge the the art of face-paintery?

RIP Picnik
Friend Counselor Professional

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What to Wear Wednesday: February 8, 2012

Valentine’s day is just around the corner and we here at Sarah Linnea Photography decided this weeks What to Wear Wednesday should festively celebrate this fun holiday. 
Here are a few fun outfits for a children’s portrait session.

Sarah Linnea Photography has recently teamed up with a vendor of newborn props and is in need of models.
If you are pregnant or know someone who will be having a baby by March 31st Click Here, to fill out a Model Application.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Jonathan - 3 Months

My son is three months old and I decided it was time for some more photographs.  My Baby’s First Year program offers a “tummy time” session.  Some photographers offer baby photographs at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months, but my son is a prime example for why I choose to photograph milestones instead of months. 

My program allows your new baby to develop at their own rate with sessions when they are newborn, pushing up on their stomach (tummy time)  sitting up on their own and standing or walking.

Jonathan isn’t quite pushing up on his own happily so we will be have to schedule another session for him when he is a little older.

Jonathan 3 months old:

Friday, February 3, 2012

Passion in Life and in Business.

   Photography has been a passion for me for many years.  Before I talk about the image above, I would like to share a little about my journey to where I am today. My father was an amateur photographer in the seventies and his nikon film camera is what I learned on.  When I was studying theatre in college I found photography had become a point of inspiration for my scenic and lighting designs.  This integration of art forms, as well as my love for graphic design fueled my quest for knowledge in photography.  By the time I had graduated and started working for a professional theatre company I had become extremely interested in wedding and portrait photography, which continues to be my focus today.

     Wedding Photography challenges me in fun and exciting ways.  It is fast paced and requires a great deal of energy. Having worked in theatre, I am no stranger to working under pressure.  I might go so far as to say I thrive in it.  I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with many wonderful brides who appreciate my tremendous energy and passion that I exhibiting without sacrificing calm professionalism when the need arises.  The challenges of wedding photography keep me on my toes and the reward for my effort is a lifetime of memories for the couple, beautifully captured.

     However, wedding photography has become a secondary focus for me for this year.  

     A few months ago something changed in my life that refocused my portrait photography and yet again reignited my passion for the art form.  My son, Jonathan Tatom was born.  If, a year ago, you had told me I would be photographing newborns I would have chuckled politely at your ignorance to my impatience.  Now, three and a half months after his birth, each time I get the opportunity to capture a moment of those first few days of the life of a child I feel blessed and fulfilled.  I also feel extremely honored that the parents would allow me to be one of the first few people to spend a significant amount of time with their new family, and trust me with their precious new life.

To say I am excited about the coming year is an understatement. I am thrilled beyond comprehension at my new boutique portrait focus.

     Thank you Jonathan for being the best thing that has happened to my life, my marriage, and my business.
From the heart,
Sarah Tatom


This blog was inspired by a post in Nigel Merrick's 
Photography Business, SEO and Marketing Website.

Thinking of Becoming a Wedding Photographer? Step Away From the Red Button!!!

It's Photography Friday again here at the Sarah Linnea Photography blog.  Today we will be talking about weddings.  To you, well informed photographer, you can dismiss the following as surely you are keenly aware of these situations:

So you are considering becoming a wedding photographer? The idea of capturing that special day for someone in a wonderfully artistic fashion makes you practically giddy, and the thought of a shallow depth of field shot of the wedding rings makes the right side of your brain quiver with anticipation.


You may be thinking "Yeah! Weddings! That's where the money is!!"
Although it is true most people will earn more monetary income from a wedding than a single portrait session, reading this article will explain how little money there is in wedding photography.  But that is not the subject of this blog.

Before you make that WeDJ account and post your services on Craigslist you should consider some challenges you face when taking on this blending of portrait and event photography.
doing anything to get the shot

Here is a short list of things to consider:

Did you know that many churches do not allow photographers to use flash photography and sometimes do not even allow the photographer to move from the back of the sanctuary? No?

consider a zoom lens....
You just ruined their Wedding. Congratulations.

