One of the best things about the brand work I’ve been doing this spring is learning about the super interesting work my clients are doing. I won’t pretend I can talk at length about the workings of Low Pressure Fitness, but I know my amazing client Jenna has the knowledge and skill to teach us all, and watching her work with her own client was just an amazing and enlightening experience. You can just tell when there is healing in the air. Looking forward to the launch of her website and cheering on the promotion of wellness that Jenna embodies!
Signs of Spring!
It’s February. Still winter I suppose… There may not be too many birds and bees buzzing around just yet, but I do know two of them and they’re bringing the best sign of life into the world into a few short months! I am truly so happy for these two. They are not new at the parenting game, but they have been waiting for this new little bundle for a long time, and I am over the moon for them! We had a lot of fun with these history lovers this afternoon traipsing around one of my favorite hidden historic gems in Bethlehem, and I learned all over again how great the winter light can be. (of course the love shines brightest of all!)
When I was approached by the effervescent and very convincing Jenna from Back The Bride about being the photographer for a branding brainchild she had, I really didn’t have to give it much thought before going all-in. Jenna had a brilliant vision for a day of mini shoots at Fox and Finch studio for talented women-owned businesses who need to take the plunge and invest in their image. Truly revolutionary! The day finally arrived and was A BLAST!!! We had a variety of amazing ladies come in, get hair and makeup done on-site, and each and every one of them truly slayed when it was their turn in front of the lens. I am happy to say I’ve made some new friends and I’ve truly been inspired by what each of them brought to the table. For anyone reading and intrigued, I don’t think this will be the last one, so keep following for info on the next one of these events or reach out to book your own branding session!
Planner/Coordinator – Jenna DePari – Back The Bride – https://www.backthebride.com/
Venue – Fox and Finch Studio – https://www.foxandfinchstudio.com/
Florals – Marly – Fenimore & Rutland – https://www.fenimorerutland.com/
Hair – Styles By Kini – https://instagram.com/stylesbykini?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=
Makeup – Beauty By Bennett – http://www.beautybybennett.com
Photography – Petra Somers – http://www.petrasomersphoto.com
The Stars of Bethlehem
A long long time ago, when Bethlehem became my home, I met one of my best friends here. My friend is one of 6 siblings who I have also inherited as friends, and now I have photographed 2 of their weddings! What an honor and a joy to be part of the celebrations of one of my favorite families once again.
Rachel and Chris came together in a joyous evening ceremony at one of my most favorite places ever, The Historic Hotel Bethlehem of course! I noticed that as the night went on, this wonderful town became a main character in the love story… The hotel, the amazing shots right on the central star of Bethlehem on Main Street, and even the Moravian candles and stars on the tables at reception. You just can’t do better than that.
You also can’t do better than watching this family join together, kids and all for the first dances, and even first look! As per usual, I shed more than one lil’ tear behind the lens. Congratulations to Rachel, Chris, and kids and family on truly a beautiful event, and on finding each other in our beautiful town.
5 Amazing Lehigh Valley Engagement Photo Locations
If you’re happily engaged and looking for a great place to get your engagement photos taken, you couldn’t be in a better spot. Here in the Lehigh Valley, there are MANY amazing spots for engagement photos, much more than 5, but the following are some of my favorites, and deserve your consideration!
Trexler Memorial Park – Allentown, PA
This park is amazing for it’s varied scenery, trees, grasses and overlook, and is so big that it’s a great little bout of exercise too! I have taken many a favorite shot here and I come back again and again.
Lehigh University – Bethlehem, PA
I am an “old building” lover and you just can’t do better for architecture than the turn of century buildings and gorgeous landscape at Lehigh University. It’s academic, timeless, and I have so many favorite corners, you will always win here.
Historic District/Downtown Bethlehem, PA
I am biased, because I live in this town, but I know this area by the back of my hand, and I love that you can go from open pathways, to quaint brick doorways, to stunning architectural interest all in a few blocks. I will always push this one especially to Bethlehem locals!
Valley Forge Park – Valley Forge, PA
It’s a teeny drive from the valley, but well worth the trip. Valley forge is vast and breathtaking, with monuments and structures that will simply stun time and time again. Any time I get to come out for a shoot, I wind up blown away by the results.
Longwood Gardens – Kennet Square, PA
Ok… hear me out, this one isn’t exactly in the Lehigh Valley either but it’s just such a favorite for me I couldn’t not end on this note. Longwood Gardens is one of my favorite places in general, truly a marvel to behold any time of year, and when there is love in the mix, it’s like a fairy tale come true.
Do you have a favorite location in this amazing group of towns? I must know! Leave me a comment!
My 8 Tips for a Stress Free Wedding Day
Whether you’re in the beginning stages of planning your big day, or it’s right around the corner, you want to make sure your wedding day is smooth sailing. You put a ton of planning into this event, but when the day comes, you want to let all that go. Every couple expresses to me that they just want to enjoy their day, and focus on each other and their family and friends. Read on for some tips that will really help this come to fruition, so that not only are YOU relaxed and happy at your wedding, but your vendors and guests feel this way too.
1 – Hire a planner/day-of coordinator
More and more, couples are choosing to take advantage of a planner or a day-of wedding coordinator. They do the hard work so that you don’t have to! They can talk to you about what your needs and desires for the day are, and they can interface with your other vendors to communicate and strategize for the day. It can be very helpful to have just one point of contact to go back and forth with, while knowing your wishes are being communicated to everyone. I love working with coordinators, and if you don’t have one, I will have some names in hand for you, whether the wedding is in Bethlehem, PA, the Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia, or Bucks County and beyond.
