Outfit Selection

How to choose the right outfits for your photo shoot

When you schedule a photo shoot, your outfit may be the last thing on your mind, but they are a decisive part of your photos. 

There are many factors to consider when choosing the right clothes for your photo shoot, including theme, location, colors, comfort, and accessories.


Does your photo shoot have a theme? If there’s a theme, your clothes will make or break the photo shoot. Outfits that don’t fit the theme will create photos that are jarring. Unless that’s the purpose of your photo shoot, you’ll want to pick clothes that align with your theme. It’s important to not, sometimes a shoot’s location can turn into a theme.



Consider the location of your photo shoot. Will it take place indoors or outdoors? If it’s an indoor shoot, you’ll have more outfit options. If your photo shoot is going to take place outdoors, you should choose outfits that prepare you for the weather. Otherwise, you may end up red and sweaty, or your shoot may have to end early.

Additionally, your location can set up a type of theme. For example, Paint the Moon gives the example of a couple dressed in vintage-style clothing with a retro amusement park background. Draw inspiration from your location for your outfits. If the shoot takes place on a boat, wear nautical-themed clothing.

Don’t forget to wear the right shoes. If your shoot takes place in a grassy, sandy, or muddy area, stick to flats, boots, or sneakers. If you decide to bring heels anyway, bring a change of shoes, just in case.


Stick to solid colors and clothes, and think about your surrounding. Choose colors that are complemented by your surroundings; avoid choosing colors or prints that clash with the environment. You don’t want your outfits to draw attention away from the subject: you.

For group pictures, Paint the Moon advises you to “coordinate colors but don’t match.” It’s easier if you start with one main outfit, and build the other outfits based on the colors from that outfit.

Darlene Hildebrandt, the managing editor at Digital Photography School, suggests choosing colors that are more subtle or subdued. Hildebrandt also suggests wearing like colors. If you choose to wear a dark-colored shirt, wear dark-colored pants. If you choose to wear a light-colored shirt, wear light-colored pants.  


Comfort is essential. If you’re not comfortable in your outfit, it will show in the final photos. Choose outfits you feel comfortable in, so you’ll feel confident during the photo shoot.  


The right accessories can draw attention to your favorite features. Paint the Moon recommends choosing accessories that can act as accent colors for the color scheme of your photos. The right accessories—hats, scarves, etc.—also become fun, interactive props.

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Why you should get your photo taken every year

Families are often associated with the “yearly family photo,” but yearly photos are something everyone should partake in. It doesn’t matter if you’re single or married with a family; you should get your photo taken every year.

Every now and then, there are stories about people who took a photo of themselves for years. One of those stories was about Noah Kalina. For 12-and-a-half years, Kalina took a picture of himself every day, and in 2012, he posted a compilation of those photos as a YouTube video.

The video is striking and, a bit, eerie—due in part to the soundtrack that accompanies the video. It lets you view how this man, Kalina, lived his life for 12 years. You see how his appearance changes, and you view some of the different life stages he passes through as the background changes and he ages.

In another similar case, Zed Nelson, a photographer, documents the life of a family in his project, The Family. Nelson photographs a family on the same day for 24 years. It’s a lovely project that shows the way members of a family change over time.

Both projects act as a record of the lives of the people photographed, and they carry flavors of the yearly school pictures you took in school as a kid. At the moment, school pictures seem bothersome and annoying, but looking back at the school photos, it’s hard not to smile. Yearly photos—whether school-themed or not—are a fun and easy way to document the changes you go through as time passes.

Yearly photos have the obvious benefit of acting as a way to record memories, but there’s more. Have you ever looked at photos and felt nostalgic? According to John Tierney, a columnist at The New York Times, feelings of nostalgia have psychological benefits.

“Nostalgia has been shown to counteract loneliness, boredom and anxiety. It makes people more generous to strangers and more tolerant of outsiders. Couples feel closer and look happier when they’re sharing nostalgic memories. On cold days, or in cold rooms, people use nostalgia to literally feel warmer,” writes Tierney.

