8 Reasons

You can choose to bring your family to the chaos of a mall portrait store, and get in line with every other family that comes to the mall. But if you do, you will have the same options for fake backgrounds, forced poses, and cheesy special effects as everyone else. If you want pictures that look like the pictures that your neighbors have hanging on your walls, printed on the same paper, inserted into the same frames, and you absolutely have to go home with the portrait today, then it probably is better for you to take a trip to the mall.

But, maybe you are looking for just one reason to hire me as your portrait photographer. I hate to disappoint, but I can't give you just one reason, because there are eight!

1. Preplanning: The pre-session consultation is a very important first step. During this meeting we will discuss your families goal for your portraits. Options and budgets will be discussed. Date, time, location and other planning will be pinned down and the session appointment will be made.

2. Measured in hours not minutes: You will have to set aside a lot more than few minutes for the photography session. The minimum is two hours and if you want to cut it short, we can. But you might as well take advantage of the two hours you purchase, so block off the time. PS: I won't be watching the clock that closely, so you may have to remind me when the session is over.

3. Location Options: I have a studio, but most of my photography sessions are held elsewhere. And that elsewhere is up to you. Your home, a favorite park, an historical location. Whatever defines your family. If you need help coming up with some ideas, I can make some suggestions.

4. Natural and Fun Poses: I work with the dynamics of your family in connection to your chosen location to devise unique poses. If you have ideas of your own, let's do it!

5. Post Production: Before you see the results of our session, I spend hours perfecting the raw images. Cropping, retouching, and color correction are all crucial steps for high quality professional photographs, especially when the photographs are taken outside of a controlled studio setting. When you pay for a two-hour session, you are also paying for many more hours of post processing.

6. Tons more photographs to choose from: During our two hour session there will be so many more photographs taken than that mall store can offer. Once post production is completed, I will arrange an appointment with you and your family to view the photographs and framing options. I highly recommend that children of 12 years or older are included in the viewing session.

7. Lay Away for large orders: I understand the constraints of family budgets. But don't let that keep you from ordering that second or third portrait. You can order additional portraits of the same or different scene and put them on layaway. You will need to purchase and take home the first portrait to take advantage of this option. I can explain my layaway program in full during your viewing session.

8. Forever reprints: The original of every photograph you purchase is archived forever in a secure cloud server. If you ever want a reprint you can rest assured that your original will always be available. This will give you peace of mind in case of a fire, damage, or theft. It also serves as a photographic time capsule for precious and meaningful gifts years or decades from now.

Biography: Of Brownies and Darkrooms

When I was very young, my mom had a 1940's era Kodak Brownie. Occasionally, under strict supervision, she would allow me to snap a photograph. The viewfinder was large and on the top of the camera, however, it displayed the scene upside-down. It took some practice to frame the image, not very user-friendly, but I was fascinated by it.

As I got older I got a camera of my own, a Kodak Instamatic, the first of many I would own. I lost that camera on a Girl Scout camping trip---I was devasted. But I recovered quickly with another camera. In fact, over the years I tried them all, Polaroids; various 35mm film cameras; even a Super-8 movie camera.

In the 1980's, My husband and I worked on the weekends as wedding photographers, my cameras of choice were a Nikon SLR and later a Bronica medium-format camera. I had always wanted to be a photographer full-time. However, when my son was born, I cut out the weekend work and concentrated on him and my other full-time job...the one that helped to pay the bills.

My mother was an artist and taught me how to see with an artist's eye. My father embraced the technical side of photography and introduced me to darkroom techniques. I studied Graphic Design in college and have worked for years with computer graphics to create, enhance, and modify photographic images. I have completely embraced the digital age and love the unlimited creativity that this medium allows. On top of all that, I truly enjoy working with people from all walks of life.

I established Hullett Photography this year, after an unexpected layoff from my job (aren't they all unexpected?). Finally, my dream of having a fulltime photography business has come to fruition. Everything I have done in my life has prepared me for this, and I plan on having the time of my life doing it.