Did you know that most brides prefer a darker often candle lit atmosphere to create a more intimate ceremony making it incredibly difficult to capture action without a Very high ISO which many lower end camera bodies cannot handle without a tremendous amount of grain? No?

the blur is an artistic choice

You just ruined their wedding. Congratulations.

Did you know that most wedding ceremony's take place in mixed lighting conditions making it difficult for the in camera white balance to properly adjust? Are you staring at the previous sentence in confusion?
it's uh......a warming filter?

You just ruined their wedding. Congratulations?

Did you know that the Bride's parents are divorced and this will be the first time they have seen each other in 10 years and have no desire whatsoever to be in photograph together? No?

family love...

You just ruined their wedding. Congratulations.

Did you know that cameras break, or stop working randomly?  Do you have a back-up incase that happens? No?
 ...stupid destination weddings!

You just ruined their wedding. Congratulations.

Did you know that the Bride told everyone to arrive at the church 30 minutes prior to ceremony and the reception immediately followed? No? You now have no time to take any photos and the bride is irate.

get what you can...

You just ruined their wedding. Congratulations.

Did you know that the Bride spent countless hours individually sorting through a bag of m&ms to find the colors to fill her gift boxes she left at each table-inside of which was a special handwritten note with their wedding date explaining the importance of m&ms to their relationship and the over arching metaphor of the melty chocolate-y goodness to their wedding night…..No? You didn't get a picture of the m&ms?

please join us in eating our face...

You just ruined their wedding. Congratulations.

Did you know you could be sued for not delivering photos of key moments throughout the day? No? You just ruined your business. Congratulations.

There is nothing stopping the well informed photographer from doing a bang up job.  These warnings are not for you, well informed photographer.  These warnings are for those eager to dive into the pool because it "looks like it could be fun" and "I've been to a lot of weddings".

How confident are you in shooting events? Do you know how to quickly adjust your camera for varying lighting conditions and different focus needs?  During the ceremony, if you miss the exchanging of the rings, or the kiss, you cannot request a do over and posing the shot after the ceremony will not be the same.  Everytime the bride looks at that photo she will remember how annoyed she was at you for missing the real thing.  
happy shooting

Are you "well informed photographer?" feel free to leave more advice in the comments below and help the less fortunate who have not seen what you have seen.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What to Wear Wednesday: February 1, 2012

This week’s What to Wear Wednesday shows a stylish winter look. This is a great modern fashionable look using accessories to add a little Pizazz to your family portrait.
 We here at Sarah Linnea Photography would love the opportunity to work with such a smartly dressed crew.

Don't forget to take part in Sarah Linnea Photography's Valentine's Mini Session Event coming up this saturday!
Click Here for more details.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Photography Friday: Canon vs Nikon

It's Photography Friday here at the Sarah Linnea Photography Blog.  From now until I get bored with the whole thing I will be blogging about various photography related subjects.

 and he is my mascot

Todays topic: Canon or Nikon the epic battle

When two photographer's battle

I shoot with a *^%$#   thats right-it doesn't matter folks.  It's kind of like choosing between Kroger Brand Tissue and Walmart brand tissue. Six of one, half a dozen of another.   There are certainly differences, but it is often a matter of personal preference.  I love my *^%$#.  I would never switch because I am very comfortable with how the *^%$# feels in my hand and the way it functions shoots and zooms. (Nikon and Canon zoom opposite directions!!)
So what does this tell you about what to buy?


Go to a local store and try out the camera's for yourself.  Hold them, touch them, click a few times.  If you are feeling really ambitious, rent a camera for the weekend.

and maybe get the insurance...

If you would like a relatively unbiased comparison of the different systems and what they have to offer I have researched a few. (as I am quite partial to my *^%$# I can't really offer an unbiased review) review
Google Search: Nikon Canon Epic Battle

If you are simply fed up with the whole battle...get a Sony.

and then send it to me as thanks for this fabulous blog article.

Whatever you decide - remember Your Right - and don't let those *^%$# users tell you otherwise!

Happy Shooting!

