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Tyra Bleek Photography | Vintage, DIY, Rustic, Boston, Spokane & Coeur d'Alene Wedding Photographer bio picture

3 reasons you should have a Photo Booth at your wedding.

We had another wonderful wedding weekend in Lake Tahoe at one of my sweet-sweet cousins wedding. It was such a blast as you can tell by the photo booth. I was happy to provide a photo booth for her wedding because I knew that they would embrace the fun that comes with Photo Booths. There are several reason you should consider a photo booth for your wedding and here are just a few of my reasons:

1. Photo Booths are a fun place for your guests to get with their friends and take some silly pics together.
2. Photo Booths record guest photos who otherwise might not have gotten their picture taken by the photographer. Although I will try very hard to grab candid and group shots of people at your receptions, sometimes people get missed and the likely hood of everybody getting captured by your photographer is slim.
3. Photo Booths are a great excuse to put together a fun stop motion video of your guests.

Download your PHOTOS HERE for Alexei & Kate wedding.

Nashville TN Trendy Chic | The Red House Wedding | Rock and Roll Memorabilia Wedding

The Red House is a unique yet affordable venue that is beautiful. The trendy décor of this 140 year old home is accented with rock and roll memorabilia that gives your event a chic style with southern charm. This bride and groom (who are close friends of ours) held one of the most memorable weddings I have ever attended. The bride decided to go with a short dress which was totally her style and so cute, wild flowers and simple decor decorations. The groom (and all the groomsmen) stole the show with their sharp (and sexy!) tweed grey suits. The nice thing about this venue is that the space speaks for itself, the bride doesn’t have to take it to the next level with her decorations because it’s is beautiful in it’s own way. Here’s some of my favorite shots from the day, I could have gone on and on with all the beautiful photos and beautiful people but I have to stop somewhere.

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Real Estate Photography | Why hiring a professional real estate photographer can make you more money and 3 ways to ensure great photos.

My husband and I have been doing real estate photography for over a year now. We enjoy it more than we might have guessed. We consider it a treat to be able to see (and photograph) the inside of beautiful homes throughout the Tri-Cities region, and we take pride in delivering photos that feel high-end, no matter the actual price attached to the home.

Although our job is quite different than the real estate agents that we serve, we have the same end-goal in mind: SELL THAT HOUSE. We deliver crisp, high-contrast, and sharp pictures to help ensure the sale of your property. We also strive for fast delivery, typically with a one to two-day turn around after the day-of-shoot.

Consumer Reports magazine recently reported that that nine out of 10 home buyers now use the internet at some point during their search to find a home, making web appeal critical when it comes to showing off your home. Knowing that potential buyers are very likely to find your listings online puts a premium on the photos that you post online. The internet is a visual medium, meaning that the photos need to look great. Professional photography can put you one step ahead of your competitors.

To that end, here are three tips from Consumer Reports:

1) Whether you hire us, another professional, or take the photos yourself, make sure the photos are taken with an advanced camera. Using an iPhone or a point-and-shoot camera isn’t going to cut it. From Consumer Reports, “an advanced camera is best for real estate photography because its larger sensor takes clear pictures even in low-light homes.” CR goes on to mention that a December 2013 study by Redfin found that “homes listed between $200,000 and $1 million that were shot with DSLR cameras sold for $3,400-$11,200 more than those photographed with basic point-and-shoot cameras.”

2) Again from CR “Tell the whole story. Buyers pay more attention to photos than the actual property descriptions in the listing, so it’s important to provide every visual detail. Including photos of each room, as well as exterior and yard. For your high priced listings pay a little more to have more shots of interesting features, like stone fireplaces, wine cellars, larger master bathrooms or high-end appliances. Natural lighting is best, so you may need serval days and several shoots to get the best light for the interior shots. Paying a little bit more for more shots is important if your property deserves to be shown off.”

3) “Time it right. It’s best to debut a listing on Thursday or Friday, ahead of the weekend open houses. Make sure you have all of the pieces in place before going live because listing get 4.5 times ore traffic in the first week than they do a month later. Some sellers and agents, make the mistake of debuting a listing without photos, thinking they’ll upload them later. By that time, may would-be buyers will have moved on and won’t return to the listing.”

4) I know, I said “3 reasons,” but here is a bonus tip from yours truly. Be patient! Re-scheduling a shoot for another day (if it’s rainy or cloudy) is highly suggested. The exterior shots of a sunny-bright house is much more appealing to a buyer than a grey sky. Trust me, sunshine sells.

Be sure to check out my real estate photography portfolio: HERE.

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Real Estate Photography | 5 Easy Ways to prepare your house for Real Estate Photography | Tips to improve home sales

Consumer Reports magazine recently reported that that nine out of 10 home buyers now use the internet at some point during their search to find a home, making web appeal critical when it comes to showing off your home. The internet is a visual medium, which means that the photos that you (or your realtor) use in the online property listing need to look great.

High quality photos really can make a big difference to your bottom line. With that in mind, using an iPhone or a point-and-shoot camera isn’t going to cut it. Like Consumer Reports notes, “an advanced camera is best for real estate photography because its larger sensor takes clear pictures even in low-light homes.” CR goes on to mention that a December 2013 study by Redfin found that “homes listed between $200,000 and $1 million that were shot with DSLR cameras sold for $3,400-$11,200 more than those photographed with basic point-and-shoot cameras.”

