A Love More Than Love [July 4th, 2015]

We’ve all been to weddings…we’ve all had that period in our life where everyone we know is getting married. Suddenly it seems like every weekend your watching another friend, family member, or acquaintance walk down the aisle to be with the love of their life (if you’re not there yet, it’s coming, invest in some comfy dancin’ shoes).  All of these weddings have or will have similar components: a wedding gown, suits, tuxes, flowers, music, cake, dancing, speeches etc…etc.  There is always one thing that makes each wedding unique…the couple.

They always seem so deeply in love with each other, gazing into each other’s eyes, smiling, laughing, and even shedding tears of joy as they share a precious day with the people they hold most dear.

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I’ve seen a so many weddings that I’ve lost count.  Friends, family, and since I started my pursuit of photography, complete strangers…at least at the beginning. Each time a couple hires me as a vendor a relationship begins.  It starts as a conversation between a couple and a vendor, and it ends with friendship. I’m so thankful for this, to have the time to dedicate my expertise and time to each couple that engages my services, by the time the wedding day comes around I usually feel like a member of the family.

On July 4th, our nation’s Independence Day, I got to be the photographer for a couple that was not only a client, but a friend.  The bride and her family have been a part of my life for many years and are so dear they are considered family.

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I absolutely couldn’t wait to share this day with her and her groom. The love that these two share is beyond anything I’ve ever seen before.

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It’s evident in every tear, every smile, and every touch…

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I’ve always told people that the best weddings are the emotional ones and this was one of the best weddings I’ve been to in a while. Here’s just a few more of my favorites…

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The ceremony and reception both took place at the Richmond Train Station in the heart of the city.  This gave me the opportunity to get in a few great shots of the historic station and it provided a great backdrop of the city.

Have I mentioned yet, that the entire wedding party at this shindig was amazing – take a look at this group…

LovingBragdon_2-27…they’re certainly a good lookin’ group – and tons of fun!



I found a quote that summarizes this wedding perfectly, not only is it from the great Edgar Allan Poe (which this couple would love) but I think it speaks volumes of their relationship.

“We loved with a love that was more than love.” -Poe

Congratulations Jamie & Tim


New Book Now! Feature

Such exciting news to share this week.  Good Karma Photography has some new & nifty functionality for you.  You can now access the website or Facebook and book your own consultation and/or session!

Look for the Book Now button located on the right hand side of all the site pages! It looks like this:

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Or you can check out the Facebook page and book directly from there by clicking ‘Book Now!’

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Once clicked it will take you to the booking page where you’ll be walked through a series of questions including type of session and contact information!!!

Please note that cancellations are not made within 4 hours of your scheduled appointment!

If there happen to be any scheduling conflicts I will contact you immediately to resolve.

If you have any questions with the new booking feature – or you’d just like to book the ‘old fashioned way’ feel free to email me at goodkarmaphotos@gmail.com or use the ‘Contact’ link located on the webpage!

Thanks so much for your continued support!

[Helpful Hints] Your Gallery & Ordering FAQ

Since the launch of online ordering in January I’ve had a lot of questions, a couple mistakes, and a few hilarious mishaps (don’t worry I won’t mention names) about how to order prints and digital downloads.  I thought I’d take an opportunity to answer a few common questions about ordering from your gallery.  Please feel free to refer to this blog post any time you have questions and if you have a question that hasn’t been answered here don’t hesitate to contact me.

FAQ: How do I buy prints?

Easy…peasy…lemon…squeezy! Once your inside your gallery (to access your gallery see the email sent to you from goodkarmaphotos@gmail.com) you’ll find a Buy or Add to Cart shown above the photo you are trying to purchase.


To add one photo to your cart at a time, click the Buy button and select This Photo from the menu.


Select the type of product you want for your photo: (If you’d like guidance here please contact me and I’d be happy to assist).

  • Wall Art: Includes canvas, ThinWraps, Block Prints, Metal Prints, etc
  • Paper Prints: Include your standard paper photos perfect for framing, scrapbooks, gifts, wallets, etc.
  • Digital Downloads: Save a digital copy of the photo to your own hard drive for posterity or printing elsewhere.

Once you’ve chosen the type of print you want, you’ll be guided through your options for making the perfect print!

