Posts By jjreyes

Photographic Wedding Favors – Personal Touch

When it comes to making personalized wedding favors there is nothing better than photographic favors. In recent years there has been a wealth of products coming into the favor market which can be personalized with photographs.

Even if you don’t fancy the idea of giving out favors with your mug shot on them, you can still create beautiful photographic favors with alternative pictures. Items such as coasters, photograph frames, key chains and fridge magnets are all popular photographic favors and are widely available from favor stores and stationers alike.

Many craft stores can supply kits containing blanks in to which you can insert your photograph. Modern home computers and printers also provide the means to create quality prints of photographs you have taken, meaning you can create beautiful favors at home for little expense.

When thinking about the type of photograph to insert into your favors, you have a few choices available. A popular one is a photograph of you together looking insanely happy! Others include scenic images, arty shots and images of something connected to your wedding.

A good way to personalize your favors without using a photograph of yourselves is to photograph something which is of interest to your both. Perhaps you have a shared interest in a particular sport or hobby such as sailing or golf. Modern photo editing software also gives you the option of adding text to your images so you easily add your thank message to your favors.

If you are having your wedding at a particularly beautiful location then why not take a picture of that to use in your favors. Beaches, mountains, gardens and riverside locations all look beautiful at different times of the day and in different types of weather. If you take the photograph yourself visit the location several times and at different times of the day so you get a variety of shots to choose from.

If you don’t want to take the photograph yourself then ask your wedding photographer if they could take one for you as part of the wedding package. An alternative is to visit an online printing service and use a stock photograph instead. Online printers often have good prices on small photographic items such as fridge magnets and key chains. You can also use a variety of pre-designed templates and change colors, fonts and text to suit your needs.

Finally, one novel idea is to have mini cakes made with a photograph on top! You will need to find a baker who has the printing capabilities to do this as it requires special edible papers and inks to create them. However, for unique and personalized wedding favor this has to be one of the best!

Mae Andrea is a professional writer who collects wedding favors and weddings related articles. She is working with a wedding planning social networking site that caters to all the wedding needs of brides in almost every major center in America.

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The Quinceanera Party

A quinceanera party is given to celebrate a young girl’s coming of age. This takes place when a girl reaches the age of 15, otherwise known as her quince anos in Spanish. Many Hispanic cultures follow this tradition. It involves a mass in the girl’s honor as well as a ball style celebration.

A quinceanera party can be as elaborate as a wedding reception. The amount of money spent on this celebration depends on the social class of the family. Yet, most quinceanera parties cost an average of $5,000 to $10,000. Quinceanera parties are planned months in advance. The quinceanera party is usually held at a home or banquet hall. The party includes lots of food, a beautiful cake, and dancing. Many times, a choreographed waltz is performed by the quinceanera and her court. Her court if made up of 14 other people making it 15 with her.

On this special day, the quinceanera girl looks and is treated as a princess by her family and friends. She wears a gorgeous gown, high heels and a tiara. The high heels are put on her by her father while she is crowned like a princess by her mother.

Just like weddings, quinceanera parties usually follow a theme. The decorations and quinceanera favors are chosen accordingly. Some popular themes for quinceaneras parties include: a traditional theme, a princess theme, a mascarade ball, a Hawaiian theme, a garden theme, a butterfly theme, a black and white party theme, a Brazilian theme, and many more.

The quinceanera party is a very important and happy occasion in the life of a young latin girl. It is an event that she will treasure throughout her lifetime.

Elizabeth Cuadrado
The Royal Ball
Phone/Fax (940) 497-9035
Toll Free: 1-866-472-3375

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Quinceanera Hairstyles – The Right One For You

With your fifteenth birthday quickly approaching, your every last thought is focused on one event, and one event only: your quinceanera. You’ve likely visited countless websites looking at various quinceanera hairstyles in hopes of finding the perfect one. After all, your quinceanera may be the most important day of your life thus far, and you definitely want to make sure that your hairstyle looks stunning throughout the course of the night for your coming of age event.

