Warning: you are here under false pretenses, y’all. I may or may not have succumbed to the temptation to add a bit of a clickbait title to this post, BUTIDIDITFORTHERIGHTREASONS (if such a thing exist). Because….guys…..I actually have NO idea how to stage a home.

But I was hoping YOU do.

I need your help! You see, we are in the process of getting our home ready to list for sale (we have outgrown this one, sadly!!!), and I’ve busted out the bible of decluttering – The Lifechanging Magic of Tidying Up (you know what I’m talking about – touch everything you own and if it doesn’t spark joy, throw it out (lol)). Decluttering, organizing, and packing are really cathartic but HOLYCOWITSKINDOFANIGHTMARE, especially because it’s dragging on and on (I won’t say WHY because I don’t want to incriminate the guilty parties, but let’s just say that some people I live with are not as, um, aware of cleaning and decluttering procedures as I am).

AAAAANYWAY, I digress. My point here is that I really do need help – I’m crowd-sourcing for tips on how to best stage a home for listing. I’ve done this before, but it’s been some years and I’m sure there are new, better ways to do this than last time around. So holler at me, all you decorating/organizing/design queens – what are your favorite nuggets of knowledge that I should know?!

XOXOXOXO, and see you back here tomorrow.

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Emily Lapish is a full-time photographer, wife, mom, and crazy person. She is tattooed, pierced, and also a responsible adult person with a full time job. Likes include long walks through Target while cradling a latte, and taking off on spontaneous adventures. She is fueled by passion for restoration, grace, and also by obscene amounts of coffee. 

To book a free consultation or inquire about a session, click here.

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It’s time again for Fall Mini-Sessions!! Space is limited this year, so make sure you know the dates!!

Who:

ANYONE! Just you; you and your BFF; you and your cat; kids with their grandparents; generations; and oh yeah, families, of course.

What: 

20 minute session, on location; all high resolution digitals (via download); custom gallery for sharing and downloading.

When:

In Chattanooga, sessions will be held October 6-7. I will potentially also be offering one day of mini-sessions in Atlanta – if you’re interested in getting in on that action, hit me up quick so I can add that in to my schedule.

Where:

Chattanooga sessions will be held at Greenway Farms. Atlanta, TBA.

How (much):

$225 for the whole shebang. Quick, painless, digital, downloadable.

To sign up, click the link here…it will walk you through the process. You can see available times, book the slot you want, sign your contract, and pay your session fee within a couple of minutes. Check it off your to-do list!!!

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Emily Lapish is a full-time photographer, wife, mom, and crazy person. She is tattooed, pierced, and also a responsible adult person with a full time job. She hates being photographed, and loves long walks through Target while cradling a latte. She is fueled by passion for restoration, grace, and also by obscene amounts of coffee. 

To book a free consultation or inquire about a session, click here.

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I’ve been hinting for weeks (I really didn’t mean to be a tease!!) and I’m to happy to  f i n a l l y  be able to announce the first of my three new custom session options. The first of the three is called Rise + Shine. You asked for details, you’re GETTING details. If there’s any info you’re wondering about that you don’t see below, hit me up and I’d love to chat through it with you. I’m insanely excited about these and can’t wait to get going.

Who:

These sessions are specially designed for families who want to savor the sweet/chaotic/groggy/relaxed bonding time that happens first thing in the morning. Families who value authenticity, who don’t mind (or try not to) a little chaos and mess (because that’s just how it is when you’re raising small people). Families who understand that moments with littles fly by way too fast, and that one day they’ll be thinking wistfully back on this challenging (and beautiful) time. Families who want to get beyond the perfectly posed and styled unrealistic Pinterest family photograph. 

What:

Whether it’s a Saturday morning vibe – mom and dad curled up with coffee cups and kiddos building castles/drawing/making play dough monsters, or a Monday morning vibe – waking up the kiddos, getting breakfast, walking to the bus stop – if it’s dear to your heart, it’s worth remembering. I’ll arrive around the time your household gets moving in the morning, and quietly document your family just being yourselves for an hour or two. You’ll get a custom online gallery of our time together (and be able to download it all in high resolution), and memories worth savoring for future generations.

