Monday, August 17, 2015

How To Prepare Your Home For Photos

Showcasing your home to sell is one of the most important aspects of the sale.
Your home has to be desirable to potential clients and allow them to see themselves living there.
Here are some tips to help you prepare for your photos and viewings.

1- Remove all clutter throughout the entire home.  Remove all personal items that you wouldn't want shown in the photos or virtual tour (family photos etc.) prior to the shoot.

2- Remove all magnets from the fridge and the kitchen.  Declutter your countertops (including all cloths, paper towel holders - anything you can) and remove the garbage cans, recycling bins, etc.

3- In the bedrooms, remove all personal items you do not wish to have photographed.  Have your beds neatly made and make sure that all surfaces are free and clear of clutter and personal items (kleenex etc.)  Remove any laundry baskets

4- When it comes to the bathrooms, make them as clean and bright as possible.  Remove all toiletry items from countertops and in the shower stall / tub area.  Hang fresh towels and put the toilet seat down.  Make sure to store away any appliances and toothbrushes and remove any hampers or dirty clothes (even the bath robe!)

5- Make sure all lights are on and all curtains are open to let the natural light shine in

6- We all know that to pet owners, their pet is a member of the family.  However, when it comes to showing your home it is best to have the pets away.  Pets should be put in their cage (or in a safe garage) during the photoshoot.  Pet cages, beds, and toys should be removed from living areas, as well as food dishes.  Pet hair should be swept/vacuumed prior to the shoot (including from furniture)

7- Outdoors is where the clients will see as they pull up, and the backyard is where they envision themselves relaxing or playing with their family or entertaining.  Clear your lawn and deck of all tools, toys, and any outdoor items.  Make sure your lawn is mowed and the trim neatly completed.  Remove weeds from any interlock, and ensure your gardens/flower pots are in showcase order.  Remove your car from the driveway and any garbage cans so they cannot be seen from the street.

Remember, a photographer is there to showcase your home, however they will not move items.  Be sure you have someone available to move things as needed.

"A Camera is a SAVE button for the mind's eye" - Roger Kingston

Monday, August 10, 2015

What to do when you have an empty house to sell?

  Well, you have made the decision and you are putting your home up for sale.  Great!  This can be a wondrous and exciting adventure, but for some it can be stressful, for example when you move into your new home, but your previous home hasn't sold yet.
  So, what happens in scenario #2?  You can spend thousands of dollars to have your home staged; rent or borrow furniture (but let's be honest, who really wants to do that moving all over again - not to mention any scuffs and scrapes the house may incur in the process).  You will be advised by real estate agents, and friends alike that it will be easier for a potential client to envision themselves living in your home if they can see how warm and inviting it can be, not to mention how they can place their furniture, and I agree 100%.  So, how do you go about staging your house without breaking the bank?  Virtual Staging.
   The process of virtual staging is as follows.  A photographer will go and take photos of your empty home.  We can then add in the furniture necessary to show your home at it's full potential!  I have included some examples below.  Which would you be more attracted to?

Friday, June 26, 2015

Take The Time To Stop & Smell the Flowers

Now that summer official is upon us, and another school year has come to a close, I can't help but to realize how fast life can pass you by if you let it.
We are in a time where we are continually getting busier and everything seems rushed.  I don't know about you, but I have been spending a lot of time in front of a computer (between processing, or updating statuses, blogging, etc.)  It's refreshing to stop the hustle bustle from time to time, and go enjoy what is right at our disposal - the outdoors.  It's important to take a step back and remember the little things in life.
I was out a few weeks ago enjoying the early summer morning and snapped a few pictures of some flowers.  It's a wonderful feeling to see all of the new blooms and colors.  It just brightens your day.  I wanted to take a minute and share those photos with you, perhaps inspire you to take a relaxing walk and remind you to stop and smell the flowers.


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Portrait Perfect

Are you one of the many people who cringe when they hear that they have to have their photo taken?
Do you spend all of your time making funny faces in photos or selfie's with friends?
Well rest assure, there are many like you out there!
I have previously scoured the internet far and wide, looking at both photos and tips and have come up with a list I believe can help anyone stressed about a photo session.

How to pose for your portrait

Avoid stiffness.  The entire purpose of a photo is to look natural.
Angle your face slightly away from the camera, that way shadows are created along the cheekbones and nose.
Tilt your chin down.  Having a high chin looks unnatural (and can also position the camera to look up the nose)
Keep your eyes closed for a few second before the photo is taken – this will help to avoid blinking mid-shot
Keep your eyes wide open, but avoid looking scared.   Droopy eye-lids cause a sleepy look
Make sure your eyebrows are relaxed.  They are just as important as your eyes in showing emotion.
Use a natural smile & always smile with your teeth (even a little bit)
Wet your lips before smiling (either lick them or use lip balm)
Angle your body – taking a photo straight on adds weight and makes you seem out of proportion.  Turn about 2/3 angle (it also gives a slimming appearance to your body)
Don’t slouch – good posture makes your appear taller and slimmer
Find a place for your hands – don’t leave them just laying to your sides.  Don’t be afraid to rest them at your pockets or put one hand on your hip.
Always bend your fingers.
Avoid putting your hands open near your face, or clasping your hands.

