A Day in the life at the Schwartz’s

You know how you get REALLY into a show on Netflix?! You’re emotionally invested in the characters and what happens to them. “Are you SERIOUS?! They just killed off my FAVORITE character!!” But you stick with it because you’re on this emotional roller coaster for better or for worse. You’ve been binge watching it for days now. And then………

It’s over.

Sad face.

What do I do? What do I watch? What happens now?!

You’ve just entered “show hole.” Something so real….they’ve actually created a phrase for this feeling of “what now the f*** do I do now?!”

It got me thinking about…weddings, of course. Don’t we ALL go into the binge planning phase for weddings?!

But then, what happens after the wedding day?

Once the day is over…it’s like, “What now?! What do I do with my time now that I’m not discussing: the flower colors, managing the RSVPs, writing the checks ($$ <–You’re actually glad this part is over…lol), and scouring Pinterest for the most original guest favors? WHAT DO I DO?!” Because, literally, the last year of your life has been planning for this one day to be the PERFECT representation of you and your husband.

But here’s the thing. You can’t just go back to your life as it was BW (before wedding) because your life is different now! You’ve entered into a new chapter.

Life together.

And that’s the best part. Realizing that the wedding is actually the beginning of the rest of your life together. Finding your new routine as a couple. Buying your “forever” house. Doing all of the little weekend projects that will make it your home. Don’t even get me started on babies. (eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!) Maybe it’s too soon, maybe it’s not. Or maybe it’s time for a furbaby. Soon, your little family of two will grow and evolve. And you’ll have to find a new routine for your everyday…until something else changes or something big happens. But don’t worry, it’s all a part of the journey. To not only know where you’re going, but also how you got there.

One day at a time. 🙂


I love these new “Day in the Life” sessions! I want to send out a special thanks to Michael and Liz for showing me their new home and being my guinea pigs! I love watching your journey! ♥





June 15, 2017

Mini Session Prep

Hi everyone!!

So, I know everyone is all ready for the weekend! I wanted to make a quick post on prepping for your mini sessions this weekend and the next!

So let’s get down to it.

For the Tree farm on the 13th…

Here is the address: 1890 Getwell Rd, Nesbit, MS 38651

If you’re heading south on Getwell, the tree farm will be on your left. It kinda sneaks up on you, so just pay attention.

Here are just a few quick pics taken with my iphone. You will want to park up front and walk around the right side of the building.

Christmas Tree Farm

This is what you are looking for. You’ll see my cool vintage red truck when you’re walking around the property (not pictured). I recommend getting there about 10 or so minutes early. This will give you time to find it, and meet me at our spot. We will be past this bridge area. Don’t worry, you’ll see it when you pull up. I will also have a LOVELY Santa Elf assistant there to tell you where you need to go. 🙂 She may or may not be wearing a Santa Hat. Not making any promises on that one.

Christmas Tree Farm


For Downtown on the 19th:

Here’s a screen shot of the area we will be shooting at Downtown! Thanks Google Maps.

Downtown mini session

There is free parking on the street of Vance. We will be starting with more brick in the background, and then head over to this park-like area. downtown mini session industrial

General tips for your portrait session:

1. Arrive a hair early. Getting there late will cut into your session time.

2. Go to the bathroom before you leave! I was walking around…and they only have porta-potties at the tree farm nothing really downtown. Not a big deal, just an FYI.

3. Bring your leash and doggy bags to clean up after your pups.

4. Bring any props that you will want to use. I am providing a red truck we can pose on for the Tree Farm. (Not for downtown). (We don’t have to use if you’re not digging it.) The rest is up to you and your preferences.

5. Bring backup clothes for the kiddos…just in case something happens or gets dirty.

6. Bring treats for furbabies and snacks for real babies. Sessions are only 15 minutes, so I’m a huge fan of bribing for good behavior. 😀

What to wear to the mini session:

So. I get this question a lot. What should I wear??? I have a general post of what to bring/what to wear to a shoot. Here’s a more color scheme specific point that I wanted to make, esp for family portraits. I feel like a family should wear colors that:

