Becky Novacek Photography » Blog

starting over….again.

i confess, i have not worked out for 3 weeks. now that i have confessed, i am committed to getting back to it. i have a million excuses, but when it comes down to it, they’re all JUST excuses. i’m busy, yes, but i make time for other stuff, so i can make time to workout. the frig is stocked with tons of great produce and healthy food, so that’s my goal for today and this week too. we ate pretty good all weekend, until last night…i definitely overdid it. we just have too many friends who are great cooks/bakers! chelsea (or as harper calls our friends rob & chelsea, “bobby and chotchie”) made the most decadent brownies, donna made scrumpticious strawberry shortcake and brooke made this *to die for* strawberry salad….impossible not to overeat. oh well, today is a new day!

over the weekend, i kept reminding myself of what memorial day represents and why we have a long weekend. from my desk, i can see tom’s framed army honorable discharge paper and his army photo, which is a daily reminder. i think as good as my intentions are, it’s still hard to comprehend the sacrifice that so many families are making. i just want to say from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU to every military service man and woman, as well as their families.

we did spend our long weekend doing what most Americans do…home improvement projects, bbq, naps, and yardwork. i’m super excited about the home improvement project that we tom did in my upstairs studio. i took before shots, so when the room is complete, i’ll share before, during and after shots. my goal is to have it completed by thursday or friday. it was very experimental, but i think it is turning out really great! can’t wait to get everything in place! even when i reorganize my studio, i get inspired, so i’m hoping that this project will have that effect to an even greater degree. i can feel it building, so i’m hopeful! in the meantime, you should see our bedroom and guest room! i took photos of that mess too. i have way too much stuff. even after all the purging i’ve done this spring. unbelievable!

last night it hit me that i should be thinking about my *b* list for today. i have a little *b* list notebook with all the ideas i have bouncing around. one list that i have the most written about is this one:

*b* list of tips for photos (as in, having your photos taken and being happy with them)

  1. don’t wait. i hear reasons all the time from people around me who are waiting to: lose weight, grow their hair out, get their teeth whitened….but don’t wait. time is fleeting and your family is changing quickly. one of my biggest regrets from my children’s childhood, is that i didn’t document it the way i wish i had. sure i took a handful of snapshots of them and i’m thankful for that. but i wish i had been in a few of the pictures with them. it’s as if i didn’t exist for about 15 years. also, i have only one really blurry shot of myself pregnant. it’s hard to verbalize what a profound part of my life becoming pregnant and carrying my children was and i feel as if that significance is lost because i don’t have photos of it. i think a handful of purposeful photos would mean a lot to me personally. pregnancy changes your life forever and i missed the opportunity to document that visually. it makes me sad. the first days and years of my children’s lives and my part in that was missed too. don’t let that happen. as much as it sounds as if i’m pleaing for business, it’s really not that. if you can’t afford to have photos taken, then at least hand your camera to your spouse or friend or someone who will snap photos of you with your children/spouse/significant others. i have been talking to brooke about this recently. she hates having her photo taken, but i know that she will regret it (the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!) so i am insisting that we do their family photos this week. grey is 9 months old and i only have one shot of the six of them. ONE. grey was about 2 weeks old at the time. so don’t wait. get out from behind the camera!
  2. do wear color and style. i think THEE most common mistake people make when having photos taken, is to wear very neutral, “classic” clothes. i somewhat understand the intention….not having the photo look dated, or too bold. BUT, i adore the photos from my childhood when mom dressed us in really trendy, crazy stuff! i love the idea of documenting not only the family, but the era in time. i realize this is my personal opinion, but i think it’s worth mentioning. i’m not scolding anyone who has worn white, black, or neutrals, i just want to encourage other thoughts! plus, it makes my job more fun! haha! !this being said, i do have to say that there are exceptions: for example, today i’m going to be posting an engagement session where they are wearing black and gray, and i think it works well because it has a dramatic effect. drama is good in an engagement or wedding session obviously. i’m referring more to families in regard to wearing bold colors and style. sidenote: seriously, just be who you are….when we had our family shots taken in october, tom couldn’t believe it when i said that i thought he should wear a black harley shirt. but that’s who he is. if he had worn a bright blue polo, it wouldn’t have been him. so there are exceptions to every rule!
  3. don’t overtan. sometimes i think there is a mindset, that if a little tanning is good, more is better. i don’t think many things are more beautiful than naturally dark skin, but lily white skin that is too tan, can take on a really orange-ish cast that is tough to photograph. so just be careful with that. plus, it can’t be healthy, right? how old do i sound?!
  4. pay attention to your eyeglasses. if you don’t have anti-glare lenses or if you do have self-darkening lenses, go and borrow a pair with no glass for photos. your photos will suffer if you don’t….especially if you are having your photos taken by a journalistic or lifestyle photographer as opposed to a studio photographer. lifestyle photography doesn’t really work when you have to tell someone to tilt their head so that the glare goes away! it’s an easy fix. tom novacek are you reading? : )
  5. be careful with patterns. i like to photograph families who aren’t afraid of patterns and color. however, there is an exception: don’t have too many different striped shirts. photographing a family with more than one male in a striped shirt can be distracting. different patterns are usually okay, but striping can be tough. a good idea is to lay out your families outfits on the floor together before getting everyone ready.
  6. wear what you feel good in. this is probably obvious. the one exception to this might be a child who wants to wear sweats? generally speaking however, it’s usually pretty obvious when someone is wearing something that they don’t feel good in.
  7. don’t overglam. i’ll give a personal example. in the past there have been a few times when i have gone to a studio to have my photo taken and i overdid the makeup or hair….i ended up not being happy with the images. if you want glamour shots, that’s one thing, but typically if you are having photos done, simple daily grooming is best.
  8. mix it up. if you’re in doubt about what to wear, bring multiple outfits. i even do this at home when i’m having tom update my headshots. i will usually wear two different shirts and i am always surprised at what a huge difference it makes. i almost always have a definite preference.
  9. try to relax. this can be tough if you’re camera-shy. i used to be this way. i would completely tense up the moment i saw a camera. now, i have learned that the photo will be much better if i just “go with the flow and don’t fight it!”. smile or focus on a loved one. when i’m taking a photo of a family or couple, my whole point is to capture the connection. i usually tell people i’m photographing to be into each other and not focused on me. i usually add, “however, don’t forget about me completely” 🙂
  10. trust your photographer. haha! how self serving does that sound? it is true though. i have very rarely, but occasionally, had an experience where the person i was photographing thought that i should do something differently. sometimes they’re right! but usually i sorta know what i’m doing, and i think that’s the case with most photographers. if you chose to have them take your photos and you like the work you’ve seen that they’ve done, then basically you should be able to trust them! plus, as a photographer, we are looking for your best angles and we want you to look good! i need to take my own advice on this one!

