portrait photography

Lily J., Linganore High School | Carroll County Senior Portrait Photographer | Westminster, MD

Lily is a senior at Linganore High School who plans to major in Drama in college. For her gorgeous fall session, we spent the evening exploring the Union Mills Homestead and finished at a pretty little flowery field just down the road. Lily was such a natural in front of the camera and I had so much trouble narrowing down to her final images! Press play on the first image below, then enjoy some of my favorites from her fall senior portrait session. 

5 Tips for Taking Better Pictures of Your Dog | Carroll County Pet Photographer | Union Bridge, MD

To dog-lovers like me, our pups are basically our children, and doesn’t everyone want to document every little part of their child’s life?! Since beginning photographing dogs for the Humane Society of Carroll County, I’ve learned that, like children, dogs are some of the most difficult subjects to photograph. With these tips, you can take better photos of your dog no matter if you have an iPhone or a DSLR.

1. Use what they love

If you’re like me and take a million photos of your dog, your pup might look away as soon as the camera comes out. Or, if you have a high energy dog who is easily distracted, it can feel impossible to get a good photo of them actually looking at the camera. The easiest way to grab their attention for a picture is to find out what they love the most, like a certain kind of treat or a specific toy, and use it to draw their eyes toward the camera, even if its only for a second. Squeaky toys tend to work wonders for dogs who like toys and you’ll get the cutest expression out of them!

2. Let them be themselves

Sometimes the photos we love and cherish the most of our pets are the ones where they are simply being themselves. Instead of trying to get your dog to sit or lay down in an exact spot in a certain way looking at the camera and posed all perfectly, follow your dog around until he settles down and capture him relaxing on the couch, or out in the yard playing with a toy. Working WITH your dog instead of against them will get you a great photo WAY more often.

3. Have an extra hand

If you aren’t lucky enough to have a fenced in area or a dog who can be trusted to not go off exploring on his own, having someone who can hold your dog on the leash so you can get a photo makes things SO much easier. When I’m photographing the dogs at the Humane Society, its nearly impossible to hold the dog AND photograph them at the same time because as soon as I back up to take it, they immediately follow me before I can get any shot at all, let alone a good one!

4. Get creative

If your dog is almost never still and always running, playing, or exploring, sometimes you have to get creative to get that photo! One of my favorite tricks is to have someone throw a ball right past me from across the yard so I can get photos of the dog running right towards me. This usually results in some pretty funny action shots!

5. Make no plans

Probably the biggest thing I’ve learned from photographing shelter dogs is to not make any plans when setting out to take a dog’s photo! If you’re not going with the dog’s flow and you’re getting all frustrated because you can’t get the shot you planned on taking, the dog is going to sense your negative energy and they’re just going to get less and less cooperative. Pretty much every time I have a specific photo in my head that I want to get of my pup, he reminds me that he has different plans :)

-Becca Mathews, Carroll County Pet Photographer

Emma P., FSK High School | Maryland Senior Portrait Photographer | Westminster, MD

When Emma, a Class of 2017 senior at Francis Scott Key High School, came to me to do her senior portraits and mentioned that she wanted to incorporate her flute and her love of reading, I just knew her session was going to turn out amazing! On the day of her session, we spent the whole evening chasing the light all across the campus of the Montessori School getting SO many amazing shots with so much variety. Press play on the first image below and enjoy some of my favorites from her stunning session. -Becca, Maryland Senior Portrait Photographer

Shannon-Marie and Sunny | Carroll County, MD Equine Photographer | Poolesville, MD

I’m so excited to introduce Naturally Vivid Photography’s first Equestrian Ambassador, Shannon-Marie! Shannon-Marie has been riding with Holly Chester and Kevin Bruce, based out of the gorgeous CB Farm in Montgomery County, for 13 years and has been involved in the non-profit sector of the horse industry for much of her riding career. Equally beautiful and talented, Shannon-Marie is also one of the most genuine girls I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. At CB farm, she has the pleasure of riding “Here Comes The Sun” aka Sunny, and oh my gosh is she lucky! Sunny has the most gorgeous, floaty trot you’ve ever seen and is downright stunning! These two will go so far in their riding careers, no doubt about it.

Shannon-Marie and Sunny’s equine portrait session was one of my favorite shoots to date with all that gorgeous evening sun and summer heat. Click play on the first image below, and enjoy the full set from this awesome equestrian portrait session.