Monthly Archives: February 2016

Just a friendly reminder that Easter “quick-takes” are going on now.  The Easter quick-takes will take place at Sheila Hebert Photography’s studio in Splendora, Texas.  You’ll have the option of one set indoors (with life-like bunnies, chicks, & ducklings) and/or one set outdoors (weather permitting).  You can do one or both sets at no extra charge.


Easter “quick-takes” are available until March 23, 2015.  A quick-take session is only $45 (plus tax) or this can be an add-on to any full session you may have already scheduled (a “quick” session will only take about 30 minutes).  Special collections for quick-take sessions start at $175.

There are only a handful of openings left for the month of March, so give me a call or email today to get on the schedule:  281-804-3148 or


ps….click here for more information on quick-dates.



Here is another sweet little girl from one of my favorite families – Miss Reagan!  It seems like only yesterday when I met Reagan for the first time.  She was just  a few weeks old and so teeny tiny.  


Now look at her as an “almost” big five-year-old!!!


When Reagan came to the studio, one of the first things she did was give me a GREAT BIG HUG.  Thank you so much Reagan…you are such a sweet baby girl!

And thank you Paul and Heather for allowing me to be a part of your lives over the last 7 years (or has it been 8?!?!)!!!  I have loved every minute of watching your family grow – from your wedding (way back in 2008 ) and then having the pleasure of photographing Reagan every year as she grows into a beautiful little lady:)  And congratulations again – I can’t wait to meet Kayson.


reneau-4-months-2-2016-2I had the pleasure of photographing Miss Avery’s session last Saturday — she’s growing fast and already 4 1/2 months old!  She was full of smiles for her entire session!!!  And she’s quick with those smiles — it never failed…every time I put down my camera down for second or looked away for a moment, there she was with a huge grin!  But I’m happy to say I did catch most of those smiles and regardless, lots and lots of sweet angel baby looks.

Miss Avery’s family is one of my favorite families around — I know I probably say that about every family, but it’s true I love all the families that I work with.  It has been my honor to photograph this family for almost 5 years!!!  I first met them when I photographed Big Sister Kendall’s newborn session way back in May of 2011. Thank you Cody & Morgan for choosing me to be a small part of your family – I love watching your babies grow:)

Here’s one of Miss Kendall’s newborn session:



And here’s Miss Avery with Big Sister Kendall (at newborn and now at 4 months):




And now it means more than I can express with words how honored I am to be a part of Avery’s first year!

A few more from Avery’s recent session:


I do have to tell you about a funny little thing that happened during the session.  So with the session being on a Saturday, of course Lori was here (my own sweet baby girl) and my sweet niece Laycee.  So I thought it would be a good idea if we got some crafts to do with Lori, Laycee, and Kendall while we were photographing Miss Avery – keep them occupied you know:)  Well let me just tell you paint was not a good idea!!!  I’m not even sure what I was thinking or if I was thinking at all lol!!!  It did keep them very busy and very quiet while we photographed Miss Avery, except at one point I heard “why does she have paint all over her?” — whoops my bad.  Sorry about that Cody & Morgan.  Next time I promise to have more appropriate crafts (and some healthier snacks:):)!!!

So you got a new fancy camera for Christmas — that’s great!  Or maybe you’ve had your camera for some time and just never took the time to learn to use it.  Have no fear…I’m going to help.  Awhile back I started posting “Tips on Tuesday” and tried to give a few helpful tips along the way (I think the bulk of the originals are gone due to the gremlins who ate my website a couple of years ago though).  I’ve also taught a few “Basics for Beginners” photography classes here and there & I get asked questions about cameras (how to use it, the best one to get, etc., etc.) ALL THE TIME!  So I’m starting over here with “Tips on Tuesday” and my goal is to help you learn to WORK YOUR CAMERA.

Most of the tips can be applied to any “advanced point and shoot” or DSLR camera.  But a lot will apply to any camera whether it be an iPhone camera or a “simple point and shoot”. By the way…if you happen to be in the market for a good camera don’t fall into the trap that the most expensive is the best.  An expensive DSLR is no better than a mid-range Point & Camera unless you really have the time to understand and learn to work it.  And by the way…here’s a link to my camera of choice for personal uses – Canon G series.  I currently have an older version (G12), but looking to upgrade very, very soon (I’m leaning towards the G16).  I once wrote a very lengthy blog post on why this type of camera for my personal use (and why I recommend this camera to most people who want a “better” camera), but I just checked and it’s gone from the blog (darn gremlins).  I’ll add that to my list to rewrite it soon, but in short this camera can do everything most people really want and need for personal uses.  And it’s small enough that you WILL actually carry it along with you.

One important thing to remember is that a better camera will not make your photos better. Good photography comes from what’s in between your ears rather this what you hold in your hand. So start with the camera you have right now!!!