What about that bittersweet feeling you get when you hear an old song on the radio, and it reminds you of the good times you’ve had in the past? That feeling is also nostalgia, and you can get it by reminiscing over yearly photos of you and your pals. You could make it a tradition, like the five guys who took the same photo every year, for 30 years.

Taking your picture every year is the kind of thing that doesn’t seem useful until 20 or 50 years have passed. You’ll thank yourself for getting those pictures taken when years down the line you have plenty of photos to get nostalgic over. You’ll also get to see how you and your family have changed.

It’s not easy to see the use of this until years have passed. 20 or 50 years from now it will be nice to be able to look back at your life and reminisce about the changes you’ve experienced. You and your family will experience many positive changes, and it’ll be nice to look back and remember those times.

Mentoring Youth

Why Mentor Youths? Benefits For Mentors and Youths

If you attended your high school classes regularly, abstained from taking drugs or drinking, and attended college, you may have a mentor to thank. You’re probably part of the, approximately, 67-percent of people who’ve had a mentor growing up. However, 1-out-of-3 people are not as fortunate to have the positive influence of a mentor, according to Mentor: The National Mentoring Partnership.

Mentors and programs like Boys and Girls Club of America are important to the well-being of your communities. They are beneficial to all youths, but they have a marked impact on the lives of at-risk youth.

Mentors act as a positive influence for at-risk youths likely to skip classes, participate in recreational drug use, and drop out of high school. As a mentor you act as a listening ear, show an interest, and provide guidance that can make a difference to such a child. 

Mentor explains, “Mentoring, at its core, guarantees young people that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges and makes them feel like they matter.”

According to youth.gov, the benefits to youth are numerous:

·         Increased high school graduation rates
·         Lower high school dropout rates
·         Healthier relationships and lifestyle choices
·         Better attitude about school
·         Higher college enrollment rates and higher educational aspirations
·         Enhanced self-esteem and self-confidence
·         Improved behavior, both at home and at school
·         Stronger relationships with parents, teachers, and peers
·         Improved interpersonal skills
·         Decreased likelihood of initiating drug and alcohol use

There are also benefits to mentors:

·         Increased self-esteem
·         A sense of accomplishment
·         Creation of networks of volunteers
·         Insight into childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood
·         Increased patience and improved supervisory skills

Are you interested in becoming a mentor? According to Marilyn Price-Mitchell Ph.D., a Fellow at the Institute for Social Innovation at Fielding Graduate University, there are six qualities that would make you a good mentor:

·         You are Supportive
·         You are an Active Listener
·         You Push—Just Enough
·         You Have Authentic Interest in Youth as Individual
·         You Foster Self Decision-Making
·         You Lend Perspective

If you have an interest in helping children and making a difference in your community, consider becoming a mentor. You may change the life of a youth for the better, and you’ll see some positive changes in your life, as well. 


Want to be a cover girl?

With both indoor (studio) work, and outdoor photo shoots, we can make that dream a reality. Whether you are a single woman, or a mother with kids, we invite you to contact us today.  

Don't delay!  Kindly fill out the Schedule form on the Connect page.  Simply tell us about yourself and your vision.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

High School


I had so much fun with these high school girls. Beautiful from the inside out!

I was so impressed by their ability to work together and how they complimented each other's strengths.  It was such an amazing experience working with them all.

And their favorite teacher?  She was priceless.  It was so nice to see leadership like this.  ...of course fueled by the passion to make a difference.  

And the mother that helped transport them?  She was awesome in so many ways.  Loved her!

Thank you for all your hard work ladies! 



