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Saint Marys, GA -Fernandina Beach FL

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Tips for Fun First Day of School Photos | St Marys - Fernandina Beach Photographer

Tips for Fun First Day of School PhotosCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

It's back to school time! I'm not sure where summer went but this fall weather we're having is making me long for all things fall. Whether you live in Georgia and are starting school this week, or another state that's not starting quite yet, this post should help you if you want to take great first day of school pictures of your kiddo(s). You don't need a fancy camera either, in fact, all but one of the photos in this post were taken with my iPhone. If you're using your phone like I did this year, I highly recommend a camera app that allows you to have a little more control over your photo taking like Filmborn (my new favorite camera app, available for iPhone users). 

And now for my five top tips for taking fun photos of your kids to document the first day of school!

 

Copyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

 

1 - Consider taking them the night before the first day. Mornings can be hard enough trying to get everyone ready to go and out the door on time and then add in taking a photo of everyone and you've just upped your amount of morning chaos. Depending on school start times and how well you've prepped your kids or getting up at that time, you may have a child who just isn't ready to have a camera/phone in their face earlier than they're used to being up and out the door. Even if you have an early riser or you've prepped by waking up early the previous two weeks, your child still may be too excited or nervous about the first day to cooperate very well for a photo. And bonus, if you're house faces east, your front door probably has better lighting in the afternoon/evening than first thing in the morning. So get them in their first day of school outfit the night before, practice however they are going to wear their hair, and get that photo without adding too much more to your morning routine. 

Of course, if you're homeschooling, you have more leeway as far as when to take your photos or even what you consider the first day of your school year. 

 

Copyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Copyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

2 - Sign Options. When the first day of school photos first became a trend, it seemed it was good enough to just write out or print out a piece of paper that said "First Day of # Grade" on it. Now, you can buy templates and have them printed for your child to hold on their first day to show various interests in addition to what grade they're starting (you can find free ones too by googling). A good old chalk board, like the one I used, or a white board (currently available in the dollar section at Target) are perfectly acceptable in my book. No need to go all out if that's not your thing. 

Copyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Copyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

3 - Light/Location. Consider the light when choosing your location. Outside will typically give you the best lighting, assuming you're not having to do them before the sun comes up (another reason to do them the night before!). The most common location I've seen is usually in front of the front door or in the front yard. Don't feel like you need to use either of those locations if the light happens to be better in your backyard. 

 

Copyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Copyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

4 - Forget the "smile" and "say cheese". If you want a genuine smile, don't use those words! (In fact, those words are pretty much banned at my sessions, haha!) Try asking them what they are most excited about for school or get them talking about something they enjoy. You can also tell them silly jokes or act like a goofball, whatever you know will make them giggle! If you're child isn't a big smiler, be content with just having them look at you and don't worry so much about them smiling. 

Copyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Copyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

5 - Let them have fun! There's nothing that kills a mood more than getting yelled at for not smiling for the camera. Let them be silly and have fun. This is another bonus for doing the photos the night before as you won't be rushed to hurry up and get the photo. Keep snapping those photos while they're being silly and you're bound to end up with a good one. 

Happy Picture Taking and Happy Back to School!

<3 

Kim

Owner/Photographer-Artist

Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

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Family Portrait Session | St Marys GA Family Photographer

I met this sweet family through the homeschool co-op we joined last year. They've had more than their fair share of challenges and you'd almost never know when first meeting them. Mom has been battling cancer and the youngest was recently diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. They've never had family portraits done and I was honored to remedy that for them! It turned out to be a celebratory session as Mom is now in remission! I pray that this is a permanent remission and these photographs will remind them all of the love and strength that brought them through this difficult time in life. 

I couldn't pick a favorite from this session as I loved so many of the photos. I loved capturing each individual as well as the connections and love they share with each other. Sometimes it takes older kids a little longer to get comfortable in front of the camera, so I started with individuals to help them loosen up. My son has recently become obsessed with knock-knock jokes and since they were fresh in my mind, I used the silliness of the corny jokes to help break the ice.  After individuals portraits, we got a photo of Mom and Dad before getting the whole crew together. Then I made sure each kid had a photo with mom before we headed to the playground for some fun, playful captures. Even older kids can have fun on a playground! 

