Photography Blog
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5 Tips for Taking Better Group Photos
Let’s face it…group photos can be a challenge. At Michael Broyles Photography, we have photographed groups large and small and each time we have encountered some common frustrations. And there are many! From people looking everywhere but at the camera to blinking eyes to a range of moods within the group, it can be hard to capture just the right moment on film. However, it is not impossible! Here are some tips and tricks to make your next group photo shoot easier, for the cameraman and his or her subjects.   Come Prepared Ben Franklin’s famous quote, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” is somewhat fitting when planning a group photo. The more thought put in before the photo is taken, the easier the process can be for all involved. More importantly, having a plan for your group photo means less standing around and waiting, keeping people engaged and eager to participate. Of course, every situation is different. Here are some basic things to keep in mind: Scope out your chosen location beforehand. Sketch out a simple plan for posing people and framing your shot. Gather everyone for the photo shoot a few minutes early to […]
25 May 2017 in Photography Blog, by
Archival Framing: An Investment in Protecting Your Portrait
Portrait photography is not cheap. Once upon a time, portraits were viewed as investments that preserved a family’s history and were meant to be passed down from generation to generation. It is this tradition of honoring family and past generations that drives Michael Broyles’ passion for portrait photography. With younger generations embracing digital photography more now than ever before, it can be hard to impress upon them the need to protect and care for print portraits to ensure they last for years to come. Yet, portraits do require love and care if they are to maintain their long-term value. One way you can preserve your portraits is through archival framing.   Why does my portrait need protection? It is easy to think that placing a beloved photograph in a frame will protect it from the elements. It is behind glass after all…it should be safe, right? Not quite. If a photograph is not properly framed from the get-go, it is at risk from environmental damage that can lead to tearing, scratching, and mold. Add in light exposure and your photograph can fall victim to yellowing, discoloration, fading, or even become brittle. You can frame a reproduction of your photograph instead, […]
18 May 2017 in Photography Blog, by
Celebrate Motherhood with a Timeless Keepsake
This post was originally published on May 5, 2016. Its message is just as relevant today as it was last year. At Michael Broyles Photography, we talk to a number of mothers who relate that portraits are one of the best gifts they can receive. We ask a lot of our moms…why not say thank you this year with a beautiful portrait of that special woman?   A mother is the center of a child’s world. She nurtures him, comforts him when he is sick, teaches him to ride his first bike, helps him up when he falls, and celebrates the milestones of his childhood. We ask a lot of our mothers, and every once in a while it is good to step back and thank them for their tireless dedication, love, and devotion. Why not do so this year with a customized photo shoot with a certified professional photographer?   Each stage of motherhood has something special to celebrate. A newborn experiencing his first days of life. A toddler learning to walk and explore his world. A child starting her first year of school (or beginning her last). These are moments mothers wish they can hold on to for years to come. Michael Broyles Photography focuses on […]
11 May 2017 in Photography Blog, by
5 Things Every Novice Photographer Should Know
Photography is a fun and fulfilling hobby for people at any age, and with the increased sophistication of today’s camera phones and editing software, the art of taking pictures has become even more accessible. However, there is more to photography than snapping a few pictures to post on Facebook or frame in your living room. Photography is first and foremost an art; that is how we approach the medium at Michael Broyles Photography. Here are five things you must do if you want to take your budding photography hobby to the next level.   Invest in a Quality Camera Camera phones and inexpensive point and shoot cameras can take great photos, but if you are serious about photography as a hobby you must invest in a high-quality camera. Do your research before buying: there are many great sites on the Internet, such as Photography Life, Popular Photography, and Digital Photography School, that can help you make the right choice for your budget and needs. Be sure to buy your camera and equipment from an authorized dealer. It may be more expensive, but will save you the hassle of dealing with scams and ensure you receive the product you paid for. […]
04 May 2017 in Photography Blog, by
5 Ways to Rock Your Senior Portraits
The school year is winding down and for high school juniors the arrival of summer brings more than some much needed time off from books and exams. Tis the season for senior portraits! This important rite of passage brings many young people to Michael Broyles Photography this time of year and we are committed to ensuring each senior portrait reflects your unique personality. To help you express your creativity, keep the following tips in mind as you plan your senior portrait shoot.   Plan for Classic and Contemporary Depending on the studio you choose for your senior portrait shoot, you will be asked to bring three to four outfits to work with during your session. Styles can range from casual to formal, but a good rule of thumb is to plan on bringing one classic outfit that stands the test of time. This can be as simple as a solid color polo shirt paired with khakis or jeans, or a solid print dress in a bold or neutral hue. You can add your personality with accessories such as jewelry or a favorite pair of shoes, but be careful not to go overboard here. Save the “trendy” outfits and accessories for your next shot. […]
27 Apr 2017 in Photography Blog, by
Including Mom in Your Photographs: It Matters More than You Think
Take a moment to think about the photographs from your childhood or about the pictures taken of your family to date. Is someone missing from the photo? Chances are that person is mom. This is by no means a new trend, and it is a major reason why families cherish their photo sessions with Michael Broyles. Yes, the quality time spent with mom during the photo session is important; but there are bigger reasons why mom needs to be included more often in family photographs that might not be so apparent in the present moment.   As you think back on your childhood pictures, you will recall many special moments: birthdays, Christmas mornings, first days of school. Very often, the person behind the camera for these moments is mom. The “designated family historian,” mom is the one who preserves the special memories you look back on years later. Of course, this responsibility comes with a downside: mom is rarely the center of attention in these photos. However, when mom is given a chance to assume the starring role, she frequently comes up with an excuse to step aside in favor of the kids. From feeling self-conscious about her weight to […]
4 Tips for Taking Memorable Vacation Photos
Vacations are a time for making memories and there is no better way to preserve those memories than taking pictures of your adventures. Every so often, we get questions at Michael Broyles Photography from customers who are looking for advice on how to make their vacation photos stand out. Here, I offer some simple tips for elevating your vacation photography, sure to produce pictures that are the envy of your friends and family.   Capture Emotions and Expressions Whether you are traveling to a familiar locale or someplace new and exotic, vacation destinations have a way of eliciting a range of emotions, from nostalgia to sheer awe. Although taking pictures of notable sights and happenings is a must, the truly memorable photos are those that capture the reactions of your traveling companions. To capture raw emotions best, focus in on a person’s face and their expression, particularly the eyes. When you look back on your trip years later, your photos should convey the same emotions that were felt in the moment.   Look for Details Everyone loves a panoramic shot of a magnificent natural wonder or national landmark, however, there is often more to the scene than meets the eye. […]
13 Apr 2017 in Photography Blog, by
5 Must-Dos for your Easter Family Portrait
Spring is a popular time of the year for family portraits at Michael Broyles Photography, so we understand how important it is to create the perfect setting and tone for your photo shoot. Whether you choose to go with a professional photographer or go the DIY route, here are five must-dos for your Easter portrait this spring.