2 – Gather your details
Flowers, jewelry, accessories and stationery. You spent the time curating these details to tell the story of who you are as a couple, and to communicate the vibe of your wedding. The little things are beautiful and important! One amazing thing you can do for your photographer is to gather these bits and bobs together BEFORE your photographer arrives, and have them ready to shoot. Often, this will be the first thing your photographer shoots while everyone is getting ready. You can designate someone in your wedding party to be in charge of this!
3 – Have a family point person
Family photos are often very important to my client, and therefore important to me! One thing I have to stress to my clients is that even though YOU know who all of these wonderful people are, as the photographer, it is often my first time meeting 99% of them. Therefore, even though I am experienced at corralling the masses, I will not be as quick to know your aunt or your grandparent’s name, and it might take a little longer to gather the right people. It is super, super helpful to choose a family member, maybe one on each side, who doesn’t mind using a loud voice to gather your loved ones before they run away!
4 – Feed your vendors
Your vendors are working so hard for you, and often are on their feet for a very long day. We LOVE it, and are fueled by our passion for our work, but we do need calories! Make sure you are communicating to your venue or caterers that your vendors will need a full dinner, and the most amazing thing you can do is to feed your vendors before the guests. This may sound wacky, but it makes sense. If your photographer can eat their meal right after everyone is seated, they will be fed and happy by the time you’re up again for those special dances. I am happy to see this happening more and more, and it’s a great call.
5 – Have an inclement weather plan and stick to it
Nature often has other ideas than we do when it comes to the weather. It might be a bummer if you can’t have that outdoor ceremony or portrait session, but the best thing you can do is have an open mind and embrace the plan B. Venues will have an indoor location if it rains and your photographer can make magic inside or with some props, I promise! It can be tempting to want to wait 5 minutes or try to ride it out, but indecision can have a domino effect on the rest of your schedule. Your guests will also thank you for keeping them out of the weather.
6 – Put the phones away
I don’t just mean the wedding couple, although you totally should! I heavily advise communicating to your guests and family that you have a photographer covering all aspects of your wedding day, and that they need to keep their picture taking to the reception, if at all. I love that your aunt with the iPad or dad with his GoPro are so excited to have these memories, but it can be very hard to work around them when important moments are happening during your ceremony. Having a hard and fast rule about this makes my life a lot easier! You can have your officiant make an announcement at the start of the ceremony.
7 – Bring all the pins!
Safety pins, bobby pins, sewing pins and some thread. I don’t think I have to elaborate on this one! Things happen! However, if you forget, I will always have these things on hand, and I am a wiz with the last-minute garment repairs and veil pinnings. I got you.
8 – Take a minute
When you’ve gotten hitched, and we’ve taken some amazing photos, take a second with your love, send me away if you want to, and just breathe with them. This is advice I received before my wedding day and I am so glad. Just be the eye of the tornado, the two of you, because it’s about love at the end of the day ❤
Why Your Business Needs Brand and Product Photography
In a world where more and more shopping is done online, customers want to see what they’re buying, and they want it to be accurate! Customers need to be informed while they browse, and good photography can emphasize the quality and provide essential visual information on the product. Ensuring that you have consistent and accurate photography will yield more sales and less returns.
You can tell a story and build your brand with your visual content. Good photographers will understand how to execute images that will put your products and your personality in the best light… literally. Building a cohesive look, one that reflects the most important aspects of your brand that you want to communicate to your customers, is essential, and a talented photographer will have the skills to make this happen.
Attention spans are short, and the first impression is more important than ever. Visual content is the first thing your customers will see when they land on your website or social media profile, you need to make sure it makes the right impact. Make sure that you are captivating your audience in a positive way, make them stop their scroll!
When aiming to come across as polished and professional, you need the photography to match. Customers are less likely to be impressed by that poorly lit phone snap or selfie. Most people are more likely to take you seriously with well-styled portraits, high quality product imagery, and they will also be more likely to share your content, which is always a good thing!
Brand and Product photography is a must for a successful business in 2023, do your customers and yourself the service of letting them get to know your story and your value!
For more information on how Petra Somers Photography can help take your brand to the next level, use the contact form, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow me at @petrasomerscommercial on Instagram!
New Beginnings at the Year’s End
It was a rainy, cold, unpleasant day in PA, as I set out for my client’s home. I was wishing for sunshine as I pulled up to my clients’ home, but it turned out that sometimes the glow comes from INSIDE the house! We did not need any more light than we had with this beaming new family of four.
This newest little guy decided he was not about waiting another week and appeared early, exactly one week ago! It has been the most magical experience to visit with these two, three, now FOUR beautiful humans in their growing family year after year, and make memories together. This session was the perfect send-off to the holidays. Merry merry!
Giving Thanks for Family!
The extended family of one of MY favorite families gathered over this Thanksgiving weekend to document their growing brood with the matriarch and patriarch that started it all! We took over the lovely Fox and Finch studio and snapped away, giving the kids some snack breaks and then attempting to keep all eyes on yours truly! I’ve learned over the years to fire off rapid-burst style in the hopes of getting that ONE photo where toddlers are all looking 😀 I’m honored I had the chance to hang out with this bunch, and start the holiday season right!
I never could have predicted it… November is not on the top of my list of favorite months, however for some unknown reason it has historically produced some of my favorite photo sessions. I can’t explain it, but I’m grateful for this mystery. I am sure, as always, that it had much to do with the couple I was lucky enough to hang out with today. My clients pulled up rocking out in black, with the most effervescent pink hair, and a darling little bouquet. THAT is the way you stand out in a November landscape! We had a stroll through the hidden gem of Hellertown’s Woodland Hills Preserve, and snapped away as the sun played games in and out of the clouds. Next May is going to be a blast, and I can’t wait to spend another day capturing Rebecca and Mitch’s laid back, sweet, but colorful vibe!