When: 

Rise + Shine sessions open on October 9th. Early Bird booking opens today, and you get $50 for being on top of things and scheduling now. The Early Bird booking special ends on August 26th (the end of next week!!). 

Where:

Your home, or wherever it is you lay your head. Visiting grandparents/aunts and uncles/friends in town? That totally counts, and we should document that. 

How (much):

Your Rise + Shine session (including all digitals) is $500. See “Early Bird booking special” above for $50 off. 😉

 

Let’s capture the heart of your family as it beats right now. Because, take it from me, next time you blink, this stage will be over.

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I’m super stoked to hear from you.

 

Emily Lapish is a lifestyle photographer in Chattanooga, TN specializing in all things family-related. She spends her time fending off wild animals raising three boys with her husband, and enjoys long walks through Target while cradling a hazelnut latte. 

To book your birth, beauty, or family session, or to schedule a free consultation, click here

 

 

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The very top question I get in emails, Facebook messages, and in workshops is, “HOW do I take better photos of my kids?!” They’re always on the move, hate standing still, cop a fake smile when you pull out the camera, and you can never seem to capture the moment in its real magic. Well, I can’t make it perfect for you, but I do have a few tricks up my sleeve that can help. Grab some coffee and a pen, and let’s get to work.

1: Stop saying “smile”!!

This is SO important. When you tell kids to smile, two things happen without fail: 1) the moment ends, and 2) you lose the genuine expression. What do I mean? Well, let’s say your kids are playing together sweetly (it doesn’t happen often, I know; just use your imagination). You grab your camera to photograph the moment, and say “hey guys, smile!” Your kids’ attention is interrupted, they’re brought back to reality, and the moment is over. It’s probably back to bickering and chaos. And those genuine facial expressions and body language that convey their connection, curiosity, and affection – they’re replaced by cheesy, awkward, pasted-on smiles. The moment is gone.

 

2: Put down the camera and join in.

I know, this one is counterintuitive. How, you might ask, are you supposed to photograph your kids if you’ve put down the camera? Well, friend, you don’t. Instead, you have a genuine bonding moment with your kids, digging in the dirt for worms or splashing in puddles. And that’s ok. But the outcome of this is that NEXT time they’re doing something photograph-able like that, they won’t be on high alert for your reaction (“STOP PLAYING IN THE MUD!” “Don’t jump on the bed!” etc), and they’ll be less likely to immediately quit the cuteness when you show up on the scene. Bonus: you build a better relationship with your kids.

3: Be intentional.

This takes practice, and it’s a little more abstract. What I mean here is to practice “seeing” the moment, so you can recognize it instantly when it happens. When you can see the right moment for a photograph, you’ll grab the shot, then put down the camera and be present. You won’t need to be behind the camera shooting nonstop and missing the fun. Bonus: you won’t clog up your camera roll with ten million pictures of the same basic thing. Minimalism, people. (For more on how to see a great shot before you take it, look for my upcoming blog post on just that topic). 

4. Adjust your shutter speed.

Hi there, left-brained friends! If I lost your attention with the esoteric right-brained tip above, I’ve probably got it back now. This is concrete and actionable. If you’re using a DSLR (or SLR for you film nerds; I see you there), this one is for you. If you’re using your phone, this won’t help you. A quick camera lesson: inside your camera body (not in your lens) is a shutter (picture a door) that opens and closes to let light in to hit the sensor (or film strip for analog cameras). The speed that it opens determines how fast your sensor can capture movement (it has other effects as well, but that’s another blog post by itself). You may have noticed, but kids move quickly, which means if you’re not shooting with a high shutter speed, your children may end up as just streaks of light and color in your photographs instead of sharp, crisply focused subjects. — Which may not be a bad thing! If done well, it can be a cool effect that tells a story about your life. But I digress. For quickly moving kiddos, you’ll want to keep your shutter speed as high as possible for your given light conditions; a good standard is at least 1/250 (which represents the amount of time in seconds that the shutter opens; this would be 1/250th of a second. Finally, an exact measurement that proves your children are speed demons).