06 Apr 2017 in Photography Blog, by
5 Secrets to Capturing Your Best Pet Photographs Yet
At Michael Broyles Photography, it is not unusual for customers to schedule photo sessions with their pets.
4 Tips for Selecting the Perfect Outdoor Location for Your Portrait
At Michael Broyles Photography, most of our portraits are shot on location in our studio; however, every once in a while, we venture outdoors for our photo sessions.
6 Important Questions to Ask at Your Photographer Consultation
One thing Michael Broyles Photography has learned over time is that choosing a photographer is a very personal decision
16 Mar 2017 in Photography Blog, by
Behind the Scenes with Michael Broyles: The Appeal of Black and White Photography
Every artist has their favorite medium and for Michael Broyles, that medium is black and white photography. But why choose to shoot photographs in only two colors when the world is so colorful? Michael Broyles answers that question and more in this inside peek at his craft.
4 Ideas to Brighten your Spring Portrait Outfits
Spring is prime time at Michael Broyles Photography for family photo shoots, especially with spring and early summer holidays on the horizon.
3 Common Challenges Encountered When Taking Family Portraits
Snapping a family portrait on your own is not as easy as it sounds. From clashing outfits to restless kids, we have seen it all at Michael Broyles Photography and can safely say that an opportunity to capture a priceless moment can quickly turn into a headache for the photographer (not to mention the portrait’s subjects). However, with knowledge and advanced prep it is possible to snap a family portrait that is memorable for all of the right reasons. Here are three common challenges and how you can overcome them for a great shot every time.
23 Feb 2017 in Photography Blog, by
How to Preserve Today’s Photos for a Lifetime of Memories
  Carefully preserving your print photos is much more involved than tossing them into a shoebox. How you store and handle your photos matters, as well as where you store them. At Michael Broyles Photography, our goal is to help you preserve special moments so they can be passed down to future generations. With that in mind, we offer three key considerations to keep in mind to help you preserve and protect your photos.   Choose the Right Container There is an endless variety of photo albums and boxes on the market these days; however, many of them may actually cause more harm than good to your photos. Your typical, run-of-the-mill commercial photo album is often made from materials that can leave adhesive residues on photos, turn yellow and brittle with age, or cause photos to stick to the album’s pages. That is why it is often recommended to choose storage boxes or albums that are archival quality: photo safe and acid, lignin, and PVC free. How do you know if you have the right container? Keep an eye out for products that are made of polypropylene (look for a recycling symbol on the bottom with the number 5 and […]
16 Feb 2017 in Photography Blog, by
5 Steps to an Organized Print Photo Collection
  It can be very easy for a collection of print photos to get out of hand. You run out of room in your photo albums and start sticking them in drawers and closets, promising yourself that you will organize them later. At Michael Broyles Photography, we believe that taking care of your photos is the only way to preserve them for future generations. And that starts with getting your print photo collection in order. Below are five easy steps you can take to organize your print photos so they remain safe and easily accessible.   Gather Loose Photos Together To start, you will need to gather all of your loose photos together in a central location. Ideally, you will have a designated workspace for this project, such as a dining room or kitchen table. Don’t worry about sorting yet; that comes later. As you sift through shoeboxes, envelopes, and bins for photos, be thinking about the scope of your project. How much time do you have to devote to organizing your photos, and do you have a specific project in mind for them (such as a slideshow)? These questions will help guide you through the next four steps.   […]
09 Feb 2017 in Photography Blog, by
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a Unique Photo Gift
  Valentine’s Day is typically celebrated with a card, chocolates, and roses for your sweetheart; however, more people are choosing gifts that have a personal touch. One increasingly popular option is the photo card, often graced with a romantic or whimsical picture of the recipient with his or her significant other. At Michael Broyles Photography, we enjoy capturing these special moments to share with loved ones on holidays like Valentine’s Day, but who says you can only use your photos in a card? This year, go beyond a photo card and treat your valentine instead to a unique photo gift that he or she will treasure long after Valentine’s Day has ended.  Here are some ideas:   Think Beyond Your Basic Picture Frame A framed photo is a wonderful keepsake, but you should consider branching out and trying one of the many other options available for displaying photos. Websites like Tiny Prints and Pinhole Press offer an array of formats, from easel art and curved glass to acrylic blocks and framed photo collages. If wall art is more your style, you may want to have your photo or photos turned into a canvas print.   Of course, photos don’t necessarily […]
02 Feb 2017 in Photography Blog, by
5 Reasons Using Video will Amplify Your Impact