Sarah Tatom
Love and Lifestyle Photographer
Columbia, TN

If you have any photography related subjects you would like to see blogged about here leave a comment or send me a message  via my website (link)

Previous Photography Friday Blog - Coping with your DSLR

Future Photography Friday Blog - Considering being a Wedding Photographer? Step away from the red button!!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Word About the Cost of Wedding Photography

Recently I was made aware of a post on craigslist by a bride quite literally Ranting about the outrageous cost of photography for her wedding.

where quality is king 0_o

For the sake of this blog we are only going to highlight her incredibly high expectations: 

"I am a Bride who is getting married this summer and have yet to find a decently priced, exceptional, amazingly talented, fun photographer." 

Some of her other thoughts may have crossed your minds as well:

"WHY because the word "WEDDING" is involved photographers think they can change you $ 3,000.00 for wedding photos? Oh, because no bride is going to go without so they are going to pay it, because they HAVE to. They are ripping people off for all they have!"

Don't hold back Craigslist poster - please - tell us how you really feel.

Any wedding photographer can talk to you about the "once in a lifetime" moment and "you need to have these skills to capture it well" But to me that is only fueling the flame this bride has stoked.  It is simply not all about paying for our art.  Like any other artist -photographers do what they do because they love it, not because they make a significant amount of money doing it.

I know the feeling...

The wonderful letter below was written in response by David Grupa. A Certified Professional Photographer out of Minnesota.  His message is incredibly thorough and Kudos to all of you that stick by to read it all, but we professional photographers appreciate it.

Dear [Craigslist Poster],

A colleague shared your Craigslist ad with me a bit earlier today. I wish I could say that "hanging out at a wedding and taking tons of photos" is "easy money" as you seem to think, but it's really not. While I agree that professional photography is not inexpensive, try working with a "weekend warrior with a camera" and see the difference. Sure, you may pay less money, but the resulting images will be of such poor quality, you'll be certain to feel "ripped off."

However, rather than tell you about award-winning photography, explain my credentials and attempt to convince you why a talented photographer is worth $3000 or more, I'm going to do some basic math instead.

First, let's talk about taxes. Don't you just hate opening up your paycheck at the end of the week and finding that Uncle Sam and friends have taken about 30% of your hard-earned dollars for federal, state and other taxes? Well, photographers have to pay them, too. That's $900 straight off the top of that $3000, leaving $2100. (You may think that 30% seems like a high number, but remember that since I'm self-employed, there's nobody else kicking in a percentage; the entire tax burden is borne by me.) Since there's no withholding, it's up to me to put this amount away so that I can make my quarterly tax payments on time.

Another huge chunk of the pie is a rather surprising expense to many people. We call it "Overhead" and "Cost of Goods Sold". In this category are visible items like albums, prints, frames and those items you take home. You don't want cheap things that will fall apart or fade, so I'm willing to pay a bit more in the search for a quality product. Remember, "good things aren't usually cheap, and cheap things aren't usually good." The photography industry is a showcase for that motto; really, ask around. (The pages of that "Snapfish" album will fade and discolor before your first anniversary.) 

However, there are also other things in this group as well; things that we need to deliver our best to you, but are somewhat "invisible" to people other than business owners. They include our studio rent or monthly location payment, phone, computer, website and hosting, equipment and liability insurances (because we realize that we live in a litigious society), and local business and other licenses. Add in the membership dues to professional associations where we go for new techniques and to stay current so that we can deliver those amazing images you seek, and this Overhead category takes another 30% bite out of that $3000 so that just $1200 remains.

Then there's the equipment we use. Digital has brought some awesome advantages to photographers, but it comes at a price. New cameras and lenses are not inexpensive; we don't photograph with $500 Canon Rebels from WalMart. Since it takes a while to save enough money for this, I put away 10% of each job toward new equipment, equipment repairs, cleaning and maintenance. (Yes, I carry at least 2 working professional cameras to your wedding in the event something happens. A professional will simply pick up a new camera and continue photographing as if nothing happened. Your bargain photographer may panic or worse yet, not even realize that something is wrong. Not sounding like such a bargain anymore, is it?) Subtracting that $300 brings me down to $900.

