Stills that Speak Photography, LLC: Blog en-us (C) Stills that Speak Photography, LLC (Stills that Speak Photography, LLC) Tue, 06 Feb 2018 05:14:00 GMT Tue, 06 Feb 2018 05:14:00 GMT Stills that Speak Photography, LLC: Blog 90 120 So many choices..."Does it really matter where I print?" It's like trying to make a decision on what to have for dinner.  So many choices and let's face it, sometimes you just don't want to be bothered so to the closest drive-thru you it's cheap...after-all what can it hurt (oh the pharmaceutical companies love that train of thought). Oh we've all "been there - done that."  We also know that there are places that provide both reasonably priced and quality food in under 15 minutes that don't include excessive amounts of grease and stomach pain later.  There IS a happy medium.  Here in Stafford you've got Chipotle and Panera literally 3 minutes apart..good food...decent prices...yum.

So back to the subject at hand...Printing.  Yes, people still want prints...old is new again (have you seen what folks are getting for that rusted old mattress spring they've marketed as 'industrial?').  Sometimes it's just nice to see that beautiful family portrait on Molly's wall vs. using the long arm yoga stretch to see Sally's newest grandbaby on that cell screen.  All pride aside it, might possibly be my eyes but you've got to admit, there's just something about the rich colors and incredible detail in a printed image.  Wait - what?  Did I hear you correctly? Your images actually look better on your <gasp> phone?!  Say it isn't so!!  "Houston, we have a problem."

I'm not going to name - names...that's not the point in these ramblings.  When all is said and your photographer, I want your images to look as gorgeous as they do when they leave my screen.  You took time getting ready for that photo session (you even remembered to do that 'check-in' facebook thing we suggested - you did, didn't you?).  And although it ended up being infinitely more fun than you thought it would be (yes, as photographers, we know some of you were drug unwillingly to your family session), we know there were other things you could've been doing for that hour.  Hey now, your wife was kind enough to bribe you with tickets to that ball game...that's gotta count for something!  Any-who...back to the topic.  I, as your photographer, spent hours (yes, true story) editing your photos so that the finished product was one you're proud on your wall.  NOOOOO - hang on your wall.  Posting is fine (just please don't forget to tag your photographer - we'll love you for that) but having a large framed print for your living room or even smaller framed print for your just nice.  Grab that rusted bed spring and google vintage frame hacks or Pinterest Farmhouse decor/frame/old get the idea.

Professional printer (noun) does not always equate to professional printing (verb).  I know it's easy to go one place and have your prints done while your oils being changed in your car at the same time you get your shopping done but please remember all printers are not created equal.  There's no better way to show you then by giving a visual.  This same image below was uploaded to a local printer for printing the other ordered through the professional printing company Stills that Speak Photography uses.  One was done in an hour the other was ordered late Tue night and shipped via over-night shipping the next day (free).  It arrived Thur. Time will tell but one's colors, based on my experience, will begin to fade within months the other, again based on my experience, will not.  Matter-a fact here's their wording 'Standard Archival value of 100 years in home display; 200 years in dark storage.'  I'm not even going to 'go there' re the "dark storage" thing because honestly it just sounds creepy but hey, if you want great colors for the 2 century anniversary opening of your time capsule - it sounds like they've got you covered.  One offers you glossy or matte the other?  Wait for it...FIVE paper types for your standard printing each boasting the 100/200 year thing.  Color correction?  Because we know there will always be variables - even with our calibrating our monitors weekly.  Looks like both printers offer color correction - I'll let you compare.  The 8x10s below were placed side-by-side in natural light and photographed - the results are below (NOTE:  they're both showing a bit lighter but I wanted to avoid any editing so they're posted 'as is').  These results are not only indicative of local printers but mail order as well - to include that well known one that has saturated the market with "free" print coupons.  So to answer your question, "Yes, it matters where you have your prints printed."  That being said, we at Stills that Speaks Photography have always provided our customers with digital images.  The choice is and will continue to be the client's as to where they have their images printed.

Professional Print Company vs The Other GuyThe difference in print quality is clear.



]]> (Stills that Speak Photography, LLC) printing images Tue, 06 Feb 2018 18:13:00 GMT
A Grandparent's Day Family Portrait...Love sees no color With division being headlined daily regarding race issues I feel beyond blessed to share a story of a different color.  What a wonderful experience photographing Kaleb and his Pawpaw at Old Mill Park in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  Some of their story may be difficult to read but believe me when I say - it's a story worth reading.

Karstin started dating her son's father seven years ago.  Sadly he left her when she was only three month's pregnant with Kaleb and she was left with no other choice but to move back in with her parents.  Although this would be an ideal situation for many - such was not the case for Karstin.  You see, not only was the pregnancy itself frowned upon but to further complicate matters her father had zero tolerance for interracial dating and the baby's father was African-American.  This was a stressful time for a-matter-a fact father and daughter barely spoke until Karstin was hospitalized with Pre-eclampsia at about seven and a half months.  Although these events alone would be enough to strain the best of relationships it was about to get worse.  Not only did the results of a 4D ultrasound show a diagnosis for Kaleb of Hydronephrosis in his left kidney but Karstin went into premature labor a month early. The baby had to be delivered via emergency C-section.  She longed to have her father to lean on during these traumatic events but had little hope, given the circumstances, that it would happen.  This my friends is when Karstin's story takes a turn...