  1. make sense for the season. This is considered fall now so that means maroons, purples, navies, oranges, grays, browns, and darker greens. I don’t really recommend pastel colors, but hey – if that’s your jam…more power to you.
  2. matches, but is not tooooooo “matchy, matchy.” I know that’s a really really general statement, but hear me out. You don’t want to all be wearing the exact same color. The goal is to look cohesive without looking like everyone is wearing the same pair of pants…I also like one general color, one neutral color, and then you can add in one pop of color. (That’s optional). If you’re still unsure, I want you to go to pinterest, and type in the search bar: Fall color schemes for pictures. And here, I want y’all to look at the photos and think to yourself…does this picture have TOO much brown (or some other color)?? If the answer is yes, then add in a red or orange, or blue…something to break up the sameness. It also helps if you lay out everyones outfit on the floor next to each other. That’s a great visual to see if there is too much of one color.
    1. Scarves sweaters make for GREAT little pops of color. If it’s too much, we can take it off. 🙂

Here are a few examples:

family portrait color scheme

family portrait color scheme red

family portraits colors scheme

Alrighty, y’all! I hope this helps! Y’all take down my number and call/text me if you have trouble finding anything. Me and my santa elf assistant are here to help! 901-412-4482.

See you soon!!


Blog signature

November 11, 2016

Christmas Minis

Whenever I hear Christmas Minis, I think of those little cinnamon roles from Burger King. Ohhhhh back in the day. And while those were really amazing, that is NOT what I’m talking about when I say Christmas Minis.

Christmas Minis are short and sweet family photo sessions! I’m hosting 2 this month with a super quick turnaround, so you can have your photos ready before the holidays! Can someone say Christmas cards??

For all of my couples getting married this year or next without an engagement session in their package, this is a perfect way for us to work together before your big day. Remember what I said about the guinea pig session? Well, here’s your chance!! Not to mention having some cute and casual couples photos to have around the house are a big plus! Talk about adulting…scheduling family photos is definitely up there. 🙂

Christmas mini photos promo

Ok, so let’s talk deets. I know y’all are going to have some questions, so let me try to hit on the big ones. If you have other questions I did not answer already, feel free to email me! madison@yenstudios.com

Q: When and where?

A: I have 2 sessions happening this month. The 1st session is at the Merry Christmas Tree Farm in Nesbit, MS (right outside of Hernando) on November 13th with sessions running from 9:30am-1:30pm.

The 2nd session is going to be in Downtown Memphis at a little park off of Vance and Wagner on November 19th with sessions running from 2:00pm-5pm.

Q: How much? What does that get me?

A: Sessions are 15 minutes and are $150. You will receive your images in both high resolution (for print) and low resolution (for social media use). From your edited gallery, you can choose one photo to be retouched. I recommend this one be your Christmas Card or other print/canvas photo. Keep in mind, all of your photos will be already be edited. Retouching is an extra perk. It’s blemish removal, object removal, general picture perfecting.

If you want to book a double session, you can do a 30 min session for $210, and you will receive an extra retouched photo (so 2 total retouched).

Q: Can you explain the session times?

A: Yes 🙂 Regular mini sessions are 15 minutes. You can purchase a double (back to back) for $210 if you feel like you want a little more time. When you’re ready to book, I will send a time sheet to you so you can pick out a time slot that works for you.

Q: Payment?

A: Payment is due at the time of booking. After you decided on a slot, I will send an online invoice for you to pay by check, card, or transfer. Payment is non-refundable and must be paid before the session. If for some reason you cannot make your time slot, you can apply this amount to a different photography session or schedule a spot for my Spring Mini Sessions.

Q: Rain?

A: In the event of rain, there will be a backup date for Sunday, Nov. 20th. The Christmas Tree Farm is not available that date, so I will do half of the day downtown and the other half at Shelby Farms or some other park in Memphis. (Don’t worry. It will be pretty.)

Q: Fur babies? Yay or nay?

A: YES! Bring ’em along! If you want your pets in your family photos, then I want your pets in your family photos, too! Both the tree farm and downtown will allow pets. Just bring a leash and some treats, and be sure to clean up after them. Keep in mind though that having pets in the pics make the sessions go a little longer because we have to get them situated. I would consider booking a double session to make sure we have enough time to get the shots you will want.

Q: Is the Christmas Tree farm going to be super…Christmas-y?

A: Nope! It can be as much or as little as you want. I am working on renting a truck, similar to the pic you see in the post! Otherwise, props are up to you. Your photos can be just some “pretty greenery” in the background or very obviously a Christmas Photo. Just let me know and I will make that happen.

Q: How will I get photos?