  Videos are quickly rising to the top of many companies’ marketing strategies, and for good reason. Unlike words on a page, people able are to relate more easily to messages they can see and hear. That is one reason why Michael Broyles Photography works with clients to create videos that convey their personal brand: how you present yourself and your company visually says volumes about how you conduct your business.   Videos are also a popular means of consuming information. According to a post on WP Gurus’ website, past research has shown that more than 79% of Internet users frequently watch videos. Of the people who view video ads online, approximately 46% take some form of follow up action, such as checking out a business’ website for more information.   Clearly, using video is the way to go to promote your business and personal brand, and amplify your impact with your target audience. Here are five reasons why:   Create the Right First Impression In a previous blog post, I discussed the importance of making a good first impression when building your personal brand. Video allows you to do that by putting a face with a name. You are […]
How to Build Your Personal Brand Using Videos
  In business, first impressions count. This simple truism is a big reason that Michael Broyles Photography offers business portraits as one of our services. We want to help you make a great first impression.   However, in today’s business climate, the amount of time you have to make that first impression is growing smaller by the minute. How can you promote your business and the unique skills you bring to the table while catering to ever decreasing attention spans? The answer is video.   Video is effective at conveying a large amount of information is a very short span of time. As noted in one Huffington Post article, one minute of online video equals approximately 1.8 million words. If you want to use video to build your personal brand, here are some important considerations to keep in mind.   Make an Introduction Videos can be a great way to help distinguish yourself and your business from your closest competitors. You can show what makes your products and services unique, as well as set a tone for how you engage with customers or clients. Most importantly, a video introduction to you and your business lends a personal touch that cannot […]
4 Ways Professional Videos can Help Boost your Website’s SEO
For many companies large and small, your website functions as your main marketing tool. It is the one-stop shop your customers can visit 24/7, 365 days a year to learn about your products and/or services. As digital technology and online shopping increase in popularity, having a robust, comprehensive website is crucial to reach your target audience and make the case for why they should choose you over the competition. How can you make your website stand apart from your competitors? One of the fastest growing ways to differentiate your website from the rest is by including videos. Unlike text, videos allow you to communicate important information about your business (and yourself!) for your target audience in a memorable way that takes much less time to digest. At Michael Broyles Photography, we have been helping customers create high quality videos that help them sell their business in an attractive, professional manner. You can view a sample of our work with Perry Windle, Attorney at Law, here.     Companies are catching on to this trend and are using professional videos to great effect. One of the benefits of including videos on your website is their ability to improve your site’s search […]
12 Jan 2017 in Photography Blog, by
Immortalize that Beloved Pet!
65% of U.S. households own one, which equates to 79.7 million homes.  We spend nearly $1200 each year on them. 2/3 of the people who own them take them into account when buying a car. We’re talking, of course, about pets.  A generation from now, grandparents will be tending to grand-dogs instead of grand kids as young couples are raising canines instead of kids. Okay, we love our pets. And, with good reason. They relax us after a long day, bring joy and laughter, ease our pain and sorrow, and are always willing to listen to our complaints without judgement (at least as far as we know). They give us unconditional love and ask for little in return. So, it should be no surprise, then, that the hottest item on most pet parents’ list is a portrait of their “fur-ever” friend. Why not capture that lovable little mug (or Pug) for posterity with a pet portrait? If not for yourself, then for a loved one. A pet portrait makes a great gift. If you do decide you’d like a portrait taken, consider this: Not everyone can take a pet’s picture. It takes skill, patience and above all, planning. Here are some things […]
10 Jan 2017 in Photography Blog, by
Start the New Year with a New Family Portrait
It’s a new year. Time for a family portrait, don’t you think?  After all, a lot can happen in a year and there is no better (or lasting) way to commemorate a year past and a new one beginning than with a portrait of the family. Not that having such a portrait taken is easy… after all, there are considerations such as availabilities (family members and portraitist), setting, wardrobe and more.  But consider the family portraits of old, such as those of the Royals of Great Britain.  Back in the mid-1500’s, photography was a couple of centuries away, so the favored medium was oil on canvas.  This particular work was done in just that way.  Imagine being called upon, as a subject, to pose in up to a hundred “sittings” over the course of a year, perhaps two! Imagine, too, the time and energy it would take to paint a portrait that measures an impressive six feet tall by twelve feet wide! Now, we all know that a picture is “worth a thousand words,” but take a look at the story being told in this 16th Century portrait of Henry VIII by Hans Holbein the Younger.  For starters, it’s obviously a […]
04 Jan 2017 in Photography Blog, by
No One is Picture Perfect. So, how about Retouching?