this is a very generalized list, but the main thing i hope it does is inspires you to have photos taken, whether you have professional shots or at least hand your camera over, and don’t wait for the perfect moment. because people see us every day and know the reality of what we look like anyway.  many of us are just really hard on ourselves when we see a photo that we’re in. in hindsight, i wish i had just been in more photos so that my life was better documented…the good, the bad, the ugly…it is what it always with *b* lists, they are mainly just for fun and sharing. i love to read lists that others share, and so i like to try to share things that have been helpful, inspiring, informational…but are never intended to be critical or from a *know it all* perspective. i just like to offer something of myself. my intention with the blog is to share. visually, creatively, emotionally, philisophically, spiritually, practically….

i met up with courtney and zach on saturday morning…after an on again, off again bout with the weather.




courtney-zach-059-web  for some odd reason, i asked them out of the blue if they happened to have access to a classic old car. no idea where it came from, but the answer was YES! unbelievable!




this shot will probably make zach blush : )




such a beautiful couple! and good sports too. can’t wait for their wedding in september!

i had to snap a couple of photos of their well-behaved labs. what good boys!



i love dogs.

i hope that you all enjoyed the weekend and are off to a good start this week! God bless!

tara pollard pakosta - beautiful pics!
cute couple.
amazing dogs!
love your b list!

Jessica T - I love the pictures.

The *b* list is great too! My husband hates pictures…but I make a point to get them done at least once a year. You just can’t bring the kids being small and young back…or our youth!

patti - great tips-I’m going to print them out and keep them when we FINALLY have family photos taken. i know. already not taking your advice. 🙂

Vicki Chrisman - Glad you had a good weekend. Love the photos. Cant wait to see your new studio pics. Sounds fun!

Auntie Jaynee - Kiss, kiss, Becky Sue. Love you.

Jodi - Great thoughts on photo time. I am going to post a link on my blog about it…You just have the words, sadly I don’t 🙂

Mama Cerise - Great job! I never thought my boys could look so good! Court she captured your precious smile:) Luv u !!!

Libby - Very cute pictures! You both look so natural. Can’t wait until the big day!

Aunt Debby - Love the pictures, you two are so cute together!

Rachel and Michael - You look so happy together! We are excited for both of you.

jonathan - nice.

Joe - Love the dog!

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