A: First off, I will send you your password protected online gallery. You will be able to download photos from the gallery. I will also have USBs ready for pickup.

Q: Turnaround time??

A: I know a lot of these will be used for Christmas cards and holiday pics. I will be working on a one week turnaround to get you your photos ASAP. Merry Christmas!


So now…I want to briefly discuss the locations for any lingering questions/concerns. The Christmas Tree Farm is a great option if you are looking for something more rural, green, a little more pinterest-y, and a bit more Christmas-y. The downtown location is going to be a more urban setting and not as Christmas focused. Keep that in mind when scheduling. Props are totally fine to bring! Let’s make this fit exactly what you need!

Phew, this is A TON of information. Hopefully, I answered a lot for you. When you’re ready to book, email me at madison@yenstudios.com to see the sign up sheet. Next will be the online invoice and a quick prep guide and online contract.

As always, I’m here for questions! I can’t wait to see you! Happy fall, y’all!

Till next time.


Blog signature



November 3, 2016

The Baby Whisperer – JK!

Babies are a work of art only few can master.

When I say babies, of course I mean newborn photography. So…I wanted to share a really honest overview of some lessons learned with some side commentary on my first and only baby shoot. For all you new moms and dads and photographers wanting to give newborn photography a try….here we go…

Memphis Family Portraits

Meet the Biggs Family. They welcomed Baby Biggs into the world mid June. I shot this about 3 weeks or so after she was born, so still very newborn. She was GREAT during the session. She just chilled throughout most of the shoot until the end.

Memphis Babies Photography

Only thing I would have done differently on timing is I think I would have preferred to shoot maybe 2 weeks in. Her mom was telling me that Baby Biggs was already stretching out more than she had just in the last few days. So obviously, it’s not necessary, but you do kinda want the babies to be all wrapped up in a little ball, swaddled in something. Or stuck in a basket. Because that’s what people do with babies…put them in a basket.

Photography in Memphis

My lens selection here was an 85 1.4 and a 105 macro. I feel like these were kinda poor lens choices. I love the 105 macro because of its ability to give beautiful detail to small things. And then the 85 1.4 is my go-to lens for ALMOST everything. I love the bocah, and how the background just melts away like butta on a warm roll. (Ooo, rolls sound good.) Also, the 85 has some lens compression, which makes for a nice foreground as well. Anyways, I typically love this lens selection, but I wish I would have brought the 50 1.4. If I had a 35 1.4, I would have definitely brought that. Or if I had a 50 macro, then I would have been good to go! You will want something that is shorter because you are going to be standing over the babies. With as long of lenses as I brought with me, I had to borrow a step stool. :/ So that sucked, and that’s why I recommend bring a shorter lens, or a range lens. You definitely don’t want them to look distorted by using a wide angle, but I think the 24-70 would have been nice to have.

Photography Help for Newborns

As for posing babies, this was a little difficult for me. I do not have babies of my own, and I hardy ever handle babies. So I was worried her head would fall off or something. This sounds stupid, but they just seem sooooo fragile. Because of this, I kinda just let Baby Biggs do whatever, and I moved around her. Her mom also kinda moved her around a bit after I described the shot I was looking for. I do feel like posing babies is a lot harder than it looks. What’s a normal position for a baby? Do you ever think of that? And does that normal position look weird on camera? Or does it make people go “googoo” over it. (ha, pun intended.)

Baby Photography Lessons

Props? I don’t have any baskets to put babies in. I didn’t bring blankies or fur things, or toys. I think this is definitely something you can do and incorporate. And it will look awesome, but it’s an investment that I am not ready to make in my business. The family had a couple of props like flowers, blankets, bonnets, and bloomers. Those worked great for our purpose…but again it depends on what they are looking for.

Newborn Baby Memphis

Postwork. I’m just going to say it. Babies need retouching. They are so adorable, but you can see skin bumps and red spots. They are just random, but you will just need to soften it up a bit and brush it out. Believe it or not, this picture has quite a bit of retouching done to it.

Memphis Baby Photography

All in all, I had a great time shooting the Biggs Family. I learned a lot about taking newborn pictures. While I loved shooting Baby Biggs, I preferred shooting the family pictures. I think it’s because there is interaction between the parents and the parents with the baby. Whereas with newborn photos, they are asleep or you are setting them up in a scene, so there is less interaction.