5. Teach them photography.

If your kids are involved in what you’re doing, they feel invested in the outcome. Take a trip to the library and check out some books of great photography (watch out; most great photographers have at least a few nude series). Talk to them about lighting, and balance, and symmetry, and whatever else you love about photographs. Show them the pictures you take and teach them to see what you love about each (“Look at your eyes in this one – they’re so bright.” “I love how this one shows your freckles” “See the sunlight streaming through the trees here?”). They’re never too little to be involved in what you love; they may or may not develop their own love of photography, but they WILL love getting to know you better and spending time with you. Once you foster this process in them, they’ll be more likely to cooperate when you pull out the camera next time. Knowledge is agency, agency is confidence, and kids thrive on that.

6. Get on their level.

If you’ve had a session with me, you may have noticed that I spend a lot of time lying on the ground. I’m not just lazy – that’s just where the best shots usually are (also I ruin a lot of clothes this way; oh well). Being on a child’s level when photographing them gives the viewer of your work the perspective of the child. If you’re into meta-analysis: when you photograph a child from your own grown-up viewpoint, you’re psychologically looking down on them (note: this doesn’t have to be a negative thing; it can be done in such a way as to exaggerate their tiny size, to evoke an impression of helplessness, etc. Rabbit trail: if you notice in ads that are aimed at getting you to show compassion on a person or thing – such as those HORRIBLE Sarah Mclachlan SPCA ads – the advertisers photograph/video the person or thing from above to evoke that feeling in you that you need to reach down and save them.) If you’re not into meta-analysis: getting down on a child’s level is often an unexpected and welcome change in perspective. Mix it up.

7. Don’t stress.

It’s just a photograph. If you miss it, oh well. But if you stress over it, you definitely won’t get it. And you know why? Because kids sense stress like tiny bloodhounds, and they do not react well to it. Some kids react by closing up (a turtle hiding in its shell); some kids react by running away (they’re on to another room, another activity, or just gone); some kids react by acting out; some kids just do the opposite of whatever it is they sense you want them to do. But I’ve never met a kid who reacts in a positive way. So just stay calm. If you miss the shot, whatever. If your kids realize that a missed photographic moment has no power over you, they won’t be tempted to ruin it for you on purpose in the future (maybe your kids are angels and this would never happen in your family, but that’s not the case in my family).

8. Get those pictures on your walls.

Seeing themselves and their family on the walls of their home instead of a tiny device screen has actual psychological power in a kid’s life. There’s a sense of connectedness and belonging and purpose that family photographs bring. They’re conversation starters, salve for hurt feelings, and encouragement on hard days. Get them where your kids have visual access to them. It makes a difference in their willingness to be involved in the process of making more pictures.

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blog posts

 

Emily Lapish is a lifestyle photographer in Chattanooga, TN specializing in all things family-related. She spends her time fending off wild animals raising three boys with her husband, and enjoys long walks through Target while cradling a hazelnut latte. 

To book your birth, beauty, or family session, or to schedule a free consultation, click here

 

 

 

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I get SO attached to my littlest friends that I get to hang out with, and especially the ones I get to see for all the big milestones. I was there when Willa’s warrior mama was laboring hard with her, and there when she was a tiny snuggly newborn; so getting to see her crawling and playing peekaboo and giggling filled my heart.

Enjoy!

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Emily Lapish is a full-time photographer, wife, mom, and crazy person. She is tattooed, pierced, and also a responsible adult person with a full time job. She hates being photographed, and loves long walks through Target while cradling a latte. She is fueled by passion for restoration, grace, and also by obscene amounts of coffee. 

To book a free consultation or inquire about a session, click here.

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