Creative Portraits: Blog en-us (C) Creative Portraits (Creative Portraits) Fri, 09 Mar 2018 23:21:00 GMT Fri, 09 Mar 2018 23:21:00 GMT Creative Portraits: Blog 86 120 An Arizona portrait in Redding, CA

If you've ever been in the studio, more than likely, you've seen this portrait.  If not, lemme 'splain. 

This is my son, Zack. 

It was taken for his Senior Portraits a few years ago.  At the time, we lived in Arizona and this was taken at a Nature Preserve run by the University of Arizona up in the canyons at Fort Huachuca.  It was a photographer's dream. 

It had this super-cool old truck practically half-buried in this overgrown field.  It didn't have tires or windows or an engine, but it was PERFECT!  ;o)  No windows, so no bad reflections at certain times of day.  No uncomfortable seats to worry about stepping on.  No wheels or tires to worry about.  But what it did have - rust, layered paint, cool lines, a beautiful tree for shade right behind it.  And spiders.  Lots and lots of spiders.  LOL  Zack hated that truck.  ;o)


]]> (Creative Portraits) creative portraits portraits redding redding photographer redding photography studio redding senior portraits senior portraits Fri, 09 Mar 2018 23:19:32 GMT
I'm Too Tired in Redding, CA Ok.  I must be too tired.

Last night as I was getting ready for bed, I noticed I had my underwear on inside-out all day.  Wow.  Now that just means Monica was up entirely too early.  I mean, really - who is awake at 8:30am?!?!  Oy vey!  And just as a disclaimer, I am usually in my studio and still answering the phone at 9:30pm.  So, it's all relative.

We just moved into this cool new studio that I just absolutely love.  But I'm an artist, so nothing's ever done.  I'm constantly moving, changing, recreating.... So, that makes me tired.

And my husband just had his EYEBALL operated on!!!  Yuck.  But he has no depth perception, so I'm his driver.  And lemme tell ya, this is one busy guy!!  So, that makes me tired.

And I'm a Small Business Owner.  So, that makes me tired.  LOL

Anyway, I think I need to go to bed sooner.  But the looks of my underwear drawer, I need to take a nap.


Hugs & High Fives ~


]]> (Creative Portraits) crazy photographer creative portraits portraits purple redding redding favorite photographer redding photographer redding photography studio redding portraits redding senior portraits senior portraits senior portraits redding Wed, 09 Sep 2015 18:28:13 GMT
Why Is Professional Photography in Redding, CA So Expensive I had someone question my business practices and pricing the other day.  I tried explaining, but it fell on deaf ears - she was beyond explanations.  There's a reason (or two) why that 8x10 is "so expensive".

There’s an art to portrait photography and all good photography, really. It’s not just the photo session that you’re paying for. It’s the hours spent before, designing a session tailored to your vision. Then comes the time set aside just for you, with professional equipment, location scouting and posing by a trained professional. Later, there’s about 10+ hours of culling, editing, and prepping those images for the big reveal. Then, it’s the time and energy spent with you choosing the perfect heirloom art pieces for your home and to pass down to your children when they’re older. The photographer still has to spend more time preparing the files to ensure they’re perfect when printed out on archival materials to the requested size.

Artists don’t pocket all that money. And because they’re self-employed and have to pay tons of taxes, about 1/3 of profits (yes, that’s AFTER we pay for your products) automatically go to Uncle Sam. Then there are all the costs of running a business – liability, equipment, and health insurance, subscriptions to software, professional dues, maintaining and replacing thousands of dollars worth of equipment, backing up files so your memories are never lost, etc. I want you to remember that you’re not paying for the files “that cost nothing” or the 8×10 that costs $5-10 to produce.  Sure, I could sell you a piece of photographic paper for $5, but if you want a photo on it, you're going to have to pay extra for that.  :o)  You’re paying for years of experience and expertise. You’re paying for the very best portraits of you, your family, or your furry best friend.

There’s a huge difference between a professional artist and a "picture people" employee or $250-for-the-CD photographer. But if you can’t see that difference, then by all means, go that route.

I'll leave you with this to think about... In 30 years, the professionally printed portraits of your loved ones will probably be one of your most valuable possessions. If that’s not worth more than $500, I don’t know what is.