Your orders will come to me so I can make sure no funny business was done (i.e. you cropped Aunt Eddy’s head off) and then they’ll go off to the printer where the magic happens!

FAQ: What if I want to order several different photos at once? 

Great question! Here’s the answer for that one.

When you click the Buy button simply select Photos from this Gallery. You’ll then see a thumbnail of every photo in your gallery, allowing you to pick and choose the images you want.  NOTE: a selected image appears outlined in white.

Click Change Product if you want to select a different print type for your photos.

Once you’re all done selecting your photos and product type, click Add Photos to Cart button and everything will be placed in your cart to complete your order. When you’re finished click Checkout or if you’re still shopping click Back to Gallery.  You can always go back and add any printable photos to your cart, including those in multiple galleries. Your gallery will be available for approximately six months.  However, if you decide in the future you’d like to place an order, just contact me and I’ll reactivate your gallery!

FAQ: What Payment Types Are Accepted?

Good Karma Photography currently accepts Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, Discover, Amazon Payments and Paypal

FAQ: Cropping Photos? Do Huh?! 

Good Karma Photography’s printing services allows you to custom crop photos when ordering. Don’t panic, it’s quite simple and when you order you will be guided through step by step.  You can also contact me anytime for questions (day or night, but preferably day!).

When you are ordering from your gallery the available size offering is nearly endless, with so many custom sizes to choose from your photo may need a big of adjusting.  This means when you order a print, you need to pay attention to make sure the best part of the photo isn’t cut off – that would be a shame!

If your photo doesn’t fit the desired print size you’ve chosen you’ll see crop lines in the shopping cart when ordering.  You can adjust the crop while shopping by dragging the crop lines (in white) over your photo till you’ve reached the desired crop size and level. If you’ve made a mistake simply click Reset Crop and everything goes back to the beginning.

FAQ: What If I Can’t Get Everyone In The Photo

This often happens when printing 8 x 10 group photos. Those pesky buggers are notorious for cropping people’s heads right out of the group.  You have a couple options here:

  • Option 1: In your cart, when asked about cropping you’ll see three options [Default, None, Adjust] – Choose None.  This will add two white borders to the print, but none of the photo content will be lost.  You can either trim the photo when you receive it or frame it with a custom mat.
  • Option 2: Choose a different print size, usually bumping up to an 8 x 12 is the perfect fit for a group photo

FAQ: What is a Lustre finish?

You have a couple options when choosing your print finish.  Here’s a quick overview of each.

  • Lustre: This finish is almost satin-like and is modestly textured allowing you to see light at just the right angle. It has the color saturation of a glossy print along with the fingerprint resistance of a matte print, and none of the nasty glare!

FAQ: How long till my prints come? 

Lead times vary throughout the year but your prints (depending on the size of your order) shouldn’t take anymore than 2 weeks.  If there is a delay I will be sure to communicate it to you in advance. Most average size orders are delivered within 7-10 days of ordering.

…and there you have it the top most asked questions by my clients.

Do you have a question you’d like answered about ordering prints with Good Karma Photography?
If so, feel free to leave your question in the comments and I’ll answer them as they come in! If I get enough perhaps your question will be featured in part II of the FAQ series!

Happy Anniversary & Many Thanks

“Do it with passion, or not at all…”

We’ve all heard that quote – along with, “do what you love” and “life is too short” – few of us, however, have the opportunity, or the means to take what we love, do it everyday, and still manage to pay bills, eat, and survive.  I’m fortunate enough to be one of the few and being able to practice photography as a business has been such a blessing and has brought so much joy to my heart.  I often have discussions about my work and people always ask me “You’re so busy, how do you find time to take photos as well.”

It’s not easy, it’s hard work and it’s a lot of hours.  There are many sleepless nights spent processing and re-processing in the darkroom.  (Being a perfectionist doesn’t cut down on time spent either!) However, it’s worth it!  Giving a mom a shot of her newborn where she smiles for the first time makes all those late nights a distant memory.  Capturing generations of women as they stand beside a newborn child in a hospital makes you forget that you’ll be up all night post-processing.  Being able to give a newlywed couple an album full of magical memories from their special day along with photos of loved ones that won’t be here forever makes every minute of what I do in my “spare” time worth it.