More about the lead photographer

Tammy, owner and photographer at tak-ful.com, has been traveling the world photographing people for over 15 years.  She is from a small Mennonite town, called Hartville, Ohio, where she recalls a horse and buggy tying up to the local bank while watching the fireworks when she was young.  She has also lived in London, England, Chicago, Illinois, Denver, Colorado, Lausanne, Switzerland and Houston, Texas.  And because of her experience living and traveling to so many different cities, she also dabbles in French and German. 

She enjoys the outdoors and likes to stay active.  She can be found bike riding on long paths, walking in parks, sailing in Newport, and even swinging from a trapeze in Colorado.

But photo Journalism always remains the highlight of her travels including Europe, Central America, Canada, the Virgin Islands, Australia, and the Middle East.  What’s next?  Most likely the Mediterranean, Africa and possibly S.E. Asia.

Taking after her grandfather, and his love for photography, she keeps a 1941 photo of him taking a picture of his reflection on her studio desk, and her website.  The photo reminds her of the many beautiful images and home movies he created of his wife and 8 children, and remains an inspiration to her as she shoots all over the world.

Tammy’s favorite shoots include classic cars, sailboats, and underwater portraits.

Connect with and schedule with the photographer on the Connect page at:  www.tak-ful.com


Lights, Camera... GO!!

Yes, posing in front of a camera is exhilarating, fun, and empowering! Except, when you aren’t quite where you want to be with your physique or feeling very sexy. If that is the case, then this “lights, camera, action” experience can be a lot less enjoyable and a little more intimidating. So, let’s change this to “lights, camera, GO”, to be inspired to get where we want in our level of health and confidence. Often, women ask how to jump start getting to be where they want to be, both physically and mentally. So, let’s do this together, like a journey, this way we have more success and it definitely makes it more fun! Here are three ways to jump start working towards increasing your confidence and getting healthier.


1.    First, practice acceptance! This is critical to fully feeling confident, happy, and healthy within your own body. Ultimately, giving you more success in the long run too. When we consciously make the choice to stop comparing our hips, arms, or pant size to other women, we will instantly feel relief. Start with becoming aware of your thoughts and self-talk. Instead, begin to shower yourself with POSITIVE affirmations like, “you look beautiful” or “thank you body for being healthy”. You will quickly be amazed at the difference this will make you feel!

2.    Second, find a healthy community to get involved with. This is why gyms and fitness groups are so popular, there are multiple people who share the same lifestyle interests. Surrounding yourself with others who value the same thing and are like-minded is very important to our success. So, take part of a community that will encourage your healthy habits, even when you don’t feel like it. Accountability makes it easier!

3.    Third, exercise is a must, no matter what! Research and studies have concluded so many facts about the health benefits from exercise. Not to mention it is a proven way to decrease stress, increase endorphins, and sharpen our minds. Even if your diet is flawless every day, getting activity is still very important. Which, is also a quick way to build confidence, both in the way you look and feel. Also, be sure to enjoy what you are doing, when we find an activity or exercise that we like and works for our schedule, it’s easier to stick to it.

There you have it, three simple but excellent ways to make reaching your goals easier to feel healthier, happier, and more confident. Just remember, it does take time and grace with ourselves to develop consistent habits. So if you fall off the bandwagon, find that someone or group who can keep you accountable, and get right back to it!  


Studio Sessions

Studio sessions are versatile and useful in many ways.  

Some may say these types of images with simple back drops are traditionally seen in studios handling family photography, but there are a number of reasons and ways to justify a setting that does not have a busy background.  

1.      Okay, so we've already identified family photos with simple back drops.  Yes, especially when getting annuals, and printing them for display in homes, white, gray and even black backdrops may provide consistency through the years.  

2.      Senior portraits are often captured outdoors, although a high school student may prefer a studio setting over the natural light outdoors when given a choice.  Some photographers may offer packages that allow and provide both types of photography in celebrating this monumental occasion.

3.      Studio sessions are also great for headshots and images that will be used for LinkedIn, websites, and business cards.

4.      Additionally, dance and sports teams prefer to have packages with combinations of self portraits as well as team photos in their uniforms.

