45039 family pictures

Ugly Sweaters for Christmas

It is funny how fashion changes over time. We can reminisce about how a style comes from a certain decade invoking certain memories or how we pray another never comes back into style ever again.

Ugly Sweater Session Remember When Portraits Cincinnati Ohio
Devon Rex Clooney wearing a Christmas Ugly Sweater Cincinnati Ohio Remember When Portraits

Because history tends to repeat itself, it is not a surprise that those 1980’s sweaters we were all forced to wear still are in style today. Well, in a different purpose anyways. Every Christmas season those old sweaters emerge from the back of our closets to be worn as ugly Christmas sweaters once again.

Ugly Sweater Remember When Portraits Maineville, Ohio
Ugly Sweater Session Remember When Portraits Cincinnati Ohio

Thankfully over the years the designs of sweaters have become more holiday festive and even more fun to wear. From bands having their logos embroidered on them to funny quotes to homemade sweaters to even animals wearing sweaters, the options are endless! Even now people host parties simply to see who wears the ugliest sweater. Thankfully we aren’t all dressing like Carlton from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air daily anymore!

Devon Rex Cat with Reindeer Ugly Sweater on Remember When Portraits Maineville Ohio

Smiling is My Favorite!

This time of year many of my friends break out their favorite Christmas movies in anticipation of Christmas. Some do the movie countdown on TV and others pull out the DVD’s. To be honest, I am not a big TV or movie watcher, but at Christmas time I LOVE watching Charlie Brown’s Christmas.

Buddy the Elf Breakfast Photo Session Remember When Portraits

Last year I finally relented due to my kids non-stop requests and digitally purchased the movie Elf. Move over Charlie Brown because there now competition for the top spot on the favorite list! To enjoy this new favorite Christmas movie I decided to have some fun with the theme for all of you to enjoy with me!

Buddy the Elf Photo Shoot Remember When Portraits

The quotes from the movie Elf are ENDLESS and the details of Christmas flow throughout each scene. From the garland made of white paper to the Christmas carols all the way down to the food choices - they all scream Merry Christmas to me in a silly style I just love.

Adding Chocolate Syrup Buddy the Elf Breakfast Remember When Portraits Cincinnati

Some of my favorite quotes fringe this movie include “You sit on a throne of lies!”, “I just like to smile, smiling’s my favorite.” and “He must be a South Pole Elf.”

Buddy the Elf Photo Session at Remember When Portraits in Maineville Ohio

My favorite scenes are when Buddy sings in the bathroom, decorates Gimbels overnight, takes out the kids in the snowball fight and then makes his famous breakfast. My family loves to remind some of these to belly laugh a few times every time we watch it!

Evie the Elf, Buddy the Elf Breakfast Remember When Portraits
Sprinkles on Buddy the Elf Breakfast Maineville Ohio

Based on Buddy’s breakfast this year I decided to allow his crazy creation to be the inspiration of a fun shoot at the studio. Armed with everything from the elf costume down to the sprinkles on the bed of noodles, we tried to capture the spirit of Christmas - all the fun and anticipation that it brings - in photographs.

Buddy the Elf Breakfast Remember When Portraits Cincinnati Ohio

Thank you to our little elf model, Evie, for being a good sport! If you would like to schedule a fun, themed cake or food smash with our studio, please contact us at april@rememberwhenportraits.com. We are open to all ideas! No age limit on fun either!

Buddy the Elf Photoshoot Breakfast at Remember When Portraits


Thanksgiving: 10 Reasons to Give Gratitude

The day before Thanksgiving everyone is itching for a long weekend, some time off, great food and to be able to wear sweatpants with no shame. I, with the rest of you, cannot wait until tomorrow. With the anticipation of a fun filled long weekend, I can’t help but sit back today and reflect over how thankful I am for so much in my life.

Almost all of the photos in this blog post show families and friends together, enjoying one another and sharing the moment they are present in. A few show a single person who many are thankful for.

Almost all of the photos in this blog post show families and friends together, enjoying one another and sharing the moment they are present in. A few show a single person who many are thankful for.

Thanksgiving does that to you. It makes you realize the glass is half full if not overflowing in abundance in your life. Thanksgiving gives us the opportunity to choose gratitude. For some, gratitude comes easier than others. I know for me I tend to choose gratitude more so in hind sight. Sometimes it is hard to see the blessings in front of you in the moment.

Family Remember When Portraits 2018 Thanksgiving

It takes discipline to choose gratitude daily. Lately though, given personal circumstances, I have found gratitude to come easier for me. Even if gratitude doesn’t come naturally to you, you can still give thanks. Our days are filled with never ending opportunities for us to practice making gratitude a habit.

Mom Dad Baby at the River 2018 Thanksgiving Remember When Portraits

Here is my challenge to you as we approach Thanksgiving tomorrow: make a list of gratitude. Reflect tonight on your day, on the past week, the past month or even over the past year to discover how many blessings you can choose to be thankful for. Here are my 10 reasons to give thanks for this Thanksgiving:


1 - I am thankful for access to healthcare. Those that know me personally know our family’s world has been flipped upside down due to health issues. Because of our access to caring doctors, specialists and talented surgeons, members of our family are on their way to living a better quality of life.