Family Photo in Redding, CAProfessional Portraits for your Family

]]> (Creative Portraits) creative portraits family Portraits family photos redding photographer redding photography studio redding senior portraits senior portraits Tue, 08 Sep 2015 18:15:00 GMT
The Smoke Has Cleared in Redding, CA Let's get outdoors and create some awesome (and FUN) Senior Portraits!

]]> (Creative Portraits) crazy photographer creative portraits graduation portraits purple redding redding favorite photographer redding photographer redding photography studio redding portraits redding senior portraits senior senior portraits senior portraits redding seniors Tue, 08 Sep 2015 00:41:03 GMT
Weddings and Engagements and First Kisses in Redding, CA Wedding Season is in full-force here in NorCal!  We have had so many different experiences as Wedding Photographers, so we thought we'd share a few with you!

Wedding in Tokyo from Redding, CAGroom, Brother, and Wife looks on in Wedding from Redding Wedding Photographer in Redding, CA

The Groom is my best friend from Kindergarten! His education and jobs have taken him around the world and right now, he's in Tokyo, Japan! He asked if I'd be willing to come over and photograph his wedding. Gee, let me think about it for about 2.5 seconds. So, as we were photographing the formal portraits of the families afterwards, I caught this shot of Mason kissing his brother, Jude on the cheek. Such fun people and an amazing day...

Caught these two cuties on their way to Reno to get married!  :o)  We were literally their last stop in Redding, CA on their way out of town to tie the knot!

First Look of Eli seeing Robin walking down the aisleFirst look of Groom seeing his Bride for the first time, walking down the aisle, from the Redding Wedding Photographer

This is my intern from Arizona, Robin's wedding to Eli.  Eli is a guy's guy and seeing him look at Robin walking down the aisle with those tears in his eyes... sigh, true love right there, my friends. :o)

Goofy Wedding Photo on the stairs by Redding Wedding PhotographerDave and Angela were goofing off in between the formal shots at the end of the night

Dave and Angela had such a fun New York / New Jersey wedding - the venue for the reception was incredible, it probably had 10 different rooms with just as many parties and receptions going on at the same time!  Perfect places to get those great dramatic photos, but of course, we had to goof off a little bit!

All in all, we've been around the globe photographing love around the US and the World for a while now - as well as right back here in Redding, CA.  Here's our latest edition ~

Private Moment in Redding, CAShawn seeing Christina's Batman Decal on her shoe - just for him!

Shawn seeing his bride's shoe with her secret Batman decal that she surprised him with.  Right here at Mercy Oaks in Redding, CA!


Getting Married sometime soon?  Give us a call so we can help capture all your fun-loving moments - 530.223.5456!

Hugs & High Fives ~

Monica & Cemanthia

]]> (Creative Portraits) Redding Wedding Redding Wedding Photographer Redding Wedding Pictures Wedding Photos creative portraits redding redding photographer redding photography studio Mon, 15 Jun 2015 19:44:28 GMT
Military Families Are OUR Family in Redding, CA I always wanted to be an astronaut.  If I had the chance today, I would absolutely strap myself to a rocket and head to the stars.  Something about the darkness and the stars and the distance and the thoughts about what all is out there and where, exactly, does the universe stop?

But I digress.

So, I wanted to be an astronaut.  I started getting serious about it in High School.  I looked into the Air Force Academy.  But my grades weren't good enough.  So, I decided to enlist in the Air Force.  Because I figured that was as close as I could get - figured at least I could fly.  But this was a few years ago... and I was a woman.  Strike 1.  And I wore glasses.  Strike 2.  And I was 5'3".  Strike 3.  But I figured, ok, I'll still join because I just had to be near the sky and the stars.  So, I went to my recruiter's office the day I turned 17 and signed the papers.  My mom stood there behind me every step of the way.  A little scary, I gotta say.  Best thing I ever did.  If you didn't already know, what you do next is go to a processing station.  There, they verify all your paperwork, give you all sorts of tests, and completely overwhelm you.  I had signed up to be an Air Traffic Controller.  Closest thing I could get to that dang sky!  But then they gave me another test and come to find out, I scored the highest anyone at the station ever had.  So, I became a Linguist.  I went to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA and learned to speak Polish.