As a Hispanic girl, the quinceanera ceremony will easily be one of the biggest events in your life. It will mark your transformation from a young girl to a young woman. It is a traditional ceremony held to celebrate your fifteenth birthday, and involves a number of quinceanera traditions. You’ll be the center of attention throughout the night, and will be involved in choreographed dances, and much more. Thus, finding a hairstyle that is not only beautiful, but also practical, is very important. Without a doubt, you’ve tried out various quinceanera hairstyles that you’ve seen in photos, and you’ve also probably looked at celebrity hairstyles to pick the right one for your big day.

While you’ve spent hours choosing the perfect quinceanera invitations, flower bouquets, quinceanera accessories, and even the right music selections, you know that on the day of your event, you’ll need to go to the hair salon early to make sure that you’re ready to stun your guests with a beautiful hairstyle. You’ll need to bring a few photos of the hairstyle you want for your event, and thus, it is critical that you find the right choice ahead of time. While you’ve probably looked at a million different styles, it’s best to first consider what kind of hair you have.

There are a few quinceanera hairstyles that have become very popular this year, including the more classic or traditional look, a curly look, or a natural look, which may include a semi-updo. To make the right choice, you’ll want to consider quinceanera hairstyles that fit your hair length, texture, and face shape. If you have naturally curly hair, you’re in luck, as curls and waves are absolutely in style. Depending on whether you are looking for short hairstyles, long hairstyles, or medium hairstyles, your ideal quinceanera look may vary. You’ll also want to consider what hairstyle looks best with your dress. If you are wearing a very elegant dress, then you may want to consider an updo. However, if you are looking to wear a more modern classy dress, then you may be better off going with a natural quinceanera hairstyle.

Your quinceanera is a big deal, as you will only have one in your lifetime. For that reason, you want to make sure that your hairstyle looks absolutely perfect. People will be taking pictures and videos of you throughout the night, so it is important to go with a hairstyle with which you’ll feel comfortable. As you look for the perfect quinceanera hairstyle for you, you may want to consider speaking with your hair salon stylist to find out what other girls have done for their event in your area. That will help you choose a hairstyle that is unique, but not over the top for your event.

Try out a virtual hairstyler here. You can try out thousands of different hairstyles at my blog, click below:

Quinceanera Hairstyles – Virtual hairstyler

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Why Family Portraits Are So Important

Families are the compass that guide us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter.
-Brad Henry

I have lots of snapshots of my family. I have snapshots of me and my brothers and sisters at the beach, at parties, etc. And I have snapshots of mom and dad in various places and times. But there are no portraits of my family with my parents and siblings all together. Both my parents and one brother are deceased, so that portrait of my family can never be made.

The tragedy of not having a portrait of my family, (actually there aren’t even any snapshots of all of us together), is the fact that my children and their children, etc will never know what we all looked like as a family. It’s about lineage and family history. If there are any photographs of my grandparents in existence, I don’t know of them. It’s a shame.

I don’t know why my parents never thought to have a family portrait made, but I sure wish they had. All families are different, and my family completely unraveled shortly after my youngest sister left home. Shortly after that I left the roost, (being the youngest child), and then my parents divorced. No getting back together for a family portrait after that!

Just an hour ago a young family left my studio. The husband is a medic in the Army, and will be deployed to Iraq in two weeks for an undetermined length of time. The wife works for the Army doing outreach and helps those families and spouses who have lost a family member. She determined to have a special family portrait made before he deploys. Her main reason, she said is because she works with bereaved families and knows what their regrets are. One that stands out to her is when the spouse or family has no real nice family portrait to hold on to. She’s not about to make that mistake.

Beautiful, sensitive family portraits certainly portray the family members in the most complimentary way possible, but they also give a sense of the personality of the family, the individuals, and the relationships within the family. The love and connection.

As with many other families, my older siblings left for the military, university, and marriage, and went of to various parts of the world to start their own families. And as many of my clients do, having a fine family portrait created before the children go off to college or other pursuits can bring back the added warmth and comfort to the empty nest. When going about your daily business in the home, you can look at your family portrait on the wall and see the expressions, all the personalities, all the love of and for your family members is called to mind, and warms the heart.