Photography is a professional service and with that comes the ups and downs of running a business, meeting year end goals, and doing all the other things “necessary” to keep my doors open. However, photography is also a feeling – it is joy, happiness, pain, sorrow, heartache, love, growth, and fondness…and it’s the feelings that keep me coming back for more. 6219d802a3a19b4aee1c59863e2e9a6c


I want to thank all of you that have been a part of the Good Karma Photography journey.  April 12, 2015 marked two years of officially being open for business in Chesterfield County.  I have shot four weddings, countless smiling children, handfuls of graduating seniors, and donated my time to charitable events.  Every single snap has been worth the journey and it has been because of all of you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.  Here’s to you and another year of success!

My deepest and most heartfelt thank you!

A Heart Warming Opportunity

I’ve been so lucky.  Since officially opening my business I have had some wonderful opportunities – including being apart of special birth moments, sweet birthdays, treasured reunions and anniversaries, weddings, etc.  Managing Good Karma Photography part-time allows me to be selective in events and contracts I decide to take on.  One of the perks of having a full-time job as well as this one, means that I’m not relying solely on photography to pay my bills. It also means that I practically work two full time jobs, but I will say, the results of both are extremely rewarding (to check out what I do during my Day Job, click here).

Over the past couple of years I have been approached to volunteer my talents for non-profit work, if I can fit it into my already demanding schedule, I’m in!  I recently got to donate some hours to a dear friend of mine who was raising money and awareness for Massey Cancer Center. She had orchestrated an entire event (hosted on two nights) at a local restaurant in Colonial Heights, VA.  If you participated in the event 10% of your purchase went to Massey.  She is still working on the totals so I’m not sure what her final donation to Massey was, but she did very well! (Thanks to all that supported her, to see pictures from the event, please click here).

Not long ago I was asked to donate services for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Man and Woman of the Year.  I was truly flattered, the sweet girl that asked me to participate is a senior and this cause lies near and dear to her heart.  She had gotten her senior photos done by me this past autumn and asked me if I would be willing to donate my services and be the photographer for the Gala in May.  Of course, I was stoked, not only to do the Gala but to help a lovely young lady participate in a fundraising cause that meant so much to her.  I offered my services for a full evening of photography at the Gala, waited patiently (not really!), and heard that I was accepted.  The “cost” of my photography goes straight to Hailey’s campaign and I get to spend an evening with amazing young men and women that believe in a cause much greater than themselves.

Hailey lost a dear friend to Acute Myeloid Leukemia.  Someone that had been such a vital part of her life was taken away from her too soon.  Now she advocates and raises awareness to help other girls and boys keep their dearest friends near to them for a little while longer.  Hailey is smart, kind, beautiful, and the life of every party.  Many of you that follow my Facebook and blog will remember her smile and will remember how I always bragged about how easy it was to take her photos. She was a natural and hammed up every minute of being in front of the camera, truly a photographers dream come true.



The fact that she loved my photography as much as I loved taking her photos means so much to me. The fact that she offered me an opportunity to participate in such a lovely event that is full of dedicated men and women fills my heart with overflowing joy.

I’m so grateful to be apart of this event in May and will definitely share the news and let you all know how it went afterwards! In the meantime head on over to Hailey’s Woman of the Year page, read her story, make a donation and be a part of something that’s much bigger than yourself!

You can even check her out and follow her on Facebook for the latest updates!

{Thank you to all the affiliates used in this post}

Dressing for a Successfuly Family Session

As winter starts thawing and receding and spring starts to peek through the ground with precious little buds and warmer temperatures we start to think about family portraits.  The inevitable question that I get from every client is ” Well, what do you think we should wear?”

It’s a great question and it actually brings me comfort to hear a client ask this.  Mainly because it shows they care about their portraits and it also tells me that they are interested in getting the most from their session.  At the end of the day these are portraits that not only are you paying for, but they are portraits that will be hung in your home for years to come.  These are the pictures you’ll look back on years from now to remember your precious daughters smile, and your sons perfect dimples.

There are a few key things to always consider when choosing clothing for your family sessions, I’ll outline the basics here as well as some definite things NOT to do.