Since I realize I won't be able to do this for the rest of my life (and I haven't found a sugar momma to support me) I'd better save something for retirement. Financial planners say that should be 10%, so there goes another $300. I'm down to $600 of the original price.

Being self-employed, I have to buy my own health insurance for me and my family. For an individual who's not getting it through their employer, this is NOT cheap. (I'm not going to use the term "WACK", but I think you get where I'm heading.) Another 10%, another $300 and I'm down to $300 "profit" from your wedding.

While I'd like to say that I take the remaining $300 and spend it on me, it's only partially true. As you do, I have responsibilities such as monthly bills, gas for the car, car payment, food, clothing . . . the kind of stuff you were mentioning. 

Let's say I spend 6 hours at your wedding, another 8 hours editing your images, not to mention the meetings we've had that last an hour each. When you come back to select the images for your album, we'll spend another 2 hours going through choices and then I'll invest another 4 hours (minimum) designing the perfect album for you, prepping it for printing and sending it to the manufacturer. When it comes back, I'll inspect it and make sure it's perfect, then spend another 45 mins going through it with you when you pick it up. Almost a full 24 hours . . . divided by the $300 I got to keep . . . and I've just made $12.50 an hour. (Which totally blows the "You're making so much money it's crazy" theory.)

On a side note, over the past 36 years I have been photographing weddings, I can't even begin to count the number of ball games and other events I've missed. My kids got used to it; "You know that Daddy works on Saturday", but over the years it took its toll on my relationships as well. I refuse to make those mistakes again; those who refuse to learn from the past are destined to repeat it.

I'm sure you're probably tired of reading, but I hope you understand what I'm saying. Producing a quality product at a fair price IS what professional photographers do; it's always your choice to work with us or someone else. The problem is, what will you give up when you "get what you paid for?"


David L. Grupa
Certified Professional Photographer
M.Photog.Cr., AFS-MNPPA

To see David's work visit his site below:

If you find this blog post poignant please share! And don't forget to support your local businesses- photographers and non-photographers alike.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What to Wear Wednesday

Almost every session I hear the same question: "What should I/we wear".  It is a great question and I love giving advice.  This has inspired me to start a weekly blog post featuring some ideas to help get you dressed for your portrait session.

Today's what to wear guide shows a family in a cool color palette with some great winter accessories.
Accessories are a wonderful way to jazz up an ensemble, and also help tell the story of your portraits.

Keep an Eye out for more What to Wear Wednesday articles from Sarah Linnea Photography to help you get ready for your portraits!

-Sarah Tatom

Sarah Linnea Photography

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sweetheart Sessions with Sarah Linnea Photography

Let Sarah Linnea Photography help make this Valentine’s Day special.

I am offering a Very limited number of “Sweetheart Sessions”.  Surprise your loved one with a day out. I will provide roses and chocolates for your arrival and capture the candid moment you share together from a distance.

I will then introduce myself and we will have a portrait session for you and your significant other. At the end i will present both of you with a $25 gift certificate  to a local restaurant of your choice so that you may continue your romantic evening.

Show them you truly care by allowing me to capture your romance.

At your viewing and ordering session i will also present you with 5 complimentary web-ready image files to share online with friends and family.

Do something truly out of the ordinary. 
Only 3 sessions available so book yours today only $175!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Valentine's Day Mini Session Event

Saturday February 4, Sarah Linnea Photography will be hosting a Valentine’s Day mini session event!

Bring your children out for a 15 minute mini session and receive 10 custom Valentines as well as a personal ordering session all for only $45.

Additional Valentines are available in sets of 10 for $20.

Help your child be the coolest kid in class with these one of a kind valentines.


Spaces are limited for the event so fill out an inquiry form to reserve your spot.

15 minute mini session can have up to two children with individual portraits, or up to 4 children as a group. Valentine’s are purchased in sets of 10 only.

 If you have any questions feel free to fill it out below or email me at:

 Don't forget to check out my Facebook Page to keep up with everything going on at Sarah Linnea Photography and also to take part in special offers reserved for Facebook fans.