Memphis Photographer Family Portraits
Alrighty, hopefully this will help somebody out there looking to take photos of some little chicks. 🙂 If you have advice to add, feel free to comment below! And can we please discuss the difference between artistic baby pictures and cheesy baby pictures???



Blog signature


August 18, 2015

High School Senior Portraits: What to Wear/Bring/Prepare

So we have a high school senior portrait coming up, eh? Have no idea what to wear? Or do? Or bring? Well…we can help with that!

First off – what is the purpose of these??

Well, seniors, these are mostly for your parents. You just can’t get around it. They love you, want to remember you in your “sweet and innocent” high school stage, and they want to show you off to their friends. Graduating high school is a rite of passage from childhood into adulthood, from being under your parent’s wing to doing your own thing. High school senior portrait sessions are subconsciously emotional for parents, and they honestly deserve extra thought and care for your pictures. So needless to say, we want you seniors to look cool, while making you parents proud and happy. Parents, these photos are for you to show off and to frame to keep in your house for years to come. Show the world all of the care and effort you gave them and your commitment to their development for a sport or hobby. Think of it as featured images of their childhood in this pivotal point in their life.

Now – let’s get down to the good stuff. What should you do to make your high school senior portrait shoot easy breezy and awesome?

(I am just giving a general tip guide. There are not that many do’s vs. don’ts here.)

  1. Do bring many outfits. These outfits should vary in degrees of casualness.
    • 1 outfit pretty casual: jeans/shorts and a cute top. Guys and gals, feel free to bring a school shirt. It can be a high school shirt AND/OR a college shirt!
    • 1-3 outfits snappy casual: what you would wear for a date night. Don’t forget shoes. Bring some options here in case something doesn’t work out.
    • 1 outfit your parents picked out. Just do it. If they say they love you in that hat, bring it! Hats make for cool pictures, anyways.
    • 1-3 options for sports/hobby clothes. For me, I played competitive tennis. In fact, I played tennis every single day and had more tennis clothes than regular clothes. Bring a few options and show us your moves. (Don’t forget shoes here either. It looks weird if you are all geared up for a soccer pic or something and you’re wearing flipflops – bring the cleats!)
    • Props – We don’t typically need props, but as I said, if you are in a sport – bring your gear. A soccer ball, tennis rackets/bag, golf gear, you name it. In Theatre? Bring something from your favorite scene. Also, purses and scarves make for cute accessories. And even – your car. Let’s say you love your car. It’s your metaphorical baby; mine is named Chester. Get’em all cleaned up and let’s take some pics in/around your car. It’s fun and not as dorky as it sounds…
    • Hair brush/bands and make-up. I have said this before, and it still applies. You will need this for touchups and quick fixes.
    • And lastly a Letterman jacket, if you have it/want it photographed.
  2. Scope out a place to shoot your pictures. For our sessions in particular, unless you specify otherwise, our default location is our studio. There are great places to shoot there, but if you want a picture of you on a field or at golf course or riding a horse or something, you should let your photographer know. Make it personal for you and your family. Pick a meaningful spot. And your photographer should advise on a good time of day for lighting purposes.
  3. Girls – think about starting with your hair down and then change it to up. It changes the feel and doesn’t make the pictures seem as if they were all done at one time.
  4. Think about the kind of personality you want to convey through these pictures. If you just want pretty pictures, we can absolutely do that. If you want bad ass pictures, or serious pictures, or light-hearted pictures, we can do that too. Just let us know. It’s all about the lighting here, folks.
  5. This last one sounds lame, but it’s important! Have a good time with it! Bring your tunes. Dance around, goof off, be carefree and happy. Times have changed, and we are no longer in the times of school photographer pictures and stuffy fake backgrounds. These are real life, cool, and artistic. So be ready to BE YOU!


Ok, there was my list of tips and suggestions! Hope you liked it, and feel free to call/email me to book your senior portrait session today! madison@yenstudios.com 901-412-4482

September 9, 2014

What to Wear to a Photo Shoot

 A Photographer’s Do’s and Don’ts

Ok, so you have this big photo shoot coming up for your (name of important life event here), and you ask the age-old question, “What should I wear??”

Does thinking about what to wear make you do a face-palm??
Does thinking about what to wear make you do a face-palm??

Well…this question is hard to answer for a few different reasons. We have probably just met or only talked over the phone, so I don’t necessarily know what you own, or what’s in your closet. And, I don’t know your style or your personality, or what makes you feel good. But alas, without fail, I am asked this question every time someone new is shooting with us because they are excited and nervous, and they just want to look their best. Completely understandable, and assuming you don’t have a personal stylist or shopper on hand, here are some tips.