 

teen portraitFamily Portrait Session | Crooked River State Park | St Marys GACopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography teen portraitFamily Portrait Session | Crooked River State Park | St Marys GACopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography child portraitFamily Portrait Session | Crooked River State Park | St Marys GACopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography child portraitFamily Portrait Session | Crooked River State Park | St Marys GACopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

Family Portrait Session | Crooked River State Park | St Marys GACopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Fun Family PortraitFamily Portrait Session | Crooked River State Park | St Marys GACopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography mother and son portraitFamily Portrait Session | Crooked River State Park | St Marys GACopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography mother and son portraitFamily Portrait Session | Crooked River State Park | St Marys GACopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography mother and son portraitFamily Portrait Session | Crooked River State Park | St Marys GACopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography mother and daughter portraitFamily Portrait Session | Crooked River State Park | St Marys GACopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Family Portrait Session | Crooked River State Park | St Marys GACopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Family Portrait Session | Crooked River State Park | St Marys GACopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography family fun at the parkFamily Portrait Session | Crooked River State Park | St Marys GACopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Family Portrait Session | Crooked River State Park | St Marys GACopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Family Portrait Session | Crooked River State Park | St Marys GACopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

 

<3

Kim

Owner/Photographer-Artist

Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

Looking to capture your family as they are right now? Do you want to capture the connections you have with your loved ones? Contact me today for more information on scheduling a family session!


Why I love Lifestyle Photography and what is it anyway? | St Marys - Fernandina Beach Photographer

The term “lifestyle photography” is widely understood by photographers, but if you’re not a photographer, you may not know what that means and why it matters. I happen to love this style of photography so I wanted to take some time to explain what it is to me and why I love it.

Three of the more common styles of photography you may have heard of are posed/traditional, lifestyle, and documentary/photojournalistic. To me, lifestyle is sort of like a halfway point between documentary and posed as I combine elements of both. We have lots of fun playing and interacting but I give direction when needed and use my knowledge of posing for those coveted looking at the camera shots and to make sure you look your best in your photos. Understanding what style you like when you’re searching for a photographer will help ensure you get the images you are envisioning from your session.

 

Here are a few reasons I love lifestyle photography sessions:

 

1 – Perfect for young families. Most of my clients have young children and young children tend to not be still for very long. Giving them the freedom to play and capturing their joy makes for much less stressful sessions. We still get a couple with everyone looking at the camera, but they don’t need to sit still for the whole session.

Big Talbot Island - Jacksonville, FLLifestyle Family Photos with Young ChildrenCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photofraphy

Big Talbot Island - Jacksonville, FLLifestyle Family Photos with Young KidsCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

Lifestyle Family PhotoCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

2 – Capturing the moments and relationships. What I love most about my job is capturing the sweet moments shared by family members and their relationships with each other. These are the kinds of images that bring us back to those moments in time and help us remember the love we shared. The ones you look at and can’t help but smile as you remember how much fun you had together.

Fernandina Beach - Amelia Island, FLLifestyle Family MomentsCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Fernandina Beach - Amelia Island, FLLifestyle Family MomentsCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Fernandina Beach - Amelia Island, FLLifestyle Family MomentsCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

3 - Posed to look un-posed. When I do use posing, my goal is for everyone to look natural while looking their best.

Lifestyle Family PhotosCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Lifestyle Family PhotosCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Lifestyle Family PhotosCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

4 – Flattering angles and making you look good. Getting the right angle of view is super important to how you’ll look in a photo. Whatever is closest to the camera will look larger so I’m always keeping this in mind when determining which angle to shoot from and how to pose you for natural posed images. I use my knowledge of posing to tweak your posture and position to make sure the camera is taking off 10 pounds not adding it.

Amelia Island - Fernandina Beach FLLifestyle PhotographyCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Little Talbot Island - Jacksonville, FLLifestyle PhotographyCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Crooked River State Park - St Marys GALifestyle PhotographyCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

5 – Direction. If you aren’t normally in front of a camera or feel weird or awkward in front of a camera, having someone give you direction, whether in a posed setting or play setting, can help you to feel less awkward and help in getting naturally beautiful photographs that you’ll love and want to display.

In-Home Newborn St Marys, GALifestyle Newborn SessionCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography In-Home Newborn St Marys, GALifestyle Newborn SessionCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography In-Home Newborn St Marys, GALifestyle Newborn SessionCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

For me, it’s not just about capturing a photograph with people in it, it’s about truly capturing the people in the photograph. I want to capture the essence of each person I photograph and the relationships between family members. These are your memories, what do you want to remember about this time in your/your child’s life? 

<3

Kim

Owner/Photographer-Artist

Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

Looking to capture your family as they are right now? Do you want to capture the connections you have with your loved ones? Contact me today for more information on scheduling a session!


Small Business Spotlight: The Zen Den | St Marys GA Commercial Photography

The Zen Den, LLC - St Marys GACopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography When I first heard about The Zen Den opening in downtown St Marys, I was so excited. This is exactly the kind of store we need here. As a naturally-minded momma, with naturally-minded mom friends, I knew this was going to be a great thing. I finally made it in to see the shop and it smelled so lovely and Whitney was very welcoming and friendly. I've been wanting to revive my Small Business Spotlight series and knew this would be the perfect shop to get the features going again. 

Read on to learn more about Whitney and The Zen Den. 