No one is picture perfect, right?  Okay, one could make the argument that, after all, models like Heidi Klum and Tyra Banks are pretty picture perfect.  But you’d have to agree that they, and others like them who are paid to look perfect, are more the exception than the norm. If you’re one of the many who isn’t a runway model and is having your portrait done, you might consider retouching.  Retouching is an art; as much an art, in fact, as capturing the initial image and your photographer may also be skilled at retouching. While wrinkles, blemishes and dimples make us who we are, these are just a few of the facial traits that we’d sometimes prefer to “do without.”  Especially when it comes to being captured on film for posterity. So, when does retouching come into play?  As we mentioned earlier, those facial traits such as wrinkles and dimples, make you who you are.  Do you want to eliminate them from your portrait?  Perhaps.  Michael Broyles can do that for you. He calls it “digital botox,” and using a design program called Photoshop, he can make you look years younger… even remove a tatoo, as you can see […]
19 Dec 2016 in Photography Blog, by
Find Your Muse: Photographers That Inspire You
Every artist has their muse, their inspiration. For actor/director Bobby DeNiro, it was – at least in terms of comedy – Bud Abbott and Lou Costello.  For singer/songwriter/musician James Taylor it was the immortal Woodie Gutherie.  For pop artist Andy Warhol it was the Cubist painter and sculptor Marcel Duchamp, along with the many “artistic types” with which he surrounded himself such as Truman Capote, Mick Jagger, Lou Reed, and David Bowie. So, when you peek through the lens of your “picture taking device,” whatever that may be — whether it be Hasselblad H5-D or iPhone 5 — and gaze on your subject or subjects, who is your inspiration?  As a portrait photographer, or even “portrait photographer in training,” you may find some inspiration here at Internationally renowned portrait artists Louise and Joseph Simone have been living and working in Montreal, Canada since 1975 and during that time have earned numerous awards and accolades.  With that recognition, they’ve also earned themselves a reputation as internationally renowned portraitists.  Their work stretches beyond photography, creating “a new visual art combining digital photography, painting and different materials such as pigmented inks on an aluminum surface.”  You may find your inspiration here… Remember; […]
16 Dec 2016 in Photography Blog, by
Fun and Surprising Photo Gifts for Christmas Gift Giving
Christmas is right around the corner, which means trying to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list.  This year, why not turn a favorite photo into a gift that can be enjoyed around the home?  Before you bemoan another ornament or coffee mug, consider this: the number of personalized photo gifts has exploded over the last several years to include everything from pillows and blankets to dinnerware and candles.  If you want to give your friends and loved ones something that is a little unexpected this year, try one of the following ideas on for size.  You might just want one for yourself! Around the House Opt for a set of personalized photo coasters in place of a coffee mug this year.  Not only are they functional, but can serve as an unusual alternative to your run-of-the-mill picture frame. For the person who has more than enough pillows lying around the house, a photo blanket can be the perfect, snuggly gift to keep your loved one warm year round. Having trouble shopping for the gardener on your list?  Give him or her a flower pot decorated with their favorite photos. Light up a room in more ways than […]
01 Dec 2016 in Photography Blog, by
What is Old is New Again: Why Black and White Prints Matter in the Age of Digital Photography
Here in East Tennessee, nothing comes close to capturing the majesty of fall’s parade of colors than your trusty camera.  Photography has a way of bringing beautiful, colorful scenes to life in a two dimensional image.  However, it was not long ago that photographs came in only two colors: black and white.  While color photographs have their place in modern photography, black and white prints remain popular for their timeless quality and subtle beauty.  The color scheme works well for all types of photography, from portraits to landscapes, and adapts to a variety of lighting conditions.  Here are a few more reasons why black and white photos have endured over time. Fewer Distractions While we can appreciate vivid, brilliant pops of color in photographs, there are times when color can be a distraction or clash with other elements in a photo.  Black and white photography, on the other hand, is stark and reduces your subject to the bare essentials.  As a photographer, you can focus on playing up the composition and texture of your photo, things like shapes, light, and shadows.  In fact, black and white photos are a great way to contrast light and dark elements as they make […]
22 Nov 2016 in Photography Blog, by
Brighten the Holidays with Fun Christmas Card Photo Ideas
  Tis the season…for turkey, pumpkin pie, and Christmas cards?  Although Christmas is well over a month away, November is an ideal time to take some time to plan your annual Christmas card photo.  In fact, the Thanksgiving holiday provides a perfect excuse to gather your family and friends for a photo shoot that celebrates the season. Why make the time for a family Christmas card photo?  Just like the holiday itself, Christmas photos provide a chance to reflect on your family and spend some quality time together.  Over time, you will be able to look back and see how your children have grown or reminisce about holidays spent with loved ones who have passed on.  These are the same reasons why relatives and friends look forward to and treasure these seasonal snap shots. Of course, taking the same old family photo year after year can get a bit boring.  If you need some inspiration, look no further than the following tips for sprucing up your Christmas card photos. Dress for the Season Nothing says Christmas more than pulling out your best red, white, and green holiday wear.  But before you resort to another ugly Christmas sweater photo, consider these […]
10 Nov 2016 in Photography Blog, by
3 Ways the Direction of Light can Affect Your Photo
Just like experimenting with different types of light, the best way to get comfortable with shooting photographs using front, back, and side lighting is to get out and start taking pictures. With experience, you get a feel for when to use each type to best effect and become more confident in your photography.
03 Nov 2016 in Photography Blog, by
Creative Ways to Use Photographs to Share Milestones
It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words.
25 Oct 2016 in Photography Blog, by
Custom vs. DIY Framing: Which Option Should You Choose?
You have a couple of options when it comes to DIY framing.
