It is that time of year, The New Year is around the corner and graduation will be here before you know it. That means if you haven’t scheduled your Senior Portraits already it is time to schedule them NOW. As a seasoned Senior Portrait Photographer, I would like to give you 5 tips to make your Senior Portrait experience the best it can be.

Lake Charles, La Sayrn Marks Influencer 2021
  • Location, Location, Location
    • Location is EVERYTHING. The location you choose should tell your story. Sure, it is just the “background” but can you interact with it? Is your location beautiful or does it speak life into your vision? Is it visually appealing? Will your location be inside or outside? If you are stumped on locations talk to your photographer, they are the expert after all and should be able to assist you for the best set up. I personally, keep a list of locations and venue prices on hand to help my clients with suggestions.
Brittany Henry Influencer 2021
  • Golden Hour or Bust
    • Yes, yes , yes sunrise and sunset has the most beautiful lighting during the day. It is always flattering and always just so colorful and we photographers just can’t get enough of the rising or setting sun. However, you don’t have to shoot at this time of day. There are plenty of indoor venues available from coffee shops to arcades. There are also spots with beautiful shade for nice even light and if your photographer is really fancy they have a huge light that can over power the sun and you can shoot at any time during the day as well. Golden hour is great but don’t feel like it is a necessity. Consult with your photographer for the best suggestions on lighting and time.
Lagniappe Records, Jeanna C/O 2020
  • Let’s go shopping
    • Ah yes, the moment most of us love to plan. Outfits! How many, which ones, how do I accessorize? My suggestion, at most 5 outfits, for a two hour session. Bring casual, dressier, and if you choose, formal. I absolutely love shooting my clients in formal wear. I think it is so editorial and look straight out of a magazine. You deserve to feel like a model in front of my camera. With that being said, you should also have images that represent who you truly are. Choose outfits you are comfy in and outfits that make you feel good. ALSO SO IMPORTANT: Choose clothes with texture. Lace, ruffles, velvet, fur. All of these textures and more photograph beautifully. Pops of color are so fun too. Don’t be scared to wear purple or blues. Ask your photographer for outfit suggestions. I love when my Seniors send me their Pinterest boards and ideas or come into my studio to look through my client closet for help with outfits.
    • Bring accessories: HATS. Hats are huge right now. You don’t have to wear them but they add something special to an image and you can hold them to relax your hands. Don’t forget jewelry, jackets, or cute purses. Whatever makes you, YOU.
Austin, Texas Kennedy C/O 2021
  • Give me Props
    • What items represent your Senior Year or high school years? Bring them to your shoot. Here are a few: Cap and gown, letterman jacket, WEAR your class ring. If you are into sports, bring a ball or two, helmet, bat, racket, jersey, etc. Do you dance or cheer? Bring your poms, shoes, or outfits. Library club? Bring your books, library card, etc. Are you into Cosplay? Bring your costume, lets dress UP! Nothing is too much. These are your IMAGES! No matter what your hobby is, what extra curricular activities you are a part of bring your items to your shoot. This is about personalizing your images, so that you have memories and a fair representation of this time in your life.
Madison C/O 2020
  • Bring a parent, Bring a bestie.
    • The Senior Portrait experience should be the most fun you have ever had(not exaggerating here). Bring your mom or dad, and let’s make memories. This year only happens once and senior portraits should be one of the best parts about it. Our parents do not want to miss out, you want them there. Bring your bestie. Besties come in handy during shoots, they make us laugh, they take great behind the scenes and they are usually part of the the greatest memories of our lives, so why not be part of this one? I encourage an entourage for my seniors because it should be a party, let’s have fun and make great images.
Maci and Kennedy Besties since 1st grade

Senior Portraits should be one of the greatest experiences leading up to graduation. You will leave our shoot feeling confident, refreshed and excited. But most of all you will have had the TIME OF YOUR LIFE! You are one of a kind, your images should absolutely reflect your personality and how amazing you are. I hope this article inspired you to make the most of you Senior Portraits and I hope you have the best senior year ever! Congratulations Class of 2021!

Contact Me to Book Your Senior Portraits TODAY!