The Zen Den, LLC - St Marys GACopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

Tell us about your business. What services/products do you offer?

The Zen Den, LLC is a small boutique specializing in organic, all-natural skin care products and health and wellness. I offer products ranging from facial regimens to lotion bars to beard oil. I also offer customized products based on customer needs and aroma preferences. I also carry Soul Flower organic clothing and children's books, and of course our Zen Friends that come with their own Sleepy Time spray! 

The Zen Den, LLC - St Marys GACopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

The Zen Den, LLC - St Marys GACopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography The Zen Den, LLC - St Marys GACopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

What inspired you to open your business?

My son was my inspiration for opening my business. I was previously an environmental scientist and special education teacher. After finding out that my son is high-functioning autistic, I realized that I would need more flexibility and time to help him as he grows. I also discovered how essential oils really helped him during difficult times. People began asking me for products, and I felt a calling. So, I decided to find a space and offer my handmade products to everyone! 

The Zen Den, LLC - St Marys GACopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

Who is your biggest inspiration in life/business?

My biggest inspiration is my son and my family in both my life and my business.

The Zen Den, LLC - St Marys GACopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

What is your favorite quote?

Don't be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try.

What do you love most about what you do?

What I am providing people with a healthy alternative to the skin care products out there loaded with chemicals and toxins. I love hearing everyone say, "It smells so good in here!" and "It is so relaxing in here!" when they come into my shop. I love that I can help others who have questions about a natural approach to health and wellness.

The Zen Den, LLC - St Marys GACopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

What is your biggest success with your business to date? What are you most proud of?

My biggest success so far is opening!! I have also had huge success with my Rejuvenate Butter, which is a blend of essential oils and carriers that have shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic effects. Everyone who has purchased it, has raved about it.

I am most proud of my events for special needs families, as it is a way for the children to do a fun activity and for the parents to socialize and support each other.

The Zen Den, LLC - St Marys GACopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

Do you have a memorable moment in your business that you can share with us?

My first First Friday in downtown St Marys. It was the second day that my doors were open, and I scrambled to find a musician to play out front. It all came together perfectly, and there was so much energy in here. I didn't know that many people could fit in my little store. It felt like a sign that everything will be ok, and that I made the right decision opening my shop. 

What can your clients expect from you when they order/purchase from you? 

Friendly and helpful service. I am also very honest, and want people to find the right product for their needs. even if I have to create a custom product (which I love to do!). They should also understand that every product is fresh and made with organic ingredients. My products do not contain preservatives so they must be used within two years. 

The Zen Den, LLC - St Marys GACopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography The Zen Den, LLC - St Marys GACopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

Tell us three things about you that we might not know.

I never stop learning new things. I love swimming. I love making people smile.

Name three local businesses you love and why.

Bessie's- It is a wonderful place to grab a quick, delicious lunch and some ice cream!

Cottle and Gunn- They always have new things, and you never know what creative items you will find in there!

Submarine Museum- My husband is a submariner, and there is a lot of amazing history. My son loves looking through the periscope too!

www.the-zenden.comCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

Where can people find you?

Website: www.the-zenden.com

Email: whitney.zenden@gmail.com

Phone: 703-789-6870 (personal phone, so during business hours only please :) )

Facebook: www.facebook.com/whitneyszenden

Instagram: @whitzen

 

The Zen Den is located in Downtown St Marys on Osborne St next to Once Upon a Bookseller (go in the red door). Be sure to follow The Zen Den on Facebook to hear about some of the great events she also hosts at her boutique!


The Beauty of Maternity Mini Sessions | Amelia Island Maternity Photographer

There are only a select few mini sessions that I offer, and a maternity mini session is one that can be added to a newborn session or baby plan. Maternity minis are momma only so you get the whole session to yourself. It's the perfect way to celebrate the miracle of pregnancy and get some beautiful images to remember it by. And you won't have to listen to your husband grumble about yet another photo session (or maybe he's deployed or out at sea) or worry about whether your children will be in a good mood. Even though I work to make sure you have a good time either way, for some, it's just nice to have a little time to yourself with the little one you're carrying. Maybe pamper yourself by getting your hair and makeup done before your session and take the evening to yourself. 

Here are two maternity mini sessions we did at the beach with two dresses I recently made. The first one is a mostly lace gown for a momma who feels comfortable enough to show a little but doesn't want her bare belly showing. The second is for a momma who wants to bare her belly and it's fun to see what shapes we get from the wind. 

 

Sunset Beach Maternity Session | Lace GownCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Sunset Beach Maternity Session | Lace GownCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

Sunset Beach Maternity Session | Lace GownCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Sunset Beach Maternity Session | Lace GownCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Sunset Beach Maternity Session | Lace GownCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Sunset Beach Maternity Session | Lace GownCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

Sunset Beach Maternity Photo Session Copyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Sunset Beach Maternity Photo Session Copyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Sunset Beach Maternity Photo Session Copyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Sunset Beach Maternity Photo Session Copyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

 

Read more on why you should consider doing a maternity photo session and check out my maternity guide too.