18 Oct 2016 in Photography Blog, by
4 Tips to Avoid Glare when Photographing People Wearing Glasses
  Taking photos of people wearing glasses can be a challenge, even for professional photographers.  It’s not an aesthetic issue, but rather one of optics: the lenses reflect light and end up hiding the subject’s eyes or creating odd colors on the lenses’ surface.  However, it is possible to take great photos of people wearing glasses.  Consider the four tips below.   Be Aware of Lighting Lighting is important for taking photographs in general and especially important when your subject is wearing glasses.  Take time to watch and see how light is hitting the glasses.  Often times, a simple turn of the head or adjustment to your subject’s position can be enough to remove glare.  You can also have your subject shade his or her eyes with a hat or an object above the head to partially or completely block light.  Backlighting works well here too, since light from the back is less likely to shine back into the glasses.   Try a Different Pose How you position your subject can make a real difference in avoiding glare on their glasses.  Tilting or angling your subject’s head in a certain way can reduce or eliminate glare in many situations.  A […]
11 Oct 2016 in Photography Blog, by
How to Use 3 Types of Light to Take Better Photographs
Lighting is both a photographer’s best friend and worst enemy.  When used correctly, light can help you produce stunning photos.  On the flip side, poor lighting can ruin an otherwise flawless shot.  This short guide will introduce you to the most common types of light and how each can be used to improve your photographs.   Natural Light Natural light, or sunlight, is perhaps the best light to use in photography.  Of course, sunlight varies throughout the day and its intensity (or lack thereof) can make a significant difference in how your photos turn out.  The following recommendations can help you make the most of natural light from dawn to dusk.   Golden Hour Golden hour occurs approximately one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset. During this time, the sun sits low in the sky and its rays are filtered through the atmosphere, creating a warm, rich light that flatters just about any photo subject.  Golden hour is a great time to shoot landscapes and portraits; the light makes skin tones appear warm and soft without any harsh shadows.   Blue Hour Blue hour occurs approximately 20-30 minutes before sunrise and 20-30 minutes after sunset. The shorter period […]
04 Oct 2016 in Photography Blog, by
4 Fun Themes that Add Personality to Your Photos
  There are no rules that say portrait sessions have to be formal affairs.  Quite the contrary, getting your portrait taken by a professional photographer can be an opportune time to let your creative side show.  Both individuals and families can get in on the fun of choosing a theme for their portrait and selecting the outfits and props to help them play the part.  If you want to add some spice to your next portrait session, consider using one of the following four themes as inspiration.   Sports Whether you are a fan or an athlete, dressing the part of your favorite sport or team is a great way to express your passion or pride. Wear your uniform, favorite team jersey, or go-to athletic apparel. Pick a prop or two to accessorize your outfit. Footballs, basketballs, baseballs, and bats are all obvious choices but you can also get creative with your props.  Swimmers may choose to don their swim goggles, or track athletes may wish to bring their running shoes or cleats. Have your portrait taken with a framed photo of your favorite athlete. Show off your athletic prowess by including medals or trophies you have won in your […]
29 Sep 2016 in Photography Blog, by
Dislike Your Photos? Your Mirror May be to Blame
Chances are you have a photograph or two of yourself that you absolutely hate.  Maybe you had a bad hair day, you were coming down with a cold or had too little sleep, or the lighting was just all wrong.  It happens.  However, what if you dislike the way you look in all photos, even the ones worthy of framing and displaying around your house?  Rest assured you are not alone in this feeling.  In fact, it is quite common for people to feel this way about their image in photos, and it is backed up by science.   In 1968, a psychologist by the name of Robert Zajonc coined a term called “mere exposure.”  Essentially, this means that people react more favorably to things they see most often.  When it comes to our self-image, we tend to prefer the way we look in the mirror.  This makes sense, as we all spend at least a little time in front of a mirror each day getting ready for work or for bed.  The face we see in the mirror is the face we recognize, our “mirror image.”  However, a photograph is not a mirror image.  It is flipped so the […]
22 Sep 2016 in Photography Blog, by
Bring Your Portrait to Life: How to Choose the Best Mat and Frame
There are two important components to a properly framed photo: the mat and the frame. A mat helps an image “pop” out of the frame and keeps the picture from touching the glass (and subsequently sticking to it).
15 Sep 2016 in Photography Blog, by
7 Tips for Top Notch Photos Using Your Phone
I want to let you in on a little secret.  You can take amazing photos using nothing more than your cell phone.  Although you may not become a master photographer overnight, the following 7 tips, along with a little practice and patience, will help you become the master of your cell phone camera and a star photographer for your family. Use Light Light plays an important role in taking a good photograph.  In photography, there are many types of light and each one has its pros and cons depending on the type of photo you wish to take.  To keep it simple, use diffused window light and skip the flash when taking indoor photos.  When outdoors, the best light is when the sun is low in the sky, such as at dusk or in the early morning.  Overcast skies also work well for outdoor photos. Keep Your Camera Lens Clean A dirty camera lens will guarantee you a less than spectacular shot.  Stashed away in your pocket or purse, your phone’s camera lens is more than likely to encounter a fair share of dirt, grim, and dust.  Before you take a photo, be sure to wipe the lens with a […]
08 Sep 2016 in Photography Blog, by
10 Tips to Avoid a Portrait Faux Pas
  Sitting for a portrait session is an investment in time and money.  You want the finished product to be something you can be proud of and pass down to your children and grandchildren.  Want to make sure you get your money’s worth at your next portrait session?  Plan ahead and keep these ten things in mind to guarantee a successful and productive session.   Avoid a Wardrobe Malfunction Stay away from patterns, loud colors, and logos when choosing an outfit to wear. Instead, go with solid, coordinating colors that flatter your complexion. Avoid wearing layers of clothing that can add unwanted bulk to your frame. Choose slimming, semi-fitted clothing whenever possible. Choose dress shoes over tennis shoes, and make sure both socks and shoes complement your outfit. If choosing sandals or open-toed shoes, make sure feet are clean and pedicured. Wear clothing that you are comfortable in and have worn before. If you must wear a new outfit, make sure you have tried it on before the photo shoot to avoid any unpleasant surprises (the same goes for outfits you have not worn in a while). Don’t bring too many outfits to the photo shoot. Choose between 2-3 outfits, […]
01 Sep 2016 in Photography Blog, by
Heirloom Photography…Artistry that Stands the Test of Time
Unlike your everyday snap shot, heirloom portraits often take an artistic approach in capturing their subjects on film. Much thought and planning goes into an heirloom portrait, from the location, lighting, and style of the shot to smaller touches like the best color of makeup or the most complementary outfit.