What's the point, you might ask?

The military is near and dear to my heart.  I met my first husband in the military and my son was born in Berlin, Germany.  My husband, Lou, is retired from Military Intelligence in the Army.  Our son has been stationed in Missouri, Texas, and Japan.  I have so many friends around the world, that when we got married 7 years ago, we had people fly in from Canada, India, Scotland, Saudi Arabia, Maryland, Oregon and all sorts of cities around the globe.  It has been the most amazing experience and I encourage anyone and everyone I know to serve your country in some way.  You won't be sorry.

We'll be running a promotion at the studio for July and getting some great PATRIOTIC PORTRAITS.  Just wanted to share some photos I took of Mr. B in his gear.  He had just come back from a mission and wanted photos in all his paraphernalia.  These were pretty cool, I think....  Enjoy, and God Bless America!



]]> (Creative Portraits) Thu, 11 Jun 2015 13:45:00 GMT
Break Time in Redding, CA It's 2:00.  How do I know this?  Because I just read this:

Take breaks.

“If we don’t take real breaks, we take fake ones,” Vanderkam says. Go out to lunch, walk around the block, or exercise at lunchtime—anything that gives your brain time to recharge. If you don’t, your brain will “rebel” around 2 p.m., and you’ll find yourself surfing the Internet instead of working.


Ever find yourself in that situation?  I do, all the time.  I work and work and work until I'm a vegetable.  Ugh.  Kind of like this:

I'm off for a walk!  See ya!

-- Mon

]]> (Creative Portraits) Wed, 10 Jun 2015 21:13:53 GMT
Take Me Back Tuesday in Redding, CA I was backing up some photos today, and ran across an old Facebook profile I had that was associated with my old photography studio in Arizona.  I had just closed it down and moved back to NorCal to be with my mom after she got sick.  My niece was graduating from HS and my sister-in-law asked me to photograph her that spring.  Of course I said yes!  Brenna is a beautiful girl and I loved photographing her where she was born and raised...

Her mom loved The Buttes in the background!

They're called the Smallest Mountain Range in the world.  I'm not sure what the requirements are for an actual "mountain range" designation, but sure enough, even NASA calls them the Smallest Mountain Range in the world.  Crazy!  Who knew the Sutter Buttes would have worldwide recognition?


Fancy nails, just for the shoot!  ;o)

Mom has this one on her wall!  Printed on a beautiful metallic paper - turned out beautifully!

The peach blossoms were just beautiful!  Or wait, were they almonds?  Either way, it was a beautiful setting...

And then we went behind Papa's barn.  Beauty either way!

And we have to end it with the Ham Himself - Mason - Brenna's little brother!  He loved watching sissy getting her photos taken and I couldn't resist getting his big cheesy smile in the end!

Like I said, these are from an old FB account, so they're not nearly as crisp or clear as I would like... and of course, being ever so critical of myself, there are some in-camera and PhotoShop techniques I'd use now, but...  This is my beautiful niece, Brenna, who is now a Volleyball coach at her Alma Mater, Sutter High!

]]> (Creative Portraits) creative portraits redding photographer redding photography studio redding senior portraits senior portraits Tue, 09 Jun 2015 19:31:07 GMT
Crazy Photographer in Redding, CA Read an article today and was inspired...

We have a great quote on the bathroom mirror, and I absolutely love it.  So why not focus on that?  And yes, I need to clean the mirror.  Don't judge.  :o)


And yes, I realize that EVERY. SINGLE. PHOTOGRAPHER. has this same "selfie" but I've never done it before.  Quite frankly, I'm enamored with it.  The shutter is crisp, I can see my purple hair, got my kick-ass camera strap in it, I can see all my rings (including my dad's wedding ring), my arms look like my mom's, and you can see the touch of teal that accents our studio on the rear wall.

Anyway, just wanted to say hi.

Oh, and Happy Hump Day!