Join me, won't you?

Additional Articles

Restoring our History

More and more Americans are researching their family's ancestry. Old records, such as marriage certificates, immigration papers, census records, and death certificates are commonly used to verify family relationships.

However, the rarest documents you can add to your genealogy files are photographs of your long passed ancestors. Photography was invented in the early 1850's. So it is possible to find photographs going back eight generations or more. The earliest photographs were printed on glass or metal substrates coated with an emulsion which reacted to light. It took up to a minute for the image to be exposed, so subjects sat very still to avoid a blurry image. This explains why they appear to be staring intently into the lens.

Some of these vintage tintypes and photographs still exist, but time and environmental conditions are destroying them. Common problems include scratches, oxidation, and cracked or chipped glass. Paper photographs are not immmune to problems. In fact, they're more susceptable to damage than tintypes due to the fragility of paper vs. metal. The most common problems with paper photographs are rips, creases, color shifts, fading, staining, adhesive tape, and ink or pencil marks.

Restoration does not harm the original image. Instead I take a high-definition digital scan of the delicate image. I make the corrections to the digital file. The result is a photo restored to like-new / vintage condition, printed on quality photographic paper, or metal (especially appropriate for old tintypes). Restorarions can be printed at its original size or a bit larger.*

Photo restoration is the best thing you can do for your aging photo collection. Future generations will thank you for preserving the family's illustrated history. Like all photographs you order from Hullett Photography,
the digital file is archived for safekeeping. So, you can always order additional copies.

*__When a small image is enlarged degradation can occur, especially when the size difference is significant.

Her Most Precious Possessions

I was very young the day my grandmother brought out a shoe box and placed it on her kitchen table. When she removed the lid I saw, nestled among other memorabilia, two small hinged brass picture frames. They were small enough to fit in the palm of my grandmother's hand and she handled them like they were her most precious possessions. They probably were. She carefully opened the old frames one at a time and showed me the faded sepia-stained images of my ancestors.

It was at that moment that I realized the importance of photographs. I never met these people. They died before I was born. But when my grandmother talked about them I felt I knew them. I remembered their faces.

Family photographs are so important to us that when we are faced with a disaster, such as a flood or a house fire we gather up our family first and our photos second.

Future generations will be grateful for the illustrated history that you create today with portraits that capture your life's moments. Let's get started on that visual record. Call for an appointment today.

Mugshot Makeovers

If you hate seeing photos of yourself, you are not alone. Most of us are very critical of our own image. The criticism is usually unwarranted.

However, there is one type of photo that shows everyone at their worst.
I am referring to the dreaded Mugshot!
I hope you and I never have to experience such humiliation.
However, to demonstrate the magic
that I can do with your comparatively
tiny flaws I decided to have a little
fun at the expense of others.
I call them "Mugshot Makeovers".

Take a look at the two subjects below. These are extreme examples, but it should convince you that you don't need to worry about a little pimple or two. I can erase those pimples, scars, dark circles under the eyes, tatoos, and yes, even wrinkles. In fact, I can erase just about anything that you believe detracts from your portrait.

Mugshot Makeover #1

This sorry gentleman is quite a mess. So, I got right to work on healing his sores, styling his hair, shaving his beard, and clearing his bloodshot eyes. It turns out he's not such a bad looking guy, afterall.

Mugshot Makeover #2

This poor woman has certainly seen better days. I cleared up her acne, gave her a skin peel, combed her hair, applied a little mascara, eyeshadow, and lipgloss, I softened her brows, and dressed her in something a little more appropriate.

I'm almost tempted to introduce these two and send them out on a blind date.

For more mugshot makeovers click here.

Location! Location! Location!