Relax your shoulders.  Also, your shoulders should never be directly facing the camera – always turned on a slight angle.

Other Tips:

Clothing & Accessories
Make sure all of your clothing is clean and wrinkle-free, including uniforms or gowns.
Solid colours or simple pattern work best
Medium to dark shades will create a timeless look, whereas soft shades will enhance lighter backgrounds.
Avoid shirts with slogans or logos
Avoid large accessories.  Remember simple is best
Make sure your shoes and socks match your outfit – they may show up in some shots
Feel free to wear your glasses.  They are a part of you, and we can adjust lights or poses to help minimize any glare.
Traditional Outfits/Military Uniforms: When the clothing is thematic, then the full official attire should be worn.

Avoid getting a new hairstyle or cut right before your photo shoot.
Limit your sun or tanning bed time prior to your session.
Make sure your nails are trimmed and if you do your nails prior, clear or neutral colors work best

Quick Tips
Check your hair right before camera time
Check your shirt collar (and tie if applicable) right before camera time
Wear the colors that look the best on you

And most important…. Relax and Have fun!

"Photography is the beauty of life" - Tara Chisholm

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

One of my favorite local places

A few weeks ago I was given the honor of photographing one of our local (Embrun, ON) new businesses.  I was invited into Avlis Salon & Wellness Spa to photograph their beautiful new location.  Maria is always a gem, and along with their team have made such a warm and inviting place to go and be pampered.  Now, I'm not a gal who goes out and gets pampered, but just being in this spa makes you feel beautiful.  It's always easy to have picturesque images when you have such a beautiful canvas to work with.  This place just makes you melt, from the beautiful red brick exterior, to the comforting and warm rooms through every door, and don't forget the waiting area that makes you never want to leave!
Taking photos of the locations our local entrepreneurs have taken from dreams to reality is always a pleasure.  To see what they have taken from their head and heart, and be able to capture it forever in print always amazes.  These photos are the first glimpse into what you can expect when you set foot through the doors of these wonderful locales, and with local business owners, you know you will always get a smile and warm welcome.  
See for yourself what this beautiful spa/wellness center and it's sweet caring owner can offer.

"All our dreams can come true..... If we have the courage to pursue them" - Unknown

Sunday, June 7, 2015


Hello, and thank-you for taking an interest in my blog.
Let me take a minute to introduce myself.
My name is Rachel Theriault.  I am a daughter, wife, and mother of 3 wonderful children.  I have always had a dream of working in a domain where my creativity can roam free, and photography gave me the outlet I was looking for.
I started as a self-taught photographer, but throughout the years I have taken the opportunity to join many great minds  by taking courses taught by other photographers, and at every chance waiting around at the end of the class to talk to them and learn as much as possible by asking questions and hearing stories of their experiences.  It's always a treat when you get to listen to a fellow photographer tell of their travels across the world on freelance opportunities, or stories of the people they meet while they are photographing them.
Photography is such a wonderful outlet.  The most minute object can become huge through the lense. Something like a raindrop on a window opens up a world of opportunity.  The best part of photography is being able to tell a story through the lense.  Capturing a moment in time.  It is often said "a picture speaks a thousand words", and I agree 100%. I always remember looking back though the old photographs with my grandparents and hearing the stories about when they were growing up,I watching their faces light up when a photo triggers a happy memory.  The emotion that is held in those photographs is monumental!
I grew up in an entrepreneurial family, and was always taking photos of the items we offered, and the locations we worked out of.  I have seen many fellow entrepreneurs open their doors over the years, and am flattered when I get the chance to go into their new place of business and photograph their dream.  Retail property or product photography, people pour their heart into their small business and being able to showcase the pride and hard work they have put into their dreams is a particular joy of mine.
Of course being a mother has it's perks as well.  I love using my kids as models for my portfolio (and of course as the photos we put up on the dining and living room walls)  Children are some of the best models.  They are naturally happy and LOVE seeing a camera.  When my kids get together with their cousins and we decide on a photo shoot, we can shoot for hours.  They do costume changes, location changes, and never seem to get tired of smiling.  Looking through the hundreds of photos after a shoot is always a gem!
I leave you with one of my favorite quotes
"Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving.  What you have caught on film is captured forever.... it remembers little things long after you have forgotten everything" - Aaron Siskind.