5.      Even more, studio sessions are great for product photography opportunities, which may or may not include a model's hand or leg, but primarily focus and hone in on the product or idea of a service being purchased and enjoyed.


A Child's First Year

Capturing Images of Your Child After The New Born Session

When a newborn first arrives into this world, there are a million new moments in their life that are milestones, not only in their progress, but in a parent’s as well, and these moments will no doubt want to be preserved by a professional photographer as much as possible.

There are many benefits for professionally capturing moments in a child’s life, and as discussed in 3 ways family photography can raise a child's self-esteem, professional photography gives children a sense of belonging, a sense of self, and shows they are loved and cared for.

Professional photographs within a child’s first year may vary in style, but often consist of the following:

Newborn Portraits - Although not a new occurrence, many popular styles of these types of photographs have emerged in the modern age of digital cameras, Photoshop, and social media. Such styles include portraits of the newborn in basic back, side, and tummy poses; photos of the tiny details such as their feet and hands; and photos with creative props such as wicker baskets and textured cloth.

Holiday Photos - These are a staple amongst parents with newborns, as what can be cuter than a baby surrounded by small Halloween pumpkins, them in an oversized Thanksgiving Turkey hat, or nestled in a Christmas stocking? These types of photos become excellent holiday gifts and are often used in cards sent to family and friends and also signify the inclusion of a new member into family traditions and celebrations.

1st Birthday -A child’s first year is a moment to celebrate indeed, as it’s a culmination of a parent’s hard work, determination, and care for their child in a very important time in their life; and it signifies the beginning of a string of milestones the child will pass and celebrate themselves each coming year. Photographs taken during a child’s 1st birthday capture images such as the child’s messy eating of the cake, opening of presents, and popular these days, their holding or standing next to a number or announcement of their age.

A professional photographer can ensure that as a parent, you can be a part of your child’s extraordinary beginning in life, every step of the way, and not have to worry about the details of recording and archiving the wonderment of your child’s first steps in life. As a parent you can include yourself with your child in front of the camera and capture the genuine essence of your family and the joy brought forth with the new edition to the world. 



Why One Should Get Annual Photos Even If They’re Single

Annual photo sessions are traditionally associated with family portraits including married couples and children. They are a tradition dating back over 150 years to the onset of photography and have served purposes of recording family history, pride, and at times prominence, especially in its earliest forms when the process was time consuming and expensive.

As a single person people will probably tell you, unless required for professional purposes, an annual photo may seem unnecessary and downright silly. There tends to be a stigma surrounding an individual, especially a single one, having their portrait taken: a stigma similar to eating dinner by one’s self or screening a movie alone. As in these cases, such apprehension towards having one’s portrait taken on an annual basis is nonsense, and when overcome can provide a sense of freedom and confidence in one’s self and position in life, while serving as a valuable asset and keepsake.

If there is uncertainty in having annual portraits taken, consider these reasons why it is beneficial to do so despite uncertainty, embarrassment, or stigmas:

1.      Portraits taken annually can be used to keep professional and social media profiles fresh and updated. Unlike others who keep the same photo year upon year, be the individual who takes pride in their image and others will notice.

2.      Updated annual portraits can provide the individual, their family, and friends a record of life. Just because one is single doesn’t mean the progression of their lives is unworthy of capture in a portrait. Give yourself and others in the future a record of your strength and happiness in the life you lead.

3.      Annual photos for the individual can be used in much the same as others for holiday cards and messages. They are guaranteed to raise a smile and show your love towards your family, friends, and co-workers.

4.      Photos can be taken with a close friend or even a beloved pet. Such relationships are important in many people’s lives and are just as worthy of being documented.

5.      The photo session itself can be a fun, exciting, and empowering experience, inclusive of whatever you want it to be. Enjoy the time with the photographer whose focus and intent will be to make you feel and look good. Who doesn’t enjoy that?