“A good photo is knowing where to stand.” ~Ansel Adams

My first piece of advice to anyone who “wants to take better pictures” is to understand how your camera works. READ THE MANUAL!  I know it’s boring, but how else will you ever learn all your camera functions???  Not all cameras are created equally.  For the first of this tutorial, I’m going to briefly explain what all the little icons mean on the camera dial.  My goal is to get you off the “green box”!!!  If you have a camera that cost more than a few hundred dollars and are using the “green box” mode (aka automatic)… You have wasted your money!  REALLY! Your iPhone can do just as a good job.  Again these will be very short descriptions.  To learn more about each…READ THE MANUAL:)

1  Automatic – the green box (or some an oval).  Basically you point the camera, click the shutter button, and BAM you’re done.  No thinking required – the camera does all the thinking for you.  Great for snapshots and candids of this and that.  Do I ever use green mode?  Yes, but only on my point and shoot.  And only when I really don’t want to think about my settings or don’t have the time (sometimes you just have to capture the moment).  Never, ever on my DSLR, NEVER!  One thing about shooting on automatic is that sometimes your camera can get it right and sometimes NOT.  But you get the point…all you do is point on the green mode.  Nothing else to say on this.

2. Program mode – I’m not going to spend much time here because basically it’s not much different than automatic mode.  While you do have a little more control (very little), the camera really controls everything for the most part.  There are a few tricks to learn for program mode that I’ll get to later, but I promise you have other options for a lot more control.   I never use this mode (goes for both the point & shoot and my professional camera).  And by the way…program mode is sometimes called “P-mode” — P-mode DOES NOT stand for “Professional Mode”.:)

3.  Shutter Priority (shortened to Tv on your camera dial) – in short, you set the shutter speed of your choice and the camera sets the aperture.  What’s shutter speed and aperture?  Read your manual he-he:)  Kidding, but not kidding really – you need to know these terms.  But I will cover them as we go.  Rarely do I use this mode – probably more so on my point & shoot.

4.  Aperture – This is one of my favorite modes to use when I work outdoors – using this mode helps me to achieve a certain look I want.  Basically it does the opposite of shutter priority.  In this mode, you set the aperture (the opening of your lens) and the camera sets the shutter speed.  We’ll get to the reasons why you’d want to control your aperture and/or shutter speed later.

5. Manual – My absolute favorite!  More thinking is involved here, but this mode really lets you be in complete control and be creative on your terms.  I use this mode 100% of the time in the studio and about 95% of the time when working with flash outside (the other 5% is in aperture mode using natural light only for the most part).

6. Bulb and scene modes – just for now I’m going to skip over these.  Most point and shoot cameras have special scene modes and some consumer DSLRs (have both).  But I’ll get to them later down the road.

So your homework for now is to READ THE MANUAL!  At the very least, read your manual to find out what camera modes and/or scenes your camera has.  And then practice photographing one object on the different modes.  Try to see if you can make a decent image on each mode (you’ll probably have to read that manual if you don’t know how to change your settings:).  But just try – don’t get discouraged.  In the next week or two, I’ll go into more detail on aperture and shutter speed.

Here is a quick example of one object taken at the 5 different modes I went over above:

Automatic Mode

Automatic Mode

Program Mode

Program Mode

Shutter Priority (Tv) Mode

Shutter Priority (Tv) Mode

Aperture Priority (Av)

Aperture Priority (Av)

Manual Mode

Manual Mode

With Springtime on it’s way, a lot of you are planning for photo sessions (high school seniors, family spring portraits, spring portraits for the kids, etc.) this time of year.  You have a lot of time and money invested into your session, and you want to make sure it’s worth it.   Here’s some quick advice to help you have the best photoshoot experience:
  1. Don’t be late – A photographer (especially when using natural light) plans for just enough time to have enough light during your shoot. The later you are, the less time you will have to get good quality pictures in the best circumstance.
  2. RELAX – Try your hardest not to be tense or stressed out.   Your photographer will be able to direct you in a way that will make you look great if you are willing to try everything, and trust their experience. The more tense and nervous you are, the more uncomfortable you will look, and the harder it will be to get ideas flowing and you looking natural.  And if you’re not in the picture but your kids are, the same is true.  Kids can sense when the parents are stressed and it shows in their photos.  Also, threats during a session aren’t a good idea usually (bribes yes, but threats usually tend to backfire).
  3. Go with the flow & trust the photographer –  If your photographer puts you in a specific pose, and you feel weird just trust that you look good.  I always try to show the pose and explain why.  Sometimes you feel weird while doing it, but it actually looks for good for the camera.  Just have fun, ask questions as to why if you want, and just try the pose.  If it’s too uncomfortable or you just aren’t “cool” with it – ask to try something else.  And if you have a concern (tummy area, arms, or whatever), make sure you tell your photographer!  They should be able to pose you in way that will minimize your worry areas.
  4. Don’t be last minute with your planning!  Plan out your outfit, hair, and makeup far in advance so you aren’t scrambling at the last minute. Those things make a WORLD of difference in pictures, so start researching, shopping, and getting your look together so you can feel confident instead of frustrated when you show up to your shoot.  Bring your outfits, accessories, and props to the session in an organized way.  I always suggest you put your accessories in a plastic zipper bag and slip it on the hanger of the matching outfit.
  5. And the last tip – make sure your clothes are ironed and pressed!!!  Wrinkles on clothes will SHOW & no, they can’t be “retouched” in photoshop:)
  6. Just one more tip…HAVE FUN!
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