25 Aug 2016 in Photography Blog, by
3 Creative and Unexpected Ways to Display Your Portraits
One of the fundamental reasons we take photos is to share special moments with friends and family.  Photos are meant to be displayed, whether as a centerpiece of a room or on a keychain.  From classic to contemporary, the ways you can display your photos are endless.  Really, you are just limited by your imagination.   Looking for some inspired ways to spruce up your photo displays?  Take a cue from the ideas below to update your family’s “photo gallery.”   Embrace the Centerpiece Every room in a home has a central focal point, some object or design that defines the space.  When that object is a portrait, it can make the rest of the room’s décor more personal, cheerful, or even more dramatic.  We often choose portraits for centerpieces because they speak to the house as a place for gathering family and friends, of comfort and love.  When incorporating a portrait into a room as its centerpiece, choose a spot that allows the portrait to be the center of attention.  For example, the family portrait accompanying this post hangs above the family’s fireplace.  Other standout locations include above sofas or sideboards.  To enhance the centerpiece look, choose a frame […]
18 Aug 2016 in Photography Blog, by
3 Reasons Why You Must Invest in Print over Digital Photos
As technology continues to advance and play an ever greater role in our lives, the “old-fashioned” way of doing things slips by the wayside. This especially rings true for photography and how we choose to capture signature moments.  More and more, we are relying on digital cameras to capture and store our memories.  While there are some benefits to digital photos, they are not the best medium for recording our personal or family history.  Print photos still rule and here are three reasons why.   Prints are reliable.  Nothing beats having a hard copy of something, including photos.  They are easy to store and keep track of, and best of all, hard to lose.  So, what makes this an advantage over digital photos?   Digital photos are typically stored on discs and drives, storage mediums that were not designed for long term storage.  Sure, these are great for short term uses like posting photos on social media or sharing long distance; however, these types of storage mediums can decay (this is called data rot) and go out of date.  Even more frustrating is the constant updates and changes occurring in image formats (e.g., GIF, JPG, PNG) and hardware, which can […]
10 Aug 2016 in Photography Blog, by
Make Back to School Photos Memorable this Year with a Portrait Session
Make this year’s back to school photo more memorable by scheduling a photo session with Michael Broyles Photography.
26 Jul 2016 in Photography Blog, by
15 Tips to Guarantee Your Best Portrait Session Yet!
You have scheduled your family portrait session…now what?  To get the most out of your session, you need to plan ahead so you are prepared to look your best when you walk into the studio.  Getting your portrait taken should be a fun and stress-free experience for you and your family.  Here are 15 tips to keep in mind for your next portrait session. Dress for Success Choose a color theme for your portrait. Have family members wear solid, coordinating colors to avoid clashing and avoid distracting colors, large patterns, and mixing patterns. Choose darker clothing so your facial features are more prominent in the image. Bonus: darker clothing can make you look slimmer! Wear long sleeves to take the focus off your arms and long pants for a more flattering look. Choose shoes and socks that compliment your outfit, not contrast with it. Keep your jewelry simple and avoid wearing large earrings. Bring all clothes to the portrait session hangers to avoid wrinkles and stains. Use the dressing room to change once you arrive at the studio. Grooming Do not experiment with a new hair style. If you want to get a haircut, make your appointment at least two […]
21 Jul 2016 in Photography Blog, by
Getting Engaged? Capture the Joy in a Portrait to Treasure
Getting engaged is a celebratory time for not just the new couple, but their family and friends.  You are about to start a new life together, and what better way to commemorate this moment than with a portrait you both can treasure long into the future?   Wedding photography is pretty much considered a given these days; however, more and more couples are choosing to photograph their engagement as well.  Unlike more formal wedding photography, engagement photo sessions allow couples to show off their fun, spontaneous side and capture the happy couple in a more relaxed, care-free setting.  Engagement photos are also a tangible, lasting way to celebrate a milestone in a couple’s relationship and allow the couple to share that moment with friends and family.   What can you expect from an engagement photo session? Dress up or dress down, it’s your choice. Because engagement photos tend to be informal, choose clothing that is comfortable and compatible with your partner’s.  You may or may not choose to get your hair and/or makeup professionally done. Select the ideal location. Engagement photos are often taken at places that hold special meaning for you, such as where you first met or got […]
14 Jul 2016 in Photography Blog, by
3 Reasons You Should Hire a Professional Photographer for Your Self-Portrait
There was a time, not too long ago, when owning your own camera was considered a luxury.  Nowadays, smartphones work double duty as cameras and having the ability to snap photos and selfies is considered more of a right than a privilege.  That does not mean people have become amateur photographers overnight.  To get a great shot time and after time takes a good deal of training and practice. As a photographer, one of the most common complaints I hear is “I hate how I look in photographs.”  The reasons are many: bad lighting, inexperience, poor camera quality…the list goes on.  There is also the way we perceive ourselves on film.  A photo is not a mirror image of ourselves; instead, our features are flipped so what we are used to seeing in a mirror is on the opposite side.  A bit of a brain tease that, nonetheless, can result in disappointment when we see ourselves in the finished product.  Added to that, studies have shown that close-up photos can make subjects look less trust-worthy, competent, and attractive.  So much for selfies… When you want to take a self-portrait that truly reflects who you are, it is worth your time and […]
05 Jul 2016 in Photography Blog, by
Gather your Family for a Reunion…and a Portrait
Summer time means BBQ, picnics, and Fourth of July celebrations, all perfect opportunities to round up the family for a reunion.  Holidays aside, it can be hard to find a time during the year when everyone is free to gather.  With school out, warmer weather, and a slower pace of life, summer is an invitation to catch up with loved ones and spend quality time together. Family reunions may be a great excuse to fire up the grill; however, they also present a perfect opportunity to capture a family portrait.  It was not too long ago when families tended to live close together and moving meant buying or building a house down the street.  Nowadays, families are spread out across the country, scattered among the 50 states.  A family reunion may be the one time all year when multiple generations of a family can gather in one place. Family reunion portraits are treasured keepsakes for good reason.  These photographs capture multiple generations in a single shared moment of celebration.  A great example of this can be found in the photo above, which was taken at a family farm during a 50th wedding anniversary gathering.  From grandparents to grandchildren, the image […]
28 Jun 2016 in Photography Blog, by
Preparing your Pet for a Professional Photo Shoot
Our pets are with us for a fleeting amount of time. Investing in a professional portrait of your pet will ensure he or she is with you in spirit for years to come. Our photographers at Michael Broyles Photography welcome pets and their people as guests in our studio, and hope you choose to schedule a pet photo session with us soon. Let us help you bring out the very best in your pet!
