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10 Stress-Free Family & Child Session Tips | Houston, Kingwood, The Woodlands, Spring, Humble TX Traveling Family & Child Photographer

Whew chile, where do we even begin? I actually had to take a deep breath before writing this, because I KNOW just how stressful planning for picture day can be. *Cues all of the times I had to get ready for my own family’s picture day (or any picture day for that matter).

As with all families, it always seems like something’s bound to go wrong no matter how much you plan. Don’t get derailed and discouraged —HOPE is on the way!

Pedro and I have compiled ten of what we feel are the most important tips to help you and your family take the stress out of family picture day, and better prepare for your photo session.

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  1. Plan to arrive to your family session at least 10-15 minutes early.

  2. Don’t forget to feed your child/children before the session (bonus if they’ve had a nap)

  3. Make sure you have a backup outfit for each child just in case, 

  4. Don’t change your child/children into their session clothing until after they eat (seeing as though we have two littles of our own, we know how hard this can be)

  5. Only give them clear liquids once they are in their session clothing, 

  6. Bring along their favorite toy or blanket, this will help them to feel comfortable during the session (it’s always smart to have a bribe in place such as fruit snacks, candy or a toy) 

  7. Have a heart to heart with your child/children about the session and explain what’s going to happen, 

  8. Talk to your significant other about the session, how the session will go and discuss what your expectations are, 

  9. Outfits: remember to coordinate instead of matching & ensure all outfits are wrinkle-free. We’re not saying you have to starch them, but you can at least throw them in the dryer for a spin,

  10. A few days prior to your session, pack a bag filled with items you will possibly need on picture day: (snacks, props, wipes, hairbrush, emergency items, etc.)

3-for-1 combo BONUS TIP: Relax, have fun, and love on your family <3.

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Why Prints Matter | Kingwood, Houston, The Woodlands TX Senior, Family, and Wedding Photographer

This day in age, many families are debating whether or not they should take professional portraits, let alone purchase prints and wall art. But before you decide to just take the digital images, you may want to read this.

"We are the most photographed era, with the least number of prints, albums, and artwork."
Far left: Great-Great-Grandmother Arvie/R.V. (1882-1960)* &amp; Far right: Great-Great-Great-Grandmother Winnie (1860-1953)*

Far left: Great-Great-Grandmother Arvie/R.V. (1882-1960)* & Far right: Great-Great-Great-Grandmother Winnie (1860-1953)*

In September 2016, my husband and I took a trip to Jasper, Texas (our hometown) to visit Melo’s Happy Place and celebrate his second birthday. If you don't know by now, Carmelo "Melo" is my stillborn baby boy and the name and spirit behind Melo and Me Photography. Surprisingly, I did quite well and held the tears in like only a strong Mom can. Even though I know quite well that the ability to hold in tears does not symbolize strength alone.

As painful as it was --it was also refreshing, and while there I stopped by my grandmother’s house. On the way out, I noticed a basket of what looked like albums, and so of course, I opened it. I’ve always been eager to look at pictures and would compare the feeling of rummaging through several photo albums to a kid waking up on Christmas day.

There, in the basket lied memories of my late grandfather, great-grandparents, great-great grandparents, and great-great-great grandparents.

The feeling I felt of touching photographs that’d been passed down from generation to generation was breath-taking. I stared at them the way kids stare at gifts, reminiscing on my childhood and the black and white memories that escaped from the pages of the albums.

Great-Great Grandfather Joe “Papa Joe” Fent (1887–1967)

Great-Great Grandfather Joe “Papa Joe” Fent (1887–1967)

I am so grateful that my family valued photographs so much that they decided to leave a piece of our family history behind for us. These are the only photographs my family has to remember our ancestors. Even in a time, where many African-Americans were slaves with no record of their ancestry, and could hardly afford to purchase their own homes or land, my family still managed to preserve their history through photographs..and for that I am forever grateful. 

Studies show that this is the most photographed generation, with more than an estimated 1 trillion photographs taken in 2016 alone. You’re probably thinking that’s a good thing right? Well, yes..and no. As we all know, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Sure we’re taking photographs, but are we really preserving those memories by keeping them on CDs, DVDs, and USB drives that could potentially become obsolete in the next 10 years?

“According to a nationwide survey conducted by Professional Photographers of America (PPA), 42% of people (ages 30-44) will likely look back and wonder where photos of their childhood, holiday get-togethers, relatives and friends have gone decades from now.”

The survey also revealed that “nearly 70% of people no longer have photo albums” and 53% of people said they haven’t printed a photo in more than 12 months or longer.

