James Hale Photography

James Hale Photography

Capturing moments today ... for your memories tomorrow.

Portrait Photography

Portraits are our specialty. There are many types of portraits; Senior Graduation, Family, Engagement, Professional (Headshots), Maternity, Boudoir, Pet … and the list goes on. If there is one or more subjects that are in...
More Info "Portrait Photography"

Walk-For-Hope Raffle Submission Form

We would love to have your donation of an item to help with our raffle! Proceeds from the raffle will be going directly to the Masonic Lodge Restoration Fund and tickets will be available the...
More Info "Walk-For-Hope Raffle Submission Form"

Personal Projects

There are a number of projects that I’m working on as time permits. If you would like access to one of the projects pages, please send me an email and let me know why you’d...
More Info "Personal Projects"

Photographic Services Available

James Hale Photography specializes in portraits.  However, with that said, there are many different kinds of portraits.  We also do weddings, schools, groups, baseball teams, dance teams, other groups, events both corporate and charity and...
More Info "Photographic Services Available"

About Me

I had my first exposure (no pun intended) to photography at the ripe old age of 18 when I applied for and got a job doing discount photography in K-Marts and other department stores around the MidWest.  When you have an hour-long line of kids under 2 years old with their mothers, you begin to learn what is important and what isn’t and you learn patience.  I realized pretty quickly that there was more to photography than just running people through a line and taking their photograph.  Needless to say, I looked for something else.  I found it.  I joined the Navy.  (Didn’t see that coming… did you? <smile>)

When I was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy, I found that I still loved photography and got a job as a portrait photographer with Olan Mills Portrait Studios.  I loved this job!  For awhile.  No lines!  Well, that’s not exactly true, but the line wasn’t right next to where I was taking photographs and it was so much better.  I also learned salesmanship at Olan Mills or rather, NOT the way to sell photography to clients.  At Olan Mills, typically someone would come in for a free 8×10 that they had a coupon for and I would go through my standard set of poses for them. Sometimes I got really lucky with a sitting.  For instance, one time I had a mother bring a 3-day old baby in to have their picture taken.  I knew that there wasn’t much that I could do with what I was given at Olan Mills, but miracle of miracles, I got the baby to smile.  Ok, maybe it was gas, but it was still a smile.  I made a big deal out of it and eventually the mother ended up buying a lot of portraits.  After that, the client would come back in on a specific date, set at the portrait sitting, and then be pressured into buying additional photographs that they either did not want or could not afford.  I did not want to do that.

I got a job shortly after this working with a studios and my first real mentor.  This job allowed me to enter the realm of wedding photography.  I assisted at a number of weddings until they thought I was ready to go at it alone.  I loved the medium format Mamiya film cameras that I used.  My freezer was stuffed with rolls of 220 and 120 color film that I used to photograph weddings (which was the method of long-term film storage in those days). I did that for a couple years and loved it.  Unfortunately, they went out of business and I became an unemployed photographer.

My interest in computers developed out of my love for photography because while I was working at the studio mentioned above, the industry started developing something called a “digital back” for my beloved Mamiya RB-67 that I used for weddings.  I decided that “digital” was the wave of the future so I started looking for positions as a programmer.  Because I had studied programming right out of the Navy, I eventually got a job as a COBOL programmer (go figure).   To make a long story short, I still loved photography and would take photos as often as I could but I spent the next 30 years serving my time in the I/T field.

Years of practice have provided me with a patient and prepared eye that enables me to recognize and capture images as you would remember them if only you could seize that perfect instant.  I am very good at putting people at ease in front of the camera and pride myself on being able to provide my clients with a variety of images that are timeless, elegant, spontaneous and fresh, even if I do have a bad set of “dad” jokes!

At times during a photo session, I work as a photojournalist, recording life as it unfolds, but most of my portraits are a collaboration between the myself and the person or people being photographed. I always have fun during a photo shoot and even the most reluctant subjects tell me that they had fun, too.  My work is usually done on location at your home or at a site of your choosing because I don’t believe that professional photography should just be in the realm of the studio.  When you book a photography session with me, you will fill out a questionnaire with some of your likes and dislikes and then we will discuss possible locations.  The majority of my portraits incorporate elements of the environment and are shot using available light.  I do have the equipment necessary for more formal portraits, head shots and for anyone who prefers the studio that I can set up right in your home, at your convenience, not mine.

