4 Reasons Why Your Restaurant Needs Professional Photography

Photography is an investment. 

I had a conversation with a restaurant manager who told me how he uses his cell phone to take pictures of the food.  I’m not gonna lie, I died a little bit.  Not only am I a photographer, but I’m a foodie!  I think the two uniquely intertwine together.  I have such a respect for good quality restaurants with good quality food.  My respect for it drives my inspiration to make it look good too.  The restaurant itself is beautiful and unfortunately, iPhone pictures just don’t do it justice!

We live in a photo driven era with Pinterest and Instagram that drive business.  And they can make or break your business depending on how successful you are with them.  If the pin isn’t pretty, you won’t pin it.  No matter how good the recipe is.  Actually, you’ll never know how good it is because you keep scrolling!  The very foundation of Instagram is images.  People follow profiles who have ascetically pleasing feeds.  If they aren’t consistent, you’re less likely to draw a crowd. 

When I hear about a new restaurant, the first place I go to look them up is Instagram.  And my decision on whether or not I go?  The pictures.  You can have a great logo and great food but people won’t know that by your logo.  And they certainly will not know that by the pictures you take with your iPhone.

When realtors sell houses overnight it’s because the buyers were drawn to the house in the first place by the pictures.  That cell phone flash in the bathroom mirror doesn’t sell.

Good photography sells.  Plain and simple.

All business owners lay awake at night going over all the details.  What the decor will look like, the logo, the menu, the silverware, napkins, drinks, products…am I making you hyperventilate?  My point is this… don’t let all those nights you’ve laid awake mulling over every detail go to waste by using your cell phone to capture them.

To show you the difference side by side, I took pictures of a recipe I was working on with both my iPhone 6 and my DSLR.  I think the pictures explain it all.  If you need more convincing, here are 4 reasons why you need to invest in photography for your business!

  1. Images are higher quality.  It’s just plain and simple.  My $2500 camera and $800 lens are going to take better pictures than your $500 iPhone.
  2. We know how to handle low light settings, white balance issues and how to process photos which means you won’t end up with grainy, blue pictures.
  3. We can touch up any styling flaws.  Notice the difference in the squash in the first photo?  Or the smudge of soup on the bowl in the second picture?
  4. You’ll create a brand for yourself by the images you share.  People will know your food by your images.  Better make them good!

Photography is an investment!  

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If you’re interested in food photography for your business, contact me!!

Recipe coming soon to Mom the Brave!

A Day in the Life

Last fall, I was stretched so thin by all the things I love to do, cooking, blogging, photographing, creating…the list went on.  I remember being in my bathroom getting ready one day and I prayed God, if you could just take all the things I want to do and package it all together, I’d just really appreciate it.  It was a prayer I prayed quite often.  I was trying to juggle too many things and it was starting to drive me absolutely crazy.  But by the end of January, my prayer was answered and in a way that I never expected.

My friend Holly from My Plant Based Family had a whole list of recipes she wanted to rephotograph but didn’t have the time.  So, since I was interested in all things blogs, I offered to help.  After my first few recipes, I fell in love!  I thought, I can do this for a living!  When I told her that, her response was, you can!  Let me add you to this group on Facebook!  It took me a few weeks to get up the courage to actually offer my services to bloggers, I was so nervous about the thought of failure and rejection.  But sure enough they started requesting me to rephotograph recipes that needed updating.  It quickly turned into a business where I now both write and photograph recipes.

This job is like a dream.  Since college, I’ve wanted to write my own cookbook.  I even started keeping track of my recipes, but it didn’t last too long because life got real crazy, real fast.  When that dream was planted, I hadn’t even considered being the one to both write and photograph the book.  While I’m not working on the project now, it’s always in the back of my mind.  I absolutely love what I do right now and I know it’s preparing me for what’s ahead!

Despite everything good that has happened there will still be days when I’m driving down the road and self doubt creeps in.  Ever have those moments?  I have them more often than I care to admit.  During those times God always reminds me of where I was and where I am now, and I’m not talking about my photography skill level 8 months ago. No, I’m talking about where I was 10 years ago and the pain and heartache that surrounded my life at that time.  He brought me out of the miry clay and set my feet upon a rock.  And that rock is where I have stayed.  It’s where I’ve met my husband, had my boys, built my life, basked in His promises.  Upon the Rock.

Anytime I feel like I’m just not enough, He whispers to me, I have made you for a time and place such as this.  This life, this place is where I have called you to be.

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Date Night Diaries No.1

date night diaries

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and yet there I was watching it with my own eyes.

There we were, sitting and waiting for our movie to start.  We looked up and saw a teenage guy on his hover board holding the hand of his girlfriend walking beside him.  He hovered over to a coffee shop and left his ride outside with his girlfriend while he went inside.  I know what you’re thinking, aanndd? What’s the big deal, I hover next to my girlfriend all the time.  #facepalm

We sat there watching this scene take place in front of us and I thought, this is why I want to date my husband.  Our boys are growing up in a world of hover boards for pete’s sake and I want them to at least have the decency to put down the dang hover board and escort their girlfriends like men!