2 - I am thankful for my husband, for being my constant, for choosing to love and support me every day and for being the reason I have clean clothes to wear daily (yes, he does the laundry in our house!)

Man looking out at the lake 2018 Thanksgiving Remember When Portraits

3 - I am thankful for my children, for assuring me that I am smarter than a 5th grader and for teaching me how to unconditionally love.

Siblings at the lake 2018 Thanksgiving Remember When Portraits

4 - I am thankful for my family in Michigan, who have gone above and beyond in the past couple of months to show their support with constant calls, texts, visits, and assistance to our family - even going so far as to traveling 4 hours tomorrow providing and cooking Thanksgiving dinner for us to assure we aren’t alone or go without.

5 - I am thankful for our community, for rallying around our daughter to offer well wishes, meals, visits, donations, calls, messages, packages - you name it, you all provided for her and us during a very trying time. From previous CRHP sisters to MND to the Moeller Band Family to our St. C parish community to the Maineville Small Business Networking Group to neighbors and friends to people in the community at large - you all are the real MVP’s! I am grateful for each and every one of you.

2018 Moeller MND Marching Band Thanksgiving 2018 Remember When Portraits

6 - I am thankful for the ability to serve others through my gift of art, for being selected by many to help them to preserve their memories in photographs.

Girlfriend on Boyfriend's Back Thanksgiving 2018 Remember When Portraits

7 - I am thankful for transportation that is safe and runs the way it should without issue.

Red Chevy Corvette Home Coming Prom 2018 Thanksgiving Remember When Portraits

8 - I am thankful for music and the ability to hear, for songs on the radio, for live concerts and local performances, for music teachers, music lessons and how every day our home is filled with music.

O'Keefe Music Foundation Prom Band Thanksgiving 2018 Remember When Portraits

9 - I am thankful for the ability to learn through technology and all at the touch of my fingertips.

Teenage Boy and Girl Holding Cell Phone 2018 Thanksgiving Remember When Portraits

10 - Lastly, and most importantly, I am thankful for grace - as a believer, without God’s grace I would be nothing.

Baby in basket with Army Uniform black and white 2018 Thanksgiving Remember When Portraits

If you have read this blog post - Thank You. I hope it inspires you to choose to be grateful and be present tomorrow while enjoying your Thanksgiving holiday with those who matter most to you. Don’t be afraid to share with one another reasons you are thankful!

What You See Vs. What I See

Back before I started my own business I was in corporate America like many others. I had a marketing degree, but I wanted something more. Something more creative and fun. How I would love to wake up every day and get paid to have fun! Who wouldn't want that??? Ok, not every day is all glitter and rainbows, but I would say my line of work is a close second. Let me explain why.

Every day that I have the opportunity to photograph someone or be a part in the evolution of a digital negative file and turn it into the vision I see in my head - well that to me is fun! I never dreamed of actually being a photographer. I honestly wanted to be a graphic designer. However, when I went to get my certificate that nicely complimented that marketing degree I realized the world of photography. My first class was an introduction to photography and the rest is now history! 

The creative process for me starts even before I turn on my camera. I plan out the session, location or set itself. I consider colors, themes, lighting and the end result I am trying to obtain. All of these elements are ways for me to control or let loose in my creativity. However, that isn't were the creativity stops!

After a session I get to take the digital negative files and begin the post editing process. How do I do that? I use Photoshop to help me mold what you might see versus what I see when I am taking a photo. Many people think that Photoshop can fix anything or solve any problem you may have. Sadly that isn't always the case. Not everything can be "fixed" or "altered". Sometimes it is a lack of information on the digital file. Sometimes it is simply a bad photo. Sometimes the changes requested are simply not realistic and may even cross ethical boundaries. Photoshop is a great tool, but one that as a photographer we have to use carefully and with a lot of thought and skill.

Let me share with you a quick story. Last weekend I took photos for my extended family. After the session I was browsing through the images on the back of my camera to confirm with my brother-in-law we got them all. We came to one set and he asked me if these would be good enough because he was concerned as to how they looked. I assured him these were not edited yet and all I was looking for was the right foundation for me to get to work with. This small conversation is exactly why it is worth hiring a professional. My job doesn't stop when I hit the shutter-release button. Let me show you some of the examples I have in my portfolio of the post processing work I have completed!

Newborn Photoshop Before & After. Yes, that is my foot in the original!

Newborn Photoshop Before & After. Yes, that is my foot in the original!

From Suburbia to the open road!

From Suburbia to the open road!

What You See Vs. What I See

What You See Vs. What I See

Color changes to accentuate and "pop" this image

Color changes to accentuate and "pop" this image

Light skin touch up and smoothing, brightening teeth and eyes and clean edits to brighten the image. All done to compliment the subject without taking away her natural beauty!

Light skin touch up and smoothing, brightening teeth and eyes and clean edits to brighten the image. All done to compliment the subject without taking away her natural beauty!

I will admit I LOVE post processing. I love the challenge. I love the frustration. I love the rewards of my hard work. I love seeing the before and afters, just as much as you do. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I enjoyed creating the end result!