I am available to guide you every step of the way.  From questions about clothing to finding your best angle to choosing the best images — I am here to help you.  Even if you decide to go with another photographer, I am available to you to answer questions and guide you to get the best possible photograph that you desire.

Organizations I belong to:

  • PPA – Professional Photographers of America – #8327862
  • Professional Photographer’s Association of Greater Kansas City – Member ID#
    • Treasurer 2018-19
  • Model Alliance
  • Missouri Professional Photographers Association – Member ID# 30677496
  • American Photography Association


My True Gemini Comes Through
They say that Gemini is the sign of the twins and that the twins are never satisfied. Well, it's either that, or a serious case...
Read More "My True Gemini Comes Through"
Doug and Mary Ann’s 50th Anniversary
I met with Doug and Mary Ann and talked about what they wanted.  This was the first time in many years that the whole family...
Read More "Doug and Mary Ann’s 50th Anniversary"
Some Photo Tips for Christmas Photos
One of the oldest and most popular Christmas poems ever, commonly referred to as “Twas The Night Before Christmas,” was written in the early 19th...
Read More "Some Photo Tips for Christmas Photos"
Please Forgive my Naivte
First off I want to say "I'm Sorry and I Apologize." When I started in photography many, many years ago, I always dreamed of owning...
Read More "Please Forgive my Naivte"

What to Wear for your Portraits

Once you have decided to have your photograph made, the age-old question comes up.  No, it’s not “where do you want to eat tonight?”  It’s, “What should I wear for my portraits?”  There are always those portraits that are made with people in a uniform or that have to follow a certain dress code, and if that’s the case, great!  We can work with that.  However, if you don’t have to follow those guidelines, then perhaps the following suggestions will help you decide.  If you are truly stuck, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll be happy to help!

WHAT TO WEAR

  • The camera sees things differently than the human eye does.  Stripes, plaids, florals and logos that look great most of the time but are visually distracting in a photograph. They will dominate an image and should be avoided. Solid colors are always best.
  • Clothes that are baggy will make you look bigger in a photograph. On the other hand, anything that is too tight may confine you and make you look uncomfortable. Necklines are important.  V-necks and simple collars that flatter the face look the best on women. Men’s dress shirts should be fitted properly. If you wear a tie, make sure that your collar isn’t too loose or too tight.
  • Dark clothing minimizes body size and light tones tend to emphasize body size. To look taller and thinner, choose a monochromatic outfit.
  • Bare arms are visually incongruous in most photographic settings. Unless you are being photographed on the beach or at a formal party, it is best to have your arms covered.

HAIR AND MAKE-UP

  • The day of your session is not a good time to experiment with a new hair style. Wear your hair the way that you do most of the time. Trim your hair if necessary, but do not be too excessive.
  • When it comes to make up, LESS is always more. Some people have their make-up applied for them, but remember, the Duchess of Cambridge did her own make up for her wedding to the future King of England!
  • Never worry about blemishes. I will take care of those for you.
  • If you have a heavy beard, plan to shave shortly before your photo session.
  • If you wear glasses, glare can present a problem. It is best to either forgo glasses or to wear frames without the lenses.

THE NIGHT BEFORE YOUR PHOTO SESSION

  • Do your best to get eight hours of sleep on the night prior to your photo session and believe it or not, drink plenty of water.  This will help your skin to look it’s best for your photo session. This is the best tip that I can give you!

 

P.S.   Murphy’s Law says that your favorite outfit will be at the cleaners or at the bottom of your laundry pile. Try on and hang up everything that you want to wear the night before, and America’s Next Top Model will have nothing on you on the day of your photo session.

We had a wonderful time with our family photos and they turned out fantastic! We will go to James when we need more photos.