Ashlee Bergeron| 3372776860|

With All Your Heart Photography

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5 Ways to Boost Your Self-Esteem

In the day and age of snap chat filters and make-up enthusiast you may feel a bit of inadequacy in the “self-confident” department. Millennials and Gen Z alike have struggled with self-image through a societal view. Fashion Magazines vs. Keeping up with the Kardashians to snapchat filters vs. social media perfection.

I am here to let you know it gets better. From an older millennial who fought with self-image issues and low self-esteem nearly my entire life, there is hope. Like most people I have had my ups and downs but society doesn’t let up when it comes to “beauty” standards. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a size 0 to be classified as beautiful anymore but just like each generation before us their are other societal pressures you will face to “feel” beautiful.

It is true that beauty comes from within. Ignoring what society tells you is beautiful is a great start but is it that easy? For some, yes. For others you feel like you might base your whole life on finding the perfect weight, perfecting your winged eyeliner or your favorite filtered selfie and pose.

I have come up with 5 ways to help you build your self confidence and at the same time rebel against what society “tells” us as women what is beautiful.

  1. Lose the Filter, you aren’t coffee.

Okay, Okay hear me out. Yes, a filter can save the day on those lazy days when make-up isn’t a first priority BUT you should not base your beauty on a filter. Filters are not real life, they make your skin look like plastic and that face you see, it is not yours. Filters produce a false sense of perfection. Perfection is over rated. It is okay to be flawed, what you see as flaws others see as beauty. Filters are creating a very unrealistic expectation of beauty. Dig deep inside yourself and ask yourself, “Why do I feel like I need a filter?” I challenge you to post filter free for a week. Embrace the real you, speak your flaws into self-love. Show off your freckles, your high cheek bones, your imperfect eyebrows.

2. Say something nice or don’t say anything at all.

You would be surprised at the amount of effort it takes to rewire your brain for positivity and growth. Here’s a brain hack. Be kind to others, start seeing the beauty in others, especially other women or girls. What you see in other people is what you will begin to see in yourself. Unhappiness comes from within. Happy people don’t hurt people. Begin with one compliment a day to a stranger, then up it to 3 and then 5 and then eventually it will be second nature. How does this affect you, well your brain instantly begins to feel happy and giving out compliments ups your self-confidence. Don’t believe me, try it for yourself.

3. Self-talk not Selfies

Now that we have the filtered selfies out of the way and you are complimenting others, another key way to increase your self-esteem and self-image is to speak kindly to yourself. Positive affirmations: “You is kind, you is smart, you is beautiful.”(The Help) Look yourself in the eyes, say it out loud and BELIEVE it! You must be your biggest fan, it is OKAY to love yourself. Remember, rewiring your brain takes practice, you may have to fake it every day for the first few weeks. Each day you speak kindly to yourself is growth. Self-love is a mindset, you are uniquely and wonderfully made, you are beautiful and you deserve to love yourself. When we love ourselves and accept who we are it is a lot easier to accept and love others. Your relationship with yourself will grow along with attracting more beautiful people into your life.

4. Let’s get physical

EXERCISE. Not to improve your rockin’ bod(although that is a plus) but exercise releases feel good hormones to boost your mood and make your day better. It is one of the first steps in self care which then trickles into all other aspects of your life. Physical exercise helps relieve stress and mental anguish. It has also been proven to help improve anxiety and depression as well. Add to this with a nutritious diet and your self-esteem will flourish.

5. You are who you hang out with

You are most like the 5 people you hang out with. If your tribe is not lifting you up, boyfriend/girlfriend included then you should not be wasting your time and energy with these people. This rule goes for family as well. Our friends and family should be our biggest fans, they should hype you up. If you allow people you are close to, to tear you down, manipulate you, or call you names it is time to cut them from your life. You do not have to allow anyone in your life that does not speak positive and love to you. You must find your self-worth to build your self-esteem. First and foremost lose the toxic relationships.

I am 32 years old and it took me nearly 30 years to learn most of these tricks and tips. You must know it is a struggle every single day to continue to love myself. But love is a choice. You must choose yourself. You must love yourself. It all begins by working on yourself and becoming someone you can face in the mirror every single day. You are all you have and you are stuck with her. Love her. Be kind to her.