23 Jun 2016 in Photography Blog, by
Making Time Stand Still: Why a Photo Session with your Newborn is a Must
“I remember when…”  Three words we use to begin a reflection from our past.  Parents often find themselves reminiscing about early parenthood, what it was like to have a new baby joining the family and the joy that baby brought to their lives.  It seems like yesterday when their son or daughter was born, and now he or she is starting Kindergarten, choosing a college, starting a job…where did the time go? When our children are born, we feel like time stands still and that this moment can last forever.  But our children grow up fast and before we know it, they are not so little anymore.  That is why capturing childhood on film is so meaningful for parents.  You want to hold on to these fleeting moments, knowing all too soon your children will be leaving home and striking out on adventures of their own. But what if you could capture your child’s life at its very beginning? Scheduling a photo session with your newborn can help new parents, whether it’s their first or fifth, preserve a very special moment in their lives.  Capturing a newborn in a photograph is like freezing in time a moment of new life.  […]
14 Jun 2016 in Photography Blog, by
A Portrait of Dad…A Lifetime of Memories
When we think of Father’s Day, our thoughts turn to backyard cookouts and pool parties, maybe even camping or theme park visits.  Dads are spontaneous, fun, and always up for an adventure.  They are giant teddy bears in human form. Dads also have a softer side, though you won’t find too many readily admitting it.  They burst with pride when their children do well in schools and in sports, rally behind us in times of need, and shed a tear or two when their daughters get married.  It is these moments, among others, that truly remind us why we celebrate Father’s Day. Dads can also be notoriously hard to buy gifts for, whether it’s Father’s Day, Christmas, or any other time of the year.  For the Dad who claims to have everything he needs, why not consider giving him the gift of a family photo session?  Not only will Dad get quality time with his loved ones, but he will walk away with a beautiful reminder of why everyone calls him “Dad.” Michael Broyles Photography specializes in capturing family moments in portraits that can be cherished from generation to generation.  During photo shoots, we encourage Dads to be themselves and […]
07 Jun 2016 in Photography Blog, by
Insights by Casey Perfetto on Studying Photography in Italy
I’m in awe every time I see a fresco or sculpture in person instead of just reading about them in my art history text book
Honoring our Veterans and their Service through Photography
Michael Broyles Photography is honored to work with veterans and their families to capture inspiring and touching portraits that can be cherished for years to come.
24 May 2016 in Photography Blog, by
Why You Should Work with a Certified Professional Photographer
What makes a CPP different from just any photographer?
17 May 2016 in Photography Blog, by
Looking Back, Looking Forward: Capture Your Senior Memories
The photographers at Michael Broyles Photography are committed to making your senior portrait reflect your unique self.
10 May 2016 in Photography Blog, by
Celebrate Motherhood with a Timeless Keepsake
A mother is the center of a child’s world.  She nurtures him, comforts him when he is sick, teaches him to ride his first bike, helps him up when he falls, and celebrates the milestones of his childhood.  We ask a lot of our mothers, and every once in a while it is good to step back and thank them for their tireless dedication, love, and devotion.  Why not do so this year with a customized photo shoot with a certified professional photographer? Each stage of motherhood has something special to celebrate.  A newborn experiencing his first days of life.  A toddler learning to walk and explore his world.  A child starting her first year of school (or beginning her last).  These are moments mothers wish they can hold on to for years to come.  Michael Broyles Photography focuses on capturing motherhood’s most cherished moments and everything in between.  We believe no matter how busy life gets, we all need to slow down and celebrate what matters.  A photo shoot with us will do just that. At Michael Broyles Photography, we specialize in creating heirloom portraits that are treasured and can be passed down from mother to child to grandchild.  […]
05 May 2016 in Photography Blog, by
Fun Found in Photoshoots
A photo session with the meaningful people in our lives is one great way to preserve their memory forever. However, it is also surprisingly a great way to have fun and enjoy time with them as well during the actual photoshoot.
