A Great Project, A Great Idea and a Beautiful Smile

Bethany is a melanoma survivor who has important messages for all of us. We met at a photo shoot for The Shade Project's Down and Derby which is 5/6/17. The Down and Derby is about awareness, celebration and fund raising to help prevent skin cancer.

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What is Beauty?

Tuesday Tell All with Carmen Buck Photography:  The Beauty of a Woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair.
The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is a doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.  
True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul.  It’s the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows and the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years.

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Professional Prints vs Digital Images

You want the DIGITAL IMAGES only or maybe  a few prints?  You can go down to Target, Walmart... and make your own prints a lot cheaper, right?  It's the same thing as the expensive ones the photographer offers.    Why not just pay a photographer a little for a photoshoot and then make your own prints?    I get it!  I'm going to explain why.  You'll need to think about WHAT YOU VALUE and WHAT YOU WANT FROM YOUR PHOTO SESSION so you can make the best choices.  

Benefits of Professional Photo Printing

Please consider your photoshoot and the professional prints as an investment.  They are art created for you and your family.    I use professional printing services that offer treatments that protect your family art for decades to come.  You can choose matte, lustre or glossy.  A variety of papers are also available. 

Using a professional printing service has several advantages. Professional printers offer high quality prints and services not usually available at retail stores and on-demand printing kiosks.  In fact, if you get prints at say Target, WalMart, Costco, CVS, Walgreens etc… you will get a different looking print from each one.  They will not look like the image your photographer worked hard to capture and edit for perfection.  BLOG POST showing the differences will be posted in the near future.  Colors won’t be the same and the prints won’t last when exposed to the light.  If you choose not to purchase high quality prints from me (professional photo lab) I suggest you find a local photo lab such as Precision Camera in Austin, TX.  It will cost a bit more than the aforementioned stores, but it so worth it.  

Good News!  I will explain the nuances and advantages so you can choose the best presentation for your needs.  I typically do this in person so I can show you examples.  Meanwhile- read about some options.

Papers Used- Let's Make it EASY!

Fuji Crystal Archive Professional Super Type PD Luster
Vivid color reproduction, brilliant whites, with a semi-gloss luster finish; this paper offers a sharper, crisper image. #1 recommended for any type of photography.

Fuji Crystal Archive Pearl Paper
High quality gloss finish with a distinctive pearl-like appearance. Ideal for professional applications such as commercial, fashion and portrait photography.

Fuji Crystal Archive Professional Deep Matte Paper
True non-reflective matte with warm whites and a super smooth finish. It’s unique lusterless surface provides elegant color reproduction with subtlety and warmth. Great for skin tones, soft images, and black and whites. *Not typically recommend for images with dense shadow detail and ultra rich blacks.

Kodak Endura Metallic Paper
High gloss finish and metallic appearance creates exceptionally unique depth, rich vibrant colors and flattering flesh tones. Idea for commercial, fashion and portrait photography.

Types of Wall Art

Gallery Canvas Wrap

Gallery Canvas Wrap- Carmen Buck Photography

Gallery Canvas Wrap- Carmen Buck Photography

The canvas has superior color rendition, rich blacks and a smooth gloss finish. They are printed on high quality white poly-cotton canvas to ensure that the saturation and sharpness is positively awe-inspiring.  All of our canvas is printed and stretched at the lab for impeccable quality assurance.

The lab I use is proud to share that our canvas manufacturer partners with American Forests to help rebuild forests. They do this by planting a tree for every roll of canvas material used.

Metal Prints

Metal Prints- Carmen Buck Photography

Metal Prints- Carmen Buck Photography

Metal Prints are waterproof, UV resistant, and made from 100% recyclable aluminum. Images are transferred using dye sublimation processing which makes your image a permanent part of the aluminum sheet to create an extremely durable product. Available in two finishes, various sizes and display options.  Metal Prints are a very impressive option!