Most people have taken part at some point in their lives in traditional family photos: those taken by a professional studio photographer, utilized to preserve memories and project a presence in life. As outlined above, such use of annual photos need not only be exclusive to individual’s belonging to a group or relationship, and they can have valuable significance and benefits even for the single person. So do a little research, maybe ask friends for a recommendation, and find that photographer you can enjoy working with to capture the best and present you. 

Nice to Meet You

Tammy, owner and photographer at tak-ful.com, has been traveling the world photographing people for over 15 years.  She is from a small Mennonite town, called Hartville, Ohio, where she recalls a horse and buggy tying up to the local bank while watching the fireworks when she was young.  She has lived in London, England, Chicago, Illinois, Denver, Colorado, Lausanne, Switzerland and Houston, Texas.  And because of her experience living and traveling to so many different cities, she also dabbles in French and German. 

She enjoys the outdoors and likes to stay active.  She can be found bike riding on long paths, walking in parks, sailing in Newport, and even swinging from a trapeze in Colorado.

But Portraits and Photo Journalism always remain the highlight of her travels including Europe, Central America, Canada, the Virgin Islands, Australia, and the Middle East.  What’s next?  Most likely the Mediterranean, Africa and possibly Asia.

Tammy's favorite shoots include classic carssailboats, and underwater portraits.  You may connect with the photographer by kindly filling out the 'Schedule' form on the Connect page at:  www.tak-ful.com, or Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.  


5 Reasons To Give Back to Your Community

Volunteer work is something that's not discussed nearly enough. Maybe it's because volunteer work isn’t something people brag about, but it should be. It’s good for your community, and you benefit, too.

Below are five ways you benefit by giving back to your community:

Make a difference. One of the main reasons to volunteer is to make a difference in your community. By volunteering, you improve aspects of your community, which results in happier, healthier people in your community.

Meet people. Volunteering also gives you the chance to meet people who share your interests. Other volunteers who care about the same causes can turn into new friends or acquaintances.

Live happier. Helping others is a great way to feel happier. You'll gain confidence and improve your self-esteem, knowing you are making a difference in your community and brightening up someone's day. You'll also gain perspective about important world matters like poverty and inequality. As a result, you may develop or strengthen a humble attitude and sense of appreciation.

Add to your resume. Not only are you able to add volunteer experience to your resume, you could end up adding additional skills to it, too. Volunteer work gives you the opportunity to learn new skills or improve ones you already know. Career wise, volunteering could open doors for you.

Have good karma. Need I say more?

Volunteer work is flexible. You don't have to stick to the conventional ways of volunteering; your options are endless. If you don't want to literally feed the homeless or tutor kids but you have other great skills, offer those skills or services to a nonprofit.

Are you good at graphic design, accounting, or leading teams? You can help a nonprofit organization with those types of skills.

Find a cause you're passionate about. You can pick pretty much anything, but the most popular causes include children, homelessness, health, education, etc. You’re bound to find a nonprofit organization dedicated to that cause.

Learn how to get started volunteering at VolunteerMatch.org and tap into your charitable side. Remember, volunteer work is beneficial to everyone involved. What comes around really does go around when you volunteer.

My Grandfather

Taking after my grandfather, and his love for photography, I have included a 1941 photo of him taking a picture of his reflection.  This photo reminds me of the many beautiful images he created of his wife and 8 children, and remains an inspiration as I shoot all over the world.

"Heritage is the history, unique knowledge, values and traditions that have developed by a combination of genes and environment over time. Heritage, whether it be national, cultural, or family is an endowment of unique sets of historical knowledge; but foremost, heritage is your history."   

CLICK HERE to connect with us.  CLICK HERE to read more about why your heritage is important.

Thank you!

Truly thankful for the most amazing clients, vendors, friends and family this year.  It has been a journey, and I can't wait to see what the new year brings!


CLICK ON the picture to the right to go straight to our Instagram account.