Family portraits also preserve the record of your heredity. Looking at older family portraits you can likely see where you got your nose, or who you inherited your jaw line from, or your eye color, or curly hair. Portraits are a wonderful way to remember your ancestors, and a wonderful heirloom to pass on to your children and grandchildren.

Fine family portraits can give “life” to ancestors from past eras, and give proof to your inherited features. They can fill an empty home with warmth when family members are away. They can bring comfort and preserve precious memories when family members have been lost.

Stan P. Cox II runs a Portrait and Commercial photography studio in Honolulu, Hawaii, and has been a professional Hawaii photographer specializing in portraiture for over 30 years. His web address is: This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.

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Family Portrait Ideas and Tips

There was a time when good family photography was only done by professional photographers. But now, thanks to the technology of today, anyone with a descent digital camera can learn how to take wonderful family photos. We do not even have to worry about if we brought enough film anymore. Now we can capture those laughs, smiles, and happy get-togethers with a push of a button.

Family portraits are a bit different though. These works of art are meant to offer something special about your family to the viewer. With that in mind, traditional family portraits do not cut it anymore. You know the ones I am talking about; you see them all the time: the immediate family in a staircase or diamond pattern, a nice pull down backdrop that looks all too familiar, all looking forward at the camera and saying ‘cheese’.

This in no way reflects anything personal or interesting about the family and eventually all of these portraits start looking the same. A family portrait should show how beautiful a family’s life is and how close they are. It is also a good to reflect a common interest that they share. So the next time you are setting up a family portrait, get creative.

Here are a few tips and ideas to keep in mind:

Theme – Some people think that themes are overrated. More than likely, they have a very boring family portrait. Find a theme that reflects the character of your family. My family likes to get dressed up as pirates for a local festival ever year, so last year we arranged our family portrait around that theme. They turned out great.

Activities – Are there any activities that you family enjoys doing together: camping, hiking, playing sports, or anything else? Arranging a shooting around a family activity not only reflects a close family with similar interests but everyone is more likely to have a good time and those smiles will be authentic.

Natural Background – Backdrops are convenient but they have been done to death. You will also start to see common backdrops between different families’ portraits. To go along with the previous two ideas, use natural backgrounds. Yes, this means that the portraits should be taken outside (be sure to set your white balance). Natural lighting can also be a bit harsh on sunny days so it is best to take these portraits just after sunrise or just before sunset.

Always Use a Tripod – If you are taking the portraits yourself, use a tripod. It is possible to hold the camera still enough to take a good shot, but it takes a lot of practice. It is much easier to just use a tripod, or at least a unipod.

Remote Shutter – If you have an SLR it may have a remote shutter function. This will allow you to stand off from the camera a bit and do a more natural distant interaction with the family. When the moment is right, release the shutter and capture a more natural looking scene. To do this, the area of the portrait has to be set up in advance, along with all camera settings for taking the shot: focus, aperture setting, and white balance. All of the subjects need to be made aware of the portrait boundaries. This tip is very optional but I have had good results with it; it takes a bit of practice though.

If you keep these tips and family portrait ideas in mind the next time you are setting one up, you are more likely to get the kind of results that look more original

I hope these family portrait ideas and tips have been helpful.

Visit my site to find more of my family portrait ideas and other photography tips.

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Themed Quinceaneras

In the Latin American culture, ‘quinceanera’ is a ceremony which is held on a girl’s fifteenth birthday in order to celebrate her coming of age. The word translates to ‘fifteen years’ in English. It refers to the girl “becoming a lady” or “being ready for motherhood”.

Such an occasion involves a mass in the honor of the girl and a ball style preparation. It is generally celebrated with a grand party which may be as elaborate as a wedding. On the special day, the girl is made to look as well as treated like a princess. She generally wears a gorgeous gown, high heel and tiara. The high heel is fitted on her feet by her father and the tiara is placed on her head by her mother. The quinceanera may even perform a waltz with her court which is made up of 15 people.