So my husband and I have made it a priority to have a date night.  If you have kids, you know this is a big deal, and if you don’t then let me tell you, it’s a big deal.   Life just zooms by too fast.  We’ve been married 5 years now and have two beautiful boys, the oldest who will be 4 in October.  Yikes, I can’t believe it.  My husband and I used to go out all the time before kids.  We were such foodies and would love finding new places to eat.  We still do of course, but don’t always have the time or energy for it.  Now that we are out of the funky newborn stage, we’ve committed to ourselves to have two dates a month.  But what is so unique about our date nights, is that we want to share them with you.

In my Welcome Gifts to all my bride and grooms, I give them a set of 10 date night ideas.  Dating your spouse is so important and sometimes you just get in such a routine of what you think a date should look like that you forget why you do it.  It’s good to mix it up every once in a while!  Ryan and I are taking those 10 date night ideas to heart and are going on them ourselves!  Last night was already planned so we enjoyed a night out at a new favorite restaurant, went to a movie and made sure to leave plenty of room for conversation.  But the next night we head out, we’re checking Date #1 off the list!

While the food and movie was great, it was what we talked about that was icing on the cake.  We talked about work and the kids some, but as we sat and waited for our movie to start, we talked about the one thing we both hold near and dear to our hearts, Corvettes.  Don’t laugh, but it’s true.  We are car people!  We were pulling up the different body styles on our phones talking about the differences we saw, what we liked and didn’t like and which one we would drive if we had the chance.  Nerds?  Probably.  But my husband was on cloud nine!  And I have to admit, I was too.

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Shelby Lung: Scottsdale, Arizona Cosmetologist

Shelby Lung

I first met Shelby when she was in Junior High!  Believe it or not, I had the privilege of coaching her and her sister in volleyball.  They are the sweetest girls with a passion for life.  I can’t believe that Shelby is already 20, has had a modeling career, graduated cosmetology school and is now working at a salon in Old Town Scottsdale.

Shelby and I have partnered together to bring photography clients the ultimate experience.  While hair and makeup is not a part of my standard packages, I am giving clients the opportunity to buy her services al a carte.  Shelby will also pop in here and there on my blog to give clients tips on how to wear their hair and makeup for their session!

So take a moment, read Shelby’s bio and get to know her!

Hi! I’m Shelby! My passion for hair and makeup began at a very early age. I remember doing my cousin’s hair for family outings and playing with my friend’s hair during school. I always admired the creativity and uniqueness behind hair styling and makeup artistry in the everyday world.
When I was in high school I started modeling professionally. I was traveling a lot for photo shoots, and training sessions, and events all over the Unites States. I continued to model here and there after high school for photo shoots and hair shows, but during this journey I really fell in love with the behind the scenes work of the high fashion industry.
Having a background in modeling I have developed a passion for hair styling and expression through makeup. My philosophy with makeup is to keep the integrity of your natural beauty and enhance it!
After completing cosmetology school and going to work in a salon I wanted to be able to continue to express my passion, and love that I get to do that on a daily basis now as a career and through photography. Whether you’re walking the runway or it’s the big day; creating a style for your occasion is my specialty!

Shelby LungShelby Lung


Welcome Packets

One of the upgrades I made with my rebranding is a Welcome Packet.  The last few years, I’ve played email tag with clients trying to figure out locations, what to wear and when they will receive their pictures.  I’ve put all of my most frequently asked questions into a packet to send to all of my clients, both returning and new.  If you’re a photographer looking for inspiration, I’ve listed where I purchased each piece at the end!

In the black linen folder, you’ll find 5 inserts: What to Wear, What to Expect, Print Release, Locations and an Appointment Card.  You’ll also find my business card and a hand written note to each of my clients.

What to Wear, What to Expect and the Print Release are all pretty self explanatory.  To help me not to forget to send the Print Release to clients with their photos, I just decided to add it in with everything else so they have a physical copy already with them.

For Locations, I listed 5 places that are my absolute favorite.  I know and trust the lighting and have my favorite spots already picked out.  Sometimes there are so many options, that it’s hard to pick so giving clients a short list to choose from help boost their confidence when making their decision.  They always say, “I don’t know, you’re the photographer!” So I educate them to make the best choice.

I added an appointment card so clients will have something tangible of mine that they will want and need to keep.   Of course, most will write it down on their calendar as soon as you confirm the date, but on the off chance that they don’t I’ve provided them with something to help remind them of when their session is.  It’s all about the details.





Black Folders: Paper Presentation

White Envelopes: Paper Presentation

Inserts: Designed and printed by me

Stationary: Tiny Prints (I also purchased matching address labels and polka dot envelope liners)

Luxe Square Business Cards: Moo

Custom Logo Stamp: Fall For Design