Category Archives: Photos

We’re baaaack!

Well, we made it back from our vacation. I totally had the ‘vacation is over blues’ on our way home. We ended our vacation in the gorgeous sunny 80 degree temps of Boca Raton, FL, and were snapped back to the reality of rainy 30 degree gloomy Arkansas. Boo. I can admit that I became a bit spoiled by ocean sunrises and daily walks along the beach with my boys.

Sunrise on Cocoa Beach


Now that we are back home, we have to reprogram & get back into the groove of life. It seem that when we go on any type of vacation, even a weekend getaway, we come back changed…or with life changes in mind. We’ve decided to travel more, spend more time together, and work more on being a family. We are a very close family, very affectionate, and communicate well, but we do so many things separate that it feels like we’ve grown apart a little as the kids have gotten older. We plan on trying to reverse that a little.

It was nice to come back home, but I can honestly say that I could have stayed on the beach for at least a month without blinking an eye. And the fact that I got to see family I hadn’t seen in years & meet cousins I’ve never met while attending my Uncle Joey’s wedding was fantastic. Overall, our vacation was near perfect…only flaws were 1. It wasn’t long enough. 2. We had to buy a new camera since we forgot ours, and then it broke at the beginning of the wedding. 3. It wasn’t long enough. 4. Did I mention it wasn’t long enough? ;)

JClare Studios Photo Shoot & Review

We recently had a family photo shoot at jclare studios. I was approached a few weeks ago about doing a review about this company, and I was thrilled. As you can probably tell just by casually glancing at any page of my blog, I LOVE PICTURES, so there was no thought involved in my (probably a little overenthusiastic) answer of YES! Before I get into my review of the actual session, let me give a little information about Jennifer Clare and ‘jclare photography studios’. jclare studios is a local studio located on main street right off the square. The website is simple, user friendly, and features her work in a nice clean design. There are also links to separate pages focusing on weddings, seniors, and the BLOG. Jennifer Clare has been a photographer for about 6 years, and is mostly self taught (which in my opinion is just as good as going to school, but that rant will have to wait for another day). Jennifer attends workshops, seminars, and classes throughout the year to further her knowledge and skills, and her camera of choice is a Canon. Okay…on to the shoot!

We had so much fun! Jennifer really thought of everything when dealing with the kids. During a phone call setting up a time for the session, we discussed what exactly we were looking for…which wasn’t anything special. I’m not picky, and wanted it to just be a fun shoot with some cute pictures of us just being us. I also have this super cool dress I was wanting to get pictures in, so we set that up as well. She asked what kind of music the kids were into, and had that playing when we got there. They were so surprised, and were all just totally grooving out to some Hannah Montana. She also said they could bring something from home that they wanted to have in a picture, and 3/4 kids did. They were so predictable in what they chose to bring…Trinity – mp3 player & sunglasses, Kara – ‘Beary’ her teddy bear, and Grayson…you guessed it…his trains. We did 2 clothing changes on the kids and Greg, and 3 for me because of the dress. I can honestly say I am more than happy with our shoot.
Our photos were available for review in an online gallery for 5 days. I wondered (out loud) why only 5 days since it was so hard to choose what photos I wanted, and my genius husband informed me it was so that people would order in a timely fashion. This policy is pretty stinking smart since the longer you have to look at the pictures, the longer you have to spend the money you budgeted for prints on other things. This policy is designed to benefit the company, but I actually liked it because it forced me to decide which pictures I want rather than agonize for weeks over which pictures were best. It was ridiculously hard for me to choose which photos I wanted, but I did it and am totally happy with my choices! *NOTE* They archive images on and off site, and guarantee them for 1 year. (You can purchase digital negatives for your own safekeeping or printing.)
After choosing which photos I wanted, I made an appointment with Jennifer to go over editing and actually place my order aka our ‘Personal Ordering Session’. Personal Ordering Session = a face-to-face meeting to place your order, an opportunity for Jennifer to answer any questions you may have about what can be done artistically to your photos, editing, cropping, etc., and a chance to view sample gift items (such as handbags, albums, jewelry, custom cards, etc.). I met her at her office to discuss lighting and bruise editing (evidently my kids play rough), photo size choices, and photo texture. This is also a really smart feature for the company. There are two texture choices, linen and pebble. (These make it where people, *cough* like me *cough* cannot scan the photo and order their own prints.) I chose linen, which almost looks like canvas.
The photos arrived within a week and a half. It happened to be on the day I left for a weekend getaway in Texas, so Greg got hold of them first and didn’t take pictures of the packaging. I mention this because they were so thoughtfully and beautifully packaged. Originally the brown ribbon was tied around the photos wrapped in the blue tissue paper according to Greg. After many failed attempts on re-creating this, I gave up and decided to photograph it as is.
Along with the 6 5×7′s I ordered, I received 8 complimentary wallets of our family photo with the JClare Studios logo.
Here are the photos I ordered the digital files of…as you can see, she did a wonderful job!

I will most likely end up ordering another print or two as a digital file so that I can print as many as I like…it was so, so hard to choose 6 photos out of so many great ones. There were somewhere around 90 photos, and these were my favorite. The ones I ordered actual prints of were the runners up…it was a very narrow margin though. I actually changed my mind on a few during our ordering session.

In return for an honest review over all aspects of a studio family photo shoot, I was given $100 in prints and 6 digital files. jclare studios did a wonderful job with my family, and it was very difficult to choose 6 digital files…they all came out so wonderfully! I would highly recommend Jennifer at jclare studios, especially if you have children. She worked well with the kids, and was great at getting them to do what she needed to get the shot she wanted. The entire experience was better than I imagined. The perfect mix of professionalism, friendliness, and fun!