thoughts from the studio Archives | Margo Millure Photography
A non traditional Mother’s Day celebration and reopening

A non traditional Mother’s Day celebration and reopening

 As I planned my Mother’s Day promotion celebrating the “traditional Mother’s Day,” I kept coming up a bit empty.

After all, we’ve been through a global pandemic and there’s really been nothing like it in my lifetime to shed light on the things that are most important in life.

These two questions have been on my mind when it comes to reopening full-time:

  •  How about if Mother’s Day was celebrated for a whole month?
  • Then more importantly, how about if my Mother’s Day special, wasn’t JUST for mothers?

I know it may sound strange. But you all may already know this about me: I sometimes think too much. 🙂 And over the years, as much as I love these shoots, a part of me has always held back a bit on going all in around a traditional Mother’s Day celebration. Why?

It’s because Mother’s Day for many  is… complicated. The reality is people’s stories are as complex and unique as the people themselves.

While these questions would still apply:

How about if this Mother’s Day you could give the Moms in your life the experience of feeling beautiful & celebrated? While giving her (him, them?) a gift that everyone will treasure for years to come?

Perhaps this one should too:

How about if you could give someone important to you – whom you have missed seeing over the past 14 months, and yourself — or maybe just yourself — the experience of feeling beautiful and celebrated?

Because thankfully, after 14 months away from (or perhaps even living on top of) each other, it’s time to reemerge as the changed people we invariably are, and mark this moment in time, and celebrate.

Mother’s Day — THE DAY — is Sunday, May 9.

Non-traditional Mother’s Day can be celebrated every (and any) freaking day. 

My Pandemic Reality

On Sunday, May 9, I won’t be with my own grown daughters for the second year in a row. This isn’t really news. They are grownups and neither live nearby. I’m not saying it shouldn’t be celebrated if it works for you, but for many, a traditional Mother’s Day celebration is best suited for families where everyone is living under the same roof (or at least in the same town.)

As far as how the pandemic has affected my little fam, my beautiful son-in-law, lost his lovely mother to Covid-19 last May. We are all far from being over this.

Then I didn’t see my younger daughter the whole time she was 24. I saw my older daughter for a brief camping trip to West Virginia back in September. Now I’m finally planning on hitting the road and seeing both of my daughters and their significant others in June!

Getting back to living life more fully

Yes, getting back into life and business now that I’m ready, is a little … scary?

I was booked out months in advance before COVID-19 hit, and now I’m looking a a wide open calendar. Celebrations didn’t happen; travel plans were postponed.

But the time is upon us now to get back in the swing of things, as the new people we’ve become.

My invitation to you is this:

Whether you are a mom or have ever had a mom ;), I’m inviting you and your favorite people to join me for a special celebration session this May at a super fantastic price.

I can’t wait to photograph you! Limited spots available (and remember I would love to photograph you and your faves beyond May, whenever you can manage to wrangle them together. 🙂

Learn more here  and reserve your spot  or call me to discuss at 804-822-2653

And yes, you qualify. 🙂

traditional family portrait

My family

Margo has achieved Masters level status in The Portrait Masters award and accreditation program. Her studio is based in Richmond, VA.

Margo on The Portrait Masters

Get Focused on and Exposed: Reintroducing the “You are A Work of Art” Project

Get Focused on and Exposed: Reintroducing the “You are A Work of Art” Project

Our studio motto at Margo Millure Photography is, “You are already beautiful. You are already enough. You are a work of art.” Something about now being well into the second half of 2020, the year of a global pandemic and overall really challenging year, I’ve decided it’s time for me to come clean. The reason I started the You are A Work of Art project way back at the end of 2019 was to celebrate the strength, beauty and wisdom of women through photography and their stories.  But as in all of what drives me to do what I do, including relaunching it this week, there’s a bit more to it than that.  Here are just a few images from the project thus far:   I’ve always said that for almost all women, being photographed is an act of bravery. To use a couple of photography metaphors (that are used so often they aren’t really metaphors), to be photographed, we have to allow ourselves to be focused on. We have to risk exposure.