Wood Prints

Wood Print- Carmen Buck Photography

Wood Print- Carmen Buck Photography

Give your images a warm, natural feel these beautiful Wood Prints. The grain of the wood shows through the lighter areas of your photographs giving them a unique look. Wood prints come with precut keyholes in the back and are easy to hang. Available in various sizes from 8”x 8” to 20”x 30”.

Canvas Float Wraps

This is the same quality canvas printing as our gallery wraps, only this canvas product is wrapped around a lightweight gatorfoam board. Canvas floats are finished with black paper backing and a foam floater block with pre-drilled holes for hanging.

The manufacturer of our canvas material partners with American Forests to help rebuild forests. They do this by planting a tree for every roll of canvas material used.

Fine Art Prints

Printed using the latest in pigment based, inkjet technology, and archival certified for 100+ years.

Fine Art Prints- Carmen Buck Photography

Fine Art Prints- Carmen Buck Photography


Watercolor – 310 gsm, 100% Cotton
Heavy weight with a soft, watercolor matte texture.

Smooth Fine Art – 310 gsm, 100% Cotton
Bright white cotton paper, smooth surface, and great with high contrast images.

Bamboo – 290 gsm, 90% Bamboo Fiber, 10% Cotton
Particularly suitable for warm-toned color and monochrome prints, slightly textured.

What is Lifestyle Photography?

According to Wikipedia:  Lifestyle photography is a kind of photography which mainly aims to capture portrait/people in situations, real-life events or milestones in an artistic manner and the art of the everyday.  The primary goal is to tell stories about people's life or to inspire people in different times. Thus, it covers multidisciplinary types of photography together.  

A lifestyle photographer is not only a portrait or people photographer.  A lifestyle photographer loves/enjoys photography as ART in the everyday, 'mundane'  life.  A lifestyle photographer is also talented in other disciplines of photography such as landscape, street photography, fashion, wedding and even wildlife with one's unique vision to inspire people's life.   That's really the ticket:  the unique vision INSPIRES another's life.  

Typically, lifestyle photography is in a 'typical' or usual setting.  This might be hanging out at home, going to their favorite coffee shop, sitting at their desk looking dazed or amazed, going for their daily walk with the dog, playing with the kids... 

When I take lifestyle portraits, "real-life events" are incorporated into their session.   Therefore, lifestyle/headshots (personal branding) might involve pictures taken in a typical workday setting.  If you are looking to let your clients know about who you are, you need to show them something real.   I can help you choose the best place for these type of images.  

Taken at Kendra Scott Gives Back to Bliss Yoga Kids

Taken at Kendra Scott Gives Back to Bliss Yoga Kids

This is an image I took at a fundraiser and just happened to catch these two cuties being little girls enjoying some shiny things.  That makes it perfect!  Can't you just imagine being there?

So how can you achieve the perfect lifestyle session? Here's a couple tips.

1.  Consider a hybrid photo session.  I'll blog more about this in the future, but a hybrid photo session involves some behind the scenes video and images.  Why would you like this?  The images we pose for are beautiful and timeless and incredibly valuable.  Combine this with some fun images showing our quirky, fun, spontaneous and unique self and you've got some awesome memories.  I love the tangible matted images and books and such, but hold the hybrid videos as a media product I just LOVE.  I tend to make these for clients as a documentation of the fun we had and it's sure to become a staple product in my studio.  I've got several videos you can take a look at on THIS page.   


Fun with family, horses and lots of love

2: We still PLAN lifestyle photography sessions.   We need a plan, and there might be some posing but as you can see in the video, some of the session are images taken between the images.  It's that moment between the moments that leave me with goose-bumps (God-bumps!) which I believe is a brush with the divine.  Got to go for it!  Those moments are what make life magical.

3: Have FUN!  Life is too short to NOT have FUN!!!  We love the serious, pondering pictures, but the ones we tend to save for a lifetime of memories- the ones we're laughing and having fun.   