<3

Kim

Owner/Photographer-Artist

Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

Are you expecting? Do you want a beautiful work of art to display to remember the beauty of pregnancy? Contact me for information on scheduling a maternity session!


In-Home & Outdoor Lifestyle Newborn Photography | Saint Marys Newborn Photographer

While it's true that most newborn sessions take place in the first two weeks, that doesn't mean you can't have a newborn session with a baby over two weeks. Since my photography style is lifestyle and not very posed, newborn session can take place anytime in the first month while baby is still little. This sweet little boy was 4 weeks for his session and slept beautifully for the first part when we took his solo portraits. He was awake for the family portion of the session and I loved capturing his parents and older siblings interacting with him. To me, that's the best part of photographing an older newborn. 

We started the session with his solo newborn portraits since he was asleep when I arrived. Mom had this adorable fox hat and diaper cover for him to wear and loves outdoor portraits so we did his outside. And being in the south, it was plenty warm enough for him to be nice and cozy too!

in-home - outdoor newborn photosLifestyle Newborn PhotographyCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography in-home - outdoor newborn photosLifestyle Newborn PhotographyCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

After taking a nursing break, we did some indoor portraits with the family in their sun room overlooking the river. These were definitely some of my favorites of the session. 


in-home - outdoor newborn photosLifestyle Newborn PhotographyCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography in-home - outdoor newborn photosLifestyle Newborn PhotographyCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography in-home - outdoor newborn photosLifestyle Newborn PhotographyCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography in-home - outdoor newborn photosLifestyle Newborn PhotographyCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography in-home - outdoor newborn photosLifestyle Newborn PhotographyCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography in-home - outdoor newborn photosLifestyle Newborn PhotographyCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography in-home - outdoor newborn photosLifestyle Newborn PhotographyCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography in-home - outdoor newborn photosLifestyle Newborn PhotographyCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography in-home - outdoor newborn photosLifestyle Newborn PhotographyCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

Little man was doing so well, we had plenty of time to head outside and do more photos with the whole family outside too. 

in-home - outdoor newborn photosLifestyle Newborn PhotographyCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography in-home - outdoor newborn photosLifestyle Newborn PhotographyCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography in-home - outdoor newborn photosLifestyle Newborn PhotographyCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

Thank you D Family for commissioning me to capture this special time in your lives. It was truly an honor.

<3

Kim

Owner/Photographer-Artist

Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

Expecting a little one or have a newborn and want to capture this short time while they're tiny and new? Do you want to capture the connection and relationship with your new baby? Contact me today for more information on scheduling a newborn session!


Underwater Pool Session | St Marys GA Child Photographer

Over the last couple of years, I've seen some really amazing and beautiful underwater photography and knew I wanted to try it. I'm always taking photos of my son at the beach and wanted to at least be able to capture all the fun he has in the waves without worrying about my camera getting wet. So earlier this year, I purchased an underwater housing for my camera so that I could give it a try. After playing with it at the beach, I knew I needed to try it in the pool. I knew it would be a big challenge and more difficult than shooting above water, but I had no idea how truly challenging it is until I did it. It's definitely something I want to do more of though and I'm always looking to challenge myself and improve my photography skills. The editing involved was also diffferent from what I normally do...make sure to check out the before and after below! I'm looking forward to being able to invest in a better housing for my camera soon!

This session was done with some older kids and it was fun to capture their sibling interactions too.

Underwater Pool Photo SessionCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Underwater Pool Photo SessionCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Underwater Pool Photo SessionCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Underwater Pool Photo SessionCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Underwater Pool Photo SessionCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Underwater Pool Photo SessionCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Underwater Pool Photo SessionCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Underwater Pool Photo SessionCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Underwater Pool Photo SessionCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Underwater Pool Photo SessionCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Underwater Pool Photo SessionCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Underwater Pool Photo SessionCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

And now for the before and after!

Underwater Photography: Before and AfterCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

<3

Kim 

Owner/Photographer-Artist

Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

Want some fun photos of your children and family? Contact me for information on scheduling a session!

Kimberly Tank is an award winning professional photographer and artist in Saint Marys, Georgia, servicing Camden County in Southeast Georgia (including Kingsland & Woodbine) and Northeast Florida (including Yulee, Callahan, Fernandina Beach, & Jacksonville). Using natural light and custom on location sessions, Kimberly Tank specializes in the family and child photography; providing an exceptional customer experience and helping you turn your family memories into works of art.

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      Magic Hour Official Photographer  

Best Maternity Photographers in Jacksonville

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