I see you there

richmond virginia portrait photographer Margo millure

This is me, photographed by a photographer I greatly admire and trust, getting exposed and focused on 😉

Over the years, I myself, have cleverly tried to outsmart the steely truths of the camera lens. I have stayed stubbornly behind it, where my profession has kept me safe. I’ve left rooms because of it. I’ve fake smiled and hidden behind people for it. We always think we are alone in our pathos. Yet rarely is that true.  

We are each beautifully unique and uniquely beautiful (but we also have “stuff” in common)

People who come to me to be photographed are a diverse lot. Each person truly has their own  beauty; the result of age, shape, and experiences; of their different opinions on everything from the politics to nail polish. Yet to various degrees and in different ways, each has been shaped by ever evolving, media driven, ideals of how we as women are “supposed” to be.  So while the You are A Work of Art Project may be about telling individual stories through photography, it is also about debunking some of that and instead seeing what we have in common. In this time of extreme division, I want to pull everything back to an important truth: that we, as women, are far more alike than we can imagine. Crazy?  Perhaps! The thing is, I know that what I do for women through the entire experience of photographing them is more than simply giving the idea of “real beauty” lip service. 

Once and for all, just say “no”

The You are A Work of Art project is a logical extension of what I do.  Putting the spotlight (yep  – another photography metaphor) on a group of beautiful, unique and brave women is my small way of changing societal and cultural ideas about what real beauty is. It’s my way, one step at a time, to help us internally get better at saying “no” to all the daily dose of bunk we’ve been fed over the years about how we’re supposed to look and be… … a path to risk being seen by the photographer as the beauty we already are.

Risk seeing the things in oneself that aren’t what’s been deemed Vogue cover ready in any given decade. Who are these women, anyway? (not a real question)

If anything the past four months have taught me that there is no time like the present 😉 . And that includes getting past our closest held and most persistent bugaboos.  I am looking forward to photographing this group of women – to helping them get just a little more over themselves, to the other side of whatever might be stopping them from moving to the next beautiful thing that life has in store for them. Together, let’s do this! We’ll have a blast and maybe, it will even change the way you see yourself. The price is $199 to secure a spot in #YouAreAWorkOfArt project, and includes day-of hair and makeup styling, the session, and personalized reveal where I will gift you a copy of your favorite image. ($645 value). I’m regrouping and have lots more planned, details of which are a work in progress! (BTW, we’re that too.) To learn more and apply: You are A Work of Art Project To learn about the Signature Session  
But what do I wear!?!

But what do I wear!?!

What to wear for your photoshoot and the portrait photography styling consultation

The styling consultation can play an important  role in the success of a Signature Session and the overall client experience.

When it comes to the stage of planning what to wear for your session, this is when things start to get fun whether…

… you have a closet full of designer duds or your drawers flow over with Target.

 … or are working on becoming more minimalist in both life and wardrobe, yet you still secretly want to raid a closet full of impractical only-to-be-worn-once, fancy items. 

… perhaps one more than one occasion, you’ve been called a “total clothes horse”.

… if your idea of dressing up is changing from sweats into a pair of jeans.

patty hmua richmond va

 

This is a time for us to start getting to know each other. I’ll offer you a cup of tea. We’ll talk wardrobe and a little hair and make-up. I’ll ask you questions. You’ll ask me questions.

With 3 – 5 wardrobe changes, I’ll encourage you to consider your different facets. To consider who you are today, who you aspire to be, and who you dream of being, perhaps?  A mix of casual, chic, and epic, maybe? How do you want to be remembered by your loved ones?

professional woman personal branding

 

 

How to get started in planning your photography session wardrobe

I encourage you to bring in some images you are inspired by. Follow me on Pinterest and we can even start a private shared board to start sharing ideas if you’d like. 

No worries if you don’t have time for all that though! How I work with each client will take on its own shape.

portrait photography richmond va

 

 

During our time you’ll be able to check out my studio wardrobe and we’ll both see what captures your fancy. You may try on a couple of things, so we can figure out what best captures your unique style. 

 

You will leave your consultation with some easy styling tips up your sleeve as well as both a Style and Beauty Guide with more inspiring images, timelines, and advice. I’ll follow up our meeting with an email with some more links and ideas for shopping or renting something for your shoot.

margo during session in scotts addition studio

And for those moments when you come face to face with your closet and everything becomes a big blur, I’m only a phone call or text away!