17 Feb 2016 in Photography Blog, by
The Fantasy World of Photos
With photography, you’re able to express yourself in whatever way you choose. A photograph will allow you to create a world around yourself in an image that can last a lifetime. What defines you? What makes you who you are, and what makes you excited about life? Take your answer to these questions and ask yourself “how can that be portrayed in an image?”
10 Feb 2016 in Photography Blog, by
Shift of Focus: Exploring Photography as Reinvention
If you have been soul searching and have come to a realization that you need rejuvenation, then reinvention may be for you. While a life overhaul is not for the faint of heart, exploring the world of photography, either behind or in front of the camera, could be a key to self-awareness.
You are The Masterpiece
Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed. Let, Casey and Michael at Michael Broyles Photography, a family photographer in Knoxville, TN to capture your watershed moments of joy.
Preserving Family Harmony during the Holiday Season
As the holiday season approaches, the anticipation of fall leaves turning, the abundance of the family table at Thanksgiving, and the magic of the Christmas season has everyone craving special memories. With the complicated world changing all around us, it is easy to forget the priorities that lie before us in family, friends, and the beauty of life.
Boudoir Photography: Changing the Perception of Women’s Beauty
In Boudoir photography, perception plays an integral role in what women believe about themselves and how we fortify our self-worth.
Advice for Aspiring Photographers
Photography is communion with life. It is the act of sharing with others an unseen world, a view from another eye.  Personal needs, truths, and ideas that cannot always be expressed verbally can be expressed in the body of an artist’s work. When we create, a new reality awakens. We understand ourselves better and know a little more about the mystery of life. If you are considering being a photographer, whether for a career or as a hobby, there is an undiscovered world within you ready to be revealed in the pictures you create.  Begin a daily practice. Spending time in nature or photographing the reality of your everyday life is a great place to begin creating a strong body of work.   When you begin your work, do remain discouraged by the learning curve.  Aspiring photographers may feel one of two ways, very self-conscious about their work or, unfortunately, overconfident in expressing art without technique. While there is a balance to technique and free expression, profound meaning is found in courageously sharing your point of view. This is the center of breathtaking artistry.   Michael Broyles, a Certified Professional Photographer, offers a look into his methodology: “I see my […]
Portraits for the Dogs
There is nothing like the unspoken bond between a person and their pet. Dogs are incredible extended family members that teach us unexpected life lessons and give unconditional love. Scientific research states that people who have pets live longer, healthier, happier lives.  A well-exercised dog means a well-exercised owner.
Engagement Photos: We’ve Only Just Begun
The engagement period is a beautifully enriching time for burgeoning marrieds as they prepare for a new life as one. We at Michael Broyles Photography, a family photography studio in Knoxville, TN, would love to work with you to capture your love for each other.
Business Headshots: Dress from Within
When stepping out into the world as our professional selves, we must bear in mind the barrage of pictures, social story lines, power plays and stipulations on beauty. It can be very tempting to give up, fall short of the standard. However in this world, you can never give up. Putting your best face forward is a requisite for success; you need a strong self-image and a headshot that conveys confidence.
5 Modeling Hacks to get you Camera Ready
Click. Flash. Turn. Smile. Work the camera. That easy right? Wrong. Posing for a photo is about more than techno music and a great pout. Firstly, it can be quite difficult to relax when posing, and sometimes subjects appear stiff. Overcompensation is a terrible culprit in photo fails. Putting on extra makeup or a bright patterned outfit to showcase personality and falling into trend traps that end up dating photos only hurt you. Don’t wind up on the pages of Awkward Family Photos. Michael Broyles and Chryseis Dawn weigh in with photo examples and great advice to make your stills stellar.
Life as High Art
Life is the medium in which photographers create art. Between medium and message lies a task to cause what is seen into being. The photographer is an alchemist who deftly catalyzes life into high art. The artist transcends the mundanities of a two-dimensional depiction and renders a new world that is filled with emotional colors, rich skin tones and naked landscapes.
Portraiture: A Catalyst of Self-Reflection and Acceptance
Your humanity in every persuasion is a muse unto itself. It is through hardships and triumph that your personal walk takes shape. Acceptance of each step is no easy task, but such an achievement continues to serve as the gateway to your best life.
Certified Professional Photographers
At the epicenter of your experience lies the moment captured by the keen eye of a photographer, bringing a sense of reality to your inner world. But how do photographers possess such a special gift? In the world of Certified Professional Photographers (CPP), this gift is part of a continuum of acquired skills utilized to bring out the best in their subjects.
Capturing the tenderness of a quiet moment anchors all of us to what is really important. We can trace the line of light along the curves of life and be assured that life does indeed go on.
The Subject is Love
The moments of your life are meeting places that fill your field of vision; your memories are the most important aspect of your inner world. The people you love, the experiences that you have encountered, and the insurmountable struggles you made surmountable, all comprise your field of vision. The moment your inner essence makes its presence in the outer world, you have shared the most special part of yourself which is a gift you can cherish with others.
Awaken is now available at
This past year we at Michael Broyles Photography collaborated with the Reverend Rhonda Abbott Blevins to create a worship book on prayer - Awaken. This book, entitled Awaken, expresses a unique outlook on how our spiritual connections with God are sensory in nature. With the Reverend Rhonda Abbott Blevins' poetic and inspirational step by step words accompanied with our imagery we could not be happier with the outcome.
Today’s Photography Becomes Tomorrow’s Priceless Memories
For a limited time offer a purchase of a $500 print certificate is priced at only $450. Apply this certificate towards any of our products or services. A Perfect Gift for the Family. Can be used with any style portraits you wish; family group photos, maternity, newborn, children and babies, pets and individuals! This gift is limitless and so is the love and the cherished moments involved.