Tyra Bleek Photography takes pride in providing truly excellent professional photography to real estate agents in the Tri-Cities area. Our goal is to deliver crisp, high-contrast, and sharp pictures of the properties we photograph. However, taking great photos is also dependent on the preparation that a homeowner or agent devotes to a house before the photographer ever arrives. Here are five ways to prepare your house to guarantee the best shots:

1. Clean it up – Interior. I can certainly understand that selling your house has become a chore (not fun, I know), but the truth is – if your house isn’t clean for your photos then your web appeal will likely go down. Here’s a simple check list to make sure all is set for your photographer:

Thoroughly clean the whole house.

Vacuum carpets before my arrival.

Mop hardwood floors.

Clean countertops.

Clean windows (this is key).

Make all beds.

2. De-junk. Do a walk through and put away or hide: all or most kitchen appliances (coffee maker, toaster ovens, etc.), soap bottles, toothbrushes, hanging jackets, shoes, small rugs on the floor (these make the space look smaller) and etc. Clearing off your countertops makes your space seem bigger and will be more appealing to the eye.

3. Turn ON all lights and lamps. Make sure all bulbs are in working condition and are on. Indoor lighting will warm-up your space. Also, make sure all shades and blinds are open to bring in outside light.

4. Turn OFF all computer screens, TV’s, and fans.

5. Curb appeal – Exterior. Don’t neglect the outside. The front photo is usually the first photo buyers see, so be sure to pay attention to details that make a difference for the exterior as well.

Mow the lawn.

Close the garage.

Remove all cars from driveway and in front of home.

Put away garbage cans and kids’ toys.

Be sure to check out more real estate photography: HERE.

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Snow Family Portrait Session | Coeur d’Alene Family Portrait Session | Five Keys to Snow Portrait Photography

I love getting outside during the winter to do family portrait sessions, especially when the sunshine is out! The trouble with doing a winter portrait sessions is that nobody wants to do them because it’s too cold. But if you are willing to bare the cold and do a quick session outdoors on a sunny day (this is key), then typically the outcome is gorgeous! There are many components to making a good photograph when it comes to shooting family portrait sessions, but most of all it comes down to these few keys.

1.) Shoot during early morning or late afternoon. When the sun is still close to the ground your shadows won’t be as harsh. The problem with shooting in the middle of the day is getting harsh shadows, like the kind where a persons eyes are sooo dark compared to their cheeks that it looks like they have black eyes. To avoid these shadows, shoot during 9-10am or 3-4pm (winter hours). Also, take note of the few tips I use below.

2.) If you are shooting in direct sun, which sometimes you want to, then put your subject at a 45 degree angle. Make it so that the sun is to the left or the right of their face. This allows for your shadows to go diagonal across the face rather than straight down. It also allows your subject to not be looking straight into the sun.

3.) Use a reflector. Although, most of the time when there is actually snow on the ground – you don’t need a reflector but if the sun is so bright and your only option is to shoot in the direct sunlight, then pop some light back into your subject on the shadow side of their faces. Make sure your reflector is at least shoulder height (so that the fill light isn’t coming from below, which can sometimes give your client dragon eyes). I find that if I use a reflector I use the silverside, if it’s from a distance and white side if I’m up close, that I have to do less post processing and my edit time is cut in half. Notice the reflector in the snow blowing photo below, I had my husband pop the sliver reflector into my subjects face to fill in the shadow and give her a pop of light in her eye. That reflection of light in your subjects eye brings life the picture, I am always looking for the perfect reflection in my subjects eyes.

4.) Put your subjects in the shade. Most of the time I like to have the sun to the left or the right at a 45 degree angle. If my surroundings allow for me to have everybody in my shot to be in the same light, then I make it happen. In the family shots below, I had all my subjects stand in the same line of shade. There was a tree to my camera-right that was creating a line of shade through my shot. I took advantage of this shade line and put all of my subjects in a line with their faces in the shadow. I simply take a second to explain to my clients that I want all of their face to be in the exact same light and that I need them to pay attention to where their heads/bodies are to make sure they stay within that zone. This allows for the same light and shadowing on each of my subjects faces. Which in the end helps me for quick edit times and easy post processing.

5.) Try some back lighting. Back lighting can be difficult but beautiful if pulled off correctly. For this shoot, I only tried a few backlight shots because I was unsure if they would turn out right. The reason I ended up liking the backlight shots for this shoot is because the snow in front of the group reflected enough light back into my subjects faces. Most times, if you expose for the subjects face, your background will be over exposed and if you expose for the sky then your subjects will be a under exposed (your subjects will look like a silhouette) – which is sometimes what a photographer might want. In this case, I wanted both to be exposed correctly – which I mostly got lucky because the snow acted as a reflector to increase the lighting on my subjects which made them closer in exposure to the sky which in turn made the entire photograph exposure evenly. For the backlighting of the couple in the street at the bottom, the sun was already setting so I was able to do an even exposure for the entire photograph. I took my subjects to a spot in the road that the sun was peaking through the trees and put that peaking light behind them. The improve this shot, I should have popped a reflector back into their faces. I will note, I think this shot is a little flat because I didn’t pop that light back in.

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