When you are ready to talk about your own styling consultation give me a call! I love working with clients to plan their wardrobes for their sessions! It’s a wonderful chance to get to know each other, get excited, and eased into the process.

Planning is the key to a fun and relaxing shoot!

Why we resist being photographed. Why we shouldn’t.

Why we resist being photographed. Why we shouldn’t.

Do any of these sound familiar?

“I’m not photogenic”
“I need to lose weight”
“Of course I want photographs of my children, but why would I want them of me?”
“I’m too old”

If you’ve got an excuse, believe me, I’ve heard it. And whenever I hear the words come out of a new client’s mouth, it actually makes me kind of sad.

exist in photos at all stages of your life

Why sad? Because as women we are our noisiest critic. We say things in our heads that we wouldn’t say to our worst enemy. We don’t treat ourselves well. We put our needs behind those of everyone else in our lives, sometimes to a fault.

But the truth is:

You are beautiful now. You deserve to have incredible portraits of yourself. You deserve to exist in photos. You deserve my personal branding and portrait experience!

Stepping up and existing in photographs shows your loved ones what it looks like to love yourself. It is a priceless gift. Plus they will cherish the portraits of you for years to come.

elegant mother daughter photo shoot in front of fireplace.

Here’s what I say to clients when I hear any of the above reasons they resist booking a shoot:

“I’m not photogenic” ~ I don’t believe in the concept of “being photogenic.” It is my job to connect with you and guide you during your photo shoot. Doing so will make you feel more beautiful, confident, and relaxed. When you feel this way, you inner light shines, allowing me to capture those moments when your inner and outer beauty converge. Then when all is said and done, your portraits may even change the way you see yourself.

“I need to lose weight” ~ The feeling of needing to reach the ‘perfect weight’ will hinder you only as long as you allow it. The truth is posing and lighting are everything. Do I believe that the camera can add 10 pounds? Yes, but I also know that the camera can take off 10 pounds (and yes, that’s before any Photoshop.) I will take photographs that will help you see yourself at your best and the way your loved ones see you.

mother daughter photoshoot on a favorite sofa.

“Of course I want photographs of my children, but why would I want them of me?”~ Having a portrait of your mother or grandmother, is something that every child will sooner or later understand the value of. Don’t make it difficult for them to find them!

But I totally understand wanting photographs of the family too. This is why I always encourage clients to give themselves the experience of the Signature Session. Then towards the end of the shoot, we’ll bring in the kids, dad, and maybe even a whole extended family for a few amazing portraits. I’ll capture the kind of shots worthy of being hung on the wall and treasured for generations.

“I’m too old” ~ Just because women over thirty aren’t well represented in the media, doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be well represented in their own lives. No matter what your age, having beautiful portraits taken is a way to love, accept and honor the amazing person you are today.

Remember: “You are already beautiful. You are already enough. You are a work of art.”

Now give me a call and let’s get you in front of the camera. I promise you will not regret it!

You may also enjoy reading Wisdom from a few of my favorite women who didn’t put off being photographed

Put the best advice on repeat

Put the best advice on repeat

travel photography, Seeing the trees, photographs of trees

A tree, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, June 2018 ©

On my personal Instagram my bio says, “Think Less. See More.”  My yin and yang can get a little too jumbled together. In other words, even when it comes to travel and portrait photography, I sometimes think too much. “Think Less. See More.” is a directive I could stand to hear every day!

If only we needed to hear our best lessons once! But it turns out we need to hear our best lessons over and over. Certain words and thoughts call out to us. We are compelled to share them with others and hopefully, we grow to more and more live by them ourselves.

blue ridge mountains, shenandoah virginia, travel photography

Another day, another tree, Shenandoah National Park, June 2018 ©

Photography can require a lot of thinking and organizing, especially ahead of time. The yin and yang of creativity can collide only in the moment. Besides not forgetting a camera (it happens!), getting out of my own way enough to see things better is my constant goal. This is true whether I’m in the studio photographing a client, on the road or at home.

Plenty of things to think about bombard us every day. Much of it uninvited, most of it unpleasant. Resisting default thinking mode and seeing the world and life and its amazingness, whatever that is too a person, takes effort.

Just on the other side of all those thoughts there is always some kind of beauty. It’s there all the time. Press repeat.