Quinceanera parties generally follow a theme, based on which the decorations and the party favors are chosen. Some of the popular themes are a princess theme, Hawaiian theme or a simple black and white party theme. It can also be a mascarade ball, a garden or a butterfly theme, and many more.

Types of Quinceanera Party favors

Favors should be in sync with the theme of the party. Some of the favors can be categorized under the following heads:

1. Personalized Quinceanera Favors would include something like Acrylic heart box with personalized ribbon, Mini favor candles with pressed flower or ribbons, imported chocolate in an elegant gift box, or personalized shirt and shoes.

2. Some Unique Quinceanera Favors are ceramic banana split salt and pepper shakers, Mini-Pillar Candles, black and white frosted glass, antique finish photo frame, monogrammed purse mirror, or Luminous black mini-lanterns.

3. There are Fairy Tale Quinceanera Favors too, which would go very well if the theme is the same. Elegant silver plated bell, frosted glass heart candles, scented candles in the shape of a gown or a sand castle, a card holder in the shape of a tiara or a carriage, compact mirror in black velvet pouch.

4. Garden Quinceanera Favors would include eco-friendly bamboo place card, hibiscus favor boxes filled with white chocolate hearts, garden glass gel candle or elegant orchid gel candle, glass coasters.

A Quinceanera Party is an event of a lifetime. Don’t leave any stones unturned to make it the most memorable moment of the young lady’s life. The above are some of the tips which you may follow or may be become so innovative that it would make you the most memorable person in the quinceanera’s life.

Browse through our Quinceanera favor selection and select one of our unique Quinceanera favors for your special Mis Quince!

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Which Wedding Photographer to Choose

Choosing a photographer may be a daunting task, and staying within your budget may be even more cumbersome. You may consider asking a friend or relative to photograph your wedding for you; this is sure to be a bad idea for many reasons. A professional wedding photographer knows how to produce the best results in capturing all the moments by having years of experience and photography knowledge.

Finding a wedding photographer is a very easy task due to the number of photographers out there. There are numerous ways of going about finding one and many things you should take into consideration. The best way of course is being referred from another couple that got married recently and had their wedding photographed by a specific photographer. Please take note that by “photographer” I mean a specific photographer and not photographic studio with multiple photographers. Always be sure to find out who will be photographing your wedding.

There are numerous other ways to find a wedding photographer including news papers, billboards, the phone book and of course the internet. Over 70% of wedding photographers are sourced online. There are however a few things that you should know about searching for one on the internet.

1. Take Your Time

The first photographers you will find are mostly because of a large advertising budget. There is nothing wrong with this, but you should look at all available options.

2. Be Specific

When you use a search engine your search criteria should include your “state” and “professional wedding photographer”. The quotes will eliminate all general photographers and narrow your search to only wedding photographers. I recommend using Google.

Now that you know how to find a wedding photographer, which one do you choose? There are three primary factors that will determine which photographer to choose; style, price and personality. Style and price can be found on their website and is our starting point.

1. Style

There are many different style wedding photographers. Different examples are traditional, candid, formal, photojournalism, etc. Some photographers offer only one style, but the best photographers can offer all of these styles and would normally incorporate them into your wedding day coverage. It all depends on your requirements and needs. When viewing a photographers portfolio, remember that these are all his best shots. Always ask to see a full wedding coverage.

2. Price

You can spend anything from $500 to $10,000 on a wedding photographer. A good guideline is to spend about 10% of your entire wedding budget on a wedding photographer. Most photographers have packages that will include everything from the coverage to the album and final prints. Other photographers have complete al la carte pricing; if you are on a tight budget this is probably the best way to go. You will be able to select just what you want and can afford.

I would suggest buying your own wedding album and putting it together yourself. The cost of buying an album from the photographer is usually double the actual cost. Then of course doing it this way you can get it when you want and when you can afford it.

Considering style and price select your three top choices and schedule a meeting with them. There should be no cost for this. Before you meet with them you should pretty much want to hire them from the information that you have gathered about their style and price.