4: PSST- here's a secret about this photographer- I'm an observer and participant.  When I do a shoot, I become a part of the experience and yet I'm watching through my lens.  It's a wonderful place to be and why I love what I do.  Sometimes I direct and give guidance- it's a must in photo sessions.  Heck, it's a vulnerable position to be in front of the camera.  Support and guidance is always welcomed!  It's the connection I have with individuals, couples and families that make the sessions so special.  YOU WANT SPECIAL since these are images you'll want to treasure forever. 

Ready to Get More Info and Schedule?  Drop Me a Note

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Sometimes I Just Need a Little Glamour

A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.
— Coco Chanel

We had a wonderful time shooting this session.  We shot some beautiful girl next door shots in white linen with little makeup and lots of wavy loose hair.  (That one coming soon!)  Then we did some fun ones with balloons.  We got into Old Hollywood Glam mode and oohhlaalaa.  Our friend and model, Billie Jean Bachmann totally rocket this.  Our makeup and hair ARTIST is L Duane Sevelin.  He has his own line of cosmetics as well as other fun things he does.  You can't help but recognize what a HUGE difference a team effort makes.  

You don't have to be a model to have a photoshoot.  Nope- you just have to be willing, be open to try something new perhaps and surrender over your experience to have fun and experience your true beauty.  Duane and I help with styling and he brings out your best with hair and makeup.  I bring out the best in posing and our interaction.   It's MAGIC.  

Call and schedule your special photo shoot.  We are open to something new and fun- inside, outside, themed, not themed....you name it.  We artist types love this, you know?  

Leave me a comment and share the love with the team!  We read them and respond.

Having Fun with Balloons

The purpose of our lives is to be happy.
— Dalai Lama

And Happy we were!  We planned a photo shoot to honor mothers and daughters.  We gathered a wonderful team.  We got some balloons for a beautiful little girl to run around with.  We let life unfold and had a blast.

Special thanks to Vanessa for her assistance.  Makeup and hair by Duane Sevelin with Sevelin Global.   Models- Marcy, Sandy and Taylor  

You've Scheduled Your Photo Shoot- Now What?

What Do I (we)  Wear?

Let me assure you that you won't need to buy new clothes unless you just want to.  Clothing for a photoshoot is about coordinating, accessorizing, avoiding large patterns and looking cohesive.  Let's break these down.


    I bet when you think of family pictures, you envision write or black shirts and jeans for every family member.  Well, while you can do that, I prefer to see family (and this goes for Mother's Day Shoots) to coordinate but NOT MATCH.   A color pallet will give some interest and variety to your family portraits.  I found a nice image on Pinterest that shoes some color palettes for you.  Choosing a palette while having some variety with the clothing items also gives opportunity for your family to express their own individuality.  For instance, one member may like a button down shirt, while one may choose a different style, but so long as the colors coordinate they'll look great!   

Some Popular Color Palettes


 Patterns can be okay if small and not overpowering.  The focus of the images should be about YOU.   Think about the color palette and coordinate with the other colors.  Neutrals with splashes of colors here and there and patterns can look fabulous.  Patterns in scarves for women can be nice too.  

I recommend avoiding shirts that have characters or logos.  When my son was little he loved the Ninja Turtles.  I cherish the pictures I have of him in his favorite Ts.  So, if you want a few pics with that special character shirt, I think that is just fine.  I would avoid having that cute T in all the photos though.  


It is always better to be slightly underdressed.
— Coco Chanel
Sonia was up for some fun and enjoyed playing with the hat- A simple accessory that showed her beautiful personality.

Sonia was up for some fun and enjoyed playing with the hat- A simple accessory that showed her beautiful personality.

Coco Chanel also told us that once we felt all ready to go with our clothes, accessories... to take one thing off.  We'll keep it simple!  For some portraits, the jewelry is big, flashy and fun. For most portraits, we go for simple and elegant.  If you have something that is important to you (a special necklace, earrings...) then bring them!  I suggest bringing a few different items that can be interchanged.  I also have lots of interesting items that don't look like much on my clothing stand BUT look incredible in photos.  We are there to help you figure this out so don't worry.   