Things to Consider: 

  • Location, Location, Location (and safety)
    • Think of where we’re heading for your session.  Dress for the occasion and location, and primarily dress for safety.  Don’t wear stilettos if we’re planning on trekking through the woods, and boots may  not be appropriate for a day at the beach.
  • Coordinate but don’t match
    • It’s always best to choose a color palette and run with it.  Choose a few key colors and use them in props, outfits, scenery etc.  This gives all of your portraits a cohesive design.  For example, if your little girl is wearing wearing a purple skirt, give your son a purple bow tie or purple socks. Not everyone has to wear the same thing. It’s best if your outfits show your personality, use color to tie you together as family.
  • Accessorize
    • Use small objects to bring the look together, a cute jacket, scarf, hat, etc. Think texture, bring blankets that offer color to neutral outfits, bring chunky sweaters to add depths in the late summer / early fall when nights get a bit cooler. In the spring and summer grab a flashy pair of sunglasses that will make your outfit pop, even if you just hold them or rest them on top of your head. This small attention to detail will make your photo so much more than just another picture. You can even accessories with props, for Easter try a basket of sweet tulips in a color that compliments the family outfits.
  • Let’s talk shoes (guys and dads, I’m talking to you)
    • No sneakers….please. Unless they are some sweet, funky converse throwbacks that really set your personality off, leave them home. I always tell my clients that shoes can make or break the entire outfit. Don’t be afraid of color, if mom is wearing a bright pink scarf, your little girl will look precious is bring pink ballet flats. Also, consider bare feet, especially if we’re at the beach, playing outside in the summer or walking in a garden with a soft light and a flowing sundress.
  • Think about where you want to use the prints
    • Are these pictures you’ll hang in a playroom? If so you’ll probably want them fun, laid back, bring, and airy.  If there for a bedroom, you may want them a bit darker with a more romantic feel. Also think about the colors in the room your plan to use these in and use that to influence your color scheme for your outfits.  The last thing you want is a beautiful portrait that you don’t have anywhere to hang or must remodel your entire living room to make it look like it fits.
  • Think timeless
    • Don’t date yourself, remember that wedding dress with the big poofy sleeves that you thought was so fashionable? Don’t hate yourself, we’ve all been there. However, we should learn from our mistakes, dress classic, timeless, you’ll want to see these in the future, after all your children are in them. These are memories.
  • Shape & Flow
    • Be comfortable. Think about how a shirt or dress flows when you move. Think about the feel you want for your photos. For example, if you have a daughter that loves to twirl, make sure she is wearing a twirly dress with a full skirt, or a beautiful trailing scarf.  Think about how cool a superhero cape would look as your son runs and plays outside as the sunsets.  Still pictures can show so much emotion and movement, this usually comes down to attire.
  • Pattern is okay…in small doses
    • My clients usually fear pattern, pattern is great. However, it should be used in moderation, you don’t want everyone wearing plaid, in different sizes, shapes and colors. Not only will I pass out but everyone that see’s your photos may end up having a seizure. Jokes aside.  Pulling off pattern is easy.  Make one person in your family the “centerpiece” (this could be mom, in a family full of boys, for example) and give that family person the pattern, make sure it’s a pattern that compliments the more subtle and simple outfits that the rest of the family is wearing.

Here’s what NOT to do: 

  • Avoid logos, graphics, characters, and labels…for several reasons. Primarily, refer to “Think timeless” above.  There is no faster way to date your photos than with a logo.
  • No haircuts a week before your photo, if you must get a haircut for your session plan it out in advance and give yourself a week to let the hairstyle settle, just trust me on this one.
  • Please, please, please don’t put everyone in your family in khaki bottoms and white tops. The idea of dressing everyone the same, or even in the same color these days is dated and phased out. Coordinate looks, coordinate colors, add patterns, textures, props, get creative.  Not everyone in your family is the same, they don’t all have the same personality, so they shouldn’t dress like they do.
  • No bright white socks and no sneakers.  Ladies, take the hair tie off your wrist!

Never, ever, ever be afraid to ask your photographer for help in coordinating outfits. I’ve gone shopping with clients, I’ve come to their home in advance to plan outfits and coordinate them accordingly.  You’re paying for this when you purchase your photographer’s time. Use it – you’ll be MUCH happier with the results!