3. Personality

You want to meet with them to see how they present themselves and if your personalities match. You want someone that is personable and nice so they will get along well with you, your family, and friends. Never make an immediate decision, go home and think about it first and wait until you have met with all three. The meeting should be casual, discussing your wedding day in general. Never get sold on services that the photographer is trying to sell you at this point. Remember you have already decided you like the work and price before you got there, so there is nothing for the photographer to sell to you at this point. Just meet with them and get to know them.

Once you have made your decision, contact the photographer and let them know. Don’t forget to contact the other two photographers to let them know that you have decided to use another photographer and thank them for their time. Go over the details on the phone with the photographer you chose and get them to write up a wedding contract for you to review and sign. Do not pay a deposit until you have reviewed and signed the contract. Read the wedding contract very thoroughly; everything you are suppose to receive should be written down and have the price and payment schedule. Always make a very clear note of their cancellation policy.

Congratulations! You have a found your wedding photographer and have one scheduled. All you need to do now is schedule to meet with them about a month before your wedding date to go over the details again……and show up for your wedding!

By: Jacques Janse van Rensburg
For more topics on Wedding Photography go to my blogspot:

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6 Family Portrait Tips

These family portrait tips should be very helpful to use and will aid you in avoiding making what I call Common Photo Mistakes.

  1. Who? Find out who is going to be in the family portrait first. This is sometimes already known, but it is extremely important to know who is getting photographed before your portrait session. Knowing the number of people as well as their ages will determine posing, the location and the time of day for your shoot. Photographing babies or young children may have to be done before or after nap time. Photographing late night owls or party goers may not be wise early in the morning.
  2. How? How are you going to pose them? I find it very valuable to make a few rough drawings of possible poses I might use, based in the number and size of my subjects. This is something I learned to do when I was in photography school doing still lifes. Will you have people sitting on chairs or stools? With the subject that you have, it might make sense to have some folks sitting or kneeling on the ground. Search a few photographers’ sites and look for portraits of groups with the same size and numbers. Review some of the rules of composition for group portraits.
  3. Where? Where are the portraits going to be taken? That will determine the kind of lighting to use. Determine if the existing lighting is good or will you have to use fill flash or reflectors. If it is an inside portrait, you may have to use studio strobe lighting. The size of the interior room may effect how you pose your family portrait. If it’s an outdoor portrait, you need to have plan B in place ahead of time in the case of bad weather.
  4. When? The time of day is important for several reason. The available time, the sleeping or eating schedule of your subject and the outdoor lighting are all effected by what time of day you shoot.
  5. What? What will everybody be wearing? See one of my other articles on choosing portrait clothing. The clothing for portraits makes a huge impact on how we look in our portraits. The clothing should work well with the background and with the posing. Formal clothing should not be used for casual posing.
  6. Why? Last, but not least, is to consider the reason the portrait is being taken in the first place. Is it commemorating a special occasion? Find out what’s most important to your client. What do they want the portrait to portray?

There is one more tip I’d like to leave with you, so perhaps this article should be entitled 7 family portrait tips. It is a suggestion to apply to all kinds of photography, not just portraiture. Have fun with your photography. Not only will you tend to get better results: but also, If you are photographing people, they will have fun too. And that is the best way to get natural, pleasant expressions.

Best Wishes,

For some specific tips on family portrait poses, you may be interested in reading this:

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Welcome to JJ Reyes Photography!

Thank you for visiting JJ Reyes Photography for the San Francisco and Bay Area! I specialize in personal portraits, family portraits, and event photography such as Quinceañeras and weddings.

My passion in photography is my guarantee you’ll enjoy the pictures you receive with your package, along with any custom prints which I take great care in creating for you. For your event, I am now providing video services with high-quality DVDs so you’ll always remember your special day.

I am open to customizing your photography package for every event. After all, preserving that special day is a great investment and one which should last a lifetime! I will work out with you all the details you are looking for at a reasonable price.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or to request a quote for your event. Browse through the various packages and find one that suits your needs.