Her dad did not leave her side through those critical times.  Quoting Karstin:  'It was love at first sight when my dad laid eyes on Kaleb.'  She had, throughout her growing years, never seen her father cry but this time...this time was different.  His eyes filled with tears as his heart did with love while holding his grandson for the very first time.  

Kaleb, because of his diagnosis, had to be seen weekly by a specialist in Richmond until his first surgery at six months of age.  Despite long work hours away from home, Pawpaw checked in on his little Kaleb multiple times each day.  When Karstin expressed the need to go back to work and help financially her father without hesitation shot the idea down....stressing HE would take care of any financial needs either of them had until such time Kaleb was better. Karstin says:  'My dad raised my son like his own...providing for him and loving him more than I have ever seen him love anyone else.  Kaleb is now 5 years old and has been through three surgeries since birth.  My dad and son's relationship is unbreakable!  My dad says Kaleb is his heart, soul and best friend...that he wakes daily looking forward to see his face and spending the day with him.  He says there is no one in the world he loves more.'  Her dad's views on inter-racial dating have done a 180 degree turnaround after Kaleb was born.  Karstin says:  'They are truly best friends and the love he has for Kaleb is one that can't be broken.'

It may sound cliche' my friends...but NEVER - EVER underestimate the power of love.

'No one can change a person but a person can be the reason someone changes' - Shannon Adler

'If you don't like something - change it.  If you can't change it - change your attitude.' - Mayo Angelo

'Be the change you wish to see in the world' - Gandhi

]]> (Stills that Speak Photography, LLC) Family Portrait Session Lifestyle photographer Stafford Photographer Stills that Speak Photography Mon, 14 Sep 2015 12:14:22 GMT
Over, Above, and Beyond... Business Headshot, Stafford Photographer, LinkedIn profile, Stills that Speak PhotographyBusiness Headshot, Stafford Photographer, LinkedIn profile, Stills that Speak Photography

Looking for a charismatic Motivational Speaker?  How about a Certified Life Coach? Relationship Coach - Spiritual Coach?  Look no further then your own backyard.  Meet William Savoi Davis owner of Over, Above and Beyond. 'The biggest calling in my life is the calling to serve others. The thought behind Over, Above, & Beyond is to allow the space for others to go from just getting Over their everyday issues of life only to repeat them again in the future - to a place where they are Above those issues and can observe and learn the principal things to grow. From there stepping into a place that is Beyond those things that keep us from experiencing the life and relationships that will enrich our lives.   There is a place where we can live life Beyond our wildest dreams.'

]]> (Stills that Speak Photography, LLC) Motivational Speaker Stills that Speak Photography Thu, 10 Sep 2015 03:35:18 GMT
Dare to dream...Dare to dance...Dare to overcome...  

I firmly believe that the young and elderly can bestow wisdom upon us unrivaled by any book IF we simply watch and listen.  Such is the case with the amazing young lady that Stills that Speak Photography is honored to showcase today.  What struck me immediately when speaking to and photographing this beautiful and extremely talented young lady is although self-assured, Nya exudes a sweet and humble spirit so rarely found in today's society.  What isn't as obvious is the challenges this Umbiance Center for the Performing Arts dancer overcomes on a day to day basis while maintaining that light up the room smile of hers.  As always a proud mom conveys her daughter's story best...

'Failure for most people lies not in setting your aim too high and missing your mark, but setting your aim too low and hitting your target.'  "These words along with various other inspirational quotes such as 'prepping for opportunity' fill the dream board of this inspirational young woman.  Ten year old Nya Harris has been dreaming big since the tender age of four.  When she explained to her parents that she was going to be a dancer and an actress at the wise age of five, her parents patted her on the head - placed her in classes and replied nonchalantly 'Sure baby.'  Months later they sat in a filled auditorium watching their daughter act in three different scenes.

Fast forward three years.  Nya's friends and family watched as she continued to sing, dance, and act in two additional 5 star plays.  Today she can be found walking around the house while reading books by Misty Copland, Michaela DePrince among other well known dance artists.  She devours book after book while training 3-4 hours a day on her dancing.  We encourage her to go outside and enjoy being a kid, her dad explains, but Nya would rather have her friends join her inside doing p90x or mastering a new dance move.

With every diversified interest, she is focused and driven in her goals.  Nya is environmentally conscious and loves animals.  On days that she is seizure free (Yes, readers - mom said 'seizure free'), she loves hanging out with her best friends, laughing and learning new things.  Her dreams continue to motivate her despite her recent epilepsy diagnosis.  She is learning how to manage it so that she can continue to enjoy doing what she loves...whether that be books, quotes or her friend's company.  Regardless the challenges this diagnosis presents, Nya remains positive. 'Mom, you have to dream it first in order to live it' she says. 