Ashlee Bergeron

Facebook: @wayheartphotography

Instagram: @wayheartphoto

5 Ways to Improve Your Photography

5 Ways to Improve Your Photography

Hobbyist or professional photographers alike are always looking for ways to improve their skills behind the camera. I am Ashlee Bergeron, published photographer and small business owner. I have shot film, and digital photography and have a love for post production. I would like to share with you 5 ways to improve your photography skills. It does not matter if you shoot with the latest iPhone, canon rebel or professional gear. Whether you shoot people or places, I am here to help you improve YOUR creative eye!

  • Blinded by the light
    • Lighting can come from many sources, but what is the greatest source out there? The SUN, of course. That big ball of fire can be your greatest friend or biggest foe. Many photographers choose to shoot when the sun is rising or setting. An hour before sunrise or sunset can result in a truly beautiful glow, this time of day is called golden hour. This is what some consider the “sweet” spot of natural lighting. Golden hour, no doubt provides beautiful light but most hobbyist or photographers love to shoot at all times of the day. Being mindful of your lighting is great. Ask yourself, where is the sun? Behind your subject? In front of the subject? The answers to these questions will help you determine the look you want. It is fun to experiment with light and you don’t have to be a pro to play with lighting. There are many inexpensive ways to bend light. Check out reflectors on you can find them for about $20. Also for a very inexpensive reflector you can use a white poster board to add light on your subject. You can also use a white wall or sheet as well. Lighting is fun. Bending light is fun. But there is only one way to learn and that is to go out there and practice.
Austin Night Life
  • Slice and dice
    • There is a right way and wrong way to crop your subject. You do not want to cut off body parts, such as fingers, toes, knees, elbows.OUCH! A great rule of thumb(no pun intended) is do not crop anywhere there is a joint attaching limbs. Such as the elbow, wrist or ankle. Instead crop mid limb, for example: the shin or forearm. There are always exceptions to the rules but this is a great rule that will improve your photographer’s eye.
Limbs intact
  • Freeze Frame but first, FOCUS
    • Focus is one of the hardest skills to accomplish as a photographer. Where your focus lands in your image helps tell your story. What do you want your viewers to feel or see? Where do you want the viewers eyes to go first? The focus of your image should be sharp and should stands out from the rest of the image. For example: the eyes in a portrait or the ring on a newly engaged finger. You should not be shooting aimlessly and hoping to find focus. As you shoot you should set up your settings to tell the story using focus points on the viewing screen. Some cameras have several points, some cameras have just 6-9. Each are there for you to adjust according to the vision you want to portray.
  • Composition is 2/3rds of the Law
    • Think of your image with a grid laid across the top, splitting it up into nine squares. 3 vertical and 3 horizontal. The key to a great composition is leading the eye to one or more of the three quadrants but also not directly in the center. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule but we must master “the rule of 3rds” first. Key elements or the subject of the image can be placed in the upper left or right quadrants or lower right or left quadrants. The idea of rule of thirds is to have a composition that is pleasing to the eye of the viewer. Composition takes practice much like other skills but can be done with out thinking once practiced enough.
  • ATTENTION to detail
    • What angle are you shooting from? Birdseye? Worms view? Eye level? Angles matter. Angles can help add emphasis to your story. For example: higher angles make objects look smaller, lower angles can do the opposite and make your subject look larger. Another detail to pay attention to is your background. Backgrounds should add to the story, not take away from the story. If your background consist of trash cans, toilettes, or vehicles changing your angle can help. Get lower, get higher move to the left or to the right. This skill takes practice but being aware of your background can completely transform your photography.
City at Sundown

These 5 tips may be just the beginning of your photography journey or you might be a seasoned hobbyist. Just know experience and practice are key so keep on shooting, getting better and working hard. Your vision is important and you deserve to share it with the world.

Happy Shooting!

Ashlee Bergeron

Facebook: @wayheartphotography

Instagram: @wayheartphotography

Senior Client: Kennedy Sittig Class of 2021 Opelousas Catholic