Chalmers
... cannot wait until next time - loved the experience ...
Charlie Kristine
Sweet, professional and very talented - loved working with him
Kora Wilkes

The Top 10 Reasons to Hire a Professional Photographer

The Top 10 Reasons to Hire a Professional Photographer


Even photographers hire photographers. “Why?” you ask. “If you own a good camera, you don’t need a professional photographer, right?” Wrong.  So, with a nod to David Letterman, here are the top 10 reasons why you should hire a professional photographer:

#10 –  You will be in the images. In most families, there is a designated ‘photographer’, and often it is Mom or Dad. This means that there are rarely any photos of Mom or Dad in the albums. Or, the photos of Mom or Dad aren’t so flattering as they have been taken by another member of the family that hasn’t practiced much.

#9 – Your session will be thought out and styled. Unlike family snapshots, when you book your photography session your photographer will guide you on how to style the session. This will involve choosing the right location to suit your style and family and will also cover what to wear and how to prepare. This single point can make a huge difference in how professional your images will look.

#8 – Quality of the equipment. Most of my clients own a DSLR. The fact that they hire me shows that they value photography, so many of them have their own camera as well. Although cameras are expensive, the cameras and lenses that your photographer owns cannot compare in quality to ordinary consumer cameras. Most clients love images where the subject is clear but the background is blurry. This is called bokeh. In order to achieve good bokeh, you need superior equipment. Your photographer will have all the equipment required to produce beautiful images, that most ordinary households won’t have.

#7 – Following on from point eight, your photographer will know how to use their equipment. Most of my clients that talk about their cameras will also admit to me that they turn their camera to auto and let their camera do the work. Modern cameras and phones can take great images on auto, but things can go very wrong too. This can result in dark images, blurry images or the on board flash popping up to light your subject. Your photographer will know how to use their equipment and will have manual control over their camera. They will be choosing their ISO, shutter speed and f-stop to ensure the image is well exposed. They will know their equipment in and out.

#6 – Photographers carefully re-touch your images if needed. We use products like photoshop and lightroom to ensure that your images are properly exposed, the colors are perfect and the image is polished to a professional level.

#5 – Attention to detail. Your photographer will pay attention to the detail. With newborn photography, babies are posed right down to the position of their hands. Blankets are smoothed out. Fabrics are ironed. Background clutter is removed. The time of day is carefully planned. Every part of the image and your session is carefully planned to ensure that you get the best images possible.

#4 – Fresh eyes. Your photographer will bring fresh eyes to your family and will look at your family in a unique way. They will offer suggestions and solutions that you haven’t seen or though of and this will result in images that you may not have thought to capture.

#3 – Investing in your home. One of the goals of most sessions is to produce images that will be enlarged and framed for the wall. This is an investment in your home and can enhance a room. You spend a lot of time and hard earned money furnishing your room, finishing it off with professional  images of your family only makes sense.

#2 – Professional photographers have a lot of training and experience. It takes years and a lot of hard work to hone photography skills. Your photographer will have spent a lot of time and money educating themselves on how to use compose your images and light them well to create a lovely gallery of images for you to choose from.

And the #1 reason is…

#1 – I believe that the number one reason to hire a professional photographer is that once that day is over or that time-frame has passed, it is now a precious memory and you will want the best images possible of those memories. This is even more important for those moments that cannot be relived, like weddings, maternity images, newborn images and other important milestones.  Please make sure you capture the best images possible, so you will always look at those images and smile warmly.  These photos will take you back to that time or that day, to a place where you can almost smell the flowers and touch the perfect newborn skin.  It is definitely worth hiring the best you can afford to capture those precious memories.

 

My True Gemini Comes Through
They say that Gemini is the sign of the twins and that the twins are never satisfied. Well, it's either that, or a serious case...
Read More "My True Gemini Comes Through"
Doug and Mary Ann’s 50th Anniversary
I met with Doug and Mary Ann and talked about what they wanted.  This was the first time in many years that the whole family...
Read More "Doug and Mary Ann’s 50th Anniversary"
Some Photo Tips for Christmas Photos
One of the oldest and most popular Christmas poems ever, commonly referred to as “Twas The Night Before Christmas,” was written in the early 19th...
Read More "Some Photo Tips for Christmas Photos"
Please Forgive my Naivte
First off I want to say "I'm Sorry and I Apologize." When I started in photography many, many years ago, I always dreamed of owning...
Read More "Please Forgive my Naivte"

Questions to Ask Your Potential Photographer

We took the time to create this q&a for you to use when interviewing potential photographers.  Too many times clients get caught up in the financial aspects of a purchase such as photography when often the cheapest options are the lesser quality options, making the choices confusing.  Here are some questions that will help get you the best photographer for your family (not necessarily the cheapest).