]]> (Creative Portraits) crazy photographer creative portraits purple redding redding favorite photographer redding photographer redding photography studio redding portraits selfie Thu, 07 May 2015 00:34:00 GMT
New version on my phone Does this mean I'm officially old?  I hate new updates on my phone.  I have 237 apps (!) and it had to update them ALL.  Arrrrgggghhhhh.....  and now our text messaging app is this ugly orange color.  Boo!  Who likes orange, anyway?  I much prefer its opposite - PURPLE!!!


]]> (Creative Portraits) crazy photographer creative portraits graduation graduation photo redding redding photography studio redding senior portraits senior senior portraits Fri, 17 Apr 2015 06:30:02 GMT
Spring? Already? Seriously? We can't believe it either, but it's true.  Spring is here.  Graduation is around the corner.  Spring Break is next week.  Easter is the day after tomorrow.  It makes me feel old, but - dang, I can't believe how quickly it goes!

So now the question is - how are you doing on time? 

  • Have you put of Senior Portraits because you had too much other stuff going on? 
  • Have you waited for Spring Break to schedule your Portraits?
  • Did you forget about Senior Portraits?
  • Do you need Graduation Announcements?
  • Need a Cap-N-Gown Portrait?

Let's do this!!!  You're only a HS Senior ONCE.  This is such a bittersweet time of your life.  Sweet because you can't wait to get going with the rest of your life.  Bitter because you're leaving behind everything you've known so far...  Make It Count.  Tell YOUR Story.  Flaunt it.  Celebrate it.  Do it.

You can call the studio at 530.223.5456 or send us an email at to schedule a consultation to figure out what you need.  Or do you have plans already and just need to get on the calendar?  Let us know, and we can help!!

Hugs & High Fives ~

Monica & Cemanthia

Senior Portraits in ReddingSenior Portraits in Redding, CACelebrate your last year of High School - Make your Senior Portraits tell YOUR story!

]]> (Creative Portraits) graduation graduation photo redding senior portraits senior portraits redding seniors Fri, 03 Apr 2015 23:52:29 GMT
These Are Important, Really! We have pictures done every year at school.  These are sometimes worse than passport photos, but... mostly they are just the "turn, look here" then a blinding light.  Then you purchase the silly packet that looks EXACTLY like everyone else's photos through the cellophane window showing the wallets, 5X7 and maybe an 8X10.  Of course, your hair may not be combed. If Mom did not get the word about picture day then you could be wearing just about anything that should NOT be worn on picture day.  Who takes these seriously?  Sure, they are dirt cheap and they do show your height progression during the first 11 years of school.  

Hopefully, if your high school understands the difference, then your Senior Year you get someone local that takes the time to ensure a high quality photo focusing on you.  

This is a quantum leap from the cookie cutter snaps you have been stuck with for all those years but still, a little bit short to show the real you.  You just cannot capture the Motocross, Cheer, Soccer, Magic Cards, Dungeons & Dragons, Parkour, Football, Volleyball, Softball, Field Hockey, Band, Yearbook, School Newspaper, Computer Games...or a hundred other hobbies or activities that make YOU unique during this all-important last year of school before going on to higher education in: college, tech school, military or real world job.  

I am talking about your ACTUAL Senior Portraits.  

This is not to be confused with your high school yearbook picture.  

The Senior Portraits Session is a set amount of time ~ 30 TO 180 minutes ~ dedicated to YOU, just YOU, only YOU.  Even your wedding is not that focused.  We want you to come in and spend some time with your photographer before and let them learn about you.  What makes you special.  They will find it.  It may take Mom or Dad's help but they will find it and make that entire photo shoot about you and your High School history.  Our photographers will do whatever it takes to make you smile, chuckle and laugh out loud.  Yes, you can play hard to get but they WILL ensure you have a great experience.  That is if you bring in no props or if you bring in 15 wardrobe changes, your sports gear and your motor cross bike WITH your prom dress (Kelsey Lywandowski).  When you look back on these memories they WILL be your time capsule.  Set the appointment and enjoy your experience!!

Tell YOUR Story.  Make It Happen.

Senior Portraits in ReddingSenior Portraits in ReddingBring in props that show YOUR journey

]]> (Creative Portraits) creative portraits portraits redding redding photographer redding photography studio redding senior portraits senior senior portraits Tue, 17 Feb 2015 00:01:43 GMT