A photographer’s guide of Do’s and Don’ts to help you be more prepared and less retouching for me on the back end, which in turn is cheaper for you! A win win!

This guide will have a general section, and then will be followed by separate, more specific sections…because, well, you have different kinds of shoots for different purposes.

Side Note: This guide is mainly for the ladies who worry about this, but then again the ladies are the ones who typically ask this question anyways.

The parts we will be going over the next few weeks are:

1. Senior portraits (because it’s that time of year).

1146325_558964357504553_571737941_o (1)

2. Engagements/couples (coordinating with your other half).DSC_8422

3. Professional head shots (because everyone should have one!)D3X_8546 copy 2

and 4. Fashion portfolios (you’d be surprised what some people bring to these. Ever wonder what modeling agencies want to see? Stay tuned).


Ok, let’s get started.

General Do’s and Don’ts for your next photo shoot 

5 Do’s:

1. Do bring many options. As far as I’m concerned, bring your entire closet. It doesn’t hurt my feelings, and we have a little clothes rack you can hang them on. It’s better to be over-prepared with great options than stuck with only one that you may not be happy with. Don’t forget to coordinate shoes.

2. Speaking of shoes, do wear at least semi-comfortable shoes (or bring travel shoes). If we are shooting on location or outside, you will regret wearing those $400 stilettos, hiking around town to find an optimal scene.

3. Do take a look at your pictures of the past, and identify the outfits that photographed well in the past. What did you like about them? If you don’t want to wear something old, head to the mall and find an outfit with similar qualities.

4. Do bring things that make you comfortable. This point is more concerning bringing clothes that are a peace of mind. If you think you have big arms, bring a jacket, or a sweater, or something with sleeves. If you don’t like your legs then wear pants, or a long skirt, or tights. You get my point.

5. Do bring touch up stuff. I’m talking bring your make-up bag. You will want to freshen up your lipstick. Bring a hairbrush just in case. And when/if you get all sweaty bring some powder for your nose and forehead. The shininess will show through and trust me when I say you will be glowing (unless the goal of the shoot is to be a sexy sweaty ad or something)…

5 Don’ts:

1. Don’t wear something that you recognize makes you look fat. (If you have to ask, don’t wear it). I’m sorry to say this, but the camera will mercilessly add 5-10 lbs to you. Something that may make you look big, can be 1 of two things. One is something that is too tight and unforgiving on your body. Folks, just be honest with yourself here. It’s ok. No judgement from me or my team! The other is something that is too loose and flowy (things with a lot of fabric). These could look great in person, but the camera will capture those times when your flowy maxi creates a nonexistent baby bump on even the skinniest of ladies…

2. Don’t wear a top+bra combo that won’t cooperate. What I mean is: if your bra strap pops out once, it will inevitably pop out again. And again. And again. No, I don’t want to spend hours retouching your 65 photos or however many you choose to retouch out your bra strap. You may not think of it before you come to the shoot, but it will be the first thing that you see when you get back the pictures. Wear a different bra or maybe a different top.

3. Don’t wear any prints that are just ridiculously crazy busy. I’m not saying to not wear fun and colorful prints. I’m simply saying that really bright checkered/striped/blingy clothes just don’t look as good on camera. If you have to squint when you look at your outfit, best to leave it for a party, not a shoot.

4. Don’t wear something that’s not YOU. If the last thing you would wear on earth is a pair of pumps and short tight dress…then by golly, don’t show up in just that because you think that’s what we/the world want to see. The world does not care. They are too busy gushing over/criticizing Taylor Swift’s new music video. Your uncomfortable feeling of the clothes you wear will be apparent on camera. Be you. Be proud to wear something that’s inexplicably and undeniably you. You won’t regret it.

5. Do not over do the make-up. I know this isn’t an outfit, but the make-up matters. Wear something that is versatile so it will match your other outfits. And nothing too heavy on the eyes, so if we put a flash on you, you won’t look crazy.

Ok, hope this helped! Feel free to share, and stay tuned for our more specific shoot tips! 🙂


Maddie Moree | maddiemoree.com

Yen Studios | yenstudios.com

A Memphis based photography team. “Like” us on Facebook!


September 2, 2014