  1. How long have you been in business?  A good indicator, the more business experience a photographer has the less likelihood that photographer is a hobbyist.
  2. Do you specialize in any one type of photography?  Photographers often specialize in one genre vs. another.  For example a photographer who specializes in newborn photography is not a good candidate to do group photography of a family of 20 unless they have had experience doing so.
  3. Do you have many repeat clients? A great litmus test of quality of not only photography but of customer service as well.
  4. Are there policies for rescheduling a session?  A photographer with their fair share of experience will have a policy set in place for almost any type of situation, rescheduling being one of the primary circumstances that necessitate a policy.  A photographer with policies isn’t a turn off, in fact this photographer has seen “it all” and is prepared and well thought out for almost any client situation.
  5. Have you had any experience with (name your specific concern)?   If the subject being photographed is a special needs child or if you have any other concern(s) regarding your child or family it is good to be aware if your photographer is adept at handling this sort of situation.  Do not rule out a photographer simply based on this question, many times the photographer who is experienced will be able to deal with any situation you hand them with adequate notice (the hallmark of a true pro!)
  6. Not so much a question but a simple gut feeling: personality and rapport matters.   A photographer’s main job is to capture emotions and moments, if your photographer doesn’t mesh well with you on the phone chances are you and your family will not mesh well with that photographer at the session and your images will look it.

If your photographer seems “off”, hesitates to answer any of these questions or has a personality that doesn’t seem to mesh well with yours: these are red flags.  Even if that photographer is cut throat cheap no amount of money is worth throwing at an opportunity to capture memories that will disappoint.  We have but one opportunity to capture THIS moment and there is nothing as disappointing as a horrible photography experience.

Things You Should Let Your Photographer Know When Book a Session

  1. If anyone has a disability that could affect interaction with the photographer/camera: doing so allows your photographer to have a leg up and research strategies for interacting with the subject pre-session and also allows you to open up a conversation with the photographer about potential issues when photographing this subject.
  2. Any scheduling conflicts (husband has to return to work after 12 noon…) so the photographer can work around those time constraints.
  3. Can you bring a snack?   If so, please make sure the snacks you bring aren’t sticky, gooey or messy (will melt, will discolor skin, etc.).
  4. Any times when the littlest of subjects will be getting cranky (getting hungry or needing a nap): it’s in everyone’s best interest is to avoid those times
  5. Names of subjects (again a good pro photographer will ask you themselves)
  6. Ages of subjects being photographed (if under 18).  A good professional photographer will ask you this information

This article was written by Marianne Drenthe of Marmalade Photography http://www.marmaladephotography.com and can be found at the Professional Child Photography site at http://www.professionalchildphotographer.com.

Ad Test Page

First Ad should appear below here.

Walk-For-Hope Raffle Submission Form

We would love to have your donation of an item to help with our raffle! Proceeds from the raffle will be going directly to the Masonic Lodge Restoration Fund and tickets will be available the...

Portfolio

[envira-gallery id=’885′]

Personal Projects

There are a number of projects that I’m working on as time permits. If you would like access to one of the projects pages, please send me an email and let me know why you’d like access, otherwise, all projects are password protected and available only to those working on it.

My True Gemini Comes Through

They say that Gemini is the sign of the twins and that the twins are never satisfied. Well, it’s either that, or a serious case of OCD! I’ve decided to change the layout of my website a little. Ok, maybe a lot. However, it won’t interfere with the functionality (I hope…) of the website. If it does and you can find what you need, give me a call. Also, if you see something you like, let me know. I LOVE to have people tell me what they like to see on a website. Too few people do that… So, sit back, enjoy the change of scenery and if it gets to much, go outside and get some fresh air!

Please Forgive my Naivte

First off I want to say “I’m Sorry and I Apologize.” When I started in photography many, many years ago, I always dreamed of owning my own photography business.  Yes, I was taken in by the “rock star” mentality of what it was to be a photographer.  Back then, it …