Second from left (first man): Great Grandfather Mace and his siblings &nbsp;(1907-1953)

Second from left (first man): Great Grandfather Mace and his siblings  (1907-1953)

So what does this mean?

In 1910, flash drives, CD/DVD-roms, floppy disks and other technological mediums that could possibly hold digital files in today’s age, did not exist. But can you guess what my great-great-great-grandparents did have to preserve their memories? Prints. 

Because even with technological advancements and changes, prints have always served as family heirlooms. These photographs serve as time-capsules encompassing a piece of each of my family’s memories. Looking at them on the computer or phone is great, but touching them is even better. 

That’s why I’m proud to announce that Melo and Me Photography now offers our clients family heirlooms to pass down to generations!  Signature albums, heirloom boxes, and canvases make great art pieces to display in your home.

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Ask me how you can invest in family portraits and photographs that are guaranteed to last more than a lifetime. I take the time to shoot each session and vision with your family’s style in mind. You deserve prints to pass on to your descendants. Let me help guide you in selecting the perfect artwork for your home, by completing the form below. 

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"Memories After Harvey" | Houston, The Woodlands, Conroe, Spring, Jasper & Southeast TX Family Photographer

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Whew! This week has been physically, emotionally, and mentally draining to say the least. From the rain and flooding as a result of Hurricane Harvey, to the loss of lives, homes, and other possessions. Thankfully, through it all an ounce of sanity still remains and I’m grateful —for everything.

And although the unprecedented amounts of rainfall and damage that flooded the Greater Texas area has finally passed, I can’t help but to be thankful for the smaller things, like life and my restoration in humanity. Texans and people all over the United States and globe all came together to help in the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in our great state. The overflow of love and support has been astounding, and I think I speak on behalf of the many victims and those affected by the storm, that we greatly appreciate everything you guys have done.

With natural disasters, come the loss of memories and family heirlooms that have been with our families since we could remember. Many of our fellow neighbors have lost it all and I can’t help but think of ways in how I could possibly help out as a local business owner.

I must have racked my brain time and time again, just trying to find a way to give back to our Texas communities. No amount of sessions can replace the physical proof of memories that once filled your home's walls. But this can be the first step in the road to recovery. 

From now until the end of October, Melo and Me Photography will provide complimentary family mini sessions to Harvey flood victims in the Greater Houston and Southeast Texas regions. Victims will also receive a keepsake social media digital file or one 5x7 print to share with family and friends.

Posted Sunday night on the Facebook Page,&nbsp;with the hopes of giving myself high spirits after Harvey's force reckoned havoc in the southern Texas region.

Posted Sunday night on the Facebook Page, with the hopes of giving myself high spirits after Harvey's force reckoned havoc in the southern Texas region.

If you know someone or a family that has been displaced, please have them reach out and send an email to hello@meloandmephotography with the subject line “Memories after Harvey”, and we’ll go from there.

We know there is still a lot work to be done as we make way for recovery. Stay safe, dry, and strong friends and remember -we are stronger together!

#USAstrong #TexasStrong #memoriesafterHarvey

Premiere Houston TX Senior Family Wedding Photographer

Photo Activity of the Month: Scavenger Hunt

Photo Activity of the Month: Scavenger Hunt

Each month I'll be featuring a photo activity and providing readers and subscribers with either a worksheet, guide, or tutorial for you to share with your kiddos. This is my way of helping to include photography and the appreciation of prints and artwork into your families' lives. It'll also help keep their minds and bodies busy during the summer months. 

This month's photo activity is Melo and Me Photography's own take on the Scavenger Hunt. Just grab a camera or phone and help your children take photos of each object! 

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School's out! Kickstart your summer with these activities in The Woodlands, TX!

School's out! Kickstart your summer with these activities in The Woodlands, TX!

"There's 104 days of summer vacation
And school comes along just to end it
So the annual problem for our generation
Is finding a good way to spend it."

-Phineas And Ferb Theme Song

Okay, I'm kidding and there may actually be more or less than 104 days of summer vacation, but that's not important. What's important is that after only a few weeks at home, your kids will soon complain that they're bored and there's nothing fun to do. Maybe they'll spend a week or two at camp or maybe they'll get a summer job babysitting. 

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5 ways to capture better memories this summer! | The Woodlands, TX Family and Child Photographer

5 ways to capture better memories this summer! | The Woodlands, TX Family and Child Photographer

School’s out and if you’re anything like my family your gearing up for your family's summer vacation. Depending on how familiar you are with photography and taking photos, I thought I’d share a few tips on how you can capture better memories with your phone or point-and-shoot this summer. 

Premiere Houston TX Senior Family Wedding Photographer