In real estate, location is a major factor in determining the price of a house. In photography, location can be a major factor in determining the look and feel of your portraits. However, it doesn't have to affect the price as it does with real estate. There are many possible locations within a short car ride that would cost little or nothing. What are your favorite haunts? Do you like to walk down the main street of your town and hang out at a sidewalk cafe? Think about the local parks and historical buildings in town. Many of these would offer some beautiful backdrops.

Don't forget to consider your own home. There is no other location that says so much about you and your family than the place where you spend most of your time. Consider your family's hobbies when choosing the location in your home. Are you a musical family? Why not gather around the piano. Do you have a board game night? Gather around a table with the monopoly board or chess set in place. Maybe you have a swimming pool or love to cookout. Portraits taken around the activities that define your family will be treasured for years, especially as the children grow up and move out into their adult lives.

If you are considering an outdoor location, keep in mind the time of year. In case inclement weather sets in, you might want to have an indoor location in mind for backup. Give me a call and lets discuss location. I can make suggestions that you may not have considered.

Portrait of a Hyperactive Kid

I raised a kid to adulthood who was diagnosed with a severe case of ADHD and am amazed at how calm and compliant many of my client's kids are. However, if your kid is on the exuberant end of the scale, I can, and will be happy to, work with him. These are my kind of kids. Lively and generally quite intelligent.

If your child is fidgety or hyperactive there are ways to calm him down. Many kids will slow down to read a book, play a game, or build something with Legos or blocks. You know your child better than anyone. Think about what calms him down. Even if it is something like watching TV or playing a video game, there is something he will sit still for. My child was an avid reader and would read for hours on end. The house could have caught on fire and he would be oblivious to it if he was in the middle of a Harry Potter book.

So let's work out the logistics. Most likely your child will do better at home. A new location will likely get him excited. I also recommend that I visit your home and meet your child a few days prior to portrait day. This will give us (your child and I) a chance to meet. This will help him feel comfortable with the whole process, give him time to think about that day, and give you and him some time to discuss how the day should go.

Don't allow your child's behavorial issues to prevent you from getting professional portraits. Call me. Between you and me, we can figure out a way to capture the true nature of your child; fun, lively, and intelligent.

Songs About Photographs

Its not surprising that there are quite a few songs about photographs. After all, photos are an important part of any relationship and when that relationship ends, whether from a breakup or from the inevitable death, photographs might be the only thing left that shows the couple in happier times with other loved ones in favorite surroundings.

My favorite song about photographs was written and recorded by Jim Croce. For those of you too young to remember, Jim Croce was a singer/songwriter who had several hits in the early 1970's.

The bittersweet ballad, 'Photographs and Memories' is especially poignant when you consider that he died at age 30 in a plane crash at the height of his popularity. A greatest hits album entitled 'Photographs and Memories,' after this prophetic ballad, was produced after his death. One might say the song is a message of love to his wife from the grave.

Photographs & Memories

by Jim Croce

Photographs and memories
Christmas cards you sent to me
All that I have are these
To remember you

Memories that come at night
Take me to another time
Back to a happier day
When I called you mine

But we sure had a good time
When we started way back when
Morning walks and bedroom talks
Oh how I loved you then

Summer skies and lullabies
Nights we couldn't say good-bye
And of all of the things that we knew
Not a dream survived

Photographs and memories
All the love you gave to me
Somehow it just can't be true
That's all I've left of you

Some Favorite Quotes


What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that's gone forever, impossible to reproduce.
........~ Karl Lagerfeld


The subject of the picture is always more important than the picture.
........~ Diane Arbus


Trust me. In 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall, in a way you can't grasp now, how much possibility lays before you and how fabulous you really look. You are not as fat as you imagine.
........~ Mary Schmich


There are no bad pictures;
that's just how your face looks sometimes.

........~ Abraham Lincoln


Look at this photograph. Every time I do it makes me laugh. How did our eyes get so red? And what the hell is on Joey's head?
........~ "Photograph" lyrics, by Nickelback


© 2013 Barbara Hullett
All rights reserved