Looking Cohesive

What the heck does that mean?  Cohesion in fashion basically means that all in the photo look like they belong together.  For instance, you may choose a lovely vintage dress and your teenage daughter wants a dash of grunge with her mini skirt.  This would NOT be a cohesive look.  However, if your vintage dress has lace and we add some flowers in the hair and your daughter has a lace mini dress with soft makeup, this could work.  Do you need to know about this?  NO! You've got a team there for you!  i will give you lots of guidance and Duane Sevelin is an international makeup artist who has very special talents in styling.   He stays throughout the shoot for touchups. Some of our favorite looks have been those we decide about in the middle of a shoot.  We are a team to help you and make sure everyone is happy.

Hair and Makeup

Marcy is beautiful with or without makeup, but the perfect touches made a world of difference for her outdoor photoshoot.

Marcy is beautiful with or without makeup, but the perfect touches made a world of difference for her outdoor photoshoot.

Most people do not get professional images done often.  In fact, I see many people who tell me that they've never taken professional pictures with their loved ones.  Why not make it the experience it deserves.  The images you take home will be the spark for memories for generations and will last as family heirlooms forever.  Do it right.

I highly recommend hair and makeup for most photo shoots.  I work with a fabulous team of professionals that simply enhance your beauty.  We sometimes think that hair and makeup artists will make us someone we are not.  We will get asked for that and happily accommodate, but for the most part, the makeup is to enhance what you've already got.  Skin smoothing and color is very important whether we photograph under studio lights OR natural light.  I work with Duane Sevelin with Sevelin Global who has his own cosmetic line and is an international makeup artist.  We are so blessed to have him to be a part of this team!  

Before Your Shoot

We will have a chance to talk on the phone or video (FaceTime, Skype...) and email so you'll feel as prepared as possible.  You may not feel totally comfortable until we get going in the shoot, but this is completely typical. 

Mother's Day Photo Shoots

No man succeeds without a good woman behind him. Wife or mother, if it is both, he is twice blessed indeed.
— Godfrey Winn

Mother's Day is the time in May where we often wonder what to do for our Moms, wives, sisters, friends and special mothers we know.  We want to give some thing of value that lasts.  Often we'll take them out somewhere special because those memories last.  We may not remember details, but we'll remember how we felt with those we love...for a little while.

My favorite gifts always involve photos.  You might expect that given my profession, BUT I've given beautifully housed images in frames, on canvas and so on...  Why?  They remind us of feelings and they remind us EVERY TIME we look at the photo.  What could be better!  

Why not give the gift of images AND a day of pampering with a unique experience to the woman or women you love.  The photoshoots are fun and can include full hair and makeup and styling.  Here is an example of 3 generations in a shoot.  

This video tells you about Marcy and her mother Sandy and her daughter Taylor.   Marcy is one of the hardest working people I know and totally deserved some pampering fun.  Marcy told me that she had no formal pictures with her with her mother.  I love photographing multiple age groups and women of a 'certain age.'  Heck, I'm a 'woman of a certain age.'  Aren't they beautiful?  

Show some LOVE and leave us a COMMENT below.

Mother- A Teacher of Love, Compassion and Fearlessness

Think of your Mother, Daughter and yourself and how we will remember each?

Give a Photo Shoot to Remember and Memories to Take Home and Keep Forever

How will you remember her?

What will you mean to her?

What will she remember?

Are you ready to give lasting love and memories?

Call to Schedule Today!

Yes, a photoshoot is SOOO Much Fun!

Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.
— Dr. Suess

I believe a photo shoot should be fun.  Life is too short to not have a great time!  

So what happens when you take a funny, talented makeup and hair artist, a cute and gorgeous model and a tireless dreamer of a photographer?  FUN!  We took these little shots at the end of the day AFTER a full day of clean and natural looks, contemporary Old Hollywood glamour images,  and even some outside in white linen shots.  You'll see those soon but for now- enjoy!   

Makeup and Hair L.Duane Sevelin of sevelin cosmetics at www.sevelin.com follow me@sevelinglobal.   Model: Billie Jean Bachmann