This past summer she enjoyed the experience of being taught by and dancing for Mrs. Debbie Allen.  Nya's sights are currently set on training for her next goal...auditioning for none other than the legendary Dance Theatre of Harlem."

Be on the lookout for this up and coming talent...what an incredible lesson for the rest of us...if only you BELIEVE!!

]]> (Stills that Speak Photography, LLC) Lifestyle photographer Stafford Photographer Stills that Speak Photography Umbiance Center for the Performing Arts child portraits dance portrait Wed, 09 Sep 2015 06:52:48 GMT
Special Needs are not always especially apparent May has been designated as Early Intervention Awareness Month.  Early Intervention, also known as Infant and Toddler Connection in Virginia, is where I am fortunate enough to work when I'm not photographing incredible families.  We have amazing providers and staff that help our littlest ones ages birth through three with everything from developmental delays to more severe challenges.

Not all special needs are apparent though.  Today Stills that Speak Photography is showcasing Lucy.  Clearly you can see what a bright shining star she is...just LOOK at those eyes and that smile.  SHE kept a smile on MY face throughout this nursing session.  Her smile is infectious - you simply can't be in the room with her and not have a grin on your own face.  What you can't see is though, is that this precious sweetheart has been diagnosed with a very rare form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome

Regardless the diagnosis, mom embraces (literally) the blessing that Lucy is!  As always a parent's thoughts from the heart convey that best.  "Despite the challenges her diagnosis brings, we are the luckiest parents on the planet. She is absolutely amazing, a ray of light!  She brings so much joy and laughter into our world and has even brought incredibly inspiring people into our lives that we never would have had the opportunity to meet.  We are so lucky"  And truth be blessed is Lucy to have such a loving mom?!

]]> (Stills that Speak Photography, LLC) lifestyle photographer mommy and me sessions northern and central Virginia Photographer nursing portraits nursing session special needs children Tue, 19 May 2015 04:00:23 GMT
Rainbow Baby This was one of those portrait sessions that didn't simply touch my touched me to my very soul.  I'm sure many of you have heard the term Rainbow Baby...for those that haven't I will include the poem below.  This is a session that leaves you, as the photographer, feeling blessed....blessed that this amazing beautiful family allowed you to share, if only a moment, in their very personal storm and rainbow.  Their love for each other and their rainbow baby is all too apparent but equally sprinkled in the conversations are the loving words and candid memories of Lexi Grace ~ Krystal Hope's angel sister. Who better than a parent to share a glimpse of their story..."Krystal Hope is Lexi Grace's little sister...making her a rainbow baby.  Krystal was due on Lexi's birthday but was delivered one week prior.  Lexi left us in October of 2013 after fighting ten long days for her life.  When Lexi flew that night, half my heart went with her.  I was crushed and prayed every day that if I was blessed again, that I wanted to be blessed with Lexi's twin.  Every time I look at Krystal, I see her sister so I know she's here with us. 'After every storm, there is a Rainbow of Hope'"

“Rainbow Babies” is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm.

When a rainbow appears, it doesn’t mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath.

What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds.


Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope.

]]> (Stills that Speak Photography, LLC) Children Photography Family Portraits Fredericksburg Photographer On location lifestyle photographe Rainbow Baby Portrait Session Stafford Photographer Mon, 11 May 2015 04:06:17 GMT
Baseball, Soccer, Softball...but wait there's more....Lacrosse, Tennis,'s picture time!! Yes, spring is in the air and with that comes the sound of 'PLAY BALL' among others.  Everyone enjoys the excitement of cheering their little ones on whether he/she's six or sixteen!!  Stills that Speak Photography understands the importance of that - after all, as the parent, YOU are their first cheerleader!!  We want you to be able to concentrate on just that.  Let us focus (pun intended) on the photos.  Whether portraits or action shots let us capture these fleeting moments.  Schedule your spring sports portraits today - we look forward to hearing from you!

]]> (Stills that Speak Photography, LLC) Baseball Soccer Softball Sports Photography Spring Sports Photography Stafford Photographer Track Thu, 26 Mar 2015 11:45:00 GMT
Newborn, Babies, Photography...Oh My! Who doesn't melt just a little when seeing portraits of precious newborn babies!?!  We LOVE capturing those magical first days!  We have not one...not two....but THREE newborn babies due to bless us with their arrival January through February.  I'm so excited ~ can you tell?  Remember that Stills that Speaks Photography offers custom packages to fit your individual needs whether that be maternity portraits, newborn birth portraits, fresh 48 portraits, or portraits once you're home and settled.  We provide on location photography sessions.  No worries of bringing that little one to us...we come to you! Looking for more information?  We'd love to hear from you - simply click on the contact tab located on the home page.  Let's talk about how we can capture this unique experience for you to treasure years to come.

This beautiful mama is due in just a few weeks...stay tuned!!

]]> (Stills that Speak Photography, LLC) Stafford Photographer baby bump maternity portraits newborn babies photography Thu, 15 Jan 2015 13:37:00 GMT